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No Ceasefire in DVD Format Battle 359

Posted by Zonk
from the fight-to-the-last-player dept.
haja writes "The BBC reports that the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared. There is no sign of the two camps working on a unified format. Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer confusion. From the article: 'Backers of Blu-ray are bullish and are predicting victory. Blu-ray has more backing from film studios and more makers of the players, but HD-DVD has sold equally well in the first year of release. But the Blu-ray camp believes a library of exclusive titles and the power of PlayStation 3 - which has an in-built Blu-ray player - will see the format pull ahead in the next 12 months. Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"
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No Ceasefire in DVD Format Battle

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  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:19AM (#17521816) Homepage
    Consumers really don't care at this point.

    Seagate announces Hard Drives will be at 300TB in a few years, what do we even need these formats for? DRM? yaaaaay!
    • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:24AM (#17521886)
      I think it'll be a while until you buy your movies in the store on a dedicated hard drive. Until then, cheap plastic discs are viable.
      • by aplusjimages (939458) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:51AM (#17522212) Journal
        Who says they have to be stored on our harddrives? Look at the xbox360 and what they are doing with TV shows. You can buy the show and store it on your 360 HDD if you want. If you delete it, then you can always download it later. I like the idea that my library is stored online. If my apartment burns down I don't lose it, if I move I don't have to move them, and I don't have to worry about the format war. And you don't have to wait that long to watch them because you can start playing the video after 2 minutes of downloading, so you're watching it as it downloads. Lets just hope they change their movie rental policy to movie purchase.

        Plus you also have other people doing the same, like Sonic Solutions and Apple. Downloadable content will end the HD format war or at least give them a hard slap to the face so that they will move to ending it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Warlock7 (531656)
          Until then, buy the insurance and burn it down now so that you can replace all your existing DVDs on BD and HD-DVD! :)
      • I'm trying to think of something I care about less than the "HD Wars". ...I'll have to get back to you.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:29AM (#17521950) Homepage
      As soon as segate announces that those hard drives will actually last 5+ years then that statement will be relevant.

      As of now hard drives life sucks horribly. At least my DVD's don't crash and take all the data with them like my last 3 Fujitsu, last 2 Western Digital, and last 4 Seagate drives.

      Every drive I have owned above 120gig capacity has not lasted more than 18 moths. this is with cooling fans to keep the insane temperatures down and REALLY GOOD power going to them.

      Hard drive longivity simply sucks right now to the point that I dont trust them to hold data safely for more than 3 months.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Xugumad (39311)
        Do you run your PC 24/7? If so, I'd suggest you stop; while some people have strange ideas about hard drives dying faster if they have to spin down/up regularly, for consumer grade hard drives leaving them on is a lot worse for them. This came out back in the days of the IBM Deathstar drives, when IBM was going "But... you're not meant to keep your drives turned on all the time!".

        Oh, if you _do_ need them on all the time, look for something like the Western Digital Caviar special edition drives, which have
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by badasscat (563442)
          This came out back in the days of the IBM Deathstar drives, when IBM was going "But... you're not meant to keep your drives turned on all the time!".

          Yeah, which they were rightly pilloried for. It's like a store that advertises itself as being open 24 hours... just not in a row.

          The fact is hard drives don't last very long. Or at least, you can't count on them lasting very long - you may get lucky, but most don't make it past ten years, and that's being generous. Meanwhile, none of my DVD's has failed yet
        • by DRJlaw (946416) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:51AM (#17523060)
          Oh, if you _do_ need them on all the time, look for something like the Western Digital Caviar special edition drives, which have a 3 year warranty, or SCSI drives, whose warranties go up to 5 years. Standard consumer drives come with a mere 1 year warranty, and there's a good reason why...

          Source for the last statement?

          Seagate consumer drives [seagate.com] come with a mere 5 year warranty, and there's something that directly refutes your point.
      • As of now hard drives life sucks horribly. At least my DVD's don't crash and take all the data with them like my last 3 Fujitsu, last 2 Western Digital, and last 4 Seagate drives.

        You mean like how the DVDs scratch? Or the foil surface on the back starts peeling off?

        If you're eating that many hard disks, you might want to invest in a better power supply and a few fans in strategic places.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lumpy (12016)
          If you're eating that many hard disks, you might want to invest in a better power supply and a few fans in strategic places.

          you mean like I already mentioned in my original post? I have really REALLY good power and cooling on them. and they STILL fail simply because hard drives with capacities above 120Gig are unstable.

          Been there done that, consumer quality drives are really low grade.

