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MrPopo
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by MrPopo Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:10 pm

Remember when DVDs used to be multi-sided, either with bonus features on the second side or a fullscreen/widescreen split?
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by marurun Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:16 pm

Weren’t there even dual-layer, dual-sided discs? Yeah, DVD-18. Those were not common due to reliability and cost issues, iirc.
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Michi
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Michi Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:49 pm

Oh, god, those double-sided discs. I hate having to squint to read the minuscule lettering to tell you which side is which. I'm glad those bastards died.
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by isiolia Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:17 pm

marurun wrote:DVDs have a large variety of bitrate options. When you pump the quality all the way up for video and 5.1 audio you can barely fit a 2 hour movie on a disc without any extras. Dual layer allows them to include extras and also pump up the quality. This is before special mastering of the video stream.


There were the Superbit releases that eschewed a lot of extra content for more bitrate. Funny thing is, the standard bitrate for DVDs then is what Netflix standardizes for an HD stream (SD, DVD quality, is 3 Mbit instead of 5). Says more about better codecs than it does about lower quality in streaming though.

Some of it may also have to do with equipment too. Same as with audio - where DVD and streaming both tend to skimp, but many setups won't really demonstrate that.
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Ziggy587 Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:35 pm

Double sided DVDs were very common in the early days of DVD. A lot of them had letterbox on one side and anamorphic widescreen on the other side. I guess they didn't want piss people off because most everyone still had 4:3 CRTs in those days.

I had an example of laptop style DVD drive (in an all-in-one desktop) not liking one side of a double sided disc. And unfortunately it was the widescreen side.

I have a fairly large DVD collection. Season 1 of House is the only example I have of DVD-18 discs. At the time it cost about $45, which was super expensive for a TV season. I remember seeing seasons 2 and 3 in stores and they were about $50 each. Most shows were around $20 back then. So I guess DVD-18 really was expensive.

And on the topic of DVD... since I still have a fairly large collection that I don't plan on parting with any time soon, I'm really disappointed with the choice of hardware right now. I mean, I get it, the masses stream. But that doesn't mean there isn't still a market for a high end player. You can still buy a dedicated CD player, they range from $200-600! But this isn't the case with DVD players. The only DVD players I see on the market right now are cheapo ones, and there's only a couple of models. There's BD players out there, which of course can also play DVDs, but their focus is on playing BD. To get a decent unit, you'd have to pay for a bunch of features you don't need.

I really miss that DVD (and not also BD) players don't have screens with seek times. You use to have a screen that showed a lot of info, including track (or chapter) and seek time. This is important when playing CDs because you'd really want to know both. But also, do you remember that early DVD releases came with a card that had the chapters numbered? Did anyone actually use those? I guess that's why they dropped the chapter/track from the screens. But modern BD players don't have ANY screen. You have to spend $500 to get one with a screen!

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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by isiolia Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:41 am

That player seems to incorporate a display as part of its robust audio features. Not so much for video. I don't think it's so much a matter of cost as it is a redundant feature for DVD or Blu-ray playback. Modern players have on-screen displays for chapter/seek/etc. While there are likely professional applications where that's not desirable, it's likely preferable for most consumer use.

Similar things are likely true about stand-alone DVD players. I mean, twenty years ago if you were buying a DVD player there would have been high end features to look for. Make sure it supports progressive output. Maybe built in audio decoding. Any number of filters, scaling, etc. There's sort of a combination of a shift to HDMI and decades of improvement in processing chips that make a $35-45 player quite up to the task. To a fair point, what do those not do that a high end player would?
There's only so much to reasonably do with 480p video and compressed audio, especially when far better sources are available. I mean, I get it, I have a good number of DVDs still as well. As many as I've upgraded to Blu-rays, plenty more won't be. Having a good way to play them is nice. I just feel like a lot of the reason you're not needing to pay out the nose for solid DVD playback is that, well, it's MPEG2 content. 20+ years of technological progression has made that a trivial task to play back, and the TVs/etc that it's being output to have changed to suit it better.

By contrast, higher end CD players continue to exist because well, component CD players have more or less always been an enthusiast product. Portable players, boom boxes, shelf systems, etc represent other consumer options there, some of which are far less prevalent now - I don't think any major brands still make portable players for instance. Probably also helps that there's never been a great (physical) successor to the format. At least not one that's seen widespread support.
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:18 pm

isiolia wrote:To a fair point, what do those not do that a high end player would?


Aside from the display screen? I could think of a few things. Overall build quality, of course. I have no faith in the reliability of the cheap modern DVD players. Another thing that would be nice in a high end player would be drive noise. These cheap DVD players are really loud. A high end player could aim to be whisper quiet. And top top notch upscaling. Sure, I know that every DVD and BD on the market will upscale DVDs to HD. But is it possible to upscale with better quality? I mean, we have stuff like XRGB and the Framemeister for this exact reason.

I know BD players have the OSD in lieu of the display screen, but I find the screen to be so much more desirable. To be able to just quickly move your eyes to the display screen then back to the TV screen is much preferable. The OSD isn't terrible, but you have to find your remote, find the OSD button, click it on, then click it back off and put your remote down. A quick glance is much faster, as to not take you out of what you're watching.

I especially like to know the seek time for TV shows. Should I pause to take a bathroom break? Seek time is 20 minutes, yes pause. Seek time is 40 minutes, don't pause because episode is about to end.

My DVD player doubled as my CD player for the longest time. When I got my first upscaling DVD player it had a screen that would show the seek time but would only show the track when you switched tracks. It was very annoying to play CDs on. My BD player has no screen, so I would have to turn my TV on if playing a CD if I wanted track and seek time info. I now use an old DVD player as my CD player because it shows track and seek time, but I can't use it as my DVD player because it doesn't have the newer standards (Dolby, DTS, HDMI, et cetera).
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by isiolia Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:55 pm

At this point there'd be too narrow a market for folks that want better scaling/etc but don't want Blu-ray playback. The difference in MSRP from a DVD player to a Blu-ray player at this point is what, $30-40? If you're jumping to the $150-200+ price point, having that capability (and more!) seems logical. Common as DVD still is, the physical media market is shrinking, so fragmenting the market with significantly less capable units for a few bucks less seems like it'd be illogical. They only appear at the lowest end, where dropping Blu-ray capability allows for a meaningful price drop.

To some extent, I would also consider if trying to use media the same as you would have back in the day is the best way to go. For instance, in a world where you can store ripped copies of every CD you own on a NAS, that your receiver can directly access, controlled by an app on your smartphone... who needs a 200-disc CD changer?
Apparently, no-one, which is why I don't think they make them anymore.

Maybe, at some point, we'll see something similar for DVDs (harder, due to copy protection...but just speculating). For a lot of stuff it'd be moot, but there are wonderful things happening with deep learning and image scaling. Not real time yet, far as I know, but folks using them for old video games have some great results. I suspect if there are DVDs that never get new versions, maybe ripping/filtering them for a home server will work.
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:27 pm

isiolia wrote:At this point there'd be too narrow a market for folks that want better scaling/etc but don't want Blu-ray playback.


And I'd be fine with a BD player as a DVD player, because I do have a ton of BD as well. But I have mostly the same complaint with them as I do with DVD. Most of them are cheap build quality, and the cheapest player with a display screen is $450!

Remember when multi disc DVD players were a thing for a short time? I would get a 5-disc BD/DVD/CD player if it existed. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of watching through a TV series when I want to take the disc out to watch a movie or whatever. But then I lose my place. It would be awesome to to be able to have two different TV shows queued, be able to watch a movie while still having the TV shows queued, and be able to drop a CD or two in there when you wanna listen to music.

You know how you can pause playback, shut the player off, then resume playback where you paused it? That's what I'm talking about. I've thought about getting an old 5-disc DVD player for this reason, but I'm not sure if they work exactly the way I want them to. Also, they're old and might not have the latest DVD standards. And also, those multi disc carousel units always seem to break.

I actually have 2 DVD players and 1 BD player in my main setup right now. The DVD player I purchased just a couple of years ago (my last main DVD player died). It's the only one I could find on the market that has a screen. It only shows the seek time, but that's enough for movies and TV shows. My second DVD player is a Sony from the early 2000's. It's a great player, but it can't decode the latest audio standards I don't think. I use it exclusively as a CD player right now because it shows track and seek time, and the remote is awesome. Then my BD player is mostly for BDs, but I will use it to play a DVD if I don't want to lose my spot on something in my DVD player.
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Re: Random Thoughts Thread

by RCBH928 Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:37 am

Ziggy, the features you are asking for are like from high-end electronics from the mid-90s. Unfortunately, things have changed, but that stuff would cost a small fortune anyway, early DVD players were like $300 in 90s money. One thing I love about Netflix that I was not expecting is that it remember where you left off, not on the video itself but even which was the last episode you have seen and which you didn't see yet.

I think this could be implemented with just software update on modern players if there is any meta data on the DVD/BDs themselves. All it has to remember is the name of the Disc, track name/number, and time of pause. They can store all of that text on a 10MB file which is large enough to contain a complete novel. Worst case scenario, just a simple sync online with your "account". Everything is in the cloud these days.

marurun wrote:DVDs have a large variety of bitrate options. When you pump the quality all the way up for video and 5.1 audio you can barely fit a 2 hour movie on a disc without any extras. Dual layer allows them to include extras and also pump up the quality. This is before special mastering of the video stream.


I didn't know bitrate varied on DVDs, I thought they had a set standard and everyone published on that standard to maintain compatibility. I never remember watching a DVD and thinking this one has lower quality than that one. Then again, I never paid attention to it. I probably thought it was just how the movie was made to look. In all honesty, I once saw a BD and if I didn't know it I would have that it was just a regular movie playing. Maybe it was just a DVD port, I hear there are many of those on BD platform.
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