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Digital Digest "LiveUpdate" Newsletter - Issue 66

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  • Digital Digest Newsletter
    ************************************************************** DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 66
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2007

      DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com
      DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 66
      4 November, 2007



      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


      1. Introduction

      This week has definitely been a week for HD DVD news, as the HD DVD
      promotional machine finally started its engines. I was more
      interested in the new Nvidia 8800 GT card, and how I think it's the
      best value card for gaming and HD video at present. It's a shame it
      doesn't do full VC-1 accelerated decoding, but then again, none of
      the cards do yet. The ATI Radeon HD 2400/2600 series does VC-1
      acceleration better, but if you have a fast CPU, then you probably
      won't care about the difference of 30% CPU usage versus 15%.

      * GeForce 8800 GT - The card everyone's been waiting for?

      -- DVDGuy


      2. Weekly News Roundup

      So another Sunday, and another news roundup. There really ought to
      be some rule to forbid working on a Sunday, but then it would just
      mean more work on Mondays. There really ought to be some rule to
      forbid working on a Monday …

      In copyright news, in a Slysoft newsletter, a claim was made that
      BD+ copy protection, the additional layer of copy protection that
      Blu-ray (1) owners enjoy, will be defeated soon (2). Everybody
      probably still remembers the statement that Richard Doherty, (ex?)
      analyst at Envisioneering Group made in regards to BD+:

      "BD+, unlike AACS, which suffered a partial hack last year, won't
      likely be breached for 10 years"

      Not exactly 10 years, but 0.5 years is not bad. Surprisingly, this
      was the only bit of important copyright related news for the week …
      the RIAA/MPAA must be on holidays. Although with so many OiNK
      replacement sites popping up, there will have a lot of work to do
      when they come back.

      In HD news, Fox is set to release the very first BD 1.1 disc (3) for
      the sci-fi movie Sunshine. This is the first Blu-ray disc to feature
      picture-in-picture technology, which has been present on HD DVD (4)
      almost from day one. To access the feature, people will need to have
      a BD 1.1 player, of which there is only one on the market (in
      standalone form anyway), the newly released Panasonic DMP-BD30 (5).
      PS3 owners should expect a firmware update (6) to get themselves up
      to at least 1.1 standard (although the PS3 is good enough for 2.0 in
      any case). Will the disc play properly on 1.0 players? We will find
      out soon enough. The news this week has all been about HD DVD's
      price drops. Several special Black Friday sales have ensured that
      not only did HD DVD standalones break the $200 barrier (7), it broke
      the $100 barrier (8) too. $98 for a standalone HD DVD player from
      Toshiba (the superceded HD-A2) that has built in DVD upscaling and
      comes with 5 free HD DVD movies - that's really just too good to be
      true. It sure beats spending $500+ here in Australia to buy a
      similar player that only comes with 3 movies. K-Mart has saw the
      trend (9), and will now offer the HD-A2 as their only HD DVD or Blu-
      ray standalone for sale this Christmas. They will still sell the PS3
      (as well as the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on) so talk of them going
      exclusive is not factual. The HD-A2 is not a bad player. It lacks
      1080p output, but as this DigiWiki entry (10) explains, it's not a
      problem at all for people with 1080p displays while playing back
      film content. To continue with the HD DVD news, Toshiba has showed
      off their new HD DVD recorder (11), now supporting HD Rec, a format
      that uses H.264 (12) to record to standard DVD discs, allowing 2
      hours of HD content to be stored. Remember that Toshiba's initial
      idea for HD was to use existing DVD/red laser technology and combine
      that with a new more efficient codec (H.264 of VC-1 (13)). It's just
      as well then that Ritek will soon launch HD DVD recordable discs
      (14). Asus is also launching their quietest HD DVD-ROM drive yet
      (15), designed for home theatre PCs.

      On that note, let's move to gaming. Sort of. I'm very impressed with
      Nvidia's new 8800 GT card (16) as I noted in an earlier blog post
      (17). It combines the 3D performance of the 8800 GTS, with the HD
      acceleration of the 8600 GTS, and then makes the whole thing even
      more efficient as to even allow a passive cooled version (18) for
      building an ultra quiet home theatre PC. Nvidia will be releasing a
      new GTS card too based on similar changes, so that might even more
      more attractive. And while ATI's Radeon HD 2xxx series has been
      somewhat of a disappointment, you should never rule them out because
      you are only as good as your last GPU.

      Now moving onto gaming properly, there was rumours that IPTV was
      coming to the Xbox 360 (19) in the Fall update, but Microsoft has
      quashed the rumours by saying that it's not in the Fall update, but
      will be here soon enough anyway. Another week and another developer,
      this time Midway Chicago's studio head Mike Bilder, saying the PS3
      is a pain in the ass to work with. But he does offer a solution -
      develop for the PS3 first to work around the problems, and then port
      over to the other systems. Specifically, he says:

      "Just, to be honest, the hardware differences in memory and
      processor on the PS3 vs. traditional PC and 360, it makes it a
      challenge, and it's representative. Everybody's having a challenge
      in the industry right now.

