Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 160 - AVS Forum
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post #4771 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Yes. You can select DTS output and it will output in that format regardless of what codec technology is used on the disc. So if you like DTS best, then by all means, select that and you are good to go.

BTW everyeone, looks like we are running on a new software revision of the forum and it puts a slashQuote at the beg. of the post which screws up formatting. So you may want to edit that before posting.

Thanks Amir,

If you had KK, may Iask, your impressions?
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post #4772 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:17 AM
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Paidgeek, any news on Starship Troopers and Bad Boys yet?
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post #4773 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:45 AM
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HI Amir! any news in when the add on update is gonna be available for download on xbox.com? also, did you find out why Universal stopped supporting spanish subtitles in all new releases? thanx in advance
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post #4774 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:46 AM
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To all MS Insiders,

First of all, thanks for all your hard work on getting the updates out to us. They are much appreciated.

Most standalone DVD players feature frame advance (pause, then Pause button to advance frame by frame), slo-mo, etc. However the 360 player only allows for FF, RW, Play and Pause.


Now that the audio update is out of the gate, I would like to ask if any of the above features have been considered, may be on the horizon, or are scheduled for the next update.


Also, in my Dashboard I have turned the 360 sound effects to OFF, so I don't get annoyingly loud sound effects if a friend comes online, etc., when I'm watching a movie at -10 below reference level. However the sound effects in the Advanced menu bar (Digital Audio for example) still have the beep. Would it be possible to have this sound effect read ON/OFF status from the Dashboard, or just disable that sound altogether? Often when switching audio formats to compare, we do it with the volume at very high levels, and this bloop sound is rather loud at those levels.

I also noticed that when in the Digital Audio menu, switching to a different codec causes a brief pause, then the audio resumes. But about 3~4 seconds later the audio cuts out again momentarily. I assume this is nothing / by design, but is there anything to it?


Lastly, I don't know if this can be answered, but regarding the DD and DTS output... I know some people's receivers reduce DTS by 4dB, but mine is not one of them. But in testing a few scenes last night (Tokyo Drift - "My Ride" parking garage, Dreamgirls song, and Children of Men in the car before the attack, and the Universal start-up animation at the beginning of discs), I couldn't discern a difference that I could reproduce. If I thought I heard something different in one, it would still be there when I switched back to the other format. I can't seem to tell a difference between the two, at least with my short testing. However some people say there's a big difference in clarity (although I don't think anyone has done it "blind"). So, my last question is, is there anything inherent or "there by design" in the re-encoding to DD and DTS that would cause there to be differences in audio (surround speaker separation, center channel level, etc.)? If so, what are the inherent differences, even if slight? Or should they sound virtually the same, at least in theory, notwithstanding how the user's receiver decodes and plays the audio back?


Thank you!


PS - I also have another question here from late last night:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10559053

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #4775 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kjack View Post

I think this needs to be hammered home. Just having an HDMI 1.3 input or output means nothing. Various HDMI 1.3 chips optionally support various HDMI 1.3 features. And those features require firmware support, even if the hardware is there.

Keith,

Could you describe/characterize the similarities and differences of mpeg-2/avc/vc-1 decoding hardware in CE devices vs. computer video cards? Have you had any involvement with Intel, AMD(ATI), or Nvidia in the GPU arena?
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post #4776 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoro View Post

Thanks Amir,

If you had KK, may Iask, your impressions?

You mean King Kong? If so, it used to be one of our top demo reals until a few new movies unseated it just recently (i.e. Matrix, see http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/matrix_umc.html). So I really think highly of the audio/video experience on this title, especially given the long length of this movie....

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post #4777 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by villa View Post

HI Amir! any news in when the add on update is gonna be available for download on xbox.com?

I don't unfortunately. I have asked the question and will report back what I find out.

Quote:


also, did you find out why Universal stopped supporting spanish subtitles in all new releases? thanx in advance

I have confirmed that they have done it. But I am minding my own business on why, lest they want to start telling us how to write code.

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post #4778 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

To all MS Insiders,

First of all, thanks for all your hard work on getting the updates out to us. They are much appreciated.

