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Digital DIGEST - LIVE UPDATE Issue 31

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      DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com
      Your "I promise the next one will be on time" newsletter
      Thursday, 5 December, 2002



      0. Section Zer0 - an introduction to this issue

      1. 2003 - What's Next ?

      2. New WinDVD

      3. NVIDIA Makes it a Three Horse Race

      4. How to cancel/change your subscription email address/settings
      - how to maintain the subscription to this newsletter even if
      your email address has changed

      5. A simple thank-you
      - a thank-you message for all those that joined this list


      0. Section Zer0

      Welcome to this, the 31st issue, of the Digital Digest LiveUpdate
      newsletter, and most likely, the last ever ... for this year. The
      holiday season usually means more site development time, and
      hopefully, I will have something new for Digital Digest knocked up
      soon ... stay tuned!!

      Since we're starting a new year soon, this is probably a good time to
      talk about what I think will be the "next big thing" in terms of
      digital video - after all, I've already successfully predicted the
      rise of PC-DVD and DivX and the fall of DIVX, or at least that's what
      I tell people to make them think I'm smart.

      But before we get to the "next big thing", let's not forget that PC-
      DVD and DivX are still far from being dead and even now, a new player
      has just come into the software DVD player.

      Enjoy :)

      -- DVDGuy


      1. 2003 - What's Next ?

      As someone who publishes a website about technology, it is always
      important to be able to predict the next new piece of technology, or
      at least know when a new technology has matured enough to be given
      the right amount of coverage. DVD Digest was opened at a time when 2X
      DVD-ROM drives had been just released, and all the problems with the
      first generation DVD-ROM drives had just been ironed out. DivX Digest
      started when the now infamous version 3.11 Alpha of the DivX codec
      was released. So what will 2003 bring, if anything at all?

      First of all, I expect DVD-ROM titles (eg. applications, games) to
      finally make some impact. I am not saying it will replace CD-ROMs
      (although there is no reason why it shouldn't), but after several
      years in the wilderness, it has to make some impact, right? Heck,
      even DIVX is more widely used than DVD-ROM right now. I think
      practically every new computer sold has a DVD-ROM drive now, and they
      are now less than $US 30 per drive - but certain games and
      applications are still sold in multi-CD format, sometimes requiring
      several CD swaps just to install the damn thing - DVD-ROM would solve
      all that.

      XviD should also make it big in 2003. While it is already quite
      popular amongst "enthusiast" users, it has yet to reach the mass
      acceptance that DivX currently enjoys. All this should change with
      the open-source XviD developing quite nicely. XviD should give the
      commercial DivX Pro a run for its money.

      Covergence is a buzz word that has been floating around for a while
      now - it refers to the convergence of the computer with everyday
      appliances, such as home theatre. DVD (Video) is probably the first
      format to truly cross over between computers and home theatre, and I
      think it's huge popularity probably has something to do this this
      fact. With game consoles such as the X-BOX basically now just small
      computers with DVD-ROM drives, it's really just a matter of time
      before a computer connected home theatre system will be just as
      common as the good old VHS VCR. New software being release also
      reflect this trend, with increasing number of video capturing/digital
      video recording type software being released (see WinDVD Recorder
      later in this newsletter) that tries to emulate the convenience of a
      VCR, with the added functionality of a computer (and CD/DVD writers,
      and being digital, of course).

      This brings us to the next big thing, which in my opinion will be DVD
      burning. It's true that the format wars, DVD-R/RW versus DVD+R/RW,
      has not yet resolved itself, but with the news of multi-format drives
      (supporting both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW), 2003, I think, will be the
      year that DVD writing will finally be in the reach of the average
      computer user. Note that I said "computer user" and not "consumer".
      This is because I do not believe standalone DVD recorders will reach
      a level where it can become a replacement for the VCR, since VCR is
      the DVD Recorder's only competitor, in my opinion. With VCRs so
      widespread, and more importantly, so cheap and relatively easy to
      use, DVD Recorders will have to do quite a bit to prove itself a
      worthy replacement for the good old VCR - it will have to get a heck
      of a lot cheaper as well.

