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First HD-DVD Disc Reviews - Mixed Marks

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-party dept.

262

An anonymous reader writes "As the first HD-DVD players and discs hit store shelves nationwide today, the new site High-Def DVD Digest has posted extraordinarily detailed reviews of the HD-DVD disc releases of 'Serenity' and 'The Last Samurai,' with more reviews to come later today. The site gives both discs mixed marks, with the Tom Cruise flick edging out the Whedon-fest for demonstrating more pure high-def eye-candy appeal. Also worth a look-see: a detailed account of their 'review reference system' (ie: their gear)."

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plays in Peoria?, redux (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148669)

The more I read and hear about this stuff, the less interested I become. If it were just about the difference in quality and that difference were BIG, I'd be thinking about going for some equipment, and some new DVDs. But, toss in all the other BS, this one's going nowhere. I'll wait until there's one format, or both play compatibility everywhere, DRM goes away, and a player costs less than $150.

The differences in quality as described aren't blowing me away, and I love upgrades in technology. The improvements I'm reading sound much like some digital camera reviews where they describe the difference between 8 megapixel and 3 megapixel, which unless you're blowing up to side-of-a-building size, or doing mega-cropping isn't noticeable to the casual consumer.

I posted on this yesterday. I guess I haven't changed my mind, I'll go and look for a demo somewhere where they've got it set up correctly (heh, good luck with that!), but this is going to be a non-starter for a while.

In the meantime, to the industry, please:

  • make it easier
  • make it compatible
  • don't DRM it (translation, show a little faith in the customers' integrity, assholes!)
  • make it cheaper
  • make it durable
  • and set it up for my friends and family, I'm tired of coming in and fixing what you're not getting right in the first place.
  • consolidate the technology... I know it's complex, but the learning curve is just too darned steep for this to be a breakout technology (though I would agree this is "disruptive" in a different sense)... For those who care, here is a partial list of the technical terms and acronyms from just one of the review:
    1. TrueHD
    2. HDTV
    3. HD-DVD
    4. 720i/720p/1080i/1080p
    5. Dol by/Dolby Digital 5.1/7.1 Surround
    6. DD+
    7. VHS
    8. HD-A1/(and it's snazzier cousin HD-XA1)
    9. D-VHS HD
    10. HDMI
    11. ICT
    12. Component outs
    For the record, I thought I was up to speed and I had to look up a couple of these. Sigh.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (2, Funny)

btmark (968861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148711)

I can't wait for my copy of Debby Does Dallas in HD. /.ers are going to be spending a tad more time in front of their tv's now

Something else to consider... (4, Insightful)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148721)

Something else to consider... if you are disinterested in this new technology because the difference isn't that noticable and from the looks of things you seem to be technically fluent, how is the average joe going to react? I'm talking about those people who watch standard def contents on their HDTV sets without even realizing it/knowing the difference.

Re:Something else to consider... (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148833)

You make a most excellent point. I find it more likely than not when I'm at someone's house, they have a first-generation HDTV (720p), and they have it all out of whack in how it's set up. Typically (and this is where it really gets weird) they have become SO adapted to the distortion that if and when I correct it for them, they are uncomfortable with the undistorted pictures, and want it switched back! OMG!

And this is all further compounded by the mostly inferior quality of anything claiming to be "high-def" for the sake of selling product, for example, Dish, Echo, Comcast, etc., all boast some flavor of "digital", with hints and sometimes outright bogus claims of HD too. But in the final anaylsis, lots of it looks not so great, and when the consumers starts stretching it and skewing it trying to get the "HD" out their no-bang-for-the-buck investment, it is most surreal.

Just shoot me now.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148930)

I find it more likely than not when I'm at someone's house, they have a first-generation HDTV (720p), and they have it all out of whack in how it's set up.

720p isn't first generation, anymore than 540p or 1080i is. They're all just variants on the spec, and new and old sets have supported a variety of them. Maybe you're new to HDTV, but it's been around for a while and current sets - the overwhelming majority of which are 720p - are hardly first generation.

As for screwing with people's display, of course they don't like it. Many people have their sets set to stretch 4:3 images to fill the screen to avoid uneven burn on their display, something that drives the fiddlers nuts. Colour balance is subjective with the environment, and everyone thinks their particular tweaks are correct. Detail is completely subjective as well, as to what is most asthetically pleasing. Don't screw with people's sets.

And this is all further compounded by the mostly inferior quality of anything claiming to be "high-def" for the sake of selling product, for example, Dish, Echo, Comcast, etc., all boast some flavor of "digital", with hints and sometimes outright bogus claims of HD too.

Huh? Firstly, digital is superior to analog, at least where there isn't overcompression. Secondly, what "bogus claims" of HD? Most of them support REAL HDTV. Most network primetime shows are in high definition, and shows like CSI, Without a Trace, and Survivor look worlds better than SDTV (although they are sometimes in 4:3 for framing reasons, the resolutions is far beyond SDTV).

There is nothing at all bogus about it.

Re:Something else to consider... (2, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149115)

Firstly, digital is superior to analog, at least where there isn't overcompression

I haven't read something that dumb in a while. Digital and Analog are two different ways to store/transmit data, nothing more. The quality of each is bound to be the quality that it was designed to hold, nothing more, nothing less. The ONE property digital data has over analog, is that it _can_ be duplicated without loss.

A 8KHz PCM (no compression) stereo file will sound worse than a LP or a cassette, you can be sure of that.

Re:Something else to consider... (0, Flamebait)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149197)

I haven't read something that dumb in a while. Digital and Analog are two different ways to store/transmit data, nothing more. The quality of each is bound to be the quality that it was designed to hold, nothing more, nothing less. The ONE property digital data has over analog, is that it _can_ be duplicated without loss.

The only idiocy was your air of superiority, entirely nonsensical reply. You see, we were specifically talking about television, and feeds over satellite/cable, comparing digital picture quality versus analog picture quality. I realize your Aspergers probably kicked in, and you couldn't resolve the comment in the context of the conversation, ridiculously taking a comment out of context, but next time I'd advise that you just save your dispays of ignorance for venues where it can be so easily shot down.

Re:Something else to consider... (-1, Troll)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149285)

You try too hard dennis. Now stop threadcrapping and go kick your dog or whatever else is next on your list of ways to inflict your misery on others.

Re:Something else to consider... (0, Flamebait)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149389)

You try too hard dennis. Now stop threadcrapping and go kick your dog or whatever else is next on your list of ways to inflict your misery on others.

Says the guy following me around to make comments to my threads. You have so much irony you could be dangerous to children.

Re:Something else to consider... (-1, Flamebait)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149417)

"your threads".

Click on the "parent" link a few times and see where it gets you. And again, stop trying so hard. You are not nearly as clever as you seem to think you are.

Re:Something else to consider... (0, Flamebait)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149449)

You are not nearly as clever as you seem to think you are.

Is this really your baiting technique? The tired old "you're not clever/smart/pretty/strong" chestnut from the junior high days? Wait -- you are in Junior High! Makes sense.

Hopefully you can get your lame jabs in before they update the proxy software to block you from adult sites like Slashdot.

Re:Something else to consider... (-1, Troll)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149505)

Yes I am in junior high. I also work at a McDonalds (when I am not pumping gas) and my Mama is so fat she fell down, broke her leg and GRAVY game out. I have an inferior ethnic heritage and I come from a low income disadvantaged socio-economic background. I am gay and I think I once fucked a goat and enjoyed it immensely (the goat was also gay btw).

Did I leave anything out?

Oh yeah I use W1nd0ze and I have a poster of B1LL Gate$ on my bedroom wall which is in the basement btw. (LoLz!!!!!one1!)

Fucking bush league.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149289)

Let's talk video then. I'll take a 1080i/component over a 480i/HDMI any time of the day. Or another one: I'll take a good analog cable service over a HD satellite badly tuned any time of the day. And on, and on...

The problem with sentences like "Digital is always superior to analog" is that it's just not true, not even in specific cases.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149339)

Let's talk video then. I'll take a 1080i/component over a 480i/HDMI any time of the day. Or another one: I'll take a good analog cable service over a HD satellite badly tuned any time of the day. And on, and on...

I'd totally agree with you. However, analog television has a long and storied history of being incredibly prone to defects, and even the best cable providers serve up a palette of overlapped, distorted analog signals. Their digital feeds, on the other hand, tend to either work or not work, and presuming that they aren't overcompressed the picture quality is perfect.

In the context of the discussion, television media feeds, digital is almost always superior to analog.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149273)

A 8KHz PCM (no compression) stereo file will sound worse than a LP or a cassette, you can be sure of that.

As an aside, digitizing a full frequency source into 8Khz PCM is compression, done with the knowledge that it is impossible for it to capture the full source range (compressing attributes of the original). I realize from your prior post that you have a problem taking concepts outside of literal singularities, however that is compression is every sense of the word, and if it were used to digitize an orchestral piece for reproduction on a stereo system, it most certainly would quality as overcompression.

Re:Something else to consider... (2, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149332)

It's not compression, it's sampling. Sampling is always going to remove information. Taking a scene and digitizing it at 720x480 is sampling, not compression. Even if you could have done it at 1920x1080. It all depends on the resolution of your eyes and the size of the screen you're going to view it on. There are no absolutes when it comes to that.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

Anonymovs Coward (724746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149282)

The ONE property digital data has over analog, is that it _can_ be duplicated without loss.

And, relevantly, transmitted without loss. Whether on the airwaves or over your cable. I agree with the GP -- when it isn't overcompressed, and storage space isn't a constraint, digital is better.

A 8KHz PCM (no compression) stereo file will sound worse than a LP or a cassette, you can be sure of that.

An 8 KHz file is already, de facto, compressed. It throws away a huge chunk of human-audible spectrum.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149352)

An 8 KHz file is already, de facto, compressed. It throws away a huge chunk of human-audible spectrum.

It's not compressed, it's sampled. Audio is easy to quantize the way you do it because we more or less understand the human hear. Video is not. When I sample a movie at 720x480, I am not compressing, even though I threw away a few millions pixels that would have been visible on a huge screen.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149499)

When I sample a movie at 720x480, I am not compressing, even though I threw away a few millions pixels that would have been visible on a huge screen.

Off the compression topic (though still on it inadvertently), but the 35mm film used for movies, and then the duplication of the same for projection, really isn't that high of resolution. It could be that one of the reasons the new HD formats don't show the promised advantage is simply because the source material doesn't have much more additional information.

On the topic of analog versus digital, in the film world the analog copy is another huge weakness, particularly in the way the source copy (the film reel) is degraded with each playing. It's too bad they couldn't get the digital distribution initiative going, because it's unsatisfying watching a bouncing image displaying some scratched up film.

Re:Something else to consider... (2, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149426)


Yeah, its like the "digital" boom in the 80s. Marketing started selling digital analog speakers, and then changed it to "digital ready".

I like HD content. I've got a really nice fully upscaled 1920x1080p setup, and let me tell you, DVDs just don't cut it anymore. I watched some horrible movie the other day on my set, and I asked my friend how old the movie was, I was guessing 10+ years. It was only a couple of years ago, 2002 to be exact.

HD/HDTV is an absolute mess. HDMI, DVI, component, DRM, DD, stereo, stereo hacked to be Dolby Surround, 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, DD, DTS, analog, digital, upscaling, upsampling. I know all this stuff, and its still difficult to convince a surround processor to do the right thing. Its next to impossible to get anamorphic, 4:3, letterbox, and whatnot correct. I have a $1,200 surround processor, a $2k 7 channel amp, a $2k upscaler, and in my opinion the negotiation between the analog and digital formats and getting them right is trial and error at best. At the UI level, its alpha or beta quality for the user. Honestly, if I weren't a geek and knew and cared about this stuff, I would be very disappointed dropping 1/3 of what I have invested in my equipment as far as an end user experience.

If I knew someone that had X million of VC money, I would start my own electronics company that integrated this crap and made it work right so that the average joe can just buy it and enjoy the content.

To me stretching a 4:3 640x480 interlaced picture to a 1920x1080 resolution with crappy interpolation and making the faces and bodies almost 2x their width is almost a crime. But for years, people though that is what HD is all about. If I were to show them real HD content, they might cry.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149482)

"If I were to show them real HD content, they might cry."

No, they were crying because they got the bill for their new HD setup.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148871)

Something else to consider... if you are disinterested in this new technology because the difference isn't that noticable and from the looks of things you seem to be technically fluent, how is the average joe going to react? I'm talking about those people who watch standard def contents on their HDTV sets without even realizing it/knowing the difference.

The new formats are a simple evolution of DVD, and most users will simply evolve into it over time (I doubt they're going to immediately toss their collection/player), just as people have been buying HDTV sets for several years now (e.g. they're buying a new set, and it is a small premium over an SDTV set so why not), yet most regions have only recently started getting HDTV content.

Regarding quality differences, it should be noted that the first examples on a given format/platform are almost always subpar. Be it the first DVDs, the first CDs, or the first game for a console system. Not only are they usually rushed, the system that led to their generation was often built with a lesser system in mind. E.g. Because of low quality mastering in the early CD days, many CDs were only marginally better than cassette tapes. The low quality mastering was a legacy of studios that only had to worry about targeting a low quality end, so things like high end hiss or harmonic noise really didn't matter. Give it time and the engineering kinks will be worked out.

Re:Something else to consider... (2, Insightful)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149073)

The transition from cassette tape to CD and from VHS to DVD offered dramatic and obvious improvements, even to the untrained eye/ear. Aside from P & S quality, you also had the ability to jump around to random places on the discs and you didn't have to rewind those damn tapes(!!!). Even the neophyte can appreciate these improvements.

Now compare this to the DVD -> HD-DVD/Blu-Ray transition. For starters, they essentially look the same. So whats the difference again? Oh yeah, the picture looks a little better. How many Joe 6-packs do you know who complain about DVD image quality (assuming a properly done transfer)? Not many.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149173)

Did you entirely miss the point of my comment? I specifically said that it was an evolution (as opposed to a revolution), which is why it will be a gradual upgrade. Regarding your derisive "Joe 6-pack" comment, even where people don't notice the difference they can still be sold on hypotheticals. Many average consumers like bragging about their hardware, and if they can pick up a new DVD player at a small premium when they were thinking about upgrading anyways, they will. This will be furthered when they go to pick up some DVDs, and realize that they're buying "obsolete" media.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149262)

"derisive"? A tad over-sensitive are we? If it hurts your feeling so much just substitute whatever phrase you use to refer to the average-non-technically-inclined-consumer.

How do you figure a walmart shopper is going to drop an extra 400 bones just to brag about it? We are not talking about videophiles here.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149307)

How do you figure a walmart shopper is going to drop an extra 400 bones just to brag about it? We are not talking about videophiles here.

They won't. The early adopters will buy it early, and soon enough the electronics will be in $50 Apex players, guaranteed. I bought a DVD player for $600 when the only place to rent them was a tiny little corner in an obscure video store in my town (during the whole Divx thing). Many like me supported the format until it entered mass market pricing, and then it exploded. The same thing will happen with high-def DVD.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149248)

>The new formats are a simple evolution of DVD, and most users will simply evolve into it over time

In the same way, say, that they moved across to DVD-Audio? Just a thought...

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149075)

Even less interested. the average joe has no intention of buying a HDTV in the near future. HDtv sales are dismal right now. Most people are not too crazy about spending $2000.00 on a HD television and the rear projection cheapies are not selling at all because the simply suck. Flat panels are the only thing selling but they are expensive unless you want a nice dinky one or an off brand.

Everyone that buys a nice HDTV get's pissed when they take it home and watch real world Tv signals on it. Standard Def sucks big time on a HDTV. and the lack of HD channels in a cable Tv lineup (oh boy I get 6!) certianly does not justify the expense..

That is ignoring the fact that the Tv shows they want to watch are typically not on the HD channels in HD.

Add to that they have to re buy all their dvd's that they are still pissed about rebuying from vhs (or laserdisc if they were videophiles) and the HDDVD is a no starter for a while... I'm betting it will be adopted as fast as sony's SACD and DVD audio discs have been adopted into the mainstream.

Re:Something else to consider... (1)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149192)

I'm talking about those people who watch standard def contents on their HDTV sets without even realizing it/knowing the difference.

Heck, I've met people who can sit through a 16:9 film that's been stretched to fill a 4:3 screen and not realize anything is wrong (and vice versa). I've seen the aspect ration in stores set wrong (I hope this is out of laziness). It makes me wonder how much visual imformation some people are actually pulling in.

Re:Something else to consider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149367)

If its a plasma display having it stretched preservs the screen from burning
in odd places.

We do it all the time just because most people complain about the black bars
surrounding the picture.

Does that mean it's better? I want the best! (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149274)

Only time will tell for sure, but don't underestimate the training of Best Buy sales reps to spin deals based on 'technical details'. Average Joe hears the resolution difference ("1080? Does that mean it's better? I want the best!") and think he's getting a better product, just like he did with his digital camera ("8 megapixels? Does that mean it's better? I want the best!"), just like he did with HDTV ("HD? Does that mean it's better? I want the best!"), personal digital music player ("80 Megabytes? Does that mean it's better? I want the best!"), personal computer ("Intel? Does that mean it's better? I want the best!"), hifi ("500 Whats? [sic] Does that mean it's better? I want the best!"), etc.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148739)

and stick more extras on it. I am a big fan of Director's / Writer's Commentaries, and of a hefty 30 to 60 minute making of for films I really like. Sometimes I will get a movie only for the extras. If the new Hi Def formats take extras to the next level, that will tip the scales for me, at least a bit.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149022)

Wow, someone who actually likes the extras on the DVDs. I had heard people like you existed but to finally have proof....

For me most of the extra are just crap thrown on that reduce the quality of the main movie because they end up compressing the hell out of it to make room. Ok, I have to admit I've watched the "Move it, Move it" video more than once on the Madagascar DVD. My 3 year old end up jumping all over the room but other than that I can't think of any extras I couldn't easily have lived without.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149092)

More extras? Good luck with that. Producing extras costs money, and producers are less and less willing to spend that money. In the early days, they had to cater to the afficinados, who craved for this stuff. Nowadays, DVDs are targeted at Joe Average, who couldn't care less about extras. Warner, for instance, does not really include extras anymore (for some years now), just the movie and perhaps a TV "behind-the-scenes special" intended to promote the movie. Yeah, an extra DVD for popular Harry Potter movies (filled with cheaply produced trash, by the way), but forget about extras for movies your really want to see. Ah, well, there is always Criterion.

So, while there are still studios willing to provide extras with DVDs, expecting that they will increase the amount and quality (especially the latter) of extras is just wishful thinking.

It's Just Beginning (5, Insightful)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148748)

Well, I hope you are not tired of reading; because the media hype is just going to get worse.

When both formats are up and running you will not be able to go anywhere and not read about this stuff. There is too much cash involved just to leave the decision up to the consumer. The companies backing the standards simply are not going to trust you to make the choice--they are going to let you know what to think. And the way they are going to do that is by running thousands of ads; ghost writing reviews, etc.

It's just beginning and you haven't heard nothing yet.

Re:It's Just Beginning (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149152)

and watch then not mention the DRM at all.

as usuall.. media elitists schilling out to other media elitists.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (4, Interesting)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148773)

I for one am really looking forward to HD DVD's. I am not going to rush out and buy a player until someone comes out with a dual format player, the prices drop to the ~$200-300 range, and enough good movies come out. But when they do, I won't be able to whip out my check book fast enough. If you can't tell the difference between a 480i DVD and 1080i HD on a decent sized screen then you need to have your eyes examined. Or check your TV's manual on how to correctly set up your system.

This is not a troll. I seriously don't understand how people can claim to not be able to tell the difference. Regular DVD's just look like trash on a large HD sceen, even with a good up-converting player. Ever since I read about the development of high-dev DVD's several years ago, I have ceased buying regular DVD movies in anticipation of buying their higher resolution versions in the near future.

My only concern is that high-def DVD's will go the way of high-def audio with the DVD-A/SACD format war, with neither gaining acceptance and both dying out.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148884)

"I seriously don't understand how people can claim to not be able to tell the difference."

I'm with you there. I really think the difference is noticeable but at the same time I don't think there are a whole lot of people who care about that noticable difference. What they have is good enough right now to not justify spending the extra money on HD. HDTV still isn't quite cheap enough yet, especially considering the sheer number of people who bought a big screen a few years ago during the big screen TV boom.

"Regular DVD's just look like trash on a large HD sceen"

That's usually because any NTSC signal looks like trash on an HDTV screen. Most manufacturers don't take the time to get a non-HD signal looking good on their TVs, which is unfortunate considering low-def video isn't going to just disappear any time soon. Upconverters on DVD players is a decent idea but the TV should be doing a good enough job of conversion that it's not neccessary.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149213)

If you had sunk the development cost into making HD equipment and your big worry was getting people to switch, you would go out of your way to make sure that SD looked like crap. That gets people to notice the difference and want to switch.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149425)

That's a two-way street though. If you are really interested in getting people to switch then you sure don't want some HDTV owner's neighbor, relative or friend to find out that their DVD collection will look WORSE on a new HDTV than it does on their old big screen. Best to let HDTV stand on its own merits than to cripple the other options.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15148901)

I seriously don't understand how people can claim to not be able to tell the difference.

Okay...

Regular DVD's just look like trash on a large HD sceen, even with a good up-converting player.

Okay, so you've seen Regular DVDs on HD screens and didn't like them.

Ever since I read about the development of high-dev DVD's several years ago, I have ceased buying regular DVD movies in anticipation of buying their higher resolution versions in the near future.

But you only say that you've anticipated HD DVDs.

Have you actually seen an HD DVD play on a large HD screen? If not then maybe the reason why you don't understand how people can't see a (significant) difference is that you're comparing in your imagincation.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148909)

A good DTS track on a regular DVD is going to provide the same experience than a SACD/DVD-A for 99% of the persons interested in multichannel sound. This is what is killing SACD and DVD-A, not their stupid war.

They don't provide anything more than what the regular user already has.

as for HDDVD, most people will need to get a lot of money out to see any difference. Not just a player. You and I are not the norm.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149361)

I would say my level of interest is about similar to yours: I won't be an early adopter, but I would like something better quality than PAL. That said, I think the number of people who care about that is very small. For example, when I point out the glaring digital encoding artifacts we get on a lot of Digital TV here, people look at me like I'm crazy or have some kind of super-sight.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148874)

The more I read and hear about this stuff, the less interested I become.

For someone who claims to be uninterested in this, you certainly have a whole lot of (very valid) opinions regarding it.

I'm curious about it, mainly because I want to take good advantage of my HDTV. However, as you mention, I won't really even consider it until the formats are somewhat sorted out and it's reasonably cheap (~$300 is my range).

More important (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148915)

I'm not going to be buying a whole lot of $30+ movies.

The media needs to come down to $15-18. That's when it will take off. Perhaps it's more expensive because of the novelty, but in 12 months, they'd better get those prices down or these disks are doomed.

