Philips embraces DVD-Audio (sort of)

Discussion in 'Music' started by robertLP, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. robertLP

    robertLP Stunt Coordinator

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  2. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Thanks Robert for the link...looks like HFR is really investigating this. I think a better thread heading would have been "Philips producing universal chip and transport". It's a stretch to say they are "embracing DVDA"...

    It seems to me that Philips does not want to admit this thing exists. I'm not sure why that would be...maybe they don't want to hurt SACD by poor announcement timing, maybe they are waiting until the product/specs are finalized, maybe they don't intend to widely release to consumers, etc.

    In any event, I think this suggests one of my theories may be on track - the development of more universal players and less expensive ones at that to help establish a "dual standard" hirez market.

    We should also note that the story was broken by Stuart Robinson, their DVDA reporter who usually does a good job. Perhaps Brian Moura can find out more details.
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    I honestly feel that more dual-format hardware will only help both formats.

    I also think that high-res is going to stay a niche regardless of whether one format remains or both do, so a long term dual-format market doesn't bother me at all.

    Having two disc formats for high-def video does concern me somewhat, but I don't think high-res audio is the same kind of situation.

    My opinion.
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I'm not sure about this, but at a minimum I think we could see a wider niche with deeper title selection.

    On the video side, I got the new Perfect Vision today. Sony will have a BluRay machine with several big titles out by 2005. Hopefully by then, the SXRD prices will be in my affordable range. [​IMG]
     
  5. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    On Philips/Sony and DVD-A:

    If Philips wanted to pay the fees, the SACD-1000 could have been a Universal player. They didn't for political reasons.

    Sony worked extensively on the Silver Disc engine used on both Linn universal players.

    So both have "gone over" to the other side to a certain extent. In addition, both are still current licensees of MLP.


    On Blu-ray:

    Blu-Ray cannot have the DVD name attached to it. This will mean no sale to the average consumer right there.

    HD-DVD (formerly AOD) will have the name, and will be out a few months earlier. In addition, while ceding a slight amount in absolute storage capacity, it is more than compensated for by using much better video compression technology. I don't recall whether it was H.264 (aka MP-4) or VC-9 (Video Codec-9 from the Windows Media 9 solution) that was the approved codec.

    In either case, at a given bit rate, both of these newer codecs provide a substantially better picture than the much older and dated MP-2 codec does.

    In addition, HD-DVD media can be pressed on existing DVD production lines, so media cost will be under control out of the gate. Meanwhile, Blu-ray requires an entirely new pressing infrastructure be built up.

    Had the Blu-ray consortium used enough foresight to utilize a more advanced video codec, I'd probably consider it the best option. They didn't.

    I have to talk with Sony at CES about Blu-ray to get some clarification on a Digital Rights Management item that was mentioned briefly at CEDIA, but not covered in any detail. If I understood it correctly, it is a huge step backwards for consumers.

    Cheers,
     
  6. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Additional (sketchy information) on revocation of playback rights is available from this document from Philips' website:

    http://www.licensing.philips.com/inc...ename=3081.pdf

    Of interest is Page 19 -- I hope to get further clarification from Sony/Philips at CES.

    If the link isn't directly accessible, goto
    http://www.licensing.philips.com

    Click on "Blu-Ray Disc Systems", followed by "Blu-Ray Disc Presentation more"

    Cheers,
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Not having DVD attached while definitely not an asset may not be the killer of the deal judging by the hirez wars in audio. SACD had many disadvantages in that way for audio but has captured the lions share of the hirez sales and titles so far. It all depends on studio support and marketing and companys willingness to make investment in the new technology.

    My hope is that some common hi-def format will come together. Otherwise, I may choose to be a late adopter for a change.
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    Here is a very good article on HD DVD versus Blu-Ray.

    Link.

    Things could get real ugly and be bad for overall high-def acceptance, IMO.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Very good story Michael, thanks.

    Hopefully Disney and others will force the groups to compromise into one standard.

