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Update from Pioneer on Blu-Ray Launch Day - Page 3  

post #61 of 197
Keith,

I am not asking you to comment on any specific brand of player, but can your chipset accommodate output at 1080p-24sf? This is EXTREMELY important for us Qualia owners.

Thanks

Peter
post #62 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by shasta
I'm not sure why you don't get the pricing concern that many if not most people have. I for one would rather spend the extra cash provided I'm getting a superior product with superior performance to justify it. However everything I've read here over the last few months doesn't support the idea that Bd is going provide a superior product over HD DVD. So again why should I or anyone else spend 3 times as much for a product that clearly is not superior or much different than HD DVD in it's basic function?
Agreed, if you're basing the value/price on PQ only (and that assumes for the moment that BD isn't as good/or better than HD-DVD in PQ). My point is that some posts have focused only on PQ in determining price while, IMO, build quality, available features, support, and other factors should also be included in determining the value of a particular product. In the end, it is what is, some will pay the premium while others will not be able to justify the additional expense.

Frankly, at this point I think they are all overpriced, but I like the possibilities that exist for both formats.

Jim
post #63 of 197
I would say that 2 firmware releases in the first 2 months with another (1.4) due next week is excellent support. It is better than I imagined and I am very pleased with the job Toshiba is doing. They are reading these threads, and they are listening.
post #64 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by pteittinen
Do you?
No, I haven't heard anything reliable about dual layer discs being considerably more expensive, so why should I assume that? I know that HD-DVD supporters like to speculate the worst case scenarios for BD and then state it as the overwhelmingly probable scenario, but what is really the point in that? Speculation at best, HD-DVD-supporters-dream at worst.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pteittinen
By 'fall' you mean...?
As in the season. Sony has said they will deliver dual layer discs late summer/October. If we don't have dual layer discs by PS3 launch, then perhaps there'll be reason to believe they are having serious problems manufacturing them. And even then, stating that dual layer will become a niche-format for BD is far-fetched.
post #65 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by kvestergaard
No, I haven't heard anything reliable about dual layer discs being considerably more expensive, so why should I assume that? I know that HD-DVD supporters like to speculate the worst case scenarios for BD and then state it as the overwhelmingly probable scenario, but what is really the point in that? Speculation at best, HD-DVD-supporters-dream at worst.
Were we talking about consumer prices or production prices? I think we can assume that the movies themselves can't be any more expensive simply because they are on a BD-50 instead of BD-25. Consumers wouldn't 1) understand the reason behind the price difference and 2) buy them.

Production costs however... BD DL is much more difficult to produce in good yields than BD SL. At the moment there's not a single factory in the world capable of producing BD-50 on an actual production line. Sony currently makes the BD-50 demodiscs in a lab, not a production line, which is a completely different kettle of fish. Sony basically needs to build a production line from scratch for BD-50 production. I don't have solid info on how much that costs, but I've heard some wild figures being mentioned. IOW, first BD-50s rolling out of that production line will have a huge price tag on them from production cost point of view. Sony will foot most of the bill, however, so studios can release BD-50 titles.

Quote:
As in the season. Sony has said they will deliver dual layer discs late summer/October. If we don't have dual layer discs by PS3 launch, then perhaps there'll be reason to believe they are having serious problems manufacturing them. And even then, stating that dual layer will become a niche-format for BD is far-fetched.
Problem is production capacity. UMD gave us a hint of things to come. All UMDs were authored and replicated by Sony, and the backlog was just incredible. The stories I've heard from people taking part in UMD production, man oh man. It was insane. (Was, because UMD as a movie format is rapidly dying away. And good riddance, I say.)

I've heard Sony should have the first BD-50 factory/line up and running in September. Will that happen? We'll see. It is however a given, that the factory will be utterly swamped, as it needs to satisfy the need for all BD-50 production for quite a while. And yields will be so low for the first few months, we won't be seeing a lot of titles on BD-50. Expect to see PS3 launch titles on BD-25, or much more likely, on DVD9.
post #66 of 197
Quote:
I also cancelled my Blu-ray player pre-order due to her insulting arrogance during our last phone conversation (a topic for another day).
Thomas! What happened?!?!?!

:)
post #67 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack
Thomas! What happened?!?!?!

:)
Unlike my Sony rep, I'm a Gentleman (she is not a Lady), so I won't trash her on this public forum. I guess every large company has it's bad seeds :(

Send me a PM with a phone number and I'd be happy to call you back with the details.



Also, I sure would like this thread to get back to the original subject, not to mention I would love to get the answer to my question:

"Will the Pioneer unit support 1080p24sf? :)
post #68 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
Agreed, if you're basing the value/price on PQ only (and that assumes for the moment that BD isn't as good/or better than HD-DVD in PQ). My point is that some posts have focused only on PQ in determining price while, IMO, build quality, available features, support, and other factors should also be included in determining the value of a particular product. In the end, it is what is, some will pay the premium while others will not be able to justify the additional expense.

Frankly, at this point I think they are all overpriced, but I like the possibilities that exist for both formats.

Jim

Understood, there are other factors such as product build to consider in the overall cost evaluation of these players. However, in the final evaluation is there anyone here that would honestly select a product with a lesser PQ because they feel that the product design and hardware of the over all unit is superior? Add to that, would they also chose this product at a near 3 times the cost of a product with a slightly lesser build, but superior PQ, and considerably less cost? In the frame work of the product being discussed here it is impossible to discount the importance PQ. (it is a movie player) Unlike many here, I've had no biases to either product, for me it's a simple evaluation and education of which product to put my $$$ behind. At this point nothing BD has done has shown that it's a format worthy of spending nearly twice as much for. In fact at it's best it has only shown that it's comparable to HD DVD. For me, the writing is clearly on the wall at this point.
post #69 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert George
Umm, I think I said what I said. Maybe not completely obvious, but I think the intent of the message was clear enough. However, I now see Sony has delayed their player another two months to the end of October. I recall their design also uses the Sigma Designs SoC. I guess we could speculate all day long, but obviously something is causing Sony and Pioneer to delay.
The hardware is ready to be manufactured, it's the firmware that hasn't been finalized. In all likelihood the first batch of units will be manufactured, shipped to the US by late August, and then they will proceed to update the firmware here and ship out. This gives the engineers in Japan time to test and finalize while it's going through manufacturing/shipping.

I was at Pioneers Long Beach warehouse, and one of the service engineers described how this has been done before for other products, hardware is manufactured, shipped, and they load up the latest firmware here. They are really pushing to have it out as soon as possible.

I think we can expect the BD players to update over ethernet like the Toshiba, but I haven't confirmed this either. For those using Pioneer products, they know firmware updates are always handled by the service center. Hopefully this practice will change, as the new AV receivers should have USB ports for firmware updates.

No confirmation on the 24sf yet, hope to hear next week.
post #70 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS
I am not asking you to comment on any specific brand of player, but can your chipset accommodate output at 1080p-24sf?
It is capable of outputing p24, p24sf and p48. I asked engineering to include support for those. Whether any player manfacturer will use them or not, who knows? I know some player manufacturers are showing more interest in the formats.
post #71 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjack
It is capable of outputing p24, p24sf and p48. I asked engineering to include support for those. Whether any player manfacturer will use them or not, who knows? I know some player manufacturers are showing more interest in the formats.

Sorry for being off topic, I want to ask if 1080p24 output is technically possible for HD DVD? Dr1394 said the decoder couldn't ignore the flag. Is this true?

