Update from Pioneer on Blu-Ray Launch Day - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 197 Old 06-26-2006, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Penton-Man
From da bits………………….

<snip>

To test something that I suspected might be the case based on my experiences with the Samsung player, we next connected the BD-P1000 to the display via the component output, and selected 1080i resolution. As I suspected, and to Chris' surprise, all of the problems with the video signal just disappeared. Suddenly, the video being displayed by the Samsung was MUCH closer in quality to the 1080p HDMI output of the Pioneer. Colors and contrast were VERY close to identical - colors just popped off the screen - and fine image detail was significantly improved on the Samsung side (although still not quite as good as the Pioneer - the difference was about what you would reasonably expect between analog component and digital HDMI connection, along with an interlaced image versus progressive scan). The upshot is, if you own a Samsung BD-P1000 and you want to experience the best possible image quality - quality that closely approaches the full potential of the video signal encoded on the disc - you NEED to be viewing via the component output. Now, that's troubling given that protected digital HDMI is what everyone in the industry is encouraging people to use. Yes... the Samsung is capable of delivering full-resolution 1080i video to your display via component. Like all Blu-ray and HD-DVD players, the player must be able to read the Image Constraint Token flag on the software if the studios choose to turn it on (and thus disallow full-resolution analog playback). However, the good news so far is that neither Sony or Lionsgate has chosen to exercise this option yet (for that matter, neither have any of the HD-DVD supporting studios either).

<snip>

Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
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Well this makes sense to me. When I initially got the Samsung player, I was forced to use the component output because the 74TXvi would not pass 1080i. I did not notice the dramatic differences in PQ with HD DVD folks had been reporting.

Since I had my 74txvi's HDMI firmware updated last Friday, which allows me to pass 1080i through HDMI, I have been using the HDMI output on the Samsung. I would agree with Bill's assesment, that the component output looks much better on the Samsung.
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post #92 of 197 Old 06-26-2006, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Penton-Man
From da bits………………….

Okay... hope you guys all had a great weekend. Hot as blazes here in The OC, but that seems to be the trend everywhere these days.

I wanted to check in this afternoon with a bit of an update on Blu-ray Disc. As I reported on Friday, I was having troubles with the HDMI output on the Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player. Actually, I was having three separate issues. The first was what I consider to be subpar picture quality on several of the first Blu-ray Disc releases. The second was a problem with the HDMI output feeding video to my Panasonic projector properly at 1080i resolution. The final issue, is what I consider to be a problem with the BD-P1000's HDMI output video quality in general. All of these were rather vexing.

Fortunately, on Friday afternoon, I was able to spend a couple hours at Pioneer Electronics with Chris Walker, the company's Manager of New Technology. He invited me to bring my Samsung player and a few of the first Sony and Lionsgate discs over to their offices here in The OC, to take a closer look at some of the quality issues. Pioneer is understandably concerned that people don't judge the quality potential of the Blu-ray Disc format by just a single player and the first few discs, and I was happy to have a chance to compare the performance of the Samsung Blu-ray player to Pioneer's yet-to-be-released Elite BDP-HD1.

We began by connecting both the BD-P1000 and the Elite BDP-HD1 to a pair of side-by-side, matching 50-inch plasma displays - Pioneer's new Pro-FHD1 Elite plasma, that's fully 1080p compatible. We connected the players to the monitors first via HDMI, selected full 1080p resolution (which both the Samsung and the Pioneer are capable of delivering), and used an identical test disc in each player to play back MPEG-2 encoded footage of Disney's Chicken Little (we photographed a nearly identical setup playing the same disc at CES in January). I had told Chris that my first impression of the Samsung player was that the video image lacked some of the detail I had expected to see, and that it wasn't fully delivering all of the color and contrast information encoded on the disc either. Sure enough, that was the first thing we both noticed. Colors and contrast (particularly color) from the BD-P1000 just seemed more subdued compared to the same image delivered by the BDP-HD1, and some of the fine detail in the image was also missing. The difference was rather dramatic. It's almost as if some kind of high-frequency filter is being applied, or as if the Samsung player is doing some kind of extra signal conversion before it sends the signal out via the HDMI connection. It's not the connection itself, because as Chris confirmed, both players use the same HDMI hardware and chipset. So it has to do with the way the Samsung player is processing the signal. By the way, to confirm that what we were seeing was really an issue with the Samsung player, and not the plasma displays, we swapped the displays connected to each player and sure enough, the video quality issues migrated to the new display.

To test something that I suspected might be the case based on my experiences with the Samsung player, we next connected the BD-P1000 to the display via the component output, and selected 1080i resolution. As I suspected, and to Chris' surprise, all of the problems with the video signal just disappeared. Suddenly, the video being displayed by the Samsung was MUCH closer in quality to the 1080p HDMI output of the Pioneer. Colors and contrast were VERY close to identical - colors just popped off the screen - and fine image detail was significantly improved on the Samsung side (although still not quite as good as the Pioneer - the difference was about what you would reasonably expect between analog component and digital HDMI connection, along with an interlaced image versus progressive scan). The upshot is, if you own a Samsung BD-P1000 and you want to experience the best possible image quality - quality that closely approaches the full potential of the video signal encoded on the disc - you NEED to be viewing via the component output. Now, that's troubling given that protected digital HDMI is what everyone in the industry is encouraging people to use. Yes... the Samsung is capable of delivering full-resolution 1080i video to your display via component. Like all Blu-ray and HD-DVD players, the player must be able to read the Image Constraint Token flag on the software if the studios choose to turn it on (and thus disallow full-resolution analog playback). However, the good news so far is that neither Sony or Lionsgate has chosen to exercise this option yet (for that matter, neither have any of the HD-DVD supporting studios either).

By the way, the scaling problem I was having between the Samsung and my Panasonic LCD projector via HDMI at 1080i resolution wasn't happening with the Pioneer plasma. It also isn't happening at any resolution via the component outputs, so it's definitely something endemic to the way the Samsung and my projector handshake via the HDMI connection. I'm hearing a few reports from other Panasonic projector owners who are having the same problem, so it's not just confined to my specific model of projector.

While we were conducting our tests, Pioneer's Senior Vice President Andy Parsons joined us for while. We continued sampling various Blu-ray Disc titles from Sony and Lionsgate, along with some other film demo material, including one clip that was encoded in VC1 format. Those of you who are interested in how Blu-ray displays VC1 material will be pleased to know that it looks absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, I can't talk about the specific clips we saw, but it wouldn't be fair to compare Blu-ray's VC1 quality to that of HD-DVD at this point anyway, especially not from a single short clip. I will tell you, however, that one specific piece of test footage we looked at (in MPEG-2) was hands-down the single most stunning high-def video I've ever seen. I've seen a lot of HD video in my day, but NOTHING this good in terms of detail, color, contrast and lack of compression artifacting. I have no doubt that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc are capable of delivering video quality of this level eventually, but I'm betting full-length movie discs this good won't start hitting store shelves until mid-to-late next year... when the authoring and compression folks have had enough time to really hone their wizardry with these formats. The same was also true in the early days of DVD, of course, and compression quality has only gotten better since 1997. I suspect the same will be true with HD. Suffice it to say that when the average video DOES get that good on HD-DVD and Blu-ray, there's going to be something said for the argument that once you experience that kind of HD quality, it's hard to go back to regular DVD.

Anyway, I left Pioneer feeling a LOT more confident about what I was seeing from the Samsung player. I know now that the picture quality the player delivers via HDMI is significantly inferior to that of its component output, and I know that Samsung's 1080i component output comes very close to delivering the full image quality encoded on the discs. I also have a better handle on the software quality issues - what's related to disc compression or to transfer issues. As a result of this, I've begun to evaluate the first wave of Blu-ray titles with all this in mind. I'm also going to compare the Toshiba's HD-A1 player's HDMI output with its component quality, and begin seriously reviewing the first several waves of HD-DVD titles with a more confident eye as well. Chalk it all up to the kinds of critical re-training you need to do with any new video format. C'est la vie in this industry in the 21st Century!

