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post #1441 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Say what? You mean upconvert the movie to 60i?
It seems fairly likely at the moment. Isn't that what the Toshiba is doing now? I think most HD broadcasters also do that except for those who convert everything to 720p/60.

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post #1442 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
I'm sure the answer to this will entirely depend on the economics of producing BD DL, which are unknown at this time. If producing one DL costs less than 2x SL then obviously DL would make sense. If it's substantially more than 2x, then it's a matter of how the studio would balance profit margin vs. their expectations of how customers would respond to two discs...
Actually, you're half right. If the cost of packaging 2x SL plus its fabrication is more than a single DL and its packaging, then it should make sense to a studio for either HD or BD. Lest we forget all the 4-disc and 10-disc DVD sets on the market today. Packaging plays a factor in distribution choices as well. Just FYI.

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post #1443 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by trbarry
It seems fairly likely at the moment. Isn't that what the Toshiba is doing now? I think most HD broadcasters also do that except for those who convert everything to 720p/60.

- Tom
The Toshiba does not "upsample". It repeats existing field information as necessary to create a 60-field output which is not technically upsampling when you think about it. This is the same as DVD has been almost since inception for the majority of feature films on the market (There's always 1 or 2 who don't know to remove the telecine first...).

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post #1444 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
DVD interactivity is virtually impossible to implement; the platform capabilities are so limited that studios simply can't go much beyond menus and extra video content. As you've mentioned, multiple angles just isn't that compelling. (Maybe for porn, but I digress.)
When surveyors ask if people are interested in "interactive TV" they uniformly say no. When they ask if they're interested in voting for American Idol they overwhelmingly say yes, even though that's interactive TV. The point is the studios have to come up with compelling content, and given a sufficiently capable platform I'm confident they will.

Here's an example. "Scene It" is now the number one brand in gaming (surpassing Monopoly last year). The producers of Scene It pulled off a Herculean task to build that game on standard DVD. Building it on Blu-ray would be a natural; you could build a game engine and UI as complex as you care to, and you could store an absurd amount of game data (movie clips, audio, stills, etc.). How about putting a mini version of Scene It on a movie? Have a trivia-related game built around a single title (would probably work better for a beloved title like Star Wars than it would for the Dukes of Hazzard). For certain types of movies this could be incredibly popular, and could easily use up as much space as they cared to for additional HD clips and such. It would add great value to the movie for a good chunk of the viewers, and would be great promotion for other versions of Scene It.

This could easily turn a 25GB title into a 50GB disc. I expect to see this sort of thing emerge over time to the point where you have lots of additional, valuable content being put on the discs.

- Talk
Talk,

Very compelling arguments. I saw the DVD game for "Who Wants To Be A Millionare" from Britain and also found it intriguing. It has a random question engine. Problem is, like Dragon Slayer from Don Bluth's studios, it suffered from a lot of pauses due to the format's inability to jump from disc point to disc point seamlessly. This is now just a matter of good compression bit-budgeting on BD and HD to enable seamless branching. However, my question to you is this, can a randomization engine exist in BD (And HD for anyone else)? How difficult is it to bit-budget for seamless branching in BD? Do you have mux bitrate numbers for what's required/recommended to pull that off? I've got the HD numbers and it does work pretty clean.

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post #1445 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dialog_gvf
I wonder if Blu-ray peak video rate (designed for MPEG-2) is total overkill for VC-1 or H.264. Isn't the vid peak rate for Blu-ray 40Mbps?

40Mbps VC-1 or H.264? Does it make much sense to have rates 10Mbps beyond HD DVD's ability to handle a silent movie without IME?

Can some insider define a reasonable "gee I wish I had that" peak rate for VC-1 and H.264?

Gary
Gary,

I recently did a scene that, at first glance, I'd wished I'd had the 40Mbit (yes, that's the peak for BD) PBR to handle it automatically on the 2nd pass of the VBR. But then I just worked harder at it and found a solution that looked like the source at below 20Mbits (Req'd for IME/TrueHD combo on HD). Once again, it's who is behind the wheel and the toolset they're given, not the ABR/PBR determining the quality of the encode. There's no guarantee that a 20/40 encode will come out perfect every time even on the advanced codecs.

In fact, there's probably less chance right now until the toolsets evolve properly with real compressionists guiding their development. We've talked to at least 10 companies in the last year alone on HD DVD encoding, not to mention the hundreds over the years for VOD, IPTV, Internet Media, and DVD encoding. If they listen to us and work with us, then they usually make a product other people buy (I've seen it, it works) since we're the customer here. I've also seen companies fall by the wayside who made good products, but just wouldn't tweak them at all.

So, overall, there are ABR/PBR combos we'd like to see to make our jobs easier, but it still wouldn't be that much of a difference. That scene at 40Mbits still had issues... :eek:

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post #1446 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
Unless you upsample the 24p rather than downsample the 60i.
Say what? You mean upconvert the movie to 60i?
Now I get this line of questioning... We've been tasked before to reduce video to 24p without blurring it and losing sync for Internet material only. It works, but takes about 6 hours to do right for SD and looks okay. With PIP/Sub Video, the best way to go about it is to have someone give you an EDL noting 24p and 30i video cuts and the script fixing the video as necessary to remove the telecine from the 24p interviews/on-set stuff and fixing the 30i-shot material as necessary. It would be tough, but doable.

Talk is right that BD and HD require this framerate alignment so that you have no stuttering on final output to the monitor. However, I believe I'm right in saying that you (our customers) at AVSForum would prefer we bring down the PIP in BD rather than insert 3:2 flags in the feature to make it 60i. Right? (Turn the thread around, that's funny...).

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post #1447 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
The Toshiba does not "upsample". It repeats existing field information as necessary to create a 60-field output which is not technically upsampling when you think about it. This is the same as DVD has been almost since inception for the majority of feature films on the market (There's always 1 or 2 who don't know to remove the telecine first...).

Cjplay.
Actually the word Amir (not I) used was "upconvert", not "upsample". I took it to mean the ubiquitous and convenient (but annoying) process you just described though possibly he was indeed referring to some sort of interpolated frame rate upconversion.

Amir?

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post #1448 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by trbarry
Actually the word Amir (not I) used was "upconvert", not "upsample". I took it to mean the ubiquitous and convenient (but annoying) process you just described though possibly he was indeed referring to some sort of interpolated frame rate upconversion.

Amir?

- Tom
Ah. Yes, that's done all too often and with the incorrect toolset.

However, removing every 5th field in an SD 30i sequence and tweaking it just right can reduce the stutter enough to make a pretty good 24p/48i. This is how I'd rather do it. Especially since you'll rarely see the full 720x480 PIP res on screen. Why? the iHD downscales it in pre-determined levels of scale. Also, it's 1.50:1 and not the correct aspect for 4x3 and 16x9.

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post #1449 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 11:31 AM
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Cjplay,

Not sure if this was asked or not, but on a few HD DVD releases, the branching feature was not used to display the alternate ending or inserting deleted scenes back into the movie, where as on the DVD version they were.

One WHV example is 16 blocks. You can choose which ending to watch on the DVD side yet on the HD DVD side, you can't watch it as part of the movie presentation but as an extra feature just like you would a deleted scene reel or a blooper reel. Ray, just released by Universal dropped the extended scenes from the main presentation which was an option on the DVD version.

Can you give us an insider's reasoning for this? Is there a technical limitation or bug at this point or time preventing this from happening? Is it simply that people are not yet fully accustomed to the toolsets to put these features in use? Or is it the studios being lazy on implementing these features back into the main presentation.

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post #1450 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by zalahmar
Cjplay,

Not sure if this was asked or not, but on a few HD DVD releases, the branching feature was not used to display the alternate ending or inserting deleted scenes back into the movie, where as on the DVD version they were.

One WHV example is 16 blocks. You can choose which ending to watch on the DVD side yet on the HD DVD side, you can't watch it as part of the movie presentation but as an extra feature just like you would a deleted scene reel or a blooper reel. Ray, just released by Universal dropped the extended scenes from the main presentation which was an option on the DVD version.

Can you give us an insider's reasoning for this? Is there a technical limitation or bug at this point or time preventing this from happening? Is it simply that people are not yet fully accustomed to the toolsets to put these features in use? Or is it the studios being lazy on implementing these features back into the main presentation.

Thanks
Right now, the toolset itself for both formats is still maturing, but there should be a branched title by the end of the year from one of the studios. No promises/titles, though.

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post #1451 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 12:41 PM
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Talk,

Which studios have a full working toolset of BD-J that they'll be using in titles released before the end of the year?

Can we expect to see IME in BR before the end of the year using BD-J?
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post #1452 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
The point is the studios have to come up with compelling content, and given a sufficiently capable platform I'm confident they will.

Here's an example. "Scene It" is now the number one brand in gaming (surpassing Monopoly last year).
- Talk
Thx. You make a very good case that advanced interacvity could take off this time around.

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post #1453 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Say what? You mean upconvert the movie to 60i?
You had suggested that BD's requirement that the primary and secondary video (PiP) framerate match implied a loss of resolution if the primary video is 60i and the PiP is 24p, since the primary video would need to be encoded as 24p. I was simply suggesting the alternative is to re-encode the 24p secondary video as 60i, thus preserving the full fidelity of the primary video.

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post #1454 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cjplay
Can a randomization engine exist in BD (And HD for anyone else)?
Certainly in BD-J, and I'd be shocked it there wasn't a randomization function in iHD as well.
Quote:
How difficult is it to bit-budget for seamless branching in BD? Do you have mux bitrate numbers for what's required/recommended to pull that off? I've got the HD numbers and it does work pretty clean.
I'll have to defer to Keith on that one.

- Talk

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post #1455 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertR1
Which studios have a full working toolset of BD-J that they'll be using in titles released before the end of the year?
I'm not at liberty to name studios, but Sonic's Scenarist has full BD-J support, in addition to Panasonic's BD-J authoring facility, so certainly the tools are available to any studio which wishes to access them.
Quote:
Can we expect to see IME in BR before the end of the year using BD-J?
Fox demonstrated an IME-like environment using BD-J and noted they anticipate titles being available this year. All of the BD studios have BD-J efforts underway, but it's up to them to announce title release plans.

Perhaps cjplay can address Warner's plans with regards to IME on BD.

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post #1456 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
I'm not at liberty to name studios, but Sonic's Scenarist has full BD-J support, in addition to Panasonic's BD-J authoring facility, so certainly the tools are available to any studio which wishes to access them.
Just for completeness, by “tools†you mean ability to mux the BD-J into A/V stream and simulators for watching the whole thing to make sure it works. Correct?

If so, why zero publication in BD-J? I mean the same Warner content that has iHD, lacks it in BD version, even for menus. Simple things like progress bars and bookmarks are lacking. It is not like they think these things are of no value or they wouldn’t create things like IME.

Quote:
Fox demonstrated an IME-like environment using BD-J and noted they anticipate titles being available this year. All of the BD studios have BD-J efforts underway, but it's up to them to announce title release plans.
So again, what explains the Warner and now Paramount situation where they are leaving behind their interactivity? They have the motivation. You say they have the tools. And they even have a design from their HD DVD work. What else is there?

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post #1457 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
Perhaps cjplay can address Warner's plans with regards to IME on BD.
Nothing concrete yet. Will advise, though.
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post #1458 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Just for completeness, by “tools†you mean ability to mux the BD-J into A/V stream and simulators for watching the whole thing to make sure it works. Correct?
As well as tools for authoring the BD-J content itself, prior to muxing.
Quote:
If so, why zero publication in BD-J?
Off the top of my head, there are several factors at play. Lead time, for one - tools need to be in place months before the release date of a title, let alone considering time for training developers on those tools, ensuring the tools and the resulting content are correct, etc. BD-J support in Scenarist and Blu-print has only been available for a few months, so the result of BD-J tool availability hasn't worked its way through the content lifecycle yet.

Availability of players is another factor. The Samsung player wasn't widely available for developer use prior to launch, whereas the Toshiba had been available beforehand. Further, since the Toshiba is the only HD-DVD player on the horizon, studios didn't have to consider testing the content for compatibility with future players. Since the Samsung is being followed by half-a-dozen other BD players based on different hardware and software implementations, it's prudent for the studios to ensure their content is compatible with the player implementations rather than rushing to market and dealing with any potential problems through firmware upgrades.

Also, VC-1 content was available at HD-DVD launch primarily because Microsoft (as the sole vendor of the encoding tools) was willing to throw tremendous resources at the studios to assist with that release. A similar approach was taken with iHD, also essentially a single-vendor technology. Microsoft has a huge stake in ensuring iHD's success, since it's really the only remaining barrier Microsoft has in preventing Java from being the de facto platform standard for all digital television content going forward. Since BD-J support (the implementations and the tools) is provided by many vendors, there isn't a singular company throwing the same level of resources at BD-J authoring as you have with Microsoft and iHD. The result is a more diverse ecosystem, though one which takes longer to develop.

