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Old July 12th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #31
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One other thing to consider here is that Joe Average Consumer doesn't even know there is a format war. There's a good bet that the format war will be over or negated through universal players long before it becomes an issue to the general consumer. DVD players did not see mass acceptance and finally gain dominance over VCRs until they fell below the $150 price point and I don't see HD-DVD or BluRay players doing any differently. Seriously, if Sony can stave off the licensing for universal players long enough to introduce BluRay players under $200 and be able to do it before Toshiba can get HD-DVD players to that price point, then BluRay will win. Likewise, if Toshiba can clean up the bugs and get 1080p output going and get the price point down to $200 first, HD-DVD will probably win... And either one will have to be able to meet consumer demand while doing this too.

In this war, Sony is the lumbering giant and there's no secret about what they're going to do. The ball is truly in Toshiba's court and every time they've had a true scoring opportunity, they've dropped it.

OTOH, we're all going to get to know BluRay very well regardless of which format wins the HD video disc stanard war. BluRay is the superior format for lots of other types of media, including computer data formats and upcoming software/multimedia/data distribution. It's offering promises that HD-DVD can't even begin to touch and Sony is already shipping the first generation BD rewritable drives to system integrators and we can expect to see them in systems from Dell, Apple, HP and Sony's own Vaio lines within the next 30 to 60 days.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
One other thing to consider here is that Joe Average Consumer doesn't even know there is a format war.
I suppose that depends on how you define the average consumer, but this has been a very widely discussed topic which should have come to the attention of most potential early adopters. As far as pricing is concerned, that's clearly Sony's biggest problem here, and consumers who don't know any different would almost certainly pick a $499 player over a $999 one in most cases.

My gut instinct right now is that HD players and discs aren't going to catch on very quickly with most consumers. I wish it were otherwise, but pricing and the format war make it a product most people will probably avoid for now.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #33
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.......and Sony is already shipping the first generation BD rewritable drives to system integrators and we can expect to see them in systems from Dell, Apple, HP and Sony's own Vaio lines within the next 30 to 60 days.
Shown here.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #34
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Sony is hoping the PS3 sells well enough to support widespread Blue Ray adoption. Why buy an expensive player now when you can get that and more for 599.00 in a few months. We won't see much movement till next year on all of this anyway. I'll set back and let the early adopters have their fun.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #35
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Sony is hoping the PS3 sells well enough to support widespread Blue Ray adoption. Why buy an expensive player now when you can get that and more for 599.00 in a few months. We won't see much movement till next year on all of this anyway. I'll set back and let the early adopters have their fun.
One reason to buy the more expensive BDP-S1 is to get the discrete multichannel audio support as well as superior image/color processing. BD video playback on the PS3 is software based and will be lacking some of the quality/features. This is straight from the horse's mouth - Sony.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 12:44 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
One reason to buy the more expensive BDP-S1 is to get the discrete multichannel audio support as well as superior image/color processing. BD video playback on the PS3 is software based and will be lacking some of the quality/features. This is straight from the horse's mouth - Sony.
Interesting. Could you provide a link where Sony points that out? That could have serious implications on PS3 sales, since originally Sony made a big point about PS3 being the center of home entertainment and net based communications and video conferencing. Sounds like they did an about face, which doesn't surprise me.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #37
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Interesting. Could you provide a link where Sony points that out? That could have serious implications on PS3 sales, since originally Sony made a big point about PS3 being the center of home entertainment and net based communications and video conferencing. Sounds like they did an about face, which doesn't surprise me.
Well, I don't have any specific links... However, just based on what I've seen at Sony's own closed-door demos (been to three this year so far) and from what I know from the technical/developer side of things and what's been released on the net, we have the following...

Audio output from the PS3 will be via Optical and analag stereo pair. The HDMI module will allow for HDMI 8 channel audio as well, in the form of PCM and Dolby Digital.

Audio output from the BDP-S1 will have discrete linear PCM from the HDMI, standard PCM, DD and DTS. There are also individual audio connectors for each of the 8 audio channels in addition to optical, coaxial and stereo connectors.

The PS3's BluRay playback is software based... How that translates into what we get remains to be seen. Could be very good, could be second best or it could just plain suck. I've had Sony reps tell me that the playback quality is not as good as the BDP-S1 and the playback software has limited color processing abilities and is not as adept at some of the deinterlacing and motion functions. They also dodged the question about direct 24p output, but I think it's because they didn't know the answer. Some indications point to the PS3 not supporting 1080p or 720p output at 24fps, but rather only at 60Hz. So for those with newer 72 and 120 Hz displays with native 1080p24 input, the PS3 won't be able to accommodate and the TV will have to attempt to properly remove the duplicate frames to eliminate motion judder.

