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Old 02-07-2006, 10:27   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarethH
Cheers for that! You're right, nothing much to see but I was curious. Have you tried scratching it and seeing if it still plays?
Want to buy me a new copy when it refuses to play?
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:38   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie

I will say this once and once only: anyone who tells you they've viewed high definition material but didn't see the big deal is either vision impaired or a liar.
(Not wanting to cause an argument)

Or they just don't care! and feel normal DVD is plenty good enough for them to enjoy a movie.

I know I like HD and I enjoy the added detail I've even seen so far with my TVDrive.
But, standing back and looking at this topic, it's very much in great danger of becoming very anal. and incredibly

I can kinda see some people just sitting down after a nice meal and enjoying a good movie together, just watching the FILM

Then another load of single guys with odd teeth and thick glasses, looking close at the screen going, ohh look can you see the enhanced pixel definition of the spot on that persons face, and oh, we can now read the writing of the logo on the side of the ship as it sinks.

For god sake boys, sit back and just enjoy the dam film

Ok, I'm being a bit Devils advocate here, but I can see that there will be many people who may well think this way.

As I said, I have got HD now (screen and TVDrive) and will get a HD-DVD player when prices are sensible, without question.

I've pointed out some HD Demo's (in shops powered by a computer) to some people (non tech types) and they just look and say, yes, that's nice, and thats it.

I feel there's only so many (and not THAT many) consumers out there right now that really give that much of a stuff about HD, esp when it's not THAT much better, from a normal household TV in the corner of the room watching eastenders type of device.

From a Big Screen, home cinema point of view, yeah, fantastic.
As I've said in another thread, if people were THAT bothered about quality there would not be thousands or poss even tens of thousands of pirate DVD's being sold to punters at markets and car boot fairs ever week in the UK.

But, back to topic, great review, and I want one, but I just think that the majority of (dare I say it) "Normal" people are not so bothered about examining the screen for extra detail as perhaps many here are, Including myself
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:44   #23
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I think it depends on how much the shortcomings of DVD bother you. For me, they are at times so noticeable that they actually detract from my viewing experience. This is especially true of something like The Lord of the Rings, which, on DVD, looks so blurry that I keep thinking there's something wrong with the sharpness control on my TV, or any of Blue Underground's releases, where the edge enhancement is so pronounced that my eyes are continually drawn to the thick haloes around peoples' heads rather than what these people are actually saying and doing.

(The irony is that these problems could have been avoided if the people responsible for encoding the DVDs had taken more care and/or had more of a clue about what they were doing. In that regard, part of the appeal of HD-DVD is that it is forcing the studios to up their game and pay more attention to ensuring excellent image quality - something that, by the sounds of it, Sony has failed to do with Blu-Ray.)

Sure, you can make an argument that plenty of people don't care about the increase in detail and overall image quality or are able to look past DVD's shortcomings, but the exact same was true of the people who didn't get the big deal of DVD when it first came along, and as I said before, the improvement of HD-DVD over DVD is as much, if not more, than that of DVD over VHS.

For me, it's all about replicating the experience of watching a film at the cinema. DVD was fundamentally unable to do that. HD-DVD, from what I've seen of it so far, gives it a pretty good go and is definitely getting there.

Last edited by Michael Mackenzie; 02-07-2006 at 10:46.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:07   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie
I think it depends on how much the shortcomings of DVD bother you. For me, they are at times so noticeable that they actually detract from my viewing experience. This is especially true of something like The Lord of the Rings, which, on DVD, looks so blurry that I keep thinking there's something wrong with the sharpness control on my TV, or any of Blue Underground's releases, where the edge enhancement is so pronounced that my eyes are continually drawn to the thick haloes around peoples' heads rather than what these people are actually saying and doing.

Sure, you can make an argument that plenty of people don't care about the increase in detail and overall image quality or are able to look past DVD's shortcomings, but the exact same was true of the people who didn't get the big deal of DVD when it first came along, and as I said before, the improvement of HD-DVD over DVD is as much, if not more, than that of DVD over VHS.

For me, it's all about replicating the experience of watching a film at the cinema. DVD was fundamentally unable to do that. HD-DVD, from what I've seen of it so far, gives it a pretty good go and is definitely getting there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way saying there is anything wrong with your opinion, it's just I guess you are a professional who knows his stuff and this matters to you.

You can imagine perhaps a professional artist, or a top chef complaining either about the brush strokes on a work of art being poor, or perhaps the seasoning in a meal being really bad in their expert opinion.

The likes of me and you would just look at the PICTURE or eat the MEAL and thing both were excellent.

Poss silly examples.

From my own "Personal" limited experience I've not had too many bad DVD experiences. There are a few I've seem where you have the nasty macrovision blocks in the background dark colours.

I do have a Home Cinema Projector (which is not HD ready) on a 7ft wide screen and that would MASSIVLY benifit from HD as I'm sitting 9ft from a 7 foot screen. (this is driven from my PC so when you can get HD Drives that work via a HD graphics card I shall get a HD projector

I'm in agreement with you, I want and love the extra quality.

There is only 1 point that I would actually disagree with.

The move from VHS to DVD was IMHO way WAY bigger that the move from DVD to HD-DVD

Video = Physically bigger. (lot fatter)
Video = Have to rewind the movie at the end of the film
Video = Picture quality = very poor
Video = Not proper Surround Sound (like we have now)
Video = Not really widescreen (like we have now)
Video = No nice front end to jump to bits in the film
Video = Picture degraded over time
Video = Bad freeze frame and slow motion
Video = No extra audio tracks (directors commentary)
Video = Not really any extra's (in the way DVD has)

I feel DVD answered ALL of the above issues and hence was/is a major improvement in every way over video.
The only downside was it's easier to damage a DVD as the idiots decided they would not use a caddy (shame we're not going to even use one for HD-DVD or BluRay either now it seems)

So, all the superb reasons why DVD was better than VHS, and it easily won over VHS as VHS had been out so long, has had it's day and people could see the obvious ways it was better.
Hey, even not having to rewind is a god send.

but now we have another format, and what's it's selling point over the current format (normal DVD)?
Well, the picture is better if you have a massive screen, or look closely, and the menu system may be a bit flasher.

This is why I'm not yet convinced it's going to get far at the moment.

Certainly I can't see many people (general population) selling their current DVD players and spending £500 (rather than £50 or less) on a HD player.

Even myself who would love one is not going to get caught out again, this time around. Last time I waiting till DVD players were £99 before buying (bargain forum!)

Not sure what price point I'll jump at this time.

PS3, perhaps.... (well only if that drops also) but then we have the format wars in the way as well.
The very last thing we need.

Hay ho........

Hopefully in 5 years time we'll have £99 HD players and all the cheap china made models with have reverse engineered the chipsets, and we can just all have HD without caring about it.

But it's all looking a bit LazerVision, or SACD, or MiniDisc at the moment.

Well, only my 2 cents, I'm sure others will totally disagree with everything I say
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:20   #25
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Surely HD-DVD is the new LD?

i.e. an improvement over VHS (SVHS?) but likely to be only appreciated my the hardcore, or the collector - I'm not convinced it will become as mainstream as DVD has become.

Though there will of course be a format in the future that does become the norm, I'm not sure this first step is it.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:43   #26
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Tempest:

I'm not a professional, just a professional nit-picker.

Anyway, I agree with a lot of what you're saying regarding VHS vs. DVD, but I do wonder to what extent the average punter was considering issues like extras, widescreen and surround sound. I think that people have now warmed to them and expect them is a result of the uptake of DVD rather than the other way round.

Don't get me wrong, I expect HD-DVD to remain a niche format for some time, but that's not surprising. For the majority of people, the current format, whatever it is, is always "good enough", and it's a combination of factors (including advertising and the emphasising of gimmicks to sucker in the punters) that eventually leads to a new format taking off. In that regard, as a niche product, the HD-A1 is actually pretty reasonably priced. Let's not forget that £500 is actually somewhat less than what a lot of tech-savvy customers would end up paying for a top of the range standard definition player. It's also considerably less than what the first generation of DVD players cost, and the initial line-up of titles is a lot better too. By the end of the year we'll have Batman Begins, The Matrix and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire available on HD-DVD (in the US, that is), and I suspect that the prospect of seeing "better" versions of these will appeal to a lot of people.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:46   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
Surely HD-DVD is the new LD?

i.e. an improvement over VHS (SVHS?) but likely to be only appreciated my the hardcore, or the collector - I'm not convinced it will become as mainstream as DVD has become.

Though there will of course be a format in the future that does become the norm, I'm not sure this first step is it.
You may be right, and to be honest I'd actually be quite happy for it to become "the new LD" (I do own a LaserDisc player, after all), if only because it would encourage the studios to put a lot of effort into their releases in order to maintain a small but committed group of customers.

Again, though, I'd disagree with the 'DVD to HD-DVD = VHS to LD' analogy. The difference is a lot greater than that.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:56   #28
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One thing is that HD will look much better to people who've been watching normal DVDs for a long time on an LCD or plasma, because these displays really aren't designed for SD material and basically make it look poor. I'm not saying there's no leap at all obviously, but if you've spent a considerable amount of time watching SD pictures on a flat panel display, HD wil seem like a more marked difference.

Last edited by thescrounger; 02-07-2006 at 12:03.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:04   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescrounger
One thing is that HD will look much better to people who've been watching normal DVDs for a long time on an LCD or plasma, because these displays really aren't designed for SD material and basically make it look poor.
Amusingly some friends of my sister bought an HD television, and managed to convince themselves that just plugging and playing the new set, with a regular Digibox, was giving them the benefits of high definition - they were raving to everyone about it, when everyone else watching it thought it looked *****

Back on topic - I watch my DVD's on a 'tweaked to perfection' HTPC, feeding an H79 projector, and am amazed by how good they look in comparison to just playing the same titles on even top-end standalone DVD players (I bought and sold on a Pio 868 DVD player, as it couldn't compete)

I also watch high-def material, from disk (not SKY) on this HTPC set-up, and while it is excellent quality (Sin City looked particularly fine) it is not *that* much of an improvement...at least not enough for me to splash out on the new dedicated hardware.

While I fully accept that the standalone HD-DVD encoded discs, are likely to be an improvement further over the HD encodes I've been watching, the difference is no way akin to that of jumping from VHS to DVD, for me anyway.

Last edited by LouBarlow; 02-07-2006 at 12:05.
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Old 02-07-2006, 13:23   #30
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Glad to see we're all (kinda) agreeing on this topic (makes a change)

Although I know I have kinda poo poo'd HD-DVD a bit, I know this time around we have a BIG difference, in that many people (over time) are going to upgrade to HD sets.

In fact it's going to be very hard soon Not to upgrade to a HD set.

Many of the big high street stores appear to have given up with CRT sets pretty much now and are just wanting to sell flat panels.

Panel makers are pumping them out like no-ones business, and I'm sure pretty much everyone would like a flat TV rather than a CRT TV (I'm talking size/weight rather than pic quality)

HD standard (well the current low one) seems to be what mos tof the new sets are being made to.

So it's looking like when your widescreen set you bought 2 years ago, packs up in another 3 years, then you'll just end up with a flat panel HD screen by default.

Sky will end up totally HD as will Telewest, as will normal TV transmissions.

It will just happen even if you don't want it.

the same will happen with HD-DVD although it remains to be seen in what form as it's a bit of a mess at the moment and deff needs cheap chipsets.

I'd say without a doubt HD will just become the norm, but we'll evolve into it, rather than all rushing out and buying it cos it's a must have.

Well, that's one view anyway
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Old 02-07-2006, 16:55   #31
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[QUOTE=Michael Mackenzie]I think it depends on how much the shortcomings of DVD bother you. For me, they are at times so noticeable that they actually detract from my viewing experience. This is especially true of something like The Lord of the Rings, which, on DVD, looks so blurry that I keep thinking there's something wrong with the sharpness control on my TV, or any of Blue Underground's releases, where the edge enhancement is so pronounced that my eyes are continually drawn to the thick haloes around peoples' heads rather than what these people are actually saying and doing.

Have to say I'm amazed by what you say about Lord of The Rings on DVD. I've got the R1 4 disc extended editions and they look pretty good on my 36" Toshiba CRT. I only bought that 2 years ago so probably won't be looking to move to HD for at least another 3 years or more.
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Old 02-07-2006, 17:03   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun666
my 36" Toshiba CRT. I only bought that 2 years ago so probably won't be looking to move to HD for at least another 3 years or more.
Exactly my point.

