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HDDVD and Blu-Ray Discussion Part XII- A ripple in the force...


JoeyN
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Just finished the Japanese Equilibrium HDDVD. A few thoughts. A very nice picture upgrade over the DVD version. Very pleased. A few scenes are just draw dropping. Being a very dark movie most of the time, one or two scenes were not as sharp, but they werent that way on the DVD either (I put it in to check).

 

Onto the rest of the disc. I must say one thing. Thank heavan's we have major movie studios here in the US releasing discs. The menu system on this toshiba release is horrible. Instead of pressing up and down , you have to press left and right to spin the Librium symbol around . On top of that they use this ugly green color on everything. What I found funny, is the main menu when the disc comes on is in english. When you go into the options its Japanese (well duh its a Japanese release). However the default track is English 5.1, and you just need to go to the right side and select the 2nd option to shut Japanese subtitles off. Since i have no idea what anything else says, I decided to wait till tommorow to toy around with the Special Features. If you like Equilibrium, and dont want to wait to see if it will come out here, i definatly say pick it up. Oh and they dont use the same HDDVD cases we do, its a standard dvd case.

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Robert George on AVS who has hinted about Lionsgate on HDDVD for months, finally said it out loud. Lionsgate has been preparing to release all the titles that they have already released on BR, to HDDVD. For those wondering those titles are T2, Saw, Lord of War, Punisher, Stargate, Total Recall, Devils Rejects. From the sounds of it they are switching over to A1 as well. Lionsgate is just waiting for the proper time to announce the news

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It would be amusing if using VC1 meant those titles released as MPEG2 on BD thus far allowed special features withheld from the Blu releases due to space restrictions to find home on HD DVD versions. There's no reason for them not to. I noticed Robert says he's unsure what the approach will be with extras on the HD DVD releases, though he does claim someone within Lionsgate is keen to push for the adoption of TrueHD on some titles.

 

With many Lionsgate films in Europe having DTS HD MA, again it would be wise to offer lossless on US counterparts if Lionsgate want to tackle people importing their movies from other countries (the same can be said for including extras too as the Canal released have none).

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I’ve found a super UK based importer called DVDWorld USA who is getting a lot of praise. Most of their HD DVD titles are ?12.99 or ?13.99 shipped. Only the combos reach the heights of ?18.99 shipped. They still only want ?429 for the A1 with SEVEN free sub ?17.99 movies of the buyers choice, or ?579 for the XA1 with the same movie deal. It’s actually a 6 movie deal, but members of the UK AV Forums get to add a seventh. Hardware shipping is customs free and via Fed-Ex...

 

*sigh* I've no idea why I am posting this as I can't have any of this stuff, but it's a slow weekend.

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Anthony(Lupo) posted a great way to get ten bucks off at buy.com. Using google checkout I purchased the Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang combo disc for $21 shipped. Check it out here:

 

http://www.lcvg.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9651

 

edit: Oh, and now I've also ordered Unforgiven and Constantine together for the grand total of $30 shipped. I don't know how google could afford this, but it does beat amazon's prices by a few bucks. The only real question is, and it's been a long time since I ordered from buy.com, is how long their shipping is going to take?

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Woohoo! I got my HD-A1...along with 5 movies. To my delight, the price in the system was $100 less than the sticker price....so it was $599 Canadian. Not as cheap as US but it's the only option...used to be $699 CAD!!

 

They were demoing it with Last Samurai, but it was way in the back. Blu-ray player wasn't even turned on but it was more in the front.

 

The salesman was so desperate to sell me a warranty I ended up getting 66% off the 2 year extended....which I don't think I'll need but I was in a good mood and he seemed desperate.

 

"Will you be needing an extended warranty? $89.99 for 2 years"

"No, I think I'll be fine with the manufacturers. I tend to upgrade a lot anyway."

"Just curious is the cost the deciding factor for you?"

"Like I said, I think I'll be fine with the 1 year it comes with."

"What if I knock half off? $45"

"No thanks. I am going to go grab some titles, I will be back in a few minutes."

*come back*

"Alright, I can give you the warranty for $29.99"

"I guess for $29.99, sure..."

 

Off to hook up and calibrate...

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HAHA which movies did you pick up?

 

I just got back from my latest BB excursion :) Our best buy has now given the HD formats there own entire Isle. One of the guys there was fixing up the HD section and said they have been selling a lot of HD DVD titles

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The Rundown

Training Day

Riddick

Constantine

Troy

 

I never read the reviews really so it was kinda random. Hope none of them are crap.