          Also as others have mentioned... if I scratch a single DVD, I have a chance at recovering it and then I only lose 1 movie.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JudicatorX (455442)
            How do you know your power is really good? Have you tested it? Spending a lot on a power supply is not a guarantee of good power. Might conceivably be your motherboard, too, but that's a long shot.

            I've got lots of counterexamples -- 3 emachines PCs, each about three years old, with 160 GB hardrives, cheapo power supplies and no fans besides the CPU heatsink one. All are running fine. My 2 x 250 Seagate drives at home have been running for close to a year and a half now and are fine.

            I hate to say it, but you
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Alioth (221270)
              When you have many machines you soon find out.

              Maxtor low profile drives in the Hewlett-Packard machines were decidedly unreliable - about 15% failed in less than a year in the network of 80 machines (and these are only 40GB drives). We replaced them with WD and Seagate drives - we've not had a single failure since then. Part of the problem is the design of the cooling in the ultraslim HP machines isn't very good - the drive bay gets very little cooling.

              The trouble is it's a crap shoot. You don't know which
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bazar (778572)
      For HD Movies we need another storage medium. Thats where blu-ray and HD-DVD come into play.
      Your not going to get any HD movies on your 300TB drives without them. And if i'm not mistaken, blu-rays didn't even allow you to copy the movies to your HD. That was the biggest reason why microsoft dropped support of blu-ray and shifted to HD-DVD. Because MS wanted people to be able to copy the movies to their HD, as its essential for their media center product lines.

      I'm personally hoping that HD-DVD pulls ahead ho
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by somersault (912633)
        Why do I find it difficult to believe that Microsoft would adopt one format because it's 'less restrictive'? They'd probably be more likely to support HD DVD in an attempt to damage PS3 sales?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I don't care much about DRM since 1) I don't buy many movies (not because I steal them, just because I have no interest) and 2) When I do buy movies, I put them in a player, and watch them, and that's it. I want blu-ray to win because it's technically superior. It can store more data, and is more scratch resistant. That's enough for me to support it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Lets look at that...
          "Holds more data..." yes, per layer, however Current BRDs have 1 layer and just recently came out with dual-layer discs due to tremendous issues they had with the stability of the second layer, single layer discs are 25GB and dual layers are 50GB... there's speculation that they wont go beyond 2 layers due to the problems they experienced with getting to 2 layers, at least not in any reasonable amount of time.
          HD-DVD has been dual-layer from it's release which is 30GB (15GB per layer),
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Seagate announces Hard Drives will be at 300TB in a few years, what do we even need these formats for? DRM? yaaaaay!

      Doesn't matter how big the hard drive is. How is that movie going to get from the publisher, to you, at full resolution, without a removable disk? As has been happening for decades, hard disk capacity is growing faster than communications bandwidth. So great, you can fit a bunch of movies on your hard drive. It'll still take you a day to download the movie. If only there were a way to ge

      • by neoform (551705)
        Do you think connection speeds are going to remain at their current levels?

        Right now I've got a cable connection that can download at over 1MB/sec .. sure an HD movie might be big, but I could probably download it (buffered) in about an hour.. which is only slightly longer than if i went to the video store and rented it..
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Do you think connection speeds are going to remain at their current levels? Right now I've got a cable connection that can download at over 1MB/sec .. sure an HD movie might be big, but I could probably download it (buffered) in about an hour.. which is only slightly longer than if i went to the video store and rented it..

          I think the size of crap people want to download will keep growing faster than connection speeds, as it has done for decades.

          An example: If an HD movie can't fit on a regular DVD, then we

  • by imdx80 (842737)
    All i want is them to release them in numbers so it'll be possible to buy any HD player, in the UK at least.
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:20AM (#17521842) Homepage
    the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared

    Couldn't get more Irish than that could you? Here's another pearl of wisdom:

    Ah, to be sure it'll rain tomorrow unless it doesn't.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Alternatively "the beatings will continue until morale improves".

      There needn't be a winner in a format war. Remember MiniDisc v Digital Cassette? The winner then was MP3. Remember SACD v DVD-Audio? The winner in that war was, well, nobody really as neither format sells in large quantities.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by david.given (6740)

        There needn't be a winner in a format war. Remember MiniDisc v Digital Cassette? The winner then was MP3. Remember SACD v DVD-Audio? The winner in that war was, well, nobody really as neither format sells in large quantities.

        Personally, I expect the winner is going to be likely to be EVD or FVD, the alternative Asian standards. If HDDVD and Blu-Ray keep faffing around like this, they're going to swamped by a tide of next-generation Asian electronics that will be cheap, flexible and Just Work. Which neith

    • Ah, to be sure it'll rain tomorrow unless it doesn't.

