Update from Pioneer on Blu-Ray Launch Day - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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On the Blu-ray debut day, I checked in with Chris Walker of Pioneer Electronics to see how they were feeling about the format launch and their latest plans for Pioneer's Blu-Ray player:

Why the Delay?
As reported, the delay of their player was to ensure it was operating as best it could. They wanted to make sure their debut player was as flawless as possible with playback, and all the features (which includes the Home Media connectivity). No new features are being added to the player (no HDMI 1.3, no onboard decoding of advanced codecs). Production is estimated to begin next week, with players being available mid September.

Thoughts on initial reports of video quality of Blu-Ray Movies

Pioneer believes there will be clear differences in video playback, between devices. They are using the Sigma Designs 8634 chip in their player, as will Sony. The Pioneer will support 480i over HDMI (for those wanting to use an outboard decoder for SD DVD), and will support 1080P@24,30,60.

When asked about whether MPEG2 and the space limitations with SL BD-Rom's was an issue contributing to the picture quality, he said he believed that it's not necessarily the issue, that there will be player differences in PQ with the same media, and when it's viewed you would be able to tell right away. I chalk the differences up to the Broadcom vs. Sigma Designs decoders being used.

Chris was actually watching Underworld with a Samsung BD Player and the Pioneer BD player hooked up to two Pioneer's Elite Pro SHD1 1080P display, and had them within one sec time sequenced. He indicated there was a clear difference in PQ, with the Pioneer BD appearing more detailed.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a firsthand view of this in the next week or so to report back for the forum. In the coming days there will be some press that will get a sneak peek at what the Pioneer Blu-Ray playback looks like compared to the competition.

Here is the update on initial comparison with the Samsung:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7903753



Why wait for the Pioneer?

They believe it is going to be a great BD Player as far as PQ is concerned, and has many added features, in particular the Home Media option. You will be able to stream 1080P content Mpeg2, VC-1 (Mpeg4) WMHVD over your network to the player as well as interact with downloadable media content online. It's more than just a BD-Rom playback device.


That's all for now, not a whole lot new to report, but if the PQ differences between BD players are as indicated, I think BD as a format may be closer in PQ to HD-DVD out of the gate then we all might think thus far.
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post #2 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haghighi
No new features are being added to the player (no HDMI 1.3, no onboard decoding).
Thanks for the update. This is disappointing news though. :(
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post #3 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:22 PM
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I hope its great for $1,500 list.
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post #4 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:23 PM
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I wonder if it looks 3 times better than the Toshiba HD-A1 as it is about 3 times as much.....

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post #5 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:25 PM
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The HD DVD players use the Broadcom decoder and don't have any problem producing the most pristine picture ever offered to HT.
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post #6 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:25 PM
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um, I doubt that Pioneer's new player will make a difference with a bad disc.
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post #7 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:26 PM
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Interesting stuff. However, surely MPEG2/BD 25 are compromising image quality to some degree (I wouldn't expect Pioneer or any other Blu-ray manufacturer to agree or state that naturally).

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post #8 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:29 PM
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(I was being sarcastic)

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post #9 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haghighi
Chris was actually watching Underworld with a Samsung BD Player and the Pioneer BD player hooked up to two Pioneer's Elite Pro SHD1 1080P display, and had them within one sec time sequenced. He indicated there was a clear difference in PQ, with the Pioneer BD appearing more detailed.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a firsthand view of this in the next week or so to report back for the forum.
I hope that you will get to see both players set to 1080i over HDMI, as well as 1080p going into the same input on a display. If there is a difference between the players when set to 1080i over HDMI with 1080p24 stored content, I would be interested to know where it is. Especially if both are sending out 4:2:2 or both are sending out 4:4:4. Just doesn't seem like that is very difficult.

Somewhat like (but not exactly) with people claiming differences with HDMI cables, I would prefer to have them explained (and not with technical jargon that isn't true) and/or proven. In this case it is possible that the Faroudja chip in the Samsung is doing something weird with 1080p output, but if so I would like to see proof of that also.

Also, can't this one play transport streams from an internal hard drive (not just over the network). That is one feature I would like (and hope it works pretty much glitch free).

--Darin

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post #10 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:33 PM
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Did anyone really expect him to say anything like "our player costs 500 bucks more, but doesn't have a better picture than the Samsung"??

