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Blockbuster backs Blu-Ray

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Blockbuster backs Blu-Ray

Old 06-23-07, 03:20 PM
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But how much disc space and bitrate is overkill?
The HD DVD format has proven that not only can it provide PQ equal to BR, but in several cases it has provided better PQ than BR (while at the same time provided more extras on the disc as well).
Old 06-23-07, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
almost ignoring that in the realm of HD the very different specs show a clear winner for which format can display the best picture and play the best audio... maybe i'm wrong...
There's a difference between comparing numbers on paper and an image in front of you, though. For titles released on both formats over the past 6 months or so, even for those titles encoded to take advantage of each, reviewers and users alike tend to say that the difference between the HD DVD and Blu-ray releases are negligible. There have been a handful where the HD DVD is a step up from the Blu-ray release and vice versa, but generally, the two are viewed as being nearly identical, and some of those marginal differences may be owed to the decoding hardware in the players rather than the formats themselves.

It's true that some Blu-ray releases have peak bitrates that HD DVD is not capable of, but at the same time, since Blu-ray has more bandwidth available, that just means the compressionists don't have to put as much TLC into coaxing the most out of every bit. It doesn't mean that the HD DVD can't stack up by comparison. However, Blu-ray's higher bandwidth does mean that compressionists can probably turn titles around more quickly since they don't have to tweak quite so much, and that could be an important factor down the road.

Blu-ray has some definite advantages -- particularly when it comes to possibly accomodating multiple lossless soundtracks and potentially lossless audio at higher sampling rates, and it doesn't have to fret about interactivity eating into the bandwidth like HD DVD does -- but don't confuse theoretical superiority with realized superiority. From everything I've read, HD DVD and Blu-ray are essentially indistinguishable in video quality. I'd prefer to leave arguments about audio quality to audiophiles supporting both formats. I appreciate quality audio, but I'll admit to not being a golden-eared audiophile.
Old 06-23-07, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
Blu Ray does a video bitrate of 40.0 MBPS max at 19201080 (1080p) and holds 25 gigs of data per layer per disk... dual layer disks hold 50.0 GB... and research is already underway into a 4 layer 200 GB Blu Ray disk... Blu Ray has and overall data transfer (video and audio) rate of 54.0 MBPS...

HD DVD does a video bitrate of 28.0 MBPS max at 19201080 (1080p) and hold 15 gigs of data a disk... 30 GB on a dual layer... Hd DVD has a an overall data transfer (video and audio) rate of 36.55 MBPS...
It's interesting that you mention Blu-Ray's research into a 4-layer disc, but not HD DVD's research into a 3-layer disc.

I don't think the proposed 51-GB HD DVD is that big a deal and I certainly don't think it's going to sway the war one way or the other, but like I said, it's interesting that in what clearly appears to be an attempt at an unbiased review of the pure numbers, you make a point of mentioning one side's "research" and ignore the other's.
Old 06-23-07, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
It's true that some Blu-ray releases have peak bitrates that HD DVD is not capable of, but at the same time, since Blu-ray has more bandwidth available, that just means the compressionists don't have to put as much TLC into coaxing the most out of every bit.
if the studios decided to fully back a format it will be very expensive and time consuming to lavish this kind of special care on all titles. frankly it may not be possible. even with the relatively sparce release schedule so far there are a fair number of titles which have slipped through the net.
Old 06-23-07, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by The Third Jake
It's interesting that you mention Blu-Ray's research into a 4-layer disc, but not HD DVD's research into a 3-layer disc.
i suspect the difference may lie in the maturity of these plans. the bd 4 layer disc has been demonstrated various times and appears to work, though i'm less sure tdk's 8 layer beast is ready for primetime. the triple layer hd dvd has not seen the light of a public demonstration so far, and has been in the same planing stage for more than a year now.
Old 06-23-07, 03:53 PM
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Then "...research is already underway..." is a poor way to draw that distinction.
Old 06-23-07, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
if the studios decided to fully back a format it will be very expensive and time consuming to lavish this kind of special care on all titles. frankly it may not be possible.
I agree. The Smallville boxed set on HD DVD was the first case I've seen on HD DVD from a major studio with particularly nasty compression hiccups, and even though it only amount to a few seconds of the hours upon hours of material in the set, I suspect it's because of the sheer amount of footage. There's too much to go through scene by scene and tweak. Requiring this much TLC is okay now but won't scale. We'd just have to hope that maturing authoring tools don't require as much attention as time goes on.

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
even with the relatively sparce release schedule so far there are a fair number of titles which have slipped through the net.
I disagree with this to a point. I think most of the lackluster HD DVDs to date owe more to Universal rehashing older masters than rushing through compression. If it doesn't look good before being compressed, it's certainly not going to look good afterwards. I've read complaints about Warner's titles being overfiltered to ease compression, and although this admittedly could be a factor of my comparatively small screen (a 50" Panasonic plasma), I don't share many of those same concerns.

Originally Posted by The Third Jake
It's interesting that you mention Blu-Ray's research into a 4-layer disc, but not HD DVD's research into a 3-layer disc.
In all likelihood, these discs -- HD DVD and Blu-ray alike -- are just for bragging rights and will never make it out of the lab into any sort of remotely widespread production.
Old 06-23-07, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Third Jake
It's interesting that you mention Blu-Ray's research into a 4-layer disc, but not HD DVD's research into a 3-layer disc.

I don't think the proposed 51-GB HD DVD is that big a deal and I certainly don't think it's going to sway the war one way or the other, but like I said, it's interesting that in what clearly appears to be an attempt at an unbiased review of the pure numbers, you make a point of mentioning one side's "research" and ignore the other's.
it's not all that complicated... nor interesting...

at 15 gigs a layer... compared to 25 gigs a layer...

the number of 15 gig layers will never 'catch up' to 25 gig layers...

and research on the amount of data on an HD DVD layer will in no way change the superior video bitrate and total video and audio throughput of Blu Ray...

the technical specifications speak for themselves... across the board...

i support the superior technology... period... i don't have any other horse in the race beyond that...

Blu Ray is the superior technology in EVERY measurable aspect...

and after we get better display capabilities on, and even move past, the 1080p TV the difference in throughput will become an issue... the technology on the display side is moving fast...

saying something like 'i can't tell the difference' or 'the studio did a better release on HD DVD on title X'... means just that... you can't tell the difference... and a better release was done on some titles... this is true now on plain DVD and said now on plain DVD... hence all the double-dip threads all over the forum on better releases... and people saying they don't double dip because they can't tell the difference...

it does not address the superiority of the Blu Ray technology...

Last edited by Dr Mabuse; 06-23-07 at 05:03 PM.
Old 06-23-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
it does not address the superiority of the Blu Ray technology...
...because real world implementations are what matter, not technical white papers. As I said upthread, I watch movies. I can't watch potential.

No offense, but your arguments predate the launch of both of these formats. Anyone who's spent any length of time here is well aware of the difference in technical specifications.

Does Blu-ray have potential advantages over HD DVD? Absolutely. Has HD DVD been hobbled by its limitations? I'd argue that it hasn't been. Both formats are equally capable of supplying spectacular video, audio, and compelling interactive experiences. Some studios and titles have done a much better job of various things than others, but regardless of what the specifications might say, neither format inherently outclasses the other. Down the road, these differences could certainly matter, but debating what may or may not happen based on guesswork and likely skewed assumptions is meaningless.
Old 06-23-07, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
...because real world implementations are what matter, not technical white papers. As I said upthread, I watch movies. I can't watch potential.

No offense, but your arguments predate the launch of both of these formats. Anyone who's spent any length of time here is well aware of the difference in technical specifications.
Exactly, and most couldn't give a shit because all a reasonable person cares about is the pic and sound quality which as been shown to be pretty much indistinguishable across formats.
Old 06-23-07, 05:38 PM
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Exactly.
Old 06-23-07, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
my comparatively small screen (a 50" Panasonic plasma)
Old 06-23-07, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
That is kind of on the small end compared to the enormous sets and front projection setups I'm used to seeing on a lot of these forums. 50" isn't small, but it's small enough to mask some flaws that'd be much more apparent on larger displays.
Old 06-23-07, 06:31 PM
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so we dismiss actual technological abilities, deriding them as mere 'white papers', in favor of personal preference and opinion?...

i see...

i'll not join in that myself...

the 120 hz sets are hardly even on the market as one tiny example... the real evolution of 1080p TV's has hardly begun in large part... the evolution of players hasn't even begun... true market-wide attention by studios to 'maxed out' releases not here yet...

and you scoff at 'white papers'?... based on the meager data that comes early in a technology?... trying to dismiss my posts in the process?...

technical specifications are science... i'll take the science... you can stick with 'personal experience or preference over science' if you like...

come on...

if you think that wise attitudes in consumer electronics, in view of the history of these things?... please...

early perceptions of new technology have been known to be rather wildly off base i guess...

