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If DVD Is Dead, What's Next? 652

uglysad writes "The Age has a piece discussing the fact that, from the home entertainment industry's standpoint, the DVD is dead. So what is next? From the article 'It will come as a shock to film fans who have spent their Christmases stocking up on their movie collections, but the technology industry is in agreement: the DVD is dead. Consumer electronics companies have begun to show off what they believe will be the next generation of home video technologies. But despite the common belief that the DVD is history, the industry is split over what the next step should be.'"
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If DVD Is Dead, What's Next?

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  • whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tfcdesign ( 667499 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:31PM (#14413690) Journal
    Seems a little hasty to make such a claim. VHS isnt dead yet. The only media I can think of that is dead is the 8-Track and 70 RPM.
    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Funny)

      by gid13 ( 620803 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:35PM (#14413726)
      And let's not forget FreeBSD...
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:43PM (#14413794) Homepage Journal
      Seems a little hasty to make such a claim. VHS isnt dead yet. The only media I can think of that is dead is the 8-Track and 70 RPM.

      Exaggerating death throes isn't meant to end sales, gods no. If that suddenly happened Bush would probably have to slash taxes and then tell everyone to take that $300 out and buy a stack of DVDs (except anything he finds morally repugnant, such as gay cowboys). The MPAA would have to suddenly circle the wagons, up-end the Bucket 'O Lawyers and proclaim the fall-off is the result of rampant piracy.

      Nope, nothing like that.

      What they mean to do is push the new HD-DVD or Blu Ray technology, even if it's not on the store shelves just yet. What's desired is to whip up a frenzy -- to make it a self fulfilling prophecy.

      Anyone remember (the late) Richard Pryor as the Wiz, changing the colours? Red is dead, wouldn't be seen in green, etc.

    • Indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <> on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:43PM (#14413801) Homepage Journal
      I'm in the technology industry, and I don't think the DVD is dead. Hell, we just got a new DVD player with our surround sound kit. Does anyone see Blockbuster renting out something more than DVD?

      This guy is making stupid generalizations to draw attention.
      • Re:Indeed (Score:4, Interesting)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @12:57AM (#14415128)
        For the content producers, DVD is "it."

        But for hardware companies, it's a totally different story. Where do you go with a product that has hundreds of parts yet sells for $29 at WalMart? There can't be any profit in it. Worse yet, the expensive DVD players hardly work any better than the cheapies. So for the hardware comapanies, I'd say the DVD player is "done", or "dead," or whatever you want to call it. They must be itching for the next big thing.

    • 70 RPM? (Score:3, Informative)

      If you mean 78 RPM, it is very much alive, if gasping for air. I have an old wind-up Victrola and about 250 78s of old blues and jazz that I still crank up from time to time. The sound is crap for an audiophile of course but it has its own rickety charm. The best thing is you don't have to plug a damn thing in. Came in handy when there was a blackout - I'm also into candles; half the neighborhood showed up at my place with booze because it was the only place on the block with light and music. When the
    • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:50PM (#14413867) Homepage
      >The only media I can think of that is dead is the 8-Track and 70 RPM.

      I think for purposes of this argument, we can fairly say that if it's not given at least an aisle at Best Buy, it's dead. LP's are dead as a doornail. VHS tapes will be soon. But I can't imagine the DVD section at Best Buy going away within the next three years. Keep in mind it's in the interests of the electronics industry to have DVD die off as soon as possible. And despite the fact that the MPEG-2 encryption was a rush job and has long since been blown away by newer codecs, DVD's remain an outstanding technology.

      Whatever the next standard is, it won't have the clear advantages over DVD that DVD had over VHS. The several hundred million consumers who already own DVD players and stacks of DVDs have no urgent reason to jump to the next standard -- not until most of these people own high-def Televisions. DVD will be with us for some time.

      • But I can't imagine the DVD section at Best Buy going away within the next three years.

        Three years ago, you probably could have said, "I can't imagine the VHS section at Best Buy going away within the next three years."

        • by Aadain2001 ( 684036 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:11PM (#14414053) Journal
          Oh I did! I knew VHS was going the way of the doodoo as soon as DVDs started hitting the shelves. How could anything like VHS survive DVDs? Smaller form factor, better quality (both in sound and video) (that doesn't degrade each time you play it), more extra features, etc, etc, etc. Everything they are holding up to "replace" DVDs are nothing more than increased storage/better video quality, but that is only benificial to people who do have HD TVs (which isn't many). Oh, and different/better/more draconian DRM features, which we all just LOVE! Nope, DVDs will be around longer than the industry wants them to be, but just as long as consumers want them.
          • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @11:25PM (#14414774) Homepage Journal
            But my MPAA Media Overlords really WANT me to buy a new HD-DVD. They also WANT me to replace all of my equipment and media library. After all, they need to keep their revenue stream flowing. After all, if digital bits last forever, forced obsolescence is a necessity! Plus this gives them the opportunity to institute the DRM that they messed up, first time. THEY NEED THIS!

            Who are we to refuse?
          • Add to that... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Belial6 ( 794905 )
            Add to that the fact that consumers just don't care that much about quality. They want convinence. The MP3 boom shows that. At the same time the Media Barons are trying to convince us to buy SACDs, the people are ripping their CDs to the lower quality MP3. Why because people want convinence. This is what DRM takes away. Heck, I would go back to VHS quality video in a second if they could make it even more convenient than my ReplayTV.
          • DVD is good enough (Score:5, Insightful)

            by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @01:57AM (#14415340) Homepage Journal
            Absolutely. I knew DVD was going to catch on as soon as all the movie companies got behind it. That was when I got a player. VHS was dead from that moment.

