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ORBX.js: 1080p DRM-Free Video and Cloud Gaming Entirely In JavaScript 103

Posted by timothy
from the streaming-requires-damming dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and the creator of JavaScript, ORBX.js can decode 1080p HD video and support low latency remote graphics entirely in JavaScript, offering a pure JavaScript alternative to VP8/H.264 native code extensions for HTML5 video. Watermarking is used during encoding process for protected IP, rather than relying on local DRM in the browser. Mozilla is also working with OTOY, Autodesk and USC ICT to support emerging technologies through ORBX.js — including light field displays and VR headsets like the Oculus Rift." Writes reader mikejuk: "The problem with all of this is that orbix.js is just a decoder and there is little information on the coder end of the deal. It could be that OTOY will profit big time from coding videos and watermarking them while serving virtual desktops from their GPU cloud. The decoder might be open source but the situation about the rest of the technology is unclear. In the meantime we have to trust that Mozilla, and Brendan Eich in particular, are not being sold a utopian view of a slightly dystopian future."
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ORBX.js: 1080p DRM-Free Video and Cloud Gaming Entirely In JavaScript

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  • No DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @04:38PM (#43631487)

    Watermarking, not DRM. This could be huge. OTOY’s GPU cloud approach enables individually watermarking every intra-frame, and according to some of its Hollywood supporters including Ari Emanuel, this may be enough to eliminate the need for DRM.

    LOL.

    "Hollywood Supporters". Those two words alone are enough to make this something to avoid.

    • Re:No DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @05:02PM (#43631589)
      Multiple people record the stream. Then, they de-watermark it collectively by combining the video files. Where do I miss something?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rob_Bryerton (606093)

        Multiple people record the stream. Then, they de-watermark it collectively by combining the video files. Where do I miss something?

        Why even bother using this type of stream as a source when a Blu-ray or even a DVD rip* would be easier, quicker, and of superior quality?

        *I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an al

        • by Buzer (809214)

          *I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an already compressed stream, resulting in further degradation.

          It depends entirely on the quality of codec, how well encoder is doing his job & how much bandwidth they are actually allocating. I have seen 720p TV broadcasts being encoded even as 2Mbps h264 with very good results (which easily beats DVD). Of course when it's action heavy, you will need higher bitrate.

        • by sgt scrub (869860)

          You are assuming media will still be available in those forms. If a way is found to individualize files and rape customers for personal information at the same time, I seriously doubt that type of media will be around for long.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            If a way is found to individualize files and rape customers for personal information at the same time

            Whew... I got scared by your first sentence. Never going to happen. We're safe from rape.

        • I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet.

          Go to the pirate bay and look for the 720p web-rips of Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" - they are of significantly higher quality than even an original, maximum bitrate DVD could ever achieve. As bandwidth increases and codecs improve (h.265 was just finalized) picture quality is only going to improve from here.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          *I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an already compressed stream, resulting in further degradation.

          Not even close, as DVD is an MPEG2 480i encode. These days H.264 @ 9Mbps can get you a 1080p stream of about 80-90% of Blu-Ray quality.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      that's peculiar.

      I wonder if the OP meant encoder instead of coder.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      If no one supports Hollywood there is no more budget for Hollywood movies.

      And before anyone chimes in with the typical "good, they all suck anyway"... there has to be *something* redeeming about Hollywood content otherwise why the hell does anyone CARE if they use DRM or not!? If that's seriously your position you are no longer logically arguing consumer rights over DRM and are just being a spiteful hater with no real interest in the topic anyway.

  • Someone dropped the ball big time on the name. There is already a software company called ORBX...they make flight sim addons.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Investors in high technology are almost always idiots with no education in the fundamentals. Rather than take an informed approach based on carefully gained knowledge, they try to 'smell' success and are very vulnerable to signs of enthusiasm from industry 'figures' like 'Eich'.

    It is child's play to create video decoders that SEEM to work great on very carefully chosen video material. An analogue would be the early colour ink-jet printers that seemed to create excellent photos in the store, when the manufac

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @10:32PM (#43632679)

    Watermarking is worse than DRM. Another person has already spelled out how to defang it - compare multiple copies and fuzz the parts that are different.

    But the huge downside for the vast majority of regular joes is that it makes all of the customers responsible for "protecting" the videos they watch. If anyone hacks them or snoops the download stream or even infiltrates the server transmitting the video and releases their copy into the wild, that innocent viewer is now implicitly responsible for that piracy. It becomes a guilty until proven innocent situation.

    No way am I going to watch a streaming movie, much less pay for it, if it means I have to now worry about the ultra-litigious MAFIAA coming after me with multi-million dollar copyright infringement lawsuits because I didn't know my PC was infected with a virus designed to pilfer the videos I watch.

    • by HiThere (15173)

      I disagree. I will, however, admit that SOME implementations of water-marking are worse ins SEVERAL ways than SOME implementations of DRM.

      Consider, however, that watermarking should not prevent someone 20-50 years from now from reading & displaying the file. In that sense it is much less bad, in almost all implementations. (The ones that aren't less bad in that way contain some other feature that would properly be called either encryption or DRM.)

      • I wrote an internal paper in at an old job suggesting a method of water marking that would be invisible by the viewer, require almost no CPU performance requirement and also would survive multiple generations of re-encoding and scaling. Water marking is not what you think it is.

        As an example what I suggested would take an H.264 file that is already encoded and alter each macro block only slightly so that there would be a slight (not noticeable) phase shift in the chroma planes. It would be progressive towar
  • I started a project on this nearly 2 years ago within my company to make use of WebCL as a means for providing real-time video coding and decoding. The problem I faced more than anything else at the time was audio synchronization. I also made a bunch of noise about this with regards to the stupid video tag being codec dependent. My implementation however was purely H.264 at the time.

    I'm glad to see someone taking this serious. This has many options including providing support for DRM for vendors who want to

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