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(Archived Posts 5/2/06 - 4/18/06)
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We've got a bunch of DVD release news to report today (particularly
major TV DVD release news), so let's get right to it...
First up, Buena Vista has announced the DVD release of Desperate
Housewives: The Complete Second Season, Grey's
Anatomy: The Complete Second Season - Uncut, Lost:
The Complete Second Season - The Extended Experience and Commander
in Chief: Season One - The Inaugural Edition. All will
include video in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second
Season (due 8/29, SRP $59.99) will be a 6-disc box set
including all 24 episodes, plus an "exclusive unaired storyline"
shot for the series but unused (featuring Terry Hatcher), 3 featurettes
(Anatomy of a Show: Director's Diary,
Iconic Housewives and Mark
& Mom), audio commentaries, deleted scenes and more.
Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Second Season -
Uncut (due 9/12, SRP $59.99) will also be a 6-disc box set
including 27 episodes (three of them available on DVD exclusively in
extended versions), along with a Fan
Roundtable Discussion video (in which the cast answers
questions from fans about the show), audio commentaries and deleted
Lost: The Complete Second Season - The
Extended Experience (due 10/3, SRP $59.99) will be a 7-disc
box set including all of the season's episodes, along with the Lost
Connections interactive documentary, The
Lost Flashbacks (unseen footage on the characters'
backgrounds), 3 featurettes (Lost: On
Location, Secrets of the Hatch
and Fire and Water: Anatomy of an Episode),
audio commentaries, bloopers, deleted scenes and more.
Commander in Chief: Season One - The
Inaugural Edition (also due 10/3, SRP $39.99) will be a
4-disc set containing all of the first season's episodes, along with an
interview with star Geena Davis, unaired scenes, bloopers and audio
commentaries with the show's creators.
Meanwhile, Paramount has set the Star Trek:
Fan Collective - Klingon and Nick Jr's Max
& Ruby: Afternoons with Max & Ruby for release on
8/1. A ton of repackaged and repriced catalog titles will follow on 8/8,
including Domestic Disturbance,
Shift, Bringing Out the Dead,
Varsity Blues, Bless
the Child, Rosemary's Baby,
Officer and a Gentleman, Hellraiser
III, Ordinary People,
Catch 22, April
Fool's Day, Searching for Bobby
Fischer, The Relic,
My Bloody Valentine, Pet
Sematary 2, Silver Bullet,
Necessary Roughness, The
Temp, Jennifer 8, The
Odd Couple, Tales From the
Darkside: The Movie and Death Wish
(again, none of these are new editions - they'll just have new cover
art), along with a new 2-pack edition of The
Adams Family and Adams Family
Values. A number of new PBS Kids titles are also due on 8/8,
among them Teletubbies: All Fall Down - Funny
Friends and Terrific Tumbles, Boohbah:
Umbrella, Caillou: Caillou's World
of Wonder and Jay Jay the Jet
Plane: Jay Jay's Sensational Mystery. Nick Jr's Dora
the Explorer: We're a Team is currently set for 8/15.
Finally, Threshold: The Complete Series,
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason
and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:
40th Anniversary Edition round things out on 8/22.
Finally today, Anchor Bay Entertainment will release the hospital
horror flick Room 6 on 6/13 (SRP
$19.98). Video will be anamorphic widescreen with audio in Dolby Digital
5.1. Extras will include the Hospital from
Hell: The Making of Room 6 featurette, audio commentary with
writer/director Mike Hurst and writer/producer Mark A. Altman, the
theatrical trailer and the film's screenplay (via DVD-ROM).
(LATE UPDATE - 5/1/06 -
12:45 PM PDT)
Well, it looks as if more indies are lining up to debut titles in the
new HD-DVD format. And the format's about to get its first cult titles
no less as well. BCI Eclipse has officially announced that it will
release That's the Way of the World
(staring Earth, Wind & Fire along with Harvey Keitel), the sexy
sci-fi parody Galaxina, and a pair
of Paul Naschy horror flicks from Spain... Night
of the Werewolf and Vengeance of
the Zombies. These first titles from BCI are expected in
August. The company expects to release more than 20 HD-DVD titles in
2006 include (among them the yet-to-be-announced Bob Hope classics Son
of Paleface and The Lemon Drop Kid).
Naturally, we've updated the
Release List again with these latest details.
(LATE UPDATE - 5/1/06 - 11
We've got a few more new release announcements to report this morning.
First up, Universal has officially set Jack
of All Trades: The Complete Series for release on 7/18.
They've also announced NBC's Surface: Season
One for release on 8/15.
Sony has set Edison Force, The
Ellen Show: The Complete Series, Road
House: Deluxe Edition, Road House
2, I Dream of Jeanie: The Complete
Second Season (color) for release on 7/11. They also have a
Road House UMD coming out that
same day (we've update the
Movie Release List accordingly).
On the high-definition front, Magnolia Home Entertainment has announced
its first releases on the HD-DVD format for sometime in May (specific
street dates are still TBA). A trio of film titles kicks things off,
including Bubble, Enron:
The Smartest Guys in the Room and The
War Within (SRP $29.98 each). Magnolia will also release a
pair of HDNet programs on HD-DVD in May, including Bikini
Destinations and the HDNet World
Report Special: Shuttle Discoverys Historic Mission
(SRP $26.98 each). I was actually there for that shuttle launch, so it
will be cool to relive it again in high-def. As you'd expect, we've
Release List to include the Magnolia news.
(EARLY UPDATE - 5/1/06 - 12:01 AM PDT)
Happy May Day, folks! Wow... can you believe it? May already?
Pfffssshhhhew... hard to believe. Another month or so and we'll be
looking at Blu-ray Disc titles. Time sure is flying this year.
Well... before I say anything else this morning, Sarah and I want to
send out a big thank you to the many hundreds of readers who sent in get
well wishes for our kitten. It's been a little stressful these last
couple of days, as you can probably imagine, but you'll be pleased to
know that we got her to the doctor in time on Friday and she's going to
be just fine. The little bug comes home tonight, and we can't wait.
We've only had her a couple months, but it's amazing how empty the house
seems without her. Anyway, thanks so much, guys. You're the best, and
your e-mails were much appreciated.
Now then... we've got some new DVD cover art to show you this morning,
to get a jump on the day's come-what-may news. Here's Sony's Ultraviolet
(6/27 - PG-13 and Unrated editions), Fox's The
Hills Have Eyes theatrical cut (6/20), Universal's Jack
of All Trades: The Complete Series (TBA - starring the
legendary Bruce Campbell), and Criterion's Koko:
A Talking Gorilla and Yi Yi
Back with more later today, so stay tuned!
Hey, guys. I'm afraid there isn't going to be much of an update today.
I'd planned on posting a few things this afternoon, but I've had a bit
of a personal thing come up. Sarah and I have a new kitten that we
adopted a few weeks ago, and she's been feeling a little under the
weather in the last day or two. We took her to the vet today, and it
turns out she's pretty sick with some kind of bacterial digestive thing,
and they're having to keep her over the weekend to treat her. So
naturally we're stressed and worried and a little freaked out, and
you'll have to forgive me if DVD, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc are the last
things on my mind this afternoon. Her name's Chloe. Here's a pic...
Ain't she just cute as all get out? We sure think so.
Anyway, I do have a couple new DVD release announcements to report for
you today. First up, HBO has set the standard DVD release of Carnivale:
The Complete Second Season for 7/18, with Rome:
The Complete First Season following on 8/15. Both will be
distributed by Warner Home Video.
Also, 20th Century Fox has announced Dharma &
Greg: Season 1 for release on 6/13.
Here's art for Carnivale and Rome,
along with covers for Fox's The Hills Have
Eyes: Unrated - The Version to Die For (due on 6/20),
Universal and Focus Films' Brick
(street date TBA), and Warner's Rumor Has It
and Training Day on HD-DVD (both
Sorry again for mentally checking out on you guys today. Rest assured,
we'll be back on Monday with our usual digital focus and enthusiasm.
Best to all 'til then!
Argh! Today's post is a bit later than expected, but as some of you may
have noticed, server troubles knocked out access to the site for a few
hours this morning. Rest assured, it was just a glitch and things are
back to normal. Still... technology, you know? It's pretty great, but
it's sure not perfect.
That's funny, it just occurred to me as I'm typing this how
appropriately that statement describes our experiences with HD-DVD these
past couple of weeks. Go figure.
Anyway, Universal has announced the DVD release of a Safe
Men: Special Edition on 8/15.
Around the Net today, there are a couple of interesting stories about
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Matsushita's executive officer, Kazuhiro Tsuga,
is rattling his sabers, claiming that HD-DVD and their own Blu-ray Disc
will never merge: "We are not talking and we
will not talk. The market will decide the winner." You can
Reuters. Yeah, mmmm'kay... and if the market decides to say "Screw
it!" and declare neither format a winner, what then smart guy?
Meanwhile, according to
story over at Home Media Retailing, those few adopters who
are actually interested in high-def on disc seem impressed with the
quality of the picture and sound on HD-DVD so far... but they're
wondering where the killer ap movie software is. So are we (on that
note, we hear - Rumor Alert - that Batman
Begins will be out from Warner by the end of May).
And on a completely different note,
officially unveiled the name of its next generation videogame console
today (which will be compatible with neither HD-DVD or Blu-ray
Disc). And no, it's not Revolution, which was the code name the company
had been using. Following in the footsteps of the NES, the Super
Nintendo, the Game Boy, the Gamecube and the DS... is the Wii. As in
Wii, Wii, Wii all the way home. Says Nintendo: "While
the code-name 'Revolution' expressed our direction, Wii represents the
answer. Wii will break down that wall that separates game players from
everybody else. Wii will put people more in touch with their games...
and each other."
Boy, they must drinking some seriously good KoolAid at the
mega-conglomerate tech/media giants these days. "The Whu and the
Blu will never merge, because the market will love the Whu without
question! The Whu will thrill consumers with its superior nomenclature,
moderately exorbinant price point and the dazzling array of colors of
its shinny plastic case! The Whu will not play Dolby TrueHD without
future upgrades! The Whu will not offer full convenience or
functionality without a major addition to your home! The Whu may or may
not solve the problems of global warming, poverty and receding
hairlines! The Whu will cure nose cancer but not toe cancer without the
purchase of the optional Blutooth-enabled, super-special wavy wand...!"
Guess I'm picking on Nintendo and Matsushita there a little, but you
get the idea. We love new technology at The
Bits, but some days, don't you just feel like chucking it all
and moving to a log cabin in the mountains? Yeah, it's kind of a slow
news day. And I'm feelin' a little punchy.
Hey, I know... how 'bout some new cover art?! Here's Warner's Swordfish
and Goodfellas on HD-DVD (both due
5/2), along with their Hanna Barbera-animated Magilla
Gorilla and Hong Kong Phooey
(both 8/15). We've also got Universal's Earthquake
(5/9) and Paramount's Reno 911: The Complete
Third Season too (7/11)...
See you tomorrow, good neighbors...
Afternoon, folks! We've got some ground to cover today on a wide range
of topics, so let's get to it.
First up, some new DVD announcements. Sony has set Marilyn
Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, Charlie's
Angels: The Complete Third Season, an Out
of Time/Hart's War double feature and a To
Live and Die in L.A./Dark Blue double feature for release on
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox will deliver The
Pretender: The Complete Fourth Season on 7/18.
Also, Paramount has set Failure to Launch
for release on 6/17. Perry Mason: The First
Season - Volume 1 and Reno 911:
The Complete Third Season will follow on 7/11, with Queer
Duck: The Movie due a week later on 7/18, and Laguna
Beach: Season Two and a repackaged Ladybugs
rounding out the month on 7/25.
Finally, Criterion has set Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A
Canterbury Tale for release in July (Catalog # 341).
On the UMD front, Sony will also release Hoosiers,
Baby Boy, Tomcats
and Cruel Intentions on UMD format
for the PSP on 7/4 as well. Our
Release List has been updated accordingly.
On the topic of high-definition today, there's no real news to report,
other than that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has urged the HD-DVD and
Blu-ray Disc camps to end the format war for fear that it could hurt the
adoption of high-definition movies on disc (click
here to read more at Video Business).
He's right, certainly, but no one in the industry with the power to do
anything about it is going to listen at this point.
Actually, there is one more thing...
