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Studio boss knocks Blu-ray for poor image quality, high price

It looks as though Sony just can't catch a break these days in the news. Last week we learned that Sony was delaying the European launch of its PlayStation 3 from November 17 to March of 2007 along with the announcement that an initial batch of 500,000 total units would be available for the November 11 Japanese launch and November 17 North American launch. The launch delay/shipment reduction is due to Sony's problems with manufacturing blue laser diodes used by the Blu-ray drive on the PS3.

Well today, we learn of even more bad news for the Sony camp. Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, came out swinging against the Blu-ray standard calling HD DVD the "hands down" winner in the next generation movie formats. "Look at the blogs, look at the reviews by the early adopters and even look at the mainstream media – HD DVD has maintained its first-to-market advantage and delivered on the promises of providing the best high definition image and sound quality at the best value for consumers today," said Kornblau.

Kornblau is likely referencing three head-to-head comparison reviews done on Blu-ray and HD DVD versions of 'Training Day,' 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and 'Rumor Has It....' In those comparison tests done by High-Def Digest in early August, HD DVD clearly came out ahead of Blu-ray in image quality. The Blu-ray titles featured increased noise/artifacting and darker overall color casting. Issue of cropping also popped up with the three Blu-ray titles tested.

However, a more recent test by High-Def Digest produced more promising results from the Blu-ray camp. 'Firewall,' 'Lethal Weapon,' 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Full Metal Jacket' were tested this time around. With the exception of 'Full Metal Jacket,' the titles this time around used VC-1 compression instead of MPEG-2 resulting in much improved image quality across the board:

But to summarize, with this batch there is no clear "winner." If last time Blu-ray took more than its fair share of slings and arrows over picture quality and the format's reliance (up until now) on MPEG-2, this time the more level playing field has helped close the gap between Blu-ray and HD DVD. If nothing else, our second Blu-ray versus HD DVD face-off strongly indicates that what some people had declared a format war won is still far from over.

So while Kornblau is right in pointing out HD DVD advantages in pricing and availability, the image quality debate is still alive and well.



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If only I cared...
By JSK on 9/17/2006 3:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Neither of these formats are going to wooo a majority of buyers yet. If ever.

HDTV's are not widespread enough.

The DRM and restrictions limit the market also.

There really isnt a major reason to upgrade besides HD, and capacity.

At least with dvd there was the space saving aspect, going from a analog to a digital source, and VHS had well overshot its days. DVD sales are still huge, I dont know the numbers , but if sales have peaked title wise (im sure it has player wise) the demand is still huge thus making DVD still the key market.




RE: If only I cared...
By imaheadcase on 9/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: If only I cared...
By JazzMang on 9/17/2006 4:35:23 PM , Rating: 4
I disagree completely.
Have you ever seen a 1080p stream on a 1080p screen? It blew me away. NO DVD I have seen has looked that good.

Sorry. Not buying it.


RE: If only I cared...
By imaheadcase on 9/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: If only I cared...
By freemaker9 on 9/17/2006 7:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
I used to work at Circuit City and pretty much everything we shold was HDTV, unless the customer was particularly cheap. Considering the government ordered all broadcasting to go hi-def by an ever nearing date, it doesn't make sense to buy a TV set that'll be absolete in a few years. I would say most customers bought HDTVs with Up-Covert DVD players; few took the leap to HDDVD or BluRay.


RE: If only I cared...
By johnnyMon on 9/17/2006 7:47:00 PM , Rating: 3
The government requirement is not HDTV. They ordered all over-the-air broadcasters to switch from analog signals to digital signals. These digital signals do not have to be HDTV quality. They could be much lower quality than HDTV and still comply with the law.


RE: If only I cared...
By rushfan2006 on 9/18/2006 8:34:08 AM , Rating: 2
No actually I do remember the FCC posting about it...if I knew this topic would have come up I would of had to to post the link to the exact passage about it on the FCC site (that site is kind of a pain to find certain things).

Anyway, its not a huge deal because first the requirement to go HDTV wasn't across the board. The requirement wasn't until like 2012 or 2016 -- so in 6 - 10 years...HDTV is gonna be so much the norm...even cheapy sets for $200 will be HDTV.



RE: If only I cared...
By HueyD on 9/18/2006 12:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
The cut-off date is Feb. 2009. Analog goes away, and all broadcasters must be transmitting DTV (not necessarily HDTV), although I have not heard of any broadcasters not transmitting HDTV.


RE: If only I cared...
By mindless1 on 9/18/2006 7:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
You are overlooking something very important- that it doesn't matter how they GET there (HDTV).

They could take a 200x160 pixel digital source and upsample the heck out of it.

This is a similar situation in other aspects of HDTV too, that to end up with a good HDTV detail preservation, the source must be of same or much higher resolution. Most often it is not, the conversion just makes the bitrate degrade quality back to where it is again near that of DVD, and often worse (more artifacts).


RE: If only I cared...
By kamel5547 on 9/18/2006 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
You mean they were HDTV "ready" don't you? CC & BB have been marketing things as HDTV "ready" for the majority, but unfortunately you need to buy additional equipment for it to be an HDTV.

