Pirates of P2P ditch Xvid in favor of x264

A group of “warez” crews devoted to releasing TV shows on the BitTorrent file sharing network has published a new document about multimedia standards to be used in their SD (Standard Definition) releases. 2012 brings a fundamental switch from Xvid to the newer x264 format, the “elite” pirates group decided.

The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012 document states that “x264 has become the most advanced video codec over the past few years”, a coded that compared to XviD “is able to provide higher quality and compression at greater SD resolution”.

Video streams encoded with the x264 open source library will be compliant with the H.264/MPEG4 standard, ie one of the formats of choice for high definition video encoding. The maturity and reliability of x264 is proved by the many awards the standard won and by the fact that the content industry itself used it in its commercial releases.

The warez groups that decided to switch from Xvid to x264 include ASAP, BAJSKORV, C4TV, D2V, DiVERGE, FTP, KYR,  LMAO, LOL, MOMENTUM, SYS, TLA, YesTV, and they praise the new codec for bringing “quality control back to SD releases”.

“There are many standalone players/streamers such as TviX, Popcorn Hour, WDTV HD Media Player, Boxee, Xtreamer, PS3, Xbox 360, iPad and HDTVs that can playback H264 and AAC encapsulated in MP4”, the groups state, seemingly foretelling the backfire they could get from such a radical technology switch.

And some backfire they got: a loud group of “warez users” didn’t accept the x264 switch with ease, highlighting their inability to play MP4-contained video streams with their usual home video devices like DVD players. To satisfy the Xvid-only media aficionados, a group of pirates emerged willing to do the boring transcoding work in their stead.

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48 Comments

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wow, neowin reporting on piracy....when I've been warned countless times for speaking of it....yet here are tons of comments about it clearly which pertain to piracy....no linux ISO is .mp4, LOL....this is retarded.

hypocrisy at its best. good job enforcing your rules.

PS3 Media Server still has issues with the MKV container. I'm not sure if this is x264 related or not, but fast-forwarding and/or rewinding tends to screw up the audio/video sync on pretty much every MKV file I've thrown at it. The Xbox 360 can't fast-forward or rewind these files to begin with. MP4 please!

I'm the same, use PS3 Media Server religously and have had lots of porblems in the past with .mkv. Looking forward to .mp4 as my iPhone also supports it

Is this really news?, I mean respect to the writer but times change and this was obvious. It's like going from dvd to blu-ray.

What still amuses me is the TV companies complaining about pirates, yet TV programmes are broadcast over and over again and you can record them on yer Sky+ or TiVO or watch over and over again on iPlayer. You don't buy TV like you do music or films so they are not losing money if you or I watch it on our PCs from other sources.

tuckeratlarge said,
What still amuses me is the TV companies complaining about pirates, yet TV programmes are broadcast over and over again and you can record them on yer Sky+ or TiVO or watch over and over again on iPlayer. You don't buy TV like you do music or films so they are not losing money if you or I watch it on our PCs from other sources.

Nevermind advertisements and people who don't have cable.

I think the world is not ready yet. DVD players STILL DO NOT support this codec which is amazing seeing as it is open source...

htcz said,
I think the world is not ready yet. DVD players STILL DO NOT support this codec which is amazing seeing as it is open source...

Not many DVD players do, but lots of Blu-Ray players support it. My BDP-370 that I bought well over a year ago supports it, and it was a low end player even then.

roadwarrior said,

Not many DVD players do, but lots of Blu-Ray players support it. My BDP-370 that I bought well over a year ago supports it, and it was a low end player even then.

How much does a low end Blu-Ray player that can reproduce this cost?

Lamp0 said,
x264 TV shows, I found often a horrid noise or a scrambly quality to the picture.

I didn't notice any difference just a smaller file size.

Funny. Suddenly nobody seems to mind pirates at all. Hey, can we get some pointless discussions over here, please?

KomaWeiss said,
People still use SD? lulz. SD looks like garbage on my TV. ;D

What I don't understand is this: on certain sites, the SD version of a given TV show or movie will be posted hours or even DAYS before the HD version, even though the SD version has been encoded and scaled down from the HD version to begin with! Yeah, I understand that people download the smaller versions for using on portable players, or to save bandwidth, but still annoying.

roadwarrior said,
even though the SD version has been encoded and scaled down from the HD version to begin with
The version the SD is made from isn't the 'release' HD version, it is the 'capped' version, perhaps after some editing. These files will be huge, anywhere from 10 to 50 GiB and normally in something like MPEG with an insanely high bitrate. Both the SD and HD versions are then encoded from this with all of the compression algorithms etc to make the release versions. Needless to say, encoding in HD takes way longer than SD, hence time delay.
This applies to all digital video, not just P2P stuff. You do it this way because the more times you re-encode, the more information you lose.

