Industry Insiders Master Q&A thread III: ONLY Questions to Insiders - Page 15 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #421 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 01:02 PM
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Thanks Amir, much appreciated
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post #422 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:


BTW, we have heard that the LG combo player outputs 24p with latest firmware with HD DVDs. I don't own one so can't tell for sure.

It does.

Nothing to write home about, however. Overall performance puts the LG a small step below the XA2 in image quality, forgetting about the lack of HDi support, of course.
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post #423 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 03:46 PM
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Hi Amir
I like my xbox360 hd dvd add on, but am currently thinking of upgrading to a Toshiba player with PCM 5.1 output. Can you try to give a subjective discription of the sound quality difference between dd 640 from the xbox and output from PCM 5.1?

Thanks in advance for all your help and inputs.
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post #424 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 05:21 PM
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Dear paidgeek,

I just finished watching "your" recent Blu-Ray release of "Seven Years in Tibet" and all I can think of right now is : "That's it, I just have to ask paidgeek about it"...

So here it goes...

Let me start my question by "admitting" that I have never been really impressed (to put it polite) by your company's performance regarding DVD picture quality. IMHO it is a fair statement to claim that Sony never was a top tier DVD studio - even the PQ of high profile releases like Spiderman left much to be desired (especially for those among us who are brave enough to actually watch it on huge and revealing front projection setups...very bad mistake indeed).

So I sure wasn't all that surprised to find the initial batch of Sony Blu-Ray releases to be anywhere from mediocre to "what where they thinking ".

Now on to my question...And I actually think you are really going to enjoy answering this one:

To put a long story short - something about Sonys performance changed significantly. Sony developed from being the common enthusiast's problem child of DVD/Blu-Ray PQ to arguably the most consistent (together with Disney/Buena Vista) studio when it comes to putting out true reference quality releases/"transfers" lately.

When I look at recent Sony releases I purchased - 7 Years in Tibet, Hellboy, Curse of the Golden Flower, Donnie Brasco, Identity, Volver, The Pursuit of Happyness, Rocky Balboa, Casino Royale...... - I have to say: EACH AND EVERYONE of them are excellent, most even outstanding, some of them pure reference encodings.

Contrary to common belief and marketing ( ) I guess the video codec (switch to high-bitrate AVC in this case) is just one pretty minor part of the story/"quality revolution" we have witnessed lately.

My question is - What has "Sony" done/changed that results in such outstanding quality lately?

Even relatively low profile catalog releases like Donnie Brasco receive spectacular transfers.

To be more specific: Is Sony remastering most of these movies prior of considering them for release - in contrast to the quite "common practice" of just "recycling" telecines which were intended and used for DVD releases years ago (Yes, Universal, I'm talking about you...). What's the magic behind the quality?


Let my conclude my post by publicly thanking and complimenting you on such staggering performance. I know - the avsforum has become a pretty tough place and kind and appreciative words are spare - BUT rest assured all your hard work and Sony's "quality comeback" in general certainly have not gone unnoticed by the open minded enthusiast crowd. We appreciate it very much!

KUDOS for using state of the art source material, high-bitrate encodings in combination with "advanced codecs" and lossless audio on each and every title. You are even going the extra mile by providing things like HD extra features (on occasion) and lavishly animated menu designs (the menu of Seven Years in Tibet is a work of art).

btw I thought long and hard in order to come up with somekind of request and/or criticism (my post just seemed overly positive and enthusiastic without it ) - I sincerely hope Sony follows Disney's prime example and uses the upcoming slow transition to TrueHD to finally provide "true lossless" audio tracks - 16bit/20bit/24bit depending on the source material.
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post #425 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 06:57 PM
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To any insider knowledgeable about MPEG-4/AVC/H.264

I recently downloaded a Quicktime HD clip, 1280x720p, on my PC and tried to play it. It brought my PC to a crawl (3.2GHz, 2GB, X1950 256MB). Repeated attempts to play the file produced similar results, with terrible stuttering and frame dropouts.

Most HD files play fine on my PC. I recall some insider saying that newer MPEG-4/AVC/H.264 HD files are very taxing and may require full hardware acceleration for proper playback. Could someone describe this a little better for me?
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post #426 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

What is encoded in HD DVD is progressive and is not subject to interlace processing. As otherwise, the identical VC-1 stream used on BD from Warner, would suffer which you agree it is not.

When I look at the AVC headers on HD DVDs with AVC encoding, the frame rate stated is 29.97.

If you do the same with an AVC BD the frame rate is 23.976.

Granted I have not looked at the VC-1 encoded BDs or HD DVDs, but I imagine that this is the case?

Are the Warner HD DVDs and BDs identical VC-1 streams or is the BD a 23.976 frame rate with no flagging and the HD DVD progressive encoded with pulldown flags which yeilds a 29.97 frame rate (like with AVC)?
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post #427 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

As to Sony and its Pioneer brother, they suffer in reverse. Their do a low quality conversion from interlace to progressive. So if you play any video sourced content, you are not going to see anything as good as Toshiba XA-2.

This is a disaster! What percentage of Blu-ray movies are affected by this oversight?
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post #428 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

No, that is not correct as I clearly stated in my post. HD DVD is not just "more likely" to be proper. It is always proper.

Doesn't that depend though on 24p video being fed to the encoder?


Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

As to Sony and its Pioneer brother, they suffer in reverse. Their do a low quality conversion from interlace to progressive. So if you play any video sourced content, you are not going to see anything as good as Toshiba XA-2.

Woudn't that depend on the player in question and have absolutely nothing to do with the video format? For instance isn't there a Reon chip in both the Toshiba HD-XA2 and the Samsung BD-P1200?
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post #429 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Doesn't that depend though on 24p video being fed to the encoder?

Well, do people drink tea in China? Sources for HD DVD/BD movies are 24p so that is the workflow which we are talking about. If the source is not 24p, what do you suppose the BD encoder does with it? Give up and put up a message saying, please encode with HD DVD?

Quote:


Woudn't that depend on the player in question and have absolutely nothing to do with the video format? For instance isn't there a Reon chip in both the Toshiba HD-XA2 and the Samsung BD-P1200?

So you are feeding me back what I said myself? :
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

So what you are asking about is how the progressive stream on disc is output by the player and of course, this is an implementation issue, not a format issue.

So yes, it is an implementation issue. Poster asked if BD players are more perfect than HD DVD players because of the format differences, and I showed that was not the case and that there are flaws in players for both formats just as there are players which do a good job. You are saying the same thing here. We are in violent agreement for a change. So maybe we can celebrate this rare moment and move on to other less exhausted topics?
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post #430 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

We are in violent agreement for a change. So maybe we can celebrate this rare moment and move on to other less exhausted topics?

Okay, when do you think the new 65nm CPU will start to be used in the Xbox 360 Elite and do you think that it will increase the reliability and/or lower noise level of the console? I ask this since I am interested in the Xbox 360 Elite but I have heard recommendations to wait for the new 65nm CPU because of the potential benefits it might have.
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post #431 of 3651 Old 06-16-2007, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Well, do people drink tea in China? Sources for HD DVD/BD movies are 24p so that is the workflow which we are talking about. If the source is not 24p, what do you suppose the BD encoder does with it? Give up and put up a message saying, please encode with HD DVD?

Just to clear things up, are VC1 encodes identical, bit-for-bit, from start-of-file to end-of-file, between BD and HD-DVD?
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post #432 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 05:42 AM
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From that linked article on the BDP-S1:

Quote:


For video you can select 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 1080p24. All of the video processing is done using the Sigma Designs decoder in the player. The nice thing is 1080p24 is native and not delivered with a second video-processing chip. The bad thing is that the Sigma chip isn't the best video processing chip for standard definition DVD de-interlacing and scaling.

Does this mean there is finally a player with an all 24p chain and no interlaced processing step at all? That would be nice.

If so, are there other HD DVD or BD players that can do this? I tend to dislike unneeded passes through deinterlacing chips, no matter how good they are. And you really need progressive frames for good scaling or color conversion.

- Tom

Why don't we power our electric cars from greener, cheaper Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors?

Tom Barry - Find my video filters at www.trbarry.com
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post #433 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by onanie View Post

Just to clear things up, are VC1 encodes identical, bit-for-bit, from start-of-file to end-of-file, between BD and HD-DVD?

If I said "yes" or "no", it would make things less clear, not more . So let me tell you what it does, and then you have the answer you are looking for.

What Warner does for converting their VC-1 HD DVD streams is to run them through a special tool we have which simply strips out the repeat field flags (that tells the decoder how to produce 29.97fps from 24). That's all. No re-encoding is done. The bits produced by the codec are never touched. So while the files are not identical bit for bit since the metadata is removed from the BD version, the actual codec bits are identical.

If you had not said file (which encapsulates both the codec data and metadata), the simple answer would have been yes.
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post #434 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RobertR1 View Post

Amir,
Are you planning to address any of Universal's quality issues on lastest batch of releases or do we have to pray for a Universal insider? Not meaning to be aggressive but you've willing side stepped one question after another about this.

Alright. I checked around and this is what I found regarding Uni titles over the last 4 weeks and their respective review ratings from two sites:
Smokin' Aces (DVD & HD DVD Combo): 4.5/4.5 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: 4.5/4.5 Nutty Professor, The: 4/4 Alpha Dog (DVD & HD DVD Combo): 3/3.5 Hitcher, The: 4/4 Smokey and the Bandit: 3.5/3 The 40 Year Old Virgin: 3.5/2.5 The Skeleton Key: 4.5/3.5 Dragonheart: 3.5/2.5 Lost in Translation: 3.5/3.5 Midnight Run: 3/3 The Freighteners: 3.5/3
So one sees quite a few top notch titles here with high scores. We actually show off the quality of a couple of the titles above in our demos such as Smokin' Aces and Nutty Professor. The former also has a cool new clips feature so you can chain all your favorite scenes together and watch them in one sitting. A masochist on my team bookmarked all the gory killing scenes so that in 10 minutes, you get the most amazing adrenaline rush you have received in your life! Who says interactivity is no good! Reader's digest has nothing on HDi . This feature btw, should appear on all future Uni titles. So get ready to brush up your movie editing skills and make your own director's cut to show off your A/V gear.

Yes, there are a few titles there with either mixed ratings or lower than reference quality score. Here, I am disappointed to some extent. But as a photographer, sometimes I enjoy an image, even though it lacks in technical excellence. Because we are talking art here, not a science project. Case in point above is Lost in Translation. This is not a high dollar Hollywood production with massive budget. It is a very low cost production shot in Tokyo akin to typical independent films out there (many of which were shot on DV tape a couple of years back!). So one cannot expect all the shots to rival Matrix, King Kong, etc. And frankly, if you have ever been to Japan or worked for a Japanese company as I have, you enjoy this movie even if it is shown to you on VHS tape on a 10 LCD! I always think of this movie as I walk the lobby of the hotel the movie has been shot at. It is not an accurate representation of Japan but it sure picks out nicely on some of the things foreigners run into at first blush there. But I digress.

The other thing to note is what the scores really mean. Do they represent sloppy production of the HD DVD in which case you all have a great case to complain? Or do they have another meaning? How bad is the experience anyway for a 3.5 movie. Let's look at the review notes for the Lost In Translation on this front:
Luckily, all is not lost. The heavy grain and noise that plagued the standard DVD is gone, and the print is nearly pristine. There is still a veil of grain (more visible in well-lit shots) but it doesn't distract like it did on the DVD. Black levels are deep, some of the street shots of Tokyo are gorgeous, boasting bright colors that pop against the night sky. Scenes like the subway ride feature nice contrast, great fine object detail, and a sharpness that's missing from the picture in many of the other interiors.

Clearly this is a presentation which is worlds above the DVD. So I ask you, would have preferred to not have this movie available and continue to watch the DVD? It is not like folks would want to go back and reshoot the softer scenes in such a movie. This is not star wars. It is the story and directing that matters here and for what it is, the HD DVD does very well bringing you all the detail that was there in the source. And totally appropriate presentation for the level of production qualities put in the movie in the first place.

Let's look at the review comments about Dragonheart: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/dragonheart.html
Presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec, this release features bold colors, vibrant fire effects, and deep black levels that add dimension to the picture. Fine object detail is generally sharp and only a handful of shots are soft or murky. Edges are frequently crisp and foreground objects really pop. Textures receive the most noticeable bump -- armor, clothing, and Draco's hide greatly benefit from the upgrade to high definition.
There aren't any issues with macroblocking or crush, and grain levels stay light and consistent.

[Sigh of relief as he reads that VC-1 is transparent in this manner .] This is pretty positive stuff for a title with less than reference level score. To balance things, this is what he says on negative side:

To top it all off, the film's CG doesn't always stand up to increased scrutiny that comes with high-def -- Draco looks good during the day, but he looks a bit like a cartoon in many nighttime shots. He's distractingly disjointed from the live-action elements and the film really begins to show its age.
Ah yes, the dark side of HD. It shows you what is not real. When ATSC standard was being finalized, there were a lot of cries that it was going to obsolete the TV sets which were made cheaply but did not appear that in SD. And that female TV talent was going to revolt once the transmission showed off their imperfections. Fortunately for them, filters were invented to destroy the resolution the camera could capture . And folks went and hired better woodworkers to make TV sets. So all is well but HD is HD. When I shoot pictures of my family with my high-end 16 megapixel SLR camera, I spend hours softening the right spots before showing the pictures to them. Otherwise, I would lose my photography privileges, or ability to take their pictures for good!

I have told this story before but it bears repeating. About four years ago when we started to encode HD content for then red laser discs, we had the pleasure of showing T2 to Jim Cameron in WMV-HD (the granddaddy of VC-1). With much trepidation, I asked him what he thought of the picture quality. He said it was fantastic. I asked why because he only looked at the movie for a few seconds. He said he could see the makeup line on Arnold's neck! If the codec was that transparent to show such an imperfection, he was not going to ask for more. So yes, when an encoder is transparent enough, and the resolution high enough (i.e. no downsampling to DVD), you start to realize that well, movies are not real . Hard to go and complain about this.

The key thing is whether folks are making mistakes when making HD DVDs, not what happened upstream. To this end, let's move to one of my favorite movies, Midnight Run, on the lower end of review score and this is what we see for the encode:

Finally, major compression artifacts are not a problem.

Peter thankfully doesn't list any minor compression artifacts either .

Now, I did not do an exhaustive search to read every review and every comment. So maybe there are things to fault the compressionists there. But my quick read doesn't show any evidence of that. Indeed, the post house used by Universal is one of the top in LA, having produced a ton of HD DVDs and other HD content. They have not changed their standards in any way. They simply live at the end of the distribution chain and do their best in that phase. They cannot go up stream and change things there.

Quote:


Again, I ask you since they are not only using VC-1 but going out of their way to label the back of each disc "VC-1" to symbolize how it's encoded. Does MS really want VC-1 to associated with high EE and sub par releases?

I can't tell you that I am jumping with joy when review scores are less than 4.0. Nor do I throw the baby out with the bath water. If there were a ton of blame put at the feet of VC-1 or sloppy encoding, then you would be right, but such does not appear to be the case -- at least not to the level of generalization being made.

Our job here is to provide transparency to the source. To some extent, the more we do that, the more you see some of the issues brought out by reviewers. Key thing is that despites the complaints made, these movies easily blow away their DVD counterparts with better resolution, color fidelity and near absence of compression artifacts. I much rather see these benefits now, than have the studio sit on my favorite movies for the sake of achieving better technical scores. The movie experience is much more than that.

You also made a comment that this situation is analogous to The Fifth Element release from Sony. This part I do not agree with at all. We did not launch a new format with these titles after using the tag line of better than high definition. And none of these titles occupy the iconic class that TFE occupies. More importantly, we didn't come out and blame the issues on a player, who dared to launch the format for us (making people wonder why the title was not tested on their only player in the market). TFE also suffers from MPEG-2 compression artifacts in addition to poor master quality. If there was a title that needed to be held back until it was right, TFE was it. Midnight Run I am afraid, doesn't qualify . For us, Matrix played this role and you see the results of that effort in its great reviews.

Another poster said Uni is the face of HD DVD. I don't agree with this either although I understand why the comment is made. Reason is that the face of HD DVD is the 250+ titles that are out there, including the many Warner titles such as reference quality Matrix which are not available on BD. We love all of our children you know . And take credit for all of them .

Let me finish by saying that it was difficult for me to comment on your question. I am not personally privy to the state of the master in these movies or the circumstances leading to what knocked some of the titles below perfect score. Nor did I go and read every review. So please, no follow ups in this thread with other quotes. I give you the point in advance that you will probably find some other issues to damn our collective efforts . Representing our own position in this world is tough enough, doing the same for another company takes it up another notch as Emeril would say on Food Network. So at the end of the day, I accept that some people may think this post was a non-answer. But I hope it provided some Sunday morning entertainment nevertheless.

Now I need to go and tend to my smoker. Ribs! Yummmm.....
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post #435 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to research and apply Amir. Much appreciated!
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post #436 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 12:37 PM
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Happy Fathers Day to all that it may apply too.

Wow Amir, that was a mouthfull. Thank you for taking so much time for a detailed explaination to Roberts question.

I'd have to agree that there is only so much that can be done from the original movie thats why I usually enjoy the 480 extras and the end of a movie and seeing the difference between them.

Amir, I would like to ask what's going on with HBO and if we could expect to hear any announcements from then any time soon?

Also in general can you state if there has been any recent progress as far as gaining more studio support. I havent heard of any major changes and was wondering if the HD DVD group actively follow the progress or lack there of and adjusts / re-organizes itself accordingly?

Thank again for all your support
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post #437 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Alright. I checked around and this is what I found regarding Uni titles over the last 4 weeks and their respective review ratings from two sites:
Smokin' Aces (DVD & HD DVD Combo): 4.5/4.5 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: 4.5/4.5 ...

Thanks for the comments, but Smokin' Aces was over 8 weeks ago and ESofSM was over 7 weeks ago, so could you please correct your post to say the actual range you used or only use titles and reviews over the last 4 weeks?

--Darin

This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #438 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokeith View Post

To any insider knowledgeable about MPEG-4/AVC/H.264

I recently downloaded a Quicktime HD clip, 1280x720p, on my PC and tried to play it. It brought my PC to a crawl (3.2GHz, 2GB, X1950 256MB). Repeated attempts to play the file produced similar results, with terrible stuttering and frame dropouts.

Most HD files play fine on my PC. I recall some insider saying that newer MPEG-4/AVC/H.264 HD files are very taxing and may require full hardware acceleration for proper playback. Could someone describe this a little better for me?

OK, my smoker is humming nicely so I can take a few more callers .

AVC/H.264 is indeed, very computationally intensive. In its design criteria, the amount of MIPS used was not a major consideration. As such, the thing is quite a beast when it comes to decode or encode. Here is a relative rough measure of "complexity" (MIPS requirements) for each codec:

MPEG-2: 1X
VC-1: 2X
AVC: 3-4X

AVC also requires more memory for decoding but that is not material in the context of a PC (but important in embedded platforms).

So while today's PCs are ample fast to decode MPEG-2 and VC-1 in software, AVC requires hardware accelleration for good HD performance. So you are going to need the appropriate hardware and playback software/drivers to play those clips. I suggest asking in the HTPC group for further advice.
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post #439 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TomsHT View Post

Happy Fathers Day to all that it may apply too.

Wow Amir, that was a mouthfull. Thank you for taking so much time for a detailed explaination to Roberts question.

My pleasure. I am glad it was of value.

Quote:


Amir, I would like to ask what's going on with HBO and if we could expect to hear any announcements from then any time soon?

I don't know that I can comment about future announcements but work is progressing nicely on producing the titles already announced such as the many episodes of Sopranos.

Quote:


Also in general can you state if there has been any recent progress as far as gaining more studio support. I havent heard of any major changes and was wondering if the HD DVD group actively follow the progress or lack there of and adjusts / re-organizes itself accordingly?

Thank again for all your support

I obviously would not be commenting on any impending studio changes in advance of it happening . With that said, there is a stalemate right now in the market with little new data so I think it would be fair to say the situation is not likely change right now one way or the other. I know the BD companies are working our studios and I can tell you that we do the reverse. This has been going on from beginning of time so I am not telling you anything new.

Our mission remains the same. Ultimately, what studios care about are people wanting to buy their movies. Buying their vote in the short term is not a reliable measure of what they will do in the future. So we are focused on lowering the cost of players, getting them into more consumer hands (with serious intent to buy) so that they can vote with their pocketbook. We also enable anyone else who wants to get into the market with HD DVD. The content will follow the sockets. That is what happened last time when Disney/Fox for example, abandoned Divx and supported DVD. Not saying the history repeats itself but that there is some logic to our madness .

Also note that we focus on all types of content providers, not just Hollywood. Here, you can expect to see continued progress from us. Having hundreds of manufacturing lines and many post houses skilled in production of HD DVD/HDi is a very good thing here.
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post #440 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Okay, when do you think the new 65nm CPU will start to be used in the Xbox 360 Elite and do you think that it will increase the reliability and/or lower noise level of the console? I ask this since I am interested in the Xbox 360 Elite but I have heard recommendations to wait for the new 65nm CPU because of the potential benefits it might have.

I'd also like to know if there's an update on this -- also is there anything to report on the possibility on adding LPCM output to the Xbox Elite in a future hardware revision? In previous discussion it sounded like you (Amir) wanted to see this happen, even though it wasn't possible in the Elite hardware v1.0.

Thanks!
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post #441 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Phloyd View Post

This is a disaster! What percentage of Blu-ray movies are affected by this oversight?

Yes I'd like to know this as well please Amir.
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post #442 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Yes I'd like to know this as well please Amir.

I answered already (read Tom's follow up above). Not sure why it just disappeared.
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post #443 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 04:57 PM
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Amir,
Do you guys, or the HD DVD side have open lines of communication with Block Buster? I am really disappointed they have chosen to drop renting HD DVD from their retail locations. I sent them emails right from the beggining that the movies they have available to rent where a poor choice in order to gauge how popular HD rentals would be. The NEVER had day and date releases with new tittles, and 80% of the movies they did have to rent were tittles not being rented on SD DVD anymore.


Has there been any conversations with them?
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post #444 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

As to Sony and its Pioneer brother, they suffer in reverse. Their do a low quality conversion from interlace to progressive. So if you play any video sourced content, you are not going to see anything as good as Toshiba XA-2. And for that reason, they may not play DVDs as well as the XA-2 either..

Amirm - I tried to follow all of your original post - in which you made
the above statement.

In your reference to Sony and Pioneer - are you referring to what
they do with a Blu-Ray disc or a SD DVD?
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post #445 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 05:16 PM
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Is there any new schedule for the HD DVD mobile truck, I dont see it on thelookandsoundofperfect any more?
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post #446 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancouver View Post

Amir,
Do you guys, or the HD DVD side have open lines of communication with Block Buster? I am really disappointed they have chosen to drop renting HD DVD from their retail locations. I sent them emails right from the beggining that the movies they have available to rent where a poor choice in order to gauge how popular HD rentals would be. The NEVER had day and date releases with new tittles, and 80% of the movies they did have to rent were tittles not being rented on SD DVD anymore.


Has there been any conversations with them?

I would like to know as well. I *just* bought an A2, and on the surface, this blockbuster thing looks pretty big.
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post #447 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 05:45 PM
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To any insider regarding director and extended cuts...

Is it possible on either HD DVD or Blu-ray to for the end user(me) to pick the extra scenes played in a movie? For example, I find some extra or extended scenes in these director/extended editions, worthwhile, however others I wish I could skip.

Basically, I would love a feature would I could look at a batch of new and extended scenes from a movie, and then pick the ones I want to see incorporated. Basically, the end users personal ultimate edition. Not sure if this can be done or how popular of an idea it is, but I would appreciate any feedback communicated to the studios.
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post #448 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 07:50 PM
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For any video codec insider:

A few years back I did a fair amount of WMV and XVID HD encoding. I found I could get excellent results and save on the bit budget and playback requirements by reducing horizontal resolution and forcing the aspect ratio in the encoder (an anamorphic encode).

Do any of the HD codecs on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD offer this support? I'm thinking it's real usefulness there would be in reverse. For instance, encoding a 2.4:1 movie using all 1920x1080 pixels (no black bars encoded) and then having the player enforce the aspect ratio with non-square pixels. You would have more bits devoted to the image and greater vertical resolution for the day when we have 4k displays in the home

Just curious. This also seems like an excellent way to deliver low-bandwidth HD since vertical resolution is more important to perceived sharpness than horizontal. I know Microsoft had a whole tutorial on their website about this process.
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post #449 of 3651 Old 06-17-2007, 10:07 PM
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To Paidgeek or any other Sony insiders,

Are there any plans, or would it even be technically possible, to add an audio re-encoder to the PS3 to change the uncompressed tracks to DD/DTS?


Where I'm coming from:
I just got a PS3 yesterday (bonus on Friday and Father's Day today), and am excited to be able to watch Blu-Ray movies along with HD DVDs on my 360. However, because I don't have an HDMI receiver, apparently most BD titles only have LPCM and 640K (or lower) standard DD. If I choose LPCM, all I get out of the optical output is 2-channel, and trying to put that back into 5.1 w/ DPLII potentially loses a lot if the surround detail wrt placement and imaging. And if I want real 5.1, I have to settle for the same 640K or lower DD that's the same as regular DVDs. It's that way for anyone without a new HDMI-capable receiver.

I guess I'm spoiled with HD DVD, because on the 360 I can pick the DD+ track or TrueHD or whatever track, and the 360 re-encodes that to DTS, DD, or 2-channel PCM. So I can still get the proper 5.1 from whatever audio is on HD DVD.


If the PS3 doesn't see an update with some kind of re-encoding of the high-res audio formats to DD/DTS for optical, I'll definitely be going with the HD DVD versions of any dual-format releases. So if you could, please comment on whether or not this kind of thing would be possible with the PS3, and if it is technically possible, if/when it might be complete and made public.



Thanks in advance!


-Brian
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post #450 of 3651 Old 06-18-2007, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

If I said "yes" or "no", it would make things less clear, not more . So let me tell you what it does, and then you have the answer you are looking for.

What Warner does for converting their VC-1 HD DVD streams is to run them through a special tool we have which simply strips out the repeat field flags (that tells the decoder how to produce 29.97fps from 24). That's all. No re-encoding is done. The bits produced by the codec are never touched. So while the files are not identical bit for bit since the metadata is removed from the BD version, the actual codec bits are identical.

If you had not said file (which encapsulates both the codec data and metadata), the simple answer would have been yes.

Thanks for the detailed answer
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