Gollum: We wants a Blu Ray player.Smaegol: We doesn't needs one! We boughts a HD-DVD player.Gollum: Why did we buys one of those?Smaegol: Its was cheaper. Lots cheaper. And the articles says formatses doesn't matter, maybe all movies comes out in both formatses anyways. And lots of good filmses in HD-DVD! Matrix, Apollo 13, Being John Malk -Gollum: What formats is the Terminator?Smaegol: Blu Ray.Gollum: What formatses are all the Pixar filmses?Smaegol: Blu Ray.Gollum: What formatses are Memento, The Princess Bride, and The Usual Suspects?Smaegol: Blu Ray, Blu Ray, Blu Ray.Gollum: We wants those, doesn't we?Smaegol: But we already owns those on DVD!Gollum: We boughts lots of CDs of albums we hads on vinyl.Smaegol: Nots the same thing.Gollum: Woulds we buy a Blu Ray player for $200?Smaegol: <rolls eyes> Of course we woulds! But they costs $500 or more!Gollum: We wants to play Resistance and Ratchet and Clank 5, doesn't we?Smaegol: Yes we does, but Ratchet and Clank 5 isn't even outs yet. Besides, we pays $500 for a PS3.Gollum: Would we pays $200?Smaegol: Maybe...Gollum: We pays $200 to play games, and we pays $200 to watch Blu Ray, is $400.Smaegol: Never cared about Blu Ray before. Why we cares now?Gollum: We sees 1080i movies at Best Buy, remembers? And we watches 1080i on PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS. We likes what we sees, yessss?Smaegol: Yesssss....Gollum: So buys one!Smaegol: PS3s is $500, not $400.Gollum: Gets free movies with PS3, yesss? Amazon even throws in remote and extra movie.Smaegol: Bad, baaad movies! Not likes them.Gollum: How much we sells movies for on eBay?Smaegol: $10... $12... $15... $14... $17... $15... $83 altogethers.Gollum: So how much we pays for PS3s now?Smaegol: Um, $417?Gollum: Yesssss!Smaegol: This is wrong. Sssso wrong... - Smaegus.
I suspect "The Ring" would be your first blu-ray dvd purchase.Steve (who as a Sony shareholder thinks Gollum makes some excellent points)
Smaegol: Go away!!!
:-)If Smaegol would like some ammunition, maybe this will help?http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=22593Let's get right to it: how do Blu-ray discs look? To be blunt, the first couple of discs I watched looked like crap. No, I'm not kidding or exaggerating for effect; they look pretty bad. Among the titles that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment elected to launch the format with are The Fifth Element and House of Flying Daggers, two beautifully photographed movies that ought to make excellent showcases for High Definition video. Fifth Element in particular is often cited as a demonstration quality disc on standard DVD, so you'd expect it to pull the same duty here. Sadly, not so much. I'll go into more specifics in my individual reviews of the discs themselves, but for some reason Fifth Element was mastered from dirty, scratched-up film elements in much worse condition than their older Superbit DVD edition. Both titles, especially Flying Daggers are excessively filtered and compressed. Neither looks anywhere near as good as an average HD DVD release. The decision to encode the movies with MPEG2 compression on single-layer 25 gb discs also cluttered by space-hogging PCM audio has obviously resulted in a serious sacrifice of picture quality. Needless to say, this is a very bad start for the Blu-ray format.The next two discs I watched were The Terminator (from MGM) and Terminator 2 (from Lionsgate). Both were better than the Sony titles (especially T2, which isn't burdened with PCM audio), but they both still exhibit obvious digital compression flaws. The first Terminator I had trouble telling apart from its regular DVD edition, and even T2 looks at best like a mediocre HD DVD. Nothing I've seen so far has risen to the level of the better-class HD DVDs such as The Last Samurai, The Phantom of the Opera, or The Bourne Supremacy, all of which demonstrate nearly artifact-free video with amazing levels of detail and vibrancy. Blu-ray has certainly not put is best foot forward with these first releases.Given that there is currently only one Blu-ray player available, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how much of the disappointing video quality is the result of poor disc mastering and how much is actually the fault of poor decoding by the player, but it's worth noting that the BD-P1000 uses the same Broadcom decoder chip that has produced such excellent results in Toshiba's HD DVD players. Perhaps Blu-ray is more complicated to process or Samsung has not configured the chip correctly (the company isn't exactly known for making high quality DVD players), but if I had to speculate I'd be inclined to place most of the blame on the discs themselves. The technical limitations of these first discs are well known, and many of the problems seen are familiar MPEG2 artifacts the likes of which are found on many poorly-mastered DVDs.
If Smaegol would like some ammunition, maybe this will help?http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=22593That's a pretty darned interesting article. However, it appears from the same site that the Blu Ray discs have gotten a lot better. They're not using MPEG2 anymore, and at least some of the discs are 50 GB double-layer. I sorted the Blu Ray reviews on DVD Talk by score, and checked out the top-rated "Curse of the Black Pearl."There are no such problems to be found here, as this newly minted transfer, taken from the original digital intermediaries and color corrected for home video (as it's a different color space than film), is as flawless as its successor, Dead Man's Chest. The depth, clarity, and detail of this transfer is simply mind-boggling.[...]Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is a two-disc set, with the movie on a 50 GB Blu-ray disc and the supplements from the original DVD on a second 25 GB Blu-ray disc.http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=28215There are more "highly recommended" HD DVDs than Blu Ray discs on the site, but not by a lot. There's significant overlap between the "highly recommended" lists, with films like The Road Warrior making both.It was educational that the Terminator and Fifth Element Blu Ray discs aren't very good. - Gus
It was educational that the Terminator and Fifth Element Blu Ray discs aren't very good.The Fifth Element Blu-ray disc was pretty much an expensive DVD and didn't show any sign of high definition. Sony has since discontinued that issue and is rereleasing a new transfer of The Fifth Element this month. There is also a "replacement exchange program" for those unhappy customers who bought it back in 2006.http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Sony/Disc_Announcements/Disc_Re-Issues/Sony_Offers_New_Fifth_Element_Blu-ray_Remaster_and_Replacement_Exchange_Program_/705As well, here's 2 more reviews that simply gush over the clarity of detail with the recent PotC BD's:http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/piratesofthecaribbeancurse.htmlhttp://bluray.highdefdigest.com/piratesofthecaribbeandeadmanschest.htmlAnd some more Blu-ray reviews to look at (sorted by video quality):http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/reviews_video.htmlLooks like Kiss of the Dragon is another disc to completely avoid. ;-)Keith...
DUDE!!! I SO wish I could have rec'd that more than once, just for the creativity. You cracked me up!!
And some more Blu-ray reviews to look at (sorted by video quality):http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/reviews_video.htmlLooks like Kiss of the Dragon is another disc to completely avoid. ;-)It's one of the choices for the free movies, too. Figures!To be fair, only Species is on the as-bad-or-worse-than-5th-element level of visual quality among the other free movie choices. - Gus
Just don't bite off anyones finger to get one!nw
Be sure you read the reviews of the BluRay media before buying (some here have already been pointed out). From what I understand, the only truly impressive media out on BluRay so far has been Casino Royale and the 2 Pirates movies. Disney just announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring Disney movies in HD to the XBox 360 (though only 720p, not stunning 1080p as the XBox is capable of). We plan to watch Deja Vu Wednesday night on the 360 (will be the first time we rent a movie via the XBox, assuming we go through with it). I think it's simply a matter of time until you see the Pirates trilogy available there, and likely the Pixar films as well.Casino Royale, on the other hand, is MGM, which is Sony. Good luck seeing that one on the XBox 360 Marketplace any time soon.BTW, just this weekend I received the Matrix and Mission Impossible sets on HD-DVD, and they are wonderful. The Matrix discs also have Dolby True HD, making me lust for a new receiver to decode the improved sound. From what I read, the Dolby True HD track is more impressive than the upgraded 1080p picture quality.Foolish regards,Paul
it's hard to pinpoint exactly how much of the disappointing video quality is the result of poor disc mastering and how much is actually the fault of poor decoding by the player, but it's worth noting that the BD-P1000 uses the same Broadcom decoder chip that has produced such excellent results in Toshiba's HD DVD players. Perhaps Blu-ray is more complicated to process or Samsung has not configured the chip correctly (the company isn't exactly known for making high quality DVD players), but if I had to speculate I'd be inclined to place most of the blame on the discs themselves.After watching part of Casino Royale on Blu-Ray last night, I can safely say there is nothing wrong with the decoder.
We bought a new HDTV over a week ago and we went ahead and also bought a Sony BDP-300 blu ray player. I already have a PS 3 and a couple of movies for it, but the PS 3 is in our office and my wife cannot operate it. So, if I was going to get HD movies in the living room, I had to spring for the blu ray player. So far we have watched the blu-ray version of Black Hawk Down and several DVDs. I was amazed at the picture quality of both the blu-ray and the upconverted DVDs. The future is bright. Last night I picked up Casino Royale and plan to watch it this weekend.
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