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First HD-DVD Disc Reviews - Mixed Marks 262

An anonymous reader writes "As the first HD-DVD players and discs hit store shelves nationwide today, the new site High-Def DVD Digest has posted extraordinarily detailed reviews of the HD-DVD disc releases of 'Serenity' and 'The Last Samurai,' with more reviews to come later today. The site gives both discs mixed marks, with the Tom Cruise flick edging out the Whedon-fest for demonstrating more pure high-def eye-candy appeal. Also worth a look-see: a detailed account of their 'review reference system' (ie: their gear)."
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First HD-DVD Disc Reviews - Mixed Marks

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  • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:10AM (#15148669) Journal

    The more I read and hear about this stuff, the less interested I become. If it were just about the difference in quality and that difference were BIG, I'd be thinking about going for some equipment, and some new DVDs. But, toss in all the other BS, this one's going nowhere. I'll wait until there's one format, or both play compatibility everywhere, DRM goes away, and a player costs less than $150.

    The differences in quality as described aren't blowing me away, and I love upgrades in technology. The improvements I'm reading sound much like some digital camera reviews where they describe the difference between 8 megapixel and 3 megapixel, which unless you're blowing up to side-of-a-building size, or doing mega-cropping isn't noticeable to the casual consumer.

    I posted on this yesterday. I guess I haven't changed my mind, I'll go and look for a demo somewhere where they've got it set up correctly (heh, good luck with that!), but this is going to be a non-starter for a while.

    In the meantime, to the industry, please:

    • make it easier
    • make it compatible
    • don't DRM it (translation, show a little faith in the customers' integrity, assholes!)
    • make it cheaper
    • make it durable
    • and set it up for my friends and family, I'm tired of coming in and fixing what you're not getting right in the first place.
    • consolidate the technology... I know it's complex, but the learning curve is just too darned steep for this to be a breakout technology (though I would agree this is "disruptive" in a different sense)... For those who care, here is a partial list of the technical terms and acronyms from just one of the review:
      1. TrueHD
      2. HDTV
      3. HD-DVD
      4. 720i/720p/1080i/1080p
      5. Dol by/Dolby Digital 5.1/7.1 Surround
      6. DD+
      7. VHS
      8. HD-A1/(and it's snazzier cousin HD-XA1)
      9. D-VHS HD
      10. HDMI
      11. ICT
      12. Component outs
      For the record, I thought I was up to speed and I had to look up a couple of these. Sigh.
    • I can't wait for my copy of Debby Does Dallas in HD. /.ers are going to be spending a tad more time in front of their tv's now
    • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:15AM (#15148721)
      Something else to consider... if you are disinterested in this new technology because the difference isn't that noticable and from the looks of things you seem to be technically fluent, how is the average joe going to react? I'm talking about those people who watch standard def contents on their HDTV sets without even realizing it/knowing the difference.

      • by yagu ( 721525 ) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:26AM (#15148833) Journal

        You make a most excellent point. I find it more likely than not when I'm at someone's house, they have a first-generation HDTV (720p), and they have it all out of whack in how it's set up. Typically (and this is where it really gets weird) they have become SO adapted to the distortion that if and when I correct it for them, they are uncomfortable with the undistorted pictures, and want it switched back! OMG!

        And this is all further compounded by the mostly inferior quality of anything claiming to be "high-def" for the sake of selling product, for example, Dish, Echo, Comcast, etc., all boast some flavor of "digital", with hints and sometimes outright bogus claims of HD too. But in the final anaylsis, lots of it looks not so great, and when the consumers starts stretching it and skewing it trying to get the "HD" out their no-bang-for-the-buck investment, it is most surreal.

        Just shoot me now.

        • Yeah, its like the "digital" boom in the 80s. Marketing started selling digital analog speakers, and then changed it to "digital ready".

          I like HD content. I've got a really nice fully upscaled 1920x1080p setup, and let me tell you, DVDs just don't cut it anymore. I watched some horrible movie the other day on my set, and I asked my friend how old the movie was, I was guessing 10+ years. It was only a couple of years ago, 2002 to be exact.

          HD/HDTV is an absolute mess. HDMI, DVI, component, DRM, DD, stere
          • "If I were to show them real HD content, they might cry."

            No, they were crying because they got the bill for their new HD setup.
          • If I knew someone that had X million of VC money, I would start my own electronics company that integrated this crap and made it work right so that the average joe can just buy it and enjoy the content.

            Like a... Home theatre in a box? Already been done I'm afraid. Brilliant idea IMO, although I'm a bit pissed my home theatre kit doesn't have optical inputs. Can't get the full 5.1 effect from satellite without them.
            • Like a... Home theatre in a box? Already been done I'm afraid. Brilliant idea IMO, although I'm a bit pissed my home theatre kit doesn't have optical inputs. Can't get the full 5.1 effect from satellite without them.

              And if it even did have digital (optical or otherwise) inputs, it wouldn't get 5.1 and other audio formats right all the time either.

              No, what it sounds like, your "home theater in a box" is a box.

      • Even less interested. the average joe has no intention of buying a HDTV in the near future. HDtv sales are dismal right now. Most people are not too crazy about spending $2000.00 on a HD television and the rear projection cheapies are not selling at all because the simply suck. Flat panels are the only thing selling but they are expensive unless you want a nice dinky one or an off brand.

        Everyone that buys a nice HDTV get's pissed when they take it home and watch real world Tv signals on it. Standard Def
      • I'm talking about those people who watch standard def contents on their HDTV sets without even realizing it/knowing the difference.

        Heck, I've met people who can sit through a 16:9 film that's been stretched to fill a 4:3 screen and not realize anything is wrong (and vice versa). I've seen the aspect ration in stores set wrong (I hope this is out of laziness). It makes me wonder how much visual imformation some people are actually pulling in.

      • Average joe will probably be working out with vince vaughn, or possibly stephen root, and as such will probably not care about HD.
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @01:41PM (#15150936)
        I remember people making the same point when DVD first came out.

        I was an early adopter (still have my original Phillips 400AT player from 1997). And I wish I had a nickel for every naysayer back then who said "Joe Sixpack will never buy into DVD. He's already perfectly happy with his VHS. He's not going to notice the quality difference and doesn't care about the extras."


    • by WebHostingGuy ( 825421 ) * on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:17AM (#15148748) Homepage Journal
      Well, I hope you are not tired of reading; because the media hype is just going to get worse.

      When both formats are up and running you will not be able to go anywhere and not read about this stuff. There is too much cash involved just to leave the decision up to the consumer. The companies backing the standards simply are not going to trust you to make the choice--they are going to let you know what to think. And the way they are going to do that is by running thousands of ads; ghost writing reviews, etc.

      It's just beginning and you haven't heard nothing yet.
    • by QuantumPion ( 805098 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:21AM (#15148773)
      I for one am really looking forward to HD DVD's. I am not going to rush out and buy a player until someone comes out with a dual format player, the prices drop to the ~$200-300 range, and enough good movies come out. But when they do, I won't be able to whip out my check book fast enough. If you can't tell the difference between a 480i DVD and 1080i HD on a decent sized screen then you need to have your eyes examined. Or check your TV's manual on how to correctly set up your system.

      This is not a troll. I seriously don't understand how people can claim to not be able to tell the difference. Regular DVD's just look like trash on a large HD sceen, even with a good up-converting player. Ever since I read about the development of high-dev DVD's several years ago, I have ceased buying regular DVD movies in anticipation of buying their higher resolution versions in the near future.

      My only concern is that high-def DVD's will go the way of high-def audio with the DVD-A/SACD format war, with neither gaining acceptance and both dying out.

      • "I seriously don't understand how people can claim to not be able to tell the difference."

        I'm with you there. I really think the difference is noticeable but at the same time I don't think there are a whole lot of people who care about that noticable difference. What they have is good enough right now to not justify spending the extra money on HD. HDTV still isn't quite cheap enough yet, especially considering the sheer number of people who bought a big screen a few years ago during the big screen TV boo
        • If you had sunk the development cost into making HD equipment and your big worry was getting people to switch, you would go out of your way to make sure that SD looked like crap. That gets people to notice the difference and want to switch.
          • That's a two-way street though. If you are really interested in getting people to switch then you sure don't want some HDTV owner's neighbor, relative or friend to find out that their DVD collection will look WORSE on a new HDTV than it does on their old big screen. Best to let HDTV stand on its own merits than to cripple the other options.
        • Agree as well, however I know some people, who really do not get the difference.

