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Old 05-09-2006, 09:13   #121
Gedalia
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We're talking about the general public here right? And whether they will embrace HD-DVD?

I use my mother and in-laws as examples.

My mother has a 24" 4:3 TV and is absolutely perfectly happy with it and wouldn’t even consider getting an even cheap widescreen CRT until her current TV dies and wouldn’t spend more than £250 tops on one when the time comes a few years down the line. She is not at all fussed with picture quality although loves dvd's due to their undeniable convenience over VHS.

My in-laws replaced their dead 4:3 TV last year, what did they get? A piece of **** £299 28" widescreen that looks like a goldfish bowl it’s so curved with a supper ***** picture quality on their £30 dvd player and they think they've got it good.

These kind of people are not going to spend £500 plus on even the most basic HDTV let alone an hd-dvd player.

I believe there is a market for HD, and it will be bigger than a small niche but the mass market will not embrace HD until they are forced to by the fact that any new TV will automatically be HD in 3-5 years time.

Then there is myself. I spent what was for me a fortune (just under £700) on a quality 32" crt about 20 months ago. There is no way I am going to replace this tv anytime soon. The picture quality for SD is superb on it and although I wouldnt mind an lcd or plasma, there is no way I could justify the cost while my current tv works perfectly and has a great sd picture as well.

Last edited by Gedalia; 05-09-2006 at 09:15.
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:21   #122
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The uptake of LCD's and Plasma's is what will drive sales as thats the biggest barrier to buying into HD because of the relative price of them compared to CRT's. However we know CRT's are def in the decline so I think stuff like HD-DVD and Sky HD will become more popular and cheaper over the next 24 months.

Also all these conversations about whether they will take off were had about Sky+ and DVD and look what happened there...
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Old 11-09-2006, 14:02   #123
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Well I've managed to do what I intended not to, and ordered my Tosh.

A player plus 6 titles for just over 400 seems to be as good value as it will get for a while, even counting the Xbox360 add-on, which is not guaranteed to be of the same quality - can always sell it on anyway I guess

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Old 11-09-2006, 14:06   #124
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Which titles have you ordered?
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Old 11-09-2006, 14:11   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie
Which titles have you ordered?
Serenity
Pitch Black DC
Bourne Supremacy
Happy Gilmore
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Rundown

I went for 4 demo discs (well based on reviews anyway) and 2 films I can watch over and over - I'll let you guess which is which

I was considering waiting for the Gen2 players, with (probably) dedicated chipsets, rather than the PC in an old VHS case that we have now, but I'm not convinced that the newer hardware will fare much better performance-wise, and I'm not worried about 1080p for a few years anyway
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Old 11-09-2006, 14:14   #126
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Nice list. Serenity is the best-looking disc I've seen so far, and The Bourne Supremacy is no slouch either.

Be sure to update the firmware to 2.0 (although make sure you don't have a disc in the drive when you do so, or the player will be permanently borked). It enables TrueHD support and greatly improves menu performance.
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Old 11-09-2006, 16:16   #127
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That's a good price, Lou.
An HD-DVD player is THE gadget I want to get next, but I just can't justify one. The reason? I have far too many standard DVD's from various regions and the current HD-DVD players won't play them. I can't justify haveing a standard DVD Recorder and a HD-DVD player sitting under my plasma.
It also wouldn't fit as I've got an Amp, Sky+, DVD Recorder, XBOX 360 and a center speaker there.
It looks like I'm going to have to go for the 360 HD Drive add on and hope that I can ignore the noise of the 360, when watching a movie.
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Old 11-09-2006, 16:51   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraystan
That's a good price, Lou.
An HD-DVD player is THE gadget I want to get next, but I just can't justify one. The reason? I have far too many standard DVD's from various regions and the current HD-DVD players won't play them. I can't justify haveing a standard DVD Recorder and a HD-DVD player sitting under my plasma.
Well I bought an Oppo SD DVD player too today so I will be pretty much future proof for a while Am selling my HTPC to finance some of the deal, as I'm just getting too bored with tweaking the nuts out of it to get the best image

I paid at least 500 for my first DVD player, so found it hard to resist at that price - can't wait to see it in action on my H79!
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Old 15-09-2006, 21:36   #129
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Well, the beast arrived this morning, and impressions are, as you might say, mixed:

Love:

The picture
The Sound

Hate:

The way the player has a mind of it's own, even after upgrading the firmware.

The way it refuses to play nice with my H79 PJ - a PJ relatively common, and able to deal with everything else I've thrown it's way - HDMI support is absolutely shocking.

The way it's almost impossible to calibrate properly as the blacker than black signals one relies on when calibrating with Avia, is missing.

The way that even when you find a THX disc to calibrate with, the DVD settings are not even close to those required for viewing HD-DVD material properly - far too dark in my experience.

The way that the remote cannot be seen in the dark - having to turn on the light to find a control, that is placed in the most random place ever, kinda spoils the mood.

The way that no disc seems to be able to resume from where you stopped it previously.



The actual a/v is/are spectacular, but the hardship of getting it working, almost ruins the experience for me.
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Old 15-09-2006, 23:18   #130
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Sounds like someone dropped it in the factory.
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Old 16-09-2006, 19:27   #131
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The clunkiness of that Tosh has convinced me to wait around for the release of HD-DVD here and see what fayre we get served up.

