With HD discs looming will this affect your DVD buying habbits?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dan Hitchman, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I always knew that DVD was the last gasp for the NTSC and PAL formats, and a bridge between low and high resolution media. Even though I've supported DVD with my hard earned money, I've always felt it was still lacking in many ways (both audio and video wise).

    Therefore, I've decided to cut back considerably on DVD purchases now that AOD and Blu-Ray are in our sights in the hope that at least one or both of these formats will greatly outshine DVD and deliver much, much more.

    There is also the prospect that digital fixed panel high resolution displays (both front and rear projection) will finally deliver true 1080p support, with greater quality, and at more reasonable costs in about three years time.

    I used to buy most anything that piqued my interest (whether I'd seen it before or not) and have amassed a small library of titles. Now I feel it's smarter, budget-wise, to only get those DVDs that I feel are "must have's" like classic gems, favorite TV shows, classic Disney titles, and the occassional blockbuster I can't wait to own (like Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings). Some of which, especially TV shows, and Disney and Hollywood classics, I feel may not be re-released on HD in the near future, or ever (due to ever dwindling studio support for these golden oldies) so I'll try to scoop some of those up (like The Adventures of Robin Hood, or High Sierra, The Day The Earth Stood Still, etc.).

    I was curious to see how my fellow forum members felt about the prospects of upcoming HD media and whether or not you felt the same way as I do about DVD purchasing.

    Your thoughts?

    Dan
     
  2. Gary Rhine

    Gary Rhine Stunt Coordinator

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    Wouldn't a HD-DVD movie have to be shot with a HD camera to be significantly better?
     
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Gary,

    Not necessarily. Film still has considerably greater resolution than HD video cameras at this time. If you scan film at 4k with today's equipment (still in their infancy) it is much closer to 35mm negatives.

    The problem is that much of the fine detail has been obscurred by heavy filtering, less than adaquate film scanners used for consumer transfers, and edge enhancement. Many of these problems stem from the fact that they knew these masters would ultimately be shown in the interlaced format (and even just 480i).

    In order to hide many interlaced artifacts the telecine technicians ramp up the filtering and then compensate for the then lack of fine detail by adding layers of ugly edge enhancement and artificial sharpening.

    Given the fact that with Blu-Ray and AOD the studios can output at 1920x1080 progressive there is a better chance that there will be no need for pre-filtering since you aren't dealing with interlaced scanning.

    Dan
     
  4. GarySchrock

    GarySchrock Second Unit

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    I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend cutting back on regular dvd's yet. I figure at best HD-DVD will be a niche market for some time to come (with pricing to match being a niche market). The cost of entry is going to be too high for it to reach the mass market acceptance that dvd has now, to say nothing of the resistance a lot of the masses will have at needing to upgrade to new technology after having just gotten into dvd (especially since for many people, the upgrade to dvd alone has given them enough of a better picture that it's not necessarily a priority for them to get even better, because it's "good enough").

    (For that matter, even if the media format is standardized, I'm not all that convinced the studios are going to be in that big of a hurry to release movies on it, simply because we all know the protection will be hacked shortly after it's released.)
     
  5. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Honestly, I think you'll see HD-DVD be used for specific releases (i.e. Star Wars III). HD-DVD won't really be necessary for many films. For example, how much better will BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE look in hi-def if the transfer they use sucks?
     
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Already the source quality drives what you can get out of many DVDs. Many older films probably won't look dramatically better on the HD DVDs.

    That being said, I'm already in line for an HD DVD copy of Lawrence of Arabia......[​IMG]
     
  7. Robert Dunnill

    Robert Dunnill Second Unit

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    The kinds of films I like don't exploit the full potential of DVD as it is, and they're unlikely to benefit much from HD-DVD.

    Therefore, thoughts about a looming format change years down the road don't have any bearing on my willingness to buy DVDs.
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    Until there is no looming format war (like SACD and DVD-A already have), there's no way in hell my buying decisions would be influenced!
     
  9. Michael Qualen

    Michael Qualen Stunt Coordinator

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    I can only say this: I live TODAY, in THIS time, and I don´t see the point in sitting around waiting for some new technology to come around. I buy lots of DVD´s, and since I just got a nice well paying job, I will buy more in the future. I will properly buy BLU-RAY and/or any other better technologies when they hit the streets and gets priced decently, but I see no point in waiting around for it...you already know there are bound to be better stuff down the road eventually, so are people just gonna wait forever for "the new cool stuff" ? I know I wont...

    Live now...you could die tomorrow you know...
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    To anwser the question posed in the topic header: not in the slightly. The only titles I'll rebuy are the ones I wouldn't want to live without in the interim. With all indications being that HD-DVD or Blu-Ray players will be backward compatible with current DVD media, I'll probably just switch to buying on the next generation format when they hit shelves. I don't see my DVD collection going anywhere anytime soon.
     
