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Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD 685

MojoKid writes "A new study by Harris Interactive notes that currently, one in ten Americans (10%) own an HD DVD player, while just 7% own a Blu-ray player. Crazy, right? More Americans own HD DVD right now than the 'winning' format, Blu-ray. If you think about it, that statistic isn't that shocking. When HD DVD was around, it was far and away the 'budget' format for high-def. The players were cheaper, the films were cheaper. In other words, it was a format more ready to thrive in a down economy. Blu-ray was always viewed as a niche format for those absorbed in A/V, not the common man's format. The survey also found that on average, consumers purchased approximately six standard format DVDs in the last six months, compared with one in HD DVD format."
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Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:51AM (#28421147)
    People can just download stuff in any format. The industry is confused about this issue. My computer can play just about anything, so screw them.
    • by 2.7182 ( 819680 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:56AM (#28421249)
      Not to mention, movies can be made at any resolution almost, esp. cgi movies. Even using povray I can generate 6400x4800 res movies, and you know what? I don't need a dvd to same them. There is this universal storage device called a "hard drive". Also, crazily enough, as you point out, the movies can be in any of these mysterious "formats", such as .mov, .mp4, .avi, etc. If they want to provide me with a way to back up a 50 gig directory fine, but it's so old fashioned to think that this is going to be the new "movie" format.

      Also, I've even downgraded from dvd quality. I am very happy streaming things from Netflix.
      • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:19AM (#28421681)
        The first HD movie I watched was "300" on my mates' PS3 linked to a 46" Hi-Def TV (full 1080p). I'll never watch another Hi-Def movie again.

        The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and no on set. Totally ruined the visuals (which is, in all honesty, the only reason to watch that movie).

        Total waste of money. I'm happy with my 24" monitor and DVD drive in my PC (which actually runs up to 1920x1200, higher than Hi-Def).
        • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:33AM (#28421927) Homepage Journal

          The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and no on set. Totally ruined the visuals

          Movie theaters nowadays use a 1080p or bigger format with an even higher bitrate than Blu-ray Disc. Had you seen the film in a movie theater, might you have noticed the same compositing failures?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and no on set. Totally ruined the visuals

            Movie theaters nowadays use a 1080p or bigger format with an even higher bitrate than Blu-ray Disc. Had you seen the film in a movie theater, might you have noticed the same compositing failures?

            Not just movies today - movies on film are analog, so they get scratches and such, but they have a much higher effective resolution than 1920x1080.

            • by terjeber ( 856226 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:41PM (#28424227)

              they have a much higher effective resolution than 1920x1080

              For various technical, biological and other reasons, they do not. Remember, what was shot on analog is not what you see in the analog theater. All movies today go from analog to digital (for editing) and back to analog. The "resolution" of the end product is determined not by the amount of grain on the celluloid (obviously better resolution than 1920x1080) but the resolution and printing capabilities of the film printer. This is exacerbated by a repeated duplication of said celluloid. Most movie theaters today will show films of less quality than a good 1080p TV with an HD source.

              The crucial point when it comes to quality is not the resolution but the number of scan lines that can be perceived. With a movie going through a number of processes, film to digital, then digital to film, then duplication round after duplication round, a 1080p movie on a good screen might well be of higher quality than an "analog" movie in the movie theater.

              So, what is the quality of a typical movie theater you ask (or at least you should). According to an international study named "Image Resolution of 35mm Film in Theatrical Presentation" a typical theater has a 750 scan lines resolution. A very good HD set will typically be about there or a little higher, depending on where you sit.

              You can even read about it here. []. I am SO looking forward to a TV with 4520 scan lines of resolution.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jambox ( 1015589 )
          No, the only reason to watch that movie is if you're bi-curious.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Enjoy your 480p content then. Doesn't matter what resolution your monitor can handle, you need to pair it with a suitable source. DVD looks pretty bad on a monitor, unless you're 10' away from it. And what's the point of that? And did your roomate have his TV calibrated properly? Too much sharpness and edge enhancement will add halos, it's possible that you were seeing that. 300 had a strange look & feel, could be that as well. Go check out A Bug's Life, hell even the older Bond films on BD and you shou

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          300 is a bad example. I own it on HD-DVD, and think it looks terrible compared to most movies on either HD-DVD or BR. I hadn't picked up on the green screen obviousness, but I assumed it was likely do to the digital effects. It looks like it was filmed digitally and then they put the film "look" back in.

          Watch Dark Knight on Blu Ray sometime -- that looks fantastic.

        • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @11:18AM (#28422749)

          So you're judging your opinions of HD on one of the few movies that was done almost entirely in front of blue/green screens, the exception being the scene involving the Persian horseback messenger coming across the hills. Mind you 300 was about 90% blue screen and 10% green screen. I'd venture to say that unless you were seeing this effect the entire movie, then your complaint isn't nearly as problematic as you make it out to be.

        • by futuresheep ( 531366 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @11:27AM (#28422909) Journal
          Chances are your friend doesn't have the TV calibrated properly. Turning up the sharpness too high on many Hi-Def sets will cause this effect by adding in a lot of edge enhancement (ringing) to the image. Getting a good calibration disc like AVIA or Digital Video Essentials will make a huge difference in the appearance of HD sources.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          To be fair I think that sounds like a one off, and a bit of an knee jerk response on your part. I've personally not noticed that issue with any HD films I've seen (though I've not seen 300 in HD, the film sucked enough in SD). Blade Runner, for instance, looks absolutely stunning, as does Planet Earth, and the Pixar films look gorgeous too.
          I'd give it another go before I make my decision on one, very poor, film.
          Additionally, I'd get your mate to check he hasn't turned the sharpness of the image on the tv
        • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:03PM (#28423557)

          The first HD movie I watched was "300" on my mates' PS3 linked to a 46" Hi-Def TV (full 1080p). I'll never watch another Hi-Def movie again.

          The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and no on set. Totally ruined the visuals (which is, in all honesty, the only reason to watch that movie).

          Conventional movies shown in theaters show more detail than HD; if the appearance was that bad then it is because 300 had exceptionally poorly executed visual effects, not because of any fundamental problem with HD video.

        • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:48PM (#28424343) Homepage Journal

          Practically every movie on the big screen is high-def -- or filmed at even higher "resolutions" if actually filmed. If the special effects were bad enough to see the green screen effects or make the CGI noticeable (such as in Langoliers - which was lousy processing even for its time, even for a made-for-TV movie) then blame the special effects house, not the process itself.

          Film movies can appear to be low-resolution, but that is because of using low-quality prints. Film should ideally offer resolution that is much, much higher than "hi definition" digital formats. Many directors will choose a high-grain film or print though, for "ambience" or "effect" and I've even seen that grain on "digital" movies, so YMMV, etc.

          Don't most films look amazing on the big screen? Well, providing the "projectionist" actually focuses it? All too often when I go to the movies the ads before the movie are in perfect focus then the movie is out of focus, which makes me prefer watching the movie at home on my old, crappy, 36" NTSC CRT. However, when the film is in sharp focus, it's amazing - and very revealing of flaws. Remember when A New Hope was re-released in the theater? Even though they cleaned a lot up and re-did a lot of the effects digitally, the old green screen process was still evident in many of the scenes, and was a bit distracting.

          High-Def is great. I like it a lot. However, as I've said many times on here, it doesn't make lousy writing worth watching, and doesn't make good writing better. High-def does inherently improve make documentary and instrctional videos though. IMHO High-Def is good for these things:

          1. Documentaries and instruction videos
          2. Gaming (but you could use a PC or Mac with a high-res monitor for that!)
          3. Turning you into a "pixel peeper," focusing on the format rather than enjoying the story (which seems to be the case referenced in your post)
          4. Raises revenue so our government can continue its onerous trend of runaway spending
          5. More revenue for retailers by forcing everyone to upgrade televisions, or at least buying set-top boxes.

          My CRT is still running, so I put off upgrading. I came this >&lt& close to buying the Samsung LN46A650 but I put it off, thinking LED backlighting will go mainstream in the next model. I was wrong on that. You have to go up to the UN46B7000, and even then, you're getting edge lighting, not an LED backlight. :(

        • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @02:03PM (#28425659) Journal

          The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and not on set.

          Big deal. I could detect when Doctor Who used Color Separation Overlay, and i didn't need more than a partially snowy NTSC screen to do it.

    • by shoemilk ( 1008173 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:03AM (#28421381) Journal
      Yes, the winner of the HD DVD BluRay format war is has and always will be "None of the above"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by furby076 ( 1461805 )
      Not really moot. Most people are either 1) Not sure how to download movies 2) not sure how to get them to play 3) would rather watch them on their 40 inch tv while in their couch instead of 22 inch monitor while in their desk chair.

      You may have a 40 inch monitor or have your computer wired to your plasma/lcd but most people do not. You may know how to use torrents but most people do not.
    • by srjh ( 1316705 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:30AM (#28421855)

      Maybe downloadable content will be the winner much further down the track, but for the moment I think the problem is that Blu-ray hasn't done enough to dethrone DVDs as the standard format.

