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HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS & MANUFACTURERS: Bare minimum specs. for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs.


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted June 24 2004 - 07:20 PM

Dear Hollywood Studios and A/V Manufacturers,

Please hear our pleas for the best possible high definition discs. Compromises must be set aside once and for all, and the mistakes of the DVD format must not be repeated.

You now have the tools to make "the best it can be" consumer products within the limits of today's technologies. Let's get this right the first time.

There really is absolutely NO reason both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray can't give us these minimum specs given today's more efficient codecs [such as Microsoft's VC-9 for video and Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) for audio]:

Artifact and color-banding free, full 1920x1080 with pure progressive encoding (interlaced video should be a thing of the past) and multiple frame rate (ie. 24, 25, 30, etc. fps) and refresh rate support. Bitrate optimized. With full 1920x1080p display devices becoming available, there is absolutely no reason to limit product to inferior 1080i and 720p resolutions. Obviously, this is original source material dependant (ie, we don't expect 1080p for video taped shows like All In The Family unless new scaling techniques can make older 480i masters look better than ever; but we do expect 1920x1080p for wide-screen film based material).

Zero edge enhancement, zero High Frequency filtering, zero resolution down-rezing.

~21x9 anamorphic enhancement for super wide ratio movies with no loss in resolution while maintaining the correct aspect ratio (especially 2.35:1). In order for this to be realized, this also applies to my next point below.

1.33:1 and 1.37:1 ratio sources encoded at optimal resolutions for those ratios. Internal player scaling can manipulate this for whatever ratio TV is being utilized.

Video mastered and encoded from raw/uncompressed, pristine, filmmaker (or expert film restorer when necessary) supervised 2k or 4k digital archive telecine sources or full digital-to-digital transfers from digital files for animation sources (such as Disney's CAPS archives, PIXAR's digital file archives, etc.). No up-converts from substandard source material allowed (ie, dusted off 1080i masters converted to 1080p and pawned off as full 1080p transfers-- we're more astute than that).

(Up to) 8 (or more if there's room) channel discrete lossless primary/original language soundtracks at resolutions from 24/96 to 24/192 PCM on all channels for video applications from the best master audio source material. Finally we can liberate ourselves from matrix encoding and have real discrete stereo side and rear channels (or whatever channel and speaker position combinations that can be dreamed up by creative sound engineers) with no fidelity compromises! No dumbing down for the lowest common denominator home theater manipulation allowed! Full flexibility made available.

Super charged music-only applications can have 24 bit to 32 bit PCM resolutions and up to 10.2 discrete channels of lossless or uncompressed audio. Better than SACD-quality for Direct Stream Digital (DSD) sources.

DTS and/or Dolby Digital lossy track for backwards compatibility only. This is how DVD-Audio is handled, for example.

Low bitrate 192 kilobits/sec Dolby Digital for commentary sub tracks where audio fidelity is not necessary.

Given the extra 20 GB of space on a dual layered Blu-Ray disc I don't see why high bitrate VC-9 fully optimized for 10 bit, 4:4:4 component ratio per pixel color depths couldn't be implemented along side the audiophile-worthy audio specs. listed above.

100% seamless layer changes mandated.

High resolution subtitle bitmaps with many different font styles and colors available so that they integrate with the images on screen and are not distractingly poor like today's DVD's (they can now look like they were originally burned into the negative). Fully adjustable in the X/Y axis dependant upon the user's display needs.

Extras must be set aside to a separate disc(s) except for commentary tracks. The main feature's audio and video quality must be given first priority. No more disc over-stuffing! This goes doubly for Disney and Sony, but applies to all content providers.

Longer movies and other programming should be split to two or more discs for optimal A/V quality.

Original Aspect Ratio (OAR) transferring is to be respected and upheld at ALL times. NO...MORE...PANDERING! The expression "Modified To Fit Your TV" will be relegated to the scrap heap of history.

Built in, high caliber digital scaler that is fully user adjustable for aspect ratio, resolution and refresh rate, given the many different television technologies and their capabilities in the market today. Full resolution throughput available sans scaling for the purest pixture as well.

Up to date, universal industry standard HDMI spec. digital A/V outputs.

Universal industry standard Firewire IEEE digital outputs. Mainly for high resolution audio tracks for those manufacturers that haven't switched over to HDMI yet.

No down-rezing of component analog output.

No dial up and/or Big Brother-like DRM encryption OF ANY KIND! This will be a make or break item for me. If you add this "feature" I will not buy your products, jaw dropping HD video and audio performance or not.

I'm sure I'm missing some finer points and I haven't gone into technical white paper specifics, but at least this gives you something to go on... and there are other topics along these lines from other quality conscious consumers throughout this forum, and on other home theater sites as well. Please check them out.

Thank your for your consideration.

Dan

#2 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted June 26 2004 - 06:33 AM

I hope someone on this forum has an opinion about the future of HD media!

Posted Image

#3 of 22 Mark Oates

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Posted June 27 2004 - 10:24 AM

You've said it all, Dan. Posted Image
J Mark Oates
Do Not Be Afraid. That sound is simply my mind boggling.

 


#4 of 22 Roger_R

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Posted July 10 2004 - 05:36 AM

You forgot variable resolutions. No reason to add black bars to the compressed image, and the players should be able to resize the image on TVs that can't handle it.
VC-9....what about MPEG-4?

#5 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted July 10 2004 - 10:54 AM

Variable resolutions, yes. However, you want wide-screen movies to get the same or about the same resolution as the best 1920x1080p mode.

I don't want 1920x848 (or so) for 2.35:1 movies, I want anamorphically enhanced 1920x1080 for 2.35:1, etc.

And built in scalers are a must for those TV's that can't handle the enhancement.

Dan

#6 of 22 Roger_R

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Posted July 10 2004 - 03:31 PM

Well, there are no TVs with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, is there? I guess an anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 movie would only work on a projector capable of handling custom aspect ratios.

#7 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted July 10 2004 - 05:32 PM

Exactly! However, there are more and more 16x9 front projectors coming out that aren't in the mostly unattainable realm (some for under $2,000). You add the right anamorphic lens (some aren't that expensive and they do most of what the expensive lenses do) and shazam! constant height/variable width nirvana.

They need to look to the future!

#8 of 22 MarcusUdeh

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Posted July 28 2004 - 04:26 AM

Dan do you know anything regarding Microsoft's new codec "Longhorn"?
[c][/c]

#9 of 22 Roger_R

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Posted July 28 2004 - 06:18 AM

Longhorn is the codename for Microsoft's next OS. It should be released late 2005/2006. They say it's gonna be HD-DVD compatible. Whatever that means...

#10 of 22 MarcusUdeh

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Posted July 28 2004 - 08:40 AM

Quote:
Longhorn is the codename for Microsoft's next OS. It should be released late 2005/2006. They say it's gonna be HD-DVD compatible. Whatever that means...
Not to sound dumb here but what's an OS?
[c][/c]

#11 of 22 TedD

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Posted July 28 2004 - 09:05 AM

Operating System, as in Windows XP, Unix, etc.

RogerR, the player should automatically letterbox anamorphic 2.35:1 to play on a 4x3 TV.

There should be NO black bars EVER encoded on the disc. The pixel AR should be adjusted to encode the native AR of the source in the native resolution of the disc.

None! Nada! Zip! Zilch!

Right On, DAN!!!!


Ted

#12 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted July 28 2004 - 06:45 PM

Basically it means XP part 2 (or whatever they end up calling it) will have the capability of interfacing with HD-DVD ROM drives and having the capability of supporting the VC-9 video compression codec (which is obvious since VC-9 is Microsoft's baby and also one of the mandatory codecs besides MPEG-2 and H.264).

They may even have built-in Windows Movie Maker that can edit and manipulate do-it-yourself videos to HD-DVD writeable drives in true high definition resolutions.

#13 of 22 Roger_R

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Posted July 29 2004 - 03:06 AM

Well, the BIOS is the part of the computer that has to do the interfacing. Which means that if you install a blu-ray device, you can use that as well Posted Image
XP is compatible with DVDs, but you still need a third party decoder to actually play them in Windows Media Player.

By the way, have none of the companies considered MPEG-4 for video?

#14 of 22 Dan Hitchman

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Posted July 29 2004 - 04:05 AM

I keep reading that H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10) is somewhat inferior to the better encodings using Microsoft's VC-9 codec.

#15 of 22 Gary Palmer

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Posted July 29 2004 - 06:43 AM

"21x9 anamorphic enhancement for super wide ratio movies with no loss in resolution while maintaining the correct aspect ratio (especially 2.35:1). In order for this to be realized, this also applies to my next point below."

AMEN to that, brother!! There may be no 21:9 TV's at the moment, as has already been pointed out, but these sets are the home theater monitors of the future (there is absolutely no question about that!!), and HD needs to do something about it now to make the first generation of discs compatible with those wider formats, alongside current 16:9 sets. The technology is clearly there for them to do just that, and it means consumers won't be forced to re-buy the same discs over and over again as soon as the first 21:9 TV's begin to roll off the assembly lines. Even if those things don't arrive for another 5-10 years, current technology will allow the full resolution 21:9 image to be stored on disc (playable at 16:9, with 2.35 images letterboxed within the narrower image), just waiting to be unleashed as soon as the monitors have been upgraded. And, of course, those with the necessary projection equipment will be able to 'unleash' that full potential right away!!...

