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From: Greg M  Johnson
Subject: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 20 Jul 2000 15:03:04
Message: <39774BBC.5678B6A7@my-dejanews.com>
The IRTC rules state:
"The only limit on the animation is the file size, which must be five
megabytes (5,242,880 bytes)or less. We do suggest prudence when
selecting frame size, and recommend 320x240. "

I would recommend that in the future we make the 320 x 240 a
requirement.  The reason being that the default Microsoft media player
is incapable of seeing three entries in this round that violate this
suggestion.

I did download HyperMeg Player v0.1. It is a freeware package that
played these videos nicely. I got it from ZDNet at:

http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,0008T0,.html

I would recommend that either the IRTC either:
    a) make the 320 x 240 a requirement, or
    b) widely publicize the name of one or two freeware players that
have been
        demonstrated to work with these other video formats.


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From: Dick Balaska
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 20 Jul 2000 15:18:00
Message: <39775045.3A5C887@buckosoft.com>
"Greg M. Johnson" wrote:

> 
> I would recommend that in the future we make the 320 x 240 a
> requirement.  The reason being that the default Microsoft media player
> is incapable of seeing three entries in this round that violate this
> suggestion.
> 
> I did download HyperMeg Player v0.1. It is a freeware package that
> played these videos nicely. I got it from ZDNet at:

So... even though you were able to get a free player that played
the videos "nicely", you still think there should be some limit
to accommodate M$?

> ... have been demonstrated to work with these other video formats.

These are not "other video formats".  These are fully 100% MPEG-1 compliant.

dik


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From: John VanSickle
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 20 Jul 2000 21:48:11
Message: <3977AC01.E358D95E@erols.com>
"Greg M. Johnson" wrote:
> 
> The IRTC rules state:
> "The only limit on the animation is the file size, which must be five
> megabytes (5,242,880 bytes)or less. We do suggest prudence when
> selecting frame size, and recommend 320x240. "
> 
> I would recommend that in the future we make the 320 x 240 a
> requirement.  The reason being that the default Microsoft media player
> is incapable of seeing three entries in this round that violate this
> suggestion.

I had this problem a few rounds back.  I solved it by downloading the
latest version of MS media player.  Right now I'm running version
6.01.05.0217, and it plays wellcome.mpg just fine.

Anyway, sizes other than 320x240 are perfectly within the MPEG-1
standard; if your player cannot display them, the player is not
100% MPEG-1 compliant and should be replaced.

Regards,
John
-- 
ICQ: 46085459


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From: Peter Popov
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 21 Jul 2000 18:21:32
Message: <e3jhnss1m3q2foqsj5rhuqnd9guvv7975k@4ax.com>
On Thu, 20 Jul 2000 14:58:04 -0400, "Greg M. Johnson"
<gre### [at] my-dejanewscom> wrote:

>I would recommend that in the future we make the 320 x 240 a
>requirement.  The reason being that the default Microsoft media player
>is incapable of seeing three entries in this round that violate this
>suggestion.

I only have a black-and-white TV set at home (really). Does this mean
they should ban color TV? And yes, as far as *I* am concerned, I am
the majority :)


Peter Popov ICQ : 15002700
Personal e-mail : pet### [at] usanet
TAG      e-mail : pet### [at] tagpovrayorg


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From: Greg M  Johnson
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 24 Jul 2000 08:37:44
Message: <397C3770.610635B0@my-dejanews.com>
Dick Balaska wrote:

> "Greg M. Johnson" wrote:
>
> >
> > I would recommend that in the future we make the 320 x 240 a
> > requirement.  The reason being that the default Microsoft media player
> > is incapable of seeing three entries in this round that violate this
> > suggestion.
> >
> > I did download HyperMeg Player v0.1. It is a freeware package that
> > played these videos nicely. I got it from ZDNet at:
>
> So... even though you were able to get a free player that played
> the videos "nicely", you still think there should be some limit
> to accommodate M$?

