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A Statistical Comparison of HD DVD & Blu-Ray Reviews

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the on-the-fence dept.

Media 179

An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo today posted a statistical comparison of over 300 HD DVD and Blu-ray reviews published at High-Def Digest since the start of the high-def format wars last Spring. Their findings? Overall video quality between the two formats is nearly identical, however Blu-ray titles were slightly, but definitely superior in audio playback, while HD DVD titles had far superior standard def features and moderately superior high-def features."

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Blue ray is gonna win (0, Offtopic)

philibuster968 (1015117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102324)

because i've seen it advertised by bestbuy as opposed to circuit city. Bestbuy does much better business and will try to get more people to use blue ray

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102364)

WorstBuy does much better "Marketing" I wouldn't suggest they do good business at all.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102384)

No, HD-DVD will win because fewer people misspell it, so more people will be able to Google it properly.

I think I'm going to start a porn site and call it "blue ray." I could make millions!

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102542)

The first 8 results are for the new hi-def drives on google [google.com.au] at the moment...

HD-DVD? (3, Funny)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102546)

Do you mean HDDVD, HD-DVD, HD+DVD, or HDDVDDLDSRW...+

It's not even funny.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (4, Insightful)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102564)

No, HD-DVD will win because fewer people misspell it, so more people will be able to Google it properly.

What's sad is the parent is rather insightful. Not so much that HD-DVD is easier to spell than Blu-Ray but looking on the package it's painfully clear to your average joe with a HDTV set that the HD-DVD is for HD-TVs. The Blu-Ray disc doesn't in it self say "i'm for your HDTV".

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102928)

This is true, but I think that if somebody cares enough to drop $1000 on a high-def player they're going to at least take a cursory glance at what the technology is which would usually result in them becoming aware of blu-ray if they weren't before. I mean, even if $1,000 is nothing to you, if you go into best buy and tell the clerk you want an HD-DVD player he'll likely point out the blu-ray players as well.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (4, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103202)

This is true, but I think that if somebody cares enough to drop $1000 on a high-def player they're going to at least take a cursory glance at what the technology is which would usually result in them becoming aware of blu-ray if they weren't before. I mean, even if $1,000 is nothing to you, if you go into best buy and tell the clerk you want an HD-DVD player he'll likely point out the blu-ray players as well.

Ummm... I diagree. Those early adopters of HDTVs often bought them without tuners, and without HD support from the cable company.

Always bet on stupid. Even the clerks are stupid, you say an HD DVD player, odds are you'll get HD-DVD.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (2, Insightful)

Serengeti (48438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103934)

Or you'll get a DVD player that up converts, like a Futureshop in Toronto tried to sell me when I asked for an HD DVD player.

Oddly, I noticed distinct bias from the manager, who, when I asked again where the HD DVD players were, pointed to the Blu Ray (take THAT, Parent!!). When I insisted that I was looking for an HD DVD player, he eventually told me that the HD DVD player they had was not on display near the HDTV's in the store, like its Blu Ray cousin, but actually on a completely different floor.

Because of that bias (as well as my own bias in favour of HD DVD -- not a fanboy, just don't like the idea of closed formats dominating markets), I don't go to that store any longer.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (3, Funny)

cheftw (996831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103228)

All my food says "I'm for your face", however I'm too busy trying to spell HD.Clever people will win because they won't die by forgetting to breathe.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103624)

Maybe they should start making Blu-TVs to team up with the Blu-ray

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103668)

Me thinks if someone start making HD-hammers a lot of TV's would be destroyed...

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102854)

I think I'm going to start a porn site and call it "blue ray."

Let me guess... Is your name Ray?

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (3, Funny)

kennygraham (894697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103604)

I think I'm going to start a porn site and call it "blue ray."

Let me guess... Is your name Ray?

Hundreds of people die every year from autoerotic asphyxiation, you insensitive clod!

;)

'Blue Ray' - are you really sure (1)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102902)

Now if you were called 'Ray', then maybe you'd be OK... but a pr0n site called 'Blue Ray' kind of conjures up a more male orientated kinda site, at least in my mind! :-P

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (4, Insightful)

bort27 (261557) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102908)

Neither format will win. Who won the DVD-A vs. SACD war?

bort.

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102996)

blu-r@ygold

Re:Blue ray is gonna win (2, Funny)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102464)

My money is on Circuit City. Just look at how successful DIVX [wikipedia.org] was.

As I get older (4, Funny)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102380)


Both formats have gone beyond the resolution of my eyes (and ears).

Re:As I get older (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102880)

This comment seems more insightful than funny. Aren't the higher resolutions not even really noticable until the tv gets larger than 42 inches? Personally, I hope both formats fail, much like SACD and DVD Audio did.

Re:As I get older (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103192)

Given the rather short time between the introduction of DVD and the introduction of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, I wouldn't be surprised if they do kindasorta fail in that they'll be replaced by a new format before either really gets a chance to take over the market.

Most of the reason DVD caught on quickly was that it offered a bazillion advantages over VHS. All that the HD formats really have to offer is that a small percentage of the consumers can view movies at a higher resolution than they could with DVD. The rest have to buy a new TV or computer for there to be any advantage, which is going to retard the adoption of both formats.

Re:As I get older (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103222)

Both formats have gone beyond the resolution of my eyes (and ears).
Where I find this both funny and true, we need to keep in mind that higher resolutions are primarily intended for larger display area, which means the pixels per inch aren't really going up much at all.

As televisions are getting commonly larger so is the amount of data required to fill their display area. If a TV is now six times as big as it was fifteen years ago, should there not be six times as much information to display on it?

Re:As I get older (2)

The_Sledge (1049070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103826)

While we might think that TV has the potential to show 6 times as much information, it begs the question "Has television content gotten 6 times better in the last 15 years?"

Re:As I get older (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103326)

Let's cut to the chase! On which format does PRON look more real?!?!?! More IN YOUR FACE?!?!?!

"Buy the new Hiflachi 550ZX Super Rez and get a free one month supply of tissue. Hurry supplies are limited!"

Re:As I get older (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103492)

Shit. You almost made me bust out my caps lock key.

I read your username as "cyber_nigger" instead of "cyber_rigger". I should have known, nigs don't use computers anyways!

Physical media? (1, Redundant)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102394)

You mean, people actually still buy movies on physical media?

Re:Physical media? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102458)

You mean, people actually still buy movies on physical media?
As opposed to what? Using BitTorrent? Have you ever tried downloading a hi-def movie? Unless you and your torrent-sharing buddies are logging into an OC-12 line or better, good luck with the wait!

Re:Physical media? (3, Interesting)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102536)

Agreed, bittorrent is fine when I miss a TV show or am not sure if a movie will be good, but it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me. And as I am a sucker and have both an Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on and a PS3, i'll be sticking to movies in 1920x1080 on my HDTV via HDMI ;-)

Not to say there aren't HD rips out there, but most are usually at lower res than the original BR/HDDVD and if not are redicuosly huge and you still need a way to get it to your TV (yes, I know you can hook your PC to a TV but that just seems like way too much effort and im damn lazy.)

Re:Physical media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102724)

Well, I guess I'll benefit from the incredible cost savings of not having to buy an HD-DVD player, HDTV, HD-DVDs by putting forth a little bit of effort. (FWIW, I don't have an OC-12 because my network drop is limited to 100Mbps)

Re:Physical media? (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103316)

Agreed, bittorrent is fine when I miss a TV show or am not sure if a movie will be good, but it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me.
Won't replace a DVD, or an HD-DVD? I think NTSC DVDs are within striking distance for downloads within the next couple years. A 4 gig Xvid recompress of an HD-DVD or Blu-ray rip may well surpass a 7 gig DVD in quality.

Re:Physical media? (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103484)

may surpass a DVD in quality? You're not getting the point. I want the HD quality. recompressing it to the point where it's about dvd quality or slightly better is pointless.

Re:Physical media? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103930)

You said "it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me." Don't blame me if you meant to say HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

Re:Physical media? (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103508)

Are you kidding? a DVD is 650mb. That kind of size can be downloaded (theoretically) in 10 minutes on an 8mb connection. In reality with network delays it's more like 20.

Downloading an HD movie is only about 20gb or so. Just leave it running overnight.

Re:Physical media? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103878)

"a DVD is 650mb"

please, please, please, tell me you were being funny and that comment went straight over my head :)

Re:Physical media? (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103586)

bittorrent? To hell with that. I have an OC-12 at work and I've tried to download a HD movie with it. It sucked. The movie was 12GB an after a week I had just over a GB down. I could have ordered the movie from Netflix, watched it, returned it, and reordered it before it got here.

