DVD Forum will select HD-DVD laser and spec in March...act NOW!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaViD Boulet, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    http://www.eet.com/semi/news/OEG20030113S0041
    And it sounds like they are going to select a red-laser low-bit-rate format.
    This worse news that DIVX people. The market will be permanantly confused as resolution-filtered red-laser discs are sold and promoted as "Hi-Def" to the uneducated consumer. Those with large-screen HDTVs or projection systems will have to purchase D-VHS if they want to see their films looking like *real* HD.
    Now is the time folks to take action and contact all parties involved that you are able to let them know that overly-compressed audio and video is *not* acceptable.
    This will probably be the HD-DVD format we get stuck with for quite some time. We won't get a "second chance" to set a new world-wide HD-DVD spec a year or two later if we don't like the first efforts.
    Please sign the link in my signature petitioning for 1080 PROGRESSIVE-encoding of 24 fps film-material. Unless you want to have the same "DTS OR DD OR extras OR improved picture" debates with a bandwidth-crippled HD-DVD format that we enjoy on a regular basis with SD-DVD...do something even if it's just signing the petition linked below.
     
  2. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    DaVID,

    Call me crazy, but I have no problem with 720p 24fps for HD-DVD.

    Please don't interpret this to mean that I'm in favor of overcompressing the signal - that's not the case at all, but after seeing enough 720p stuff upconverted to 1080i, I've got no problem there. And no, I don't own a 720p plasma monitor.

    One thing that stuck me in the article was the quote at the end that said the proposed standard "might not be enought to capture the "grain" of film". That's wierd because I see plenty of grain in DVDs today.

    As long as they are developing the standard, one thing that would be cool would be having discrete DD (or DTS) 6.1 audio.

    -Reagan
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Reagan,

    Whether 720P or 1080I/P, the red-laser proposal doesn't have the bandwidth to provide a "transparent" digital copy of the film source. In other words, 720P on Microsoft/Warner's proposed format will not look as good as 720P on Blue-Laser.

    BTW, 1920 x 1080 has about *double* the pixel count of 1280 x 720. We'll soon have a host of digital displays that can provide full 1920 x 1080 resolution. When you're watcing a 100" screen (the HT enthusiast serious about trying to replicate the theatrical experience) 1080 transfers will have a clear advantage.

    And I'm not talking about 1080 "I" transfers that have been vertical filtered to minimize aliasing which includes every 1080I image you've ever seen on your HD display...I'm talking *real* 1080P images that are full-resolution. You've never seen one of those...very few people have had the luxury thus far to enjoy them but it doesn't need to stay that way. If you did see a real 1080P image displayed in full resolution it would look SERIOUSLY better than 1280 x 720P. Heck...if anamoprhic DVD which only gives you 1/3 more *vertical* resolution offers us an adanvtage worth having...why wouldn't *doubling* our resolution be something we should desire?

    Why make it less that it needs to be? The ONLY reason is political interests which have nothing to do with HT goals.

    Lots of people are happy with 480P upconverted to 720P. Why then are we going HD at all if not to do it right?

    -dave
     
  4. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I thought they had finally decided not to do red-laser discs? I had read an article stating they had decided on Toshiba/NEC's blue laser proposal and that Sony and others had split off to do Blue Ray on their own as competition.

    Did things change suddenly??

    I don't want overly compressed 720p, I want quality 1080p and better audio!! Damnit!!

    If it's red-laser based, I will not buy into it. Period. There is just not enough space for the best quality, and they know it.

    Dan
     
  5. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Dan, I am just the opposite on what I remember seeing. I recall a release stating they had decided to go with the red-laser version. I only want true high-def blue-ray. Hopefully my vote shall count. I would be willing to go as far as updating my current hdtv-ready TV, to a new standard, if it would guarantee that I'd have true HD-DVD. I know it can support it, but I would upgrade if that be the cause.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Sounds like this guy knows what he's talking about.
     
  7. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    DaVID,

    quote:
    >Whether 720P or 1080I/P, the red-laser proposal doesn't have the bandwidth to
    provide a "transparent" digital copy of the film source. In other words, 720P on
    Toshiba/Warner's proposed format will not look as good as 720P on Blue-Laser.
    endquote

    Now, that's the sort of information that says to me "red laser won't work". Is the problem with red laser just a compression issue, or is there more?

    As far as 720p goes, my position is that if 1080p can't be done right, then maybe 720p can, given it uses about half of the bandwidth as 1080p. If, 1080p can be done right, then let's do that, becuase of course I'd like to have twice the detail if I can get it. Your quote tells me that 720p can't be done right with red laser. That's enough for me.

    -Reagan
     
  8. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Why must the codec be low bit rate, even if it's on blue laser discs? I thought the whole point of using the increased capacity was that not only the resolution could be significantly improved, but you could get away with slightly less compression.

    This really stinks. If it looks like HD discs are going to be a compromised format (as this report suggests), Hollywood won't be getting my money.

    Dan
     
  9. Grant H

    Grant H Cinematographer

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    Sounds like a case of planned obsolesence to me a la the computer world.
    Why release one HD format when they can put out a better one in another 5 or 10 years, and make people upgrade all over again?
    Maybe they'll do red laser for the common folks and then release blue-ray at jacked-up prices for videophiles with extra $$$$ to spend.
    If the studios are our best hope for blue-laser based, higher bit rate HD maybe we better start kissing butt instead of complaining to them.
    I would think the studios realized that 1080 P has much more power when it comes to reselling titles than a lower-grade format. People are bound to replace more of their DVD's with HD-DVD's if they offer more than twice the resolution

    Although, I am a little puzzled by how low this "low bit-rate" would be. Low by today's DVD standards, or low compared to the capacity of a future-gen disc? Seeing as how we still don't have seamless layer changes on a majority of titles (and it varies immensely with players) maybe the manufacturers want to avoid layer changes within a film all together by using a "lower" bit rate. Pack the film on one layer and the extras on another.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    There is a chance that what is meant by "low-bit-rate codec" really means "newer, more efficient codec than old-fashioned MPEG2".

    That would be ok...because that would mean even if you had a blue-laser format...that bit-for-bit you'd be getting better picture quality. In other words...a low-bit-rate-codec doesn't mean you *have* to use a low-bit rate...it just means it's a very effective and efficient compression algorithm that may look BETTER than MPEG2 when compared bit-rate for bit-rate.

    I'm still a bit nervous...the red-laser camp is the same one pushing for their new codec...so it may be a package deal...
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I agree that compromising on quality, whether it be low bit rate or smaller storage capacity is a doomed proposition. Before I lay down money on a new format, I want it to be free of all the garbage I see on DVDs these days, most of which are compression/bit rate related. Yes, there is a lot of noise on many DVD transfers, but this rarely looks like real film grain. I would expect as close to watching film as possible, and the very nature of compression means fine detail such as grain will be compromised.

    Just say NO to red laser, it doesn't even work for low def DVD in the majority of cases.
     
  12. Michael St. Clair

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    Even broadcast HDTV is suffering. Many stations are using subchannels to broadcast SD feeds, weather radar loops, and rural internet broadband. Broadcast HD in some places is only using 75% of the theoretical maximum bandwidth...this results in broadcasts with half the bitrate of D-VHS. My local CBS 1080i feed has more compression artifacts than many poorly-encoded DVDs!
    The DVD Forum is nuts if they think that a majority of current HDTV adopters will buy something that can't at least match broadcast HD at its maximum bandwidth. Hell, I won'b be buying a disc-based HD format if they can't at least match D-VHS!
     
  13. Dwayne

    Dwayne Supporting Actor

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  14. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Thanks Adam. Updated my posts to reflect that Warner and Toshiba are *not* supporting the same laser (only Warner and Microsoft are pushing for red).

    -dave
     
  16. John C

    John C Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe there is a conspiracy to establish DVHS as the defacto best picture quality standard? More compression and 720p resolution? Why waste their time if they won't get better picture quality? I know I won't waste my money.
     
  17. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    They seem to be really exploring every angle here, which is comforting in some way it must be said. That's a rather good article, but I find it hard to comment on personal fears over compressed red laser and what have you in having never seen the results of these new codecs with my own eyes.
    These codecs they are looking at, the red laser compression results so many are worried about, may be fine, very good in fact. However, it would seem rather irresponsible to put out a HD-DVD format that wouldn't present HD quality in the best way possible via a consumer product. If the option is there to do HD at it's best, it would seem highly sensible to take it.
    The quality difference, in my opinion, will need to be as substantial as it can in ultimately swaying the masses to turn to HD if that is the goal, and if it's not the goal, then they should quickly realise that niche purists will accept little compromise.
    For me living in the UK where HDTV brodcasts and compatible TVs with anything above the standard PAL resloution are non existent (save for 720p compatible Plasmas and front projectors) I really long for HD DVD to be the best it can be because it will be my only source of HD on home turf for at least ten years.
     
  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  19. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    Backward compatability in the player is a nice thought, but really, I'd wonder what on earth we'd all do with our dvd players if that happened... Be a waste to toss them on the trash heap if they work fine. Backward compatibility wouldn't do much for me personaly.

    I agree fully on your codec comment. As I said, it doesnt seem sensible at all to put out something of compromised quality, especially if they decided to aim it at the purists first. None of us would have it.

    Dan
     
  20. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Red laser for R-HDDVD.
    Blue laser for pre-recorded HD-DVD.

    And I'll be happy.
    We have a 'chance' at blue for playback.
    Just don't see it happening for recording.
     

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