Most standalone DVD players feature frame advance (pause, then Pause button to advance frame by frame), slo-mo, etc. However the 360 player only allows for FF, RW, Play and Pause.


Now that the audio update is out of the gate, I would like to ask if any of the above features have been considered, may be on the horizon, or are scheduled for the next update.


Also, in my Dashboard I have turned the 360 sound effects to OFF, so I don't get annoyingly loud sound effects if a friend comes online, etc., when I'm watching a movie at -10 below reference level. However the sound effects in the Advanced menu bar (Digital Audio for example) still have the beep. Would it be possible to have this sound effect read ON/OFF status from the Dashboard, or just disable that sound altogether? Often when switching audio formats to compare, we do it with the volume at very high levels, and this bloop sound is rather loud at those levels.

Thanks for the feedback and kind words. I have passed on the list to the team for consideration.

Quote:


I also noticed that when in the Digital Audio menu, switching to a different codec causes a brief pause, then the audio resumes. But about 3~4 seconds later the audio cuts out again momentarily. I assume this is nothing / by design, but is there anything to it?

Yes. When you switch codecs, there is some up front setup time. And you have to gracefully switch (i.e. by muting) digital audio as otherwise, you could get a loud pop.

Quote:


Lastly, I don't know if this can be answered, but regarding the DD and DTS output... I know some people's receivers reduce DTS by 4dB, but mine is not one of them. But in testing a few scenes last night (Tokyo Drift - "My Ride" parking garage, Dreamgirls song, and Children of Men in the car before the attack, and the Universal start-up animation at the beginning of discs), I couldn't discern a difference that I could reproduce. If I thought I heard something different in one, it would still be there when I switched back to the other format. I can't seem to tell a difference between the two, at least with my short testing. However some people say there's a big difference in clarity (although I don't think anyone has done it "blind"). So, my last question is, is there anything inherent or "there by design" in the re-encoding to DD and DTS that would cause there to be differences in audio (surround speaker separation, center channel level, etc.)? If so, what are the inherent differences, even if slight? Or should they sound virtually the same, at least in theory, notwithstanding how the user's receiver decodes and plays the audio back?

The two codecs are wildly different in how they encode their material. So there are definite sonic differences. Whether you hear them or not, depends on what content and your ears. In general, I would say DD is more efficient than DTS, but it has to run at 640kbps vs 1.5 mbit/sec. It is very hard to compensate for that much difference in bit rate. On the other hand, DD is a preceptual codec is it does a better of job of hiding what it is taking away. DTS on the other hand, is more or less zipping the audio and only in extreme situations, is throwing away stuff (but when it does, it doesn't do as a good a job as DD). So depending the circumstance, one or the other may sound slightly better.

At the end of the day though, you should go by what your ears tell you. If you can't tell the difference, decide which logo looks cooler on your AVR and pick that!

Quote:


PS - I also have another question here from late last night:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10559053

There is not enough info there for me to comment on. We need to know what looks bad, what the model number of the Visio is, and what resolution it is being fed. Even then, it may be hard to dignose but we can at least take a shot at it.

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post #4779 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for the response, Amir!!!

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #4780 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 02:14 PM
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Any MS insider
With the updates out, could someone respond on why now anything in Dolby Stereo no longer produces sound? I tested this in the HD-DVD options, and when it's on Stereo, all sound is gone. re-connecting the optical cable does nothing, and it's still identified as a Dolby sound source, just it can't be decoded for some reason.

HD DVD - 13

Blu-Ray - 16

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post #4781 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Thanks for the feedback and kind words. I have passed on the list to the team for consideration.


Yes. When you switch codecs, there is some up front setup time. And you have to gracefully switch (i.e. by muting) digital audio as otherwise, you could get a loud pop.


The two codecs are wildly different in how they encode their material. So there are definite sonic differences. Whether you hear them or not, depends on what content and your ears. In general, I would say DD is more efficient than DTS, but it has to run at 640kbps vs 1.5 mbit/sec. It is very hard to compensate for that much difference in bit rate. On the other hand, DD is a preceptual codec is it does a better of job of hiding what it is taking away. DTS on the other hand, is more or less zipping the audio and only in extreme situations, is throwing away stuff (but when it does, it doesn't do as a good a job as DD). So depending the circumstance, one or the other may sound slightly better.

