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Babylon 5 on HD DVD or Blue Ray, the battle may be over?

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  • Babylon 5 on HD DVD or Blue Ray, the battle may be over?

    As many of us agree, we would like to see Babylon 5 re-released in High Definition. I for one was holding out to see which format was going to win the latest battle: HD DVD or Blue Ray. The last thing I want to do is purchase a HD DVD player and a bunch of HD DVD's and then find out that Blue Ray won the battle and get stuck with these HD DVD's that won't play on a Blue Ray player, or vice versa.
    Early reports may indicate that the battle may be over. What do others think after reading these links?

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew..._name=&no_ads=

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2007/11/09...is-a-stalemate

  • #2
    After reading not just those links, but those in a different page, dealing with the same news, and even more news/comment about it what I think is:

    If you don't want to bet on the wrong format you'll just have to keep waiting.

    The other thought I have is that one of both sides should give up already.
    Until one does (win or give-up) this will continue. Unless something comes out of left field it doesn't seem that any format is making enough progress in the market to become the de facto standard.

    As another note in the link I give says, consumers (like me) are not interested in buying until one format wins.

    Either that or they work out a deal so everyone sells dual format players. Some hybrid computer drives, capable of managing both HD-DVD and Blue-Ray are already appearing.

    What I can't believe is that the first time I commented on this at the off-topic forum was in 2004 and that my advice then remains the same: keep waiting.
    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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    • #3
      It can not come to an end until both sides stand together in neutral territory and one side says, "I'm sorry."
      "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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      • #4
        I think it's difficult to have a format war when the average consumer (like me) is still perfectly content with standard definition and plain old-fashioned DVDs (which are generally cheap, offer a huge leap over VHS, and provide an impressive digital picture quality which I can watch in bed on my laptop before going to sleep or in a small window on my desktop while working). I'm finding there are limits to how fetishistic I can get about new technology. HD isn't a big enough leap forward, and I certainly don't want my front room to become dominated by my television.

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        • #5
          I want mine to be dominated by my television!
          I am still very happy with DVD, But HD and BLU-RAY are 6 times clearer.
          I'm always very picky about quality.
          My wifes not happy with me. I spent lots of money on replacing my VHS tapes with DVD. I've been wanting a high def player since I got my HDTV, but I've been holding out to see who was going to win the format war.
          Now she says I'm going to spend more money to replace my DVDs (I have 600).
          But I told her no. Only a couple of them. Maybe just the Star Wars movies and Lord of the rings.
          Then anytime I get a new movie after that it will be HD rather than DVD. I'm not about to replace 600 movies.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RMcD View Post
            I think it's difficult to have a format war when the average consumer (like me) is still perfectly content with standard definition and plain old-fashioned DVDs
            I think that's a valid point. I have a HD-DVD drive for my Xbox and about a dozen movies in that format. To tell you the truth though, after 5 minutes into the movie it doesn't really matter which format I'm watching. I guess I just donÆt consciously notice the difference most of the time after the story begins.

            On the other hand, I'm much more aware of the difference between watching "Lost" or "Heroes" in stardard versus HD resolution. I think this is because Comcast compresses the hell out of the standard resolution station so the difference is very noticable. The first time I watched "Lost" in HD the lush island scenes were stunning.

            Something else that gets me about HD-DVD is that they use the new format as an excuse to charge an extra $5-$10 per disc. That's really not a good way to motivate me to adopt the new format.


            -DougO

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            • #7
              I just got an HD TV a few weeks ago as well as a toshiba HD player at that secret walmart sale. With the 'upvert" abilities of the player my old DVD's look very good to my eyes compaired to nonHD TV and VHS. This weekend im borrowing some DVDs to compare upvert vs non-upvert on my TV. Will have 2 movies playing at same time an flip back and forth between video inputs. This will be far from scientific, but i will post my opinion if anyone cares.
              Milkman
              www.mhoc.net

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Milkman View Post
                I just got an HD TV a few weeks ago as well as a toshiba HD player at that secret walmart sale. With the 'upvert" abilities of the player my old DVD's look very good to my eyes compaired to nonHD TV and VHS. This weekend im borrowing some DVDs to compare upvert vs non-upvert on my TV. Will have 2 movies playing at same time an flip back and forth between video inputs. This will be far from scientific, but i will post my opinion if anyone cares.
                I care. I'm very interested in hearing the results.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Well my first unscientific results are in. Short answer.. not much difference.. but DVD upverted does look better to me. I am borrowing some more DVD's to be able to run at the same time for more tests, but as of now... i do not plan on replacing ANY of my current DVD's with HD-DVD's based on looks alone as i think the upvered DVD looks great! And below is a much longer take on it.

                  My HD TV is a 50" 720P Plasma by Sanyo($998). The HD-DVD Toshiba A2($98) player is connected to the TV via HDMI and the DVD player is connected via S-Video. HDMI is the only way the player upverts and S-Video is the best connection i have for my old Sony DVD player. My viewing distance is 9' from the screen. None of my cables are "monster cables", but they aren't $2 cables either)

                  First, and only test so far, was actually using the movie Serenity since i have that movie twice, ya im a browncoat, the 2nd disk is the collectors edition but the base movie is the same. I put the newer DVD in the old player and other old DVD in the newer player. Not sure why... just seemed to give some balance in my head. Amazingly, hitting play at the same time from a paused chapter 1 start state got me both videos playing at the exact same time. I only had audio running through the HD player but the lips looked right on to me... but im getting off track. I then bounced back and forth using the video input button.