Rest assured, however, we'll check back tomorrow with a full update of all the latest standard DVD release news, and we've got a number of standard DVD reviews on the way as well. Also, we've got a big (and long overdue, we know) update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section nearly ready, and Todd checks back in with a new Doogan's Views column this week as well. So stay tuned...!

Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com
I saw the same Chicken Little clip on the Pioneer player at Definitive Audio's home theater experience last week, shown on the new Pioneer 1080p plasma. I wonder if Ken noticed the horrible banding in the sky in that clip.

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post #93 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango22
Crapola...they have to make consumers believe the PQ will be better on their players.
Ok everyone,

I am going to go out on a limb here. To all the people that assume I am just giving lip service regarding the PQ of the Pioneer Player, I want to offer the following.

I am willing to invite someone from the LA area to come to our office and personally see the player in action with the competition. I will also give a demonstration of the Home Media Gallery functions (On both the BD player and our new Plasma Displays).

I will make this happen. Just tell me who the person should be....


Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
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post #94 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 02:04 AM
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post #95 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jocktheglide
by any chance is the pionner company going to release a 2500 dollar super elite player?
That, or more, wouldn't surprise me. I was once the owner of a Pioneer LD-S2 laserdisc player, for which I paid the full retail price of $3,500!
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post #96 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 07:54 AM
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Chris Walker,

Can we finally get a definitive answer to the 24 fps output question? Will the player offer 1080p23.98 and/or 1080p23.98sf output? If yes, is this output controlled by EDID only or is there a manual override?
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post #97 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:10 AM
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I nominate rdjam
LOL. :)
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post #98 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Moreau
That, or more, wouldn't surprise me. I was once the owner of a Pioneer LD-S2 laserdisc player, for which I paid the full retail price of $3,500!
I still own - and use the LD-S2. Yep $3,500. was a bit pricy back in 1990!
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post #99 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mpalmieri1203
I wonder if it looks 3 times better than the Toshiba HD-A1 as it is about 3 times as much.....
LOL.

You really have to wonder about these companies.

Missing features galore

Bloated price

"Better PQ" as if they manufactured the decoding chips or anything ROTF

Substandard release software (with crummy MPEG-2 on only 25GB discs)

yet they come here, market themselves and post a rosy picture like potential customers are frikin idiots. HAND US $1500 NOW!!!!!!!

Sorry, i have a couple of pioneer laserdisc players and a cheapie DVD player but the chance of buying anything from Pioneer that doesn't say "combo HD-DVD/Bluray compatibility" is just north of zero.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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[quote=Penton-Man]From da bits………………….


Fortunately, on Friday afternoon, I was able to spend a couple hours at Pioneer Electronics with Chris Walker, the company's Manager of New Technology. He invited me to bring my Samsung player and a few of the first Sony and Lionsgate discs over to their offices here in The OC
To all you O.C.’ers the Pioneer retail store (may also have prototypes to play with ?) opens its doors Aug.1 at South Coast Plaza.

So, pack up yer boards between slow sets and head over for a look-see. You may even be able to pull off a Pio purchase as Saks is close by for your significant other to treat herself.

“Well, you got yourself something nice honey, so I just figured……………â€

Too thebland,
Check zis out…………………..
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7892110
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post #101 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Ok everyone,
I will make this happen. Just tell me who the person should be....


Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
Glimmie, or the guy known as “gravy†– NOT the dude that butted in front of me back in the day at the Pio laser disc blow-out sale…………………………..