 

I am still hooking everything up, digging for a ethernet cord or I might have to temporarly move my dsl modem.

 

Is it true the 2.0 update fixed the 720p problems? Or is 1080i stll the best bet.

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Yes 2.0 fixed the 720p problem, but its still best to output 1080i from the player.

 

As for the movies you picked. The first 4 are in my top picks for best picture quality. Troy i havent watched yet as I am holding the recent TrueHD titles for when my new speakers arrive (hopefully in a week or so)

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OK it's updating via ethernet now....how long does this usually take?

 

The display on the player has been flashing "UPDATING 0P" for about 3 mins. I assume it needs to download first and then it moves beyond 0 percent.

 

It's hooked up fine because I had to press OK to the agreement etc.

 

 

edit: now it says 10 percent, so it's going.

 

I see they managed to make security stickers on HD-DVD even more annoying than dvd. Bravo! :lol

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OK, got everything setup, calibrated with Avia and watched The Rundown.

 

I am very happy with it....the PQ is stunning. I was running DVDs previously through a highly tweaked HTPC, so standard DVDs were getting about as good as humanly possible. HD-DVD just blows every aspect of it out of the water. The color, contrast and dynamic range of the picture is unbelievable. And of course the detail....the only time I have seen picture this sharp before was watching The Return of the King at its Canadian premiere (I won tickets). The theater was setup perfectly and until this day I've never seen such an awesome projected image, until now that is.

 

I am running a Sanyo Z4 (720p) projecting a 90 inch screen. I tested 1080i and 720p and they looked about the same with the new 2.0 firmware....in fact 720p looked a bit better to my eyes. Whereas I read people with Panasonic projectors saying they prefer 1080i still....guess it depends on your display and how it handles the signals. The black level and contrast seems so much better than DVD's I've been playing lately (I only got my Z4 like 5 days ago). This projector and player is a pretty sweet combo.

 

I also have the player hooked up through the analog outs to my Yamaha receiver. DD+ sounded great but I'll be trying one of the discs with Dolby TrueHD tonight. I'm really glad I didn't wait for the A2, because I don't feel the need to upgrade my receiver but would probably have to without the analog outs....at least to use the newer formats.

 

Man the first time that Universal HD-DVD logo appeared, I was hooked. There is one downside to so much detail and resolution....you can easily pick out all the slightly out of focus shots. :lol

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Glad to hear you are enjoying it Bendak. Glad everyone who has picked it are enjoying it actually. Prooves Jordan and I werent going nuts over nothing

 

you can easily pick out all the slightly out of focus shots.

 

Yep you can, but it just shows how good it is to make it look the way it was filmed. Expecially with older movies (Searchers, Grand Prix, Robin Hood, Dirty Dozen) you can see the fine film grain/inperfections , which makes it look like you are actually watching it in the theater

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Update on the rumors of which studios will also do HDDVD except for lionsgate. Well Oshodi has posted that what he has heard about is not Fox which also does MGM (yet). Which only leaves one other major player and that's Disney.

 

 

Also Kong is available for preorder on Amazon.. and Waterworld too(no i didnt order this one)

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Oh man....just oh man. A high definition NIN concert DVD is coming early 2007. I didn't know this.

 

Here's a trailer for it:

 

http://www.nin.com/components/mm/byit_teaser_225.mov

 

HD-DVD, Blu-ray and DVD.

 

"And All That Could Have Been" is still one of my top DVDs of all time, no concert or music DVDs can compare (IMO). Trent mixes the audio himself for these releases. I was at one of the shows on that tour and let me tell you playing this DVD is like being there. It's incredible.

 

The HD releases will also have Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio. Also it sounds like they are not happy with the video on Blu-ray, though I don't know where this guy is getting his info from. He's saying they're hoping 50gig blurays are available by the time its released because they aren't happy with the video quality with just 25gigs. I assume this is because the tools for blu-ray authoring are still limited to MPEG-2?? (here is the thread)

 

Either way it's good to know they are laboring over the quality. Aside from LOTR, this is probably my most anticipated HD title.

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Actually Kris (who is very reliable incidentally) claims it is a VC1 encode for both but that VC1 in general is giving them issues with 1080i source material and that's the reason they're trying to go for 50gb because they think doubling the average bitrate will solve the problem, in which case the HD DVD might struggle as well, if not more, because its bandwidth limitations really might prove problematic for video material like a concert at a very high bitrate PLUS a 24bit lossless track. I’m glad this release is happening though as this is precisely the sort of thing I think HD DVDs bandwidth needs to prove it can handle as I continue to grow increasingly sceptical about it.

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