AfterDawn: Tech news

Hong Kong pirates selling bootleg Blu-rays on DVDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 Nov 2008 19:00 User comments (51)

Hong Kong pirates selling bootleg Blu-rays on DVDs According to a new Wall Street Journal article, Hong Kong based movie pirates have begun selling bootleg Blu-ray films on standard DVDs, using the AVCHD format to fit a 720p film onto a cheap DVD-5.
Although the AVCHD discs only offers 720p and not the full HD 1080p, most consumers cannot tell the difference, and just see it as an upgrade from standard DVD anyways when playing back on their Blu-ray players.

The MPA warns that because blank DVDs can be had for, on average, 30 cents a unit, the pirates are making a huge profit on every bootleg sold.

"We are concerned and are assigning priority to this issue,"
said Mike Ellis, the Asia-Pacific managing director for the MPA.

The industry only first began taking notice last month when a large stash of the bootleg Blu-rays were found during a raid in China. Some of the 800 discs seized included popular titles such as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", "Transformers", and "X-Men 3." The bootleg discs were packaged in blue cases and even included holograms to make them look like the originals.

"Pirated DVDs from this region...have been exported all over the world in the last few years. These syndicates are very quick to spot market opportunities,"
said Mr. Ellis.

The MPA added that while retail Blu-ray discs retail for $25 or so, the pirated AVCHD discs sell for $7. Fortunately for the industry, the MPA says, the discs have not yet appeared outside of Asia.

"When we created the specifications for Blu-ray, we were very serious about trying to stem the tide of pirate discs regardless of where they were in the world," noted Andy Parsons, a senior vice president at Pioneer Electronics Inc.'s Home Entertainment Group and the U.S. chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association Promotions Committee.

Unfortunately for them, all Blu-ray protections have been broken and BD rips can be found around the Internet, usually before the retail even hits shelves.

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51 user comments

118.11.2008 19:26

the people that purchase that stuff are better off buying regular dvds of those pirates. High mods and compression could damage the overall image of the blu-ray.

218.11.2008 19:51

I finally found myself a signature.
HD movies have been available for a long time on the net and the only real limit is the size of the files.
It doesn't suprise me in the least that the pirates are putting HD movies on standard DVD disks.

318.11.2008 21:05

Quote:
High mods and compression could damage the overall image of the blu-ray.
What? care to elaborate...

418.11.2008 22:59
cousinkix
Inactive

And just how many of these pirated DVDs were burned with a SONY machine that is made by one of those HollyWood movie studio's own affiliate company? I gotta niece who used to rent movies at Blockbuster. She made illegal copies (for her own library) using a SONY VAIO computer, DVD burner and disks...

518.11.2008 23:28
fgamer
Inactive

I mean the movies still wont be in HD because the DVD is still being displayed in 480i/p.

619.11.2008 0:01

Originally posted by fgamer:
I mean the movies still wont be in HD because the DVD is still being displayed in 480i/p.
Not true, its displays in 720p, usually 1280x540 or something similar.

719.11.2008 0:20
varnull
Inactive

Good on em.. way to go Hong Kong pirates

Lets screw these MPAA bastards into the ground.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 0:24

919.11.2008 6:31

Quote:
Although AVCHD only offers 720p and not the full HD 1080p, most consumers cannot tell the difference, and just see it as an upgrade from standard DVD anyways.


This is totally incorrect - it may be that the films pirated in this case on single layer dvds are only 720p but most AVCHD movies released by groups on newzbin etc are full 1080p picture with dts sound - obviously around 8 GB and being burned on to dual layerDVD-9.

Another point worth mentioning is that these movies are only playable on a unit capable of handling the AVC codec which eliminates all standard dvd players from the equation and in most cases means the Sony PS3.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 6:49

1019.11.2008 6:34

Originally posted by Leningrad:
the people that purchase that stuff are better off buying regular dvds of those pirates. High mods and compression could damage the overall image of the blu-ray.
then you've obviously never downloaded a 720p or 1080p AVCHD movie - if you had you wouldn't make that comment - the quality is significantly better than a standard dvd and not far removed from a blu ray disc - it uses the same codec ( AVC ) and simply has additional soundtracks and extras removed so in a lot of cases , there is very little or no compression at all , especially on DVD-9 releases.

1119.11.2008 9:13

Originally posted by plazma247:
just for educational purposes : http://www.bitburners.com/articles/conve...r/4019/

Why go there? There are two threads that have been flourishing right here for quite some time. See my sig...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 10:47

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

1219.11.2008 9:17

Originally posted by domie:
Another point worth mentioning is that these movies are only playable on a unit capable of handling the AVC codec which eliminates all standard dvd players from the equation and in most cases means the Sony PS3.
Correct domie. The PS3 and most current-gen standalones are able to handle these AVCHD discs - not regular DVD players.

Worth mentioning is the fact that US Customs are hot on the trail of these pirated discs and anyone bringing them into the US are at risk of hefty fines.

http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/index.php?n...t=51156&start=0

Non-US citizens are at risk of having their visas revoked and having themselves deported.

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2007...071225opi3.html

1319.11.2008 10:59

Quote:
Quote:
Although AVCHD only offers 720p and not the full HD 1080p, most consumers cannot tell the difference, and just see it as an upgrade from standard DVD anyways.


This is totally incorrect - it may be that the films pirated in this case on single layer dvds are only 720p but most AVCHD movies released by groups on newzbin etc are full 1080p picture with dts sound - obviously around 8 GB and being burned on to dual layerDVD-9.

Another point worth mentioning is that these movies are only playable on a unit capable of handling the AVC codec which eliminates all standard dvd players from the equation and in most cases means the Sony PS3.
That is correct, I have updated one typo (making clear that the pirates are using 720p rips to fit on DVD-5 to make even more profit) and have added that you need a Blu-ray player although I thought that was pretty obvious :)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 11:15

1419.11.2008 11:10
varnull
Inactive

Like the pirates give two hoots about the miniscule US market when they have 1,600,000,000+ potential customers in asia

*giggles*

edit~ team america reference removed lmao!

1519.11.2008 11:41

Originally posted by varnull:
Like the pirates give two hoots about the miniscule US market when they have 1,600,000,000+ potential customers in asia

Talk about a minuscule market. How many of those 1.6 B people own a PS3 or an AVCHD capable BluRay standalone?

...or an HDTV for that matter?

Fact remains that majority of the players that can play these discs are in North America and Japan.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 11:48

1619.11.2008 15:54

Quote:
Originally posted by varnull:
Like the pirates give two hoots about the miniscule US market when they have 1,600,000,000+ potential customers in asia

Talk about a minuscule market. How many of those 1.6 B people own a PS3 or an AVCHD capable BluRay standalone?

...or an HDTV for that matter?

Fact remains that majority of the players that can play these discs are in North America and Japan.
LOL.

Thanks for the heads up. Wasn't aware I could get AVCHD rips. Seen alot of other rips that weren't that great (MKV compression of course.)

Which a.b. should I be looking in? ;-)

1719.11.2008 16:29

Or for further research purposes:

1. Rip BluRay with Any DVDHD
3. Use Nero Vision version with Nero 9 to reincode the 40 odd gig movie file to a 1080p DVD-9 or 720P DVD5

.............Enjoy your movie on any Blu Ray Player

Also note the new nero vision can convert most HD file types to a AVCHD

1819.11.2008 17:41

Quote:
Originally posted by Leningrad:
the people that purchase that stuff are better off buying regular dvds of those pirates. High mods and compression could damage the overall image of the blu-ray.
then you've obviously never downloaded a 720p or 1080p AVCHD movie - if you had you wouldn't make that comment - the quality is significantly better than a standard dvd and not far removed from a blu ray disc - it uses the same codec ( AVC ) and simply has additional soundtracks and extras removed so in a lot of cases , there is very little or no compression at all , especially on DVD-9 releases.
dude, yeah i have. also with a standrard dvd you can use dvd shrink on it compress the film by 1 percent and often the frames will blur out or do other bizarre stuff. im thinking that would be the same thing, perhaps even more since more is being compressed. shrink a dvd to a VCD and you'l see what i mean.

