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Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sam Posten, Jan 7, 2005.
Anyone see any links or details? Perhaps this isnt the best forum for my search...
Keep an eye on this.
Here is a tidbit of info:
MY TWO CENTS - 1/7/05 - by Digital Bits editor Bill Hunt
Well folks, this DVD format war is for real. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments pledged their allegiance to Blu-ray Disc format.
Oh, but that's not all. It gets even more serious. At the HD-DVD presentation at CES today, Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo Electric all said that HD-DVD players will be available to consumers in the U.S. starting as early as September. Thomson Consumer Electronics was announced as the newest member of the HD-DVD group. What's more, Warner, Universal and Paramount together announced some 89 titles that will be available on HD-DVD in time for the format's 4th Qtr launch. Warner and its affiliates (New Line, HBO) alone will release some 50 titles (click here for another story on this).
Here's the COMPLETE list of titles announced today:
New Titles - The Manchurian Candidate, Spongebob Squarepants, Elizabethtown, Coach Carter, The Italian Job, School of Rock, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Catalog Titles - Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Ghost, Grease, Mission Impossible 2, Black Rain, Save the Last Dance, Sleepy Hollow, U2: Rattle and Hum, Vanilla Sky, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Star Trek: First Contact, We Were Soldiers
New Titles - The Bourne Supremacy, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing
Catalog Titles - Apollo 13, U-571, 12 Monkeys, Dune, The Thing, End of Days, Backdraft, Waterworld, The Bone Collector, Spy Game, Pitch Black, Conan the Barbarian, Dante's Peak
Warner Bros/HBO/New Line HD-DVD
New & Catalog Titles - Above the Law, Alexander, Angels in America (HBO), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (New Line), Batman Begins, Blade (New Line), Catwoman, Contact, Constantine, Charley and the Chocolate Factory, Dark City (New Line), The Dukes of Hazzard, Eraser, Executive Decision, Final Destination (New Line), Friday (New Line), From the Earth to the Moon (HBO), The Fugitive, Gothika, Hard to Kill, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, House of Wax (2005), The Last Samurai, The Mask (New Line), The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Maverick, Million Dollar Baby, The Music Man, Mystic River, Next of Kin, North by Northwest, Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, Passenger 57, The Perfect Storm, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Player (New Line), The Polar Express, Red Planet, Rush Hour (New Line), Se7en (New Line), Soldier, The Sopranos (HBO), Spawn (New Line), Swordfish, Troy, Under Siege, U.S. Marshals, Wild Wild West
Whew! That's a pretty serious line-up. All the Matrix and Harry Potter films? Batman Begins? Dune from Universal? Wow. This should go a very long way toward convincing consumers just how serious the HD-DVD camp is about supporting their format. One thing we DON'T know however, is whether any of these discs will feature significant bonus material, or if they'll just be movie-only releases with special editions to follow later.
You can bet the list of initial Blu-ray Disc titles will be heavy-duty as well when its announced later this year. FYI, it's now looking as if Blu-ray Disc titles and hardware will launch here in the U.S. in early 2006.
Looks like only a miracle is going to stop this format war now.
Given the scale of this news, and the work we've been doing to chase it all down, we'll be back with Barrie Maxwell's reviews on Monday.
Have a good weekend and stay tuned.
Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
HD-DVD has a nice booth dedicated to the format. They're doing a basic presentation of what it is, then they send you into the their home theater to see demo material on a 61" plasma. They've got a bunch of flyers describing the benefits of the format, the roll out schedule, and they display (pardon the pun) a pretty high level of confidence. With the title announcements above...
Blu-Ray still seems like vapor ware. I still believe BR is the better format, but when I asked the reps at Phillips about a roll out plan, the guy says they aren't going to put it out until they're is a greater saturation of HD displays in Europe! I don't quite know what the hell that has to do with it, but ok. Pioneer has some poor girl there reading the company line. I asked her for a date for the player and she said there wasn't one. Sony showed some demo material on the SXRD Qualia 70" (which is stunning), but again, no dates. The BR camp seemed a little more confiedent in the BR computer drives, as there are a lot of those on display next to the BR standalone players.
