Is the format war about to resurface? Does Toshiba have the Blu-ray killer?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    If this device can upscale better than my HTPC, then count me in. As it is, my HTPC is good enough that I have no itch to go Blu.

    While it's true that no 480p format will look better than 1080p, the biggest visible difference between SD and HD for me is color resolution, not picture resolution. If the chip in this device can closely mimic HD color resolution, it's a keeper.

    The audio difference won't matter to the public. Most people watch DVD's through their TV speakers. Video quality has always been first and foremost.
     
  2. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Wouldn't it be ironic if its Sony's own cell processor in a Toshiba product that does the damage?
     
  3. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    I don't see a problem here. It either works well and sells, or fades into quick oblivion like thousands of other "sounds good" products. Market confusion? Name one product category where the manufacturers *don't* purposely create market confusion these days.

    Do you know how GPS works? The actual sat signals are well BELOW the noise floor...which means they are pulling good signals out of noise, getting something out of "nothing". Similarly processed pics where they pull a perfectly clear one out of "nothing"? There are methods/algorithms to do this kind of stuff using the footprints of digitally-converted data too, since we know that things in the real/analog world do not change "digitally", they change gradually, and this can be simulated well enough to certainly fool our eyes.

    So I guess Toshiba can theoretically do "something" that could look quite good. And that's really what it's about, theory and bit-rate and "facts" be damned. Personally I doubt I would ever buy a Toshiba anything, not impressed with their build quality, I'd rather pay a bit more...but I'm a sucker for fancy signal-processing so I might join their circus just to see.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    ...and what Toshiba is seemingly offering is NOT another HD
    format.

    All this player is promising to do is turn ordinary DVDs into
    something that looks as good as HD. This is the claim, and
    it is yet to be seen how well that claim holds up.

    It does seem absolutely true that if consumers feel this new
    player does such an amazing job with the DVDs they now own
    that they will not embrace Blu-ray and it will become a niche
    format.
     
  5. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Don't be so quick to dismiss Toshiba's claims of "as good as HD". Think about this:

    1080p is just a number. 1080p does not look any better (or even different) than 720p if you factor in typical display size and viewing distance. Unless you're display is greater than 60" or you sit closer than 8-9 feet, you will not be able to discern the difference between 720p and 1080p.

    Say you have a 40" display and sit 12 feet from it. I doubt that there is much perceived visual difference between 480p and 720p. The reall difference is the color -- HD color is much more vibrant and dyamic than SD. If Toshiba's chip can interpolate or even fake this color difference, most people won't see the difference without doing A/B tests or watching test patterns.

    If you put your nose against your 60" plasma, you may easily see the difference between 1080p and 480p through the Toshiba player. But 12' away from a 40" display? Not so much.

    Don't get too wrapped up in the numbers.
     
  6. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Well, jeez, i could say the same thing about video tape then. If i wanted to sit 1/2 mile from my TV.
     
  7. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    And you'd be correct. But that is not typical viewing distance.
     
  8. Roogs Benoit

    Roogs Benoit Stunt Coordinator

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    this type of technology may slow Blu-ray a bit but I doubt it would be a killer. What if Toshiba put this type of technology WITH Blu-ray. Could they make BD's look even better?
    That's where the future is.
    SD dvd's just don't have the future that BD has with it's potential interactivity and capacity.
    Even if Toshiba came out with a new S-DVD player with more capabilities similar to BD's would the studio's (other than Universal) embrace it? That would mean new authoring techniques, equipment upgrades, testing procedures. If it would add another element into their libraries they are sure to fight it.
    Toshiba has to keep it simple and cheap in order for it to be another dvd player with better picture.

    BD isn't just better picture than SD...it's a new technology with incredible possibilities over, above and beyond anything SD could ever reach.

    BD isn't going to die. It hasn't even got up to speed yet.

    Roogs
     
  9. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I watch a lot of older TV shows on DVD. There is no magic way to make them "High Def". There is absolutely no way to get a "better or equal" picture quality from a 480p source. Except maybe in Marketing land.

    All of the current BD players upconvert SD DVDs now so what is new about this toshiba announcement?
     
  10. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    A new DSP and alogrhythms. No one outside of Toshiba has seen this thing in action, and it may just be a pipe dream, but it's a bit close-minded to dismiss it out of hand.
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Oh, there's certainly something new alright.

    They say they use a much faster processor, enabling them to do much more computation and they say they're using information from more than 1 image to reconstruct some of the detail missing if you look in 1 frame only. That's totally new.

    I don't think it's BS, I just don't believe it will be equal to true 1080x1920 originals.


    Cees
     
  12. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    It probably won't be, but the real question is whether it will be good enough to convince J6P and JWiaB that they don't need BD.
     
  13. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    See the thing is J6P still thinks he is getting HD from DVD, just cause he has an LCD. I am sure they think the cable has magically become HD as well.
     
  14. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    J6P has a 38" LCD set in his entertainment center and uses TV speakers. Is that Bluray player going to be that much better than his DVD player?
     
  15. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    Whatever "magic" they digitally pull, they will be guessing about what should be there. In essence, they are digitally enhancing it. I thought most here are apposed to digital enhancement.

    Also, the extra horsepower to do this magic guessing means more hardware costs. DSP and FPGAs are very expensive. By the time Toshiba had a product on the shelf, BD players will be under $200. So I am not sure thier plan will ever work. Would you pay $189 for a "tru" HD blu-ray picture, or $399 for one that guesses about the missing information?
     
  16. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    This is sad but true. I don't know how many times I have heard people say that next Feb all tv will forced by the FCC to be HD. A lot of people don't seem to realise that just because a tv station is "digital" doesn't mean it is HD. Sigh..... It is scary thinking that these are the same people that steer the media growth. [​IMG]

    Even my parants who are using Dish network thought that all the channels will be HD next Feb. I think they need to change the TV commercials to make this point more clear.
     
  17. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    pfftt...No way is it going to be that much better. And thats just the point. To J6P the Toshiba, almost HD player, isnt a big deal. They wont know what they could have, after all, its just TV to him. So, who do you market this to? Not many of us, we want real HD. Now if it upconverts regular DVD better than a Blu-ray player...maybe you got something. But its still not HD. The only thing that limits the size of my TV is money. But, unlike J6P even if i had to buy a Wal-Mart 46" VISIO, at least i would know how to set it up. And no one but us nuts would spend $7000 or more on a Pioneer Plasma ( i know i would if i could!). That brings me back to Blu-ray. I want the best damn picture i can feed it, and i want to be set for the future. So who will they market this too? Us? I doubt it. J6P, he doesnt know any better. Young people? Nah, they want a PS3. Old people. Maybe, but my parents think a DVD player, is a DVD player. What! You can spend $1500 on a DVD player!
    By the way, i have a 50" Toshiba Plasma, so i have love for Tosh, just not sure about this thing. Cant say i am closed minded to it, just askin who is it for?
     
  18. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    It's a good question, and what I think this is is a way for Toshiba to get it out there that BR isn't all that and to extend the life of DVD. I think it's also going to marketed as an alternative to BR players if there's still a large price discrepancy between the two. It looks like it's Toshiba's attempt at delaying the adoption of BR, but unless they're willing to back it up with a lavish PR campaign, it looks like a niche product itself.
     
  19. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    100% agree.
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    If they can pull THAT off then I am ALL FOR IT!!!

    As for Joe Sixpack, he can't tell the difference between a $75 upconverting DVD player and Blu-Ray on his TV, so I don't know what a more expensive upconverting deck is going to do for him.
     

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