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Consumer Reports Gets It Right - Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are Equal

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Consumer Reports Gets It Right - Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are Equal

Old 11-21-07, 09:47 PM
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Consumer Reports Gets It Right - Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are Equal

http://www.audioholics.com/news/indu...y-hd-dvd-equal

In what is no stunner to anyone at Audioholics, Consumer Reports reviewed nine high definition optical disc players and guess what they concluded?

There are no significant performance differences.

The top Blu-ray performer was the Pioneer DBP-94HD and the top HD DVD player was the Toshiba HD-AX2 and guess what they concluded?

Both players received a score of 91% for picture quality.

The complete testing included the following players:

* Pioneer DBP-94HD
* Panasonic DMP-BD10
* Panasonic DMP-BD10A
* Sony BDP-S1
* Sony BDP-S300
* LG BD100 (dual format)
* Toshiba HD-AX2
* Toshiba HD-A20
* Toshiba HD-A2

On average, the Blu-ray players scored an 87 while HD DVD players scored an 81.

All the players generally performed uniformly well with HD content but were more variable when upscaling SD video to quasi-HD quality. The difference in average score can be attributed to the differences in upscaling performance and from the entry HD-A2, which was the only player limited to 1080i output. But as various writers on Audioholics have pointed out previously, 1080i has no loss in detail compared to 1080p when utilizing a good quality deinterlacer.

The main point of Consumer Reports conclusion: ďAll the high-definition models we tested provide excellent HD picture quality with high def discsĒ.

Considering that both formats use the same video codecs, this is no surprise.

Blu-ray and HD DVD both support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, and VC-1 video codecs, which are the actual basis for picture quality. The discs themselves are simply data storage, containers.

Yes, there is some variation to how the containers work, but bits are bits. The same video data bits come out of a VC-1 encoded video file, irrespective of if it is stored on Blu-ray or HD DVD.

This is what early adopters arguing for the superiority of one side or the other donít seem to get.

There never should have been a format war but for greed driving the split over who owned what intellectual property rights for the container.

And the container has no bearing on the consumer experience.

The whole lot of these clowns on both sides of the BD/HD DVD war need to get this sorted out before the Internet downloadable formats make them irrelevant to the future of HD video. Pieces are falling into place and new technologies are popping up, and that always has a tendency to displace what we previously thought possible.

Streaming online HD video is not yet here in a practical sense, but new services, methodologies, and technology are constantly cropping up. With each new discovery and development, ways to make better use of the existing Internet infrastructure or ways to upgrade what is in place, the Internet moves one step close to usurping physical media.

The dual formats can not go away at this point, but the format war can.

All that needs to happen is for the studios to publish on both formats and let consumers buy whichever disc suits their needs and quit trying to tell them which one to buy. While the senseless battle rages on, the Internet, like a 4000 pound elephant, is moving slowly into the living room.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:09 PM
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Pretty interesting but I don't think that was ever up for debate. It's probably the one topic that fans of either format can agree on.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:22 PM
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Consumer Reports reminds of that kid who shows up 30mins late to class and proudly raises his hand because he discovered something.

Problem is, that something was discussed about 25mins earlier.

The dual formats cannot go away at this point, but the format war can.

Totally agree.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:22 PM
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Of course they are, the issue is the titles available on either format... it just comes down to which ones people want most...and ones they can wait on.
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Old 11-21-07, 11:30 PM
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An article like this in Consumer Reports is significant not for what it brings to the enthusiast community (obviously, this isn't news to most of us), but because this magazine is so widely read by what we could describe as the "average consumer".
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Old 11-22-07, 12:27 AM
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This is like a tie game in hockey. That's why they have shootouts now.
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Old 11-22-07, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Geiger
Blu-ray and HD DVD both support MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, and VC-1 video codecs, which are the actual basis for picture quality. The discs themselves are simply data storage, containers.

Yes, there is some variation to how the containers work, but bits are bits. The same video data bits come out of a VC-1 encoded video file, irrespective of if it is stored on Blu-ray or HD DVD.

This is what early adopters arguing for the superiority of one side or the other donít seem to get.

There never should have been a format war but for greed driving the split over who owned what intellectual property rights for the container.

And the container has no bearing on the consumer experience.
I don't agree with this. What they seem to be saying is that both formats will have equal encodes. While this is actually true of Warner titles because they encode to fit HD DVD, BD exclusive titles can be encoded at higher bitrates (or at least have higher peaks) and can take up more space than would be available on an HD DVD. You couldn't take an encode done exclusively for BD and transfer it to HD DVD because it would likely exceed the maximum bandwidth.

Now, I'm not saying there is necessarily a significant, or even noticeable difference when using higher bitrates and more space, but to say there is no difference between how the formats use the codecs is not correct.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:40 AM
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I miss Paramount's BD-only AVC encodes.
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Old 11-22-07, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
I don't agree with this. What they seem to be saying is that both formats will have equal encodes. While this is actually true of Warner titles because they encode to fit HD DVD, BD exclusive titles can be encoded at higher bitrates (or at least have higher peaks) and can take up more space than would be available on an HD DVD. You couldn't take an encode done exclusively for BD and transfer it to HD DVD because it would likely exceed the maximum bandwidth.

Now, I'm not saying there is necessarily a significant, or even noticeable difference when using higher bitrates and more space, but to say there is no difference between how the formats use the codecs is not correct.
Well, aren't the video codecs the same but the audio codecs are different? I seem to remember a few BD titles using different/better codecs. I haven't seen any comments about BD titles having a different/better video codec altogether because all HD DVD titles so far have VC-1. At least I think they do. All mine do, anyway.
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Old 11-22-07, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert George
An article like this in Consumer Reports is significant not for what it brings to the enthusiast community (obviously, this isn't news to most of us), but because this magazine is so widely read by what we could describe as the "average consumer".
Bingo. Bring it to the masses.
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Old 11-22-07, 04:18 PM
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I believe this same article recommends that most consumers wait and do not buy into either format yet.
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Old 11-22-07, 11:02 PM
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Consumer Reports technical recommendations are usually woefully inadequate. For the informed consumer on many different product categories they are no better than the level of knowledge you're going to get from a Best Buy sales rep. Their target audience are people way out of the loop on consumer electronics. I would take what they say about High Def media with a grain of salt.
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Old 11-23-07, 01:23 AM
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The vast majority of people don't understand anything about this stuff, even the basics like "there are two different incompatible formats, and here are some examples of the titles available on each." That Consumer reports felt the need to spend half a page explaining that one fact indicates just how uninformed they believe their readership to be -- and their readership represents a relatively upscale, well educated demographic.

The scary part is that Consumer Report readers represent a relatively very informed (simply by virtue of being CR readers) minority. For every CR reader (or DVD Forum member) there are literally thousands of people who have never even heard of these formats.
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Old 11-23-07, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Well, aren't the video codecs the same but the audio codecs are different? I seem to remember a few BD titles using different/better codecs. I haven't seen any comments about BD titles having a different/better video codec altogether because all HD DVD titles so far have VC-1. At least I think they do. All mine do, anyway.
The codecs are the same, but the total bandwidth that can be used is 36Mbps on HD DVD and 55Mbps on BD. There have been some BD encodes that have had peaks of 40Mbps or higher which couldn't be duplicated on HD DVD because they would exceed the bandwidth limit.
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Old 11-23-07, 12:30 PM
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Anyone who thinks HD-DVD looks the same as Blu-ray is in denial. plain and simple.

http://www.dvdfile.com/index.php?opt...6326&Itemid=11

mod note: you're treading on suspension territory. -namja

Last edited by namja; 11-23-07 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 11-23-07, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Harry Lime
Anyone who thinks HD-DVD looks the same as Blu-ray is in denial. plain and simple.

http://www.dvdfile.com/index.php?opt...6326&Itemid=11
Aren't we past this type of behavior?

Watch the same movie on both formats and then tell me how different they are.

Last edited by Josh Z; 11-23-07 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 11-23-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Aren't we past this type of behavior?

Watch the same movie on both formats and then tell me how different they are.
Agreed. VC-1 encoded properly can look quite stunning on hd-dvd.
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Old 11-23-07, 04:09 PM
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Aren't we past this type of behavior?

Watch the same movie on both formats and then tell me how different they are.
Some of us, Josh, but not all of us. Just as there will always be those that have an emotional investment in a particular game console, computer OS, harbor an irrational hatred of Microsoft, etc., there will always be those that will believe that Blu-ray is the be all, end all of HD disc formats.

BTW, this isn't the first time Dan Ramer, an otherwise intelligent guy, has perpetuated a logical fallacy based on poor analysis.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:41 PM
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When was the last time someone on these boards actually read one of these rags?
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Old 11-23-07, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by True_Story1011
When was the last time someone on these boards actually read one of these rags?
I find it entertaining, and occasionally informative. It's one component of potential research on products about which I have no expertise, which is its purpose. I keep them in the bathroom.
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Old 11-23-07, 06:59 PM
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hmm, I kinda just take my laptop to the outhouse with me.

Saves a couple trees because I flush a ton down the pot... literally.
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Old 11-23-07, 07:28 PM
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I remember working at Sears and Circuit City in the electronics depts, there was nothing more annoying than a customer who came strolling in with an issue of "Consumer Reports" tucked under their arm. Then again, most of my co-workers didn't know squat about what they were selling so I guess I can't entirely blame the CR readers.
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Old 11-24-07, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Aren't we past this type of behavior?

Watch the same movie on both formats and then tell me how different they are.
I do not want to have bad dehavior, but the you cannot compare movies that have come out on both formats. They are both come from the same master, so their is no real difference. BR may be every so slightly better, but no one should be able to tell with the naked eye.

The real test is comparing a movie that is mastered only for BD.
-The movie master can be created up to the 50 gig limit
-Can be sent using 55Mbps bandwith

Everything I have read for "Pirates of the Caribbean movies", Spiderman 3, Cars and Ratatouille are all voted as the best video quality because of the Disk Size and the higher bandwidth.

I want to buy a PS3 to watch BR Dvds, but the price for HD-DVD Players is so much lower it may win the HD war in my house.
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Old 11-24-07, 05:59 PM
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So are they really losing money since both formats are equally successful? Does anyone know the percentage of people owning both HD and Blu Ray DVD players?
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Old 11-25-07, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Iron_Giant
I do not want to have bad dehavior, but the you cannot compare movies that have come out on both formats. They are both come from the same master, so their is no real difference. BR may be every so slightly better, but no one should be able to tell with the naked eye.
Paramount made MPEG-2 and AVC encodes for their Blu-rays and VC-1 for their HD DVDs. The difference was negligible.

Originally Posted by Iron_Giant
The real test is comparing a movie that is mastered only for BD.
-The movie master can be created up to the 50 gig limit
-Can be sent using 55Mbps bandwith
The movie cannot be 50GB, because the 50GB is for everything on the disc. If the movie has PCM audio, as many Blu-rays do, that alone would knock off a few gigs, and any other audio and extras would take off even more.

Originally Posted by Iron_Giant
Everything I have read for "Pirates of the Caribbean movies", Spiderman 3, Cars and Ratatouille are all voted as the best video quality because of the Disk Size and the higher bandwidth.
That's really conjecture, as there's no HD DVD encode to compare them against. It's like saying you have two burgers, and one burger is bigger. Then you also say the bigger burger tastes better. Is the taste due to the size of the burger or could it be attributed to something else? If only high bitrate encodes can look so great, how do you account for Warner Bros. sterling transfer of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Personally, I love all the AVC encodes I see on Blu-ray. But there's really no concrete evidence that Blu-ray discs look significantly better than HD DVDs. Does Underworld look better than Midnight Run? Yeah, it absolutely does. But does Spider-Man look better than King Kong? That's debatable.
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