THREE times the price to get a picture (supposedly) closer to HDDVD doesn't sound convincing.
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post #11 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
THREE times the price to get a picture (supposedly) closer to HDDVD doesn't sound convincing.
But it only needs to be 50% better than the Samsung to be worth it :), and the bar is set lower.
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post #12 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:44 PM
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John,
Thanks for the post.

I'm beginning to have a hard time with those that always point to pricing differences. Enough already! If you don't want to pay that much for a player, or can't afford to pay that much for a player, fine, don't buy it! Are there not different prices for SD DVD players? Receivers? Projectors? Televisions? VP's? Speakers? Did you expect all of these players to have the exact same build quality, chipsets, rez options, support, etc. and same price?

Each manufacturer will include their own features, etc. Its up to each of us to decide what works best FOR US, and what we are willing to spend for it.

Jim
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post #13 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:47 PM
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What is Pioneer going to say? Our player will look just as bad but you should buy it for $1,500 anyway?
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post #14 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
I'm beginning to have a hard time with those that always point to pricing differences. Enough already! If you don't want to pay that much for a player, or can't afford to pay that much for a player, fine, don't buy it!
Many people here don't mind paying more for a player if they can see what they are getting. Most people are pointing out not just the pricing difference, but that you seem to be getting less for your money.
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post #15 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub
Most people are pointing out not just the pricing difference, but that you seem to be getting less for your money.
This Pioneer looks unique with its option for playing transport stream stuff and that alone could sell it even if it wasn't a BluRay player. I just hope it works well (like doesn't pause between transport stream files for things that are saved in multiple files).

--Darin

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post #16 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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The Sigma Designs chip, huh?

Production starts next week, huh?

I guess they got it to work.
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post #17 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:56 PM
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John,

Can you check with Chris on one item which is of great importance to MANY of us here (Qualia owners).

Will the player output 1080p24sf (segmented frame). I was told many, many months ago that it would, but I would like additional confirmation. In other words, with 1080p @24, 30 and 60 what is the format of the output?

Thanks

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post #18 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub
Many people here don't mind paying more for a player if they can see what they are getting. Most people are pointing out not just the pricing difference, but that you seem to be getting less for your money.
I just think its a little unrealistic to think that twice the price (or three times the price) means you should expect twice (or three times) the PQ. There are other factors involved in pricing.

Jim
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post #19 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub
Many people here don't mind paying more for a player if they can see what they are getting. Most people are pointing out not just the pricing difference, but that you seem to be getting less for your money.
The key word is "if they can see a difference." Obviously, this can't be the contention with price posts, as no one has seen the Pioneer unit in action.

I see these kind of posts on the SD forums all the time. If price was the only factor in all purchases, then we will be using Coby and Cyberhome branded DVD players. However, there are plenty of people who are purchasing 200~4000 dollar DVD players, because, they see the value in what they are purchasing.

Should everyone discount it because it is 3x more expensive than the Toshiba? No. Should everyone buy the Pioneer? No. Buy into what fits your needs.
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post #20 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:13 PM
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What a bunch of Pioneer pr baloney. Yeah, the Pioneer won't have mpeg artifacts on lower bitrate disks. Whatever....

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD supporter.
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post #21 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:13 PM
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I hope it does look great, I really do. And Pioneer has a great track record. But I would still take what he said with a grain of salt.
He's not going to say "well, our unit costs more, but it's justified because the picture is on par with the cheaper units".
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post #22 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:20 PM
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Crapola...they have to make consumers believe the PQ will be better on their players.
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post #23 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D
The HD DVD players use the Broadcom decoder and don't have any problem producing the most pristine picture ever offered to HT.
Agreed, the content is also from different studios, with who knows what kind of masters, using VC-1 as the codec. However, I personally don't think MPEG2 is the problem, given the space (50GB), technically there should be no difference with the same content. Sony themselves have said they can do more with DL BD, so we'll have to wait and see.

Given that the Toshiba is using the same chipset as Samsung, I'd be curious to know how the Samsung is outputting 1080P? I thought the Broadcom decoder was capable of 1080i only? If this is correct, then the Samsung must be doing something else internally to get 1080P output. Can someone shed some light on this?

As far as price is concerned, it is what it is. The Elite line has always been priced higher than Pioneer's standard line, so the price point is not surprising. Everyone can make their own minds up about value/price and feature set, Blu-Ray/HD DVD, etc...

As far as the performance is concerned with the Pioneer Player, when someone actually sees a live demo is reported we'll have more to comment.

I'll see what I can find out about 1080p 24sf.

