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Video Breakthroughs
Monitoring innovations in post-production, head-end, streaming, OTT, second-screen, UHDTV, multiscreen strategies & tools
Curated by Nicolas Weil
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HEVC Likely to be Subject to Similar Royalty Structure as H.264

HEVC Likely to be Subject to Similar Royalty Structure as H.264 | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

One of the best things about presenting at Streaming Media conferences is that the expertise level of attendees is so high that it’s rare you don’t learn a thing or so in the sessions that you present. So it was during my HEVC session atStreaming Media West.

 

The week before the session was the first time I was able to gauge the quality of HEVC with my own test clips. Though I had expected less than the oft-stated 50% bandwidth savings as compared to H.264, the Rovi-supplied clips encoded with the MainConcept HEVC codec lived up to the billing, confirming that HEVC should allow content producers to shave bandwidth costs significantly.

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VP9 Is Almost Here, But a Nokia Patent Fight Might Have it DOA

VP9 Is Almost Here, But a Nokia Patent Fight Might Have it DOA | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Google plans to release the VP9 codec in less than a month. While it sounds promising, deep-pocketed companies will want to hold off on adoption.

 

In a series of blog posts last week, Google detailed the final release schedule for VP9 and a few other implementation details. These posts also indicated that YouTube plans to start using VP9 once it’s available in Chrome. Unfortunately for Google, recent patent infringement claims from Nokia seriously muddy the waters regarding whether or not VP8 and VP9 will ultimately be royalty free.

Nicolas Weil's insight:

Good comments

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The Hidden Licensing Costs of HLS Video Playback?

The Hidden Licensing Costs of HLS Video Playback? | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
With a lot of conversations evolving around MPEG-DASH during NAB this year, including the joint Adobe / Akamai MPEG-DASH streaming demo, the question prevails: is MPEG-DASH more than a science project, and has true potential to become a future streaming standard?

What appears to be clear is the consensus that HLS has deficiencies, but are the differences important enough to motivate the industry to migrate from established HLS support on devices to MPEG-DASH?

Mike Downey, Principal Evangelist, Media Platform at Microsoft, provided some interesting comments on HLS on my previous PHDS blog post, with a different perspective – potential HLS licensing complications.
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Securing rights to HEVC is the holy grail of multiplatform video delivery

Securing rights to HEVC is the holy grail of multiplatform video delivery | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

HEVC encoding and decoding technology is “ready for primetime,” but licensing negotiations are holding up real-world deployments.


While it was clear from walking the exhibit floor in Amsterdam that HEVC encoding and decoding technology is now “ready for primetime” as Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental technologies put it, the licensing negotiations now underway between MPEG LA, the standardizing body, and those that would implement the patented technology into their products (consumer electronics companies and broadcast equipment suppliers), are holding back real-world deployments.

 

According to Blackman, companies like Apple, Samsung and others now have the technology to utilize HEVC, but they don’t dare for fear of having to pay billions in licensing fees. Although there has been no official comment on the negotiations, word on the street is that MPEG LA is seeking a $20 million cap on single users, whereas they receive roughly a $7 million cap for the use of H.264 today. The big difference reflects the potential multiple uses that new IP-based video services will require in the future.

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The Future of HEVC: It's Coming, but with Plenty of Questions

The Future of HEVC: It's Coming, but with Plenty of Questions | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

What’s clear at this point is that multiple companies have patents relating to HEVC technology, and they plan to ask for royalties from those who use their technology. This was the case with H.264 as well, and though many in the streaming industry grumbled about the royalties, this disgruntlement certainly didn’t limit H.264’s success. 

 

Two things are different with HEVC. First, where H.264 involved a single group of patent holders administered by MPEG LA, it appears that some HEVC patent holders want to pursue royalties outside of a patent group, which will make it more challenging for HEVC users to license the technologies. According to “Patent Snafus Could Delay New Video Codec,” Mediatek and Qualcomm do not want to join the HEVC group formulated by MPEG LA, and Samsung hasn’t decided either way. 

 

Our contact at MPEG LA reported that while the HEVC group had met three times as of February 2013, there was still no guarantee that a group would be formed or that all patent holders would join the group. So it appears that HEVC early adopters will have to decide to implement the technology without knowing the cost. 

 

For large companies such as Adobe, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, that might be tenable; the H.264 license was capped, and it’s reasonable to assume that the HEVC license will also be capped. All four companies can amortize that cost over millions of product units shipped, and I think it’s highly likely that one or more of these companies will announce HEVC integration by NAB.

Nicolas Weil's insight:

Royalties scheme will indeed be a determining adoption factor.

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EdgeCast Granted Two Patents Around CDN Federation, Worthy Of A Closer Look

EdgeCast Granted Two Patents Around CDN Federation, Worthy Of A Closer Look | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In EdgeCast's news release yesterday about multiple operators and service providers exchanging production traffic via a federated model, the company also very briefly mentioned they had been granted "several patents" pertaining to CDN interconnection. While I haven't had a chance to spend a great deal of time reviewing the patents, I did notice something worth looking at.

 

EdgeCast was granted two patents, Systems and Methods for Invoking Commands Across a Federation (8,117,276 B1) and Systems and Methods to Uniquely Identify Assets in a Federation (8,166,108 B1).

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