European Manager for Xbox, Chris Lewis, has told Spiegel Online
that his company will announce more details about the Xbox 360's
forthcoming HD-DVD peripheral drive at the upcoming E3 electronic gaming
conference. Rumors place the price at around $100, but there's little
real information as yet. Lewis is full of marketing spin and bluster,
however, saying (among other things): "Blu-ray
right now reminds us of another technology from Sony: Betamax. A bit
like VHS -- we think that HD DVD is the format that consumers, film
studios and publishers will embrace. As you're mentioning the cost of
Blu-ray -- we think it's about giving consumers choice, we think it's
about not necessarily asking them to pay over the odds for a technology
that, at the moment, is unproven."
I've got news for you Chris... HD-DVD hasn't really proven itself very
well either. We've got a few thousand players out in the market at most,
at least some of which are experiencing frustrating technical glitches,
and just SIX movies. That's not much of a track record there yet. So
people would be fairly stupid to count Blu-ray Disc out at this point.
Or HD-DVD for that matter. It's just too early to tell.
Man, I'll tell you... I just hate listening to these corporate suits
spewing their sales bullshit to a sometimes unsuspecting public like
it's the gospel truth. And I'll tell you, if we do NOTHING else here at
The Bits than help to hose some of
that away each day, to leave you with a more accurate, honest and
realistic picture of what's actually going on in the industry, then
that's a damn good day's work as far as we're concerned.
Speaking of honesty and HD-DVD, I suppose I should admit that I had my
first genuinely thrilling experience with the format last night.
Universal's Apollo 13 HD-DVD
showed up on my doorstep yesterday, and I'll tell you... the film looks
and sounds better than I've EVER seen it before. Universal is really
doing a beautiful job with their high-definition transfers and
mastering. I suspect Apollo 13
also benefits from the work that was done a few years ago to create an
IMAX version - the digital clean-up, etc (no worries though, the film is
full length and 2.35:1 widescreen, as it should be). Anyway, I was VERY
impressed with this disc... despite the fact that our Toshiba HD-A1
locked up not once but twice over the course of the evening. The first
time, the glitch only lasted a moment, and I was able to get it to
continue playing normally. The second time, when I was showing my wife
how good the film looked naturally, it locked up completely and I had to
unplug and reboot the player to get it going again. Go figure.
Rest assured, we'll have reviews of Apollo
13, Doom and Million
Dollar Baby up in the next day or two.
Now then... changing gears just a little bit, since a lot of you have
asked questions about it, I wanted to talk a little bit today about the
new high-resolution audio formats available on HD-DVD, how the Toshiba
HD-A1 processes them and how current surround sound receivers recognize
them. And I'm going to try to boil it down into plain language (as much
as is possible, anyway) for the vast majority of folks who don't have
First up is Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1. In general, it should sound better
than current DTS and actually something close to the quality of
DVD-Audio and SACD (once we've got the hardware to fully take advantage
of it). Currently, to enjoy the full resolution equivalent of Plus 5.1,
you can either connect the player to your receiver via the analog 5.1
outputs or via an HDMI connection (although few receivers come equipped
with HDMI audio capability as yet), in which case your player will
decode the Plus 5.1 bitstream and convert it to LPCM 5.1 to be read by
your receiver as such. The other choice you have, is you can connect
your player to the receiver via the digital Toslink (optical) or coax
outputs that most of us have been using for years now. Unfortunately, in
this case, the HD-A1 decodes the Plus 5.1 bitstream and re-encodes it as
DTS 5.1, which is then passed to your receiver (the receiver recognizes
the bitstream as DTS accordingly). You're still getting a great audio
experience, but it's not full Plus resolution, because DTS has a lower
bitrate. It's sort of a half-assed solution that the Toshiba engineers
came up with, but that's what they came up with.
Next up is Dolby TrueHD 5.1. This should sound not only significantly
better than Plus 5.1, but even better than DVD-Audio and SACD -
potentially as much as three times better, in fact (but again, only once
we've got the hardware to fully take advantage of it). Currently, it's
impossible to enjoy TrueHD on the HD-A1, because the HD-A1 only supports
2-channel decoding of TrueHD. The best you're going to get out of the
HD-A1, via any connection, is stereo audio converted to either LPCM (via
HDMI or analog outputs) or DTS (via the Toslink and coax digital
outputs), neither of which is going to be full TrueHD resolution.
Finally, there's DTS-HD (which should roughly equate to the quality of
Dolby TrueHD, although there's no software available yet and few
official specs yet either). This will again be converted to either LPCM
or DTS by the HD-A1, depending on which output you use with your
receiver, and again this will not be full resolution either.
So the basic problem with all of these audio formats, is that there's
currently no hardware available - either HD-DVD players or surround
sound receivers - that supports them all fully yet. This will change
starting later this year, when players and receivers fully compatible
with Plus, TrueHD and DTS-HD are released, equipped with specific HDMI
1.3 connections. Current HDMI connections don't actually allow for the
full-bandwidth capabilities of True HD and DTS-HD (and Toslink and
either digital or analog coax connections don't have the bandwidth to
allow them period). So to experience full-resolution, multi-channel
audio via Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD, you'll eventually NEED to upgrade to
new hardware equipped with HDMI 1.3 - both your player AND your
receiver. Is it any wonder why we've told most of you to just wait on
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc? Even if you do buy an HD-DVD player now, you'll
STILL have to buy another player later on if you want the full audio
Sony, recognizing all of these audio incompatibilities and the
potential for confusion, is not even including Dolby Digital-Plus, Dolby
TrueHD or DTS-HD on their early Blu-ray Disc software. Instead, they're
simply encoding the audio on their initial Blu-ray titles in
high-resolution LPCM 5.1, until such a time as the hardware catches up.
FYI, PCM audio is the same basic format that's been used for existing
music CDs for many years, except that it can also be encoded in
high-resolution bitrates and can support multi-channel audio in addition
to just the common 2.0 stereo found on CDs. Current multi-channel
receiver should all be able to accept an LPCM 5.1 signal and drive your
speakers with it, just as they currently can with stereo CD audio.
Frustrated yet? Yeah... trust me, you're not alone. In any case, I hope
we've been able to at least shed some light - and in a reasonably
understandable way - on the situation at hand with regard to these new
audio formats. You can read more about all of them, and their
compatibility issues, in a great new editorial by our very own DocDVD,
Josh Lehman, over at his own website (one of our Bits
partner sites). It's entitled,
Sound and the Furious: The Next Generation.
