An Honest Opinion of HD-DVD from a die hard bluray supporter - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Funny story, my mom of all people bought me the A20 Toshiba HD-DVD player. I had no intention of going format neutral, but fate had different plans. So I decided it was time to buy some movies on HD-DVD. I chose:
40 Year Old Virgin
Knocked Up
Casino
Breach
Bourne Identity
Bourne Supremacy
Hot Fuzz (I havent seen it, but I had to check it out since many people say it represents the best PQ on HD-DVD)

Ill decide which 5 free ones I want tommorrow

Anyway, the first question that pops into my mind is this:
How does Hot Fuzz, the (un?)disputed PQ HD-DVD champion, compare to Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Mans Chest and Casino Royale, the (un?)disputed Bluray PQ champions?

The short answer: Pretty darn well, I was impressed with Hot Fuzz's picture quality, eventhough I honestly felt it wasnt quite as good as the bluray champions, it was CLEARLY better than most of my BD-50 blurays, even Rise of the Silver Surfer, which was slightly disappointing to me in terms of picture quality.

As for films such as the Bourne films and Knocked up. They certainly look as good as a pretty good looking bluray film (ala the Prestige is a good comparison). I didnt get to watch the whole thing, but did scan through the film to get an idea. As well as check out some IME features. More on that in a second

However, 40 Year Old Virgin and Breach looked pretty bad and were a HUGE disappointment for me. Digital artifacing and a lack of sharpness plagued the whole movie almost looking like an upconverted dvd. What can you do? Not all HD-DVDs or blurays are created equal. Some will look outstanding and others will look barely better than dvd.

Casino looked just fine. No complaints. Id say its better quality than Goodfellas on bluray (and presumably HD-DVD, since one can assume that the same codecs were used for both formats)

So how were the extra features?

Before I answer this question, I will say that prior to getting the HD-DVD player, I had felt that PiP and ultra cool web features were overrated. Do I still feel that way?

In two words:
Barely no.
I found the extra features to be quite intriguing and I can now see why HD-DVD fans brag about their interactivity vs. bluray. It has often been said (by bluray fans of course) that BD-Java 1.1 will be able to do all the things that HDi can do and more. If this is the case, I can safely say that bluray supporters will be in for a treat once the 1.1 profile comes to pass. Obviously, we wont know for a few months, once 1.1 titles such as Cars and Master & Commander are released. Until then, HD-DVD is king as far as interactivity is concerned.


Despite my appreciation of the interactivity offered by HD-DVD, I can safely say that bluray is still my format of choice, but I can also say with 100% confidence that if HD-DVD wins and bluray loses that it wont be the end of the world and Im glad to know that I will still be able to enjoy my favorite movies in a solid HD quality.


DO I have any complaints about the A20 player itself?
Just one: It takes for freakin EVER for my HD-DVD player to get to the main menu and load the damn menu. FOREVER. I do have the latest firmware. Version 2.5

In the meantime, since I do have an HD-DVD player, I might as well buy movies like Transformers, Shrek 3 and Bourne Ultimatum. For the time being, I do plan on buying all of my WB titles on bluray, since I still believe that it has the best chance to win the format war. But Im human and I reserve the right to change my mind.


Please share some other titles to recommend for interactivity. I will NOT be rebuying 300, since I already have it on bluray. Like I said, interactivity is cool, but the movie itself is what is most important and Im not going to rebuy 300 in HD-DVD just for this feature.

Blurays: 115
HD-DVD: 12- YES I will be keeping them so I can own a piece of history
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post #2 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:45 PM
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Good post!

I own both also, but I prefer HD DVD, so I can understand your perspective too. I believe these interactive features are just the tip of the iceberg myself and there will be many more better things to come as time goes on.

Just one thing though. You and I are not "neutral" per say, since we still have preferences. I kind of like the term another poster uses which is "Bi-Fromat".

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post #3 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:46 PM
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post #4 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrick97 View Post

Please share some other titles to recommend for interactivity. I will NOT be rebuying 300, since I already have it on bluray. Like I said, interactivity is cool, but the movie itself is what is most important and Im not going to rebuy 300 in HD-DVD just for this feature.

Too bad, because the whole PiP on 300 was truly amazing in my opinion.

Otherwise, Heroes would be a recommendation if you like TVs on DVDs and Smokin' Aces was fun too.
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post #5 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:52 PM
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That about summed up how I felt when I got HD DVD.


