Both formats will be around for a while. The reason Blu-Ray is doing so well is because of the PS3... what else are you going to do with it besides buy movies? There are no good games for it. If you removed the PS3 from the equation they would be equal. The point of the matter as mentioned before is that we all love movies. Buy the player you want to watch the movies you like on. It's just everyones opinion. I am holding out for the Purple with yellow Polka Dots HD High Definition player!!!! :-)
Or maybe he figures that in the future he will want be able to put a Director's Cut on the same release which contains the Theatrical Cut and do it on one disc, where seamless branching has more strict bandwidth limitations just before the branch points (one going to the alternative branch and one coming back). HD DVD can do seamless branching, but they have much lower ceilings for it than Blu-ray. In other words, doing seamless branching without degradation can be quite a challenge on Blu-ray, but it is even worse on HD DVD. And just a note. Some people get confused and think that any branching is seamless. I've seen multiple cases of people claiming seamless branching on an HD DVD and when I check it, it isn't seamless (it has a pause).
Codecs should improve some, but there are difficult things that compressionists will be asked to do. Michael Bay seems to care greatly about quality and probably understands that the limitations of these formats do and will matter. I doubt he would be fooled by somebody like a Microsoft representative trying to make people believe that these bandwidth differences won't make any difference (while in another conversation claiming that neither VC-1 or AVC can be artifact free at the compression rates used for these formats).
The PiP thing and interactivity difference are mostly short term issues, but the bandwidth differences are long term. While there was some teasing that Toshiba might actually do something about their bandwidth issue by going to 1.5x spin rate (which they should have used originally) from 1.0x spin rate, the odds of that look like they are close to zero at some point. Michael Bay and the rest of us look like we will be stuck with that 1.0x spin rate the HD DVD camp chose a long time ago, back when they understood a lot less about what bitrates and space would be required (Warner even claimed that most of their movies would fit on DVD-9s a couple of years ago).
And to try to be clear, for those who think that 30Mbps is plenty for VC-1 for video and so the HD DVD camp's decision to limit everything to about 30Mbps isn't a real issue and won't be, that isn't valid thinking. The problems really come in because all the other things take away from what is left for video. Put real lossless on there with PiP and other things and all of a sudden the peak bitrates can drop to 20Mbps or less. And with seamless branching the limits for everything can drop as low as about 16Mbps ABR for the 2 seconds before a branch, from my latest information. Even 6Mbps of audio and other things there would mean 10Mbps left for video. If the HD DVD camp had gone with higher spin rate and higher overall bandwidth limitations, but left the video limit at 29.4Mbps, the bandwidth wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue. The Blu-ray camp left themselves about 8Mbps for other things like audio before those eat into the peak video bitrate limitation, where the HD DVD camp left themselves way less than 1Mbps.
This is an enthusiast's site and I would expect people here to want the highest quality possible. Michael Bay seems to.
And as far as rdjam, I hope he isn't allowed to mislead people here like he has elsewhere. He either doesn't realize his own ignorance about VC-1 and also the issues above, or doesn't care and just wants to help HD DVD pretty much no matter what.
I don't know if Bay's comments on M$ master-plan is correct, but it certainly is possible. They have not fully committed to HDDVD (why not include a HDDVD player in a xbox 360 "super edition" yet? (They have had plenty of time, and yes, I heard the rumors of late 2008 - a bit late to the party if you ask me, even if it turns out true).
Luckily I own both formats, so I am planning on picking up Transformers on HDDVD.
I am also eagerly waiting to pick up "The Rock" on Blu-Ray in January!!
They are only byte for byte identical if the compressionist makes them that way. Even using VC-1, if you were to do an encode for Blu-ray's limitations and then do an encode for HD DVD's limitations, the odds are pretty close to zero that they would end up byte for byte identical. However, the HD DVD encode would work on Blu-ray (other than maybe some minor thing like HD DVD used more B-Frames than Blu-ray allowed at that point). You could also make an encode to DVD's bandwidth and space limitations and put it on an HD DVD, then claiming that extra bandwidth of HD DVD doesn't matter. That would of course be bogus as the extra bandwidth of HD DVD over DVD does matter, even though they are both digital.
I could go further, but you really should explain your position or retract it. These 3 bandwidth limitations:
are not all the same and are unlikely to yield the same results in an encode if the encode is done for them (and not a lower bandwidth limitation).
The HD DVD camp was smart to make their bandwidth limitation higher than DVD's, but if they were smarter (better at predicting) they would have decided on higher bandwidth limitations. Now it would be difficult for them to correct that mistake, so they are trying to stick us with it. All IMO of course.
