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Pioneer BDP-H1 Smoke & Mirrors - Sorry - Page 2  

post #31 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
Misleading by Pioneer or the software manufacturers???:rolleyes:

Tell me how Pioneer will know what the public release of the BD disc will look like after they put the demo on their demo disc months in advance of that said release?
As long as it is playing on a BD in a BD player, I dont care. Does anybody remember a DVD demo when they first came out??? I would be curious how that would compare to todays DVDs????????
post #32 of 188
I do think it reflects very highly on Pioneer that Chris is here and is so accomodating. I haven't been able to test out the Elite player yet, but I will either later today or tomorrow. I know at Tweeter I can wrest the player away and put it through its paces. The Tweeter guys know that if anyone wants to see the player while I fiddle with it I'll be more than happy to demo and sell it. It always helps to have someone else sell a customer as they relax and don't get suspiscious. I'll post my findings when I do that run down.
post #33 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99
I don't think the average consumer, who knows nothing about bit-rates or coding or any of that, is going to be happy when after watching a clip from some film on a demo disc, buys the player, buys the film, and sees something that bears no resemblance to the demo clip, is likely to make these distinctions as to precisely who was responsible for misleading him. I think he's going to feel had.

Hi Patrick,

I will leave this alone after this post... I truly believe that if you purchase some of the better BD titles out there they will look just as good as the demo disc.. Like many people on here have said regarding VC1 encodes are transparent to the master at 12mbps to 18mbps... Many BD titles use VC1 and are using the exact same elementary video streams as the HD-DVD version... If these bit rates are transparent to the original then I cannot do any better than the original with MPEG2...

Now all that is left is the hardware being used to decode it...

Chris
post #34 of 188
Seems to me the situation of the demo disk being of high quality is no different than the general practice of TV sets out of the box on showroom floors at high brightness and contrast settings. The sets are competing with others in a room with generally less than optimal conditions.

In the case of TVs, the smart shoppers will adjust the settings and in the case of BD players, the smart shoppers will try different movies. Just everyday marketing - nothing slight of hand.
post #35 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forceflow
I do think it reflects very highly on Pioneer that Chris is here and is so accomodating.
For once I agree with you!!! And because of that, as Ive stated earlier, my next BD player will be a Pioneer.
post #36 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS
First, let me state that I am getting both an HD-DVD player and a BluRay player. I was strongly considering the Pioneer BDP-H1 and was visiting my local Best Buys on a regular basis to determine when they were getting in their demonstration unit. Well, it came in the other day, and so far I have had about two hours exclusive time with it.

After careful, contemplated, consideration, let me say that this unit is a lot of Smoke and Mirrors.

First, the demonstration on their 1080p Plasma set looks stunning. So much so that before doing anything, I watched it all the way through once. Amazing! Aladdin looked tremendous. There was some artifacting in the blue skies in the magic carpet scene, but nothing too objectionable, and something which may have been the display more than the player.

However, something was bugging me.

So, I went and got both a commercial BluRay title I was familiar with and the Samsung demonstration disc and went to play them in the Pioneer BDP-HD1 demonstration machine - neither would play. Instead an "Incompatible Disc" warning message was displayed. "Something is up," I thought.

Next, lets take the Pioneer demonstration disc and put it into the Samsung player. In order to be fair, lets connect the Samsung (first generation with the supposed "noise bug") to the same set. Done. The Samsung plays the Pioneer demonstration disc without a problem. In fact, THE SAMSUNG LOOKED DAMN NEAR IDENTICAL TO THE PIONEER!!!!! At least in terms of overall picture quality!

(Let me say that this was not a scientific test of proper material - commercial discs - on both players, as that was not possible. However, given the material which could be seen on both, there was little to no difference.)

Put the demonstration disc back in the Pioneer player and press DISPLAY. Lo and behold I learn that the clips on the Pioneer demonstration disc are averaging about 40mbps and peaking at near 50mbps!!!!!

40 - 50 mbps bandwidth is SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE any commercial BluRay title released to date - probably ever released with multi-channel audio!!!

So, what did we learn.

First, let me praise the Pioneer BDP-HD1 for the Media Gallery (which I could not demo) and the 24fps output (which I did demo). These alone are two features which may or may not significantly impact your buying decision.

However, when looking at the picture quality of the Pioneer unit, realize that you are not looking at the quality of the BDP-HD1, but at the QUALITY OF THE DEMO DISC!!!!

The Demo Disc is AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Does it show what BluRay can do? NO!!! It shows what image quality can look like with 20 minutes of demonstration material on a disc once it has been pushed to the highest possible bit-rates!!! We all knew this would look great.

