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post #361 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 03:31 PM
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>>>most of the Bose owners are quite happy with their purchase.<<<

Because most of them don't know any better, haven't compared enough, are suckers for crap or all of the above.

The most efficient path is seldom a straight line.
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post #362 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 04:33 PM
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While ultimately only one format can succed, both companies have to cater to both Hollywood as well as the consumer for the succes of either, so I hope both companies are paying attention to my sig file and concentrate particularly on NEW FEATURES. Ultimately you don't have to buy a Sony BD player if you don't like Sony... Before you know it, Toshiba will be producing BD players and paying Sony royalties :) Anyway, I'm glad for the competition, as long as it improves the final product AND one of the two groups backs off or something is worked out so there is only one format.
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post #363 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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...both companies have to cater to both Hollywood as well as the consumer for the succes of either....
I've got some bad news for you, but the only catering that HD-DVD or Blu-ray have to do as far as the target consumer goes, is deliver a 1080 (preferably "p") product with a minimum of artifacts, and make the software price reasonable enough to ensure high volume sales for the studios. All the stuff below your sig line might have some significance to folks at this forum; but as HDTV sales continue to grow, the focus will be directed to maximizing profits by satisfying what will become the mainstream, not the videophile fringe. So consider everything after 1080p, to be gravy.

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post #364 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by Palladin
I've got some bad news for you, but the only catering that HD-DVD or Blu-ray have to do as far as the target consumer goes, is deliver a 1080 (preferably "p") product with a minimum of artifacts, and make the software price reasonable enough to ensure high volume sales for the studios. All the stuff below your sig line might have some significance to folks at this forum; but as HDTV sales continue to grow, the focus will be directed to maximizing profits by satisfying what will become the mainstream, not the videophile fringe. So consider everything after 1080p, to be gravy.
I agree, 1080p will hopefully be the Blu-ray standard but I highly doubt we'll get a lot more than that. It'd be nice mind you, just not probable IMO.
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post #365 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 05:52 PM
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But it is the early adopters who make the difference in a format war... so in this format war, a new feature might make all the difference. With DVD, there never was any true competition... Right now, the two large competing formats that need every advantage they can get. I would sincerely hope that consumer appeal is important. Certainly, if it wasn't for the continued pressure from HD-DVD, you're right, Sony et all would have been glad to give us 1080i MPEG-2 and Dolby digital as the final product. I don't see anything as gravy. What on earth have commercial theaters done to improve entertainment quality over the years? Hell, it took George Lucas to push the development of a stupid matrixed rear center channel... joy. I don't have the economics answers for commercial theaters, however, I'm the kind of person who spends an extra couple of bucks to watch the IMAX version of a film, and certainly would spend a couple more bucks if they added tactile feedback as well as more discrete surround channels and height channels, etc... 2 + 2 +2 is an audiophile format that often contains discrete height channels. There is a hell of a lot that can be done to make the commercial and home theater arena more entertaining... Commercial theaters in particular are rather boring, relatively unchanged, and just stagnant in terms of what they have to offer, in my opinion.
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post #366 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 05:58 PM
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I don't think consumer's preferences will play much of a role in which format wins out. What studios "believe" will be good enough for consumers to make the upgrade from DVD to HD disc will determine which format wins. It's really up to Blu-ray and HD-DVD to suck up to the studios wishes to ensure success, not to their consumers. Let's face it, most of us at this forum are going to buy into an HD disc format no matter what. With more and more programming becoming available in HD and the prices of HDTVs coming down, more people are going to want to be able to buy movies in HD. If the packaging says Blu-ray or HD-DVD that may be all it takes to get some Joe Sixpacks to buy it. It's sad but look at how many people buy the numerous crappy DVDs out there that look like they have VHS transfers, or worse. Some people are buying them simply because they think DVD has to be better than VHS. Transfer wise, that's not always true. :(
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post #367 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 06:09 PM
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What studios "believe" will be good enough for consumers to make the upgrade from DVD to HD disc will determine which format wins.
Well, if everybody would be a little more demanding of what they'd like to see in a format instead of what they would settle for... makes a difference. Assuming that 1080p and a primary lossless soundtrack is provided, what features would you like? Evolution and improvement is a natural course to everything... so surely it would be great to hear what you would like!

Joe six pack is not going to play a significant role in the initial success of any format because Joe Six pack will still be buying DVDs. I'm trying to stress that if a format war indeed comes to fruition a year or two from now, small differences make all the difference when it comes to what a consumer buys. I agree that if one of the sides fails or for whatever reason is eliminated, then there is much less reason to improve the format beyond the 'minimum'. But that is not the case currently.
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post #368 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Health Nut,

Don't get me wrong, we'd all like to see many other changes in the next-gen DVD besides the 1080p (although admittedly, discrete tactile transducer channels isn't that high up on my personal list :) ); but you're giving early adopters way too much credit in this instance, particularly as they will not represent the majority of 1080 dvd purchasers over the long term.

