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Digital Digest "LiveUpdate" Newsletter - Issue 153

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  • Digital Digest
    ************************************************************** DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 5, 2009
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      DIGITAL DIGEST  | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 153

      5 July, 2009



      1. Introduction

      2. Digital Digest's 10th Anniversary - Win Prizes!

      3. Weekly News Roundup

      4. Weekly Software Roundup


      1. Introduction

      Digital Digest just turned 10 and it's time to celebrate with some prizes that you can win. Wait a second, why is Digital Digest giving the gifts when it is the one celebrating a birthday? Doesn't seem right does it, but that's the way things go. I've enjoyed working on this website for the last 10 years, and it's gone by quickly, if not exactly without its ups and many many downs. Would Digital Digest still exist in another 10 years time? Would the Internet still exist? Or even the human race? Issue 673 of this newsletter should have the answers to these questions for you ...


      2. Digital Digest's 10th Anniversary - Win Prizes!

      As mentioned already (and will be mentioned again and again in the following sections), it's been 10 years since Digital Digest (then known as DVDigest) was launched. Back then, it was all about trying to play DVDs on my computer, and trying to get more than just 10 frames per second in PowerDVD 1.5 or something. Video acceleration was kind of new back then. But 10 years later, we're still taking about video acceleration (this time for Blu-ray playback, in the forms of GPU assisted decoding for H.264 and VC-1), so not much has changed at all really.

      Even though it's Digital Digest's birthday, it will be the one giving the gifts. In this case, Amazon.com Gift Cards to be exact. There are 10 GCs to be won, 10 for obvious reasons, and all you need to enter is to submit your name and email address. The winners will be drawn randomly at the end of the month:


      Good Luck!


      3. Weekly News Roundup

      Digital Digest is 10 years old! The actual birthday was yesterday, and I know it was 4th of July and that's because I deliberately chose an easy to remember date to make public the very first version of Digital Digest (then known as DVDigest – you can see a screenshot of it here). My original thinking behind Digital Digest was that, as I was very active on newsgroups and forums back then answering people's questions in regards to DVD playback (mainly focused on the Asus v3400 graphics card), that having a website where I can post all my answers and people can read that would save me time. After 10 years and countless hours of work later, I think my plan might have backfired just a little. Still, it's been mostly enjoyable and I don't think I would rather be doing anything else.

      Anyway, to celebrate the 10th anniversary, I thought I would set up a competition where you can win some Amazon.com Gift Cards. There are 10 prizes in total (you know, for the 10 years and all), and entry is as simple as giving me your name and email address. No super easy or super hard questions to answer, or secret codes to hunt for on the website. I'll randomly draw the winners at the end of the month, good luck to all those who enter.

      Anyway, onto the news for the week, there's a bit to cover.


      Let's start with the copyright news. The Pirate Bay is still dominating the copyright news this week. There was a big announcement that caused a lot of stir, but it was preceded by some interesting news in regards to a new site that TPB wants to launch.

      The new site in question is a YouTube style video sharing site, except there won't be any copyright filters to contend with. It won't make big media happy, but YouTube is only YouTube because people share copyright stuff, not in the sense of piracy, but using clips and music in their own videos. If you can really make YouTube 100% copyright compliant, then there won't be many videos left at all.

      So good news in that TPB is undeterred by the lawsuits and will continue with their crusade to "free" the Internet of the shackles of excessive copyright control. Then the news broke that The Pirate Bay has been sold to a new company, and that new company wants to focus on legalizing TPB. Confusion reigned, and we still don't know what's going on. On one hand, the statements made by the new owners seem to indicate that TPB would go legit, which basically means it's going to turn into a completely different site, other than the domain name. On the other hand, there were statements made later on that suggested this won't make much of a difference at all. The backlash was immediate, and not too dissimilar to the one after the Mininova content filter blog post made a couple of months ago. It does seem a bit ungrateful that this tremendously useful resource that people have been using, for free, for so many years and then the minute something changes (and we're not even sure what the changes mean yet), it becomes torch and pitchfork time. But I guess that's the nature of the business, in that people expect free stuff and they won't like it when it's taken away. Keep a close eye on this story and let's give the benefit of the doubt to the TPB founders for the time being.