Now, this is still a Prototype Player. I am sure Pioneer is in a near panic that their player will not be ready for Christmas and that this is the way to get orders for both their 1080p Plasma and BluRay player. However, the ethics of this are, at the least, questionable. The salesmen are all running around showing off how much better the Pioneer BDP-HD1 will look based upon this misleading material.

I have used Pioneer Elite products in the past, and have stood by their quality.

I had expected better.
Peter,

One last thing, do you believe the VC1 encodes are transparent to the master at the 12mbps to 18mbps that is claimed by many people on this forum. If you do than many BD titles are in VC1 at these bit-rates using the same elementary stream as the HD-DVD title.. If this is transparent to the master, then running MPEG2 at higher bit-rates cannot make it better than the master. The only difference in picture quality now is the decoder that is being used, as well as any video processing that is being done...

If I am wrong please let me know.... I do want to be civil about this.. I get heated up sometimes as well.... I am a gear head as well...

Chris
post #37 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Hi Patrick,

I will leave this alone after this post... I truly believe that if you purchase some of the better BD titles out there they will look just as good as the demo disc.. Like many people on here have said regarding VC1 encodes are transparent to the master at 12mbps to 18mbps... Many BD titles use VC1 and are using the exact same elementary video streams as the HD-DVD version... If these bit rates are transparent to the original then I cannot do any better than the original with MPEG2...

Now all that is left is the hardware being used to decode it...

Chris
Hi Chris,

I hope that I haven't said anything to offend you. All of my comments were based on the theoretical possibility that the demo might show a result that was different from the result on the corresponding commercial release, however that difference was achieved. I was not saying that there was in fact such a difference. As several of the prior posters have noted, I appreciate your obvious care and concern about the subject. In terms of specific BD titles, as I have said in other posts, I think The Brothers Grimm, for example, looks phenomenally good. Also, my comments have absolutely nothing to do with BD versus HD DVD.

Thanks,

Patrick
post #38 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS
Next, lets take the Pioneer demonstration disc and put it into the Samsung player. In order to be fair, lets connect the Samsung (first generation with the supposed "noise bug") to the same set. Done. The Samsung plays the Pioneer demonstration disc without a problem. In fact, THE SAMSUNG LOOKED DAMN NEAR IDENTICAL TO THE PIONEER!!!!! At least in terms of overall picture quality!
Bill Hunt of www.thedigitalbits.com went to Pioneer back in June I believe as the issues with the DNR circuit came up in the Samsung player comparing it to the BDP-HD1. Using component outputs the results were near identical.

"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)."

You all know as well as I do no BD is going to be running over 40 mbps unless it is 75 minutes long with no extras. The average bit rate thus far at least on Sony titles is 18 mbps for picture. Okay increase this to 36 mbps for a BD-50 which should look quite stunning despite the reviews of Click, but still sans extras which has been a major gripe with BD. The bottom line is BD-50 are going to have a good supplement of special features so bit rates will not be this high for the feature.
post #39 of 188
Hi Patrick,

I did not take any offense, sorry if it appeared so.. .I just get heated up sometimes as well. I am just really big on being fair, I truly believe our BD player does a very good job of delivering great video... I agree that not all of the BD titles have lived up to the format, some of this is the fault of not great masters, and some of this is slightly because of some hardware, the format itself is sound...

I like the titles that have been released on both formats with the same encode.. It now comes down to hardware....

The demos that were done yesterday at the office for NemoZorro (AVS Member) was with all available BD players and the Toshiba HD-A1. I also had two PRO-FHD1 1080 Panels.... I let home check out all of the tv settings, player settings, and he even changes which player was connected to each display to make sure that the display was not adjusted at all...... I am waiting for his post (He drove from the Phoenix area and was going to spend the weekend in Ca)..


Chris



Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99
Hi Chris,

I hope that I haven't said anything to offend you. All of my comments were based on the theoretical possibility that the demo might show a result that was different from the result on the corresponding commercial release, however that difference was achieved. I was not saying that there was in fact such a difference. As several of the prior posters have noted, I appreciate your obvious care and concern about the subject. In terms of specific BD titles, as I have said in other posts, I think The Brothers Grimm, for example, looks phenomenally good. Also, my comments have absolutely nothing to do with BD versus HD DVD.

