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Data Storage IOS Desktops (Apple) OS X Software Apple

Apple Announces Native HEVC Support In MacOS High Sierra and iOS 11 (cnet.com) 136

New submitter StreamingEagle writes: Apple massively improves the quality of photo and video experiences, including High Dynamic Range. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) can double photo and video storage capacity, and cut the time to upload or share by half. HEVC video compression and HEIF photo compression are coming to iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra. Sean Hollister adds via CNET: "Having used HEVC quite a bit myself, I can vouch that it takes up less space. I recently transcoded roughly a terabyte of video to HEVC on my Windows PC, and saw hundreds of gigabytes of savings."
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Apple Announces Native HEVC Support In MacOS High Sierra and iOS 11

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  • by Peetke ( 1681018 ) on Monday June 05, 2017 @05:15PM (#54554881)
    Will they support VP8 VP9 and AV1? That would be far more great than HEVC.
    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday June 05, 2017 @05:21PM (#54554929)

      Why? Give us one good reason why Apple should bother with any of these.

      • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday June 05, 2017 @05:54PM (#54555173)

        Youtube.

        If you want one simple reason (there are plenty of other more complex ones) Youtube uses VP9 and you get better quality per bit when you can stream from them in VP9 instead of H.264. Given that Youtube is, by far, the world's largest video site that is good enough to support it right there.

        • by Malc ( 1751 )

          Why are you talking about H.264 (AVC)? This article is about H.265 (HEVC).

          There isn't a VP9 encoder out there that can match the HEVC codecs in terms of encoding speed or quality at a given bitrate or bitrate savings at a fixed quality. And what about hardware accelerated codecs (encoding and decoding) and support within the chipsets used by Apple?

          And when I talk about codecs, I'm not for instance talking about x265, which is typically the most common free one used by /.ers. There are other commercial HE

          • If you go to Youtube, it is going to send you a video in VP9 if it can, H.264 if it can't. It doesn't use H.265 at this point.

            H.256 will probably be useful in the future but RIGHT NOW VP9 is huge because of Youtube. Same deal with Netflix. They've started using VP9 for some of their stuff (and more and more as they convert it).

            So I'm not hating on H.265 support, Windows 10 supports it, new Intel CPUs support it, it is a coming thing. However VP9 is something that has been deployed for some time to get bette

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why? Give us one good reason why Apple should bother with any of these.

        Three good reasons:

        1. VP8, VP9, and AV1 are royalty-free. Anyone can use them to encode and decode for any purpose without paying licensing fees. HEVC, in contrast, requires you to buy separate three licenses from three separate patent pools ( MPEG LA [mpegla.com], HEVC Advance [hevcadvance.com], and Velos Media [velosmedia.com]). Additionally you must negotiate another license from Technicolor to use HEVC and licenses from any other company that isn't in one of the three patent pools.

        2. AV1 already outperforms [bitmovin.com] HEVC in coding efficiency. The goal is to be

        • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Monday June 05, 2017 @07:30PM (#54555791)

          HEVC is a losing proposition. Apple's making a mistake here.

          6 month old list of HEVC hardware decode-supporting devices [techspot.com]

          Current list of AV1 hardware decode-supporting devices: ...

          I'm not seeing Apple's mistake. I'm seeing a software zealot that thinks that battery life is simply a hardware problem for others to solve.

        • HEVC is a losing proposition. Apple's making a mistake here.

          The fucking $40 Amazon Fire Stick supports HEVC. That's reason enough for Apple to get with the times.

    • Thats up to apple. Only reason this is now a 'feature' is because they are releasing updated hardware with kabylake parts that support native HEVC (and VP9) decode with the intel gpu. Previously they couldnt and would have relied on whether or not there was a sufficient 3rd party gpu which only the pro's would have so there was no point in adding it. So theoretically they can, the hardware supports it, whether or not they will do it is another story

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      VP9 contains patented technology (much like HEVC).

      Unlike HEVC, in order to use VP9, Apple would have to grant Google free use of its patents (VP9 has a whole patent reciprocity agreement - much like the GPLv3). So if you have no patents of your own, VP9 sounds like a great deal.

      That makes VP9 a non-starter for a lot of organizations, and it seems that Apple is among them.

      VP9 has a big user base because it's promoted by an industry giant, but it is not an international standard, but a format controlled by a

      • by Anonymous Coward

        VP9 contains patented technology (much like HEVC)

        The issue isn't patents, the issue is the licensing. Baseline JPEG has always contained patented technology but it was licensed under royalty-free terms so everyone was free to use JPEG. Similarly, VP9 contains patented technology which is licensed under royalty-free terms and everyone is free to use it.

        This is wholly unlike HEVC. To use HEVC you must buy three separate licenses from three separate patent pools ( MPEG LA [mpegla.com], HEVC Advance [hevcadvance.com], and Velos Media [velosmedia.com]) and then negotiate additional licenses from companies li

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Unlike HEVC, in order to use VP9, Apple would have to grant Google free use of its patents (VP9 has a whole patent reciprocity agreement - much like the GPLv3).

        Free use of all patents owned by Apple Inc. and its subsidiaries, or only of those patents essential to VP9? The reciprocity provision of the additional patent grant for VP8 and VP9 [webmproject.org] appears to apply only to patents related to those codecs.

        VP9 has a big user base because it's promoted by an industry giant, but it is not an international standard

        What organizations qualify to set "an international standard"? If IETF counts, then VP8 is RFC 6386 [ietf.org], and standardization of VP9 is ongoing [webmproject.org].

        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          Ongoing is another word for "not finished" as far as standardization goes.

          Moreover, there are many kinds of RFC, including "informational publications" which are not part of the standards track.

          RFC6386 is an informational publication, and is not on the standards track.

          In contrast, the Opus codec is on the standards track, and there are several standards track RFC's for Opus - from the codec, to the bitstream, to the encapsulation in an ogg container.

          So when we see VP8/9 become standards track, it might be

  • Great, anyone want to bet websites will start using HEIF images instead of JPEG in a few months/years? And all older devices and browsers won't be able to view websites anymore?

    And why did JPEG2000 support never took off?

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      And why did JPEG2000 support never took off?

      JPEG2000's failing is that while it was "better", it wasn't enough of an improvement to be worth the effort to migrate.

      Roughly the same thing happened with WebP [wikipedia.org] - Google's equivalent of HEIF, based on VP8.

      WebP doens't have any patent issues (unlike HEIF/JPEG2000), yet seven years later, we still don't see websites adopting it.

      • by Goaway ( 82658 )

        Even worse, really: It's not actually much of an improvement over JPEG at all. JPEG-2000 artefacts tend to be more visually displeasing.

        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          Agreed. Back in the day there was a lot of wavelet hype that didn't seem to pan out as well as was hoped.

          Either that or it was patented into obscurity.

    • Do I look like I know what a "jay peg" is?

    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      JPEG-2000 is slow to decode. There exists a somewhat faster algorithm but it is patent-encumbered and proprietary.

      The only place where JPEG-2000 has got widespread adoption is in digital cinema (Motion JPEG-2000) and that requires special-purpose hardware where as H.264 at the same quality could be decoded in software on a commodity PC.

  • Haha (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Monday June 05, 2017 @05:23PM (#54554949) Homepage

    I use VLC and Android devices. I don't have to transcode a fucking thing.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      Because VLC on iOS [apple.com] isn't a thing?

      • Good luck putting a file on your phone without iTunes having its way.

        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          Are you serious?

          VLC has no problem st all downloading (or streaming) using SMB, FTP, Plex, and DNLA. If you want, you can even go the slow route and download them using a USB cable. I connect VLC to my MythTV box all the time, transfer files, and play them for my kids on a road trip. VLC even lets me adjust the audio synchronization to account for the delay from Bluetooth and my car's audio system.

          It's a total non-issue.

          • I want the file located on my phone for offline use.

            • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

              I did mention "downloading or streaming"

              Obviously, you're not interested in the streaming part, but you can absolutely download to the phone's flash memory for offline use.

              In fact, you can Transfer files VLC directly using SMB, FTP, Plex or DNLA. Alternatively, you can use the "send to" function to have one iOS app (such as an FTP/SFTP client, Dropbox, or even email) into VLC.

              The VLC devs did a pretty good job on iOS; they even made a library so other programs can embed VLC into their apps. You can even do

      • Do Safari and other browsers wrapping WebKit for iOS allow embedding VLC for iOS as the player used for the <video> element? If not, how does the request to stream a video get from the browser to VLC?

        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          Forgive me if I'm being dense, but isn't having the web browser render the video internally (without an external program/plugin) the entire point of the video tag?

          I certainly haven't seen that ability for the various browsers on Windows, MacOS, Linux. I don't see why iOS should be different.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            isn't having the web browser render the video internally (without an external program/plugin) the entire point of the video tag?

            True, it is the entire point of <video>. And it shows why sl3xd's suggestion to rely on VLC for iOS isn't an adequate substitute for support in the operating system for a video codec.

            • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

              I disagree; while you can't embed <video> - and have the video play in a useless postage-stamp-sized video in the web browser, you can have the web browser open an external app to play the media full screen -- which is exactly what happens for YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, and VLC.

              I really don't see the applicability when it's the same behavior that you see for <video> tags on any other OS/browser.

              The bottom line is that HEVC (h.265) is the ISO standard, and is one of the lowest common denomi

              • you can have the web browser open an external app to play the media full screen

                Provided that said external app supports the media. Many sites offering HTML5 video use Media Source Extensions (MSE) [wikipedia.org] so that the client has finer control of buffering and can deter receiving the body of the video before having received the message from the video's sponsor. But Wikipedia's article about MSE mentions nothing about VLC, nor does its article about VLC [wikipedia.org] mention MSE.

                Or are you claiming that MSE ought not be used, that VLC media player by itself handles buffering well and that the operator of a si

                • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

                  Which video format is both standard and royalty-free? If the answer is "none", how does it benefit the public for the answer to remain "none"?

                  The landscape is already littered with single-party "open standards" that never saw widespread adoption.

                  Which is why I watch AV1 with interest; it has many members in its consortium, and the support spans the industry from content delivery, to encoder and OS, to hardware-level support.

                  It has an uphill battle to fight against HEVC, having lost the race to be first to market, but it has the potential to win in the end.

              • There are plenty of useless ISO standards. Microsoft's OOXML is one. It doesn't matter if ISO rubber stamped it or not. What matters is if it gains widespread adoption to be considered one.

      • It isn't much of a thing. The version distributed via the Apple App Store doesn't have any of the GPL'd bits, which includes things like the DVD menu support. You use dvdbackup to take a CSS-free copy of a DVD and play it fine on any version of VLC except the iOS one.
        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          DVD Menus aren't a terribly useful feature in my particular use case, but I'm definitely not the only use case that matters.

          You can download the source code, compile your own version (with whatever you want) with Xcode, and upload it to your personal device. (You can do the same thing with Kodi, for example).

          I've never bothered with a DVD backup in its native MPEG-2 Video; I always transcode to h.264 and put the disc into a box for storage.

          That's been my standard way of handling DVD's for over a decade at

  • How many of you posting that HEVC patent licensing is a mess are actually in need of an HEVC patent license? I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say... none of you. Apple has just added HEVC support to iOS and MacOS, retroactively upgrading hundreds of millions of devices. Obviously, Apple can handle their IP licensing adequately, and so anyone using HEVC on a supported device doesn't have to worry about taking a patent license, as the device itself is licensed, and so an app developer, service provi

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