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Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?

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PfrederickWatching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 1, 2006 at 11:38:47 pm

I can make HD-DVDs on my MAC OSX G5 but I rented one today (Appolo 13) and it won't play on it.

Any ideas if they are compatible? Looks like they are not. I want to take an HD-DVD that I've made down to Best Buy and try it on the new HD-DVD player. Has nayone had luck doing that?

Just curious!

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 3:04:56 am

The problem is that your Mac has a DVD player in it, not an HD-DVD player. If you could somehow copy that disc onto your computer then, yes, the SOFTWARE player can play it...but you can't copy it 'cause the drive can't read it!

What we have here is the software getting a bit ahead of the hardware. Which is nice 'cause once you can buy an HD-DVD player for a computer your OS X will be ready to handle it. But at the moment you're kind of stuck.

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PfrederickRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 12:05:20 pm

How come that DVD player will make (with DVD Studio Pro 4) an HD-DVD? I shoot HDV and edit in FCP 5, then in DVD Studio Pro, make an HD-DVD. That is what they are calling it when you fire up the program it asks if you want to make a SD-DVD or HD-DVD.

Is Apples HD-DVD not the same as the HD-DVD format that is out there now?

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 12:35:47 pm

Yes, you can make it on the computer but you can't actually BURN it to anything at the moment. All you can do is either watch it on your computer or put it on a firewire drive and take it to someone else who can burn it.

At the moment the Mac is totally ready to make and view HD-DVDs, it just doesn't have the right hardware yet.

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PfrederickRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 3:21:21 pm

Jeff, I can burn HD-DVDs on the drive. Are you saying those aren't compliant HD-DVDs? I've burned them in HD-DVD format and gave them to others with newer G5's and they can indeed see them in HD. There is NO DOUBT they are seeing it in HD. The picture on the computer screen (23" Cinemascreen) is stunning and blows away any SD DVD played on the same drive. When the disc is inserted and played it will ask if you want the HD version or the SD version if you put both on the disc.

I really think the drive IS capable of playing an HD-DVD made in DVD STUDIO PRO. I just can't figure why it won't play a store bought HD-DVD.

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 6:43:28 pm

All I know is that it's not mentioned anywhere on Apple's website:

Everything there says it's just a normal DVD burner. Now, I don't have a new Powermac so everything I'm telling you is from what I've read...not from experience. That means I could be wrong, but if I am wrong then I'm out of ideas 'cause I can only go by what I've seen online!

Do you have access to a standalone HD-DVD player? Like, one in Best Buy, even? Can you take a disc you've made and see if they play there? I have no idea if it will or not but whatever happens it will give you one more bit of information to apply to your puzzle.

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PfrederickRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 2, 2006 at 11:29:59 pm


I tried to bring one of my HD-DVDs to Best Buy yesterday and they couldn't get the player to eject their demo disc! Can you believe that?! We tried everything, powering down, unplugging. Nothing would get it to eject. So that didn't work out, I never got to test it. However, over on the DVD Studio Pro forum here at the Cow someone says they DID get their HD-DVD disc to play on the new Toshiba if it is coded in the MPEG2 format. When they tried H.264 format it would not play on the Toshiba. So good news in that HD-DVDs made on a PowerMac g5 should play on the new players.

I guess you do need a new powermac with a Superdrive to burn HD-DVDs. I just bought my first MAC a few months ago.

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Simon Carlson-ThiesRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 3, 2006 at 12:08:01 am

HD MPEG 2 encoded DVD is still a standard DVD its just higher bit rate (19.0mb/sec), the real revolution with HD-DVD is h.264 which allows better quality using less space.

Simon Carlson-Thies,
Digital Light Graphics And Animation

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Mark SloanRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 3, 2006 at 5:19:56 pm

Just to clarify, there are 2 main things we are talking about here: the format of the video, and the type of the disc.

The format of the video you create can be HD-DVD using H264, but you are burning it to a DVD disc. This means that normal DVD players would be able to "see" your disc, but not be able to read it because they only know MPEG1 and MPEG2 usually, NOT H264 or the whole HD-DVD menu spec and format.

A HD-DVD player MIGHT be able to read your DVD disc burned with HD content... Here is a common problem though: while most new BluRay and HD-DVD players will include lasers for reading older DVD discs and they have a chip for decoding H264, they MAY NOT be set up to mix and match. Just like some DVD players won't play MPEG2 material burned to a CD even though it can play DVDs and CDs.

Hope this helps!

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Erik LindahlRe: Watching HD-DVDs on MAC G5?
by on May 11, 2006 at 10:17:06 pm

What you've been doing today Pfrederick is authoring HD-DVD content to SD-DVD media (DVD-R). One has to differ the two. "Real HD-DVD" media will come on either HD-DVD disc or BluRay discs.

When it comes what's on the HD-DVD media you will have two options:

- h264

MPEG2 on HD-DVD authored disc is NOT just SD-material at higher bitrate. Here you get full 1080i (perhaps even 1080p) at full 25 fps (in PAL) at roughly 19 Mbit/s. An SD DVD gives you 576i at about 6 Mbit/s. HUGE difference in quality of the image. The downside here is a standard DVD-R that you're using today only holds about 30 mins of HD-DVD content.

The second "codec side" of HD-DVD content i h264. Here we will see similar quality to MPEG2 HD, but at 1/2 to 1/4 of the birate. I think an 1080i or p disk at 24fps is rated at about 6-9 Mbit/s, similar to an SD DVD production. But here you're getting the full she-bang of HD resolution. The downside of h264 is that the encoding kills at the moment.

Personally I've just experimentet a little with HD-DVD with MPEG2 and for the time being, that's what I choose.

Actually I think Microsofts VC1 codec is also going to be accepted to the HD-DVD spectrum, but I'm not sure about that (little talk about it now a days, lots of talk a year or so ago).

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