Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 52 - AVS Forum
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post #1531 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Def DVD View Post

Amirm, thanks for answering on this thread, keep up the good work.

Now, is there in anyway by a chance that a firmware to Toshiba HD-XA1 will get 1080p compatibility, or should i rely on A20 / XA2?

It is very unlikely that you get an update for XA-1 for 1080p. So I would not wait for that, nor does that bother me as my processor does a great job converting 1080i to 1080p from that set anyway. I would put the money toward buying more movies to watch .

The reason to get the new players is to get faster response time, and better error correction on the drive to deal with disc defects.

Thanks for supporting HD DVD btw .

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post #1532 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialog_gvf View Post

Wouldn't the Total HD process be able to produce a flippy BD/DVD combo?

Gary

Blu-ray supports hybrid DVD/BD combo discs that can be read from one side. The DVD layer is read through the BD layers. These discs have been demonstrated, but SPE is currently not planning to use them as we currently think the majority of consumers are looking for one format or the other, not both.

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post #1533 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Point of order

Working for a company that is a member of the BDA, the DVD Forum or the HD DVD PRG does not make a person a BDA/DVD/HD DVD insider.

Examples:

archibael is not an insider. nataraj is not an insider. They are forum members that happen to work for Intel and Microsoft but their specific jobs are unrelated to hidef disc. (and judging from the number of forum members from Redmond and whereabouts I'd say there's a whole lot of closet Microsofties around )

PeterTHX has said he works on display technology. Same thing.

It is only the same thing if his signature says what Nataraj/Archibael say. But it is not. Why is that important? For two reasons:

1. If he sends me/Keith, etc. a PM asking for not so public info about HD DVD, we would know that there is a chance that info may leak to others at his company and answer appropriately. I think he owes me and others this kind of disclosure. I am sure if Nataraj PMed someone on the BDA side, they would like to know this.

2. He made a statement that none of the other people make. That is, he said, "We at BDA...." That tells me that he was at least in that post, representing his company's position on BD format. Once he crossed that line, in my book, he at least needs to indentify this in his signature so that people who have not kept up with that thread, know about his affiliation.

Anyway, a kind remark that it is probably inappropriate for you to argue such points here. I am sure he can make his own arguments . And at any rate, I only told him that I might not answer his questions. Not that he should be driven off the site. SBD companies can take the same stance with Nataraj, etc. if they like. So you jumping makes even less sense in that respect. So please Gary, we want to use this thread for Q/A only. I have stopped posting in any other thread beside this one as to let tensions come down. Posts like this are not helpful in that regard.

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post #1534 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

You're making the dichotomy between lossless/lossy, while the real question is the audio experience for the consumer.

BD discs use PCM because its best mandatory compressed codec is AC-3 @ 640 Kbps. DD+ is much more transparent, meaning there isn't an audible difference for movie soundtracks, even for finicky listeners on high-end equipment, between DD+ @ 1.5 Mbps and PCM @ 4.6 Mbps.

Certainly, any MPEG-2 disc on BD-25 would provide a better overall experience with those 3.7 Mbps (DD+ instead of PCM+AC3) available for video.

Ben,

There is a world of sound quality improvement between 16/48 LPCM and any lossy codec. Even Dolby representatives have said as much. Would you care to sight (or maybe host) some double blind testing?

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post #1535 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

Blu-ray supports hybrid DVD/BD combo discs that can be read from one side. The DVD layer is read through the BD layers. These discs have been demonstrated, but SPE is currently not planning to use them as we currently think the majority of consumers are looking for one format or the other, not both.

That is a surprising comment. Thanks for letting us know that hybrid discs are available to other studios. But are you talking about JVC hybrid proposal? If so, JVC's proposal was on paper and no mass replication process was shown to be practical. The generous tolerances of the DVD layer below completely destroys any leeway left for the BD layer (8 micron accuracy is hard to maintain on a blank BD layer, but nearly impossible on an uneven dual DVD layer below). Indeed, JVC considers BD process itself very difficult (I am sure you remember their negative comments after last CES to the press in this regard) let alone making hybrids with it.