I've fiddled around with a Toshiba DVD recorder that looks like the same chassis as the US Tosh HD player and the firmware was shockingly bad and it took an age to decide on anything that you were asking it to do.
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Old 17-09-2006, 06:52   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
A player plus 6 titles for just over 400 seems to be as good value as it will get for a while, even counting the Xbox360 add-on, which is not guaranteed to be of the same quality - can always sell it on anyway I guess

Most people probably wouldn't class that as good value especially when you can pick up a dvd player for £20 upwards and say 5 dvds in a 5 for £30 sale........so you get a dvd plus films for an 1/8th of the price.
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Old 17-09-2006, 07:12   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenole
Most people probably wouldn't class that as good value especially when you can pick up a dvd player for £20 upwards and say 5 dvds in a 5 for £30 sale........so you get a dvd plus films for an 1/8th of the price.
Plus about 1/8th of the quality, which is something that anyone considering buying an HD machine presumably cares about.
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Old 17-09-2006, 07:13   #134
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Xenole - Well you're not comparing like with like - an HD-DVD player is not a DVD player so seems strange to compare them.

It's a new technology, so bringing up the current price of it's predecessor seems a bit irrelevent.

Last edited by LouBarlow; 17-09-2006 at 07:13.
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Old 17-09-2006, 07:15   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
Hate:

The way the player has a mind of it's own, even after upgrading the firmware.

The way it refuses to play nice with my H79 PJ - a PJ relatively common, and able to deal with everything else I've thrown it's way - HDMI support is absolutely shocking.

The way it's almost impossible to calibrate properly as the blacker than black signals one relies on when calibrating with Avia, is missing.

The way that even when you find a THX disc to calibrate with, the DVD settings are not even close to those required for viewing HD-DVD material properly - far too dark in my experience.

The way that the remote cannot be seen in the dark - having to turn on the light to find a control, that is placed in the most random place ever, kinda spoils the mood.

The way that no disc seems to be able to resume from where you stopped it previously.
I've not experienced any HDMI issues, but I can relate to all the other problems. There are some maddening design flaws in the player, and the constant HDMI "handshaking" means that if you change the resolution, switch off the display or anything like that, it loses sync and forces you to restart the disc from the beginning.

By the way, I read somewhere that turning on black enhancement in the settings menu will allow you to achieve blacker than black. Not sure how accurate this is, and whether or not it mangles the black level, as I'm not able to check for myself at the moment, but you might want to give it a go and see if you have any luck.
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Old 17-09-2006, 07:19   #136
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I'm really at a bit of a loss at the moment.

Set it up to my component outputs last night before I went out - came back home to try it, and the picture is just not a stable image - there is a slight 'shimmering' where the picture appears to be moving up and down slightly - best seen on menus and static shots - happens playing DVD's as well.

I put it down to my drunken state last night, but I'm watching it now and it is the same, which kinda means component is out for me too - I'll be giving composite a go later
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Old 17-09-2006, 08:07   #137
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OK. so the shimmering is gone in 720p mode - that's something I suppose

Michael, back me up on this one - why the hell am I not able to stop a film and then press play and have it start again from the same place?

I'm not talking about stopping - turning the player off and then returning the next day and expecting it to be ready for action...I am talking - get into a film - need a **** around the hour mark, so I stop the film - come back fully refreshed, press play, and the film starts at the mofoing beginning again?

A feature that has existed since the VHS and it doesn't seem able here?

I can't believe Toshiba would be so stupid as to force the filmgoing public to sit through an entire movie without breaks - still I guess it adds to the cinematic experience

I'm so, so tempted to box this whole mess up and flog it in the classifieds, as it is an absolutely tedious piece of kit, and life is too short.
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Old 17-09-2006, 08:15   #138
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Lou - if the shimmering disappears in 720p mode, then it sounds as if your display isn't capable of 1080i film mode, and is therefore displaying it "bobbed". My HDTV can do 1080i film mode, and as a result looks very nice, although my PC monitor, which can accept HDMI via a DVI converter, displays it bobbed, so I can sometimes see the shimmer you mention. This is a shame, because the quality of the player's 1080i output is much better than its 720p output (although this has improved somewhat with the 2.0 firmware).

I don't know why the resume mode doesn't work. I seem to remember it working for standard def DVDs but not HD DVDs - I may be wrong, though. As I mentioned in my previous post, the most annoying part is that you can't pause an HD DVD and switch off the display, or it decides that you're getting up to dodgy business and forces the disc to start from the beginning again. Not sure if this is just the stupidity of the player's design or a general HDMI issue.

To be honest, I've learned to work around these problems. They're annoying, but I think perseverance is worth it for this system. Selling it on might not be a bad idea, though, if it's giving you that much grief, especially with the second generation players due out before the end of the year.

Last edited by Michael Mackenzie; 17-09-2006 at 08:16.
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Old 17-09-2006, 08:34   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mackenzie
Lou - if the shimmering disappears in 720p mode, then it sounds as if your display isn't capable of 1080i film mode, and is therefore displaying it "bobbed". My HDTV can do 1080i film mode, and as a result looks very nice, although my PC monitor, which can accept HDMI via a DVI converter, displays it bobbed, so I can sometimes see the shimmer you mention. This is a shame, because the quality of the player's 1080i output is much better than its 720p output (although this has improved somewhat with the 2.0 firmware).
It only does it via component Michael - HDMI@1080i is lovely and stable.

Just researched the 'resume issue' and it seems a trademark of Warner titles, so I might fire up one of the other discs and see if it's any different.

After you have stopped a disc on yours, do you get any display at all, or just a blank screen?
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Old 17-09-2006, 08:42   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouBarlow
After you have stopped a disc on yours, do you get any display at all, or just a blank screen?
Yeah, black screen for me as well. You might be able to change this, though, by selecting a different skin in the options menu.
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