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Old 10-05-2007   #19
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Thumbs down Re: Expect Two Winners in the HD Disc Format War

The last time I took the family (a 3 year old, 10 year old, and my wife) we went to see Shrek the 3rd. Two teens were literally getting it on about 6-7 seats over from me. Luckily on my side and not the kid's. Also, the cell phones, talking, sticky floors, and whatever it is that makes people have to get up and go to the bathroom as soon as the movie starts.
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Old 10-05-2007   #20
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Default Re: Expect Two Winners in the HD Disc Format War

You might just be right on multiple formats surviving this war, but I do fell strong on the idea that there is no need to sit on the fence anymore.

This whole thing about the hardware reminds me about the hardware/software model used by satalite providers, cell phone companies and internet providers (just to name a few)...

It is not the hardware that we buy that determines the final tally, it's the software/media/service contract with these companies that generate the real money!

Crikey, they will give you a phone for free if you sign a long term contract, hmmm, free phone and the subscribers pays $100/month for 3 years, same for internet or satalite hardware...Think about it.

I bought a $150 DVD player and have over 200 titles (and I don't have near the size collection of some people), at even $10 per title (some are previously viewed), that is over $2000.

Future Shop here in Canada is selling the Toshiba HD-A2 for $199 today, what's that 10 movies based on $20 per or 33 rentals from Blockbuster??? Oh yeah, and they give you 3 movies to start off the collection!
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Old 10-05-2007   #21
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Unhappy Re: Expect Two Winners in the HD Disc Format War

This is all nice and well,but it would be great if someone could buy a Universal DVD player that would be the best in both formats.If the best Blue Ray DVD player comes from a certain manufacturer,and the best HD DVD player from another manufacturer,what then.I would love to avoid stacking DVD players.And let's not forget the DVD recorder.This means 3 DVD components stacked one on top of the other.Can any manufacturer make a Universal DVD player in (Blue Ray and HD DVD),but that could also record in regular normal mode,since none can record in a higher format yet,well as far as I know.
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Old 10-05-2007   #22
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Default Re: Expect Two Winners in the HD Disc Format War

I fear the idea of being without two players is pretty far off.

Right now you need two. Some form of HD DVD player and a top Blu-ray player.

Even the so-called "universal" players aren't HD DVD certified.
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Old 10-05-2007   #23
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Exclamation is a high end publication - its time to buy a player

Originally Posted by Tristan View Post
This continual whining about "you have to buy" one of the formats (or more ridiculously both)on this site is starting to take on the tone of desperation. Which manufacterer do you own stock in (or work for)? How stupid do they think consumers are? Certainly the backers of two formats insult the consumer. Some of you may have unlimited funds to spend on multiple formats--fine, go to it. For my part, I will not buy until the price is where DVD players are now (one format and still multiple options and low prices from competition) for dual format players. Barring that, I hope the players and the movies sit on the shelves.
Did you miss the concept that is a HIGH END home theater and audiophile site. We don't review $59 DVD players and if the early adopter, tech savvy readers of our site sit on the fence like CNET and many other so-called enthusiast publications have suggested at various times since HD DVD and Blu-ray came out - players will NEVER make it to $199 let alone $59. In fact, Hollywood studios will pull their support, titles will shrivel up and you will be left downloading your 1/2 resolution DVDs from Apple and wondering why your 1080p HDTV looks like crap.

The simple fact is: garbage in - garbage out and HD DVD and Blu-ray are the opposite of garbage when it comes to video and audio quality. YES the players are expensive. YES they are a pain in the ass to make work but HOW can you compete with the video performance? How can you starve a new 1080p HDTV with lame up-converted 480p video and over-compressed satellite or cable feeds?

Its time for you to step up. Its why you read this forum and read Spend $400 and go 1080p. It wont hurt you.
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Old 10-05-2007   #24
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Default Re: Expect Two Winners in the HD Disc Format War

I think a very important item is being missed in this discussion.

Forget all of the arguments about which format is better, which format will win, and/or which one (or both) you should or should not buy.

The real issue here is how many formats will you have to contend with in your home theater/audio system, if you want the best of all audio and video formats.

And if you can answer that question, how exactly can you deal with integrating these multiple sources into your present system? The missing item in this discussion is the fact that the HDMI interface is the only non-proprietary way to carry uncompressed multichannel digital audio to your receiver or preamp/processor(without trans-coding).

I have a Marantz 8001 receiver. I love it. But it only has two DVI inputs, so it need to be upgraded.

Before I started to look for a new receiver or preamp/processor, I asked myself "how many formats do I need to contend with?". Since no one knows at this point who will win high def disc the war, I assumed that both formats will survive. Therefore, I either need a player that does both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, or I need two single format players to cover both of those bases.