In sharp contrast to above, they had no trouble making combo HD DVD discs for us prior to last CES.

So with that said, can you tell us which replicators can produce these discs for other studios? And whether they can combine them with dual layer BD discs?

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post #1536 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:18 AM
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amirm, what do you think the chances are of future HD DVD players having on board wireless to access the enhanced network features that are expected in future HD DVD titles? Even though a wired network port is mandatory on all players it is sometimes not convenient/possible to make a wired connection in this case where a constant internet connection is desired.

Apologies if this has been asked before, and thanks for answering this and my last question.
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post #1537 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

We've recently rolled out some new updated to studios, so we don't have complete feedback on what bitrates they're able to get down to at this point. With efficiency improvements, we're definitely a reduction in the bits needed to hit high quality.

There is reference content around ~12 Mbps already.

I think 12 Mbps is a reasonable target for most feature film content at this point. But it as always dependent on content, and a moving target as well.

Great to hear, thx.

I guess it's safe to say the target sweet spot for 2007 going forward (with a bit of a cushion) is 12-14 Mbps average then.


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post #1538 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

Ben,

There is a world of sound quality improvement between 16/48 LPCM and any lossy codec. Even Dolby representatives have said as much. Would you care to sight (or maybe host) some double blind testing?

Ben will have his own views I am sure . But let me chime in also. We have done double-blind tests at Microsoft with our surround codec, WMA Pro at 760 kbps. Statistically, no one could tell that apart from the original. And this was with people using headphones and such and many were codec testers who know what to listen for.

Now, WMA Pro is much more modern than DD. And I can't quite figure out from Dolby what they think of DD+ at 760 kbps. But double that to 1.5 mbit/sec, and you are golden.

Here is the thing to keep in mind. We are not talking about stereo music. We are talking about multi-channel movie sound. Here, masking effect from other speakers would provide amazing cover for any distortion that might be present. And also keep in mind that 1.5 mbit/sec is equiv to lossless stream at 16/44.1 because that is a bit higher than CD data rate and we all agree that is lossless. So at any one point, the data rate is as good as a very inefficient PCM stream for two channels. Representing the other channels is not hard as such, given the fact that the ear is not looking for fidelity in the rear channel or the sub.

Even if there is a difference, it is not a world of difference by any stretch. Have you participated in a double blind study yourself of DD+ at 1.5 mbit/sec and were able to hear such a difference?

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post #1539 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efjay View Post

amirm, what do you think the chances are of future HD DVD players having on board wireless to access the enhanced network features that are expected in future HD DVD titles? Even though a wired network port is mandatory on all players it is sometimes not convenient/possible to make a wired connection in this case where a constant internet connection is desired.

Apologies if this has been asked before, and thanks for answering this and my last question.

Yes, and I hope it becomes a standard feature. Yes, there are cheap dongles but with the super low cost of wireless, it should be there. I suspect though, they don't do that as regulatory certification gets harder with a transmitter in there. But hey, engineers get paid to solve problems like this .

BTW, the spec does not mandate a wired connection. It only mandates a connection to the internet. The manufacturer can choose what kind of network port they put on there.

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post #1540 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

That is a surprising comment. Thanks for letting us know that hybrid discs are available to other studios. But are you talking about JVC hybrid proposal? If so, JVC's proposal was on paper and no mass replication process was shown to be practical. The generous tolerances of the DVD layer below completely destroys any leeway left for the BD layer (8 micron accuracy is hard to maintain on a blank BD layer, but nearly impossible on an uneven dual DVD layer below). Indeed, JVC considers BD process itself very difficult (I am sure you remember their negative comments after last CES to the press in this regard) let alone making hybrids with it.

In sharp contrast to above, they had no trouble making combo HD DVD discs for us prior to last CES.

So with that said, can you tell us which replicators can produce these discs for other studios? And whether they can combine them with dual layer BD discs?

As mentioned in my original post, this type of disc was demonstrated some time ago. Did I say the discs were in production or available to other studos? My point is that they are proven to work, and if requested by a studio, can be manufactured.

