|I seem to recall the figure 15-20Mbits/second for VC-9 before the law of diminishing returns kicks in.
1) I would have to do some calculations, which I think several of us have done before, which tells us what the ideal average (sustained) bitrate would be for pre-recorded media so that you would remain within the storage capabilities of a single sided, double layer HD-DVD disc. It is 30 gig storage for a single sided, double layer HD-DVD ROM correct?
Unlike DVD, there is plenty of room to 'adjust' the degree of compression for DVD depending on the length of the feature film, desired extras, etc... With HD-DVD, a small increase in compression can yield a lot more free space. With HD-DVD utilizing VC-9, they would first decide how much room is required for the soundtrack, extras, etc... then adjust the compression so that everything 'fits'.
Unlike current WMV-HD (VC-9) discs which limit horzontal resolution to 1440 (1440 x 1080), HD-DVD will be utilizing 1920 x 1080p. I would also like to know more about what the 'ideal' (sustained average) compression rates are for VC-9 and H.264 for 1920 x 1080p ... with 30 Gig of storage with HD-DVD, I don't see storage space as much of an issue anymore. I just hope that studios will release 2 disc HD-DVD's and not try to squeeze everything on one HD-DVD. I like the current model with DVD utilizing on HD-DVD for the main feature, and another HD-DVD for Extras. Now our Extras will also be in 1080p ...
2) I'm very happy that the HD-DVD forum is aggressive in the sense of maximizing quality. They require 2 both H.264 and VC-9 which is outstanding. AFAIK they have announced support, perhaps indirectly, that they are seeking to provide lossless compression at 24/48 for pre-recorded hollywood media. I know Microsoft is pushing this aspect, thank godness! I have read reports that Microsofts lossless compression is superior to MLP in terms of efficiency, but not what other differences exist. The bottom line is that lossless compression guarantees quality identical to the master, PERIOD. You just can't make this claim with any lossless compression, so let's end the nonsense once and for all about which lossy codec (DD or DTS) degrades the soundtrack the least. Would not you all agree that it ending the lossy compression wars by simply providing lossless compression would be a significant positive for HD-DVD/BluRay?
Knowing that Holywood studios are not recording in anything other than 24/48, I think we should be extremely happy to have a primary audio track for Hollywood pre-recorded media utilizing 24/48 lossless compression. Arguing for 24/96 KHz multichannel for movies is counterproductive, unrealistic, and uneccessary, especially at this point in time. 24/48 lossless compression is realistic, ideal, and absolutely should be implemented for HD-DVD and Blu Ray. That's just my opinion, but I hope others support that view. Of course, having one format emerge is really the key issue:
About one format: My understanding is this:
HD-DVD: 1080p 24 films (VC-9 / H.264) + lossless compression for primary audio track for prerecorded movies (as well as DD/DTS/MPEG-2)
Blu-Ray: 1080i MPEG-2, DD/DTS only (even if 1080p24, no significant improvement in audio)
Yes, the Blu Ray Optical Drive and Disc are superior in terms of *physical* storage space, but that's it. Blu-Ray does not offer more bandwidth AFAIK. Although bandwidth is no longer the weakest link anyway.
Assuming that VC-9/H.264 provide equal or superior picture quality to MPEG-2, how can you not utilize VC-9/H.264 which is on the order of 250% more efficient?
Blu-Ray is a DOG if they only plan on providing MPEG-2. They end up with 1080i and DD/DTS (who even cares if it is slightly higher bitrate DD/DTS). My understanding is that Blu-Ray ROM's provide 50 Gig/double layer, single disc.... compared to 30 Gig for HD-DVD... that's about 60% more storage space. Is that correct? But then you lose 250% due to using MPEG-2 only... So any way you cut it, HD-DVD provides approximately 200% more storage space by using VC-9/H.264 How can anyone overlook that? Those aren't small numbers... That 200% provides lossless audio compression, higher bitrate VC-9, etc.. etc....
Sony absolutely NEEDS to provide VC-9/H.264 or I see no reason to support Blu Ray. Sony cannot provide 1080p and a primary lossless 24/48 multichannel soundtrack without providing VC-9/H.264 support. As far as I am concerned, HD-DVD is the clear winner until I hear differently. Also, one format is essential...