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Netflix Now Exploring AVIF For Image Compression

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Marsu42 View Post
    These are very shiny features and amazing tech, execpt that we're talking about _images_ and it's 2020, so storage and bandwidth concerns are not like in the 80s.
    When I think of how many images Netflix must serve in its menus, I don't wonder at all they want to optimise them. Then most other websites are text and still images, with limited animation or video, and I don't see a reason for that to change. Reducing bandwidth, and, yes, storage space for images would be huge on the scale of the entire net. ...if people adopt the new 'standard'.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by Marsu42 View Post
      There's already progsive jpeg - how widely is this used, and what does that say about real world damand?
      Jpeg is just progressive. XL also has responsiveness built in: there's additional metadata at the beginning of the file describing how much needs to be served for required image size and/or quality. So browsers can request required image size and the server can stream just the right amount of data. This is not available for jpeg.

      Originally posted by Marsu42 View Post
      Somehow, I doubt that this is what your _typical_ website does.
      Most SPA websites nowadays do that - it is just a matter of adding a plugin to Webpack. Netflix certainly does it.

      Originally posted by Marsu42 View Post
      As for Browser compatibilty - this certainly was a huge concern back in the day, when Internet Explorer took years to be phased out. But today, there are fewer browser engines, rolling releases, and general planned obsolescence - so a new format like isn't blocked by lack up browser updates for long.
      It still matters on phone browsers quite a lot. Most vendors offer limited time updates to software on phones, and most people have older phones than most geeks.

      Originally posted by Marsu42 View Post
      Feel free to compare these space savings with the space and bandwith used for videos.
      Then why does Netflix want better image compression anyway...

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      • #13
        Originally posted by Toggleton View Post

        AFAIK is HEIF more like the container and AVIF is AV1 as a single image, like a AV1 video can be used in mkv/webm or mp4 container
        That makes sense, but still begs the question: why would this new format be using an existing container? I mean, they should be independent of each other, shouldn't they? (pardon the confusion, formats and container are blurry in my head to the point I couldn't tell why an image format would ever need a container)

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        • #14
          Compared to Netflix not supporting 1080p and 4K on Linux, supporting AVIF is insignificant.

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          • #15
            Isn't HEIF container patent encumbered? It was developed by MPEG. So this development doesn't sound good to me. There should be free containers for that.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_E...ge_File_Format
            Last edited by shmerl; 02-16-2020, 02:01 AM.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by shmerl View Post
              Isn't HEIF container patent encumbered? It was developed by MPEG. So this development doesn't sound good to me. There should be free containers for that.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_E...ge_File_Format
              From that Wikpedia article: "HEIF itself is a container, and when containing images and image sequences encoded in a particular format (e.g., HEVC or H.264/AVC) its use becomes subject to the licensing of patents on the coding format". The implication is the container format itself isn't patented.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by skierpage View Post
                From that Wikpedia article: "HEIF itself is a container, and when containing images and image sequences encoded in a particular format (e.g., HEVC or H.264/AVC) its use becomes subject to the licensing of patents on the coding format". The implication is the container format itself isn't patented.
                I don't think that's correct though. Knowing MPEG, they slap patents on everything, including containers. So why even bother using theirs?

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                  I don't think that's correct though. Knowing MPEG, they slap patents on everything, including containers. So why even bother using theirs?
                  HEIF container is pretty much the same as MP4 (uses the same ISOBMFF byte stream format), which is practically the same than Apple's QT container. Apple waived all the patents and made the container royalty-free, when they contributed the specs to MPEG, so the container at least shouldn't be the problem. QT is also now a rather old thing, which I don't think has any valid patents left...

                  It's not MPEG that slaps patents everywhere. Generally MPEG is just a engineering group, under which everybody is free to participate. The problem are the ISO rules under which they operate, prohibits them to dismiss something on any other than technological ground, so they can't dismiss something because it is patented and take something else. So a lot of companies send engineers to promote their patented technologies to the MPEG workshops, and the result is a standard which is heavily patented from a big bunch of companies.

                  MPEG-LA is then a separate thing - just a patent pool, which has no connection to MPEG except from the name and that the purpose is to pool patents from MPEG standards, but they aren't the only one.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by quikee View Post
                    It's not MPEG that slaps patents everywhere. Generally MPEG is just a engineering group, under which everybody is free to participate. The problem are the ISO rules under which they operate, prohibits them to dismiss something on any other than technological ground, so they can't dismiss something because it is patented and take something else. So a lot of companies send engineers to promote their patented technologies to the MPEG workshops, and the result is a standard which is heavily patented from a big bunch of companies.

                    MPEG-LA is then a separate thing - just a patent pool, which has no connection to MPEG except from the name and that the purpose is to pool patents from MPEG standards, but they aren't the only one.

                    Yeah, I know the difference. I'm not talking about MPEG-LA trolls, but about MPEG itself. They aren't simply accidentally pro-patenting. It's their core approach. One of their reps even complained, how he doesn't like the whole AOM development and movement to make video codecs royalty free.

                    Anyway, if HEIF is indeed free to use now, then great, but again, why even bother with MPEG formats which are always a suspect, let them take something from WebM like WebP did and etc.
                    Last edited by shmerl; 02-16-2020, 03:38 PM.

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                    • #20
                      Is there actually any thing in a container that is patentable? As far as I know a container is just cutting up a file space. Bits 0 - 20 contain X, bits 21-45 contain Y etc. If that is all it is, it isn't patentable material even in a country with as F'd up of a patent system as the US.

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