Manufacturers Shipping Unlicensed H.265 Products

By: Brian Karas, Published on Jun 22, 2017

While H.265 support in video surveillance is growing, IPVM's research shows that most surveillance manufacturers are shipping H.265 products with substantially or completely missing patent licenses.

In this report, we review the state of H.265 patent licenses, the 3 major patent licensing groups, an analysis of the licensing status for 15 video surveillance manufacturers including Dahua, Genetec, Hanwha, Hikvision, Milestone, Panasonic, etc. and potential issues.

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Comments (15)

We will keep this report updated as manufacturers sign license agreements with the patent groups.

Could any of this play into an advantage for Axis Zipstream that mirrors the bandwidth savings of H.265, but's still just an implementation of H.264? It seems like the H.265 buzz word has "been in the works" for many years, and still isn't properly sorted out. How long does the negotiating for H.265 go on until H.266 is being talked about. We've been through 2-3 iPhones and Windows Operating Systems since first word of H.265. The greed and confusion with licensing H.265 could spur more innovation from those who are sick of waiting around.

Could any of this play into an advantage for Axis Zipstream that mirrors the bandwidth savings of H.265, but's still just an implementation of H.264?

Mark, in general, for the many companies (including Axis) that now have smart H.264, this is a benefit. Indeed, smart H.264 and has made regular 'non-smart' H.265 uncompetitive, since smart H.264 typically notably beats H.265 in bandwidth efficiency without H.265's other issues (decoding, licensing, VMS support, etc.). Now, new H.265 releases are typically 'smart' H.265 ones.

However, we believe smart H.265 will provide notable bandwidth savings over smart H.264, so H.265 will have that pulling for it (e.g., Hanwha / Samsung Wisestream H.265 Test).

Remember... Many videos or movies you download or watch on your iPhone or windows PC is encoded using H.265. Just because the video security industry is behind the ball, it doesn't mean that H.265 is not being adopted...

Many videos or movies you download or watch on your iPhone or windows PC is encoded using H.265

Which ones? I am sure there are some but my understanding was that major streaming providers like YouTube and Netflix do not support H.265 (e.g., Netflix streaming post)

They might be mistaking HTML5 for H265. H265 has been used for facetime since the iPhone 6 was released and Apple will have H265 video encoding in their Fall IOS 11 release for certain devices.

I know Amazon video is streamed H.265 but I believe only 4K content! at 15Mpbs. YouTube is H.264 I would say that's pretty much indication of everything else H.264 for sure.

iOS11 opens H.265 for apps to use. Only for now Apple facetime on the right hardware is supports.

Axis Zipstream == proprietary == dead on arrival for some folks. Needs to be standards based (not patent encumbered if possible.) H.264/H.265 are (apparently currently tolerable) patent-encumbered alternatives to "standards based".

Thank you Rodney. However, being that Zipstream is H.264, doesn't that negate the proprietary concern? To my understanding, Zipstream isn't anything remotely proprietary as you would find with something like Mobotix' MxPEG, or like many of the HD Analog protocols battling it out.

Axis Zipstream == proprietary == dead on arrival for some folks.

Which folks exactly? Given the market uptake of Axis cameras, this does not seem to be an inhibiting factor. Zipstream relies on H.264, Axis' implementation of the compression/encoding to achieve what they market as "Zipstream" may be proprietary, but it does not require any special license, or driver, beyond H.264 support. Along those lines, you could call many manufacturers H.264/H.265 implementations "proprietary" in that they each take their own approach to how they compress and stream video over H.264.

Along those lines, you could call many manufacturers H.264/H.265 implementations "proprietary" in that they each take their own approach to how they compress and stream video over H.264.

The more directly relevant question to most buyers is whether the technology is open. In this case, Axis Zipstream, Hikvision H.264+, etc. are 'proprietary' but also open and can be integrated with normal H.264 support.

So to Rodney's point, I would be surprised if most buyers would have an opposition, especially since Zipstream, H.264+ etc. works 'automagically' even if someone did not know that it was on.

Surely the key is onvif

or we back to private standards

onvif must decide what is being adopted and best practice

Surely the key is onvif

ONVIF is completely unrelated to patent licenses for H.265.

Separately, ONVIF Profile S does not support H.265 and ONVIF is developing a new profile (T) to allow it (see ONVIF Tutorial 2017). But even once ONVIF supports H.265, this will not address / solve the patent licensing issue.

You're saying Dahua and Vivotek count as some of the solid outstanding citizens in the H.265 license holder world. You sure Foscam doesn't count? Longsee? The 9 dollar ttl camera add-on Adafruit sells for the Rasberry Pi?

You sure Foscam doesn't count? Longsee? The 9 dollar ttl camera add-on Adafruit sells for the Rasberry Pi?

This TTL camera? It takes JPEG snapshots, does not seem to be using anything close to H.265. Any streaming of images from it would be implemented in code on the Pi, and subject to license there.

Our list of who is licensing the patents, and are "solid outstanding citizens" (your words) comes from the publicly available licensee lists that I linked to. Foscam and Longse do not appear on either of those lists currently.

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