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Hardware-Accelerated Ogg Theora For Firefox Mobile 176

An anonymous reader writes "Matthew Gregan is working on bringing David Schleef's DSP accelerated port of Theora to Firefox Mobile. He writes on his blog: 'The C64x+ DSP is often found in systems built upon TI's OMAP3 SoC, such as the Palm Pre, Motorola Droid, and Nokia N900. Last year, Mozilla funded a port, named Leonora, of Xiph's Theora video codec to the TI C64x+ DSP. David Schleef conducted the port impressively quickly and published his results. The intention of this project was to provide a high-quality set of royalty-free media codecs for a common mobile computing platform. The initial focus is Firefox Mobile on the N900, so I am working on integrating David's work into Firefox. To experiment with other facilities Firefox could use to accelerate video playback, and test integration, I've been hacking on a branch of a stand-alone Ogg Theora and Vorbis player originally written by Chris Double called plogg.'"
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Hardware-Accelerated Ogg Theora For Firefox Mobile

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:45AM (#31880846)

    In my mind, hardware accelerated means using fixed-function, special purpose functional blocks in silicon. Saying that using a DSP is hardware acceleration for video codecs is like saying that software is hardware accelerated by the execution units of a CPU.

    • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:57AM (#31880918) Homepage Journal

      Your mind is wrong.

      Lets look at graphics cards. A DSP is the same "thing" as a GPU is, in that it's a special purpose processing unit (ie, Graphics Processing Unit, Digital Signal Processor...). Rendering with a GPU is a hell of a lot faster than with a general CPU. Likewise, processing digital signals is a hell of a lot faster in a DSP than with a general CPU.

      So, to reiterate: you are wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by O'Nazareth ( 1203258 )
      DSP is hardware acceleration for signal processing (this is the name). A video frame is a 2D signal. So yes, this is hardware acceleration.
    • Yep, by this definition *all software* is hardware accelerated, even software running on an emulator (the emulator is hardware accelerated, just not optimized for that instruction set).

  • Battery life? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:48AM (#31880864) Journal

    It's great seeing the benchmarks showing the CPU usage dropping from 99% to 1%, but at the same time the DSP and GPU usage is going up by some unstated amount. It would be really great to see some comparison of how this effects the battery life. Playing MP3s on the C64x can be done in a bit under 15mW, but Theora is a lot more complex and doing the colourspace conversions and compositing on the GPU is going to add a bit too. I'd expect the power usage to be lower than doing it on the CPU, but maybe not by a huge amount.

    Either way, it's great that they can free up the CPU to do other stuff. 0.4% of the ARM core isn't really enough to run the scripts that typically accompany a web page that uses the video tag, 99% almost certainly is.

  • by human spam filter ( 994463 ) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @08:56AM (#31880916)
    This is a good example how open systems drive innovation. Allowing people to tinker with the device (root access, access to the DSP) attracts hackers, which in this case lead to DSP accelerated Theora video decoding. It's quite fitting that Apple is resisting Theora in HTML 5, mainly because their devices don't have accelerated Theora decoding (this is what I assume). While at the same time the restrictions imposed by Apple make it impossible to develop something like this for their iCrap devices (apart from not having root access, no API for accessing the DSP, it would also violate the developer agreement.. since you need some DSP assembly, which is not an approved language).
    • Apple has kind of a tough time there, the way that they keep things stable is by not having people screwing around with the internals and drivers, but in order to do something like this one has to screw around with the internals. Meaning that they've bet on stability and reliability at a cost of having this sort of community involvement. Hard to say whether they'll come out ahead or behind in the long run.
  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @10:00AM (#31881334) Homepage

    I've been documenting the software patents situation for Theora here:

    Adding information about On2's v8 codec would be very welcome.

  • Because I have yet to see a Theora video site. I say that the price of the additional data traffic costs to get the same quality as H.264 is still more than the license.
    I”m all for an open codec. But everybody knows that unless it”s also a *better* codec, we won”t see it being used. Companies have no interest in paying more and don—t care as much about open source as they should for their own good.
    File sharers don’t care about licenses anyway.
    So we”re left with the tiny s

    • I have yet to see a Theora video site.

      Really? You haven't been to wikipedia?

    • by Draek ( 916851 )

      Because I have yet to see a Theora video site.

      Here's [] one.

      And then theres the point of one actually caring about licensing. Honestly I dont thing the MPEG will ever sue.

      Pity that argument doesn't work with your average corporate lawyer, isn't it?

      So I will use H.264 even without a license, just as I did with GIF, JPEG, etc, etc, etc.
      Because I think we are stronger, and the cant ever hurt us. Instead of backing down like a submissive beta-human loser.

      Ohh, you're so *manly* when you infringe on a big company's patents! Take me, Hurricane, take me hard!

      Don't be so childish and ridiculous. You're content with committing patent infringement and forcing everybody else to either do the same or pay MPEG-LA's extortion fees, and all that why? because you're a lazy fuck. You're not an alpha male, you're not part of La Resistance, you're just a nerd hiding behind anonymity to

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      at SD the quality difference is not large. And HD, on a screen maybe 5"-10"? That should be added to the dictionary as nuts.

  • It's an OS function.

    Firefox should have nothing to do with it. The browser should play whatever the OS can support.

    This is like Firefox saying they now support Dvorak keyboards.

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      should firefox also only show the image formats supported by the os its running on?

      heck, png got started as gif replacement, as gif had one or more patents attached to it during the early days of the internet.

  • by paradigm82 ( 959074 ) on Saturday April 17, 2010 @06:19PM (#31884006)
    I knew it would some day be possible to have full-HD on my old C64 :-)

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker