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Sony Media Movies Hardware

First Blu-ray Movie Titles Announced 375

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-pick-one-and-run-with-it dept.
JorgeDeLaCancha writes "Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment have recently announced the release of the first titles on the Blu-Ray media coinciding with the Blu-Ray hardware release in the spring. Some of the films to be released include classics such as "The Fifth Element" and "Robocop" to more modern films such as "Black Hawk Down." Other corporations, such as Fox, have announced similar plans."
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First Blu-ray Movie Titles Announced

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  • Wow. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gothic_Walrus (692125)
    I think that this might be the first time that anyone, anywhere has called Robocop a "classic."
  • Screw 'em. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Morky (577776) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:37PM (#14418912)
    Until there is a combo hd-dvd/blu-ray player, they can take their discs and go pound salt.
    • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by A beautiful mind (821714) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:49PM (#14418956)
      Let me expand on that.

      Until there is a big enough screen affordable to the regular user to make content like that clearly better than content on a DVD, they can continue pounding salt.
      • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:3, Informative)

        by agraupe (769778)
        Well, I'm not sure about DVD quality, but on television (especially football games) I notice a clear difference between regular and high-def. What do you make of that?

        Though I do agree that the quality difference isn't enough to re-invest in all my movies.
        • "Well, I'm not sure about DVD quality, but on television (especially football games) I notice a clear difference between regular and high-def. What do you make of that?"

          Just like you do between DivX and DVD on a PC, but the screen is limited by pixels and we are limited by our eyes/brain and while you might have noticed the regular -> high-def jump, high-def to ultra-high-def might not be equally noticeable.
          • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:3, Informative)

            by interiot (50685)
            DVD's are not high-def. Granted, DVD's look good, but they're not high-def. Here's the number of pixels per field [wikipedia.org] for each type of media:
            • DVD (ntsc): 172,800 pixels (widescreen or not, it's always the same)
            • 720p: 921,600 pixels
            • 1080i: 1,036,800 pixels
            • 1080p (though this is rarely supported in next-gen disc formats): 2,073,600 pixels

            So that's at least a 5-fold increase in number of pixels per field. If you compare a DVD to a Blu-ray or HD-DVD of the same movie side by side, on a TV that can at least

            • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:2, Informative)

              by tepples (727027)

              1080p (though this is rarely supported in next-gen disc formats): 2,073,600 pixels

              The vast majority of films in major motion picture studios' catalogs run at 24fps (NTSC) or 25fps (PAL). It's not unlikely that you'll get support for 1080p24 even if you don't get 1080p60. The interlaced formats are mostly for a video camera.

              So that's at least a 5-fold increase in number of pixels per field.

              But how much of an increase or decrease in fields/frames per second?

              • I think both DVD (ntsc) and 720p are 29.97 fps (with the 3:2 pulldown stuff).

                Also, I don't know if I can find the bitrates, but I'd be willing to bet that HD-DVD and Blu-ray allow for a higher bitrate than DTV/sat/cable, so it will look a little better than HDTV owners are using to seeing from broadcast TV.

      • So you're pretty happy with your computer display at 6480x480, are ya? More power to ya!
      • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rolfwind (528248)
        I have previously said that Blu-ray/HD-DVD is dead like laserdisc and that I'm hoping for HVD.

        I've thought about it, and in a way I'm wrong. Hardware formats will cease to matter.

        CDs were the last major hardware "format" to evolve for music since the 80s. Attempts to supercede it and succeed it in that arena have failed. There will not be another major hardware format for music because it now comes as files. People are now so accustomed to music as files, that even joe consumer will download them from v
        • Re:Screw 'em. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by timeOday (582209)
          Video and audio are very different by degree, basically because your visual sense is so much higher bandwidth than the aural sense.

          Plain old CDs from the 1980s already contain two channels of 40KHz audio, which happens to be almost exactly what a human is capable of perceiving.

          In video, on the other hand, there is no such correspondence. Today's display technologies don't come close to filling your visual field, and if you try simply by blowing them up, they're hopelessly blocky. And they're still i

    • No PS3 for you then? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149) *
      Well, while you may not want a PS3 there are a few million people thinking otherwise - and they'll all be able to view these discs.