            DVD won't die and be replaced by HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. They were predicting that CD would die and be replaced with SACD or DVD-Audio, and that didn't happen.

            Even though my DVD player supports DVD-Audio, I don't have a single DVD-Audio disc. I don't even have the player hooked up to support it. Why not? Because the DRM is so cripplingly inconvenient, it's not worth it. With a CD I can listen on my iPod, stream over my home network and listen at any computer, listen on my PDA, play the CD in the car, make mix CDs for the car, and so on. With DVD-Audio, they won't even allow digital feed from the player to the amp, so I'd need to buy a set of extra analog cables, I'd get lower quality (my amp has much better D to A than my player), and I wouldn't be able to rip the audio conveniently. And though some 'goldenears' folks will disagree, CD is basically good enough.

            Similarly, DVD is good enough for the vast majority of people. I actually have an HDTV, and with a well-encoded DVD and a player with a good upconverter, the limiting factor on the image quality is either the source material or my eyesight. When I can see the fingerprints on the glass pane used for the 'floating pen' effect in "2001"--and that's a famously poorly encoded DVD--I know that there's really no great need for finer resolution. I can see the film grain on "Lawrence of Arabia" already, I don't need to see it any better. I can read the paperwork on Sam Lowry's desk in "Brazil". The resolution is just fine. Now, let's have more good movies...
            • Recordability (Score:3, Informative)

              by rishistar ( 662278 )

              Absolutely. I knew DVD was going to catch on as soon as all the movie companies got behind it. That was when I got a player. VHS was dead from that moment.

              I agree with most of what you say - I just think that VHS as a medium for buying movies on died a long time ago, but in many UK homes still use them. In fact there seem to be a fair number of movies still available in shops here. Why?

              In the UK Tivo never really take off (well they stopped selling new ones) and what kept VHS players alive here was tha

        • Three years ago, you probably could have said, "I can't imagine the VHS section at Best Buy going away within the next three years."

          What planet do you live on? 3 years ago was only 2003. It was obvious that VHS was on the way out at early as 2000. In 2003 VHS was on its last legs and if you weren't betting on the VHS section at Best Buy going away in 2 or 3 years, you weren't paying attention.
      • by gwiner ( 685297 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:10PM (#14414043)
        Vinyl LPs are not dead as a doornail - There's plenty of new vinyl being pressed up. Being a DJ is every kid's dream. Some "turntable-ists" are actual well-respected muscians. Records are a very much alive, albeit underground media. New albums by indie rock bands are often presseed in limited runs on vinyl and are treasured by record-player and music nuts everywhere. Believe it or not, many audiophiles consider records to still be the superior-sounding medium. And by the way, it was 78 RPM was the standard, not 70. Sorry - I know I'm off topic.
      • by ( 321932 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:40PM (#14414544) Homepage Journal
        And despite the fact that the MPEG-2 encryption was a rush job and has long since been blown away by newer codecs

        I'm sure you meant MPEG-2 compression, not encryption. MPEG-2 compression was certainly NOT a rush job. I agree that there are better codecs now. MPEG-2 has simply been one step in the evolution, and a significant amount of effort went into the development.

        Or maybe you are confusing CSS encryption that is used on DVDs with MPEG-2. CSS encryption was evidently a rush job. Which is probably more of a reason than anything else why the movie industry wants to see it dead. Video quality isn't really the issue yet (even today very few TVs display native 1080p movies to begin with).
      • I think what they really mean when they say "DVD is dead", is that the DRM for DVD is dead, and that's why they want to move on to Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, so they can have more control.
      • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @11:58PM (#14414912) won't have the clear advantages over DVD that DVD had over VHS......

        Indeed true. It is the convenience of random access that disks have over tapes that made most consumers switch to DVD and audio CDs. The lack of wear when played and the superior quality were bonuses, but not the driving points for consumers to re-buy all or at least much the old content over again. The old TV's used with VCRs worked and still do just fine with that new DVD player and the audio systems already in use were useable with the digital audio CDs.

        The new formats will really only have better quality as the reason to switch to the new technology. If a customer does not also buy an expensive big screen HD TV, the new format will not do much more than the current DVDs do. Much of the material in the vaults of the movie companies would not benefit consumers in noticeable superior quality anyway.

        The video equivalent of mp3, where a user an store a few thousand movies at today's DVD quality in a holographic chip the size of a compact flash card, storing about 100 terabyes or so, at about the current price of one might be a compelling reason to buy new movie storage equipment.
    • Re:whatever (Score:3, Informative)

      by hackstraw ( 262471 ) *
      The only media I can think of that is dead is the 8-Track and 70 RPM.

      Youngun. 33.3333, 45, and 78 is/were the standard record formats. I've never heard of a 70 RPM one.

      Back on topic, I thought that the article title is very sensationalistic. I thought they were going to talk about something new or whatever, but they just talked about the different higher capacity DVDs (blue ray and HDDVD) not something like crystalline hologram media or whatever.

      I don't see DVDs as a format going anywhere anytime before
    • Outmoded tech (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What about LD or BETA? I own several LDs not sure what I'll do when that player breaks. But at least they can be copied to video tapes. Should be possible to scan them into a divx file as well, if I had a video capture card..

      The problem is that we are all investing in media which we will most likely not be able to view in a view years. I had to buy a new DVD player this year because several of my new DVDs would not play on my older player. Presumably because of slight changes in the software.

      DVDs for t
    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LordSnooty ( 853791 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:52PM (#14413890)
      VHS isnt dead yet.

