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Anyone Else Finding SD-DVD lacking after life with HD DVD/Blu-ray?

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#1 of 246 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted April 24 2007 - 04:54 PM

That might sound snobbish or elitist...but truthfully, HD looks so good I now notice flaws and tech issues I used to overlook when watching a standard def disc. Posted Image My XA-1 upconverts rather well too.

What I am finding and folks who have Blu-ray probably feel the same: Most, (not all) standard def dvds look kind of murky and soft. Compared to HD, they can look almost like someone needs to refocus the camera. Ok, that might be a bit too much there Posted Image...but not too far from reality.

I know HD DVD fans like to point out how good the upconversion is on these players, especially the new XA-2, but nothing I've seen upconverted looks anywhere close to HD.

I could list several examples. Just tonight I popped in the sd of Deja Vu. Edge halos galore, soft/sharpness inconsistencies....kind of pulled me out the film. I actually really liked this one too. I then pulled out The Italian Job HD DVD. Considered to be a good, but not great HD disc. It looks fabulous compared. It's like someone came over with a spray bottle of windex and cleaned off your screen, refocused, and said-Done. It's that good. With now nearly a year of HD media, these "flaws" distract me. Posted Image I do realize there are some HD stinkers. (Traffic, Kiss of the Dragon)

Yes, I've checked all my signal paths etc...and did some calibrating. Posted Image Got a pretty capable setup.

One of my fears is not being able to own one of my favorites on any HD format. When I got my then new nice progressive scan dvd player years ago, suddenly, those "elite" laserdiscs looked bad. The audio was still better but the image was just about unbearable. Especially on a 108 inch projector.

I certainly don't want to offend those who are content with sd dvd. I really haven't felt like a snob until now. Posted Image Posted Image

When I read reports of how good the Blu-rays for Chicago, Open Season, & Crank are...and see for myself how wonderful HD DVDs for The Bourne Supremacy, Seabiscuit & Batman Begins look...how can one really go back?

There's really nothing to solve this issue as it will take several years for some of the big guns to come out in HD.

Just curious how others felt about this after living with HD for a year. Posted Image

#2 of 246 OFFLINE   Dan M

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Posted April 24 2007 - 05:04 PM

I own about 30 HD DVD's right now but I still find myself watching SD DVD most of the time. I think a well authored dvd (up converted of course) can still look pretty darn good even after watching HD. And I'm watching on a 98" screen with a projector. There just aren't enough HD titles available that I like well enough to watch HD exclusively just yet.

#3 of 246 OFFLINE   Harpozep


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Posted April 24 2007 - 05:10 PM

I'm with you on this one. murky and haloed seem the default on a lot of upconverted SD discs. Not their fault, we are simply asking a lot out of the old format.Posted Image

My only fear is that HD packaged media will die and we will be forced to contend with the heavily compressed broadcast HD that I see on the networks each night. The broadcast HD certainly looks better than SD TV signals being sent, but they do not come near the 1080P wonderfulness of a decent Blu Ray.

We may need Wal mart to get the numbers of HD optical discs up and into consumer's hands. Or HD packaged media may simply stay an elite niche, complete with limited availability, small quantity pressings and high prices. Too soon to know, but a lot of folks at the top are betting on digital delivery as the way of the future. THAT worries me...........

#4 of 246 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted April 24 2007 - 09:23 PM

In a word, "Nope"!



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#5 of 246 OFFLINE   Shawn.F


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Posted April 24 2007 - 11:06 PM

I only watch SD now if I absolutely have to, recent viewings of Last King of Scotland and Notes on a Scandal come to mind. Those didn't look bad for SD releases, but they definitely were lacking in comparison the HD DVDs and Blu-Rays I've watched of late.

#6 of 246 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted April 25 2007 - 01:24 AM

Yep. SD has lost it's luster after experiencing HD, even on a more moderate 60 inch screen. SD looks soft and blurry in comparison which doesn't bother me as much as artifacts such as halos, ringing, EE, blech. Posted Image However there's just too many of my favorite films I own to completely abandon it but when I do watch SD I can't help thinking how much better it would look in HD.

I've pretty much limited my SD buying to the really deep catalog titles (titles that'll take years if they ever do make it to HD). Those endless SD re-releases of catalog titles? Forget it - No sale. New films to SD only Pan's Labrynth) ? Forget it - rental but no sale.

I view upconverting SD as a necessity, not a replacement for HD as it doesn't even come close, but without upconverting some SD discs really look like crap.

I have no regrets buying into these formats and slowly replacing my SD's for HD versions no matter what happens. Worst case scenario is if they both go belly up (which I don't think will happen - one will survive or they'll merge) and we're stuck with either SD or HD downloads in the future I'll just snatch up a few extra players during the fire sale so I can enjoy the content for 15-20 or more years.

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#7 of 246 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted April 25 2007 - 01:38 AM

No...but perhaps with a very good upconverting player such as I have, the issues are less pronounced. To be sure, DVDs such as Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick definitely look and sound better, however, with some other titles, the differences are much less pronounced. With all the Denon and Paradigm gear that I have in a dedicated HT room, my SD looks and sounds just fine thank ye! Still buying more SD than HD and until prices drop (such as the Children of Men which was almost 50 bucks CAD), HD simply doesnt make sense in many cases.

