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William R.
01-09-2005, 09:17 AM
This has got to be a punch in the pail for those of us with huge dvd collections. Does anyone plan on jumping to these new formats? Do you think it will be years before they catch on to the general public? As of now it seems it seems it might be just tech-whore thing. I don't know too much about these two competing products except for the HD-DVD will most likely be popular with the HD-TV crowd while the average joe with a run of the mill Toshiba would give two shits. The launch titles for HD have been announced (http://digitalbits.com/#mytwocents) and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about the two formats.

In all seriousness, I really don't want to have to go out and repurchase my whole damn collection again. It's too soon for that bullshit, plus from what I've heard it's not even that huge of a difference in quality. The difference is there, but in comparison to the VHS to DVD jump it's just not the same. At least the players are backwards compatible. I might be wrong about the quality after seeing this page however. http://www.cornbread.org/FOTRCompare/index.html

Jason Lee
01-09-2005, 11:00 AM
It'll be a big anti climax if you ask me.....

Sure the HD picture CAN be better.....but look at teh differences between teh quality of differing DVDS..LOTR was a good example but cant see them ALL being like this....

In my view it will be a laserdisc thing all over again..Mr Jo home theater will eat it up while the rest are happy enough with regular DVD.....

While I DONT want to go buy my whole collectin aagain i cant see them putting out the kind of obscure stuff that i like on HD....Shit half of them arent even on DVD yet!!!

Peter S
01-09-2005, 11:38 AM
I've got no intention of upgrading to HD dvd anytime soon. I'm more than happy with dvd and I'm not keen on rebuying my whole collection again. Personally I think it's a mistake releasing a new format this soon after dvd. I just can't see the average person wanting to upgrade their system again, especially not when the manufacturers and studios can't even agree on a standard.

The fact that Warner Brothers thinks it's a good idea to launch a new format with titles like Executive Decision, Passenger 57 and Wild Wild West show just how clueless the studios are

Bill Pissott
01-09-2005, 11:55 AM
Personally, I could care less about HD or whatever new technology comes down the pike. Hell, I'm still using VHS and that suits me just fine. :)

Christoffer S
01-09-2005, 12:10 PM
For me, the movies are important.
and DVD is enough for me. Especially since my kind of movies probably wont look any better no matter how much a better format comes along :)

Jason W
01-09-2005, 12:52 PM
I won't be changing to a new format right now, I for one don't plan to get caught in this cycle of upgrading my movies from one format to another every few years.

Andrew Green
01-09-2005, 03:35 PM
From what I've read on the net, even a lot of Home Theater enthusiasts (who are usually the first to buy into new technology) are planning on sitting on the fence for this format war. Not coming up with one high-def standard is a huge mistake IMO. At least with Beta and VHS, the studios released films on both formats (until Beta died of course) so you could watch them regardless of which system you bought. With the studios actively taking sides in the high-def battle, consumers would be faced with the prospect of buying two expensive new players just to be able to see all the films coming out. Unless one of these formats dies quickly, they'll probably both end up like DVD-Audio and SACD; relegated to a small niche market.

Damian P
01-09-2005, 04:27 PM
I suspect this format will not catch on. Shit, more than half of video renters were just forced over to DVD, I doubt they will stand for another push so soon.

Total guess here, but I think the next major home video wave will be more akin to MP3 files.

Zane C.
01-09-2005, 04:37 PM
It'll be interesting to see what this format will be like, but I'm with prety well everyone else here when I say that I won't be buying all the discs I have in my collection over again, because of a format change. Like Damian mentioned above, renters will have a huge voice in this as well; they won't want to re-buy or change formats this quick. The price of this new format, not mention how much more of an "upgrade" it is to DVD, as well as what films/extras will be available will be determining factors as to whether this new format will make a go of it. I'm more than happy with DVD, but at the same time, I'm curious about this new format. However, I'm not re-buying everything to simply have "the newest thing".

Kristian R
01-09-2005, 04:46 PM
Blah. I will wait for the format wars to end and then eventually jump on board for new titles, but I won't be rebuying most catalog titles. The exeptions would be cases where a cleaner or more complete print/negative is used or if substantial extras are added.

William R.
01-09-2005, 05:01 PM
Total guess here, but I think the next major home video wave will be more akin to MP3 files.

How do you mean? I don't quite see your vision. It's already simple enough to get movies on your computer via p2p, but I don't think that's what he meant at all.

My first experience with the formats will most likely be when the PS3 drops.

Damian P
01-09-2005, 05:31 PM
How do you mean? I don't quite see your vision. It's already simple enough to get movies on your computer via p2p, but I don't think that's what he meant at all.

My first experience with the formats will most likely be when the PS3 drops.

Eventually films will just be comrpessed to digital bits, extras and all, and made available for download (computer and or satellite). Yes, you can download films now but the quality is lacking as is a way for film companies to make a profit.

Once a way is made for this to become profitable a push will be made for it. Just as DVD was more cost effective for Blockbuster to adopt (hence the pushing out of VHS), direct or at least close-to-direct sales and rentals from the film companies to the home video buyers will be a more profitable move for the film companies.

William R.
01-09-2005, 05:38 PM
I like my dvd/vhs-rips, but at anywhere from 696mb to 1.4gb I see your point. The quality is good at the size it's ripped, but expanding to full-screen even on a good one leaves the quality lacking. I can see this happening sooner than later, but it'll probably take a while for the industry to latch on and attempt to find a way to profit as it's trying to do with mp3's (does anybody pay for those? there must be). Also it'd be nice to be able to move them to disc for use on dvd players without losing quality.

Damian P
01-09-2005, 05:46 PM
I just added to my above post on this matter. Think how quickly everything in terms of film and the interent has changed in the last 10 years and I think you'll see how the home video market will change.

In ten years my thoughts on this could be considered ancient.

Bill Pissott
01-09-2005, 05:49 PM
On a somewhat related note, regarding home viewing formats, it was a surprise to me to recently notice that VHS still plays a prominent role. What I mean is, Friday night I took my Wife to our local Blockbuster as well as two other local "mom and pop" video shops and I was surprised to see the amount of VHS still available to rent or to buy but even more surprised to see that the people in line and walking around all three stores were carrying tapes as opposed to disc's to rent. Then yesterday, I went to FYE at one of the local malls and there was still a huge amount of tapes to buy and still a large amount of people at the register buying tapes. I thought to myself that the "death" of VHS, which has been uttered buy many people, is either undergoing a very long, drawn out death or not happening at all just yet. So here we are discussing another format and tapes still seem to be doing ok.

Christoffer S
01-09-2005, 05:51 PM
On a somewhat related note, regarding home viewing formats, it was a surprise to me to recently notice that VHS still plays a prominent role. What I mean is, Friday night I took my Wife to our local Blockbuster as well as two other local "mom and pop" video shops and I was surprised to see the amount of VHS still available to rent or to buy but even more surprised to see that the people in line and walking around all three stores were carrying tapes as opposed to disc's to rent. Then yesterday, I went to FYE at one of the local malls and there was still a huge amount of tapes to buy and still a large amount of people at the register buying tapes. I thought to myself that the "death" of VHS, which has been uttered buy many people, is either undergoing a very long, drawn out death or not happening at all just yet. So here we are discussing another format and tapes still seem to be doing ok.

exactly!

William R.
01-09-2005, 06:10 PM
On a somewhat related note, regarding home viewing formats, it was a surprise to me to recently notice that VHS still plays a prominent role. What I mean is, Friday night I took my Wife to our local Blockbuster as well as two other local "mom and pop" video shops and I was surprised to see the amount of VHS still available to rent or to buy but even more surprised to see that the people in line and walking around all three stores were carrying tapes as opposed to disc's to rent. Then yesterday, I went to FYE at one of the local malls and there was still a huge amount of tapes to buy and still a large amount of people at the register buying tapes. I thought to myself that the "death" of VHS, which has been uttered buy many people, is either undergoing a very long, drawn out death or not happening at all just yet. So here we are discussing another format and tapes still seem to be doing ok.

I welcome VHS. I still use it, I'll buy used movies, and my VHS collection is still growing alongside my DVDs. I don't buy new movies, but I sure have use for the format (especially taping off tv).

My sister, despite having a dvd player given to her a few Christmas' ago, still buys VHS constantly and only the occasional dvd. She buys a lot of movies for my niece to watch and the majority of them are VHS (even the rentals from Blockbuster are primarily). I guess it's also easier for my niece to work the tapes herself. She's young and a bit careless with them and it's much easier for her to slip the tape in the vcr and watch HEY ARNOLD than to try and maneuver around a delicate disc.

Bill Pissott
01-09-2005, 06:13 PM
I definitely still use VHS also. A lot of times to tape or to transfer from a Tivo recording to a VCR and also to buy. A place like www.lifeisamovie.com has a lot of obscure Noir's and other films on VHS and if they aren't on disc and I can afford, darn right I will buy the tapes. :)

Damian P
01-09-2005, 06:14 PM
The "death of video" has been good for me, I get used videos for cheaper than rentals. If the video isn't worth keeping I just sell it off or give it to a friend.

Videos are great for kids. The disc format is not meant for kids (you should see what they did to laserdiscs back in the day).

Aaron G
01-09-2005, 08:36 PM
Why dont they do a SuperBit comparison?

I mean we're already getting 'superbit' and DigiMax' treatments for films like 'zombie' or 'Dawn of the Dead' how can they make the image even better. Most of the films we love were done on crummy stocks with older camera so i can't see HD making it any better.

It's like trying to make the blues sound like fucken Nu-Metal, after awhile all this 'clarity' makes everything dull, heck even Scorses is trying to get the 'old look' in his latest film. The hi-tech ultra-clarity LOTR geeks can go fuck themselves with their HD hard-disk drives for all i care.

Jason W
01-09-2005, 08:51 PM
I think the real advantage of HD DVD will be not in improving older horror films like say "Night of the Living Dead" but in making new movies coming out look great. I don't think "Night of the Living Dead" can look much better but a movie like "The Aviator" now that is probably what HD DVD is aimed at.

scott favareille
01-10-2005, 12:22 PM
I'll rush to this like I'll rush to buy an HD TV--I've haven't done so yet and don't plan to do it soon.

Robert Lawson
01-10-2005, 10:40 PM
The whole thing reminds me of the battle between SACDs and DVD-As.
Both sides spent tons of cash promoting that their technology was superior and in the end, neither took off.
And thank god for that!

Tall Man
01-11-2005, 03:48 AM
It's another way for the studios to repackage their films, let your $ decide.

Philo MacDuff
01-11-2005, 06:25 AM
There's something nice about a handful of solid black plastic you can grab onto or throw into a pile. I still use my VCRs. The one in my bedroom is a tank. Its an AKAI with its own motors for forward and back. Only mono but the thing has worked beautifully for me and I got it second hand. Over 20 years old too and never ate a tape. Survived both a Panasonic and a Hitachi. It's sorta become like an old friend. I like to pamper it with a little head cleaning now and then. Wait that didn't sound quite right. :D

Jason W
01-11-2005, 10:56 AM
I agree with you Philo that VHS tapes have the big advantage that you can stack them in a box, lay them on the dresser, you can touch them all over and not have to worry about fingerprints or scratches ruining them.

Vincent Pereira
01-13-2005, 04:04 PM
::It's too soon for that bullshit, plus from what I've heard it's not even that huge of a difference in quality.

:::I mean we're already getting 'superbit' and DigiMax' treatments for films like 'zombie' or 'Dawn of the Dead' how can they make the image even better. Most of the films we love were done on crummy stocks with older camera so i can't see HD making it any better.

WOW, TONS of misinformation in this thread, and the two quotes above are just a sampling of it.

Here's the deal- the MAXIMUM resolution of DVD is 480X720 pixels for NTSC, 576X720 pixels for PAL.

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are both 1080X1920. That isn't a "small" difference- it's a HUGE difference. You might not see much of a difference on a small, 27" television, but blow that image up on a rear projection TV and you will.

Also, re: SuperBit and DiviMax DVDs. Those titles are already mastered onto professional HD-videotape at 1080 X 1920, then downconverted to 480 X 720 for their NTSC DVD releases. The original master tapes, in full 1080 X 1920, look AMAZING. I saw the original D5 High-Definition video master of Synapse Film's LEMORA transfer, and it was like looking out a window at reality. The DVD certainly looks superb as well, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original image quality on that D5 tape. An HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD of LEMORA taken from that D5 videotape WILL have that amazingly smooth, looking-out-a-window image quality, though.

As for "crummy film stocks" and "older cameras", I can assure you that Kodak doesn't sell a discount "crummy film stock" line, and film cameras aren't "upgraded" to capture better images over time. Cameras might be upgraded to be made more quiet and add more features, and newer lenses might be created for use with them, but the 35mm motion picture cameras being used today will give you pretty much the same image as if you were to use one made 30 years ago. If a film is shot on 35mm film stock (like DAWN OF THE DEAD or ZOMBIE were), then they will have used the same 35mm film that any other movie shot during that time period used. True, Kodak (and Fuji, the other major supplier of motion picture film. AFGA also used to make 35mm negative for motion picture use, but discontinued their line years ago) do upgrade their negative emulsions all the time- to make them less grainy, more sensitive to light, and have better exposure latitude- but even the stocks used in the 1970s will have far better resolving power than anything DVD can come close to, and HD will take advantage of that wealth of additional information in the film negative. I saw some clips of DAWN OF THE DEAD from the Monsters HD airing of it, and it looks much, much better than the DVD. With all those extra pixels, the image looks like the original film, and all the video artifacts we're used to disappear completely. Just because a movie is old doesn't mean it looks "bad". Film has had far better resolution than any video formats since its inception, and even films from the 1930s, 40s, whatever, will benefit from being shown in HD. 480/576 X 720 DVD doesn't even come close to resolving all the detail that's available.

I don't understand the aversion to new formats. Just because HD-DVD and Blu-ray are being introduced for folks who've purchased High-Definition television sets doesn't mean anybody here is being "forced" to "rebuy" their collections. Whether or not you choose to replace your DVDs with the new format is a personal decision and isn't being "forced" on you at all. It's simply another option for the serious home-theater enthusiast, and when folks eventually do upgrade to HDTV, it'll be there for them to take advantage of, as well.

Vincent

Mattias Karlsson
01-16-2005, 10:41 AM
I agree with Vincent Pereira about the difference between DVD and HDTV. But I must say that most of us here will not have too much gaining of HD-DVD/Blue-ray. The reason is simple; the few movies that will be realesed are not Suspiria and They don't cut the grass anymore, it will be big hollywoodish titles like Matrix and that kind of movies. I don't really care about those kind of movies.

So will WE see any HD-DVD of our kind of movies soon? No, I don't think so. Maybe Texas Chainsaw massacre and some newer horror, but the kind of stuff Synapse, Blue underground, Raro video, etc are releasing, we will not see any on the near future. There are a lot of reason why but mainly because "our" titles are movies that are pressed in maybe a couple of thousand copies. Strip nude for you killer will not be made in 100 000's copies.

Also, many people that like these kind of movies will not have a high quality home theater that will justicifie HD-DVD's. Mind you all, VHS have still a LOT (and I mean LOT) movies that have not been released on DVD yet. So I don't think HD-DVD will make out lifes so much better here in the near future.


/Mattias

Andrew Green
01-16-2005, 11:29 AM
So will WE see any HD-DVD of our kind of movies soon?

Good point. Out of the titles announced, Carpenter's "The Thing" is the only one I really want in high-def. Not enough at this point for me to justify the expense of upgrading. I'll definitley hold off until some kind of universal player is released.

Vincent Pereira
01-16-2005, 04:01 PM
:: but the kind of stuff Synapse, Blue underground, Raro video, etc are releasing, we will not see any on the near future.

Both Synapse and Blue Underground have been mastering most of their recent titles in D-5 High-Definition (as I pointed out in my post, I saw the HD transfer of LEMORA, and it's stunning), and so has Anchor Bay. They wouldn't be doing this if they didn't have plans for HD releases of their titles.

Vincent

Mattias Karlsson
01-16-2005, 06:22 PM
Yes, I know many companys are matering in D5, but then again, will they release the stuff? If there is a VERY little market, that are brisk for DVD's, HD-DVD's are EVEN harder to justicifie. I WOULD like blue-ray NOW of all titles, I was one of the few that didn't think DVD was to hot 1997, that we could have something better than "little better than LD" right away.

Vincent Pereira
01-17-2005, 03:57 PM
:: Yes, I know many companys are matering in D5, but then again, will they release the stuff?

Maybe not immediately, but eventually they will. That's why they are mastering to D-5, to assure to future viability of their titles. If they had no intentions of re-releasing their titles in HD, then they'd master to Digital Betacam at NTSC resolution and save many thousands of dollars in mastering costs.

Vincent

Rudo Wettstein
01-17-2005, 07:24 PM
Is the MPAA about to seriously join the RIAA in their constant whining about decreasing sales (well, CD sales were up in 2004, but as you know, statistics can show many things ;)? According to Video Business, cash flow in the DVD business was up by 8.5% in 2004 compared to 2003. This is much lower than the 30% reported in 2003. So it seems, that the market is getting more and more saturated, and people actually bought the discs they wanted to have on DVD. If you think about it, it was only a matter of time - you can only sell so many copies of a movie people already have on VHS. Plus, with large retail chains getting into the DVD business, prices have become lower over the years. So I think this may also be a major drivers why Hollywood is so keen on the upcoming high definition DVD formats - they can sell us the same product yet again.

Jari K
03-14-2005, 04:36 AM
I welcome VHS. I still use it, I'll buy used movies, and my VHS collection is still growing alongside my DVDs. I don't buy new movies, but I sure have use for the format (especially taping off tv).

I´m kinda late on this thread, but I hate VHS. Those tapes makes me want to puke. ;) I have recorded few movies on VHS lately, but I don´t really watch them, so there´s no point of doing that anymore.

When you have HT-system, there´s no going back really, IMO.

One of the main points (IMO) here is, that those with 4:3-sets don´t really care about Blu-Ray/HD-DVD (I can understand that, if even the "anamorphic" is not important to them), but people with bigger sets/screens most likely do care, since the quality is very important with bigger screens, and these new formats are ideal for those people, who has bigger screens at their home.

I mean I don´t care about the cars that much (I want a good car, but it doens´t need to be ultra-fast or have all kind of stuff in it), so I drive 1.3 Ford Fiesta (small car). People who care about the cars probably want some bigger car, with bigger engine, etc. ;)

Related note:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

"The Blu-ray Disc Association has announced that Apple Computer has become its latest member, making Blu-ray Disc its choice in the coming next-generation optical disc format war. Apple CEO Steve Jobs issued this quote today: "Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD. Consumers are already creating stunning HD content with Apple's leading video editing applications like iMovie HD and are anxiously awaiting a way to burn their own high def DVDs."

This is indeed kinda big news, when it comes out of Steve Jobs..

Jari K
05-10-2005, 04:32 AM
http://www.digitalbits.com/#mytwocents

"According to several sources, including Reuters, Australian IT, Interactive Investor and Engadget, a Japanese newspaper (the Nihon Keizai Shimbun) is apparently reporting that Sony and Toshiba are very close to reaching an agreement in their effort to unite Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD into a common format for next generation DVDs."

This would be great. One new format, that would kick ass. I hope this will be happening. :)

Brian Lindsey
05-10-2005, 07:57 AM
This would be great. One new format, that would kick ass. I hope this will be happening.
As long as the Next-Gen machines also play "old format" discs...

Bill Pissott
05-10-2005, 08:23 AM
I welcome VHS. I still use it, I'll buy used movies, and my VHS collection is still growing alongside my DVDs. I don't buy new movies, but I sure have use for the format (especially taping off tv).


Me too. I'm actually buying more VHS tapes these days then DVD's. Hey, money is tight and it's a nice, cheap option to have and besides, it's the movie that counts for me anyway. I was quite pleased to see huge VHS sections still thriving in places like Blockbuster, Suncoast, FYE and Saturday Matineee Video. I asked a couple of managers at those places and they reported brisk and rather surprisingly good VHS sales still to this day. I think the format will be around for a while despite some DVD champions exclaiming it's death. I mean, they have for several years now and it's still going strong just like the CD crowd was championing the death of cassettes yet you can still buy them in almost any record store and, much to thier chagrin probably, vinyl is even making a comeback. As long as their is an alternative and if that alternative is cost effective, no format will truly die IMHO. Well, maybe we can exclude 8-track but you still have collectors paying huge bucks for those too! :)

Darren Nemeth
05-11-2005, 12:35 AM
I am the odd man out.

I'll participate in the switch to HD DVD, or whatever the new format will be, when the price becomes reasonable.

My reasons are...

1. No more blocky, halow compression artifacts. I watch all my DVDs on my PC from at least 8 feet from the screen and sometimes I can still see the artifacts.

2. Better sound quality. All DVDs that I know of have audio that is just about as good as a high bit rate MP3 file. Perhaps the new format will have uncompressed 24 bit audio.

3. HD format will play better on the new big screen TVs. For example, I saw one of the new Star Wars DVDs being demoed on a large screen plasma TV at the local big box electronics store and my reaction was "What's the point? All I see are colored squares!!" :eek:

4. I'll asssume that the HD transfers will not be authored with edge enhancement.

I haven't invested in a TV screen or DVD player yet. No place to put them. I see all my DVDs on my computer. The 20-30 DVDs I own are rarely viewed anyway because of the flood of Netflix titles.

When the connisuer grade HD players get in the $400 range and the big HD TVs are simular I will switch to HD-DVD, or whatever it is called.

Jari K
05-11-2005, 06:20 AM
I3. HD format will play better on the new big screen TVs. For example, I saw one of the new Star Wars DVDs being demoed on a large screen plasma TV at the local big box electronics store and my reaction was "What's the point? All I see are colored squares!!" :eek.

Well, like I said in some other thread:

"DVD (one layer) = 4.7 GB
DVD (2 layers) = 9.4 GB

vs.

Blue-Ray (one layer) = 25 GB
Blue-Ray (2 layers) = 50 GB

vs.

HD-DVD (one layer) = 20 GB
HD-DVD (2 layers) = 32 GB"

When the new format(s?) comes out, it´s time for me to buy a bigger set, since now you can fully enjoy the bigger screen.

The picture quality will be great, but obviously you´ll need some proper screens for the new format. Old 4:3-tv just doesn´t cut it.

Those people who want to improve the A/V-experience will want that new format.

Mattias Karlsson
05-12-2005, 05:05 PM
I´m kinda late on this thread, but I hate VHS. Those tapes makes me want to puke. ;) I have recorded few movies on VHS lately, but I don´t really watch them, so there´s no point of doing that anymore.

When you have HT-system, there´s no going back really, IMO.


Sorry, but what do you mean with "when you have HT-system, there's no going back"?
Let me tell you why I have gotten a great HT-system; because I like to watch movies! Movies is the only reason I have gotten a HT-system and why would not a VHS player fit in the system? No, it does not have the same PQ as DVD, but most of our movies look like shit comparde to new hollywood movies, so should we all throw out our dvd and get the dvd's with best picture?
If I want to see a movie, I get it in the best shape around, if that is a old greek VHS or a new DVD does not matter. 7-8 year in DVD history there is still so MUCH movies not on the format that I think it would be stupied not to take the chance to see them now. Why wait another 1-3-7-never?

Get a good S-VHS VCR and the picture will be rather good on good releases.



1. No more blocky, halow compression artifacts. I watch all my DVDs on my PC from at least 8 feet from the screen and sometimes I can still see the artifacts.


Sorry but I think it's not the DVD's that are the problem in your set-up, it's the PC and the set-up and/or the player you use.


[QUOTE=Darren Nemeth]3. HD format will play better on the new big screen TVs. For example, I saw one of the new Star Wars DVDs being demoed on a large screen plasma TV at the local big box electronics store and my reaction was "What's the point? All I see are colored squares!!"


Again, I don't think it's the DVD that is the fault here. There is two probably reason for this:
*Most plasma/LCD will not give as good picture as a great CRT.
*99,9% of all plasma/LCD will have really bad scaling and that will cose the thing you see.

Darren Nemeth
05-12-2005, 06:55 PM
Sorry but I think it's not the DVD's that are the problem in your set-up, it's the PC and the set-up and/or the player you use.
Nothing wrong with my set up. I use Cyberlink Power DVD 6, the best PC DD viewer out there.

The blocky look is due to compression and the higher resolution of my CRT screen. Probably the better term I sould have used is that DVD compression has more of a slight mozaic look than blocky.

It is definately there. Nothing wrong with my set up. Screen caps and zooming in shows more.