      And that rain will make water more wet.
  • Ahh well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by JJC (96049) * on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:20AM (#17521844)
    If only he'd said it was in the "final throes": then we'd have known he was worth taking seriously...
  • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:22AM (#17521860)
    Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer rejection.

    There, corrected that for you.

    • by plover (150551) *
      Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer indifference.
      There, corrected that for you.

      There, corrected that correction for you.

      • by Jugalator (259273)
        Indifference? I'd be more than willing to upgrade if I knew which format to bet on, or had dual format burners for a reasonable price out by now. I'm not really indifferent to this technology. I'd perhaps rather call the whole thing "frustrating".
        • by Dogtanian (588974)
          Your personal opinion- that is, a self-selecting, non-randomly-chosen sample of size *1*- is hardly sufficient grounds to rebut a comment about consumer opinion in general.
    • I'd call it more patience in waiting to see which format has more early adoption suckers latching on, and then the group with the more suckers is declared the winner. Actually maybe that's maybe why it isn't always the technically superior format that wins..
  • I'm still not planning on buying either one of those formats. And I'm normally an early adopter. Even if I bought a PS3 (which I'm not planning on) I still can't see myself buying any Blu-Ray discs until this whole format debacle gets settled.
    • by Xugumad (39311)
      Agree. Not enough content, too expensive, too high risk, not enough benefit. Frankly at this point I couldn't care if both formats flop and we're stuck with regular DVDs for another 5 years until someone tries HD again. Ideally with less arguing this time.
  • Blu-Ray, from what I see, has a few problems (or HD-DVD several advantages).

    1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360, so the cost of the HD-DVD addon really doesn't seem so bad, compared to the $600 or $1000+ Blu-Ray players.
    2. I can't think of many Blu-ray movies that I just can't live without. There are loads of HD-DVD movies I would love to own.
    3. The Xbox 360 is a more capable media center device. Since the HD-DVD box is part of the 360, that creates a nice little package.
    4. The name. "What the
    • by cpuh0g (839926) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:44AM (#17522114)
      1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360
      "Lots of people" ?? Gee, that sounds like hard, scientific, evidence. I'm not a Sony defender by any means (still playing my 4 year old PS2 just fine), but to insinuate that XB360/HD-DVD as king's of the hill is a little premature. PS3 has only been available in very limited fashion for about 2 months. XB360 has been out for how a while and still lags behind the old PS2 in sales. The high-end XB360 is $400. Tack on the cost of the HD-DVD and you are probably gonna spend over $600, same as you would for a PS3.

      Neither HD-DVD or Blu-Ray really excite me much now, at least as a video medium. DVDs in progressive scan on a high-quality bigscreen TV look pretty damn good to my tired old eyes. HiDef discs might be nice, but not enough to justify the change, at least not for a couple of years.

    • by Jugalator (259273)
      4. The name. "What the hell is a 'blue...ray'?" When you say HD-DVD they at the very least have a good idea that it's some type of movie disc.

      Maybe the Blu-ray alliance should think about calling it BD-ROM more often than e.g. "Blu-ray disc", and when that word is needed, instead refer to it as "BD", as in "BD player". At least that sounds like it could help for some.
      • by jandrese (485)
        That also helps them get the porn industry in their pocket. Perhaps they should start building players with Smartmedia slots so we can get BDSM releases?
    • by Steve525 (236741)
      1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360, so the cost of the HD-DVD addon really doesn't seem so bad, compared to the $600 or $1000+ Blu-Ray players.

      Perhaps true, but the reality is a year from now a lot less people will own the HD-DVD add-on then a PS3. Sony will win in a pure numbers game. However, Microsoft may introduce a new premium XBOX360 with the HD-DVD built in, which could keep HD-DVD on top.

      2. I can't think of many Blu-ray movies that I just can't live without. There are loads of HD-DVD movie
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:31AM (#17521974) Homepage Journal
    The BBC reports that the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared.
    Well, duh.
  • A war worth ignoring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmagar.com (67146) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:33AM (#17521996) Homepage
    Neither format matters any more. Physical media is going to become less and less important as our content is now being delivered over the wire (or wireless). I can't remember the last time I purchased a DVD, or a CD for that matter. I haven't been to a video rental outlet in more than a year, and I don't intend to do so in the future.

    An HD TV set, with a PVR, and digital cable is serving me just fine. On Demand movies in HD 5.1 gets it done for me.