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union memo, 1877

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"But what... is it good for ?" - An engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip in 1968

"The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a 'mouse.' There is no evidence that people want to use these things. What businessman knows about point sizes on typefaces or the value of variable point sizes ? Who out there in the general marketplace even knows what a 'font' is ?
The whole concept and attitude towards icons and hieroglyphs is actually counterrevolutionary it's a language that is hardly 'user friendly'. This type of machine was developed by hardware hackers working out of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. It has yet to find popular success. There seems to be some mysterious user resistance to this type of machine." - John C. Dvorak on why the Macintosh would fail, San Francisco Examiner, 1984/02/19.
Old 06-23-07, 06:42 PM
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What can I say. Most of us don't give two shits about that crap, and most of us had more than our fill of this fanboy spec touting on both sides when this forum first started up and don't want to see more pointless bickering.

I couldn't give a shit less about the technical aspects of these formats. All I want is as many of the movies I love as possible with the best picture and sound possible. And it's apparent that the specs have no bearing on that, at least between these two particular formats.
Old 06-23-07, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
so we dismiss actual technological abilities, deriding them as mere 'white papers', in favor of personal preference and opinion?...
Point me to a Blu-ray release that trounces anything HD DVD is capable of. Don't talk about peak bandwidth. Don't point to numbers. Don't say "but maybe...one day...!" Show me something Blu-ray has done or is doing -- in practice, not on paper -- that is demonstrably superior to HD DVD.

Not a single one of your examples apply to this situation at all. HD DVD and Blu-ray have more in common than not, and although there are certainly differences between the two, they're far, far more incremental than what you're suggesting.

Posts like yours are why we instituted a common sense rule a few months back. The format idolatry was getting out of hand, and we wanted this forum to be a place for high definition enthusiasts, not the "...but my format is better than yours!" schtick that was making so many other forums unreadable. We've eased back from this rule in recent weeks, but maybe we need to go back to it.

I don't understand why some people can't just enjoy these high definition formats and deem it necessary to try to tear down one or the other. They're both great formats, and each has a great deal to offer.

It's not as if it's impossible to own and appreciate both HD DVD and Blu-ray anyway. I'm still waiting for the selection of titles to get where I want on Blu-ray, but the moment that happens, I'll cheerfully buy a player, and I'm sure that I'll still be giving my HD DVDs a regular spin. :shrugs: One of the reasons I don't really care about the format war is that I have every intention of owning players for both formats. That nets me the best of both worlds.

Here's how I look at it:

1) What may or may not happen in the future doesn't have any impact on the way I watch movies now.

2) If something happens in the future to make me want to buy into another format and/or upgrade to a newer, better player in a format I've already adopted, I will.

3) If the present state of things is inconsequential to you and you're focused squarely on what the future holds, you shouldn't be buying into either format right now.
Old 06-23-07, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
so we dismiss actual technological abilities, deriding them as mere 'white papers', in favor of personal preference and opinion?...

i see...

i'll not join in that myself...
You've completely missed the point of what's being said to you. I suggest you read the posts in this thread more carefully.

We're not talking about personal preference. We're talking about actual measurable results in real-world products released on both formats.

Are you familiar with the concept of the point of diminishing returns? That's what you hit when you go beyond 30gb of storage on a disc. Maybe you can use that extra space to cram more bonus features on the disc, but the video and audio quality don't require more than what HD DVD offers.

You seem to be confusing the availability of extra storage space with providing a higher resolution picture. Both formats max out at 1080p resolution, no matter how much disc space is available. Blu-ray's extra storage space means that its video can be encoded at higher bit rates to avoid compression artifacts, but the fact of the matter is that using advanced codecs both formats are perfectly capable of providing excellent 1080p picture quality without compression problems.

Look at Universal's King Kong or Warner's Grand Prix HD DVDs. These are both 3-hour long movies in 1080p video, and both look flawless because they're both very well-authored.

Meanwhile, look at Lionsgate's Dirty Dancing Blu-ray, a 1hr. 45min. movie on a 50gb disc with an MPEG4 AVC encode and it's riddled with compression problems. Why? Because the disc just isn't well-authored. If the same movie had been authored better, it could have much higher picture quality on a much smaller disc.

