My big upgrade decision

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Nemesis, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Nemesis

    Nemesis Guest

    surely there are limits to how good an image can look on a 1080P and at some point the picture can't be improved no matter how much extra space you throw at it.. what extra space does is allow you longer movies, more extras, more complex menus? unless someone has definitive evidence what the max bitrate of a 2 hour 1080P movie is and how much space it can take up then this argument is pointless??
     
  2. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Yes, it does. It also has a higher maximum for bitrate:

    Blu-ray 48.0 Mbit/s
    HD-DVD 30.24 Mbit/s

    With higher disc capacity you are better able to utilize higher bitrates. Even with higher capacity HD-DVD can't go over 30.24 Mbit/s. PERIOD. This isn't an opinion. This is black and white facts.

    There already IS a Blu-ray player you can find for less than $300, it's the BDP-S300. It also upscales SD-DVDs. It's also 1080p, the cheaper HD-DVD models only do 1080i. It also comes with a deal to get 5 free Blu-ray discs and also has the Amazon 3 disc deal as well.

    HD discs are priced the same. Meaning catalog titles have the same MSRPs regardless of the format. New Releases have the same MSRPs regardless of the format. Actually HD-DVD discs often cost more because they have some combo discs which usually are $5 more, which many people complain about manufacturing problems with.

    Also on Reverenddave's "Must have" HD-DVD list the following titles are also on Blu-ray:
    The Warriors
    300
    The Fountain

    Casablanca is coming very soon according to Warner end of 2007 but I suspect first quarter 2008. The Dawn of the Dead on HD-DVD is only the remake, which is the censored version. Also 300 is a combo disc on HD-DVD and is more expensive than the Blu-ray release.
     
  3. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    I haven't seen any reviews that recommend a BR over an HD-DVD based on video quality. Some reviews of early discs actually recommended the HD over the BR due to poor encoding. That problem's been fixed. But I don't think I've ever heard anyone say, "Get the BR disc instead of the HD-DVD disc because it has better video".

    I don't know where you're finding the BDP-S300 for under $300. I checked pricegrabber and Amazon, and I don't see it for less that $430. At Amazon I don't see any BR players under $400 (unless it's used or refurbished).

    When catalog movies are released on both formats, the prices are the same. But Blu-Ray has more exclusive discs priced at $34.99 and $39.99. For example, all the upcoming Fox BR's will be $39.99 and a lot of the Disney BR are $34.99. HD-DVD does have some combo discs which are more expensive. But I provided numbers from Amazon that back up my findings. HD-DVD has a higher percentage of low priced discs (under $20).

    Also, The Warriors is a Paramount title and will no longer be available on BluRay. 300 and The Fountain are available on both. But the HD-DVD of 300 has some exclusive features.

    My recommendation to the original poster is to plan on getting both formats. Start out with HD-DVD, because it's more affordable at this time. Then pick up a BR as soon as the priced drop a little more.

    Think of it this way: What's $500 going to get you?

    HD-DVD: Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player ($238) and 20 HD-DVD (7 Free at Amazon + 13 bought for $20 each).

    BLURAY: Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray Disc Player ($438) and 8 Blu-Ray (5 Free at Amazon + 3 bought for $20 each).
     
  4. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    Actually, I just re-read the original poster's question. For some reason I was thinking of someone else's question.

    My information probably isn't very useful. You're in Australia. There are different prices and exclusive distribution deals over there.

    Even though HD-DVDs aren't region coded, I popped a Region 3 NTSC DVD into my player and it wouldn't play. I don't know if you'll have the same problem with a player bought in R4.

    I don't think either format is "inferior". Aside from a few bad encodes in the early days, I've never heard anyone say "Buy the _____ disc because it's better than the _____ disc." Usually both discs are almost exactly the same.

    There are people that don't like the HD-DVD combo discs. Some have problems playing them, and some don't like to pay extra for the DVD side. But many of these are being rereleased on regular HD-DVD (without the DVD side). I have a feeling that combo discs won't be around much longer.
     
  5. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I'm sure they don't look any better. I don't know where you're getting your info, Dave. This is all sounding a big propeller-head - "the specs read better, it must be better!" In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Personally, I'd rather face reality. ;)

    Region coded. Spec not firmed up with features already missing. Up to four minute boot time per disc. More expensive players. And no increase in picture quality. I'm not anti Blu-Ray, but it's certainly not bettering HD-DVD at the moment.

    I'll leave it up to DVDBeaver, who have been comparing DVD release for quite some time:

    I don't know how we got to confusing a feature check box over quality. Regardless, there simply is no quality difference at the moment. As I said, some early Blu-ray's actually looked worse, but it was an encoding issue. As always, the transfer and mastering will determine quality - as it does with DVD - not the extra capacity. Believe your eyes, not the propeller heads.