    I wonder if the Digital Rights Management issue will be viewed as a positive given the security concerns. Maybe there is a way to implement rights mgmt. that preserves some rights for the consumer as well as the studios.
     
  10. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Not quite...

    Everyone loves to spout this off, but everyone is taking what they read as gospel.

    I have done the tests with 2k telecine footage, and done an MPEG2 to WM9 comparison. At times WM9 can provide a 25% increase in picture quality, but you have to be looking for it. I won't regurgitate it, so here's the link: comparison

    BTW John, don't write off Blu-Ray so quickly. One of the key reasons DVD is what it is today is because the majority of major manufacturers backed the Toshiba spec. Today, it's a different story, with most backing the Blu-Ray spec. So what if it's outside the auspices of the forum. The forum doesn't guarantee success nor what can/can't ship.

    As for AOD shipping before Blu-Ray, how do you explain the Sony unit already for sale in Japan? It's been made clear by the consortium all the manufacturers can begin shipping Blu-Ray within a matter of months.

    Lastly, AOD can accomodate other codecs, but MPEG-2 is still in that spec, and movie studios could easily decide to use MPEG-2 for their releases.
     
  11. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Forgot to add - how do you explain SACD then? It's doing just fine...
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Brian,


    I've seen some of the comparisons as well. You even put together a comparison shot of a daylight baseball game to show how similar they can be. What about a comparison of the tougher material as well?

    I'm all for using a codec that is demonstrably superior on the toughest material. Conversely a lower bit rate could be used during material that isn't so challenging.

    I'm afraid I don't understand your point of view with respect to the codecs, perhaps I'm just being stubborn...

    Cheers,
     
  13. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I also want to be clear, I'm not against any codec unless it really degrades the picture. And before anyone pipes in with MPEG2 degrading, looks pretty damn good and I've done the tests.

    But I get irked reading how "bad" MPEG-2 is, when in reality it isn't this poor codec. Everyone uses (mainly) DVD as their MPEG-2 comparison, and a few use bit-skimmed DirecTV. But it isn't a bad codec at all.

    Actually, I didn't do the baseball comparison. I haven't shown my comparison only because its copyrighted material. My source has everything, low light, fast action, slow pans, fast pans. It was a 30 second test, but encompassed a considerable amount.

    Anyway, I'd be happy if tomorrow everyone decided to use red-laser WM9 @ 8-12Mbs, then blue-laser would be unnecessary with exception to very long movies.
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    But even by your admission, MPEG-2 at Blu-Ray rates is inferior, at least part of the time and on some material, to WM9 at red-laser rates. Right?

    FYI, my Warner Cable isn't bit-skimmed yet (except on the local channels with their damned 24-hour subchannels).
     
  15. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Brian,

    I don't want pretty damn good. I am frankly shocked that you would consider it acceptable to have a known underperforming codec as the basis for a next generation digital video delivery mechanism.

    Can you show me an example where MPEG-2 does a better job than either MPEG-4 or VC-9?

    If not, then what we have are two codecs that are "mostly equal" but one does a better job on the toughest materials.

    Chers,
     
  16. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    No. I never encoded at 23.5Mbs which is what Blu-Ray uses. The extra bits I don't think would matter anyway. And WM9 could equal the job at half that bit rate.
     
  17. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    BTW - wasn't this at one point an audio thread [​IMG]
     
  18. Jacques C

    Jacques C Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, from what I read about Joe Kane's assessment of WM9, from a codec standpoint it is a very exciting candidate. Most people's problems stem from the fact that it is attached to *Microsoft*. And we all know with their business practices what that entails...
     
  19. Michael St. Clair

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    Does anyone have the details of the new platforms' support of higher framerates for video-sourced material?

    For example, 1280x720 @ 60p and 1920x1080 @ 60p/30i. Also, 30p support.

    Support should not be limited to current film-sourced (and 24p high-def) material.

    Everyone, have a happy new year. I'll check this interesting (albeit misplaced and off-topic) thread tomorrow.
     
  20. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    I was going to rant about DVD-A here and I walk in on a SMPTE workgroup forum.
     

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