Beyond "Beyond High Definition"?

There have been a lot of reviews of the new Blu-ray discs recently... and none of them are positive. Again and again and again and again, reviewers are dinging Blu-ray on the high-priced player, low-quality picture, and missing special features versus the Toshiba HD DVD player and the ~30 amazing titles released so far.

The other day I was at Best Buy where I got to see xXx (Sony; Blu-ray) running a couple if isles away from Batman Begins (Warner; HD DVD). The difference in picture quality was like night and day, with xXx looking very muddy whilst Batman Begins looked almost too good to be true. Anyone who sees these two formats side-by-side would pick HD DVD as the clear winner in picture quality, and it's half the price to boot! 🙂

There's a lot of talk about 1080i vs 1080p, but the reality is that you probably only have a 1080i display (in which case, 'p' doesn't buy you anything) or you have a 1080p display that reconstructs the 'i' back into 'p' in real-time. Remember that film is only 24 frames a second, so whether you are sending 30 full frames (30p) or 60 half-frames (30i) you've still got more than enough information to reconstruct the full progressive image. All the source pixels are on the disc, and all the source pixels are sent to the display; the only practical difference is that 'p' has better marketing behind it than 'i'. In fact, the way that film frames are converted to TV frames means that the hardware ends up throwing away 6 frames (12 fields) per second anyway! There's more than enough information coming down the pipe.

When one of the best things a reviewer can say about the first Blu-ray player is that it has Pretty blue lights on the front (versus HD DVD's "Great high definition picture"), you've got to wonder if when they took the 'e' out of "Blue-ray" they should have replaced it with an 'r'.

I guess that means HD DVD is "Beyond 'Beyond High Definition'"... to Highest Definition? 🙂

Comments (5)

  1. Jim Ley says:

    Who kidnapped Peter?  why’s some marketing bod writing here?

  2. ptorr says:

    Dear Mr. Ley,

    We object to your use of the term "kidnapped" to describe Mr. Torr’s temporary relocation to a small wooden crate under the stairs.

    He will be allowed to return to blogging just as soon as the world recognises the clear superiority of the HD DVD format.


    The Marketing Bods

  3. Stephen Hopkinson says:

    I’m afraid ptorr seems to have very little idea what he’s talking about. No difference between 30p and 30i? Sure, if what he says about 30i being 60 half frames is true. But it ISN’T. 30i is 30 half-frames, giving you half the resolution of 30p.

  4. ptorr says:

    Stephen, thanks for the comment. Do you have a reference to back up your claim?

    30 fields a second would be called "15i" since it would only be 15 full frames a second. See, for example, see the definition of NTSC in Wikipedia — 30fps with 60 fields:

  5. Seems not everyone believes me when I say that for filmed content (24fps), 30i gives the same end result…

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