#16 of 22 TedD

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Posted July 29 2004 - 06:59 AM

Quote:
Well, the BIOS is the part of the computer that has to do the interfacing


Not since the deep dark days of DOS.

Any OS worth it's salt can install a device driver to talk to any device that complies with the IDE (or enhanced IDE), or Firewire, or USB, or ... specifications with absolutely no involvement from the BIOS.

Now if you want to be able to boot the PC from that device, well that's a different story.

Ted

#17 of 22 Roger_R

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Posted July 29 2004 - 07:54 AM

Well, DOS had to use a device driver to be able to read CD-ROM drives too. What I meant about the BIOS is that any device which is ATAPI-compliant (what today's optical drives use) can be installed in it and understood by the controllers on the motherboard. Windows uses its drivers to interface with those controllers to be able to read the discs. If the motherboard doesn't understand the signals coming from the drive, Windows won't be able to read it either. And since the BIOS is kind of in control of what happens on the motherboard, it is an important part in letting Windows read from the drives at all.

Making an OS HD-DVD compatible sounds to me like they're gonna make a hardware-part of Windows which then will connect to the HD-DVD drive. And since that won't happen, I just found that whole HD-DVD compatibility thing misleading Posted Image

Dan: These guys gave Divx 5(based on MPEG-4) and WMV9 the same score: http://www.extremete....1544888,00.asp
I'm just afraid that the guys with the most money, and not ncessarily the best codec ends up putting their format on the new discs. With Windows making the video codec you can also say goodbye to any Linux players for instance..

Regarding dynamic aspect ratio, Xvid (an MPEG-4 based codec) already has that built in. I've tried it, and as long as the player understands it, it works great. I took a 2.35:1 movie and stretched it to 1.33:1 and made the player squeeze it back to 2.35:1. Ofcourse it didn't serve any purpose. Just wanted to mention that someone's already come up with the idea and implemented it Posted Image

#18 of 22 Andre_D

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Posted October 05 2004 - 08:59 AM

Is there any actual way we can convince the powers that be of Dan's standards ?
I think the dsd audio format should be used for movies as well, I mean it's the best digital sound format so far and they have plenty of room on a blu-ray expecially the upcoming 4 to 8 layer ones (200gb) sony will announce in about a week.
Does WM9 look better then mpeg2 ?

#19 of 22 Jean Weitzmann

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Posted October 08 2004 - 06:33 AM

Quote:
(Up to) 8 (or more if there's room) channel discrete lossless primary/original language soundtracks at resolutions from 24/96 to 24/192 PCM on all channels for video applications from the best master audio source material. Finally we can liberate ourselves from matrix encoding and have real discrete stereo side and rear channels (or whatever channel and speaker position combinations that can be dreamed up by creative sound engineers) with no fidelity compromises! No dumbing down for the lowest common denominator home theater manipulation allowed! Full flexibility made available.

Super charged music-only applications can have 24 bit to 32 bit PCM resolutions and up to 10.2 discrete channels of lossless or uncompressed audio. Better than SACD-quality for Direct Stream Digital (DSD) sources.

DTS and/or Dolby Digital lossy track for backwards compatibility only. This is how DVD-Audio is handled, for example.

Low bitrate 192 kilobits/sec Dolby Digital for commentary sub tracks where audio fidelity is not necessary.
DTS recently announced that a DTS track will be mandatory on both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
See DTS Press Release (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray)

By design, higher resolution (24/96) and extra channels (currently up to 7.1) DTS data is always backwards compatible with the original DTS core format.

DTS also demonstrated a lossless DTS process.
See DTS Press Release (Lossless)

#20 of 22 Ricardo C

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Posted October 13 2004 - 12:50 PM

Quote:
No dial up and/or Big Brother-like DRM encryption OF ANY KIND! This will be a make or break item for me. If you add this "feature" I will not buy your products, jaw dropping HD video and audio performance or not.


Amen. Every other spec is "negotiable", as far as I'm concerned, but I won't buy into any format that requires me to connect to the internet before playing a disc, at all.

Studios, it's very simple: I give you nice green bills, you give me a nice shiny disc. I will play said disc to my heart's content on my legally-purchased hardware, and you will not prevent me from doing so. Want to prevent piracy? That's alright. But using internet-dependant and/or perishable licenses will only prevent sales, not piracy.

Man, an hour wasted on this sig! Thanks, Toshiba! :P


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