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Well I have just had a big surprise today.


The release of Flags of our Fathers on Bluray and HD DVD was widely anticipated by some folks, as it would pit a high-bitrate version of AVC against a lower bitrate version of VC1.


In FACT, the AVC version was 32.9 Gigabytes, compared to "only" 20 Gigabytes for the VC1 version, a HUGE difference.


I had anticipated that we might have seen some advantage to the AVC version, given that it had over 58% more "oomph" to play with.


And YET.... it did not come to pass....


The AVC version is virtually indistinguishable from the VC1 version!


Now, some folks might say that AVC needed 58% more bitrate to match the VC1 version.


However, I'm inclined to think a slightly different approach. Yes, I think that VC1 would look better than AVC at an identical bitrate. However, it shouldn't NEED 58% more bitrate to match or beat VC1.


HOWEVER, what I feel is REALLY showing here, is that with the newer codecs like VC1 and AVC, the extra bitrate of Bluray is really not NEEDED for these movies.


We've already seen that King Kong, which is a VERY long movie, is one of the BEST encodes available in high-def - yet fits on an HD DVD with VC1, just fine.


Here are some comparison shots from Flags Of Our Fathers, blown up 200% with Lanczos (to bring out any and all details stored by each codec).


BD AVC (32.9 Gigs) on left - HD DVD VC1 (20.8 Gigs) on Right:








A massively impressive performance by VC1 against AVC with 58% more horsepower given to it...
 
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