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Media Data Storage Sony Entertainment

Bad Signs For Blu-ray 1276

Ian Lamont writes "More than six months after HD-DVD gave up the ghost, there are several signs that Sony's rival Blu-ray format is struggling to gain consumer acceptance. According to recent sales data from Nielsen, market share for Blu-ray discs in the U.S. is declining, and Sony and its Blu-ray partners are trying several tactics to boost the format — including free trial discs bundled into magazines and cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200."
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Bad Signs For Blu-ray

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  • Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheSlashaway ( 1032228 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:39PM (#25113769)
    Can anyone say DRM? Consumers do not like DRM and thus are not buying Blu-Ray. The poor economy is also a factor.
    • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:41PM (#25113777)

      Can anyone say DRM?

      Yeah, but the masses can't tell you what it stands for.

      • by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:45PM (#25113837) Homepage Journal

        Digital Restrictions Management?

        Though, I don't know if 190 pounds is enough to be considered "masses".

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by amRadioHed ( 463061 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:47PM (#25113869)

        And it doesn't matter what they think it stands for. All they have to know is DRM means support headaches and/or getting screwed out of stuff you pay for.

        • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:13PM (#25114273) Journal

          Yes, but they don't do they. You're seriously overestimating the average consumer. "Disk go in here? Disk play." That's the mentality. I hang out on a lot of forums that deal with Blu-Ray and I've not seen a single complaint about DRM, because the disks just play, just like DVD (ARCOS protected titles not withstanding.) DRM is irrelevant to 99.999% of Blu-Ray owners because it doesn't effect them.

          I think it's more a case of lack of reason to upgrade. When DVD came out I was really excited as it was a huge quality leap, plus you got documentaries, commentary etc... It was a MASSIVE leap, especially if you're a movie geek. DVD to Blu-Ray is a picture and audio upgrade which you can't really notice without a 40"+ TV and a 5.1 surround system. The regular consumer, the idiot who buys "Fullscreen" over widescreen gets very little benefit from Blu-Ray over DVD. All the consumer sees is the movies are more expensive and in pretty blue boxes. I see DVD's flying off the shelves in stores, but I don't think I've yet seen anyone buying a Blu-Ray release. (PS3 titles not withstanding.) This is just from the many hours I spend feeding my DVD habit and browsing.

          Blu-Ray will most likely be these decades Laserdisc. A niche market for home theatre geeks.

          • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:29PM (#25114471) Homepage

            They don't just work, though. The people who hang out on the forums aren't the ones who were bitten by HDCP. And you get people asking salespeople about this new fancy high-def disc and get asked if the HDTV they bought 3 years ago has HDCP, they don't know if it does or not, so that scares them off. And many people have HDTV's that don't have HDCP, so there goes a number of people who would buy one, but it just doesn't work. My brother is an example of that... bought a 720p TV a while back, and it only has component inputs. It may technically work, but that's only until ICT gets used more commonly, which the the manufacturers haven't used so far. But that's like trusting Apple to not delete your apps off the store.

            • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @05:07AM (#25117321)

              HDCP doesn't just affect people using older TVs, it also affects some newer ones. At least once a month I have to explain to someone on the PS3 forums that the HDTV they bought last year doesn't with the PS3 as a Blue ray player because it doesn't do the handshake correctly, hence they get a black screen. Every time the reaction is the same, "OMGWTFBBQ, I JUST WANT TO PLAY MOVIES!!!". No one expects their TV to not work with their PS3 as a Blue-ray player, but at the same time works as a gaming machine over HDMI. I can't wait until BD+ is used to stop playback on players/TVs whose keys have been compromised, then we get to see what happens when a specific movie won't play, but all the other movies will. It will be great.

              The best part of all that DRM they are using is that it's has already failed, SlySoft broke it last year and sell AnyDVD HD which can rip Blue rays to your drive 100% unencrypted.

          • by Paua Fritter ( 448250 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:16PM (#25115019)

            DRM is irrelevant to 99.999% of Blu-Ray owners because it doesn't effect them.

            Affect; not effect.
            Man, I've seen this so many times recently it's starting to seem rediculous!!

            • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:26PM (#25115137) Homepage Journal

              To be pedantic, the original poster is technically correct---DRM doesn't cause those people to come into being---but almost certainly was mistaken in his/her word choice.... :-)

              Well, I suppose DRM could effect a person if somebody gets so annoyed by it that he throws the DVD player out the window and goes out for a night on the town, meets the perfect girl, then one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, a DRM-effected child is born, but... thats about as likely as a pig flying without a trebuchet....

          • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:34PM (#25115221)

            I hang out on a lot of forums that deal with Blu-Ray and I've not seen a single complaint about DRM, because the disks just play, just like DVD

            I bet you have seen PLENTY of complaints about DRM. They just didn't call it that. I am referring to the ridiculously slow boot and load times that have been explained as primarily system and disc DRM validation steps - for example, I just read someone happily proclaim that with the brand new 4.2 firmware for the sony S300 player pirates of the Caribbean loads in 45 seconds. That such a ridiculously slow load time is considered an improvement is indicative of just how big a disconnect there is between the 'blu-ray community' and the rest of the world.

            Sure, if blu-ray does survive, those DRM-caused delays will eventually be fixed, I've even heard the new S350 player is a lot better. But my point here is that DRM has been a gigantic pain in the ass for most blu-ray owners due to unexpected side-effects - which is typically the way DRM screws people over every time it is forced on paying customers.

          • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:48PM (#25115369) Journal

            So we need them to figure out that "Disk go in here, disk maybe play, maybe not. If not, me spend more money and disk maybe play, maybe not. If still not, me lose money and get frustrated and go to thepiratebay.org and now it play. Me write letter to company, tell them they steal from me, I steal from them, we even now."

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Informative)

        by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:07PM (#25114917)
        Dickheads Running Marketing
    • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

      by retchdog ( 1319261 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:45PM (#25113841) Journal

      Balls. People had no trouble buying DVD players before deCSS, and many (I dare say a majority) people still don't know about it/care. It's true consumers don't like DRM, but that's because they generally don't even know about it.

      The increase in quality and features is not as great as DVD, and the economy is a huge issue.

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:53PM (#25113985)
        Calling "less than $200" cheap is pretty absurd. Perfectly solid DVD players [newegg.com] are flying off the shelves for less than $18 bucks at newegg. Why would someone buy a $200 blu ray player when they can get all their favorite movies on a player that costs less than a single DVD?
      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RMingin ( 985478 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:21PM (#25114367) Homepage
        Simply put, DVD CSS did not restrict the methods of use for your average person. If they had a store-bought DVD player and put a store bought DVD in it, IT PLAYED. End of line.

        Put a store-bought BD in your store bought BD player and it bitches about your digital-but-not-HDCP-enough TV and refuses to play. It sees your SPDIF connection to your stereo and pitches a fit. It sees you doing ANYTHING but the Sony-approved Viewing Ritual and it just stops cold. It notices that the disc is using a newer encryption than the player and it tosses a shitfit, demanding that you get on the intertubes and burn a CDR with newer firmware. Average Joe shits a brick and returns his hardware when his MOVIE PLAYER THING tells him to get on the Intertubes. It's not flying.

        End users notice that shit, and they're saying no.
    • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bazar ( 778572 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:48PM (#25113899)

      Consumers are for the most part too ignorant to care about dvd based DRM.

      DRM on music is enough to concern them, since many have an mp3 player they would like to use with their CD's/Downloads.

      However with blu-ray disks, i cannot picture the average consumer, or even the less common nerder consumer giving a damn over the inability to copy 40gig movies to their computer or to where ever.

      Put simply, don't fool yourself into wishful thinking that consumers have suddenly woken up to DRM. Its far more likely to be a more simpler reason, like the recession.

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by snl2587 ( 1177409 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:02PM (#25114125)

        Its far more likely to be a more simpler reason, like the recession.

        ...or that Blu-ray offers nothing better for the average consumer than SACD does for sound. It's great for videophiles and those with really expensive setups, but at the end of the day it's the same movie at a higher cost.

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:03PM (#25114155)

        Agree. The U.S. economy is melting down as we speak, and Sony is worried why people aren't investing in more HDTVs and Blu-ray players and buying all our movies again in another format at $30+ each for only a gain in resolution?

        Hell, the economy even has only a little to do with it.

        Make players that cost $100 and make the disc premium $1-2 more than standard DVDs ($15 for a new release DVD during the first week of sale at Walmart!) and you can even sell it during the recession.

        • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Interesting)

          by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:55PM (#25114771)

          Since HD-DVD folded I've bought over 35 HD-DVDs. That is 2x the number of DVDs I owned before purchasing an HD-DVD player.

          Why? $10 HD-DVDs for all new releases! It's like every day is labor day! And the picture is amazing! And the sound is fantastic!

          Maybe when HD-DVD gets sufficiently abandoned and I want new movies in HD and can bring myself to pay $25-$30 for a movie I might consider picking up a Blu-Ray player. Until then. I'll stick to XBox Live and my handy dandy discount HD machine.

          Blu-Ray needs to SLASH their prices if they want me to convert.

        • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @03:12AM (#25116715)
          Everything was great up until recession. I worked in a film company for a few years and they're banking on the recession to make BluRay happen.

          Here's why....

          Jim Bob, your average Walmart employee is actually their #1 sales target. In fact, they depend on Jim Bob for quite a few reasons :
            - He couldn't figure out how to pirate a film even if you gave him incentives like threatening to break his beer fridge on his porch.
            - He places strange values on entertainment. After all he spent $200 on his new truck, $500 on his fake chrome wheels, $99 on his new paint job, but $1500 on his high end audiovox stereo system with three 18" subwoofers.
            - He's lost his job to those [insert derogatory name for a minority group here] and now that he's receiving his pay checks from the unemployment office once a month instead of every week, he gets much bigger amounts in each payment. So, now he finally has enough money in one go to buy that 42" plasma and BluRay combo which will free up nearly 2/3s of his living room in his trailer, so he might be able to fit a couch next to his lay-z-boy imatation recliner. So he can even invite friends over to play XBox and drink beer.
            - He realized that he can be the hottest thing at the local bar when he says "I just watched that at home on my new HIGH.... DEF... TV and Blu-Ray". When the other guys then say things like "Yeh, I heard about them things... I heard the movie is like much better on that".

          I can go on and on like that forever, but the company I worked for knows one thing... it's only the middle class that spends less on entertainment budgets during recession, the lower class actually spends more since "It's too expensive to go out to the bar right now, I'll just (rent|buy) a new movie and a 6-pack for the house".
      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Informative)

        by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:09PM (#25114231) Homepage Journal

        What about being able to use 1080p with a TV that doesn't have HDMI?

        1080p can be sent over component, but no Blu-Ray players do that.

      • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:19PM (#25114327)

        > However with blu-ray disks, i cannot picture the average consumer, or even
        > the less common nerder consumer giving a damn over the inability to copy
        > 40gig movies to their computer or to where ever.

        Forget the nerds, the problem is the people who casually copy DVDs, often for sensible reasons like CHILDREN. DVDs and children are a sure fire way to lose titles. So a lot of people make copies for the kids. Others make copies for their portable media players. As soon as a potential BD customer realizes they will have to buy a BD copy (at a premium) and a DVD print of the same movie they ain't going to be all that interested unless they are the sort of hard core video quality freak that has a bunch of laserdiscs already. (assuming they are old enough)

      • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @12:07AM (#25115537) Homepage

        Consumers are for the most part too ignorant to care about dvd based DRM.

        Maybe so, but there are at least two movies that I will, as a direct result of DRM, never ever buy or rent: Madagascar and Over The Hedge.

        Why? No jokes about their quality, please.

        Because another Dreamworks title, Shrek 2, showed trailers for them on the DVD release I bought, and prohibited me from skipping past them.

        When I'm in a theatre I expect to have to watch trailers, and often find them entertaining, but not every. single. time I put a disc into my own player at home.

        And most other people I know find such things annoying too. Try asking people in the street "what do you think of those copyright messages on DVDs that you can't skip past?". You'll soon see what consumers think of DRM, even if they don't know to call it that. Curiously enough Disney for all their Mickey Mouse Copyright Extension evilness, seems to be the best behaved - their titles rarely if ever forbid you from skipping anything.

        UOPs must die.

    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:18PM (#25114319) Homepage
      Nonsense. Most consumers don't even know what DRM is, or if they do they don't care all that much. They already can't copy their DVDs (without some special software), and I don't see that harming the market acceptance of DVD players or DVD movies. Most consumers probably have no idea what DRM Blu-Ray uses.

