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Sony Media Movies

Sony Completes First Full-Length Blu-ray Disc 258

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the hot-off-the-presses dept.
john writes "Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced that authoring has been completed on the first Blu-ray Disc (BD) to contain a full-length, high-definition feature film. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was compressed and authored in MPEG 2 full high-definition (1920 x 1080) and is now being shipped to BD hardware companies for player testing."
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Sony Completes First Full-Length Blu-ray Disc

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  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:14PM (#14070953) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how long it took for Sony to transcode the AVI torrent they downloaded off of The Pirate Bay into the format needed for a BD-ROM.

    Had I known they were releasing this awesome movie in Hi-Def format, I'd probably have just skipped the download and just let them do the work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:15PM (#14070962)
    No annoying dialogs just seamless integration
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:15PM (#14070971)
    ...the companies the discs were shipped to asked sony to confirm in writing that the disks infact did not contain any rootkit that would damage their systems.
  • by Logic Bomb (122875) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:16PM (#14070973)
    At first I was horrified that such an absurdly bad movie was chosen for this "honor." But then I thought about the current market for this stuff: geeky guys. I suppose it makes sense, but they probably could do better with porn.
  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:16PM (#14070977) Homepage Journal
    With all the films they had to choose from the one they pick to show Charlie's Angels 2? Nice way to kill the format.
    • Nah, I think they just wanted a guinnea pig. Now when the movie is destroyed *on accident* the world will be a much better place.
    • It makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sterno (16320) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:32PM (#14071065) Homepage
      First of all it's one of those spectacular blockbuster type movies with lots of explosions. So it'll be a good test for what the format is capable of. Second, and this is key, they won't have to worry about anybody trying to pirate the first Blu Ray disc because nobody will want it :)
      • "Second, and this is key, they won't have to worry about anybody trying to pirate the first Blu Ray disc because nobody will want it :)"

        Yes, because just everybody has the abilitiy to read bluray and burn it, chortle-chortle.
    • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:56PM (#14071171)
      I'm not sure how big the Sony catalog is. But a few that they had that would have been better was 'A Knights Tale', 'Spider-Man', 'Spider-Man 2'. Hell, 'Kermits' Swamp Years' would have been better than Charlies Angels 2. That movie was soooo bad.
    • Plotless (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dog135 (700389) <dog135@gmail.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:19PM (#14071275)
      They chose it because it's one of those movies that's better seen then heard.

      My wife's deaf, but she still likes to go the the theater every once in a while. Just goes to show how important plot is in today's movies.

      Funny thing, she liked Starwars EP1 better BEFORE she saw it captioned.
      "Is the caption messed up, or is Jar-Jar retarded?"
      • You are a lucky man, and your wife is a very wise woman.

        By the way, the correct answer is "No, but George Lucas is. . . "

      • Actually it shows how important plot is given they liked it better with an imagined plot than the real one. I find a lot of films I didn't like the first time I saw them work far better with the sound off. I often times turn off the sound on films for various reasons and found this to be the case. A friend used to be big on playing Godzilla films with the sound off and some ramdom piece of music on. The films were a lot more fun. Pick any visually interesting film with a bad plot and turn the sound off and
    • Well Sony Pictures has a decent film library. They do have Colombia/Tristar/MGM under their belt.

      The majority of the older films were not shot in HD, also for a technology demo the movie should have a lot of action scenes that would show off the format. Afterall, "Citizen Kane" would make a terrible technical demo. I remember in DVDs early days Sony used to demo "Fifth Element" as their showcase for the DVD.

      Personally, I would think technically "Spiderman 2", "Hellboy","MIB2", or even "Stealth" would bet
    • With all the films they had to choose from the one they pick to show Charlie's Angels 2? Nice way to kill the format.

