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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 1:05:11 AM , Rating: 2
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".


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

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