I have done several videos in HDV format now but it's the first time I'm trying to encode the result in MP4 as HDV (i.e. H.264 HDV HQ preset in Adobe Premiere CS4) and it has the format set to the right parameters: 25fps (PAL) 1440*1080i with aspect ratio of 1.333 (i.e. anamorph).
The file opens fine in QuickTime - the so called (as in "self proclaimed") "standard" for MP4 files. But WTF? QuickTime player opens the file and as always the colors appear way too bright - I'm used to that by now. But it completely ignores the aspect ratio, resulting in a nice 4:3 video that is totally distorted. AND the interlaced lines are clearly visble. AND it stutters and jumps around playing at most 10 frames per second...
Now I recently read that Windows Media Player 12 (comes with Windows 7) can play MP4, so I give it a try... And behold! All the glory that is my video! Crisp colors, no visible interlacing, smooth playback (maybe it is 25fps maybe not but there aren't any jumps at least)
To me this is another fine example of incompetence - I don't want to turn this into a flame war about operating systems or video standards but I can already see some very pissed iFans are going to bash M$ again for doing a better job... and THAT is what's bugging me.
In case you think I'm too picky, here's the two screenshots (SAME VIDEO FILE, NO TWEAKED SETTINGS ON EITHER PLAYER!)