Pioneer Blu-ray Player Demo Explained - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Everyone,

I have not been online in a few months due to getting this player done, I just figured I would let you know what the BDP-HD1 samples were capable of. The models that are in retailers right now are limited functioning sample units. Here is a bit of info on them...

All of the demo units should be set to Source Direct Mode for output resolution-- This means the player will output whatever format the disc is in. If it is a 1080p 24 disc the player will output 1080p24. It the disc is 1080i60 it will output 1080i 60.. The Pioneer demo disc we provided has mixed content and the player adjusts output on the fly. (Of course you can set the player to any res you want on the final versions).

As far as video processing Pioneer has taken the approach that we should not do anything.. Our goal is to provide exactly what is on the disc. If a customer would like to adjust the picture he should do this on the display or an outboard processor.

Looking at these forums I can see a ton of bad information. While I will agree that AVC and VC1 are great codecs, I do not understand why MPEG2 gets slammed the way it does. I don't believe that any of the PQ issues people are seeing have anything to do with MPEG2. There are great looking MPEG2 titles, great looking VC1 titles and great looking AVC titles.

All of the codecs can provide an excellent picture, some are more efficient, however take longer to encode... It is up to each studio to decide.. All I want is the best picture.. I don't really care what codec is used.. I think most people would agree...

I am not picking a favorite, just hate to see one get bashed over the other for no good reason. Anyone out there who has a HD-DVD player has seen bad looking HD-DVD discs... Most of the issues have to do with the master.

Even Amir can confirm Pioneer's commitment to the VC1 format....

I know I promised this in the past, however if anyone in the LA area would like to come by our Office in Long Beach to look at our player as well as all available players, please let me know. I know it is short notice, however this Friday afternoon will work for me. I can also show the Home Media Gallery to everyone since there have been many questions regarding this feature.

Chris Walker
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post #2 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
All of the demo units should be set to Source Direct Mode for output resolution-- This means the player will output whatever format the disc is in. If it is a 1080p 24 disc the player will output 1080p24. It the disc is 1080i60 it will output 1080i 60.. The Pioneer demo disc we provided has mixed content and the player adjusts output on the fly. (Of course you can set the player to any res you want on the final versions).

As far as video processing Pioneer has taken the approach that we should not do anything.. Our goal is to provide exactly what is on the disc. If a customer would like to adjust the picture he should do this on the display or an outboard processor.
Wow. That is quite the player. Having sold Pioneer products (mainly Elite Plasmas) I know that your stuff is top notch. I want to congratulate you for putting out the first 1080p native player. This may be what BD needs.

As far as your comment about misinformation or slamming MPEG-2. It is more centered about current performance relative to titles. VC-1 seems more consistent, but I think MI:3 proves that MPEG-2 is still capable if the studio does the compression right. VC-1 is just more efficient and allows greater flexibility for the compressionist. I think MPEG-2 has proven itself, but VC-1 can prove itself more worthwhile.

As far as players, I'm sure your player will trump all available ones. At is price though and with Pioneer's repuation, it should.

I was wondering what features won't be on the player relative to the final production model?

In other words, can the player in stores not play DVDs (upconversion comparison to the 79AVI)?

I expect that your model will work best with the outboard scaling box on all Elite Plasmas and will have the standard 2 year full warranty?

(just so people know, this doesn't change the fact I think HD DVD is a better solution for consumers).

***Warning*** Do not look into laser with remaining eye!!
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post #3 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 09:41 PM
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Welcome back Chris :)

In the other thread you mentioned that out of the box the player will not internally decode TrueHD or DTS MA.

Will the player do CD playback? SACD? DVD-A?

Is it HDMI 1.3 and if so any "deep color" or other HDMI 1.3 buzzwords supported?

Also, will the player will be BD-Live compliant or just BD-J. If BD-J only will support a secondary video stream for PiP? since that is optional if only BD-J complaint.

Sorry for the barrage of questions but it's the proper Insiders welcome :)

Also, I'm very happy about the staying true to the source for video output. Good stuff!
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post #4 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for your post. Sounds like a great player, I especially like the "source direct" output mode. 3:2 judder annoys me to no end so I'm planning to get a player and TV that supports 1080p/24. (I wish my Samsung HDTV tuner can do the same with broadcast TV signals, I hate having to go flip a switch on the back of the unit when I go from ABC/FOX to CBS/NBC.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo

Looking at these forums I can see a ton of bad information. While I will agree that AVC and VC1 are great codecs, I do not understand why MPEG2 gets slammed the way it does. I don't believe that any of the PQ issues people are seeing have anything to do with MPEG2. There are great looking MPEG2 titles, great looking VC1 titles and great looking AVC titles.
I can't agree more, all this nonsense reminds me of the arguments over image formats in the early days of Internet -- people used to bash each other incessantly whether GIF or JPEG are superior...whew. :rolleyes:

enjoy
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post #5 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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The players in the stores were not tested for DVD playback, however they should work.. I have not tested that portion on that build....Models I have in the office do play DVD and work well. I have a couple people from the Press coming by on Friday as well and I am sure they will write about DVD performance....

