Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

I'm guessing support for the HD-DVD51 media is all or nothing? That is, if first-generation players can't support the full 51Gb, then there's no chance of them supporting 17Gb or 34Gb?

If the new spec isn't compatible with first-generation players, could a studio produce a double-sided disk with 34-50Gb on one side and a backward-compatible 15-30Gb on the other?

I'd like to know too.

I'm guessing that, like the situation with 650 meg and 700 meg CDs, the current players wouldn't mind the 17 Gig layers. Is that reasonable?

Also, is it reasonable for me to be optimistic that players like the Xbox 360 add-on will take to TL-51 like a duck to water?
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post #452 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

As far as I know, they have not announced support for BD. Of course, we don't ask for exclusivity so they are free to publish in other formats. They are however, extremely interested in interactivity features of HD DVD including networking so that makes it hard for them to target BD.

Ok, something just hit me, and I'd very much like to hear your thoughts. You say that the interactivity features of HD-DVD are something Bandai is very excited about exploiting, and assumably played a part in their decision to release content on HD-DVD. Then you say, "it would make it hard for them to target BD".

So here's my question. One of the reasons that was listed months ago for why Disney decided to go BD exclusive was because they felt they could not do without the interactivity features that BD provided! So I'm totally confused here. How do two separate studios come to 180 degree divergent opinions on the same topic?

Has something changed in the mean time? Have expectations been tempered by reality? Is there a different conception of just what "interactivity" entails in the minds both studios? It'd be really great if you could clear all this up for me as best you can when you get a chance, if it is um, clear-up-able at all.

Thanks!
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post #453 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 09:55 AM
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Amir-

thank you for answering my other questions - I appreciate it. I have a couple more if you have the time.

1) Some are saying some of the Studio Canal releases in Europe - even though they are encoded at 1080p24 - have the PAL audio speed up issue. Specifically, Basic Instinct is mentioned. Do you know if this is true? If so, can you call them or something and tell them to cut it out? I can't think of a reason to encode the movie properly but then screw up the audio.

2) Do you expect any more title announcements at CES? I know it's a couple more days, but I was hoping for the HD-DVD calendar to fill up a bit more in Jan and Feb.

Cheers,
Chris
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post #454 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Williams View Post

Amir's newest claim is the correct one. In order to import a TrueHD track into BD, you need an AC3 encode of the same material. At that stage, they are interweaved. Dolby's software will create a compliant TrueHD stream for both formats in one pass. The fact that Warner decided not to use it on some of their BD releases is puzzling because they already did the work.

So we clearly still have a disagreement here, at least between you and PeterTHX. What are interweaved?

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post #455 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jwv651 View Post

Talkstr8t I noticed you are a Blu Ray insider...what is your position...what company do you work for.

This has been discussed ad nauseum in the past; for various reasons I choose not to disclose my employer, but the moderators have the information required to validate my insider status. My employer provides technology which is present in Blu-ray players.

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post #456 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I don't know how they are going to do that. The logo is owned by DVD Forum and its use is governed by them.

Perhaps they'll use the HD DVD ROM logo which is used on burners? That wouldn't require them to support all the player stuff, just to have a drive capable of reading HD DVD ROM discs. Regardless, not good news for studios in terms of HD DVD minimum platform compatibility.
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Well, everything the content owners create is being tested on the largest volume player: Toshiba and Xbox 360. So your point is not valid in practice, even if it were in theory (which it is not).

Oh, so buyers of other players get no comfort that content is tested there? That doesn't sound good. And where is my previous point not valid? LG has clearly confirmed no plans, now or in the future, for HDi support on this player.
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You tell me. The box is retailing for $1,200. There are superb HD DVD players listing for $500 with more functionality and by the time this box comes out, it will also face stiff competition from new $599 A20 with 1080p support and such. Given all of this, you think the volume of installed base is made up of this Universal player or other brands?

Clearly there is a clamor for a universal player, and none others seem to be on the horizon, let alone available within two months.
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I think the answer is obvious. The people who buy this player are BD customers who are used to paying >$1,000 for a player and are worried about the format war so they opt for the LG to give them some comfort that it can play HD DVD, should BD falter somehow.

Or, more likely, HD DVD customers looking to gracefully exit the format in favor of Blu-ray, so they want a player which will at least minimally preserve their existing investment in HD DVD titles.
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Except that they can't because they are liable to get grief if they advertise features for a disc, that does not play on some players with no way for the user to know in advance, before purchasing said discs.

Come on, Amir, you know this is ridiculous. A consumer will know if they have a player that supports networking (because they would have to have configured that networking). To suggest people will be upset because they buy content advertising "networked bonus content" and can't use it because they don't have a network capable player is far-fetched at best.
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What's more, this stuff is not easy. You can try to copy us be you also have to put in the engineering and software/service expertise behind which we both know is hard.

Oh, yes, the combined strength of the Blu-ray community is clearly incapable of building the required content and infrastructure to support networked content. Ignoring every other BD company, Sony alone has obviously built out significant content and network infrastructure for supporting networked gameplay and commerce on the PS3. How is building far more constrained bonus content for BD titles a harder task than what Sony alone has done for the PS3?
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Sometimes I wonder though as you downplay the stuff you can't do in BD.

I have never downplayed interactivity - I have consistently defended it as being of clear consumer value, in spite of many here who just want to "watch the damn movie". The only thing I have downplayed is the suggestion that PiP is the end-all and be-all of interactivity.
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You mean like what happened to BD? Come on now. They are going from 15 to 17 gigabytes per layer. That is not a big change. But if you know more about optical engineering than I, feel free to expand on what sort of grief you think they are going to get, which Toshiba engineers don't know about.

A Toshiba engineer was previously quoted as saying there is no way that (45GB) TL would work on legacy drives. Are you now committing here that TL51 will work on all HD DVD drives? If not, how do you foresee TL51 impacting the format war? Will studios support it if it means incompatibility with legacy HD DVD players?

- Talk

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post #457 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capek View Post

Has something changed in the mean time? Have expectations been tempered by reality? Is there a different conception of just what "interactivity" entails in the minds both studios? It'd be really great if you could clear all this up for me as best you can when you get a chance, if it is um, clear-up-able at all.

Given your interest in anime, I think another good question is why would anime studios support HD DVD more than Blu-ray given Blu-ray's 96% market share in Japan?

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post #458 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Given your interest in anime, I think another good question is why would anime studios support HD DVD more than Blu-ray given Blu-ray's 96% market share in Japan?

Isn't a good deal of anime $ generated in N. America?

AFAIK, most anime DVDs run upwards of 6500 Yen in Japan, this trend (unlike Hollywood DVDs) continues/increases in N. America with most DVDs costing around 100 bucks.

Doesn't Sony control many Anime titles and haven't they put out GITS2: Innocence with a 7.1 PCM track? Anyone know what else the BDA has planned in terms of anime releases (paidgeek)?

As an anime fan, I say bring them all on. I know I've reserved a good deal of money for Bandai's titles as well as future ones like GITS: SAC (and 2nd GiG). The same will be true for BD releases, if they are quality (like I hear Innocence is).

***Warning*** Do not look into laser with remaining eye!!
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post #459 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

So we clearly still have a disagreement here, at least between you and PeterTHX. What are interweaved?

Dolby's Roger Dressler in his post to the Blu-ray software forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

TrueHD is the same for both disc formats, and the same file can technically be used on both. There may be other reasons why this is not being done.

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post #460 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 12:10 PM
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i happened to be in a BB today and played around with the sony bd player briefly; it was connected to a bravia lcd and was playing a sony bd demo disc.

are all the trailers encoded using the same codec? if so, which codec?

while playing a trailer and pressing the "display" button i was only presented with bitrates but nothing about the codec.

i am asking b/c the trailer clip for open season looked very, very good...i think if the movie is as good as the trailer on that demo there will be a new reference disc...imo
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post #461 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forceflow View Post

AFAIK, most anime DVDs run upwards of 6500 Yen in Japan, this trend (unlike Hollywood DVDs) continues/increases in N. America with most DVDs costing around 100 bucks.

HUH? Where do you shop? One volume of a series usually lists for $30, and will sell for $20-30. So if you meant a series, you're right, they do get quite expensive, but the individual dvds don't come anywhere near $100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Given your interest in anime, I think another good question is why would anime studios support HD DVD more than Blu-ray given Blu-ray's 96% market share in Japan?

Well, we have Amir's comment above. And from the english press release that was just released this morning, the reasons they're decided to release on HD-DVD is:

1) "To take advantage of the image quality VC-1 has proven to provide."
2) "Exploit HDi to add value to their HD-DVD releases and develop promotion plans." (I guess Blu-Wizard didn't catch their fancy. )
3) "Collaborate on new business models based on HDi network functions, managed copy et al."

In general, as Shinoharu Kawasaki, president and CEO of Memory Tech so succinctly puts it in the middle of the press release:
"Memory-Tech will work with Microsoft and Bandai to develop a complete one stop service (encoding, authoring, disc replication and HDi network infrastructure) for creating HD-era packages with the kind of high picture quality and HDi navigation that is sure to attract customers."

