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Retailers Press For Unified HD DVD Format 293

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-we-all-want dept.
datemenatalie writes "While the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray continues over who will be the direct successor to DVD, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) has issued a strong statement to Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry regarding the looming HD format war. The statement, which supports a single high-definition disc format, also offers advice on dimensions, packaging, features and even how marketing materials should be designed. The statement argues, "two formats, each capable of storing high definition movies on DVD, are planned for release into the market. Retailers uniformly agree that the concurrent distribution of more than one format is likely unsustainable, and that the launch of a single format is preferable to a format war which could confuse the public and lead to reluctance to embrace either format." This comes just weeks after early indications that HD-DVD will only allow playback of full 1080 resolution video signals through HDMI connectors, leaving consumers with older HDTVs (pre-HDMI) out of luck."
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Retailers Press For Unified HD DVD Format

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  • by Xesdeeni (308293) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:18PM (#13189410)
    So yeah, they are rallying for a single format. Plus ten for style, but minus several hundred for insisting that the copy protection be severe, including the prohibition of analog HD.

    Xesdeeni
    • If you don't like the copy protection then please work hard to win the hearts and minds of consumers. If they make a free and voluntary choice to agree with you then an effective boycott will change the distributors minds. Let's let the market decide this one. Consumers are not stupid.
      • Actually, consumers are stupid. They(we) have proven it to manufacturers and resellers over and over again. We have a short memory and lots of money.
      • Consumers are not stupid.

        Maybe not stupid, but definitely powerless. Boycotts don't exist anymore; they have to be forced on people; e.g. international embargos, regulations, militarily-enforced cartels. Facing a lack of options, most modern people (especially now-minded Americans) will take the best of what is available to them. As a result, anything short of fearing for safety, isn't sufficient to maintain a boycott.
        • As a result, anything short of fearing for safety, isn't sufficient to maintain a boycott.

          That's easy then - just tell everyone that, "If you buy HD-BLU-DVDs then the terrorists have won!"
      • Let's let the market decide this one. Consumers are not stupid.

            That's highly debatable. Most consumers are sheep.
      • Consumers are not stupid.

        There are plenty of stupid consumers. Anyone who spent $5,000 on a Plasma TV (Expected life of 5 years) for example, people who eat McDonalds hamburgers (WHICH TASTE NOTHING LIKE REAL BEEF!), people who smoke cigarettes. People who spend $1200 a year on cable are pretty close to stupid ...

        Most consumers are sheep.
        • What a crock of shit.
          Consumers arn't stupid. I'm pretty sure the salesmen don't TELL you the expected life is 5 years, that people don't eat McDonalds for the flavor but for the speed and low cost, and that smoking is not a decision based on ones health but on social reasons. Consumers have their reasons for what they do and buy, just because you don't agree doesn't make them or you right so get off the damn high horse.
      • ROFL!!! (Score:5, Funny)

        by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:58PM (#13189828) Homepage
        "Consumers are not stupid."

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        Oh, brother, I can barely catch my breath. Have you ever wandered through a Best Buy or Circuit City?

        hahahahahahahahahahahaha

        • So now the measure of smartness is knowledge of consumer electronics? How smart would you sound if you were looking through the women's shoe department at Nordstrom's?
        • Re:ROFL!!! (Score:3, Funny)

          by wildsurf (535389)
          "Consumers are not stupid."

          "Think of how stupid the average consumer is, and realize that half of them are stupider than that!" (apologies to George Carlin.)

          Meanwhile, on the technical side, my vote would be for the highest-quality, most forward-looking technology, so it has the largest chance to convert people from DVDs. The current DVD technology is to my mind the video equivalent of CD-quality; in other words, "good enough" for most people. Who cares if it takes a few more cents per disc to manuf
    • These are the retailers. Even more than the studios, they care very much that people actually buy movies rather than getting illegal copies.

      If you want an end to copy protection, you're not going to have the retailers on your side unless you give them a really good reason. Tell them you'll boycott, perhaps, or show them some research showing that movie downloaders buy more movies. (Send it to me, too, while you're at it.)

      But don't expect them to call for what they perceive as slitting their own throats.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:19PM (#13189420)
    which format offers more pr0n? (blu-ray) That is the answer. That is always the answer.
  • by dankelley (573611) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:19PM (#13189422)
    From the post, "launch of a single format is preferable to a format war" ...

    ... ya think?

  • I certainly hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solr_Flare (844465) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:19PM (#13189428)
    That for once these format developers can just agree on a single standard and stick with it. But, I think that will be highly unlikely. They will fight it out at the consumer's expense for a few years then finally settle down on a single format.

    By all rights, Blu-ray *should* be the next-gen standard. It is superior in just about every way. Which, studying history, means that HD-DVD will probably win out in the end :P
    • Re:I certainly hope (Score:5, Informative)

      by Adrilla (830520) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:22PM (#13189462) Homepage
      Not only do the retailers wish for a single format but so do the consumers. No one wants to be stuck with an obsolete piece of equipment a year or so after they've purchased it. Let's avoid another VHS/Beta fiasco, and actually think about the consumers for once. I personally like the Blu-ray option, it's got more room and just seems like it's the better option to me, plus it doesn't look out all the consumers without HDMI. I'd like these companies to think about the customers just once, but that's probably asking too much.
  • HDMI Only? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mbelly (827938) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:20PM (#13189433)
    This comes just weeks after early indications that HD-DVD will only allow playback of full 1080 resolution video signals through HDMI connectors, leaving consumers with older HDTVs (pre-HDMI) out of luck.

    This could be both good and bad for HD-DVD. Film makers will like the HDMI only for the DRM capability. On the other hand, consumers who are not ready to upgrade their TV's will shun away from them. It's going to be a toss up.
    • Re:HDMI Only? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Solr_Flare (844465) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:23PM (#13189483)
      What is really ironic here is....

      Isn't HD-DVD's one big touted advantage supposed to be, and correct me if I'm recalling wrong here, easy backwards compatability?

      It is rather self defeating if its backwards compatable in one way but forces hardware upgrades the other way. This will probably play more against the standard than for it.
      • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @05:05PM (#13189885) Homepage
        Isn't HD-DVD's one big touted advantage supposed to be, and correct me if I'm recalling wrong here, easy backwards compatability?

        As far as I'm aware, the advantage is and always has been easy backward compatibility for the content industries. From the consumer perspective, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will be equally backward compatible with DVD, and both will achieve this backward compatibility in the same way-- by adding a third laser to the two which DVD drives already possess (one laser for CD frequencies, one laser for DVD frequencies, one laser for the "blue" HD disc frequencies).

        In fact from the consumer perspective if anything Blu-Ray is more backward compatible than HD-DVD-- because it is possible to manufacture Blu-Ray discs which can be placed in a standard DVD or CD player, and which appear as DVDs to a DVD player and Blu-Rays to a Blu-Ray player. (However, it is unclear if any such Blu-Ray discs will ever be manufactured, and anyway it may not be too late for HD-DVD to adopt this same feature.)

        The tauted "backward compatibility" of HD-DVD is, as noted above, from the perspective of a content producer. That is to say, you can manufacture HD-DVDs in the same machines you manufacture DVDs in, with some slight upgrades. If you wish to manufacture Blu-Ray discs, you must buy a new machine. Of course, we are told, if it is cheaper to manufacture HD-DVDs than Blu-Ray discs because you don't have to buy new machines, then the discs will be cheaper for the consumer as well. Hooray for trickle-down economics!

        And of course from the perspective of a content producer, forcing your cattle, I mean consumers, to buy new "secure" equipment-- as HD-DVD does and Blu-Ray probably will-- is a big plus.
    • Re:HDMI Only? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cabra771 (197990)
      consumers who are not ready to upgrade their TV's will shun away from them.

      I'm sure it wouldn't be long until somebody creates a little dongle that will convert HDMI to a S-Video or Component signal and defeats any DRM imposed at the same time.
      • Re:HDMI Only? (Score:4, Informative)

        by fyonn (115426) <dave@fyonn.net> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @05:41PM (#13190222) Homepage
        I'm sure it wouldn't be long until somebody creates a little dongle that will convert HDMI to a S-Video or Component signal and defeats any DRM imposed at the same time.

        why lose the quality by downconverting to svideo or component?

