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HDDVD vs BR - Which has the best PQ and AQ

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Old 10-12-2007, 10:46 PM   #1
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Question HDDVD vs BR - Which has the best PQ and AQ

Ok for some years now I've worked for a UK based broadcasting company designing and implementing interactive content for programming, including web based content and DVD/HDDVD/BR releases, prior to this I worked in IT in various roles for over 10 years and over the last 18 months I've also started to freelance in designing and installing presentation suits for business's.

I've been curious for a while now as to which format delivers the best movie experience but due to studio exclusivity and hardware differences this is quite difficult to judge with any degree of accuracy. A couple of weeks ago I needed to order 4 52" LCD (SAMSUNG LE52M86BD) displays to setup presentation suites for a client so I took the opportunity to have them delivered to my home instead of the site and for the last couple of days have run 2 side by side, the first being connected to a PS3 and Sony BDP-S300, the second being connected to XBOX 360 + add on and Toshiba HD-XE1. All were connected via HDMI (except 360 via optical) to my [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Onkyo TX-SR875 AMP[/font]

I calibrated both screens identically and decided to use 3 movies for testing on both formats, to be as fair and impartial as possible I used only releases available for both formats, 300, Flags Of Our Fathers and Planet Earth.

I've always considered myself format neutral but for various reasons am leaning more towards HDDVD at present and so to be as impartial as possible I asked some friends over to compare (some didn’t even know what HD was). 10 people took the comparison and I asked the following questions and got these responses.

Which has the best colour depth?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 9
Which has the richest blacks?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 1 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 8
Which has the clearest/sharpest picture?
PS3 - 0 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 10
Which has the clearest/sharpest sound?
PS3 - 2 BDP-S300 - 2 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 – 6
Which makes you feel like you at the movies?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 – 9
If you were going to buy tomorrow which would you buy?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 2 HD-XE1 - 7
Will you buy a HD player before Christmas and which one?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 1 HD-XE1 – 4 None - 4

Seems to confirm what I found myself although there are some titles on BR that have excellent PQ and AQ without an equivalent HDDVD copy to compare it's impossible to judge how good they really are. When comparing like with like HDDVD seems to have an edge on both PQ and AQ. Anyone else tried similar tests or have a different opinion?
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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I've always believed some a/v components are more compatible with match-ups than others. I think a lot of this is hair-splitting. I am not even considering the variability among different disks. And why not use a fixed set of test patterns for your analysis, as a constant instead of the same 3 movie disks?
Well, I'll be presumptuous and say one reason is that even what may appear to be superior in objective testing, may in fact not be the same one you would pick as looking best in an A/B blind study.

I don't mean to minimize your efforts, locofalcon, quite the contrary.
And I respect your 'eye' if only based on your professional life and experience.
But I do believe these differences are small enough not to matter when it comes to picking a winner.
The winner would need to have comparable AQ and VQ to it's competition even if not clearly superior (the case here).
But beyond that be cost-effective, reliable, user friendly, feature laden, and can be easily upgraded with future changes. All these factors, including overall A/V performance, gives HD DVD the edge in my book.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:24 PM   #3
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daleb

Don't disagree with you there, my primary reason for the test was simple quriosity and would be the first to admit the differences are minimal and can be subjective to the indivudual.

One of the reasons I'm leaning more towards HDDVD at present is I'm starting to see a pattern of coments, press releases and advertising from the BDA that is trying to claim complete superiority in all aspects, not only technologicaly but also in PQ/AQ, even claiming to be the only true HD format.

I don't think my little test will make any differance but would like to see a true blind study carried out by an indipendent and respected source to see what the resuts would be. Whatever the result it would give a factual basis for comparisons and stop any eroneous claims.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daleb View Post
I've always believed some a/v components are more compatible with match-ups than others. I think a lot of this is hair-splitting. I am not even considering the variability among different disks. And why not use a fixed set of test patterns for your analysis, as a constant instead of the same 3 movie disks?
Well, I'll be presumptuous and say one reason is that even what may appear to be superior in objective testing, may in fact not be the same one you would pick as looking best in an A/B blind study.