Re:More important (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149114)

VHS movies were $100 at launch, CDs were $25 or more, and DVDs were $30 or more. Prices will drop. I've seen a lot of $19.99-MSRP movies in the $5 DVD bin at Wal-Mart.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148904)

Um, have you ever heard the term "Early Adopter" ?

Here's a handy dandy, what kids? Reference! [zonalatina.com]

If you're waiting for it to hit below $150, and, like DVD players which now come free with every happy meal, they will. But others still were happy to pay $300 and up when DVDs first came out.

The difference between regular cable TV, HD TV(over cable), and DVDs is huge, but it depends on your TV.

For most people, the acronyms don't matter, but, with a $1.5k price tag, they are targeting, what kids? Early Adopters. Not the majority. The majority still has to catch up and purchase a new tv. When they get it, it'll be easy. "Plug Cable A into both player and Television. Plug Power Cord into wall. Power On."

Wow, simple! Thanks to a single cable that does Video and Audio. Now, for those who don't care for that, there's other ways to go still. If you know what Dolby Digital Audio is, then you're probably going to be doing a different set up, and at that point, either you know what you're doing or you've chosen to pay someone else to do it already.

Make it cheaper? Make it durable? This is for Early Adopters, once again. It will become cheaper, it will become durable, but for most of the market, there's no improvement in quality and no reason to spend the money. The only thing will be having a single disc for seasons of a TV show, depending if they are in HD or not(cartoons especially won't need to worry, methinks, but not totally sure).

If you're not an early adopter, then you probably don't have to worry about the acronyms. Now, if you want my advice, get a nice HD compatible tv, with HDCP support, (you can ask the guy at Best Buy what you'll need), and then get a nice Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player. Then, follow instructions above(Plug cable A into Player and TV, Plug Power Cord into Wall." There, I saved ya from all those acronyms. It's very easy to do.

Almost every single one of your arguments I can use to say why computers will never, ever catch on.

Hell, acronym time:
1. OS
2. USB
3. Firewire
4. IEEE 1394
5. PS/2
6. PC
7. CPU(which, most people think is the big box that holds the other parts in there)
8. DIMM
9. RAM
10. CD
11. DVD
12. HDD
13. VGA
14. Ethernet, E-Net(ugh, hate that word), Net
15. MB
16. GB

And the list goes on. For that reason, the fact it's so complicated to set up, the fact so many things can go wrong, the fact they're never really stable, is why I doubt anyone will ever see more than 15 computers in their lifetime, if they're even around more than a few years.

Don't worry, unlike computers, the HD stuff will get easier(not sure how, maybe a wireless power for the house so there's only one cable to hook up? Or you mean the remotes? Well, people have learned to live with overly complex remotes, and working with TVs, these things are pretty good about setting up good defaults).

As far as quality, yes, there's a huge one, but you've got to have the right equipment. I'm running an HD projector at the house at 131" and there's a HUGE difference, and the most I get is upscaled DVD or cable compressed HDTV, and it really blows you away.

But, just sit tight, there's no reason to rush out and get one, unless that's what you want. Wait until they're $150, or you get a PS3 if any good games come out for it, or wait until they're like DVD players today, free with each happy meal. That's the good thing about technology, it evolves. =)

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149027)

I wish I could mod you -1, Annoying.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

markalot (67322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149112)

For me it's all about content, which is why HD cable/satellite or downloadable HD content is much more important. I have a 32" widescreen HDTV bought mainly because I didn't want another tube and liked the fact I could plug my laptop into the thing.

So now HD DVD's are out, great, and I can buy an HD movie and watch it a few times in really high resolution. ... um ... I guess the best thing to say is that's it's too bad most movies these days really aren't that good.

VHS won the format wars, and not because of quality. I think that's probably the most important thing that can be said. The movie studios want me to upgrade hardware and pay more per disc so I can own more stuff that I watch once or twice. Great. And what are the shows that get the most play around the house these days? Kids shows, of course. And what discs are most apt to get damaged? Kids shows. And what discs do I make backups (DVD Shrink) of in case they get damaged? You get the idea.

I think the first review of Last Samurai pretty much summed it up.

But I definitely would never have picked a Tom Cruise movie to kick off a new HD format, let alone one as big-budget, bloated and self-important as 'The Last Samurai' (geesh, even 'Top Gun' would have been better -- at least that has flying jets and Kenny Loggins on the soundtrack). But here I am, picking 'Samurai' as my first-ever high-def DVD review title, if only because it allows me to pay the biggest compliment I can think of to the new HD-DVD format -- despite the fact I would normally hate this movie, I loved every last single second of it.

Sure, he loved it, yea. Which brings me back around to why I think HD TV (or Cable) or downloadable content is more exciting than plunking down some change for one movie on one disc in really bitchin hi res format. I'm just not very excited about paying for more than a few of my favorite movies in HD format.

Re:plays in Peoria?, redux (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149157)

You make excellent points, except I think you underestimate the visual differences. For starters, I haven't seen an HD-DVD and I don't know if the difference will be night and day. But there will be at least two effects you're likely to notice.

1. Stair step. Every time you increase resolution, you get rid of some of the "stair step" effect. Virtually everyone can see this when they look at straight lines running at an angle on the screen. It can be distracting, even to those who claim not to notice differences in resolution. When these people see the two techologies side by side, the difference should be very noticable.

2. Scaling issues. A lot of HDTVs do a mediocre to bad job at upscaling DVD content. Even the ones that do a good job don't generally do a great job. Those scaling issues shouldn't be noticable with native HD content. Once again, even novices should be able to clearly see the difference side by side.

3. As a bonus issue, I've seen some pretty bad over-the-air HD content. Other stuff looks great. The HD-DVD should be a pretty uniformly good source, in much the same way that DVDs beat out a lot of over-the-air digital content.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather just a few items where people who say they can't tell a difference are likely to be able to, well, tell a difference. I'm not saying everyone should rush out and get lots of brand new crap. If it's not for you, then it's not for you. But I highly recommend you at least take a look before saying the difference isn't that great. I think you might be surprised.

