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Pioneer Blu-ray Player Demo Explained - Page 2  

post #31 of 174
IMHO, the long term solution will be HD downloads not either of the optical formats. However, I will continue to enjoy HD-DVD and D-VHS in the meantime and BD when it is more competitively priced.
post #32 of 174
A good analogy to the HD DVD vs BD debate is to look to the airlines.

You can fly United Airlines or Southwest from Denver to Chicago. United spends more on advertising, has bigger planes, and greater capacity than Southwest, and has alliances with other high priced airlines. Both will get you to Chicago but Southwest has fewer customer complaints for on-time arrivals, cancellations, and lost luggage than United. And complaints are resolved quicker and more positively by Southwest than United.

A walkup fair on United is several times the price of a walkup fair on Southwest. If the money for the ticket is coming out of your pocket which will you choose, the one that consistently delivers where it counts, is cheaper and more responsive to complaints, or the one that fails to deliver where it counts but spends more on advertising and promotion and anti-competitive alliances?
post #33 of 174
Which is why Southwest was the one profitable airline where the others were in bankruptcy. Nice analogy!
post #34 of 174
It is amazing how quickly people forget the price factor when it's not in their favor.
post #35 of 174
Thank you.
post #36 of 174
It would be really nice if this thread did not turn in a yet another BD bashing thread.
post #37 of 174
No bashing BD here. When a stand alone player is available for under $500.00, I will get one!
post #38 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjack
It would be really nice if this thread did not turn in a yet another BD bashing thread.

My post wasn't meant as a bash to BD but only to point out that for a premium price, BD has yet to consistently deliver on it's promises. Marketing strength doesn't make a product good. Toshiba, without the industry support BD has, has been working to deliver a product that lives up to its promise in a customer responsive manner. I hope the BD alliance comes through in the same way, but we have yet to see that.
post #39 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdigden
Chris,

Can you please confirm the Pioneer will natively support 1080p24 w/o any processing?
I believe Chris did make that statement in another thread somewhere?

I also confirmed it in the Magnolia myself by playing with the Demo Machine.

Once I did that - I pre-ordered MINE [GRIN]!
post #40 of 174
Chris,

Thanks very much for your post.

I am a long-time Pioneer and Sony fan and Blu-Ray supporter. I have owed many Elite components and still have several Elite LD players in operation in my systems.

I fully believe that Blu-Ray's superiority in storage, bandwidth, and extensibility is critical. It is also clear that HD DVD has gained its foot-hold by the clever tactic of making the player a loss-leader, and that the actual manufacturing cost of the players is (or will soon be) very similar for both formats.

HOWEVER:

1. Sony has executed the worst product launch I have ever seen in the AV area by shipping disks that are simply inferior. While things have improved, first impressions are important, and the first impression was that Blu-Ray was remarkably inferior as well as twice as expensive.
2. Samsung did a decent job in getting its player to market. If higher-quality players (such as the Elite) had also been available earlier, it would have helped, since I am sure that the Elite will be superior to the Samsung. Instead, the Elite (as well as the Sony) have been delayed repeatedly. This has hurt the format as well.
3. WRT codecs: this debate rages. Since I make my living doing statistical studies of product effectiveness, I believe that the data on MPEG2 vs. VC-1 comparisons show a statistically significant superiority of current VC-1 titles on both formats over MPEG2. Whether that is an accurate reflection of the situation or an artifact of something else I cannot say. It is clear that Sony has done a wretched job with its early titles, convincing everyone who cared to look last summer that Blu-Ray was incredibly inferior to HD DVD. My own experience was an early comparison of House of Flying Daggers to The Phantom of the Opera. Wow! I was actually physically ill and disoriented after this experience, asking how I could have been so wrong as to trust Sony in this matter.

The apparent ease with which reliably good titles are created with VC-1 should convince anyone. I buy Pioneer Elite because I can rely on it. At this point, same for VC-1.

If I have one thing to suggest to Pioneer it is this: tell the folks at Sony that they need to get their act together and soon. They have essentially one more chance with this thing, to get their machines and excellent titles into the marketplace quickly and reliably.

My judgment is that Blu-Ray should win and still can but it is in much more tenuous state that BDA executives seem to realize. Folks like Andy Parsons and Don Eklund seem to simply not have a clue.

Thanks again for your great input.
post #41 of 174
What would it take for Pioneer to develop and HD-DVD player or a universal player? What would you have to lose? The purpose for these nxt gen discs is for MOVIES, which generally run 2 hours or less. Toshiba has shown that 30 GBs are more than enough. If it weren't for blu-ray coming into the picture, we all would be enjoying great HD movies from all studios with players from many different CE manufacturers, and we would all be perfectly happy with it.
post #42 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith
Chris,

Thanks very much for your post.


