Originally Posted by Unch
Seriously, what are the real benefits of these HD formats? DVD offered practical benefits over VHS - compact media, the ability to jump to arbitrary points in playback, no physical degradation / loss of quality over time. What do these HD formats really offer?
They offer just as much/little as VHS had on dvd, depending on your views
- Menus/information that integrates with the movie with out being preencoded as with dvd, ie you don't need to stop a movie if you want go through settings.
- Picture in picture (for HDdvd, will probably be useful in future BD upgrades)
- 6x the resolution
- Finally lossless encoding of audio, especially spatial orientation.
- Video codecs that aren't bit starved and with artifacts around the 2h+ mark.
- Actual seamless branching, not that fade crap DVD has.
The biggest drawbacks right now would be that BDs java specs are ad-hoc:ed in reality and that anamorphic/custom aspect encoding wasn't in the base profile (indeed probably not even in the 1.3+ specs)
A interesting side note is that the actual hardware requirements for running java means that when $60 players arrive, modified firmwares can go really crazy. Think xbox media center, but blu-ray instead.