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HD vs BD comparison for same titles

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HD vs BD comparison for same titles

Old 06-20-08, 12:03 PM
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HD vs BD comparison for same titles

I've heard (and read on dvdtalk) that sometimes there are differences between these formats, and other times the video is exactly the same transfer, but the features are different (300, for example).

Since I have an HD player and I'm holding out on BD until later, and the HD titles that were NOT already on BD are now being put on BD.. i have to wonder if I should buy titles on HD when they are on sale. I plan to, as they are sometimes quite cheap..but bd has been blitzing us with sales lately and the hd prices have been kept artificially high.

anyways... for example, The Last Samurai HD vs Blu-Ray... can I expect any difference in picture quality?

Superman Returns?

etc?
Old 06-20-08, 12:05 PM
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Most of the Warner releases use the exact same encode on HD and Blu.
Old 06-20-08, 12:45 PM
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Some Warner and Paramount titles have better audio tracks then then BD counterparts. AVS has a list.
Old 06-20-08, 02:21 PM
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I'm pretty sure there's a list on this forum. I'm just too lazy to look.
Old 06-20-08, 08:09 PM
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On a tangent, another issue is that my HD player is the A3, which I believe only goes up to 1080i .. so I don't know if that means I will be getting a less smooth picture during action scenes or if the difference is negligible.

Obviously, if it is a big difference then it may make sense to wait for bd prices of the titles I want to go down and buy a 1080p BD player. if there is NO difference, then there is no reason not to buy
Old 06-20-08, 09:22 PM
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From my experience most of the dual-format titles were either the same, or were "better" in some way on HD DVD.

In your example of Superman Returns, the HD DVD has a lossless Dolby TrueHD audio track, whereas the BD only has Dolby Digital. (There was BD edition with TrueHD - but it was only available as a pack-in with a Pioneer BD player.)

Lady in the Water and Happy Feet also followed this model, with TrueHD on the HD DVD and DD on the BD. The early dual-format Paramount titles used VC-1 on the HD DVD and MPEG-2 on the BD... with the VC-1 usually getting slightly better reviews. Also, as you noted with 300, there are a number of discs where the HD DVD had some advanced extras (PiP) not available on the BD - including a couple Harry Potters and Mission Impossible III.

HighDefDigest has some very good reviews w/ descriptions of content.

In regards to the 1080i/60 vs. 1080p/60 issue... for the most part you'll notice effectively no difference. Both transmission formats can carry all the information contained in the 1080p/24 source. However, if you have one of the new TVs that support native 24Hz input (usually the 120Hz sets), then a BD player with native 24Hz output can give you a "smoother" picture since there is no 2:3 pulldown or telecine judder. Even with this however... most viewers don't notice any significant improvement.

Personally though, at this point I would just buy them on BD unless you can find the HD version at a really deep discount. You're HD DVD player probably won't last forever, and you may have multiple BD players in the near future. Having your titles in BD could just keep things simpler.
Old 06-23-08, 10:53 PM
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Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
Old 06-23-08, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by El Kabong
Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
Huh??? TrueHD and PCM are literally the exact same sound. (Unless you're speaking of the "Dialog Normalization" processing that is available for TrueHD.)
I don't think the sample frequency or size for the audio tracks were any different for those titles.
Old 06-23-08, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by El Kabong
Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
I'm pretty sure all of Kubrick's newly "remastered" HD DVD titles were TrueHD. Noticing the difference between TrueHD and PCM would be futile. You also have to find out what was the native audio recorded to begin with to determine if a higher sample rate and greater bit depth is going to be beneficial.
Old 06-24-08, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by obispo21
From my experience most of the dual-format titles were either the same, or were "better" in some way on HD DVD.
Those dual releases you have in mind were encoded with the lower denominator in mind: HDDVD, hence why these were identical. The parity Warner desired to maintain at the time has been widely discussed elsewhere.

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Old 06-24-08, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
Those dual releases you have in mind were encoded with the lower denominator in mind: HDDVD, hence why these were identical. The parity Warner desired to maintain at the time has been widely discussed elsewhere.

Pro-B
I'm not trying to turn this into a format war discussion. I was just pointing out to the OP that from my experiences, most of the dual-format titles that had some difference *were* "better" for one reason or another on HD DVD. (There were a few better on BD - I think the Sopranos on BD had PCM when the HD had DD+.)

I'm not really commenting on why the studio chose to make them better - just that they were.

I know alot of people like to call HD DVD the "lower denominator" (it is as far as absolute technical specifications go) - but HD DVD's specifications don't have anything to do with why effectively all the early BD's used MPEG-2 on BD-25 (and were largely disappointing) or why Warner didn't use lossless audio for Superman Returns. If that was caused by encoding for the lower denominator - in those cases the lower denominator was Blu-ray's lack of BD-50 and advanced authoring tools (at the time).

Last edited by obispo21; 06-24-08 at 07:22 AM.
Old 06-24-08, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by El Kabong
Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
TrueHD, PCM, DTS MA are the same thing. Just different names.
Old 06-24-08, 09:53 AM
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I wouldn't say the same thing just because PCM is such a huge waste of space.

TrueHD and DTS MA, though, yeah.

Originally Posted by El Kabong
Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
The "Blue screen" PIP is by and large the coolest HDM special feature yet, dunno whats lame about it. It played like a very intuitive behind the scenes. And no, the PCM track was not better than the TrueHD track unless you have a sound system that only supports PCM. Both were 48 KHz and 16-bit.

Last edited by RichC2; 06-24-08 at 09:56 AM.
Old 06-24-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
I wouldn't say the same thing just because PCM is such a huge waste of space.

TrueHD and DTS MA, though, yeah.



The "Blue screen" PIP is by and large the coolest HDM special feature yet, dunno whats lame about it. It played like a very intuitive behind the scenes.
Well yeah, PCM takes up much more room but all 3 sound identical. That's why most studios are moving away from PCM towards TrueHD and/or DTS MA.

It could also be because new Blu-ray players can actually internally decode TrueHD/DTS MA now, so no need to provide PCM for the older generation?
Old 06-24-08, 09:57 AM
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Could be, I always thought Lionsgate touting their 7.1 PCM tracks was funny, it just comes off as lazy.
Old 06-24-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by El Kabong
Actually, 300 BD might have been missing the lame "noFX" extra, but it had a PCM audio track that was better than the TrueHD. I'm pretty sure all the Kubrick titles had better audio on BD also.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=873341

While it hasn't been updated in some time, you can see that almost every other HD DVD title that was released on Blu-ray as well (by Warner/Paramount) had better audio for HD DVD.

Looking through my Kubrick HD DVD titles (all but Eyes Wide Shut), all have TrueHD and DD+ tracks. I don't know what the BD versions have, but I doubt they included both TrueHD and DD+ (Do any BD titles use this?).
Old 06-24-08, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Could be, I always thought Lionsgate touting their 7.1 PCM tracks was funny, it just comes off as lazy.
Eh. If they have a 50GB disc, and have the extra room, it makes sense to include PCM so everyone can decode it, even the older generation of BD players. If they need the room (for extras, bitrate, whatever) they could do DTS MA (which I think they have done for a few releases).

I think at this point most of the older Blu-ray players have been updated to decode TrueHD. The Sony BDP300 just got an update last month.
Old 06-24-08, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=873341Looking through my Kubrick HD DVD titles (all but Eyes Wide Shut), all have TrueHD and DD+ tracks. I don't know what the BD versions have, but I doubt they included both TrueHD and DD+ (Do any BD titles use this?).
TrueHD differs on BD than on HD DVD in that, for BD, TrueHD actually contains the "core" 640kbs Dolby Digital track... more or less like how DTS HD MA contains the 1.5Mbs DTS Core.

So basically, it's the same thing as having both a TrueHD and DD+ track on HD DVD.

There have been a couple BDs that had both PCM and TrueHD (and even DTS HD MA) all simultaneously I believe... which seems sort of silly. I guess if there's the available space and bandwith though... may as well.
Old 06-24-08, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by obispo21
TrueHD differs on BD than on HD DVD in that, for BD, TrueHD actually contains the "core" 640kbs Dolby Digital track... more or less like how DTS HD MA contains the 1.5Mbs DTS Core.
TrueHD doesn't have a "core" on either format. Blu-rays with TrueHD also have a "hidden" DD 5.1 track. You can't actively select it from the menus, but if your hardware doesn't support TrueHD the player will automatically default to the DD 5.1 mix.

The net effect is the same for the end user, but this configuration takes up more disc space than a core+extension configuration would.

Dolby Digital Plus does have a core+extension formatting on Blu-ray, but TrueHD does not.
Old 06-24-08, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
TrueHD doesn't have a "core" on either format. Blu-rays with TrueHD also have a "hidden" DD 5.1 track. You can't actively select it from the menus, but if your hardware doesn't support TrueHD the player will automatically default to the DD 5.1 mix.

The net effect is the same for the end user, but this configuration takes up more disc space than a core+extension configuration would.

Dolby Digital Plus does have a core+extension formatting on Blu-ray, but TrueHD does not.
Ahh - Good technical distinction - thanks Josh.

Isn't having a "hidden" DD track that is intrinsically included but completely distinct in terms of storage sort of silly? I would think it would make more sense just to include it as a completely separate track. (Though I suppose it might make it easier for an end-user who doesn't want to select tracks.)

Is the hidden DD track always read / occupy part of the read bandwidth even if it the TrueHD track is actually the one in use? That would seem even worse... though I guess in terms of BD bandwidth a DD track is pretty minimal.
Old 06-24-08, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by obispo21
Isn't having a "hidden" DD track that is intrinsically included but completely distinct in terms of storage sort of silly?
No argument there, but that's a consequence of Blu-ray not having its hardware specs finalized when the format debuted.

Is the hidden DD track always read / occupy part of the read bandwidth even if it the TrueHD track is actually the one in use?
I would assume that the DD 5.1 track is just ignored if the hardware is compatible with TrueHD. That can be verified during the HDMI handshake. Once the player recognizes that the connected receiver can accept the TrueHD bitstream, it can bypass the DD 5.1 track entirely.

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