Again: why are you so sure?
Posted Jul 7, 2009 14:17 UTC (Tue) by pboddie
In reply to: Again: why are you so sure?
Parent article: Ogg codecs dropped from HTML5
Why are you so sure this is the only outcome? There are another, simpler and cleaner solution: introduce some analog component. You can do a lot of transformations using less transistors in their analog mode for cheap. Sure, the quality may suffer, but this implementation is clearly patentable (it's physical thing like radio, right), so why not?
By asserting that patents were the crucial factor in making digital video a reality in a timely fashion, you're confusing at least two different things: hypothetical incentives and technical readiness. You actually touch upon the real reasons for the rapid availability of digital video solutions in your own comments.
In fact, the people already doing "proto-digital" video (such as Philips - a known patent cartel member - with their laserdisc solutions) were obviously in a position to leverage their existing expertise in video, regardless of whether patents might be offered as incentives. Such companies could obviously introduce hardware components at will in order to retain monopoly control over certain solutions, mostly because this was already what was happening (although one could argue that their motivation was to sell boxes to consumers, as seen with the multitude of failed CD-based formats and units).
Even so, other companies with limited experience of pre-digital video were able to deploy digital video solutions (such as Acorn, with their Replay codecs), demonstrating that capable innovators were actually able to enter the market satisfactorily. These days, such innovators would be excluded by the kind of innuendo and veiled threats that sees open video standards excluded from open Web standards by, naturally, members of the existing patent cartels. Meanwhile, well-researched (technically and legally) open codecs, such as Dirac, are the elephant in the room: Apple and friends would rather that people didn't hear about something that quite probably isn't encumbered at all (and BBC Research are probably the people most likely to know); it's best for Apple and company that the proprietary status quo persists and that they can blame some mystery third party for restricting the user's freedom, rather than owning up to their role in the whole affair.
to post comments)