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Warner to use Microsoft Windows Media 9 (VC-1) in HD-DVDs - Page 2  

post #31 of 69
I'd like to point out that Microsoft is getting a lot of input on improving their VC-1 encoder from video professionals. So if you assume the video quality at any given bit rate based on today's publicly-available encoder implementation, you could be in for a surprise.
post #32 of 69
You know what kind of a surprise I want to be in for? High Quality HDTV!

Frankly, I don't care if it's VC-1, Mpeg-2, Mpeg-4, Quicktime, AVI, or Mpeg-1 for that matter. I just want it to look flawless. If I can see the compression or if it's got edge enhancement, or if I have to flip the disc in the middle of the movie because the disc can't hold enough on one side, then it ALL distracts me from the total emersion of being "inside" the movie.

The reason we get into these discussions, is because so many of us are educated about compression formats. The web is to blame for that. However, the ultimate goal is to have enough bandwidth and a good enough compression algorithm, that it doesn't matter anymore. Does a movie need to be uncompressed AVI to be emerssive? I don't think so! But it needs to be good enough that we don't see macroblocking, noisey pixels, halos, or anything of the like. Audio has a big role in that as well, but we'll save that for another thread.
post #33 of 69
As I said in my own post, this just means that Warner is not backing off of HD-DVD. A format war is imminent.

That said, I do hope they squeeze the best possible bits of HD-DVD. That means the best that they can with VC-1 and also lossless audio compression (DTS HD or DD Lossless), with dubbed languages in lossy audio formats. And of course, not forgetting the extras.

If they could do a title like Superman right, in terms of PQ and SQ and extras, at least early adopters of the HD-DVD format would feel that they're not being cheated. Because if early adopters don't like what they're seeing and hearing, HD-DVD is going down the drain.


fuad
post #34 of 69
Personally I would have preferred Time Warner to use MPEG-4 AVC HP but VC-1 is not a bad second choice. I do wonder about why Time Warner is announcing what video codec they are using right now instead of closer to the launch of HD-DVD.

Also I find it amusing when people try to make HD-DVD look better by saying that Blu-ray might use MPEG-2. Besides the fact that both formats support the exact same audio/video codecs Blu-ray is in every respect better for consumers. Blu-ray can hold 50 GB for both pre-recorded and recordable discs while HD-DVD is limited to 30 GB for pre-recorded and 20 GB for recordable.
post #35 of 69
As I said in my own post, this just means that Warner is not backing off of HD-DVD. A format war is imminent.

Interesting, can you remember the call home to activate each view and the connected to a phone line, you know where this is going, I await the whining and bit*hing over all this, and enjoying my D-VHS as time goes by.....
post #36 of 69
Richard, my comments regarding MPEG-2 are not about making BD look bad. On the contrary. BD will look exceptional if the content encoded in it uses VC-1. But some backers of BD have strong business and emotional reasons to use MPEG-2 (recall that BD used to only support MPEG-2). Just look at who is in there and their history and you know what I mean.

Either format, regardless of their capacity, can produce sub-optimal picture quality without excellence in encoding. We know this in today's DVDs and we are dealing with a single codec there. Now we have two new codecs in the mix, one of which is very new with little experience in it (AVC). With Warner (and our profesional encoding partner), we have a strong team attacking the quality factor early on, and with top exerpties from the people who invented a lot of what is being implemented. Let's hope BD companies take similar initiative and don't just dial up the bit rate and resolution on their current MPEG-2 encoders and spit the discs out at the last minute....

Amir
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Oliver Klohs
Amir,
you chose your words very carefully, but do you really think that with "normal" movie material it would be possible to differentiate between 15 and 22 mbps when the transfer is carefully done with variable bitrate ?
I do not think there is a need to go above 15 Mbit/sec. Indeed, I think discs can look superb at even lower average data rates. Before folks attempt some bodily harm on me, let me explain :-):

DVDs are not encoded like web video or what consumers use to encode video. The tools are sophisticated and use multi-pass encoding. The video is first automatically encoded at a (variable) data rate that is somewhat lower than the amount of space needed. Then an experienced operator will examine the output scene by scene, and carefully up the data rate on fames that look suboptimal. This process substantially improves the quality, yet the overall data rate only increase by a few percentage points. Reason is that movies have comparatively little difficult content. Most of the movie is slower moving, easier to encode content.

Another reason the above works effectively is that HD-DVD has a peak rate of 30 Mbit/sec. This means one can let a difficult scene use such a high rate and as long this doesn't last minutes non-stop, the overall movie size does not change significantly. 30 Mbit/sec will produce awesome quality with a codec like VC-1.

Assuming the operator knows what he or she is doing, the resulting quality of the above process should be indistinguishable from the original to even experienced viewers.

So yes, I believe 15 Mbit/sec is more than enough and actual discs (regardless of whether they are BD or HD-DVD) may even use lower data rate when using advanced codecs such as VC-1.

Is there a case where you need higher bit rate? Sure, basketball scenes come to mind. Assuming you are encoding 90 minutes of camera pans left and right with no close ups, and want to be able to count the hairs in each audience member, you may need more than 15 Mbit. My sense again is that regardless of format, no one is going to care about this scenario :).

Amir
post #38 of 69
Quote:
But some backers of BD have strong business and emotional reasons to use MPEG-2
but what does that mean? Let's be realistic, I could start posting TW has fought for HD on DVD and MS has put HD on DVD so since some of the HD-DVD companies have tried to use standard red level DVD that they will use the same suboptimal bitrates that were used on them.

If you know for a fact that some are planning on MPEG-2 that is one thing, if you know all of them will use MPEG-2 that is even worst. But anything else just cheapens what you say because it comes out as trying to make up excuses for why HD-DVD is as good a choice as BR
post #39 of 69
Quote:
I do not think there is a need to go above 15 Mbit/sec. Indeed, I think discs can look superb at even lower average data rates. Before folks attempt some bodily harm on me, let me explain :-):
we might attack a bit, but we do appreciate you being here. You have obviously done many tests with VC-1, what display do you use.
post #40 of 69
We use professional, calibrated HD CRT monitors, CRT front projectors, D-Cinema front projectors, 1080p LCDs, etc. The QC for the DVDs will happen at Warner studios together with Microsoft Studios. Both are multi-million dollar post and encoding houses with private screening room outfitted with latest D-cinema projectors. And of course, no shortage of golden eyes :).

As to my comment, I thought it was self explanatory. But to expand, companies such as Sony have strong IP position in MPEG-2. They comparatively have smaller position in codecs such as AVC which has 140 companies contributing it (who would share in the revenues in content fees). Not saying that this automatically means Sony will use MPEG-2 but that there is a preference there. Other studios have existing MPEG-2 facilities for current DVDs that may be cheaper to utilize for BD than buying new gear.

As to what I know, needless to say it is more than what I can say publicly. Suffice it to say I don't make up the above if I thought the studios were all set to use advanced codecs. That would make me look pretty bad a year from now, wouldn't it :)? My hope is that some of the pro-BD energy in this forum gets channeled toward the best picture quality, and unless someone believes that can be achieved using MPEG-2, we need to turn up the heat on this topic. As a minimum, we will have something new to talk about :).

Amir
post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
Richard, my comments regarding MPEG-2 are not about making BD look bad. On the contrary. BD will look exceptional if the content encoded in it uses VC-1. But some backers of BD have strong business and emotional reasons to use MPEG-2 (recall that BD used to only support MPEG-2). Just look at who is in there and their history and you know what I mean.
If your not trying to make Blu-ray look bad why not simply state the companies that have interest in using MPEG-2 on Blu-ray? After all the format is completely independent of what the studios will use on it. Also what backers of Blu-ray are strong supporters of MPEG-2? And which of them are content companies? Personally this debate will hopefully be moot once Blu-ray wins since than the companies who will do their best with video and audio quality will then have the most space to work with.


Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
Either format, regardless of their capacity, can produce sub-optimal picture quality without excellence in encoding. We know this in today's DVDs and we are dealing with a single codec there. Now we have two new codecs in the mix, one of which is very new with little experience in it (AVC). With Warner (and our profesional encoding partner), we have a strong team attacking the quality factor early on, and with top exerpties from the people who invented a lot of what is being implemented. Let's hope BD companies take similar initiative and don't just dial up the bit rate and resolution on their current MPEG-2 encoders and spit the discs out at the last minute....
How do you know what the studios will use in terms of video codec? And which content companies will use what video codecs?


Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
Another reason the above works effectively is that HD-DVD has a peak rate of 30 Mbit/sec. This means one can let a difficult scene use such a high rate and as long this doesn't last minutes non-stop, the overall movie size does not change significantly. 30 Mbit/sec will produce awesome quality with a codec like VC-1.
Just to throw this in but Blu-ray has a maximum data rate of 40 Mbps for video for all three video codecs.


Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
As to my comment, I thought it was self explanatory. But to expand, companies such as Sony have strong IP position in MPEG-2. They comparatively have smaller position in codecs such as AVC which has 140 companies contributing it (who would share in the revenues in content fees). Not saying that this automatically means Sony will use MPEG-2 but that there is a preference there. Other studios have existing MPEG-2 facilities for current DVDs that may be cheaper to utilize for BD than buying new gear.
You state that Sony may have a preference for MPEG-2 but as of yet Sony has not stated what they will use so isn't jumping the gun to state what Sony will use? Also you say other studios may want to use MPEG-2 but that holds true for HD-DVD. After all keep the data rate down to 16 Mbps and you can even put a long movie on HD-DVD. Quality of authoring is unrelated to any one format but the potential for great quality is more easily realized on Blu-ray than HD-DVD.


Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
As to what I know, needless to say it is more than what I can say publicly. Suffice it to say I don't make up the above if I thought the studios were all set to use advanced codecs. That would make me look pretty bad a year from now, wouldn't it :)? My hope is that some of the pro-BD energy in this forum gets channeled toward the best picture quality, and unless someone believes that can be achieved using MPEG-2, we need to turn up the heat on this topic. As a minimum, we will have something new to talk about :).
Personally if your aim was to put the pressure on the Hollywood studios that support Blu-ray to increase video and audio quality I would be 100% for that. The problem is that Microsoft is to say the least fairly well known for supporting HD-DVD especially since they are pushing for a non-Java interactive layer on both Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Also many of your posts are aimed at either defending HD-DVD or attacking Blu-ray so your motives do not seem to be for making Blu-ray the best that it can be.

As for Blu-ray/HD-DVD I seriously don't care about what companies are behind them and if Microsoft was the main supporter of Blu-ray I would still be 100% for it. The truth is I see no reason for HD-DVD to be released when Blu-ray can do everything it can do and more. If something could be done great on HD-DVD it could be done better on Blu-ray. From a consumer perspective Blu-ray offers far more in terms of both playback of pre-recorded material and in recording. The potential of Blu-ray is far more than HD-DVD and to put it bluntly I am getting awfully sick of companies trying to promote HD-DVD on lies and exaggerations. If Toshiba and Time Warner want their royalties than they should talk to Sony and arrange a deal. To say the least though if they decide to start a format war for their own greedy desires I will do my best to show people that HD-DVD will fail. Personally I think HD-DVD will fail no matter what but there is no harm in staking a dead vampire. And to me overkill isn't just a word in the dictionary but a way of life :).
post #42 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by mikey p
As I said in my own post, this just means that Warner is not backing off of HD-DVD. A format war is imminent.

Interesting, can you remember the call home to activate each view and the connected to a phone line, you know where this is going, I await the whining and bit*hing over all this, and enjoying my D-VHS as time goes by.....
This thread isn't about D-VHS. But if you want to make it about D-VHS (and claiming superiority over it), oh try going from the beginning of the Bourne Identity tape to watching the end credits.

Or magnetic fields.

Or drop outs and tape wear.

To quote "you know where this is going"...


fuad
post #43 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Paul
How do you know what the studios will use in terms of video codec? And which content companies will use what video codecs?
Probably because everybody working on this stuff knows each other since we've been working together for a long time. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes partnerships and friendships that are not publicly advertised. And there is a huge amount of communication between the people working on these formats, even outside the meetings.
post #44 of 69
Amir,

thanks for your take on the bitrate issue, it was my hope that 15mbps or less would be fine for movies and I hope the first Warner discs will prove me right.

And I have to say that I am VERY GLAD to hear that at least for the HD-DVD's from Warner the quality control for the discs will also be on large screen projection as I think this is the only way to make sure a disc will look good on a large screen and not only on a RPTV.

Oliver
post #45 of 69
Thread Starter 
amirm, thanks so much for the infos, even if you know more :-) but is sort of not allowed to say all now :-)

now, will it be 1080p/24fps@15mbps ? or just 720 ? When will the full specs of HD-DVD be out ? And about audio, is MS also pushing for WMA Pro ? Anyway at what bitrate exactly will the audio tracks be? Will they make new mixes for the tracks ? oppps... asking to many questions.. hehehe
post #46 of 69
Quote:
My hope is that some of the pro-BD energy in this forum gets channeled toward the best picture quality,
when the movies come out it will be time for that. If you know something you cannot say directly you cannot expect us to throw stones from now

Quote:
and unless someone believes that can be achieved using MPEG-2, we need to turn up the heat on this topic.
I don't know enough about all the codecs. I have compared H.264 to H.263 at low bandwidth and know there was a lot of improvement and previous experience with MPEG-2 had H.263 as better. So I guess at any given bitrate AVC and VC-1 will be far superior. On the other hand I would also guess that at low enough bitrate for one of the new codecs and high enough bitrate for MPEG-2 the newer codecs will lose. As an example let me ask you this (assuming these bitrates are supported) would 3Mbps VC-1 look better then 30 Mbps MPEG-2?

Truly I don't think MPEG-2 on BR (or HD-DVD) will look as good as VC-1 (or AVC) at the same bitrate (or even a drastically higher bitrate), but at the same time I don't think if a movie takes up 30GB it will be the same as if it takes 50GB you have more then doubled the bitrate for the video. I know 50<>30x2, but audio should take up a fixed amount (once you go lossless what else is left?) and so will (most likely) extras
post #47 of 69
Trailergod, the video will be 1080p@24 for film content (as with DVD, interlaced content will be encoded as interlaced). Not sure what the actual output on typical CE equipment will be. PCs of course, naturally put out 1080p. Let's hope CE equipment does the same.

As for audio, it will be one of the choices of mandatory audio codecs. WMA Pro is not a mandatory codec but we hope it will be there as an optional stream providing better compatibility with home PC networking a/v equipment.

I don't what audio processing will be used but I supsect some fine tuning might be done to go with the new audio codecs which are liable to sound different (if not lossless) than older AC-3 and DTS.

Richard, we have had all of these arguements in the other thread. I won't respond to them. My purpose here is to add information regarding specifics that I know and can share regarding what studios may or may not be doing wrt to codecs. I think I have more data than you on this :). And readily admit to my bias as my signature is quite visible to most folks here. You can just skip over my slides if you think they are serving an agenda. But I have built a reputation to the contrary.

Amir
post #48 of 69
Personally, I'd like to thank Amir and Keith for contributing to this thread. I've been to LA. I've done a LOT of DVD and web authoring. I've had discussions with people like Van Ling (does James Cameron DVDs - Terminators, Abyss, the new Titanic DVD yet to be released, Star Wars DVDs), Gary Leva (STAR WARS TRILOGY Special Edition DVD, THX 1138) and Eric Matthies (Ultimate Matrix Set). I've told you this to say that all of these guys are third party contractors. They work hard with their hardware and software vendors to produce the best quality home content as possible. They also do a lot of communicating between themselves. It's pretty difficult to be in "the industry" and not know what studios are doing. Of course, they ALL sign disclosure agreements and if they don't, they still won't tell because it's not fair to their customers and they don't want to lose business.

Basically, they're trying to be as honest as possible without naming names. I can appreciate that!

Thanks guys, for your input.
post #49 of 69
Now, having said that...Amir, of course you're bias towards VC-1 (as you probably helped develop it), but how does 20 to 25 mbps mpeg-2 look compared to 10 - 15 mbps VC-1? That's the ultimate question.

Sure, compression codecs are VERY important. But we're not comparing apples to apples. In one hand (Blu-Ray) we have more data to play with (which could use mpeg-2). In the other hand (HD-DVD) we have less data to play with which is most likely going to be playing VC-1 content (at the very least from Warner Bros.).

As far as better picture quality and better features, I guess the proof will be in the pudding.
post #50 of 69
"This thread isn't about D-VHS......"

Your right, except optical will be still born, unless the stupid GREED / IN FIGHTING stops, my only point is D-VHS was here and works right now, nothing more. Frankly unless the format war is stopped I would not be interested at all. Plus a whole lot of other un-responded to questions, about it in general.

BTW; some how if this is anything like M$'s other HD effort, with the call home when you want to watch the disc, there is no doubt in my mind it will turn into yet another niche market product. Well you get the idea, many concerns.
post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by mikey p
"BTW; some how if this is anything like M$'s other HD effort, with the call home when you want to watch the disc, there is no doubt in my mind it will turn into yet another niche market product. Well you get the idea, many concerns.
Where the "call home" idea for BD and HD-DVD came from, I have no idea. People on this forum are overthinking. One of goals is to be able to play these new formats in autos, portables, etc. Can't do that if you have to call home. Plus, the studios know that most people do not have an internet connection readily available. So the internet connection is only used for optional content the consumer can optionally use.

BTW, having lots of bandwidth does not mean it will be used. There are other things the studios and player manufacturers want to use it for besides main movie playback.
post #52 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by kjack
BTW, having lots of bandwidth does not mean it will be used. There are other things the studios and player manufacturers want to use it for besides main movie playback.
Unfortunately as consumers, we know.

Fortunately, as content authoring firms, it keeps us employed.
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by ckenisell
Unfortunately as consumers, we know. Fortunately, as content authoring firms, it keeps us employed.
Tough to be caught in the middle, isn't it? :)
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by kjack
BTW, having lots of bandwidth does not mean it will be used. There are other things the studios and player manufacturers want to use it for besides main movie playback.
I can see it now. Two hours of previews and commercials that you cannot skip or fast forward through before getting to the main menu. Hmmm, maybe all that extra capacity on Blue Ray is not such a good thing. :D

I almost returned Shrek 2 after I inserted it the first time and found I could not skip the long Ben Stiller promo for their upcoming movie. Unbelievably obnoxious for a purchased DVD. Thank goodness for the resume feature in TheaterTek which lets you resume where you were the last time.
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by jschefdog
I almost returned Shrek 2 after I inserted it the first time and found I could not skip the long Ben Stiller promo for their upcoming movie. Unbelievably obnoxious for a purchased DVD.
And is still there long after anyone could possibly care. And forever upsetting 5-year-olds that want to watch it NOW, not 2 minutes from now -- the real reason ripping came about. :)
post #56 of 69
Quote:
BTW, having lots of bandwidth does not mean it will be used. There are other things the studios and player manufacturers want to use it for besides main movie playback.
I agree, but do you think HD-DVD will have zero garbage and BR will have 30GB of data for movie and 20GB of garbage? Even if they decide to go to 35GB for the movie and 15GB for garbage (or nothing) we are still better off then 30GB all together.
post #57 of 69
To Keith Jack of Sigma Designs:

How come the new EM8620 media processor series doesn't have DTS decoding built in?

From press release:
Quote:
Sigma's EM8622L and EM8624L provide system-on-chip (SOC) silicon solutions that feature all major compression technologies and support high definition. Key features include:

-- Video decoding up to high definition for H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), VC-1 (WMV9), MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2).

-- Graphics acceleration with 32-bit alpha-blending, raster operations, and line drawing functions.

-- Audio decoding capability for Dolby Digital, WMA, WMA Pro, MPEG, AAC, MP3, and MPEG 1 or 2, layers I, II and III.

-- JPEG acceleration.

-- Motion adaptive deinterlacing for flat-panel, digital television output, as well as NTSC/PAL encoded video output for standard analog televisions.

-- Digital Rights Management (DRM) support with hardware cryptography engines for high speed payload decryption including AES, DES, triple-DES, RC4, CSS, DVB-CSA and Multi-2.

-- Single-chip solution with on-chip CPU, unified memory controller, IDE controller, general purpose IO and Ethernet MAC controller (EM8624L only).



fuad
post #58 of 69
"Where the "call home" idea for BD and HD-DVD came from, I have no idea."

Actually I said "IF" M$ tries this again, not that they were........... you make it sound like you may have heard this "CONCERN" before?

"One of goals is to be able to play these new formats in autos, portables, etc."

Ya right, your going to spend $1000 plus, plus, for HD in a car, plus the high $ software, this comment sound like watching TV on your cel phone via CODFM what ever, and does not support your position at all.

While I own a portable and use it a lot (read like it), I can't imagine having a HD version, I'd much rather have some sort of widescreen computer, in reflection now I wish I would have done that then!

Please understand this is only my opinion, seems Your Mileage Does Vary.
post #59 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by amirm
Richard, we have had all of these arguements in the other thread. I won't respond to them. My purpose here is to add information regarding specifics that I know and can share regarding what studios may or may not be doing wrt to codecs. I think I have more data than you on this :). And readily admit to my bias as my signature is quite visible to most folks here. You can just skip over my slides if you think they are serving an agenda. But I have built a reputation to the contrary.
I do not mind someone supporting HD-DVD but false neutrality is something I am bothered with. You do not directly attack Blu-ray but instead use innuendo such as when you say that HD-DVD using VC-1 will look better than Blu-ray using MPEG-2. That is not a lie but it is meant to imply that HD-DVD is superior to Blu-ray. The truth though is that for audio/video quality Blu-ray can always produce equal or superior results compared to HD-DVD. I do agree with you on the need for good disc authoring by why not combine the best audio and video codecs with the best physical format?
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Ya right, your going to spend $1000 plus, plus, for HD in a car, plus the high $ software, this comment sound like watching TV on your cel phone via CODFM what ever, and does not support your position at all.
yeah, no one has portable DVD players or DVD players in their cars, so the idea that people will want the same when 2G replaces DVD is totally alien :rolleyes:

Quote:
you make it sound like you may have heard this "CONCERN" before?
a few people have brought up that concern on these forums
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