Stupid questions *Now in HD!*

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Phil Menard, May 16, 2006.

  1. Phil Menard

    Phil Menard Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm neither a noob or an expert (at anything), but I had some *general questions about HD disk formats.

    1. How large will a movie file (w/or/wo soundtracks) be when encoded in either of the High-Def encoding formats (Mpeg or vc1)? I realize that there will be a lot of factors that will have to be considered. I'm just looking for a range (15-50 gig?).

    2. Can both disk formats (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray) handle the highest range estimate, or is there clearly no range limit on encoding?

    3. Is there a megabits per second advantage or some other advantage of one disk format (or encoding format) over the other?

    4. If I wanted a title, and it was available in both disk formats right now, assuming that the same master was used for both, which disk format would give me the best representation of said title?

    5. If there is no clear benefit to either disk format in the presentation of the movie, will the consumer preference of a disk format rely on storage space and extra features?

    I'm confused, obviously, when I read about "future" disk capacities/capabilities. I think I'm missing the point. I don't give a darn about extras, commentaries, bonus language tracks, bios, or multi-angle. Would there be a clear victor in the "presentation of said title" war?

    Does it really matter to most users to have all of the extras on one disk? Could there be a cost benefit to giving consumers the option to by a movie w/wo special features? Is there a 2-disk option?

    I would personally prefer the option to purchase movies without all of the extra materials. Especially if having the extras meant a reduction in the quality of the presentation of the movie.



    *Points will be deducted for answering rhetorical questions.
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    This has all been laid out in the various threads.

    1. Films will probably range from 20-40 GB, depending on the length of the feature.

    2. Blu-Ray, in double-layer form [the first few releases will be single-layer], allows for 50 GB. Double-layer HD DVD, which is out now, provides 30 GB. Up to three layers may be possible on HD DVD, and up to 8 on BD, but it is not clear that movie players will read them [computer drives may be expected to].

    3. Blu-Ray has a higher data transfer rate than HD DVD. The encoding schemes, &c., are similar, except that BD has a provision for standard PCM soundtracks, and encodes Dolby Digital Plus [E-AC3] in a form which passes out a "core" component without re-encoding. Also, Blu-Ray supports MPEG-II video, which HD DVD does not, except in the form of SD DVD sides or layers.

    4. If the same master is used for both, as it probably will be for the Warner movies which are coming out on both formats, the likelihood is that the same compression &c. will be applied to both discs. In this case, the contents of the two releases will be exactly identical, and audio-video performance will depend on the player.


    As for the rest, don't ask me. Blu-Ray's menu-navigation and interactivity systems are supposed to be more flexible, since they're based on a programming language instead of a markup language. The potential video and audio quality of Blu-Ray is superior to the potential AV quality of HD DVD, due to the higher data-transfer rates and capacity, but what this will mean in practice is unclear. I would, however, suggest that the storage-space advantage will be important in the computer market, and that if BD is in wide use on PCs it will gradually gain the upper hand in the home. The large BD capacity means, if nothing else, that almost any amount of "extras" can be included without affecting the audio-video quality of the feature ; and that TV series will take up less shelf space.

    More important for now, there are more studios and manufacturers supporting Blu-Ray than HD DVD, so that there will be more movies and more players to get a presentation from.
     
  3. Phil Menard

    Phil Menard Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for your erudite answers, ChristopherDAC! I have read so many threads and so much information was confusing to me.

    This helps a lot. I appreciate your efforts.
     
  4. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    A relevant note here is that Bluray is launching with MPG2 on a single layer 25 G disk. Based on what I've seen in other forums, the picture may not be as good as the codec used by HD DVD (VC1) on their 30 G disks. A lot of the movies in BD for this year will have these limitations.
     
  5. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    What forums?How can they make claims like the ones in your post? There is no actual finished product released yet, so legitimate comparisons can't be made.
     
  6. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    On the assumption that the format is going to live out its first year, the specifics of the very first releases aren't as important as the capabilites written into the specifications. In any case, VC-1 video encoding and double-layer discs are actually scheduled to hit the market fairly early.
     
  7. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Maybe he drank too much Miracle Grow before making that post? [​IMG]

    BTW Christopher, excellent reply to the OA's question(s). [​IMG]

    I always look forward to reading your assessments, and while occasionally I might see things differently, many times you have helped me better understand topics, especially regarding recording & broadcasting AV engineering standards. Thanks!
     

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