Nightmares With High Resolution DVDs

Audio/Video Revolution has an article up about the troubles professional installers are having with the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disc players, destined to bring us high resolution movies at home. One would expect some pains introducing a new product, but the warts are pretty bad on these new items.

In particular, I would never by a product with the following problems:

Back at the HD DVD camp, things get worse when you try to seamlessly switch from an HD DVD player to another HDMI source and then back. Currently, in my reference system, once you get a movie going, you are best suited sticking with the movie. God forbid you might want to pause it to check the scores on ESPN HD via another HDMI source (for example, an HD-TiVo). The system will switch to the HD-TiVo, no problem, but getting back to the HD DVD player, nine times out of 10, will require a full restart of the Intel-based Windows computer known as my HD DVD player. Moreover, an actual computer could remember where I was in the movie and thus wouldn’t require me to hunt down the chapter and try to get back into the film.

These sorts of synchronization issues should have been worked out before a product made it to market, no matter how critical it was just to ship something. If you launch a product so buggy that the user experience is poor, you could scuttle the whole format. Early review like this one have put me firmly in the Blu-Ray camp.

The other issue is that standards are still discovering and correcting problems. How many purchasers of either product will look for the elusive HDMI 1.3 version stamp?

With the release of HDMI 1.3, one would have to hope that the connectivity of these players in both formats will improve. Certainly, the audio and video performance will improve, but with the clunkiness of the players at this point, one can certainly understand why custom installers and many retailers are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for better players. It’s just too dangerous right now on the cutting edge.

HDMI 1.3 specifies the signals and cable required to transmit a full 1920x1080 progressive image from a source to other devices. It is a fully digital format with all the attendant copyright flags and so on. It may even bring us the final convergence between TVs and computer monitors. You wouldn't believe how annoyed I was a few years ago to have a computer with DVI outputs and a nice monitor with DVI inputs, yet I had to use the analog signal to get 1600x1200. All the devices in the chain were capable of the resolution, but the interface was not.

In software poor interfaces will ruin your market share. One wonders if consumer electronics makers understand this as well.

Josh Poulson

Posted Saturday, Jul 15 2006 08:28 AM

Adjacent entries


« Bombay Bombings
Israel vs. Lebanon »





To track back to this entry, ping this URL:

There are no trackbacks on this entry.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)



Affiliate advertising

Basecamp project management and collaboration

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate