Sony has some explaining to do on Blu ray - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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When Evan Powell sees a problem, I am really worried, because this guy has been right on the money with his early calls in the last few years. I would call him a bellweather reviewer. I am fortunate to currently have no budget per se on audio/video equipment, but even I'm holding back dropping 1000 dollars untill Sony explains what is going on - maybe its fixable, but they need to get it done soon


http://www.projectorcentral.com/blu-...tialreport.htm

Initial Notes on Samsung's Blu-ray DVD Player
Evan Powell, June 23, 2006
ProjectorCentral.com

Sunday, June 25 is the official release date in the United States of the first Blu-ray DVD player to come to market, the Samsung BD-P1000. We intend to perform a comparative test with several projectors and Blu-ray discs over the coming weeks, and assess how this initial Blu-ray release stacks up against the HD-DVD offering. However, if you are thinking of purchasing the Samsung player on release, we can offer some preliminary observations. We have evaluated the BD-P1000 with three discs thus far, playing them on the Canon SX60 and the Optoma HD7100.


1. The House of Flying Daggers. This visually stunning film has suffered a poor transfer to Blu-ray HD format. The image is soft to the point of distraction, and borders on unwatchable when projected to 100" diagonal. However, it is blurry even when displayed on a 40" monitor.
2. The Fifth Element. The Blu-ray edition of this film is much sharper than The House of Flying Daggers, and is pleasant to watch. However, it is not a huge improvement over the already fine transfer of the Superbit standard definition DVD. On the HD7100, the BD version shows a subtle improvement in detail, but most wouldn't notice the difference except in a side by side comparison. On the Canon SX60, the advantage of the BD edition over the Superbit DVD is a bit more pronounced, but still not a revolutionary step forward.

3. Terminator. This disc is also decidedly sharper than The House of Flying Daggers. However it manifests some wide variance in quality from scene to scene. On occasion there are hints of it being more than a standard definition source, but in many scenes there is no discernable difference between this "high-definition" edition, and the video quality we see on many of the better standard definition DVD transfers.

Overall, our initial experience with the Samsung Blu-ray player and the initial Blu-ray discs leaves us underwhelmed. The image quality does not measure up to what we would expect from a high definition source, and it certainly falls short of the hype. Though there is an obvious difference in quality between the three Blu-ray discs we have on hand, even the best of them falls short of the video quality of our HD-DVDs. Some of this is attributable to the fact that these initial Blu-ray discs are encoded in MPEG2, whereas the HD-DVDs are in VC1. Nevertheless, given the high resolution format, we should simply be getting better pictures on screen than those we are seeing.

We cannot yet determine to what degree the limitations may be in the Blu-ray discs versus the player itself. In point of fact, the Samsung BD-P1000 player may turn out to be terrific with higher quality media. We will continue to evaluate this player and more BD releases in the days to come. Those thinking of stepping into the world of high definition DVD may wish to wait until more is known, and more Blu-ray players and higher quality Blu-ray discs have come onto the market.
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post #2 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:05 PM
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Excellent post. I dont think ive ever heard anything even resembling a negative thread on his site.
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post #3 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:15 PM
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The Sam Sung player apparently looks a lot better thru the component than HDMI. The Digital Bits site remarked that the difference was very noticeable. I also see that Sony's player is pushed back until October 25. Rumors say that Sony is holding off for the new HDMI v1.3 spec which was ratified today. Also rumors say that Sony is having a shortage of components as well as trying to push the PS3 as much as possible.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #4 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I even got my MONO 5 input HDMI switch all ready to go to add that Samsung Blu ray player to Switch 3 - along with Switch 1 one already added for COMCAST HD and my recently acquired TOSHIBA HD-DVD PLAYER now on Switch 2

I would have been a sure thing for Sony Blu-ray technology, even though I've repeatedly mentioned that TOSHIBA'S simpler and cheaper approach - seemed to hold great promise

I hope they got a fix available soon, because I want to buy the BOND hi def collection when its released
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post #5 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:21 PM
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Finally a reviewer that's not afraid to tell it like it is! More reviews like this will actually help Blu-Ray in that it will absolutely, positively, force Sony to make changes and make them as quickly as their technology allows. Of course we don't know the full extent of the problems within the Blu-Ray camp, but reviews that treat Sony with kid gloves will certainly not provide the necessary impetus to get these guys moving ASAP.
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post #6 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:52 PM
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Evan Powell's track record in my opinion is less than stellar. However, based on everything we are reading here, he seems to be jumping on the band wagon.
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post #7 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, it is true Evan Powell tends to call it as he sees it - and as an online reviewer he appears largely immune from the larger conventional wisdom or industry hype - which is very typical of the print audio/video media

For example back in the fall of 2004, seeing the technological improvements in 720p LCD, he made the early call on the low cost/high performance Panasonic AE700u Hi Def LCD front projector, at a time where the conventional wisdom still favored DLP technology. As many realize the AE700u and its followup model the AE900u - released a year later - have (by nearly all accounts) become the largest selling consumer HD projectors in the world
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post #8 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 09:00 PM
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double post ... sorry
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post #9 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusInMD
Evan Powell's track record in my opinion is less than stellar. However, based on everything we are reading here, he seems to be jumping on the band wagon.
Yeah, I remember the past/current reviews on other Tosh player (s)... LOL

Disks with like -10 dB audio problems (warner, was it???);
freezing;
remote fuxored;
HDMI non-sync;
audio-sync;
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post #10 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusInMD
Evan Powell's track record in my opinion is less than stellar. However, based on everything we are reading here, he seems to be jumping on the band wagon.
per wikipedia

"The bandwagon effect is the observation that people often do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. The effect is often pejoratively referred to as herd instinct, particularly as applied to adolescents. Without examining the merits of the particular thing, people tend to "follow the crowd."

The Blu ray hype itself was clearly the underlying "band wagon" here, as it was based not substance but rather on vaporware. Few could judge it because few could really see it. Now personally I believe Sony will be able to fix it, but to call reviews based upon THE MERITS like Evan Powell's jumping on the 'bandwagon" make little sense

The key threshold question w/b be can Blu-ray currently with the released movies at least equal D-VHS, Comcast HD, or HD-DVD. The answer so far is apparently not. This is not a particularly subjective assessment - as a real product (with real movies that people have paid real money for) - is now in the public domain

People pay 1000 dollars for a state of the art high definition player and buy lets say 100 dollars worth of HD movies, and the picture quality is sub-HD level? Something is wrong here and Sony and Samsung should put out a press release to explain what is going on - or recall the product.
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post #11 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:34 PM
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You know it's funny.....I read all this stuff about how poor the Samsung and Blu-Ray is yet when I go see it for myself, the picture is pretty good. So is HD-DVD.

But, you know what?

It's not as good as my HD OTA or my HD from D*, especially HDnet and the MPEG4 locals.

These two boxes don't excite me to want to run and buy them. :(
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post #12 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:39 PM
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Now if that is the case, then something is wrong with your setup. I just got done watching and comparing HD DVD and BD. BD is very unsatisfying but HD DVD, oh my, it is in a different class. Even Rumor Has It that is HD DVD-15, blows away both broadcast/cable HD and of course, BD.

Of course, I am watching on a Ruby at 1080 so maybe your display is limiting your viewing. Hard to say without coming over to your house :)

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post #13 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:45 PM
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I have totally stopped watching any HD content via satellite and I can't stand standard DVD's now all thanks to HD DVD.
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post #14 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Now if that is the case, the something is wrong with your setup. I just got done watching and comparing HD DVD and BD. BD is very unsatisfying but HD DVD, oh my, it is in a different class. Even Rumor Has It that is HD DVD-15, blows away both broadcast/cable HD and of course, BD.

Of course, I am watching on a Ruby at 1080 so maybe your display is limiting your viewing. Hard to say without coming over to your house :)
I don't have either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

My setup (very satisfying): Sony 34XBR800.....Directv H20 receiver.....AT9 5lnb dish....Winegard VHF/UHF rooftop antenna.

I'm comparing my home system's HD reception to the in store demo's of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray......they don't come close.

You are welcome to fly out to the East Coast :)
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post #15 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:49 PM
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Sorry, I thought you were had bought both :).

Store display of course are in a different class than a home projector....

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post #16 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Now if that is the case, the something is wrong with your setup. I just got done watching and comparing HD DVD and BD. BD is very unsatisfying but HD DVD, oh my, it is in a different class. Even Rumor Has It that is HD DVD-15, blows away both broadcast/cable HD and of course, BD.

Of course, I am watching on a Ruby at 1080 so maybe your display is limiting your viewing. Hard to say without coming over to your house :)
agree, its makes no sense
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post #17 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
Sorry, I thought you were had bought both :).

Store display of course are in a different class than a home projector....
Amir....what I don't understand is why I'm seeing what I would call noise....a pulsating.....movement.....really hard to describe.......almost like the signal isn't strong enough or something....could be called a flickering.....on the HD-DVD dsiplay at the BB store. I've been there twice and it still does it.

The Blu-Ray display next to it definitely had a softer picture, but was sharp.

That flickering......or undulating would drive me nuts.

As one customer said...."if you move back 5 to 10 feet...it goes away!"........UGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!

The box was outputting 1080i as far as I know.....they had lost the remote and I did not know to look at the display on the front of the player to check...however another AVS member had checked the day before and said it was 1080i.

Now I've been told that the flickering could be caused by the player being set to 720p.....this needs to be explained to me as I would think you would get a smoother picture if it's progressive and not interlaced.......or you should not be able to tell the difference.
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post #18 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:06 PM
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Lets be honest. Sony has nothing to explain. They'll just keep rolling along and spam endless advertising dollars behind Blu Ray.

If they can keep people waiting or drag them along until they get 50GB dics and/or use VC1, they'll sell them plenty and go back to claiming how their format has been superior all along.

It's really upto MS and Toshiba to bring HD DVD to the forefront. I haven't see any effort out of MS, understandable as they do not have hardware to promoted until the 360 add on drive arrives. Toshiba isn't any better at this point. You can only let your product to do the talking to a point. You still have to actively promote it, especially when in fierce competition. Now that they have the upper hand, it's time to press down and find a way to avoid scenarios like this:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=691699
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post #19 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cawgijoe
Amir....what I don't understand is why I'm seeing what I would call noise....a pulsating.....movement.....really hard to describe.......almost like the signal isn't strong enough or something....could be called a flickering.....on the HD-DVD dsiplay at the BB store. I've been there twice and it still does it.
Would it be too hard to think that if the others don't see it (like those who own it), maybe something is wrong with what you are seeing at BB?

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post #20 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cawgijoe
Amir....what I don't understand is why I'm seeing what I would call noise....a pulsating.....movement.....really hard to describe.......almost like the signal isn't strong enough or something....could be called a flickering.....on the HD-DVD dsiplay at the BB store. I've been there twice and it still does it.
Would it be too hard to acept that if the others don't see it (like those who own it and have high end displays), maybe something is wrong with what you are seeing at BB?

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post #21 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cawgijoe
Amir....what I don't understand is why I'm seeing what I would call noise....a pulsating.....movement.....really hard to describe.......almost like the signal isn't strong enough or something....could be called a flickering.....on the HD-DVD dsiplay at the BB store. I've been there twice and it still does it.
I am scratching my head and can't figure out what it could be. What display was this again?

Quote:
The Blu-Ray display next to it definitely had a softer picture, but was sharp.
Sometimes filtering high frequencies helps out with deficiencies in the display processing. I have yet to see a BD picture that comes close to resolving true 1080 resolution. The images just look soft. I suspect the Sony encoder pre-filters the video and ditches the end of the spectrum before encoding. And then does dynamic filtering on top of that. Nothing else explains why even static shots other than graphics look soft.

