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Blu-ray vs. HD DVD Round Two 218

Posted by Zonk
from the i-coulda-been-a-contender dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A second set of four movies are now available on both high-def disc formats, allowing for another set of head-to-head comparisons — and unlike last month's first round comparisons, Blu-ray fared much better this time. In fact, in comparing Warner's four latest Blu-ray disc releases ('Firewall,' 'Lethal Weapon,' 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Full Metal Jacket') to their HD DVD predecessors, High-Def Digest found three of the four titles to be more or less at picture quality parity. The key difference between these titles and Warner's Blu-ray launch titles last month? On all three of the titles receiving high marks, Warner switched from using the MPEG-2 compression codec to VC-1, which the studio has been using from the start on its counterpart HD DVD releases."
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Blu-ray vs. HD DVD Round Two

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@gmai l . com> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:28PM (#16077447) Journal

    From the article:

    Both of the next-gen high-def formats -- certainly more than DVD -- are very, very sensitive to even the slightest discrepancies in hardware setup and display calibration.

    Aside from the mere annoyance factor, this is either the blessing or the curse of HD (generic) DVD, and HD TV in general. It is tiresome to see a bad picture and go through the script:

    • is it the TV?
    • is it the DVD player?
    • is it the DVD?
    • is it the cable (or lack thereof)?
    • is it the video receiver?
    • is it the microwave oven?

    Also, from the article:

    But seeing as the phrase "firmware upgrade" is fast becoming a permanent part of the consumer electronics lexicon, it is clear Darwin would have loved this whole Blu-ray versus HD DVD thing.

    WTH? "(F)irmware upgrade" is fast becoming a permanent part of the consumer electronics lexicon?!? Gosh, I hope not! That just means more "consumer support" I have to do. Aside from general consumers not having any idea what firmware is (nor should they have to), the notion of "modding" their units, even under the aegis of "fixing" something is foreign, and frightening to them.

    And, now there's a battle brewing over the appropriate codec? Again, WTH? So now we have 2 competing hardware formats, and at least 2 codecs? Are the studios going to ship with a version of each codec? Are all of our players going to be compatible (sans firmware hoops)?

    All of this roiling, and a missing piece of the reviews and comparisons. How do these new formats and codecs hold up to and compare with the workhorse DVD of today? Considering today's DVDs have matured quite well, no hassle, no muss, no fuss, it'd be nice to know if the new expensive, complex, and not yet settled new DVD technology is even worth the bother.... Right now, for most, I'm guessing it's not.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You forgot the most important question: Is it more trouble than it is worth?
       
      I'm not going to blow a few grand on HDTV/BluRay-HD-DVD/etc. when there is real chance the stuff I buy will NEVER work properly. This while DRM crippled HDTV fiasco is more of a pain in the ass than I will ever be willing to deal with. Get treated like a criminal, and have to PAY for the privledge? - Not a chance.
    • by interiot (50685) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:38PM (#16077489) Homepage
      I assume the firmware upgrade treadmill only exists because the market is so new, and the devices are so bleeding-edge. The reviewer talked about getting whole new features in a firmware upgrade. Does this ever happen for $50 DVD players? No. Once hardware becomes more commoditized, manufacturers would rather people buy another $50 unit to get new software features. It's just that right now, they're doing a lot of software work to beat the other guy, and there's only a couple of players released. The fastest way for them to get their code up to snuff is to get it into the hands of as many end-users as they can, but since people aren't buying lots of new players, they have to upgrade them in-place.
      • They add CODECs and features routinely. Hackers add more.
      • "I assume the firmware upgrade treadmill only exists because the market is so new, and the devices are so bleeding-edge."

        I think the downside of the existence of flash memory is that embedded system companies are using it as a crutch instead of doing appropriate testing. Back in the days when a upgrade required a service visit to replace a PROM or EPROM (or possibly replace a board if the memory wasn't socketed) there were far fewer bugs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Pharmboy (216950)
          I think the downside of the existence of flash memory is that embedded system companies are using it as a crutch instead of doing appropriate testing.

          And how long before the all the new "dvd"s come out with software to OVERWRITE any firmware on your system that isn't "official"?

          It will happen, I will bet my lunch money on it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Firehed (942385)
            I'm almost positive that it's actually part of the standard. So when HDCP codes get cracked, they can shut down individual codes instead of having the entire protection standard blown wide open. The question is how long before someone makes a mod-chip that intercepts the overwrite.
        • by Jerf (17166)

          I think the downside of the existence of flash memory is that embedded system companies are using it as a crutch instead of doing appropriate testing.

          Eh, yes and no. Blu-ray and HD-DVD are, for better or worse, legitimately more complicated than DVD. Blu-ray requires an entire Java VM [wikipedia.org], after all, which is sort of cool, but also way more complicated than a DVD player needs to be.

    • by Dogers (446369)
      And, now there's a battle brewing over the appropriate codec? Again, WTH? So now we have 2 competing hardware formats, and at least 2 codecs? Are the studios going to ship with a version of each codec? Are all of our players going to be compatible (sans firmware hoops)?

      There's three (video) codecs, and yes, for a unit to be bluray/hddvd compatible it has to support them all. hddvd units have to have two decompressors, also.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)
      If the problem might be the microwave oven, it means you need to disconnect it from your home entertainment system ASAP.
      • by wwwillem (253720)
        But popcorn is definitely part of a home theater, so you can't disconnect the microwave... :-)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by elucidnation (800825)
      What??? and miss the chance to a high def version of blazing saddles???? I think the high paid suits at the studio are a little smarter than your average /. reader and they realize that the sure way to entice people to buy an overpriced, overhyped, underperfoming, DRM laden, format constrained, cumbersome way to watch overpriced movies is to lead with a film that is best remembered for a cowboy farting contest as ones as one of the first titles to be offered!
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      how about the fact that the last firmware upgrade broke my Crestron scripts that controlled the player and I had to rewrite the rs232 commandset to match the new firmware...

      Yeah customers are really happy when I have to charge them another $120.00 on top of the regular bill because the morons at toshiba can't get it in their head that when you release a product you never EVER change the communication protocols and commands to the player.

      Let's also forget that most people can not tell the difference between
  • Picture quality (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:30PM (#16077458)
    Picture quality is a function of the codec used. Format: irrelevant.
    • Re:Picture quality (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:38PM (#16077490)
      Indeed - data is data, it doesn't matter if it's on Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, or even DVD. The only issue is related to the storage capacity, i.e. what bitrate you're able to encode the data at.

      I'd sooner see comparisons on other aspects of the technology, such as the durability of Blu-Ray compared to HD-DVD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KonoWatakushi (910213)
      Picture quality is a function of two things: codec and bitrate.

      H.264 is typically better than VC-1, and Blu-ray can fit ~66% more bits per layer. By any reasonable comparison, Blu-ray will come out on top.

      However, if the studios don't take advantage of the medium, and ship the same bits on both discs, the result is obvious. Since they both come with DRM though, that means I will get no picture at all, so it hardly matters.
    • by abdulla (523920)
      What I don't understand is why they didn't use a more industry developed and supported codec like one of the MPEG-4 ones, ie H.264. Isn't it known to be better than VC-1?
      • by westlake (615356)
        What I don't understand is why they didn't use a more industry developed and supported codec like one of the MPEG-4 ones, ie H.264. Isn't it known to be better than VC-1?

        "The main goal of VC-1 development and standardization is to support the compression of interlaced content without first converting it to progressive, making it more attractive to broadcast and video industry professionals. VC-1 [wikipedia.org]

        Your 1080i master for broadcast is your 1080i master for the HD-DVD.

        • by eggoeater (704775)
          Your 1080i master for broadcast is your 1080i master for the HD-DVD.
          Not quite. All releases on HD-DVD so far have been in 1080p.
          I'm no expert in HD technology, but I'd say it should be pretty easy to take 60fps 1080p (HD-DVD) and turn it into 30fps 1080i (HD broadcast).

        • Isn't [H.264] known to be better than VC-1?

          Yes. However, H.264 is also known to be more expensive per publisher, per title, and/or per copy.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      Picture quality is a function of the codec used. Format: irrelevant.

      Wrong! All codecs support varying bitrates, and for a given codec a higher bitrate always equals higher picture quality. The point of the physical medium is to hold enough data to support a high bitrate. Blu-Ray holds 66% more than HD-DVD, so it should have a leg up in picture quality.

      Anyways, these standards (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) do not just specify the physical media, they include the codecs as well. But since they support the same

      • BluRay WOULD hold 66% more if they got the kinks out of producing doouble layer disks. Right now all BluRay movies are on single layer disks and HD-DVD are on DL disks.
  • by Durrok (912509) <calltechsucks.gmail@com> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:36PM (#16077480) Homepage Journal
    The reviewer touches on why the movie is the way it is but then ignores the obvious fact. THE MOVIE WAS MADE IN THE 1970s! Think about how many people felt back then. We may live in a time now where "nigger" offends both races now for some reason and mimicking our favorite rap stars is cool but back then it was not like that at all. The fact that he can't grab Mel's humor as it fits perfectly in the era it was released is very sad. Other then that, yeah, who hasn't already seen blazing saddles? I need to see a 35 year old movie in high def because....?
    • by Sporkinum (655143)
      The same reason me and 200 other people paid $4 to watch it on the big screen for a midnight show. Just watched the first Lord of the Rings there, though they only had about 40 people show up for that one. I don't care how good home viewing is, it won't be as good as a theater.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ravenshrike (808508)
      Um, it was made to insult, the fact that it insults now as well just furthers the genius of the movie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sacrilicious (316896)
      I need to see a 35 year old movie in high def because....?

      The above line says it all as far as how I feel about HD movies (except that I feel that way about all movies, not just 35-yr-old ones). High-definition picture would be a bonus if tv/movies were an immersive medium, but I don't see them as such; to me, tv and movies are a *storytelling* medium, not an immersive medium.

  • by payndz (589033) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:37PM (#16077486)
    So for a modest investment of a couple of grand, I can see Mary Lynn Rajskub sulk and pout in full high-definition glory? I'm almost tempted!

    But seriously. As much as I love Chloe and her big-screen clone, Firewall? Who the fuck do they think would be rushing out to buy this as an example of the best in high-definition viewing? "Guys! Come round to my house to watch a mediocre Harrison Ford thriller, 90% of which takes place in such exotic locations as a house and an office - in high-def!" I bet that shitty in-car greenscreen work in the last 20 minutes looks fantastic in HD...

    From the lame selection of movies - in both HD-DVD and BR - so far, it's obvious that the studios are either shit-scared about eating into the profit margin of their DVD ranges, or really couldn't give a crap about HD and have been forced into launching it by the suits.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:05PM (#16077598)
      Blazing Saddles? I mean give me a fucking break. I love the movie, don't get me wrong, I just see nothing it would gain in HD. The DVD version is rather grainy, so to get any worthwhile rez gain they'd have to spend some cash cleaning things up. Even if they did, what's the point? The movie doesn't need to look good to be funny. For that matter, it's mixed in mono, as in 1-channel sound! No 5.1 surround sound, nothing. Does it matter? Not one bit, it's still damn hilarious. But I certainly wouldn't spend money rebuying it in HD.
  • Too few movies (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nascarguy27 (984493)
    Why are people making comparisons between HD standards that I personally:
    1) Won't need. Current DVD produce is fine.
    2) Can't afford. Bring prices down for HD TVs, HD cable boxes, HD cable, HD players, etc.
    3) Don't want. *cough* DRM *cough* and too few selections for movies, currently anyway.
    I watch movies for the content and story, NOT for the blemishes on the actors faces. My 19" screens and standard DVDs are good enough. That said, HD is good for sporting events. That's all I'd use it for.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nxtw (866177)
      Most of us *aren't* you (thankfully).