I'm the first to jump on the opposite side of M$ in a fight over a standard. M$
often adds "functionality" of dubious value to a product which creates great
inconveniences for everyone not using the M$ system.  M$-Java and M$ Front End
are but two examples.  If M$ had its way, I'm sure there would be an MPEG-M$
standard whose only benefit is that one gets to see the M$ logo each time before
the video starts.

Peter writes:
> I only have a black-and-white TV set at home (really). Does this
> mean they should ban color TV? And yes, as far as *I* am
> concerned, I am the majority :)

In any controversy, the advocate of the bleeding edge software is wrong. The
question is, which is the 'bleeding edge', the viewer incapable of meeting the
'modern' standard or the animation that requires people to go out and get a new
viewer?

Given John's restatement of the MPEG requirements, I suppose there is a little
more weight to the idea that the video player incapable of unusual frame sizes
is the bleeding edge.

Here are more links to vide players:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/download/default.asp

http://computingcentral.msn.com/Topics/Multimedia/DBDetails.asp?DownloadID=47412

http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,0008T0,.html


> > ... have been demonstrated to work with these other video formats.
>
> These are not "other video formats".  These are fully 100% MPEG-1 compliant.
>
> dik


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From: Greg M  Johnson
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 24 Jul 2000 08:40:14
Message: <397C3807.4355DAA5@my-dejanews.com>
Peter Popov wrote:

> I only have a black-and-white TV set at home (really). Does this mean
> they should ban color TV? And yes, as far as *I* am concerned, I am
> the majority :)

Which channels are you unable to see?  ;-)


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From: Dick Balaska
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 24 Jul 2000 09:33:43
Message: <397C458F.95F25E70@buckosoft.com>
"Greg M. Johnson" wrote:
>  If M$ had its way, I'm sure there would be an MPEG-M$
> standard whose only benefit is that one gets to see the M$ logo each time before
> the video starts.

Yeah, and they'd prolly call it MPEG4.2 or Advanced Streaming Format.

> 
> Peter writes:
> > I only have a black-and-white TV set at home (really). Does this
> > mean they should ban color TV? And yes, as far as *I* am
> > concerned, I am the majority :)
> 
> In any controversy, the advocate of the bleeding edge software is wrong.

Well, MPEG-1 is hardly bleeding edge.  It's certainly a lot older than Win95
and you wouldn't call that bleeding edge.  Are you not going to buy a DVD player
because that is certainly bleeding edge.  DVD is even MPEG-2.

So what the problem really is, is that we have a non-realtime operating system(s)
driving video hardware that wouldn't know buffer flipping display lists if they
hit 'em in the face.  (Amiga - 1984 - "take this square of the screen and fetch
its display from here; now there; now here")

> Given John's restatement of the MPEG requirements, I suppose there is a little
> more weight to the idea that the video player incapable of unusual frame sizes
> is the bleeding edge.

I noticed that since you've discovered "other" mpeg players, your latest vid
is ~354x242 :)

dik


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From: Mark Wagner
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 25 Jul 2000 00:44:19
Message: <397d1b23@news.povray.org>
Dick Balaska wrote in message <397C458F.95F25E70@buckosoft.com>...
>Well, MPEG-1 is hardly bleeding edge.  It's certainly a lot older than
Win95
>and you wouldn't call that bleeding edge.  Are you not going to buy a DVD
player
>because that is certainly bleeding edge.  DVD is even MPEG-2.


MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are *not* simply different versions of the same standard.
They are two *different* formats, designed to solve *different* problems.
MPEG-1 is optimized to compress solid-image video like what you get on a
computer, while MPEG-2 is optimized to compress interlaced-image video such
as is found on television broadcasts.  You could use MPEG-2 to compress your
IRTC entry, or MPEG-1 to compress a videotape, but the compression would be
far from ideal.

Mark


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From: Dick Balaska
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 25 Jul 2000 02:08:32
Message: <397D2EB6.1F3C3D3E@buckosoft.com>
Mark Wagner wrote:

> MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are *not* simply different versions of the same standard.

correct.

> They are two *different* formats, designed to solve *different* problems.

hmm.

With the reference MPEG-2 codec from mpeg.org (or with png support from my place)
if i throw a switch, it disables some features, sets some limits, and generates
a perfectly legit MPEG-1 (granted it has too much compression, but it is legal)

The formats are almost identical; the difference lies in the compression
algorithms.

> MPEG-1 is optimized to compress solid-image video like what you get on a
> computer, 

MPEG-1 is optimized to compress JPEGs, which are not best suited for solid-image
video.  It comes from MJPEG, or multi-jpeg.  It was designed for network transmission;
hence the emphasis on the less than 1.8Mb bitrate, which is coincidentally 
near the rate of a T-1.

(Specifically, ALL MPEG formats are optimized to figure the difference between 
2 jpeg frames.  Basically, send frame 1 as a jpeg (very small); send frame 2 
as the difference between frame 2 and frame 1)

Solid image video would be like .FLI or .FLC or ani-gif.

> while MPEG-2 is optimized to compress interlaced-image video such
> as is found on television broadcasts.  

Interlacing is an option.  MPEG-2 was designed for HDTV, with wacky aspect ratios
and *lots* of data.  The HDTV boys took so long to get their act together that
MPEG-2 was (compatibly) rebuilt for lower end work.  It just happened to be perfect
for 
DVD (with a little encryption thrown in).  Some of the higher end MPEG-2 features
are still theory (AFAIK) like 30+ Mbps and 4:4:4 encoding.

> You could use MPEG-2 to compress your
> IRTC entry, 

Imagine "Antz", "Toy Story" or "ST:TNG the battle" on your 35" TV off of DVD and 
substitute your IRTC entry, yeah that would suck.

> or MPEG-1 to compress a videotape, but the compression would be far from ideal.

See some of the work from alt.binaries.multimedia.  If you're not into the "erotica"
end,
try to find the awesome Super Bowl commercials from last year.

I've watched a lot of broadcast TV (and tapes and DVD) over MPEG-1 [1].  6 months of
"Oprah"
and "Judge Judy" :)  I've seen "The Matrix" and "Antz" and "Total Recall" [2] over 100
times 
(but never more than 5 minutes at a pop :( )

MPEG-1 is not that bad.  In fact, one of the MPEG-1 design goals was to have the
bandwidth
of VHS video tape.

If you use a hardware encoder rather than some reference software encoder like cmpeg 
or mpeg_encode, then its hard to tell the difference between VHS and MPEG-1 TV output.

> Mark

--
[1] I was designing software to drive MPEG-2 hardware.  In the office, there were
about
    15 "channels" of multicast MPEG-1 running through the network at all times.

[2] There was much rejoicing when the DVDs came into the office because no longer
would
we have to watch afternoon TV or worse, remember to change tapes; just put on
"repeat".
Actually, the thing i have watched the most is the boot screen from my Sony DVD
player.
'Don't care what it plays, as long as its a solid video signal :)  I have gigabytes of
Sony DVD boot screen NTSC->MPEG-2 encoded on my hard disks. :)

dik


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From: Greg M  Johnson
Subject: Re: Frame size creates difficulty for viewers
Date: 25 Jul 2000 08:01:23
Message: <397D8065.F7C8ACD1@my-dejanews.com>
Dick Balaska wrote:

> "Greg M. Johnson" wrote:
> > Given John's restatement of the MPEG requirements, I suppose there is a little
> > more weight to the idea that the video player incapable of unusual frame sizes
> > is the bleeding edge.
>
> I noticed that since you've discovered "other" mpeg players, your latest vid
> is ~354x242 :)

?  I've been using the same $89 program for COMPILING of  MPEG's for almost a year
now, MainActor. I'll look and see if I've changed the format, but I doubt it.  I am
stuck with basic freeware in the "place" at which I do some of my VIEWING of MPEG's,
and suspected that I wasn't alone.  Anyway, I'm able to see my "354 x 242" at the
place with the default Windows software.

The discussion that followed went over my head. Was I half right, in that MPEG-2's are
being used but with "MPEG-1-compatible" switches, or what?


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