Paramount BD titles... will they be VC1/AVC?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by DaViD Boulet, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    from the bits today: (thedigitalbits.com)


    What I'm really curious to know is whether Paramount will be using the same video codecs (VC1 and in the case of Rattle and Hum AVC) they used on their HD DVD versions on their BD titles as well. WB plans to move forward using the same encode-file for both formats and I know that at this time VC1/AVC authoring is taking place for BD at WB.

    Anybody have any more details about Paramount's plans or disc specs in regards to video codecs?


    p.s. this isn't a "which format is better" debate thread. Please do not thread-fard with editorializing about which format you prefer or think will win. Let's have an informed discussion about the state of VC1/AVC encoding for BD and whether Paramount plans to release BD titles using the same compressed video streams used for HD DVD.
     
  2. Gekkou

    Gekkou Stunt Coordinator

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    My guess is that unless there is some agreement that they must use MPEG2, they'll probably use VC-1 and H.264 since they already mastered them that way for the HD-DVD releases.
     
  3. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Yeah, I'd expect the same encodes that they used for the HD DVD releases. So I'm betting on VC-1 for all except Rattle and Hum, which should be in AVC.
     
  4. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    It'll certainly be interesting to see if the VC-1 or AVC authoring tools are ready yet for BD. As far as preferences go the last I hear Fox were leaning heavily towards AVC, but that was some time back. For now it does seem to all come back to availability (or otherwise) of the appropriate authoring tools. The next WB titles, and the first Paramount titles, should be very interesting to watch and see what happens.
     
  5. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    I was under the impression that the reason MPEG2 compression was being used on the initial BD was due to space constraints. If that is the case, why would anyone expect these Paramount DVDs to be any different, unless they've addressed the storage issues?
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Paul,

    it's actually the opposite. MPEG2 is the least efficient codec of all and uses (wastes) the most space. That's why the early BD titles often have artifacts and (generally) look worse than HD DVDs which are using VC1 right from the start.

    The reason MPEG2 was used at all is because:

    1. Sony likes it because they get royalties from its use.

    2. Sony doesn't want to pay royalties to MS to use VC1 (though they could still use AVC which is a real head-scratcher why they don't).

    3. Sony thought that it would make it easier for studios to make BDs if they used MPEG2 since that's what mastering/compressionists have been using for DVD.

    4. Though Sony listened to WB and put VC1 and AVC into the BD spec, they did so late in the game and didn't get authoring tools for VC1/AVC finished in time for the first round of BD titles. That's fixed now and WB is getting ready to release their 2nd wave of BDs all using VC1.
     
  7. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    I suspect the Sony patent reason often given for MPEG2 usage on BD is a red herring. Certainly at the licence cost per disc I've seen Sony would be getting very little money on even huge numbers of discs. The most likely reason is the last one that David mentions: that the other codecs were added to the spec late in the game, and that the lauch has happened earlier than the organisers had originally planned. It's my understanding that many HD cable and satelite providers will continue to use MPEG2 for quite some time (due to their entire network being configured for it's use) and BD was developed from the ground up to be a recordable medium. That is what required the 50Gb capacity on dual layer discs: to be able to fit an HD movie compressed in OTA MPEG2, and at a decent quality. I believe the other codecs were added later on and only due to pressure from other companies. And thank God they did apply that pressure!
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Rob,

    excellent points. I concur.
     
  9. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    On the AVS forums, Amir says that he is "99% certain" that the MI:3 BD is going to be MPEG2. That sucks, if true. [​IMG]
     
  10. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    If true, [​IMG] @ Sony/Blu-Ray
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Larry,

    can you point a link? I've checked there and can't find info. If true, that totally sucks.
     
  12. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Yep. Found it not long after that last post. Oh well... Parmount launching with MPEG2 does *not* make me happy.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Wow, that would be really surprising if true. I figured that now that VC-1 can be done for BD (WB discs now being done using VC-1) and these flicks will be done using VC-1 for HD DVD that it would be a no brainer for the BD versions to use the same encode.

    I haven't looked at that AVS thread yet, but I wonder what would be the reason for Paramount doing to separate encodes for a film released at the same time when it is possible to sue the same encode on both. Weird. I'm still thinking that this may be incorrect (because it just seems so illogical), but I'll have to check out that thread to see what was said. Then I can have a better informed opinion about it.
     
  15. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Ah, I see there isn't any more specific info other than this is what Amir believes.

    He has generally been pretty accurate with most stuff, so this may be true. BUt I'd love to know more of the logic behind this. Just seems so odd.
     

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