11 replies on “HD DVD format officially dead”

  1. Cerberus7 says:

    Which Blu-Ray player to get?
    Alright, now that it’s finally decided, I’m going to start investigating Blu-Ray players. I’ve heard stories about most players not supporting all Blu-Ray features, but not exactly what those features are and why I should care. I’ve heard that the PS3 is the only Blu-Ray capable device out there that is fully compliant with the standard. So far, the prices are a bit too high for my taste, but does anybody have any insight into who makes a good player, and what model?

    • Damien says:

      Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?
      I’d say to wait until closer to xmas ’08, or at least late Fall, you should see prices come down a good bit by then IMHO.

    • y42 says:

      Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?

      does anybody have any insight into who makes a good player

      I’m still waiting for insight as to why DVD isn’t good enough anymore.

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?

        I’m still waiting for insight as to why DVD isn’t good enough anymore.

        My local circuit City runs a demo pretty much nonstop with BluRay that is astounding. It has a lot of clips from the movie Ultraviolet which look unbelievably great on the Sony XBR4 Bravia 1080p set which the demo is designed to highlight.

        One other scene is taken from the movie A Knight’s Tale and they do a window-washer swipe from right to left and back again, filling up the screen first with standard DVD quality and the Blu-Ray, stopping with the DVD quality on the left half and Blu-Ray on the right half of the screen for the rest of the scene. It is of the two protaganists arguing with each other in a cathedral with various bystanders and stained glass windows in the background.

        Forget what you think is HD based on your previous experience with early 720i sets. Blu-Ray on a current top of the line 1080p set is almost like alienware and makes looking at conventional DVDs like looking thru mud-smeared glasses. Breathtakingly, incredibly beautiful.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?
          Oops, I made a mistake in the above post – shoulda said 720p instead of 720i…those little letters are awfully easy to mix up…

          Here’s a little more tech background I’ve learned in prep for buying my first HDTV soon.

          There are two kinds of "scan" – progressive (the "p") and interlaced (the "i"). Conventional American color TV developed in the 1950s is known as "NTSC standard" and had the disadvantage of haing to be backward compatable with the previous black-and-white TV standard from the 1930s – in other words, color broadcasts in the 1960s still had to show up as black-and-white bradcasts on TVs built during the 1940s and 1950s. This fact, along with the fact that most 1960s color TVs were built with primitive vaccuum tubes, meant that a less demanding "interlaced" scan technique was used.

          In modern terms, 1960s color TV technology still in use today is now called "SDTV" (S="standard") instead of "NTSC" and is broadcast in "480i". This means there are 480 visible scan lines on the TV screen (count em with your magnifying glass) but the odd-numbered 240 lines are refreshed first, then all the even numbeered 240 lines (the "interlace" or i). Your eye blends the two images or fields together in your brain – in fact, a LOT of TV technology is nothing more than an optical illusion…

          In the 1990s electronics improved to the point where they were fast enough to scan all 480 lines sequentially from top to bottom instead of alternating half-fields. This scan technique is "progressive" or "p". Long story short, your brain can subconsciously tell the difference between i and p bradcasts becasue the latter don’t show the effects of "motion blur" so badly. In an i broadcast, motion changes the position of things between the two field scans and that is percieved as blur by the brain.

          TVs started to be built with selectable p or i as part of their menu and these are known as EDTV or "enhanced" 480p units. Higher quality DVD players put out 480p signals which is why DVDs look better than broadcast TV on certain TVs. Broadcast TV is 480i; DVDs can do 480p.

          THere are actually numerous HDTV standards to replace both SDTV and EDTV. Early HDTV sets, whether plasma or LCD or whatever display technology, settled on 720p and later 1080i scanning. 720p was primarily used for sports broadcasts to reduce fast action motion blur and the 1080i primarily used to show increased facial resolution (sweat and skin pores) in talking head drama type shows. The networks broadcast both kinds of signals depending on the type of show.

