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Disney's Gordon Ho on Blu-ray technology

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Old 08-11-2007, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Disney's Gordon Ho on Blu-ray technology

SCOTT PODMORE tracks down Disney's Gordon Ho in Los Angeles for the lowdown on Blu-ray technology



Why should people spend their hard-earned money and upgrade to Blu-ray when they're likely to be comfortable with the DVD player they already have?

"We had the same response with VHS. When we were going to DVD, a lot of people said: `Why? I love my VHS.' Lo and behold, DVD grew as a success and people realised it was great and they loved the disc.

"So then, why Blu-ray? First and foremost because of high-definition television. Obviously, in Australia people are really starting to pick up with the purchase of the big TVs with high-definition. Certainly in the US it's up to over 30 per cent of people now who have a high-def TV. People everywhere now want a high def TV. But of course, DVD is not in high-def, and if you just bought this glorious new TV, then surely you want to watch things that are in high definition.

"Blu-ray provides the best delivery vehicle for the best high-definition pictures, so that's just one thing. The vision is first and foremost. You know, in the US there's now a Sunrise channel you watch a sunrise. And it's popular. You know why? Because it's in high-definition, people love it.

Are people with new high-definition televisions using them to their full capabilities? If not, is Blu-ray the solution?

"You think about us as people and in relation to television, it takes two of our most acute senses (sight and hearing) and to have high-def TV come alive. People just say: `Wow.' People have found watching high definition just quite the experience.

"When it comes to Blu-ray, what they notice is that it's even better. But the problem with high def-through other sources like cable, satellite etc is that it could be good high-definition, but it may well be compressed. Because they're trying to fit so many channels through that cable or satellite, that high-def signal may not be optimal. We don't want to disparage that because we have lots of partners in CNN, ABC, and they deliver a good picture. But nevertheless, the cable companies and the satellite carriers are trying to squeeze all these channels onto one pipe.

"When it comes to Blu-ray, we know the delivery mechanism. We have this player and we don't have to worry about getting squeezed with other people. We have a dedicated disc, so as a result we know exactly the picture you're going to see; we get to control it.

"The only way to guarantee seeing the picture we want you to see it on Blu-ray. Essentially, we control the mechanism from end to end. From disc to player. And hopefully you have a good cable and high-definition TV, and then you're set.

"One of the important things in which we're trying to educate people is, yes, there's good high-def ... and then there's great high-def. And don't you want to take advantage of the new TV you've just bought to its full capacity? You may be missing 30 per cent of the high definition picture you should be getting."

So, you think people are unaware of what they can achieve with their high definition TVs?



"I think if you were to ask how many people love high-def TV, I think everyone would raise their hands, right? If you asked them if they would be surprised to learn they weren't enjoying the full capabilities of a high-def TV, they would say: `What are you talking about?' Then you explain this whole process to them and they realise they need Blu-ray, because they want the best picture. They may have thought they were watching the best picture, so that's part of our store.

"I guess people look at this war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD as similar to the one that took place between Beta and VHS."

But is Blu-ray winning the battle?

"We believe so and have put our support with Blu-ray at this time and that's because largely it has the better specifications. It can deliver a better picture because of the bit rate, beyond the fact that the disc has more capacity. So there's two different discs - Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Blu-ray, the dual layer, holds 50 gigabytes of data. The dual layer HD-DVD holds 30. So when you want the best picture, would you rather have 50 gigabytes of information or 30?

"So we found this meant Blu-ray had the room for the best picture and sound. The other thing it has is what we call a peak bit rate. What this is is how much data can you send over a pipe in a given second. Blu-ray can send 40Gb of information per second. HD-DVD can only do 29. So when you have an action scene and you have all this information on the screen - you've got fire, you've got people running about - you need to use so much bit rate. You have all this stuff happening and you suddenly need all this information to be sent through. Blu-ray has less limitations, so that's another benefit. It has space and it has space in the pipes.
"So that's why we threw our weight around Blu-ray. To your point about what will happen and will there eventually be a single best format? We believe so and we believe it will be Blu-ray. The sales suggest it. If you look at the sales in Australia, Blu-ray is clearly outselling HD-DVD by far and the number of manufacturers is a lot larger for Blu-ray. So we think over time Blu-ray will emerge as the single format. And we think that's best for consumers. Consumers have said that, too.