1919.11.2008 18:06

Originally posted by Leningrad:
dude, yeah i have. also with a standrard dvd you can use dvd shrink on it compress the film by 1 percent and often the frames will blur out or do other bizarre stuff. im thinking that would be the same thing, perhaps even more since more is being compressed. shrink a dvd to a VCD and you'l see what i mean.
DVDShrink uses a faster transcoding engine. It is not a true two pass encode. This creates artifacts and produces a fairly average video.

Those that know how to compress a Blu-ray correctly are using slow motion search 2 pass encoding with all quality optimisations enabled within the encoding engine.

Shrinking a DVD to VCD is not the same as re-authoring a Blu-ray to fit onto a DVD. DVD to VCD is lowering the resolution to a quarter of the original and you would be using the very old MPEG1 codec. So of course it will look terrible, especially by today's standard. With AVCHD (mini BD disc), it is possible to still retain full 1080p resolution.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Nov 2008 @ 18:07

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2019.11.2008 18:18

Good post i admit.

But i dont know why people say that a standard DVD player can create a 1080p output if its maximum ouport resolution is 480i. can someone shed some light on this?

2119.11.2008 18:35

Originally posted by Leningrad:
Good post i admit.

But i dont know why people say that a standard DVD player can create a 1080p output if its maximum ouport resolution is 480i. can someone shed some light on this?
Hasn't it already been covered that these discs will not play on a standard DVD player? They are authored in the AVCHD standard, which is basically an earlier version of Blu-ray. You still need a Blu-ray player to view these.

I sometimes think that people get the term "DVD" mixed up. DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) is referring to a red laser optical disc format that can be used to store any form of data you like. DVD Video is the term used to reference movie discs.

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2219.11.2008 21:05
atomicxl
Inactive

The american industry should have moved to stuff like this. This format probably would have taken off more than some hyper expensive new disc format.

2319.11.2008 21:50

Originally posted by atomicxl:
The american industry should have moved to stuff like this. This format probably would have taken off more than some hyper expensive new disc format.
Yes! "Blu-Ray" could've easily been a certified codec/add-on for HDMI DVD players much like Divx is. Think about it, HDMI DVD players can already output 1080p/1080i/720p so why not have the AVCHD codec built in... HD for the price of DVD!

I wouldn't think that the cost would be much more expensive to implement either, seeing as some upconvert players have dropped into the $40-50 price range.

Instead we have inflated prices on players and discs. Fire sales are coming for Black Friday to clear the shelves of stagnant product and old profile players. Beware.

2419.11.2008 21:58
fgamer
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by fgamer:
I mean the movies still wont be in HD because the DVD is still being displayed in 480i/p.
Not true, its displays in 720p, usually 1280x540 or something similar.
Well not the actuall DVD, I mean the player that's being used to display the movie. For instance if you use a DVD player it won't display it in HD, right?

2519.11.2008 22:14

Originally posted by fgamer:
Well not the actuall DVD, I mean the player that's being used to display the movie. For instance if you use a DVD player it won't display it in HD, right?
Read the article again.

These discs can't be played on a regular DVD player.

You need a PS3 or a BluRay standalone with AVCHD capability to play these discs.

2620.11.2008 0:33

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Yes! "Blu-Ray" could've easily been a certified codec/add-on for HDMI DVD players much like Divx is. Think about it, HDMI DVD players can already output 1080p/1080i/720p so why not have the AVCHD codec built in... HD for the price of DVD!
AVCHD is an offshoot of, and is based on, the BluRay/BDMV file structure. It was meant as a recording format for digital tapeless high def camcorders and was developed by Panasonic and Sony.

It wasn't meant to be a format for movie distribution since the quality (based on average bitrate) is comparable only to broadcast HD.

Since DVHS/D-Theater movies were already maxing out at 28Mbps, they had no choice but to try to match or exceed this with HD DVD and BluRay. Thus the need for higher capacity media.

At least that's my take on the matter.

2720.11.2008 1:43

Quote:
Originally posted by fgamer:
Well not the actuall DVD, I mean the player that's being used to display the movie. For instance if you use a DVD player it won't display it in HD, right?
Read the article again.

These discs can't be played on a regular DVD player.

