Yea, its pretty annoying. Why bother creating another format/container, just what we need right? ogg, mp2, mp3, mp4, aac, mkv, wmv, wma, rm, ra, divx, xvid, avi, mov, m2ts, mpeg, mpeg2, ts blah blah blah..
I would be so nice if everyone standardized. All we need is WMV Corona / VC-1 / WM9 if you think about it. Its the most fully feature complete video/audio system. It supports 56k modems up to 50megabit archive quality, does mono voice, to 7.1 surround. Optimized for streaming and archiving. Has incredible video quality. Has a super fast and easy compressor which can also do live encoding/streaming. And is now almost universally hardware accelerated. If you have a DX8 or newer video card, you have full WMV acceleration with DXVA. My Athlon XP 2700+ with ATI X800XL 256, couldn't play a 720p h.264 at more than 1-2FPS. But it could fly on a 1080p WMV file. Im not a fan of locking into a proprietary format, so it would be nice if MSFT would open it up and loosen the licensing fees if there are any?
I do agree h.264 is great too, but it has its limits. It takes much longer to encode to it, and much more horse power to decode it. It took me months to be able to get my 8core Mac Pro (2.8ghz, 6gigs ram, Geforce 8800GT 512meg) to decode mkv's with h.264. Finally got it working with a new ffdshow. And mkv, h.264 and aac, or ac3, or DTS weren't designed to work together as well as WM9 was. They do work together, I'm just saying its not a fully integrated solution. Theres not official one stop encoder solution, and one device might support XYZ, but another doesnt support ZYX... If you get a WM certified device, it all works. I wouldn't mind seeing a good fully supported implementation of h.264 and a good audio codec stick around and compete, but 2 standard formats would be much nicer than the hundreds we have.
H264 + DTS or TrueHD is the best combination, followed by AC3.
It's an open source format, Microsoft own WMV/WM9/WMA which makes encoding it even more of a pain in the ass as you have to use/pay for propitiatory software.
There's your biggest reason H264 and MKV are the most popular for rippers, it costs nothing to be able to encode. I encode my Blu Rays and can do one in roughly a days work.
E6600 @ 3.4ghz and 4GB of ram.
H264 is also DXVA compliant by the way, if you encode it correctly.
MKV is just the container, you can easily mux to other containers. The issue here is MS not supporting enough codecs/combinations with the 360, most other media servers like the PS3/Popcorn Hour/etc can easily play what's contained within MKV files.
If they've not been ripped to DXVA standards you may need to transcode or patch the H264 video stream, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're ripping your own movies as you just re-rip. If you're downloading you've got no real "right" to be moaning about anything
ps. Ideal scenario is not to encode anything at all, modern day Blu Rays are encoded in AVC, meaning you just rip the disc and the M2TS file will playback natively on many players, PS3 included. A lot of people still encode though as an untouched Blu Ray movie ranges around 25GB+ and the encode can be up to or even less than half the size for no real quality loss.
Edited by Audioboxer, 26 April 2009 - 19:38.