About ready to get one - HD DVD or Blu-ray?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ron Z, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. Ron Z

    Ron Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm think I'm about ready to bike the bullet and get either a Samsung BD-P1000 or a Toshiba HD-A1 or the RCA HD DVD player. I can get the Samsung for around $200 more than the others. But my main dilemma is choosing which format, and perhaps this isn't the best time to be getting a new HD player but I really want one before Xmas! [​IMG] And from what I've gathered, here are the +'s and -'s to each (standalone players only):

    Blu-ray:
    + more available title selection? (not sure about this)
    + more studios backing the format at this time
    + better playback and responsiveness
    - more expensive HW and SW overall
    - early title releases don't have the best mastering/encoding
    - SD upconversion not as good as HD DVD

    HD DVD:
    + less expensive HW and SW overall
    + better SD upconversion
    + CD playing capability
    + overall better PQ among the available HD DVD title releases?
    - not as much studio backing
    - slower and not as good handling

    Perhaps info on my main HT equipment might help:
    - Pioneer PDP-5050HD 50" 1080i/720p plasma (with HDMI).
    - Pioneer Elite VSX-80TXV receiver (HDMI switching only and 7.1 multi-channel analog audio inputs).

    I guess I'm just trying to get a feel for what others who have bought a standalone HD player have done with the same decision process?
     
  2. Phil Garcia

    Phil Garcia Stunt Coordinator

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    Wait till next year, buy a PS3 and go Blu. [​IMG]

    I know thats not what you wanted to hear, but ah well. [​IMG]
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Here's what I'd do Ron:

    * Get the HD-A1 NOW to cover HD-DVD, as it can be easily found new for $340-$400.
    * Get the PS3 next year (when it's widely available) as a Blu-ray player.

    You get both worlds for about the same price that you'd pay now JUST for Blu-ray if you go with the Samsung, and as a bonus you get gaming capability. Oh, and you left out a plus for HD-DVD - support. Toshiba has been providing regular firmware updates for the HD-A1/XA1 and has committed to continue doing so into 2008.
     
  4. RobertDW

    RobertDW Stunt Coordinator

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    Right now there are 112 HD DVD titles available and 84 BD titles. http://www.thedvdwars.com/index.cfm

    The soon to be released Toahiba HD-A2 player will be much faster boot and loading times so you may want to look into that. http://www.valueelectronics.com/Toshiba_HD-A2.htm

    BD in number of possible titles has about 20 to 25% more via studio support. That could/will change by next year if LionsGate and/or Disney start supporting HD DVD.

     
  5. Ron Z

    Ron Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard the A2 is a bit faster, but I'm not sure about it being *much* faster than the A1. And unfortunately, the A2 doesn't have the multi-channel analog outputs which I need, as my receiver won't decode HDMI audio, just pass it through - so I need a player that has the actual analog outputs.
     
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    the DACs in the A1 are supposed to be extremely high quality.
     
  7. Brent T

    Brent T Second Unit

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    My suggestion is to buy the Xbox360 ( rumor is that Amazon will be selling the core system for $100 on either Thursday or Friday) and then add the HD-Player (I havent noticed any load time on mine) for $200.

    Get a game system and HD Player for $300, if the rumor is true.
     
  8. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    An incredibly good deal if you're a gamer and a movie enthusiast.

    To be clear, Amazon has a vote up about which "Deal" to offer. the 360 deal is just one of the options, and it's limited quantities. You'll have to click fast and beat the E-bay'ers to get it. But if you can, hands down the best possible HD-DVD deal available.

    Words of caution: The 360 add-on does not(yet) output the advanced audio codecs, it decodes them, there's just no way to output them. Nor is there an HDMI output(yet). Word is that MS is working on an adaptor(s) to correct these issues, but nothing official yet.
     
  9. Ron Z

    Ron Z Stunt Coordinator

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    It's looking like it'll be the HD-A1 if I can find one (or maybe the RCA) when I get back from my vacation, and just in time for Xmas. And then maybe a PS3 for my birthday almost mid next year.

    Does anyone know if the HD-A1's speed issues can be corrected with firmware, or would this need new hardware to be implemented? So far it seems the main complaint with the A1 is it's responsiveness, or the lack there of.

    I've held off on buying any new DVDs I want for a couple months now until I get a HD player, and then I'll see if they're available in HD format.
     
  10. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I may end up biting the bullet sooner than I expected on HD-DVD. I was waiting for a pricepoint of either $300 for a new HD-DVD player, or maybe $500 or so for a combo player (which I've been informed by a friend on MSN Messenger won't ever happen). But I'm willing to take the gamble that HD-DVD will be successful to maybe spend $400 on a player. I'd like to wait for the A2 because it will be lower profile than the A1 and I might be able to cram it into the space below my TV (which currently houses my receiver, front speaker, and low profile Sony DVD player I bought for $99 at a local retailer). Should I even consider eBay for used units?
     
  11. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    I have researched this question for more than a year, and for the past week I've gotten to borrow a HD DVD player. Since I haven't also been able to borrow a Blu-ray player, my opinions are extremely subjective. However, my ultimate opinion is that the picture quality difference (assuming transfers are done correctly) is probably negligible. The questions is: who will win? No answer to that, unfortunately. However, no one has yet issued a knockout punch and I do not think that either format will fade into the blackness for at least a year or more, by which time a universal player will almost certainly be on the horizon. Therefore, my humble recommendation is to buy into HD DVD and enjoy! Worst case scenario is that you have to eventually buy a combo player. I don't think that will become a necessity until a ways down the road, IMHO.
     
  12. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    I say go blu-ray. To me it seems that it's the format of the future and the higher capacity truly counts and for PC storage it will be blu-ray.

    The funny thing is that HD-DVD dropped the ball here in Europe. We will not get any players till 2007. And also the funny thing is that imported Blu-ray discs are cheaper here than imported HD-DVDs!
     
  13. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    Here are my two cents, from an owner of both formats. When a movie is released in both BD and HD-DVD, I buy the HD-DVD. I have found that the quality of the releases have been more consistant on the HD-DVD side. Currently I do not buy BD wihout reading reviews first, unless they are released by Disney. I may add Fox to the purchase sight onseen as the quality of their recent releases has been stellar. You can gander at my HD and BD collections below. You will note that my HD collection has pre-orders, my BD collection does not.
     
  14. Manus

    Manus Second Unit

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    " To me it seems that it's the format of the future and the higher capacity truly counts and for PC storage it will be blu-ray "

    As you struggle to make your mind up you'll have a lot of this type of comment to contend with. It all depends which of the Bluray-announced futures you are willing to believe in. PC storage was not even part of the question [​IMG]

    Thomas as always represents a voice of calm in a world of flux ........

    Why not check out some equipment reviews/prices and some disc reviews ( eg.www.hidefdigest.com for a start ?

    best of luck,
    ~M~
     
  15. Ed Faver

    Ed Faver Second Unit

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    Ron-

    I've have my HD-A1 since July and have been very hapy with it, especially since the 2.0 firmware upgrade. That said, I am likely to buy a Blu-ray machine when a unit at $500 or so becomes available. Just today, I retired my 43" Hitachi HDTV for a 57" Mitsubishi WD-57Y with 1080p. My Hitachi did not have HDMI support. Today, a whole new world opened up to me! So, regardless of which platform you decide to start with, it's the monitor that's goingt omake the difference. Like I said, I'll probably end up with both formats!
     

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