          I know people who would hook up 2 pairs of extra speakers to their STEREO system, and claim that they have the same surround as me (produced by 6 speakers on a DTS system) .....

          They also do not notice if the local pirate DVD rental store completely misses the aspect ratio of movies when "burning subtitles" permanently onto movies.

          They also really do not care when there is a quality problem, and think that I am a snobbish asshol
      • A good DTS track on a regular DVD is going to provide the same experience than a SACD/DVD-A for 99% of the persons interested in multichannel sound. This is what is killing SACD and DVD-A, not their stupid war.

        They don't provide anything more than what the regular user already has.

        as for HDDVD, most people will need to get a lot of money out to see any difference. Not just a player. You and I are not the norm.
      • I would say my level of interest is about similar to yours: I won't be an early adopter, but I would like something better quality than PAL. That said, I think the number of people who care about that is very small. For example, when I point out the glaring digital encoding artifacts we get on a lot of Digital TV here, people look at me like I'm crazy or have some kind of super-sight.
    • The more I read and hear about this stuff, the less interested I become.

      For someone who claims to be uninterested in this, you certainly have a whole lot of (very valid) opinions regarding it.

      I'm curious about it, mainly because I want to take good advantage of my HDTV. However, as you mention, I won't really even consider it until the formats are somewhat sorted out and it's reasonably cheap (~$300 is my range).
      • I'm not going to be buying a whole lot of $30+ movies.

        The media needs to come down to $15-18. That's when it will take off. Perhaps it's more expensive because of the novelty, but in 12 months, they'd better get those prices down or these disks are doomed.
    • Um, have you ever heard the term "Early Adopter" ?

      Here's a handy dandy, what kids? Reference! [zonalatina.com]

      If you're waiting for it to hit below $150, and, like DVD players which now come free with every happy meal, they will. But others still were happy to pay $300 and up when DVDs first came out.

      The difference between regular cable TV, HD TV(over cable), and DVDs is huge, but it depends on your TV.

      For most people, the acronyms don't matter, but, with a $1.5k price tag, they are targeting, what kids? Early Adopters. Not
    • You make excellent points, except I think you underestimate the visual differences. For starters, I haven't seen an HD-DVD and I don't know if the difference will be night and day. But there will be at least two effects you're likely to notice.

      1. Stair step. Every time you increase resolution, you get rid of some of the "stair step" effect. Virtually everyone can see this when they look at straight lines running at an angle on the screen. It can be distracting, even to those who claim not to notice dif
    • Firstly, I really do agree with most of your points. Kudos. But you went too far:
      1. TrueHD
      2. HDTV
      3. HD-DVD
      4. 720i/720p/1080i/1080p
      5. Dol by/Dolby Digital 5.1/7.1 Surround
      6. DD+
      7. VHS
      8. HD-A1/(and it's snazzier cousin HD-XA1)
      9. D-VHS HD
      10. HDMI
      11. ICT
      12. Component outs

      OK, I'm pretty sure that most slashdoters know most of the important ones here. Some of them are derivable from other acronyms that are common enough (eg. DD+). Also, as far as I could tell, HD-A1 (and HD-XA1) are model names. It's hardly fair to gripe at an

    • Serenity is #178 on the Amazon DVD sales chart. (Noon EDT)

      Interesting as well are Amazon's prices, $20-$25 for HD DVD. Netflix has said it won't be charging a premium for HD rentals.

      There are mass market titles on the releae schedule. Apollo 13 next week. Ice Age, Harry Potter, Bravehart, The Lord of the Rings, not that far down the road. This technology could take off a lot faster than Slashdot's skeptics may be willing to admit.

      DRM may not even be a speed-bump.

  • by Entropy ( 6967 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:10AM (#15148680)
    I'll be in my bunk ..
  • Neat (Score:2, Funny)

    by slashbob22 ( 918040 )
    I would love to try this out on my own - but I have to get back to work. Another 5-6 years of overtime should help me afford the reference system.
  • Damn your cruel, but inevitable betrayal HD-DVD. Mine is an evil laugh.
  • all nice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rocket97 ( 565016 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:16AM (#15148730)
    That's all nice and dandy... but when do the writers come out?
    • Re:all nice (Score:2, Informative)

      by az_bont ( 782058 )
      The HD-DVD format allows you to burn high-definition content onto standard DVD-R discs. A single dual-layered disc will hold around 135 minutes of 1080p24 content, and that is the method Warner Brothers are choosing for their upcoming HD-DVD releases.

