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Author Topic: HD DVD or BLU RAY
Adrian Simmonds
Film Handler

Posts: 49
From: Dudley, West Midlands, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted June 01, 2006 02:29 PM      Profile for Adrian Simmonds   Author's Homepage   Email Adrian Simmonds   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Am I right in thinking that the Blu Ray high definition dvd system could be dead, before it has even reached these shores.

I know that both formats are now available overseas - unless Sony have put back there release date once again
(and perhaps the members from 'further afield' can let us Brits know how the 2 formats are bearing up)

But it seems to me that, good or bad, the first format released is generally the one that wins a format war.

In this country, it would appear that BLU RAY, will not be available in a 'home cinema' sense until next year (i.e. only in a Playstation 3 format), whereas HD DVD should be available in the next few months.

(Also that Microsoft will be supporting HD DVD and not BLU RAY)

Any thoughts

Kind regards

Adrian

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Barry Attwood
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1361
From: Enfield, U.K.
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted June 01, 2006 04:23 PM      Profile for Barry Attwood   Email Barry Attwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adrian,

This reminds me of the VHS or Betamax war of the 70's where the inferior format became the standard (although I doubt you would recollect that at your tender age!). A friend of mine who lives in the U.S. has bought a HD-DVD player an some of the early releases, and he is really dissapointed at the early results, he doesn't have a video projector, but does have a large screen plasma set up, and he said that he doesn't think there is a lot of difference with the naked eye between the best normal DVD's and the new system, although he does concede this may be different with a video projector. It's hard to tell without seeing one running, but the extra exspense of having a HD ready TV or video projector, may put a lot of people off initially, and as many people are very happy with the DVD's already coming out, especially the lovers of vintage material, then I do wonder if there will be a serious market for 2 systems, as I do not think any of the HD DVD formats will be as succesful as the makers hope for, but we will just have to wait and see.

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted June 01, 2006 04:41 PM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi,

there's no winner (yet):
a) The HD-DVD-players that are available in the USA at the moment are reported to have several problems. E.g. they sometimes shut down in the middle of a film (heat problem). So even if the BD-players arrive later, they might be of better quality and hence better acceptance.
b) If the PS3 (or any version of the X-Box) comes with a BD- or HD-DVD-player, this might change a lot.
c) The two systems differ in the used codecs (different license costs for the producers of the HD-DVDs and BDs!) and in copy-protection-systems (which is a major factor why different studios prefer different systems). (BTW: Do both systems support Dolby Digital 7.1?)
d) It's still unclear if the studios will release the same number of films for both systems or if one system will win because it has got more / better choice.
e) Last, but not least: "Everyone" who now owns a DV-cam will get a HD-video-cam sooner or later. But AFAIK at the moment there's neither a BD-writer nor a HD-DVD-writer for your PC/Mac available. IF the BD-writers arrive first and/or are cheaper (incl. cheaper media), this still might change a lot!
f) BD and HD-DVD aren't the only HD-video-disc-formats. And there are rumors that the BD and HD-DVD might be merged into a new, "combined" format. Not to mention that both BD and HD-DVDs are using lossy video-codecs. So there's still the chance that the race between BD and HD-DVD might end like the race between Video2000 and Betamax [Wink]

Jörg

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 01, 2006 04:42 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
I have seen a demo of Blu Ray at the Sony Centre in Londons Tot Crt Rd and have to say that the quality on a 6ft wide Plasma was stunning. But yes it was NTSC.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted June 01, 2006 04:50 PM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
addition to f) Here are two of the other discs that can store HDTV-videos:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_Versatile_Disc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_Versatile_Disc

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted June 01, 2006 09:20 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bah humbug. Either format is going to seriously suck simply because of all the protection nonsense. "Fair use" rights are already severely impeded by such schemes... I have no love for these formats. Why they couldn't just stick with DVDs and change the codec from MPEG2 to MPEG4, thus reducing the amount of data needed and being able to jack up the resolution, is beyond me. If any of you has ever seen a hi-def XviD movie trailer on a PC, you know what I'm on about. [Cool]

--------------------
Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Stuart Mercer Thorburn
Junior
Posts: 20
From: Edinburgh, Midlothian, U.K.
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted June 01, 2006 09:49 PM      Profile for Stuart Mercer Thorburn   Email Stuart Mercer Thorburn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure I read recently that Apple were going with the Blu Ray format...

--------------------
My God, it's full of stars

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John Clancy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1954
From: Cornwall
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 02, 2006 02:52 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Keith Wilton put a couple of HD items on his son's 42 inch plasma and one of these items looked incredible. The other was a transfer of a Terminator 2 trailer and appeared to have been a bit of a botch up somehow - still very good but not as good as it should have been.

However, I recently saw the concluding sequence from Spider-Man 2 running off a hard disc (i.e HD recording) and can report that it looked dreadful. It was likely affected by poor setup by in-store staff but I can't get over quite how bad it looked. I thought I was watching the 1970's cartoon series until I identified the clip. On 35mm this sequence is obviously a cartoon but it still has a certain look to it that means the dodgy special effects can be forgiven, but on HD it is just so obvious. The colours are wrong for a start, then I suppose the image is just too clean and manages to lose any semblence of reality.