        This [spatz-tech.de] box will strip the HDCP off an incoming DVI inut and output un-encrypted DVI. you can downconvert that if you want, or keep it as top notch 1080i/720p

        dave

    • guess I can move on, nothing to see there.
  • by EggyToast (858951) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:21PM (#13189452) Homepage
    I used to say that, on a purely economic point, that HD-DVD had an advantage based on the fact that the initial discs would be cheaper, and that the hardware doesn't require two separate lasers in order to read HD-DVD and older DVD.

    But that HDMI fact I did not know about. To me, that really, really hurts HD-DVD as a format. My TV supports HD up to 1080i, but has no HDMI connectors. So the format is entirely useless to me if I want to buy a TV. I just bought a TV.

    Blu-Ray already fits more space per disc. I really see little reason at this point to not say "let's just go blu-ray, start retooling machines, and let the price come down." I hate the fact that Sony has its grubby mitts on it, but I'd rather have a format I can actually use without having to buy entirely new hardware. Just a player.

  • This is great politicing. Everyone reads: "One format is better than two." Sneak in the copy protection through the back door. I want Blue-Ray to win personally, but right now I just want a frickin' 'HD'-DVD player - and content for it.
  • Size (Score:3, Funny)

    by tor528 (896250) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:22PM (#13189470) Homepage
    They're going to be the same size as current DVDs and CDs... Haven't they figured out how annoying those dimensions are? Just barely too big to fit in a pocket.
    • Blame Beethoven. The CD was supposed to be smaller, but the enlarged it so that the 9th symphony would fit on one disc.
  • by tod_miller (792541) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:22PM (#13189474) Journal
    My name is, erm, Paul Preamble, and I would like to point out that if you release HD-DVD formats, then it will take oh so much longer for me to re-encode them to xvid so it will fit onto a cheapo CD, and be more easily attainable through P2P applications.

    So I urge you, as a consumer, please keep your bit rates low, and consider us warez geezerz.

    Otherwise I will just have to draw upon the dark powers of bittorrent, that evil protocol, and distribute gigs of high resolution video to all my l33t friends on the w3b, you know, d4rkh0rz, m@niac, l0tt0rz and b4dger. (their real handles have been changed to protect the innocent)

    Kindly,

    Tod^H^H^H Paul

    [X] Post Anonymously
  • by Eugene (6671) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:28PM (#13189535) Homepage
    sometimes I'd want to see another messy product war just so the manufactures behind the format war to see it's a no win situation for anyone. I guess most people forgot about the VHS vs Beta, or MD vs DCC (well, this one really isn't a war. since both lost to CD-R)

  • This comes just weeks after early indications that HD-DVD will only allow playback of full 1080 resolution video signals through HDMI connectors, leaving consumers with older HDTVs (pre-HDMI) out of luck."

    Screwed again. Why am I surprised?

  • by MudButt (853616) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:29PM (#13189553)
    The consumer electronics industry will always have "compatibility wars". It was no different with the 56K modem wars (X2 vs K56Flex [zoltrix.com]). Consumers: Don't go out and by the latest HDDVD player if you aren't prepared to have a worthless heap of circuits laying around 2 years later. Case in point: my very own K56Flex modem, retailing for $89.95. DOH!
  • hummm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:32PM (#13189575)
    Hd-DVD or Blu-ray..

    HDMI = BAD

    however.. for blu-ray.. unless you have a HDCP enabled device on the DVI (-d) cable then your only gonna get 480i.. or perhaps 480p anyway..

    SO.. they both suck..

    but blu-ray sucks less because atleast component out is still going to be available and you don't have to by an interface box.

    The chinese will fix it however.. shhh.. you can already get HDCP disabled devices, just don't let hollyweird know. Leave it to a communist regime to set the capitialist markets straight.
  • who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by styxlord (9897) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:32PM (#13189577)
    Is the adoption (or lack thereof) of DVD-Audio/SACD due to format competition? Nope. Much like CDs, DVDs provide more than acceptable quality to the masses.
    • Re:who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by evilviper (135110)
      Much like CDs, DVDs provide more than acceptable quality to the masses.

      No, with audio CDs, almost everyone literally can't hear the difference with a higher-quality format. With HDTV, people can easily see the difference between 480 and 1080.

