Please note that some, if not many of the links on this page may be broken.
This is just an archived copy of the news for this month. We cannot guarantee
that the links will work because we remove old versions as we update.
For the newest software releases please always refer to the main
news and software pages. If you really
need a file then please contact us and
we'll do our best to help.
First of all, unfortunately the forum is still down at the time
I'm typing this. The admin is currently offline and the server is
completely unreachable so there's nothing I can do but wait at this
time. One of the site mirrors that runs on the same location is
still up so I don't think there's reason for major concern.. it's
probably just a crashed box and somebody needs to physically be
there to restart. Sorry for the inconvenience.
From the "this wouldn't happen without DRM department"
we have the PC game Gear of War which suddenly stopped working last
Thursday. Not because you were running a pirated version mind you,
the game run out of time, literally (DRM used a certificate
that ran out).
If you still think the RIAA's three strikes approach makes sense
- just wait until you get cut off because your
ISP messed up and identified you when somebody else was the culprit.
You better study up on networking basics and have a lawyer on retainer
to be reconnected.
Two countries, two different stories: While the UK
appears to be turning away from cutting off alleged filesharers
from the Internet (it could still happen on an EU level though),
seems one step closer to doing just that. The details are still
sketchy, but it all boils down to the possibility of being cut off
without due process and without the RIAA ever having to prove you
did anything wrong.
is a (HD)DVD and Blu-ray back up tool that converts your shiny new
discs to an MKV file while preserving video and audio (only the
core audio tracks though.. no lossless or the high def extensions).
And, what makes it most interesting is that while not handling BD+,
it doesn't require any help to decrypt the latest discs - so somebody
other than SlySoft has managed their way around AACS.
||Keep trying until you catch them off guard (or perhaps
buy them off in the meantime?) seems to be the motto of the music
industry when it comes to getting legislation that would lead to you
being disconnected from the Internet upon being accused of infringing
copyright three times, and thus, the
same issue is back on the agenda of the European Parliament. As
annoying as it might be, it's time to talk to your representatives
again and let them know what you think about bypassing due process.
3.05 show a warning and automatically removes the full range
flag from an h.264 video stream (it can be disabled though), can
read external (HD)DVD and Blu-ray SUP files including adding a delay
to those, shows the number of subtitles in an (HD)DVD SUP track
as well as the number of forced and non forced subtitle tracks on
a Blu-ray SUP file, allows the use of the check option for demuxed
tracks, has improved automatic skipping over damaged (M2)TS files
and there are a couple of bugfixes as well.
all that can be said about Virgin's attempt on a legal P2P scheme
that mimics the original plans the music industry had for Napster
- unlimited P2P downloads for a flat fee. I guess it's hard to change
after screaming bloody murder about P2P for so long..
1.0.10 has a close item in the filemenu, fixes a bug in the
frame rate detection and contains a revised machine ID generator.
1.0.3 has the same changes.
0.4.0 can retrieve just the volume ID, accepts paths with dots
(you know.. go back one directory, or two directory, or use the
current directory, etc.) and symlinks and it also runs on Mac OS
has a new remote control module, comes with a new release of the
Prog Media Server and allows you to configure zoom and ratio parameters
independently for each channel.
Unfortunately, DRM for music is not dead yet. Beside the subscription
sites, Microsoft is behind the latest DRM laden music store for
Mobile Music brings $2.07 per song music to your mobile phone
in the UK - compare that with the $0.99 per song on iTunes (works
with cellphones and over the GSM/UMTS network too, but you need
an iPhone) and no DRM, it doesn't look like a particularly good
deal (and don't forget that you have to pay for the traffic you
And here's a hint for the MPAA: Perhaps the decline in DVD sales
has something to do with the fact that people
are buying more video games? 2008 is the first year where video
game sales surpassed digital video. And to top that off, despite
the economy tanking, sales of home entertainment products went up
6% in 2008 - so much for piracy, eh?
No, I wasn't taking a break.. there simply wasn't much news recently.
I suppose everybody was busy watching Obama.
Anyway, we at least have some P2P related stuff: the Dutch government
commissioned a report on P2P and it's a matter of time until the
music industry is going to throw a tantrum about the results - the
study concludes that the
net effect of downloading music off P2P networks rather than buying
it is positive for the economy as a whole. Whoops..
Yet another country where you should check the financial records
of your elected officials for "contributions" by the music
is poised to adopt the RIAA backed "three times accused of
filesharing and you're off the net" policy (yeah that's
right.. there's no due process there).
Finally, The Register reports that the music flatrate on the Isle
of Man should
only cost one Euro a year and you'd have an opt out option.
Hmm.. of course we all like cheap, but I think the original Napster
fee (which was a high single digit dollar value a month) sound more
0.5.2 has an option to preserve original stream ordering, can
output a quick playlist summary to the text report, refreshes the
disc content when the rescan function is used, remembers the last
folder scanned between sessions, proposes a default filename to
the chart image save screen and fixes two bugs.
What caused this change in tune? The music industry has long been
dead set against blanket licensing for music downloads. Pay 10 bucks
a month to your ISP for unlimited download? Heck no. Back in the
days of Napster, they wouldn't even had to have involved the ISPs
- but they blew it when they got greedy and abandoned the plans
for a single digit dollar amount per month fee for access to the
original Napster network. But now, the Isle of Man is the
first place to get a blanket license for music downloads.
But not all is well in music industry land - the IFPI is crying
their eyes out and claims
that 95% of all music downloaded is illegal, despite only 18%
of Internet users participating in the fray. On the flip side, revenue
from digital downloads have increased by 25% in a recession. Obviously,
those numbers are just as overblown as ever, but that's not to say
there's not quite a bit of piracy going around. However, the problem
is largely home made. I already mentioned Napster - but there's
more: While iTunes doing DRM free (not a 100% though so here's where
the problem starts), and Amazon's DRM free service (only in the
US.. where's that worldwide expansion that was promised) is certainly
a good start, a lot of music that was available in 2008 is DRM encumbered
and thus less valuable. Yet, the industry tries to charge just as
much as for a CD. So let's sum that up: subtract all the cost from
physical distribution and cutting out the middle man, use lossy
compression, add DRM and still charge just as much? And then you
wonder why people don't buy it? And while everybody can buy a CD
from Amazon regardless of where they live, if you shop online, you
can only buy songs if you live in the US? Until the industry sells
the product for a price that is in line with the cost of traditional
distribution, and until they stop carving up markets along state
borders, they have no right to complain when consumers don't bite.
And still sticking with music, you have to hand it to Judge James
P. Jones, he sees behind the RIAA's posturing: An
illegal download doesn't necessarily mean a lost sale.
And as a sidenote, Blu-ray's
market slice is sliding down again. No wonder when I look at
all the discs I bought during December versus none in January ;)
3.04 contains a bunch of improvements when dealing with framerates,
shows non fixed audio delays in the log, restores command prompt
colors after the program has run and fixes a crash during 2 pass
processing and no longer shows CA audio tracks as unknown audio
contains an update of the Prog Media Server and the Analog Tuner
modules and contains important fixes in the ProgDVB engine.
1.2 reduces file fragmentation, removes the 128GB limit and
fixes an issue on 64bit Operating Systems.
Good-bye Circuit City. The consumer electronics retail chain probably
only know for DIVX (that's the DRM'ed Pay Per Play DVD derivative
for those that only know DivX - the codec) outside of the US and
closing down for good.
Despite the results of the UK's public consultation on P2P showing
but right holders is against government regulation, it seems
government is bending over the wishes of the few and is preparing
regulation that would turn your ISP into copyright cops.
And sticking with that tune, at least one of the industry's
enforcement arms seems willing to cut in ISPs into settlement offers
- whether that is really enough to compensate them for lost revenue
due to disconnecting users, let alone the PR damage, remains to
3.03 fixes MPEG-2 1088 cropping. The 3.02 release that was released
only 2 hours earlier also contains a bunch of fixes.
And to go along with eac3to we have the HD-DVD/Blu-ray
Stream Extractor which has just been updated.
latest Blu-ray player has no model number yet and no BD profile
set, although with an Ethernet port and an USB port it is at least
BD-Live ready. The $239 player also comes with decoders for all
audio formats, and an optional 7.1 analog audio output.
fixes a few bugs when dealing with italic letters.
