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Blockbuster Chooses Blu-ray 351

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the nailing-the-coffin-shut dept.
s31523 writes "The format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray has posted another battle, this time the victor seems to be the Blu-ray side. Blockbuster has announced it has chosen Blu-ray as the HD format to rent out in the majority of its stores. This decision comes after rental data was looked at for the 250 stores that carry both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray with the majority of rentals being Blu-Ray. Blockbuster now plans to stock Blu-ray only in 1450 of it's stores, but says the 250 stores with the HD-DVD movies will be kept on the shelf."
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Blockbuster Chooses Blu-ray

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  • Oh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:46AM (#19550639)
    "This decision comes after rental data was looked at for the 250 stores that carry both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray with the majority of rentals being Blu-Ray."

    8 rentals versus 6?
  • Freedom to choose (Score:4, Insightful)

    by allscan (1030606) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:47AM (#19550641)
    Yet another win for Netflix, which allows you to pick your favorite HD format!
    • by monk.e.boy (1077985) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:49AM (#19550695) Homepage

      Yet another win for BitTorrent, which allows you to pick your favorite HD format!

      :-P

      monk.e.boy

    • by guidryp (702488) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:58AM (#19550821)
      BB online will match netflix in that they will still have HDDVD, so how is this a win for netflix?

      Is netflix starting a chain of B&M rental outlets to compete with BB?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Colin Smith (2679)

        Is netflix starting a chain of B&M rental outlets to compete with BB?

        Only if their management are a bunch of shortsighted numpties. What they'll be doing instead is buying up datacenter space worldwide and installing terabytes of fast disk and boatloads of bandwidth.

        I predict that BlueRay and HD-DVD won't even make a splash as they sink without trace. ok they may sell some in the US where they have 3rd world levels of bandwidth, but the rest of the world is going to be downloading it's HD movies to HD PVRs... legally or not...

    • Blockbuster Online has had both formats for a while and I assume will continue to offer both. I am surprisingly familiar with this considering I don't own either type of players, I blame my wife, who will often add a new movie in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD format instead of DVD. Sometimes, she'll even add the same movie twice to the queue, once for DVD and another for Blu-Ray. Look hon, I don't want to watch R.V. once, let alone in high definition.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      This is a good point. The really interesting thing about this decision will be that it will establish the current viability of Blockbuster's current business model. Is Blockbuster the force that moves this particular industry, or are they just a reactionary business at this point, trying to catch up. Also I don't see why Blockbuster would really have an opinion in this matter. They rent movies, who cares what the technology is, from their point of view, just as long as it moves out the door. To that po
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:47AM (#19550651)
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO [ytmnd.com]. The war is over, Blue Ray won. Sad.
    • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:04AM (#19550915)
      Yet others of us are happy. I bought my PS3 as a bluray player first and potentially a console second. Now with the most recent firmware update it is also my upscaling DVD player and a wireless media extender for my mac.
    • Food for thought (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BlackCobra43 (596714)
      Blockbuster chose Blu-Ray. Porn chose HDDVD. Blockbuster is becoming incresingly irrelevant and is (IMO) heading straight for bankruptcy. Porn isn't. How has this choice "won" the battle?
  • by ulysses38 (309331) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:48AM (#19550659)
    since i just finished reading the 'psychology of fanboys' story below. now we can see some in their native habitat.
    • by joe 155 (937621)
      "now we can see some [fanboys] in their native habitat"

      Here? really? we have Sony (among others) for "blu-ray" and M$ (among others) for HD-DVD. Whatever the opposite of fanboy is, that's me. I hope that they both lose.
      • by Paradox (13555) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:38AM (#19551371) Homepage Journal
        I'm not saying which one you should prefer, but lots of people either hate HD-DVD or Blu-ray on irrational basis. For example, "HD-DVD players break too much! (even though I don't own them and the current generation is just fine)" or "I hate Sony/BMG, therefore I will boycott all of Sony (even though the connections between various divisions of such a large company are extremely slim)." Some people are even so foolish as to have decided-retroactively, of course-that the format they purchased is the superior one because, well... they spent a lot of money!

        There is no reason to hope both lose. I'd really hate to be suck with DVDs for several years while the next-next-gen media gets its act together, and probably does the exact same thing all over again.

        Me, I prefer Blu-ray because Sony takes their recordable-data business seriously and they're getting that stuff to market much faster. You might prefer something else, like HD-DVD because the hardware is a bit cheaper. Either way, there are plenty of rational non-fanboy reasons to prefer formats. The most irrational view I can think of is your position. How would the completely failure of the new media types benefit the market or consumers?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by idlethought (558209)
          Well, we'd get to keep DVD for several years while the next-next-gen media gets its act together. Which would suit me fine - and many people who won't benefit noticeably from the higher-resolutions of the two formats, but will be charged more for them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          "I hate Sony/BMG, therefore I will boycott all of Sony (even though the connections between various divisions of such a large company are extremely slim)."

          Are you paid by Sony and/or BMG? Because otherwise I cannot understand your extremely specious reasoning.

          Corporations are entities that we are asked to treat [legally, and only more or less, but bear with me] as people. They are single entities, even when made up of other entities. And in fact all of them are, because they are made up of multiple people

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Blu-ray: Scratch resistant coating, huge plus when the little dots are easily wiped out by scratches. Plays on PS3. Studio backing. HD-DVD: Plays on XBox 360 (with attachment). Already hacked! Honestly, I just want the HD quality. I don't care about the format. My preference is who is lighter on the DRM. Sony has a history of avid DRM usage - which really turns me off. If by passing on the better format, we send a message that we don't like DRM big companies start backing off the DRM bandwagon; we all win
  • by jimicus (737525) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:49AM (#19550683)
    More interesting will be to see what the retail giants do.

    If Wal-Mart decides not to stock HD-DVD (or, for that matter, Blu-Ray) titles, then that's more interesting.

    Myself, I think the idea of two formats which (unlike VHS/Betamax) are, at first glance, practically identical and come in very similar cases yet require different players is absurd. Unless and until either one wins or dual-format players become commonplace, there's going to be some very pissed off people when they get their shiny new film home only to find that it won't play.
    • by Buddy_DoQ (922706)
      The best part is the holiday season, how can you know which format to buy for your favorite uncle you only get to see once a year. You can't very well call asking, "Heya Uncle Bob, say, what kind of HD DVD format do you use? What? No! I'm not thinking about getting you a new high-def format movie or show this year, that's preposterous!"

      More importantly, even if you tell your aunt Becky 4 times (twice in writing no less,) you'll still get the wrong damned format come the great unwrapping time. Never mind the
    • by DrXym (126579)
      Dual format players are never likely to become commonplace. The few that are for sale appear to be pitched at videophiles who want to hedge their bets. Once a winner emerges (some would say it already has), then the studios on the other side will immediately become platform neutral (i.e. give in), and re-release the content in the new format. So it seems rather pointless to buy a combo player unless you already have a significant investment of discs in the dead format.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608)

      More interesting will be to see what the retail giants do.

      I would say equally interesting. I think a rental giant will have more sway than a retailer as I believe the average consumer rents more than they buy. If I wanted to buy a HD format (well, I wouldn't because regular DVD is all I need, but IF I did, I would get a duel-player), if I had a choice of renting Blu-rays at any number of Blockbusters (I'm also a Blockbuster Online member) or having a hard time finding HD-DVD rentals, I would choose Blu-R

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by A_Non_Moose (413034)

        I would get a duel-player


        That would get expensive, having to put both a BR and HD version of the same movie in the player
        and only getting a single one back.