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post #22 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilka
Yeah, I remember the past/current reviews on other Tosh player (s)... LOL

Disks with like -10 dB audio problems (warner, was it???);
freezing;
remote fuxored;
HDMI non-sync;
audio-sync;
video stuttering;
etc.
So the way to answer the criticism of the current state of Blu-ray is to bring up old criticisms of HD-DVD? The only problem with that is that there are thousands of HD-DVD players that are evidently playing really good movie transfers flawlessly. This is a first generation HD-DVD, and first generation Blu-ray, but obviously Blu-ray is NOT NOW up to HD-DVD standards. Read the reviews of the Samsung and you get the feeling that the Sony and Pioneer just have to be better. The poor quality of the first BD movies is going to cause many of us to not buy the first titles knowing that better transfers will be coming. Sony doesn't even have a demo BD player that will even play the BD movies now. Even though I really hope Blu-ray is the dominant format in the future, there is no way I would buy the Samsung and current BD titles right now--except that I did buy Terminator from Amazon because it was such a good price. It will be a while before I can watch it.
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post #23 of 221 Old 06-23-2006, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D
I have totally stopped watching any HD content via satellite and I can't stand standard DVD's now all thanks to HD DVD.
QFT. HD-DVD is in another class entirely. Broadcast HD is worse than 480p DVDs on my XBR 960.

Broadcast HD is so bad, in fact,, that if I didn't own an Xbox 360, I never would've bought a new HDTV. It's just not worth the money.
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post #24 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cawgijoe
It's not as good as my HD OTA or my HD from D*, especially HDnet and the MPEG4 locals.
My guess from some of your other posts is that you are comparing video to film. They are really different beasts and film isn't supposed to look like video. I know people like great video, but when people really understand that film is supposed to have a certain look, when it has that look it is somewhat misleading to say, "It's not as good". I know to you it isn't as good and that is a personal opinion that you are entitled to, I just think we should be careful to differentiate film from video. Not exactly the same thing, but it is a little bit like saying that some red doesn't look as good as some blue, because you personally prefer blue.

Sorry if this isn't what you are seeing, but this film vs video thing is a common misconception.

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post #25 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 05:47 AM
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I've got approx. 100 HD captures from US broadcasts, by various networks and stations. While most of them look quite good on my 24-inch PC monitor, only a precious few look any good at all when viewed on a Sony Ruby and a 12-foot wide screen. All of them pale in comparison to, say, Chronicles of Riddick or Phantom of the Opera on HD DVD. IMHO, naturally.

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post #26 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2
My guess from some of your other posts is that you are comparing video to film.
Yup, mine too.

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post #27 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 06:21 AM
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My HD DVDs and D-THEATER titles definitely look better than my DirecTV HD broadcasts. Of course I am using a 120.5" screen. The differences may be less on a smaller screen or HDTV but for me I am more than satisfied. Now if BB would quit playing the HD DVD demo in the BD title section... :rolleyes:

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post #28 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm
I just got done watching and comparing HD DVD and BD. BD is very unsatisfying but HD DVD, oh my, it is in a different class. Even Rumor Has It that is HD DVD-15, blows away both broadcast/cable HD and of course, BD.
Are you really comparing _disk_formats_ or just encoding of some releases of some movies?
AFAIK both hd-dvd & brd uses exactly the same codecs, so the quality is all about bitrate and encoding (and of course the player's decoding and display's quality).
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post #29 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 06:37 AM
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What connections Evan used?
Where was scaling done (player, projector, external)?
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post #30 of 221 Old 06-24-2006, 08:05 AM
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How embarrassing! Another Sony player delay:
Sony's site is reporting a ship date "on or about October 25." (Really Christmas)

According to a Sony spokesperson, this is the first official(!) delay of the product. The spokesperson attributed the delay to an unspecified product software issue that the company's engineers "are working to resolve."

http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/002315.html

Guys accept that this is todays Sony. Another product delay announcement. In my opinion Sony's focus has shifted from technology to short term profitability. The quality and refinement necessary for excellent products is missing.
In in similar fashion, PS3 has been been delayed repeatedly too. All this expensive advertising without a product!
I guess I'm living long enough to have seen everything:)
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