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I had gotten myself all excited about being able to watch Step Into Liquid on my new plasma in HD. Downloaded a few sample clips from the WMV-HD website and they seemed to play just fine on my laptop running on Windows 2000 - absolutely breathtaking. So I ran out and bought the DVD only to find it refuses to play because I'm not running XP. Can someone explain why this is? Any workarounds without having to install XP? The laptop belongs to my company and the IT department is loath to install anything else on it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Money
...I ran out and bought the DVD only to find it refuses to play because I'm not running XP...
You can't play the DVD _NOT_ because you you use WinXP.

Even more, to get multichanel audio from the DVD you have to use WinXP, I think.

You probably didn't get the license to play it (run the generator executable on the DVD).


Diogen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
You can't play the DVD _NOT_ because you you use WinXP.

Even more, to get multichanel audio from the DVD you have to use WinXP, I think.

You probably didn't get the license to play it (run the generator executable on the DVD).


Diogen.
Quote:
Step into Liquid high-definition: the complete theatrical version of the film playable on your PC in Microsoft Windows Media High-Definition Video (System Requirements: Microsoft Windows XP or XP Media Center Edition 2003, Window Media Player 9 Series, Intel P4 2.4 GHz Processor or equivalent, 256 MB of RAM, 64 MB video card, DVD-ROM Drive, 1024 X 768 Screen Resolution, 16-Bit Sound Card, Speakers, Internet Connection, and 520 MB Hard Drive Space)
It DOES require XP.


Discussion of how to get around this requirement is off topic on AVS but easily found by general search tools.
 

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Lots of good stuff in XP for HD. As previously mentioned, XP added good multichannel audio support (if you play 5.1 in XP with WMP9, it gets folded down to stereo for output). Also, WMP10 is XP only, and WMP10 got a lot of performance enhancements, most notably support for GPU-accellerated decode.


My main XP box with a Quadro 3500 went from playing 1080p24 at 2 fps to solid 24 fps once the driver update that turned on GPU decode was released.


Real-time media playback is complex stuff that involved a lot of low-level tasks - not the kind of stuff easily ported to older OS's. By comparison Apple's HD disc playback requires Mac OS X (which shipped after XP SP2) AND a G5 as minimum requirements.


There are folks who say they feel that Windows 2000 is enough for them (personally, I feel like I'm trapped in a straightjacket running 2000), but for HD media playback, XPSP2 is where it's at. Any machine that shipped before XP shipped certainly won't have the performance needed for HD playback anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
Lots of good stuff in XP for HD. As previously mentioned, XP added good multichannel audio support (if you play 5.1 in XP with WMP9, it gets folded down to stereo for output). Also, WMP10 is XP only, and WMP10 got a lot of performance enhancements, most notably support for GPU-accellerated decode.
And I think WMP10 finally fixed the flaw that allowed extracting the A/V stream from T2 (removing DRM).

Interestingly, comparing those two (DRM-ed and not) showed the DRM "penalty" on CPU to be around 10%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
My main XP box with a Quadro 3500 went from playing 1080p24 at 2 fps to solid 24 fps once the driver update that turned on GPU decode was released...
Holy ... 2fps :eek:

I had this performance only on Apple's 1080p trailers with Elecard codecs but never on WMV.

What material was it? What codecs? What CPU?


Diogen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
Holy ... 2fps :eek:

I had this performance only on Apple's 1080p trailers with Elecard codecs but never on WMV.

What material was it? What codecs? What CPU?
This was over a year ago. I think it was with some 1080p WMVHD content off DVD-ROM. Getting that big a jump wasn't surprsing - since it's IPPPP compression, drop one frame, and you lose all the frames until the next keyframe.


-Ben
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
And I think WMP10 finally fixed the flaw that allowed extracting the A/V stream from T2 (removing DRM).

Interestingly, comparing those two (DRM-ed and not) showed the DRM "penalty" on CPU to be around 10%.
Regarding the DRM penalty, I recall a post from a Microsoft guy (possibly Amir) in the "Home Theater Computers" forum a while ago saying that WMP10 fixed a bug WMP9 bug, where WMP9 was doing twice the work it should've been doing to process DRM-encrypted video, so that WMP10's DRM penalty is half that of WMP9's. Just a FYI, for y'all out there. ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
...since it's IPPPP compression, drop one frame, and you lose all the frames until the next keyframe.
I thought that WMVHD clips (you talk about those, right?) were using AP and hence, could use B-Frames?


Diogen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escamillo
...WMP10 fixed a WMP9 bug, where WMP9 was doing twice the work it should've been doing to process DRM-encrypted video...
Then DRM must have been using more CPU before.

From my non-scientific observation of about 6 months ago, non-DRM T2 and DRM-ed one differ more than 5% in CPU usage.

One can argue the streams are not identical, but I don't think so.


Diogen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
Then DRM must have been using more CPU before.

From my non-scientific observation of about 6 months ago, non-DRM T2 and DRM-ed one differ more than 5% in CPU usage.

One can argue the streams are not identical, but I don't think so.


Diogen.
Again not scientific but my PVR is an Athlon XP 2000+ with onboard video (never designed to be a high end playback unit). I really couldn't play T2 with DRM that smoothly (jerky with dropped frames) on this box but I can play the unDRM'ed version smoothly in WMP, ZP or BSPlayer. Besides the CPU overhead of DRM could also be the DRM version was playing off the DVD, the unDRM version of my HD?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
I thought that WMVHD clips (you talk about those, right?) were using AP and hence, could use B-Frames?
All the WMVHD DVD-ROM titles I've looked at have been WMV9-Main Profile.


One certainly could do a "next gen WMVHD" title with WMV9-AP and B-frames.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner
One certainly could do a "next gen WMVHD" title with WMV9-AP and B-frames.
Ben, if you don't mind me picking your brain and experience:

Are there any rules - common sense or otherwise - how to pick the number of B-frames to use with AP?

I understand the definition of I-P-B frames and the fact that using B-frames optimizes the quality/size ratio.

But can you empiricaly pick the number of B-frames knowing the movie you are going to encode?

When you were doing "The Island" in WMV AP, did you use them? How many?

Just using WME on a home computer, could one reproduce what you did (given the source material) without the hardware encoding tools?


Thanks.

Diogen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
Ben, if you don't mind me picking your brain and experience:

Are there any rules - common sense or otherwise - how to pick the number of B-frames to use with AP?

I understand the definition of I-P-B frames and the fact that using B-frames optimizes the quality/size ratio.

But can you empiricaly pick the number of B-frames knowing the movie you are going to encode?

When you were doing "The Island" in WMV AP, did you use them? How many?

Just using WME on a home computer, could one reproduce what you did (given the source material) without the hardware encoding tools?
The important point is that B-frames increase compression efficiency (hence better visual quality at moderate-low data rates), and increase decode complexity (hence increasing decoder requirements). So, if you're emphasizing small size, B-frames are great. If you're emphazing playability on a wide range of PCs, I'd leave out B-frames. For most codecs using typical image content, IBBP (2 B-frames) seems to be optimal.


My encoder was done with Windows Media Encoder 9 with the Format SDK 9.5 installed. And I actually used WMV9-Standard, not AP, since I wanted to use 2-pass VBR, which wasn't enabled back in August 2004 with the 9.5 SDK shipped. So yeah, if you had my 23 GB Huffyuv .AVI source file, you could make bit-for-bit the same file I did with free tools.


Of course, making the optimal 1080p24 Huffyuv file from the 2K 16-bit TIFF source was much harder by far than the actual encode :).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogen
Thanks, Ben.

Your posts on this forum are the main reason I keep reading it.
And I'm so happy to answer a question all about end-user HD experiences, and nothing at all about testy half-informed format war politics!
 
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