      1) Won't need. Current DVD produce is fine.

      Not if you appreciate the higher resolution video. (Some people do.)

      2) Can't afford. Bring prices down for HD TVs, HD cable boxes, HD cable, HD players, etc.

      You can get HDTVs for $800 (32" LCD) or less. I think you can get 30" CRT HDTVs for $500 or less. Considering they're all widescreen, they're pretty nice even if you only want to watch DVDs.

      Digital Cable here with one HD receiver (plus analog for evey other tv) cost less

  • Awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by isecore (132059) <isecore@isecore.GINSBERGnet minus poet> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:46PM (#16077532) Homepage
    I especially love how they're using large chunks of badly written text in favor of comparative screenshots of each movie! Why waste time and space looking at comparative pictures when we can read endless blocks of text written by Some Guy!

    (disclaimer: yes, I'm being sarcastic)
    • I especially love how they're using large chunks of badly written text in favor of comparative screenshots of each movie!

      That's because of the DRM, since they plugged the analog hole there is no way to get a screenshot anymore.

      You laugh, but if the MAFIAA [mafiaa.org] get their way, they are in for more than a few surprises like that.
  • I still believe the next standard will first have to see hardware acceptance on the level of the lowly PC, not TVs. Mostly pushed as a need to have a higher capacity backup standard than the single layer 4.7GB DVD-R to save data on and possibly more capacity to deliver PC games on (though they can always stream the extra data over the internet....).

    I don't think the adopters are there in quantity to push either standard into common acceptance beyond a laserdisc level.

    Either that, or perhaps movies will be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ironsides (739422)
      Afterall, they haven't been able to supplant the music CD as the prefered hardcopy method yet.

      Music CDs aren't a good comparison. First, CD quality encoding is high enough that I've only met one, maybe two people who can tell the difference between it and any higher quality of music. Both of the two I know had very good hearing above 20khz. That's why the wav format it uses hasn't been replaced yet. As to the medium of the CD itself. For music at that quality, you don't need anything more for 99.99%
      • by AJWM (19027)
        is to eventually have a 2160 line movie at 120fps.

        Is that lines vertical (as in scanlines) or horizontal? Assuming the former, that'd give you a 3840x2160 screen for 16x9. At a ten foot viewing distance, a screen about 14.8 feet diagonal would still give you a visual resolution at about the human eye's limits (300 lines/inch at a viewing distance of 10 inches, as I recall). Not bad.

        The 120fps is perhaps on the high side. Doug Trumbulls experiments with film at 60 and 70 fps showed that to be plenty a
        • by Ironsides (739422)
          120 frames/s progresive, 3840x2160 @ 16x9 screen resolution. The point is to exceed the eyes visual limits. There was one demonstration given where they used a similar resolution than that and about the same fps. People got motion sickness from the demo because it was so realistic. That is the engineers goal.
    • While I'd love it too (I use DVD's to backup our various boxen as well), what you are asking for already exists [dlttape.com]. It's called a 'tape backup'.
  • Yawwwnnn. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zaqattack911 (532040) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @05:50PM (#16077548) Journal
    Through the endless marketing speak about the "technologies" involved in HDTV and HD_DVD and blueray... I find myself just wanting to ignore the whole thing.

    They have managed to so utterly confuse the average consumer, that people actually flock to best buy and ask the advice of the A/V *cough* "experts" over there.

    HD-DVD / Bluray isn't about **ing movies, its just a high density dvd player (hopefully with more data / computer applications than the dinky junk they are going to cram onto the next hollywood trash movie).

