Originally Posted by paidgeek
Amir, your guarantee does not make sense based on titles that use both codecs in the market. I respect that you are passionate about VC-1, but continuing to be so adamant regardless of observable results leads me to think this is a religious crusade rather than an objective pursuit for the best possible picture quality.
For a guy who fought a crusade just to see advanced codecs in Blu-ray, I say the results are there to back up such efforts
. But I am happy to explain the logic more.
The key thing that you fail to note is that you are encoding MPEG-2 titles at much higher data rates than VC-1. So if MPEG-2 is a great codec, you should be beating VC-1 in quality, yet at most, you match it, but often come up short. The best example we have are Warner titles which you encoded in MPEGt-2. Here is the review of MPEG-2 Training Day on BD which is a top tier HD DVD title: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/trainingday.html
"'Training Day' on Blu-ray has a lot to live up to. Had this title been released on the format before it hit HD DVD, it likely would not have come under nearly as much scrutiny. Videophiles have been waiting with bated breath to see not only if 'Training Day' looks great on Blu-ray, but if it tops or at least equals its rival. Surprisingly, the differences between the two versions is substantial in more ways than one -- and unfortunately for the Blu-ray camp, though it is quite a close race, it ultimately doesn't go Blu-ray's way.
To assess picture quality, I did comparisons of three complete scenes on both discs, one after the other, simply by switching between my set's two inputs. I also compared a dozen individual still images, by pausing each deck on identical still frames and switching back and forth. The picture quality differences between the two transfers is often quite apparent. For example, during the very first shot of the film -- a zoom in on a red-hot, rising sun - there was some posterization was visible on the Blu-ray, with the banding of colors obvious as the picture faded in.
Looking closely at the HD DVD I could also spot some posterization, but it was not nearly as severe. These type of compression artifacts continued throughout both transfers, and I noticed about three or four shots on the Blu-ray with more polarization on backgrounds or during fades/dissolves, which were either not there on the HD DVD, or greatly lessened. So score one for HD DVD's VC-1 compression codec over the MPEG-2 scheme used for Blu-ray
-- at least until that format's larger-capacity BD-50 dual layer discs become commercially viable."
And Rumor Has It: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/rumorhasit.html
"Compression artifacts, too, are also more distracting.
I detected a few patches of what looked like noise or blockiness
on such objects as flat, color walls and fabric patterns on the Blu-ray - the HD DVD just looked more consistently cleaner and clearer.
Again, none of these drawbacks are monumental, but the discerning eyes of this early adopter left me a tad disappointed with the Blu-ray.
Note that Rumor Has It is a combo disc with only 15 gigabytes of capacity (newer combos do 30), compared to BD-25. So despite a capacity disadvantage, we came out ahead.
Admittedly, Peter Bracke considers MI3 to look the same on both formats. But the other reviews clearly show that despite having considerable advantage in peak bit rate using MPEG-2, you still did not manage to match our VC-1 quality.
Of course, we also know that Warner switched away from your MPEG-2 encode as fast they could. If life was great in MPEG-2 land, surely they would have continued using it.
Yes, there are some new BD titles that do look very nice. But there is no VC-1 version to compare to. And given your recent statement that you are releasing what looks good in BD, one is left wondering if test encodes are done and if something doesn't look good, they are put back on the shelf.
So going back to the original question of people wanting even more quality than VC-1 provides in HD DVD, my question remains why one dose not exhaust the quality that could be there by just switching codecs from Sony side. After all, you are the only studio 100% on MPEG-2 today. No other studio has even come close to have the kind of marriage that you have with MPEG-2. All other major studios have released titles in advanced codecs, including others in your camp. Are you really the smartest one of the bunch by staying with MPEG-2 for so long?
And how about only using AVC, when your own encoder is ready. Doesn't this seem like a coincident that the only time advanced codecs look good is when your own encoder is ready? And your preference to use that when it runs so much slower than our VC-1 encoder? Me thinks your internal directives to use Sony technology overrides the strive to create the absolute best quality. This is clear from studios who don't build encoders and how free they feel to use advanced codecs.
As I have mentioned before, we gain very little from you using VC-1. People are indeed surprised that help the blu-ray side at all this way. If Warner had not rolled out their titles last year with VC-1 and erase the poor showing of BD format with MPEG-2 prior to that, there is no telling where BD format would be today.
So why do we do it? Believe it or not, it goes back to a promise I made to a Sony executive some 3 years ago. When challenged that we would disadvantage Blu-ray should they allow VC-1 in the format, if we choose to go the HD DVD route, I said they would have our word that would treat them as well as HD DVD studios. So this is why we wrote the BD conversion tool for VC-1. And why make our services fully available to you. To the extent you turn our offer down, my conscious is clear and we can move on to concentrate our efforts to help all the other HD DVD studios get even better quality out of their products.