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490 comments

But the real question is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128778)

... where are my pants?

Re:But the real question is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128803)

the dingo ate them.

Re:But the real question is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128810)

Absolutely amazing. This was marked as troll before I could even refresh the story after I clicked post... it was literally microseconds.

Re:But the real question is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128855)

they caught fire.

zippety do dah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128787)

FIIRRIIIRIIRRST POOSOOOSSSSO!

MSFT media domination begins? (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128790)

Ahem [slashdot.org] , it seems that they are making their inroads to Media domination...

Microsoft will maintain its neutral position in supporting the emerging high definition video formats, said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows Media division, in a statement.

MSFT will remain "neutral" as long as they are getting paid royalties to use the codec in the design. This will likely mean that Open Source alternatives will be shutout although with other technologies OSS has been able to make its way around those roadblocks.

How long until the MPAA gives in or will yet ANOTHER media format be created that won't include MSFT or OSS?

CORRECT LINK IN COMMENT ABOVE! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128921)

corrected link [slashdot.org] , sorry.

Re:MSFT media domination begins? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128971)

Another case of RTFA

From the Blu-ray FAQ:
What video codecs will Blu-ray support? UPDATED

The Blu-ray Disc Founders (BDF) still haven't made a final decision about what video codecs will be included, but MPEG-2 is already part of the specification. According to the BDF technical spokesman Richard Doherty, they will also include at least one, possibly more than one, advanced video codec beyond MPEG-2 in the Blu-ray Disc format. Current canidates include MPEG-4 AVC High Profile (previously called FRExt) and VC-9. They plan to announce which advanced video codec(s) will be used sometime in September and expect the specification to be finshed by the end of the year.

Obviously MPEG-2 will be the compression algorithm for most video playback. It just happens that they are adding other codecs to the standard so that in order for hardware to be compliant they will have to decode various other MPEG-4 codecs....VC-9 being one chosen for the spec.

Re:MSFT media domination begins? (5, Insightful)

wolenczak (517857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129098)

It'll be the same history of DVD's, at first you will need a highend expensive player, and later you'll be able to purchase a fully functional chinese player for a fraction of the price. A guy will hack the codec, you will see a perl perl script in a TShirt, M$ will complain, RIIA will complain. And at the end nobody would care in the rest of the world except in the US.

Re:MSFT media domination begins? (5, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129117)

Let them.

I, for one, wish the MPAA, Microsoft, the RIAA, etc all the best in their attempts to protect and overcharge insane amounts for their content and media.

The more restricted the $40 DRM-enabled Brittney-Spears Clone that can only be played 3 times before triggering the $2/viewing per-use license becomes; the more opportunity there is for Creative-Commons-licensed music to become popular and mainstream.

As Sony/MPAA/Microsoft and nuts like Zaentz [americanhistorycd.com] (the guy who sued Fogerty for sounding like Fogerty, and then brought us LotR) keep gettting greedier and greedier; they are in fact _creating_ the same kind of opportunity for reasonably licensed Arts that similar nutcases did for Open Source software when they thought they could charge $100 for commodities like OS's and Relational databases.

Let them kill themselves. Personally, I'll go see local bands that let me tape & publish MP3s of their shows and actually want people to hear their stuff.

No thanks Microsoft (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128794)

I'd rather not watch something than have to depend on Micro$oft for the codec!

Re:No thanks Microsoft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128818)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2002-07 -22&res=l

Re:No thanks Microsoft (0)

beugh (716719) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128883)

agreed.

Does not matter (0)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128795)

I've got 230 or more DVD's I'm not about to rebuy just for a new standard. I dont need any of these "Special features and commentaries" on any of these movies and there's probably nothing else on them to entice me to switch. So for the time being I'm sticking with DVD.

The market should demand a open standard not one bribed by M$

Re:Does not matter (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128861)

These players will remain backward compatible with former DVD Standards

Re:Does not matter (4, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128910)

I think this is the problem they're going to face. There was a giant untapped market of people who wanted to buy movies/TV shows on a permant media, but the sound/image quality and physical size of video tapes didn't make it worth it for them.

While BD-ROM will appeal to the home cinema fanatics, who will have the kit to really appreciate the HD images and ungodly number of sound channels that can be put on these disks. For most people though, the jump in image and sound quality is trivial compared to that when going from cassette to DVD.

