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Lossy or Lossless? Please use this forum to post spectral and frequency analysis posts about shows you have your doubts about.

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  #61  
Old 2007-05-12, 05:14 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by trustthex
i think it should be a moratorium going forward... give everyone who still tapes in md (myself included) time to upgrade their decks; i know that there are at least a few others on this board who tape in md. maybe this would even need its own topic. i know there are plenty of cheap solutions, but i spent enough on my md, i want to do the same on the digital i am going to buy...

perhaps july '07, or 01/01/08?

also, what is etree's current policy (just curious)?
So, are you proposing all MD recordings get banned no matter what? I think that's nuts. At least as far as the MD masters I've made for the past 6 or 7 years now.
So, would this mean that MD master posts already put up would get banned?
If you start to do that, I'm just going to fold.
As Cartman says: "Screw you guys, I'm gong home..."
In all seriousness, I really do have lots of MD stuff and Cassette stuff still to go through and ReMaster. It'd be a real shame if the policy got changed to : not even an older MD master is good enough for you.
I do agree that MD is not the best, but come on. Every digital representation of any recording is lossy compared to any analog signal. Imagine smooth round sine waves being represented by square staircase-like steps. Higher resolutions just make smaller steps, but that round curved sinewave is still translated to 90 degree angles, just smaller steps that fool us a bit better.
I would love to upgrade when I can afford to, but I don't have that income level that lets me do that right soon. Wanna loan me the dough to buy one? I'll pay back eventually! Then again, I'm not planning on taping anything in the next while, anyway. As far as older MD recordings go, they are what they are, and if they as masters aren't good enough (at least in the historical documentation sense) like they are now, I suggest that you should perform some aerial fornication with fried pastry products (Go take a flying f^ck through a doughnut hole!)



Please take this as a homourous attempt to say something serious.


BTW, if I'm not mistaken (not that it matters that much) but ATRAC records at 24 bit. MD can be directly transferred digitally from ATRAC to WAV without going through a soundcard (if you have the right deck, which I don't, but...)
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Last edited by Audioarchivist; 2007-05-12 at 05:19 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar, punctuation
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  #62  
Old 2007-05-12, 05:19 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

no, no, i wasn't proposing banning them period, i was saying if they are going to ban md/atrac recordings, they should set a date in the future where no new recordings are allowed so that we have time to get new gear...

for example:

smashing pumpkins
01-02-2008
american airlines
dallas, tx
source: mics > pre > md

would be illegal

smashing pumpkins
11-22-1996
the pyramid
memphis, tn
source: mics > pre > md

would not be
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Quote:
Originally Posted by general eclectic
There's a big difference between getting trashed and disappearing.

Last edited by trustthex; 2007-05-12 at 05:23 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #63  
Old 2007-05-12, 05:40 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
this is a key point

here was my last tape with MD (atrac) compared to my first tape with Hi-MD (wav):
http://rapidshare.com/files/30942071...rade.flac.html

it was a different room but everything else was exactly the the same, the mics and everything. The atrac deck was pricy in its day (around $400) but these days you can get a wav recorder for less than that, as low as $55 used! In the $400 price range you could just about afford an m-audio microtrack2496 which is a rolls royce next to the pinto that is oldschool atrac md. Atrac MD is so fucking shit you have to record it thru your soundcard to get a digital copy of the recording you made!

with regard to "only available source" there is some merit to the concept and somebody should keep tabs on cell phone vids, md, mp3 etc recordings but its just too much for us to handle and not at all the correct direction for TTD.

What do you guys think about a cutoff date for old ATRAC MD recordings, where after that date anything recorded ATRAC is no longer allowed?
I listened to that sample clip and the difference is huge, but it is apples to oranges in my opinion. A different room can be a big factor, plus the band might have been using a better PA system and better equipment. Have you tried comparing it like this:

Same recording, room, date:

Hi MD > wav > FLAC vs. Hi MD > wav > 256 kbps mp3 w/Lame or Blade encoder

A lot of people (including me) would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I just made a bunch of mp3's (Blade at 192 kbps) from my CD studio albums (mostly rock) for my bro (he's not an audiophile and has an iPod, so mp3's are fine for him) [Side note: would the mp3's I made have to be transcoded to Apple's lossy format, thus reducing quality further?] I could barely tell the difference between the extracted wav's and the encoded mp3's listening through my computer's analog out > $50 Sony headphones. The wavs were a tiny bit more robust. Maybe if I had compared the two on my decent home stereo I would have noticed a bigger difference.

You have to record ATRAC MD through your soundcard to get a digital copy? You mean like a real time DAT to soundcard transfer using digital inputs and outputs or do you have to use the MiniDisc's analog out > soundcard's analog input?
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  #64  
Old 2007-05-12, 06:38 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

So some analog FM broadcasts are not lossy? I believe all digital over the air broadcasts are lossy, whether they are satellite or terrestrial (ground based). The data rate needed to make them lossless would be too great I think. The new HD FM and HD AM signals will be transmitted along with the traditional analog AM and FM signals. They claim that HD FM will approach CD quality and that HD AM will approach analog FM quality. The greatest benefit will be for AM in my opinion, because analog FM already sounds good. Now I'll get to hear Rush, Hannity, and O'Reilly spew their pro-Iraq war pro-Bush propaganda in high definition
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  #65  
Old 2007-05-12, 07:08 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

I should add that a new reciever or boom box with HD AM and HD FM decoding is needed to hear the digital signals.

Audioarchivist, don't pack up and go home, your cassette masters if they are transferred @ 24/96 might beat similar DAT recordings.
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  #66  
Old 2007-05-12, 07:12 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular
You have to record ATRAC MD through your soundcard to get a digital copy? You mean like a real time DAT to soundcard transfer using digital inputs and outputs or do you have to use the MiniDisc's analog out > soundcard's analog input?
Yes, I do. On my units, there's a digital in, but no out, but maybe for the home decks there is. The newer MD portable recorders had (well, HAVE) a mini-USB plug to connect to computer. Back in the day, I bought one, but at that time there was no Atrac>wav codec available, so I returned it to the store. It was all for saving your mp3's to the MD for playing portable... not to record MD and digital xfer it back.
I believe now the codec has been released, so digital MD>wav is possible for those capable. I am not. Analog out for me. MiniDisc 24 bit 44.1 Atrac digital record > analog out > computer 16 bit 44.1 wav record is what I gotta do.
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Last edited by Audioarchivist; 2007-05-12 at 07:16 PM. Reason: extra extras
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  #67  
Old 2007-05-12, 07:28 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Even cassettes recorded on a lower end deck in which the spectrum cuts off at 15, 16 or 17 kHz aren't too bad (except maybe for lack of lower bass response) because once people get past their teenage years they can't hear above 16 or 17kHz anyway. I forget what country it was, maybe England, but this building or shopping mall used to have a big problem with rowdy teens hanging out around the outside. So they installed a device that emitted high frequency noise. Anybody above the age of 18 or 19 coudn't hear it, but all the younger teens couldn't stand the noise and stopped hanging out there. Problem solved.
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  #68  
Old 2007-05-12, 07:57 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

yeah, there's a couple older home MD decks with a digital out so it is possible to record it with a direct digital connection (in real time, of course ). The new hi-md decks are compatable with the old atrac MDs but don't let you bring it into your computer from the usb unless it is wav and maybe the highest quality setting of lossy (and only if it was recorded on the hi-md with the latest codec).

best deck I've ever recorded on was a sony wm-d3 (cassette). the eq curve is beautiful, drops off at just about the same as commercial releases (!) ... the common digital stuff being taped today sounds a little icy to me.
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  #69  
Old 2007-05-12, 08:12 PM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
the common digital stuff being taped today sounds a little icy to me.
This is also due I think to the really cheap 1 bit AD converters used in some recording setups and then the really cheap 1 bit DA converters used in a lot of CD players.

http://sound.westhost.com/cd-sacd-dvda.htm

"The vast majority of A/D-converters used in PCM recording for conventional CD are 1-bit converters with high sampling frequency"

Then it must be better to keep the signal in DSD-format (SACD) than convert the signal to PCM (CD/DVD-A)?

IÍ: Yes, that is correct, but is it relevant question? The CD-system seems worse than it is when used with a one-bit converter. The problem is not the conversion from a one-bit converter to PCM but the one-bit converter itself!

Besides, the one-bit converters used in CD-players usually have higher resolution than DSD, which only samples 64 times faster than CD-system sample rate (i.e. DSD sampling rate = 2.8 MHz). The low sampling rate in DSD is used because of the systems ineffective coding and lack of storage space. By packing the information it becomes a bit more effective but it still is ineffective compared to PCM.

