The Dawn of High Definition

Show me the HD Movies

Show me the HD Movies


In this segment, we will compare the difference between a standard DVD movie and a HD DVD movie using Swordfish from Warner Brothers Studios starring John Travolta, Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman. And yes, the scene where she bares it all is available on both media, but of course that's for private viewing only. Here are some other shots we captured from the movie using a DSLR camera:-

For this segment of comparing HD DVD quality with that of a standard DVD, we chose the movie Swordfish for this purpose.

For HD DVD playback, we used a custom PC with a HD DVD drive ...

... And equipped it with a HDMI output capable graphics card. The card used in this setup is an MSI GeForce 7600 GT Diamond Plus edition, which we recently reviewed. Take note that this is an earlier photo we clicked that used a converter based connection just for trials, which came out to be the equivalent of using a standard HDMI-to-HDMI cable.

This is a cropped image taken from HD DVD playback. The details on John's face are clear and sharp.

The same scene but this time, it is a cropped image taken from the standard DVD playback. You can see from the screenshot that it is not as detailed compared to the HD DVD counterpart.

Besides the obvious color saturation difference, this cropped image of Halle Berry is much sharper than the DVD counterpart.

While the colors look more natural, the details on this cropped image taken from the DVD source looks pixilated in comparison when viewed on the same HDTV screen.

Blu-ray Movies

Not forgetting movies on the Blu-ray, we also have some screen captures from the movie XXX from Columbia Picture starring Vin Diesel. However, there are apparently some issues with the first generation of Blu-ray movie titles because of the different format and transfer used. As a result, we can still notice noise (grains) visibly all over the screen and it doesn't live up to HD movie viewing standards such as what we've seen with HD DVD (which thankfully worked very well). Our first encounter with this issue was over a month ago in a previous article where we tested the House of Flying Daggers, Stealth and Ultra Violet. To showcase the noise we observed on the Blu-ray movie evidently, we chose this darker scene where XXX jumps off from the roof with a mountain bike.

This is a dark screenshot taken from the XXX Blu-ray movie title.

This is the cropped image of the same scene. As you can see, it is plagued by noise (grains). This issue is quite common for first generation of Blu-ray titles. We've yet to lay our hands on the newer variety to relate a positive experience on Blu-ray movies.

Take note that the screenshots shown on this page are not exactly what you would experience first hand because these are snapped from a DSLR camera and the quality reproduced is dependant on the camera's lens and setup parameters (both physically and the camera's own setup). Nevertheless, since we've snapped the pictures in the exact same conditions (apart from the differing media used), it is clear that the high-definition video from the HD DVD looks much clearer and detailed. Viewing the DVD version of the same movie on the HDTV looked disappointing after experiencing HD DVD and we have no doubt that you would concur with us once you start to get pampered as well.

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