Re:Does not matter (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129051)

While BD-ROM will appeal to the home cinema fanatics, who will have the kit to really appreciate the HD images and ungodly number of sound channels that can be put on these disks. For most people though, the jump in image and sound quality is trivial

Unless you can fit an entire season of a sitcom, encoded at Superbit DVD equivalent quality, on one disc. Unless you can fit several foreign language dubs of a family movie on the disc without compromising video or audio quality. (I specify "family movie" because kids under 13 can't read subtitles.)

kids not reading subtitles (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129135)

How funny, my 7 year old son must be faking reading subtitles aloud to his younger sister then.

What will happen? (5, Insightful)

Raleel (30913) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128797)

It'll be reverse engineered. it'll happen in some other country. it'll move "underground". they'll be a giant legal battle.

Either that or it'll fail as a format. I'm kinda guessing the latter.

Re:What will happen? (4, Informative)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128820)

There is no need for it to be reverse engineered. VC-1 is a SMPTE spec.

Re:What will happen? (5, Funny)

JaxGator75 (650577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128847)

I never even really wanted those damn cookies until she put the cookie jar on top of the fridge...

Re:What will happen? (5, Interesting)

mukund (163654) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129060)

You forget DVD Jon has not retired yet unlike an MPAA official.

They're doing what now? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128801)

Could someone please explain this to me is words that actually made sence to a person that has no idea what codec and all that stuff is?

Re:They're doing what now? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128895)

Its like, a bunch of 1s and 0s that make computer stuff work.

Re:They're doing what now? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129011)

Very simply... A codec is an add-on to media software that allows the software to know how to play/record certain media filetypes. If the recorders only use one owned by MS, then how are open source media players supposed to use the damn thing since they can't pay royaltys to MS?

here we go again (1, Insightful)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128808)

I wonder how long before the anti-trust lawsuits kick in this time round.

Re:here we go again (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128924)

Ohh right.. because we all know MS has a monopoly on video codecs.. ohh wait.. or, rather, media technology.. ohh wait.. hmm.. desktop operating systems?

That's an idea. MS's anti-trust settlement expires soon. That means for any new litigation the issue of whether MS has a monopoly on desktop operating systems must be redecided.

Let's think about that one. You think anyone could prove this time around MS has a monopoly when there are millions of Linux users out there?

Re:here we go again (2, Insightful)

Jondor (55589) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128990)

[i]Let's think about that one. You think anyone could prove this time around MS has a monopoly when there are millions of Linux users out there?[/i]

Do we already make the whole 1% ? And reducing that number by the servers (non-desktop after all) what is left. The monopoly is as strong as ever and IF there's a recognizable number of alternative desktops it will have to be Apple..

Ayes, I'm among the 1%..;) It's just reality kicking in..

Re:here we go again (1)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128996)

You're confusing a trust with a monopoly. Different animals.

Beta-Ray (1, Interesting)

mark0 (750639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128811)

If Microsoft is heavy-handed about this, I would think that manufacturers would react in much the same way folk reacted to Sony around Beta. A splinter group will form with another, superficially similar standard and the more open one will tend to win...

Re:Beta-Ray (4, Insightful)

ryanjensen (741218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128898)

In this case, though, the two competing standards (Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD ... think back to DVD vs. DivX) are *both* using Microsoft's VC-1 compression. So as it stands now, next-generation DVDs will use Microsoft software regardless -- unless other manufacturers want to come up with a THIRD competing format. What are the odds of that?

Re:Beta-Ray (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128999)

My guess is that Microsoft is playing the "But what if the vendor goes out of business?" card with the media manufacturers. By convincing them to go with a "stable" company with a "significant investment in media technologies", Microsoft would be leaving them with no other choice other than Microsoft.

In management this is called (4, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128815)

"Cutting off the oxygen supply"

Re: In management this is called (1)

er_col (664618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129075)

Right, but... oxygen supply to what? FOSS or the codec? Hopefully the latter.

the Man is out to own us! (3, Insightful)

DownWithTheMan (797237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128821)

Orwell was right... First it starts with computers... Then to home appliances... Next to the very cable TV we watch... And who can forget the patent that MS put on watches commercials that ask you questions for a prize... The worst part about this, is what it does to open-source codecs... Things like ogg-vorbis and xvid... Will the world every get a clue?

Re:the Man is out to own us! (1)

JaxGator75 (650577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128890)

As bas as I want to see what that TinyURL link in your Sig goes to, my Spidey-Sense is tingling... Anyone not at work with more guts than me???

