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It’s a HD future

Blu-Ray LogoSo it finally looks like the HD format war is over. Blu-Ray is the winner of a battle that no-one wanted, and it now has to convince the generally uninterested public to pay more for movie disc’s and players. The price will drop like normal once sales ramp up, but is there any point to taking the plunge now?

I recently saw a Ratatouille Blu-Ray disc playing on a Sony 46 inch LCD. Until that moment I was unconvinced by HD, but that combination was stunning. I haven’t seen the same material on an upscaling DVD player so I can’t compare the quality, but even Mrs Basshead was impressed.

On our trip to Lakeside last weekend Mrs B wandered into the Sony store to have a look at the LCD TV’s and I stood outside watching the same 46 inch screen showing HD content from the BBC. I’m not sure if it was a live broadcast or a recorded demo, but the quality was not impressive. The BBC HD logo in the top left corner of the picture was a mass of compression artifacts, as was the whole picture. Does this mean broadcast HD is just as bad as regular Digital TV picture quality? What I mean by this is digital’s lack of bandwidth when it comes to rapid picture changes like flashing light or fast camera movement. Try watching a music show when multi coloured spotlights are strobing to see a picture going blocky due to an insufficient data rate.

I always felt a bit ripped off when cable and satellite TV went digital, it seemed like an excuse to sell new equipment with no improvement in quality. Hopefully HD isn’t going to be an excuse to sell lots of expensive equipment, but the quality would have to be a lot better than what the Lakeside Sony store was showing to make me pay out.

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Categories: movie, television Tags: , ,
  1. bigwindowvideo
    February 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Like in the cel phone industry before it, there will be a long line of bad decisions made when it concerns the entertainment industry. One of them being in equipment heavy high cost to the end user solutions, like buying a set up for the satellite dish used to be a cost preventative factor for the consumer wanting content. the blue ray and HD disk players will not be more long lived than the Beta tape players in the 80’s. Some of us remember the digital mini tape (as seen in Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”) But the point is people are already getting the majority of their entertainment from the web, and with new advancements in delivery and networking with products like ITV from mac you can run your output right to the big screen wireless.
    Unfortunately, the buffer kills the quality that experience at least in streaming video and there is no spontaneity in the download that takes four to six hours.
    But there are a few places you can get the ultimate viewing experience.
    New platforms for online streaming, DVD, and HD quality content.
    and they’re building one of them for the independent filmmaker.
    Somebody had to do it. I’m just reporting.

  1. February 20, 2008 at 9:39 pm

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