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post #1541 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteSimple View Post

So while BD25 at 30Mbps is short of 22 minutes as compared to HD-DVD30 at the same bitrate, HD-DVD30 is short of 89 minutes as compared to BD50 at the same bitrate isn't it? Or is my math wrong?

I am too lazy to proof your math . Maybe someone else can do that. But I don't think we need to prove that BD-25 holds less content than HD DVD-30 at the same rate, do we? The issue is that if you use higher rate, as is the case when you throw in a PCM track, then the capacity deficit becomes higher compared to HD DVD-30. Likewise, the storage gap of BD-50 to HD DVD-30 is diminished as a result, without gaining you any quality advantage over lossless audio. And compared to high rate DD+ (another codec not standard in BD), then you have even a bigger gap.

Quote:


And hasn't it been proven that most BD25 releases are great releases, capacity not withstanding?

Great meaning what? None of them have Picture in Picture so if you are comparing them to HD DVD titles, well, they left out something that would take out bandwidth and space. And many lack extras that HD DVD counterparts have. Indeed, many HD DVDs have the same extras as the deluxe DVD set.

Quote:


Coming back to the question of using LPCM on BD25, a Dolby TrueHD FAQ stated that 6-channel, 16-bit 48 Hz runs at 4.61 Mbps. So that means a BD25 can have a sustained 20Mbps for video for 133 minutes. That's 20Mbps for MPEG-2, or VC-1 or AVC. [size=4]Isn't AVC at 20Mbps ain't that bad, paidgeek?
fuad

The fly in the ointment is that TrueHD is not standard in every BD player. And hence the pickle they are in. If they used TrueHD tomorrow on all of their discs, there would a large cry from everyone who bought the Samsung, etc. which can't play it. They saved a few cents that way, and messed with your suggestion as a result .

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post #1542 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

Blu-ray supports hybrid DVD/BD combo discs that can be read from one side. The DVD layer is read through the BD layers. These discs have been demonstrated, but SPE is currently not planning to use them as we currently think the majority of consumers are looking for one format or the other, not both.

Did SPE do any consumer research on combo interest?

We have ample proof on here that they aren't well received on HD DVD. Although this may be mostly due to the cost differential.

What is the drive by Warner (now abandoning it for Total HD) and now Universal to use primarily the combo form?

Is it to supply the extras in DVD form, thus eliminating the production costs for extras on the HD DVD side?

Is it to boost margin, due to them charging a few bucks more (wholesale - $5 SRP) for a disc that costs them only about 75 cents more to produce?

Gary


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post #1543 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:50 AM
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Amir:

I was on thelookandsoundofperfect website and was watching the HD DVD Interactivity Demo and he was talking about registering somewhere at a Universal site and then being able to download HD DVD trailers & trailers for movies coming soon to theaters.

I'd love to be able to download current movie trailers that are still waiting to come out to movie theaters and play them before watching the HD DVD movie.

Can you give more detail about all this? Can we do this now or is this something that is still being worked on? What website is he referring to go register at, do you have a link?


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post #1544 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

As mentioned in my original post, this type of disc was demonstrated some time ago. Did I say the discs were in production or available to other studos? My point is that they are proven to work, and if requested by a studio, can be manufactured.

Sorry, but your two bolded statements seem in conflict . On one hand you say they are not available to studios, on the other you say if a studio asks, they can be made.

Let's ask the question this way. Can Sony Shizuoka plant produce them today if they got an order? If not, which replicator can so that I can call them and verify that? Or can you tell us if Origin or any other replication equipment maker can provide that capability to a replicator?

I hope you agree that getting something to work in a factory, is far, far, harder than a technical paper and "demonstration" of a couple of discs. People have shown multi-level DVDs which even using red laser, can approach the capacity of blue laser discs (by using more than just on/off states for each pit/bit). And demonstration discs were shown as were many technical papers. One of them actually was published jointly by Philips. Yet the companies are bankrupt because creating and verifying such discs were way too difficult. So let's not claim that such demos show that something is "proven." There is a huge gap between the two claims.

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post #1545 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robena View Post

Amir, Ben,

At some point, it was posted that AVC encoded HD-DVDs were early encodes, and that since then, studios had switched to VC-1.