      This was a necessary test of the format:
      there was concern whether something that awful would stick to a Blu-Ray DVD.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:17PM (#14070978) Homepage Journal
    of all the films they could have chosen, they chose the one with the most boobs.....Good choice!
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:17PM (#14070980)
    ...that they would have been able to get this out sooner but had to overcome a lack of space caused by the oversized rootkit included.
  • and who (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:18PM (#14070990)
    ...will be brave/stupid enough to put the first Sony blue-ray DVD in his (not yet existing) blue-ray-DVD-drive?
    • Re:and who (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roseblood (631824)
      If it's a SONY Blue-ray-DVD-drive then the rootkit comes in the firmware and drivers. No fear from a disk based rootkit.
  • Why MPEG2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:19PM (#14070995)
    i would have thought that we would have moved onto MPEG4-- This is a cutting edge media ;-) They could fit much more data with a better compression method.
    • Re:Why MPEG2 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bad Boy Marty (15944) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:27PM (#14071040) Homepage
      No, you don't get it. They don't want to put more data or better data on the disc. It only needs to have enough space to hold the lowest resolution they can get away with so that it will forever provide a tolerable experience, thus forcing people to spend $10/person to watch new movies in a theater. From the perspective of the content providers, you exist only to be raped.

      Are any of you smart enough to vote with your wallets?
    • Re:Why MPEG2 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:36PM (#14071091)
      I wondered, too.
      Especially considering that hd-dvd wont use mpeg4, but straight go to h264...
      Under that light, the "larger disc space" argument for blue-ray becomes a moot point, quickly.
      I would rather have a 10GB h264 file than a 20GB mpeg2...
    • It depends on a lot of factors but from what I've seen of Mpeg4 (non-h264) codecs there is a point (somewhere above 2MBit) when MPEG2 gets better than 4 even at the same bitrate. It's mostly the quantizer matrix and the quantizers used (and therefore could be no longer true if you use the current XviD. It's been a while since I've extensivly tested the codec) afaik. I don't know how flexible the AVC specification is in this regard but it could be that --provided that you've got the bitrate to burn (which yo
  • 1080p or 1080i (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Physician (861339) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:28PM (#14071043) Homepage
    Is the movie being produced in 1080i or 1080p format? What format will most movies be released in?
    • Re:1080p or 1080i (Score:5, Informative)

      by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:01PM (#14071192) Homepage Journal
      The Blu Ray video format specifies [wikipedia.org] the maximum read capability of 36 megabits/second. The encoding codec used will allow content creators to compress nearly any resolution as long as it won't surpass 36 megabits/second.

      I'm guessing we'll see 1080i as that is compatible with almost every HD TV out there. The format [about.com] just specifies what video formats to use, it won't force anyone to stick to those resolutions.
      • BD-ROM (Score:5, Informative)

        by News for nerds (448130) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:18PM (#14071270) Homepage
        The Blu Ray video format specifies the maximum read capability of 36 megabits/second. The encoding codec used will allow content creators to compress nearly any resolution as long as it won't surpass 36 megabits/second.

        Actually it's inaccurate.
        The transfer rate for BD-ROM video application is 54Mbps (1.5x speed) according to the official BD-ROM physical format whitepaper [blu-raydisc.com]:

        3: Data rate
        For high-definition movies a much higher data rate is needed than for standard definition.
        With the BD format's choices for both NA and wavelength we have been able to realize a
        format with 5X higher data rate while only doubling the rotation rate of DVD-ROM discs.
        The following numbers offer a comparison:
        Data bit length: 111.75 nm (25GB) (267 nm for DVD)
        Linear velocity: 7.367 m/s (Movie application) (3.49 m/s for DVD).
        User data transfer rate: 53.948 Mbit/s (Movie application) (10.08 Mbps for DVD)
        The BD system has the potential for future higher speed drives.
      • I'm guessing we'll see 1080i as that is compatible with almost every HD TV out there.

        This may be the first time I'm glad for regional releases - here in the UK (and Europe in general I think) HDTV never really took off (because you can't get any sources for it, upscaling DVD players excluded). HD TVs are beginning to sell, for people to use with XBox 360s and HD TV (available next year), but they're all LCD and plasma, typically with a resolution of 720p. So, I imagine we'll actually see mostly 720p release

        • The main reason HDTV isn't as popular in the UK and Europe is that PAL and SECAM (same resolution / refresh, same mono picture, different ways of encoding colours) don't suck nearly as badly as NTSC[1], so there isn't as much incentive to replace them. Sky are going to start broadcasting HDTV next year, and I imagine that the cable companies will follow suite.

          Personally, I've pretty much given up on broadcast TV. There are too many adverts - I don't know how people in the US stand it, since they get ev

  • Boycott Sony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dan of the north (176417) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:28PM (#14071045)
    Not forever, just until January 02 /06

    If Sony misses out on the Christmas rush perhaps they, and the rest of the E! industry, will figure out that their customers don't like to be harrassed.

    Columbia Records, Epic Records, Legacy Recordings, Sony Classical, Sony Nashville, Sony Wonder, Sony Ericsson, Sony Music, Sony Pictures, Sony Electronics & PlayStation.

    • Re:Boycott Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

      by quarkscat (697644) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @02:36PM (#14071653)
      IMHO, Sony deserves more "pain and suffering" than just a boycott until January 02, 2006. Based upon (1) their membership positions (leading) within the RIAA and MPAA, and (2) their blatantly illegal use of spyware/malware DRM, I will not be purchasing ANY SONY-branded PRODUCTS for at least until 2007.

      If enough consumers "vote with their dollars", not only SONY will get the message, but so will the other members of the **AA. Who knows, maybe even "our*" (*not really ours) legislators will get the message. There used to be something called "fair use" under copyright law that has been turned upside-down by DMCA. The currently inevitable emergence of personal computers and consumer electronics with embedded DRM, as well as the upcoming MS Windows (DRM Edition AKA Vista), "fair use" will be a fond distant memory.
       
    • Mod the parent up. I'm definitely on board for this.
    • Good post! I knew I couldn't be the only one thinking this.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:29PM (#14071055)
    Didn't Microsoft and its colleagues say that the Blue Ray technology from SONY is more than a year away, and that it's not viable? Sony here disproves that. My problem with Sony is that I see Microsoft tendencies in it as well.
    • Among the problems they were claiming was that they could not yet be easily and cheaply mass produced, and that it still hasn't achieved its promised 40+ GB of storage outside of the lab.

      A single-layer blue ray disc can fit 23-27GB. A dual-layer disc will be able to hold 46-54GB.

      If they burned a single-layer disc, then this doesn't disprove anything, and if it's dual-layer, they should do a print run of a several thousand. This was just a stunt to try to change public perception. Good luck with that, Sony.
    • They just said they cut a blu-ray disk and they're sending out copies to be tested. They didn't say they achieved the entire 40g or dual layer functionality. They didn't say that the video plays perfectly and that they would be on time to deliver or compete.

      As others have said this appears to be a stunt to say they did it rather then prove the technology over.
    • That was a bit of a stretch, but a lot of people interpreted it the way you did.

      You can actually buy Blu-Ray writer/players in Japan, and at least one person is selling them and the blank discs on eBay.
  • so bad (Score:3, Funny)

    by ZhuLien (150593) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:35PM (#14071082) Homepage
    The reason they chose this movie is obvious. It's so bad, no-one would want to copy it.
  • MPEG-2? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:36PM (#14071094) Homepage
    Why is Blu-ray using MPEG-2? Wouldn't they get higher def or longer movies if they standardized around XVID or some other variant of MPEG-4? It seems like a terrible waste.
    • Ditto. With all the buzz around H.264 (possibly due to me having a Mac), I would have thought they would have used something different....
      • With all the buzz around H.264 (possibly due to me having a Mac), I would have thought they would have used something different....

        Sony is probably using different Columbia/Tristar films to test different codecs (MPEG-2, H.264, and WMV9) to be included in each player's firmware. This makes error reporting easier: "Charlie's Angels screwed up" means a problem with one codec, and "Stealth screwed up" means a problem with another.

    • Even if MPEG-4 would be better for this application than MPEG-2 (it's not), they don't want to make the next format too much better. That way, they can release yet another "improved" format in ten years in order to try to get us all to upgrade again.
      • Yeah, perhaps but consider this, once you get to resolutions of around 4000 lines horizontal, which isn't too many generations past this, certainly within reach of the stuff they're doing at InPhase and Optware you come up on architecture issues. I mean architecture as in buildings, not chips. Most residential homes have eight foot ceilings. If you assume that you max out the height of the wall in monitor then you divide an eight foot ceiling into 4000 lines you're getting about forty pixels every inch of h
    • Wouldn't they get higher def or longer movies if they standardized around XVID or some other variant of MPEG-4?

