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View Full Version : H.264 Video Codec Adopted for Next Generation DVDs


MacBytes
Jun 23, 2004, 09:47 AM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: H.264 Video Codec Adopted for Next Generation DVDs (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040623104712)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Laslo Panaflex
Jun 23, 2004, 10:11 AM
I thought that the WM9 codec was adopted for HD DVDs, I am so confused now. Anyway, still good news for apple.

The Cheat
Jun 23, 2004, 10:33 AM
Ya, I don't understand what this means, either.

Though, it is a moot point anyway, since Sony's Blu-ray format has a higher capacity, has more companies backing it and is farther along in development. IMO, HD-DVD is doomed.

gekko513
Jun 23, 2004, 11:06 AM
I thought that the WM9 codec was adopted for HD DVDs, I am so confused now. Anyway, still good news for apple.
I think they can adopt more than one codec for the standard. A HD DVD player must support all the adopted codecs to be standards compliant.

shamino
Jun 23, 2004, 11:09 AM
Ya, I don't understand what this means, either.

Though, it is a moot point anyway, since Sony's Blu-ray format has a higher capacity, has more companies backing it and is farther along in development. IMO, HD-DVD is doomed.
Unless Sony screws up and turns their technically superior device into a niche product that nobody actually uses.

Will this be the next Betamax or the next Trinitron?

I wouldn't care to place a bet either way.

wdlove
Jun 23, 2004, 11:42 AM
I'm confused by this announcement. My concern would be that we continue to have compatibility. It's important that there be an industry wide standard, no one person having ownership.

gerardrj
Jun 23, 2004, 11:56 AM
Here's what I understand:

In the Feb 2004 meeting the forum decided to provisionally accept Windows Media 9 and H.264. That decisions still allowed for one or both codecs to be dropped from consideration at a later date pending review of performance issues and licensing issues.

"Provisional approval of MPEG2, WM9 (VC-9) and MPEG4 AVC(H.264) Video CODECs as mandatory for the HD DVD Video specification for playback devices, subject to (a) an update in 60 days regarding licensing terms and conditions, (b) a presentation by each of the respective licensing bodies at the next SC meeting and (c) possible elimination of any of the above CODECs at the next SC meeting." - Accepted

In the most recent (June) meeting, the forum declined to continue provisional approval, apparently for either Codec. They did however adopt HE-AAC as the official audio codec.

"Motion to retain the provisional approval of the CODECs until the level of information concerning the licensing terms for VC-9 is the same as the level of information concerning the licensing terms for AVC/H.264." - not accepted

The way this committee works, it's hard to say when they actually make a formal, codified decision. I think Apple's report (which can't be located on the DVD forum web site) knocks out WM9 as a potential candidate. It had been about 4 months since the first "approval" and Microsoft had still not ironed out licensing issues. I think the DVD forum decided to not work on Microsoft's timeline and want to get on with the definition of the specs.
I think it boiled down to this: Microsoft doesn't want their codec in the
HD-DVD spec, they just want it there for more forced licensing fees.

coitus if I'd purchase a DVD or player if there was a fee going to MS for it.

gerardrj
Jun 23, 2004, 12:10 PM
Unless Sony screws up and turns their technically superior device into a niche product that nobody actually uses.

Will this be the next Betamax or the next Trinitron?

I wouldn't care to place a bet either way.

I'm curious why you state "unless". Sony has had more mass adoption failures than acceptances in the "format" wars.

Just to name a few that pop to mind:

Failures:
Betamax, Hi-8/D8, MicroMV, MiniDisc, DAT, memory stick

Successes:
trinitron

noverflow
Jun 23, 2004, 03:37 PM
I'm curious why you state "unless". Sony has had more mass adoption failures than acceptances in the "format" wars.

Just to name a few that pop to mind:

Failures:
Betamax, Hi-8/D8, MicroMV, MiniDisc, DAT, memory stick

Successes:
trinitron

BetaSp is still the standard in TV.
Minidisc is ONLY a failure in the US
DAT is still HUGE in film and audio.
SPDIF is a sony/phillips standard.
HI-8 was not a failure, but was also not a sony only thing.
SACD is taking off.

nuckinfutz
Jun 23, 2004, 07:20 PM
Here's how it might work

HD-DVD will likely support 3 codecs. MPEG2, AVC and VC9. All will be mandatory in hardware only. The discs can be encoded in either of the three codecs.

Blu Ray is technically superior to HD-DVD in hardware. It supports Dual Layer discs up to 50+GB. However right now they have only committed to supporting MPEG2. If this is the case then it doesn't matter if it holds 20GB more because AVC and VC-9 can obtain the same quality of MPEG2 at 19Mbps at half the bandwidth.

Apple's press release is letting people know they support AVC which will be one of the mandatory HD-DVD codecs and if Blu Ray is smart they will add it as well.

shamino
Jun 24, 2004, 11:21 AM
I'm curious why you state "unless". Sony has had more mass adoption failures than acceptances in the "format" wars.

Just to name a few that pop to mind:

Failures:
Betamax, Hi-8/D8, MicroMV, MiniDisc, DAT, memory stick

Successes:
trinitron
That's an exaggeration.

Betamax was a failure as a home-video standard, but its professional variant, Betacam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betacam) and subsequent digital Betacam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Betacam), are used extensively in broadcasting even today. These replaced the prior professional standard, U-Matic (also a Sony invention.)

I'll concede Hi-8. It was vastly superior to the "normal" 8mm standard, but I don't think anyone other than Sony made products to use it.

The Digital-8 standard didn't catch on either, but the same CODEC is used in DV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV) and miniDV. DV is very popular for professional digital video recording, and miniDV is very popular for consumer digital camcorders.

Never heard of MicroMV. I'll concede that one as well.

MiniDisc is very popular outside of the US.

Although DAT it was never popular as a consumer-audio standard, it was an incredible success in the pro-audio sector. It was, and still is, extremely popular with musicians and recording studios. Its DDS variant is very popular as a computer backup standard. And miniDV (used in consumer digital camcorders) has the same physical form factor as DAT.

(It should be noted that there were actually no winners in the consumer digital audio wars of the 90's (at least not in the US). DAT didn't win. MiniDisc didn't win in the US. And the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Compact_Cassette) is almost completely forgotten. The ultimate winners in this arena ended up CD-R, computers and portable MP3 players - none of which were even on the roadmap when that particular format war got started.)

Memory stick is definitely not going anywhere.

You also failed to mention a few other Sony inventions
Audio CDs (a Sony/Phillips collaboration)
The S/PDIF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF) ditial audio spec (Sony/Phillips Digital Interconnect Format.) Two consumer-friendly connectors for the AES3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES/EBU) digital audio standard. All consumer and many pro devices use S/PDIF for sending digital audio between devices.
DVD+R/+RW (Sony and others) Although dominance in the recordable DVD arena is still uncertain, the +R/+RW format seems to be in the lead right now.
Sony's overall record of adoption, historically, has been pretty good. Far from universal acceptance (as they would have you believe), but also far from universal rejection (as you would have us believe).

I will re-iterate my belief that it is anybody's guess whether Sony's most recent inventions (Blu Ray and SACD) end up as consumer staples or not. Competing tech (other high-density DVD specs and DVD-A) are equally popular/unpopular right now.