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Studios Strike HD-DVD Deals For Holiday 2005

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Studios Strike HD-DVD Deals For Holiday 2005

Old 11-30-04, 12:19 AM
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actually every movie can benefit greatly from hd-dvd/blu-ray just because they can fit the entire audio portion on it uncompressed.
Old 11-30-04, 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
The Godfather certainly is NOT going to benefit from HD-DVD conversion (and for that matter, Passion of the Christ). But I'd love to hear arguments to the contrary.
You've already heard arguments to the contrary. All films no matter their age will benefit somewhat from HD transfers. Now it is possible that some films when transfered to HD might start to show things that we wished stayed invisible but that's a different story. The fact is that film has a high resolution than 1080i or 720p. If the transfer is handled correctly, just like our current version of DVD, old movies will show an improvement from what we're used to seeing on cable or sat. If the transfer is done poorly and doesn't take advantage of the HD format then blame the authoring house and not the format.
Old 11-30-04, 03:47 PM
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All films no matter their age will benefit somewhat from HD transfers. Now it is possible that some films when transfered to HD might start to show things that we wished stayed invisible but that's a different story. The fact is that film has a high resolution than 1080i or 720p.
I am no expert but this begs the question, why is George Lucas moving to digital movie production if film is better?

HDTV video cameras that exist now boast 1,000 TVL/PH of horizontal resolution, exceeding the available resolution of 35mm film
For an immediate delivery mechanism, HDTV video originated product may be considered better than 35mm film
http://www.henninger.com/library/hdtvfilm/

Even if a good transfer is done and played on the proper equipment, will the average person notice the difference? It will be tough to convince me.

Last edited by Brian Shannon; 11-30-04 at 03:56 PM.
Old 11-30-04, 05:25 PM
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>I am no expert but this begs the question, why is George Lucas moving to digital movie production if film is better?

1) "Resolution" isn't directly comparable between analog and digital. Film images aren't made up of pixels, but particles, and particles aren't directly analogous to pixels. When people say "film is a higher resolution", they mean "it looks like it has a higher resolution".

2) There are different theatrical digital formats. All are higher resolution than HDTV. The DLP theatrical technology is slightly higher, and other technologies are greater. Theoretically, the sky is the limit.

3) There is more to image quality than resolution. A pristine film print looks better than a DLP image, I would argue (I saw Incredibles a few weeks ago back to back in film and DLP formats, and film was noticeably better but not vastly better). But film wears out, and is a horrible medium on which to preserve something. People like Lucas and Spielberg would probably prefer to compromise slightly on resolution in exchange for keeping a pristine uncorruptable image for their films in perpetuity. In the long run, the resolution will only increase.

4) All-digital production is a lot cheaper and more flexible. 80% of Lucas' images are digitally created in the first place, and then *placed* on film. Transferring between mediums is a pain, you lose quality in the transfer, and it raises cost. Better to film and edit digitally, and then just keep it in that format.

There is a coming digital revolution in movie-making. Films have been so expensive to make that for any would be director financial expertise and fundraising moxie are at least as important as any artistic talent. Last I checked just making a master 35mm print cost somewhere around $100,000. That is, you have to have a hundred grand just so a theater can show your movie. That is a significant obstacle for independent film-makers. With digital, all you need is a camera and a hard drive, and then burn the disk to a DVD or electronically send it to the theater, which can then project it. Or viewers can download it to their own computers and watch it at home. Costs are reduced precipitously. As such, once digital takes off, we will see a massive increase in the number of films produced. Most will certainly be junk, but I think we will all benefit from the removal of a substantial barrier to new talent.
Old 11-30-04, 05:49 PM
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>Even if a good transfer is done and played on the proper equipment, will the average person notice the difference? It will be tough to convince me.

Between what and what? I think I noticed the difference between a pristine 35mm print and a large DLP image. I could have been deluding myself, but the DLP image seemed to have worse contrast and was a little softer. However, it will still look as good in a couple of weeks, whereas the film will probably have scratches, burns, and splices in it by then.

The difference between 480 and 1080 image quality is far greater than the difference between HDTV and film. Anyone can spot the difference.

Or are you talking about the difference between blu ray and HD DVD? As I understand it, Blu-Ray discs have about 60% more capacity. Current DVDs, dual-layered, hold about 9 GB. HD DVDs will hold 30 GB. Blu Ray discs will hold 50 GB. That strikes me as a difference that I would probably notice on some DVDs, as the HD DVDs would have to have greater compression in order to hold the same content. A two hour movie at maximum DVD transfer rate takes up the entire amount of a standard dual layer DVD. The same movie at the maximum transfer rate in HD would similarly fill an HD DVD. But if you want menus, extras, or a longer movie, you need compression. Blu Ray would give you an extra 20 GBs for these. It would also give you enough room to put one typical 6-disk SD TV seasonal box set on one Blu Ray DVD. HD DVD would take two, or a lot more compression on one.

