Archive for July, 2015

Predicting NGV^W RMHD

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Here’s an occasional prediction how RMHD should look like knowing nothing about it beside press release claims.

  • Base standard — for RV 1 and 2 it was H.263, for RV 3 and 4 it was H.264. Obviously, RMHD and RMUHD should be based on H.265;
  • MV precision — RV 2 had ½-pel MV, RV 3 had ?-pel MV, RV 4 had ¼-pel MV. Obviously, RMHD will have ?-pel MV. Or still ¼-pel because H.265 has not improved MV precision compared to H.264;
  • Bitstream coding — usually that one is kept from previous generation of ripoff codec. Thus, H.265 keeps decoding VLCs further compressed with CABAC, AVS2 (aka HEVS) keeps doing the same with its own coder, VPx using range coder from VP<x-1> and static probabilities Huffman codes. RMHD is supposed to have context-dependent Huffman tables with some bitcoder following it. I.e. determine bitcode from element neighbours and then code each bit of it using some context-adaptive coder (and add some context-dependency somewhere too).
  • Special features — probably none, it will just follow the standard in codec design and the main difference will be in coefficients coding. There’s a chance they’ll build in some scalability feature though.

Let’s live and see what RMHD will really be. It would be nice if none of these predictions is correct.

Springtime for H.265 clones!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Previously I feared there won’t be any H.265 clones beside VP<git-experimental> codec but luckily I was proved wrong.

There’s the second announcement of Really?Networks RMHD, intended for China (RealMedia was popular there after all). Either it’s their completely new codec (NGV) that has finally buffered 100% based on some original ideas or it’s H.265 ripoff. I’d bet on the latter.

Second, I’ve finally read a book describing upcoming AVS2 (again, intended for China and being a Chinese standard). Well, if the first paragraph describing it has such abbreviations as CU, PU and TU you may be sure it’s an original codec that has nothing to do with H.265. Coding concepts like variable block transform, splitting motion compensating block unevenly and having 34 intra prediction modes — those concepts are completely original and are not used anywhere else for sure. Of course there’s some Chinese logic involved in some decisions and thus codec has such gems ripped off HEVC like coding motion vectors in integer precision instead of quarterpel if they exceed certain limit or coding coefficients in zigzags of 4×4 blocks or having special treating for 64×64 blocks (this block is downscaled first and then transformed with conventional 32×32 transform — and they call it Logical Transform BTW) or special motion vector prediction mode for F-frames.

But that’s not all — they’ve introduced special “scene coding”. It relies on G-frames or GB-frames that contain scene background and it may be not displayed (who said VPx?!), and S-frames contain foreground motion. Though I’m pretty sure one can emulate it using H.265 features too, maybe longrefs plus no_display flag. I’m also pretty sure that if HEVC lacks some coding approach for now it will be added soon as a special extension (at least what I’ve read in screen coding extension looked completely logical — like a saddle as one of car seats).

Now I can be sure at last that codec future is looking good.

UPD: And there’s Cisco Thor now as well (simplified HEVC with VLC instead of CABAC). It does two things simultaneously — expands H.265 ripoffs family and borrows more from H.264. Now the only thing missing is Sorenson SVQ5 (or Double Spark or whatever name they want to give it).

On Greece

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

I see too much bullshit about Greece in Internet these days, so much of it that I could not refrain from writing this post.

First of all, I come from a country with even worse economical situation (fun fact — the former Ukrainian ostrich supportedpresident complained how hard it’s to repay debts on his visit to Greece during the first Greek debt crisis). Unlike Greece most of people got no money from government, companies had large tax burden (in the latter years the government decided to press companies to pay taxes in advance and in amount decided by the tax inspection, tax returns working only for selected companies), lots of debts that went to no good purpose…

But enough about similarities between countries (certain Italians are not happy about similarities between Ukraine and Italy either), let’s get to the bullshit statements.

It’s not their fault. Of course it is, they had to forge their financial statistics under gunpoint in order to join and remain in Eurozone. Of course they share blame with Eurobureaucracy that wanted to extend EU even with a Greece and was willing to overlook their faults in order to keep it. Yet active part had been done by Greek government — it’s easy to buy voters with borrowed money that somebody else has to return in the future (in other words — not our problem). Another point of tension is Schengen area membership: because of good border control they have a lot of illegal immigrants and that’s what EU needs, hopefully when some neighbouring lands will connect Greece to the rest of Schengen area it will bring joy to everyone, especially to the UK.

The whole world is in debt to Greece for their achievements in culture and science. First of all, that sounds like typical copyright. “My grandfather once wrote a song that was played on a radio, I deserve not to work ever in my life.” (some Slashdot comment as I remember it from a decade ago or so). Second, most of the current countries have nothing to do with the nations that were on that territory a thousand or two thousand years ago. Look at Arab Republic Egypt — there was nothing Arabic in the people who built pyramids, temples and sphinxes. If you believe David Ben-Gurion’s thesis, then Palestinians are true Israeli people who lost their culture because of Arab conquests — they seem to oppose their original religion even to this day. Same story with Balkan nations and Ottoman Empire: modern Greece has nothing to do with the ancient Greece except in territory (say hello to Macedonia) and similar language. So, nice knowing you but don’t claim the old history to yourself; and while I’m grateful for those past achievements, they are not yours. I’d been living in a country that tried to exploit that (mostly in form of Soviet legacy and what colloquial “they” did for everyone), no thanks.