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DaveFi's Avatar DaveFi
05:52 PM Liked: 26
post #91 of 349
04-12-2003 | Posts: 17,180
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Quote:
Your CSII decoder on your REVO will decode it from the DD-EX mixdown. It should sound great.
So the WM9 version will have a Dolby Pro-Logic track?
hgodwin's Avatar hgodwin
05:59 PM Liked: 10
post #92 of 349
04-12-2003 | Posts: 196
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Dave,
The WM9 version will have a 5.1 WMA track.

hgodwn
hgodwin's Avatar hgodwin
06:04 PM Liked: 10
post #93 of 349
04-12-2003 | Posts: 196
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Also about the resolution,
It seems that the vertical res will be either 1080 or very close to it. The WM9 version of T2 was encoded without the black bars on the top and bottom due to the ability of pc dvd software to put the bars back in automatically. Someone on another thread has said that there are approximately 800 lines vertically. That would make it approximately 1080 when the bars are added back in. The big question is what is the horizontal res.

hgodwin
JKohn's Avatar JKohn
06:26 PM Liked: 10
post #94 of 349
04-12-2003 | Posts: 2,948
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Quote:
As to other questions posted, D-VHS is usually encoded at 24 Mbit/sec using MPEG-2 (28 Mbit/sec with overhead). We would be using a fraction of this data rate. In general, WMV9 matches D-VHS at 7.5 to 8 Mbit/sec. Depending on the data rate of this disk, the quality should either match it or be close to D-VHS.
I'll believe it when I see it. Is this kinda like when Microsoft said that their WMA audio codec could achieve CD quality audio at 128K or less? You might be able to get away with that in marketing materials and press releases, but I think you'll find people on this forum a bit more discrimination. Greater resolution is fine, but it's the compression artifacts I'm worried about. They may not be noticeable on a laptop screen, but on a large front or rear projection system it's a different story.

I'm also wondering how WMA audio will compare to DD or DTS. It's already at an advantage being 5.1 instead of 6.1, but even when comparing 5.1 tracks can WMA audio really deliver the same sound quality as DD/DTS?
gabe nell's Avatar gabe nell
01:51 AM Liked: 10
post #95 of 349
04-13-2003 | Posts: 157
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Quote:
Originally posted by JKohn
I'll believe it when I see it. Is this kinda like when Microsoft said that their WMA audio codec could achieve CD quality audio at 128K or less? You might be able to get away with that in marketing materials and press releases, but I think you'll find people on this forum a bit more discrimination. Greater resolution is fine, but it's the compression artifacts I'm worried about. They may not be noticeable on a laptop screen, but on a large front or rear projection system it's a different story.

I'm also wondering how WMA audio will compare to DD or DTS. It's already at an advantage being 5.1 instead of 6.1, but even when comparing 5.1 tracks can WMA audio really deliver the same sound quality as DD/DTS?
Actually, the people in this forum seem to love WM9. And the initial post indicated Dolby EX sound, not WMA (not suprising since most people will want the sound to go to a digital out to a receiver).

And Amir never substantitvely responded to my questions about blocky frames in liquid. I still insist that a "high definition" codec ought to be high definition for every frame, not just most of them.

This whole concept is interesting, and I'm trying to understand MS's strategy. Clearly this is a product aimed at the (relatively niche) HTPC market, plus college-aged types who watch most of their DVDs on computer monitors in their dorms anyway.

It seems obvious that MS has a larger final target audience in mind. Maybe they are trying to establish a user base for WM9 in the consumer market so they can convince set top box manufacturers to build STBs capable of decoding WM9. That's the only way to actually make a significant amount of money, to get your codec into an STB.

It's an uphill battle, but MS has performed with machivellian precision at hijacking markets before (witness IE...)
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv
03:30 AM Liked: 10
post #96 of 349
04-13-2003 | Posts: 13,484
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Amir,
Quote:
BTW, I just played a sample of the T2 clip and it played just fine on my Dell C640, 2.2Ghz laptop! Not sure if the rest of the clip is the same level of difficulty but there is hope that a lot of PCs should be able to play this without too much difficulty
Can you confirm whether or not a short clip, or trailer, of the T2 WM9 HDTV transfer will be made available for download on Microsoft's site?

bf
amirm's Avatar amirm
04:32 AM Liked: 547
post #97 of 349
04-13-2003 | Posts: 18,375
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I will try to address all the questions in one reply:

1. Aspect ratio: our system can handle arbitrary aspect ratio control. You can encode at any ratio you like. Once the file is encoded, you then add two numbers to the header of the file that tells the player the output aspect ratio. The media player will use this header information to resize the output to the proper ratio.

2. Hyperthreading speeds encoding by about 15%. It should have no effect on decode. SMP does not help decode in a significant way.

3. I don't remember Gabe's questions regarding Liquid. This clip was re-encoded after the initial concerns were raised and I think everyone agrees the new versions are much better. Note that we are not saying that anything that you throw at WMV comes out high definition. You still need to use proper encoding mode, bit rate, resolution, etc. The liquid clips are just some samples. They are not intended to be the gold standard -- especially since they are some of the most difficult clips you can find with a lot of motion and film noise. Typical film content encodes a lot better.

4. The statement that I made regarding D-VHS was the result of double blind tests done by DVD Forum ad-hoc group to select the next generation HD codec for red laser. At the NAB conference last week, we disclosed the detailed results showing what I stated (that we match D-VHS at 7.7 Mbit/sec and also the fact that we did better than ALL other codecs on these tests). So this is not an opinion or a test conducted by Micorosft subject to bias. But given the fact that the data was not posted in this forum, I accept the healthy skepticism.

5. I am not aware of any plans to post any of the content on our web site. The DVD is the only way to get the clip at this point. Clearling rights for Microsoft to use content is usually a difficult process :).

Thanks,
Amir
Microsoft
kheiden's Avatar kheiden
09:44 PM Liked: 13
post #98 of 349
04-13-2003 | Posts: 305
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveFi
So the WM9 version will have a Dolby Pro-Logic track?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but WM9S must have some Lt/Rt mixdown option for when it plays 5.1 audio over two channel systems.

It isn't going to be "Dolby" branded, but whatever fold-down they do to it should be fully decodable by CSII or PLII decoders, if present.

Initially I wasn't really thinking about the WM9 content on the Extreme DVD, I was thinking about the DD 5.1 mix that most DVD Player software apps can provide a mixdown of. Then using the CSII deocder on the Revo.
Phat Phreddy's Avatar Phat Phreddy
11:31 PM Liked: 10
post #99 of 349
04-13-2003 | Posts: 6,396
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Quote:
1. Aspect ratio: our system can handle arbitrary aspect ratio control. You can encode at any ratio you like. Once the file is encoded, you then add two numbers to the header of the file that tells the player the output aspect ratio. The media player will use this header information to resize the output to the proper ratio.
OK I understand what you are stating but the 'media player will use the header information to resize the output' and has no option to adapt it to the many HTPC users needs....

Consider CRT'ers who are very often (usually ??) opting for non square pixels and rez's like 1440x480 or 1440x960 on a 16x9 screen !!! Consider digital projection users (me) that use anamorphic lens's on a 4:3 projector to optically compress it to 16:9... Consider users of 2.35 scope screens...

AFAIK WMP9 assumes a square pixel and formats everything for that... I have not even tried 16:9 rez's with WMP9 to see how it handles that...

Purchase a copy of TheaterTek if you dont already have one to see the best solution of how AR should be handled... Auto applied but fully customizable...

Please have some kind of basic patch in this vien by the time this content come out...
jspielberg's Avatar jspielberg
12:05 AM Liked: 10
post #100 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 212
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Ok... knowing nothing about anything, my guess for the Microsoft strategy for this HD release involves eventually using the current or future XBOX as the consumer level playback device. This machine is relatively cheap, they control the hardware and software behind it, and can currently do HD resolutions. I know it can currently play DVDs but I don't think it has any kind of WMV9 support, so I guess it would have to be XBOX 2 (unless there is some software upgrade capability in the XBOX - anyone know the current specs and are they capable of do 1080i wmv decoding?)

Seems to make sense to me. They are going to need some kind of edge over the playstation 3 which is supposed to have ridiculous processing power.

Whatcha think?

jeff
Bosef's Avatar Bosef
02:57 AM Liked: 10
post #101 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by kheiden
I'm still surprised and kind of bummed that the Extreme edition doesn't have DTS ES 6.1.
Let me guess... maybe they need a reason to release a new edition in 2005 ;)
I really wonder what could be the name for that edition :)
hardwired's Avatar hardwired
05:58 AM Liked: 10
post #102 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 1,443
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Quote:
OK I understand what you are stating but the 'media player will use the header information to resize the output' and has no option to adapt it to the many HTPC users needs....
Amir,

I also welcome the ability to resize the output in the WM9 Player, hopefully we will see this soon. But I am wondering if it is possible to easily edit the header information in the WMV file with some sort of editor?

There is also a very significant performance impact in playing hi-pixel count files in WM9 vs ZoomPlayer. On my 2GHz processor, a 16:9 film encoded as 1440x1080@24fps (4:3) VBR the video is not playable on WM9 player but is playable to some extent on the more efficient ZoomPlayer generating at least most of the frames with some dropped audio. Hopefully MS can optimize the efficiency of WM9 Player, or add a "Turbo" mode of sorts. Zoom also allows for scaling the 4:3 to 16:9, where I get tall and skinny people on MS WM9 player without the Aspect Ratio control adjustment :D

Also, even if the WM file plays in Zoom I will not get multichannel sound due to the flaw in the DirectShow audio filter. Is their an updated filter available now (beta?) or a fix at least planned?

Many thanks,
hardwired
Branxx's Avatar Branxx
07:30 AM Liked: 10
post #103 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 767
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Amir,

Phat Phreddy raises a valid concern.

Let assume HTPC is connected to 16:9 native projector (say panel is actually 1366x768) and is fitted with a 1.33:1 anamorphic lens. In order to project the 2.35:1 movie correctly, WMP9 needs to utilize the entire resolution of the projector rather than just 1366x580 (2.35:1), which it would do in the normal circumstances.

I haven't seen any switches in WMP control panel that would suggest such configuration is possible.

Ideally, anamorphic squeeze/stretch should be configurable parameter of the video overlay, but so far each player has deal with this situations on its own.

Can you please clarify the handling projection systems with of anamorphic lenses, as these are the ultimate showcases for HD video material?
jamoka's Avatar jamoka
08:06 AM Liked: 10
post #104 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 1,749
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AR management with MediaPlayer can be easy. Just set the desktop resolution to the resolution you want to output, then check "fullscreen" playback. If you have files with many different AR, set up hotkeys with Powerstrip to easily change resolution as needed.

MS Mediaplayer uses almost identical CPU as Zplayer on my systems so long as the same video renderer is used. One appears to be no less or more efficient than the other. There is probably a small hit with MediaPlayer when decoding multichannel wma audio compared to the maximum of 2 channel with Zplayer, but the video is about the same.

Hopefully, Microsoft will release a multichannel wma directshow decoder, so even this won't be a problem.

Joe
trbarry's Avatar trbarry
09:30 AM Liked: 10
post #105 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 10,138
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I think JohnAd about a year or more ago posted the registry settings that tell Windows what physical aspect ratio you have. I never tried them but I don't think it's necessary for Windows to assume you have square pixel display resolutions. It just defaults that way.

Sorry I don't remember the post subject or have a link.

- Tom
ps24eva's Avatar ps24eva
02:05 PM Liked: 10
post #106 of 349
04-14-2003 | Posts: 1,330
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Quote:
Originally posted by jspielberg
Ok... knowing nothing about anything, my guess for the Microsoft strategy for this HD release involves eventually using the current or future XBOX as the consumer level playback device. This machine is relatively cheap, they control the hardware and software behind it, and can currently do HD resolutions. I know it can currently play DVDs but I don't think it has any kind of WMV9 support, so I guess it would have to be XBOX 2 (unless there is some software upgrade capability in the XBOX - anyone know the current specs and are they capable of do 1080i wmv decoding?)

Seems to make sense to me. They are going to need some kind of edge over the playstation 3 which is supposed to have ridiculous processing power.

Whatcha think?

jeff


I think everyone here realizes this by now. Microsoft is trying to intergrate Xbox 2 with WMP9-style HDTV and is trying to get into movie theaters, all the while consolidating their hold in home entertainment and pc's.....Media Center Edition is a failed example.

P.S. Amir, if you are reading this thread, please tell one of your co-workers to fix kmixer! It is REALLY holding HTPC back in some ways.
Phat Phreddy's Avatar Phat Phreddy
11:42 PM Liked: 10
post #107 of 349
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Jamoka, While I think I understand what you are suggesting I am not sure if you realize part of the problem... Of course WMP9 will go fullscreen if I run a fullscreen 16:9 pattern but windows maintains the AR and square pixel assumption... This is a non starter for anyone using anamorphic output (4:3 to 16:9, 16:9 to 2.35, or even 4:3 to 2.35) lenses... this variation also effects anyone using a CRT system and not using a square pixel value setup...

Tom, That would be news to me... I would be curious if anyone can find the link, you are meaning I can run a 4:3 desktop and tell windows its 16:9 with non square pixels... Mark Rejhon's posts always stated that Windows could only think in square pixel terms... That would solve this issue...
uk.steve's Avatar uk.steve
06:10 AM Liked: 10
post #108 of 349
04-15-2003 | Posts: 341
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As a test it would be interesting to compare a 20 second movie clip at DVD resolution and the same 20 second movie clip from a HDTV source at 1024x576.
JohnAd's Avatar JohnAd
10:11 AM Liked: 16
post #109 of 349
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(Tom's just prodded me off-line on this)

I think I did some playing around with the windows apect ratio ages ago when I still was using a GeForce card and I got some mixed results.

Basically the GDI (which is what windows uses to display most things on devices) does support non-square pixels as many printers have them. Any application is supposed to quiz the driver and ask it what shape the pixels are before drawing lines and so on. The call it uses is GetDeviceCaps with the ASPECTX and ASPECTY parameters. The device then should report the pixel shape.

IIRC on the GeForce there were registry settings under the driver key that allowed these to be changed. I think these where the ones that I tried to play with and I think I managed to get some applications to think they were running on widescreen.

The other thing that I remeber playing with (but again it's a long time ago) was the TweakUI utility on windows 98, this I think had some way of changing the inches per pixel setting on screen which I think also may have been involved.

On XP with a Radeon I can't find anything to change. So one avenue could be to ask ATI to change the driver to allow a user defined response to the ratio and hope that WMP uses this information properly.

My other approach was to write a plug-in to modify the aspect ratio on the way through. I've been playing around with "proper" WMP plug-ins and they are a bit rubbish so maybe just a trivial in place filter with a high merit would be a better approach.

John
JohnAd's Avatar JohnAd
10:16 AM Liked: 16
post #110 of 349
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The other way of messing with the aspect ratio of media player is writing a skin or embedding in an app or webpage. It is possible to switch off default aspect handling and set the display size manually. This might also be a quick and dirty way to get round the problem for those of us with rectangular pixels. I'd prefer something a bit cleaner to use though.

John
summit3907's Avatar summit3907
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post #111 of 349
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i was trying to figure out how to deal with the aspect ratio as well, and i noticed that there is an option in the encoder that might solve these issues on encoding. if you select 'allow non-square output' in the compression tab, and then select 'anamorphic 16:9 (4:3)' in the pixel format field in the video size tab, it seems that wme will properly perform the anamorphic squeeze on the encoder and playback.

i tested this with a basic 480x720 vob file - using square pixels, the ratio was 3:2 as expected. but with the settings listed above, the verticle size was squeezed to what looked to be the correct 16:9 setting. i confirmed that eth file output was still 480x720 (showed that in both the encoding output and the file properties), but it definely displaying at a different aspect ratio on playback. this might be the aspect ratio control that amir referenced.

there are a few other options in that box as well, including anamorphic 2:1 (maybe for 2.35?) and custom. proabbly worth checking out these options. this looks like it will remove the requirement of changing screen resolution to acheieve the proper aspect ratio playback - the setting will be 'hardcoded' upon encoding.

can some other folks please confirm if this works for them?

kevin
Phat Phreddy's Avatar Phat Phreddy
11:48 PM Liked: 10
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OK... But can you playback content tall and skinny ?? Thats the nut of the problem in that many users do not output square pixels...

