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

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

  1. BadTB25

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    (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.).[/QUOTE]

    Oh and I thought it was the porn industry that made it more popular:grin:

    I cede and understand all your points. What I'm saying, is that while true for the technophiles on this forum to the average consumer it wasn't and probably still isn't clear which is the superior format. They probably do not keep up with the latest avsforum or Beyond3D news. I believe they care more about what is affordable and looks good.

    I guess when I talk about disruption, I think competition. I don't believe either Toshiba or Sony would be in a hurry to look to cut cost if they had the market all to themselves. I mean we started with a $600-1000 HD Player just last year and already I hear that we may have a $200 player this Xmas. I just can't see how this would delay cutting cost.
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    If you're saying that "it's clear to most technophiles what the superior format is", I think you're gravely mistaken. Put enough of them in a room, wait for the temperature to reach critical, then stand back and watch the show (just remember to wear clothing that blood-stains can be easily removed from afterwards).

    And that's ignoring that 'technophiles' are consumers too.

    That many technophiles seemed to expect PS3 momentum to swing the 'war' in BDs favor, on the other hand, seems pretty obvious. But going from there to arguing that HD-DVD should just lay down and die for the betterment of humanity is too far a stretch and, IMO, just short-sighted selfishness. It's the same misguided elitism echoed in the sentiment that the Wii is destroying HD gaming, and as such it would be better for everyone had it 'never been born'.
     
  3. Titanio

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    Hehe, they're not the same situations at all for a number of reasons ;)

    It's obviously not nice if one format has to 'die', but if one format is going to die, I don't think it should be the one with greater consumer and industry backing. No one is saying HD-DVD's death would be rainbows and sunshine, but it would be less messy. The death of either format would be painful, but if you consider which would be more or less painful..

    If both formats are to remain around, then we should end fears and confusion by having all companies support both, but that's probably unrealistic (particularly since Sony is also a major movie studio itself). Where we're left is an unhelpful format war that's growing more confusing rather than less.
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    Somebody probably also pointed out to him that by the time Transformers 2 is ready to be on home video, that yesterday's decision likely won't mean a damn one way or the other.

    In addition to being reminded of how much money he was pissing away for himself, and how much other studios will love working with him after he's proved himself to not be "a team player", etc.
     
  5. BadTB25

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    Zaphod, I think my point was that it not always the clearly superior format that wins. I probably wasn't very clear as I was responding to Titanio post. I do not consider myself a technophile and can not tell you that one is definitely better than the other. I think even Tiatani said that it had nothing to do with technical credentials, but rather from a CE, more studio support and the fact that it's in every PS3.

    I do have "average" consumer friends and I know that they couldn't tell me the difference and in most cases don't even know that a BluRay disc won't play in an HD DVD player (not an exagerration). The average consumer is slow to adopt, especially as others have pointed out, when they don't see that big of a leap IMO.
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    I'm not particularly invested in tis 'war' (yet), and, ironically, the one standout feature that could sway me to one of the formats seems to be hurting more than helping at the moment (so I'm on the fence on that one too).

    However, I'd be more than happy to play Devil's Advocate on why it would be best for all if BR gave up the ghost as soon as possible, as I believe most of the arguments from people who have taken up a clear position have done so due to having some sort of investment in it, emotionally, financially or otherwise.

    The point being that it is definitely not clear cut why one format should win out over the other, and that's why we're in this position. Both sides have merit with regard to technicalities, financial realities, marketability, business wise, consumer friendliness, industry repercussions and so on. We wouldn't get anywhere.

    What definitely would have been better would have been if both camps had been able to come to an accord back in 2005. But now? Flip a coin, place your bets, we'll see...
     
  7. Ty

    Ty Roberta E. Lee
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    Tks to DB and Zaph for clearing my incorrect recollection.

    What if their goal (cue conspiracy music) was to stagnant adoption of the next optical format, thus making it easier to move people to DD?
     
  8. BadTB25

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  9. ERP

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    If DD is to succeed I think it'll be reguardless of a HD Optical format.
    I believe it's success will be more along the lines of downloadable music, not based on absolute quality but being good enough and more convenient.

    I still think the primary reason for CD adoption over LP was convenience, the same for DVD over VHS, and I think this is why formats like SACD/DVD Audio floundered, and why Hidef optical disc formats will continue to flounder. For most people they are simply no better than the previous generation.

    I have 50+ laserdiscs and a massive DVD collection almost all of which was bought at full price, and I own 0 Hidef discs, partly because of the format war, but mostly because I'm sick of storing the disc packaging. I'll take a lower quality copy of something I can find and watch quickly over something I have to find on my shelves.

    Now I'm clearly I'm atypical, but I really believe that a new format has to offer something above and beyond improved picture/sound quality to be successful in the mass market.

    Think that DD is a ways off and not because of bandwidth, the thing that will hold back DD adoption will be DRM, I just had to explain to my GF why she could only stream some of her iTunes songs to one of the media players on my network, and to her it was just broken. And I happen to agree.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Sure. Just do note the caveat that this will be somewhat anecdotal, all IMO, and far from conclusive.

    As a European who is a frequent purchaser of DVDs and not interested in localized features, I've been frequently bitten by the fact that (even after all these years) R2 DVD releases often suck bad compared to their R1 counterparts (although, on occasion another region gets the better deal). The feature I value is HD-DVD being region free.

    The problem is as follows: Both camps postulate (obviously with differing connotations) that the current BD lead is primarily driven by the PS3. The kind of movies that do well at B&M retail are mostly blockbusters with mass market appeal, and the current difference maker seems to be the customers that didn't primarily buy into the PS3 for Blu-ray, but are still picking up the occasional disc when they see one that appeals to them. My (somewhat educated) guess is that most early adopter HD-DVD buyers fit into 'my category' of customer, and are thus (much?) more likely than the average PS3 owner to purchase most of their media online/from overseas where the selection is larger and prices are lower.

    This leads to a rather heavy slant towards Blu-ray getting shelf space at retail that is much larger than what you would see when tallying the combined collections of those that bought into either format primarily (or equally) for use as a HDM player. Now, one of HD-DVDs proposed 'aces up their sleeve' is the promise that they'll deliver cheap(ish) players for the mass market this holiday season. However, J6P, who is a similar kind of customer as my casual PS3 owner above, isn't going to get incited by this proposition if there is a distinct lack of HD-DVD media near the checkout counter of his local HMV/WallMart/Lidl/Tesco/SuperStore/Whatever. He might like to pick up a 'high-something DVD movie player thingy' to watch the occasional 'this is the new stuff that's supposed to be better than DVD, right?' on his 'big flat screen TV' (i.e. a 32-42", 1368x768, 720p/1080i LCD), but not if there's any hassle involved.

    In conclusion: I believe that HD-DVD being region free is a contributing factor to the format lacking retail prevalence in Europe, which again (unless they bring out the marketing checkbook) is contributing to the dearth of new player sales to the broader casual market (i.e. the ones Paramount are speaking about as a motivating factor for the move that is the topic of this thread).
     
    #130 Zaphod, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2007
  11. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Personally I think the shelf space differences is down to the differing levels of marketing at this point. I don't think the HD DVD group has been as effective as BDA group on that front so far - Sony also has relations with more retailers than the primary pushers of HD DVD (Toshiba) which is why you see Blu-ray titles in game stores.
     
  12. Maintank

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    Interesting development and imo will have lasting effects provided HD-DVD players keep dropping in price. If Transformers makes it out on HD-DVD by the holiday season I can see the end caps right now.

    Transformers HD-DVD with a 199 HD-DVD player at Walmart. If HD-DVD can continue its lead in sales of standalone players or increase it. It is only a matter of time when the HD-DVD user base reaches critical mass and overtakes Blu-Ray in monthly movie sales.

