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Digital Digest "LiveUpdate" Newsletter - Issue 110

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    ************************************************************** DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue
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      DIGITAL DIGEST  | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 110

      7 September, 2008



      1. Introduction

      2. Weekly News Roundup

      3. Weekly Software Roundup


      1. Introduction

      No new articles or mid-week blog post this week as I'm busy updating the forum software. Normally, this would take only a few hours of work, but this update is a major one and because I now have so many modifications and plug-ins, upgrading each and ensuring each works is a pain. Even though I'm making a copy of the forum and working on that copy instead, I've already managed to damage the real forum by deleting the language files accidentally. Oh well, let's hope I get the update done before I do too much damage.


      2. Weekly News Roundup

      In the digital entertainment news world, the news items are represented by three separate, yet related, groups. Copyright news that deals with the legal ramifications of digital copyright, HD news that deals with the emergence of HD video, and gaming news that talks about the next generation game consoles. These are this week's stories.

      Dun. Dun.


      Let's start with copyright news. In Italy, the MPAA's president have been giving the Italians some advice on how to deal with piracy: get the ISPs to do your dirty and unconstitutional work. Not very original at all. The Italian courts have been quite reasonable in their dealings so far in relation to digital copyright, and they even said that downloading films, music or software is not a crime if it isn't done for profit.

      If the ISPs don't get on board, than colleges will be the next target. It's not the first time that the MPAA has blamed college students for their revenue losses. "What revenue losses?", I hear you say, and you're right, the movie industry has been making record profits of late. The "revenue" they refer to, of course, is the imaginary one that has been lost due to people pirating and not buying movies. This of course assumes that the college student that downloaded 500 movies would have paid for those if piracy had been prevented. Yes, I'm sure it's is entirely plausible for a college student to have a $10,000 DVD collection on campus. And not only that, each student would have to have their own collection, as sharing a movie is also illegal according to the MPAA.

      IsoHunt's fight against the RIAA is now turning into a fight against the CRIA (Canadian version of the RIAA), but the first strike has been from IsoHunt. Taking an offensive step in the litigation process, IsoHunt has tried to explain how torrents work and why it shouldn't be considered copyright infringement if a website only hosts the torrent files. The law lacks sufficient clarity when it comes to these types of issues, such as whether linking to a third-party site that hosts pirated material is the same as hosting the pirated content yourself. Second degree piracy, or something. Torrents are the same … you can link to a torrent file which is basically just a text file, but without the trackers, seeders and leechers, you can't do anything with the torrent file. 

      Sony's new PlayTV add-on for the PS3, which adds TV recording facilities to the PS3, might be DRM free after all. How long before PlayTV recorded shows make their way onto the Internet and will Sony defend against charges that it is making devices that facilitates piracy? Or will Sony, one of the largest makers of blank media (and one of the largest uses of blank media is related to piracy, of course), turn a blind eye when they stand to make a profit from all this. DRM-free is the right thing to do, but the "holier-than-thou" attitude towards DRM from Sony is hypocritical from a company that has profited from piracy, like most other media/electronics/gaming companies.

      High Definition

      Let's have a look at HD news. Sony has came out with a bold prediction that Blu-ray will be the last optical format. Either they're extremely confident that no technology will ever better Blu-ray in terms of storage, production costs, speed, or that they don't think the good old optical disc has much life left, now that there are alternative methods of distribution. I'm more inclined to believe the latter, and it seems another Blu-ray backer, Samsung, agrees with this as well.

      Samsung says that Blu-ray only has 5 years left (which, ironically, is just about the time that Blu-ray will overtake DVDs, by many other's predictions), and after that, downloads and whatnot will take over. I have no idea what will happen, as downloads/streaming will depend a lot on how sound the Net infrastructure is and whether it can cope with the added demand (and the news that Comcast is starting to cap broadband usage suggests that the infrastructure is getting stretched). There's also the slightly tricky issue of getting consumers on board, as without a simple plug and play device to download/stream movies, people will be turned off by it. But video on demand is the future, and by "on demand", I don't mean having a 10,000 Blu-ray disc movie library which you have to store, catalogue and search through whenever you want to watch a movie. Either way, it sounds like Sony may be onto only a temporary winner when it comes to Blu-ray.