There has been several AVC movies on HD-DVD recently, like The Matador and Pulse.

Are these still old encodes, or have some studios decided to use AVC with HD-DVD?

I must say that I don't like how AVC looks (so far) on HD-DVD. It has an edgy look, and completely lacks (on the titles I saw) the way the best VC-1 transfers look, at the same time smooth and sharp.

We certainly don't have a lock on the market if that is what you are asking . Companies are free to experiment if they like. Some like Warner did their tests once, and enjoy the advantage of picking a codec, training their people to use it the best way and then run with it. Others still play with other codecs and if they see a movie looks good, might not bother to re-encode with VC-1 also and compare before publishing them.

So yes, I expect occasional AVC encodes to still be out there in HD DVD land and that is fine. Competition keeps us on our toes .

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post #1546 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Clarification:

-Can't play the lossless track
-Can play the lossy (DD) core of the TrueHD track

Not a very useful clatification when we are talking about replacing PCM with TrueHD. Or are you saying that good old DD at 640 kbps is a replacement for PCM? In which case, I am going to stand back and let you fight it out with Paid .

BTW, there is no "core" in TrueHD. BD simply mandates a companion DD track for TrueHD. Same thing can occur in HD DVD players although there, the author has the choice of using DD+, rather than being forced to also spit out a DD track.

Only DTS lossless has a concept of core plus lossless extension.

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post #1547 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 09:15 AM
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HD DVD insiders:

Is there any word on what happened with independent studios Magnolia and BCI/Brentwood.

There was a press release last April about Magnolia titles hitting HD DVD in May 2006 (never materialized), but instead they made it to Blu-ray. Also, BCI had some titles slated for September of 2006, and now they are indefinitely postponed.
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post #1548 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 09:18 AM
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Amir,

Could you summarize the HD DVD combo and flip disc types available on the market? I would like to put them into my BD / HD DVD specifications thread. It is very confusing dealing with single layer, double layer, single side, double side, HD DVD-15, DVD-9, etc. etc.


Could any BD insiders provide the same info for Blu-ray discs?
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post #1549 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 09:19 AM
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This is a question for Amir, or any other Microsoft insider who cares to address it.

How closely involved has Microsoft been with the transfers on recently released Universal HD DVD titles? The PQ on the last two Universal releases I've watched (Mummy Returns and Brokeback Mountain) has not been as impressive as on earlier titles such as Hulk and Scorpion King. Is the explanation simply inferior source material?
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post #1550 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

we currently think the majority of consumers are looking for one format or the other, not both.

paidgeek

This is obviously not what some of the other studios(paramount &warner?) think because they release hd-dvd/dvd on alot of their disks but only BD on the BD version. Paramount Does the BDA or DVDA stop BD/DVD combos? I tried asking this once before. I just couldnt figure out why a studio think a HD-DVD/DVD is a good idea but then when they make the BD they dont think its a good idea anymore. Trust me I dont like these flippers I'm just curious if its a cost thing for BD or if BDA asks them not to do it?
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post #1551 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

It is very unlikely that you get an update for XA-1 for 1080p. So I would not wait for that, nor does that bother me as my processor does a great job converting 1080i to 1080p from that set anyway. I would put the money toward buying more movies to watch .

The reason to get the new players is to get faster response time, and better error correction on the drive to deal with disc defects.

Thanks for supporting HD DVD btw .

Amir,

I have an A1 and it is a great upconverter. My question is: would the new AX2 with that great new chip do an even better job of upconverting regular DVDs?
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post #1552 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Yes, and I hope it becomes a standard feature. Yes, there are cheap dongles but with the super low cost of wireless, it should be there.

We have been pushing wireless support, including the ability to easily add it to our reference designs. Now if they just learn to embed the antenna. One question I ran into though -- does AACS have to approve the content protection mechanisms used by the various wireless standards before they can allowed?

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post #1553 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuGsArEtAsTy View Post

I guess it's safe to say the target sweet spot for 2007 going forward (with a bit of a cushion) is 12-14 Mbps average then.

Things like this become important for when you eventually want to stream a managed copy over a wireless network.