        I suggest Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, that way you can put both movies in the duel player and
        chant "TWO DISKS ENTER, ONE DISK LEAVES!".
  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:49AM (#19550687)
    Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pl1ght (836951)
      I keep hearing this, but i know absolutely no one who is using the digital distribution for their home entertainment. While this would be popular for people watching movies on their computer, the majority of people watch movies on their TVs from the comfort of their couch. Its going to be a while off before appliances are in every home to take advantage of digital distribution. So the disc wars will continue for the foreseeable future.
      • Anyone who has digital cable and orders a movie (to their TV) is using digital distribution. You're aware of this, right?
      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:05AM (#19550939) Homepage
        Everyone I know with an HDTV has some form of "On Demand" for getting HD movies... I don't know a single person who owns either an HD-DVD or BRD player.

        The cost of ownership is significantly lower too... pay your cable/satellite company $5 for the movie you want to see using the equipment you already have or buy a $500+ player and go to the store (or wait for delivery of) a rental + however much that costs.

        I see the HD-DVD vs BRD debate along the same lines as the DVD-Audio vs SACD debate... which format one that war? NEITHER the equipment was over priced, crippled by DRM and only a fraction of the market owned the supporting equipment to fully utilize it nevermind become actually interested in it.... who won that war? technically it still rages on but the real victor was the MP3 and other digitally distributed forms of music... far and wide technically inferior to the DVD-A and SACDs but it's pretty apparent that consumers go for convenience over quality... at least in terms of their media.
        • by Malc (1751)
          HD DVD players are considerably cheaper than $500.
        • Music and movies are "consumed" differently. While Audiophiles have been looking for a high end solution, SA-CD and DVD-A promised that, that isn't how most music is consumed. The formats that Audiophiles normally listen to are different, because they normally listen to classical music that benefits from the audio, or jazz and alternative genres where the quality matters. However, the most popular music genres are Pop and Country, which don't benefit from the new formats. Since audio masters are evaluat
    • What's the file size of a HD movie, and how long will it take to download at 1.5 mbs?
      • by Lumpmoose (697966) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:12AM (#19551027) Homepage
        What's the file size of a HD movie, and how long will it take to download at 1.5 mbs?

        The only service I've used that distributes a large number of HD movies online is the Xbox Live Marketplace on the 360. A 720p movie on there usually ranges from 6-7 GB which has takes 8-12 hours over my DSL line. Someone can correct me, but that size seems a bit small to be a true HD film. Most Blu-Ray/HD-DVD movies are 1080p, AFAIK. Besides the 360 & PS3, BR/HDDVD are the only ways to get a true 1080p image (no one broadcasts above 1080i). As the owner of a 1080p HDTV, that makes this format war all the more annoying.
      • by Intron (870560)
        Around 15 GB x 8 bits / 1.5mbit/sec / 3600 sec/hr = 22 hours. So I guess I don't want to try this with 56K dialup.
      • Who has 1.5Mb/s connections these days? My cheap connection is 4Mb/s, and my ISP offers up to 10Mb/s, with some of their competitors going up to 24Mb/s for home connections.

        Since we're talking speed, BD and HD-DVD both max out at around 30Mb/s. How many years until I get more bandwidth from my Internet connection than a HD player gets from its disk? At this point, it makes more sense to plug something like an Apple TV into your HDTV and stream movies than it does to buy them on physical disk.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by garcia (6573)
      Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

      For whom? Geeks with fancy computers hooked up to their TVs? The only digital distribution for movies I use is empornium.us for my fix because the local video store with a "back room" has a shit selection of what I want to watch and I don't like being taxed $8/video because there are no other porn peddling stores in town.

      For the rest, I go to the Hollywood Video kiosk at the grocery st
    • by mrycar (578010)
      EveryNickIsTaken Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs.

      I wish this statement was true, but until bandwidth is available to every home with a TV, Digital Distribution will remain a niche player.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) *
      Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

      Yes, and it sucks. It's basically YouTube on 'roids; you have to watch it on a computer, and it's streamed (not really downloaded), and it's Windows-only. I've played around with it and found it interesting from a technical standpoint but otherwise totally uncompelling. And this is from someone who *does* have computers driving most of the TV monitors in their house.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Yes if you like low res crappy versions.

