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HD-DVD vs. DVD - you decide


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#1 Evan Winter

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:21 AM

The crew over at Gizmodo have pulled images from the Lord of the Rings HD-DVD and DVD and placed them up on their site so that the images can be compared by moving your mouse over them. It's a neat way of presenting the images (it makes it easier to notice the differences between the images vs. side-by-side tests) and really showcases some of the differences between HD-DVD and regular DVD images.

Of course, their methodology is somewhat suspect -
1. I'd have preferred if they ripped the images using the exact same program (WinDVD 6 was used to capture files from the DVD whereas Elecard Mpeg2 player was utilized for the HD captures).
2. I'd also have preferred that they left the HD-DVD images at their native 1920x1080 as opposed to sampling them down to standard DVD 852x480.

The down-sampling was intended to make direct comparisons easier and despite being down-sampled HD-DVD still wins out. However, it would have been nice to see the HD stuff as close to 'out of the box' as possible.

Anyway, I'm glad someone took the time to do the test and feel free to have a look for yourselves:

http://www.cornbread...pare/index.html
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#2 Graeme Nattress

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 09:27 AM

If you click through you get links to upsampled DVDs with native HD frames. What kills me is that there's still excessive edge enhancement and ringing artifacts on the HD stuff. Ouch. The HD still also looks soft.

Graeme
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#3 Jesus Sifuentes

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 09:56 AM

I thought it looked wicked. I have a HD LCD Flat Screen and our local cable station offers some channels on HD. Saw Blade 2 on HD and man it looked awesome I can tell it was down graded abit but I assume you will get the max resolution on HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. By any chance do you know if Adobe DVD Encore is gonna support HD authoring in the near future. I know Sonic does but there is now way I can afford it.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for sharing this test.

One unfair aspect to this test is the aspect ratio used on SD means that only half of the screen was actually used for the image, the top and bottom of the screen is left black. What percentage I'm not sure but at least 10-20% on the top, and likewise on the bottom.

So another test I'd like to see is, when the movie image fills the entire SD screen, how does the resolution compare to HD when on HD it would been as a "box" image, with a border on the left and right side of the screen. Since most current movies will fit well on HD as is, the primary reason this test has relevance is for 16mm films that would end up with a border on the left and right side of the HD screen.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 01:24 AM

Was there any doubt by anyone that HD looks better than compressed SD? I agree with Alex though, that because it's not pan and scan that the resolution is even lower for widescreen discs. Look at one of the two-sided DVDs with widescreen on one side and pan and scan on the other and you can see that there's physically less info on the widescreen side upon observing it from an angle.

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~Karl
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 02:17 AM

Thanks for sharing this test.
One unfair aspect to this test is the aspect ratio used on SD means that only half of the screen was actually used for the image, the top and bottom of the screen is left black. What percentage I'm not sure but at least 10-20% on the top, and likewise on the bottom.


That's not exactly true. These are not snapshots made of a 4x3 SD TV set versus a 16x9 HD TV set, they are frame grabs made off of a recording on a disc.

The SD DVD of "Lord of the Rings" is 16x9 "anamorphic" so the percentage of the total SD pixel area reserved for the 2.35 letterboxed image is the same percentage of overall pixels as is reserved on the 16x9 HD transfer, i.e. about 25% of the recording is made up of black bars on both the 16x9 SD and 16x9 HD versions. The only difference is that the HD version uses square pixels, not skinny pixels like 16x9 SD uses.

Anyway, isn't it sort of a no-brainer that HD has more pixel resolution than SD? That's why it's called HD...

Did people expect any sort of opposite result, that somehow the SD DVD version would have more detail than the HD DVD version???

Even a 4x3 image on full-frame 4x3 SD would have less pixel resolution than it would side-matted on 16x9 HD. It's simple math. Full-frame 4x3 SD in NTSC is 720 x 480 pixels, whereas in 1920 x 1080 HD, a 4x3 side-matted image would use about 1436 x 1080 pixels, which is obviously more than 720 x 480.

Even if you're only talking about 720P HD, a 4x3 side-matted transfer would be about 958 x 720 pixels for the 4x3 picture area, which is still bigger than 720 x 480.
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