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HD DVD Coming Very Soon 594

x mani x writes "While the DVD Forum continues quibbling over a new blue-laser based HD-DVD standard, it looks like Microsoft has been busy developing a new video compression method that can show high quality HD video at bitrates similar to current DVD's (between 5-8mbps). Proof, you say? Check out some stunning samples of this cutting edge technology. Myself and many others have watched it and most of us feel this is significantly better looking than MPEG-4/DivX HD video of the same bitrate. This technology is causing some excitement, as the T2: Extreme Edition DVD package will include a DVD containing T2 in HD, compressed with this technology. Anyone with a fast PC will be able to watch T2 in high def, no pricey blue laser player required."
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HD DVD Coming Very Soon

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  • by repetty ( 260322 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:21AM (#5708982) Homepage
    "We're sorry. This Windows Media 9 Series content is only available to be viewed using Internet Explorer." ...but I guess I won't.

    • "We're sorry. This Windows Media 9 Series content is only available to be viewed using Internet Explorer."

      Microsoft Anticompetitive? Never!
      Antitrust case my ass.
    • Even the Mac... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:05AM (#5709277) Homepage Journal
      We have Internet Explorer here on the Mac, but that too is refused :( Maybe they should have said Windows Internet Explorer?
    • You have to stop your browser from forwarding you from the linked page to that "you don't have our stuff"-page - I could d/l the files with Konqueror which identifies as Konqueror

      The .exe are self-extracting zip-archives and contain wmvs in in Windows Media 9 format - MPlayer can play them with the correct dshow-filter installed (available from the MPlayer-page)

    • by telecaster ( 468063 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:29AM (#5709571)
      I'm so sick of Microsoft...

      I've had it.

      I did the same thing I went to the link and "blammo", no can view. I'm using Mozilla 1.3b.

      Here's my main issue with Microsoft, and my opinion comes from someone who's made a lot of money writing Windows code and who up until 2000, was someone who had mainly done ALL development on Microsoft platforms.

      My main issue simply this: Microsoft is not the best anymore. Thier products are at best "mediocre". There was once a time where I felt that IE was a supperior browser, Outlook was the only mail client to use and that ASP/COM and ATL were the only solution for the server.

      Those days are long gone.

      The playing field has all changed because things have clearly gotten better in the open source realm.

      Mozilla, in my opinion, is now a browser that is faster and more reliable than IE, and PHP with Apache is clearly a more secure and cost effective solution than ASP and IIS.

      Microsoft has to wake-up, they are trying to "AOL everyone" into their little world on the desktop by restricting the user and making life difficult for the user who wants "choice" or is on the "fringe" and not running 100% microsoft products.

      I don't really like to get into the MS vs. Linux thing because I like to solve problems by using the best solution available. But lately, I'm realizing that Microsoft is becoming a choice that I can't recommend. It's really now down to one single application that is holding people back from running another desktop: Office.
      Once there is a viable mainstream office solution that "works" and is free. It's lights out in Redmond. I really can't think of anything else on the Desktop that is holding people back from using the Mac (which actually has Office but its like $500 dollars) or choosing Linux -- there is really nothing compelling about Windows anymore.

    • by unitron ( 5733 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:36AM (#5709925) Homepage Journal
      The new Cringely [] starts out talking about getting his dog analysed by a pet psychic, works its way through some stuff about Google and Tivo and then winds up talking about how MS is trying to kill off "...the new standards-based Advanced Video Codec (AVC),..." ("...sometimes called MPEG-4 part 10...") "... which was submitted in draft form to the ITU just last week,..." so as to get MS software into every next-generation DVD player. Well worth reading, but you gotta start with the part about the dog in order to get the last line.
  • Obviously (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JanusFury ( 452699 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:23AM (#5708984) Homepage Journal
    Obviously this is a reason for them to port their codecs to linux; for use in HD-DVD players and set top boxes. I like the idea of being able to play HD content with the same DVD drive I have now, and just needing new software.
  • Patent issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:24AM (#5708986) Homepage
    What sort of patents will be on the technology I wonder, just to stop me being able to use it on my non M$ box ?
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:24AM (#5708987) Journal
    All the new media will have hardware copy prevention built in.

