August 27, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
Not so fast there, satellites. That’s apparently, and predictably, what Blu-ray is telling Dish Network and DirecTV (and a French cable operator Numericable) about referencing the disc format when it comes to their new 1080p movie services.
Dish Network unveiled its TurboHD service that includes video-on-demand options for 1080p movies back in late July, right after DirecTV announced it would have 1080p movies later this year too.
Consulting firm Strategy Analytics did a report about how the satellite providers were raising the bar, and included Blu-ray’s response, since Dish and DirecTV, predictably too, mentioned the Blu-ray format when talking 1080p HD resolution. In “Full HD: Blu-ray Camp Claims Broadcasters ‘Mislead’ Consumers,” (you’ll have to shell out $899 for the full 5-page report) author David Mercer summarizes (and also blogs):
“The fact that they have referenced Blu-ray in their publicity has put the cat among the proverbial pigeons because the Blu-ray standard was always intended to be untouchable as a video quality industry benchmark. The Blu-ray Disc Association is fighting back with claims that satellite companies cannot technically match the Blu-ray experience and that it will do whatever it can to ensure that consumers are not being misled.”
Mercer added in the blog that the Blu-ray Disc Association gave him a statement, which included responses to the satellites’ publicity as, “These comparisons are irresponsible and are misleading to consumers. Upconversion 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.”
Them’s fightin’ words indeed. Mercer goes on to say that Blu-ray and its benchmark Full HD 1080p quality should have nothing to fear—it’s not in the same competition ballpark as satellites, cable companies and FiOS. Having seen high-definition discs (Blu-ray and HD DVD) in mere 1080i compared to 1080i cable broadcasts, I’d have to agree with Mercer, and I’m guessing the divide in picture and sound quality between 1080p Blu-ray and 1080p satellite service is probably just as noticeable.
For those of you who do have Dish or DirecTV, please let us know how what you think of their 1080p movie quality.
Via: Engadget HD
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.