iHD vs BD-J - AVS Forum

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HDTV Software Media Discussion

neoangin's Avatar neoangin
08:03 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 247
10-04-2005 | Posts: 7
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I have been looking around for more information on the two interactive formats and besides vague PR have been quite unsuccessful to find more information.

One main point of frustration for me is the existing DVD Menu system and its usability and I'd wish to see that enhanced in a future platform. Bad, sluggish UI on many DVDs make me wish for there only to be one 'Justplaythedamnmovie' button on the remote (or a menu like 'Magnolia').

BD-J promises a 'powerful programmable platform', but what I am interested in is the following: Many of the CE companies involved in BD-J were also involved in MHP - anyone who has used MHP applications and implementations knows the difficulty in developing them and performance and graphics problems in differing implementations. I'd love to know how they learned from their experiences in MHP.

iHD is an XML/Javascript - its lack of network support is claimed as a problem by the Bluray camp - what are the details on that. How powerful can an iHD application be?

I guess the systems both have to have specifications and implementation guidelines. Are any of these freely available like the AACS spec? Probably not as they are a DVD book in the cast of iHD and closed like in BD-J...
Do the two systems have quick rendering support for 2D and 3D? And are the implementations coupled with guidelines that will give developers guaranteed rendering speed?

Anyone can point me to more information?

- neoangin
lymzy's Avatar lymzy
10:27 AM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoangin
iHD is an XML/Javascript - its lack of network support is claimed as a problem by the Bluray camp - what are the details on that. How powerful can an iHD application be?
Lacking network support-FUD.
Here is a good start.
http://www.dvdforum.org/gen-reqspec.htm
No idea what BD-J could do.
hddvdnow's Avatar hddvdnow
01:46 PM Liked: 10
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10-04-2005 | Posts: 28
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I just did a Google search for "BD-J" and "MHP" and got the following link:
http://www.blu-raydisc.com/assets/do...0307-12959.pdf

You might have seen it already, but it seems to have a reasonable amount of information about BD-J.
hongcho's Avatar hongcho
05:03 PM Liked: 10
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To me, it looks more like Java vs. AJAX.

Hong.
amirm's Avatar amirm
08:05 PM Liked: 547
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Self serving post (:)) but it is great to see a thread on these technologies with someone who has real experience with issues we have been pointing out regarding MHP.

Neoangin, MHP is fully included in BD-J. They have simply added more interfaces for BD subsystem. Sun does not allow subsetting of Java system.

Amir
neoangin's Avatar neoangin
07:52 AM Liked: 10
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10-05-2005 | Posts: 7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Self serving post (:)) but it is great to see a thread on these technologies with someone who has real experience with issues we have been pointing out regarding MHP.

Neoangin, MHP is fully included in BD-J. They have simply added more interfaces for BD subsystem. Sun does not allow subsetting of Java system.

Amir
And the document linked to by hddvdnow also references much MHP work, including mapping from the carousel concept which is not relevant to package media distribution...
Looking at the struggling MHP devices in the EU market the question is how much more money is invested to create HD rendering on such a platform that is fast and intuitive and can compete with the kind of menu interactivity consumers are witnessing from 2nd and 3rd generation consoles.
I guess we will have to wait and see the demos for interactivity at CES next year to see which promises the two camps can keep up.
jobobo's Avatar jobobo
08:50 PM Liked: 10
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10-23-2005 | Posts: 1
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MHP has so far been a massive flop. Java is outdated as a client technology, particularly in online or disk-based media. Sending out Java code may be the only solution to broadcasting market with no return path or client/server model, but for other media XML is surely the way to go. Too bad there is no public information on iHD.
amirm's Avatar amirm
08:58 PM Liked: 547
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I think it should be clear that whether iHD or BD-J is used, neither is going to hold a candle to native code for PCs or consoles. The processing power is orders of magnitude higher in the latter categories.

Amir
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
10:13 PM Liked: 10
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10-23-2005 | Posts: 162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Neoangin, MHP is fully included in BD-J. They have simply added more interfaces for BD subsystem. Sun does not allow subsetting of Java system.

