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Old August 16th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Imagine having many movies etc on a small card, this can fit into your wallet etc.. you go around to your clients office or where ever, you plug the card into the slot the player reads and plays the footage.
I think this scares the heck out the studios.

All they can see is the ease of copying their content with flash based delivery methods.

Mabye a strong reason why it has not shown up yet?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:32 AM   #17
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I agree with Tim here. Studios do not care about making media easy for us to copy and share. In fact they want to prevent that as much as possible.

Look there are two sides to the whole HD thing.

1. The person who shoots in HD and wants to watch something in HD. This can either be a producer to sell to their client or a consumers own home video.

2. A major studio who wants to deliver mass market material that is copy protected and is cheap to produce.

Many people here think of DVD and blu-ray burning as burning only. Studios never burn a disc they press them. It takes seconds to press a disc and hundreds of thousands of copies can be made very quickly. How are you going to do that with flash media? Are replication plants supposed to have thousands of computers and robots arms to swap flash media to transfer to? How will Studios offer copy protection on such devices?

I have said this before and while our group is the most vocal on the issue of HD we are the less heard voice to the format leaders. They could care less if we have a way to deliver a video to a client on Blu-ray. They make very little to no money at all from our production world. It is all about the consumer.

Sure maybe a flash media stick/card/device will get down to the same prices but it is at least a few years off yet. Blu-ray will always be one step ahead of flash media in terms of price. How much is a 25 GB flash drive right now? You still can't get a 2 GB flash drive for less then $10.00 in the mainstream market. That's less then the size of DVD. Optical media will always be cheaper because it is pretty simple and quick to produce. By the time you get a 25 GB flash drive down to $5.00, blu-ray discs will be $0.50. If a client needs 100 copies guess which one they will choose.

The WD device is great if you have your own HD video you want to watch but that is pretty much where it's usefulness ends. It is going to be a very very long time (if ever) before you will be able to buy a Hollywood movie on an unprotected form of media to use with the device.

How often do you think consumers watch their videos? once a year? What is going to be more important to them? A device that can only watch the video you produced once a year or a device that can watch movies whenever they want.

By the way Wal-mart has a Blu-ray player for $100.00. It may not be great or BD2.0 but it can play your produced HD video with full interactivity equal to what can be done with DVD. Personally as much as I hated Blu-ray I would much rather buy that then a WD player.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #18
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I agree with the storage delivery concept. Blu-ray will be the Vista of the content delivery world. Too expensive, and not enough better for most people to be interested. The cost of flash storage is going down so fast that I believe that you will be buying movies and other content on jump drives in the not-too-distant future.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #19
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I agree with the storage delivery concept. Blu-ray will be the Vista of the content delivery world. Too expensive, and not enough better for most people to be interested. The cost of flash storage is going down so fast that I believe that you will be buying movies and other content on jump drives in the not-too-distant future.
It will never happen. There is no way to copy protect movies on flash media. Piracy would go through the roof. Hollywood will avoid flash media at all costs.

How exactly is Blu-ray too expensive? The burners are cheaper then DVD burners were at this point. The blanks are coming down in price much faster then flash media prices. I can get a blank BD disc for about $3.50. How cheap is a flash media card capable of holding 25 GB of data? The cheapest I found on Newegg is $60.00. I find it ironic that people complain about the cost of Blu-ray at $3.50 a pop but yet they would rather spend $60.00 and they think that is a better price. In what economic standard is that a better price? I can't even get a 8 GB drive/card to fit a dual layer DVD for any price close to that of a Blu-ray disc. I also find it ironic that people talk about flash media prices dropping quickly but when it comes to Blu-ray the price isn't dropping fast enough yet it is a fraction of the cost of flash media. If it is the price of the burner that is in question here well after 3 flash cards you would have paid for the burner. Anything after that would make burning BD discs a much cheaper solution.

About the only thing currently cheaper per GB then Blu-ray is a hard drive but only if it is large enough. For example a 80 GB hard drive would actually cost you a lot more then 3 blu-ray discs. It is only when you reach 250 GB and larger that drives are now cheaper. If BD blanks get down to 50 cents or a buck then they will be the cheapest delivery option in the world. Even compared to DVD blu-ray actually isn't badly priced anymore. 6 DVD discs costs about $2.50 compared to $3.50 to be able to fit everything on one disc. In a few months I think BD blanks could actually surpass the cost of DVD per GB.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #20
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Another thing here. Lets say Hollywood did start selling movies on tiny flash cards. How much do any of you think it would cost to buy one of these movies? It isn't just the fact that the movie is on Blu-ray that makes it cost that much. It is the fact that you have a movie in HD with very high quality sound that really makes up a huge chunk of the cost. Therefore right away any alternative form of HD movie is going to cost about the same as Blu-ray. What codec will it use. A huge part of the licensing costs goes to the mpeg group and not Sony. mpeg2 and AVCHD are not cheap formats to license. That's just the video side of the equation. What about the media cost and replication time involved? Flash media is way more expensive then replication blanks. The facilities that replicate movies will have to be bigger, staff more people and use a lot more equipment.

I think right now if Hollywood were to sell HD movies on flash media right now they would cost somewhere between $60.00 and $100.00 per movie to purchase at Best Buy. Now you tell me which HD format would take off with consumers. Remember the cost factor here isn't Blu-ray itself but the fact that the video is HD and uses video formats with heavy licensing costs. Sure DVD is cheaper but then again really shouldn't it be cheaper since it is SD and not HD. We are talking a whole universe of cost factors here that dwarf the issue of what media it is on.

Finally what sort of interactivity are these flash based movies going to have? What about chapters, menus, special features, buttons, pop up menus and so forth. To do that sort of stuff you will still need some sort of hardware/software device to read a certain programming/scripting language. Will there be a standard or will it be like camcorders today where every company comes out with their own goofy standard. How will we author to these devices? How many different authoring programs will we have to use for all those goofy devices out there?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #21
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I agree.

Once the players start getting more consumer adoption the price of the media will plummet as I think the prices are being kept at a higher level until the manufacturers have to lower it.

The round trip of Blu-ray creation and delivery is the same as DVD, just a bit longer due to encoding and larger amounts of data which gets handled with faster computers.

So I am excited about Blu-ray, it looks fantastic and the prices will become as affordable as DVD.

Just want the consumers to catch up so we can begin to transition away from DVD as making both for a project is more work.

But I think DVD will be around for a long time...

So I don't care about the medium per se, just want something I can lean on into the future.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I have to say, I used to be a NetFlix user. But my Direct TV HD receivers and my WD player provide great ways of getting HD content. With HBO, and Starz, I can eventually record and see any major film. Have used DVD in six months.... and this was during a period I have been convelescing....
This is a little off-topic...but are you able to record HDCP content to this WD device through HDMI at this time? If so I wish I knew about 3 weeks ago because I had a client that is a cable channel that wanted me to record their own content in High-definition and I had a hell of a time, eventually buying a Happaggue HD-PVR to record via component.

If it can can record HDCP material from a cable box via HDMI that would be worth the price to me right this moment. Copy protection really only hurts people that want to transfer things legitimately. The pirates crack it in about 5 seconds!

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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Finally what sort of interactivity are these flash based movies going to have? What about chapters, menus, special features, buttons, pop up menus and so forth. To do that sort of stuff you will still need some sort of hardware/software device to read a certain programming/scripting language. Will there be a standard or will it be like camcorders today where every company comes out with their own goofy standard. How will we author to these devices? How many different authoring programs will we have to use for all those goofy devices out there?
I think if a solid state media player has some sort of basic OS this isn't really a problem. A given company could pretty easily distribute the interface that plays let's say a menu-driven group of videos. The programming structure would need to be included with the videos in some type of executable package. Very similar to how interactive CD-ROMs can use a flash projector or some other type of executable to launch files on your computer.

This could very well make it easier rather than harder as it opens up options rather than locking us into the very limited framework that most consumer DVD players currently have.

Having said that, while I love the idea of solid-state media devices, I think Blu-Ray will have a nice run in the average American household before it is replaced by solid-state players. I could even see a combo of optical and solid-state (Actually I think that is happening already) before the real switch is made.

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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #24
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What are the Main differences between the 2 units? I have the original WD media player and love it.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #25
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Great discussion..... but to answer Greg's immediate question, all I (i.e we) know, so far, is in the detailed specs in the "Read" section of the engadget link I originally posted. I'm sure more will become apparent once these WD TV-2 units start shipping. Exciting times for all of us trying to deliver HD to our customer base!

For everyone's convenience I post the specs quoted below (to let you compare with the original at your leisure!).

Andy
..............................................

WD TV-2 Live Media Player

-Play Full HD 1080p video, music and photos on your HD TV
-Supports widest variety of file formats and devices
-Network capable for easy access to the newest content from PCs, network drives, internet favorites
Kit Contents
-Media Player
-Compact remote with batteries
-Composite AV cable
-Component AV cable
-AC adapter
-Quick Install Guide

Compatibility
HDMI, Full HD (1080p), AAC, MP3, JPEG, USB 2.0, H.264, SimplayHD™, Energy StarŪ, Dolby Digital, DTS,
DLNA, Bonjour, AVCHD, Windows Vista

Media Formats
AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1),
TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1) MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9
JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG
MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS
Playlist – PLS, M3U, WPL

Subtitle – SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

MPEG2 MP@HL up to 1920x1080p24, 1920x1080i30, or 1280x720p60 resolution. MPEG4.2 ASP@L5 up to
1280x720p30 resolution and no support for global motion compensation. WMV9/VC-1 MP@HL up to 1280x720p60
or 1920x1080p24 resolution. VC-1 AP@L3 up to 1920x1080i30, 1920x1080p24, or 1280x720p60 resolution.
H.264 BP@L3 up to 720x480p30 or 720x576p25 resolution. H.264 MP@4.1 and HP@4.1 up to 1920x1080p24,
1920x1080i30, or 1280x720p60 resolution.
An audio receiver is required for multi-channel surround sound digital output. Compressed RGB JPEG formats only
and progressive JPEG up to 2048x2048.
Single layer TIFF files only. Uncompressed BMP only. Specific details, please refer to the user manual

Source: AVS Forum
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
The blanks are coming down in price much faster then flash media prices. I can get a blank BD disc for about $3.50.
$2.75 each: ANTOnline.com - Memorex 32020013358 BD-R 4x, 15Pk Spindle
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Old August 18th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #27
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I tried the first version and returned it.

Does anybody know the TV-2 will play DVD .iso or video_TS folder with DVD navigation structure. It will be sweeter to play blu-ray in file folder or .iso file too
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Old August 18th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #28
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The original $99 WD TV gets a refresh (I hesitate to say upgrade) too, so it seems. Looks like the WD TV-2 is the one to have. Engadget link below.

WD TV Mini loses Full HD, but remains a handy Media Player

To quote Engadget again....

"While we wait excitedly for Western Digital to update its HD Media Player, the company has decided to add another, value-minded product to its media player range. Working along the same lines as the HD unit, The WD TV Mini serves as a conduit between your TV set and USB-connected storage -- whether it be a camcorder, an external HDD or a humble flash drive -- and plays back a vast array of digital media formats. The Mini part to its name refers to its diminutive 91 x 91 x 22 mm footprint, but being the younger sibling also means it loses a couple of the premium features, namely HDMI and full 1080p, though that drop-off isn't too steep with 1080i and composite plus component outputs serving as alternatives. It's available now for $99."

Features of the WD TV Mini Media Player include:

•Play video, music and photos on your TV in up to 1080i HD resolution;

•Supports widest variety of file formats including RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB);

•Rich HD 1080i advanced navigation and user interface;

•DVD-like navigation with chapter support, trick modes and subtitles;

•Expandable: buy more storage, delete fewer movies;

•Photo slideshow with unique transitions and music on your HD TV;

•Thumbnail support including photo thumbnails and music album art;

•Ability to preview your video during navigation (480 and 720 mode only);

•Video, music and photo auto-play for users digital signage solution;

•Subtitle support including multi-language subtitle support for video playback;

•Picture Transfer Protocol to view or backup content from your digital image device;

•Compatible with USB Camcorders and USB mass storage devices;

•Component and composite video output;

•Digital optical audio output via SPDIF;

•Ultra-compact design making it perfectly portable for travel; and,

•1-year limited warranty
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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #29
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Where are we supposed to get all of this HD content to play on this thing? Apart from video camera footage, everything legally available in electronic format is either streaming or DRM protected. Will it play digital copies from DVDs/blu-rays? This would be a handy gizmo if I was downloading torrents of HD TV shows, but that's about it.

I just don't see this as something a lot of "clients" are going to want to mess with. Too complicated, compared to putting a disc in a player, and something they won't use with anything else.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #30
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Where are we supposed to get all of this HD content to play on this thing?

I just don't see this as something a lot of "clients" are going to want to mess with. Too complicated, compared to putting a disc in a player, and something they won't use with anything else.
This was exactly my point. Unless you have major commercial content being produced that can be played on it, it's just not going to be worth it in the consumer market. For trade-shows, or places where you want to conveniently play different HD materials that you have ownership of, it's pretty cool. But for delivery to a client, or even as "yet something else" a client has to have to get delivery from you (wedding, show, etc.) it's pretty inconvenient.

I tell you what WOULD be a nice use. Is digital dailies. Dropping a USB drive in a fedex packet or copying a RAW .MXF file or something onto a thumb drive to have a look at back at the suite or screening room is VERY nice. That's something I could really get behind. And it's dirt cheap for that kind of use too. BUT the unit would need to play both native camera files, as well as some stuff like ProRes, DNxHD, JP2K, DVCProHD, and maybe a few other nice finishing formats. See, if they had been on the ball, they could have included a P2 slot and an ExpressCard slot!
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