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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.

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Old December 1st, 2018, 03:49 AM   #1
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HEVC licensing

I just bought a GoPro Hero 7 Black and found the attached in the manual.

So, what happens if I want to sell some UHD footage? What do you guys do?
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Old December 1st, 2018, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: HEVC licensing

Yes it's a bit of a conundrum for sure. How much the H.265 thing is going to be policed will be interesting. I posted the comments below elsewhere but I think it's worth repeating so that users get an idea of what is behind H.265 and its licensing. This issue is going to come up with as you mention GoPro and the new Canon XF705 as it also uses a 422 10-bit variant of H.265. if you have ever edited with it you will also note that it does take a pretty decent CPU/GPU setup to handle it in a half decent manner.

"Coming back to H.265. I'm not as enthused about its future as some due to the licensing cost issues surrounding HEVC (H.265) and the wide lack of acceptance by the broader non broadcast industry not picking up H.265. One only has to look at the major players moving away from H.265 as per comments on the current state of play with industry response to HEVC. Whilst it is a great codec, everything I have done with it has impressed me doesn't alter the fact that MPEG LA the licensing body for H.265 have kind of shot themselves in the foot by going from a doubling the license fees and in some cases going up to as high as twenty-eight times the licensing cost for HEVC over AVC. That along with licensing fees on the content are giving HEVC a serious uphill battle. See the following quote"

"HEVC contains technologies covered by patents owned by the organizations that participated in the JCT-VC. Implementing a device or software application that uses HEVC may require a license from HEVC patent holders. The ISO/IEC and ITU require companies that belong to their organizations to offer their patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing (RAND) terms. Patent licenses can be obtained directly from each patent holder, or through patent licensing bodies, such as MPEG LA, HEVC Advance, and Velos Media. The combined licensing fees currently offered by all of the patent licensing bodies are higher than for AVC. The licensing fees are one of the main reasons HEVC adoption has been low on the web and is why some of the largest tech companies (Amazon, AMD, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia, and more) have joined the Alliance for Open Media, which aimed to finalize the royalty-free alternative video coding format AV1 by the end of 2017. An initial version of the AV1 specification was eventually released on 28 March, 2018."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_E...ch2017Yahoo-55

When it comes to royalty free and when you have the likes Amazon, AMD, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix and Nvidia supporting a codec in opposition to H.265 I for one, not wishing to be pessimistic, do not see a major adoption of H.265 across the board. This is one of Sony's stated reasons for not going down the H.265 route in their cameras even though they are a licensed HEVC member. Once the royalty free AV1 codec becomes available to all and sundry I see no impediment to it being widely adopted by the NLE industry, Adobe have already signed up. Royalty free, those two words alone say a lot in any cost driven media industry. There is a very serious consortium of players forming up against HEVC. Check out some of the major players.

https://aomedia.org/

https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/0...-video-codecs/

Chris Young
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Old December 1st, 2018, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: HEVC licensing

It’s déjà vu all over again! We went through all of this before when H.264-based cameras were introduced, so surely if this was going to be a problem, you would have some specific examples of this happening to point to by now, right?
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Old December 1st, 2018, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: HEVC licensing

Thanks for the detailed reply Chris, 'tis a riddle to be sure. None of my searching has come up with anything concrete, with no help from the GoPro manual: "Set the file format for your videos. Choose HEVC (to reduce file sizes) or H.264 + HEVC (to use H.264 to maximize compatibility with older devices while using HEVC for advanced settings)" and no explanation as to what the advanced settings are! (Protune presumably?)

I was wondering what, for example, the wedding guys who use more consumer orientated cameras (GH5 etc.) and shoot 4k do. I doubt it will ever be a big issue for me, at least I hope not, but one never knows.

I was going to say I recall something similar when h264 was introduced, but you beat me to it Gary. Hopefully you're right.

I suppose it would be too simple to expect when you buy a camera you pay any codec licence as part of the price.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: HEVC licensing

Worth noting is that not all footage content benefits from the additional compression routines employed in .h265 / HEVC, compared to the results in 'only' .h264 / mp4 which it is effectively an extension of.

I suspect that .h264 is going to be good enough for the rest of this, with other issues such as internet bandwidth constraints no longer the issue that they once were during the .h264 heyday. This, combined with their desire to monetise the new codec in the fashion they are used to, should see the death of .h265 as an outright successor compression scheme.

Andrew
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 01:56 PM   #6
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Re: HEVC licensing

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Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
This, combined with their desire to monetise the new codec in the fashion they are used to, should see the death of .h265 as an outright successor compression scheme.
H.265 will replace H.264 just like H.264 replaced MPEG-2.

And as for "monetise the new codec in the fashion they are used to", what do you mean by this? If they are "used to" it as you claim, then surely you have some examples in the vein of what concerns are being voiced here.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: HEVC licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Baker View Post
I just bought a GoPro Hero 7 Black and found the attached in the manual.

So, what happens if I want to sell some UHD footage? What do you guys do?
If you want to sell your footage, transcode to something else prior to delivery - there would be no way for anyone to know how it was sourced if you are delivering say a ProRes clip for instance.

MPEG LA has been a pain in the arse for years. Many many years ago I was getting scary letters from them basically saying if I make DVDs or do anything with MPEG-2 that I owed them money. I took it personal at first and was very concerned then realized they likely sent the same form letter to every videographer in the country.

Cheers

Jeff
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: HEVC licensing

Hi Gary,

Per Jeff's post, MPEG LA have the sole interest of monetising the patents. No, I don't have any particular stories off the top of my head, but we can be thankful for the work that Google did with their competing codec (VP8 I believe) which in turn forced a bit of a royalty holiday for .h264 to prevent large installs moving to it (and away from .h264).

When I talk of .h264 being good enough, I'm saying that there isn't a burning need to move to a better quality codec or format in the mind of the consumer. The man on the street can see the difference between VHS and DVD, but not so much between DVD and Blu-Ray. It's still an improvement, but just not the same quantum leap that makes you want to purchase new gear.

.h265/HEVC will replace .h264/mp4 but not in the same extent or speed, similar to Blu-Ray replacing DVDs. I for one have no plans to stop doing encodes to .h264.

Andrew
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: HEVC licensing

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Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
No, I don't have any particular stories off the top of my head
Full stop, nor will you ever.

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The man on the street can see the difference between VHS and DVD, but not so much between DVD and Blu-Ray.
The man on the street doesn't know the difference between a DVX100 or a Red Gemini, but you don't see movies being shot with the former in 2018, so enough with that nonsense.

Quote:
h265/HEVC will replace .h264/mp4 but not in the same extent or speed
Exactly the same extent and speed.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 07:35 PM   #10
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Re: HEVC licensing

Gary,

I'm not a walking encyclopedia and neither do I have time to go down every alley of an argument - I still need to get work done. I could tell you of stories told to myself by DVD replicators that the only manufacturing plants that made a profitable return on investment were the illegal ones and not those properly licensed with MPEG LA, but there is no internet link for that type of thing.

Did you know there are movies shot with an iPhone? This one was even done this year - see here for details. This article in Variety lists 12 movies shot this way.

Andrew
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 09:27 PM   #11
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Re: HEVC licensing

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Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
I'm not a walking encyclopedia and neither do I have time to go down every alley of an argument
If you can't back up what you say, then you shouldn't say anything.

Quote:
I could tell you of stories told to myself by DVD replicators that the only manufacturing plants that made a profitable return on investment were the illegal ones and not those properly licensed with MPEG LA, but there is no internet link for that type of thing.
Don't need a link, but you don't even name the DVD replicator company or link to their bankruptcy listing, so cool story, bro.

Quote:
Did you know there are movies shot with an iPhone? This one was even done this year - see here for details. This article in Variety lists 12 movies shot this way.
Sure, what percentage of those 12 movies shot over the span of a decade is out of the entirety of films shot on the highest end cameras available? Hint: it's nothing.
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 09:53 PM   #12
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Re: HEVC licensing

Gary,

This is getting a bit silly. You can see from my posts that I give links to further information and give reason for what I say wherever possible. Not everything is on the internet.

Andrew
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Old December 4th, 2018, 01:42 AM   #13
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Re: HEVC licensing

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Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
If you want to sell your footage, transcode to something else prior to delivery - there would be no way for anyone to know how it was sourced if you are delivering say a ProRes clip for instance.
Thanks Jeff, just the sort of information I was looking for. It's what I suspected, but confirmation makes me feel a lot happier.
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Old December 4th, 2018, 10:26 AM   #14
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Re: HEVC licensing

It had to be nearly 20 years ago that I got the letter from MPEG LA about MPEG-2 licensing. I think I was using DVD Workshop authoring software at the time, and I'm thinking, "If I'm supposed to be paying something for every MPEG-2 DVD that I encode, why is there not some mechanism for that in the software that is making the MPEG-2 file to begin with?" Meaning, I bought and paid for the software to make the MPEG-2 files, then out of the blue I get this letter that I am not in compliance. How is that my fault?

Look in the owner's manual of any recent camcorder and you will see legalese in there about how the recordings are for personal use only, not commercial use. What??!!!

Don't sweat it

Thanks

Jeff
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Old December 4th, 2018, 12:17 PM   #15
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Re: HEVC licensing

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Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
It had to be nearly 20 years ago that I got the letter from MPEG LA about MPEG-2 licensing.
And? The story is missing an ending. Do you even know if it really was from MPEG LA? How did they find out about you? What kind of numbers were you doing with DVD Workshop? How did you resolve the situation? Did you just ignore it?
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