Picture quality on HD DVD Movies Versus Televised HD Movies?

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Hoopnoop

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So, for those who have purchased an HD DVD Player, I have a basic question. How does the picture quality of the movies on the HD DVD player compare with the picture quality of HD movies shown on television through their local cable or satellite company?
 
teamerickson

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Hoopnoop said:
So, for those who have purchased an HD DVD Player, I have a basic question. How does the picture quality of the movies on the HD DVD player compare with the picture quality of HD movies shown on television through their local cable or satellite company?
I would say better, but not way better. I'm guessing the HD movies on TV are upconverted and they fill the whole screen where the HD DVD don't. The upconverting of a SD dvd is really good.
 
Ilya

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I did a back-to-back comparison of Phantom of The Opera HD DVD vs. DVR'd version off HBO-HD on E* (and vs. standard DVD too). This is not a very accurate comparison, as the HBO's version is not in OAR (it is cropped to 16x9), but that's the best I could do.

Since I only have one HDMI/DVI port on my TV set, I first connected both the HD DVD player and the 942 DVR via component cables, synchronized both video streams and was simply switching between the two throughout the movie. I then connected via HDMI and watched one copy at a time to re-confirm my observations.

I must say, the difference was striking! Much better than I expected. I didn't realize the PQ on HBO-HD was so bad in comparison. Yes, I knew the HD picture was not perfect, but in the past I attributed some of that to limitations of my TV set (Sony Grand Wega III). Suddenly, I saw that my TV can do much better!

So, what exactly is better on HD DVD compared to HD off E*? Both offer similar resolution, but the picture on E* has a lot of compression artifacts. First of all, pixilation, especially in fast action. I saw pixilation in many scenes of The Phantom (HBO). But I am yet to see a single case of pixilation on any of the HD DVD titles. Colors, color-gradients, skin-tones - all look much more vivid and natural on HD DVD. You get almost a 3-dimensional effect. In comparison, the HBO version looks flat and washed-out. (I thought it looked great, until I did this back-to-back comparison with HD DVD!)
 
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Hoopnoop

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Wow, that's a very interesting comparison! I've seen some really good transfers on HBO HD so that's a pretty good selling point for HD DVD. One reason I was holding off is that I figured that I can still get my movies in HD via television. But if the HD DVD PQ is noticeably better then I am tempted to get one especially if the price drops a bit. Whenever one of the technologies adds the Lord of the Rings collection to its HD Moves then I will definitely be on board!
 
1080iBeVuMin

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I am impressed by Ilya's post. Now I am seriously interested in HD DVD.

Does anybody think Blu Ray will be noticeably better PQ than HD DVD? Or is the battle purely a matter of who becomes the standard and gets stocked in stores?
 
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Hoopnoop

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Well, I finally got a look at the HD DVD being displayed at my local Best Buy. And I could see for myself what Ilya was saying -- it was an awesome picture, better than any HD movies I have seen broadcast on TV or cable. It is the sort of amazing picture that got me fascinated with HD to begin with!
 
vurbano

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To get a real comparison someone needs to look at C band, OTA HD and HD DVD. Id love to see how it compares.
 
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CochiseGuy

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Well, I haven't done a side by side comparison like Ilya - I only have a Dish 811, not the PVR. And I don't want to turn this thread into E* bashing and SURE as heck don't want to start a HD DVD/BD which is better war. BUT,
I've never been impressed with Dish HD. My OTA HD broadcast TV is much better quality than Dish HD - more detail, richer colors, more clear audio. Before I bought my HD DVD player I used a Denon 1910 upconverting DVD player. A few months ago I was jazzed to finally see one of my favorite movies - The Fifth Element - on TNT HD. At the 1st commercial I popped my Superbit DVD edition into the Denon. To me, the upconverted PQ was at least as good as TNT, and the DTS audio made TNT sound like it was in mono.
The HD DVD is absolutely the best picture quality I've ever seen on my Sony 57" RP HDTV. Watching the Unforgiven HD DVD the other night I felt like I was watching the original film release at a cinema - absolutely crystal clear. An the XA1 upconverting standard DVD's at 1080i in noticably better than my Denon. How do they do that?
Now the risky part - HD DVD's are mostly enoded with HC1 mpeg4 with Dolby Digital+ (also DTD True HD, but the A1/XA1's don't support that yet). The first BD releases are going to be encoded in mpeg2 - Sony is opposed to using HC1 because it's Microsoft. Also encoded with standard DVD audio codecs. I think they're going to have a tough time matching the quality of HD DVD, at least on those initial releases.
 
Ilya

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Just a small correction, CochiseGuy: it's actually VC1, not HC1. ;)
 
iammike

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vurbano said:
To get a real comparison someone needs to look at C band, OTA HD and HD DVD. Id love to see how it compares.

At least C-band vs. HD DVD, OTA brings in local station issues so apples to apples comparisons are kind of difficult. For what it's worth C-band HD totally blows away E*. My guess would be that C-band HD would be very similar to HD DVD as long as the bitrate is high enough. They're probably both using the same master.
 
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Bruce

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CochiseGuy said:
A few months ago I was jazzed to finally see one of my favorite movies - The Fifth Element - on TNT HD. At the 1st commercial I popped my Superbit DVD edition into the Denon. To me, the upconverted PQ was at least as good as TNT, and the DTS audio made TNT sound like it was in mono.

That is because The Fifth Element on TNT was a up-converted mess that was not even show OAR.

There is a version of it that pops up every once in a while on HBO/Max-HD that is in HD and OAR that looks f'ing great, but the sound is in DD 2.0.:rolleyes:
 
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toto

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Ilya said:
Just a small correction, CochiseGuy: it's actually VC1, not HC1. ;)


Actually Sony is all for HC1 (it is their first single chip consumer HDV camcorder).:D
 
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Sean Mota

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vurbano said:
OK I give in. Curiosity killed the cat. Placed an order at VE.

I will have to see Vurbano's review of the HD DVD. After all these weeks of reading negative points from about HD DVD :D , I will look forward to read what he has to say. I am on hold right now with HD DVD. I do not feel desperate yet to go and buy one. :devil:
 
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techweb

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The most accurate review I've seen of the Toshiba HD DVD player is the one in "Sound and Vision" magazine. Most other reviewers either don't know what they're talking about, or they have an agenda (probably Blu-ray apologists). HD DVD finally shows what HD quality should be, not so much with more resolution, but rather with the complete lack of compression artifacts as compared to other sources. Of the HD sources I have, HD DVD is the best, cable and OTA are about tied for second, and Dish is dead last.
 
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gizzer777

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dfergie said:

Do not know about the rebview but I think that guy is nuts,...unless there was something wrong with the orig HDMI cable...HDMI is there or not! (IMHO) I have the $140 Monster (I was suckered and adopted early) and I have some $12 cheapos...no difference. AUDIO IS A DIFFERENT STORY IMHO!

Jeff
 

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