      Furthermore, even if you have a non HD TV might you not be interested in the extra exttras the additional space allows for on Blu-Ray discs?

      I'm not saying there are a lot of titles on that list I'm willing to spring for... but I will probably re-buy a few selected things and I know I'll enjoy renting them on Netflix (who I assume will be format neutral in this war and rent both
      • Furthermore, even if you have a non HD TV might you not be interested in the extra exttras the additional space allows for on Blu-Ray discs?

        Are you talking about the extra material on the discs? Have they even planned for this to be even more than on current DVD's, besides being in HDTV format? If you're talking about additional space useful for recording on the other hand, I have to wonder whether combo drives or recorders will come first, and when they'll be affordable.
        • I am assuming there will be more content on HD-DVD discs, we'll see how that pans out though. It could make renting movies nicer as often the extra disc is a separate rental on Nexflix today whereas with more space we might see more movies once again include features on the main disc. There are some featureless movies that I am convinced are that way because the studio did not want to press a second disc, so we may see more movies come with extras that otherwise might not.

          As for recording, I think we'll s
      • You mean all that extra crap they make me pay for when all I want is the fking moving? That is why I don't buy DVDs now even though I have a DVD player at home and my laptop is perfectly capable of playing movies. Paying $20 just because they felt they could put a movie on 3 discs with the filming crew jerking each other off while commenting about how great a job they THINK they did isn't my idea of well spent money.
    • Even better (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:09PM (#14419040) Homepage Journal
      Until they stop pushing DRM down our throat ....
    • Until there is a combo hd-dvd/blu-ray player, they can take their discs and go pound salt.

      You might get your wish sooner than you think. I've heard both Plextor and Samsung are working on such drive mechanisms and we could see them by the end of Summer 2006.

      Because Blu-Ray and HD-DVD media can use the same drive trays, I expect by the end of 2006 to see a player that supports both formats; it won't be cheap (my guess is about US$850-US$900) but not having to choose between formats is great.
  • Travesty! (Score:3, Funny)

    by DarkClown (7673) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:38PM (#14418917) Homepage
    Not a single lindsey lohan movie listed!
  • Classic. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by six11 (579) <johnsogg@cm u . edu> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:39PM (#14418921) Homepage
    the Fifth Element is from 1997, and it's already a "classic?"
    • Yes. The Fifth Element is classic in my book for the ample bussoms of Milla Jovovich being seen on the big screen.

      But this does pose a problem; to buy HD-DVD (Serenity), or Blu Ray (Fifth Element).. decisions decisions.
      • Re:Classic. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plover (150551) * on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:17PM (#14419075) Homepage Journal
        How about: decisions decisions, DRM or DRM? My answer is "not yet"
      • Yes. The Fifth Element is classic in my book for the ample bussoms of Milla Jovovich being seen on the big screen.

        Look, I lust after Leeloo with the best of them, but 'ample' isn't a word that is applicable in her case. Not that that's a bad thing.
  • The vicious cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClamIAm (926466) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:41PM (#14418934)
    Now that everybody's re-bought their favorite movies on DVD, let's move on to the next format! Call me a cynic, but I don't think the average person wants to do this yet. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the average person has had a DVD player in their home for less than five years.
    • I'm a movie fan with a projector that would make high-def worthwhile, and I buy a fair number of movies. Even so, I would only buy the very best, and most *visually impressive* movies on high-def. For me that might be LOTR, Blade Runner and perhaps a few others. DVD would suffice for most of the rest. That doesn't sound like much of a market...
      • I'd be pleased with a decent DVD transfer of Blade Runner at this point...I take it that ultimate edition dealie is never gonna see the light of day?
        • Re:The vicious cycle (Score:3, Informative)

          by Vinnie_333 (575483)
          I take it that ultimate edition dealie is never gonna see the light of day?

          Lot's of legal issues on that one. I'm waiting with bated breath myself. Here's [brmovie.com] a page that's tracking the (little) progress that is made on it. Guaranteed sales, don't know what their problem is.

      • From what I've read, it is possible (and has been demonstrated), that Blu-ray discs can be made that also have regular DVD layers on them. I believe the blu-ray layer is underneath the regular single/dual DVD layer(s). So, you put the disc in a blu-ray player and watch the HD version with special Java wonderfulness, or you put the disc in a regular DVD player and watch the normal DVD stuff.

        Assuming that this production process is not that much more expensive (disc production, after all, is not a signifi

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmm.. I can only wonder if Robocop was filmed with decent quality equipment to justify having it on blue ray disc. It's very old movie - it was made in 1989. Isn't it kinda like putting .mp3 files on DVD audio disc? It doesn't make any sense.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:48PM (#14418954)
    So. The major studios have finally gotten around to releasing real classics on DVD (no, not Fifth Element or Robocop) and now they want a new format. How long will it take to see a Cary Grant or Katherine Hepburn movie on Blu-Ray? The vast majority of truly good movies were made more than 30 years ago, and those are always the last movies to make it to a new format. How many film buffs are really excited about this new format? If The Fifth Element and Robocop are counted among the "classic" movies available on the new format, I'm guessing zero.

    So the only early adopters will be the same gadget hungry geeks who invested in Laser Disc players. We all know how well that worked out. I'm really looking forward to watching this fall on its face.
    • Actually, I think (and I have no data to back this up, so I could be entirely wrong, but I'm probably not) that most things that have been released on DVD were done with a digital transfer at 1080p, which is still much better resolution than even typical HD and Blu-Ray will get us. They then recode that (digitally) down to the 480p resolution of DVDs, which should be a fairly inexpensive and straightforward process (I could do it on my PC with transcode, just give me the 1080p stream :) ) that's inexpensiv
  • HA! (Score:5, Funny)

    by big_groo (237634) <groovis@g m a i l.com> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:49PM (#14418955) Homepage
    Whaa? New discs from Sony? Sign me up!
    • You should already be signed up and receiving special offers tailored to you computer use, ever since you played that last Sony CD and forgot to hold down the shift key...
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:49PM (#14418958)
    I think both sides of "the war" should be represented. Among the HD-DVD titles available at launch:
    • The Matrix
    • Batman Begins
    • The Bourne Supremacy
    • Aeon Flux
    • Jarhead
    • U2: Rattle & Hum
    There are many articles about HD DVD/Blu-ray titles on Google News.
  • Fifth Element and Robocop arent "modern"? The contributor must not realise that the history of film entertainment does extend beyond the 1980s. Metropolis, Wizard of Oz, etc, those are considered classics.
  • Robocop... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Aelcyx (123258) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:50PM (#14418968)
    "...I'd buy that for a dollar!"
  • Sadly (Score:3, Informative)

    by hsmith (818216) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @08:54PM (#14418973)
    The Sony BLU-RAY movies will require you to give your first bone as collateral to ensure you won't "file share."

    nothing pissed me off more than buying the family guy dvd and having them tell me that it is bad to share movies. THANKS FUCKS, I JUST PAID $12.99 FOR THE FUCKING DVD.
    • I had my first bone a very long time ago, and even if had I waited, I'm not sure if I'd want to give it to Sony. They'd probably work me over with their root kit until I cried.
    • Re:Sadly (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nermal6693 (622898)
      I know the "don't copy" video you're talking about, I've seen it on some rentals. I haven't had the "pleasure" of buying a DVD with that video though. If I do end up getting one, I know what I'm going to do - take it back to the place I bought it and say that I think it's pirated. After all, if you were an average (honest) consumer, and you just bought a movie that says "STOP PIRATING MOVIES!!!!11" then wouldn't you think you'd just bought a pirated movie?
      • After all, if you were an average (honest) consumer, and you just bought a movie that says "STOP PIRATING MOVIES!!!!11" then wouldn't you think you'd just bought a pirated movie?

