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A Statistical Comparison of HD DVD & Blu-Ray Reviews 179

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the on-the-fence dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo today posted a statistical comparison of over 300 HD DVD and Blu-ray reviews published at High-Def Digest since the start of the high-def format wars last Spring. Their findings? Overall video quality between the two formats is nearly identical, however Blu-ray titles were slightly, but definitely superior in audio playback, while HD DVD titles had far superior standard def features and moderately superior high-def features."
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A Statistical Comparison of HD DVD & Blu-Ray Reviews

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  • by cyber_rigger (527103) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @06:55PM (#18102380) Homepage Journal

    Both formats have gone beyond the resolution of my eyes (and ears).
    • by LoudMusic (199347)

      Both formats have gone beyond the resolution of my eyes (and ears).

      Where I find this both funny and true, we need to keep in mind that higher resolutions are primarily intended for larger display area, which means the pixels per inch aren't really going up much at all.

      As televisions are getting commonly larger so is the amount of data required to fill their display area. If a TV is now six times as big as it was fifteen years ago, should there not be six times as much information to display on it?

      • While we might think that TV has the potential to show 6 times as much information, it begs the question "Has television content gotten 6 times better in the last 15 years?"
        • by Korin43 (881732)
          Actually the question would be "Is television content 6x bigger than in the last 15 years", which seems to be the whole point of HD ;)
    • Both formats have gone beyond the resolution of my eyes (and ears).

      I'm not writing off Blu-Ray for SD content just yet. Some brilliant marketeer is going to realize he can sell you an entire season of 24 on a single Blu-Ray. If he has the balls to sell it for $24, nobody is going to be able to keep them in stock.
  • Physical media? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by KingSkippus (799657) *

    You mean, people actually still buy movies on physical media?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You mean, people actually still buy movies on physical media?
      As opposed to what? Using BitTorrent? Have you ever tried downloading a hi-def movie? Unless you and your torrent-sharing buddies are logging into an OC-12 line or better, good luck with the wait!
      • Re:Physical media? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EGSonikku (519478) <petersen.mobile@NoSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:06PM (#18102536)
        Agreed, bittorrent is fine when I miss a TV show or am not sure if a movie will be good, but it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me. And as I am a sucker and have both an Xbox 360 HD-DVD add-on and a PS3, i'll be sticking to movies in 1920x1080 on my HDTV via HDMI ;-)

        Not to say there aren't HD rips out there, but most are usually at lower res than the original BR/HDDVD and if not are redicuosly huge and you still need a way to get it to your TV (yes, I know you can hook your PC to a TV but that just seems like way too much effort and im damn lazy.)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)

          Agreed, bittorrent is fine when I miss a TV show or am not sure if a movie will be good, but it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me.
          Won't replace a DVD, or an HD-DVD? I think NTSC DVDs are within striking distance for downloads within the next couple years. A 4 gig Xvid recompress of an HD-DVD or Blu-ray rip may well surpass a 7 gig DVD in quality.
          • by EGSonikku (519478)
            may surpass a DVD in quality? You're not getting the point. I want the HD quality. recompressing it to the point where it's about dvd quality or slightly better is pointless.
            • by timeOday (582209)
              You said "it's not going to be replacing an actual DVD for me." Don't blame me if you meant to say HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.
          • Re:Physical media? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jasonwc (939262) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @12:28AM (#18105140)
            I guess you haven't seen the 720p or 1080p x264 (H.264/AVC - same codec that many of the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movies are using) rips on private bittorrent trackers or Usenet. A standard two hour movie will fit on a DVD5 at 720p with 6 channel AC3 audio and a bitrate of 4.5-6 mbit/sec. While this wouldn't look great using xvid, H.264/AVC High profile can create great quality. x264 using Sharktooth's HQ-Slowest profile is very impressive. A 2 hour movie can fit on a DVD9 at 1080p at 7-8 mbit/sec, again with very good quality.

