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Postby darkness on 21/04/06, 12:39:00

My player has arrived! Unfortunately, I'm off to get on a plane and won't be back till next week. So I don't get to play with it till then.

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Postby TC on 21/04/06, 12:54:57

have a safe trip! i'll take care of your player til then.... ;)
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Postby darkness on 24/04/06, 23:05:36

This image isn't mine, I still haven't played with the player yet. But here's one someone else posted elsewhere. This isn't the whole screen, it's just the upper corner of it. Comparison between DVD and HD-DVD versions of Serenity:

Image

And one more:

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Postby TC on 25/04/06, 08:58:43

second image doesn't work, but the first one does. that's pretty impressive.
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Postby darkness on 25/04/06, 12:31:40

I just checked it on three other computers here at the office and the second image works fine.
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Postby TC on 25/04/06, 13:13:24

yeah, it's working now. pretty amazing.
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Postby O-dot on 26/11/06, 12:51:47

The Post weighs in on the format war:

Definition of Confusion
2 Kinds of High-Definition Video Discs Pursue the Same Buyers
By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 24, 2006; E10

Standing before two giant television screens and clutching a remote control in each hand, Tony Sardo grappled with a question that will confront millions of Americans this holiday shopping season.

For nearly an hour, he toggled between two new types of video-disc players offering brilliant image quality. He questioned a sales associate and weighed the none-too-low prices of the players, known as Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD. Finally, he did what many electronics customers are doing: He walked away without buying either.

"It's too early to know which one to go with," said Sardo, 28, after browsing Micro Center, a Fairfax electronics store, for a next-generation DVD player to go with his new 42-inch high-definition television. "It's like betting on which team will win the Super Bowl before pre-season games start."

The fight between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, reminiscent of the 1980s battle between Betamax and VHS tape formats, isn't just vexing consumers like Sardo. It's shaping up as a business disaster for movie studios, electronics companies and retailers that had counted on a robust holiday selling season for the fancy new players -- which cost $500 to $1,000 -- and movies to play in them.

Technology companies have divided into two warring camps, each backing one of the formats. Attempts to come up with a single format collapsed last year, so the two sides decided to duke it out in the marketplace. As they do, consumers are mostly staying on the sidelines, causing sales to fall far short of initial projections.

A winner could still emerge, but some experts say it's just as likely that consumers, fearful of buying an expensive player that will turn out to be worthless, will just say no to high-definition discs altogether. In the best case, analysts predict, the format war will go on for another year or so before a clear winner emerges, delaying an industry switchover to the improved discs.

"By and large, it's going to result in the season where no one buys anything," said Gartner research director Van Baker. "Manufacturers have put an awful lot of investment into these players, and they're not going to see a return on that anytime soon."

In January, the Consumer Electronics Association predicted that more than 600,000 high-definition DVD players, worth $484 million, would be sold this year. Shipment delays and production problems have twice caused the organization to lower its forecast, and it now expects U.S. sales to reach only 200,000 players, worth $181 million, by the end of the year.
...

Michael Sardone, the store's home theater supervisor, explains the differences in the three technologies to customers at least 15 times a day. "They just throw up their hands in confusion, and then they walk away because they just don't want to deal with it," he said. "A lot of them are content to stick with the regular DVDs they already have."
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Postby TC on 26/11/06, 13:52:35

that certainly accurately describes how i feel about it.
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Postby darkness on 27/11/06, 00:35:29

I love my HD DVD player. It's the best $500 I've ever spent. I still don't have a Blu-ray player yet even though I own a bunch of discs. I've had the Sony player pre-ordered since March but they keep delaying the thing. Dec. 5 is the new date in theory, so maybe I'll have something to report then.
But as for the HD-DVD player, it looks and sounds great. Pretty much all the discs use VC1 for encoding, which looks great. And the discs that contain Dolby TrueHD soundtracks sound amazing.
Blu-ray right now is suffering from higher player prices, lack of features and a lot of badly encoded discs. Most of the first discs looked awful because the only encoder available was Sony's mepg2 one. There's just not enough room on a 25gb disc for a hd film encoded in mpeg2 with uncompressed PCM audio. Which is another problem Blu-ray had in the start, and still sort of does. There's no way to get the advanced audio formats from most of the existing players (except the PS3). They don't have internal decoders nor an HDMI 1.3 connection with enough bandwidth to pass the audio. Almost all of Fox's Blu-ray titles have DTS HD lossless soundtracks, but there's not a player out there that will decode or pass it yet! So Sony, and the other manufacturers, really bungled the Blu-ray launch. They got a lot of bad press with their first discs looking like crap compared to HD-DVD, and they still haven't really gotten their act together hardwarewise. At least they have 50gb dual layer discs out now to give them the room they need using mpeg2. Plus studios such as Warner are using VC1 for their discs, which is a lot more efficent. So Blu-ray is finally catching up to HD-DVD, but they still have a ways to go in the hardware department.
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Postby Kanuck on 27/11/06, 02:21:09

Not to mention $200 HD-DVD players are on the shelves at my local Best Buy. Plug one into your PC or Xbox 360, and away you go.

Glad to hear some good things about HD-DVD, though.
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Postby darkness on 27/11/06, 13:32:09

Yeah, but the X-box addon doesn't have an HDMI out, so in my mind it's worthless. And of course the addon only works if you have an x-box already, so the the price isn't $200 alone. Or if you try to use it with a PC you need to have a HDCP-compliant video card, of which most aren't (even the ones that claim to be).
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Postby Kanuck on 29/11/06, 01:11:03

I doubt they'll enforce the quality reduction without HDCP, though; that Xbox player is going to sell huge numbers at that price, and they'd be stupid to fuck over that entire segment.

I agree it has its shortcomings, but it's on the shelf, and right now that's a big advantage. I haven't picked one up myself—and I've got the Xbox 360 to hook it up to—cause I don't see much use for it. Maybe a little way down the road.
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Postby O-dot on 20/08/07, 12:35:51

Some developments:

Paramount, Dreamworks to offer movies in HD DVD and drop support for Blu-ray high-def format
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will offer next-generation DVDs in the HD DVD format and drop support for Blu-ray, further complicating the race between the competing technologies.

Monday’s announcement affects the upcoming DVD release of the blockbuster “Shrek the Third” and all movies distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films, as well as movies from DreamWorks Animation, which are distributed exclusively by Paramount Home Entertainment.

Paramount previously released movies in both formats.

“Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience,” said Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. “I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high-quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount.”

The competition between Blu-ray and HD DVD has kept confused consumers from rushing to buy new DVD players until they can determine which format will dominate the market.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, said consumers seeking to switch to high-definition DVDs will be enticed by the content available for HD-DVD players. He added the lower price for the devices will appeal to the family market.

“Today Toshiba is making HD-DVD players available at $299, which is a first time that it’s really been at an affordable price,” Katzenberg said. “It’s a game-changer, what they’re doing, and it’s why we decided to throw in with them.”

Katzenberg said that, until now, the price for high-definition players was too high for most families.

“That barrier has just been broken and we believe it is going to, as I say, move down even further,” he said.

Paramount and DreamWorks aren’t the only ones choosing sides.

“Spider-Man 3” will only be available in the Blu-ray DVD format when it is released by Sony Pictures, while people with Blu-ray players won’t be able to enjoy the action-thriller “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which Universal Pictures will release only in HD DVD.

In terms of discs sold, Blu-ray has always had the lead. The format recently got a big boost as Blockbuster Inc. announced it would stock only Blu-ray titles when it expands its high-def DVD offerings this year.

Target Inc., the nation’s second-largest retailer, said it will only sell Blu-ray DVD players in its stores in the fourth quarter.

With Paramount dropping Blu-ray support, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. remains the only major studio releasing movies in both formats.

Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co., and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are releasing only in Blu-ray. Universal, owned by General Electric Co., backs HD DVD exclusively.
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Postby darkness on 20/08/07, 14:45:32

Yep, the Blu-ray fans are in an uproar today. I hear Bill Hunt had to be talked off a ledge. :)
At least HD-DVD still has a fighting chance now, no thanks to the fact that they can't seem to market themselves for shit.
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Postby O-dot on 04/01/08, 15:50:29

Just moved across the wire:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Warner Bros. Entertainment says it will release high-definition DVDs exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format.
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Postby darkness on 04/01/08, 16:18:29

Yep, that's pretty much the end of things. Only a matter of time now before the war is over.

January 4, 2008 – Burbank, CA) – In response to consumer demand, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release its high-definition DVD titles exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning later this year, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

“Warner Bros.’ move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” said Meyer. “The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”

Warner Home Video will continue to release its titles in standard DVD format and Blu-ray. After a short window following their standard DVD and Blu-ray releases, all new titles will continue to be released in HD DVD until the end of May 2008.

“Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices,” said Jeff Bewkes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Today’s decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner.”

“A two-format landscape has led to consumer confusion and indifference toward high definition, which has kept the technology from reaching mass adoption and becoming the important revenue stream that it can be for the industry,” said Tsujihara. “Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray, and we believe that recognizing this preference is the right step in making this great home entertainment experience accessible to the widest possible audience. Warner Bros. has worked very closely with the Toshiba Corporation in promoting high definition media and we have enormous respect for their efforts. We look forward to working with them on other projects in the future.”

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Postby TC on 04/01/08, 16:56:53

Consumers have clearly chosen Blu-ray

is this true? i mean, is it that "clear"? or is this just response to the PS3?
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Postby Draesk on 04/01/08, 22:10:10

That certainly would be interesting if Blu-ray has actually won out - Sony's stance on porn apparently hasn't been an issue in this round then.
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Postby darkness on 04/01/08, 22:47:47

I don't know if it's as clear as they are spinning it, but certainly blu-ray has a disc sales lead of about 3:1, leads by far in players if you count the PS3, and is even starting to catch up in stand alone player sales. So things were tilting in blu-ray's favor in the war before this announcement.

Sony themselves won't replicate porn and Disney won't allow anyone they use to also replicate porn because they don't want a disc mistake to cause some kid to wind up with it. But others will. There's already several porn blu-ray releases, and more on the way.
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Postby klimov on 05/01/08, 13:09:07

this is fucking bullshit. HD-DVD was catching up over Christmas, even outselling Blu-Ray on some key titles I hear (Blade Runner, for example) and the take-up rate is much higher when you consider the number of players out there. Even weirder, given that there are a bunch of Warner titles currently ONLY available on HD-DVD. They've been bribed.
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