"Blu-ray offers the better technology for us to deliver the best high-definition experience. We chose this because of these merits.

"Of course, beyond the picture and sound, we believe there are a lot of interactive features that people will like with regards to Blu-ray DVDs."

"We have so many ideas ... basically Blu-ray has an input and output interface like a computer and normal DVDs can't do things like the Liar's Dice game in the special features of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, for example. We still love DVD of course, but clearly Blu-ray is the future."

The biggest issues with people in general would have to be the price. Will it come down soon and be a little more accessible for the average consumer?

"I think so. You saw it with DVD and then the DVD recorders ... I can't speak for the other companies, but with technology you will see prices always come down. High-definition TVs have come down and the price of hardware will come down and certainly Blu-ray software will come down: it's inevitable.

"But we're still in the early stages. It's only just over a year now since we started Blu-ray and we've had a fair bit of success thus far, so we're optimistic."

Will Blu-ray become an all-in one future entertainment unit in that it will play movies, record movies, play games, download TV shows from the internet etc?

"It's a very good question. Yes and no. Blu-ray for Sony Playstation 3 was certainly the platform. So it will be a delivery mechanism for Sony Playstation 3. So for those people enjoying playing Sony Playstation 3 games, Blu-ray will be their solution.

"Obviously we believe Blu-ray will emerge as the best format to watch movies on high-definition. In terms of downloading, I think that's an interesting question because Blu-ray has the ability with things like BD Live, a feature which allows it to stream live content into your machine. So in the next year you might see an opportunity where you can pop in a disc and we tell you: `Hey, tune in Friday at 2pm and watch the movie with the world as Johnny Depp watches Pirates with you.' And then we may even have a little contest - for example: `People in the northern hemisphere watching this movie, we're going to have a little trivia contest about Pirates. You're Team A and the southern hemisphere is Team B.' You could have this global competition and we could have results. It could be like: `Wow, the people in Australia know more about Pirates than the Yankees in the US.'

"So we could have fun little live competitions, right? We're communal, and I think that's why people like going to the movie theatres because they like sharing the movie experience. There's no reason why Blu-ray, with a live connection, you can't be watching the movie and interacting and participating at the same time.

"There are certainly digital capabilities and opportunities. However, in saying that, I don't think Blu-ray will ever be a computer. I think if you have internet needs and general computer needs, you're going to use your computer. We think Blu-ay will most certainly viewed by people as a great, high-definition movie device."
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...006023,00.html

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Last edited by samcan07; 08-11-2007 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by samcan07 View Post
SCOTT PODMORE tracks down Disney's Gordon Ho in Los Angeles for the lowdown on Blu-ray technology



Why should people spend their hard-earned money and upgrade to Blu-ray when they're likely to be comfortable with the DVD player they already have?

"We had the same response with VHS. When we were going to DVD, a lot of people said: `Why? I love my VHS.' Lo and behold, DVD grew as a success and people realised it was great and they loved the disc.

"So then, why Blu-ray? First and foremost because of high-definition television. Obviously, in Australia people are really starting to pick up with the purchase of the big TVs with high-definition. Certainly in the US it's up to over 30 per cent of people now who have a high-def TV. People everywhere now want a high def TV. But of course, DVD is not in high-def, and if you just bought this glorious new TV, then surely you want to watch things that are in high definition.

