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:
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.