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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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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.

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