      Most ignorant comment I've seen this week...

      BluRay has been covered on /. dozens of times now, and just about every time, it is explained in detail that BluRay supports MPEG-2, WMV3 (aka WMV9, aka VC1), and H.264 (aka AVC) for video.

    • Blu-ray, like HD DVD, can use any of MPEG-2, VC-1, and H.264 for a video codec.

      While there are lots of good H.264 and VC-1 HD encoders in development (I'm particularly fond of Inlet's Fathom HD), MPEG-2 encoders are faster and more mature these days. If you've got space to burn on a disc, using MPEG-2 would be simpler today than the modern codecs.

      That said, I expect a lot of HD content to get released on red laser (DVD-9) media, using the advanced codecs. VC-1 can do a great 2.5 hour movie on DVD-9.
    • Most of the codec work in the past few years has been optimizing low file-size, high-processor algorithms. They are optimized to make something low rez look not-as-crappy. MPEG2 was designed for pristine, high-rez data, which is why it breaks down so much in low-rez situations.

      And the high-processor is a kicker. A lot won't run without at least a P3 800 or a p4. Sure, Mpeg4 has better motion estimation, etc, but it is very processor intensive.

      http://www.aussievideosearch.com/svcdhelp.htm [aussievideosearch.com]

      Maybe they want
  • That Long?! (Score:2, Troll)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
    Wow, Blu-Ray has existed for how many months now? They must have used one of those Intel CPUs with HyperThreading enabled if it took them that long to encode it...
  • by EMIce (30092) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:44PM (#14071128) Homepage
    Will this look any better than a movie broadcast in 1080i and played back on an HDTV with 3:2 pulldown detection? I was under the impression that the pull-up done to convert 24fps film into interlaced video is completely reversible [projectorpeople.com], and so 1080 progressive quality is already available through 1080i broadcasts.

    It will be nice to have discs of HD content eventually, but I don't see what is so impressive that makes this worthy of coverage.
    • 1080p/24 can be taken from 1080i/60 if the 1080i is originally sourced from 1080p 24frame material. The decoding processing is a lot more intensive than regular SD processing, but it is available.

      I saw 1080p once maybe 2 years ago on a Sony CRT front projector (the thing had bicycle handlebars to lift its 250 lb weight) and I was blown away by the clarity. The $100,000 theater was the most intense system I'd ever seen or felt.

      Now that 1080i material is hitting us, I'll be the first to try 1080p conversion
      • I'll be the first to try 1080p conversion, but I don't have the ability to display it huge, yet. Even so, the technology will be below $5000 any day now

        That day is today, my friend! [allhometheater.net]

        I've seen these at the Sony store, and at the local high-end audio/video store, and even at Fry's. And the picture is stunning each and every time. Everyone has a boatload of opinions about HDTV... They talk about black levels, contrast ratios, calibration, yadda, yadda. But the bottom line is that I've looked at just ab

    • If you believe the 1080i broadcast of that 30mm film was actually in 1080i and not just upsampled from the DVD version, you're probably mistaken.

      TV broadcasts that are actually 720p or 1080i really are HDTV. DVDs are higher resolution than normal broadcast television but they're not HD. This is the first movie published on disc (not ripped) that is actually in HD as source material.
    • I was under the impression that the pull-up done to convert 24fps film into interlaced video is completely reversible, and so 1080 progressive quality is already available through 1080i broadcasts.

      Even that site you linked to, mentiones that there are occasionally artifacts from reversing the 3:2 pulldown, even with expensive equipment. Still, if you have a 1080p display, which does a good job of 2:3 pullup, then you are getting very nearly progressive content.

      That said, hard telecine (pulldown) does waste

  • My boycott of Sony will include BlueRay and anything else that has Sony branded on it... In my opinion, Sony's DRM techniques have settled the battle between BlueRay and HD-DVD... Just say no to Bluer-ay
    • My boycott of Sony will include BlueRay and anything else that has Sony branded on it... In my opinion, Sony's DRM techniques have settled the battle between BlueRay and HD-DVD... Just say no to Bluer-ay

      Not to ruin yoru moral stance or anything but both formats have DRM.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sgent (874402)
      Both formats have DRM -- true. But only one format has a company behind it with a recent history of installing backdoors to enforce and monitor DRM. They lied once, they wondered why anyone should care, they haven't yet apologized, and they want me to adopt their technology? I don't know about you, but I don't like opening massive holes in my servers. Microsoft isn't exactly golden, but they haven't done anything recent to piss me off. Nor have they done something quite so atrocious -- what Sony has do
      • I don't know about you, but I don't like opening massive holes in my servers.

        Your in the habit of playing music CD's on your servers? What IT department to you work in? I only ask so I can avoid working there.

        All joking aside Sony does deserve some serious recrimination and perhaps legal repercussions for their highly irresponsible actions.
  • Angels indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FSFunky (838015) <fsfunky.fsfunky@com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:08PM (#14071230) Homepage
    I don't care what anyone says I will gladly watch Drew Barrymore in 1920x1080.
  • It's amazing that the mainstream media don't cover the coming era of DRM more. A true failure of the press in my opinion. Their responsibility would be to cover this topic in laymen's terms to make it understandable to the masses. This should make the nightly news instead of a review of your latest and greatest toothpaste. As it is, the public doesn't know about this and lawmakers don't understand it, so the content companies have a relatively easy time pushing their legislative agendas.

    Personally, I can'
    • > It's amazing that the mainstream media don't cover
      > the coming era of DRM more.

      The mainstream media is owned and run by the media companies.
      It's not at all surprising that the propaganda arm of the media
      companies doesn't report on this.
  • Authoring has been completed on the very first full length HD I don't give a shit ever
  • from the hot-off-the-presses dept.

    Make that "hot off the press releases" department.

    Or the "paid adverstory"

  • Is it really that hard to author a high definition disc in BluRay? So far that's one disc this decade. At this rate DVD-HD shouldn't have anything to worry about...

    ...except that I've yet to hear that they've authored any discs at all.

  • Interesting that it's MPEG-2, instead of MPEG-4 or H264. Seems to me that this means that the player will have to demonstrage the ability to read the disc at double the bit rate than otherwise, although the real-time decompression effort may be less -- though still well above standard DVD.

    Just leads me to wonder what exactly is being tested here.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @02:41PM (#14071680) Homepage
    First the rootkit debacle, now first Blu-ray Disc (BD) to contain a full-length, high-definition feature film. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

    Sony Entertainment needs to clean house. Sell off the movie studios and record company. Fire the bean counter CEO and replace him with an engineer and go back to making the very best electronic devices in the world.

    Follow up the rootkit with Charlie's Angels. F'ing brilliant.

  • They've only JUST NOW finished the first completed disc? Crazy

      I was bored this summer, and made a feature-length HD DVD using MPEG-2 and Apple's DVD Studio Pro 4. In a weekend. Targeting DVD-9 media. Looked pretty good, and would have looked great if DVDSP4 supported using H.264 for 1080 content, or VC-1 at all.

    I can't share that disc image unfortunately, but I can, once again, share this link to a HD DVD disc image I made before I tried the feature. A mix of MPEG-2 and H.264, 720 and 1080, i and p. Plays back perfectly in DVD Player 4.6 on a G5 Mac, and probably in other software players as well.

    http://216.99.212.233:6969/torrents/HD_DVD_TEST.dm g.torrent?1C6B407CD6671B2BB03F55C49D67CEB584A74D90 [216.99.212.233]

  • People dont watch test movies to see if the story, they use them to see quality of special effects, dialogue scenes etc. This is actually a good movie for this purpose since even though its a god awful film with wretched directing, acting and story line it has a great deal of special effects, explosions and action as well as a great deal of different types of camera effects as well as many scenes with normal looking people. Science ficiton movies or animation are right out, since they lack normal looking sc

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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