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post #1 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Industry Insiders Master Thread III (combined to include Xbox and PS3) Q&A thread: : Questions to Insiders only: only Insiders may answer

This is a continuation of the Industry Insiders Q&A thread: it recombines

Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD and

Industry Insiders Xbox & Add On and PS3 Q&A thread


Post Questions [only questions] directed to and answered only by Industry Insiders who are asked to identify themselves as such in their sig : subject to AVS approval

Industry Insiders only may answer questions or make comments: this is the thread for chat between Insiders as well

any AVS member can post questions [only questions please] for Insiders- but we will not tolerate any bashing

AVS recognizes the special nature of Industry Insiders and values their participation: we ask all AVS members to treat them with respect

Remember: Questions only: no off topic posts: they may be removed: and only Insiders [who have been recognized by AVS moderators] may answer


Insiders: please PM Ken H and myself with your credentials: mods and only mods will make the determination of who qualifys as an insider and all such discussions will be done off line: not to be discussed here

This is a continuation of the original thread Industry Insiders Q&A Thread: only Questions to insiders please which did not end well: any more of this and we will take strong action: Insiders are to be treated with respect:

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post #2 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 05:11 AM
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Amir,
I have a question regarding the scaling of the HD DVD video on the 360 and also about the WMAPro option for sound.

What are the differences in the scaling of the 1080p signal in the 360 for 1080i vs 720p vs VGA (1280x720)?

Also, what was the driving factor to including the WMAPro option? Was it because the 360 had that decoding already built in for the Media Center functions? Was it something that someone came up with in a meeting, or something someone or a group was excited about trying?

Thanks!
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post #3 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 06:10 AM
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Any news on when the 65 nm CPU will begin to be used in the Xbox 360 Elite?
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post #4 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 07:26 AM
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Any news on the release of "Sin City" on blu-ray?
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post #5 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Character_Zero View Post

Amir,
I have a question regarding the scaling of the HD DVD video on the 360 and also about the WMAPro option for sound.

What are the differences in the scaling of the 1080p signal in the 360 for 1080i vs 720p vs VGA (1280x720)?

Can you clarify your question? We don't do any scaling from 1080p to 1080i as the two have the same resolution . In general though, we use the graphics hardware to scale the video. 1080p to 1080i conversion is a simple matter of interlacing the progressive signal and sending it out that way. The graphics processor has pretty powerful filtering ability so it is able to scale quite well (scaling is basically filtering). So that is how we get 720p.

Quote:
Also, what was the driving factor to including the WMAPro option? Was it because the 360 had that decoding already built in for the Media Center functions? Was it something that someone came up with in a meeting, or something someone or a group was excited about trying?

Actually, it came from you all . I got a few requests from it in the insider thread so went to the team and asked what it would take to do it. Seeing how we did not have a real-time encoder for it that used low amount of CPU cycles, it took some amount of work to do it.

The second motivation was that we wanted to get the absolute best audio quality we could out of Toslink output. Given the high efficiency of WMA Pro, we thought having it there would give people another option to do this.

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post #6 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 08:29 AM
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Let me have a shot at clarifying - what I think he's asking is what kind of processing is done. As we know HD-DVD typically stores 1080i film data as 24P with RFF flags to facilitate 1080i playback - just like DVD does. Now for downscaling to 720P there's a couple of possible scenarios:

- ignore the RFF flags, downscale and just repeat frames to get 60P
- downscale to 720P and use the RFF flags to determine which frames to repeat to get 60P
- convert to 1080i, deinterlace that then downscale to 720p
- convert to 1080i, perform cadence detection to get back 1080P, downscale, then repeat to 60P

Regardless of which method you use above, that also makes me wonder how would you deal with cadence breaks/mixed 24P/60i? Also, how would you deal with 1080i video content, or film content that's stored as straight 1080i (no RFF flags)?

/frode
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post #7 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 09:27 AM
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Thanks Amir for your responses. I was just wondering basically what scaling was done, so you answered my question.

I had not seen any stand alone HD DVD players supporting WMAPro (are there any?). Do you think the inclusion on the 360 HD DVD drive might cause stand alone manufacturers to include WMAPro? Does the 360 make that conversion any easier?
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post #8 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 10:53 AM
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To Sony insiders:

With tomorrow's release of the 1.80 firmware for the PS3, apparently this will add 1080p up-conversion for DVDs and PS1/2 games. No mention was made of any other resolutions. Can you confirm that this will also add the ability to up-convert to 720p and 1080i, for people who don't have displays capable of accepting 1080p inputs?

Thanks.

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #9 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Character_Zero View Post

I had not seen any stand alone HD DVD players supporting WMAPro (are there any?). Do you think the inclusion on the 360 HD DVD drive might cause stand alone manufacturers to include WMAPro? Does the 360 make that conversion any easier?

I don't know that they will go that way. But we are more than happy to support them if they do. Instead, I think the best place to see more WMA Pro is in the AVRs as that enables other scenarios like digital downloads to benefit from this codec just the same.

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post #10 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frode View Post

Regardless of which method you use above, that also makes me wonder how would you deal with cadence breaks/mixed 24P/60i? Also, how would you deal with 1080i video content, or film content that's stored as straight 1080i (no RFF flags)?

We deal with them very easily. We don't allow them in the first place with VC-1 encodes . Our encoder will only encode in either interlace or progressive mode. It will not switch back and forth mid-stream. So you are assured to not have cadence breaks.

The workflow here is a lot cleaner. We take progressive scans and encode them that way. So none of the problems you are used to seeing with DVD is present here. That is why it is easy to reconstruct the 1080p source in the player, even with the artificial flags added later.

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post #11 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 11:21 AM
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Is the interlaced/progressive something that is mandatory in the VC1 codec, or just something that is enforced by Microsoft's authoring/encoding labs? If a studio did their own encodes would they have the same requirement? I imagine most will want to do 24P encodes if possible but the source material might not always permit a clean encode.

HD-DVD also supports mpeg2 and AVC, which can do mixed mode encodings as well. How does the player software on the xbox360 deal in those cases? I would also like to which of the scenarios (or if something different) above is used for the downscaling (and I figure that's what Zero above was asking).

/frode
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post #12 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frode View Post

Is the interlaced/progressive something that is mandatory in the VC1 codec, or just something that is enforced by Microsoft's authoring/encoding labs? If a studio did their own encodes would they have the same requirement? I imagine most will want to do 24P encodes if possible but the source material might not always permit a clean encode.

It is the way our encoder works. So if they want to use VC-1, they are going to see this result.

Quote:


HD-DVD also supports mpeg2 and AVC, which can do mixed mode encodings as well. How does the player software on the xbox360 deal in those cases? I would also like to which of the scenarios (or if something different) above is used for the downscaling (and I figure that's what Zero above was asking).

Even though you are right about MPEG-2 (I am not sure about AVC), I am not sure there is any content encoded that uses mixed mode. And if it does, whether it incorrectly flags it or not. Again, the workflow here is much cleaner than it was in DVD. So even if other codecs are used, I doubt that they are producing mangled outputs.

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post #13 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 11:50 AM
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The classic example of the mixed mode is TV show shot on film with composited CG or CG sequences. In some cases you'll also have say a 1080i HD master with a bad cadence due to editing and/or restoration work, but with no access to original film prints (think licensed material). Things have become easier lately due to better work flow but there's still a lot of funky stuff out there. Especially smaller studios with lower budgets don't necessarily have access to the latest and greatest.

/frode
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post #14 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frode View Post

The classic example of the mixed mode is TV show shot on film with composited CG or CG sequences. In some cases you'll also have say a 1080i HD master with a bad cadence due to editing and/or restoration work, but with no access to original film prints (think licensed material). Things have become easier lately due to better work flow but there's still a lot of funky stuff out there. Especially smaller studios with lower budgets don't necessarily have access to the latest and greatest.

Then such content will get encoded as interlace. And my suggestion is to rely on de-interlacing in the display, not the player in this case. If your display is not doing a good job there, then you are in bad shape watching that content off air. So better to go and buy a new display and set your player to 1080i .

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post #15 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Then such content will get encoded as interlace. And my suggestion is to rely on de-interlacing in the display, not the player in this case. If your display is not doing a good job there, then you are in bad shape watching that content off air. So better to go and buy a new display and set your player to 1080i .

Thanks. That's sort of what I figured, but I had to know. It kind of complicates things setup wise and you lose the ability to do flag assisted cadence detection in the player, but it can't be helped I guess.

/frode
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post #16 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 01:52 PM
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Amir,

Does the XBOX360 decode HDCD discs? If not why not? MS owns the codec.
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post #17 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 02:26 PM
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Hi Amir/HD DVD insiders, can you take a look at my earlier questions: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10592057
Quote:


It would be nice to have a MC equal for games. I took very good care of my game discs, yet I often have disc unreadable problem in the middle of a game, it would be nice if Xbox can save game progress, and when the disc becomes readable in next try, re-store the game to the point of reading error. Amir, please pass this suggestion to Xbox team. I wrote to them before, but never got a reply.

Now HD DVD addon question, I noticed I couldn't bookmark Planet Earth, but it works for Phantom of Opera, is this an authoring issue ?

Also, can bookmarking be made available on one of HD DVD menus ? Right now it seems only accessible through addon remote control. I don't mind using xbox remote control for playing HD DVD (too many remote controls), but then I couldn't access bookmarking. Thanks.

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post #18 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 03:20 PM
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Amir, it seems that the new 1.80 firmware update on the PS3 added 1080p24 output:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10610133

Is now more likely to see this option on the Xbox 360 too?


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post #19 of 3651 Old 05-23-2007, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Please welcome member Cyanide as our newest Insider

Chad Heinemann works with Amir at MS: his specialty is Microsoft Codecs, Xbox HD DVD
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post #20 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 12:07 AM
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Amir,

I've heard you mention that the software for the 360 HD DVD drive resides on the add-on itself. Is there any reason that perhaps the 360 console can cause the add-on to not function properly? The reason I ask is that I have tried my drive with another xbox, and it will play my problem disc fine. However, when I try it on my own console, I always get the 'reading...reading...reading'.

My problem disc is 'the Departed', just in case you were wondering, and I have gone through 3 discs so far and had determined it was the drive...until now?

Thanks,

Cam
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post #21 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 12:32 AM
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hi insiders.

can someone tell me how a uncompressed hd movie feed from a company like verizon compares to a HD movie on disc?

which is better and is the difference noticeable?

trying to decide if it's worth jumping into the game or simply watch hd content from Verizon FIOS. i know comcast is pushing to make on demand movies release the same date as dvds. if this catches on, there should be a lot of new releases available in hd for on demand. i'm not much of a collector anymore and never was an extras fan.

rather be lucky than good.
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post #22 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 02:20 AM
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paidgeek,

first of all thank you to Sony/SCEI for the amazing 1.80 firmware update for the PS3! 1080p24 was a very pleasant surprise! Actions speak louder than words, and you guys just demonstrated that you listen carefully to your customers' problems/requests, even though there's not a myriad of Sony insiders posting here...

My question, as there is not much else to request anymore: will there be a firmware update for internal DTS-HD MA decoding? Or is it more realistic to hope for the enabling of bitstream output via HDMI 1.3?
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post #23 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 03:19 AM
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@paidgeek:

Can you please give a hint to the PS3 crew to make an update for 24p support with displays that are designed for 1080p24 only (and not 1080p60)? I cannot select 1080p in the PS3 display settings because my Pioneer 6G plasma supports 1080p24 only and this makes the "BD 1080p 24 Hz" setting in the 1.8 firmware useless because the PS3 does not seem to recognize that this display actually does 1080p24. Thanks for your support in the forum.
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post #24 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 03:40 AM
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Not sure if this has been asked but can we get some comments on the types of digital processing that is added, if any, during the transfer of a film to the HD formats in order to "improve" their appearence. Or is the mandate that the HD transfer is to be as faithful to the master as possible? In particular I'm wondering about edge enhancement - a number of recent titles have exhibited edge enhancement and I'm wondering whether we are seeing an increase in it's use on HD material in the false belief that it makes one format's/codec's films look better than another or whether the problems are inherent in the master? Edge enhancement was a really unpleasant issue with early DVD and has absolutely no place in a quality HD transfers...

Thanks,

Mark

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post #25 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 04:45 AM
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Hi, any insiders, I've read about the update of the PS3. Isit a reallity that you can actually upscale a SD DVD to 1080P??? I mean, how can you make a 9 gig disc to look lik e a 30 or 50 gig disck?? also, if that's so, what would be the meaning of high definition formats in the first ?!?!?! I mean, if I can make any regular like a 1080p video, what would I need to buy new machinery for??
I've been explainied that the best upscaling is to 720 like the xbox does, because upscaling it to 1080p you're only filtering the image to a higher resolution that the disck itself doesn't have, so you're basiclly straching an image, like trying to use a 100pixel image as a full screen desktop.

Is this so? and if it is, what's the point in upscaling to 1080p anyway??

Boldly go.....
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post #26 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal_Sunshine View Post


first of all thank you to Sony/SCEI for the amazing 1.80 firmware update for the PS3! 1080p24 was a very pleasant surprise! Actions speak louder than words, and you guys just demonstrated that you listen carefully to your customers' problems/requests, even though there's not a myriad of Sony insiders posting here...

@PaidGeek

Ditto! Great update from SCEI. PS3 is shaping up into an all around entertainment juggernaut of a console.

I'm esp. glad to see PS3 add scaling for legacy games all around and for dvd over hdmi, but now the last issue is scaling for 720p bound PS3 games like Resistance and Motorstorm so they can support scaling up to 1080 resolutions. Some reports have it that this may never show up due to technical constraints.

Can you tell us if there is any plans for 1080i/p scaling support for the PS3 720p games that don't have it currently built in to the game, or should we simply not realistically expect that to ever be feasible?


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post #27 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

Please welcome member Cyanide as our newest Insider

Chad Heinemann works with Amir at MS: his specialty is Microsoft Codecs, Xbox HD DVD

Welcome and nice to see several Xbox hd dvd and media related insiders.

Can any of you provide a clue as whether MS is considering implementation of a full scale browser on the 360? I know it's not hd dvd related persay but it certainly could tie in with use of various media codecs on the system.


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Insider thread
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? R.I.P.
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
Samuel Johnson 1709-1784, British Author
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post #28 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 08:54 AM
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Hi Amir,

I know you occasionally visit AV Forums, but I just wanted to bring this particular thread to your attention: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=528194

I don't know if there is anything that can be reasonably done to assist with this issue of supplying HD DVD review titles to this major UK publication (Empire magazine), but it does appear as though the BDA is taking advantage of an opportunity HD DVD is disregarding. Perhaps this is something the newly formed European Marketing Group could be proactive about?

Thanks -- Trevor
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post #29 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 09:08 AM
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Amir,

First of all, I just saw a few minutes of the Matrix on HD DVD and the VC1 encode looks amazing. Great job to your team and Warner.

I hope you can answer this one With regards to HDi, is it possible for current and future generation Blu-Ray players to utilize this via a firmware update? I realize the BDA choose BD-J (and as a neutral owner, I think they made a mistake and should have picked HDi), and most likely would never switch to HDi, but would it be possible to if they wanted?

Thanks,

ack
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post #30 of 3651 Old 05-24-2007, 09:12 AM
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Amir,

With the new security keys already cracked as in the case with the Matrix trilogy, what do you think the next step is? Abandon AACS implementation altogether ?
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