Cisco Bids to Solve WebRTC Video Codec Battle

The vendor will open-source its H.264 implementation, hoping for consensus and backward-compatibility in WebRTC video.

Eric Krapf

October 30, 2013

1 Min Read
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One of the challenges as WebRTC rolls out has been the question of which video codec will be incorporated in the standard. Google, the creator and driving force behind WebRTC, included and has been pushing for the VP8 video codec, instead of the much more commonly-deployed H.264. In the meantime, licensing has been the main issue blocking H.264's inclusion in WebRTC. Now that obstacle has been removed.

Cisco announced today that it would take its internal H.264 implementation and open-source it under the BSD, and will compile the code into a "binary module" that can be included in any browser maker's implementation of WebRTC. Cisco further stated that Mozilla has agreed to do just this, effectively ensuring that H.264 encoding and decoding will be a part of future Firefox releases.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Cisco CTO of cloud collaboration, said that clearing the path for H.264 inclusion in WebRTC is the quickest and surest way to get to video interoperability with the standard.

"Like it or not, there’s just a lot of H.264 out there," Rosenberg told me in a phone briefing. All of Cisco’s current-generation video products are based on H.264, and "H.264 is the foundation for video on the Internet." He added that it "risks the success of WebRTC as a whole" if it doesn’t support H.264.

Read the rest of this article at No Jitter.

About the Author(s)

Eric Krapf

Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair forEnterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the enterprise communications industry. He has been Enterprise Connect.s Program Co-Chair for over a decade. He is also publisher ofNo Jitter, the Enterprise Connect community.s daily news and analysis website.
Eric served as editor of No Jitter from its founding in 2007 until taking over as publisher in 2015. From 1996 to 2004, Eric was managing editor of Business Communications Review (BCR) magazine, and from 2004 to 2007, he was the magazine's editor. BCR was a highly respected journal of the business technology and communications industry.
Before coming to BCR, he was managing editor and senior editor of America's Network magazine, covering the public telecommunications industry. Prior to working in high-tech journalism, he was a reporter and editor at newspapers in Connecticut and Texas.

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