ShareShiz said,
-facepalm-

welcome to 2012 neowin.

old news -_-


old news? this news has been out like a week or so ago. You make it sound like they are a couple of months late.

ShareShiz said,
-facepalm-

welcome to 2012 neowin.

old news -_-


Did you submit this as news back when it was 0day fresh? If not, then maybe you should and quit bashing the site.

georgevella said,

old news? this news has been out like a week or so ago. You make it sound like they are a couple of months late.

it is old news, the new releases have been using x264 for 2 weeks now and the ruleset was released around 4 weeks ago.

torrentthief said,

it is old news, the new releases have been using x264 for 2 weeks now and the ruleset was released around 4 weeks ago.

Sigh. It was only signed Feb 22nd...... LOL's first x264 release was CSI S12E15 on Feb 23rd (Just past midnight).. The ruleset and 1st release ARE only 2 weeks old... How can it be 4 weeks ago when the .nfo for the standards have the damn date in it! /sigh

I've been seeing TV shows now in x264 at 260MB vs 350MB per TV episode (40mins). I don't get those SD versions anyways as I always got HD versions that are in the MKV container. Put that in a MP4 container can we?

SHoTTa35 said,
I've been seeing TV shows now in x264 at 260MB vs 350MB per TV episode (40mins). I don't get those SD versions anyways as I always got HD versions that are in the MKV container. Put that in a MP4 container can we?

I prefer mkv over mp4. My bluray player won't play mp4.

But it plays MKV? That's odd to say the least. I use my WDTV so it plays them all so I don't worry about it too much but for Xbox and "native" playing on Windows machines, it would be nice for a MP4 container.

My cheap-ass Sony BDP-370 Blu-Ray player plays MKV (and a few other formats, such as MP4) just fine, yet it won't play AVI, even with the same content inside the container! Kind of funny if you ask me, especially since the PS3 is exactly the opposite, playing AVI but not MKV.

Edited by roadwarrior, Mar 7 2012, 10:34pm :

SHoTTa35 said,
I've been seeing TV shows now in x264 at 260MB vs 350MB per TV episode (40mins). I don't get those SD versions anyways as I always got HD versions that are in the MKV container. Put that in a MP4 container can we?

Most 5.1 audio receivers do not play nice with 5.1 m4a audio over HDMI or SPDIF. The Audio needs to be in DTS or AC3 or Dolby Digital to be played correctly over 5.1. Only mkv container can accommodate these audio formats. Hence mp4 container has a big fail in that area. If you do not want to watch it on big LED TV and are fine with mixed sound coming from all your speakers, then mp4 is good for you.

Deihmos said,
Xbox 360 cannot play x264 in an mkv file. I don't get it

What's not to get, the 360 does not support Matroska containers. It's a crappy player anyway, too noisy and you have to pay Microsoft for Xbox live just to use Netflix which is free on ever other device. The Wii is actually the best I've tried as far as consoles go but I'm sticking with my WD TV Live Plus. I was tempted by the Sony SMP-N200 but the interface is really terrible.

Deihmos said,
Xbox 360 cannot play x264 in an mkv file. I don't get it
It can with WMC, see my post above. But these new releases are mp4, not mkv, which the 360 plays just fine.

Memnochxx said,
It can with WMC, see my post above. But these new releases are mp4, not mkv, which the 360 plays just fine.

That barely works fine. It locks up if you ff or rewind and all sorts of other problems. I see the files are in mp4 so will play on xbox naively. I use my HTPC anyway.

lunarworks said,

"Get off my lawn!"

Yea, roughly translated from newsgroup speak the first rule is indeed "Get off my lawn"

torrentthief said,
they can just buy a raspberry pi for $25/35 if they can't play x264 .mp4 files.

Exactly! Before I ordered my Pi, I used a £60 media streamer, which is only slightly bigger than the Pi, you plug it into the tv and an RJ45, browse your local network and play movies with any codec - sorted. I'm planning on replacing them with Pi though, as Pi is smaller and as it's Linux and not a custom firmware, it should be easier to make changes.