                  And well.. there isn't much of a difference. Both look good to me, much better than standard TV or VCR tapes. Those look blocky, and these do not. HOWEVER to me the standard dvd looks... grainy... to me. Its more noticeable in faces and very colorful shots. It wouldn't' be a deal breaker to me to need the upvert, but on random testing i would always tell what player i was on... although the space scenes were harder to tell as black is black. :P

                  I should be getting a copy from a friend of Serenity in HD and i will test that also to see what i see. I also may try setting up a camera on my tripod to see if i can photo the differences... but not sure if it will show up.. i only have a 4 megpixel camera. He is also brining over his B5 so we can see how a few episodes and In the Beginning do.
                  Milkman
                  www.mhoc.net

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                  • #10
                    There are two major question marks over this format war for me ... speaking as someone who came late even to DVD.

                    First, does the public care? As has already been mentioned, the general consumer seems pretty content with standard definition DVD, particularly when you can now buy a player in the supermarket for less than ú20 ($40), roughly the price of two movies, and less than one season box set. DVD is not expensive, geeky technology, but a cheap and simple piece of home entertainment equipment.

                    Second, are those consumers who are more interested in the high end of things actually exercised about High Definition DVD or are they more interested in the widening of movie and TV show downloads?

                    Is the real format war on high end viewing actually going to be a battle between different formats of hardware dependent disc (HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray) or between the hardware dependent discs and downloadable movies that can be burned to disc if required, or used on your home computer or used on a multitude of mobile devices, including personal media players and even telephones.

                    Given the continued growth and speed improvements of home internet links, high definition movie downloads can't be that far away from being a reality for many.

                    Look where we were five years ago ... mp3 took hold as the standard format for music downloading because it squashed a song file from 10MB per minute in full 16bit/44100KHz (CD) format to around 1MB per minute (128bit mp3) making it a realistic prospect for downloading. In 2007, few regular music downloaders would baulk at downloading a 40MB file in terms of download speed and efficiency. However, compressed music still rules (and will continue to do so) because of the storage space available on mobile devices, not the speed with which you can download the file in the first place.

                    I recently downloaded the trial of Window 2003 Server totalling over 720MB ... took around an hour and a half ... and didn't give it a second thought. I don't know how much space might be required for a proper movie download, but it is clearly not going to create great hardship in future.

                    The HD-DVD and Blu-Ray groups may well find themselves falling behind the download movement if they focus completely on competing with each other.
                    The Optimist: The glass is half full
                    The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                    The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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                    • #11
                      Well thanks for the comparison results. The standard DVD look so grainy because it was with S-Video. Component conection would have been a bit better. I notice a pretty big difference in the two. But as you said the older player only had S-Video.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RMcD View Post
                        I think it's difficult to have a format war when the average consumer (like me) is still perfectly content with standard definition and plain old-fashioned DVDs (which are generally cheap, offer a huge leap over VHS, and provide an impressive digital picture quality which I can watch in bed on my laptop before going to sleep or in a small window on my desktop while working). I'm finding there are limits to how fetishistic I can get about new technology. HD isn't a big enough leap forward, and I certainly don't want my front room to become dominated by my television.
                        Well said, this is pretty much my thoughts on this high def 'war' too...

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                        • #13
                          There's no point in releasing any of the B5 stuff on HD-DVD or BluRay because it wasn't filmed in HD originally, and the FX upsampled to DVD-Quality are already at their limit of "quality" (as JMS has mentioned on many occasions how alot of the FX while good for their time, look really dated when on the clarity of DVD)...

                          It'd be like listening to something recorded on tape upsampled to CD - it's still exactly the same quality...just on a completely different format...

                          Stick to your DVD's folks, anyone buying either format right now is wasting their money, because Digital downloading will replace both formats in about 5 years time...

                          You'll be USBing your movies sooner than you think....

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                          • #14
                            it wasn't filmed in HD
                            It was shot on Super35 film however, which can be rescanned for HD resolutions. Some substantial cleanup would need to be done, but it is very much within the realm of the technically feasible. The big problem really would be the CG and the composited shots, which would need to be completely redone.

                            As for the two formats, HD-DVD has won a significant battle this year with the Paramount switch, but overall the war is still going in Blu-ray's favour, with Blu-ray discs outselling HD-DVD by about a factor two. It's really still too early to call though, the HD technology hasn't yet hit the level of adoption that means any of this will stick. But it is definitely too early to call HD-DVD the victor.

                            And I think HD distribution over the net is feasible, but not perfect. I'm actually downloading a forty minute video podcast in HD at the moment, and at 600 megs it does take me about half an hour to finish up on my 300 kBps connection, which is doable but not great. Even with a nicely compressed h.264 file they're still a slight bit too big for comfort for me and my broadband connection, but I can see video distribution for HD being comfortable at an average broadband speed soon enough.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shabaz View Post
                              The big problem really would be the CG and the composited shots, which would need to be completely redone.
                              And someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but I seem to recall talk that the film elements of the composite shots have been lost. So even if you redid all the CGI, with scenes like Kosh saving Sheridan at the end of Fall of Night, there's no film footage of Sheridan to add to that CGI background. You'd have to reshoot with a very much older looking Sheridan or somehow add a very low resolution element (painstakingly) from the old composite shot... or more realistically they would just use the old version of the scene and just redo everything else. The difference in quality from scene to scene would be very jarring.

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