"Blu Ray Demo Disc Really Encoded SD 480i..." - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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....yep, that's the latest excuse I was told by a Best Buy employee as to why the Blu Ray demo doesn't look so hot.

Yesterday I was in Best Buy, stopped in front of the Blu Ray demo (hooked up to the Samsung LCD). Chicken Little really did look quite impressive. But the rest of the stuff was just crap. Whoever authorized that stuff as the first BD salvo - on a demo disc no less! - should be thrown out of his office window.

Anyway...I asked a Best Buy guy what the consensus was among the BB employees as to Blu Ray vs HD-DVD quality. He answered that he couldn't really say for sure at this point, as they haven't had any real Blu Ray content to view. I asked, what about the Blu Ray demo disc, now playing in the store on the Samsung plasma?

He responded that it wasn't, in fact, a real HD Transfer. It was just a bunch of regular SD movie trailers put on a disc. I asked if the disc was labelled a Blu Ray disc. He said yes, but it's still not HD, just a bunch of SD trailers. I pointed out that made little sense.

He replied "Well, that's what the Samsung rep told us. He said they'd just transferred regular DVD content of movie trailers to a Blu Ray disc for now, just to get something to show on the screen. But "real" Blu Ray transfers will be coming."

Now, this guy appeared totally sincere to me. However it was obvious he was wrong - the scenes on the Samsung were clearly the exact same Blu-Ray demo disc played in all the other Blu-Ray demos. So it was obviously Blu-Ray. Which makes me curious about his claim concerning the Samsung Rep. He was insistent that's what the Samsung rep told him. I wondered if he was simply mistaken and misunderstood what the rep had said, or if it was even possible a Samsung rep would...knowing the Blu-Ray demos weren't up to snuff....actually make that kind of excuse. It's hard to imagine the Samsung guy actually misrepresenting the facts.

I said "That makes no sense. Why would you believe they'd do that?"

Then the classic: He points at the Blu Ray demo screen and says: "Well, I believe him because when I look at this it just looks pretty much like a regular DVD. Not Hi-Def."

I did a bit of AVS-geek explaining of the situation to him, but he's probably still confused...

(A nice, sincere fellow though...btw...he was sure Blu Ray was going to win the war, because he said once all those people have the playstations it'll be easy to sell them on the Blu Ray discs: "Do you have a Sony PS3 with Blu Ray? Good, then here are the Blu Ray movies you can watch on it...." From a sales perspective, he said that's the way things go, it's not really based on quality but on the ease and intelligibility of the sales pitch...because "most people are dumb about this stuff...")
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 11:00 AM
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Hi Rich,

I've seen the demo twice at two different locations. Aside from Chicken Little it looked very, very poor for quality HD. I was told it was 1080p and the salesguy admitted it looked like upscaled DVD - actually I think it is worse since I don't see as many compression artifacts with most upscaled DVDs! The people who are screaming about the poor quality are doing the right thing, not the BD fans in denial. You won't get this fixed by keeping quiet or pretending that it is as good as HD-DVD.

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post #3 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 11:08 PM
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I don't see how someone can say, It looks no better than upscaled dvd. I get groups of customers gathering around the end cap on weekends all drooling over how good it looks (granted most walk away and say, "i'll wait til the prices come down") but i've heard a few jar heads (military town) say, "see, dude...thats what the ps3 will do too" I just don't see the faults in Blu Ray...I see a great picture and I'm excited to get one. And heck, if it gets even better than this...count me in for two! maybe 3 players.

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post #4 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 11:15 PM
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Quote:


I see a great picture and I'm excited to get one

What size screen have you been looking at?

Have you seen how Blu-Ray currently looks on a good front projector on a 100 inch screen? When you see it on larger screens than 42 inch, the picture quality suffers in comparison to the HD DVD picture. I want the format to get better, but as of now the quality isn't there yet.

Its clearer the larger the screen size you look at.

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post #5 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

I don't see how someone can say, It looks no better than upscaled dvd. I get groups of customers gathering around the end cap on weekends all drooling over how good it looks (granted most walk away and say, "i'll wait til the prices come down") but i've heard a few jar heads (military town) say, "see, dude...thats what the ps3 will do too" I just don't see the faults in Blu Ray...I see a great picture and I'm excited to get one. And heck, if it gets even better than this...count me in for two! maybe 3 players.

and did those same group of customers see an HD-DVD display to compare it with? the "average" customer probably doesn't even know what an upscaled DVD is...

now i understand you're entitled to your own opinion, but from all the reports i've read, your opinion is in the minority.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-16-2006, 11:27 PM
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I finally got a playing time with the Sammy tonight at CC for about 1/2 hour. I played around the Samsung RP LCD display setting. First I reduced contrast from 100% to something more decent around 55%. Few other adjustments were made. For awhile I thought it was the display (at 1080P) that was the weakest link. I'd agree with the previous posts that it may have been a 480i/p demo. The PQ displayed noisy moire-like pattern throughout all the movie clips, except Chicken Little and Samsung BR intros.

Ultraviolet was by far the worst. Throughout the clip I could not help notice the black particles that continually populate different part of the scenes. It was most noticeable when white scenes was the dominant color. I even had to pause to catch such anomaly. At any given frame I'd see many dozen black particles. The Pirates of the Carribean was the most soft and hazy picture of the bunch. I know this can't be HiDef. If this is demo and supposedly with the high bitrate, I would not wan't to extrapolate what a regular "real" movie would look like.

The CC staff could not demo a real disk.

The same ( I assumed, by comparing) disk at BB was playing on a much more smaller screen- which did look quite good.

At this time I'd wan't to assume it was the Sammy larger screen display to be the culprit. However it also revealed these black particles that I did not see in the much smaller screen. This player is going to reveal warts and all on an FP setup of the difficulty SONY and MPEG2 is having right now.
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

I don't see how someone can say, It looks no better than upscaled dvd. I get groups of customers gathering around the end cap on weekends all drooling over how good it looks (granted most walk away and say, "i'll wait til the prices come down") but i've heard a few jar heads (military town) say, "see, dude...thats what the ps3 will do too" I just don't see the faults in Blu Ray...I see a great picture and I'm excited to get one. And heck, if it gets even better than this...count me in for two! maybe 3 players.

Brian -- I have not read any posts here, not a single one, in which anybody has contended that the PQ of HD-DVD was not clearly superior to that of Blu-ray. Are you telling us that the current Blu-ray disks provide PQ that is equal to or better than that of HD-DVDs? If so, it will be a first, I believe.

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post #8 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 12:30 PM
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If you compare "best to best", the differences are minor- say like, Chicken Little compared to My Haunted Bride. Outside of that, the impact of film grain/noise/dirt on a particular film-based title seems to cause drastic variation in the end product (far beyond simply comparing format to format or codec to codec). Vc-1 seems to deal more gracefully with this variable. Once you remove the film grain/noise/dirt aspect, both formats are on a more level playing field.

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

If you compare "best to best", the differences are minor- say like, Chicken Little compared to My Haunted Bride. Outside of that, the impact of film grain/noise/dirt on a particular film-based title seems to cause drastic variation in the end product (far beyond simply comparing format to format or codec to codec). Vc-1 seems to deal more gracefully with this variable. Once you remove the film grain/noise/dirt aspect, both formats are on a more level playing field.


Reply: Grain and noise are natural attributes of film. And, more than not, these attributes add to the drama and beauty of a movie. I couldn't even fathom watching titles such as The Seven Ups, Wolfen or Nighthawks without the beautiful grittiness of the film medium. Why not simply shoot everything on video and create one big sanitised soap opera?
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 01:14 PM
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The grains that I observed was not film grain by any stretch of the imagination.
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 01:27 PM
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My comment was not to address the relevance of grain to the movie material, just the impact to the actual process.

It is really only the rare scenario where "grain" is specifically a legitimate, intended part of the production. Any time else, it is simply a consequence of the medium, and it is present whether the director wants it or not.

Let's be perfectly clear about how "grain" came into being- the very first film exposure ever made wasn't concocted to have a specific "look" of grain in it, nor was it a director's mandate that film media forever have a grain in it to be used as an artistic vehicle. It simply had it, because it was an inherent part of the medium. Since then, it has become accepted as a part of the film process. However, there is no cosmic rule that something becomes less realistic w/o it. Some people can't live w/o it, while it is a detraction for others. There is no "right" or "wrong" beyond it being simply a cultural normalization. Film won't be around forever, and neither will grain. It's THE most antiquated part of the whole process (far moreso than worrying about vc-1 vs. mpeg2 vs. what color laser...whatever), so it's not like it isn't fair time to revamp the expectations of what a moving image capture media should or should not do.

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post #12 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

I get groups of customers gathering around the end cap on weekends all drooling over how good it looks (granted most walk away and say, "i'll wait til the prices come down") .

I was in Best Buy at Santa Clarita today, and their end cap is set in an open area of the store. Nobody was anywhere close to it. It didn't get anyone's attention. There was no one within 50 ft of it. And that's not just true today, it's been that way the past few times I've been in there. There is ZERO interest in this product from the average Best Buy customer. We, the ones of us on this forum and perhaps some people that read something in a magazine about it, are the ONLY ones that will even look at the demo. The PS3 will be different because kids love going to the gaming section of the store to play the games while parents are shopping.
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 01:49 PM
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I watched Superman Returns...which we all know was shot digitally ...and I saw it on digital projector (actually the last three movies I watched were on a digital projector). It was the cleanest, clearest and most pristine picture I had ever seen. Not a trace of grain and I loved it.

Now I see grain and it is a negative aspect of film to me, unless it was specifically introduced for effect.

I do not believe that this has anything to do with the differences between HD DVD and BD. I think almost every example from HD DVD that I had seen was more impressive than BD. I think they could be equal, but they aren't yet. In any event the prices aren't equal.
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

My comment was not to address the relevance of grain to the movie material, just the impact to the actual process.

It is really only the rare scenario where "grain" is specifically a legitimate, intended part of the production. Any time else, it is simply a consequence of the medium, and it is present whether the director wants it or not.