      [And about using the PS3 as the lead development platform]

      The difficulty you run into there, at least in the last generation,
      was that the Xbox was considerably more powerful than the PS2, and
      you found that people didn't always take advantage of the hardware.
      Whereas with the PS3 and the 360, it's certainly more of a level
      playing field, so I don't think it's necessarily a negative to put
      the PS3 first [as the lead development platform]. But it does help
      mitigate some of that risk in framerate, memory, technology, just
      the hardware differences."

      That's definitely a solution to a problem, find out what you can and
      cannot do on the PS3 first, and once the code is done, you can be
      sure that it will probably work on the other consoles too because
      they are a bit more flexible to work with than the PS3. The quality
      will be the same too, according to Bilder, because there's not much
      difference between the two main consoles (and the Xbox 360
      development is flexible enough to allow ports to it to run quite
      well). Of course, smaller developers who don't have the resources of
      Midway might simply skip the PS3 to work on platforms that have the
      biggest install base and with less development problems.

      So that's it then for a week that has been dominated by HD DVD news,
      with relatively very little news in other areas. If I didn't know
      better, I would say that the HD DVD promotion machine has finally
      started rolling, and just in time for the holidays too. Blu-ray will
      come back next week with more news to counter, no doubt. See you

      (1) http://wiki.digital-digest.com/index.php/Blu-ray
      (2) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84622
      (3) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84603
      (4) http://wiki.digital-digest.com/index.php/HD_DVD
      (5) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84671
      (6) http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor-update/ps3-firmware-20-coming-within-two-weeks-now-317782.php
      (7) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84546
      (8) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84661
      (9) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84650
      (10) http://wiki.digital-digest.com/index.php/1080i/p
      (11) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84649
      (12) http://wiki.digital-digest.com/index.php/H.264
      (13) http://wiki.digital-digest.com/index.php/VC-1
      (14) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84657
      (15) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84670
      (16) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84623
      (17) http://www.digital-digest.com/blog/DVDGuy/2007/10/31/geforce-8800-gt-the-card-everyones-been-waiting-for/
      (18) http://www.sparkle.com.tw/News/SP8800GTpassive/news_SP8800GT_passive_EN.html
      (19) http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=84574


      3. Weekly Software Roundup

      November 4, 2007 Txt2Sup 42.5 (Freeware)
      November 4, 2007 pyTivo Build 205 (Freeware)
      November 3, 2007 OpenVIP 1.1.1 (Freeware)
      November 3, 2007 Burn4Free (Freeware)
      November 3, 2007 ProgDVB 5.11.8 (Freeware)
      November 3, 2007 MediaInfo (Freeware)
      November 3, 2007 RipBot264 1.6.7 (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 GOM Player (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 Vista Codec Package 4.5.2 (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 DGMPGDec 1.5.0 Beta 10 (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 x264 full rev. 682 (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 Video DVD Maker Pro
      November 2, 2007 Video DVD Maker (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 MediaCodeSpeedEdit (Freeware)
      November 2, 2007 K9Copy 1.2.0 (Freeware)
      November 1, 2007 Miro Public Preview 3 (Freeware)
      November 1, 2007 PPT2DVD 4.5.0
      November 1, 2007 DVDSubEdit 1.4 (Freeware)
      November 1, 2007 DVBcut 0.5.4 Rev. 99 (Freeware)
      November 1, 2007 H264TS_Cutter 108 Beta (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 AutoMKV 0.91 (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 AVI to AC3 (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 CoreAVC
      October 31, 2007 Submerge 1.2.1
      October 31, 2007 MovieGate 2.65
      October 31, 2007 Kiss DajeVu Encoder 2008.R01.1 (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 ffdshow Rev. 1589 (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 KMPlayer Beta (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 EAC3toGUI 1.37 (Freeware)
      October 31, 2007 Muxman Pro 1.0.1
      October 30, 2007 XULPlayer (Freeware)
      October 30, 2007 MeGUI (Freeware)
      October 30, 2007 DVDINFOPro
      October 30, 2007 ImTOO Video Editor
      October 29, 2007 CDBurnerXP Pro (Freeware)
      October 29, 2007 VisualSubSync 0.9.11 (Freeware)
      October 29, 2007 DVR-Studio 1.75
      October 29, 2007 WAV to AC3 Encoder 0.9 (Freeware)
      October 28, 2007 MediaCoder 0.6.0 Build 3932 (Freeware)
      October 28, 2007 AvsP 2.0.2 (Freeware)



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