Mattias Karlsson
05-12-2005, 07:16 PM
But you will scal the picture before you see it, right?
I use a high-end CRT PJ on a 100 inch screen so I know that DVD is not perfect. But almost every DVD blocky 8 feet away on a small monitor sounds reallt wrong.

Andy Johansen
05-12-2005, 09:03 PM
and now for something completely the same....What the hell is HD???

Darren Nemeth
05-13-2005, 12:13 AM
But you will scal the picture before you see it, right?
I use a high-end CRT PJ on a 100 inch screen so I know that DVD is not perfect. But almost every DVD blocky 8 feet away on a small monitor sounds reallt wrong.I can see it but no one else can. It is one of those things. :)

When there is motion hues "shift" instead of flowing smoothly on some discs. That sort of thing.

I can hear compression on MP3 that others can't, too.

You can put 10 people in a room and I will see compression artifacts and other will not. :confused:

I guess this comes from years of watching a lot of film in the theaters and being around it elsewhere.

DVD looks less like film but the HD stuff I have seen lately is closer to it. :)

Jari K
05-13-2005, 01:47 AM
Sorry, but what do you mean with "when you have HT-system, there's no going back"?

In my case it means, that I rarely watch VHS-tapes anymore, and if there is some DVD-release, that will be my choice, always. No room and no time for tapes anymore.

But I have to point out, that I have several DVD-Rs of VHS-tapes, since there are many rare films/different cuts out there that are not released on DVD, maybe never will (who knows). So I do respect the collectors very much, who have rare VHS-tapes on their collection. Since I´m a collector myself, I respect all the other collectors, no matter what format they use. It´s just I like to keep my collection "in a digital form" (DVD/DVD-R).

What comes to your discussion about the quality etc., DVD is far from "perfect format" or anything like that. Many, considered great releases, have small "issues", when you watch them via big screens. Good, big screen is always ruthless, when it comes to "mistakes" (even if they´re small issues), and you don´t see them via 4:3-tv.

Don´t get me wrong, I very much like the DVD-format, and it´s good format for my needs, but I don´t mind that some other format will come with better quality and capasity. Those who want it will get it, I don´t see why there´s need to complain. DVD won´t go away just like that.

But I do agree, that 2 "new formats" would be foolish, and then I´ll complain.

HDTV = http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/hdtv.htm

Mattias Karlsson
05-13-2005, 12:54 PM
I can see it but no one else can. It is one of those things. :)

When there is motion hues "shift" instead of flowing smoothly on some discs. That sort of thing.

I can hear compression on MP3 that others can't, too.

You can put 10 people in a room and I will see compression artifacts and other will not. :confused:

I guess this comes from years of watching a lot of film in the theaters and being around it elsewhere.

DVD looks less like film but the HD stuff I have seen lately is closer to it. :)


Like what I said before, you should check-out your system first. Is it perfectly calibrated to AVIA or DVE? Are the software you use great?

Any releases you could point out the problem? Is this a problem even on newer movies?

MP3 is not a format that have any good soundquality, I agree with you there.

Jari K
05-14-2005, 07:34 AM
Like what I said before, you should check-out your system first. Is it perfectly calibrated to AVIA or DVE?

I agree with this one. Every set, even the regular TV-set, should be "calibrated" first with some demo DVD or at least with some THX-tests that can be found from the certain DVDs. At least with those, you get the contrast right, see how much you have overscan and are certain line "straight" etc.

With Plasma-sets etc, this calibration is even more important.

Very few set is great "out of the box".

Darren Nemeth
05-14-2005, 12:58 PM
Like what I said before, you should check-out your system first. Is it perfectly calibrated to AVIA or DVE? Are the software you use great?

Any releases you could point out the problem? Is this a problem even on newer movies? Nothing wrong with my set up. No calibration can fix authoring artifacts. You can come over and see for yourself if you wish.

Titles that come to mind are one of the Judy Garland Show discs, one of the earlier Image CABNET OF Dr CALIGARI discs, and a couple others.

Never dwell upon the compression artifacts when I watch. Only when I am looking for them.

I enjoy my DVDs emmensely. My concerns are a nit picker's afterthought.

The ease of use and high quality of the DVD format over predicessors ranks it #1 in my book.

However, it does not mean that I am not looking forward to the HD format.

Mattias Karlsson
05-14-2005, 05:18 PM
Darren, some DVD's have problems, I agree. But if you tell me all or almost all dvds have problem on a small monitor, than I must say that you are wrong.
Great dvd's can look great on a high-end set-up. Mind you, I use a Marquee 9500LC PJ on a 100 inch screen, one of the best PJ on the market with all the mod's. And on this kind of set-up, you can easilly see problems you never would see on a small monitor.

Jari K
07-11-2005, 09:44 AM
http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds22406.html (found the link via HTF)

"The most interesting thing for people buying TVs at the moment is that Toshiba have stated that their HD-DVD Player will ONLY output high Def on the player's HDMI output (plus other digital connections) the analogue output will be downrezed to 480 lines (in the US - expect the equivalent, no doubt, in Europe). The Toshiba player will also have a USB interface to allow connection to computers for enhanced content and interactive options direct off the disk. In addition mastering of the underlying DVD content will be based on 1080p - but there was no discussion on the resolution of the MPEG4 images.

The HD-DVD disk will come in 3 sizes when first launched. There will be 15Gb / 30Gb / 45Gb disks (single / dual / triple layer) and there will also be a fourth variety which will have a SD-DVD version on the reverse side of the disk, allowing retailers to have a single version of new films on the shelves and allow consumers to build a library before they have the equipment."

So HDMI will be the future of digital connections.

(DVI and HDMI Connections and HDCP Explained:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/feature-dvi-hdmi-hdcp-connections-11-2004.html )

Vincent Pereira
07-11-2005, 04:24 PM
http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds22406.html (found the link via HTF)

"The most interesting thing for people buying TVs at the moment is that Toshiba have stated that their HD-DVD Player will ONLY output high Def on the player's HDMI output (plus other digital connections) the analogue output will be downrezed to 480 lines (in the US - expect the equivalent, no doubt, in Europe). The Toshiba player will also have a USB interface to allow connection to computers for enhanced content and interactive options direct off the disk. In addition mastering of the underlying DVD content will be based on 1080p - but there was no discussion on the resolution of the MPEG4 images.

The HD-DVD disk will come in 3 sizes when first launched. There will be 15Gb / 30Gb / 45Gb disks (single / dual / triple layer) and there will also be a fourth variety which will have a SD-DVD version on the reverse side of the disk, allowing retailers to have a single version of new films on the shelves and allow consumers to build a library before they have the equipment."

So HDMI will be the future of digital connections.

(DVI and HDMI Connections and HDCP Explained:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/feature-dvi-hdmi-hdcp-connections-11-2004.html )

And all those people who have already bought HDTVs with componant inputs only have now officially been royally f***ed by the studios.

Vincent

Jari K
01-09-2006, 09:54 AM
"HD-DVD & Blu-ray Disc - First Title Announcements":

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=59873

Looks a bit when the DVD came out. Big Hollywood-movies at first..

Wayne Schmidt
01-09-2006, 04:56 PM
Didn't scroll back through the whole thread, so maybe this link has already been posted but these pictures are pretty interesting I think -

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ces2006/gallery01.html

Wayne Schmidt
01-09-2006, 05:04 PM
Nothing wrong with my set up. No calibration can fix authoring artifacts. You can come over and see for yourself if you wish.

Titles that come to mind are one of the Judy Garland Show discs, one of the earlier Image CABNET OF Dr CALIGARI discs, and a couple others.

Never dwell upon the compression artifacts when I watch. Only when I am looking for them.


I know what you're saying, Darren . . . . but of course every visual medium has some sort of artifacting. Film certainly has . . . and once you "train" yourself to see them you ALWAYS see them. :)

William R.
01-11-2006, 06:58 PM
If all goes as planned with Sony, I'll have my Blu-Ray player this spring. I might've missed it, but does anyone know how much the actual dvd's themselves will retail for?

Mattias Karlsson
01-12-2006, 12:57 AM
I know what you're saying, Darren . . . . but of course every visual medium has some sort of artifacting. Film certainly has . . . and once you "train" yourself to see them you ALWAYS see them. :)


Wayne, he did see all kind of compression effects on a 20 inch LCD monitor!!
This it just BS. I use a 1920x1080 Ruby projector on a 100 inch screen and I SEE if there are any compression effects.

Al Edwards
03-31-2006, 12:16 AM
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents


"First, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is saying that they plan to stay firm in releasing the first Blu-ray Disc software on 5/23 (click here to read more at Home Media Retailing), even though their own hardware likely won't be available until July. Samsung had been set to release its first Blu-ray Disc player (the PD-B1000) on 5/23, but may now wait until June. Pioneer's first players for the format are also due in June (but may be delayed slightly as well - click here for more from Video Business). Meanwhile, Panasonic's first Blu-ray machines are currently due in September (click here)."

"Interestingly, representatives from both the Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD camps said at the Digital Hollywood conference this week that these delays aren't really going to have an impact on the success of either format (click here). This is in such stark contrast to the often bold statements that many of these same representatives were making as recently as CES, that we think it's a clear indication that the practical engineering and technical realities of launching new formats has, at long last, finally begun to override their corporate marketing zeal."

"While we're on the subject of technical realities, it's worth noting that our industry sources continue to tell us that there remain ongoing difficulties in authoring, QC-ing and finalizing bug-free movie software for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc, which is why there have been so few real announcements for either format to this point. Several studios, including Paramount, Disney, Universal and Fox, are opting simply to wait until solutions to these problems are well in hand before making any release announcements beyond the vague statements issued at CES in January. We have little doubt that the issues will be resolved soon, but there's definitely a learning curve and a certain degree of "getting up to speed" happening on these new formats (as far as authoring)."

"Meanwhile, switching to a different format, it seems that Sony's UMD may finally be gasping its last, due to disappointing sales of both the PlayStation Portable hardware and the UMD software (click here). Universal, Paramount and Image Entertainment have all stopped releasing titles on the format, while other studios (like Fox, Disney and Warner) are cutting back and/or evaluating UMD releases on a title-by-title basis. What's more, it's being reported that Wal-Mart may soon stop selling the software altogether. We didn't figure that the format would last long (of our own staffers, only Matt's really dabbled with UMD), but we'll certainly keep our UMD Release List going as long as new titles continued to be issued."

Alex K.
03-31-2006, 02:28 PM
I'll be waiting HD DVD out until it becomes a little more reasonable to own, plus I still need an HD TV at that. Rest assured if Grindhouse re-releases The Beyond on HD with the film's original English Mono soundtrack (without the dubbed over sound effects) I'll be picking it up in a heart beat.

Quickie question: Is HD DVD backwards compatible with regular DVD? I would think so but I just want to be sure.

And another question for the few DVD producers on this board: Will it be more expensive to master the old horror/cult films on HD or will the cost be about the same?

Wayne Schmidt
03-31-2006, 02:57 PM
Both HD DVD and Blu Ray machines should play regular DVDs. As far as the discs themselves I'm not certain they're putting a "regular" version on them so you can play them on a standard dvd player, like the audio "dual discs" are doing. I've heard conflicting reports.

I'm not a DVD producer but have worked in enough production environments to commment that if you're talking about an HD transfer vs. a standard def transfer, yes it's more expensive. I've been out of the loop for awhile so I'm sure costs have fallen a bit but it's still going to be significant.

However, for the past six years or more a lot of the studios (and even the smaller labels) transferred their titles to HD anyway and downconverted them for the standard def DVD releases. There were several reasons for doing this (one of the foremost being it's cheaper to pay the extra out front then turn around and have to pay for a whole new transfer session in HD when you needed it), and now they're ahead of the game in issuing HD DVD and Blu-Ray, already having a master in place.

The authoring and manufacturing costs are another factor, and those are going to be higher too . . . . I think Don May discussed this a bit on Mobius, maybe he can weigh in here as well.

Omshanti Green
04-02-2006, 12:07 PM
This is very crazy the average person hardly knows the difference between full screen and widescreen and I don't know anyone personally who can explain what anamorphic means. I think it will take years for these new formats to catch on, im more than happy with my regular dvds

Jason Lee
04-04-2006, 01:59 PM
From the English language newspaper her ein Seoul.....


Samsung Delays Release of Next-Generation DVD Player


Samsung Electronics has decided to postpone the release of its next-generation Blue-ray DVD player to late June, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The report says that the company rescheduled the U.S. release of the Blue-ray DVD player to June 25, a month later than originally planned.

The announcement follows Sony's decision to postpone the release of its PlayStation 3. Samsung’s Japanese rival Toshiba already started selling its own next-generation DVD players in Japan in March and will release them in the U.S. this month.

Sony and Samsung Electronics have joined hands to compete with Toshiba, which aims to make its own high-definition DVD format the standard in the next-generation DVD player market.

Nick H.
04-19-2006, 02:50 PM
From Gorezone.net:

"Fuck Sony and Blu-Ray: Just forget about Blu-Ray. Sony fucked up with Betmax and to a lesser extend with UMD... apart from the Playstation 3, Blu-Ray won't be worth anything. A post by Synapse Films head Don May Jr. at the Mobius Home Video Forum points out that Sony, who has approval power over all titles released on Blu-Ray, has already vetoed certain more adult-themed titles such as THRILLER A CRUEL PICTURE and THE IMAGE. Supposefly they have no interest in so-called "adult" titles. Are they blind?! Porn and adult movies is the reason VHS won even though Betamax was better format. Sony are blind and only think about their PS3..."

Alex K.
04-19-2006, 04:10 PM
A boycott isn't even necessary from what I understand, Sony has about a handful of companies supporting the Blue Ray that and the cost of the machine will spell the end for this player. Good riddance I say.

Don May Jr
04-19-2006, 04:40 PM
It's funny... Since posting my experiences with Sony and their non-committal to us for our "adult" titles, I've been getting a lot of phone calls and emails. Word travels fast, apparently.

There is a very widely read press release from Digital Playground (an adult DVD company) saying they are going with the BLU-RAY format for their releases. This (from what I understand) was an announcement made without the fine folks at DP even taking Sony's "no porno" stance into consideration. I can only assume they were totally incorrect in their assumption that Sony would be supportive of porn replication at their facilities, or they've found another company promising to do their BLU-RAY titles.

There are companies out there, supposedly, that will be doing off-load BLU-RAY titles so that you don't necessarily have to deal with Sony. Sony absolutely, positively, will NOT do porno, but, I'm hearing, that other replicators may be approved for BLU-RAY and, perhaps do them. But... and this is a big BUT... there are NO OTHER REPLICATORS doing BLU-RAY right now. Period. If any porno companies side with BLU-RAY, you can bet it's going to be quite a few more months before they hit the market because these "other" replicators that say they'll do BLU-RAY are going to be a long time in getting ready.

I think Digital Playground may have spoken a little too soon about which format they were siding with.

I just got, today, a letter from my friends at Sony that states that they will be "prepared" to start replicating BLU-RAY for us, in May, but only at their foreign offload replication plant in Japan. Their US replication will not be in place until a few months after that. This doesn't bode well for smaller companies, like Synapse, who may want to do BLU-RAY. We have to not only go specifically with Sony, but we also have to do our stuff overseas... which will just add to the cost and the lead time in getting things done.

I can deal with HD-DVD right now, in the US, without worry. I think we'll start with HD-DVD releases. If BLU-RAY catches on, we at least have the option of going with that format, too, at a later time.

scott favareille
04-20-2006, 01:03 AM
My advice--Wait until one or the other wins out. Somehow, I suspect both formats may tank. I have been burned too many times being an early adapter of new electronic equipment that flopped in the long run. (Examples: Atari 5200, the mini-disc music format, Apple's Lisa computer)

Wayne Schmidt
04-20-2006, 02:12 AM
I can't see both formats tanking, but I'll be surprised if either are a runaway success. The double format thing is really stupid on the studios and manufacturer's part. This isn't like the early years of home video . . . . HD is an improvement over what's available, not the introduction of an entirely new way to view entertainment. Although I (and probably most people here) can easily see the difference in quality when it's demonstrated to them on quality equipment it's not like DVDs absolutely suck in comparison. And until most folks upgrade their monitors the improvement isn't going to be significant to them. My guess is between 3 - 5 years before it makes much of an impact . . . . and with machines that either play both formats or the death of one of them.

mark t
04-20-2006, 09:03 AM
I can't see both formats tanking, but I'll be surprised if either are a runaway success either. The double format thing is really stupid on the studios and manufacturer's part. This isn't like the early years of home video . . . . HD is an improvement over what's available, not the introduction of an entirely new way to view entertainment. Although I (and probably most people here) can easily see the difference in quality when it's demonstrated to them on quality equipment it's not like DVDs absolutely suck in comparison. And until most folks upgrade their monitors the improvement isn't going to be significant to them. My guess is between 3 - 5 years before it makes much of an impact . . . . and with machines that either play both formats or the death of one of them.

well put, Wayne. I'm quite happy with my DVDs...for the most part, we're seeing the films in their OAR, and they're crisp and clear. I'm content to sit and wait for one or the other to win out (or to both go the way of the laserdisc)....

Vincent Pereira
04-20-2006, 10:24 PM
I'm quite happy with my DVDs... I'm content to sit and wait for one or the other to win out (or to both go the way of the laserdisc)....

Yes, LaserDisc, what an AWFUL format that was! I spit on the LaserDisc*! SPIT !!! SPIT !!!

Vincent

*Which ONLY lasted for 20-plus-years, even though a SMALL FRACTION of the number of LaserDisc players were ever sold in its lifetime vs. VHS machines.

Isaac K.
04-20-2006, 11:03 PM
Yes, LaserDisc, what an AWFUL format that was! I spit on the LaserDisc*! SPIT !!! SPIT !!!

Vincent

*Which ONLY lasted for 20-plus-years, even though a SMALL FRACTION of the number of LaserDisc players were ever sold in its lifetime vs. VHS machines.

By "going the way of the laserdisc", didn't he just mean that HD-DVD would become a niche format like laserdisc was for those 20-plus-years? That's how I interpreted it, anyways.

Vincent Pereira
04-20-2006, 11:22 PM
By "going the way of the laserdisc", didn't he just mean that HD-DVD would become a niche format like laserdisc was for those 20-plus-years? That's how I interpreted it, anyways.

I thought he was suggesting it might flat-out die.

I actually think it (or Blu-Ray) may very well become a niche-format like LD, and that's not a bad thing IMO- LD for many years was the "high-quality" alternative for serious videophiles to VHS, and HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray may very well become the same to standard-def DVD, and may thrive (albeit on a "niche format" level) as such.

A "niche format" is not neccessarily a bad thing- let's not forget that many (if not most) of the now-standard "special features" on DVDs- widescreen formatting, special attention to image and sound quality, commentaries and other "extras"- were all carry overs from the "niche" LaserDisc format that thrived among hard-core videophiles for more than two decades.

Vincent

mark t
04-21-2006, 07:18 AM
By "going the way of the laserdisc", didn't he just mean that HD-DVD would become a niche format like laserdisc was for those 20-plus-years? That's how I interpreted it, anyways.




Yes, that's what I meant. The fact that it never fully took hold....the fact that most of the titles that I wanted were well out of my price range....I'm thinking of The Day The Earth Stood Still and a few others.

Just so you know, Vincent, I own not one, but TWO laserdisc players, Acquired through my present job. I thought that laserdisc was nifty, and recognized that even plugged into a regular old tv with a composite signal, it blew VHS out of the water.

What i was saying was that i wasn't going to go jump on one bandwagon or the other, both feet in, only to find out that titles aren't accessible or reasonably priced, that I'm not going to be able to rent anything, that something more readily available will be out 5 years later...that type of thing.

But i know how misunderstood posts can be sometimes, so it's all good. :)

Jennifer S.
04-22-2006, 02:54 PM
The one thing about laserdisc is,how many were released in their O.A.R. early on? To me,it appears laserdiscs were mostly pan & scan for years. Since I can't find any early widescreen releases of some big titles until the late 80's/early 90's. All the early 80's discs I have found in used stores and stuff were P&S only.

I would not have jumped on the laserdisc wagon at the time unless the films were presented properly. But they were still way out of my price range to begin with.

Wayne Schmidt
04-22-2006, 03:47 PM
A "niche format" is not neccessarily a bad thing- let's not forget that many (if not most) of the now-standard "special features" on DVDs- widescreen formatting, special attention to image and sound quality, commentaries and other "extras"- were all carry overs from the "niche" LaserDisc format that thrived among hard-core videophiles for more than two decades.

Vincent
Well, as far as studios are concerned a niche format is a terrible thing. And I question whether they would continue to support any HD home video format if the penetration ends up only as deep as laser was. Remember, laser was kept primarily alive because directors, producers and alike loved it, and it became a status symbol to have your film put out in OAR with all the bells and whistles and extras it offered. It was an expensive manufacturing nightmare, with unbelievably high defect return rates (at least in the formative years), the dreaded laser rot, and only a handful of specialty outlets giving it any real catalog volume.

I believe it was the head of Warners, when asked at the launch of standard DVDs whether he would be happy with a "niche market" like laser disc flat out replied that they would NOT support another specialty format. He got his wish . . . . DVD is as mass market as it gets. I don't think their expectations are as grand with HD discs . . . . they no doubt view it as a gradual step up that will occur as more people upgrade their monitors to HD. But if, in three or four years HD discs are not doing any better than laser did it wouldn't surprise me if they start losing enthusiasm. After seeing the Toshiba being demonstrated the other day at Best Buy I don't think that's going to happen, however. They had a sales disc with clips from KING KONG playing on an LCD widescreen display, and the differences between it and the standard DVDs playing elsewhere weren't subtle - it was a big jump in quality. The biggest impediment to getting people on board is the stupid format war . . . once that's resolved, machine prices come down and there's enough titles to entice it should do well.

And yes Chris, in the early years virtually no lasers were released letterboxed. That trend started in Japan, where MGM released a series of expensive OAR CAV editions of films like 2001 and BRAINSTORM (with changing aspect ratios as Trumbull intended it - I don't think it's been issued like that in the U.S. to this day). I'm not sure of the chronology, but Criterion started releasing their special editions around the same time. Certainly Criterion can take credit for originating "supplimental material" and making the disc an event. With the exception of Woody Allen's MANHATTAN I don't think any of the studios released letterboxed editions for at least a few years after.

scott favareille
04-23-2006, 01:47 AM
US DVD letterboxing started showing up around 1988 (I recall Criterion's "Blade Runner" being one of the first titles to get that treatment.) Of course, more letterbox films were being imported from Japan previous to that (the Star Wars films being good sellers, even at $150 a pop).

I do recall the US LD of Brainstorm had multiple aspect ratios.

Wayne Schmidt
04-23-2006, 02:28 AM
I do recall the US LD of Brainstorm had multiple aspect ratios.
You're right . . . . I had the U.S. pressing. :o The first LD release was P&S, but when they released the letterboxed version it was with the changing ARs. I guess I was thinking of the DVD.

Wayne Schmidt
04-23-2006, 02:30 PM
Har de har . . . . the studios are really gonna love this.

http://www.hdblog.net/2006/04/20/hdcp-crackable/

I think one of their prime motivations in pushing people toward HD discs was "tighter" copy protection.

Another one bites the dust . . . .

Mattias Karlsson
04-27-2006, 10:42 AM
I can deal with HD-DVD right now, in the US, without worry. I think we'll start with HD-DVD releases. If BLU-RAY catches on, we at least have the option of going with that format, too, at a later time.


Don, do you think you maybe will re-release ALL movies on HD-DVD (BR) that you already have out on DVD?


About widescreen and laserdisc, there are quite a few really old LD's from japan that are in widescreen. Some of these I would guess are 84-85 releases.

Don May Jr
04-27-2006, 10:50 AM
Don, do you think you maybe will re-release ALL movies on HD-DVD (BR) that you already have out on DVD?

If you are talking releasing them on HD-DVD/BLU-RAY in HD format, then the answer is probably not. There are many titles we do not have high-def masters on.

But, you can still release standard def versions utilizing the space on an HD disc, so there is always the chance that, maybe, we could do double or triple features of some of our older titles. Maybe... who knows?

Mattias Karlsson
05-14-2006, 02:05 PM
I hope you will release some HD disc at least, my Sony SXRD Ruby cries out for horror HD :D

Michael Mackenzie
06-23-2006, 11:01 AM
http://www.lyris-lite.net/fu_archives/hda1_arrived.jpg

HD-DVD is in da howse!

Alas, we have nothing to play on it yet. Hopefully Million Dollar Baby and Serenity will arrive soon.

Ian Z.
10-27-2006, 03:46 PM
Been a few months since we visited this topic last. Out of curiosity (and purely that, as I have absolutely no money to upgrade my player and set anytime soon), I decided to check out the titles that were currently for sale or announced on BLU-RAY and HD-DVD. Interestingly enough, every title I saw of interest to me (THE THING, BLAZING SADDLES, AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, the upcoming Naschy titles) were on the HD-DVD format. I thought for sure I'd find something BLU-RAY only that would cause a conflict, but no. Also it's nice to see that many HD-DVD titles are currently coming out as hybrids to allow for ease in upgrading later.

Anyhoo, does anyone else have more current thoughts on this format war?

Also, there were/are some reviews of high def DVDs at hddvd.org, but I wonder how long before we'll start seeing them appear on sites like this? To be honest, it doesn't help me to know how the HD-DVD of the new Blockbuster releases compare to their SD counterparts. I would, however, like to know how catalog releases like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON are being presented in case I choose to buy them soon-ish so that I have them when I upgrade later.

Michael Mackenzie
10-27-2006, 04:06 PM
Well, I now have 13 HD DVDs, and while some have been of variable quality (just like DVDs), I have on the whole been very satisfied by every one of them. I'm also glad that HD DVD has taken an early lead, outselling Blu-ray titles by a factor of at least 3:1. If this continues, the Blu-ray studios are going to have to start supporting HD DVD if they want to make a profit. Lions Gate are already rumoured to be gearing up for HD DVD releases at the start of 2007, and Disney are expected to follow suit eventually. Fox will be harder to budge, because of their obsession with advanced copy protection and region coding (neither of which are currently supported by HD DVD), but I'm confident that they'll come around eventually if the trend continues. Sony will fall on their sword, but put it this way - if Blu-ray and the PS3 tank, they'll probably be looking to auction off their film library! :D The independents, like Anchor Bay and Synapse, will no doubt go with HD DVD anyway because of the ease of use and cost factors, and they're the ones that really count for me.

And Ian - I'll let you know how An American Werewolf in London looks when my copy arrives. :)

Jari K
10-27-2006, 06:16 PM
I'm also glad that HD DVD has taken an early lead, outselling Blu-ray titles by a factor of at least 3:1. If this continues, the Blu-ray studios are going to have to start supporting HD DVD if they want to make a profit.

Fox's Steve Feldstein: "Congratulations to the HD DVD team - they outsold Blu-ray when we didn't have any product in the market." ;)

I´m sure it´ll take at least a few years before we can see who´s going to "win" (or do both "lose"). PS3 is not released, and many people will buy that (including me) regardless that it´s using Blue-Ray and other consoles have the head start, etc. Of course some people have already bought HD-DVD and obviously they hope that it´ll win, but IMO it´s way too early to tell.

I´m personally planning to buy HD-DVD probably at some point (probably not in the current prices, though), but I have a feeling that PS3 will be my first HD-based player.. I see no reason to buy an highly expensive Blue-Ray player, when I´ll buy PS3 anyway quite soon after it´s released in Europe.

Michael Mackenzie
10-27-2006, 06:17 PM
Fox's Steve Feldstein: "Congratulations to the HD DVD team - they outsold Blu-ray when we didn't have any product in the market." ;)
They're STILL outselling Blu-ray by a factor of 3:1, and Blu-ray has been available since June.

Mattias Karlsson
10-27-2006, 06:53 PM
I'm still waiting to hear about all region players. There are some intresting R2 HD-DVD coming soon and I want one player, not two.

Michael Mackenzie
10-27-2006, 07:02 PM
I'm still waiting to hear about all region players. There are some intresting R2 HD-DVD coming soon and I want one player, not two.
They're region free.

mark t
10-27-2006, 07:20 PM
They're STILL outselling Blu-ray by a factor of 3:1, and Blu-ray has been available since June.

For sure...and somehow, admitting that another format has the jump on you is not a congratulatory thing. :)

Tim Young
10-28-2006, 04:53 AM
Maybe its just me, but I think Sony's arrogance really damaged their product roll-out this time:

From the pricing/technical problems they are having, it is clear that the product is still a few years from the mature, retail phase, so they should have avoided releasing it just yet and waited a few years for HD-DVD to make a foothold and then as HD DVDs start to take off, release a dual-format player with a load of BR discs (that, with the extra storage space should allow better quality image/sound) thus capturing the main HD-DVD market, but yet allowing early HD adopters to keep using their HD-DVDs.

Instead, Sony have rushed their product out to try and wipe out the opposition and capture 100% market share, and are now having all manner of techinal problems, leading to a potential consumer backlash. Look at Apple for example, they did not release the IPod until 2001, while MP3 Players (even HD based) had been around since the late 1990s, they waited until the market was ready and let the other firms do the initial leg work.

Jari K
10-30-2006, 04:15 AM
They're region free.

Yes, but the problem comes when we talk about the standard DVDs. I mean if you buy an expensive player like Blue-Ray (or HD-DVD for that matter), at least I want to watch older DVDs with it also, and I have all regions.. Further more, the upscaling could be just better in these HD-players compared to standard upscaling DVD-players... I´m sure these HD-players still have old region codes for the standard DVDs?

Fortunately European HD-players support both PAL and NTSC, when (again) US models support only NTSC.. The choice is quite easy in that sense - no way I´m going to stick with "NTSC only" or "PAL only".

Michael Mackenzie
10-30-2006, 04:19 AM
Yes, but the problem comes when we talk about the standard DVDs. I mean if you buy an expensive player like Blue-Ray (or HD-DVD for that matter), at least I want to watch older DVDs with it also, and I have all regions.. Further more, the upscaling could be just better in these HD-players compared to standard upscaling DVD-players... I´m sure these HD-players still have old region codes for the standard DVDs?

Fortunately European HD-players support both PAL and NTSC, when (again) US models support only NTSC.. The choice is quite easy in that sense - no way I´m going to stick with "NTSC only" or "PAL only".
Yes, I agree with you in that case, and it's true that the upscaling on the HD-A1 is phenomenally good, especially for digitally sourced 2D animation (Aladdin looks like a completely different film, for example). The region coding for standard DVDs is definitely an issue, and the lack of PAL support on the HD-A1 makes me almost wish I'd held out for a European player, but then I wouldn't have been able to spend the past four months enjoying movies in HD. Maybe I'll pick up an XBox 360 and HD DVD add-on when they become affordable - who knows.

Jari K
10-30-2006, 04:35 AM
..and it's true that the upscaling on the HD-A1 is phenomenally good, especially for digitally sourced 2D animation (Aladdin looks like a completely different film, for example)..

Really? That´s great news and I usually trust your knowledge when it comes to these issues. :) I´m planning to get the European HD-XE1 when it comes (we´ll see) and the first news are good ( http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=62644 ):

*HD-XE1 boasting HDMI 1.3 and full 1080P output alongside 5.1 analog outputs ensuring you can enjoy the new audio formats on your existing 5.1 input capable amplifiers. It also features a digital coaxial output alongside a digital optical out.

*Both players also support upscaling standard definition DVDs (both PAL and NTSC video standards are covered) - 1080P (HD-XE1) via HDMI.

How about non-animation films, meaning the upscaling via HD-A1 compared to "normal" upscaling DVD-player? How does films like "Titanic" and "Kill Bill" looks via HD-A1?

Michael Mackenzie
10-30-2006, 04:41 AM
Really? That´s great news and I usually trust your knowledge when it comes to these issues. :) I´m planning to get the European HD-XE1 when it comes (we´ll see) and the first news are good ( http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=62644 ):

*HD-XE1 boasting HDMI 1.3 and full 1080P output alongside 5.1 analog outputs ensuring you can enjoy the new audio formats on your existing 5.1 input capable amplifiers. It also features a digital coaxial output alongside a digital optical out.

*Both players also support upscaling standard definition DVDs (both PAL and NTSC video standards are covered) - 1080P (HD-XE1) via HDMI.

How about non-animation films, meaning the upscaling via HD-A1 compared to "normal" upscaling DVD-player? How does films like "Titanic" and "Kill Bill" looks via HD-A1?
The HD-XE1 is going to be pretty expensive - I'm not sure I'd pay that much just for HDMI 1.3 and 1080p, especially given that my display can only accept 1080i. I think the HD-E1 would be a far more cost-effective solution (it's basically the European equivalent of the HD-A1).

Non-animated films don't look quite so impressive, but you should definitely see an improvement, and in general it upscales everything better than my Panasonic DVD player. I haven't got Titanic, and the only version of Kill Bill I have is the Japanese release, which is Region 2 and therefore unplayable in the HD-A1.

Jari K
10-30-2006, 05:11 AM
The HD-XE1 is going to be pretty expensive - I'm not sure I'd pay that much just for HDMI 1.3 and 1080p, especially given that my display can only accept 1080i. I think the HD-E1 would be a far more cost-effective solution (it's basically the European equivalent of the HD-A1)..

Yes, the price is quite high at this point - no doubt, but it seems to be even higher with (European) Blue Ray -models (which I probably don´t buy due that fact that PS3 is coming, etc).

The thing is that I´m quite close to buy a "full HD" LCD-TV (Sony´s W-series probably), so in that sense I want a player that can support "full HD". Like I said earlier, I know that minor deinterlacing doesn´t hurt that much, but I still want that there are no scaling with HD-material (with normal DVDs, upscaling is of course unavoidable).

Then again, I´ve been doing "research" and tried to make the decision for many months now, so who knows when I actually buy these things.. They´re going to cost some serious money etc. Best thing probably would be to wait for 6 months/year, since "full HD"-TVs are probably getting more cheaper all the time (slowly, but still) and we get more reports of the European HD-players etc.


Non-animated films don't look quite so impressive, but you should definitely see an improvement, and in general it upscales everything better than my Panasonic DVD player. I haven't got Titanic, and the only version of Kill Bill I have is the Japanese release, which is Region 2 and therefore unplayable in the HD-A1.

Thanks. This upscaling with older DVDs is something that has really worried me, so good to hear that things get a bit better with HD-players (probably). With "Titanic" example I basically meant the films that look really great on standard DVDs.

Doug Roemer
10-30-2006, 11:29 AM
I can understand people's resistance to HD. People will not put up with DVDs going the way of the laser disk. I can sypathize with folks who invested thousands in laser disks only to watch their hobby be made obselete.

Also, with most DVDs offering theater-quality picture and sound, consumers (like me) will not be stampeding to Best Buy to upgrade their players any time soon. No freakin' way! I can resist the dubious pleasure of being able to view every pore in actor's face. No, the only thing that will tempt me to shell out for a new player will be HD-only extras. And then, it only be for choice titles like "Dawn of the Dead" and "The Thing."

Michael Mackenzie
10-30-2006, 11:58 AM
I can understand people's resistance to HD. People will not put up with DVDs going the way of the laser disk. I can sypathize with folks who invested thousands in laser disks only to watch their hobby be made obselete.
DVDs are not going to become obsolete. You have a huge collection? Fair enough - they're not going anywhere. Both next generation formats can play DVDs.


Also, with most DVDs offering theater-quality picture and sound
Whaaaaaaaaaaat???!! :D Are you kidding? Even the HD formats can't even match the level of detail you get from a 35mm print. DVD is pixel-pizza compared to a theatrical projection.

Ian Z.
10-30-2006, 01:33 PM
Whaaaaaaaaaaat???!! :D Are you kidding? Even the HD formats can't even match the level of detail you get from a 35mm print. DVD is pixel-pizza compared to a theatrical projection.

While I can certainly see your point in regards to DVD vs 35mm, do you really feel that HD is not close enough to 35mm? I've only ever seen an HD TV broadcast on a 100-inch screen, but that had me completely in awe at the level of detail and clarity.

And I do look forward to your impression of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. :)

Michael Mackenzie
10-30-2006, 01:47 PM
While I can certainly see your point in regards to DVD vs 35mm, do you really feel that HD is not close enough to 35mm? I've only ever seen an HD TV broadcast on a 100-inch screen, but that had me completely in awe at the level of detail and clarity.

And I do look forward to your impression of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. :)
I think that full 1920x1080 is supposed to be pretty close to half the resolution of a decent 35mm print. Of course, display size certainly plays a part, and it's certainly true that, on a small to medium screen, an HD DVD might look as good as or better than a print.

Wayne Schmidt
10-30-2006, 03:26 PM
[QUOTE=Doug Roemer]I can understand people's resistance to HD. People will not put up with DVDs going the way of the laser disk. I can sypathize with folks who invested thousands in laser disks only to watch their hobby be made obselete.[QUOTE]
Standard def DVD is not going anywhere for a very, very long time I would imagine. Lasers never gained a significant (by studio standards) market share, whereas DVDs are everywhere, used for everything. The players are compatible with CDs, DVD recordables, yadayada. Sure, the studios would LOVE for you to re-buy your collection on some HD format, but they'll still be offering both players and standard def versions which the vast majority of people have. I really don't think they'll ever make a machine that won't play them (at least while they're still making "discs" - with 8gig memory sticks already here and capacity growing all the time I can imagine a day when discs will seem kinda quaint).

Xavier West
10-30-2006, 04:18 PM
(at least while they're still making "discs" - with 8gig memory sticks already here and capacity growing all the time I can imagine a day when discs will seem kinda quaint).


This is my problem with HD. More space, better resolution and all that sounds great but it's still on an identical looking disc with all the inherent problems that the old discs had?

This evolution came way to fast. They should have held out on the HD releases till they had a media to put them on that is more reliable. Obviously in the future we won't be using discs so I don't see much point in upgrading from something I find almost good enough to something that appears to have it's obsolesence scheduled for the very near future.

Unless I can pick one of these players up for seventy bucks at the supermarket, as I can with DVD, then I don't think I'll be upgrading until the films are on a hard drive or format like a memory stick.

Doug Roemer
10-30-2006, 04:54 PM
Whaaaaaaaaaaat???!! :D Are you kidding? Even the HD formats can't even match the level of detail you get from a 35mm print. DVD is pixel-pizza compared to a theatrical projection.

Not kidding at all. The drive-in I go to projects DVDs onto an inflatable screen, and the image looks just fine--even many yards away. So yes, I would stand by my comment that most DVDs deliver a "theater-quality" image.

Vincent Pereira
10-30-2006, 08:16 PM
Not kidding at all. The drive-in I go to projects DVDs onto an inflatable screen, and the image looks just fine--even many yards away. So yes, I would stand by my comment that most DVDs deliver a "theater-quality" image.

480* X 720 pixels simply does not compare to the resolution 35mm film is capable of (around 4000 pixels in the horizontal domain, compared to the 720 offered by DVD and the 1920 offered by the HD formats). Bad prints, projection, etc., can obviously hamper a 35mm presentation- often severely- but if you were to compare a properly-made 35mm print on a big, BIG screen with good projection vs. a DVD version of the same movie projected just as large, there is no way at all that the two images would be comparable. The 35mm image would simply blow the DVD image away.

Vincent

* 576 in PAL.

Jennifer S.
10-30-2006, 10:21 PM
This is my problem with HD. More space, better resolution and all that sounds great but it's still on an identical looking disc with all the inherent problems that the old discs had?

This evolution came way to fast. They should have held out on the HD releases till they had a media to put them on that is more reliable. Obviously in the future we won't be using discs so I don't see much point in upgrading from something I find almost good enough to something that appears to have it's obsolesence scheduled for the very near future.

Unless I can pick one of these players up for seventy bucks at the supermarket, as I can with DVD, then I don't think I'll be upgrading until the films are on a hard drive or format like a memory stick.

I'd rather have a copy of a film on disc than a hard drive:)

Afterall,drives can crash and become corrupted easily. So it's a waste to keep a copy of a film or album for that matter on a digital file only.

This is why I laugh at those who claim storing all films digitally only on hard drives is the 'future' and will 'solve' all 'problems'. Nope,it'll make problems even larger if digital files are all that remains of various films and something goes wrong with the file/harddrive.


I have hundreds of cds,some that are close to 20 years old, and are still playing. And so far,none of my dvds have stopped working either and I have some from the early stuff to the latest.

Sure discs can get scratched easily if you're a careless idiot that doesn't take care of them. But if they remain in good condition,they will last for quite sometime. And unless there is some defect in the mastering which prevents them from being played/read by dvd drives. They should continue working properly.

Wayne Schmidt
10-31-2006, 12:24 AM
I'd rather have a copy of a film on disc than a hard drive:).
Not hard drives. Memory sticks of one sort or another. No moving parts. :)

Mattias Karlsson
10-31-2006, 12:30 AM
They're region free.


Yes, I read that now that first and second generation players in US, and first generation European players are region free. I don't care if they are region free for DVD's, I already have a great DVD player.
So I probably will get the European player, with HDMI 1.3 and 1080P output

Jari K
10-31-2006, 03:38 AM
DVDs are not going to become obsolete. You have a huge collection? Fair enough - they're not going anywhere. Both next generation formats can play DVDs..

Indeed. There might be a format-war between HD DVD and Blue Ray, but not between standard DVD and HD-formats, IMO. At least for the majority of people.

For several years, I´ll be buying both (standard and HD).

Ian Z.
10-31-2006, 11:18 AM
Wouldn't memory sticks be far too expensive to store enough data for an HD film on? I'm not sure most of us are willing to see a rise in cost for our movies, especially since people here complain about mastering issues with discs that they can now buy for $9.99? :)

Wayne Schmidt
10-31-2006, 12:56 PM
Right now, yes . . . . In fact I don't think there is one with enough storage for an HD dvd. But considering 1gig sticks were over $100 a year ago and can now be had for as little as $20 I think it's entirely possible that a few years down the pike we'll see both storage capacity and price that would make it a viable alternative. But that's the future . . . . . although I'm enjoying the fact that my current downstairs DVD player has a USB port on the front - I load up a 1gig stick with mp3s, plug it in and play. :-)

Probably the first area you'll see the sticks used are video cameras - I think some are coming out later this year. Standard def . . . for now.

Jari K
11-01-2006, 09:45 AM
Ok, rookie question. What (native) HD-resolution console games (PS3, etc) support? Will they be 720p or 1080p?

I remember reading from somewhere, that most of the games will be 720p, but they can be upscaled? Is this old information?

It´s not going to be that easy to choose the right TV/screen at the moment:

-ST DVD (PAL) = 576 i/p
-ST DVD (NTSC) = 480 i/p
-HD-DVD/Blue Ray = 1080p
-HD-TV = 720p (Europe?) / 720p/1080i (US)
-HD games = 720p?

vs.

-"HD-ready" LCD/Plasma = 768
-"Full-HD" LCD/Plasma = 1080p

You can´t really "win" - compromises has to be done, and scaling..

Mattias Karlsson
11-01-2006, 10:00 AM
720P games and movie can be upscaled.
If one have the money, a 1080P set will be the best, resolution wise.

Jari K
11-01-2006, 10:03 AM
720P games and movie can be upscaled.
If one have the money, a 1080P set will be the best, resolution wise.

So games (e.g. PS3) will be (native) 720p? That was my question.

Jari K
11-13-2006, 03:50 AM
I just made my final "decision" some days ago, and bought Sony Bravia KDL-40W2000 LCD, which is "full HD", 1080p. Link (Euro model, not sure how it compares to the US-model): http://www.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProduct.action?product=KDL-40W2000&site=odw_en_GB&pageType=Overview&category=TVP+LCD+TV

I don´t have the TV yet, so nothing much to report at this point. I saw Blue Ray trailers in the store via this W40", and they looked very nice.

So now I´m ready when HD DVD/Blue Ray arrives, 1080p-material with 1080p LCD via HDMI. That´ll be the time when I´ll be really happy. ;)

Jari K
11-17-2006, 08:03 AM
I will be getting the European Blue Ray (Panasonic DMP-BD10) player for a quick test in next week, since I´ll be writing a small article of HD and this player to my local magazine. It won´t be a full "hi-tech"-review where I spend hours of comparing DVD and Blue Ray and calculating stuff - It´ll be more like a quick look at the player (it seems that I´ll be getting only a demo-disc, not sure if I get any real movies at this point in time..), including some general HD-issues (that normal people can understand.. ;) ).

Still, looking forward to test that with my new 1080p-set. Should be pretty nice (although those trailers probably use higher bitrates than the actual film releases..).

What comes to this HD DVD and Blue Ray "war", I have a feeling that Blue Ray is coming from behind.. Now when it´s coming "first" to Europe, it might have the edge here. PS3 is also coming soon.

Just for the record, I have no "favourite" at this point - just wondering.

Tim Young
11-17-2006, 08:41 AM
I look forward to reading your comments.

It will be interesting to see how long it is before some major issue arises with the PS3, esp. the blu-ray component. At least we in Europe get to wait for the Americans and Japanese markets to test them first, with any luck, any problems will be fixed before they come out over here.

Jari K
11-18-2006, 03:40 AM
It will be interesting to see how long it is before some major issue arises with the PS3, esp. the blu-ray component. At least we in Europe get to wait for the Americans and Japanese markets to test them first, with any luck, any problems will be fixed before they come out over here.

Yes, Europe comes always "late", but it´s true that there are some advantages of that also.. And of course, Euro-models (when it comes to basically any DVD/BR/HD DVD -player, LCD, etc) support both PAL and NTSC, which is a "must" for me. Since HD-film releases are all "R0" at the moment, you can order them from the US also..

What is still quite disappointing, that at least the US PS3 (at least in this point) doesn´t upscale the ST DVDs, even when many cheaper DVD-players do so.. I mean e.g. my TV-set can upscale if the DVD-player can´t do it, but if you pay some serious money for the new HD-based player or PS3, you kinda hope that it would also do a better job with upscaling (ST DVDs) than your "older" ST DVD-player... At least my HOPE is, that with these new HD-players, you get the HD of course, but ALSO the improved upscaling for the ST DVDs..

Here´s also the first "trouble report":
http://ps3.ign.com/articles/746/746492p1.html

***

"The PS3's one severe issue is its lack of upscaling -- already a nagging issue for those who had been looking forward to enhanced PS1, PS2 and DVD playback, but now seen as a bigger issue for those who do not have 720p-capable HDTVs as well as 720p only sets.

...there is the upscaling issue -- more specifically, the system's current (and possibly permanent) lack of upscaling functionality. The lack of the functionality itself is a bummer and a major sticking point for some PS3 shoppers -- for one, the Xbox 360 does analog HD upscaling and downscaling in any system mode, and without the feature, backward-compatible PS2 and PS1 games as well as DVD videos will be displayed in their native resolution (maxing out at 480p for DVDs and most HD-enhanced PS2 games, and drawing just 480i in PS1 games as well as the majority of PS2 games.) That disappointment, many can live with -- at least, until Sony fixes it with a firmware update (if it's technically possible, which we're all crossing our fingers for). But for those with HDTVs limited to certain resolutions, there may be situations that bring the worst out of PS3.

UPDATE: 11/17/2007
While IGN has previously reported about the 1080i-only problem, we are receiving word of a problem with 720p-only sets as well, as the Blu-Ray player does not seem to be set to kick up to 1080i or kick down to 480p when set to play in 720p. IGN had previously listed 720p amongst the formats playable in BD Video settings since our test TVs did not run into this problem (and also, because we didn't think thrice that Sony would mess something as basic as 720p video playback up since lack of 1080i is made clear on game boxes, and also, we wanted the internet to be even more mad at us...) and we are currently investigating the situation. We are hearing conflicting reports from readers about the situation -- some that have not had troubles (but whose sets may be auto-upscaling where the PS3 fails it), some that have configured the system as usual and have been clearly been limited to only 480p Blu-Ray playback. Look for updates and hate mail here on IGN as soon as we have it.

For those with 1080i HDTVs, limitations of the system may keep you from truly experiencing the "Full HD" of the PlayStation 3. Because PS3 cannot scale images up or down currently, owners of HDTVs that are capable of 1080i resolutions but not 720p images will see some next-generation PS3 titles displayed at a maximum resolution of 480p if the game does not have 1080i support. Most HDTV sets are capable of both 1080i and 720p, but a number of CRT HDTVs as well as some older HDTVs models do not support the in-between image format.

HDTV owners should check their TV manual or look up online to see what formats their display can play. If your set is a 1080p set, you should be fine -- 1080p sets should be built to run at all HDTV resolutions (and if yours does not ... man, we'd hate to be the owner of that hunk of bunk.) If your set maxes out at 720p, you are safe for all PS3 videogames -- while you won't be able to get the full 1080p that PS3 is capable of, you will at least get to enjoy HD images in games that support it -- but Blu-Ray video playback may currently be limited. If your set is runs the upper-quality 1080i yet cannot display the progressive intermediate 720p, you might have a problem in PS3 videogames -- many are designed to run in 1080i, but the ones that are not will kick down to 480p. And if your set is capable of 1080i, 720p, and 480p/i, then of course you are fine -- your set supports all major HD standards, and there should never be a game on PS3 that is 1080p-only.

Since the PS3 hardware does not upscale the 720p image to 1080i (and in the case of Blu-Ray movies, may not downscale a 1080i image to 720p), the PlayStation 3 software will have to kick down to 480p mode to display on the set. Even if you don't know what all that this means in technical terms, it's easy to get that 480 is less than 720, and a heck of a lot less than 1080 (even in interlaced mode.) Everybody would like the PS3 to at least run at as high a resolution as their TV is capable of, even if there are cases where the ideal resolution isn't native to the TV.

Launch games that are affected by the 1080i-only problem (for those with these types of HD sets) include Resistance, Genji: Day of the Blade, Tony Hawk's Project 8, Need for Speed Carbon, and Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, amongst others in the launch line-up. Again, these games will work on PS3 even if your HDTV has display limitations, but the games will output at less than their maximum resolution on certain TVs because the PS3 does not compensate for resolution incompatibilities by scaling the image."

***

(Sorry, I don´t want this to turn into "PS3"-discussion, but these were HD-related issues..)

Mattias Karlsson
11-19-2006, 05:10 PM
LG will come out with a combi player next year, with both blu-ray and HD-DVD, I have read.

Michael Mackenzie
11-19-2006, 05:15 PM
LG will come out with a combi player next year, with both blu-ray and HD-DVD, I have read.
I really doubt it. I have a hard time believing that either side will allow that to happen.

Jari K
11-20-2006, 07:23 AM
I really doubt it. I have a hard time believing that either side will allow that to happen.

No way it´ll happen this soon.. And when it´s going to happen, it´ll cost some serious money at first. Then again, nobody can´t be 100% sure of these issues..

Good review of PS3 and movie playback:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127892-c,dvddrivesmedia/article.html

Mattias Karlsson
11-20-2006, 08:36 AM
It depends on what site one reads. It clearly have been up on the table and some sites are still saying ti will come, other say it won't: http://www.tvpredictions.com/lg080106.htm

mark t
11-20-2006, 08:53 AM
It depends on what site one reads. It clearly have been up on the table and some sites are still saying ti will come, other say it won't: http://www.tvpredictions.com/lg080106.htm


Hey, Mattias, did you notice this right at the top of the article?


"LG Electronics has scrapped plans to release a combination Blu-ray/HD-DVD player." :confused:

Jari K
11-20-2006, 09:03 AM
Let´s use common sense here. Of course they want at least "try" with their own players first. Who would buy any of these players now, if there are "dual format" player coming in next year?

BR just arrived to Europe, and HD DVD won´t come until next year.. PS3 will arrive to Europe in March 2007, I believe. Long way to go for the dual format players, IMO.

Then again, I hope that dual format-players arrive at some point, this ridiculous format-war is giving me the creeps. ;) There are already some persons who bought the HD DVD in the US that have started this "HD DVD is better - BR sucks"-type of debates, and it won´t be long when we have this nerdy-type of war in every forum.. Thank god there are good mods in these film-forums..

Just think if there would be just ONE HD-format? We all would be very happy, and people would buy these players like candy. Now many people just wait..

Michael Mackenzie
11-20-2006, 09:05 AM
HD DVD won´t come until next year..
Not true.

Jari K
11-20-2006, 09:37 AM
Not true.

And? So it´ll be late, or was that the point? Spill the beans. ;)

Just got the BR-player (Panasonic) for some testing. Very interesting.

Mattias Karlsson
11-20-2006, 09:44 AM
Mark, you didn't see I wrote " other say it won't: http://www.tvpredictions.com/lg080106.htm"

The other site is a Swedish that says it still will come but I don't think most of you read swedish so it is not of any use.

Michael Mackenzie
11-20-2006, 09:51 AM
And? So it´ll be late, or was that the point? Spill the beans. ;)

Just got the BR-player (Panasonic) for some testing. Very interesting.
HD DVD is due to launch in mid to late November in Europe. Some stores (e.g. Play.com) are already selling discs.

Jari K
11-30-2006, 10:12 AM
Michael, can I ask you something? I respect your opinions and views, but I was just reading your blog, and I was just (mildly) wondering that is there a bigger reasoning to diss Blu-ray that much, other than that you got HD DVD player early, and you have therefore chosen "your camp"?

I mean I know that you have some strong opinions (and I don´t always agree.. ;) ), but I see very few facts behind e.g. this:
"I had worried that, with Blu-ray launching before HD DVD in the UK, the punters would be suckered into buying it instead, but it seems that people have more sense than that"..

Now my honest and peaceful question is, that do you really feel that HD DVD is SO MUCH better than Blu-ray? And if your answer is "yes", do you really have that much "fact" on the matter, when the "war" is just about to begin (formats have just arrived to Europe, PS3 is coming, etc etc). We all know that only a handful of releases (on BOTH formats, I guess) use 50gb-discs, so I´m sure improvements etc will happen in both camps.. Also, e.g. Samsung Blu-ray player first had some kind of wrong "chip" etc which caused softer picture etc. I just tested the Panasonic BR-player myself, and it worked fine and looked pretty good.. Of course, I haven´t seen HD DVD, so I can´t make any comparisons whatsoever between BR vs HD DVD..

Now I really don´t want to start any "format war" here and I don´t "support" any formats just yet (I probably still get PS3), but this type of "Blu-ray dissing" is perhaps not what I expected from the good DVD-reviewer etc.. ;)

Michael Mackenzie
11-30-2006, 10:31 AM
Jari:

I think it's something of a vicious cycle, really. The reason I didn't buy a Blu-ray player (and I actually did have one pre-ordered at one point) was because of a combination of factors, including negative reviews of the earlier titles (which aren't necessarily representative of the format as a whole, I know), technical problems with the available and in-development hardware, a lack of availability of the 50 GB discs that were supposed to give the format its capacity advantage over HD DVD, the fact that Universal (a major, major player in my book) went HD DVD only, and the fact that I dislike the idea of a Sony-monopolised industry (they specifically told Don May at Synapse that he couldn't release certain titles on Blu-ray).

I also suspect that the majority of the indie companies, whose titles I am most interested in, will adopt HD DVD rather than Blu-ray, since it's cheaper to manufacture, easier to convert DVD replication lines over to HD DVD than to Blu-ray, and to avoid Sony's vice-like grip.

I'm not suspicious of Blu-ray because I went with HD DVD - it's the other way round, actually.

At the moment, while some of the problems with Blu-ray have been rectified, many more still remain, and as of yet the Blu-ray camp has not shown me any reason to pay more for their product. (The space advantage, in my opinion, remains largely irrelevant, given that the number of dual-layer titles on the market is minuscule in comparison to the number of single-layer ones, and in any event the studios that are dual-format are simply reusing their 30 GB HD DVD encodes for their 50 GB Blu-ray releases, rather than re-encoding them to take advantage of the extra space.) The (comparatively) cheap PS3 is an argument that a lot of people bring out, but in response I would point out that an Xbox 360 plus HD DVD add-on is cheaper still, so you're really back to square one.

Is HD DVD so much better than Blu-ray? Probably not, in all honestly. Theoretically, both formats should be capable of delivering the same high quality HD experience, and a glance at reviews for the titles that Warner have released on both formats should be proof enough that Blu-ray can deliver the same picture quality as HD DVD. I think, though, that there are a whole lot of other factors to consider besides performance, and in that regard I think HD DVD has the lead. When they started out, they got their product out the door quicker and in a better condition than Blu-ray, and in my opinion it's now up to Sony to match or exceed HD DVD. Sony likes to throw around statements like "The next generation doesn't start until we say so" (with regard to the PS3), but that arrogance may end up costing them in the long run. The industry (gaming or home entertainment) will not wait around for them to get their affairs in order, and if they hope to compete then they will have to match what the competition is providing, and do so at a better price. I've yet to see a reasonable argument for spending more money on Blu-ray which, most likely, can at best hope to match rather than exceed what HD DVD is offering.

I've been very distrustful of Sony for some time now, stemming from what I consider to be unfair business practices and bullying tactics (see, for example, what they recently did to Lik-Sang for committing the crime of allowing European customers to purchase US PSPs). I should also point out that Sony is now in a really unfortunate position. Their profits are in a slump, they're having technical issues left, right and centre (exploding batteries, anyone?), and to cap it all they continue to release poor quality Blu-ray titles while denying that there is a problem at all. They've basically put all their eggs in the Blu-ray/PS3 basket, and to be brutally honest I can foresee a scenario where this all ends in tears. I'm not saying I can predict the future, but I don't think Blu-ray or the PS3 are the sure-fire winners that Sony would like us to think they are. We're already beginning to see cracks in their armour - recently, for example, it was discovered that many of the PS3 games that they are releasing on Blu-ray discs are being artificially bloated (i.e. the discs filled with junk data) to justify the use of Blu-ray as a gaming format, when they could in fact have been fitted on a standard DVD. Many gamers are already extremely distrustful of Sony tying their next-gen video disc format to their gaming system, and it seems pretty clear that a number of gamers are looking to the Wii and or 360 as alternatives.

I'm perhaps a little outspoken with regard to my Blu-ray opinions on my site, but please bear in mind that what you read there is just my personal opinion. I wouldn't make these statements in a professional capacity, and, in a situation where I was reviewing Blu-ray material, I would of course treat it exactly as I treat HD DVD, and not be biased against it.

Sorry if that's a bit long-winded, and I hope that answers some of your questions. I make no secret of the fact that I think it will be better for the industry if HD DVD wins, but this is not a battle that I foresee being settled overnight, and we may well have to put up with there being two rival formats on the shelves for at least the next couple of years before a clear winner emerges. I think it will be HD DVD, and I hope it will be HD DVD, but if I have to switch to Blu-ray then I shall do so.

J. Edward Treece
11-30-2006, 11:49 AM
I think that was very well put, Michael. Just their censorship measures have been enough to make me give blu-ray the razz. On top of that are their super villianous plans for anti-piracy measures. I don't want anyone monitoring what I watch; not because of anything illegal I could put in my player but for what these days seems like an archaic notion: I actually value my privacy.

Doug Roemer
11-30-2006, 11:58 AM
A lot of this talk is really over my head. One thing I AM interested to know is whether these Blu-ray and HD disks actually have new content not available on normal DVDs? If not that, do they at least have the same amount of content (featurettes, commentaries, etc.) as normal DVDs? Can anyone point to any specific movies as examples? You guys can rant and rave about picture quality all you want, but if the Blu-ray "Dawn of the Dead" doesn't have the four commentaries and ton of extras to be had on the "Ultimate Edition," I don't see myself jumping on this particular bandwagon. One last question: Is it possible, with this format change, that some of this regular DVD content will become "lost" like what happened with the laser disk-to-DVD changeover? That some of our DVDs will, in fact, become prized collector's items like some of these old laser disks?

J. Edward Treece
11-30-2006, 12:45 PM
A lot of this talk is really over my head. One thing I AM interested to know is whether these Blu-ray and HD disks actually have new content not available on normal DVDs? If not that, do they at least have the same amount of content (featurettes, commentaries, etc.) as normal DVDs? Can anyone point to any specific movies as examples? You guys can rant and rave about picture quality all you want, but if the Blu-ray "Dawn of the Dead" doesn't have the four commentaries and ton of extras to be had on the "Ultimate Edition," I don't see myself jumping on this particular bandwagon. One last question: Is it possible, with this format change, that some of this regular DVD content will become "lost" like what happened with the laser disk-to-DVD changeover? That some of our DVDs will, in fact, become prized collector's items like some of these old laser disks?

I think the best answer to your question can be found at DVDCompare.net or DVDbeaver.com. But I would expect all the same extras would be included, but wouldn't be surprised to see little in the way of new material until the formats becomes less expensive to produce.

As for "lost" titles, only time will tell. But I would be willing to bet that it is a likelyhood. If a movie didn't sell well enough on DVD there's no reason to believe it will sell better on another format and so there would be no reason to "upgrade" it.

Michael Mackenzie
11-30-2006, 01:52 PM
A lot of this talk is really over my head. One thing I AM interested to know is whether these Blu-ray and HD disks actually have new content not available on normal DVDs? Six times the video resolution of DVD is enough "new content" for me. Although, if you mean do they have more extras, yes, some of them do. Many HD DVD releases have something called the "In-Movie Experience", which is like a cross between a commentary and a documentary that plays alongside the film itself (basically, interviews, behind the scenes footage and so on pop up in a window). Virtually every HD DVD release so far has at the very least included everything from the standard definition release (barring the likes of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Dazed and Confused, where Universal didn't have access to the extras from the Criterion DVDs). On Blu-ray, it's less cut and dried. Because of limited space (on single-layer discs) and operational limitations, not to mention the fact that Sony and some of their associate have been using the outdated, bloated MPEG2 codec (same as DVD) rather than the more efficient VC1 and AVC/MPEG4 formats, certain releases have had to drop some extras. Again, your mileage may vary. As J.E.T. said, check with sites like Rewind, which offer a comprehensive breakdown of the discs' contents.

Jari K
11-30-2006, 05:14 PM
Jari:.

Thank you for the reply. You have some good and valid points, but I´m not fully sure that is this "Sony talk" the key to the big questions like which format is "better" and which one will "survive". Quite frankly, if we talk about "exploding Sony batteries" here, we might as well start to talk about e.g. Microsoft, and shitty Windows or something. Quite frankly, I don´t care which company has made which product, my original question mainly is and was, that how can anyone say AT THIS POINT that "this is better" (when it comes to Blu-ray and HD DVD). I just don´t buy it.

To me, based on the HD-reviews, forum comments (excluding flaming and troll-geeks), tests, and my own experience with Panasonic BR player, Blu-ray and HD DVD are very much "even" at this point - in my book at least. Sure, I haven´t done any head-to-head comparisons, but even if there are some minor differences, I highly doubt that they´re anything more than issues that you´ll mainly see via serious testing. I doubt that those possible differences bother for the "normal viewing" with good set-up. For the really really hardcore hifi-people, it might be another story.

I´m not a super PS3-fan or anything, but now it seems that it´s the easiest and also (considering) the cheapest way to jump on that HD-bandwagon and get the game console to the same price. The "quality" of the games has never been that big issue for me, and I´ve been happy with "plain" PS2-quality, even when some other consoles are probably better. I just enjoy certain games (I play 4-6 games/per year, not that much), and PS3 will be "enough" for me, that I´ll know. I don´t see myself spending 1500 euros (at the moment) e.g. to the Panasonic stand-alone BR-player, when I paid around 2700 euros for the 1080p LCD.. The prices doesn´t add up

So to me, this PS3 vs Xbox vs whatever "wars" are probably the most boring thing on the whole internet, and it´s sad if BR vs HD DVD will create the similar playground. Forums full of people in "different camps", saying some lame comments about their "precious format". Ridiculous. This is not the same thing like comparing DVD to the highly inferior VHS.

I look at this current situation like this: Normal customer is now in the middle of the "format war" created by the big companies that can´t sit to the same table. It´s about the money, it´s about the power, it´s about the rich lawyers with suits. It´s not about what is "best" for the customers, best for the industry, and best for the HD-films. It´s not "for love of art or films". We could´ve got one new HD-format, and no format war. We didn´t get it.

And now what the film fans do? They start picking sides already (!), dissing that "other format", "declaring the winner", saying that "this has better codec than this other one", etc etc. Half of it (GENERALLY speaking) is just forums BS. It´s not reality - nor at least something that could really help the customer. US got HD DVD first - So, to many it´s now "better" format. Europe will get probably BR first (generally), so to many it´s now "better format". Some people don´t like Sony - so HD DVD is better. Some people want all the capacity they can get - so BR is better. etc etc. Let´s face it: If BR would´ve arrived "first" to the US, things would be other way around for many.. IMO.

BR might have more capacity (in the future) on "paper", but does it really show that much on the screen? HD DVD might generally have better codecs in some releases (to my understanding both can use the same ones if they want), but does it really show? Stuff like that is mainly just forum talk. Of course reviewers have to act that they can "see" the difference of the codecs, it´s just part of the game. But it´s not necessarily reality. Many reviewers doesn´t use 1080p-sets (not meaning that they should) and next we could argue about the TV-set/projectors that people use when they claim that "HD DVD is better" or "BR is better". Can of worms could be open quite easily if we take that route.

The difference between HD and ST DVD is there - that I have seen myself, but in some films/releases even that step is not probably as huge as some might think. HD is not a "heaven", but it offers better quality for those who want to step to that "next level" and have already a decent hometheater set-up. For the people with 4:3-TV it doesn´t offer anything.

What comes to extra features, HD-releases miss many extras from the ST DVD-releases. I have added most of the BR-releases to our site (REWIND) and HD DVD is "in progress", and there are many cases where I have been a bit surprised. My speculation is, that companies doesn´t want to include all the extras at this point, since they want that DVD will also sell and since they´re not stupid, they´ll know that many movie buffs like to have all the extras. Of course, in some releases all the extras from the ST DVDs are included and some new ones are included also, but I´m not sure how good these new "interactive extras" actually are. Old school, well made documentary or audio commentary is what I need (I take the new extras, though - Haven´t seen any of them yet). For the record, our site also includes the codecs, if they actually matter that much... ;)

I guess this was also partly OT, but I´m a bit worried that valid, objective information about the possible differences between BR and HD DVD will be buried under these various debates that are know as the "format war". Fans should take note and be really cautious what sources they´ll use when making decisions. One thing is certain; There are no winner yet. Not by a long shot.

Edit: Just wanted to add, that I fully agree with Michael, that better picture/audio is the main reason why people buy HD at the moment, you could say that extras are at this point almost secondary. I´m sure that extras will be more important in the future, when they´re shot in HD and discs really start to put that extra capacity in good use, but to buy HD-films just for the extras is probably not very wise.

Tim Young
12-01-2006, 04:35 AM
Just a note - the exploding battery issue is more serious than faults in Windows. Sony are having to recall literally tens of thousands of products and issueing replacements, costing them all sorts of money, and causing real bad PR. Windows faults may be annoying, but they can generally be fixed by a download at no extra cost to anyone.

I'm just waiting to see what is going to happen re:HD in the UK. Both sides seem to be doing a good job of sneaking the players and discs out below the radar.

Michael Mackenzie
12-01-2006, 06:58 AM
Thank you for the reply. You have some good and valid points, but I´m not fully sure that is this "Sony talk" the key to the big questions like which format is "better" and which one will "survive". Quite frankly, if we talk about "exploding Sony batteries" here, we might as well start to talk about e.g. Microsoft, and shitty Windows or something. Quite frankly, I don´t care which company has made which product, my original question mainly is and was, that how can anyone say AT THIS POINT that "this is better" (when it comes to Blu-ray and HD DVD). I just don´t buy it.
As Tim said, comparing exploding batteries to an operating system that you might find a bit annoying (although still no worse than any of the alternatives, in my opinion) is a bit of a stretch. Whatever you don't like about Windows, at least it's not a fire hazard. And Microsoft is not currently losing millions as a result of it in the way that Sony are as a result of having to replace laptops and other devices that contain their dodgy batteries.


To me, based on the HD-reviews, forum comments (excluding flaming and troll-geeks), tests, and my own experience with Panasonic BR player, Blu-ray and HD DVD are very much "even" at this point - in my book at least. Sure, I haven´t done any head-to-head comparisons, but even if there are some minor differences, I highly doubt that they´re anything more than issues that you´ll mainly see via serious testing. I doubt that those possible differences bother for the "normal viewing" with good set-up. For the really really hardcore hifi-people, it might be another story.
So do you think that all the resoundingly negative reviews of various Blu-ray releases are exaggerated, or made up? There are plenty of mediocre to poor Blu-ray titles. It's beside the point, though. The negative reviews may have had some impact on convincing me to jump aboard the HD DVD bandwagon, but I'm not under any delusions that the quality of the software is indicative of the format itself. As I said, both formats should be capable of the same level of quality, and they are, judging by Warner's titles. There are other issues to consider besides raw performance, though, and, like I said, Sony will have to deliver better than HD DVD in order to justify spending twice as much money on their format. That's not likely to happen.


I´m not a super PS3-fan or anything, but now it seems that it´s the easiest and also (considering) the cheapest way to jump on that HD-bandwagon and get the game console to the same price.
The 360 plus add-on is cheaper and, at the moment, more widely available. Also bear in mind that the 360 already has a very large established user base, for whom the cost of $200 for the add-on must be very tempting, and by far the cheapest way to get HD movie playback.


The "quality" of the games has never been that big issue for me, and I´ve been happy with "plain" PS2-quality, even when some other consoles are probably better.
Which is, I think, why the Wii, or indeed just sticking with the PS2 or 360, is looking like a far more attractive option for many people than blowing $500-600 on a PS3 that simply offers more of the same tired gameplay. Nintendo, to their credit, are at least trying to innovate with their system. The lack of new features on the PS3, in conjunction with its lack of availability, plus the fact that it's not even being released in Europe until Spring 2007 (a release date that's looking even less firm by the day), is going to cost Sony big-time.


I look at this current situation like this: Normal customer is now in the middle of the "format war" created by the big companies that can´t sit to the same table. It´s about the money, it´s about the power, it´s about the rich lawyers with suits. It´s not about what is "best" for the customers, best for the industry, and best for the HD-films. It´s not "for love of art or films". We could´ve got one new HD-format, and no format war. We didn´t get it.
Completely agree.


And now what the film fans do? They start picking sides already (!), dissing that "other format", "declaring the winner", saying that "this has better codec than this other one", etc etc. Half of it (GENERALLY speaking) is just forums BS. It´s not reality - nor at least something that could really help the customer. US got HD DVD first - So, to many it´s now "better" format. Europe will get probably BR first (generally), so to many it´s now "better format". Some people don´t like Sony - so HD DVD is better. Some people want all the capacity they can get - so BR is better. etc etc. Let´s face it: If BR would´ve arrived "first" to the US, things would be other way around for many.. IMO.
I think you're oversimplifying the situation. The people who went with HD DVD over Blu-ray did so for reasons other than HD DVD happening to "get there first". I, personally, didn't buy an HD DVD player until Blu-ray players were already on the shelves. HD DVD isn't selling better simply because people were impatient: it's a combination of factors, including cost, available titles (depending on what you're looking for), quality, use of next generation codecs, innovative bonus features, and so on.


BR might have more capacity (in the future) on "paper", but does it really show that much on the screen? HD DVD might generally have better codecs in some releases (to my understanding both can use the same ones if they want), but does it really show? Stuff like that is mainly just forum talk. Of course reviewers have to act that they can "see" the difference of the codecs, it´s just part of the game. But it´s not necessarily reality. Many reviewers doesn´t use 1080p-sets (not meaning that they should) and next we could argue about the TV-set/projectors that people use when they claim that "HD DVD is better" or "BR is better". Can of worms could be open quite easily if we take that route.
I must say I think that's incredibly unfair. So you think reviewers only pretend to see a difference? I'd credit most of them with more than that. Few of the sites reviewing HD material have any stake in the "war" either way - don't forget that most of the US-based ones get the hardware and movies supplied to them for free.


The difference between HD and ST DVD is there - that I have seen myself, but in some films/releases even that step is not probably as huge as some might think. HD is not a "heaven", but it offers better quality for those who want to step to that "next level" and have already a decent hometheater set-up. For the people with 4:3-TV it doesn´t offer anything.
As someone who always wants the best image quality possible, I now find it very difficult to watch standard definition after seeing HD. Of course, I was unsatisfied with standard def years before HD DVD and Blu-ray were even available, and only ever saw DVD as the stop-gap solution that the technical teams themselves considered it to be. Of course, I fully accept that I'm in the minority here, and it's absolutely true that, for many people, DVD is and will continue to be "good enough". And of course for those with 4x3 TVs it doesn't have anything to offer: for one thing you're not going to be able to play the discs at anything beyond DVD resolution.


What comes to extra features, HD-releases miss many extras from the ST DVD-releases. I have added most of the BR-releases to our site (REWIND) and HD DVD is "in progress", and there are many cases where I have been a bit surprised. My speculation is, that companies doesn´t want to include all the extras at this point, since they want that DVD will also sell and since they´re not stupid, they´ll know that many movie buffs like to have all the extras. Of course, in some releases all the extras from the ST DVDs are included and some new ones are included also, but I´m not sure how good these new "interactive extras" actually are. Old school, well made documentary or audio commentary is what I need (I take the new extras, though - Haven´t seen any of them yet). For the record, our site also includes the codecs, if they actually matter that much... ;)
Barring Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, whose DVD extras I have already explained are owned by Criterion rather than Universal, every HD DVD I own has ported over all of the extras from its DVD counterpart. Like I said, Blu-ray titles are a bit more variable. Some include everything, some include some of the extras, some include none. It's all a matter of available space.

