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Stalemate seen in high-definition DVD war

ah802
08-11-2006, 11:54 AM
Reuters is reporting what we all know... this technology is not going to fly until there is either a clear winner or the technologies evolve. At this point I would give HD-DVD the slight edge.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&symbol=&storyID=2006-08-11T060010Z_01_L10249444_RTRIDST_0_TECH-HIGHDEFDVD.XML&pageNumber=0&WTModLoc=InvArt-C1-ArticlePage2&sz=13

Electronics retailers, such as Best Buy and CompUSA are frustrated by the raging format war, fearful of another decade-long tussle similar to the one between VHS and Betamax. They have been predicting a lacklustre Christmas selling season, expecting consumers to wait for one format to win out.

Screen Digest predicts that the two formats will co-exist until a combined solution becomes cost-effective, rather than taking the view that one will emerge victorious or that both will flop so badly as to be driven into extinction.

eHDMI
08-11-2006, 05:57 PM
I've been reading reviews on the blu-ray. It was run head to head against the HD-DVD and got smoked:
http://hidef.com/news-items/108-round-1-hd-dvd-vs-blu-ray.html

I don't think the stalemate will last long. Hybrid players will come out and solve that.

ah802
08-11-2006, 07:05 PM
Another view of the situation...
http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/5255/106/
I'd consider the hybrid.. but given the feelings on both sides it might be too long in coming, leaving the interm to broadband and dedicated violet laser PC drives.

paulc
08-13-2006, 09:32 AM
I am not so convinced that a hybrid player is what we need. While everyone focuses on the player, we need to think just as long and hard about the discs. Say over x amount of time they sold y of one and z of the other. Along comes a hybrid drive. So now you have a market where some support one format, some the other and a third possibility of supporting both. What do studios do?

Frankly, I think those at Sony & Toshiba who stuck like glue to each format instead of developing a joint one should be taken outside and shot (no, not literally!).

I for one will NOT buy either the hardware nor the software until such time as I have a very positive judgement I won't be left in the lurch. And I will tell anyone who listens this. IF we all did this, good things will happen. At this point, I feel anyone who buys either player is "voting" for the continuation of what I think is lunacy.

Besides, it seems to me that by this time next year I will have more choices for movies in HD on the same cable bundle I'm paying for now. Plus I should be able to "record" HD movies and not be squeezed to watch them right away (i.e. I'll have a substantially larger amount of disk space). And the closer I get to telling the DVD HD guys to take a hike.

SLedford
08-13-2006, 04:36 PM
The problem with the current war is that if everyone sat on the sidelines (like I am currently doing), BOTH formats would fail and there would be no high def DVD. Some are saying that is what needs to happen, but I am not one of them.

A universal player would protect the consumer and allow the marketplace to chose a winner. For example, right now BD-DVD is having quality issues with their movies for various reasons. If a movie was available in both formats, the market would (presumably) chose the HD-DVD movie.

My feeling is that Sony and Toshiba would rather fail in the market place than to work together with a compromise format. The studios could force the issue if they got together (which is what Sony tried to do before the war even started), but we will have to see if that will happen. If BD-DVD continues to have issues the studios will eventually move to that format and end the war.

So I say it again - the best option is a universal player.

dontknowjack
08-13-2006, 11:36 PM
If universal player was possibility, than this whole war would have not started. If you remember the whole reason this war started was neither company couldn't agree to such a player. I guess when you are greedy your brain stops working. Like you said, it is because neither sides are willing to back down that both are in danger of losing. If they were little less greedy and stepped back and think, they will find a way to both work together and profit together. Just my opinion.

BobY
08-14-2006, 01:42 PM
While there is certainly greed on both sides, since both sides want to reap the licencing fees, I put the blame for the format war on Sony.

There are so many advantages to HD DVD from a manufacturing and marketing point of view and the only advantages to Blu-Ray are (potentially) greater storage capacity (not of any particular importance to consumer video unless you're using an inefficient codec like Sony) and studio support (which is an artificlal advantage that has nothing to do with the format itself).

ah802
08-14-2006, 09:31 PM
greater storage capacity (not of any particular importance to consumer video unless you're using an inefficient codec like Sony) When you put it that way... Toshiba seems to have the edge, but why would I buy into something that will not do 1080p, surely there are better players in the works (and should I dare mention 'recorders').