Amir
This FUD is getting old Amir.

Sun has no say over whether MHP gets subsetted, which it has. BD-J is a subset of MHP, because GEM is a subset of MHP, and BD-J is apparently subset of GEM.

The only thing which cannot be subsetted is J2ME profiles. You're either CLDC compliant or not. CDC compliant or not. FP compliant or not. PBP compliant or not. It works exactly the same as W3C profiles for XHTML, SMIL, SVG, etc. You can XHTML Basic compliant, but you can't adopt "half" the XHTML Basic profile. You support either the full XHTML Basic, or not. Or with SMIL, you're not supposed to adopt a subset of the Animation module or Layout module, unless the working group specifically creates a "Tiny" subset of it. In theory, you are allowed to create new document types which compose modules from W3C abstract modules, but you shouldn't call them "SMIL" Anyone can subset Java APIs and implement their own VM and runtime. But Sun won't allow you to call it "Java"


Jobobo, Java is not outdated on the client. On the contrary, J2ME is an enormous success, and J2SE on the desktop is making a comeback (e.g. Azureus, Eclipse RCP). Not to mention the fact that Java IDEs like Eclipse and IntelliJ put the smackdown on Visual Studio in terms of code editing, refactoring, et al.

BTW, it's a good thing Sun has a policy of not letting the profiles get subsetted. If you want to subset, create a JSR for a new profile. Allowing arbitrary subsetting by any VM licensee would make writing portable apps targeted at a specific profile next to impossible.

But, of course, MS has great experience subsetting specs, like CSS2. And we all know how fabulously that helped cross-browser web development.
r
amirm's Avatar amirm
10:54 PM Liked: 547
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10-23-2005 | Posts: 18,375
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
This FUD is getting old Amir.
So is your passion for anything Java :).

Quote:
Sun has no say over whether MHP gets subsetted, which it has. BD-J is a subset of MHP, because GEM is a subset of MHP, and BD-J is apparently subset of GEM.
Read my post again. You mixed the two sentences that I wrote.

I love the way you say “apparently†as I am confident you don't have access to BD-J spec. So what you are saying is conjecture. Until BDA finishes BD-J spec, the public is not going to know what is in it.

Quote:
Jobobo, Java is not outdated on the client. On the contrary, J2ME is an enormous success, and J2SE on the desktop
I don’t agree of course but this is not a computer forum. It is a forum about high definition optical formats. Tell me which one of your A/V devices has Java in it. A/V CE world has little love for Java as evidenced by Java getting basically ZERO support in DVD Forum. And we are talking about 250 companies there. Only one company voted for it in addition to Sun!

Mark my word. Despite BD-J being in spec, I expect CE companies leave it out of their products next year. Screams about complexity is being heard all the way across the Pacific ocean :). And the spec work still continues as I type this….

Quote:
BTW, it's a good thing Sun has a policy of not letting the profiles get subsetted. If you want to subset, create a JSR for a new profile. Allowing arbitrary subsetting by any VM licensee would make writing portable apps targeted at a specific profile next to impossible.
As people have said repeatedly, no one cares about running existing apps on BD players. We are talking about what needs to go with a movie. There is no existing app for such an animal. Nor will end-users have a way to run programs on these players.

Quote:
But, of course, MS has great experience subsetting specs, like CSS2. And we all know how fabulously that helped cross-browser web development.
r
More misdirection and OT comment. I never said there was something wrong one way or the other with subsetting. I simply stated it as a matter fact to people who say you can leave stuff behind. You simply can not.

Amir
DeadmeatGA's Avatar DeadmeatGA
11:09 PM Liked: 10
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10-23-2005 | Posts: 560
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Comparing iHD vs Java is like which is getting more use in the real world, JavaScript or Java. Of course JavaScript is used 50 times as much as Java because it is better suited for the purpose of interactive web presentation.

I personally don't understand the reason Sony picked Java for a menu scripting system; it is an overkill, a cost prohibitive one that is.
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
11:22 PM Liked: 10
post #12 of 247
10-23-2005 | Posts: 162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Tell me which one of your A/V devices has Java in it. A/V CE world has little love for Java as evidenced by Java getting basically ZERO support in DVD Forum. And we are talking about 250 companies there. Only one company voted for it in addition to Sun!
I was responding to Jobobo, not you, and he used the terminology "client". Client doesn't imply CE. Java in embedded space is whipping MS's butt. Compare J2ME deployment against WinCE/.NET CF.

If I had to rank what I'd like to see in a next-gen format:

#1 Flash
#2 Java
#3 SMIL


Quote:
As people have said repeatedly, no one cares about running existing apps on BD players
It has nothing to do with running existing "apps". It has to do with developer expectations. One doesn't take java.lang.String and leave out half the methods. It breaks more than apps, it violates the principle of least surprise for the existing developers, and kills reusable utility classes they already have.

Microsoft's subsetting of Win32 in WinCE has been schizophrenic, so that a developer often won't know what the hell is missing until the linker stage. You don't just subset willy nilly without going through the proper channels. Does Microsoft let IHVs subset DirectX and still pass WHQL? No, Microsoft gathers IHVs together and creates new Shader Models, like SM2.a, SM2.b, PS1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4, etc.


If you want to subset an existing profile, the proper course of action is to go through the JCP. You are free to subset it anyway if you want, just don't call it J2ME.


Quote:
We are talking about what needs to go with a movie.
Exactly, and what needs to go with a movie is minimal. iHD isn't need either. As I have said countless times, BD-J is forward looking, because optical formats shouldn't just be about movies. For movies, I want minimalist menus. But I want educational discs for my children in the living room. And I don't think iHD can deliver it.

If you're going to argue flashy intros and transitions, I will again argue that Flash is far superior. What do Hollywood studio movie sites use today? if I visit "www.foo-themovie.com", will I see SMIL? No. I won't even see DHTML most of the time. The entire site will more than 80% of the time, be completely in flash. Flash is 10x better than SMIL at delivering interactivity. The complexity angle is nonsense. Once of the principle reasons Flash "won" was because of the tiny size of the original Flash plugin. Once you understand the SWF format, handling it isn't hard. The real requirement is a proper 2D Canvas API such as Quartz, GDI+, Java Graphics2D, etc.

To get anything close to the "Flash look" with SMIL, you have to prerender animations with an effects package, like Adobe After Effects, and then integrate them with SMIL. This is far more tedious than doing the same thing in Macromedia Studio. It also means the menus will operate slower (or disc bootup/startup time) as the clips have to be loaded from disc, whereas flash representations of menu items and transitions are extremely compact.
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
11:26 PM Liked: 10
post #13 of 247
10-23-2005 | Posts: 162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ********GA
Comparing iHD vs Java is like which is getting more use in the real world, JavaScript or Java. Of course JavaScript is used 50 times as much as Java because it is better suited for the purpose of interactive web presentation.

I personally don't understand the reason Sony picked Java for a menu scripting system; it is an overkill, a cost prohibitive one that is.
No, DHTML has, until AJAX and Google, been mostly a failure at interactivity. 99% of web interactivity is still request/response and server-side.

There is good reason why DHTML took so long to take off: Microsoft and Netscape's ****** and conflicting implementations of CSS and DOM. Thank God Firefox is giving them some competition. I still await the day when Microsoft is *finally* CSS2 compliant.
Richard Paul's Avatar Richard Paul
12:03 AM Liked: 29
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10-24-2005 | Posts: 6,959
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
Exactly, and what needs to go with a movie is minimal. iHD isn't need either. As I have said countless times, BD-J is forward looking, because optical formats shouldn't just be about movies. For movies, I want minimalist menus. But I want educational discs for my children in the living room. And I don't think iHD can deliver it.
DemoCoder, just curious but could you give an example or two of how BD-J would be better than iHD with something like an educational disc? Personally I don't doubt that BD-J is more capable than iHD but it would be interesting to hear about an example of that difference.
aaaaa0's Avatar aaaaa0
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10-24-2005 | Posts: 104
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Wasn't there a DVD Forum requirements spec for HD DVD interactivity posted sometime back?

