HD-DVD players actually in homes, general consensus on picture quality is just OK

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Shawn Perron, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    This is the average poster that actually has watched the launch movies on an HD-DVD player over at AVS Forums. I was thinking about trying to get a player, but I think I'll wait after seeing the initial reactions. Maybe Sony was right about sticking with mpeg2?
     
  2. Shawn.F

    Shawn.F Supporting Actor

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    My friend picked up his player today and we both thought the picture and sound quality on Last Samurai was great. The only thing we thought was subpar was the remote, which took a while to react to when you pushed certain buttons.
     
  3. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Yes, its better than any other home format or source before it. Colors should even be better than D-VHS, correct?
    Does it "blow away" DVD? In most cases, no. I've have stated so, in previous post on the three HD-DVD demos I've seen. Hope it does better in the "home", as this thread addresses. However, so far, nothing to jump up on a couch about, ala TomCat.
    I think its "good enough" for me & I am looking forward to HD on disc.
    As I've said before, if HD demo's are not setup to knock your socks off, video & SOUND wise, HD is going to be a yawner to the general public.
    This format is soooooooooooo lucky it not at a $1000US, and up, entry level!
     
  4. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    Actually, they are saying it's not any better then the overly compressed HDTV signals they are receiving from satellite or cable. This would seem to indicate there is either there is a problem with the masters and authoring used or there is a problem with the playback equipment. It could be that the encoders for VC-1 and mpeg4 really aren't up to the quality level that mpeg2 is as Sony has been saying.


    HD-DVD had a chance to slam the door on Blu-Ray, and without just wowing the buyers on day one, they are just giving Blu-Ray a chance to steal thier thunder. HD-DVD has some time to put out software that significantly impresses people before Blu-Ray launches, so let's see if it's just a matter of authoring or a poor master.
     
  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Funny, the general consensus here is that Warner's initial releases are fantastic.

    I'm not sure how D-VHS directly compares, since there is no HD title shared between the two formats; when one is, I'll let you know.

    Yes, the Toshiba player has it quirks. The biggest complaints I've experienced are regarding the load time and the remote control. The remote is not much of an issue because most people I know have a universal remote. I hope the load time can be fixed in a future firmware release.

    But it is well worth the wait.

    I've done an A/B comparison of Phantom played from DVD with an upscaling 1080i DVD player, against the HD-DVD at 1080i. The HD-DVD blows the DVD out of the water, PQ-wise. But then I've got a properly lit environment, not just some harshly-lit warehouse floor.

    The sound is not as loud as the DVD--it appears that Dolby Digital-Plus is trading louder volume for greater dynamic range when compared to Dolby Digital.

    I think it's a bit much to project the demise of a format that is one day old. Come back in a month and see what people are saying.

    - Steve
     
  6. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I love all these apples and oranges comparisons.

    You can't compare The Last Samurai HD-DVD to I, Robot D-VHS. Two different animals. These sorts of bogus comparisons can be twisted to mean absolutely anything the poster wants.

    It is also hard to compare satellite / cable / fiber HD to Warner movies because, on HBO at least, 2.35x1 widescreen films are rarely shown at OAR. Thus, it's a different master.

    - Steve
     
  7. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    Warner chose the movies to release and OKed thier masters and authoring. If they don't stack up to other available HD sources, you can shrug it off if you want, but it doesn't change that fact. Obviously a better strategy may have been to release a few pieces of eye candy to start the format off. I think people's expectations were too high, and having people unimpressed by either format this early may doom both of them. People will read some of the complaints of mediocrity and lose interest in either format.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I'm just saying you have to compare the same title across formats for it to have any meaning. D-VHS is high bandwidth. It is bound to look better than a lower bandwidth medium. Until it starts breaking up digitally because of oxide deposits on play heads.

    - Steve
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    As far as I'm concerned, that effectively kills any claim that "It could be that the encoders for VC-1 and mpeg4 really aren't up to the quality level that mpeg2 is as Sony has been saying" (a VERY premature supposition to have based on such extremely limited experience).
     
  10. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    STEVE! Hey man how has it been? Haven't seen a post from you in a while, still miss your site!

    Anyway, remember when DVD first came around? Executive Decision. I can't stress this enough, just give it some time. The tech will mature, prices will fall and quality will improve. No need to crap on a format that is less than 24 hours old (since public release) anyway.
     
  11. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    You Sir, have no inkling of what the internet is really about!!!

    Just joking...
    although you know people were dumping on this format 24 hours (and more) even before its public release. ;-)
     
  12. Bob Black

    Bob Black Stunt Coordinator

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    I picked up the player today at Best Buy in Manchester, New Hampshire. I am absolutely ecstatic with the quality from this machine. I was able to get Serenity and Last Samurai, and both look and sound fantastic! They are a definite improvement over HD movie channels on digital cable. Of course, the mastering process is always the key to the quality of each film, and this first-generation player will not output the full 1080p resolution, but they look excellent nonetheless in 1080i. I can't wait for the next wave of movies!
     
  13. Steve Tannehill

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    I've kept a fairly low profile since the reviewing gig went south.

    And from the posts I've been reading here, it feels like the old laserdisc vs. DVD days--a lot of trash talking that is really quite tedious, and not in the least bit helpful to people interested in HD media.

    I'm watching The Last Samurai now, and although Tom Cruise creeps me out, the PQ is good--textures, colors, detail, black level. The people who write reviews are going to have to invent new adjectives to describe HD-DVD.

    That the initial run of Warner titles allows 1080i on HD-DVD via component video means that more people will consider the format for the home, since a lot of us have "old" tech.

    And that's a good thing.

    - Steve
     
  14. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Just curious, I've read a lot of reviews so far, mainly they say it looks better in 1080i than 720p. Something I have not heard yet is real reviews about sound. Maybe its just a matter of waiting till professional reviewers get their hands on it but my question is this. I remember always reading about how LD sounds better than DVD, has HD-DVD made that change and taken a step above both?
    Thanks
     
  15. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    The first "real" test will be the Blu-ray versions of the titles tested here. Warner will have titles in both formats, and I expect Universal to announce support soon.

    It's entirely possible some of the "quirks" listed here maybe from cutting corners to keep the players artifically cheap?

    You have the Toshiba...and that's it. Until when no one knows.
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    glad to hear you're enjoying it Steve.
    so after playing with it a while, where would you be looking for improvments in future generation models?
    fan noise?
    load times?
    remote quality?
    1080p?
    industrial design?


    wonder how many of these will be addressed in the next model, and i wonder when that'll be. anybody think we will see new models by Christmas or would it be closer to a year from now?
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I picked up the Toshiba player night along with "Samurai."

    I have an ISF'd Sony CRT RPTV (KP-57WS520).

    "Samurai" looked outstanding...far better than the standard version (I did A/B comparisons). The amount of detail, resolution, and sharpness of the HD version just blows away the SD away.

    However, speaking of SD....what's more amazing is the Toshiba upconverts SD as well as upconverting players twice it's price.

    For $499.00, this is an overall amazing player in terms of video performance. As previously mentioned, yes it has quirks for sure and I HATE the remote. But, these are small in the grand scheme of things.

    However, I cannot wait for some of the titles to be released next month.

    I will probably only rent HDs as I don't want to invest a ton of money into this thing until there is a winner. For $499.00, I get a great upconverting player and can watch HD in the mean time.
     
  18. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Solid. This thing weighs over 20lbs. The disc tray seems sturdy. The flip-open door that reveals USB is light, but okay. I liked the removable power cord. It's the little things that you learn to appreciate. [​IMG]

    Now, picture quality... again, I need some new adjectives. Black level is superb.

    Back to play some more!

    - Steve
     
  19. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Actually, the consensus over on AVS is that the picture quality is very good, sometimes outstanding, although there are some people who aren't quite as impressed. I think that, for the most part, this is because of the displays being used, and not the format itself. I also think that quite a few people thought that film on an HD-DVD would look as good as a live sporting event, or video based material for HD cable. Film is just a completely different medium, the source elements must be taken into account, plus directors intention(some directors want their films to have a gritty look, with visible film grain).

    I don't have my player yet-I should be getting it Tuesday, hopefully-but I have little doubt that true HD images are going to knock the socks off of most SD DVD's, even on my lowly 47" CRT set.
     
  20. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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