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Kmart Drops Blu-Ray Players 392

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the priced-out-of-the-competition dept.
Lord Byron II writes "K-mart has decided to stop selling Blu-Ray players in their stores, primarily because of the high cost of Blu-Ray compared to HD-DVD (now under $200). They will continue to sell the PS3 for the time being. Will lower prices speed the adoption of HD-DVD in the upcoming holiday shopping season?"
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Kmart Drops Blu-Ray Players

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  • by Puma_Concolor (842998) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:28PM (#21206857)
    ... on a Blu-Ray player?

    Darn...
    • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:22PM (#21207363) Homepage Journal

      Not for the immediate futher, but don't rule them out yet... Sony has lost this kind of match before, back in the Beta vs VHS battle. Seems they forgot the lesson learned then.

      Will lower prices speed the adoption of HD-DVD in the upcoming holiday shopping season?"

      It means the lower cost and wider availability of a player, either player, will determine the outcome. Sony charged high prices and licenced their Betamax technology in the 70's, thus we had VHS as the eventual winner. Not learning from their prior mistake? No deja fubar?*

      *fubar spelt that way for you anal types.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wamerocity (1106155)
        1. I swear if I hear another stupid VHS/Betamax argument again I'm going to shoot someone (although it's not as bad to the stupid dumbasses who say, "The winner will be whoever the porn industry sides with!! Ignoring the fact that the porn industry played only a part in that war - it was NOT the deciding factor)

        2. With everyone saying, "Oh man, a sub-100$ HD-DVD player, that's going to win the format war for sure!!" I think there is one thing that people are forgetting- HIGH-DEF is not yet for the masses.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          With your second point in mind... Not everyone is going to go out and drop "1000's of dollars" for an HDTV. In fact, the masses will probably go out this holiday season and buy TVs mostly using 720p instead of 1080p. Why? Price and marketing. These TVs fall into that 500-700 dollar category that seems to be the sweet spot for most buyers. Also, that 500-700 dollar set also has the magic letters HDTV on it, which most people will just look for that instead of 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. The people th
        • by pyite (140350) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:20AM (#21210007)
          This is a 1080i player, not 1080p.

          I'm really getting tired of people who don't know what they're talking about making a big issue of 1080i vs. 1080p when it comes to a source device. Obviously, 1080i and 1080p are very different when it comes to a display. However, Any 1080p display worth its purchase price is going to be able to convert from 1080i to 1080p effectively losslessly. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: "Due to interlacing, 1080i has twice the frame-rate but half the resolution of a 1080p signal using the same bandwidth." In short, a 1080i signal and a 1080p signal contain the same data, just formatted differently. To go from 1080i to 1080p (this is simplified and doesn't account for various framerate differences), you take every two 1080i frames (540 lines each), weave them, and you have a 1080p frame.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
            Good job refuting
            "Many people can't tell the difference, but people who can afford HD typically care"

            but in fact it's already contrafactual on its face. Perhaps 1% of ppl in the market for these devices can tell the difference and care. The other 99% will buy what the salesperson at the big box store tells them is the best.

            Which means that more will buy the more expensive 1080p stuff, but not for the reason GP states.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Skapare (16644)

            What frame rate are you assuming the 1080p content is in? Standard formats have only one frame rate for 1080i (30 frames/sec, 60 fields/sec, plus the 1000/1001 ratio rates) but have 3 choices for 1080p (24, 30, and 60, plus the 1000/1001 ratio rates). For content originating in 24 fps motion picture film, or its digital equivalent, encoding it as 24 fps onto the disc is best.

            If you are converting 1080i30/60 to 1080p60, that works fine. But the source material may not be in that format. It might be in 1

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by KlomDark (6370)
              1080i30/60/90p14326542 1878367 fish monkey judder correction 1080p62.3 3:2interlacing together method judder 24fps cannot update pixels in content originating plus 1000/1000 24, 30, 60.

              Blah blah blah, who gives a shit?

              How's the picture look to Joe Sixpack? Nice and clear with warm colors? That wins over the techno-babble jabber malarkey.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            To go from 1080i to 1080p (this is simplified and doesn't account for various framerate differences), you take every two 1080i frames (540 lines each), weave them, and you have a 1080p frame.

