HD Timeline or timeframe

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Dave>h, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    Hi,

    Just curious what members here think will be the ultimate time line for moving from SD DVD to HD (blu ray or hd dvd or both). This includes new players, all new software, all new tv's, all new amplifiers and surround processors. I assume about the only thing that won't change is speakers.

    I remember buying my first Yamaha amp with Dolby pro logic decoding in 1995, just before dolby came out with AC3 and 5.1. I also remember being pretty upset when 5.1 came out and how good it sounded compared to pro logic. That was my first foray into Home Theater - 11 years ago.

    So, by comparison, it took me about 8 years to move all my stuff from analog (pro logic, VCR, TV) to sd digital (dolby 5.1, dts, dvd player, hd tv (only up to 1080i though)). Of course, this figures in money constraints, which become less as I get older. Will the transition to HD take as long?

    For me, I suspect it will be a few years to get full bitstream DTS equipment, HD dvd/blu ray player and a TV capable of 1080p display. Is that a realistic assumption? The TV's are available now, players will be available later this year but I have not heard anything about new surround processors so that is probably later this year at the earliest. Then there is the format war to think about, the upgrade cycle for the surround processing DA converters and whatever else they can dream up. is there anything beyond 1080p?

    What are your thoughts on this. Will it be months or years until we can have a fully integrated HT experience with HD?

    Thanks for your input,

    Dave
     
  2. Austan

    Austan Second Unit

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    These numbers arent exact, correct me if I am wrong.
    But didnt it take CDs 10 years to outsell cassette and DVDs took 5 years to outsell VHS...
    On another note the canon D30 was released in 2000 and last month Canon announced the death of 35mm film SLR.

    Each of the previous upgrades was a huge leap in technology while the SD 480p to HD 720p,1080i,1080p is a continuation of the current technology. IMHO it's going to take a lot longer for HD adoption. I would guestimate in the 10+ year range.
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    There are too many variables right now to predit much of anything, but jumping forward to April of 1999 is going to at least, put a marker on it.

    If it stays on schedule, analog TV reception will be gone. All TV's sold will have to have digital tuners in them, and I am sure that all of them will also have an HDMI socket. CATV boxes will probably have that too, along with every HD/BD player on the market. I can see no reason why any DVD player manufacturer would still be cranking out SD players, if for no other reason than all HD players are supposed to be able to play all SD disks.
    Does anyone think that HD/BD players won't be selling for $200 or less at that time?

    Like 34 months and counting down...

    Glenn
     
  4. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    My perspective on this is that as long as SD DVD players and discs are less expensive than their HD counterparts, I would not expect any HD products to out sell their SD counterparts for at least seven years. [​IMG]

    I would love nothing more than the whole world to give up on SD and adopt HD equipment and content, as the effect would be vastly superior HD products, numerous choices to pick from, and al at significantly lower prices.

    Unfortunately, SD DVDs already exceed the "needs" of most consumers which is why unless HD products can compete price wise, they simply are not going to find a wide audience any time soon.

    I do think the sales of HD TVs are certainly helping, but it is still years away before even half the country has an HD display, let alone HD players and content to use on them
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Well I think your amps will be safe also.
     
  6. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Dave,

    Just for the benefit everyone else, I'll state up front that these are my best guesses, just so I don't have to get Uri Geller to back me up [​IMG] So - looking into my crystal ball....

    In a nutshell, I think you may see 2nd gen HD DVD players for Christmas. These units will likely be selling for a rumoured $400 list. Also, I would expect a second higher end line to diverge carrying $700-plus prices, but including all the advanced audio decoders and 1080p.

    In relation to the existing A1/D1 and XA1 HD DVD players, I think we will see another firmware update in the near future that will add additional audio decoding capabilities to the units (this is a guess), for instance possibly adding 5.1 TruHD, rather than 2.0. However, I think that the additional price of the XA1 may possibly be justified by it getting the lion's share of this benefit.