You are assuming that there will be a full force format war. IMO, the studios will never let it go that far, because they recognize how that could endanger the whole concept and that's one of their biggest nightmares. A few competitive format skirmishes actually work to the studio's benefit, because this will provide greater leverage for concessions from the winning manufacturers. But do you really think the studios will look to see which format is outselling the other during those early skirmishes, AND attribute it to features that are appealing to a very small percentile of the huge market they're looking to tap into (as opposed to other factors, such as brand loyalty, etc.). Please don't take this the wrong way, but if HD-DVD offers, for example, discrete tactile transducer channels; and Blu-ray doesn't, but the BDA deal results in an extra dollar of profit for the studios on each dvd, which one do you think will win the studios' votes?

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post #369 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 07:14 PM
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Introduction of new features really has to has to come from the studios as well as new surround formats, etc... I know its sort of a cluster****, But George lucas single handedly made significant changes. My hope is that the push comes from people like Lucas who want to continue improving the way we are involved with movies. Tactile feedback, motion, 3 dimensional sound with height channels, whatever... I'd just like to hear what you'd like.

And no, I never said there would be a full blown out format war like SACD and DVD-Audio... I'm simply hoping that the competition currently taking place is advantageous in some respects, which I believe it is... case in point is Sony reconsidering VC-9 and H.264... if HD-DVD was not in the picture and previously announced support, what pressure does Sony/BD group have to provide the best format possible? Ideally we want the competition to push the formats to be the best they can be before a winner/compromise is chosen.
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post #370 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Introduction of new features really has to has to come from the studios as well as new surround formats, etc...
I agree, but that was my point. The early adopters will not impact on, nor effectuate those features. But I think we (not just you and I, but most of us here) want to see the technological envelope pushed as far as possible. And if every improvement can be added without costing the studios a penny in profit, or making the price higher for the target consumer, I'm sure they will have no objection. If not, different story.

Of course, if I really wanted to be cynical, I might suggest that it may not be advantageous for the studios to give us too much, because if they're not looking to bump us up to 4k in the near future (and I'm sure they're not), some of these additional features can then be added to the subsequent 'special edition' version of the same 1080 DVD 6 months later, and they know us A/V geeks will probably purchase that one too. :)

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post #371 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 07:44 PM
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Which brings me back to the point: Pre-recorded media is only one form of a way to watch movies. And movies are only one form of entertainment. BD or HD-DVD's are far from a necessity. Ultimately, the consumer has the power. We don't need them at all...
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post #372 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by Health Nut
Well, if everybody would be a little more demanding of what they'd like to see in a format instead of what they would settle for... makes a difference.
Well what exactly does a person outside of the industry do to help in the creation of the next generation video format? I seriously don't know. And "everybody" isn't going to be more demanding as to what's included. Most people will make no effort and it's probably because, like me, they don't know what they can do. Although knowing still won't make a difference to most people. What can I do to help insure a better format? Write to the companies involved in both projects? What else? Where do I find the addresses for the correct people to contact? Who exactly are the correct people in each company?

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Assuming that 1080p and a primary lossless soundtrack is provided, what features would you like? Evolution and improvement is a natural course to everything... so surely it would be great to hear what you would like!
I'd love 1080p and lossless audio (which as I learned from you is a very good thing). If they can stop the forced previews that are on DVDs, have simple quick menus, and keep all extras on a second disc to maximize the quality of the movie presentation on the first disc that'd be great too. Heck they can stop with all the damn extras entirely for all I care as I have no interest in them.

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Joe six pack is not going to play a significant role in the initial success of any format because Joe Six pack will still be buying DVDs. I'm trying to stress that if a format war indeed comes to fruition a year or two from now, small differences make all the difference when it comes to what a consumer buys. I agree that if one of the sides fails or for whatever reason is eliminated, then there is much less reason to improve the format beyond the 'minimum'. But that is not the case currently.
Joe Sixpack does play a big role as the studios want to please him, not us. If they're smart they're thinking ahead at what would get the ordinary person to upgrade their DVDs. That's where they will make the majority of their money so that's who they'll want to buy into the format most. Early adopters are more of a testing period for a new format IMO.