            If only it were so easy then de-interlacing wouldn't be a problem. But it isn't that easy and de-interlaced 1080i does not have the same spatial resolution as 1080p. Likewise, you can't take a 1080p signal and just add in some interpolated frames to get the same temporal resolution as 1080i. Thinking that you can is ju

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            I'm really getting tired of people who don't know what they're talking about making a big issue of 1080i vs. 1080p when it comes to a source device.....

            It would appear sir, that it is you who does not understand the issues here.

            1080i means the signal is interlaced. What is interlacing? Put briefly; back in the 1930's, you simply could not transmit as much data to a television back in those days. You were very limited in what you could transmit reliably given the transmitters, receivers, and noisy equipment

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dogtanian (588974)
              Are you sure that's 100% correct?

              I was under the impression that CRTs required 50/60 (PAL/NTSC) non-interlaced frames per second to avoid unpleasant levels of flickering, but that there was only enough bandwidth for 25/30- which looked bad- so they sent fifty (or sixty) half-frames instead.
            • Sorry dude, but you have about one error in each of your paragraphs. I'll just highlight the major ones (dang and I'm wasting my mod points too):

              Enter interlacing. Instead of transmitting a full ~25 frames every second, you transmit ~25 half frames every second. One one frame you draw the odd numbered lines of pixels, and on the next you draw the even lines, and so on.

              Wrong. With interlaced TV and video signals, you are sending twice the amount of half-frames (fields) per second, not the same amount. In

      • by rucs_hack (784150) on Friday November 02, 2007 @03:57AM (#21208861)
        I wonder when this battle over formats is going to end so I can actually start buying HD movies. Seriously, it's very annoying. I certainly don't want to invest in a player until a winner emerges. I don't do TV, can't stand almost all of it, but I like my movies and SF shows (Mmmm, River Tam in HD..), I'd rather like to have more than three episodes per disc too, whole seasons even. For that I would happily re-buy much of my collection.

        As for data storage? Well I'd love to get with that, but again, there's no way I'm getting a writer until two things happen

        1: Someone wins this spat.
        2: Whoever wins decides they've tapped out the 'adopt early and pay big coin' brigade, and prices for writers drop to something reasonable.
        • by maddskillz (207500) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:11AM (#21209959)
          I agree with you. I want HD movies, but am not going to buy anything till a format is chosen. I am not buying DVD's right now, because I don't want to buy them then replace them with HD versions once we have a winner. Of course, the MPAA probably thinks sales are down because people are pirating everything
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by EggyToast (858951)
            On the plus side, format wars that make people afraid to buy DVDs are good for Netflix's business. I know I started using them when i got sick of the idea of buying an "obsolete" format.

            (Especially when DVDs I had already bought started coming out in "super criterion extended bonus editions" 4-5 years later)
    • Where's the source? (Score:3, Informative)

      by nschubach (922175)
      Really, what's the source on this story? A Blog post on some unknown site by someone named "Technology Expert"? Hold a second while I create a blog, post that Walmart/Best Buy/Circuit City/etc decided to drop HDDVD then post it here for the editors to forward on.
  • by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:29PM (#21206865)
    Until the pirate community has made a decision, I'm waiting before I commit.
  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NineNine (235196) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:29PM (#21206867)
    No. There's no content available, and the improvement over DVD isn't nearly enough to make people rush out and buy any kind of HD DVD any time soon.
    • Re:No. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Valafar (309028) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:38PM (#21206973)
      WTF are you talking about? There's plenty of "content"; Just go to your local super electronics store and see for yourself. Every major studio release in the last 5 or 6 months is coming out on HD-DVD, Blu-Ray or both. What's more, there's a world of difference in quality if you actually own an HD TV. An up converting standard DVD player does a good job, but the difference with HD-DVD / Blu-Ray is definitely noticeable.

      The backers of HD-DVD are being far more intelligent from a marketing stand point than Sony+Blue-Ray. Cheaper players, Combo discs (Standard DVD + HD-DVD in the same package) and they have better penetration into the markets that actually matter (Wal-Mart, for example).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I really don't care either way. What does it matter if I rent movies on bluray or if I rent them on HD-DVD? It's not like I'm going to own them. And it's not like I'm going to waste my money buying a movie on either format (seriously, how many fucking times can you watch the same god damn movie?!). So they can use whatever they feel like and I'll rent on that format. At least, until everything is instantly available via streaming and physical media won't matter anyway.
      • And it's not like I'm going to waste my money buying a movie on either format (seriously, how many fucking times can you watch the same god damn movie?!

        1. SPACEBALLS! or Serenity. or Firefly, or Frasier. or Scrooged! or Terminator. or Bladerunner. or M*A*S*H
        2. If that's not enough - here's a collection of 2 more words a piece: Groundhog Day, Battlestar Galactica, Blazing Saddles, True Lies. Total Recall. Office Space.
        3. Or 3 - The Blues Brothers (the original, not the sequel), Dead Like Me, 50 First Dates,
        • by Lally Singh (3427)
          You forgot The Princess Bride.

          Which, btw, is great from iTunes, and is only 1 of 2 reasons I can see the demand for a video iPod (the other being BSG).
    • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:57PM (#21207165) Homepage
      It'll be a slower adoption than we saw with DVDs, but considering that we're approaching the point where a HD-DVD player isn't considerably more than the cost of a decent regulat DVD player, I have a feeling that consumers looking to buy a new DVD player will be willing to jump for the extra $50 to get a HD-DVD unit.

      Rumor is that we'll be seeing players costing between $100 and $150 in the next month, which is almost low enough to be in the 'Impulse Buy' range. Because HD-DVD players are of course backward compatible, and typically offer some sort of upscaling, they'll sell enough of these things to consumers who aren't even particularly interested in buying HD-DVD discs so that there's not nearly as much of a chicken/egg situation between players and discs. For now, there's enough content to get by and make it worthwhile.

      So, no. We won't see a massive rush to upgrade to HD-DVD. However, players should begin to slowly seep into the marketplace, and after a few years, it'll be 'mainstream'. HD-capable TVs are also becoming increasingly common these days, and I'd bet that consumers shelling out money for a new TV will also spring for a HD-DVD player, considering the low price.

      Unless sony drops the price of their Blu-Ray equipment, Blu-Ray is dead in the water. Have they already forgotten BetaMax?
      • It's the HDTV you have to hook the player up to that keeps a lot of people out of the market. With the price of a decent HDTV still out of the reach of so many, it will slow things down even more.

        Great post, though. I hadn't realized just how cheap those HD players were getting... it's going to be a lot harder to talk the wife into an XBox 360 now... dang it...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by modecx (130548)
          Huh. I can go down to Costco and pick up a name brand 42 inch 1080(P!) LCD HDTV that actually does have 1920x1080 pixels, for just over a thousand dollars. It has HDMI and all sorts of other connectors out the wazoo. HDTV is not out of the range of as many people as you think, and the situation has improved 100% over last year. When I go for a walk, I'm always seeing a new shiny, new wide screen monitor through someone's window, where there was none before.

          It's a funny thing. When you become a landlord
          • Get back to me when a 1080x is sub $350. Thats my cutoff for anything dealing with AV. It's just not worth anything more than that.

            I'm generally a sports watcher so blu-ray, hd-dvd and such really don't matter to me, but I know I get the same experience watching nfl on my 26" sd crt as i do watching it on my uncles 52" sony.

            It's all about content.
      • by MikeFM (12491)
        I don't really plan to buy either a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player. Either would obviously be a product without any real use. Digital downloads are a more practical way to get media and are obviously the way of the future. Apple TV and similar products are the way content purchase and playback will be in the near future.
        • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by moosesocks (264553) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:59AM (#21208005) Homepage
          Are you %*#(ing serious?

          Video downloads on the 'net are typically offered at VGA resolution, if not less, and are almost always compressed to hell.

          iTunes does it. Netflix does it, and as far as I know, so does Amazon.

          If you want a comparison of just how much bigger a 1080p image is than a typical VGA download, look here [wikipedia.org]. Oh, and the smallest box in that image is more than twice the size of a YouTube video.

          An HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc holds something like 20-40GiB of high-res video. 99% of broadband connections today cannot stream that much that quickly, and even a download would take prohibitively long, and be incredibly cumbersome to store due to the huge size of the files. I'd daresay that the internet backbone couldn't handle those sort of loads even if HD streaming became commonplace and there was broadband connectivity to support it.

