Showing posts with label DcVD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DcVD. Show all posts

Dreamcast at the Oscars

Disclaimer up front: This news is reported without endorsement or condemnation. It's just news, OK?

A few nights ago, you may have heard that Guillermo del Toro won Best Picture at the Academy Awards for his film The Shape of Water. Like me, you might not have seen it yet, as it's still doing the rounds in cinemas (at least it is down here), and you don't have time to go to the movies like you used to, because you're old and you have to to go to work and not have fun anymore.
Hellboy 3 when?
Checking Amazon, it seems we don't have long to wait for the Bluray, DVD and Netflix release, currently scheduled for 13th March. So I guess that's that then. I'll just wait until then.
Here it is, search over. Or is it?
Not long after accepting this fate, I just happened to be browsing through FuZzCasT's latest Dreamcast Video releases (previously reported here), and stumbled across something that tickled me pink.
Well, whaddaya know?
As of this moment, and for the next few days. The Shape of Water, the Best Picture of 2017, is currently exclusively available on Dreamcast Video! A two disc widescreen edition, yours to own (*cough* illegally download *cough*) only on DcVD!

Ok, not strictly true. A DVD Screener was leaked by pirates (arrr!) on January 7th, and you don't need a Dreamcast to watch it. FuZzCast uploaded .cdi images of this leaked version on Feb 15th, re-coded to work on Dreamcast as a self-boot MIL-CD.
Coming to a store near you
Still, it amuses me greatly that I can watch this on Dreamcast before I can stream it online. It's the future or entertainment!

FuZzCasT Home Entertainment - Dreamcast Video Returns!

Cast your mind back to the dawn of the new millennium. Like everyone else, you were probably still happy enough renting VHS video tapes, but at the same time were also covetously envious of those shiny new (and expensive) DVD players displayed prominently in the high street stores. You were keen to kickstart your foray into the digital video future, and even though Sony was promising to deliver DVD to the masses with its looming PS2 juggernaut, your blood bleeds blue and your loyalty to Sega and the Dreamcast could not be shaken. But what to do?
Ooooh, shiny.
You had heard rumours of a video card for your venerable Sega Saturn but you could never find one. Whispers from the orient described some strange voodoo witchcraft involving burning movies to CD-ROM, but after you endured the interminable age that it took to download the file over your 33.6k dial-up modem on your Windows 98 machine, the experience was underwhelming. Watching a movie on your 13" CRT monitor just didn't have the right pop-corn munching vibe. 

Resurrecting DcVD: Dreamcast Video Disc

What if DVDs never existed? Maybe Sega would have followed through with their speculated plans for a Dreamcast Video Disc (DcVD) - an alternative video format similar to Video CD, but one which exploits the Dreamcast's natural affinity with the Sofdec video and ADX audio codecs and the extra capacity of the proprietary GD-rom format.
Scott 'DocEggfan' Marley recently looked into the history of DcVD here at the Junkyard and he's been eagerly working away behind the scenes to bring the dead format back to life. Now, for your enjoyment we are proud to present the teaser trailer for Scott's endeavours. Turn the lights down, the volume up and prepare to be wowed by the dulcet tones of our very own Caleb in the trailer for the upcoming DcVD Dreamcast Video format!

We hope to release several copyright free movies using this resurrected format in the near future, movies that can be played directly in a Dreamcast GD-rom drive with no extra hardware required. Watch this space!

IO SATVRNALIA, er... I mean Dreamcastalia?

It's the most wonderful time of the year, when we honour the ancient Roman goddess Saturn for her bountiful harvests and superlative 2D software library. Where masters and slaves come together to eat, get drunk, puke, eat some more, puke again and then eat some more. Don't worry about the mess, the slaves only get one day off a year.
She's the reason for the season. No joke.
But I digress. An equally important aspect of this time of year is gift giving, and more importantly, gift receiving. And lucky for you, I've been beavering away on a little surprise for you all, our fantastic community, with a little Dreamcast related gift this year. Note: if you're a Sega lawyer, you can skip to the last couple of paragraphs now.

An Open Letter To Discotek Media

Dear Discotek Media,

Congratulations on securing the rights to release Hi☆sCoool! SeHa Girls on physical media in North America (and by default, the rest of Western civilisation). As self-confessed Sega fans, we are eagerly awaiting this release and look forward to the extra content and interviews you will be including alongside the full 13 episode series.

We suspect you guys and gals may also be big Sega fans yourselves, as many of the older series you've published have ties to classic Sega titles as well, such as Fist of the North Star, Golgo 13: The Professional, and Super Dimension Century Orguss. There is certainly a lot of scope for overlap between the Sega and Anime fandoms and markets.

Fist of the North Star (aka Hokuto no Ken) was released as
Black Belt in Western markets. 
This is why we are penning this open letter. There is an exciting opportunity for you to capitalise on the recent “Dreamcast Renaissance.” No less than six new independently published games were released this year, two successful kickstarter campaigns funded additional games for the coming years, and the phenomenal success of Shenmue III took everyone by surprise and elevated Sega and Dreamcast nostalgia back into the mainstream consciousness. The Dreamcast is once again hot property and its star will only continue to rise.

Bonus Feature: The Corpse Bride – Deleted Scenes

While researching for my previous two-part article (Part 1, Part 2), I stumbled across something interesting that I hadn't encountered before. It ended up on the cutting room floor due to space, but I thought it was worth exploring further in this diverting little side topic. If you could just scooch over a bit closer and allow me to whisper conspiratorially in your ear: the MIL-CD enhanced audio disc might not have been the only special multimedia format that Sega invented especially for the Dreamcast - they may have also toyed with the idea of snubbing the DVD Consortium by producing their own proprietary digital video disc format for movies and films. Hush, stifle your gasp, they'll hear you.
N-n-no Mr. Bighead, I didn't tell them. Honest.
You may have noticed some logos during the start up sequence of many Dreamcast games for ADX and Sofdec. These are the CRI developed middleware tools for sound compression and multi-streaming video respectively. ADX allowed for CD quality audio to be compressed and encoded into the high-density GD-ROM layer (as opposed to standard 'red book' audio tracks). Sofdec was an enhanced version of the MPEG-1 video standard which not only encoded standard FMV cut-scenes into games, but was also tailored towards providing 3D game designers with access to some pretty swish graphical trickery. Video files could be rendered as textures over 3D objects and they could also utilise full alpha blending for effects such as explosions, fire and smoke. Multiple video files could be played synchronously or asynchronously and they could also be looped and stitched together seamlessly. All in all, Sofdec is probably a substantial reason as to why Dreamcast games looked so good (and have aged well like fine wines too). CRIWARE, as they are now known, continue to flog their wares to this day, proudly waving their flag in recent games like Bungie's Destiny.