      Maybe so, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase new mainstream titles on VHS. And as for the niche releases on a smaller scale, you've no chance.

      I hope that this time, the average consumer rises up and says "no". I think the reason that everyone happily bought into DVD was that it was such a huge leap from VHS - so many more features to make the switchover worthwhile. It was maybe 15 years since VHS started to become popular. This time, less than 10 years since DVD hit the big-time, what are the big reasons to switch? Increased space (more naff behind-the-scenes docos and dull commentaries)? Hmm. High-def? That's probably the only decent advantage you could point at.

      And strangely enough, what's the hardware industry currenly falling over themselves to sell us? HDTVs. I truly hope that this time, the average Joe sees what we have seen for many years, that is the content producers repeatedly selling us the same stuff on different media.
      • Re:whatever (Score:4, Insightful)

        by manavendra ( 688020 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:12PM (#14414063) Homepage Journal
        I think you raise an interesting and subtle point. Essentially, the hardware vendors (in collusion with the software creators - the hollywood studios, for one) are trying to put the high-turnaround consumer market spin on the entertainment media as well. So just buying the VHS tapes and the player isn't enough - as the new format guaranteed ease of use and better quality. The consumers then flocked to it, with a genuine alacrity since it was almost a quantum leap in quality.

        Inspired with this success, however, I believe is the attempt to pull-back the expiry date for DVD and push *ANOTHER* media (and *ANOTHER* set of players to the market). Push it along with *ANOTHER* type of TV, and you have the two markets creating penetration for each other. In fact, this market is so lucrative the corporates are fighting over WHICH format to push. Sounds like a rip-off, if I ever saw one = just look at the faster, bigger computer we get thrust at us every few months, while the price of new-improved box stays roughly the same (after the initial, rationalising drop)
        • Re:whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

          by FFFish ( 7567 )
          since it was almost a quantum leap in quality

          And, even more important was touted as ever-lasting: CDs and DVDs do not, for most practical purposes, wear out when handled with care. Everyone who grew up with vinyl and cassette and VHS knows what it's like to lose audible audio quality over time: the goddamn things wear out with casual everyday use! CDs and DVDs, hell, it's dead easy to keep them in prime condition forever and a day with next to no effort at all.

          That is what sold a huge chunk of us on those
      • Re:whatever (Score:4, Informative)

        by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:23PM (#14414146)
        Maybe so, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase new mainstream titles on VHS.

        Makes sense [] vs []

    • by Julian Morrison ( 5575 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:00PM (#14413969)
      Don't think: Bones with a tricorder in hand saying "he's dead, Jim". Do think: Al Capone gritting his teeth and snarling "That no-good punk is dead. Dead, ya hear me?".

      The movie industry hates DVD for the same reason it hates unadulterated CD: the pirates have cracked it so thoroughly that the studios might as well post the disk images on mininova themselves.
    • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:01PM (#14413978)

      DVD is only dead to the greedy who aren't happy with the deflation in profit margins, due to the huge array of competition from everywhere, including scads of historical movies and TV programs and imported foreign content. They prefer to think it's not due to the competition but to piracy, but they're wrong. When you consider the time required to copy DVDs, its probably actually cheaper to just by a legit copy. Sure, there may be some bootleggers out there who are showing up with counterfits at flea markets, and a few downloaders who will D/L a movie to watch just because they can, not because it's convenient. But not enough to explain the hit big media is taking in the pocketbook, despite their claims.

      Big media figures if they start up something newer and better they can get us all to transition to it and spend more $$$. However, while I think it could mean a short term windfall, I'm not convinced that HD gives you enough additional value to make it worth the transition-- most of what I like to watch already exists and isn't in HD format, I have no interest in spending extra $$$ just to see the modern crap that's mostly written by ad executives.

      The DVD is not just going to go away, there's a huge amount of content out there that, even if the disks and the players start dying out, we'll be able to back them up on new storage mediums and still preserve them. And, much of the content remains worth watching, in fact, mostly more so than what's targeted for HD.

      But let them pull out all the stops. And maybe there'll be suckers who will buy into it, but if I ever do I'll be about the last to do so, after the cost has dropped to about what DVDs are going for now...

      They only wish it was dead because while it's alive it's a low-cost content rich alternative to the high-cost content poor HD market...

    • Re:whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ajs ( 35943 )
      "That I can think of" would be the key phrase in your statement.


      Wax cylinder
      Wire recording
      Various sizes and speeds of vynil record that even scratch devices dissavow

      Player piano scrolls

      Super 8 film (used by a very limited group of artists today)
      Beta (not the pro format that some TV stations still use, but the home format)
      VHS (it's not "dead", but it's certainly deader than DVD)

      Still images:
      Almost any format you mention is "only mostly dead", as artists tend to be overly nostalgic.
    • Re:whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

      VHS isnt dead yet

      No, just moribund. It's two and a half years since I recorded anything to VHS. As a major university we have to support a lot of obsolete formats, but it's a difficult job telling some academics that backwards compatability doesn't mean business as usual.

      However I confess I have never been a fan of the DVD format. Every hour or program, whether from DV tape, or direct to hard disk, takes ~2 hours to compress mp2, and then there's the obtuse but compulsory menu structure. I have found it
    • Yes, 70 RPM was supplanted by 78 RPM and I'm never going back.

    • Re:whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mgv ( 198488 ) <.gro.namtlev. .ta. .tod2hsals.10.mapsoN.> on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:02PM (#14414389) Homepage Journal
      Seems a little hasty to make such a claim. VHS isnt dead yet. The only media I can think of that is dead is the 8-Track and 70 RPM.

      No, its not dead at all. The HD/Blu-ray thing is a furphy for people who want to watch movies. Why?

      1. Most people don't know what is high definition anyway. Plasma TV's are 488 lines, which is less than standard definition that you get with a DVD. Most people (consumers) think they are fantastic. Technophiles might notice, but considering that the electronics industry got many people to DROP the viewing resolution by going from TV to Plasma says something important about how much punters care about resolution.

      2. Even if you want high definition, you don't need more storage space for it. Processing power is going up alot, and that means that more efficient codec's than MPEG-2 that DVD's use will easily do high definition in the 8.5 GB available on a standard DVD for a nice long movie.

      3. So why do they want to get rid of DVD? Hardware manufacturers want more sales, and can't think of a way to get consumers to buy another (more expensive) player. They could just go for a player that does a better codec (MPEG-4 or H.264), but that needs content. And the people who provide content - who mostly don't care about hardware sales except for Sony which does both - want a new DRM/encryption as DVD's are cracked.

      So, in essence, this isn't really a consumer oriented move. But this shouldn't be a surprise - how many people want DVD audio? Brought in by the content producers as there was not protection on a music CD; that hasn't killed off the music cd.

      Of course, Apple actually managed to get people to get people to give up unencrypted music for the iTunes music store, but that wasn't about quality - they offered something genuinely new, which was the iPod. Your entire music collection in a tiny package (or a good subset of it on an even smaller one).

      I don't see this coming with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. Sure, I'd love the extra storage for hard drive backups. But for video - not the way that the content industry wants to package it - as a huge (20-30 GB) movie file that's heavily DRM'ed. No thank you. All my music comes off a hard drive now, and my videos will soon too.

      I can promise you that I won't be wasting 20 GB on each movie, and that I won't be unhappy with the quality of a MPEG-4 serial episode that weighs in at 0.35 GB for a 40 minute episode.

      The next real innovation won't be in larger, uncompressed storage - it will be in legal down loads of videos, at relatively modest quality, which will almostly certainly be compressed heavily to keep the traffic down. Until then, I'll keep on ripping my DVD's and digitising broadcasts .....

      My 2c worth.


      • Re:whatever (Score:4, Informative)

        by tricorn ( 199664 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @12:57AM (#14415127) Journal

        What plasma TVs only have 488 lines (are you talking horizontal "lines of resolution" or vertical scan lines?) All of the plasma sets I see are HD or at least ED, typically with 1024x768 for the former, the latter typically at 852x480 for a 42" set (which is about 36.6x20.6 inches; that gives about 28 dpi horizontally and 37 dpi vertically for the HD sets, or 23 dpi for the ED sets, if the screens are 16:9). You don't get full HD resolution until you get to bigger screens; even 50 and 63" plasma seem to be mostly 1366x767, at least it's a square resolution (31 dpi for the 50", 25 dpi for the 63"). Full HD resolution is 1920x1080.

  • just like hdtv (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ronchie02 ( 690654 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:32PM (#14413694)
    DVD is dead just like we're being forced into HDTV in... oh wait, it's smoke. How many people do you know that just got a DVD player? It's hardly dead.
  • HD-DVD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Manip ( 656104 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:33PM (#14413695)
    If HD-DVD 'wins' the battle then current DVD isn't at all dead... HD-DVD is backwards compatible thus allowing companies to continue to produce old style DVDs on the cheap while also supplying higher quality content or longer (in video length) disks.

    • Re:HD-DVD (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:38PM (#14413750) Homepage Journal
      If HD-DVD 'wins' the battle then current DVD isn't at all dead... HD-DVD is backwards compatible

      Blu-Ray drives will most likely be backwards compatible as well. From the Wikipedia article []:

      While it is not compulsory for manufacturers, the Blu-ray Disc Association recommends that Blu-ray drives should be capable of reading DVDs, ensuring backward compatibility.

      The whole "DVD" on the end of the name is just a ruse to get people to buy into the standard. There really isn't anything I can think of that makes HD-DVD superior to Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray, OTOH, has many positive features including the ability to wipe the disk without scratching it, and larger data capacities.
      • Re:HD-DVD (Score:2, Informative)

        by tricorn ( 199664 )

        The article is definitely slanted. "Sony's rival format does away with traditional red lasers in favour of more efficient blue ones", but that's true for HD-DVD as well. Mention that Sony suffered a blow when Microsoft announced they will support (an external) HD-DVD on Xbox360, but didn't say anything at all about Blu-Ray on PS3, nor that Microsoft's reason for supporting HD-DVD is to try to hurt Sony in their console war.

        Claiming that HD-DVD is cheaper than Blu-Ray is misleading. Start-up costs to bui

      • Re:HD-DVD (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ilyaaohell ( 866922 )
        The one major point that is always cited when talking about HD-DVD is the fact that manufacturing is going to be cheap. Enjoy your $30 and $40 Blue Ray movies, though. I'll be sticking to DVDs and my fully-functional SDTV set for MANY years to come.
      • Heh. I wrote that section of the article myself, actually, and I was just talking out of my ass in the hope that someone would come along later to improve the parts I didn't know. Obviously that never happened.
  • by croddy ( 659025 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:33PM (#14413700)
    It's dead when we say it's dead (not you). Now please, kindly return to the factory and make us some more DVD's.


