Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Intel and others unite to create open-source video format

midian182

Posts: 5,667   +43
Staff member

Seven of the tech industry’s biggest companies have joined forces to develop the next-generation of royalty-free, open source media formats.

Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon have formed the Alliance for Open Media primarily to create a new open source video format that can deliver high quality streaming across all devices. The group is part of the Joint Development Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that helps groups and initiatives with corporate and legal infrastructure.

Mozilla is to contribute its Daala video compressor technology to the project, along with Cisco’s Thor and Google’s VP10 codecs. The group aims to deliver a new video compression technology by 2016 or 2017. Mozilla said the alliance has been formed not just to share technology, but also to “run the kind of patent analysis necessary to build a next-generation royalty-free video codec.”

“As resolutions and framerates increase, the need for more advanced codecs with ever-better compression ratios will only grow,” writes Mozilla platform engineer lead David Bryant. “We believe that Daala, Cisco’s Thor, and Google’s VP10 combine to form an excellent basis for a truly world-class royalty-free codec.”

The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a video format that is interoperable and open; optimized for the web; scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth; capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware; and flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

Some big industry names such as Apple, Facebook and Qualcomm are conspicuous by their absence from the alliance, although more partners are expected to join the in the future. The group will likely be looking at Apple in particular to come onboard to assit in making the new format compatible with iPhones and iPads.

image credit: scyther5 / Shutterstock

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rvnwlfdroid

Posts: 193   +49
Good to hear its going to be open source and royalty free. This is how software should be
I agree to a point about being free. This type of software, yes. If all software were free you would be seeing a whole lot of people looking for new jobs when the companies they work for couldn't pay them.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 770   +292
Good to hear its going to be open source and royalty free. This is how software should be
My question is why are they doing this for free? What's the catch? Built-in DRM? What does the MPAA or Blu-Ray Disc association think of all this? Will this new format be used to stream copyrighted movies?

Or are we all just supposed to interpret this move as one of those random acts of kindness?
 

AnonymousSurfer

Posts: 456   +38
My question is why are they doing this for free? What's the catch? Built-in DRM? What does the MPAA or Blu-Ray Disc association think of all this? Will this new format be used to stream copyrighted movies?

Or are we all just supposed to interpret this move as one of those random acts of kindness?
It's so anybody can use it and it becomes the standard file format. Rather than trying to patent it and hope that people use it, by leaving it royalty free and open source it will become much bigger than if they put patents on it. Look at Android. Once a start up open source OS, now the biggest player in the market.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 770   +292
It's so anybody can use it and it becomes the standard file format. Rather than trying to patent it and hope that people use it, by leaving it royalty free and open source it will become much bigger than if they put patents on it. Look at Android. Once a start up open source OS, now the biggest player in the market.
Okay, but there was an end-game. Thats my question. You give away something for free for a bigger payback down the road. So it becomes the most popular file format in all the world. Then what? The end-game is still making money somehow, is it not?

So, they sell devices that support the format but if it's open-source everybody can do that so there is no competitive advantage for any one company. So, I still don't have a full vision of what this is all about.

I understand why Windows 10 is free, because it's NOT really free.
 

AnonymousSurfer

Posts: 456   +38
Okay, but there was an end-game. Thats my question. You give away something for free for a bigger payback down the road. So it becomes the most popular file format in all the world. Then what? The end-game is still making money somehow, is it not?

So, they sell devices that support the format but if it's open-source everybody can do that so there is no competitive advantage for any one company. So, I still don't have a full vision of what this is all about.

I understand why Windows 10 is free, because it's NOT really free.
By making their own video format, they can create more ways to show ads/previews while also blocking out addon software such as adblock. While it is open source and anyone will be able to build their own versions of this video format, the major companies will be able to run custom builds of the product, because there are no patents on it.

Looking at Adobe Flash for example which is not open source, those who use it's web player are not allowed to modify it (without Adobe's consent and some cold hard cash). So if Google were to try and block adblock, they would not be able to do it through the player or the files themselves, but instead would have to do it through other means on the site. Now all they would have to do is modify this new web player or the files when they are converted, and they can make quick fixes to new software that pops up.

