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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CES 2008: Candid conversation with Blu-Ray BD LIVE Programmer!

Naturally I stormed the Blu-Ray booth like Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers looking for Princess Leia. I immediately dropped the "LOADED" question: Why does Blu deserve to Win? My adversary for this little conversation was a Blu-Ray BD LIVE Programmer. I am going to withhold his name because he was candid with me which is something I appreciate. There is nothing I hate more than listening to some marketing clown (do not get me wrong, marketing is needed but should always be done right) who probably is not capable of finding his way out of a wet paper bag let along give me real answers. ;) This guy was VERY COOL and we had a sweet conversation. I first accused Blu of playing copycat. He did NOT respond with denial but instead admitted that the camp had a tough time collaborating on the 1.1 profiles so Blu consumers could utilize PIP and other interactive features. With so many members it turned out to be a tough task. Having worked in alliances I know how hard collaboration can be... He realized consumers are getting the short end of the stick and once 2.0 profile is here, things will be stable.

Next I went after codecs. I pushed on why Blu-Ray studios did not utilize VC-1 over MPEG-4 and MPEG-2. We both agreed that MPEG-2 is not sufficient for HD content as the codec is aging, lacks the necessary compression, color spaces, etc. I of course love the VC-1 codec and implied that I believe the codec is superior even to MPEG-4. I used several examples such as Spiderman III and Resident Evil 3 vs a hand full HD-DVD titles (Bourne 3, Matrix, Batman, etc). He argued that we could argue all day over which one is superior and that he has learned one thing in the business. There is NO such thing as bad compression just a bad compressionist. Essentially he was admitting that the Blu-Ray studios could do a better job of encoding. I agree with this as well because if you put Resident Evil 3 against Transformers, both encoded in MPEG-4 AVC, Transformers stomps all over Milla (I do LOVE that movie). The difference in visual quality is huge (my comparison is with Toshiba HD-DVD Player vs PS3 using 1080i - full review coming soon) and makes you go "hmmm"....

Next we talked about upcoming BD LIVE features such as interactive games that are playable while viewing a movie. On display Fox had a version of Aliens vs Predator where two people can shoot facehuggers and aliens (scoring points) while watching the actually movie. This type of interactive content is possible via Java that is utilized by BD LIVE. With HD-DVD's HDi being browser based there are some limitations and creating interactive content such as the game in AVP, can actually become very difficult using HDi.

We ended our conversation with him asking me "how I know so much"? Told him hey, I work and play in the technology sector. It is what I do. :) We agreed to talk more in the future.. :D

from : The High Definition World... Simplified!

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