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Media Fight - PS3 Blu-ray vs. 360 HD DVD Add-On 214

Posted by Zonk
from the gaming-movie-players-go-now dept.
An anonymous reader sent a link suggesting we might enjoy High Def Digest's next-gen console media comparison. They take a look at the PlayStation 3's Blu-ray playback capabilities, and compare it to the performance of the Xbox 360's HD DVD add-on. The article offers a number of technical details for the movie, audio, and gaming buff. As you might expect, given the companies involved, both products basically perform their functions very well. From the article: "That doesn't mean both aren't without their drawbacks. The Xbox 360 add-on suffers from a lack of HDMI and analog outputs, though it still delivers excellent results despite those limitations. The PS3, meanwhile, also lacks analog outs, but it does have HDMI 1.3 support and can decode Dolby TrueHD. The lack of 1080 upconversion of 720p sources on the PS3 is a huge issue, though, so unless you have a 1080p-capable HDTV, you may suffer buyer's remorse."
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Media Fight - PS3 Blu-ray vs. 360 HD DVD Add-On

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  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:35AM (#17079000) Homepage
    An anonymous reader sent a link suggesting we might enjoy High Def Digest's next-gen console media comparison. They take a look at the PlayStation 3's Blu-ray playback capabilities, and compare it to the performance of the Xbox 360's HD DVD add-on.

    A comparison of the actual games might be a bit more relevant. To be perfectly honest, I don't think anyone buys a gaming console BASED ON THE FUCKING PERFORMANCE OF THE OPTICAL DRIVE. They buy it because it has the games they want to play.
    • by toejam316 (1000986) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:39AM (#17079008)
      Actually, The PS3 would be a viable purchase JUST for Blu-Ray playback, simply because is so damn dirt cheap compared to a full player. a 60gb PS3 will cost LESS here than a Blu-Ray player FOR PC. PC players are generally the cheaper kind. Think about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)



        That would be an insightful comment, except that it's completely wrong. You can buy the Samsung BDP1000 Blu-Ray player for LESS than a playstation 3 (if you can even get your hands on a playstation 3), and the Samsung outputs at proper 1080p resolution. The playstation 3 does not.

        Put simply, anyone interested in blu-ray video content is going to have a player that does the job properly. The PS3 is for games.
        • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @08:08AM (#17079466) Homepage
          You can buy the Samsung BDP1000 Blu-Ray player for LESS than a playstation 3

          Umm are the prices that far out of whack compared to Norway? Best prices around here (forget the exchange rate, look at the relative prices)

          Cheapest PC burner: LG GBW-H10N 4795,-
          Playstation 3 (preorder): 5489,-
          Cheapest standalone: Samsung BD-P1000 11295,-

          All figures from hardware.no, which has all the major webshops covered. So at least around here BD-P1000 is over twice the price of a PS3, not that PS3 will be released here before March. Are you comparing store BD-P1000 prices to eBay PS3 prices or something?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, just like nobody bought the PS2 for it's DVD player capabilities (with the games being a bonus) in the system's early years.. Oh wait, that's wrong, a lot of people did!

          History proves you wrong. This is the exact same situation and Sony is betting on it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Yeah, just like nobody bought the PS2 for it's DVD player capabilities (with the games being a bonus) in the system's early years.. Oh wait, that's wrong, a lot of people did!

            Nobody I know did that.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              I did.
            • by DrXym (126579)
              I didn't buy a PS2 for the DVD player but I sure as hell played a lot of DVD movies on it. I was doing a six month contract and took a portable TV and a PS2 with me. I appreciated a single device that was capable of playing games and playing DVDs since it meant less to haul around. Picture and sound quality was perfectly acceptable too. I expect the PS3 will make a pretty good as an all round entertainment system. On principle I dislike having lots of devices plugged into a TV when one can do the job and as
            • by punkass (70637)
              So did I.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Yeah, just like nobody bought the PS2 for it's DVD player capabilities (with the games being a bonus) in the system's early years.. Oh wait, that's wrong, a lot of people did!

            History proves you wrong. This is the exact same situation and Sony is betting on it.


            So if Sony had released the PS3 with a Uber Holographic-Movie Disc (which will work on your Holographic-TV that will be relased in 2020) for only $20,000 you think people will line-up to buy one?