Re:the Man is out to own us! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128935)

It's one of those free ipod things.

Re:the Man is out to own us! (2, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128899)

> Orwell was right... First it starts with computers... Then to home
> appliances... Next to the very cable TV we watch...

I hope you still have the receipt for that 'Orwell' book you're paraphrasing...

Misrepresented literature (1)

HeelToe (615905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128985)

So many people misquote and misparaphrase from _1984_, _Fahrenheit 451_, and _Brave New World_. I went and read them all because of so many people referencing them. Either people haven't read them, or they haven't read them with the equivalent analysis of high school english.

MS quality codecs.... (5, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128825)

I am 60% pleased, 30% worried, and 10% indifferent.
Pleased: Despite all the MS bashing that occurs here, MS does make some very nice A/V codecs.

Worried: MS has a history of hamstringing their good codecs with DRM and other crap too.

Indifferent: Nothing to see here folks, FOSS will reverse-engineer and/or come out with far better codecs.

Re:MS quality codecs.... (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128870)

Worried: MS has a history of hamstringing their good codecs with DRM and other crap too.

*WE* don't want DRM but the rest of the public doesn't know/care and the industry *wants* it. So their "history of hamstringing codecs with DRM" is what makes them attractive.

Re:MS quality codecs.... (5, Insightful)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128989)

"Indifferent: Nothing to see here folks, FOSS will reverse-engineer and/or come out with far better codecs."

Doesn't matter if they do or not. The point is that FOSS will never be legally allowed to play these *standard* media discs, ever. The codecs are patented and not available for Free. Every single set-top box or other such hardware will be forced to run at least partially closed software. They might even be forced not to use Linux/BSD/etc. if Microsoft won't release or license versions of their codecs for those OSes.

Even if we have a much better Free codec, that codec is worthless if every single DVD/movie released *must* be encoded in Microsoft's codecs because the standard mandates it and the hardware for playing those discs all supports Microsoft's codecs, but only one or two support the Free codec.

It's just like the MP3 situation. The vast majority of people, even geeks that are pro-Free Software, must use MP3, because many of their devices do not support Ogg Vorbis or another high quality Free codec.

Now that this standard is out that mandates Microsoft codecs, it can *never* be undone, because backwards compatibility must always be maintained in devices that use this standard (or you risk severely pissing off the end users who bought them or media for them), and that then mandates lockin to Microsoft and lockout of Free Software.

The only hope in this case is that this new technology doesn't catch on (DVDs are still fairly new, many consumers will resist another video format upgrade so soon) and that by the time the market is ready for an upgrade, another Free-friendly standard is dominant.

Mandated for hardware, not software (5, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129066)

"Even if we have a much better Free codec, that codec is worthless if every single DVD/movie released *must* be encoded in Microsoft's codecs because the standard mandates it"

The support for Media Player 9 codec is mandated for the players, to ensure that they are capable of showing video files encoded in that format. They are also mandated to do good ol' Mpeg 2 (just like DVD) and Mpeg 4 as well.

Of course, Mpeg 2 has its patents as well, but that doesn't seem to be hugely bothering people when discussing what this does over DVD, just because "Microsoft = Bad".

I'm just happy because a more efficient video codec leaves more room for audio on the discs, and we might see some MLP-encoded films.

Re:MS quality codecs.... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129114)

Even if we have a much better Free codec, that codec is worthless if every single DVD/movie released *must* be encoded in Microsoft's codecs because the standard mandates it and the hardware for playing those discs all supports Microsoft's codecs, but only one or two support the Free codec.

Actually if you read the article, Microsoft's codecs will be standard for the players, but there will actually be several standards. The DVDs themselves can be in one of several different formats. But obviously all players must accept all formats. Obviously you could have a linux player that accepted most formats, but that really wouldn't be acceptable. Anyways, not arguing just correcting you on a small detail.

Re:MS quality codecs.... (2, Insightful)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129001)

Despite all the MS bashing that occurs here, MS does make some very nice A/V codecs.

Examples? I know that WMA did quite badly in double-blind experiments. I'm pretty sure it was even here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] that I read about it (that link seems right). I'm not familiar with their video codecs. Are they any better?

Re:MS quality codecs.... (5, Insightful)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129005)

FOSS will reverse-engineer and/or come out with far better codecs.

