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HD-DVD to use WMV Codec


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#1 of 420 Joshua Clinard

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:10 AM

The DVD Forum has finally decided on a codec for their blue-laser based HD DVD format, propsed by Toshiba and NEC. It will use Microsoft's WMV format. This is the same format found on the Terminator 3 disc. I downloaded a clip of this, and it did not look any better than standard DVD on my monitor. Has anyone seen any difference in their setup?

I'm still looking for a internet source other than http://www.winnetmag....ott_41868.html

#2 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:27 AM

From the DVD Forum website:


http://www.dvdforum....-resolution.htm

Minutes from a very recent meeting.

I only skimmed so far. But I saw WM9 (VC-)9 listed under "provisional approval" with a bunch of other formats including MPEG 2 and MPEG 4.

I also noticed these approvals:

The Steering Committee asks the TCG and WG-1 to reconsider their recommendation of audio codecs for HD Video Applications, and make a new recommendation by the next Steering Committee meeting that includes at least one lossless audio codec and at least one lossy audio codec.


AND

Approval of DD+, DTS++, and MLP as mandatory audio codecs to be included in the High Definition Video format
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#3 of 420 jonathan_little

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:31 AM

Yay! I was really hoping I'd get to pay licensing fees to Microsoft every time a buy a piece of HD-DVD software or hardware! Thanks for not letting me down, DVD Forum!

#4 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:34 AM

Here's the whole thing regarding the topic at hand with all the strings attached:

Approval of Maximum Verification Fees: (2) Test Specifications for discs with new High Speed Recording Optional Specifications (R8X, RAM5X, RW4X): $15,000
Provisional approval of MPEG2, WM9 (VC-9) and MPEG4 AVC(H.264) Video CODECs as mandatory for the HD DVD Video specification for playback devices, subject to (a) an update in 60 days regarding licensing terms and conditions, (b) a presentation by each of the respective licensing bodies at the next SC meeting and © possible elimination of any of the above CODECs at the next SC meeting.
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#5 of 420 Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:35 AM

Joshua,

There are probably several reasons why you didn't notice any difference between the DVD and WMV9 HD versions of T2, but the most likely reason is that your monitor may not have the necessary resolution and is likely downscaling the resolution to match your monitor. Then there is the issue of the quality of the compression - which is a hot topic with the HD-DVD powers that be.

Needless to say, if the compression standards are equal and you have a display device that has a native resolution of ~1280x720 or better yet ~1920x1080 then you will most certainly see a very significant improvement over DVD, so much so it will be difficult to go back and watch standard DVDs, except on lower resolution displays.

Just to put in perspective how much better HD-DVD will be compared to standard DVD let’s first consider the resolution difference between VHS and DVD. Standard DVD has over 200% more resolution than VHS. Greater resolution results in more detail and improves PQ due to the smoother picture. Now consider that the difference between the max resolution of standard DVD and HD-DVD is 500%! Is the difference going to be noticeable? You tell me. Posted Image

Even more dramatic is the difference between max resolution of VHS and HD-DVD.... over 1800%! That is nearly twenty times the resolution of VHS.

For years video quality has been quite stagnant. Laser Discs helped get the ball rolling, but it wasn’t until the success of DVD and broadcast HD that advancements in video have began to make massive improvements in our home entertainment systems.

As far as resolution is considered here is the history of how it has improved from one technology to another.

LD 90% Improvement over VHS
DVD 70% Improvement over LD
HD-720p 165% Improvement over DVD
HD-1080p 500% Improvement over DVD

Make no doubt about it, standard DVD will not only survive the onslaught of HD-DVD, but will likely out sell HD-DVD for at least the first few years. Mostly due to the cost, limited releases, and that most DVD owners do not currently own HD native resolution displays.

Eventually HD-DVD will rule the roost, but fear not, standard DVDs will be around for a VERY long time.

#6 of 420 Joshua Clinard

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:35 AM

That's old news. It appears to be the minutes from a November 2003 meeting. This news story I posted is from an industy insider, and is probably the first story. It will proably be on the wires in the next day or so. If he's wrong, it will be the first time I have heard of.

#7 of 420 Jim Robbins

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:39 AM

Having just bought "Coral Sea Adventure" which includes the WMV-HD version of the film, I was stunned by how good it looks. If all you have seen is "T2", you need to see this before judging WMV-HD. I also thought "T2" was unimpressive but I blame the source film not the encoding. Go to Microsoft's WMV-HD page and download the clips. You'll need a fast computer and good video card to see them smoothly.

#8 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:39 AM

That's old news. It appears to be the minitues from a November 2003 meeting.


"The DVD Forum 25th Steering Committee meeting was held on February 25-26 in Tokyo, Japan. Click here to view the resolutions of the meeting."

That's straight from the home page of the dvd forum, www.dvdforum.com under DVD Forum News.

You wanted another source; I gave it. Straight from the horse's mouth.

The minutes page then says "The DVD Forum 25th Steering Committee Meeting Resolution", so I should think it's current unless they didn't update their site since last year.

I didn't quote anything from their November 2002 press release which is available on the site though.
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#9 of 420 Joshua Clinard

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:47 AM

The DVD Forum's web site hasn't been updated yet. At the November 2003 meeting, there were two proposals: WMV and MPEG 2. The site also says that 60 days later a standard would be chosen. 60 days after November is Febuary 2004. So it appears that the standard was decided on yesterday. At least that's what I could tell from Paul's article and the Nov. 2003 minutes.

#10 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:54 AM

I now see what Bill Hunt said about the DVD Forum lagging well behind Blu-Ray.

They might as well just hang it up.
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#11 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 07:57 AM

EXCEPT look at the first two entries:

"Approval of minutes of November 2003 SC meeting as to be amended with footnote for clarification of specification names"

So, this HAS TO BE the resolutions of the February 2004 meeting or they couldn't approve the minutes from the LAST meeting. That's always the first thing that's done at meetings.

Maybe someone needs to hit "refresh". Posted Image

Even if the site's "News" was linking last year's meeting the minutes show it's NOT Feb 2003.
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#12 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 08:07 AM

Even if those minutes were Nov 2003 (and they're not since they approved the Nov 2003 minutes at this meeting) this there were more than 2 codecs listed. I posted it verbatim above.

Does your industry insider work for Microsoft? Sounds like he's spinning it their way. The "60 day" thing is up there too.
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#13 of 420 Joshua Clinard

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Posted February 27 2004 - 08:16 AM

Nope, he does not work for microsoft. He does have connections at Microsoft though. He may be wrong, but I doubt it. It could also be the case that it will be voted on in 60 days, but that it has already been decided on that WMV will win. He does criticize MS when they deserve it, so the argument that he is a MS fanboy does not work.

#14 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 08:21 AM

It could also be the case that it will be voted on in 60 days, but that it has already been decided on that WMV will win.


That is possible, but sill voids your thread title if it's unofficial. It should at least have a question mark. Or maybe not. I suppose it's possible HD-DVD could emerge capable of supporting mutliple codecs. Afterall, DVD supports multiple audio schemes. (though it didn't at the start)

It's notable that the article you linked says nothing of WMV's exclusivity:

"Microsoft WMV 9 Gets Nod for HD-DVD
The DVD Forum has approved the popular Microsoft Windows Media Video (WMV) 9 format as a mandatory technology for any device seeking the high-definition DVD (HD-DVD) logo. In other words, to use the logo, next-generation DVD players and other DVD-playback devices must support WMV. This move is a huge coup d'etat for Microsoft, which is trying to get its video and audio formats accepted as industry standards, and for consumers, who'll be able to purchase more advanced DVD movies in the future as a result."

It says it's A mandatory technology, not THE. That could be easily taken (arguably out of context) from the Feb 2004 meeting resolutions posted at the DVD Forum website.

Quite possible one of his Microsoft connections was only giving him part of the story. I'm sure their publicity department is quite powerful.
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#15 of 420 Dan Rudolph

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Posted February 27 2004 - 08:46 AM

I assume they're making MPEG-2 mandatory for backward compatibility reasons and they have the sense not to actually use it for HD-DVD.
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#16 of 420 Grant H

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Posted February 27 2004 - 09:05 AM

True, Dan. They're not going to pick anything INSTEAD OF MPEG-2 since it's been pretty much a given HD-DVD will be backward compatible.

I'm thinking if they were going to choose BETWEEN WMV and anything it would be MPEG-4, the third codec listed above.

So, no one can really claim exclusivity I guess unless all we got was MPEG-2 in the end.

If WMV has already been chosen (even un-officially)it almost had to have been over MPEG-4. Can't see why it would be up against MPEG-2.
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#17 of 420 Joshua Clinard

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Posted February 27 2004 - 11:17 AM

The discs themselves are not going to be backward-compatible, are they? Standard DVD players will not be able to play the new discs, because the red laser won't even be able to read them. It's the players that are going to be backward-compatible. The new HD-DVD players are going to have two laser diodes, so they can read HD-DVD and standard DVD Discs. If there is a reason for the actual discs to be backward-compatible, please explain.

#18 of 420 Ricardo C

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Posted February 27 2004 - 12:15 PM

I'd be happy with WM9. MPEG2 is already showing its age in a major way with standard DVD. I don't wanna be stuck with it for another decade or two.

Quote:
This move is a huge coup d'etat


It's a COUP, period. A coup d'etat is a completely different thing. Good God, who wrote that crap? If you don't know what a foreign expression means, here's a hint: Don't use it.

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#19 of 420 Eric F

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Posted February 27 2004 - 01:14 PM

There is nothing wrong with MPEG-2, especially at the higher bitrates. Check out a D-Theater tape and you'll see what I mean.

That said, if WM9 can produce a better overall experience using less space, I'm all for it. T2 WM9 is really impressive- imagine that with 2x the bitrate and MLP audio. Sweet.

#20 of 420 Joe Schwartz

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Posted February 29 2004 - 05:58 AM

Here's another article about it:

http://news.com.com/..._3-5166786.html

And for what it's worth, the WM9 version of T2 is noticeably more detailed than the standard-def DVD version. Last year I took some screen grabs of each and gave them to Bjoern Roy, but he hasn't yet added them to his website (and unfortunately I didn't keep them).