Oh here it is: http://dvdforum.org/images/Requireme...n-July2005.pdf

So is the assertion that iHD can accomplish every scenario in the requirements spec, otherwise the DVD Forum would not have accepted it?
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
12:36 AM Liked: 10
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10-24-2005 | Posts: 162
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Well, this is based on supposition, and not fact, because details of iHD are not public that I'm aware of, but amir claims it is based on XML/SMIL + JavaScript.

There are three issues:

1) UI input
2) dynamic UI (can the UI be constructed at runtime instead of design time?)
3) persistent store


The first deals with interactivity beyond clicking a button or multiple choice, such as filing in a text field. In theory, one could could struct a textfield in raw SMIL alone by using 26+ individual graphic buttons representing letters, and an SMIL layout to represent each letter of the entered text (feedback for the user). But it would be onerous to construct. This would allow users to enter text by navigating and clicking on images representing letters. However, this is an extremely limited hack.

It is unknown to me if iHD includes a text entry widget, like when you enter Wishlists on Tivo.

JavaScript on browsers includes some data entry functions, such as window.alert() and window.prompt(), but it is unclear that these exist on iHD or are preserved in some other equivalent function to prompt for input.

#2 Dynamic UI. Sometimes, it is neccessary, based on user action, or network data, to dynamic create the UI programatically, rather than it being done statically at design time. Again, it is unknown if iHD preserves features that JavaScript has the Web world, such as the ability to modify the Document Object Model associated with the SMIL being shown, or modify the visual state, such as moving the position of objects, and showing/hiding/disabling them in navigation focus traversal.

The problem is, without dynamic UI, you have to prerender all your menus, and if iHD just uses SMIL, I am unsure how they deal with using high quality OpenType fonts for rasterizing onsceen dynamic text. With BD-J, you can call up downloadable or disc resident fonts of your choice. With SMIL, you'd use CSS to describe which font to use for a piece of layed out text. But no one has said if iHD includes CSS and a CSS Media Type/Group defined for it.

If no CSS is present, and no extensions to the <text> element exist to assign font characteristics, then one might have to rasterize fonts into images, and that's highly annoying to author, and makes rendering dynamic text very difficult.


Consider for example, asking the user to type in his or her name, and then displaying Subtitles on the movie in which the main character's name is replaced with the user's own name. or more simply, how about just asking the user's name, and then displaying "Hello, (user)" on the screen?

Amir hasn't even said whether iHD = XHTML (some profile, say basic) + SMIL (not fully SMIL, but SMIL modules overlayed on XHTML namespace) + JScript, or just SMIL+JScript. And if it is XHTML, is it XHTML + Forms, or XHTML basic - forms. What about presentation markup? XHTML has none, so you need CSS, so how does iHD define text characteristics? And if CSS, which CSS?

#3 Persistance. Some applications require transient persistence (lost when device is powered off, or disc is removed) and others require permanent persistence (survive reboots). Again, it's unknown what the iHD persistence model is. Even DVD Menuing has a transient persistence model in registers, so without a doubt, iHD must contain some form of global transient persistence so that menus can pass variable data between them.

The question is, does it posess permanent persistence (local store)

Maybe Amir can spill the beens. If iHD is so cool, why can't MS release some public docs on it? Especially since it consists of mostly elements from existing W3C and ECMA standards, it should be easy. I can't find even one single presentation on the web about iHD authoring.

BTW, some of those requirements are rather vague. What does supporting Chat mean? Which chat protocol? MSN Messenger? Yahoo? Jabber XMPP? Does iHD JavaScript contain generic TCP/IP socket handling? How is a game synchronized with video handled? Does iHD javascript contain 2D/3D framebuffer rendering classes?