Either way, no one is showing actual HDDVD or BR discs. They are showing HD material on the format, but not the actual discs. Personally, I'll feel more confident in it when actual production models are out. The demo loop that played on the HT at the HDDVD booth had a disclaimer from Fox that said something to the effect of, "This is demonstration material and it is not reflective of a final product. Fox Studios does not support, endorse or recommend any format at this time."
Based on the little bit of demos shown, regardless of how they were presented, the BR's still look better to me. There is a sharpness and clarity that still seems lacking on HDDVD. They're also pushing the ability to use both formats for marketing and internet connectivity. They were showing how you could play video games while listening/watching the directors commentary. Sony seemed pretty big on this when we visited them at the HTF meet in LA in September, so expect this type of marketing at rollout.
I've come to a simple comclusion: I'll believe it when I see it.
"Pioneer has some poor girl there reading the company line. I asked her for a date for the player and she said there wasn't one."
Maybe, you just should have asked her for a date instead!
Ha! That's as close as I'm getting to a BR player this year! Besides, my girlfriend hates when I date :b
I REALLY hope one format or the other hits a speed bump and dies, or else it will be YEARS before we see any of the formats
Wow, I really would be blown away if we saw some consumer players in ~9 months!
Any GUESS as to what prices will be? $300, 500, 1000?
DVD's were and are so sucessful because if you buy ANY DVD player and ANY commerical DVD (Wal*Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc.), it will work. Thats what consumer electronics are about!
You'll see the deliberate change I made in your quote. I agree with you all the way, but I've resigned myself to the idea of a format war that's probably going to make VHS vs. Betamax look like Sesame Street.
Ah yes, but I figure business, not techie aspects, will chose the winner
We will see.
I haven't been following this as closely as I should - professionally, we're still having the fight over VHS versus DVD for permenant display, so HD is a little beyond right now...
But correct me if I'm wrong: don't/can't standard PC DVD-ROM drives read HD-DVDs?
And I think one of the big problems that Blu-Ray is fighting right now is a fundamental technology issue: if they're really using blue, do they have laser-diodes that'll last more than ten hours?
With or without water cooling?
Both varieties of HD optical are now spec'd for 405nm indigo lasers, as I recall. The physical difference is the data layer depth: deep inside [HD-DVD] or near the surface [BR]. And the 405nm solid-state units are proving remarkably stable and successful, albeit they are noisier than one would like and their service lives [in an ordinary encapsulated format] are rather shorter than red or infrared units. There's good progress being made particularly with VCSELs.
VHS for permanent display? I thought most institutions used LD [ODC's recordables in some cases], given that tape wears through so rapidly, and offers so little in the way of resolution.
I think the competition will be a good thing. If there was instant agreement and only one format was used, the costs for the new tech would stay high until the public got SATURATED. This way, with two types in such close competition, they will both be bartering for every advantage.
That's how we, the consumer (who will be making this choice as to who "wins"), luck out. Each format will scramble to find cheaper production techniques even faster then normal to try to keep costs down... because Joe Schmoe will pick up a BR DVD of his favorite movie, and an HD DVD copy, and if he looks at the price tag of one and it's double the other- it's likely we know which will be picked.
Also- content. Both formats will clamor to give MORE for less! This way, the marketing begins with the disc being crammed full of extras- so hopefully whichever format wins will have to keep up the status-quo of well-featured discs!
Well... maybe i'm wrong about how it'll turn out- but I can always hope.
I understand that this is all still speculation at this point, but other than technical specs, and potential compression issues, I really dont see how anything else could really affect sharpness and clarity between the two formats. When it all comes down to it, whether BR or HD is the winner, theyre both just a medium for digital storage. Its how the compression was done, and the quality of the equipment (player and display) that will determine overall picture quality.
I, too, think that BR is the better format on paper, but we'll see how things develop. I do think though, that BR is making a mistake by not beating HD to release, or at least being close. If HD launches in Sept, I dont think BR can afford to be 6+ months behind.
Yep, I agree. And, to me, the BR's offer a better looking image ON THE DEMOS I'VE SEEN. When we were at Sony for the HTF meet in LA, Sony showed us Lawrence of Arabia on the Qualia projector. It was absolutely stunning.
I can't say the same for the demos of HD-DVD at CES, and again, I agree with your above quote. However, Sony has a history of developing and releasing a superior product/format, only to lose out to market forces (Beta, DAT...). I have more faith, based on previous experience, with the BR camp manufacturers that I do those in the HD-DVD camp. Sony has consistently put out exceptional DVD players, and Pioneer has one of the best DVD players on the market right now, the 59 something or other. Both of these are in BR.
However, with the announcement of the titles this weekend, I'm more than a little anxious about HD-DVD.
When you saw the hd-dvd what was your opinion of it after you left the demo? Was hd-dvd alot better than standard dvd or was it only slightly better due to its very compressed format? I know you said that you felt BR was much better. What was the main draw back pq wise for hd-dvd? I was hoping to go to CES this year, it would have been my third trip to CES. But things happened this year and I did not make it. I agree about Sony's formats, they just seem to do a piss poor job at marketing there own formats and getting media for the formats. I remember last year that there where a few demo's using D-VHS (X-Men 2) at CES. It had a nice picture but had the same old dry muddy DD soundtrack. For myself I am leaning towards BR on word of mouth so far. I have not had the oprotunity to compair ether hd-dvd or BR. It just seems that with hd-dvd having such a lower storage capability that it would not compete with what BR is capible of.
As far as Sony putting out exceptional dvd players. I know that they had a rep for cd players and there high end sacd players got great reviews. I currently own a DVP-S9000 ES and I am begining to hate that player! Its only a little over 2 years old and I have had to have the laser assembly replaced. And today the draw does not want to open, it starts to but acts like the motor is week. And the layer changes for the second time are getting alittle longer and longer. Just like before and the Sony authorized shop replaced the laser assembly. The longer I have this ES DVD player the less impressed I am after seeing what I feel are way better dvd players at last year CES show. I have a lower line Pioneer that is my backup dvd player until the freakin Sony ES comes back from the shop. Until then my SACD's will sit on the shelf until the ES is fixed. The Pioneer Elites are nice and so are the Denon's IMHO. As far as hot DVD players go McIntosh and Meridian have the two best IMHO.
The software list for hd-dvd is impressive but if the image quality is so so who cares how many titles they lead off with. I did not remember seeing any of the Lord Of The Rings movies on that list. You would think that would be one of the first hd movies out since it was such a big money maker. IMHO the big demo will happen at CES when someone like Faroudja or Runco demo's hd-dvd or Blue Ray! That way people can see it on a large projection screen to see how good ether one of these formats are. And this is what will seperate hd-dvd from BR and the differences should be very clear. I can't wait for this format war to end and for the best format to win! It would suck to buy a hd ready projector and only have hd satalite channels on Voom to enjoy the best picture from that projector.
Thanks for the info from CES
I wish I had not purchased the 9000 ES Sony DVD player, should have gone with the Denon DVD. Unfortunatly if I remember correctly, at the time the Denon did not play SACD . Wish I had a Meridian DVD/DVD-A and a seperate CD/SACD player, that would rule!
With both formats, we have yet to see the actual discs on actual players. CES had demo discs on demo players. What I consider the only true example of the BR format was shown to us at the HTF meet in LA at Sony. They showed us a 1080p version of Lawrence of Arabia on a BR player from Japan. Posten can back me up on the quality of that presentation.