    IMO - the first-gen BD players are not worth the money, as they are missing too many of what I would consider the basic features. The 2nd-gen bluray machines will likely be far more capable and I expect them in the 1st or 2nd quarter next year. Many of them will feature the new advanced audio codecs, and may handle other disc formats like SACD and DVD-A. However, pricing will likely remain at $800 to $1,500 for the properly-featured BD players. "Basic" BD players without these decoders will likely be aiming for the $400 or $500 "hotspot", but I'd avoid them.

    I would guess that you may see hybrid players (that play both HD DVD and Bluray) in the second quarter next year, probably at under $1,000. It's very likely (given Samsung's continued tickling of the press) that Samsung and then maybe LG will be first. If names like Denon get into play, expect players from those sorts in late 2007, at prices similar to the 3910 and/or the 5910.

    I would hold onto your amps and speakers in the initial stages of this transition, as many of the coming players should allow you to decode the newer audio codecs on the hi def formats, and send them to you existing amp.

    HDMI inputs are the preferred way to go when connecting to any of these players, so that would be the only reason you should consider an upgrade. There are some fairly (or should that be "relatively") inexpensive unit available with HDMI inputs around now. You'll want a minimum of two HDMI inputs (if not three) and one HDMI output capable of passing/switching 1080p.

    New AVRs with DD+, DTS-HD and TruHD decoders will likely be rather more expensive, but by mid- to late-2007, there should be a decent selection to pick from. But because you should be trying to pick up a player with these decoders on-board, this is not an absolutely necessary feature, IMO. HDMI 1.3 will be a given on those more advanced decks, but won't be of much use for some of the players on the market, as some won't have 1.3 HDMI.

    AND SO, in conclusion:

    My PLAYER recommendations are as follows (not that they are written in stone, as some will not agree with my thought process):

    1) If you are looking to get into hidef discs before June 2007, then I would buy an HD DVD player now or at the end of the year, and look to get a hybrid player in 2007. I feel that price/performance of the 1st gen BD players is poor (high prices, no advanced audio decoders) and that much of the initial releases on BD will not (IMO) be "optimal". For this reason, I would choose HD DVD content over BD content, as far as what will be on the shelves, until the end of this year.

    Don't be worried about the "what if one format fails" concerns. Even if one or the other fails, the discs won't go "poof" and disappear. There'll be cheap players coming to market for some time, but the ultimate factor is the hybrid players, which will preserve your investment.

    2) If you don't mind waiting till mid-2007, buy one of the Hybrid players that are likely to come out. Some may jump me here and say they won't happen, but I'm prety confident they will. Even if they don't, the prices on both HD DVD and Bluray players by mid-2007 will allow you to own both format's players for around the same price.

    Regardless of which option you choose, make sure that whatever you buy has the decoders for DD+, DTS-HD and TruHD on-board, if at all possible, to allow you maximum flexibility.

    AUDIO recommendations:

    This is tougher, as I do not know what you have now.

    1) If you have an AVR with HDMI inputs, then you are happy like a pig in "stink" [​IMG] as this will allow you to get the best sound possible out of all the players that will probably ship this year. It'll be a no-brainer to hold out until at least the end of 2007, to let a bunch of new AVRs with the new advanced codecs settle into the market and become price-competitive.

    2) If you do not have an AVR with HDMI now, then you are going to have a little dilemma to mull over. I'll tell what I'd do, but it comes down to how much you want to invest now and later. In my view, HDMI offers the very best sound from these new players (I'm excluding the 1st Gen BD players from this, as you'll only get DD and DTS from these, whether you do optical, HDMI, or analog anyway).

    Also, the new AVRs that come out at the end of this year with advanced decoders and HDMI 1.3 will be expensive and probably not "the perfect" combination of features. Down the road, your going to likely want an AVR with at least 3 or 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs (* there is a big caveat here, which I explain in detail in the VIDEO section), given that satellite and cable receivers, HD players, games machines, etc will be switching to HDMI.

    My advice is a "planned obsolescence" strategy. By ensuring that you buy players with the decoders on-board, you enable yourself to buy a new AVR now that has HDMI inputs. You won't need HDMI 1.3 to pass up to 7.1 audio at 96/24, as the current HDMI versions support this. The you can upgrade the AVR a year or few later, when the advanced audio decoders are more "standard" across the various offerings on the market.

    If you are going to wait until mid-2007 before getting into HD discs, then you'll have to do a price-comparison as to what AVRs are available, but it may still be wise to adopt this strategy even then, unless the new decoders have been adopted without attracting a price premium.

    My VIDEO recommendations:

    Even tougher! [​IMG] I don't know what you have now... Is it HD ready? Does it have HDMI? What resolution is it? Does it have a good on-board scaler?

    There are far more variables here, so you'll have to tell me more.

    Up front, to qualify what I'll say here, I'll tell you that I am making an assumption that there'll be a lot of HD displays coming on the market, later this year, with 1080p-capable HDMI inputs. Prices will start coming down in almost all categories between now and the end of 2007.

    If you have a recent unit now there's no rush to upgrade, but if you are planning to buy a new display, then there are a few considerations to ensure you are future-proofed.

    So I don't make too many assumptions here, let me know what you've got and what you'd like to to do going forward (along with some idea of a budget, if you are looking to upgrade).

    That's it from Dr. Rob for now! [​IMG]
     
  7. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    * Oh yes! The only caveat I mentioned was whether to add a video processor such as a Crystallio 2, Vantage HD etc with HDMI inputs and audio delay. But no sense in talking about this until I have more of an idea of where you are at with your thoughts on your display [​IMG]
     
  8. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    Good thinking. What video processor and display do you have yourself?
     
  9. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    Quite a bunch actually [​IMG]

    In the bedroom I've got a little LG 27" LCD with a bit of gear on it, incl a Denon 2910, JVC DVHS, Freeview HDD, Mini HTPC, Yamaha Mini Cinema Sound, and a Faroudja VP.

    In the main reception, a Sony 60" SRXD, JVC HD10K projector, Denon 2807, Denon 5900, HD-A1, JVC DVHS, Main HTPC, Vantage HD, Sky HD (yay!), Boehlender_Graebner 7.1 & sub + Nervous Neighbors!

    Just a little fun on the weekends, then [​IMG]
     
  10. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    Impressive.
     
  11. Dave>h

    Dave>h Second Unit

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    Hi,

    Actually, I wasn't really looking to discuss an upgrade path, (although Rob, thanks for the very comprehensive list!) I was more trying to generate a discussion on where the industry is heading and how long we think the transition will take.

    Since there was some curiousity, I currently have the following:

    Samsung DLP 61 inch (not sure of the Model number but it only has DVI and can do up to 1080i) about 2 year old now.
    Yamaha DSP A1 - only has DTS and DD 5.1 capabilities, no HDMI (or even component inputs)
    Denon 2200 Amp - powers front speakers
    Paradigm Reference 100 Vs 2
    Paradigm refence center
    Energy Take 2 for front effect
    Energy E18 (I think) for Rear
    Sunfire Mkii true sub - kicking out serious bass!
    Toshiba upconverting DVD player with HDMI - for movies
    Panasonic 5 disk DVD (for my TV on DVD mostly)

    As you can see, the Amp is probably the next upgrade but I see no point in doing so until the new surround codec are bedded down.

    I wasn't personally plannning on taking the leap to HD until 2007 at the earliest as I don't see the technology catching up until then and then probably need to wait unitl all of the innovation settles down too. I am personally thinking the amplifier upgrade will be to some sort of media center as I see that as where the technolgy is heading.

    Whether the industry agrees or not remain to be seen! However, I think the media center is the way to go - some sort of internet connected box that handles everything from digital photos to hd dvd's etc. Where you can down load the newest sound codecs without having to upgrade all the time. Basically a multimedia PC. Amplification will likely happen outside of this box so you will see a lot of 5 channel amps (or 7 or 9 or wherever we end up in the speaker department) coming out.

    It is a very interesting time what with all the convergence that seems to be taking place. Although I have yet to see the "killer ap" that is going to move us all forward. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like Dell or Microsoft or even Cisco take over in this realm. Or a whole new company altogether...

    More thoughts??

    Dave
     
  12. Rob_HD

    Rob_HD Stunt Coordinator

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    The Big guys don't tend to support everyone else's formats, which actually causes them to not be as successful as they could be.

    I guess the closest to doing it all is MS, but even they miss a couple of spots.

    It's the rebels like Snazzio and so on, that tend to get little niche products out that are great but few enough people buy.

    If someone commits to getting a box out that incorporates all of these, it'll be a big hit. As far as I'm concerned, it could even be one of the HD players...

    I'm waiting for HDMI for my HTPC, too!
     
  13. Austan

    Austan Second Unit

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    Everyone will be forced to buy a HDTV in a few years (but who knows, they might just push the date back again.)
    But it doesnt mean they have to upgrade their video playback.
    • VHS
     
  14. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    It's a common misconception that digital TV means HDTV. In fact a good deal of it is 480i multicast with about the same visual appearance as a Video CD. I doubt that'll get beter with the introduction of "Robust VSB". [​IMG]
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Are any stations using ED? Locally most stations have an HD stream, although there are a couple that multicast 4 streams of identical programming.
     
  16. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Similar to what Christopher said, the stations are not obligated to broadcast in HD on their "HD channels".

    Most programs that are broadcast on the local HD channels are not in HD. Besides the PQ, the easy way o tell is the aspect ratio and that at the start of an HD program it will say it is available in HD.

    For instance, I taped NBC's Last Comic Standing off their HD channel onto my HDDVR, and was disappointed to find out that the show is being taped on SD video. This is the case with most programs still, and the conversion from analog to digital isn't going to change it.

    What has, and will continue to help is the steady drop in the cost of HD camera equipment and processing, and of course the increase in sales of HD displays and those consumers being sure to tell their favorite broadcasters to produce more HD programming. [​IMG]


    I should say however, even SD video taped shows look much better on digital and HD channels, especially when compared to the amount of compression many cable providers use on their analog channels.
     
  17. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I think my local market (Washington, DC) is very well served, then. The majority of the primetime lineup is available in HD. One of the stations even has a HD newscast.
     
  18. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    The primetime slots are where you'll find most of the shows that are actually in HD, but I still find it dificult to believe any market is getting a majority of HD programming, even in just the primetime slot. Afterall, most primetime shows are nationally broadcasted shows.

    Would you mind listing these HD shows, or possibly a link to the schedule that shows these shows are actually in HD, and not just being broadcast on HD channels?
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Wednesday:
    ABC:George Lopez Freddie Lost Commander in Chief
    CBS: Gameshow Criminal Minds, CSI NY
    Fox So you think you can dance
    NBC: Dateline, L&O
    PBS Battle of Hood and Bismark, American Masters Encore with James Conlon
    WB: Blue Collar Blue Collar One Tree Hill

    Thursday:
    ABC: NBA Nation NBA Finals
    NBC: My Name is Earl *4 Windfall
    CBS: Gameshow Marathon CSI Without a Trace
    Fox: So You think you can Dance
    PBS: House of Saud Small Fortunes
    WB: Smallville *2 Bernie Mac My Wife and Kids

    Friday:
    ABC: Billy Graham Hope & Faith *2 20/20
    NBC: Dateline Windfall L&O SUV
    CBS: Ghost Whisperer Close to Home Numbers
    Fox: The Animal
    WB: What I like about You Twins Reba Living with Fran Bernie Mac My Wife and Kids
    PBS: Sweet Tornado Exploring Space

    The Bold shows are HD, as indicated by Titan TV. On PBS, the SD shows are normal 16:9; on the other networks, narrow screen.
    Now, admittedly, I'm leaving out UPN, which has a pathetically weak signal, and the smaller channels which aren't set up for HD. And I'm not counting cable.

    If you want, I can put up the rest of the week.
     
  20. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I only looked at tonight's schedule but of the 21 shows on the big four (Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS) between 6-10pm, ten of the twenty one shows were in HD. Not bad, but still a long way from a majority when you add all the other programming during the rest of the day. Still, if primetime fiils up with HD that will certainly help! [​IMG]
     

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