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Why I think BluRay may be the future for CD-based music and HD video content...


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#61 of 262 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 19 2004 - 02:33 AM

Quote:
Sony had stated that DSD will be part of the spec


Does the $3000 Blu-Ray deck that is sold in Japan have DSD support?

#62 of 262 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 19 2004 - 04:03 AM

Quote:
Does the $3000 Blu-Ray deck that is sold in Japan have DSD support?


I don't know, but the better question is this: "does Sony plan to offer BluRay devices with Super Audio playback?"
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#63 of 262 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted March 19 2004 - 04:27 AM

Lee, take a drive north of 'Lanta to, say, Calhoun (GA) and survey who even has an HD monitor. I'm confident you'll get a remarkably low %. I've heard folks express the belief that their new flatscreen (analog set) was an HDTV. I think if Blu-Ray was on the U.S. market it would be selling at a snail's pace. The market isn't ready for it yet. It's (or the competing system's) day will come but it ain't today or tomorrow.
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#64 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 19 2004 - 05:29 AM

Lee,

You must not have done much searching....

Comparison 1. (pp 24+ are very interesting)
Comparison 2. You might have to register to view this. Look for an article on HD Codecs by Ben Waggoner if the direct link does not work.

There are plenty of comparisons out there and the conclusion on every paper I've bothered to look at (about 10 so far, all were parts of graduate research projects) indicate specifically that H.264 provides equivalent or better performance (on the most complex to compress material) performance vs MPEG-2, even at reduced bit rates.

Then there's this:
Quote:
No I did not-please read my posts carefully. I said that (1) I prefer the best video possible and (2) BluRay group has enough market power to overcome technical advantages if they so choose. Read my original post, I am saying that so far BluRay has the market advantage not the technical one.

1 is in direct contradiction to 2.

Still, it's good lively discussion Posted Image

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#65 of 262 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 19 2004 - 06:57 AM

Thanks John for the links. Posted Image That's all I asked for. The first document makes a technical case for H.264 (what exactly is that and how does it differ from VC9 and MP4?) but detailed screen shots or live video would be more convincing. I have to register to get the second article so I will do that over the weekend when I have more time...

I am not surprised I did not find these as they are not very frequented sites and I only looked on AVS.

Quote:
1 is in direct contradiction to 2.


How so?

All I am saying that MPEG2 even if it is not the best technically may still win if enough support is placed behind it. As Lance said, the example with Beta v. VHS demonstrated that effectively.
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#66 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 19 2004 - 07:10 AM

Lee,

You said you want the best video possible.

Demonstrated on the links I provided (and many more that are available besides the ones I provided) demonstrate conclusively that H.264 exceeds MPEG-2.

Then you say that Blu-Ray could overcome that disadvantage.

Ok, but that's contradictory to your desires for best video.

H.264, encompasses a number of techniques and it is covered in the first link I provided.

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#67 of 262 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 19 2004 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Ok, but that's contradictory to your desires for best video.


Not really. I am making a distinction between the market reality (so far) and what good early adopters like ourselves might want.

I think I would probably want h.264 if that's the best, but moreover I would prefer one new standard that is massively marketed and adopted.

Of course, I like audio even more than video so here's hoping that a better shot at hirez music is possible.Posted Image
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#68 of 262 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 19 2004 - 10:57 AM

Quote:
I think I would probably want h.264 if that's the best, but moreover I would prefer one new standard that is massively marketed and adopted.


Do you include studios in the 'marketed and adopted' category, or just CE companies?

Software sells formats. Period. The only strong support I see from Blu-Ray is from hardware companies.

#69 of 262 OFFLINE   Brian-W

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Posted March 19 2004 - 12:08 PM

Quote:
Correct. At this point, there is no provision for Hi-Res Audio+Video on a single stream for Blu-Ray. Note edit


Not quite.

Blu-Ray allows and has specified uncompressed PCM as one of the audio traits in addition to AC-3/DTS. It is at the expense of less SD "bonus" material. IIRC, you can get a 2 1/2 hour HDTV movie + 2 hours of SD "Bonus" materials + AC-3, or 2 1/2 hour HDTV movie + 70 minutes of SD "bonus" materials + DTS + Uncompressed multi-channel PCM.

At what sampling rate and other technical info, I don't know, wasn't specified. Could be 48KHz PCM, could be higher. DSD was not mentioned, nor would I think DSD would be referred to as "PCM".



Quote:
To my eyes, D-VHS is a noticable improvement over HDTV, and I would like to see the same gain (above and beyond D-VHS) from the next generation of pre-recorded media.


Then you must have 20/5 vision, because in some not so scientific side-by-side tests of D-Theater vs. OTA HD, there was clearly no visible difference to myself or many others I spoke with. What did we test? About half the D-Theater titles that have also been shown on HBO/Showtime, and some of those have also been 'bit-skimmed' (i.e. the video and audio were running at about 15mbps vs. D-Theater 24mbs).


Quote:
I've heard indirectly that Joe Kane feels MPEG2 is inferior.


Joe Kane thinks everything is inferior, especially if he's not involved in it.

lastly, I have uncompressed telecine 24p film footage 2k resolution (2048x1152). I have done compression tests against WM9 vs. MPEG-2.

Is WM9 significantly better than MPEG-2 picture wise? No. Not in my opinion. You have to be really (and I mean really) looking for differences, and then the differences are fairly negligible. In fact there are some differences, MPEG-2 tends to be a bit noisier vs. WM9, while WM9 bands and also doesn't handle subtle transitions (i.e. smoke, etc. a torture test even for MPEG-2) well.

But apples vs. apples, WM9 at 9.5mbps and MPEG-2 @ 19.7Mbps, they look identical.

WM9 sweet spot tends to be not more than 11-12 mbps. Any more bits, and they go (IMHO) unused. There are diminishing returns.

MPEG-2 sweet spot seems to be 15-19mbps. More than that, again, diminishing returns (even with D-Theater IMHO).

However, WM9 is clearly the equal to MPEG-2 yet at half the bitrate. MPEG-2 at the same bitrate of WM9 is unwatchable.

But, if you've got 25-50GB space, not that big of an issue re: space.

Lastly, the studios aren't exactly jumping all over WM9 or MPEG-4. They too as do the production houses that most studios outsource HD transfers and encoding, all have MPEG-2 set ups that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

no one in Hollywood is going to jump up and run out and replace their encoding systems. Especially when OTA and satellite HD is all MPEG-2 @ 19.7mbps.

MPEG-2 can be derided all anyone wants, but it's firmly entrenched in Hollywood, and everyone wants to get as much out of it as possible before dumping it.

As a side note, MPEG-2 is still in the HD-DVD spec. Just because WM9/MPEG-4 is offered as an option doesn't guarantee that movie studios will use it. I'd be willing to bet $100 cash money that none of the initial (i.e. first two years) of releases from the studios will use WM9.
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#70 of 262 OFFLINE   PhilBoy

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Posted March 19 2004 - 01:47 PM

Several months ago Mr. Kotches and I did a drill for a 720p 24 fps MPEG2 disc (based on a dual layer BluRay 50GB disc) with MLP 5.1 24/48 sound.

As I recollect it all fit for a 2 hour feature film.

Would this not fit the bill ?

Is compression not just a beast of space limitation ?

With 50GB of space could we fit a 5.1 PCM mix at 24/96 of music only ?

Or perhaps a 24/192 Stereo track ? Or both without video ?

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#71 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 19 2004 - 02:01 PM

Brian-W says:

Quote:
Then you must have 20/5 vision, because in some not so scientific side-by-side tests of D-Theater vs. OTA HD, there was clearly no visible difference to myself or many others I spoke with.

No, it's only corrected to 20/15. I could probably get a little better if I was willing to go to RGP instead of soft contacts.

If you've grabbed Moulin Rouge and saved it from HBO or SHO (I don't recall who had it), use that. It's the best transfer I've had the luxury of seeing.

Quote:
Is WM9 significantly better than MPEG-2 picture wise? No. Not in my opinion. You have to be really (and I mean really) looking for differences, and then the differences are fairly negligible. In fact there are some differences, MPEG-2 tends to be a bit noisier vs. WM9, while WM9 bands and also doesn't handle subtle transitions (i.e. smoke, etc. a torture test even for MPEG-2) well.

THe point is that there are demonstrable, though subtle differences.

Out of curiosity, have you used D5s as a reference or just compared MPEG-2 vs. WM-9 and/or MPEG-4 head to head? It seems to me the basis for the HD master would be the best choice for comparison.

Quote:
But apples vs. apples, WM9 at 9.5mbps and MPEG-2 @ 19.7Mbps, they look identical.

WM9 sweet spot tends to be not more than 11-12 mbps. Any more bits, and they go (IMHO) unused. There are diminishing returns.

This demonstrates that the additional bandwidth and storage is irrelvant for Blu-ray then when used as a reason for choosing it over HD-DVD.

Quote:
As a side note, MPEG-2 is still in the HD-DVD spec. Just because WM9/MPEG-4 is offered as an option doesn't guarantee that movie studios will use it. I'd be willing to bet $100 cash money that none of the initial (i.e. first two years) of releases from the studios will use WM9.

That depends on how much $$$ Microsoft is willing to throw at the studios. If they pony up the $$$ to give WM9 a head start then it will occur.

Much of this also will depend on licensing terms and costs, since both MPEG-4/H.264 and WM9/VC-9 are provisionally approved. Should either of them be too dear in terms of licensing cost, they can be dropped from the spec.

Cheers,
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#72 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 19 2004 - 02:03 PM

Phil,

I'm not "Mr. Kotches", thank you very much Posted Image

The target is more likely 1080p than 720p.... Besides, what are the odds that Sony would use or even allow MLP? Posted Image

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#73 of 262 OFFLINE   PhilBoy

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Posted March 19 2004 - 02:25 PM

I wasn't even think about MLP. I'm talking PCM.

From what I understand (as I am not privy to or versed with the technological knowledge you are) 720p is better for fast moving action than 1080i. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Do you think that an affordable 1080p display can be produced by the time BluRay is released ?

And do you think the studios would allow a 1080p copy of their work out of the vaults ? If I owned copywrite to a film I don't think I'd release studio master quality material (at least until they begin to work with 2160p).

I would guess that (as I understand) MLP reduces audio file size to one half it's original size. So therefore would it not be possible to fit on a single-layered BluRay disc a full 5.1 PCM audio track ?

Sorry..... John.
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#74 of 262 OFFLINE   Brian-W

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Posted March 19 2004 - 04:38 PM

Quote:
THe point is that there are demonstrable, though subtle differences.


...that 99.01% of the population will never notice. And 99.997% will never have the source to compare and then go "it would have been sooooooooo much better in (insert codec)"

Quote:
Out of curiosity, have you used D5s as a reference or just compared MPEG-2 vs. WM-9 and/or MPEG-4 head to head? It seems to me the basis for the HD master would be the best choice for comparison.

I used color corrected uncompressed digital frames 10 bit 4:4:4 stored on massive hard drives - it doesn't get any better than that. D5 is 10-bit 4:2:2
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#75 of 262 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 20 2004 - 02:05 AM

Quote:
Is WM9 significantly better than MPEG-2 picture wise? No.


Quote:
But, if you've got 25-50GB space, not that big of an issue re: space.


Seems to me that the differences technically are minor according to some.

So given that and the hardware support for BluRay I am more convinced than ever that BluRay could dominate. As for software driving the formats as Michael suggested I agree but there is no software at all at this point.

Posted Image
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#76 of 262 OFFLINE   Brian-W

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Posted March 20 2004 - 03:59 AM

Quote:
So given that and the hardware support for BluRay I am more convinced than ever that BluRay could dominate. As for software driving the formats as Michael suggested I agree but there is no software at all at this point.

The only thing that is going to allow any format to dominate is manufacturer support (Blu-Ray has it) and studio support (no one truly has). Sure, Warner is supporting HD-DVD and Columbia Blu-Ray, but that's the extent of it. Fox is non-committal as is every other studio. And just because Disney's now on the DVD Forum committee doesn't mean they're going to support HD-DVD.

Right now, the advantages are truly tipped in Blu-Ray's favor. Hollywood wants more than just movie play back (they want "interactive features) which Blu-Ray is proposing, but HD-DVD is poo-pooing, and better copy protection which according to some is better on both formats, but nothing makes anyone feel secure about.

One of three things is going to happen -

1. Blu-Ray wins, and HD-DVD dies, and as DVD is replaced by Blu-Ray, the forum will cease to exist;

2. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD merge specs in some bastardized way and become one format

3. HD-DVD wins the studio support, and Blu-Ray dies a slow death.

I think it's a tight race right now, but with Blu-Ray ahead based on the wide manufacturer support.

Hollywood will likely decide the outcome of this battle.

I'm hoping Blu-Ray adopts some form of MPEG-4 for 'future proofing' because the storage capacity is amazing.
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#77 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:26 AM

Brian-W says:

In reference to subtle but definite improvements:
Quote:
...that 99.01% of the population will never notice. And 99.997% will never have the source to compare and then go "it would have been sooooooooo much better in (insert codec)"

Why not strive for the best obtainable? It is quite feasible technically is not cost prohibitive.


Quote:
I used color corrected uncompressed digital frames 10 bit 4:4:4 stored on massive hard drives - it doesn't get any better than that. D5 is 10-bit 4:2:2

Ahh, then you are using D6 masters, which as you say, is the best that exists... well at least for the foreseeable future Posted Image There are only a literal handful of facilities in the US with that playback capability at this point in time.

I found your last comment in a post not directed towards me highly entertaining...

Quote:
I'm hoping Blu-Ray adopts some form of MPEG-4 for 'future proofing' because the storage capacity is amazing.

That's exactly my point, thank you very much. Without MPEG-4 (or WM-9), Blu-Ray has a limited future.

Cheers,
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#78 of 262 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:37 AM

Phil asks:

Quote:
From what I understand (as I am not privy to or versed with the technological knowledge you are) 720p is better for fast moving action than 1080i. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Well I'm barely above novice level myself but I leverage a lot of data infrastructure knowledge against the topic Posted Image

Regardless of resolution, a native progressive format is going to perform better at rapid motion than a native interlaced format.

You get twitter on motion with interlacing, but the higher the resolution of the interlaced format, the less obvious it becomes.

Quote:
Do you think that an affordable 1080p display can be produced by the time BluRay is released ?

Define affordable first Posted Image Under $10K in 2005? I hope so. If that's the case (and it's front projection) I'll buy it. Under $5K in 2005? Maybe for RPTV, I doubt it for FPTV.

Under $2K? Doubtful, but it will depend on what Intel does to challenge the marketplace with their LCoS solution they are working on.

Quote:
And do you think the studios would allow a 1080p copy of their work out of the vaults ? If I owned copywrite to a film I don't think I'd release studio master quality material (at least until they begin to work with 2160p).

It's all going to boil down to content and copyprotection. Can a more secure solution than DVD be delivered? If it can, I think that it will be released assuming there's a clear winner.

Quote:
I would guess that (as I understand) MLP reduces audio file size to one half it's original size. So therefore would it not be possible to fit on a single-layered BluRay disc a full 5.1 PCM audio track ?

I'm not clear here. Compressed or uncompressed? Uncompressed @ 24/48K/6 channels its about 7 Mbits/second. That would mean you'd have to keep average bit rates down into the 12-13Mb/second rate with peaks above that in the 18-20 range.

Compressed you are in the 3.5-4Mbits/second range which is (IMO) workable.

I just don't think that the Blu-Ray group will permit MLP as a lossless audio option given the historical animosity between DSD and PCM with SA-CD and DVD-Audio camps.

Cheers,
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#79 of 262 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 20 2004 - 08:50 AM

Quote:
...that 99.01% of the population will never notice. And 99.997% will never have the source to compare and then go "it would have been sooooooooo much better in (insert codec)"

I have to disagree with this too. Source material quality and hardware will *continue* to improve such that small differences will become bigger differences over time. (Anyone remember the chroma bug? Posted Image) Just like buying a house, spend as much money as you can afford: I say we shouldn't compromise a format from the beginning.
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#80 of 262 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 20 2004 - 09:11 AM

TI is targeting the xHD3 1080p chip for rear projectors in the $4K to $9K range by the end of 2004.

I think there is a decent chance of $2K 1080p RPTV by the end of 2005. Certainly by the end of 2006.


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