One-bit converters for CD-players often use sampling rates between 11 and 50 MHz. The best one-bit converter probably is JVC's PEM-DD and it is much better than DSD. This said with reservation, I might have missed some even better one-bit technology than PEM-DD. But as far as I know this is the technology that comes closest to true multi bit technology in resolution."
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  #70  
Old 2007-05-12, 08:21 PM
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Audio - Matrix Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Aah! What I would give to get my old Sony WM D3 Professional Cassette Recording Walkman back!!! Built in mic preamps were to die for, plus the bonus that tape can eat an overdriven signal, so way less distortion issues.
I switched over to MD so I could get two of them, so I could easily record ambient audience and soundboard, and quickly (well, sort of quick, at least easily) do aud/sbd matrix recordings... Easy to sync - drag and drop at 80 minutes at a time.
I've done lots of recording of friends in bands, as well as plenty of touring musicians through the years with this method. Even the crappiest sbd mixes help the ambient room mics sound up front and close. Officially sanctioned recording or stealth bootleg situations (no sbd there!) I still like to run 2 decks off 2 mics to stagger the inevitable disc flip in the middle of a song - at least one deck got that!
It's nearly impossible to keep phase issues out of sync-ing an analog tape (WOW and flutter = speed/pitch drift) versus almost any digital source.
Actually, what I'd do for a nice multitrack 8 in/8 out sound device and a laptop! Portable live multitrack rig...
The MD way I went was a low budget way to achieve this, years before it was so common.
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Last edited by Audioarchivist; 2007-05-12 at 08:23 PM. Reason: more
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  #71  
Old 2007-05-13, 01:46 AM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

^seems like the sync on that would be a little iffy but I'll take your word for it. much better to do on a 4-track (or +) where there is only one clock and internal synchronization. I've done recordings similar to that as well, sounds really good when you put it together, I like to get the bass as dry as possible by rolling it out of the aud portion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular
So some analog FM broadcasts are not lossy? I believe all digital over the air broadcasts are lossy, whether they are satellite or terrestrial (ground based). The data rate needed to make them lossless would be too great I think. The new HD FM and HD AM signals will be transmitted along with the traditional analog AM and FM signals. They claim that HD FM will approach CD quality and that HD AM will approach analog FM quality. The greatest benefit will be for AM in my opinion, because analog FM already sounds good. Now I'll get to hear Rush, Hannity, and O'Reilly spew their pro-Iraq war pro-Bush propaganda in high definition
when I say "lossy" in this context it is referring to mp3 or mp3-like codecs. The radio stations that have been broadcasting since long before mp3 or anything like it existed (eg BBC) are now broadcasting a lossy signal. maybe they need to conserve HD space?? If you've got some samples of this new HD FM / HD AM signals for comparison to recent analog broadcasts and if it is superior as you say then perhaps we should consider allowing it here..
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  #72  
Old 2007-05-13, 02:31 AM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular
I listened to that sample clip and the difference is huge, but it is apples to oranges in my opinion. A different room can be a big factor, plus the band might have been using a better PA system and better equipment. Have you tried comparing it like this:

Same recording, room, date:

Hi MD > wav > FLAC vs. Hi MD > wav > 256 kbps mp3 w/Lame or Blade encoder

A lot of people (including me) would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I just made a bunch of mp3's (Blade at 192 kbps) from my CD studio albums (mostly rock) for my bro (he's not an audiophile and has an iPod, so mp3's are fine for him) [Side note: would the mp3's I made have to be transcoded to Apple's lossy format, thus reducing quality further?] I could barely tell the difference between the extracted wav's and the encoded mp3's listening through my computer's analog out > $50 Sony headphones. The wavs were a tiny bit more robust. Maybe if I had compared the two on my decent home stereo I would have noticed a bigger difference.
you're keen, the comparison was a little unfair because the room that atrac recording was made in is terrible to record in. I did another show there recently with a different deck and it also sounded like crap. but at least it didn't have that swish swish swish on the cymbals. you can really hear the swish on the atrac md recorders, which is puzzling because the frequency response is close to the best settings possible for mp3 but doesn't sound as good.

most ppl can't tell the difference at all even with 128kbps mp3s, certainly can't tell with 192 and higher. In an a/b you can tell that one is a little better than the other if you're really looking for it, and as a taper I want that little bit of quality in there if I can get it. but any atrac md recording I've made or downloaded I was always disappointed with the sound quality and can hear the swishing. A few years ago I couldn't tell the difference but now it drives me crazy. I especially hear it because I play close attention to the drums and the cymbals really slur.