            Hell, I've seen some 2 CD sized x264 rips from 1080p sources that blow DVD out of the water. Forget about the MPEG-4 ASP codecs like Xvid and Divx. Now that we have H.264/AVC, we can achieve excellent results at 720p and 1080p down to DVD5/9 sizes.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by hackstraw (262471) *


              You know you might be a geek when you say things like :

              I guess you haven't seen the 720p or 1080p x264 (H.264/AVC - same codec that many of the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movies are using) rips on private bittorrent trackers or Usenet. A standard two hour movie will fit on a DVD5 at 720p with 6 channel AC3 audio and a bitrate of 4.5-6 mbit/sec. While this wouldn't look great using xvid, H.264/AVC High profile can create great quality. x264 using Sharktooth's HQ-Slowest profile is very impressive. A 2 hour movie can fit
      • bittorrent? To hell with that. I have an OC-12 at work and I've tried to download a HD movie with it. It sucked. The movie was 12GB an after a week I had just over a GB down. I could have ordered the movie from Netflix, watched it, returned it, and reordered it before it got here.

  • by Jartan (219704) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @06:58PM (#18102434)
    The article is a total crock of @#$#. Just looking at the charts shows you that the audio "difference" is so incredibly tiny that the actual players probably have far more to do with it than the format.
    • by schmiddy (599730) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:13PM (#18103258) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, the article's a crock of shit for many reasons -- possible discrepancies between the players being one of them. I'd argue that reviewer bias would be much more troubling to anyone looking to take these stats seriously. Especially among audio/video-philes.. if you read online or wherever that Format A uses some slightly better technique for audio/video compression than Format B.. chances are, when you're doing a supposedly impartial review between the two formats, you'll prefer to select Format A as the winner.

      The only way you could have a non-biased study of this sort is if you selected random candidates, had them watch a movie on your hi-def setup without telling them what format it was (or even know yourself), and then ask them to rate the A/V quality (a crude double-blind study). If you're thinking about investing in one of these formats over the other, take this "study" with a very large grain of salt, especially when the differences are so small. The only thing I'm believing is that HD-DVD *probably* has a bit better extras, not that I care one whit for these junk formats.
    • by hackstraw (262471) *
      The article is a total crock of @#$#. Just looking at the charts shows you that the audio "difference" is so incredibly tiny that the actual players probably have far more to do with it than the format.

      I didn't read the article, but I knew it was a crock by the audio "difference" thing.

      AFAIK, the audio on both formats is the exact same (and the same as standard DVD as well). DTS (the best) and DD. Now some content is encoded better into DD or DTS at the studio, but the delivery of the digital information
  • by scuba_steve_1 (849912) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:03PM (#18102506)
    Quality will not decide this format war - the PS3 will.

    Betamax was superior to VHS...and the MacOS was superior to Windows (at least for some time...let's avoid the flame war on the current state of affairs). They were both beaten by superior positioning of technically inferior competitors...and the PS3 has been a huge success for Sony in one regard - it got a lot of BluRay players in the hands of consumers...and the sales of BluRay titles are dwarfing those of HD DVD correspondingly.

    Will the trend continue? Who knows, but I'd rather have momentum than not have it...so I'm not betting against Sony yet. The posted article may be interesting for some, but I am disinterested in any discussion of quality or features until the market settles. I do not have the discretionary income to buy an expensive player that will be obsolete before it is useful...regardless of any perceived quality difference. Early adopters may disagree, but Joe Sixpack and I are sticking with our standard DVD players and HD over cable/satellite until we see who wins this war.

    Your mileage may vary.
    • by stecoop (759508) *
      MacOS was superior to Windows I call BS, I don't recall mac having more pr0n then windows...
    • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:15PM (#18102642)
      I'm reasonably doubtful that the PS3 can actually make a format successful on its own ... As was demonstrated with the PSP (which, at this point in its life, sold better than the PS3) is that people buy gaming systems to play videogames and movie-playback is a secondary feature. What I am trying to say is that someone who buys a stand alone HD-DVD player or Blu-Ray player is far more likely to buy movies, and will probably buy far more movies, than someone who buys a PS3.

      Personally, I am holding off buying a HD-DVD player until christmas because I believe they will be far more reliable and much cheaper. I do not worry about supporting the wrong format because I suspect that in 2009 most HD players will support both formats.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by scuba_steve_1 (849912)
        Interseting point, but I personally think that you are taking quite a leap equating the proprietary video format supported by the PSP with the BluRay format supported by the PS3.

        Most consumers had no idea what a PSP even was...let alone know much about its video playback features...or being able to relate those capabilities to their expensive investment in their home theater. In contrast, most consumers are painfully aware of the PS3, BluRay, and HDTV.

        Sales of HDTV-capable are rising exponentially, yet mos
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I understand what you're saying, and I will say that it is quite possible that Blu-Ray will become the dominant format, but I think people need to consider how the UMD format was seen initially

          August 8, 2005

          Despite a less-than-promising start for Sony's UMD movie format, Americans have now purchased over half a million of the half-dollar-sized discs since its April release, according to one industry estimate. In comparison, the ubiquitous DVD took a year to reach the 500,000 mark back in 1997. There are no

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by unPlugged-2.0 (947200)
            I think you hit it exactly on the head.

            The PS3 is merely a short time phenomenon. The only reason it is showing a blip on the BD radar is because it is cheaper than any other Blue-Ray player (not very hard to do) and doubles as a game system. This allows them to tap into two markets: the videophile and the games enthusiast and hope that there is a lot of "Cross Mojination" going on.

            But come on guys. Just because geeks are buying it does not mean that it will win the war. The truth is that Joe Beer Pack
      • Not if standalone player costs more than a console. I bought PS3 solely to watch Blu-Ray. A standalone 1080p player is slower, more expensive and can't play games. Not that I'm interested in games much, but I do play a round of Ridge Racer every now and then.
      • by timeOday (582209)

        As was demonstrated with the PSP (which, at this point in its life, sold better than the PS3) is that people buy gaming systems to play videogames and movie-playback is a secondary feature.
        That explains everything -- Sony must have intentionally hobbled the PS3 with a mediocre GPU and a lousy selection of games in order to make sure people would think of it as a movie player :)
      • by bogjobber (880402)

        I'm reasonably doubtful that the PS3 can actually make a format successful on its own ... As was demonstrated with the PSP (which, at this point in its life, sold better than the PS3) is that people buy gaming systems to play videogames and movie-playback is a secondary feature.

        Well, that's not really a fair comparison as the PSP wasn't hooked up to a TV (usually) and UMD didn't offer any additional benefits whatsoever over DVD other than being smaller. For many people the PS2 was their only DVD player

      • by mgblst (80109)
        While you are correct to a certain extent, you have to admit that the PS3 is going to have a greater effect on movie-playing that the PSP, simply because you plug the PS3 into a TV, where most people are going to watch movies. The PSP movies were nothing more than a gimic, no matter how much Sony wanted it to become a serious format.

        The PS3 at the very least, gives Sony bragging rights of selling more Blu-Ray players and movies. Marketing will probably decide this format war.
      • by ivan256 (17499)
        I don't think the PSP applies. UMD didn't fail because it was a proprietary format. It failed because people don't want to pay for a movie that is "portable only". Sure, it failed at capturing the market, but it was an imaginary market.

        That said, I think the PS3 will only give BluRay a short term lead. In the long run, dual-format players will mean that both formats are here to stay, and everybody loses/wins.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by amuro98 (461673)
      I've seen both on display at Best Buy. I don't see any differences between them. Add in the fact that virtually no one wants to get involved in another VHS/Betamax battle - assuming they even HAVE the prerequisite HDTV in the first place!

      The PS3 is totally immaterial to this "war" not just for the reasons above, but that anyone who IS interested in buying a blu-ray player isn't going to consider a game console - a toy - for the job.

      Finally, with multi-format players this close to being a commercial realit
      • The PS3 is totally immaterial to this "war" not just for the reasons above, but that anyone who IS interested in buying a blu-ray player isn't going to consider a game console - a toy - for the job.

        I thought I read somewhere that some of the A/V magazines reviewed the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player, and it was among the best players available right now - plus, it's significantly cheaper than many of the stand-alone players.