Upconversion of DVD is quite good. I have not spent too much time playing back DVDs (I spend most of my time looking at BDs).. But I have done some comparisons and have been happy... Since I will have everything setup on Friday I will hookup a DV-79 as well so that myself and anyone else who can make it by can take a look...

I am curious why you think HD-DVD is a better choice for consumers?... I do understand that the Toshiba Player is only $499 (I believe a huge money loss for Toshiba), however if you look at their new Gen 2 player, it adds 1080p60, HDMI 1.3 (Deep color only, no bitstream advanced audio support), for $999.00. This price seems in line with the feature set.... BD Discs are a little more difficult to manufacture (Just like any brand new format)...Remember DVD, same story..

Pioneer chose Blu-ray based on it's technical capabilities and it's longevity. We, along with several studios believe the capacity of HD-DVD is just not enough.. I am also a firm believer in the additional copy protection. I know that statement might get me some flack, but content providers need to protect content, as long as it is transparent to the user, what difference does it make.... Good content relies on good content protection. Microsoft should understand this... I like to think of BD+ as BDs version of Windows Genuine Advantage.. This is another layer of protection Microsoft uses to protect there content.... Why is it wrong for BD to use additonal layers of Copy Protection to protect their content when Microsoft does the same thing?

I agree that VC1 is more efficient... I have encoded quite a bit of content myself (Mostly MPEG2)... If I have a clean D5 content at 20mbps AVB looks like the D5 (Maybe a small difference).... I have also encoded content at higher bit-rates (35 cbr) with little difference then the VBR content...

My VC1 encoder is not current enough to reliably encode content...

I just think that if a studio chooses MPEG2 it does not mean it will look bad... Lot's a MPEG2 titles look great......And many of the VC1 titles look great....

I do support VC1 fully, however MPEG2 is not bad.......

Sorry for the rant.....

As far as additional capabilities of the models in retail stores, we should have Final Specs very soon....

Thanks,

Chris Walker
Sr. Manager Product Planning and Marketing
Blu-ray and Optical Disc Products.
Pioneer Electronics


Quote:
Originally Posted by Forceflow
Wow. That is quite the player. Having sold Pioneer products (mainly Elite Plasmas) I know that your stuff is top notch. I want to congratulate you for putting out the first 1080p native player. This may be what BD needs.

As far as your comment about misinformation or slamming MPEG-2. It is more centered about current performance relative to titles. VC-1 seems more consistent, but I think MI:3 proves that MPEG-2 is still capable if the studio does the compression right. VC-1 is just more efficient and allows greater flexibility for the compressionist. I think MPEG-2 has proven itself, but VC-1 can prove itself more worthwhile.

As far as players, I'm sure your player will trump all available ones. At is price though and with Pioneer's repuation, it should.

I was wondering what features won't be on the player relative to the final production model?

In other words, can the player in stores not play DVDs (upconversion comparison to the 79AVI)?

I expect that your model will work best with the outboard scaling box on all Elite Plasmas and will have the standard 2 year full warranty?

(just so people know, this doesn't change the fact I think HD DVD is a better solution for consumers).
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post #6 of 174 Old 10-25-2006, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Hey Everyone,

I have not been online in a few months due to getting this player done, I just figured I would let you know what the BDP-HD1 samples were capable of. The models that are in retailers right now are limited functioning sample units. Here is a bit of info on them...

All of the demo units should be set to Source Direct Mode for output resolution-- This means the player will output whatever format the disc is in. If it is a 1080p 24 disc the player will output 1080p24. It the disc is 1080i60 it will output 1080i 60.. The Pioneer demo disc we provided has mixed content and the player adjusts output on the fly. (Of course you can set the player to any res you want on the final versions).

As far as video processing Pioneer has taken the approach that we should not do anything.. Our goal is to provide exactly what is on the disc. If a customer would like to adjust the picture he should do this on the display or an outboard processor.

Looking at these forums I can see a ton of bad information. While I will agree that AVC and VC1 are great codecs, I do not understand why MPEG2 gets slammed the way it does. I don't believe that any of the PQ issues people are seeing have anything to do with MPEG2. There are great looking MPEG2 titles, great looking VC1 titles and great looking AVC titles.