Last edited by darinp2; 12-05-2007 at 01:58 PM.
Most people I know that have a PS3 use it as a cheap blue-ray player (mind you, only about 40% of them know the HD capabilities of the PS3).
Now, while HD-dvd players are cheaper, they still can't outsell Blu-ray's 2:1 movie titles sales. So what are all those people with HD DVDs doing with them as is shows that HD DVD's media sales are low?
The US is the only market that's still up for grabs, at worst it's going to be 50/50 in this market, the rest of the world is firmly in the Blu-ray camp. The simultaneous launch of HD-DVD and Blu-ray standalones, plus the PS3, in the rest of the world, has meant HD-DVD did not gain early ground as they did in the US.
I guess it's HD-DVD's problem if they don't provide the format copy protection and region coding that Disney and FOX believe to be absolutely essential. Even New Line, who's movies are distributed by Warner, are delaying their releases due to lack of region coding.
HD-DVD fans were in favour of letting the consumer decide in the early days, now the formats struggling, they're in favour of buying studio exclusivity, who'd have though it, a HD-DVD fan moving the goalposts.
You can not imply a direct correlation between the encoded bitrate and resulting quality in all cases.
Transformers audio was encoded with the "Inferior" DD+ rather than True HD or DTS Master HD, but the sound engineers can't tell the difference between it and the studio master.
My how this thread has grown...
Anyways, there's more to each format than just features and video/audio quality.
For instance, price. HD-DVD is cheaper which gives it an advantage. And it's easier to manufacture which makes it even better.
Also as a note, it's been discovered that studios that release on both formats are making more money and so really it doesn't help them to be exclusive to one format. And if that happens where all the main studios support both formats then it'll really change things.
Really it's hard to tell a difference. I noticed with the Transformers HD-DVD that when I hooked up the Xbox HD-DVD drive to my computer and took some screenshots, not many of the screenshots really turned out all that great, usually unless you got to a very still shot things would end up being kind of muddled and blurry, maybe it's a problem with the format (which couldn't be changed even with the new 51GB discs) or perhaps it's just because of motion. But I'd have to have a Blu-Ray version to test against it.
Also, by the way. There is a third format. It's some sort of format using regular DVD hardware (can't remember what it's called). Which makes it cheaper (both for discs and players) although I'm certain it doesn't have as good quality as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
And just wait until we have the OLED TV's with the 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio (I will thank Sony for that) and 0.01ms response rate, plus 4x the resolution. It'll make things amazing. Plus we get the Ultra High Definition (4k) format that will probably be out before this format issue is settled.
And really, at least for HD I don't see internet media becoming big, especially the big issue being storage space and also the problem with losing data and how it's really not worth the cost since it doesn't cost a company hardly anything to sell a copy of a movie.
There is influence and money loss on both sides and the reality is the overall numbers are still too small to even remotely declare any victor.
Remember Sony fired the guy who insisted they put a BD player in the PS3 and many point to that technology as key factor in it coming to the market a year late.
When we compare the overall movie buying market we are still scratching the surface. This is why most movie execs have been quoted as watching this Xmas player sales as key.
If Sony sold 20 million players this year we would have a clear winner but arguing over 100's of thousands is silly.
IMO the only reason studios like Fox and Disney went with Blu-Ray had nothing to do with quality but copy protection. They were convinced that it had the "fool-proof" mechanism for protecting their profits.
This speaks volumes about the lack of knowledge in this area in that there is and really never will be an un-hackable scheme.
I liked TF a lot, but Michael Bay is out of line and obviously uninformed. Blu-Ray is by no means superior to HD-DVD even with more space. HD-DVD, has a more attachable name and the technical specs make more sense. Read around and many will say that not only does HD-DVD PQ look better, its future does as well.
Personally, I think Michael Bay is a whiny baby that throws a fit over everything. He's one of those ridiculously rich Hollywoodites that cries when he doesn't get his way. Grow up and stop flopping. And what's really going to upset him is when HD-DVD does finally win this stupid format war.
I will never be one to do that. I don't know enough about this technical stuff to post anything halfway intelligent, on the subject of this anyways.
Just bringing some humor into this oh-so-serious (and hot) thread.
It's fine that Michael prefers Blu-Ray. Even Spielberg prefers to shoot with film instead of the newer digital cameras even though they are superior. But it doesn't really hurt it any.
Really I kind of wonder what it's like to have to setup a movie for one format or another. Although really there shouldn't be much difference.
I always thought it was interesting how in transformers there's such good color quality and yet there really isn't all that much difference to the original footage--besides the CG effects of course.