  • Article summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anakron ( 899671 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:33PM (#14413704)
    DVD is dead because device manufacturers say so.
    Your options are
    1. Blu-Ray
    2. HD-DVD
    Nobody wants a format war.
  • by manavendra ( 688020 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:33PM (#14413705) Homepage Journal
    But oh, wait! we *know* its dead, but we just don't quite know what killed it yet..
  • who gets just a little squeemish at the thought of high def porn?
  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:34PM (#14413714) Homepage Journal
    Though you can still buy players and people have a ton of tapes. I see this more as wishful thinking on the part of consumer electronics mfgs (who'd love for you to have to buy yet another player format) more than anything else
  • Unlikely (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:35PM (#14413723)
    Since DVDs look absolutely fantastic on my 110" projection screen I don't see how they're going to make much improvement. DVD quality is head and shoulders above broadcast quality analog TV that HDTV is replacing so I'm not sure where the market is for HD-DVD since it's only a minor bump in quality.
    • You should really go and check out the quality on an HD set. I thought my 51" was great until I saw a 57" with HD feed. Now I can't wait for BD-/HD-DVD players and media to hit the shelves.

      HD is a small mountain in quality from SD DVD and a large mountain from SD TV.
    • Since DVDs look absolutely fantastic on my 110" projection screen I don't see how they're going to make much improvement.

      I never thought I would say this, but DVDs don't look good on my modest 43" HDTV after getting 1080i HDTV content. Decent upscaling projectors are what, over $10k a pop. I don't have that kind of cash to blow, and I like to be able to watch TV in the daytime or with lights on sometimes.

  • I don't think so (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@tpn o - c o .org> on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:36PM (#14413729) Homepage
    There is only one thing the next generation has going for it; Capacity. In everything else, DVD has a distinct advantage. It's cheaper, it's entrenched and it's easier to work with.

    Personally, I think the "industry" is in for quite a shocker this year, as bluray and hddvd barely make a blip on the radar. Same with next year.
    • I agree with your assessment. I'll wager that we really won't see much consumer movement until at least X-mas 2007. There will be the early adopters, of course, but they're going to find it a bit of famine. This sort of headline is just an attempt by the industry to get everybody thinking "gotta have that latest DVD technology". In short, nothing more than industry spin.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just came from the TV room and the DVD as the VHS are working fine
    you scare me
    • Your VHS isn't working fine.

      VHS images have always looked awful and have always looked significantly worse than the quality of the image your TV can display.

  • They wish... (Score:2, Insightful)

    The industry wants to kill DVDs since it is so easy for people to rent and copy them now days. Maybe they think they'll make more money with (Uncrackable)DRM'd replacements.
  • Fine. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist ( 906833 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:41PM (#14413777)
    if the entertainment industry says DVD is dead I won't buy any more.

    what? you don't have the replacement out yet? well, you guys just fucked yourselves then didn't you.
    • Re:Fine. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:04PM (#14414000) Homepage
      Heh. Exactly my thought.

      They've been pushing the 'imminent' hidef stuff for a year now. So I made the decision to stop buying DVDs.

      Unfortunately there's no HD broadcast here and no HD media, so the only way to get it is off usenet... They really shot themselves in the foot - pushing HD like it was the second coming then making it so the only way to get any was do download ripped copies - and that situation isn't likely to change for a good 6 months too...
  • by GeorgeMcBay ( 106610 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:41PM (#14413779)
    The issue that is far, far bigger than HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray and yet the industry doesn't seem to understand is that a standard DVD is more than good enough for most people. As with the CD before it, the DVD hits a sweet spot where aficionados might want improvements but the average user just doesn't care enough (if he is even able to discern them). The industry is being lulled into a false sense that the masses want HD DVDs because of the success of HDTVs, but I believe that has more to do with people wanting larger screens that take up less real estate (LCD, Plasma), than it really does with the higher resolution (for the masses, not for everyone). Also, people expect to buy new TVs on a cyclical basis and it is much easier to get them to run through one purchase upgrade than to upgrade their entire old media collection.

    Someday HD DVDs (of one format or the other) will be the norm, but I'm quite sure this is going to be a much slower process (far slower than VHS->DVD IMO) than the studios seem to realize and will be driven more via a trickle of sales as people replace old TVs and DVDs with new models (which support old and new formats). In the meantime, they better keep cranking out those Plain Old DVDs.
    • I think this is a brilliant point. I have an HD LCD TV, and an upscaling DVD player ($100-ish, doing the exchange rate calculation in my head), and it does almost everything I could ask of it. I can see the difference between HD and SD with good source material, but really, how much of the stuff out there is good source material?

      DVDs took off like a rocket because they provided a significant leap in quality, a massive reduction in space used, the ability to easily put extras in with your video and random ac
    • As with the CD before it, the DVD hits a sweet spot where aficionados might want improvements but the average user just doesn't care enough (if he is even able to discern them).

      I disagree. The difference between SACD and CD is subtle, unless you have a really good stereo system. The difference between SD and HD is huge and very noticeable if you have a 50"+ screen. For example, the hotel I was staying in just a few nights ago had a big plasma screen in the kitchen. The Rose Bowl was playing in HD and it lo

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:43PM (#14413799)
    They only want us to think it's dead for two reasons, first, content cannot be securely protected (like they hoped). Second, you can now get a player for twenty bucks (same as in town), so there's little profit left.
  • According to a blurb in the Feb issue of CPU magazine, a 300 GB (with 20Mbps transfer) drive/disc should be available later this year. Probably overkill for a DVD killer, but could work for large collections (LotR, Star Wars, Alien and Star Trek - all in HD 7.1 multi-language audio track with all special bonus features - $1,999.99).
  • Not Dead Yet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:47PM (#14413843)
    I am sure that as time goes on DVD will be replaced by something better. BUT consumers will profoundly ignore anything that is engaged in a format war!

