Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 117 - AVS Forum
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post #3481 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:37 AM
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Here it is for the third time. I hope this time it gets noticed in the, admittedly somewhat unmanageable, avalanche of questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaponvezos View Post

To any HD DVD insider,

Is there anything new on the subtitle downloading service? I live in Greece and I really don't care about subtitles but...almost everyone else does. Not a single HD DVD has had greek subtitles and retailers refuse to carry them just for this fact. So I see HD DVD add-on drives all over the place, a few Toshiba players every now and then but no discs whatsoever.

Now, I know Greece is but a blip on the radar when it comes to its buying power as a market but it's a shame for the format to be handicapped here just because of subtitles.

So, is there anything moving concerning this? In each case, is there a timeframe for the implementation of the service?

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post #3482 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaponvezos View Post

Here it is for the third time. I hope this time it gets noticed in the, admittedly somewhat unmanageable, avalanche of questions.

I agree this is a very good idea and I have been forwarding the reuqest to the studios. Don't have anything specific to report yet. When I do, I will be sure to come and say it.

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post #3483 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Damn, is there something you don't know Alex?

If we ever write a book on this whole story, we need to dedicate a chapter to you .

Wonder how many people will get what we are talking about....

Amir - Is "Phase Hydra" a code name for a viral marketing campaign (or something like that?) Could you please elaborate?
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post #3484 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:46 AM
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To all insiders:

What will be the impact, if any, of the new DisplayPort standard on HD-DVD and BD players?
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post #3485 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Damn, is there something you don't know Alex?

If we ever write a book on this whole story, we need to dedicate a chapter to you .

Wonder how many people will get what we are talking about....

Certainly not me. What in God's name are you guys talking about?

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post #3486 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeb View Post

Amir - Is "Phase Hydra" a code name for a viral marketing campaign (or something like that?) Could you please elaborate?

Please see if you can drug Alex to talk about it .

Amir
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post #3487 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidboy View Post

To all insiders:

What will be the impact, if any, of the new DisplayPort standard on HD-DVD and BD players?

No impact that I see. Displayport has now adopted HDCP for its copy protection which should get it easy approval for AACS content.

The main impact is on another format war: that of connectors and TV displays!

Amir
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post #3488 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:50 AM
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"I agree this is not a good thing and I am asking the Xbox team to consider revising in the future."

Wow, so this is a by design feature or just an over sight bug?

either way thanx for the input and I hope it gets resolved.
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post #3489 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I agree this is a very good idea and I have been forwarding the reuqest to the studios. Don't have anything specific to report yet. When I do, I will be sure to come and say it.

Thank you for taking the time, Amir. Here's hoping that something good happens.
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post #3490 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Please see if you can drug Alex to talk about it .

Do you have any "insider information" as to where I might obtain a proper amount of sodium pentathol?

Alex - we have ways of making you talk...
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post #3491 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Please see if you can drug Alex to talk about it .

Alex has already done so in the news thread.

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post #3492 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 10:58 AM
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Hi again, I know there's a lot of questions, I'll try again to see if you have a chance to get to this one.

Thank you so much again in advance!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Imeldhil View Post

thanks for the reply armir. I just got one last thing.
Agin, parts, this time in 3 parts.

First, I had a really weird situation, whenI watch a movie via component I get all the "flavor" of the colours, but tends to creat grain, or some sort of noise in the picture. Sometimes you cannot see it unless you go an inch to the tv, but sometimes it looks really easy. For example, watching serenity, I got a lot of grain watching it with the components, but with the VGA was correct, only thing is that the colours were dead. Is there a reason as to why sometimes, some movies look really good on component but awfull with vga, or vice--versa or is it just a problem of colour, and when I get the update and/or the vga-dvi convertor I won't see it anymore?

Also I didnt' fully understand, will the update allow me to change colour settings from my xbox like I would with a regular PC??

Second question. (this one can also be valid to any insider or person that'd like to answer it)

this one is a bit tricky, can you say at least 5 things that make, in your opinion, HD DVD better than Blu-Ray?

Third question

once HD goes to 51 gbs in a disc, will the add-on be able to play such disks? I mean, would it be needed an update or can the add- on do it now?

Again, thank you so much!!!


Boldly go.....
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post #3493 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

No impact that I see. Displayport has now adopted HDCP for its copy protection which should get it easy approval for AACS content.

The main impact is on another format war: that of connectors and TV displays!

I guess my question is more along the lines of: Will HD-DVD/BD players start moving towards DisplayPort, or is HDMI going to stay the connector of choice?