Let's be perfectly clear about how "grain" came into being- the very first film exposure ever made wasn't concocted to have a specific "look" of grain in it, nor was it a director's mandate that film media forever have a grain in it to be used as an artistic vehicle. It simply had it, because it was an inherent part of the medium. Since then, it has become accepted as a part of the film process. However, there is no cosmic rule that something becomes less realistic w/o it. Some people can't live w/o it, while it is a detraction for others. There is no "right" or "wrong" beyond it being simply a cultural normalization. Film won't be around forever, and neither will grain. It's THE most antiquated part of the whole process (far moreso than worrying about vc-1 vs. mpeg2 vs. what color laser...whatever), so it's not like it isn't fair time to revamp the expectations of what a moving image capture media should or should not do.

I am in complete agreement here. However the introduction of grain/specks/particles that is not normally in the source is disconcerting for me. Having it in a demo disk is"...Beyond Unreal"
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post #15 of 21 Old 07-17-2006, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fire407 View Post

I was in Best Buy at Santa Clarita today, and their end cap is set in an open area of the store. Nobody was anywhere close to it. It didn't get anyone's attention. There was no one within 50 ft of it. And that's not just true today, it's been that way the past few times I've been in there. There is ZERO interest in this product from the average Best Buy customer. We, the ones of us on this forum and perhaps some people that read something in a magazine about it, are the ONLY ones that will even look at the demo. The PS3 will be different because kids love going to the gaming section of the store to play the games while parents are shopping.

I was in futureshop (chain now owned by best buy so basically just like it) this past Friday and they had a bluray display right at the front of the tv section and only one other person aside from me looked at it....and it looked like crap too so unless Brian's best buy has a tweaked out display showing bluray I doubt the "groups of people" thing and think he is simply trying to push something (that it looks great) that almost everyone here has pretty much disagreed on.

As for the oriignal post...I find it funny the sales guy brought up the PS3 as being the saving grace for bluray. To say that is IMO silly. First, most who buy the ps3 won't have an hd display so them getting bluray will be useless and may have a NEGATIVE effect when they pay more for a bluray disc only to see it look the same as their dvd and then they'll write off bluray. Oh and if all people care about is playing whatever on their gaming system (and not quality) then they'll continue to keep buying dvds.

The whole PS3 thing annoys me.
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-10-2007, 01:19 PM
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Are there any BR Demo Discs available for purchase?

Alternatively has anyone here made their own and would be willing to make a copy for a fee to cover mailing and BR blank costs?

These are a better way to demo a system instead of popping on multiple discs..

Thanks

John
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-10-2007, 02:43 PM
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I got one from the Blu-ray association. I just requested it off their website and after a month or so I got it in the mail. If I could remember exact link on their website then I would post it, but just try Yahoo or whatever and search for "blu-ray demo disc". That's how I found it and then filled out the request form. The disc shows the difference between SD and HD on a split screen setup and then it has a few trailers and all in 1080p. It's called "Experience Blu-ray Volume 1". The disc doesn't have much on it, but it's cool to show to an HD novice instead of using a bunch of different discs. It's just an appetizer and not a whole meal, so to speak.
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-10-2007, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Brian -- I have not read any posts here, not a single one, in which anybody has contended that the PQ of HD-DVD was not clearly superior to that of Blu-ray. Are you telling us that the current Blu-ray disks provide PQ that is equal to or better than that of HD-DVDs? If so, it will be a first, I believe.

Yes, go rent Crank it's just as good as anything HD-DVD has to offer.

And remember codecs are not format specific. VC-1 can be used on Blu-Ray (GASP!)
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-10-2007, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by stevesns69 View Post

I got one from the Blu-ray association. I just requested it off their website and after a month or so I got it in the mail. If I could remember exact link on their website then I would post it, but just try Yahoo or whatever and search for "blu-ray demo disc". That's how I found it and then filled out the request form. The disc shows the difference between SD and HD on a split screen setup and then it has a few trailers and all in 1080p. It's called "Experience Blu-ray Volume 1". The disc doesn't have much on it, but it's cool to show to an HD novice instead of using a bunch of different discs. It's just an appetizer and not a whole meal, so to speak.


Thanks - found the site

http://www.blu-raydisc.com/

I can get the disc thru the retailer channels..

John
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-10-2007, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Spektricide View Post

Yes, go rent Crank it's just as good as anything HD-DVD has to offer.

And remember codecs are not format specific. VC-1 can be used on Blu-Ray (GASP!)


You are responding to a 9 month old post - who knows what he would say today

I own both formats - love both - can't understand why there are fanboys in each camp..

I just want more releases to come - especially with lossless audio - and prices to drop - and I'll pick whichever version offers the best value..

John
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-11-2007, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Head Shot View Post

The grains that I observed was not film grain by any stretch of the imagination.

I see that too on most BD demos. They look much worse than my PS3 setup at home. I think it's actually the sharpness and noise reduction turned all the way up on the demo TV. I'll turn them down or even off, and the black specks and blocks go away. It looks pretty good. Of course, the next time I'm there, they've been turned all the way back up!
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