First, Quick Impression - BR Surprisingly good! - AVS Forum
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I have the Toshiba HD -DVD with several titles, and picked up a Samsung BluRay player today at Best Buy in West Nyack NY (at first the manager wouldn't sell it to me, but after taking my phone number for a hold request, he called me back and said he spoke with HIS manager, who ok'd the sale). I also picked up The Fifth Element, The Terminator, and Underworld titles.

I hooked the unit up to my JVC 70 D-ILA via HDMI, and turned it on. Some initial, brief impressions after 15 minutes of playing and viewing:

- Startup time seemed decent (I'll time it later, and I sensed the Samsung logo came on in about 10 seconds)
- Movie load time seemed around 20 seconds (again, will time it later)
- Remote is not great, but better than the Toshiba.
- Annoying hourglass between some screens - is this running Windows 98? :-)

Now here is the interesting thing, especially after reading all the negative posts about Blue Ray experiences:

I don't know what everyone is complaining about.

The Fifth Element is *FAR* better than at least three of my HD-DVD titles - Full Metal Jacket, The Fugitive, and Firewall - *FAR* better. There was great clarity and sharpness, rich colors, and excellent highlight and shadow detail. Its on par with most of my other titles, and a shade under Serenity in terms of overall PQ. I have, but have not yet watched, Training Day and Swordfish - when I do, I will post subjective comparison with those titles, which I've read are among the best.

The only slight compression artifact I saw was when the camera pans down from space, through the gradation of the atmosphere, to the desert in the opening sequence - subtle banding in the gradation of the atmosphere.

Now, these comments afre only after 15 minutes of viewing, and only one title. so are subject to chage. But I really was loathe to buy the unit after reading what was being said here for the past several days - I finally did it knowing i could return without a restocking fee. At this stage, I am very happy I did.

I'm thinking of taking some still shots of the screen and posting sometime this weekend, though I know this is not the same as seeing the motion of the video...

So, as an unbiased owner with both systems and with no vested interest in the success of either, I can say the early results of my initial in-home experience with BluRay is much better than I anticipated. To be frank, after about five minutes, I said out loud to myself "These people are crazy..." when thinking about the negative posts here that almost made me NOT buy it. (I don't say that to denigrate or flame, but rather to indicate how incredulous I was as to the disparity between what I read and what I was seeing)

BTW, I thought there was supposed to be a demo disc in the box - there wasn't. Also, isn't there a promotion for four free titles with the purchase of the Samsung player? BB wasn't aware (maybe it's in the paperwork with the manual - didn't open that bag yet)

Greg
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang
I have the Toshiba HD -DVD with several titles, and picked up a Samsung BluRay player today at Best Buy in West Nyack NY (at first the manager wouldn't sell it to me, but after taking my phone number for a hold request, he called me back and said he spoke with HIS manager, who ok'd the sale). I also picked up The Fifth Element, The Terminator, and Underworld titles.

I hooked the unit up to my JVC 70 D-ILA via HDMI, and turned it on. Some initial, brief impressions after 15 minutes of playing and viewing:

- Startup time seemed decent (I'll time it later, and I sensed the Samsung logo came on in about 10 seconds)
- Movie load time seemed around 20 seconds (again, will time it later)
- Remote is not great, but better than the Toshiba.
- Annoying hourglass between some screens - is this running Windows 98? :-)

Now here is the interesting thing, especially after reading all the negative posts about Blue Ray experiences:

I don't know what everyone is complaining about.

The Fifth Element is *FAR* better than at least three of my HD-DVD titles - Full Metal Jacket, The Fugitive, and Firewall - *FAR* better. There was great clarity and sharpness, rich colors, and excellent highlight and shadow detail. Its on par with most of my other titles, and a shade under Serenity in terms of overall PQ. I have, but have not yet watched, Training Day and Swordfish - when I do, I will post subjective comparison with those titles, which I've read are among the best.

The only slight compression artifact I saw was when the camera pans down from space, through the gradation of the atmosphere, to the desert in the opening sequence - subtle banding in the gradation of the atmosphere.

Now, these comments afre only after 15 minutes of viewing, and only one title. so are subject to chage. But I really was loathe to buy the unit after reading what was being said here for the past several days - I finally did it knowing i could return without a restocking fee. At this stage, I am very happy I did.

I'm thinking of taking some still shots of the screen and posting sometime this weekend, though I know this is not the same as seeing the motion of the video...

So, as an unbiased owner with both systems and with no vested interest in the success of either, I can say the early results of my initial in-home experience with BluRay is much better than I anticipated. To be frank, after about five minutes, I said out loud to myself "These people are crazy..." when thinking about the negative posts here that almost made me NOT buy it. (I don't say that to denigrate or flame, but rather to indicate how incredulous I was as to the disparity between what I read and what I was seeing)

BTW, I thought there was supposed to be a demo disc in the box - there wasn't. Also, isn't there a promotion for four free titles with the purchase of the Samsung player? BB wasn't aware (maybe it's in the paperwork with the manual - didn't open that bag yet)

Greg
Well when every single reviewer and most people in here all say that 5th Element is poor.. it's because it is.. sometime it can be 60% 40%.. etc etc. but we are close to 90% here.. I don't have a BR player but fugitive and FMT are one : bobbed from 1080i source to 1920x540 and rescale to 1920x1080 so they are basically 1920x540 title and are way older than 5th Element.

89+ Blu-ray Disc ;)
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoohki
Well when every single reviewer and most people in here all say that 5th Element is poor.. it's because it is.. sometime it can be 60% 40%.. etc etc. but we are close to 90% here.. I don't have a BR player but fugitive and FMT are one : bobbed from 1080i source to 1920x540 and rescale to 1920x1080 so they are basically 1920x540 title and are way older than 5th Element.
Precisely my curiosity as to why my experience is so different (referring to your comment about overwhelming negative feedback). People are making it sound like TFE is not much better than upconverted SD - that is absolutely untrue based on what I've seen. I have a number of HD sets (a Sharp 45 1080P LCD, a Panasonic Onyx 50 Plasma, a Westinghouse 42 1080p LCD, the aforementioned Toshiba HD-DVD, numerous HD cable boxes, and a great upocinverting Denon 5109 DVD player amonther MANY other AV investments). While I'm not a professional nor do I claim to be, I am VERY discriminating, and I know what I see. The issue with the age of FMJ or Fugitive should not be that material - the resoultion of the source material (35 mm or Super 35 is greater than HD, so with proper telecine capture, correction, and encoding, they should look far better than they do. Let's face it, FMJ is very poor - that looks like SD. I am curious as to your comments on the rescaling on those titles - is that something published or being surmised?

When I have time, I will hook the Samsung up to my other sets, and see if different manufactuers or display technologies impact the experience positively or negatively.

Greg
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:45 PM
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i think it is very funny in a way when everyone here says blueray has amazing picture quality are all by new posters.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason forster
i think it is very funny in a way when everyone here says blueray has amazing picture quality are all by new posters.
I don't blame you for saying this, and I thought I might be slammed a bit for that - but I did post a few times well before BR came out, in other AVS forums, and I'm certainly not bashing HD-DVD. I'm quite happy to have two successful formats.

What can I say? I'm a relatviely new poster - if one wants to view that with suspiscion, that's his or her's perogative - but I am shooting straight.
Greg
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:09 PM
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I guess the title is self explanatory. If you just glance at the Blu-ray demo at Best Buy you might think it looks good. After some more thorough viewing the faults really stand out. I was just expecting the demo to be PERFECT, and BD to be better than HD-DVD--or at least as good.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:09 PM
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You're the very first who has been impressed by the Fifth Element (that I've read)....so either something is different in the setup of the Samsung and Toshiba or you just have different quality standards. Not to say you aren't concerned with quality, but that your idea of quality differs from the masses. Some people are nitpicky about certain elements, and some people rely on the "overall" impression that the image gives them. I am somewhere in between, but one thing I do nitpick on is details in medium to wide shots. I like a detailed picture. There is a difference between sharpness and detail to me.

Also it could simply be the fact that you've heard such horrible things about Blu-ray over the past week or so that when you finally saw it for yourself you were "de-hyped" enough to accept something that is less than earth-shattering (which is what BD hype approached at times).

I am always interested to hear more opinons from people with both players....but I think you need to spend some serious time with them before essentially saying everyone's been wrong with their Fifth Element impressions, and I do mean everyone. :)
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:16 PM
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not a rookie here and wanted to post my observations. I too have the Tosh and by far IMO the better player off the bat is the sammy from asthetics. As for PQ, I am running the Sammy through a Lumagen and having is scaled to the native res for my Panny 65 inch commercial plasma. To me it looks pretty damn good. However, I will give the nod to the tosh as being a smidge more sharper. With the 12% off coupon and four free movies you are now in the $700+ range and for me thats ok. Things might change later this year when I upgrade to a 65 inch 1080p panel but until them I am content. Besides thats what they invented ebay for so you can sell your old stuff for new
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kami
You're the very first who has been impressed by the Fifth Element (that I've read)....so either something is different in the setup of the Samsung and Toshiba or you just have different quality standards. Not to say you aren't concerned with quality, but that your idea of quality differs from the masses. Some people are nitpicky about certain elements, and some people rely on the "overall" impression that the image gives them. I am somewhere in between, but one thing I do nitpick on is details in medium to wide shots. I like a detailed picture.

Also it could simply be the fact that you've heard such horrible things about Blu-ray over the past week or so that when you finally saw it for yourself you were "de-hyped" enough to accept something that is less than earth-shattering (which is what BD hype approached at times).

I am always interested to hear more opinons from people with both players....but I think you need to spend some serious time with them before essentially saying everyone's been wrong with their Fifth Element impressions, and I do mean everyone. :)
I agree, and I was careful to emphasize that it was only a quick, initial review, and subject to change if further experiences warranted. And I'm not claiming everyone is wrong - I don't know what they're seeing. But man, after reading everything here, I got the impression people we're nearly throwing up after watching BR (and especially TFE) - and that was completely different than my right-out-of-the-box experience.

I'm fairly detailed oriented what it comes to PQ - the overall experience is important, but through the years, I've battled with floating black levels, excessive edge enhancement, lack of shadow detail, lack of uniformity, and, in my latest issue with my JVC, minors "smudges" visible on small areas of the image when viewing bight scenes - a complaint which is resulting in the replacement of the light engine by JVC.

Greg
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzook
not a rookie here and wanted to post my observations. I too have the Tosh and by far IMO the better player off the bat is the sammy from asthetics. As for PQ, I am running the Sammy through a Lumagen and having is scaled to the native res for my Panny 65 inch commercial plasma. To me it looks pretty damn good. However, I will give the nod to the tosh as being a smidge more sharper. With the 12% off coupon and four free movies you are now in the $700+ range and for me thats ok. Things might change later this year when I upgrade to a 65 inch 1080p panel but until them I am content. Besides thats what they invented ebay for so you can sell your old stuff for new
Ehhh... what's the 12% off coupon - from whome? And as I had posted orignally, I THOUGHT there was something about four free movies - what are the details on that? (If it's in the box, I'm embarrassed, because I've yet to rifle throught the papers...)

Thanks

Greg
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kami
You're the very first who has been impressed by the Fifth Element (that I've read)....so either something is different in the setup of the Samsung and Toshiba or you just have different quality standards.
There is another option, thought I don't think it is likely. Someone could have realized 5E bites and "fixed" it in a new production run.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:27 PM
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You have to be a Reward Zone member to get the 12% discount (I just got mine in the mail today).

I was told that if you buy a Blu-ray player from BB, they will throw in 3 free titles, if you already own one, there was something like buy 3 get one free. As far as I know this was not linked to the Reward Zone.

-Dave
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:42 PM
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Amazing that so many new posters are singing the praises of the BR players and movies. Gee, what a coincidence!

I'm curious, who do you work for and whens the last time you had an eye exam.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by trgraphics
Amazing that so many new posters are singing the praises of the BR players and movies. Gee, what a coincidence!

I'm curious, who do you work for and whens the last time you had an eye exam.
can we not be rude and let him/her post away if feel he is unjustified then lets not respond back to him. No need to reply and say such negative comments just leave him/her with the blur ray player and let them be happy with it if he/she is happy with fith element then fine we dont have to watch it he/she does not us.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:51 PM
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I stopped into Best Buy today to gaze at the new Samsung player for a few minutes. They were running the demo loop with the whole ridiculous "Blu-Ray vs regular DVD" comparison where the DVD side is horribly pixelated. I haven't been remotely interested in either format since I don't have HD capability yet (likely not for another 12-18 months).

But the thing I noticed mostly was that the player seemed to stutter every few seconds (just like a computer trying to play HD material without quite a fast enough processor & video card). I'm hoping the unit just needed to be reset or something but even if I had $1000 burning a whole in my pocket I would not have picked one up based on the performance I saw (and they did have 2 new in the box on the shelf).

Jeremy Gillow
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:52 PM
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This is from a different thread but well warranted. Why, Why, Why do you hddvd trolls see a need to attack anyone who has something good to say about bluray. It's his opinion and he is more than welcome to it. He is not stating fact. An opinion is a subjective term. If you don't understand look it up in the dictionary! I like your format but you trolls are really starting to annoy me! You feel it is your religous duty to convert all to hddvd!! Stop the crusade!!!! Actions speak louder than words, if the format is that much better than Blu Ray no one will need to be converted as picture, sound and special features will be more than enough to win anyone over. If it's not than out of despiration you will need to force your opinions on others and not leave them thier own. The rest as said before is from a different thread, but very appropriate!

.

OK, from now on all hddvd titles rock and bluray sucks. Just kidding. After reading numerous posts it's amazing how personnel and easily offended the certain people get when anything positive about bluray is said. I loved reading the cawgijoe posts after he liked the 50 first dates picture quality in BB and was attacked by the hddvd trolls as Serenity was apparently light years ahead in PQ. I have seen both in thier prospective new formats on my tv and Serenity is not light years ahead of 50 FD in PQ. From Peter M. Brackets review of Serenity "overall, anyone who pops this in as thier first taste of hd-dvd may wonder what all the fuss is about."
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From Peter M. Bracke's review "Presented in 2.40:1 and encoded at 1080p, Underworld: Evolution overall looks quite striking." I couldn't agree more and my review was quite similiar but posted here a few days earlier than his. He obviously was paid off by Sony to post a positive review as I'm sure all of you know anything Bluray is just horrible and if the picture looks good they must be seeing things.
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From Peter M. Bracke's review of Van Helsing "most elements of this hi-def transfer are above average." The transfer looks great don't get me wrong it's just not quite as good as Underworld in my opinion. Other opinions might vary as percieved picture quality is a subjective term, not a cut in stone fact. I believe there are a few posts above me that gave Underworld high marks as well along with upcoming discs, hidefdigest, etc. I am waiting a negative review to be posted by a dvd review website concerning this title. Beyond the shadow of a doubt a 50 gb disc would have driven this title out of the ballpark in quality. Any 25 gb BD has the potential to look better, just as does any 15 gb hddvd, firewall, kiss kiss bang bang, 16 blocks anyone.
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For those of you who that think the war is over and hddvd is the clear winner from 7 released bluray titles you are sadly mistaken. Round 1 maybe, but the title fight no way. It is way to early to declare a victor at this point. Dual layer discs are yet to be released, Mpeg-4 encoded discs, as well as titles from Disney, Fox, Paramount, Warner etc. A Disney exec stated they need every gb of the BD-50 disc for the interactivity they want. Sony has stated 50gb discs in production by end of summer. Coincidence that is when the other major studios are jumping on board with titles in early fall(rumoured Paramount, Fox and Disney) I think not. Granted or the titles I have seen thus far HOFD, Hitch are poor, 50 FD is average and Terminator is above average and U:E is excellent minus a few flaws will not kill the hddvd format as we speak. Really until Sept. or bit later we won't know how good Blu Ray will look.
.
I just want the format that delivers the best home theater experiance to win. Hddvd or Bluray. I need players made by more than one manufacturer though and more than 3 major studios to support it (New Line and HBO are part of Warner) to include Paramount. I want James Bond and Spaghetti Westerns in HD. If Warner would not have let Sony outbid them for MGM I would have had zero interest in blu ray a long time ago. On the blu ray side I guess I will have to keep my dvd of King Kong.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason forster
i think it is very funny in a way when everyone here says blueray has amazing picture quality are all by new posters.
Not just that. I find it interesting that highly contrarian view threads are started by people with very few posts ...
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:08 PM
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Not just that. I find it interesting that highly contrarian view threads are started by people with very few posts ...
Well, he's been a member for one year, so he's not exactly new. I don't see what post count has to do with one's ability or justification to post comments.

Far too many people have far too many agendas around here lately and its bringing the entire site down. What is going to happen when dual layer BD discs roll out and/or alternate codecs are used in BD Discs, production issues get smoothed out, and the quality shoots way up? I can't wait to hear the excuses, praises, slams, and threads when that happens. Its like an amusement park around here.

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Old 06-24-2006, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MrPorterhouse
Well, he's been a member for one year, so he's not exactly new. I don't see what post count has to do with one's ability or justification to post comments.

Far too many people have far too many agendas around here lately and its bringing the entire site down. What is going to happen when dual layer BD discs roll out and/or alternate codecs are used in BD Discs, production issues get smoothed out, and the quality shoots way up? I can't wait to hear the excuses, praises, slams, and threads when that happens. Its like an amusement park around here.
hmmm.....I guess your just as new then because if you can recall before HD dvd even came out thats what was happening with BD vs HD dvd the BD was all the rave do you remmeber that? so many people commented on how fast the load time would be in the 10 secs vs Hd dvd of 90sec, oh lets not forget PQ so many comments on BDs PQ, but yet no one has seen one in real life action, oh lets not forget the potential of BD 400gig quad layer disc, scratch proof, true HD 1080p vs toshibas 1080i, need I go on and on about BD vs HD before it was all released or even have HD dvd was released...... ;) so its all the same if you can recall....
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:19 PM
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5TH ELEMENT on BD does look better than the SD DVD, but it does not look as good as the HBO version. Ihave it on DVHS and it is easily better.

I saw the fan created 1080p version once and was even better. Wish I had that puppy in my collection.

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Old 06-24-2006, 07:22 PM
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What is going to happen when dual layer BD discs roll out and/or alternate codecs are used in BD Discs, production issues get smoothed out, and the quality shoots way up?
How is it that you're certain all this will happen?
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:27 PM
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I will only make one comment to make this discussion a little bit more interesting.

Sony sucks, therefore Blu-Ray sucks.
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:37 PM
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Can't understand why HD trolls keep breaking into the BluRay threads . . .

From my vantage point I spent 4k on my plasma and would like to read about new BD owners opinions on this technology. Another $1000 doesn't deter me when I have my eyes on a 65 Panny when it's available for probably another 8k+ outlay.

So I for one want the best pic for my buck in a DVD player and I'm waiting for things to shake out. I would NEVER buy a Toshiba product and certainly don't need to hear from it's supporters in a Bluray thread.

I choose not to open HD threads anymore because fanatics abound in them trying to convince everyone else they made the right decision for their dollars. Good for them :rolleyes:

but don't continually bash others because they are buying Samsungs or waiting for the Sony.