      I'm not saying you're right or wrong, but your rationalle is certainly wrong.
    • Re:who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BillyBlaze (746775)
      I think there's a significant overlap between the audiophiles who want better-quality audio and the technophiles who want to organize and use it with their computers. Since DVD-Audio/SACD doesn't provide that flexibility, it isn't worth it to people in that overlap.
  • by adrenaline_junky (243428) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:33PM (#13189593)
    A quick google of "HDMI analog converter" yields several interesting links, one of which is a device that removes HDCP encryption from an HDMI/DVI signal:

    http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/12115 [cdfreaks.com]
    • Sure. And at the rate that television prices are falling, in a couple years you could buy a new TV for the same price as a 349 "converter" box.

      Consider, too, that the new HDDVD specs allow for the **removal** of authentication keys from the pool of permissable keys if they have compromised. I'm betting it won't be long before Hollywierd disables the keys this device uses.
  • If the format war isn't resolved, retailers could unite behind one format and force the issue by not stocking titles that are in the other format. It would take a nearly united retail front, but it would certainly be possible and would probably be in the consumer's best interest. The guys backing the other format would change their tune rather quickly if retail sales were stagnant.
    • If the format war isn't resolved, retailers could unite behind one format and force the issue by not stocking titles that are in the other format. It would take a nearly united retail front, but it would certainly be possible and would probably be in the consumer's best interest. The guys backing the other format would change their tune rather quickly if retail sales were stagnant.

      I don't usually reply to my own posts but in this case I think it's warranted. It wouldn't really take a united retail front.

    • "If the format war isn't resolved, retailers could unite behind one format and force the issue by not stocking titles that are in the other format."

      Yeah, except that 1) the collusion wouldn't go over too well with the FTC. and more importantly 2) retailers are whores. They'll sell anything to make a buck. They're just trying to avoid tough questions from the consumer in this case.

  • Doomed to fail? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate@NOspAm.hotmail.com> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:34PM (#13189602) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I don't see either standard as being that successful. While I'll personally enjoy the better picture from a HD DVD standard, I don't see the average consumer willing to switch over.

    DVD was successful because in addition to picture and sound quality, the format offered quite a few advantages over the prevailing standard VHS tapes. The new format was more durable (could be played over and over again without degradation), portable (smaller, easier to store), easier to manage (no rewinding, could easily jump to any portion of the film) and provided the viewer with quite a few new valuable features (extra features, commentary, switchable subtitles and foreign languages etc.)

    A HD DVD standard only offers the advantage of better picture. I just can't see regular people willing to invest in new equipment and update their video libraries just for that, and in turn I don't see publishers being motivated to offer a large amount of titles in the new standard.

    Sure, I'll buy it, but that's because I'm a dork and I like fancy electronic equipment, especially if it shows off the capabilities of my HD TVs. But most people aren't dorks (heck, a lot of people still prefer full screen versions of DVD movies).

    • You are kidding yourself. The major broadcast TV companies will be switching to HD in the next decade. That will mean that all the DVD's of your favorite shows will be in HD format and this will require much more space than a regular DVD allows. Enter BlueRay... etc, etc.
    • the format offered quite a few advantages over the prevailing standard VHS tapes...more durable, ... easier to manage (no rewinding, could easily jump to any portion of the film) and provided the viewer with quite a few new valuable features (extra features, commentary, switchable subtitles and foreign languages etc.)

      Hmm. They definitely don't seem to be more durable: a couple of scratches or fingerprints and they start becoming unreadable. In my experience, videotapes seem to be much better able to wit

  • by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:37PM (#13189629) Homepage Journal
    The document published by the VSDA appears to set out a large number of criteria, all of which they seem to rate as essential for the end product. However, the fact that they've released this now, instead of when the new standards were under development would lead me to believe it is biased in the direction of one of the established formats and is more of a party piece to try and rally retailer support behind a particular format (HD-DVD springs to mind). Not to mention the talk of two competing formats being unworkable, and the need for a single format..
  • I have to agree with the VSDA on this. It just makes far more sense from a media vendor's point of view to have only one format. Look at VHS vs. Beta. The market wouldn't sustain them both. Eventually the public went with the more popular, but lower quality alternative. The fact is, one would become more popular than the other for whatever reason and people would end up going with what their friends have so that they can share.

    Additionally, as mentioned, the confusion would cause a delay before a lot of peo
  • The winner (Score:2, Funny)

    by Profcrab (903077)
    Victory will go to the format that allows end users to make use of the features they have on the existing HD equipment that they have already purchased. Basically, we will have to see who caves in to the demands of the market first. However, if they attempt to go full speed ahead with both formats, it is very likely that neither of them will make a significant gain and DVD, the existing and convenient technology, will continue to be the mainstream. While there were several benifits of DVD over VHS, it ma
  • In 1989... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:47PM (#13189727) Homepage
    I, and a bunch of others on CompuServe's CEFORUM, were putting off buying new TVs because HDTV was "just around the corner." 16 years later, evidently, it still is. 10 of those years were the broadcast standard wars, which was silly, because, overpaid steroid-pumped entertainers aside, the real value of HDTV was prerecorded movies, not over-the-air broadcasts. I.e. the important standard was HDMI, not what they were dickering over in the early 90's.

    The other 6 of those years was, in my personal theory, due to DVD. DVD came out at just the wrong time (from the consumer's perspective). DVD purchasers in the late 90's thought they were getting HDTV. The manufacturers, I believe, let this myth continue and held off on HDTV-DVD so that all the consumers could finish buying all their movies in DVD, before they learned the bad news that they would have to buy them all over again in HDTV-DVD.

    The only technology that is more laggard than home entertainment is space exploration.

  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @04:53PM (#13189773) Homepage
    Blu-Ray is going into American homes anyway, because it's part of the PS3 and it's probably too late for Sony to back out of that now even if they want to. Even if retailers don't want it, even if Blu-Ray fails miserably as a video format, or even if both HDDVD and Blu-Ray fail miserably as video formats and stores refuse to stock them, there are still going to be the Blu-Ray players and discs out there-- because that's what PS3 games are stored on, and this is going to happen with or without the video features ever being used. And this is going to start early next year, probably long before HDDVD players or discs become available.

    Moreover, Blu-Ray isn't going to hurt the PS3-- since if Blu-Ray movies turn out to never happen, then from a consumer perspective all three video game consoles have the exact same video playback features (they all three play DVDs, though the Revolution requires an adapter and the PS3 has the additional optional bluray ability).

    So, what effect does the above have?
  • Thickness of the package should be no greater than that of a standard DVD package and no less than the thickness of a CD jewel case.

    You know... I'm perfectly happy with the standard CD jewel. Anything I backup and burn goes in the standard jewel. Come to think about it the things I buy get thrown in a standard jewel as well if not double or quad jewels. If they find they must go with a different than CD package, go super jewel or super long jewel.

    The regular long box fits in a drawer almost as badly as V
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did anyone else notice this particular statement from the Video Software Dealer's Association's list of criteria? And I quote...

    "Also, in light of the triennial rulemaking to consider exceptions to the prohibition against circumvention of access controls, increased durability will undermine efforts to excuse or gain legal authorization for the circumvention of copy protection measures for the purpose of making so-called "back-up" copies to guard against degradation or damage."

    The industry's crusade to curb

  • ~13 years old, 27" CRT with no frills. The only input is coax, although it does have two RCA jacks for audio out. Cheap VCR/DVD combo attached. Simple enough my 4-year old can play his Thomas the Tank Engine videos without Daddy's help.

    HDTV? DVI? HDMI connections? I worry about none of these things, and frankly I can't see myself caring anytime in the near future at least as far as home entertainment goes. (I wouldn't mind some Blu-ray drives at work though)

    Let them bicker and fight. I'll upgrad

  • Here's a little primer of what I think is useful or at least interesting to know about the issue:
    • HD-DVD has somewhat less raw data capacity than blu-ray
    • HD-DVD media is physically less prone to damage than blu-ray
    • DVI + HDCP (HD copy-prevention) is 99% of HDMI
    • Two different formats means two different on-disc copy-prevention schemes which means twice as much opportunity to find a fatal-flaw in at least one scheme and get some of our fair-use defensible rights back
    • Today we have unified CD/DVD/DVD+R/DVD-R/SACD p
  • Last year I bought a Panasonic 42PHD6 series HD plasma [plasmatvbuyingguide.com].
    As you can see from the linked article, the biggest draw to this unit is the expansion slots -- plus it has damn nice resolution and very rich and dark blacks.

    It came pre-equiped with VGA and Component Inputs occupying the 2nd and 3rd slots, but slot 1 is wide open. And since Panasonic already puts out an HDMI inerface board [brightandsleek.com] I should have no worries about future compatability .

    I recommend all HDTV buyers look into commercial grade and not consumer grad
  • Here is a nice article [cdfreaks.com] (six sections) with an independent comparison of the two formats.

    A nice detail - the codecs supported on both discs are exactly the same...
    • Wow, read this part (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rbarreira (836272) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @05:18PM (#13190025) Homepage
      Device keys and media keys are still there, with a major change, in the first steps of content decryption, a player has to find its specific key in a big ternary tree of keys, where each leaf corresponds to the key of a given device (brand and model). By denying a drive to find its key in the tree, Blu-ray and HD-DVD can easily revoke a single given device. If for instance a given player is cracked and its keys are published, the licensing authority will send new keys and navigation information to disc manufacturers. As a result, all discs pressed after the player has been cracked will refuse to play on this specific drive, but will play perfectly on all other (including older) devices.

      This blacklisting of a single player model is quite powerful and can slow down mass piracy, but on the other hand it can also have some significant drawbacks for legitimate consumers. For instance, you could one day suddenly be unable to watch new movies on your player because it has been revoked after someone has successfully compromised this model. Practical use (as well as explanations to future customers) of this new revocation system will be very interesting to watch.


      That absolutely sucks, and I had never heard about it... :(
      • by xigxag (167441)
        What will probably happen is that the owners of that model will be required to obtain a patch or take their player in for servicing in order to both update the hardware key and disable the hack. Your "revoked" ZXDVD601 will come back to you as a ZXDVD602. Manufacturers will bear the brunt of the expense of the repair, meaning that they will have a very strong incentive (unlike now) to make their units virtually unhackable.

        Manufacturers who refuse to lock down their boxes securely will wind up seeing all th
  • Guys...

    All of this talk about HD-DVD players also being able to play DVDs... is this really a significant feature? You've already got a DVD player today. You can pick them up at Wal-Mart for $35. Even if neither one of these formats could play regular DVDs, you could still have your HDTV hooked up to a regular DVD player and one of these next generation jobs.

    I find any argument along the lines of, "Blu-Ray doesn't do DVDs? I'm going for HD-DVD!!" to be academic at best.
  • They are asking the wrong people for a standard. They need ask to ask the porn industry which standard to pick. Once the porn industries start belting out 800+ movies per month watch them units jump off the shelves and hit your open mouth!

    sri
  • by MrBandersnatch (544818) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:18PM (#13190499)
    So to watch this new format I need :-

    1) A new TV @ £1500 Sterling.
    2) A new HD-DVD/blueray player @ £?
    3) Copies of Films I possibly already have to play on it @ £?
    4) An upgrade to my satalite equipment to receive HD content (2 channels atm?) @ £?
    5) An upgraded sat subscripition. @ £?

    You know...to me (IMO) the above does NOT lead to :-

    6) Profit!!

    Why? Because in 5 years time, when all this stuff is priced at a more reasonable level and the quality/quanity of content could justify upgrading...there WILL be a new/better/cheaper format on the horizon (and VERY close to the horizon as well given this tech were talking about now is nearly 2 (lab) years old).

    Even worse is MANY consumers (well those of us with better than NTSC) WONT be able to see the real benefits to the upgrade and are NOT going to be replacing that DVD collection; uptake in the mass market is likely to be quite slow.

    This is quite probably going to lead to this generation of "technology" being largely shuned in the market place or only occupying a niche in the "videophiles" high end market and eventually going the way of laserdisc!!

    So let the release both formats!! It will only quicken the demise for both and HOPEFULLY somewhere in the implosion the draconion copy protection measures will take some of the flak!

    • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @09:05PM (#13191458) Journal
      1) A new TV @ £1500 Sterling.

      I doubt many people are going to go out and buy a new TV so they can watch HighDef Discs. In the US, most everyone is going to end up with a new digital TV over the next few years, with or without HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.

      2) A new HD-DVD/blueray player @ £?

      It's most likely that you are going to need to buy a new DVD player to hook-up to your new digital TV, anyhow.

      3) Copies of Films I possibly already have to play on it @ £?

      Nonsense. You can play all of your current DVDs on the next gen of DVD players. No re-buying necessary, unless you're die-hard, and WANT to spend money to get copies of your current movies in HD.

      4) An upgrade to my satalite equipment to receive HD content (2 channels atm?) @ £?

      The two big sat companies in the US essentially GIVE AWAY their equipment, and I don't see the upgrade to HDTV equipment being any different. They will also be carrying far more HDTV channels, very soon.

      5) An upgraded sat subscripition. @ £?

      This is up in the air. I think it's most likely the satellite and cable companies will charge about the same rates for HD as they do for current television. They are making such huge profits as-is, and they have equal operating costs whether they have 1 subscriber, or 1 billion.

      So, to summarize.

      1) Everyone will be getting a new HDTV eventually.
      2) You'll want a new DVD player, and high-def ones may be nearly as cheap.
      3) You don't need to re-buy any movies.
      4) Probably Free.
      5) Probably the same as current prices.

      Because in 5 years time, when all this stuff is priced at a more reasonable level [...] there WILL be a new/better/cheaper format on the horizon

      That's a pretty ridiculous claim to make. We've stuck with the current TV standard for 50+ years now. I can't see anything above HDTV comming along in the next few decades. Since BluRay/HD-DVD have enough room to do full-resolution HDTV, it's very unlikely something else will come along to replace it on HDTVs.

      Even worse is MANY consumers (well those of us with better than NTSC) WONT be able to see the real benefits to the upgrade

      Absolutely ridiculous. No doubt you're talking about PAL, which is just slightly higher res than NTSC... HDTV DOUBLES the vertical resolution, and almost triples the horizontal resolution.

      That would be 1.8 times the vertical, and 2.5 times the horizontal, if upgrading from PAL. Plus, you'll get a 20% increase in refresh-rate, which is a huge improvement.

      and are NOT going to be replacing that DVD collection;

      NOBODY NEEDS TO REPLACE THEIR DVD COLLECTION.

      This is quite probably going to lead to this generation of "technology" being largely shuned in the market place

      Since you've got almost everything else wrong, I can't see any reason to have any faith in your conclusions.

      or only occupying a niche in the "videophiles" high end market and eventually going the way of laserdisc!!

      LaserDiscs were huge and cumbersome, and you needed multiple discs for one single movie. The price was also prohibitive. BluRay/HD-DVD are certain not to suffer from the first problem. The second, though, is entirely up to the studios. Whether the HighDef formats live or die depends on the prices of the movies released for them, and the difficulty of circumventing the copy protection to a lesser extent.

      Since I don't know how they are going to price the HD movies, I can't say if it will be a success or not, but it's certainly got everything else going for it.
  • The fight is over (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HBergeron (71031) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @06:26PM (#13190552)
    the HD-DVD folks just don't know it yet.

    In the same 18 month period that the most optomistic forcasts have 500,000 HD-DVD players sold Sony is projected to sell 15-20 million PS3's - which will include a BD player. Given the forecast price of the PS3 you can bet a large percentage of families are not going to be willing to buy that and a seperate hd-disk player when they get both in the Sony package.

    Given that the studios are complete whores and given the substantial decline in DVD sales, they are going to sell BDs for the PS3 no matter how much they prefer HD-DVD - they won't have a choice if they want to keep their phony-baloney jobs.

    After two years - an installed base of 20M+ vs. an installed base of 2M+.... It won't even be a contest, and there are no viable theories that contest these well hashed over market projections (with the possible exception of the PS3 never being released.) Even if the X-box takes 50% of the market (Microsofts finest dream, not considered likely) that's still 15M PS3s in the first 18 months.

    Oh, and for all the HD-DVD partisans who try to say that Sony will drop BD from the PS3 (other the n the complete absurdity of that contention) Just keep in mind that Sony can count the royalties it gets from every BD sold (and into the future) to subsidize the market price of the PS3 from day one due to the lock it will give it on the next generation format.

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