Digital DIGEST - LIVE UPDATE Issue 41

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Ablang, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    Digital DIGEST - LIVE UPDATE Issue 41

    31 December, 2003



    1. Introduction

    2. 2003 - What's Hot and What's Not

    3. 2004 - What's Next?

    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

    5. A simple thank-you and some concluding words


    1. Introduction

    Well, it's hard to believe 2003 is over - it feels that it was just
    yesterday that I was wrapping up 2002. It's been a great year for
    Digital Digest, and I guess this is the first extended period in
    which I have had time to work on this newsletter (this is the 10th
    full issue since July 2003 - there have only been a total of 41 full
    issues since 1999). 2004 should to be even better...

    As promised in the last issue, this issue will provide a brief
    preview of what 2004 will be like in the world of digital video, as
    well as going over last year's predictions.

    Have a great 2004.

    -- DVDGuy


    2. 2003 - What's Hot and What's Not

    In issue 31, I previewed what 2003 might be like in terms of what's
    hot. Although it might be embarrassing, I think it's worthwhile to go
    back and have a look at just how accurate (or ridiculous) my
    predictions were...

    DVD-ROM Applications: I mentioned that if DVD-ROM applications
    (games, especially) didn't make it in 2003, then it might never make
    it. Well, DVD-ROM applications are still as rare as hen's teeth,
    although logic dictates that it shouldn't be the case. Most people
    now have DVD-ROM drives, and most games come on 2 or more CDs. DVD-
    ROM applications are also harder to copy (less people can burn ISO of
    DVDs, since less people have DVD recorders). So why aren't there more
    applications and games on DVD-ROM?

    XviD: I think I hit this pretty spot on. There are now quite a few
    standalone DVD players that support XviD, and most telling was the
    fact that one of the more popular DVD conversion tools at the moment,
    AutoGK, came out with XviD encoding capabilities before DivX
    encoding. The official 1.0 version of XviD was just released, and all
    XviD needs is a little bit of industry recognition, which DivX has an
    abundance of (mostly due to the infamous DivX ;-) 3.11 Alpha).

    Convergence: This is probably 50/50. While convergence, or Home
    Theatre PCs, have gained some acceptance, it's still a long way away
    from being a standard piece of equipment. However, the line between a
    desktop computer and a piece of home theatre equipment has blurred
    considerably, examples such as DVD players with DivX/XviD/MP3
    playback and DVI output, LCD monitors that can be used as TVs,
    Xbox/PS2 with Internet connectivity and PC functions, PC sound cards
    with home theatre functionalities (Dolby/DTS decoding, 7.1 output,
    for example), small form factor PCs ... As a whole, convergence is
    still not there yet, but all the small pieces are starting to fall
    together, and it promises to be exciting times.

    DVD Burning: Another hit. DVD burners are now in the affordable $100
    to $200 bracket, and almost all new computers (and even notebooks)
    are now fitted with DVD burners. As with most things to do with DVDs,
    it has not taken very long for DVD burners to gain public acceptance,
    even though the whole DVD-/DVD+ issue remains partly unresolved (dual
    format burners did help quite a bit in this area).

    Related Links:
    DVD-ROM games:
    XviD Explained (Newsletter Issue 29):


    3. 2004 - What's Next?

    It's time now to predict what will be the next big things in 2004.

    With the introduction of dual layered burners, 1:1 DVD Backups should
    be more commonplace in 2004. While the price of dual layered media
    and hardware may still keep split/shrinked (or is that
    shrank)/stripped DVD backups a more appealing option, making 1:1
    copies will surely appeal to those who want to make a perfect backup
    to their existing DVDs.

    Games on DVD-ROM - if it doesn't happen in 2004, it probably never
    will. PS2 and Xbox games come on DVD-ROM discs, so why not PC games?

    Do I really need to mention convergence again? By the end of 2004, I
    expect most standalone DVD players to have DivX/XviD playback (or at
    the very least, WMV/MPEG-4 playback). Quite a few should have DVI
    connections for connecting to high def equipment, hopefully to
    playback high def DivX clips. There are already DVD players that have
    this functionality and costing under $200, so it's surely just a
    matter of time (and once the Asian manufacturers get in on this,
    expect sub $75 DivX/XviD capable DVD players).

    But that's just one part of convergence. Home Theatre PCs should be
    more common as well, with all the major computer companies offering
    well priced HTPCs (or Media Center PCs, as Microsoft likes to call
    them), and some hardware designed especially for HTPCs, like DVB-S/T
    cards for watching and recording digital television on your PC.
    Digital television, I feel, will be a bridge that connects PCs to the
    home theatres - it is already possible to record HD television
    (something that is very useful for home theatre buffs) onto hard-
    drives, something that is not yet possible with any widely available
    commercial standalone products.

    That brings me to the final prediction for 2004, and that is the
    increasing popularity of high definition video. In 2003, one of the
    most exciting to have happened to digital video was the inclusion of
    the high def version of Terminator 2, on the Terminator 2 Extreme
    Edition DVD (although one of the worst things to happen in 2003 was
    the fact that the HD movie used Digital Rights Management, and
    couldn't be watched outside the United States/Canada, or without an
    Internet connection, but that's a discussion for the next issue ...).
    There was finally a use for your new expensive P4 CPU (other than for
    3D games, of course) - and it played back the HD movie flawlessly.
    There is already a DivX standard/profile for high definition content,
    and once some high def capable DVD players are released (see above),
    this would great as a format to compress HDTV clips to (then burn
    onto dual layered media, to playback in your HD capable DVD/DivX
    player that is connected to a HD display ... one can dream).

    Related Links:
    Terminator 2 Extreme Edition:


    5. A simple thank-you and some concluding words

    Just a note to thank all the thousands of people, including you, who
    joined the Digital Digest LiveUpdate list. I've spent quite a bit of
    time developing this site, and making it what it is today, and really
    do appreciate your continued support.

    I hoped you enjoyed another issue of the LiveUpdate newsletter. You
    won't have to wait seven more months for the next issue, I promise :)



    "Hilary Duff is the covergirl for an international youth industry" --

    View the countdown for when Hilary Duff turns 18 (I know you're waiting for

    The next T-shirt slogan (seriously): "Is it chicken or is it tuna?"
    Ablang, Jan 5, 2004
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