      Blu-Ray's problem is that it's a solution in search of a problem. VHS looked lousy (and progressively lossy) and was clunky to use; the DVD solved those problems by being a higher quality digital disk, so it was successful in the market. So... what's the consumer problem with DVDs that Blu-Ray is supposed to solve? "The resolution could be higher," just isn't that compelling a reason to upgrade.
    • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:32PM (#25114493)

      Can anyone say DRM?

      That's secondary to the primary reason.. High prices and limited selection.

      DVD is good enough, plays everywhere.

      Blu-Ray, costs more and works only on the expensive player in the living room.

      DRM and the possiblilty that your movie in the future will be revoked is of interest to only a few.

    • Re:Noone likes DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .werdnaredne.> on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:02PM (#25114867) Homepage Journal

      Most consumers know nothing of DRM. They understand however that $35 per movie is a joke.

  • Big News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) * on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:40PM (#25113775) Journal
    Frivolous new overpriced tech does poorly in tough times. Who'da thunk it?
  • Sorry Sony... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by porkus ( 16839 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:41PM (#25113779)

    I'm not about to rebuy my DVD collection or upgrade my TV to enable your HDCP-enabled dreams of complete consumer control.

    Also, I could care less about your game console, so you won't be able to use me as a marketing statistic showing the success of Blu-Ray there either.

  • by Phantom of the Opera ( 1867 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:41PM (#25113783) Homepage

    I'd much rather see a good story with crappy special effects than a crappy story with good special effects.

  • Blu-Ray vs DVD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brain Damaged Bogan ( 1006835 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:43PM (#25113811)
    what the hell does blu-ray offer that DVD doesn't?
    oh a super high resolution that MOST people won't notice on their old CRT Television sets and only few would actually notice on their Hi-Def TVs. DVD for me thanks.
  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:43PM (#25113815)
    HD-DVD lost, clearly, but that doesn't mean Blu-Ray won. DVD is winning; and if it can hold onto a lead for several more years, long enough for a substantially better technology to go along, Blu-Ray will fade away just like LaserDisk.

    Blu-Ray is better than DVD, but I don't know if it is enough better to survive and conquer.
  • by chaossplintered ( 1164745 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:43PM (#25113817)
    In the latest issue of Wired, I got one of those "Trial" Blu-Ray discs. I would have loved to check out the movie and disc, except: a.) I don't own a Blu-Ray player. b.) I don't know anyone who owns a Blu-Ray Player. c.) I don't have interest in said movie. I mean, why the -hell- would I spend $200 on something I got in a magazine that I pay $15 for? If I do own the Blu-Ray player to play it, then why good does it do to tell me all the benefits of Blu-Ray when I'm already sold on it?
  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:46PM (#25113857)
    I have a PS3 which upscales DVD and plays Blu-Ray. Most of the time, upscaling is just fine for an action flick on my HD TV. I thought I'd be buying Blu-ray discs but I find myself just wanting to spend 20 bucks on a DVD rather than 32 bucks for the Blu-Ray version.
    • by DavidD_CA ( 750156 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:25PM (#25114405) Homepage

      You got it. I have a Blu player in my PS3 and haven't yet purchased one to play on it.

      I just can't see myself paying $30 or whatever... I hardly ever even watch the "special features" (aka crap) they put on normal DVDs, let alone all the extra stuff on Blu-Ray.

      And I don't own a high-definition TV yet either. Maybe after I invest in a brand new 1080p television, switch my entire entertainment system over to HDMI, buy the PS3 DVD remote controller, I'll consider Blu-Ray discs.

      Of course by then, I'll be too broke to be able to afford the extra 50% in cost over normal DVDs.

    • by rworne ( 538610 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:49PM (#25115383) Homepage

      It's hard to pick up new titles when blu-ray are selling for $30-35 and the DVD is right next to it on the shelf on sale for $14-15.

      When they discount blu-ray as aggressively as they do new DVDs on Tuesday, I'll just wait.

      That's bad for blu-ray too, because I refuse to re-buy anything I already have on the DVD format.

  • by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:48PM (#25113883) Homepage
    * I don't have a HD TV, so what would be the point right now?

    * It's my (probably uninformed as heck) impression that not that many movies are out on Blu-Ray. I'm more into documentaries (which would look superb in HD) -- are they available and affordable?