    Being unable to even record your own media on these formats, will scare people away from accepting it. (Anyone remember the LASERDISC?)

    (And no, this ain't intended as a troll.)
    • by Patrik Nordebo ( 170 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:29AM (#5708997)
      Remember DVD? The video format that you couldn't record to that had unprecented consumer adoptment rates? That comes with a variety of copy prevention technology (encryption, Macrovision)? Doesn't seem to have hurt it much.
      • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

        by luzrek ( 570886 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:43AM (#5709045) Journal
        While DVDs are effectively the "mature" version of the laserdisk technology, they did offer consumers a substantial benefit over the VHS tapes which they replaced. Namely, you got all the DVD extras for not too much more money than the VHS tape. They also offered substantially better quality than VHS tapes, and longer shelf lives, and smaller storage areas, etc. While Laserdisks offered many of the same content extras as DVDs, they were prohibitively expensive and aquard to store and use. DVDs also came out at a time when the main use of the VCR was to watch prerecorded movies from the rental store. Laserdisks came out when the main use of the VCR was to record and watch television (early time-shifting).

        That said, whatever is going to replace DVDs is going to have a couple of fairly high hurdles. First, there is already a huge base of DVD players out there, many of which aren't compatable with DVD-R,DVD-RW,DVD+R, and DVD+RW (one of the things holding off widespread acceptance of DVD-burning drives). It will have to be backwards compatable with existing technology, or offer substantially greater value so that everyone replaces their DVD players. I don't think that simply offering higher resolution without additional changes will be enough to get everyone to go out and buy a new DVD player. Maybe it would if everyone had televisions which displayed pictures in greater detail than DVDs support, and routinely watched broadcasts in said higher resolution.

      • Well, I still haven't bought one for entertainment. I have a data drive on my PC but trying to play DVDs under Linux is a real pain, so I've never bought any media.
        • Have you tried using MPlayer? I admit that I've not sat and watched a DVD all the way through (I have a 15" monitor, and a 32" widescreen TV...), but when I bought a DVD drive a few months ago I thought I'd give it a go.

          Playing DVDs under Windows proved to be impossible. The OS refused to allow it, as it couldn't disable the TV-out socket on my grpahics card (Creative GeForce3 Ti200). So, I rebooted to Linux and had a go with MPlayer. I only played a few minutes worth, but it worked fine.
          • Yes, and I've tried Xine. I've got a 14" TV and a 19" trinitron monitor :-) I just don't see why they have to encrypt the damned content on the DVD. It's just a nuisance. Luckily I live in the UK so I'm not really a criminal for using DeCSS, but it was just a lot of hassle getting it, compiling and installing it and configuring it etc. I can just put my music CDs in the computer and play them. Luckily I haven't managed to buy a "copy protected" CD yet, but then I don't listen to Britney, N^Sync, Pink or any
            • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by James_Duncan8181 ( 588316 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:35AM (#5709378) Homepage
              As you and I live in the UK, we unfortunately have no fair rights. In fact the EUCD that is currently passing through Europe is actually harsher then the DMCA in some respects.

              The EUCD prevents all copying of encrypted material, and the posession of hard/software that enables you to do so. It does allow national governemts a list of exceptions that they can sign up for, but the choice of which of these to implement is entirely up to that goverment (this kept Denmark and other more civilized countries on board). However the UK government has only signed up to two of these, and so we currently have a situation where not only DeCSS is illegal, but also general security research into CSS!

              Just once, I really wish that the UK would avoid copying every infringement of civil libeties that happens across the pond...

      • Seriously, a DVD is vastly superior to a VHS tape in so many ways besides picture quality (no rewinding, instant jump, extras, smaller, don't deteriorate gradually). Have you looked at Asia? They already hda the (S)VCD as the standard, so DVDs have basicly flopped, even though you can buy fake DVDs for about $3. I imagine a HD-DVD format would suffer much the same problem, most people don't have or care about a huge HDTV disply. Also that FTC limit is only to go digital, not to go HD.

        Anyway, if the future
      • by shepd ( 155729 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <gro.todhsals>> on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:07AM (#5709130) Homepage Journal
        >That comes with a variety of copy prevention technology (encryption, Macrovision)? Doesn't seem to have hurt it much.

