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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Andrew_K, Oct 27, 2003.
I find it hard to believe that any future digital media player will not include DRM of some form or another. Given recent steps taken by Microsoft and Intel I suspect that within 5 years you won't be able to buy a PC without DRM built into it. Personally I'm done. The only upgrade that makes any sense to me is a plasma screen tv, and I can wait until my current widescreen tube set dies in 10 years for that (of course by then you'll probably have to buy a DRM-enabled DVD player to hook up to one). I'm pretty sanguine about it. If a standard is adopted that restricts the way I can watch my movies (which includes region-coding that isn't easy to defeat), then I'm happy to save my money to buy a bigger house or to give to my daughter for her inheritance -- the movie studios can keep their precious little copy-protected discs. I think the studios will be too paranoid about potential loss of profits to allow an HD-DVD format that will be as "open" as the current DVD format (still waiting for Region-coding to die a horrible death -- what an abomination, lucky it didn't kill the format everywhere but the States).
Im building a hatred for HD-DVD, I'd much rather have blue-ray at this point. I think the worries about an extra 10C per disk are premature since the mass market is a long way off wanting HD content, its mostly for us HT fans. I just want HD content, I dont like tapes but if no blu-ray is on the cards for a Jap import in the next six months then JVC have got themselves another customer. Personally I would have liked to have seen the Muse system even if it meant laserdisc prices, it had no regions, no BS and decent quality just a shame it hit as Japan went into recession. If it had suceeded there would be plenty of HD content on disc now.
I don't think there's much to worry about, personally. Especially these fears over a DivX part II. The simple truth is, if anything comes along that is similar to DivX, it will FAIL horribly. People do NOT want their stuff connected to the Internet. Not their toasters, refrigerators, TV's or DVD players. So, anything that REQUIRES that to work, will fail. DVD makes so much money for the studios, they will not want to hamstring that. As soon as it hits them in the pocketbook (and it would if they tried any of this nonsense), they'd STOP. Just like DivX, and now that silly self-destruct crap. That article from The Register didn't even read like it was professional. I put very little faith in it.
It's funny how the big-shots who decide these things always think that an internet connection automatically makes a device better. If I want to go online I'll just sit on my computer chair, thank you very much. Thumbs down for this revolutionary turd of an idea
He speaks the truth. The astonishing reality is that WM9 looks BETTER at 8-10 mbps (what you can do with red-laser DVD) with HD material than MPEG2 looks at 20-30 mbps (D-VHS/BluRay). REALLY. Now, WM9 would look even *better* still at an even higher bit-rate, but even at the paltry bit-rate of red-laser DVD is has MPEG2 beat no matter how many bits you throw at it. This doesn't mean I think that red-laser is the answer for our future ultimate "HD-DVD" format bcs it leaves no room for high-resolution audio or multiple soundtracks. This is why I'm so frustrated with Sony for insisting that BluRay stay MPEG2 based. It should be designed to take advantage of the newer video codecs that have evolved over the past decade and not continue to perpetuate mid 1990's video-codec technology (grrrrrr). BluRay could be designed to accomodate WM9 *and* MPEG2 if the developers really had some "vision" here. That way we'd still have MPEG2 compatibility for recording (WM9 is still too expensive to real-time encode on consumer gear) and legacy software...and have WM9 for pre-recorded movie titles for maximum quality. If Toshiba gets their blue laser disc out the gate with WM9 and high-resolution (DVD-Audio!!) audio capability I'll support it with every dollar I've got! And just like the rest of you...neither high-capacity HD disc format needs an internet connection to earn my support -dave
This whole internet thing just plain pisses me off. I love the internet. It's great. But, I don't want to download my movies from it. I've really enjoyed using Apple's iTunes Music Store, but movies are a different animal. I don't even use the internet for gaming. I've heard it's a lot of fun, but I just have no interest in it. Why does the internet have to be integrated into every part of our lives? Pretty soon I'm going to have to sign on to take a piss. This is just insane.
Joe, My 'slideshow' analogy was a blind judgement... I haven't seen T2 in HiDef. My pc won't run it. But, it is encouraging that WM9 is better than mpeg2 ! DaViD, I guess WM9 at 10Mbps and MLP 5.1 would fit on a single layer BluRay disc. Good.