    Then we come to HDTV.... even more confusing video format that means:

    A friggin resolution of 1920x1080 (I think)
    some DRM
    DVI /hdmi connectors (and god damn price of the cable.. lol what a joke).

    The industry seems to think if they can thouroughly confuse the consumer... they can probably also convince him/her to change his/her entire Home Theatre setup.

    I bet in less than a year's time, there is going to be some new HDTV surround sound requirement that will force everyone to replace their current dolby digital sound / speakers in order to truely enjoy hdtv sound.

    I also have a question... this thing about 32bit vista not being able to produce true HD resolution with movies.... is that some kind of joke? My computer can already play that resolution, what gives? Is the encoding of the movie that cpu hungry?

    I'm sorry.. obviously I'll be marked as a troll... but I find this so frustrating. The arsenal of buzzwords is starting to get to me. For gods sake.. can't I just use bluray to back-up my files? I don't care about movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I also have a question... this thing about 32bit vista not being able to produce true HD resolution with movies.... is that some kind of joke? My computer can already play that resolution, what gives? Is the encoding of the movie that cpu hungry? Microsoft has stated that 32-bit Windows Vista will not allow high definition playback because apparently software running on a 32-bit CPU can override the DRM, allowing for illegal copying. It has nothing to do with capabilities of a 32-bit system, it is all abo
    • Yeah, what a joke.

      From the "info" you posted, it's clear you are successfully ignoring HDTV. Posting incorrect info isn't helping either. Please add "posting info about HDTV" to your list of things not to do.

      And yes, the video encodings can be very CPU intensive.

      I have a dual-core Intel Core Duo Mac Mini that cannot play full-screen 1920x1080 H.264 video, even at 24fps. So yes, the encodings are very CPU intensive.
      • by MustardMan (52102)
        I call bullshit. I can play 1920x1080 HD content with absolutely no problems on my macbook. The ONLY reason you might be having problems with a dual core mac mini is the abysmal graphics card they put in it, but it certainly not a question of processor speed.
        • There is no graphics acclerator currently on the Mac that accelerates H.264 playback. The top tier are capable, but it doesn't seem to be used, perhaps in Leopard.

          Your Macbook not only doesn't have a 1920x1080 display, but it also has a more CPU than a Mac Mini Core Duo. Additionally, if your Macbook is really a Macbook (and not a Pro), it has the same graphics chip I have.

          I had some other joker call me out on this before. Most movie trailers are 24fps and 2.35:1. My Mac Mini will play those fine. At 2.35:1
          • by MustardMan (52102)
            It's hooked up to a 23" cinema display and plays 1080p in fullscreen without a hitch.
            • First of all, what kind of machine? Pro? Perhaps you noticed it has more than a 1.66GHz Core Duo in it, unlike my Mac Mini?

              Second of all, can I get some of your 1080p demo material? I've never seen an H.264 Quicktime movie that was 1920x1080x60fps, and I'd love to have it to benchmark the equipment I have access to.
              • by MustardMan (52102)
                I missed the 60fps bit from your first post. That's utter bullshit. 1080p broadcast is either 24, 25, or 30fps. 60hz only applies to interlaced formats.

                It's a standard, low-end macbook. No pro.

                As far as my test material, try googling for h.264 1080p. There is plenty to be found at the standard framerates that make up broadcast hdtv. Call me out? you're full of shit.
                • I've got lots of it.

                  There is a 1080P in ATSC that is only 1920x1080x30fps. But HDTV encompasses more than just ATSC, and there are plenty of HDTVs out there now that do 1920x1080x60fps. I'd like demo material for that. Sounds like you can't help me there.

                  I did Google for h.264 1080p and didn't find any useful content. I did find discussion of how MacBooks (I didn't even have MacBook in the search) can only play 1920x1080 content at about 24fps. Only the faster MacBooks (2.0GHz?) can play 30fps. None can pla
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        That won't be a problem when hardware decoders are added to all new graphics cards.
    • by Have Blue (616)
      I bet in less than a year's time, there is going to be some new HDTV surround sound requirement that will force everyone to replace their current dolby digital sound / speakers in order to truely enjoy hdtv sound.