Re:Physical media? (1)

gregtron (1009171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102508)

You mean people actually still BUY movies? ;)

What about the players? (5, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102434)

The article is a total crock of @#$#. Just looking at the charts shows you that the audio "difference" is so incredibly tiny that the actual players probably have far more to do with it than the format.

Re:What about the players? (3, Insightful)

schmiddy (599730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103258)

Yeah, the article's a crock of shit for many reasons -- possible discrepancies between the players being one of them. I'd argue that reviewer bias would be much more troubling to anyone looking to take these stats seriously. Especially among audio/video-philes.. if you read online or wherever that Format A uses some slightly better technique for audio/video compression than Format B.. chances are, when you're doing a supposedly impartial review between the two formats, you'll prefer to select Format A as the winner.

The only way you could have a non-biased study of this sort is if you selected random candidates, had them watch a movie on your hi-def setup without telling them what format it was (or even know yourself), and then ask them to rate the A/V quality (a crude double-blind study). If you're thinking about investing in one of these formats over the other, take this "study" with a very large grain of salt, especially when the differences are so small. The only thing I'm believing is that HD-DVD *probably* has a bit better extras, not that I care one whit for these junk formats.

Re:What about the players? (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103866)

It could be a bunch of things or a combanation of those things each on their own almost unnoticeable 1) format 2) player 3) speakers 4) cables

Academic discussion to me (5, Insightful)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102506)

Quality will not decide this format war - the PS3 will.

Betamax was superior to VHS...and the MacOS was superior to Windows (at least for some time...let's avoid the flame war on the current state of affairs). They were both beaten by superior positioning of technically inferior competitors...and the PS3 has been a huge success for Sony in one regard - it got a lot of BluRay players in the hands of consumers...and the sales of BluRay titles are dwarfing those of HD DVD correspondingly.

Will the trend continue? Who knows, but I'd rather have momentum than not have it...so I'm not betting against Sony yet. The posted article may be interesting for some, but I am disinterested in any discussion of quality or features until the market settles. I do not have the discretionary income to buy an expensive player that will be obsolete before it is useful...regardless of any perceived quality difference. Early adopters may disagree, but Joe Sixpack and I are sticking with our standard DVD players and HD over cable/satellite until we see who wins this war.

Your mileage may vary.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102562)

MacOS was superior to Windows I call BS, I don't recall mac having more pr0n then windows...

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102730)

Don't forget malware, dammit!

Re:Academic discussion to me (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102642)

I'm reasonably doubtful that the PS3 can actually make a format successful on its own ... As was demonstrated with the PSP (which, at this point in its life, sold better than the PS3) is that people buy gaming systems to play videogames and movie-playback is a secondary feature. What I am trying to say is that someone who buys a stand alone HD-DVD player or Blu-Ray player is far more likely to buy movies, and will probably buy far more movies, than someone who buys a PS3.

Personally, I am holding off buying a HD-DVD player until christmas because I believe they will be far more reliable and much cheaper. I do not worry about supporting the wrong format because I suspect that in 2009 most HD players will support both formats.

Re:Academic discussion to me (2, Insightful)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102962)

Interseting point, but I personally think that you are taking quite a leap equating the proprietary video format supported by the PSP with the BluRay format supported by the PS3.

Most consumers had no idea what a PSP even was...let alone know much about its video playback features...or being able to relate those capabilities to their expensive investment in their home theater. In contrast, most consumers are painfully aware of the PS3, BluRay, and HDTV.

Sales of HDTV-capable are rising exponentially, yet most owners still do not have an HDTV feed. "Of the world's 48.2 million HD households, only 16.4 million have sets with an integrated HD tuner or a HD set top box." (http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/9498/1085/)

Many, like myself, view an HD-capable disk player as a very attractive first step to be able to view HDTV content at home. While I do not disagree that many will hold off until less expensive players are available, many others have been waiting (literally) for years for an HDTV feed for their existing television...and they may bite early. In fact, everyone who bought a PS3 already has. Sure, those numbers are small, but they allow Sony to show 3:1 sales ratios of BluRay disks vs. HD DVD disks and declare victory. Such incremental marketing measures create a general consumer perception...and perception is reality to many. Perception also often ends up fostering an environment in which that general perception actually becomes reality.

Inexpensive players require economies of scale...OR vendors willing to take a loss, which is what Sony did. I just don't see that happening on the HD DVD side...and I am not sure that we will.

Of course, whoever gets an exclusive deal with Vivid Entertainment will probably win the war.

Re:Academic discussion to me (2, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103082)

I understand what you're saying, and I will say that it is quite possible that Blu-Ray will become the dominant format, but I think people need to consider how the UMD format was seen initially

August 8, 2005

Despite a less-than-promising start for Sony's UMD movie format, Americans have now purchased over half a million of the half-dollar-sized discs since its April release, according to one industry estimate. In comparison, the ubiquitous DVD took a year to reach the 500,000 mark back in 1997. There are no formal statistics to show what tops UMD sales charts, but going by Amazon's figures, Sin City leads all other releases by a comfortable margin.

link [arstechnica.com]

Aug 31, 2005

At the Entertainment Media Expo in Hollywood, Sony executives touted the success of their UMD format. The company said it has already sold 9 million games on UMD and 8.2 million movies. Sony is currently producing 200,000 UMDs a day and future capacity is expected to be 500,000 per day. Sony expects videos to account for more than 60 percent of all UMD sales in the a few years, with an expected 130 million UMDs being sold in 2008.

link [pspworld.com]

The fact is that gamers bought a handful of UMD movies after they bought their PSP because of the novelty ... this didn't stop the format from dying a short period of time later.

Personally, I don't expect either format to die but (at this point in time) I think it is premature to say that the PS3 will lead to the success of the Blu-Ray format.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

moogleii (704303) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103888)

That and the price of the PSP movies...sure they're still the complete movies, but they could only work on the psp, and at the psp's resolution.

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102968)

The parent troll is hilarious when you look at the poster's history!

Re:Academic discussion to me (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103154)

By "My History" do you mean that I don't like Sony?

I don't hide it ...
After having my Sony Wega TV, Sony DVD player, Sony Reciever and 3 PS2 systems die in a given year I really started to dislike them ...
When I had to fix my sister's computer (the only person I know who buys music) after Sony installed a rootkit on her system I started to hate them ...
Then I watched them release exploding batteries, sell an overpriced gaming system and use questionable legal tactics to run a legal company out of buisness (lik-sang) ...

edit: Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103180)

I meant, in less than a year rather than in a given year

Re:edit: Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103908)

"to run a legal company out of buisness (lik-sang) ..."

good enough reason alone to never buy sony lol

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103116)

Comparing Blu-Ray to UMD movies is not really comparing apples with apples. The PSP was the only hardware you could get to play a UMD movie, thus severely limiting the market for them. Whereas the PS3 plays Blu-Ray movies, but it's not the only device that can.

The PS3 alone won't make the format a succcess, but it will help it a bit. Will it help enough to count? That remains to be seen. Personally I expect HD-DVD to win in the end, but I'm not going to bet money on it.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

Hott of the World (537284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103666)

Not to mention that the UMD had a competitor with more content that was easily transferable and free.

Just transfer movies on to your memory stick and play them. Hell, I spent $250 bucks on my Nintendo DS just to do that. (DS + GBA Movie player + 1GB flash card + card reader). Hard to compete with free.

Of course, now I just bring my laptop. Even better.

Not if standalone player costs more than a console (1)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103234)

Not if standalone player costs more than a console. I bought PS3 solely to watch Blu-Ray. A standalone 1080p player is slower, more expensive and can't play games. Not that I'm interested in games much, but I do play a round of Ridge Racer every now and then.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

spwolfx (1029734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103264)

40 days after PS3 started selling, BD took 70% of the HD market, with HD-DVD taking 30%. One month before that, situation was exact opposite. Thats in USA. In Japan, after PS3 introduction, BD owns 98% of the HD movie market.

If you check Hi-Def enthusiast forums, such as avforums.com, PS3 is reccomended as the BD player of choice, for both superior picture and extra features (such as near instant loading as supposed to 40 seconds wait on other players, such as Toshibas).

Sony has already won this war, as soon as PS3 was introduced. Only one major studio is left exclusivly supporting HD-DVD, and most of the HD-DVD owners are now buying BD players and becoming "format neutral" since there is not enough content on HD-DVD.

And BD is not just Sony, it is 6 out of 7 major movie studios, and 20 top electronic companies against Microsoft, Toshiba and Universal.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103302)

There's a huge difference between PSP and the PS3. The comparison means absolutely nothing. Comparing how people bought a PSP as a game machine instead of a UMD-player is a lot different than buying a PS3 as a game machine WITH a blu-ray player. UMD was never going to succeed as a format on its own. It was proprietary to the PSP. You couldn't buy a standalone UMD player. The PS3 is a different story. I bought a PS3 for the gaming system. A neat side effect is that I get a blu-ray player along with it. No extra money to spend on it. Seeing as how I would have purchased the PS3 with or without the blu-ray player, I look at it as a no risk for me with going for blu-ray. I'm not purchasing something that's obsolete. Even if blu-ray loses, I still have the gaming system and will always be able to play the blu-ray movies I now own. If i purchased a standalone player of either format and that format then lost, well, its a huge loss for me as well. That player will now only play what I already own and new stuff will never come out for it. I'll then have to purchase another player and either keep them both hooked up or re-purchase my blu-ray collection.

So the PS3 will be a very big influence. Comparing it to PSP and UMD is just plain silly.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103366)

As was demonstrated with the PSP (which, at this point in its life, sold better than the PS3) is that people buy gaming systems to play videogames and movie-playback is a secondary feature.
That explains everything -- Sony must have intentionally hobbled the PS3 with a mediocre GPU and a lousy selection of games in order to make sure people would think of it as a movie player :)

Re:Academic discussion to me (2, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102698)

I've seen both on display at Best Buy. I don't see any differences between them. Add in the fact that virtually no one wants to get involved in another VHS/Betamax battle - assuming they even HAVE the prerequisite HDTV in the first place!

The PS3 is totally immaterial to this "war" not just for the reasons above, but that anyone who IS interested in buying a blu-ray player isn't going to consider a game console - a toy - for the job.

Finally, with multi-format players this close to being a commercial reality, I predict this whole HD video thing will go the way of the burnable DVD - two identical standards that are incompatible, and continue to cause confusion in consumers. Someone should have played the role of diplomat and just gotten this thing over with rather than making us, the consumers,choose fo

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102752)

... nyone who IS interested in buying a blu-ray player isn't going to consider a game console - a toy - for the job

That's why I bought my PS3.

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102960)

Agreed, like many other people I did the same. Sure, I love the games. The movies are even better though and look really damn good on my 61" set. The PS3 is cheaper then a bluray player, and plays games. Why would you buy a standalone player unless you never play games ??

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103218)

The PS3 is totally immaterial to this "war" not just for the reasons above, but that anyone who IS interested in buying a blu-ray player isn't going to consider a game console - a toy - for the job.

I thought I read somewhere that some of the A/V magazines reviewed the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player, and it was among the best players available right now - plus, it's significantly cheaper than many of the stand-alone players.

If I was in the market for a Blu-Ray player, the PS3 would actually be one of the top contenders for my money.

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103424)

Oh ya, because a stand alone Blu-ray player will do so much more then a Playstation 3 will do. Why not buy something that can do both *AND* cost less ??? HD TV's are being sold more due to video games then movies. How many movies are there, not many. There is a crap load more of Xbox 360 games and Playstation 3 games. Also, how many TV stations do have HD right now, not many.

Clearly, you don't know shit about the market.

Re:Academic discussion to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102748)

Correction - the PS3 did.

As someone recently succinctly put it for HD-DVD it's all over except for the screaming. The PS3 hasn't even hit Europe yet and the huge sales of the console have already made BluRay sales skyrocket. Right now they are between 2.2 and 3 to 1 in BluRay's favor and the lead is getting bigger every month.

The only thing left is how much longer Universal will hold out for. Right now the speculation is they are just doing their best to milk as much money out the dwindling HD-DVD base before they jump on to BluRay in a few months. Japan has already gone BluRay. Austraila too. The amazing PS3 pre-orders in Europe leave little doubt how BluRay will do when the first million PS3s hit the shelves next month over there.

The only people left in the HD-DVD camp are the diehard Xbox 360 fanbase.

Re:Academic discussion to me (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102750)

I agree. If one company sold an awesome product/service/format, but marketed it only modestly (i.e Macs/Compuserve/BetaMax); and another product/service/format was clearly inferior, but marketed very aggressively (i.e. Windows/AOL/VHS) the latter will always win. Welcome to a capitalist economy folks :)

Re:Academic discussion to me (2, Insightful)

SocialWorm (316263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103700)

Macs and Compuserve were marketed modestly?

Apple's been attributed with kick-starting modern television advertising with its 1984 ad. The technologies you mention may have been very good products with a smaller advertising budget than their competitors, but none of these are clearly superior products with "modest" marketing.

And let's not forget that marketing is more than just promotion. I was going to rattle off ways in which Compuserve wasn't so great, but a quick look at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] reminded me of the most serious flaw in Compuserve's marketing: "it was sidelined by the rise of information services, such as AOL, who adopted pricing models based on monthly subscriptions rather than CompuServe's hourly rate approach."

Oh, and since I mentioned a Superbowl ad, whatever happened to all those dot-bombs that spent big money on advertising? A larger advertising budget helps, but does not guarantee, success; a smaller one, conversely, does not guarantee failure.

Re:Academic discussion to me (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102806)

Betamax was superior to VHS

No it wasn't. The tapes weren't as long. When VHS was released, Btamax could only handle 60 minute tapes.

and the PS3 has been a huge success for Sony in one regard - it got a lot of BluRay players in the hands of consumers

True. And this is probably why Sony were son insitent on the Blu-Ray drive. But it's too soon to call. The PS3 may not be successful enough, and the recent sales my just be a blip. Once the players go down to below the cost of a PS3, we may see another reversal if consumers prefer HD-DVD for whatever reason.

Re:Academic discussion to me (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103226)

Indeed, it has been pointed out that the sales for Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD is roughly proportional to the number of new titles that came out for the two formats, which suggests that PS3 is having very little halo effect on Blu-Ray disc sales at all.

Audio is better? (3, Insightful)

Blappo (976408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102532)

What I got was that the audio in Blu-ray was "better" because of the availability of higher quality audio content, not performance of the particular technology. A little misleading I think, when HD-DVD can simply add higher quality audio content and be equal to Blu-ray in terms of audio performance.

Or is there something else?

Re:Audio is better? (4, Informative)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103250)

Not really.

I've noticed that the propaganda machine is in full force right now for Blu Ray. Sony declares the "war over". Web sites galore are touting that Blu Ray is now dominating sales, when in reality they're basically equal. And here they take a miniscule difference and blow it up and make it seem important.

disclaimer: no dog in this hunt. Don't own either format, or even a high def tv.

Re:Audio is better? (1)

Blappo (976408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103902)

Not really what? You said not really but didn't say aything at all about the differences.

Re:Audio is better? (1)

monkey_dongle (1002300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103340)

I believe the max audio output on brd is higher than for hd-dvd. Whether all movies use the max audio capacity is another question alltogether.

HD-DVD no DTS? (2, Interesting)

dindi (78034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102574)

Actually I was looking at a few titles (just the box) I did not get a player for myself yet.

And I was surprised to see that HD-DVD does not list DTS audio, but something else.
Someone may want to enlighten me on this.
I watch everything on DTS and I am satisfied with the sound on DVD, whenevere it is something else I am unhappy by default.

Can it be the cause of the difference ?

Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (5, Informative)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102974)

HD DVD supports both Dolby and DTS. Much like a normal DVD, whether or not it has DTS is entirely up to the studio mastering the disc. Dolby mandatory, and I believe DTS is optional (just as it is with standard def DVD's). HD DVD also supports both Dolby and DTS lossless formats, should the studio master the disc to use it. (Again, Dolby TrueHD decoding is mandatory, DTS-HD is optional)

The reason why Blu-ray is credited with 'sounding better' is because many Blu-ray discs use raw PCM encoding for audio, rather than any sort of compression (lossless or not). Some purists believe they can hear the difference between compressed, lossless and lossy compression.

While many HD DVD titles use lossless compression, not all of them do.

When an HD DVD title does have lossless compression, its audio is ranked as good as Blu-ray's (and it had better, given that the decoder should be seeing an identical bitstream).

To be honest, I'm a believer in lossy compression; at the bitrates used in HD DVD, I seriously doubt anybody could tell the difference between lossless and lossy in a double-blind test on identical equipment; the bitrate is well above the level of transparency.

Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (1)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103064)

Some purists believe they can hear the difference between compressed, lossless and lossy compression.

Stupid keys... I meant that some can hear the difference between UNcompressed, lossless, and lossy compression.

Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (2, Informative)

dindi (78034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103238)

Thanks. Good info.
I was looking at players and titles, then I decided to postpone untill I can decide where to upgrade my projector (plasma, lcd, dlp projection).

Did not really take the time to search for it, it just looked that HD-DVD did not list DTS at all (4-5 random disks I picked up at bestbuy.

Compression: I think compression really depends on the application. I do not want to listen to classical music in MP3, and I hear the difference. With rock/electronic music, it is OK on an ipod, but then again on my home gear i prefer CD.

With movie audio, DVD DTS is fine with me, it is just the pic res that bugs the hell outta me:).

BTW anyone knows what audio comes with XBOX live marketplace downloads when you buy/rent "HD" movies ?

Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103610)

BTW anyone knows what audio comes with XBOX live marketplace downloads when you buy/rent "HD" movies ?
WMA [wikipedia.org]

Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (5, Informative)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103024)

Nope, that's not it.

On DVD, your 5.1 audio codecs are DTS or Dolby Digital up to 448 Kbps. HD DVD supports Dolby Digital Plus up to 1.5 Mbps. Even professional film mixers tell me they feel that DD+ north of 1.2 Mbps is pretty much transparent to them.

Note that Blu-ray doesn't make DD+ mandatory, nor does it require players to have built-in compression for TOSLink output, which is why the Sony discs use AC-3 @ 640 Kbps (the BD max) AND PCM 5.1 48 KHz 16-bit simultaneously. So it takes more than 5 Mbps to provide the audio experience that HD DVD does in 1.5 Mbps.

Article Summary (1, Troll)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102628)

HD-DVD: Has more "bonus features" because HDi authoring environment is a mandatory part of the HD-DVD specs.

BluRay: Has better audio, probably because of the larger capacity and better support for advanced codecs. Bonus features should catch up once more BD-Java tools are developed.

Conclusion: Nobody's looking out for the consumers.

My conclusion: Wah. BD seems like the way to go if you're looking for top of the line. If not, why bother with HD anything? Extras are for sissys.

Re:Article Summary (4, Informative)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103362)

BluRay: Has better audio, probably because of the larger capacity and better support for advanced codecs. Bonus features should catch up once more BD-Java tools are developed.

Blu-ray doesn't have better support for advanced codecs. In terms of 'optinal' formats, it's a wash; both support the same list. In terms of mandatory codecs, HD DVD gets the win. HD DVD requires many codecs that are merely optional for BD. The (lossless) Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD codecs are optional, not mandatory, on Blu-ray. TrueHD decoding is mandatory on HD DVD.

That being said, I can see how an audiophile would say that Blu-ray has better sound. Since TrueHD isn't mandatory, most BD discs target compatibility by using raw uncompressed PCM. (BD also uses Dolby Digital & optionally DTS, as does HD DVD). So the 'better' sound comes down to the old argument between uncompressed/lossless vs high-bitrate lossy sound. (HD DVD titles with TrueHD soundtracks rank on the same level as BD's raw PCM).

The bitrate of the lossy Dolby codecs on HD DVD is 1.5 Mb/s. This is well above the transparency level of 1.2 Mb/s for the codec. I wonder if it's a case of subconsciously thinking "this one is lossy, so it can't sound as good," and that a double-blind test would have different results.

BD-J is also an optional extention to Blu-ray; it's not a mandatory part of the spec. While BD-J has the possibility of giving excellent interactivity, the end result may be far below the potential. The reason: HDi is not much more complex than editing HTML, whereas BD-J requires Java skills. Ease of development counts, and BD-J doesn't appear to have it.

Extras are for filling the disc (2, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103454)

Extras are for sissys.

More like extras are for filling up the DVD ... or, these days, to give them an excuse to add a second DVD to the package and jack up the price. Seriously, how many times can you watch a 10-minute documentary on how they used a computer to create a certain effect? Or interviews at press junkets where the actors explain how great it was to work with the director? The so-called extras they cram onto most discs are obvious filler. Even the deleted scenes are usually just slapped on there, not even formatted anamorphic, sometimes with time codes still onscreen.

There are very few DVDs in my collection that have made an effort to provide good extras. The Lord of the Rings movies are one example -- in fact, their extras include more information than I'd ever want about any movie. "Taxi Driver" is another -- it has a button that you can press at any point in the film that takes you to the corresponding page of the script. But otherwise I'm usually ecstatic to see DVDs packed full of extras...because I know the main feature will look that much better once I run it through DVDShrink.

To hell with ??AA content! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102716)

We're supposed to be boycotting these weasels, and besides, UltraSuperHiDef means nothing on my 5 inch black & white. How many BITS will these things hold? How long will the disks last before they rot? Can you spin them any faster on the dremel before they explode? Do they fly better than a CD? Do they taste like chicken?

mod Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18102756)

are just way Over Expulsion of IPF

Real World Translation: Wait Until 2009 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102848)

When the market actually will sell top of the line flat panel 1080p HDTV sets with more than 40 inches that just work, and you can buy the winner.

It probably won't be Sony, cause they're in a world of hurt, though. But whatever you get, make sure it isn't region-encoded.

The content will be there at that point, the price will be reasonable, and whatever you buy will work for the next 5 years before they decide we have to use something else.

Say what now? (4, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18102886)

Blu-ray titles were slightly, but definitely superior

This post is only slightly, but definitely sarcastic.

Re:Say what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103080)

Makes sense to me. For example, on a scale from 1 to 10, 4.1 is slightly but definitely higher than 4.0.

Re:Say what now? (1)

JourneyExpertApe (906162) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103112)

Although this would sound funny in ordinary situations, it makes sense in a statistical analysis. If the average difference in a quantity between two groups is small and either the sample sizes are very large or the variation within each group is small, you can say that they were found to be slightly, but significantly different. I left out some details, but that's the gist of it.

just wait until ... (2, Insightful)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103072)

... the single-disc version of LOTR (all 3 films, plus extras) arrives. I don't think it's going to fit on HD-DVD. Also the potential of putting entire seasons of TV shows on a single disc.

Re:just wait until ... (1)

riskeetee (1039912) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103380)

Why would they put an entire season on one disc, even if it was technically possible, when they could sell 5 or more discs? It's just this type of consumer-oriented thinking that's bringing down the industry.

Re:just wait until ... (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103614)

That may be true for TV series that have their seasons split up across various titles, but most TV series are sold as season box sets. Why wouldn't a company want to put a whole season on one disc? It would make it cheaper for them and they could charge the same amount.

Statistical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103074)

This is about as statistical as statistics is mathematical!

Also, just cause you add the word "Theory" to something doesn't make it mathematics!

Xvid (3, Funny)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103144)

Which format looks best once converted to Xvid? :)

Quality shmality! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103160)

All the DVDs I own and watch more than once a month get squished down onto a 4.7G backup disc or ripped right into the hard drive. (The pangs of only having one optical drive in the computer.) If iTunes or Xbox Live videos were seriously available in my country, I'd be buying those.

HD gear is for people with too much time and money on their hands. And when I become one I'm sure it'll be great!

Statistical comparison??? (2, Informative)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103298)

Not really. Although an average is a statistic, it only shows central tendancy of a distribution and indicates nothing about the variance of the distribution. A statistical comparison implies that the averages were compared using some defined distribution [wikipedia.org] to test some null hypothesis [wikipedia.org] . I'm not seeing that here.

Pixel Reviews ? (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103336)


Ah... I love watching pixels... I used to watch movies, but nowadays they are all crap, so I ended up watching pixels... So much easier on my brain...

Re:Pixel Reviews ? (3, Insightful)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103530)

Ah... I love watching pixels... I used to watch movies, but nowadays they are all crap, so I ended up watching pixels... So much easier on my brain...
Old joke...

Audiophile: Somebody who listens to the equipment rather than the music.

Looks like this one is rapidly being translated into the video domain.

i had to type 'giraffes' to submit this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103482)

I'll just get an HD-Ray player/recorder when it comes out, after all, there are CD/DVD +/- ones. go! cheap players that play all formats! yay!

A codec is a codec is a codec (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103494)

I don't quite understand why they are even comparing sound or video output from a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc. The physical medium that the H264 or VC-1 file got read for is totally irrelevant if movies are using the same encoding formats. Features may be somewhat different (though usually analogous), but comparing the codecs seems to be a bit stupid.

Any differences that actually do exist are more likely attributable to the player or the mastering software than the disc it came from.

hi def (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103516)

Ill buy which ever one can fix the problem that current dvd players have of sound effects being 50% louder than voice.

Going meta? (4, Funny)

Pedahzur (125926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103588)

So, basically, this is a review of a review? When are the reviews of reviews of reviews coming out?

Obligatory (3, Informative)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18103706)

Being the Asshole that I am, I decided to check on Piratebay. HD-DVD's winning. and porn, too. Porn Always wins.

Sony has one advantage over their Betamax days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18103944)

The fact that they now own Columbia Pictures (now Sony) and their movie library can't hurt. I wouldn't put it beyond them to start making such content exclusive to their own format. The Betamax story might have been a little different if Sony had owned their own production studio and movie library.

Not saying that makes them better, but Sony shouldn't be discounted in how they'll play the market.
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