Basically, the biggest positive of an open source format is that a company does not have to wait for the copyright owner to update/modify the software. The company can do it themselves at a faster pace and meet all of their requirements for what they want the product to be.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
Okay, but there was an end-game. Thats my question. You give away something for free for a bigger payback down the road. So it becomes the most popular file format in all the world. Then what? The end-game is still making money somehow, is it not?

So, they sell devices that support the format but if it's open-source everybody can do that so there is no competitive advantage for any one company. So, I still don't have a full vision of what this is all about.
Because they all win from it, all those that are part of the group display video over the web to provide their services, by optimizing it they aren't benefitting the users, they are doing it to provide a better service (Which benefits just them).

I understand why Windows 10 is free, because it's NOT really free.
Was almost impressed for not reading something about Microsoft in one of your posts, almost.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 770   +292
Because they all win from it, all those that are part of the group display video over the web to provide their services, by optimizing it they aren't benefitting the users, they are doing it to provide a better service (Which benefits just them).


Was almost impressed for not reading something about Microsoft in one of your posts, almost.
With all due respect, it doesn't sound very plausible to me. Since when did Microsoft adopt socialism as one of their business objectives? Any of these companies really?
Better services would benefit consumers as well, would it not?

I do realize that Microsoft has actually been embracing FOSS ever since they realized their ship was sinking. I guess maybe the strategy these days to survive is a mix of the two ideologies. I am sure this is more a move of survival than it is for the greater good of everyone.

Microsoft's sins are far too great since the release of Windows 8 to be glossed over so lightly. I have a duty to my own conscience to jab them when appropriate. Which is most of the time.
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
With all due respect, it doesn't sound very plausible to me. Since when did Microsoft adopt socialism as one of their business objectives? Any of these companies really?
Better services would benefit consumers as well, would it not?

I do realize that Microsoft has actually been embracing FOSS ever since they realized their ship was sinking. I guess maybe the strategy these days to survive is a mix of the two ideologies. I am sure this is more a move of survival than it is for the greater good of everyone.

Microsoft's sins are far too great since the release of Windows 8 to be glossed over so lightly. I have a duty to my own conscience to jab them when appropriate. Which is most of the time.
Who was ever speaking about microsoft here? Stop being such a (insert something here)head.

Of course it will benefit the consumer, but it will be through improving their delivery platforms benefiting first and foremost their own companies, that's what they win out of it. Instead of everyone going their own way they are doing it together to have a better return over non-propietary codecs. Simple enough? Or need me to send some crap to Microsoft to be able to understand?
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 770   +292
Who was ever speaking about microsoft here? Stop being such a (insert something here)head.

Of course it will benefit the consumer, but it will be through improving their delivery platforms benefiting first and foremost their own companies, that's what they win out of it. Instead of everyone going their own way they are doing it together to have a better return over non-propietary codecs. Simple enough? Or need me to send some crap to Microsoft to be able to understand?
Hehehe, relax a little bit okay. I jab Microsoft every chance I get. Don't let it distract you from my points about this specific article.

I still don't buy your "everybody wins" approach though. That's socialism, not capitalism. For your theory to be true Microsoft has to be willing to share in the profits. Now, if you wanna argue that the tide of the software industry has shifted from making more money by developing proprietary software to developing FOSS then you can do that. But let's be clear about what we arguing. FOSS does NOT impress shareholders. There's no competitive advantage.

By the way the link following my post, makes the original article "somewhat" more irrelevant in my opinion in terms of optimizations for bandwidth. So much for developing yet another "optimized" codec.
I still think its more about control than anything else. People don't mind being controlled as much if you give them "almost" everything they want. And I say that because MPAA is probably going to have a say so in how this all works as well.

Choke on this:
http://arstechnica.com/business/201...ps-available-to-all-residents-and-businesses/

**EDIT**: Funny as hell.
http://www.neowin.net/news/microsof...ser-to-people-searching-for-firefox-or-chrome

Now that's the Microsoft I know.

"Friends, not friends, friends, not friends, ....". I am sure there is an old cliche for this type of behavior but I can't think of it right now.
 
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