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Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 103  

post #3061 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by scaesare View Post

Does this (along with Talks's "2007" comment) imply that the new 10/07 BD-Video 1.1 profile player may also include Netowrk capability as well? Will they likel ybe full -Live players?

Bringing up the point that here's no commitment to ship 1.1 players in October 2007 that I saw. It's just that they won't launch any new non-1.1 players after Oct 31st.

Announcing a bunch of new 1.0 spec players for the holiday season in late October seems perfectly compatible with the "update."
post #3062 of 4841
Can an HD DVD insider please help me understand more about 3X?

My understanding is that it was implemented for a very low cost independent way of making HD movies on a standard DVD-R.

If this is true, can someone explain to me how I can make a 3X disc? Is it as easy as just encoding a file with VC-1 (WMV) and slapping it on a DVD-R? Will that work on any HD DVD player?
post #3063 of 4841
dear amirm,

I am very curious, well heres my little problem well ok my 360 is running at 1080p via vga and the picture quaily is excellent espically with hd dvds my only problem is sometimes the picture get cutoff on the left side becuase my projector mistakes the resolution for 1728x1080, see now i think the problem might be that im running the 360 through a vga gender changer could that be causing the problem? also my projector dosnt have a vga port its got a dvi-a which is the same thing but basicly the 360s vga cord goes through a gender changer then to a vga to dvi-a cable and do you think my problem could be caused sinceit running through the gender changer?
post #3064 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxi View Post

To PacificDisc,

Welcome aboard. A couple of questions:

1) Are you allowed to say who some of your customers have been, or at least what general fields they are coming from?

2) What are some basic difference between replicating HD-DVD and Blu-ray, that the average joe might not know about? There is a seemingly large difference on your website between the replication costs - can you break down why this is and whether you expect this to mitigate with time?

We started doing HD DVDs for some larger post-production houses in NYC at the end of last summer. These were used as "pilots" and have since flourished into some steady work, mainly for Fortune100 companies, financial institutions and the such - lots of showreels too (both HD DVD & Blu-ray). We did a bunch of titles from a big "live event" venue who host live concerts etc. We've done a lot of work for European TV outlets, where the HD market seems more mature - at least TV Shows on HD seem to sell better. Right now we're in the middle of converting 200+ features from 35mm film to Blu-ray. NOt so many smaller indie-type customers bellying up to the bar just yet, but we're seeing a lot of interest and expect this trend to change this year.

There are no real differences on the authoring side between the two formats (not meant as a sweeping statement, nor meant to belitte anyone's preference or skill set). The main reason the costs are so different is cost to get in the game. As previously discussed, HD DVDs can be made on modified DVD9 lines. Whereas Blu-rays need new/specialized lines which cost a bazillion dollars. As these costs are recouped, the gap will narrow -- though I suspect they will never be exactly the same price. I also suspect that market demand will effect pricing in the next 12 months -- supply and demand.

So far PacificDisc has done more HD DVDs than Blu-rays, but we've been at HD longer and Blu-ray orders have come online with a vengeance since we announced. Should be an interesting ride.
post #3065 of 4841
BD insiders,

has there been any discussion about using the high-bandwidth of BD's secondary video stream (which can support full 1080p) for 3-D encoding? Seems to me to be a perfect solution to having *real* 3-D software with both video channels encoded in perfect-fidelity 1080p24. Software support could be worked out via firmware later on how to output the signal (which could be matrixed into a single 1080p48 signal for those with shudder glasses).


p.s. still no "real" word on Warner and Dolby True HD (ie don't tell me that it's because Dolby TrueHD decoding isn't require in BD hardware)?
post #3066 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificDisc View Post

We started doing HD DVDs for some larger post-production houses in NYC at the end of last summer. These were used as "pilots" and have since flourished into some steady work, mainly for Fortune100 companies, financial institutions and the such - lots of showreels too (both HD DVD & Blu-ray). We did a bunch of titles from a big "live event" venue who host live concerts etc. We've done a lot of work for European TV outlets, where the HD market seems more mature - at least TV Shows on HD seem to sell better. Right now we're in the middle of converting 200+ features from 35mm film to Blu-ray. NOt so many smaller indie-type customers bellying up to the bar just yet, but we're seeing a lot of interest and expect this trend to change this year.

There are no real differences on the authoring side between the two formats (not meant as a sweeping statement, nor meant to belitte anyone's preference or skill set). The main reason the costs are so different is cost to get in the game. As previously discussed, HD DVDs can be made on modified DVD9 lines. Whereas Blu-rays need new/specialized lines which cost a bazillion dollars. As these costs are recouped, the gap will narrow -- though I suspect they will never be exactly the same price. I also suspect that market demand will effect pricing in the next 12 months -- supply and demand.

So far PacificDisc has done more HD DVDs than Blu-rays, but we've been at HD longer and Blu-ray orders have come online with a vengeance since we announced. Should be an interesting ride.

Hello, PacificDisc:

Two questions:
1 - Do you do BD50? If yes, is it competitive with HD DVD30?
2 - How is the BD50 adoption going on among other companies in the replication field?

I always thought the format war would be fought based on BD25 and HD DVD30, since BD50 always seemed too expensive/subsidized in order to live on its own feet right now (and for some time to come).

What are your impressions?

thanks.
post #3067 of 4841
Would any insider care to comment (opinion, not testimony ) on the Kaleidescape Systems v. DVD Content Control Association case? This is seen as possibly the case to determine if Fair Use (copying) applies to protected digital media.

Also, how about Michael Malcolm (CEO of Kaleidescape) comment on Managed Copy: Managed copy is a "model that they sell you the same content over and over for the rest of your life," Malcolm said. "HD DVD and Blu-ray's managed copies are simply a euphemism for charging you for every time you make a copy on the server."
post #3068 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by firemaster View Post

But, From ProactionMedia,the BD SL is cheaper than HD DVD DL, and all cheaper than yours price, why?

http://www.proactionmedia.com/blu-ray_replication.htm

http://www.proactionmedia.com/hd_dvd_replication.htm

It's called competition. We have cheaper advertised prices for HD DVD than they do. True their BD is cheaper online, but they have 4 suspicious words underneath in red... * Additional Setup Fees Apply

Now, I'm not going to get drawn into an argument about who the better replicator is. I've heard decent things about ProAction Media and certainly am not about to pooh pooh them here. But, just like any type of replication work, you need to compare all quotes carefully... I'll give you a glaring example.

We charge $0.69/disc for 1000 bulk DVD5. The "900lb Gorilla" in this market (not ProAction Media) also charges $0.69/disc, but their price is for 3-color silkscreen printed discs (grainy looking discs). Ours is for up to 5-color offset printed discs. "900lb'er" charges an extra $199.00 for 5-color offset!

Bottom line: do your due diligence thoroughly before placing any orders and good luck.
post #3069 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technicolor View Post

Hello, PacificDisc:

Two questions:
1 - Do you do BD50? If yes, is it competitive with HD DVD30?
2 - How is the BD50 adoption going on among other companies in the replication field?

I always thought the format war would be fought based on BD25 and HD DVD30, since BD50 always seemed too expensive/subsidized in order to live on its own feet right now (and for some time to come).

What are your impressions?

thanks.

We're not tooled up to do BD50 yet and probably won't be until mid-year -- at least that's what I'm hearing from above. Sorry.
post #3070 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Handling this kind of game is not an issue for HDi. Indeed, one of our program managers wrote a prototype space invader game in just two hours (he wrote it last night and sent me a copy when I asked him if he knew something I didn't about Bill's claim.). HDi is great at bitmap blitting, alpha blending, cell animation, bitmap sequence animation, property animation and ECMAScript can handle the state machine and collision detection. No, there are no 3-D primitives but those are not needed in such games, nor is there hardware for them in either platform.

Any chance we could get a "downloadable and burnable on a DVD" version of this prototype game?

I think it would be a great demonstration of the capabilities of HDi, and just plain cool, even if it were as crude as ascii-art (well, maybe not that crude).


Quote:


With the market dead for high-resolution music where quality matters more than movies to people, you can safely assume that this would be done 90% for marketing and 10% for any real reasons. In a mass market, no movie will sell better because it has 20, 24 or 100 bits of resolution.

I have done extensive tests of 16-bits vs 24-bits on well recorded music. And while I can tell and appreciate the nicer analog quality of 24-bit on my expensive audio system ($15K just for a headphone setup!), I would never be able to convince anyone else around me of the difference and hence, value. It has taken years of audio testing to know what to look for ("quantization noise"). Yet I have also lost my share of double-blind tests in identifying 20-bit signals against 16-bits.

While I can agree with the fact that a fair number of people here do not have the systems capable of resolving all the detail and differences between, say, 16 vs. 24 bit right now, I'm hoping that we'll see a good number of years of use out of the HD DVD and Blu-ray titles we're buying right now, and I think that there's a good chance that home theater systems will continue to advance in their quality in those years.

The comparison of hi-rez audio formats (SACD/DVD-A) vs. low bitrate compressed audio (MP3/AAC) is sound, but I would hope that the studios do not fall into the trap of thinking that just because MP3's and iTunes AAC files are popular, that people don't care about audio quality any more. I used to think that 128kbps MP3 files were indistinguishable from CD's, but I've grown in my ability to discern and appreciate the differences. Having just completed a project where I re-ripped my entire CD collection to WMA lossless attests to my desire to get the best quality audio possible from the source.

Please encourage the studios to deliver high definition audio and video on their releases. Fox television used to think that they could upsample 480p and call it Fox Widescreen HD or some nonsense like that. Thankfully, someone there had the wisdom to realize the folly in that position.

Let's not see such bowing to the low-end happen to audio on HD DVD and Blu-ray.

Quote:


I for one, always put Disney in a different class than other BD companies. They stand out as one of the few BD companies who have taken the participation in DVD Forum and HD DVD format making seriously. They vote on all the issues instead of abstaining. They worked hand in hand with the rest of us to create the HD DVD interactivity spec. They pushed strongly to make those and audio features mandatory. And they gave the best look at VC-1 than any BD studio. We don't see eye to eye when we step out of the forum to be sure in the optical formats, but share a certain level of respect for each other still.

Please pass along our heartfelt invitation to join the ranks of HD DVD-producing studios!

It will not be until the upcoming releases of Cars and the Pirates movies that I will truly miss not having a Blu-ray player. Casino Royale was difficult, and I'm glad that Dances with Wolves was delayed, but Cars is going to hurt! I've been trying to keep my purchases to a minimum, but I would buy the Disney/Pixar movies without thinking twice!

I'm sure that they know your position, but please pass along my desire that they begin producing HD DVD titles soon! Thanks...
post #3071 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatpopsicle View Post

Can an HD DVD insider please help me understand more about 3X?

My understanding is that it was implemented for a very low cost independent way of making HD movies on a standard DVD-R.

If this is true, can someone explain to me how I can make a 3X disc? Is it as easy as just encoding a file with VC-1 (WMV) and slapping it on a DVD-R? Will that work on any HD DVD player?

3X is HD DVD format on a red-laser disc. You use all the same authoring techniques as HD DVD, but replicate on DVD-5 or DVD-9 instead of HD DVD. This can save a little money on replication for short-form content (although HD DVD is already pretty cost-effective).

So, no it's isn't just a WMV on a DVD-R. Although those work great on an Xbox 360 .
post #3072 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificDisc View Post

We've done a lot of work for European TV outlets, where the HD market seems more mature - at least TV Shows on HD seem to sell better.

Thanks for posting PacificDisc. There are many of us that appreciate insiders taking their time to come here.

Being in Europe I'm a little confused by your statement above. If the HD market in Europe is anything it's anything but mature. And that's on TV. For discs the market so far is almost nonexistent. I'm not aware of a single TV show being released on Blu-ray or HD DVD in Europe which would make it hard for them to sell at all. Are you hinting at future releases?
post #3073 of 4841
Can any HD DVD insiders update us on the status of the 51GB TL specs approval process?
post #3074 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpb123 View Post

Thanks for posting PacificDisc. There are many of us that appreciate insiders taking their time to come here.

Being in Europe I'm a little confused by your statement above. If the HD market in Europe is anything it's anything but mature. And that's on TV. For discs the market so far is almost nonexistent. I'm not aware of a single TV show being released on Blu-ray or HD DVD in Europe which would make it hard for them to sell at all. Are you hinting at future releases?

It's coming.

Not sure where you are, but the German market seems strongest (at least from the production of discs). Don't want to get into specifics (I'd get shot), but we're doing TV shows and some recent sporting events.
post #3075 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckong View Post

Can any HD DVD insiders update us on the status of the 51GB TL specs approval process?

Nothing yet to report.....
post #3076 of 4841
Any Sony people here?

I've seen pretty good looking screenshots of BD-Java games that never seemed to have made it to the actual titles (XXX and Kung Fu Hustle, for example, both of which I believe are BD-25 single layer discs). Is it possible to get a reason for this?
post #3077 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

This response makes it looks like "The Polar Express" on HD DVD has this feature....--Darin

I was going to comment on your question regarding branching, and then someone sent me this related link: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10125991

Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

This came up a while ago. One of the people who was involved in HD DVD back when they decided their minimum 1.0x spin rate that led to their current bandwidth limitations, and who brags about how the HD DVD camp didn't overdesign their format, didn't understand this and thought that the extra languages not being played didn't affect the bandwidth left for video, other audio, PiP, etc. Along with not understanding what branching was at the time (according to what they said here), I can understand how they wouldn't have had a problem with HD DVD deciding on a 1.0x minimum spin rate instead of a 1.5x minimum spin rate. I wish they had actually understood how things worked back when that decision was made. It may have changed that decision, as they might not have been so smug about how their side wasn't overdesigning things, if they had known how things really work. I have a strong feeling that the decision about spin rate would have been different if they had known then what they know today. --Darin

If this doesn't make me the classic village idiot, I am not sure what does . In the middle of all that though, you do bring up some new topics which I have not covered before so I am going to take a shot at commenting on them first. Hope you forgive me for that.

As the sole representative of HD DVD format here, I think sometimes people give us way too much credit for everything going into that format. Yes, we had our finger in a few things (see list below). But nowhere close to level of influence assumed in the post. Please let me provide some needed perspective here.

Microsoft was not involved in the development of either format until later stages. HD DVD was invented by Toshiba and NEC from what I recall, in a similar manner to which BD was designed by Sony/Matsushita. Neither was a committee invention in the way MPEG-2/MPEG-4 are for example. The spec is provided to the forum which then reviews and refines it before approving it.

From a timing perspective, the standardization of the original AOD (HD DVD) format was well under way while we were busy making WMV-HD discs and running around making technology for the Internet. We got involved because of two factors: 1) advanced codec testing and 2) to break the logjam in DVD Forum over the new format. On the latter front, the BD companies were blocking the approval of the working group HD DVD physical specification (remember, they have majority vote at the board level). Clever decision was made to add new (then neutral) members leading to Disney and us getting elected to the board. By the time we showed up (or in the previous meeting, I don't remember), the physical format was already approved. So historically speaking, we had no say or involvement in the creation of the physical specifications, where the data rate, capacity, physical characteristics, etc. came about.

Trust me, I wish I could take credit for this wonderful format called HD DVD, but we just can't . The history simply doesn't allow it. If you want to blame us for bad things in this space, here are the areas you should go after:

1. Pushing for adoption of VC-1 and advanced codecs in general. We did this for both formats.
2. Matters related to copy protection (including region coding) and unification of both formats around a single technology (AACS)
3. Getting both formats to use the same (UDF) file system and (PC drive) interface language.
4. Helping create the original pillars of AACS and its full specifications.
5. HD DVD interactivity.
6. To some extent, mandatory features of HD DVD logical (i.e. above physical spec) layers.
7. Creation of authoring tools for VC-1 and to some extent HDi.
8. Helping studios drive state-of-the-art in compression technology/tools.
9. Helping companies like Toshiba ship HD DVD products.


There are probably a few other things we are guilty of but this is all I can remember screwing up so far . All of this happened after we had a physical specification already approved. And also why people say we added a lot of software (logical) layers to HD DVD.

I think your second point is that because I didn't know everything about everything, somehow the spec wound up being suboptimal. Well, that isn't so either. I love you all so I spend a lot of time here personally to answer your questions. But that doesn't mean that I do the same low level work in other areas I manage. Indeed, I have not once set foot in a working group at DVD Forum where all the technical work occurs. So if there is something of concern there, it wasn't my doing. Heck, if I were involved, there would surely be more areas to criticize .

Fortunately, I have people who know more about optical formats than anyone should be allowed to know. These are the people who attend the technical working groups and drive discussions in the forum. I have been in a few board meetings and voted on things but have not done that for two years now. My ignorance of some topics only serves to create embracement for me here and not much else I am afraid .

The third point you make is that HD DVD is underdesigned due to my ignorance of its applications. I addressed the ignorance part above. But I will not accept that HD DVD is underdesigned. HD DVD has 3X the data rate of DVD. It uses advanced codecs which provide up to 2X the efficiency of MPEG-2 used in DVD. Multiply the two and you get up to 6X improvement over DVD format. 1080p has 6X the resolution of DVD which happens to match this number. But those pixels are highly correlated and we don't need anywhere close to 6X the bandwidth of DVD. As otherwise, all of those BD MPEG-2 titles would have to have the average data rate of 30 mbit/sec, which we know none do.

Should people have done more on the physical spec? Good engineering says you push a design up to a magical line, after which it gets too difficult/expensive to manufacture things. We feel that HD DVD has done exactly that. I am sure people will argue about where that line is and I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say, for a format to have increased capacity by 3X and yet, allow full backward compatibility with both replication equipment (HD DVD lines can make DVDs) and user equipment (combo/twin disc capability), shows great depth of design. HD DVD also mandates advanced features such as networking and persistent storage -- something competing group decided was too complex to make mandatory. So HD DVD is anything but a conservative design. It is both elegant and complete.

Your key argument above continues to be the need for more audio tracks because ultimately you may run out of bandwidth if you keep adding them. On paper, and with limited vision of where the format is going, one may think you have a point there. But let me explain how we see this.

As I stated previously, HD mandates both networking and storage. This in a nutshell, gives you another source of bandwidth. HD DVD allows up to 15 mbit/sec data rate coming from persistent storage because it does not incur any seeks to get to that data. This is above and beyond the bandwidth coming from the optical media. Given this, a much more elegant solution exists than stuffing everything on disc whether someone values it or not. You can put the core experience on the HD DVD, and leave the rest to be downloaded by the user to persistent storage. Given the fact that the video still comes on disc, you don't have long download times to deal with. You not only gain extra bandwidth this way, but you also let people decide more of what they want, than one size fits all.

No, this doesn't mean we ship movies without sound . DD+ at 640kbps outperforms the DVD's audio quality, yet only takes 2% of the bandwidth. Even 5 languages can be served with just 10% of the total. DD+ at 1.5 mbit/sec rivals lossless audio and yet, it still only takes 5% of our capacity. Lossless take more bandwidth but we can fit one in there as we have shown across multiple titles. And IME on top of that. This means we can still ship a rich package on the HD DVD disc itself.

Yes, it is tempting to think old fashioned and assume everything has to be stuffed on the original shiny disc because that is the way good old DVD worked. But why? We use the internet all the time to add to our multimedia collection. Why design an optical format today, and not have the same capability be there for it just the same? OK, so it makes the system more complicated. But so does 0.1mm recording of the alternative format . Someone wants a lossless track for some foreign language? I say let them download it at their convenience. No need to spec a system just for the optical media and stay within those confines. Heck, we could offer dozens of languages this way.

Then there is the home media distribution scenario. Using managed copy, once you rip the content to the server, you can add all the other elements to it with zero regards for bandwidth. After all, even a laptop hard disk has data rates exceeding 2-5X of BD let alone your desktop/server hard disk. You would use the disc for instant gratification but from there on, you can update it in place. No longer are you stuck with a read-only ROM format in this vision of the future. You can have 100 audio tracks to really make you feel good . Given the more frugal encodings of HD DVD, we can store more movies in the same storage space. And stream them around the home much easier with half the peaks of typical MPEG-2 BD movie. Or stream more channels at the same time. Being efficient this way has a lot of value which may not be so obvious to folks thinking these technologies as simple DVD replacement.

So there you have it. While we didn't invent HD DVD, we helped make it better." People had no business inviting us into the forum, if all they wanted was another DVD format .
post #3078 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Your key argument above continues to be the need for more audio tracks because ultimately you may run out of bandwidth if you keep adding them.

No. That was the discussion there and seems to be what you try to deflect things toward, without addressing the seamless branching questions. Is your answer to seamless branching to not put the things on the discs, but use downloads for those who want them?

--Darin
post #3079 of 4841
Amir,
With all the rumors about Lord of the Rings I was wondering if you can please make comment to a post which I would like further clarification on.

"King Kong (HD DVD) which we know maxes out the capacity of 30GB DL HD DVD and had to drop the TrueHD track to do it, has a running time of 187 minutes.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Edition) has a running time of 208 minutes

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Edition) has a running time of 208 minutes

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition) has a running time of 250 minutes.

How, pray tell, does New Line Cinema fit any of these movies (particularly LotR: RotK) onto a 30GB HD DVD without seriously degrading PQ, hm?"


Is it possibl to fit 250 minutes of HD material like LOTR ROTK with a TrueHD track onto a 30 gig HD DVD?
post #3080 of 4841
Amir would you really say it's reasonable to expect consumers wanting an uncompressed audio track to download a 3.1GB data file (16bit 5.1 LPCM 120 mins)? Or the studios to provide them? Even a DD+ track at 1.5mbps would take up 1.2GB, never mind if you want hi-def audio. Just because it is possible to download additional audio tracks doesn't necessarily mean that it's practical due to bandwidth and storage concerns, wouldn't you say? Storage may scale up, but bandwidth and backbone capacity are and will continue to be the problem for years to come.
post #3081 of 4841
To anyone ...

If you have seemless branching and a lot of memory in the player wouln't it be possible to increase your effective peak bandwidth on multiple uncompressed audio tracks by putting separate large clumps of each language on the disc and just skipping over the ones you weren't playing? Or is the disc already spinning at its maximum speed?

- Tom
post #3082 of 4841
I have a Lenovo Notebook with plenty of horsepower. Core Duo 2 Gig/ Ati FireGL graphics processor but no HDCP. Is it permitted under AACS to display HD/BD movies on the LCD display and VEGA out, simulaneously or one at a time?

Thanks,

Rich
post #3083 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificDisc View Post

It's coming.

Not sure where you are, but the German market seems strongest (at least from the production of discs). Don't want to get into specifics (I'd get shot), but we're doing TV shows and some recent sporting events.

I'm in Scandinavia. Together with UK, Germany/Netherlands and possibly France/Spain I'm pretty sure we are the markets that have the highest potential for HD to succed, at least in the short term.

It's just that so far there have been little enough released in Europe. Sounds very promising to hear that you are working on material. This obviously means that there are production companies/studios here that are willing to spend to get the formats going. Sounds good.
post #3084 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frode View Post

Amir would you really say it's reasonable to expect consumers wanting an uncompressed audio track to download a 3.1GB data file (16bit 5.1 LPCM 120 mins)?

Why use PCM? Oh, you are thinking of BD format . Multi-channel audio compresses really well. I think Dolby claims numbers in the region of 3:1 for TrueHD. Using that, the file size will be just over 1 Gigabyte. Do I think this is reasonable amount of data for someone who really cares about the last bit of audio quality to tolerate downloading? Of course. Otherwise, they probably don't value it enough in the first place.

But note that if there is a market to have the lossless track on disc, that is where it would be. My example talked about secondary lossless tracks being downloaded this way, not necessarily the primary track. Darin used to make this argument and that is what I addressed (i.e. dubbed tracks must also be in lossless).

Quote:


Or the studios to provide them? Even a DD+ track at 1.5mbps would take up 1.2GB, never mind if you want hi-def audio.

For movie sound, 1.5 mbit/sec most definitely qualifies as "hi-def" audio. Despite lamenting the lack of lossless audio, this is what Peter said in his review of King Kong audio:

"Even with the disappointment still ringing in my ears, I can't deny that 'Kong' roars to life from the very first frame. There is nary a scene in the film that you can't whip out to impress your friends -- and that's saying something on a format that currently boasts home runs like 'Batman Begins' in its growing library. Of course, the many bombastic fight scenes and Kong rampages are sonic nirvana. The Kong vs. Dinos scene is a new home theater classic, as is the extended climax on top of the Empire State Building. The 360-degree soundfield that is created is simply flawless and incredibly immersive. As the bi-planes whizzed by poor Kong's head, I kept rewinding, just to hear the fireworks over and over again. Transparency, pans and the sense of detail and realism to the discrete effects is second-to-none -- 'Kong' didn't win the Oscar for Best Sound for nothing. Dynamics are also incredibly powerful, with some of the tightest low bass you'll ever hear, and pitch perfect frequency response across the entire spectrum.

But beyond the big action sequences, what really impresses about 'King Kong' is its attention to fine detail. The sense of atmosphere is simply the best I've heard on home video -- ever. The early scenes with Jack Black and company near the jungle island are alive with ambience and intricate sound effects. And when the crew is first surrounded by the island savages, the wall of sound that envelopes you is a true aural delight. If you have even a half-decent home theater it is hard to imagine you won't be impressed. And despite such over-the-top sound, dialogue is perfectly balanced in the mix. I never once had to adjust my volume control, which is a true rarity for a film like 'King Kong.' I can't think of a more rave review for the audio presentation on this disc other than to say that while I really didn't like 'King Kong' as a movie, I absolutely loved listening to it. "

If this doesn't sound like hi-def audio, I am not sure what would qualify. So let's not confuse what we want with what sounds great. There is a reason Dolby claims that at 1.5 mbit/sec, you can have 24-bit audio which rivals lossless audio. At some point, I should write an article on why such codecs do well in movie sound and with multiple channels. We have a lot of help here which people don't realize as they think of MP3s heard on headphones.

Quote:


Just because it is possible to download additional audio tracks doesn't necessarily mean that it's practical due to bandwidth and storage concerns, wouldn't you say?

It most definitely is practical to download extra audio tracks. We are handling full HD movies today that way which are larger than the audio tracks above. If my math is right, I can download the track in your example in half hour on my cable modem. Half an hour! If that isn't practical, then I don't know what is.

Quote:


Storage may scale up, but bandwidth and backbone capacity are and will continue to be the problem for years to come.

You are making a bad assumption here. The movie and all the sound tracks for 99.99% of the people will be on disc, including those who want hi-def audio. The question is how to serve the pickiest audiophile, who may want a 24-bit, 96Khz track as opposed to what lossless/high rate DD+ track is on disc. For them, using the internet is perfect. They get what they want and given their small number, we have zero scaling problem.
post #3085 of 4841
amirm,

2 Questions
1. Do you have any details on the Battlestar Galactica Season 1 set coming out in the fall? VC-1, AVC, Mpeg2? Any new cool use of networking/interactivity the format provides on this box set?

2. Since you mention Managed Copy:
"Using managed copy, once you rip the content to the server, you can add all the other elements to it with zero regards for bandwidth. After all, even a laptop hard disk has data rates exceeding 2-5X of BD let alone your desktop/server hard disk."
Can you provide any details on the Managed copy functionality? Can I "rip" my discs to my existing storage servers or will I have to buy new hardware? The implication above is that it will work with whatever hardware I already have.

