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

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

  1. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    I doubt it, but the first DVD players couldn't handle dual layer DVD's and they eventually made the transition without any major uprising.
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    AFAIK, that's still an unknown. I don't think there's been any more news since March when it was (paraphrased) "working, but still under development". Besides, the 51GB variant was mostly a marketing product to best BD anyway, considering a 45GB triple layer variant has been an option for years (same compatibility concerns).

    On the other hand it might not matter too much since, were HD-DVD to go mainstream this fall, the BR camp possibly (probably) wouldn't be able to follow (given the strain on BD50 manufacturing capacity) having to resort to BD25 to keep up. That could prove an opportune PR target in the tech press which might trickle down to the mainstream, although I doubt normal consumers would care all that much (as I doubt they'd really care about 50GB vs. 30GB).
     
  3. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    The 51GB spec has been officially submitted to the DVD Forum for testing, specification and implementation. Whether it's backwards compatiable remains to be seen.

    However if the 51GB discs have the same yield issues as BD50 and require specific hardware for manufacturing which cannot be used for DVD replication (like current existing HD DVD lines) then one of the major business advantages for HD DVD goes out the window.

    For the mass consumer, HD30/BD50 is irrelevant.
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Source? I remember news sites reporting this earlier this year, but it was denied by Toshiba shortly thereafter.
     
  5. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    I recall Amir stating that it was under study by the DVD Forum.
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Sorry, but 'Amir said' is a bit too vague, especially without a linked source. Besides, he works for MS, not Toshiba. Here is the only tangible mention I can find regarding this during the past five months: Toshiba will speak about it (amongst two other items) in a 20 minute tech update during the DVD Forum Europe Conference 2007, so perhaps some more concrete information will surface after September 3.
     
  7. Rangers

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    Realistically, BD/HDDVD is already far more popular than SACD ever was.

    I dont see much chance hi-def can fail. With HDVD players at 299 already , it's a matter of time before they're the same price as DVD players. And then, people have no reason not to buy them.
     
  8. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    Talk about good timing. Here are 2 related quotes just from today:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=11391952&postcount=2560
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=11391972&postcount=2561
     
  9. Rangers

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    Interesting qoute from Paramount CTO on the length of this exclusivity:

    Also OT to this post, I dont know why but this format war sure is fascinating. Assuming HDDVD actually made it a war again with this Para announcment :smile:
     
  10. BadTB25

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    Yeah, but my shelf space is limited. I wouldn't want to build up a collection of either format and then have to switch because that format lost forcing me to buy another player.

    A combo player would be cool, but there is no guarantee that it would be cheap and worth it in the end. Besides the movies on both formats are still a little bit on the pricey side and I'm happy with DVD quality for now.
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    That is interesting. It would suggest that provisions for ending the agreement are either milestone based or notice based (i.e. Paramount can end it after a certain period with some notice of intent to do so) rather than definite term.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Thanks. Not exactly overflowing with concrete information, but I'll take these as signs that Toshiba are indeed moving forward with it.
    Did you think it was going to be over? Apparently the BDA did a darn good job convincing people, but in reality exactly what had changed between February and August this year (ut to this announcement)? Just about nothing, IMO. Seems to me it wasn't as much about BD doing well, but more about the PS3 doing well (yet, worse than expected) for BD. Other than the PS3, what did they have?

    I presume that market realities like this is one reason that HD-DVD is looking like an attractive proposition to a company like Paramount ("bring high quality home entertainment to a key segment of our audience -- families"), and to that end a 'payout' consisting of comarketing (and perhaps guaranteed purchases for bundle deals) could seem mighty tempting.
    There might still be limits. It's not like he would go out and state (the obvious) that if, at the end of some term, HD-DVD is in the loosing position they'd turn back to BD. The 18 months that have been floated around could be the period over which the comarketing incentives are to be spread out.
     
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    Sigh a bit late to the party.

    Anyway just to put in my 2 cents. I'm going along with one of the things Paramount said to Michael Bay recently. That one of the major reasons they made the move to support HD-DVD only at this time was the fact that there will be 200 USD HD-DVD players on the market this holiday season.

    If that's true and there is a major push from the HD-DVD camp at that time, they might possibly make some inroads into DVD sales.

    If that happens. That'll be the first true sign that one format or the other might eventually win. And if it happens, and a good player comes out at that price I might just give HD video a try. 200 USD is pretty darn close to impulse buy price. And I think that was a significant contributor to the Paramount/Dreamworks decision.

    Movie studious more than anyone else want a "winner" on the format "war." Supporting multiple formats is expensive, especially when one of them, Blue-Ray, can't use existing DVD production lines. I'm willing to bet most studios are hoping that HD-DVD will win, but have supported both formats up til now so that they didn't end up backing the losing format.

    Add to that the unknown variable prior to the last holiday season of whether the PS3 would make significant inroads (it hasn't) and even if they were hoping HD-DVD would win (cost savings), they had to support Blue-Ray. Considering the less than stellar sales rate of the PS3, it hasn't put the format war to rest as some feared/hoped.

    I think this is just a move from the studios making a statement on which format THEY would LIKE to see win. HD-DVD duplication costs will be quite significantly lower than Blue-Ray, especially if they have to ramp up production to even half of what DVD is today. It's significantly easier to convert existing DVD production lines than to retool everything for Blue-Ray production.

    As to the length of the current agreement for HD-DVD only, obviously it's...

    1. Unlimited duration if HD-DVD does well/wins.
    2. Limited duration if HD-DVD flounders/fails and Blue-Ray wins.

    Not sure why we needed vague quotes from Paramount on something so obvious.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    Sorry, but that's a non sequitor, misdirection, sleight-of-hand, whatever you want to call it. If they were adding support for HD DVD that would be a reasonable thing to say as the reason for doing it. If they were switching from Blu-ray only to HD DVD only that would be a somewhat reasonable (though still risky) thing to point at. But going from supporting both to supporting HD DVD only? That doesn't work for me as a "reason" in a forward looking sense. It would work for a backward looking sense in early 2008, if those $200 players appear and actually swing sales of HD movies decisively in HD DVD's favor. But as of today it's still the fact that B-r discs are significantly outselling HD DVD discs, so the "reason" given is still very speculative if the point is, as the actual action was, to drop Blu-ray.

    Tho it's worth noting, and hasn't been said anywhere that I saw it (maybe I missed it) that Paramount was originally in the HD DVD only camp with Universal, and went "neutral" in October of 2005. So that would tend to suggest that they were never emotionally attached to Blu-ray in the first place and were willing to be convinced.

    http://www.videobusiness.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA6262261


    Edit: Interestingly, if you read the piece at that link you'll find that a key consideration for Paramount in moving originally from HD DVD only to include Blu-ray as well was Sony announcing Blu-ray as part of the PS3. The reasonable conclusion to reach is that disappointing PS3 sales and high price-points were a consideration in re-evaluating that decision. Tho I still think it can't explain *why now* (rather than in early 2008) without the rumoured $150M in incentives.
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Why not?

    Surely Paramount would be privy to information that we are not and, although these rumored $200 players are speculation at this point (they obviously indicated this to Michael Bay), it jives with the focus Paramount PR has put on the move: Lower cost, broader audiences, family oriented material, and so on. Releasing anything on HD is probably a money-loosing endeavor these days, and splitting your releases on to two formats even more so. Add to that the fact that HD-DVD has a more stable target platform, and (currently) enjoy better (and easier to create) interactive features, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch. For the consumers that doesn't really give a rats ass about about the incremental image and audio quality enhanchments HDM hold over DVD these are the kind of features that might win them over.

    Forward looking speculation is only a "non sequitor, misdirection, sleight-of-hand, whatever you want to call it" when it is presented as absolute truth. Dismissing something out of hand with a classification of 'misdirection' just because it doesn't fit ones own preconceptions seems just as much like a non sequitur to me.
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    Are you assuming there are no costs to Paramount in this change? You do know that they pulled Blu-ray titles that were already well down the production pipeline and for which they were already taking pre-orders for them at major retailers like Amazon, right? What is your rationale for pissing away those sunk costs and good will with retailers and consumers on those specific titles consistent with the production costs argument you are forwarding? Again, my point is not "why", it's "why now"?

    ERP suggests an answer above --one deal ending with BDA. It would be interesting to know if that's the real answer to "why now"? If so, and BDA was not willing to continue a deal, then that's pretty short-sighted, or possibly a touch of hubris, on their part.
     
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    I'm stipulating to the notion that these costs are peanuts. How many titles did they have to trash besides Blades of Glory? What's the production run for these things? 25K? Add mastering costs and they've pissed away a couple of hundred grand to half a million tops. Pocket change. And seriously, "good will with retailers"? Over a few preorders? No way.
    If you have a 'why', then the better question is 'why not now?' Do you absolutely dismiss the notion that they might have felt HD-DVD to be the format most likely to suit their needs going forward? That the only way this could have happened is because they were bought?
     
  18. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    History didn't start yesterday. Paramount as a home movie company didn't start yesterday either. This is no tabula rasa. Right now this is the *third* time Paramount has made a major decision in this area. To suggest it took three tries to get it right on the infrastructure merits is to suggest they are utter incompetents in the technical divisions at Paramount. If they make a fourth decision down the road are we really going to talk about the infrastructure being a driver again?

    Edit: Btw, re the "they were bought" point --I'd be really curious to know which movie companies you feel are being altruistic in their decisions in this area. To ask the question is to laugh at it; they're all "bought" (and usually my money is in the kitty).
     
  19. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
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    Who are this 'we'. When Paramount went neutral they, as you yourself mentioned, spoke of the PS3 as a motivating factor. I find little reason to disbelieve them. Surely, the notion of 10 million active BD customers by now would be enough to sway all but the most steadfast. But obviously, this didn't come to pass, so why not look at what they're saying now as a potential indicator and inspiration for discussion and speculation on where this 'war' is heading?

    With the current financial realities of publishing HDM, nothing 'now' really makes sense at all as long as we don't consider their actions as strategic jousting in positioning themselves for a future payday. Altruism has noting to do with it.
     
  20. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    That is all well and reasonable, but nevertheless their titles as others have been following the 2:1 trend in favor of Blu-ray. I can understand that the visions of PS3-led domination did not come to pass, but the console has nevertheless led to a substantial lead. To me, based on the momentum of Blu-ray alone of late, I find it suspect that Paramount was not swayed by the cash incentive first and foremost. The contrary makes no sense, because had they gone Blu-ray exclusive it'd just about end the war, whereas this move works to prolong it.
     
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