Went from strong Blu-ray support... to strong Blu-ray support but owning both formats... to mild Blu-ray support... to now finally... I couldn't give a damn and I'll buy whatever format gives me the better specs regardless of color


While I hated HD DVD for the longest time due to lack of hardcoat... the low power consuming upconversion the player offered, and the interactive extras, as well as some superb looking titles made me rethink my stance on this whole thing.

59 Blu-rays and counting...
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post #6 of 187 Old 10-02-2007, 11:56 PM
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Hi Merrick, for interactive features, I would go with Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift,I have a link for a demo of it on youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=uZ81wjD4IFU
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post #7 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 12:18 AM
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For me the biggest reason to support Blu-Ray is not the movies, but the format as whole. Usability as storage medium etc. are the ones that made me choose Blu-Ray over HD DVD since there is only a little difference in movies for both formats. I'm also a little concerned about long movie like LOTR:EE to be split on two disc if it was on HD DVD or having been dumped down in regards of PQ and AQ.

On the interactivity side I don't like watching PiP, but I also don't like when it is not offered for those who wants it. So all in all after Blu-Ray profile updates the format will offer everything for the end consumer so I don't see the need for HD DVD excist.
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post #8 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milli999 View Post

Hi Merrick, for interactive features, I would go with Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift,I have a link for a demo of it on youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=uZ81wjD4IFU

Nice video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anttimonty View Post

For me the biggest reason to support Blu-Ray is not the movies, but the format as whole. Usability as storage medium etc. are the ones that made me choose Blu-Ray over HD DVD since there is only a little difference in movies for both formats. I'm also a little concerned about long movie like LOTR:EE to be split on two disc if it was on HD DVD or having been dumped down in regards of PQ and AQ.

On the interactivity side I don't like watching PiP, but I also don't like when it is not offered for those who wants it. So all in all after Blu-Ray profile updates the format will offer everything for the end consumer so I don't see the need for HD DVD excist.

Good for you. Use BD for storage, I'll stick to the more accessible and faster flash memory or external harddrives for data. About LOTR:EE, it will work out just fine. Especially with TL51. Besides what exactly is the big deal about swapping a disc? I don't get it.
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post #9 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 01:05 AM
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If you have only seen PiP on Blu-ray, isn't it true that an entire second copy of the film has to be encoded with the PiP embedded? One of the neat things about PiP on HD DVD is the ability to turn it on and off at whim (like switching in and out of an audio track commentary in SD but with just one button click).

You can evaluate HD DVD "extras" on discs shipping today; the cool stuff promised by Blu-ray has yet to arrive.

If you are thinking of buying Shrek 3 the extras might well push you over the edge (even though we all buy movies just for the movies, right?). The disc promises to be packed with entertainment value -- the movie, the extras, the online tie-ins -- check out the pre-release reviews/specs posted elsewhere.

You didn't mention which Blu-ray player you are using or if you are playing back 1080i, 1080p or if your TV does 1080p24fps. The entry level A2 is "good enough" for many people and it certainly sounds so in your case. That's another of the charms of this player -- all the bells and whistles, really, a great price, and reaches the max input that most current TV sets actually sitting in living rooms deliver (out of the 40 million households with HDTVs).
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post #10 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 01:14 AM
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Yeah seriously, who actually backs up gobs of data on optical disc based media anymore when portable hard drives and flash drives are dropping in price so quickly. A 60GB USB powered external hard drive can be found for $50.

How long does it take to actually burn 50GB onto a dual layer bluray using a bluray burner?

How much does that blank SINGLE LAYER bluray disc cost for its one time use? ($20 for 2x speed)

How much is a re-recordable SINGLE LAYER type? ($30)

Re-recordable dual layer? ($50)

I think all that kool-aid being spread about the superior format being based on the ability to write more data on it using your computer is a bit over-rated these days. Optical Disc based media for data storage is becoming obsolete IMO.
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post #11 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougPr View Post

Yeah seriously, who actually backs up gobs of data on optical disc based media anymore when portable hard drives and flash drives are dropping in price so quickly. A 60GB USB powered external hard drive can be found for $50.

Many home video amatuers like to burn their own creations, not every one has devices in their living room that can play files directly from USB HDDs and then there will always be the problem what codec to use. Small firms that acrhive backups etc. and yes I do also, but don't like DVD anymore as it is too small for my needs.