  12. Jason*C

    Jason*C Extra

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    As long as the new players are backwards compatible with DVD's i'll be fine. I still watch dvds on a regular 4:3 tv with the television speakers. All I want out of a movie is a picture which I don't have to worry about hitting a tracking button all the time, or worry about the film degrading.

    So as long as the DVD-HD players are backwards compatible I will still buy regular dvds.
     
  13. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Even though I plan on upgrading about 95% of my 500 DVD collection, I do not plan to stop purchasing any of them for the time being. I will continue to buy 5 per week and enjoy them. You never know when something tragic is going to happen. Enjoy them while you can.
     
  14. Paul Butler

    Paul Butler Extra

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    I sold my entire collection of over 300 titles and am now only buying a selected few that I really want to see, (LOTR extended editions etc).

    I figured that once Hi-Def arrives, I'd only watch Hi-Def titles and wouldn't watch any standard versions. Its a bit like the change from VHS/Laser to DVD, once I saw how good DVD was I stopped buying tapes and laserdiscs, sold off my collection and just sat (most un-patiently) waiting for the DVD versions to arrive.

    I can see why folks would be happy with both standard and Hi-Def titles but I wouldn't so thats why I sold the collection now rather than wait for it to depreciate in value once HD arrived.

    Horses for courses.
    Paul
     
  15. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    Personally, I don't think that HD-DVD will be the "night and day" improvement over DVD that DVD was over VHS. There are many DVDs out right now that have an almost HD quality picture and HD-DVD's improvement in PQ will probably only be evident to those with front projection set-ups(ie, a very small number of people). Also, with DVD being the biggest thing to come along in the consumer electronics industry in the last 20 years, I don't think the movie studios or the electronics companies are going to be in a big hurry to bring out a successor to their "cash cow". Personally, I have no plans to slow down my DVD purchases because I think that DVD in its current form will be around for a few more years(3-5 minimum) and I don't want around for a format that may or may not succeed.
     
  16. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

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    The reason it will be a niche market is because although it will be a night & day improvement in some cases, it will only be for people with front projection systems having screens over 8 feet or so.

    I had such a system and the projector broke but I won't be replacing it until HD-DVD is readily available, meaning more than 1 studio releasing a handful of titles.

    I just hope the likes if Disney etc don't drag their feet like they did with DVD, I made the mistake of buying lots of mediocre films for the first couple of years of DVD then sold them when the rest of the studios jumped on the bandwagon.
     
  17. DanFe

    DanFe Second Unit

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    Dan, I would do that but my credit card keeps saying "use me more, use me more."[​IMG] I just spent more than I should've this fall season with Two Towers, Dick Van Dyke Season 1 and 2, plus I'm still debating on what to get with the Deepdiscountdvd 20% off sale.
     
  18. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    Nah, I won't slow down at all. Like others said, it'll be a niche market for a looong time, the average screen in America is still less than 29", not even close for needing HD yet. It's not an obvious physical format change like going from tape to disc is, and this type of format change *never* catches on in a big way with consumers (think of the huge number of "failed" formats [niche] for music...the recent successful ones are actually pretty low-fi, but hi-covenience). When movies come on chips, *then* consumers will change big time.

    I believe that studios will always purposely limit the quality of their consumer software because they don't want it to be too close to the original, whether a film or digital source, for obvious reasons.

    I regularly see DVD's that look fabulous, not a huge number that weren't digital sourced, but it just shows what can be done if a studio wants to do it. Surprisingly (or maybe not), these fabulous DVD's don't tend to come from the major studios...
     
  19. stewart borland

    stewart borland Stunt Coordinator

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    There are only so many repeat purchases I'll go for!

    All my old albums to CD - [​IMG] well worth it, big improvement.

    All my old VHS collection to DVD - [​IMG] again, well worth it, huge improvement.

    But I for one have reached a quality I'm happy with. I love everything about DVD, and there is no way I'd start replacing my 190 odd titles AGAIN. If it's backwards compatible, and I need a new player, and the price is sensible, then I'll replace with the final HD winning format. From that point on I'd probably buy new discs on HD but absolutely no replacement of oldies.
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I guess it all comes down to whether one watches movies or technology.

    Me, I watch movies. I also watch other programming, like the great classic TV shows now appearing on DVD (e.g., Dick Van Dyke, Rocky and Bullwinkle).

    If one is interested in the stories being told and the characters being portrayed, one doesn't cut back on DVD acquisitions. This is probably the greatest era in history for people who enjoy acquiring a variety of programming for their home viewing pleasure. We've never before had so much that was so well presented.

    If, OTOH, one is preoccupied with such issues as resolution numbers and whether the sound is presented with lossless compression -- forget what's being seen or heard -- then I can see cutting back on purchases and waiting for the "next" format. But I think you'll be waiting a long time.

    M.
     

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