You need a PS3 or a BluRay standalone with AVCHD capability to play these discs.
Toshibot is correct, sorry if that was not clear before :)

2820.11.2008 11:58

Great news! Anything that is a thorn in SONY's side....I am all for it!

2920.11.2008 12:09

Originally posted by ugc:
Great news! Anything that is a thorn in SONY's side....I am all for it!
Actually, it's a thorn in the side of the MPAA.

This can actually increase the sales of BluRay players and increase BluRay revenue for Sony, Panasonic, Samsung etc. You do need a PS3 or a BluRay standalone to play these discs.

Cheap movies = Increased sales of players = Increased revenue for hardware makers
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Nov 2008 @ 12:29

3020.11.2008 13:00
xaxxon
Inactive

irrelevant spam removed

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Nov 2008 @ 17:04

3120.11.2008 13:21

Originally posted by juankerr:
Originally posted by ugc:
Great news! Anything that is a thorn in SONY's side....I am all for it!
Actually, it's a thorn in the side of the MPAA.

This can actually increase the sales of BluRay players and increase BluRay revenue for Sony, Panasonic, Samsung etc. You do need a PS3 or a BluRay standalone to play these discs.

Cheap movies = Increased sales of players = Increased revenue for hardware makers
I believe the money is in the media, not the player. Like xbox360, they make their money on the games, not the console.

Know how to drive a person CRAZY? <<Click Here>>

3220.11.2008 13:47

Originally posted by ugc:
I believe the money is in the media, not the player. Like xbox360, they make their money on the games, not the console.
But it's also the media that can push hardware sales.

When Halo 3 came out didn't we see a spike in 360 sales? MGS4 pushed PS3 sales.

When people see cheap HD movies, we should also see an increase in player sales at least in the Asian market where these discs are available.

Increased revenue for the hardware makers at the cost of decreased revenue for the MPAA - I can live with that. Besides, most titles have already made money from the theatrical release. Check the MPAA's stats reports - they're not exactly hemorrhaging money at this point, despite their posturing.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Nov 2008 @ 14:02

3320.11.2008 14:56

i hope everyone here realizes that you could do this like 3 years ago when hd-dvd and blu-ray dvds first came out. there was a dvdrebuilder method for both.

3420.11.2008 19:19

hd-dvd and blu ray discs were out 3 years ago ? i thought it was just under 2 years but maybe I am wrong

3520.11.2008 19:21

I believe the biggest jump in Hardware sales will be when BD-R's come down in price to a point where they are a viable option for the average consumer.


"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

3621.11.2008 9:52

BD-R's will still need to come down a lot though. Because dual layer DVD's (DVD 9's) are still in the $3 range per disk. When DVD 5's are in the $.50 range per disk. I believe when they are in the $5 range per disk. Then they will have more mass market appeal.

3721.11.2008 14:49

DVD 5 will still be the majority choice for a standard medium. I think that in 1.5 years blu-ray will turn the tables.

3822.11.2008 2:50

Originally posted by defgod:
BD-R's will still need to come down a lot though. Because dual layer DVD's (DVD 9's) are still in the $3 range per disk. When DVD 5's are in the $.50 range per disk. I believe when they are in the $5 range per disk. Then they will have more mass market appeal.
I get Ritek DVD-9's for 80c each and DVD-5's for 24c each (That is Australian Dollars, so that would be DVD-9 = 50c, DVD-5 = 15c USD). :-)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Nov 2008 @ 2:53

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

3922.11.2008 15:20

Wow! Burn Blu Ray to DVD 5. I learn something new every day. Had no idea you could do that. Off to Google searches!

4022.11.2008 15:32

Originally posted by ChiefBrdy:
Wow! Burn Blu Ray to DVD 5. I learn something new every day. Had no idea you could do that. Off to Google searches!
Dont go to Google, check Ryu's signature :P

4122.11.2008 17:26

Will these discs play on an xbox 360?

