CHRONOS and the HD-DVD 1080i verses BD 1080/24p Debate - AVS Forum
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello AVS Forum Members,

I head up the small Independent Label that released CHRONOS. There seems to be a lot of confusion involving CHRONOS ... our first HD Release ... but not our last.

Bottom line, for those that don't like to read, the current HD-DVD Format and HD-DVD Players are not capable of anything but 1080i output. Our CHRONOS release is encoded from the 1080/24P Source, same as our BD Version, but HD-DVD only outputs 1080i. In my opinion, until the day comes when HD-DVD can read and output a native 1080/24p file...it will not be capable of true 1080/24p output.

Regarding the overall 1080i or 1080p issue, the HD-DVD specifications only support 1080i at this point in time. There are discussions about adding support for 1080p for higher performance profile players, but this has not been decided yet.

CHRONOS was encoded from the 1080/24p source. The lab then needed to add 2:3 cadence flags to comply with HD-DVD Specifications. The 2nd generation Toshiba player does support 1080p output, but it will not be 24p output. The content on the disc would still have the cadence flags, which technically makes it 1080i. However, as the specs are right now, it's left to the player whether it outputs the content as interlaced or uses the progressive frames and ignores the flags or does any other conversions.

The fact remains the same, the specifications for HD-DVD do not allow for native 24 frames per second. The cadence information has to be included in the file - so to speak as metadata. As I mentioned previously, if the player chooses to ignore these flags, this is an implementers choice. However, although converting from 1080/24p to 1080i does not require an encode, the stream is still being "processed" (by the Player) re-flowing the 2:3 cadence and removing the progressive_sequence_flags. From this perspective, it is technically not a 24p stream anymore.

In any case, the stream on CHRONOS does have the same format as most discs out there. The frames are still encoded as progressive and if a player ignores the metadata, they will be displayed as progressive.

To summarize, both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) versions of CHRONOS come from the same 1080p24 Master. This master was created from the original 65mm Film Elements and transferred at Crest National under the supervision of Ron Fricke ... the original Director / Cinematographer. Everyone involved worked diligently to restore and color correct the original film elements to assure the best possible image quality.

R&B Films also hired Michael Stearns, the original Composer, do a complete remix of the CHRONOS soundtrack optimized for a smaller Home Theater environment. We remixed the film score after going back to the original 2" Reel to Reel Analog Masters and having them transferred at Todd-AO Sound Studios to 96/24 using the best ADAC's available.

I have worked as a Producer / Director for 30 years and a Record / Video Industry professional for 15 of those years. In my opinion, the amount of time and resources invested in to bringing CHRONOS to HD is far above and beyond what is typical for a special interest non-fiction film of this type.

I hope those that have yet to see this title in HD will do so, as it is a stunning example of what HD-DVD and BD is capable of from a film source.

I hope this resolves the confusion about CHRONOS on HD-DVD and BD and sheds some light on the topic of 1080i and 1080/24p in general.

Richard J. Casey
R&B Films, Ltd.

I like to think of R&B as more than a label; it's a gallery for fine art in the fields of audio and video programming. And the only reason to have a gallery, in my opinion, is to fill it with masterpieces.


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Old 01-17-2007, 06:56 AM
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Thank you very much for your input Richard, and your dedication in bringing these great films to the new formats.

Do you have plans to release Baraka?
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Old 01-17-2007, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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You are welcome...and thank your for your appreciation.

I would love to release Baraka in HD. I am working to secure the rights but currently, they are tied up at another label.

Rich

Quote:
Originally Posted by efranzen View Post

Thank you very much for your input Richard, and your dedication in bringing these great films to the new formats.

Do you have plans to release Baraka?


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Old 01-17-2007, 11:05 AM
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Eagerly awaiting Chronos on BR. Would love Baraka in HD as well!

Thanks for the insight.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBFilms View Post

As I mentioned previously, if the player chooses to ignore these flags, this is an implementers choice.

Thanks for the great post.

Are you saying the implementers do have the choice to ignore the metadata and output 24p in the players? Also, is the bluray version using the same transfer as HD DVD just without the 3:2 sequence header?

Thanks again.

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Old 01-17-2007, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for stopping by Richard!

What sound options are available on the Blu-Ray version (the one I'm interested in)? Hopefully, 24 bit/96 kHz lossless! Have you considered doing 8 channel, high res. mixes?

Is CHRONOS being transferred at a modified 1.78:1 HDTV "friendly" ratio, or pillarboxed at "full frame?" With IMAX they seem to have a bit of a wacky, non-standard ratio for projection. When I've seen 1.78:1 versions on DVD they tend to have a little more information on the sides, and the 1.33:1 versions crop a bit on the sides and have more information top and bottom. It's almost like two separate transfers for a Super35 composed movie.

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Old 01-17-2007, 12:37 PM
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Bottom line, for those that don't like to read, the current HD-DVD Format and HD-DVD Players are not capable of anything but 1080i output.

You are ignoring the HTPC market, including PowerDVD, and WinDVD. I have an HTPC and have no issues outputting 24PsF, 24P or 48I from it.

The lack of judder caused by converting to 24P to 30P or 60I is a beauty to behold.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Is CHRONOS being transferred at a modified 1.78:1 HDTV "friendly" ratio, or pillarboxed at "full frame?"

The Chronos HD DVD has been reformatted for 16:9.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=25835

I would assume that the Blu-ray will use the same master.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efranzen View Post

Thank you very much for your input Richard, and your dedication in bringing these great films to the new formats.

Do you have plans to release Baraka?


Really good question. Any plan on the release of Baraka?
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:39 PM
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Thanks a lot for your very informative post, Richard.

For what it's worth, I've been trying to raise awareness towards the importance of native 1080p24 in this forum for months, with this thread. As you can see, respected figures of the video scene such as cine4home's Ekkehart Schmitt or Joe Kane are insisting that 1080p24 is much more than a marketing bulleted item.

Now talking about R&B, Richard, what other titles do you have in your 2007 slate?

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:43 PM
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I'm confused now...is this insider confirmation that the native resolution of hd-dvd format/media is indeed 1080i60?

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

I'm confused now...is this insider confirmation that the native resolution of hd-dvd format/media is indeed 1080i60?


native 1080p24 with 3:2 sequence header in the metadata.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Thanks a lot for your very informative post, Richard.

For what it's worth, I've been trying to raise awareness towards the importance of native 1080p24 in this forum for months

I think from an encoding perspective, metadata doesn't change the 24p nature. That's why same transfer could be used on both format. From the decoding side, the question is whether1080i60 IVTC to 24p is the same as ignoring the metadata. Is IVTC a lossless process if done right?

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:54 PM
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If it really was "native 1080p24", then it does not make sense that you would need the 3:2 sequence header (EDIT: ) to output 1080p24. "1080i60 with 3:2 sequence header" would seem to be the more apt description.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

If it really was "native 1080p24", then it does not make sense that you would need the 3:2 sequence header. "1080i60 with 3:2 sequence header" would seem to be the more apt description.

Native 1080p24 is exactly why you need 3:2 sequence header to tell the decoder to do 3:2 pulldown on 24p stream in order to output 1080i60. If it is 1080i60 native, you wouldn't need 3:2 pull down, wouldn't you?

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

I think from an encoding perspective, metadata doesn't change the 24p nature. That's why same transfer could be used on both format. From the decoding side, the question is whether1080i60 IVTC to 24p is the same as ignoring the metadata. Is IVTC a lossless process if done right?

I've discussed this at length on post #78 of the other thread (reproducing part of an explanation and tests by cine4home). In short, even with state-of-the-art video processing, 1080i60-to-1080p24 is by no means infallible.

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

I've discussed this at length on post #78 of the other thread (reproducing part of an explanation and tests by cine4home). In short, even with state-of-the-art video processing, 1080i60-to-1080p24 is by no means infallible.


OK, IVTC "is the most challenging tasks that a scaler has to fulfill at present". Let's hope there would be HD DVD players using the ignore route before more competent video processor become mainstream.

HDPLEX
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

I've discussed this at length on post #78 of the other thread (reproducing part of an explanation and tests by cine4home). In short, even with state-of-the-art video processing, 1080i60-to-1080p24 is by no means infallible.

Indeed. That is why the content on HD DVD is 1080p, not 1080i. So the conversion is much simpler and lossless. We use a VP-50 to drive our Marantz projector at 48Khz inside the HD DVD truck and thousands of people have seen the judder free images of HD DVD that way.

Here is the other way to think about it. If I add metadata to the stream, to output the image at 4K resolution, instead of 2K that is the resolution of the bits on the disc, would you call the original stream "4K"? Of course, not. So calling the HD DVD stream "interlaced" or "1080i" is just as incorrect, simply because there is metadata to tell the player how to correctly output the stream in case the output is 1080i. What is important is the same 1920x1080 image is encoded in progressive mode in both formats and stored that way.

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:14 PM
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In the same general vein... what are the chances of Koyannisqatsi coming out on HD disc? I would love to see it in the same 2:35-1 AR as Baraka. I remember seeing it for the first time in a theater with a 70mm print and being totally blown away. I have a D-VHS version off of INHD which is kind of soft and is 1:85-1.

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:15 PM
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Richard, thanks for dropping by to shed light on that issue.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:20 PM
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To reiterate conversations we've had elsewhere, the VC-1 output PEP produces for HD DVD is native 24p, with metadata to define how it's output to 24p. When a HD DVD .vc1 file is converted for use on BD (like what Warner does), they use a simple utility to remove the 3:2 flagging metadata.

As has been demonstrated in software players, it's trivial to get 24p output from existing HD DVD titles. Support will be coming in stand-alone players as well.

So, in any meaningful sense, HD DVD supports 24p as well as BD, and supports some additional options (like having 60i PIP over 24p video).

Interestingly, the Sony Pearl produces a perfect 96 fps from a Toshiba player using its internal inverse telecine, but give a juddered 60 fps when playing a 24p BD disc from the many "progressive" players that do 60p.

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Indeed. That is why the content on HD DVD is 1080p, not 1080i. So the conversion is much simpler and lossless. We use a VP-50 to drive our Marantz projector at 48Khz inside the HD DVD truck and thousands of people have seen the judder free images of HD DVD that way.

Yes, that's the same setup used by cine4home during their tests and, whereas the picture was judder-free all right, it wasn't flawless. I copy from the aforementioned post:

Quote:


A. Deinterlacing of 1080i/60Hz signals

When fed 60Hz, the video processor must fulfill two tasks: not only must it combine two matching half-images into a full image, but it also must discard the superfluous half-image.


Correct 1080i/60Hz deinterlacing: in each case two matching half-images are combined into a frame, and surplus half-images are deleted.

This task is not so simple as it seems: the scaler must accomplish an image analysis in real time (60 times per second), find the correct cadence and decide which pictures to combine or discard. It has only about 16ms per frame to do that. Therefore, it is particularly difficult to keep exact timings. Even minimum deviations cause picture stutter. Additionally when the wrong picture is cut out, the picture flow is perceivably affected. The transformation of 1080/60i into 1080/24p is one of the most challenging tasks that a scaler has to fulfill at present (it is a little simpler with fed 1080p/60Hz signals).

Test of 1080i60 processing with the VP50

They started with the 24Hz output. The processor recognizes film material in fractions of a second and accomplishes an adequate deinterlacing. At the same time it converts the signal into 24Hz, reliably eliminating the stutter. It is a great satisfaction to admire HDTV in full quality on the projection screen without artifacts. Anyone who gets used to the smoothness of the 24Hz display will find the 60Hz stutter increasingly objectionable. But every rose has its thorn: during our tests we found from time to time that the scaler lost track of the cadence and the result was a distracting stutter. This can be solved by pausing the picture: the scaler resynchronizes and the picture runs smoothly once again. However, it is annoying to have to pause the film. Other weaknesses appeared with fast picture changes, particularly with flashes, e.g. with thunderstorm scenes, occasionally a frame was skipped, which results in a short stutter. They switched over to 48Hz. Here the picture keeps cadence more stably, but there were also instances of stutters which could only be corrected by pausing the image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Here is the other way to think about it. If I add metadata to the stream, to output the image at 4K resolution, instead of 2K that is the resolution of the bits on the disc, would you call the original stream "4K"? Of course, not. So calling the HD DVD stream "interlaced" or "1080i" is just as incorrect, simply because there is metadata to tell the player how to correctly output the stream in case the output is 1080i. What is important is the same 1920x1080 image is encoded in progressive mode in both formats and stored that way.

We're arguing semantics here. If I have an ice dispenser that only serves crushed ice, does it matter whether the ice in the tank is actually crushed or in cubes?

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:35 PM
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Thanks RBFilms, I haven´t seen Chronos, but given the interest you have shown on posting here, I´ll buy it!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

Native 1080p24 is exactly why you need 3:2 sequence header to tell the decoder to do 3:2 pulldown on 24p stream in order to output 1080i60. If it is 1080i60 native, you wouldn't need 3:2 pull down, wouldn't you?

If it was 1080p24 on the disc then you would not need any framerate conversion to achieve 1080p24 output from the player, altogether . That seems to be the cruxt of what is really "native" on an hd-dvd disc. It makes sense that something that is natively 1080i60 dictates a 3:2 pulldown to achieve 1080p24 output from the player.

If this is not the case, then I don't see what the "beef" is with the OP in mastering his 1080p content to hd-dvd (if it indeed can store 1080p content natively).

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

If it was 1080p24 on the disc then you would not need any framerate conversion to achieve 1080p24 output from the player, altogether . That seems to be the cruxt of what is really "native" on an hd-dvd disc.

Indeed, per Richard, just ignore the metadata and you got 24p output. No framerate conversion needed. That's how Warner use HD DVD transfer on bluray-delete the metadata instead of frame rate conversion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

It makes sense that something that is natively 1080i60 dictates a 3:2 pulldown to achieve 1080p24 output from the player.

3:2 pulldown is needed to achieve 1080i60 output from a 24p native source. If a bluray player needs to output 1080i60, they also need to perform 3:2 pulldown on the 24p stream. The process to achieve 1080p24 from 1080i60 is called IVTC or 3:2 pullup.

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

We're arguing semantics here. If I have an ice dispenser that only serves crushed ice, does it matter whether the ice in the tank is actually crushed or in cubes?

Exactly. The issue is that Toshiba is upgrading the XA2 to dispense crushed or full cubes, so why call the disc 1080i? To me it seems like it will cause some customer confusion (unnecessary customer confusion) and perpetuates the myth that HD DVD does not support 1080p/24 which has been propagated since Samsung came out with its "1080p" player.

The metadata is there, PC users have been easily getting 24p images. I guess once Toshiba gets the 1080p/24 going on XA2 then everything should die down and both sides will just accept that the differences aren't really there.

(as an aside for my clarification) IVTC = inverse telecine?

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

We're arguing semantics here. If I have an ice dispenser that only serves crushed ice, does it matter whether the ice in the tank is actually crushed or in cubes?

You would if there is a switch that lets you get cubes or crushed ice out of it .

Seriously, it makes a significant difference what is on disc. All three codecs in BD and HD DVD have an interlace mode which gives you higher efficiency for encoding true interlace content. Yet none of the movies are authored that way. Instead, we use progressive encoding mode of the codecs which is another proof that what is on disc, is truly progressive.

Hopefully Chronos is not encoded for HD DVD using interlace tools for MPEG-2. If it is encoded that way, well, then the quality is going to suffer. If it is encoded in progressive with metadata, then this whole thread is like me explaining how the valves in the engine are designed, to someone who is just interested in driving a car....

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

Indeed, per Richard, just ignore the metadata and you got 24p output. No framerate conversion needed. That's how Warner use HD DVD transfer on bluray-delete the metadata instead of frame rate conversion.

So what exactly is the complaint of the OP?

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Old 01-17-2007, 03:55 PM
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The playback is limited to the hardware output, which is the responsibility of the CE manufacturers. Just like they are responsible for adoption of 1080p input and HDCP ready HDMI.

Don't fault the spec for something that is a hardware choice by the CE guys. The exact same situation is happening on the PS3 with the whole 720p issue. It isn't BD's fault that the PS3's hardware output is lacking.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

So what exactly is the complaint of the OP?

I am searching for the same . Was there a thread where people raised concerns on one format or the other?

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