This feels a bit like going back on time - recall those HD DVDs
that had a regular DVD on the flip side. Now Disney
is doing the same for Blu-ray - except that since there's no
dual BD/DVD format (other than one BD one DVD layer thingie recently
announced) they'll simply put a DVD into the BD package. I wonder
if this has any effect on pricing.
DRM server bites the dust - leaving at least some of the paying
customers in the dust.
Just days after a new HDMI version was announced, the makers of
DisplayPort have announced their counteroffer: DisplayPort 1.2 will
support resolutions of up to 3840x2160 at 30fps as well as 1080p
3D applications at 120 fps. In addition, the standard allows 2 2650x1600
or 4 1920x1200 displays to receive data individually over the same
cable when connected over a hub or when the screens are connected
in serial fashion. And just like the new HDMI, DisplayPort will
feature a 100mbit/s backchannel, but will be based on the current
backchannel architecture. In addition
Dolby also announced their Dolby Pro Logic IIz technology at CES:
it requires two additional speakers that are placed on top of the
regular front speakers close to the ceiling. The standard extracts
the additional audio info from stereo or 5.1 material.
With CES closing, here's the final Blu-ray player tally: 19 new
models, of which 13 are BD-Live capable. So here you have it dear
BDA.. even in 2009 manufacturers are still leaving parts of the
specs out. It's high time BD-Live became mandatory, along with audio
decoders for every audio format (recall that while uncompressed
audio can be handled by any player, both compressed lossless audio
formats - Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA - are optional, but all major
Hollywood studios use one of the these two codecs for high definition
And speaking of Blu-ray, the last week of the year saw them reaching
more people than ever before and capturing
16% of the prerecorded disc market.
Meanwhile, LG has announced a new Blu-ray burner: The BE08
writes single layer BD discs at 8x speed. LG also put a Blu-ray
burner into a NAS device. According to LG, the N4B1 can stream content
to Blu-ray players. I wonder if that means managed copy and thus
if the box can actually rip your Blu-ray discs. I guess we'll know
soon enough and you can be sure that the box won't rip discs in
the way we consider a proper rip (AACS and BD+ removal).
Movies on flash cards are coming: Warner
and Paramount have signed a deal with MOD Systems which will
see them distributing standard definition content on SD cards.
3.01 fixes LPCM demuxing from m2ts streams as well as TrueHD
to TrueHD + AC3 extraction. And that was preceded by eac3to 3.0
which repairs broken audio streams, reports error in (M2)TS files,
skips damaged parts of (M2)TS files, demuxes tracks that cannot
be parsed in raw form, support line 21 closed captions, reads the
movie / network name from line 21 information, inserts / loops audio
for gaps/edits/repairs depending on the length of the gap/edit/repair,
improves reading/(M2)TS demuxing/video parsing performance, patches/crops
1920x1088 MPEG-2 streams to 1920x1080, contains a workaround for
movie playlists which would result in playing the same movie twice
and there are some fixes as well.
Oh, and Haali's first 2009 release of his media
splitter has a shortcut for gsdemux in the start menu and fixes
||neuron2 has updated his decoder tools for nVidia cards:
is up to version 1.09 and DGVC1DecNV
up to version 1.02. Both support more audio types found on Blu-ray
discs, have improved delay calculation, fix incorrect handling of
field-interlaced streams and the licensing should be more flexible
to hardware changes.
Here's the latest on Blu-ray players: Panasonic has announced their
first portable player, and it does BD-Live, will be able in
April and no price has been set yet. The latest
batch of their standalone players also feature BD-Live, decode
all audio formats, and all players support VIERA cast which means
you get direct access to specific Internet sites like the ones from
Amazon or YouTube.
Then we have Samsung with the
world's slimmest Blu-ray player, and their
latest standard model. Both units do BD-Live, decode all audio
formats and the latter model also has a 7.1 analog audio output
just in case. Price and availability is yet to be announced. Both
units also do DivX, though there's no word on whether that includes
the new DivX HD.
Sharp even went as far as to include a Blu-ray player into some
of their latest TVs (the BD series also sports Internet connectivity
and access to content from NBC Universal), and of course there's
the standalone variety as well, and they do profile 2.0 as well.
Sharp also announced pricing and availability - the cheaper model
- BD-HP16U will retail for $229 in March.. so there goes the $200
price point for BD-Live.