And yes, the codecs do matter. MPEG2 requires too much space for it to be feasible for high definition encoding, something that Sony don't want to admit because they own patents in MPEG2. Put it this way: a dual-layer DVD holds 9 GB of data. A Blu-ray disc holds 25 GB (50 GB for dual-layer discs, which aren't widely available and thus aren't relevant to most releases). 1080p high definition is six times the resolution of standard def DVD - therefore theoretically you'll need six times the space to encode it effectively. How are you going to do that if you only have less than 3 times more space with which to do so? And that's before you consider the additional space required for uncompressed or higher bit rate audio tracks. Even on a 50 GB Blu-ray disc you're going to run into problems, since you're still going to have to compress the material more in order to fit it on the disc.

Of the new formats, VC1 and AVC/MPEG4, it's hard to say whether one is superior to the other, but I have been extremely impressed by the results of both. Serenity, Unleashed and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (all VC1) left me hugely impressed, and The Machinist (AVC) is just as good barring some imperfections in the source material.

Jari K
12-01-2006, 08:11 AM
As Tim said, comparing exploding batteries to an operating system that you might find a bit annoying (although still no worse than any of the alternatives, in my opinion) is a bit of a stretch. Whatever you don't like about Windows, at least it's not a fire hazard. And Microsoft is not currently losing millions as a result of it in the way that Sony are as a result of having to replace laptops and other devices that contain their dodgy batteries.

Of course, these type of issues are not good (=they f*cked up), but I mainly meant that what Sony and exploding batteries got to do with HD-formats? Since there were some "exploding batteries" and Sony is behind BR, now BR is inferior because of that? This is what I was after, and "exploding batteries" doesn´t affect on my HD-format decisions in any way.


So do you think that all the resoundingly negative reviews of various Blu-ray releases are exaggerated, or made up??

No, I don´t think that. All I´m saying that people should be quite open minded at this point, and not judge the whole format (BR or HD DVD) based on certain titles and reviews. At least I want to see the quality myself before making any real "decisions". And this means different genres, old and new films, old and newer releases, etc. I have said this before, but reviews never ever tell the whole truth, and at least you should read several reviews of the same release. Reviews are made for the marketing purposes as much as they´re meant to tell about the quality of the film or the transfer. Good review will DEFINITELY give some directions for the customers and are almost essential at the moment, but they are not the "ultimate truth". I have plenty of respect for every reviewer who does their job well.



The 360 plus add-on is cheaper and, at the moment, more widely available. Also bear in mind that the 360 already has a very large established user base, for whom the cost of $200 for the add-on must be very tempting, and by far the cheapest way to get HD movie playback.

This all could be true. Like I said, I don´t know that much about these consoles. I actually thought that 360 outputs only 1080i, not 1080p, but it must have been my wild imagination.



PS3 that simply offers more of the same tired gameplay..

Well, "tired" for you maybe, but very good for me. Like I said, I mainly looking for certain games (stuff like "Resident Evil", "Tomb Raider", "Ape Escape", "Medal Of Honor", etc), and PS3 will be just fine for my needs. Your comment is not something that I´ll take seriously at all. And again for the record, I have zero interest of debating these game consoles. They are great way to pass time and have fun, but films are my nr.1 thing in home entertainment.



I think you're oversimplifying the situation. The people who went with HD DVD over Blu-ray did so for reasons other than HD DVD happening to "get there first". I, personally, didn't buy an HD DVD player until Blu-ray players were already on the shelves. HD DVD isn't selling better simply because people were impatient: it's a combination of factors, including cost, available titles (depending on what you're looking for), quality, use of next generation codecs, innovative bonus features, and so on.

Valid points, and yes, I probably did some "oversimplifying", but there are many people who "just bought" the HD DVD-player, now hoping that BR will be s*it (as a format). They also dig up every negative comment, take it out of the context, and spread that "info" on the forums and blogs. Do you really feel that every negative comment about BR (or HD DVD for that matter) is 100% valid information? No. But people sometimes believe where they want to believe. Not always of course, many times negative comments are very valid. My point is what I said earlier; You have to keep at least "open mind" with these things - at this point at least.



I must say I think that's incredibly unfair. So you think reviewers only pretend to see a difference? I'd credit most of them with more than that. Few of the sites reviewing HD material have any stake in the "war" either way - don't forget that most of the US-based ones get the hardware and movies supplied to them for free.

Yes, I know and our site also got the BR-player. Ok, I admit that I said some things in the wrong tone. The point that I was after was, that when we go to that (I guess it´s unavoidable) territory, that reviewers say that "this HD-release is using MPEG-2 codec" and feel that it´s the main reason why the transfer is "lacking" or something like that requires that this reviewer is actually convinced that MPEG-2 really is inferior compared to some other codecs. I mean that the reviewer has really seen the "difference", speaking mainly from facts and not quoting some web site that is speculating about these codecs. I have read that MPEG-2 does good job with certain material, and it´s not just "inferior" codec. I would be happy to read some proper info and comparison about these codec-issues. In the main time, I´ll take the reviews and "codec commets" with the grain of salt.




As someone who always wants the best image quality possible, I now find it very difficult to watch standard definition after seeing HD.

I don´t really feel that way. I have over 1500 DVDs, and I´ll watch them for the years to come. From the proper viewing distance and with 40" screen, I find ST DVD quite good (some better, and some worse). Of course, HD is even better. ;) LCD is still quite new to me (haven´t had time to watch that many movies with it), so my eyes will need some adjusting.


..every HD DVD I own has ported over all of the extras from its DVD counterpart. Like I said, Blu-ray titles are a bit more variable. Some include everything, some include some of the extras, some include none. It's all a matter of available space.

You may be right. It just might be true that HD DVD has kept more extras than BR - so far. I noticed that extras were missing, but now I can´t remember were they BR or HD DVD or both.


..
And yes, the codecs do matter. MPEG2 requires too much space for it to be feasible for high definition encoding, something that Sony don't want to admit because they own patents in MPEG2. Put it this way: a dual-layer DVD holds 9 GB of data. A Blu-ray disc holds 25 GB (50 GB for dual-layer discs, which aren't widely available and thus aren't relevant to most releases). 1080p high definition is six times the resolution of standard def DVD - therefore theoretically you'll need six times the space to encode it effectively. How are you going to do that if you only have less than 3 times more space with which to do so?

Yes, this is interesting subject. Like I said, I would like to learn more about these and not just from the random reviews or forums. If you could point me to the right direction, please do so.

Ok, this discussion has taken some "sub-routes", so I just want to add that I´m not in the "BR camp" nor in the "HD DVD camp", and the best thing for everyone would be that we all would be in the same camp and there would be only one HD-format. Sadly, this is not the case, but personally I hope that we find that "informative way" to discuss about these issues, and not to "diss" BR or HD DVD. Only with proper information people can make that "right decision". IMO, at least.

Tim Young
12-01-2006, 09:25 AM
Of course, these type of issues are not good (=they f*cked up), but I mainly meant that what Sony and exploding batteries got to do with HD-formats? Since there were some "exploding batteries" and Sony is behind BR, now BR is inferior because of that? This is what I was after, and "exploding batteries" doesn´t affect on my HD-format decisions in any way.


True - it won't affect BR quality directly. But Sony are looking at a huge financial hit this year as a result and a new technology like BR needs a lot of money to be invested - research/developing, marketing etc. and with potentially less money to play with than they would have expected, beta testing etc. might have to be cut down with the potential for more recall needing errors slipping through, and the retail prices might be raised to compensate (products like the PS3 are often sold at a loss as the company looks to make back the money by licensing games etc., a similar tactic would probably have been used with the BR equipment except for this problem - one of the factors behind the much higher price of BR equipment over HD-DVD).

Michael Mackenzie
12-01-2006, 11:24 AM
Well, "tired" for you maybe, but very good for me. Like I said, I mainly looking for certain games (stuff like "Resident Evil", "Tomb Raider", "Ape Escape", "Medal Of Honor", etc), and PS3 will be just fine for my needs. Your comment is not something that I´ll take seriously at all. And again for the record, I have zero interest of debating these game consoles. They are great way to pass time and have fun, but films are my nr.1 thing in home entertainment.
My point, really, is that the PS3 really just seems to be offering the same type of gameplay with improved graphics, and there comes a point when graphics alone are not enough of a selling point. I know that these types of games are very popular, but I get the impression that Sony (and Microsoft too, for that matter) are increasingly struggling to justify customers having to buy a new system just to play the same material. Nintendo, on the other hand, is focusing first and foremost on delivering new types of gameplay experience, and have released the cheapest of this generation of consoles by far. Okay, so it's cheap because it's technically not much of a step up from the Gamecube, but judging by the way it has been received it does seem that there is a fairly large user base that is willing to trade in graphics quality for innovative gameplay.

I should probably point out, in case I'm giving the wrong impression, that I've never owned a games console and don't intend to. When it comes to games, I'm mainly a PC player. I'm just looking at this from the perspective of an outsider, and going by the general impression I'm getting from talking to people who do buy console games.


Yes, I know and our site also got the BR-player. Ok, I admit that I said some things in the wrong tone. The point that I was after was, that when we go to that (I guess it´s unavoidable) territory, that reviewers say that "this HD-release is using MPEG-2 codec" and feel that it´s the main reason why the transfer is "lacking" or something like that requires that this reviewer is actually convinced that MPEG-2 really is inferior compared to some other codecs. I mean that the reviewer has really seen the "difference", speaking mainly from facts and not quoting some web site that is speculating about these codecs. I have read that MPEG-2 does good job with certain material, and it´s not just "inferior" codec. I would be happy to read some proper info and comparison about these codec-issues. In the main time, I´ll take the reviews and "codec commets" with the grain of salt.
I take your point there. Yes, it's true that the codec can often become a convenient scapegoat for a bad transfer - The Fifth Element and House of Flying Daggers, would have looked bad no matter how they were encoded. In those cases, the masters the encoding team were handed were of a poor standard. That said, I think that the codec issue is a very important one, and, as I outlined when discussing available disc space, it's a mathematical fact that MPEG2 is not efficient enough for material of this resolution when space is an issue.


Yes, this is interesting subject. Like I said, I would like to learn more about these and not just from the random reviews or forums. If you could point me to the right direction, please do so.
I'm not sure that you'll find anything on any forums relating to this (well, maybe you will, but I've never come across anything). I'm simply going by common sense, and what technicians have told me. I know for a fact that VC1 is capable of "flawless" (if such a thing exists) quality with bit rates of between 10 and 15 Mbps (9.8 Mbps being the upper limit of standard def DVD's allowed bit rate), whereas, to get similar results with MPEG2, you have to go a lot higher. We are talking about a format, after all, that is over 10 years old. Technology has come a long way since MPEG2 was first released.


Ok, this discussion has taken some "sub-routes", so I just want to add that I´m not in the "BR camp" nor in the "HD DVD camp", and the best thing for everyone would be that we all would be in the same camp and there would be only one HD-format. Sadly, this is not the case, but personally I hope that we find that "informative way" to discuss about these issues, and not to "diss" BR or HD DVD. Only with proper information people can make that "right decision". IMO, at least.
Once again, I completely agree with you. I wish there was only one format too, as it would simplify everything, not to mention make upgrading to HD more appealing to people. Ultimately, though, Sony was not willing to play ball - HD DVD is ratified by the DVD Forum, Blu-ray is not. Both "sides" went their own separate ways, and if anything good has come out of it, it is that both sides now have to work extra hard to justify one over the other. In the long run, that may mean better output from both than if there had been a single format with nothing to compete against.

Doug Roemer
12-01-2006, 01:08 PM
Six times the video resolution of DVD is enough "new content" for me. Although, if you mean do they have more extras, yes, some of them do. Many HD DVD releases have something called the "In-Movie Experience", which is like a cross between a commentary and a documentary that plays alongside the film itself (basically, interviews, behind the scenes footage and so on pop up in a window).

Fair enough, sir. When I finally see one of my favorites in HD, I'll probably soil myself.

Would you, or someone else, mind elaborating on this "In-Movie Experience"? You're saying this is new material? That's not quite in agreement with what other people are saying on this thread. Anything more to add?

My opinion in this matter will certainly be swayed by whatever format Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, NoShame, and Synapse adopt. It seems like we're some time (2-3 years? more/less?) away from that though.

Michael Mackenzie
12-01-2006, 01:22 PM
Would you, or someone else, mind elaborating on this "In-Movie Experience"? You're saying this is new material? That's not quite in agreement with what other people are saying on this thread. Anything more to add?It varies from film to film. On some releases (e.g. V for Vendetta) it's all new material, on others (e.g. The Bourne Supremacy) it's a combination of new material and previously seen interviews. It's difficult to describe it in any more elaborate terms than a cross between a documentary and a commentary. Basically, a separate "stream" plays at the same time as the film itself, with content - whether that's on-camera interviews, behind the scenes footage, storyboards, CGI demonstrations, alternate takes etc. - appearing in a window alongside the film. It's great because, unlike a commentary, you're not restricted to just hearing the speaker's voice - they can actually illustrate visually what they're talking about - while, unlike a documentary, you have the context of the film itself to refer to. I do think that, in the future, when everyone eventually switches to HD, these In-Movie Experiences (or whatever the studios choose to call them) will become the norm, and they are in my opinion a very effective way of conveying information.

Jari K
12-03-2006, 02:51 PM
My point, really, is that the PS3 really just seems to be offering the same type of gameplay with improved graphics, and there comes a point when graphics alone are not enough of a selling point. I know that these types of games are very popular, but I get the impression that Sony (and Microsoft too, for that matter) are increasingly struggling to justify customers having to buy a new system just to play the same material. Nintendo, on the other hand, is focusing first and foremost on delivering new types of gameplay experience, and have released the cheapest of this generation of consoles by far.

This is interesting point, since I was just talking with my friend some days ago, who is already pre-ordered Nintendo Wii. Now he´s a guy that has some cash, so he´s basically buying every new game console, and he also told me about this "new types of gameplay experience", at least with new contollers, etc. Well, I have very little interest of this more "interactive game playing", where you e.g. wave your controller in the air or something like that. In a way (at this point, haven´t seen them yet) similar thing goes to HD and new extras, where you have to watch the film again and again to see all the "new" extras.. I just don´t have time to even listen those audio commentaries (for the review I´ll watch and listen everything) as much as I would want to.

My point again is, that what I really want from the games is basically just that "gameplay with improved graphics", I don´t seek any "interactive" stuff, etc. So PS3 will be a very good choice.

For the record, I have Mac, and 0 games in computer, and I kinda dislike that computer playing, where everything "moves" so fast, at least with the 3rd person stuff. Very little interest for the online-gaming also..

So in a nutshell: I´m an old schoold gamer, who just want the basic (boring to some?) stuff, mainly. New Resident Evil´s, new Tomb Raider´s, and new Crash Team Recing´s. Of course I want good - and also NEW games and I fully understand people who are seeking new stuff when it comes to games, want to play online and with computer, and want to wave their hands in the air while playing (!), but give me a new, solid horror game with zombies with chainsaws and I´m happy. ;) (for the record, e.g. "Resident Evil Outbreak" sucked, I don´t like games with "time limits")

(This has a very little to do with HD, but just to point out why PS3 is the "best" option for me when it comes to games and HD at the moment - Then again, I can buy HD DVD if it comes to that.. We´ll see.. )



I take your point there. Yes, it's true that the codec can often become a convenient scapegoat for a bad transfer - The Fifth Element and House of Flying Daggers, would have looked bad no matter how they were encoded. In those cases, the masters the encoding team were handed were of a poor standard. That said, I think that the codec issue is a very important one, and, as I outlined when discussing available disc space, it's a mathematical fact that MPEG2 is not efficient enough for material of this resolution when space is an issue.

Well, here´s just a quick and new example of the BR-review, which someone COULD take as part of his/hers "BR bashing", or then again people just can blame the studio and/or the source material.. Or, perhaps it´s rather "good" for many people?

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/showthread.php?t=246344

HTF gives 2.5/5 to the transfer quality, while e.g. "Hi-Def Digest" gives 4.5/5. Then you have one guest who sees that "both are wrong" and that it´s somewhere around 3,5/5. ;) (This is why I never gives "scores", since words are the best way to give a proper review.. IMO).

HTF says that the codec is "MPEG-2", while Hi-Def says that it´s "AVC MPEG-4".

Now I´m not saying that these reviewers are "wrong" (other one is about the codec, though) or they made "bad reviews", I just say what I said earlier; Reviews cannot be taken like the "ultimate truth", since people see these issues (at least slightly) differently, and in this case one person rates the transfer 2/5 and the other one 4/5.. Is the other one "wrong" then?

If the transfer truly is not very good, is it because of the source material provided by the studio? Inferior codec? Both? Just that BR can´t deliver? ( ;) ) Is it just encoded in a bad way to the disc? Do we know that e.g. "MPEG-4" with this film would make a significant difference over "MPEG-2"? Do we know that for sure? etc.

There are just too damn many questions at this point when it comes to these issues, and I feel that too much pure "speculation" also. This is of course not the fault of the reviewers (even when we are all humans, who do mistakes from time to time), but rather it´s this weird mix of the studios, format war, new technology/terms, different transfers/films/genres/styles vs. demanding customers, who want to know it all and fast (Still, many are too lazy to learn anything by themselves, so they wait for the "quick answers" and are disappointed if they are not available), even when it probably takes a bit more time that we actually know which format is the "best one" etc etc.

Michael Mackenzie
12-03-2006, 03:36 PM
This is interesting point, since I was just talking with my friend some days ago, who is already pre-ordered Nintendo Wii. Now he´s a guy that has some cash, so he´s basically buying every new game console, and he also told me about this "new types of gameplay experience", at least with new contollers, etc. Well, I have very little interest of this more "interactive game playing", where you e.g. wave your controller in the air or something like that. In a way (at this point, haven´t seen them yet) similar thing goes to HD and new extras, where you have to watch the film again and again to see all the "new" extras.. I just don´t have time to even listen those audio commentaries (for the review I´ll watch and listen everything) as much as I would want to.

My point again is, that what I really want from the games is basically just that "gameplay with improved graphics", I don´t seek any "interactive" stuff, etc. So PS3 will be a very good choice.
As it happens, my brother got a Wii two days ago, and invited a bunch of friends round. It's great fun, and definitely has something of a "party" atmosphere, but I do concede that, for a lot of people, this is probably going to be a secondary console, to go alongside rather than instead of a PS2, PS3 or Xbox 360. The new style of controller is definitely going to be both a blessing and a curse, because, while it certainly makes the developers push for new ways to do things, it may in the long run limit their choice as to available gameplay styles.


For the record, I have Mac,
Ah, so you're one of those. :D Just kidding. ;)


Well, here´s just a quick and new example of the BR-review, which someone COULD take as part of his/hers "BR bashing", or then again people just can blame the studio and/or the source material.. Or, perhaps it´s rather "good" for many people?

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/showthread.php?t=246344

HTF gives 2.5/5 to the transfer quality, while e.g. "Hi-Def Digest" gives 4.5/5. Then you have one guest who sees that "both are wrong" and that it´s somewhere around 3,5/5. ;) (This is why I never gives "scores", since words are the best way to give a proper review.. IMO).

HTF says that the codec is "MPEG-2", while Hi-Def says that it´s "AVC MPEG-4".

Now I´m not saying that these reviewers are "wrong" (other one is about the codec, though) or they made "bad reviews", I just say what I said earlier; Reviews cannot be taken like the "ultimate truth", since people see these issues (at least slightly) differently, and in this case one person rates the transfer 2/5 and the other one 4/5.. Is the other one "wrong" then?

If the transfer truly is not very good, is it because of the source material provided by the studio? Inferior codec? Both? Just that BR can´t deliver? ( ;) ) Is it just encoded in a bad way to the disc? Do we know that e.g. "MPEG-4" with this film would make a significant difference over "MPEG-2"? Do we know that for sure? etc.
Yes, this is definitely why you need to read reviews from several different sources, and I certainly concede that you do sometimes read radically different opinions depending on which site you're visiting. Of course, the same is true of DVD, and always has been, so this issue isn't something that's going to be resolved. (Case in point: the Lord of the Rings DVDs, which so many sites praise, but which I think are very mediocre.) The absolute worst, from my perspective, is when people complain about grain as if it's something that shouldn't be visible. That does my head in!

Ray Kanne
12-03-2006, 05:09 PM
The absolute worst, from my perspective, is when people complain about grain as if it's something that shouldn't be visible. That does my head in!

Yep, one of my main quibbles with DVD reviews as well, these people don't seem to understand what film grain is. I think they see it as a fault that must be dealt with just like specs and hairs. They probably remember how every DVD used to be clean and free of grain when DVD was a relatively new thing, and everything was noise filtered to death. It would also seem some of these people think film grain is in fact some kind of digital grain similar to the noise and grain found on VHS tapes. Well, no matter what it's very annoying that 90% of reviewers don't know the media they're reviewing, and whether they know it or not they're doing a huge disservice to the very fans they're supposedly helping out with these reviews.

Tim Young
12-03-2006, 06:48 PM
I'm not completely awake, (but full of caffine), so I'm not sure whether my reviews fall foul of these comments - but I only mention grain as a reference point because some people will want to know before they buy the disc.

Jari K
12-05-2006, 07:01 AM
..but I only mention grain as a reference point because some people will want to know before they buy the disc.

Not wanting to turn this into grain/review discussion, but I sometimes mention the grain in my own reviews, like e.g. "there are some issues with grain" etc, just to point out that to the reader. It´s completely up to the viewer to "decide" is additional and visible grain some sort of "problem" for them. I just feel that sometimes I should mention if the transfer is "grainy".

But yes, grain is part of the film stock, and with older low budget film it´s often visible.

Jari K
12-05-2006, 08:49 AM
Interesting thread of Blu-ray - codecs and bitrates:
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=3338

It´s true that at this point MPEG-2 dominates BR, while HD DVD is using VC-1 more regularly. So in that sense Michael has a point.

Of course, codec and bitrate doesn´t tell the whole truth.

Jari K
12-13-2006, 08:18 AM
Bigger studios and HD in 2007:

http://www.digitalbits.com/

*Universal Home Entertainment:
Informed us that the studio will continue exclusively backing the HD-DVD format in 2007 and expects to make a number of major HD-DVD release announcements at CES next month.

*Buena Vista Home Entertainment:
The studio is planning to announce a MAJOR Blu-ray Disc release line-up for the first half of 2007 at CES. In addition, he reiterated to me in no uncertain terms that BVHE has no plans to support HD-DVD, despite persistent online rumors to the contrary.

*20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:
Likewise confirmed that Fox has no plans to support HD-DVD, and that the studio will also be announcing additional Blu-ray Disc titles at CES.

*Paramount:
The studio is currently focusing on new release titles, but is also busy evaluating a number of major catalog titles for their readiness to be released on HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the year ahead. The studio definitely expects to continue supporting both high-def formats equally in 2007.

*New Line Home Entertainment:
The latest official word is that the studio is currently still evaluating their plans as far as which format(s) they might support and what titles they might want to release. For now, don't expect anything from them on either format until probably mid-2007.

*Warner:
The studio is committed to catching up with their Blu-ray Disc releases in 2007, so that all previously released HD-DVD titles will be available on Blu-ray as well, and future titles will be released on both formats simultaneously.

Michael Mackenzie
12-13-2006, 10:30 AM
Thanks for the news, Jari. Looks like no major changes to plans are going to be announced at CES this year. Personally, I still hope for Lions Gate to go dual-format.

If Warner are going to release all of their titles on Blu-ray, I wonder what they'll do with those equipped with the In-Movie Experience, given that the main reason titles like V for Vendetta and Constantine haven't shown up on that format yet is because they don't currently have the technical means to do it. I also wonder if their delay of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the US, which has the IME, has anything to do with it (the US disc was released in Europe, but it still hasn't got a US release date).

Personally I suspect that New Line will be dual-format, like their parent company Warner.