4222.11.2008 21:08

Originally posted by drybrdl:
Will these discs play on an xbox 360?
No they won't play this format you need Blu-Ray player capabilities for the fourth time.If its not using blue laser then it won't work. I agree with everybody else so far on the subject although what does the output actually look like.I think I would like to see a comparison,because I'm pretty picky about quality of films.I like High Definition video but for the price Blu-Ray is selling at its not affordable to the public.Once the prices lower it should become pretty popular,and we will see Dvd-9 media selling as cheap as Dvd-5 media.I bet it will be a couple years from now,but at the moment I'm cool with dvd until Blu-Ray prices drop.

4322.11.2008 21:15

The Blue-ray bootlegs are not new, they have been selling in Bangkok as early as December last year!

4422.11.2008 21:37

I read a blurb last week that Microsoft is looking at a blu ray player for the Xbox

4522.11.2008 23:10

I finally saw an add for blank bluray disc's, when I looked at the price I laughed so hard my head hurt.

So if these whatever AVCHD disc's are if the price was right would'nt that be nice, and am I correct in what I read that these things are only mini-BD disc's, if thats the case thats not good.

4623.11.2008 2:39

Originally posted by FredBun:
I finally saw an add for blank bluray disc's, when I looked at the price I laughed so hard my head hurt.

So if these whatever AVCHD disc's are if the price was right would'nt that be nice, and am I correct in what I read that these things are only mini-BD disc's, if thats the case thats not good.
Mini BD discs refer to an extended version of AVCHD. In the "ripping" World these are referred to as either BD-5 (BDMV on a single layer DVD) or BD-9 (BDMV on a dual layer DVD). AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) as a standard was originally designed by Sony & Panasonic to transfer HD video footage from a Camcorder to DVD optical media. This is still 1080p but using DVD as the media format. The folder and directory layout between AVCHD and Blu-ray is almost identical.

It is possible now to cheat the Blu-ray player into playing the extended features that Blu-ray offers over AVCHD but still using DVD as the optical disc media used. AVCHD was limited to only using AVC/H264 video and Dolby Digital audio. Whereas Blu-ray included 3 main video codecs within its standardisation (MPEG2, VC-1 & AVC/H264) along with support for DTS audio and switchable subtitles etc.

So in short, Blu-ray stand alone players (or a PS3/HTPC) can play 1080p video along with multi channel DTS or Dolby audio from a DVD. When re-authored to only include the main movie and a single primary audio track, it is possible to re-encode the video with H264 in the bitrate range of 8Mbs - 15Mbs. As the efficiency of H264 is markedly improved compared to MPEG2 (as used for regular DVD Video) it is still possible to achieve very high quality 1080p video and still fit on a regular DVD.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Nov 2008 @ 4:54

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

4723.11.2008 10:17

you can play these rips through your pc to your big screen hdtv. So you dont need a ps3 or BluRay. As long as you have the codecs on your pc it will work great.

4823.11.2008 16:40

Ryu77, thanks for your explanation, but wow that was way over my head, but than again thats the way we PC dummies learn, I actually copied and pasted what you said and saved it, one of these days when I get a geek friend so to speack pay a visit I'll ask for a complete low down cause all that was very intersting.

4924.11.2008 12:50

Yeah, this is not new... That was one of the reasons i went BD to start with (well, got the HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 too). If you have a HD camcorder, you can burn those AVCHD files on blank DVD discs and voila, instant HD clips using the PS3 :)

Well, if you have external HDD, you can just copy the AVCHD files and play it via the PS3. No need for the tedious process... I think that's the method most people use right now.

5024.11.2008 22:49

I am trying to confirm if this copy of The Dark Knight my cousin picked up today is a HK "BD" fake (it's got incorrect box art but it could be a different region?)




I should be able to find out by tomorrow, he's out and about right now. Will post more info as I get it...


Edit #1: He just got back home and I am trying to figure this out right now, just waiting on a phone call.


Edit #2: Looks to be real. 3 Discs, Multiple correct surrounds as well as BD-Live (that confirmed it to me) plus it was 1080p (not 720p). I guess the only thing is it has different box art. Lucky bastard got it 2 weeks early!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Nov 2008 @ 23:20

5128.11.2008 19:46

Fancy the MP whatever saying the pirates are making exprbitant profits? What abput them with all their high powerd lawyers and minions running around. Paying stars 10-20- 30 million a movie..engaging in price fixing..is not that illegal.. american business trying to control the world.

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