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Author Topic: Interesting article on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD  (Read 1484 times)
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depward
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« on: July 26, 2006, 03:44:03 PM »

eMarketer thinks they both might end up like laserdisc.

Given that it took what, four years for a decent adoption rate for DVD, I'm looking forward to seeing how the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will do.
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 04:28:18 PM »

Interesting...  Personally I don't care much which format wins; whichever has become dominant in the amount of time it takes for the players to be under $300 is when I'll be in!  If both fail; I'll live...
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 04:48:47 PM »

Quote from: "JLu"
Interesting...  Personally I don't care much which format wins; whichever has become dominant in the amount of time it takes for the players to be under $300 is when I'll be in!  If both fail; I'll live...


Yeah. I actually dont' know anyone that has an HD-DVD player, and I know none of my friends are planning on a Blu-Ray player either.

These are typically people who are out there buying the next big thing in electronics, and they're all passing on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

If even the technophiles are waiting.. I don't see what chance they have.
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 05:51:35 PM »

Quote from: "Thin_J"
Quote from: "JLu"
Interesting...  Personally I don't care much which format wins; whichever has become dominant in the amount of time it takes for the players to be under $300 is when I'll be in!  If both fail; I'll live...


Yeah. I actually dont' know anyone that has an HD-DVD player, and I know none of my friends are planning on a Blu-Ray player either.

These are typically people who are out there buying the next big thing in electronics, and they're all passing on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

If even the technophiles are waiting.. I don't see what chance they have.


They both have a good chance of succeeding, thats what makes this so difficult. Both HDDVD and BR have pluses and minuses, and even though I could be called an "early adopter" and I am definitely a home theater nut, at this point, it's difficult for me to choose to make a purchase, or even recommend someone make one, because its a coinflip as to which will win.

I will say this though, after seeing a BR demo running on a 1080p 40' Samsung LCD, I don't see how anything could be better looking. I've seen a lot more of HD-DVD close up, but the BR demo blew it away and I still think BR has the most potential. That said, at $1,000.00, Sony and Samsung are shooting themselves in the foot and couldn't have had a worse launch for their product.
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Arkon
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2006, 06:05:13 PM »

I have said it before.  I have seen demos of Blu Ray and HD-DVD in stores like Best Buy and they honestly don't look any different to me than regular DVD.  I don't have a HD TV, so don't forsee myself upgrading past regular DVD anytime in the next 8-10 years.
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 08:36:03 PM »

Quote from: "Arkon"
I have said it before.  I have seen demos of Blu Ray and HD-DVD in stores like Best Buy and they honestly don't look any different to me than regular DVD.  I don't have a HD TV, so don't forsee myself upgrading past regular DVD anytime in the next 8-10 years.


I don't have any idea what you are seeing, but its night and day man, night and day. If my 61 year old dad, who doesn't have an HDTV, can be shocked at the clarity of BR versus regular DVD, then it should be plain to anyone.

I challenge you to look at the 1080p BR demo, of the Swiss watchmaker, or the faces of the actors in The Last Samurai HD-DVD, and tell me that DVD can replicate that.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 09:59:15 PM »

I thought the demos were impressive, but not vastly so.

The somewhat minor upgrade in visual quality would not even come close to justifying the cost of buying even just the player for either one.
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006, 11:31:07 PM »

I'm usually not an early adopter on something like this...but for my two cents, I really like the "portability" that HD offers (or will offer).  Being able to play movies where I want to and how I want to - I think will make a big difference.  BR, I think has some challenges in that area, specifically that although HP wants portability - some in the BR camp do not (eg. FOX studios).  

So I would probably support HD...not that my xbox allegiance (and not to playstation) has anything to do with it  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2006, 11:46:50 PM »

Quote from: "Thin_J"
I thought the demos were impressive, but not vastly so.

The somewhat minor upgrade in visual quality would not even come close to justifying the cost of buying even just the player for either one.


Are you guys seeing these demos on 13" TV's or something? The resolution bump is nothing short of impressive and to my eye, a huge upgrade. I challenge any of you guys to watch The Last Samurai or The Terminator on a regular DVD player, in both 480i and 480p, on a good quality HDTV, then watch the HD-DVD and BR versions on that same HDTV, and tell me they aren't much better.

