Paramount to unleash tons of HD DVD *exclusive* titles!

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Ruined, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. DemoCoder

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    They clearly stand to gain from HD-format failure as their avowed goal is digital distribution, their major push is the Digital Livingroom, and MS technology everywhere in that living room, with the PC as the hub.

    If HD media succeeds, it means the entire industry, from Hollywood to retailers to electronics manufacturers will be pushing the optical ecology. It means content creators will be less inclined to produce DD because of doubling the work, it means DD will have to fight entrenched optical in the consumer space for mindshare. MS clearly doesn't want this.

    But if HDDVD-BluRay are a repeat of LaserDisc, then they will fail mass market adoption, yet tons and tons of people who already own HDTVs and PCs will be craving HD content: and that's when MS swoops into the rescue. DD requires no extra purchase for the consumer who already has HDTV, DSL, and a PC. And STBs will require minor modifications, sometimes *only firmware upgrades* to handle (in the case of PVR STBs)

    Now, imagine the consumer pitch:

    1) HD-DVD/BluRay - expensive and dying
    2) You already have a PC, HDTV, DSL
    3) for just a software upgrade and nominal fee you can playback HD content
    4) or, you can buy MS approved media playback STBs, subsidized perhaps like the XB360, for like $100.

    So, spend $300-800 on HDDVD/BluRay and $30-40 per disc, or spend $100 on an STB and pay MS $10 per movie.

    I hate this, just as I despise AppleTV. Because these digital downloads *SUCK*. They have gimped resolution (not 1080p), gimped audio tracks, no "extras", multilanguage tracks, subtitles, commentary, outtakes, etc.

    For similar reasons, I hate broadcast HD today, like on DirectTV, Fox, and Cable, which their inferior SD-upscales/fake HD, and half HD bitrates.
     
  2. Rangers

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    18 months is a long time. Two holiday seasons. By that time HDDVD may have pulled even and you might very well never see Paramount on BD.

    But hey, I find the sour grapes from the Blu crowd funny. I guess, exclusivity is fine and dandy when it's all on YOUR side and only the other guy suffers, right?

    Exclusivity is just a way to take the fight out of consumers hands. Blu Ray had to do that because their stand alone players are just too expensive (and would be much more expensive if HDDDVD wasn't giving them competition). If it was up to Sony we'd still have $1000 Blu players and that's it. They would delay hi-def DVD acceptance by at least a year or two just to keep prices high.

    If this fight was "fair" and all movies were released on all formats, the fact is Blu wouldn't stand much of a chance. This just evens the playing field a bit (though Blu Ray still has the playing field "tilt" in it's favor).

    Also, why was the thread title changed to something less accurate? Was the original considered "too pro-HDDVD" for this forum? I am very sure the reverse wouldn't have happened if it was Blu Ray good news instead..Is this place going to turn into GAF style sony spin headquarters?

    The fact is Blu Ray only exists because of two wholly artificial parameters: PS3 and studio exclusivity. Otherwise it would be dead and buried long ago.

    Also, I'm wondering if Warner Bros might be the next to defect to HDDVD. I've heard all along that Warner has some patents on that side, and they have tended to favor it with releases, despite being theoretically neutral. If Warner went HDDVD only, for the first time I think the sides would be pretty even in terms of studio support. Actually in the short term it would be a pretty big edge for HDDVD as AFAIK Fox and Disney haven't been very active yet, where WB and Para and Universal have been.

    But BTW, the easiest way for MS to influence this war if they really wanted to "buy" anything would be to do more than a pathetic $20 cut on the 360 add-on. It's hard for me to believe MS is financially vested in this when they wont even sell the add-on for less than what must be a tidy profit.

    If MS wanted to go balls out, first order of business would be cut the add-on to $99 (which probably wouldn't even be much loss of $, I cant imagine it costs much to build). And then to really get serious, building HDDVD playback into at least the Elite sku would be next on the agenda. But they've shown no interest in those types of moves.

    If MS cant be arsed to sell the 360 add-on for what would probably be only a break even point at 99, they're not willing to lose money in this fight.
     
    #102 Rangers, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2007
  3. Rangers

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    Digital distribution has it's pluses and minuses. As a regular user of MS on demand style video service on 360, I've become keen to those.

    Biggest plus for VOD (yes I know MS service isn't really VOD, but I'm going to call it that for brevity): Convenience. It's simply much more attractive to just sit down and decide to watch something, even if (as basically in my case) the video store is only a few blocks away. You still have to go out to your car, make the trip, etc etc etc.). Big difference.

    Biggest negative I forsee: You'll never be able to truly OWN your content. Even if you had, say a 1 terabyte HDD sitting there (wich would get expensive) you're always just pushing the storage problem back. On a more normal scale of a 250GB HDD, you're limited. And it's also dependant on things like a working account, that your broadband connection is up, that someday you dont forget your password, any number of things. Owning the physical disc will never have any of these problems.

    In the short term that is why I do not see discs going away.

    I see a dual model in the medium term at least. You'll want a disc player to own things and a DL service to rent with ease.
     
  4. DemoCoder

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    Not only do you not own your content, you can lose DRM'ed content and never get it back.

    Google shut down its DD video store. As a result, people who bought DRM'ed videos *can't play them back anymore*.

    Any DRM system that requires a central server's continual approval sucks.
     
  5. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    In a turn, that I'm sure will shock everyone, he talked to Paramount top brass and retracted his earlier statement:

    I wonder how far off (time/price) he is with the comment on the players approaching $200.
     
