back to article Intel bags $120m patent hoard from RealNetworks

In the latest maneuver of the tech industry's ongoing patent wars, Intel has struck a $120m deal with RealNetworks to purchase 190 patents and 170 patent applications, along with what both companies define as "next-generation video codec software". "Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealized …


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  1. User McUser

    Buffering Title... Please wait...

    A great purchase I'm sure. Because when you hear the name "RealNetworks" the first thing you think of is "next-gen video codec" rather than "late 90's also-ran."</sarcasm>

  2. Adam Trickett

    Does they come with nagware?

    I use to use RealPlayer until the nagging got too much.

    I didn't know that they still existed?

  3. hahnchen

    Is this Real giving up then?

    So Real are selling the technology and engineers building "Next-generation video codec software". Wasn't that their entire business? What are they going to do now?

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Looks like they're pulling a Kodak

      Sell off all your core businesses that make a lot of money, then go bankrupt and blame it on everyone else.

  4. David 45

    Nag, nag, nag

    Wonder if it will still install a zillion registry entries and try and take over the entire computer? Always was very intrusive.....oh - and didn't work very well either!

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    The End

    I doubt Real Networks has a decent Neg Gen Codec.

    It's a final gasp of Real Networks, asset strip. Likely the cash will evaporate and Real Networks close. They have been fairly irrelevant for a few years now.

    Intel just hoovering up some IP and engineers with loose change.

    1. Ilgaz

      So, Intel lies?

      I don't think it is a unique codec, could be h264 massively improved, rv10 and ra10 are h264 and aacp respectively.

      However, I don't think Intel would lie about what they bought or get tricked.

      Funny that win amp and real are called dead and they are both on android top10 lists even in their first generation. Helix is everywhere etc.

    2. CheesyTheClown

      I disagree

      Real almost certainly has been working on the H.265 code to prepare for being one of the first to market with a version of H.265 that can actually run relatively well on x86. Don't forget that while Real's player software was a nightmare, the codecs themselves were generally standard compliant implementations of H.264 for the past few years.

      If Intel intends to support H.262 (mpeg-2), H.264 (AVC) AND H.265 (HEVC) they'll need a bigger codec development team than they currently employ. Getting your hands on the people making a production grade H.265 decoder (to start with) and a production grade H.265 encoder makes a huge amount of sense for a company like Intel. They need all the help they can get preparing for H.265 in hardware since the complexity of that codec has reached the point that implementation in an ASIC may actually no be possible at this time. The logical complexity of the algorithm has grown past pure hardware modeling, but much of it can likely be done in software, so we'll see.

  6. Raz

    Good riddance RealNetworks! I still remember having to remove your d**n software from a lot of PCs because it was bundled with something useful. Actually I cannot remember exactly why I disliked you so much, but the feeling is still there! :):):)

  7. admiraljkb

    Didn't Intel get rid of its video codecs ~12 years ago?

    Anybody else remember Intel Video?

    1. crowley


      INDEO5 / IV5 was used to encode some video clip I found on an old drive. It was one of the best codecs at the time, I thought, but then mpeg4 came out and the rest is history.

      Anyway, it turned out that in the meantime they'd flogged the codec to 'Ligos' who wanted money, but I found I had the old installer too - albeit only for Windows. <shiver>

      But ffmpeg supports all variants now, it would seem.

  8. Proton Wrangler

    On the contrary, I've installed Real Player on Mac and Win7 this year and there's no nagging. It also has a nice Flash video downloader built in.

    I find real Player to be a better player than Windows Media Player.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      "I find real Player to be a better player than Windows Media Player"

      So is an Etch A Sketch.

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  10. kiwimuso

    Real Player

    Dunno what you other buggers are doing to incur their nagging, but I use Realplayer all the time and haven't noticed any nagging, nor do I have any problems with the way it operates.

    Certainly prefer it over Win Media although even that has it's place at times.

    If you don't use RP, what software DO you use, and why is it better? I really want to know

    1. Drakkenson
      Thumb Up

      Daum PotPlayer.

      Plays anything and everything out of the box and is highly configurable. And is being actively developed.

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