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Intel Considers Hardware Acceleration For Google's WebM Format 139

Posted by timothy
from the those-guys-will-do-anything-for-money dept.
CWmike writes "Intel is considering hardware-based acceleration for Google's new WebM video file format in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity, an Intel executive said on Thursday. Announced last Wednesday at Google I/O, WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February. 'Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 and VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,' said Wilfred Martis, a general manager at Intel's Digital Home Group."
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Intel Considers Hardware Acceleration For Google's WebM Format

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:06PM (#32371652)

    So beceause Intel may add VP8 hardware acceleration that it means that H.264 (which dominates in pretty much every area of home video and VOD, etc) is done? lolwut?

  • Re:Nice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:10PM (#32371666)

    No offense, but I'd be happier to see theora support added first, since that is more or less guaranteed to be devoid of current patent litigation.

    If they added 'webm' support as well I wouldn't mind though :

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:15PM (#32371710) Journal
    There is certainly some chicken-and-egg concern(though this might be obviated by the fact that Google has a massive arsenal of web videos, and a browser, and mozilla could probably also be counted on).

    As for costs, it wouldn't surprise me if the format was designed(in part) to keep those low. Remember the analysis [multimedia.cx] linked to here a few days ago? The punchline was, in essence "very much like h.264, except in a few specific ways that are largely worse". Now, assuming that the On2 people aren't complete morons(which would also imply that their new Google overlords are complete suckers), why would they create a codec like that?

    Well, h.264 is the best supported(in terms of software, and embedded hardware decoders) of modern video formats. It is also considered to be quite good, the product of research by a large number of people and entities. However, it is patent encumbered. Therefore, you would expect a rational competitor to do the following: Copy h.264 as closely as possible in all unpatented respects, or respects where patents can be worked around. Nobody is giving you any extra credit for re-inventing the wheel, and (unless you have particular reasons to believe the contrary) trying to do so would likely result in a worse wheel. Where the spec is simply too patent encumbered, implement the least-worst replacement for that bit that isn't encumbered.

    Based on that technical analysis, it strikes me as extremely likely that this is more or less what On2 did. Do a patent search, presumably focusing on the MPEG-LA pool, and any other likely suspects. For any parts of h.264 too heavily covered to engineer around the patents, make the smallest legally tenable compromise.

    Since the vast majority is extremely similar to h.264, this will likely make adding hardware support cheaper, since most of the dedicated decoder logic and/or embedded DSP firmware can be shared between h.264 and WebM, with small additions to cover the differences.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:22PM (#32371728) Journal

    It doesn't mean that. What it does mean is that Theora is done, though.

  • by pseudofrog (570061) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:40PM (#32371832)
    Because it sucks and has no corporate support.

    VP8 doesn't suck and appears to be gaining corporate support.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @11:05PM (#32371978) Journal

    Political correctness might be misdirected, but posting "niggers" several times in the row is still vulgar, rude and a sign of a fucking moron.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @11:09PM (#32372006)

    With how close they are to each other as a format, it shouldn't be too hard to make it decode in hardware as most of the stuff is already there. Hell, with how close they are you could probably rig up a decoder that already ran partially in hardware as is.
    It is a win for VP8 but not exactly like it would be a hard thing to do or even expensive on Intels part.

    To be honest, this actually looks like the logical thing to do on their part.
    1) Format becomes popular that is already mostly able to run on your current designs and is also free to use and implement.
    2) Modify your process to finish the hardware decoding on your system as it was cheap and mostly already done.
    3) Profit, you now have another selling point for your hardware with little (relatively speaking) financial investment on your end.

  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Friday May 28, 2010 @12:18AM (#32372332)

    It's flamebait because it's a completely unwarranted conclusion. You've got it pumped up to +4 right now, somehow, but the flamebait was a better moderation idea. Seriously, how is h.264 "finished" just because someone's willing to add it to their decoder spec? Nothing in that post was insightful, informative, or interesting (objectively speaking. It was pure opinion, which may be subjectively interesting). The only thing it did was try to start a fight over what's better, h.264 or this. That's the very definition of flamebait.

  • Re:Nice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:35AM (#32372618)

    When the chicken is youtube the egg better hurry the hell up or the farmers will be pissed.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Friday May 28, 2010 @03:41AM (#32373068)

    3 years from now? H.264 is on my computers, my blu ray player, my phone, my camera, my video camera, it's everywhere now. In order for any codec to replace H.264 it has to be technically superior, just not "free". And from what I've seen, VP8 is better than Theora, but still not H.264.

    No, it has to be used more by providers. Why does everything have a H.264 codec, because Youtube and everyone else uses H.246. What Google needs to do is to get providers to switch to VP8 and make their intentions clear to swtich off H.264. HW manufacturers will follow the providers.

  • by eulernet (1132389) on Friday May 28, 2010 @04:25AM (#32373262)

    My bet: the next version of Google Chrome will include the VP8 codec, and Youtube will provide VP8 encoded videos.

    Since Chrome is gaining more market share every day, VP8 could become the standard de-facto for Web streaming, especially if Youtube doesn't support H264.

    Google doesn't care about offline products.

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Friday May 28, 2010 @05:52AM (#32373700)

    APNG (.png) supports animation in any non-IE web browser.

    APNG was also voted down as a standard - MNG is the official way to do animation but no one supports it.

    http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_name=3.0.6.32.20070420132821.012dd8e8%40mail.comcast.net [sourceforge.net]

    A properly optimized PNG file will often be half the size of a gif, and supports 24bit colour too...

    Part of the problem with PNG is that a lot of applications will generate 24bit PNGs for images that would be smaller if they used a palette.

    In both cases PNG's official feature set often works against it.

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