@ 500 and 1000 dollars certainly not, but at 299 or 399, I would jump on them. Thats why in my opinion, BOTH screwed up when they made the prices so high at launch. What better way to really give your new technologically better product a flying head start, than to introduce it at 200, 300, or 400 bucks? $1,000????? Crazy high and consequently, nobody is buying them. Won't really do Samsung and Sony much good in the long run to keep the prices that high.
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2006, 11:56:56 PM »

Quote from: "jblank"
@ 500 and 1000 dollars certainly not, but at 299 or 399, I would jump on them. Thats why in my opinion, BOTH screwed up when they made the prices so high at launch. What better way to really give your new technologically better product a flying head start, than to introduce it at 200, 300, or 400 bucks? $1,000????? Crazy high and consequently, nobody is buying them. Won't really do Samsung and Sony much good in the long run to keep the prices that high.


DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2006, 12:03:16 AM »

It could depend on the size of the TV they are seeing the demo on.  I recently read an article in popular mechanics and something they noted about HD-TV's was that to really see a difference at higher resolutions you need a much larger TV.  So if the demo is on a 47" set at 1080 you wont really "see" a difference but if it was on a 65" set you would definitely see a difference.

Just some thoughts.  Not a videophile so I certainly could have this wrong.
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2006, 12:30:08 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "jblank"
@ 500 and 1000 dollars certainly not, but at 299 or 399, I would jump on them. Thats why in my opinion, BOTH screwed up when they made the prices so high at launch. What better way to really give your new technologically better product a flying head start, than to introduce it at 200, 300, or 400 bucks? $1,000????? Crazy high and consequently, nobody is buying them. Won't really do Samsung and Sony much good in the long run to keep the prices that high.


DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.


The first DVD player I bought was in '97 and it wasn't 1000 bucks it was $499 and not a crap brand. Maybe some specialized models were 1000 bucks, but $499 was the intro price on most every brands I saw.

It's possible prices will drop quickly and sharply (Sony said they hope to have BR player prices in line with HD-DVD prices by year end....I'm skeptical) but I think they lost out on some momentum, particularly Sony/Samsung, by starting their players out so high.
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Arkon
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2006, 12:31:47 AM »

The demo was on a 1080p set, not 100% sure on size, if I had to guess it was around 36" maybe 40", somewhere in that range.    To my eyes, my standard cable looks crystal clear, I saw no difference between my DVDs and the demos that were running in the stores.
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2006, 12:34:09 AM »

Quote from: "drifter"
It could depend on the size of the TV they are seeing the demo on.  I recently read an article in popular mechanics and something they noted about HD-TV's was that to really see a difference at higher resolutions you need a much larger TV.  So if the demo is on a 47" set at 1080 you wont really "see" a difference but if it was on a 65" set you would definitely see a difference.

Just some thoughts.  Not a videophile so I certainly could have this wrong.


I think you do to some extent, but thats ok. :wink:  smile

It's true, for 1080p content the larger the screen the bigger the improvement over other resolutions, but I've seen HD-DVD/BR demos on TV's from 32' to 60' and its an improvement over DVD on every resolution. My wife and I have two Sony Bravia LCD HDTV's and while my main HDTV in my home theater room isn't the biggest screen in the world, I can guarantee that I would be able to see a difference over DVD on it and on the 23' Sony we have in our bedroom.
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2006, 12:36:32 AM »

Quote from: "Arkon"
The demo was on a 1080p set, not 100% sure on size, if I had to guess it was around 36" maybe 40", somewhere in that range.    To my eyes, my standard cable looks crystal clear, I saw no difference between my DVDs and the demos that were running in the stores.


Well, I'm not gonna put you down or anything, but I don't see how that is possible. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I find it extremely difficult to believe, and extremely implausuble that someone with two working eyes could not tell the difference between standard cable and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, on a 36 or 40' HDTV.
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2006, 12:36:40 AM »

Quote from: "jblank"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "jblank"
@ 500 and 1000 dollars certainly not, but at 299 or 399, I would jump on them. Thats why in my opinion, BOTH screwed up when they made the prices so high at launch. What better way to really give your new technologically better product a flying head start, than to introduce it at 200, 300, or 400 bucks? $1,000????? Crazy high and consequently, nobody is buying them. Won't really do Samsung and Sony much good in the long run to keep the prices that high.


DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.


The first DVD player I bought was in '97 and it wasn't 1000 bucks it was $499 and not a crap brand. Maybe some specialized models were 1000 bucks, but $499 was the intro price on most every brands I saw.

It's possible prices will drop quickly and sharply (Sony said they hope to have BR player prices in line with HD-DVD prices by year end....I'm skeptical) but I think they lost out on some momentum, particularly Sony/Samsung, by starting their players out so high.


No sense trying to ignite huge demand now with price cuts when

1) there is very little content for the players
2) HDTV penetration hasn't reached critical mass yet
3) production can't meet increased demand

Toshiba shipped what, around 10,000 units at release? It takes a while to ramp up production lines, both for the disks and for the players. I'd love to have a $300 player too, but I can see why the market isn't ready for it yet.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2006, 12:45:00 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "jblank"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "jblank"
@ 500 and 1000 dollars certainly not, but at 299 or 399, I would jump on them. Thats why in my opinion, BOTH screwed up when they made the prices so high at launch. What better way to really give your new technologically better product a flying head start, than to introduce it at 200, 300, or 400 bucks? $1,000????? Crazy high and consequently, nobody is buying them. Won't really do Samsung and Sony much good in the long run to keep the prices that high.


DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.


The first DVD player I bought was in '97 and it wasn't 1000 bucks it was $499 and not a crap brand. Maybe some specialized models were 1000 bucks, but $499 was the intro price on most every brands I saw.

It's possible prices will drop quickly and sharply (Sony said they hope to have BR player prices in line with HD-DVD prices by year end....I'm skeptical) but I think they lost out on some momentum, particularly Sony/Samsung, by starting their players out so high.


No sense trying to ignite huge demand now with price cuts when

1) there is very little content for the players
2) HDTV penetration hasn't reached critical mass yet
3) production can't meet increased demand

Toshiba shipped what, around 10,000 units at release? It takes a while to ramp up production lines, both for the disks and for the players. I'd love to have a $300 player too, but I can see why the market isn't ready for it yet.


I'll be glad to explain why they missed the boat on prices and it has to do with the misguided belief that DVD is "good enough" and HD-DVD and BR aren't all that different from DVD. The majority of people aren't home theater hobbyists like me, they don't know 720p from Adam, and to them DVD looks great and thats all they need. By really pushing sales of BR and HDDVD, marketing the product, getting exposure, finding Joe Citizen and showing him WHY he needs this product and proving he can afford it, they would have gotten a bigger push.

That article in the top post makes some very good points and hits on my fear that both players in the game might be fighting a huge battle as far as the public goes and getting their product noticed and bought. Sure, there aren't 1000 movies out for them yet, but HDTV's are selling VERY well now and the REAL push for them is coming and coming fast.

I thought these things would sell some HDTV's but at 500 and 1000 dollars, people are ignoring them and around here at least, are getting no attention. Those prices cost them at least 1 sale.......me.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2006, 02:19:00 AM »

Quote from: "jblank"
Those prices cost them at least 1 sale.......me.


Not necessarilly.  You said that you would jump on it for $299 or $399.  Presumably this would still be the case in a year or two.  So now they get the early adopters who are willing to spend up to a grand for stuff like this, then they'll catch you and others like you whenever they hit the magical pricepoint that everbody pegs for themself.
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2006, 04:27:50 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "jblank"
Those prices cost them at least 1 sale.......me.


Not necessarilly.  You said that you would jump on it for $299 or $399.  Presumably this would still be the case in a year or two.  So now they get the early adopters who are willing to spend up to a grand for stuff like this, then they'll catch you and others like you whenever they hit the magical pricepoint that everbody pegs for themself.


What Kevin said. Plus, there's no sense educating consumers on HD and whipping up demand when the production lines, both for disks and players, can't meet that demand yet.
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2006, 06:44:06 AM »

Quote from: "jblank"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.


The first DVD player I bought was in '97 and it wasn't 1000 bucks it was $499 and not a crap brand. Maybe some specialized models were 1000 bucks, but $499 was the intro price on most every brands I saw.


My first DVD player was $1200.  The magnificent Sony DVP-S7000.  It's both a beauty and a beast.  They don't make them like that anymore!
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2006, 11:34:41 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "jblank"
Those prices cost them at least 1 sale.......me.


Not necessarilly.  You said that you would jump on it for $299 or $399.  Presumably this would still be the case in a year or two.  So now they get the early adopters who are willing to spend up to a grand for stuff like this, then they'll catch you and others like you whenever they hit the magical pricepoint that everbody pegs for themself.


What Kevin said. Plus, there's no sense educating consumers on HD and whipping up demand when the production lines, both for disks and players, can't meet that demand yet.


Key word is yet. I'm seeing a second or third wave of Toshiba A1's on shelves, so they are at a point now where I think at least for HD-DVD, they are able to produce enough of that model.
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2006, 11:35:47 AM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Quote from: "jblank"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
DVD players were over $1000 when they were first introduced in 1997 and it didn't hurt them any. There's no reason to think that HD and Blu-Ray won't follow the same price reduction curve. In fact, the competition between both formats will likely drive prices down faster than it did for DVD players.


The first DVD player I bought was in '97 and it wasn't 1000 bucks it was $499 and not a crap brand. Maybe some specialized models were 1000 bucks, but $499 was the intro price on most every brands I saw.


My first DVD player was $1200.  The magnificent Sony DVP-S7000.  It's both a beauty and a beast.  They don't make them like that anymore!


Well there are still $2,000 DVD players out today, but in '97 if you walked into Circuit City or Sears, or anyplace else that at that time was carrying DVD players, most companies models were $499.
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2006, 12:23:37 PM »

First of all, the players *WERE* $1000+ for the pro-scan models. Comparing today's 480p prices with the 480i's of yesteryear is flawed. Hell, now we have upconverting players which apparently do pretty well.

As to the format wars, I'll throw my lot in with the HD-DVD. This isn't a Sony-Hate thing, or a Sony-Stupid-New-Format-that-goes-away-faster-than-UMD thing... it's for the functionality.

HD-DVD's, as I understand it, still give you the DVD option on the other side of the disk. Just because I buy one HD-DVD player doesn't mean I don't have any SDTVs with older DVD players. This is a big selling feature. (BC + portability and not having to buy the same movie twice). Also, the protective layer is thicker on the HD-DVDs (BR requires more meat and less bun, as it were). This also means that the BR disks can't add a DVD layer; effectively making it impossible to be backwards compatible.

Since HD-DVD is using new compression, whereas BR is MPEG2 (at this time) the space benefits for video playing is negligable. They're also having problems with producing BR disks, which means you're looking at a higher cost per disk (to buffer their wallets on mfgr failure rates).

Check out #183 blogcast on www.majornelson.com for more info on HD-DVD and BR. (yes, it's from MS, so there is a grain of salt; MajorNelson has an open invitation to BR to come on the show, unedited, to state their benefits. Thus far, no word on that).
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2006, 01:25:08 PM »

Quote
First of all, the players *WERE* $1000+ for the pro-scan models. Comparing today's 480p prices with the 480i's of yesteryear is flawed. Hell, now we have upconverting players which apparently do pretty well.


I don't even remember that. I remember Toshiba having one that was 700, but again, what I saw in CC and Sears, and was was available as a specialized product are different. Like I said, there are still $2,000.00 players today, so I'm not refuting $1,000.00 players, but what people were buying stores, from what I remember, they were 4,5,6 hundred dollars.

Quote
HD-DVD's, as I understand it, still give you the DVD option on the other side of the disk.


Thats not the case. Now what I have heard some companies like Warner will do, is they will release a movie on DVD and offer the HD-DVD in the same package. Both BR and HD-DVD will play regular DVD's and upconvert them, so your next point about backwards compatibility is an advantage for neither.

You are 100% right about problems with double layer BR discs, thats a HUGE HUGE HUGE problem and if they can't get more than 25gb discs out there, so they can get away from MPEG2, BR will lose this war and lose it quickly.

EDIT: Here is DVD Talk's review of the Sammy player.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=22593

A snippet talking about its standard DVD playback capability

Standard DVD Playback
The Samsung BD-P1000 is backwards compatible with regular DVD (as well as CD, which some Blu-ray players will not be). It can upconvert 480i DVD video to 480p, 720p, or 1080i resolutions. It tested this out a little bit, but my philosophy is that if I want to watch a DVD I'll watch it in a quality DVD player. A Blu-ray player is best served watching Blu-ray discs. However, I realize that some potential buyers will find this more important than I do.

The unit is compatible with Region 1 NTSC DVDs. It is not a region-free deck and cannot play PAL discs regardless of region coding. The player will not pillarbox or zoom 4:3 or non-anamorphic letterbox content, so you won't want to watch discs of those types at an upscaled resolution unless you enjoy watching the picture stretched to 16:9. This is also problematic on the Blu-ray discs themselves, which have so far recycled DVD bonus features in 4:3 Standard Definition video without pillarboxing; on most HDTV displays these will come out looking stretched.

The BD-P1000 uses a Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing chip that passed most of the important tests on the HQV Benchmark DVD. In this regard, it outperformed the Toshiba HD-A1, which has some difficulty with video-based content. In my testing, both performed about the same when it came to deinterlacing film-based movies. The Samsung's scaling process didn't introduce any distracting artifacts that I noticed, but the resulting picture was not as sharp or detailed as the HD-A1's (many owners have raved about the Toshiba's upscaling abilities). For lack of testing this all that extensively, my preliminary judgement is that the BD-P1000 is a reasonably decent though not exceptional upscaling DVD player. If this were your main criteria for buying it, the unit is certainly not worth $999 for that alone. Better upscaling DVD players can be purchased for significantly less.


The Toshiba player

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=21310

Standard DVD Playback
I'm aware that many potential buyers are worried about how well the HD-A1 will play their existing DVD collections. After all, regardless of how successful or unsuccessful these new High Definition formats become, standard DVD will still be around for a long time. On a personal level, though, I've never fully understood these concerns. If you have a DVD player that you like now, what does it matter how the HD DVD deck plays the same discs? I use the HD DVD player to play HD DVD discs, and a DVD player to play DVD discs. I also use my videogame consoles exclusively for videogames, and never for movie playback. I realize that not everyone has the space or interest to hang onto multiple electronic devices, and many prefer to consolidate their hardware into as few items as possible, but in my opinion the all-in-one design mentality has more compromises than benefits, and I find that you can almost always get better quality by sticking with dedicated components for specific functions.



That said, I put the HD-A1 through its paces with regular DVD playback anyway. The unit is compatible with Region 1 NTSC DVDs. It is not a region-free deck and cannot play PAL discs regardless of region coding. The HD-A1 will play DVDs at their original 480i resolution via any of the analog connections, or deinterlaced to 480p over Component video. It will not upscale copy-protected DVDs to higher resolutions over Component. Via HDMI, DVDs can be output at 480p (but not 480i) or upscaled to 720p or 1080i. The machine will read the aspect ratio flag on each DVD disc and it automatically pillarboxes 4:3 and non-anamorphic content into the center of the 16:9 frame whether you want it to or not. It does not offer any options for zooming non-anamorphic letterbox content to fill the screen.

I tested anamorphic DVDs upscaled to both 720p and 1080i resolution over HDMI. The quality of the scaling itself is quite good, at least on par with other high performance upconverting DVD players on the market. I didn't notice any unwanted scaling artifacts such as pixelation, softening of the image, color banding, or edge ringing. On the downside, the deinterlacing quality is not as good. The unit failed many of the complex tests on the HQV Benchmark DVD, including diagonal line filtering and mixed-source cadences. The scrolling text test came out especially poor. Oddly, the infamous waving flag and racetrack tests looked better than expected while some of the simpler tests that even lesser players pass looked worse. Depending on what type of content you watch, this will be of more concern to some viewers than others (standard film-based movies seemed mostly fine), but is certainly not up to the same standard as the Faroudja, Silicon Image, or HQV deinterlacing found in the best DVD players.
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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2006, 10:55:32 PM »

i'm still doing fine with my VHS tapes...??
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