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  1. #1

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    Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    So, a Blu-Ray player appeared in the studio today because they were released yesterday at the major resellers. Ours is a Samsung model with a smattering of movies, and everyone was quick to hook it up to the HDTV and play some movies.

    It seems like whenever a new format appears, "The Fifth Element" is very quickly released on that format as some kind of standard video test. The movie looks terrible. It looks like they picked a source off some LaserDisc from eight years ago. Blocky artifacts are everywhere. The SuperBit DVD looks better than this.

    Then we saw "50 First Dates." To make things even more sad, the video on this title turns out to be noticeably better looking than the others. The demo reels being used at demo stores are supposedly better than all of this, but even they don't look like a big jump over DVD unless you get really close. Of course, stores goof around with the settings of their TVs so they all burn as bright as torches, but the difference is still not there.

    It turns out after looking at some technical specs that they're using MPEG-2 for the movies' compression. That's completely the WRONG choice for HD video. Supposedly the players can support other codecs but every movie, EVERY movie, they decided to go with the worst possible choice in standards for what they want to do.

    Nowhere did any of these films look better than what I've seen of HD-DVD, many times they often looked worse. And this Sammy player cost $999. If you're willing to put up with the shoddy levels of build quality seen in Sony's game machines, you can get Blu-Ray and an HDMI cable out the door next year at about $600, but you could get HD-DVD with HDMI for $100 less *AND* have less copy-protection kludgery than you get from Blu-Ray.

    They should have just kept this in the prototype labs until it was ready for prime-time, not shoved it out the door with a bunch of inferior MPEG-2 movies and try to swindle people into paying a four-digit figure for it. Blu-Ray is much more expensive, for a product that is similar-to-inferior, running on a completely inappropriate compression format and gives little to no advantage over HD-DVD, which may see players drop to $350 at the end of the year.

    Just what kind of creative mind-looseners are being passed around at Sony, anyway?

  2. #2

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    WOW...Who wants to pay $999 Happy Haunts for a BlueRay DVD Player. Were DVD players that much back in like 1996 when they were first comming out???
    Alex

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  3. #3

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Wait for a bit and buy a Playstation 3 for $600. It has a Blueray AND, you know, plays video games.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by thejoshualee
    Wait for a bit and buy a Playstation 3 for $600. It has a Blueray AND, you know, plays video games.
    And if it's anything like PS2 you'll have to buy about three of them over the next eight years because of quality control errors like misaligned lasers.

    But what I've seen from the Samsung today isn't worthy of even $400, let alone $600 and crazy for $999.

  5. #5

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    Just what kind of creative mind-looseners are being passed around at Sony, anyway?
    Are we referring to the company that thinks nothing of installing a root kit on a customer's computer without their permission so you can play a music CD? THAT Sony? They must be buying the really good stuff.

    I am so TOTALLY done buying anything from Sony until they get a clue, or they're the only source for the item - I've still never heard anything even vaguely approaching an apology.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    When I look at Blu-Ray all I can think about is..... You too can own the next beta-max

  7. #7

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Blue ray.. hmm... you sure it wasn't just for the demo they messed them up?? maybe they will have a better codex for the real stuff...

  8. #8

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986
    Blue ray.. hmm... you sure it wasn't just for the demo they messed them up?? maybe they will have a better codex for the real stuff...
    Demos tend to be what people use to sell stuff...

  9. #9

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    hrm... I'm pretty loyal to Sony and don't seem to have any problems with any of their stuff.

    I bought my playstation the first week of their first release and it's worked without a hitch this whole time.

    I'll be getting a PS3 anyway so if blueray is the future then I'll be ready, if not, then I'm not out any money because I'll still have a video game console.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by figment1986
    Blue ray.. hmm... you sure it wasn't just for the demo they messed them up?? maybe they will have a better codex for the real stuff...
    This is "the real stuff." Fifth Element, Hitch, XXX, 50 First Dates, and I can't remember the other one.