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#8 of 246 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted April 25 2007 - 01:43 AM

Crawdaddy has voted! Posted Image

I agree with you guys about not abandoning SD yet. You just can't. Too many great films remain exclusive to dvd and that list would be huge to jot down here. This thread wasn't for that as much as it's just becoming more and more bothersome tech wise (especially for those with large displays).

What I'm finding odd is that quite a few of my older classics seem to hold up better than some new dvds. (Dial M for Murder, North by Northwest, Wizard of Oz, and some of the black & white Cary Grant comedies.)

Maybe I'm expecting less from those. Jim, you nailed it though. It's not the softness that bothers me too much...it's those dang halos that seem to be everywhere on sd.

Going from a 42 inch plasma to a 80 inch projector screen has been unkind to alot of dvds. Posted Image It could be my PJ is not as good with 480p too? But it does totally rock with HD content.

#9 of 246 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted April 25 2007 - 01:57 AM

Yeah Tim older films don't look so bad maybe due to less digital processing. For instantance I recently watched My Darline Clementine and it looked pretty damn good, sampled Jurassic Park and my god it's so digitally processed as to make it unwatchable, the HD version can't come soon enough.
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#10 of 246 OFFLINE   Dave>h


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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:00 AM

NOt sure if I find it lacking although I have certain curtailed my SD DVD purchases to titles that i cannot get on HD DVD (Peter Pan and Charlotte's Web two recent purchases). I have not watched an SD DVD (except for TV on DVD) in quite a while. And I have even stopped renting SD DVD - although that is probably more related to my purchasing HD DVD and not having enough time to watch all of them. I do love my HD content and unless there is a film I really want to see that is unavailable in HD DVD, I don't watch SD DVD. I am even waiting for titles to come out on HD rather than buying or renting their SD counter parts (eg. Battle Star Gallactica Season 2, The Departed). One thing I have noticed, is that HD content has fueled my enjoyment of film again. I find myself really enjoying my HD DVD purchases, whereas before HD, I was getting a bit bored with regular DVD. Dave

#11 of 246 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:13 AM

Yes, agreed. It was a nice shot in the arm if you will and a shot to my $$$ too. Posted Image

#12 of 246 OFFLINE   Rob Young

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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:16 AM

You know you can buy from Amazon.com and the Combo discs are far less for us Canucks.

As for the OP, I think some DVDs can look really good and don't believe DVD is crap like some people seem to think now but in many ways it is lacking and I have no plans to buy any future movies on dvd even if HDDVD and Bluray somehow tanked. I haven't bought a dvd movie in over a year and plan to keep it that way as I just rent them while I buy hddvd and bluray discs. The lower resolution just makes the image seem like it has a haze and as you said, it does give the effect at times like the camera isn't focused.

I still watch DVDs I own and enjoy them but yeah, compared to HD it is lacking but that's just the way technology works so I can't be mad at DVD since it WAS the sweetest format.Posted Image

#13 of 246 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:16 AM

No. I sill watch plenty of SDs and have no problems doing so, the PQ is not all that bad, not bad enough to be a distraction. In fact, I'm going to do something today I have not done it a long while, buy an SD. I'm going to pick up Night at the Museum. Would I love to get the BD, yep, but not with Fox's lack of a lossless audio track and then to charge $25+ for it.
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#14 of 246 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted April 25 2007 - 02:21 AM

Greetings Watch enough HD on disc and you just start to become less critical of the DVD stuff as you just sigh a bit. Sort of a ... "it is what it is" attitude. Not too different from watching DVD a lot and learning to be not critical of the cable or Satellite broadcasts of SD material. Another sigh ... it is what it is ... When you experienced the goods on DVD ... even the Best VHS players just didn't matter anymore if you had to watch that. Best ... mid level ... still VHS ... I will tolerate it. Regards
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#15 of 246 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted April 25 2007 - 03:51 AM

Great thread Tim. This can be the counterpoint to that gladly watching DVDs till I die thread. Posted Image

#16 of 246 OFFLINE   Dan M

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Posted April 25 2007 - 04:20 AM

I found that vibration control helped alot with SD DVD Posted Image

Of course HD is going to blow away SD anyday....But I have just learned to train my eyes (and brain) to accept SD DVD for what it is and I find that I still can enjoy it with that mentality...and of course having your gear tweaked and set up properly makes a huge difference as well ( and glory be to upconversion!)...

A good looking transfer still holds up well on SD I think....and I can't just watch movies merely for the pretty picture...but weak transfers are always going to be challenging even when I was watching on my 50" RP TV

and those of us with huge screens have to bear this in mind even more so

I would love to be HD exclusive but I dont see that happening just yet even with SD DVD and all its flaws

#17 of 246 OFFLINE   ppltd



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Posted April 25 2007 - 04:52 AM

Go ahead and insult and offend them. We HD and BD advocates take enough insults that there should be some leftover to hand out.Posted Image

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#18 of 246 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted April 25 2007 - 05:45 AM

To answer your question: Yes. SD is downright painful to watch even upconverted.

#19 of 246 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted April 25 2007 - 06:29 AM

I bought the Blu-ray of Night at the Museum instead of the SD like I had planned. I noticed while at BB today, on the back, DTS HD Master Lossless, good enough for me even though I cannot use it now. Plus with the Target price match and my 12% off B-day coupon it brought it down to an acceptable price.
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#20 of 246 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted April 25 2007 - 06:31 AM

Shane, what do you plan to do with all your SD-DVD's?
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