Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD

Roscoe
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Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#1
Posted: 11/11/07 at 9:02am
Does anyone have any preference for one format over the other? I keep reading that Blu-Ray is better than HD, but I also remember reading that Betamax was better than VHS.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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Patronus
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#2
Posted: 11/11/07 at 9:05am
I have and enjoy both quite a bit.

Blu-Ray seems to be winning the format war at the moment and I'm noticing they are starting to undercut MSRP on dual format titles.

That being said so many films are on one format or the other so you almost have to either wait or go both for the foreseeable future.

I went the gaming route and have been extremely pleased with the quality of Blu-Ray on the PS3 and the quality of the HD discs on the XBox 360 add on.
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best12bars
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#2
Posted: 11/11/07 at 9:43am
I get asked this question professionally... and have answered it on air and in publications.

Most of my peers agree, so here's the (really) short answer:

"Wait."

...which is what most of the general public seems to be doing.

The format war isn't going to end any time soon. And in my opinion this is the LAST "hard-copy" media format war we're going to have. The future is downloadables. Just like iTunes. But until the bandwidth can increase enough to support full 1080p resolution streaming, and speedy downloads, that won't happen. It's definitely coming though.

Until then, we'll have an HD disc format war.
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Luscious
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#3
Posted: 11/11/07 at 10:10am
I'm a SONY guy. So it's Blu-ray for me. With SONY, 20th Century Fox and Disney all backing Blu-ray, and with Blu-ray currently outselling HD-DVD by 2 TO 1, I find it hard to believe that the format won't survive. (I actually think there's a good chance that both Blu-ray and HD-DVD will survive and possibly merge in the future.) The only studios exclusively supporting HD-DVD at the moment, that I'm aware of, are Universal, DreamWorks and Paramount. Disney, Fox, MGM, Lionsgate and Sony all exclusively back Blu-ray.

Something to keep in mind... they're already hard at work on Blu-ray Profiles 1.1 and 2.0. Blu-ray players on the market prior to October 31, 2007 most likely will not be compatible with these new formats. However, the SONY Playsation3 is designed to be upgradeable and can be made compatible via firmware upgrades, which SONY has announced will be made available.

Or you could do as best12bars suggests and wait. But life is short. And there will always be someting newer and better right around the corner. I made a decision and went with Blu-ray. If the format doesn't survive at least I'll still have a Playstation for games ... which of course will be obsolete in a couple of years. re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD

Here's a link you may find of interest...

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/soapbox/soap060107.html

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Updated On: 11/11/07 at 10:10 AM
Roscoe
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#4
Posted: 11/11/07 at 1:42pm
Thanks for the responses. I'd pretty well made up my mind to wait for the time being. I'd like to get some opinions as to which of the formats is better, which one you prefer. Does one offer appreciably better picture/sound than the other?
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
JustChillin8908
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#5
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:35pm
I have an HD DVD player, but don't neccesarily prefer either format. HD DVD players just happen to be cheaper at the moment.

The fact is that both formats have positives and negatives, but what it boils down to is that they're pretty much the same. If you must choose one, make sure you look at the selection of titles. Each format has its own exclusives, so it won't matter which one is better if it doesn't have the movies YOU want to see.

EDIT: I'd also like to add that HD DVD does not have region coding, so you can import titles that are otherwise Blu-Ray "exclusives" in the US. This can be seen as a positive or negative aspect as we've seen with Hairspray (and future New Line releases).



Updated On: 11/11/07 at 04:35 PM
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#6
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:43pm
I'm waiting myself though I lean towards getting a PS3.
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mateo
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#7
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:47pm
LG just came out with the LG Super Blu, which plays Standard DVD, HD DVD and BluRay.

They are quite pricey, SRP: $1k


http://us.lge.com/superblu/
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#8
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:48pm
I feel nervous going with a dual format player. That would be ideal though and LG seems to be a great brand.
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mateo
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#9
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:51pm
yeah. it just debuted this season.


I haven't really read up on it. It too early for user complaints.

"Zac is sweet as can be. He's very much just a sweet kid from California who happens to have a face that looks like it was drawn by Michelangelo, (if Michelangelo did anime)."
-Adam Shankman.

