Amir, any comment about the WSR interview with Don Eklund and Chris Walker? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:21 PM
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Nah, he just doesn't know what he's talking about. His methadology sounds like he took the EVOB's size, and divided by movie duration. But the EVOB contains main video, PIP, all the audio streams, pictures, etcetera. He's measuring TOTAL bitrate for the whole movie, and claiming that's the VC-1 bitrate, near as I can figure.
Ben: I don’t have the article and don’t know if he did or not. And agree with what you said. But to be faire (if he did it right or not) the first titles had no PIP and no lossless audio. The three tracks together (for those with three) would not change the bitrate much. How much will the average be for three audio streams, subtitles and menu be on the first few titles.

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"Why do the Warner VC-1 BD titles look identical to the same encode on HD DVD if the Samsung player is hurting quality."
Listen for the sound of crickets and tumbleweed...
wouldn’t a VC-1 stream and a MPEG-2 stream use a different decoder and different settings?
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post #32 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:25 PM
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Well considering that it is most likely being subsidized that is not to much of a surprise. Also subsidzation would explain why Toshiba is the only company making HD DVD players that aren't computers
and why the slightly cheaper to build G2 player will be the same price
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post #33 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:27 PM
 
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Average bitrates can be objectively measured, so I hope someone can provide those numbers.
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post #34 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by builty
- hatred of Sun/Java after you got sued for screwing with an open standard, hence iHD
Java is not an open standard. That was also almost 10 years ago
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post #35 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Paul
Foolish move, but than again from what I heard it didn't even get enough support to get voted on.
You and general public do not know 5% of what happened. Suffice it to say, I am being exceedingly generous in not getting into this topic any more than I already have.

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Also considering Microsoft decided to support HD DVD it is not amazing that a few Blu-ray companies weren't very happy with Microsoft.
Fine if they are unhappy about us. The question is why they should be unhappy about providing you with the best technology, and the studios with the same set of choices HD DVD provided.

And think about it this way. We are in HD DVD camp, yet we are willing to help them improve their picture quality with VC-1. You think they will ever lend us a hand with HD DVD?

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No offense Amir but the implication that only VC-1 guarantees great quality is ridiculous.
That is not what I said. What I said was that because there are three different codecs used in BD titles, there are going to be a lot more title to title variations there, compared to HD DVD where only VC-1 is in use.

As to it being "ridiculous,†one major studio, Warner, has pushed aside MPEG-2 in favor of VC-1 for BD titles. And all three HD DVD studios have standardized on VC-1 for HD DVD. So clearly, they consider it the best and most capable codec to produce “great quality.†You can disagree with them, and their experts (including cjplay) but real products in the market point to VC-1 being superior, far more than any data proves the same for other codecs.

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post #36 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyP
and why the slightly cheaper to build G2 player will be the same price
Because people bought all they could make the old price? One lowers the price to stimulate demand. But if no stimuation is needed....

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post #37 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
There were many reasons for this. Foremost was that until recently, due to policy decisions, it was not possible to produce BD titles with VC-1 (why do you think the first batch of Warner titles were in MPEG-2?). And some people may remember motions by some BD companies last December to remove VC-1 from BD specifications.

On our side, we did our best to be ready should BDA become open to using our technology, going as far as writing a conversion tool for HD DVD to BD. But after folks shut the door on our face for the third time on letting VC-1 get used in BD, your eyes can't see clear with blood pouring all over them :).

Even today, VC-1 has not achieve widespread adoption on BD. The situation could change and indicators are more positive than they have ever been. But from what I see this minute, you are going to see all three codecs used, with quality varying between titles as a result of it.

Net, net, you are going to see the most benefit from VC-1 is in HD DVD where essentially all titles use it. So any advancement in our technology, has an immediate and significant impact. In contrast, if 15% of the titles in BD use it (I am just making this number up for the sake of argument), it may not lift the reputation of BD by much…

Amir
While I like VC-1 myself and would probably use it, it is clear that the other codecs can produce excellent results. We are now seeing such titles. A year from now, it is not clear that there will be a "best" codec to impartial observers. Hopefully, it won't even matter, since all titles will look as good as their sources allow.

Why didn't BDA favor VC-1? None of us know all of the interactions between the BDA and Microsoft. But it seems to be very possible that the reluctance of the BDA to use VC-1 is not completely irrational. It seems quite likely that Microsoft has more than tilted toward HD DVD in a way that may have induced certain BDA members to avoid VC-1.