    It took many years for DVD catalogs to reach their current levels, and there are a number of titles that are still not available in DVD format. Plus a good DVD player looks pretty decent on a HDTV. So there isn't a huge incentive for customers to buy any new HD format. With all this there is little or no incentive for consumers to buy into a new technology - especially if it comes with a price premium.

    There is a good chance that a format war will delay the acceptance of HD resolution disks for years. It might even fatally wound the the new formats - like it did with SACD and DVD-AUDIO.

    In the meantime people like me are using Netfix instead of buying DVD's - why own something that will eventually become obsolete anyway.

  • by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:49PM (#14413859)
    When people stop buying DVDs in signficant numbers, then and only then will DVD be dead.

    Just because they want us to buy more, newer, less reliable, more expensive shit doesn't mean we will.
  • I can see the reason why the hardware industry want DVD to die as it's got to the point where it's a commodity product. There are so many cheap machines on the market that it's impossible to make a reasonable profit on the devices. There is a very, very small market for high-end players for those with lots of money, but the mid-range has disappeared, where most of the profit could be made. The only solution is to generate a new market with a new product, for which they can get a large margin, at least initi
  • "The Last Temptation of the DVD" followed by the surprisingly successful, "The Resurrection of DVD" (aka "I Was Only Mostly Dead").
  • It's true, the blowhards in the entertainment industry confirm it. So just put your entire DVD collection into a box and send it to me; I'm working on a museum exhibit. Yeah, *DVD is dead at 55, found in its home choked to death with a pretzel. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Truly an American icon.

    I mean, come on, this whole story is a troll!

  • by SpecBear ( 769433 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:53PM (#14413908)

    The technology industry agrees that DVD is dead? Alrighty then...

    How many companies have stopped producing DVD players?

    How many stores have stopped selling DVDs?

    How many DVD pressing factories have shut down?

    Where can I buy a next-gen media player (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, whatever)?

    WTF do they mean when they say DVD is dead?

  • DVD and CD are two very, very unreliable mediums for storing data. And for some people storing data is an important part of their lives. Besides that, most people treat DVDs and CDs very clamsy. You don't even know which scratch is going to be "the lethal one". On the other hand I would appreciate the fact if some people would bother creating reliable hard drives that do not die unexpectedly. At least to have a way to warn the user before they die. It is awful to live with the fear that one day, you don't k
  • Does this make any sense to anyone? The VHS cassette was introduced in late 1976 [] and survived until the DVD came into the market in November 1996 []. That's a 20 year difference. It's been about 10 years and they already want to replace the DVD. There is a clear quality difference between VHS cassettes and DVDs, but will I REALLY see that big of a difference between DVDs and the next generation discs and players? My house is only so big, and my TV will have size limits, so it's not like I'll see a differe
    • by DECS ( 891519 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:57PM (#14414363) Homepage Journal
      I agree: DVD and VHS were very different "new" things, and DVD is hardly in need of replacement.

      VHS wasn't commonly in homes until the mid 80s. Being tape, it required long winding time to find content, and had an inherently limited lifespan. Being analog, it could not be copied or duplicated more than a generation or two. Videotape in general was introduced with less than broadcast audio and video quality, and as better technology came out, VHS slowly progressed toward being near broadcast.

      DVD was introduced with CD quality sound and digital video significantly better than standard broadcast. DVD's are more convenient, durable and smaller than VHS tapes. DVD also offers perfect copies across generations.

      DVD was also quickly integrated into computers; playing DVD's from a PC or laptop using VGA or DVI to a computer display offers a very high quality video, competitive with HDTV. Since common DVDs are better than commonly broadcast video quality, and since little HD content available, and since HD displays are not commonplace, there's hardly demand for a new HD media.

      Satellite providers have had the capacity to deliver HD for some time now, and have instead chosen to deliver more content at standard resolution. If, as that suggests, there is scant market for HD video, why do we need an HD media disc to suddenly replace DVDs?

      The only real benefit HD-DVD and BlueRay offer over DVD is in data storage capacity and in DRM, and consumers don't look particularly needy for either. They already have hard drive storage in excess of HD-DVD's (recall than when CD-ROM arrived, it offered FAR more storage than hard disks of the day).

      CD's certainly didn't disapear for SACD, and in fact most consumers have never seen or heard of SACD. And remember when Phillips (and others) were presenting the "future of audio cassette," which was suposed to replace audio tapes the way that CD had replaced records? Those products bombed.

      If anything, I think there is more growth potential in HardDrive based DVRs to replace and expand upon the functions of VCRs, a job that DVD isn't very well equiped to perform given its slow and finicky write technology.

      New iterations of the iPod, as a DVR, have the potential to serve new markets better than bigger DVDs. And as broadband becomes more commonplace, and faster bandwidth arrives, larger discs may not be that necessary after all.

      I can already:

      -get iPod sized movies on demand (via iTMS)
      -get DVD quality movies on demand (via NetFlix)
      -get TV style episodes and shorts on demand (via Tivo)

      I can see those services migrate toward HD slowly without any need for HD discs along the way. Think of NetFlix using downloads and hard disks instead of discs and postage, and its hard to imagine what problem a HD-DVD standard would solve.
  • by stickyc ( 38756 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:57PM (#14413939) Homepage
    The first alternative formats are just now being introduced. If you rewind the wayback machine, the first DVD format wars started in the early 1990s [] with the first consumer players not becoming available until 1997 in the US. Betamax was released in 1984 with "a winner" in the tape format wars not being declared until 1988 []. I'm not up on HDTV's timeline enough to quote actual dates, but I picked up my first "digital ready" HDTV in 2000 and it wasn't until just last year that the industry had actually agreed to an input standard for digital content.