The industry has forgotten the VCR ('tape recorder for those too young to remember) by design and feel that DVD players have set the stage for total control (read money) in a new HD format and HD PVR's with locked up media/programming will feed the masses and the industry moguls can rest on their hinds selling musty libraries and re-thrills.

I'm hopeful that the next generation of tech, will allow more Indie stuff and enable creatives to bypass the fat lazy wallet driven distribution network.

dontknowjack
08-14-2006, 11:06 PM
Just my opinion but I think we have reached a point in technological advance that if you want to keep up with the latest, you can't buy anything anymore(unless you are a billionare).

rastafurion
08-14-2006, 11:19 PM
Have you read this weeks issue of the bridge? They offer an interesting look at HD www.mbc-thebridge.com

BobY
08-15-2006, 10:17 AM
The first generation HD DVD players don't do 1080p, but the disc content is encoded at 1080p and, regardless of what toshiba is saying now, I have no doubt at all that future HD DVD players will have 1080p output. The limitation on the 1stGen players is either in the decoding chip, the HDMI interface chip or both. The new generation chips already support 1080p output, it's just a matter of time until they appear in products.

Besides, as has often been discussed here, *if* your display de-interlaces 1080i properly, there is no difference between 1080p and 1080i. It's the same information and only differs in how it is transmitted. Any de-interlacer that weaves together the two fields of a 1080i signal will yield the exact same image as 1080p.

borromini
08-15-2006, 12:02 PM
If universal player was possibility, than this whole war would have not started... The reference to a "universal" player is a dual format player. That would not have avoided or end the current format war.

Just my opinion but I think we have reached a point in technological advance that if you want to keep up with the latest, you can't buy anything anymore(unless you are a billionare). Billionaire? Do you think you're exaggerating just a tad? :rolleyes:

dontknowjack
08-16-2006, 12:00 AM
No.

paulc
08-16-2006, 09:56 AM
Besides, as has often been discussed here, *if* your display de-interlaces 1080i properly, there is no difference between 1080p and 1080i. It's the same information and only differs in how it is transmitted. Any de-interlacer that weaves together the two fields of a 1080i signal will yield the exact same image as 1080p.

Exactly why I keep saying that 1080p (1920 x 1080) sets are MOST useful for computer applications.

ah802
09-01-2006, 03:01 PM
Reuters is reporting on the dissapointing public perception of HD disks.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2006-09-01T020620Z_01_N31389837_RTRUKOC_0_US-MEDIA-BLURAY.xml&WTmodLoc=Home-C5-technologyNews-2

The disscussion on Slash...

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/01/1719202&from=rss

I kinda like the message about quadraphonic sound.. not sure it equates, but it does bring a new perspective on this.

JohninTenn
09-01-2006, 04:23 PM
Most of them are just now finfing out what HD is. I got my head bit off when I said something about the prices. It's a replay of the standard DVD player prices were high and they dropped. HD players will do the same thing.

I

lwilli201
09-02-2006, 12:22 PM
I hope this does not turn out like the Beta Max and VHS format war. The Beta Max was a superior platform. I had one of the first Beta Max and it never jammed or ate the tapes. I can not count the number of tapes my VHS recorders have eaten over the years. I will not spend a cent until the war is over.

jco
09-03-2006, 01:55 AM
Besides, as has often been discussed here, *if* your display de-interlaces 1080i properly, there is no difference between 1080p and 1080i. It's the same information and only differs in how it is transmitted. Any de-interlacer that weaves together the two fields of a 1080i signal will yield the exact same image as 1080p.
Sorry but this is false. When you talk about 1080i and 1080p ( or any other digital video format for that matter) you have to specify
field rates and/or frame rates to be clear. Obviously, if you deinterlace 1080i/60 you end up with a pseudo 1080P/30 which isnt even as good as real 1080P/30 with fast motion subjects, let alone be as good as true 1080P/60. We already have 720P/60, the next step up which we dont have yet that would be a true upgrade to 1080P/60 not some deinterlaced 1080i/60. Secondly 1080i live is an INTERLACED recording, the fields are individually recorded 60 times a second with 1080i/60 and there are no corrolated pairs to stich together so the interlacing isnt going to be perfect when there is motion faster than about 1/30 of a sec. Progressive recordings are better for fast motion, thats why ESPN doesnt use 1080i, they opted for the 720P/60 format instead which is better for live sports. BUT if we could get 1080p/60, that would be even better, as it would be the best of both worlds, the progressive P60 for motion freezing and the 1080 for higher resolution.