The reason I think this would be noticeable is that I can easily notice the quality difference between single and double layer DVDs. The difference between Blu-Ray and HD DVD is about half that difference.

These aren't night and day differences, but its enough that I would be willing to pay several bucks more per disk. I already often pay a few bucks more to get multi-disk special editions that put the extras on a second disk, minimizing the amount of compression on the DVD.
Old 11-30-04, 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by TomMiller


These aren't night and day differences, but its enough that I would be willing to pay several bucks more per disk. I already often pay a few bucks more to get multi-disk special editions that put the extras on a second disk, minimizing the amount of compression on the DVD.
some points to keep in mind are;

- if studios have to create new production facilities from the ground up to accomdate a new format, that is going to impact the end price- unless Sony is willing to eat much of the inital costs to shepherd the acceptance of the new format along.
i'm sure they will to some extent anyway, but it will still represent an initial hurdle.
- Columbia(Sony) is already one of the worst studios at mangaing its 'bit resources' on current dvds, often leaving several gigs unused, and then turning around and releasing a superbit to give the consumer a higher quality option.
- even if HD-dvd is not up to the level of Blu Ray (and there is no way a judgment can be made until actual consumer products from both are available), it will still represent a noticeable step up from standard definition for its intended audience.
audio and videophiles might end up being a bit disappointed, but there will still be a noticeable improvment in a/v and thats what it all comes down to (for me).
Old 11-30-04, 07:03 PM
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Well, when they decide to make the format viable, versatile and affordable to the mainstream then I'll be buying a player. Not at $1000 a pop, and while I might do so at $500 a pop I feel most others still won't run out and upgrade their disc machines at that price. According to this article that means that two years from now most likely won't have made the changeover. In that time either a format needs to become the dominant, or the two need to find a way to co-exist in such a way the consumer can use one machine with which to view both.
The kicker is, if this becomes a long battle, DVD will probably continue to flourish.....all parties are likely to continue bringing out their current releases in the standard DVD format as well as their higher definition format for the sake of good old profit. When you're able to walk in several stores on black friday and buy a DVD player for $20, how many new consumers are you likely to convince to make the switch tp DVD that hadn't yet done so? If they aren't willing to allow VHS to die because of the enormous number of VCRs in peoples' homes, isn't it likely that the case will be the same with standard DVD as well? In which case, until the HD players reach a price affordable to the average consumer, even the format that comes out as the 'victor' will be something of a niche item. To my way of thinking, throwing the $1000 players out on the market with a handful of titles by Christmas 2005 is doing nothing more than giving film buffs the opportunity to enjoy the new format in it's infancy. If in the following year they drop to $500 a guy like me will likely make the switch as well.
It's reasonable to bet that it will be at least 3 years before we see either format get a REAL push into the mainstream, for the simple fact that they aren't pricing them at attractive prices in the average consumer's eye. Kind of sad, isn't it?

Last edited by nightmaster; 11-30-04 at 07:09 PM.
Old 12-01-04, 02:50 AM
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What I find interesting about this whole scenario is the perception that HD-DVD is a somehow lesser product??? What is true about HD-DVD over BD is that it holds less space!!! This will certainly be a factor in so far as running time available on one disc. However the fact is that quality-wise it should provide same/better quality as BD. It has the most advanced codecs (VC1, H.264 DD+, DTS-HD and MLP).

It has been HD-DVD that has raised the bar and BD has been mostly a reactionary participant!
Old 12-01-04, 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by woofman
Interesting article, and I look forward to the improvements (LOTR in HD-whoah!). As much as I like keeping up on the progress of it all, at the same time I kind of just want to forget about it and let whatever happen- happen because it seems to become a reality quicker, kind of like watching a pot of water come to a boil.
I share your point of view. I wish whatever is going to happen would just happen quicker. I really have no preference for HD over BR or vice versa. Those prices are too steep for me, but I may change my tune when the LOTR or SW films are released...
Old 12-01-04, 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by Brian Shannon
Are these films being shot with high definition cameras?

If not, I am not interested in upconverted material.
The native resolution of film is much higher than 1080 lines. The movie does not have to be shot digitally, digital filming just makes for an easier and some would say cleaner transfer to disc. Even Citizen Kane would look better at 1080 HD than it does on DVD.

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