Adrian Fletcher
12-23-2006, 03:43 PM
I have to confess I soiled my pants quite badly when I first heard the news about Blu-ray and HD DVD – that, of course, was before I realised both formats are backward compatible. Apart from the fact most of us with enormous DVD libraries don’t want to buy them all over again, most of us can’t afford to. Having looked into this debate in substantial depth over the last fifteen months I have a more sedate view of the bigger picture. Firstly, I am 100% convinced that DVD is not going anywhere for at least the next ten years. Secondly, as I always suspected would happen as soon as Blu-ray and HD DVD were announced, a bunch of Japanese dudes (specifically electronics giant NEC) would develop and indeed already HAVE developed the inevitable chip enabling playback of both formats (with Blu-ray and HD DVD both being DVD capable that means you can have all 3 formats in one player!) Furthermore, the chip can be delivered to both groups so it won’t matter whether you own a Blu-ray or HD DVD player. The chip is set to go on sale in April 2007 for 10,000 yen (around £45) and will also accommodate future drive-format upgrades. It’s extremely fast and able to read and write data at five times regular speed to-and-from Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.

As for the question, is Blu-ray and/or HD DVD really that much better than our beloved silver spinners? No it ain’t. I recently visited the AV outlet I’ve been using for the last ten years because I heard about the set-up in their audition room in which two identical Pioneer 50 inch plasmas were positioned side-by-side (we're talking Pioneer's flagship 1080p set) both set ups running via HDMI, one with a Blu-ray player, the other a standard DVD. Both players were concealed and the film playing when I visited was GANGS OF NEW YORK. I couldn’t spot the difference and it took me over ten minutes to make up my mind which one was playing Blu-ray. I was wrong. I picked the one playing standard DVD - and no, I don’t have a prescription for my eyes. It should be pointed out the DVD player was one of the new-gen upscalers (essentially converting a standard DVD to 1080p playback).

And there’s more bad news for Blu-ray. Their new Samsung BD-P1000 player is the UK’s first Blu-ray player that's recently hit the market. It’s a nice enough looking bit of kit but apparently once it’s hooked up, the good opinions start to change. The main reason being that whatever connection options are used, image quality is an extremely mixed bag. Part of the problem is that despite promising 1080p playback, this, Samsung’s first UK player simply isn't capable of delivering it. Instead the player employs earlier chipsets that de-interlace 1080i signals rather than displaying a true 1080p picture. While some might complain that the layman would be hard pressed to tell the difference, in my opinion, if you’re being asked to spend over a grand on a player, it needs to be able to do everything it promises on the box and this player doesn’t.

The next-gen DVD format war is far from over and more importantly, your average punter and exploitation film/gore-hound doesn’t give a toss for bitrates and all the other technical jargon. We want to sit down and watch some fucking great (and not so great) films. DVD allows us to do this. Besides, can anyone see a Blu-ray or HD DVD release of HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE, or EMANUELLE IN AMERICA? Actually, I hear Blue Underground will be getting in on the act.

Michael Mackenzie
12-23-2006, 05:05 PM
As for the question, is Blu-ray and/or HD DVD really that much better than our beloved silver spinners? No it ain’t. I recently visited the AV outlet I’ve been using for the last ten years because I heard about the set-up in their audition room in which two identical Pioneer 50 inch plasmas were positioned side-by-side (we're talking Pioneer's flagship 1080p set) both set ups running via HDMI, one with a Blu-ray player, the other a standard DVD. Both players were concealed and the film playing when I visited was GANGS OF NEW YORK. I couldn’t spot the difference and it took me over ten minutes to make up my mind which one was playing Blu-ray. I was wrong. I picked the one playing standard DVD - and no, I don’t have a prescription for my eyes. It should be pointed out the DVD player was one of the new-gen upscalers (essentially converting a standard DVD to 1080p playback).
Gangs of New York hasn't been released on Blu-ray, and as far as I am aware there are no high definition demo copies available. Are you sure the Blu-ray player wasn't just playing an upscaled standard definition copy? Many people, even some AV specialists, still don't seem to understand the difference between standard definition upscaled to HD and actual HD.

The point is that there is a big difference between SD and HD. A huge difference. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it makes the leap from VHS to DVD look minor in comparison. Yes, there are some not so good discs, but I find it hard to believe that you could look at a DVD and a Blu-ray (or HD DVD) disc playing side by side on a 50" screen and not be able to tell which is which.

Wayne Schmidt
12-23-2006, 10:13 PM
I'd agree with Micheal. Whether you want to jump into the upgrade pool at this time or not is one thing, but HD format DVDs are easily recognizable from their standard def counterparts (when they're properly transferred and mastered).

As for HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE, there are a bunch of Naschy titles coming out on HD DVD next year (I don't think HUNCHBACK is in that set, but I'm not sure). So it might not be that long a wait, especially from indie distributors.

Don May Jr
12-23-2006, 10:23 PM
huge[/i] difference. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it makes the leap from VHS to DVD look minor in comparison.

Yep. Agreed.

I am fortunate enough to have BOTH formats... I have a Toshiba HD DVD player and a PS3. After throwing in a couple BLU-RAY discs I bought [for some quick scanning sampling] (HOSTEL, TALLADEGA NIGHTS, INTO THE BLUE, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN), I can honestly say that I really like HD DVD better upon first glance. I have only a handful of BLU-RAY discs and didn't watch them all the way through, but they just looked... I dunno... inferior comes to mind.

I have over 60 HD DVDs and have watched quite a few of them. Pretty much all I have watched look AMAZING. The BLU-RAY discs I have sampled, on the other hand, just don't look as good to my eyes. The grain seems to come out front and center and the blacks just seem a little too dense on discs like TALLADEGA NIGHTS. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN does look pretty darn good, however, so I know the format is capable of beautiful images.

But, I just love HD DVD more... Both formats are in their infancy and both will slowly be improving with time (just like DVD did), so I am curious how these all play out. But, for now, HD DVD gets my vote of choice.

Oh yeah, to answer that HARRY POTTER question from an earlier post, I heard the reason the HD DVD disc of HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE was postponed was because they decided to release it closer to the date of the new film next year in the US. The delay really didn't have anything to do with the authoring/encoding so, if you want the disc now (like me), order it from the UK. I just got the disc, but I haven't opened it yet.

Vincent Pereira
12-24-2006, 03:05 PM
Gangs of New York hasn't been released on Blu-ray, and as far as I am aware there are no high definition demo copies available. Are you sure the Blu-ray player wasn't just playing an upscaled standard definition copy? Many people, even some AV specialists, still don't seem to understand the difference between standard definition upscaled to HD and actual HD...

Not only is GANGS not yet available on HD-DVD or Blu-ray formats, but the standard DVD release is one of the most piss-awful DVDs on the market picture-quality wise. It represents everything that can possibly go wrong with a standard-def DVD- edge enhancement the likes of which has seldom been seen, an image filtered to hell and back of all fine detail- it's just a pasty, horrible looking digital mess. Even upscaled, it looks utterly atrocious. Any actual HD version would have to blow the DVD away, unless the HD version was similarily mishandled like the standard-def DVD was.

Vincent

Jari K
12-28-2006, 05:44 AM
HTF "HD DVD" chat (An Evening with Kevin Collins) is coming:
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/files/collins.html

Monday January 15th

" Kevin Collins is director of HD DVD Evangelism for the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft Corp. He specializes in all aspects of the development of the HD DVD-Video specification and HDi, the interactive layer for HD DVD."

Should be at least interesting.

Jennifer S.
01-02-2007, 07:12 PM
So I was wondering,with the holidays being over now, What is the current status of the format war? Did either format have good sales durring this period as hoped by both sides or not?

Jari K
01-12-2007, 03:30 PM
Based on "CES 2007", 07 will be the year when Blu-Ray is going to show some muscle - along with the fact that PS3 will be more generally available.. (Note, that I don´t claim that it´s "winning the war" or anything, just that HD DVD camp will have to look at the mirror after CES 07..)

Digitalbits:
(more info: http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa131.html )

"Nearly all of the HD-DVD announcements (aside from the cool Bandai Visual news) were related to hardware, specifically word that more affordable HD-DVD players from Chinese manufacturers is on the way. Conversely, on the Blu-ray Disc side, nearly all of the announcements were about software, specifically that major catalog and new release titles were coming to the format in the next year, including many from the Blu-ray exclusive studios.

--

Blu-Ray titles that are exclusive to the format (coming 07):
The Rock, Crimson Tide, Cars, both Pirates films, Casino Royale, Ronin, A Few Good Men, Rocky Balboa, Jerry Maguire, Dirty Dancing, Ice Age, Master & Commander, Man on Fire, Edward Scissorhands, Predator, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Independence Day, I Robot, Cast Away, A Night at the Museum, The Usual Suspects, Dances with Wolves, The Silence of the Lambs, Platoon, The Graduate, Battle of Britain, A Bridge Too Far, To Live & Die in L.A., A Fistful of Dollars, Bull Durham (not to mention a pair of TV titles Fox confirmed they're doing early in 2007 in the Blu-ray promotional pamphlet from CES - 24 and Prison Break)...

---

The studio (Universal) DIDN'T make any new HD-DVD announcements here at the show. There was a suggestion at the HD-DVD press event that Scarface might be coming to the format later in 2007, and the HD-DVD Promotion Group's press release indicates that American Pie, Bruce Almighty, The Mummy Returns, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Dawn of the Dead, Pride & Prejudice, The Bourne Identity, Half Baked, The Sting, Inside Man, Brokeback Mountain and the new Battlestar Galactica TV series are all "coming soon" to the format, but most of those titles were already known or had previously been hinted at by the studio.

---

New Line announcing that they'll support HD-DVD via Warner's THD disc, potentially bringing Lord of the Rings to both formats.

---

With The Rock and Crimson Tide coming, can Armageddon be far behind? Sony says they're doing Ghost Rider this year... but does anyone think they won't release the Spider-Man movies on Blu-ray in 2007, what with Spidey 3 arriving in theaters in a few months? What about Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Starship Troopers, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction? And what about the bigger titles that are probably several years off, but that will almost certainly still be Blu-ray exclusive - titles like Alien, Aliens, Die Hard, True Lies, The Abyss, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the older Bond films, classic Disney animated titles, the bigger Pixar films, possibly even the Star Wars films?" -end of quote-


This will be a tough war and very interesting year, but I would say that Blu-Ray soon has the minor upper hand (of course, too early to tell) - at least when it comes to film titles alone.

It´s still also true, that Blu-Ray has stripped down many extras from the earlier ST DVD-releases and based on some specs (of the upcoming releases) that "trend" is not necessarily changing that quickly..

Interesting also is "Total Hi Definition (THD)" by Warner:
"Warner's THD disc will appear at retail starting in the second half of 2007. The discs will contain both an HD-DVD component and a Blu-ray Disc component on the same disc, and the movie and extras content will be exactly the same on each."

Eric A
01-12-2007, 03:38 PM
I've seen a few article recently stating that the adult industry seems to be backing HD-DVD. I can only hope that's true because that should put a hurtin' on Blu-Ray and anything that does that is good by me.

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 03:41 PM
I've seen a few article recently stating that the adult industry seems to be backing HD-DVD. I can only hope that's true because that should put a hurtin' on Blu-Ray and anything that does that is good by me.
This is because Sony's replication plants refuse to press "adult" discs, and even went so far to threaten to revoke the porn companies' Blu-ray licenses if porn appeared on the format (makes you wonder what they thought the porn companies were going to release instead). We got an early warning of this last year when Don May was told he couldn't release Thriller: A Cruel Picture on Blu-ray. This is merely a foretaste of things to come if Blu-ray wins.

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 03:49 PM
Based on "CES 2007", 07 will be the year when Blu-Ray is going to show some muscle - along with the fact that PS3 will be more generally available.. (Note, that I don´t claim that it´s "winning the war" or anything, just that HD DVD camp will have to look at the mirror after CES 07..)
The Blu-ray camp seemed to somewhat miss the point of CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Their emphasis on lists of titles, most of which we could probably have guessed were going to come out anyway, was designed as a smokescreen to his the fact that they had no actual technological breakthroughs to show, and the smokescreen seems to have been successful for certain people who are now predicting the doom of HD DVD. In contrast, the HD DVD camp pledged to release another 300 titles this year, including the Matrix Trilogy, all the Harry Potter films and The Lord of the Rings, not to mention gaining the support of Bandai, New Line and the porn industry, and unveiling prototype 51 GB discs and a host of new manufacturers who will release more cost-effective players. I'm disappointed that the HD DVD companies didn't go into more details about what titles they're going to release, but, mark my words, with Blu-ray having already mapped out their release schedule for the next six months, they're going to be doing an awful lot of thumb-twiddling as HD DVD releases are announced at a steady rate. On the whole, I think HD DVD came out of the whole deal looking better than Blu-ray, who were, as usual, spewing their patented garbage (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=785900) about "winning the war".

Jari K
01-12-2007, 03:51 PM
Very "interesting" comments. I couldn´t care less if BR doesn´t support porn (nor HD DVD - if it would be the case). I mean jeez, I doubt that people need 1080p to watch porn? Of course, It´s sad if some "erotica" etc will be placed to the same boat with "porn", but still..

In any case, it´s interesting to see how HD DVD will do in this year. If Universal starts to release both HD-formats, the war might be over soon. Then again, BR has to shape up when it comes to extras and (perhaps) with codecs.

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 04:00 PM
I don't care about porn either, 1080p or otherwise, but I'm not about to ignore its importance. It's (partially) what turned the tide of the Betamax vs. VHS war in VHS's favour. The whole "you can't release this" argument also does not bode well - I doubt anyone wants Sony deciding what they can and can't release, especially given that Sony is also a film studio with its own products to market (how long till they try to prevent Disney from releasing Pirates of the Caribbean 52 so they can have all that shelf space for Spiderman 290 for themselves? :D).

Universal is committed to releasing on HD DVD only through at least 2007. I agree with you, though, that, if they went dual-format, the war could very well be over.

Jari K
01-12-2007, 04:03 PM
The Blu-ray camp seemed to somewhat miss the point of CES (Consumer Electronics Show)..

Perhaps when it comes to hardware, but people are demanding film releases - those will then sell the hardware.


In contrast, the HD DVD camp pledged to release another 300 titles this year..
..as HD DVD releases are announced at a steady rate.

This remains to be seeing.. "Steady rate" is what I would hope on both formats - I support "HD" more than "BR" or "HD DVD". In any case, I didn´t say that "HD DVD is doomed" etc, just that they don´t have the same "advantage" anymore that they had in 06. That will change at least, no matter which side wins the "war".


On the whole, I think HD DVD came out of the whole deal looking better than Blu-ray..

You might be the only one who thinks that way... ;)

Of course, one big event doesn´t prove much, but if you read the forums and "respected" sites, BR is gaining more positive feedback. Even when HD DVD fanboys (not saying that you are) were already declaring the winner after one month (which has been the funniest aspect of the whole issue, IMO).. ;)

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 04:13 PM
Perhaps when it comes to hardware, but people are demanding film releases - those will then sell the hardware.
Indeed, but it's also true that more hardware, and more people producing hardware, will intice more film studios to release titles for the format.


This remains to be seeing.. "Steady rate" is what I would hope on both formats - I support "HD" more than "BR" or "HD DVD". In any case, I didn´t say that "HD DVD is doomed" etc, just that they don´t have the same "advantage" anymore that they had in 06. That will change at least, no matter which side wins the "war".
I know you didn't say it, but many people have, due to Blu-ray's PR success at the show.


You might be the only one who thinks that way... ;)

Of course, one big event doesn´t prove much, but if you read the forums and "respected" sites, BR is gaining more positive feedback. Even when HD DVD fanboys (not saying that you are) were already declaring the winner after one month (which has been the funniest aspect of the whole issue, IMO).. ;)
People are beginning to come round to a more critical line of thinking (on both sides) as the immediate buzz of CES is dying. I've got to hand it to Blu-ray: their CES show was well-handled from a PR perspective, and they succeeded in convincing a lot of people, including hardcore HD DVD zealots, that the "war" was already over. As the dust settles, though, I think more people are coming to realise that, for all their trumpeting of new titles to be released, the Blu-ray camp really had nothing at all to show. It's funny, but the format that was supposed to be innovative and "next-generation" seems to be at a standstill, while HD DVD, condemned by some as being a mere "next step" rather than a giant leap, is the one that's continuing to innovate.

And, as the whole ridiculous The Descent debacle has shown, the Blu-ray team STILL haven't got their interactive and Picture-in-Picture features working. In fact, the only player to have been released that actually supports these functions is the Playstation 3.

Tim Young
01-12-2007, 04:20 PM
Michael - did you decide that the Roman numerals were too much for this forum...!

I think 'adult' DVDs could make a lot of difference, even if people don't own them, the 18-24 male demographic is probably the biggest spender on HD tech at the moment, and equally the biggest spender on 'adult' titles. Thus if you hear at work that porn is only going to be on HD, I think it could sway a few votes. And I'm sure there are quite a few of us at this forum who would like to see Misty Mundae in 1080p!

As for cult movies, I think this sort of decision could see them firmly plump for the HD-DVD camp - afterall why risk buying the rights and a print for a title, then making up a 1080p transfer, only for Sony to blacklist it at the last second.

Wayne Schmidt
01-12-2007, 04:22 PM
I agree the Blu-Ray group was doing a lot of "spin" from what I've read. They keep trumpeting how many more players are now in consumer's hands, but of course this is almost entirely due to PS3. This was always Sony's plan, true, but it remains to be seen how many gamers are really interested in buying hi-def movies. It's sorta like buying a washing machine that happens to brew coffee too and crowing over your coffee maker sales. I think it's way too early to call and probably will be for another couple of years (especially if dual format players get manufactured in any numbers).

The TH disc is an interesting idea, but so far the response I've seen from folks who own one format or the other has been negative. I guess they feel they're letting the enemy in the door. :D But seriously the main objection is the packaging and no label side, since all are "flippers" (not that you need to flip it to watch the movie, just to choose the HD format). It's a hedge against being left with an obsolete library, but it also muddies the waters as to what format is doing better. (And as someone who hasn't committed to either one I was more interested in the standard def / hi-def hybrid discs, as this way I can buy titles that will be ready to go when I upgrade but enjoy them now).

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 04:38 PM
Michael - did you decide that the Roman numerals were too much for this forum...!
You read my site, I assume? :D No, I just found the numbers quicker to type.

Jari K
01-12-2007, 04:42 PM
Indeed, but it's also true that more hardware, and more people producing hardware, will intice more film studios to release titles for the format.

Yes, that´s true also.




People are beginning to come round to a more critical line of thinking (on both sides) as the immediate buzz of CES is dying.

This will probably happen, but many people were happy with CES-results because it showed that the war is far from "over" and gave the minor "slap" to the HD DVD-camp; "We have already this to offer and 2007 will be the year when the "first round" is settled". Perhaps these type of events will at least stop the useless "BR bashing" at the forums and people indeed start to be more mature with the whole situation. HD DVD is NOT the "winner" at this point, since there are no winner at this point.






..the Blu-ray camp really had nothing at all to show.

Eh? Plenty of exclusive titles is "nothing"? No fence here, but cmon.. We definitely need more HD-titles more than some cheaper "Chinese HD DVD"-players (or BR).. We don´t need new "disc formats" at this point nor recordable media, we need more releases that use the (already existing) "dual layer" discs.. What we need is more use of the existing capasity = better quality.

Sure, "dual format" player would be nice, no doubt, but I don´t need any cheap-ass LG. ;) HD players will be cheaper in the future, but at this point they´re bound to be costier than the ST DVD-players etc.

(ok, I went a bit OT..)



And, as the whole ridiculous The Descent debacle has shown, the Blu-ray team STILL haven't got their interactive and Picture-in-Picture features working. In fact, the only player to have been released that actually supports these functions is the Playstation 3.

I thought that these problems were mainly connected to the old software of some BR-players (and firmware update corrected the problems)? Then again, not sure. It´s "Lions gate", so.. ;)

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 04:55 PM
Eh? Plenty of exclusive titles is "nothing"? No fence here, but cmon..
Exclusive titles that we already knew they had. In other words, no news. Is anyone really surprised that Sony is releasing Casino Royale and Disney is releasing Pirates of the Caribbean? It's the same with Warner announcing The Matrix Trilogy. It's nice to hear, sure, but it's hardly unexpected and it's not the sort of thing that I would consider the cornerstone of an electronics conference.


Sure, "dual format" player would be nice, no doubt, but I don´t need any cheap-ass LG. ;) HD players will be cheaper in the future, but at this point they´re bound to be costier than the ST DVD-players etc.

(ok, I went a bit OT..)
I'm certainly considering picking up a dual-format player if and when a manufacturer I trust releases on that is fully functional for both formats, as opposed to LG's Blu-ray player that happens to play HD DVDs but doesn't properly support interactivity or PiP.


I thought that these problems were mainly connected to the old software of some BR-players (and firmware update corrected the problems)? Then again, not sure. It´s "Lions gate", so.. ;)
I'm not referring to the problems with getting it to play. At first, many people thought that the playability issues stemmed from its use of picture-in-picture, but it actually turns out that there is NO PiP on the disc: instead, Lions Gate put two copies of the film on the disc, one with the video commentary footage superimposed in a window! Talk about putting a 50 GB disc to good use! :D This whole BD-J problem isn't expected to be fixed until some point in summer or autumn this year. It's situations like these that make it clear that Blu-ray was rushed out of the door, unfinished, to compete with HD DVD.

Jari K
01-12-2007, 05:02 PM
As for cult movies, I think this sort of decision could see them firmly plump for the HD-DVD camp - afterall why risk buying the rights and a print for a title, then making up a 1080p transfer, only for Sony to blacklist it at the last second.

Yes, well this cult/exploitation/etc-movie -issue is a tricky one, since I guess it´s somewhat cheaper and easier to make HD DVD-releases (?) and for the smaller companies, money is something that they don´t want to spent any more than it´s necessary. I fully understand this, but at the same time it would be perhaps wiser for the smaller companies (e.g. Criterion is doing just that - even when it´s not that small) to wait for a while, and decide where to go with HD after the "winner" (or close) has surfaced. Why putting the precious money to HD-releases now, when it could be that the other format will slowly fade away? Cult/exploitation/Euro cult -fans are very happy with ST DVD-releases (some might not even want the damn HD.. ;) ) so I don´t see that they (=smaller companies) have to rush with HD. At least in this point.

I actually feel, that these big players (studios) will "decide" which format will win and after that the smaller ones join the club.

What comes to porn, I don´t give a s**t, but if these type of "decisions" will have affect on the releases of Franco, Amato, Rollin, etc, then it´s not good at all. Then again, I honestly don´t wait any "Franco on HD"-releases on any time soon, I want to start with "mainstream" and "classics" anyway with HD. ;)

But yes, I see the issues with HD DVD & "smaller Euro cult companies" and why some might favour HD DVD because of that..

Ray Kanne
01-12-2007, 05:14 PM
This whole deal with Sony's Blue-Ray and also Playstation 3 seems to be similar to being cryogenically frozen when you die. They both have all this neat hardware, Playstatipn with it's cell prossessor and BR with it's 50 gigs of storage and what not. None of them can use any of it and both still use all these non usable stuff, that might work in the future, to trick people into buying; just like being frozen just in case they might be able to give you life again sometime in the future.

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 05:18 PM
My reasons for supporting HD DVD and hoping it "wins" are as follows (in no particular order):

1. Cost. HD DVD is significantly cheaper, and this is not going to change any time soon. True, there is the PS3, but HD DVD also has the even cheaper Xbox 360 add-on, plus $200-300 machines from Chinese manufacturers due out at some point this year. It's also much cheaper to manufacture HD DVDs than Blu-ray discs, which increases the incentives for smaller companies to adopt the format. Let's face it, owning the latest blockbusters is all very well, but the format I want is the one that's going to release Suspiria, Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and so on.

2. Quality control. Having read posts by members of Microsoft's HD DVD team, and heard first-hand reports from my brother, who has met and spoken with them, I am convinced that they have a love for films and technology that goes beyond the mere desire to make a quick buck. This has manifested itself in the excellent quality of the first few batches of HD DVDs as opposed to their Blu-ray counterparts. Yes, Blu-ray is improving, but is still wildly inconsistent, and would certainly not have improved had it not been for HD DVD.

3. Sony. Let's face it, Sony are liars, they are bullies, they have no respect for their customers (see their appalling behaviour with DRM and rootkits, and many more personal experiences that I could bore you with), and they have a track record of inventing doomed formats: Betamax, MicroMV, memory sticks, ATRAC, minidisc, HiFD, UMD. This is not simply a case of hating the company, though (although I certainly detest their business practices): I genuinely think that the industry as a whole will be considerably worse off if Sony ends up with a stranglehold over it.