We have yet to account for the massive failure of Sony's Blu-Ray disk launch, which is the subtext of the WSR interview and subject of this thread. The participants in this WSR interview seem to minimize the whole thing, with Samsung taking a tiny bit of blame. They also raise a number of questionable technical claims that need to be debunked.

Sony blames Samsung. VC-1 supporters blame MPEG2. Some say the lateness of BD50 is a part of the problem.

The evidence is now that it is not Samsung in the main (WB VC-1 titles look good on the Samsung). It is also not MPEG2 or BD50 unavailability (witness recent titles).

The problem appears to be just plain sloppy work on the part of Sony at every aspect of their production for these early titles from Sony and Lionsgate. For two months, they shipped junk. We had to wait for WB and then newer titles from Sony in order to see what BD could do.

Is it possible that, in amongst all of the technical points, the reality is that it was just plain incompetence?
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post #38 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rlsmith
The problem appears to be just plain sloppy work on the part of Sony at every aspect of their production for these early titles from Sony and Lionsgate. For two months, they shipped junk. We had to wait for WB and then newer titles from Sony in order to see what BD could do.

Is it possible that, in amongst all of the technical points, the reality is that it was just plain incompetence?
Well said and I agree! The bad launch of BD is Sony's fault. I hate that they're blaming Samsung so frequently. I honestly couldn't blame Samsung if they up and switched sides and released an HD DVD player soon. On the plus side, thankfully despite their decision to pass the buck, newer Sony BDs are looking terrific akin to what they should have looked like all along.
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post #39 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:38 PM
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OK, here it is. It got kind of long as I warned earlier :).

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Don Eklund, Sony Pictures: [on MPEG-2 vs VC-1] We’ve done lots of side-by-side tests, as you can imagine. We’ve been doing split-screen tests and comparisons for two years, getting ready to launch this format. We have AVC and VC-1 encoding tools and know the codecs and what they do.
I can tell you 100% that Sony did not have access to our professional encoder during those “two years†or even when they launched their BD titles. They made a decision to go with MPEG-2 “blind†without due testing of VC-1. I can’t comment unfortunately as to whether they do or do not have our encoder today. But I can assure you that they have never done proper testing against our professional encoder.

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Chris Walker, Pioneer Electronics: Internally, we’ve done a lot of MPEG-2 tests and are looking at VC-1— and, for the record, we actually have a different authoring tool than the one used by Sony for doing VC-1, MPEG-2, and AVC encoding—and from everything we’ve seen so far, all three codecs, to me, pretty much perform the same, as far as image quality.
Well, Pioneer has not had any access to our professional encoder, neither in the past or today as I type this. My understanding is that they have played around with a third-party VC-1 encoder. If he is saying those non-optimized encoders match MPEG-2, then I would say he is also admitting that our professional encoder runs circles around MPEG-2 :).

Quote:
WSR Reber: We have been told that the VC-1 encoding bit rate on most of the HD DVD releases thus far has averaged 12 megabits with peaks at 20.
Eklund: Gary, I can tell you that that is patently false. If you put any of these discs in the Toshiba computer and you look at the file size, you’ll find that on average, the bit rate for all the VC-1 files—the average bit rate, not the peak—is 20 Mbps.
Boy, where to start :). First, he is saying that ALL HD DVD discs are encoded with VC-1 at 20 mbit/sec (“any of these discsâ€). This of course is “patently false†as data rates vary from title to title.

Second, it is clear that they do not have the tools to extract the actual bit rate of the VC-1 stream out of the multiplexed (mixed) final stream as we have not shared them the one and only tool that can do this.

Even if one were to assume the 20 mbit number is right, you have to subtract all the audio tracks (which in some cases includes lossless) and IME. These things obviously bring the data rate down well under 20 mbit/sec.

All I can say is that they are going to be shocked when they see the next slate of HD DVD titles coming out with data rates ranging from 11 to 15 mbit/sec and this is without our latest encoder which can push these data rates substantially lower. I love to see how MPEG-2 looks at 11 mbit/sec, let alone lower.

And of course it is remarkable that they think there is a big difference between players, but not between the codecs.

