Blu-ray showing in Dallas, March 3-5 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 02-24-2006, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Just read this on dvdtalk:

Quote:
I got a mailer today advertising this local expo, here's the details from the mailer.

They're showing off Sony's Blu-Ray player.

March 3-5 at Starpower (local home theater place).
Fri-Sat 10am-8pm. Sun 12pm-6pm.

Only at the north Dallas location.
15340 N. Dallas Pkwy
Suite 1000
Dallas, Tx
(972) 503-6000

I didn't see any info on their site about it, but here's their site anyways. http://star-power.com/

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post #2 of 48 Old 02-24-2006, 04:43 AM
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I read about this flyer going around in another thread. Any idea if there is a Seattle area date planned?
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post #3 of 48 Old 02-24-2006, 05:45 PM
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Great, I have a friend there too so I'll inquire a bit. I think they have a strong likelihood to have it setup properly too.

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post #4 of 48 Old 02-24-2006, 07:49 PM
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Sweet. Thanks for the heads up. I live near there, and always hear about Star Power on 103.3 ESPN. Maybe they will be there so I can get some free goodies as well ^-^
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post #5 of 48 Old 02-24-2006, 10:24 PM
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Thanks for the info! I know what I'll be doing next weekend.

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post #6 of 48 Old 02-25-2006, 08:59 PM
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I'm looking forward to seeing a Demo in the Milwaukee/Waukesha area. I emailed our local highend electronics store, Flanners, and they don't know yet when they've have BD or HD DVD players in stock.
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post #7 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 06:14 PM
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I saw this unit at Starpower a few months ago. The display they were using was a 50" plasma (Sony). The only content they had at that time was some professionally done "home video" of Japan.

Consider the difference between 480p and 720p and imagine that much improvement to 720p up to the 1080p. Unbelievable clarity on a 50" screen at 1 foot!
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post #8 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 06:17 PM
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;) That can't be true!! No on can tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p.
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post #9 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinca1
;) That can't be true!! No on can tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p.
Thats right....sd dvd up scaled to 1080i on an hd dvd player is far superior to an actual Blu Ray 1080p transfer ;) :D
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post #10 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinca1
;) That can't be true!! No on can tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p.

Are you implying that the difference between 480p and 720p or 480p and 1080i will be on a par with going from 1080i to 1080p?
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post #11 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 08:00 PM
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No i am not i am saying that most say they can not see a diffeence which i belive there is and can see it. there have been many people asking for 1080p and that it was real hd and now for some reason some are dimissing the difference, Opps i mean 480p to 720p to be clear i misread your post.
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post #12 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
Are you implying that the difference between 480p and 720p or 480p and 1080i will be on a par with going from 1080i to 1080p?

I'd hope 1080i -> 1080p would be on par with 480i -> 480p

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post #13 of 48 Old 02-26-2006, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinca1
;) That can't be true!! No on can tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p.
If a player outputs 1080i film with correct telecine flags and it gets deinterlaced correctly to 1080p, what difference do you think you would see (or would be there even if you couldn't see it) between that and 1080p output from the player on the same 1080p display?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clepto
I'd hope 1080i -> 1080p would be on par with 480i -> 480p
Based on what I've heard about some stuff I think the flags for that will be much more reliable with 1080p24 storage that is output at 1080i with flags than what we got with DVDs.

People can think about the best ways to play back DVDs and one of them is with an SDI modded DVD player outputting at 480i to a scaler. If 480i output was inferior to having the player to 480p in those cases, then why would people pay good money for SDI mods and setups where the player is outputting 480i? I'm not saying 1080p output from a player is worthless, but I think a lot of people are being misled about how much of a disadvantage 1080i will be compared 1080p60 output.

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post #14 of 48 Old 02-27-2006, 05:21 AM
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You are correct Darin. I can think in my own case having a Fujitsu plasma, I would often get a better picture by having a progressive scan DVD player output 480i and let the Fujitsu do the deinterlacing.

I just think people should not get their expectations up too high. As I've said before, some of the AV mags have done these 1080i/1080p tests and most characterize the change as marginal. You'll need a large display sitting at the right distance and even then the difference will not be day and night.

It reminds of the tests that a number of publications did on 42" ED vs HD displays. Often, more people picked the ED display as having the better picture, but that was because the ED display had other things going for it (better black levels, contrast etc) that outweighed the differences in resolution.
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post #15 of 48 Old 02-27-2006, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
I just think people should not get their expectations up too high. As I've said before, some of the AV mags have done these 1080i/1080p tests and most characterize the change as marginal. You'll need a large display sitting at the right distance and even then the difference will not be day and night.
True and a good point about other things affecting overall picture quality.

Just wanted to point out that one thing I am getting at is that for 1080p24 stored film that is sent in a 1080i package and then recombined to 1080p, there can be zero differences from using a 1080p package out of the player. So, then it isn't a matter of whether people can see any differences or not, since there aren't any differences to see (when things are done correctly).

While I think having 1080p output can be nice I just don't want people being misled into thinking that 1080i output precludes getting 1080p because mathematically it doesn't. Although at this point I would rather have BluRay win based on what I know, I don't want people to have incorrect or misleading information about these formats and I expect this usage of 1080p vs 1080i to continue without explanation of what the implications really are.

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post #16 of 48 Old 02-27-2006, 01:07 PM
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Does anybody know if BR group has organized demos around the country?

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post #17 of 48 Old 02-28-2006, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert
Just read this on dvdtalk:
Cool! I will have to check this out this coming weekend!
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post #18 of 48 Old 03-03-2006, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2
If a player outputs 1080i film with correct telecine flags and it gets deinterlaced correctly to 1080p, what difference do you think you would see ...
--Darin
Darin, I have been emphasizing this point myself.

HOWEVER, I now think that it is likely that we will see a difference when we have 1080P material displayed at 1080P without going to 1080I as an intermediary.

As to exactly why there will be a difference, we will have to wait to figure that out. Roughly, I think that it will be discovered that fewer transformations and less processing will often yield a better result despite the underlying theory that there will be no difference.

It is also likely that the 1080P material will be more carefully mastered and replicated, which is an unfair point, except that it will happen and will make a difference. I have seen a number of cases where the DVD of a film looks better than the same film shown supposedly in HD on cable. Of course, that should not be, but it is.
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post #19 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RScottyL
Cool! I will have to check this out this coming weekend!
Ok, I stopped by to check it out. The place was pretty busy! They had just one player in the front room off to the right that was playing movie trailers.

Looked very nice and impressive!
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post #20 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith
As to exactly why there will be a difference, we will have to wait to figure that out. Roughly, I think that it will be discovered that fewer transformations and less processing will often yield a better result despite the underlying theory that there will be no difference.
You should look into what will happen to data streamed over a home network. It will get split into packets. Wrapped with headers and checksums. Arrive possibly out of order. And then restored to perfection by the protocol stack.

By comparison, this 1080p -> 1080i -> 1080p transformation is trivial, as long as we're talking HDMI/DVI (the digital domain).

Gary


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post #21 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 04:48 PM
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Stopped by there early this afternoon. The player they were using was the prototype from Japan that's been seen at most of the trade shows. The BDPS1 apparent isn't ready yet. It was hooked up via DVI outputting 1080i to a Sony display, I forget which model it was exactly but I'm sure someone will figure it out from the pictures. As with the HD-DVD demos, they didn't have any official product yet to show off - they were running a specially made demo disc. The disc contained the trailers for Spiderman 2, Stealth, Big Fish, Into the Blue and Hitch, as well as a scene from Spiderman 2 and a splitscreen comparison between DVD and Blu-ray using Lawrence of Arabia. The DVD/Blu-ray comparison showed Blu-ray being a lot sharper than dvd, but honestly I don't think I've ever seen dvd look as bad as they made it in their demo. Overall the Blu-ray images looked pretty good, but there were a lot more compression artifacts than I expected to see. For having all this extra disc space it didn't look like they were taking much advantage of it, and the encoding didn't look much better than standard dvd. But who knows how long ago this demo disc was made, hopefully the real discs will be encoded better. The image was sharp and the colors held well. It looked at lot better than what I've seen from satellite or cable HDTV. For some reason everything but the Arabia demo was cropped 16x9, not OAR. Hopefully that was done just for the demo and the real discs won't be that way, but the rep didn't know.

They didn't have any official specs for the BDPS1 player, but the rep did confirm it would output 1080p/24 over HDMI. He wasn't sure about 1080p/60. Like the Pioneer Elite player, the Sony won't have any internal decoders for the new audio formats, so you'll have to wait for new receivers that handle the formats to be able to take advantage of them. Also, the Sony Blu-ray player does not support SACD.

The rep said right now the rumor is that the list price for the Sony player will be around $1200, but since the Samsung is coming out first at a lower price Sony will probably drop it to $999.99 to compete. The Sony player will be out in July of this year. The Sony rep said Blu-ray Recorders will probably hit the US around April or May of next year, and that the delay is because they're still working out all the copy protection issues. He also said the current rumor is that the PS3 will launch in the US in August. I asked him about Sony's somewhat poor choice of launch titles (IMHO anyway) and he said the titles they picked were originally geared towards gamers because they had planned for the PS3 to be the first player BD released. Since it got delayed that kind of messed things up. But he repeated the line that they'd have 100 titles out by the end of the year.

When all was said and done, I was impressed enough that I went ahead and pre-ordered a player. So I guess I'm all the way in now as an early adopter for both formats.

They were handing out a blu-ray flier that I scanned in to a pdf. There's really not any info in it we don't already know, but here it is anyway:
Sony Blu-ray PDF

Here are some pictures, though it's hard to really pick up the details from photos. The difference between the DVD and BD sides of the Arabia demo were a lot more distinct than what the camera picked up. Also, their demo area wasn't the best as there were a lot of lights reflecting not only from the room, but from the other displays around it.



http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray01.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray02.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray03.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray04.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray05.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray06.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray07.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray08.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray09.jpg
http://www.mikedunn.com/pictures/bluray10.jpg

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post #22 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for the pics, the Spidey 2 shots look great.
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post #23 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 05:47 PM
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That's disappointing news about the Sony not having built in DTHD and DTS-HD decoders. So far, no announced player is giving me everything that I want, BD or HD DVD. The Pioneer doesn't play CDs and have built in DTHD and DTS-HD decoders, the Sony also doesn't have built in decoders. The Toshibas have built in decoders but do not support 1080p, nor do they pillarbox 4:3 SD DVD content upconverted over HDMI. That leaves the Samsung, and I'm not really a fan.

Man, this sucks.
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post #24 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 06:02 PM
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Cool report. Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dugpa
The rep said right now the rumor is that the list price for the Sony player will be around $1200, but since the Samsung is coming out first at a lower price Sony will robably drop it to $999.99 to compete.
The SONY rep is playing price rumour games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dugpa
I asked him about Sony's somewhat poor choice of launch titles (IMHO anyway) and he said the titles they picked were originally geared towards gamers because they had planned for the PS3 to be the first player BD released.
Yeah, that is my theory too. The slip in the PS/3 has made a bit of a mess with the launch.

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post #25 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialog_gvf
The SONY rep is playing price rumour games?
I guess they haven't set it officially yet, so rumor was best he could give. Probably didn't want to say for sure if it's not set in stone. But Starpower let me pre-order one for $999.99, so they seem somewhat sure that's going to be the price. If not, they get to eat the other $200, so either way I win. :)

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post #26 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 06:46 PM
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I wandered over late afternoon and the place was very busy, apparently a couple of basketball players were there doing autographs.

I had hoped they would have it hooked up to a Ruby, but it was on one of the 60" SXRD rear projection TVs.

Favorite bits of the demo disk:

1) The clip from Spiderman 2. This had the most stunning image quality. It definitely achieved the 'looking out a window' effect people talk about with HD. Plus the reds and blues of Spidey's costume were incredible vivid. The image truly looked like it had been shot with digital cameras rather than converted from film (I can't remember if Spiderman was shot with digital cameras like Star Wars or not.)

The other trailers just didn't have this 'snap'. Truthfully, they didn't look any better than Dishnetwork HBO HD on my 52" CRT rear projector at home.

2) I thought the split screen shots from Lawerence of Arabia were very cool. This was an ideal choice as it has these long slow pans so you could watch objects move from the dvd side to the blue-ray side. I wish they would have done more of this style of shot on a large variety of sources.

Bottom-line - I want one, although I may see what kind of internet prices are available before I pay list price at a B&M.

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post #27 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bferr1
That's disappointing news about the Sony not having built in DTHD and DTS-HD decoders. So far, no announced player is giving me everything that I want, BD or HD DVD. The Pioneer doesn't play CDs and have built in DTHD and DTS-HD decoders, the Sony also doesn't have built in decoders. The Toshibas have built in decoders but do not support 1080p, nor do they pillarbox 4:3 SD DVD content upconverted over HDMI. That leaves the Samsung, and I'm not really a fan.

Man, this sucks.
Welcome to 1st gen players. I agree with you that it is a little disappointing that we have gear that doesn't support the best of the specifications of the format, but it's not exactly unexpected. I expect 2nd generation gear will be better, especially with HDMI 1.3 outputs.

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post #28 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephShaw
I agree with you that it is a little disappointing that we have gear that doesn't support the best of the specifications of the format...

It's as if you have to base your player purchase decision as much on the features it doesn't have as on the ones it does.
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post #29 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 07:44 PM
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They better not be serving up open matted versions of these movies at retail. I think they'd find the reception less than spectacular.

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post #30 of 48 Old 03-04-2006, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bferr1
The Pioneer doesn't play CDs and have built in DTHD and DTS-HD decoders,
Sounds like you should get the Pioneer. If you want to listen to a CD on your home system, I'm sure you have SOMETHING that plays CDs under your bed your not using. Or keep what your using for CDs right now. Heck, I'd even keep your old DVD player just in case the Pioneer does not do as good a job with regular DVDs.

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