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HD DVD: The LOOK and SOUND of PERFECT

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30th July 2006 8:39  #1

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
HD DVD: The LOOK and SOUND of PERFECT
I thought that it would be useful to create a thread for the exchange of information regarding this new high definition format. If you are considering the purchase of a Toshiba or RCA HD DVD player this thread can be a place to exchange information or to get feedback from people that have made an early choice. If you are a Blu-Ray supporter, start another thread. Don't use this thread as a forum for argument.

I purchased my Toshiba HD A1 at the beginning of July with luke warm expectations. I bought it to see what all the fuss was about. I figured I was gonna box it up and return it within a few days. Well, it never got back in the box. Although the initial feedback on the two Toshiba players was rather negative, firmware updates and stellar customer service from Toshiba have helped to work out thse early "bugs." Toshiba's HD A1 is an incredible bargain at $499.00. It produces impeccable, almost 3-D images with crystal clear sound that in many respects surpasses the theater experience. The HD-A1 also is a terrific upconversion DVD player and improves the visual quality of my SD DVDs. I have been watching some of these first offerings from Warner, Universal and Paramount in absolute awe. The marketing blitz for the fourth quarter started with the introduction of the official HD DVD website called The Look and Sound of Perfect. The releases keep coming every week and an incredible number of "A" titles will be making their way to a retailer near you in the months approaching the holiday season. If you are considering a purchase, but it now. In my travels to Fry's Electronics and Best Buy, I have found that the players don't sit on the shelf very long and software sales are already exceeding expectations. Amazon has not been able to fill pre-orders in a timely fashion and was just forced to remove some of Paramounts offerings from the site. Here is a list of what the studios have not officially announced but intend to release. There are other titles that were rumored at Comic Con that have not been confirmed. But this is one hell of a list to start:


• 12 Monkeys (Universal)
• The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Universal)
• 2001: A Space Odyssey (Warner)
• Alexander (Warner)
• American Pie (Unrated) (Universal)
• An American Werewolf in London (Universal)
• Angels in America (HBO)
• Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (New Line)
• The Aviator (Universal)
• Band of Brothers (HBO)
• Batman Begins (Warner)
• Black Rain (Paramount)
• Blade (New Line)
• Blade Runner (Warner)
• The Blues Brothers(Universal)
• Braveheart (Paramount)
• The Breakfast Club (Universal)
• Casino (Universal)
• Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Warner)
• A Clockwork Orange (Warner)
• Conan the Barbarian (Universal)
• Contact (Warner)
• The Corpse Bride (Warner)
• Dante's Peak (Universal)
• Dark City (New Line)
• Deadwood: Season One (HBO)
• The Deer Hunter (Universal)
• Derailed (Weinstein Co.)
• The Dirty Dozen (Warner)
• The Dirty Harry Collection (Warner)
• Dune (1985) (Universal)
• Elizabethtown (Paramount)
• Eraser (Warner)
• Executive Decision (Warner)
• Eyes Wide Shut (Warner)
• Field of Dreams (Universal)
• Final Destination (New Line)
• Forbidden Planet (Warner)
• Forrest Gump (Paramount)
• From the Earth to the Moon (HBO)
• Ghost (Paramount)
• Gothika (Warner)
• Grand Prix (Warner)
• Grease (Paramount)
• The Green Mile (Warner)
• Hard to Kill (Warner)
• Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Warner)
• Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner)
• Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner)
• Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner)
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Universal)
• Hulk (Universal)
• King Kong (2005) (Universal)
• The Libertine (Weinstein Co.)
• The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (New Line)
• Lucky Number Slevin (Weinstein Co.)
• The Maltese Falcon (Warner)
• The Mask (New Line)
• The Matador (Weinstein Co.)
• The Matrix (Warner)
• The Matrix Reloaded (Warner)
• The Matrix Revolutions (Warner)
• Maverick (Warner)
• Meet the Parents (Universal)
• Miami Vice (2006) (Universal)
• Mission: Impossible (Paramount)
• Mission: Impossible 2 (Paramount)
• Mission: Impossible 3 (Paramount)
• Mrs. Henderson Presents (Weinstein Co.)
• The Mummy (Universal)
• The Music Man (Warner)
• Mutiny on the Bounty (Warner)
• Mystic River (Warner)
• Next of Kin (Warner)
• North by Northwest (Warner)
• Ocean's Eleven (Warner)
• Ocean's Twelve (Warner)
• Out of Sight (Universal)
• Passenger 57 (Warner)
• Passion of the Clerks (Weinstein Co.)
• The Player (New Line)
• The Polar Express (Warner)
• Red Planet (Warner)
• Rush Hour (New Line)
• Save the Last Dance (Paramount)
• School of Rock (Paramount)
• The Scorpion King (Universal)
• Se7en (New Line)
• The Shawshank Redemption (Warner)
• The Shining (1980) (Warner)
• Slither (Universal)
• The Sopranos: Season One (HBO)
• Spartacus (Universal)
• Spawn (New Line)
• Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie (Paramount)
• Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount)
• Star Trek: The Ultimate Movie Collection
• Superman Returns (Warner)
• Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition (Warner)
• Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Warner)
• The Thing (1982) (Universal)
• TransAmerica (Weinstein Co.)
• Troy (Warner)
• Twister (Warner)
• The Ultimate Star Trek Collection (Paramount)
• Under Siege (Warner)
• Unleashed (Universal)
• U.S. Marshals (Warner)
• Vanilla Sky (Paramount)
• Waterworld (Universal)
• Wild Wild West (Warner)
• Wolf Creek (Weinstein Co.)
• You, Me & Dupree (Universal)
• Young Hannibal (Weinstein Co.)