Thanks,

Patrick
post #40 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRO-630HD
You all know as well as I do no BD is going to be running over 40 mbps unless it is 75 minutes long with no extras. The average bit rate thus far at least on Sony titles is 18 mbps for picture. Okay increase this to 36 mbps for a BD-50 which should look quite stunning despite the reviews of Click, but still sans extras which has been a major b*#h with BD. The bottom line is BD-50 are going to have a good supplement of special features so bit rates will not be this high for the feature.
Since I am not a tech person by any means ( I run a furniture store ), from the above post, can I take it that the demo disc has less compression then the typical Blue Ray disc and look a lot better then any BR disc I would purchase?
post #41 of 188
I would also like to say, that Chris's presense here, and the time he has taken explaining everything, has played a part in my decision to pre-order the BDP-H1.

I don't think you are getting a reasonable return on all your effort, but I appreciate it. :)
post #42 of 188
Chris

You're being way too accommodating to the HD-DVD clowns on AVS trolling your thread.

Most of these people will never touch a pioneer player because they think HD players should come out of a cracker jack box instead of a major hardware house like pioneer. I appreciate you being so level headed and to everyone else trying to say something about the demo disc, Pioneer is selling a PLAYER. They arent selling discs. So they put out a demo disc showing what the player is capable of, not the other way around. I realise that for a lot of you, this type of thinking is very hard and a headache will soon be upon you. Sorry.
post #43 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz6speed
Chris

You're being way too accommodating to the HD-DVD clowns on AVS trolling your thread.
I do believe it was PeterS's thread.
post #44 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz6speed
Chris

You're being way too accommodating to the HD-DVD clowns on AVS trolling your thread.
I thought Peters started this thread.
post #45 of 188
Oops too slow. :D
post #46 of 188
Personal attack need to stop. Report bad post do not respond, If you respond you are just as quilty.
post #47 of 188
Thread Starter 
Chris,

I have a lot of respect for you and for what you are trying to do on this forum.

Realize I have a fair amount of experience with MPEG-2 and have a very good understanding of the issues. My point is that given enough bandwidth, any compression scheme can look good. However, the issue is how good they look with limited bandwidth. In my own opinion, based on my own experience. I would rate them (out of 10) as follows:

VC-1: 9.5
h.264: 8.5
MPEG-2: 6.0

Of course this is subjective, and of course I would like to see more discs use the best codec possible. I don't care if it is HD-DVD or BD, the best should always be used, and politics (and that is what we are talking about) be damned.

My concern about the Pioneer demo disc is not that there were High-Bit-Rate clips, that is fine, it is that there were High-Bit-Rate clips from BD titles, when the final BD titles will (most likely) not be using these, your terms, "very high bit-rates" when they ship. Unless I am mistaken, both the Samsung and Toshiba demo discs, used actual clips from the soon to be shipping titles on their discs, along with higher bit-rate samples (to show what the player is capable of). This is fair and proper. Again, if these titles ship at these bit-rates, then I stand corrected.

I would love to have a more detailed presentation of the Pioneer unit, as I am sure several others on this board would as well. I am in the North Chicago Suburbs and would welcome such an opportunity.

Again, the BDP-H1 looks like a potentially very nice player, possibly, given all of its additional features, one of best, if not the best coming to market. If we can get confirmation of future support for the advanced audio codecs, and firmware updates via ethernet and full BD-Live support, then I would seriously consider one myself.

In the end I am aware of the issues you are having getting this player to market. I also applaud your not taking the "easy way out" and shipping something that simply "works to a minimum requirement". However, the Pioneer BD-Demo Disc is misleading and should be replaced.

I will try to run another commercial disc in the unit when I get a chance, or whenever you can set up a demo in my neck of the woods. Since this has been a "fair and balanced" discussion, I have changed the title of my original post to reflect such.
post #48 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
As far as the bit rate of the demo disc goes, it is done at a very high bit rate, but within BD specs.. The current bit rate meter is before the De-Mux is done, so it is showing the entire disc stream (Audio, Video, Menus. Subtitles, etc..) I am trying to get this upgraded to where it will show the video after the demux so that it only shows the video bit-rate..... I had lots of room on the disc for a limited amount of content so we increased the bit rate.... If Microsoft claims that VC1 is transparent to the original source at 12 - 18mbps, and MPEG is between 20 to 30 mbps, what is the problem... If you put in a commercial disc you will see the bit rate floating between 18 to 35 for mpeg 2 and 15 to 30 for VC1..... (using our bit rate meter)....
I mentioned yesterday that I saw the Pio BD player in the Mini-Mag section at my local BB and it was playing the Pio BD demo disc. I mentioned that I saw bit rates of close to 50Mbps. The folks at MiniMag thoughtlessly failed to hook up the audio to anything (they told me that audio is passed through HDMI to the TV but IIRC the PRO-FHD1 is a monitor only right?). Had they hooked up the audio to an AV receiver (there was Pio Elite receiver in the rack but not connected to the BD player) would the bit rate displayed have dropped?
post #49 of 188
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the reply... I as well just want the best picture on titles that I buy... I did not see an response to my question regarding the transparency of VC1 titles... Is there anyway that the Pioneer Demo disc is exceeding the picture quality of the current, transparent to the master, VC1 titles?