  6. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    There's nothing really to hear in terms of Warner and royalties - they are very much on the receiving end of some considerable royalties should HD DVD win out. Essentially, they are the co-founder/inventor of DVD along with Toshiba, although Sony, Philips and the gang got some of the action in return for standing down from a format fight last gen.

    That said, I don't think Warner will go exclusive without some serious serious behind-the-scenes bargaining. Granted, I wouldn't have ever guessed this move by Paramount either... but then again no one would have.
     
  7. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Well hasn't warner already released a couple of bigger titles only on HD-DVD, such as batman begins?
     
  8. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    I still think Warner favors HD DVD, I just don't see them going exclusive in the near future. It's not that my mind will be blown if it happens, just that if I have to pick one or the other, the status quo seems the more reasonable assumption for the time being.
     
  9. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Well, you have to wonder - Warner were pushing "Total HD" for some time, then all of a sudden it got delayed back in late June for no apparent reason, and with no firm date set for release.
     
  10. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    I think that's just because it was a terrible idea and/or the yields were terrible. I mean hell, the combo HD DVD/DVD discs have enough compatibility problems as it is without trying it with two uniquely physically-structured sides. But again, even yields not-withstanding, it was just a terrible idea - no one wants to pay more for that thing.
     
  11. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Apart from the obvious issues with flipper discs being annoying, harder to manufacture, and more expensive (both in actual term and licensing costs), I imagine they were met with less than excited responses from both respective sides of the isle. Perhaps in particular BDA, because if Warner had managed to sell their message of 'it doesn't matter what kind of player you got, THD is here', that would probably favor the cheapest alternative.
     
  12. Ty

    Ty Roberta E. Lee
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    "for no apparent reason"

    Are you certain about this? I vaguely remember that there were production issues.
     
  13. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Some certainly speculated to that effect (personally, I doubt it). Here's what they said:
    Edit: Too slow.
     
  15. Titanio

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    To declare my interest, I am a Blu-ray supporter and owner, but I have absolutely zero qualms in saying that I do indeed wish HD-DVD would roll over and die. Why? Because I want one standard, and Blu-ray is closest to being that. If we could have one standard, whatever that might be, I'd be happy, but I don't think it should be Blu-ray that cedes given how much disruption that would cause, to how many more people, versus HD-DVD. More studios are supporting it, more people are buying it, so I'm afraid HD-DVD does indeed look like the more annoying thorn in the side of those who want one standard. For the industry and the market to fall under HD-DVD at this point would be far more disruptive than to do the same for Blu-ray, and this was obvious from day one.
     
  16. Mintmaster

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    They will be pushing the optical ecology? They already are! You know, like DVD?

    HD-DVD and BluRay are trying to battle DVD for marketshare. Digital distribution is trying to battle optical media as a whole. In a couple years, whether the optical market is 70% DVD and 30% HD or 100% DVD doesn't really matter. In the latter case, people clearly don't care much about the image quality gained from HD so that's actually one less reason to turn their backs on DVD for DD.

    That's what I'm trying to say. DD's challenge to dominate the livingroom would barely get any easier with optical HD format failure.
     
  17. BadTB25

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    Titanio this wasn't so obvious when HD DVD players came out first and had more movies with better quality (at the time). Should have just wished BluRay a quick death then? Disruption wise, we are still in the infancy of both formats so while it would be disruptive to some (people who already own a BluRay player) it wouldn't be to others (me and >95% of consumers).

    Studios supporting it don't mean much at this point as they can be as fickle as the wind as this topic proves. I'm sure they'll happily re-release a movie on a competing format just so they can earn more money on a movie they already sold you once. I mean how many version of movie do we buy now given the regular release and then the super improved 15 minutes added directors cuts.

    We all want one format for less confusion, but I can't help thinking that having both formats competing right now is going to drive these players to cheaper quicker. I'm for the one with the cheapest high quality player that sells me the cheapest movies (like DVD cheap).
     
  18. Titanio

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    Not to be short, but it was obvious to me where things were going to head, and I think it was obvious to many others too.

    Sure, but it still doesn't change the fact that Blu-ray from both a studio and consumer point of view is the path of lesser resistance toward a standard format.
     
  19. BadTB25

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    I agree with your second response, I'm just saying that there are a lot of people that do not own either palyers. For them the disruption maybe a good thing as it will force both companies to drop the prices on their players quicker.

    As to your first point, it was obvious that Beta was the superior format to VHS and we both know how that turned out. From the average consumer point of view it wasn't so clear and probably still isn't. I think both formats are more than adequate for HD movies. I honestly do not see a clear winner yet, but I believe that by next summer the picture will be more clear.

    Luckily DVD is adequate enough for me to sit on the sidelines and wait till it reaches a confortable price point.
     
  20. Titanio

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    Disruption will keep them out of the market for longer, and delay cost-cutting on both sides of the fence.

    My point has nothing to do with technical credentials. Back when HD-DVD was launching, and movies were looking better, we already knew Blu-ray had more studio support, CE support, and we already knew Blu-ray was going to be in every PS3, and most of us recognized the robustness and inevitability of the momentum that would arise from these things, and the very temporary nature of any initial teething problems. We already knew then that it would be the path of least resistance toward a standard, IMHO.

    (On a side note, Beta may have been superior from an image quality POV, but it enjoy less support, had actually a smaller storage capacity, was more expensive per tape etc. etc.).
     
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