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Will you be rushing into the new Hi-Def formats in 2006?


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#41 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 10 2006 - 12:01 PM

Sounds like the movie Ghost...

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#42 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 02:31 AM

Cees,

Ricardo is right. However much you may personally care about the increase in resolution, 1920 x 1080 full-res (unfiltered) transfers will be dramatically better than even optimized PAL.

Just like with 720P displays and projectors, there will be 1080P displays for sale in Europe if there is no broadcast HD format.

No one is saying that 1080P will take full advantage of the installed-base of regular consumer TVs. That's not what this thread is about...it's about *us*...the HT enthusiasts, and *our* desire for a hi-fidelity picture.

BTW, see the example several posts back of the comparison of the LORT FOTR DVD to the "downresed" HD version...downresed to the NTSC DVD's 480P resolution. Look at the DRAMATIC improvment in clarity it provides. I'd suggest that *even* on the install-base of PAL TVs, that downconverted HD disc will reveal an improvement in picture quality at least as dramatic as what improved over video tape.

I would think that most poeple checking out that HD-downconverted FOTR example would come away describing the improvement over the original DVD as "significant"...and that's looking at a 480P downresed image!!!


Quote:
DVD was such an improvement, because it gave us at least the resolution most installed TV sets had (have).

In spec, but not in practice. That's exactly what that "DVD compared to downresed HD" comparison is illustrating. It's why I've been saying all along that even if you DON'T have an HD set, that downconverted HD will look BETTER than DVD on what you currently own!
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#43 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 02:34 AM

Quote:
What if it turns out that HD-DVD titles are looking better than BR titles (I've been reading some criticisms of Sony's MPEG-2 equipment)? The "it's still better than DVD" argument wouldn't apply. Neither would the "but it's a 1080p master". Inferior is inferior.

It's the use of the format, and not the format, that determines how well a title will be mastered and presented.


Firstly, no studio embracing MPEG2 (Sony and maybe Disney?) is supporting dual-format releases so the arguement is moot. (whether one chooses to pass on specific titles by specific studios is a title-per-title decision)

Studios releasing dual-formats will likely use the same VC1 image file for both, so they should look identical.

I've said it before. I'm supporting a *format* with my early-adoptor purchase. Just like I did with DVD (had DIVX had an exclusive title, or if it had better PQ than an "open" DVD, I wouldn't have purchased it).
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#44 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 04:48 AM

Robert,

I'll spell out the details, but after all the discussion on these matters I would assume some obvious things wouldn't have to be repeated over and over again in every post! Posted Image

Quote:
"Studios releasing dual-formats will likely use the same VC1 image file for both, so they should look identical. "

If they're identical, that sounds like an argument against favoring one over the other.

Well, firstly that's the image-on-the-disc that's "identical"...not the output from your player. I'll bet that BD with full 1080P 60 output from players will have the potential to look better than the 1080I output from Toshiba HD DVD players.

Also, it's not "just" about the PQ of the feature film. BD has more room for HD bonus materials once dual-layer hits. That's what I'm excited about (imagine hours and hours of HD bonus materials for the LOTR trilogy).



Quote:
"had DIVX had an exclusive title, or if it had better PQ than an "open" DVD, I wouldn't have purchased it"

But that was for reasons having nothing to do with picture quality. If HD-DVD and BR are identical with respect to viewing rights issues (or HD-DVD turns out to be better), the analogy is not an apt one.

Again all things being equal (like assuming for a moment that PQ *is* the same with Blu-ray and HD DVD) there ARE other reasons I prefer Blu-ray...and I've repeated them time and time again (50GB+ potential for bonus features and television season-sets being one of them).

BD also has more *bandwidth* than HD DVD. Imagine using multi-angle to incorporate deleted or extended scenes back into the film during run-time so you can toggle between them...or toggle between test fotage or alternate takes while the movie is playing (think of it as "video" commentary if you will). Could be really cool BD has the headroom to handle the needed bandwidth for multi-angle like that. HD DVD does not.
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#45 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 04:50 AM

Quote:
Hi-def will never equate the theatrical experience. The picture may be sharper but the screen size will never match that of tvs. I always sit in the first few roles and that experience will not be equaled even on a 100' screen.

