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Video Acceleration in Fedora 28 and the Rotting of MPEG Due to Software Patents

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Red Hat
  • Fedora 28 Planning For VA-API 1.0 Support

    The latest work by Fedora developers on feature work for Fedora 28 is shipping with VA-API 1.0 support for updated capabilities around the Video Acceleration API.

    The VA-API 1.0.0 API/ABI is provided by the libva 2.0 video acceleration library. Libva 2.0 was released last October with H.264 FEI support in its API, deprecating older parts of the API, fixing a race condition with the Wayland support, renaming some parts of the API, improving the logging capabilities, and various other changes. Libva 2.0 broke API/ABI compatibility with older versions of this Intel-developed Video Acceleration API.

  • A crisis, the causes and a solution [Ed: LWN says "this blog posting from Leonardo Chiariglione, the founder and chair of MPEG, on how (in his view) the group is being destroyed by free codecs and patent trolls."]

    Because there are rumours spreading about a presumed “MPEG-Video collapse” and Brownian motion-like initiatives trying to remedy – in some cases by the very people who have contributed to creating the “crisis”.


    In its 30 years of operation MPEG has created digital media standards that have enabled the birth and continue promoting the growth of digital media products, services and applications. Here are a few, out of close to 180 standards: MP3 for digital music (1992), MPEG-2 for digital television (1994), MPEG-4 Visual for video on internet (1998), MP4 file format for mobile handsets (2001), AVC for reduced bitrate video (2003), DASH for internet streaming (2013), MMT for IP broadcasting (2013) and more. In other words, MPEG standards have had and keep on having an impact on the lives of billions of people.


    In 2013 MPEG approved the HEVC standard which provides the same quality as AVC at half the bitrate. The licensing situation is depicted by the picture below (courtesy of Jonathan Samuelsson of Divideon): there are 3 patent pools, one of which has not published their licence and a significant number of patent holders that have not joined any pool (and not published their licences either).

     I saw the threat coming and one year ago I tried to bring the matter to the attention of the higher layers in ISO. My attempts were thwarted by a handful of NPEs.

    Alliance for Open Media (AOM) has occupied the void created by MPEG’s outdated video compression standard (AVC), absence of competitive Options 1 standards (IVC) and unusable modern standard (HEVC). AOM’s AV1 codec, due to be released soon, is claimed to perform better than HEVC and will be offered royalty free.


    The work of patent pools would be greatly simplified because they could define profiles with technologies that are “available” because they would know who owns which tools. Users could switch on tools once they become usable, e.g. because the relevant owner has joined a patent pool.

    These are just examples of how the MPEG standard development process can be adapted to better match the needs of entities developing licences and without becoming part – God forbid – of a licence definition process.


    Companies will slash their video compression technology investments, thousands of jobs will go and millions of USD of funding to universities will be cut. A successful “access technology at no cost” model will spread to other fields.

    So don’t expect that in the future you will see the progress in video compression technology that we have seen in the past 30 years.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation: Microsoft Openwashing,, OCP, Kernel Commits Statistics

  • More Tips for Managing a Fast-Growing Open Source Project [Ed: Microsoft has infiltrated the Linux Foundation so deeply and severely that the Foundation now regularly issues openwashing pieces for the company that attacks Linux]
  • improves Kubernetes networking in sixth software release, one of Linux Foundation’s open source projects, has introduced its 18.01 software release with a focus on improving Kubernetes Networking, Istio and cloud native NFV.
  • Bolsters Kubernetes, NFV, and Istio Support With Latest Release
    The Fast Data Project ( released its sixth update since its inception within the Linux Foundation two years ago. While the update list is extensive, most are focused on Kubernetes networking, cloud native network functions virtualization (NFV), and Istio.
  • Linux Foundation, OCP collaborate on open sourcing hardware and software
    The virtualization of network functions has resulted in a disaggregation of hardware and software, increasing interest in open source projects for both layers in return. To feed this interest, the Linux Foundation and Open Compute Project (OCP) recently announced a joint initiative to advance the development of software and hardware-based open source networking. Both organizations have something to offer the other through the collaboration. The Linux Foundation’s OPNFV project integrates OCP as well as other open source software projects into relevant network functions virtualization (NFV) reference architectures. At the same time, OCP offers an open source option for the hardware layer.
  • Kernel Commits with "Fixes" tag
    Over the past 5 years there has been a steady increase in the number of kernel bug fix commits that use the "Fixes" tag.  Kernel developers use this annotation on a commit to reference an older commit that originally introduced the bug, which is obviously very useful for bug tracking purposes. What is interesting is that there has been a steady take-up of developers using this annotation:

today's howtos

Positive Red Hat Results Expected Next Week

Fedora: Fedora 28 Beta Delay, Mindshare Monthly Report and More

  • Fedora 28 release dates and schedule
    With the release of Fedora 27, the Fedora 28 release schedule is falling into place. As of now, the current Fedora 28 release schedule is as follows.
  • Fedora 28 Beta Has Been Delayed
    It's time for the Fedora 28 release dance and to place your bets if F28 will be released on time or is another Fedora release challenged by release delays. Fedora 28 Beta had been due for release next week but has now been set by its first delay. Fortunately, a buffer was already built into the release schedule so for now is not impacting the final release of Fedora 28 due out in May.
  • Fedora 28 Beta status is NO-GO
    Release status of the Fedora 28 Beta is NO-GO. Due to missing RC for the F28 Beta release and presence of blocker bugs, the decision is “No Go”. The Beta release slips for one week to “Target #1” date (April 3rd). We are not going to slip the Final GA yet.
  • Mindshare Monthly Report – FAD and First Actions
  • Digitizing VHS with Fedora
    I have a dozen or so movies on VHS that we still watch. To be honest, I'm not that concerned about the commercial movies; those are easy enough to replace. But what about our home movies? My high school cross country team videos and my wife's marching band videos, among others—you won't find those on Netflix anytime soon. So I decided it was time to get serious about something I'd been meaning to do for a long time: Digitize my VHS tapes. In this article, I'll describe how I set up my Fedora desktop to convert my VHS tapes into 1s and 0s. Previously, Don Watkins described a different setup for VHS conversion.
  • Fedora 27 : The LibreOffice the 6.0.2 and versions.