    I notice Circuit City's website currently lists the two types of formats and says that Blu-Ray is geared towards people who have 1080p sets (a minority of the minority that is HDTV owners) and reccomends HD-DVD for people who can't do 1080p on their sets (everybody else in the HDTV crowd.) Not a compelling vote of support.

  11. #11

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    BTW, http://www.thedigitalbits.com/ was having problems with the HDMI output on their blueray player. They switched to component, and immediately saw a HUGE improvement in video quality. You might want to try this, as it looks like there's a bug with the software for HDMI in the Samsung player.

  12. #12

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey_Mouse
    BTW, http://www.thedigitalbits.com/ was having problems with the HDMI output on their blueray player. They switched to component, and immediately saw a HUGE improvement in video quality. You might want to try this, as it looks like there's a bug with the software for HDMI in the Samsung player.
    HAHA...Why get one if the HDMI is faulty!!! Component is much better than S-Video, which is a vast improvement over analog Video/L&R, but HDMI is and probably be the standard for BlueRay players since it is a higer video signal...isn't it?
    Alex

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  13. #13

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey_Mouse
    BTW, http://www.thedigitalbits.com/ was having problems with the HDMI output on their blueray player. They switched to component, and immediately saw a HUGE improvement in video quality. You might want to try this, as it looks like there's a bug with the software for HDMI in the Samsung player.
    You're kidding me. They should offer some kind of replacement/warranty program if they want to keep their good name amongst the early adopters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex3231
    HAHA...Why get one if the HDMI is faulty!!! Component is much better than S-Video, which is a vast improvement over analog Video/L&R, but HDMI is and probably be the standard for BlueRay players since it is a higer video signal...isn't it?
    It goes further than that. This is truly unfortunate, because HDCP will depend on a DVI or HDMI connection, if you don't have one it displays it at 480p, which is regular DVD progressive scan quality. And once they inevitably begin using copy protection (which will happen if a format takes off and gets big releases), people using component will be getting NO better picture than what they'd get from DVD.

    This is a reason why I laugh at the $500 lower-end PS3, which has no HDMI/DVI output. For the price of an HD-DVD player, I can watch Blu-Rays at DVD quality? No thanks.

  14. #14

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    Quote Originally Posted by thejoshualee
    hrm... I'm pretty loyal to Sony and don't seem to have any problems with any of their stuff.

    I bought my playstation the first week of their first release and it's worked without a hitch this whole time.

    I'll be getting a PS3 anyway so if blu-ray is the future then I'll be ready, if not, then I'm not out any money because I'll still have a video game console.
    After E3 and the negative reviews of the PS3 and the Blu-ray, I think Sony is working its way down, down, down.

    HD-DVD and Blu-ray are pointless to the average consumer who cannot see a difference between regular DVD and those new formats. You have to have a gigantoid TV and a top of the line 6 channel surround system in order to notice any sort of quality difference. The average consumer does not have these things.

    Sure the hardcore gamer will spend the $600 on a PS3. What a waste, when more innovative games are coming out for the Wii and Xbox360 for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars less. It isn't like NOBODY is going to buy it -- hell, people even bought the NeoGeo -- but I don't think it's going to catch on with the casual gamers for $600. Or with the parents over Xmas.

    I'm in serious doubt that Blu-ray (and perhaps even HD-DVD) will catch on. My friends that DO have the high-end systems (and that have worked in the entertainment industry) think that HD-DVD and Blu-ray will become niche markets, like Laserdisc.

    But yeah, if you're planning on getting a PS3 come hell or high water, then it is stupid to spend $300 extra on a player which doesn't play PS3 games.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Blu-Ray players available (for $999)

    So true... thanks for your review - I couldn't agree with you more.

    As for using PS3 for DVD.... I think your expectations are lofty. Ever seen a DVD labeled compatible with PS2? Isn't that an Oxymoron? Doesn't the PS2 have a DVD player... then is should work. Anyone who's experience how clunky they are knows DVD's in gaming devices are only used as a last case scenario.

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