BTW Amir, you claimed in another post you never said BD-J has 10,000 methods, yet here you are http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post6264280 claiming it. As I said, a complete grep of the entire CDC + PBP + JavaTV+ GEM + JMF produces ~5800 methods. There is no way the org.bluray classes add the other 4200 methods.
aaaaa0's Avatar aaaaa0
12:55 AM Liked: 10
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10-24-2005 | Posts: 104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
BTW, some of those requirements are rather vague.
I think that's intentional. This is a requirements spec from the DVD Forum to the people who are coming up with the interaction standard, not a design spec indicating precisely how everything works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 1.1
This document defines functional and performance requirements for HD DVD Video. These requirements are expressed in terms of the desired end-user experience that should be achievable with content that complies with the HD DVD Video Specifications version 1.0.

The usage scenarios and functional requirements disclosed in this document were created by utilizing input from a variety of motion picture studios and entertainment companies. Subsequently, the performance requirements were derived through consultation with both consumer electronics manufacturers and information technology companies.
So read it as the DVD Forum's list of "things the interactivity standard must be able to do", as opposed to "this is what it needs to do, and this is precisely how you must do it".
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
01:14 AM Liked: 10
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The question is, how does iHD fulfill them? For example, a specific binding to MSN Messenger to support chat would be intolerable to me. I have a feeling/suspicion that network support means XMLHTTP requests.
kjack's Avatar kjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
If you're going to argue flashy intros and transitions, I will again argue that Flash is far superior.
Flash was looked at before anything else as I recall, but there were a couple of major issues, one related to $ and one related to required CPU horsepower. The latest version of flash requires a FPU, which is only bundled with the bigger, more expensive embedded CPUs. And one of requirements was not to require more than a 200-300 MHz CPU to keep player cost reasonable.

Then along came several proposals that assumed players used a 3GHz CPU and/or the latest 3D graphics chip ($$$ + heatsinks). It was obvious that these people had no clue about the CE market...

The Java demonstration on a SD DVB STB, shall we say, left lots to be desired. The word "boring" comes to mind...

So there's iHD. A lot of work over many months went into proving that it could handle all the scenarios requested by the studios. Indeed, there was tracking done to indicate that "studio request [n] is now supported this way..."
Semblance's Avatar Semblance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjack
The Java demonstration on a SD DVB STB, shall we say, left lots to be desired. The word "boring" comes to mind...
I don't think there is any question of what BD-J is capable of, since Java is a general purpose programming language, so this comment doesn't seem relevant.
amirm's Avatar amirm
03:31 PM Liked: 547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semblance
I don't think there is any question of what BD-J is capable of, since Java is a general purpose programming language, so this comment doesn't seem relevant.
So was the assembly language of Intel 8080 processor that I learned programming on :). The machine that I was playing with could only light up 8 LEDs in response to anything I wrote. By your definition, that would have been exciting because there was a "language" behind it.

By way of example, a language doesn't do anything if there is no way to output or input anything. The language gives you control (and may be "power"). But it is what is around it that can make it "exciting."

Amir
hmurchison's Avatar hmurchison
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The major problem with iHD is that there's no website setup where we can see the features and benefits. I know consumers won't make the decision but when MS comes out and says iHD is better we cannot quantify that with our own opinion because of the dearth of public info on iHD.
kjack's Avatar kjack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semblance
I don't think there is any question of what BD-J is capable of, since Java is a general purpose programming language, so this comment doesn't seem relevant.
You may know the capabilities, but there are a lot of people with varying backgrounds in BDA and DVD Forum, and every vote counts.

In contrast to the one canned Java demo, Microsoft and Disney put forth a huge amount of effort to demo the many different ways iHD could be used to do various studio requests, using actual content from the studios. So if you weren't a Java programmer with a good imagination, which one to vote for was obvious.
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
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Quote:
Flash was looked at before anything else as I recall, but there were a couple of major issues, one related to $ and one related to required CPU horsepower. The latest version of flash requires a FPU, which is only bundled with the bigger, more expensive embedded CPUs. And one of requirements was not to require more than a 200-300 MHz CPU to keep player cost reasonable.
I guess mobile phones must be running 3Ghz CPUs. :) There are 4 dozen mobile phones that run FlashLite (still impressive enough to beat SMIL). In reality, FlashLite runs on sub 300Mhz CPUs, without an FPU, and on limited battery power. In fact, these phones even run SVG-T. A 300Mhz MIPs CPU should be more than enough to run it, although it may have to dispense with high quality antialiased rendering in 720p/1080 resolutions since lines and gradients will have to be software rasterized unless you have a good integrated graphics chip.

Quote:
So there's iHD. A lot of work over many months went into proving that it could handle all the scenarios requested by the studios. Indeed, there was tracking done to indicate that "studio request [n] is now supported this way..."
How does it handle internet chat? How does it handle games synchronized with video? How does it handle multiplayer gaming over the internet? How does it render flash style transitions, wipes, fills, tweening, etc You're trying to tell me all of that is done with XHTML or SMIL + JavaScript? There aren't even good quality games and clients written today in DHTML under much more powerful browser platforms.

Why must iHD be kept so secret? I don't get it. All we hear are unsupported statements over and ove again about a backroom dog and pony show that looked impressive (yes, a bunch of high quality clips synced together can look nice, and just look at Sony's PS3 dog and pony show and how it seemed way more impressive to the E3 press due to pre-rendered clips vs MS real-time but unimpressive XB360 demos) compared to what sounds like an incompetent Java demo (probably the one shown in the BDJ PDF slides).

If HDDVD insiders refuse iHD specifics, they should refrain from making vacuous claims that can't be examined, and just shut up until it ships.
sspears's Avatar sspears
05:24 PM Liked: 54
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Quote:
Why must iHD be kept so secret?
It is not, it is fully documented in the HD-DVD spec. You can purchase a copy of the 1.0 spec from the DVD Forum.
sspears's Avatar sspears
05:26 PM Liked: 54
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Quote:
How does it handle multiplayer gaming over the internet?
Wouldn't that be better suited on a PS3 or XBOX360?
kjack's Avatar kjack
05:27 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
If HDDVD insiders refuse iHD specifics, they should refrain from making vacuous claims that can't be examined, and just shut up until it ships.
OK, I'm out of here. Let me know when you have some manners and looked up the meaning of "NDA".
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
05:36 PM Liked: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspears
Wouldn't that be better suited on a PS3 or XBOX360?
It's in the list of HD-DVD requirements in the requirements document that was posted.
DemoCoder's Avatar DemoCoder
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post #29 of 247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjack
OK, I'm out of here. Let me know when you have some manners and looked up the meaning of "NDA".

NDA still doesn't mean one can make unsupported assertions and appeal to authority. This is a public forum for public debate. Insiders debating the merits of iHD and BD-J at BDA and DVDForum can do it behind closed doors with everyone under NDA. But out here, on the message boards, one cannot have a meaningful debate of iHD vs BD-J without specifics. I have been trying to inject specifics on the BD-J based on whitepapers and JavaOne presentations, existing GEM/MHP and JMF/PBP/CDC docs to extrapolate what is possible.

What good does it do AVSForum members who are insiders to trade barbs back and forth "it does X" "it does NOT", "X > Y", "No, X < Y"?

Thus, if Amir et al want to really make claims of iHD superiority, they need to back it up with facts, and stop leaning on NDA or other excuses. Are we to accept Amir's word as the oracle to decide these matters?

I'm not bashing you specifically, but can't you see that all the innuendo can be irritating to those geeks here who are interested in technical details?
kjack's Avatar kjack
06:23 PM Liked: 10
post #30 of 247
10-24-2005 | Posts: 2,458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemoCoder
I'm not bashing you specifically, but can't you see that all the innuendo can be irritating to those geeks here who are interested in technical details?
Yes, I know how irritating it can be - there are still unknown things about both formats I find irritating. :)

BTW, to help guide you to an answer to some of your questions, assume everything is a closed, proprietary implementation and gaming capability is geared towards kids, not teenagers and adults. Think "how simple can I make this?"

BTW-BTW, flashlite either wasn't considered to be powerful enough or they wouldn't license it for this application. Don't remember which. Probably the latter.

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