      We're almost there. There was recently an update to the HDMI spec (1.3) that may break compatibility with older HDMI devices.

      I also have a question... this thing about 32bit vista not being able to produce true HD resolution with movies.... is that some kind of joke?

      Vista on 32-bit will n
  • Is there on the market any format that supports and actually uses more than 24 FPS? Any movies that don't blur, don't show "ghosts" or such on rapid movement? AFAIK all the source tapes of the movies are in 24 frames per second, so no matter how much you improve resolution, the framerate will suck.
    • High Motion (Score:3, Interesting)

      I've been wishing for that for a long time, but it doesn't seem to be something that too many people are pushing for.

      IMAX can use 48 fps. Apparently the first two movies shot with the 70 mm Todd-AO format were done with 30 fps (Around the World in Eighty Days, and Oklahoma!), but after that they switched to the more conventional 24 fps.

      One new proposed film format with 48 fps is MaxiVision48 [geocities.com]. Showscan [showscan.com] is done at 60 fps. I'm pretty doubtful that a new film-based format can take off, because of the high

      • by ppanon (16583)
        I don't understand why we still have banding effects. If you upsampled during recording, say at 48bits, you could use dithering algorithms prior to encoding to 24/32 bits color to eliminate banding effects. Dithering algorithms are how old? 30years+? You also should be able to encode your dithered results fairly well as long as your you build it into your compression/playback algorithm.
  • by fz00 (466988)
    The future is hard disk and broadband. Besides, my mpeg4s look just fine on my widescreen. This will be the biggest digital video flop since the first Divx!
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:31PM (#16077677) Homepage
    Blue Ray and HD-DVD are both just data discs. Any difference between them is NOT due to the disc or the technology or anything like that, but the mastering process the studio takes. Picture quality and audio quality isnt affected by the Blue Ray or HD-DVD disc any more than the sound quality of your MP3s is affected by your having a Seagate hard drive vs a Maxtor hard drive.
    • by vga_init (589198)

      Right, but data-heavy signals such as audio and video exhaust disc storage easily depending on the quality of the signal versus the level of compression. The enlarged capacity of the new discs enables for the creation of new formats. You can consider picture quality and audio quality to depend on the size of the disk, so this is a natural trait of the format.

      Of course the quality can vary depending on the mastering techniques. A DVD can contain video quality far inferior to that of VHS if that is the co

      • by MrNaz (730548) *
        No. FTFA: "Warner switched from using the MPEG-2 compression codec to VC-1,"

        Both discs have the same approximate capacity. Switching codecs is not dependent on the disc itself. If Blue Ray "wins" the hardware war, but VC-1 from the HD-DVD camp is a better codec, I would hope the studios didn't just continue to blindly use MPEG.

        What I am saying is that hardware has nothing to do with it. Tying a codec/software package/voodoo prayer to hardware is does NOT mean the hardware in one is better.
        • Both discs have the same approximate capacity.

          Eh? Blu-ray is 50G, while HD-DVD is 30G (double sided, in both cases). In other words, Blu-ray currently holds 67% more data than HD-DVD.

          The theoretical limits are 200G vs 60G respectively (see here [engadget.com]).

          I'd call that pretty significant.
    • People truly believe that crap [slashdot.org]. Never underestimate the depths of stupidity to which an audiophile will descend.
    • by Malc (1751)
      Blu-ray and HD DVD are not just data discs. The specs define the discs, but they also define other things. There are some big differences - the BD spec talks a lot about Java, where as HD DVD doesn't support this at all. As for video and audio, BD supports higher bit rates for video, and due to it's higher capacity, higher average bit rates, and it also supports higher bit rates for AC3.
  • I don't care whitch movies are released by MPAA supporters on either Blu-ray or GD-DVD. All I care about is data storage. And right now the cost of Blu-ray is more than 50cent/gig compared with less than 10 cents per gig on DVD. Not to mancion you need to spend upfront 800$ for a writer. What the heck the price per gig on hardrive is less than 25 cents per gig with no upfront costs.

