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Apple TV Take 2 review (part 2): HD Movie Comparisons - Page 2

post #41 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post

solipsism, I agree. But should we let AppleInsider get to the point where we must always evaluate the validity and bias of the author's article?

Journalists abide by a Code of Ethics. The section on "Seek Truth and Report It" says "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error." These aren't ethics just for the Wall Street Journal. These are ethics for all journalists.

From the replies to this article so far, it looks like there's more than a little misinformation.

I think that you are making way too much of this. Let us stipulate that AI has a pro-Apple bias. That is a non-issue for most of the people that subscribe to or read it.

I think that the "?" against the vudu.com statistic was obvious, in context, to most people (including me): It simply signaled "we're not sure."

As to some of the other data being "misinformation," c'mon - that's an overstatement. If it is wrong, it will be (and is) often pointed out. Understand that no one can get everything right, and if one used that as the standard, few forums such as this would exist. My strong view is that it is foolish to read only an article without digesting the comments as well. Typically I learn as much, if not more, from the comments than the article itself, which I often view as a context-setter for a set of additions, subtractions, insights, and corrections that follow.

To make such strong attributions as you are to AI's motives is also not terribly ethical, in my view.
post #42 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

second problem is, PS3 "Movie Library Size" is shown as "350." what does that mean? obviously the Netflix library that one can utilize with the PS3 is huge, the biggest of all, over 10,000.

Also, all the other hardware list SD movies under "Movie Library Size". Why omit the SD movies for PS3 only? Maybe they didn't know PS3 plays DVD's also?
post #43 of 98
Good points...

Quote:
second problem is, PS3 "Movie Library Size" is shown as "350." what does that mean? obviously the Netflix library that one can utilize with the PS3 is huge, the biggest of all, over 10,000.

There are currently about 350 Blu-ray movies released, which is where that number came from. Obviously, since the PS3 can play (and up-convert to 1080p) DVDs, it has access to a much larger non-HD library. And since the quality of AppleTV HD appears to be similar to up-converted DVDs, it's hard to say what comparison is fair but the 10,000 figure for PS3 is probably more accurate for a practical comparison.
post #44 of 98
Frequently I bash AI articles, especially ones that parrot "analysts", or those that make dubious extrapolations about the numbers supplied by iSuppli.

However, this article is excellently done! It attempts to do what few others have, to actually quantify and compare the various products/services currently available. Not an easy thing to do considering that they all take drastically different approaches to getting movies into the living room. Everything is similar but not directly comparable... required hardware investment, convenience, fee-structure, and quality of product.

I've gone the PS3 + TVersity + Torrents + Netflix route. Its nice, but nowhere near the ideal I can imagine. Thus, articles like these are a good chance to see another person's analysis.

Thanks for directly comparing them all!
(At least as much as is possible that is.)
post #45 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Frequently I bash AI articles, especially ones that parrot "analysts", or those that make dubious extrapolations about the numbers supplied by iSuppli.

However, this article is excellently done! It attempts to do what few others have, to actually quantify and compare the various products/services currently available. Not an easy thing to do considering that they all take drastically different approaches to getting movies into the living room. Everything is similar but not directly comparable... required hardware investment, convenience, fee-structure, and quality of product.

I've gone the PS3 + TVersity + Torrents + Netflix route. Its nice, but nowhere near the ideal I can imagine. Thus, articles like these are a good chance to see another person's analysis.

Thanks for directly comparing them all!
(At least as much as is possible that is.)

I share the same sentiments, in spades! Nice work, AI!
post #46 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacojohn View Post

I saw the new Apple TV update at MacWorld showing Transformers in HD and I thought it looked great.

I'm no videofile though...

I updated my ATV 1.1 to version 2 last night. My first purchase is HD Transformers. I haven't seen the movie yet but the trailer looked awesome. I'll watch it tonight or tomorrow after work on my Sony 1080p Bravia HDTV, can't wait! Now I need to upgrade my DSL from 1.5 mbps to 7 mbps, hmm.
post #47 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

There are currently about 350 Blu-ray movies released, which is where that number came from. Obviously, since the PS3 can play (and up-convert to 1080p) DVDs, it has access to a much larger non-HD library. And since the quality of AppleTV HD appears to be similar to up-converted DVDs, it's hard to say what comparison is fair but the 10,000 figure for PS3 is probably more accurate for a practical comparison.