      Think about what DVDs had to offer over VHS - much smaller form factor (you can get about three TV seasons worth of content in a case the size of a VHS tape), significantly increased quality (both picture and sound), the ability to choose subtitles in dozens of languages with a click of a button, no rewinding, multiple soundtracks on the one disc, selectable camera angles, chapter selection, usable menus, special features, audio commentaries, no degradation of the signal from repeated use, etc...

      Blu-ray offers... a slightly better picture. If you fork out ridiculous amounts of cash for the new discs, players and a HD Television to go with it.

      Sure, I can tell the difference, and so can most people, but DVDs are actually reasonably good quality to begin with, and good enough for most people out there, myself included.

      • by wjousts ( 1529427 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:34PM (#28424107)

        I agree absolutely. The real reason the HD disk formats have struggled is because DVD is "good enough" for most people. DVD replaced VHS because of better picture and sound, but also because it offered the convenience of no rewinding, more stuff on one disk, the ability to skip to different chapters, etc and it's more robust than tapes. Blu-ray (or HD-DVD) doesn't offer anything above slightly better picture (assuming you have a decent, and expensive TV with a decent sound system).

        CDs replaced cassettes and vinyl for much the same reasons, the sound is better, but one of the biggest selling points is being able to skip tracks and not have jammed tapes or scratched vinyl. CDs were then replaced not by higher quality CDs, but by more convenient downloads. Similarily, the only thing to dethrone DVDs will be convenient and cheap movie downloads.

    • by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:50AM (#28422211)

      People who have broadband and no caps, have their PC connected to their TV and are generally computer savvy can just download stuff in any format.

      There. Fixed it for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:51AM (#28421157)

    If you had no format knowledge, and someone told you you could have HD DVD or Blu-Ray, which would you pick? Probably the one you thought you knew, High Definition DVD. You might even think it was more compatible with your existing DVD stuff. Blu Ray? What's that?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 91degrees ( 207121 )
      I don't think this applies to the demographic though. These were still early adopter products up to the death of HD-DVD, and this group are quite knowledgable about tech.
    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:29AM (#28421841) Homepage
      It wouldn't surprise me if a substantial number of those saying they have an "HD DVD player" actually own Blu-Ray devices.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I doubt it. If the alternative wasn't mentioned, maybe so, but hearing "or do you own BluRay" would be a pretty big hint to all but the terminally absent minded. It's emblazoned an inch high along the entire length of most Blu Ray titles.

        I gotta say, as bad as the fiasco was, it was one of the few things Best Buy did right - I bought a HD DVD player that Christmas, and when the format was discontinued, Best Buy actually sent me a $50 gift card 'for my disappointment in the situation', unsolicited.

  • really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by notgm ( 1069012 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:52AM (#28421167)

    more people own hd-dvd players than own ps3s? really?

    • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yah o o .com> on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:18AM (#28421643)

      No. The statistics are clearly faulty.

      First, 1 in 10 Americans does not own either of these formats. Come on, really? 30 million Americans own HD-DVD players? If Toshiba and their partners had sales like that, the format war would have been over long before it was - in HD-DVD's favor.

      Second, this clearly isn't taking into account the 22 million PS3's out there, of which about 12 million are in the United States. This is still the player of choice for most people - at least until that $99 player announced over the weekend comes along. But this is one case where a game console is actually clearly better than most standalone players and most people know it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zoobaby ( 583075 )
        Also, may people are starting to use HTPCs, media centers, or laptops that have Blu Ray players in them that wouldn't show up in a survey.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Second, this clearly isn't taking into account the 22 million PS3's out there, of which about 12 million are in the United States. This is still the player of choice for most people - at least until that $99 player announced over the weekend comes along. But this is one case where a game console is actually clearly better than most standalone players and most people know it.

        On the other hand, games compete with films -- quite a few of those PS3 owners do not own a single Blu-Ray movie.

        The install base is there, but it doesn't translate into market potential in the same way that standalone players do.

    • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:29AM (#28421839) Homepage Journal

      That was how Sony convinced the producers that they had won, by counting PS3's instead of stand alone players. This is no different than some of the Apple people claiming 10% market share but failing to state that it included phones!

      Personal account, only one of the circle of friends who has a PS3 have more than two blu ray movies. Most don't even use it to play regular DVDs, it is the "KIDS MACHINE".

      HD-DVD loaded faster, have less expensive players, and less expensive movies. It also had some great shows/movies out early that Blu Ray did not. I have both players now, I would have loved HD-DVD to have won. Why? Because of the G-D ads that too many Blu-Ray movies force you to sit through. See, that AD thing is probably another reason movie producers would favor Sony over HD. They could force you to watch their ads for other products because HD stated that that feature was not allowed - not so in Blu-Ray

      Well with [] I could get the blu-ray versions fairly cheap, but my HD-DVD player is again, faster and less prone to abuse by the dvd creator.

      Sony screwed the consumer over by lies and buying off the movie producers. They are getting exactly what they deserve, flat to falling sales. The players are overpriced and worse the movies border on extortionist in pricing. I do not buy new Blu-Ray movies, I rent them on occasion, but if they are higher than standard DVD I will just wait till the price goes down. This has two effects, by the time the price comes down the movie may no longer be interesting to me meaning I didn't need it anyway, the second being that perhaps one day they will get the hint.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Aladrin ( 926209 )

        "HD-DVD loaded faster,"

        Mine doesn't. Waiting for my HDDVD to start up is extremely painful. It's 2-3x the startuptime of my ps3, more, if you include the time to actually start playing the movie on each.

        "have less expensive players,"

        At the time, yes. (Of course, the best BluRay player at the time also plays video games...)

        " and less expensive movies."

        Now, but not then. Back then, I was paying the same for both, when you compare the same movie in each format.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by epiphani ( 254981 )

        Personal account, only one of the circle of friends who has a PS3 have more than two blu ray movies.

        Funny, I have a PS3 and I only have two games. I use it more for the blu-ray, media center options, and internet access on my tv.

        Everyone I know that bought a PS3 uses it more because its a blu-ray player and an excellent DVD upscaler.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by guruevi ( 827432 )

        It's STATISTICS.

        Mac OS X does have 10% market share - because it runs on all Apple products regardless of purpose (embedded, desktop)
        Linux does have 50% market share - in embedded products because it's the most stable and has the best performance for those purposes and it's cheap for integrators
        Apache does have 90% market share - on web servers because again, it's the most compatible and best known solution out there and since most Apache run Linux you could say Linux has about the same market share.
        Cisco r

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by terjeber ( 856226 )

        the movies border on extortionist in pricing

        only one of the circle of friends who has a PS3 have more than two blu ray movies

        Cool stats. Bad ones of course. 14% of movies sold today are on BD. Easy stats. Not like the dumb-ass stuff the OP quoted. Dumb-ass not because I disagree with it but because it was astonishingly wrong. Tosh never sold enough HD-DVD players to cover 11% of the US market. Even if all of them were sold in the US.

        Enough sour grapes for 200 gallons of bad wine. Wrong too of course. Why don't you just check Amazon for BD movie prices please?

        Oh, and forced play has been a part of all movie formats since (and incl

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      I own a blue ray player, but do not own a single blue ray disc (bought it after our dvd player died, but just use it to play dvd's). Those who actually own blue ray movies is a much more relevant statistic than who has a player capable of playing them.
  • by Joehonkie ( 665142 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28421187) Homepage
    So they're counting the PS3 and the Blu-Ray players as separate items in their study. If you add the two together, Blu-Ray adoption is higher. Of course, the question is if they count Xbox HD-DVD drives, but those numbers are probably low.
  • by SchizoStatic ( 1413201 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28421193) Homepage Journal
    As a way to make some extra dough I work at a video rental chain (the largest here in the US) and just from what I have seen no one really wants to rent Blu-Ray. We got 90% of the new releases on Blu-Ray and yet they prefer dvd even at the same price point. Who wants to buy a blu-ray player at over $200 right now when I can keep buying dvds at a cheaper price. Blu-Ray is beautiful yes but for most pictures I don't need or want to pay an extra 10-20 dollars for it.
    • by barzok ( 26681 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:07AM (#28421433)

      You're only looking at one market segment though - people who still rent from a physical store.

      Early adopters and people who have invested in home setups which would make Blu-Ray worthwhile are more likely to rent from other places (Netflix, iTunes) or just buy the movies outright. No point in owning a Blu-Ray player if your only TV is a 10 year old 27" Panasonic tube.

    • by SpooForBrains ( 771537 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:10AM (#28421501)

      At normal viewing distance I honestly can't tell the difference.

      I have a 720p capable LCD hooked up to a 360 (via HDMI) with the HD-DVD add-on. Really can't tell the difference between a DVD upscaled on the 360 and an HD-DVD. Not a stellar setup, though, so ...

      The other day I was in Blockbuster and watching their BluRay demo disc (Hancock) on a proper Sony 1080p capable telly. It does a sliding effect where it shows the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD (presumably with DVD suitably fuzzed to exagerate the effect, although maybe they're just honest and don't need to do that). Up close the difference was obviously quite noticable, but at normal viewing distance it was really hard to tell.

