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OFFICIAL T2: Extreme WM9 HD-DVD Review Thread - Page 5

post #121 of 890
Which ATI card should I buy instead of using my Nvidia Ti4200?

I have a 9700 Pro in my main "gaming" box but don't really want to take it out.

I assume the 9700 Pro would be overkill anyway, since CPU power is what really drives viewing HD....right?

Should a 9500 or 9700 (128 Mb) be sufficient?
post #122 of 890
How is the HD WM9 T2 quality compare to a film encoded by us at 1080p WM9 ? My question is can we reach this or better quality on encoding a (any movie) movie at 1080p from HD-HBO ? Lets say i record a film from HBo and Showtime at 1080i.Deinterlcace it and encode it with WM9...can i get this quality or better ?
post #123 of 890
First I think the Bitrate is what is going to be the deciding factor in playback requirements not necesarily resolution (though rez effects bitrate)... Amir has stated that if you can play the Step into liquid smoothly (theres a few VBR spikes in that) then you should be able to play T2...

I would also say that unless you really want to upgrade right now you may be better served by waiting for WMP9 assisted GFX cards... I have no way of knowing how far down the pike these may be but they should seriously lower CPU requirements...
post #124 of 890
OK so how is everyone getting the HD version to play in WMP ???

I have it running in InterActual (urgh) after much hassle.... Anyway even now with the licence obtained I cant get it to run in WMP direct...

If I navigate the menus it still comes to the screen telling me to run it in interactual... Looking in various directories on the DVD and I cant see the main one. Certainly its not in the VIDEO_TS folder in any obvious way... So opening the files direct seems out and by using the menu system I seem locked into IA player... I have some stutters on my desktop setup which is what I am using to evaluate for now...

After having someone send me one I have now ended up with a spare... Mail me if you want it...
post #125 of 890
I am able to run on my test system from HD (after initially going thrugh InterActual route to get license).

I would really like to know how many of us managed to get this playing in their main theatre with both video and audio at maximum quality (i.e. getting the picture properly through anamorphic lens and having all six channels routed to the main audio).

Unless I missed something I don't think anyone has!
post #126 of 890
No the anamorphic lens (needed aspect ratio control) issue is the only hold back for me though...

This is going to sound dumb but which file did you copy over ?? Is it hidden or what ???

The InterActual player is truly horrible...

The picture quality is really good though... Not having HD makes this the first time I have been able to enjoy a HD feature... The difference is not subtle.. The posted screen captures do not do it justice...
post #127 of 890
Files are burried on [Disc 2]:\\common\\win\\lang\\en\ 2x\\esource\\*.wmv
post #128 of 890
I've been running some tests with the T2 HD WM9 file, and would like to share them with everyone. It's certainly encouraging to see more productions being released in this way!

On a dual 3.06 GHz Xeon HP workstation, with hyperthreading on, CPU usage (as reported in the Windows Task Manager Performance tab) starts out at about 35%. Over the course of 2-3 minutes, more and more RAM is assigned to the task, until all available free RAM (1 gigabyte) is used up. At that moment, CPU usage drops to 18% and stays there.

With hyperthreading off, CPU usage is about 70%, then drops to 35%, but with about 2/3 as much memory being assigned.

Now, in the hyperthreading environment, the CPU usage figures might require some interpretation, but I thought that the memory usage phenomenon was interesting.
post #129 of 890

Thanks for the tests. But I can't seem to repro this on any machine in my office for the RAM usage. For example, on one of my machines (3.06Ghz with hyperthreading), the RAM usage is around 200MB. It then becomes 250MB after the video starts, then stays there (with a small fluctuation). This machine has 512MB RAM. We will try on more machines and see if we can repro this.

And with regard to the factors that determine the playback CPU requirements, there are surely many factors. Frame size/resolution, frame rate, peak bitrate, content difficulty (which in some sense is related to peak bitrate), the profile used to encode (simple vs. main vs. complex), CBR vs. VBR, and average bitrate are all important factors. And it is indeed the case that if we consider all the factors, the playback requirement for the Liquid clip (1280x720x24p) turns out to be even higher than T2 (1440x816x24p).


post #130 of 890

Maybe this is a silly question, but can this disk be played with an Xcard? This card has hardware mpeg-4 decoding and does support HD resolutions.

post #131 of 890
Hi Ming,

I have one gigabyte memory, and I believe that MediaPlayer will take up to about 750 megabytes if it's available. On your machine, it could be that 250 megabytes is about all that it can get. It was really interesting, though, to see the high CPU usage until the application apparently got all the RAM it needed, and then the usage drops in half.

By the way, could you contact me directly at nbedworth@hawaii.rr.com ? Or you can turn on private messaging in your user profile and I'll send you a note there.

post #132 of 890
Hi Nicholas,

I have turned on private messaging. Look forward to receiving the note from you.

The frame rate for the Liquid clip is 24fps, not 30fps (unless you have a different version than mine ) When you look at the stats in the player, you might want to ignore the "frame rate" field since the users can set any arbitrary number at the encoder (which corresponds to this field). The actual rate is the one for the true frame rate.


post #133 of 890
Good News....

Got the T2 Extreme Disc yesterday 2nd of June. Took about 2 hours worth of trying proxy servers but finally got the licence. Copied the files on to my HD and played with WMP 9 from there. After shutting down all background tasks like antivirus and firewall etc. It played flawlessly. Have not seen the actual DVD (Disc 1) yet. But the Hi Def is great to see for people like me who live outside the states and have otherwise no access to HiDef content yet.

I am running a P4 2.0a gig with 512 MB ram and ATI 9700 Pro connected to Sharp 9000 Prj.
Was worried about the CPU being able to handle the playback. But happy to report it came through, even though it was constant at 100% usage. May be if I watch the movie everynight it would fry the cpu and then i could upgrade....we live in hope.
post #134 of 890
This is not an MPEG4 item so I doubt the XCard will have any effect....

Thanks for the file location... Dont know how I missed that as I thought I checked every folder to its final branch...

Now have it working in WMP9 (better at least) instead of IA player...

if this is what can be done with 6.5GB... I am very impressed... I posted some impressions in the HD-DVD thread in the digital projector forum that I will paste here later... In short though I have not had access to any HD so I am a novice at rating it... Nick, what do you think of this compared to broadcast and DVHS content ??

Personally with only a limited frame of reference... I love it !!!!
post #135 of 890
Ok, I am getting an error that says
"Playback failed due to an error with the audio subsystem. Please ensure the sound card is properly installed or close any applications that may use the sound card."

There is nothing wrong with my sound card and no other applications using it are running. Trying to play the files in WMP9 only brings up another Interactual box telling me to insert the DVD in the drive. The license has been acquired.

I knew that the POS Interactual player was trouble & this proves it. I went to the online & help & it said to uninstall-reinstall Interactual, which I did with no luck. Then it listed some garbage about reinstalling DX, or the sound card drivers....sorry, no way. Everything in my system works fine.

This is absoluetly a deal killer for me. Nothing should be this hard.
post #136 of 890
"This is absolutely a deal killer for me. Nothing should be this hard."

I absolutely agree, and our computer literacy is well above the average. Thre is no way this can be sold to general public.
post #137 of 890
I just tested the 2nd disc in the Sonic CP 1.5 player and it plays fine, although I cannot access the HD content, again, there is nothing wrong with my system. Ran all DX9 test for Direct Sound and all tests pass.

I am not happy at all.

OK, once I uninstalled the POS Interactual player AND removed the registry entries, then I was able to acquire the licence and start playback, but it was very choppy playing from the DVD drive, I am now copying the files to the HD and we'll see what happens.
I have a P4 2GHz w/ Radeon 8500pro.
post #138 of 890
You wont get any playback on any DVD player only WMP9 or another app that uses the WMP dependancies / DRM...

You have got the license I take it ???

If so access the file directly in WMP at the location listed a few posts back... If WMP9 audio was fine it should be OK.. Forget the interActual player totally... Once the license is there drop it onto HD...

Who figured it would be a good idea to tie this release to that awful experience... For a start all the buttons keep coming up as broken image links... it looks like a total joke and chokes on chapter changes...

Someone should look at utilizing 'Zoom' technology in these players...
post #139 of 890
Yes I have the license and started getting playback in WMP9 from the DVD drive.

My point in starting disc 2 with Sonic was that the Interactual player is a flat out POS and is wrong about that error.

It wasn't until I deleted the registry keys that I could acquire the license, because the audio error was preventing the disc from playing initially.
post #140 of 890
BTW... For overseas (non USA) users you dont need to set the proxy in WMP9 if you use IA player to get the license... I assume (will check in 6 days when I need to renew)... You only need change your network settings in internet options... I am assuming that WMP9 will get the license too but dont yet know if I can simply tell WMP9 to use default proxy and change proxy in one place (default net settings)... Will find out in 5 more days...

Also (this took a lot of figuring out) Dont use an anon proxy (clue .EDU's are good) as they are immediately denied... You need a non transparent (I think) not anonamous US based open proxy... Lots failed for me... Other users sounded like they hit on one first time but it took me a good 20 or so at least...

Get licence once... Good to go...

Once the license is gained with the InterActual POS player... You can ditch it and use WMP9 as normal...

As a side note MS apparently did not want Artisan to do this due to knowing the issues it would create... The thing with DRM though is its down to the content owner to choose what access they are giving... Without this info on the box or presented by the seller it is a total mess though and online distributors are going to have to learn to list every detail about the DRM prior to sale...

I have mailed Artisan on the customer support email days ago... No response... Disgusting...

One comical point... When you do get acknowledged it comes up with a window that says approx 'to play this content you must agree to the EULA' with a button that says 'Agree'...

No Dont agree.. Not even a listing of the EULA... No nothing... Just press this button or dont watch.. How can I agree to a deal I dont know... Did I agree to sign over my entire worldly goods to Artisan for one 7 day playback license ??? Who knows !!!

Helpful links...

post #141 of 890
Unplayable on my P4, 2GHz, 400FSB, PC 133 256MB RAM system. Lots of stutters and jerky video. CPU spiked at close to 100%.

I wish I could try with another player besides WMP9 for playback.

Oh well, at least the DVD remaster looks better than the previous version.
post #142 of 890
My P2.2 strains in a couple of spots but is playable but not in a 'theater' setting... My P2.4 seems OK testing the same spots but have not done a full viewing...
post #143 of 890
Well, this has been a totally un-user-friendly experience so far. I've been messing with this for a couple hours now.

I picked up the T2 disc at Best Buy this afternoon, in a nice steel box. The cashier commented that it stuck to the demag gadget at the counter as I checked out.

The only machine I have with any possibility of playing this was my P4 development machine. But that had a debug version of the Microsoft DXSDK on it that kept giving assert failure messages when I tried to run the disk.

I removed that and then the Interactual player kept trying to use the Xmuxer demux for some reason.

I removed that too and installed DX 9.0a just to get new non-debug version of all the directx dll's.

I've now installed and removed the POS (credit Karnis) Interactual player about a dozen times, including deleting any registry entries that mention that name.

The Interactual player will come up and let me click play but then it just sits there with a black screen. If I try WMP then it tells me I have a wrong password.

I think I will continue to avoid all DRM materials.

Anybody have any suggestions?

- Tom
post #144 of 890
Anyone getting the "CSS error message". The help file says they don't know what causes it and to try reinstalling. It doesn't help.
post #145 of 890

Originally posted by Dick Kalagher
Anyone getting the "CSS error message". The help file says they don't know what causes it and to try reinstalling. It doesn't help.


Thing is CSS has to do with the dvd player using a key to unlock the dvd content. My other software dvd players (windvd, powerdvd) play the thing right away, no problem.
post #146 of 890
I also get a "CSS error message" after the interactual player is installed and tries to run the content. I have had no luck getting the license. When I try directly from WMP it asks me to insert the DVD (which is already loaded) - I have tried to eject and insert it again at this time but does not help. Drat! Any ideas?

post #147 of 890
I've tweaked my system a bit to improve performance enough where I feel I can make a qualified comment about the picture quality.

IMHO it is impressive, when you consider the relatively low bit rate. However, compared to the better & best HD transfers I've seen to date, on HBO-HD, HD-Net and OTA (Sundays' "A Time To Kill", for example) it lacks the finest detail and 3D-quality that really makes you jump up and take notice. It has an ever-so-slightly soft quality that keeps it from assuming WOW status. The lack of detail in flesh and skin tones is particularly noticeable. Details such as skin lines, pores, etc just aren't there like I've seen with higher bit rate HD material. I was viewing at a resolution of 1776x1000i. Maybe MS can get away with this on 15-21" PC monitors (I also checked it on a 17" LCD, where the limitation were not as glaring) but blown up to 55" on my Mits HDTV, the drawbacks seemed obvious to me.

Taken as a purely technical exercise T2 WMP HD is pretty cool, and shows some promise. Maybe if/when WMV gets support for HW acceleration they can up the bit rate a bit and bring back some of the fine detail, without the need for such a super high-end PCs.

From a consumer POV however, the exercise of just trying to get the disc to play was a disaster. The Interactual player must die, die, die, with "extreme prejudice", please. No one likes it, no one wants it, it is a cancer on the whole experiment. In fact, I venture to guess if I could use another player other than WMP9 with its' bloatware filters like the video/color controls (which suck up even more needed CPU power), performance would improve even more....it certainly did with every other WMV-HD clip I tried.

Oh and BTW....the audio sucks. I found the volume to be too low, dynamics were flat, and overall quality mediocre. This is on an M-Audio DeltaDio connected to a Yamaha RX-V1 via SP/DIF so I only get DPL. Again, maybe in a dorm room on a PC sound system its passable, but in a true home theater environment where DD and DTSare well established, it couldn't hold up. Just pony up for the license and add a DD 5.1 track, please! Sheesh, just buy Dolby Labs for Christs' sake!

User friendliness, broader compatibility with existing PCs and audio systems in the end will go a long way toward consumer acceptance. Just my 2 cents.
post #148 of 890

Originally posted by fingersdlp
I also get a "CSS error message" after the interactual player is installed and tries to run the content. I have had no luck getting the license. When I try directly from WMP it asks me to insert the DVD (which is already loaded) - I have tried to eject and insert it again at this time but does not help. Drat! Any ideas?


I had the same problem and discovered it was the Elecard player/decoder pack. Uninstalling it cleared the CSS error up completely.
post #149 of 890
I just finished watching about 20 minutes of the movie. I think the picture is great. I can understand what Karnis is talking about comparing it to other HD material, however, because I don't remember the quality of the original movie it could just be the print itself. I do have 5.1 going to my receiver and it is adequate (I am sure if I tweak the soundcard settings and receiver it would get better.
post #150 of 890

Originally posted by rclifton
I had the same problem and discovered it was the Elecard player/decoder pack. Uninstalling it cleared the CSS error up completely.

Is this part of some application? I have power DVD. You apparently need a software DVD player installed. I tried it on another computer and got the same CSS error. Any ideas?
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