Looks like MS's footwork has paid off.

But hey, aren't you the one supposed to be answering questions?

Ok, here's one for you. Can you please post the data from which you make the assertion that that BD has 96% of the market share in Japan?

Thanks.
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post #462 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 12:43 PM
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To Amir or anyone else who can help, there is a big problem with some of the Studio Canal releases. KING KONG is fine. TOTAL RECALL is not yet known. But BASIC INSTINCT and all three RAMBO films suffer from a higher pitched soundtrack vs. all NTSC versions. They sound exactly like a PAL speed soundtrack. They also sound like some older Hong Kong films that were transfered in PAL and then converted to NTSC for video, but which somehow kept the higher pitch of the 4% PAL speedup. I am not saying these have been encoded at 1080p/25. I am saying that the sound on these titles is off. They are pitched higher than they are supposed to be.

This is now being talked about by quite a few and many are on record as saying it is there. I am 100% certain of this. I spent nearly two hours comparing BASIC INSTINCT on HD-DVD to the US release versions and have zero doubt that the HD-DVD has a soundtrack with the pitch being too high. Everyone sounds like they have sucked helium. Jerry Goldsmith's score clearly has a higher pitch to it. It is so obvious that I am absolutely stunned that some have not detected it.

This is not acceptable. Whatever is going on over in Europe needs to be looked at and the problem corrected because these films are BD exclusives here in the USA and that means us HD-DVD supporters who care about quality will have no choice but to buy into the competing format. I was thrilled about HD-DVD in Europe, but very worried about the PAL speedup issue. Clearly that fear was warranted.

Amir, I hope you are listening and can find out what is happening. You've proven time and time again that you truly do care about this product.

I am not crazy, nor are the other people here who have noticed this. We love the transfers and the VC1 encoding. Picture quality is amazing from these Studio Canal releases. But the sound issue is BIG for many and rightly so.

Thanks for your attention.

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post #463 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:


Originally Posted by Roger Dressler
TrueHD is the same for both disc formats, and the same file can technically be used on both. There may be other reasons why this is not being done.

then can any insider share what those reasons might be?

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #464 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 01:07 PM
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Amir,

What would you guess the timeline to be for proposal of TL51 to the DVD forum?

Do think that this is likely to be proposed at the next meeting? And if so, when is that?

For those that are anxiously following this, do you think they should be looking for real information about it being added within the next, say, 2 months? Or it this something that we shouldn't expect to hear anything concrete about until the end of the year ?
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post #465 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 01:12 PM
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Amir, congrats on the Emmy

Do you know when Universal is announcing their HD DVD line up?
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post #466 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 01:39 PM
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talk,

could you please place into context the comments from a toshiba engineer stating current drives could not support triple layer hddvd? IIRC, he did not even work in the drive department.
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post #467 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 02:14 PM
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Um Amir what's the story on no release announcement for Universal at CES?
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post #468 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 02:43 PM
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I think we all have the same question - that is tremendously underwhelming. I am an HD-DVD owner and you have to admit that the announcements (with dates, mind) for this year are overwhelmingly in BD's favour - what ON EARTH happened with Universal ?

I know you are going to say that you can't speak for Universal, but at some level you guys are going to have to speak for and with one another on this, as BD has managed to give impression they are communicating with a single voice.

Very disappointing. Unless I am mistaken, there is no equivalent conference year with a greater press coverage, so no reason to hold back on any announces, as doing so just avoids free press.

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Um Amir what's the story on no release announcement for Universal at CES?

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post #469 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 05:09 PM
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To follow on the same line, I'm wondering what would be the requirements from Microsoft and Toshiba to join the BDA and end this war.

Let's totally disregard technology and engineering, and only focus on politics and finance. As long as the dispute continues, the economies of scale will be decreased and the confusion will not help the lambda consumers. There must be a breaking point where a diplomatic compromise would guarantee a larger and safer return on investment in the long run.

So, what would be a gracious requirement for joining forces? A diplomatic agreement on a number of royalties and patents? A guaranteed market share for VC1 encodes? Hardware and software support for the replication companies that invested in HD-DVD?

In short, is it politically too late for any kind of deal, or it is never too late?
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post #470 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 05:12 PM
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I posted this in the HD DVD Players forum, but someone there recommended that I ask it in the Insiders thread.

