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Discussion Starter #1
Are SuperBit DVDs clearly marked as such? Is this a proprietary process or is it a standard that all the studios are free to emulate?

There is a mention on the SuperBitDVD.com website that while SuperBit DVDs will play on any DVD player the higher the quality of the player, the better they'll look. What specs should be considered for optimal DVD playback other than, I assume. progressive scanning? I've been advised to use a Denon 1600 as a baseline model. I have access to Toshiba, Panasonic, Denon, Samsung and a few brands ad I'd prefer to stay with brands in my business channel. I own a Toshiba SD2800 (was given to me as a sales spif) which is a fairly low end model without progressive scan capability.
 

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Are SuperBit DVDs clearly marked as such?
Yes.

I think you have to look at the whole system (TV, DVD Player, interconnects etc). All of the equipment comes into play so results may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whole Shebang

I've got a Toshiba 42HDX82 HDTV, and all connected with component cables. I'm looking at the DVD issue now...
 

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SuperBit DVDs are generally well marked. They usually have distinctive packaging (silver with reduced coverart inset).

Panic Room is an SuperBit original release, so the need to distinguish it is unnecessary. It has regular cover art and "green" packaging (probably my Ms. Foster's insistence).

SuperBit is merely guidelines for how a disc should be mastered:

- Dual layer
- No animated menus
- No/few extras on the film disc
- Usually only a single high-quality audio track

The idea is to maximize the space for video content and boost the video bit-rate to maximum to reduce the amount of compression, and theorectically reduce the compression artifacts.

All SuperBits generally peg the decoder near 10 Mbps (the maximum bit-rate for DVD). So any player able to handle the full DVD bit-rate should be fine.

Higher end DVD players would have:

- More memory to buffer and allow a clean layer change
- Better video output circuitry
- Progressive scan that is done in the digital domain and specializes in DVD rather than the general purpose de-interlacing from the analogue domain done in the TVs.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DVD Players

I "hear" what you're saying about better players, but that doesn't help me much. I've gone through specs for a number of players in a wide range of price classes and I don't see much difference in specs other than some are Progressice and some have Faroudja compression.

So, SuperBit DVDs can be produced by anyone who cares to comply with thr guidelines?
 

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The general consensus is that players with the Faroujda chips are the best in terms of video quality. An almost complete list can be found at the following link:

http://www.dcdi-video.com/products/dvd/

I think all of the Panasonic progressives, including the DMR-HS2, use the chipset.

For an "all you ever wanted to know about progressive scan" read check out the following:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_4/dvd-benchmark-part-5-progressive-10-2000.html

They talk about chipsets etc. They don't have a recent DVD shootout but
the info is good background.
 

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Re: DVD Players

johncap said:
I "hear" what you're saying about better players, but that doesn't help me much. I've gone through specs for a number of players in a wide range of price classes and I don't see much difference in specs other than some are Progressice and some have Faroudja compression.

So, SuperBit DVDs can be produced by anyone who cares to comply with thr guidelines?
Yes, anyone could do the same thing as SuperBit.

In my estimation the Panasonic progressive players are pretty much the best thing short of the Denon 2800 MkII which has an even better de-interlacer, memory buffer, etc. It's also CDN$1300 retail. Would the difference be worth the extra $1000? I don't think so. Use the $1000 toward a much better video quality DTheater deck.

One possibility in the near future is a FLI23xx equipped DVD player with DVI+HDCP output. That latest Faroudja chip has incredibly good quality scaling ability to generate "near-HD" from DVD.

The Samsung HD1000 is the first unit announced that reportedly uses the chip, but it doesn't seem to have DVI+HDCP output (it restricts to 480p if the DVD is copy protected, and most are).

Gary
 

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Re: Samsung's DVD-HD1000 Announcement

johncap said:
http://www.samsungelectronics.com/news/digital_media/com_news_1040367455312_001300.html
That's the one. I believe it only has (analogue) component output, and will only ouput 480p if it sees copy protection flags.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Why Even Say It...

I guess it's not quite clear to me what the point of them even saying the outputis limited to whatever if copy protection is employed. What DVD is NOT copy protected?

