Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 127 - AVS Forum
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post #3781 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Amir, why do you think Warner generally includes a DD+ track on those HD DVD releases which also have a TrueHD track? This is either purely redundant, given that your assumption that all HD DVD players will support TrueHD 5.1 decoding, or Warner is assuming some players may only support TrueHD 2.0, in which case they are offering features which might not be strictly lowest-common-denominator.

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Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Amir,
could you comment? That does seem redundant given the decoding capability of HD DVD hardware.

OK, I will comment once more but I really think we have spent enough time on this topic already.

I believe what we are seeing here is the marketing value for enthusiasts when it comes to alphabet soup of technical terms on the back of the box. Many people don't know what all they mean but the more, the merrier it seems . Just look at the front of any AVR these days, especially those coming from Japan. You see a ton of logos there for the same reason.

Once the market develops though beyond enthusiasts, and we maintain 100% compatibility with the installed base, then they will feel at ease to let go of the redundant tracks, at least on their non-special titles (the special titles are still targeted at collectors and such, who may value the alphabet soup).

Yes, we still have to make sure devices continue to be at superset of the required spec by decoding 5.1. We are striving to do that by choosing to use reference platforms which enable full 5.1 decoding. If you go by Paid's statement which says TrueHD is free if you license regular DD, then there should be no excuse for not supporting it.

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post #3782 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Didn't seem to be a problem for Disney providing full 24-bit PCM 5.1 on Chicago... along with 640 kbps DD and a 2.0 24-bit PCM stereo spanish track with an AVC video encode that averaged close to 30 mbps... along with almost all the bonus material from the 2-disc SE DVD set. Perhaps Disney is privy to superior 50GB replication lines? Or perhaps yields aren't really what's behind WB's choice not to go lossless on BD.

If I told you any car you want to buy is free, would you buy a Hyundai or a Porsche? Not saying the discs are free to Disney but without being privy to what arrangement each studio has, you cannot position them similarly. Nor can you assume they are similarly motivated to promote a format, as opposed to making business decisions strictly on ROI basis.

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Any insider with real information (ie, beyond mere conjecture about poor yields being to blame) care to share?

Word to the wise: don't answer questions anymore when asked to guess as to intentions of other companies . This is the kind of feedback you are bound to get from folks who don't like the answer

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post #3783 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 06:05 PM
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Quote:


I believe what we are seeing here is the marketing value for enthusiasts when it comes to alphabet soup of technical terms on the back of the box. Many people don't know what all they mean but the more, the merrier it seems . Just look at the front of any AVR these days, especially those coming from Japan. You see a ton of logos there for the same reason.

Once the market develops though beyond enthusiasts, and we maintain 100% compatibility with the installed base, then they will feel at ease to let go of the redundant tracks, at least on their non-special titles (the special titles are still targeted at collectors and such, who may value the alphabet soup).

Yes, we still have to make sure devices continue to be at superset of the required spec by decoding 5.1. We are striving to do that by choosing to use reference platforms which enable full 5.1 decoding. If you go by Paid's statement which says TrueHD is free if you license regular DD, then there should be no excuse for not supporting it.

Makes sense.

It will be interesting with time to see if trends in reduction of "redundant" tracks occur based on an increased base of fully-featured decoding etc. Even on DVD we still see redunant tracks like 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby tracks... when the 2.0 track sounds no better (often worse bcs of reduced bitrate) than the 5.1->2.0 folddown.

BTW, didn't mean to be too critical about the "yields" thing for no lossless on WB Blu-rays. Sorry...didn't mean to disparage. It's just after months of the same question only being met with suppositions (from multiple sources), it's frustrating that no one has come forth to offer any real information. The yield issue also seems a highly unprobable justification for titles like Superman that had so much available space (especially given that other studios are producing discs that make near total use of 50GB). So, without being dismissive of your own efforts to theorize and offer your thoughts, it would be great if anyone who was privy to some WB-information would share. It's been months since this question was first raised and we still have yet to hear a "real" reason from a WB source (first or 2nd hand).

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #3784 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fronn View Post

@Paidgeek

Is there any information on Leon: The professional being worked on or on a schedule or even thought about? It's one of my favorite movies. I believe it's another Gaumont title (like TFE?), so I'm a little worried you guys may be in a similar position with regards to master access as TFE...?

Also, from what I've seen of the releases it's most Columbia and SPHE... are there any Sony Pictures Classics movies coming? A lot of fantastic foreign movies and lesser known titles are released under the SP Classics name.

This thread is really appreciated!

Sorry, I don't have any information on this title

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post #3785 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TomsHT View Post

To both formats, I'm more concerned with 7.1 audio tracks then whether the track is PCM, TrueHD, DD+, DD etc... I rather hear the sound coming from more directions then worry about the slight differences between tracks.

Anyway my question about this is to both formats, what can we look forward to as far as titles with 7.1 tracks coming out in 2007?

I am not aware of any films from Sony Pictures coming out this year with 7.1 for home audio. SM3 will have and SDDS 7.1 on the print, but this is for 5 speakers across the front and this is not a typical consumer 7.1 configuration. For a 7.1 mix to have value, it should be created by the film makers and they are focussed on the mixes required for theatrical venues.

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post #3786 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Didn't seem to be a problem for Disney providing full 24-bit PCM 5.1 on Chicago... along with 640 kbps DD and a 2.0 24-bit PCM stereo spanish track with an AVC video encode that averaged close to 30 mbps... along with almost all the bonus material from the 2-disc SE DVD set. Perhaps Disney is privy to superior 50GB replication lines? Or perhaps yields aren't really what's behind WB's choice not to go lossless on BD.

Actual information on WB's choice to withhold lossless from BD seems suspicious to me. My bet is that it's a political move, and not a technically-constrained one.

Any insider with real information (ie, beyond mere conjecture about poor yields being to blame) care to share?

Warner has said they want absolute parity between their HD-DVD and BD releases. Providing a better audio experience on BD would obviously violate that principle. There is no issue with using up more of the disc for audio and hurting yield. Witness the fact that SPE is filling up virtually every disc released in Europe.

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post #3787 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:11 PM
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Warner has said they want absolute parity between their HD-DVD and BD releases.

Paidgeek,

the context of my post was that WB is *not* providing parity between the two formats when they provide lossless Dolby TrueHD on the HD DVD version but *not* on any Blu-ray Disc version. Read back a few posts to see what we're talking about (for some reason, WB has yet to release lossless Dolby TrueHD on any Blu-ray despite the *same titles* providing it on HD DVD). In other words, right now they are giving an audio advantage to HD DVD.

I know many dual-format collectors who opted for the HD DVD copy of Superman and Happy Feet based on the provision of lossless audio alone (since it was omitted on the Blu-ray versions). Naturally, one of the questions is whether or not WB is doing this intentionally to weight sales in favor of HD DVD on these titles where Lossless audio is offered on HD DVD but not BD.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #3788 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsHT View Post

To both formats, I'm more concerned with 7.1 audio tracks then whether the track is PCM, TrueHD, DD+, DD etc... I rather hear the sound coming from more directions then worry about the slight differences between tracks.

Anyway my question about this is to both formats, what can we look forward to as far as titles with 7.1 tracks coming out in 2007?

Amir,

Since WMA supports 7.1 over SPDIF, when (if?) titles with 7.1 audio become available, will the 360 output all 7.1 channels if WMA is the selected output type?
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post #3789 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xact View Post

Amir,

Since WMA supports 7.1 over SPDIF, when (if?) titles with 7.1 audio become available, will the 360 output all 7.1 channels if WMA is the selected output type?

We would have to modify the encoder to support 7.1. More channels requires more processing power so we would have to optimize the encoder more.

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post #3790 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:36 PM
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Any insiders care to comment on Samsung's new dual-format player?

http://www.koreanewswire.co.kr/en_re...&rg2=&rg3=&tt=

First Dreamworks as a major studio announces dual-format support, and now Samsung as a major CE company. Do partison insiders welcome or resist this trend?
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post #3791 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 07:54 PM
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Mainly to the Microsoft guys:

For years I have been creating my own multichannel music on my Windows PC -yes a PC, not a Mac, such a rogue I am - with 5.1 or greater mixes in mind. The content creation apps are there for Windows and are quite good.

