What's that funny taste in my mouth? Not very familiar at all, it's like chicken but not. Oh, it's crow, and Digigami says they're going to be bringing plenty more for every MPEG-2 doubter. Many people (including me) thought Sony was crazy for sticking to MPEG-2 for their Blu-ray offerings.
I mean, why do it, even with their new Blu-ray discs, such an ancient codec is taking up valuable space that could be used for yet another director commentary. But thats not so, according to their press release today, they can encode a 720p file with an average bitrate of between 3-7 mbit/s, good for the same size as a regular DVD without any newfangled h.264 technology. Of course, we all know many people are squeezing the bitrate out of our HD already (cable, satellite providers) with varied results, so the real question is if your eyes can tell the difference. They have a few sample movies up on their site, so take a look.
Reading the press release, their tone is downright cocky, with Digigami's CTO stating "It amuses us that our MPEG-1 VBR encoder can also match and outperform H.264 on many progressive encoding tasks at HD frame sizes. MPEG-1 is 6 years older than MPEG-2 and even more widely adopted, reliable, proven and trustworthy". They also have a blog, with the writer saying they will "take on all comers", I like this, time we got some personality into the fight.
It will be interesting to see if their compression technology is utilized by Sony or others and how this will affect the HDTV arms race.