All Studios/Manufacturers: the minimum HD-DVD standards we should expect.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Hitchman, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Okay, in order to simplify my lenghthy requests here's a stripped down version my minimum standard for HD-DVD (and the disc media used would have to have the bandwidth and capacity to handle it-- if it takes multiple discs then so be it, as I'm sure it will**):
    100% OAR, 100% of the time.
    NO EDGE ENHANCEMENT
    Fully unfiltered 1920 x 1080p resolution at professional grade component levels so no signal upsampling is necessary (no chroma bug could then be introduced and the colors would pop). No upsampled masters from 1080i could be utilized, only real 1920 x 1080p masters*.
    The best video compression algorithm available that allows for high frequency picture detail to be retained.
    Mandatory MLP encoded, up to 8 channel discrete PCM for the primary soundtrack with at least 24 bit/96 kHz resolution on all channels (192 kHz support would be wonderful).
    Smooth, higher rez. fonts for subtitles. And subtitles must stay in the picture frame.
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    * 2.35:1 widescreen enhancement would be icing on the cake! http://www.digitaldreamtheaters.com/Enhanced HDDVD.htm
    Extras should be secondary to quality audio and video.
    Dan
    P.S.
    ** I do realize one disc at 40-50 GB's capacity would not be enough for 1080p and 24/96 MLP encoded 8 channel discrete PCM on a feature length film or TV program. However, if the total bitrate was ramped up and 2 or 3 discs (depending on movie length) were utilized (heck, I lived through the LD phase so I can live with one or two well placed breaks in order to have the ultimate in sight and sound) then we could have our cake and eat it too.
    Having multiple dual layered discs is not the end of the world since technology has improved a long way since LD (besides the 5" discs are small and really cheap to replicate once the initial format ramps up) and you could add these features to the format in order to minimalize the impact of multiple discs for one film:
    1)Ultra high speed, rugged multi-disc changer w/ ultra smooth, non impactful mechanisms for the best disc care.
    2)Industry standardized seamless layer changes on the disc itself (something that was never utilized on regular DVDs that is an absolute must now).
    3)Large capacity memory buffer in the player:
    Pop in the discs, the first disc is scanned by the player, set your audio parameters (1.0-8.0 channel MLP/PCM track or DTS or DD depending on your receiver or pre-amp's features) and subtitle options in the disc's menu, and hit PLAY. The first disc has information for the player telling it whether to expect another disc (or two or three, etc.) The end of the first disc comes up, the screen goes black while the next disc is loaded. Based on the selections you chose on the first disc, the second disc starts playing exactly where the first left off without going to a menu first. Due to the seamless layer change on the discs it would only mean one or two 2-3 second (or less) pause(s) in the entire movie. Place the break correctly and there is no real interruption in flow.
    If you chose to start playback at the second or third disc then a disc menu would be brought up to let you make selections and playback would resume. The same information of how many discs in the set, etc. would still be on each disc.
    If the player detects there is only one disc loaded it will stop at the end of that disc.
    A one disc player would still have these features available, but of course, you'd have to manually change the discs.
    These are fairly standardized and simple feats for today's technology so there is no excuse why they couldn't be implemented.
     
  2. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    i was with you up until the point of multiple discs. dan, it's never, never, never going to happen, however valid sounding your argument. film enthusiasts would put up with it, but not the rest of them black bar hatin', pan & scan lovin' crowd. campaign for higher capacity technology, but multiple discs is a BIG step backward.
    and we all should know we're going to end up with a compromised solution (quality vs compatibility). sad, but true. pass me a hanky please ... [​IMG]
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Please believe me, Andy, that I would fully support discs with FAR greater capacity than what has been proposed at present as long as the best quality sights and sounds were attained.

    Given the fact that no significantly advanced disc has been proposed by the various manufacturers for consumer use thus far to meet these ultra high standard requirements on fewer discs, I am stuck with the idea of at least two discs in order to create the necessary space.

    If the manufacturers and studios cannot get over their idea that ultimate quality is anathema to them and choose to go with (as an example) the Toshiba/NEC proposal that has even less capacity than a D-VHS tape (although with a 10 Megabit/sec higher bitrate) I would still accept a somewhat scaled down idea:

    Unfiltered 1920 x 1080p resolution using the best possible video compression algorithm for no pixelization, no motion artifacts, and the ability to have high frequency detail.

    Mandatory 1 to 6 channel discrete PCM (MLP encoded or uncompressed if space is available) @ 24 bit/96 kHz resolution. 192 kHz sampling would be ideal if possible (at the very least at 1 and 2 channel modes). That would leave 10 Megabits/sec for the audio (which is within today's DVD-Audio spec.) and 28 Megabits/sec for the video. That's still more available bit allocation than D-VHS and you still get high rez. PCM sound.

    Smooth, high rez. fonts that stay within the picture frame.

    2.35:1 enhanced widescreen would be a blessing.


    Given the technology today I will not accept a return to 1080i video (when even D-VHS can handle 1080p) and the format wars of DTS vs. Dolby Digital again (besides, the are not audiophile formats). Dolby Digital or DTS could be a backwards compatible track, but that's it.

    Dan
     

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