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The Politicization of Codec Adoption

Learn more about emerging codecs at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jan Ozer: 18 years ago, H.264 came to market and dominated because it was the best codec. And we've really moved into the era of the politicization of codecs. So now we've got we've got AV1 and the Alliance for Open Media. And I think here in the U.S., we tend to look at the world through an AOMedia lens. But if you look at VVC, Qualcomm is one of the biggest patent holders, and MediaTek is up there as well. And they happen to make a lot of the chipsets for a lot of the Android phones. So whether or not Sunil thinks he's gonna adopt it for Twitch, which is largely gamers, not premium content, not in the living room. If you look at all the adoption trials for VVC that are out there from very large companies and very large surfaces in the Far East, VVC has a ton of momentum going for it that you really wouldn't believe if you view the world through an AOMedia-centric lens.

I'm smiling because it's so political these days, and which codec is Qualcomm going to adopt? They haven't adopted AV1 yet because they don't have any IP in it. They are gonna adopt VVC, which means a bunch of Android phones are gonna have VVC. What impact does that have on publishers? That remains to be seen. AOMedia very strong in the U.S., and obviously worldwide as well, but there are a lot of forces that are kind of against what it is they're trying to promote, which is an AV1, AV2-specific world.

Allan McLennan: It's very timely that you bring up Alliance of Open Media. Are they in a lobbyist group in that case, within the industry? Are they looking to find solutions? Politicization of an environment like this never works out to anyone's advantage because then the best tech doesn't win. Is this a good thing? Are they driving codec adoption at this time?

Jan Ozer: If you look at the fact that Chrome doesn't support HEVC playback, even on platforms that it's available for free, you can probably say, "Yeah, they're driving it." If you can look at the early adoption for AV1, when it costs 200 times more to encode than any other codec, you could probably say there was politicization and you'll see the same thing. I guess my point is that again, we view the world through an AOMedia-centric lens, or at least I do because I'm here in the States. But if you go overseas in China and the Far East, and you look beyond Netflix and YouTube, there's a lot of support for VVC.

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