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MS pushes Windows Media technology (Corona) to the DVD standards

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 07 Jul 2002 13:42 User comments (2)

Despite the DVD Forum's reluctance to embrace the new Windows Media technology (dubbed "Corona"), the folks in Redmond still think their new package of codecs, players, and tools has a big part to play in the future of DVD.
Corona's biggest bragging point is the efficiency of its video codec, which promises to deliver high-definition video compression (up to 720 lines per inch) at 1/2 to 1/3 the bandwidth required by MPEG-2, according to Michael Aldridge, lead product manager of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media Division. Though it's content-dependent (video with more action requires more bandwidth), Aldridge said it can deliver the DVD-standard 480 lines per inch (lpi) with ease, meaning that in hard storage (rather than streaming) applications, Corona would let DVD manufacturers put more movies at 480lpi on a single DVD, or put higher-definition movies on standard consumer DVDs all without switching to blue-laser technology.

Therein lies the rub. Earlier this year, the DVD Forum agreed to pursue a blue-laser standard and continue using MPEG-2. While the forum—of which Microsoft is a member—hasn't rejected Corona outright, it hasn't exactly embraced it, either. "We've been developing a DVD-related format using MPEG-2 and some public open technology," said DVD Forum secretariat Hideyuki Irie. "Our policy is to keep standardization as open as possible. Currently, we don't have interest in adopting a new format other than the MPEG standard."

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2 user comments

18.7.2002 5:07

What ever happened to MPEG-4? This would seem like a better format for the next generation of DVD than Microsofts own propriety format as MPEG is an open standard. From what I read before in articles, Windows Media Corona format will still be backwards compatible with Windows Media Video, although its sound will be 6 channel 128kbps WMA audio. If this is true, then I would prefer MPEG-4 over WMV. I've seen MPEG-4 video clips and WMV clips. Although each clip encoded in both codecs were of similar size, MPEG-4 handled action better than the WMV clip, i.e. the MPEG clips were less 'blocky'. I have so far never came across a WMV clip without any 'metallic' artifacts in the audio.

28.7.2002 15:36

Actually I'm disgusted with both ideas -- WMV _AND_ MPEG-4. I would much prefer seeing blue-laser DVD technology to be implemented using MPEG-2 format, just like the current DVDs use, just with helluva lot higher bitrate. Damnit, we need to buy new hardware anyway, whether its going to be MPEG-4 based on current red-laser technology (9GB per side) or MPEG-2 based on blue-laser technology (27GB per side), so why to stick with something that restricts the bitrate and try to tweak with new compression methods, when virtually all video/TV/movie industry already uses MPEG-2 in their productions.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

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