To be honest, TV's in the UK, have in general not changed much until recently and people normally have expected a TV to last MANY years.

Widescreen CRT's were VERY expensive until quite recently, when having just got a DVD player, perhaps many families decided to upgrade to a widescreen CRT.

Now, just 12 or 24 months later, we have shops full of flatscreens and CRT's worth nothing secondhand.

I can see many people in the same situation, feeling they've only just got their new set, and want another few years from it before paying out again on a flat screen.

Myself I was lucky in that I held out with my old 4:3 Sony 27" CRT until HD LCD screens were at a resonable price, and made the jump all in one go from a normal 4:3 CRT to a flat HD widescreen in one go.

I know a number of people personally who have in the past year or so got widescreen CRT's and they have no intention of getting rid of them yet.

Mind you, it will be a little while before we get £299 32" HD flat screens.
Perhaps not THAT long if they flood the market.
that's when the change will really happen.
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Old 02-07-2006, 21:51   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie
The first thing you see (after waiting 60 seconds for the disc to begin playing, that is) is, naturally, the FBI warning. Already, the increase in resolution is obvious, in that you can actually read the "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity" insignia on the FBI badge, which, in standard definition, was pretty much just a smudge.

After that, the MPAA card appears (in upscaled standard definition - boo), then the film starts. That's right, no waiting through pointless menu transitions and all that crap, the film just sarts. This player was worth the price already!
Good job you watched a Warners disc first then Universal discs go straight into a menu system and then, after you hit play, you get the FBI badge and it pretty much is a smudge!

Edge
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:06   #34
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My first ever HD-DVD review is now up:

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=62038
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:45   #35
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What we've got to be careful of here is having a case of "emperor's new clothes". Are the details in HD that much better current DVD output or do people who've invested in expensive players and displays see the massive improvements becuase they want to see the money they've spent hasn't been wated.
The HD stuff I've downloaded off the internet and played via DVi into my pioneer plasma has looked stunning, but it hasn't persuaded me to get SkyHD, never mind paying ££££'s for a HD-DVD player and discs.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:49   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraystan
What we've got to be careful of here is having a case of "emperor's new clothes". Are the details in HD that much better current DVD output or do people who've invested in expensive players and displays see the massive improvements becuase they want to see the money they've spent hasn't been wated.
I think the difference is obvious.

Last edited by thescrounger; 03-07-2006 at 12:50.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:50   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraystan
Are the details in HD that much better current DVD output
Yes.
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Old 03-07-2006, 13:19   #38
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I agree that many dvds are now off-putting to the viewer because they are just banged out without the necessary care taken to really push dvd to it's limits. I don't wan't to sound like a fanboy but i have always found Micheal's reviews to be spot on and unlike many reviewers, he really has a grasp of what is and isn't a good transfer. A perfect example is Thirteen (R2). This disc was reviewed as being overly grainy and having artefacts when in fact (has his review pointed out) the grain was superbly handled and the film looked probably as good as it could on the format) It is people like myself who will benefit most from HD. By that i mean someone who is brought out of the dvd viewing experience by dancing pixels and fog and mist breaking up into an awful stuttery movement across the screen. I am slightly obsessed about film and just love to watch films in the best possible format at home. If that means watching HD that in theory should eliminate the majority of digital artefacts (should!) then that is the way forward for me. This may sound ridiculous but i am that obsessive that some of my favourite films remain locked up in my wardrobe because they were not of the quality that i want. (American Werewolf In London being an example because of the horrible pixelation early in the movie. Only transfers i consider acceptable are on display in my now 450 strong collection. I am well aware of how that sounds (very anal) but that is the way i am. So in short i will be investing in Hd dvd but only if afore mentioned artefacts are not noticeable!

Last edited by Lee_eel; 03-07-2006 at 13:21.
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Old 03-07-2006, 14:00   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescrounger
I think the difference is obvious.
Yes, but you would say that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie
Yes.
See above.
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Old 03-07-2006, 14:05   #40
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Why would I say that?
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