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Reviewing HD software...how to do it? Dan from DVD file has some interesting thoughts


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 10 2006 - 01:49 PM

http://www.dvdfile.c....=5405&Itemid=5

Interesting in that I was wondering the same thing the last few months and reading his thoughts was almost like I had written them down.

Check out his article and then share your thoughts. Please don't post without first reading what he's saying.

thanks!

dave Posted Image
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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Shawn Perron

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Posted April 11 2006 - 12:13 AM

I think a bigger problem may be not being too generous in rating the HD media over the next year. Since there is no established baseline, a movie that appears to be a 10/10 in the next few months may end up being a 7/10 in a few years. I think one of the best looking new movies coming out should be established as a baseline and arbitrarily assigned a score of 7 or 8 of 10 (or 3.5-4 of 5). This would provide headroom for the improvements that will surely follow.

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 11 2006 - 12:59 AM

I think that whatever scale or rating system any review decides to use should be based solely on what is possible (for the media being reviewed) and how well the original format is reproduced.

So the new HD formats should be judged on what can be done, not on how much better the HD release is than the same movie on DVD.

To compare DVD and HD (or Blu-Ray) against each other (which is what his suggested expanded bar graph would do) makes no more sense than having done a similar thing when the market was moving from tape media (VHS/Beta) to DVD.

Two things are important in a technical review: the absolute quality of the video and sound (considering the limitations of the format) and how accurately the original picture and soundtrack are reproduced.
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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted April 11 2006 - 02:40 AM

Quote:
Since there is no established baseline, a movie that appears to be a 10/10 in the next few months may end up being a 7/10 in a few years.
I am sure this will happen as the exact same thing happened with DVDs.
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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Mark Lucas

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Posted April 11 2006 - 02:50 AM

The disc should be reviewed on a system that can display full 1080p.

The disc should be compared to the dvd but also the version that's been seen on HDTV if possible.

Whether or not the extras are in SD or HD should be mentioned and their picture and sound quality should be noted.

Bjoern-like screenshots detailing edge enhancement, DNR, and compression artifacts.

HD discs should use the same cheesy scale that this forum and any other website currently uses. Just on a HD scale.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 11 2006 - 03:09 AM

Mark,

that's my fantasy! I do have a friend with a 1080P JVC that can accept 1080P 60Hz so I'll be hooking whatever Blu-ray player I get to his system and enjoying some full-resolution 1080P images for top-title reviews.

Regarding the rest of your post...that's my fantasy! I'd love to get a PC with a DVD rom drive/BD drive to do screen-captures. Yumm...


Quote:
Since there is no established baseline, a movie that appears to be a 10/10 in the next few months may end up being a 7/10 in a few years.

Shawn,

EXCELLENT point.
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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Shawn Perron

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Posted April 11 2006 - 03:25 AM

Screenshots may not be possible on a PC if what I have been reading is correct. They are trying to protect the media from the disc to your monitor, so the picture information may never be avaiable in a format that your computer will see as a picture. Thier goal is to have a 100% encrypted process until the HDCP on your monitor finally displays the unencrypted image. It'll definitely be up to the software to allow such a feature.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted April 11 2006 - 05:53 AM

how about doing away with ratings altogether? reviews are subjective to begin with. there's no such a thing as an "object" review. all reviewers are imbued with their own biases and natural tendencies.

this reminds me of hardocp.com when they were reviewing gaming hardware (CPUs, motherboards, etc.). they used to rely on benchmarks, but they did away with it because ultimately it's about the final gameplay in the hands of gamers, not benchmarks. it's the same with a/v reviews. it should really be about, how does the final movie look, how does it sound? if it looks good, sounds good, what's the point of points?

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Mark Lucas

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Posted April 11 2006 - 06:06 AM

Because some discs will look and/or sound better than others and tech-freaks like me love reading about that stuff. Posted Image

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted April 11 2006 - 08:37 AM

the keyword you used is "reading". so why bother with a star or letter or ANY rating when one is already reading the entire article?

imho, either a very complex rating system is implemented or there should no ratings at all. having one that neither here nor there is masturbatory at best.

what's a complex rating? well, for example:
5 star or letter grade based on film master itself.
5 star or letter grade based on the transfer itself.
5 star or letter grade based on the final medium encoding itself.

this has to apply 3 times, 1 to HD video, 2nd time to SD video, 3rd time to audio. thus, you have roughly 15 ratings/letter grades to begin with. either have somn approximating that, or not at all.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted April 18 2006 - 08:39 AM

From the beginning at digitallyObsessed we wrestled with whether or not to have ratings (we really didn't want to) and finally decided that people expect them, like it or not. I still hate handing them out. I'm assuming that the formats will have a lot of things to work out--early DVD masters frequently look pretty poor today---so I'm going to try not to give A's to the early releases, so there's somewhere to go from here. We'll see how that works out in practice... Posted Image In preparation for HD-DVD (*) I've been watching a lot of HDTV and not much standard DVD in hopes of retraining my eyes. But the scale really has to be different, or else HD-DVD/BD would be nothing but A+'s: we don't have the luxury of a numeric scale that can be extended, having many thousands of reviews on a letter-grade scale.

Thankfully my 65H80 set, even though it's older, will take 1080i, which is what the early Toshiba players will do at best, so as long as no one starts setting the ICT flag I'm in good shape picture-wise.


(*) I know I posted earlier I was going to wait for Blu-Ray, but the editor wanted someone to do HD-DVD reviews and somehow I got elected to be the guinea pig. So here I am, probably going to be dual format. I think I'll need another switcher. Posted Image

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted April 22 2006 - 01:31 AM

Bill Hunt also has some interesting mechanics for the reviews over at the bits:

http://www.thedigita...ocentsa118.html

I also appreciate his reality check on the nature of DVD vs. HD disks. Thing you gotta remember is that DVD was an out of the park home run. There is no way EITHER HD disk format is going to be as successful as quickly. This is the first round in what will hopefully be a new era, so its going to be bumpy for a while till things shake out =)

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