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Industry Insiders Q&A Thread: only Questions to insiders please - Page 153  

post #4561 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
Well, obviously there is H.264 decoding for HD DVD already in there.

Beyond that? The real challenge is that H.264 is just a codec, and it's a codec that can live in many different flavors in many different container formats with many different audio codecs.

For example, QuickTime is the most widely distributed platform for encoding/playback of "MPEG-4" content, including H.264. But what percentage of files off Usenet or Bittorent can it play out of the box? 10%?

If the community agreed on the standard profile@level, audio codec, and file format for files using H.264, that's be a big help in us looking at this eventually :).
you mean "the scene" should update its "specifications" ... lol
post #4562 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noita M Eihtaed
Actually humans discriminate tonal differences better in the highlights. You need bigger changes in the shadows. You need only a small dLog change of about 0.05 to distinguish a diffuse white from a specular highlight on a print. But something more like 0.20 dLog change to distinguish shadow detail from maximum black.

If the consumer misadjusts the black level up, bringing the shadows up nearer in the direction of the highlights (making the blacks/dark tones brighter) since that is in the direction of more discrimination, you start to see more errors in the shadows, which wouldn't be visible if the dark tones were being watched at their (correct), low brightness values.

this is a bit technical for my understanding :) but it seems to be at odds with what other ^ have said?
post #4563 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forceflow
CJ, Do you choose dark scenes because they often require more bits than the encoder logic assigns (thinking its dark so we can see it, drop the bitrate)? Was this applied to BB or V?
We do most fixes on darker areas because, like all compression, the sub-40 luma range is not considered very important and dropping bits there is normally considered acceptable by most codec designers. MPEG-2 does it just like VC-1 and AVC. I've even got masters that do it! However, encoder designers who have deep codec access can make ways to not drop bits there if the codec has handles for it. In the case of MPEG-2, access and control has gotten so deep to handle it better in the basic 2-pass than the 2 advanced codecs. VC-1 and AVC don't seem to have this level of access and control right now and require us to "throw more bits" at those sections. This bit dropping is to keep the perceived image (read: above luma 40) intact for lesser bitrate situations like IPTV, VOD, and Internet media not to mention most of us won't see sub luma 16 on our setups for awhile for most content out there. So it's a whole perception thing. The enthusiast with the 110" screen or the J6P with a 30" that can't tell the difference. Who do you compress for?? We want the 110" screen people, but many others want the asnwer to "When's it coming to us?" not to be "Wait till it's done." Revenue can't be earned without a schedule, it seems.

Yes, BB and V had us hitting those spots.

Cjplay.
post #4564 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover
i would be interested in this as well, particularly since i always get confused whether the human visual system detects differences more readily in the lower frequencies (dark areas) or in the higher frequencies (brighter areas)...i think it is the former?
I think it the latter since you have no rods in the center of your eye/retina. Look at gas station signs and tell me why they're switching to white lettering in a lot of places... The presence of light is more perceivable than the absence.

Cjplay.
post #4565 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
You're still typing command-line stuff in at a number of stages, for example.
I've not typed anything using PEP for close to a year now... ;) It's amazing how easy BAT files are to make. If anyone needs a couple hints how, theck this out -

DOS Commands

Don't be afraid, DOS doesn't bite...

Cjplay.
post #4566 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya
Well, I guess we don't see eye to eye on this one. To me, whether there was or was not the DL capacity, it just makes sense that this freebie's costs be hedged where possible. Whether there is or is not capacity to replicate 500,000 of these things in one run - which by the way again, this is the first time on *either* format that disc volume has been run - the single-layer line just makes economic sense. Why is it you feel if DL capacity was "there," they would have used DL otherwise? Would the economic argument against it still not make total sense?
Because it was a critical launch for the both the format and the platform.

It's 500,000 discs. Let's say it costs $4 extra in incremental cost per BD-50 v. a BD-25. That'd be $2M. Which is what fraction of a percent of the launch costs? The only way BD-25 would be a significant hedge would be if the real-world incremental cost is HUGE, or there wasn't capacity available.
post #4567 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
Well, the digital picture frame I bought my wife's grandmother for $130 has played every MPEG-4 video (DivX, Xvid, FFDShow, etc.) I've thrown at it. If a no-name picture frame can do it, surely you can put in codec support sufficient to cover the majority of content out there.
It probably uses something like ffmpeg which we couldn't include with Xbox.

There are ffmpeg based transcoding solutions to wmv for Xbox integration, though - we just don't make them ourselves.

And more broadly, have you thrown HD files at the picture frame?
post #4568 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover
you mean "the scene" should update its "specifications" ... lol
You see my point, then :).
post #4569 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya
So, I think asking for BD50 on that freebie is just sort of a self-answerable kind of thing.
I get that, but I can't get why people are saying it looked worse than the BD50 version if they were trying to save costs. KK was free and look at how good it's doing. I got to see an HD version of the KK trailer master and that alone made my jaw drop. I've not seen the two versions yet side by side, but Bracke makes a pretty convincing argument when he mentions that the Deleted Scenes of TN looked better than the feature. Anyone else care to comment on that? Otherwise, it's 500k copies of crap.

BTW, BenDover made a great point. 500k BD50's would've went a long way to convincing EVERYONE that they're primetime ready.

Cjplay.
post #4570 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsv
It is possible to add iHD feature (ADV_OBJ) for HD-DVD (HVDVD_TS folder) authored by Ulead DMF5plus ?
Thank you.
I don't know that this has been done in practice yet, but yes, it should be possible to add advanced interactivity scripts and markup to an existing standard content disc after it has been mastered.
post #4571 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
I think it the latter since you have no rods in the center of your eye/retina. Look at gas station signs and tell me why they're switching to white lettering in a lot of places... The presence of light is more perceivable than the absence.

Cjplay.
Cjplay, Noita (and myself) are all correct in my view :D , we are all just saying it in different ways.

Cone cells rule because they have much faster response times.
At least that’s the way I see it. :)

http://www.e-advisor.us/Luisa/acuity_CS.htm

Also, cone cells don’t feel the need to make a statement as long as they do their job and are ultimately successful. ;)
post #4572 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t
Well, the digital picture frame I bought my wife's grandmother for $130 has played every MPEG-4 video (DivX, Xvid, FFDShow, etc.) I've thrown at it. If a no-name picture frame can do it, surely you can put in codec support sufficient to cover the majority of content out there.
He said H.264 and so did the person asking... The PS3 requires a little converting as well - http://au.gamespot.com/features/6161997/p-3.html
"Our PlayStation 3 recognized MP4 and MPG files encoded in MPEG-4, H.264, MPEG-1, and MPEG-2. When we tossed in the Xvid and Divx codecs, both worked like a charm. The supported codecs did not work at all when we used AVI, MOV, and ASF file formats. Not surprisingly, WMV didn't work either. "

Besides...
DivX on Xbox 360 - It might happen! Amir? Ben?

Cjplay.
post #4573 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover
i would be interested in this as well, particularly since i always get confused whether the human visual system detects differences more readily in the lower frequencies (dark areas) or in the higher frequencies (brighter areas)...i think it is the former?
Ben, darker areas do not signify lower frequencies nor brighter areas signify higher frequencies.

Higher frequencies in an image are due to how fast you go from one shade to another. For example a white pixel next to a black one has the highest frequency content. Two white pixels (or two of any shade) have the lowest frequency.

So a complete white screen actually has zero frequency (no changes at all), the same as a black screen.

For example a blurring filter is a low pass image filter since it removes the high frequencies from outlines, smearing them together, essentially "slowing" down the transition from one shade to another.
post #4574 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
Because it was a critical launch for the both the format and the platform.

It's 500,000 discs. Let's say it costs $4 extra in incremental cost per BD-50 v. a BD-25. That'd be $2M. Which is what fraction of a percent of the launch costs? The only way BD-25 would be a significant hedge would be if the real-world incremental cost is HUGE, or there wasn't capacity available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
I get that, but I can't get why people are saying it looked worse than the BD50 version if they were trying to save costs. KK was free and look at how good it's doing. I got to see an HD version of the KK trailer master and that alone made my jaw drop. I've not seen the two versions yet side by side, but Bracke makes a pretty convincing argument when he mentions that the Deleted Scenes of TN looked better than the feature. Anyone else care to comment on that? Otherwise, it's 500k copies of crap.

BTW, BenDover made a great point. 500k BD50's would've went a long way to convincing EVERYONE that they're primetime ready.

Cjplay.

Ok these are similar so I'll address them in one post to save typing. :)

Two different things here.

Firstly, I want to say that the PS3 is not analagous to the 360 in terms of the market environment that created it. The PS3 reflects the strategy of a vertically integrated company that has something at stake in each of the three aspects that went into the launch pack-in, whereas the 360 add-on is a coalition effort on the part of MS, Toshba, and Universal. I'm going to come back to this in a moment.

500k of crap issue.

Y'know though, I was refering to this a week or two ago when I started posting here again (that time in terms of viral marketing), but it's just the fact that Sony is too laden with bureaucracy. I'm sure the scenario went something like this. PS3 is launching. Stringer thinks they should really push the BD angle, and besides MS is doing a free movie as well for their counterpart. So they decide to do a free pack-in. It's obviously going to be a Sony film, and come from Sony replication facilities, as this is what costs Sony the least. In addition, choosing an external studio would have been showing favoratism that they can't afford to do. So... someone decides a movie pack-in. The replication crew says 'ok we hear you, but for 500k SL is going to be the cost-effective way to go.' Now the movie choice. You need something from the BD library already released or in qeue to be, and it needs to be family-friendly enough that it doesn't draw parents ire, and mature enough that young males don't feel insulted. So... PG-13. And so, Talladega Nights, for better or worse, was the chosen title. And then it gets kicked to the encoder guys, who are working on the BD50 version anyway, but need to get a SL version kicked out to send off to replication - because 500,000 discs... as mentioned.

And does the situation end up to be anyone's ideal? No... but it's a large organization, and unfortunately Sony's held back so far with the real blockbusters targeting that PG-13 bracket.

It is what it is. For my part, I saw the movie in the theatres and actually like it, so it was an honest bonus for me. This talk of Sony 'proving' their DL capabilities by having sent out 500k DL freebies... c'mon people, we know better. They've already proven their DL capabilities to me anyway with movies like Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven.
post #4575 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
I get that, but I can't get why people are saying it looked worse than the BD50 version if they were trying to save costs. KK was free and look at how good it's doing. I got to see an HD version of the KK trailer master and that alone made my jaw drop. I've not seen the two versions yet side by side, but Bracke makes a pretty convincing argument when he mentions that the Deleted Scenes of TN looked better than the feature. Anyone else care to comment on that? Otherwise, it's 500k copies of crap.

BTW, BenDover made a great point. 500k BD50's would've went a long way to convincing EVERYONE that they're primetime ready.

Cjplay.
that wasn't me :)

question for paidgeek, how many ps3 units shipped with TN; people are throwing around 500K but i thought that was just a guess by most...i don't recall ever seeing any formal source for this...tia
post #4576 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek
I don't pretend to understand the subtle reasons for certain titles/timing, but I did have a chance to listen in on some of the discussions on this title. Sony has to consider who the buyer is for the PS3 and what will not offend the red or the blue states. Some of the best looking BD titles are not for family viewing....even in my household.
Considering how poorly Talladega Nights was received in some parts of the south, I don't see how your rational works in this case? It was controversial, and upset a lot of southerners. I personally could give a rat's behind, but some people were even picketing the movie. Sony made a mistake perhaps?
post #4577 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbdestroya
Ok these are similar so I'll address them in one post to save typing. :)...
I'm complimented that you think Universal, Toshiba, and Microsoft are able to cooperate more efficiently and nimbly than Sony can with itself, but I think the Occam Razor's answer remains that there just wasn't any way for them to replicate the 500K discs :).
post #4578 of 4623
I have a question about movies in 3d. It's becomming more common for studios to release titles that take advantage of DLP projectors in movie theaters. In the home theater market, DLP sales are going very well and the technology is continuing to improve in quality and become more affordable.

So if a studio wanted to realease a 3d movie on HD-DVD/Blu-Ray how would this work? Would it require a totally seperate encode? Or could an option exist on the disc just to switch on "3d mode"? Does it effect file size? Are VC-1 and MPEG-4/AVC prepared to handle "3d" encoding? Can HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players even handle "3d" titles?

If it does effect file size wouldn't this be a compelling reason to go with triple layer HD-DVD's?

