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Old May 13th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #1
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HD-revolition in a Xbox?

Microsoft is spilling the beans on their new game console Xbox 360.

Take a peek at http://www.gamespot.com/features/6124293/index.html for full details.

They are of course most interrested in games, but the thing will play Windows Media 9 HD with DRM from its removable harddisk. And movies can be downloaded from the Xbox Live website.

So in november 2005 there will be hordes of teenagers wanting contents with high resolution sceens in front of them. So better get those HDV-cams working, get the cheerleaders tanned, the monsters slimed and the 5.1 soundtrack rollercoasting.

Cheers
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Old May 13th, 2005, 06:31 AM   #2
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I think those teenagers would rather watch high quality HD film transfers rather than zero budget HDV endeavours. There's a rather humourous thread over at DV.com with an FX1 owner complaining that he cant get anywhere near the same quality out of his camera as the Sony HDV demo DVD.

He says that no matter what settings he chooses his camera still looks like cheap prosumer footage. Sony apparently made the DVD footage by taking an uncompressed signal from the camera. It gave me a chuckle. That, along with the way the Sony HDV cameras have a factory preset with the sharpness set to ludicrous levels shows just how overrated these HDV cams are.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #3
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Well - all the teenagers I know has a big appetite for tit-fart-crash-splatter-movies. And they are not interested in covers and big names. The live happily with downloads.
I know a teen who learned to edit video only in order to condense all juicy bits in his collection of horrormovies into one long splatter-sequence.
And they do care out picture quality and sound.
So the more teenage-content in MS WMV HD for the Xbox the better. I think it is a big possibility for the indies.

For your remarks on HDV. Well - it is a tool. And a tool that have to be used the right way. If you try to drive a nail in with a pair of scissors, then its not gonna work.
HDV is delivering glorious quality, and the FX1 can deliver very nice pictures. But you have to know what you are doing.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 08:04 AM   #4
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Hmm. I think "living with downloads" and "care about picture quality and sound" is a bit of a contradicition in terms.

Those teenagers may well have an Xbox that can do high def, but do they have the disposable income to buy a decent HD display to watch on? Nope.

My point about the HDV cameras is that they are artificially sharp. The factory presets are such that you aren't really getting a hugely sharp picture. You are getting artificial sharpness. The lens just isn't capable enough especially when teamed with the MPEG compression which softens the picture during camera movement such as pans etc.

Content is king. And while no doubt the HDV cameras can produce good pictures in the right hands, so too can any good SD camera. The thing is though, why should we have to fight the cameras capabilities to get results out of it?
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Old May 13th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #5
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Great post Jos. Made me smile. The future is liquid..
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Old May 13th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #6
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I just recently turned 20 and am therefore no longer a teenager, however being one is still fresh in my mind. I certainly don't like what my friends like in terms of movies, so my opinion on that won't count. But they also don't just like mindless fodder. Teenagers really like pretending to like really deep movies. Everyone I know or talk to has Donnie Darko on their top 5 list of movies. They all LOVE Pulp Fiction. Waking Life is also very popular. I am not saying these films are bad, but it's the furthest these people go into movies, they don't watch classics or anything with subtitles. With teenagers, trendy = good.

I also play Xbox online with the rest of the online community, and I can attest that the average player is NOT a teenager. They are usually older than me. There are teenagers but they do not represent the majority. Video games have certainly evolved into an older person's hobby more so than younger. I think the Xbox 360 will only fuel that, with it's larger price tag and capabilities. So when you look at the average person who will be buying a xbox 360, they will be an older person who very well could afford the HDTV to go along with it. If somehow you managed to get your content onto those xboxs, that would be an amazingly large audience no matter what you're making....
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Old May 13th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #7
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I agree that gamers are getting older and it appears Microsoft is paying attention by making a console appeal to us. No its not a $99 Gamecube and yes I want native HD support, integrated Wifi, and Media Center capabilities (see also $379 speculative price tag w/ 20GB HD).

btw - a 30" 1080i HD CRT is under $600 at any Wally-World.

Now about the negative FX1 and HDV comments.. j/k I love my FX1 but lack of time has me just about ready to part ways with my HDV investment and settle back into the comfort zone of SD.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 03:12 AM   #8
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For a start I'd make a wager that the Wally-World CRT doesn't do true 1080i. Could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Now about this getting productions onto the new X-Box thing. Look, buying an X-box and a Playstation 2 opened the possibilities much further for standard DVD distribution. Did anyone on these forums take advantage of that and make their millions?

So why should the fact that a new X-box plays HD DVDs in WM format be any different? I would hope that we're not so starved of HD content that we have to buy any old rubbish that comes along just to get a glimpse of a HD picture!

People, please be realistic. Aside from the fact that you need to have actually made a production worth buying, you then also have to get commercial distribution for it. Think that is easy? Perhaps if you have a MUST SEE movie, but otherwise you could be searching for years. It took my friend Neil Oseman 5 years to make Soul Searcher from original concept through to the final product. Because he went through this development hell, and along with the fact he has a lot of talent the final production was so good distributors are clammouring all over it. Its mainly shot on an XL1s.

Okay, with WM9 you could sell your movie as a download. But again the WM9 HD demos on the MS site are around 70mb just for 2 minutes running time. Then people have to burn their own disc. I'm sure geeks will be prepared to do this, but your average customer who just wants to get on and play the thing will be put off considerably by that.

Guys, you will make your money from making a damn good movie or programme, not because you shoot HD. I'm getting really sick and tired of people equating shooting HD as an instant profit.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 06:32 AM   #9
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So as a professional wedding videographer I am going to tell my clients to watch their weddings in high definition using an X-Box ?
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Old May 14th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #10
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Simon, most any consumer 1080i CRT cannot do true 1080i.

As for XBOX being a Indie movie player.. I don't see that but I welcome anything as a HD playback source.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #11
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First of all Sony CRT 1080i televisions do true 1080i and if anyone doubts that JVC makes a 1500i CRT television so even if it is phony 1500i it has to be at least true 1080i doesnt it because its overkill ?
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Old May 14th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #12
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CostCo has a Philips 30" 480p/1080i CRT for 599.00 US. Dell has their 23 inch lcd monitor for under 1200 that supports up to 1920x1200. By the end of this year, serious gamers will get HD visuals, one way or another. At least in the US. Even if the HD is small.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #13
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Hi guys

This is a quote from Microsofts official Xbox-site

"Xbox 360 also opens the door to incredible new high-definition entertainment. Experience Xbox 360 games in HD. Stream HD television and movies straight from your Windows Media Center Edition PC to your Xbox 360."

So at xmas this year there gonna be a HD-device i the hands of 100.000 happy media hungry consumers in the most moneyburning markedspot in the world. And yes - the idea of using a Windows Media Center PC to stream HD is silly, but Micorosoft is an Intel partner, and they are not going to kill the gaming pc - or the pc for that sake.

But someone is going to make the xbox play HD from the DVD-drive. It might even be Microsoft, since the extra software is not finished yet.

Remember that the Playstation 2 kickstarted the DVD-revolution in Japan, as many consumers used the device for DVD-playback. Looks like the more one device can do in Japan the better.

And all the teenagers I know are using their Playstation 2 as a DVD-player. Somebody remarked earlier that the gaming console users where a little older than teenagers. Sony states that their prime target group is 18-34 years old for their consoles.
Here it could be interesting to se the global differencies. The nordic Sony Playstation distributor is targeting a lower age group.

I any case - these 18-34'ers have money. The devices will be there in 6 months. The prices for LCD-televisions will drop. No - the term HD is not equivalent with instant success. Yes - HDV can look very good - Instant Citizen Kane. No - it is not as good as genuine HD, 70 mm or Imax. No - they will probably not look at their wedding video on a Xbox 360. Yes - somebody will annonce DVD-players with WMV HD codec build in, so you dont have to have a gaming console in your living room.

Last edited by Jos Svendsen; May 15th, 2005 at 05:41 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #14
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Just forgot one thing.

No device is gonna have have any succes unless it is catering for the lazy. in 1994 there was a study about the cd, and why is has been such a big succes.

Now take a guess. Was it sound quality? Was it scratch resistance? Was it the small convenient size? This was the three main marketing messages in 1984.

No

The research showed that the number one reason for the medias succes was that you did not have to flip it over to listen to the backside.

Q: Why are digital cameras huge in the marked. A:It is easy to check your picture on the screen.

Q: Why are DVDs so popular? A: You dont have to revind them

And I could go on forever. If it is real easy to use HD-media on a Xbox 360 it will succed as a mediaplayer. If you have to stream from a MCP and everything is soaked in DRM, it will fail.

So I think that this Xbox might be a way into mainstream HD, as the customer will want to have video that looks as good as the games. But It has to be very easy to get the content displayed using the Xbox. And if Microsoft sees a commercial reason for this, it will be so.

Last edited by Jos Svendsen; May 15th, 2005 at 05:48 PM. Reason: forgot some more
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Old May 20th, 2005, 07:21 PM   #15
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Jos, I find that research hard to believe! What would be the reason that you wouldn't listen to an audio tape/record right now if I gave you one - it wouldn't be because you have to flip it over - it's becasue of all the crappy hiss and crackle. If you are referring to a record player, the CD was smaller to store and can be played 1000 times and it will still sound the same. For all the people that still remember the transition into audio CD - there were lots of reasons for switching to CD - no hiss, instant playback, fast track searching and remote control. But I remember that it was the ability to deliver that hi-fi sound that made all the buzz for CD's. It started as a novelty.

DVD was the same. I have a wall full of VHS movies and I haven't watched them since - and it's not because I have to rewind them.

HD will be delivered in almost the same medium as DVD, so the jump isn't as dramatic as tape/recored to CD. The biggest advantage to watching HD will be the increased resolution in video quality. It brings a new experience to the viewer, and if you want the experience, you just have to buy it.
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Last edited by Dave Eanton; May 20th, 2005 at 09:33 PM.
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