Ray Kanne
01-12-2007, 05:24 PM
Yes, well this cult/exploitation/etc-movie -issue is a tricky one, since I guess it´s somewhat cheaper and easier to make HD DVD-releases (?) and for the smaller companies, money is something that they don´t want to spent any more than it´s necessary. I fully understand this, but at the same time it would be perhaps wiser for the smaller companies (e.g. Criterion is doing just that - even when it´s not that small) to wait for a while, and decide where to go with HD after the "winner" (or close) has surfaced. Why putting the precious money to HD-releases now, when it could be that the other format will slowly fade away? Cult/exploitation/Euro cult -fans are very happy with ST DVD-releases (some might not even want the damn HD.. ;) ) so I don´t see that they (=smaller companies) have to rush with HD. At least in this point.

I actually feel, that these big players (studios) will "decide" which format will win and after that the smaller ones join the club.

What comes to porn, I don´t give a s**t, but if these type of "decisions" will have affect on the releases of Franco, Amato, Rollin, etc, then it´s not good at all. Then again, I honestly don´t wait any "Franco on HD"-releases on any time soon, I want to start with "mainstream" and "classics" anyway with HD. ;)

But yes, I see the issues with HD DVD & "smaller Euro cult companies" and why some might favour HD DVD because of that..

You say you don't care who releases porn etc. You should, because whoever says yes to porn is the format that will surely win. I think it's a very wise move for companies to choose now. If they do, and release enough rare titles on the format they like the most, chances are this is the format who will win. If HD-DVD releases tons of cult stuff and BR only releases mainstream HD will kick BR's ass. The cineophiles who actually care about HD to begin with don't care who releases new mainstream film and the 'biggest' of the old ones. They want their cult film, art films, rare films and porn.

Jari K
01-12-2007, 05:26 PM
Exclusive titles that we already knew they had. In other words, no news. Is anyone really surprised that Sony is releasing Casino Royale and Disney is releasing Pirates of the Caribbean? It's the same with Warner announcing The Matrix Trilogy. It's nice to hear, sure, but it's hardly unexpected and it's not the sort of thing that I would consider the cornerstone of an electronics conference..

Yeah, ok, I see your point. And don´t get me wrong, titles like "Independence Day" are not what I would buy in any format (meaning that many titles from both camps at this point are "safe" blockbusters, that will look and sound good), so I didn´t mean that the BR list of titles was some kind of dream come true for me.

I have no plans to buy films just because they have a "great transfer and audio - but the film sucks". No time to watch "Pearl Harbor" crap in HD, when I have great films on ST DVD already and more coming.. I know that many will buy HD-releases because they want some kick-ass demo-disc, but I want to enjoy the movie also.



I'm certainly considering picking up a dual-format player if and when a manufacturer I trust releases on that is fully functional for both formats, as opposed to LG's Blu-ray player that happens to play HD DVDs but doesn't properly support interactivity or PiP.

Sure, dual-format player would work for me, but it would have to be in good quality.

Just to get the record straight: I never wanted this type of war and I´m not planning to skip Universal-titles etc forever, no sir. I might start with BR, yes, but at some point (probably not this year, though) I´ll have a player that will also play HD DVD - There won´t be any format, region code, PAL/NTSC, country, etc to stop me from buying what movies I want in ST DVD or HD. Back in the days I bought my first DVD-player and approx. hour after that, it was "region free" (cost me around 900$ in those days to get the player region free). Why would I want to limit my options now?

..At least if Universal doesn´t change their plan during/after 2007 (in which case I would probably skip HD DVD). But I´ll probably mainly stick with BR in this year and see how things are going. We´ll see..


EThis whole BD-J problem isn't expected to be fixed until some point in summer or autumn this year. It's situations like these that make it clear that Blu-ray was rushed out of the door, unfinished, to compete with HD DVD.

I didn´t really know this. Do you have a link to these issues? I haven´t read that "BR is rushed", only that certain players (at least Samsung) have had some issues and ALL HD-players are quite slow at the moment.

Michael Mackenzie
01-12-2007, 05:30 PM
I didn´t really know this. Do you have a link to these issues? I haven´t read that "BR is rushed", only that certain players (at least Samsung) have had some issues and ALL HD-players are quite slow at the moment.
I don't think I've got any be-all and end-all specific link about Blu-ray being rushed, but it's common knowledge that the format was rough around the edges when it debuted, and they're still playing catch-up - e.g. interactive features aren't working properly, PiP is impossible, and so on. Here's (http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452784) the thread about the lack of real PiP in The Descent, though (Crank, another Lions Gate title, is also affected).

Jari K
01-12-2007, 05:54 PM
You say you don't care who releases porn etc. You should, because whoever says yes to porn is the format that will surely win.

That´s very bold statement. Do you have any real facts to back this comment, other some very old and a bit lame "VHS vs Betamax" and what happened "back then"? ;)

And no, I don´t give s**t about porn (I have internet for that if I want to see it and there´s no way I would actually pay for that). If that´s the reason that other format will win, so be it.



I think it's a very wise move for companies to choose now. If they do, and release enough rare titles on the format they like the most, chances are this is the format who will win.

Well, I can´t say which is the best move for the smaller companies in the end, but e.g. Criterion is waiting, even when they have plenty of HD-masters "ready to go". I fully understand their reasoning. Why smaller companies should "join" to the format-war created by the (mostly) creedy studios that can´t sit in the same table? Why they should take "sides" at *this point*, when all they probably want is to release stuff that all (potential) people can buy? They don´t have afford to choose sides just like that. Mark my words, we don´t see plenty of Euro cult/horror-titles in HD from the smaller companies in 07. Then again, perhaps I´m wrong.


If HD-DVD releases tons of cult stuff and BR only releases mainstream HD will kick BR's ass.

Yeah, and my father kicks your fathers ass. Jeez..

Do you feel Ray, that movie fans should debate on the forums like this that "which format will win" and BS like that? Do you think that this is what I want? Debate? Do you think that I "enjoy" choosing e.g. BR (or HD DVD)? No. There should´ve been just one HD-format, taking the "good qualities" from both BR and HD DVD and we wouldn´t have this type of BS.



The cineophiles who actually care about HD to begin with don't care who releases new mainstream film and the 'biggest' of the old ones. They want their cult film, art films, rare films and porn.

That is BS. I want all films from mainstream to Euro cult. Just like with DVDs, why would that change? I know that some people like to buy "mainstream" because they have kick-ass transfer and audio, but so be it. With HD, I can´t really blame them.

But yeah, I didn´t buy my 1080p-set just to watch Franco and porn. I´ll buy different films and genres, like I do with ST DVDs.. First comes the mainstream-releases since bigger studios are in charge.

Ray Kanne
01-12-2007, 06:29 PM
That´s very bold statement. Do you have any real facts to back this comment, other some very old and a bit lame "VHS vs Betamax" and what happened "back then"? ;)

And no, I don´t give s**t about porn (I have internet for that if I want to see it and there´s no way I would actually pay for that). If that´s the reason that other format will win, so be it.

That's science for ya. That's the way you gather information. It happened back then so the possibility of it happening now is somewhat biiger than it not happening. You don't follow that kind of logic?



Well, I can´t say which is the best move for the smaller companies in the end, but e.g. Criterion is waiting, even when they have plenty of HD-masters "ready to go". I fully understand their reasoning. Why smaller companies should "join" to the format-war created by the (mostly) creedy studios that can´t sit in the same table? Why they should take "sides" at *this point*, when all they probably want is to release stuff that all (potential) people can buy? They don´t have afford to choose sides just like that. Mark my words, we don´t see plenty of Euro cult/horror-titles in HD from the smaller companies in 07. Then again, perhaps I´m wrong.


While it's not very easy for the smaller studios to know who's gonna winn, it is easy for them to find out which is easier to make and better in that sence. HD is much cheaper and more developed (if you want evidence, just check out some some releases yourself and compare)so the decission should be pretty easy to make.



Yeah, and my father kicks your fathers ass. Jeez..

Do you feel Ray, that movie fans should debate on the forums like this that "which format will win" and BS like that? Do you think that this is what I want? Debate? Do you think that I "enjoy" choosing e.g. BR (or HD DVD)? No. There should´ve been just one HD-format, taking the "good qualities" from both BR and HD DVD and we wouldn´t have this type of BS.


Listen Jari if you're going to talk to me like I was a child then there's no reason for us to be having this discussion. I use a differentt language with some hyperbole and a simplified way of saying things than how you seem to prefer, and you suddenly go all bananas. Slapp nå av mann!

I have no idea if you want a debate or not. I should think so, you've been debating with Michael about the formats for a while now. I've stated that right now I think HD-DVD might win it, that doesn't mean I'm sure of it. I don't have hard evidence, how could I; like you said the war is still on. But what's so wrong in debating it? You afraid we might jinx it or something? :)



That is BS. I want all films from mainstream to Euro cult. Just like with DVDs, why would that change? I know that some people like to buy "mainstream" because they have kick-ass transfer and audio, but so be it. With HD, I can´t really blame them.

But yeah, I didn´t buy my 1080p-set just to watch Franco and porn. I´ll buy different films and genres, like I do with ST DVDs.. First comes the mainstream-releases since bigger studios are in charge.

Jari, don't you think that feeling will fade away pretty quickly? I remember feeling that way with DVDs and also with LD way back when. I was astonished by every new transfer I saw. It was amazing at first, then a year or so passed and I was back to enjoying what went on in the film, like beatiful compositions and the rest, and had forgotten all about the format change and difference. I'm sure it'll be the same now. I get this feeling sometimes now when I see HD on a big ass screen. Not so much as I felt it just a couple of moths back though; seems it's already fading... HD is still a great improvement though, don't get me wrong. I think it's essential for bigger screens (roughly 40 inches and more in my own estimate, no evidence ;) )

Alex D
01-12-2007, 07:40 PM
With regard to the format war, I think we are all bypassing a major factor in determining the eventual victor. The general public. Those who know nothing about the technicalities of the two formats. The public are already familiar with the 'DVD' acronym and are becoming more and more familiar with the 'HD' acronym. They will accept HD-DVD, Blu-Ray will mean nothing to the majority

Ray Kanne
01-12-2007, 07:52 PM
Good point Alex!

Paul A J Lewis
01-12-2007, 09:42 PM
Good point Alex!
He just got it off the BBC news the other night :p

Only kidding, Alex. However, they were discussing this issue on the BBC Six O'Clock News a few nights ago, in their usual facetious manner, with lots and lots of frilly computer graphics and very little substance.

Jari K
01-13-2007, 04:42 AM
With regard to the format war, I think we are all bypassing a major factor in determining the eventual victor. The general public. Those who know nothing about the technicalities of the two formats.

Yes, the "big grey mass" of people is what can eventually make the difference, no doubt.

There´s also another possible route. Neither of the formats is not making any real breakthrough among the "grey mass" and only the more hardcore film/HT fans will support them. It´s no secret that for many people, even to some of those film fans, ST DVD is "enough".. Or at least many will jump to the bandwagon after there´s a "winner".

I can sense that many people in this forum has more faith to HD DVD, but it´s more "equal" with some other forums and sites. My choosing BR at this point comes basically down to one simple factor; PS3. Like I said earlier, I´m no hardcore player anymore and "controller waving" (Wii) or somewhat better graphics (Xbox) are not that big issues for me in the gaming front. That´s why PS3 is the good choice for me (I have always bought the console), just give me Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Ape Escape, Medal Of Honor, etc. Also, 500-600$ for the game console and HD-player (also DVD, etc) is not that bad, so the price is also good.

Now since I´m going to buy the console *regardless* what happens in the HD-war, it´s quite obvious that I´ll start at least with BR. I have no plans to buy everything that BR-camp puts out in the market, mainly selected titles. ST DVD is far from "dead" for me. I don´t want to buy "both" players at this point, since I feel that I should at least see what happens in the 2007. If it comes to that, I´ll buy HD DVD player near the end of the year and I still have my PS3 game console (and BR player). Since PS3 is the gaming console "first", I don´t feel that my money goes to waste, even if HD DVD wins. (And no, I have no interest of "Xbox360" - I chose my camp long time ago when it comes to game consoles, before HD and silly HD-debates.. ;) )

A bit OT, but just to point out some of the issues that I´m sure also other people will wonder, at least when the PS3 finally arrives in full force. You can "hate Sony" or whatever, but PS3 will be another factor in the HD-war also. How significant? That remains to be seeing. I hate Windows and PC etc, but I don´t have any "bias" towards Microsoft. I can see some of the issues that Sony has done, but I don´t have any "bias" towards Sony. I don´t care, as long as releases, film titles, quality, etc is in good level and I can watch great movies in 1080p.

Alex D
01-13-2007, 09:42 AM
He just got it off the BBC news the other night :p

Only kidding, Alex. However, they were discussing this issue on the BBC Six O'Clock News a few nights ago, in their usual facetious manner, with lots and lots of frilly computer graphics and very little substance.


Oi! Actually, it is a point that I made at the origin of the format war and I don't think Sony have done enough thus far to engage the general public. Obviously, a lot depends on the success of the PS3

Tim Young
01-13-2007, 11:45 AM
The public are already familiar with the 'DVD' acronym and are becoming more and more familiar with the 'HD' acronym. They will accept HD-DVD, Blu-Ray will mean nothing to the majority

In that case surely VCD would have taken off far more than DVD did...? Equally Sony's Memory Stick vs. the SD Card

Jari K
01-13-2007, 12:00 PM
In that case surely VCD would have taken off far more than DVD did...? Equally Sony's Memory Stick vs. the SD Card

I don´t think that the name "HD DVD" is the key to "success". People are either interested of "HD" or not, and eventually they join to the "format war" if they´re interested. Those who don´t care, don´t give a damn of the whole format war to begin with - both HD DVD and BR are just fancy names to them..

Too much energy is spent to the format-war, when people should first get connected to the "HD" generally. Too many people don´t care about HD at all, which is of course bad news for both formats.

Alex D
01-13-2007, 01:45 PM
In that case surely VCD would have taken off far more than DVD did...?


Ah, but was there ever a serious intention of introducing VCD as a format in the West? Of course, VCD was (and still is) huge in Asia

Alex K.
01-13-2007, 07:10 PM
http://www.dvdtown.com/news/hddvdgoesbeyond50gbwithnewdisc/4260

Jari K
01-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Michael, there´s one thing which is not (fully) clear to me. Now if we forget ST DVD and its region codes/PAL-NTSC and the format war, I´m a correct of saying, that PAL/NTSC-differences are not an "issue" anymore with HD-releases and basically Euro-people can buy US-models and vice versa?

All HD-releases (BR/HD DVD) are 1080p 24fps on the disc, right? Now most HD-players (BR/HD DVD) output 1080p 60fps (60hz), right (at least e.g. PS3)? (Models with 1080p 24fps output are coming at some point?). Now e.g. my LCD, Sony Bravia W (same as your brother, I believe) then inputs both 1080p 50/60hz?

Sorry about these questions, but basically my question is, that is there some differences with these refresh rates/fps when it comes to HD-players from e.g. Europe vs US?

I´m just wondering that where to get my HD-player, since I most likely want to order plenty of stuff from the US also..

Thanks!

Michael Mackenzie
01-14-2007, 01:48 PM
Michael, there´s one thing which is not (fully) clear to me. Now if we forget ST DVD and its region codes/PAL-NTSC and the format war, I´m a correct of saying, that PAL/NTSC-differences are not an "issue" anymore with HD-releases and basically Euro-people can buy US-models and vice versa?

All HD-releases (BR/HD DVD) are 1080p 24fps on the disc, right? Now most HD-players (BR/HD DVD) output 1080p 60fps (60hz), right (at least e.g. PS3)? (Models with 1080p 24fps output are coming at some point?). Now e.g. my LCD, Sony Bravia W (same as your brother, I believe) then inputs both 1080p 50/60hz?

Sorry about these questions, but basically my question is, that is there some differences with these refresh rates/fps when it comes to HD-players from e.g. Europe vs US?

I´m just wondering that where to get my HD-player, since I most likely want to order plenty of stuff from the US also..

Thanks!
So far, all high definition content has been 1080p/24fps, and this is unlikely to change, although I think things will be complicated if and when either format gets to the stage of releasing PAL television material. And yes, I believe that all players must be able to output 60 Hz material. PAL material is a trickier issue. None of the American players, for either format, can play PAL material. For European players, they can play PAL standard definition discs. However, I believe that no HD player can play back PAL content encoded as high definition, which is why all the bonus materials in all territories have been in NTSC. Toshiba plans to release firmware upgrades at a later date to rectify this, but I'm not sure about the situation for other models or for Blu-ray.

By the way, it's more or less a dead cert now that region coding will NEVER be an issue for HD DVD. The latest word is that talks have all but broken down: Warner, who is heavily involved with the format, has been anti-region coding from the outset, and I believe it is their influence, plus the knowledge of money to be made from importing (e.g. if you want Saw but don't have a Blu-ray player, you can just buy the Spanish HD DVD, and so on), that have put the final nail in that particular coffin. Blu-ray as we know is split into three regions: A, B and C.

Wayne Schmidt
01-14-2007, 05:17 PM
By the way, it's more or less a dead cert now that region coding will NEVER be an issue for HD DVD. The latest word is that talks have all but broken down: Warner, who is heavily involved with the format, has been anti-region coding from the outset, and I believe it is their influence, plus the knowledge of money to be made from importing (e.g. if you want Saw but don't have a Blu-ray player, you can just buy the Spanish HD DVD, and so on), that have put the final nail in that particular coffin. Blu-ray as we know is split into three regions: A, B and C.Boy, I hope you're right . . . that would be awesome. Region coding is one of the stupidest and ineffectual ideas the studios ever came up with. This is definitely a plus for the HD DVD camp I wasn't aware of.

Jari K
01-17-2007, 10:55 AM
Chat Transcript: "Microsoft's Kevin Collins on HTF" (on HD DVD):

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/011507htfchat.html

Eric A
01-17-2007, 01:13 PM
Is someone deleting posts in this thread? I swear I posted in it yesterday and now the post is gone.

Wayne Schmidt
01-17-2007, 01:45 PM
There's a similiar HD / BD thread (about affecting your buying habits) going concurrently. There's a post from you there from yesterday, I think. Maybe that's what your thinking of? (It's confusing, I know).

Eric A
01-17-2007, 01:52 PM
There's a similiar HD / BD thread (about affecting your buying habits) going concurrently. There's a post from you there from yesterday, I think. Maybe that's what your thinking of? (It's confusing, I know).

Whoops, you're right. Thanks.

Alex K.
01-17-2007, 03:31 PM
Question: Can HD-DVD players play any region coded regular DVD's, like say Region 2, 3, etc? And what about Pal conversion?

Michael Mackenzie
01-17-2007, 04:40 PM
Question: Can HD-DVD players play any region coded regular DVD's, like say Region 2, 3, etc? And what about Pal conversion?
HD DVD players are region locked to the usual 1,2,3,4,5,6 limitations for standard definition discs, and the ones sold in North America can't play PAL (as with most US DVD players, I believe). I quite fancy picking up a UK player for PAL playback, but then I wouldn't be able to use it to upscale my US discs. In the long run, I think I'd rather have a US upscaler (NTSC needs the image quality boost more than PAL anyway).

Mattias Karlsson
01-18-2007, 04:47 PM
http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/01/17/lg-bh100-hd-dvd-blu-ray-hybrid-player-in-the-wild-and-on-sale/


What did I say ;)

Michael Mackenzie
01-19-2007, 12:53 PM
http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/01/17/lg-bh100-hd-dvd-blu-ray-hybrid-player-in-the-wild-and-on-sale/


What did I say ;)
Well, that's not a true dual-format player, as HD DVD playback is crippled (interactive features, menus, IME etc don't play), and as such they're not allowed to use the HD DVD logo. Personally I'd never buy an LG player anyway, especially not at that price. Hopefully it'll pave the way for a proper dual-format player from a decent label, though.

Mattias Karlsson
01-19-2007, 08:53 PM
Did it play both HD-DVD and Blu-ray? Yes, according to me.

Michael Mackenzie
01-20-2007, 08:51 AM
Did it play both HD-DVD and Blu-ray? Yes, according to me.
Can a DVD player that can't display the disc menus or access all of the extras still be considered a DVD player? Not according to me. Therefore, I don't consider this LG player to be a proper HD DVD player.

Jari K
02-19-2007, 08:44 AM
http://www.digitalbits.com/ now pretty much openly supports Blu-Ray and they have some pretty good facts.. ;)

"Let's look at these simple facts: Of the 12 major and mini-major Hollywood studios (Fox, Disney, MGM, Sony, Lionsgate, Paramount, New Line, HBO, Warner Bros, Universal, DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company) 9 support Blu-ray, 5 of them exclusively. Only 6 support HD-DVD, just 2 of them exclusively (one studio, DreamWorks, remains uncommitted). Not counting computer hardware or budget brands, Blu-ray Disc has 9 major set-top hardware manufacturers behind it (Sony, Pioneer, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, LG, Mitsubishi, Thomson, Sharp), while HD-DVD boasts just two (Toshiba and now LG). HD-DVD is an add-on to Microsoft's Xbox 360, while Blu-ray is built into EVERY Sony PlayStation 3. Nielsen VideoScan is reporting that in software sales, Blu-ray has virtually erased the sales lead enjoyed by HD-DVD since the formats were launched, and is now outselling HD-DVD by a 2 to 1 (and growing) margin."

"So what, or who, could end this format war? Simple: Universal. If Universal were to suddenly announce support for Blu-ray Disc in addition to HD-DVD, or if they were to adopt Warner's TotalHD combo disc, that would be the end of it."

I´m sure this only cause more debate than any real speculation, but whatta hell... This thread has been quiet for too long. ;)

Jari K
02-19-2007, 08:46 AM
And:

"I'd hate for the high-definition video format war to have the same outcome as the high-resolution audio format war did. DVD-Audio versus SACD ended in a stalemate, and most people just stuck with CDs or moved to MP3 downloads. But mark my words, if the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war lingers on, that's exactly where we're headed. All you enthusiasts that have trenched in to support your particular format of choice come hell or high water had better enjoy the movies you're getting now, because if both formats fizzle out, forget about ever getting deep catalog, or older classics that cost money to restore for HD - money that would have come from software sales that aren't happening because too many people stubbornly stuck to their guns and the format war dragged out until nobody cared anymore. I think Stephen Colbert said it best when predicting the future of the HD format war: "The winner will be the one you DON'T buy." There could be a lot more "truthiness" in that statement than some want to believe."

Something to think about.

Michael Mackenzie
02-19-2007, 08:48 AM
Funny, a few months back The Digital Bits was championing HD DVD. :D They change their tone like the wind.

I'd forgotten this thread to be honest. A lot has happened since I last posted in it. For one thing, I've picked up a Playstation 3 and bought or rented several Blu-ray discs, with mixed results. One fantastic disc - The Descent - a couple of good ones - Silent Hill, Kingdom of Heaven - a lot of really mediocre ones Tears of the Sun, Fantastic 4, Chicago, etc. - and one truly repulsive one - American Psycho. Quality control is really lacking with this format.

Don May Jr
02-19-2007, 09:26 AM
Ah man... does AMERICAN PSYCHO on BD really suck? I just bought it because I like the movie a lot... BUMMER!

Paul A J Lewis
02-19-2007, 10:47 AM
Fantastic 4
Please tell me you mean the 1994 Roger Corman flick, Michael: this seriously needs a Blu-ray release :D

Michael Mackenzie
02-19-2007, 12:09 PM
Ah man... does AMERICAN PSYCHO on BD really suck? I just bought it because I like the movie a lot... BUMMER!
Be prepared for extreme edge enhancement, very waxy looking skin textures presumably as a result of heavy noise reduction and/or filtering, and even what looks like a digital tape drop-out in one of the final scenes. I found it phenomenally disappointing, although some reviewers have been more generous than me.

Michael Mackenzie
02-19-2007, 12:10 PM
Please tell me you mean the 1994 Roger Corman flick, Michael: this seriously needs a Blu-ray release :D
Alas no - it's the 2005 superhero movie. We were sent a Panasonic player to review and that was the only film that was provided with it, otherwise I'd never have watched it.

Paul A J Lewis
02-19-2007, 12:24 PM
Alas no - it's the 2005 superhero movie. We were sent a Panasonic player to review and that was the only film that was provided with it, otherwise I'd never have watched it.
And believe me, if you thought the 2005 movie was bad, wait until you see the 1994 picture: it's phenomenally dreadful! :D

Of course, it does have a certain quaint charm, being from an era of low budget quasi-independent filmmaking that, thanks to changes in the studio system and developments in digital media, has now passed into oblivion. And to be honest, I'd rather see this movie finally get a home video release than witness yet another reissue of a mediocre blockbuster such as the most recent FANTASTIC FOUR movie.

