Better Video Codecs - was Re: [GnomeMeeting-list] ideas..

Hi Damien,

> Patents are not on the code, they are on the technics, so it is certainly not legal,
> at least in the US. In Europe, it is still a bit "vague".
Fortunately, the EU-parliament rejected the proposal for computer implemented
inventions in July 2005. That happened after long struggle and intense
lobbying by civil liberty groups such as e.g the To keep
our freedom, we have to use it to show that it is valuable :-) Otherwise we
will loose it sooner or later.

The codec issue is a rather big one when it comes to videoconferencing, since
1- Image quality H.261 is inferior to what the usual suspects the e.g.
Messengers have to offer.
2- most SIP User Agents like e.g. xten, wengophone or the Java
sip-communicatior don't support H.261 anymore - so you can't issue a video
call from/to these clients using Gnomemeeting
 - the same goes for hardware phones / conference systems
3- as someone on this mailing list mentioned and I was told by a person
related to deaf/hearing impaired people: it's hard to "talk" in sign language
over it (but this is actually a nice application for video telephony.)

> However, there is a licensing problem. x264 is GPL, and OPAL/OPENH323 ...
> x264 should add an exception clause for OpenH323/OPAL in their license.
Well, ffmpeg is LGPL which means that you can link it as a library. Check out
ther legal pages

Having compiled ffmpeg a while ago, I remember, that there is a "GPL" compile
option which means, that it disables all codecs which are non LGPL compatiple.
I wonder what's the case with H.263 (which would be a quantum leap to have it-
though it's not 264)

I also wonder how the Wengo guys and java sip-communicator folks solved their
legal problems concerning 263. (these are open source projects as well - some

Another idea, which would solve point 1 and 3 but not 2 above: use Theora.
Check this out: - it's an open source Video
Jabber messenger using Theora as video codec. Perhaps opal/Gnomemeeting could
benefit. This would do to video what Speex did for audio - a decent free


> --
>  _      Damien Sandras
> (o-
> //     GnomeMeeting:
> v_/_    FOSDEM 2006 :
>         SIP Phone   : sip:dsandras gnomemeeting net
>                       sip:600000 gnomemeeting net
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