I haven't read about this issue anywhere but with George Lucas working on a re-release of Star Wars in 3d I figure this is going to making a lot of headlines in the near future. Already we've seen "The nightmare before christmas" re-released into theaters taking advantage of 3d. And a lot of the newer CGI movies take advantage of this technology if a movie theater is equiped with a DLP projector.
post #4579 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
I get that, but I can't get why people are saying it looked worse than the BD50 version if they were trying to save costs. KK was free and look at how good it's doing. I got to see an HD version of the KK trailer master and that alone made my jaw drop. I've not seen the two versions yet side by side, but Bracke makes a pretty convincing argument when he mentions that the Deleted Scenes of TN looked better than the feature. Anyone else care to comment on that? Otherwise, it's 500k copies of crap.
I haven't compared them, but I also haven't heard that the 2 versions of the movie looked different.
For the record, the retail release didn't look very impressive to my eyes. I don't remember checking the deleted scenes, but I have looked at the trailer for Talladega Nights. Haven't you mentioned before that trailers are often modified to wow people? That is how that one looks to me. Looks like they tried to make the colors stronger in the trailer and they might have applied some noise reduction. This might have been the trailer from the PS3 store I was looking at and I don't know the bitrate there though.

As far as the eye, I think the same absolute difference is easier to see in the darks (in would be a higher relative difference), but the same percentage difference tends to be somewhat easier to see in things that are bright enough to be more in the sweet spot of our perceptual vision. People can look up "Contrast Sensitivity Function" to see more on this.

I don't personally believe that 500k BD50s would have been easy for Sony, but as far as looking at the costs, people should remember that it wouldn't just be the costs of the discs that would be relevant to Sony if they put the retail version in the PS3, but the lost sales. The way Sony did it allowed them to have a movie in the PS3 box and still sell that same movie to some of those people, since the retail version was an unrated version and had extras. I'm sure they could have put the unrated version in the PS3 box, but they didn't and that probably helped them sell more of that version at retail.

Sony also didn't need to put any movie in there as an incentive for people to buy the PS3. Those first 500k were going to sell regardless.

--Darin
post #4580 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
I'm complimented that you think Universal, Toshiba, and Microsoft are able to cooperate more efficiently and nimbly than Sony can with itself, but I think the Occam Razor's answer remains that there just wasn't any way for them to replicate the 500K discs :).
Well again, I don't think it's a matter of 'efficient cooperation' per say so much as a 'confluence of events' in Microsoft's favor. I think that Sony would have had a better pack-in overall if there was just a better PG-13 film to throw in there; but as mentioned the pack-in itself was almost non material in the end. The coupon book, on the other hand, I know to be having a very real and positive effect among PS3 owners. And I wonder if that coupon book is being included in non-Ricky Bobby PS3s now that that's where we stand.

And I don't think Occam's Razor would point away from cost concerns either to tell you the truth, so we'll just agree to have divergent views there. :)

I know now, however, that when Sony does complete a 500k replication run for any given BD50 movie, that we will stop hearing about difficulties in BD production, am I right? ;)
post #4581 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
And more broadly, have you thrown HD files at the picture frame?
No, because with a 640x480 screen there's no value in doing that (nor would I expect a product primarily intended to display photos to actually handle HD. My point was simply that it appears multiple MPEG-4 SD video formats and containers can be handled by cheap silicon, so I assume (licensing issues aside) that the Xbox 360 would be capable of the same thing. I can appreciate that doing so legally might entail IP-related costs which Microsoft chooses not to pay, but I can't believe lack of technical knowhow or capability is the issue.
post #4582 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenDover
that wasn't me :)

question for paidgeek, how many ps3 units shipped with TN; people are throwing around 500K but i thought that was just a guess by most...i don't recall ever seeing any formal source for this...tia
I don't have a memo on this, but from what I heard the 500k number is in the ballpark.
post #4583 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay
I get that, but I can't get why people are saying it looked worse than the BD50 version if they were trying to save costs. KK was free and look at how good it's doing. I got to see an HD version of the KK trailer master and that alone made my jaw drop. I've not seen the two versions yet side by side, but Bracke makes a pretty convincing argument when he mentions that the Deleted Scenes of TN looked better than the feature. Anyone else care to comment on that? Otherwise, it's 500k copies of crap.

BTW, BenDover made a great point. 500k BD50's would've went a long way to convincing EVERYONE that they're primetime ready.

Cjplay.
This is pretty bold coming from another studio. Are you so candid about WB titles? If not, maybe you could walk a bit softer when discussing another studios properties, regardless of format.
post #4584 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek
This pretty bold coming from another studio. Are you so candid about WB titles? If not, I suggest you walk a bit softer when discussing another studios properties, regardless of format.
opps sounds abit authoritarian i might say :p
post #4585 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by g55555sim
opps sounds abit authoritarian i might say :p
I think that any cautionary advice given to an individual that publicly represents an organization and fails to use discretion when speaking about his colleagues in a public forum is not authoritarian but simply *peer review*..........needed *peer review* at that.
post #4586 of 4623
Quote:
This pretty bold coming from another studio. Are you so candid about WB titles? If not, I suggest you walk a bit softer when discussing another studios properties, regardless of format.
Candor is exactly what we are looking for here, from all of you (insiders). Ultimately, it is us, the consumer, you are asking to foot the bills for this. Asking some hard question and expecting some honest answers is the least we should expect. If you, paidgeek, want to explain or rebut what you consider misinformation, this is the place.

Real, accurate information from inside studios has not been a readily available commodity for most of us. Even when I was writing DVD reviews, good technical info was almost imposible to get unless one had a "source" willing to pass along info not usually given. Because of my previous position, I know how paranoid studio people are, but the stakes are rather high now and the monetary outlay Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft, et al, are now expecting, I feel, calls for a new paradigm. If you want me to believe the PR hype, be prepared to back it up with more substantial data in places like this.
post #4587 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek
This pretty bold coming from another studio. Are you so candid about WB titles? If not, I suggest you walk a bit softer when discussing another studios properties, regardless of format.
You are from Sony right? Your post sounds a bit big-brotherish, not unlike BD+ Advanced Countermeasure on Blu-Ray.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me CjPlay has been incredibly helpful on the technical side of things for months and months. Now a Sony rep comes in and tells him to STFU because Cj is being honest? Nice PR work there, I'm sure everyone will appreciate CjPlay having to censure his technical commentary because Sony and their reps dislikes it.
post #4588 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George
Candor is exactly what we are looking for here, from all of you (insiders). Ultimately, it is us, the consumer, you are asking to foot the bills for this. Asking some hard question and expecting some honest answers is the least we should expect. If you, paidgeek, want to explain or rebut what you consider misinformation, this is the place.

Real, accurate information from inside studios has not been a readily available commodity for most of us. Even when I was writing DVD reviews, good technical info was almost imposible to get unless one had a "source" willing to pass along info not usually given. Because of my previous position, I know how paranoid studio people are, but the stakes are rather high now and the monetary outlay Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft, et al, are now expecting, I feel, calls for a new paradigm. If you want me to believe the PR hype, be prepared to back it up with more substantial data in places like this.
In participating in this forum, I expect to get hard, uncomfortable questions, and I will provided the best answers that I can. I knew the job was risky when I took it...

I think that consumers have a right to express there opinion as they see fit, but I also think a different standard applies to professionals. What ever your profession....
post #4589 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruined
I don't know about anyone else, but for me CjPlay has been incredibly helpful on the technical side of things for months and months. Now a Sony rep comes in and tells him to STFU because Cj is being honest? Nice PR work there, I'm sure everyone will appreciate CjPlay having to censure his technical commentary because Sony and their reps dislikes it.
You are not alone in your view. This is the second time in the last few days where an insider has been threatened with a "I am going to tell Mom" post. First was Penton-Man and now paidgeek.

I hope these two individuals do not have the net impact of restricting good and honest insider information here on AVS.
post #4590 of 4623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruined
You are from Sony right? Your post sounds a bit big-brotherish, not unlike BD+ Advanced Countermeasure on Blu-Ray.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me CjPlay has been incredibly helpful on the technical side of things for months and months. Now a Sony rep comes in and tells him to STFU because Cj is being honest? Nice PR work there, I'm sure everyone will appreciate CjPlay having to censure his technical commentary because Sony and their reps dislikes it.
Point taken... allow me to edit my "big-brotherish" tone..
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