    ----
    http://world4.monstersgame.co.uk/?ac=vid&vid=47010 693 [monstersgame.co.uk]
  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:56PM (#16077752)
    Whichever one will work in windows xp and linux and allow you to view the content at the full resolution without any encumbering DRM will be the market winner
    • by nonlnear (893672)
      So DVD then? That is, until HDCP is cracked. Shouldn't be long.
      • by Pharmboy (216950)
        So DVD then? That is, until HDCP is cracked. Shouldn't be long.

        Don't hold your breath. The fact that CSS was cracked is more of the fact that Xing screwed up and put an unecrypted key in their player. Once they got ahold of the basic encryption, brute forcing 40 bit keys wasn't that hard (couldn't be stronger than 40 bit due to US export laws on encryption at the time).

        Even a bad implimentation can take forever to break. If Xing didn't screw up, we would never have heard of DeCSS.
      • Should be a damn long time if people can't get it straight.

        HDCP is to plug the analog hole. I want the h.264-compressed file, not the raw stream.

        There's a whole different DRM scheme to encrypt the content on the disk itself, which is what we want.
  • Beta format was unquestionablly better than VHS. However, Beta all but died in the consumer market because of Sony's insane desire to completely control all aspects of their technology and licensing fees.

    Digital Audio Tape was better than cassette, but didn't "take". Why? DRM.

    Again, Sony is going for a "standard" where they control everything. Others, especially those that compete with Sony, are understandablly a bit put off by this.

    I do not purchase Sony music, I do not purchase Sony movies, nor do I g

    • by igb (28052)
      Beta wasn't unquestionably better than VHS: rewind time, for example, was far worse. The DAT argument was not about DRM: SCMS wasb't implemented on the vast majority of DAT machines sold, and strippers cost peanuts. DAT failed as a commodity format because the equipment and media were expensive, consumers had no need for the format, portables were insane money and there were no car systems, and tape (ie wind from track to track) looks obsolete from the moment it was launched. I used a DAT machine for a f
  • Sorry guys but when you only have less than 50k units sold so far combined AND one of the competitors is about to have 6 million out by March of 2006... Well the war is over.

    Now add the fact that you will be able to get one of these units with a game console for the cheaper than the competion to boot, well this "war" is starting to look like a small third world country against EVERY world super power combined.

    Now add that almost all the content providers also like this same format and only one major content
  • Why isn't Star Wars on either of the next-gen formats? I bet Lucas is waiting to do the re-re-re-release on HD DVD 2.0 though, but that's Lucas.

    So then why not Star Trek or the Matrix trilogy? Why not sell movies that cater to geeks whom I'd be willing to bet would spend hard currency on? I'm thinking ST Nemesis or ST Voyager...something recently filmed with film capable of superseeding high def.

    I find the current selection appalling and find it ludicrous that they think a movie three decades old is going to really benefit from high def.

    Maybe even Battlestar Galactica 2003 mini-series and on?

    If you want to sell your latest widget they why use mediocre stock? From what I've seen, I see no reason to dump a couple pay checks on a new player and TV. I'm not going to dump a couple grand to watch Hitch and 50 First Dates in super-mega-awesome format.

    Coming soon: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on HD DVD; Citizen Kane on Blu Ray; and Casablanca Extendend Edition on HD DVD with 84 hours of unseen footage. OH PLEASE, gimme a break from your marketers!
  • Is it just me, or did the guy recycle large amounts of text between each of the reviews?

    It's like he used a template, and just filled-in the blank spots with the name of the movie.

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