I don't mean to minimize your efforts, locofalcon, quite the contrary.
And I respect your 'eye' if only based on your professional life and experience.
But I do believe these differences are small enough not to matter when it comes to picking a winner.
The winner would need to have comparable AQ and VQ to it's competition even if not clearly superior (the case here).
But beyond that be cost-effective, reliable, user friendly, feature laden, and can be easily upgraded with future changes. All these factors, including overall A/V performance, gives HD DVD the edge in my book.
Nice post daleb. truly spoken. As for pic & audio quality, me gives it a tie. For player price, HD DVD is the answer. For overall immersion into the HD world, me nod goes towards BD.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oblioman
For overall immersion into the HD world, me nod goes towards BD.
By "immersion" do you mean studio support? If not, can you tell me why one format would provide greater immersion than the other? Not doubting you, just wondering what makes you say that.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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oblioman, would you please stop substituting "me" for "my", "I", and other similar pronouns? It's getting so I don't even bother reading your posts anymore. I don't know if you do it because you think it's cute or funny, but it's neither. I feel like I'm reading the comments of a mongoloid.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Type A View Post
By "immersion" do you mean studio support? If not, can you tell me why one format would provide greater immersion than the other? Not doubting you, just wondering what makes you say that.
I am also very curious as to what he means by "immersion" also.

HD DVD has more interactive features which "I" would put in the "immersion" category. I know Oblioman favors NOT having any extras, so that would leave just the PQ/AQ for his definition of "immersion". If he puts them at a tie for this how could BD have more "immersion"?

Owning both, I can honestly say with the extra interactivity that HD DVD has it DEFINITELY has more of an "immersion" effect than BD.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Superman View Post
oblioman, would you please stop substituting "me" for "my", "I", and other similar pronouns? It's getting so I don't even bother reading your posts anymore. I don't know if you do it because you think it's cute or funny, but it's neither. I feel like I'm reading the comments of a mongoloid.
Eastern Canada's heavily accented English of Newfoundland (akin to almost an Irish or Scottish dialect) often uses "me" in place of "my", "some" in place of "very", "ye" in place of "you", makes an "h" sound in front of words that begin with a vowel and may even produce a silent "h" on words that actually begin with an "h" or "th". Sometimes words beginning with "th" sound like they begin with a "d". Common phrases:

"Oh me nerves!" ("I can't take this")
"Go on, me son" ("You've got to be kidding me")
"Dat's some good" ("That's very good")
"Hit's not da like" ("No it is not" or "You're wrong")
"What's hup wit ye?" ("How are you?" or "What are you doing?")

So maybe he visited Newfoundland, lived there for awhile. Or is originally Irish/Scottish.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by oblioman View Post
Nice post daleb. truly spoken. As for pic & audio quality, me gives it a tie. For player price, HD DVD is the answer. For overall immersion into the HD world, me nod goes towards BD.
Ok as I said my main reason for the test was to see which format gave the best movie experiance, the one that brings you closer to the directors vision presented in theaters, or if you like which format immerses you into the movie the most and from my admitidly limeted test this would be HDDVD at present.

If you want to widen the discussion to cover overall immersion into the HD world then there are a number of factors to consider,

1. Current availability and quality of interactive content
2. Standardised platform allowing the playing of any disc without the need for j6p to be technicaly aware
3. Easy upgradeability to enable new content/features on future releases
4. The ability to allow online interactive and sharing features
5. Reliability of hardware and media production to keep costs stable or reduce costs to consumer

On all these points HDDVD has a clear advantage at present and BR does not seem to be in a position to rectify more than a couple of these in the short term.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MidnightWatche View Post
Eastern Canada's heavily accented English of Newfoundland (akin to almost an Irish or Scottish dialect) often uses "me" in place of "my", "some" in place of "very", "ye" in place of "you", makes an "h" sound in front of words that begin with a vowel and may even produce a silent "h" on words that actually begin with an "h" or "th". Sometimes words beginning with "th" sound like they begin with a "d". Common phrases:

"Oh me nerves!" ("I can't take this")
"Go on, me son" ("You've got to be kidding me")
"Dat's some good" ("That's very good")
"Hit's not da like" ("No it is not" or "You're wrong")
"What's hup wit ye?" ("How are you?" or "What are you doing?")

So maybe he visited Newfoundland, lived there for awhile. Or is originally Irish/Scottish.
Having an accent is one thing. Actually typing it out is another.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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On all these points HDDVD has a clear advantage at present and BR does not seem to be in a position to rectify more than a couple of these in the short term.
That seems to be the general consensus of us HD DVD owners. Call us biased, we've been called worse.
I searched here before going HD DVD, seriously considering either technology at the time.
If I were to only choose one today, I would go with HD DVD without blinking an eye.
Studio support be damned, it is the only weak link in my choice. But with BD prices dropping at last, it is not the end of the road if I wanted to cover my butt. But I think the biggest risk today is losing BOTH formats over the next couple of years.

My advice, pick the player(s) with the features and presentation you find most suitable, and enjoy hell of it, while throwing caution to the wind!
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by daleb View Post
That seems to be the general consensus of us HD DVD owners. Call us biased, we've been called worse.
I searched here before going HD DVD, seriously considering either technology at the time.
If I were to only choose one today, I would go with HD DVD without blinking an eye.
Studio support be damned, it is the only weak link in my choice. But with BD prices dropping at last, it is not the end of the road if I wanted to cover my butt. But I think the biggest risk today is losing BOTH formats over the next couple of years.

My advice, pick the player(s) with the features and presentation you find most suitable, and enjoy hell of it, while throwing caution to the wind!

At present I agree BD has a long way to go to match the current HD DVD capabilities let alone surpass them and if we are going to be realistic about this current HD technology probably only has a 10 year lifespan before it is replaced by bigger and better things.

The important lesson for the industry should be the absolute necessity to have a fully developed and standardised platform before launch, although a format war can bring cost savings to the early adopter in the medium to long term it only serves to delay mass take-up of new media and can lead to the failure of either format. The BDA and HD DVD forum need to learn that they only have a short time to maximise their profits from a new format and having competing formats only reduces the return the could make.

In all honest I find this kind of war both interesting and fun as I'm one of those people that simply has to have every new gadget as it's released and so I usually don’t choose a side until I've fully tested for myself. As a result my home is full of technology that only lasted 5 minutes, half of which was manufactured by Sony.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:07 PM   #13
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As a result my home is full of technology that only lasted 5 minutes, half of which was manufactured by Sony.
But think most if not all of it can take a memory stick!
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by locofalcon View Post
Which has the best colour depth?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 9
Which has the richest blacks?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 1 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 8
Which has the clearest/sharpest picture?
PS3 - 0 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 - 10
Which has the clearest/sharpest sound?
PS3 - 2 BDP-S300 - 2 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 – 6
Which makes you feel like you at the movies?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 0 HD-XE1 – 9
If you were going to buy tomorrow which would you buy?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 2 HD-XE1 - 7
Will you buy a HD player before Christmas and which one?
PS3 - 1 BDP-S300 - 0 XBOX 360 - 1 HD-XE1 – 4 None - 4
Some of these questions are irrelevant for digital video formats, though. The last 3 are subjective, and the first two are identical on both formats.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:41 PM   #15
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Some of these questions are irrelevant for digital video formats, though. The last 3 are subjective, and the first two are identical on both formats.

None of the questions are irrelevant when trying to determin which format gives the best movie experiance, the last 2 questions were just for my own curiosity, HD launched much later in the UK and if I'd done this test this time last year the respons to the last question would have probably been 0 to all.

All the questions are subjective, and the firt 2 are technicaly supose to be identical but when you watch the same movie simultaniously side by side there is a noticable differance, especialy with 300. I am asuming that the studio will have only paid for 1 HD transfer and used it for both HD DVD and BR but I could be wrong, this could then account for the differances. If the latter is the case then the compresionists used for BR transfers are either less skilled than those used for HD DVD or they are having to work with inferior technology, I would find either of these senarios hard to belive.
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