    * The players are not cheap -- and judging from the pattern of all similar tech devices, in a year or three, they'll be under $100 or so -- and eventually be downright cheap, once the thrift stores have switched from selling VHS players to DVD players.

    * Finally, I have a substantial DVD collection and am in no hurry to re-spend all that money (especially since, until I get used to HD quality, DVDs look fine to me.)
  • Lower the price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:48PM (#25113885)
    Just lower the price of movies that come on BD. It's simply too expensive. Because of this, I buy most movies on DVD and only buy special movies on BD. For example, I just got Transformers. But my last BD purchase before that was about 5 months ago, but I bought a lot of DVDs in the meantime.
  • $200? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rc5-ray ( 224544 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:49PM (#25113913)
    cheap Blu-ray players that cost less than $200

    Keep going. I can still get a no-name DVD player for $30, region free as well.
  • even for free.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:50PM (#25113921)

    I won't install or use a BD system.

    on principle.

    sony: you lost a LOT of money on people like me who BOYCOTT you for all your various evil ways.

    note to industry: upscaled dvd's are JUST FINE on any modern day video player or streamer (I use a 'popcorn hour' box which upscales just fine and is fanless and instant-on).

    BD can die for all I care. I'll never fund your poor products with my money.

  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:53PM (#25113979)
    When I chose a Blu-ray player over the HD-DVD player, I was worried that maybe Blu-ray would be the new Betamax.

    Instead, maybe Blu-ray turns out to be the next Laserdisc [wikipedia.org].

    • by StreetStealth ( 980200 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @12:02AM (#25115511) Journal

      The parallels are certainly there.

      VHS was an analog compression medium whose principles were improved upon by increasing the media density (Laserdisc).

      DVD is a digital compression medium whose principles have been improved upon by increasing the media density (Blu-ray).

      Both transitions constitute evolutionary steps (density of information for better fidelity) but between the groups is a sea change (analog encoding to digital encoding). It stands to reason then that the second group will only be made obsolete by another sea change, not an evolutionary, in-group change.

      That change, of course, will be digital downloads, and just as with previous sea changes, it will take some time before someone actually gets it right enough to change the market.

  • by gravyface ( 592485 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:53PM (#25113983)

    Bought my Blu-Ray player a few weeks ago and was all pumped to pick up a copy of Saving Private Ryan and... nope. Well, I'll just go to Blockbuster and rent something at least... nadda. There was all of 12 movies available, none of them worth renting let alone purchasing. We settled on Fantastic Four I and II. God awful movies. Shamefully bad. I'm surprised they're not churning out movies faster than this; there's barely any titles worth getting that have been released yet.

  • Look at the titles (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bizitch ( 546406 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:54PM (#25114007) Homepage

    I've been kind of wanting to get a Blu-Ray machine. But I've been waiting for a title that I can get excited about.

    Can anyone recommend a movie - that when you watch it on blu-ray you say "awesome ... that was worth it!"

    When I look at the BluRay section - I see movies like "SuperBad" and the latest chick flicks

    Who the fuck cares about these on BLURAY - @$30 a pop no less

    I figure if the re-master Pink Floyd's Delicate Sound of Thunder from the original AGFA film masters, I will be all over that format. ... but until then .... *yawn*

  • by Malicious ( 567158 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:56PM (#25114025)
    While we can be quick to claim hot topics as 'DRM' or 'Poor Economy' for the cause, it's more likely the simple fact that the difference between BluRay and DVD is negligible. DVD from VHS brought 5.1 surround sound and full digital picture. There was also the elimination of over-use causing damage to your tapes and of course the dreaded RE-WIND. BluRay brings nothing spectacular or revolutionary to the table aside from slightly higher resolution for an excessively higher price. Consumers don't need/want it. Myself included.
  • Nah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Templar ( 14386 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @09:59PM (#25114065) Homepage

    Those of you claiming that upscaled 480p looks as good as native 1080p have probably never compared them side by side.

    That said, I bought an HD-DVD player, and while I'm rather pragmatic about the results of the format war, I'm not going to spend twice as much for a player with half the features.

    Remember, when the format war ended, Blu player prices went up. And cheap 2.0 spec players are still a myth.