The bottom line is that I want each disc to be maxed out with the best audio/video possible. No extras, no motion menus, no previews... nothing that will take up space and hinder the presentation of the movie even the slightest bit. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I will be an early adopter of both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. I've waited long enough for HD movies on disc, nothing short of the apocalypse is going to stop me from making an early plunge into these formats. ;)
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post #373 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 07:56 PM
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What can I do to help insure a better format? Write to the companies involved in both projects? What else? Where do I find the addresses for the correct people to contact? Who exactly are the correct people in each company?
Yes, those are the real questions and answers... David Boulet, I and a few others drafted the petition which is now almost 3 years old (and somewhat dated) and sent the petition to various companies/studios. With the right people putting there heads together and making an effort, it can make a difference. In fact, with people like Amir from Microsoft and others that read these forums, it is a marketing free for all. This forum now wields power and decision making people read these forums. I'm here mainly for that purpose. Of course its always great to talk about technology and what is the latest and greatest, not to mention trouble shooting if you have a problem.

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The bottom line is that I want each disc to be maxed out with the best audio/video possible. No extras, no motion menus, no previews... nothing that will take up space and hinder the presentation of the movie even the slightest bit.
Sounds good to me... Certainly, there can be a list of suggestions which would include those. We had some nice suggestions listed in the petition in my sig file as well. I'd certainly enjoy making a more current petition with a list of suggestions with everybody's input.
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post #374 of 18952 Old 07-27-2004, 11:35 PM
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" Well, if everybody would be a little more demanding of what they'd like to see in a format instead of what they would settle for... makes a difference. "

These are the same people who don't vote in national elections and you want them to get off their asses and demand lossless audio?

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There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #375 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by rogo
These are the same people who don't vote in national elections and you want them to get off their asses and demand lossless audio?
Well, there is often a major difference between lossless and lossy audio, the same is not so true of the major candidates for president in the last 20-some years.
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post #376 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 02:27 AM
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Yeah, interrupt their cable feed and watch how fast they get off their asses. Just need to figure out how to motivate them.

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post #377 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 05:09 AM
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Originally posted by Health Nut
Anyway, I'm glad for the competition, as long as it improves the final product AND one of the two groups backs off or something is worked out so there is only one format.
Excellent point. I am also happy that there are two media formats duking it out, as the competition motivates *both* parties, which should result in HD movie releases and a media format winner sooner than if there were only one player.
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post #378 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palladin
I've got some bad news for you, but the only catering that HD-DVD or Blu-ray have to do as far as the target consumer goes, is deliver a 1080 (preferably "p") product with a minimum of artifacts, and make the software price reasonable enough to ensure high volume sales for the studios. ... So consider everything after 1080p, to be gravy.
Agreed.

We have an opportunity here to kill interlacing once and for all. I think this is the single most important encoding issue facing the new format.

I would assume than 1080i encoding would require filtering like the 480i encoding on current DVD's. This filtering removes detail (resolution). So if we are stuck with 1080i encoding, the result may actually have lower resolution than a good 720p encode, even if your video processor/display device can deinterlace 1080i to 1080p! (assuming typical 720p transfers/encodes are not filtered as much due to progressive nature).
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post #379 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by Brandon B
Yeah, interrupt their cable feed and watch how fast they get off their asses. Just need to figure out how to motivate them.
Electric cattle prods?? :D Y'know this is a good idea conceptually, but the 64k question is not only HOW you would motivate them, but also how MANY you would need to motivate to have any substantive impact on the collective studios?

Brandon, you're probably more involved with the entertainment industry than most here, due to your business. How much of the total dvd purchasing market do you think would have to demonstrate their preference in order to alter the studios' agenda one iota, particularly if the feature may result in less profits based upon production cost? 100,000? 1 million? I would make an extremely conservative guess of 10 million, in light of the size of the overall market.

Right now, the DVD petition has approx. 2,800 signatures, and how long has it been around for? While this kind of grass-roots approach is laudable, and at least allows us to feel we have done something in these times of overwhelming apathy, I just don't see any real impact ultimately on the studios' decision of format. 1080 (i, but hopefully and more likely, p) alone, will satisfy the studio's needs for this product. Now if both formats offer the studios the identical profit margin and market size, and one also throws in better features for the enthusiast, it might help to sway them towards that particular format. But this is all about money, and the likelihood that one format won't offer them a better deal monetarily than the other, falls somewhere between slim and nil.

And yes, philistine that I am, while I would really like most of the additional features that have been discussed, I would purchase HiDef DVDs even if the only benefit were a 1080p transfer, and they were reasonably priced.

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post #380 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 07:35 AM
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Did someone say "kill interlacing?" Boy, where do I vote?

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post #381 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palladin
Brandon, you're probably more involved with the entertainment industry than most here, due to your business. How much of the total dvd purchasing market do you think would have to demonstrate their preference in order to alter the studios' agenda one iota, particularly if the feature may result in less profits based upon production cost? 100,000? 1 million? I would make an extremely conservative guess of 10 million, in light of the size of the overall market

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I'm pretty much just theme park boy. I have some friends over at the studio and other groups who might have more insight into that area, but your opinion is certainly as informed as mine or more.