Why don't the moderators delete these troll posts when they post in a Bluray thread???
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:39 PM
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With dual layer discs the quality will go up. With new codecs the quality will go up as well. Will it look as good as the best hddvd? I don't know, maybe not. If it doesn't look good I hope more studios jump on the hddvd bandwagon. I heard a rumor Disney may and you really need 45 gb discs to compete as I am hoping single layer blu rays are rarely used much like hddvd for the superior PQ or the lord of the rings extended editions for example. I am a little biased as I love mgm and pioneer elite products. Onkyo is part of the hddvd forum though and they could build a really good reference hddvd player. If Fox converted since they own MGM now I would have 1 hi def player and not 2. Dual layer BD are not that far off and in a few months what the PQ difference is if any.
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trgraphics
Amazing that so many new posters are singing the praises of the BR players and movies. Gee, what a coincidence!

I'm curious, who do you work for and whens the last time you had an eye exam.

You're not exactly an old-timer yourself.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jason forster
i think it is very funny in a way when everyone here says blueray has amazing picture quality are all by new posters.

I think its funny that every post you read bashing Blu Ray is by a person with <50 post. Microsoft is rampant in these parts, and it is allowed because avsforum is taking money from them. The funny thing is Microsoft should spend there money on advertising in the retail stores since they are getting trounced in this department. I don't even see the HD-DVD players in Best Buy anymore, its all Blu Ray. Maybe if Microsoft would spend more time and money on the retail side instead of playing on the internet they might be able to last a little longer. Customers don't even know HD-DVD is HD they think its a up converting player :D :eek:
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Old 06-24-2006, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jkv4
I think its funny that every post you read bashing Blu Ray is by a person with <50 post. Microsoft is rampant in these parts, and it is allowed because avsforum is taking money from them. The funny thing is Microsoft should spend there money on advertising in the retail stores since they are getting trounced in this department. I don't even see the HD-DVD players in Best Buy anymore, its all Blu Ray. Maybe if Microsoft would spend more time and money on the retail side instead of playing on the internet they might be able to last a little longer. Customers don't even know HD-DVD is HD they think its a up converting player :D :eek:

When Microsoft has hardware to promote, I'm sure they'll promote it. I'm sure if MS could get all the studios (except Sony) to use VC1, they could care less about which format wins out.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jkv4
Microsoft is rampant in these parts, and it is allowed because avsforum is taking money from them.
We have no financial arrangements with AVS Forum. But perhaps if you look way above this page, you notice the BD camp running banner ads on this very page. Of course, that gives me no pause whatsoever that the moderators are biased in anyway.

As an aside, I have two samsung players with practically every BD title right now. Our VC-1 technology is used in BD players including Samsung. As is the copy protection we helped invent: AACS. So while I am not trying to cover up my preference and that of my company's, I may have something to add to the knowledge base of the forum....

Amir
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Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:21 PM
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[quote=PRO-630HD]For those of you who that think the war is over and hddvd is the clear winner from 7 released bluray titles you are sadly mistaken. Round 1 maybe, but the title fight no way. QUOTE]

I'm sorry man, but I was a huge Blu-ray supporter and I certainly EXPECTED Blu-ray to WIN round 1 easily. At twice the price for the player, the initial offerings should have kicked butt. Right now I just want a player that looks and works like a DVD player except that the video is HD. That's why I'm not rushing out to buy the Toshiba now--because it's too much like a computer. Also the HD-DVD fanboys are gloating too much, but it wouldn't matter how many Microsoft trolls were here if the first impressions of BD had been stellar.
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Old 06-24-2006, 08:42 PM
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thrang, I just made a post in another topic describing my observations of 5E in BR. I have to agree with you that it looked better than I had imagined based on what has been said at these forums. It is not w/o its share of problems, but I was expecting an absolutely horrid picture. I found it to be far from that. It can be enjoyable to a point, though certainly not reference material for the format, of course.

I think some people here have really ran with the ball based on some bad reviews in print. That's what I think happened, at least. The release isn't great, but it isn't awful, either. I can certainly agree it could be better, but can still be a watchable experience.

I need your sweet love, Rosetta Stone girl!
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