paulc
09-03-2006, 09:19 AM
I hope this does not turn out like the Beta Max and VHS format war. The Beta Max was a superior platform. I had one of the first Beta Max and it never jammed or ate the tapes. I can not count the number of tapes my VHS recorders have eaten over the years. I will not spend a cent until the war is over.

It started that way and still is very much similar to Beta vs. VHS, except much earlier... on paper, one would think BD technically superior. Far as I can tell, it's way too early to assess this; Beta was demonstrably better than VHS (up until S-VHS, which as a beta guy I found to be actually better than beta).

I too am voting with my wallet... as in it stays closed. Right now, I have 5 channels with HD movies (HBO, SHO, UnHD, InHD2, HDNet Movies) so I get a reasonable mix of new and old.

BobY
09-03-2006, 03:54 PM
Jco-

You took my statement completely out of context.

The context of this thread was strictly Hi-Def discs which are encoded as 1080p/24. It doesn't matter whether you take that progressive content, transmit it at 1080p/24 and display it directly on a progressive display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, or if you pull it down and interlace it to 1080i/30, transmit it at 1080i/30, weave the two fields together, perform reverse-pull-down and display it on a progressive display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. As long as the de-interlacer does nothing but weave the two fields together, the result will be identical, since the two fields of each frame were created from a single progressive frame to start with and any frame rate equal to or greater than 24 Fps will preserve the temporal resolution.

The thread wasn't referring to 1080i/30 content captured at 1080i/30. I agree there are issues with de-interlacing such content since you can't preserve all of the spatial resolution and all of the temporal resolution at the same time.

Although 1080p/30 could be transmitted with the same bandwidth as 1080i/30 (or less, as progressive frames compress more efficiently than interlaced frames), there are no current or proposed sources for 1080p/60 content (although the specs for the Sony BD player indicate it would support 1080p/60 output). The bandwidth for 1080p/60 is currently far too high for OTA/Cable and would eat up space on Hi-Def discs (which are already near their limit with current codecs) very quickly.

[Note: When I say 1080i/30, I'm referring to 30 Fps interlaced, which implies 60 fields-per-second. In the consumer world of HD, this is not referred to as 1080i/60 (which would imply 60 Fps, 120 fields-per-second). I understand that test engineers and video technicians don't necessarily follow that convention, but it's accepted terminology in consumer HD that the last number defines the actual frame rate, regardless of whether the frame is interlaced or progressive.]

jco
09-03-2006, 05:00 PM
You missed my main point, there are no FRAMES with the 1080i/60 broadcast format, just 60 independent fields occuring 60 times per second. They are not sent as pairs. i.e. Frame 1, field 1 ,frame 1, field 2, etc. They are just alternating fields, each one have no linked relationship to the one before or the one after....

Regarding the hi-def discs, I doubt that the encoding is 1080P/24
for all of them, probably only the ones for movies. It would be
stupid to limit the format to only 24FPS when some ATSC broadcasts (720P/60 for example ) are much better!

BobY
09-03-2006, 05:46 PM
All of the Hi-Def discs currently available and announced for the forseeable future are films encoded at 1080p/24. That doesn't mean that future content couldn't be 720p/60, 1080p/30 or even 1080p/60, but again, the context of this thread is currently defined Hi-Def players and discs, not theoretical products, nor broadcast.