Francis,

it's about viewing-angle. 1080P displays will let you come within 1 screen-width of the screen (that's like sitting in the front 1/3 of a typical theater). If you watch any closer than that with 35mm film you're counting film-grain anyway.
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#46 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 05:04 AM

Ricardo,

I know what you're saying. I got bit by the "big screen" bug when I saw my first 9" CRT projection system back in the late 1990's. At the time it cost about $50K to get the most that you could get out of laserdisc...and it looked "ok" but still no-where near to "film" like Faroudja would claim in their marketing. Naturally I couldn't afford any of it but I dreamed and predicted that DVD...and digital projection...would change the landscape of the industry.

I remember thinking "one day...a picture in my living room will be as big as a wall and look like real film".

It's coming...and it will cost a LOT less than the $$$ prices high-end vidoephiles had to pay just a few short years ago to get much less in return!

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#47 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 05:11 AM

Ted,

I understand your pain with HTPC issues and I hope that the (required) managed copy on both formats allows the kind of maniuplation you and other high-end/constant-height viewers need. Really!

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Quote:
DVD was a tremendous step up in quality from LD, HD will only be a
further incremental improvement. HD has a much higher mark to shoot for
against scaled DVD.

But this baffles me. Ted...I know how good scaled DVD can look. But really...are you suggesting that a pristine unfiltered 1080P version of FOTR won't look *significantly* better than the over-filtered R1 (and marginally better R1) SD DVD versions? I mean...in the case of the DOWNRESED FOTR example (real world example here...not theory), the HD version walks all over the SD-DVD...and no amount of upscaling is going to make the *difference* between them look any less (in those comparisons they already *are* the same resolution).

Posted Image

I think I understand where you're coming from. If I could phrase it my way I'd say:

Quote:
Laserdisc and VHS never offered a reasonable film-facsimilie on the big screen no matter what the processing power applied. DVD, while still not transparent to the source, comes within "reach" of looking satisfyingly film-like on wide-angle systems.

However, having said *that*...I'll go on to say that native 1080P encoding/mastering do a MUCH BETTER job!

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#48 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 06:11 AM

How one feels about the "objective" improvements HD will bring is a personal, subjective matter. For me and many others, "Revolutionary" is a very accurate term.



Quote:
Remember when DVD’s multi angle feature was touted?
Part of the problem is the each added angle cuts your bit-rate for video in 1/2. That's a real problem on SD-DVD, which is why you don't see it used for feature films. Actually, you DID see it for one feature film...remember Disney's Beauty and the Beast? Remember how people complained about all the MPEG artifacting in certain scenes where the story-boarding view was a remote-click away?

It also makes a GREAT way to make an "international" movie. Toy Story two had two different versions of one scene in their movie because they wanted the american flag to appear on the TV screen for the USA but wanted a world-globe to appear for non-US audiences. On DVD you just get the movie with the scene that goes with your region...but with BD both video streams could be there simultaneously and the player can default to play either one. Branching requires a moving laser...but mutli-angle is seamless and on-the-fly. Closing credits or opening credits in more than one language (Disney does this now quite often with mutli-angle) are another great use.

But with BD's bit-rate, cutting your total video bit-rate in 1/2 is no big deal if you're using VC1. Just imagine watching LORT with commentary...and the director says "if you want to see the alternate version for this scene shot from the other camera, just change angles".

HD media plan to do a LOT more the DVD did...and removing technical hurdles is one big reason why.
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#49 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 06:27 AM

Quote:
Now, LD and DVD are, by spec, pretty similar when at the same aspect ratio, from the same master

Never mind...just re-read and realize what you were saying.

Carry on!

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#50 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 07:22 AM

Agreed that even when viewing angle is constant, a larger screen does still affect your perception of "cinema" in a special way. It's one reason why I like having a front-projection system. I could sit closer to a smaller RP screen and "get the same viewing angle" but having it *big* is just so much more "movie like".

I'm seeing Hello Dolly this weekend in 70mm on the big screen. Agree with what you're saying...I love to see classic films projected in theatrical venues at magnificent proportions.

And don't doubt for a minute that I don't fantasize about having an equally-sized screen in my own home... Posted Image

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#51 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 09:23 AM

Quote:
I'll be happy to wait as long as it takes for the dust to settle. By the time it does, the winner may turn out to be the future iTunes HiDef Movie Store anyway.

That's not an unrealistic possibility.

It's one of the reasons I'm going to jump and and *fight* in this war. I want to see hard-copy HD media form a stronghold for the "movie collector" customer before live-streaming media makes the issue moot it the minds of stock-investors.

I won't let MS win that easy. I want to OWN a copy of my favorite movies in hi-def!!!
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#52 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 11 2006 - 09:40 AM

Quote:
I find it very funny that out of 337 people responding to Ron's Poll, only 65 of you are saying you will buy one of the new formats this year, and yet you are the vocal majority of the posts going up on this thread.

You know...I tried to vote...but each time it gives me some sort of permission/login error (from any computer). Are others having trouble?



Quote:
Does it bother you guys that some of us are wanting to wait awhile? I don't get it. Its like its hacking you off or something. I honestly don't care how many of you want to drop the cash to buy into this new technology. Sounds like a self control issue to me, unless all 65 of you are loaded (which I doubt).
It doesn't bother me at all if someone wants to wait.

What bothers me are comments like "DVD is good enough anyway" or "who cares about 1080P" and other similar remarks that don't seem consistent with what you'd expect from folks who share the "mission" of HTF for hi-fi reproduction of cinema in the home.

It's as if some folks feel the need to down-play or negate the benefits of new HD media to "feel better" about waiting (most laserdisc collectors said the same things about DVD in an effort not to "feel bad" about the thought of buying into a new format back in the late 90's). If you want to wait...WAIT! But don't fall prey to the notion that HD isn't really significantly better (even on your existing TV) because it *is*.

And that's a good thing. When it's affordable and when you feel comfortable with what format to support...then do so. Hopefully someone will get a universal player out there before too long. Maybe by next year?
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#53 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 12 2006 - 04:38 PM

Quote:
There are no losers, unless you were never really happy with SD-DVD to begin with

That's not really true.

Why:

Most people who love and appreciate the advantages of DVD didn't know or care *anything* for those benefits or quality at the time the DVD format was launched...they were quite happy with laserdisc or VHS. Don't you think that they all would have missed out on something had DVD never come to pass?

Same with HD. Many HT enthusiasts still view HD as something out-of-grasp...they can't afford that new TV or they don't want to think about rebuying their DVD movies.

But as time moves forward and they experience what hi-def can bring to their HT experience, they'll embrace it just like they did with DVD. And they'll be glad they did...just like with DVD.

And they'll be lucky that early adoptors worked hard to help establish the format...just like with DVD.
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#54 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 02:28 AM

Cees,

No one will ever be forced to buy anything. If someone doesn't like the copy-protection strategy of whatever hard-copy HD media is offered, they can do pay-per-view or nothing at all. They certaily won't have any *fewer* options than they would have had if the format had not been established at all (which was my point). Your concerns about copy protection are valid and I've never aruged against any of those points. I personally would rather own a 1080P hard-copy media of a film with "draconian copy protection" than none at all, though my first-choice would be what you and I (and Ted) all want in regards to a consumer-friendly copy-protection strategy.



Quote:
What you or your ten thousand closest friends do is irrelevant. It's what the b/millions of people who don't come here do that will determine market success or niche.


Yes, you're talking about a format becoming *mainstream*. I'm talking about a format becoming *established*...as in not vanishing from the Radar (like Beta or Minidisc in the U.S.).

Maybe memories are short around here, but people might recall that even after DVD had been launched for some time it was NOT certain that the format would remain viable. Sony and Warner even threatened to "pull the plug" unless other studios stepped up to the plate and offered titles. It was also unclear for some time whether Disney would really commit to "quality classics" on "open DVD" or reserve them exlusively for DIVX. It was even longer before the DVD community could come to expect anamorphic titles from FOX who was *barely* supporting the DVD format in the most hands-off kind of way. It was the SALES of DVD during those first two years that finally convinced the studios to support the format. Early adoptors are the REASON you have DVD at all.