            The fact is that the PS2 sold as a DVD player because DVD
            • Can Sony figure out how to make a 1080p upversion addon adapter? It will end all discussions with Bluray and PS3 limitations.

            • There are few movies because there's currently no market. There's little incentive for a studio to release on Blu-Ray because so few people have Blu-Ray players. If, however, there was a large installed base of users with Blu-Ray players, studios would be more inclined to release on Blu-Ray. It's a chicken-and-egg problem. Studios won't make movies because there are few players and people won't buy players becaues there are few movies.

              So what Sony would need to do in order to break this log-jam is to fi
          • it's not the same. vhs to dvd was a paradigm shift with obvious advantages to the layperson consumer. quite simply, it was easy for the lay consumer to see the quality differences, the ease of use differences, etc. dvd to hd-dvd/blu-ray is not as apparent; it is not readily discernible to the average technophobe. I can imagine that the subset of consumer looking for the advantages of blu-ray is extremely small as to be statistically insignificant at launch and for the forseeable future, with it being comple
          • by Bertie (87778)
            Difference is, nobody bought the PS2 just to be a DVD player, because while DVD players were relatively expensive at the time, they were cheaper than a PS2, and did the job a lot better. DVD playback was a nice thing to have, and it definitely added to the overall value of the package, but wouldn't have been anybody's main reason for buying one. Seems like this time around Sony are betting on people seeing this as a cheap way to get a Blu-Ray player, using it as a bridgehead to get the things into people'
            • by dangitman (862676)

              but wouldn't have been anybody's main reason for buying one.

              Yes, it would have been. In fact, it actually was.

        • What do you mean the PS3 doesn't have proper 1080p playback? The PS3 will play back BD movies at any resolution. The only playback issue with BD movies is that you need HDMI for 1080p for some reason. That's it. The scaling limitation of the PS3 is limited to games that only support 720p. As laughably stupid that is in its own right, it does not affect movie playback.

          Where can you get a Samsung BD player for under $600/500?

          • "...for some reason."

            Hmm... Analog hole, maybe? I mean, I know Sony promised not to downgrade the analog signal for at least a few years after the launch of Blu-ray, but they didn't say a word about not-upscaling the analog signal to full res. Sneaky bastards!

            An analog 1080p signal would lead every PS3 owner directly to a life of crime, helplessly pirating perfect digital copies of a bunch of crap movies. That's what the MPAA tells me anyway...
        • more wrongness (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ender Ryan (79406)
          http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=samsung+bd+p10 00&btnG=Search+Froogle [google.com]

          The two models of the PS3 are $500 and $600. $700 - $800 is not less than $600.

        • by doctor_no (214917)
          >> That would be an insightful comment, except that it's completely wrong. You can buy the Samsung BDP1000 Blu-Ray player for LESS than a playstation 3 (if you can even get your hands on a playstation 3), and the Samsung outputs at proper 1080p resolution. The playstation 3 does not.

          You cannot buy Samsung BDP1000 Blu-Ray for less then a PS3, especially compared to the $500 PS3, which is just as good as the 60GB as far as a Blu-ray is concerned.

          http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=Samsung+BDP100 0& [google.com]
    • by Deag (250823)
      There are plenty of reviews of games out there as the article said, it would be too much to have read though? I thought this was a good article, it gave a good balanced technical review of this feature in both of the new consoles. Hard to find that sometimes on the web
      Not every article has to be about the games you know...
    • The PS3 may be a "gaming console" to you, but it's also the cheapest HD-DVD player on the market. For hi-fi movie afficionados, some of whom probably read Slashdot, the PS3's performance as a video player is a lot more relevant than any games for it.
      • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @06:03AM (#17079084)
        Oops, my bad, "Blu-Ray," not "HD-DVD." In my head, they're both code-named "that thing that looks about the same as a DVD on my TV, but has more annoying DRM built in."
      • I have mod points. But I couldn't find the "-1 moronic irony" tag. So I am forced to reply instead. The PS3 is supposed to be the 3rd in a line of game players. The fact that it's not makes me think that Sony has lost their direction, much like they did with the PSP. But regardless, it comes Blu-Ray equipped, not HD-DVD equipped.
    • What a short memory some people have. Did PS2 have better games than Dreamcast? No, it had a much ballyhooed DVD player and a processor with identical performance but great stats. The games don't matter; exclusive titles aren't going to buoy a system that looks worse on the ad copy. Besides, PS3 lost all it's exclusive titles when it failed so miserably at it's launch.
  • Analog Hole (Score:4, Funny)

    by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1 AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:37AM (#17079002) Homepage Journal
    This will probably be the first time a large number of customers begins to "get it" in regards to having DRM force-fed down our throats.