        Yes, but unlike its cousin that was stillborn (DiVX) the DVD format's encryption was optional. Also macrovision was removable almost from day 1, making analog copies (the only ones practical for a home user at the time) very possible. This also goes for region coding.

        Because the encryption is totally seamless and invisible to the end user, the end user never cared. I have never heard of a single person, apart from people using unauthorized players, who has ever bought a DVD that was unable to play a disc, assuming their player follows all the standards, due to the encryption present for any reason whatsoever (apart from region coding, which is trivial to remove on most all players, and only effects a small segment of the population).

        DRM, however, is intended to be obvious. DRM will not let the consumer do everything they want to without serious limits (physical, not legal) that they will almost surely encounter. That's what's the killer, and that's what made DiVX die, and it's why this format is another waste of someone's time and effort.
      • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:24AM (#5709333)
        I doubt DVD would have taken off nearly as well as it did if it weren't possible to circumvent the regional encoding and other hacks in it. I expect most of the early adopters, at least in Europe had region free players. So it was precisely because of the weak protection that it took off as well as it did. For all the moaning by the studios about decss and modchips, I bet their profits would be a fraction of what they are if the encryption and protection had been any good.

        Now concerning this format, it has failure written all over it. HD televisions are few and far between (nowhere outside the US), no DVD player supports this format and few people are going to buy another player to support some marginally better picture quality. With few players, the number of discs is going to be nonexistant, the price of discs will be too high and the whole format is doomed. That's not even considering what deals with the devil that player makers would have to make to carry the format - royalities, running WinCE or whatever.

        To me it sounds like cross between DiVX and laserdisc. Unpopular, unwanted, artificially hyped and ultimately doomed.

  • by warmcat ( 3545 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:32AM (#5709006)
    ''Anyone with a fast PC will be able to watch T2 in high def...

    AND Windows

  • video libraries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pompatus ( 642396 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:34AM (#5709012) Journal
    How many people are ready to pay $30 (probably more) per movie to update their video libraries to a new media standard? It just seems too soon after dvd was adopted.
    • Certain movies, I'd purchase them again to get HD resolution. Most of my collection, I'm happy with. But Lord of The Rings, The Matrix, hell yeah!
    • One of the things people forget is that the video on DVDs is actually higher resolution than consumer decks are allowed to play back (at least on those that are released with Macrovision). One can already play back HD resolution, with a PC equipped with an X-card or similar component-output capable card, and a simple utility to allow the playback software to disregard the Macrovision and play back at full resolution.

      The results are stunning. Easily as much better than progressive-scan consumer decks than p
      • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:57AM (#5709695) Homepage
        The video on DVDs is 720x480, interlaced or progressive, no higher.

        The limit imposed on consumer decks is 480p, i.e. 720x480. Consumer progressive-scan decks with the resolution limit are not limited below this resolution - So they do not provide any artificial limits for DVD display.

        The one exception is that a good scaling algorithm can improve the visual quality of a lower-resolution video without increasing its sharpness or detail by smoothing out pixelization. If your TV's internal scaler is crappy or it doesn't even have one, good scaling before component signal generation will benefit you. But it depends on your TV.

        (I believe this is why VCDs don't look too bad in standalone players while they look like utter shite in many PC players - It happens that the standalones do a better job of scaling up 352x480 to 480i than PCs - I was shocked at just how watchable some of my VCDs are, I can't tell the difference between them and analog cable.)
        • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:23PM (#5711199) Homepage
          The video on (standard) DVDs is always interlaced. It's up to the TV or DVD player to double the scanning frequency and interpolate the source (or do reverse pulldown and lower the frequency) to create non-interlaced output. 720x480 is the resolution for NTSC. PAL is 720x576.

          These clips (the ones at MS's site) are 1280x720. Which is not a lot bigger than 720x576. Yes, it's about twice as many pixels, but as long as you don't watch it on a TV that's twice as big, you won't notice a big difference in detail even if you increase the (relative) compression. And twice the number of pixels does not require twice the bitrate; that's not how MPEG (and similar algorithms) work. You could probably get good quality out of MPEG-2 at this resolution if you used an average of 9 Mb/s for the video (most commercial DVDs average between 5 and 7 Mb/s). Using MPEG-4 or a similar algorithm (and a good compressor - this part is essential!), there's no reason why you can't get great quality at 1280x720 with 6 Mb/s, especially if your source is film or very "clean" video (less grain means lower noise which means compression works much better).

          Now, there's HD and there's HD. Personally, I wouldn't call 1280x720 "HD"; it's more like "AD" (acceptable definition). Current HDTV standards go all the way up to 1920x1080. Which is still not exactly "film quality" (generaly considered as 4096 x H, although some effects are rendered at 2048 x H), but looks quite nice projected on a big screen. And for this you do need higher bitrates, and therefore bigger discs (unless you only want to watch short films).

          But of course, part of the reason to define a new format has nothing to do with increased quality: it's about introducing new copy protection, and forcing people to buy new players.

          What I really hope is that the "next DVD format" is not as strict as the current one. In other words, I hope it lets you make DVDs with any resolution and frame rate you want. And I also hope the menu structure is better than the current one. I'm sure it couldn't possibly be worse (anyone familiar with the standard will probably agree).


          • > The video on (standard) DVDs is always interlaced.

            This is completely false. Film source DVDs are generally not interlaced. Between film source DVDs I've rented or own, I've seen exactly one that was interlaced. The others rely on the DVD player to telecine it for viewing on a standard TV.
  • screw them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justin_speers ( 631757 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:37AM (#5709019)
    Like some other posters have already pointed out, no IE, no "stunning samples".

    Screw them, honestly. What arrogance. I hate their whole "all-Microsoft" strategy. Would I buy a Sony DVD player and expect it to only play CDs or DVDs from Sony? People would be outraged!

    This is why I have a hard time seeing Microsoft expanding beyond the very limited PC market. That's why the whole "Trojan horse in the living room" X-Box strategy will never work. Microsoft has a stronghold over PC operating systems, and can mostly get away with stuff like this. But if they refuse to cooperate with other companies already in the living room with technology like this, they're only hurting themselves.

    And since I can't see the "stunning samples" in Mozilla, I'm not so stunned.
    • Re:screw them (Score:2, Interesting)

      by anarxia ( 651289 )
      This new format is not such a great idea now and it wont replace DVDs any time soon. The hardware players will be very expensive, judging from the processing power this new format requires. As for playing the videos on a PC (with Windows), 2GHz+ computers are the minority right now, so I doubt this format will become popular even as a computer-only video format in the next couple of years.
      • Re:screw them (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nbrazil ( 573177 )
        Completely wrong. The CPU requirements here are for GENERAL PURPOSE processors. This is a far cry from the efficiency of a dedicated hardware codec. The first generation of x86 systems that could do good DVD playback in software were vastly more powerful in most ways than the chips in DVD players. Much more memory hungry, too, in that they had to run an application on a full feature OS rather than a tiny kernal pared down to just what was required for the intended task. A dedicated codec for playback of W
    • Re:screw them (Score:3, Insightful)

      by torre ( 620087 )
      Like some other posters have already pointed out, no IE, no "stunning samples". Screw them, honestly. What arrogance. I hate their whole "all-Microsoft" strategy. Would I buy a Sony DVD player and expect it to only play CDs or DVDs from Sony? People would be outraged!

      Just want to point out your anger is a little premature and misdirected. The site itself, being Microsoft makes nice little popups that only support IE's DOM... no news there... however, you don't need IE to actually watch the clips, just wi

      • Re:screw them (Score:5, Insightful)

        by James_Duncan8181 ( 588316 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:05AM (#5709276) Homepage
        Actually having faked my UA (thanks, Moz PrefBar) and looked at the video samples, they come in .exe format. Now I don't know about you but I am just a bit (!) dubious about running video files that are explicitly executable code.

        And the reason that I am dubious about MS as a video supplier is that I am sure that they will work very hard to make sure that consumers can only run these files on Windows.

        I also find it very noticable that MS formats are getting into a major DVD release as DRM is getting into MS software. An assisted lockout for MS in the OS arena if they can deliver a non-piratable system to Hollywood?

