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Giz Explains: Why HD Video Downloads Aren't Very High Def

50°
314w ago - Yesterday Apple introduced HD TV downloads to the iTunes store, meaning you can watch Peter be super emo on Heroes at a crispy 720p resolution. That's a higher resolution than DVD, and technically, yup, that's HD. There's a catch though. Like every other video download service touting HD videos, it's all actually lower quality than DVD.

It's all about bitrate: How much data is packed into a file, described as bits per second. Generally speaking, a higher bitrate translates into higher quality audio and video, though quality can also be affected by codec–the encoding and compression technique that was used to make and read the file–so bitrate is not an absolute mark of quality, but it's still a very good indicator.

You're probably most familiar with this bitrate business when it comes to ripping your CDs. When you shove a CD into your computer, your ripping program will ask what format you want and what bitrate you want. A song ripped at a higher bitrate will sound better, with more presence and detail, but it does take up more space.

The same principle applies with video, though it's actually a bigger deal, because it's easier to see quality differences in video than it is to hear differences...
 

Direct PSN Downloads and Online Play through PS3 coming to PSP

50°
316w ago - This fall should prove to be an exciting time for all PSP owners. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan today announced that the long-awaited direct PSP store will launch later this year via a firmware update. Designed as a native PSP application, the store will be accessible straight from the XMB, meaning you'll no longer have to log-on to your PC to download PSP compatible content from the PS store and transfer it through USB connection.

Additionally, Sony dropped word that owners of a PlayStation 3 will be able to use their console to enable online play in select ad-hoc only PSP titles, such as Monster Hunter 2nd G.

Although we can't say for certain, expect the aforementioned services to hit all three major territories – North America, Europe and Japan – at the same time, considering that firmware updates have always been released on a worldwide basis in the past.

PRESS RELEASE: SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT JAPAN TO INTRODUCE NEW PSP® (PLAYSTATION®PORTABLE) WITH ADVANCED HIGH CONTRAST LCD THIS OCTOBER IN JAPAN

Tokyo, September 2, 2008 - Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ), a division of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. responsible for business operations in Japan, announced today that it would release the new PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system...
 

Canadian bill targets illegal downloads, unlocking iphones, more

250°
327w ago - According to the Canadian Press, the "Federal government is expected to introduce legislation Thursday that will seek to make it easier to prosecute individuals who download copyrighted material from the Internet."

Experts say that Canada has finally given in to pressure from the U.S government to crackdown on illegal filesharing with provisions including: A $500 fine for each illegal file shared online, making it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods, forbidding the right to copy "time shifted" shows onto personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.

To quote: Although it is currently unclear how the copyright bill will be enforced, observers have said enforcement could be aided if Canada signs on to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, to be tabled next month at the G8 summit in Japan.

The agreement, which was recently published on a Web site known for disseminating leaked documents, would require Internet service providers to police the content that travels over its network.

According to the four-page document, ISPs could required to filter pirated digital files and reveal the identities of customers suspected of infringing on copyrighted material.
 

PlayStation 2 Originals for PS3 as Downloads?

50°
344w ago - PlayStation Network director Eric Lempel has said that backwards compatibility could be resurrected for PS3 owners in the form of downloads over the PSN.

"We haven't talked about that yet, but there are possibilities through technology and software emulation to make that possibles" he said.

Sony currently offers original PlayStation titles as downloads for PS3 and PSP via the PlayStation Store.
 

Sony Pictures gear up for DivX movie downloads

50°
349w ago - Sony Pictures has agreed a deal with DivX Inc. that will enable online retailers to offer Sony Pictures titles for secure download in the high-quality DivX format for playback on DivX Certified consumer electronics devices powered by the next-generation chipset solution.

So that must mean on the PS3, but how long until they appear on the PSN? :P

To quote from the Press Release: DivX, Inc. (NASDAQ: DIVX) and Sony Pictures Television Inc. today announced an agreement that will enable online retailers to offer Sony Pictures titles for secure download in the high-quality DivX format for playback on DivX Certified consumer electronics devices powered by the next-generation chipset solution.

"This milestone agreement lays the foundation for Sony to offer high quality video content in the DivX format to its retail partners for playback on next-generation DivX Certified devices," said Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX, Inc. "Consumers want the flexibility and choice to enjoy high-quality video content from a range of retailers across a variety of devices. We are very pleased Sony Pictures Television recognizes the value of the DivX digital media solution and look forward to working together to offer a great experience to consumers."

"We are dedicated to finding legitimate outlets for our content...
 
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