Also,

Quote:


-- The BDA has formally kicked off a new PR campaign called "Phase Hydra"....its purpose is to seed "high profile" forums with Blu-ray advocates and target bloggers to promote Blu-ray to get the word out to the world...the campaign will also focus on "smaller, independent studio issues"...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10208851

I'll follow up on Alex's question. Can any BD insiders give us a clue as to what types of marketing will be going on? Do we have to watch out for TRUE paid shills now?
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post #3494 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidboy View Post

I guess my question is more along the lines of: Will HD-DVD/BD players start moving towards DisplayPort, or is HDMI going to stay the connector of choice?

My sense is that the traditional CE companies will want to avoid DisplayPort lest they want to obsolete a bunch of HDMI equipment they just sold to you all . As such, I think the push for DisplayPort will come from PC side with computer monitors and graphics card supporting it. There, there is a killer application in the form of computer displayers which have already gone past the resolution of 1080p. What CE companies call high-def and what we call high-def are in two different classes .

Once DisplayPort catches on in PC world, I expect convergent products to support it first (i.e. far east displays which target both PCs and TVs -- the likes of Westinghouse) and eventually the traditional CE companies. It sure will be messy for a while but what else is new in this space .

Quote:


Also,

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10208851

I'll follow up on Alex's question. Can any BD insiders give us a clue as to what types of marketing will be going on? Do we have to watch out for TRUE paid shills now?

Ten bucks says they are not going to say word . I can say a few more words when I land in Japan if there is interest...

Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital
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post #3495 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imeldhil View Post

Hi again, I know there's a lot of questions, I'll try again to see if you have a chance to get to this one.

Thank you so much again in advance!

Sorry to have missed your question. I will answer the first part. For the second, I will post when I get to Japan as my plane is taking off in a few minutes.

At high level, VGA ports on many TVs assumes that a computer is driving it, as opposed to an A/V source. Unfortunately, the world of PC uses a different range of values for each color component than the more limited range used in video domain. So when we output the proper video signal, it gets treated like an anemic video signal with washed out quality. In the new software, you will be able to instruct the 360 to convert its signals to PC levels, and hence solve this issue.

As to noise and such on component versus VGA, it is hard for me to say as I have not heard of that. Are you using a Plasma display by any chance? If so, the lower contrast of VGA port may make the signal different enough that you see a different level of "dithering" (i.e. noise insertion) for the low level signal in such displays. But I am just guessing here.

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post #3496 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 12:04 PM
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On the third part of the question and that of TL-51, there are different options which the forum and Toshiba will weigh. For example, they could decide to make the format compatible with current players for the first two layers, and let the third require new hardware. That way, existing users can continue to have the same experience as today (after all, they get 34 gigabytes with those two layers), and let the third be for less used extras. Or they could try to force compatibility with the third layer and potentially make the discs harder to manufacture.

This is why it will take a while to decide what exactly to approve.

Amir
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post #3497 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 12:10 PM
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IF 30gb is enough (as several have stated) why go through all this?
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post #3498 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H9K_ View Post

IF 30gb is enough (as several have stated) why go through all this?

I don't know what you mean by "all of this." It is not like we stopped everything and started working on TL-51. The Toshiba engineers who invented current HD DVD-30 format, wanted something to do so kept working on new variations. Then they got to something interesting they want to standardize so that others can see applications to use it. That's all. The need did NOT arise from studios going to the forum, demanding a larger disc, and having the forum go and create something from scratch. If they had, your argument would have been right. But this is not how the TL-51 came about.

TL-51 is also similar to some of the other combo formats where the other layers are DVDs (i.e. non-flippers).

From our point of view, I can tell you that we have not spent one minute on TL-51 until the work was presented to the forum. When it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, we still live pretty good with HD DVD-30 .

Amir
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post #3499 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Sorry to have missed your question. I will answer the first part. For the second, I will post when I get to Japan as my plane is taking off in a few minutes.

At high level, VGA ports on many TVs assumes that a computer is driving it, as opposed to an A/V source. Unfortunately, the world of PC uses a different range of values for each color component than the more limited range used in video domain. So when we output the proper video signal, it gets treated like an anemic video signal with washed out quality. In the new software, you will be able to instruct the 360 to convert its signals to PC levels, and hence solve this issue.

As to noise and such on component versus VGA, it is hard for me to say as I have not heard of that. Are you using a Plasma display by any chance? If so, the lower contrast of VGA port may make the signal different enough that you see a different level of "dithering" (i.e. noise insertion) for the low level signal in such displays. But I am just guessing here.

Thanks, OK no,I am using a LCD Samsung HD Ready. actually I get the noise NOT from VGA but from componets, and only on certain movies. In others, I don't. When I hook VGA EVERYTHING looks sharp, No noise at all, but, as I said, colours get all washed out, and that really sucks, If the update clears this, that'd be great. any way I'm buying a VGA DVI convrto, to hook the vga cable to the DVI input of my tv, wich does allow me to alter colours and anything I want, and hope to keep the VGA quality.