    In addition, this will probably be the first time that the lack of a analog hole will actually result in a large number of people being screwed.
    (its a joke)
    • by adam31 (817930)
      This will probably be the first time a large number of customers begins to "get it" in regards to having DRM force-fed down our throats.

      Soooo... They didn't "get it" with the iPod?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by poot_rootbeer (188613)
        This will probably be the first time a large number of customers begins to "get it" in regards to having DRM force-fed down our throats.

        Soooo... They didn't "get it" with the iPod?


        Correct. They did not get DRM force-fed down their throats with the iPod.

        It's not like buying from the iTunes Store (which requires DRM) is mandatory for using the iPod (which does not).

    • by Strolls (641018)

      This will probably be the first time a large number of customers begins to "get it" in regards to having DRM force-fed down our throats.

      I'm seeing otherwise. There's some annoyance in the UK at the moment that a lot of screens without HDMI were sold a couple of years ago as "hi-def ready", but it seems the average consumer just understands that this TV "isn't compatible" with their Sky box or the upcoming movie players. They don't feel the need to apportion blame, either - consumers are just used to electr

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:38AM (#17079006)
    ... usually end in failure.

    -Sega CD, 32X, etc.

    No one wants to buy extra hardware to play games and these add-ons better be dirt cheap if they expect anyone to pick them up for HD-DVD playback. That and why is there even a need to replace DVD as it stands for most people?

    I understand the benefits of blue-ray and HD-DVD for computer storage for applications like games, archiving, etc. But console history is filled with failed peripherals.
    • by jpardey (569633)
      If there is, it will be dirt cheap. It would probably be worth it for Microsoft and/or friends, as an attempt to help HD-DVD and crush Blu-ray.
    • by MoriaOrc (822758)
      > No one wants to buy extra hardware to play games and these add-ons better be dirt cheap if they expect anyone to pick them up for HD-DVD playback.

      MS has said [gamespot.com] the player will be only used for movies. It seems like (assuming you want an HD-DVD player at all) a decent price if you already own a 360, but otherwise not so much otherwise. A quick check at Best Buy and Circuit City's websites for "HD-DVD Player" puts it at $200 for the add-on, about $500 for a stand alone player. Although I guess a Cor
    • by Deag (250823)
      From a business point of view, maybe.
      But as a user it can really add to them or even save them. Years ago I had a commodore CDTV [wikipedia.org], one of those vcr like units. But I don't think any games came out for it (apart from Lemmings which was great!). The only thing the saved it was that you get an external amiga floppy drive with it that allowed you to play standard Amiga games on it. Might have been old games at the time, but as a ten year old, I didn't know the difference.
    • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @06:34AM (#17079182)
      yeah but what fails is the 32x games, the 64dd games etc, because they rely on you having the add on which not many people do. HD-DVD is different because the 360 add-on is not its only platform. DVD didnt fail because you had to buy a dongle to watch them on the Xbox, and the add-on-ness of the 360 hd player wont cause HD-DVD to fail. if it does fail it'll be a larger set of problems than that.

      as for the sales of the add-on, there is no large critical mass required - as long as MS dont overproduce them and sell the minimum amount needed to cover costs then it wont be a problem.
      • by Jesterboy (106813)

        DVD didnt fail because you had to buy a dongle to watch them on the Xbox, and the add-on-ness of the 360 hd player wont cause HD-DVD to fail.
        I think there's quite a difference between a $20 dongle and a $200 add-on, external unit.
      • by Ant P. (974313)
        Sega's CD drive could do a lot more than play FMV-stuffed games; it was a damn good CD player UI back then, but the best part was the two RCA phono jacks on the back - which you could play all the games through.

        It still crashed and burned, unfortunately.
        • by dangitman (862676)

          but the best part was the two RCA phono jacks on the back - which you could play all the games through.

          Wouldn't that be rather hard on your thumbs? Not to mention inconveniently placed.

  • Where are the PC Bluray drives that go for $200?