Anyway, with regard to our HD-DVD (and future Blu-ray Disc) reviews,
we're evaluating the current audio experience allowed on these discs as
best we can, until we can really fully test and appreciate the quality
of Dolby Digital-Plus, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD with 100% compatible
hardware in the future.
So okay... there you have it. That's enough tech-speak for today, I'd
say. If I've got any errors in there (there shouldn't be, but this stuff
is complicated and boiling it down into real-speak isn't easy, believe
me), I'll fix 'em soon and let you know about it. 'Nuff said.
(LATE UPDATE -
4/25/06 - 4PM PDT)
We've got one more quick update for you this afternoon, to let you know
that Warner Bros. has just announced its next batch of HD-DVD releases.
They aren't... well, quite the titles we might have hoped for.
The studio's first DVD/HD-DVD hybrid disc (officially called a "HD
DVD and DVD Combo Format" disc in press release lingo) will be Rumor
Has It on 5/9 (SRP $39.99 - day and date with the standard
definition DVD-only release). In terms of catalog titles, GoodFellas
and Swordfish will arrive on 5/2,
while Training Day will follow on
5/9 with Rumor Has It (SRP on the
catalog titles will be $28.99 each).
Say what? Seriously? Training Day?
Swordfish? Why not toss in Battlefield:
Earth and Catwoman?
While GoodFellas is a nice
surprise, and the others aren't bad films per se, one can only assume
that titles like The Matrix and
Batman Begins - the films that
should really dazzle viewers in high-definition video and
high-resolution audio - are being held back to allow for the inclusion
of new and more complicated high-def bonus features. Nevertheless, I'm
VERY surprised that Warner isn't being more aggressive in releasing at
least a few of the kind of whiz-bang catalog films that early adopters
really want to see on HD-DVD. It's puzzling and somewhat frustrating -
not quite the format lunch we expected for HD-DVD anyway. After just
having had to sit though
of the Opera, I was hoping for a little better from Warner:
Wave Two. Ah well... maybe Wave Three will impress. At least Universal
has The Bourne Supremacy, U-571
and The Chronicles of Riddick on
the way. Anyway, we've updated the
Release List accordingly.
Back with more regular DVD news tomorrow. Stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE - 4/25/06 - 2:30 PM PDT)
Okay... so is anyone in the mood for a trio of HD-DVD movie reviews? I
think I've finally gotten a handle on those technical issues I mentioned
the other day with the Toshiba HD-A1 player.
There's still a clear difference between the video quality being issued
via the HDMI and component outputs, and I've heard all kind of possible
reasons as to why this might be (the HDMI 1.1 hardware has a 'clipping'
bug that prevents the pass-thru of the brightest and darkest video
information, the component bitstream is more compressed in terms of
bandwidth, etc). Suffice it to say that I've calibrated and
re-calibrated and even triple calibrated my display hardware, so I'm
confident both that HDMI is the best way to go and that what I'm seeing
is accurate to what was intended by the filmmakers.
As for the freezing/skipping/audio sync problem, it seems to happen for
two reasons: 1) when the player is hot (has been in use for a long time)
and/or 2) when you use the remote to skip and scan around a lot in the
film material. Either way, it seems to be a hardware issue, and it's not
happening enough to be truly annoying. I've been able to watch several
films all the way through now without a glitch, so we'll see.
A couple of notes on the review specs before we get started: The
Toshiba player doesn't give you a bitrate meter for either the video or
audio data streams when you use the on-screen display. It also doesn't
tell you what the native resolution of the video on the disc is - just
what it's outputting to your display (so we'll have to trust the box).
Finally, you'll note the lack of our familiar and comforting anamorphic
widescreen logo in the reviews - anamorphic enhancement does not apply
to high-definition video, because HD is by its nature a native 1.78:1
(16x9) format. Anamorphic enhancement should only really apply on HD-DVD
and Blu-ray Disc when talking about any pre-existing, standard
definition supplemental features that may have been included on the
disc. Just so you know, we've also included some additional notes on our
new review format and grading process - you'll find those
(at the end of the actual review page).
Anyway... after all that, here's our first HD-DVD format reviews:
Last Samurai and
Phantom of the Opera (2004). We hope you like the new review
format and the way we're indicating the specs, features and video/audio
quality. Be sure to let us know what you think.
FYI, in the future, you'll find the high-definition format reviews
indexed in the Review
section of the site - just click on the red HD-DVD format logo (or,
eventually, the blue Blu-ray Disc logo) at the top of the page to find
the review links.
We'll try to have reviews of Warner's Million
Dollar Baby, and Universal's Apollo
13 and Doom on HD-DVD
up before the end of the week.
(LATE UPDATE - 4/24/06 -
12:30 PM PDT)
We've got a couple more things for you this afternoon.
First of all, Sony has just announced the DVD, Blu-ray Disc and UMD
release of Ultraviolet on 6/27
(SRP $28.95 for the DVD and UMD, and $38.95 for the Blu-ray version).
There will be FOUR different versions available: PG-13 DVD and Blu-ray
Disc versions, and unrated extended versions on DVD and UMD. Strangely,
the Blu-ray Disc version (which you'd think would be the more deluxe)
will ONLY include the PG-13 version. Clearly, Sony hasn't figured out
seamless branching on Blu-ray yet. According to Sony, the PG-13 versions
will include a cast and crew audio commentary track and the UV
Protection: The Making of Ultraviolet documentary. The
Unrated version will add to this "additional never-before-seen
bonus footage." We've updated the
Release Lists accordingly.
Meanwhile today, Buena Vista has announced the DVD release of Scrubs:
Season Three for 5/9 (SRP $39.99). Each copy will include a "Scrub-o-graph"
cast photo, 100 randomly distributed copies of which will actually be
hand-signed by the entire cast of the series.
Buena Vista has also confirmed the 7/18 release of 2005's Oscar winner
for Best Foreign Language Film... Tsotsi.
The DVD will include audio commentary with director Gavin Hood.
Genius Products will release Project Runway:
The Complete Second Season on 6/6.
Finally, Warner Home Video has recently announced a number of new
titles (some of which we may have mentioned before, but we'll do so
again just to be sure). On 7/11, look for Tristram
Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (for HBO) and Grilled.
