HD-DVD: I never knew ye - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey,

I just got an HDTV this year, my first one, quite the upgrade from the old console TV with the UHF/VHF connectors. Before that, I had a PS3 received in 2006 as a gift, but no desire for HD Content (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) as it didn't seem worthwhile.

Now that I have an HDTV and like almost 30 blu-rays, I am interested in HD-DVD mainly because they can be found hella cheap (inet).

What are some recommended players and titles on the format to get me going?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 04:59 PM
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One key question you should ask yourself (and which only you know the answer to) is: are you a movie fan, or a high-def fan? If you're the latter you can't go wrong at HD-DVD's low prices by picking up a handful of them because you're in the honeymoon period with your new HDTV (what brand/size/model is your new toy BTW?). Any halfway-decent high-def you watch is going to make you ga-ga, so the HD-DVD bargain bins are your oyster. If you're more of a movie lover though (specific actors, genres, directors, types of movies, etc. that appeal to you and only you) then a little more discriminating shopping is in order. Ask yourself if the movie you're about to buy for less than four bucks will be watched more than once or at all when the unwatched pile of movies grows and grows. Example: is "Norbit" worth paying any money for? Don't know but I ain't gonna find out because this movie is Kryptonite for me (and most folks with an ounce of taste).

Then it's time to set yourself an initial budget. How much are you willing to spend to get you started? After you set yourself a price range shop on eBay, Craig's List or in the Classified section of AVS Forum for the best deal. The Toshiba HD-A20 and HD-A30 are the best options (cheap and outputting 1080p) with HD-A35, HD-XA2 and other models better but commanding higher prices. The lesser models are much cheaper but only output 1080i, which is OK if your HDTV has a good interlacer for converting 1080i to 1080p (I'm assuming your new HDTV is 1080p). Do you have an XBox 360? The HD-DVD add-on sells for less than fifty bucks (much less when used) and is a quick-and-easy to set-up and outputs good-enough picture/sound (even at 1080i) to be worth a tentative first-step. Most of these players sell online in used bundles with lots of HD-DVD movies included, so you can get HD movies and a player for some pretty good prices (some good deals out there for under a hundred bucks).

Then it's time to check which HD-DVD's are must-have and which are to be avoided. There's a pretty good guide on AVS' 'HD-DVD Software' about which movies have the best-looking transfers: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=942015. I personally look at High Def Digest's reviews for a guide into which movies are better than others (again, subjective opinions vary for you or me about what is 'good'): http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/reviews.html. Hope that gets you started and welcome to the HD-DVD bandwagon. Get ready to hear your wallet complain constantly about the bargains.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a movie lover, but I also love my movies looking as best as possible. I also notice many films I like are on HD-DVD, with no signs of a Blu release a la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I generally will give any movie a chance.

At home I have a 35inch Toshiba, and up here at college, I have a small 20in full HD monitor with 2ms response time, monitor that I hook my PS3 up to via HDMI-> DVI cable.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 06:00 PM
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So your HDTV isn't a 1080p set? If it's 20" it has to be 720p/1080i, which means the cheaper HD-DVD players (A3, A2, A1, etc.) are as good an option as the future-proof 1080p models. Just make sure you have an HDMI cable handy to get the most fool-proof quality going from the player to the HDTV (though component cables will do on a pinch since visually they're identical to HDMI). Go to eBay and start looking around for a seller with good reputation and a used player/movies package that you can live with. Also, if you're flush with cash (as all college students are ), look around for the LG BH200 combo player to have a dedicated HD-DVD/Blu-ray player so you don't abuse the PS3's drive with too much playing of BD movies and PS3 games. It's a little pricey but so worth it for dedicated high-def watchers. Also, no Xbox 360 at the dorm? If you have one the HD-DVD add-on drive remains the best (and cheapest) option. Good luck.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 09:11 PM
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Oh man it's got to be frustrating to watch HD on a 20" LCD but at home you're good to go with the larger screen. I have a Samsung HDTV tuner hooked up to my PC's 20" LCD and 1080i OTA broadcasts look great for a while but if I'm going to watch a movie instead of the news, etc. I move on to my DLP. Still, at college you have no choice and no room for real size so watching your BDs on the PS3 and LCD will do. HD DVD's fire sale prices are hard to ignore so have fun! All you have to do is pull your HDMI connector from the PS3 and plug it in the HD DVD.


Dad's advice is good, those options are good ones for you to research.

2008 Samsung HLxxA650/Series 6 DLP Thread/FAQ
HD DVDs: 235
BD: 20
DVD: Too Many!

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post #6 of 14 Old 05-22-2009, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

So your HDTV isn't a 1080p set? If it's 20" it has to be 720p/1080i, which means the cheaper HD-DVD players (A3, A2, A1, etc.) are as good an option as the future-proof 1080p models. Just make sure you have an HDMI cable handy to get the most fool-proof quality going from the player to the HDTV (though component cables will do on a pinch since visually they're identical to HDMI). Go to eBay and start looking around for a seller with good reputation and a used player/movies package that you can live with. Also, if you're flush with cash (as all college students are ), look around for the LG BH200 combo player to have a dedicated HD-DVD/Blu-ray player so you don't abuse the PS3's drive with too much playing of BD movies and PS3 games. It's a little pricey but so worth it for dedicated high-def watchers. Also, no Xbox 360 at the dorm? If you have one the HD-DVD add-on drive remains the best (and cheapest) option. Good luck.

The TV is 1080i max. I only use HDMI when I am at home, it really is the best option available, and its very simple for me to use. Noone here owns a 360. We have my 20gig PS3, my roommates 40 gig, and my roommates Wii.I used to have a 360, had to send it in SEVEN times because of the RROD, eventually I said "eff-it". But, I have read up on ways to use the 360 HD-DVD drive on my PS3 when using a Linux OS installed on it.

If anything, I could get the HD-DVD drive and use it with the computer, it would save room, and I know my compy can handle it as the computer has reasonable power.

I do have a steady cash flow as my college has a work study program. I work the front desk at my school and get at max $300 every 2 weeks and I usually spend $70 on food for two weeks, the rest goes to anime, and Blus. The job is really easy, yet boring. I work as a receptionist for my dorm, I just check for IDs, and sign people in. Any other time, I have my monitor lugged down with my ps3, and I am watching Blu-rays or playing games.

Watching movies on the 20in Screen isn't too bad really, the rooms are quite small. In essence the dorms are designed like spartan quarters.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-23-2009, 09:05 AM
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-23-2009, 03:28 PM
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The corpse of HD-DVD is still twitching, as LG continues to sell slews of dual-format drives. Their site lists the products as discontinued, so this may not continue for long.

Blu-ray: 50+
HD-DVD: 23
DVD: 600+ and lost count
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 01:35 PM
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So, instead of renting Blu-Rays for the PS3 you already own for under $20/month for multiple discs at a time, you're going to invest in a dead format and go so far as to actually buy a player that has a finite amount of titles, and nothing released in the last calendar year.

I understand people already invested in the format in some way continuing to prolong HD-DVD for themselves. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would invest NOW in the format. Let alone to watch on a 20" screen.

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Nostalgia. People still buy VCRs and Laserdisc players. Also a feeling of "Hey, I got some HD-DVDs, wana go back to the past?"

Besides, HD-DVD has a good number of titles, they look as good as Blu-rays, and they are cheaper.
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmonkeee View Post

I understand people already invested in the format in some way continuing to prolong HD-DVD for themselves. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would invest NOW in the format.

In a strange way, I kind of agree with you. I loaned one of my spare players and some movies to a friend that had just purchased a 50" plasma, but didn't have an HD source. He knew that Blu-Ray was the last format standing and ended up buying a Sony BDP-S360. He loves the picture and sound but never stops asking me why menus on BD are slow or don't work the way he thinks they should. I tell him to contact the studios if he's got an issue.

That said, they players are still outstanding upconverters that also happen to have a pretty good catalog of movies with 1080p video and high bit rate lossy or lossless audio for around $10 or less.

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TrueHD = DTS-MA = LPCM
Low Bit Rate AVC > Low Bit Rate VC-1
High Bit Rate VC-1 > High Bit Rate AVC
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 05:50 PM
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I have to agree with Webdev511. People new to HD DVD often buy into the format when they discover for about $50 or so you can get a player that's 100% compatible with the #1 disc format -DVD- and is a superior upscaler (much better than $50-100 upconverting DVD players) AND can play true high definition discs which happen to often sell for $5 or so. In today's economy, especially after shooting a wad on a new big screen TV, people are looking for cheap HD content.

I also loaned a spare HD DVD (to my son-in-law who'd just bought a 52" Samsung LCD) and some discs. Soon after when he discovered how great these looked on his HDTV he began trolling eBay and bought his own A30 and now is picking up HD DVDs for $5 instead of the bargain bin DVDs he used to get at Wal-Mart.

Sure he and I will go BD someday but no rush right now.

2008 Samsung HLxxA650/Series 6 DLP Thread/FAQ
HD DVDs: 235
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DVD: Too Many!

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post #13 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 08:02 PM
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I bought an LG BH200 for $130 with tax and the rebate, so the only real difference for me is the color of case and the prices. My average spending for an HD DVD is under $6 with my average blu somewhere around $13-14.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-31-2009, 10:35 PM
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I lent my tech-head friend an XA1 (not even an XA2) and his immediate comment was, "Wow... I've never seen DVD's look so good!" So the upscaling factor is definitely an advantage over similarly priced upscaling DVD players.
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