        I hope most people would be smart enough not to think that a pirated movie would have a "please don't pirate" message included.
  • by Hobart (32767) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:02PM (#14419002) Homepage Journal
    I'm more interested in hearing when they start packing full seasons of standard-definition content onto a single disc that they can sell for a reasonable price, instead of the >$100 prices that some sets have been going for. (I.e. $338 for CSI on Amazon [amazon.com])

    With H.264 encoding allegedly taking up half the space of MPEG-4 ASP/DivX, which itself takes up roughly 1/7th the space of MPEG-2 DVDs (assuming a 650M CD DivX holds the 2hr content of a 4.5GB movie) -- that's 28 hrs of content on a 4.5G DVD, or 140 hrs of content on a 23GB BD disc!)

    ...and since this is Slashdot, I should mention that if you pick up a BluRay player or buy MPAA movies, you should take up Lessig's challenge [francl.org] and donate an equal amount of money to the EFF... </obYRO>
    --
    Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up [sourceforge.net]!
    • The cost of the discs has little to do with the cost of a box set. If they put a whole season on one disc and charged $2 less for it, people would complain that the cost per disc is too high. And releasing SD content on an HD disc creates another SKU for little benefit.
    • I'm more interested in hearing when they start packing full seasons of standard-definition content onto a single disc that they can sell for a reasonable price, instead of the >$100 prices that some sets have been going for. (I.e. $338 for CSI on Amazon [amazon.com])

      Don't count on it, it's the profit motive. I can guarantee you with blu-ray/hd-dvd you'll still get a few episodes per disc and they'll still charge you a small fortune to get entire seasons. Same with the special editions and re-releases
    • Do you really think the cost is that high because of the manufacturing cost of the dvds?

      Let me guess, im sure you also believed with the arrival of DVD bands would release one-DVD compilations for a much reduced price, right?
    • I'm more interested in hearing when they start packing full seasons of standard-definition content onto a single disc that they can sell for a reasonable price, instead of the >$100 prices that some sets have been going for. (I.e. $338 for CSI on Amazon)

      Why do you think one has anything to do with the other? Do you think it makes any significance whether they sell you one disc, one disc per season or even one disc per episode? There seems to be some sort of delusion about the massive cost of the media an
  • Future problems? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:06PM (#14419022) Journal
    I think the movie studios (tv etc) are going to start hitting a wall soon.
    Think about it, after hi-def what comes next? (and don't say internet distribution etc only, people want things they can actually own in their hands)
    First it was video cassettes, then dvd and now hi-definition.. each with a definitive quality increase over their predecessor. Now however with high definition they've pretty much hit the wall, people don't need or won't want to buy super-high-deluxe-definition unless they've got a projector which projects the video onto a ridiculously large area.
    It will reach a point where it'll be "good enough", you can already see a lot of people commenting about how they don't see the point of hi-def dvd (which people will eventually go over to) when dvd suits them fine.
    The human eyeball can only see so much.
    • I think you might be right, although I'd hesitate to predict if HD-DVD/Blu-ray is where it will stop.

      The same thing happened with CD audio. CDs sound great, and if you're not one of the 0.01% of people that buy silver, uni-directional cables, then you'll agree with me. They tried SACD and some other crap I can't remember, but what's the point? Most people can't hear it, and if they can, they don't care enough.

      I think 720p or 1080p might be that limit for video. We are, after all, talking about home

  • I have very little desire for a 60" plasma TV at home which is where I would notice any improved quality. Any new DVD standard will certainly come at an increased price. Anyways, I buy far fewer DVDs now than I used to. The prices continue to creep higher and with Comcast Digital, I wait for most movies on PayPerView. There very, very few titles that I watch more than once.
  • Wait a while (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yattaran (898911)
    I'll wait until someone cracks the copy protections on these systems. Hopefully someone clever figures it out quickly. I'm not sure Blue-ray or HD-DVD will survive though. I'm certain the copy protection systems are going to kill the usefulness of both systems.

    I read a while back about a new system much better than both Blue-ray and HD-DVD, but I cannot remember what it was called.. (the name of it started with the letter n). Anybody knows anything about this?

    I suspect will see the whole DVD history all ove
  • Wait (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pvt_medic (715692) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:17PM (#14419072)
    Why buy those movies now on Blu-ray, give it half a year and then they will come out with the directors cut, special edition, 3 Blu-ray set.
  • by AudioEfex (637163) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:23PM (#14419108)
    I actually loved LD, but the hard facts of the matter are that it didn't catch on with the mass market because they were satisified with VHS. The jump from VHS to DVD was much more profound for the average viewer than DVD to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. So, it's not an insult for me to say it's going to be the next LD - I'm simply saying that it's going to remain the domain of early-adopters and techies, and by the time the general public is ready for any new format it will be superior to either of the new DVD formats.

    The other truth of the matter is, for most intents and purposes, the average person has never exploited how good DVD looks in the first place. They use S-video at best. An anamaphoric-enhanced DVD release (as most theatrical DVDs have been since the 90's), on a progressive scan DVD player with component inputs on a widescreen TV looks damn good. Better than most people will ever wish to have in their home.

    The big mistake all of the movie companies are making is that they think we are all itching for something new. We aren't. We don't care. Very few people care about this technology. We'll be well into the next decade before we start lamenting that Wal-Mart is carrying more Blu-Ray/HD discs than DVD. The studios and certain techies keep throwing numbers out there, telling us all what we are supposedly missing...and the joke is going to be on them when these things hit the market with a resounding thud.

    • Wasn't LD expensive? That's what I remember, large discs that cost a fortune, plus an expensive player that couldn't record. Then there was a format war with RCA to confuse the issue.

      I expect Blu-Ray or HD-DVD to eventually catch on when HD displays become the norm. I doubt you will be seeing very many CRT-based TVs being sold two or three years from now.

    • I remember a few years ago people were making the very same argument for why DVDs would be a failure. The new DVD players will be picked up initially by the enthusiasts with the big screen TVs, but in a couple of years you won't be able to find a non-HD DVD player on the shelves, just as today it is hard to find a DVD player that isn't capable of at least ED output. By that time, most TVs sold will be HD as well (I saw rows of them at Wal-Mart before Xmas, starting at $500). And while the difference between
    • I actually loved LD, but the hard facts of the matter are that it didn't catch on with the mass market because they were satisified with VHS.

      LD's were as big as LPs, heavy, and needed fairly careful handling. Not ideal for casual, family room, play. 60 minutes of analog video per side meant flipping discs or buying a more expensive player. High-resolution TV sets with composite or S-video inputs were rare.

      HD sets are on the market now, and, adjusted for inflation, can be found selling for less than what

    • I actually loved LD, but the hard facts of the matter are that it didn't catch on with the mass market because they were satisified with VHS.

      That's actually a pretty interesting analysis, but wrong for two reasons:

      1) Blu-Ray is going to be embedded in a very popular game system, which will in turn mean a lot more owners of players much more quickly and thus more people buying discs. With a greater market acceleration it will pick up fast enough to live unlike LD where it was hard for a long time to convinc
    • Are you kidding? The advantage Blu-Ray players have over DVD players is that they are backwards compatible with the previous format. DVD was a large shift to optical media. LD was optical, but it never caught on because it didn't provide enough added value (like the higher resolution of DVD). Optical discs may very well be the last media format ever... after them we'll just get all our content over networks and stored on computers (perhaps).

      I don't see the problem with upgrading to Blu-Ray. As consumers get
  • 1080p (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @09:33PM (#14419138) Homepage
    What I think is more interesting than the list of titles, is that Blu-ray is showing discs of content encoded in 1080p. Sony seems to be pushing that fact. I think this is rather significant, as this is the biggest difference between the two disc sets that would be visible to the consumer. Blu-ray may hold a bit more and use menus based on Java instead of MS's little language, but the difference between 1080i and p is a noticeable difference. Considering they both have basically the same draconian DRM (and DRM will never get better 'till we get a law), this should be significant.

    After all, at any resolution, progressive looks better than interlaced because you have twice the data. Makes pans and other motion smoother, more detail, etc.

    Too bad you have to buy a very expensive (right now) TV to watch 1080p. But Sony is pushing it with the PS3. 1080p Video games (if they deliver that) and 1080p video.

    I still think Blu-ray will win. While this is a definite plus for them (I assume HD-DVD could do this, but I haven't heard of any of the movies or players being able to), if you combine this with the increased storage capacity, the soon to be massive installed base (the PS3), and the availability (within a few months of HD-DVD, and more importantly: before Christmas)... I think things are getting better and better for Blu-ray to win.

    It is too bad the NIH syndrome is so big that the two groups couldn't suck it up and make one format. They didn't learn from Beta, I guess. And now that they have a VERY popular entrenched format (DVD) to compete against where Beta didn't (no previous home-video recording equipment), things don't look good on the whole.

    Blu-ray will win. It will be a hollow victory. They will beat HD-DVD, but they will only beat DVDs because the studios will stop producing them/selling them. I don't think ANY high-def format is strong enough to take over DVD without resorting to cheating within the next 5 years, at least.

    But that depends on the price of HDTVs. If they stay too expensive, then there is no point. If prices crash, then bring on the high-def movies at home.

    And kiss theaters further goodbye.

    • Something to keep in mind about 1080p is that most of the current crop of sets that are being touted as 1080p capable don't actually have a 1080p input. Someone mentioned on here a few days ago that during their research they only came across a single set had a 1080p input. Otherwise, they apparently take 1080i sources at 60 frames and output them as 1080p at 30 frames. I'm sure this will change in the future, but we're in the very very early days.
    • I still think Blu-ray will win. While this is a definite plus for them (I assume HD-DVD could do this, but I haven't heard of any of the movies or players being able to), if you combine this with the increased storage capacity, the soon to be massive installed base (the PS3), and the availability (within a few months of HD-DVD, and more importantly: before Christmas)... I think things are getting better and better for Blu-ray to win.

      I think you're wrong. First, HD-DVD drives shown at CES will be available
    • 1080p vs. 1080i for movies isn't a big deal because the frame rate on 1080i is 60/sec and movies are 24 frames per second. If you have a good deinterlacer the on-screen picture will be exactly the same.

      For other higer fram rate sources 1080p can be a benefit - video games etc.

    • Sure you MIGHT notice the difference assuming the master used was of pristine quality AND you are viewing the 1080p video using top notch equipment on at least a 100 inch screen. For most folks watching on 50 or even 60 inch HDTVs (assuming these were 1080p capable), 1080p and 1080i would probably be not much different from each other from a viewing distance of 10 to 12 feet.

      1080i / 720p is good enough for most people with real world budgets. Also most HDTV broadcasts are currently in 1080i or 720p... Bro

    • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:44PM (#14419598) Journal
      There will be virtually no difference in viewing movies in 1080I versus 1080p because they were shot in 24fps originally. Motion will stutter regardless if 1080p or 1080I during fast pans (just like in the theater). Given the same codecs storage requirements should be identical as it is the source fps that should matter and not the output frame rate.

      Now when you upconvert an interlace source (which film is not) to progressive you can get terrible artifacts, but this also depends on the quality of the upconvert hardware/software. Some HDTVs are un-watchable trying to view NTSC, others actually improve the image HUGELY, it all depends on the upconvert algorithms and horsepower assigned.

      If you have ever seen 1080I shot live like some of the BRAVO performances you will see that that the image is stunning fluid and better quality than 24fps film. 1080p will be even better when there is a lot of rapid motion of the whole scene. 1080I looks great when filming plays on BRAVO because they avoid exactly this sort of camera motion. 24fps stutters when you scroll and interlace breaks up into a nasty comb effect. 1080P avoids both. And yes this is why gamers are obsessed with frame-rate. Games tend to be nothing but fast motion and pans. Even 120fps isn't overkill for rapid motion. Granted your eye can't see changes at 120fps, BUT -- and this is a big but -- when you have large field rapid motion your eyes will track the apparent motion. The edges will blur as your eye tries to smoothly track a moving image that is actually a series of stills at the frame rate. The only way it could look un-blurred is if your eyes actually tracked them in with a motion that was a series of skips at the frame rate (not even vaguely humanly possible).

      For 24fps film 1080I is much better than 720p. 720p is probably a good choice for sports however for all the reasons listed above. OTA transmission doesn't have the bandwidth for 1080p however (at least not with mpeg2). 1080p if pretty close to nirvana for me, past here the gains are so insignificant as to be pointless. But you can always go higher on the frame rate. Shooting stuff in 60fps or higher would likely lead to new filming styles as current ones purposely avoid things that make 24fps look bad.

      The film industry should film everything in 60fps whether film or video (and progressive scan only for video). 1080P will look glorious once there is actually material available. This may be the ace in the hole that put Blu-Ray over HD-DVD in a couple of years. But only if content providers wise up and start making 60fps content.

      • by flimflam (21332) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @12:49AM (#14419811) Homepage
        I'm a filmmaker, and I can't say that I look forward to shooting at 60P. Actually you can already (most economically at 720, but if you're willing to spend the $ and put up with a 2-piece camera system you can at 1080), but for dramatic films higher frame rates are only used for slow motion.

        There have been film-based higher frame-rate systems in the past as well, but they never caught on. The problem, as I see it, is that frame rates above about 40fps or so look TOO real. Sets, even well built ones, look like sets -- your brain isn't as easily fooled at 60fps. Even acting tends to look worse -- it's strange, but all the visual cues that are used to convey action and emotion work differently. I suspect that it's possible to develop new film making techniques that would work for high frame rate cinema, but I doubt that it will become universal any time soon. Perhaps eventually when the current generation with its conditioned responses to 24fps drama passes on...

        Where I definitely DO see 60fps HD fitting in beautifully is for "experience" kind of things -- rides and simulations and such. It really gives that "looking through a window" feeling that can become really transparent in that situation.

        • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Sunday January 08, 2006 @02:30AM (#14420231) Journal
          You're right that these things tend to be subjective, but I have a NEC 1350 that can do 2500x2000 Progressive (8' wide screen). I have experimented with a variety of resolutions. I have never noticed a real difference between 1080I and 1080P on stuff converted from 24fps Film (which is almost everything) despite the second poster's comments about 3:2 pulldown. 720P is only slightly above DVD in visual quality (at least from film). This is odd, because I see a noticeable bump in spatial quality from 720 to 1080. This maybe due however to the fact that my computer based homebrew system does a really good job of upconverting DVD with a lot of signal processing tricks that create what could be termed artificial detail. When your display resolution is greater than your source resolution you actually get to see the details that are obscured by pixel and scan artifacts (assuming the extrapolation/image-processing is decent).

          I take in IMAX whenever I'm up to Navy Pier in Chicago and I have never said, "oh this would be much better if it looked less fluid." Sony would be smart to get the IMAX catalog quickly available to really distinguish themselves from HD-DVD, and make sure they use the highest bit-rates possible for highest quality 1080P they can achieve. This is the type of move that wins over the videophile early adopters.

          Filmmakers will adapt to be sure to high fps formats. Hell, you can always display lower frame rates when you want. Films like Gladiator used a slower frame rate than 24fps for the battle scenes to give it a choppy disorienting feel. I Robot did this in several scenes as well, but in this case it was just annoying.

          If you hadn't noticed films are becoming more and more like rides and simulations all the time, though I'm not saying this is necessarily a good thing in that is usually for game tie-ins. But hell if they're gonna do it, it might as well look good.

          Maybe you could be the first filmmaker to do a 60fps remake of 1968's "Bullitt" [wikipedia.org] with Steve McQueen and redefine chase scenes.

  • Kickbacks? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:10PM (#14419249)
    I wonder if Sony is giving kickbacks to other studios such as Fox for supporting the format early? Are there licence fees involved to make Blu-Ray discs?
  • Start selling entertainment centers that have more shelves than the average one.