More discussion is necessary, but I'm thinking that we should have a cutoff date of 2008-01-01. Everything from '92-'07 is okay but new MD recodings in 2008 and beyond are banned. That gives everybody time to upgrade their decks, maybe drop some hints to loved ones what you want for Christmas 2007.
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  #73  
Old 2007-05-13, 05:54 AM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
^
when I say "lossy" in this context it is referring to mp3 or mp3-like codecs. The radio stations that have been broadcasting since long before mp3 or anything like it existed (eg BBC) are now broadcasting a lossy signal. maybe they need to conserve HD space?? If you've got some samples of this new HD FM / HD AM signals for comparison to recent analog broadcasts and if it is superior as you say then perhaps we should consider allowing it here..
I'm not sure what kind of compression analog FM signals use, but they obviously don't sound as good as CD's (ignoring the freq. response differences). If you compared these:

#1) Cream "White Room" on Onkyo model #900 CD player > low pass and high pass filter to simulate FM's freq. response > Onkyo model #2500 receiver > Polk model #500 speakers

vs.

#2) Cream "White Room" on Onkyo model #900 CD player > analog FM transmitter > Onkyo model #2500 receiver w/good FM stereo reception > Polk model #500 speakers

#1 would always win. This indicates some type of lossy analog compression or signal loss to me. I doubt any radio station plays mp3's made from CD's as source material for their broadcasts. An exception may be made for voice clips, and one time about a year ago I heard a FM station broadcast a leaked-to-the-net track from GNR's upcoming Chinese Democracy (will it ever see the light of day?). I could tell the GNR track was a low bitrate mp3 because of all the wind-chime effects in the highs.

OK I did a little reading about HD AM and HD FM radio and the consensus is that it does use lossy compression although it wouldn't state it explicitly:

http://www.elecdesign.com/Articles/I...eID=12194&pg=1

"How does the system work? First, the audio content is digitized and then compressed, according to iBiquity's HDC codec, to reduce the overall bit rate and required transmission bandwidth. Next, the signal is multiplexed with the other digital data to be transmitted."

The digital signals share bandwidth with the analog signals. From what I read there isn't enough bandwidth available in the FM and especially AM bands to be able to deliver lossless compression, much less true high definition (24/96 or 24/192 x 2 ch or 5.1 ch). It will still be 16/44.1. The freq. response of analog AM sucks, that is why it is inhabited primarily by talk radio stations now. HD digital AM will improve the frequency response to that of analog FM, and HD digital FM will sound like a mid-quality mp3 (is that better than analog FM? Not in my opinion). There is a lot of controversy about this new format and a lot of the comments below the main article are great.

I am not a luddite, I love the convenience of the internet and downloading music and movies. Taping and trading has taken a huge leap forward from the days of real time copying cassette tapes and generational loss of quality. However, a lot of the "improvements" of the digital age are just a marketing scheme utilizing planned obsolescence. First CD's come out, and many touted its compact size and great sound (dubbed "perfect sound forever" ). A lot of audiophiles thought they sounded harsh and lifeless, dubbed them lossy, and continued to listen to the gorgeous, lifelike sound of their stereo vinyl LP's. Then SACD's (inferior to CD's at high frequencies because of its flawed 1 bit system) and DVD-Audio (a definite step forward) came out. I bet that every ten years or so in the future they will incrementally step up the quality of digital audio (and video too) by using a higher bit depth/sample rate, so that people will re-purchase albums recorded in analog and buy new source components. Digital cameras are a big improvement, right? No more pesky film to buy and deal with, no more trips to the developer to pick up prints. Except experts agree that film-like quality won't be achieved until cameras have about 20 megapixel resolution. When dig cameras first came out what were they, like 1 megapixel, if that? Every new year's models had incremental improvements of like .5 megapixel. It's a MFing rip-off!!! All those DVD's that have been sold over the last 10 years, obsolete. CPU processor speeds lurched forward at like 20 MHz increments at one point. Was this all because research and development hadn't caught up yet? No, they were holding back the best stuff to release later!! ::Rant over, continues to DL and UL obsolete DVD's::

A great post from the terrestrial HD Radio article:

I have had a 27 year career as a broadcast program director and engineer, mostly of classical music stations that featured superb audio quality. The reason that I *no longer listen to FM radio* is because of multipath. Our American FM stereo system, adapted all over the world, is a defective process using a noisy, interference prone amplitude modulated "difference" subcarrier. It was a bad decision in 1961, when it was approved by the FCC; but it was compatible with existing equipment. I tried my best as an engineer -- and a developer of broadcast transmission and processing gear -- to cope with its limits. I retired from the business in 1991 and was GLAD to be out of it. Digital audio via compact disks was SO MUCH BETTER that I never looked back! I tune in the FM bands, about once a year, just to check. They have become progressively worse, with heavy processing and clipping distortion, to the point of being pure noise and hash, and interference from too many stations. Pitiful!