      • by guyniraxn ( 1579409 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:27AM (#28421809)
        Perhaps it's your TV? I have a PS3 and it's got a really nice upscaler for DVDs but it can't add in texture and details that aren't in the image. While the DVDs look great, there is still a clear difference with Blu-Ray. It's sharper and has more detail. You could also have some poorly transferred HD-DVD titles, there are a lot out there on Blu-Ray too; I always read reviews at before buying one so I don't get burned with a movie that'll look just as good on DVD.
      • by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:48AM (#28422191)

        At 720p you can barely tell a difference. At 1080p the difference is more noticeable.

        However, the difference between Blue-Ray and DVD isn't just in the picture, it's in the sound. If you have a true HT setup (I have a 7.1 home theater room with a 1080p projector), and the difference between a DVD and a Blue-Ray is noticeable in the picture quality, but especially in the sound quality.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          720p and 1080i at 13 feet from the 42" tv is NOT VISIBLE.

          Yes it isi very visible at the correct viewing distance, but most people dont do that. Most homes are set up wrong and they sit an insane distance from the set..

          42" 1080p set? get your face 6-8 feet from it.

          Want a chart? then here...


          Get your face closer to the set, having it 15 feet away above the stupid fake fireplace is not where it belongs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drfireman ( 101623 )

            There is no such thing as the "correct" viewing distance. I like to watch at such a distance that the screen takes up about 20 degrees of visual angle. That makes me comfortable, even though I know a lot of people enjoy 30 degrees, and some of them consider me "insane." I don't watch movies to demonstrate my sanity, I watch them for enjoyment. It doesn't matter to me even a tiny bit that I might be missing out on some of the resolution of the image. If some new video standard had a zillion times the re

    • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:24AM (#28421765) Homepage
      Quick Google search for "blu ray player" on google shopping turns up a Blu-ray Disc® Player BDP-S300 for 150. This is refurb.

      What you guys can do to help increase your rentals of Blu ray? Put up two tv's that are the exact same tvs. Put up a blu ray player. Put up a regular dvd palyer. Play the same movie (different formats appropriately) and have them play at the same exact time. Now that you convinced your customers which is better (and it is fairly dramatic) enjoy your rentals.

      Also - don't be afraid to put up old movies. Top Gun looks great in blu ray.

      For added fun sell blu ray players on the cheap or help customers find great deals online "Want to rent blu ray? Not sure what to look for? Let us help you."

      Bring this suggestion to your boss and if your boss is smart your boss will use this idea. Considering video rental stores are lagging in sales this is a cheap way to increase them. This will also make the boss happy with you. Do it a couple of months before your annual review and get a better raise?
  • I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28421195)

    how many people with a regular up-scaling DVD player think they have an HD-DVD player?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      YES. Here's the real problem. If you call up the average schmoe with an upconverting DVD player connected to an HDTV and ask him if he has "an HD DVD player" I'd wager that at least three times out of 10 that guy says, "Uh-huh."

      Leaving that aside, the linked Web site is trying to make a faulty extrapolation from the data. I own an Xbox HD DVD drive that I haven't powered up since last October, a PS3, maybe three or four HD DVD discs and about 90 Blu-ray titles. And yet I do not own a "Blu-ray player." Bu
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      These numbers seem flawed to me. There weren't enough HD-DVD players created. Still only like 1/3 of US households even have HD monitors. (Here. []) According to Wikipedia [] (yes, I know) Toshiba, the largest HD-DVD unit maker had sold about 1 million units right before they pulled the plug.

      Now a lot of folks might think they have HD TV and have a DVD player that is either 480p or an upscaling one but that's not HD-DVD. It just doesn't seem like it's possible for those numbers to be correct. If you lo

  • No Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zero_DgZ ( 1047348 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:54AM (#28421203)

    I think what is more telling is the fact that so many people are still buying standard def., original flavor DVD's over Blu-Ray. In some ways, I really think this should come as no surprise.

    DVD player in the minivan/SUV: Standard def.
    Portable DVD player: Standard def.
    The majority of televisions still in the USA: Standard def (digital or otherwise).
    Cost of a perfectly capable, plays-all, region free DVD player in the supermarket: $20.

    Whichever big-business sector you hate this week (the hardware makers, the movie studios, the publishers, the MPAA, whatever) are pretty much trying to cram a high cost technology down the thoats of people who by majority don't want it, can't use it, or can't afford it.

