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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 Chillin1248 on 9/19/2006 12:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
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.


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