I wouldn't agree with you that there are no frames in a 1080i signal. I view it as a 1080-line frame made up of two interlaced 540-line fields. The fields could theoretically be totally unrelated, but that is never the case with movies (where the two fields are generated from one progressive frame) and very rarely the case with content captured as interlaced (as the time offset from the first field to the second is so short). That's not to say that interfield motion can't lead to problems, but it's not realistic to refer to that as fields having no "relationship".

Totally uncorrelated field pairs most often result from bad *video* editing where the field order was not maintained, or with something like pull-down that creates new frames from existing (possibly unrelated) fields.

If you reject the view that a 1080i signal consists of 1080-line frames, then it doesn't make sense to talk about an image resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a lot of the conventions and accepted HD terminology have to be revised or thrown out.

rbinck
09-03-2006, 07:19 PM
I would just add that there is very little 1080i/30 broadcast video that is captured as 1080i/30. Most broadcast material is either 480i upconvert or film based. Only live sports and a few special programs are captured in 1080i/30. And there is no 1080i/60 in the comsumers context as BobY has covered earlier.

borromini
09-03-2006, 07:50 PM
Are the major networks' prime-time HD programs captured in HD or upconverted? I thought those shows were captured with HD cameras.

BobY
09-03-2006, 07:57 PM
A lot of broadcast video these days (dramas, etc.) is captured at 1080p/24 using HD video cameras. Although not actually film, the result is the same--when interlaced to 1080i/30, the two fields can be woven together to exactly recreate the original progressive frame.

paulc
09-04-2006, 08:14 AM
Now that's an interesting thing... given that one can shoot with digital HD video cameras and end up with a product that one might swear was film, except for motion pictures which very well may have such data posted, is there any source for which "TV" shows do this?

Revolv
09-04-2006, 09:15 AM
When you put it that way... Toshiba seems to have the edge, but why would I buy into something that will not do 1080p, surely there are better players in the works (and should I dare mention 'recorders')..
You'll be happy to know that the New XE1 and XA2 HD DVD players willnot only do 1080p (true 1080p even) but also have HDMI 1.3 and support 48-bit "Deep Color".

Also, the RD1 recorder from Toshiba may scratch some folks' itch.

Revolv
09-04-2006, 09:19 AM
You missed my main point, there are no FRAMES with the 1080i/60 broadcast format, just 60 independent fields occuring 60 times per second. They are not sent as pairs. i.e. Frame 1, field 1 ,frame 1, field 2, etc. They are just alternating fields, each one have no linked relationship to the one before or the one after....

Regarding the hi-def discs, I doubt that the encoding is 1080P/24
for all of them, probably only the ones for movies. It would be
stupid to limit the format to only 24FPS when some ATSC broadcasts (720P/60 for example ) are much better!
The movie releases from the major studios are all 1080p24 encodings, even for the european releases.

As such, the bandwidth of 1080i60 as the delivery mechanism for this content, actually exceeds the bandwidth required to pass the complete 1080p24 data (anything over 1080i48 is fine).

As such, any decent de-interlacer, whether in your HDTV or in a video processor will fully reassemble the two fields perfectly, without any loss at all.

That's just the way it is...

jco
09-06-2006, 04:58 PM
The movie releases from the major studios are all 1080p24 encodings, even for the european releases.

As such, the bandwidth of 1080i60 as the delivery mechanism for this content, actually exceeds the bandwidth required to pass the complete 1080p24 data (anything over 1080i48 is fine).

As such, any decent de-interlacer, whether in your HDTV or in a video processor will fully reassemble the two fields perfectly, without any loss at all.

That's just the way it is...
NO NO NO....live 1080i signals are not shot in frames and then split into interlaced fields for broadcast, the 60 fields are each live (not time simutaneous) so if you "deinterlace" these signals that have any substantial motion you end up with funky distorted "deinterlaced" "progressive" "frames". Only when the source was a movie can you deinterlace without distortion because all the source material was progressive in nature and running at a much slower rate (24 fps "progressive in nature" in the case of movies).
jco

BobY
09-06-2006, 06:02 PM
Jco-

If you read your post and Revolv's post carefully, your saying the same thing...

Yes, *live* video captured at 1080i/30 (and I will continue to use that terminology, because if it's not 1080i/30, then it's only 540 lines of vertical resolution and not 1080) do have de-interlacing issues. How much OTA is live?

AFAIK just about every true (not upconverted) HD broadcast is captured these days as 1080p/24 and pulled-down to 1080i/30 then interlaced for transmission later, except for some sports, news and talk shows.

Absolutely no HD movie discs have any interlacing problems or issues with interfield motion as they are encoded as 1080p/24 and that is what we are talking about in this thread...

Revolv-

Actually any update rate equal to or greater than 24Fps (including 1080i/30) will preserve all of the temporal resolution of the 1080p/24 signal--this is not a sampling/Nyquist issue as the source frame rate is already quantized. However any frame rate or screen refresh rate that is not a multiple of 24 Hz will add a juddering motion to the moving image as a result of the uneven frame cadence needed to pad 24 frames out to 30 or 60 frames.

jco
09-07-2006, 06:36 AM
Jco-

If you read your post and Revolv's post carefully, your saying the same thing...

Yes, *live* video captured at 1080i/30 (and I will continue to use that terminology, because if it's not 1080i/30, then it's only 540 lines of vertical resolution and not 1080) do have de-interlacing issues. How much OTA is live?

AFAIK just about every true (not upconverted) HD broadcast is captured these days as 1080p/24 and pulled-down to 1080i/30 then interlaced for transmission later, except for some sports, news and talk shows.

Absolutely no HD movie discs have any interlacing problems or issues with interfield motion as they are encoded as 1080p/24 and that is what we are talking about in this thread...

Revolv-

Actually any update rate equal to or greater than 24Fps (including 1080i/30) will preserve all of the temporal resolution of the 1080p/24 signal--this is not a sampling/Nyquist issue as the source frame rate is already quantized. However any frame rate or screen refresh rate that is not a multiple of 24 Hz will add a juddering motion to the moving image as a result of the uneven frame cadence needed to pad 24 frames out to 30 or 60 frames.
The point of all my posts here are to correct you when you say ALL
1080i signals can be deinterlaced perfectly to look like 1080P, that simiply isnt true. There are lots of shows taped in 1080i, like Letterman, Leno, Conan, Live Sports on CBS and NBC that are live
1080i. These wont all deinterlace perfectly to progressive. Yes all movies will, but blu-ray and HD-DVD will be just like DVD in that not everything issued will be a movie based on progressive 24 fps source. Some things will be 1080i live original sources for sure as the years go by. Like for example, if they issued the best of the 2004 Athens Olympics on HD DVD or Blu-ray. That was 1080i Live on NBC.

jco
09-07-2006, 06:50 AM
All of the Hi-Def discs currently available and announced for the forseeable future are films encoded at 1080p/24. That doesn't mean that future content couldn't be 720p/60, 1080p/30 or even 1080p/60, but again, the context of this thread is currently defined Hi-Def players and discs, not theoretical products, nor broadcast.

I wouldn't agree with you that there are no frames in a 1080i signal. I view it as a 1080-line frame made up of two interlaced 540-line fields. The fields could theoretically be totally unrelated, but that is never the case with movies (where the two fields are generated from one progressive frame) and very rarely the case with content captured as interlaced (as the time offset from the first field to the second is so short). That's not to say that interfield motion can't lead to problems, but it's not realistic to refer to that as fields having no "relationship".

Totally uncorrelated field pairs most often result from bad *video* editing where the field order was not maintained, or with something like pull-down that creates new frames from existing (possibly unrelated) fields.

If you reject the view that a 1080i signal consists of 1080-line frames, then it doesn't make sense to talk about an image resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a lot of the conventions and accepted HD terminology have to be revised or thrown out.
Its a common misbelief that the interlaced fields are ALWAYS "paired up" so to speak. Yes when a film source is used the 3/2 pulldown always yields a pseudo "frame" with perfectly deinterlacing, but with live broadcasts there are no frames, the fields just alternate. Its like 60 seperate images in time, not thirty. Up and down a line each time. The key is that each field is recordedly seperately in time which is why they can sometimes have visible
artifacts if the subject motion is too fast if you try to combine the two live interlaced fields into one "progressive frame". P.S. I am not
talking about 1080i signals generated from progressive sources like 24 FPS movies. I am talking live 1080i/60 like when you watch a ball game.

BobY
09-07-2006, 08:09 AM
But this thread *is* "talking about 1080i signals generated from progressive sources like 24 FPS movies". It's not talking about broadcast or, more specifically, video captured as interlaced.

No one in this thread (and pointedly not me) said "ALL 1080i signals can be de-interlaced perfectly to look like 1080P." You interpreted my statement out of the context of this thread and I clarified that earlier.

I don't believe anyone in this thread has said that weaving together video captured as interlaced won't have any issues. That would specifically be problems with interfield motion--statistically it's not reasonable to say the even and odd fields are "unrelated" or independent. Except for bad edits or rare, unbelievably quick camera moves, the even and odd fields are not going to be unrelated. Most often they will be practically the same image with some spatial offset (which will cause visible combing regardless of whether it's viewed as interlaced on an interlaced display or woven and viewed on a progressive display--it will just be more noticeable on a progressive display).

You are welcome to your opinion, but industry conventions are that 1080i is a 1080 line frame transmitted as two interlaced fields and that the frame is drawn 30 times per second. If you prefer to view it as two independent fields drawn 60 times per second, then you need to call it 540p/60 as, in your way of thinking, there is never a 1080-line frame.

The reality is a static image will be displayed with 1080 vertical lines, not as two independent 540 line images. To deal with problems of interfield motion, bad de-interlacers simply display each field as a 540-line frame at 60 Fps (called "bobbing") while good de-interlacers analyze the motion between the two fields and weave together the static or slow-moving content and bob the fast moving content. This preserves the full 1080-line vertical resolution where it can, while also preserving the full temporal resolution on moving objects and eliminating combing as much as possible. Although the bobbed content is only half-resolution, it's unlikely anyone will notice when things are moving due to motion blur and the inability of the eye to discern details on fast moving content.

paulc
09-07-2006, 08:42 AM
Specifically regarding "interfield motion" I suspect that while a picture may have it when closely analyzed, it might not be as "visible" as one might think. I say this because of a different process I visually analyzed. It involved re-quantizing (or whatever the correct term is) video extracted from a DL DVD so it fit on a SL disc. I wanted to see what visual effect that had (the "common" wisdom at the time that it would destroy the quality of the image and thus should be avoided). I zeroed in on a trailer, so I'm looking at a 2 minute chunk of video. I looked at the DL disc and the SL disk on my TV, and I examined both much more closely on my computer. On the TV, I had a difficult time telling them apart; I had to get in really close to feel like I could tell them apart. On the computer, I found something very interesting. On static frames (no motion) I found the "quality" to be identical. However, during small segments of time where there was motion (better to say "fast action" the segment was a tango, which mixes static and fairly fast motion), I found the intermediate frames to be very obviously more blurry on the "SL version" as opposed to the "DL version." I could only get to this by actually stepping frames... playing at normal speed and it just was NOT that clear what was going on.

The point is that the human eye is an amazing piece of technology in and of itself. It can "make up for" a lot of deficient images through it's own processing.

Don't get me wrong, I DO appreciate the discussion here; I'm learning tons of stuff. I sure as hell can appreciate the technology in and of itself, but let's not forget the technology exists to deliver what a filmmaker/videographer visualizes.

BobY
09-07-2006, 09:03 AM
Of course! After all we lived with NTSC video for decades. It had interlace flicker/artifacts, low bandwidth, crosstalk between color and luminance, etc., but that didn't stop us from enjoying the programs--just like we listened past the surface noise, clicks and pops of vinyl records to enjoy the music.

But just as CD's replaced records and gave the average person better audio quality in most circumstances, HD will do the same for video.

Whether the average person will notice many of the improvements is a question, but some of us are picky. Interlaced displays give me a headache if I watch them for any length of time and I've always noticed combing, staircasing, line-twitter, false colors and the like on NTSC material. I bought a progressive-scan TV (IDTV) and S-VHS VCR back in the 80's to avoid all that.