If you're more interested in these formats for data storage and computer applications, that's one thing, but for movie playback Blu-ray's extra storage capacity hasn't demonstrated any measurable improvement in the resulting picture quality.
Old 06-23-07, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
i suspect the difference may lie in the maturity of these plans. the bd 4 layer disc has been demonstrated various times and appears to work, though i'm less sure tdk's 8 layer beast is ready for primetime. the triple layer hd dvd has not seen the light of a public demonstration so far, and has been in the same planing stage for more than a year now.
Why is it that suddenly everyone has forgotten that no matter how much work is put into developing 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, or 100-layer discs in the lab, these will never be used for the Blu-ray or HD DVD movie playback formats? They may be used for some future data storage computer application, but the Blu-ray and HD DVD movie format specs are finalized right where they are. A Blu-ray movie player will never read a 4-layer disc. Ever.
Old 06-23-07, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Point me to a Blu-ray release that trounces anything HD DVD is capable of. Don't talk about peak bandwidth. Don't point to numbers. Don't say "but maybe...one day...!" Show me something Blu-ray has done or is doing -- in practice, not on paper -- that is demonstrably superior to HD DVD.
Not to get too involved in this topic, but over 50% of blu-ray movies have LOSSLESS audio, some with multiple LOSSLESS audio tracks. HD-DVD has a handful, less then 30 titles in total. That should fire off some warning signs imho.
Old 06-23-07, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
That should fire off some warning signs imho.
Right, and when I said "Some studios and titles have done a much better job of various things than others" upthread, that was one of the exact things I had in mind.

Still, that doesn't appear to be an inherent limitation -- movies like Constantine and Batman Begins sport lossless audio, 1080p video, and bandwidth-gobbling In Movie Experiences while still looking great. I think it's just a factor of some studios caring about lossless audio more than others.
Old 06-23-07, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Posts like yours are why we instituted a common sense rule a few months back. The format idolatry was getting out of hand, and we wanted this forum to be a place for high definition enthusiasts, not the "...but my format is better than yours!" schtick that was making so many other forums unreadable.
adam your posts are a bit more confrontational than mine... maybe you feel entitled since you're a mod... i guess you are in fact...

why are you trying to pigeonhole me into the box of 'my format is better'?... have you even read my posts?... my post on specs just a page or so back was where i mentioned the 'i like chevy' vs. 'i like ford' thing to which you allude... and try and fail to accuse me of... i haven't once called Blu Ray MY format... nor have i approached the debate in that fashion... i simply don't view it that way... if anything i would guess you own quite a few HD DVD's based on who is defending 'my format'...

i am a FAN of the superior technology... you are being foolish if you think BOTH will survive... i want the better technology to hang around... and i have stated nothing other than just that... and it's the most logical desire for a cinephile... that's why i know personal preference and opinion is so heavily involved here... the better technology should be the one that gets the market share is just common sense...

saying that the ALWAYS poor implementation and utilization of a new technology by movie studios is in any way reflecting on the technology is not a valid point... so "show me where a Blu Ray trounced an HD DVD release" is rather misplaced and without meaning... compare the average early release DVD where they copied over the standard source used for VHS and put it on a DVD disk... to the releases of today... the early releases ALWAYS suck... like on CD... why so many 'remastered' CD's are out... the early CD releases STANK... they ALWAYS do in early releases on new technology...

so i would say you are ignoring history to arrive at your conclusions... and history shouldn't be ignored in any area...

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
I don't understand why some people can't just enjoy these high definition formats and deem it necessary to try to tear down one or the other. They're both great formats, and each has a great deal to offer.
because both won't hang around... obviously that's why there are thread like these right?... we've seen this before... that's the history of consumer electronics... it's happened before...

the market went with VHS... with the same kinds of logic being put forth then as are being put forth here in this thread... yet TV stations use beta to this day... it was superior technology...

for myself i've been consistent... i want to see the superior technology take the market share... i've stated nothing other than that...

nothing about 'HD DVD sucks' or whatever... because honestly i don't have a 'my format'...

i agree that right now with early players and technology... early implementations of films on releases on both format by studios... there does not appear to be much difference... but you have to bear in mind the difference between an $80 DVD player of today compared to a many hundreds of dollar first gen DVD player... there is no comparison... that dinosaur would look like crap to anyone viewing it today, comparing it to any old $80 player you can buy today... the same WILL happen on the HD players of today... they will evolve in every way to a polished technology over the years...

to call that 'banking on potential' or something is to ignore the history of consumer electronics... there is a long history there... it's not just mindless speculation to know those things will occur... it WILL happen... and thereby choose the superior technology that has more potential down the road... THAT is 'real world'... please make a point, absent personal preference, for me on why the LESSER technology is the preferred format?...