The Engadget list shows 444 Blu-Ray releases, not including 32 Paramount Blu-Rays that were discontinued. It's not saying much, but more is being released than I can reasonably keep up with with Netflix.

10,000 what? If it includes DVDs, the number has to be over 100k. Netflix claims to have a library of 90k titles.
post #48 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post

First time poster to AppleInsider. <ding, ding!>

I love the rumors and speculation that come here. So much of it actually comes true, which is amazing. But I have noticed that there is quite a bit of bias, that is well misinformed. Sometimes, I find the misinformation to be downright unethical.

The data in this post on the AppleTV HD Take2 is only partially correct, and adds skepticism, much like a politician would. For example, to put a question mark for Vudu's native format says it's not really 1920x1080. Or maybe it's just saying that the author really didn't know, and such shouldn't be writing about products they aren't familiar with. Either way, it's not ethical journalism. As well, citing that HD-DVD is already dead is a far reach. The battle of HD-DVD/Bluray market dominance has been going on longer than Beta/VHS did.

For all intents and purposes, AppleTV is a single-feature product. Not like Tivo and PlayStation, which are category-leaders in DVR and Game Console. I, like you, would like to see AppleTV become a category leader in Downloadable Movie Rentals. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple's products, but please save the bias for the sales force at the Apple store.

FWIW - I own an iMac, MacBook Pro, AppleTV, Tivo, and original Xbox.

Well, Vudu doesn't even have contracts for all the content they have claimed to have, so it's tough to say if they will even be around much longer.

Hd-DVD is dead. If you don't understand that, then you haven't been following the news. There is no way Toshiba can make a comeback. Shortly, no one will be carrying their product, and it's pretty difficult to sell without vendors.

The ATv does much more than downloading rental movies. Ther has been plenty written about it. Read some of it.

Oh, and not everyone plays games.
post #49 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I think that you are making way too much of this. Let us stipulate that AI has a pro-Apple bias. That is a non-issue for most of the people that subscribe to or read it.

I think that the "?" against the vudu.com statistic was obvious, in context, to most people (including me): It simply signaled "we're not sure."

As to some of the other data being "misinformation," c'mon - that's an overstatement. If it is wrong, it will be (and is) often pointed out. Understand that no one can get everything right, and if one used that as the standard, few forums such as this would exist. My strong view is that it is foolish to read only an article without digesting the comments as well. Typically I learn as much, if not more, from the comments than the article itself, which I often view as a context-setter for a set of additions, subtractions, insights, and corrections that follow.

To make such strong attributions as you are to AI's motives is also not terribly ethical, in my view.

Sorry, but the huge bias is pretty blatantly obvious pretty quickly. Take this gem from the "review:"

Quote:
Well over a hundred million people use iTunes with the iPod, while TiVo, Vudo, and the Xbox 360 combined only add up in the low tens of millions.

Convenient how the author fails to sort out that a huge number of that population can't make use of iTunes movie rentals since they don't own the current generation iPod Nano, iPod Classic, iPod Touch or iPhone. Last generation iPod Nano owners can't watch video at all and 5th gen iPods are locked out of rentals. And how many of that hundred million are iPod Shuffle owners?

The author seems oblivious to the fact that Amazon Unbox videos work on Plays For Sure video devices and skips over the fact the TiVo is also a DVR and those recordings can be moved over to a PC/Mac and converted for mobile playback.

Or the wording in the table about PC playback for Blu-Ray/HD DVD: "With Onerous DRM..." I'm not sure what makes it onerous. How is it any more onerous than Apple's Fairplay which restricts playback to 5 computers and provides no way to share the media? I can take a Blu-Ray or HD DVD to any other suitably equipped PC or player and play the disc without issue? Can the same be said of that iTunes file? No.

Heck even the price listed for DVD's seems intended to mislead. $15? I guess the author doesn't get out much because it's not hard to find them going for a lot less than $15 whereas no iTunes movie purchase will cost you less than $10. And as others have mentioned, the chart lists the PS3's library as 350 BD and ignores the thousands of DVDs it can also play (likewise for the 360).

Other errors in the chart:
  • Excluding noting that both TiVo and Xbox 360 can do wireless G (albeit with an optional adapter).
  • Ignoring the PS3's internet capabilities which gives it access to free SD content with the web including YouTube.
  • Ignoring t he PS3 and 360's streaming abilities means they have access to the same podcasts available via iTunes.

Sigh, maybe I should just stop reading Roughly Drafted....oh, wait, this ISN'T Roughly Drafted. Sadly, it has become hard to tell the difference lately.
post #50 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

But full of errors...