  • Am I the only one? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oman_ ( 147713 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:03PM (#25114143) Homepage

    I've been waiting for HD content for YEARS. I remember thinking that NTSC was crap back in the early 90s and wishing for something better. I just thought it was disgusting that we had been relying on ancient technology for so long.

    I finally broke down and picked up a decent TV and a ps3 earlier in the year and it's been like a breath of fresh air. The quality bottleneck in the bluray movies is finally the video source, not the format.

    Check out the Dark Knight teaser on the Batman Begins bluray on a decent 1080p tv. It was literally jaw dropping for my friends and I. The thing is we should have been watching video like this 10 years ago.

    I just don't understand it when people say DVD is "good enough". You can see the compression artifacts! (and that's on a low resolution display)

    Oh and the DRM is annoying.... I suspect it will only be a matter of time before I'll be ripping the movies to watch on my portable devices just like I do with DVD. Just crack it and get on with your life.

    • by codegen ( 103601 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @11:38PM (#25115267) Journal
      Most of us just simply don't care. I would rather drop $1000 on another lens for my DSLR than on a TV that I only watch at most 2hrs any given day. My TV is only 24". My neighbor down the street would rather spend $1000 on a new tree for her back yard (her TV is only 14"). The kids two doors down would rather spend the money on new hockey equipment for the upcoming season. Another friend of mine will spend that $1000 on upgrades to his boat. Its all about priorities, and for most of the world, the priority is not home theatre.
  • price price price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dillenger69 ( 84599 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:07PM (#25114203) Homepage

    I'll switch to Blu-Ray when the price comes down to about double a cheap DVD player and a Blu-Ray disc costs the same as a DVD.
    Until then I'll simply download DRM free 1080p files to the PC hooked up to my 1080p tv.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:09PM (#25114229) Homepage Journal

    Blu-Ray is failing due to pricing vs. benefit.

    When it came to DVD, it won over VHS and Laserdisc because on the VHS side, wear and smeared playback and eaten tapes came to an end; take care of a DVD and it will last virtually forever. It won over laserdisc because DVDs are not 12" in diameter and don't need to be swapped one to three times for a movie (yeah it's true some single-layer DVDs might have needed to be flipped but I have never seen one).

    However, early adopters got screwed; buyers of early $300+ high-end DVD players were the victims of bad runs, and manufacturers (read:Sony) denied issues existed. I replaced a high-end Sony player with a no-name Apex player, and the Apex player was vastly superior (not to mention region-free and macrovision-free). People who bought into DIVX got equally screwed, by paying as much as or more than a "Basic DVD" player and then losing access to all of their movies.

    With Blu-Ray, players are overpriced, and people have to pay more for the same content. Why bother when upsampling DVD players work pretty darn well to make the difference indistinguishable for casual viewers at 720p, noticeable only to pixel peepers? Not only that but a lot of content (old TV shows, older movies, etc.) were either videotaped at NTSC resolution or are on old, grainy film, where encoding at 1080i or 1080p would actually create distractions from actually enjoying the story.

    Lastly, what the hell is up with HDCP? If you are an early HDTV adopter and have a DVI flat screen that doesn't talk HDCP or has an early HDCP device which doesn't like to handshake properly with players, you're locked out of the content. You have to turn to either composite, S-video, or if you're lucky, component (if you invested in a large monitor-only device with only DVI and VGA, no YPbPr, you're screwed).

    Bring the players down to $125 to $150 or so and limit the Blu-Ray content premium to 10% or so over DVD, and you'll see uptake quickly increase.

  • by bl968 ( 190792 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:15PM (#25114283) Journal

    It's the cost of the content. Content is king and always will be. Consumers will pay more for a disc player which offers more features and functionality. They won't pay $30 per blueray disc when they are used to paying $14-20 for decent quality movie on DVD. Add DRM to that and ya it's doomed to a early demise and they were fools for thinking they could succeed so.

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:36PM (#25114549)

    The week before, market share of BluRay was WAY up. BluRay sales were up 16% despite DVD sales being down 10%.

    http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/09/13/nielsen-videoscan-high-def-market-share-for-week-ending-septembe/ [engadgethd.com]

    And selling players for cheaper is a bad thing? Sales accelerate when prices drop. DVD players are $35, it must be a complete flop!

    It's about time for these ridiculous slanted anti-BluRay articles to end. BluRay is having a tough enough time without slashdot airing repeated hit pieces.

  • by pugugly ( 152978 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:46PM (#25114667)

    People were willing to upgrade from VCR tapes to DVD because of the range of advantages - smaller, better quality, you didn't have to rewind it, it almost never jams, if the machine *is* goofed up it doesn't shred your DVD, they have some rather nice special features like directors commentary.

    Only the "Better Quality" option applies to Blue Ray - and the difference between DVD and Blue Ray *or* HD DVD is a *lot* less than the difference between DVD and VHS.

    If it were just the quality issue, laserdisk would have beaten VHS a long time before DVD's were around. DVD's were superior on a number of fronts, and are 'good enuff' on anything for the moment.

    One doesn't really need to be able to read the writing on the One Ring while Frodo's wearing the damn thing to enjoy LOTR - {G}.


  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:58PM (#25114811)

    Why would we buy a blu-ray? We have DVD players in our SUVs, we have hand-held DVD players for $99. We have DVD players/burners in our computers. A DVD is the media we can use where we want to use it.

    Blu-Rays are expensive, need an expensive player, and can't be used with all our devices.

    The only "advantage" beyond new and shiny bling appeal for techy nerds, is dubiously better picture quality on an HDTV for new movie releases.

    It isn't good enough to be worth it.

    • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @03:47AM (#25116895)

      Why would we buy a CD? We have music cassettes players in our cars, we have hand-held cassette players for $99. We have cassette players/recorders in our computers. A cassette is the media we can use where we want to use it.

      CDs are expensive, need an expensive player, and can't be used with all our devices.

      The only "advantage" beyond new and shiny bling appeal for techy nerds, is dubiously better picture quality on an CD for new music releases.

      It isn't good enough to be worth it.

      (And yes, I am old enough to have heard the argument and even participated in it. Now get of my lawn)

  • by TigerDawn ( 314322 ) on Monday September 22, 2008 @10:58PM (#25114821) Homepage

    If the concept of $10-20 movie for DVD (Players for $40) vs $40-50 movie in Blu-Ray (players for $300-400) is puzzling corporations, on why Blu-Ray is not selling...

    I really cannot help them.

  • Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2008 @12:48AM (#25115855)

    If they made Blu-Ray movies as cheap as buying DVD versions then it would be a viable choice.I have a blu-ray burner in my PC, but pack of 3 blank dual-layer BDRW discs is still about $120!!! That HAS to be as a result of the MPAA fixing ludicrous pricing on media to discourage movie piracy, rather than actually justifiable as disc production costs. If so its particularly unfair as you still have to pay the MPAA tax even if you just want the discs to store your own data on.

    Most people actually don't care about the higher res. of blu-ray for 3 reasons:
    1) The price difference between the same movie on BD and DVD is a total rip=off.
    2) They are not releasing that many new BDs when compared to DVDs, and are also trying to maximse sales of less popular movies on BD by holding back releasing even older blockbuster movies on BD such as Star Wars adnd Lord of the Rings. iThe point they don't get is that no-one wants to buy crap movies no matter how high resolution they are.

    4)) The majority of people still dont even have the hardware to see the difference, even if they think they have bought a high def setup. THis is for two reasons: There's lots of non-technical consumers who still connect up even their HD equipment such as blu-ray players with RGB or SVGA cables, and because they see some kind of picture they think that it must be working properly.

    Also significant extra confusion was caused by purposely misleading marketing of HDTV by tv manufacturers: There are still new digital TVs being sold that actually have native screen resolutions (pixel counts) so low that are phyiscally incapable of displaying a 720p (broadcast res HD) picture in full definition, let alone a 1080p (blu-ray res HD) one. Yet those same TVs are being sold with criminally misleading "HD-Ready" stickers all over them.

    As far as I can make out, "HD-Ready" just means the TV will display some kind of a downscaled picture when plugged into an HD signal. It certainly doesn;t mean what you would reasonably think, that if given an HD signal it will actually display an HD picture. Unfortunately lots of buyers make the wrong assumption about those weasel words and of course the kid at Best Buy who gets paid based on sales performance isn't going to make any effort to correct them.

      Consequently you can't blame people when they incorrectly conclude there's actually no difference between DVD quality and Blu-Ray quality, because in many cases they're not actually seeing any difference.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin