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re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag

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Jeff Bach
re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 3, 2008 at 8:17:30 pm

Hi all

Just got done reading the latest issue of the CC Mag. Great stuff as always.

As a developer bursting at the seams to start Blu-ray authoring, I was especially interested in reading Eric Pautsch's article. I read it with interest and learned a few things.

But.....I was a bit surprised at what was omitted. In doing my research on Blu-ray authoring, several major additional things have been show stoppers every bit as much as the authoring tool, if not more.

I'm hopeful that Eric or other COW members might lend their impression to the points below or at least correct mine.

#1 - I understand that if you take a Blu-ray project to a 3rd party for "copying" that there is a VERY onerous $US4,500.00 AACS licensing fee, on top of everything. No doubt this is part of Steve Job's quote about Blu-ray being a "..bag of hurt.." I know 4,500.00 for security licensing certainly wrecks my budgets. Just who is AACS anyway?

#2 - Muxing. In the SDDVD world DVDSP includes the muxing component. We have never had to think about it. With Blu-ray though, I understand muxing to be an extra step. And this is a step that requires its own hard/soft ware. Inlet Technologies is the leader here, at least in my research (I have no connection). Where does the authoring world stand on this? Am I missing something in the products mentioned in the article? I believe that exactly NONE of them have built-in muxing. Believe me I would love to be wrong on this step, as this step is about a $US10,000.00 investment. This truly makes DVDSP look like a great value for the money.

For me, combining these two issues makes it clear why I (and probably bazillions of others) are still on the sideline with respect to Blu-ray authoring. Only the biggest authoring houses with the largest budgets can afford to play in the game. Happily, I think SDDVD authoring history shows the same steep initial costs followed by a rapid decline. Hopefully that trajectory will be followed for Blu-ray!
Good article Eric well worth reading!
Jeff Bach
Quietwater Films
Madison, WI.






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Max Kovalsky
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 3, 2008 at 11:25:21 pm

Jeff,
#1 - the license is $3,000 to join the AACS club, so to speak. This is a one-time fee paid by the content owner, not authoring facility. After that they have to pay $1,300 for each title replicated.

#2 - you mean compression, not "muxing". Muxing is short for multiplexing. I think it's called "build" in DVDSP. But you're right, compression tools are very expensive. Only 3 that are accepted in the studio world are CinemaCraft, Sony Blu-code and Thompson Nex-code (no longer sold, developed or supported I believe). Sonic's Cinevision and Inlet are fine, but both show signs of compression. Compressor along with most other cheaper options do not produce legal BD streams.



Max
--
Blu-ray producer
New York
Area4.tv


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Jeff Bach
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 3, 2008 at 11:55:34 pm

Hi Max

re: #1 Yes it is paid by content owner, overall though my intent is that this is a multiple thousand dollar line item in a budget, whether it is mine or someone else's. This line item was absent in an SDDVD project and to me is a showstopper for most projects.

re: #2 I associate compression with preparing the video stream. I think of MPEG2 as compression. I am hazy on the techie stuff in multiplexing but I see it as the last step in the process. I think that compression is above muxing in the stack of things that occur in a project. I think of muxing as some sort of "machine-like" language that combines the audio and video streams together into something that is readable by a DVD player.

My point here is that this is an extra step that now needs to be dealt with. Before, muxing was wrapped up and "magically" done inside of DVDSP. We never had to deal with it.

I just want it to work at a price point that can make projects go :)
Jeff

P.S. I looked through wikipedia for a definition of muxing and found this bit - "Multiplexing is the process of building a project in your authoring program so that it can be burned to DVD and read by a standard DVD player."
- from the COW's very own Noah Kadner circa 2003
http://www.aidinc.com/features/dvdfaq.asp

Jeff Bach
Quietwater Films
Madison, WI.


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Max Kovalsky
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 4, 2008 at 2:20:37 am

Jeff,
You're correct about what muxing is, however the muxing engine is included in all BD authoring apps. It's not something extra that you have to buy.

Max
--
Blu-ray producer
New York
Area4.tv


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eric pautsch
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 4, 2008 at 3:54:24 am

Thank You Jeff!

You brought up a topic I really wanted to include in that article but just ran out of space. Mandatory AACS is, like you said, a major roadblock for many or most producers such as yourself. Max would be a better person to ask but with fees like that, its almost impossible to secure a profit with less that 5,000-7,000 units once you factor in the licensing and authoring costs - not to mention production.

E



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eric pautsch
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 4, 2008 at 6:43:51 am

Also Max brings up something important. Your very limited on which encoders to use as well. Just because it says it encodes for Blu Ray doesn't make it something you would use for a replicated project.



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Stephen Tanner
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 8, 2008 at 6:44:54 pm

Have been reading your posts regarding Blu-Ray authoring and greatly appreciate the level of knowledge that has been put out there. I am still a litle hazy on the initial cost associated with getting into blu-ray authoring. We have a project that will require an AACS compliant disk for replication. We would be starting from scratch and would need a full array of software. We are not looking for top of the line, but still would like for the tools to do the job well. First what tools do we need to get the disk ready for replication, what products would you recomend and what is the associated costs for them? Also any pros, cons, or pitfalls you can identify would be greatly appreciated? There seems to be a great deal of misinformation out there right now. Would hate to make a 10K+ mistake


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eric pautsch
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 10, 2008 at 1:11:00 am

There are only 3 tools that would give you an image used in replication: Scenarist, Blu Print and Do Studio. The cost and functions are explained in the article in this month's edition of CC Magazine. One thing that was omitted, because it was so recent, is that Do Studio's monthly license has gone up around $400/month.

Each has it pros and cons. Blu Print is much more intuitive making authoring faster buts its $60K. Scenarist can be a bear to use but once you start to understand the UI, its no slower than BP - its 30K. Do Studio is very affordable but you also limited on the kind of functionality your disc can have.

To put it bluntly, your probably going to have to invest more than 10K if you want to offer professional authoring services for replication. Like Max said, not many encoders are good or deliver a complaint stream. If this is simply a one time thing then your better off paying a vendor.



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Max Kovalsky
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 10, 2008 at 2:00:55 pm

Scenarist Studio BD is probably your best bet. I think it's priced around $20K and includes stripped-down versions of their encoder and authoring app. It will let you create both the AACS compliant image and BD compliant video streams.

Max
--
Blu-ray producer
New York
Area4.tv


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eric pautsch
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 10, 2008 at 3:25:17 pm

Max

I'm curious to what the srtipped down version does not include? How is it different than the advanced versions?

E



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Max Kovalsky
Re: re: Blu-ray article in the CC Mag
on Dec 10, 2008 at 5:26:07 pm

Sonic probably has info on their site. Scenarist has # of streams, movie objects and titles limitations. No PIP, I believe and only BDCMF, no SonyCMF. Cinevision doesn't do segment re-encoding.

Max
--
Blu-ray producer
New York
Area4.tv


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