Another nail in the BD coffin?

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
I was reading up a review of the new 1080 DLP Marantz projector over on avs.com, and Greg Rogers (the reviewer) said this:

Greg Rogers said:
The Blu-ray system (player/disc) performance was quite disappointing. But now I fear that the content providers will listen to the criticism about image softness and decide to start adding edge-enhancement to the discs rather than fix the real problem.

I think he's referring tyo the mpg2 filtering that's going on to reduce the artefacts inherant in the codec, which as a result causes image softening. Adding EE will give back some apparent sharpness to the image. EE works better on small displays like TVs, but on a larger (projected) image it can look horrendous. Another reason to go HD-DVD if that happens IMHO.

Gary
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
Its just speculation. I would expect the studios to be well aware of videophiles concerns over EE, and also realise that early sales to the same people are vital to get the format off the ground.

I don't think they'll be rolling EE out anytime soon.

Perhaps he's raising the point so that a fuss is kicked up, nipping any ideas in the bud?
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
It would be nice to think that mentioning it would have some effect with the authors of BD as they do seem to be playing catch-up at the moment, but it would be interesting to see how they address the issue.

Gary
 

BadAss

Banned
Where was the EE needed on the Training Day BD title? Its now been shown MPEG2 can match VC-1 for PQ.
 
D

Deleted member 63580

Guest
BadAss said:
Where was the EE needed on the Training Day BD title? Its now been shown MPEG2 can match VC-1 for PQ.

on a player costing twice as much and in one persons opinion on one display and goes against everything in the 100's of other threads that says mpeg2 cant match VC1.
 

BadAss

Banned
Nic Rhodes said:
Did I miss something?

Read Garys first post again. BD has been criticised for image softness which may make content providers add EE to sharpen the image. My point is if you take a good BD transfer like Training Day which so far has been shown to be equal to the HD-DVD transfer using VC-1 you may come to the conclusion that MPEG2 isn’t so bad after all.
 

BadAss

Banned
dino2021 said:
on a player costing twice as much and in one persons opinion on one display and goes against everything in the 100's of other threads that says mpeg2 cant match VC1.

And when WB start releasing titles using VC-1 these arguement over codecs will be moot and we can get down to the bigger arguements which are price and content.
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
BadAss said:
Read Garys first post again. BD has been criticised for image softness which may make content providers add EE to sharpen the image. My point is if you take a good BD transfer like Training Day which so far has been shown to be equal to the HD-DVD transfer using VC-1 you may come to the conclusion that MPEG2 isn't so bad after all.

I read Garys post and the comparison. I certainy don't come to the conclusion the MPEG2 can match VC 1. I am a big fan of MPEG2 being a DTheatre fan, so I know it is is capable of good quality but it ain't VC1 or anything close.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Yes, BD has been panned almost universaly for the poor quality of it's released titles which so far seems endemic other than the one title Training Day; MPEG2 is an old codec with known limitations, but if a high enough bit rate can be emplyed to overcome them and get the results you suggest (I've not seen TD via BD, have you? If so, how does it fair against the other BD titles and HD DVD releases?), then BD may have just undergone a stuttering start and picked itself up with all cylinders finally firing.

It does beg the question why this wasn't done in the first place with all the other releases, and why did Sony allow BD to be released with such poor authoring?

Gary
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
BadAss said:
And when WB start releasing titles using VC-1 these arguement over codecs will be mute and we can get down to the bigger arguements which are price and content.

If BD leaves it too late, most people would have bought into HD-DVD and it will be a moot point regarding quality. And if/when the quality equals HD-DVD, who will spend twice the money on BD when they can get the same quality for less with HD-DVD?

So far it seems that the reality is that HD-DVD has a market advantage on two major considerations: better price and higher quality of content. What else would make someone ignore that and buy BD?

Gary
 
D

Deleted member 63580

Guest
BadAss said:
And when WB start releasing titles using VC-1 these arguement over codecs will be moot and we can get down to the bigger arguements which are price and content.


I cant find a single thread on AVSforums about it, you seem to have taken one persons words as the truth and thats that, its enough for you to convince your self its as good,

for the rest of us we need a little bit more convincing than one persons opinion, and seems to be the trend to on AVSforums, people are not sold with BR yet

I personally believe the hundreds and hundreds of threads on AVSForums, mag reviews and just about anywhere you choose to look (other than Sony site) and base my judgment on these reports that say BR doesn't have the quality at the minute.
 

BadAss

Banned
Here is an indepth review of VC-1 v MPEG2 using Training Day.
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
"In our first head-to-head comparison, we found the HD DVD to be superior. "

Thats the first honest head to head I've read and HD-DVD wins by some way, now I dont know if its because his TV upscales from 1080i to 1080p better than the samsung player does or if mpeg2 problems loose out to the VC2 codec, but BR is poorer for more money, does it want an oak or birch coffin?
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
From the linked review

Surprisingly, the differences between the two versions is substantial in more ways than one -- and unfortunately, it doesn't go Blu-ray's way.

The Blu-ray suffers from a narrower aspect ratio, with some noticeable cropping on the sides of the picture.

the picture quality differences between the two transfers is often quite apparent. For example, during the very first shot of the film -- a zoom in on a red-hot, rising sun -- there some polarization was visible on the Blu-ray, with the banding of colors was obvious as the picture faded in. [BD]

These type of compression artifacts continued throughout both transfers, but again, I noticed about three or four shots on the Blu-ray with more polarization on backgrounds or during fades/dissolves, which were either not there on the HD DVD, or greatly lessened

So score points for HD DVD's VC1 compression codec over the MPEG2/AVC scheme used for Blu-ray, at least until that format's larger-capacity BD-50 dual layer discs become commercially viable.

Another difference between the two formats with 'Training Day' is that the Blu-ray transfer looks darker.

And while the Blu-ray image still looks detailed, shadow delineation does appear a bit less impressive in the darkest scenes

In our first head-to-head comparison, we found the HD DVD to be superior

Final Thoughts [Their conclusion un edited for a good 'independent' summary]

Whatever its merits as a film, 'Training Day' has made history by becoming one of the first titles to be released on both the Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. In our first head-to-head comparison, we found the HD DVD to be superior. The unfortunately cropping of the Blu-ray image, coupled with more noticeable compression artifacts and an overall darker cast, can't compete with the more consistently pleasing presentation of the HD DVD. Also a strike against the Blu-ray version is that both the Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital-Plus soundtracks have been dropped in favor of plain old Dolby Digital, and even the disc's menu navigation is more clunky and with less interactive functionality. Certainly, this Blu-ray release delivers fine video quality in its own right, but the format's supporters still need to step it up if they are going to win the hearts and minds of early adopters over HD DVD.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
The review seems to say that there are more compression artefacts visible with the BD version, culminating in more visible banding. I wouldn't have thought that was necessarily a source related issue though, but a display problem. The reviewer didn't say that he calibrated the inputs for the displays and that would account for the differeing black levels at least. Mind you, how many people bother to set the black and white levels of their displays, and who has a HD calibration disk to do so?

Gary
 

BadAss

Banned
Don't forget TD on BD has 5gb less storage space and using a codec thats 3 times less efficient. Yes HD-DVD may be superior but I dont think it deserves any nails in any coffin.
 
D

Deleted member 63580

Guest
BadAss said:
Here is an indepth review of VC-1 v MPEG2 using Training Day.

BadAss said:
Where was the EE needed on the Training Day BD title? Its now been shown MPEG2 can match VC-1 for PQ..

Did you read the review???
I quote

So score points for HD DVD's VC1 compression codec over the MPEG2/AVC scheme used for Blu-ray

So the review you point to saying they say its as good, clearly doesn't say that at all. I highlighted your quote and their summary
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
It may not be nails in the coffin but it is not a ringing endorsement to tempt all us in with cash to go on a BD player. More of the negative than the positive I think on a review.
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
Gary Lightfoot said:
The reviewer didn't say that he calibrated the inputs for the displays and that would account for the differeing black levels at least. Mind you, how many people bother to set the black and white levels of their displays, and who has a HD calibration disk to do so?

Gary

They use 'the best kit available' I'd assume they'd calibrated the TV, but even so it was the same TV, even uncalibrated one (HD or BR) has to be too light/dark, and he switched inputs several times for the players so its not a settings problem. That HD looked right and BR looked dark with poor dark detail is what I'd expect out of a less efficient codec on a smaller disk.
 

BadAss

Banned
From the review.

But a head-to-head comparison is all about the small things, and given the aspect ratio issue with the Blu-ray disc, plus the compression artifacts and slightly darker cast, I would have to concede this first battle to HD DVD.

These were small issues in order to conclude one better than the other.

So I stand corrected VC-1 with 30gb of storage on the HD-A1 is better than MPEG2 with 25gb on the BD-P1000.:D

The question now is what would TD look like with VC-1 on a BD50 played on a Pioneer BDP-HD1? :rolleyes:
 

RobDickinson

Well-known Member
So as it stans now, with a new technology based purely on image quality BR , at twice the price, is poorer.

If and when they sort out 50g disk and VC1 it may offer a tiny improvement over HD-DVD. I fail utterly to see the consumer advantage of buying BR.
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Rob,

I see your point, but you'd be surprised at how many people with the 'best kit' have no clue how to do the most basic adjustments such as black and white levels. :)

Some displays don't even save the settings between PAL and NTSC, and that can mean having to reset the black level each time you play a disk, and added to the fact that even a digital source can have a 0IRE/7.5IRE adjustment on the digital connection certainly doesn't help matters. You really can't assume anything but we can only hope..

You can even find just by swapping players the black level can be different and a recalibration needed, so there are quite a lot of variables to consider. Mind you, if the BD authors for TD couldn't even get the aspect ratio correct it does make you wonder how much attention was paid to the colour accuracy and bit rate used.

This is interesting though:

http://www.ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/706dsamsungbd/index3.html

Gary
 
M

mak99

Guest
RobDickinson said:
They use 'the best kit available' I'd assume they'd calibrated the TV, but even so it was the same TV, even uncalibrated one (HD or BR) has to be too light/dark, and he switched inputs several times for the players so its not a settings problem. That HD looked right and BR looked dark with poor dark detail is what I'd expect out of a less efficient codec on a smaller disk.
Click here for info on their gear. And YES, the TV was ISF-calibrated:

The core of our system is the HP Pavilion MD6580N 65" Widescreen Rear-Projection DLP display device. It is one of only a handful of consumer monitors that can accept full 1080p via its HDMI inputs, allowing it to display every last line of high-definition's maximum resolution of 1920x1080. Our HP MD6580N has been professionally calibrated by an ISF-certified technician to ensure a reference-quality presentation.
 

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