& cplSiteName &

New Alliance Aims at Royalty-Free Video Codec

Mari Silbey
9/1/2015
50%
50%

There's a new video codec alliance in town.

Seven companies – including Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Mozilla and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) – have formed the new Alliance for Open Media to develop "next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest." The group's first project is to create an advanced, royalty-free video codec that is open, scalable and optimized for the web.

The executive director for AOMedia is Microsoft's Gabe Frost, and the Alliance project falls under the auspices of the independent non-profit organization known as the Joint Development Foundation.

This isn't the first step in the media industry's efforts to develop a new and open video compression technology. Mozilla and Cisco are among those companies that have already contributed codec development work to the NetVC workgroup under the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) . Mozilla has shared its Daala technology with the developer community, while Cisco has contributed the code for its Project Thor video codec. (See Cisco Debuts Thor in Video Codec Fight.)

However, the addition of Google in particular to development efforts is significant because of the work the company has already done to create the VP9 codec through its WebM Project. Cisco has in the past said it would welcome the Internet giant's help, but that it was wary of using a codec controlled solely by Google. With Google joining the Alliance for Open Media, that concern should no longer be an issue.

Commenting on Google's decision to join AOMedia, Matt Frost, head of strategy and partnerships for Chrome Media, said in a statement:

"Google launched the WebM Project in 2010 in the belief that web video innovation was too slow and too closed, and that broad collaboration -- in the open -- would fix both problems. The Alliance for Open Media is a big leap forward for these core philosophies, and we're gratified that our AOMedia partners share this vision. Our combined strength, resources and expertise will drive the next generation of web media experiences much further and faster than WebM can do alone."


Want to know more about pay-TV market trends? Check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.


The forming of the Alliance is at least partly in response to fears over licensing costs for the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), and what the costs could do to slow down adoption of 4K and Ultra HD video adoption. An organization called HEVC Advance recently announced the pricing schedule for its HEVC patent pool, and many in the industry have opposed both the high per-unit fees and the fact that there is no cap on payments.

In the wake of the HEVC Advance pricing announcement, Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn even called for a boycott of the program, suggesting companies refuse to pay the licensing fees under the current rate schedule. (See HEVC Advance Could Hurt 4K TV Advancement.)

It's unknown how long it will take for the Alliance to produce an alternative codec option, but the fact that so many big-name companies are participating in the project shows there's a serious commitment to getting it done. The Alliance says it will make more information on the group's efforts available later this year.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
9/2/2015 | 2:11:23 PM
Re: Time is of the essence
"However, the addition of Google in particular to development efforts is significant because of the work the company has already done to create the VP9 codec through its WebM Project."

Google's involvement is also significant because YouTube. Looks like the only major long-form OTT provider missing here is Hulu. Also missing: Facebook and Twitter. But still it's a pretty broad swathe of the industry.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
9/2/2015 | 2:11:23 PM
Re: Time is of the essence
"However, the addition of Google in particular to development efforts is significant because of the work the company has already done to create the VP9 codec through its WebM Project."

Google's involvement is also significant because YouTube. Looks like the only major long-form OTT provider missing here is Hulu. Also missing: Facebook and Twitter. But still it's a pretty broad swathe of the industry.
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
9/2/2015 | 8:26:02 AM
Time is of the essence
I do believe there's an urgency to getting next-gen compression technologies closer to mass deployment. Given that, I'm curious to see how quickly this new Alliance can move.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Verizon: Small Biz in Cybercrooks' Crosshairs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/27/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.