    Seriously, what is up with this HD format war? The first HD format that becomes affordable (and actually works) on the PC platform is the HD format I'll be adopting. I'm not alone. This *is* a race, but somehow it seems like both sides *want* to lose.
  • by jpardey (569633) <j_pardey@hotmail.cEULERom minus math_god> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:46AM (#17079032)
    It seems probable to me that the primary motivation for the PS3, is to put a blu-ray drive under every expensive TV. Perhaps that is why there is no 720p downsampler, they want people to look at blu-ray disks and say wow. Rather than creating a cheap console that will do the job, they went overkill (I want one, by the way, even if I may never get one). With high prices, and low cost alternatives, you can expect that the early owners of PS3s are going to have their displays up to date as well. Demand for blu-ray grows, more studios sign on, Sony Pictures can put out more movies in Blu-ray, and pretty soon the profits destroy the losses on the PS3. More of an "investment" than a "terrible blunder" if you consider not just game sales, but blu-ray proliferation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iamdrscience (541136)
      I think this is exactly true. Sony already did it once with DVDs and the PS2 -- for a lot of people the PS2 was the first DVD player they owned.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:49AM (#17079038)
    Look.. the formats are stillborn.

    they were announced months ago, and despite being advertised everywhere sales are lack luster to non-existent.

    everyone on slashdot got it right.. it didn't offer anything substantially different to dvd.. was much more expensive, and imposes incredibly confusing, draconian, and prohibitively expensive DRM schemes.

    heck.. in my local area theyre running ads trying to get people interested by directing them to a website where they explain the rediculously complicated HDTV crap.. (why your component won't play at full 1080 p---probably lying about it too to gloss over the whole DRM point like all the ad nazis do)
    • This reminds me of when DVD came out and there was a backlash among fans of laserdiscs. In both cases, the format doesn't offer anything hugely different (still just movies on a disc) and in both cases there are some drawbacks to adopting the newer technology, but ultimately, the new technology will be adopted because of two things: (1) more advantages than drawbacks and (2) once the new format has been around for a while the cost difference becomes insignificant -- if the difference in cost is next to noth
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        This reminds me of when DVD came out and there was a backlash among fans of laserdiscs.

        The difference is that there were about four people in that backlash watching eight films between them. The real dominant format was VHS; laserdisc was just a museum piece to most people.

        Now almost everyone has a DVD player and a pile of movies and are not sitting in front of their TV going "Jesus, this is crap quality. I wish there was something better", which was what a lot of people WERE saying about VHS.

        • I think the comparison is still valid because right now, the people that are switching from DVD to an HD format are not normal people, they're the same type of people who were using laser discs back then.

          Anyways, you do raise a good point, to the normal consumer Bluray/HDDVD do not offer the nearly as great advantages over DVD as DVD did over VHS. That said, I still pretty confident that an HD format will overtake DVDs. While I doubt many normal consumers will be buying HD formats for the next few years, t
          • Bluray/HDDVD do not offer the nearly as great advantages over DVD as DVD did over VHS

            Right you are. Remember, in addition to the better quality audio/video, some of the biggest advantages of DVD over VHS for consumers were: no need to rewind, random access, extra content, smaller storage volumes, more robust media (digital versus analog). Add to that the advantage for manufacturers: efficiencies of stamping out discs versus making pre-recorded tapes. Then include the advantages for content providers: regio

    • I think the main reason we haven't seen any substantial use of the new formats is because it's just too soon. We've just recently reached the point where DVDs are ubiquitous. Everybody has a player, the price of the media is fairly reasonable, and the average person has a fairly substantial DVD collection going.

      Even if the difference were substantial, I wouldn't buy them right now. I'm too far invested in DVDs and that investment has been over too short of a time, in my opinion, to essentially scrap th

  • Possibly almost all of the Xbox 360 games will be DVD only, hence gamers won't be inclined to buy the HD-DVD. Plus, for the new customer who is into HDTV and movies, XBOX+HDDVD is not really a better solution than PS3.

    On the other hand, there will be at least as much Blu-Ray players as PS3s.

    At the end, the war is not about technology but numbers.
  • by iamdrscience (541136) <(michaelmtripp) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @07:15AM (#17079292) Homepage
    I've been saying this from the beginning, but Blu-Ray will be the winner of the HD format war simply because it has a cooler name. HDDVD is hard to say and sounds like obscure computer nerd bullshit. Blu-ray on the other hand sounds like a devastating weapon that has fallen into enemy hands, putting the world at risk and now needs to be saved by a commando soldier who was recently kicked out of the army for disobeying orders and saving a village of orphans, but now is the world's only hope to avoid sure destruction. Coming to theaters near you, this July 4th.