      Which is why it was so strange to see that the first movie on a possible Blu-ray killing distribution method, USB memory sticks, is actually a Sony movie. What with the PS3 ready to do video streaming as well, it looks like Sony is hedging its bets on both Blu-ray and purely digital distribution. And who can blame them?

      Back to Samsung. They are saying that they will concentrate on new display technologies such as OLED TVs (thinner, brighter, better than LCD technology). 3D TVs without the need for goggles is another one to watch out for. Both Samsung and Sony are working on 240 Hz TVs, which will give motion that is so smooth, that it is very close to what our eyes can see in everyday motion. If you've ever watched a Blu-ray movie on a 120 Hz screen (especially compared to a 60 Hz one), you'll know why this is a good thing. It's just a shame that not all HDTVs are 120 Hz by standard, which is what I would have expected by now (if Blu-ray was more popular, I think 120 Hz would be too, as Blu-ray's 24 FPS output is perfect for 120 Hz due to it being a multiple of 24).


      And finally in gaming, more Xbox 360 price cuts are coming, with the Arcade bundle now $199 and cheaper than the Wii as Microsoft tries to catch onto the casual gaming wave. I can't complain about any price drops of course, but I wish they would upgrade the hardware to at least make it less noisy and more reliable (surely technological advances should allow for this to happen now without dramatic product cost increases).

      GTA may be coming to the Wii as well, which kind of goes against the family friendly image of the Wii, but there are quite a few violent games on the Wii already.

      And that's it for this week. I've been busy with some mundane stuff recently, upgrading the forum software for one which is a pain in the proverbial due to all the modifications I've made to it. Hopefully, I can get it done by next week, or somehow wipe out the entire forum in the process, whichever comes first. To be continued …

      Created by Dick Wolf.


      3. Weekly Software Roundup

      September 7, 2008  BSplayer 2.31
      September 7, 2008  VIDEOzilla 2.8
      September 7, 2008  x264 full rev. 965 Freeware
      September 7, 2008  AVI-Mux GUI 1.17.8 Freeware
      September 6, 2008  cdrtfe 1.3.2 Freeware
      September 5, 2008  TMPGEnc MPEG Editor
      September 5, 2008  J. River Media Center 12.0.533
      September 5, 2008  MP4Box 0.4.5 Dev (20080904) Freeware
      September 5, 2008  ffdshow Rev. 2099 (generic & x64) Freeware
      September 5, 2008  MeGUI Freeware
      September 4, 2008  VoltaicHD for Mac 1.4.2 Mac OS Windows
      September 4, 2008  TMPGEnc 2.525 Freeware
      September 4, 2008  XP Codec Pack 2.4.2 Freeware
      September 4, 2008  LameXP 3.04 RC6 Freeware
      September 4, 2008  Replay A/V 8.43
      September 3, 2008  RipBot264 1.10.6 Freeware
      September 3, 2008  Zoom Player Home MAX 6.00
      September 3, 2008  Zoom Player Home Premium 6.00
      September 3, 2008  Zoom Player Home Basic 6.00 Freeware
      September 3, 2008  Zoom Player Home Professional 6.00
      September 2, 2008  All My Movies 5.0 build 1270
      September 2, 2008  SUPER v2008.build.33 Freeware
      September 2, 2008  Elisa 0.5.8 Linux/Unix Mac OS Windows Freeware
      September 2, 2008  CoreAVC Mac OS Windows
      September 2, 2008  MainConcept Reference 1.6
      September 1, 2008  DGAVCDec 1.0.0 Alpha 35 Freeware
      September 1, 2008  Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder 4.4.1
      September 1, 2008  AVIsynth 2.5.8 RC4 Freeware
      September 1, 2008  GraphStudio Beta Freeware Added in the last 2 Weeks
      September 1, 2008  eac3to 2.60 Freeware


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