Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 87 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2581 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hassoon View Post

Amir,

Thank you very, very much for the highly informative read. Like f300v10, I also would like some recommendations on books/publications to read more about the subject.

Thanks again .

My pleasure.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any books that bring the topic level high up enough, for people to understand. Such books have to be accurate to the nth degree and as such, will get very detailed quickly. Certainly no book out there compares the technologies as I just did.
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post #2582 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Not anymore. We changed our plans about a year ago, when we realized that there were a number of companies building HD DVD playback for PCs (and did so for XP, where we had no plans). So we decided to help them with compatibility suites and other assistance, as opposed to building our own player. The team did go on to build the Xbox 360 player however.

As to using the 360 drive, that is certainly possible now. The drive is WHQL certified and should work well with third-party players.

Hi Amirm, I have two more questions. First, according to this Engadget article from December 2006 HD DVD playback support would be added to "Fiji" or "Vienna". Would this be SP1 or SP2 for Vista? There are many who really want to use the Media Center interface w/ EVR to watch our HD DVD collection, which is one of the reasons why many of us opted to upgrade to Vista Home Premium or Ultimate to begin with.

Second, when you say that Microsoft decided to help third-party software makers with compatibility suites and other assistance, does this include integration into the Vista Media Center interface?

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post #2583 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 05:00 PM
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To all Studio insiders,

I think that quite a lot of people here would be interested to know how Hollywood views Digital Intermediate for film and HD, and how they're going to evolve -- both for upcoming movies and more accurate prevervation of catalog classics.

I remember that some years ago Sony DADC (and definitely other Studios) was on the forefront for doing HD telecine of almost every new films being made. And then they abruptly stopped doing that.

According to this story in AV Guide , there are more and more films which are mastered in HD through a DI. According to Don Eklund, The Pursuit of Happyness, All the King's Men, and Gridiron Gang were scanned at 2K, while Stealth and Spider-Man 2 were scanned at 4K.

This brings some questions:

- Were the initial hi-def DADC telecine drastically less advanced than today's DI? Have they been completely "retired", or this material can still be used today?

- What is the process that leads Studios to say that film A and B will be scanned at 4K, while film C and D will be scanned at 2K?

- And most important of all, how confident are the Studios that 4K material will still be satisfying in 10 or 15 years? How long are you thinking ahead?

I'd also like to ask the same questions in the perspective of catalog titles and film preservation. The more time it passes, the more we're losing forever ancient film negatives, and perhaps grade C or D movies which have never been released on DVD.

- Are we getting closer to a film digitalization which retains the exact same information than a 35mm?

- And what kind of deference treatment will the Studios give to "old" catalog titles when they plan to release them on HD? Paidgeek, if you're reading this, I'm talking about Lawrence and River Kwai, but also about the Brando, the Sidney Poitier, the Ray Harryhausen and so on.

Thank you!
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post #2584 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

Hi Amirm, I have two more questions. First, according to this Engadget article from December 2006 HD DVD playback support would be added to "Fiji" or "Vienna". Would this be SP1 or SP2 for Vista? There are many who really want to use the Media Center interface w/ EVR to watch our HD DVD collection, which is one of the reasons why many of us opted to upgrade to Vista Home Premium or Ultimate to begin with.

That article is speculative. We have not said anything about follow on updates to Vista.

I appreciate the fondness for the MCE UI and the desire to use it to watch HD DVD. Alas, as you have seen from recent breaches of the formats, writing such software, even on top of Vista's more robust foundation, is very challenging. Third-parties can use different standards and ship products which we simply cannot do.

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Second, when you say that Microsoft decided to help third-party software makers with compatibility suites and other assistance, does this include integration into the Vista Media Center interface?

At disc insertion, yes. Beyond that, it is difficult to integrate into the menu system. What third-parties can do however, is mimic the MCE UI. We did this for WMV-HD discs btw. When you played these, it was actually a different player underneath, but with similar control to MCE full screen UI.

Yes, I know none of this is "pretty." We will look at integrating HD DVD at the right time into the system.
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post #2585 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by skogan View Post

In another thread you said that the glass master cost the same for each format - about $3k. You are the first person I know that has said that. So apprearently Bd has brought down the cost of creating the glass master. There were some advances we had talked about before, and maybe those are coming onto the market now.

One needs to give credit when it is due. And here, Sony deserves some kudos. In order to make it possible to make the finer pitch masters for BD, they developed a new machine called "PTM." This is a phase change system and uses a similar system to semiconductor etching to create the pits. Result is a simplified process which costs less.

Fortunately, the same machine can be and is used (in at least in one replicator) for creation of HD DVD. So both formats benefitted the same here.

I have no idea if the above is the reason for any mastering cost reduction, as a lot goes into that including level of competition, the backlong for the plant, etc. But thought to put in the good work Sony did anyway.

BTW, this was the one thing I was impressed with when I first visited Sony BD factory....
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post #2586 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 07:31 PM
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Thanks Amir.

Have you happened to hear anything about yields on BD50 or other replication cost?

I understantd that people in the BD camp would be in a better position to discuss this, but if they pass on the opportunity to comment on it, I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2587 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 08:44 PM
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Paidgeek -

Thank you for your answer. It amazes me that suggestions from this forum wind up in a final product!

Would anyone from the HD-DVD camp care to comment on this question as well?

Laters,
Jeff

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Quote:


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Originally Posted by eq_shadimar
Question about 2.35 subtitles and menus to all insiders -

Many pages ago there was discussion on how to accommodate users with constant height systems by adding some code (HDi and BD-Java??)that would automatically allow the menus and subtitles to fit in the 2.35 frame vs the letterbox or black bar portion of the 1.78 frame.

Have any studios expressed interest in doing this or should we just give up hope on this front? If there was interest are there any US titles that are released or soon to be released that will have this feature?

Thanks for your time,
Jeff


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post #2588 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azumi View Post

To all Studio insiders,

I think that quite a lot of people here would be interested to know how Hollywood views Digital Intermediate for film and HD, and how they're going to evolve -- both for upcoming movies and more accurate prevervation of catalog classics.

This brings some questions:



I'd also like to ask the same questions in the perspective of catalog titles and film preservation. The more time it passes, the more we're losing forever ancient film negatives, and perhaps grade C or D movies which have never been released on DVD.


Thank you!


Quote:


- Were the initial hi-def DADC telecine drastically less advanced than today's DI? Have they been completely "retired", or this material can still be used today?

No I would not say the HD Center transfers were drastically less advanced. The capabilities have improved as a function of storage and other technical advances, but many of the transfers from the HD Center are acceptable or good by todays standards and are used to service clients.

Quote:


- What is the process that leads Studios to say that film A and B will be scanned at 4K, while film C and D will be scanned at 2K?

It is a function of what the post facility can do and what the budget for the work is. 4K is still expensive to deal with because of its storage and bandwidth requirements, but I expect the industry will likely standardize on it in the coming years.

Quote:


- And most important of all, how confident are the Studios that 4K material will still be satisfying in 10 or 15 years? How long are you thinking ahead?

There have been some spirited discussions about 4K in the pursuit of digital cinema standards. Your eyes can resolve about 1 minute of arc. If you do the math you will find that you need to be at less than 2 picture heights to begin to resolve a 4K image. If your question is whether or not 6K or 8K is important, you have to imagine a reason to view the screen from less than 1 picture height. For pure archival purposes, we can always argue for saving the highest possible resolution images, but if costs or practicality lead studios to take no immediate action to digitize older film libraries, then I say it is better to start scanning at 2K today, rather than wait another several years to start going through the entire library at 4K or higher.

Quote:


- Are we getting closer to a film digitalization which retains the exact same information than a 35mm?

The mediums are different, so I don't think we can ever say we are capturing the "exact same information". The process of digitally sampling anything analog will lead to some finite level of quantizing error but consider this, If you view the picture from a large format negative (65mm) scanned at 1920 x 1080 and compare it to a 35mm negative scanned at the same resolution, you will see a dramatic difference in picture quality. From this simple observation it goes to follow that current HD has sufficient performance to adequately capture the image from a 35mm source without loss of observable picture resolution. This is valid for distribution formats (what the consumer will view) not production environments where higher sampling resolution allows for more accurate manipulation of data.


