HD in a Bottle : War, Love, and a Crossroad (long) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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...January 19th, 2007...

War: I've been away for awhile, and it seems not much has changed. People still have their strong allegiances to their favorite format, strongly entrenched in battle. Unfortunately, I don't see this format war coming to a end any time soon. After all the news coming out of CES in Vegas and with the studios seemingly ramp up title releases, I fear I'm faced with a decision. Which format to pick? Does picking a format help to conclude this war? I feel the consumer can and will decide the winner. Right now I'm a fence sitter, supporting for both sides.

Love: I'm not sure if it's love or an addiction, but if it's HD, I want it. I've just counted how many HD discs I have; 137 total. 86 HD DVDs and 51 Blu-rays. I own the Toshiba HD-XA1, Samsung BD-P1000, Xbox360 HD DVD add-on, and a PS3. I have no regrets buying all this hardware and software. I simply love this stuff. My first impressions when I watched Serenity on HD DVD was amazement and HD DVD was the King of HD. (Granted this was before Blu-ray had been released) A few mouths had passed and I was able to score the Samsung Blu-ray player for $800 (at launch) and also grabbed a few movies. The first movies I watched where the infamous Fifth Element and Punisher. To be honest I felt these two and others movie a purchase shortly after were inferior to what I saw from HD DVD. I was disappointed with Blu-ray at the beginning, but as more titles became available, the quality steadily improved. My opinion now is that HD DVD and Blu-ray have equal picture and sound quality given the same video and audio codec is used. So now I feel an important question is looming.

A Crossroad: Up until now I've been purchasing all Warner, Paramount, and Weinstein HD discs as HD DVDs, mainly because I started buying them from the beginning. For one reason, as of now, Warner, Paramount, and Weinstein have a larger selection on HD DVD and Warner has also been including a Dolby TrueHD track on some discs but not with its Blu-ray counterpart. I'm not sure what the future holds, however I think I can help shape it. I guess I'm wondering if I should throw my weight towards Blu-ray by means of buying all Warner, Paramount, and in the near future, Weinstein only in Blu-ray. Don't get me wrong, I will not stop buying Universal movies. I will not deny myself movies I love based on format. Although, IMO only one format can be successful; where as two formats can only survive. To those duel format lovers, how are you dealing with this?

Thanks for reading, I feel much better now.
-Mike

...end of message...
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 06:40 PM
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Well, you will get 2 sets of answers: from HD-DVD lovers saying to buy Warner on HD-DVD, and from BR lovers saying to buy Warner on BR.

I think that, cost, features, and availability aside, it's a personal decision.

"But I want to do community service; I want to teach the handicapped how to yodel." - Hudson Hawk
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree, and thanks, it is a personal decision, one I'm trying to make.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 07:28 PM
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Greetings

If you set aside the logic of cost, features, availability, and even image quality some times ...

then it is all emotional and subjective and based on how your value jugdments work.

For me, I still prefer to hang onto logic a bit longer. Features and image quality will drive my decisions.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBurgundy View Post

I agree, and thanks, it is a personal decision, one I'm trying to make.

Great read. Thanks. I think when choosing your movies you should simply go on features alone. If you get better sound quality on a neutral title in Blu-ray and that's important to you then by the Blu-ray version.

I think when compared you'll find a justification for every title you purchases. There are plenty of "psuedo-neutral" people who only buy Universal and Weinstein movies on HD DVD. These people are basically just waiting for HD DVD to die.

None of these formats are going to die. Recent history has shown that competiting digital formats the get traction with consumers end up melding. The process is already underway with the LG player and Warners Total HD completes the equation.

As a consumer do I hate the fact that I have to pay double royalties? Yup...I do. But I like having HD movie quality at home that exceeds what I'm seeing in Theatres. That's worth it to me.

Certainly keep both players. You gotta love the Region Free peace of mind with your HD DVD players (assuming you like foreign films) and there's the excellent BD titles available to you right now. I think you're right where you need to be. You really can't lose.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 10:19 PM
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Now that I've had a chance to see BDs on PS3 for about 3 weeks, I'm starting to develop a sense of what I like and dislike about the format and PS3 as a player. First and foremost, both formats are able to deliver some stunning images and sound when care is taken with the source master. But I can't seem to shake the feeling that Blu-ray is like a lumbering heavy weight and HD DVD a nimble middle weight fighter. For a format that has the outstanding specs, Blu-ray has come up short in technique and execution. It seems that when anything is lacking, you either throw more bits or bytes at it. Poor image quality with MPEG2 encoding, throw more Mbits/s. Poor sound quality, uncompressed PCM to the rescue. Can't do PiP commentary, that's okay, we'll just throw two separate encodes of the movie on the disc. I suppose if you have extra 20GB of space and bandwidth to spare, you really don't have to look for an elegant solution. But as an engineer at heart, I like what HD DVD format has done. Some may say that it was out of necessity, but using modern codecs and advanced audio and HDi, HD DVD has been in many cases, presented a much more complete HD experience. For sure, Blu-ray can improve, but being so fat (in capacity and bandwidth) seems to make the studios and CE take the easy way out.

This fight has just started and the middle weight fighter came out jabbing and swinging and took the early advantage. The big lumbering heavy weight took the initial barrage, and has finally landed some slow but powerful punches. Will the lighter fighter find a way to dance around the slower, but bigger fighter and wear down the opponent, or is there really no answer to the eventual KO punch???

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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Blu-Ray always touts the huge capacity advantage over HD DVD as their trump card. Does that make Blu-Ray product bloatware? It's rather interesting to see the HD DVD side of this HD format tussle be clever about software engineering (as well as hardware) to squeeze every bit of presentation quality out of their product. It sort of reminds me of the rabbits that JVC kept pulling out of their hats in the Beta vs. VHS wars of yesteryear. Every time Sony invented some cool new feature (Beta Hi-Fi, SuperBeta, etc)...there was JVC doing what people said was impossible and matching them.

Eric
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 10:52 PM
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xradman

Thanks for the post. I like hearing from neutral people because where else are you going to generally find such information? Someone who's purchased both formats undoubtedly has more insight than the avg bear.

Hmmm speaking of boxing there's a nice pair of bouts on this Saturday. Thanks for the reminder. I'll setup the DVR tonight.

Eric.

I agree. Blu-ray is designed for brute strength. In computer geek terms I think of this battle as Intel vs AMD. Sony is Intel ...the player with the one punch KO. Toshiba is the stick and jabber that has to keep moving and improving.

The impressive quality coming from VC-1 and AVC encodes though really help Toshibas case. If Microsoft can get VC-1 encodes in Hulk/KK quality at 12Mbps avg and the 17GB per layer discs are ratified then it's going to be a piece of cake to deliver some longer play movies on 34GB discs.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-20-2007, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBurgundy View Post

...January 19th, 2007...

[. To those duel format lovers, how are you dealing with this?

Thanks for reading, I feel much better now.
-Mike

...end of message...


I'm renting!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-20-2007, 02:38 PM
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I sympathize with your agony, RBurgundy. But honestly, your decision (and many like-minded enthusiasts like you) will have a very limited influence on this war at this stage. It's likely price and mainstream consumers will decide it, now that both camps have dug in deeply and become entrenched Just go with what matters most to you and forget about the war.

What war is it again ?
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-21-2007, 09:22 AM
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I bought the Sony player at BB and told them that I would give it a try for 30 days. I hooked it up and without the firmware update it is unwatchable. I created a dvd disk and installed it and the stop and start problems went away. Why would Sony not include a firmware disk in the package for the people who don't have a computer, burner and know-how to create the disk? I have a 70 jvc 1080p and when I compare the picture to the discovery channel from D* the difference is minimum. I am ready to take it back but will wait a month and then try either the LG or the Toshiba. Bottom line I am not impressed and suggest you try each within the return period. Netflix have some titles so I will keep using it.
Using the oppo with my regular DVDs works for me. If they start to release new movies with a few weeks after the first run it may work. A family of four can pay for the popcorn machine very quick.
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