At the end of the day though, you should go by what your ears tell you. If you can't tell the difference, decide which logo looks cooler on your AVR and pick that!


There is not enough info there for me to comment on. We need to know what looks bad, what the model number of the Visio is, and what resolution it is being fed. Even then, it may be hard to dignose but we can at least take a shot at it.

Having spent some time with all the codecs now, I would say WMA Pro has the edge in fidelity and openess. Using King Kong, the part that did it for me was were the girl screams at the top of her lungs. On DD it was very loud and harsh. On DTS it was very good, not so harsh however it lacked the dynamic punch of DD, but when I switched to WMA PRO, I was simply blown away. Wma seems to have great dynamics and openess, without being harsh. I am definitely going to keep it on Wma for now on.
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post #4782 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PARASITE View Post

Having spent some time with all the codecs now, I would say WMA Pro has the edge in fidelity and openess. Using King Kong, the part that did it for me was were the girl screams at the top of her lungs. On DD it was very loud and harsh. On DTS it was very good, not so harsh however it lacked the dynamic punch of DD, but when I switched to WMA PRO, I was simply blown away. Wma seems to have great dynamics and openess, without being harsh. I am definitely going to keep it on Wma for now on.

Thank you for the kind words. WMA Pro is one of our sleeper technologies. It is great to see its values becoming more apparent this way.

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post #4783 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PARASITE View Post

Having spent some time with all the codecs now, I would say WMA Pro has the edge in fidelity and openess. Using King Kong, the part that did it for me was were the girl screams at the top of her lungs. On DD it was very loud and harsh. On DTS it was very good, not so harsh however it lacked the dynamic punch of DD, but when I switched to WMA PRO, I was simply blown away. Wma seems to have great dynamics and openess, without being harsh. I am definitely going to keep it on Wma for now on.

PARASITE, I've also come to this conclusion about WMA Pro. What sold me was the "HIGHWAY Scene" in MI:3. The WMA Pro addition has been a very pleasant surprised & a gr-8 addition by MICROSOFT for those of us who have receivers which can decode WMA Pro...
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post #4784 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rover2002 View Post

Amir/MS
I've just been on the phone to CS here in HK with yet another faulty 360 (3rd in 2 months), this time i get the error msg 'E 79'.
Now the CS here is very good, the representatives are friendly and the whole experience is rather good. Now after i told CS the issue with E79, he replied 'Thats unique to us'. I wish he had not as now the curiosity factor has grown and i would like to know what the 'E 79' error is.
Soooo, Amir or other MS insiders, what is the error 'E 79' in the 360?
Thanks
Will
PS, is there a list of receivers that decode WMA Pro?

Thanks.
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post #4785 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

The new version of TFE can be identified by the new SKU and by the fact that it has a Dolby lossless track included. It is not being released with an announcement that it is a new transfer, so don't look for package information to that effect.

HOFD will not be re-transferred in the forseeable future. The picture characteristics of this title are not releated to those that affected TFE.

Will SPE still be offering a swap program on this title?
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post #4786 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover2002 View Post

Amir/MS
I've just been on the phone to CS here in HK with yet another faulty 360 (3rd in 2 months), this time i get the error msg 'E 79'.
Now the CS here is very good, the representatives are friendly and the whole experience is rather good. Now after i told CS the issue with E79, he replied 'Thats unique to us'. I wish he had not as now the curiosity factor has grown and i would like to know what the 'E 79' error is.
Soooo, Amir or other MS insiders, what is the error 'E 79' in the 360?
Thanks

I am sorry you are having problems like that. I checked with folks and they say that error means your hardware is bad (dah! ). So you should keep working with CS there to get it resolved. Should you not get resolution soon, PM me and I will see if I can help out (folks, this is not a generic offer to make good on Xbox support things . Just trying to to offer something given the grief he has been through).

Quote:


PS, is there a list of receivers that decode WMA Pro?

I believe Pioneer is the only one supporting it. I understand it is their full line through from cheap AVRs to expensive ones.

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post #4787 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 06:11 PM
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On Xbox 360 update being available on Xbox.com, just heard that it should be before end of the month.

