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Author Topic: HD DVD or BLU RAY
John Cook
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted June 26, 2006 05:40 PM      Profile for John Cook   Author's Homepage   Email John Cook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"while maintaining roughly the same video quality....- all with minimal quality loss vs. the original DVD."...this is where you and I disagree. I haven't seen any MPEG2 material reencoded to MPEG4 that looked good although the above may be partly true when viewed on a typical computer monitor but when blown up to 106" you'd quickly be reaching for the stop button and the source DVD, I jsit can't stand micro-blocking or what I like to call crawlies.

Prior to HD-DVD nothing on a consumer level had been released in the MPEG4 format authored directly from a high resolution Master (the only notable exceptions being a few half hearted attempts from microsoft such as Terminator2 in XVID-wmv.) So HD-DVD and MPEG4 are in a sense of the word just now cutting new ground.

I would love to spend a weekend with an HD-DVD player and a handful of discs. Considering Best Buys liberal return policy I could borrow one of their players for the weekend...did I just say that! [Roll Eyes]

An HD-DVD drive for use in a HTPC (home theater computer) would be the way to go.

Even though I am a fan of Sony video products and display devices Bluray had better start making a better showing of themselves or yes, I believe their horse will be stalled at the gate.

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John Cook
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted June 27, 2006 10:24 PM      Profile for John Cook   Author's Homepage   Email John Cook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jan,

What no reply? I purposely disagreed with you just to see if you're as tenacious as my dog!
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My dog, Mrs Piggy, is the white bull terrier. General George Patton was right, these dogs are ferocious! [Roll Eyes]

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

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


 - posted June 28, 2006 09:22 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ohh, impatient, are we [Big Grin]

Well, all I can say is that maybe (just maybe) you haven't seen a good MPEG4 - that is, DivX or XviD - movie file... perhaps you watched badly decoded video, for when it comes to MPEG4, a good decoder is almost as important as a good encoder. Deblocking algorithms are particularly effective in eliminating the macro blocking you mention. I've done a few of my own encodes from DVDs and they came out mighty good. Also... I dare say that my monitor, which was a $2,000 high-end display in its day (1996-1997) and currently runs 1280x1024 at an 85Hz refresh rate with 32-bit color depth, is a pretty decent tool for judging the quality of both MPEG2 (DVD) and MPEG4 (.avi file) video streams. Therefore I stand by what I've said. [Wink]

That wasn't too tenacious, was it? [Razz] [Wink]

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Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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John Cook
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted June 28, 2006 09:43 PM      Profile for John Cook   Author's Homepage   Email John Cook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bill over at the digital bits had this to say about the new Blu-Ray hardware just hitting the market...

quote:
Those of you who are interested in how Blu-ray displays VC1 material will be pleased to know that it looks absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, I can't talk about the specific clips we saw, but it wouldn't be fair to compare Blu-ray's VC1 quality to that of HD-DVD at this point anyway, especially not from a single short clip. I will tell you, however, that one specific piece of test footage we looked at (in MPEG-2) was hands-down the single most stunning high-def video I've ever seen. I've seen a lot of HD video in my day, but NOTHING this good in terms of detail, color, contrast and lack of compression artifacting. I have no doubt that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc are capable of delivering video quality of this level eventually, but I'm betting full-length movie discs this good won't start hitting store shelves until mid-to-late next year... when the authoring and compression folks have had enough time to really hone their wizardry with these formats.
There's plenty more of this article to read on his site thedigitalbits.com, after reading this latest update to his ongoing Blu-ray review my interest has been raised a notch. I'm hoping his PS3 review will have a similar outcome.

John

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

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


 - posted June 29, 2006 12:27 AM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds very promising! For once, the two formats warring for consumer acceptance and eventual supremacy appear to be very close in terms of quality and features (potentially, at least). Not so much like VHS vs. Betamax, where Betamax should have been the clear winner. It seems that whether Blu-Ray wins or HD-DVD wins, we'll all be happy either way.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 29, 2006 08:13 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
or to put it another way....its all down to who does the better marketing job. This was where Sony fell down with Betamax years ago. Al the rental outlets in the UK were renting out VHS machines and tapes which is why the consumer in the UK went VHS.