Yet the closed media formats, licenses and royalties for "surround" encoders, and high cost of authoring(burning) tools has made it very difficult for the consumer/prosumer to be able to do a relatively straightforward thing: create surround music, encode in high fidelity (better than AC-3), burn it to a disc, and pop that disc in a AVR disc player.

Is there an opportunity here for HD DVD, like HD DVD formatted WMA encode on DVD-R for example? Or even better yet, a real live I-can-buy-it-now set of software/hardware/av equipment that will let me accomplish this? Or will my high fidelity multichannel music forever be hostage to my Windows PC?
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post #3792 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 08:27 PM
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Amir,
First just let me say how grateful I am to have access to the wealth of knowledge that you and the other 'insiders' provide on this site. I only recently started visiting these forums and I often find myself reading through these long threads in a trance, soaking up every tidbit of info I can (I'm a bit of a nerd for this stuff if you can't tell, but it looks like I'm in good company here)

But I digress. I have a question about 'director's cuts'. Let's just say for this example that we're talking about LOTR (the first one). I love this movie, and I also love the extended edtion, but I'd like to have them both on the same disc. Obviously, encoding both versions as separate entities would take up way too much space for HD DVD and probably Blu-ray as well. But would it be possible (maybe with IME or BD-J) to encode the standard version in its entirety and then have the extra scenes from the extended version encoded by themselves separately, so that if you want to watch the extended version the player would access the main feature and then whenever an extended scene is coming up, it would load up that part and seamlessly cut to that extra scene at the right moment, then go back to the main feature at the end of the scene? (sorry for the run-on sentence)

I don't know if I'm explaining that well enough. But this is something that I always thought would be cool with DVDs but I think it was beyond the capabilities of that spec. Or maybe it was just that film studios would rather keep those versions separate so I have to buy it again?

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post #3793 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelPhister View Post

Amir,
First just let me say how grateful I am to have access to the wealth of knowledge that you and the other 'insiders' provide on this site. I only recently started visiting these forums and I often find myself reading through these long threads in a trance, soaking up every tidbit of info I can (I'm a bit of a nerd for this stuff if you can't tell, but it looks like I'm in good company here)

But I digress. I have a question about 'director's cuts'. Let's just say for this example that we're talking about LOTR (the first one). I love this movie, and I also love the extended edtion, but I'd like to have them both on the same disc. Obviously, encoding both versions as separate entities would take up way too much space for HD DVD and probably Blu-ray as well. But would it be possible (maybe with IME or BD-J) to encode the standard version in its entirety and then have the extra scenes from the extended version encoded by themselves separately, so that if you want to watch the extended version the player would access the main feature and then whenever an extended scene is coming up, it would load up that part and seamlessly cut to that extra scene at the right moment, then go back to the main feature at the end of the scene? (sorry for the run-on sentence)

I don't know if I'm explaining that well enough. But this is something that I always thought would be cool with DVDs but I think it was beyond the capabilities of that spec. Or maybe it was just that film studios would rather keep those versions separate so I have to buy it again?

If I remember correctly the Disney movie "The Lion King" did just that on SD-DVD so it probably can be done with HD-DVD as well.

I too would be interested in knowing an answer to this since this would seem the best way to have both versions on one disc.
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post #3794 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Makes sense.

It will be interesting with time to see if trends in reduction of "redundant" tracks occur based on an increased base of fully-featured decoding etc. Even on DVD we still see redunant tracks like 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby tracks... when the 2.0 track sounds no better (often worse bcs of reduced bitrate) than the 5.1->2.0 folddown.

BTW, didn't mean to be too critical about the "yields" thing for no lossless on WB Blu-rays. Sorry...didn't mean to disparage. It's just after months of the same question only being met with suppositions (from multiple sources), it's frustrating that no one has come forth to offer any real information. The yield issue also seems a highly unprobable justification for titles like Superman that had so much available space (especially given that other studios are producing discs that make near total use of 50GB). So, without being dismissive of your own efforts to theorize and offer your thoughts, it would be great if anyone who was privy to some WB-information would share. It's been months since this question was first raised and we still have yet to hear a "real" reason from a WB source (first or 2nd hand).


