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  # 112029 21-Feb-2008 10:33
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BarTender: There are other much superior ways around this issue to get the content digitally without needing to re-encode, but we don't talk about such things on this board.


I getcha ;)

But surely it should be ok to discuss such topics if the purpose is to get your legal content working at an optimum level?  But I don't make the rules here and can understand that others may use this info to do naughty things...

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# 112032 21-Feb-2008 10:46
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If you are talking about your own content, that's ok. If you are talking about getting third party's content then it's out of the bounds due to a very grey area in the current copyright law.




 
 
 
 


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  # 112035 21-Feb-2008 10:59
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I think thats a good point - anyway there are commerical products such as AnyDVD which will do a great job of allowing legal content ie Blueray disks purchased from Amazon USA for example to be used in New Zealand on a HTPC. 

Don't see any legal issues around this other than going against the intent of Sony to propogate their old regional pricing model.

There is a more grey area around using other commercially available products ie (DVD Fab HD) to place your own legally obtained HD content in a disk based library - which is easily done with current DVD's. 

Later/Current versions of PowerDVD prevent playing disk based HD content - which I believe was done in order to keep their HDCP certification.  There didn't seem to be a legal issue with this, however they were "leaned on" to ensure thier software wouldn't allow users to easily do this.

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  # 112040 21-Feb-2008 11:23
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Out of interest Rusty, does VMC prevent HD content being played from hard disk?

I don't currently have a HD drive in my HTPC, but that is clearly the way to go eventually.

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  # 112048 21-Feb-2008 11:38
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Satch: Out of interest Rusty, does VMC prevent HD content being played from hard disk?

I don't currently have a HD drive in my HTPC, but that is clearly the way to go eventually.


You can play anything thats not HDCP or ICT protected, that you also have a codec for ie it will play h.264 disk based content just fine.

It won't play any form of Blueray/HDDVD natively at the moment (there's a plugin for PowerDVD - buts its kludgey), without re-encoding. 

The next beta (anyone in the beta group???) is supposed to have HD support - I'm dead keen to see which way Microsoft go ie will they follow the current model, which allows the use of a disk based DVD library or not.

Couple of things I forgot to mention - setting up a HD library isn't that much fun at the moment - 20-25GB per disk, around an hour or so per disk to archive, and then you need to manage the disk space.  And its costs about $5-$10 per movie just in disk space (ie hardware).

IMO its currently easier just to use the Blueray/HDDVD disks.  By default this limits piracy and the ability of a sucessful online movie rental service in NZ (I'm not condoning piracy here just making a comment) - ie even at $1 per GB, which is about the lowest ISP rate in NZ at the moment, a HD movie costs about $20-25 bucks to download, before you've paid for the disk to store it.  Add the disk in and Amazon looks pretty good.

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  # 112051 21-Feb-2008 11:48
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freitasm: If you are talking about your own content, that's ok. If you are talking about getting third party's content then it's out of the bounds due to a very grey area in the current copyright law.

Agreed, I don't talk about it due to the fact that the NDS encryption technology used by Sky is not legally sub-licensed to any third party vendors, IE you can't go out and buy a NDS Smardcard CAM to put your Sky Smartcard into.  Whereas the same process on TelstraClear Cable is a lot more transparent due to TCL using Irdeto which is a well understood and widely licensed encryption technology to third party companies.  In theory you can go out and buy any Cable STB which is Irdeto capible and be able to watch TCL Cable on that box with your TCL Smartcard in that box.  The same applies if you had a PCI DVB-C card, you could then record onto your PC.  The same can not be said for Sky due to the extremely strict licensing terms they place on their video encyrption.

I am able at home with TCL Digital Cable record in raw digital format any content that I am legally subscribed to at my leasure (and regularly do, I have 60+ episodes of little einsteins recorded for my daughter :).  To do the same with sky I would need a MySky, and with a MySky I am not able to play the content anywhere else but off the MySky as the content is encrypted on the disk.

However being able to record for personal use may become illegal as per other threads about PVR's and the changes to the copyright laws in NZ.





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  # 112061 21-Feb-2008 12:31
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RustyGonad:
You can play anything thats not HDCP or ICT protected, that you also have a codec for ie it will play h.264 disk based content just fine.


I thought that VMC didn't currently handle H.264 content, hence the reason you cannot run Freeview HD through it (or the test transmissions at least).

I could be way off mark here.  I'm just a noob learning about this stuff.

Currently my HTPC only takes a Sky feed, but that is irritating the missus who likes to record one channel and surf the others.  I'm hanging out for Freeview HD (as opposed to getting Freeview satellite) so I can get back to the tape one, watch other scenario (all within the one Sky decoder limit of course).

 
 
 
 


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  # 112064 21-Feb-2008 12:42
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Satch:
RustyGonad:
You can play anything thats not HDCP or ICT protected, that you also have a codec for ie it will play h.264 disk based content just fine.


I thought that VMC didn't currently handle H.264 content, hence the reason you cannot run Freeview HD through it (or the test transmissions at least).

I could be way off mark here.  I'm just a noob learning about this stuff.

Currently my HTPC only takes a Sky feed, but that is irritating the missus who likes to record one channel and surf the others.  I'm hanging out for Freeview HD (as opposed to getting Freeview satellite) so I can get back to the tape one, watch other scenario (all within the one Sky decoder limit of course).


It doesn't do Over the Air h.264 ie NZ's DVB-T yet - that's coming in the next beta/release.  It will play disk based h.264 content with a suitable codec just fine ie it just treats it like any other avi/divx/mov file, as long as the codec it there it will play it.



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  # 112065 21-Feb-2008 12:46
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My video card has hardware based H.264 decoding.  Would I still require a software decoder too?

From what little I've found on the net, it seems that the next release won't be with us until the end of this year.  That's a long time to wait...

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  # 112066 21-Feb-2008 12:54
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Satch: My video card has hardware based H.264 decoding.  Would I still require a software decoder too?

From what little I've found on the net, it seems that the next release won't be with us until the end of this year.  That's a long time to wait...


You just need a codec - Power DVD is the best place one at the moment.

I believe the "official" release is later this year - however the beta is a couple of months away - that will be good enough for me :)

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  # 112067 21-Feb-2008 12:57
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How do you get your mitts on the beta?

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  # 112095 21-Feb-2008 16:05
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sbiddle:
munchkin: Do you have the option to use DVI when connecting your PC to your TV? (Even if you have to use a DVI to HDMI adaptor)

A VGA connection to a flat panel TV tends to look quite washed out - have a look here to gain a better understanding.


I don't necessarily agree with that comment and neither do some of the people in that thread.

In an ideal world HDMI/DVI would deliver a better picture on a LCD/Plasma than VGA however in reality it's not necessarily the case. Virtually all TV's will give you true 1:1 pixel mapping over VGA whereas not all TV's will give you 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI and you do have the overscan issue to deal with (which isn't really a problem with most modern cards and TV's). If you don't have 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI then IMHO you're far better off using VGA. The scalers in most modern TV's also tend to scale the incoming image to the native resolution of the panel whereas driving the panel via VGA is normally at the native resolution.

Plugging a HDMI video card into a HDMI capable screen should be a simple step. Unfortunately it's far from that!

The biggest issue with hooking any PC up to a TV is the refresh rate but the whole 50Hz/60Hz debate and inability of screens to accept 50Hz inputs is whole different kettle of fish!

Alright, I'll concede that it varies depending on the TV and personal preference. In my experience, however, a DVI connection to the TV is definitely better; The TCL TV signal appears very washed out over VGA, though this is possibly related to the quality of their transmission and the STB, too.

I've never had a problem with the 50/60Hz debacle though, both my screens accept either at 1280x720 and 1365x768.




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  # 112194 21-Feb-2008 22:17
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munchkin:  Alright, I'll concede that it varies depending on the TV and personal preference. In my experience, however, a DVI connection to the TV is definitely better; The TCL TV signal appears very washed out over VGA, though this is possibly related to the quality of their transmission and the STB, too.


The TCL STB is pretty bad IMHO, esp if it's the one with only the composite out, the SVideo out is a whole lot better.  And the PQ is pretty poor at the moment, however I espect post upgrade whenever that happens I am really looking forward to it.





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