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7882652
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post #102 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:57 AM
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I just wanted to thank Chris Walker for this great opportunity for someone to personally come and see the unit against the comp. Unfortuantly I am not anywhere close enough, and please don't pay attention to the people that show no appreciation for you generous offer. Come on guys, this is a golden oppurtunity for someone and they need to take it seriously. You sure don;t see Sony or Toshiba other then Amir coming on here and making offers like this. >;)
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post #103 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 09:05 AM
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I too would like to attend but afraid that Chicago is too far to travel...

However, I would also like to know about the 1080p24sf output capabilities. Is this supported in this player. Seems like this is a very significant issue for many people.

Thanks

"Read Less, More TV." - Dr. Gregory House

"That which can not be questioned, can not be trusted." - Me

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post #104 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penton-Man
From da bits………………….
I had told Chris that my first impression of the Samsung player was that the video image lacked some of the detail I had expected to see, and that it wasn't fully delivering all of the color and contrast information encoded on the disc either. Sure enough, that was the first thing we both noticed. Colors and contrast (particularly color) from the BD-P1000 just seemed more subdued compared to the same image delivered by the BDP-HD1, and some of the fine detail in the image was also missing. The difference was rather dramatic. It's almost as if some kind of high-frequency filter is being applied, or as if the Samsung player is doing some kind of extra signal conversion before it sends the signal out via the HDMI connection.
DNIE maybe? :D
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post #105 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Ok everyone,

I am going to go out on a limb here. To all the people that assume I am just giving lip service regarding the PQ of the Pioneer Player, I want to offer the following.

I am willing to invite someone from the LA area to come to our office and personally see the player in action with the competition. I will also give a demonstration of the Home Media Gallery functions (On both the BD player and our new Plasma Displays).

I will make this happen. Just tell me who the person should be....


Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
Chris

Thank you for posting

I apologize on behalf of AVS for some of the comments:

AVS appreciates your participation

Mark

please take the high road in every post
if you see a problematic post, please do not quote it or respond to it: report it to the mods to handle
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post #106 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 03:07 PM
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What the heck, if nobody else stands up and "glimmie" or "gravy" decline..... or not available,

I'll step up to the plate.
Chris, I would consider it an honor to attend.

B.T.W. - Isn't at least one of the mods from the L.A. area ?
Also, FilmMixer is in the area and might be interested if you can tear him away from that CAS award.
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post #107 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Ok everyone,

I am going to go out on a limb here. To all the people that assume I am just giving lip service regarding the PQ of the Pioneer Player, I want to offer the following.

I am willing to invite someone from the LA area to come to our office and personally see the player in action with the competition. I will also give a demonstration of the Home Media Gallery functions (On both the BD player and our new Plasma Displays).

I will make this happen. Just tell me who the person should be....


Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
Jeff (the bland) Art or Darin. Either of these fine gents would give a great synopsis without bias.

John McAdams
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post #108 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 03:31 PM
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Very fine choices above.

But are they local ?
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post #109 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Penton-Man
Very fine choices above.

But are they local ?
the bland lives in Detroit, but may travel.

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post #110 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ArmyEagle
I disagree. The BD demo at Sony Styles at Tyson's Corner was superior to the Apollo 13 HD-DVD at Best Buy. Granted, they were on two different types of displays, but the difference was quite striking.

Needless to say a demo clip is no indicator of what an entire film will look like. Sony put 20 minutes on a 25 GB disk. We're supposed to be impressed. Sure.
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post #111 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Ok everyone,

I am going to go out on a limb here. To all the people that assume I am just giving lip service regarding the PQ of the Pioneer Player, I want to offer the following.

I am willing to invite someone from the LA area to come to our office and personally see the player in action with the competition. I will also give a demonstration of the Home Media Gallery functions (On both the BD player and our new Plasma Displays).

I will make this happen. Just tell me who the person should be....


Chris Walker
Pioneer Electronics
Will this be a regular BD movie or a souped up demo at extremely high bit rates!

I've seen an impressive 20 minute demo put on a 25 GB disk already.
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post #112 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by chinch
LOL.