Thank You
post #3086 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

amirm,

2 Questions
1. Do you have any details on the Battlestar Galactica Season 1 set coming out in the fall? VC-1, AVC, Mpeg2? Any new cool use of networking/interactivity the format provides on this box set?

I don't have personal details on this project. I can get the info of course, but I am pretty sure I could not get permission to share anything before the release comes out. I am sorry about that.

Quote:


2. Since you mention Managed Copy:
"Using managed copy, once you rip the content to the server, you can add all the other elements to it with zero regards for bandwidth. After all, even a laptop hard disk has data rates exceeding 2-5X of BD let alone your desktop/server hard disk."
Can you provide any details on the Managed copy functionality? Can I "rip" my discs to my existing storage servers or will I have to buy new hardware? The implication above is that it will work with whatever hardware I already have.

Thank You

Managed copy is a strange beast in that AACS does not stipulate how the copy system works. Instead, AACS reviews and approves technologies used to safeguard the copy and that is it. Once there, it is up to the implementer to design the system as they see fit. To give you an example, let's assume our DRM system is used for the managed copy on disc. In this case, the storage can be on your local or remote server. So indeed, you will be able to use the storage hardware you have today. The client machine though which plays the content, must comply with AACS rules as far as video output control. But that is the same situation if you tried to play the disc, rather than its copy.
post #3087 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

It is really ironic that it was Disney who showed us the way with interactivity. Yet it is the competing studios executing ahead of them on the very technology they helped create. That out to be creating some pain for them on top of standardization concerns.

Amirm,

FYI - Disney is still touting on their website that interactivity as a major advantage that Blu-ray has over HD-DVD. http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/bluray/

Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I for one, always put Disney in a different class than other BD companies. They stand out as one of the few BD companies who have taken the participation in DVD Forum and HD DVD format making seriously. They vote on all the issues instead of abstaining. They worked hand in hand with the rest of us to create the HD DVD interactivity spec. They pushed strongly to make those and audio features mandatory. And they gave the best look at VC-1 than any BD studio. We don't see eye to eye when we step out of the forum to be sure in the optical formats, but share a certain level of respect for each other still.

Amrim,

A few other questions related to Disney.

If you were a betting man how would you rate the chances of Disney going format neutral. On a scale form 1 to 10, one being no chance at all and 10 being an absolute certainty.

I am also curious to know if Disney gave the HD-DVD folks a courtesy call and said, We are going with Blu-ray because If they did, what reasons did they give? They list storage capacity first on their website as one of the distinct advantages that Blu-ray has over HD-DVD. Was that the primary reason?

One question that continues to perplex me is this (and maybe I am wrong to think this)...Does Disney, and for that matter all of the BD studios excluding Sony, realize that they are directly supporting a competing studio by support BD?

Thanks,
Danny
post #3088 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

There is a reason Dolby claims that at 1.5 mbit/sec, you can have 24-bit audio which rivals lossless audio. At some point, I should write an article on why such codecs do well in movie sound and with multiple channels. We have a lot of help here which people don’t realize as they think of MP3s heard on headphones.

Would you be happy with ALL HDDVDs choosing DD+ at 1.5 and no TrueHD?
post #3089 of 4841
Quote:
Originally Posted by vancouver View Post

Is it possibl to fit 250 minutes of HD material like LOTR ROTK with a TrueHD track onto a 30 gig HD DVD?

Yep, we discussed this at length a couple of months ago.

We could do the full 1080p24 feature with great-looking VC-1, a TrueHD lossless track, and all the commentary from the 2-disc DVD special edition, on the single side of a single disc.

If the extras were in HD, they'd need to be on a second disc.
post #3090 of 4841
To any insider,
There is a lot of debate currently going on regarding extras and interactivity in the new HD formats. My question is ,what research has been done by the studios, if any, into the desires of the consumer for these features in the new HD formats?
Thanks in advance.
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