This fact alone is going to hinder HD as too many people are confused. You seel two TV's the only real apparent difference being the word ready and a $500 price difference and odds are people bought the "ready" one. Most people at CC & BB can't explain the difference well enough for consumers to make a good decision from my experience. Heck, half the time your lucky if the guy gets the answer right in the first place ( at least form the conversations I overheard ).

Tv's won't be obsolete anyhow... if your getting cable then your box will work with whatever TV you have, its not hard to down-convert.


RE: If only I cared...
By PurdueRy on 9/18/2006 8:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you don't know the difference either.

Most people only need HDTV ready TV's. Unless you plan on strictly going OTA, your HD cable/satellite box will serve as the tuner and no built in tuner is needed.


RE: If only I cared...
By ViperROhb34 on 9/18/2006 12:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
I can say my HD-DVD looks so awesome on my widescreen..
But to give the previous post that you "disagreed" with a tiny small does of ( i said tiny ) credit..HD players probably don't look any better then regular DVD players ( with composite 480p cables) on a regular 680x480 tube tv.. since they can't display higher - maybe thats what he meant..

On an HD-TV - theres no argument -HD blows away anything else..


RE: If only I cared...
By Motley on 9/17/2006 4:43:05 PM , Rating: 3
Those reviewers obviously need glasses.


RE: If only I cared...
By Motley on 9/17/2006 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds like you are in denial. HDTV's are outselling SDTV's. Why would people buy HDTV's then want to watch SD content when they could be watching HD content?


RE: If only I cared...
By GhandiInstinct on 9/18/2006 12:36:49 AM , Rating: 1
Because very few channels are broadcasted in HD.


RE: If only I cared...
By jmunjr on 9/17/2006 10:00:05 PM , Rating: 2
Until I can easily back up the titles I purchase, and do so without limits, I will not purchases an HD player, unless all titles cost the same as a movie ticket.

For me, DVDs are close enough in quality to anything HD. At a 20 foot viewing distance in my home I'll need a pretty big screen for any differences to matter.


RE: If only I cared...
By augiem on 9/17/2006 10:12:25 PM , Rating: 4
If companies would offer free replacement for damaged discs for life, the backup issue would be a moot point. I wish they would do something like this...


RE: If only I cared...
By vortmax on 9/18/2006 9:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
Just buy a prjector with HD capabilities...I have one and it rocks on my 104" screen...


RE: If only I cared...
By rushfan2006 on 9/18/2006 11:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
projectors are nice but you still don't get the same quality as an actual high end plasma, LCD and certainly not a tube will give you. The projectors I've seen ranged in price from $1800 to as much as $8000. They went in quality from "fair" to "damn good"...but even the $8000 projector didn't produce as good looking an HD image as a Panasonic HDTV for $2599 did.

Still the HDTV projectors are fine and perfectly adequate for casual home viewing needs.



RE: If only I cared...
By JWalk on 9/18/2006 11:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
You need to take a look at some of the latest 720p projectors from Infocus and Optoma. I own an Optoma HD-72. It cost me $1800 with an extra bulb. I made my own screen for it for about $200. So, for a grand total of $2000 I have the best (and largest) screen I have ever seen. The brightness of this thing rivals the LCD and Plasma TV's I have owned. The picture quality is as good as any 720p or 1080i capable TV I have seen. And of course, there is always the viewing size (100 inch diagonal currently). Didn't mean to turn into a commercial for projectors, but until you have seen one of these new models you don't know what they are really capable of. I won't be going 1080p until they release projectors capable of it in this price range. :)


RE: If only I cared...
By rushfan2006 on 9/18/2006 12:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ok you got me interested...a few things that would be a concern for me....

1) How long of a life can be expected from the bulbs? When they need replacing how expensive?

2) What is the refresh like? Do you think its adequate for computer use...ghosting on games?



RE: If only I cared...
By Korvon on 9/18/2006 12:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
Optima has one with a 5000 hour lamp life, but they are usually in the 2-3000 range. Projectors come in two flavors DLP, and LCD each having their pros and cons. Projectors are just as good (quality wise) as any projection TV out there without the viewing angle issue. Plus you have the flexibility of a 5 lb box vs. a 500 lb Projection TV.
I use mine for movies and playing games on my computer and it works great. :)


RE: If only I cared...
By S3anister on 9/17/2006 11:36:34 PM , Rating: 1
i seriously think that both formats suck way more than what they're worth. and the fact that they cost so freaking much for the player+media make it rediclous. nobody will buy this stuff except the people with extra/excessive money. anyone care to argue that?


RE: If only I cared...
By ogreslayer on 9/18/2006 8:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
People bought DVD at a higher cost of ownership. The problem is the the studios and the more affluent of our citizens are not behind the change. The HD revolution is not picking up any steam its just plodding along riding the price cuts to higher margins. This dual format thing is probably better for the consumer in the long run. By the time this is over we will probably have Holo-Discs(sounds cooler too) ready for market and this whole thing will have been moot.

The other thing that is killing them is DVD itself. People have vast DVD collections and decent players... Why step into a new, potentially stagnant, technology. Especially if you have not bought an HDTV yet(which contrary to some people's opinions MOST people have not).

I might buy some Blu-Ray discs when I get a PS3, If the format is still alive around Summer'07. Those morons really should have just combined a standard; cause neither will really win in the long run it looks like. My bet is on HD DVD now, seems like Sony messed up just alittle too much and they have a window of opportunity for the holiday season to pounce and try an make a run. But, I doubt anything they do garner will last very long.

I remember when I got my 34in CRT (space concern, optimal size for viewing distance) the picture is unbelivable and everyone who saw it agreed. Told them either the weight or the price and they looked at me like I was from another planet. And I'm sure that still happens when people go into the store see some awesome 50in, they and/or their significant other are into it; then the 1500-2500 price tag rolls around and one of them goes... Why?


RE: If only I cared...
By blazeoptimus on 9/18/2006 9:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
Ive watched 1080p video, and I have to agree with the first poster, it just isnt there yet. I really cant see swapping out your TV and Player for this equipment. DVD quality video is far superior to VHS, but 1080p qaulity (not resolution which is vastly greater) is not noticable enough for me to warrent going to an appliance thats really a small computer just play something at higher resolutions. I can already see what I want to see without skipping, stuttering, lines in the video, or ambient noise. This is of course ignoring the much more resitrictive DRM on the players.


RE: If only I cared...
By encryptkeeper on 9/18/2006 12:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
I would tend to agree that the BD and HDDVD formats won't be able to replace standard DVD formats. People are buying the HD TV's because salesmen push them so hard and their prices are coming down. Thats great and all but there's a large majority of people who have NO desire to replace their collection of standard DVDs. Without that huge demand, the prices for HD and BR will take a LONG time to come down in price. And look at the titles that are being put out for these new formats. Lords of Dogtown, Chronicles of Riddick. Can you say PSP movies? These are movies that appeal to the HD audience, but most people just don't care about these flicks. Without a huge and I mean HUGE demand for the first movies available for BR and HD, no movie studio will request other titles to be produced. So there's my argument. What's the other problem getting these formats off the ground? Hollywood has put out SO many great movies on SO many different editions no one is willing to spend more money on the same movie in a different format (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars to name a few). If the makers of the next gen formats want their products to take off, get some better exclusive movies.


It's a shame they can't encode
By tozz on 9/17/2006 3:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
MPEG-2 is extremely good when done right, too bad most companies just can't get it right. Well Universal was never in the BR group from the start so it's not really a loss cosidering the amount of supporters they have right now, as long as it doesn't cause a ripple.




RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By feelingshorter on 9/17/2006 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Those people are paid to do it right. Why cant it be done right? Well, i think HD-DVD made a smart move using compressed audio and mpeg4 compression. I'm not going to debate lossless audio but its as stupid as having WAV files on your computer. Can you tell the difference between a wav file and 320kb/s mp3? Blind mp3 tests already prove that most people cant. One of the biggest arguments against blue ray was that they used mpeg2 which can have lower quality than the compressed mpeg4. Another bad move by blue ray. Not only that, sony was stupid to not work with movie studios/software companies on security. Last I herd, HD-DVD has a better copy right standard. I'm not sure if all i said was correct but the battle of HD-DVD vs BR has been going on too long for me to remember. Now with new developments like VC-1 (what ever the hell that is), I just wont bother to keep up anymore. Sony does have major potential though, does have a higher storage capacity.


RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By tozz on 9/17/2006 4:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
Being paid to do something seldom leads to doing it right, just take a look at any company out there :) The benfit of using MPEG2 is that you don't have to compress it as much as with MPEG4, it will however take up more space. I don't really care yet anyway, it's waaaay too early.


RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By Phynaz on 9/18/2006 9:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The benfit of using MPEG2 is that you don't have to compress it as much as with MPEG4


You have no idea what you're talking about.

MPEG2 CAN'T be compressed as much as MPEG4. Not having to compress as much is not a benfit.


RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By mindless1 on 9/18/2006 7:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you're talking about and lack reading comprehension.

"Don't have to compress it as much" is true, the time and processing requirement for the conversion to MPEG2 is lower, the statement you arrogantly disagreed with is correct!

Not being as compressed, on the other hand, IS of benefit where any device does client decompression as it is faster on VLIW processors and there is not good market saturation of MPEG4/10 decoder hardware yet.


RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By mindless1 on 9/18/2006 7:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
So it is not just some tech-geek idea about which is the ultimate format to use if we ignore all significant factors, it is still a matter of considering ALL factors as they exist today, not that point in the future when MPEG2 has become obsolete.


By peternelson on 9/19/2006 1:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who has first hand assessed MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoded content from (identical) high quality sources, I have to say that regardless of standard, the ENCODING PROCESS is probably the most important factor. Mpeg-4 has the POTENTIAL to use up less bandwidth, but the quality depends on the encoding.

The standard does NOT specify HOW to encode, just what the stream needs to look like for the decoder. Therefore encoding implementations vary. Some have more efficient motion detection algorithms than others, etc.

If you have a rubbish encoder you will get more artifacts.

If you want a high quality one that may even give superior quality at a lower bitrate, then you need to spend more money. This is particularly the case with MPEG-4 because it is relatively new.

So if your studio or post-house won't invest a lot of money in (say) Snell and Wilcox encoders, you get a substandard encode.

They may also be lazy and save time and money by insufficient quality checking, hand-optimisation for certain portions etc.

Some disks may just be using old film scans rather than fresh high quality ones as their source.

