28th Apr 2007

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
AV Podcast : Home Cinema : 28th Apr 2007
00:42 AV News.
06:55 Jason's bit. This week Jason talks about World War 2 online.
10:34 Discussion : HD playback. HD DVD vs Blu-ray vs Upscaled SD DVD.

59.1Mb 64 minutes and 34 seconds. Direct Link
Last edited by a moderator:


Novice Member
I enjoyed your podcast. First one I've actually downloaded and listened to, but I'll be doing so again from now on.

I do have an observation to make. The entire HD discussion focussed purely on the visual content and representation. I didn't quite agree with all the opinions expressed (and let's face it it's a very subjective area :)) but what really shocked me was that absolutely no reference was made at all to the difference in audio quality available in the HD formats. Now I am no audiophile or expert but I, and even my wife (who really doesn't notice this kind of thing tbh), can hear the clear difference in audio quality in the uncompressed PCM streams. Now I know not all HD transfers include the uncompressed audio tracks presently, but the key point for me is that you have a format which supports it and as time goes on more and more will be released with it. It does require the consumer to have the AV set up to support it and realise the benefits, but then I don't consider this to be any more of a departure than it was for us all having to upgrade to 5.1 systems when Dolby Digital 5.1 came on the scene.

I'm a strong believer in that audio is 50% of everything you see and feel that this was completely overlooked in the comparison.

I do agree that to junk one's entire DVD collection (and that'll never happen in my case as I'll be like the guy on the podcast who continues to keep his Laserdiscs) is folly, but there is definitely a case for opting for a blu-ray or HD-DVD format of a film over its DVD equivalent if that format contains the enhanced audio capabilities.

Finally I applaud the guy who said "if I want it, I'll buy it!". I am completely on board with that. Of course HD formats will be more expensive than their SD equivalent, but a product is worth what you are prepared to pay for it. I don't find blu-ray/hd-dvd prices to be prohibitive and if chosen carefully are worth every penny.

Interesting podcast though.

[Footnote] Apologies for not remembering the names of who exactly said what on the podcast

Seth Gecko

retired member
I think I'm the guy that said "If I want it, I'll buy it" among several other things (including also being the one with all the laserdiscs still).

I did mention at the time, although I'm not sure if it's in the final podcast due to time constraints, that I'd weigh up the whole disc (BR vs HD) before buying it - if the extras are the same, I'd get the BR if it has PCM was my opinion and I stand by that - I think some of the soundtracks are really good in PCM and it's a shame they aren't used more - as I said Tomb Raider is identical on both formats and neither are that impressive TBH. It's arguably the same on SD - people will get one disc over another IF it has a DTS soundtrack as well as the Dolby.

We can't mention everything or facet sadly, but it was definitely said at the time that the whole package (if you own both formats) was certainly something I weighed up, and it certainly involved the PCM soundtrack as a persuassive factor (I'm more likely to buy the disc for PCM rather than U-Control personally).

Glad you enjoyed the podcast :)


Novice Member
Yes, you did talk about looking at the entire package to see if it was worth it. I felt though that the 20 minutes or so where the comparison was being made it just focussed purely on the visual element - which of course I realise is incredibly important - but I think one of the biggest reasons to move to HD was missed and it's something which to me is as big as moving from tape to CD, or VHS to DVD (in terms of audio difference) and that's this is the first time that the masses will be able to hear the movie's sound exactly as it was intended without any necessary compression. Someone on the podcast (was it you again lol) mentioned not liking mp3's quality. I agree (although of course I use them all the time), I feel this is in the same league. I have noticed more of a difference in the audio capabilities than I have with the image resolution.

Just my 0.02c and not to detract at all from what was a great discussion.

Phil Hinton

Staff member
Yes the conversation was very image heavy, but that is what the formats are being marketed as, higher picture quality and it remains the major talking point. We will be discussing sound formats in a future discussion and will no doubt cover all the new HD formats like True HD, DTS MA and so on, we can't talk about everything at once otherwise the podcast would be a huge undertaking to listen to because of the length, so we have to choose an area and discuss that. Don't worry we will cover it and I hope you have time to go back through the podcast archives.


Novice Member
Valid point! Thanks for responding. Indeed I am going to look through the archives - huzzah for iPods and commuting :D


Active Member
I would like to suggest there could have been a hint of snobbery with regard to adoption by the masses.

Neil ( From TM marketing?) however, seems to have a brilliant overview of the situation and speaks with a balanced opinion.

Unfortunately, if the masses do not adopt a format, it disapprears quite quickly and it isn't necessarily the best format which stays either ie Betamax vs VHS.

Great podcast otherwise.

A small request:- Please can you check the audio levels of the round table discussion. Some are clear and distinctive (Phil and Neil) and others speak quietly, making it hard to set the volume level.



Active Member
One guy on the podcast (cant remember his name, will find out and edit this post) said that he hadnt adopted HD because he had a 42" plasma and said he wouldnt notice the increase in resolution at his viewing distance. May I suggest that he is sitting to far away? I have a 720p lcd and when I run HD-dvd or blu-ray I notice a difference over DVD at a viewing distance of over 8 feet.
I understand his hesitance to dive into the format but if he had a 1080p lcd or plasma I think he would have a change of mind. In my opinion 1080p pictures are a big jump in quality over dvd even at big viewing distances.

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