Thanks.
post #72 of 197
You know, it's funny. I went into a Paradyme store and asked if they sold HD-DVD or Blu-ray players. They said they would offer the Pioneer when it comes out next month. I told them it was delayed, and the guy looked at me like I was an idiot and said, "They're still talking about this month." Jackass.
post #73 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjack
It is capable of outputing p24, p24sf and p48. I asked engineering to include support for those. Whether any player manfacturer will use them or not, who knows? I know some player manufacturers are showing more interest in the formats.
Keith, thanks for this valuable bit of information. It's great to see you on the boards, answering these sort of questions. Much appreciated.
post #74 of 197
Quote:
Yes, there are differences in decoding solutions. Just two weeks ago, one potential player manufacturer asked me to explain why there are obvious video quality differences between us and Broadcom. As more decoder suppliers enter the barn for slaughter, you'll see even more differences between players.
Keith,

Can you share your explanation with us?
post #75 of 197
John,

Thanks - looking forward to information on 1080p24sf!

Peter
post #76 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey
Keith, Can you share your explanation with us?
Sorry, but with competition coming, I really can't...
post #77 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy
Sorry for being off topic, I want to ask if 1080p24 output is technically possible for HD DVD? Dr1394 said the decoder couldn't ignore the flag. Is this true?
A decoder can ignore anything it wants to. :) Whether the output is OK or not is another story. But, I keep pointing out that a good decoding solution cannot simply rely on flags or even bitstream headers to properly decode a stream. Take a look at how good flag-based progressive DVD players are rated.
post #78 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
John,
Thanks for the post.

I'm beginning to have a hard time with those that always point to pricing differences. Enough already! If you don't want to pay that much for a player, or can't afford to pay that much for a player, fine, don't buy it! Are there not different prices for SD DVD players? Receivers? Projectors? Televisions? VP's? Speakers? Did you expect all of these players to have the exact same build quality, chipsets, rez options, support, etc. and same price?

Each manufacturer will include their own features, etc. Its up to each of us to decide what works best FOR US, and what we are willing to spend for it.

Jim
The items you listed, for the most part, all had differences because they transported the signal via analog, and we had to consider A/D, D/A, conversions.

But were are talking about bits on a disc... how hard can it be to read bits, and send the bits over HMDI? Not hard at all, really. There will be differences when converting the video bit stream to analog for component output...

Remember the cheap OPPO DVD upconverting player? Great via HDMI, and not nearly as good via component. They are only bits after all.

Then the question become does the Pio have $1000 worth of features over the Tosh... or $500 worth of features over the Sammy.

-T
post #79 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS
Thanks - looking forward to information on 1080p24sf!

Peter
The way things are going at this point we probably won't know what output formats will be supported until the products hit the market.

Actually, I wonder if the difference in PQ between output formats will be discernable to the naked eye anyway, particulary when you're talking about the absolutely superb Qualia 004.
post #80 of 197
As Vern has commented many times re: Qualia 004....the internal deinterlacing of 1080i60 to 1080P24SF on the Qualia is near perfect. So, there may be no visual advantage of 1080i vs 1080P24sf inputs...
post #81 of 197
Additionally, I have heard that there are problems with the 1080p upgrade for the Qualia. Supposedly (from a third-party) while it does work only on the one DVI input, it does not send out the proper EDID, so devices still think it is only 1080i. Ergo, unless your device allows you to force the resolution, you may be OOL anyway.
post #82 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by PFC5
I would say that 2 firmware releases in the first 2 months with another (1.4) due next week is excellent support. It is better than I imagined and I am very pleased with the job Toshiba is doing. They are reading these threads, and they are listening.
Can you supply a link for the new firmware info?
post #83 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
As Vern has commented many times re: Qualia 004....the internal deinterlacing of 1080i60 to 1080P24SF on the Qualia is near perfect. So, there may be no visual advantage of 1080i vs 1080P24sf inputs...
I don't think the Qualia 004 deinterlaces 1080i60 to 1080p24sf (which is really a transport type) or anything that is a multiple of 24. I think it deinterlaces it to 1080p60 and displays it that way, which is why 1080p24sf input would have an advantage, since it will be displayed with a multiple of 24.

--Darin
post #84 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw
I just think its a little unrealistic to think that twice the price (or three times the price) means you should expect twice (or three times) the PQ. There are other factors involved in pricing.

