A/V Specs vs. Reality

Blu-Ray discs have 20 GB more space than HD-DVD, but does that equate to better sound/picture? Can lower bitrate video look better than higher bitrate video? Is lossless audio better than lossy audio? Find out on this weeks A/V Mythbusters 🙂


The truth of the matter is that all video compression codecs have the same purpose, to accurately represent the source using a fraction of the storage space. In the hands of a good operator, both VC-1 and AVC are more than capable of achieving this goal. Even the dated MPEG-2 codec has been known to deliver excellent results (owners of the now-defunct D-Theater tape format sure didn’t seem to have any problem with it). There are plenty of examples of "reference quality" transfers using any of the above, from ‘King Kong’ (VC-1) to ‘Final Fantasy’ (AVC) to ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (MPEG-2). In all cases, the skill of the compressionist and the quality of the work is more important than the codec used to get there.