Please let me know... I know that I am not an expert in all things video.. I am basing my responses to what my knowledge is.... I have learned many things on these boards...

Honestly I will see what I can do about getting out to the Chicago area.... I would love to set something up....

I just really think that movies like Momento and Haunted Mansion look as good as the best VC1 titles on Blu-ray.....

And I truly don't care which codec is used.. as long as I get a good looking title.

Thanks Peter,

Chris
post #50 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS
Chris,

I have a lot of respect for you and for what you are trying to do on this forum.

Realize I have a fair amount of experience with MPEG-2 and have a very good understanding of the issues. My point is that given enough bandwidth, any compression scheme can look good. However, the issue is how good they look with limited bandwidth. In my own opinion, based on my own experience. I would rate them (out of 10) as follows:

VC-1: 9.5
h.264: 8.5
MPEG-2: 6.0

Of course this is subjective, and of course I would like to see more discs use the best codec possible. I don't care if it is HD-DVD or BD, the best should always be used, and politics (and that is what we are talking about) be damned.

My concern about the Pioneer demo disc is not that there were High-Bit-Rate clips, that is fine, it is that there were High-Bit-Rate clips from BD titles, when the final BD titles will (most likely) not be using these, your terms, "very high bit-rates" when they ship. Unless I am mistaken, both the Samsung and Toshiba demo discs, used actual clips from the soon to be shipping titles on their discs, along with higher bit-rate samples (to show what the player is capable of). This is fair and proper. Again, if these titles ship at these bit-rates, then I stand corrected.

I would love to have a more detailed presentation of the Pioneer unit, as I am sure several others on this board would as well. I am in the North Chicago Suburbs and would welcome such an opportunity.

Again, the BDP-H1 looks like a potentially very nice player, possibly, given all of its additional features, one of best, if not the best coming to market. If we can get confirmation of future support for the advanced audio codecs, and firmware updates via ethernet and full BD-Live support, then I would seriously consider one myself.

In the end I am aware of the issues you are having getting this player to market. I also applaud your not taking the "easy way out" and shipping something that simply "works to a minimum requirement". However, the Pioneer BD-Demo Disc is misleading and should be replaced.

I will try to run another commercial disc in the unit when I get a chance, or whenever you can set up a demo in my neck of the woods. Since this has been a "fair and balanced" discussion, I have changed the title of my original post to reflect such.
I agree. The demo disc is deceptive advertising.
post #51 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaldorfSalad
I mentioned yesterday that I saw the Pio BD player in the Mini-Mag section at my local BB and it was playing the Pio BD demo disc. I mentioned that I saw bit rates of close to 50Mbps. The folks at MiniMag thoughtlessly failed to hook up the audio to anything (they told me that audio is passed through HDMI to the TV but IIRC the PRO-FHD1 is a monitor only right?). Had they hooked up the audio to an AV receiver (there was Pio Elite receiver in the rack but not connected to the BD player) would the bit rate displayed have dropped?

No Waldorfsalad,

It would have stayed the same.. The bit-rate being displayed is the actual full disc stream.. It is showing the video bit-rate (mpeg2), audio streams, pop-up menus, sub-totals, mux overheads, etc...... I am trying to see if we can change this to show the video only after the demux of all of the above items...

Chris
post #52 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Peter,

I guess we will have to disagree on this point... MPEG 2 is quite a bit more efficient than uncompress video... That is quite good.. Not as good as VC1, but not that far away....

Chris

Finally someone from the BDA who admits MPEG 2 is not as good as VC1. Couple this with players that cost 2-3x more and tell me again why I should buy into BD with current MPEG 2 content?

k
post #53 of 188
I don't doubt the Pioneer will look very nice with standard software, it will be great when we have the opportunity to see it. I was in the Tweeter in Framingham, MA today and when we tried to put in the Samsung demo disc it didn't work in the Pioneer. The message on the screen read something to the effect that it couldn't read the disc. I was denied the opportunity to put in the "Gone in 60 Seconds" disc playing in the Panasonic. I was told something about corporate coming down hard on the stores when they don't line up the proper demo material on the approved displays so they didn't want to remove the disc from the Panasonic.