        If I was in the market for a Blu-Ray player, the PS3 would actually be one of the top conten
    • by Itninja (937614)
      I agree. If one company sold an awesome product/service/format, but marketed it only modestly (i.e Macs/Compuserve/BetaMax); and another product/service/format was clearly inferior, but marketed very aggressively (i.e. Windows/AOL/VHS) the latter will always win. Welcome to a capitalist economy folks :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SocialWorm (316263)
        Macs and Compuserve were marketed modestly?

        Apple's been attributed with kick-starting modern television advertising with its 1984 ad. The technologies you mention may have been very good products with a smaller advertising budget than their competitors, but none of these are clearly superior products with "modest" marketing.

        And let's not forget that marketing is more than just promotion. I was going to rattle off ways in which Compuserve wasn't so great, but a quick look at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] reminded me of th
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Betamax was superior to VHS

      No it wasn't. The tapes weren't as long. When VHS was released, Btamax could only handle 60 minute tapes.

      and the PS3 has been a huge success for Sony in one regard - it got a lot of BluRay players in the hands of consumers

      True. And this is probably why Sony were son insitent on the Blu-Ray drive. But it's too soon to call. The PS3 may not be successful enough, and the recent sales my just be a blip. Once the players go down to below the cost of a PS3, we may see ano
    • by Afrosheen (42464)
      I'd have to agree with you there. I bought a PS3 back in November, and today I picked up Blazing Saddles, Devil's Rejects and Full Metal Jacket on Blu-ray. The prices are coming down (at Frys at least) to $20 per, so they're competitive with DVDs. Now it's just a waiting game for more great movies.

      They said there's a 3:1 attach rate of BR movies per PS3 sold. I just proved it. :)
    • Quality will not decide this format war - the PS3 will.

      Well, possibly, but considering the number of people that are buying the USB2.0 XBox 360 HD-DVD player just to hook up to their computer will probably have as much if not more of an impact.

      Why buy a PS3, when you don't even have to buy an XBox or PS3?

      Just go buy an XBox 360 HD-DVD($200US), hook it up, and if the movies are VC1 encoded, they will even play with WMP11, if not install an Mpeg4 codec, and you have both possible compression formats at a pric
  • Audio is better? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blappo (976408) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:06PM (#18102532) Journal
    What I got was that the audio in Blu-ray was "better" because of the availability of higher quality audio content, not performance of the particular technology. A little misleading I think, when HD-DVD can simply add higher quality audio content and be equal to Blu-ray in terms of audio performance.

    Or is there something else?
    • Re:Audio is better? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:12PM (#18103250) Journal
      Not really.

      I've noticed that the propaganda machine is in full force right now for Blu Ray. Sony declares the "war over". Web sites galore are touting that Blu Ray is now dominating sales, when in reality they're basically equal. And here they take a miniscule difference and blow it up and make it seem important.

      disclaimer: no dog in this hunt. Don't own either format, or even a high def tv.
  • HD-DVD no DTS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dindi (78034) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:10PM (#18102574) Homepage
    Actually I was looking at a few titles (just the box) I did not get a player for myself yet.

    And I was surprised to see that HD-DVD does not list DTS audio, but something else.
    Someone may want to enlighten me on this.
    I watch everything on DTS and I am satisfied with the sound on DVD, whenevere it is something else I am unhappy by default.

    Can it be the cause of the difference ?

    • Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sl3xd (111641) * on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:46PM (#18102974) Journal
      HD DVD supports both Dolby and DTS. Much like a normal DVD, whether or not it has DTS is entirely up to the studio mastering the disc. Dolby mandatory, and I believe DTS is optional (just as it is with standard def DVD's). HD DVD also supports both Dolby and DTS lossless formats, should the studio master the disc to use it. (Again, Dolby TrueHD decoding is mandatory, DTS-HD is optional)

      The reason why Blu-ray is credited with 'sounding better' is because many Blu-ray discs use raw PCM encoding for audio, rather than any sort of compression (lossless or not). Some purists believe they can hear the difference between compressed, lossless and lossy compression.

