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Decrypter 220.127.116.11 remaps VOB and Cell IDs for better compatibility
with DVD Shrink, supports newer form of corrupt authoring (they
call it copy protection but you know better), and fixes a couple
0.85 has a revamped UI, fully integrates the OCR functionality,
can save subpictures as PPM files and handles read-only files.
Time Warner is about to start a P2P
based movie distribution service in Germany. However, I see
problems creeping up from the start: First of all, a movie should
cost about the same as a DVD. Wake up Warner: there's no packaging,
no physical medium, no distribution fee for you, no multilanguage
(movies will only be dubbed, and I'm already feeling sick in my
stomach just writing that). Bottom line, the product is worth less
than buying a DVD, so consequently it should cost less. Oh yeah,
breaking the DRM that most certainly will be used may turn out to
be harder than to beat CSS.. so what if you want to take a copy
with you on the road, put a copy on your PSP or iPod or other portable
video playback device?
Macrovision is at it again. After ending development of DVD Decrypter
and terminating the DVD Shrink homepage, DVD95Copy
was the next target, but after a few days of downtime, the site
is back up.
Last but not least, the audioholics magazine has an interview
with Microsoft on HD DVD. The good news: even initial content
will be 1080p even though the first generation of hardware players
can only handle 1080i. And also rather interesting is that most
of the preview titles shown at CES were not using MPEG-2 video..
the HD DVD camp has less space to waste by using MPEG-2 than the
||The latest Haali
media splitter can handle codecs in OGM that contain private data.
0.83 has a new menu for OCR features and can selectively perform
OCR on subpictures and make them available to the find feature.
0.6.3.1 has been released. The list of modifications is quite
long, but it appears as if I have already reported on most of them
during the beta cycle.
What will be Microsoft's pitch to sell Windows Vista, especially
if you don't care for the newly added eye candy? It looks like security
will be the keyword again. So was the promise of more security
in Windows XP (and SP2 thereafter) not true? And while limited privilege
user accounts are nice, they require that most software be updated
to work properly in such an environment. Right now, too many programs
cannot even be run, or at least not installed unless you're using
an administrator account. And, considering all the lockdown features
for digital content in the new release, one has to ask whether giving
the user less privileges and claim better security is just a ploy
to get users to accept less control over their PC and their digital
1.4.6 RC1 does no longer truncate the last few bytes of demuxed
1.0.6 now has a commandline interface.
2.0.25 includes PGCDemux and fixes the demux from folder functionality.
DivX is going multi-platform: after the Mac release, they have
now released DivX
6.1.1 for Linux.
That one must sting: A Canadian record label is footing the legal
bill of a family sued by the RIAA for copyright infringement (related
to P2P of course). The reason for this rather unexpected turn of
events: the songs allegedly downloaded include an artist that the
label manages, and the
label argues that suing people isn't in the artist's best interest.
Just days after testing the first Blu-ray drive, Germany's c't
is also having a look at the first HD DVD drive, NEC's
HR-1100A (and here's the English
And a small update on the emoticons story: so far, only a patent
application has been filed. I'm not familiar with the requirements
for a patent in the US, but if this application were filed here,
any patent examiner with half a brain could shred the application
after reading the abstract. Lists of emoticons that pop up have
been a standard feature of many instant messaging clients, and even
my very own board software, for a while.
0.81 contains some fixes in the re-timing routine.
has been released - without a changelog so far.
You better stop using smilies when writing text messages on your
mobile phone, or you may be subject to licensing fees in the future
as US mobile provider Cingular Wireless was just granted
a patent on the use of emoticons on mobile phones.
0.6.3 beta 8 is out. The changelog doesn't mention which changes
have been made in between betas so you probably know more about
potential changes than I do.
Two days ago, the broadcast flag got an audience in the US congress.
A Fox rep (keep in mind that's the company that wanted to shove
DIVX down our throats and is the staunchest opponent to such any
measure that would give the customer any right other than to pay
and shut up), was spreading
a lot of half truths of what would happen if the broadcast flag
were to be adopted. To make sure the people that are supposed
to represent you really do just that, pick up your phone, start
your email clients and let your own senators and congressmen and
women know just how you feel about measures that take control over
content out of your hands.
