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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I'm at it - I cant believe there isn't more talk in this forum about the hundred of DivX files available on Kazaa and similar networks. I realize most people here are obsessed with achieving the highest quality output - but it's kinda cool hosting my own little theater here - plus I charge a lot less than the real theater around the block :)


Seriously, the quality of a 700MB Divx file is pretty impressive.
 

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I think the reason you don't see more commentary about DivX here is that basically 100% piracy (whoa up there all you forumites who are going to jump me there on the technical details :) ). But let's put the piracy thing aside for the moment.


I have downloaded a couple of trailers that were encoded into divx and they look very impressive (particularly the SWEp2 one at divx.com) which has amazing clarity and sound (even here on my dodgey work PC).


Although it is currently not possible for me (due to lack of appropriate HTPC setup and reasonably priced broadband access) I would love the opportunity to access the latest movies in this format and play them in the comfort of my own home on a big screen with great sound.... (I'll stop there as I'm getting a bit excited), as it would seem technically very straight forward. I am sure many contributors to this forum can and do access these movies (I would if I were you) but there are a couple of things to consider when doing this (particularly for we the downtrodden here in Australia who are being held to ransom by the ologopolistic telco's and there ridiculous broadband pricing regime).


1) The cost of downloading these files in Australia, through internet access fees alone, is greater than the cost of either going to the movies (about 5 times) or buying the actual DVD, so why would you bother? Yes, I hear you say, "but it's in my own home" but unless your taking the money's not an issue defence it really doesn't stack up.


2) Kazaa is full of spyware and the files are full of viruses.


3) I believe (as a techie friend told me) most of the latest movies you get are screeners (ie. someone with a digital camcorder) and the quality (particularly of the sound) is questionable.


So until we can sort a few of these things out it unfortunately falls into the "wouldn't it be good" category for me....


But back to the piracy issue.


You can understand why the studio's are s..ting themselves over internet piracy if you have seen a quality (again refer to the SWEp2 trailer) divx film run through a decent HTPC + projector setup (my rather crude tests have been mindblowing enough!!). With the entry level cost of such a setup falling all the time (I forget what xcel's latest estimate of the Window's based HTPC setup cost, about $20 I think ;) ), it doesn't take much to achieve a decent theatre at home (provided you have the space) and combine this with broadband and BOOM... never have to go out to the movies again. There are a couple of comments I want to make about this;


1) Evidence doesn't support the theory that widespread broadband access and the availability of pirate content = reduction in movie attendance. Spiderman and SWEp2 are so readily available through Kazaa and other P2P app's that any 15 year old can find them in about 2 mins, and provided they have the bandwidth can download them pretty damn quickly too. However, these have just become the highest grossing movies of all time.


I think this basically shows 2 things. Firstly, the technical advantage of even you average suburban theatre leads to a better experience, and secondly, people don't necessarily have the space, dollars or desire to have a HT at home (I mean what are these people thinking anyway!!!) plus people actually like going out to the movies.


2) Studios are going to have to adapt to content sharing (just the same as they had to adapt to the taperecorder and the VCR) I know this is a relatively common arguement, but valid nonetheless, but the studios are going to have to embrace the internet as an alternative vehicle for content distribution. While at the moment all they can see is,

internet = fee free movies = no revenue stream for me = bad


they are going to have to change that view and develop business models to take advantage of the strengths of the availability of a new distribution channel. But EOTD its about the money (isn't everything) and without an effective way of "protecting the pie", I think the studio's embracing the net would be like cost effective divx for me... it's in the "wouldn't it be good" category....
 

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Another reason may be that the DivX you're referring to- aka DivX 3.11 alpha and all prior versions is actually a hacked/pirated version of Windows Media v2 (aka MS-MPEG-4 v3).


If you think the quality of DivX (aka 1997-circa Windows Media), you should see Windows Media Video 8 and the next-generation codenamed Corona. Corona does 720p w/ discrete 24-bit 6 channel digital surround sound at roughly 1/2 the bitrate of MPEG-2. It was also announced at CES that the 5 major semiconductor manufacturers that provide about 90% of all consumer DVD decoder chipsets will support Corona later this year.


Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually I think they've gotten all the way up to 5.0.2 now - but I cant wait to see the microsoft version!
 

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I too have done the the DiVX thing and experimented with the current codecs (DiVX 5.02, a totally legit non hack) and the current MS codec. I do NOT pirate video, I use these tools for home movies and the like. Occasoinally I'll use them to burn cool TV shows to disc until the DVDs comes out (like the Futurama season finale).


I think the MS offering is superior but the DiVX codec offers finer control over the codec and is useable with more tools while I am forced to use the MS tools for encoding with WMV, and their tools (like WME7) are feature thin beyond basic encoding (don't even get me started on their LAME IVTC) and do not expose things like the codecs two pass option, for that you have to use a cheese-o-rama command line tool.


Summary : MS wins on quality of output (so that's what I use) but DiVX wins on codec tweakability and app interoperability.


Everything I've heard tells me Corona will rock. MS has their gigabuck R&D crew working on this stuff, people with planet size brains and all that. It'll be cool.


As to what you can do : As an experiment I was able to take a short movie (Office Space) and convert it from DVD to Windows Media 8, fit it on one CD (I even processed it to make it anamorphic) and the results were pretty impressive. Better than VHS, not nearly as good as LD or DVD.


The funny thing with the video warez monekys on the net is that they compress so much, and process the video so poorly I cannot understand why anyone would bother. My brother showed me his copy of "Fellowship of The Ring" that get got of Kazaa that fits on one CD. Gak, you could barely tell what was going on.


Besides, the idea of "backing up" a DVD to divx is retarted. I mean, do you backup your work data by omiting every other byte, then compressing?
 

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Downloading DivX files of movies we do not own = pirating/stealing. (PERIOD)


If we expect the studios to continue to release high quality DVDs at a reasonable price we cannot steal from them.
 

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Screener usually means the opposite of what you would think: it is a copy off a source, not the screen. "Telesync" or "cam" usually refers to those recorded with a camera.


If you are interested in the "art" of making a Divx, check out doom9.net.


I use my HTPC a lot for DivXs (as you can probably tell by some of the files I have on my site.) But discussing the trading of copyrighted material is against the laws here, so it isn't talked about.


If you are worried about Kazaa, check out Kazaa lite. It is a version (put out by a third party) that has removed all the spyware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For the record, I'm not really sure what you guys are talking about - all the DivX files I own are copies of independent, non-copyrighted material - home movies of people I don't know, mostly. I apologize for any confusion.


And I fully agree with ELMitz - record and movie executives are barely scraping by as it is - decreased profits should only translate to increased cost for consumers. What cruel men these pirates must be - willing to take caviar from the mouths of innocent and honest mens' children.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Namlemez
Screener usually means the opposite of what you would think: it is a copy off a source, not the screen. "Telesync" or "cam" usually refers to those recorded with a camera.


If you are interested in the "art" of making a Divx, check out doom9.net.


I use my HTPC a lot for DivXs (as you can probably tell by some of the files I have on my site.) But discussing the trading of copyrighted material is against the laws here, so it isn't talked about.


If you are worried about Kazaa, check out Kazaa lite. It is a version (put out by a third party) that has removed all the spyware.
Hey, well my family and I started construction on our new home. And I will have a HT room, and what your doing is most interesting. Right now I must have over 400 divx movies, I wonder how well they will output to the screen. Hmmm interesting. :)


One thing though, many of the movies encoded in divx I heard somewhere play on 2 speakers. On my PC right now I only have 2 speakers, so I can't test it out lol. Anyone know about this?


Oh and second about the whole piracy thing, I would not buy DVD's if I had these divx movies anyways. And I use it for my own self only, so I don't get how it can 'hurt' the movie industry. Besides I have digital cable right now and pay $50 a month for that crap, I think that's more than enough as it is. ;) (not to mention the $45 for broadband as well grr)
 

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While most can be passable on a smaller monitor, the compression artifacts really come out when viewing most divx movies on a FP system.


As far as audio goes, most are downmixed to 2 channel sound. Running something like DPLII on them might help a bit...this was discussed in another thread.
 

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SVCD = nice....you should see the 4 disc version of LOTR....wow. Now if I could figure out how to make it DIVX...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aderose
And I fully agree with ELMitz - record and movie executives are barely scraping by as it is - decreased profits should only translate to increased cost for consumers. What cruel men these pirates must be - willing to take caviar from the mouths of innocent and honest mens' children.
So let me see if I understand... if somebody is rich it is OK to steal from them?


FACTS:


1. It is illegal to make copies of intellectual property that you do not own, even for personal use, without the permission of the owner of said intellectual property. There are some very specific exceptions mostly in the academic setting.

2. The movie/record studios are, with few exceptions, owned by large publicly traded corporations. I own shares of mutual funds that have invested in these corporations (e.g., Sony). The majority of americans with 401k plans probably are similarly invested.


When you steal a movie, CD, software (wether or not you would have ever bought it in the first place) you are in fact breaking the law. Breaking the law may not bother you -- I have no idea what your moral code is. But it is an example of responsibility and citizenship that I choose to set for my 3 sons.


