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Wuh, oh! There might be limited codec support in Android 3.1's Market for Google TV

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by eferz, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping, like many others, that the inclusion of the Android Market would help us replace the default Logitech and Sony Media Players. This is because they currently have very limited codec support for many of our audio and video streams, media accessibility is limited to either DNLA servers or local USB media, and generally an unpolished user interface.

    Looking at the table of supported audio and video streams on Android 2.0, I've realized the lack of support for other formats is dependent on the codecs natively supported by Android 2.0 platform. If you compare the top table below against both Logitech and Sony knowledge base articles regarding media compatibility, you'll see that they are very similar.

    Like many of you, I was intending on using Rockplayer or some other Media Player that can play the full range of multimedia formats through the use of the FFmpeg or the libavcodec library. However, here's the crux of the matter: many of these applications have libraries which were created with the Android NDK for the ARM processor. This would make that particular code incompatible with the Intel processors within the Google TV. While Google has implemented Intel compatibility into version 6 of the NDK on July 2011, they have also noted that "Google TV does not support applications that use the NDK or include any native libraries", in the feature support article for Google TV. That would limit to codec compatibility to the ones listed in the bottom table above.

    Ultimately, this is going to be a big limitation for developers to add extra value into their applications which isn't already covered as an API in the Android 3.1 SDK. So, while the user interface of these applications can be easily optimized, certain functionality may be crippled due to the lack of NDK support on Google TV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    A couple of things that I noticed that look interesting for android 3.0+ 1) Some WMV support 2) Hardware acceleration for VP8 codec (Google's preferred codec for WebM) with our Intel CE 4100 processor. This codec will eventually be the future of YouTube - so it's nice to see that our particular hardware will handle it well.
     
  3. Winkle

    Winkle New Member

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    wuh?
    im already using MKV, but not sure if i even understand this chart.. How about top names like Divx and silverlight support.. They market Flash so what about developers?
     
  4. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    There are two charts for codec support. The top one is for 2.0 Android devices and the bottom is the for the next 3.1 update for the Revue. As for,".divx" support that's listed under the "MPEG-4 SP" format/codec. Since Divx is both a file container and two video codec; the regular "MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX" codec and the "H.264/MPEG-4 AVC DivX Plus HD" codec. It looks like Android 3.1 is going to support the first one, not the latter.

    I wouldn't hold your breath on Microsoft doing any cross-platform support of Silverlight, it doesn't even have consistent behaviors between the two platforms which its running on now; Windows and Mac. More likely the guys at Novell will port "Moonlight" (the open source Silverlight subsititute) to Android long before Microsoft would even consider doing it. Especially, since Windows Mobile is the only mobile platform which Silverlight exists, so they treat it as one of their key differentiators to both iOS and Android phone.

    As far as Flash goes, well, Adobe is one of the founding partners who helped Google get the Google TV platform off of the ground. It only makes sense that Flash is an integrate part of the platform.
     
  5. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the problem is that in Google TV supplemental codecs won't be supported if compiled through the Android NDK because...

     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Google touts android as being open - but I wonder if this situation of Google not supporting the android NDK on Google TV is for legitimate technical reasons - or if Google is being more like Apple here (wanting more control, limiting openness and certain codecs, perhaps trying to stifle some competition on other platforms)?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  7. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    More likely its to avoid root exploits like these...

    Remember, they still need to prove that Google TV is a safe environment to the content owners and right holders.
     
  8. sarreq

    sarreq Member

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    divx (the video codec) is covered by both MPEG-4 and h264\AVC, divx (the media container file format) is barely used (and it's just an .avi with extra metadata), and dying off since divx (the company) has joined forces with Matroska (MKV). silverlight, i wouldn't worry about, since it's never flown very far, and it's dying off as we speak
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  9. sarreq

    sarreq Member

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    there's no reason divx hd wouldn't be supported, it's just their version of h264/AVC, and fully compliant to the spec. the only problem will probably be the .divx container, which has been dropped by divx, in Matroska's favor.

    don't worry about silverlight at all...
     
  10. sarreq

    sarreq Member

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    not really, if enough people start using GTV, they'll start flocking in. the ubiquity factor is is a stronger influence to their money flow than the safety of their content.
     

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