    Same here, this is techie stuff (common in the IT industry) that conveniently ignores the facts by stating something that is technically true and insisting therefore that 2 plus 2 equals 5. Actually, when you have those claiming that you can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on a projected image, this supposed higher bitrate (which isn't being used) is a red herring. Still, people are free to choose what they want thank goodness. We all know that, over time, the capacity of these will increase.

    ps: For computer usage, I'm eager for a blu-ray drive for sure!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2007
  6. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    You guys may be right; I am only speculating.

    But please point to a source that indicates blu-ray cannot have a higher bitrate than HD-DVD. If you put a 3 hour movie on HD-DVD and a 3 hour movie on blu-ray, the blu-ray can have higher bitrate.

    Common sense tells me: More capacity = ability for higher bitrate. Whether it does or not, I don't know. But point to me a link that proves they have the same bitrate.

    I know there are other factors - codec, etc. But if you were - hypothetically - to author the same print on both HD-DVD and blu-ray using the same codec, blu-ray could have a higher bitrate, which results in higher quality.

    Side-by-side tests were done on superbit DVDs versus standard DVDs, clearing proving that higher bitrate resulted in a higher quality picture. While superbit is still only 8gb, more space was devoted to the picture presentation, allow for higher bitrate, allowing for superior picture. Wouldn't the same apply to blu-ray? If HD-DVD were 75gb, I would be saying the same thing.

    Now, if HD-DVD and Blu-Ray do use the same bitrate, then I agree they are essentially equal on the quality front. Blu-Ray could still have other advantages, like more extras on and more audio tracks, etc.
     
  7. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Warner priced 300 at $35 for HD-DVD and $30 for Blu-ray. You can't throw a generic pricing system on either format accept to say combo's are $5 more. Studio pricing is what it is. Regardless of the format, a studio's prices would be the same.

    I wouldn't recommend buying HD-DVD now simply because there's a $200 MSRP player coming out soon, I'd wait to see how that sizes up. There were some good BR player sales in the summer, I'd wait for those to happen again during the holidays.

    If someone owns one format, either HD-DVD or Blu-ray, I wouldn't recommend buying into the other format; "Going neutral" as it were. Whatever money you'd dump into a second player is better spent elsewhere. Prices are only going to come down, there's no rush. If the format war ends tomorrow and your player's on the losing side, it'll still play all your discs just as well.

    True, on the same transfer. But Blu-ray players have a higher maximum bitrate:

    Blu-ray 48.0 Mbit/s
    HD-DVD 30.24 Mbit/s

    When utilized Blu-ray can be better, which larger disc capacity can only help ensure. Sony, Disney, Fox, Lionsgate are all able to utilize Blu-ray. While Paramount and Warner discs look good, they're not nearly as good as Disney's discs. It never really dawned on my how great HD is until I saw Dead Man's Chest and could see the ocean horizon as crystal clear. Disney loves to push the bitrate to the max and it shows.

    When people say the same movie on HD-DVD discs compared to Blu-ray discs look identical it's because they use the same transfer. Of course they're identical, since they've been set to the lowest common denominator IE HD-DVD. No one should dispute this.

    What needs to be done to show this is taking the same master and transferring to each format to the best of their abilities. Which no company's going to do because it's twice the expense.
     
  8. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    To operative word there is CAN. And the answer is, while it's possible, it just DOESN'T. Reading up on peoples experiences, I'm pretty sure no-one would see a difference quality wise even if they did.

    Again, I'm talking about what is, not what might be.

    I will also mention once again - some people doing testing on projected images are saying that they can't tell he difference in image quality between 1080i and 720i. I had a link somewhere of a large group of people that did the experiment. You have to take disc quality into account of course, but I found that interesting myself.

    Of course - couple years down the road who knows - but then, HD will change by that time too..... I still think this is propeller head stuff - techie talk. The eyes might be lieing, but what the heck. :D
     
  9. 17thJuggalo

    17thJuggalo Active Member

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    Personally, I'd just stick with the one thats selling more. I'd be pissed if I invested into an HD-DVD collection then a year later no more are being made.
     
  10. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    I'm not sure that current selling trends are the best way to pick a winner.

    First, neither format is selling like hotcakes. BR is currently selling more, but it's really just a drop in the ocean compared to SD-DVD.

    Second, sales figures are fleeting. A year ago, HD-DVD was outselling BR. Today BR is outselling HD-DVD. Who knows which will be selling more in 6 months.

    And finally, remember UMD? That was the hot new media back in 2005. Studios were pumping out titles. And now they can barely give them away.

    I think this format war is going to last at least 2-3 years. And I wouldn't be surprised it both formats stick around for a long time.
     