    • by RedK ( 112790 )
      It's not telling if you compare it to the adoption rate of DVD vs VHS, or CD vs tape. Basically, people are reading way too much into it. Blu-ray, like all its predecessors won't be an instant hit. That's just not how it works.
      • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:38AM (#28421989) Homepage

        And why would you compare it to DVD vs VHS or CD vs tape? Unlike those comparisons, Blu-ray is not a transformational technology relative to DVD. DVDs don't wear out, and an upscaling DVD player produces output that - viewed on a cheap HDTV - isn't that far behind Blu-ray quality for the majority of viewers who are more interested in watching something entertaining than in wanking over the specification of their AV suite.

        Yes, yes, I know, Blu-ray is far superior, and if we'd only just buy a $2000 HDTV, adamantium plated HDMI cables, and view it while standing on our heads and licking a irate gecko, we'd see that the quality is obviously better than DVD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:54AM (#28421209)

    People are just waiting for the BD-R disc's to come down in price, $15 for 1 disc is too much, blu-ray needs piracy to succeed.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:40AM (#28422043)
      Blueray has piracy, at least in South East Asia, where there are malls full of shops selling Bluerays with the best covers a 10 year old color photocopier can provide, for the same price as 3 DVDs that aren't even out in the cinema yet (ie about $8).
      • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:03PM (#28423567) Homepage
        No...for some reason I don't quite understand, it's become standard operating procedure for Asian bootleg DVDs to have the Blue-Ray insignia on the (flattened) box. This is even true for cam recordings you find on the street. However the actual disks are DVD-5, and only DVD 5. DVD 9s (which are much less common, because they cost $1.50 instead of $.75) will usually come in plastic cases with higher-quality box art and no Blue-Ray insignias.

        Blue Ray players are very difficult to find in East Asia, while those "Blue Ray" bootlegs are *everywhere*...

        Of course, those in the know are just downloading off emule or anyway, why waste $.75?

  • Clarification? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toleraen ( 831634 ) * on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:54AM (#28421217)
    Maybe my coffee is off this morning, but I'm seeing PS3 owners + Blu-ray Players = 16%, where 360 addon + HDDVD players = 14%. Since they even say:

    When Blu-ray player or PS3 owners are asked...

    I take it they're counting the two separately, which would show Blu-ray ahead. Am I missing something?

    • Re:Clarification? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spad ( 470073 ) <> on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:17AM (#28421619) Homepage

      Everyone who buys a Blu Ray player does so because they want to play Blu Ray discs.
      Not everyone who buys a PS3 does so because they want to play Blu Ray discs (In fact, one would assume that a minority do).

      Thus it would be disingenuous to claim that all PS3 purchases equate to a Blu Ray player purchase when measuring the "popularity" of the format.

      On the other hand, a 360 HDDVD drive purchase *does* equate to an HD-DVD player purchase as that is its sole purpose.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by toleraen ( 831634 ) *

        Not everyone who buys a PS3 does so because they want to play Blu Ray discs (In fact, one would assume that a minority do).

        While I don't disagree with your statements, I'm curious why you would assume only a minority of PS3 owners are Blu-ray watchers. The PS3 was touted by review sites as the best Blu-ray player on the market for the money for quite a long time. This year old EngadgetHD [] article says that 87% of PS3 owners watch blu-ray. I can't read the source of that info at work, 87% seems a tad high to me, but saying it's a minority sounds a little off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ratboy666 ( 104074 )

      These figures show something but I am not sure I like it.

      People who have stand-alone players probably want to buy media in that format. Even when the gaming systems are included, the numbers are roughly equivalent. But, there is a sizable lead HD-DVD over BluRay.

      I have an HD-DVD player. A few movies for it (although, its mostly just a DVD player for me). Would I buy HD-DVD movies? Hell, yes, I keep getting marketing literature for Hi-def movies, to which I reply "Yes, I would be interested, please give me H

  • Most average consumers either don't see the difference between HD and SD, or just don't care. They want the movie, and if VHS was good enough so is DVD.

    HD isn't a bad thing, but the difference between VHS and DVD is much more dramatical than DVD and another HD-capable disk format.

    Why publishers don't use the extra capacity to sell more episodes of $favorite_sitcom on fewer disks is beyond me. I could use the shelf space.

    (Yes, most people are able to perceive the difference between SD and HD, but I mean seei

    • I blame comcast. There are certain channels which are in the "HD" block and have the letters "HD" somewhere in the name, the little bug in the corner has incorporated an "HD" into it, the shows are relatively new and shot in hd, with hd cameras, but one time i was flipping back and forth between the HD and SD version of the same channel, and due to the 1 second time delay of comcast's "HD" channels, i could watch the exact same picture for comparison via my last button.

      Conclusion, most average comcast con
  • by c ( 8461 )

    It's like I'm suddenly in some strange parallel universe where Beta won.

    Of course, one does have to consider that these statistics also mean that somewhere between 80-90% of the population simply don't give a shit about Blu-ray versus HD-DVD.


    • Re:Weird... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LatencyKills ( 1213908 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:01AM (#28421349)
      I'm one of those. Part of it is that I just don't see it - HD is nice, but not new-player-and-new-media-purchase nice. The other part of it is something of media purchasing fatigue - I bought it on VHS and rebought it on DVD, and now I have to buy it again on some HD format? No thanks.
  • My girlfriend has an HP laptop and bought it at around 800$ a year and a half ago. It has an HD-DVD. She never used it (except for reading standard DVD). Does she still count toward this idiot statistic? Likewise, how many have HD-DVD discs around? Just for myself, I have way more blu-ray than all my friends have HD-DVD (even if you remove my PS3 games). Crazy, uh?
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:59AM (#28421297)
    HD-DVD wasn't "budget" from the outset or because of any particular economy in the price of players or disks. HD-DVD cost as much as Blu-ray to start off with and then it went cheap fast when it became clear it was losing the battle. Had HD-DVD emerged the victor I'm sure we would've seen plenty of bargain-priced Blu-Ray deals and a correspondingly disproportionate install base.
    • by BeardedChimp ( 1416531 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:26AM (#28421785)
      This isn't true, from here []:
      "The primary advantage of this format is a low manufacturing cost. Since HD-DVD media is so technically similar to standard DVD media (it uses the same layer thicknesses as DVD, made of similar materials), the discs can be produced with only a slight modification to existing manufacturing lines. "
      "This technology comes with a significant price. Manufacturing Blu-Ray discs requires significant costs in updating DVD fabrication equipment, and would be a sharp manufacturer cost increase over HD-DVD."

      Toshiba also got the jump on sony and released it's first players months earlier allowing it to get production ramped up. It's true that when HD-DVD started to lose they chopped at the price, but it was already significantly lower than Bluray.
  • i will stick with the luddites and keep my old 4.7 gig DVDs and wait another year for market forces to decide who is the real winner before i upgrade to the new format, six on one hand have a dozen on the other is the way i see it = sure HD-DVD is cheaper now but that wont make a difference if BlueRay pulls ahead in a few years, i take great pride in being a luddite living on the older tech = dont laugh - i dont have the money sunk in to crap i dont really need so i can keep it buried in canning jars in my
    • by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) * on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:18AM (#28421669)

      HD-DVD is dead. There's no need to wait to see who will win, as that question was answered a year and a half ago when Toshiba (the banner carrier for HD-DVD) announced that they would discontinue all HD-DVD production. According to the wiki article, the entire HD-DVD promotion group was dissolved March of last year. To my knowledge, no one builds a new HD-DVD player; there are a small number of PC drives that include HD-DVD compatibility, but I assume that's because of the low cost of inclusion once the blue laser diodes for Blu-ray are already in the drive. You can not walk into a retail store and find an HD-DVD player unless they found some hidden stock in the back and are clearance selling it for $20. You can't find HD-DVD discs unless the same thing happens. Any movie that's come out since then will never come out on HD-DVD. HD-DVD is dead and voluntarily buried by its own support and manufacturing group.

      In summary, there is no more waiting. The race was over last year. You can debate whether the quality improvement is worth the money, and there's some definite complaints to be made about the cost of the discs. If your only concern, however, is which of the formats will win, then there's no reason to continue waiting. Blu-Ray won last year.

  • by joe_cot ( 1011355 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:03AM (#28421379) Homepage
    Even though blu-ray won, there were still tons of HD DVD players. They went somewhere, and it wasn't landfills. Stores had fire sales on HD DVD players, many selling them as upconverting DVD players.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Due to the egregious DRM that encumbers HD players (esp. Blu-Ray) and the necessity to have these devices connected to the internet in order to keep their DRM updated, I will never purchase one of these pieces of s*!t. I have a firm policy of refusal to support any vendor who utilizes DRM in their products. If they want to treat me as a criminal, I won't support them.