HD DVD has a native resolution of 1080p as well

I think the point he was making was that the lowest priced HD-DVD players only output 1080i.
post #51 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

..... just a videophile!

Good one!
post #52 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Sorry, but the huge bias is pretty blatantly obvious pretty quickly.

I beg to differ. This is perhaps the best and least bias comparison i've seen yet.

Hell, I have a PS3 and far prefer it to the AppleTV. Yet I still don't feel the author was biased toward the AppleTV.

There certainly are details missing from the article. But that is more a result of the situation being extremely extremely complicated. If there really was an obvious way to deliver this content, then everyone would be jumping all over it. If there really were an obviously superior product, it would be borne out by sails figures.

Yet none of the consumer electronics manufacturers, nor the content industry, have succeeded yet. Each of the offerings has shortcomings... Hence the value of articles like these, despite the fact that they may not necessarily stress the features or tradeoffs that you personally consider paramount.
post #53 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamDu View Post

To me, the speed of streaming the video and the differences between the Vendors trying to catch up to Apple are not as important as the final experience as reflected in the picture quality and resolution of the final product.

The statement that 720p is as good as 1080p below 50" is a matter of opinion and
a function of the viewers eyesight. I strongly disagree even with my 76 year old eyes.

Personally, I have noted a significantly superior resolution all the way down to the 32" 1080p
Sharp Aquos compared to the 720p Sharp or any other 720p set. 720p is fine but 1080p is GREAT, even at that size. If you can't tell the difference below 50", check with your optometrist.

If 1080p wasn't better, Sharp wouldn't make them, and their monopoly at 32" shouldn't last long - I hope.

Thus far I have been unable to find any other 32" set providing 1080p, but am waiting to see if Samsung brings one out this year, because of the greater selection of interface connections and very intelligent user remote capabilities on most Samsungs.

We have a 40" 1080p Samsung and a 23" 720p Samsung gaming set, both of which are excellent quality. The 23" has Playstation 3 and digital Comcast cable HDMI inputs, component DVD, and a Mac Pro PC input and is able to recognize which inputs are on and available, ignoring non-operating devices when cycling with the "Source" button on the remote.

I can't ask for more than that just now and am hoping for a Samsung 32" 1080p with the same sensibility this spring when the new year products usually appear. I hope Samsung is listening!

We also have a 26" 720p Sharp Aquos which is a fine product but marginally less friendly on the remote capabilities. It has a problem with setting picture size on individual inputs and does not
ignore non-functional source inputs - but a great picture.

I'm waiting for some more clarity in the streaming issues shakeout before going beyond our very pleasant high speed Comcast cable feeding digital TV, Internet to our three networked Macs and Playstation 3/BluRay and DVD inputs. One can only handle so much input. Somewhere you have to decide,
"This is enough".

Last month, I replaced my Hp 65" DLP with a new Samsung 61" DLP with LED Light Engine. This is a 1080p model.

It's pretty easy to see the difference between 1080i and 720p. Though the set upscales everything to 1080p, of course, the difference is obvious.
post #54 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I think the point he was making was that the lowest priced HD-DVD players only output 1080i.

Where did he make this point? The reviewer should've made this distinction known, rather than suggest 720p as the native resolution.
post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I stand corrected about Apple TV HD vs. Cable HD. (Although since I have FiOS, it would be interesting to see a comparison to that.)

However, despite the prose descriptions to the contrary, the images pretty clearly show that AppleTV HD is much closer to upconverted DVD than to Blu-ray HD.

You can never have the same quality as Blue-ray HD, common sense. You will never get the quality of 40+ GB in a 2~4 GB movie. However, Apple made a step in the right direction. Maybe if few years when at least 10 mbps internet connection become more common and cheaper we can see better quality online HD movies (My internet connection is 10 mbps). For now, Apple TV looks pretty much the best choice for online movie rental.
post #56 of 98
Interesting article, but the many many inaccuracies make it hard to take it too seriously. Bias is one thing, but at least get the facts right.

"The market for HD discs turned out to be so small that the two rival formats couldn't coexist."

That's a very odd spin to put on the situation. Two rival formats NEVER coexist, one or both die out eventually. And the small sales of HD formats is largely *because* of the format war, not the other way around - people are afraid of buying the losing format. Now that the format war is over, expect sales to pick up for the winner. Also, sales for any new format generally start out slow because the players are expensive. As prices drop, sales will go way up - that's what happened with CD and DVD, why would it be any different with blu-ray?