As with the Blu-ray format itself, the BD-J platform will tremendously enhance high-def content. The fact that it wasn't available on Day One of Blu-ray's launch in no way diminishes the value it offers consumers.

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post #1459 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
Talk is right that BD and HD require this framerate alignment so that you have no stuttering on final output to the monitor. However, I believe I'm right in saying that you (our customers) at AVSForum would prefer we bring down the PIP in BD rather than insert 3:2 flags in the feature to make it 60i. Right? (Turn the thread around, that's funny...).

Cjplay.
You are being mischievous CJ :)

The BD approach of frameconverting PiP content to the main feature rate is a good compromise, some consumers only wish to watch films (not extras). Preservation of 24p output is extremely important.

Side question for insiders.

Say I have a BD disk with a 24p feature, also on the disk is a doco at 60i. Say I set my BD player to native (e.g output 24p for 24p content, 60i for 60i content). I then watch the film followed by the doco.

Will modern HDMI displays (which support 24p and 60i, e.g Pio plasma) be able to flick seamlessly between 24p mode and 60i mode? Does HDMI support framerate resyncing for a single view session?

Anyway I thought I'd ask, it wouldn't suprise if the answer is "we don't know".

Dennis.
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post #1460 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HighDeff
Does any of you insiders, plan to attend the European HD introduction in Berlin at the IFA show sept 1.-6. ??

(HD = HD-DVD).

If yes, at what location.?
Yes. IFA.

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post #1461 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 06:41 PM
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Amir,

Does Toshiba have any plans to use the Cell in their future player? Considering the PS3 won't require GPU hardware acceleration and Sony claiming that the Cell can do all the multimedia needs of a stand alone BR Player with it's more demanding specs over HD DVD.....why would Toshiba, who co developed the Cell, knows it's limitations/performance, would spend money on Broadcom and SoC solutions when they could simply use their own tech and make it happen?
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post #1462 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR1
Amir,

Does Toshiba have any plans to use the Cell in their future player?
Not to my knowledge.

Quote:
Considering the PS3 won't require GPU hardware acceleration and Sony claiming that the Cell can do all the multimedia needs of a stand alone BR Player with it's more demanding specs over HD DVD
Well, there is a question that I posed on that. MPEG-4 AVC decode at high data rate is going to be a big challenge for them. Since no one has yet to see PS3 decode commercial content, we have no evidence yet that they can handle this difficult task.

Yes, parallel architectures help with codecs. But the consoles are more designed for graphics, than "multimedia." In addition, just like game development, these platforms are not easy to extract performance out of them. Using multiple cores, GPUs and scheduling tasks between them can require a lot of work and skill. You need to understand codec algorithms and game architecture. This combination is hard to come by. We are fortunate enough to have them under one roof and it still was a lot of work.

Quote:
why would Toshiba, who co developed the Cell, knows it's limitations/performance, would spend money on Broadcom and SoC solutions when they could simply use their own tech and make it happen?
What is good for a game console, may not be good for a dedicated player. In general, for a fixed function application, a dedicated design always wins out in cost, power consumption and board real estate because it has less to carry, and can keep getting optimized. We need to get down to $300, $200 and eventually $100 players. I don’t see how that can work, using a programmable part like the CELL.

There was some hype a couple of years ago around CELL being used in every CE equipment. But as realities of power consumption, yield and availability hit, folks got more sober and went to more traditional designs :).

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post #1463 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
Also, VC-1 content was available at HD-DVD launch primarily because Microsoft (as the sole vendor of the encoding tools)
Talk, you left Sonic and Inlet out in the cold on that one...

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post #1464 of 4623 Old 08-13-2006, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb99
You are being mischievous CJ :)
Who, me?? :o Some people on this forum take this stuff too seriously, pro or not. The occasional joke (see the YouTube Joke thread in this forum section) keeps things in perspective. IT'S ENTERTAINMENT!!! Not Nuclear weapons! I knew a content scheduler for Starz who did that previously. He was the easiest client to get along with.

Quote:
Will modern HDMI displays (which support 24p and 60i, e.g Pio plasma) be able to flick seamlessly between 24p mode and 60i mode? Does HDMI support framerate resyncing for a single view session?

Anyway I thought I'd ask, it wouldn't suprise if the answer is "we don't know".

Dennis.
GOOD QUESTION!!! I'll check and get back to you. Our features are 24p, but we've got some BTS stuff that's 60i.

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post #1465 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
So, overall, there are ABR/PBR combos we'd like to see to make our jobs easier, but it still wouldn't be that much of a difference. That scene at 40Mbits still had issues... :eek:
Cjplay.
With MPEG2 or VC-1?
I remember a shot on the DVD of Koyaanisqatsi (the limited edition good one not the poor MGM official crap one) that had a big artifact at even 9 Mbit/s. It was not solvable with the encoder used at maximum bit rate said the compressionist. So was that 40 Mbit/s scene also of the furious motion from frame to frame type?
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post #1466 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 07:36 AM
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Do any insiders here use/have access to a DD+ encoder?

I'd like to run some test encodes in DD+ at various bitrates and do some source comparisons for a couple of charts I'm trying to put together.

Please let me know by PM if you're able to give me a hand with this?

Thanks!
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post #1467 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 09:17 AM
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Does any insider know if the PS3 will relay on a software solution instead of having any hardware dedicated to Blu-ray movie playback?

If the PS3 will play Blu-ray VC-1 or AVC encoded movies with a software solution, will that software solution be capable of the peak bandwidth in that the Blu-ray format has in its specs?

Is the PS3 cell processor powerful enough to fully play Blu-ray movies in software at the Blu-ray peak bandwidth ?

If that PS3 peak bandwidth is less than than the published Blu-ray specifications, would it make sense that Sony would insure that no Blu-ray releases would exceed the lesser PS3 capability?

If so, would that lesser (hypothetical) PS3 software peak bandwidth become the de facto Blu-ray peak bandwidth?

Would that be any higher than the HD DVD hardware and 360 add on maximumpeak bandwidth rate?

In other words, would the real world implementation of the Blu-ray specs in the PS3 actually limit Blu-ray to a lessor peak bandwidth, and thus negate any Blu-ray advantage in this area?

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post #1468 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
We are not hearing this. But have forwarded that thread to Toshiba engineers in Japan. Will let you know if we learn anything.
Anything on this yet?

Great ISF Job by Chad B.
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post #1469 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
All codecs are supported in the 360. I don't think anyone is here to confirm the PS3 specs though. That is a shame, as I would love to know if they can pull off AVC decode at the high peaks BD supports. This is one pain in the neck codec to run in software at HD rates with high peaks (OK Keith/Tom, you owe me one for plugging your SoC solution indirectly ). This is one time that having a lower spec for peak bandwidth helps getting a reliable experience for every title...
Quote:
Is the Vaio BD notebook non-compliant? Because it warns it can not play AVC content beyond 20 mbit/sec I believe. With 54 mbit/sec peak, the amount of CPU required grows enormously beyond the dual-core, GPU assisted decode available in that platform. We know, we put our best people on this for the 360 and it still took a lot of effort to get AVC working well at HD DVD rates. I would not have wanted to get up to 54 mbit/sec. Operations such as CABAC are big pain in the neck to optimize even when multiple cores+GPU are utilized.
Amir:

Same question I just asked for the PS3, except as regards to the Saphirre HD DVD option for the XBox 360. Is the HD DVD playback software only, and does it match the peak bit rate that is in the HD DVD specs? If its a lower rate, will that become the defacto HD DVD standard?

Quote:
Note that for PC solutions, we are on a path for full hardware decode. So any issues here is short lived.
Can you elaborate on this "full hardware decode" comment? Is this a Vista issue, if so how is it hardware related?

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post #1470 of 4623 Old 08-14-2006, 01:51 PM
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There are a bunch of people (myself included) that have 5C compliant firewire ports on their TV's without having a HDCP compliant input. I recall that when Toshiba first announced the HD-DVD player it was going to have a firewire port on it.

So my question to any insider that wants to answer:

Is there anything in the copy protection schemes or agreements that would prevent a company from putting a 5C compliant firewire port on a product with the same "rights" as a HDCP compliant port?

If a firewire port is allowed are there any other technical reasons why it would not be possible to create a player with a 5C compliant firewire port on it? Is it just cost?

By "rights" I mean not being subject to the ICT, DOT, etc provisions

Thank you,
Jeff

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