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Digital Digest "LiveUpdate" Newsletter - Issue 75

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  • Digital Digest Newsletter
    ************************************************************** DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 75
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6 2:58 AM

      DIGITAL DIGEST - http://www.digital-digest.com
      DIGITAL DIGEST | LiveUpdate Newsletter - Issue 75
      6 January, 2008



      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

      Welcome to this side of 2008. A very quiet week turned very noisy
      towards the end when Warner Brothers announced they will drop HD DVD
      after May 2008. Not good times to be a HD DVD supporter, although as
      usual with these type of things, the story probably won't end here
      for the "red" format. I've had my own take on this news in a blog
      entry, and as someone who believes that what benefits consumers
      should come first, Blu-ray's possibly victory cannot be considered
      good news, not if you want region-free and fewer, not more, DRM. But
      when do consumers even win anyway, especially against the likes of
      Sony and News Corp's Fox.

      Let's just hope that if the HD DVD backers decide to join up with
      Blu-ray, they bring some of the consumer friendlier advantages of HD
      DVD with them to the BDA, and the BDA is gracious enough in victory
      to accept alternate points of view. But let's not eulogise HD DVD
      just yet ... time will tell what will happen eventually.

      * Warner Goes Blu - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

      -- DVDGuy


      2. Weekly News Roundup

      Welcome to this slightly later than usual weekly news roundup, the
      first for 2008. I actually nearly forgot today was roundup day, as
      the whole week has been a bit like the weekend.

      Starting with copyright news, as reported a bit earlier, the RIAA is
      still trying to ban CD ripping <1>, completely ignoring fair use.
      CDs do not have copy protection mechanisms, so it's not against the
      DMCA since nothing has been hacked or bypassed. And unless someone
      rips and upload the music online, nobody's copyright has been
      violated either. Content owners have really lost sight of what
      copyright enforcement is about, and the constant targetting of their
      customers has had the unintended effect of making DRM public enemy
      number one. Keep it up guys, you're doing a heck of a job destroying
      the reputation of DRM. Speaking of reputations, here's another story
      of DRM gone mad, as changing your monitor might mean you lose access
      to your paid content <2>. No wonder people prefer pirated stuff. And
      sort of in between copyright and HD, PowerDVD Ultra has been updated
      to be Blu-ray Profile 1.1 compatible <3>, and it now supports BD+.
      Good news, on the surface. But to ensure BD+ cannot be bypassed,
      Cyberlink has now made it impossible to playback BD+ titles that do
      not have AACS (eg. if you were somehow able to bypass AACS through
      third party software, which I will not mention by name here), and
      also to playback any HD content (including both Blu-ray and HD DVDs)
      from your hard-drive. If you want to keep these functionalities then
      you can skip the upgrade, but you will lose Profile 1.1
      compatibility. So Blu-ray profiles have some use after all, to force
      people to accept harsher DRM or risk not getting to play advanced
      interactive content.

      And now moving onto HD, and this has been a huge week for HD news.
      Well just like the story of the boy who cried wolf <4>, the wolf
      finally came. Warner Brothers has finally gone down the anti-
      consumer street and abandoned support for HD DVD <5>, becoming Blu-
      ray exclusive after May 2008. I've already said what I feel about
      this change of stance in the previous blog <6>, suffice to say, the
      reaction on some of the forums have been quite hostile. Blu-ray
      fanboys gloating, HD DVD fans fighting back, and others selling
      their HD DVD players on eBay. I feel the people selling their HD DVD
      gear is a bit premature, there are still going to be some twists and
      turns before the war is over. It all depends on what the DVD Forum,
      Toshiba, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Universal and Paramount decide to do
      about it - as you can see, this is a list of some of the biggest
      companies in the world (Universal and Paramount added together is
      bigger than the entire Blu-ray studio camp, minus Warner), I don't
      think they got to where they are by just giving up at the first sign
      of trouble. And your HD DVD gear won't suddenly stop working just
      because Warner has gone blu - there are still tons of movies you
      cannot get on Blu-ray, even some Warner ones. A good time to pick up
      cheap HD DVD hardware and movies though. More good news for Blu-ray
      though, as the first Blu-ray enabled Mac <7> might premier at Mac
      World later this month. For PC users, there is a look at the various
      HD acceleration performances <8> of the latest NVIDIA and ATI GPUs,
      which is worth a look if you are looking to upgrade or build a new
      computer for HD playback.