      Some of you love watching your movies on a 15" laptop screen. Most everyone else wants it on their 42" plasma or in their home theater with a 102" or larger screen.

      Those are the people buying blu ray and HDDVD not the poor college kid that sits in his bunk in the dorm room with the covers over his/her head watching a movie on his laptop.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:49AM (#19551569)
      Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

      Microsoft sure thinks this is the way. That's why they backed HD-DVD, to try and keep the format war going long enough to make sure Microsoft is in control of the majority of digital distribution via Live and to fragment physical formats.

      However, what is not being factored in here are two issues:

      1) Size and thus quality of downloads.

      2) DRM

      You can download HD media today, but even the 720p stuff Microsoft offers takes a while. As 1080p sets become more popular, there simply are not a lot of people who will be able to download 1080p versions of movies over the network, for many many years to come as fiber is slowly built out to homes. A physical Blu-Ray disc offers 50 GB of storage - how long will it be before you can download anything near that amount in any kind of reasonable time? Even with torrents a few GB can take a while.

      On top of that, the video people buy online is not really very transferable - Apple comes close by being able to also put video on an iPod, but it's still not something you can share. So people will be inclined to buy some video online, but if they really like a show or movie still pick up a physical disc for that just so they can share it or carry it around between devices easier.

      P.S. Yes Netflix offers movies, but not all of them and only online streaming. A cool way to check out a bit of this or that but not very practical for watching whole movies, and nowhere near the quality even of DVD, much less Blu-Ray!
  • There's likely a lot more Blu-Ray players out there right now because of the PS3. While maybe some of you might think the PS3 isn't selling or hasn't sold enough units, they've sold several million of them - and that's nothing to sneeze at when you consider the the fact that HD players are still pretty new to market.

    Evenrually, it'll be like a DVD-R/DVD+R situation - players will support both and that will be the end of it.
    • by alcmaeon (684971)
      And with the new system update (1.8, I think) the PS3 has become a pretty darn good DVD player. I have replaced the set-top DVDplayer with the PS3 now.
      • by Dan Ost (415913)
        Does using the PS3 as a video player reduce the life expectancy of the hardware?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cbreaker (561297)
        Yea, me too. I have a pretty nice DVD player; it cost me a bunch of money when I got it. It still looks very good but it doesn't look nearly as nice as a standard DVD in the PS3. The PS3's upscaling is top notch; it doesn't just stretch out the picture to fit the high resolution, it really enhances sharp lines, contours, and colors. It's great!

        I watched a few DVD movies on it when 1.8 came out and I really couldn't believe they were the same DVD's I'd watched before.

        Of course, the benefit of the upsca
  • by CrazyTalk (662055) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:51AM (#19550721)
    All the Blockbuster video stores in my area went bankrupt a couple of years ago and closed. Since they already drove all the mom and pop video stores out of business, that leaves nowhere to rent vidoes anymore.

    One "advantage" of living in a depressed post-industrial area of the country - we are ahead of the curve in terms of business that will eventually no longer exist closing before everyone else. We lost our last CD stores years ago, and the one downtown bookstore closed just this year. Yippee.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) *
      I think you should have seen the writing on the wall YEARS ago, if you live in Michigan.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      While I think it sucks when chain stores drive out local businesses, I'm not sure how this would have been different in the long run. If BB can't survive with its much lower overhead and cash reserve to get it through rough patches, what makes you think several mom and pop video stores would?
      • by Vellmont (569020)

        If BB can't survive with its much lower overhead and cash reserve to get it through rough patches, what makes you think several mom and pop video stores would?

        Maybe they're more willing to accept lower profits? Or perhaps a greater ability to adapt to the local market? Big chains aren't necessarily the best competitors.
      • by Rich0 (548339) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:41AM (#19551433) Homepage
        Actually, small businesses might stay open long after large concerns would close shop. A few reasons:

        1. The owners may be inclined to stay in the area and tend the shop, so it doesn't matter that the capital could be better used elsewhere.

        2. The owners can't just ship the DVDs to their 500 other stores with minimal loss. If they close shop they must liquidate probably for pennies on the dollar.

        3. The owners may be able to use dodgy practices to reduce their costs, without the liabilities a major concern faces.

        4. The small business probably has less overhead.

        Now, in a hot market the small business will get killed by the corporation, but the small guy may stick around long after the corporation leaves - if for no other reason than they don't have much choice...
  • Wow, this is huge (Score:3, Insightful)

    by llZENll (545605) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:52AM (#19550723)
    Why on earth would they not just rent both? Its not like it costs them any money to rent another format. Dollars to donuts there is some behind the scenes payola or pressure going on here. I guess with all of their sales heading towards online rentals it probably doesn't matter, as they are still supporting it online.
    • Re:Wow, this is huge (Score:5, Informative)

      by brewer13210 (821462) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:57AM (#19550803) Homepage
      Easy...shelf space. Stocking both would essentially require them to stock two of everything, which isn't optimal if you're trying to provide a wide selection to your customers.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        This is pretty apparent when I look at retail shelves too. For every square inch of space that you devote to one product, it's one square inch of space that you can't devote to another product. I was in HMV the other day, and the signs on their thief/library book detectors were ads for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, yet they didn't have more than 10 movies from either format. It's clear that they are making more money from their 3 for $30, TV Episode DVDs, and even old DVDs that I didn't think anybody bought than t
      • by Guppy06 (410832)
        How many movies are currently available as both BluRay and HD-DVD?
        • Re:Wow, this is huge (Score:4, Informative)

          by Intellectual Elitist (706889) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:47AM (#19551547)
          Warner and Paramount are supporting both formats. Universal is exclusively HD-DVD, and the rest of the majors are exclusively Blu-Ray.

          Between Warner and Paramount it looks like around 70-80 titles are currently available on both formats according to High-Def Digest's [highdefdigest.com] historical release [highdefdigest.com] lists [highdefdigest.com].

          Warner's been a little quicker about getting their HD-DVD titles out, so they have about 20 more titles that are still waiting for Blu-Ray releases.
      • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:33AM (#19551311)
        Parser error: you used "wide selection" and "Blockbuster" in the same thought.
        Blockbuster only stocks "hits". And not for very long, at that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hasbeard (982620)
      1)Maybe it simplifies their procurement by having to only buy one format. 2)Also, stores don't have unlimited shelf space. If you stock two formats for every movie, doesn't that double the space needed for storage? 3)Probably a much less important consideration, but it would also eliminate the possibility of someone grabbing a movie from the incorrect format and having to bring it back.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, if they don't know the difference between the two formats, and would be grab the wrong format, what's to stop them from grabbing a disc of the wrong format when only one format is there. If you have both formats, and they choose a random one, they will be right 50% of the time. If you only have 1 format, and they choose randomly, then if they have blu-ray, they will be right 100% of the time, but if they have HDDVD they will be right 0% of the time. Which gives an average of %50. For people who do
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          If you know the difference, then the odds of picking up the wrong disc are pretty low.

          You might know the difference, but your spouse might not.

          It makes more sense to pick one horse and back it.

          They're not going to immediately fill the store with titles most people don't have equipment to play, anyway, so there's already going to be two formats in the store. Three is just asking for trouble.

