So a good friend of mine, who likes to goad me on to start ranting asked a question similar to this:
Just because a technology is ‘superior’ doesn’t mean it’ll win. Just look at BetaMax. Why is HD DVD any different?
Well, define ‘superior’. Back in the days of BetaMax versus VHS, ‘superior’ meant better picture, higher density tapes, smaller packaging. And it failed. Why? Because BetaMax tapes were more expensive as were the players and while they stored much higher quality video, they didn’t provide the ability to trade that fidelity for length of recording. VHS did and was cheaper… and that was history.
When it comes to HD video, my definition of superiority is one in which the players and the discs are cheap. My definition is one in which consumers like me get the option of Managed Copy. My definition is one in which the Interactive experience of the disc is SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT from what I get from standard definition.
And that last one is hugely important: People bitch about how "HD" doesn’t look that much different from today’s standard definition DVD’s, and that’s because they aren’t looking at the menuing, the extra features, the Internet-connected interactivity, and the additional capabilities that the new format provides.
Get it? IT’S NOT ABOUT STORAGE OR THE MEDIA CAPACITY. BluRayheads want you to believe that the BluRay’s purported 50GB/disc is relevant compared to HD DVD’s 30GB/disc, and it’s just not.
- If it were, wouldn’t BluRay discs look better than HD DVD discs? But they don’t. Just check http://www.highdefdigest.com. These folks are experts and they’ll tell you, "Meh – there’s no difference".
- If it were, you’d expect the extras on BluRay discs to be so much more bountiful and richer. But they’re not – to the contrary, HD DVD extra content and interactivity is always better and more plentiful. While some HD DVD discs are chock full of content and extra clips, its BluRay counterparts are often barren and virtually bereft of any additional content.
Just what are they planning on using all that extra space for anyway?
Take a look at the reviews of ‘Blood Diamond’ for HD DVD versus BluRay, and look at the ‘Extras’:
- HD DVD: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/602/blooddiamond.html
- BluRay: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/blooddiamond.html
…HD DVD has 4 stars for Extras; BluRay has 1 1/2 stars.
How about ‘300’? Again, take a look at the ‘Extras’:
- HD DVD: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/887/300.html
- BluRay: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/300.html
…3 stars for HD DVD, vs ZERO-NIL-NADA stars for BluRay.
Here’s a funnier one. Compare ‘Black Snake Moan’ and this time look at the Audio rating:
- HD DVD: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/868/blacksnakemoan.html
- BluRay: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/blacksnakemoan.html
…how does a format with greater storage somehow suck ass when it comes to recording audio?
Again – ‘Happy Feet’. Check out the Audio rating and the Extras rating:
- HD DVD: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/601/happyfeet.html
- BluRay: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/happyfeet.html
And again, even with it’s supposedly superior storage, the HD DVD version had better sound and more extras.
And yet again – ‘March of the Penguins’. Check out the Extras rating:
Blu-ray is the king of HD, nothing comes close (except HD DVD) but that flopped, downloaded/broadcast \’1080p HD content\’ is shit when compared to Blu-ray, I know I\’ve tried the lot, HD downloads, Sky HD, in fact nothing comes close to the quality of Blu-ray, except that other disc format mentioned.
re: "downloaded/broadcast \’1080p HD content\’ is shit when compared to Blu-ray"Ludicrous. I don\’t mean to be rude but your statement that you "tried the lot" simply tells me you don\’t necessarily have an eye for image quality.Let\’s start with the fact that the source material is identical for encoded streaming HD video (VC-1) & H.264. On-demand streamed content on Xbox, AT&T Uverse, and several other major on-demand providers worldwide is simply the old HD DVD content, again encoded in VC-1, reused for streaming. This is the same technology used that repeatedly trumped Blu-ray\’s H.264 encoded material in the Pepsi Challenge at such authorities as HighDefDigest.Even however if you ignore quality differences, the cost of the medium (players, discs, distribution) is really what will be Blu-ray\’s undoing. As bandwidth becomes more and more ubiquitious it\’s easily foreseeable a future in which individuals simply purchase or rent high definition content and are provided access to that content where ever they go, no matter what the receiving device is, be it mobile phone, Xbox 360, set-top box, or personal computer. All that needs to be done on the back end is an acknowledgement in a user\’s account that YES, that person has purchased the content and has the legal right to view it as they see fit.But returning back to the issue of quality, I just watched Dark Knight in HD last night while streaming on-demand and it was crystal clear with instant on/no caching. For good measure I threw in the media disc version just to calibrate my expectations and lo-and-behold, the color saturation was the same, the pixelation & artifacting was roughly the same, everything was the same. Except I paid 12.99 for the on-demand version. The disc was $29 and I\’ll probably watch it only 1 or 2 more times in my life.
Oops! I meant to say that I pased $2.99 for the on-demand version… not $12.99. Basically for $3 I got to watch it for 3 days and that\’s about all I need. If I were to rent 100 movies this year, it\’d cost be $300. I were to take that $100 and buy Blu-ray discs, I\’d get may be 10-12 movies. 10 movies… or 100 movies. 10? Or a 100? Unless you\’re going to watch those 10 movies over and over again, it\’s simply no contest.