I've been having an ongoing debate with a rep from R&B Films. The packaging to their Chronos HD DVD indicates a 1080i encoding, which I commented in my review was an odd decision considering that they claim to have remastered it specifically for this disc and all the major studios are authoring discs at 1080p24.

This has lead to a lengthy discussion about whether HD DVD really supports 1080p or not. He confirmed with their authoring house (Technicolor) that the disc is authored with 1920x1080 data encoded with 2:3 reverse field cadence flags to instruct the HD DVD player how to decode for 1080i output. As I understand it, that's the same thing all the major studios do, and I told him I believe it would be safe to label their packaging that the disc is 1080p. An HD DVD player's decoder can use the cadence flags to decode as 1080i, or could theoretically ignore them and output as 1080p24 (as the Sony and Pioneer Blu-ray players do).

He insists that this is not accurate, and that all of the major studios are misleading the public by claiming their discs are 1080p. As far as he's concerned, HD DVD only supports 1080i and that's the end of the story.

This got me thinking about how DVDs are authored. Isn't film-based content on DVD soft telecined and stored on disc as 720x480 frames with the same 2:3 cadence flags for decoding and output? And yet we don't ever refer to DVDs as"480p".

So, are HD DVD discs really "1080p" or not? I'm hoping an insider can explain how it really works in a way I can relay back to the R&B rep.

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post #471 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 06:11 PM
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Add me to the list of those asking "What's up with Universal????"

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post #472 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

So we clearly still have a disagreement here, at least between you and PeterTHX. What are interweaved?

Interweaved isn't a technical term for it, just used it in a general sense. OK, I'll try it again. As Roger Dressler from Dolby said, a TrueHD encode can be used on both formats with no changes. The difference is that the TrueHD track can be directly imported in an HD-DVD project without any further work. It does NOT include a DD+ or AC3 core. For it work on the Blu-ray side, a standard AC3 stream must also be created, normally at 640kbps but it can be less. Now this step may or may not be specific to Scenarist BD. I have not had the chance to use Blu-print. When you want to import TrueHD into BD, you would point to the standard AC3 stream. At that point, you would say that you actually want to import a TrueHD stream and point to it. The 2 streams are then imported as a single audio track to be used.

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Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

then can any insider share what those reasons might be?

I can think of 3 reasons, but do not know if any are correct. One, an exact port of the HD-DVD may be bigger than the 25GB BD disc they want to use. The TrueHD track would be the easiest thing to cut possibly because of reason three. Two, Blu-print does not yet allow for TrueHD import. Maybe Talk or paidgeek can answer that one. Three, Warner felt it was not necessary since all current player, sans the PS3, do not decode it anyways. Again, I do not know the actual answer.

Quote:
I posted this in the HD DVD Players forum, but someone there recommended that I ask it in the Insiders thread.

I've been having an ongoing debate with a rep from R&B Films. The packaging to their Chronos HD DVD indicates a 1080i encoding, which I commented in my review was an odd decision considering that they claim to have remastered it specifically for this disc and all the major studios are authoring discs at 1080p24.

This has lead to a lengthy discussion about whether HD DVD really supports 1080p or not. He confirmed with their authoring house (Technicolor) that the disc is authored with 1920x1080 data encoded with 2:3 reverse field cadence flags to instruct the HD DVD player how to decode for 1080i output. As I understand it, that's the same thing all the major studios do, and I told him I believe it would be safe to label their packaging that the disc is 1080p. An HD DVD player's decoder can use the cadence flags to decode as 1080i, or could theoretically ignore them and output as 1080p24 (as the Sony and Pioneer Blu-ray players do).

He insists that this is not accurate, and that all of the major studios are misleading the public by claiming their discs are 1080p. As far as he's concerned, HD DVD only supports 1080i and that's the end of the story.

This got me thinking about how DVDs are authored. Isn't film-based content on DVD soft telecined and stored on disc as 720x480 frames with the same 2:3 cadence flags for decoding and output? And yet we don't ever refer to DVDs as"480p".

So, are HD DVD discs really "1080p" or not? I'm hoping an insider can explain how it really works in a way I can relay back to the R&B rep.

I think things got a bit mixed up. Most HD-DVDs are 1080p24. The reason for the confusion may be because the 1080p24 encode has metadata attached so the player will know how to handle the transition to 1080i. So your thoughts are 100% correct. A player that outputs native 1080p24 should ignore the metadata and output the stream. A real world example is to follow. I did a 1080p24 encode, using Microsoft's encoder, for HD-DVD. I then was able to remove the extra metadata for HD-DVD and have a 1080p24 encode for Blu-ray which I imported into Scenarist BD. It involved zero encoding to go from what the R&B rep is thinking is 1080i to 1080p24 for Blu-ray. That wouldn't be possible if the HD-DVD was truly 1080i. I'm sure Amir and Ben will also affirm what I am saying, which I'm sure will mean more to the R&B rep than coming from me.

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post #473 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 07:00 PM
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hi Amir
hope you can help
Is the laser in the HDDVD players the same in Bluray's
I ask this because I heard bluray had problems getting a good yield to work in the early stages.
That being the case I am concerned at the life span of the laser in both formats more so bluray.It would be huge problem if they were found to have a short lifespan
thanks

I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken
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post #474 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Boy, you guys should come and work for Toshiba with these creative ideas . But yes, I see no reason why double sided discs are not possible this way but they would obviously be somewhat more difficult/expensive than just using a blank on the other side.

A 30/51 flippy disc would be FIVE layers, wouldn't it?

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post #475 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jeff Williams View Post

A player that outputs native 1080p24 should ignore the metadata and output the stream.

Question for any insider: Can a compliant CE HD-DVD player just ignore this metadata? What about with PiP in the mix?
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post #476 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 08:16 PM
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Regarding Talk's hint that there logos may be used to distinguish between the various levels of BD player, I think it might just work. Just need to get the education on it.

It'd be similar to how we currently have different levels of DTS, different logos for different capabilities. If the BDA did this properly, they could cover their behinds and it would make it easier for sales folk to explain to customers. If someone asks if a player can do XYZ, with a bit of background info and looking at the player's BD logo, they could arrive at an answer and educate the customer in the process.

Talk, are you able to provide further insight? Am I getting warmer or colder?

Cheers...
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post #477 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Boy, you guys should come and work for Toshiba with these creative ideas . But yes, I see no reason why double sided discs are not possible this way but they would obviously be somewhat more difficult/expensive than just using a blank on the other side.

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Originally Posted by dialog_gvf View Post

A 30/51 flippy disc would be FIVE layers, wouldn't it?

I always assumed that 3 layer would use two layers molded together like one side of a 30GB twin format disc and one layer molded by itself bonded together with 'glue' like that used to bond the layers of dual layer HD-DVDs. Molding could be done on any 30 GB hybrid (flippy disc) HD-DVD line. All known technology.

BTW, from what I have heard, the hard part about physically going above 3 layers read from one side is the limits on total reflectivity.
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post #478 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 11:27 PM
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Insiders, I asked Toshiba CES booth staffers about HD DVD and the color gamut/resolution enhancements in HDMI 1.3 but they coludn't tell me more than what the sign in the booth said.

Does the HD DVD format accommodate the extra color bits or the wider color space? Or is an HD DVD player only able to "enhance" the color data that was laid down on the disc (akin to the way today's players and HDTVs "improve" a 480-line red DVD by scaling)? Are the answers to those questions the same with respect to the Blu-ray format and Blu-ray players?

Will we see movies any time soon that are telecined to capture the film's colors significanty better than is done today? In other words, will those titles be made so they can look better on the TVs that use the HDMI 1.3 color features?
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post #479 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by denass View Post

hi Amir
hope you can help
Is the laser in the HDDVD players the same in Bluray's
I ask this because I heard bluray had problems getting a good yield to work in the early stages.

Well, yes in that they are both blue lasers. No in that Sony makes their own, whereas other companies source from Nichia Chemical (original inventor of blue lasers) and Sharp. Sony is on its own, having to manufacture much higher volume in order to ship PS3s. The others only need to make enough for the HD DVD (and stand-alone BD) use. Given the fact that we and Toshiba are currently the largest volume customers, as you can imagine, we have an easier time getting parts than say, a low volume BD company.

Quote:


That being the case I am concerned at the life span of the laser in both formats more so bluray.It would be huge problem if they were found to have a short lifespan
thanks

Indeed, life span could be an issue as it is shorter in blue laser products. This is not a big deal for stand-alone playback where you use the machine very infrequently, but a bigger deal when you play a game for hours on end. Hopefully Sony has thought this through. Note that this is also a big problem in cars where the temprature is elevated. When we talk to companies who want to put these players in the car, they immediately rule out BD but think HD DVD can be made to work although that is also challenging.

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post #480 of 4841 Old 01-09-2007, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialog_gvf View Post

A 30/51 flippy disc would be FIVE layers, wouldn't it?

Gary

They are not all on the same side. That is, we are not trying to read all 5 layers on one side of the disc. Two (SD layer) are on the other side. And three on the other. We have 4 today with combo discs.

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