Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs

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Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon today launched a new consortium, the Alliance for Open Media. The group plans to develop next-generation media formats—including audio and still images, but with video as the top priority—and deliver them as royalty-free open source, suitable for both commercial and noncommercial content. The issue of patent licenses and royalties continues to plague the video industry. While H.264/AVC video had relatively cheap licensing, it looks as if its successor, H.265/HEVC, is going to be considerably more expensive . Organizations that derive significant income from patent royalties and IP licensing weren’t happy with the low-cost model used for H.264, and so are pushing back. This is a great threat to open source and non-commercial streaming, which has no obvious way to pay the royalties. The HEVC royalty structure would even threaten the viability of commercial streamers such as Netflix. The Alliance for Open Media would put an end to this problem. The group’s first aim is to produce a video codec that’s a meaningful improvement on HEVC. Many of the members already have their own work on next-generation codecs; Cisco has Thor , Mozilla has been working on Daala , and Google on VP9 and VP10. Daala and Thor are both also under consideration by the IETF’s netvc working group, which is similarly trying to assemble a royalty-free video codec. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs

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