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Next generation chips and DVDs
February 7, 2005 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Supercomputer-on-a-chip microprocessor design revealed on heels of report that third generation DVDs may implement an holographic storage technique.
posted by mcgraw (10 comments total)

 
Let me be the first to say that increasing the storage available does not mean better quality movies will be released (as one of the articles seems to say). I'm not genuinely impressed with DVDs in general, though I do buy them for movies that include a bunch of extra stuff that makes it worth the cost. What confuses me is why some DVDs actually look worse than the copies you can download. For example, 28 Days Later looks horrible on the DVD. Maybe I only notice this because I've encoded my own discs before, and I've experimented with various settings, but I'd really be surprised if anyone else wasn't bothered by the quality.

The still scenes are blocky and unmoving, night scenes with soft light are bands of color instead of smooth gradients... tons of problems. This happens a lot, too. The same thing is happening with digital television. In order to cram those extra 100 channels onto your line, each channel is massively compressed. I know I must not be the only one bugged by this.

I just hate to see people equate digital with high quality, as marketing-speak would lead you to believe. You can still have bad quality digital movies, and I personally think they look a lot worse than a bad VHS.
posted by odinsdream at 11:48 AM on February 7, 2005


My new third generation DVD holographic storage technique is unstoppable?
posted by euphorb at 1:15 PM on February 7, 2005


I see bad image quality all the time with digital. Like the bad pixellated dithering, etc. I'm surprised people don't bitch about it at all. It seems worse on TV's of friends who have TiVo.
posted by yesster at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2005


I want losslessly compressed video. It could happen. No?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:19 PM on February 7, 2005


odinsdream: The still scenes are blocky and unmoving, night scenes with soft light are bands of color instead of smooth gradients... tons of problems. This happens a lot, too. The same thing is happening with digital television. In order to cram those extra 100 channels onto your line, each channel is massively compressed. I know I must not be the only one bugged by this.

Are you familiar with KVCD? The idea that a VCD can nearly match quality with DIVX is astonishing, and I think it is evidence for your point. It is also amazing to see how much CD music has improved in the last ten years. To think the golden eared acknowledge that CD can be as good as vinyl, just different, is... Well, it's something.

A little care can go a long way!
posted by Chuckles at 4:27 PM on February 7, 2005


odinsdream : you're not the only one.

28 Days Later was shot on DV, no? Because a lot of the artifacts I see in that are DV-like, not MPEG-2. There's one scene - in the apartment? In the house? I forget - where her face is in half-darkness and as her head moves, the colour of her cheek doesn't. The way it happens is more like DV than MPEG-2.

Broadcast DTV here is pretty good - for 720x576 SD, bitrates range from 6-12Mbps. Pay-TV sucks, with bitrates down around 3-4Mbps. IMNSFHO, it's pretty much unwatchable. And yet, people are swallowing the "Digital!" hype.

And don't get me started on plasma & LCD screens...
posted by Pinback at 4:33 PM on February 7, 2005


Oh, and if we are going to talk about this Cell thing, I think The Register's article is a lot more informative, and still accessible for the non-tech crowd. Slashdot seems to be all over it too. Lots of hype...
posted by Chuckles at 4:36 PM on February 7, 2005


Holographic, eh? Does that mean if part of the disc is scratched, that no data would be lost (if the sensor that reads the disc can resolve at a higher magnification)?

Or that you can break the disc into a thousand little pieces and each of the pieces will contain the all the information present in original disc?

posted by PurplePorpoise at 5:47 PM on February 7, 2005


odinsdream: Having seen 28 Days Later in the cinema, I can tell you that it has a lot of video artifacts right there in the print. As Pinback says, it was shot on DV and I get the impression a lot of the artifacts are intentional.

My apologies if you've seen the cinema version and that was the basis of the comparison. Got to admit I haven't seen the DVD myself.
posted by pascal at 9:53 PM on February 7, 2005


Pretty_Generic - Laserdiscs actually had uncompressed analog video streams generally above broadcast quality. Lossless compression looks like it's around 30MB/s for 720x480 @ 30fps (very ballpark), so it could happen.
posted by nTeleKy at 3:04 PM on February 8, 2005


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