    I think the choice is obvious.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by staeiou (839695)
      I've been saying this from the beginning, but Blu-Ray will be the winner of the HD format war simply because it has a cooler name. HDDVD is hard to say and sounds like obscure computer nerd bullshit. Blu-ray on the other hand sounds like a devastating weapon that has fallen into enemy hands, putting the world at risk and now needs to be saved by a commando soldier who was recently kicked out of the army for disobeying orders and saving a village of orphans, but now is the world's only hope to avoid sure des
      • This is true, but the technological differences were more substantial with VHS/Beta than with Bluray/HDDVD. Ultimately to most people, especially casual consumers, Bluray and HDDVD are almost identical. On the other hand VHS had a distinct advantage to most consumers -- from its first introduction there were tapes available that were long enough to record full-length movies whereas Beta tapes of that length were not available until significantly after its launch.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      True, but HDDVD could be said as "H Double-D Vee-Dee"

      This conjures up images of large breasts (the double-d) and STDs (V.D.) Also, I've heard that some junkies refer to heroin simply as "H".

      So, if said in the right way, HDDDVD could be interperated as "Herion, gigantic boobs, venereal disease"

      It might not be the image HD-DVD manufacturers are looking for, but it'd sound good (properly used) in a gangsta' rap song.
    • You sound like you just blew Ray behind the desk.
  • by dannycim (442761) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @07:21AM (#17079316)
    More FUD from the Sony bashers. PS3 does 1080p just fine. What it doesn't do is upscale 720p content up to 1080i if the TV only doesn't do 1080p. So what it does is feed the 720p content directly to the TV to do what it can with it, provided it supports 720p. If it doesn't, the PS3 downscales the content to 480p.

    So in order to suffer the downscaling, you need a really crappy HDTV which doesn't support 1080p AND 720p.

    Personally, I'd be more frustrated at a lack of HDMI on my HD content player as any moderately decent HDTV support either of those two modes fine.
    • by InsaneGeek (175763) <slashdot@i[ ]negeeks.com ['nsa' in gap]> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @08:53AM (#17079644) Homepage
      So you are cool with paying hundreds of dollars more to only downcovert to the same video resolution as the WII / standard DVD? Only in the past 6-8 months has 1080p come into the price range of most consumers, so the amount of HD TV's in consumers hands that support 1080p are most likely limited to a single digit percentages at this time, so I'd saying any "moderately decent HDTV" will support either of those modes fine is completely insane. The number of TV's that don't do 720p that are in consumers hands today are a much larger percentage than the number of TV's that will accept a 1080p input, so it is a very large concern to a very large number of people.
      • So you are cool with paying hundreds of dollars more to only downcovert to the same video resolution as the WII / standard DVD?

        This is really anti-PS3 FUD, the problem is not as bad as it first appears.

        Basically this is only a problem when the SOURCE of the content is 720P - basically that means 720p games. Movies are all 1080p, and many games are 1080i/p, so they would display normally.

        Secondly, this is only a probem at all if your video device does not support 720p but does support 1080i/p and 480p. Tha
      • by Kjella (173770)
        So you are cool with paying hundreds of dollars more to only downcovert to the same video resolution as the WII / standard DVD?

        It should be noted that only TVs that are incapable of recieving any 720p content. The rest will use the TVs upscaling to convert 720p to 1080i, which probably has bad scaling quality but much better than 480p. Actually I thought it was a requirement that any HDTV had to be able to do that.

        Quote Wikipedia: "In North America, Fox, ABC, and ESPN (ABC and ESPN are both owned by Disney)
        • by DCheesi (150068)
          The problem is not with "HDTV" sets, but with the far more common "HD-Ready" sets. Many of the early HD-Ready TVs only supported a subset of the HD resolutions, and made the assumption that the external HD-tuner box would always do the scaling conversion for them.

          This is especially true for CRT-based displays which made up a large portion of the early-adopter sets. Because these CRTs can do both 480i/p and 1080i "natively", they didn't need an internal scaler circuit to be compatible with both SD and (some)
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "More FUD from the Sony bashers. PS3 does 1080p just fine. What it doesn't do is upscale 720p content up to 1080i if the TV only doesn't do 1080p."

