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To HD or not Blue-Ray...that is the question!

Les E

Established Member
OK, I am really biting at the bit now...I want to go HD but I cannot see the best way to go!!

This has probably been discussed a thousand times already but I thought I would put my thoughts down on the issue!

HD-DVD is currently appealling because it has PIP and Java for all the interactive menus etc and the price is quite affordable. Also the new sound formats are all available thru the players. The downside is that they are not 1080p and I am not too struck on Toshiba as a brand and would really appreciate it if further companies got involved.

Blu-Ray Disc has the capacity to expand and has 1080p...oh and isn't backed by Microsoft!! The downside is that the player does not have the interactivity compared to HD-DVD neither the extensive new sound formats. Plus current players will be redundant by October 2007 due to PIP & Java becoming available from there after. Oh and there's the price!

So from these grumblings do I go for a non-1080p affordable player now or do I wait until after October and spend my hard-earned cash on a new, all singing Blue-Ray Disc Player?

I like the idea of Blue-Ray but the state and price of the current players does not make a sound investment...and it's no better going down the PS3 route either.

Any opinions and comments appreciated...:clap:

Cheers,

Les
 

Bald Monkey

Distinguished Member
HD-DVD is currently appealling because it has PIP and Java for all the interactive menus etc and the price is quite affordable. Also the new sound formats are all available thru the players. The downside is that they are not 1080p and I am not too struck on Toshiba as a brand and would really appreciate it if further companies got involved.

Blu-Ray Disc has the capacity to expand and has 1080p...oh and isn't backed by Microsoft!! The downside is that the player does not have the interactivity compared to HD-DVD neither the extensive new sound formats. Plus current players will be redundant by October 2007 due to PIP & Java becoming available from there after. Oh and there's the price!

Well IMO :D

HD-DVD does have PIP but so what? The prices are better so that is a plus, the players seem to be good value for money. And the XE1 in particular is said to have great SD upscaling. You may not like toshiba but they do make two 1080P HD-DVD players...

BR has a 'larger capacity' but so what? It's not resulted in any better PQ. A lot of the interactive fatures are avaliable on BR now, but there is more to come as you say. There is no certainty at all that older BR players will become useless, only that there is a possiblity that they might... which could be said about either format to an extent.

The longer you wait the better players you will get with better features and cheaper.... but you'll be waiting. get both formats if you can, but be prepared to replace those players within a year or so. Or wait and see what the end of 07 / 08 brings... Possibly a great Dual format player? ? ?

If you do buy, choose a player by the reports on here and other sites, and based on price and features, don't worry about which faceless corporations you like or not, there simply isn't enough choice to be fussy...

Well that's My opinion anyway. :smashin:
 

Avi

Distinguished Member
OK, I am really biting at the bit now...I want to go HD but I cannot see the best way to go!!

This has probably been discussed a thousand times already but I thought I would put my thoughts down on the issue!

HD-DVD is currently appealling because it has PIP and Java for all the interactive menus etc and the price is quite affordable. Also the new sound formats are all available thru the players. The downside is that they are not 1080p and I am not too struck on Toshiba as a brand and would really appreciate it if further companies got involved.

Blu-Ray Disc has the capacity to expand and has 1080p...oh and isn't backed by Microsoft!! The downside is that the player does not have the interactivity compared to HD-DVD neither the extensive new sound formats. Plus current players will be redundant by October 2007 due to PIP & Java becoming available from there after. Oh and there's the price!

So from these grumblings do I go for a non-1080p affordable player now or do I wait until after October and spend my hard-earned cash on a new, all singing Blue-Ray Disc Player?

I like the idea of Blue-Ray but the state and price of the current players does not make a sound investment...and it's no better going down the PS3 route either.

Any opinions and comments appreciated...:clap:

Cheers,

Les


What display do you have ?

IMO the only way to go is support for both. Today you can do this for around £650 total. Not so very long ago the cost of entry to BD alone was higher than this.