Quote:


How long does it take to actually burn 50GB onto a dual layer bluray using a bluray burner?

At 2x rate it would take about 90 minutes.


Quote:


How much does that blank SINGLE LAYER bluray disc cost for its one time use? ($20 for 2x speed)

Time to slow down on misinformation.

Just for exsample:
Verbatim 25GB 2X BD-R $10.99

Quote:


How much is a re-recordable SINGLE LAYER type? ($30)

SONY 25GB 2X BD-RE $14.99

Quote:


Re-recordable dual layer?($50)

WoW you actually got this one almost right...

LM-BE50DE 2x 50GB BD-RE $44.99

Prices for BD-R media has already fallen faster then it did with DVD, not to mention all media types available (BD-R/RE 25/50GB).

Quote:


I think all that kool-aid being spread about the superior format being based on the ability to write more data on it using your computer is a bit over-rated these days. Optical Disc based media for data storage is becoming obsolete IMO.

Yes in your opinion and not shared by many others. Why do you want to deny functions from those who have use for it? I don't want to deny any of HD DVDs extra features from anyone and that is why I think it is curcial for Blu-Ray to get the profile update done.
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post #12 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 04:30 AM
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One of the most intelligent and honest posts in this subforum ever. Try to keep it on track and discuss data storage in another thread.
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post #13 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFC5 View Post

Good post!

I own both also, but I prefer HD DVD, so I can understand your perspective too. I believe these interactive features are just the tip of the iceberg myself and there will be many more better things to come as time goes on.

Just one thing though. You and I are not "neutral" per say, since we still have preferences.
Quote:


I kind of like the term another poster uses which is "Bi-Fromat".


That's "Bi-format."

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post #14 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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Couple of comments.
1. That's how Breach looks.
2. You must not own a Pioneer BD player. The A20 is lighting fast in comparison.
3. HD DVD is the only way to watch 300, so at least rent it (you'll prolly watch the PIP reel once anyway).
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post #15 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:23 AM
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Very nice, sort of like when my wife bought me the PS3 to go format neutral. Now the question I have for you would be, would you post this on Blu-ray.com, or would that result in an instant life-time ban?

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post #16 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xradman View Post

Very nice, sort of like when my wife bought me the PS3 to go format neutral. Now the question I have for you would be, would you post this on Blu-ray.com, or would that result in an instant life-time ban?

Yes it would...along with their thugs attempting to kill his entire family.




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post #17 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 AM
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Good post.... like PFC5, I own both but have a preference for HD DVD. I got into HDM first with the 360 add-on and was a strong supporter for that format. However, when I had the opportunity to get the PS3 for 350 via the sonystyle website/credit card promotion, I didn't hesitate to be format neutral.

I do like the interactivity better with HD DVD, especially since most of my bluray titles barely have any special features anyways!

As for PQ, both have really good "reference titles".

As for AQ, the ps3 is doing better than my current hd dvd player, the HD-A2. I do plan on getting the A35 for hbr though.

As for other recommended HD DVD titles... check out Heroes (if you like the show) or the Matrix set.
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post #18 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:40 AM
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i have a preference for HD DVD for 1 reason and 1 reason only - Money

The only reason I am even watching Hi Def is due to getting an Xbox 360 for christmas and then having the money to buy the Add-on. I have a decent enough job however house prices and general cost of living in the UK has sky rocketed leaving very little money for lifes luxeries.

I can't afford to get a Blu-Ray player, I also need to be able to import disks from USA as they cost too much in the UK. If I was able to afford a Blu-Ray player and Blu Rays I would be format neutral (with a possible slight leaning to HD DVD for interactivity).
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post #19 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:47 AM
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Well thought out reasonable post ... BAN HIM!
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post #20 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:58 AM
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Nice post.

As you might remember, a year ago I bought an HD DVD player because of region concerns, the European PS3 delay, and there being more titles on HD DVD that I wanted to watch.

I've watched parts of the PiP on several titles, but I don't even have time to watch all movies I want to see, let alone watch them twice.

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post #21 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 05:59 AM
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Good post!

I haven't bought into BD yet because of the lack of interactivity. I have money saved up for a PS3 as soon as they confirm it'll be upgraded to support 1.1 (but not until it's confirmed by Sony, and not assumed by members of AVS). Of course, I am a features kindof guy, so the next-gen interactivity matters to me.

As for storage, I have a 500GB external drive that's a lot smaller than 10 BD-50 discs and has the advantage of being able to be plugged into any computer with a USB port (regardless of whether it has a BD drive or not). The data storage argument is laughable at best.
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post #22 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim GoodBooty View Post

2. You must not own a Pioneer BD player. The A20 is lighting fast in comparison.

Or the Sony BDP300.
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post #23 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:17 AM
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Or the Sony BDP300.

yeah... the standalone players are really quite slow when compared to the PS3 or the 360 add-on.
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post #24 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:27 AM
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I recently did the same thing, only in reverse. I had been HD DVD-biased for a long time, hated Blu-ray, went along arguing about things that didn't matter... then I got a PS3 and basically realized the only difference once the movies were in the player was the remote I was using, not yield rates or bitrates or storage space or anything like that (I don't have the equipment for lossless audio, so I couldn't care less about that). It's nice to be able to walk into a B&M and have the whole HDM aisle at choose from, instead of hovering around one section looking out of the corner of my eye at the other side with disdain

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post #25 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:39 AM
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I picked up a PS3 for the same reasons the OP picked up the a20, movies.

But unlike the OP I lean read because I really enjoy the extras. If a title comes out on Warner that I want you can bet I'll pick up the red case.

I also, unlike many, like combos because there are still DVD players in the house....and on my laptop.

regards.

Why pick a fight over a disc format?
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post #26 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:43 AM
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I also had the same reaction Mrxpress. I was also HD DVD biased. I was also very hostile to bluray. Everyone that I had talked with loved the ps3.. I decided to get one. I must say that I am very impressed with it. I think it even does the upconversion better then HD DVD.. I got the fantastic four 2, dracula, and black book. the PQ was pretty impressive. Now I am not so hostile about bluray and I might have to take things back on what I had said about bluray. I do agree that its very cool to be able to get whatever you want? on either side. now I don't care on who wins.. if they ever do.
I was impressed with the IME thing.. but maybe some people are right.. its not really that inportant. the movie is.
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post #27 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetian View Post

Nice video.



Good for you. Use BD for storage, I'll stick to the more accessible and faster flash memory or external harddrives for data. About LOTR:EE, it will work out just fine. Especially with TL51. Besides what exactly is the big deal about swapping a disc? I don't get it.

You don't get what the big deal about swapping a disc is...wow


Im sitting there engulfed in a movie, lights are down, Im waiting for the next event, and poof "please insert disc 2" it just takes me completely out of the movie.

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post #28 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by price3 View Post

Well thought out reasonable post ... BAN HIM!

Mr. Gambini, that is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection...OVERRULED!

Honestly, though, it's great to see threads without the typical "format bashing", especially coming from someone that was so staunchly supportive of one side. As much as I'm committed to HD DVD, I wouldn't go around bashing Blu-Ray at every corner. I fully understand both formats offer the same great HD experience with no differences besides a poor disc here and there on either side. I've just chosen one over the other for my own reasons, and don't wish to support both.

If it turns out I can never get certain studio support for HD DVD even after it shows strong growth, then I'll look at other options. I'm patient enough for the time being to enjoy what's available. It would be nice if everyone on this forum could abide by the "live & let live" mentality and drop the BS. Kudos to you, Merrick.
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post #29 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrick97 View Post

Please share some other titles to recommend for interactivity. I will NOT be rebuying 300, since I already have it on bluray. Like I said, interactivity is cool, but the movie itself is what is most important and Im not going to rebuy 300 in HD-DVD just for this feature.

Uh.. buy 300? Ok, seriously, the PiP commentary on 300 is the coolest extra to date for me. If you're a wannabe filmmaker or effects nerd then its outstanding. Actually I've got a coworker that's neither and he still thought the PiP on 300 was great. But I digress..

As someone else pointed out, I'd recommend Heroes. Overall the coolest HD DVD product out there when taken as a whole. 17 hours of HD for $70 isn't too bad. Picture quality is of course not up there with Hot Fuzz or King Kong (oh yeah, get King Kong - mega cheap on eBay) since its a TV show with a more limited budget, but overall a great package.
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post #30 of 187 Old 10-03-2007, 06:54 AM
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Nice mom, I wish I could get a BD playere for xmas, b-day as I've got HD-DVD now. But am really gunning for some BDs.
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