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How does everyone feel about UMD (PSP) movies? (1 Viewer)

MarkDude

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The first batch come out this week. Pricing seems to be a lot like DVD's (good price cuts during release week), which is good considering some of the high MSRPs. In any event, I was thinking about getting House of Flying Daggers. Would you pay $18 (Circuit City) for a portable widescreen version of a movie?

--Mark--
 

Jason Harbaugh

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Not a chance considering the DVD is less, has more, and I can still rip it and shrink it for different portable media players. Or keep it as is and play on a portable DVD player.

I don't know why I would have thought miniture versions of the movies would go for miniture prices, say $5. What was I thinking right? :D
 

James_Kiang

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Another thing I would guess some (if not many) would have against the UND format is that many of the movies have been reformatted to fit the PSP's screen. That doesn't completely bother me because I would buy the dvd version of a movie I really wanted.
 

Kain_C

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True, you can rip your own movies and put them on a memory stick, BUT it's a very lengthy process to do so and so far, you will NOT be able to play the film back in the PSP's full native resolution. Of course, the UMDs do utilize native resolution and offer 1.8GB worth of movie on it.

But the prices are outrageous. It's not a DVD format and shouldn't cost even half of a DVD! Now if UMDs were writable, talk about potential for media.
You do realize the PSP screen is 16x9, right?
 

Mike.P

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Kain_C, what I'd assume James was referring to was the way in which Spiderman 2 was cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.85:1, which, while still widescreen, cuts off some information regardless. while 1.85:1 movies will remain correct, it seems that scope films are going to be compromised, or at the very least, the first released one was.
 

David Galindo

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The image is INCREDIBLE...since the UMD uses a more advanced, Hi-Def codec than a DVD, the quality is phenominal. But if I can pick up Kill Bill at Target for $15, then Ill go for it. Im happy with my Spider-Man UMD for now. :D

Hopefully we'll get better prices down the road.
 

Tim Hess

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I'm interested, short flight with no need for a laptop? Sign me up (games, movies and music).

The prices so far for UMD, are terrible. I would only consider picking up my favorite movies (LoTR, Alien, SW, etc.) and only a select few of them.

I hear the PSP sounds pretty good with some surround sound headphones.
 

Kain_C

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For a portable video game system, consider yourself corrected. That is certainly a large enough, and very high quality, display.
 

Bob-N

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I heard somewhat the opposite, that the volume is a bit low. Maybe that's only for games.

Not too crazy about having another media format out there.
 

[email protected]

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Think the CC ad this week is showing PSP movies on sale for $13.

Initially I thought UMD was another HD format, but the PSP screen is only 400 x something.

Assuming it looks great only due to the smaller screen (essentially, it's not even NTSC resolution).

If I'm wrong about that, please correct me.

Anyway, if you could burn your own UMDs off existing DVDs then that would be something.
 

Dave Scarpa

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I'd still like to read some reviews of these disks so if anyone buys them post it up...
 

ChristopherDAC

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"For a blind person, you certainly drive well."
In other words, it's still not big enough for anyone who doesn't make a hobby out of staring at a screen the size of a business card to use and enjoy. I think that's the point: except for dedicated video gamers and the people who must be plugged in to some kind of media at all times, these things have no value. You'll find me choosing a nice book every time.
 

David Galindo

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I picked up Kill Bill for the PSP today. I did a quick review on another PSP forum, so Ill just paste it here as well:

First off, the UMD preview (when you highlight UMD on the PSP menu) is neato. It shows the fight sequence where the entire background is blue, with the main KB theme. The menu is basically the same as the DVD, with neat "whoosh" sounds when you go through the selection. The chapter select is different also...you get a really huge preview screen with blood splattered on it when making a chapter selection. Its pretty cool.

The picture is amazing. Even more amazing than when I first saw Spider-Man 2. There's just something to be said about having an almost hi-def looking Kill Bill movie playing on your PSP thats unbelievably cool. The original aspect ratio is preserved, with small black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. Im really happy about that. You cannot change the ratio to zoom or anything like that, however.

As for the sound, I tried the PSP speakers (eh, ok), as well as the included headphones, my personal headphones, and the Hip Gear Stereo Station + I reviewed earlier. It sounds un-freaking-believable on the SS, and headphones sound fantastic. Sure, the DVD sounds better, but coming from a handheld...the sound is awesome.

Here's some good news:All of the bonus features (sans trailers) are on the UMD. That includes 2 performances by the 5 6 7 8s, and a 22 minute documentary on the making of Kill Bill. You can use different ratios for the bonus material (zoom, full screen, etc). An insert is also included in the UMD case...nice.

So, basically, the entire DVD has been shrinked down to PSP size. It sounds great, it looks GREAT, and its just so cool having Kill Bill playing on the PSP. Ive tried encoding trailers on a memory stick for comparison...and there is no comparison. UMD totally blows the competition away.

Now. Is it worth $30? I paid $22 at Wal-Mart, actually. But I can say this: it was worth my $22 to get this movie. Im not a gushing fan of Kill Bill (that is, it probably wouldn't have made my top 10 movies, probably top 25), but I did enjoy it quite a bit, and its fantastic on the PSP.
 

Damin J Toell

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As you shrink an image down, the perceived resolution becomes higher. Someone must have a done a study about this phenomenon at some point. Anyway, the PSP screen resolution is 480x272 on a screen with a diagonal size of 4.3 inches. There is nothing hi-def about it. If there is a "more advanced, hi-def codec" involved in the software as David Galindo claims, it isn't actually being used on the hardware. As it is, PSP resolution is barely greater than VHS (~480x240). Just because Sony is using a codec that can be used for hi-def material, it doesn't mean that everything encoded with it is itself hi-def. VHS-level resolution encoded with an MPEG4 codec is still VHS-level resolution.

Yes, it may look wonderful for a 4.3 inch screen, and, yes, that may be tremendous for a portable gaming system. But unless the PSP has something magical hidden in its specs, the way "hi-def" is being thrown around here is totally off the mark.

DJ
 

David Galindo

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I said it LOOKS hi-def. I realize it isnt. :)

Also here is the codec:
"UMD Movies are using H.264/AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) which is higher quality then DVD movies. H.264/AVC will be used on HD-DVD as well."

Found on IGN.com.

I realize if you blow up a UMD picture onto a HDTV, it would look terrible. But, on the PSP, it looks great. Nothing much more to say about that. :D
 

Mike D

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Nov 24, 2003
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Thanks Damin, I was wondering what the native pixel resolution of the screen was. So what does a higher quality codec mean? A higher quality image means less compression. So I guess this codec is capable of higher compression with less of the associated artifacting. Therefore the compression may be more efficient than DVD but that doesn't imply the image is better. At any rate, it seems to me that some consumers may have been taken in by marketing spin. Isn't MPEG-4 the same codec used by Divx and Xvid?

Anybody else think The Three Stooges Meet Hercules is an odd selection for UMD?
 

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