Given the choice I would import a region A BD player due to greater title availablity. HD DVD being region free you can choose US or Euro machines.

AVI
 

Rich777

Established Member
Les,
I have been proclaimed as a HD-DVD "fanboy" many times on this forum, for making a decision on which format to choose based on 43 years on this planet and a damned good level of education :mad:
plus I am not one of those "god like" dual format owners :eek:
so please take this with a large pinch of whatever you have to hand

but

Blu-Ray Disc isn't backed by Microsoft!!

Cheers,

Les

surely you must see the significance of your own statement.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
Juding by what seems to be going on in the shops at the moment i would say go for blu-ray, (borders are only stocking blu-ray at the mo, more titles in other shops etc).

Juding from a money point of view, then go HD DVD. The players are cheaper, the disks are half the price, and best of all as its region free you can get hundred of films from the USA for the cost of a normal DVD over here and buy a HD DVD from the likes of asda well your wanting for the disk to be posted over.

Just my two cents worth
 

TarMoo

Prominent Member
If you want a Blu-ray player the best options are 1: A PS3 now, or a stand-alone player nearer Xmas which supports the completed Blu-ray spec in Oct.

For HD DVD there is the cheap HD E1, or the more expensive XE1. The benefit of the E1 or XE1 is that they can dramatically improved all your old SD DVDs. From Trusted Reviews review of the XE1 ...
As with the HD-E1 before it, the HD-XE1 does a sterling job of upscaling standard definition DVDs. I loaded up the recent re-release of Blade Runner, which is a pretty good print and far cleaner than the original DVD. Blade Runner is a tough test for any player, since almost the entire film is shot in semi darkness, with rain and smoke adding to the grainy, almost dirty effect that Ridley Scott tried hard to create. On the HD-XE1 Blade Runner looked amazing, even in scenes dominated by shadow, detail was clearly resolved. Facial close ups also highlight the improvement over watching proceedings on a standard 576i player, while the bright neon signs that dominate the cityscape are sharp and intrusive. In fact, watching Blade Runner on the HD-XE1 reminded me of when I first compared my Criterion Collection LaserDisc of the film to a VHS copy – the improvement really is that stark. Now, if Scott would just hurry up and release the Final Cut version on HD DVD, this player can really do the movie justice!

It depends on your mix of DVDs. I watch 150 DVDs a year and most are not available in HD. I mostly rent over the internet at a cost of just over £1 a disk and only buy the occasion DVDs (like the "Curse of the Golden Flower") or ones my daughter wants to watch over and over again.

For me upscaling is just as important as HD.
 

HeweyBoy101

Established Member
HD-DVD is currently appealling because it has PIP and Java for all the interactive menus etc and the price is quite affordable. Also the new sound formats are all available thru the players. The downside is that they are not 1080p and I am not too struck on Toshiba as a brand and would really appreciate it if further companies got involved.


Les

You think PIP and JAVA make HD DVD appealling?
I think "gimmicky add-ons that no one really cares about", but I may be wrong.

Picture and sound quality is all I care about.

I have HD and Blu-ray. HD since October 06, and BD since February 07. In terms of picture quality there is not a "fag paper "difference between the two. In terms of audio, I think Blu-ray has the edge, due mainly to the widespread adoption of uncompressed PCM, and increasingly wider choice of titles.

Interactive features however are of no interest whatsoever - am I alone on this?
 

dr no

Moderator
You think PIP and JAVA make HD DVD appealling?
I think "gimmicky add-ons that no one really cares about", but I may be wrong.


Interactive features however are of no interest whatsoever - am I alone on this?

I would say that Bluray is slowly edging ahead.

But with the additioal interactive/extras side, it would be interesting how many people actually watch these things. I think I played with one or two when DVD first came out AND maybe one or two of the 'special ones' llike LOTR. BUT anyother for me is a waste of my time. The film is all I'm really interested in.

Although an extra that explains the plot of the film would be much worthy of watching. There are some films which can leave me unsure about the full plot, e.g. whitenoise, but I haven't patience to watch again.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
I would say that Bluray is slowly edging ahead.
Not sure I agree - HD DVD seems to be regaining the initiative it lost with a lacklustre release schedule at the start of the year. The No 1 best selling high def disc on Amazon for example is now, once again, a HD DVD. And sales rankings across the Top 10 are once again closing between the two formats. I guess we have now witnessed the 'PlayStation' effect pass and the sudden surge of BluRay owners is now being diluted by the constant growth offered by near-£250 HD DVD players.

Furthermore BluRay hasn't been helped by Fox scaled back plans - they were really the driving force of 'must have' films - take a look at the releases announced back at CES in January and compare it to the reality of the offerings now. It's depressing reading.
 

TrevorS

Established Member
OK, I am really biting at the bit now...I want to go HD but I cannot see the best way to go!!

This has probably been discussed a thousand times already but I thought I would put my thoughts down on the issue!

HD-DVD is currently appealling because it has PIP and Java for all the interactive menus etc and the price is quite affordable. Also the new sound formats are all available thru the players. The downside is that they are not 1080p and I am not too struck on Toshiba as a brand and would really appreciate it if further companies got involved.

Blu-Ray Disc has the capacity to expand and has 1080p...oh and isn't backed by Microsoft!! The downside is that the player does not have the interactivity compared to HD-DVD neither the extensive new sound formats. Plus current players will be redundant by October 2007 due to PIP & Java becoming available from there after. Oh and there's the price!

So from these grumblings do I go for a non-1080p affordable player now or do I wait until after October and spend my hard-earned cash on a new, all singing Blue-Ray Disc Player?

I like the idea of Blue-Ray but the state and price of the current players does not make a sound investment...and it's no better going down the PS3 route either.

Any opinions and comments appreciated...:clap:

Cheers,

Les

I suppose you could go either way, but I really don't see what's so terrible about Microsoft, especially if you stack them up against Sony. If you take a look at MS contribution so far, it's largely two items -- a darned good modern CODEC and a nifty HD DVD accessory for XBOX 360. Don't see how you can dis them for that.

From Sony you get to applaud their announcements of having devasted HD DVD at least twice this year (don't remember how many times last year) and the upcoming replacement of DVD by BD in just three years! Plus you get to enjoy the inconsistent player features and gradually forming specs for BR due to it still not really being ready for release (now we're out to October 2007) -- they clearly needed at least another year (likely more), but I guess HD DVD is to blame for rushing them.

Beyond that you can thank them for the truly marginal initial releases for which they blamed Samsung (wasn't Samsung's fault, though they did have a FW defect to fix). You can also thank them for entering the space age with all the known limitations of MPEG-2 video and only now beginning to use AVC since they just got finished with their AVC encoder. Fortunately, AVC is a definite step forward over MPEG-2 so hopefully they will use it. Of course, they remain limited to LPCM since the specs don't call for enough standardization to permit any advanced CODEC to be supported. (In other words, the LPCM is pretty much a necessary accident, rather that an intentional benefit). You'll notice they expect LPCM to start bowing out by the end of this year -- it'll take that long for them to start standardizing on actual support for advanced CODECs in their next generation (post October 2007) players.

And you think Sony and BR are "choice"? Wow, what are you smoking?
 

keep_it_legal

Established Member
My 2 cents
I bought into HD DVD now because its cheap, a finished product, every title I have bought looks great and plays back with no problems. The other main reason is there simply isn't enough that I want to watch on Blu Ray, I didn't rate Casino Royale and when I counted up all the other Blu Ray exclusives I couldn't find more than 10 that I really wanted. I didn't see much point in getting HD if I couldn't watch The Matrix, Batman Begins or Grindhouse. I also do not own a DVD collection and the number of great classic films on HD DVD made it the obvious choice. If I get a Blu Ray player, then it will be when everything works and they are under £300. There are plenty of HD DVD titles to keep me going for the time being.
And if Blu Ray wins, I'll rip my HD DVDs and burn them to Blu Ray when it becomes cheap to do so.
 

Les E

Established Member
TBH it looks like I have 2 options!

Buy a HD-DVD now because it's cheap, more titles available and region free (is this going to be the norm for the future BTW?).

OR I can wait to post October and get a Blue-ray Player after they have finished the spec for this?

The fact the HD-DVD has so many titles is appealling and I think Casino Royale is coming to HD-DVD at some point.

My display is a 92" Beamax screen with a IN76 projector so the detail should be stunning!
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Buy a HD-DVD now because it's cheap, more titles available and region free (is this going to be the norm for the future BTW?).

There are no plans to make HD DVD region-locked.

The HD DVD forum have decided to look into the possibility (presumably what it would entail, how effective it would be, what regions to use, etc), but they have no plans to implement this.

Even if they did, two things are clear.

Any discs you buy now will be region-free forever.

Your player will be region-free forever.

So, even if they go region-locked, you'll be able to play future region-locked discs on your current player, and even if you buy a new region-locked player, it'll still play your old region-free discs.

BTW, with the likes of Shinco, etc, jumping on the HD DVD player bandwagon, what chances do you think there'll be of any region locking staying in place?

Even if the codes are 'uncrackable' (for the first time in the history of computers) there'll doubtless be a service menu where you can turn the coding off.

Steve W
 

rauer

Established Member
With obviously many dual players released this year, I personally think this isn't the time to choose a single format player of _either_ camp. Again, I personally refuse to bind myself to either format as long as the future is unclear.

Looking at my crystal ball, I see a cheapish (Chinese?) dual format player with 1080p24 within 12-18 months.
 

Bald Monkey

Distinguished Member
I hope you can see Multi Ch. analogue Outputs on that too :D
 

AES256

Established Member
There are no plans to make HD DVD region-locked.

The HD DVD forum have decided to look into the possibility (presumably what it would entail, how effective it would be, what regions to use, etc), but they have no plans to implement this.

A couple of interesting further points re any future possibilities of region coding on HD DVD:
One of the MS/VC-1 insiders has mentioned that as time goes by it's looking less and less likely that an HD DVD region coding proposal will be put forward to the DVD Forum for review.
And on an unrelated matter (HD DVD TL 51GB disc proposal for review), he mentioned that a typical proposal review period by the DVD Forum will be 6 to 12 months IIRC (or was it 12 to 18?).
So extrapolating from that, if the DVD Forum started reviewing a region coding proposal for HD DVD right now, the earliest by which we'd ever see it appear implemented on products in the market place would be summer 2008/early 2009.
 

dr no

Moderator
Looking at my crystal ball, I see a cheapish (Chinese?) dual format player with 1080p24 within 12-18 months.

Current chinese players tend to be cheap and tacky and I can't imagine many forum people having bought many if any.

So I wonder if the chinese element is as significant as is being built up to be. Yes the supermarket will have an effect for the mass but not for another 18 months, if DVD uptake is anything to go by.

For the mass market I would have thought the content would be the most important factor.
 

davidjohnson

Distinguished Member
I remember the DVD release of the Matrix being credited with "the birth of DVD for the masses". So I have to agree that software will more than likely win the war, but it depends on which format is the cleverer.
Casino Royale seems to have won an early battle.
 

TarMoo

Prominent Member
Current chinese players tend to be cheap and tacky and I can't imagine many forum people having bought many if any.

So I wonder if the chinese element is as significant as is being built up to be. Yes the supermarket will have an effect for the mass but not for another 18 months, if DVD uptake is anything to go by.

For the mass market I would have thought the content would be the most important factor.
The most popular Upscaling DVD player at the moment is the Chinese made OPPO 981 which costs under £200. It has very good reviews and is considered to be better than most upscaling players up to £1000. Oppo is owned by the Chinese company BKK. If their players are giving the Denon 1930 a run for its money, then we should not assume that Chinese HD DVD players will have low performance of build quality.
 

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