On the second hand, the 51 gbs disck then will require a new player??, that means, buying more players, meaning more money to spend for customers. keeping this up might get as bad as it can get, meaning people would get sick of buying every 6 month or every year a new player, and hence, making it easier for Blu-ray to win the format war.

I'll get back at you for that second question!

THANKS!!

Boldly go.....
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post #3500 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Ten bucks says they are not going to say word . I can say a few more words when I land in Japan if there is interest...

Please do share with us these words... 50% of this format war is marketing.

Quote:


The BDA has formally kicked off a new PR campaign called "Phase Hydra"....its purpose is to seed "high profile" forums with Blu-ray advocates and target bloggers to promote Blu-ray to get the word out to the world...the campaign will also focus on "smaller, independent studio issues"...

By the way... wasn't Hydra a multi-headed beast who got killed by Hercules? Come on... it got killed by one man. A great man... but just a man...
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post #3501 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul.R.S View Post

PaidGeek:

Teased on Casino Royale, can you please share when we might see the greatest, most controversial film ever made released on BD, Bad Boys II?

I have not seen this on the schedule yet..

Sony Pictures BD Insider
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post #3502 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technicolor View Post

Please do share with us these words... 50% of this format war is marketing.



By the way... wasn't Hydra a multi-headed beast who got killed by Hercules? Come on... it got killed by one man. A great man... but just a man...

i'm missing the question here...

Blu-ray discs - 154
HD-DVD - 0

FACT: 90% of the industry is blu-ray, few are hd-dvd.

FACT: Paramount paid 150m, sabotage by MS.

FACT: consumers have spoken, they chose blu-ray over 2-1.
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post #3503 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriptonUpman View Post

i'm missing the question here...

He was responding to Amir's "if there is interest here..."

As am I, so I will put it in the form of an official question.

Amir, can you please expound on multi-headed sea dragons and what you might know about them?

There is currently a pretty quickly growing thread about it, so I would say there is interest.

Proud to always support Blu-Ray studios through Xbox Video Marketplace.
The "High Road" is a pretty boring place.
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post #3504 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatpopsicle View Post

He was responding to Amir's "if there is interest here..."

As am I, so I will put it in the form of an official question.

Amir, can you please expound on multi-headed sea dragons and what you might know about them?

There is currently a pretty quickly growing thread about it, so I would say there is interest.

paidgeek: What is your take on this whole topic? I have $10 bucks riding on this!

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post #3505 of 4841 Old 04-04-2007, 09:56 PM
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Amir,

Any comment about the HD DVD promotion group engaging in such behavior (phase hydra)?

Thanks,
Robert.
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post #3506 of 4841 Old 04-05-2007, 05:45 AM
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Amir, and all insiders contributing...THANK YOU for this wonderful resource. There's nothing better to a consumer than knowing somebody's got your back.

The 360 is advertised as being the solution for the @home media center, able to play HD video @ 1080p amongst other wonderful things. But apparently 1080p is a relative term.

The WMV-HD Showcase offers oodles of 1080p video clips, which are just dandy for 360 playback. Well, 1440x1080p. I suppose it's still 1080p. Due to the aspect ratio and "antiquated" codec profiles used for encoding these clips, the average BR is about 8mpbs from what I've seen.

I've created many WMVs encoded using WVC1 @1920x1080, and the average bitrate is ~17mbps. My expensive monster can handle them, but i'd rather have them on the big screen in a different room. The 360 cannot handle them, and I'm quite positive it's not a network issue (it's wired and 100mpbs full). So my question is twofold:

What is the maximum bitrate the 360 can handle? I've heard from various places that the HD-DVD drive provides some assistance for the decoding process of a disc, but what exactly is going on in there? This issue's been bugging me for a while, and after some testing it appears the highest reliable bitrate i can provide the 360 is ~12mbps. I don't know what the average bitrate of an HD-DVD is, but I'm sure it's much higher. Thanks again for all the helpful info!
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post #3507 of 4841 Old 04-05-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfbinet View Post

paidgeek: What is your take on this whole topic? I have $10 bucks riding on this!

I think someone in the BD PR group made an interesting choice in giving a dramatic name to what amounts to standard PR/marketing activities. Would this even be a topic of discussion if it had not been given a name appropriate for a Godzilla sequel?

Sony Pictures BD Insider
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post #3508 of 4841 Old 04-05-2007, 08:41 AM
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Hi Amir. I don't know if this was asked before, but do you know if there is going to be an Xbox 360 Folding@Home client, ala the PS3?
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post #3509 of 4841 Old 04-05-2007, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Hello Amir, Lets shift gears for just abit.... This was posted in another thread, and since we have had playability problems with some of the recent HD DVD releases, can you look into this? And as always we appreciate your participation!