Jim
I think it has been estalished that Toshiba must be losing money on their player.

http://www.eet.com/news/latest/showA...leID=189600999
post #85 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintin1001
I think it has been estalished that Toshiba must be losing money on their player.

http://www.eet.com/news/latest/showA...leID=189600999

So?
post #86 of 197
From da bits………………….

Okay... hope you guys all had a great weekend. Hot as blazes here in The OC, but that seems to be the trend everywhere these days.

I wanted to check in this afternoon with a bit of an update on Blu-ray Disc. As I reported on Friday, I was having troubles with the HDMI output on the Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player. Actually, I was having three separate issues. The first was what I consider to be subpar picture quality on several of the first Blu-ray Disc releases. The second was a problem with the HDMI output feeding video to my Panasonic projector properly at 1080i resolution. The final issue, is what I consider to be a problem with the BD-P1000's HDMI output video quality in general. All of these were rather vexing.

Fortunately, on Friday afternoon, I was able to spend a couple hours at Pioneer Electronics with Chris Walker, the company's Manager of New Technology. He invited me to bring my Samsung player and a few of the first Sony and Lionsgate discs over to their offices here in The OC, to take a closer look at some of the quality issues. Pioneer is understandably concerned that people don't judge the quality potential of the Blu-ray Disc format by just a single player and the first few discs, and I was happy to have a chance to compare the performance of the Samsung Blu-ray player to Pioneer's yet-to-be-released Elite BDP-HD1.

We began by connecting both the BD-P1000 and the Elite BDP-HD1 to a pair of side-by-side, matching 50-inch plasma displays - Pioneer's new Pro-FHD1 Elite plasma, that's fully 1080p compatible. We connected the players to the monitors first via HDMI, selected full 1080p resolution (which both the Samsung and the Pioneer are capable of delivering), and used an identical test disc in each player to play back MPEG-2 encoded footage of Disney's Chicken Little (we photographed a nearly identical setup playing the same disc at CES in January). I had told Chris that my first impression of the Samsung player was that the video image lacked some of the detail I had expected to see, and that it wasn't fully delivering all of the color and contrast information encoded on the disc either. Sure enough, that was the first thing we both noticed. Colors and contrast (particularly color) from the BD-P1000 just seemed more subdued compared to the same image delivered by the BDP-HD1, and some of the fine detail in the image was also missing. The difference was rather dramatic. It's almost as if some kind of high-frequency filter is being applied, or as if the Samsung player is doing some kind of extra signal conversion before it sends the signal out via the HDMI connection. It's not the connection itself, because as Chris confirmed, both players use the same HDMI hardware and chipset. So it has to do with the way the Samsung player is processing the signal. By the way, to confirm that what we were seeing was really an issue with the Samsung player, and not the plasma displays, we swapped the displays connected to each player and sure enough, the video quality issues migrated to the new display.

To test something that I suspected might be the case based on my experiences with the Samsung player, we next connected the BD-P1000 to the display via the component output, and selected 1080i resolution. As I suspected, and to Chris' surprise, all of the problems with the video signal just disappeared. Suddenly, the video being displayed by the Samsung was MUCH closer in quality to the 1080p HDMI output of the Pioneer. Colors and contrast were VERY close to identical - colors just popped off the screen - and fine image detail was significantly improved on the Samsung side (although still not quite as good as the Pioneer - the difference was about what you would reasonably expect between analog component and digital HDMI connection, along with an interlaced image versus progressive scan). The upshot is, if you own a Samsung BD-P1000 and you want to experience the best possible image quality - quality that closely approaches the full potential of the video signal encoded on the disc - you NEED to be viewing via the component output. Now, that's troubling given that protected digital HDMI is what everyone in the industry is encouraging people to use. Yes... the Samsung is capable of delivering full-resolution 1080i video to your display via component. Like all Blu-ray and HD-DVD players, the player must be able to read the Image Constraint Token flag on the software if the studios choose to turn it on (and thus disallow full-resolution analog playback). However, the good news so far is that neither Sony or Lionsgate has chosen to exercise this option yet (for that matter, neither have any of the HD-DVD supporting studios either).

By the way, the scaling problem I was having between the Samsung and my Panasonic LCD projector via HDMI at 1080i resolution wasn't happening with the Pioneer plasma. It also isn't happening at any resolution via the component outputs, so it's definitely something endemic to the way the Samsung and my projector handshake via the HDMI connection. I'm hearing a few reports from other Panasonic projector owners who are having the same problem, so it's not just confined to my specific model of projector.

While we were conducting our tests, Pioneer's Senior Vice President Andy Parsons joined us for while. We continued sampling various Blu-ray Disc titles from Sony and Lionsgate, along with some other film demo material, including one clip that was encoded in VC1 format. Those of you who are interested in how Blu-ray displays VC1 material will be pleased to know that it looks absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, I can't talk about the specific clips we saw, but it wouldn't be fair to compare Blu-ray's VC1 quality to that of HD-DVD at this point anyway, especially not from a single short clip. I will tell you, however, that one specific piece of test footage we looked at (in MPEG-2) was hands-down the single most stunning high-def video I've ever seen. I've seen a lot of HD video in my day, but NOTHING this good in terms of detail, color, contrast and lack of compression artifacting. I have no doubt that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc are capable of delivering video quality of this level eventually, but I'm betting full-length movie discs this good won't start hitting store shelves until mid-to-late next year... when the authoring and compression folks have had enough time to really hone their wizardry with these formats. The same was also true in the early days of DVD, of course, and compression quality has only gotten better since 1997. I suspect the same will be true with HD. Suffice it to say that when the average video DOES get that good on HD-DVD and Blu-ray, there's going to be something said for the argument that once you experience that kind of HD quality, it's hard to go back to regular DVD.

Anyway, I left Pioneer feeling a LOT more confident about what I was seeing from the Samsung player. I know now that the picture quality the player delivers via HDMI is significantly inferior to that of its component output, and I know that Samsung's 1080i component output comes very close to delivering the full image quality encoded on the discs. I also have a better handle on the software quality issues - what's related to disc compression or to transfer issues. As a result of this, I've begun to evaluate the first wave of Blu-ray titles with all this in mind. I'm also going to compare the Toshiba's HD-A1 player's HDMI output with its component quality, and begin seriously reviewing the first several waves of HD-DVD titles with a more confident eye as well. Chalk it all up to the kinds of critical re-training you need to do with any new video format. C'est la vie in this industry in the 21st Century!

Rest assured, however, we'll check back tomorrow with a full update of all the latest standard DVD release news, and we've got a number of standard DVD reviews on the way as well. Also, we've got a big (and long overdue, we know) update of the Upcoming DVD Cover Art section nearly ready, and Todd checks back in with a new Doogan's Views column this week as well. So stay tuned...!

Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com
post #87 of 197
^^ Bill Hunt is one of several people I've seen mention this "component > HDMI" idea, at least in regards to the Samsung.

Hey, whatever works! Hope some owners do some experimenting and let us know what's what.
post #88 of 197
If I were to purchase BD it sounds to me like I would really wait until the Pio comes out....at least from Bill says....even though i dont trus his op. all the time...
post #89 of 197
That should scratch the Samsung from anyone's list of Blu-Ray players. Who wants to buy a player that looks good only as long as you use component. Now you're at the mercy of Hollywood switching on the ICT and forcing you to use Samsung's inferior HDMI....not good.

Of course what still confuses me with Bill's findings is the still large variation in HD quality of the initial disks even WITH the HDMI output. I think there still is an issue with MPEG2 encoding on these disks. It seems that as many suspected, there may really be two issues at work, the player and the encoding.
post #90 of 197
Still, no news on 1080p24sf from the Pioneer....

PLEASE?!?!?
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