Originally Posted by Josh Z
You seem to be confusing the availability of extra storage space with providing a higher resolution picture.
no... you seem to have missed my pointing out the improved data throughput of pure video is what makes a better picture... and the combined throughput of audio and video makes a better picture and sound experience...

i've seen the reviews of the same movies on both releases... they say things like the film company put a lesser audio source on one format or the other... they say the movie studio put this kind of video source on the disk... this isn't a review of the technology of the format... it's a review of 1st gen release woes on every technology in consumer electronics in the last 30 years...

i've seen several say the HD DVD was the superior release(like Training Day last fall for instance)... but it was the fact that the studio did a better release... not that technology was better...

i'm not interested in being rude or starting any sort of flame war...

i'm being logical in view of the history of consumer electronics... hoping the better technology wins...

if you feel i'm out of line... you are after all a mod... this will be my last post in this thread...

Last edited by Dr Mabuse; 06-23-07 at 08:04 PM.
Old 06-23-07, 08:07 PM
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There is really no point in arguing/debating/discussing with Dr. Elmer FUD here... no point at all.
Old 06-23-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
and after we get better display capabilities on, and even move past, the 1080p TV the difference in throughput will become an issue... the technology on the display side is moving fast...
By the time we move beyond 1080p displays, both Blu-Ray and HD DVD will be deader than DIVX. This is so patently obvious that I can only surmise you're throwing every argument that occurs to you at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Old 06-23-07, 08:27 PM
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Dr Mabuse, do you post over at AVS as well?
Old 06-23-07, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
why are you trying to pigeonhole me into the box of 'my format is better'?...
Well, when you declare one format "a clear winner" over the other, that seems like a reasonable assumption to make.

You have every right to side with a particular format for whatever reasons you choose. My point is that neither format has much of a technical advantage -- at least for the moment, since you're eyeing the future more than the present -- over the other. Because of how heated debates over format specs get on this and every other forum on the web, I'd prefer this be a place for movie enthusiasts. Instead of arguing about which format is better, we can just talk about the movies on the format we like. We're all rational enough to recognize the strengths and faults in the format(s) we've bought into and have proven ourselves capable of calmly and rationally discussing them. "HD DVD vs. Blu-ray" arguments accomplish nothing other than peeving each other off.

Looking solely at technical specifications ignores the current strengths of HD DVD and how it's currently -- for all intents and purposes -- indistiguishable from Blu-ray. If or when things shift in the future, we can address them then. Buying equipment that may be outmoded or no longer supported a few years down the road is a risk of being an early adopter. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
you are being foolish if you think BOTH will survive...
I think it's possible, if not terribly likely, for both to survive, but I don't think both can realistically thrive. I also have every expectation that Blu-ray will win out in the end, although I don't expect it to ever amount to more than a niche. That doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
because both won't hang around...
How does that affect my movie watching now?

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
please make a point, absent personal preference, for me on why the LESSER technology is the preferred format?...
Because current HD DVD releases are of equally high quality to what Blu-ray has to offer, and HD DVD has more titles that I want. I can't take my personal preferences for movies out of the equation because that's why I bought a player in the first place. I watch movies. I can't watch potential.

Could this change a few years from now? Sure. Right now, though, I don't care what happens in three years; I'll care in three years. You're trying to turn this into an "us vs. them" argument, and my entire point is that it doesn't have to be that way. You're trying to get me into an argument where I say that HD DVD is better, but that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying it's not worse, and there's a huge difference between the two. If one day that changes, then it changes. I don't care. This isn't a religious debate. I don't have to pick sides. I can own six HD DVD players and eight Blu-ray decks if I want.

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
the improved data throughput of pure video is what makes a better picture
Then why isn't there a pronounced difference between the two formats? If throughput is the end-all of image quality, there should still be a substantial difference at the moment. Your argument about players becoming more efficient over time means that the difference would be more pronounced in the future, but if throughout is the #1 determining factor and since Blu-ray has more headroom than HD DVD, there should still be a marked difference between the two in the here and now.

I'll try approaching this from a different direction. Your stated position is that Blu-ray is a technically superior format. What course do you think this discussion should take? Should we respond and say "yes, you're right! Blu-ray does have technical advantages!"? Should those of us who own HD DVD players chuck out our decks and admit defeat? What good -- or even what discussion -- can come out of this? This is what I mean when I say that HD DVD vs. Blu-ray debates accomplish nothing.

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