According to the MPAA logic, if you make a copy of a movie without
the copyright owner's consent (which blatantly forgets about the
Fair Use "inconvenience"), you're a dirty pirate. So,
welcome the MPAA to our esteemed club of robbers of the sea as they're
making unauthorized copies as well, and not for fair use purposes.
Last but not least, c't has the first
test of a fully functional Blu-ray burner (if your German is
rusty, try this Google
0.9.1.6 beta 1 supports larger AVI input, and applies the delete
.MPV option to segment files.
contains updated client/server modules.
1.4.6 beta 6 reintroduces the fix d2v tool and fixes DGVfapi's
AviSynth audio handling.
6.1.1 has been released. It includes all the updates and fixes
made in the 6.1 release. Speaking of DivX, there's also a new
DivX player, a new
browser plugin and a DivX
6.0 version for the Mac.
Muxman 0.15M contains nothing new but is finally available as freeware.
The newer versions are still only available for subscribers to mpucoder's
Starting in March, you'll not only be able to buy HD DVD hardware,
but also Blu-ray
drivers for your PC. So far, no prices have been announced though.
The Digital Bits has an interesting interview
with a Pioneer rep on the subject of Blu-ray. It touches many
details of the upcoming formats, including the hardware, and managed
And sticking with the HD topic for a bit longer, it is official
now: unless you have a display that support HDCP (copy protection),
only get a resolution limited signal from the upcoming high definition
And to get you properly started for the next week, here's a
glimpse at the future as the RIAA and MPAA envision it: where
you can't move content unless using authorized devices, and where
any use not foreseen at creation time is illegal.
0.7.19 improves the GUI layout on Windows XP and fixes a problem
in full screen mode.
Remember the proposed French copyright law that would make most
existing software illegal? And during the discussion of the law
the parliament passed an amendment that would legalize filesharing
completely? Now the government has come forward
with another proposal that is not nearly as far reaching as
the previous one (undoubtedly, their friends in the industry would
be able to reap the benefits of the draconian law if one of their
main portrayed enemies becomes completely legal). The new proposal
makes a difference between profit and non profit activities, with
harsh fines for the former and not so harsh fines for the latter.
In addition, the right to make copies is explicitly noted, which
in turn could cause problems for copy protected content. The article
also goes on to mention that South Korea is no longer fining filesharers
that do so only for private use.
has been released, but I haven't found a changelog so far.
In between official releases, there have been a
bunch of new MPEG2Schnitt releases which you can find on the
German DVBTechnics forum.
is making steady progress. In recent releases, an automated interlaced/progressive
detection was added, files can be dragged and dropped into MeGUI,
the application can be minimized to the try, XviD's own commandline
encoder encraw is supported and there's a lot more. Since making
releases at this pace is cumbersome, we're looking for a volunteer
who could set up automatic build (it comes down to running a batchfile)
compilation and publishing, akin the automated XviD builds that
were available in XviD's early development.
The UK's National Consumer Council is trying to raise awareness
on the fact that anti-piracy
effort are eroding our rights as customers. If only they would
have enough influence to make some changes, bypassing the music
lobbyists that all but buy off politicians to do their dirty deeds.
media splitter released two days ago includes improvements in
the Matroska muxer and better seeking in MP4 files.
It's about to happen: January 27th marks the release of Steven
Soderbergh's Bubble, the first
movie to be released simultaneously in theaters and via high definition
VOD. The DVD will follow 4 days later. Theater chains are not
so happy though and many chains will not show this film, and any
others that may use the same release scheme.
Let's fast rewind back to 1997, the year DVD was launched. Suddenly,
a new proprietary format showed up, called DIVX. It's the holy grail
for Hollywood, you can no longer own movies and they get complete
tracking of your movie habits and can cut you off at any time. The
last studio to make a format decision is Fox, and they pick DIVX
over DVD. On June 16th 1999 (what joyful day, I still have the press
release on the wall to remind of this important day in the history
of digital video), DIVX went belly up for good, and the Foxes had
no choice but to throw in their low with DVD instead. Now fast forward
to the next generation format. Once again, Fox throws
in their weight behind the format that is more restrictive.