Try and find a Rental company in the UK which had a Betamax machine until Sanyo came out with their cheap machines and let them go into the Renatl market unfortunateky the damage was done by then and VHS ruled the roost. I dare say this was similar in most other countries.

As I said in an earlier post...the Sony Demo I have seen here in the UK was absolutely stunning and I too didnt see any artifacts which is so common with all forms of lossy compresion.
The Demo was using NTSC materail as they said it would be another year before we saw a PAL version! But where is it? Its now nearly 18 months since seeing that Demo.

People I work with are all talking about HD-DVD never a mention of Blu Ray [Frown] Have the other camp perhaps got it right from the start by calling it HD DVD.

Kev.

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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 29, 2006 09:53 AM      Profile for Joerg Polzfusz   Author's Homepage   Email Joerg Polzfusz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
VHS also won over Video2000 simply because Video2000 didn't allow pornos to be produced/released in this format [Wink]

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

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


 - posted June 29, 2006 09:51 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eh...?

Um, nevermind that. Anyway, I was going to say it's not surprising people talk about HD-DVD... everybody knows DVDs and knows right from the start that "HD-DVD" is the logical next step... the average consumer hears that term and thinks "Ah, the new high-definition format. Cool" whereas he/she might hear about Blu-Ray and wonder what the heck that is - or who thought it would be cool to spell "blue" without an "e." [Roll Eyes]

On another note, I don't understand why the distinction between PAL and NTSC is still being made with these hi-def formats? One would think it was time to start fresh with one worldwide set of standard resolutions and refresh rates, but apparently not. (Sigh) Not to mention the actual definitions of the terms PAL and NTSC really have little to do with the video format, but rather with the way its signals are encoded (particularly the color information) so they can be transferred through a single composite video cable. (For example, there is PAL60 which uses PAL color encoding but displays the same resolution and frame rate as NTSC...525 lines at 60 fields per second.)

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John Cook
Expert Film Handler

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


 - posted June 30, 2006 12:34 AM      Profile for John Cook   Author's Homepage   Email John Cook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kevin

I agree with your comment about name recognition of "DVD" in HD-DVD is a trump card in Toshiba's hand.

Jan,

You're right, HD-DVD and Bluray are not NTSC. They are in fact a subrate of a totally new format called ATSC. NTSC was a 525 line field (480 line field viewable,) interlaced at a vertical refresh rate of 60fields or 30frames/second. The ATSC standard is much more than that, 24/30/60f/s as well as 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p and not to mention all the combinations of each of the previous with either a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. NTSC was a single format standard, ATSC which includes HDTV is comprised of 18 different video frame rate standards. Only the 720P, 1080i and 1080P (1080P is becoming more prevalent here in the US) qualify as HDTV formats (exceeds of 1 Megapixel.) You can't compare old apples to fresh oranges. ATSC is primarily an MPEG2 format, the newer MPEG4 codecs used in HD-DVD and Bluray are not ATSC specific but the new disc formats do conform to the ATSC refresh rates, display aspect ratios and pixel counts. New encoding scheme, same underlying ATSC frame format. HDTV capable, 1080p capable, oh hell yes. No other consumer format on the planet (including PAL) comes close!

With regards to VHS vs Beta wars the prominent deciding factor in the US was the long play speed (4 hour) introduced by JVC and the eventual straw that broke the camels back extended long play (6 hour recoding time) introduced by Matsushita (Panasonic.)

The 2/4/6 hour VHS recording times vs the 1.5/3/4.5 Beta recording time per tape, at a time when video tape was quite expensive, was the deciding factor here in the US.

This time around, all other criteria being reasonably equal between the two formats, it appears that Sony has the longer recording time albeit at a higher cost.

Current score looks to be a tie! Could the Sony Play Station 3 w/integrated Bluray be the tie breaker? I'm anxiously waiting Bill Hunts review over on the bits.

John

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

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


 - posted June 30, 2006 07:20 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I forgot there was a name to the whole setup: ATSC. Thanks for reminding me. [Smile] Now my question is, is ATSC going to be adopted globally or have people in PAL-land already come up with their own HDTV set of standards? I hope not, because I still think having PAL and NTSC (or their HDTV counterparts) is just plain silly when other things like cassettes and CDs (and of course film) work anywhere in the world.

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Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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