"For users who watch occasional movies up to a couple films a week, Apple TV is among the cheapest options even considering the upfront cost of buying the hardware."

Simply not true. Netflix has cheaper plans for people who watch fewer movies - at every level, Netflix is cheaper. Not to mention that aTV is competing against plain old DVD as well (not really discussed), which has a tiny upfront cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scavanger View Post

For a casual user (i.e. the guy who thinks up converted crap is HD) it will do fine, but I would tend to argue that if you are spending fairly high sums of money on HDTVs, Amps, Speakers, etc... why not get the superior optical disc, that includes the HD Sound codecs as well.

That's what you'd think, but pretty much all the people I know with HDTV are watching dvd and other SD content on it. Seems pointless, but there it is. I'll bet if you compare sales numbers for HD screens and HD disc players, there's a huge gap, probably the same thing with HD/SD cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

NetFlix has multiple subscription plans, each catered to different viewing needs. For instance,
2 Per Month should correspond to 1 at-a-time (2 a month) plan, which costs $4.99 a month ($59.88 per year).
2 Per Week should correspond to 2 at-a-time (unlimited) plan, which costs $13.99 a month ($167.88 per year).

Bingo. It's pretty ridiculous to say that 2 per month costs $200 on netflix when it's really $60. At pretty much any level, netflix beats aTV on price. aTV has other advantages, but price isn't one of them.

So does AI make corrections on their articles when mistakes are pointed out? This article could sure use some.
post #57 of 98
Okay.... I have both PS3 and Apple TV (I got the AppleTV first by 3 months).

With that out of the way, PS3 does have access to free content! I have downloaded 3 HD trailers for free. Sony's Playstation Network does not cost a thing to connect to. Besides HD trailers, I have downloaded a couple full, complete games and a lot plenty of demo games. You guys need to separate out the Podcasts from free content.

I have a 56" Samsung that can accept 1080p signals and decode them. So for me, the difference between a Blu-Ray movie and upscaled DVD's is by miles. I have rented one iTunes HD movie but haven't watched it yet. What I'm hoping for is better picture and sound quality than my Cable HD service can provide.
post #58 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyInFlorida View Post

Okay.... I have both PS3 and Apple TV (I got the AppleTV first by 3 months).

With that out of the way, PS3 does have access to free content! I have downloaded 3 HD trailers for free. Sony's Playstation Network does not cost a thing to connect to. Besides HD trailers, I have downloaded a couple full, complete games and a lot plenty of demo games. You guys need to separate out the Podcasts from free content.

I have a 56" Samsung that can accept 1080p signals and decode them. So for me, the difference between a Blu-Ray movie and upscaled DVD's is by miles. I have rented one iTunes HD movie but haven't watched it yet. What I'm hoping for is better picture and sound quality than my Cable HD service can provide.

But podcasts are free content.

Let us know how the movie looks at 56" that should be a tough test

McD
Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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post #59 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post

Of course Betamax had 100% in 1975. You can only have 100% dominance when there are no other competitors -- this is implied! When VHS was introduced in 1976, it only took a couple years to become the new dominant player. VHS overthrew a giant! There was only a short while when both were at 50% market share. Both Bluray and HD-DVD came on the scene around the same time, with neither being the market leader to date.

Why was the VHS/Betamax format war not over until SONY finally release a VHS machine in 1988? Because Sony made Betamax? Does that mean that if theoretically, the Zune somehow attains 75% market share, Microsoft wouldn't be the dominant player until Apple made a Zune?

I think he's saying the release a Sony VHS player was a final admission of defeat as opposed to part of the battle stats.

& HD-DVD not dead? Funny, for someone who advocates expression of truth you don't seem to recognise it when it slaps you in the face

McD
Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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post #60 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I stand corrected about Apple TV HD vs. Cable HD. (Although since I have FiOS, it would be interesting to see a comparison to that.)

However, despite the prose descriptions to the contrary, the images pretty clearly show that AppleTV HD is much closer to upconverted DVD than to Blu-ray HD.

well... DUH HUH!!!!

Anyone that expects ANY on-demand deliverable video service to provide image quality comparable to a virtually un-compressed media (Blu-ray) is living in fantasy land. It's totally impractical to expect such. There is no available "pipe" big enough to deliver Blu-ray level video/audio on-demand... it would take a solid day to download to your machine.

Now, with that behind us - I can say that the AppleTV HD video experience betters any other similar service I have at my disposal. It BLOWS AWAY cable on-demand "HD" material that is so hyper compressed it's nearly unwatchable. Whatever Apple has done with regards to compression technology is quite impressive.

I watched Matrix Revolution on my 42" Panasonic Plasma last night and it bettered standard DVD, and on-demand cable HD, and broadcast cable HD... and not by a short margin mind you.
post #61 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Where did he make this point? The reviewer should've made this distinction known, rather than suggest 720p as the native resolution.

You're correct in that he should have stated what most people looking into these formats already know, but others don't. Actually, after reading the entire article again, I see that he never actually mentioned HD-DVD's quality in that way at all. We were assuming he did. He just mentioned the HD disk formats as having the highest quality, and left it at that, until he went on to compare BD to the downloads, and the cable feeds. He never suggested that HD-DVD was 720p at all, as far as I can see.
post #62 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

HD HDVD and Blu-ray are not even 2 years old!!!.



Ooops TeckStud,

If you're going to criticize someone elses' facts, better get yours right. HDDVD and Blu-Ray not even 2 years old????

First Sony DVR-Blue prototypes appeared 8 years ago in 2000, name changed to Blu-Ray in 2002. First Sony consumer units appeared in stores April 10, 2003. Sony and Toshiba began meeting 3 years ago in 2005 to try and work out a single format agreement... That didn't work.

Also, the VHS/Beta war ended way before Sony made their first VHS unit. The loser can be obvious without changing sides.

Jim
post #63 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

You can never have the same quality as Blue-ray HD, common sense. You will never get the quality of 40+ GB in a 2~4 GB movie. However, Apple made a step in the right direction. Maybe if few years when at least 10 mbps internet connection become more common and cheaper we can see better quality online HD movies (My internet connection is 10 mbps). For now, Apple TV looks pretty much the best choice for online movie rental.

Eventually, but not that far out, Verison intends to take FIOS to 150Mbs. Beyond that, they have plans to go to 1Gbs.

I have no doubt that as the backbone gets faster, which will happen with Cisco's new switches and routers, we will get these speeds. Once storage at Akamai, and others, gets much bigger as well, they will be able to store, and serve these much bigger files.

At that time, we won't be as concerned about compression artifacts on our 100" OLED screens.

how many people here remember when Real started to send music over the internet at a max of 64Kbs? It was amazing that it could be done at the time, as most had dialup.

Now, we grouse about Hi Def movies.

Patience, patience!

It will happen, we just have to give it time.
post #64 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamDu View Post

Personally, I have noted a significantly superior resolution all the way down to the 32" 1080p

Unless you tell us how far you are sitting from the TV, this is absolutely useless testimony. And if you are sitting more than about 7 or so feet from that 32" TV, I'm throwing the BS flag. And if you are sitting between 4-7 feet, you are seeing better than 720, but not full 1080.

It doesn't have to do with how "good" your eyesight is. Assuming you are seeing 20/20 (focusing accuracy), there is still a limit to the resolution the human eye can see. There are only so many rods and cones (the light sensing cells) in your retina. And no matter how much vitamin A you take, everyone has more or less the same density. Saying you can see a higher resolution image than that is like saying you can take a 4 megapixel photo with a 2 megapixel camera.

So, with that out of the way, is your 1080p a better image quality than the 720p. Probably. But not because of the increased resolution (sitting 7 feet from your 32" TV). If you are watching a 1080p signal, you are likely watching blu-ray. And as the article clearly states, the true advantage of blu-ray is bandwidth. For any given resolution, the extra bandwidth allow more accurate color, less color banding, smother motion, etc. If you look at the screen shots, you not only see sharpness differences but also color differences. And like others have already posted, if you were to see motion, you'd likely see motion artifacts as well.

Is blu-ray superior? Definitely! But unless you have a large screen or are sitting very, very close, don't try to tell me it's the resolution. It's much more due to those other aspects. Trying to assess image quality based purely on one measure (resolution) is as foolish as voting for President based on their position on a single issue rather than their overall platform (hmm, perhaps that's not the best analogy to use with my fellow Americans )

Apple has made a good compromise here. I'd much rather have a high quality 720p movie than an overly compressed 1080p movie as would be required to make downloading practical. Most (note, I said "most," not "all") people would gain little in resolution benefit in exchange for losing a lot in overall picture quality.

One final note, I agree with others that the article is very biased towards Apple. However, as long as you take it in open minded, it's still useful information to help educate us all on our options.
post #65 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjp View Post

Ooops TeckStud,

If you're going to criticize someone elses' facts, better get yours right. HDDVD and Blu-Ray not even 2 years old????

First Sony DVR-Blue prototypes appeared 8 years ago in 2000, name changed to Blu-Ray in 2002. First Sony consumer units appeared in stores April 10, 2003. Sony and Toshiba began meeting 3 years ago in 2005 to try and work out a single format agreement... That didn't work.

Also, the VHS/Beta war ended way before Sony made their first VHS unit. The loser can be obvious without changing sides.

Jim

The meaning has to be clarified. One could refer to the blue laser technlogy, when the name was trademarked, when the first players were announced, when the first players were for sale, when the first commercial titles were released, etc.. None of this happened at the same time, and depending on your POV the answer may be different and you both may be correct.
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post #66 of 98
I think the next 2 years will be very interesting. Despite Amazon, Vudu etc offering downloadable movies, I think Apple and the Apple TV Take 2/iTunes system has validated the market and will now allow downloads vs. High Def discs to play out.

CDs quickly overwhelmed and ended vinyl records reign because of the dramatic (orders of magnitude) increase in quality, durability, and convenience. No technically superior medium has beat CDs (Super SACD, DVD-audio, etc) beause... CDs were good enough.

DVD's even MORE quickly overwhelmed VHS for the same reasons: dramatic improvement in quality, durability, convenience.

HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are technically superior, but not THAT much better than upscaling DVDs. The fact that Sony and Toshiba let a battle ensue for 5 critical years has allowed download technology to catch up.... potentially enough.

Blu-Ray is technically superior... but download is VERY convenient and pretty darn good. Blu-ray just might not be able to overcome this new threat.

In 2 years, we'll know.

Jim
post #67 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Unless you tell us how far you are sitting from the TV, this is absolutely useless testimony. And if you are sitting more than about 7 or so feet from that 32" TV, I'm throwing the BS flag. And if you are sitting between 4-7 feet, you are seeing better than 720, but not full 1080.

It doesn't have to do with how "good" your eyesight is. Assuming you are seeing 20/20 (focusing accuracy), there is still a limit to the resolution the human eye can see. There are only so many rods and cones (the light sensing cells) in your retina. And no matter how much vitamin A you take, everyone has more or less the same density. Saying you can see a higher resolution image than that is like saying you can take a 4 megapixel photo with a 2 megapixel camera.

So, with that out of the way, is your 1080p a better image quality than the 720p. Probably. But not because of the increased resolution (sitting 7 feet from your 32" TV). If you are watching a 1080p signal, you are likely watching blu-ray. And as the article clearly states, the true advantage of blu-ray is bandwidth. For any given resolution, the extra bandwidth allow more accurate color, less color banding, smother motion, etc. If you look at the screen shots, you not only see sharpness differences but also color differences. And like others have already posted, if you were to see motion, you'd likely see motion artifacts as well.

Is blu-ray superior? Definitely! But unless you have a large screen or are sitting very, very close, don't try to tell me it's the resolution. It's much more due to those other aspects. Trying to assess image quality based purely on one measure (resolution) is as foolish as voting for President based on their position on a single issue rather than their overall platform (hmm, perhaps that's not the best analogy to use with my fellow Americans )

Apple has made a good compromise here. I'd much rather have a high quality 720p movie than an overly compressed 1080p movie as would be required to make downloading practical. Most (note, I said "most," not "all") people would gain little in resolution benefit in exchange for losing a lot in overall picture quality.

One final note, I agree with others that the article is very biased towards Apple. However, as long as you take it in open minded, it's still useful information to help educate us all on our options.

When we get into these disputes, I like to put my friends website up as a link. He's well known in the industry, and has much good info on his site:

http://www.carltonbale.com/

This goes directly to the rez, size, and seating distance charts. I print them out back to back on one sheet, and give them out. Very useful:

http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/
post #68 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Eventually, but not that far out, Verison intends to take FIOS to 150Mbs. Beyond that, they have plans to go to 1Gbs.

But Verizon is only in a very limited market, and how long did it take them to get even that far?

You are lucky if you can get it. I can't. The best DSL I can get is advertised as 3 mbps, but I'm lucky to get 1.5 - 2. I could get cable up to about 5-6 (advertised), but at a cost 3x my DSL.

Not that it would stop me from upgrading the cable modem, I could afford it if I wanted to. But those of you in FIOS-land are very, very much in the minority.
post #69 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The meaning hasn't to be clarified. Once could refer to the blue laser technlogy, when the name was trademarked, when the first players were announced, when the first players were for sale, when the first commercial titles were released for it. None of this happened at the same time and depending on your POV the answer may be different and you both may be correct.

Good point.
post #70 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When we get into these disputes, I like to put my friends website up as a link. He's well known in the industry, and has much good info on his site:

http://www.carltonbale.com/

This goes directly to the rez, size, and seating distance charts. I print them out back to back on one sheet, and give them out. Very useful:

http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/

Yup, that's the one. I've used it before, too. Just didn't have the link handy when I posted. Thanks for providing the reference!
post #71 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

But Verizon is only in a very limited market, and how long did it take them to get even that far?

You are lucky if you can get it. I can't. The best DSL I can get is advertised as 3 mbps, but I'm lucky to get 1.5 - 2. I could get cable up to about 5-6 (advertised), but at a cost 3x my DSL.

Not that it would stop me from upgrading the cable modem, I could afford it if I wanted to. But those of you in FIOS-land are very, very much in the minority.

Very true, but that's where capitalism comes in. Right now, ATT has been advertising that their fiber is as good as Verison's. But, it's not. ATT's fiber only goes to the neighborhood, and then is copper all the rest of the way. FIOS is fiber to the home, and has about four times the bandwidth.

But, what ATT hasn't been publicizing, is that they do have fiber to the home in new neighborhoods, where they have to lay cable the entire way anyway. Eventually, they will have to compete with Verison. Between the two, they can sign up about 85% of all households, and you just know that the rest must follow, or go out of business.

This is why I said to have patience. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. In five years, far more people will have fiber than do now, and in ten, most people will be covered.

Look at how long it took for 90% of people on the net to get broadband! It just now hit that number.
post #72 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Yup, that's the one. I've used it before, too. Just didn't have the link handy when I posted. Thanks for providing the reference!

I'm often amazed when people tell me that they have a 42" hi def set, sit 15 feet away, and insist that they see 1080p, or even 720p. They sure don't! Hell, they barely see 480p!
post #73 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The meaning has to be clarified. One could refer to the blue laser technlogy, when the name was trademarked, when the first players were announced, when the first players were for sale, when the first commercial titles were released, etc.. None of this happened at the same time, and depending on your POV the answer may be different and you both may be correct.

Something to backup what I am saying...

According to Wikipedia:

• The first DVR Blue prototypes were unveiled at the CEATEC exhibition in October 2000
• February 2002, the project was officially announced as Blu-ray
• The first consumer devices were in stores on April 10, 2003. This device was the Sony BDZ-S77; a BD-RE recorder that was only made available in Japan. The recommended price was US$3800. However, there was no standard for pre-recorded video (BD-ROM) and no movies were released for this player. The Blu-ray Disc standard was still years away
• The Blu-ray Disc physical specifications were finished in 2004
• The BD-ROM specifications were finalized in early 2006
• The first BD-ROM players were shipped in the middle of June 2006, though HD DVD players beat them in the race to the market by a few months

The first Blu-ray Disc titles were released on June 20, 2006.
• The first mass-market Blu-ray rewritable drive for the PC was the BWU-100A, released by Sony on July 18, 2006
• The earliest releases used MPEG-2 video compression, the same method used on DVDs. The first releases using the newer VC-1 and AVC codecs were introduced in September 2006
• The first movies using dual layer discs (50 GB) were introduced in October 2006 For me, Blu-ray is less that 2 years old because the first titles are less than 2 years old. Id est, my only real world interest in Blu-ray is to watch Hollywood films.

PS: If you want see what makes 1080p look like iPod Nano resolution check out the image at the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_H...finition_Video
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post #74 of 98
[QUOTE=solipsism;1215495]
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The meaning has to be clarified. One could refer to the blue laser technlogy, when the name was trademarked, when the first players were announced, when the first players were for sale, when the first commercial titles were released, etc.. None of this happened at the same time, and depending on your POV the answer may be different and you both may be correct.

Sol, you must be tired, why did you post this part of your other post, again?

Ah, I see.
post #75 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Sol, you must be tired, why did you post this part of your other post, again?

Sorry, hit the wrong button. Took a while to hunt down the Blu-ray timeline I researched a few days back.
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post #76 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Sorry, hit the wrong button. Took a while to hunt down the Blu-ray timeline I researched a few days back.

