Join Date: Jun 2007
Re: Blu-ray vs. HD DVD: a Solution Abroad?
Here in London I've been able to view HD DVDs of Terminator 2,Total Recall, the Graduate and others that would otherwise in the US been a Blu-Ray release..... and even then, some have not even been released in the US on either format. The quality of these European releases has been good, and better than expected, from Studio Canal.... Terminator 2 turns out to be the Directors Cut as opposed to the US Blu-Ray version, which in any event was soft in its image.... typical of so many early BD releases using MPEG 2 codec...... Thank God for HD DVD and NO REGION CODING, because all of these titles would be a long,long time coming otherwise (France/Germany lists many other HD DVD titles that have not even been released or aren't even yet planned to be released in the US.... some films have better followings in different regions of the world, but why lock out others from around the world that might like to buy? Blu-Ray discs are more often than not region locked (studio dependant)... so buying BD discs from other regions requires a great deal of care/caution to ascertain whether a particular BD disc is locked to a specific region, or not-regardless of what it says "on the tin"!
Thank you, HD DVD for giving us a wealth of material from around the world, a large and ever growing catalogue that is available here,NOW,today.... allowing us the public to make good use of our high definition hungry hd panels, that we ESPECIALLY here in Europe paid so much for without hardly any prospect of using its potential apart from expensive satelite providers (make that Sky Extortionate!!!)
A disc format war has damaged the real world opportunity of getting hi-def discs into real peoples homes, certainly here in Europe, and to a lesser degree,maybe, in the US... To my mind, Sony came along with its "work in progress" and tried to tell the world that it had a world-beating hi-def system.... well, they lied... even now,there is NO Blu-Ray player commercially availible that is fully version 1.1 compliant... Great! Thank You Mr. SONY! I think NOT! all that talk of how their 50G discs would have better quality that HD DVD and more extras..... how many 50G discs are actually out there? Not many...
and all the extras promised.... very few BD discs have their extra features presented so far in HD... oh, and they STILL use MPEG 2 !!! ok, they throw a helluva lot more bitrate at it upto 40mbps, they now look better, but look at their early attempts.... some BD releases are having to be REMASTERED and RE-RELEASED in the US.... by PUBLIC DEMAND... The Fifth Element is such an example... HD DVD was developed and approved by the DVD Forum as the natural successor to DVD, and everybody could now be enjoying the party at lower cost to manufacturers of hardware, the disc manufacturers (figure published from Sonopress Europe show that they can produce MANY TIMES more HD DVDs per EACH BLU-RAY disc).... and finally the consumer (Sony,do you remember the mass market?) .... we all could already be enjoying the glorious world which our Hi-Def tv panels have been made for.... that's WHY we have the DVD Forum, which you too were a party to.... All that is lost, in Sony's vision of the World, all nations must wait until it is their turn to receive a BD release.... No sneeking over that wall to get a copy of your favourite movie... we have ways of keeping you where WE want you (Region Codes A,B,C). Oh, and WHEN you DO get your film release on BD, expect to pay our PREMIUM prices... 'cos we have to recoup our development costs incurred in ACTUALLY bringing this BD-thing to a FULL WORKING condition to get close to the standard offered from the start form HD DVD.... AND STILL we ARE NOT version 1.1 compliant before November 2007.... and still Sony and followers roll out new BELOW FULL compliant models.
There is no real difference in their current ultimate quality... and very little difference technologically speaking (just a few micro millimetres between their respective reading layers)....
Back to the real world, and the consumer is the loser of what should have been by now the biggest party the viewing public might have had domestically..... discs at the same price as they currently pay, 6 times the quality, ands players that were readily available at that US Magic Price Point of $200.... here in the UK the cheapest Toshiba down the high street is on sale below UK Pounds 200(US$ 400),whereas SONY cheaper players (NEW/non ver.1.1 compliant) retails at UK Pounds 400(US$ 800)....
I am lucky. I am an enthusiast, so I enjoy THE LUXURY of two formats.... WE are the tiny minority.... I do not forsee any change in the format war, but all throughout last year and this, Sony have crowed on and on about how HD DVD was dusted,busted,blown clean out of the water..... and that is not what we see here on the ground..... What a pity they could not have settled their differences and just given the world a single,simplified world standard... where by now the prices would have been even lower, and the choice if software would be much advanced....
This is angry Chipmonk signing off.... from London,England ... angry that the people who brought you Betamax, ELCASET (bet you don't remember that!... it was an audio cassette, but grown up! It was the size of a regular paperback book, ran at twice the speed 3 1/4" inches/sec versus 1 7/8", and was a great idea....too many years too late!!) the list goes on.... and here we are coming into 2008 and the electronics industry have still learned nothing from their mistakes.... it is the consumer and the retail trade who pay... who face the humiliation of explaining why a second format has come to market, and then talk their way around this ridiculous concept... never before have the public faced buying into works in progress.... and in Sony's case, not just in progress, because by now we can ALL see the lies they told consumers along this greasy path that they chose.... they were NOWHERE NEAR the level attained by the HD DVD camp, and are STILL OFFICIALLY not upto what is supposed to be their DECLARED standard!!!
WHat a mess! ... But, me? I'm happy... I'm just glad to have ANY Hi-def discs... I've waited for years for this level of performance, and I thank those CLEVER people at Toshiba and Universal Studios who had the foresight to see a world without regional coding, and cheaper pricing of their players and discs for the benefit of themselves, and the public who would take this technology on board....