      The latest version of Final Cut Pro has allowed you to burn perfectly valid HD-DVDs for months, and they have been tested to work perfectly with the just-released HD-DVD players.

      It really surprises me that this is not a well known or much talked-about fac
  • Reference System (Score:5, Informative)

    by msaulters ( 130992 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:19AM (#15148756) Homepage
    The core of our system is the HP Pavilion MD6580N 65" Widescreen Rear-Projection DLP display device. It is currently the only consumer monitor that can accept full 1080p via its HDMI inputs, allowing it to display every last line of high-definition's maximum resolution of 1920x1080.

    Uh, nope, not right... Westinghouse makes a very nice 42" LCD with 1080p resolution. (on both DVI and HDMI connectors) http://www.westinghousedigital.com/c-7-1080p-monit ors.aspx [westinghousedigital.com] Maybe the HP is the only 65" monitor with 1080p? I have the 37" Westinghouse, and it's a GREAT 1080p monitor for a decent price.
    • 42" is EXTREMELY small and some would convincingly argue that it is too small to notice any difference between 1080p and 1080i on a screen that small. There is a reason the bigger manufacturers don't make 1080p screens that small.
      • 42" is EXTREMELY small

        Wow, what planet are you from? 37" is the biggest TV I've ever owned. And the article said the HP is the ONLY monitor with 1080p on the HDMI. Flat wrong.

        As for the difference between 1080p and 1080i, anyone who says the screen is too small to tell is not telling the whole story. Spend enough time reading AVSForum, for instance, and you'll see many different takes on 1080p,1080i,upscaling,etc etc. Fact is, none of the cable or satellite companies provide 1080p signals and until now

      • 42" is EXTREMELY small

        Not everyone has your budget. [engadget.com]

    • Most 1080p capable monitors only accept 1080i inputs through hdmi.
    • Westinghouse makes a very nice 42" LCD with 1080p resolution. (on both DVI and HDMI connectors) http://www.westinghousedigital.com/c-7-1080p-moni t [westinghousedigital.com] ors.aspx Maybe the HP is the only 65" monitor with 1080p?

      In my opinion, based on owning one, I think this is the best:

      http://www.jvc.com/product.jsp?productId=PRD420850 2&pathId=125 [jvc.com]

      56" to 70" 1080p, excellent color and contrast, no burnin (from what I hear). I don't know of any video technology that comes close to JVC's implementation of LCoS.
    • I didn't think the Westinghouse was one of them though. I thought it only accepted 1080i input (same as a Sony SXRD), despite having 1920x1080 resolution.

      Note that although the HP accepts 1080p, it isn't true progressive display. There is no such thing as a true 1080p DLP, as 1080-res DLPs use wobleration and thus are inherently interlaced.

      Sharp has sold a couple 1080p-inputting, 1080-res, true 1080p output flat panels for a while now, long before the woblerating DLPs came out. These are available affordabl
    • Reading other replies to your comment, I see this:

      42" is EXTREMELY small and some would convincingly argue that it is too small to notice any difference between 1080p and 1080i on a screen that small. There is a reason the bigger manufacturers don't make 1080p screens that small.

      Most 1080p capable monitors only accept 1080i inputs through hdmi.

      I didn't think the Westinghouse was one of them though. I thought it only accepted 1080i input (same as a Sony SXRD), despite having 1920x1080 resolution.

      Note that al

    • Most 1080p monitors do not accept 1080p as an input - they just upscale the 1080i signal. It does look like this Westinghouse does take in 1080p, but I just wanted to point out that technicality which certainly limits the number of TVs that fit their criteria. Also, the westinghouse site doesn't mention the rate at which it accepts 1080p, I know the HP will accept 1080p at 60 frames/sec. Some are only 30fps...
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@ja w t h e s h a r k . com> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:22AM (#15148792) Homepage Journal
    Why do I need HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? DVD does just fine everything I need. I'm probably not in the market, because two years and a half ago my old TV died and I bought a new one. A CRT, simply because anything Plasma/LCD was pretty much over 4000€. I got a nice 83cm (~32inch) 16:9 TV for 900€ and it works fine. No, it's not HD-Ready (not that I'm aware of), but I don't care.

    My wife would like me to replace it with a Plasma or LCD because the current one looks bulky, but I cannot think of any reason to "throw away" such an investment. It has to stay at least another 6 years. After that, we'll see.

    • Blu-Ray is dead in the water. It has all the parallels of Betamax, and Sony is much more incompetent now. I'll just skip over Blu-Ray altogether and watch it wither away and die.
      • You are forgetting about the 20 gazillion playstation 3's that are going to be sold with blu-ray drives in them. Once the PS3 is released it will overnight generate more blu-ray drives into people's homes than HD-DVD drives have since today.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radish ( 98371 )
      Simple. If you don't have an HDTV you don't need HD-DVD or BluRay.
    • Some DVD players will even upsample to HD if your TV supported it. Frankly neither format in my view is anything to write home about. Perhaps if you had a crazy-size home cinema system or computer with HD-DVD or Bluray it may justify itself but otherwise I don't see a great deal going for either format. Though personally I reckon Bluray will ultimately win simply because Sony will flood the market with players - the PS3.
  • by GGardner ( 97375 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:23AM (#15148804)
    Netflix (and competitors, I assume) claim they will have HD-DVDs available when they are released. To the degree that people use these companies to rent media, instead of owning it, I wonder if that will speed adoption. Sure, HD-DVD and BlueRay players will be backward compatible with my existing DVDs, but if I've got a stack of plain-old DVDs next to the player, I think I'm less likely to upgrade.
    • I thought Netflix was around so that people could rip and archive the DVDs they didn't have the money to buy. I think good decryption software and HD-DVD writers will have to get here before the format really takes off.

    • I don't think the adoption of the new HDTV/HDDVDs will happen very quickly. The costs have to drop tremendously and there has to be a lot more content. And then there is the fact that a large part of the population gets "good enough" resolution from the existing equipment. Over time HD will eventually take over. But it will be a couple of decades at least. The DVD makers will continue to provide standard DVDs since the market will continue to sell many millions more of those than HDDVDs for some time t
    • My biggest curiosity is whether the new improved scratch-resistant surface is really that great.

      I have always favored caddys and cartridges; I think it's ridiculous to hold any media by its outer edge or risk ruining it.

  • cracked ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <van@i2pmail.org> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:35AM (#15148933)
    Have the DRM schemes on either blu-ray or HD-DVD been cracked yet?
    • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:48AM (#15149064) Journal
      No, seriously. The parent may well be trolling, but the point is actually insightful in a roundabout way. I don't think the format will take off until you can make a copy for yourself. Do you really think Netfix would be where it is today if you couldn't rip and burn DVDs? Of course not. A cracked format will be the doorway to universal accptance of the new format. Otherwise, it will just sit next to DAT on the shelf of technology that could have been big.
    • Not sure who would have modded a relevant, legitimate question as troll.

      No mod points to fix it myself.

      To the best of my knowledge they are not cracked and not likely to be cracked at our level for at least a decade. OTH, any sneaky businesses with a reasonable amount of money will be able to crack them almost immediately and make knockoff copies.

      Bottom line, these are STILL just $2.49 movies that they are trying to use to mine the last few dollars out of the 1st world countries. I do not notice a differe
    • Re:cracked ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 )
      No, but hdcp (the encryption regime used on dvi/hdmi video signals) is known to be insecure [freedom-to-tinker.com]
  • by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:47AM (#15149053)
    I bought a DVD player early on, partly because I knew it was standard mpeg2, and there were DVD-ROMS becoming available (but I didn't know about DRM then). I suspect there are many other early tech. adopters here. I will not be buying HD-DVD until the DRM is overcome. I wonder where the rest of slashdot is on this.

    Perhaps a slashdot poll is needed.

    I will buy HD-DVD/Bluray:

    1) As soon as one of them is sold.
    2) When one of these formats wins
    3) When the DRM is removed or overcome
    4) When the price drops
    5) When the HDDVD-ROM/RW is available.
    6) 1-5
    7) When Hell exists and is frozen
    • I think that is the opinion of many people.

      DVD was dramatically new. Even compared to Laserdisks, DVD was better quality in a more convenient form factor. It represented a huge leap over VHS tapes, and it was the fastest growing media format compared to tapes, CD's and VHS combined.