HOWEVER:

My judgment is that Blu-Ray should win and still can but it is in much more tenuous state that BDA executives seem to realize. Folks like Andy Parsons and Don Eklund seem to simply not have a clue.

Thanks again for your great input.
All of your post pretty much sums it up. Hopefully the Elite player will maintain their excellent reputation for excellence. I guess I won't be seeing an Elite HD DVD player for a while or never....
post #43 of 174
Hello Chris, For the most part I love Pioneer Elite products and have brought little else in the last 10 years. I have a question concerning your new BD player that I would love answered.

Where is the i link?

Let me explain. Okay the player can pass the info through 5.1 analog outs. The problem is all digital processing is out the window with my VSX-55TXi . THX processing gone, MCACC calibration gone, listening modes gone, etc. The MCACC especially is a huge advantage in a high end system. All I can do is set general speaker levels and distance for the analog inputs. Needless to say I feel someone was seriously asleep at the wheel during the product development stage of this player.

Why would the player have an i link? For the same reason it has a composite video output. To make the product as backward compatible as possible. I realize it will not decode any advanced audio formats, but it still could have transfered the LPCM or DD+ and Dolby True HD soundtracks converted to LPCM of course to any i link reciever with no loss of resolution.

My solution is this. My DV-59avi came with a great 1394 4 pin cable. An HDMI to 1394 4 pin conversion cable would solve all of the above problems. Transfering the audio in the digital realm straight to the reciever for digital processing. Much like a HDMI to DVI cable does except we are flipping to Audio only here.

Curious on your thoughts?
post #44 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO-630HD
My solution is this. My DV-59avi came with a great 1394 4 pin cable. An HDMI to 1394 4 pin conversion cable would solve all of the above problems. Transfering the audio in the digital realm straight to the reciever for digital processing. Much like a DVI to HDMI cable does except we are flipping to Audio only here.

Curious on your thoughts?
Great idea on the conversion cable - I love i-Link and also wish it was on this player.

Thanks Chris for braving the boards again and giving us good information. Please don't let us run you off with HD vs BD threads!
post #45 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith
Chris,

Thanks very much for your post.

I am a long-time Pioneer and Sony fan and Blu-Ray supporter. I have owed many Elite components and still have several Elite LD players in operation in my systems.

I fully believe that Blu-Ray's superiority in storage, bandwidth, and extensibility is critical. It is also clear that HD DVD has gained its foot-hold by the clever tactic of making the player a loss-leader, and that the actual manufacturing cost of the players is (or will soon be) very similar for both formats.

HOWEVER:

1. Sony has executed the worst product launch I have ever seen in the AV area by shipping disks that are simply inferior. While things have improved, first impressions are important, and the first impression was that Blu-Ray was remarkably inferior as well as twice as expensive.
2. Samsung did a decent job in getting its player to market. If higher-quality players (such as the Elite) had also been available earlier, it would have helped, since I am sure that the Elite will be superior to the Samsung. Instead, the Elite (as well as the Sony) have been delayed repeatedly. This has hurt the format as well.
3. WRT codecs: this debate rages. Since I make my living doing statistical studies of product effectiveness, I believe that the data on MPEG2 vs. VC-1 comparisons show a statistically significant superiority of current VC-1 titles on both formats over MPEG2. Whether that is an accurate reflection of the situation or an artifact of something else I cannot say. It is clear that Sony has done a wretched job with its early titles, convincing everyone who cared to look last summer that Blu-Ray was incredibly inferior to HD DVD. My own experience was an early comparison of House of Flying Daggers to The Phantom of the Opera. Wow! I was actually physically ill and disoriented after this experience, asking how I could have been so wrong as to trust Sony in this matter.

The apparent ease with which reliably good titles are created with VC-1 should convince anyone. I buy Pioneer Elite because I can rely on it. At this point, same for VC-1.

If I have one thing to suggest to Pioneer it is this: tell the folks at Sony that they need to get their act together and soon. They have essentially one more chance with this thing, to get their machines and excellent titles into the marketplace quickly and reliably.

My judgment is that Blu-Ray should win and still can but it is in much more tenuous state that BDA executives seem to realize. Folks like Andy Parsons and Don Eklund seem to simply not have a clue.

Thanks again for your great input.
Dead on post! I was sold on Bluray being a Pioneer Elite guy. After seeing 5 discs on the format, they looked so poor it took little to convert. BD-50 and mpeg 4 at a minimum and all the extras from the dvd. I do not want the Ultimate Edition Bond films on BD with only a few of the extras available on the dvd's coming out next month.

Everything on Dolby True HD I have read states 1.5 to 2 mbps average with a possible peak at 3 or maybe 4 mbps depending on the source material. Average rates are nowhere near 4.5mbps. Example, Phantom of the Opera 5.1 True HD has an average bit rate of 1.6 mbps and a 3 mbps peak(16/48). There is nothing wrong with LPCM if you have the room, but it is far from efficient. VC1 and True HD are leaps and bounds ahead IMO. HDDVD's with 6 hours of special features on a 30 gb disc True HD and excellent picture should prove that (Constantine).

Similiar comments were made on average bit rates between the two formats with Don Ekland of Sony that were far from accurate stating picture bit rates for HDDVD were averaging 20+ mbps. The fact is CJPlay a compressionist for Warner gave the bit rates for Batman Begins, Harry Potter, Dukes of Hazzard, Firewall, Phantom of the Opera, Rumour Has It an I believe Troy. The average or ABR was 14 mpbs, the peak average or PBR was 20.8mbps for the 7 titles. This would hold true for both formats as all Warner now are VC1.
post #46 of 174
Chris since you personally own and enjoy both, how about a universal player?
post #47 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO-630HD
Where is the i link?
Stripped out, just like the ability to play CD's, DVD-A and SACD, and unless Chris can confirm otherwise, the advanced audio codecs. Better hang on to your DV-59AVi. I am! It's a great universal DVD player :D. TO be frank, I think if Pioneer would have positioned this BD player as a 59/79 replacement, it would rule! Well worth Pioneer's original MSRP of $1800. To paraphrase a great trilogy: "one player to rule them all".

I'm not BD bashing, but Toshiba has really delivered on their promises. I've got both formats now, and plan to keep it that way until clear winner emerges. I think in the long run, BD can win, but I sure agree with rlsmith that Blu-ray has been one poor product launch. And HD-DVD deserves a lot of support for what they've accomplished as the "underdog"; they also deserve support to force BDA to get & keep their act together. My 2c.

I still am a big fan of Elite gear. But, until this player is proven to be a better performer or there's committment to provide firmware upgrades, I'll be enjoying the Panasonic.

ss9001
post #48 of 174
Addendum to Chris Walker:

I just checked: there were 25 inferior titles from Sony, MGM, and Lionsgate--all compressed with MPEG2--before there was a single credible title from any of these studios. The first credible title from Sony was "Tears of the Sun". About that time, Warners started shipping Blu-Ray, and basically saved Blu-Ray's reputation with its VC-1 titles. [Warners also saved Samsung's reputation and, if your player had been in the market place, would have save your player's reputation as well.]

In contrast: the very first Warners HD DVD titles out of the gate on April 18 had stunning PQ. They were in VC-1.

Suppose you bought 25 items in a row from a company and all of them were unsatisfactory. Would you keep doing business with that company?

Oddly enough, I am giving Sony another chance, and the marketplace seems to be doing the same. But time is running out.
post #49 of 174
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=24073 I don't know about the credibility of Tears of the Sun as a standout. The only reviews I have read where they are consistent across the board from numerous sites are the mpeg-4 BD titles. Look if Warner and Paramount, both producing very consistent good looking BD titles, would have stayed on one side of the fence the lead HDDVD would have right now in this format war would be incredible.

I am going to cut the Samsung player some slack. Sony used it as a scapegoat for their piss poor transfers. The new Elite player is not going to turn HOFD or 5th Element into demo material. According to Don Ekland of Sony again it was the noise reduction chip causing the soft picture and Sony was very happy with all the BD transfers. Funny how when Warner VC1 titles were compared using the Samsung with its picture softening chip against the same HDDVD title on the Toshiba no one could tell the difference. You can see how a persons credibility goes right out the window making comments like this!
post #50 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001
Stripped out, just like the ability to play CD's, DVD-A and SACD, and unless Chris can confirm otherwise, the advanced audio codecs. Better hang on to your DV-59AVi. I am! It's a great universal DVD player :D. TO be frank, I think if Pioneer would have positioned this BD player as a 59/79 replacement, it would rule! Well worth Pioneer's original MSRP of $1800. To paraphrase a great trilogy: "one player to rule them all".

I'm not BD bashing, but Toshiba has really delivered on their promises. I've got both formats now, and plan to keep it that way until clear winner emerges. I think in the long run, BD can win, but I sure agree with rlsmith that Blu-ray has been one poor product launch. And HD-DVD deserves a lot of support for what they've accomplished as the "underdog"; they also deserve support to force BDA to get & keep their act together. My 2c.