    The only counter argument that nags in the back of my mind is that I borrowed the LOST first and second season DVDs from a friend, and truly enjoyed watching the series on DVD. No Commercials, and three episodes a night really move the plot along. I find it very difficult to stay interested in the show now that I am watching it on a weekly basis, when they happen to bless us with an episode. Too long between important events, and the hook is gone... So the DVDs of Complete seasons may be a better way to enjoy quality TV shows.

    But, I suspect that it won't be long before the LOST series shows up on the On Demand service, just like the fine HBO content... and I can again enjoy three episodes in a sitting.

  • what format war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc . r r . c om> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:36AM (#17522042) Homepage
    For the vast majority standard DVD's are good enough. I dont know a single person who has gone out to buy either of the new formats. I have one friend with a ps3 and even he hasnt bothered to actually buy a blu-ray disk, he just doesnt care. I know one person who is planning to get one but he is the same idiot that talks about how all his muisc has to be obtained in shorten format and how all home media currently sucks. I think the believes he is impressing someone but most of us that know him just think he's an idiot.

    One argument I hear is that more will adopt when the formats get cheaper, but even if players were $50 like cheap standard DVD's you still have to replace your library to take advantage of it. Maybe im in the minority but the difference isnt great enough to justify replacing a collection of around 700 movies.

    With the consistently plumetting costs of storage I'm leaning towards the idea that both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray both flop as movie standards in favor of video on demand and other downloadable content.
    • by GeckoX (259575)
      Well duhh. How many early adopters do you expect?

      Barely any normal consumer will have or care about this at the moment as to even consider it, one would have to purchase a high def player AND a high def TV. Your average consumer just won't do this. It'll be a good 10 years before the next 'standard' to be found in living rooms is definitive.

      It's not even remotely surprising that you don't know any of the early adopters.

      No one is going to go out and replace 700 movies. (BTW, no one HAS 700 movies in their co
    • I for one would like to be able to take an HDTV recording in its native transport stream format, drop it into a DVD authoring program, and write it to disc for archival. Since 1080p HDTV comes out to something like 7 GB/hr, a 4.7 GB DVD just ain't gonna cut it. Even dual layer is too small.
  • Name recognition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by s31523 (926314) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:39AM (#17522070)
    One thing Blu-Ray might not be counting on is name recognition.

    Right now, if the average Joe walks into an electronics store looking for high definition movie players he/she will see a wall of "Blu-Ray" and "HD-DVD". Most people will see the "HD" and think "yeah, that is what I want, Blu-Ray, what is that? No.. No.. I want high-definition".

    Based on name alone HD has an advantage. Blu-Ray needs some serious marketing because if they rely on the sales person in the electronic store for supplying information they will be hosed!
  • by EMNDev (676100) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:44AM (#17522128)
    Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"

    The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says. (June 20, 2005)

    Some people clearly can't see the forest through the trees.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      Some people clearly can't see the forest through the trees.

      You misspelled "vast ocean of self-delusion thousands of miles away from the forest". :)
  • by massysett (910130) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:46AM (#17522148) Homepage
    I wonder what effect dual format players like this LG player [engadgethd.com] will have? Seems to make the whole war less significant from the consumer's standpoint. I have a DVD +/- RW drive in my PC now, so it doesn't much matter to me which burnable media I buy.
    • by Bohnanza (523456)
      Yep - with dual-format players the war is over, as there is no longer a battleground to fight over.
  • by jimlintott (317783) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:48AM (#17522162) Homepage
    In about six months I'm going to visit a local porn shop to see which format they have the most titles in.

    There's your winner!
  • At this point, I'm not going to buy HD-DVD or Blu-Ray until it's clear there's a winner. The player is the easy part; I just don't want to invest a lot of money in content that I'll end up selling for $50 on eBay in 2 years.

    But it gets worse.

    Now that I know there's a "new" format, I'm less willing to buy releases on DVD because of the expectation that a new format will be prominent in 18 months, and I'd rather have the high def version.

    So my response at this point is to slow way down on DVD purchases.

    As a
    • by oliderid (710055)
      DVD will remain readable by Blue-Ray and HD-DVD reader so why should we slow down on our DVD purchases?

      I still own an old television and I don't plan to buy a flat screen until it breaks.
      So even if I have a High definition DVD reader, I won't notice any change.

      I still buy DVD from time to time 'especially discount on some old and difficult to find movies', but the interesting thing is that I download more and more from the Internet. I simply open a torrent early in the morning over my ADSL and once I'm back
  • by d3ac0n (715594) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:50AM (#17522192)
    As I won't be getting any HD equipment of any kind any time soon.

    Not because I'm a Luddite, but for two very critical reasons:

    1) It's too damned expensive and I don't have the money to blow on HD toys. Maybe the rest of the world makes over 100K a year and lives in an inexpensive area, but I don't. I have bills to pay, damnit, why the hell would I waste my money on an HD setup?

    2) I have kids. Autisitc kids with a penchant for running up to the T.V. and giving the screen an open-palm slap just because they like the sound. How long do you think a $3000.00 LCD or Plasma is going to last under that kind of punishment? And if I can't expect the T.V. to last, why the heck would I shell out for the player if I can't view all that "HD goodness" on my old 480P NTSC tube T.V.?

    The problem is that the hardware and media guys, in all thier excitement to re-energize the home entertainment market by forcing upgrades, have forgotten that a large percentage of the population either a) just doesn't give a damn, or b) are like me, and can't get an HD setup even if they want to. So really, WHO GIVES A SHIT about HD other than the videophiles with more money than brains? Let THEM buy into all the HD hype, and the rest of us will just wait until the dust settles and we can guy a 27" HD T.V. for the same price that we can buy a 27" regular T.V. today.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      The population gives a damn about their TV, that's for dure.

      You(and me forthat matter) are not the demographic anymore. People with disposable incomes are there demographic. People with no kids living at home.

      A lot of people are buying HDTV. Sales were up some 30% last year.

      It may not matter in your world, but for most people it does matter. DOn't let it bug you.

      Because it is relevant, I don't even have satalite or bales TV. My kids only watch DVDs.

      This is funny, because we went to my brothers house were th
      • by d3ac0n (715594) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:17AM (#17522564)
        I'm not entirely disagreeing with you...

        BUT

        You forget that a LARGE percentage of the population (At least in the U.S.) has children and small disposable incomes. Yes, there are plenty in the correct income range that have the disposable incomes to blow on HD equipment, but there are plenty more that don't, and don't want to have to blow the money.

        My kids also watch TONS of DVDs. So many so, that we just had to replace the DVD player AGAIN because the old one wore out with use. (Autistic kids like the familiarity of DVDs, so we watch alot of them) What kind of DVD player did I buy? I bought a $120.00 DVD-VCR combo unit as our VCR was also wearing out. No HD-DVD, no Blu-Ray, just plain old DVD. I go through about one DVD player every 2 years or less because we play so many DVDs.

        I actually use DVD shrink and duplicate all of our DVDs because if I didn't we would be re-buying all of our DVDs each year too because the kids are so rough with them. If you think I'm upset about the cost of the HD players, how do you think I feel about the cost of the HD Burners and the DRM contained on the Discs?

        This whole HD format war debacle has me furious because it's just so damned obvious that the players involved don't give a damn about what the customers want, they just want to line thier pockets at our expense. At some point I'm just going to have to invest in 15 to 20 DVD players and about 300 DVD-R's because the format will go out of style and I won't be able to afford the new equipment anymore.

        I'm just praying that the DVD Shrink people will figure a way around the DRM inherent on the new HD stuff because I need to be able to continue to duplicate my DVDs, as I can't afford to replace 30-40 HD-DVD's or BR-DVD's each year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I have kids. Autisitc kids with a penchant for running up to the T.V. and giving the screen an open-palm slap just because they like the sound. How long do you think a $3000.00 LCD or Plasma is going to last under that kind of punishment? And if I can't expect the T.V. to last, why the heck would I shell out for the player if I can't view all that "HD goodness" on my old 480P NTSC tube T.V.?

      Naturally the solution is to use a projector. If they knock holes in the drywall, at least it's easily patched.

  • Lock the promoters of each side in a single steel cage for a death match, ending only when LG develops their dual format player. Thats what the people really want to see.
  • I thought about one of these players. Ultimately for me I'm sticking with DVD, mostly because I can rip to watch on my computer when I travel (although they are making that more diffictult, sigh...). I can't watch those high def disks on my computer.

    Now if blu-ray put a "portable" version on the disc I could take with me, like steve jobs suggested....
  • What about Divx? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tompatman (936656)
    I'm wondering if a movie can be compressed into Divx in full HD and fit on a standard DVD? If this could be done couldn't HD players be made much more cheaply? I just had to purchase a new dvd player. I almost bought a Phillips which supports Divx playback via USB hard drive. I do not know if an HD Divx file will be displayed in full HD though.