      DVD recorder drives for computers are another matter - it's easy to
      see the transition between CD-R/RW and DVD-+R/RW - it's also easy to
      see where all the extra space that DVD recordables bring can be used,
      mainly in the backup of existing data (either DVD movies, or a handy
      backup of your hard-drive). With some drives already costing below
      $US 300, the price drop required for DVD-+R/RW to become standard
      equipment in computers can be reached relatively quickly (compared to
      $1000+ for standalone DVD recorders, which will take a while to drop
      down to a more affordable $300 or so).

      So is it time to get a DVD-+R/RW drive now? Probably not, at least
      not until more multi-format drives are released and competition
      forces the price to drop further. But it's probably a good idea to
      start saving up for one now.

      Related Links :
      DVD-ROM games - http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/software/games/
      XviD Explained (Newsletter Issue 29) : http://www.digital-
      Sony's Internal DVD±RW Drive DRU500A - http://www.sonystyle.com/is-

      Related Discussions :
      Poll : Buying DVD writers - http://forum.digital-
      Poll : DVD writable formats - http://forum.digital-


      2. New WinDVD

      Intervideo has just released several new line-ups in the WinDVD
      product range, notably WinDVD Platinum, WinDVD Creator and WinDVD

      WinDVD Platinum can be considered the next major version of WinDVD,
      only this time, it's for Windows 2000 and XP only (Windows 9x/Me
      versions may be released soon). It has all the same advanced features
      as WinDVD, plus a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

      WinDVD Recorder takes the WinDVD platform one step further. It has
      all the same features as WinDVD Platinum, plus it also has video
      capturing (both digital and analog support), encoding and burning on
      to CD or DVD recordables.

      WinDVD Creator then takes WinDVD Recorder's playback functions away,
      and add upon it's video capturing, editing and authoring capabilities.

      I had a look at WinDVD Platinum under Windows 2000, and it's very
      similar in nature to WinDVD 4.0, with a little bit more spit and
      polish, if you know what I mean. Notable additions (compared to
      WinDVD Plus) are video docking (a GUI feature), full DivX support,
      video effects, Dolby virtual speakers technology (emulates 5.1 sound
      from 2 speaker), SRS TruSurround XT Headphone support, 96 kHz/24 Bit
      audio decoding and other small, but useful, additions/changes
      (include LanguageMate, which allows you to use multi-language DVDs as
      a language learning tool - cool!!).

      As usual, a full review of WinDVD Platinum will be released as soon
      as possible, including details about WinDVD Recorder as well.

      Download Links :
      WinDVD Platinum - http://www.digital-
      WinDVD Creator - http://www.digital-
      WinDVD Recorder - http://www.digital-


      3. NVIDIA Makes it a Three Horse Race

      For a while now, the software DVD player market battle has been one
      between Cyberlink (PowerDVD) and Intervideo (WinDVD). This may soon
      change, with graphic giants NVIDIA joining in the fray with it's new
      NVDVD player.

      NVDVD player is a commercial DVD player ($39.95, downloadable
      version) which may not have all the fancy features of WinDVD and
      PowerDVD (like DTS decoding, SRS TruSurround, etc...), but does it's
      primary job of DVD decoding quite well. Being developed by NVIDIA,
      there is a strong leaning towards support for NVIDIA devices, which
      is understandable, although other graphics cards, especially those
      compatible with the latest version of DirectX, are well supported
      too. It also has some unique features as well, which I won't be too
      surprised to see included in the next major versions of
      WinDVD/PowerDVD. Overall, while still a few steps behind
      PowerDVD/WinDVD, it's not too far behind.

      Related Links :
      NVDVD Review - http://www.digital-

      Download Links :
      NVDVD - http://www.digital-digest.com/dvd/downloads/nvdvd.html


      4. How to cancel/change settings/email address for your subscription
      to this newsletter

      Changing subscription status for this newsletter is pretty easy.

      To un-subscribe :
      - Send an email to liveupdate-unsubscribe@egroups.com using the email
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      To change the email address that receives this newsletter :
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      5. A simple thank-you

      Just a note to thank all the thousands of people (3000 at last
      count), including you, who joined the DVD Digest LiveUpdate program.
      We've spent quite a bit of time developing this site, and making it
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