It's also the studio to oppose managed copy... Bottom line, Fox
is to the video world what Sony has become to the audio world (and
to think I bought a Mini Disc player as CD companion.. as their
advertising suggested.. then they backstab you by setting the "copy"
flag on their copy protected "CD"s to make a copy on Mini
Turning to music, when technology enables consumers, it won't take
long for the copyright industry to take out the big guns and try
to force technology into bounds the industry likes. It's so happening
with digital music and the RIAA trying to restrict sales of devices
that can record digital broadcasts. So here's my download tip of
the day: Streamripper.
Don't let the RIAA dictate what you can do with your computer.
Struck down in 2005, the IP industry is taking
another attempt at bringing software patents to Europe. So,
as a new year's resolution, you should continue to remind your EU
members of parliament that they don't buy a directive that only
favors big business and will bring open source and small software
development companies to their knees. At least in the UK, there
voices from within the community of law practitioners.
Last but not least, some people are getting
overzealous in the face of the impending release of HD DVD and Blu-ray.
In the interest of fair use, let's hope the AACS licensing authority
will get to write those C&D letters by Christmas (and we consequently
to back up our HD DVD or Blu-ray discs).
BeLight 0.22 beta
9 supports LST and MUX files, supports parametric stereo presets,
detects and copies Nero DLLs to the proper folder and enables/disabled
GUI options in function of which version is found, has a manual
gain option, displays the ETA more accurately and contains a bunch
of updates in the presets and commandline part.
2.0 beta has an internal audio booster, selects the next job
in the list when deleting a job, make sure the application is only
running once, offers to enter the batch mode after a job has been
added in wizard mode, has been translated to German and Dutch and
contains a bunch of bugfixes.
1.4.6 beta 5 fixes a frame rate reporting issue when using force
0.0.0.4 alpha supports the VSSH FourCC, supports YUY2 output
and forces the anamorphic flag on the renderer.
Apparently, the Blu-ray camp has caught up to the fact that their
drives not supporting CDs isn't such a great idea. Consequently,
Pioneer has announced a new BD burner - the BDR-102A - which not
only support Blu-ray and DVD discs but also CDs.
If you're an iTune user (I am but haven't bought anything because
of DRM), be aware that when you install the latest version, you're
getting more than you've bargained for: your
listening habits will be tracked.
Last but not least, here's an article that exposes the latest shenanigans
of the copyright industry to slap
copyright even on public domain material. The bottom line is
that anyone putting material online should have an exclusive right
to control the redistribution. Of course, I'm sure they'll come
up with a passage that makes the treaty not apply to normal people
but only big industry conglomerates...
1.4.6 beta 4 fixes a framerate setting problem in AviSynth.
2.4 supports Wine and fixes a few bugs.
Do you remember the MPAA's plans to thwart screener DVDs leaking?
Use a proprietary encryption and send players to all members of
the Academy. Well, that has now backfired, or rather, a stupid little
DVD invention together with this additional encryption has, and
prevent Steven Spielberg's Munich to be nominated for the Bafta
awards (the British equivalent of the Oscars).
What codec will Google Video use? They're partnering with DivXNetworks
so that seems to suggest the use of the DivX codec.
If you haven't seen them already, TheInq has a pictures of the
packaging of the upcoming HD
DVD and Blu-ray
Decrypter 18.104.22.168 has an improved copying engine, fixes problems
that DVD Shrink might have with DVDFab Decrypter's output when processing
certain ARccOS titles as well as a problem when processing the US
release of Wedding Crashers.
Is Hollywood about to jump on the online train? UK's TV channel
Sky has recently introduced the sky
broadband program. Available for free to subscribers of the
encrypted TV channels, the program features sports and movie downloads
(currently from Sony) at no additional cost. The downloaded movies
can be viewed as much as you want during a 30 day period. The resolution
is somewhat smallish (540x) and the codec used is WMV9. and of course
the whole thing is heavily DRM'ed.
0.9.1.6n.d contains some GUI tweaks, has a shutdown option and
fixes a few bugs.
ReClock 1.7 beta
1 contains a few bugfixes.
comes in a few more languages, has some icons in the treeview control
and fixes a few bugs.
0.0.0.3 alpha supports custom quantizer matrices, properly decodes
high profile streams using 8x8 DCT, supports additional FourCCs,
fixes problems with Matroska streams, flushes buffered frames and
uses the standard filter merit by default.
It's been a while since my last report on PgcEdit. Meanwhile, the
latest beta is 0.6.3
beta 5, it fixes some bugs from previous betas, allows you to
bypass menus with buttons, can create blank cells at the beginning
of a PGC and reuse the tiny blank cell at the end of a VOB, and
the program automatically prompts to remove parental management
from the DVD during import.
Last but not least, Dolby has been demonstrating their next generation
audio format at CES. No, I'm not talking about the 7.1 sound to
be found on HD DVD and Blu-ray (Dolby Digital Plus), but the generation
after that. TrueHD supports 13.1 surround and lossless coding.
1.50 beta 3 uses unicode dictionaries, shows a progress bar
when loading character matrices and fixes two bugs.
1.22 fixes a problem that prevented DVD Shrink from opening
is the most efficient MPEG-4 AVC DirectShow decoder filter available
to-date. And if you use the AVC decoder from within TCPMP, you get
even better performance. So much about requiring a dual core chip
for decoding high resolution AVC ;)
6.1 patch 2 includes a couple bugfixes.
fixes a major bug in the subtitle module.
Koepi now offers a brand new standalone XviD DS decoder and an
experimental SMP build on
0.72 has a menu, can open a single file or a complete title,
allows spu modifications to be pasted to another spu, has buttons
to move the subtitle borders by ±1/2 pixels and it has its
1.4.6 beta 3 writes the framerate as numerator/denominator instead
of a float, no longer uses overlay when the -hide or -minimize options
are used from the commandline, DGIndex's information dialog now
shows the average bitrate of the entire video and a bug has been
squashed as well.
VobBlanker 22.214.171.124 can preview PGCs in the main dialog, can split
by cell in the title domain, contains a long list of small improvements
and improvements and fixes a considerable list of bugs.
The Blu-ray camp has finished the specs of their format. I guess
that means that AACS is also set in stone now, so these player announcements
may not have been premature after all.
Google is entering
the video download business. Their video marketplace targets
PCs, and introduces yet another unnecessary DRM system. You can
currently download NBA basketball matches, CBS primetime TV shows
and Charlie Rose interviews.
NEC has confirmed the availability of its first HD DVD-ROM drive,
the HR-1100A starting in March, but a price is not yet known.
Expect a significant price hike in LCD panels for TV and PC in
Europe shortly. In mid-January, a new 14% tax on screens with DVI
input will go into effect throughout the EU.
1.6.12 auto-saves performance settings, auto crop dialogs auto-scale
video that is too large, there's a new commandline flag to invoke
scripts, a few additions have been made to the scripting language
and the capture mode and there's the usual list of bugfixes.
Muxman 0.14h fixes an MPEG-1 multiplexing bug.
ImgTool Classic 0.91.7 supports 6x writing speed and uses the latest
cygwin library while ImgTool Burn 1.2.1 is based on the latest Nero
6.6 API and includes some minor changes in the background erasing
1.20 removes empty VOBs from the menu domain, has a commandline
option to reset all angle/ILUV pointers and another one to not renumber
VOB IDs, contains some cosmetic changes and behaves more nicely
when trying to open a non existing file from the commandline.
incorporates a couple bugfixes in the main program as well as the
subtitle and BDA module.
Yesterday was the HD DVD camp's day at CES: Toshiba announced that
the first two players would be available in the US in March for
$499 and $799 respectively. Thomson's player will have the same
price point but only be available in the second quarter, whereas
Microsoft will bring an external HD DVD drive for their Xbox 360
to ensure they don't fall behind Sony's PS3. However, after the
demonstration of the managed copy feature, they admitted that it's
a feature that has to be explicitly authorized by the content owner
and that those could even charge for it. Which raises the question:
wasn't that a mandatory feature? Wasn't the reason that HP snubbed
Blu-ray because it's only optional in the Blu-ray format and thus
makes it less consumer friendly (if you can call any HD format consumer
friendly.. they're quite consumer hostile imho and go to great lengths
in the assumption that people who buy content are just going to
do illegal things with it). The rest of the HD DVD supporting studios
also showed their cards and announced that the first movies would
be available in retail in March, along with the hardware that goes
with it. In fact, you can already pre-order the players now at certain
stores. Recordable media should also be available starting in April,
but no prices have been announced yet.
Blu-ray hardware will be more costly. Samsung's first Blu-ray player
will start shipping in early spring and cost approximately $1000.
Pioneer's first player, the BDP-HD1 should retail for $1800 and
is touted to have 1080p output, which would be a major bonus. The
question is: will movies be encoded in that resolution? Is it even
supported in the Blu-ray specs? Needless to say that 1080p is a
major improvement over the 1080i that all the other players appear
to be doing - Blu-ray or HD DVD. Sony's first player, the BDP-S1
also does 1080p, but there's no price yet. If you're interested
in what recordable Blu-ray media will cost, Panasonic has jumped
the gun: a single layer BD-R will retail for $17.99, and you have
to pay $42.99 for the dual layer variety. BD-RE discs will cost
$24.99 and $59.99 respectively (single / dual layer).
While I haven't seen prices for recordable HD DVD media yet, there
seems to be a significant price gap between the two formats, so
perhaps those that insist that Blu-ray is more expensive have just
been proven right.
Amidst all the HD craze, JVC announced the first
2x recordable dual layer DVD-RW.
is yet another test build of the multi-card capable ProgDVB.
The CD/DVD emulator Daemon
Tools 4.0.3 includes a few fixes and gets around one game blacklist.
CES turns out to be a major battlefield for HD DVD / Blu-ray announcements.
Fuji announced the availability of recordable media for both formats
for this summer, Verbatim has announced single layer HD DVD and
Blu-ray discs for 'early 2006', and dual layer HD DVD-R for 'end
of 2006'. They announcement didn't mention rewriteable HD DVDs and
dual layer Blu-ray discs.
The first Blu-ray movie lineup has also been announced, but expect
only a small number of films to be released in the first half of
2006. At least Sony/MGM promises to bring all new DVD releases simultaneously
on Blu-ray starting this summer, while other studios remain more
cautious about such announcements. For instance, Fox
announced simultaneous releases once 'the format takes hold
and household penetration grows', while Paramount announced the
first launch titles, it'll only release those when there's a considerable
numbers of players out there.
Last but not least, the chipsets for those new formats also begin
to materialize - it's about time as every HD DVD and Blu-ray
player needs to be able to decode high definition AVC and VC-1,
not only MPEG-2.
1.50 beta 2 contains many bugfixes and some GUI changes.
2.0.24 uses the latest revpulldown and fixes a couple of bugs.
This one is actually quite old but hasn't been picked up until
yesterday: Microsoft's upcoming version of Windows called Vista
will not support RPC-1 DVD drives anymore. They claim they don't
have the hardware to do testing, and the announcement is probably
purposefully kept vague (would a more honest statement have been:
the DVD CCA put the screws on us and required that RPC-1 drives
(which they don't like at all) are being kept out of the loop, or
is it yet another instance of trying to please Hollywood and giving
up functionality in favor of future favors to be gotten from Hollywood?).
The number of drives made before RPC-2 was made mandatory could
be small, but what is much larger is the number of drives with a
patched firmware, and I guess the difference won't matter to vista.
So, bottom line, if you have an RPC-1 drive, patched or otherwise,
forget about play DVDs that use CSS or region codes (most of them
do). What remains to be seen is whether the use of an on-the-fly
decryption software like AnyDVD or DVD43 will still be possible.
Last but not least, VSO-Software, maker of various burning and
video conversion software tools has been gathering burning statistics
for the better part of 2005 and published
a summary, including which formats were being used, what success
rate they had, which burners and discs were used, etc.
Welcome to 2006. I hope your head doesn't hurt too much and you
didn't have a rough landing;)
ProjectX 0.90.3 has an improved AC3 CRC check, has an option to
deactivate the preview, can be controlled remotely thanks to a simple
HTTP interface, contains some GUI updates and last but not least
there are the usual bugfixes.
how the RIAA wins lawsuits...
Last month's news can be found here.