[theora] Ready for real use?

illiminable ogg at illiminable.com
Sun Sep 3 00:15:57 PDT 2006


The issue you are seeing with 98/ME is not actually due to the OS. If 
it's what i think it is, it's due to how old the video card is. The last 
released version only outputs the raw frame data in one format (YV12) , 
however some older video cards can't accept that. The version in svn 
does a conversion to allow this to work. There should be a release quite 
soon, and i intend to spend the next 2 months or so working exclusively 
on oggcodecs. I just need a little bit of rest time before i get onto it 
:) Though now would be a good time to tell me any specific issues you 
have. I have just been pretty busy all year, so i haven't had much 
chance to do much with oggcodecs.

Also the one issue that is 9X/ME specific is that of unicode filenames. 
The version in svn also fixes that issue by having the whole codebase 
moved to the unicode windows API and using unicows, as well as custom 
built runtime libraries including unicows to make it work on 9X and ME.

You can report any issues with the directshow filters to me, or to this 
list (or both). Another thing that is in svn, but not in a release yet, 
is I converted all the mmx code so that it could compile with masm. This 
is mainly an issue for encoding, i also have replaced the libtheora 
based decoder with theora-exp, which is considerably faster at decoding, 
this should make a big difference for low-end machines.

Roughly the things i intend to work on next, are fixing and verifying 
all the 24/32 bit and 5.1 channel stuff in the audio codecs, and working 
on the encoding capabilities of all the codecs, ie exposing the encoding 
paramters of the underlying codec.



Douglas Gore wrote:
> Thanks, I've had a lot of response back on and off the list saying that Theora is ready for real use and as I said previously it was quite close in my own experience. In my own view the biggest issues are sorting out all the little issues on the Windows platform that might prevent me from using Theora.
> To give some background we are a Windows only company and we produce mass market retail software so whatever we use has to pretty reliable otherwise we will get hundreds of support calls. Currently we use DirectShow for all our video playback needs and have no plans to move away from that as our entire video infrastructure is built around it. Our software currently runs on Windows XP / 2000 / ME, it also runs a wide variety of computers some with quite a low spec (I think we now ask for 600Mhz as our minimum) and for this reason we rejected Windows Media as it's very slow unless you have a modern graphics card which many users don't.
> Evaluating the current DirectShow filters I did find that they work for encoding and decoding but under Windows 98 and ME fail to work because the Theora decoder cannot be attached to the video renderer. I think this is something to do with the output formats of the filter not matching up to the video renderer of DirectShow. If I continue evaluating this and other parts of the Windows implementation where is the best place to report issues found in Theora and the DirectShow filters?
> For encoding purposes is there a dedicated Video for Windows (VfW) codec in the works? I think I read you can encode Theora using the ffmpeg VfW implementation but I'm not sure if there are any issues with that.
> Thanks,
> Doug
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Luis Gonzalez [mailto:ghempresa at hotmail.com] 
> Sent: 31 August 2006 11:41
> To: theora at xiph.org; Douglas Gore
> Subject: RE: [theora] Ready for real use?
>> Hi all,
>> I've been following Theora's progress for a while as the company I work
>> for is looking at replacing the use of the MPEG1 codec with a royalty
>> free alternative. I have evaluated Theora and I think in its current
>> state it is quite close to doing to job as oppose to Dirac which still
>> has a very long way to go.
>> What I would like to ask is how far from 1.0 is Theora? I see periodic
>> updates here and there and in my own tests using the last illuminable
>> DirectShow filters release from February (which is quite dated now) it
>> seemed close to usable with the only critical bug being that it didn't
>> work under Windows 9x. As we are a commercial software producer we're a
>> bit nervous about using alpha software but if there is a chance it could
>> be finalised in the next year we'd be very interesting in using Theora.
>> Keep up the good work guys,
>> Doug
> Maybe the "alpha" word for you means unfinished software , but it's only 
> beacuse in the roadmap there are some features that are not implement yet.
> Theora is so stable now and Theora bitstream format has been frozen , so all 
> your Theora files can be showed and worked perfectly now to when Theora 1.0 
> will be released.
> And also Theora files can be showed in a lot of Operating Systems Linux , 
> MacOs , Windows , ...
> Take a look at wikipedia for other details : 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora
> If you finally use Theora for commercial software , tell us about it.
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