Remember early DVDs looked rubbish and were lacking features. Compare that to current disks. Obviously the disk authoring services need to mature and invest in current technologies.

AFAIK security arrangements on HD-DVD and bluray are equivalent.



RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 4:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Last I herd, HD-DVD has a better copy right standard.

I think you herd wrong, but that depends on whose perspective. It's not as simple as that.

Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray both use AACS as a base security standard. There's a little more to it but I need to remember the details.


RE: It's a shame they can't encode
By Korvon on 9/18/2006 12:36:46 PM , Rating: 3
Herd : a group of cattle or sheep or other domestic mammals all of the same kind that are herded by humans

Heard : detected or perceived by the sense of hearing; "a conversation heard through the wall"


well
By GhandiInstinct on 9/17/2006 3:34:16 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not going to speculate non-sense, but I'm not going to shun Blu-Ray like Universal is before we see anything and how the market responds to it.

This is an ignorant move on his part.




RE: well
By cochy on 9/17/2006 4:14:51 PM , Rating: 4
Universal just wants Blu-Ray to fail. It's simply a political statement. They think we are stupid.


RE: well
By DigitalFreak on 9/17/2006 4:35:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
They think we are stupid.


Unfortunately, most people are.


RE: well
By bldckstark on 9/18/2006 12:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't stupid, just ignorant. By definition the average person is of average intelligence.

Many people think I'm stupid because I spend so much time learning about this kind of ignorant and useless BR vs HD-DVD crap. That and I know too much about computers and other techno-geek items. That and the fact that I not only read forums, but reply on them also.


First round products weren't that great...
By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 4:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
...but I don't think that speaks to second round products. The Samsung Blu-Ray player had a defective video enhancement chip or defective firmware setting in that chip which hurt video quality. Making a format comparison when they were using a known bad player makes no sense, unless the review was intended to be biased.

A shortage of blue laser diodes doesn't make an excuse though, because it's the same wavelength laser for both standards.

I'll be waiting for the reviews of the next wave of players and titles before making a decision.




RE: First round products weren't that great...
By Scrogneugneu on 9/17/2006 4:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Making a format comparison when they were using a known bad player makes no sense


It does, when it's the only player available. What were they supposed to say? "Blu-ray has lower quality, but it's because the player sucks, so even though you can get a great quality player for HD-DVD but not for Blu-Ray, we say it's still undecided which format is the best at this time"?

If you can't provide what is needed for it to look good, then it does not look good. Period. Come back when you have your stuff working right in the first place.


By ajfink on 9/17/2006 4:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I've always thought HD DVD would take the home theater segment more than Blu-Ray, but Blu-Ray might be more useful for data archiving and backups, etc.

Just makes me sad I won't be able to buy some of my favorite movies on HD DVD in the beginning of this "format war." And when I say beginning, I'm thinking this could drag out for a few years.


By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 10:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that just one implementation of a standard does not necessarily show what the standard is capable of. The same applies to the Toshiba HD-DVD player because its first firmware iteration was clunky, but that doesn't mean that the format is clunky.

The Samsung's firmware bug has been fixed and is currently being pushed out the door, so hopefully we'll see if the problems with Blu-Ray is just the player or bad encoding.


By Locutus465 on 9/17/2006 8:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to think that it was entirly fair... They were comparing the quality of the best available blue-ray v. HD-DVD products on the market. What that review told me is that blue-ray is struggling so much that they can't even get a good quality product on the market like Toshiba did with HD-DVD. What's more currently I only know of the samsung blue-ray player on the market v. Toshiba & RCA (that I know of) having HD-DVD Players. I'd say in terms of being able to deliver quality product, and a variaty of content. HD-DVD is winning hands down right now.


By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
As I know, all Pioneer, Sony and Panasonic delayed their BD players is becox of extra tuning time is needed to address the compatability and quality issues. It seems what Samsung did it to put all efforts to be the "1st" BD player in the market.

As I heard from a friend working in Pioneer, their top of the line Elite reference series BD player is delayed until Q1 2007.


Hardware vs. Software vs. Execution
By giantpandaman2 on 9/17/2006 5:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
The picture quality question is stupid.

They will both use the same codecs eventually so the software is almost the same when it comes to video. (Menus and "games" don't really matter all that much.) So the video quality will eventually be almost the same (minor variations depending on extras/sound format/etc.)

So on the hardware side it boils down to two or three things. Capacity, copy protection, and execution. BD wil have better capacity. HD-DVD has a less draconian copy protection scheme (managed copy is mandatory vs. whatever the studios feel like allowing you to do on BD.) As for execution. Well, HD-DVD has so far stomped BD on execution. Availability, price, and video quality were all far better than BD. Even HD-DVD sound quality far surpassed BD.




RE: Hardware vs. Software vs. Execution
By giantpandaman2 on 9/17/2006 5:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
Meh, looked at my comment and saw how puzzling it was. My point about the video/sound quality in the last paragraph was about how those are important to show only that HD-DVD's execution has been far better than BD. However, in the long run the video/sound quality should get close to even. However...I'm not sure if BD will ever be able to execute as well as HD-DVD.

The only place where BD has executed better is in the release of recordable discs...but that's pretty much a "who cares" issue since no one is going to use them en masse anytime soon.