        • DRM and MS everything are two entirely diferent things.... I don't deny anything... DRM abuse scares the hell out of me like the next aware person... But that's not what I was correcting.

          And the reason that I am dubious about MS as a video supplier is that I am sure that they will work very hard to make sure that consumers can only run these files on Windows.

          I regretably disagree with you on this point... The secret to domination is to get everyone to use it, so it's got to be on everything... If Micros

          • I don't disagree that it will run on XBox2/DVD player/Non-MS flashy-box-of-tricks du jour on an non-consumer hackable embedded OS, but I think that you will see that a Linux/BSD OS on a *consumer PC* as will take a very long time to play these easily or to the same pocessor power/quality ratio (i.e. about the time that Fancy MS Codec 10 comes out).
        • .EXE downloads (Score:3, Informative)

          by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
          Many .EXE files that encapsulate media files are self-extracting ZIPs. Under Linux, try "unzip foo.exe".

          Believe it or not this will work on a pretty good percentage of EXEs that are self-extracting archives. (Although that percentage seems to be slowly decreasing.)
    • Re:screw them (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rinikusu ( 28164 )
      Simple Solution, then:

      Go write your own damn codec and distribute it however you please.

  • Format mania (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 6hill ( 535468 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:37AM (#5709020)
    So now there are two proposals for new blue-laser formats and one for an enhanced version of the current red-laser DVD, and then Microsoft adds its fingers to the pie with this new thing. I had hoped HD-DVD would not be another format debacle (Betamax/VHS, DVD-/+RW, etc.) but it seems it's going to be even worse than usual

    My other worry is that the proposed HD-DVD standards are baby steps, too small to make upgrading for me cost-effective. Why add to the storage capacity of DVDs one magnitude, when you could wait two years and possibly (probably?) get a media format that will increase your storage capacity a thousandfold. Or as a pipe dream, eliminate overlapping media formats -- I'd have no need for DVDs if I could buy digital copies of what is now put on separate DVD disks, and store that content on my hard drive. Same for music CDs. It would save an awful lot of shelf space and eliminate the need to buy n separate players for n separate storage media. But of course, these things have always been geared to maximise company profits and not consumer satisfaction. Shame.

  • by KeyserDK ( 301544 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:38AM (#5709024) Homepage
    Before everyone bashes MS, let me be the first to say that this actually looks like a good and genuine innovation, nobody is pure evil :).

    Now, there is an issue with regard to patents, if MS has any on this technology.

    Can anyone shed light on patents policies in the DVD-forum?

    • Innovation my arse. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @09:06AM (#5709756) Homepage
      WM9 is nothing more than a hacked-up version of MPEG-4. Its only apparent advantage is that the default WM9 encoder is a bit more flexible/less picky as far as bitrate control than other MPEG-4 implementations (XviD/DivX). Yes, DivX is a bit of a hacked-up version of MPEG-4 itself, but less so and the format is much more open. (See XviD).

      For a while I believed that WM9 was superior to DivX for encoding home movies, although I had a feeling that there was something weird going on as I'd gotten much better results in the past. It turns out that the RC defaults of DivX 5.0.x aren't good for converting homemade DV video shot in low light. Once I started doing two-pass encoding in DivX, I could no longer tell the difference between WM9 and DivX. (Note: two-pass encoding did not benefit at all in WM9.)

      So for one-pass encoding, WM9 is superior. For two-pass encoding, WM9 gains nothing and DivX catches up in quality.
  • CRAP!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Flounder ( 42112 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:46AM (#5709050)
    That'll make the THIRD copy of Terminator 2 on DVD that I must buy!! And I thought the previous Ultimate Edition would be it. Jeezus, Terminator 2 is turning into the Evil Dead series with so many versions available on DVD.

    • Just re-read the article. DOUBLE CRAP!! P4 1.8Ghz minimum requirements?? "Honey, I need to upgrade the computer again, gotta watch Terminator 2."

      Well, hopefully my AthlonXP 1.53Ghz will be buff enough. My 2GB of RAM BETTER be enough (frigging MS bloatware!).