          And if Blu-Ray did fail, then they could just sell off the backstock and go to HD-DVD; if one format does go tits-u

  • by Silver Sloth (770927) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:52AM (#19550725)
    As I remember it, it was the rental market that killed off Betamax. Whatever you might think of them (and few have a lower opinion than I do) the rental market, and Blockbusters in particular, has a massive influence. You can just see the average clueless consumer saying 'Why get HD DVD when Blockies only stocks Blu Ray'
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fbjon (692006)
      Why would that be clueless? Sounds pretty rational to me...
    • by crossmr (957846)
      I thought the betamax issue was about sony trying to be to anal with the format thus turning off other companies.
      I wish they'd do that again..
  • Another Layer of DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neonman (544) on Monday June 18, 2007 @09:56AM (#19550793)
    The unfortunate thing about Blu-Ray is its BD+ DRM feature, which has not yet been turned on. While Blu-Ray and HD-DVD both use AACS, Blu-Ray's BD+ is an additional layer of DRM which has not yet been broken. The reason you aren't hearing about this is that people think Blu-Ray has been freed to the same extent that HD-DVD has, when this really isn't the case. All it will take is for Blu-Ray Disc publishers to start using BD+ on their titles (which we can expect to see in a few months) and at that point our hopes of ever seeing free HD disc player software will be dashed once again.

    For now, as a user who wants to play HD content with free software, I'm going to advocate the use of HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray.
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      I suspect that the only reason it hasn't been broken yet is precisely because it hasn't been turned on yet. That removes both the incentive to break it, and the experimental media to use in the attempt.

      It'll be broken.
    • Blu-Ray's BD+ is an additional layer of DRM which has not yet been broken.

      The reason it hasn't been broken is because it hasn't been used. Once they start trying to stop copying it will be broken in a matter of days, even if it's merely playing it back on an HD screen and recording it with an HD camera.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      The reason that nobody has broken BD+ DRM is because the studios haven't started using it. As soon as they start using it, people will find a crack. Can you please tell me what makes BD+ DRM so special that hackers won't be able to break it? Given enough demand, any DRM system can be broken.
    • DRM is fundamentally flawed, and hence can and always will be broken should the need arise. If BD+ starts getting used, BD+ will start being broken.

      It wouldn't matter if something you stick in your PC had God-DRM mark XIV or whatever magical DRM the movie industry has wet dreams about, it's still DRM and it's still just as breakable.
  • by Sunburnt (890890) * on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:00AM (#19550857)

    Blockbuster now plans to stock Blu-ray only in 1450 of it's stores, but says the 250 stores with the HD-DVD movies will be kept on the shelf.

    What sort of shelf can fit 250 retail stores, exactly?

  • DOH! ... or ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:04AM (#19550907)
    "How to close the door after the horse has bolted." By the BlockBuster management

    The future ain't DVD, of any format. The future be network distributed content, no matter what the US film industry wants you to think.

     
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The future ain't DVD, of any format. The future be network distributed content, no matter what the US film industry wants you to think.

      People (including me) like physical media because if all you have is a license and a file, your license can be revoked. Of course, there are schemes where that is possible with physical media as well, but that stuff has to call home (so far) and people haven't yet displayed a willingness to stand for that kind of shit (witness the failure of circuit shitty's divx project. a

  • No, no, you want to keep up the format war until all the DRM mechanisms on all of them are thoroughly and completely destroyed... so that the folly of DRM will be obvious to all, quickly, instead of having a long-drawn-out waste of time.

    Then whatever format wins will be actually useful by real people, so they can see the movies on any computer or TV they own, using any display they choose, and using any operating system. So they can back up their media (which always gets scratched or otherwise destroyed)

    • No, no, you want to keep up the format war until all the DRM mechanisms on all of them are thoroughly and completely destroyed... so that the folly of DRM will be obvious to all, quickly, instead of having a long-drawn-out waste of time.

      It's best to have one format for this though so hackers don't have to split efforts. And then the other format can't shift to offer new DRM that we have to crack again.

      When there's only one format, when it's cracked it stays cracked. Just need to take out BD+ at this point
  • by LightPhoenix7 (1070028) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:09AM (#19550981)
    While this is somewhat interesting, the problem is that it doesn't matter at all. Neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray has managed to get any sort of decent penetration into the home market aside from enthusiasts. There are a couple of reasons for this.

    Firstly, there's price. I'm not just talking the price of players here, though that is a factor right now. The big thing is that the vast majority of people do not own televisions that will benefit from a higher-quality format. The cost of having a television that will benefit from this has to be added on to the startup cost, and that price hasn't seemed like it's gone down at all. Sure, you can get high-def 22" sets - but with a set that small, the difference between DVD and HD-format is pretty nullified. Again, only enthusiasts will notice a difference.

    Another big reason is customer fatigue. DVDs have only relatively recently obtained high penetration in the home market - in no part thanks to cheap players from Walmart and other discount stores. Now customers are being asked once again to spend money to upgrade their collections... and as I said above, the startup price is not trivial for marginal improvement in quality. No, there are no MPAA-Nazis... oh, there are. My point is, no one is forcing them to upgrade - but on the other hand, the mass amount of customers just don't care.

    Another thing I might point out is that the major indicator of trends - the porn industry - hasn't chosen a format yet. In fact, they're pretty much eschewing physical media for the internet. So, were I to be a betting man, I'd say that an online format is going to be the next big thing - and we're already seeing that with sites like YouTube.

    So, in the long run, this isn't really news at all, this is just a blip on the radar.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Helios1182 (629010)
      And remember that DVD had the fastest penetration of any consumer format in history, mainly because it did offer something much better than VHS.
    • While this is somewhat interesting, the problem is that it doesn't matter at all. Neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray has managed to get any sort of decent penetration into the home market aside from enthusiasts. There are a couple of reasons for this.

      While your reasons are good, the bigger reason is simply that there ARE two formats. A lot of people are waiting for one to fail. So when one format fails, adoption of the remaining format will be much brisker.

      I do not think studios will allow a dual format contest f
  • by s31523 (926314)
    FTA:

    "I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying," said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the group[North American HD DVD Promotional Group].

    If blockbuster had decided in favor of HD-DVD I bet he would have said "I think Blockbuster is making a decision based on what people want and it is a good move for them strategically." He is only bitching because they didn't pick the HD-DVD format, deal with it!

  • by urbanriot (924981) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:25AM (#19551191)
    Blockbuster is owned by Viacom. Viacom owns Paramount Pictures. Paramount is one of the proponents of Blu-Ray.
  • This is so sad ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by boyfaceddog (788041) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:36AM (#19551345) Journal
    Its like "Buggy Whips, Inc chooses Naugahide over Vinyl". I can't remember the last time I bought/rented a movie on a disk.

    I guess the dying industries need to get into the news somehow.

    So sad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mitchell_pgh (536538)
      You are the minority.

      Most consumers are either rent or purchase their movies. The concept of a DVD player is now ubiquitous in the consumer culture. I consider myself to be VERY computer literate, but I can see major hurdles with trying to toss a 50GB movie file around a home network. Better yet, how would I permit a friend to watch the movie?

      I can walk into a Best Buy and pick up 250 GB of movies (I'm generalizing), go home and watch them, sell them, trade them, lend them to friends, etc. etc.

      The d
  • by Templar (14386) on Monday June 18, 2007 @10:56AM (#19551673) Homepage
    It's a shame it's going this way. I was an early supporter of Blu-ray, but now I'd be much happier to see HD DVD win (or at least live on for a while).

    Reasons to support BD:
    - Sony & Disney catalogs
    - More storage

    Reasons to support HD DVD:
    - Universal catalog
    - Less DRM, no region codes (imports!)
    - Easier to author your own content
    - No censorship by factories

    Reasons to hope both stay alive:
    - Price wars
  • I rent DVD's from the Hollywood Video store near my house. They have had HD-DVD for some time now, but this week, all a sudden, they now have an equal number of BlueRay as well. Interesting.

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