A nich format would be just fine with me. All of my comments about supporting HD media are in the context of making sure that we don't end up with pay-per-view as our only option for 1080P software.
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#55 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 04:07 AM

Yes, Nils speaks the truth! One of the reasons why even DVD...which is no way near 35mm quality, can sometimes look as good or better projected in your HT than in the theater (Lord of the Rings and Chicago are two DVD examples of this IMO).



Quote:
But David, why should people have to be presented with such a "lesser of two evils" situation? Why should they have to be stuck with such an evil situation at all? Where is it written that those alternatives are the only possible ones?

They shouldn't, but my fear is that if this HD attempt on the part of the studios fails, that the NEXT attempt won't be hard-copy at all...just pay-per-view. Personally, I'm not as worried about the copy protection strategy of BD or HD DVD as some are, but I don't claim to have a crystal ball to know for sure if my BD player will be targeted for "shut down" by a studio trying to battle piracy or if all our pre-launch fears will ultimately not be founded (my hope).
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#56 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 05:08 AM

Francis,

I get where you're coming from.

Both points of view are correct even at the same time:
    [*]"viewing angle" can be constant regardless of actual "screen size"...and that determines "how big" an image looks to our field of vision.
    [*]"bigger" screens can feel more dramatic and cinema-like. It's one reason why we'd rather have a larger screen than just sit a foot away from our computer monitor to watch movies (in addition to a larger screen allowing more viewers to watch at once and share the same viewing-angle).

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#57 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 06:44 AM

Francis,

Nils is talking about the FACT that as long as you sit the same *distance ratio* away from a screen...the size of the screen doesn't actually affect how it fills your field of vision (see my earlier example...he's talking about number 1).

You're talking about number TWO (that bigger screens can "feel" more movie-like regardless of a field-of-vision issue).

Number 1 is "objective fact" and number two is "subjective opinion."

The problem is that in your original post you worded a "number 2" issues in "number 1" semantics...so Nils jumped on the case since the common misunderstanding of "big screen" is an issue he champions at HTF (we've all got our issues...mine is constant "there's no 1080P source material" over at AVS when any 3-2 deinterlaced 1080I is source material. Why am I talking about this?)

Anyway...make sense now?

Nils isn't wrong...he's just responding to the language you used in your original post.

It's ok...it's clear now...you're talking about number 2 so just take care to work things in those terms the next time and all will be well!

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#58 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 07:49 AM

then don't own it!

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#59 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 07:54 AM

Let's both agree that an HD format that has consumer-friendly copy-protection is better than one that has consumer-unfriendly copy protection.

Since it's really a matter of how these copy proections will be used in-practice, consumer opinion could play a major role in what does and doesn't happen (at least in practice). It's probably too late for either camp to undue the copy protection schemes that have already been written into the spec per the studios' requests.


Quote:
Depend on it, if HD-DVD and Blu-Ray both flop, Hollywood isn't going to market a more consumer-acceptable format.

Exactly. That's why I'm taking the "glass half full" attitude with the current copy-protection issues on the two current schemes.
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#60 of 451 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted January 13 2006 - 08:03 AM

Quote:
If they can shut things down, then they can ramp them back up - for a price.

It is not DIVX. That's stretching the analogy.


DIVX was a pay-per-play or a "buy unlimited views" medium that you had to log into a phone line EVERY TIME YOU PLAYED so it could check the central database to see what privileges you, a specific software player individual, had purchased.


So-far, it has not been stated that this "central management" of info using a phone line will be necessary to watch BD or HD DVD discs...only to access extra feature content etc.

Yes, we all know that the "draconian" forumla seems to allow for the deactivation of certain players should that hardware become pirated. But that's still not DIVX, and it's never been clearly explained how all of this would really play out...it's been a bit clouded.

I hope that the facts about these issues get spelled out clearly in the next few months.
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