      And let's not forget that the bad guys in all of this is the RIAA, MPAA and all these other copyright groups that refuses to embrace the Internet for what it is, and accept that piracy is part of their business model now, and without it (and without the Internet "hype" effect, they'd be making much less money than they are right now). But it's yet another victory for the RIAA in their lawsuit against Usenet.com. Well, at least the lawyers are happy, and people who pirate stuff are still pirating stuff, possibly more easily than before. But at least they're not going after individuals in lawsuits anymore, although the three-strikes rubbish is not that much better. And if more proof was needed that going after individuals doesn't work, then have a look at a new study by Which? computer magazine in the UK, which managed to easily find 20 users accused of piracy that are apparently innocent. There's been lots of these kind of falsely accused stories in the past, and because IP addresses are not the best way to track down individuals. IP addresses can be easily faked, and even if they are genuine, it only proves that someone using a particular connection at that time was possibly downloading pirated material, it does not prove that which person did it or whether it was done with permission of the owners of the connection.

      But this all assumes that illegal downloads are a bad bad thing, but the reality is that many people have no other alternative than to download, such as downloading TV shows. EngadgetHD looks at the top 10 reasons people download illegal TV shows. From my experience, especially here in Australia, people are almost forced to download because the traditional outlets such as TV stations or DVD are just too slow – some shows are shown years after they were originally broadcast in the US, and some (like The Sopranos) never shown properly at all. And because DVD releases have to be months after TV broadcasts, the shows that are purchased by the TV station but never shown might never make it onto DVD. The situation is a lot better now these days than just a few years ago, and I think online piracy is the reason for this improvement. So piracy is not always a bad thing, if it gives the right people a kick up the butt, for the right reasons. The simplest way to fight against piracy is to make legal alternatives available, that are better and not a total ripoff. Do this, and piracy will slow down. Don't do it, and people will flock to what's the best and fastest, which right now is clearly piracy.

      High Definition

      Let's move on to HD news now. Oppo has released its new Blu-ray player. It features high-end features such as SACD and DVD-Audio playback, plus the superior video processing for both Blu-ray and DVD upscaling that Oppo is famous for.

      Plus, there is the possibility of a region-free firmware (for both Blu-ray and DVD), and it could be the must-have Blu-ray player for the year. Elsewhere, it has all the features most Blu-ray players have, including Profile 2.0 compatibility – there's not Netflix streaming though. And it's not that expensive either, not for the amount of features you get. Those with huge DVD collections should really consider getting this player as it will seriously improve the longevity of your DVD collection with the superior upscaling capabilities, while allowing you to sample what Blu-ray can offer. It's available for under $500 from Amazon right now.

      Speaking of Netflix streaming on Blu-ray players, the Examiner looks at whether on demand content is going to replace physical media. I don't see why both can't co-exist together, like on the aforementioned Blu-ray player, but certainly on demand content is going to eat into the profit streams of physical media. I think physical media still has a place, for backup, and for those like me that still prefer something solid to represent my movie collection. The situation may be analogous to the one between snail mail  and emails. There was always the talk that email will replace traditional mail, but while the good old letter has suffered, it still has an important place in our new digital world. Just like physical media will have in the world of tomorrow.


      And finally in gaming, lots of rumours as usual. For the Xbox 360, the latest rumours suggest that the Pro pack is being phased out, and the Elite will become the new "pro", with a Natal bundle being the new Elite. More rumours of PS3 price cuts, and the rumours regarding the PS3 slim still won't go away. You can read about all of these rumours here.