Anyway, I now own the Panasonic and plan on keeping it as it does a nice job on video and audio. I've noticed much better performance on the Panasonic compared to the Samsung (initial firmware only so that opinion is pretty much irrelevant). I went to Tweeter to see what I could about the Pioneer before my 30 day window closed. Like I said, I didn't see any reason to take back the Panasonic based on the demo that I was looking at. They will probably both be nice machines to own.
post #54 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevivoe
Finally someone from the BDA who admits MPEG 2 is not as good as VC1. Couple this with players that cost 2-3x more and tell me again why I should buy into BD with current MPEG 2 content?

k

Hi Kevivoe,

Just for clarification, i said that VC1 is more efficient, not a better picture (In my opinion)... Also, on BD there is MPEG2 content, VC1, and AVC.....

Chris
post #55 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Hi Kevivoe,

Just for clarification, i said that VC1 is more efficient, not a better picture (In my opinion)... Also, on BD there is MPEG2 content, VC1, and AVC.....

Chris
Chris, first saying Hi :). Great to see your product getting out and your participation here. I already have two BD players but I am going to try got yours too to check it out next to Penny and Samsung. Hopefully the rack won't break. :D

Question for you if you don't mind. Can you imagine a scenario where VC-1 would look better on BD format?
post #56 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkamo
Hi Kevivoe,

Just for clarification, i said that VC1 is more efficient, not a better picture (In my opinion)... Also, on BD there is MPEG2 content, VC1, and AVC.....

Chris
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like people are ready to pounce on anything here.
post #57 of 188
Thread Starter 
Chris,

Would love to see you in Chicago.

However, I have to take exception to some of your arguements as they are not quite right.

First, I can not say if the MPEG-2 you are using on your demo discs exceeds the VC-1 "Transparent to the Masters" video quality. Why? Well, first we are looking at different content. Second, rather than use an objective basis for comparison, you use a subjective one, one which you say "i said that VC1 is more efficient, not a better picture (In my opinion)..." And you are entitled to your opinion.

The issue is that under any data-rate lower than that which is required for MPEG-2 to reach transparency, VC-1 will look significantly better (my opinion, based on my own research). This is what is meant by efficiency. [(Image Quality)/(Data-Rate)]

The issue is that the clips on the demo disc are misleading because they are presented at data-rates far in excess of what any shipping commercial title (using MPEG-2) is either shipping at, or plan for. That is all.

It is like saying that a Train is as good as a Plane because they can both get you from Point A to Point B. True, however one is MUCH more efficient than the other. Of course you can point out other benefits of one over the other, but if the metric is Time (as ours is efficient use of capacity and bandwidth) than no, one is the looser and the other wins.

I don't know as a CE manufacturer how much, if any, sway you have over studios choices when they go to mastering, but I think we are in agreement. If you want to have as good an image-quality as possible, with as many possible languages and extras as possible - please use VC-1, and kick MPEG-2 to the curb.
post #58 of 188
Using a demo disc (either format) with super high bitrates is pure marketing bait. I had a similar issue with www.thelookandsoundofperfect.com when their "coming soon" listed titles that were no where close to coming out. I'm glad they corrected that.

As for the Pio, I'm sure it'll be great player. The question will be advanced audio codecs and BD-Live. For $1500, I'd be ideal to get the works since you're certainly paying for that premium. If those two things are included, then awesome. You'll get a player that'll always support the full feature set you could possibly see with BR. If not, then it's quite a disappointment.

As for Mpeg2, I think we've ran circles around this enough. Mpeg2 is nice but VC-1 is simply better. For people championing advanced this, advanced that, it seems silly to sit there and promote Mpeg2 over VC-1.

Finally, glad to see Don Eckmund of Sony wasn't lying. "Bitrate meters" might take precedence over interactivity....
post #59 of 188
I mentioned a good bit earlier that the demo disk was in the high 40s - much higher than other titles and higher than all but the shortest of movies, even on a BD50.

The HD-DVD demo disk used actual clips. I just don't think it appropriate for Pioneer to mislead the consumer like that - even if their player is the best BD player out there.

You're being very helpful Chris and we all appreciate it!

John
post #60 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
Peter,

A year ago you were 'Mr.Blu Ray all the way'.

I think a lot of people were "Blu-Ray all the way!" a year ago. A lot has changed since then.
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