I'm also at a loss how DVI would increase, or allow increased resolutions to pass through.

Has anyone announced a DVD player with DVI yet?
 

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Re: Why Even Say It...

johncap said:
I guess it's not quite clear to me what the point of them even saying the outputis limited to whatever if copy protection is employed. What DVD is NOT copy protected?

I'm also at a loss how DVI would increase, or allow increased resolutions to pass through.

Has anyone announced a DVD player with DVI yet?
DVI+HDCP not just DVI. The DVI+HDCP is the demanded form of copy protected output from HD devices. The video stream is sent as encrypted digital data. If DVI+HDCP is used they would be permitted to output HD resolution. And, there would be no Macrovision contaminating the stream.

Nobody has announced a DVD player with it yet. Samsung is the only one to announce an upscaling DVD player of any kind. However, I'm predicting that we'll see these ED-DVD (can I claim first use of that?) decks well before we see HD-DVD.

Think about it. You're Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, etc. and you want to put something on the market that allows you to reduce the margin pressure, and differentiate your product from cheapy DVD players. The big boys are in a technological arms race against the no-name competitors. And we'll get better and better stuff because of it (joy!).

Panasonic already uses the previous Sage/Faroudja chipset. They'd be a natural for being one of the first to bring out a $300-$400 ED-DVD unit with the FLI23xx.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Why Even Say It...

[quote="dialog_gvf]DVI+HDCP not just DVI. The DVI+HDCP is the demanded form of copy protected output from HD devices.
ED-DVD unit with the FLI23xx.[/quote]

Okay, I got you. The age old question of the vendors fearing getting ripped off is once again delaying technological advancement in consumer products. So, the combo of DVI+HDCP is what is required to get to HD-DVD... Others have voiced the opinion we'll NEVER see HD-DVD.

You'vemention FLI23xx now twice to me. I've run Googles on that and get no hits. What is it?
 

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Re: Why Even Say It...

johncap said:
You'vemention FLI23xx now twice to me. I've run Googles on that and get no hits. What is it?
It's the next generation of the Sage/Faroudja chipset that the Panasonic DVD players (and others) use for deinterlacing. This new chip adds digital zoom and scaling. It can take standard def (like DVD) and generate near HD quality by interpolation techniques and outputting a 1080i video signal. Its a more advanced version of something like Sony's DRC or the Toshiba 540p + horizontal pixel doubling.

Obviously the best thing is the actual resolution, but interpolation allows you to generate a best guess for the missing pixels allowing an artificially created increased resolution.

I use FLI23xx (xx is the wildcard) because there are various models of the chip. Try a search for the FLI2300.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Why Even Say It...

dialog_gvf said:
johncap said:
You'vemention FLI23xx now twice to me. I've run Googles on that and get no hits. What is it?
It can take standard def (like DVD) and generate near HD quality by interpolation techniques and outputting a 1080i video signal.
Clarify something else for me. What is the theoretical maximum res that DVDs are actually encoded with, or is that a variable, considering thei're digitally encoded? My point is that after the discussion of DVI:HDCP it would appear that the output generated by the highest quality DVD player is not necessarily the best producable from a standard DVD, merely limited by the interface. Is this presumption correct? So, does today's DVD gett popped into tomorrow's "HD-DVD" player and produce HD output,or will HD-DVD require another whole generation of media as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Why Even Say It...

dialog_gvf said:
johncap said:
You've mentioned FLI23xx now twice to me. I've run Googles on that and get no hits. What is it?
I use FLI23xx (xx is the wildcard) because there are various models of the chip. Try a search for the FLI2300.
Google gives me a ton of hits all for DLP projectors. Didn't see anything related to DVD players.
 

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Re: Why Even Say It...

johncap said:
Google gives me a ton of hits all for DLP projectors. Didn't see anything related to DVD players.
As I said, the Samsung is the only unit so far announced.

I must stress my ED-DVD talk is prediction, not fact. But, it is the next logical step that Samsung has already partly taken, but poorly handled.

johncap said:
Clarify something else for me. What is the theoretical maximum res that DVDs are actually encoded with, or is that a variable, considering thei're digitally encoded? My point is that after the discussion of DVI:HDCP it would appear that the output generated by the highest quality DVD player is not necessarily the best producable from a standard DVD, merely limited by the interface. Is this presumption correct? So, does today's DVD gett popped into tomorrow's "HD-DVD" player and produce HD output,or will HD-DVD require another whole generation of media as well?
DVD max (NTSC) is 720x480 pixels. That's 540 horizontal lines (vertical lines displayed horizontally) of luminance resolution.

The measurement is for a square box a picture height on each side, and DVD is encoded as a 4:3 image, so:

(540 * 4)/3 = 720 pixels

Many DVD players have video circuitry that only generates only 500 horizontal lines of resolution out the component outputs. So it is accurate to say many players don't generate the full quality possible from a DVD. And a strictly conforming player isn't permitted to generate more than a 4.2 MHz luminance signal out the composite or s-video connections (330 lines). But, they can generate a full quality image using component outputs. HD devices can and do use component output to deliver far higher bandwidth signals.

Many DVD players do deliver the full resolution as encoded on the disc.

HD sets convert those 480i/p inputs back into a 720x480p image and upscale this to 540p, 960i, and double the horizontal pixels (1440x540p or 1440x960i) before display. This increases the APPARENT resolution. But, the new resolution is faked (interpolated) and not actually present on the disc. However, with improvements in upscaling (with chips like the FLI23xx) the difference between apparent resolution and real resolution is reduced. This ED-DVD (enhanced definition DVD) is a possible transitional technology between DVD and HD-DVD. And DVD player manufacturers and their chip makers would compete for who does the best job at creating ED-DVD.

ED-DVD players would enhance all currently existing and future DVDs. And, it's possible that the encoders that generate the content for future DVD discs could be tuned with ED-DVD in mind (special hinting output, interpolant awareness to minimize upconvert artifacts, etc.)

HD-DVD doesn't exist yet. It is an umbrella term for the next generation that currently has three proposed formats. It will have different media and encode real high resolution (up to 1920x1080), and although the HD-DVD players will play DVD discs, DVD players will not play HD-DVDs.

And, presumably HD-DVD players would be ED-DVD players for DVD discs.
 

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However, I'm predicting that we'll see these ED-DVD (can I claim first use of that?) decks well before we see HD-DVD.
No, you may not! OK...maybe :)

I predicted some time ago that the next batch of enhanced DVDs (after 'Superbit') will be intended for progressive scan display only. Today, DVDs are vertically filtered to 'hide' interlace flicker. A DVD without filtering would flicker like mad on an interlaced set (remember the Amiga?) but would look much sharper than their filtered counterpart on a progressive display.
 

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For many years the drivers for TV output of ATI cards had a checkbox for flicker reduction. I presume that is the same thing. Pure interlaced is flickery.

What is the nature of the filtering?

Why is it normal NTSC doesn't suffer the same problem?

Does 1080i source need this filtering?
 

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BTW, I watched the SuperBit Panic Room tonight.

Almost the entire movie is subdued light (dark scenes) and the background noise is plentiful and obvious.

This title cries out for DTheater.

And, in the "how did he know" department: ED-DVD from two companies
 

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JohnnyG said:
I predicted some time ago that the next batch of enhanced DVDs (after 'Superbit') will be intended for progressive scan display only. Today, DVDs are vertically filtered to 'hide' interlace flicker. A DVD without filtering would flicker like mad on an interlaced set (remember the Amiga?) but would look much sharper than their filtered counterpart on a progressive display.
Wait, is that the reason DVDs are mostly interlaced video in frame format?
They filter things in the encoder to improve the interlace playback, instead of leaving that to the player? How bogus! That actually REDUCES resolution does it not?

I believe Digital Video Essentials will be the first true progressive DVD. It's coming out along with 720p and 1080i DTheater versions.

So, you're right, DVD for progressive players is coming. Add to that an ED-DVD scaling up to near HD, and you have something very interesting.
 
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