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Digital Digest "LiveUpdate" Newsletter - Issue 62

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    ************************************************************** DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 62
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2007
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      DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com
      DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 62
      7 October, 2007

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      TOP NEWS SUMMARY:

      1. Introduction

      2. Weekly News Roundup

      3. Weekly Software Roundup

      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

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      1. Introduction

      Three weeks in a row where a newsletter has been sent out
      regularly ... it must be a new record for me!

      -- DVDGuy

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      2. Weekly News Roundup

      Once again, I'll go through all the news items that have gone
      through the Digital Digest website and forum for the week.

      Starting with copyright related news, Sony is once again in the
      headlines with Sony's chief lawyer person saying (1) that copying
      songs that you have already purchased, such as from the CD to your
      computer, is considered stealing. This betrays the intention of
      content owners such as Sony, who want you to buy a copy of the movie
      for every single device that you want to use it on. So if you have a
      PS3, a PSP, a Walkman video player and a Sony Vaio laptop, then
      you're screwed. And just in case you are wondering what could happen
      to you if content owners find you guilty of copyright infringement,
      a woman found guilty of sharing 24 songs (2) has been ordered to pay
      $US 220,000 to the RIAA. Although I'm still not sure whether it's a
      copy protection related problem or not, but Fox's new Blu-ray movies
      featuring BD+ copy protection has been found to cause problems (3)
      in certain players, and requiring firmware updates to fix the
      problem (and if you're lucky, the required firmware might just be
      available). Later reports suggested that it was the BD-J usage in
      these discs causing the problem, rather than BD+, since a disc
      without BD+ from Fox also suffers from similar problems. I don't
      know what's worse, playback failure due to BD+ or playback failure
      due to a basic standard feature like BD-J when all the DRM layers
      appear to be working. It seem the priority of the Blu-ray engineers
      might have been to get the DRM working first, and then worry about
      the other small features like playback.

      Onto gaming news. The Halo 3 version of the Xbox 360 hardware appear
      to be using a new 65 nm CPU (4), which is probably Microsoft's
      solution to the overheating problem the console suffers, which is
      indicated by red rings showing up on the 360's power switch
      indicator. While Microsoft has been generous in extending the
      warranty from the initial 90 days, to a year and now 3 years,
      perhaps they can learn something from Nintendo when it comes to
      dealing with design faults. The Wiimote strap was notorious for
      breaking and usually smashing into people (if you're lucky) or
      expensive electronics (not so lucky). A better strap was introduced,
      and Nintendo offered to replace all older straps with the new ones
      without cost, and this seem to solve most problems. Now, Nintendo
      has gone a step further by giving all existing Wii owners up to four
      non-slip jackets for Wiimotes (5) free of charge - all you need to
      do is to give them a call with your details, and they will send them
      out to you. All new Wiimotes will ship with the jacket from now on.
      Now this is what I call commitment to service. They admitted the
      problem, found a solution and offered to fix everything for free
      even though it will cost them more than 17 million dollars - if only
      all companies were like this (but I guess the 360's problem was more
      serious, and they have already committed a billion dollars to fix
      the problem). The big PS3 news of the week has been the announcement
      of a €400 40 GB PS3 (6) for the EU market, set to sell for €400. The
      catch is that it has no backwards compatibility with PS2 titles at
      all, limited to only 2 USB ports and no Compact Flash/Memory Stick
      and SD slots. I think the console will have a matte finish too, as
      opposed to the glossy finish of the other versions. The bad news is
      that once the fully featured models sell out, this cut down version
      will be the only one available in Europe (and I assume, in Australia
      too). This is the 5th version of the console to have been released
      as Sony tries to make the package more attractive price wise.