      And on that note, we move to gaming. Xbox Live users would have
      encountered some problems during the holiday period, as the Xbox
      Live servers were bogged down due to the ever increasing number of
      users (the holiday sales figures should be good for the Xbox 360 -
      several stores I went to just before Christmas were completely sold
      out of 360's and Wii's, with only some PS3s left). Microsoft has
      issued a "mea culpa" to Live users, and to make it up, will be
      offering a free Live Arcade game to all users <9> (details to be
      made available soon). That's nice of them, although it would be
      nicer if they had anticipated the increase in Xbox Live demand,
      especially so soon after it's five year anniversary promotions.

      So that's it for this week. Keep your eyes peeled to this blog for
      more fall out from Warner's bombshell, to see how the HD DVD camp
      reacts. See you next week.

      <1> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85626
      <2> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85643
      <3> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85610
      <4> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85594
      <5> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85650
      <6> http://www.digital-digest.com/blog/DVDGuy/2008/01/05/warner-goes-blu-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
      <7> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85642
      <8> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85576
      <9> http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=85654


      3. Weekly Software Roundup

      January 6, 2008 DVD Rebuilder Pro 1.26.6
      January 6, 2008 ffdshow Rev. 1751 (Freeware)
      January 6, 2008 SubDownloader² 0.7.0 (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 Vista Codec Package 4.5.6 (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 Media Player Classic (20080104) (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 eac3to 2.14 (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 XviD4PSP 5.028 RC2 (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 ProgDVB 5.12.7 (Freeware)
      January 5, 2008 BluffTitler 7.17 (Freeware)
      January 4, 2008 x264 full rev. 715 (Freeware)
      January 4, 2008 Elecard MPEG Player 5.0.71227
      January 4, 2008 DVDStyler 1.6.0 (Freeware)
      January 3, 2008 X Codec Pack 2.2.0 build 503 RC (Freeware)
      January 3, 2008 VoltaicHD 1.0.14
      January 3, 2008 SlideshowMovie 1.1.1
      January 3, 2008 MediaCodeSpeedEdit (Freeware)
      January 3, 2008 Zoom Player WMV Pro 5.01
      January 3, 2008 Zoom Player Pro 5.01
      January 3, 2008 Zoom Player Standard 5.01 (Freeware)
      January 2, 2008 Txt2VobSub 3.2 (Freeware)
      January 2, 2008 Net Transport 2.53
      January 2, 2008 SimpleMovieX 3.6.2
      January 2, 2008 Subtitle Workshop 4.0 Beta (Freeware)
      January 2, 2008 WinFF 0.33 (Freeware)
      January 1, 2008 K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 3.6.5 (Freeware)
      January 1, 2008 K-Lite Codec Pack 3.6.5 (Freeware)
      January 1, 2008 HCbatchGUI 14.0 (Freeware)
      January 1, 2008 DVB Dream 1.4h (Freeware)
      January 1, 2008 MemoriesOnTV Pro 4.0.2
      January 1, 2008 MemoriesOnTV Home 4.0.2
      December 31, 2007 TVersity (Freeware)
      December 31, 2007 AutoMKV 0.93a (Freeware)
      December 31, 2007 The FilmMachine beta (Freeware)
      December 30, 2007 DAEMON Tools 4.11.2 (Freeware)
      December 30, 2007 cdrtfe 1.3 (Freeware)



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