7/18 will bring The Film Noir Classics
Collection: Volume 3 (including Border
Incident, His Kind of Woman,
Lady in the Lake, On
Dangerous Ground, The Racket
and the Film Noir: Bringing Darkness Into
Light bonus disc) and the Warner
Tough Guys Collection (which will include Bullets
or Ballots, Each Dawn I Die,
Quentin, City for Conquest
and A Slight Case of Murder, each
of which will also be available separately). On 7/25, you'll get Bogie
& Bacall: The Signature Collection (set to include The
Big Sleep, Dark Passage,
Key Largo and To
Have and Have Not, each of which will also be available
separately). On 8/1, look for Blue Collar TV:
Season Two, Dallas: The Complete
Fifth Season and Mrs. Harris
(for HBO). 8/8 will see the release of Heidi.
On 8/15, you'll get a pair of new Hanna Barbara animated titles... Hong
Kong Phooey and Magilla Gorilla.
Last but not least, 8/22 will see the release of a number of new BBC
titles, including The Worst Week of My Life:
The Complete First Series, A Bit
of Fry and Laurie: Season One, A
Bit of Fry and Laurie: Season Two and The
Robinsons: Complete Series One.
Elsewhere here at The Bits today,
we've updated the
DVD Player Sales numbers for the complete month of March,
along with some additional format stats that we track.
have been updated accordingly.
And yes, we're still working on the HD-DVD reviews, and resolving the
tech issues I mentioned earlier this morning. We should know more soon.
(EARLY UPDATE - 4/24/06 -
12:01 AM PDT)
Morning, folks. Got yer coffee? Good. Have a nice weekend? Good.
So guess what? We'd planned to get our reviews of Serenity,
The Last Samurai and The
Phantom of the Opera up on Friday... then Saturday... then
today. But it hasn't happened yet. It's certainly not for lack of trying
or serious effort, believe me. It's because we've encountered some
significant issues during the process. First of all, we continue to have
a problem with movie software freezing for a few moments during
playback, after which it continues playing but without audio, or with
out-of-sync audio. It's happened on every movie disc we've tried now, at
least once per film (and sometimes more often).
The other thing we've discovered is that the quality and character of
the 1080i video that the Toshiba player delivers from its digital HDMI
and component analog outputs is very different. The analog output
features significantly enhanced color saturation and contrast levels
over the HDMI, which SHOULD be more accurate. The difference is not
minor, and we're trying to figure out exactly what it means and why it's
happening. It's important to understand what's going on here, and which
video output is correct (or more correct), so that we can accurately
describe the video quality in our reviews.
Anyway, we're going to see what Toshiba says on both of these issues
and get back to you on it, then try to finish those reviews. Well... no
one ever said the transition to high-def was going to be easy, did they?
In the meantime this morning, we have a pair of standard DVD reviews
for you to enjoy from our own Peter Schorn: Paramount's
& Flow and Magnolia and Sony's
We've also got FIVE new
going here at The Bits, giving you
each the chance to take home DVD copies of Warner's
The Complete Third Season, Platinum Disc's
The End of the World, Universal's
Order: Trial by Jury - The Complete Series and
five more great
anime titles from Geneon. Our previous contest for Criterion's
Mr. Arkadin also continues through this week. All five of the
contests will run until Noon (Pacific) on Sunday, April 30th. Click on
the links to get started and good luck!
We'll leave you this morning with a look at more new DVD cover art.
Here's Sony's Freedomland (5/30),
Universal's Smokey and the Bandit: Special
Edition (also 5/30) and 20th Century Fox's Will
Rogers Collection: Volume 1 (7/25)...
Okay... we've got a couple bits of news for you today.
First of all, the greatest news we've heard in months... Universal is
FINALLY delivering a Double Indemnity:
Special Edition on 8/29 (SRP $26.98). It's only one of the
greatest film noirs ever made, and it's been YEARS since the Image
Entertainment DVD went out of print. Thankfully, your patience will be
rewarded with a 2-disc set that's part of the Universal Legacy Series no
less! Extras are TBA, but we still couldn't be happier right now.
Speaking of Universal, the studio has officially announced more HD-DVD
titles for June and July. On 6/13, look for Happy
Gilmore and The Rundown
(SRP $34.98 each). Following on 7/11 are Pitch
Black and Friday Night Lights
(also $34.98 each). We expect Pitch Black
to be the unrated edition, but we'll confirm that when we can. Our
Release List has been updated accordingly.
I'm afraid we have a bit of disappointing news to report about Warner's
recent re-release of The American President.
It turns out that their press site posted inaccurate details about the
title - it does NOT include anamorphic widescreen as we'd been led to
believe. After getting a few confused e-mails from readers who picked up
the new disc only to discover that it had non-anamorphic widescreen
video (the same as the previous DVD), we made a call into the studio and
were told that they'd screwed-up on their press site. Believe me, we're
as disappointed as many of you probably are. Anyway, sorry for the
confusion on that.
Speaking of Warner, we hear that the studio is likely to announce their
second wave of HD-DVD releases next week. We'll bring you all the
details when they're available.
Here's a bit of new cover art for you... Warner's Syriana
(6/20), Sony's The Pink Panther
(2005 - 6/13) and Paramount's Star Trek: Fan
Collective - Klingon (8/1)...
Speaking of Star Trek, word is
Abrams has been tapped by Paramount to write and direct the next
Trek feature film. Due in 2008,
it's reported to be a Starfleet Academy story focusing on the first
mission of a young Kirk and Spock from The
Original Series. I know a lot of people love Lost
and Alias, and early reviews of
Abrams' M:I 3 have been pretty
good... but man. Anyone remember how close Abrams came to rewriting Superman
mythology a few years ago? Any Alias
fans out there recall how that show has jumped the shark multiple times
in recent seasons? I don't know. I just don't have a good feeling about
this. Abrams could certainly bring a fresh perspective to Trek,
and I know the studio wants to attract a younger audience to the
franchise, but I'm not sure how much younger and sexier Trek
can go before longtime fans bail even more than they already have. We'll
see, I guess. Cross your fingers.