          Just because you’ve got a HDTV and even an HD broadcast signal still doesn’t mean you’re gonna get a great picture. THere is a dirty little secret that the networks are frequently broadcasting less-than-perfect 720p digital signals to conserve bandwidth and letting your HDTV do the best it can with the reduced data. They’d rather send out 100 channels over the cable at reduced quality than 70 in perfect HDTV. Also, even with a perfect 720p or 1080i signal, if you’ve got the "other" kind of TV it will have to interpolate and cut and paste the picture to get one kind of show to show on a non-native resolution screen, which is why mom’s Desperate Housewives can look kinda funky and not-very-HD on a TV that Dad bought for Monday Night Football. And blowing up a still-predominant SDTV signal for display on an HDTV set is just a crapshoot as far as image quality goes…

          Nobody broadcasts 1080p either over the air or over cable (not sure about satellite) and this is the "ultimate" holy-grail best-of-both-worlds HDTV resoultion that is only now starting to be marketed at reasonable prices. It combines the best possible resolution with the least possible motion blur. The only place you can get 1080p signals for the best possible viewing experience is…Blu Ray. Which is why Blu Ray is such a big deal.

        • y42 says:

          high-quality > low-fidelity

          I’m still waiting for insight as to why DVD isn’t good enough anymore.

          Ultraviolet […] A Knight’s Tale

          Riiight…

          I’ll stick to my DVD of Pi, thanks.

          • rickyjames says:

            Re: high-quality > low-fidelity

            Ultraviolet […] A Knight’s Tale

            Riiight…

            Well, I agree these two dogs are hardly reasons for taking the Blu Ray plunge. But when they remaster 2001 and Zhivago and all the classic films and start filming all new material in 1080p, I am so there…

            I actually think that we don’t see or appreciate yet just what impact 1080p is going to have…or not have. IMHO, the fragmentation of audiences by the wide variety of products vying for eyeballs may very well mean the end of the "movie" as we now know it, and is a far more significant social trend than the tech trend of moving to gee-whiz tech like 1080p. Once your audience is too small to support a big budet film, they’re not made anymore. Ticket sale trends are already heading there. In 2050, the dominant form of 1080p "movie" programming may be aquariums and fireplace videos and sunrises….cheap to make yet universally appealing. Or maybeeven made on-the-fly in realtime by conscious microprocessors that are bored stiff from being stuck in something as mundane as an HDTV…

          • vanyel says:

            Re: high-quality > low-fidelity

            Riiight…

            I’ll stick to my DVD of Pi, thanks.

            I *like* A Knight’s Tale — it’s a fun movie with a good theme that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

            As for why upgrade to HD, to be honest, if you have a good upconverting player, for most movies it’s not worth the extra money. If you have a regular player though, an HD player makes a pretty good upconverting player, and then you have the HD for the movies it matters on…

          • Jethro says:

            Re: high-quality > low-fidelity

            I’ll stick to my DVD of Pi, thanks.

            See, PI is SUPPOSED to look all blurry and washed out.

            I got bluray for The Simpsons Movie. I honestly did not expect the quality to be that good, but it just blew my mind. It’s unbelievably beautiful.

            There aren’t a ton of movies out for the format – at least not ones I want. And there are DEFINITELY some movies that maybe a DVD is fine for, like PI. Or Life of Brian, which I really don’t think is better quality than my DVD of the same movie, owing largely to the source material.

            But then there’s restorations of 2001 and Blade Runner which are just beautiful. Not as beautiful as recent movies, for sure, but still really good, and still better than DVD.

            Let me put it another way, too – if you have a 30" TV, bluray won’t do much for you. But if you have a 50" 1080p set, bluray will be beautiful.

    • Jethro says:

      Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?

      Alright, now that it’s finally decided, I’m going to start investigating Blu-Ray players.

      Playstation3.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Which Blu-Ray player to get?

        Alright, now that it’s finally decided, I’m going to start investigating Blu-Ray players.

        Playstation3.

        Exactly so. The PS3 is the most upgradable blu-ray player. That’s the player at the top of my short list.

        As for HD-DVD, I paid less than $140.00 at Christmas time for seven HD-DVDs and the Toshiba HD-A2 player, so I don’t feel particularly screwed. When I get my PS3 the Tosh with its HDMI can move upstairs with a small 720P widescreen flat panel and do a great job as an upconverting DVD player.

        It’s kind of like Aeon Flux, Batman Begins, Pitch Black, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came with their own player. :)

        -Joe

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