Preparing your customers and your facilities for Blu-ray a powerful format that leads to new challenges in authoring and creative design

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Preparing your customers and your facilities for Blu-ray

  • A powerful format that leads to new challenges in authoring and creative design

Exceeding expectations

  • After several years of development, consumer and industry expectations are high

  • DVD was a leap in complexity, BD will be as well

  • Expect a transition to happen over the next year in how titles are developed

  • The best products are expected to have not only great picture and sound, but also added value that drives product sales

Blu-ray data structure

DVD vs. Blu-ray

  • Mature authoring tools

  • Ubiquitous MPEG2 video

  • Mature audio codecs

  • Mature subtitles creation

  • Little or no programming possible

  • Mature QC processes

  • Creative design built around DVD capability

SPE authoring tool development

The current DVD world with PAL and NTSC compression

  • At present, most Film based DVD content sold in Europe plays 4% fast in order to manage the difference between 24fps film and 25fps PAL video

    • This affects the consumer experience, the video speed is not noticed, but correspondent change in audio pitch is obvious
    • Studios have to conform elements and compress video for both NTSC and PAL standards adding cost and complexity to DVD manufacturing

The European standard

  • Movies can and should be encoded to one standard - worldwide

  • EICTA – “HD ready” sanctioning body

  • Basic Requirements (information copied from license agreement)

    • The display device accepts HD input via:
      • Analog YPbPr and DVI or HDMI
    • HD capable inputs accept:
      • 1280x720 @ 50 and 60 hz progressive (“720p”) and 1920 x 1080 @ 50 and 60hz interlaced (“1080i”)
    • The DVI or HDMI input supports content protection (HDCP)

Blu-ray Video Codecs

  • AVC – computation intensive, some LSI implementations exist, but typically uses blade servers

  • VC1 – also computation intensive, software implementations

  • MPEG2 – less efficient at very low bit rates, but equivalent performance at >15mbps. Encoding and decoding readily available.

  • Master tape quality – results of tests

New audio codecs

  • Both Dolby and DTS have new codecs included in Blu-ray

  • Studios are already expressing interest in using “lossless” coding

  • Decoding hardware needed before new codecs can be used

New subtitles

  • HD resolutions

  • Both Unicode and BMP available

  • 256 colors available – excellent anti-aliasing

  • New standards for delivery

  • New methods of delivery – network

BD-J A programmable environment

  • Blu-ray provides an implementation of Java that can be used to create newer forms of disc interactivity

  • DVD authoring and BD-J authoring are not the same skill set

  • Game / web development skills are converging with packaged media development

  • Keeping order – spiraling complexity

Blu-ray Movie Mode

  • Similar to DVD functions with improvements

  • Ideal for first titles

  • Can provide a better user experience than DVD

  • The first step in player development and compatibility

  • Low level conventions are used in BD-J

QC for Blu-ray

  • What display

    • Consider scaling artifacts – full resolution avoids this
    • Screen size, two to three picture heights
    • Professional versus Consumer devices
    • Interlace artifacts – should allowances be made?
    • Interactive disc QC
      • Network connection
      • Game style capability

The creative process

  • Balancing improved performance and graphic complexity

  • Re-educating the industry on what can be accomplished

  • Providing better tools to eliminate redundancy

  • Balancing format capability with time to market

Priorities – before the first order

  • Staffing - Blu-ray has capabilities through Java programming that are not in the typical skill set of most DVD tool users

  • Video encoding – MPEG2 encoders are available and can do an outstanding job for this application. Adoption of alternative codecs may not be needed for a while

  • Data handling – can your network and storage systems handle HD?

  • Quality control – How will you check HD video? Display choices are limited.

Launch timing (estimated)


  • Blu-ray will launch in the Spring – the time to prepare for compression and authoring is now

  • 24p encoding worldwide is a win – win

  • Consumer broadcast experience with HD is uneven, packaged media should set the benchmark… again…

  • The distinction between authoring games and authoring movies will start to blur. Hiring for development and QC needs to adapt accordingly

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