Sunday, April 17, 2005

HD-DVD: iMac G5 1.6 is fine, but no G4s need apply

Apple today announced Final Cut Studio. It includes 4 applications, Final Cut Pro 5, Soundtrack Pro, Motion 2, and DVD Studio Pro 4. Shake 4, was also announced today.

One interesting tidbit from the release is that high definition (HD) DVDs created with DVD Studio Pro 4 will be playable on any G5 Mac, including the 1.6 GHz iMac G5, with OS X Tiger 10.4's DVD Player 4.6 and QuickTime 7. However, playback on any G4 Mac, even the dual G4 1.42 GHz Power Mac, is not supported. DVD Studio Pro 4's HD-DVDs use traditional DVD media, but with H.264 encoded video at up to 1920x1080, 59.94 Hz interlaced.

What's surprising about this announcement was that it was only last year that a dual G5 Power Mac was required to play back progressive scan 1920x1080 at 24 Hz, a form of HD that represents about 20% less data than what the iMac G5 1.6 can achieve today.

2005 is indeed the year of HD.

[Update 2005-04-29]

Nope, we were wrong. The listed G5 specs were misleading, because a single G5 only supports up to 720p playback, and that's with a 1.8 GHz G5. For 1080p playback, a dual G5 2.0 GHz Power Mac is needed. See this article.

No comments: