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"300" shown in before and after footage  (Source: Warner Bros.)
HD DVD outshines Blu-ray Disc with a better version of "300"

This week’s home video movie releases will bring with it a disc that will clearly outline the differences in feature sets of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. “300,” released on Tuesday, hits the market on high-definition with unequal releases.

The rights to “300” belong to Warner Home Video – a studio that backs both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc – but the studio has graced the HD DVD version with several exclusive features that currently can be found nowhere else.

Found only on the HD DVD version is the "Bluescreen Picture-in-Picture Version" of the film. As “300” was shot almost completely in a bluescreen-laden warehouse in Canada, the raw footage differs greatly from the movie’s final look. Viewers are able to directly compare the before and after shots through a picture-in-picture window that can be dynamically enabled or disabled. Running alongside the pre-processed footage is an exclusive commentary track by director Zack Snyder recorded specifically for the special feature.

The bluescreen supplement is not found on the Blu-ray Disc version of the film, but Warner Home Video’s decision to include it only the HD DVD version is unlikely due to any sort of format favoritism. Current mandatory Blu-ray Disc player specifications do not include the feature set to allow for picture-in-picture video.

The Blu-ray Disc Association has mandated that all players of the format released after October 31, 2007 must support BD Java, a programming language for Blu-ray Disc media used mainly to deliver picture-in-picture for in-movie commentary and special features.

The HD DVD equivalent of this enabling feature, called HDi, is already standard on all HD DVD players. Rather than being based on Java, however, HDi is built on Microsoft’s XML standards.

Another feature that points out the feature differences between the two high-definition player specifications is HD DVD’s requirement of being Internet-connectivity ready. Recent firmware updates for HD DVD players, which are obtainable via the web, have enabled “Web Content” features for specific movie titles.

“300” on HD DVD takes advantage of online content by allowing the viewer to browse and purchase movie-related items, such as ringtones and wallpapers, for use on mobile phones – another feature that is exclusive to the movie’s release on the format.

The CGI-filled film isn’t Warner Home Video’s first unequal release on high-definition. The studio released “Blood Diamond” first on Blu-ray Disc, and then weeks later released the HD DVD version with picture-in-picture commentary. The studio is also holding back certain titles from a Blu-ray Disc release – that are already available on HD DVD – at least until BD-Java becomes mandatory. Such titles include “Batman Begins,” “V for Vendetta” and the “Matrix Trilogy.”

Although it may appear that the current Blu-ray Disc version of “300” is completely inferior to the HD DVD version, it does feature one additional audio option. The Blu-ray Disc version of the film includes an additional uncompressed audio track that is encoded in Linear PCM 5.1. The extra audio track is likely exclusive to Blu-ray disc due to the format’s extra 20GB of storage space. The video encodes on both high-definition versions, presented in VC-1, are identical.

“The HD DVD of 300 is clearly the superior version, boasting some exclusive special features such as a picture-in-picture bluescreen version of the film, web-enabled extras and more,” said optical storage analyst Wesley Novack. “The only exclusive feature found on the Blu-ray Disc version of the release is the uncompressed PCM audio track, which is nearly identical to the TrueHD audio found on the HD DVD release.”

For Blu-ray Disc player owners who are missing the bluescreen picture-in-picture feature, there may be hope of a second release of “300” following the implementation of BD Java. According to Home Media Magazine, Deborah Snyder, executive producer and wife of director Zack Snyder of the film, at a Comic-Con International panel said that the picture-in-picture feature wasn’t yet ready for Blu-ray Disc, and added, “I think there’s going to be another Blu-ray special edition later on.”

Another report from the panel recorded Deborah Snyder as saying that a later edition of the movie will also include storyboards and production artwork in addition to the bluescreen footage. The Digital Bits recalled that the producer’s comments sent several Warner representatives in a state of nervousness and shock. Warner Home Video did not comment on whether or not there would be another release of “300” on Blu-ray Disc with additional features.

For owners of players of both high-definition formats, the choice between which to buy today may come down to more than just the special feature bullet-points. Interestingly enough, the Blu-ray Disc version of “300” retails for several dollars less than the HD DVD version, but it’s not because of its shorter feature list.

As Novack explained, “These exclusive extra features are not the catalyst that caused the slightly higher MSRP on the HD DVD compared to the Blu-ray version. In reality, the higher price is due to the combo disc format, which includes a standard DVD version on the flip-side of the disc. And with a rumor that Warner might be releasing another version of ‘300’ in the future, with interactive features included next time, the HD DVD version looks like the version to jump on at this point in time.”

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Good news for HD-DVD
By FITCamaro on 8/3/2007 8:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
With the format war still raging on, every little bit on either side helps. Personally I like HD-DVD due to its more lax DRM.

While it'd be nice to get the movie with HD-DVD and DVD versions on one disc, I don't think I want to pay the premium given the format war isn't over. Once it is, then I'll pick the winner. Until then, 1080i upconvert will be fine and still looks great.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By mdogs444 on 8/3/2007 8:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
While it'd be nice to get the movie with HD-DVD and DVD versions on one disc, I don't think I want to pay the premium given the format war isn't over. Once it is, then I'll pick the winner. Until then, 1080i upconvert will be fine and still looks great.

Exactly. I dont buy into high priced technology trends until they are priced to a point worthy of my dollar. Regular DVD Players were at this price point and higher at one point in time, so I plan on waiting until these do the same. Im sure the quality is great - but not enough for me to drop several hundred dollars on a new DVD player to watch maybe 1 movie per week.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CorrND on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 12:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
the HD-A2 has a 1080i max resolution, not that i care, but some do ;) i don't think there is even a non 1080p BD player out there. I feel if you are going to buy a next gen player, you might as well make it 1080p though.. then again how many people have 1080p sets heh.

Anyone willing to spend 600$ on a movie player probably has money to spend anyways, the word 'SONY' just sounds so good to those who are not tech savy ;) I know it worked with my Dad heh.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Oregonian2 on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 2:10:30 PM , Rating: 3
I am a bit confused about what you are trying to say, but ill try to give you an explanation.

First off lets talk about only 1080p Televisions just to keep things simple. In terms of resolution, a 1080p tv has a resolution of 1920x1080. So when playing an HDDVD or BD movie at 1080p, the picture is outputting from the player and is essentially left untouched by your TV, which means the signal is 1:1 so your TV does not have to scale to its native resolution (it also does not deinterlace or line double which i will explain later).

But when the hddvd or bd player outputs at 1080i (interlaced), the true resolution being outputted is really 1920x540, with 540 lines appearing every half second giving you the perception 1080 lines are being presented every second, but since your LCD can only output non-interlaced video, your TV has to deinterlace (or line double) the source video which basically means it merges the two 540 lines into 1 progressive 1080p signal. But by doing so motion blurs and artifacts may appear on your screen, leaving you with less than ideal picture quality compared to full 1080p. Of course you really need a trained eye to even notice the difference when sitting more than 10 feet from your TV, so in the end its all user preference, they both will look good in the end.

This also happens to be one of the many reasons some people believe 720p actually looks better than 1080i on a 720p display.

I hoped this helped explain it too you.. i know its long but i wanted to simplify it as much as i could ;)

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By h0kiez on 8/3/2007 2:21:13 PM , Rating: 3
What you're saying isn't really true. It's true for a 720p source that much be scaled to 540 for a 1080i source, but this just isn't the case with HD DVD. There is soooo much misinformation about this.

I've never seen it summed up more succintly (and easily understood) as in an article from projectorcentral. Here's what you need to know:

"Contrary to popular misconceptions, HD-DVD and Blu-ray are both 1080p sources. As far as movies are concerned, both disc formats are scanned and encoded in 1080p from the original film. So why the confusion? It comes from the fact that the first HD-DVD player, the Toshiba HD-A1, outputs 1080i, while the first Blu-ray player, the Samsung BD-P1000, outputs both 1080i and 1080p. That sounds like a big deal, but in reality this is more of a marketing/perception problem for the Toshiba player than a technical limitation.

Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray have all of the progressively scanned 1080-lines per frame of information on the disc, and this information is not lost or compromised in 1080i transmission. The transmission interface is simply a matter of the order in which the scanlines are read and transmitted to the video display. If they are transmitted in 1080p, they are sent sequentially. If they are transmitted in 1080i, they are sent in two fields, with one containing the odd numbered lines and another the even numbered lines. These two fields are then reassembled into sequential frames by the video processor in the TV or projector. Either way you end up with the full 1080p frame being used to create the picture, so there is no difference in the end result. "

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By h0kiez on 8/3/2007 2:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
oops...first paragraph should read:
What you're saying isn't really true. It's true for a 720p source that mu st be scaled to 540 for a 1080i display , but this just isn't the case with HD DVD. There is soooo much misinformation about this.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 2:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
That article simplifies it a bit too much i think, regardless if each 540 field per 1/2 second is different, and together they create the 'full 1080p', 3/2 pulldown (remember progressive scan), or deinterlacing still takes place, which as i said gives the illusion you are looking at a 1080p signal.

The article plainly says " HD-DVD and Blu-ray are both 1080p sources" all that means is the player still takes the 1080p progressive signal, and splits the signal into odd and even fields, each with 540 lines, there is no actual 1080i format being outputted from the HD-DVD or BD disc, thats all its saying.

"So if the interlace signal refreshes half the lines on a screen 50 times per second this results in a full screen (or frame) refresh rate of 25 times per second. The problem with interlacing is the distortion when an image moves quickly between the odd and even lines as only one set of lines is ever being refreshed." (artifacts)

Remember there is a difference between a 1080p source being outputted at 1080i, and a 1080i HD satellite or digital cable signal being outputted at 1080i. thats all the article is trying to get at. But there is still a difference, ive seen it myself on a 100inch 1080p set, one of the only ways to 'really' notice the diff between 1080i and p.

Virtually all 1080i you'll see is displayed progressively either by motion adaptive deinterlacing, or turned into 540p first and then scaled up with loss of quality on older panels.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By DrKlahn on 8/3/2007 3:20:53 PM , Rating: 5
Not correct. The fields are combined into a full 1080 frame on any digital 1080p set. 720p sets can sometimes upsample from a 540 field (called bobbing), but the good ones will downsample from the full 1920x1080 frame (called weaving). As long as your display has a good scaler/deinterlacer any difference seen between 1080i/1080p will be more to do with the processor used than the outputted signal from the player. A set that can take a signal in multiples of films native 24fps (1080p24) such as 24/48/72Hz coupled with a player that can output the native 24fps signal will show improvements as there is no telecine process taking place. But the whole 1080i/1080p argument is all marketing.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CZroe on 8/4/2007 6:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, most TVs fail these reverse 3:2 pulldown tests during HDTV round-ups. A large amount of native 1080p sets just throw out half the lines and line-double the remaining 540p!

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Pr1mus on 8/4/2007 1:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have links to some of these tests? I'm not ragging on you, I'm genuinely interested as I'm going to be in the market for a new TV in the near future.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CZroe on 8/4/2007 5:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't too new, but there are some high-end sets in here including Sony XBR LCDs (I chose the Sony KDL-52XBR2). The good news is, a high end receiver with 1080p upconversion could be paired with one of these high-end TVs and that will fix the problem assuming its deinterlacer has no problem.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By blaster5k on 8/3/2007 3:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
The article is basically right. On a 1080p set, I think you'd be hard-pressed to notice a difference between 1080i and 1080p coming from an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray source. The processing path is a little different, but the end result should be pretty similar -- well, unless your TV's processing capabilities suck.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By DrKlahn on 8/3/2007 5:46:56 PM , Rating: 3
24p output is not used a bandwidth saving measure. It's the native display rate of modern cinema. Movies are captured into the camera at 24fps (which you can also say as 24p). The advantage to a 24Hz (24p) output is it eliminates the 3:2 cadence necessary to convert the 24fps(Hz) film rate into the 30/60fps(Hz) rate necessary for most televisions.

I have a 110" projector. You will see more of a difference between player A vs. player B's video processor then you will a 1080i vs. 1080p. Digital displays DON'T display an interlaced signal. The 2 interlaced fields are always combined back to their original 1920x1080 frame in the digital domain before the display will output it. The errors in the frame reconstruction are so minute they really don't matter unless you are sitting with a D5 master comparing the two.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By JeffDM on 8/4/2007 6:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
"The errors in the frame reconstruction are so minute they really don't matter unless you are sitting with a D5 master comparing the two."

It really depends on the deinterlacer that is being used. It could be blurred or show combing in motion if they don't do proper pull-down removal, if the video is film-sourced. If there's a bad edit, then you'll often see at least a frame of combing.

That's not really a problem though. Unlike DVDs, most HD discs are authored in progressive mode, so the issue really doesn't come up often.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By masher2 on 8/5/2007 9:05:32 PM , Rating: 4
> "in the end creates as you said 'something similar' with 1080p still being superior in image quality and with 1080i creating artifacts "

This is a common misconception, based on the fact that interlacing creates artifacts when source and display do not match in the time domain. However, when they do, there are no artifacts, and the reconstructed image is identical to the source. 1080i@48 converts bit-identically to 1080p24.

Not "similar". Identical.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By 8steve8 on 8/6/2007 5:06:16 PM , Rating: 1
if u read all the comments it seems no one understands this
but its really very simple.

if the source is 1080p@24hz
then theoretically if your tv does it properly...
it could reconstruct the source exactly with 1080i@48hz as you said.

is 1080i normally or ever outputted at 48hz??
can any tv on the market reconstruct it (w/o loss) into 1080p@24??
it seems only high end / new tvs can handle 24hz@1080p properly... i doubt they have been handling 1080i@48->1080p@24hz for all this time.
remember when 1080p tvs couldnt really do 1080p, or when hdcp video cards didnt really do hdcp... i wouldnt just assume tvs do this properly or 1080i outputs are ever 48hz.

1080p @ 30hz or 60hz will not be as good as 24hz since the source is 24hz.... for lossless translatoin u need 24,48,72,96... etc etc. anything outside of that will not be true to the origional.

really , yes i know its $$$... but look for new tvs that specifically say they do 24p for 1080p. the new sony lcds specifically say so. im sure other brands do as well. i know some high-def disc players can output 1080p@24hz over hdmi including the playstation 3. a 1080p@24hz output from a high def source (like playstation 3 blue-ray) connected to a new 1080p@24hz tv over hdmi will yield a perfect movie experience... as perfect as the source. i dont know of any other combinatoin that will yield this.

but someone please prove me wrong..

give me an end to end configuration using 1080i in the middle somewhere where the end result is 1080p@24hz with no loss or distortion (including the time domain) from the 1080p@24hz on the disk.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Oregonian2 on 8/3/2007 5:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Both HD-DVD and Blu-ray have all of the progressively scanned 1080-lines per frame of information on the disc, and this information is not lost or compromised in 1080i transmission. The transmission interface is simply a matter of the order in which the scanlines are read and transmitted to the video display. If they are transmitted in 1080p, they are sent sequentially. If they are transmitted in 1080i, they are sent in two fields, with one containing the odd numbered lines and another the even numbered lines. These two fields are then reassembled into sequential frames by the video processor in the TV or projector. Either way you end up with the full 1080p frame being used to create the picture, so there is no difference in the end result. "

As a comment to you (and the others below at this point in time -- there didn't seem to be a better "reply" point), this is effectively what I was asking about. There can be confusion about different aspects of different things which aren't relevant to the comment I made two above or the one I responded to.

In a situation where the video is coming off the disk in a single format and is being displayed on a video TV screen that is 1920 x 1080 pixels in size -- does it matter if the format in the cable "inbetween" the screen and source disc is interlaced or not particularly when one knows (or at least I've read it somewhere) that even with interlaced format on the cable, the screen itself does NOT have the information updated sequentially (interlaced) -- meaning there isn't a time displacement between odd and even lines either in the display (because it's not an interlaced display) or in the source (which is progressive to begin with). It's only the HDMI cable transport format that is interlaced -- the source and display are not interlaced. Seems like the only thing that should matter is a possible different latency (I may see my movie a small fraction of a second later or sooner than a parallel connected TV of the other sort). But things sometimes aren't architected in optimized ways. :-(

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CZroe on 8/4/2007 7:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting that not all content is made from 24fps source material.

Also, an alarmingly large amount of 1080p panels throw out half the lines and then line-double 540p!

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CZroe on 8/4/2007 6:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
This is only if your 1080p TV does proper inverse 3:2 pulldown. MOST do not. What you chould have corrected him on was his "per second" stuff.
Each field of an interlaced frame is drawn in slightly over 1/60th of a second, not 1/2 a second!

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By JeffDM on 8/4/2007 6:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
For me it does make a difference, but that's because I have a 1080p projector. Having a digital connection really makes a difference too.

It really depends on how close you are to the screen. If you are in less than two screen widths away from the screen, then 1080p might make a difference. If your screen is less than 42", then 1080i and 720p is more than likely good enough for most people.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Duraz0rz on 8/3/2007 12:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
Might as well have gotten a PS3 and the 5 free Blu-ray movies for that price.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By augiem on 8/3/2007 1:14:57 PM , Rating: 5
Personally, I don't care about extra features. I don't think most Joe Blow movie watchers do either. I'd rather just see the movie the director and crew made for me to watch. So for me, it comes down to price on this issue.

$150-$200 for a player is acceptable. But I still won't buy until the discs are on par with DVD prices. They're just too expensive.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By DigitalFreak on 8/3/2007 3:15:32 PM , Rating: 5
Personally, I don't care about extra features. I don't think most Joe Blow movie watchers do either. I'd rather just see the movie the director and crew made for me to watch. So for me, it comes down to price on this issue.

BINGO! Out of the hundreds of DVDs I have, I've watched the special features (web crap, commentary, etc.) on maybe 10 of them. I just want the best possible video and audio quality, along with any deleted scenes or alternate beginnings/endings. I could care less about the rest.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By elmikethemike on 8/3/2007 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 4
Add at least $300 for your 360 numbnuts, or $400 if you got the premium. So you either paid the same or more than they did.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By jvillaro on 8/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Scabies on 8/3/2007 8:08:04 PM , Rating: 5
SUCH a double standard. Not counting the cost of the 360 when talking about the $200 HD-DVD drive, but then balking when people count the PS3 as a movie player. And no PS3 or standalone BR player owner needs a PC, so either you have a 360 or a PC to go with that HD-DVD player, thus adding at least $300 to the bill. 500 for entry level PS3 BR goodness, 500 for entry level HD-DVD add-on 360 goodness. Subtracting the 360 as a "bonus" since it is a "gaming platform" is bunk, as we can take a similar amount away from the all-in-one PS3 (even though most can successfully argue that the PS3 is pretty weak for games so far.)

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Timeless on 8/3/2007 10:07:12 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe he even got the xbox before so he didnt spend all at once so even more at his favor...

But CorrND still spent the money to get both the Xbox360 and the HD-DVD add-on so it still counts. He the one calling other people idiots because they spent their money to get one piece of equipment that he had to buy two pieces to do? And both he and the couple most likely spent the same amount of money so I don't know who the bigger idiot is.

Maaaaaybe just maybe he bought the hd drive and he's using it on his PC so its still 200 bucks... numbnuts...

If CorrND did use a computer with the HD-DVD player, then we can substitute the cost of a PC for the cost of an Xbox360. We will find that the price is almost identical, if not more than, a Blu-ray player. It just depends on how much he bought his PC for. Since I haven't seen a lot of PCs that are below the range of $300 USD, I'll take that as my conservative estimate. So the math is: $300+ PC + $200 HD-DVD add-on + $30 Movie + Tax = $530 + Tax. Around, if not more than, the same price as the "idiot couple." Do the math first jvillaro.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CorrND on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Timeless on 8/4/2007 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Before I got the xbox drive, I had my computer just sitting here. Why do we need to add the cost of that computer?

Can your HD-DVD add-on play the movies without a PC or Xbox360? No? I rest my case. My point is you need one or the other to make your HD-DVD add-on work. I highly doubt that you can plug the HD-DVD add-on to a TV or monitor and expect it to play like a standalone player. The word "add-on" implies that you need something else first so that your add-on can work. In this case, it is either a PC or an Xbox360. That is why I included the price of the PC into the total price.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By CorrND on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By ruibing on 8/3/2007 2:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Though I agree that a stand alone blu ray player is not worth it, your comparison is a bit off. If we are just talking about the ability to play hd discs and not games, your 360 hd drive is an add-on and not standalone. Unless you got a stand alone hd drive (for $299 I think), you need to add at least $299 for the core system.

$299 + $200 = $499

So it's about the same as the stand alone blu ray or PS3, except you can play games which is a big plus. Just wanted to clarify.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Soldier38 on 8/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Cygni on 8/3/2007 6:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
hahah, good luck. maybe if you keep shutting your eyes REALLY tight, HD-DVD will just magically vanish. I hate to be the first to break this news to you, but its not going away any time soon. If anything, you are going to see a long term defacto merger of the two standards as more and more players supporting both are released. This is the exact same thing that happened with DVD+R and DVD-R, and the market already knows that its going to happen. Eventually, the two standards will live side by side, and instead of the big branding you see on the cases today, the HD/BR branding will be just another tiny water mark on the back of the case.

Either way, the movies you buy are both going to be playable in the future. The player? Well, you may have to replace that piece of hardware with a dual standard box to get complete coverage of future releases. But thats the price you pay as an early adopter.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By afkrotch on 8/4/2007 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 1
Odd how you didn't decide to mention the cost of the Xbox 360 or PC to go along with the Xbox 360 drive.

Course if you bought the Xbox 360 drive 7 months ago and are using it with an Xbox 360, you happen to be lacking HDMI. 7 months ago, there were many TVs that didn't support HD through analog signals. How about 5.1 audio through analog connections?

Me. I buy a movie to watch that movie. Don't really care about special features. If both movies look the same and sound the same on both formats, works for me.

I hope they are happy with their blu-ray player and I hope your happy with your Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive. That's what it all boils down to.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By JimFear on 8/6/2007 3:47:55 AM , Rating: 3
Inferior? So having a feature which lets you see the film in its raw state alongside the main film and having some guy talk over the top of it is your idea of cinema? I very much doubt people will want to sit through the entire film again with some the overlay playing alongside it whilst trying to make sense of the dialogue int he film. If I want to watch the making of I'll leave it till after I've watched the film, its almost certain that very few people will bother with this extra feature and as it stands that appears to be the only difference. Inferior? Not really.

Remember, if you buy 300 on HD-DVD then chances are you already have a HD-DVD player, if you buy it on Blu-Ray chances are you already have a Blu-Ray player, this feature will only actually matter to those bizzare people who have both a HD-DVD player AND a Blu-Ray player which are barely a handful, this won't tip the scales in anyone formats favour in respect to average HD-Joe.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By blaster5k on 8/3/2007 9:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
I like HD-DVD because it's cheaper and the releases are more consistent in terms of quality. The Blu-Ray guys really screwed up in not setting better standards. While the extra capacity of Blu-Ray is nice, it seems like it isn't that necessary -- certainly not enough to justify the cost premium.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 10:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD's are cheaper to produce, but in most cases they cost the same price, in fact they are more expensive when it comes to dual disc releases on HDDVD

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By therealnickdanger on 8/3/2007 10:37:51 AM , Rating: 3
HD-DVDs are generally cheaper when purchased via Amazon or, but when paying full retail or close to it, those combo discs HURT! I'm seasonally employed at Best Buy (for the discount) and I had the unfortunate experience of buying both 300 and Hot Fuzz (incredible transfer!) on Tuesday for near retail without my discount active. $60 after tax. Ouch!

Totally worth it in the eyes of this consumer, however.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By afkrotch on 8/4/2007 2:43:30 PM , Rating: 1
If you purchase through Amazon or Buy, you end up saving like...$1 on the HD-DVD release over the Blu-ray release. In my eyes, not a big deal.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Rampage on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Scabies on 8/3/2007 8:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
such a weird selling point.
'I want my Hi-Def disc to play on old, unspectacular hardware.'

thats like selling gasoline that can undo rust. what the hell would you want to do that for (at 3 bucks+ a gallon)

What happens when you put in a movie to show off to everyone, and theyre like "this looks just like everything else..." because you had the disc flipped the wrong way? Minor point, but seriously dual formats are a stretch unless you are talking combo BR/HDDVD movies.

"heres a car, and an air 'freshener, some CDs, a list of the local radio stations, coupons for Conoco-Phillips gas (but not Shell, BP, or anything else) and your spedometer works in both metric and imperial."

"heres your movie. you can get on the internet with this disc and buy more crap related to this movie. you can also play dumb little 2D games that some temp wrote overnight, including trivia games that ask random questions about the hidden features (which are also included.) or watch the movie before editing and CG effects. Enjoy"

me: "???"

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By BradCube on 8/4/2007 5:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think the main selling point of the combo discs is so that the original consumer can watch both. Rather it allows them to show the movie to people who don't have the same high-def setup they do at home.

I would quite willingly pay a few dollars extra in order to be able to play my new movie at my friends house.

Your point about playing the combo disc upside down when showing it off really does seem quite far fetched. The people that do those sorts of things are the same ones that have their high-def player connected to their high-def TV via a single RCA composite cable.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By elmikethemike on 8/3/2007 2:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, that's not true at all. Quality depends on film stock. Not all HD-DVD and BluRay discs are created equal. Just watch Breach on HD-DVD. It's a terrible experience.

And as far as cost, you people don't seem to get it. HD DVD and Blu ray discs cost the same retail. So you can go on about bashing sony like DailyTech does on a consistant basis, but when it comes right down to it, either format is just about equal.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 2:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
heh are you sure? thats one of the few movies ive seen on HDDVD and it looked fine to me (for what i remember).. one thing i did notice though is all the extras and menus look like they are 480p in mpeg2 maybe, they were definatly not HD content.

But i am pretty sure this was one of the first movies by universal that used the VC1 codec, so it wouldnt surprise me at all if they had a few issues, i cant quite remember what it looked like though heh.

Chances are though in the future, since both blueray and HD-DVD formats are encoded in the same vc1 codec, at the same bitrate, they should look exactly the same.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By blaster5k on 8/3/2007 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 3
I don't care about disc costs -- I'd go with Netflix anyway. HD-DVD discs are cheaper to make since they largely piggyback on existing DVD pressing technology, though combo discs are pricier.

When I say HD-DVD is cheaper though, I'm talking in terms of player costs. The HD-A2 is a steal at around $240. For those who insist on 1080p output, the HD-A20 can be had for $330. The cheapest Blu-Ray players still approach $500. That begs the question, is Blu-Ray at least $250 better than HD-DVD?

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By guidryp on 8/3/2007 3:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Did you check this release, is cheaper on BluRay. And the last costing I saw had Blu Ray costing about 25 cents more per disk to produce and dropping...

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By AlexWade on 8/3/2007 8:27:37 PM , Rating: 3
To all you Blu-boys out there, you should really re-think your blind loyalty to Blu-Ray. FIT hit the nail on the head: HD DVD has less DRM. Why do you Blu-boys want to support a format that has more DRM, or Digital Rape Management because that is what DRM does, rape our rights. ANY DRM is bad, period. But if I had to choose, and I do, I choose the one with less DRM. Blu-Ray has the accursed BD+ and the accursed AACS. HD DVD only has the accursed AACS.

Of course, I expected nothing less from rootkit Sony. You know they were dancing with joy when BD+ was proposed for Blu-Ray. "Yeah, We get the screw the consumers, and they'll just take it!"

Finally, Blu-boys, make no mistake, neither format is going away. I know a lot of people (with much more money than me) who are waiting for the Samsung universal player. I predict universal players will sell well, because people are not fanboys. All they want is something they can put in and just push play. And they are the VAST majority.

If not for the extra DRM, I would be totally in favor of being format neutral.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By Timeless on 8/4/2007 1:37:53 PM , Rating: 1
o all you Blu-boys out there, you should really re-think your blind loyalty to Blu-Ray. FIT hit the nail on the head: HD DVD has less DRM. Why do you Blu-boys want to support a format that has more DRM, or Digital Rape Management because that is what DRM does, rape our rights. ANY DRM is bad, period. But if I had to choose, and I do, I choose the one with less DRM. Blu-Ray has the accursed BD+ and the accursed AACS. HD DVD only has the accursed AACS.

I thought so. Sooner or later an HD-DVD fanboy would appear. You can't help but gloat, can you? We, the "vast majority", view this the same way as when Ubisoft announce that Assassin's Creed went to the Xbox360. The Xbox360 fanboys gloated. The PS3 fanboys cried. And the "vast majority" just sat there and went "Wow! That is some nice graphics!" Please get your head out of your ass Alex and stop trying to incite a flame war.

RE: Good news for HD-DVD
By cubdukat on 8/4/2007 12:31:33 AM , Rating: 3
Personally, I was firmly on the side of HD-DVD, but now that most Blu-Ray titles seem to be using VC-1 instead of wasteful high-bitrate MPEG-2, I'm liking BD more. And that's in spite of Sony's numerous blunders over the past two years or so. From the rootkit debacle to the underwhelming sales of the PS3 (how the hell can you get beaten out by the Wii?), they've done nothing but put their foot in it. This is probably the first thing they've done mostly right in a long time.

I also think HD-DVD has the right approach with being more conservative with its DRM, and that it doesn't have region coding. So Blu-Ray has a bigger capacity--it wouldn't need it if it was a little more efficient codec-wise. Then again, I think there should be more multichannel PCM titles for HD-DVD. I was completely blown away by some of the Blu-Ray titles.

If there was any one fault I have with both formats, it's that none of the currently available players support either DVD-Audio or SACD. In the case of HD-DVD, it's especially vexing, since Dolby TrueHD seems to be a highly-evolved version of the same MLP codec that powers DVD-Audio. If they're not going to support the old hi-res audio formats, maybe they could give us something new--preferrably something cross-platform.

Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By Pitbull0669 on 8/3/2007 8:42:36 AM , Rating: 5
Man you are missing out then. Because This Movie REALY shines on HD DVD!! All the extra features are very sweet. AND if I want to take the movie on a trip with me to watch I can just View the reg. DVD version of the film on the other side.!;)

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By jacarte8 on 8/3/2007 8:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way... some movies I don't mind paying a premium for and 300 is one of them... and I can play it everywhere else due to the Combo format

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 9:01:14 AM , Rating: 1
I would be missing out if i owned an HDTV larger than 32 inches ;) Unless your TV is 37" or longer, i just dont see the point in paying that much for a dvd player. I have a 100 inch widescreen projector, but it is only EDTV and i can barely notice the difference between dvd and high def content, just because it scales 1:1.

I know High Def is all the fuss right now, but lets face it people you need a big TV to make it worth it, and for all you 1080p fans out there, 50" or more is required in my books to make it worth the price (unless of course you sit 2 feet away from the tv, then by all means ;) )

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By blaster5k on 8/3/2007 9:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
It's more about the aspect ratio you get from your seating distance than the size of the screen. I know people who have around 40" TVs and watch them from over 10 feet away. There's no point in even having an HDTV if you do that. You get eye strain trying to make out detail. You have to get the right size TV for your room and seating arrangement to get any benefit.

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By whalenapp81 on 8/3/2007 12:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
actually 10 to 15 feet is the optimal viewing distance for tvs over 40", its almost 20 feet if u have a tv that is 55" plus

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By boe on 8/3/2007 1:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
WOW - this is almost up there with alligators living in the sewers of NYC.

Every person has a different ideal viewing distance - ever wonder why some people choose the seats they do when they are the first to get into a theatre? Ever go to an eye doctor and get fitted for glasses?

Frankly 10' works great for me for about 70" If I sit any further back, I'd get a larger screen. I know people who prefer larger at a closer disance and those who prefer smaller - there is no definitive on what is the proper viewing distance unless you want your optomotrist to measure what is right for you and your signficant others.

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By seeker353 on 8/3/2007 2:59:04 PM , Rating: 3
You guys are missing one aspect of this calculation. Ideal vewing distance is determined by screen size and resolution . Assuming you have 20/20 vision, a 40" tv at 640x480, you can sit up to 14.3 feet away and still see all the detail. Changing to a 1280x720 HDTV it changes to 7.8 feet. If you have a full 1080p display you arn't seeing all the detail if you're sitting more than only 5.2 feet away. This is one reason I feel that 1080p is over rated for most viewers (unless you have a dedicated home theater room with a large projector).

Try looking at the calculator from

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By SlyNine on 8/3/2007 10:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree , my 24 inch LCD computer monitor with 480P looks like ass compaired too 1080P. 720p is allright even though its not native, the monitor does a good job at converting the image. If your wondering i have a FP241W BenQ. But I cannot see 480P looking much better on any other 24inch monitor.

By elpresidente2075 on 8/3/2007 10:41:21 AM , Rating: 3
That's because your 24inch LCD monitor has a MUCH higher resolution than anything of that size in the TV market. A 24inch CRT TV has about a 640x480 res natively and similar size (4:3) LCD TV's have about 1024-1280 res.

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 11:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
as someone else posted, since the resolution of your monitor is so high it has to be scaled much more. A dvd on a monitor the same size with an approximate resolution of 720p will look better while watching DVD content than on a 1080p monitor. Remember EDTV's? DVD content (480p) can actually look better on a 480p EDTV set, than a 720p set since it maps it 1:1 no scaling or processing required.

I was also talking about LCD TV's no monitors. most monitors 32" and under have a native resolution of 720p so HD content would not look that much better than DVD content as long as you are sitting more than 3 feet from your television ;)

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By Scabies on 8/3/2007 8:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
when talking detail, resolution, size and distance, keep in mind that most computer monitors are meant to be viewed at (at most) a few feet, instead of several yards like a TV or projector

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By jacarte8 on 8/3/2007 10:37:36 AM , Rating: 2
True... But hat's the beautiful thing about 42" and bigger TVs being so cheap. I can buy one! And for only $200 more than that, I can have an HDDVD player!

By Hoser McMoose on 8/3/2007 2:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
So ya mean my 27" standard definition CRT TV isn't going to cut it? :)

RE: Its Too Bad for you then.:(
By JeffDM on 8/4/2007 6:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think it makes any sense to watch HD disc on a 480p screen.

Over the air HD makes sense because it's digitally transmitted, so you get a much cleaner picture because analog TV is very poor in color quality, resolution and noise resistance.

A 1080p projector can easily make the movie look as good as the original projection in the theater. I bought one recently and I don't regret it at all. I hope the prices continue to go down so that a lot more people can afford to experience it.

HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By Gastrian on 8/3/2007 8:48:44 AM , Rating: 2
So I can play the HD-DVD disc on a standard DVD player not HD Quality of course)?

Well I'm all for that, I personally don't mind paying a little bit extra now so that when I go HD I won't have to replace my entire DVD collection. And as said previously I am not restricted to just a HD-DVD player, I can watch it on any DVD player in my house as I'll likely only have one HD-DVD unit.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By FITCamaro on 8/3/2007 9:38:26 AM , Rating: 3
But the thing is, you're assuming the HD-DVD will win the format war. If it was a guaranteed thing, I'd go out an purchase the combo disc. But its not. So why would I want to pay $35 now instead of $15 on a maybe. I'm not buying an HD player until one format is gone. So I'm not spending the extra on an HD disc I might not be able to use.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 10:13:22 AM , Rating: 3
I think we all know who is going to win the format war, dual format players and movie studios that stayed neutral ;)

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By Denigrate on 8/3/2007 10:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
Thats exactly right. This'll end up a bit like DVD-R, DVD+R, and DVD-RAM. Burners can handle any of the formats. Dual format players are already available, and will become the norm over the next couple years. I've also read about a format that will play on either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray units.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By deeznuts on 8/3/2007 1:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
IT is foolish to think both will stick arond. DVD-R is not a video format, it's a burning format. DVD-R and DVD+R will both play in your DVD player. DVD was in a short lived format war with Divx (Circuit City).

Best Buy, Circuit City, Walmart, etc. do not want to carry two version of the same movie. They do not have the infinite shelf space.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By Denigrate on 8/3/2007 2:02:50 PM , Rating: 3
Glad you cleared that up for us. Those big box stores you mentioned must not carry all the DVD writable media formats. They also still carry VHS movies and DVD's, along with HD movie formats. I mean, two versions of each movie take up so much space.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By DigitalFreak on 8/3/2007 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Best Buy doesn't even carry VHS tapes anymore, jackass. Research before you post your nonsense.

By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 4:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
He was being sarcastic.. he could have said movies on a 'reel of film' and his point would still be valid. Big box stores have more than enough room to stock both HDDVD and BD Discs

By deeznuts on 8/3/2007 5:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Smarty Pants. You realize there's maybe one side of one aisle carrying writable media formats. Sometimes that includes, DVD and CD, etc.

Go look at the DVD aisles. How much bigger is it? Multiply that by two.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By JeffDM on 8/4/2007 6:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
A writable is blank, DVD+R is sold as blank as DVD-R. The content sold on either doesn't matter, however, pressed media is quite different. So Best Buy can stock maybe five brands of both blank formats, in maybe three different quantity packages. That's no big deal, the variety they stock of blank media is a lot lower than the variety of pressed media.

There will still be a limitation on retail floor space, in some cases, making it a zero-sum game. When it comes down to movies, would you prefer that they stock two formats with 1000 titles, or one format of 2000 titles? This limitation affects what is worth making as well. Even if you never buy from a B&M, what B&Ms stock often impacts the commercial viability of titles. If dual format players are the way forward, then that means that those with a single format player are going to need to upgrade or add a player to their system, as well as maybe upgrade their video switch as well.

I'm not seeing much reason for two pressed formats to coexist like this in the long term. I have bought an HD disc player, but I'm not buying much pressed media. While I love watching HD movies, I don't want to be too invested into what might be a losing format, I just rent from Netflix for my movies.

RE: HD-DVD and DVD is a good idea
By Giaour on 8/4/2007 3:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think that the assumption that both formats carry the same titles is a bit misleading.

I would say that title overlap between the HD formats is less than 50%.

Incorrect conclusion
By hellokeith on 8/3/2007 8:53:40 AM , Rating: 4
"Although it may appear that the current Blu-ray Disc version of “300” is completely inferior to the HD DVD version, it does feature one additional audio option . The Blu-ray Disc version of the film includes an additional uncompressed audio track that is encoded in Linear PCM 5.1. The extra audio track is likely exclusive to Blu-ray disc due to the format’s extra 20GB of storage space."

This is incorrect. LPCM is the only mandatory supported lossless audio codec on BD, whereas TrueHD and LPCM are both mandatory suppoted lossles codecs on HD DVD. That BD used LPCM is because not all BD players can decode TrueHD.. a significant detriment to the BD camp, as LPCM uses tons of unnecessary space. TrueHD is lossless and has several nice features which can be enabled or disabled based on the consumer's tastes, including dynamic compression and dialog normalization.

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 9:12:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yep you are right, weird part though is all players currently on the market (both HDDVD and BD) are decoding True HD data and sending it through the HDMI connection as PCM. Currently (atleast not that i am aware) no player has the ability to transport TrueHD in raw bitstream form (1:1 bitstream signal)

they are both lossless codecs though, so the sound quality will be almost the same, except for the dynamic compression and dialog normalization (metadata capabilities)

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 8/3/2007 11:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
TrueHD is still compressed, unlike PCM. Plus, they just started selling a few recievers that can process TrueHD or DTS-HD, so most people won't get as much of an improvement with TrueHD as with PCM.

I would much rather have 5.1 PCM (7.1 would make me happier) than the option of PIP with the blue screen. Why would anyone watch more than 5mins like that? I would rather have the whole movie with better sound.

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 11:22:17 AM , Rating: 2
although you are correct TrueHD is a compressed codec, it also happens to be a lossless codec, kind of like flac files. So this means the audio stream is essentially not compressed after it has been processed by the player/receiver.

TrueHD does have a few enhancements over PCM also which could leave you to believe TrueHD is actually better in someways than PCM. My opinion is that they are almost identical though, in fact most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between normal DTS and uncompressed PCM, so hearing a difference between two lossless formats is negligible.

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By hellokeith on 8/3/2007 11:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
As I stated, TrueHD is losslessly compressed. There is no downside to this, only benefits. And no-one [i]needs[/i] decoding in AVR's. The players handle the decoding as well as mixing in of menu and other secondary sounds and then transport the combined output as PCM to the AVR. Decoding & mixing within the player is done with quite a high level of fidelity. The digtal volume control on your AVR does more harm to the bits than anything within the player.

If you'd rather have the whole movie with better sound, then HD DVD would be your choice. TrueHD is significantly more flexible than LPCM, with the options of adjusting dynamics and dialog to your listening environment.

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 11:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
i was replying to the message above mine ;) everything you said was correct in the first place as i said in my first reply to your post ;)

I mainly just wanted to respond to his comment of
Plus, they just started selling a few recievers that can process TrueHD or DTS-HD, so most people won't get as much of an improvement with TrueHD as with PCM.
which is quite false as if you read my post above most players decode TrueHD in player and then send it out to the receiver, so LPCM would be no better than TrueHD in any scenario ;)

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By hellokeith on 8/3/2007 12:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
No worries mate, we posted at the same time. :)

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By werepossum on 8/3/2007 5:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
I would much rather have 5.1 PCM (7.1 would make me happier) than the option of PIP with the blue screen. Why would anyone watch more than 5mins like that?

Some people really enjoy those things. A coworker watches most movies with the director's commentary enabled, which would drive me crazy. I don't wan't to hear the cook discuss how he prepared my steak, why should I want to hear the director explain his decisions? They're both the hired help; shut up and sing, damnit. I don't want to hear about his lighting problems, and I don't want to hear how much fun it was to make the movie, and I damn sure don't want ring tones or wall paper.

Gotta admit I do love those blooper reels though. Only feature we actually watch.

RE: Incorrect conclusion
By Scabies on 8/3/2007 8:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
shut up and sing, damnit.

bravo! encore! Features are nice, but seriously when we are talking about HD formats, we should be talking about picture and sound quality, not fluff.

300 sucks
By WillieEvercome on 8/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: 300 sucks
By jacarte8 on 8/3/2007 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 5
Wow, thanks for chiming in with that enlightening bit. I was just wondering what random clowns had to say...

RE: 300 sucks
By kilkennycat on 8/3/2007 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
According to one reviewer, the movie was perfect fare for testosterone-loaded teenagers. No real story or character development; lots of gore and the usual other elements that deserve its "R"-rating and draw in the mindless masses, low-budget with lots of cheap CGI to keep the Hollywood cash-registers ringing. RottenTomatoes rating was 61%.

RE: 300 sucks
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 11:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
bitter much? this is dt not a movie review site.

RE: 300 sucks
By artemicion on 8/3/2007 11:34:44 AM , Rating: 5
300 six-packs and 1 pair of boobs.

It was obviously a chick flick!

RE: 300 sucks
By ioKain on 8/3/2007 9:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh heck no it isn't a chick flick. I took a girl on a first date to see this movie, lets just say, ROFL. I was so uncomfortable, especially since she was kind of a religious church going girl. I knew I shouldn't have but I wanted to see it sooooo bad, lol. Live n learn I guess, wouldn't have worked out anyways, lol.

RE: 300 sucks
By SmokeRngs on 8/3/2007 4:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with most of this. I was not blown away by the movie at any level. While it wasn't necessarily boring, there wasn't anything to strongly keep my interest. Many of the special effects looked very fake and overdone.

I do not find the actual story boring, but the lack of development was terrible. It reminds me of Homer's Iliad for the battles of the heroes but without any of the other substance that Homer adds. The movie just feels really empty.

RE: 300 sucks
By Scabies on 8/3/2007 9:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
you want a music ripoff from Gladiator, watch Pirates of the Carribean

What? No SPARTAAAAAA posts?
By Quiksel on 8/3/2007 9:28:48 AM , Rating: 3
This is MADNESS.

RE: What? No SPARTAAAAAA posts?
By UserDoesNotExist on 8/3/2007 9:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
THIS! IS! caketown!

By therealnickdanger on 8/3/2007 1:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
This is delicious!

RE: What? No SPARTAAAAAA posts?
By bespoke on 8/3/2007 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 6
Then tonight WE DINE IN CLEVELAND!!!

By KristopherKubicki on 8/3/2007 4:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
Gold star for you today :)

By Hydrofirex on 8/3/2007 9:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not nearly as good as CAKE TOWN!!!

But, definitely the 2nd best 300 spoof I've seen.



Blu Ray Better
By PenGun on 8/4/2007 6:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well as far as I can tell the video is the same and the Blu Ray audio is better.

I also like the lack of cute features.

RE: Blu Ray Better
By EastCoast on 8/4/2007 10:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
The video is not the same. BR needs 50 Gigs do to the amount of space needed to encode using Mpeg2. Most BR movies are single layer Mpeg2. PQ is not the best there are times were there is artificating/noise (from the titles I've seen). It's not always a consistent thing. But make no mistake it's not film grain (like that seen in 300). Also, we are seeing more and more titles use AVC over MPEG2, I;ll leave it to you to answer why that is. I bet if you see the difference between Mpeg2 and AVC you will change your tone. Let me show you an example of Mpeg2 vs AVC using 5th Element:

Mpeg2 is the most used codec for BR

And, IMO VC-1 and h.264 is still better then that (at higher bitrates). Any questions?

RE: Blu Ray Better
By leexgx on 8/5/2007 1:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
its upto the movie makers to use VC-1 on BD disks but i think most are now useing VC-1 as its alot better then mpeg2

RE: Blu Ray Better
By EastCoast on 8/5/2007 5:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Indicators (using the link I provided in the other post...bottom of that link) suggest they may use AVC over VC-1 but time will tell.
scroll down to the bottom of page.

RE: Blu Ray Better
By rockyct on 8/6/2007 12:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
Uhh, yes, why does this matter anymore?

The video encode is the same for both formats for this movie. Looking at your link by release date and it appears like mpeg2 is pretty much dead for blu-ray. Movie studios realize the quality difference and have stopped using mpeg2. Like early DVDs, the quality varied considerably between movies. Blu-ray was rushed to market sooner than it should have been. Like with most new technology, early adopters are suffering the most, but it should settle once BD-Java releases start coming out.

RE: Blu Ray Better
By EastCoast on 8/6/2007 8:22:51 AM , Rating: 3
You post made absolutely no sense. You are attempting to provide your own opinion but reference my post using "slight of hand" approach. For example:

-There is no concrete evidence that titles on BR disc no longer encoded using Mpeg2 (at least until after profile 1.1). If you read carefully you will see that Flatliners (released 7-3-07) still uses Mpeg2. Also, if you looked you would notice they are using AVC more so then VC-1 and Mpeg2 in the last 2 months (something I said before when I said "...there are indicators..."). Also, if you examine those titles you will clearly see that VC-1 appears most with Warner Titles. Although other Titles like Buena Vista, Eagle Rock, Interscope and Discovery Channel make up 11 out of 61 VC-1 titles. With the remaining 50 VC-1 Titles coming from Warner.

-There is no information on the box of the BR title that lets the average consumer know that a better encoding was used. Unless you can decode information like "director's cut" etc. your average consumer wouldn't know.

-This only shows that current BR titles are simply not part of any standard. You will NOT see BD-java, PIP, standard encoding, etc until after Profile 1.1. Then there is profile 2.0.

-Early adopters has nothing to do with this. The problem here is that Toshiba players already had this standard. So blaming early adopters doesn't apply in this case. To actually think to get what you paid for means having to spend another $500 is outrageous.

By boe on 8/3/2007 1:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really have a stake in the BR/HD war. If you want to get me to back one over the other forget about the extras like what was going through the keygrips mind during this scene or what did the cast have for breakfast on this film day -

What I want
BEST 1080P picture
DTS HD Master

All that other stuff is just fluff and I wouldn't pay a nickel more for a version with fluff - give me the BEST PICTURE AND THE BEST SOUND - I would pay a nickel more for that.

You want to give me extras I care about? Along with the BEST picture and the BEST sound give me a choice - theatrical release and directors cut.

I could care less where they found their extras, if a stuntman stubbed his toe in a scene, if they ran out of TP during the third week of filming...

By therealnickdanger on 8/3/2007 2:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, in this case, both HD-DVD and BD share the same audio and video source, so you're left with special features as the tie breaker.