IBOC has not helped this situation one bit, if one does NOT have a digital radio. It has made AM radio INFINITELY WORSE. The digital subcarriers bleed all over the now-duller frequency spectrum of the analogue audio signal, causing a hiss or even a gurgling sound that almost totally obliterates the intelligibility. Recently San Francisco's station KNEW has added some new "feature" to their digital transmission that results in making the station unlistenable at all on MOST of my radios. I have given up listening to the station, which is surely not what the management and program directors intend me to do. I can only assume that they are so ignorant of what the result is, in the field away from their studios and in the local environment of their 5 and 2 mv signal contours, that they have no clue that what they are doing to their OWN signal is, in effect, to "jam" it. I might guess that 10, 20, or perhaps even *50* listeners in the bay area are able to hear the improved digital signal...but everybody else, with standard AM radios, hears a worse signal. Is this progress?

So, what has happened is a close parallel to FM multiplex stereo. A bad, compromised "compatible" system has been shoehorned into the available RF spectrum. Very little testing has been done -- and my guess is that most of what HAS been done to test the system is very biased -- and the regulators just "roll over" and accept the blandishments of the supporters of the scheme.

Early FM multiplex stereo had TERRIBLE audio problems. Not only was multipath now a much worse problem than in the "pure mono" FM days, but also the intrinsic signal to noise ratio was degraded; clean reception area vastly reduced; and even listeners with the BEST equipment suffered from constant problems of audio distortion products due to the lousy, primitive, underdeveloped stereo generators of 1961-2 vintage (including severe problems of intermodulation, transient distortion and overshoot, and aliasing products: not solved until FM multiplex had existed for another 15 years, largely by my friend and associate Bob Orban.)

The same thing will surely happen with IBOC. I am merely experiencing the repetition of history. A good, solid, mature broadcast system -- double sideband amplitude modulation, in mono -- has been wrecked by adding to it what conventional receivers perceive as a spurious interference product. It will be MANY years before all of this is sorted out. Meanwhile, the shrinking share of market of marginal AM stations will simply drive them into greater loss and unprofitability. But the makers of fancy new digital gear will LOVE it, even if no one listens! Once they sell the first generation of the (barely working, primitive) system, they will start upgrading, improving, and perfecting what will become the next generation...so on, so forth.

I have a question to everyone involved in this absurd farce. What happens if a certain threshold of pain is reached in the minds of AM radio listeners, and EVERYBODY gives up listening?

Is this really the AGENDA?

Steve Waldee retired AM, FM broadcaster San Jose, CA.
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  #74  
Old 2007-05-13, 06:15 AM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Did anyone listen to FM back in the 70's and early to mid 80's when they spun vinyl? If so, did it sound better back then than it does today?
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  #75  
Old 2007-05-13, 08:42 AM
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Re: Are mp3 master recordings allowed @TTD???

Another Example: The industry could have released Blu-Ray and HDDVD 5 years ago, when HDTV sets were becoming prevalent, but they wanted to squeeze every dollar out of DVD (released 1997) sales that they could. Also the industry wanted to sell EDTV's (extended def), TV's not quite capable of displaying full HDTV resolutions, but able to display progressive scan 480p from prog scan DVD players. That was another scam, selling non-progressive scan DVD players! Scan DVD players can be had for like 40 bucks now. Why was the copy protection for DVD's made so weak and easily breakable? Because they wanted to sell a crapload of DVD burners (single layer first, then DL of course) and blanks. They knew that the picture of DVD was good, a definite improvement over VHS, but not the reference quality of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. The copy protection on commercial DVD-Audio (reference quality, released 2000 or 2001?) was extremely robust (unbreakable?). The only reason a decryption tool appeared on the net was that someone from one of the DVD-Audio authoring companies let a passkey leak. I can't find the DVD-A decryption tool anywhere, but DVD-Video decrypting tools litter the net. Also, two hi-def video formats, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray? They really couldn't agree on a single standard? Or more likely, they wanted to sell more discs and players to a confused public. And some sets only display 1080i, not the full 1080p? Some sets don't have HDMI, but others do? More BS.
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