20 years ago I worked for the IBA and they developed a true high definition system called C-Mac which had 1200 line resolution. So Adrian, I predict C-Mac will win out in the end. But maybe not.

--------------------
British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted June 02, 2006 04:11 AM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good point Jan - with the newest DivX-versions (or similar) you can put two hours of HD-video onto a normal DVD-R(W)/+R(W). (Of course it only has got one soundtrack, no subtitles, ... then.)

Nevertheless I forgot one point: Both HD-DVD and BD will be available as a media to hold the back-ups from your computer. A BD will store approx. 25GB per layer (and they've managed to produce BDs with up to 4 layers!), while a single-layer HD-DVD can only store 20GB (double layer = 30GB, there are only 1 or 2 layer-HD-DVDs). This might become a selling point, too.

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Andrew Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 784
From: dundonald,belfast,co.antrim,northern ireland.
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted June 02, 2006 03:20 PM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
im staying well clear of this crap.i will give my reasons.first of all i went for the phillips dvd recorder when it appeared,and at a cost of £1,500,it lasted four months.now here in the uk dvd recorders are less than £70 i will now wait and see.but for now and the furture its super8mm for me.
also im not very happy with the quailty of dvd recordings i've made,not much better than v.h.s.andy.
p.s im sticking with super8.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 04, 2006 05:34 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
"also im not very happy with the quailty of dvd recordings i've made,not much better than v.h.s"

Andy I have a Philips DVDR610 and I have to say that I cant tell the diff between the original and the DVD when recorded on the 2 or 2.5hr modes. Just a shame the machines reliability has been bad.

John, C-Mac well that took me back to the days of BSB and the squarial for Satalite. They were using a system called D2-Mac and again it gave superior results to what we are now getting from Sky. Funny how a lot of these systems were a head of their time and then got scrapped.
I was watching a prog on ITV2 tonight and I kept thinking how soft the image looked on Sky. I went into the other room and switched on the freeview digital box and the image was superb.
Hate to think what Sky Satalite will look like when they try to squeeze all the HD broadcasts in to the existing bandwidth.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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John Clancy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1954
From: Cornwall
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 05, 2006 02:52 AM      Profile for John Clancy   Author's Homepage   Email John Clancy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if the original BSB 6 channel satellite is still up there. If it is then presumably Sky could make use of it for the new (lesser) version of HD broadcasts. Perhaps then those with Sky would be able to receive the good quality broadcasts they should be getting.

Somewhere I still have the IBA television yearbook from 1964 where there is much talk about the new HDTV broadcasts. That was due to the change from the 325 line system to 625. Funny how these acronyms and terms just keep going round and round.

--------------------
British Film Collectors Convention home page www.bfcc.biz. The site is for the whole of the film collecting hobby and not just the BFCC.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 05, 2006 05:02 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes your right how these keep coming round. The BSB sats had their position moved and were sold to the Norwegians I think. As far as I know they are still up there and being used. The quality off the D2-MAC transmissions was really good. I kept with my box for as long as I could but it eventually had to be junked in favour of a Sky box [Frown]

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Mike Peckham
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1461
From: West Sussex, UK.
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 05, 2006 10:19 AM      Profile for Mike Peckham   Email Mike Peckham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John

Was it really only 325 lines before the move to 625? for some reason the figure 405 sticks in my mind. I can remember the big change over to 625, lines indicated by a UHF aerial on the roof, usually strapped to the side of the much larger VHF version, something of a status symbol at the time [Smile] .

Our first colour television when I was a child was a Philips 'Dual Standard' that had a big changeover switch to switch it between VHF and UHF. At the time I think it was only possible to get BBC2 on UHF.

I can also remember the anouncer saying "the following programme can be viewed in colour or black and white".

Funny to think how we've moved on...

Mike

ps. Adrian, sorry for taking this off topic. [Smile]

Mike [Cool]

--------------------
Auntie Em must have stopped wondering where I am by now...

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 06, 2006 03:32 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes that spot on Mike. We were 405 lines and yes I too remember the big clunky switch that changed over to UHF from VHF. Yes it was only BBC2 on UHF to satrt with but slowy they all went over to UHF and colour. My goodness they were the days. Incredible to think that we didnt get colour till the mid 60's but the US had colour right back in the 50's.
How technology has moved on since those days of TV with enough vlaves to warm a house. Even some of the first 8mm projectors had valves for the sound!

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Barry Johnson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 358
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted June 07, 2006 12:43 PM      Profile for Barry Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well I use a Goodmans DVD recorder and it records,clone like,anything you feed it with.I say clone like because it will replicate the old maxim of 'rubbish in,rubbish out'.If I copy vhs,it will 'copy vhs' exactly the same asa the original.If I feed it with a signal from my cable supplier I defy anyone,BluRay or Stingray to tell the difference!!
All the new ideas are generally improvements only electronic machinery can measure and are practically invisible to the naked eye.
No,its all to keep the market forces and juices flowing.TV will be no good until (HA!) an 1100plus (not line doubled) sustem is utilised.
Long time coming methinks.Enjoy DVD,it really is good you know.