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post #4788 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 06:31 PM
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Quote:


The new version of TFE can be identified by the new SKU and by the fact that it has a Dolby lossless track included. It is not being released with an announcement that it is a new transfer, so don't look for package information to that effect.

Paidgeek,

when does this new disc hit the streets? I didn't purchase the first release, so I'm not asking for swap-information... I just want to know when I should start to scour the shelves at the local Best-Buy for the new copy.

I'm assuming that it's safest to get this from a B&M given that one will need to inspect the back of the packging closely to determine if it's the new or old release.

thanks!

dave

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #4789 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I am sorry you are having problems like that. I checked with folks and they say that error means your hardware is bad (dah! ). So you should keep working with CS there to get it resolved. Should you not get resolution soon, PM me and I will see if I can help out (folks, this is not a generic offer to make good on Xbox support things . Just trying to to offer something given the grief he has been through).


I believe Pioneer is the only one supporting it. I understand it is their full line through from cheap AVRs to expensive ones.

Thanks Amirm,
The CS here is good so the whole thing has been no problem at all, i think it was just my curiosity getting the better of me as i wanted to know what part of the hardware has gone a bit nutty
Do Denon have eny plans for WMA Pro supporting receivers?
Thanks again
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post #4790 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Also keep in mind that many of the scenarios in HD DVD don't work right with compressed codec output. You would lose all PiP functionality for example as you won't be able to hear the audio from secondary video decoder. Yes, some people don't care and want the HDMI audio. In that case, my suggestion is to buy a Toshiba player which with its new $100 price drop, seemingly as cheap as water.

Hi Amir

The two low-end toshiba hd-dvd players don't sport analogue 5.1 outputs and apparently provide "HDMI audio support for PCM only".

Excuse my ignorance, but does this mean the audio from truehd soundtracks is pushed as 5.1 PCM audio through HDMI to my amp (like the analogue outputs would give me) or not?


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post #4791 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wickedbob View Post

Hi Amir

The two low-end toshiba hd-dvd players don't sport analogue 5.1 outputs and apparently provide "HDMI audio support for PCM only".

Excuse my ignorance, but does this mean the audio from truehd soundtracks is pushed as 5.1 PCM audio through HDMI to my amp (like the analogue outputs would give me) or not?

Yes, they are equiv. In one case, you send an analog stream. In the other, digital. In both cases TrueHD is decoded in the player. There is a slight peference to the digital/HDMI path for some AVRs which attempt to digitize their analog inputs before outputting. In these systems, you wind up digitizing the audio and then converting them back to analog yet again. With HDMI audio, you avoid this (whether you hear the difference though, is another matter).

Hopefully I didn't confuse you with the extra explanation .

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post #4792 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 10:35 PM
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Amirm,

Thank you very much providing inside info for HD DVD. Your contribution to this forum is just awesome.

I have just experimented with uncompressed PCM 2.0 down mixed from 5.1 LPCM source on PS3 feeding my Panny receiver via toslink. All I can say is that the fidelity of 2.0 uncompressed PCM sounds MUCH MUCH better than the lossy DD/DTS 5.1 tracks. With PLIIx processing I still get great surround sound effects but now with high fidelity.

The question is: Can Xbox 360 provide uncompressed down mixed PCM 2.0 output from Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA tracks as another toslink output option (First decode Dolby TrueHD/DTS HD MA to 5.1 LCPM internally then down mix it to 2.0 LPCM internally then output as 2.0 PCM) ?

After my PS3's experiment, I have been convinced that even 2.0 PCM uncompressed sound processed by PLIIx logic sounds MUCH better than ANY lossy DD/DTS 5.1 output.

Thanks


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post #4793 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 10:55 PM
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Amir, the Xbox 360 with the Spring HD-DVD update still cannot play the HD-DVD "Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed". Are there still known issues with some discs?

Edit: Never mind. This disc appeared to crash my 360 HD-DVD player the first 2 times I tried it, but now it's working fine. Happened during the transition from the copyright warning to the main menu. Might have been because I pressed the "DVD Menu" and/or fast forward buttons during the copyright warning...but now I can't recreate it. Weird.
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post #4794 of 4841 Old 05-17-2007, 11:20 PM
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Hi Amirm
From which HD device do you enjoy your own movies? I am on the thinking of moving from the add on to a stand alone solution.

