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Video: Licensing VVC and AV1--What You Need to Know

Learn more about emerging codecs at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch Christian Feldman's complete presentation, VES104. AV1/VVC Update, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Christian Feldman: The two main codecs I'm going to talk about are VVC and AV1, and I wanted to shortly introduce who's doing these.

For VVC, that is the Joint Video Experts Team, the ITU and MPEG who joined together to do this standardization. And they also joined together for AVC and HEVC. So, the standardization goes on through these parent bodies, and if you want to propose something in the standardization, if you want to get your patented technology in to a codec, you have to be a member of either of these organizations, and then you can get in it, propose something. But overall, it's very open. You just have to be a member, then you can propose stuff. Also, the documentation and the software are all open. It's all freely available on the internet. Just go to, there are some links and references, go there, you can read thousands of standardization documents if you want to. It's all open.

Of course, the goal of the standardization here is always a licensed model. So in the end, you will have to pay for it. That is the idea, right? You get patented technologies, and to the standard, and in the end you earn your money back by somebody paying for the licensing of that. AV1, that's a little bit different. It's mainly done by the Alliance for Open Media, which is technically a non-profit industry consortium. The main contributors, especially to AV1, were Google, Mozilla, and Cisco, who were all already working on open source, free video encoding technologies, and they just joined forces. I don't want to exclude the work of anybody else. There are other companies as well who contributed. These are just the biggest companies contribution-wise, who contributed here.

Also, the specification of the software is all open source. And the idea here, is not to make money by licensing the codec. So using the codec is free. You can use it for whatever you like, it's free.

But of course, you have to consider both bodies, both standardizations are in it for the money, they're not doing it because of the good of the world. For the companies which are in the AOM, it's mostly, they want to save on the end cost, of course, in the end. So they want to stream the same quality at lower bandwidth and save money, save a lot of money.

The licensing situation, that's a big one. And actually, I'm an engineer, so I'm just gonna try to state facts, or mostly facts here. For VVC of course, the standardization is still going on. It's unknown. We don't know. It will not be free, you will have to pay for it. How much? Nobody knows. One of the problems is that the HEVC situation--that's what I called it--could repeat. So, in the standardization body, no change to the standardization has been done. It could theoretically happen, the same thing with HEVC could happen again. No measures have been done to prevent that, unfortunately.

Also, JVET is not directly responsible, they are just a technical committee. They just take about and think about the techniques. They don't think about patents. So it would've been, the responsible ones would've been the parent bodies, but nothing changed there.

There's also the Media Coding Industry Forum. We're just trying to promote VVC, and try to think about how to implement licenses, but they don't have any real power. That's the biggest problem. They can only propose, bring together, and talk to people, and try their best.

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