-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

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


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
101 replies to this topic

#1 of 102 Shawn Perron

Shawn Perron

    Supporting Actor

  • 500 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 25 2002

Posted April 15 2006 - 09:08 AM

Quote:
I started with The Last Samurai. As another poster has said, I wasn't blown away by the picture quality like I thought I was going to be. Was it a great improvement over sd-dvd? Yes. Was it identical to the HD I've been watching on DirecTV here at work and Adelphia Cable at home? No. The colors were much better than the sd-dvd version of the film. There are a few specific things on DirecTV that looked better to me (on this TV) such as the drifting car show on Discovery (the name escapes me right now) and a few other movies have more of a "wow" factor then the media I've seen so far on the hd-a1.

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 of 102 Shawn.F

Shawn.F

    Supporting Actor

  • 561 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 16 2005

Posted April 15 2006 - 09:26 AM

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 of 102 Ed St. Clair

Ed St. Clair

    Producer

  • 3,320 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001

Posted April 15 2006 - 12:05 PM

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!
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#4 of 102 Shawn Perron

Shawn Perron

    Supporting Actor

  • 500 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 25 2002

Posted April 15 2006 - 12:47 PM

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.

Quote:
There is compression in the panoramic sky scenes as well as when Cruise is making his cross ocean voyage in the dark scene in the cabin...but Samurai looks pretty good otherwise.
The colors are great, and for the most part, theres no visible compression any where else.
I would say that it looks like D-vhs, but not quite as sharp as the very best D-vhs such as X Men 2. Man on Fire and I robot....which also have no visible compression at all that I could see.

Quote:
Well, yes, some dvd's like 5th Element, The Fast and the Furious, and I'm sure others.
What I meant mostly was brodcast HD on Directv lite.
I have fliped back and forth several times between HD-DVD and Directv HD and in almost ever case the brodcast TV looks better.
For instance, right now HDNET has Art Mann presents on , and it is MUCH better than the Serenety HD disc is.
Some are about the same.
I was expecting better quality than Directv HD quality.

Someone over at AVS directed people to an enigmatic quote from the instruction manual that came with the player.

Quote:
To achieve high definition output when playing high definition material, it is necessary to set the output resolution of the player to match the native resolution of the disc. For example, when playing a disc with a native resolution of 720p, set the player output to 720p. For a disc with native resolution of 1080i, set the player to 1080i.

This could be indicating that the scaler in the player isn't as good as one could hope for. Since there has been confirmation that all the forthcoming software for HD-DVD has been authored in 1080p and the player cannot be set to 1080p output, the scaler may be causing quality issues. For $499 some compromises may have been necessary. It'll be interesting to see if the $799 player performs any better.

Quote:
Quote:
-1080i is markedly better than 720P. This was true in the store on the 32 inch Bravia and it is true on the AE700.

This and Thaxx's findings on the AE900 are the most bizarre to me. Unless the scaling in the A1 absolutely stinks, you should get a much better picture with 720p than 1080i. With 1080i, you are essentially getting upscaled 540p in the Panny PJs (and most other 720p PJs, for that matter).

Quote:
I finally got this thing to sync via hdmi...and the picture is worlds better at 1080i than 720p, even though its a native 720p pj...with a so so scaler

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 of 102 Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,463 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted April 15 2006 - 01:13 PM

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 of 102 Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,463 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted April 15 2006 - 01:19 PM

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 of 102 Shawn Perron

Shawn Perron

    Supporting Actor

  • 500 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 25 2002

Posted April 15 2006 - 01:37 PM

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 of 102 Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,463 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted April 15 2006 - 02:33 PM

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 of 102 RobertR

RobertR

    Lead Actor

  • 9,457 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 19 1998

Posted April 15 2006 - 03:10 PM

Quote:
they are saying it's not any better then the overly compressed HDTV signals they are receiving from satellite or cable.
I suspect that "they" don't have a good setup. I tend to trust people who I know have first rate setups from reading AVS threads, such as this guy:

Quote:
BTW PQ on my Qualia is just as good (or better than D Theater). I also didn't see any MPEG artifacts on subtitles either!
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 of 102 Travis Hedger

Travis Hedger

    Supporting Actor

  • 697 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 24 1998

Posted April 15 2006 - 03:13 PM

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.
HD DVD? Check! Blu Ray? Check! High Definition Satelite? Check! HD Gaming systems? Check! 100% High Definition across the board!
http://mrbiggles.blogspot.com

#11 of 102 Ed St. Clair

Ed St. Clair

    Producer

  • 3,320 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001

Posted April 15 2006 - 03:32 PM

Quote:
No need to crap on a format that is less than 24 hours old (since public release) anyway.