By griffynz on 9/17/2006 7:37:59 PM , Rating: 3
I firmly believe this battle will come down to price, this is what allowed DVD players into homes. The early buyers of DVD, like myself, paid alot for average players in hindsight. When both players are using VC-1 and DD+ you will find that HD-DVD will win.
Why?
Price.
If they look the same you only have movie titles to woo buyers.
Who buys a player that cost 2x's the price and the end result is the same?
Remember the people who are buying these formats for Movies DO NOT care about how many MEGS the disc holds!!! Ask someone buying a DVD how many MEGS per layer and they will say 'I don't know, it fits the movie...'
PRICE is all the MASSES care about, if its too dear then it won't sell.



RE: Hardware vs. Software vs. Execution
By ttowntom on 9/18/2006 11:45:44 AM , Rating: 3
The picture quality question is stupid

What a totally silly comment. Picture quality is the ONLY reason to move from DVD to a different format. Image quality is the primary factor. Now, maybe some future BR disks and some FUTURE BR players will have equal or better IQ. But whats available today is what counts. You can't review future technology...only whats on sale now.

on the hardware side it boils down to two or three things. Capacity, copy protection, and execution.

For movies, capacity is a non-issue. If you can fit a full movie at 1080p on the disc (which both formats can) then the extra space is just wasted. I really don't think anyone is going to choose BR over HD-DVD just because they can fit a full season of "24" on two discs instead of three.

And you forgot the most important factor, outside of IQ. Price. The cheapest item usually wins, if its anywhere near the same quality.



By giantpandaman2 on 9/19/2006 2:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
Please read the original comment again. Comprehension before commenting is a good idea.


Deja vu............
By kilkennycat on 9/18/2006 1:49:29 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the DVD+R and DVD-R wars and the old-generation DVD players that could only play pressed DVDs and neither (or just one or the other) of the recordable formats? Now we have universal DVD-players and DVD-burners.

So on the HD player side, I am quite happy to wait for auniversal HD-DVD and Blu-ray player and on the burner side, a burner that will read all HD formats and burn either one. Was it Ricoh that announced recently they were designing a universal player? I know that such an announcement did come from one of the major sources of DVD-drives.




RE: Deja vu............
By morbius2006 on 9/18/2006 3:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
As it turns out, the manufacturers are hamstrung by thier licensing agreements, if you can believe it, sony at least, and likely the HD DVD Group has forbidden manufacturers from creating Dual standard players, Sony has specifically stated that they will not allow dual standard units to be created, they want the whole pie, so much for common sense. The other thing to remember is that the DVD-/+ war wasnt much of a standards issue as it was a media issue, in the end, the media manufacturers won no matter what, they sell us both types of media, and make both types, not so in this case. only sony makes Blue Ray, only sony makes Blue Ray Discs.

HD-DVD is a broader standard, and is based upon a recognisable Label "DVD" as customers already know it, they will likely accept HD-DVD as an upgrade product, sony BlueRay just sounds like betamax to the average consumer, it just doesnt have the level of brand recognition that everyone will accept and explore.

Sony is in trouble, they were betting the farm on the Blue ray/PS3 tie in, given that only 500,000 units will ship for November, they will have No Real market for thier movies or games to speak of, word of mouth is a great sales tool, but just like micro softs stinky Xbox360, if you cant buy it, it wont make them any money, and it wont sell their movies if it cant be bought. When will this boneheads ever learn :P


RE: Deja vu............
By Visual on 9/18/2006 4:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
You're soooo off the track it hurts just to read your post.
What is your source about either party forbidding the combo players? I've never seen such a thing. In fact, there were several manufacturers that had announced plans for combo drives or players (LG, Pioneer, Samsung) though all of them either gave up or announced that such combos might come in future but there aren't any specific current plans. Samsung also said they are working on a combo recorder. Liteon is now working on separate PC drives for both formats, but there could be an eventual combo drive in the future.
Also, keep in mind Sony is not the sole authority on all things blu-ray. There are many more BDA members, so even if "Sony has specifically stated that they will not allow dual standard units to be created" was true (which it isn't) they could never enforce such a ridiculous thing.

Also your statement "only sony makes Blue Ray, only sony makes Blue Ray Discs" is such utter crap that I just don't know what to make of it.

You're right that the DVD-/+ "war" is quite different though. This time around, the differences are considerably larger, so combos will be harder to get and even pointless from a certain point of view. I mean, if you have a player that reads both, there's absolutely no reason to use HD-DVD media given its lesser capacity, speed and poor coating. The only thing HD-DVD has for it now is the cheaper players.

Also I'd love to read your explanation of why or how is HD-DVD a "broader standard".
Your comment about the format names is right on the spot, though I pity the users that make purchasing decisions based solely on names.

Your concerns about the poor PS3 sales are touching, but a bit premature. Wait till it launches, ok? I agree that just 500k at launch day seems low, but other batches will follow soon enough. Sony is still expecting to sell 2million units by the end of the year, 6 million by the end of march 2007.
Also, there are quite a few good brands of BD players coming october/november, its not all PS3.


RE: Deja vu............
By othercents on 9/18/2006 11:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
I have also seen a few articles about the Sony licensing of BD and it has been mentioned that Sony is forbiding a combo player. If your a manufacturer the best way to make sure you beat out the rest of your competition is to build a combo player, and the only reason I see for most of the manufacturers canceling their combo players is because of the license agreement. However none of this can be proven unless you have a copy of the license agreement.