--------------------
Standard8 rules!!

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 07, 2006 06:05 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Barry,

You are spot on and that reminds me what did happen to the promised 1250 lines they kept on about here in the UK and Europe?

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Barry Johnson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 358
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted June 08, 2006 08:08 AM      Profile for Barry Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes indeed Kevin,what a load of jhot air that turned out to be.But actually having witnessed this system of 1250 lines coming off broad band open reel videotape back in the eighties,the image quality was,well stunning,and that was before widescreen TV.
Mind you,the cost was off the planet!

--------------------
Standard8 rules!!

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted June 22, 2006 09:17 AM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At least you can now throw away all your old HDTV-gadgets: HDMI 1.3 is coming soon [Wink]
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/74582

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted June 22, 2006 09:23 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually you can possibly forget HDMI, too - it looks like it's all going to be thrown out in favor of one single connectivity standard for digital A/V, called DisplayPort...

--------------------
Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4844
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 25, 2006 12:03 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like initial testing of Blu Ray players and discs is extremely disappointing, to say the least:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/blu-ray_initialreport.htm

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted June 25, 2006 01:35 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nobody but the most daring early adopters usually goes for a first-generation product. Poor Samsung, they're setting themselves up for failure by being the first. [Frown]
Was surprised to read that Blu-Ray uses the aging MPEG2 codec for video... I thought they went the same route as HD-DVD and went for an MPEG4-based codec. [Eek!]

--------------------
Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Joerg Polzfusz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 815
From: Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Solar System
Registered: Apr 2006


 - posted June 25, 2006 04:20 PM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't care whether it's MPEG2 or MPEG4 - in fact I'm more disappointed that they're still using any form of lossy compression [Frown]

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John Cook
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 183
From: Papillion, NE
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted June 25, 2006 06:43 PM      Profile for John Cook   Author's Homepage   Email John Cook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jan

MPEG2 encoding is the norm for hi-def material. If you've tuned in HDTV over the air with a set of rabbit ears you're watching a 19.2Mb/s MPEG2 data stream modulated via 8VSB, or QAM if using cable.

The newer MPEG4 codec is hit and miss. From my experience viewing MPEG4 encoded material on our 106" NEC XG1352LC MPEG4 comes across with much more macro-blocking when compared to a typical MPEG2 encoded stream (either DVD or MPEG4 content of HDTV comarible resolution/quality.) I've yet to have any direct experience with HD-DVD at local A/V dealers on anything other than large 60-80" LCD or Plamsa displays, hardly a large screen experience so I can't honestly say if HD-DVDs MPEG4 quality can compare to HDTV MPEG2 when viewed on a truly large display.

That being said my two experiences demoing Bluray left me concluding either the material isn't encoded correctly (poor master, rushed to release) poor disc player (Samsung) or a little bit of both. Whatever the cause for the initial Blu-Ray problems I can say without a doubt that HD-DVD MPEG4 encoded materials are clearer and sharper than the initial Bluray releases.

What I would like to see is material shot on HDCAM mastered for simultaneous release as MPEG2 and MPEG4 content on both HD-DVD and Bluray. Everything I've seen to date on either format is film source material. An HDCAM material comparison would provide an accurate accounting of what both formats and their respective hardware are capable of.

The best content I've seen to date has been on either DiscoveryHD, Vooms Equator channel (before the switch to Dish) or occasional sports content on OTA HDTV or ESPNHD. All of the aformentioned content is MPEG2 encoded and makes what I've seen on HD-DVD and Bluray to date look as muddy as the Mississippi!

Regards, John

--------------------
Come visit The Pit
http://members.cox.net/home-theater

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted June 25, 2006 10:15 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wasn't trying to suggest that MPEG2 is a visually inferior codec vs. MPEG4 - obviously that matter is much more complex and it comes down to the quality of the source material as well as the encoding parameters (and algorithms) used for creating the compressed video stream. [Smile] However, I understand that in simplified terms, MPEG4 is able to achieve considerably higher compression while maintaining roughly the same video quality. This is evident in the fact that you can "rip" a DVD and transcode it to a DivX or XviD file that is no larger than about 700MB (with audio) and fits on a regular CD - all with minimal quality loss vs. the original DVD.

Joerg, from what I hear, lossless video codecs are in the works but need further development at this point... even lossless audio codecs can only crunch audio down to about half its size, and uncompressed video streams mean HUMONGOUS amounts of data.
Consider the following... a 720x480 image with 24-bit color depth consumes very nearly one megabyte of data. Storing 30 such images per second would bring you up to 30MB for one single second of DVD video, or 30GB (in the neighborhood of Blu-Ray capacity) for less than 20 minutes of video! [Eek!]

--------------------
Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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