I can tell you the public's opinion of our EZ-DVD at its price point came across pretty loud and clear though, so the agenda is able to be altered by public action at least. Other examples - Pirates in widescreen only, the job they did on Lion King on the audio and video. There are some people listening.

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post #382 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 11:51 AM
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I second (or third, whatever) the notion of driving a stake through the heart of interlacing. We need to move to a purely progressive world.

Brandon, what is EZ-DVD? Was that the throwaway DVD that would only play a couple of times before self-destructing? Is it officially dead yet (I hope)?

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post #383 of 18952 Old 07-28-2004, 05:46 PM
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Yes, and I think so. Well not dead, probably lying in a coffin filled with its native soil biding its time, unfortunately.

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post #384 of 18952 Old 08-01-2004, 04:39 PM
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The Joint Video Team (JVT) has completed its extension of AVC/H.264. Fidelity
Range Extension (FRExt), as it called, includes four new profiles that broaden
an already wide ranging set of applications that are well suited to AVC/H.264.
The new profiles are fully nested beginning with “high†profile (HP) for high
definition content. Hi10P incorporates 10 bit coding suitable for film material.
Hi422 provides the video community with the capabilities needed in broadcasting
and editing. Lastly, Hi444 supports full RGB color resolution and 12 bit
precision for professional production and graphics environments. Demanding
video production environments are further supported with the ability of carry
compressed alpha channel data and the film industry now has the ability to
analyze and synthesize the representation of film grain for high quality
consumer applications.

http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/mee...redmond_pr.htm

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HD MPEG-2 Test Patterns http://www.w6rz.net
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post #385 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 09:25 AM
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So, will Microsoft answer with a salvo of their own? VC-9 that can outperform H.264 at 12 bit 4:4:4 component and true 1920x1080p?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #386 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 09:31 AM
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The quote Ron has shared here says that Hi444 is for video production and graphics environments. They don't seem to be suggesting that it is necessary for the end-user environment. I am inclined to agree. I imagine that we could probably benefit from, say, 10-bit 4:2:2, but I don't think we need to go much further than that.

There's a great interview in this month's issue of Widescreen Review with Amir M. ("amirm") who posts here from time to time. He's part of the Windows Media department at Microsoft and is heavily involved in this stuff. He does indeed talk about 10/12 bits, 4:4:4, etc. and seems to suggest that all of that is possible, though there is not yet demand. Perhaps this update to H.264 will suggest to Microsoft the need to go ahead and implement these.

EDIT: One of the interesting issues Amir shares is that you have to be careful when you decide to go to, say, 4:4:4 or 10 bits. If you're trying to stay within a tight bit rate budget, then these luxuries can force you to do more compression than you might otherwise want to do, and the net picture quality might go down as a result. The losses in PQ due to chroma downsampling or 8-bit color are not as perceptually severe as, say, blocking due to high compression. Anyway, it was an interesting point, I don't know how it would play out in practice with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

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post #387 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 11:34 AM
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"losses in PQ due to chroma downsampling or 8-bit color are not as perceptually severe as, say, blocking due to high compression"

Michael is raising an important issue here. Essential to photographers, yet chroma is just too far down in the list of video PQ requirements. Whereas 10/12+ bits are arguably sufficient in post-production phases (editing is 15+ bits, lossless), I doubt it that more than 8 bits will make it soon into distribution.

True, the packaged content is not overly bit-rate-constrained by BR, or even by HD-DVD. However, most of the near-future consumer digital imaging devices --except PCs-- don't expect over 8 bits of input; accordingly, they can't handle well color spaces that are near or larger than their effective internals.

The real issue is with online distribution, the fabled VoD. For HDTV streaming a 10% increase in bandwidth is a MAJOR pain, measured in loss of revenue, tougher QoS, restricted markets. Most users can't see --or care for-- accurate colors on their TVs anyway - while compression artifacts, jitter and lost frames are all too obvious. The best we can hope for is 10-bit Platinum Editions.

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post #388 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 12:21 PM
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The Register's as-usual humorous take on the Microsoft HD DVD support announcement:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07...an_blue_laser/

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post #389 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 12:29 PM
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I don't know if someone has already mentioned here but it would be cool if the HDTV format gave up the analog caracteristics like NTSC and PAL standards. So if a movie is 24fps progressive, let it be played as 24fps progressive.

Too bad it isn't going to be like this, right?

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post #390 of 18952 Old 08-02-2004, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ranutso
I don't know if someone has already mentioned here but it would be cool if the HDTV format gave up the analog caracteristics like NTSC and PAL standards. So if a movie is 24fps progressive, let it be played as 24fps progressive.

Too bad it isn't going to be like this, right?
I agree but from what I've read it's as follows:

Europe HDTV = 50Hz (PAL countries)
American HDTV = 60Hz (NTSC countries)

I'd imagine some kind of conversion would be necessary as it was with PAL to NTSC. :(
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