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post #1554 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

BTW, there is no "core" in TrueHD. BD simply mandates a companion DD track for TrueHD. Same thing can occur in HD DVD players although there, the author has the choice of using DD+, rather than being forced to also spit out a DD track.

Only DTS lossless has a concept of core plus lossless extension.

Amir,

The Dolby white paper states that a Dolby Digital track can accompany a Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD track with no addition space requirements:

Quote:
The high compression efficiencies of Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus permit the incorporation of separate lossy and lossless soundtracks with no resulting penalty in disc space compared to other audio coding systems which are required to encode the lossy core and lossless extension as a single bitstream.

I realize this is a white paper, so I wonder if you have seen such things being implemented, since all TrueHD HD DVD titles also include a DD+ track. Is there really no space lost by including both tracks?
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post #1555 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:43 AM
 
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Only DTS lossless has a concept of core plus lossless extension.

It seems to me that most everyone is able to decode DTS "core" on current receivers, given that everyone would be able to extract the core extension built into DTS-HD MA, why didn't the DVD forum and BDA choose DTS-HD MA as the mandatory lossless codec?

Were the DTS encoders/decoders not available?
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post #1556 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:45 AM
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There is a world of sound quality improvement between 16/48 LPCM and any lossy codec. Even Dolby representatives have said as much. Would you care to sight (or maybe host) some double blind testing?

I asked this question in a slightly different context earlier in the thread. Is there any independant tests that you base your statement on ? If you don't have any tests as your basis, what is the basis of this statement ? As someone interested in audio science, I'd be very interested in your answer.
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post #1557 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 10:49 AM
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I guess it's safe to say the target sweet spot for 2007 going forward (with a bit of a cushion) is 12-14 Mbps average then.

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Things like this become important for when you eventually want to stream a managed copy over a wireless network.

Oh, yes, thanks. Great point, and one I hadn't considered.

I do note however, that those numbers were averages. I'm guessing (and correct me if I'm wrong) that peak video bitrates will still hit over 20 Mbps, and of course that's not even including other video streams and audio.

Fortunately, 802.11n should be able to handle that over reasonable distances.



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We have been pushing wireless support, including the ability to easily add it to our reference designs. Now if they just learn to embed the antenna.

Which wireless? Do you have any plans for 802.11n (draft) in the foreseeable future?


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post #1558 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 11:29 AM
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Which wireless? Do you have any plans for 802.11n (draft) in the foreseeable future?

While Sigma offers a UWB chipset, we also fully support customers that wish to use 802.11g or 802.11n. There was a SMP8634 + 802.11n streaming demo at CES done by one of our partners. Almost all of our reference designs have a MiniPCI slot to enable adding a wireless (UWB, 802.11g or 802.11n) board.

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post #1559 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 11:47 AM
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Amir,

The Dolby white paper states that a Dolby Digital track can accompany a Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD track with no addition space requirements:

Are you saying that they claim that you get the lossy layer for free? If so, then that is not my read of it. The lossy layer clearly requires its own bandwidth and storage requirements for TrueHD.

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I realize this is a white paper, so I wonder if you have seen such things being implemented, since all TrueHD HD DVD titles also include a DD+ track. Is there really no space lost by including both tracks?

Our recent experience with DTS lossless shows us that they save both bandwidth and actual space by combining the two codecs as opposed to separate encodes. We are actually surprised how well they are able to do this. But please note that this is preliminary data and I have my hands full fighting the video codec battles, and would hate to get in the middle of DTS and Dolby on this .

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post #1560 of 4841 Old 01-26-2007, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by John Haghighi View Post

It seems to me that most everyone is able to decode DTS "core" on current receivers, given that everyone would be able to extract the core extension built into DTS-HD MA, why didn't the DVD forum and BDA choose DTS-HD MA as the mandatory lossless codec?

Were the DTS encoders/decoders not available?

You mean as a replacement for TrueHD? Maybe backward compatibility with DVD-A/MLP played a role in that given the fact that DVD Forum went that way before. Or that Dolby guys are better at consensus building than DTS . All I know is that it came up for a vote this way and we said yes, due to strong support from Warner/Disney.

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