I wouldn't worry about this interim standard being the second coming of Divx. Sure, there might be a studio or two that plays around with the idea of putting some compelling content on a disc that has to be "unlocked" via credit card, but the lack of consumer enthusiasm for such a gimmick will likely put it to rest in short order. Instead, what's happening is that DVD players are being enhanced with functionality that a lot of developers have drooling over for many years -- the ability to connect a set-top machine to the Internet. You're not going to download movies over a broadband connection, but studios are hoping you'll be interested in, say, purchasing Lord of the Rings merchandise online as you navigate the extra features on your The Return of the King DVD. Or BMW will create a supplemental section on a DVD collecting its promotional short films that streams updated information about the new model year from BMW.com every time you access it. Or all of the discs released by Warner Bros. will have the option of streaming updated filmographies from IMDb.com rather than serving up the static, outdated listings that were current when the DVD was originally authored. Or George Lucas could coordinate a special premiere screening of the trailer for the next Star Wars movie that's viewable only to people who've bought the original Star Wars trilogy for the first 48 hours after those disc are released. Like that. Whether or not consumers want to do any of this from the couch -- or whether the type of home-theater buffs that hang around at Web sites like this have any use whatsoever for direct marketing functionality -- is an open question. But developers have been frustrated that Web-connected functions for DVD titles have so far been limited to the DVD-ROM zone of a DVD-Video disc, and the Forum has been kicking around ideas for incorporating connectivity into set-top DVD players literally for years. So this is nothing new. This is also no indication that work has stopped on blue-laser discs, just that the Forum probably doesn't plan to launch them in early 2004. Heck, Toshiba/NEC is once again demoing its own blue-laser DVD standard this afternoon in New York City ... -bf-
The real problem is delivery... Working in high-speed internet access as I do I can tell you straight out model envisioned by this new format won't work. Getting the PC to the TV is remarkably difficult. I can't begin to tell you the number of people who connect their DVD player to their cable box because they don't know better. The average consumer can barely setup a wireless home connection. The current DOCSIS standard for cable modems and the pending second version make no provision for final delivery to any device except through one of three outputs:
Most computers are not near the television thus eliminating USB as a connection point given its distance limitations. That leaves Ethernet and Wireless. Ethernet could travel from a router to a DVD player but first people would need a router and then have to invest in wiring from the router to the DVD player or use a wireless access point. Just getting a router to work is a major battle for most consumers and provides no guarantee of security. Wake-up call to Hollywood, secure 128-bit connections decrease content speed due to all the overhead AND 128-bit security isn't all that difficult to hack. Someone will find the algorthim that is being used and then they're back to square one. Can you imagine telling your SO that you need to run an ethernet cable from the den into the living room? And the bedrooms? And the kitchen? Just to get all the household DVD players to work? Nearly all consumer routers are 4-port models. Where do you put the 2 PCs most homes are now acquiring? What about the famous internet-ready toasters, refrigerators, and security systems just down the road? Wireless is even worse. The lack of even the most basic security on wireless LANs have created the "hotspotting" phenomenon and ANYONE with the right tools will be able to sniff the packets and grab your data. Even more easily, wireless security is so obscure and difficult for consumers to configure that anyone with a 802.11x network card can jump on your internet connection and use it. Since most people don't even change the default passwords on their routers anyone with the knowledge can even hijack your data stream and get what content you do. ANY content. Think about that. Reliability issues abound too. Those wonderful 2.4 Ghz phones operate on the same frequency as 802.11b/g and that's the most popular bandwidth for wireless networking. Get a phone call and oops! lost your movie. Refrigerator compressor motors, dryers, microwaves, your neighbor's Tesla coil, it's infinite the amount of trouble possible. Your internet connection go down? Too bad. All you're left with is some useless ad content. Want to use dial-up because the cable or DSL is down or you have a vacation home? HA! Try downloading a movie at dial-up speeds. The problem will be fixed or you'll be going home before the movie ever gets to your player. Maybe they should include a modem in the DVD player itself? Besides the connection headaches and signal loss that splitting a signal entails the ISPs have to approve the hardware. If it even slightly seems that the configuration file can be hacked by the owner of the box (and as the owner you can), then ISPs won't allow it on the network. Period. Consider also that most ISPs charge for additional IP addresses. Next comes the simple problem of internet congestion. Ever experience a busy node, particularly during the peak hours of the early evening? Everything slows, page requests need to be re-entered. And it's not just where you live. East coasters will get their movies but people in the Mountain and Western time zones will be competing, with the average 2 hour movie length, with everyone who has already requested the film back on the East coast! Video on demand, already stored on local cable company servers, has a limit to the computing/bandwidth resources it can allocate for any one particular film. That's on the local level. Imagine trying to do it for the whole planet? To mitigate this immense regional server farms would have to be created at great expense and causing major congestion problems at the highest trafficed regional servers. And even that won't guarantee that a popular movie just doesn't have enough servers or bandwidth available to get a title to you on demand. You may just get a very pleasant message that politely says that sorry, you're just SOL. I cannot comprehend why movie companies would want to force people to have to use computers to get media content when computers are the very place they DO NOT want their content to end-up.
Fear not H/T enthusiasts, and ignore the various trial balloons being floated about internet-connected players. Not gonna happen. Divx was an expensive experiment that failed miserably. Jack 'The Sky Is Falling' Valenti and associates are not quite dumb enough to pull that stunt again. They were burned far too badly. Ditto for all this claptrap about piracy concerns. The answer is found, of all places, at Wal-Mart(yes, Wal-Mart), selling older DVD titles for as little as $5.88. At that price, who would bother duplicating a disk? This approach turns the entire business model on its head. The mass market in the 21st Century is all about selling vast quantities of goods at prices that anyone can afford. Love it or hate it, Microsoft's WM9 native hi-def format is going to be on the market by means of a standalone DVD/WM9 player from Samsung in about 60 days. And, chances are, the player will concurrently incorporate the upcon technology already in its HD931, so that high-quality current-generation DVDs need not be re-purchased all over again(much to the dismay of brother Valenti and cohorts) to provide a virtual hi-def image. Sidenote: early snickerrers, naysayers and the like have now actually tried the upcon machines on their OWN displays, and are finding the results to be extraordinary(see avsforum.com - "I'm sold on the Momitsu V880" for firsthand testimonials from all over the country, and overseas as well, as one example). So, just rest easy. Divx in a new coat is not returning. Milt R. Smith [email protected]
Generally, all DVD-philes want higher quality audio and video from the DVD manufactures. Movie-philes want higher quality content. Put these together, and you get a very simple answer to this war of formats... The movie producers will make movies for the masses, even though the content is awful. DVD manufactures do the same. Yet, we, the higher end comsumers, are all willing to accept what they give us, even to advocate their work. What is required is ONE company, willing to far surpass the others in quality to be extremely profitable for the others to follow. Perhaps our goal should be to support the company that is willing to give the highest quality video and audio for the highest quality content. This would take a united effort on behalf of many forums like this one. We can complain all we would like, but generally we are not the "masses". The masses don't care like we do. When a new DVD is issued, and it fits in a $99.00 DVD player, and a family with mother, father, and 4 children can watch the movie for $15.00 these movie formats will continue to sell, regardless of quality or content. Ultimately, a system needs to be developed that can convert the mediocre DVD to enhanced (high end scalers (video) for example) for both audio and video, or a production company can enhance each DVD and re-sell for a higher price. Another good solution, would be for forums like this to go to Toshiba, or another manufacturer and petition them to break from the pack and give the DVD-ophiles what we want. To simply complain and say you won't buy doesn't work. Because when a movie like Shrek, or Monster's Inc. comes out...you will be first in line to buy it.
I'm with Jason_Els on this: I am totally against any idea that requires a net connection to work at LEAST until net access is more reliable. And even then, I am totally against anything that REQUIRES a web connection for main content. I lost track of the times I have settled into the couch to watch on-demand movies from Time Warner, only to have the movie not start (or drop out halfway through) due to service outtages or signal loss problems. I can barely tolerate that even when it only costs $3.50, let alone if it happened while watching a DVD I paid $20 for. Seth
The genie is already out of the bottle and I believe the consumers like what they have already, a HDDVD format will have to follow the same model if it is going to be as successful as it now is.