    Because jeesh, just what I need is yet ANOTHER console on my overwhelmed ent. center I bought for $20. The stereo, cable box, tivo, ps2, and other stuff.

    Oh, and start selling stereo units that can hook up to yet another console.

    I dunno, this is quite possbily the most quiet home entertainment format launch I have ever lived to see. But alas I will probably be not using this format in the near future since I don't have an HTDV. I
  • Bad movies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HermanAB (661181) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @10:21PM (#14419287)
    are still bad, no matter how high the resolution and it is funny to note that the converse is also true. Most people don't give a damn about the resolution. What people are interested in is the thickness of the panels. Most prefer a panel TV over a CRT TV, simply because they take up less space and don't really care about the rest.
  • Forget Blu-Ray, Forget HD-DVD.... I'm waiting until that Holographic HVD gets released at it's full 1.whatever TB spec.
  • No Porn? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tie_guy_matt (176397)
    I am serious, they will need porn. Everyone knows that the killer app for the VCR was porn. Why go to a scummy X-rated movie theater when you can watch Deep Throat at home? It was my understanding that the first two movies to come out on laser disc were Debbie Does Dallas and some famous Opera. Of course we know which title totally out sold the other. Like it or not Porn launched the VCR, it launched the internet and without it I wouldn't expect there to be much use for HD movies at home. I mean who else is
    • Dunno anymore... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Junta (36770) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @11:33PM (#14419555)
      There are degrees of apparent privacy. Before home video, there were theaters, and therefore home video market when available was greatly influenced by porn availability. You have to go to a public store and be relatively public or receive a potentially conspicuous package, but have to wait and still risk embarassment. The home video market exploded, decreasing the theater market to nil and growing the overall market for porn in general.

      Nowadays, how sizable is the home porn video market compared to the more anonymous, the more instantly 'gratifying' internet porn market that has presumably overwhelmed DVD/VHS distribution due to the immediacy and anonymity the computer offers. If nothing else, seeing all the computers I've dealt with where people stick porn in places they perceive as obscure suggests they have higher confidence in hiding files on a computer than hiding tapes or discs in their home. Even for the television channels, I would wager people feel safer buying some porn network/pay-per-view and hiding the charges on their credit card they find easier than hiding discs/tapes.

      In essence, as amusing it is to think of porn as a huge market force in such a context, it probably isn't realistic to consider it a 'killer app' this time around. However, I doubt Sony will be so prudish this time compared to the Betamax fiasco, just to be on the safe side.
  • by John Pfeiffer (454131) on Sunday January 08, 2006 @07:05AM (#14420965) Homepage
    Screw the new formats, and screw the DRM that comes with it. I get my HD movies off usenet just fine, thanks. I _usually_ own the DVDs, too. (Sometimes I just want to check something out, and can't be bollocksed to traipse to the video store through a foot of snow.) But then, DVDs don't look as impressive and 'secksiful' on a ten foot screen anyway.

    I have to agree with what someone above said, there's not going to be any more 'formats'... It's all about portability and access of the 'files'. We're at a point now, where sooner rather than later, buying movies and music is really going to be a matter of licensing rather than owning something tangible.

    This will be both good and bad. There are some people, me included, who aren't really going to notice the difference... I've actually downloaded DVD ISOs of discs I own, because I couldn't find the damned thing, or downloaded anime preformatted for my PSP. (Or at least, a DVD rip I can transcode.) So, with that becoming sort of the norm, I won't lose much sleep over it. (Besides, I treat physical media terribly to begin with.) But for some people, this will just break them, on a fundamental level. Sucks to be them, but they're simply not fit for the digital world. And I won't lose much sleep over them, either.

    Now if only I had Verizon FIOS, and its 15mbps downstram for $40 a month. :P Between that and my unlimited download, unlimited speed, 70+ day multipart binary retention, premium usenet feed... I COULD DOWNLOAD ENTIRE INTERNETS!

    No wait, better yet... If only I lived in Japan and could share a 1gbit fiber line with twenty other people for $50 a month....damn, the very thought brings a tears to my eyes... *wrings out his eyepatch*

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