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. ;-)
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#12 of 102 Bob Black

Bob Black

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 239 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 16 1999

Posted April 15 2006 - 03:39 PM

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 of 102 Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,463 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted April 15 2006 - 03:57 PM

Quote:
STEVE! Hey man how has it been? Haven't seen a post from you in a while


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 of 102 Chad Ferguson

Chad Ferguson

    Supporting Actor

  • 926 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 2000

Posted April 15 2006 - 05:35 PM

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 of 102 PeterTHX

PeterTHX

    Screenwriter

  • 2,034 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 30 2002

Posted April 15 2006 - 06:16 PM

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 of 102 Paul_Scott

Paul_Scott

    Lead Actor

  • 6,546 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 18 2002

Posted April 15 2006 - 06:28 PM

Quote:
I love all these apples and oranges comparisons.


Posted Image

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 of 102 Dave H

Dave H

    Producer

  • 5,265 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 13 2000

Posted April 15 2006 - 07:21 PM

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 of 102 Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,463 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted April 16 2006 - 01:49 AM

Quote:
glad to hear you're enjoying it Steve.


Thanks! I'm excited about the coolness of it all.

Quote:
so after playing with it a while, where would you be looking for improvments in future generation models?


Ah, we are already looking forward to the next generation. Posted Image

Quote:
fan noise?


It is not bad, and I currently have the unit sitting outside the rack. As soon as it goes into the rack, fan noise will be virtually unnoticeable.

Quote:
load times?


Really long. This is a 2.4Ghz Pentium 4 running Linux, and the initial boot time is slow.

Quote:
remote quality?


Get a Harmony to go with the player, and all will be well. Posted Image While the supplied remote might eventually have an intuitive feel, it is not backlit, and hard to use out-of-the-box. It also only controls a TV in addition to the DVD player--I would have hoped for TV and A/V receiver at a minimum. This remote will have batteries removed as soon as I program the Harmony.

Quote:
1080p?


The player only outputs 1080i, and I only have 1080i, although I have seen it hooked into a 72-inch Mitsubishi DLP display set to 1080p. The picture there was gorgeous on the demo material. That is why I am here today with a player of my own.

Quote:
industrial design?

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. Posted Image

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

Back to play some more!

- Steve

#19 of 102 Larry Sutliff

Larry Sutliff

    Screenwriter

  • 2,853 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 17 2000

Posted April 16 2006 - 04:13 AM

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 of 102 Pete T C

Pete T C

    Second Unit

  • 299 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 01 2003

Posted April 16 2006 - 04:35 AM

Yeh, most posters are saying it blows away regular HDTV.

I think the OP of this thread is a Blu-Ray fan (or plant) trying to execute some damage control.

i.e.
Quote:
Hey Everybody!!! My wife and I just finished watching The Last Samurai and let my tell you it looked so good. I was watching it on a 46" Samsung DLP which has 720p native resolution. I did my calibration of the display using the THX optimizer on the SD DVD - SW EPIII. It was connected to the TV via HDMI and I sent the audio to my receiver using the Toslink out to the receiver. Tomorrow I'm going to unhook my DVD-A player and hook up the analog outs so I can experience DD+.

PQ
I have to say that this is the best HD footage I have ever watched. Both my wife and I commented over and over again about how there was no visible pixelation (macro blocking?). When I watch shows like LOST it looks great but there is always some level of blocking during the night and/or dark shots. I saw none of that on this DVD. Also there were no jagged edges - It simply looked superb. We kept saying how clean and finely detailed everything looked. The picture was just stunning. Ultimately I felt like this is what I had been looking for - namely HD without all of the artifacts and problems that I constantly see when watching HD over cable. Unfortunately I don't have D-theater or OTA HD-DVD but it looks a lot better than the HD that I get from Time Warner.
http://www.avsforum.....&
For every shadow, no matter how deep, is threatened by morning light.


Back to Blu-ray



Forum Nav Content I Follow