The IETF RTCWEB WG Chairs have not given up on the MTI video codec issue and they seem determined to see this through. Weather you feel that is a good use of our time or not there will be a vote, which is something generally not done in the IETF.
Jabber remote attendance will not be counted this time around, from WG Chair – Cullen Jennings on the subject…
“If there are any people in that category that wish to vote, could they email the chairs with full name and affiliation.”
Magnus Westerlund <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cullen Jennings <email@example.com>
Ted Hardie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Here is the full note from the chairs today…
The WebRTC ecosystem needs to avoid interoperability failure to grow
optimally. The RTCWEB working group took on the task of establish Audio
and Video MTI codecs as part of meeting that need. We have not succeeded
in finishing that task for video using normal IETF process, but it is
We (WG chairs) are proposing that the working group consent to a method
that will establish an MTI, even if the MTI chosen does not have rough
consensus. We would far prefer the normal IETF process, but it is not
proving workable for this selection.
We initially proposed a method from RFC 3929 (external review team), but
now believe that the working group would not consent to that method.
Instead we are proposing a method that leaves the decision in the hands
of the WG.
The method we propose is based on Instant-runoff voting,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting, with the
understanding that the choice will be the winner according to the
Instant-runoff voting process.
The steps in the proposed process are these (1-5):
1) Establish a final list of alternatives, based on the WG’s input to
Gonzalo’s email on the 13th of November that requires any additions to
provided by end of the 27th of November.
2) Establish those eligible to vote. Any participant in the
working group process either electronically or in-person as of yesterday
(20th of November). Who has participated in the Working group process
will be anyone that can be identified from:
- The Blue Sheets for any RTCWEB WG session during an IETF meeting or
an interim meeting since the WG’s creation.
- posting of at least one email to the RTCWEB mailing list
The voter must at time of voting prove their eligibility, by pointing to
the mail archive or a particular blue sheet/meeting. Please verify your
3) Start the the voting period. Those eligible and willing to vote send
their ballot to a vote collector (Matt Lepinski, former Nomcom chair)
within two weeks using email. The vote collector will check when
receiving a ballot the that the voter is eligible and send a
confirmation email on receiving the ballot. During the balloting period
the vote collector will keep all ballots secret.
- The voter MUST rank ALL alternatives in their ballot from the most
preferred, marked with rank 1, the second most with 2, all the way
to the least preferred marked with rank N.
4) When the voting period is over the ballot collector will publish the
results as well as all ballots, including the voters name to the RTCWEB
WG mailing list. This enables all voting individuals to verify that
their ballot is unmodified. And allows anyone to verify the result of
5) The selection is recorded in the drafts.
— End of Process Proposal —
This message initiates the first step in the working group consensus
call process. Namely a one week comment and discussion period for the
After that week the WG chairs will update, if necessary, the proposal.
Then using the normal IETF process in which anyone is eligible to
participate, the chairs will ask for (rough) consensus to adopt this
extraordinary process to achieve the working group’s stated goals. The
end date for this consensus call is 2-weeks after the announcement of
the consensus call.
If the working group does not consent to using this extraordinary
process, we will hold a consensus call if the WG can accept
“WebRTC entities MUST support at least one of H.264 or VP8.”.
If there is failure to establish consensus even for this statement, the
chairs conclude that the WG can’t establish what to say about a MTI
The WG Chairs
Here are the choices..
The proposed alternatives
The following alternatives has been proposed:
- All entities MUST support H.264
- All entities MUST support VP8
- All entities MUST support both H.264 and VP8
- Browsers MUST support both H.264 and VP8, other entities MUST support at least one of H.264 and VP8
- All entities MUST support at least one of H.264 and VP8
- All entities MUST support H.261
- There is no MTI video codec
- 5+6, i.e. All entities MUST support H.261 and all entities MUST support at least one of H.264 and VP8
- All entities MUST support Theora.
- All entities SHOULD support both H.264 and VP8. All entities MUST at least implement one of those.
Entities that do not support both H.264 and VP8 MUST implement H.261.
The deadline to propose additional alternatives are: 27th of November 2013
This may change so keep an eye on - http://trac.tools.ietf.org/wg/rtcweb/trac/wiki/WikiStart
— Day 2 —
Here we go again, 5pm – 2am Pacific:
— Day 1 —
A bunch of us at Google’s campus in Kirkland remoting into Shenzhen TPAC W3C 2013 meetings for WebRTC Working Group.
Thanks to Justin for inviting us down!
The IRC Chat Room…
http://irc.w3.org/ (channel is: webrtc)
Chair: Taking the discussion back to the list.
Harold: We are witnessing a massive abuse of IETF policies. We have spent months on this.
Long line at the mic now
NEITHER CODEC WAS SELECTED
VP8 – about 30% of the room
Jabber: 30 for VP8 and 10 for 264
H.264 – about half the room
Chair / Ted Hardie:
Regarding the consensus call, raise your hand for either or both but not neither. This is not a call but simply calrification
Chair / Cullen: Agreed, hugs coming your way.
Martin: Keep in mind there are some that can’t get up and talk about that.
Chair / Cullen: We want to ask if you can’t live with either one of these codecs please get to the mic.
Tim Terryberry: Re: JR we need a royalty bearing codec if webrtc is to take off. I don’t think I need to tell the people in this room how excited everyone is about video in a browser without a plugin, ll of those are VP8.
Justin ? : Risk and Trust. Free codecs sounds good but today that’s not a reality. One of the advantages of going through an SVDO process is that the members must declare IPR, free codecs do not go through that. VP8 is not a free and the wind codec, it’s owned by Google. Google controls all of what VP8 is, can they be trusted. Who has implemented VP8 from the spec, not source.
?? – Technology is for people. The decision is for what we have today, not yesterday. Google has done a great job.
Harold Alvestrand: If people think that this announcement from Cisco of “later to be provided code” then I have real issues with the IETF process. Sooner or later we should find a way forward to rely on un-encumbered patent- less codecs, and if not now, then when?
Eric Rescorla: Mozilla intends to support 264 and VP8. We intend to support 264 via Cisco’s code/plugin on desktop. We will try hard to use the hw codecs since that works better on mobile. The user experience, during the install the codec will be installed (part of the install process). VP8 will be shipped with both mobile and desktop.
Bernard Aboba: It’s ok JR we do love you, hugs later.
Blackberry ?: Like the idea we would have a track towards better quality. The license is a big issue. VP8 is not a specification in the MPEG LA, but since it’s not there we have no mitigation there so we can’t make VP8 the MTI.
Randell Jesup: Those who are not making a browser but instead a server like asterisk or the like, their users would also have to download this plugin codec as well. It’s unclear if this would fall into the personal non-commercial use category. IT is not going to like this either, dealing with plugin codecs will make their lives potentially rather difficult.
JR: Arguing that we must choose a MTI codec or they can’t ship
Robin Raymond: I think it’s great that this new 264 codec is out there but if we make it mandatory the little guys lose. Mobile can’t download a binary, it must be part of the app before deployed. If you need H.264 you can add it if you need it but don’t force that royalty bearing codecs on all of us.
JR: Users don’t need to get plugins, apps do that.
Dean Willis: I don’t build browsers. For the last 7 years I have made my career on IPR consulting. If we were to pick 264 as MTI and since Cisco is not part the MPEG LA there seems to be risk there. Seems to me no choice works as well.
Roman Mahy: The most compelling items were the embedded platforms. My experience it was at one point very hard to find hw accelerated encoding, in the past.
Peter Thatcher: We turned on transcoding for a well known chat service and no one noticed. We are better off allowing the market to decide as Martin indicated months ago.
Justin Uberti: Regarding Adam’s comments regarding someone recording calls does not the understand the current laws. If you want to ship h.264 you can, no one is stopping you but not as the MTI codec.
John Peterson: This Wg has made plenty of decisions re: interop and we have saddled this WG with SIP /OA, but I think we should go with H.264
Roberto ?: The bias seems to be present, that larger companies have an easier time sending people here. If you choose to make 264 the MTI you are cutting out the small guys. I think the best option is to choose neither.
Matt ?: There are plenty of lawsuits against 264 so to say there is no risk with 264 that is simply not true. External plugins are not cool.
Ted Hardie (independent) : I offered JR a hug as he seemed to feel the free 264 effort was not appreciated. One of things we were trying to avoid is a plugin scenario and this (other things were added) is the reason we can’t invoke 264 as the MTI video codec. Royalties will push away numerous developers, big and small. Since 264 is now free (not free from royalty), we can add that codec as a non-mti codec.
JR: Transcoding degrades quality.
Martin Thompson: Let’s stop messing about with semantics, 264 is clearly the correct choice here so let’s get on with it.
Chair / Cullen Response: That was put to the list months ago and no one came forth with a proposal so that is not on the table today.
Jeremy ?: We could also consider both codecs.
Jean ?: Calling Nokia to the mic to clarify why there is a patent claim on VP8 and not on 264.
