MPEG-4-AVC licensing plans upset broadcasters

A group of international broadcasters believe that current licensing arrangements for MPEG-4 Visual coding will be a major deterrent to its use.

Unlike MPEG-2 licensing, which is based on equipment fees, MPEG-4 Visual licensing calls for fees based on usage (costs per minute used or the number of subscribers) and to a lesser extent, for equipment fees. These are to be charged according to distinctions of type of use and type of receiver.

The Technical Committee of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA-TC) last week joined international broadcasters who are critical of the proposed MPEG-4–AVC licensing arrangements.

The World Broadcasting Unions Technical Committee (WBU-TC), of which NABA is a member, said the currently proposed licensing arrangements for MPEG-4-AVC will be a major deterrent for its use.

Dr. Joseph Flaherty, chairman of the NABA Technical Committee, urged MPEG-4–AVC license holders to recognize broadcasters will only adopt standards that offer cost effective solutions. “License costs based on usage will deter broadcasters from adopting MPEG-4-AVC,” Flaherty warned.

“NABA fully supports the position of the WBU-TC on the MPEG-4-AVC licensing issue which is of great concern to the members of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA),” he said.

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