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    Default The Future of Blu-ray: Compatibility, Compression, Confusion

    Since it does not appear that Smackdown will be closed and dedicated to dear Kosty, I thought I would put this here. Also, it doesn't seem right to put it in the Gear forum since there's no gear involved specifically. Just thought a few tidbits of info here were interesting, despite some inaccuracies by the author:

    Doing some basic math, it's hard to see how 4K could ever fit on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc. The 4K resolution means quadruple the data of 1080p--even with a 50 percent compression increase with no quality loss, there's a big gap. But simple arithmetic doesn't cover the full story.

    A paper on HEVC states "one of the most promising application areas for HEVC is the coding of high-resolution video," which it backs up with tests comparing HEVC to H.264 and older formats. The tests saw bitrate savings as high as 67 percent on higher resolution videos.

    Gary Sullivan, a co-chair of the team developing HEVC, doesn't rule out the possibility of H.265 fitting 4K videos onto Blu-ray discs. "To me, it seems like that is quite feasible," he writes in an email. Yes, that would require new Blu-ray players--something the Blu-ray Disc Association is certainly in no hurry to push onto the market--but there is a silver lining. "Regarding backwards compatibility, in practical terms, I think that nearly all products that support HEVC will also support [H.264] AVC," Sullivan writes. "However, they are separate designs, and the HEVC standard does not explicitly require decoders to support the prior standard."

    And how does the math work out? "When the pixel count goes up, the necessary bit rate does not go up in direct proportion to the pixel count, because the spatial correlation of the signal increases," Sullivan writes. "Here we have the pixel count going up by a factor of 4, which might make the data rate needed for a given compression codec go up by perhaps a factor of roughly 3 instead of a factor of 4. Maybe less than 3, but that seems like a good guess."

    Sullivan estimates that a typical Blu-ray film uses a very high bitrate--around 45 megabits per second--for 1080p video, or "more than what is really needed to deliver good HD quality today without using HEVC." He equates a 45 megabit HEVC bitrate to about a 30 megabit H.264 1080p bitrate. He's not far off from the official Blu-ray specs, which currently dictate a maximum 40 mbps bitrate. "Maybe if you want to put 6 hours of content on the disc instead of just one feature film, things might start to get more challenging, but that seems like plenty for an ordinary movie," he writes.

    4K Blu-ray looks to be a long way off, but it's not quite as hopeless as we expected. Parsons sees it as a more likely solution than web delivery. "People talk about, you could just stream 4K," he says. "Well, not really. If you check out the average bandwidth of the US household being six megabits per second, no way you're going to squeeze that down. Package media is the best way to deliver that."

    As a member of the Blu-ray Disc Associations, Parsons obviously has a vested interest in 4K being a selling point for Blu-ray and not, say, Netflix. But he also makes a good point about 4K streaming. The average US household's broadband connection hovers around the 7 mbps mark, which barely cuts it for 1080p streaming, let alone 4K. And streaming won't match the quality of a disc-based media, at least not until networks are much, much more robust.
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    4k is overkill for 99% of households anyway. You need to have a seating distance to display size ratio of less than 1.5:1 to even start to appreciate the added resolution of 4k, and 1.2:1 or less to fully appreciate it. It would definitely be a niche product, probably on laser disc level, and obviously best delivered on a physical format.

    I don't care for the idea of Blu-ray's 50gb capacity being an issue for them to work around though. But if that's the road they choose then I hope it works out and we get 4K discs because I would definitely be a buyer.


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    I was looking at the Redray (4k) announcement and they are able to compress 4K video and 7.1-channel 24-bit 48KHz LPCM audio into the equivalent of what would be 1 hour of content per 10GB of data. That would mean most movies, features, etc would easily fit on a BD50 or even BD25 disc depending on the length of the movie, again, using their proprietary compression technology.

    H265 could easily extend the life of the Blu-Ray format for 4K as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
    4k is overkill for 99% of households anyway. You need to have a seating distance to display size ratio of less than 1.5:1 to even start to appreciate the added resolution of 4k, and 1.2:1 or less to fully appreciate it. It would definitely be a niche product, probably on laser disc level, and obviously best delivered on a physical format.