TW

Yeah, but it's Serenity!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149162)

...I don't know about you but I wasn't planning on buying a HD-DVD player until I heard there was going to be a Serenity HD-DVD. Then I ran out and ordered one (should be getting it this week!)

Firefly rules... enough for me to spend this much money it.

Steep? Really? (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149328)

Firstly, I really do agree with most of your points. Kudos. But you went too far:

  1. TrueHD
  2. HDTV
  3. HD-DVD
  4. 720i/720p/1080i/1080p
  5. Dol by/Dolby Digital 5.1/7.1 Surround
  6. DD+
  7. VHS
  8. HD-A1/(and it's snazzier cousin HD-XA1)
  9. D-VHS HD
  10. HDMI
  11. ICT
  12. Component outs


OK, I'm pretty sure that most slashdoters know most of the important ones here. Some of them are derivable from other acronyms that are common enough (eg. DD+). Also, as far as I could tell, HD-A1 (and HD-XA1) are model names. It's hardly fair to gripe at an industry because their model numbers are unrecognizable to newbies. Every manufacturer has their system (some more complex than others). Consider BMW; how would you know what 325i meant without doing a small bit of research?

While I agree with your other points, complexity is certainly not a problem here. In many cases, different terms exist to indicate the potential for consumer choice (eg: DTS vs DD, or D-VHS vs DVD). In other cases, it means that the current standards have potential for technological expansion (eg: 480p vs 720p). In any case, having this kind of system and these kinds of terms means that if you do 5 minutes more research, you end up getting a system tailored to your exact need. Are you that scared of wikipedia?

Serenity on HD-DVD ?? (4, Funny)

Entropy (6967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148680)

I'll be in my bunk ..

Re:Serenity on HD-DVD ?? (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148724)

Shiny!

Re:Serenity on HD-DVD ?? (2, Funny)

DarthStrydre (685032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148778)

I'm trying to think of a way for you to be cruder. It's just not coming.

Re:Serenity on HD-DVD ?? (2)

gjyoung (320540) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149151)

This must be what going mad feels like.

Hmmm..was one of the bonus features (0, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148712)

a high def video of placenta eating [mtv.co.uk] ?

Neat (2, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148715)

I would love to try this out on my own - but I have to get back to work. Another 5-6 years of overtime should help me afford the reference system.

HD-DVD gives "Serenity" mixed marks? (2, Funny)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148723)

Damn your cruel, but inevitable betrayal HD-DVD. Mine is an evil laugh.

all nice (4, Interesting)

rocket97 (565016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148730)

That's all nice and dandy... but when do the writers come out?

Re:all nice (0)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148925)

DRM would not exist and HD-DVD writers would be common place if they would open the format. Hobbyist programmers could make set-top boxes with embedded ROMS that you could purchase on eBay.

Reference System (4, Informative)

msaulters (130992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148756)

The core of our system is the HP Pavilion MD6580N 65" Widescreen Rear-Projection DLP display device. It is currently the only consumer monitor that can accept full 1080p via its HDMI inputs, allowing it to display every last line of high-definition's maximum resolution of 1920x1080.


Uh, nope, not right... Westinghouse makes a very nice 42" LCD with 1080p resolution. (on both DVI and HDMI connectors) http://www.westinghousedigital.com/c-7-1080p-monit ors.aspx [westinghousedigital.com] Maybe the HP is the only 65" monitor with 1080p? I have the 37" Westinghouse, and it's a GREAT 1080p monitor for a decent price.

Re:Reference System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15148843)

There is no HDMI on those westinghouse 1080p's.

Re:Reference System (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149019)

Smoke random crap scraped off the street much? Specs here [westinghousedigital.com] . Note the "1 HDMI(R)-HDCP" at the top of the list.

Now, it's not 65 inches, which may be what the article author had originally meant by their statement.

Re:Reference System (1)

pergamon (4359) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149034)

That is not true. The LVM-42w2 (42") and LVM-37w3 (37") both have one HDMI and two DVI with HDCP.

Re:Reference System (1)

Zed2K (313037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149131)

42" is EXTREMELY small and some would convincingly argue that it is too small to notice any difference between 1080p and 1080i on a screen that small. There is a reason the bigger manufacturers don't make 1080p screens that small.

Re:Reference System (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149244)

Most 1080p capable monitors only accept 1080i inputs through hdmi.

Why these two? (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148787)

"detailed reviews of the HD-DVD disc releases of 'Serenity' and 'The Last Samurai"

May be off topic, but I wonder why they picked these two disks to review? I'd have thought they would get a lot more notice from the /. crowd if they would have reviewed the South Park Scientology episode.

OMG, they've killed Chef! You bastards!

Re:Why these two? (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148971)

I think it was more of a problem of only these two.

Why? (3, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148792)

Why do I need HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? DVD does just fine everything I need. I'm probably not in the market, because two years and a half ago my old TV died and I bought a new one. A CRT, simply because anything Plasma/LCD was pretty much over 4000€. I got a nice 83cm (~32inch) 16:9 TV for 900€ and it works fine. No, it's not HD-Ready (not that I'm aware of), but I don't care.

My wife would like me to replace it with a Plasma or LCD because the current one looks bulky, but I cannot think of any reason to "throw away" such an investment. It has to stay at least another 6 years. After that, we'll see.

Re:Why? (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148876)

Blu-Ray is dead in the water. It has all the parallels of Betamax, and Sony is much more incompetent now. I'll just skip over Blu-Ray altogether and watch it wither away and die.

Re:Why? (1)

Zed2K (313037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149113)

You are forgetting about the 20 gazillion playstation 3's that are going to be sold with blu-ray drives in them. Once the PS3 is released it will overnight generate more blu-ray drives into people's homes than HD-DVD drives have since today.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149374)

Every format Sony introduces fails. Betamax, they had a DVD competitor that was stilborn, minidisc, DAT, memory stick and on and on. The only success was the CD but that was only because Philips was involved.

The future of the PS3 is looking shaky with its delays and probable pricepoint and even if it is a smash success, somebody has to make blu-ray movies to play on it and purchasers have to care enough to buy the discs and by that time they may already have HD-DVD players which marginalizes it even more. Of course, there's still the question of whether people will allow the obsolesence of perfectly functional DVDs for crippleware with little additional to recommend it.

Re:Why? (1)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149323)

Beta isn't really dead... Sure, it failed for consumers, but it's professional version, Betacam, the defacto standard at TV-stations. The newest version supports HDTV and the tapes and equipment is in most cases backwards compatible.

Read more at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digibeta [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148921)

Simple. If you don't have an HDTV you don't need HD-DVD or BluRay.

Re:Why? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148991)

Which is pretty much everyone...

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149555)

"Why do I need HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? DVD does just fine everything I need."

You don't, you're not into watching movies. I ask the same question about the latest greatest video cards. Or why do I need a computer with a the newest, fastest AMD processor? Everyone wants the latest greatest in their area of interest. I could care less about computer equipment and everything else, but I find DVD to be completely unacceptable quality wise.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149571)

is buying a television really an investment? or any other piece of consumer electronics?

Will NetFlix speed adoption? (4, Insightful)

GGardner (97375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148804)

Netflix (and competitors, I assume) claim they will have HD-DVDs available when they are released. To the degree that people use these companies to rent media, instead of owning it, I wonder if that will speed adoption. Sure, HD-DVD and BlueRay players will be backward compatible with my existing DVDs, but if I've got a stack of plain-old DVDs next to the player, I think I'm less likely to upgrade.

Re:Will NetFlix speed adoption? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149020)

I thought Netflix was around so that people could rip and archive the DVDs they didn't have the money to buy. I think good decryption software and HD-DVD writers will have to get here before the format really takes off.

Re:Will NetFlix speed adoption? (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149059)

I don't think the adoption of the new HDTV/HDDVDs will happen very quickly. The costs have to drop tremendously and there has to be a lot more content. And then there is the fact that a large part of the population gets "good enough" resolution from the existing equipment. Over time HD will eventually take over. But it will be a couple of decades at least. The DVD makers will continue to provide standard DVDs since the market will continue to sell many millions more of those than HDDVDs for some time to come.

Face it, most people get their video over cable lines now. While cable does offer some HD content, at additional cost, most of the content is standard definition. An expensive HD system would not provide much difference. As such there is nothing that compels the average user to upgrade, besides braging rights that they can watch a handful of shows at a higher resolution than their neighbors.

If you want to discuss the next disruptive technology then discuss DVR systems. They are available in both standard definition and HD. DVRs will eventually change the whole financial model of the networks. Commercials as we know them will eventually have to be replaced by a new revenue stream for the networks since DVRs will allow you to skip past commercials either manually, 30 seconds at a jump, or automatically the way mythtv does.

But it runs Linux. LINUX!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15148849)

Pre-Installed Software:

Linux Kernel
Busybox
glibc
gcc
libcdaudio
mpeg123
OpenSSL
libpng
freetype

Remove the drive and it is recognized fine in a PC. Working drm defeat in 5...4...3...2..1...

cracked ? (3, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148933)

Have the DRM schemes on either blu-ray or HD-DVD been cracked yet?

Re:cracked ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15148977)

how is that a troll ? wtf.

Re:cracked ? The key to adoption (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149064)

No, seriously. The parent may well be trolling, but the point is actually insightful in a roundabout way. I don't think the format will take off until you can make a copy for yourself. Do you really think Netfix would be where it is today if you couldn't rip and burn DVDs? Of course not. A cracked format will be the doorway to universal accptance of the new format. Otherwise, it will just sit next to DAT on the shelf of technology that could have been big.

Ugh (0)

joss (1346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148943)

The Last Samurai [aka Dances with wolves II: Japan] shouldnt even
have been a talkie. High res is moving in the wrong direction.

Re:Ugh (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149139)

The Last Samurai [aka Dances with wolves II: Japan]

And I thought I made a brilliant joke when I labeled this movie "Dances With Tanukis".

Yes! (2, Insightful)

julienbh (969003) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149035)

Now there is a way to know which tech will get most hype: The first to be cracked.
Let's look back in my crystal ball:

0- VHS - insert press record
1- CD - cracked, press record
2- DVD - cracked, press record
3- BluRay vs HDdvd: easiest to crack will win

IMHO.

lack of early adopters ? (4, Interesting)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149053)

I bought a DVD player early on, partly because I knew it was standard mpeg2, and there were DVD-ROMS becoming available (but I didn't know about DRM then). I suspect there are many other early tech. adopters here. I will not be buying HD-DVD until the DRM is overcome. I wonder where the rest of slashdot is on this.

Perhaps a slashdot poll is needed.

I will buy HD-DVD/Bluray:

1) As soon as one of them is sold.
2) When one of these formats wins
3) When the DRM is removed or overcome
4) When the price drops
5) When the HDDVD-ROM/RW is available.
6) 1-5
7) When Hell exists and is frozen

Re:lack of early adopters ? (1)

richman555 (675100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149238)

I will buy one when the price is lowered down to around $300 when I actually own an High Def television.

Re:lack of early adopters ? (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149254)

I think that is the opinion of many people.

DVD was dramatically new. Even compared to Laserdisks, DVD was better quality in a more convenient form factor. It represented a huge leap over VHS tapes, and it was the fastest growing media format compared to tapes, CD's and VHS combined.

But High Def DVD's just don't have the same impact as DVDs. DVDs have overed exceptional quality, and even on HD Televisions, DVD's still offer good quality. With new up-converting DVD players, that quality is furthered as it converts DVD data to HD signals. Up converting DVD players are about 1/10 the price of next gen HD DVD players, and people can use their existing library to watch better quality HD movies.