All of the codecs can provide an excellent picture, some are more efficient, however take longer to encode... It is up to each studio to decide.. All I want is the best picture.. I don't really care what codec is used.. I think most people would agree...

I am not picking a favorite, just hate to see one get bashed over the other for no good reason. Anyone out there who has a HD-DVD player has seen bad looking HD-DVD discs... Most of the issues have to do with the master.

Even Amir can confirm Pioneer's commitment to the VC1 format....

I know I promised this in the past, however if anyone in the LA area would like to come by our Office in Long Beach to look at our player as well as all available players, please let me know. I know it is short notice, however this Friday afternoon will work for me. I can also show the Home Media Gallery to everyone since there have been many questions regarding this feature.

Chris Walker
On the Home Media Gallery function, will the Pioneer Elite unit (which I'm planning on getting from a local retailer as soon as they are available) play movie files in the various codecs from a networked PC or does it require a special file like "Windows PlayforSure"? This obviously is a VERY important question related to the actual functionality of the unit. If users can play a saved movie file from their computer in any decodeable codec with the Media Gallery option that would be a Godsend for people with either media files on a dedicated media PC or home recording enthusiasts with their own HD camera.Thanks for your answer-stephen
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post #7 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 12:45 AM
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Chris,

Thanks again for the info and the quick response. I have always been a fan of your products and I really feel they are top notch. Your rear projection CRT sets were something to behold, your plasmas definitely take the cake in terms of black levels and build quality (no reflections from back panel to glass, etc.). I think if I do go BD, I will want to do it with your player. The time, IMO, is not now for BD. I just don't feel it is providing anything over HD DVD other than some studio content and that can even be overcome (somewhat) without regional coding. That seems like a good deal for consumers. Also, you're right, the A1/A2 are just plain more accessible. Not that Elite products should be accessible, you pay for what you get. It helps the A1 delivers, but I know doesn't have a feature set like your player (well, it does play CDs :) ).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
I am curious why you think HD-DVD is a better choice for consumers?... I do understand that the Toshiba Player is only $499 (I believe a huge money loss for Toshiba), however if you look at their new Gen 2 player, it adds 1080p60, HDMI 1.3 (Deep color only, no bitstream advanced audio support), for $999.00. This price seems in line with the feature set.... BD Discs are a little more difficult to manufacture (Just like any brand new format)...Remember DVD, same story..
You are very fair. I'm not sure about the subsidy, if true that's good for the consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
We, along with several studios believe the capacity of HD-DVD is just not enough
I think HD DVD capacity is enough with VC-1 optomizing space. Bitrates you could perhaps win on, but even on discs like BB with lossless audio I've seen some great pq. Uncompressed PCM, while decadent, is great to have. I think MPEG-2 is also capable, but I think VC-1 is just thrifty without a loss. I guess its the economist in me, but that seems like it has more "utility" than MPEG-2. It does the same thing, just does it more efficiently. Its like PCM and TrueHD/DTS-HD MA. They're supposed to be sonically the same, just one takes up less space. In a digital world it makes sense to go with the more efficient one.

You seem really unbiased, so don't take my opinion as something against MPEG-2, just for VC-1.

Sorry if it came across as any other way.

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post #8 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
I am curious why you think HD-DVD is a better choice for consumers?... I do understand that the Toshiba Player is only $499 (I believe a huge money loss for Toshiba), however if you look at their new Gen 2 player, it adds 1080p60, HDMI 1.3 (Deep color only, no bitstream advanced audio support), for $999.00. This price seems in line with the feature set.... BD Discs are a little more difficult to manufacture (Just like any brand new format)...Remember DVD, same story..
Chris,

This would be a valid point if the HD-A2 did not exist. It'll also be $499. It'll play HD DVD's, upscale DVD's, play CD's, have FULL HDi support, internally decode TrueHD5.1 and all that out of the box. For many that is plenty. I'm sure you can make the subsidizing call on this also but I'm not privy to Toshiba's books so I can't comment either way.

Your Elite is in direct competition with the $999 HD-XA2, from a price perspective, atleast. There is still quite a topic going on about how the XA2 will handle 1080P output in the HD DVD hardware section. Last I recall Toshiba had not decided. Asides from that the player will be HDMI1.3, do TrueHD5.1 internal decoding, and the rest of the feature set from the HD-A2, plus whatever else they decide to throw in.

For your elite, I'm really hoping that for $1499 you can throw in a network controller and give it enough horsepower to handle the full BD-Live spec and make it BD-Live compliant on top of the advanced audio decoding. Video out put is just 1 of 3 components, agreed?
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post #9 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR1
Welcome back Chris :)

In the other thread you mentioned that out of the box the player will not internally decode TrueHD or DTS MA.