      But High Def DVD's just don't have the same impact as DVDs. DVDs have overed exceptional quality, and even on HD Televisions, DVD's still offer good quality. With new up-converting DVD players, that quality is furthered as it
    • 4.5) When I can watch it on linux on my 1920x1280 monitor :-)
  • I think early adoption of anything is rather silly (e.g. next gen consoles), but it seems more so with Bluray & HD-DVD players. What possible reason is there for buying a 1st generation player for $$$$ (which the reviewer admits doesn't even support their TV's best resolution) and play a handful of mostly meh titles?

    While the actions of early adopters might shape the success of the platform, it seems a bit insane to be one. That is unless you have so much money that you are happy to toss your player a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @11:23AM (#15149437)
    Key phrase: Inverse Telecine.

    1080p purists, please stop whining. 1080i vs 1080p for film-source content is irrelevant.

    Films are filmed at 24 frames per second. They're stored on the HD disks as 1080p24.

    1080i is displayed at 60 fields per second, 30 full-frames per second.

    The player performs a telecine operation on the material to convert from 1080p24 to 1080i60 and then outputs it to the TV.

    There is this nifty techinque called inverse telecine that lets your 1080p-capable TV reconstruct the progressive frames from the interlaced output of the player. Ignoring additional image processing happening inside the TV, it will be displayed as bit-identical to the stored content on the disk, as 24 progressive frames per second, 1920x1080. Please set your TV to "film" mode and get over it.

    The only place 1080p is going to matter is for video-source material with 30 or 60 progressive frames per second, like sports, live events, and pr0n. There isn't going to be a lot of that released on discs, at least at first. IIRC most HD production trucks aren't even capturing in 1080p30 or 1080p60, and it certainly isn't being delivered in 1080p by ANY consumer solution at the moment.

    So please, stop whining about 1080p. There's nothing being produced to watch with it yet.
    • Inverse Telecine should solve all this, yes. However, a great many sets seem to be disturbingly crap at it, so a proper 1080p output (which should be in Tosh's next generation of players; they went with a slightly cheaper display chip that can't do it for the current models) is a good thing to have.

      Sad, but true.
  • Whoever reviewed Serenity for them seemed to have a big ol' chip on his shoulder for some reason. I gave up reading it when he said that "Firefly" was on the WB.
  • I'd like to see a test on a tv like i have that does 700 lines, just a general nice TV. Does it offer me ANY visible benefit over standard DVD? The vast majority of the population just wont care to upgrade if it means they have to buy a $3000+ dollar tv to see the difference.
  • You will get your machine that is dual compatible (and legacy compatible), you will get your machine that is under $150 but you probably won't get your wish for DRM to go away. So unless you plan on never upgrading you may want to let go on that requirement (eventually you may have to if you want to watch any new legit bought DVD). We may not like DRM but try convincing a law maker when the opposing argument "We have 100% proof that people pirate our material, this slows them down. Will it stop every pir
  • I hope they didn't use a similar transfer for the HDDDVDVDVVVD version as they did for the DVD version. I watched it on DVD for the first time last week (after seeing it twice in the theatre), and was horrified at how awful it looked. It was a terrible film transfer that looked about as bad as VHS quality. I have a 46" HDTV and a prog scan DVD, and most DVDs look great. This one made me cry (and not because it reminded me the series was over).
  • From the article:

    I was also a bit surprised that the HD-DVD of 'Samurai' sported stronger colors and better blacks than the standard DVD version, even though they appear minted from the same master. The considerably increased detail of the HD-DVD format also gives the image a better sense of contrast, as distinct picture elements like the glint on a blade or fine clothing textures now "pop" off the screen more, as opposing areas of light and dark are now more pronounced.

    The author sounds utterly confused,

  • by Gadzinka ( 256729 ) <rrw@hell.pl> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @03:03PM (#15151684) Journal
    No, thanks, I'll wait for Blu-Ray. After all, Sony has such a great track record with media formats: Beta, MD, MemoryStick, SACD, UMD.

    I just can't wait to lay my hands on this blu-ray goodness, there's just no chance that HD-DVD might win!


    PS ;)

    PPS For me, both formats look like crap from the consumer's point of view... I'll just stick to PAL upconverted to 720p, thankyouverymuch.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly