HD Theater and Widescreen Review

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    HD Theater and Widescreen Review

    I'm having a hard time embracing the idea that the new HD Theater VHS tapes are the next hot item in home theater, so I am a little put off by Widescreen Review's outright endorsement of the new format. I know that a lot of people with high definition tvs want compatible software, but in my opinion it should be disc based, not tape based. Another side of me is intrigued that high definition movies are finally going to be available to we home cinema fans. I know that once I see it I am going to want it, and putting out something like $3000. Cdn for the JVC player is not too smart a move for me right now. I'm telling myself to hold off. Maybe the DVD folk will pull out all the stops and go for high definition on disc, come hell or high water.
    Anyone else thinking like me ?




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  • Burke Strickland
    Moderator
    • Sep 2001
    • 3161

    #2
    George -- I agree. Although I still have several working tape players in four different formats (Beta, VHS, S-VHS, Hi8 and I'm not even counting MiniDV which I can plug in via the camera) :>) in my system, the last thing I want right now is another tape-based medium. Disc is the only way I'll even consider recordable HD. (That would include hard disc, of course, like an HD-Tivo in addition to HD-DVD.)

    Burke

    What you DON'T say may be held against you...

    Comment

    • JonMarsh
      Mad Max Moderator
      • Aug 2000
      • 15209

      #3
      Yeah, but you know, JVC is gotta love this, it gives them some more income off their VHS patents, and the studios gotta love this, with all the copy protection built in, and the fact that there's nothing you can plug into a computer and get the bits off the tape in any form. Disks just don't look secure enough for them.

      And a tape will probably play at least 20 to 30 times without problems, they probably figure that's more than enough.

      Let's not discuss the point that you can't take an OTA recording you make on your DVHS at your house, and carry it over to a friends to watch on his big projection system; you'd have to take over the whole player.

      I'd like to have a disk recorder/player with similar capbilities, but like Burke, I'd never buy another tape machine.

      The new fascists are the media companies. Maybe that's why I've been buying more indie produced music lately.

      Regards,

      Jon




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      Comment

      • Andrew Pratt
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 16507

        #4
        I agree you'd have a hard time convincing me to buy into VHS of any kind again...it would be like going back to cassette tapes...shudders at the thought




        Comment

        • David Meek
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 8938

          #5
          No kidding. Storage for VHS? Yuck. I don't care if it's HD or not, unless it's a long-life optical disc-based system or a new-technology equivalent, I'm not interested. 20-30 replays? For what we'll have to pay? Nope. I'll wait on blue-lasers, or maybe someone will come up with an HD/TIVO hack - I know, it's just wishful thinking.




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          Comment

          • Bob
            Senior Member
            • Jul 2000
            • 802

            #6
            Boy, this sure is sounding familiar. I wish we could resurrect some of the HT threads from a few years ago when DVD's first showed up and those of us with LDs quickly saw how inferior the sound was and were disapointed that a smaller disc was being used with compressed sound instead of keeping the larger size so that the sound wasn't compressed. But, the manufacturers were right that it would be easier to sell a CD size disc to the public. DVD's were meant to replace VHS and the "movie buff" that was concerned about quality wasn't the average consumer that was being targeted.
            As well as DVD's have done, most people still use VHS and won't care if HD first arrives in a tape format. They will only care about the price of the player and the Blockbuster rental price. If the players are priced about the same as DVD players and VHS players and the studios choose to release their movies in that format and no longer in DVD format our protests will be as useful as our protests against putting out DVDs on small discs.
            Can't help but be pessimistic having seen this battle before.

            Comment

            • JonMarsh
              Mad Max Moderator
              • Aug 2000
              • 15209

              #7
              Well, the available players are *well* over 1K- think two plus, and the tapes are going to be priced in the $30 to $40 area, MSRP.

              JVC et al. say this is aimed at the high end HT crowd, not at the "DVD mass market"; (that's as near a verbatum recollection as I can recall from a recent PR piece on DVHS.

              Reports from people I trust is that the picture quality is quite good, 99% of the time, but there were occasional audio and visual glitches that may be due to either teething problems with the hardware, or tape dropouts. They've got to be doing a heck of a lot of redundant encoding to put this down on tape reliably.

              This is not a J6P Blockbuster type of product- not by pricing, and not by the controls (on usage) built in. OTA recordings are locked to the recorder they're made on for playback.

              -Jon




              Earth First!
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              Resistance is not futile, it is Volts divided by Amperes...
              Just ask Mr. Ohm....

              Comment

              • Bob
                Senior Member
                • Jul 2000
                • 802

                #8
                Widescreen Reveiw is going to have a demo of HD VHS at their theater in S. CA. for the first 75 people to sign up at their website. If it was meant to replace DVDs I could understand people becoming upset. However, I beleive that it is meant for the movie buff that wants the best video and sound available. Much like LDs were for the people that weren't satisfied with VHS.
                Having never seen or heard a consumer grade player I can't comment on them myself. I have seen lots of HD tape using commercial players and in screening rooms. Looks terrific, but screening rooms don't give much thought to sound so don't know how good the audio is. If this is indeed meant for the people who really love movies maybe they will issue some of the classic films that were available on LDs but never released on DVDs. One of the most quoted movies of all time is Sunset Blvd. and it has never come out on DVD. My biggest complaint with the DVD format has been that, like VHS, it's main thrust has been pop movies.

                Comment

                • George Bellefontaine
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jan 2001
                  • 7637

                  #9
                  When LD came out and replaced tape, it was adopted by people like us. Then DVD comes along and replaces LD and the picture was better so we adopted DVD. Now back to tape to replace DVD just does not make sense. They have the capabilities for HD DVD and that's where we should be going, not back to tape.




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                  Comment

                  • Bob
                    Senior Member
                    • Jul 2000
                    • 802

                    #10
                    Just curious, if HD can be done with better sound and picture on tape than on a disc, which medium would the members of this forum prefer?
                    Can a HD movie be squeezed onto a DVD size disc without comprimising either sound or picture?

                    Comment

                    • rlabarge
                      Member
                      • Jan 2001
                      • 67

                      #11
                      We can fit about 30 minutes of HD onto a single layer, single side DVD disc, or about an hour on a dual layer disc. Enough for some good demonstrations, but not enough for a feature film.

                      The next version of the DVD specification will change the optics to use a blue laser, which will quadruple the capacity of each type of disc, and thus allow us to store full length HD versions of feature films.

                      The HD on DigitalS tape products are interesting, but since tape is a linear medium you wont have any interactive menus, or special features available.




                      Ralph LaBarge
                      Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                      Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                      rlabarge@alphadvd.com
                      Ralph LaBarge
                      Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                      Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                      rlabarge@alphadvd.com

                      Comment

                      • George Bellefontaine
                        Moderator Emeritus
                        • Jan 2001
                        • 7637

                        #12
                        Ralph,
                        Now that a HD Tape format has been introduced, will that speed up the HD DVD process ? Disk is my preferred format. I would really have a hard time going back to tape. I have some VHS movies that are 16 or 17 years old in my tape collection and they aren't fit to play because of dropouts.




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                        Comment

                        • Sonnie Parker
                          • Jan 2002
                          • 2858

                          #13
                          Another yuck here too! This sounds like a nightmare. No way VHS tapes will ever last to the age of what a disk can anyway. I don't understand the philosophy. And for what the players cost, are there really people out there that will spend the money? Maybe so..... but not me! I haven't used my VCR in so long I've been thinking of removing it from my rack. It's pretty much wasted space.

                          :a>'> to VHS






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                          Comment

                          • Bob
                            Senior Member
                            • Jul 2000
                            • 802

                            #14
                            Ralph,
                            With the blue laser ability to increase capacity, is there any trade off in sound and video. I am guessing that for video the answer is no but, are we talking even worst sound quality than todays DVDs, about the same quality, or improved quality?
                            Would we be better off using the blue laser but also increasing the diameter of the disc? For myself, if tape is better quality I don't care that it is linear. Longevity is another matter. Wouldn't want a medium that lasts only a few years even if it is better quality. As far as extras go, many people like them and a second disc may have to be the answer. Personally I never watch them but, working in the movie business for over 30 years means that the info on the extras is usually information I already know.

                            Comment

                            • Westly197
                              Junior Member
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 23

                              #15
                              I also hate tapes and have never invested in them (not even cassette tapes). That being said, there is currently nothing ready on disk and the near future disk concepts have several issues. I've reserved a space at the DVHS demo they're putting on June 8 because they're only about 30 minutes away from me, just to see how good it is. I think this technology will be fairly short lived, only until something else comes along.




                              - Wes

                              My Home Theater
                              - Wes

                              My Home Theater

                              Comment

                              • rlabarge
                                Member
                                • Jan 2001
                                • 67

                                #16
                                Going to a blue laser allows us to store about four times more data in the same square inch of plastic than an infrared laser. This will allow title developers to increase the video quality from CCIR-601 to HD. You could also use the extra room to store audio in a lossless form, such as linear PCM or Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP). Or you could use the extra room to store lots more content.

                                Essentially blue laser technology allows us to store more bits on a 120mm piece of plastic. It is up to the title developers to decide to use that extra capacity to deliver better quality, or just more of the same quality.

                                I think within 2 years we will see consumer HD-DVD players on the market. They will be backwards comaptible with DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, CD-Audio, SACD, and probably lots of other formats.

                                The DigitalS format is interesting, but it is still a tape format, now matter how good the quality is. Tapes will degrade over time, depending on how many times they are played, and are also linear, which is a big limitation compared to a random access technology like DVD.




                                Ralph LaBarge
                                Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                                Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                                rlabarge@alphadvd.com
                                Ralph LaBarge
                                Managing Partner, Alpha DVD
                                Author, "DVD Authoring & Production"
                                rlabarge@alphadvd.com

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