Quote:


- And what kind of deference treatment will the Studios give to "old" catalog titles when they plan to release them on HD? Paidgeek, if you're reading this, I'm talking about Lawrence and River Kwai, but also about the Brando, the Sidney Poitier, the Ray Harryhausen and so on.

We have an industry leading department dedicated to the care and archives of our catalog titles, not just the ones that everyone is waiting for, but all of them. I think you will be very pleased to see the condition these titles are in when the are released to the market. Dirt and scratch removal technology has come along way since the days of an artist paint out dirt in Photoshop.

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post #2589 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

We have an industry leading department dedicated to the care and archives of our catalog titles, not just the ones that everyone is waiting for, but all of them. I think you will be very pleased to see the condition these titles are in when the are released to the market. Dirt and scratch removal technology has come along way since the days of an artist paint out dirt in Photoshop.

Paid (and other insiders),

Two questions:

1) What media and/or storage systems are used for the digital masters, and are they considered viable for long term storage?

2) How are animation movies stored, transfered, and encoded to HD? Such as Lion King, Toy Story, Ice Age, etc.
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post #2590 of 4841 Old 03-03-2007, 11:24 PM
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Amir,

Thanks for the detailed explanation on VC-1/AVC HP. Regarding the loopfilter, I do understand what you mean by AVC softening up the picture when encountering complex scenes. Two good examples of this would be XMEN 3 and Lucky Number Slevin. On close up shots, both discs using AVC HP do a great job with detail and sharpness but with distant grainy scenes with lots to cover, the picture becomes rather flat/soft. Now many will state "director's intention" but this output is specific to the aforementioned specific style of shots in both movies.

Also, please pass on my congrats to your team and the Warner post house that did "The Departed." To me, that is a perfect example of a HD movie. Great detail and sharpness throughout along with beautiful colors. Can't beat that!
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post #2591 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I hear Panasonic now has a preference for doing the encoding for studios, rather than selling their AVC encoder to others. If so, that shows they are uncomfortable supporting users of their encoder. Or they think they can do a better job than others. So if are more confident in AVC being used by others, what's up with this position by Panasonic?

Perhaps that it's more profitable to operate a service than it is to sell a product, especially an expensive, niche product with a small potential market upon which to amortize your customer support costs? It's not like their AVC encoder is simply a software product with a potential market of thousands. It's a ton of hardware with a potential market of probably dozens or less. There's absolutely nothing in your characterization of Panasonic's business model selection which can possibly be reasonably interpreted to suggest a deficiency in AVC.

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post #2592 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 02:10 AM
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Is AVC is more flexible than VC-1 in this respect (since VC-1 always use only 1 pixel) ?

Also *assuming* 4 tap is better than 6, why not go lower ? If it's not possible/not a good idea to go lower, what objective measurements can be made to say 4 is not too low ?

Since AVC uses more computational power, what other advantages does it bring to the table (compared to VC-1) ?
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post #2593 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 02:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post

Good catch ! Does that mean the AVC is more flexible than VC-1 in this respect (since VC-1 always use only 1 pixel) ?

Unfortunately it does not mean that. AVC will either use 2 pixels on either side of a block edge or 3 pixels. It picks one or the other based on level of gradient. In no case does it go down to a single pixel as VC-1 does. So you wind up filtering a lot more pixels with AVC, regardless of which mode is selected. And filtering is not good when you want to preserve detail.

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Also *assuming* 4 tap is better than 6, why not go lower ? If it's not possible/not a good idea to go lower, what objective measurements can be made to say 4 is not too low ?

It is a balance thing. The filter gets "less accurate" as the taps go down. So you wind up choosing between accuracy and softness/smearing/ringing. Objective measurements come from a lot of research with real material. Per my note, we got plenty of that with HD material in addition to huge amount of content on the internet using our codec (probably 1000X of what is in AVC).

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Since AVC uses more computational power, what other advantages does it bring to the table (compared to VC-1) ?

There you go assuming if something is expensive, it must be better . It is not always the case. I already gave one example, namely the higher order filter. The other example is CABAC or arithmetic coding. This is a technique for squeezing the bits in the entropy coder (the lossless part). We use multiple hufman tables each optimized for different data rates and resolution. CABAC instead, uses a floating point computational method to achieve the same. Because of its complexity, it requires a lot of MIPS to decode. In some MPEG test clips, CABAC can yield up to 10% compression efficiency if my memory is right. In practice though, we feel that the real advantage is much lower making it a tough pill to swallow given its complexity.

Another difference is multiple reference frames. In theory, this gives the encoder more flexibility in that it could compute the motion vectors based on more than one frame. The downsides are twofold: 1) you have to have more memory in the decoder (and encoder) as you have to hang on to the older frames to reference from. And 2) in short-GOP formats such as HD DVD/BD and IPTV scenarios where you want to have quick channel switching, you wind up limiting the number of frames before restarting (i.e. sending an I-frame), so multiple reference frames loses its usefulness.

Hopefully this gives you some idea of where the complexity goes. If you want more than this, maybe one of the advocates of AVC can provide it. It is not easy to explain this stuff .
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post #2594 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post


I think that Universal has demonstrated repeatedly that VC-1 is capable of producing outstanding results. But I assume you would agree that using VC-1 doesn't guarantee outstanding results.


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Originally Posted by amirm View Post



Actually, Universal does not do any encoding themselves. They use a post house that others also utilize. But I do agree with your point on VC-1. Feed us VHS, and we can only make it look like VHS .

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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

Yes, that could provide some interesting insight on how the the two codecs (and compressionists) perform on these titles.


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I think you are saying this but to be clear, even that doesn't do the job (compare "two codecs"). We are not talking about codecs that auto-encode the movies and as such, the only difference would be the technology. This is a manual process and with different operators, equipment, budget for encoding, and skill of the operator, you get different results. Worse yet, one scene may look better in one, and another in the alternative version.


Amir, thanks for the very detailed comparative history of VC-1 and AVC. That is the sort of information that makes this thread worthwhile.

To follow up on your earlier response to my earlier question, and then your comment on paidgeek's response on one of the same points, you suggested in your response to me that the only time when VC-1 would produce less than outstanding results would be if the source material was inferior. However, in your response to paidgeek, you seem to be acknowledging that there are many other factors that affect the quality of the results. I assume that your response to paidgeek on this point represents a more complete presentation of your views on this subject? That is, the use of VC-1 does not guarantee outstanding results even if the source material is outstanding, in light of the many other factors that affect the result?
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post #2595 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 04:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

To follow up on your earlier response to my earlier question, and then your comment on paidgeek's response on one of the same points, you suggested in your response to me that the only time when VC-1 would produce less than outstanding results would be if the source material was inferior.

I don't recall saying "it was the only time." I said if you feed us bad content, we produce bad content. That is not the same as what you are saying.

Quote:


However, in your response to paidgeek, you seem to be acknowledging that there are many other factors that affect the quality of the results. I assume that your response to paidgeek on this point represents a more complete presentation of your views on this subject? That is, the use of VC-1 does not guarantee outstanding results even if the source material is outstanding, in light of the many other factors that affect the result?

Of course that is the case. Per my earlier posts, these are professional tools, requiring training, and proper usage and experience. If these are lacking, you get less than perfect results. But note that the same is true of other codecs. So this distinction by itself, is not very meaningful in the context of comparing codecs.
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post #2596 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Unfortunately it does not mean that. AVC will either use 2 pixels on either side of a block edge or 3 pixels. It picks one or the other based on level of gradient. In no case does it go down to a single pixel as VC-1 does.

That's incorrect. H.264 has the option of only filtering a single pixel on each block edge. Just read the specification (I've used bold red text to show the case where only one pixel on each side of the block is filtered):

************************************************************ ****
8.7.2.3 Filtering process for edges with bS less than 4

Inputs to this process are the input sample values pi and qi (i = 0..2) of a single set of samples across an edge that is to be filtered, chromaEdgeFlag, bS, β, and indexA, for the set of input samples, as specified in 8.7.2.

Outputs of this process are the filtered result sample values p'i and q'i (i = 0..2) for the set of input sample values.

The filtered result samples p'0 and q'0 are derived by
∆ = Clip3( -tC, tC, ( ( ( ( q0 - p0 ) << 2 ) + ( p1 - q1 ) + 4 ) >> 3 ) )
p'0 = Clip1( p0 + ∆ )
q'0 = Clip1( q0 - ∆ )
where the threshold tC is determined as follows.

- If chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 0, tC = tC0 + ( ( ap < β ) ? 1 : 0 ) + ( ( aq < β ) ? 1 : 0 )

- Otherwise (chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 1), tC = tC0 + 1

Depending on the values of indexA and bS the variable t'C0 is specified in Table 8-17. Depending on chromaEdgeFlag, the corresponding threshold variable tC0 is derived as follows.

- If chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 0,
tC0 = t'C0 * (1 << ( BitDepthY - 8 ) )

- Otherwise (chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 1),
tC0 = t'C0 * (1 << ( BitDepthC - 8 ) )

Let ap and aq be two threshold variables specified by
ap = Abs( p2 - p0 )
aq = Abs( q2 - q0 )

The filtered result sample p'1 is derived as follows

- If chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 0 and ap is less than β,
p'1 = p1 + Clip3( -tC0, tC0, ( p2 + ( ( p0 + q0 + 1 ) >> 1 ) - ( p1 << 1 ) ) >> 1 )

- Otherwise (chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 1 or ap is greater than or equal to β),
p'1 = p1

The filtered result sample q'1 is derived as follows

- If chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 0 and aq is less than β,
q'1 = q1 + Clip3( -tC0, tC0, ( q2 + ( ( p0 + q0 + 1 ) >> 1 ) - ( q1 << 1 ) ) >> 1 )

- Otherwise (chromaEdgeFlag is equal to 1 or aq is greater than or equal to β),
q'1 = q1

The filtered result samples p'2 and q'2 are always set equal to the input samples p2 and q2:

p'2 = p2
q'2 = q2

************************************************************ ****

For those interested in how H.264 really works, and not Amir's interpretation, the specification can now be freely downloaded from ITU:

http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-H.264-200503-I/en

and a synopsis of the loop filter can be found in this e-book (Chapter 6.4.7):

http://neuron2.net/library/avc/H.264...Multimedia.pdf

Ron

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HD MPEG-2 Test Patterns http://www.w6rz.net
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post #2597 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I don't recall saying "it was the only time." I said if you feed us bad content, we produce bad content. That is not the same as what you are saying.


Of course that is the case. Per my earlier posts, these are professional tools, requiring training, and proper usage and experience. If these are lacking, you get less than perfect results. But note that the same is true of other codecs. So this distinction by itself, is not very meaningful in the context of comparing codecs.

Thanks for the clarification. I am not really all that interested in comparing codecs. I am just a consumer. I am not in the business of marketing codecs. I am much more interested in comparing results, and trying to determine how closely the end product resembles the source material. Would you agree that there are other factors besides the quality of the source material, and the skill of the compressionist that affect the quality of the results, assuming VC-1 is used? Such as bit rate budgets, for example?
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post #2598 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

I think you will be very pleased to see the condition these titles are in when the are released to the market. Dirt and scratch removal technology has come along way since the days of an artist paint out dirt in Photoshop.

Paidgeek, thank you very much for your kind answer.
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post #2599 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 07:26 AM
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Hi,

Yes, as a small independent studio my perspective is very different. I don't have a lot of politics and partners to deal with nor do I stand to gain from any winners or losers in this game. As a matter of fact, by supporting both formats at such an early stage, I am at far more risk of losing than gaining.

If you look at the companies that stand to make fortunes off the Intellectual Property rights and Royalties from Licensing of these formats, you begin to understand why people fight so hard for their position.

Sony may be attempting to support some of the replication manufacturers, to some degree, but I don't know anything about that.

To my knowledge, Sony is certainly not supporting anything having to do with authoring, because it is clearly more expensive to author a BD format than it is HD-DVD. A lot of it has to do with the menus. They are handled differently on BD verses HD-DVD.

This whole encoding issues is along the same lines. Certain encoders are better for certain jobs. H-264 looks really good if you are compressing the heck out of something to fit on an Video i-Pod. MPEG-2 looks really great if you have a LOT of bandwidth. AVC and VC1 both look really good if you need your encode optimized for HD-DVD or BD.

There are differences between all of the encoders and they all have their application. I would go as far as to say that VC1 starts looking better than AVC once you get down to around 13mbps to 16mbps. This is my opinion of course, but really do believe VC1 may be more efficient at lower encode rates.

AVC on the other hand, may perform better given the headroom and encoding bandwidth.

All of these questions are what is driving me to do a "Real World" encode test. I want to know for sure what is the best approach for producing the best encodes.

Also, at this point in time, it is too early for us to say which format is selling better. Due to the recall on our first title, CHRONOS, I don;t have fair comparison sales figures yet. Sales impacts our retail pricing as well, since we need to amortize costs over the number of units we sell.

All of these titles are a wash for us at best...and perhaps even a loss. We are not sure yet. Time will tell, and we will continue to release new titles until we see the writing on the wall regarding the potential of the current HD formats.

In the end, I am not interested in the politics, I am only interested in turning out the best product possible. If I worked for Sony or Microsoft, I might have a different perspective, but I don't...I just work for me and my customers....

Best regards,

Rich



Quote:
Originally Posted by UxiSXRD View Post

Would you say there was a difference in cost for you to produce Chronos on Blu-ray versus HD DVD? Common perception on these forums says it's more expensive for BD but that Sony is subsidizing...

Do you have any thoughts to ofter on that? Being a smaller studio, I'd find your perspective on the whole thing to be very illuminating for any studio in a similar position.


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post #2600 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 07:52 AM
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OK...fair answer..I get the analyzing thing...I am the same way...

I am in a different position that most small studios. My label is a labor of love, it is not my primary business. I do not reliant need my label to be profitable on ever release we do....albeit the businessman in me does a pretty good job at that. However, it is not my #1 priority.

What is a priority is learning how all these new formats work and knowing every detail I can about how this all works....from authoring to placing the product on a shelf at retail.

Why do I do this?

Because my true source of funding for my label comes from doing new business development for major corporations. Part of my business revolves around content acquisition. That means I find and secure content for labels.

I also work in IP Management and serve as an Agent / Representative for Producers. The products that makes sense for me end up on my label.

However, more than 80% of my revenue comes from Consulting, independent New Business Development. and Sales Representation. I work in the areas of new media technology, production, authoring, replication, packaging, warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment.

In the end, having the label as a test bed and being the bleeding edge early adopter I am ... provides me with the product knowledge and experience I need to provide quality consulting services and generate revenue via sales and new business development.

So why do I bore you with all this? Because my prices are as good and in most cases much better than any Major Studio. If I were to quote them, I would probably violate NDA's with companies I work for that could crush me with their team of lawyers. Based on my long standing great relationships with my partners, I doubt they would really do that, but I would certainly be in seriously hot water a the very least.

To be honest, I could probably quite the pricing of almost ever Major Studio and Independent Studio within 5% of their actual cost...some I could quote spot on. However, after my long winded explanation, perhaps you can understand why I need to be very careful about what I say in a public forum.

However, I can say whatever I like about encoding formats, HD Formats, DVD Authoring Systems, and any related Technology as I currently have no consulting agreements or contracts in place with any company that prevents me from speaking my mind.

Best regards,

Rich





Quote:
Originally Posted by skogan View Post

Because we analyze everything to the Nth degree around here

One of the advantage of HD DVD was lower cost of replication. Obviously, that cost is not always passed on to smaller studios, because your price may be dictated by supply and demand rather than cost to replicate - until you get high volume. But there was some evidence that a BD disc cost about 30% more to replicate than an HD DVD.

In another thread you said that the glass master cost the same for each format - about $3k. You are the first person I know that has said that. So apprearently Bd has brought down the cost of creating the glass master. There were some advances we had talked about before, and maybe those are coming onto the market now.

But I haven't heard anything about replication cost around here in a long time. That could be because they have made advancements in yields, and there is no longer a big difference. Or maybe people just got tired of talking about it. Still, i'm particularly interested in the experience of small studios in replication.

Without getting into specifics, can you give me a percentage of how much more BD cost to replicate? Is it 0%? 30%? These are the kind of things we like to talk about around here.

And thank you in advance. I really appreciate the insiders on this board giving us this kind of insight.


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post #2601 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBFilms View Post

...

To my knowledge, Sony is certainly not supporting anything having to do with authoring, because it is clearly more expensive to author a BD format than it is HD-DVD.

...

Without getting into numbers that he admitted could get him into hot water, there seems to be little ambiguity in this assertion.

Any counters?

*************************************************

Still looking for a movie theatre that shows movies the way they're SUPPOSED to be viewed...



...with a bitrate meter and screencaps.
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post #2602 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 08:35 AM
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Well, we don't work in anything but 96/24 if at all feasible. On occasion, we are forced to work in 48/24...but it is rare these days.

Moving forward, we are ONLY releasing HD Content in 96/24 unless the original is not available in that format. This was the case of some of the Monster Music releases we produced.

If the original is analog, we will convert to 96/24 using only Apogee or DCS Converters. Only DCS for 192/24 if that opportunity should arise. The DCS Converters are the only ones we know of at the time that do not add a lot of artifacts at that high a sampling rate.

(BTW - One main reason why we never supported SACD had to do with very high sampling rates and the "edginess" this created)

If it is in 48/24...we will ALWAYS stay in the native format to avoid any dithering....which is not also a good thing.

(NOTE: I stand corrected on Dolby Digital Plus. We do not use this so I stated an incorrect technical spec earlier in this post.)


Having worked as a consultant to DTS Entertainment for some time, I became a huge fan of DTS. I have been inside both companies, and if you were to experience the corporate culture of DTS verses Dolby, they are very different organizations. DTS truly lives and breathes audio quality...they are very passionate about it and everyone that worked for the company when I was there was a true audiophile.

To answer your questions:

1 - I can tell you that we needed 6.4mbps average and 8.2 peak to encode a 96/24 / 5.1 Soundtrack using DTS Master Audio Lossless. You would less than that for a 48/24 / 5.1 Soundtrack.

2 - DTS Master Audio Lossless and True HD (which is really MLP Audio) is much better than any lossy compression audio Codec. However, the term spectacular depends on your source material, your equipment, and your ears. If I did not think it was better I would not have used it on our releases. If I did not think it was MUCH better, I would not insist on using it on ever release. So to me, yes, I would say it is a spectacular difference in the ideal listening environment.

3 - I am a guy that still listens to tube equipment.... Until PCM reaches the 192/24 resolution level...I can hear the difference verses a superb analog recording. The lower noise and increased dynamic range of digital is a given. However, the "stair stepping" of a PCM encode is still apparent to me and is most noticeable in the extreme highs and lows. I can hear it it in the detail and imaging. However, we are talking esoteric differences once you get to 96/24. At 192/24, the difference is dramatic and it is a world apart from anything I have ever heard. A properly recorded, mixed, and mastered original 192/24 soundtrack is a phenomenal listing experience.


However, I would hardly say that DTS at 1.54 or Dolby Digital Plus (<--corrected) sounds transparent to the source. They absolutely do not. However, they both do sound great and even I am satisfied listening to music encoded at 96/24 in DTS. Could it be better? Yes, but unless you have the original source to A/B with, the difference is not apparent and even I do not realize what I am missing...until I hear it side by side.

They are both very good. However, DTS always sounds better to me....regardless....and that is not just because I used to work for them. I just like the sound quality of their Codec...always have.


NOTE: Whenever possible, we encode from the original source from the original mastered audio file from the original hard drive to reduce jitter. We strip the clock from the signal when we master and use a Big Ben clock to regenerate a new clock signal so we have file without "jitter" issues. Jitter is equivalent to "smear" or "time misalignment"


NOTE: The digital 96/24 AIFF or 96/24 .WAV files we encode from are PCM. DTS Master Audio Lossless is transparent to the source.

Best regards,

Rich

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M View Post

But how much does HD-DVD need lossless (especially when it's only 16/48) if 24/48 1.5mbps Dolby Digital Plus is virtually transparent? This seems to be a question that a lot of people don't want to address, as
1. BD supporters don't want to bring it up because BD can't do 1.5mbps Dolby Digital Plus.
2. Certain people want to keep up the illusion that DTS Master Audio and True HD are something spectacularly better, even at 16/48.
3. Certain people want to keep up the illusion that PCM is better than everything else, even when it is only 16/48.


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post #2603 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 08:39 AM
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Good point...and it could be. I will have to call Ron Fricke (DP for Chronos, Baraks, etc.) and see if he can lend us come content for this application. I know he has shot in 24p and loves the results.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Rich

Quote:
Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

Richard -

Electronic cameras are increasingly able to offer 1080p/24 (or faster) material that might on good days approach 'squeaky clean'. Is that also a criterion?

Dunno how to phrase this as a question (what was that old quiz show?) but it seems the very existance of profitable electronic media distribution will exert a force to create movies that look good after being electronically coded. So wouldn't you also want to test some of these?

- Tom


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post #2604 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 10:32 AM
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Amirm, thanks for the run down and thanks to dr1394 for the clarification on some of his points

Would love to hear more from you, dr1394 about AVC. I find the discussion here fascinating
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so when is 360 add on getting its upgrade? and why cant hd dvd players do 1080P upscaling on SDVD?
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Several posts that came across as a Senate confirmation hearing have been removed. I highly advise all non-insiders to read my post a page or so back about decorum on this particular thread. Either that, or I'm renaming it "Defendant's Question and Answer and Cross Examining Thread."

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post #2607 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBFilms View Post

However, I would hardly say that DTS at 1.54 or Dolby Tru-HD sounds transparent to the source. They absolutely do not.

You are here saying that lossy DTS and lossless Dolby TrueHD are absolutely not transparent to the source. Well, I would expect that for the DTS (though I always appreciated their 1.5Mbps sound tracks ), but I would like to know why that would be the case for TrueHD. Are you basically saying that MLP is a flawed "lossless" codec?

Anybody have any information as to what the real problem is here?
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post #2608 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 04:25 PM
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Ben,

Just watched "The Illusionist" on XBox Live. Even though it's not an "HD" that movie could fool many. After watching the movie, I put on Gladiator SD DVD (my best DVD PQ wise) upscaled on the HD-A1 and I have to say the Illusionist blows it away. The detail in the picture, the preservation of the black and shadow detail was really good.

Now get broadcast people do use VC-1 at the same bitrate as the Illusionist encode and we'd all be damn happy! Is that bitrate possible on cable/sat? Look like 480 has plenty of life left given the proper treatment
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post #2609 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoro View Post

so when is 360 add on getting its upgrade? and why cant hd dvd players do 1080P upscaling on SDVD?

Spring, and who says they can't?
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post #2610 of 4841 Old 03-04-2007, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post

You are here saying that lossy DTS and lossless Dolby TrueHD are absolutely not transparent to the source. Well, I would expect that for the DTS (though I always appreciated their 1.5Mbps sound tracks ), but I would like to know why that would be the case for TrueHD. Are you basically saying that MLP is a flawed "lossless" codec?

Anybody have any information as to what the real problem is here?

Trevor... If I can speak for him, I think he meant to say DD+ and not True HD. If not, I would be confused also.
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