[gst-devel] Re: Helix Player virtual team meeting
readams at readams.net
Wed Dec 10 22:50:03 CET 2003
Well I'm glad to hear that Real has improved the quality of its video
offerings recently. It would perhaps have been more correct to say that
RealVideo has been historically substandard, as least as far as the
quality of video actually appearing in the RealVideo format, but it is
entirely possible that this will change in the future.
The other end of it, of course, is the pain associated with installing
the RealVideo codec in the first place. On the Windows platform, of
course, Real is at an inherent disadvantage because of Windows Media
Player not shipping with a RealVideo codec. Real should take steps to
make viewing their video less difficult for users. For the vast
majority of users, installing RealOne is the only way they know how to
get access to viewing the video (if there's a DirectShow plugin, you
certainly can't get to it from the web site), and RealOne player by
default is extremely annoying. Most users will never launch RealOne
player at all, instead relying on it to automatically launch, But for
some reason, Real deemed it necessary to install incons for in it: quick
launch toolbar, start menu, programs menu, desktop, _and_ the system
tray. In addition, it helpfully displays popup advertisements in the
corner of the screen at random intervals. Why would any user subject
themselves to that? And in turn, why would any web site offer video
content in the Real format if they must ask that users subject
themselves to RealOne in order to view it? Even if its theoretically
possible to configure RealOne so that it's not so annoying, most users
will be unable to do so.
I realize of course that you're a codec engineer and so it's not your
fault, and of course rants about RealOne are hardly relevent on
desktop-devel, but it's something that frustrated me greatly when I
first installed RealOne some time ago. It was like driving to the ice
cream shop only to discover that they were closed.
On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 16:36, Karl Lillevold wrote:
> Dear Rob,
> I have to disagree in that there is little enthusiasm left for
> RealVideo. If you would be so kind as to take a look in this forum:
> http://forum.doom9.org/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=54 you will find a
> lot of RealVideo enthusiasm, in fact I will dare to claim that RV9 is
> currently the most popular New Codec, by far, among codec enthusiasts.
> You will probably not believe our quality claims, so take a look in
> this thread, one of the many independent codec comparisons that have
> been posted in this forum:
> As you will see the current RV9-EHQ has the best quality among all the
> codecs tested in terms of the objective measures. The codecs included
> are RV9, WMV9, VP6, and two very popular MPEG-4 variants, XviD and
> DivX. Subjectively, of course, opinions differ greatly and each
> codec has its own strength. My point is that RV9 is highly
> competitive, and is being improved every month, as you can see from
> the news section in my 'sticky' RealVideo Information thread. Now
> there is admittedly a lot of bad looking video on the Internet in
> general. Much of this is older content, created with old codecs, and
> using sub-standard encoding procedures and source material.
> In this forum you will also find that one of the main reasons for this
> popularity is that there are now many ways to play back RealVideo,
> including a DirectShow wrapper on Windows, as well as advice on how to
> make RealOne behave nicely. On Linux there is the Helix Player effort.
> As a video codec engineer, as well as enthusiastic about video
> playback on PCs, I need player choices. In fact, I use an alternative
> player myself on a daily basis, since it communicates more directly
> with the codec, and it is easier to isolate problems.
> And before you send off a quick reply about the forums referenced
> above, let me add that if it had not been for the useful feedback
> there, many of the recent RealVideo improvements would not have
> happened. I have attached a sample list below. There are participants
> from all 4-5 leading codec research teams (RV9, WMV9 two MPEG-4
> flavors, VP6), and independent tests of the same codecs, all of which
> show that since RV9-EHQ became publicly available for testing, is
> coming out on top in terms of compression efficiency.
> # Sub-titles, RealText
> # Native YV12 support in Helix Producer
> # Motivation to work on RV9-EHQ and all the great feedback on its quality improvement.
> # Duplicated frame dropping pre-filter (RV9 Animation DropDupe filter).
> # Improved 2-pass VBR in RV9.
> # Faster 1st pass when encoding RV9-EHQ.
> Best regards,
> Karl Lillevold mailto:karll at real.com
> Sr. Codec Engineer | RealNetworks Codec Group
> Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 1:38:29 PM, Rob Adams wrote:
> > On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 13:17, Thomas Vander Stichele wrote:
> >> Looking at the actual situation, the real codecs are one
> >> of the last to not have been reverse-engineered in some project.
> > I should point out that window media and sorenson quicktime video
> > haven't been reverse engineered by anyone -- rather wrappers have been
> > written around the windows versions of the codecs to allow them to be
> > played in mplayer or xine. This works very well and so there's really
> > no reason to bother reverse engineering the codec.
> > I think that no effort has been applied to perform a similar effort on
> > the real codecs because nobody uses realvideo anywhere unless they also
> > have some other format. This is mainly because the RealOne player can
> > best be described as a trojan horse, slipping its foul tentacles into
> > every aspect of the windows desktop, making it a decidedly unpleasant
> > thing to deal with. Combine that with the fact that RealVideo is
> > substandard and you don't really have a lot of enthusiasm left for it.
> > Now, if Real wants to try to resurrect itself with a new spirit of
> > openness I applaud their efforts, but they've got a lot of ground to
> > make up.
> > -Rob
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