      Yeah yeah yeah, I got that from the blurb. My issue, when all is said and done, is that I can get a decent 1080i television for less money than the PS3 itself, while the only 1080p options I'm seeing on the market right now are all very expensive and all involve the possibility/probability of dead pixels. Most people that have an HDTV do not have 1080p, and tha
      • I just got a Westinghouse 42w2 1080p, no dead pixels, open box from Best Buy for ~$1300.

        No tuner built in, given, but that's what my cable box is for.
    • So in order to suffer the downscaling, you need a really crappy HDTV which doesn't support 1080p AND 720p.

      Which covers almost all the CRT-based HDTV-ready displays sold in the past eight years, which typically only support 1080i, 480p, and NTSC 480i input signals.

      That's been changing in the past year or so, as most sets with ATSC tuners can also upscale a 720p input signal to a 1080i display signal, but the fact remains that a LOT of the early adopters of HDTV will not be able to enjoy HD signals from a PS3
  • I'm very, very confused.

    Let me see if I get it:

    The PS3 _can_ do the following conversions:

    A) 720p->1080p
    B) 720p->480p
    C) 1080p->1080i
    D) 1080p->720p

    Basically, what I want to know is if I get a PS3 for my HDTV capable of 1080i/720p/480p, will it convert 1080p to either 1080i or 720p, or will I be stuck with 480p?

    This is a brand new set, with HDMI and evertything, just no 1080p. I'll be quite miffed if the PS3 can't output properly to it.
    • Basically, what I want to know is if I get a PS3 for my HDTV capable of 1080i/720p/480p, will it convert 1080p to either 1080i or 720p, or will I be stuck with 480p?

      Because your tv does not support 1080p, the PS3 would feed it a 720p picture, and rely on the tv to upscale it to 1080i. If the tv can not do the upscaling to 1080i, then it would display the 720p picture. The 480p problem comes from tvs that can do 1080i, but not 720p.
  • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @02:44PM (#17081946) Homepage
    Lots of FUD floating around this response thread. I happen to own both a PS3 and an XBox 360 with HD-DVD add-on, along with a television that does them both justice. Here's some facts:

    1. The difference in picture and sound quality between HD-DVD / Blu-Ray and DVD is roughly the same as the jump in quality from VHS/LD to DVD. I've run numerous side-by-side comparison tests using the King Kong DVD & HD-DVD, as well as older films like Casablanca and Blazing Saddles. Much depends on the master & source material, but the difference is undeniable.

    Now, that might not be enough to save either format. Most people didn't buy DVD for the increased quality, they bought it for the convenience of random access, and the decreased physical size / increased durability of the media vs. VHS tapes. HD-DVD / Blu-Ray don't offer any of these increases over the standard DVD.

    2. The formats are almost identical in many key areas. Both play back the same video codecs (MPEG2, VC1, H.264), so when it comes down to it the films available on both formats are often identical. It all comes down to how the source material was mastered. Early blu-ray releases (5th Element) took a lot of knocks because the films are still mastered in the older MPEG2 format. Most newer films are encoded in the nicer Microsoft VC-1 standard, and look absolutely stunning.

    3. The Playstation 3 absolutely does 1080p playback for blu-ray movies, when equipped with an HDMI cable. (Get a quality one for http://www.thedvdwars.com/index.cfm for both formats. While $20-35 / movie is too steep for my blood, Netflix carries both, and prices are similar to first-gen DVD.

    Pure speculation: Combo players are probably going to show up in '07, and once this blue laser shortage horseshit gets resolved, I'd expect prices to fall by 100% in '07, and the $100 combo player will probably arrive in '08. By '09 or '10 you won't even be able to buy a standard DVD player anymore. By this time it won't matter because they'll have been cracked as thoroughly as DVD before them.

    Any other questions, I'll be happy to answer.
    • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv AT hotmail DOT com> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @06:45PM (#17084048) Homepage
      Weird, slashdot ate half my post on submission. Here's the whole thing, in its entirety:

      Lots of FUD floating around this response thread. I happen to own both a PS3 and an XBox 360 with HD-DVD add-on, along with a television that does them both justice. Here's some facts:

      1. The difference in picture and sound quality between HD-DVD / Blu-Ray and DVD is roughly the same as the jump in quality from VHS/LD to DVD. I've run numerous side-by-side comparison tests using the King Kong DVD & HD-DVD, as well as older films like Casablanca and Blazing Saddles. Much depends on the master & source material, but the difference is undeniable.

      Now, that might not be enough to save either format. Most people didn't buy DVD for the increased quality, they bought it for the convenience of random access, and the decreased physical size / increased durability of the media vs. VHS tapes. HD-DVD / Blu-Ray don't offer any of these increases over the standard DVD.

      2. The formats are almost identical in many key areas. Both play back the same video codecs (MPEG2, VC1, H.264), so when it comes down to it the films available on both formats are often identical. It all comes down to how the source material was mastered. Early blu-ray releases (5th Element) took a lot of knocks because the films are still mastered in the older MPEG2 format. Most newer films are encoded in the nicer Microsoft VC-1 standard, and look absolutely stunning.

      3. The Playstation 3 absolutely does 1080p playback for blu-ray movies, when equipped with an HDMI cable. (Get a quality one for less than $10 at monoprice.com.) The XBox 360 absolutely does 1080p playback over component or VGA. Most HDTV's don't support 1080p over component or VGA (even my 2006 model Sony doesn't). Sadly, since the HDMI folks demand that all HDMI connectors be HDMI-only, and they disallow meta-connectors like the one on the 360, it seems unlikely that there will ever be an XBox 360 HDMI connector.

      4. Some older HDTV's only do 1080i or 480p, and won't process signals in 720p up to 1080i. The hoohah is because the Playstation 3 also won't process 720p signals up to 1080i, but instead will downprocess these signals to 480p. Sony's already stated that they're working on a fix for this that will be pushed down via mandatory firmware update in the near future.

      5. The newer audio formats, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD, are decoded at the player and then sent to the receiver for playback. The lack of analog outputs means that these decoded formats can't be sent from a ps3 or a 360 to an older receiver. With a newer receiver, the PS3 can send these audio formats out via HDMI. The lack of HDMI outputs from the 360 means that these decoded formats can't be sent out from that system at all. That's too bad, because the difference in sound quality is pretty nice, and a definite upgrade over existing DTS / Dolby Digital. However, the 360 does downconvert these new signals to the highest bitrate of Dolby Digital possible (640K). There's an improvement over the sound quality of a DVD here, but not a big enough one you'd notice without listening to A/B comparisons.

      6. The 360 HD-DVD drive has nothing to do with gaming. It's for movie playback only. It's also a terrific value. For $200 ($160 with a sneaky coupon last month), you get a $35 remote, a $35 movie, and an external USB2 drive that's recognized by both macs and PCs as well as an XBox 360. This thing has been flying off the shelves since it was released. Since the major argument against using a game console as your primary playback device is that you're putting undue wear on the system's drive, this means that I can now use the 360 as my primary DVD / HD-DVD playback device. That's great, because the 360 is a fantastic DVD player.

      7. The formats are far from stillborn. Around 100 titles have been released for each format in the first year. Amazon sales data is tracked at http://www.thedvdwars.com/inde [thedvdwars.com]
  • The problem listed for the PS3 is not as bad as it first appears, and in fact does not even apply to movies which are the topic of discussion.

    Basically this is only a problem when the SOURCE of the content is 720P - basically that means 720p games. Movies are all 1080p, and many games are 1080i/p, so they would display normally.

    Secondly, this is only a probem at all if your video device does not support 720p but does support 1080i/p and 480p. That is actually not as many devices as you might think; I bought
  • How odd that the only quote picked from the article was negative as to the PS3's ability. To my mind, this was a far more interesting quote as far as movie watching goes:

    Though not obtrusive during moderate to loud scenes in a movie, the 360's noisy fan was audible when the volume is low or silent. That's not the case with the PlayStation 3, which, with movie playback is about as quiet as any other Blu-ray or HD DVD player on the market that I've heard. Though the Xbox 360's noise level is not a deal-break
    • hey they have to earn their keep, you know. Ninetendo hired the same PR firm that caused slashdot to be the biggest whores for apple ever. Now they have to work for ninetendo, and that involves badmouthing the ps3. For several reasons the xbox is not really as much of a competitor to the wii as the ps3 is.

  • This may also be why detail seemed more impressive on the PS3 -- I could make out slight imperfections on Adam Sandler's skin

    Does anybody really want this violating the sanctity of their home, and scaring the children?

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