    I don't care for the idea of Blu-ray's 50gb capacity being an issue for them to work around though. But if that's the road they choose then I hope it works out and we get 4K discs because I would definitely be a buyer.
    While I do think you will need a bigger screen (or sit really close, or a combo of both) to fully appreciate 4K, resolution is just one aspect of benefit of 4K, and many would tell you it is not even the most important aspect. For example 4K for home video could support 12bit colorspace vs 8bit we have today which should be visible even on smaller TV's. So you would get a broader colorspace and higher contrast which, IMHO, woudl be beneficial even on smaller HDTV's. But we will have to see what happens and what the standards become. I am lucky enough to benefit from the resolution upgrade when and if the price is right, but I would also like to benefit from from improved color and contrast. In the projector world especially, increased native contrast makes all the difference and really improves black levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
    While I do think you will need a bigger screen (or sit really close, or a combo of both) to fully appreciate 4K, resolution is just one aspect of benefit of 4K, and many would tell you it is not even the most important aspect. For example 4K for home video could support 12bit colorspace vs 8bit we have today which should be visible even on smaller TV's. So you would get a broader colorspace and higher contrast which, IMHO, woudl be beneficial even on smaller HDTV's. But we will have to see what happens and what the standards become. I am lucky enough to benefit from the resolution upgrade when and if the price is right, but I would also like to benefit from from improved color and contrast. In the projector world especially, increased native contrast makes all the difference and really improves black levels.
    I haven't heard any discussion of them considering increasing the color space to 12 bit on 4k. Its sounds like a simple resolution upgrade and nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
    I was looking at the Redray (4k) announcement and they are able to compress 4K video and 7.1-channel 24-bit 48KHz LPCM audio into the equivalent of what would be 1 hour of content per 10GB of data. That would mean most movies, features, etc would easily fit on a BD50 or even BD25 disc depending on the length of the movie, again, using their proprietary compression technology.

    H265 could easily extend the life of the Blu-Ray format for 4K as well.
    It's probably going to be 4-5 years before we actually see 4k content on physical media, and by that time, I would like to hope that Blu-ray develop a 100gb disc at a reasonable price. Capacity was increased from SD to DVD (and the codec was improved from mpeg-2 to AVC/VC-1), it seems ludicrous to not increase it and depend on further compression from HD to 4K. A lot happens in 4-5 years and I don't think one has to depend on existing physical storage technology, whether it's disc or something else.

    But if they say it will work fine on 50gb and have room left over for dessert, then hey I'll believe it when I see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
    I haven't heard any discussion of them considering increasing the color space to 12 bit on 4k. Its sounds like a simple resolution upgrade and nothing more.
    It supports it. It would be a shame if they just bumped the resolution and not the color space. I think it will be awhile years before we find out what the final specs are for home video. I will see if I can dig anything up from CES concerning 12 bit vs 8bit for home video. As for capacity, I really don't care if they increase it if the more efficient codecs work just fine for 3 hours and under. Personally I hope they can make 25-50GB work as it will help keep costs down, and for streaming and downloading, I suspect they will have no choice but to go in this direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ack_bak View Post
    I was looking at the Redray (4k) announcement and they are able to compress 4K video and 7.1-channel 24-bit 48KHz LPCM audio into the equivalent of what would be 1 hour of content per 10GB of data. That would mean most movies, features, etc would easily fit on a BD50 or even BD25 disc depending on the length of the movie, again, using their proprietary compression technology.

    H265 could easily extend the life of the Blu-Ray format for 4K as well.
    Has there been any comparison on the computational requirements of the h.265 codec? Studios need to be careful about market fragmentation if all the old blu-ray players can't process the h.265 film (even at 1080p). They'd end up needing to have 2 packages (Full-HD and Ultra-HD...or whatever they go with for a name), or go the dual-pack route, with two discs.

    They might be better off keeping the blu-ray disc format, but changing the name to avoid consumer confusion. I'm personally very interested to see how the new codec shapes up...my media server is groaning under the weight of converting my BR collection.