But, High Def was a f*cked up technology release. I don't think you could have rolled out a technology format in a worse way. Cable and Satellite providers were slow to offer HD content, so consumers were slow to buy HD equipment. HD has been around for over 10 years now, believe it or not, and yet, TVs are still pricey, they don't feature ture HD tuner integration (i.e. do not support digital cable natively), and cable companies are charging too much for the "premium" of watching HD content.

High Def DVD players will be a f*cked up technology roll out as well. With DRM and Hollywoods unwarranted worry over copy protection, next gen DVD's will never be quickly adopted. With two competing standards, its the Betamax/VHS stand off all over again. Except the problem now is that we already have a decent format that suits most of our purposes, DVD, period!

Like you said, I will buy a next gen DVD player when they hit Wall-Mart for $50 and one format one over the other. I will only get one that supports my existing DVD library and when HD-DVD's are the same price as regular DVD's, or you can only buy HD-DVDs. I think most people feel the same way.

The question is, will either formats pervail, or will the industry drop both of them because demand will be weak or non-existent?

Re:lack of early adopters ? (1)

lostvyking (961119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149291)

After reading this thread (to this point) I think a lot of us are in the same camp: we are waiting for all the loose ends to be tied up and the technology to solidify into whatever it is going to become. I have noticed a recurring factor here and it is probably one we will see many more times. Let me know if this sounds familiar.....in 1981 the first audio CD players came onto the market and sold for $1,500. Prior to that it was VCRs that originally sold for $1,500. When the original DVD units came out, I believe they were up there as well. Not only did they all come down to incredibly low prices (in 1985 did anyone forsee a $39 hi-fi VCR?) but the technology still improved. This will probably happen with HD-DVD as well, though probably not as quickly as it did with the DVD which proved to be one of the most successful technology launches ever. Eventually, HD-DVD will become the standard, but probably only when Super High Def (3840x2560) is around the corner and it is time to start all over again....in which case I will go to Wal-Mart and spend $99 on an HD-DVD player that will (by that time) be able to read HD DVDs that are eight layers thick and hold 200 Gigs of data.

What's in it for the early adopters? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149178)

I think early adoption of anything is rather silly (e.g. next gen consoles), but it seems more so with Bluray & HD-DVD players. What possible reason is there for buying a 1st generation player for $$$$ (which the reviewer admits doesn't even support their TV's best resolution) and play a handful of mostly meh titles?

While the actions of early adopters might shape the success of the platform, it seems a bit insane to be one. That is unless you have so much money that you are happy to toss your player and collection aside if by chance early adopters for the rival standard win.

yuo fai7 it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149208)

least of wBHich is

Am I the only one... (1)

Ragnarrokk (906696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149240)

...Who just, doesn't care?

I don't get this thirst for superior quality so we can see every nasal hair the actor possesses. If it's good enough not to miss plot detail why does it matter? Sure it's a nice gimmick for a while but in the end does it really change your entertainment?

I'll openly admit I torrent a lot of shows and I'm perfectly happy to watch them on my big 'ole monitor. Firefly epsiodes for example (they were never shown on TV here, although after downloading me and friends now gladly invested in a boxset each) are 233MB a piece, for about 44 minutes of video at 576x320. I blow it to full screen on the 19 inch LCD while I sit in front of it, and it's more than enough quality to enjoy.

Would I have enjoyed it more if I could have counted Jayne's stubble? No. Not really.

``Ragnarok

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

krajo (824554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149550)

That's exactly what I did, downloaded Firefly off a torrent. I enjoyed it so much I bought the DVD box set.

The internet should be about this: make people interested in what you want to sell. Not sell them stuff and see if they are interested, cause that just won't work on me.

bye, krajo

Apex ... (1)

sgentry6 (966213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149403)

I'll gladly get in this market once a name like Apex or similar gives me a unit I can hack the firmware for so that I can output the 1080i image through component outputs. Until then, I don't have much reason to upgrade. If they only allow the HDMI connections to output the higher resolutions, they will lose customers imo. I think too many HDTVs out there don't have the HDMI connector to allow the studios to cripple the format.

Re:Apex ... (1)

The Barking Dog (599515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15149561)

Granted, the early HDTV adopters are SOL if their set doesn't have DVI or HDMI inputs, but anyone who has bought a set in the last six months or so would be foolish if they didn't do their research and make sure that they got one with HDMI. I bought a HD set (a low-end one, but HD nonetheless) in December '05, and I made darn sure I wasn't wasting my money - it has two HDMI inputs. Now if only I had something to connect to them! Buying the set cost me all my Wife Karma for the next year, at least.

1080i vs 1080p for film-source content irrelevant (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15149437)

Key phrase: Inverse Telecine.

1080p purists, please stop whining. 1080i vs 1080p for film-source content is irrelevant.

Films are filmed at 24 frames per second. They're stored on the HD disks as 1080p24.

1080i is displayed at 60 fields per second, 30 full-frames per second.

The player performs a telecine operation on the material to convert from 1080p24 to 1080i60 and then outputs it to the TV.

There is this nifty techinque called inverse telecine that lets your 1080p-capable TV reconstruct the progressive frames from the interlaced output of the player. Ignoring additional image processing happening inside the TV, it will be displayed as bit-identical to the stored content on the disk, as 24 progressive frames per second, 1920x1080. Please set your TV to "film" mode and get over it.

The only place 1080p is going to matter is for video-source material with 30 or 60 progressive frames per second, like sports, live events, and pr0n. There isn't going to be a lot of that released on discs, at least at first. IIRC most HD production trucks aren't even capturing in 1080p30 or 1080p60, and it certainly isn't being delivered in 1080p by ANY consumer solution at the moment.

So please, stop whining about 1080p. There's nothing being produced to watch with it yet.
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