Oh, you mean like the ogg codec [vorbis.com] ? Yeah ogg is great. I love being able to play ogg file on my iPod..oh wait, no. I mean I love being able to stream them to my Tivo. Wait, no I mean, It's great that I can burn ogg files onto a cd and play them in my car mp3...er ogg...wait, no.

Better technical solutions do not prevail simply because they're better. Mandating a patented codec is a very bad thing because now legal (i.e. DMCA) and licensing issues become much more important than the technical merit of the codec in determining it's success. FOSS can't save you from Microsoft's undead army of lawyers and marketing drones in this case.

Re:MS quality codecs.... (1)

cabraverde (648652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129134)

Pleased: Despite all the MS bashing that occurs here, MS does make some very nice A/V codecs.

Have you seen the Microsoft "reference" software for MPEG-4? I have very rarely seen such merciless abuse of the C++ language. The standard itself is excellent, but the MS software is horrible.

Just one option of many... (5, Informative)

harmonics (145499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128834)

Based on my take of the article, seems this is going to be just one option of many.

"We've been committed to adding advanced codecs to enrich the Blu-ray Disc format," said Maureen Weber, general manager of HP's optical storage solutions business and a member of the Blu-Ray group, in a statement.

"We want to offer content providers a variety of compression codecs to suit their various needs. With the addition of Microsoft's VC-1, we extend that option in a package that makes Blu-ray Disc's capacity advantage even more substantial while still delivering the picture quality that consumers demand from high-definition technology."

A variety of compression codecs sure makes me think we're going to have options...

Re:Just one option of many... (1)

howlatthemoon (718490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129002)

I was trying to find the article from a few months ago, but I believe that the HD-DVD forum ratified MPEG4-AVC (H.264), MPEG2, and a Windows Media codec as suitable codecs for HD-DVD. I think that all this says is that Blu-Ray will support HD-DVD standards. At least, I hope this is what it means.

Don't jump to conclusions just yet (2, Insightful)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128840)

Most of Microsoft's patent portfolio exists solely to protect MS from the lawsuits of other companies.

Now, if MS licenses this and plays nice (and yes, MS can play nice if it benefits them to do so, i.e. making money by licensing the use of their codecs), we won't have any problems and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. IMO, only if MS keeps it closed, secret and has no licensing options will this hurt OSS.

Re:Don't jump to conclusions just yet (5, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128891)

Don't jump to conclusions just yet

Damnit, you tell me now, after I already bought the mat...

Re:Don't jump to conclusions just yet (2, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129104)

> Most of Microsoft's patent portfolio exists solely to protect MS from the lawsuits of other companies.

Actually no. It exists so that VC companies will not fund individuals who have "Great Ideas" because there are MS patents lurking within the realm of said "Great Idea".

They are there to limit innovation.

Let's say Idea A has been discovered and patented by MSFT. Then idea B comes along and is related to idea A. No investor in their right mind will plunk down $15M on idea B.

So it leaves MSFT very able to pick it up later, once blogger and-part time python coder Joe Geek lays it out on his website.

Then MSFT patents idea B.

Repeat at will.

MS will remain neutral? (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128842)

from the article: ..., Microsoft will maintain its neutral position in supporting the emerging high definition video formats, said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Windows Media division, in a statement.

Hmmmm, based on what previous behavior or evidence?

Re:MS will remain neutral? (1)

ryanjensen (741218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128960)

MS will remain neutral because its codec is being used by *both* Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. MS doesn't care which format wins, because it will profit regardless. There is your evidence.

Not much meat... (2, Interesting)

debianlinux (548082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128843)

Not much to that article.

What prevents the OSS community from developing it's own codec and getting approved the same way M$ has done?

Re:Not much meat... (2, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129004)

Time, money, connections, the usual stuff. Besides, it appears that the decision is all but set in stone.

The Auto Industry (2, Insightful)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128844)

This is tantamount to telling people what gasoline they have to put in their car.

The difference is, as long as the blue-ray players drop in price quickly, the average consumer really won't give a damn.

You'll only hear a true uproar once prices go beyond what the majority of the market can bear. So prepared to be screwed - because there isn't a damn thing you or I can do about it.

Yeah, I'm Free. Right.

Re:The Auto Industry (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128912)

> ...because there isn't a damn thing you or I can do about it.
Sure there is... stop using Microsoft products. My company has done it, so can you. there is really no need to run a Microsoft OS.