Memorex's latest - the MVBD-2520
also does profile 2.0 and has a suggested retail price of $199.
It doesn't have a built-in audio decoder for the lossless formats
though, and it will be available in early Summer.
Vizio's latest, the VBR100
also sports BD-Live, has a built-in decoder for all audio formats
and can even output those decoded streams via analog. All that for
$199 and available in April. Now we're getting there.. BD-Live,
full audio features and below $200.
And there are some BD
sales numbers - software shipment was up 250% in 2008, although
that doesn't seem particularly impressive to me seeing as the main
competition folded pretty early in 2007. Hardware wise, 10 million
units were shipped in the US in 2008, the majority thereof consoles
(I don't have the link ready but wasn't it something like 8 million
Last but not least, DRM-free is all the rage these days, so Germany's
MusicLoad is gearing up to offering the majority of its catalog
without DRM starting in April. I can pretty much guarantee you that
the reintroduction of DRM will be a hot April's fool topic :)
With CES starting today, we'll have a steady stream of news for
the next couple of days :)
Let's start with some hardware: As if HDMI 1.3 weren't enough,
we'll get yet another revision in the future. The yet unversioned
version will support an Ethernet data channel over the cable, have
an audio back channel and support even more bandwidth.
Then we have JVC entering the Blu-ray market in the US. Their XV-BP1
is profile 2.0 and has analog audio outputs so I presume built-in
audio decoder, and has a list price of $299.
LG also has some new Blu-ray hardware: The BD370 and BD390 are
both profile 2.0 with the latter one having the required storage
integrated plus analog 7.1 audio output. No price has been set yet
and the players will arrive in Q2 and Q3 respectively.
6.03.01 has a tuned PIP function and contains some important
Right on schedule DivX has released DivX7.
The new release supports MPEG-4 AVC in the MKV container as well
as AAC audio. The $19.99 DivX Pro adds encoding to that - though
so far only the one click DivX Converter actually creates MKV files
with AVC video and AAC audio, and it offers no configuration parameter
DRM on music is dead! Even though Amazon didn't deliver their MP3
store to Europe in 2008 as promised, Apple
has just dropped a major bomb: Starting in April, every song
sold on iTunes will be DRM free, and effective now, some 8 million
songs can be had as DRM free 256kbit download. April will also mark
the end of the unified pricing scheme - titles can then cost anywhere
between 69 to 129 cents. You can also upgrade your classic iTunes
purchases to the DRM free variety for 30 cents. Did we really have
to go through the better part of a decade to finally arrive at this?
Since CES is about to start, and in Las Vegas of all places, let
the betting begin: when will the last DRM encumbered song be sold
online (I doubt we'll get rid of it for subscription services or
ad supported stuff though) ? And how many years will the MPAA take
to get it that DRM is bad for business?
And you might recall the part of my new year's message about the
RIAA shifting tactics to get ISPs to cut off Internet access. Their
efforts are about to come to fruit in New Zealand and the countdown
do something about it is running fast towards zero.
Welcome in 2009. Hope you were better received than I - I had to
abort my New Year's celebration due to a rapid onset of the stomach
It seems others have been doing better as we already have a batch
of news: There's a new
version of TSPE which includes DirectShow filter control, shortcuts,
persistent storage of GUI positions, more accurate video preview,
IDR frame identification, jump to timecode function and the internal
viewer now stays active even in fullscreen mode.
1.0.8 supports more audio types found on Blu-ray discs, improves
the audio delay calculations and treating I frames as IDR is now
6.03 has a reworked IPTV module.
9.1 contains a bunch of bugfixes.
Then there's a tool I forgot to mention in my new year's message:
Home allows you to turn a bunch of MKV or TS files and a bunch
of AVCHD / BDMV folders into disc with a simple menu structure that
should play on Blu-ray players.
And it seems BD Rebuilder will soon get some company as SlySoft
has been looking for
alpha testers for their own CloneBD / CloneHD DVD software.
I've also gone through the software archive with a cursory glance
towards updating tools that had outdated versions. I've also added
a new section with software that deal uniquely with high definition
discs and added the venerable eac3to, MPC HC and aften ot my selection
of tools. There's one section I've left out on purpose: encoder
GUIs are pending and will come together with some new guides.
Older news can be found here.