For the PS3 we are looking at 400k at launch and 800k more shipped before the end of the year. This is if there isn't a problem with the initial batch of diodes or cell processors.

Other


RE: Deja vu............
By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Also your statement "only sony makes Blue Ray, only sony makes Blue Ray Discs" is such utter crap that I just don't know what to make of it.

I agree with u in this point. Most people here are too naive to see BD=Sony. They simply missed out Pioneer, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Thomson, Samsung who are also trational blackhorses in AV market.

Recently a spokeman from Denon also showed their intension to produce high end BD player, in the high end Audio-Visual Expro 2006 in Hong Kong.


Not This Time
By qdemn7 on 9/17/2006 10:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've been a first adopter all the way back to Betamax. Not this time. I'll let someone else be the goat.

Everyone has forgotten who is important here... and that's the consumer. No one gives a hoot about the people really paying the bills. So the h*** with the studios and all the electronic companies. I'm tired of the eternal Sony / Matsushita war.




RE: Not This Time
By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 10:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tired of the eternal Sony / Matsushita war.

Panasonic is a Matsushita company and is on the BR board of directors, so this comment does not apply here.


RE: Not This Time
By zam786 on 9/18/2006 5:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
i thought it was sony/toshiba wars


hmm...
By Flunk on 9/17/2006 11:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
I say we all buy neither and see what happens. We have the power people, if no one buys they will have to agree on something better.




RE: hmm...
By Madzombie on 9/18/2006 7:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, the whole format war is just getting ridiculous. DVDs have been good quality for nearly a decade now, it's not as if the picture is suddenly going to go crap now that HD is available. I can't see DVD dieing any time soon.


RE: hmm...
By MonkeyPaw on 9/18/2006 11:46:43 AM , Rating: 2
It would be nice if that were possible, but too many companies have invested too much money to allow it. They will market these products as hard as they can, and they will eventually take hold of the mainstream market.

As many have already said, it's way too early to make a sound judgement. Historically, the tech sector has always had this kind of product rollout, whether it be a new version of windows, a new memory standard, or a new optical format. The problem is that some get a little too eager for something new and criticize the early products a little too much. HD-DVD and BluRay aren't ready for the mainstream, and pricing clearly reflects that. Early products aren't going to be perfect, but we have to start somewhere, right?

Oh well, it could be worse--you could be a laserdisc owner. :p


Quality of source material…
By ryedizzel on 9/18/2006 8:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
In regards to the high-definition vs. standard debate, there IS a difference. And anyone that goes to their local retail store can clearly see this on their display TVs. However I do question the quality of HD-DVD over normal DVD for older movies.

Correct me if I’m wrong but movie companies need to upgrade their recorders to those capable of capturing an HD signal. For live broadcasts like football games, boxing matches, music concerts, etc. you get to see the difference now because they have already begun capturing it in HD. But what about older movies being re-released on this new HD media? Is the source material these movie companies using even “high-definition” capable?

I dunno, I would love to see all of my favorite movies in HD. But if I understand the technology correctly this will sadly never happen. And thus the upgrade to HD-DVD over normal DVD is worthless for anything other than the very latest releases.




RE: Quality of source material…
By Janooo on 9/18/2006 10:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
Movies are captured on film. It's analog. It gets covnerted to DVD/HD-DVD/BR formats. Film image quality is higher than any DVD codec.


By lemonadesoda on 9/18/2006 10:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
To be specific to the poster's question, YES, film has much more information on it than either HD-DVD and BR. You can take old film stock from the 60s and 70s and get a digitalisation with much higher resolution than HD-DVD or BR.

However, the critical component is digitising the old films. A new digital master would need to be made for the new format.

You are always limited by the lowest common denominator. Not all films are made on panavision or other large film formats. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panavision. Not all films have survived.

Charlie Chaplin, will, unfortunately, not look much better that those old B&W flicks of yesteryear.


Well I don't know about you yet...
By Regs on 9/17/2006 6:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
But I still have to get a HD TV first! I'm sure they're a lot cheaper now than 2-3 years ago. If you guys have any recommendations or an article/review then point me to it.




By JeffDM on 9/17/2006 10:34:10 PM , Rating: 2
But I still have to get a HD TV first! I'm sure they're a lot cheaper now than 2-3 years ago.

Prices are always going down and quality and features are always improving.

Personally, I'm currently interested in the Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3 and LVM-42w2 models, 37" and 42" monitors, respectively, both are 1080p and can connect natively with computers too. I've hooked the 37" screen up to my computer and played 1080p sample clips that I downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD site and Apple's QT HD site. They looked absolutely stunning.


I'll just be happy...
By 05SilverGT on 9/18/2006 8:35:09 AM , Rating: 2
When they settle on a standard so then I can buy Blazing Saddles and watch it in HD! Talk about a great comedy classic!




RE: I'll just be happy...
By INeedCache on 9/18/2006 3:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
when all of this posturing and BS is over, and dust settles. I, nor can we here, decide the fate of these formats, as it's out of our hands. Some of you may disagree with that, and that's OK, but you're wrong. The tech companies and big studios will decide. Wake me when the nonsense over these formats is over.