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Don't be too hard on Universal
I'll throw my two cents in here. I am a production supervisor on a current HD-DVD and Blu-ray release (NIN), and I went through the process of authoring and manufacturing for both formats, for both the main releases and sampler discs.

There are two problems with making titles for HD-DVD that Blu-ray doesn't have:

1. It's not possible to make a full HD-DVD burn yet to check the entire title; you have to preview the title on an emulator, which does NOT give you the ability to QC in various players. This is a huge disadvantage compared to Blu-ray, where you can make a Blu-ray burn and run it in specially modified production players.

Without the ability to burn check discs, there is virtually no way to do proper QC.

Of course you could do a manufacturing run at the plant for test discs, but for every run that you do, you have to purchase AACS security keys, which cost a bundle, and then you lose a week in the schedule waiting for the discs to be run. Not to mention that some manufacturers have large minimum quantities that make this unbelieveably costly to do.

2. The verifier software that Toshiba is responsible for is (in my opinion) not currently up to the task. For those who don't know what verifier software is...this is the software that is run when the title is received at the manufacturing plant to verify that the authoring is "legal" and to the specification. It's meant to catch specification-related bugs in the authoring BEFORE the disc is replicated.

I had a issue on one series of HD-DVDs that we ran at a well-known replicator that passed the verifier, but would not play on the Toshiba A1 player. In fact, it caused the player to require a reboot after the disc was inserted into the player. This is completely unacceptable for verifier software, and Toshiba is mostly is responsible for this piece. My company ended up eating part of the cost of a replication run because of this problem.

So I wouldn't be too hard on Universal as a lot of this stuff is probably beyond their control.

Amir, know you are a busy guy, but there are many of us interested in hearing your take on the above when you have time.

Thanks!
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post #3510 of 4841 Old 04-05-2007, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornesque View Post

Amir, and all insiders contributing...THANK YOU for this wonderful resource. There's nothing better to a consumer than knowing somebody's got your back.

The 360 is advertised as being the solution for the @home media center, able to play HD video @ 1080p amongst other wonderful things. But apparently 1080p is a relative term.

The WMV-HD Showcase offers oodles of 1080p video clips, which are just dandy for 360 playback. Well, 1440x1080p. I suppose it's still 1080p. Due to the aspect ratio and "antiquated" codec profiles used for encoding these clips, the average BR is about 8mpbs from what I've seen.

I've created many WMVs encoded using WVC1 @1920x1080, and the average bitrate is ~17mbps. My expensive monster can handle them, but i'd rather have them on the big screen in a different room. The 360 cannot handle them, and I'm quite positive it's not a network issue (it's wired and 100mpbs full). So my question is twofold:

What is the maximum bitrate the 360 can handle? I've heard from various places that the HD-DVD drive provides some assistance for the decoding process of a disc, but what exactly is going on in there? This issue's been bugging me for a while, and after some testing it appears the highest reliable bitrate i can provide the 360 is ~12mbps. I don't know what the average bitrate of an HD-DVD is, but I'm sure it's much higher. Thanks again for all the helpful info!

Amir,

On a similar topic, is it possible to damage the Xbox360 by playing self-encoded WMV files at high(er) bitrates than normal (downloaded) WMV? I had a 360 that I purchased in November and had used it for less than 80 hours. It had worked perfectly, without a hiccup. I have all my CD's ripped as MP3's on a home server, and used the 360 to play those files remotely. I had played a few games with no problems. I decided to try streaming movies too. Basically turn the 360 into a movie "jukebox". I ripped some DVD's and rencoded them as WMV file using Windows Media Encoder, between 5-8 Mps total bitrate, depending on the source material.

Well, the first video I did started playing back fine. It made it through the opening movie credits when the image froze (the 360 locked up). I powered down, back up, and got the red ring of death. The 360 no longer functioned. I was eventually told a failed video card and got a replacement unit.

A few weeks later, I got my replacement. I played the replacement for a few days with games, MP3's, downloaded video, etc. and it worked fine. I fired up a different WMV encoded DVD and it started playing fine. But about 35 seconds into the movie, the screen went black (the power light was still on and one green segment). The 360 didn't seem to be responding, so I powered off and back on. Red ring of death again. Another return and apparently another failed video card. Another replacement, but now I'm afraid to even try streaming WMV video.

I find it odd that both consoles worked perfectly until I tried to stream WMV video to them, and then they suddenly fail. Is there something in a 5-8 Mbs stream (or higher) that could somehow damage the 360?
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