I also would like to have any insider info about this issue about the justification of not using the extra space for Superman Returns or any WB title that falls in this category as well..
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post #3795 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelPhister View Post

Amir,
First just let me say how grateful I am to have access to the wealth of knowledge that you and the other 'insiders' provide on this site. I only recently started visiting these forums and I often find myself reading through these long threads in a trance, soaking up every tidbit of info I can (I'm a bit of a nerd for this stuff if you can't tell, but it looks like I'm in good company here)

I am sure I speak for all the insiders for thanking you for the kind words . It is the currency that keeps us working here.

Quote:


But I digress. I have a question about 'director's cuts'. Let's just say for this example that we're talking about LOTR (the first one). I love this movie, and I also love the extended edtion, but I'd like to have them both on the same disc. Obviously, encoding both versions as separate entities would take up way too much space for HD DVD and probably Blu-ray as well. But would it be possible (maybe with IME or BD-J) to encode the standard version in its entirety and then have the extra scenes from the extended version encoded by themselves separately, so that if you want to watch the extended version the player would access the main feature and then whenever an extended scene is coming up, it would load up that part and seamlessly cut to that extra scene at the right moment, then go back to the main feature at the end of the scene? (sorry for the run-on sentence)

I don't know if I'm explaining that well enough. But this is something that I always thought would be cool with DVDs but I think it was beyond the capabilities of that spec. Or maybe it was just that film studios would rather keep those versions separate so I have to buy it again?

You are describing it just fine. And yes, both formats allow such a feature. I believe in DVD this was a kludge using angles and such. In HD DVD, you can just make a playlist.

Per a post much earlier, we are enhancing our tools to automate the encoding of such content. You can do it today but you have to do some manual work at the seams.

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post #3796 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokeith View Post

Mainly to the Microsoft guys:

For years I have been creating my own multichannel music on my Windows PC -yes a PC, not a Mac, such a rogue I am - with 5.1 or greater mixes in mind. The content creation apps are there for Windows and are quite good.

Yet the closed media formats, licenses and royalties for "surround" encoders, and high cost of authoring(burning) tools has made it very difficult for the consumer/prosumer to be able to do a relatively straightforward thing: create surround music, encode in high fidelity (better than AC-3), burn it to a disc, and pop that disc in a AVR disc player.

Is there an opportunity here for HD DVD, like HD DVD formatted WMA encode on DVD-R for example? Or even better yet, a real live I-can-buy-it-now set of software/hardware/av equipment that will let me accomplish this? Or will my high fidelity multichannel music forever be hostage to my Windows PC?

You can certainly do this with HD DVD. You just need an HD DVD authoring tool and standard DVD burner. Then encode away in PCM. Without video, there is no need to even compress the audio. You will be able to get almost 2 hours of audio in 5.1, 24-bit/48khz in standard dual layer DVD. For longer content, then TrueHD can be used or some kind of HD DVD burner.

Ben can advise on which tool is suitable for consumer use (Ulead?) or you can check out threads on creating HD DVDs.

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post #3797 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Paidgeek,

the context of my post was that WB is *not* providing parity between the two formats when they provide lossless Dolby TrueHD on the HD DVD version but *not* on any Blu-ray Disc version. Read back a few posts to see what we're talking about (for some reason, WB has yet to release lossless Dolby TrueHD on any Blu-ray despite the *same titles* providing it on HD DVD). In other words, right now they are giving an audio advantage to HD DVD.

I know many dual-format collectors who opted for the HD DVD copy of Superman and Happy Feet based on the provision of lossless audio alone (since it was omitted on the Blu-ray versions). Naturally, one of the questions is whether or not WB is doing this intentionally to weight sales in favor of HD DVD on these titles where Lossless audio is offered on HD DVD but not BD.

According to WB, the titles that were released on both formats that provided DD THD on HD-DVD but not BD were the result of a problem with authoring DD THD discovered at a point in time to close to a critical ship date to hold back. The problem with the authoring tool was quickly corrected, so this situation should not come up again.

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post #3798 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 09:37 PM
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Amir, since the XBox 360 HD DVD add-on is being used by many with their HTPC setup, will Microsoft provide a way for HTPC enthusiasts to upgrade the firmware of the add-on as they become available for the XBox 360?