      While many HD DVD titles use lossless compression, not all of them do.

      When an HD DVD title does have lossless compression, its audio is ranked as good as Blu-ray's (and it had better, given that the decoder should be seeing an identical bitstream).

      To be honest, I'm a believer in lossy compression; at the bitrates used in HD DVD, I seriously doubt anybody could tell the difference between lossless and lossy in a double-blind test on identical equipment; the bitrate is well above the level of transparency.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dindi (78034)
        Thanks. Good info.
        I was looking at players and titles, then I decided to postpone untill I can decide where to upgrade my projector (plasma, lcd, dlp projection).

        Did not really take the time to search for it, it just looked that HD-DVD did not list DTS at all (4-5 random disks I picked up at bestbuy.

        Compression: I think compression really depends on the application. I do not want to listen to classical music in MP3, and I hear the difference. With rock/electronic music, it is OK on an ipod, but then again
      • by CastrTroy (595695)

        Some purists believe they can hear the difference between [un]compressed, lossless and lossy compression
        How exactly do you tell the difference between lossless compression and uncompressed. The resulting waveform is the same. If you decompress a losslessly compressed file, you get the uncompressed file. There is no difference between lossless compression and no compression, except in the amount of space it takes up on the disc.
    • Re:HD-DVD no DTS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by benwaggoner (513209) <ben,waggoner&microsoft,com> on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:53PM (#18103024) Homepage
      Nope, that's not it.

      On DVD, your 5.1 audio codecs are DTS or Dolby Digital up to 448 Kbps. HD DVD supports Dolby Digital Plus up to 1.5 Mbps. Even professional film mixers tell me they feel that DD+ north of 1.2 Mbps is pretty much transparent to them.

      Note that Blu-ray doesn't make DD+ mandatory, nor does it require players to have built-in compression for TOSLink output, which is why the Sony discs use AC-3 @ 640 Kbps (the BD max) AND PCM 5.1 48 KHz 16-bit simultaneously. So it takes more than 5 Mbps to provide the audio experience that HD DVD does in 1.5 Mbps.
  • HD-DVD: Has more "bonus features" because HDi authoring environment is a mandatory part of the HD-DVD specs.

    BluRay: Has better audio, probably because of the larger capacity and better support for advanced codecs. Bonus features should catch up once more BD-Java tools are developed.

    Conclusion: Nobody's looking out for the consumers.

    My conclusion: Wah. BD seems like the way to go if you're looking for top of the line. If not, why bother with HD anything? Extras are for sissys.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Informative)

      by sl3xd (111641) * on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:24PM (#18103362) Journal
      BluRay: Has better audio, probably because of the larger capacity and better support for advanced codecs. Bonus features should catch up once more BD-Java tools are developed.

      Blu-ray doesn't have better support for advanced codecs. In terms of 'optinal' formats, it's a wash; both support the same list. In terms of mandatory codecs, HD DVD gets the win. HD DVD requires many codecs that are merely optional for BD. The (lossless) Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD codecs are optional, not mandatory, on Blu-ray. TrueHD decoding is mandatory on HD DVD.

      That being said, I can see how an audiophile would say that Blu-ray has better sound. Since TrueHD isn't mandatory, most BD discs target compatibility by using raw uncompressed PCM. (BD also uses Dolby Digital & optionally DTS, as does HD DVD). So the 'better' sound comes down to the old argument between uncompressed/lossless vs high-bitrate lossy sound. (HD DVD titles with TrueHD soundtracks rank on the same level as BD's raw PCM).

      The bitrate of the lossy Dolby codecs on HD DVD is 1.5 Mb/s. This is well above the transparency level of 1.2 Mb/s for the codec. I wonder if it's a case of subconsciously thinking "this one is lossy, so it can't sound as good," and that a double-blind test would have different results.

      BD-J is also an optional extention to Blu-ray; it's not a mandatory part of the spec. While BD-J has the possibility of giving excellent interactivity, the end result may be far below the potential. The reason: HDi is not much more complex than editing HTML, whereas BD-J requires Java skills. Ease of development counts, and BD-J doesn't appear to have it.
      • Oh man. They still have mandatory and optional codecs?

        Christ.

        Will they ever learn? If I had a Blu-Ray player, I would expect all titles to play on my player. Confusing the customer is not an option when it comes to consumer electronics.
    • Extras are for sissys.

      More like extras are for filling up the DVD ... or, these days, to give them an excuse to add a second DVD to the package and jack up the price. Seriously, how many times can you watch a 10-minute documentary on how they used a computer to create a certain effect? Or interviews at press junkets where the actors explain how great it was to work with the director? The so-called extras they cram onto most discs are obvious filler. Even the deleted scenes are usually just slapped on th

  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:36PM (#18102886)
    Blu-ray titles were slightly, but definitely superior

    This post is only slightly, but definitely sarcastic.
    • Although this would sound funny in ordinary situations, it makes sense in a statistical analysis. If the average difference in a quantity between two groups is small and either the sample sizes are very large or the variation within each group is small, you can say that they were found to be slightly, but significantly different. I left out some details, but that's the gist of it.
  • by constantnormal (512494) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @07:56PM (#18103072)
    ... the single-disc version of LOTR (all 3 films, plus extras) arrives. I don't think it's going to fit on HD-DVD. Also the potential of putting entire seasons of TV shows on a single disc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sl3xd (111641) *
      1.) The LOTR trilogy will fit on a single BD either. The DVD edition(s) alone weigh in above BD's 50 GB spec (yes, there have been 200 GB discs, but you know what? They've had 50 GB DVD's (10-layer) too. I certainly haven't seen a 10 layer DVD yet. At standard definition with a fair amount of audio compression, BD isn't big enough. And if you're getting it in HD, it had better be in HD -- which means 6x more pixel data (offset by better compression, ~3x more data), as well as many, many times more aud
      • by Kjella (173770)
        Bottom line: The single-disc version is a pipe dream that doesn't face the hard facts. The complete LOTR trilogy is on 12 dual-layer DVD's, or ~96 GB of data. And that's in standard definition, and much lower audio bitrates. And, even if they could fit it onto one disc, they wouldn't, because consumers are already conditioned to believe multiple discs are better than one

        Quote amazon.com: "To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary track
      • I remember, let me find my curmudgeon cap, when the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition came out, tin cover slip and all.

        There were two versions; one on a dual-sideded, dual-layer DVD (DVD-18) and one with a pair of single-sided, dual-layer DVDs (DVD-9).

        The Home Theater crowd all went to great lengths to find the dual-disc version, for reasons from 'some players have trouble with DVD-18s' to 'I like having cover art on the discs'.

        If a disc is sufficiently sized to hold a two hour movie at a good bitrate wit

      • by soliptic (665417)

        consumers are already conditioned to believe multiple discs are better than one.

        Normally I'm pleased to see this sort of healthy cynicism regarding big corps flogging us shit with lies etc...

        In this case though don't you think it would be fair to say multiple discs are better than one? I don't think it's a case of consumers being conditioned / brainwashed in this example - surely it's simple pragmatism. Scratch "The Two Towers" and at least the other movies are playable. Scratch your 100GB single-u

  • Xvid (Score:4, Funny)

    by MrSteveSD (801820) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:02PM (#18103144)
    Which format looks best once converted to Xvid? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    All the DVDs I own and watch more than once a month get squished down onto a 4.7G backup disc or ripped right into the hard drive. (The pangs of only having one optical drive in the computer.) If iTunes or Xbox Live videos were seriously available in my country, I'd be buying those.

    HD gear is for people with too much time and money on their hands. And when I become one I'm sure it'll be great!
  • by Assassin bug (835070) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:17PM (#18103298) Journal
    Not really. Although an average is a statistic, it only shows central tendancy of a distribution and indicates nothing about the variance of the distribution. A statistical comparison implies that the averages were compared using some defined distribution [wikipedia.org] to test some null hypothesis [wikipedia.org]. I'm not seeing that here.

