[whatwg] H.264-in-<video> vs plugin APIs

Mike Shaver mike.shaver at gmail.com
Sat Jun 13 06:28:48 PDT 2009

On Sat, Jun 13, 2009 at 8:00 AM, Chris DiBona<cdibona at gmail.com> wrote:
> Comparing Daily Motion to Youtube is disingenuous.

Much less so than comparing "promotion of H.264-in-<video> via
Google's sites and client" to "support for legacy proprietary content
via plugin APIs", I would say.  But also, I didn't compare DailyMotion
to YouTube!  I used it as an example of converting content at scale,
to speak to the relative impact of a codec change vs. API changes in
terms of effort.

> If yt were to
> switch to theora and maintain even a semblance of the current youtube
> quality it would take up most available bandwidth across the internet.
> The most recent public number was just over 1 billion video streams a
> day, and I've seen what we've had to do to make that happen, and it is
> a staggering amount of bandwidth. Dailymotion is a fine site, but
> they're just not Youtube.

I don't think the bandwidth delta is very much with recent (and
format-compatible) improvements to the Theora encoders, if it's even
in H.264's favour any more, but I'd rather get data than share
suppositions.  Can you send me a link to raw video for the clip at
http://www.youtube.com/demo/google_main.mp4?2 so I can get it
converted with the state of the art encoder and we can compare

> Considering this 'argument'  came out of the larger issue that we're
> actually shipping with Theora (also on android, too), and as we showed
> at Google I/O, are sampling it on some pages at Youtube,

That's great news -- I wasn't able to be at Google I/O, and I can't
find any mention of Youtube providing Theora for consumption anywhere.
Can you clue me in with a link?  (It does seem that Youtube accepts
Theora at upload, but it seems like it gets transcoded to Flash or
whatever at that point, so it's converting from unencumbered to
encumbered!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roE4bmOSURk is one example
that I'm pretty sure was uploaded in Theora format.)

> I will say that the best thing that can
> happen to Theora recently was firefox's support of it, though, but
> even better would be substantive codec improvements

That's indeed a big part of what we've been funding, and the results
have been great already.  I'd like to demonstate them to you, because
I suspect that you'd be a better-armed advocate within Google for
unencumbered video if you could see what it's really capable of now.
(Separate from the Wikimedia grant we also just started funding work
to port Theora to some DSPs, so that we will be able to do off-CPU
decode/yuv2rbg/scale on some devices.)


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