30th July 2006 16:39  #2

scottmck Contributor Join Date: April 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 393
If I buy an HD-DVD player, how much of a cut do you get?

30th July 2006 17:55  #3

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
LOL Well Scott, nothing unfortunately. But I continue to be impressed with every HD DVD title I have watched. When a couple of skeptical friends came over to watch "Phantom of the Opera" they were blown away. The intricate detail in the costumes and the color just pops off the screen. I can only imagine what the next generation will bring because this film looks pretty damn close to a 3-D presentation.  I am sure you guys are familiar with film archivist Robert A Harris. He regularly contributes to Home Theater Forum and The Digital Bits. His enthusiasm for the film-like quality of the initial HD DVD releases has been pretty consistant. Seriously, if you don't wanna get obsessed about your home theater again, don't buy an HD DVD player. The difference is nearly as startling as VHS to DVD …and I never thought I would say that. It wasn't too long ago that I stated in a DVD Active thread that I might never buy into a high definition format. Well, never say never.

30th July 2006 22:49  #4

Director7 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 290
Wow, I don't believe a word you say. It just seems a little too professional and detailed, it's like me saying "Hey guys, eat at Applebees, what with they're savory steaks and mouth watering fries and ice cold beverages, you'll want to even take grand-pa.

My point is when someone talk about something they don't sound like that, the way you talk sounds scripted. Not like you enjoy HD-DVD but that you go to a DVD Forum and try to sway people to a format your biast towards for whatever reason, may you get paid, maybe your the biggest/well spoken fan ever.....who knows, who cares.......jackass.......

30th July 2006 23:57  #5

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,113 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
He's been watching the Truman Show. But yeah, another HD fanboy post from Aaron.

31st July 2006 4:10  #6

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Another HD fanboy post from Aaron? How many have there been, Chris? If you would prefer I didn't post or try to convey information or personal experience with the hardware and software that this website is supposedly highlighting, you should have banned me permanently. I didn't attack any competing format and yet you and the other editors allowed member abuse. My initial post was meant to begin meaningful discussion about this new format that many feel has delivered extremely well on the promise of high definition. And as for Director7, I could try and sound as completely ignorant as you, however, I'll take the higher ground since your stupidity is clearly on display for everyone else to see.

31st July 2006 4:29  #7

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,113 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Three by my count. It was intended as a gentle rib, much like your Blu-ray comment in Gabe's review. Perhaps if you sounded more like an enthusiast and less like a sales rep people wouldn't draw those conclusions. I thought you'd left for good anyway?

Director7, I missed your comment as I didn't read the entirety of your post the first time. Personal attacks against other forum members contravene the site's AUP. There's no need of it, and repeated violation of the rules will result in a ban.

31st July 2006 4:43  #8

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Director7 wrote: Wow, I don't believe a word you say. It just seems a little too professional and detailed, it's like me saying "Hey guys, eat at Applebees, what with they're savory steaks and mouth watering fries and ice cold beverages, you'll want to even take grand-pa.

My point is when someone talk about something they don't sound like that, the way you talk sounds scripted. Not like you enjoy HD-DVD but that you go to a DVD Forum and try to sway people to a format your biast towards for whatever reason, may you get paid, maybe your the biggest/well spoken fan ever.....who knows, who cares.......jackass.......


I'm sorry for my superior education and writing skills I never mean to offend the intellectually deprived. I guess you are a simple-minded idiot. Is this how you prefer I talk?  If you don't believe me, you can mosey on over to Home Theater Forum or try this website: AVSForum or any other number of websites (if you know how to research on a computer)

Quotes from film archivist Robert A Harris:

A few words about... Sleepy Hollow -- in High Definition

…Sleepy Hollow magnificently represents the brilliant cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki in a home theater format.

While a terrific piece of entertainment on all counts, it is Mr. Lubezki's work, which looks akin to the three-strip Technicolor productions of the 1930s and early 1940s, which still used the silver key image to both add contrast, control the black level and tone down color, which is also a star of this film. To the best of my knowledge, the process was last used by John Huston in Moby Dick (1956).

There isn't a great deal more that needs to be said here.

Paramount has hit the ball out of the park with Sleepy Hollow. If the point to be achieved is to replicate the look of the film, they have done it to perfection.

On a purely graphics driven note, I also feel that Paramount has the best looking package design, with the jacket broken down into three parts, all elegantly against a silver background, as well as the graphic design of the actual disc, which has the printed area beautifully offset against a surrounding silver border, emblazoned with the words "Paramount High Definition."

While some have recently wondered what has been becoming of Paramount Home Video, that particular question has now be answered.

Paramount, as the third studio to join the ranks of the HD supporters, has not only hit the ground running, but has served up one of their first films to absolute perfection!

Extremely Highly Recommended.

I cannot wait to see what the later releases, based upon DIs look like.

Stay Tuned.

RAH

A few words about... Sahara -- in High Definition

…you'll find Paramount's HD DVD of the film to be beautifully rendered. There is little to be added to my previous comments concerning Paramount's initial four productions released in the format.

If one is gauging the look of HD on a basis of 10, this DVD must receive a full score.

On a 100+" inch screen it appears to be projected film. There's no greater compliment that I can pay. Sahara is great fun, and its presentation on HD DVD is as perfect as the format gets.

Once again, my hat is off to Paramount for joining the competition at full tilt. All technical operations at the studio, like those at Warner and Universal are running on all 12 cylinders.

A few words about... Sky Captain... in High Defintion
I've gone directly from viewing Paramount's Sahara to their HD release of Sky Captain...

I loved this film when initially released in Standard Def, and at that time wondered what HD could or would add to the mix.

Now I have my answer.

As a totally digital production, Sky Captain has a slightly soft velvety look to the entire production.

But the differences between the SD and HD are enormous.

Blacks now stand out in high relief from the rest of the image, while the softened flesh tones and backgrounds move from slightly enhanced on SD to highly detailed in HD, with more shadow detail then one might imagine.

All in all, the image takes on a cohesive quality, that once again...

looks like a cinematic projected digitally rendered image.

While I have yet to get a chance to view Tomb Raider, I suspect that Paramount's technical acumen and professionalism will also shine in that HD disc.

I try very hard not to play favorites, and applaud each and every disc that arrives from the now three HD releasing studios. While Paramont has taken an extra few months to hit the streets with product, they have proven to be of the same excellant quality that we've been seeing from the top releases from Warner and Universal.

Paramount is playing for keeps in the HD market, and once again, they should be applauded for delivering absolutely stunning HD product.

The film, as well as the HD DVD come Very Highly Recommended.

RAH

I wasn't gonna comment on Blu-Ray at all so that this thread wouldn't degenerate into name calling and argument.

31st July 2006 4:51  #9

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,113 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
I haven't shown any bias Aaron, I missed his comment the first time around. He has now been warned. So much for you 'taking the high road' though, eh? Personally I'd have preferred it if you'd stuck to your guns and moved onto 'other areas of interest' permanently, but we don't always get what we want.

31st July 2006 4:55  #10

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
That's so true. I'm not exactly sure what I have done to deserve your venom other than having an opinion that sometimes differs from yours. Are you that thin skinned? And I did end up taking the high road. You happened to read as I was editing my "emotional" comment.

31st July 2006 5:06  #11

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
If you believe in something and are genuinely impressed, you can sometimes sound like a salesman. I own my own business, so that quality must exist as a personal talent or I would not be enjoying this level of success in life.

31st July 2006 5:19  #12

Jersey Jedi Member Join Date: August 2004 Location: United States Posts: 714
Both formats are completly unecessary and will never achive mainstream success. The future of film is not on Disk, it's through downloading. Plus, the difference between HD and regular DVD is not nearly as significant a jump as VHS to DVD was.

31st July 2006 5:21  #13

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Which one do you own? And are you always quick to make such an uneducated statement? You couldn't be more wrong. But that was obvious by your signature.

31st July 2006 5:28  #14

Director7 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 290
Whoa whoa whoa, first off I gave to possibilities, either well spoken (honestly talking about something you like), or just trying to sale something you prefer. Both of those scenarios are my opinions based on what you wrote. As far as my level of education I wont boast about what I own or my experience with the English language to see who knows how to use bigger words, since I have nothing to prove to a complete stranger who thinks he's somehow superior because of his linguistic skills.

And Chris I may have been out of line for the 'jackass' but I think my opinion of his original post should stand as my 'opinion'. Although I think I was right about it because of the way the man reacts and goes all baby-ish because someone didn't agree with his take on HD-DVD. I seen no high ground taken, only bragging about what he's accomplished (which isn't much) to boost his ego.

On subject HD-DVD is too soon, regular DVD's do me and I'm sure most of other consumers just fine for now. Plus the $40.00 price tag isn't helping.




P.S. --- Leave the guy alone, watching Family Guy doesn't make someone less educated, plus he has a point. How many music downloading programs are out there now, music is thru downloading and movies will make it's way there too.

And Chris I doesn't this clown qualify as attacking other members?

31st July 2006 5:42  #15

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Matt, the scenario was similar when DVD was first launched. If software sales for HD DVD continue to out pace Blu-Ray (and I agree that that's a big "if") I have no doubt that other studios will do as Warner has done and release software for both formats. So far, Warner, Paramount, Universal, The Weinstein Company, HBO, and New Line are aboard. By the end of 2006 there will be a ton of titles available on HD DVD. Unfortunately, LG has abandoned the dual format idea and that's too bad. What I am reading about the Samsung Blu-Ray player is not good. There may be a problem with a chip that may need serviced replacement. In addition, the compression codec used for the first Blu-Ray titles have produced very soft images. In addition, the initial title offerings are just plain awful. Things may improve ifor Blu-Ray in the fourth quarter as Pioneer and others introduce their players and Sony introduces the PS3. But again I am reading that there are some manufacturing problems with the PS3. Sony along with its studio supporters are banking on its success to put the Blu-Ray technology out front. I'm not at all convinced that there will be much overlap. I don't know anyone with a decent home theater that uses a game system to play their movies. But things could change. I just see scenario as being similar to their PSP strategy. As far as HD DVD's success, Toshiba needs more than RCA to produce players if demand continues to grow for the HD DVD or consumers WILL go elsewhere or nowhere at all.

31st July 2006 6:23  #16

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,113 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Aaron Schneiderman wrote: If you believe in something and are genuinely impressed, you can sometimes sound like a salesman. I own my own business, so that quality must exist as a personal talent or I would not be enjoying this level of success in life.

And there you have the reason for my 'venom', as you put it. The last time you were here you arrogantly proclaimed that you'd post what you liked and to hell with the consequences. You present yourself as someone with a superior intellect and profess to be above petty arguments in one post, yet in the next you're calling people stupid because they don't use $5 words or have differing political views to your own.

Director7, I have an obligation to warn people who abuse other members. Had you left the 'jackass' comment out of your post I wouldn't have taken issue with it.

31st July 2006 6:58  #17

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,457 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
I'm gonna be honest and say that I don't at all like the idea of repurchasing my DVD collection, but that I know I will even if I can't afford it some 2 or 3 years down the road.

I've also got to say that I can't beleive Wolf Creek could possible look that much better. The UK DVD I have is the closest thing to perfect I've seen in a low budget DVD release.

I resent the misleading set ups they've got in most Best Buys that split the screen to show the viewer DVD VS HDVD. I know that HDDVD is the crisper format, but they really make the DVD side look like s**t. It's a form of false advritising, and unnessisary in the end as the real thing could still speak for itself.

31st July 2006 7:34  #18

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Gabe, honestly, I do not work for Toshiba and I haven't been hired as a shill for the HD-DVD camp. I bought the damn thing on a whim cause I thought I would see for myself. As I said earlier, I fully expected to box the thing up after viewing a couple of discs. There is a huge difference between my standard DVDs and the ones I re-purchased in HD DVD. HUGE DIFFERENCE. If you look at an earlier thread from last year I think I was in agreement that there simply was no need for another format and that DVD was good enough. I don't even have a newer HDTV. My Hitachi has a DVI input...no HDMI but I tell you the picture can nearly bring tears to your eyes. I am so convinced that I have put all the standard DVDs that are planned for release on Ebay. I even parted with the Limited Editions of Jarhead and Cinderella Man. The HD DVD versions are just so much better that it didn't even phase me to sell them. Hey, I realize that not everyone is gonna do what I did, but I am just trying to spread the word that this is phenomenal through personal experience not hear-say.

31st July 2006 7:42  #19

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
Chris Gould wrote: Aaron Schneiderman wrote: If you believe in something and are genuinely impressed, you can sometimes sound like a salesman. I own my own business, so that quality must exist as a personal talent or I would not be enjoying this level of success in life.

And there you have the reason for my 'venom', as you put it. The last time you were here you arrogantly proclaimed that you'd post what you liked and to hell with the consequences. You present yourself as someone with a superior intellect and profess to be above petty arguments in one post, yet in the next you're calling people stupid because they don't use $5 words or have differing political views to your own.

Director7, I have an obligation to warn people who abuse other members. Had you left the 'jackass' comment out of your post I wouldn't have taken issue with it.


If you were a brighter fellow you would know that I use the ridiculous to highlight the truly ridiculous. thanks for your help.

31st July 2006 14:42  #20

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Khan 'Aaron Schneiderman' Singh. "I'm sorry for my superior education and writing skills I never mean to offend the intellectually deprived".

James T.Kirk "Khan? I'm laughing at the superior intellect".

Happy

31st July 2006 19:30  #21

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
A Star trek analogy… LOL Could you be any more of a geek?

31st July 2006 19:54  #22

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Glad you recognized it. Live long and prosper.

31st July 2006 19:58  #23

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,457 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Aaron Schneiderman wrote: Gabe, honestly, I do not work for Toshiba and I haven't been hired as a shill for the HD-DVD camp.

Oh, I wasn't accusing, that post was my take on the whole thing. Honestly I hope HD wins this whole "format wars" thing, but mostly because I'm not a fan of Sony or monopolies these days. I do think the technology speaks for itself and would care to hear more about your opinions on other matters, because I'm already crystal on this one. Wink

31st July 2006 23:06  #24

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
I started this thread with nothing but good intentions of a thoughtful discussion about one of the new high def formats. Whenever I haver posted I try to raise the level of discussion about digital media,  The editors of this website have demonstrated their desire to have comments that rise to the intelligence of "love that cover," "I'll skip this one," "I'll be picking this one up,"  "another double dip," blah blah blah. It is laughable and pathetic. I was not the person that injected juvenile comments and verbal attacks. I simply responded as I always do to a verbal or personal attack. But since there is an obvious distaste for my contributions here I will give Gould his wish. You can sleep well tonight.

31st July 2006 23:35  #25

RodRescueman Member Join Date: July 2006 Location: United States Posts: 10
Internet win, Aaron!

1st August 2006 1:29  #26

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,113 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Aaron Schneiderman wrote: If you were a brighter fellow you would know that I use the ridiculous to highlight the truly ridiculous. thanks for your help.

Well that was an entirely predictable response. Bye bye.

1st August 2006 2:37  #27

Jersey Jedi Member Join Date: August 2004 Location: United States Posts: 714
Jersey Jedi wrote: Both formats are completly unecessary and will never achive mainstream success. The future of film is not on Disk, it's through downloading. Plus, the difference between HD and regular DVD is not nearly as significant a jump as VHS to DVD was.

Aaron Schneiderman wrote: Which one do you own? And are you always quick to make such an uneducated statement? You couldn't be more wrong. But that was obvious by your signature.

Aaron Schneiderman wrote: I started this thread with nothing but good intentions of a thoughtful discussion about one of the new high def formats.

Uh-huh...

"OW! My....Pride....."
Te, He, He


























(That was a Family Guy Quote by the way)

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