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Upgradeable DVD Codec

Motion picture experts my ass
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Video DVDs are a preyy good product: cheap to produce and store hours of video. The problem lies with the MPEG-2 codec.

It's old. It's crappy. It makes videos look like huge blocky pixels.

There are many better codecs out there, most notably Xvid. It achieves better compression on just about any type of video, and has a special mode made just for cartoons. Oh, and it's free too.

So why are we still using MPEG? Because everyone else does. They were first, just like VHS and Beta.

To counteract this, and to put MPEG in it's place, every DVD should use a codec which is best suited for it's contents. And, instead of building dozens of different player types and starting the codec wars all over again, every DVD should also contain it's own codec on the disc.

In order to support this, a new generation of players is necessary. The players must be equiped with a processor that reads a standardized instruction set. In effect, they will be very much like desktop computers, but using a more modern and dedecated archetecture. The player would first load the codec off the disc, then decode the video using that algorithm.

Never again will I have to suffer through horribly crapinized MPEG cartoons.

Aq_Bi, Jan 01 2005

Blu-ray (UV laser disk) http://www.blu-ray.com/info/
I don't think 'software guys' are in the end going to be totally satisfied with the major enterprise choices among codecs. [reensure, Jan 03 2005]

Example of current upgradability in DVD players http://www.nerd-out...unds/Background.htm
[Worldgineer, Jan 03 2005]

[link]






       Well, Xvid is unlikely to be used precisely BECAUSE it is free, but the concept is a good one. Hell, even wma is better than mpeg2.
5th Earth, Jan 01 2005
  

       DVD players would cost two or three times as much as they do now, if you did this.
krelnik, Jan 03 2005
  

       This is a nice idea, costs aside. Perhaps take it a step further and load several scene-optimized codecs at the outset of a movie and call them on a scene-by-scene basis.   

       Also, .wma is a *lot* better than MPEG2. Oh, and credit where credit is due: Xvid is based on Divx and Divx is based on a Microsoft beta codec--an MPEG codec at that (MPEG4).
bristolz, Jan 03 2005
  

       I've a reaction time of a fifth of a second to block animation when it comes on a screen.
mensmaximus, Jan 03 2005
  

       What does that have to do with anything?
bristolz, Jan 03 2005
  

       He mentioned 'toons, madame.
mensmaximus, Jan 03 2005
  

       [mensaximus] But cartoons are fun. I don't understand - how can you not love Road Runner? The Tick? Oggy and the Cockroaches? King of the Hill?   

       Are you a robot from the future, perchance? Only post-apocalyptic time-travelling robots don't love cartoons...
friendlyfire, Jan 03 2005
  

       My old APEX DVD player is firmware upgradable (and hackable), and it was one of the cheapest players on the market when I bought it. You just burn a CD-R with the right data and your screen saver, insert-disc screen, and even core funtionality can be modified. Certainly adding a codec from a DVD can be done in a way that doesn't cost much more.
Worldgineer, Jan 03 2005
  

       I see a few problems with this otherwise-good notion:   

       -1- It would require players to all use the same (or compatible) processors and similar hardware architectures.   

       -2- If the software can 'install' things in the player, there's a risk of accidental or deliberate compatibility problems; if the software cannot do so, loading the codecs will increase boot time.   

       -3- Consumers are fortunate enough that, despite the MPAA's efforts, DVD's are an "open" format that allow customers to exercise their "fair use" rights. Customers may not get so lucky with a new format.
supercat, Jan 03 2005
  

       The issue is that higher quality compression schemes require more cpu power, often more memory, etc.   

       Like most upgradable electronics, the point would quickly come where the hardware is no longer capable of handling the latest method - so the extra cost to make the versitile player ends up wasted.
SpookyFish, Jan 05 2005
  

       Good Idea.. What about malicious code getting in to the DVD player.. A possible solution: Wth these devices getting networked in the future you probably wont need to keep all the codec code on the DVD, you would be able to download off the web. As the convergence of Router and Firewall occurs the gateway could then check for malicious code on download from the central / manufacturer site.
mahaamit, Jan 05 2005
  

       I don't think we have to worry about viruses. The firmware operating system will run Linux, making sure that the codec is used only as a codec, not allowing it access to other data. The OS can even be rom-based, preventing it from being corrupted.
Aq_Bi, Jan 08 2005
  
      
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