  11. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Some pundits are predicting both will remain. Personally I don't care right now. Buying into something like this going into the Christmas season is bound to cost more. In the first quarter nxt year I might take the plunge. Prices will have eased, and maybe - just maybe - we'll know more about futures.
     
  12. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    In regards to the bitrate of HD-DVD vs BR:

    If you were to compare King Kong (HD-DVD) to POTC: Dead Man's Chest (Blu-Ray) on the same set-up, I doubt anyone would say that one is better than the other. Those are arguably the two reference discs for each format. King Kong is a 3+ hour movie on a single HD-DVD. Comparing those two movies, I don't see how anyone can say that the video on HD-DVD is inferior to Blu-Ray.
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    That's right - what can be superior, and ultimately is superior of the two because of what it is capable of.

    You are pretty sure no one would see the quality, huh? On my smaller HDTV, most wouldn't see a difference between a standard DVD and a high def DVD. Doesn't mean they are the same. The larger you go with the image, the more apparent the quality difference becomes. That is why we want the technically superior format; the one that is capable of displaying the best image.
     
  14. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --You are pretty sure no one would see the quality, huh? --

    Actually I was repeating what I read elsewhere. I will dig out the link, see if I can find it. They were projecting hi-def images - it wasn't a TV. I can't say one way or the other, I wasn't there during the test, and I've not been able to compare myself. :(

    I'll go see if I can find the link.
     
  15. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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  16. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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  17. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    *I* mentioned the 720 and 1080 thing earlier in the thread. Thought it would be good to post the link. And actually, you quoted it back at me. ;)

    What's more - if they can't tell the difference between 720 and 1080 with that equipment, on that screen size - and you going to say a higher bitrate of Blu-Ray over HD-DVD is going to improve the image? I think not, because with what we currently have, people can't tell what are supposed to be major changes (leap in resolution here). As an upgrade choice, I think the link given is a fascinating read. :)

    The capacity thing is propeller head stuff, and won't actually change anything. Just like the myth that a better bitrate gives you a better picture. I have a disc here, The Screaming Skull - it has an incredibly high bitrate - and it looks horrible. It's the codec, the transfer, the mastering, that ultimately decides. The bit rate thing is a red herring. It always has been. A higher bitrate might indicate a better picture, but it's not as though it automagically does. And even buying discs today because they have a bitrate doesn't mean you're getting a better picture (which is what matters, imo. I could care les about bit statistics when it comes to watching movies). :)

    Where the links demoing/explaining how Blu-Ray and bitrates beat out HD-DVD. What can/could happen isn't relevent, unless you enjoy choosing a format for what it could do if you lived in some parrallel universe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  18. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    Here's something to keep in mind, for those on the fence or trying to decide which format will win the "war":

    Even if there was only one format, and that format was perfect. All the studios were putting out movies in that format, and the prices were dropped to a more reasonable amount. It still wouldn't guarantee that this format will ever be more than a small fleeting niche. And there's absolutely no guarantee that it would reach DVD levels of widestream acceptance.

    Check out this article on HD Ignorance:

    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/news/html/breaking_article.cfm?sec_id=2&&article_ID=11257

    Quite frankly, I don't see Joe Six Pack going for HD media. At least not for another 10 years or more. The transition from VHS to DVD was easy. It was just like upgrading your VCR. And the benefits of DVD over VHS were obvious. A huge advance in video/audio quality, lower prices and smaller shelf space made DVD much more desirable.

    But the transition from DVD to HD is going to be more difficult. It requires upgrading your entire home theater and understanding the new technology. The improvements in video/audio are noticeable when watching side by side, but it's not a huge advancement. And the prices will probably never be lower than current DVD prices.

    This HD stuff is fun for home theater nuts. But I doubt it will ever be more than a small/medium niche of hardcore fans.
     
  19. Dave

    Dave Pimp

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    If you continue to increase the size of the screen, you will get to a point where you can see a difference and that resolution and bitrate do in factor matter. This has been proven numerous times in the past. Do a google search for superbit comparisons and you can see for yourself.

    The real question is how long it will take before larger screens become affordable enough. I can see myself having a nice HD setup in a few years, which is why I am preferring blu-ray.
     
  20. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Oh, of course. And we shouldn't forget that SD can handle large screens well. We have to realistic here about how home users will view these discs. For a year or so I had a screen that was 12 feet across at home (down to a little under 7 foot now). Standard DVD looked damn good on a 12 foot screen. Hi-Def no doubt looks better. I've no idea at what point SD starts to break down screen size wise - but it's larger than most home users will ever get to enjoy.

    I'd have a 30 foot screen if I could - but it won't be this lifetime.
     

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