No clear winner except
By Trisped on 9/19/2006 1:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
Except that Sony is pushing everyone to use mpeg2 over vc1. Give me a list of movies avalible for Blue-Ray and unless at least 60% of them are in vc1, they have lost. What is the point in paying more for the play, the media, and getting less or even equal quality?




By fantastique on 9/18/2006 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe this has already happened, but I haven't read anything about it on Dailytech.

Is Sony going to exclusively put Blue-ray players on their PC's later on? Will Toshiba's be putting exclusively HD-DVD players? Just like the situation with PS3, it's hard to imagine space ever really being an issue on the PC, since there ought to always be plenty of hard drive space to dump files onto, so I don't really see this as an advantage for Blue-ray. I wonder how this will effect the future sells though of the two formats.


By ViperROhb34 on 9/18/2006 12:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
If it really is true they said that id like to know what conditions the test were under and how much Sony paid them to conduct the test in their favor..

ANYONE who has seen an HD-DVd movie and a Bluray movie side by side in real life will believe this load of CRAP..

Many HD-DVD movies look way better because of superior conversion and codecs.. some later Bluray look pretty equal..maybe a tad less quality then HD-DVd (with the same codec)..

And if you havent seen either or both in real life.. all you have to do is read the reviews on the products themselves.. I'd say 9 out of 10 called it as they saw it.. Saying HD-DVD was better


By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Post from the group?

Frankly speaking, I don't think any of those post is reliable, since we still can't see any quality BD player (Pioneer, Sharp, Sony or Panasonic) released rather in Japan. None of them use ture 1080p projectors/LCDs to conduct the test as well. They simply lacks the hardware to made their test reliable.

The country that really has players release on both formats is Japan, where as IEEE Xplore's Japanese tester mentioned, BD is skyrocks over HD-DVD.

But we can't really exactly follows that IEEE says, as the Sharp player used in IEEE's review cost over a double against Toshiba.

But on the other hand, it implied something to us. BD is aimed for high-end AV products, like SACD/DVD-A; while HD-DVD is aimed for mid-range to low end. You may can't able to hear to difference between SACD/DVD-A and tradtional CD with mid-low range products. U need really high end gears capable to do that.


By Chillin1248 on 9/18/2006 11:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
Eclipsed Aurora is now officially a Sony spokesperson.

He has yet to respond to my comments on the PS3 thread that nullifies his aggressive HD-DVD and Xbox360 hatred.

According to a test conducted with IEEE member magazine Xplore, HD-DVD's visual quality is far below BD. It is only comparable with best DVDP with 1080i upsampling capability.


It is impossible, I repeat impossible, for the VC1 codec or MPEG-4 to be below MPEG-2 levels with the source material availible (current BD vs HD-DVD movies); and if it is the same codec against each other... Well then there is no difference except in the players produced.

I just worry Toshiba, the company that never had any good repetation on quality visual device product, can ever produce any quality player/recorder.


" No quality visual product "...

That is where you are definately a Sony salesperson. Toshiba is one of the best to do with any visual products. I have been to several boardrooms of million dollar, and a billion dollar, business headquarters; and I have seen Toshiba projecters there but never a Sony yet mind you [this is against the no quality comment]. I personally own a Toshiba projecter and can attest to this. On the other hand I am very happy with my Sony camera, however their movie camera needs a lot of work; particularly in getting its own software (Sony Vegas 6) to recognize it.

Please, don't always put the focus on Sony when talking about BD. It's a traditional DailyTech article as DailyTech never says something positive for Sony. May be it is becox of Sony had never pay $ to DailyTech for advertisement.

[Side point: It is "because" and not "becox" ]

I agree with you on this, however I feel it to be more the bias of the Dailytech writters than Toshiba giving any money; or Sony for that matter. However every ying has a yang, and the problem is that there is not much happy news to report from the BD or PS3 camps these days is there?

----
Chillin







By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Eclipsed Aurora is now officially a Sony spokesperson.
Sorry, I support Pioneer BD player than Sony. It seems that u are running out of reasonable points now to continue to proof ur HD-DVD is better arguement

It is impossible, I repeat impossible, for the VC1 codec or MPEG-4 to be below MPEG-2 levels with the source material availible (current BD vs HD-DVD movies); and if it is the same codec against each other... Well then there is no difference except in the players produced.
Why impossible? Can u give me any reason?
But instead I can give u excellent technical explaination for why currently VC-1 and H.264 can't able to match with MPEG2 in some area. Both codecs are too new and unmature for today. Yes VC-1 and 264 are shine in low bitrates due to better achitecture, but when birtate is high MPEG2 outweights anything VC-1 and 264's achitecuteral advantage with more mature and proofen codecs.

Same things similar happened in audio compression format, when AAC sound better than mp3 under 128KHz, while good mp3 codec like Lame can beat down any AAC encoder beyond 192KHz. Obvisously time is needed for codec developers to unlock the full potential of the format.


By Chillin1248 on 9/19/2006 12:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why impossible? Can u give me any reason?
But instead I can give u excellent technical explaination for why currently VC-1 and H.264 can't able to match with MPEG2 in some area. Both codecs are too new and unmature for today. Yes VC-1 and 264 are shine in low bitrates due to better achitecture, but when birtate is high MPEG2 outweights anything VC-1 and 264's achitecuteral advantage with more mature and proofen codecs.