I still am a big fan of Elite gear. But, until this player is proven to be a better performer or there's committment to provide firmware upgrades, I'll be enjoying the Panasonic.

ss9001
I have no plans to get rid of my beloved Dv-59AVi. I am a good shopper and purchased this for $300 off store price right when it was introduced. DVD audio and Multichannel SACD (Sony playing catch up again, initially it was 2 channel) are awesome, but at this point very niche products.
post #51 of 174
Chris, when you have the final specs please post asap. I'm waiting anxiously for this player, but I need to know if it supports or will support advanced audio codecs.
post #52 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgnff
Chris, when you have the final specs please post asap. I'm waiting anxiously for this player, but I need to know if it supports or will support advanced audio codecs.
QUESTION ALREADY ANSWERED ---

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post8744142
post #53 of 174
Thanks, but that thread didn't really confirm or deny the possibility of future firmware upgrade for audio codecs that you can get with the Panasonic player.
post #54 of 174
Thread Starter 
Hi Robert,

I own an HD-A1 and use it often.. It is a quite capable player, however I kind of disagree that all of those features were there out of the box.. It did require several firmware upgrades.... And I am not a big fan of that fact that the Toshiba player always has the Thompson Film Grain Reduction circuit on.. Not that I am complaining about the picture, I just don't want the player messing with the video in any way....

I think the Elite players capability to output 1080p24 and the Home Media Gallery feature do justify the price difference... As far as the HD-XA2, at Cedia I was told by Toshiba that it would not output 24hz... Mark Knox also confirmed this a couple of days ago in a trade journal called CE Daily...


Our BDP-HD1 does have a network controller... The ethernet jack can be used for both home media gallery and player control... We are not ready to comment on BD live at this point...

I am not saying that HD-DVD is bad, I just don't think it is the best choice in the long-run..... We will see......

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR1
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?
post #55 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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?

Hi Spizz,

Sorry I cannot answer this question right now.. I will hopefully be able to soon...

Chris
post #56 of 174
Thread Starter 
Hi Peter,

I guess we are going to have to disagree on this one.. I am by no means a compressionist, however I simply using some of the defaults in the encoder I have achieved great results... Some of the clips on our Demo discs I did the encoding for.. If you have a chance to see them please do...

At my office I have a Panasonic D5 deck and use a Key Digital HD-SDI to DVI box to view the content on one of our PRO-FHD1 which was ISF calibrated... I then captured the D5 using an AJA card and encoded it in MPEG2 using Sonics Cinevision encoder... We then compared it with the original...

When encoding VBR (goal 20, low 15m and high 40), the difference between the D5 and the BD file was not visible.. When encoding at a CBR 35 I still could not see a difference either (Maybe a little but it could have been my mind playing tricks on me).... If I had a newer VC1 encoder I will use it as well......MPEG2 encodes in almost real time on the PC I use...

Chris


QUOTE=PeterS]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 :) ![/quote]
post #57 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819
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.
It will work with MCE.. Since MCE is a shell on top of Windows XP use can use Windows Media connect or Windows Media Player 11..... Both of these are UPNP servers.. It also works with Mac (DLNA server software required), Linux and Vista. I think you will like HMG..... The ethernet port is 100mbps......

Chris
post #58 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Hi Robert,

I own an HD-A1 and use it often.. It is a quite capable player, however I kind of disagree that all of those features were there out of the box.. It did require several firmware upgrades.... And I am not a big fan of that fact that the Toshiba player always has the Thompson Film Grain Reduction circuit on.. Not that I am complaining about the picture, I just don't want the player messing with the video in any way....

I think the Elite players capability to output 1080p24 and the Home Media Gallery feature do justify the price difference... As far as the HD-XA2, at Cedia I was told by Toshiba that it would not output 24hz... Mark Knox also confirmed this a couple of days ago in a trade journal called CE Daily...


Our BDP-HD1 does have a network controller... The ethernet jack can be used for both home media gallery and player control... We are not ready to comment on BD live at this point...

I am not saying that HD-DVD is bad, I just don't think it is the best choice in the long-run..... We will see......

Chris
What makes BD actually "better" though?

More storage capacity is nice but comes with a high price. 30GB is more than sufficient.

Does it have better picture quality? So far most transfers using MPEG2 are less than stunning. Price? No. Ease of use? No. Most DVD duplicators can use their existing equipment to make HD-DVD.

All things being equal I agree more capacity is better. But Sony and company have done a horrible job at releasing this to the public.

As a long time fan of Pioneer I hope you represent your opinions and not that of your company. I would love to see Pioneer HD-DVD Elite player. I would imagine you would be able to offer a lower price and sell twice as many.

At what point do you look at the market and realize HD-DVD is the emerging format? When sales have at least tripled the competition? Done. When the HT community compares everything to HD-DVD and just gives silent prayers for BD because of several exclusive titles?

EDIT:

I would also like to point out Son'y 94% profit drop in the last quarter. Does this not concern Pioneer?

I do appreciate taking the time to talk to the public though. I wish more manufactures would take notice. I know Amir in the Microsoft HD-DVD camp has been welcomed as well.
post #59 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forceflow
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.

The Tweeter Distribution centers do have them and they should be in the stores very shortly.....

Chris
post #60 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drhankz
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.

I really wish I could give you a definite answer to this question.... All I can say is that we are investigating the possibility...(I am really pushing it)...

Chris
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