[opendtv] Re: The tragedy of FireWire: Collaborative tech torpedoed by corporations
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:54:56 -0400
On Jun 22, 2017, at 11:21 PM, Ron Economos <w6rz@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I worked extensively with Firewire back in 2002 when I developed D-VHS decks
with JVC. Even back then at its peak, I knew it was on it way out (especially
for A/V applications).
Actually, that era was the heyday for FireWire. Not so much for D-VHS, the
consumer need for which was largely eliminated by hard disc based DVRs.
FireWire only found widespread use as a means to move digital video data
between devices and the computers that manipulated the video streams. The
article does a decent job of discussing the industry FUD, but the reality was
that Wintel never embraced the technology; those who wanted it had to add third
I first learned about FireWire in 1992 when I was working with Mike Liebhold at
Apple's Advanced Technology Labs. It succeeded at its intended purpose, and
remained part of the digital video editing landscape for more than a decade.
One reason for this was the use of Motion JPEG, and later more advanced codecs,
that only compressed individual image frames; this required much higher data
rates than are needed when using h.264 for inter-frame coding.
As the article noted, networking technology ultimately passed 1394 by; Most
devices can now use WiFI to transfer image data.
When I had to get a new cable box (a Pace RNG110) for the Comcast H.264
upgrade last year, I tested the IEEE1394 port. It was active, but the
bitstream being emitted way out of specification. No D-VHS deck could
possibly process that stream.
Probably intentional. The content owners blocked everything that allowed high
quality recording of entertainment bits.
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