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Upconversion players vs HD DVD, Blur-ray

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Old 12-27-2007, 07:38 AM   #91  
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Default Why the studios are banking on high def movies

Studios want to sell movies... in any shape or form.

mfabien is on the right track. Only the BD / HD-DVD super fans are in a hurry in this matter. The studios are backing high def movies because they really don't have much choice. People have filled out their DVD collections and are now only buying new DVDs as they are released. The studios needed something that would cause another "double dip", similar to replacing VHS movies with the same movie in DVD. That vehicle is high def movies.

I have double dipped some, despite my best intentions not to do so, and I will do it again when Gladiator, Braveheart, etc come out. So it does work to a degree.

Remember, at this same point in DVD's life most of the public owned VHS players and a good percentage of the public had never heard of DVDs. DVDs didn't replace VHS overnight, and high def movies will not replace DVDs overnight.

The format war is unfortunate in that it causes confusion and hesitation to jump in among the enthusiasts (like those on this board). But overall, we (the consumers) may have benefited from the war. We got to $100 players (HD-DVD) a lot quicker than we got to $100 DVD players, and $100 back then was much more than $100 now.

My prediction is that 5 years from now it will be hard to find a BD or HD-DVD only player without special ordering on-line. All players sold will handle multiple formats and people will only pay attention to BD or HD-DVD when they buy if the formats have different bonus features. In 5 years high def movies will be outselling SD-DVDs.

We will get there.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:58 AM   #92  
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Originally Posted by SLedford View Post
Studios want to sell movies... in any shape or form.
Of course and that is why only one major studio is trying to sell both HD DVD and Blu-ray, Warner, and I expect Warner to end that strategy soon. Only one format for any given audio/video product type, like DVD, is how you sell movies. Two formats leaves both on store shelves and as soon as two formats are no longer sitting on store shelves is the time HD disc sales can begin to take off.

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Last edited by Chris Gerhard; 12-27-2007 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:18 AM   #93  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
I am an engineer; I examine NUMBERS not opinions.

SD DVD == ~10 Megabit/s
HD DVD == ~30 Megabit/s
Blu-ray == ~50 Megabit/s

Everyone knows that when you compare two identical movies, both recorded using the same codec, the higher the "speed" of the data, the better the picture will look to the eye. More of the original data is preserved.
I beg your pardon. Many video experts would disagree with that assertion when it comes to real life video reproduction. I own players in both formats and can see no discernible superiority of one over the other when viewing identical programs in the respective format. Are you saying that you can see a difference on a consistent basis or are you just parading your credentials?
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:40 AM   #94  
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BTW, the maximum video bit rate of Blu-Ray is 40Mbs, not 50Mbs--even the maximum *total* bit rate of Blu-Ray (video, audio and data) is under 50Mbs.
Okay.

(looks it up)

Wikipedia says Blu-ray is 48 Megabit/s, with 53 as the absolute maximum. So while my "50" guestimate was wrong, it was a heck of a lot closer than your "40" statement which was waaaay off.

48 >>> the 30 that HD DVD has. Thus much >>> data is preserved by the Bluray. Roughly 60% more video information is preserved & displayed.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:43 AM   #95  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Blu-ray was invented first.
HD DVD was created later.

If anybody should bow out, it should be the format that was developed second.
To clarify:

Blu-ray was presented to the DVD Consortium as a logical successor to DVD. Blu-ray would have become the next high definition DVD had the Consortium accepted it & approved it.

- They voted no.
- They went off and created a different format.
- Thus the DVD Consortium started the war (somewhat similar to how JVC started the vcr war in the 70s).

I believe in placing blame where blame belongs, regardless of my own personal feelings. So yes while I love my JVC vcr and D-VHS JVC vcr, ultimately the videocassette war was their fault. The war would not have happened if everybody standardized on Betamax, or some variant thereof. ----- Likewise the High Definition Disc war would have not happened, if the DVD Consortium had standardized with Blu-ray & made it the next high definition DVD.

