Tuesday, January 11th 2022

Access Advance Announces the Initial Group of VVC/H.266 Video Patent Pool Licensors

Access Advance today announced that twenty-eight (28) companies, which together are estimated to account for a substantial percentage of the expected VVC standard essential patent ("SEP") landscape, have joined as Licensors of the VVC Advance Patent Pool. VVC ("Versatile Video Coding") is the next generation video codec standard finalized less than eighteen (18) months ago, which provides significant improvements in video compression of up to 50% over HEVC, enabling a new generation of products, ever more beautiful video, faster downloads, lower latency, and improved savings on storage.

"This is a tremendous endorsement of the VVC Advance Patent Pool and our Video Codec Platform Initiative, and we thank each of the patent owners that have placed their trust in Access Advance to license their VVC SEP patent assets," stated Pete Moller, CEO of Access Advance. "Launching a patent pool for a ground-breaking technology like VVC is a long and multi-stage process. We worked with over fifty (50) patent owners for well over 18 months to establish the structure of the program and launched the VVC Advance Patent Pool on schedule July 1, 2021. We are excited that a significant majority of these patent owners have now officially joined the program as Licensors. These Licensors provide a critical mass of VVC SEPs, and an important assurance to the market that VVC Advance, just like HEVC Advance, will provide long-term value through a balanced and successful program."
"We look forward to working with the remaining patent owners who are still going through their decision-making process and expect that many of them will make the decision to join VVC Advance over the next six (6) months," continued Mr. Moller. "There are significant incentives for patent owners and patent implementers who join the program by June 30, 2022. These include bonus patent points for Licensors, and very significant early signing cap incentives for Licensees."
The VVC Advance Patent Pool is part of the Access Advance Video Codec Platform Initiative that seamlessly incorporates HEVC and VVC technologies into a single discounted royalty rate structure with simplified reporting and payment obligations for Licensees whose products include both codecs. This innovation responds to the market's desire for an even more efficient next-generation pool licensing structure. Licensees that have executed both the HEVC Advance Platform Patent Portfolio License ("PPL") and the VVC Advance Platform PPL have the option to enjoy additional benefits via execution of the new Multi-Codec Bridging Agreement ("MCBA"). The MCBA is not a third license; rather, it is an administrative agreement that bridges the HEVC Advance License and the VVC Advance License for implementers who have executed both licenses and the MCBA itself. Those Licensees will enjoy a discounted royalty rate for each of the HEVC and VVC codecs in their multi-codec products that are sold after MCBA execution, that results in the same royalty rate as they would pay for a product that includes only VVC.

Royalty payments under the VVC Advance Platform PPL are required for sales of VVC products starting January 1, 2022. Access Advance encourages interested parties to act quickly to take advantage of the incentives and discounted MCBA rates as discussed above.

The list of VVC Advance Licensors includes the following:
  • Alibaba Singapore Holding Private Limited
  • ARRIS Enterprises LLC, a CommScope Company
  • B1 Institute of Image Technology, INC.
  • Company to be disclosed at a later date
  • Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
  • Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
  • GE Video Compression, LLC
  • Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1
  • HFI Innovation Inc.
  • IDEAHUB Inc.
  • Industry-Academy Cooperation Foundation of Sejong University
  • Intellectual Discovery Co., Ltd.
  • IUCF-HYU (Industry-University Cooperation Foundation Hanyang University)
  • JVCKENWOOD Corporation
  • KDDI Corporation
  • Koninklijke Philips N.V.
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology
  • Korean Broadcasting System
  • Kuaishou Technology
  • Kwangwoon University, Industry-Academic Collaboration Foundation
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • OP Solutions, LLC
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • SK Telecom Co., Ltd.
  • Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) Research & Business Foundation
  • Toshiba Corporation
  • University-Industry Cooperation Group of Kyung Hee University
  • XRIS Corporation
Source: Access Advance
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17 Comments on Access Advance Announces the Initial Group of VVC/H.266 Video Patent Pool Licensors

#1
Steevo
While the concept sounds good, it looks more like a group of companies banding together to form a gestapo to enforce their patent on a video codec. I suppose funding is required to push for the next generation of codecs and this is how it gets paid for.
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#2
TheLostSwede
SteevoWhile the concept sounds good, it looks more like a group of companies banding together to form a gestapo to enforce their patent on a video codec. I suppose funding is required to push for the next generation of codecs and this is how it gets paid for.
I wouldn't normally post news like this, but I wanted to let everyone here know who their money is going to, for no sensible reason.
Every single device that can play back or encode H.266 has to have a license for the codec, which we're indirectly paying for.
Fraunhofer are great at turning up at trade shows in Germany and having booths closed for companies that they feel haven't paid their licence fees to them.
I'm sure we'll see more companies doing that in the future.
Posted on Reply
#3
Ferrum Master
Meanwhile in a bar with Amazon, Apple, Meta, Google, Samsung offering AV1 looks more real to get much wider support.

Imho qualcomm also skipped h266 aceleration... soo...
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#4
TheLostSwede
Ferrum MasterMeanwhile in a bar with Amazon, Apple, Meta, Google, Samsung offering AV1 looks more real to get much wider support.

Imho qualcomm also skipped h266 aceleration... soo...
AV1 is supposed to be more of a slight improvement on H.265, than a competitor to H.266 though.
Even so, the H.26x license costs are just dumb for what it is.
Posted on Reply
#5
b4psm4m
AFAIK the impossible licensing structure is the reason why HEVC never took off and x264 is still prevelant. Also remembering that HEVC has a much steeper encoding time.
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#6
HimymCZe
... well, this is gonna be a major $h!t show in a couple of years, when THE TRUE successor of x263-x264-x265 cannot continue the name, cause a few a**hole wanted to cash grab a codec standard.
Posted on Reply
#7
Steevo
b4psm4mAFAIK the impossible licensing structure is the reason why HEVC never took off and x264 is still prevelant. Also remembering that HEVC has a much steeper encoding time.
What it comes down to is how much silicon real estate, power use, quality and cost. We could have a extreme codec that requires a lot of silicon real estate for a hardware accelerator, or a lot of CPU time to decode, so the silicon is more energy efficient but costs more to produce.

I would feel different if they provided a silicon map for hardware acceleration, software stack requirements and hardware for software decoding, but I feel this is more of a shake down figure it out yourself thing. All it seems they are providing now is a way to pay for middlemen to exist.
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#8
windwhirl
TheLostSwedeCompany to be disclosed at a later date
For real?
b4psm4mAlso remembering that HEVC has a much steeper encoding time.
It does, but if you're encoding once and playing many times, it's worth it (save some scenarios such as very limited processing power on playback device). Even so, with AMD and Nvidia shipping hardware accelerated HEVC encoders with their GPUs, it's not as slow as it used to be.
Posted on Reply
#9
trsttte
b4psm4mAFAIK the impossible licensing structure is the reason why HEVC never took off and x264 is still prevelant. Also remembering that HEVC has a much steeper encoding time.
I mean with great efficiency come great encoding times...
HimymCZe... well, this is gonna be a major $h!t show in a couple of years, when THE TRUE successor of x263-x264-x265 cannot continue the name, cause a few a**hole wanted to cash grab a codec standard.
Hmm what? x264 and x265 exist exactly in the same way, as free implementations of the proprietary H264 and H265 codecs
Posted on Reply
#10
claes
trsttteHmm what? x264 and x265 exist exactly in the same way, as free implementations of the proprietary H264 and H265 codecs
Was gonna say the same thing. There is no x263… h264 and h265 are MPEG LA products. x264 is an open source product by Video LAN, x265 by multicoreware.
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#11
TheLostSwede
windwhirlFor real?
lol, I didn't even see that. Really professional.
trsttteHmm what? x264 and x265 exist exactly in the same way, as free implementations of the proprietary H264 and H265 codecs
And neither is used by any hardware encoder or decoders. That's what the licensing is about.
In fact, I'm surprised that the groups behind them haven't been taken to court yet.
Posted on Reply
#12
windwhirl
TheLostSwedeAnd neither is used by any hardware encoder or decoders. That's what the licensing is about.
In fact, I'm surprised that the groups behind them haven't been taken to court yet.
It probably wouldn't even matter because once something exists in the Internet, it can't be deleted from it.

Also, it seems to be in use by commercial applications (in fact, x265 offers a special license for it, without the copyleft restrictions of GPL2):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X265#Commercial_applications


So, yeah, I think these guys probably covered their legal bases.
Posted on Reply
#13
TheLostSwede
windwhirlIt probably wouldn't even matter because once something exists in the Internet, it can't be deleted from it.

Also, it seems to be in use by commercial applications (in fact, x265 offers a special license for it, without the copyleft restrictions of GPL2):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X265#Commercial_applications


So, yeah, I think these guys probably covered their legal bases.
That's most likely true, unless someone comes up with a very clever virus.

Still software though, not hardware. Different things.
And you know as well as I do that if some of these big companies want to sue, they sue, but maybe there's not enough financial incentive here?

I should point out that I'm very much in favour of open codecs, as long as it organised in a sensible way so we don't get a bunch of minor, incompatible versions.
Posted on Reply
#14
windwhirl
TheLostSwedeStill software though, not hardware. Different things.
Yep. Though, outside of the possibility of saving quite a few bucks by going with x265 instead of whatever it's offered "officially" by the h265 group, it's still impressive that it's in use in stuff like DaVinci Resolve or that companies build commercial products based on x265. It sure has gotten far.
TheLostSwedebut maybe there's not enough financial incentive here?
Maybe for once they realize that suing would only make things worse? :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#15
trsttte
TheLostSwedeAnd neither is used by any hardware encoder or decoders. That's what the licensing is about.
In fact, I'm surprised that the groups behind them haven't been taken to court yet.
I think we're confusing things, x264 and x265 are just software implementations of the H264 and H265 codecs. Anyone doing hw encoders/decoders will use some existing IP that implements H264/H265 in silicon.
Posted on Reply
#16
BlueSwordM
TheLostSwedeAV1 is supposed to be more of a slight improvement on H.265, than a competitor to H.266 though.
Even so, the H.26x license costs are just dumb for what it is.
Funny thing about that: current AV1 encoders are actually a lot better than a slight upgrade over current h.265 encoders in terms of pure coding efficiency compared to what earlier studies have evaluated, to the point of current VVC encoders like VVenC not actually being much of an upgrade in terms of pure coding efficiency, while trading even more compute encoding wise vs AV1 encoders at their slowest encoder settings.

That's the funny thing actually. In some MPEG and AV1 meetings that I've attended, I've noticed one thing popping up again and again in conversations: AV1 has been deemed a lot stronger than expected against VVC, against all odds actually.

Indeed, it was designed as an upgrade over VP9 and HEVC respectively, but it's certainly more than a slight improvement over these standards.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheLostSwede
BlueSwordMFunny thing about that: current AV1 encoders are actually a lot better than a slight upgrade over current h.265 encoders in terms of pure coding efficiency compared to what earlier studies have evaluated, to the point of current VVC encoders like VVenC not actually being much of an upgrade in terms of pure coding efficiency, while trading even more compute encoding wise vs AV1 encoders at their slowest encoder settings.

That's the funny thing actually. In some MPEG and AV1 meetings that I've attended, I've noticed one thing popping up again and again in conversations: AV1 has been deemed a lot stronger than expected against VVC, against all odds actually.

Indeed, it was designed as an upgrade over VP9 and HEVC respectively, but it's certainly more than a slight improvement over these standards.
That's good news, I guess they've made further improvements then, since I last had a look at it. My understanding was that AV1 was about 10-15% more efficient than H.265, whereas H.266 was said to be more than 40% more efficient. However, if that gap had narrowed significantly, then that's a good thing especially if encoding times are faster. We just need some consumer hardware with good AV1 encoders now.
Thanks for the update.
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