"I haven't left this building since Windows 3.1!"

"Celebrating a birthday this week: Rene Descartes is 412! Do you know who he is? Then why are you watching this show? You could probably get into college and even get one of those job things. As for the rest of us; Amanda Bynes is 22! Yay!"
-E!'s "The Soup"
JustChillin8908
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#10
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:53pm
LG's first dual format player didn't fully support HD DVD, which makes me leary of their new player.

I'm hoping Samsung's attempt will go over better.
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mateo
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#11
Posted: 11/11/07 at 4:58pm
I have yet to get in the game.

But i do want to get an HD TV and player this season.

i'm not sure to go with Bluray or HD either.
"Zac is sweet as can be. He's very much just a sweet kid from California who happens to have a face that looks like it was drawn by Michelangelo, (if Michelangelo did anime)."
-Adam Shankman.

"I haven't left this building since Windows 3.1!"

"Celebrating a birthday this week: Rene Descartes is 412! Do you know who he is? Then why are you watching this show? You could probably get into college and even get one of those job things. As for the rest of us; Amanda Bynes is 22! Yay!"
-E!'s "The Soup"
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best12bars
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#12
Posted: 11/11/07 at 6:20pm
If you're going to get a Blu-ray Disc player, I'd get a PS3. They're fully upgradable (as Luscious has said), and many of the earlier BD players aren't.

Blu-ray has been slow to release their "really cool" features, but their code is Java, which is a more powerful language than XML and HDi. HD DVD already has the PiP and Internet functionality on many of their discs. Blu-ray will soon, but doesn't yet. But the possibilities (realized or not) are greater in the long run.

But do people really care about the enhanced functionality and the interactive special features, or do they just want a pristine-looking movie? Is the added value just secondary and (ultimately) inconsequential? I can't answer that. But the picture and sound quality is pretty much exactly the same on both formats. It will vary, depending on the source material, and on the expertise of the compression (and by the way, video compression is fast becoming an art form in and of itself!).

I have mixed loyalties. The company I work for produces both BD and HD DVD jobs. My own team personally worked as the initial creative Beta-testers for graphic interface design on Blu-ray for Sony. We helped to invent the basic "new" menu interface used, in other words. We've also worked on over 40 Blu-ray titles so far. But my coworkers in the same company were pioneers on the HD DVD side with Special Features on Universal titles (that's the other studio that's HD DVD-exclusive, Luscious). And I produced the HD DVD menu designs on several big jobs recently, as well.

I guess from my POV, we're "Sweden" in this war.

There are advantages to both formats, as many of you have said.

My biggest issue is that there IS a format war. There never should have been one. I think it's hurting all home entertainment sales, not just the HD sales. Not only are people hesitating to buy an HD player because they can't decide which one, they're also slowing down on standard-def DVD sales, because they don't want to be buying SD when they're going to turn around and buy it again in HD later on. Buyers are confused, so they're just not buying as much anymore. Most have the "wait and see" attitude, and I have to say that I agree with them. As much as I'd like to dive in and get a player myself, I haven't! It's very frustrating.

But, like you, I don't want to be collecting discs in a format that isn't going to be around in a few short years.

I still have my laser disc player and a stack of discs to remind me of what that's like. It's right next to my VHS player.
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JustChillin8908
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#13
Posted: 11/11/07 at 7:32pm
Even the CEO of Sony seems to have stopped caring about the format war:

http://www.dvdtown.com/news/sony-ceo-downplay-importance-of-blu-ray-winning-the-hd-format-war/4906
Updated On: 11/12/07 at 07:32 PM
Roscoe
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#14
Posted: 11/12/07 at 7:33am
Thanks everybody. My budget won't currently allow me to get either Blu-Ray or HD DVD, but I do have a HD TV, and I get Time Warner's HD cable (which was a long and involved process involving HD cable boxes that didn't work and several calls to Time Warner who were as unhelpful as could be).

I'm well aware of how temporary these systems are, with my collections of laserdiscs and VHS that are slowly being transferred to homemade DVDs. There's always the possibility that one or the other system will take the bull by the horns and suddenly madly make their technology affordable.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#15
Posted: 11/12/07 at 8:29am
In the meanwhile, what I would suggest to everyone who owns or is getting an HD TV... make sure you get a DVD player with a built-in HDMI up-converter, or you could buy a separate HDMI up-converter for your current DVD (although they're almost as expensive as getting a new player with one already built in). Most new DVD players now have one built in, and many will come with an HDMI cable included.

This will up-convert your standard def DVDs to hi-def resolution (most of them 1080p). This is much better than just hooking up your DVD player directly to your HD television. That stretches the SD signal (480p) to hi def, rather than up-converting it.

The picture quality is very good, all things considered, and depending the quality of the compression, in some cases you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between that, and a true HD picture. It will make your current DVD collection look great, and it may also take some of the desperation out of the immediate need to pick an HD disc format. It's not as good as HD, but it's the next best thing.
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tazber
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#16
Posted: 11/12/07 at 8:38am
Someone was just telling me this exact same thing besty. I had never heard of this up-converter before. Can you get these at Best Buy.
....but the world goes 'round
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#17
Posted: 11/12/07 at 8:44am
I would think so. They used to run around $100. I'm not sure how much they are now. But a really good new DVD player with a built-in HDMI up-conversion will run around $200 - 250.

So it's up to you.

Also... don't skimp on the HDMI cable. Especially if you have a really nice HD TV. The cable can make all the difference. I ended up not using the one that came "free" with my DVD player. I bought a separate better quality cable for around $79 from Best Buy, and it made a big, noticeable difference.
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JustChillin8908
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#18
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:21am
How big would your TV have to be to notice a big difference in HDMI cables?

EDIT: Also when looking at Blu-Ray sales, remember that Sony has been having their buy one get one free deal on Amazon during some pretty suspicious times.

Transformers and Shrek 3 anyone?
Updated On: 11/12/07 at 09:21 AM
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#19
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:33am
I don't know the answer to "how big?"

(at least not without giggling)

My new TV is a 58" Plasma with 1080p resolution, so I definitely noticed. If you have a 720p hi-def set, or a smaller one, you might not notice it as much.

But with audio or video, it's silly to spend so much money on the equipment, and then skimp out on the cables. They can make a big difference in the performance quality. I've never regretted upgrading my cables. And I've always been able to see/hear a difference.

It also depends on your collection. For me, I have over 1,200 DVDs now. So buying a $79 HDMI cable to make all of them look and sound much better was a no-brainer. If you own five discs, spending that much money on a cable may not seem justifiable. That's understandable, too.
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Updated On: 11/12/07 at 09:33 AM
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#20
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:36am
So I should get an HDMI and a really good cable. Sounds very doable.

Of course, first I have to get an HDTV, but that's on my christmas list.


(Dear Santa, I got your milk and cookies right here....)
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#21
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:36am
Unlike some things, JustChillin, I don't think that the size matters. But take best12bars advice. He helped me immeasurably when I bought my first HD TV; a 40" Sony Bravia. I had never heard of a DVD player with an up-converter before either, but I ran out to buy one (Sony sells one for around $129.00) and it made a huge difference. I've since upgraded to a 52" Bravia and sprang for the PS3 two weeks ago. I can officially die now.
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#22
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:37am
Congratulations, Luscious!

That's very cool.
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#23
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:42am
So Sony sells a player with an up-converter built in?
Do you have to set it or anything? And do you still need a cable if it's already built in?
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best12bars
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re: Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD#24
Posted: 11/12/07 at 9:48am
Tazzy, I just looked around Best Buy's site, and they have several DVD players (Sony, Panasonic, etc) all with built-in HDMI up-conversion. Some come with an HDMI cable, and some don't.

Keep in mind that even the ones that do will probably have a fairly "cheap" cable included.

A decent HDMI cable alone will cost you around $79 (as I said before). Best Buy sells them. You can spend upwards of $150 on an HDMI cable too, but even I didn't go that far with it.

If you get a player that comes with a free cable, try it out. See if you're happy enough with the picture and sound quality. If so, then you're done! If not, then I suggest upgrading the cable.


EDIT: Tazzy, I didn't answer your question... Yes, you need a special cable for an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection.

Good old Wikipedia offers a pretty decent analysis.

Link
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Updated On: 11/12/07 at 09:48 AM