You're lucky you found it at all.
post #77 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post

Of course Betamax had 100% in 1975. You can only have 100% dominance when there are no other competitors -- this is implied! When VHS was introduced in 1976, it only took a couple years to become the new dominant player. VHS overthrew a giant! There was only a short while when both were at 50% market share. Both Bluray and HD-DVD came on the scene around the same time, with neither being the market leader to date.

Why was the VHS/Betamax format war not over until SONY finally release a VHS machine in 1988? Because Sony made Betamax? Does that mean that if theoretically, the Zune somehow attains 75% market share, Microsoft wouldn't be the dominant player until Apple made a Zune?

Ha ha, your facts are certainly wrong when you ignore the fact that it wasn't a war between two formats. It seems that Americans (again) don't know history. V2000 anyone?
post #78 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyfoote View Post

Of course Betamax had 100% in 1975. You can only have 100% dominance when there are no other competitors -- this is implied! When VHS was introduced in 1976, it only took a couple years to become the new dominant player. VHS overthrew a giant! There was only a short while when both were at 50% market share. Both Bluray and HD-DVD came on the scene around the same time, with neither being the market leader to date.

Why was the VHS/Betamax format war not over until SONY finally release a VHS machine in 1988? Because Sony made Betamax? Does that mean that if theoretically, the Zune somehow attains 75% market share, Microsoft wouldn't be the dominant player until Apple made a Zune?

Dude- you're flat out wrong. Here's your exact quote: "The battle of HD-DVD/Bluray market dominance has been going on longer than Beta/VHS did."
Know your facts.

1.)The HD format battle has been less than 2 years. Even if I use your dates, 1975-1980 is 4 years- duh!-End of story. I am now leery of any more figures you post.
post #79 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjp View Post

Ooops TeckStud,

If you're going to criticize someone elses' facts, better get yours right. HDDVD and Blu-Ray not even 2 years old????

First Sony DVR-Blue prototypes appeared 8 years ago in 2000, name changed to Blu-Ray in 2002. First Sony consumer units appeared in stores April 10, 2003. Sony and Toshiba began meeting 3 years ago in 2005 to try and work out a single format agreement... That didn't work.

Also, the VHS/Beta war ended way before Sony made their first VHS unit. The loser can be obvious without changing sides.

Jim

Hello? By 2 years old I mean by when units were released to the public. Any 5 year old could figure that out. By your reasoning I'm sure Beta was under R&D since the 1960's which still wins my argument.
post #80 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I beg to differ. This is perhaps the best and least bias comparison i've seen yet.

Hell, I have a PS3 and far prefer it to the AppleTV. Yet I still don't feel the author was biased toward the AppleTV.

There certainly are details missing from the article. But that is more a result of the situation being extremely extremely complicated. If there really was an obvious way to deliver this content, then everyone would be jumping all over it. If there really were an obviously superior product, it would be borne out by sails figures.

Yet none of the consumer electronics manufacturers, nor the content industry, have succeeded yet. Each of the offerings has shortcomings... Hence the value of articles like these, despite the fact that they may not necessarily stress the features or tradeoffs that you personally consider paramount.

Sorry, but to me it's clear the missing details were missed not by accident but to mislead and put the AppleTV in a better light. If you're going to put together a table like the one in this article, you should get all the facts straight and present all of the relevant facts. The PS3, TiVo, and 360 can all do the same streaming functionality that the AppleTV allows and also perform a variety of other functions that the AppleTV currently does not allow yet all of that was left out. And all of these features have a direct bearing on the importance of price.

Likewise, as I mentioned, just the very wording of items in the table is an attack on the AppleTV competitors. For example, in the "HD Death Format" row, the AppleTV is "unlikely" whereas Vudu is "running scared" and even Blu-Ray only gets a "less likely" (which I assume puts it behind the AppleTV). Or the "bargain bin" comments in the HD DVD comment; As a PS3/Blu-Ray owner, I eagerly await HD DVD's official death but I have yet to see a single HD DVD disc sitting in a bargain bin at ANY retailer. And again the "onerous DRM" that Blu-Ray and HD DVD require for PC playback. It's odd because on a PC capable of Blu-Ray playback, I can pretty much guarantee it would be easier to play one of those discs than an iTunes video file (especially if you have already authorized 5 computers, you won't be able to get that iTunes movie to play at all). For Mac users, its a moot point because Apple hasn't deemed to allow Blu-Ray or HD DVD movies to play on their computers yet.
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