Originally Posted by lateralis
here's what I want:
Fully HD DVD compatible
Fully BR 2.0 specced
Support for both formats' lossless audio DECODING in the player
that's it. how hard can it be?
(I supposed I could live with decoded PCM going out over HDMI but all the others stand
I wanted to second this and also add:
While the players themselves seem to be constantly trying to "catch up" to their own potential (although to be fair, HD-DVD has been substantially better in this regard) a lot of the problem is with the software.
Even if we had a player that could deliver EVERYTHING possible with both formats, it still won't put a lossless audio track on the disc or internet content or cool interactive features. All of that is up to the studios and I'm just not seeing the level of effort or consistency from them that I really want.
When I think of a truly "next generation" movie format to replace DVDs, just having a better picture isn't enough. I want better audio too. I want a better disc navigation experience. And I want to be able to do things that are not possible with DVD.
Both camps obviously knew this since they've made all of those desires possible, but for one reason or another, we're just not getting it all yet - at least not consistently.
I'll be honest, I was disappointed to only see a DD+ audio track on the HD-DVD Transformers release. Yes, it still sounds great, but come on! This is a blockbuster summer title! Give us the full TrueHD! Actually, scratch that - I want 7.1 TrueHD! Is there really a better kind of example for the type of movie that should receive that level of audio? Like I said above, I could live with 5.1 for most movies. But for "event" movies like Transformers? I want the full 7.1 and no mistake!
I've been considerably more disappointed to see Blu-ray titles with nothing but a regular 5.1 DD audio track on them. At least HD-DVD has made DD+ the defacto standard on that format.
And whether we blame HDi vs. BD-Java, the lack of BD profile 1.1 or BD-Live players or BD+ protection or whatever - I'm disappointed with the lack of better disc navigation and cool features that just aren't possible on DVD. Blu-ray has disappointed me more than HD-DVD in this department and that usually goes hand in hand with the reasons I just listed. But the fact is that Blu-ray is perfectly capable of delivering what I want, it's just being held back for some reason.
Getting the hardware side essentially "out of the way" is the first step. Having the hardware limit things like PIP commentaries, cool features not possible on DVD or internet connectivity is frankly just shameful and stupid. But with those roadblocks out of the way, it's still up to the studios to deliver.
I've foreseen more problems for Blu-ray on this front than HD-DVD. And that's simply because studios want to make sure that their discs will play on every Blu-ray player out there. That stinks because it means they're limited by the lowest common denominator. And while they can stick the "some features of this disc may not be compatible with your player" disclaimer all over the case, the simple fact is that there is less inclination to put features on a disc when you know that a whole bunch of people out there won't be able to access them because of the limitations of their player!
HD-DVD came out with internet connections, HDi interactivity and navigation, PIP, 5.1 DD+ and 5.1 TrueHD decoding in every player more or less right out of the gate (we'll forget about the few months wait for 5.1 TrueHD decoding since it was a simple firmware update and not a hardware limitation). Any studio can know for sure that every HD-DVD player out there can support these features, so the incentive is there to include them.
None of that matters in the face of Blu-ray's exclusive support from several major studios, but that only serves to further illustrate how copy-protection was a bigger issue to some studios than delivering a compelling new format.