Ok, first of all the MPEG-2 codec that was used was mighty similar to the codec of regular DVDs due to the fact that the BD media backers couldn't get their act together and re-encode and release a proper MPEG-4 (I doubt VC-1 as it is Microsoft who is on the HD-DVD camps talking about backers), however now finally we have some coming out in the newer codecs with higher image quality. You are certainly not suggesting that the studios just went from the "superior" MPEG-2 to the "immature" MPEG-4 codec and gained image quality in most reviews along the way by mistake do you?

I would like to see the source that says that MPEG-2 have higher quality at the same bit-rate as MPEG-4 or VC-1.

Sorry, I support Pioneer BD player than Sony. It seems that u are running out of reasonable points now to continue to proof ur HD-DVD is better arguement

Oh pardon me, I was just mistaken because of your wonderful rant in the previous thread about how godlike the PS3 was and how pathetic the Xbox360 was.

----
Chillin


By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
That is where you are definately a Sony salesperson. Toshiba is one of the best to do with any visual products. I have been to several boardrooms of million dollar, and a billion dollar, business headquarters; and I have seen Toshiba projecters there but never a Sony yet mind you [this is against the no quality comment]. I personally own a Toshiba projecter and can attest to this. On the other hand I am very happy with my Sony camera, however their movie camera needs a lot of work; particularly in getting its own software (Sony Vegas 6) to recognize it.

May be u really don't know anything in AV. Sony has the highest market share in high quality projectors. Her Qualia SXRD projector is always recognized as the best in consumer products. For professional products, Sony is the only producer of 4 to 8MP projectors that used in any latest digital cinema in the World.

Even best cinemas/theaters in the world use Sony projector, don't tell me that your cheapie Toshiba for businees presentation purpose is skyrocks.


By Chillin1248 on 9/19/2006 1:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
May be u really don't know anything in AV. Sony has the highest market share in high quality projectors. Her Qualia SXRD projector is always recognized as the best in consumer products. For professional products, Sony is the only producer of 4 to 8MP projectors that used in any latest digital cinema in the World.

Even best cinemas/theaters in the world use Sony projector, don't tell me that your cheapie Toshiba for businees presentation purpose is skyrocks.


Very cute.

The reason I heard for the Toshiba projecters, is because they are reliable. I personally have yet to come across a two problems with mine (only problem I ever had was the first time hooking it up and getting it to recognize).

I would also like sources for your highest marketshare, as last I checked NEC has control of the projector market right now. While you're at it, throw in the sources please that, "Sony is the only producer of 4 to 8MP projectors that used in any latest digital cinema in the World".

-----
Chillin


By peternelson on 9/19/2006 12:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with Eclipsed Aurora that Sony is a leading player in the DIGITAL CINEMA market.

Whilst Christie 2K projector is good and popular for normal 2K (I've viewed that myself at IBC broadcasting conference), Sony have pushed boundaries into higher resolutions for example,

"SXRD 4K. And the Sony SRX-R110CE in the Sony CineAlta range is claimed to be the only projector designed to meet DCI specs for 4K resolution."

Source: BKSTS: The moving image society, "Training for Digital Projection: A reference guide to digital cinema", Sept 2006, page 4


By EclipsedAurora on 9/18/2006 11:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
One thing I forgot to mention, for Projectors, JVC and Mitsibishi are also good choice in high end market beside Sony. Meanwhile, Toshiba had never has any product listed in high end projectors, or at least at the same class of what best JVC,Mitsubishi and Sony projector products are addressing.

But hopelessly both JVC/Panasonic and Mitsubishi are backers of BD, not HD-DVD.

Please move your focus away from Sony with BD. BD is also backed by plenty of other black hose manufacturers!

[Becox is always used in ICQ/MSN messenges as an representaion of because]


By Chillin1248 on 9/19/2006 1:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please move your focus away from Sony with BD. BD is also backed by plenty of other black hose manufacturers!


Well then, let's look at HD-DVDs lineup:


Memory-Tech Corporation
NEC Corporation
Sanyo Electric Co
Hitachi Corporation
Acer Inc
Canon Inc.
Cyberlink Corp.
Digital Theater Systems
Entertainment Network Inc.
Hitachi Maxell
Fuji Photo Film Co
Imation Corp.
Intervideo, Inc.
Kaleidescape, Inc.
Kenwood Corporation
Konica Minolta Opto, Inc.
Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co. / Verbatim
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
Nec Corporation
Nec Electronics Corporation
Nec Fielding
Nero
Ricoh Co.
Teac Corporation
Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Digital Frontiers Inc.
Toshiba Entertainment Inc.
Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation
Toshiba-Emi Limited
Universal (inc. Music , Vivendi Games, Pictures)
Warner Home Video Inc


I put in bold one of the backers of HD-DVD, you might recognize them as you gave them such a warm introduction :)

Also I do not see JVC/Panasonic on either the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray camps list, please show where they are in a source. Oh and strike from my previous post that Microsoft is a backer of any format, they simply have bias towards one.

Becox is always used in ICQ/MSN messenges as an representaion of because

Pardon me, but I am a bit out of date with the online world and I prefer the good old telephone for any conversation considering that it can be free with the likes of programs like Skype these days.

----
Chillin


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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