    Once they reach that magical 50/50 split movie houses on the edge of exclusivity will most likely bend and release HD-DVD titles.

    Next 18 months will be interesting indeed for this format war.
     
  13. BadTB25

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    Thanks, I was thinking it was something more of a technological edge.

    If the add-on HD-DVD X350 drive drops to $99.00, I'll probably pick one up. I plan to pick up a PS3 when it drops to $299-350, but I'm still hesitant to start investing in either formats. I'd hate to build up a collection only to see the format die within a couple of years.
     
  14. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    Your discs would still play. It'd be like having a collection of DVD's and then we shift to digital downloads and DVD's are phased out. Eventually everything gets replaced.

    With Toshiba and Sony's investment into this, I don't expect either side to back down anytime soon (years and years).

    Also, in a couple of years, I expect combo players to be quite cheap and will likely pick one up.
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Perhaps, but frankly I don't know enough about the broader European retail particularities to want to speculate.

    To be honest though, I don'tt really think the current HD-DVD versus Blu-ray 'war' is all that relevant at all. The real battleground will be for the first party to successfully compete with good old DVD and have their players replace a DVD sale. They'll just have to survive long enough to get there.

    That's where the ball will start rolling, and here pricing and availability is key. The customers who are already decided on a HD standalone (and the dedicated 'movie' PS3 purchasers) are distinct and (much) smaller groups of consumers than the market for 'thing that plays movies on my TV' (~20 million units a year in both Europe and NA). Provide a value proposition to those customers at a price point low enough where HD becomes a value added feature of a DVD player rather than the primary driving force behind buying into either HD-DVD or Blu-ray (i.e. 'an investment'), and the average consumer will care little about the format.

    Still, whomever wants to achieve this should have at least some popular media widely and easily available, and so far I'm not seeing HD-DVD out there.
     
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Nah. I don't really think that tech will have much to do with deciding this.

    Offhand, the most tech related 'double edge' is the added capacity of BD50 over HD30 coupled with the limited production capacity and (significantly) higher manufacturing cost. Touting the superior storage capacity might make the market reject BD25 (which is already more expensive than HD30) in a market where your sales might not be big enough that an investment in BD50 pressing is really worth it and at the same time might delay availability until after your best sales window has passed.
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    I doubt that the movie market cares a fig for the "technological superiority" of B-r. I'm sure the computer people might, but the movie people? I don't see it. Sure, maybe it saves some money for some AAA type releases with tons of extras from going onto a second disk, but that's a tiny percentage of the market so far as I can see.

    What the movie market cares about is cost, direct and indirect, and that's all down to availability of plant and tools and licensing. I'd be amazed if one stand-alone player purchaser in a hundred gives even a moment's thought to "technological superiority" of B-r vs HD DVD. All they care about is which movies they can watch on it and how much it costs to buy. Even the studios I doubt care all that much about "technological superiority" beyond a bright-line minimum requirements pov. The studio heads will carefully read their CTO's reports on the matter and then do what they think is best for the business based on whatever business factors move them. Examples of "business factors" would be stuff like "Blu-ray movies are outselling HD DVD by 2-1" and "Paramount, the current domestic box office champ just threw in with HD DVD exclusively".

    Edit: Maybe early on the techie geeks were more involved in driving the process, but I really do think we've reached a point where the big boys with the expensive suits are the ones making decisions.
     
  18. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    Just for the record Toshiba has already demoed 51gb capacity, triple layer discs; so making claims of capacity advantage for blu-ray is a somewhat weakened argument.
     
  19. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    Yeah, but that demonstration is comparable in practical merit to the 8 layer BluRay discs that were demoed at 200GB capacity a year ago. I.e. that 51GB demo requires changes and couldn't be read by current players, if I recall correctly.
     
  20. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    Did they get that working with backwards compatability to existing HD DVD players? Last I heard that was still waving in the air.
     
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