At CES, HD-DVD showed us, what I could best term, examples of what the format CAN do, not what it will do. We already know that, now it's time to show us the goods. A friend of mine and I were discussing the HDDVD titles last night, and he made the very good point of, "We have yet to see them". I came out of the HDDVD demo thinking I had been shown a great marketing presentation. They were displaying the demo material on plasmas and LCD's, and there was still pixelization, breakups, edge enhancement, and all the same problems evident in the current DVD format. When I went to the Faroudja booth, they were displaying the D-VHS X Men 2 tape, one in 1080i and one in 720p, both on plasmas, side by side. This is the way we need to see HD-DVD and BR at this point: on properly calibrated displays with production quality material. So, in a nutshell, I was more impressed with D-VHS than HD-DVD, and, based on the demos displayed, I am not that impressed with HD-DVD. I agree with the audio on D-VHS, and the audio end of both formats still seems a bit nebulous at this point.
Sorry to hear about the Sony. Denon and Pioneer seem to have the best players out right now (the x910's and the Elite 59xxx) based on a lot of peoples reports here, at AVS and abroad. I'm using a Bravo D-1 cause it was so damn cheap to get DVI output and upconversion to 720p. However, it has navigation issues and likes to spontaneously switch it's output back to 480p. I'm very torn if I'm going to upgrade to a Denon 3910 or just wait for a BR. The Denon 3910 and the upcoming 5910 will do SACD, actually, last years models did too. However, if you want to use the Denon Link for SACD, make sure you have the 3rd edition, which all of the relevant players from the past year should have.
As for the titles, there's some really good ones in the group. I have a feeling New Line is holding out on LOTR to see what the format does. I wouldn't expect Fox to lead with Star Wars, nor Paramount to lead with Indy or Titanic. I'm real curious about Sopanos on the list, maybe the whole first season on one disc?
I'm a little unclear on your comments about purchasing an HD projector. You can get 720p and 1080i PJ's now, and for a relatively decent price. Keep in mind, when the 1080p PJ's start hitting, they a going to be expensive, and it's going to be some time before us commoners can afford them. I bought my Marantz PJ a year ago and I'll be very happy with it until the 1080p's come into my price range. And 720p and 1080i are phenomenal on it.
Thanks for your input Pat I really do appreciate it. The gen3 projectors are allready available and any new 1080p pj's would most likely be gen4 pj's. I am only waiting to save up the money to be able to purchase a nice projector. I have some upgrading to do to my system as the Yamaha 995 reciever I am using does not have component inputs, assignable digital inputs, dvi or hdmi video inputs ether. This reciever's video switching is only rated at ether 10 or 15 MHz. And as far as upgrading or switching to another dvd player. I will not go with a Sony and I most likely would not go with the Sony BR player. I have had bad luck with Sony products and have known other people who have had bad luck with Sony products. I really hate there receivers as IMHO they lack the performance that other brands have. There amp sections seem to be weak and the tone quality in there surround sound is laking IMHO. But thats another subject. Just from the way that Sony seems to handle marketing pushing new formats. It is possible they will do a piss poor job at releasing this new format as well. It seems that Sony has come up with a nice format. But how well it survives depend on if Sony messes it up or not. I hope BR survives but if it does I will most definantly purchase a non Sony BR player. Hopfully next year Faroudja will demo BR on a projection set up on a 110" screen and not a plasma screen.
For now I will just concetrate on getting the system upgraded to handle HD. So when a hd format hits the shelves my system is ready for it. If you hear anything good on the subject feel free to email me, would love to hear from you on the subject and get your input.
I hear ya with the Sony complaint. I have an ES receiver that I bought in 98 and I use in my secondary setup. I've been through 3 power supplies and it still has problems. One of the worst is if you leave it on with no signal it all of a sudden puts out a screaching level of pink noise! I'm just waiting for it blow for good then get something worth a damn, probably a Denon 3805. I'm using a 5803 in my main setup.