Will the player do CD playback? SACD? DVD-A?

Is it HDMI 1.3 and if so any "deep color" or other HDMI 1.3 buzzwords supported?

Also, will the player will be BD-Live compliant or just BD-J. If BD-J only will support a secondary video stream for PiP? since that is optional if only BD-J complaint
What he said :) Any chance that like Pansonic you will offer firmware upgrade for Dolby True-HD and DTS-MA?

Any firm release date?
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post #10 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Spizz
What he said :) Any chance that like Pansonic you will offer firmware upgrade for Dolby True-HD and DTS-MA?

Any firm release date?
See here.
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post #11 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 04:49 AM
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Chris, great comments...a fresh view of what is really going on with these codecs.

I am so pleased with BluRay and it is good to see a number of solid manufacturers come on board to exploit this excellent format.... Ths $1499 price is still half of what my old Pioneer Elite CLD-99 LD player cost....So seems fair to me.

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post #12 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
As far as video processing Pioneer has taken the approach that we should not do anything.. Our goal is to provide exactly what is on the disc. If a customer would like to adjust the picture he should do this on the display or an outboard processor.
Excellent. That's how it should be. Controls in the player and the video processor and the display all together are a potential nightmare as this chain needs to be controlled very carefully or image degradation happens in no time with all the cascaded processing stages working together or against each other in usually undocumented and obscure ways.
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post #13 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 06:05 AM
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Chris,
Glad to read that Pioneer is getting closer to a release. Altho I own quite a bit of Elite gear & your player was my 1st choice to buy, I decided to wait no longer & got the Panny last weekend. I can always re-visit the Pioneer in '07!

I'm glad you've confirmed 1080p24, but my main question is on the audio side. How will the player handle the advanced audio codecs? If there's limited initial support, will there be firmware upgrades?

I hope company policy will allow you to share some info on this, but if not, at least we tried :)

Thanks for the update.
ss9001

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post #14 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 07:15 AM
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You mentioned that the player would output whatever is stored on the disc in direct mode - how would you handle 24P video with pulldown flags to facilitate 60i playback like we see on todays DVDs? That's usually not fully clean 24P, but instead have some hardcoded 60i sections here and there. Is there some kind of deinterlacing functionality that will be able to convert that to say 24P or 60P? What about pure 60i streams - will they be able to be deinterlaced for 24P or 60P output using cadence detection? Is 24Psf output supported?

I don't know the numbers, but until in recent years a lot of the HD transfers from film were done in 60i, not 24P (or 24Psf), so unless there's some kind of deinterlacing functionality in the player I'm worried that the 24P output will only be for a subset of the studio's libraries out there.

/frode
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post #15 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 07:32 AM
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Wow, sounds like this could be a great player Chris. Makes me wish I had more faith in BD and/or a couple more dollars in my pocket. We'll see how this all pans out in the next few months or so. I'm much more comfortable spending $1000 - $1500 on a Pioneer product than any of the other BD hardware manufactures. Can't wait to read the first end-user reviews on this.




Oh... I do have one little request... can you make it play HD-DVD too? :D

Jeff

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post #16 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 07:58 AM
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I agree that it is great to have those involved in the design of the hardware as well as the software in these two formats comment on AVS. As not seeing why HD-DVD is a better choice for consumers, well, the reasons are many. It offers great PQ and AQ. leaps and bounds above DVD. It also costs well under $500.00. For most people, those factors are enough. Many are not concerned with 1080p/24, deep color, etc. What many want is a product they can hook up to their sets and enjoy great HD. Remember, the great majority are very happy with DVD quality. For these people, cost is a huge factor and $1,000 to $1,500 for BD is way too high. There are those early adopters who have to have everything first and don't seem to care about the cost. I am not one of them. I have a very nice set up on audio and video and have no interest in spending that kind of money on a BD player, even though I can well afford it. I just do not see the value at these price points. HD-DVD on the other hand was such a great value for the money, I took the plunge. I didn't mind (too much, just a little) paying $400 for the player given how great most of the HD-DVD titles look and sound and given how great DVD's look on this player. For movie lovers like me, it seems that HD-DVD has more than enough capacity. I hardly ever watch the extras. I want to enjoy the movie. As for BD, I will consider it and have seen the Sammy and the Panny. Some of the BD software I have seen left me cold but I continue to check them out and will check out the Pio once it is available. However, until price of stand alone BD players come down to the $500 region, I will not be buying one. When they do, I will.
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post #17 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 08:05 AM
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Chris,

Having done a lot of MPEG-2 encoding in my day, I have to take objection to your comments.