Secondly could MS think of releasing a "true" elite add on for the xbox360, which could support all audio formats (maby by analoges). I love the interface and interaction with friend list and messenger through the dash, while seeing movies, but dislikes my NO-abiity to take fully advantage for next gen sound.

Thanks in advance for your comments.
Regards
Martin Lynge
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post #4795 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Changes coming to the Insiders thread?

we have received requests to have a separate Insiders thread for Xbox questions: the rules of the new thread will be identical to this one: just limited to Xbox

If we set this up, we ask that you be sure to post to the appropriate thread

Any ideas for this split? please PM me (do not post)

Thanks!
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post #4796 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 05:19 AM
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Here are some questions regarding Toshiba HD-DVD Players. Since I'm not aware of a Toshiba insider posting here, I would be very glad if Amir or any HD-DVD insider picks up the questions. Thanks a lot in advance!

1. I've read somewhere that the 2nd gen HDDVD-Players (XE1 and XA2) have been used to demonstrate DTS-MA decoding capabilities to the public during demo sessions. Are these players able to handle DTS-MA by design, or would (besides firmware) any kind of hardware extension be required to upgrade these players from the DTS-Core option to a full DTS-MA support? DTS-MA is one of the rare features which are not fully available yet and I feel it would be great to have as several Studio Canal titles come with DTS-MA (which is by the way a good thing in my opinion).

2. To be specific: is there anything in the works for 1st and 2nd gen players which will allow DTS-MA support?

3. As you might know the "display statistics" option of the HD-XE1 informs about the audio and video codec and resolution of the disc which is played, but it would be great to have the following information added to that info box:
- remaining playing time of the disc
- remaining playing time of the actual chapter (not that important)
- an information about the pictures per second which the movie is stored ON THE DISC

The remaining playing time is a feature which I'm missing on the player - mostly for physical reasons (to assess if it's time for a break or to decide to watch the rest of the movie... ), whereas the pictures per second would be great to know as it helps to judge certain aspects of movie quality (e.g. judder effects) and to select the best viewing device to be used.

So the question is: Are you aware of firmware development activities which would add those features to the XE1 and other HD-DVD players? In case this is not known/decided yet I would highly appreciate that someone passes these feature requests to Toshiba for consideration.

Thanks,
Torsten

Laserdiscs: ~350
HiVision LDs: 42
HD DVD count: 379 / still 20 on the wishlist
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post #4797 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack-Bauer-24 View Post

Hi paidgeek,

Are you still privvy to MGM releases? I know Fox is distributing their blu ray releases now, but I was wondering if they ever nailed down when the recently remastered Bond Films will be released on Blu ray?

I am not in the loop on the catalog Bond releases from MGM. I am looking forward to them though...

Sony Pictures BD Insider
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post #4798 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post

Paidgeek,

when does this new disc hit the streets? I didn't purchase the first release, so I'm not asking for swap-information... I just want to know when I should start to scour the shelves at the local Best-Buy for the new copy.

I'm assuming that it's safest to get this from a B&M given that one will need to inspect the back of the packging closely to determine if it's the new or old release.

thanks!

dave

Dave,

You should be able to get the new version in stores by mid-July.

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post #4799 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobyblue View Post

Will SPE still be offering a swap program on this title?

Yes, we promised, we'll deliver...

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post #4800 of 4841 Old 05-18-2007, 08:41 AM
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Amir,

Thanks again for the incredible update...my Denon AVR-3805 (BTW do you have an opinion of this AVR?) has simply never sounded so great...I have watched Bourne Supremacy prolly about 10 times, but last night for the first time watching it after the update...I am hearing things I've never heard before, its like watching the movie for the first time....many thanks!

I do have a question though. Prior to the update I could watch DVD movies that were DD and my 360 would send a DD signal to my AVR (DVD I tried last night was Scent of a Woman). Now after the update its only sending stero to my AVR and the AVR is just putting out stero. Is this normal? How do I get surround coming out of DVDs now?

Again many thanks!
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