    Instead I bought a Sony player which upconverts the signal first. It also conditions the signal so that virtually no pixelization can be seen on the TV. The picture
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      I'm wondering if a movie can be compressed into Divx in full HD and fit on a standard DVD?

      Star.Wars.Episode.III.Revenge.Of.The.Sith.2005.108 0p.HDTV.x264-ESiR.mkv

      Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 1920x816 25.00fps [Video] 135min
      Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz 6ch [Audio]
      Size: 7.92gb

      ---

      SPIDERMAN 2 -HD-DVD Rip (Xvid)
      HDTV
      1280x720 (16:9), 25fps, XviD MPEG-4 Codec, 4009 kbps
      AC-3, 6 Channels, 448 kbps, 48KHz
      Size: 4420 Mb


      Hmm, sure looks like it, but I'll admit I haven't got any of these two for example to check.

  • If you have an even number of normal DVD players being sold for both formats, but the PS3 does end up selling pretty well, you will end up with the Blu-Ray camp having a much larger installed base than HD-DVD. Personally, I'd be inclined to go for the $200 HD-DVD player for the XBox 360, but I could see the PS3 being the tipping point. In fact, that will probably be the only thing that really pushes Blu-Ray ahead.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @10:58AM (#17522298)
    DRM is a major factor in my disinterest in buying HD-related products, from sets to players to disks. And it's not that I'm generally a scofflaw: I willing pay licensing fees for my music and movies. The reason I avoid DRM-infected products and content is that they don't let me fully exercise my fair-use freedoms (backup, time-shifting, etc.)

    So I'm thrilled that the studios and hardware people are having a rough time of this. I doubt that they'll ever say, "DRM is preventing an resolution to the format wars", but at this point I pretty much just want DRM pushers to suffer.
  • Multiple formats = fewer economies of scale = higher prices

    Higher prices + confusion = potential buyers deferring purchase

    Deferred purchase = slow market growth + deferred profit

    They must believe that being on the winning side will mean future profits that offset the losses they're making now by not having a single format.
  • by JayBlalock (635935) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:00AM (#17522336)
    Here's the thing. NEITHER of the high-def formats gives consumers a compelling reason to upgrade their libraries again.

    The reason DVD was huge was not because it was so inherently great as a format. (in fact, it has a number of glaring flaws) It's because it was a huge leap forward over VHS in practically every area. Better picture, better sound, more compact on the shelf, longer run times between disc\tape changes, easy chapter seek, and all those glorious extras for people to play with. There were so many benefits that it was worth it to people to upgrade their libraries.

    But what does HD/BR offer? Better picture, to roughly 10% or 15% of the public. And better sound to an even smaller percentage than that. And that's about it.

    Why in the hell would people pay to re-buy their libraries AGAIN? Especially as it was just in the last couple years that the DVD collection became "complete"? There's just no reason at all. And that's leaving out how, in the grand scheme, increasingly few movies really benefit from high-def. There was little real improvement in your average romantic comedy from VHS to DVD. The shift from DVD to HD produces even less of use. Do you really want to get distracted counting the pores on Meg Ryan's nose?

    Both formats were doomed, from the very outset, to be a specialty niche product, pretty much like Laserdisc. It amazes me that both camps were (apparently) totally blind to this and sunk millions and millions into them anyway. The BEST outcome would have been if the PS3 or 360 became big and people picked up a handful of compatable discs to play in it. (big name titles, like King Kong or such) They're not going to re-buy the library. Ever. Not until a new format offers as much of an improvement over DVD as DVD offered over VHS.

    About the only way the studios might be able to force a format shift would be if they decided to just drop support for basic DVD and swallow the profit losses that would incur. (since it would destroy home video sales for a couple years) But even that might not do the trick. At that point, piracy would start looking like the viable alternative to all but the most steadfast consumer.

    The studios have really painted themselves into a corner, and I'm curious how they're going to get out of it.

  • Sigh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Neutron (3115) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:06AM (#17522430) Homepage Journal
    Andy Parsons, chairman of the US Blu-ray Disc Association, said: "It comes down to content and selection of content. No-one is going to buy any player without good array of content."

    It would be nice if it came down to which format was more technically excellent. Yeah, I know, it doesn't work like that. It's sad.

    • Re:Sigh. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:34PM (#17526548) Homepage
      It would be nice if it came down to which format was more technically excellent. Yeah, I know, it doesn't work like that. It's sad.

      Yeah, I used to feel the same way, that tech never seemed to win because it was better tech but because of externalities. Then I started to realise that those externalities are as much a part of the tech as what I as an engineer geek would call the tech. Is the format that plays only 1/10th of the movies really a better format even if it has higher resolution, better scratch resistance, or whatever else? In a very real and practical sense I'd say no. Just like a "better" Internet with newer routing protocols and every other wiz-bang thing you could improve about the internet wouldn't actually be any "better" if it never connected to more than 100 hosts.

      I feel the same way about software licenses. People say "use whichever is best for the job!" but forget how significant an effect the software license can have on how the software does the job. I learned this the hard way when a very good hspice simulator wasn't up to the task because we didn't have enough licenses to run the simulations we needed in the time frame we needed them.

      It depresses us geeks that our great work can be ruined by an accountant, marketer, or lawyer, but that's just the way it is. The product isn't done until the accountant, marketer, and lawyer get their hands on it -- because without them, it would never be a thing that is sold. I've learned to just accept this as part of engineering.
  • Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"

    The word 'really' is a subconscious codeword, meaning 'not really'. Likewise the word 'great'.

    It's similar to what's going on when someone uses your first name in a sentence when speaking to you, such as "This amplifier will give you much better performance, Dave."

    So yeah, thanks to Mike Dunn for telegraphing his conviction that the format war is indeed still raging

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:16AM (#17522552)
    On one hand we are being told that high definition video on home plasma LCD screens is what the consumer wants (whether it's HD-DVD, Blu-Ray or some other format) - but on the other hand, we're being told that the consumer wants content delivery via the Internet for movies.

    But looking at it another way, if you can get an ADSL connection, then you probably have somewhere between 2-8 MB/s bandwidth at the moment. (Sure, some people can get more than this from cable providers but they're still in a minority.) This means that it probably takes around an hour to download a movie in, say, DivX or Xvid format. In other words, you probably get 720x480 resolution in a file about 1GB size. (Yes, the sums are a very rough estimate.) A DVD will take 4-8 hours, a 30GB HD-DVD over a day. It's therefore safe to assume that, as things stand currently, Internet delivery will be in a compressed format, albeit a DRMed one. Therefore, is the assumption being made by the movie studios that everyone will be buying everything at least *twice*? That is, on disc for the big LCD at home and also downloaded for a PC or handheld player?

    Sure, most of us replaced our vinyl LPs with CDs and our VHS tapes with DVDs - so, yes, we've already bought a lot of the stuff we have at least twice. But getting people to part with their money twice for the same thing at the same time is surely something completely new.

    The point I'm trying to make is that it seems this is as much a battle between disk formats and Internet delivery (in the same way as CDs and MP3/AAC/etc are) as much as it is about Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD.

    I'm actually beginning to wonder if the movie/media/hardware/OS companies are now involved in so many different battles on so many different fronts that they have all completely lost any sort of direction anyway.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      On one hand we are being told that high definition video on home plasma LCD screens is what the consumer wants (whether it's HD-DVD, Blu-Ray or some other format) - but on the other hand, we're being told that the consumer wants content delivery via the Internet for movies.

      Contradiction? I do not think that word means what you think it means. There is however a conflict (the word you thought you were using) between one thing that consumers want, and another thing that consumers want.

      I want HD video,

  • by zotz (3951) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:17AM (#17522560) Homepage Journal
    "But the Blu-ray camp believes a library of exclusive titles and the power of PlayStation 3 - which has an in-built Blu-ray player - will see the format pull ahead in the next 12 months."

    I keep saying that there are no Free markets when it comes to "goods" protected by copyrights and / or patents.

    This is a good example of people with monopolies in one area trying to leverage that to win in another market.

    "exclusive titles" = copyright monopolies.

    other market = media format / players.

    Yes? No?

    all the best,

    drew
  • by CyberLord Seven (525173) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @11:20AM (#17522592)
    Despite the lack of or abundance of features in either format I have to ask an important question: Is there anything good to watch on either format?

    Television shows are OK to watch in Hi-Def. I watch Smallville and (god, I hate to admit it) Enterprise on HD-Net every Monday night but I wouldn't buy either series in DVD format. That means you can forget about me spending extra money for it in either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, or Total Movie.

    As for movies; movies STINK lately. This is where they could grab me, but they have failed miserably!

    I have a Hi-Def, surround sound set up at home and I like nothing better than to sit on my comfortable couch with a two-liter Dr. Pepper and a bag of microwave popcorn and watch a good movie. I can pause the show when my wife and I want to argue about some plot point, or even return to a previous point in the show to show her just how wrong she is. :)

    Just give me SOMETHING to watch!

    Last year I wanted to see Mission: Impossible and Superman Returns, but having been burned in years past I procrastinated and missed them in the theaters. I rented then on DVD. Boy was I happy I had not wasted time and money trying to see these shows in an expensive theatre setting. And I'll clue you in on something that came to mind while I have been watching movies lately: Hi-Definition does NOT make the shows any better.

    In summary, it doesn't matter which format "wins" if there is nothing to watch.

    There was a good article in the December 10, 2006 New York Times by Richard Siklos entitled "The Hat Trick That Didn't Happen" in which it suggests that interest in Hi-Definition formats is actually declining among the population.

  • Too much too soon. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Amphetam1ne (1042020)
    It took 5 years to reach a point where everyone had a DVD player in their house. The lifespan of VHS was ~20 years. So DVD gets itself fully established in every home and just 1 year on there's 2 new formats both trying to beat each other down for marketshare. Most consumers are expecting to get another 14 years of life from DVD (and most were told by the sales guys that it would be "The format that's gonna last a lifetime").

    The only way they will get people to stop buying regular DVD's now is to stop makin
  • Sony as an acronym (Score:3, Informative)

    by A_Non_Moose (413034) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @12:17PM (#17523366) Homepage Journal
    Considering it takes so long for anything to exit SONY and not be DOA, well I wonder if it means:

    Selling Only Not Yet.
    Sucks, Only Now Yours.
    Stops On New Years(or 's)
    Slow Ornery Nitwit, Yup.

    True a lot of things took off (minidisk) in some markets, but were so constrained to geographic
    regions it was almost a Pyrric (SP?) victory.

    There's never really been a "Walkman" since the walkman that (coff) walked away from the competition.

    Rootkits and exploding batteries aside, friends with Sony stuff are finding hidden gotchas with alarming
    frequency. Home movies and burned disks that won't play and ask me if I know why.

    My response so far is "It's a Sony, sorry".
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @07:54PM (#17531984) Journal
    Seriously!

    I'm a "technodork!" with a fairly decent amount of disposable income and frankly, I couldn't give a hoot about these 2 formats.

    We all got burnt on DVD's for the PC, yes they might be cheap now but the fact of the matter is the DVD format had +R / -R AND RAM!
    It's a disaster, sure it's fixed now and yes prices are finally good but they took longer than they should have, (Dual layer blanks are still overpriced - quite likely due to that screwup)
    We might have had low cost DVD players, burners and blanks faster than we got them - and while it's good now I'm sure some of us have been either burnt, confused or stuck due to that format war, let alone this one where the stakes seem much higher, last round it was only the writable discs which were a mess, at least the ROMs themselves seemed to follow a consistent standard!

    Standards are meant to be there to make things easier for EVERYONE! The consumer, the supplier, etc - if HD-DVD and Blu-Ray can't get their shit together, I'll be damned if I'm joining a camp only to possibly be burnt, plus ultimately it's a damned waste of resources.

    Here's 2 small pieces of information which may or may not be correct which are even FURTHER dilating things and screwing @#%t up for us. (note: I'm not 100% on these but I have heard them 'around' on the web)

    Blu-Ray are having problems getting the second damn layer working properly.
    HD-DVD is looking at getting 17gb on the discs per layer and moving to 3 layer (51gb)

    Now these two, if true are just mind bogglingly retarded! Not only do we have enough trouble with the fact there's not one single standard, they now may be changing / modifying their own standards to fix or add those features,.. can you say WTF?

    I can rant all day, I've done it before on these formats - I'm a bitter little man and ranting is my thing but let me get to something productive for a change.
    DON'T BUY THIS SHIT - don't buy a dual format drive, don't buy a dual format disc, don't buy a single format drive or disc!
    DON'T DO IT.
    FUCK them! - DVD was a perfectly good picture for ALL of us only 18 months ago, on a damn nice TV with a nice player and good cabling, there's nothing wrong with it and there's substantially less copy protection screwing us.

    I for one am going to sit back and wait - until they can offer me a cheap, simple solution which isn't going to burn my wallet,..... and frankly considering how much of a ballsup it is so far, I have serious suspicions that we're not going to see a single, cheap simple solution for many years to come.
    I dread to imagine trying to purchase blanks of these in 12 months "Yeah I need a HD-DVD 1.0 spec 15gb per layer but dual layer blank please" - what the heck!"

    Save yourselves the hassle and the cost and let this stuff fizzle out and heck while you're at it - stop submitting stories about it too, it's just frustrating to read about, let them both wave their dopey flags at each other all day long while I'm sitting at home enjoying regular DVD's, high def is simply not ready yet.

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