First and foremost, the PS3 is a game system. The fact that it plays BD Video is an added feature/bonus as are several of the other media-centric features. I've had two different individuals from Sony on two separate occasions compare the BD Video playback of the PS3 to DVD playback on the PS2 vs. their other stand-alone DVD players of the time. In other words, it's going to be the "cheap" solution. ...But I'm still willing to bet that PS3 BD Video output is still better than what you'd get from that new Samsung BDV-P1000 turd.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #38
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Toshiba to delay HD-DVD recorder

The release date for the RD-A1 will be pushed back from July 14 to the 27th.

The HD-DVD burner which is capable of recording 130 hours of HD broadcast content on it's one terabyte hardrive system will be the first available HD-DVD burner priced around 398,000 yen and expects to sell 10,000 units by the end of 2006.

When the burners will be released overseas in unclear.

As to Blue-ray burners, I've heard they've been available since 2003.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 10:35 PM   #39
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As to Blue-ray burners, I've heard they've been available since 2003.
Yeah, BluRay burners have been available since about then. Sony released prototype units about 2 years ago and a few have floated around on the grey market. I've seen a couple on eBay, I think one on eBay was discussed here in these forums about 6 months ago. These prototype units are mostly all crippled compared to the official units, most (if not all) are only single-layer capable and aren't 100% compatible with final release readers/writers. I'm not sure if there's any sort of buy-back or trade-in program either. Sony has ben selling single-layer BD recordable media within developer channels since the first prototype drives shipped out. The official BD recorder drives are now shipping to OEMs and integrators and several are taking orders for drives and systems including them. Sony's BluRay equipped VAIO systems are available to order, but I don't think they have actually started shipping yet. Rumors indicate that Apple will be including BD-RE drives in their next line of MacBook Pro systems with the Merom Core2Duo CPUs and their upcoming Intel-based workstations will have BluRay as well. Dell has announced that they will be shipping BluRay drives in their systems as soon as they are available, which should be literally any day now.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #40
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Jeff,

Actually, Fry's was selling Sony Vaio desktops with bluray burners.

I posted a message on a different thread here.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #41
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Well, I don't have any specific links... However, just based on what I've seen at Sony's own closed-door demos (been to three this year so far) and from what I know from the technical/developer side of things and what's been released on the net, we have the following...

Audio output from the PS3 will be via Optical and analag stereo pair. The HDMI module will allow for HDMI 8 channel audio as well, in the form of PCM and Dolby Digital.

Audio output from the BDP-S1 will have discrete linear PCM from the HDMI, standard PCM, DD and DTS. There are also individual audio connectors for each of the 8 audio channels in addition to optical, coaxial and stereo connectors.

The PS3's BluRay playback is software based... How that translates into what we get remains to be seen. Could be very good, could be second best or it could just plain suck. I've had Sony reps tell me that the playback quality is not as good as the BDP-S1 and the playback software has limited color processing abilities and is not as adept at some of the deinterlacing and motion functions. They also dodged the question about direct 24p output, but I think it's because they didn't know the answer. Some indications point to the PS3 not supporting 1080p or 720p output at 24fps, but rather only at 60Hz. So for those with newer 72 and 120 Hz displays with native 1080p24 input, the PS3 won't be able to accommodate and the TV will have to attempt to properly remove the duplicate frames to eliminate motion judder.

First and foremost, the PS3 is a game system. The fact that it plays BD Video is an added feature/bonus as are several of the other media-centric features. I've had two different individuals from Sony on two separate occasions compare the BD Video playback of the PS3 to DVD playback on the PS2 vs. their other stand-alone DVD players of the time. In other words, it's going to be the "cheap" solution. ...But I'm still willing to bet that PS3 BD Video output is still better than what you'd get from that new Samsung BDV-P1000 turd.

Public statements they've maid at EC3 have contradicted that. Their belief in the abilty of the Cell chips they jointly developed with IBM indicate they feel the PS3 can process HD video in excellent quality, including 7.1 surround.. without compromises. They view the PS3 as much more than a game system.
Maybe with the issues that have come up with trying to develop HD games for the PS3 have toned down the rhetoric.
Interesting info from Sony, only time will tell what they actually deliver.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 01:23 AM   #42
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Jeff,

Actually, Fry's was selling Sony Vaio desktops with bluray burners.

I posted a message on a different thread here.
Did they actually have them in stock? They're still on pre-order everywhere I've been or looked online. But they could be here now... Availability is supposed to be "any day now" as the drives are shipping.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 01:50 AM   #43
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Public statements they've maid at EC3 have contradicted that. Their belief in the abilty of the Cell chips they jointly developed with IBM indicate they feel the PS3 can process HD video in excellent quality, including 7.1 surround.. without compromises. They view the PS3 as much more than a game system.
Maybe with the issues that have come up with trying to develop HD games for the PS3 have toned down the rhetoric.
Interesting info from Sony, only time will tell what they actually deliver.
Typical Sony hype... The Cell chips are proving to be a lot less powerful than Sony has been claiming (big surprise there). I think John Carmack of Id Software had the best perspective on the PS3 with his comments right after E3. I wish I had a link off the top of my head, but I don't. But the PS3 is still shaping up to be a bit more powerful than Xbox360 so we'll see what comes of the games. And I know that Sony is claiming the PS3 will be a central hub for the home entertainment center. Sure, why not? After all, that's what they originally claimed about the PS2. Primarily the PS3 is a game system, always has been, not sure what you've been reading. In fact, Sony has been ramping up their propaganda lately and they're starting to tout the PS3 as an excellent companion to their VAIO home theatre PCs with the 300 disc DVD changer. As like the XBOX360, the PS3 can stream video and multimedia content from a PC.

As for BD video playback, the Cell chips and graphics capabilities are well beyond what is needed. The PS3 does have 7.1 audio output, just not the discrete connections for those who want them, nor discrete linear PCM over HDMI. If you want 7.1 connectivity, you will have to use the optical audio connection or HDMI. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but for a player that's to be my main HD movie player, I would want to run discrete audio connections from each of the 8 connectors right into the 7.1 inputs of my AV receiver. Much more functionality and control that way. Where the PS3 will falter for BD playback is the software player. And like I've said, I've had more than one Sony rep tell me the same thing on different occasions, so they're either being coached as to what to say or they're speaking the truth. The only reason I can think for them to downplay the PS3's BD capabilities is so that people don't pass on the BDP-S1. OTOH, if what they say is correct, then the potential silver lining is that a software player can be upgraded and there's a good bet that they will since the PS3's own software is supposed to be upgradable.

So I guess we'll see what happens when the system arrives... Personally, I probably won't buy a PS3 as I don't have time to play many games anymore and my XBOX 360 is perfectly fine. I did buy the Samsung BD player on an impulse and returned it because, well, it sucked and I thought it was unacceptable for the price. I doubt I'd buy a Sony BDP-S1 as I can probably fight the impulse now. I think I'll wait a while and see what happens. I'm not real pleased with my Toshiba HD-A1 either. It's a complete POS. Decent HD image quality, but the 1080i output limitation is somewhat disappointing after Toshiba was initially supposed to have 1080p capability. Upconverted DVD quality (that so many people rave over on this player for some reason) is no better than my $250 Sony CX995V DVD changer with HDMI. But it is better than the Samsung upconverting players or that Oppo 1080p piece of crap.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #44
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I was basing my statements on the E3 DVDs I purchased at GameSpot which had the full Sony presentation at the event. I always take promotional stuff with a grain of salt. But it was a lot of senior execs from both Sony and Nividia talking it up. Going to be a lot of egg on the face if they can't deliver.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #45
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Going to be a lot of egg on the face if they can't deliver.
Why do you say that? It's always this way... LOADS of hype and then finally a product that doesn't come close to living up to 10% of the BS. Sony did it with the PSX, even worse with the PS2. The claims for PS3 (IMO) aren't as outlandish as how they hyped the PS2 with the whole "emotion engine" deal.

...Nintendo used to be just as bad, but they cleaned up their act with the gamecube and all their releases following. But I think the whole claim of "real time radiosity/GI rendering" for the N64 was a bit much.

I'm not really involved anymore, but I used to work in the games industry. Done my share of development work. I worked on the Dreamcast, PS2 Atari Jaguar, PSX and Sega Saturn. Nobody hypes a system and makes false claims the way Sony does. ;-) And they have enough fanboys and market presence to make the sales happen regardless. And when it all comes down to it, even though it may not come close to the claims, PS3 will still be the most powerful system out there come launch day. Even if it lacks raw CPU power vs. the XBOX360 (which there is tangible evidence showing that it will), the new nVidia chip is killer and the PS3 will have a serious edge for graphics vs the 360. And like the original XBOX, there will be about a few months before we see a superior nVidia chip hit desktop computer systems.
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