    Despite what the industry says, I'm betting on at least 4 years before I really have to worry about my precious DVD's being truly obsolete.

  • Right... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RickPartin ( 892479 ) * on Friday January 06, 2006 @08:59PM (#14413954) Homepage
    Technology doesn't just die like these sensationalistic articles tend to believe. It slowly loses momentum over several years. VHS is still widely used for Christ sake. DVD is still in it's prime. Players are cheap and people are buying disks like crazy. It seems way early to start shoving a new standard down consumers throats. Another thing is that consumers get comfortable with a technology and tend to stick with it for as long as possible. For Christmas I bought my dad a new DVD player. I set it up and showed him how to use it the best I could. He calls me up the next day completely confused and jokingly says "You might as well have brought me a fucking space ship". So I guess the moral of the story is that it is not time to give the average Joe another fucking space ship to figure out.
  • "DVD is dead."

    This reminds me of a line I heard once... "Every person in this room is now dumber because you said that.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:02PM (#14413981) Journal
    They should pick a format that can last centuries. This may sound ridiculous at first, but consider what the ideal shape is regardless of technology. It would be something like a thin pen-drive. If you only store something small or compression improves, then it can be a short pen. If you want to store 50 movies, then it may be a longer pen.

    If it is like a pen-drive, then the technology inside does not matter such that it can change. Only the interface has to stay the same.

    A disk, especially a 5 inch disk is too bulky. Plus, it is too easy to scratch the surface and the technology determines the interface. You cannot increase the number of groves (or whatever they call them now) without needing a new interface. A pen-drive-like interface does not care how many groves or how much RAM is inside. Only the "plug" and outer body has to remain the same. Inside it can use bacteria, pizza, or gerbal poop to store info. It ain't matter.

    However, I must say that USB is a little awkward to insert. But, I have not seen something significantly better to replace it as an interface. So a pen-drive shape it is in the right direction.
  • by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:11PM (#14414055) Homepage
    It's pining for the fjords!
  • DVD is not dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <> on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:16PM (#14414089) Homepage Journal
    nor is VHS. Even BetaMax still is alive and kicking and in use in some places.

    Remember that Laserdisc system and how VHS and video tapes were dead? Laserdisc is the superior product with a superior quality picture and sound than VHS had.

    Guess which format people supported and used the most?

    The DVD is not dead, do I need to invoke Monty Python here "I'm not dead yet!"

    HDTV formats are way too expensive for the average person to use and own. Ever tried to price HDTV cable and satellite boxes lately as well as the monthly fees for them? Ever priced an HDTV TV set lately? Wonder why those TV sets under 35 inches do not support HDTV? Only the wealthy can afford them.

    I know a lot of people who don't even own a DVD player and still use VHS players and recorders. Most of them have older TV sets that cannot take the DVD digital input and need an adapter just to use one. Now try to convince them to spend thousands of dollars on an HDTV system to play Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disks instead of their 20 Inch Analog TV set with the VHS video tape device? The most they can spend is like $50 to $100 for new equipment if they go without certain things for a while and cut their budgets.

    DVD Players sell for as low as $35 each with $15 for the Analog to Digital adapter to use them on that 20 inch Analog TV set. A $50 minimum investment just to upgrade to a DVD playing system. $100 for a good one that won't shoot craps in the next few years or so.

    The way I see it, as far as HDTV DVDs go, Blu Ray is BetaMax and HD-DVD is VHS as far as formats and pricing and marketing goes. My money is on HD-DVD, because it seems only handful of suppliers will support Blu Ray like Sony (who invented it). This is the BetaMax vs. VHS wars all over again.
  • Not Dead. Not Dying. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkVader ( 121278 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:49PM (#14414305)
    DVD - Alive and well.

    Blu-Ray and HD-DVD - Dead on arrival.

    I'm sorry, I'm just not interested in ANY medium until the DRM is cracked, and if it's really as strong as they say it is in those, I'm never going to be interested.
  • heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @09:56PM (#14414353) Homepage Journal
    DVD = cracked, more like.

    DVD is more than acceptable quality for 99.9999% of the population, and as a PC storage medium, it's fine.

    For audio, it's fine.

    The only problem I can see is that the built in copyprotection was cracked, and certain people aren't happy about that :)

    Perhaps they mean that the dvd-player market is saturated, and they need something else to sell?


  • by whyde ( 123448 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:05PM (#14414403)
    ...because that's the only way they can make their DRM a reality. The studios don't want you to own anything. They want you to license the rights to view a performance over and over again.

    The problem is that DVD is a "good enough" technology that there's not a compelling reason (for most people) to want anything different. The same with CDs. They tried to kill the CD format by trying SACD and other variations, but they don't understand that to 99.9% of the listening public, the CD is a "good enough" format for their music. Sadly, MP3 is also a "good enough" format for a vast majority of people, even at a low bitrate with a crummy encoder. Let's face it, when I'm in my car, the noise floor is so loud that MP3 is just fine.

    So, they're doing the best to stay "on message" and try to convince us that it's dead because that's the only way they're going to get any more money out of the people who already are happy with the status quo.

    Wolfenstien 3D and Doom were technically compelling content to make a lot of people buy new computers. I've yet to see a movie that made me want to upgrade my home theater.