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Originally Posted by mshulman View Post
Numbers are a decent way of measuring in some cases, but not in this. Since the human eye is what is viewing the material, if no difference in the numbers can be seen, then the numbers don't matter.
That's true, but one must also remember WHOSE eyes are watching. You may not be able to see the difference, but get some young 15-yr-olds and their responses will likely be, "Yeah the HD-DVD half looks good, but definitely inferior to the Blu-ray half. The HD-DVD half has more artifacts in the background. There shouldn't be blocks floating in the sky." (or something similar)

It's the same with MP3 or other lossy audio formats. For some reason I've been blessed with really good ears. I can hear distortions, ringing, and scratching while other people think it sounds perfect. ---- And thus I demand the highest bitrate I can find when buying compressed music, because I know anything less will sound "bad" to my ears.

I don't know how good my eyes are, but if they are like my ears, I'd rather have the higher bitrate format.

Last edited by electrictroy; 12-27-2007 at 08:57 AM..
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:26 AM   #96  
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Originally Posted by mfabien View Post
So what? Who is complaining?

Studios are not in any hurry. Doesn't cost any more to Universal or Paramount to have HD DVD discs pressed compared to SD DVD. There is a cost factor over SD DVD to produce Blu-Ray disc's but there's no evidence that Disney, Fox and others are getting impatient.

Studios want to sell movies... in any shape or form.
The longer the format 'war' continues the longer the average consumer will wait before purchasing a player. The longer the 'war' continues, the fewer the titles released.

BTW it is NOT the studios that will determine which format wins. If consumers buy more of one format than the other, the studios will follow. As you stated, they are only looking to the bottom line.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:46 AM   #97  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Okay.

(looks it up)

Wikipedia says Blu-ray is 48 Megabit/s, with 53 as the absolute maximum. So while my "50" guestimate was wrong, it was a heck of a lot closer than your "40" statement which was waaaay off.

48 >>> the 30 that HD DVD has. Thus much >>> data is preserved by the Bluray. Roughly 60% more video information is preserved & displayed.
Bitrate is your criteria?

Quote:
An official Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard, VC-1 video is ubiquitous on the Internet and provides superior playback across a wide array of scenarios regardless of bit rate or resolution.
Note: high lite from me.
quote from: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/p...5VC1NABPR.mspx

Bitrate is not the key to good PQ. VC1 is used in nearly all HD DVD encoding. Not the case in the majority of Blu-Ray encoding (H264 or MPEG4). HD DVD Video is at least as good as Blu-Ray PQ. I have both players. Do you at least have one of these players... or only a D-VHS recorder/player?
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:41 AM   #98  
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Originally Posted by mfabien View Post
Bitrate is not the key to good PQ.
As someone who has downloaded lots of video encoded with VC-1, I can assure you that bitrate DOES matter.

For example, the episodes of Stargate SG-1 encoded at 70 megabytes look *nowhere* as good as those encoded at 350 megabytes..... even though they are both using the same VC1 codec. The lower bitrate of the 70meg version creates all kinds of artifacts on the screen. ----- All things being the same (same program, same resolution) the encoding with the higher bitrate WILL look better simply because there is more data available to display on the screen.

Maybe the differences are not immediately evident on a HD DVD vs. Blu-ray comparison, but if you use 2x zoom-in, you will spot the differences very easily.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:28 PM   #99  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
As someone who has downloaded lots of video encoded with VC-1, I can assure you that bitrate DOES matter.

For example, the episodes of Stargate SG-1 encoded at 70 megabytes look *nowhere* as good as those encoded at 350 megabytes..... even though they are both using the same VC1 codec. The lower bitrate of the 70meg version creates all kinds of artifacts on the screen. ----- All things being the same (same program, same resolution) the encoding with the higher bitrate WILL look better simply because there is more data available to display on the screen.

Maybe the differences are not immediately evident on a HD DVD vs. Blu-ray comparison, but if you use 2x zoom-in, you will spot the differences very easily.
Bitrate is the number of bits per second, not Bytes. And you must be talking about 70 kbps and 350 kbps not mbps. Those kinds of download rate, 70000 kbps (70 mbps) or 350000 kbps (350 mbps) are simply not in the realm of possibilities for an internet service to offer a consumer!
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:09 PM   #100  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
To clarify:

Blu-ray was presented to the DVD Consortium as a logical successor to DVD. Blu-ray would have become the next high definition DVD had the Consortium accepted it & approved it.

- They voted no.
- They went off and created a different format.
- Thus the DVD Consortium started the war (somewhat similar to how JVC started the vcr war in the 70s).

I believe in placing blame where blame belongs, regardless of my own personal feelings. So yes while I love my JVC vcr and D-VHS JVC vcr, ultimately the videocassette war was their fault. The war would not have happened if everybody standardized on Betamax, or some variant thereof. ----- Likewise the High Definition Disc war would have not happened, if the DVD Consortium had standardized with Blu-ray & made it the next high definition DVD.



That's true, but one must also remember WHOSE eyes are watching. You may not be able to see the difference, but get some young 15-yr-olds and their responses will likely be, "Yeah the HD-DVD half looks good, but definitely inferior to the Blu-ray half. The HD-DVD half has more artifacts in the background. There shouldn't be blocks floating in the sky." (or something similar)

It's the same with MP3 or other lossy audio formats. For some reason I've been blessed with really good ears. I can hear distortions, ringing, and scratching while other people think it sounds perfect. ---- And thus I demand the highest bitrate I can find when buying compressed music, because I know anything less will sound "bad" to my ears.

I don't know how good my eyes are, but if they are like my ears, I'd rather have the higher bitrate format.
It's better to "clarify" using accurate information.

Blu-Ray was not presented to the DVD Forum as a Hi-Def replacement for DVD, it was only offered as a data storage medium for computers.

In fact, the BDA specifically disavowed any relationship between DVD and Blu-Ray, as SONY wanted to control all of the licensing and not share anything with the DVD Forum, because SONY had previously lost out on the highly lucrative licensing for DVD when Toshiba's format was selected over the SONY/Philips Multimedia Compact Disc.

There were many in the DVD Forum (including Toshiba and NEC) who felt that any Hi-Def replacement for DVD had to be evolutionary and build on existing technology to keep development time short and costs low. They were concerned that all of the changes required for Blu-Ray would make it more expensive and take longer to bring to market, so there was no way the DVD Forum would have voted for Blu-Ray anyhow.

Meanwhile the members of the BDA were worried that the Advanced Optical Disc (later HD DVD) did not have sufficient capacity to use the existing codecs (like MPEG2) and didn't believe that more efficient codecs (like VC1) would be available in time.

The BDA members who were also members of the DVD Forum couldn't vote against HD DVD without offering some alternative or it would have been seen as intentional sabotage of a competing format and a violation of their responsibilities in the DVD Forum, so they voted to abstain on HD DVD. In the past, the DVD Forum had counted abstentions against a majority vote (in other words, in order for a vote to pass, it had to be approved by the majority of all members, not just the majority of non-abstaining votes). This, however, was never an official policy of the DVD Forum and in this case, they went with the majority of votes so HD DVD became the official Hi-Def replacement for DVD.

So what happened?

The BDA was wrong in all their assumptions and the DVD Forum was correct that Blu-Ray was too expensive to manufacture and took too long to bring to market. HD DVD reached the market first (after starting later than Blu-Ray) with a superior and cheaper product at the time (30GB discs with VC1 encoding and a fully-defined and functional spec versus 25GB discs with MPEG2 encoding and multiple spec profiles as they simply couldn't get the spec'ed features finished in time).

At this point, more than a year after introduction, Blu-Ray is still suffering from the fact that they never quite perfected a 50GB, mass-producible read-only format, so their yields are poor and they still haven't fully implemented their spec. Once Blu-Ray releases Profile 2. they will have finally caught up with the features HD DVD has offered from the start.

Last edited by BobY; 12-27-2007 at 01:19 PM..
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:26 PM   #101  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Okay.

(looks it up)

Wikipedia says Blu-ray is 48 Megabit/s, with 53 as the absolute maximum. So while my "50" guestimate was wrong, it was a heck of a lot closer than your "40" statement which was waaaay off.

48 >>> the 30 that HD DVD has. Thus much >>> data is preserved by the Bluray. Roughly 60% more video information is preserved & displayed.
The Maximum Video Bit rate of Blu-Ray is 40Mbs:

http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#bluray_vs_dvd_comparison

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you see a difference between a video file encoded to fit 70MB and one encoded to fit 350MB--that's a 5-to-1 difference, not the far more subtle difference between 30Mbs and 40Mbs, at only 1.3-to-1.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:52 PM   #102  
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48.0 Mbit/s - Blu-ray Audio+Video+Subtitles
30.24 Mbit/s - HD DVD Audio+Video+Subtitles
^
|
That's where I got my numbers. Faster transfer of data leads to better pictures and sound.
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Bitrate is the number of bits per second, not Bytes.
(1) Let me state that I am an electrical engineer. I am WELL familiar with units of measurement & how to convert from one to another. I did not say that SG-1 was 70 megabit/s. I said 70 megabytes, because that's the size of the file. ----- I did not make an error.
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Originally Posted by mfabien View Post
And you must be talking about 70 kbps and 350 kbps not mbps. Those kinds of download rate, 70000 kbps (70 mbps) or 350000 kbps (350 mbps) are simply not in the realm of possibilities for an internet service to offer a consumer!
(2) As we both said: "downloads". Not streams. Streams like those offered on nbc.com or fox.com are limited by the size of the pipe, but DOWNLOADS are not. I could download a 50 megabit/s Blu-ray movie if I wanted to (and have). It's just a matter of waiting several days for it to arrive.

(3) However for the sake of well-mannered and friendly conversation, I will now rephrase my point using different units. I have loaded the shows into my machine, and checked the Kilobit/sec rate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfabien View Post
Bitrate is not the key to good PQ.
As someone who has downloaded lots of video encoded with VC-1, I can assure you that bitrate DOES matter, even for this advanced codec.

For example, the episodes of Stargate SG-1 encoded at an average speed of 230 kilobits/s look and sound *terrible* compared to the exact-same episode encoded at 1160 kilobits/s..... even though they are both using the same VC1 codec. The lower bitrate of the 230 kilobits/s version creates all kinds of artifacts on the screen. ----- All things being the same (same program, same resolution) the VC-1 encoding with the higher bitrate looks better simply because there is more data available to display on the screen.

Maybe the differences are not immediately evident on a HD DVD vs. Blu-ray comparison, but if you use 2x zoom-in, you will spot the differences very easily. It's obvious when using zoom that Blu-ray's higher bitrate shows fewer artifacts.

Last edited by electrictroy; 12-27-2007 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:56 PM   #103  
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There's some very good info in the above post, but what I believe it all boils down to is what the consumer wants.
I can asure you that most consumers are not watching their HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies on 2x zoom level. So if that's what it takes to see the difference in pq between the 2 then I think it's safe to say that the majority of consumers will go with HD-DVD simply for the lower prices. Take a look at this very forum, on the home page. Look at the categories for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players. As you can see HD-DVD has more than doulble the viewers as Blu-Ray. The movie categories show over a 3 to 1 advantage to HD-DVD as well. This isn't a coincidence.
This forum has a pretty good cross section sample of people across the country and it's pretty apparent that HD-DVD, up to this point, is winning this war.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #104  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
48.0 Mbit/s - Blu-ray Audio+Video+Subtitles
30.24 Mbit/s - HD DVD Audio+Video+Subtitles
Which doesn't alter the fact that the difference in maximum video bit rate between Blu-Ray (40Mbs) and HD DVD (29.4Mbs) is only 1.36-to-1 and the difference in total bit rate between Blu-Ray (48Mbs) and HD DVD (30.24Mbs) is only 1.58-to-1. A very small amount that experts who encode the highest quality HD videos agree amounts to nothing noticable in the final product.

And in the final analysis, both Blu-Ray and HD DVD are throwing away over 90% of the original data--how can you possibly think it matters if Blu-Ray preserves 2% more data than HD DVD?
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:40 PM   #105  
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Good point.

Maybe we should just boycott Bluray/HD DVD until those new 1000 gigabyte holographic discs arrive. (Yes that was a serious statement.) Instead of throwing away 90% of the data, they'll only be throwing away ~25% of the data.
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