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All posts tagged "h.264"


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Google Chooses WebM Over H.264 In HTML5

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:00 AM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-2...g=2547-1_3-0-20

"Choosing strategies based on what you believe to be long-term benefits is generally a good idea when running a business, but if you manage to alienate the world in the process, the long term may become irrelevant. It was hard to miss the response that accompanied Google's announcement earlier this week that it no longer planned to support the H.264 codec for the HTML5 video tag in its Chrome browser in order to focus on the WebM technology. Depending on what you read, Google is either evil, brilliant, hypocritical, cunning, principled, or confused in dropping support for H.264, a widely used technology for encoding and decoding video files so they are playable on PCs and mobile devices."

This is a brave move by Google, choosing to use WebM in its Chrome browser rather than H.264 which the other browsers are planning to use. Googles reasons are based on the fact that H.264 is controlled by a group of companies called MPEG-LA which pool the patents on these codecs and the license them to people who need to use it. Google are obviously wanting to move away from using a licensed technology in it's browser for an open source one that it controls. Google acquired the WebM codec when it bought On2 Technologies in 2009, and has released WebM to the open source community. It's a brave move by Google considering how popular and well used the H.264 codec is out there, and it will be interesting to see whether companies will switch to using WebM instead.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The H.264 License is Supposed to Scare

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 AM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-2...000101-264.html

"A recent blog post by Harvard Ph.D. student Ben Schwartz, including the provocative phrase "Final Cut Pro Hobbyist," put the spotlight on license terms in Apple's video-editing software by questioning when professionals may use H.264 video."

It is everywhere. YouTube uses it. Apple uses it. Chances are, your digital camcorder uses it. H.264 is the most popular high definition codec that seems poised to take over. However, as several other people have noticed, the licensing that comes with software programs that allow you to edit those videos seems very daunting. The good news is that for casual use and over the Internet, you are in the clear. However, if your sights turn to more professional endeavors, be sure to read what is required of you. You do not have to use H.264, but the competing codecs are not as widely supported which I find to be sadly disappointing. The good news is that at least until 2015, those of you who are aspiring to be Internet video stars do not have to worry!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Come on Picasa, Kick Your Quicktime Addiction!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:00 PM

Picasa is a truly superb program for digital photo management, and the fact that it's free makes it even better. I'm using it more and more now that I've added Facebook and Smugmug functionality into the program, but I noticed something odd when I installed it on a Windows 7 system: it refuses to recognize any sort of MPEG4/h.264 videos unless Quicktime is installed. This made sense on a Windows Vista computer, where native support for those file types was lacking, but Windows 7 has superb support for MPEG, h.264, Divx, and Xvid video files. So why would Picasa require Quicktime to be installed in order to support playback of these files? I don't know enough about how the MPEG4 codecs are implemented in Windows 7, but I'd be very surprised if there was no way for third-party applications to take advantage of them. So come on Picasa, make the most of what Windows 7 has to offer and free users from having to install the always-in-need-of-an-update Quicktime. Please?


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Black Levels: VLC Media Player vs. Windows Media Player

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:05 PM

I've been doing some encoding experiments lately (with some phenomenal software that I'm writing a review of), and I noticed something interesting: when I encoded to h.264 and WMV, I saw significant differences in the black levels between the two - but what I didn't realize what that the differences I was seeing were from the players, not the files themselves. I'm a huge fan of VLC Media Player, but it has trouble with WMV files, so I view WMV files with Windows Media Player 11. Initially it looked like the WMV file had deeper black levels, and the h.264 file had lighter black levels, but once I played back the WMV file and the h2.64 file in VLC, I saw that it was really VLC. So what's the point here? If you want rich, deep black levels, use Windows Media Player whenever possible. VLC seems to maintain shadow details a bit better, so if you prefer that look, use VLC.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hauppauge Intros PC HD Video Recorder

Posted by Jeremy Charette in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 AM

http://news.digitaltrends.com/news/story/15395/hauppauge_intros_pc_hd_video_recorder

"Hauppauge obviously decided to leave one big surprise until later in the week at CES. Yesterday it introduced an HD video recorder for the PC, known as the HD PVR. It connects to the computer via USB, and records HD TV in real time, converting into the ISO standard H.264 format. The HD PVR can connect to high definition cable TV or satellite TV set top box receivers using standard component cables...it can also create AVCHD recordings (the format used on Blu-ray high definition players). As part of the software applications which will be shipped with Hauppauge's HD encoder, a DVD burning application will be provided which can take AVCHD formatted recordings and burn them onto a conventional DVD disc. These discs can then be played in Blu-ray DVD players. About 2 hours of Blu-ray HD content can be recorded on a 4.7 GB DVD disk."


I like the idea of a PVR device for my computer that works with my cable box, but not if it takes complete control of the box itself. In order to record two different shows at the same time, I'd need two HD PVRs and two cable boxes. That seems like overkill if you ask me. I'll take a TiVo HD instead, thanks. Now that this WILL be good for is capturing video from component video sources such as game consoles or HD DVD/Blu-Ray players for archiving or encoding to H.264. I haven't seen a reasonably priced HD capture device on the market up 'til now.


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