There's still a few things I'm checking out on these HD-DVD discs,
which I hope to have done by the end of the day (I'll be back at it
moments after posting this update). It's tricky, doing the first reviews
on a new format. Takes time to understand the quirks, to know what to
look for, etc. And I'm trying to understand how the audio is interacting
with my receiver via the Toslink connection. Rest assured, I'll get the
reviews up as soon as they're done, even if I have to post them on
Saturday. I also just received Warner's Million
Dollar Baby this morning, so watch for that review next week
(along with Universal's Apollo 13
and Doom, both of which are due on
Tuesday). Once I've got the new review format down, it'll get a lot
In the meantime, have a great weekend. Stay tuned...
Well... it's Day Three living with HD-DVD here at The
Bits, and we've got a few more observations to report. First,
we've got a quick update on those Paramount HD-DVDs
that we told you yesterday were about to be announced. It's
looking like they might now street on 6/20, rather than 5/30. We're
still waiting for official confirmation in a press release from the
studio, but their press site is now showing indications of a revised
Now then, we're getting close to having our reviews of Serenity,
The Last Samurai and The
Phantom of the Opera ready to post. It's taken a while to
figure out all of the specs and information that we need to include in
the reviews - video resolution, video codec, max allowed analog video
resolution, etc. It's also taken a while to figure out how to grade the
video and audio quality in such as way as to provide a meaningful
comparison with the quality of the same title on standard DVD. But I
think we're getting close. With any luck, we'll post the reviews later
today, or first thing tomorrow. We'd like to get your feedback on our
new format. As currently planned, the video is going to be graded on a
1-20 scale that's the same for both standard DVD and high-definition
(1-10 being the range for standard DVD and 11-20 being the realm of
high-def). We think that's a good way to accurately record the quality,
and also give you an idea of how the standard DVD and HD-DVD video
compare. Audio is also going to be graded on a 1-20 scale (1-10
corresponding to preexisting audio formats like Dolby Digital and DTS,
and 11-20 covering the new Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and
high resolution Linear PCM). The film and extras will continue to be
scored with A thru F letter grades. We'll also try to note whether all
the extras from the previous DVD edition have been carried over to the
new discs. We'll see how it goes.
In terms of the hardware, the performance of the Toshiba HD-A1
continues to be generally solid, although there are a couple of issues
of concern. As I mentioned on Tuesday, the delay time in booting up the
machine (over a minute) and booting up software (about 45 seconds) is
almost intolerable, particularly when you're trying to do a lot of
comparing (and thus swapping) of discs in the machine. I've also had a
situation where, about once or twice per film when watching HD movies,
the video stutters and freezes for a few moments. Then when it
continues, the audio and video aren't entirely in sync. It's impossible
to get the error to duplicate in the same position in the software, so
this is clearly a hardware issue - hopefully something that can and will
be corrected in a firmware upgrade soon.
In terms of the software itself, you'll be very happy to know that all
three discs - Universal's Serenity
and Warner's The Last Samurai and
The Phantom of the Opera - allow
you to view the video in full 1080i resolution via standard analog
component outputs. It will be interesting to see if Warner continues to
allow this on new, first-run films on HD-DVD in the future.
All in all, I continue to be very impressed with the video and audio
quality of these first three HD-DVD releases. I will say, however, that
I'm not absolutely blown away by it. The discs look and sound truly
fantastic, no doubt, and the video/audiophiles among you are going to
drool when you experience it... but I expected all that. And it's not so
much better than existing DVD that you find yourself somehow enjoying
the movies that much more. It's not anywhere close to the difference
upgrading to standard DVD made over VHS and laserdisc, for example. And
I wonder how much your average consumer is going to care.
By way of example, I was watching The Last
Samurai on Tuesday night, when my wife Sarah came home from
work. Sarah, as some of you know, is the business end of The
Bits - she handles all of the contests, promotions and
advertising. While she's not as into the technology as the rest of us
are here around here, she's pretty savvy when it comes to this stuff.
Anyway, she walked into the home theater and sat down to soak in the
picture and sound for a bit. Then, after a few minutes of watching, she
turned to me and said, "So this is HD-DVD?"
"It looks good and all, but I don't know... I guess I don't see
what the big deal is."
"Well... it looks more like film. More like it should."
"Yeah, but doesn't regular DVD look like film too?"
"Sure, but not as much as this does."
"Well... I don't know. I guess I just don't see what the big deal
is. I could live without it."
Then she walked out and went about her business. I thought about what
she said for a good long while, as I continued to watch the movie... and
I finally had to come to the conclusion that she's absolutely right.
Nothing like a nice reality check from your wife to put things in
perspective. Knew I married her for a reason.
Now... before you get all outraged (I can almost hear some of you
scoffing: "Yeah, he must not be watching it on good equipment..."
and believe me, I've already had several readers ask what kind of
equipment I have since I started talking about my experience with
HD-DVD), know that my home theater consists of the following: a
Panasonic PT-L500U LCD front video projector driven via an HDMI/DVI
adapted connection from the Toshiba HD-A1 (or my usual Pioneer Elite
DV-59AVi DVD player) and displayed on a 110-inch High-Contrast Cinema
Perf Da-Lite projection screen. My audio system begins with a Denon
AVR-5800 receiver, and ends with a Monitor Audio Silver Series 7-speaker
configuration capped by an SVS PB12-Ultra/2 subwoofer that's bigger than
the engine in my frickin' car (and a special thanks out to all the fine
Subs and Better
Cables for all their help and assistance over the years - I
heartily recommend each of them to all our readers here at The
Bits). All of this equipment is properly connected, fully
functional and tweaked and calibrated to within an inch of its life. As
a rule, I'm not one of those guys who spouts their home theater specs
like it's some kind of job resume, but just know that my system is well
above average and that I'm getting superb quality out of it. Are there
better, more expensive systems out there? Sure... but I guarantee there
aren't that many people who could really appreciate the difference.
All of this goes to my point, which is this: HD-DVD looks and sounds
fantastic... just as we all expected it would. I have little doubt that
Blu-ray Disc will look and sound just as good too - not better than
HD-DVD mind you, but every bit as good. But how good does the video and
audio quality REALLY have to get for most people to enjoy a film in
their living rooms? Standard DVD looks and sounds great just as it is -
it was a MASSIVE improvement over VHS and laserdisc. And the better your
equipment is (and keep in mind that most people still haven't upgraded
to widescreen HDTVs, upconverting DVD players and true multi-channel
surround sound), the average experience of DVD is going to keep
improving. There's tremendous value to be found in existing DVD, just as
it is, and that will continue to be the case for years to come. So how
many people are REALLY going to care enough to upgrade to a new
high-definition videodisc format? How about TWO high-definition
videodisc formats? Not that many, I'll bet.
Maybe, eventually, if and when there's only ONE format so people can
feel comfortable spending their money on it... they'll start to upgrade
to either HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc in moderate numbers. But for now,
HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc will likely remain the domain of only the most
enthusiastic early adopters. And the longer the format war drags on, the
greater the chance that even those consumers who MIGHT be interested
will just pass on both of them, in favor of HD offerings from their
cable or satellite provider, downloading... or just plain old standard
DVD (like most audio consumers passed on much higher quality DVD-Audio
and SACD, in favor of far lower quality iTunes or MP3 downloads,
satellite radio and current CDs). DVD became the success it is not just
because it had better quality going for it over VHS and laserdisc, but
because it had significantly better value and convenience going for it
too. HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc offer the same basic value and convenience
as regular DVD, so the only real improvement is the video and audio
quality. And better quality isn't always enough to separate people from
I'm certainly not trying to be a pessimist, just realistic. As cool as
they are, I'm afraid I don't see HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc becoming even
half as successful as current DVD... and that's BEST case, if one of
them quickly stands out as the clear and obvious choice to consumers
(something I fear that isn't going to happen anytime soon). Time will
Anyway, enough said for now. Watch for those first three HD-DVD reviews
later today or tomorrow.
(LATE UPDATE - 4/19/06 -
3 PM PDT)
Okay... some more HD-DVD news today. The
Bits has learned that Paramount is close to announcing its
first wave of releases on the format. Expected in the first batch are
U2: Rattle and Hum (which would be
the format's first ever music release), Four
Brothers and Lara Croft: Tomb
Raider. The tentatively expected street date is 5/30, but
when contacted for confirmation this afternoon, a studio representative
told us that the date wasn't yet finalized. We expect to have official
details soon. We've updated the
Release List with this tentative news accordingly (as the
information on specific titles comes directly from the studio).
Meanwhile, here's the cover artwork...
Also this afternoon, there are a couple of new stories at
Media Retailing on yesterday's debut of HD-DVD hardware and
software. There's little new information, however, other than word from
Universal that The Fast and the Furious:
Tokyo Drift is likely to be the studio's first day and date
HD-DVD release later this year.
We'll have more on HD-DVD tomorrow, so stay tuned...
(EARLY UPDATE -
4/19/06 - 12:30 PM PDT)
We've got more HD-DVD coverage coming later today, but before we post
that we need to get some good old fashioned standard DVD news out of the
way. Here goes...
Sony has officially announced the 6/27 DVD release of Cache
(Hidden), Candy Stripers,
The Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point,
Resort, a Fortunes of Captain
Blood/Captain Pirate double feature and a The
Boy & the Pirates/Crystalstone double feature. By the
way, Sony's Why We Fight, which
had previously been announced for release on 6/20, will now be released
on 6/27 too.
New Line has announced the 7/11 release of Jason Ensler's Grilled.
Universal has set Amazing Stories: The
Complete First Season for release on 7/18 (SRP $49.98).
Disney has officially set Eight Below
for release on 6/20, on both DVD and UMD. Also on the way from the
studio is The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,
Volume 1 (7/18), That's So Raven,
Volume 4 (also 7/18), Leroy &
Stitch (6/27) and Cow Belles
Criterion has announced the July DVD release of Edward Yang's Yi
Yi (Cat #339) and Barbet Schroeder's Koko:
A Talking Gorilla documentary (#340).
Finally, Genius Products and The Weinstein Company have changed the
street date for The Libertine from
6/27 to 7/4. Just FYI.
By the way, we've updated the
Movie Release List with that Eight
Now then... here at The Bits,
we're pleased today to bring you a new
Shelf column from our own Adam Jahnke, in which he takes a
look at a few fine new Italian cinema DVD releases from indie NoShame
Films. Included are reviews of
Luciano Ercoli Death Box Set (including Death
Walks on High Heels and Death
Walks at Midnight),
Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set (which includes both The
Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The
Red Queen Kills 7 Times, along with a Red Queen action
We've kicked off a VERY cool new
here at The Bits today as well,
giving you the chance to take home one of 10 copies of Criterion's
Mr. Arkadin. This in addition to the contests already running.
Entries will be accepted until Noon (Pacific) on 4/30 for this new one.
Also today, Matt's back from his vacation over at
with all the latest music release news. He's even kicked off a very cool
Team in Training charity raffle to
benefit leukemia research, complete with some very cool prizes,
including a band-signed copy of the Rush: R30
DVD and more. Do check it out.
Here's more new upcoming DVD cover art: Sony's Why
We Fight (6/27), Fox's Night Watch
(also 6/20) and Universal's Amazing Stories:
The Complete First Season...
Back with more later. Stay tuned...
(LATE UPDATE - 4/18/06 - 2:30 PM PDT)
Okay... a word of advice to all your folks out there who might have
picked up HD-DVD players and software today. The audio levels on
Warner's first two releases on the format, The
Last Samurai and Phantom of the
Opera, are mastered on the discs are a substantially lower
level than the audio on Universal's Serenity.
We're talking well below reference level, on all audio options. Why this
was done by Warner is a mystery to us, but beware that if you start with
one of the Warner discs and adjust your system volume to a normal
listening level, and then switch to Serenity,
you run the potential risk of damaging your speakers. More on this
(EARLY UPDATE -
4/18/06 - 12:30 PM PDT)
Well, here we are on the first day of class with HD-DVD... and Toshiba
has announced that initial sales of their HD-A1 HD-DVD players are
for more on that). In fact, many stores carrying the hardware sold out
this weekend. I drove over to a local Best Buy store here in Orange
County this morning, and sure enough... there were a few diehards
waiting to throw down their money at 10 AM.
As luck would have it, I managed to secure a loaner HD-A1 to use this
week, while we wait for Toshiba to ship us official review hardware.
I've also got three pieces of review software... Warner's The
Last Samurai and The Phantom of
the Opera, and Universal's Serenity
(Warner's Million Dollar Baby is
due later this week - it's apparently slightly delayed and is not in
stores yet). What I'm going to do now is just give you some initial
thoughts. Rest assured, I'll be posting more detailed reviews later this
First, the player. The construction of Toshiba's HD-A1 is fairly solid
- not as good as my Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi DVD player, for example, but
still better than most other entry level players. Setup is very easy and
intuitive. I've had trouble with other DVD players in the past - I'm
using HDMI to drive a native 1080 LCD video projector, and typically
most upscaling DVD players need you to go into the setup menu to
activate the HDMI output and upscaling. The HD-A1, however, recognized
the HDMI connection right out of the box - there was no need to hook it
up to a regular display via component cables and go into the menu screen
to turn on the HDMI. The setup menus themselves are very simple and easy
to use - very few settings, if any, needed to be changed in order to
start viewing the discs.
The player does have a couple of big downsides right off the bat,
however. The first is that the remote is absolutely awful. Just really a
mess. It's basically the same as the one that's going to be included in
the more expensive HD-XA1, except that it's not backlit. BIG mistake.
The button labels are impossible to read in the dark, and few of the
controls on the remote are intuitively laid out. At least on the cheaper
unit, they could have labeled the remote in brighter paint or something.
It's a disaster.
The other major downside is the time it takes the player to get into
operating mode. When you first turn on the player itself, it takes a
full minute to boot up into a usable configuration. You can't even open
the disc tray during that time. Very irritating. Once it's ready to go,
however, and you insert a disc, it takes about another 30 seconds to
boot up the software. Again, very irritating. Still, it's worth noting
that this is the kind of thing that's only going to get better as newer
firmware becomes available, and as second and third generations of
hardware hit the market.
Speaking of firmware, the player is designed so that you can connect it
to the Net via a standard broadband LAN port, which will allow you to
make fast and easy firmware upgrades to the hardware... and I suspect
there's going to be a lot of them needed to add full interactivity and
In terms of backwards compatibility, the player seems to handle
existing DVDs and CDs well. Its upconversion of standard definition DVD
video is quite good, but still not quite as good as my Pioneer DV-59AVi,
at least on first impression. I haven't really had the time to test and
compare this in any kind of depth, however, so don't take that as
gospel. I'll let you know more when I do.
Now for the software. Universal's Serenity
is basically a port of the existing DVD release, simply with the film in
high-definition video and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio. No offense to
Joss Whedon fans, but I do sorely wish the first title I'd watched on
HD-DVD was something other than this film. Still, the picture quality is
absolutely spectacular - vibrant color, fantastic contrast and VERY few
compression or processing artifacts (and if you watch a lot of broadcast
HD video, you've no doubt seen a lot of those). It's just utterly clean
and clear without being too crisp or edgy - a very natural looking and
extremely pleasing image. I knew it was going to be impressive, but I'm
still surprised at the sheer improvement over regular DVD, at least when
viewed in a very large projection format. You notice so much more of the
characteristics of the actual film medium rather than any kind of video
aspects, which is as it should be. Warner's The
Last Samurai is equally impressive in terms of video, though
I haven't watched Phantom of the Opera
yet (again, not a title I would have chosen to release first on HD-DVD,
but what the hell).
The Dolby Digital Plus audio quality on these discs is also stellar,
though again I have yet to Phantom of the
Opera (which has Dolby TrueHD). The Plus audio is lovely -
easily on par with the best DTS tracks I've listened to. In terms of the
overall audio quality and experience, you wonder just how much better
Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD could possibly sound... and how most people are
going to possibly be able to appreciate the difference. I'll have more
on this tomorrow, after I've had the time to check out the 2.0 TrueHD
the Tosh player will allow on Phantom.
It's worth noting that, like current DVD discs, Serenity
has a film-themed root menu. Hitting the 'menu' button on your remote
takes you back out to that root menu where you can access all the
features and options. Warner's discs, however, do NOT have any kind of
root menu. When you start playing them, they simply go right into the
movie. Hitting the 'menu' button brings up a menu overlay while the
movie continues to play, from which you can select all of the various
features via pop-up/sliding menus. It's very similar to how the
start/program bar works in Windows XP, except that the look of the bar
is themed to the film itself. I do, however, wish the discs had a main
menu. Maybe it's just that I've gotten used to the way standard DVD
works, but not to be able to pop out to a main menu seems... wrong
somehow. Some combination of the way Universal's menus work, and the new
menu overlay, would seem to be optimal. The extras I've seen so far are
all in standard definition (and they're not anamorphic widescreen
either), but I've only really dug through Serenity
so far. I will tell you, however, that it's jarring to see the
difference in quality going from well-compressed HD video to less
well-compressed standard definition video.
One other irritating thing I've discovered about the hardware when
playing the discs, is that when you change audio tracks on the fly,
there's no on-screen graphic that notes what language you're changing
to. So you can't tell what language you're in until someone starts
speaking. The 'display' button does bring up a nice read-out of the
audio format you're listening to, and what the particular codec and
resolution of the video is, but there's still no language indication.
I should also tell you that Warner's discs boot into a little promo
video for the format, that explains how the discs work (how to use the
menu overlay, etc). Thankfully, you can skip past it. Warner's discs
also include a promotional flyer touting some 50 titles that are coming
for Summer 2006 to the format from the studio, including The
Matrix, Terminator 3: Rise of the
Machines, Full Metal Jacket,
The Perfect Storm, The
Shawshank Redemption, Batman
Begins, Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire, Troy
and The Dukes of Hazzard: Unrated.
Anyway, those are just my initial impressions. Overall, I would say
that this is a pretty solid start for HD-DVD. I've experienced nothing
so far that would, in theory, cause me to warn early adopters away from
the format (other than
I've already said recently about the wisdom of waiting given the
format war). And it's worth noting that even those things that I think
are a little rough, less than fully functional and perhaps non-optimal
about my HD-DVD experience so far, are all the same kinds of things I
experienced in the very first DVD players and software way back in March
of 1997. The picture and sound quality, as it stands, now is excellent
and it's only going to get better. Of course, I expected no less from
the HD-DVD launch... and I expect no less from Blu-ray Disc when it
arrives in May/June.
I'm going to take the rest of the day to really soak all this in and
try to process my thoughts more, so I'll have more to say about it
tomorrow. I'll work on getting full reviews of the software posted over
the next couple of days as well.
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