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    I don't think current players would be able to support the new codec... it supposedly requires more oomph than current players can handle with decoding. That probably means it won't be widely used on 1080p encoded titles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
    I haven't heard any discussion of them considering increasing the color space to 12 bit on 4k. Its sounds like a simple resolution upgrade and nothing more.
    H.265, Main 10 can be 10 bit but is still limited to 4:2:0. Future extensions may include 12 bit depth, 4:2:2/4:4:4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruceames View Post
    4k is overkill for 99% of households anyway. You need to have a seating distance to display size ratio of less than 1.5:1 to even start to appreciate the added resolution of 4k, and 1.2:1 or less to fully appreciate it. It would definitely be a niche product, probably on laser disc level, and obviously best delivered on a physical format.

    I don't care for the idea of Blu-ray's 50gb capacity being an issue for them to work around though. But if that's the road they choose then I hope it works out and we get 4K discs because I would definitely be a buyer.

    No one give a rat ass for this graphic? What he is sayin is true, to watch a 4k movie with 60 inches you should sit at less of 4 feets and that is really very stupid(imagine how this screw all what the audiophiles spent in HIGH TECH Home Theaters to heard the same results as the optical users).

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    >60" screen

    The edge of "benefit of 4k starts to become noticeable" is between 7.5 and 5', not 4'. Those who sit 10' away would need an 80" screen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by h0mi View Post
    >60" screen

    The edge of "benefit of 4k starts to become noticeable" is between 7.5 and 5', not 4'. Those who sit 10' away would need an 80" screen.
    The full benefit for 4k is 5 feets, imagine sit a too short distance, you wont need a HT, with the tv speakers is more than enough to enjoy a movie.

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    The chart is a guide and probably calculated for 20-20 vision therefore it will vary with every individual. I have eyesight astigmatism and unaided my vision is L 20-60, R 20-40, when corrected with glasses eyesight is L 20-15, R 20-13. In my theater is a 106" Da-Lite Audio Vision screen and under the right conditions I can see the pin holes (for passing audio) in the screen material.

    Folks should keep in mind that 1920 real world video probably maxes out at about 1700 pixels. The reason is most digital video originates in the analog domain (video cameras, telecines, etc.) therefore it is sampled and the max frequency will be less than the pixel clock (Nyquist sampling theorem). I would wager that most of the end to end video we see is probably 1400 pixels or less.

    The folks that have the Sony 4K native projector say there is marked improvement compared to 2K projectors when viewing top notch Blu-ray disc. If you have a Blu-ray player and BD titles from Sony (Columbia) disc- Go to the Main Menu and enter SONY (7669) on your remote. This will bring up several test patterns, one being a resolution chart that you can use to check your monitors resolution. Remember, the Resolution Charts on the Sony disc is in terms of per pixel height.

    Bottom line, 4K should provide a marked improvement in end to end video if the source is true 4K material.

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    Yes, this is true, many people have better than 20/20 vision.

    Second point, the way that chart is calculated "fully benefit from X resolution" means "you can resolve the pixels", which means you can see clearly that the image is made of pixels, and is not real. To me that is not desirable. the desirable situation is that you do not notice that the image is made of pixels. For the average person, it would be well beyond distance to the screen where the chart says you get "full benefit." I have tried this myself many times with my 1080p set. I always can tell the difference between 1080p and 720p content from 10 feet, (46" TV), and I wear glasses, my eyesight is probably worse than average. Try it yourself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendell R Breland View Post
    The chart is a guide and probably calculated for 20-20 vision therefore it will vary with every individual. I have eyesight astigmatism and unaided my vision is L 20-60, R 20-40, when corrected with glasses eyesight is L 20-15, R 20-13. In my theater is a 106" Da-Lite Audio Vision screen and under the right conditions I can see the pin holes (for passing audio) in the screen material.

    Folks should keep in mind that 1920 real world video probably maxes out at about 1700 pixels. The reason is most digital video originates in the analog domain (video cameras, telecines, etc.) therefore it is sampled and the max frequency will be less than the pixel clock (Nyquist sampling theorem). I would wager that most of the end to end video we see is probably 1400 pixels or less.

    The folks that have the Sony 4K native projector say there is marked improvement compared to 2K projectors when viewing top notch Blu-ray disc. If you have a Blu-ray player and BD titles from Sony (Columbia) disc- Go to the Main Menu and enter SONY (7669) on your remote. This will bring up several test patterns, one being a resolution chart that you can use to check your monitors resolution. Remember, the Resolution Charts on the Sony disc is in terms of per pixel height.

    Bottom line, 4K should provide a marked improvement in end to end video if the source is true 4K material.
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