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Category:    Home > Essays > Home Video > LaserDiscs > Regular, standard DVD still having its moments.

Regular, standard DVD still having its moments.


With all the titles coming out in Blu-ray and HD-DVD, it is going to be likely a decade before they match the boom production of standard DVD. Like early DVD, we are seeing our share of substandard titles in the HD formats, but at the same, time, the ones that really perform well are making it harder to watch many regular DVDs the more you watch HD anywhere. In the face of this, it is important to note that there are DVDs out there with great color and detail that still look better than titles in the HD formats, even when they are not anamorphically enhanced in the case of widescreen presentations.


The same held true in many cases of DVD vs. 12 LaserDisc, as those larger platters had uncompressed picture and especially uncompressed PCM 2.0 sound. Note that PCM 5.1 mixes, which were not even possible with LaserDisc (which still offered the debuts of DTS and Dolby Digital) are being raved about al the time. The raves in the press (and here) for such mixes are similar to the better PCM-like MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) DVD-Audio titles in-between and shows just how much we have had to all suffer through standard Dolby Digital all these years. Glad DTS made it, despite lame expectations to the contrary.


Even today, there are some LaserDiscs that look better than their DVD counterparts, a few titles (some Criterion 12 Lasers in particular) with extras likely never to come out in DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-ray because of rights issues and The PCM 2.0 Mono, Stereo and Stereo with Pro Logic surround mixes from the Lasers beat their Dolby Digital counterparts still to this day all the time. DVD will not be able to hold its own against the two HD formats as well, but there will still be cases of extras and other tech aspects that will keep some DVDs valuable long after HD overtakes it. Also, all DVDs will be cross-compatible with the HD machines, so unlike 12 Lasers, the transition will be like CD and DVD. With Warner ready to issue (and be the only ones so far to issue) the Total HD disc format, which has both HD formats on either side of a single disc, the march towards HD will be interesting.


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