Toshiba pitches HD DVD players as... DVD machines
So why buy HD DVD discs then?
A week after the battle with Blu-ray Disc swung further toward that rival format, Toshiba said it will promote its players on their ability to upscale standard-definition content for HDTVs.
"Major initiatives... are designed to spotlight the superior benefits of HD DVD as well as the benefits HD DVD brings to a consumer’s current DVD library by upconverting standard DVDs via the HDMI output to near high-def picture quality," the company said.
"With DVD upconversion via the HDMI output, HD DVD players instantly make a movie lover's existing DVD library look better than ever," it claimed.
Toshiba's players have always done a good job upscaling DVD content, and while the consumer electronics giant has never ignored that feature, we don't recall it ever making such a big deal about it.
Some may see the move as a sign of Toshiba's desperation, but it's actually a smart strategy to pursue as the HD disc market moves beyond the early adopter into the mainstream. In December 2007, US market watcher The Diffusion Group forecast big demand for HD DVD among "second-wave" consumers who already own an HD TV but not a hi-def player, and among folk who have yet to get a flat-panel display.
These folk are certainly going to be keener to buy product that allows them to replace an existing DVD player and bring their library with them than to simply add another player to the AV stack.
The danger is that while this approach may boost sales of HD DVD players, it doesn't necessarily encourage the uptake of HD DVDs themselves. Why buy a movie on HD DVD if the DVD's much cheaper and your player makes it look almost as good as the pricier product?
@iain -doctor who hd
russell t davies already stated that the budget for Doctor Who didn't stretch to hd due to the number of cgi shots..
tom baker looks good on sd anyway
Many will just wait it out.....
Like many people, especially those who are veterans of VHS vs Beta, or Minidisk vs DCC, I'm just going to wait until the battle is won.
I still have DVDs I've not watched, so there's no way I'm rushing out to replace my current kit with the latest thing. I'm not enough of a perfectionist any more to have to have a perfect system- I'll wait, let the Pioneers and Early Adopters suffer the pain, and I'll buy when the products become commodity items.
You'd have thought that the industry could learn, settle its differences behind locked doors, and come out with a forced smile behind a single standard. They got it wrong with tape, they managed to get their collective act together for CD- then it's all gone downhill again.
The BBC aren't even shooting Doctor Who in HD, so it's never going to look any better than the DVDs you can already buy. The HD budget is reserved for 'superior' drama like Torchwood. Oops.
The difference between p and i
Interlaced resolutions are by definition slower, more flickery, it's more likely scanlines will be seen, fast motion artifacts will be more apparent, etc.
This is especially a problem if your display is CRT based.
I would also note based on numerous of the above posts
1) It's all about the mastering. Crap mastering, crap result.
2) If you can't see a difference between upscaled SD DVD and HD DVD/Bluray, get a better (and larger) display and/or your eyes tested. SD DVD is *not* perfect on a large, high quality display.
3) There are numerous disagreements that the PS3 is 'the best SD DVD scaler'
I would take both Thereg and AVForums (and avsforum) with a large pinch of salt; many of the people there are not experienced enough to recommend anything other than the one system they bought themself..
BD, HDDVD... It's still crap. Not the storage capacity, not the resolution - the content.
And the Beeb doesn't seem to be releasing Doctor Who on either disk format, so I say f*ck 'em both, there's nothing worth having. I am *DAMN* sure not replacing all my existing DVDs with a new copy. Although I suppose the mindless sheeple will. The same ones that "voted for" GW Bush and Blair, eh?