  • Ah... I love watching pixels... I used to watch movies, but nowadays they are all crap, so I ended up watching pixels... So much easier on my brain...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lloyd_Bryant (73136)

      Ah... I love watching pixels... I used to watch movies, but nowadays they are all crap, so I ended up watching pixels... So much easier on my brain...
      Old joke...

      Audiophile: Somebody who listens to the equipment rather than the music.

      Looks like this one is rapidly being translated into the video domain.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:36PM (#18103494)
    I don't quite understand why they are even comparing sound or video output from a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc. The physical medium that the H264 or VC-1 file got read for is totally irrelevant if movies are using the same encoding formats. Features may be somewhat different (though usually analogous), but comparing the codecs seems to be a bit stupid.

    Any differences that actually do exist are more likely attributable to the player or the mastering software than the disc it came from.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sl3xd (111641) *
      OK, on paper, you'd be quite correct. They all allow for the same codecs, although there are differences about what codecs are mandatory, and what are optional.

      In reality, there are quite a few differences, and good reasons.

      1.) Blu-ray often has an uncompressed PCM track for audio. Whether you can actually hear it or not, there's at least the psychological thing saying that uncompressed is going to sound better than compressed. HD DVD can also do uncompressed PCM, but they choose not to; Dolby TrueHD is
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MikeBabcock (65886)
      That's true and false. Yes, if they were the same codecs, it would be the same information. However, its not the same codecs. BD for example offers audio codecs that aren't available on HD-DVD, such as lossless uncompressed full-bandwidth sound (which is better than your local theatre is probably using).

      Also its how you use the codec; you can both use VC-1 but if I have 50GiB and you only have 35GiB to store the data on, I might encode with a higher bitrate and therefore it would look better.

      This isn't r
  • Going meta? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Pedahzur (125926) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @08:50PM (#18103588) Homepage
    So, basically, this is a review of a review? When are the reviews of reviews of reviews coming out?
  • Obligatory (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sneakernets (1026296) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @09:07PM (#18103706) Journal
    Being the Asshole that I am, I decided to check on Piratebay. HD-DVD's winning. and porn, too. Porn Always wins.
  • As more and more people get multiple devices, the push-back against DRM will increase, and move from the small population of early adopter tech-savvy consumers, to the larger population "normal" consumers- once they find that they can't move their legally bought content between their devices they will tell their friends not to buy it. My prediction is that the format with the most easily "cracked" DRM will also be the most popular format & will win.

    Also, having just been through the deep-dive purchasin
  • RTFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frenchy_2001 (659163) on Wednesday February 21, 2007 @10:32PM (#18104336)
    As usual, most people comment without reading the article.
    The summary is quoting the article, but not the explanation.
    The audio advantage seen in the blu-ray is about more audio tracks with better formats (or even uncompressed audio), not any encoding/decoding difference.

    BD is using its additional space to offer more audio tracks.

    On the other hand, the interactivity feature is mandatory on HDDVD and still developing on BD, so the HDDVD gets the edge there. So, those are not so much qualitative judgements as more of a snapshot of the current state of affair. BD leads with better storage (expected) and lags with their BD-java that is not quite understood by the studios yet. As time go, BD should retain the audio advantage while negating any interactivity advantage of HDDVD (provided that both tech should be about equal).

    Nothing really surprising here so far. The bigger sale number of BD *is* surprising though, as the player that sold the most *IS* the PS3. Those numbers are showing that people use it as a video player, as Sony had planned.

    Only the futur will tell us if this will give them the dominance in video players at the cost of video games and especially if that sacrifice was indeed a paying strategy.
  • In teh final analysis, The only thing that counts is how many Senators the format owns
  • They're storage media. Neither is inherently going to give you more or less quality on playback; It's all in the compression used. Geez. I hate articles like this.
  • The format war continues, and the consumer (me) pays the price. Basically, what I am reading is that one or the other will one up the other when is comes to certain features. If you want great audio, you need the Blu-Ray, if you want a great disc with lots of cool stuff, you gotta get HD-DVD. As soon as that equals out I am sure one or the other will make something else to give the edge. I wish someone would win already so we can move on. In the end, the stalemate will block consumers from jumping over

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