HD-DVD vs. Upconverted DVD – A real-life comparison

So I did pick up an HD-DVD, but both my Mac and my XBox do such an awesome job of upconverting DVDs that I wasn’t sure this whole next generation optical format war was even worth it. You can see lots of screen captures online, but those are usually under optimum conditions, and often biased. I wanted a real-life comparison, under normal home-viewing conditions — a real, human comparison.
So I set up a little tri-pod, put my Batman Begins DVD in my XBox, and my new Batman Begins HD-DVD in the XBox HD-DVD player, found the same scene on both, and took a picture. I didn’t get quite the same frame, but its close enough. Don’t look at actor — look at the stuff around him. The keyboard, for example, or the other things on the desk.
Even to my unscientific eye, HD-DVD does look significantly sharper and more detailed. What do you think? Click the picture for a larger version, and excuse the moire effect — that’s the fault of the camera, not the source…

2 thoughts on “HD-DVD vs. Upconverted DVD – A real-life comparison

  1. What size TV is it? On our 52″, I can easily see the graininess in a DVD. On our 42″ Plasma however, the picture couldn’t be much better. I can still tell if the movie itself is poor quality, but with a good DVD, the picture is basically as perfect as my vision will allow from a distance.

  2. Good question, I guess I should have put in a little more info, hunh?
    The TV is a 40″ LCD at 1080p.
    The HD-DVD is also at 1080p, while the upconverted DVD was at 720p.
    Frankly, my eye-sight isn’t good enough to distinguish the difference between most scenes from the couch either.
    The opening sequence with the bats flying across the screen, though, really shows the difference between the MPEG2 compression in the DVD and the MPEG4-10 in HD-DVD — on the DVD the shape of the bats totally gets lost to the artifacting. The HD-DVD looks sharp and crisp throughout.

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