    That said, I do purchase DVD's, but the first thing I do is to strip the CSS and region codes from them and back them up as ISO images on m
  • Both are obsolete. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by downix ( 84795 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:13AM (#28421543) Homepage

    The real telling issue is that less than 20% of US Households have adopted either, and it's been out for years. Frankly, this should be no surprise, the "format war" dragged on for so long that by the time the victor had stepped forth, the market they were fighting for was already passing them by. The migration to HD video on demand, online streaming, and yes, downloading of material makes disk-based distribution an out of date concept who is slowly fading into the past.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smoker2 ( 750216 )
      I didn't buy a dvd player for many years after the format was introduced. Something to do with initially costing £600 for a player, and no recording capability. I didn't buy a cd drive for my computer until years after they were available. DVD writer ? Not until they became cheap enough to be worth adding on. I have looked at getting a bluray writer, and although they are quite cheap, they are not cheap enough. Once we get down to £40 region they'll be worth the money.
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:19AM (#28421679)

    Owning movies really isn't worth it these days. First off, there's rarely a movie I'd want to see more than once. Second off, services like Netflix make it easy to get the movies I do want to see, first time or repeat, with very little delay. And as they're working out the legal kinks with the streaming service, it'd be just like owning the originals at home. Why clutter my life with all those discs? Let's not forget there's also the issue of format wars, buying all your movies again when the latest format drops. Who needs that? I'll stream the movie at HD resolution and when they come out with super-HD a few years from now, I'll stream it like that as well, no worries about buying new hardware.

    Granted, there's still going to be the situations where you don't have broadband and want to bring your movies with you. If Netflix has good lawyers, they'll be able to let you operate in cache mode. Select the movies you want, plug in your thumb drive, you download them and are in cache mode and can watch them on the go wherever you want. If they don't have good lawyers and can't make that happen, I can still bittorrent what I want to watch offline.

  • Disingenous, at best (Score:4, Informative)

    by Coopjust ( 872796 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:22AM (#28421717)
    If you combine the 360 addon owners with the regular pool, 14% of those surveyed own an HD-DVD player.

    So, if you combine the PS3 owners with the regular Blu-Ray owners, 16% of those surveyed owned a Blu-Ray player.

    Here is the logical response you probably have now: "But, every HD-DVD owner (including addon) bought it to watch Blu-Rays, while many PS3 owners probably bought it just to play games."

    That's taken care of by the survey too. Out of all, PS3 owners 25% buy all their movies in Blu-Ray and another. 32% buy "most" of their movies in Blu-Ray. So 57% are regular Blu-Ray buyers now, and many PS3 owners are waiting for prices to come down.

    HD-DVD owners? Stores gave the players away. They were cheaper than other upscaling players at some point. The addon for the 360 was $20 at my local stores with 5 free movies. Many HD-DVD owners probably bought closeout gear at low prices.

    So while the percentages may technically be right, with the fire sale that followed HD-DVDs failure, it's not terribly suprising. And the 7% is it at least 12% for Blu-Ray buyers, since over half of all PS3 owners buy movies.
  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @10:29AM (#28421843)

    Right now, you can get a cheap Blu-Ray player for not much more than what I paid for my first DVD player. However, I have not even felt a twinge in that general direction; I've been too spoiled by $4 to $6 movies, and until I can routinely get Blu-Ray discs for under $10, forget it. There are really very few movies I would re-buy in Blu-Ray, further reducing my desire to buy one of those things.

    I do have a 1080p TV, and a usable 7.1 receiver waiting for the day when it does make sense though...


  • by DaveGod ( 703167 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @05:05PM (#28428919)

    The hardware isn't expensive if you already have a HD TV, and here in the UK the TV's seem to be doing well enough even though the only widespread HD content is from a games console. Compared to the TV the BR drives are cheap - decent units can be bought for cheaper than when DVD got popular. But people still aren't buying them because the movies are still very expensive. I can go to my local store and walk out with 6 good DVD's for the price of a single Bluray (plus the choice of titles on the shelves is about 40x wider, and the difference gets much bigger using online stores).

    The only thing IMHO holding Bluray back is that the disks themselves are far too expensive relative to what people are used to paying, given the real-world benefits are not perceived as being that great. Sure, BR is technologically vastly better, but people are still quite happy with DVD and for most movies the higher resolution is just not important - and as for audio, most people use the TV speakers anyway. I have a BR player and use a a subscription rental where a BR is the same as a DVD - for blockbusters I go for BR, but for the vast majority I really don't care.

    Sometimes I actually go for the DVD version. The "don't pirate me" messages at the start of DVDs are bad enough but with every BR they are infuriating, can't I just tick some "I acknowledge piracy is illegal" box once and have the other disks see that I've already sat through this crap? I just got Band of Brothers on BR and since I watched an episode a night I sat though 90 seconds of crap for 10 nights - 15 minutes in total. There's something wrong when I'm making a habit of loading the BR then switching back to the web browser while it gets to the menu. All I am going to say about the required firmware upgrades is that an unexpected 40 minute routine (OK, counting the PowerDVD patch) is not welcome when I have deliberately left myself just enough time to watch the movie to finish off the night.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.