    For my part, DVD is just fine to watch the mediocre movies that they put out. Especially on a TV set, or (gosh forbid) a portable media player.
  • Direct Transfer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:23PM (#14414481)
    I think Sony and Toshiba are going to spend so much time fighting the battles that they will lose the war. People will refuse to move away from DVD to a multi-hundred dollar player while the battle rages. But they WILL be willing to download a piece of software that lets them buy movies online. I think Sony and Toshiba will postpone the next disk winner for so long that people will go strait to direct download, (which I see as being the eventual next step).
  • by MrPerfekt ( 414248 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:32PM (#14414508) Homepage Journal
    Um, ok, How is the DVD dead when the next technology is just essentially a backwards-compatible, high density version?

    Boy, those high density floppies really killed floppies... wtf? And if I recall high density 3.5" media lived alot longer than the low density 3.5", granted ED disks didn't catch on but that's because better alternatives were available RIGHT THEN. (zip disk, cd-rom)

    The DVD will last a very long time, at least another 10 years before something not backwards compatible replaces it.
  • by Hackeron ( 704093 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @10:33PM (#14414518) Journal
    You buy a MythTV box for around $500, and you have a player capable of playing 10x the quality of HD-DVD and Blueray with far superior capacity. Why dont they just have a contract where you pick a resolution and bandwidth and download anything you want for, I donno, a flat rate of $50 per month or $5 per movie (-/+ 30% for different resolutions).

    Who the hell wants the media, new TV, new player? -- My monitor is capable of displaying 1600x1200 and is using DVI. All this shit makes no sense. I get BETTER quality on this cheap monitor than I get if I spend $10k and for what? - What improvement do I get?

    Fucking makes me mad, I'll carry on pirating the HD content popping up all over the web...
    • You buy a MythTV box for around $500, and you have a player capable of playing 10x the quality of HD-DVD and Blueray with far superior capacity.

      "10x the quality" my ass... The highest-end CPUs right now can just barely handle realtime playback of H.264 at 1080... I'd love to see what kind of framerate you'll get on 5760x3240 material (only 9x higher res).

      and download anything you want

      People don't want to buy a movie, then have to delete it because their hard drive is full. Let's use the example of a dual

  • by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Friday January 06, 2006 @11:18PM (#14414740)
    Back in 2002 or so, I bought a very nice system for surround sound movies. 52" rear projection HDTV, a Dolby/DTS receiver, a new DVD player, etc. etc. I think that TV cost me about $2300 at the time.

    It's still working. In fact it works great, and the picture is a lot better than most of the newer plasma sets out on the market today. Although not as good as the DLP or LCD rear projection... sniff

    But the new HD DVD standards don't work with my system. Oh, sure it's more than capable of displaying high quality, but it only has component video input and you need HDMI inputs. And guess what? I'm not buying a new television. Sorry charlie, just ain't gonna happen. I might buy a new computer, but I'll be damned if I buy a new TV.

    So good luck selling me something to replace my existing system.

    Maybe in 5 years, perhaps 10. When this thing is old and outdated and doesn't work. But not today. Cause the way I figure it, any decent improvement is giong to involve a new TV, a new receiver, and a new DVD player. We're talking about $4k there, and that's not chump change.
  • DVD is not dead. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kaldaien ( 676190 ) on Saturday January 07, 2006 @12:42AM (#14415059)
    Hell, VHS still is not dead, so there is no way DVD is "dead." Even with the introduction of HD-DVD and BluRay, non-HD content will continue to be released on less expensive, more compatible, MPEG2 DVD discs. It would be folly for a company such as ADV, whose content base is almost exclusively standard definition Anime to start releasing HD-DVD or BluRay discs simply because DVD is no longer the latest and greatest. HD-DVD / BluRay will come at a premium initially (and honestly, that premium may eventually become the standard price point :-\); consumers will not pay that premium unless they have something tangible to show for their investment. Only movies and recent seasons of more popular television shows are available in HD. Granted, a season of the average NTSC television show rarely fits on one or two DVDs, but that is not reason enough to insist on moving to HD-DVD or BluRay. Most people who buy television shows on DVD are content to swap discs, and those that are not are always welcome to do as I have and buy a 400 DVD Mega changer. On a side note, It is frustrating when studios think they have a clever solution to the problem and release double-sided DVDs (i.e. Quantum Leap) - because even with a DVD changer, you have to flip the disc manually. :)

    I own two HDTV sets and I am not fanatical about the transition to HD-DVD / BluRay. It is going to happen eventually, but considering the crap that has graced the big screen in the past 5 years I would rather just wait until a movie is on Showtime HD, HBO HD, INHD, etc... than pay $5+ extra for a movie that was not even worth seeing in the theatre. Movie studios will not begin to reauthor the good, but older, movies until there is a sufficient player base and there will not be a sufficient player base until there is content worth investing in a new player / TV (for some) to watch.

    That said, there are a couple of people who actually buy UMDs and actually I know one of them. Despite the lackluster demand, movie studios continue to publish UMD videos. Which leads me to believe that HD-DVD and BluRay will be a similar boat, it will take studios years to figure out which format the consumer actually prefers. In that time, I am sure we will see hybrid HD-DVD / BluRay players enter the market to fill the gap that SONY and Toshiba could have easily filled before costing the consumer. BluRay discs may be more expensive to produce for the publisher, which is partly why Toshiba was such a ... about merging HD-DVD and BluRay, but the consumer is the one who ultimately pays when two very similar but very incompatible formats are allowed to linger.
  • by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <> on Saturday January 07, 2006 @07:44AM (#14416157) Homepage
    It is upto consumers to decide, the tech industry can only wish, and the entertainment industry can just stick it up their ass if they believe they can get consumers to rebuy their media every couple of years.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"