Although I have not played substantially wiht WMP9 I had assumed (perhaps wrongly) that you could encode anamorphic style process... However its the output side that users need control off...

Also any CRT users or 2.35 screen users or ??? Etc need not only the ability to use a standard 33% squish but a variable solution to fit thier output device...

This would be the same for those Plasma users with 1024x1024 16:9 plasma's...
Branxx's Avatar Branxx
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JohnAd is on the right track here. The display driver should have the ability to specify the pixel aspect ratio for (each) display device attached to it. This would give universal flexibility.

It is very strange that Microsoft has missed such an important feature that is so vital at the successful early marketing stages for WMP9.
cybersoga's Avatar cybersoga
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I'm concerned about the decoding of DD5.1 by software in my PC - I have a $1000 external decoder (AV reciever) so it would save a lot of processing power and would be better quality sound if Windows Media Player had an output undecoded via SPDIF option like in Power DVD... is it there or am I being blind?
cybersoga's Avatar cybersoga
12:44 AM Liked: 12
post #115 of 349
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OK, I found the option, under the DVD tab, Advanced button... will this take affect with wmv files as well as DVDs?
hgodwin's Avatar hgodwin
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Andy, Have you ever compared the sound output analog by one of the new sound cards(Revolution 7.1 or the like) to the processing of your AV receiver. I am trying to figure out if I could save money by going with a cheap receiver and high quality sound card over a really expensive receiver.

hgodwin
amirm's Avatar amirm
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I am a bit confused about the issue here. As I mentioned before, you can tell the media player to display the content at any aspect ratio you like. Even though the parameter is set at encoding time, it is acted on at decode time, not encode. In other words, you are simply storing the ratio in the header which the player uses to resize when it plays the clip. The actually encoding is not changed (unless of course, you force it to by setting the resolution differently than the source).

So while your desktop may not look right, the above aspect ratio control will enable you to display the clip itself correctly.

If I am still not answering the question right, please shoot and I will get someone who actually wrote this code to answer back (now you can tell I have been a manager for too long :)).

Amir
Microsoft
Branxx's Avatar Branxx
05:14 AM Liked: 10
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"I'm concerned about the decoding of DD5.1 by software in my PC - I have a $1000 external decoder (AV reciever) "

I have $10K decoder and my HTPC is offering an extremely credible alternative at 1/10 of the price!

Am I missing something?
trbarry's Avatar trbarry
05:25 AM Liked: 10
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Quote:
If I am still not answering the question right, please shoot and I will get someone who actually wrote this code to answer back (now you can tell I have been a manager for too long
Amir -

I have a 4:3 TV which I run at a 960x540. Resolution. Someone else may have a 16:9 TV which they run at a 960x540 resolution. If an aspect ratio is coded into the DVD it will display wrongly on one of those TV's unless there is also some way to tell windows or WMP what the physical dimensions of the display are or to adjust aspect ratio on the fly.

- Tom
Branxx's Avatar Branxx
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Amir,

"So while your desktop may not look right, the above aspect ratio control will enable you to display the clip itself correctly. "

The question is actually the exact opposite. In order for a projection device fitted with an anamorphic lens to produce the correct image, the WMP9 has to display the clip 'incorrectly'.

Consider an original clip made and encoded in 16:9 aspect ratio containing geometrically correct circle. If this circle were to be displayed correctly on a 4:3 display, WMP would use only the middle part of the display with black bars at the top and bottom.

If you insert an anamorphic lens in front of this display, the projected image of the circle would become stretched. To project the circle correctly, it need to appear squeezed (i.e. taller than normal) on the display, which translates, that on the 4:3 display, WMP needs to utilize the entire display area (no further need for black bars).

The benefit of such use is that all the pixels (light sources) of the display become utilized resulting in an effectively higher resolution image with higher brightness. For example check this Prismasonic page.

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