      The second rumour is about PS2 compatibility coming back to the PS3, either to all existing consoles, or to the PS3 slim. If Sony plans to phase out the PS2, and it's about time they did, then this makes perfect sense. With software emulation more of a possibility than when the PS3 first launched (where PS2 compatibility required extra, and expensive, hardware), it won't add to the cost of the PS3, while Sony can even sell the emulation software in the PS Store. Plus, they can then start selling PS2 games in digital form for PS3 owners, just like on the Xbox 360 or Wii. So this is one rumour that might be true, and if Sony isn't even considering this option, then somebody should smack them in the back of the head.

      And is Project Natal racist? The news broke that people with darker skin tones might have trouble playing Natal due to one person's experience at the E3 demo. It's an interesting headline, but I don't think there's an issue, because surely darker clothing would affect the accuracy of Natal much more than darker skin. A calibration tool might be what Natal needs, and users might have to calibrate the cameras (due to change in lighting) before usage to ensure accuracy is improved.

      So that's it for the week. Ten years, it's gone by rather quickly I must say. Even this feature, the Weekly News Roundup, is nearly 2 years old (in September), even though it feels like I only started doing this last month. Or maybe it feels this way because I really don't know what I'm doing, which is probably true. Anyway, see you next week as I incompetently try to produce another edition of the WNR. See you then.


      4. Weekly Software Roundup

      July 5, 2009  All My Movies 5.4 build 1284
      July 4, 2009  ProgDVB 6.10.2 Freeware
      July 4, 2009  Moovida Linux/Unix Mac OS Windows Freeware
      July 4, 2009  Kantaris Media Player 0.5.7 Freeware
      July 4, 2009  ffdshow Rev. 3024 (generic/x64) Freeware
      July 4, 2009  Q DVD Author 1.10.0 Linux/Unix Freeware
      July 4, 2009  MediaInfo 0.7.18 Linux/Unix Windows Freeware
      July 4, 2009  Lagarith Lossless Video Codec 1.3.20 Freeware
      July 4, 2009  VSO PhotoDVD
      July 3, 2009  BD Rebuilder 0.24.03 Beta Freeware
      July 3, 2009  Kdenlive 0.7.5 Linux/Unix Freeware
      July 3, 2009  MKVToolnix 2.9.7 Linux/Unix Mac OS Windows Freeware
      July 3, 2009  WinMPG Video Convert 8.9.5
      July 2, 2009  Windows 7 Codecs 1.2.0 Freeware
      July 2, 2009  Vista Codec Package 5.3.2 Freeware
      July 1, 2009  EMDB 0.82 Freeware
      July 1, 2009  TS-Doctor 0.95 Beta Freeware
      July 1, 2009  Nero Burning ROM Linux/Unix Windows
      July 1, 2009  DVDRemaster Standard 5.1.5 Mac OS
      July 1, 2009  DVDRemaster Pro 5.1.5 Mac OS
      June 30, 2009  mkv2vob 2.4.6 Freeware
      June 30, 2009  Vista Codec x64 Components 2.0.0 Freeware
      June 30, 2009  DVBcut 0.6.0 Rev. 166 Linux/Unix Windows Freeware
      June 30, 2009  multiAVCHD 3.0 build 662 Freeware
      June 30, 2009  CopyToDVD Freeware
      June 30, 2009  YAMB Beta 2 Freeware
      June 29, 2009  X Codec Pack Freeware
      June 28, 2009  AVCutty 3.0a Freeware


    • Digital Digest Newsletter
      Hi I noticed that there was a problem with the competition submission form. This issue has been fixed now, so you should try to submit again if you got an
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 5, 2009
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        I noticed that there was a problem with the competition submission form. This issue has been fixed now, so you should try to submit again if you got an error message (if you submit again and it tells you that your email address has already been submitted, then don't worry, your entry has already been recorded).


        Sorry for the inconvenience.

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.