Peter Thatcher: Seems there are 2 broad categories, H.264 is better and the patent argument. The first is simply perspective and the second the patent being mentioned with Nokia is not resolved and if we are making a decision to implement 264 maybe those making that decision should wait until that is resolved.
Justin Uberti: Interop is misunderstood. Transcoding is cheap so that does not hold in the commercial world. VP8 is shipping in plenty of endpoints. Hardware Codecs are quite a ways off, there is LOTS of works that needs to be done here.
Monty Montgomery: If we go down this 264 path we are staking our future on a binary law environment.
Harold: To Cisco, please publish your findings
JR / Cisco Conclusion
JR Arguing Risk Analysis
JR Arguing Risk Assessment
JR Arguing Distribution
JR arguing the results in Germany (re: Nokia VP8 patent being put down in Germany) may or may not be a consideration
JR arguing that VP8 is a target for patent trolls
JR arguing patent risk
JR arguing both codecs perform nearly the same so let’s get past that
Justin asking, which of these represent (slide below) actual Real-time encoode/decode
Cisco response: much smaller percentage
H.264 vs VP8 Deployment & Standard
H.264 Shipping Date
Jonathan Rosenberg on H.264 for Cisco is at the mic
—- that was fast, thanks Harold! —-
Harold is at the mic..
NOTE: This post may not be entirely accurate. I am not the fastest typist in the world and I ad-lib when I can to get the general gist in the post.
Recently had an interview with Dave Michels on the MTI video codec debate and Object RTC. Greatly appreciate it Dave, thanks!
When I have questions about codecs and IETF standards, I turn to Erik Lagerway. I caught him in the midst of packing for his trip to the upcoming IETF 88 meeting. Erik was a co-founder of Xten Networks (now a part of CounterPath). His current endeavor, Hookflash, is right in the center of WebRTC. Erik co-wrote WEBRTC Object API, an IETF Informational Draft, and the Draft Report W3C ORTC.
More at TalkingPointz.com
Robin did a bang-up job at the Object RTC Walkthrough yesterday, check out the slides and video recordings here.
Thanks again to Microsoft Open Technologies for sponsoring the room and refreshments!
Announcing an ORTC API Walkthrough
Update: The meeting will be held in the Prince of Wales Room, 3rd Floor NE Corner
Update: We will be streaming live video with chat
Update: Remote Participation will be available
A group of people looking for alternatives to SDP Offer/Answer formed the W3C Object RTC (ORCA) Community Group in July to develop an alternative API. The Community Group published its first draft specification on October 11.
Since many people interested in WebRTC will be at IETF 88 in Vancouver, Robin Raymond, Chair of the ORCA Community Group has offered to lead a walkthrough of the ORTC specification from 3-5pm Sunday November 3.
The event will include a tutorial on the ORTC API as well as a discussion of sample code and a demo of a prototype implementation.
Space is limited. For an invitation with details, please send an email to email@example.com with your:
- Company affiliation
- Email address
Last week marked the first time the ORTC API was demonstrated in public. Bernard Aboba (Microsoft) was joined by Robin Raymond (Hookflash) as they demonstrated an early prototype built on the ORTC API at the IIT RTC Expo in Chicago.
Adalberto Foresti (Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.) had this to say about ORTC…
You can get involved by downloading the prototype here, or join the discussion in the W3C ORTC Community Group and contribute code to implementations in the ORTC GitHub repository. We’re interested in your feedback on how to best achieve the industry’s shared goals for web-based realtime communications in the browser.
Microsoft joined the ORTC community and fully supports the ORTC approach, which is very consistent with our original CU-RTC-Web proposal.
In conclusion, the realtime communications over the Web community is moving toward the shared goal of simple, reliable, plugin-free real-time communications in the browser, and this prototype is an important step in the journey. It’s a first step, and we’ll continue to work with the community to improve its functionality, performance and stability.
Join the W3C Community Group and help cultivate open web concepts in RTC models.
The first ORTC API reference draft has been published as a report in the ORCA W3C Community Group today. This is the first step, one of many, in helping the WebRTC community understand the benefits of an object based API for WebRTC. It is still early but we do hope this web-centric approach will be taken seriously by all looking to the future of WebRTC. We welcome any and all feedback.
Robin Raymond, Chair of the ORCA Community Group – will be speaking on RTC Identity models at IIT RTC in Chicago next week. If you are attending please check the agenda for the correct timing of this panel. Robin is always up for some good conversation around ORTC, Federated Identities & Open Peer.