I have Terminator and House of Flying Daggers queued up on the Samsung, so hopefully I'll get to see the perceived PQ issues everyone seems to be pointing to is all about (after the game!).
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post #24 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haghighi
Agreed, the content is also from different studios, with who knows what kind of masters, using VC-1 as the codec. However, I personally don't think MPEG2 is the problem, given the space (50GB), technically there should be no difference with the same content. Sony themselves have said they can do more with DL BD, so we'll have to wait and see.

Given that the Toshiba is using the same chipset as Samsung, I'd be curious to know how the Samsung is outputting 1080P? I thought the Broadcom decoder was capable of 1080i only? If this is correct, then the Samsung must be doing something else internally to get 1080P output. Can someone shed some light on this?

As far as price is concerned, it is what it is. The Elite line has always been priced higher than Pioneer's standard line, so the price point is not surprising. Everyone can make their own minds up about value/price and feature set, Blu-Ray/HD DVD, etc...

As far as the performance is concerned with the Pioneer Player, when someone actually sees a live demo is reported we'll have more to comment.

I'll see what I can find out about 1080p 24sf.

I have Terminator and House of Flying Daggers queued up on the Samsung, so hopefully I'll get to see the perceived PQ issues everyone seems to be pointing to is all about (after the game!).
Please do come back and give us your thoughts on the PQ.
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post #25 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 10:06 PM
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$1500 or $500, these devices will still be playing 25 gb disc 90% of the time.
dual layer discs, when they actually get here, will be considerably more expensive and as a result very rarely used.
Why should they be when Sony actually gets around to using a state of the art codec?

can 25 gb discs provide an aural/visual experience comparable to HD DVD?
Certainly, with the use of more efficent and more advanced codecs-
There are HD DVDs out now that are 10 gb LESS than than any of the Bd titles, and they SMOKE them in regards to PQ- so it is certainly do-able.

But the bottom line is, when Sony eventually gets its **** together and is outputting quality discs consistently- If so many people hadn't bought into their hype and recognized that studio and CE support wasn't for our benefit, then we could have had higher capacity discs, better quality presentations, and lower prices consistently and far earlier- and greater studio and CE support would have followed eventually.


I still have my Pioneer LD player that I bought in 1990 and it still operates just as it did then. Pioneer is no doubt going to create a great player when it comes to market.
The problem is it is for the smoke and mirrors format.

Blu-ray: Pay more, wait longer, get less-The Future Is Right Around The Corner!
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post #26 of 197 Old 06-20-2006, 11:49 PM
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What this dude is saying is that everyone early adopter that bought the Samsung is going to have a ****** picture for the life of the device since it's not the disk's fault, but the player's?

Nice one. I could believe the Pio haveing a better PQ then PS3, but I can't believe he's dissing a thousand dollar machine.
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post #27 of 197 Old 06-21-2006, 12:44 AM
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by any chance is the pionner company going to release a 2500 dollar super elite player?
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post #28 of 197 Old 06-21-2006, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
John,
Thanks for the post.

I'm beginning to have a hard time with those that always point to pricing differences. Enough already! If you don't want to pay that much for a player, or can't afford to pay that much for a player, fine, don't buy it! Are there not different prices for SD DVD players? Receivers? Projectors? Televisions? VP's? Speakers? Did you expect all of these players to have the exact same build quality, chipsets, rez options, support, etc. and same price?

Each manufacturer will include their own features, etc. Its up to each of us to decide what works best FOR US, and what we are willing to spend for it.

Jim
I know damn sure my sony 60SXRD tv is way better than the walmart tvs I see thats for sure I paid 3800 for it and it outperforms any tv there I seen they had so for damn sure this pioneer for 1500 if I Plan to buy it better have better PQ, sound, etc...and features I want. Price means a lot of things.......
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post #29 of 197 Old 06-21-2006, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocktheglide
I know damn sure my sony 60SXRD tv is way better than the walmart tvs I see thats for sure I paid 3800 for it and it outperforms any tv there I seen they had so for damn sure this pioneer for 1500 if I Plan to buy it better have better PQ, sound, etc...and features I want. Price means a lot of things.......

Agreed. We each have our own expectations. :)

Jim
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post #30 of 197 Old 06-21-2006, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
I just think its a little unrealistic to think that twice the price (or three times the price) means you should expect twice (or three times) the PQ. There are other factors involved in pricing.

Jim
Like Thoshiba producing what looks like a more expensive player and loosing money for everyone it sells? :-)

Love!
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