[Development] QWebEngine - H.264 playback, proprietary codecs.

Allan Sandfeld Jensen kde at carewolf.com
Wed Jul 13 19:21:16 CEST 2016

On Wednesday 13 July 2016, Steve Schilz wrote:
> We are using QWebEngine to drive a hybrid app (Html5 + Javascript + C++) on
> windows.  According to QWebEngineFeatures Doc,
> http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qtwebengine-features.html#pepper-plugin-api You must
> pass a flag to qmake, WEBENGINE_CONFIG+=use_proprietary_codecs, and build
> Qt from source yourself in order to support h.264 video decoding.
> In researching this, I became aware that Cisco provides a downloadable
> binary codec, where Cisco pays the MPEG-LA royalties.   Apparently this is
> the method used To provide h.264 playback in Firefox.  If you watch the
> intellectual property rights video at
> http://vimeo.com/cullenfluffyjennings/openh264-ipr, they explain why they
> Did this, and how you can even make changes to the codec via open source
> if needed.
> Would it make sense for QWebEngine to support this codec, in order to be
> able to provide ‘out of the box’ (via download at end user’s computer),
> support for h.264 playback in <video> tags?
That sounds a bit complicated, since it needs to hook into Chromiums media 
backend and have a download mechanism.

 Note activating it the codecs is not a matter of cost. AFAIK the h.264 and 
h.265 codecs are currently patented but royalty free to decode. This makes it 
possible for our customers to activate them without paying anyway. This is 
however just the status quo, and I am not sure I want to risk enabling 
something that might make the open-source package something that you need to 
pay for in the future, which is why we prefer to stick with the same codecs 
Google makes available in their free open source browser Chromium.

I would be more interested in making it easier to enable, or maybe offer 
somehow. It is just something we have to make sure we offer without 
guaranteeing it is and will remain free. 


More information about the Development mailing list