Image Processing Reference
practical encoding discussion in Chapters 31 to 38. If the image quality is rubbish to
start with, it will be impossible to fix it up at the decoding stage with some trivial post-
Frame rate interpolation at the decoder is only supported by the Real Networks
player. Apparently no other players do this. These postprocessing tasks are executed sub-
ject to the availability of sufficient CPU power remaining after the decoding process. If
there is insufficient capacity, these processes will be skipped regardless of hinting or con-
Advertising-Supported and Ad-Free Players
When you buy a client player you will be offered a variety of different deals. Some of them
give you a reduced feature set but a free player. Others will give you more features but at
the expense of surrounding the video playback area with ads. In a few cases, you will be
presented with interstitial ads before playing a clip.
Some content providers object to the placement of advertising material immediately
prior to or after their content. There is also the added complication of ensuring that the ads
comply with advertising standards that pertain in the territory where the content is being
viewed. These may be far more strict than those imposed where the content is created or
You have to do a lot of work to your transmission systems to ensure that advertise-
ments are targeted culturally, territorially, and to a relevant audience at the point of con-
sumption. If the ads are part of the program material, this may not be as difficult, but if
the ads are served independently and are displayed under control of the client player it
becomes more complex to administer.
The Main Players' Market Share
Of course, figures produced by any of the three player manufacturers must be weighed
very carefully, but it is possible that there are even more copies deployed than even Apple
is claiming since they are only backing their statements with statistics measured by log-
ging the number of downloads.
Frost & Sullivan published statistics during the early part of 2004 that indicated
QuickTime and Microsoft Windows Media were at almost identical market penetration,
with Real Networks trailing some distance behind. A commentator remarked that the two
leading platforms were nearly equal and that Apple was poised to take advantage of any
opportunity for growth that presented itself.
I am inclined to believe figures published independently like this more than those
published by the manufacturers themselves.
The introduction of the MacMini at MacWorld 2005 with the new upgraded iLife
2005 software suite certainly demonstrated that Apple is seriously interested in serving a
wider customer base. Every single one of the computers Apple markets comes with some
very-high-quality software that is ready to edit and compress video right out of the box.