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Spirit vs. Ursa Gold



Steve Russell recently posted, "In closing let me state the personal
attacks that have been made against John Dowdell's credibility for this
demonstration are completely unfounded."  I absolutely agree, but where are
these so-called attacks?  I have searched the archives of all postings
since my reluctant one of September 22, (which was done simply to explain
why certain Cintel representatives may have over-reacted at the IBC) and I
still have found none.

I said in my posting that I had observed that John "occasionally gleefully
trashed examples of supposedly earlier transfers done on Ursa Golds at the
Tape House".  This is what I saw, and I said further, "my apologies to John
Dowdell, it is nothing personal.  I really didn't want to post this."  It
was never, ever my intent to criticize John for his opinions.  However, I
do hold Philips absolutely accountable for encouraging their display during
the show.  I saw John's live demo (the split/screen tape was just running
in the background) on the third day of the IBC show, and by then,
presumably, someone at Philips would have stopped him if they had felt that
such comments were not properly representing Philips position.

I wish to emphatically state again, I have only the highest regard for
John, his work, and his opinions.  If my comments were somehow
misinterpreted by him or anyone else to be a personal attack, I sincerely
regret it.  He was not, and is not the issue.  He is entitled to his
opinions on the Spirit, Ursa, or anything else for that matter.  But, when
anyone goes in front of the public in a forum like IBC, NAB, World Media
Expo, or in a trade journal article, then they must be viewed as speaking
for the company (Philips) they represent and not themselves.  This was my
real and only point.  John's credibility was never the issue and it
shouldn't be.

The only problem with the Ursa/Spirit split screen demo tape that was shown
at IBC '96 is that the original film used in it is not available to
colorists and/or viewers to completely satisfy themselves as to whether the
Ursa side of the split screen was fair or not.  Again, John's personal
credibility was never in question about this as I don't believe he even did
many of the Ursa transfers displayed.  Philips is, however, apparently
still utilizing this controversial tape for marketing purposes.  So whose
credibility is really in question?

For the record, and this too is my opinion:  It is in the marketing
interest of Philips to try to constantly focus the debate between Spirit
and Ursa solely on that of picture quality.  But these two devices are far
apart in cost.  Therefore, the far more serious issue is in analyzing the
features offered vs. the Price Performance Ratio.

Thus, the real story to me is that there is a wonderful market opportunity
unfolding for someone, be it Cintel, Philips, or several others, to bring
to market the appropriate device, at the appropriate price.  I don't
believe this machine is quite available to us yet, which is all the more
reason to attend next weeks conference in LA to see where the real state of
the art is at.

Again, my sincere apologies to John if my posting offended in any way,



Neil B. Feldman
Video Post and Transfer, Inc.