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#123324 - 01/13/06 11:28 AM Re: New Sony SXRD
Capn_Pickard Offline

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
It's telling when the early adopters (many of us on this and other boards) are so disenchanted with the format war. I, for one, will not buy any version of a high def player until the prices come down to the point where it doubles as an affordable replacement to my current DVD player or unless a dual format player comes out (unlikely).

That said, it seems that the consuming public may also be reaching a point where the increased resolution isn't as groundbreaking as with DVD vs. VHS. The picture on my HD plasma off of DVD looks pretty darn good. While HD broadcasts do have a shinier, cleaner appearance and higher resolution, I'm not distracted my artifacts or fuzzy edges when watching movies right now. I question whether I actually even need a higher resolution format.

Now, I've heard the other side of the argument that the real benefit will be in the lossless audio compression and the extra space to store extraneous volumes of encyclopedic information about the movie that I am watching, btu I just don't buy it. Right now, I am so over saturated with multi-media applications that I yearn for simplicity and straightforwardness. I rarely watch the extra content on DVDs any more, and usually opt to spend a few lses bucks and buy the movie-only version of DVDs when possible, opting against the special editions. This makes me question what they are going to put on a DVD that I will be compelled to watch when I really don't have much interest, or time for that matter, in watching what little is placed on DVDs as they now stand.

I think a good argument coudl actually be made that having the secrets of movie making revealed cheapens the movie watching experience, making us more aware of the tricks used to make movies and robbing us of our suspension of disbelief (which is critical to enjoying the show, IMO).

Finally, is lossless audio really that much better? I simply can't imagine having an audio track that sounds any clearer or more real, without the addition of extra speakers. I know that there is a theoretical gain in lossless audio. But what does that translate into when our ears process it? Isn't the fact that our ears actually discard considerable amounts of audio cues the basis for lossy audio compressors in the first place? Adding back information that is going to be ignored by our brains seems like an excercise in futility.

Just some thoughts ... slow day at the office


#123325 - 01/13/06 12:45 PM Re: New Sony SXRD
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
I agree with you; I don't have time to watch the extras and many of these discs have 5 hours of extras to the two-hour movie!

An argument that I've never actually read or heard anyone say is this:

What if these formats end up like SACD or DVD-Audio? At least for the first few years? I mean, the type of people that frequent these forums are excited about the technology, but how many of the "masses" are excited or even understand the discs?

What percentages of "the masses" have an HD-capable set? If they have several TVs in the home, do they have more than one that's HD capable? If they buy either flavor of an HD disc, are they going to be able to play it in the bedroom or in the kids' playroom or on their portable 7" LCD player?

If they currently own a selection of DVDs, are they going to replace them with an HD disc unless it's really one of their all-time favorite movies? Will the discs play in their current computers or even in the next one they pick up at Staples?

Even if they HAVE an HD television, and they HAVE put out a decent amount of coin on a new HD-player, will they always buy the HD disc over the SD disc if it only plays on that one player and that one TV?

Believe it or not, I'm really not negative on the format. I've been stalling in bringing my video production business up to HD because there is currently no medium to deliver those productions. A recordable HD disc will enable me to move to higher-quality acquisition and editing…it's not feasible at the moment when I have no real way of delivering the end product.

But, playing devil's advocate here…. Look what happened to SACD and DVD-Audio. These two competing formats offered higher quality and the benefits of 5.1 remastering. Yet, they tanked. The average guy who is picking up the latest Brooks & Dunn release wants to play it in his pickup and his boombox. We, as audiophiles, loved the format…but it didn't take off with "the masses". And because it didn't take off immediately, marketing money wasn't put behind it, slowing growth even more and causing an ever-increasing downward spiral in the formats.

I'm not saying the new HD discs will fail; certainly there's lots of money that will be thrown into the marketing and of course, no one will be buying SD in ten years. But I think those of us that are "into" this whole hobby forget that Joe and Betty Schmoe aren't drooling over these coming discs, and likely don't understand them or are even completely unfamiliar with them.

Yes, whoever wins the format will have the format of choice down the road. But I really don't think it'll happen as quick as us audiophiles and videophiles expect it to happen.

::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#123326 - 01/13/06 03:45 PM Re: New Sony SXRD
Capn_Pickard Offline

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
Mark - I agree with most, if not all of what you said.

I, too, think that HD -DVD might end up like SACD. But, then again, there is still a gap between our ability to resolve clearer images (with our eyes and brains) and the resolution that media is able to provide. I think that this distinguishes High Def DVD from SACD. I think the latter is really only appreciated by, and maybe only recognized as sounding better, by audiophiles, and certainly isn't for the casual listener. Whereas, most people can readily tell the different between a High Def video image and a standard def one. Therefore, I can see more people jumping on the high-def video band-wagon eventually.

But, in the meantime, I agree with you that the technology will take a long time to pick up speed. The speed will depend on how quickly the High Def DVD players get cheap... I now have 3 DVD players in my apartment for three TVs, which means that DVD portability is reaching maximum saturation. Such is the case with CD players, too.

If and when I can afford to have more than one High Def DVD player in my house (at least one for the bedroom and the main HT), I will probably switch over, but will likely only upgrade my current titles with those that are my favorites. Again, I will only do this if the resolution difference is that noticeable. These days, the upconversion software in TVs, etc. is pretty decent, and, while I know the picture can get considerably better, this will really only be an issue when we all have 100" screens in our homes (won't that be cool!).

Until that time, I think the technology will remain ignored by the masses, which, I predict will ultimately doom it. This is especially true when HTPCs are, I predict, going to step in and replace hard-ware eventually (maybe in the next decade or two) and completely.

We'll all just have to wait and see.

#123327 - 01/13/06 05:56 PM Re: New Sony SXRD
ratpack Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
It seems like this happens over and over and over again in the industry.

Shame on them, but "they" just don't care.
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

#123328 - 01/16/06 11:54 AM Re: New Sony SXRD
Capn_Pickard Offline

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
They should start caring about the customer. After all, we make their bottom line a reality.

Considering the speed at which technology is moving these days, if you don't hit your market right off the tee box, chances are decent that the market will simply pass your product by...

Take, for example, minidiscs. They were and are great technology. CD quality, but with the ability to record to them as easily as a tape player. Then, editing/shuffling capability like a CD-RW. It was great - but Sony wouldnt' liscense the technology (greedy) and they didn't have enough archived music (I guess) to sell pre-fixed music discs, like CD. The wave passed them by and they are a forgotten relic, replaced by the MP3 and the CD-RW. other factors, of course, influenced the failure (different discs made portability problematic, players were expensive, etc.).

I predict that High Def DVD will get surpassed by some better, more convenient, easier to use, product before it even gets off the ground. Ultimately, I don't think comsumers will suffer - they'll actually get a better product out of it. But in the meantime, our Sony dollars spent on Amps and receivers are being squandered in research that won't be paid back - that hurts consumers today and tomorrow in the form of higher priced components to recoup the losses.

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