From our friend Peter M. Bracke (highdefdigest PQ 4/5...)
"Bottom line, this HD DVD transfer delivers. The source material is as good as the film stock allow
, with no major defects visible such as print tears or distracting blemishes, though grain is intentionally excessive for much of the film. Black levels are consistent throughout, while contrast is all over the map. Some story threads have whites so blown out that fine detail is all but obscured, while others are bathed in darkness or excessively saturated colors. Thus, there is some noise and smeared hues, but again it appears intentional. Overall detail and depth to the image is about as good as can be expected
. No, I was never blown away by the presentation as I've been with other HD DVD releases, but then I never anticipated otherwise."
btw kschmit2 is absolutely right about the master. Universal only has access/rights to the USAFilms upconversion [NTSC 480i -> 1080i] master which was used for this HD-DVD Traffic release. It is subpar compared to the 720p BEV broadcast and even the PAL DVD IMHO.
In order to get a decent version of Traffic the upcoming Canal plus release is probably the safest bet.