Mock me if you want, but please kill the poor guy vs rich guy schtick -- It didn't work for Marx and it probably won't work for you. I resepct your right to voice your opinion, but I resent those citizens who take advantage of the freedoms they are afforded in this country while disrespecting the moral foundations on which they are built.


Living in NY, you should understand this better than most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You imply that was is moral must be legal and what is legal must be moral.

I believe slave-owners made a similar argument at one time.


Morality and legality are not one in the same - in a perfect world they would be. I don't want communism, I was social responsibility. The wealth any individual acquires comes from the community - no one prints their own money. The wealth one takes from the community should be proportional to their contribution to it. If you think that's the case as it is, please take 30 minutes to watch an episode of MTV Cribs.


As the power of individuals increases relative to the power of big business the distribution of everything, wealth, happiness and influence becomes more equitable - and the laws will follow suit. I love this country - and I'm thankful that we have laws, but that doesn't mean I think society's perfect.


You say Marx I say Kant. He said an ideal society can only be constructed by individuals yet unaware of their status in that society. You're happy in your current position and that's fine - but if you're going to insist that things are fair as they are first ask yourself if this is how you have have constructed society having not known whether you'd be a top executive or a garbage man - actually in garbage men get paid pretty well in NY :)


I hope this doesn't spur the moderators to create a political ideology section of the forum. Seriously, too often these threads degenerate into arguments that have nothing to do with the reasons most people come here - I'm allowing myself this one pass (I hope that's OK) - and I promise I'll never do it again.
 

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Originally posted by ianken

Summary : MS wins on quality of output (so that's what I use) but DiVX wins on codec tweakability and app interoperability.


Everything I've heard tells me Corona will rock. MS has their gigabuck R&D crew working on this stuff, people with planet size brains and all that. It'll be cool.

Send me a list of the features you'd like to see. Note also that Adobe announced recently a plug-in they're writing for Corona. Showed it at NAB.
 

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as a side note :


i was surprised to look at a Divx with an AC-3 track ! ... so we get DVD image quality with discrete sound ! ... scary


pirate issue PS :


owning some Divx and a big DVD collection is one thing ... owning only Divx movies is another or even worse, selling them
 

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Aderose:


I don't mean to imply that what is legal is moral or vice cersa. I believe, and am teaching my children, that the law serves as a guide which should be followed and that if one doesn't agree with a law they should work to change it, not ignore it and break 'cuz they feel like it.


Communism doesn't work. Social contract theory is predicated on an impossible plank: All persons in said society will work equally hard and will obey the contract equally well. As one who has signed paychecks, I can asure you that not all people in our society work equally hard.


The fact remains that the law is the law. PERIOD! You may have very good reasons to not like a particular law, but you don't have any right to break it. You do however have the right to vote for legislators that will enact your views. You have the right to organize lke-minded individuals for peaceful demonstrations -- both literal and economic. But -- nobody has a right to break the law.


But beyond the breaking of law (our society's social contract), thousands of middle class (and lower) people depend on the entertainment industries for employment -- those who trade in pirated warez are taking money from them too.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ELMitz
Aderose:


I don't mean to imply that what is legal is moral or vice cersa. I believe, and am teaching my children, that the law serves as a guide which should be followed and that if one doesn't agree with a law they should work to change it, not ignore it and break 'cuz they feel like it.


Communism doesn't work. Social contract theory is predicated on an impossible plank: All persons in said society will work equally hard and will obey the contract equally well. As one who has signed paychecks, I can asure you that not all people in our society work equally hard.


The fact remains that the law is the law. PERIOD! You may have very good reasons to not like a particular law, but you don't have any right to break it. You do however have the right to vote for legislators that will enact your views. You have the right to organize lke-minded individuals for peaceful demonstrations -- both literal and economic. But -- nobody has a right to break the law.


But beyond the breaking of law (our society's social contract), thousands of middle class (and lower) people depend on the entertainment industries for employment -- those who trade in pirated warez are taking money from them too.
I totally agree with what you say.


But if a person watches a divx movie by himself and doesn't give it to others or worse yet sale it. Than I really don't see what the problems is however in my opinion. The only thing I can see someone saying is, "well than you won't buy the goods yourself and thus still hurting the economy". Well that isn't really true in my case, I won't buy the DVD's either way. In fact I've watched a few good divx movies and later went out and bought them actually because I liked them so much, an example being The Maxtrix.


Thats my view on the topic anyway, if you don't make profit from it nor let others use it, whats so wrong about it?
 

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Someone said that "Corona" supports 720p. Are there any current DivX encoders that will do 720p? I would like to archive HD to DVD using DivX but I was under the impression that the maximum resolution of a DivX file was less than 600 lines vertical (and I don't remember the horizontal max resolution).
 
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