By guidryp on 8/3/2007 3:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
BluRay was $5 cheaper. That alone is enough to give it the win. Has all the same encodings plus LPCM.

By EglsFly on 8/4/2007 7:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree!!!

Who really cares about watching any movie for that matter in "Bluescreen Picture-in-Picture Version". What a waste of space.

As long as the HD quality for video and audio is great, give me the cheaper disc. Therefore, in this situation BluRay actually wins this battle, not the other way around...

By deeznuts on 8/3/2007 5:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
Or choosing the winning format (blu-ray) ;). Note I didn't say format that won, but the winning one as media sales in any region the PS3 has been released has shown.

But, alas, I will get a HD DVD player. Heroes and I believe Battlestar Galactica are only going to be HD DVD. Oh well, lucky for me, my computer is hooked up to my front projector (Mits HD1000U), so $70 for a TOSHIBA SD-S802A off ebay will do the trick!

Not 100% Scientific results from Amazon
By Jimmybones on 8/3/2007 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 6
I was just looking at the top sellers in DVDS today.

#1 - 300 2 disc DVD set.
#2 - 300 Blu-Ray
#6 - 300 HD-DVD combo

While we don't get any real sales info here, something could be said about people not caring about extra features since Blu-Ray has substantially less

oh well, enjoy the weekend everyone.

By Timeless on 8/5/2007 12:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
#1 - 300 2 disc DVD set
#4 - 300 Blu-Ray
#8 - 300 HD-DVD combo

Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are starting to slip already. I guess the 300 craze is over now...

By EastCoast on 8/4/2007 10:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
Blu Ray:
-no standard encoding
-inconsistent use of region code
-MPEG2 is the most used Codec (I've seen better from h.264 and VC-1)
-Biggiest Supporters are Sony & Warner
-Biggest Audio Asset is losseless audio
-Disc used BR25 (25= 25 Gigs)
-No PIP offered with BR Titles at this time (that I know of).

-Standard encoding
-No region codes
-VC-1 is the most used Codec (H.264 allows for uncompressed image)
-Biggest Supporter is Universal and Warner (see Warner twice)
-Biggest Audio Asset is DD+
-Disc used HD30 (30= 30 Gig) although they do offer Combo
disc which include HD-DVD and WS/FS DVD on the other side.
-PIP is offered on some HD DVD Movie Titles

Now after you've been informed of some basic information there should be no mis-information being posted.

By EastCoast on 8/4/2007 10:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding "Disc used"
What I meant to say there is Disc used most. It was not meant to imply that Blu-ray only uses BR25 or HD only uses HD30. What it does mean is that it's that disc format is used most.

By EastCoast on 8/4/2007 10:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
It appears so far that Toshiba has sold:
300000 HD DVD players
????? Xbox 360 HD DVD players

It appears that Sony has sold:
100,000 BR players
1.4 million PS3 players
1.5 million BR players total

It appears that there have been:
1.4 Million HD DVD discs sold
2.0 Million BR DVD discs sold

Attach rate of HD DVD is 4.67 for just the stand alone
Attach rate of BR DVD is 20 for just the stand alone and, 1.33 for both stand alone and PS3. For every household that owns a HD DVD player they have roughly between 4-5 HD DVD movies. For every household that owns a BR player they own roughly 1-2 BR movies. However, the possibility that the attach rate for BR stand alone players are higher then 1.33

There appears to be a total of 1.8 million high-definition players sold all together. Which makes up only 1.3% of 140 million dvd players in the USA alone. Also, there are 3.5 million high-definition discs sold.

By EastCoast on 8/4/2007 11:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
BD-Java = too little too late?
By TrogdorJW on 8/3/2007 9:58:04 AM , Rating: 3
Okay, so BD-Java will enable studios to do similar features in the future. But won't that also require new Blu-ray players? Thus, any BDs with BD-Java content at best will only enable all the features on new players, and at worst (hopefully not!) they might even fail to work in current BD devices. Seems to me that this is a pretty serious gaffe by the Blu-ray camp, unless some provision will allow all BD boxes to be upgraded to BD-Java support. And if that's the case, WTF hasn't it been DONE already!?

RE: BD-Java = too little too late?
By CZroe on 8/4/2007 6:50:16 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the optional secondary video decoder allows BD players to "do similar [identical] features" NOW, only, it won't be mandated for all new players until Profile 1.1. Until then, it's just an optional feature which no discs support. On top of that, BD-J (Java) is fully implemented and always has been.

"Bwuh?! But, that's not what I was just told!" Yeah, how's that for DailyTech/Anandtech spin? Reading the WikiPedia page and Blu-Ray FAQ for yourself will shed quite a bit more light than this poor confused blog poster.

RE: BD-Java = too little too late?
By leexgx on 8/5/2007 12:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
all the player needs is an update (via network or disk)

Combo Discs
By Aikouka on 8/3/2007 8:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
I noticed that the HD-DVD of 300 was $5 more at Circuit City than the Blu-Ray version and attributed it to the combo-ness... guess I was unfortunately right.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the combo format and I wish they'd just get rid of it. Double-sided discs have always been an annoyance as you know one of them sides is going to get smudged up or scratched unless you take the utmost care while handling. Yet, I would assume for the average person, they don't ever end up watching the DVD portion. So, we're forced to pay $5 more for something we'll never use?

Well, sometimes... I purchased 300 at Wal-Mart where it was $30 for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. But does anyone else dislike the combo discs or am I just a meticulous ol' fuddy-duddy?

RE: Combo Discs
By omnicronx on 8/3/2007 9:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
I too sometimes worry about scratching combo discs, but i think its a good thing in this case. I know i am not going to buy 2 discs for my movie collection, so at least for the time being, while dvd is still the popular format, you can still bring your hddvds elsewhere and play them. also consider most people will have at most 1 high def player in their household right now.
I really wish the price wasnt increased though, it would really help HD-DVD out if you could get both formats for the same price as the BD version.

It Doesnt Matter
By Shadowmaster625 on 8/3/2007 3:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
Because Sony has already decided which format is better!

RE: It Doesnt Matter
By rippleyaliens on 8/3/2007 4:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say, that before 300 came out, at the theaters, i was a (dont care) kinda of person wehn it came to the next media...
BUT!!!! Once i saw 300, and saw how graphically it was (Dolby Digital theater- Las Vegas),, i immediatly started saving up for a High Def, setup at the home..
Problem is that the format.... Both have stengths and weaknesses..
Even if the worst one, was horrible, if it had the movie i wanted , then i would have had to balk for it.
SO now i have this $3000 TV, but still the $59 dvd player, as i was burned not once, but twice..
Mini-Disk- Sony
8mm- Sony (handy cam)
Close back in the day of the Beta Vs VHS war
But with HD DVD's and Ble Rays in the +$30 mark. Even with Pioneer's new Blue Ray burner, the cost of the mdia is just crazy...$20-22 EA?
Looks like i will just have to deal with DVD until the format war is over, and a HACK is avaliable for me to rip..
Because like most people in the world, i will not pay 20-30$ for a movie, only to have it get scratched, or broken, etc.. without a way for me to atleast have a backup of it on computer

le sigh
By TomCorelis on 8/3/2007 8:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
If studios encoded the movies with the objective of minimizing compression so as to fill the disc entirely, Blu-Ray would win hands down (30 gigs vs 20 and all). But what do we get instead? "Special" features, which only about half of us care about. (I know I don't.) I don't get all these people that want to get "closer to the movie/experience/actors/effects"... it feels like almost every "behind the scenes" featurette is just another commercial for how "awesome" the producers are.

Show the masses some flash, a little bit (but not too much) of some 3D software they will never hope to be able to understand, and have the director talk about how much the movie was his "artistic vision" (as opposed to ghostwritten by committee) and people will gobble it up.

Sony actually had special versions of some of their movies, released in the highest possible quality they could fit, and without all the cheese, but they were hard to find and costed extra. I wish that were the norm.... at least then we'd already have a winner in these format wars.

RE: le sigh
By Timeless on 8/4/2007 1:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way you do. I rarely ever watch the special features in a movie. Out of the last 100 movies I've seen, 5 of them have I actually watched the special features. I could care less if one day all the special features in movies just disappeared. Then we can get back to just watching movies again.

What about scratches?
By JonnyDough on 8/5/2007 7:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've read, the HD-DVD format costs less to make the players for because it uses the same type of laser technology that DVD players use (economies of scale). Also, the HD-DVD discs are 6 times less likely to be unreadable due to scratches (or rather, 6 times more resistant to scratches as the protective layer is 6 times thicker). Blu-Ray seems to be getting more publicity than HD-DVD, both in television ads and in some stores (see Target, Blockbuster). If I were able to choose a format, I would choose HD-DVD, but I too refrain from early adoption. Just look at what happened to the early purchasers of the XBox, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP. Wait a few months to let prices drop, software to improve (such as the Java being added to Blu-Ray), and hardware to improve. New technologies require time to fully work with other existing technologies. If you ask me, both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs are silly. Who wants to go to the video store or pay postage and wait when you can download movies instantly? Hard drives are cheaper storage, and flash is hopefully about to make it all obsolete. I can't wait for a TB of storage on a tiny, shock-resistant, removable drive.

RE: What about scratches?
By CZroe on 8/6/2007 10:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
What happened to the early adopters of the XBOX, PS3, and PSP? My early XBOX ma have a GPU fan for additional noise, but it's the most mod-able version (1.0). My early PSP had a misaligned door, but it worked fine and even the one I bought a year and a half later had aimilar build quality issues (excess plastic under ring on UMD door, D-Pad that can't do diagonals right, same poorly performing square button, etc). Or are you saying that they were screwed because of the PSP Slim? Once again, I expect similar issue that have nothing to do with early adopters. The early PS3 adopters have gotten the better hardware with near flawless PS2 backwards compatability.

From where I stand, the scratch-resistant coating mandated by Blu-Ray is superior for people who actually take care of their movies (no more special cloths; a tissue will not scratch it). For loaning/renting, I'd prefer the more "repairable" thick layer of plastic employed on HD-DVD/DVD, but BD coatings prevent the light scratches and damage that would have required resurfacing on an HD-DVD or DVD. for personal use where I do not anticipate any more than that, I'd rather have thin protected BDs that don't require resurfacing for every little thing (and resurfacing would likely kill them).

Blah to pip
By SavagePotato on 8/3/2007 10:23:59 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I have never had any interest in the special features right from the dvd days. I just want to watch the movie in good quality.

BD-Java will allow all these special features when studios start to make use of it. This is why I Went with the PS3, No matter what they throw at the format the PS3 can be updated to include it. Much like it was for 1080p/24 support in the latest firmware. I would be guessing but I would imagine that quality web enabled existing players will be able to comply to that standard too via firmware.

Way I see it right now there is still no better choice than the ps3 as a blu ray player, it has processing power to spare, proven updatability, and even If blu ray were to lose, it's not a brick (aside from how heavy it is). Plus it may be getting DVR functionality as well. Now if sony really wanted to help out they would start bundling the blu ray remote with the thing, as buying it separate is still an added hassle.

By 16nm on 8/3/2007 11:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
While these subtle technical details are incredibly interesting (not), I cannot help but wonder how well each format is selling. I think 300 has so much eye candy that people will be more inclined to buy this for their HD collection rather than rent. It seems this could indicate which format is winning. I bet it is bluray but I hope it is HD DVD. (fingers crossed)

HD-DVD vs DVD, big difference
By KentState on 8/3/2007 12:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
I purchased the movie on Tuesday on HD-DVD. After watching it for about 45 minutes, the movie started locking up. The disc appeared to be fine, but after reloading it 3 times, I was not able to watch the rest of the movie. I flipped it over and continued the DVD side. I was shocked at the dramatic difference between to the two. The clarity, color, tones and eveything was just not there.

However, the extra features are something that I didn't really care about. I guess some like them, but I rarely take the extra time to sit through them.

By guidryp on 8/3/2007 3:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing like BR/HD to make fanboys come out.

HD-DVD is cheaper.

Well actually check around. This is a combo release and is about $5 more on HD-DVD. Also when people say BluRay disks are more expensive to manufacture,we are talking pennies folks.

BluRay/HD-DVD has 1080p, better encoding, better sound blah...

Well in reality they all support exactly the same encodings and properply produced titles will look and sound identical, there are some players that don't do 1080p but the disks are 1080p.

Extra features: Gee Whiz. Does anyone still look at these things on DVD. I did initially, but that was when they were a novelty, I haven't in ages. Couldn't care less.

Bottom line, the produce the damn same thing were it counts. I will be so glad when one format goes away or they merge so the fanboys shut the heck up.

Who cares about bonus features?
By umeng2002 on 8/3/2007 6:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
...because I never watch them anyways unless I'm really bored.

To me, the most important features are the video and sound quality. The video on the two are the same, but the BD version has 5.1 LPCM - which is the same as TrueHD (lossless compression like FLAC, OGG, etc.) once the TrueHD is decoded inside the player.

So I couldn't really care less if the Java stuff is enabled on BD players or not. What pisses people off is that they'll have to wait for a more "complete" version of 300 on BD.

Right now, 300 BD is #2 on Amazon but the HDDVD version is #6.

By FoxFour on 8/3/2007 8:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm puzzled as to why one would call the HD-DVD version of "300" "clearly superior" to the Blu-Ray version.

The VC-1 encodes are identical, and the Blu-Ray includes the extra audio option. I couldn't care less about all of the so-called "special features" and content... I've yet to watch any extra content on a DVD except deleted scenes. PiP bluescreen shots and commentary? I'm not sure what could bore me more.

I buy movies for the movies. In this particular case I'd say the clearly superior format is Blu-Ray.

By doctat on 8/4/2007 12:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
man you guys really go at it over this stuff ;)

the PiP feature of this disk hardly qualifies for 'clearly superior' as stated in the article, but i imagine the writer has a HDDVD player, and is grasping.

as others have stated, the Blu Ray variant of the disk is outselling HDDVD version anyway, and that's what will decide this war - number of copies sold.

check back in a few weeks on the sales figures, and we'll see what's what with this particular title.

By CZroe on 8/4/2007 6:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
I would have corrected the original article in the comments except that they block comments after a month! Sure enough, Anandtech continues misreporting it and now people doing research will never see the truth in the original article. This is a strong case AGAINST locking the comments on older articles!

DailyTech/Anandtech: FIX THIS NOW. It was a major assumption that BD-J was not included in current players and that it was needed for content like IME overlaid video. It is outright not true: ALL BD players fully support the BD-J Java implementation in ALL profiles. The lack of PiP/IME is purely due to the lack of a secondary video decoder that Profile 1.1 will require.

Just read the Wikipedia page for Blu-Ray:
"All video-based profiles are required to have a full implementation of BD-J."

"'Profile 1.1' ... adds a secondary video decoder (typically used for picture in picture)"

It is also a huge assumption that current BD players do not include the secondary video decoder. It is listed as "optional" for Profile 1.0 players and "Mandatory" for Profile 1.1. Because the movies that utilize it don't exist, current player support cannot be tested.

300 - HD DVD or Blu-ray?
By Lost Dog on 8/5/2007 12:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
I can play both formats and still opted for the cheaper Blu-ray DVD.

Pricing aside, uncompressed audio is more important to me than watching a little picture of a bunch of guys charging around in front of a blue screen while I am trying to watch the movie.

No doubt there are or will be cases where HD DVD is the better choice but 300 is not a great example of this.

its better because....
By otispunkmeyer on 8/7/2007 4:43:49 AM , Rating: 2
of a few almost "naff" features lol

the PIP sounds like a good thing, depending on what its used for. i personally cant see the attraction to watching a blue screen version of a CGI based film...i mean wow...some dudes on a blue screen. epic.

having the director visible in the corner while he comments on scenes would be good though, they could show art works an all sorts that led to the creation of the thats worth watching.

im sorry but web features for buying things like ring tones and wallpapers... LOL thats just naffest of the naff, what a crap idea that is. hardly gives it an edge IMO.

BR's lossless audio also seems pretty superfulous because most people wont have the equipment to really make use of it.

Any useful extras?
By erikejw on 8/7/2007 5:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
When will we see any useful extras included?
I couldn't care less of the pip blue version of the movie.
With that kind of storage and a budget of 100M$ for a movie and then we get pip, yawn.

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