First, MPEG-2, even on standard DVD has never looked "good". Even in the best examples there are artifacts and problems which we look to remove with processing, etc. When it comes to HD, we are even more picky about quality issues. MPEG-2 does not cut it at all, especially when the goal is to get as transparent to the source as possible with as little bandwidth required as possible.

Second, as for BD vs. HD-DVD - personally, I do not really care. However, there are some things which concern me. Given the "automatic/real-time" nature of MPEG-2 encoding tools, I think we are getting a lot of very sloppy encodes. Additionally, BD has several layers of compatibility - I am very sure that content will march to the lowest common denominator here and that extra support features (dual video decoders, interactivity, network support) will find little support as the march to get the players cheaper drives sales targets.

Lastly, while I respect Pioneer's work, and still have one of your Elite Laserdisc players in my rack, I can not help but wonder what the response at Pioneer is to having the PS3 out in the market at 1/3 of your MSRP, containing a fair amount more features and upgradability out of the box than your own Elite player? Personally, I was planning to get the Pioneer player, until the delays, (the reasons for the delays), lack of 1080p24sf support, and other sundry missing capabilities (playing an audio CD - for example).

At this point, I am going to support HD-DVD with the HD-A2 and the BD camp with the PS3. If in the future, Sony gets off its ridiculous MPEG-2 bandwagon, and the studio support for VC-1 increases on BD, then I will once again consider one of your stand-alone players.

However, at the moment, the potential increase in capacity of BD-50 is totally eaten away by the "bloat" of MPEG-2. With HD-DVD-45 coming around the corner, if it is even needed using VC-1, I see no practical purpose in gambling the $1,000 differential that it would cost for a stand-alone at this time.

Once again, however, I am VERY HAPPY to be proven wrong :) !

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post #18 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christefan
On the Home Media Gallery function, will the Pioneer Elite unit (which I'm planning on getting from a local retailer as soon as they are available) play movie files in the various codecs from a networked PC or does it require a special file like "Windows PlayforSure"? This obviously is a VERY important question related to the actual functionality of the unit. If users can play a saved movie file from their computer in any decodeable codec with the Media Gallery option that would be a Godsend for people with either media files on a dedicated media PC or home recording enthusiasts with their own HD camera.Thanks for your answer-stephen
I'd really like to know the answer to this myself.

I'm hoping it works like MCE, where you pick what drives/folders on the network you want, and the Pioneer scans file extensions for what is playable, and adds it to a list.

Also, exactly what are the file (video, audio, stills) formats that the Pioneer supports?

Is the ethernet port gigabit or 10/100?

To me, the Home Media Gallery function is the feature I'm really interested in.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #19 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Walkamo
Pioneer chose Blu-ray based on it's technical capabilities and it's longevity. We, along with several studios believe the capacity of HD-DVD is just not enough..

I agree that VC1 is more efficient... I have encoded quite a bit of content myself (Mostly MPEG2)... If I have a clean D5 content at 20mbps AVB looks like the D5 (Maybe a small difference).... I have also encoded content at higher bit-rates (35 cbr) with little difference then the VBR content...

My VC1 encoder is not current enough to reliably encode content...

I just think that if a studio chooses MPEG2 it does not mean it will look bad... Lot's a MPEG2 titles look great......And many of the VC1 titles look great....

I do support VC1 fully, however MPEG2 is not bad.......
Here's the thing. On the one hand you argue that HD DVD doesn't have enough capacity. Then on the other hand you say that MPEG2 is perfectly good. MPEG2 of course eats away at that capacity. With a more efficient compression codec, less capacity is needed. Right now Blu-ray has the worst of both worlds. Its BD25 discs (still the vast majority of releases) have less capacity than HD DVD's HD30 discs (the majority on that format), it uses a less efficient codec, AND many of the discs are further burdened with space-hogging PCM audio.

You are correct that MPEG2 in and of itself is not a bad thing and can be used to create very good-looking titles. Warner and Paramount both proved that. It's the combination of factors currently working at a disadvantage for the majority of Blu-ray releases so far. The format itself isn't to blame, and hopefully can rebound, but in its current state is decidedly inferior to the (more affordable) competition.

I think the Pioneer Blu-ray player sounds very promising and look forward to checking it out. Will Pioneer be providing review loaners to media outlets?

Josh Z
Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest (Blog updated daily!)
Curator, Laserdisc Forever

My opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers.

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post #20 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ss9001
I'm glad you've confirmed 1080p24, but my main question is on the audio side. How will the player handle the advanced audio codecs? If there's limited initial support, will there be firmware upgrades?
I'll second the request by ss9001 for more info about the audio side Chris. Though it is a shame that Pioneer is not including CD playback capabilty, the real deal breaker for me, would be the lack of 7-channel TrueHD support. I really want an Elite BD player; but if 7-channel support is not there, then I will be forced to look elsewhere, or put off buying anything until I can find a player with both 1080p/24 and 7-channel audio. I understand that the final specs have not been released yet, but would it be possible for you to (at least) give us a hint about the inclusion of 7-channel audio support? TIA. :)
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post #21 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaracsan
I'll second the request by ss9001 for more info about the audio side Chris. Though it is a shame that Pioneer is not including CD playback capabilty, the real deal breaker for me, would be the lack of 7-channel TrueHD support. I really want an Elite BD player; but if 7-channel support is not there, then I will be forced to look elsewhere, or put off buying anything until I can find a player with both 1080p/24 and 7-channel audio. I understand that the final specs have not been released yet, but would it be possible for you to (at least) give us a hint about the inclusion of 7-channel audio support? TIA. :)
Chris:

I agree with ss9001 and zaracsan - not having internal Codec support for the new Audio formats is a BIG Disappointment.

As an Engineer - I understand the difficulty of bringing bleeding edge technology to market. But one would hope that smart designers will provide a PATH for adding capabilities down the road in future releases. Forcing the consumer to do a folk-lift upgrade to a newer model and throw out the OLD one - is a great way for LOOSING CUSTOMERS.

BWI - FYI - I have a pre-order with the Pioneer Store - for this Platform.
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post #22 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 10:16 AM
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I forgot to say, the fact the unit upconverts at all means it will upconvert amazingly well. I've seen many generations of Elite products and their upconverting players are superb. Do Tweeter stores have these to demo? Is there a particular store that I should check out in the Chicago-land area? Thanks again Chris.

***Warning*** Do not look into laser with remaining eye!!
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post #23 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 10:21 AM
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Chris,

(I'm delurking because you asked a question that gets to the heart of a big issue for me.)

You asked "Why is it wrong for BD to use additonal layers of Copy Protection to protect their content when Microsoft does the same thing?"

This is one issue that gets under my skin. Software/content providers assume I am guilty, and ask that I prove myself innocent. From installing WinXP to trying to play a Region 2 DVD in a Region 1 player, the assumption is that I might be doing something that "they" want to control (i.e. ensure they make the most money possible from).

I don't like the way Microsoft handles copy protection/DRM. One of the big reasons they get away with it it because they have such a strangle-hold on the market that there is almost no competition - and when a competitor does rise up, they are quick to squash them (even the DoJ and EU rulings haven't really stopped the behaviour). Look at how MS is handling the security and virus protection issue with Vista.

I agree that most of the time this issue does not affect the typical consumer. But sometimes it does - and that is the part that really bugs me: why can't I purchase a DVD copy of some obscure British show and play it on my DV-563 just because it is "region 2"? There is no "Region 1" version available to buy. Yes, there are region-free (or easily hackable) DVD players out there - but it's all about control, not even legality, here.

And when my needs go beyond that of the "typical consumer", or if something goes wrong with the "Protection" mechanism, I really need to jump through hoops - I believe there is a feature available in the BD spec that allows the player to disable itself when it thinks an illegally copied disk is played. What if the disk was damaged, or poorly mastered, or the player's software just got it wrong? And that just plain annoys me.

So in summary, I get an uneasy feeling when I think about the various levels of protection that seem to be inherent in the BD technology. HD-DVD seems to have less, although I seem to recall recent murmurs of consideration of implementing region coding for that too, and who knows what aspects of DRM Miscrosoft will manage to get migrated into the product. I haven't taken the plunge into HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, and this issue is one of my points of hesitation.

Basically, because the big corporations don't trust me, I don't trust them.

Sorry for the rant, but I've got very few posts because I usually don't feel the need to jump in - I just observe and try to learn from the various people (like you) who contribute to these fora.

shinksma

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post #24 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 10:28 AM
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Thanks Chris for taking the time to post this, and for giving us some good information about the player. Love the fact that you aren't doing any processing - just passing on what is on the disk.

I've gone back and forth on the HD-DVD / BD front - first being BD exclusive (mainly because of Pioneer's support), then waffling a bit, now realizing that I will need both to fully enjoy HD on a disc format. I wish the "war" was over, because we the consumer are being caught in the financial middle.

But that has been beaten to death. I love the Elite series, and really look forward to seeing this player in person. Not sure I can afford it yet, but when I jump in with both feet, it will probably be with this player.
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post #25 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 11:16 AM
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I don't mean this to come off as ungrateful that Chris has posted some enticing details, but I do intend to share my thoughts on the delays & how IMHO, Pioneer has missed the boat in keeping many early adopters like myself interested enough to wait for this player.

Over 25 yrs, I've owned more Pioneer gear than any other mfg. including 4 generations of laserdisc players from the 1st gas laser model to the last Elite model that was made, several generations of surround receivers, the last 2 generations of flagship Elite receivers, and the last generation of Elite RPTV. To call me an Elite fan would be an understatement! Many like me have been patiently waiting to see this player come out since the original press release.

The reasons for my final decision to look elsewhere were not just the ongoing delays but more the lack of specific & compelling details on the player that could justify waiting longer. There is no information on the web site, electronic brochures or other sources that sufficiently differentiated this player from the others other than the networked-media server features. The fact that the true audio capabilities of this player are still unknown at this stage of the game is a shame! Even Pioneer's leading Elite dealers in the Atlanta area, which include 4 MAJOR area HT dealers/ installers and the Magnolia stores do not know any details is interesting to me. All 4 of these dealers have been selling Elite gear for many yrs. and not one is really sure how the player compares audio-wise to the Sony. Maybe that's Pioneer's choice, but I think it probably has decreased some of your loyal client-base.

OK, I've aired my disappointments in this. My $1500 is a drop-in-the-bucket in the grand scheme of things, Chris. But, my loyalty to the "brand" included recently replacing a lightning-damaged 59TXi with one of the LAST 11 59Txi's left in the entire country! So take it from me, it would have been nice to see Pioneer more forthcoming with information on this player to go along with the delays. I know Pioneer lost at least one potential customer this past week.

ss9001

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post #26 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
Here's the thing. On the one hand you argue that HD DVD doesn't have enough capacity. Then on the other hand you say that MPEG2 is perfectly good. MPEG2 of course eats away at that capacity. With a more efficient compression codec, less capacity is needed. Right now Blu-ray has the worst of both worlds. Its BD25 discs (still the vast majority of releases) have less capacity than HD DVD's HD30 discs (the majority on that format), it uses a less efficient codec, AND many of the discs are further burdened with space-hogging PCM audio.

You are correct that MPEG2 in and of itself is not a bad thing and can be used to create very good-looking titles. Warner and Paramount both proved that. It's the combination of factors currently working at a disadvantage for the majority of Blu-ray releases so far. The format itself isn't to blame, and hopefully can rebound, but in its current state is decidedly inferior to the (more affordable) competition.

I think the Pioneer Blu-ray player sounds very promising and look forward to checking it out. Will Pioneer be providing review loaners to media outlets?

Sorry for not having time at work to answer everyones questions.. I will try and answer the remainder tonight when I get home...

As far as Linear PCM being hog, is nor necessarily true... The average bit rate of a Dolby TRUE HD or DTS HD Master stream is around 4.5mbps (20 -bit 48k), the average bit rate of a linear PCM stream is 4.5mbps (16-bit 48k).... There is not much of a difference.....

While it is very true that the majority of HD-DVD titles are dual layer discs, there have been several announcements for 50gb BD titles as well as actual movies available..... With this fact all of the complaints of that BD is only 25gb don't hold up anymore.. I would hate for a studio to compromise the Video/Audio quality of a movie because of HD-DVD limited capacity (Same Argument that was used for HD-DVD 30 vs BD 25)......

For either format to be successful it has to be successful all over the world.... In Europe it is very important that both formats support multiple language soundtracks on the disc... If you have a movie such as King Kong (187 minutes) or even a 2 hour movie and you want to have 4 or 5 lossless soundtracks, HD-DVD does not have enough capacity... While BD was being developed this fact was taken into consideration......

I believe HD-DVD provides a great PQ.... I think BD provides a great PQ.... However looking at the Formats, BD makes more sense in the long run... There will be players that will competitively priced with HD-DVD and combined with the fact of more software, BD makes alot of sense....

I personally own both HD-DVD and BD....... I enjoy both... I just believe that BD is the correct long term solution....

Chris
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post #27 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
I am curious why you think HD-DVD is a better choice for consumers?...
Pioneer chose Blu-ray based on it's technical capabilities and it's longevity. We, along with several studios believe the capacity of HD-DVD is just not enough.. I am also a firm believer in the additional copy protection.

Chris Walker
Sr. Manager Product Planning and Marketing
Blu-ray and Optical Disc Products.
Pioneer Electronics
Chris,

First let me say how much I appreciate hearing your views on the issues-- even when those of us who support HD-DVD don't agree with them. At least this enables everyone to hear both sides of the argument and make a choice for themselves.

I firmly believe that HD-DVD will win this senseless war. To a large extent on price as that what matters most to the majority of folks and to a lesser extent on HD-DVD "getting it right" very quickly after the initial gliches while BR lurches from side to side in trying to hit the target.

There is no doubt among any of us that some manufacturer will be capable of producing a Blu-Ray player of equal image quality to HD-DVD. In the end its the same stream of digital ones and zeros on both types of discs if encoded equally-- how can there really be much of a difference if the electronics leave the bits alone?

What I resent the most is that the movie studies "conspired" with SONY to take the choice of the next generation player out of the hands of the consumer. There was an effort to create a monopoly on content and then wrap it with layer upon layer of protection. As if those of us with video processors have not already seen the nightmare of trying to get one HDMI device to talk with another-- and we all know HDMI was solely created for the purpose of HDCP NOT to provide us with a pristine digital stream.

Sony has bet the house on the PS3 and Blu-Ray...I draw your attention to the front page of today's Wall Street Journal-- their opinion, not mine. The studios were suckered into believing that the PS3 would provide a Trojan Horse into the homes of millions of users for Blu-Ray. I assert that most of those users will NOT be interested in Blu-Ray movie disks. Time will tell which one of us is right--but if I am -- the typical end user will NOT purchase $ 1000-1500 Blu-Ray players either as an alternative to the PS3.

The release of the HD-DVD add-on for XBOX360 from Microsoft is a great move on their part to try to deflate the propaganda surrounding the PS3 release but will again NOT be the determinant in this competition. Its going to be the standalone players.

Again I have the highest regard for Pioneer products. My home theater contains a Pioneer Elite receiver and a Pioneer Elite DVD player. Last spring I thought it would contain a Pioneer Elite Blu-Ray player. But I've watched, waited, tested, purchased a G1 HD-DVD player and am convinced this will be the next generation format. I didn't fall for the sneaky marketing game that all of the Blu-Ray manufacturers played by constantly pushing back release dates for their players. ALL OF YOU have been building CE equipment for many years and ALL OF YOU knew the TRUE release dates for your products. But as others have said it was a masterful deceptive plan on Blu-Ray's part to dissuade potential buyers from jumping ship and buying HD-DVD players.

Hopefully you and other manufactures (and the studios) will realize after the Christmas holiday that the marketplace is not going to select Blu-Ray, stop these games, and produce players that will play BOTH formats so that we can end this war.

Lore
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post #28 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
I personally own both HD-DVD and BD....... I enjoy both... I just believe that BD is the correct long term solution....

Thanks for your contribution to the forum Chris. A question that I hope you will answer one way or the other:

Given HD DVD's early lead and relative success compared to BD thus far, will Pioneer at least seriously consider hedging its bets and produce both BD and HD DVD players so that the marketplace can decide which is the correct long term solution?
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post #29 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Sorry for not having time at work to answer everyones questions.. I will try and answer the remainder tonight when I get home...

As far as Linear PCM being hog, is nor necessarily true... The average bit rate of a Dolby TRUE HD or DTS HD Master stream is around 4.5mbps (20 -bit 48k), the average bit rate of a linear PCM stream is 4.5mbps (16-bit 48k).... There is not much of a difference.....

While it is very true that the majority of HD-DVD titles are dual layer discs, there have been several announcements for 50gb BD titles as well as actual movies available..... With this fact all of the complaints of that BD is only 25gb don't hold up anymore.. I would hate for a studio to compromise the Video/Audio quality of a movie because of HD-DVD limited capacity (Same Argument that was used for HD-DVD 30 vs BD 25)......

For either format to be successful it has to be successful all over the world.... In Europe it is very important that both formats support multiple language soundtracks on the disc... If you have a movie such as King Kong (187 minutes) or even a 2 hour movie and you want to have 4 or 5 lossless soundtracks, HD-DVD does not have enough capacity... While BD was being developed this fact was taken into consideration......

I believe HD-DVD provides a great PQ.... I think BD provides a great PQ.... However looking at the Formats, BD makes more sense in the long run... There will be players that will competitively priced with HD-DVD and combined with the fact of more software, BD makes alot of sense....

I personally own both HD-DVD and BD....... I enjoy both... I just believe that BD is the correct long term solution....

Chris
Chris,
Great posts. Thank you for the great information. The only thing I would disagree with you is that BD is the long term solution. Nowadays it seems the useful life of prodcuts are shorter and shorter. CE companies and studios need to keep developing new revenue streams hence HD DVD and BD. I don't know how long the useful life of either format will be. That is why I bought and will enjoy both.
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post #30 of 174 Old 10-26-2006, 01:31 PM
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Chris,

Can you please confirm the Pioneer will natively support 1080p24 w/o any processing?
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