Quote:
And performance-wise—we actually had Danny and WSR’s Suzanne[Hodges] and Maryellen [Oswald] out here when the Samsung player first launched to take a look at the difference from our player to the Samsung prior to Samsung announcing that they had a firmware issue—and the difference is, I believe, in what Danny and everybody else observed, is a huge difference in picture quality.
“Huge difference?†I am at CEDIA and every BD demo that I saw had compression artifacts and other encoding noise, regardless of player brand. They were all playing the same demo reel so it was easy to see the same issues on all.

Anyone who thinks there is a substantial difference between BD players has done something wrong in their comparison testing. Otherwise, we would see a ton of new threads in the BD forum, talking about how the BD quality problems are gone with these new players.

Quote:
Eklund: the Sony encoder on most films does very well at 18-megabits-persecond, and then occasionally we’ll push it to 20- or 22- or 25-megabits-per-second if we have a film that has heavy film grain.
Bless your heart Don :). I have been saying for a while that one has to go up to 25 mbit/sec with MPEG-2 to challenge VC-1 quality, and here we are with the champion of MPEG-2 saying the same thing! And of course, even with such high data rate, BD MPEG-2 titles with film grain have a really artificial look go them, with typical MPEG-2 blocking artifacts thrown in for good measure. In contrast, many HD DVD titles have grain that is natural with data rate well below what he states is necessary for MPEG-2.

Quote:
WSR Reber: When are the first 50-GB, dual-layer disc releases going to be released?
Eklund: We have a few that will be coming out this fall, but we just haven’t announced them yet.
I thought they announced and then postponed them? And why is it good for them to NOT announce BD-50 titles? I mean isn’t everyone waiting for BD-50 news from them?

Quote:
We have titles that have been tested and replicated at 50 GBs. We’ve also done a number of titles and other samples at 50 GBs.
Interesting. So they are ready and sitting in the factory, already replicated.

Quote:
WSR Reber: There have been reports all along in the trade journals relating to replication that the yield rates on the 50-GB Bluray Disc media has been very low. Has that been corrected? Has that been one of the reasons why 50-GB discs weren’t introduced
at launch?
Eklund: I believe that’s incorrect, Gary. 50-GB Blu-ray recordable media has already been introduced and Sony DADC is developing a new process for making the dual-layer, 50-GB BD-ROM, which hasn’t
been used to date.
Say what? They are still “developing a new process†for BD-50 but he just got done saying they already have discs replicated!

Besides, Gary asked about dual-layer yields being low. Don says that is incorrect but provides no yield numbers. Instead, he tries to confuse the issue by talking about recordable media (still with no yield numbers) even though production of ROM has entirely different challenges than recordable. And frankly, with $50 blank media for recordable, I am not sure they have made real progress in mass manufacturing those either.


Quote:
WSR Reber: Yeah, but that’s not responsible for all of it, though. You can’t blame it all on just that noise filter.
Eklund: That seems to be the main issue.
Kudos to Gary for calling him on quality problems not being entirely about Samsung. But here Don goes to say that the noise filter is the “main issue.†So why did the BD discs also show poor quality playing on Sony’s own VAIO laptop? Or how did BD quality get better when they used VC-1 with no change to Samsung player? Or with MPEG-2 titles from Warner?

Yes, a noise filter could be softening the picture. But it could also be hiding artifacts. Either way, it is one factor in this confusing situation, not the “main issue.â€

Quote:
WSR Reber: The release of the new Pioneer Blu-ray Disc player will not have version 1.3 HDMI in it?
Walker: No, those chips are not yet available.
WSR Reber: And that’ll be true with Sony as well?
Walker: I can’t speak for Sony.
Doesn’t Don Eklund work for Sony? If so, why is he quiet?

Quote:
Eklund: Future titles will probably use a lossless codec.
WSR Reber: So, they’ll either use Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio?
Eklund: Correct.
So they are out of space all of a sudden, and have to use lossless compression. And yet another sign that BD-25 is more in their future than they like to admit. Why would they need lossless audio otherwise?

Quote:
WSR Richelieu: Anybody that buys this first Samsung player or the first Pioneer player…
WSR Reber: ...or the first Sony player...
WSR Richelieu: ...will not have a way of hearing that lossless codec.
Great reporting by Gary and Danny asking them about lack of mandatory lossless audio in BD players.

Quote:
Eklund: As far as I know, that’s correct, Danny, but it’s not through any fault of the player manufacturers. The chipsets are simply not available.
You don’t need a “chipset†to do lossless audio decode. You just need a good design with proper horsepower in the audio DSP. Toshiba clearly has this both in first generation and second generation products and in much lower cost players. So if there is a “chipset†issue, it hasn’t impacted them.

Quote:
WSR Richelieu: And is the Pioneer player going to be a BD Live player?
Walker: No, BD Live full-profile players, you probably won’t see until next year. We do have network connectivity, but it’s not used for that purpose.
Next year? Hmmm. They have networking stack on the player to stream Windows Media content from PCs (thank you Pioneer :)). But it must be awfully hard to implement BD-Live on it. Oh well. More waiting for specs to become reality…

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post #40 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Paul
Sure, but that wasn't what Ben said in his statement and their have been poor quality HD DVD titles as well. Also what Ben said was wrong and though he probably meant it as a humorous statement it would look like FUD if it was meant literally.
I actually mean that every BD title other than the Warner VC-1 ones that I've seen looks bad to my eye, when viewed on a full 1080p display (granted, I haven't seen all of them). I think I'm well aligned with the consensus of the AVS community here.

If there is a MPEG-2 BD title you think is transparent to master, let me know the name and I'll try to check it out.

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post #41 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:52 PM
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Thanks Amir.

You mention "the next slate of HD DVD titles coming out with data rates ranging from 11 to 15 mbit/sec."

Will these encodes also be coming out on Blu-Ray or are they exclusive to HD DVD for some reason?
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post #42 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Net, net, you are going to see the most benefit from VC-1 is in HD DVD where essentially all titles use it. So any advancement in our technology, has an immediate and significant impact. In contrast, if 15% of the titles in BD use it (I am just making this number up for the sake of argument), it may not lift the reputation of BD by much…
And meanwhile studios tied to your technology won't benefit at all from the far broader industry research taking place in improving H.264/AVC encoding. Analyses like this report the widespread industry adoption of H.264/AVC and the rapid technology improvement expected as a result. Even your closest partner, Toshiba, announced they will be licensing H.264-based encoding solutions for HD-DVD. Who of any significance other than Microsoft is even investing in technology innovation (i.e. encoders) around VC-1? VC-1 once again illustrates Microsoft's arrogant belief that others' can't possibly improve on Microsoft's own technology and that open standards are for morons.
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And all three HD DVD studios have standardized on VC-1 for HD DVD. So clearly, they consider it the best and most capable codec to produce “great quality.â€
That would be one interpretation. The other would be "hey, Microsoft is willing to throw all these people and technology at us to ensure we use VC-1. Less work for us!"

Pray tell why your "close partner" in iHDi Disney apparently doesn't see fit to use VC-1 for their titles?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyP
and why the slightly cheaper to build G2 player will be the same price
Because people bought all they could make the old price? One lowers the price to stimulate demand. But if no stimuation is needed....
Ignoring the fact that the $499 price was the only way to stimulate demand in the first place. How much demand do you think you'd see for HD-DVD if Toshiba were actually pricing it at a level which provides a reasonable return on their investment?

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post #43 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sangreal06
Java is not an open standard. That was also almost 10 years ago
This is incorrect. Java is an open standard developed by the Java Community Process. While Sun's implementations of the specification are not currently open source (although that will change within the coming months), the specifications themselves are developed in a completely open manner, and can be implemented by anyone who sees fit to do so (as open source, if they so choose).

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post #44 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amirm
You and general public do not know 5% of what happened. Suffice it to say, I am being exceedingly generous in not getting into this topic any more than I already have.

Fine if they are unhappy about us. The question is why they should be unhappy about providing you with the best technology, and the studios with the same set of choices HD DVD provided.
Amir, I use and admire WMV, so dont take this as criticism. But neutrals would really appreciate some inside info on what happened in the BDA, if you are free to share, that is.

I dont understand why generosity should factor in when so much is at stake. Let the truth out. Its not cruel to be truthful wrt facts.


I agree with the second point completely but i would not accept it if i was a BD supporter, after hearing the argument over n over that HD-DVD is good enough to get the job done, so BD (the arguably better tech) is only surviving due to politics and marketing.

IMO, a superior technology Should win but we know that doesnt happen. 2ndly, this argument cannot be employed only when it fits.
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post #45 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by builty
Ben Waggonner, I wish you (and other Microsoft insiders) would be a little more open in your HD-DVD opinions here. You are certainly not lying, but it really looks like MS's strong support of HD-DVD has more to do with these issues:
- hatred of Sun/Java after you got sued for screwing with an open standard, hence iHD. I've heard it justified that iHD is a "better fit for Vista", which is of zero relevance to 99% of implementations (the Tosh runs Linux!!)
I don't this is an argument that I've ever made, or heard made. I do think that the HD DVD interactive technologies provide much easier implementation and authoring than BD-J does. For the same reasons that most web sites use a markup language rather than an applet.

I've done Java media-related projects over the years, FWIW.
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- hatred of Sony, major competitor in the video games industry. You guys suporting BD would be infered as supporting the PS3, which you can't do
All I can say is there are a lot of Ruby projectors owned by members of the HD DVD team.

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I think these reasons are far stronger than any other reason for your support of HD-DVD. Its a shame, because you guys add a lot of strength to the format war.
Speaking for myself, here, my biggest problem with BD is that it adds a whole lot of implementation complexity, cost, and risk, doing things that don't actually deliver any improved experience for the consumer. And we're seeing the results of that manifest today in the lack of BD-J, the lack of BD-50, the lack of PIP, etcetera, etcetera, and yet more etcetera.

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post #46 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amirm
First, he is saying that ALL HD DVD discs are encoded with VC-1 at 20 mbit/sec (“any of these discsâ€). This of course is “patently false†as data rates vary from title to title.
How about telling us what the actual average bitrates are?
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post #47 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
I can tell you 100% that Sony did not have access to our professional encoder during those “two years†or even when they launched their BD titles. I can assure you that they have never done proper testing against our professional encoder.
So you can tell us that Sony couldn't possibly have worked with encoding houses, consultants, or other third-parties who did have access to your professional encoder? Unless you know every party with the encoder and every party those parties do business with, you can't make this statement. The fact Sony didn't come straight to you means little.
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Well, Pioneer has not had any access to our professional encoder, neither in the past or today as I type this.
Same argument as above.
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And why is it good for them to NOT announce BD-50 titles? I mean isn’t everyone waiting for BD-50 news from them?
Why did Toshiba not announce that TrueHD 5.1 support would be added in a firmware upgrade? Why won't Microsoft announce pricing or availability of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on? There can be lots of reasons for not announcing upcoming product.
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Say what? They are still “developing a new process†for BD-50 but he just got done saying they already have discs replicated!
What's inconsistent about this? They may have replicated discs using the old (low-yield) process, and in the meantime have developed a key new process which they'll use going forward. I realize it will be difficult for you to no longer have the BD50 issue to wave around, but it's probably time you get used to it.
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Doesn’t Don Eklund work for Sony? If so, why is he quiet?
Yes, he works for Sony. Sony Pictures. Do you know when MSN will be rolling out a new search feature?

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post #48 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
You and general public do not know 5% of what happened. Suffice it to say, I am being exceedingly generous in not getting into this topic any more than I already have.
Amir, I have a very hard time believing that you would ever be generous towards anything related to Blu-ray. Also to be blunt it didn't happen so it is a moot issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Fine if they are unhappy about us. The question is why they should be unhappy about providing you with the best technology, and the studios with the same set of choices HD DVD provided.
Well obviously not that many BDA companies thought that way or we would have seen VC-1 removed from the specs.


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Originally Posted by amirm
And think about it this way. We are in HD DVD camp, yet we are willing to help them improve their picture quality with VC-1. You think they will ever lend us a hand with HD DVD?
Faulty logic. Last I checked Microsoft wanted people to consider VC-1 an open standard and from what I heard Microsoft wanted it in Blu-ray.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
As to it being "ridiculous,†one major studio, Warner, has pushed aside MPEG-2 in favor of VC-1 for BD titles.
Sure, and both MPEG-4 AVC HP and VC-1 will compress video more efficiently than MPEG-2.


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Originally Posted by amirm
And all three HD DVD studios have standardized on VC-1 for HD DVD.
Sure, and so have two of the Blu-ray studios. Still two other Blu-ray studios are testing out MPEG-4 AVC HP with great results from the sounds of the early reviews.


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Originally Posted by benwaggoner
I actually mean that every BD title other than the Warner VC-1 ones that I've seen looks bad to my eye, when viewed on a full 1080p display (granted, I haven't seen all of them). I think I'm well aligned with the consensus of the AVS community here.
Well honestly if that is your opinion I have to wonder two things. First how high are your standards and what HD DVD movies don't meet them? Secondly what are the Blu-ray movies that you have seen so far?


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Originally Posted by benwaggoner
If there is a MPEG-2 BD title you think is transparent to master, let me know the name and I'll try to check it out.
Come now Ben you went from talking about poor quality and than jumped to transparent video quality. Does this mean that you don't consider their to be a middle ground? Also I noticed you mentioned MPEG-2 in particular so it seems that your opinion of MPEG-4 AVC HP is higher than Amir's. Though I don't know if they are transparent to the source I have heard that "Good Night, and Good Luck", Tears of the Sun, and Dinosaur are three great looking MPEG-2 titles.
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post #49 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rlsmith
You mention "the next slate of HD DVD titles coming out with data rates ranging from 11 to 15 mbit/sec."

Will these encodes also be coming out on Blu-Ray or are they exclusive to HD DVD for some reason?
Unfortunately, I don't know Warner's plans for releasing these titles in BD. But some would I assume especially since the smaller file size means they fit in BD-25 easier.

The stats btw (other than the 11 mbit/sec one) came from a posting by cjplay a couple of months ago. I did not have it bookmarked unfortunately. But you may be able to find it and read more context into it (although it was a rather short post from what I recall).

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post #50 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
The question is why they should be unhappy about providing you with the best technology, and the studios with the same set of choices HD DVD provided.
Perhaps because if they believe H.264/AVC can do an equivalent or better job (as clearly many do considering the paltry adoption of VC-1 anywhere beyond next-generation DVD), why pay for essentially duplicate patents, silicon, and testing?

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post #51 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Zuber
Average bitrates can be objectively measured, so I hope someone can provide those numbers.
Cjplay has given the bitrates of upcoming movies such as Batman Begins, HP4, etc. and the already released Dukes of Hazard. They were in the 13 mbs range. I'm not sure if that's what you were asking.
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post #52 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by benwaggoner
Speaking for myself, here, my biggest problem with BD is that it adds a whole lot of implementation complexity, cost, and risk, doing things that don't actually deliver any improved experience for the consumer. And we're seeing the results of that manifest today in the lack of BD-J, the lack of BD-50, the lack of PIP, etcetera, etcetera, and yet more etcetera.
And most of the BD supporters are happy to trade six months worth of delayed features on the front end (when there are few adopters) for an extra five years worth of relevance on the back end. HD-DVD is a fine format today. If it survives, every year it will struggle to keep up with the storage and interactivity demands which the ongoing pace of media evolution will create. Blu-ray has far more headroom to deal with those challenges.

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post #53 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
So you can tell us that Sony couldn't possibly have worked with encoding houses, consultants, or other third-parties who did have access to your professional encoder?
Please read the interview before fabricating excuses like this:

Quote:
Don Eklund, Sony Pictures: [on MPEG-2 vs VC-1] We’ve done lots of side-by-side tests, as you can imagine. We’ve been doing split-screen tests and comparisons for two years, getting ready to launch this format. We have AVC and VC-1 encoding tools and know the codecs and what they do.
He says they have “encoding tools†and “know the codecs.†Neither would be true if they had the files encoded by someone else.

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The fact Sony didn't come straight to you means little.
No one is allowed to give our encoder to Sony. They would need to license it from us.

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Same argument as above.
Same answer for me. Please, please read a bit before answering:

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Chris Walker, Pioneer Electronics: Internally, we’ve done a lot of MPEG-2 tests and are looking at VC-1— and, for the record, we actually have a different authoring tool than the one used by Sony for doing VC-1, MPEG-2, and AVC encoding—and from everything we’ve seen so far, all three codecs, to me, pretty much perform the same, as far as image quality.
Pioneer has only played with Scenarist VC-1 encoder which is not in the same class as our pro encoder.

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Why did Toshiba not announce that TrueHD 5.1 support would be added in a firmware upgrade? Why won't Microsoft announce pricing or availability of the Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on? There can be lots of reasons for not announcing upcoming product.
Are you kidding? BD-50 has been preannounced by Sony for 4 years now. They had already announced two BD-50 titles which they pulled back. This is not about pre-announcing new products. It is about delivering on what they have already announced. In other words, just making good on what they have said before. And why did Fox announce BD-50 titles?

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Yes, he works for Sony. Sony Pictures. Do you know when MSN will be rolling out a new search feature?
Don's job is to create content for BD players. And you are saying he doesn’t know if their BD player can handle certain features? How on earth does he know how to encode content for it then? If you are right, mabye that is the reason their content doesn't look good....

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post #54 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Unfortunately, I don't know Warner's plans for releasing these titles in BD. But some would I assume especially since the smaller file size means they fit in BD-25 easier.

The stats btw (other than the 11 mbit/sec one) came from a posting by cjplay a couple of months ago. I did not have it bookmarked unfortunately. But you may be able to find it and read more context into it (although it was a rather short post from what I recall).
Thanks, that is what I suspected.

It would help us, when you are discussing features of your codec, that you would take the time to point out when those features would be relevant to Blu-Ray as well as HD DVD. Just include "and Blu-Ray" for example where Blu-Ray is in fact affected.
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Originally Posted by amirm
Boy, where to start :). First, he is saying that ALL HD DVD discs are encoded with VC-1 at 20 mbit/sec (“any of these discsâ€). This of course is “patently false†as data rates vary from title to title.
Actually what he said is that on average the disc had an average bit rate of 20 Mbps. He didn't phrase it well but I am not so sure that he is wrong about that for the initial HD DVD titles.


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Originally Posted by amirm
Yes, a noise filter could be softening the picture.
Don't you know?


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Originally Posted by amirm
So they are out of space all of a sudden, and have to use lossless compression. And yet another sign that BD-25 is more in their future than they like to admit. Why would they need lossless audio otherwise?
For the same reason that you have lossless audio used on HD DVD movies. Because it is more efficient than PCM.


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Great reporting by Gary and Danny asking them about lack of mandatory lossless audio in BD players.
Come now Amir that depends on which Blu-ray players you are talking about.
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post #56 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rlsmith
Thanks, that is what I suspected.

It would help us, when you are discussing features of your codec, that you would take the time to point out when those features would be relevant to Blu-Ray as well as HD DVD. Just include "and Blu-Ray" for example where Blu-Ray is in fact affected.
Guilty as charged :).

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post #57 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Don's job is to create content for BD players. And you are saying he doesn’t know if their BD player can handle certain features? How on earth does he know how to encode content for it then? If you are right, mabye that is the reason their content doesn't look good....
Great point, Amir! Sony really needs to take some responsibility.

Half of the time, they are telling the rest of the world what the next format should be. The other half, they don't have a clue.
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post #58 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Paul
For the same reason that you have lossless audio used on HD DVD movies. Because it is more efficient than PCM.
As is VC-1 but somehow, he wants to use 25 mbit/sec MPEG-2 instead. The logic doesn't make sense, now does it?

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post #59 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
Pick some titles and I'll fill in the blanks for you for Warner. Batman Begins came out to 13.54/19. Dukes will be about 12.8/19. HP4 is 13.7/19. Rumor Has It was about 16.4/25. T3 is 13.6/19. Firewall was like 13/24. POTO was like 15.2/21.

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post #60 of 105 Old 09-17-2006, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
Speaking for myself, here, my biggest problem with BD is that it adds a whole lot of implementation complexity, cost, and risk, doing things that don't actually deliver any improved experience for the consumer. And we're seeing the results of that manifest today in the lack of BD-J, the lack of BD-50, the lack of PIP, etcetera, etcetera, and yet more etcetera.
But how does any of that affect Microsoft? You guys don't make CE products, and full support is here or coming soon for the PC from the usual DVD software people.
Burner support is already in Nero and similar PC recording software. Seems to be no driver/IDE issues either, with burners currently working on WinXP. Your XBox360 currently uses DVD only.

So, I don't see how any part of BD complexity really affects you guys. Cost will undoubtably come down hugely with volume, and surely you place value on scalability? Wouldn't your customers like to have 50 gig+ to backup there extensive photo/video collections? Sure you can use an external hard drive for that, but would you still do so if the BD50 was a few dollars? What abaout taking snapshot backups that you need to keep over time?
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