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Standing in the Shadows of Motown WM9 version: Unimpressed


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#1 of 4 Scott L

Scott L

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Posted April 21 2003 - 09:26 AM

Just spent about 25min going over the detail and comparing with the standard DVD version. I don't understand why Microsoft wanted to showcase this encoding with their WM9 codec, it's just about on par with the DVD. There's even a little insert in the case:
Quote:
Notes About the High Definition Windows Media File
The Windows Media Versionof this filmis in the latest version of the format: "Windows Media 9." It is presented in a higher resolution than what you will see on the standard DVD. The resolution of the Windows Media version of the film is 1024 x 576. (This is one and a half times the resolution on a standard DVD.)
All this buzz about the WM9 version of this movie and it's only 576p. Posted Image Not to mention they make you view it in their player which doesn't let you index to another part of the movie (only FF, RW, play pause and stop) with it connecting to the net to tell MS that you're viewing it, and whatever else reason they have.

I can barely tell that it's "Hi-def" as they call it since the colors and everything in general look sharper on my TV, I'm sure scaling is a factor here but I set my res to the recommended size: 1024x768. Plus that pixel noise/grain is just as apparent as most other WM9 encoded material I've seen, it's really annoying but you have to have a critical eye to notice it.

As for CPU power it says 1.8ghz should be sufficient. I underclocked my 2.4 to stock and the video was only hovering around a 50% workload, which admittedly is pretty good but thinking agian it's really just a low bitrate non high definition movie. So if you haven't gotten my opinion yet it's pretty much a letdown, I would have at least liked to have seen a 720p version. Any other opinions out there?

EDIT- I just found you can index to another part of the movie getting to the main menu which is a big relief. Just nit-picking but it's kinda slow, about 5-7 seconds after you select the chapter.

#2 of 4 Richard Gilmore

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Posted April 21 2003 - 10:07 AM

Curious what size display you're viewing this on.

#3 of 4 Scott L

Scott L

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Posted April 21 2003 - 10:10 AM

Viewed on a 15" LCD with a 400:1 contrast ratio. I have a 17" flat screen CRT here but didn't think it was necessary to switch.

#4 of 4 Chris Purvis

Chris Purvis

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Posted April 21 2003 - 10:10 AM

Interesting - I've been hoping someone would post a review of this. I think it would be interesting to hear what you think about the standard dvd transfer and the WM9 version on the same display.