      • Very often, a system that is too slow to play a video under Windows will be more than fast enough to play it with Unix + MPlayer.

        Bloatware is right!
      • Re:CRAP!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by delus10n0 ( 524126 )
        Well, hopefully my AthlonXP 1.53GHz will be buff enough.

        Sorry, it's not. My AthlonXP 1.8GHz chops up on some parts of the Microsoft demo videos, especially when chrominance is high (sun reflecting off the water, etc.)

        I'm sure if you have a 2.0GHz processor (AMD or Intel) it'll run fine. And most likely there will be a hardware decoder available for this content, so no worries.

        The quality is amazing though. I saved the superbowl ads for the Matrix and Terminator 3, and they were in 720i as well. Deliciou
  • Ok, so the article says that they're going to offer T2 in "2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer digitally mastered from a brand-new 1080p, 24sf high-definition digital telecine transfer." That's great and all, but how are they getting this quality? Was T2 filmed in digital? I thought something had to be filmed in the 1080p HDTV-quality to have that kind of picture. Can anyone shed some light, or are they blowing sunshine up our collective asses? Thanks.
    • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:53AM (#5709073) Homepage
      That's great and all, but how are they getting this quality? Was T2 filmed in digital?

      Nope, I doubt it was. What they prabably are saying is that the analog masters have been retransferred into a digital format. Analog masters can have great quality and (in theory) infinite dynamic range. The resulting quality of the digital version is all about the conversion. With a better conversion a better digital version can be produced.

      My guess, anyway.
      • I would mention a important limitation to analog to digital transfer... one of the major one's being that the analog masters often suffer from film degradation. I mean this isn't always a problem assuming the reel is stored in, say, a vacuum :) Moreover, we have ways of cleaning up the picture before/after transfer but it's just not nearly as good as having native digital format.
    • Celluloid film has a much higher resolution than digital video. Films are usually mastered at 2048p to digital video tape to capture most of the detail, but the resolution is still higher than this. A 35mm print has about 9600 lines of resolution, and while this is not exactly the same as tv lines or pixels, it's higher than any digital format in use.
  • There needs to be a standard for uncompressed digital video, so devices such as video game consoles, or DVD players that play new compressed formats like this MS thing can output a direct digital stream to the TV, without having to convert to analog first. In other words, a consumer electronics version of DVI, or (HD) SDI.

    Currently, all consumer digital video standards involve compression, which is the natural choice, if your source is already compressed, such as a DVD or satellite stream. BUT, if you're g
    • by InsaneGeek ( 175763 ) <> on Friday April 11, 2003 @08:13AM (#5709490) Homepage
      Wow, everything you said is basically wrong. raw uncompressed video is a standard today. How did this get modded up to 5.

      Uncompressed video is just that, it contains every pixel, it's location and the color for each one on the screen. No device has to have any intelligence, just turn on the pixel. That's how everything actually talks today after it get's uncompressed, so obviously everybody already knows how to talk uncompressed digital.

      I'm guessing you didn't know that raw HDTV 1080i @60 runs at ~1.5gbs or around 187MB/sec or a TERABYTE for a 2 hour movie. Yup consumers are just ready to decompress from their *proprietary* codecs (interesting dig) and store uncompressed video. You're going to have an extremely difficult time just getting that performance off your PCI buss which normally maxes out at 166MB/sec, not even taking into consideration how many drives you'd need to write 187MB/sec.

      Lastly you do realize that DVI is already in the consumer grade market, I've got one on my video card today. DVI dumps raw video out now, it's not doing any uncompression, etc just throws the bits around and very handily pass raw HDTV resolutions and greater (1600x1200, etc). Many people (enthusiasts) are using DVI inputs already (firewire tops out at 400MB) for digital through and through, all you need is a regular computer with DVI output and a display that has DVI inputs (DLP projector, plasma, LCD, etc). You might be complaining that DVI displays maybe more difficult to find, today they basically on displays that are digital through and through, most displays do analog output and don't have them (though they are out there).
  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Orlando ( 12257 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:55AM (#5709084) Homepage
    Yet an other version of the LOTR to buy....
  • by inaeldi ( 623679 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @05:56AM (#5709087)
    I don't know if these are static or not, but they seem to work. 814-9577-4d2e-a79e-35615ac7b13f/liquid_1.exe 814-9577-4d2e-a79e-35615ac7b13f/liquid_2.exe 752-a74c-4935-a85b-3f3143cb53af/indy.exe 752-a74c-4935-a85b-3f3143cb53af/pinball.exe 752-a74c-4935-a85b-3f3143cb53af/snowboard.exe

  • 5-8 mbit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daBass ( 56811 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:00AM (#5709104)
    My DVD player can show the current bitrate and 3-4 seems more like it. No wonder this miracle compression algorithm works miracles at 5-8!
  • Just downloaded it.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sivann ( 322011 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:25AM (#5709166) Homepage
    I just got the video playing. I have a 1.7Ghz P4, the cpu goes to 100% and the frame rate is below 1 frame/3 seconds in wmplayer9/win2k. Besides that, the quality is very good, but there is nothing astonishing with it. The video is at 6MBps, and if you consider that most mpeg-4 and divx content is encoded at 900Kbits then I don't see the breakthrough. BTW video size is said by researchers in most video conferences in the field that is going to be reduced at most 100% in the next 10 years. So don't expect much from the future. As for the HD-DVD, 1080i is still low (but close) compared to 35mm film.

    Spiros Ioannou
    Image Video & Multimedia Systems Lab.
    Department of Electrical & Computer Eng.
    National Technical University of Athens
    • by torre ( 620087 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:02AM (#5709267)

      You've got your numbers wrong, first it's encoded @ 6Mb/s nor 6MB/s second the frame is 12 times larger than the average divx encode! 320x240 vs 1280 x 720.... So, here's the real math is Divx @ same ratio would be @ 10.546Mb/s vs 6Mb/s for winmed .... I think that's impressive.

      for the record, I've encoded a lot ... and i mean a lot of video in a whole wack of formats, from mpeg1-4, winmed (from the shittiest to the newest), quicktime, real, divx, and i'm probably going to play with some more when i get some spare time. From experience, there is a difference.

  • by ThoreauHD ( 213527 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:32AM (#5709188)
    Media providers are waking up to the fact that Microsoft is going to screw them. No matter how good it is(and this ain't that good), is it worth it when you pay per client connect, per server connect, per play, per minute, per bandwidth compression size, per my foot in their asses...

    It's not worth it. Set top boxes, microdevices, PVR, et. al are using linux now. They haven't even settled on a HDTV standard yet, not to mention the fact that only .5% of the population can view a DVD in HDTV quality.

    I now give my Swamee prediction:

    By the time we can actually see the difference, a better open compression will have emerged. Because most people will have access to the tech. As it is now, nobody does.

    So, I wish Microsoft luck. I'm sure some companies will let greed drive them to use their spiffy crackable DRM.. until they realize they just lost all of their unborn children and future to them. But, it'll be fun to watch.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @06:40AM (#5709209) Journal
    Is anyone surprised? MPEG4 provides the same quality as DVDs (MPEG2)in a tiny fraction of the space. It's very surprising that the MPAA chose to come out with DVD using MPEG2 instead of MPEG4, since MPEG4 was already established. The same disbelief goes for the HDTV standard. They broadcast MPEG2, when they could broadcast MPEG4 and do many times more with a fraction of the bandwidth.

    In addition, I would suggest people take a good long look at VP3/Theora+Ogg Vorbis before accepting the Microsoft solution. VP3 provides better quality than MPEG4, and (like Vorbis) is completely free of patents, and the necessary software is already available under a BSD license.
    • As a MS employee from the WM9 team stated, MS holds many MPEG-4 patents and played a large role in developing the technology several years ago. In fact they built on the knowledge from MPEG-4 to develop this new codec. They feel this new codec is demonstrably better than MPEG-4, and encourage people to do their own tests and make qualitative and quantitative comparisons, as of course they are biased having developed the codec.

      Reading AVSForum posts, some of the authorities on that site have done their own
  • Well... (Score:2, Informative)

    by BJH ( 11355 )
    The fact that the page pointed to is inaccessible from anything other than IE doesn't make me confident that this technology will be an open standard.

    Ah well, I suppose if people want to sell their freedom for a T2 DVD, there's nothing I can do to stop them...
  • Oh yea.. I really trust MS to develop a new compression 'standard'. I know... let's put them in charge of the W3C too!

    btw... I still have to get a DVD-R, and they're coming out with larger ones already? =P
  • by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:10AM (#5709290) Homepage
    Remember Betamax.

    It doesnt matter how good your product is; the conditions for it spreading are more important than great technical capabilities and fantastic specs.

    Now, if MS made the encoder and the players free, and made them free to incorporate into third party devices, then there might be a wildfire. This is simply not going to happen.

    Nothing to see here; move along.
  • I do hope the codec can provide quality like that thruout an entire movie, regardless of action and wide variances in scene lighting. I'm happy with MPEG2 for standard-definition comtent, such as what's found on DVDs. Having a popular medium that's of higher quality that what most existing television sets can make use of is quite impressive and forward-looking. Now that we're moving on to HD, I hope the new codecs can make an equally impressive jump in quality. HD is a big thing because of... well... the hi
  • The Next Big Thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by D.A. Zollinger ( 549301 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @07:26AM (#5709343) Homepage Journal
    I can't help but think this might be the next big thing. Although it took about 10 minutes to download the 2 minute "liquid" trailer, and my computer stuttered a little bit, it reminds me alot of the days when MP3s where first introduced, and the majority of the computers of the day were just barely able to play them (today they can be played in the background, and don't take up much comparable processing power at all).

    Imagine if you will, when this becomes mainstream in the next year or two, and we are given a delivery medium that can offer this to us at "live viewing" delivery rates. With all of the media enhancements that modern computers and operating systems are focusing on, people may demand a lot more high quality content to be available to them. As well, with the FCC, broadcasters, content providers, and high definition television manufacturers all dragging their feet, they may find themselves missing out on a market that they once monopolized.
  • A blue laser DVD player will probably be cheaper than a DVD player with a 2.4Ghz P4 equivalent processor. And anything that adds to the marketplace confusion as far as the format for HD DVDs will slow the acceptance of it.

    Any HD DVDs will have some sort of DRM that is far more secure than current DVDs. I would imagine that the entertainment industry will be leary of any Microsoft DRM technology that could make Microsoft the gatekeeper to an entire industry.


  • Myself... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AyeRoxor! ( 471669 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @10:53AM (#5710467) Journal
    "Myself and many others have watched it."

    So you mean to say that you are comfortable with the sentence "Myself have watched it." ?!?!?!?

    The sentence is "I have watched it." and therefore your sentence should be "I and many others have watched it."

    To educated people, your sentence looks like you're saying "Myself have watched it, and others have watched it." and you just look like a farking retard.

    Please, people. Dont use "myself" to refer to yourself as the direct object in a sentence. You don't look intelligent. You look like a fucking buffoon. This probably goes for anything else you do to try to look intelligent.
  • I see plenty of folks squawking about how red laser DVDs are untenable in the long run, regardless of the compression technology you use. The consensus among these naysayers seems to be: forget about trying to improve DVD, it's old and busted; wait for the new hotness of HD-DVD which will rock your socks.

    But guess what? In ten years, HD-DVD will be old hat too. Blue lasers or no, the compression algorithms defined in the standard will pale in comparison to whatever advanced video compression is available at the time. This is an unfortunate side-effect of progress -- we're so damned clever in the last 50 years that we keep shooting ourselves in the foot technologically.

    There is a sane answer: for the next generation of DVD, instead of locking ourselves into a single compression format from the beginning, why not design the standard to be extensible? The existing DVD standard already has a virtual machine instruction set for describing the interaction of menus and video segments. Why not take this idea a whole lot further and implement a domain-specific bytecode language that handles complex graphical operations, and is sufficiently powerful to code decompression algorithms?

    Since the language is specific to video decompression, vendors' DVD players could efficiently compile the bytecodes to whatever internal instruction set they use. This way, when you pop a blue-laser DVD into the drive, it will come with instructions on how to decode it. The format of the file containing the video and audio streams can be specified in the standard, but their content is left up to the DVD producer.

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