I also have a huge collection of DVD-Audio and SACD discs. Presently, I use the analog outputs of my Oppo DV-970H to play these discs. But I will go with HDMI to pass DSD and PCM multi-channel audio transport streams to my new receiver. So, I need a PS-3 (to pass DSD) and I can stay with my Oppo to pass the PCM. The Oppo does pass SACD digitally through its HDMI output, but it converts (trans-codes) the DSD to PCM internally and passes the audio as PCM. I want to keep the DSD audio in its native format, to be decoded into analog audio at the last possible place in the chain. I don't want any conversion artifacts.

By the way, the PS-3 is the only player I know of that passes DSD through HDMI for conversion by the receiver or pre/processor. So I can't go with a 'universal' high def video player like the LG or Samsung.

So, I'll go with a PS-3 (for Blu-Ray and SACD), and a Toshiba HD-A35 (for HD-DVD).

I also have three other high definition video sources. I have a DirecTV HD-DVR, and a Verizon FIOS HD-DVR. Both have HDMI outputs. I also have a JVC HM-D30000U D-VHS high def VCR, which has only component outputs.

For the present time, these sources do not have to use HDMI to pass digital audio, because they only have standard PCM or Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio, which can be carried to my receiver via SPDIF.
Until broadcast television goes to Dolby Digital Plus, True-HD or DTS-Master Audio, I can connect one of these sources to my extra HDMI input on my Vizio GV-47L. (That won't happen for years).

I also want a high def disc recorder (when prices for players and media come down). But I don't need an available HDMI output for it. I can record the disc, and play back the disc on my PS-3 or HD-A35. I can use component video to monitor the recorder while it is recording.

From what I've read, the Blu-Ray association has chosen IEEE 1394 (AKA Firewire) to implement managed copy. Of course, even if it is implemented, there are no presently available Blu-Ray players with a Firewire output on them. So copying 1080P video with uncompressed multichannel audio is still a pipe dream. Besides, it doesn't pay to buy a blank disc for the same price as the prerecorded disc you want to copy. Blank media will have to also drop in price before copying makes any sense.

So, I have chosen the Denon 4308ci as my next purchase. It has 4 HDMI inputs, and can accept all high def disc uncompressed audio formats. It also decodes DSD internally.

Three other quick points need to be made about audio and the integration of multiple formats into a system.

There is a way to avoid using HDMI as your audio pathway. You can use analog multichannel outputs. However, if you choose a player that has multichannel analog outputs, you will have to deal with another issue. Even if you get a universal high def disc player to cover both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, it will take up the one analog multichannel analog audio input on your receiver or pre/precessor. That means you can't have an SACD/DVD-Audio player in your system as well.

Second, even when the HDMI streams Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio to your receiver for decoding, you will not be able to use most (and possibly all) of the added features of the disc.

For example, you will be able to hear the uncompressed multichannel soundtrack, but you won't be able to hear it overlaid with the director's commentary. If you want to hear the audio commentary, you will have to do the decoding inside the high def player. It will take the True HD or Master Audio soundtrack, decode it internally, transcode it to uncompressed PCM , overlay the commentary, and pass the PCM through the HDMI output to your receiver.

I doubt any trans-coding artifacts will be audible, but this issue means you have to switch settings (that should require setting one time only) in your receiver and high def player back and forth. That sucks.

Third, it is only a matter of time before Sony Music and Warner start issuing multichannel music only albums on high def discs using Dolby True HD. I saw a video of Dolby corporation's president on another site where he confirmed that both labels were going to do this. He refused to give details, but these discs are definitely coming.

I expected this from Sony all along. They spent a fortune developing SACD, and withdrew it from the market when the new high def disc formats came on the horizon. They have a huge catalog of music they want to resell. They find themselves in another format war. Initially, they had exclusive for Blu Ray content from more studios than HD-DVD. Now Paramount has changed sides.

Adding Sony and Warner music content exclusively to Blu Ray might tip the scales back to them. Imagine a single disc that had two or three albums in 5.1 Dolby True HD for say $25 or $30?. Remember, any sales of back catalog is pure profit. And Sony and Warner Music have already mixed hundreds of titles in 5.1 for DVD-Audio and DVD-Audio. So many titles would simply need to be mastered into Dolby True HD format.

Not that creating more new multichannel album mixes is prohibitively expensive. Just pick the right music and it will sell. DSotM sold well as an SACD. Imagine all of the original Led Zeppelin or Santana albums in 5.1.

I believe that the only thing holding back the music only Dolby True HD multichannel album on Blu Ray is production limitations at this point.

So, it comes down to this....

You have to think input and output of the box!
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