All 1080p Content Is Not The Same

I’ve said it before, and I will probably say it again, all 1080p content is not the same. There is more to picture quality than lines of resolution or pixel count, bit rate is equally important, if not more so. With DirecTV, DISH Network, VUDU, and others touting their 1080p content they’re often comparing it to the gold standard in home video – Blu-ray Disc. As DISH Network did just the other day: “Blu-Ray Disc quality 1080p resolution”. And that doesn’t get into the audio, which doesn’t come close to the lossless audio available on many Blu-ray titles. Well, it looks like the Blu-ray Disc Association has finally had enough, according to David Mercer at StrategyAnalytics:

These claims have clearly struck a sensitive nerve within the Blu-ray community, which, given their strategy as outlined above, is perhaps not surprising. Today the BDA has given me the following statement:

“A number of companies have recently launched advertising campaigns claiming their products deliver high definition picture and sound “equal” to that delivered by Blu-ray Disc. These comparisons are irresponsible and are misleading to consumers. Up conversion and satellite broadcast cannot provide a true Blu-ray high definition experience, as neither is technically capable of producing the quality delivered by Blu-ray players and Blu-ray discs. To that end, the Blu-ray Disc Association is exploring these claims further and will take appropriate action, as necessary, to prevent consumers seeking the ultimate in high-definition home entertainment from being misled.”

I’m happy to see this. Blu-ray has struggled to educate consumers about higher quality home cinema, and now that it is started to gain recognition and traction in the market other vendors are trying to ride their coattails by tricking consumers into thinking they offer the same quality experience just because they’re also ’1080p’.

Picked up from EngadgetHD.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Tom

    I subscribe to Comcast. And although they don’t make any 1080p claims, they do a lot of HD boasting. But it’s quite obvious they kill the bitrate of HD programs when you look at the size of the recorded files on TiVo.

    A two-hour 1080i movie only taking 5-6 GB sometimes? That’s some bit-hacking going on! If that’s all that was needed, then why do we need an HD optical disc capacity with a minimum of 25 GB.

  • MegaZone

    Definitely, and keep in mind that’s MPEG-2. While some Blu-ray titles, mostly earlier titles, use MPEG-2, most use H.264 or VC-1 and still use 30GB or more of the disc. Some of that will be the superior audio, but most of it is for more image data.

  • Gryphon

    This, and the thing about upconverting DVD players earlier, remind me of the early days of CD, when all music CDs came with that stock disclaimer somewhere in the insert, explaining that “the CD format may reveal limitations of the source tapes.” You’ve never heard 1960s analog tape hiss until you’ve heard it on an early Beatles CD! :)