      In HD news, Acer is to launch what it claims to be the first PC with
      a combo drive (7), capable of playing both Blu-ray and HD DVD
      movies. As a supporter for format neutrality, I hope it turns out to
      be the first of many. Back to the Fox Blu-ray playback problems
      mentioned earlier - it turns out that the problem was related to the
      BD-Java usage of these discs, rather than a BD+ issue, at least with
      the "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer" disc. This once again
      highlights how Blu-ray is playing the catch up game when it comes to
      interactivity, with HD DVD's equivalent HDi being used from day one
      to great effect (albeit not without it's own compatibility problems
      at the start). When HD DVD are already starting to toy around with
      interactive online shopping via HD DVD movies (8), Blu-ray is still
      struggling (9) with basic interactive content like Picture-in-
      Picture. And when Blu-ray profile 1.1, 2.0 are rolled out, expect
      more problems as discs requiring 1.1 or 2.0 players might simply
      fail on 1.0 players (most of which lack the secondary video/audio
      decode and persistent storage required to upgrade to 1.1). But the
      good news for Blu-ray is that the new layer of DRM, BD+, appears to
      be working. Meanwhile, a Japanese HD DVD presentation appear to show
      several Spielberg directed or produced films that will be released
      on HD DVD (10), at least in Japan. Films like Jaws, E.T, Back to the
      Future and Jurassic Park were shown. Spielberg has been quoted to be
      a Blu-ray supporter (I suspect he has been fed some non truths by
      Blu-ray supporter friends of his, such as how Blu-ray has better
      quality or how HD DVD is doomed). His movies were left out of
      Paramount's HD DVD exclusive deal, for example, so it suggests that
      at the very least, he doesn't want HD DVD exclusivity for his
      movies. The only one of his films scheduled to be released on HD has
      been Close Encounters on Blu-ray. But with many of his
      films "belonging" to HD DVD friendly studios, namely Paramount and
      Universal, it all depends on who has control over the release of his
      movies. Spielberg has always been slow to get on the next-gen video
      train, if you can recall how long it took his movies to come out on
      DVD.
      See you next week.

      Links:
      (1) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84200
      (2) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84206
      (3) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84197
      (4) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84160
      (5) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84238
      (6) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84223
      (7) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84169
      (8) http://tinyurl.com/ynuqhx
      (9) http://www.guidetohometheater.com/features/907bdint/
      (10) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84222


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      3. Weekly Software Roundup

      October 7, 2007 AutoGK 2.47 Beta
      October 7, 2007 XULPlayer 0.1.0.0 (Freeware)
      October 7, 2007 MeGUI 0.2.6.1023 (Freeware)
      October 6, 2007 Movie Library ++ 3.0
      October 6, 2007 MediaCoder 0.6.0 Build 3902 (Freeware)
      October 6, 2007 FinalBurner Pro 1.22.0.132
      October 6, 2007 FinalBurner 1.22.0.111 (Freeware)
      October 6, 2007 ffdshow Rev. 1508 (Freeware)
      October 6, 2007 ProgDVB 5.11.2 (Freeware)
      October 5, 2007 DivX Codec 6.7.0.18
      October 5, 2007 DVBcut 0.5.4 (Freeware)
      October 5, 2007 DGMPGDec 1.5.0 Beta 4 (Freeware)
      October 5, 2007 Miro 0.9.9.1a Public Preview 2 (Freeware)
      October 5, 2007 RipBot264 1.6.5 (Freeware)
      October 4, 2007 Cam Video Tool 4 DVD Flick 1.1 (Freeware)
      October 4, 2007 Cut Assistant 0.9.12.1 (Freeware)
      October 4, 2007 DVDINFOPro 4.6.3.1
      October 4, 2007 DVBViewer Pro 3.9.0.0
      October 4, 2007 DVBViewer Technisat Edition 3.9.0.0 (Freeware)
      October 4, 2007 Comskip 0.79.103 (Freeware)
      October 3, 2007 BluffTitler 7.14 (Freeware)
      October 3, 2007 Video DVD Maker Pro 2.4.0.36
      October 3, 2007 Video DVD Maker 2.12.0.75 (Freeware)
      October 3, 2007 DVB Web Scheduler 5.0.0.11 (Freeware)
      October 2, 2007 MPEG StreamClip for Windows 1.2b2 (Freeware)
      October 2, 2007 Kantaris Media Player 0.2.4 (Freeware)
      October 2, 2007 MovieGate 2.64
      October 2, 2007 My Movie Collection 2.6.1
      October 2, 2007 Nero Vision 5.0
      October 2, 2007 Nero Burning ROM 8.1.1.0
      October 2, 2007 Nero Suite 8.0
      October 1, 2007 KMPlayer 2.9.3.1378 Beta (Freeware)
      October 1, 2007 Joost 1.0 Beta (Freeware)
      September 30, 2007 Burn4Free 3.5.0.0 (Freeware)
      September 30, 2007 XP Codec Pack 2.2.0 (Freeware)
      September 30, 2007 VirtualDub 1.7.5 (Build 28225) (Freeware)
      September 30, 2007 DVR-Studio Pro 1.70
      September 30, 2007 DVR-Studio 1.70


      http://www.digital-digest.com/software/lastweeksoftware.php


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