          Streaming's cool, but removable storage is going to have the edge in the video market for the foreseeable future if it's HD we're talking about.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            h.264 can compress this "20-40gb of data" into something that can fit on a dvd-9 without discernible loss of quality, sir.
      • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by xigxag (167441) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:48PM (#21207523)
        Unless sony drops the price of their Blu-Ray equipment, Blu-Ray is dead in the water. Have they already forgotten BetaMax?

        This is not a directly comparable situation. Blu-Ray isn't going to die because it lives in every PS3 that is sold. Even if all the other studios switch (and it will take a lot for Disney to lose face and switch) Sony will continue to offer Blu-Ray content for the forseeable future. Not to mention, Blu-Ray burners store more and are likely to be predominant in the storage arena unless the HD-DVD people start making cheap burners too. So on second thought, maybe it is comparable in the sense that it actually took Betamax a long time to die, twenty-seven years according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. In that length of time, chances are neither HD-DVD nor BluRay will resemble what we see today, if they exist at all.

        Fact is, Sony had a chance to end this war before it started by compromising a bit and agreeing to use HDi/iHD instead of BD-J. Its hatred for all things Microsoft caused it to make a monumental blunder. And in snubbing Redmond, it couldn't even come off as a champion of the people because of the extreme "Sony Style" DRM built into Blu-Ray.
        • I think there's enough room for more than one standard these days... particularly for a while (until HDTV gets more prevalent)... and while that happens, it'll be up to the bigger players to leverage studio support with bundles... because if Disney stays Blu-Ray... little Joey Spankomeister will want his Cars Blu-Ray long before mom considers the implications of blu-ray/HD. :)

          Of course Disney was a prime backer of Divx (because they're greedy bastards)... but that was half-hearted, since in Europe (where Di
      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by feepness (543479) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:57AM (#21207991) Homepage

        Unless sony drops the price of their Blu-Ray equipment, Blu-Ray is dead in the water. Have they already forgotten BetaMax?
        Sorry to interrupt your smug, but HD-DVD has been out longer than BluRay and has always been cheaper than BluRay, yet BluRay outsold HD-DVD 2:1 in 2007.

        Does that mean it's going to win? No. But it certainly doesn't sound like it's losing.
      • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

        by shirai (42309) on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:49AM (#21208241) Homepage
        Though they're specials, both Wal Mart and Best Buy are offering HD DVD players for $100.

        Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player: $100, this Friday, Wal-Mart

        http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/01/toshiba-hd-a2-hd-dvd-player-100-this-friday-wal-mart/ [engadget.com]

        Best Buy offers Toshiba HD-A2 for $100

        http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/01/best-buy-offers-the-toshiba-hd-a2-for-100-too-and-other-hd-dv/ [engadget.com]
  • Rain Man (Score:5, Funny)

    by weak* (1137369) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:29PM (#21206875)
    Charlie: Tell him, Ray.

    Ray: Kmart sucks.

  • Irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by monkeySauce (562927) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:30PM (#21206879) Journal
    Who the hell buys electronics at Kmart, anyway?
    • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:39PM (#21206991) Journal
      Guitar Hero three just came out, and me and two buddies went around town looking for it. He didn't pre-order and the first three stores were sold out of the 360 version (all had Wii version however) until we got to...Kmart. We went to the electronics section and sure enough there on the shelf was 1 360 box left. He wasn't the only one that wanted it, apparently this group of 3 kids, too short to reach the top shelf, were waiting for their older brother or something to get it down for them. Well my friend didn't know this so he grabbed it and walked to the register, and the kids started crying and shouting that he stole it. Sucks for them, he still bought it.

      So yeah, people still buy electronics at Kmart :)
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Who the hell buys electronics at Kmart, anyway?

      People slightly more affluent than those that buy their electronics at Wal-Mart...

      What do I win?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Trillan (597339)
      Someone who doesn't want to buy tiles from Best Buy.
    • ...who don't read Slashdot and know diddly squat about technology.

      In other words, everyone else.
    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      Who the hell buys electronics at Kmart, anyway?


      Answer: The average consumer.

      This is NOT good news for Sony.
  • by t35t0r (751958) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:31PM (#21206893)
    blu-ray at kmart? that's like trying to sell benz's in the ghetto at retail prices.
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kithrup (778358) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:31PM (#21206895)
    K-Mart is still around?
  • the PS3... I mean, their price drop was good, but if they want to win this war, they should have lowered more and kept PS2 compatibility with the PS3 instead of gimping it. I'm waiting until after x-mas to see which is the winner... looking like its going to be HD-DVD... i've already seen TV ads, and thats half the battle right there
    • You realize that it's been years now, right? And that there hasn't been a winner yet. A PS3 is like $400. A HDDVD player is like $200. If you buy either and the associated media format fades into obscurity it's not that big a deal - especially compared to the nice HDTV you'd have to get to make it matter at all.

  • Motivation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wolvie MkM (661535)
    Get out the tinfoil hats but I wonder if the HD-DVD group "persuaded" K-Mart with a wack of cash to dump BR ala Paramount?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fallen Kell (165468)
      It's about the Kmart market. They don't exactly get the upper-income bracket as their customers... As previous posters have already stated, You won't sell many Mercedes Benz in the ghetto (although some might get stolen...).

      Sorry to be that harsh, but it is the reality that the people shopping at Kmart are shopping there to get the product that is cheap and meets their function, which means HD-DVD for them, because it is cheap and meets their function, overall specs be damned. Sony et. al. blu-ray camp ne
  • $98 hd-dvd (Score:3, Interesting)

    by notext (461158) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:34PM (#21206929)
    Rumor has it walmart will have the toshiba A2 hd-dvd for $98 on black friday

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/21581845 [cnbc.com]
  • It makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maniac/dev/null (170211) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:35PM (#21206941) Homepage
    It makes sense, in a twisted kinda way. If you were the average joe who had no clue, which would you want? Something with an unfamiliar name, or something named with HD and DVD right in the title? What if that second one was around half the price?
  • No, quoting RedvsBlue: "Bad marketing. not enough repeated letters to be catchy, so it's being replaced with HHDDVVDDBVDs"
    then again Bluray is already obsolete er I mean red-ray
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/575487/red_vs_blue_go_go_gadget_video/ [metacafe.com]
  • by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:39PM (#21206989) Homepage Journal
    Just a little bias in the article post: "They will continue to sell the PS3 for the time being".

    1.) The PS3 is a Blu-Ray player, arguably the best, that's what I bought mine for.
    2.) "Time Being" meaning to imply Kmart may drop the PS3 also? And not sell all 3 of the current generation game players? Not likely.

    HD-DVD could win, but in general people are not buying quality 1080P HDTVs at Kmart, they are buying cut rate 720P stuff that doesn't look that much better with HD-DVD than upscaled DVD.

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't good for Blu-Ray, but it isn't the sky falling either.
  • by jbridges (70118) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:40PM (#21206999)
    WalMart has the Toshiba HD A2 for $98.87 as of 8am on November 2nd 2007.

    http://holiday.ri-walmart.com/?u1=433093-2-0-ARTICLE-0&section=secret&utm_source=Walmartcom [ri-walmart.com]

    I believe they may include the free 5 HD DVDs deal, which alone is worth $100.

    I'd say that is breaking the price barrier holding back acceptance!!

    (I know I'm buying two, one for us, and one for my inlaws for Christmas)
    • Your supposition is that there are millions of people that have been on the fence the last year and a half just waiting for this moment and will now pounce. A high percentage of these players will go to Blu-Ray owners who just want to hedge their bets and play a few must have titles they can't get on Blu-Ray.

      HD enthusiasts already have players and J6P often hooks his brand new HDTV up to a progressive scan player with a composite cable. Someone needs to build these players into a good HDTV so the lay p
      • by causality (777677)

        Someone needs to build these players into a good HDTV so the lay public doesn't have to get the Wires and the Settings correct.

        What's that joke, that the definition of "expert" is "someone who can read the manual?" Seriously, I don't feel the slightest bit of sorrow for people who are defeated by the requirement that they do a (very) small amount of one-time research to fully utilize their high-dollar equipment. The more expensive said equipment is, the more senseless it is to allow your own laziness to

        • About 3 years ago I hooked up a friend's progressive DVD player to their HDTV. The SERVICE man from the store it was purchased from had hooked it up with a composite cable. I got them a component cable and hooked it up (that part was easy) but spent the better part of an hour getting the settings right on BOTH the TV and the DVD, which had to have both in progressive mode and inputting/outputting through the Component cable, and navigating to these settings was far from straight forward. If you didn't se
    • by timeOday (582209)
      At that price point who cares about the player, it's the media. Which is why I wouldn't use a high-def player if I got it for free.
    • by imstanny (722685)

      (I know I'm buying two, one for us, and one for my inlaws for Christmas)

      Yeah, that's about as likely as getting a PS3 for $99. I guarantee you that they have a dozen of those, which you will never get - lest you camp outside their store 24 hours in advance. These 'too good to be true' deals are posted to get you through the door on Black Friday; they'll be the first to go. And that's if there's any left - the workers there will probably get first 'dibs'. When you realize they're all sold out, you're gonna go to look for other deals since you're already there, which is why th

  • Kmart vs Wal-Mart (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Techogeek (1148745) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:42PM (#21207017)
    Kmart to drop Blue Ray sales and Wal-Mart to sell a sub-$100 HD DVD player. http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/34650/97/ [tgdaily.com] See the pattern here? Both Kmart and Walmart are among the top leading names in budget department stores.
  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:45PM (#21207041) Homepage
    Video-on-demand, both on cable and via internet, will make blu-ray / HD-DVD irrevelant ...

    Sure some people will buy / use such players, but most people are skipping right to utilizing video-on-demand instead ... and with ever increasing affordable, even free (ie. YouTube / Wifi, etc), bandwidth, VoD is well on the way to drive the newer physical HD formats to a premature extinction.

    Ron
    • Everybody always totes this statement out in regards to HD media, but in case you haven't noticed not everybody is hooked up to broadband, and those that are don't have uniformly high download rates. It will be a player sure, but not full high quality because bandwidth tempts you to scrimp on file size, and even those downloading these overly compressed HD files will only account for at most 10-20% of the HD market the next 3-5 years. And that assumes studios can control piracy, because if you condition
    • by Doppler00 (534739) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:10PM (#21207275) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, but video on demand isn't going to happen for another 10 or more years. Remember, 1080p is something like 40mbps. Comcast currently tops of at around 6mbps. Just imagine the bandwidth comcast would need for even 20% of it's customers all streaming 40mbps on a Friday night for 2 hours. They would also need a multitude of servers that could handle streaming all that data out.

      The per-user cost of the routers, servers, and set-top boxes has got to be well over twice as much as a blu-ray or HD-DVD player is now. I'm not saying it won't happen, it's just not there yet and I don't see cable companies as smart enough to figure it out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by papasui (567265)
        ~Little disclaimer I'm a Network Engineer specializing in DOCSIS/CABLE/VOIP~ Here's a little secret for you. Each analog channel they have on their system is pushing 38Mbit at the current going rate of 256QAM. Once they get rid of those OR optionally increase their plant capacity OR go to higher QAM they will have plenty of bandwidth. They also are very likely using MPEG2 for their datastreams, advanced codecs would significantly reduce the bandwidth needs. So while yes you may be right that it will req
  • by SEE (7681) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:45PM (#21207047) Homepage
    One of these things is just like the others.
    All of these things plainly belong.
    Can you tell what point that I am making,
    by the time I finish my song?

    Three of these things belong together
    Three of these things are kind of the same
    Can you guess what point I am making?
    Now it's time to play our game
    • I'm not sure I'd call Betamax a failure, though VHS did eventually overtake and beat it. No format lasts forever. Beta lasted for like 20 years. You also fail to mention CDs, 3 1/2 floppy discs, or that Sony was co-founder of the original DVD spec. Toshiba was mostly to blame for the DVD forum not agreeing on a standard with Sony.
    • by Dracos (107777)

      You forgot Memory Stick, and several others.

      What's the tally on proprietary formats Sony has failed to impose on the market? 11?

  • HD-DVD Wins... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:05PM (#21207233)
    ...but not because of K-Mart. HD-DVD won the day they named it that.

    People don't know anything about one format or the other, or even care, but they know HD is good and DVD sounds familiar and easy to use. HD-DVD was a great move because it leveraged the gajillions of dollars that have already been pumped into marketing "HD" and "DVD", and the familiarity that goes with both.
  • I think this development is very telling, but its just a symptom not just of BluRay's failure, but the whole market for higher definition optical media.

    I'm an Aussie but I've lived nearly my whole life in Singapore where electronic gadgets are not just a nice thing to have, they're almost status symbols, like most parts of affluent Asia I assume. When DVDs came along everyone was scrambling to get the latest devices, televisions and movie releases on the new format, but here we are in 2007 and only a hand

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:14PM (#21207309) Homepage

    Blu-Ray and HD don't have enough capacity to store really good HDTV without overcompression. Everything still blurs during motion and pans. Then, when motion stops, enough data comes in for the decompressor to catch up. Yuck. That's why the demo content in the stores is either near-static scenes without camera pans, or something with so much action that you can't see the artifacts. Long, slow pans still suck. They suck for 24FPS film, too, but we have the technology to do better now.

    Right now, the displays are better than the storage medium. You can buy 1080p flat screens without any problem. Some of them can even do 60FPS. We need 4x to 8x as much data on the storage medium to feed those big, fast screens properly.

    This will probably happen after the NFL figures out some way to transmit football at 60FPS.

    • No, you're seeing motion blur because film cameras have a 1/48th of a second exposure time. That same blur on frames with high motion was seen in the theater, and on the negative.
  • by xigxag (167441) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:01AM (#21207609)
    Fanboys have been lamenting this "stupid" "pointless" format war from the beginning but this just proves it has been wonderful from the consumer point of view. Had there been only one format, chances are we'd still have to pay $400-$500 minimum for players. Thank you, competition.
  • by hpa (7948) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:34AM (#21207865) Homepage
    It's hardly no surprise, since standalone Blu-ray player cost as much as a low-end PS3, which is also a gaming console and a media center. There is no reason for anyone to buy a standalone player, so there is virtually no market for the standalones.
  • by Discgolferusa (711112) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:05AM (#21209925)
    As someone who owns a player for both formats I would have to say that I prefer HD-DVD. So far, it appears to be the more innovative of the two technologies when it comes down to actual delivered content (non-interrupting main menus, bookmarking, video timelines). Every Blu-Ray disc I've watched so far (which granted, haven't been that many) appear to offer no more benefit than a standard DVD does when it comes to innovative content.

    Sure, I know that Blu-Ray can physically hold more data, but most people in the general public aren't going to care about that. I think Sony could have done so much more with the standard, but have honestly fallen short of my expectations. I would have hoped that both "next-gen" formats would have delivered that "wow this is cool" feeling. HD-DVD does it somewhat, but Blu-Ray seems to think that HD content is enough.

    What do other dual format owners think? Is there some cool Blu-Ray specific feature that I've not seen yet?

  • by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:23AM (#21210037) Homepage
    The people have spoken. The bastards.
  • Sumbitter bias (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pnewhook (788591) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:46AM (#21210245)

    I haven't yet decided which format I'm going to choose for my upcoming home theater purchase, but reading reviews it is certainly evident that writers insert their own bias when reporting on the format war. This submitter is no exception.

    For example the submitter writes: "K-mart has decided to stop selling Blu-Ray players in their stores ... They will continue to sell the PS3 for the time being". The last sentence implies that they may at any time stop selling the PS3 as well. The original article however states "Of course, Kmart will continue to sell the Playstation 3, which includes a Blu-ray player", with the 'of course' implying that it's obvious that dropping the PS3 would not even be a consideration. The difference in perspective is obvious.

    Now lets say the the submitter was an actual journalist in a mainstream publication. You could then easily imagine other people picking up on that inference and stating 'K-Mart drops Blu-Ray - considers dropping PS3 as well" or something along those lines.

    For all submitters, if you are going to post something, keep your own agenda out of it.

  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Friday November 02, 2007 @08:01AM (#21210391)
    I've been a part of this community for quite some time and I often contribute stories. Only rarely do they ever get accepted. I've noticed that the stories that make it to the front page tend to have two qualities - they are sensationalist and they ask rhetorical questions. I decided to try and see if adding those qualities to my submissions would work. Hence, I added the "they'll keep selling PS3s for now" bit for the melodrama and then I added the required rhetorical question. Sure enough, it got accepted.

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