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/9172/f4jn6.png
http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6155/f41hh8.png

Jari K
02-23-2007, 08:45 AM
Two pretty good interviews from BOTH camps (taken with that "grain of salt" of course):

"Microsoft about HD DVD":
http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/feature_microsofthddvdinterview.html

"Sony about BR":
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/feature_visitwithsony.html

Both have some good points and e.g. Michael is probably correct with "Silent Hill" and how many reviews mix up the "original gritty look" vs what they kinda "expect" from HD. Also plenty of talk about these codecs (older MPEG-2 vs VC-1).

My friend has the same LCD as I do (Sony W, 1080p) and he just bought the PS3. He´s very excited about HD-films, but is now also seeing that with HD, you still have "grain", "noise", "grittiness", "oversharpness", etc. If you want that "ultra-slick" transfer, you basically have to buy these 100% computer-animes (Pixar, Disney, etc), since film and video both have some "side-effects".

Jari K
05-27-2007, 03:56 PM
"Thread resurrection"..

Not that much love for the HD formats here I guess, but here´s my Blu-ray -reviews so far:

*Reservoir Dogs - 15th Anniversary
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19916

*Young Guns
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19917

*American Psycho - Uncut Version
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20110

*First Blood AKA Rambo: First Blood
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20111

*G.I. Jane
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20285

*Dreamgirls - Showstopper Edition
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20325

I´m totally supporting HD now, it´s sometimes hard to go "back to SD DVD" after e.g. "Dreamgirls" in 1080p.. There are still mediocre-releases, not every film will look "great" in HD.

Michael Mackenzie
05-27-2007, 04:33 PM
I´m totally supporting HD now, it´s sometimes hard to go "back to SD DVD" after e.g. "Dreamgirls" in 1080p.. There are still mediocre-releases, not every film will look "great" in HD.
Same here. I haven't actually bought a standard definition DVD in months (although I've picked up one or two as review copies), and generally speaking find them to be woefully inadequate now. The suggestion of a potential HD DVD of Suspiria this year (from the Weinstein Company) is practically making me soil myself with anticipation. :D

Jari K
06-19-2007, 03:54 PM
Some news that might interest you (I believe Starz includes also Anchor Bay - which means e.g. Halloween, Evil Dead, Romero, etc etc):

http://www.homemediaretailing.com/news/html/breaking_article.cfm?sec_id=2&&article_ID=10786

"Starz Home Entertainment President Bill Clark announced during an executive session with MGM VP of Marketing Julia Simmons that his company will release the first season of the company’s “Masters of Horror” collection on Blu-ray in the fourth quarter of this year. Other Starz catalogue titles also are in line for a Blu-ray release. The news came the same day that Blockbuster announced that Blu-ray would be the only high-definition disc available in some of its stores.

“If Blu-ray wins [the format war against HD DVD], all catalogue would go [Blu-ray], we’d hope,” Clark said."

Also:

"MGM’s Simmons said another 10 to 12 titles are set for Blu-ray release within the next year, including The Sergio Leone Anthology (A Fistful of Dollars/For a Few Dollars More/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly/Duck, You Sucker)."

Needless to say that I´m happy. :)

Al Edwards
08-10-2007, 02:15 AM
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

Alex D
08-10-2007, 10:53 AM
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents


The phrase ''pinch of salt'' comes to mind...

Jari K
08-13-2007, 08:48 AM
My 5-disc "Ultimate Collector's Edition" (Blu-ray) is on pre-order! This is one killer set.. Along with Kubrick-releases. And Coppola´s Dracula. And "Lost s3". And "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". And "Twilight Zone: The Movie". And "Cars. And "Ratatouille". ;) Good times for the HD-fans.

Michael Mackenzie
08-13-2007, 09:46 AM
There are some great titles coming out on both formats later this year - Halloween, Dawn of the Dead (original and remake), Day of the Dead, Evil Dead II, Blade Runner, the Kubrick titles, Cars, Ratatouille, the Pixar shorts collection, Les Triplettes de Belleville, Hannibal, Black Book, Seed of Chucky (guilty pleasure), Cat People, the director's cut of Hero, Pan's Labyrinth, the Harry Potters, The Bourne Ultimatum, Eastern Promises... Expensive times ahead.

Chris Workman
08-13-2007, 04:50 PM
Now if we could just get the Hammer catalogue (on either or both HD and Blu-ray). With Starz going Blu-ray, I'd hope that would mean some Hammer material such as DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE, DEMONS OF THE MIND, etc., at some point.

Ian Jane
08-20-2007, 06:14 PM
So, Paramount/Dreamworks go HD-DVD only....

http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/20/technology/dreamworks_paramount.reut/?postversion=2007082015

Looked like Blu-Ray was gonna take it, now who can say?

The format war continues...

John White
08-20-2007, 06:29 PM
Can someone just put me right on something? If I buy a HD DVD or Blu-ray player in the uk will it play discs from around the world or just PAL(I know some Blu-Ray are region coded btw)?

Matt A
08-20-2007, 06:34 PM
So, Paramount/Dreamworks go HD-DVD only....

http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/20/technology/dreamworks_paramount.reut/?postversion=2007082015

Looked like Blu-Ray was gonna take it, now who can say?

The format war continues...

I think Ministry should do a concept album about the DVD format wars and what bullshit it is.

Michael Mackenzie
08-20-2007, 06:48 PM
Can someone just put me right on something? If I buy a HD DVD or Blu-ray player in the uk will it play discs from around the world or just PAL(I know some Blu-Ray are region coded btw)?
PAL and NTSC don't exist in the high definition domain. However, while HD DVD is region-free, Blu-ray is split into three regions (A for North America and Japan, B for Europe and Australia, C for many of the Asian territories), although region-free discs are a lot more common than they were with DVD. (Paramount and Warner never region-code, Fox always does, and Sony, Disney and Lions Gate only seem to do so with new releases that haven't come out in certain territories.)

Chris Workman
08-21-2007, 09:24 AM
When I bought my player a few weeks ago, I hedged my bets in the format war by going with one that plays both formats. I figured that Blu-ray was the way to go, so I bought if something is available in both formats, I went with Blu-ray, though I still have plenty of HDs. I had no bias towards either format and hoped, because I'd bought both, that they would both catch on, and Warner's plans to unveil a disc that contains both formats would eventually win out. That said, after now watching over 25 films in either or both formats, I've decided that HD generally looks better, but my player can play the extras and menus for Blu-ray. I'll continue buying both, but I refuse to believe so soon in the format war (which needn't be a war at all), that Blu-ray is the undeclared winner, as most websites would have us believe (because they're generally mastered by fanboys who have picked a side and refuse to believe anything good or true of the other side).

John White
08-21-2007, 04:32 PM
PAL and NTSC don't exist in the high definition domain. However, while HD DVD is region-free, Blu-ray is split into three regions (A for North America and Japan, B for Europe and Australia, C for many of the Asian territories), although region-free discs are a lot more common than they were with DVD. (Paramount and Warner never region-code, Fox always does, and Sony, Disney and Lions Gate only seem to do so with new releases that haven't come out in certain territories.)

Thanks Michael, I might just dip in for a player in the next few months :)

Gordon McMurphy
08-21-2007, 05:41 PM
Getting sick fed up of this HD clusterfuck.

Troy Howarth
08-21-2007, 05:46 PM
What I want to know is - and I hope nobody takes this the wrong way - but, why put your faith in one of these formats just yet? It seems to me it's still very uncertain as to what will work and what will complicate the issue... wouldn't it be more sensible to stick with your regular players for now, until the dust settles? Just curious.

Michael Mackenzie
08-21-2007, 05:50 PM
What I want to know is - and I hope nobody takes this the wrong way - but, why put your faith in one of these formats just yet? It seems to me it's still very uncertain as to what will work and what will complicate the issue... wouldn't it be more sensible to stick with your regular players for now, until the dust settles? Just curious.
More sensible? Probably. More fun? Most assuredly not. I've been enjoying pristine HD content for over a year now and have no regrets about picking up both formats. Let's put it this way: if one format ends up dying, the player and the discs I bought for the other aren't suddenly going to go anywhere.

Gordon McMurphy
08-21-2007, 06:10 PM
The Samsung multi-format player (SD-DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD; 1080p upscaling) comes out in a few months, which will breaks a few barriers down. However, what bothers me is the price of BR and HD titles. Often, they are $7-10 more expensive, which is a bit of a con, if you ask me. The big studios, by practice have been creating HD-masters for their SD discs for years. Authoring to a Blu-Ray disc or HD-DVD disc cannot be a more difficult or more costly enterprise.

Paul A J Lewis
08-21-2007, 06:14 PM
I've said it earlier in this thread somewhere, but despite having a fairly decent (if, like most people, underpaid) job most months I can barely afford my water rates and council tax. I don't know how you cats can front the cost of HD/Blu-Ray players and discs.

Troy Howarth
08-21-2007, 08:11 PM
More sensible? Probably. More fun? Most assuredly not. I've been enjoying pristine HD content for over a year now and have no regrets about picking up both formats. Let's put it this way: if one format ends up dying, the player and the discs I bought for the other aren't suddenly going to go anywhere.

Ideally, if I had more money at my disposal, I'd love to have this kind of fun, too. :D

What I'm getting at is, isn't it inevitable that one or the other format is going to go bye-bye - and as such, isn't it a bit silly to jump the gun and invest mad cash before a victor has been established? Obviously anybody can spend their hard earned cash any way they like, but I don't get how the regular DVD format is suddenly so lacking that people feel the need to go bananas on a new format... I'm just sayin' - don't take it critically. :)

Troy Howarth
08-21-2007, 08:13 PM
The Samsung multi-format player (SD-DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD; 1080p upscaling) comes out in a few months, which will breaks a few barriers down. However, what bothers me is the price of BR and HD titles. Often, they are $7-10 more expensive, which is a bit of a con, if you ask me. The big studios, by practice have been creating HD-masters for their SD discs for years. Authoring to a Blu-Ray disc or HD-DVD disc cannot be a more difficult or more costly enterprise.

When DVDs first came out, they were more expensive. Hell, when VHS first came out, a blank tape went for $20 - and we're talking in terms of currency close to 30 years ago. The prices will go down - another reason why I'm in no rush to upgrade just yet.

Thomas Hart
08-21-2007, 08:36 PM
Boy, if you hated studios that double/triple/quadruple dip on titles on standard DVD ....

I don't own cable or satellite dish, I go to the theater maybe twice a year, and I don't rent movies. I buy the films I want on DVD and have encompassed quite a large collection (4000-5000 titles). I did the VHS and Laserdiscs collecting thing and got burnt twice. I will not get burnt again, especially not so soon between formats (less than 10 years). If I quit collecting DVDs right now, it would probably take me 50 years to watch everything I own (40 years if I quit my job). D-DVD or Blu-Ray means very, very little to me right now (yes, the picture is much sharper, but so what). I will continue collecting standard DVD (just bought an upconvertor) until they stop being produced, and that's it, no more collecting.

Personally, if I had $40 to spend, and had the choice between buying a film I've never seen (Criterion's ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS) or one I've already seen but has sharper detail (Blu-Ray disc of DIE HARD), it's no contest.

Michael Mackenzie
08-22-2007, 02:37 AM
In terms of cost, it helps that I have a brother who shares my interests, and with whom I have split the cost of most of the hardware. The discs, I've found, are not considerably more expensive than your average day-and-date DVD if you shop from the right places. I get most of mine from DVD Pacific, where the favourable US to UK exchange rate means that I'm rarely paying more than £12 a pop, with some like the upcoming Anchor Bay discs working out at under £10.


Obviously anybody can spend their hard earned cash any way they like, but I don't get how the regular DVD format is suddenly so lacking that people feel the need to go bananas on a new format... I'm just sayin' - don't take it critically. :)
For me at least, it's not that DVD suddenly became lacking - by and large I never found it that brilliant to start with. There were undeniably some very nice-looking discs, but for the most part I felt that the average standard was simply too low, a combination of the limited resolution available in standard definition and lax quality control (and this applies to the majors as much as the independents, in fact often more so). I'd actually been waiting for HD since not long after DVD, which was actually originally expected to be little more than a stepping stone between standard def and HD, was launched.

Steve L1
08-22-2007, 03:15 AM
Like many, the cost of the hardware is financially prohibitive for me. Not only the HD or Blu-Ray players but also the cost of shelling out for a new LCD or Plasma. To be honest, if I had the cash, I'd say that the new technology would be well worth the outlay, and the thought of the likes of HALLOWEEN and BLADE RUNNER on the new formats are mouth watering for me. I'll make the jump eventually, but prices will have to fall a lot before i'm able to.

Ian Z.
08-22-2007, 01:36 PM
I would have hoped this format war would be won by now. The only thing that really irks me is I just know that if I wait for one format to be the obvious winner, the horror titles I want to grab now will likely be OOP and going for insane amounts on Ebay... if you can find them at all. However, because these discs are twice as expensive as their DVD counterparts, I can't exactly afford to just buy the discs now without the hardware to insure I'll have it in my collection when I eventually get a player.

So I'm just sticking with standard DVD for now, and when I have the money to go HD, I'm probably going to be ultra-pissed that I can't get an HD disc of THE THING or AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON or whatever cool genre titles are soon to come out without paying through the nose.

Chris Workman
08-22-2007, 03:20 PM
It really isn't all that inevitable that one or the other format will go away sometime soon (or at all). Take, for instance, Xboxes vs playstations. Now that new technologies have been created that can play both (and with the upcoming ability to place movies mastered in both formats on one disc, as Warner plans), both formats may be around for a long time to come.

Actually, producing an HD disc isn't all that much more costly than producing a standard DVD, and much of the same equipment can be used. However, Blu-rays are considerably more costly because it takes extreme equipment upgrades, and standard DVD pressing companies cannot press Blu-rays. That's one of the reasons Paramount decided to go with HD rather than Blu-ray.

Here are the pros and cons:

HDs are cheaper to produce, and they look better. But they hold on 30 gbs. The players are also cheaper (at this point, which is a selling point) of information.
Blu-rays are more costly to produce and don't quite look as good as HDs (yet; but that will change), but they hold 50 gbs of information.

More studios have bought into Blu-ray than HD, but we see the tide slowly turning. Also, HDs in other countries can play in US HD players, whereas Blu-ray discs from other countries generally cannot. (Also, it should be noted that HD is far outselling Blu-ray in Europe, where I expect we'll see most of our genre titles come from.)

Dave Starry
08-22-2007, 06:53 PM
Personally, if I had $40 to spend, and had the choice between buying a film I've never seen (Criterion's ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS) or one I've already seen but has sharper detail (Blu-Ray disc of DIE HARD), it's no contest.

I agree 100%, but that didn't stop me from taking the HD DVD plunge. The bottom line was that I had some extra money to burn and the price was right -- I got the HD DVD player plus 7 free HD DVD titles for $179. A somewhat expensive new toy if you will, although it you factor in the free movies it practically paid for itself. My current plan is to only purchase a few new titles that will be available on HD DVD instead of SD DVD, and use the player mostly for new movie rentals. In addition, I can use the new HD DVD player to upconvert my SD DVDs, so I have no plans to double dip on the titles I already own (although admittedly upgrading 2001: A Space Odyssey is going to be mighty tempting).

scott favareille
08-22-2007, 08:05 PM
I bought the first VHS Hi-Fi VCR back in the early 1980's (at $1400 no less).
I bought an LD player in 1988.
I bought a LD/DVD player in 1998.
I bought a DVD recorder back in 2003.

Having said all of that, I am still watching a 1990 Sony 27 inch TV. I will have to buy a new TV soon (because my TV will be useless as of Feb 2009).

With 2 hi-def DVD formats out, I do not see myself taking the plunge. I have been burned on tech before (most notably with the Atari 5200, the Apple III computer, and a few other obsolete things), plus most of what I watch likely will not be made available on hi-def (& likely will not make a difference if they did), such as classic cliffhangers & obscure B-films.

Steve Barr
09-11-2007, 04:02 PM
http://www.betanews.com/article/New_Chinese_Involvement_Could_Trigger_HD_DVD_Price _Plunge/1189196071

[...]

Now, the DVD Forum's involvement has evidently made it possible for Chinese manufacturers to produce components that play blue-laser, high-def discs using the Chinese national standard, though which are fundamentally compatible with HD DVD with only minor adjustments.

The upshot here is this: The same country that has literally upset the LCD TV industry on its ear in just the last year alone, now has the specifications it needs to do the same with high-def video discs. While it makes so-called CH-DVD players for the home market (the name is subject to change, the new consortium says), China can also produce HD DVD players for the rest of the world, at prices that can best be described as Chinese.

[...]

M Sanderson
09-16-2007, 09:55 AM
It seems to me that more and more, DVD are struggling to replicate the quality of new films. Films seem to be shot on ever snazzier stock, with colours/tones that are harder to do justice to on a "normal" DVD. Some films I've seen at the cinema in the past two years and then caught on DVD after left me very surprised at the relative lack of quality.

I wonder, with all these technological advances, if manufacturers will do half-baked DVDs just so they can release it in HD or what have you. Ever more, we have got to a point where we have to wonder, "Is it safe to buy X or Y on DVD?"

I have to say, I felt a bit disappointed with SILENT HILL and LAND OF THE DEAD on DVD.

That said, DVD is great for older films, cult films, the kind of films that we come on these forums to talk about and - in my limited experience - most stuff made before 2005.

Michael Mackenzie
09-16-2007, 10:17 AM
It seems to me that more and more, DVD are struggling to replicate the quality of new films. Films seem to be shot on ever snazzier stock, with colours/tones that are harder to do justice to on a "normal" DVD. Some films I've seen at the cinema in the past two years and then caught on DVD after left me very surprised at the relative lack of quality.

I wonder, with all these technological advances, if manufacturers will do half-baked DVDs just so they can release it in HD or what have you. Ever more, we have got to a point where we have to wonder, "Is it safe to buy X or Y on DVD?"

I have to say, I felt a bit disappointed with SILENT HILL and LAND OF THE DEAD on DVD.

That said, DVD is great for older films, cult films, the kind of films that we come on these forums to talk about and - in my limited experience - most stuff made before 2005.
I suspect that it's a case of companies finding increasingly efficient ways of encoding DVDs, requiring less time and effort on the part of the technicians so that multiple titles can be farmed out in bulk. This includes aggressively filtering and noise reducing titles to make them easier to compress, reducing the need to go back and do multiple passes if, for example, the bit rate isn't high enough. I've seen a lot of discs coming from majors like New Line and Universal that are shockingly poorly-defined, and I don't believe it has anything to do with snazzy new filmmaking techniques.

It's interesting that you mention Silent Hill, because I just got the HD DVD release from Germany last week, and it looks absolutely jaw-droppingly phenomenal. One of the best presentations I've ever seen of a film, with details so crisp you feel as if you could reach out and touch them. Land of the Dead is another title that looks very good in HD, albeit not on the same level as Silent Hill. Oh, and Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1080p? One word: wow.

M Sanderson
09-16-2007, 02:39 PM
Lucky bugger. The "normal" SILENT HILL dvd didn't quite hit the mark.

I think basic DVD releases of SILENT HILL and LAND OF THE DEAD have struggled somewhat to capture the detail & texture of the murky photography.

I find it really irritating that I'll go out and buy a film like BROTHERS GRIMM, knowing full well that there's a HD, Blu-Ray or whatever that pisses all over it.

Bob Lindstrom
09-17-2007, 01:35 AM
While, like so many, I was put off by the format struggle, about a year ago I decided that a home theater/film hobbyist had to "hobby" so I purchased a first-gen HD DVD player. I've never regretted it. Every time I sit down to watch an HD DVD on my front projector (720p, 10-foot diagonal) I'm struck by how much these HD discs look like film at home, instead of just a big, damn TV (which is how standard DVD looks, even when upscaled well).

While I bought a number of titles initially, at present, I'm hedging my bets with a Netflix subscription.

I went with HD DVD because the format specs are more settled than Blu-ray; but, regardless of format, if you love film and, particularly, if you have a large-format display (big screen), you really should consider investing in one of the HD discs formats. IMO, the improvement in image quality AND sound quality (higher resolution audio formats, too) are well worth it.

Alex K.
09-18-2007, 01:35 PM
And it becomes even more cluttered: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/5533

Time will tell.

Ian Z.
09-18-2007, 05:06 PM
And it becomes even more cluttered: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/5533
Time will tell.

I can't picture that working very well. So the idea is that it only stores the first 30 seconds of each movie locally, and then relies on other users to have the movie which it will then download chunks of. Software like WinMX and Limewire operated on the same principle, but more often than not, you ended up with half of a file and numerous "waiting for connection..." messages while someone had their software turned off or had already deleted the file. This thing has to be prone to software bugs and connectivity problems.

Jari K
10-19-2007, 07:23 AM
*Reservoir Dogs - 15th Anniversary
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19916

*Young Guns
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19917

*American Psycho - Uncut Version
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20110

*First Blood AKA Rambo: First Blood
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20111

*G.I. Jane
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20285

*Dreamgirls - Showstopper Edition
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20325

More of my reviews, if people want to read:

*House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=21514

*Primeval (2007)
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20824

*Happily N'Ever After (2007)
http://www.therewindforums.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20614

I have now both Blu-ray and HD DVD. I´m in it for the films now, not formats. :)

Kristian R
01-04-2008, 05:25 PM
Warner Bros is going Blu-ray exclusive. It looks like the format war will finally end this year. :)

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

mark t
01-04-2008, 07:55 PM
Fuck. My money was on HD.

Mark C.
01-05-2008, 12:42 PM
Warner Bros is going Blu-ray exclusive. It looks like the format war will finally end this year. :)

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

The end is near, its going to take a miracle for HD-dvd to stave off obsolesense now.

Wayne Schmidt
01-05-2008, 01:19 PM
I haven't really kept up with the HD war, but Blu-Ray has region coding and DRM while HD DVD had neither? Is that right? So in other words no interesting imports from around the world (which HD DVD has had), you're stuck with the domestic market. I know it probably was never going to happen, but I was hoping HD DVD would win the home video side of things while Blu-Ray became the computer data storage champs with it's superior capacity. But not a chance of that.

Darren Nemeth
01-05-2008, 03:04 PM
Is the region coding mandated or can independent producers encode region 0?

HD-DVD is dead. Here is another article.
http://wesleytech.com/ces-hd-dvd-event-canceled-due-to-warner-announcement/483/

Wayne Schmidt
01-05-2008, 06:06 PM
Is the region coding mandated or can independent producers encode region 0?

HD-DVD is dead. Here is another article.
http://wesleytech.com/ces-hd-dvd-event-canceled-due-to-warner-announcement/483/
I'm sure it's voluntary, just as with standard def DVDs.

Ian Jane
01-06-2008, 10:11 AM
I have now both Blu-ray and HD DVD. I´m in it for the films now, not formats. :)

You and me both, as of yesterday. If WB stands by that announcement, it's probably the end of HD-DVD, but I'm glad I can still play both formats. It's not like my HD-DVDs are going to disintigrate (at least I hope not).

Anthony V
01-06-2008, 01:05 PM
Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros studio has said it would exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Sony's Blu-ray format, dealing a big blow to Toshiba Corp's rival HD DVD technology.

Warner Bros, Hollywood's biggest seller of DVDs, representing about 18 to 20 per cent of sales in the United States, was one of the few studios that backed both formats.

All sides of the format war had agreed it was confusing to consumers and a stumbling block for a potential multibillion-dollar industry.

Total DVD unit sales fell 4.5 per cent in 2007, the first major year-over-year decline since the disc format debuted in 1997, according to Adams Media Research. Sales fell 4.8 per cent to $15.7 billion.

"The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers," Warner Bros Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Meyer said in a statement.

News Corp's 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co, and Lionsgate, are among studios backing the Blu-ray format. Viacom Inc's Paramount studios and General Electric's NBC Universal release movies in HD DVD format.

Warner said it would continue releasing in the HD DVD format until the end of May, although those releases would follow the standard DVD and Blu-ray releases.

Chuk H
01-06-2008, 05:39 PM
Fuck.

I just bought an HD DVD player ( the LOOK and SOUND of PERFECT™) damnit.

Oh well, I'm actually happy with my purchase because it's a great upscaler and I'll enjoy it for years. It wasn't very expensive ans I only have a handful of actual HD-DVDs but boy do they look good.

Still, I'm a little bitter. I hate to see Sony win because I think THEY SUCK.





BTW, not that I really want to watch porn in HD, but what of the future of ( ahem) "adult" tittles now? Does Sony still refuse to license them in BR format? does this mean no HD porn in the future?