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post #3799 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

Amir, since the XBox 360 HD DVD add-on is being used by many with their HTPC setup, will Microsoft provide a way for HTPC enthusiasts to upgrade the firmware of the add-on as they become available for the XBox 360?

Unfortunately not. We don't support the drive on PC as we have no software to talk to it there. Maybe some other mechanism develops over time to do that.

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post #3800 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 10:09 PM
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amir, do you know what software can be used to encode TrueHD tracks? Thanks!
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post #3801 of 4841 Old 04-12-2007, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

amir, do you know what software can be used to encode TrueHD tracks? Thanks!

I only know of the Dolby tools. But I assume Sonic and others also have a version but I don't know first hand.

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post #3802 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 12:20 AM
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Now that Samsung has officially announced their player combo player http://www.samsung.com/PressCenter/P...413_0000338109 is there anything insiders can tell us about this?
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post #3803 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 12:42 AM
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Amir,

Which is the better audio format for movies? WMA pro or Dolby Digital? I want to see if there is a difference when I watch movies on my 360. If you have a receiver that does not support WMA would you still get sound out if I select the WMA pro option on my 360? And will it be 5.1 surround?
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post #3804 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
According to WB, the titles that were released on both formats that provided DD THD on HD-DVD but not BD were the result of a problem with authoring DD THD discovered at a point in time to close to a critical ship date to hold back. The problem with the authoring tool was quickly corrected, so this situation should not come up again.

But it's been several months since Superman Returns was released on BD. Heck, Happy Feet wasn't even in theaters I believe when the BD of SR was released. They also did it with The Phantom of The Opera. Meantime, Legends of Jazz was released with DTHD.

In any case Paidgeek, you can tell your bosses that some of us want DTHD, especially if it's 20 or 24 bit resolution. The Spider-Man films for example.

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post #3805 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 03:06 AM
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Amirm/Andy,
Can you give us some idea when the Elite360 will become available in asia? Secondly, has the Elite360 vanished the hoover drives that now grace the current 360 units? You don't have to be a brain surgon to realise the noise coming from these units is a big put off for people living in apartments.
Thanks
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post #3806 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 03:25 AM
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Is it true that the uncompressed audio PCM tracks (which Sony advertises so proudly) have actually been truncated from 24 to 16bits?
This does not make any sense as the studios record at 24 bits and the Blu-ray disks have all that huge capacity.

Please tell me it ain't so. I want to buy only High Definition discs!
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post #3807 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

Warner has said they want absolute parity between their HD-DVD and BD releases. Providing a better audio experience on BD would obviously violate that principle. There is no issue with using up more of the disc for audio and hurting yield. Witness the fact that SPE is filling up virtually every disc released in Europe.

Then what incentive is there to buy Blu-ray discs?
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post #3808 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 06:17 AM
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Question for A Blu Ray(or HD DVD) insider:

Why can't studios pump out titles at a faster rate than what is already being produced? There are tons of titles that would be great for high def but it seems there is a slow trickle at times. Does the encoding take a long time? Is it man power? Or is it the low installed base?

Also, if tiles for BD are already using BD-Java...what is the hold up of Warner titles? Even if some players can't support PIP, they will in the future...Is Warner waiting for every player to support PIP?

Waiting on a winner....or the SamsungUP5000
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post #3809 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 06:40 AM
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amirm:

Will we be receiving a 360 HD DVD firmware update to improve the HD DVD compatibility, or will the HD DVD release include this update?

Many combo disks are not playing, as well as some of the other documentaries that were apparently authored in basic mode.

I see Toshiba has released a firmware update.
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post #3810 of 4841 Old 04-13-2007, 07:39 AM
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@amirm,

From this thread it seems some consumers do think a black hd-dvd addon could be a helpful offering to pair with the 360 elite.

It looks you did at least create a limited run of black addon drives from the picture in that thread. I know you've said the expense of offering another SKU and estimating the number of units to produce for each color was a key factor in deciding not to offer one.

At the same time with all the effort used to offer the 360 Elite in black doesn't it seem a bit hackish to leave this major peripheral in white only?

What's the chance of getting the message to someone at MS to reconsider at least a limited black addon offering or perhaps an "online orders only offering"?

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