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Discussion Starter #1
I am considerring putting together a HTPC to play DVD's to my DLP projector. This task does not require a lot of horse power. However, I was thinking of the future and considerring if either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drives would be released for PC's. If this type of drive is released, what kind of computational power will be needed to decode and process the video?
 

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The current WMV-HD needs at least 3G P4 for 1080p playback.


If you are building today I'd go for a P4 that is just on the knee of the price curve, i.e. two or three frequency grades down from the most expensive one.


Put that in a dual channel DDR400 motherboard and you should be OK.


P4s are also very overclockable so if you need extra CPU that is also an option.
 

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That's what they say but you can do those 1080P WMV's with something in the mid 2 ghz for certain (I can) and possibly lower. I state this as there is a good chunk of money to be saved from mid 2's to top of the line...


I guess I'm hoping all I'll need to do on the HD-DVD is just plop in a player. I could be wrong.
 

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You can do the 1080p demo clips with less horsepower but the real discs have real-time DRM on them that takes and extra 10-15% CPU.


The 1080p demo just barely runs on my 2.5G P4.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is there any difference between the comutational power required for the WMV-HD to the standard that will be used on HD-DVD or bluray?
 

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My understanding is that the only 3 codecs that may be used in a future HD-DVD standard are VC-9 (WMV9), H.264 and MPEG2.

As Amir from MS has said in the Coral Reef thread, H.264 playback requires huge computation power and is impossible without dedicated chip. That pretty much rules out the possibility of being handled by an existing PC processor. So my bet is that a good 3GHz Pentium system is the best future proof solution for now in terms of HDTV. If H.264 is chosen as the only codec for HD-DVD, we will have to buy other hardware anyway.

Of course, with or without H.264, they will figure something out to make us upgrade again in a few years to handle stuff we don't know of yet, but that's how it's always been... :(
 

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All this assuming that they will allow PCs to play HD-DVDs. My feeling is that HD-DVDs will not play in PCs legally.


Cheers,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alric
All this assuming that they will allow PCs to play HD-DVDs. My feeling is that HD-DVDs will not play in PCs legally.


Cheers,
If Microsoft continues their heavy involvement I can't see that being the case. Think of all those Media Center PCs that are being shipped. Keeping HD-DVD off of those just won't fly.


It's really a DRM issue. If they come up with a suitably robust DRM scheme, then it will be playable on PCs.


Key words, "suitably robust".
 

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Having met with some of the folks involved in these efforts at CES, I feel I can safely say nobody even knows what an HD DVD is going to be, much less is there any thought of compatability with OLD hardware. Old software, sure, but old HARDWARE?


HD DVD is most likely going to be of sufficient size and encryption complexity that it won't fit on existing media, first of all. Second, my understanding from talking ot quite a few folks in the process is that the studios (MPAA) are terrified of PC-playback, and therefor I would not expect to see widespread studio adoption until the media to video playback path is hardened (which means TCG and Longhorn).


So I wouldn't be holding my breath.


Sure, WMV9 CAN do high def, but it's irrellevant until the copyright holders we all want to buy content from sign off.


Unless you're just trying ot archive stuff, in which case, you can do that now.
 
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