* Posts by Josh

5 posts • joined 9 Jan 2008

Toshiba pitches HD DVD players as... DVD machines



Paragraph by paragraph comments

I am in no way affiliated with Toshiba and I do not own an HD DVD player or any other Toshiba product that I can think of. I have done a lot of looking into purchasing an HD player and to be honest I really believe for the consumer if the content was equal for both that HD DVD is superior. I did not hide that in my analysis, but my analysis is based upon as much information as I can find, not the fact that I like the color red better (I actually prefer blue).

I am not sure what you are referring to with Type 2 Discs. I haven't seen anything that references them. Unless you are referring to 3-layer disks. They will probably never be implemented they were just an attempt to negate the only advantage BR had (capacity) the 3-layer disk is 51GB. BR has talked about having more than 2-layer disks as well. Both BR and HD DVD physical disk specs were built with this possibility in mind (yes, we don't know whether or not it would require new reading hardware or not). I sincerely doubt that disks of this sort would ever be put out for the compatibility reason that you mentioned (but I could be wrong).

Again, I agree that I sound biased. What is the difference between biased and informed? I sincerely believe that HD DVD is the more consumer friendly/ready format. Here is another way that it is better. BR has higher royalties that HD DVD. How much? I don't know. Would it significantly change the cost of a movie? Probably not. (It would come more into play in the computing world (blank disks), but that is a completely different topic, so lets stay away from it.)

I really don't care who wins as well, but right now I can buy a fully functional HD DVD player for $200 (HD-A30). I probably will not be able to say the same about BR for another two years at the rate the prices are coming down. I actually disagree with your analysis of who has the most to lose. If HD DVD loses, the format dies and yes they are out a bunch of money. If BR were to die Sony must continue to produce BR disks. The number of disks made will still be proportionally small for just the PS3, which means that they may never get to reduce manufacturing costs for games down and end up losing developers, further hurting the relatively weak PS3 sales. Although I think the PS3 and BR will do alright. The only question is do we wind up with two video formats or does HD DVD die out?

My comment on DRM is very loaded and misplaced for this conversation. DRM is treating customers as thieves. I agree some protection should be there so it isn't incredibly simple, but in both BR and HD DVD when they make new disks they can make them unplayable by older recorders (what decrypt keys are allowed and not allowed). This is somewhat scary because they can cause your older player to be obsolete so you have to buy a new one, just because they say that your old one is insecure. I would assume they would only do this in rare occasions, but it is quite scary. It does however, show the need for the ability to update the programming (thus the network port works nicely for that, but downloadable disks work as well).


@ Anon, @Peter


I was correct in what I stated. First of all the formats are completely equal when it comes to PQ and SQ. They both support pretty much all the same codecs and stuff so the quality issues are how they are mastered. Now look at BR profile 2.0. It adds features such as mandatory storage, network connections, hardware for picture in picture, etc. HD DVD already has these. Also, initially BR Java or whatever it is called was broken (and still is on some players, needs profile 1.1 I think - although I could be wrong). So what can BR do that HD DVD can't? Hold more bits and that is pretty much it. It also has some major drawbacks like tougher encryption (I will give this as not a draw back as long as they don't kill your player's key so you can't watch new movies) and region coding (something I thought the Europeans would actually not like to have). The real issues is you cannot buy a fully functioning BR player yet so it is kind of sickening that they are going to win the format war. I haven't figured out how the extra push for BR happened, but if you walk into an electronics store here you will see BR players taking up most of the shelf space (not just because they are about twice the volume of the HD DVD ones - they haven't gotten smaller like the A3/A30/A35 have - again not a big deal but yet another way that HD DVD is better). However, if you look at the numbers of players sold there is a huge advantage for HD DVD. It was almost as if the retailers were hiding the drives. Now when I say this I am talking about standalone players, because the PS3 is found in another section of the store entirely.


Go look at the BR support sites and you will see tons of posts like yours. They forget one thing. HD content is typically recorded at 24FPS. 1080i can effectively handle 30FPS and 1080p 60FPS. How does the p help you over i? I am not saying it isn't good future proofing, but I find the push for 1080p rather humorous because at least here in the states there is no source for 1080p content. HD that you can get your hands on is 720p, 1080i, or 1080p24 (<1080i).


I am going to reiterate the most important points to me. You don't want to buy a BR player because it really isn't consumer friendly (not up to newest spec, region coding, and all our customers are thieves DRM + extra layer of protection for shits and giggles) and is expensive. You do not want to buy HD DVD, because the cheapest model is 1080i (ignorant reason), going to lose the war of content providers (very good reason), smaller disc capacity (I'm too lazy to swap discs), and has all our customers are thieves DRM as well. At the outset of the format war it seems to me that the choice that was best for the consumer was HD DVD. Now that the content providers have pretty much chosen BR that obviously cannot be true.


Remember much of this is aimed at the US market

The A3 is now MSRP $150 and you can find it cheaper. The A30 is $200 and the A35 is $300. Now one of my friends two months ago jumped on the A3 for this exact reason (he knows it isn't the greatest player in the world). He got the A3 for $200 and it came with 7 free movies. Now factor in an equivalent upscaling dvd player is around $100 and that means he payed $15 a piece for 7 movies. Not the absolute greatest deal because he didn't get to pick all the movies, but he actually liked all of them, so it worked out for him. Now do the same thing and the movies are now $7 a piece and that is a good deal. I am debating whether or not to jump on this. It is sad that HD DVD seems to be losing as their stuff is superior in spec to bluray in every possible way (for the consumer) except for storage space (which to me doesn't matter - i can handle swapping disks). With profile 2.0 bluray will equal HD DVD finally, but I will probably take another two years to get a player that is regularly at the $200 price point. The thing that makes me sickest is that the current batch of bluray players won't be upgradeable to 2.0 and thus the bluray group gives a big f you to those early adopters who are their best supporters. It still stands that now is not the right time to buy a HD player. HD DVD is losing and bluray players are already obsolete.


There needs to be a dirty laundry icon here.

US-Iranian naval clash: Radio trolls probably to blame


Get your facts straight

The admission that they didn't know for sure who was on the radio came out either the same day or the next day after the report was made. The very first article I read about the situation contained this information. The issue at hand was less what was said over the radio, but more the supposed actions in the water, including dropping boxes in front of a ship. Then the used what was heard over the radio a supporting evidence why it was so dangerous to be making the maneuvers in the water that they were. Now, I have not watched the video, nor am I familiar with typical maritime dealings, so I cannot comment on whether or not the Navy made too big of a deal out of this or not.

LG shows gadget based on next-gen Intel UMPC chip


LG and the US

LG doesn't sell computers in the US, thus they probably won't be selling this either.


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