Re:The Auto Industry (0, Offtopic)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128946)

Put unleaded in your diesel engine lately? If you can't figure out the analogy, you shouldn't be using it.

Re:The Auto Industry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128998)

Your analogy is more apt than you think. It is indeed like the auto industry telling what kind of gas they have to put in their car. They need to select some kind of standard after all. Well, most cars use unleaded gasoline. Blue-ray will use Microsoft's codec. You can argue about their selection of codec, like you could argue about the use of gasoline, but they do have to select a codec.

Re:The Auto Industry (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129107)

"This is tantamount to telling people what gasoline they have to put in their car"

Quite the reverse, actually. Its mandating that Blu-Ray players have to be able to accept the Microsoft-brand fuel (i.e. codec) as well as the Mpeg 4 and Mpeg 2 ones.

Surely this is a good thing?

My prediction (2, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128845)

With HD-DVD incorporating Microsoft's patented video codecs as well, what will happen to the state of media players on Open Source?

My prediction is this, someone will reverse engineer the codec and release it a la DeCSS and everyone will have it. Microsoft will try to shut it down and there will be T shirts with the code printed on them.

LK

Re:My prediction (1)

red floyd (220712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129091)


VC-1 is *PATENTED*. There are no free speech issues here, unfortunately, unlike DeCSS.

What about Dolby Digital? (3, Interesting)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128853)

How is this different than mandating all current DVD player support Dolby Digital? This doesn't preclude the standard from accepting other open source codecs. Market forces have pretty much made DTS decoding standard in all current players.

Re:What about Dolby Digital? (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128908)

also, the current dvd players have a system that's supposed to make any 3rd party players impossible as well.

they're going to hamper 3rd party unlicensed player development anyways... no matter which codec.

Re:What about Dolby Digital? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128958)

Dolby isn't Microsoft, doesn't have a 90% desktop monopoly to protect, probably doesn't hate open source and Linux, although they've not stated anything about that.

this same story again and again ... (1)

zoso (105166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128863)

it will be reverse engineered, it will be published, it will be distributed and eventually someone will be sued... this same old story again and again ...

Two solutions, really... (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128869)

  • Either Microsoft opens up its codecs and makes them available for free software players. There is (IMHO) a small chance that Microsoft will actually do this, since the alternative could be another 'monopoly'-type lawsuit.
  • Or the OSS community politely reminds the big corporations that it cannot be ignored anymore, and organizes either a boycott or creates an equivalent of these codecs. Or both (a boycott AND an equivalent).


All in all, I think this may be more of an annoyance than a real problem. But I'd be interested in the opinion of other /. readers.

Re:Two solutions, really... (2, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128952)

I think the ogg guys already have an equivalent codec there just isn't all that nasty drm stuff in it that the media companies so desire.

Re:Two solutions, really... (2, Insightful)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129006)

Or the OSS community politely reminds the big corporations that it cannot be ignored anymore...
Yes you can. A small collection of people that get their undies in a twist over a fucking file format doesn't make a tiny fucking dent in the pocketbooks of the companies that make those products.
and organizes either a boycott
By people that wouldn't buy this shit anyway? You are aware that there are DVD players for Linux that are all nice and legal, yet nobody buys them.
or creates an equivalent of these codecs.
Which would solve WHAT?

Re:Two solutions, really... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129124)

Or.....

The 1% of the population that uses FOSS for their home computers does not watch HD-DVD and the world continues as it always has because they really just don't effect he market, ragardles so fwhat they woudl liek to believe.

Boycots only work when a lot of people participate, not enough peopel care in this case.

Also, why not boycot Apple with their DRM Itunes standard. Why not boycott tradition DVD becasue of CSS?

You sound like a zealot.

Not too neutral (2)

snerfu (43580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128871)

"Microsoft will maintain its neutral position in supporting the emerging high definition video formats"

The last statement of that article seems totally against the grain of its subject matter. It is backed by HP apaprently too which now just came out with a linux laptop. Maybe we can hope to see one of these companies step up and offer a way of support on linux? If not I sense more antitrust litigation in the near future.

As Bender would put it: (0)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128873)

We're boned.

When will they ever learn... O, when will they ever learn?

If you read the article ... (2, Informative)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128888)

"We want to offer content providers a variety of compression codecs to suit their various needs. With the addition of Microsoft's VC-1, we extend that option in a package that makes Blu-ray Disc's capacity advantage even more substantial while still delivering the picture quality that consumers demand from high-definition technology."

Notice "A VARIETY OF COMPRESSION CODECS". VC-1 is merely one of several and is being added for those who want better images on high definition displays.

Blu-Ray Jon (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128889)

I guess DVD-Jon is up for a new nick!

Incrediably Short sighted (2, Interesting)

kiljoy001 (809756) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128894)

I can't help to think that this is incredably short sighted by said companies. They go through all that trouble to create a new format, and then dictate that the compression method used is propriatary, and currently non-standard. It's not about Microsoft(!?), this is about clear and common sence: If you use a propiertary format, don't you think that the owner will charge some kind of royality fee for the useage ? This could only make this more costly, and less attractive to future users of this. Clearly this is akin to shooting one's self in the foot, let's not even get started with OSS trying to keep up on this format too...

Re:Incrediably Short sighted (1)

joemc79 (222495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129121)

RTFA.. It IS a SMPTE standard.

State of open source players? (2, Insightful)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128906)

In the U.S. at least, MPEG2 and CSS used in current DVD players are not really "Open", although they have been reverse engineered and implemented in open source projects (Opened with a crowbar, in a sense.)

I suppose you could make an argument MPEG2 is somewhat more open, if not unencumbered, than Microsoft codex XXX, but CSS certainly isn't.

Re: to beat a dead horse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129034)

body {color:black;}
a:hover {color:red;}
DeCSS [pigdog.org]

HD-DVD Foramt and Apple. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10128931)

I am highly confused by these articles.. I thought that QT's implementation of the h.264 codec had already been ratified for use in the next gerneration of HD-DVD's?

unless I am missing something here or apple is blowing smoke.. whats the deal...

am I even talking about the same topic?
http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jun/2 3quickti me.html

what does that press release refer too then?

comments?

Re:HD-DVD Foramt and Apple. (1)

TheNME (789963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129073)

The players can be certified and work with more than one codec, HD-DVD supports apple's and microsoft's codecs, where as BD-ROM doesn't support apple's codec (afaik).

VC-1 is NOT the only codec (4, Informative)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128936)

For the record, Blu-Ray also has MPEG2 and MPEG4 AVC High Profile as mandatory codecs. So it's not like anyone is forced to use VC-1.

It might seem surprising that they would mandate 3 codecs, due to the added complexity of supporting them together. But it turns out that once you've implemented an MPEG4 decoder in silicon, VC-1 is not that difficult to add on. As for MPEG2, that's needed for back compatability, but as anyone who uses DivX knows, it's far less efficient than modern codecs.

Re:VC-1 is NOT the only codec (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129108)

I use Free Software exclusively at home. It is a matter of principle for me.

So I buy a new blu-ray player for my PC (I don't have a TV) and get, say, Brian Helgeland's latest opus on blu-ray disc. Pop it into my player.

Awww, too bad, Pete. You can't take it back to the store 'cause it's opened. You can't watch it unless you buy a MS OS.

I guess my choice is to avoid the format all together.

Thanks.

-Peter

Given this movie... (1)

TheNME (789963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128941)

What are the advantages if any to using the competing HD-DVD versus BD-ROM? It seems they will come out at the same time, BD-ROM will have more space and use the same advanced codecs, negating any advantage HD-DVD had. In other words, why would ANYONE buy HD-DVD..?

How is this news? (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128944)

I hate these news articles...they make it look like Microsoft's codec is the only one that will work, when it's just one of several.

HD DVD supports MPEG-2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and Microsoft VC-9.

Blu-Ray Disc (BD) already supported [blu-ray.com] MPEG-2 and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and now just added Microsoft VC-9. So what?

Re:How is this news? (3, Insightful)

dmayle (200765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129113)

You fail to recognize what the implication of the standard including a codec is. If You have a choice of codecs as a content supllier, that means you can put content on it in any of the formats you choose.

As an end user of this tech, my player has to support ALL of the codecs in order to watch media, because the dics will likely come in one format only. So, YES, the content provider will have plenty of choice, but the end users will have none, especially if the content providers end up rallying around the Microsoft codec.

Patents (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128987)

Well, it's not like the varios MPEG levels are not patented.
And as long as algorithms are not patentable in the EU (and I hope it remains so), mplayer will implement it without worries.

Prediction: blu-ray for movies will die (2, Interesting)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128991)

1- Remember that Hollywood is supposedly afraid of Microsoft [slashdot.org]
2- Royalties jack up the price of things
3- There is still plenty of time for bickering and delay to kill this a-la-Digital-Audio-Tape.

Great! (5, Informative)

athorshak (652273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10128992)

I know there is a lot of anti-MS sentiment around here, but this is really great news. VC-1 (VC-9) is a great codec for HD and is vastly superior to the aging MPEG2 standard. Think better picture quality at a third of the bitrate on 1080p material. Note that the inclusion of VC-1 does NOT mean the inclusion of any kind of Microsoft DRM. They are completely separate issues We will certainly get some kind of restrictive DRM, but that is a separate issue from VC-1.

Please note that MPEG2 is still a part of the spec and content providers will still be free to use it if they choose. I believe there is still a chance for H.264 to be included as well. (HD-DVD includs all three codecs)

I'm of the opinion that Blu-ray will ultimately win this format war, but we shall see. It has a nice capacity advantage over HD-DVD (and now a next-gen codec to utilize it efficiently). I think the only real advantage HD-DVD has right now is intial lower duplication costs due to its physical similarity to DVD. Sony has stated they are going to run with Blu-ray to the bitter end, so I expect them to press enough discs to overcome that initial disadvantage.

MS codecs suck! (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129000)

just ask the people who made the Divx;) 3 codec.

Same thing that happened last time (4, Insightful)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129016)

Assuming blu ray becomes the dominant hi def format (it's not clear but the ps3 supporting it gives it an edge IMO), the same thing will happen that happened with dvd's.

Someone will reverse engineer it, you will be able to play these movies on a linux system but it won't be legal.

There is no need for MS products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129053)

There is no need to run Microsoft products.

Microsoft products are inherently unsafe [theregister.co.uk] compared to GNU/Linux. Read this article [internetnews.com] as well. Microsoft lies to its customers and to everyone [opensource.org] else.

I cannot figure out why people still use Microsoft products, unless it is because of sheer ignorance. My company runs Mandrakelinux [mandrakelinux.com] . Microsoft products are not allowed in the offices nor on the production floor. If we can do it, so can you.

bad joke (2, Funny)

5m477m4n (787430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129092)

Good thing I gots my Blue Blockers [bestwebshopper.com] !

PS3 (2, Insightful)

MikeMacK (788889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129093)

Sony has finally confirmed that they will use Blu-ray Disc technology in their next-generation PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console.

Why would Sony want a MS technology to go into the PS3 when they now compete with the Xbox?

Chinese manufacturers (5, Interesting)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129119)

Does anyone know what a ballpark cost would be for licensing the IP for a blu-ray player, including the MS and other patented bits?

With all these codecs on board i'd imagine it's a lot more than for regular DVD, and seeing the Chinese manufacturers attitude towards this they'll just go right ahead with their own patent-free platform. Hollywood will ignore them, at first, then they'll panic like mad knowing that a couple of billion users can only buy pirated copies of their films. Brilliant, way to go.

PS3, Blue Ray and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129122)

Since the PS3 has been confirmed to use Blue Ray disks, what type of conflict does this create for Sony and MS? Will the codec be used on PS3 Blue Ray disks as well as the high def movies?

not exclusive, but lucrative (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129128)

The Microsoft video codec will be required for inclusion in Blu-Ray players, but others won't be excluded. That means M$ getting a royalty for every player sold in the world, which is a great business for them. It's certainly been a great business for Sony and Phillips, with their codec required in every CD player. It also guarantees their own media products will be compatible with the new players, without any extra R&D, to say nothing of putting their logo on all those consumer devices.

Other codecs can also run. There might be pricing pressure on manufacturers to exclude the other, non-mandated codecs. Just like the PC "bundling" coup that drove Microsoft to their monopoly position. Blu-Ray needs at least one required codec to be a stable target for media delivery. By requiring Microsoft's codec, they've pushed Microsoft's monopoly-perpetuation strategy into the wider world of consumer TV.

People are missing details (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129132)

Detail #1: "...I predict ...reverse engineered..."

That doesn't mean anything! It's not Copyright, it's Patents that is the problem here. Microsoft could give away the source without licensing the patent for use in any given software.

Detail #2: A patent in a legal monopoly by definition. Until patent law is changed, they can't be hit with anti-trust or monopoly abuse quite so easily.

I think "Open Source" should be organized into a religion... it's just about the ONLY way it will get government protection.

My Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129136)

What does this have to do with my rights online?
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