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What is the preferred format for (future) downloadable shows?

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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Kevin Segura

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Posted February 26 2008 - 06:45 AM

I must confess unfamiliarity with this, because I don't own an iPod... but since most of what is currrently available goes through iTunes, I'm guessing those currently must be some flavor of QuickTime. And in fact, now that I think about it, are you even allowed to burn those to DVD for archival purposes? Anyway, as the future arrives, and we're allowed to download individual episodes to burn on our own (since we can't depend upon the studios to provide physical product for **too** much longer) what format will we likely be offered? And if it's not the preferred format, what's a good compromise? MPEG-2 files look like they're going to be too big for the pipeline for some time, so something a little more compressed will undoubtedly be necessary. It seems the choices are either something compatible with portable players (like .MP4 files), or something a little more biased toward computer viewing (like DivX). Anyone have any thoughts on this? -Kevin

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Jon F.

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Posted February 26 2008 - 08:05 AM

I do...but you just expressed them all. Posted Image

If downloading takes off soon it will probably be MP4 since it can stream as well as download. New compression techniques will take off eventually though. Hopefully sooner than later. I'd prefer to skip Blu-Ray discs. I like to store things on a hard drive.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 26 2008 - 08:37 AM

I would hope DIVX. small files that look great and play on non-PC based players and portables like my DVD-R recorder hooked up to my home theater. Sadly, I think Apples marketing will mean more clunky quicktime files that are mostly useless on anything but an apple based machine.

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Kevin Segura

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Posted February 26 2008 - 08:43 AM

I suspect your idea about MP4 is correct... but the problem I have with that is that none of the current encoding profiles I've seen support interlaced content-- which isn't a big deal with film-based projects, but will definitely have an effect on the look of video-based programs. And I also think you're not the only one who's going to skip Blu-Ray. Between the studios gradually abandoning physical product, and consumer disinterest in upgrading, I predict a much shorter lifetime for that format than standard DVD had. -Kevin

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