You really have to wonder about these companies.

Missing features galore

Bloated price

"Better PQ" as if they manufactured the decoding chips or anything ROTF

Substandard release software (with crummy MPEG-2 on only 25GB discs)

yet they come here, market themselves and post a rosy picture like potential customers are frikin idiots. HAND US $1500 NOW!!!!!!!

Sorry, i have a couple of pioneer laserdisc players and a cheapie DVD player but the chance of buying anything from Pioneer that doesn't say "combo HD-DVD/Bluray compatibility" is just north of zero.

Look, the BD/HD-DVD war is fine and dandy. And HD-DVD fans should get their jabs in while they have the chance, IMO. But, blanket statements shouldn't be made, such as:

Substandard release software (with crummy MPEG-2 on only 25GB discs)

Do you think that D-Theater was crummy? (Apart that it was a magnetic tape-based technology)

Also, while I'm not advocating the price of the Pioneer, it does offer a lot more than the Sammy and the Toshiba do (especially the network media streaming, which is very cool IMO).

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #113 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kjack
Even using the same model of TV to compare two players doesn't really cut it unless both are accurately calibrated to match. Even then, you can't use the analog signals to drive the TVs due to player-player output level variations.
Keith,

Are you saying the exact same players have individual variation in regards to quality of analog output?

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post #114 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by taz291819
Look, the BD/HD-DVD war is fine and dandy. And HD-DVD fans should get their jabs in while they have the chance, IMO. But, blanket statements shouldn't be made, such as:

Substandard release software (with crummy MPEG-2 on only 25GB discs)

Do you think that D-Theater was crummy? (Apart that it was a magnetic tape-based technology)

Also, while I'm not advocating the price of the Pioneer, it does offer a lot more than the Sammy and the Toshiba do (especially the network media streaming, which is very cool IMO).
I am assuming you have seen the Pioneer product in action someplace. So far I've seen the Samsung and Sony BD players only. Any place where we can see a Pioneer demo? This looks like an interesting product. In fact if this turns out to be a good player I feel this would be the way to go. It's better to get a world class player for $1,500 than a below par one at $1,000. Especially if the current PQ issues are player related. I'll be surprised if Samsung will get any significant BD player market share going forward. The upcoming BD hardware line-up looks to be very strong...
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post #115 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by taz291819
Also, while I'm not advocating the price of the Pioneer, it does offer a lot more than the Sammy and the Toshiba do (especially the network media streaming, which is very cool IMO).

I am curious about the network media streaming. It must be worth another $500.00 over the Sammy? I have found that these items are gadgets, similar to the 45 surround sound effects on many Recievers, which are never used after initially playing with them.

Won't the Toshiba units do a similar thing? It has interactive-internet capability with a couple of USB ports for controllers and such.

My Home Theater Site:

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post #116 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 07:15 PM
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When and if this meeting happens can we have a separate thread that could be stickied?

It's the job of the salesman to give honest and accurate product info and let the customer decide if it fits their needs.
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post #117 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by taz291819
Substandard release software (with crummy MPEG-2 on only 25GB discs)

Do you think that D-Theater was crummy? (Apart that it was a magnetic tape-based technology)
D-theatre held more than 25 GB, didn't spend 5GB on a lossless soundtrack (when space is a premium) and i believe had a higher bitrate.

apples vs oranges.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #118 of 197 Old 06-27-2006, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am available on Friday, anyone else in the Los Angeles area?
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post #119 of 197 Old 06-28-2006, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinch
D-theatre held more than 25 GB, didn't spend 5GB on a lossless soundtrack (when space is a premium) and i believe had a higher bitrate.

apples vs oranges.

I was meaning about MPEG2 being crummy. That was a blanket statement.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #120 of 197 Old 06-28-2006, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullgates
When and if this meeting happens can we have a separate thread that could be stickied?
And can whoever does go to this meeting bring along a Samsung player, so that the tests Bill Hunt conducted be duplicated?
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