"Blu-ray provides the best delivery vehicle for the best high-definition pictures, so that's just one thing. The vision is first and foremost. You know, in the US there's now a Sunrise channel you watch a sunrise. And it's popular. You know why? Because it's in high-definition, people love it.

Are people with new high-definition televisions using them to their full capabilities? If not, is Blu-ray the solution?

"You think about us as people and in relation to television, it takes two of our most acute senses (sight and hearing) and to have high-def TV come alive. People just say: `Wow.' People have found watching high definition just quite the experience.

"When it comes to Blu-ray, what they notice is that it's even better. But the problem with high def-through other sources like cable, satellite etc is that it could be good high-definition, but it may well be compressed. Because they're trying to fit so many channels through that cable or satellite, that high-def signal may not be optimal. We don't want to disparage that because we have lots of partners in CNN, ABC, and they deliver a good picture. But nevertheless, the cable companies and the satellite carriers are trying to squeeze all these channels onto one pipe.

BD is compressed also - about 95%

"When it comes to Blu-ray, we know the delivery mechanism. We have this player and we don't have to worry about getting squeezed with other people. We have a dedicated disc, so as a result we know exactly the picture you're going to see; we get to control it.

"The only way to guarantee seeing the picture we want you to see it on Blu-ray. Essentially, we control the mechanism from end to end. From disc to player. And hopefully you have a good cable and high-definition TV, and then you're set.

"One of the important things in which we're trying to educate people is, yes, there's good high-def ... and then there's great high-def. And don't you want to take advantage of the new TV you've just bought to its full capacity? You may be missing 30 per cent of the high definition picture you should be getting."

Where did this 30% come from?

So, you think people are unaware of what they can achieve with their high definition TVs?

"I think if you were to ask how many people love high-def TV, I think everyone would raise their hands, right? If you asked them if they would be surprised to learn they weren't enjoying the full capabilities of a high-def TV, they would say: `What are you talking about?' Then you explain this whole process to them and they realise they need Blu-ray, because they want the best picture. They may have thought they were watching the best picture, so that's part of our store.

What about the people with the 720P and 768P HDTV displays - they are not going to get great HD?

"I guess people look at this war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD as similar to the one that took place between Beta and VHS."

But is Blu-ray winning the battle?

"We believe so and have put our support with Blu-ray at this time and that's because largely it has the better specifications. It can deliver a better picture because of the bit rate, beyond the fact that the disc has more capacity. So there's two different discs - Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Blu-ray, the dual layer, holds 50 gigabytes of data. The dual layer HD-DVD holds 30. So when you want the best picture, would you rather have 50 gigabytes of information or 30?

"So we found this meant Blu-ray had the room for the best picture and sound. The other thing it has is what we call a peak bit rate. What this is is how much data can you send over a pipe in a given second. Blu-ray can send 40Gb of information per second. HD-DVD can only do 29. So when you have an action scene and you have all this information on the screen - you've got fire, you've got people running about - you need to use so much bit rate. You have all this stuff happening and you suddenly need all this information to be sent through. Blu-ray has less limitations, so that's another benefit. It has space and it has space in the pipes.
"So that's why we threw our weight around Blu-ray. To your point about what will happen and will there eventually be a single best format? We believe so and we believe it will be Blu-ray. The sales suggest it. If you look at the sales in Australia, Blu-ray is clearly outselling HD-DVD by far and the number of manufacturers is a lot larger for Blu-ray. So we think over time Blu-ray will emerge as the single format. And we think that's best for consumers. Consumers have said that, too.

"Blu-ray offers the better technology for us to deliver the best high-definition experience. We chose this because of these merits.

Please name BD movie that is "much better" than King Kong or The Hulk?

"Of course, beyond the picture and sound, we believe there are a lot of interactive features that people will like with regards to Blu-ray DVDs."

What interactive features? Dual Stream PIP? Web Enable? - no

"We have so many ideas ... basically Blu-ray has an input and output interface like a computer and normal DVDs can't do things like the Liar's Dice game in the special features of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, for example. We still love DVD of course, but clearly Blu-ray is the future."

Everyone seen the the YouTube video on Liar's Dice? - LOL

The biggest issues with people in general would have to be the price. Will it come down soon and be a little more accessible for the average consumer?

"I think so. You saw it with DVD and then the DVD recorders ... I can't speak for the other companies, but with technology you will see prices always come down. High-definition TVs have come down and the price of hardware will come down and certainly Blu-ray software will come down: it's inevitable.

But right now BD is 2X as much as HD DVD

"But we're still in the early stages. It's only just over a year now since we started Blu-ray and we've had a fair bit of success thus far, so we're optimistic."

Without the PS3 you would be selling HD DVD's Disney

Will Blu-ray become an all-in one future entertainment unit in that it will play movies, record movies, play games, download TV shows from the internet etc?

"It's a very good question. Yes and no. Blu-ray for Sony Playstation 3 was certainly the platform. So it will be a delivery mechanism for Sony Playstation 3. So for those people enjoying playing Sony Playstation 3 games, Blu-ray will be their solution.

"Obviously we believe Blu-ray will emerge as the best format to watch movies on high-definition. In terms of downloading, I think that's an interesting question because Blu-ray has the ability with things like BD Live, a feature which allows it to stream live content into your machine. So in the next year you might see an opportunity where you can pop in a disc and we tell you: `Hey, tune in Friday at 2pm and watch the movie with the world as Johnny Depp watches Pirates with you.' And then we may even have a little contest - for example: `People in the northern hemisphere watching this movie, we're going to have a little trivia contest about Pirates. You're Team A and the southern hemisphere is Team B.' You could have this global competition and we could have results. It could be like: `Wow, the people in Australia know more about Pirates than the Yankees in the US.'

Profile 2.0 (BD Live)? What about Profile 1.1?

"So we could have fun little live competitions, right? We're communal, and I think that's why people like going to the movie theatres because they like sharing the movie experience. There's no reason why Blu-ray, with a live connection, you can't be watching the movie and interacting and participating at the same time.

"There are certainly digital capabilities and opportunities. However, in saying that, I don't think Blu-ray will ever be a computer. I think if you have internet needs and general computer needs, you're going to use your computer. We think Blu-ay will most certainly viewed by people as a great, high-definition movie device."

I thought BD wanted to be part of the Enterprise system - he thinks not?

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...006023,00.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sam - nice article - really pro BD - just needed to correct a few things - stop the spin so others can see what's what. Hope you do the same with a pro HD DVD article
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #3
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Sam - nice article - really pro BD - just needed to correct a few things - stop the spin so others can see what's what. Hope you do the same with a pro HD DVD article
I thought you post enough of the HD DVD stuff. This is letting people know why Disney went Blu. And I don't agree with all your corrections especiaslly the without the PS3... without the PS3 BluRay would have had something else up there sleeve, but as is there is a ps3 and it's a beauty!!!!


P.S. I also did a post on Universal's Kornblau Wants Format War to Continue here....
Sam's Blu Ray blogathon!!!!

So I'm giving info on both sides!!!!!!



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Old 08-11-2007, 07:56 PM   #4
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"We had the same response with VHS. When we were going to DVD, a lot of people said: `Why? I love my VHS.' Lo and behold, DVD grew as a success and people realised it was great and they loved the disc.

--
But I don't think the reason was picture quality any more than CD was sound quality. Digital is easier to handle and random access. For CD, no record cleaning, no snap and pop, no turning the record over. Instant track selection. Same with cassette tape. No rewinding. No problem finding a track in the middle of the album, no broken tapes.

Same with video. DVD did the same thing for tape that CD did - random access, no broken tape, no rewinding etc. etc.

I truly believe it is the convenience of digital that allowed it to replace analog media, not quality.

HD discs offer nothing over DVD except quality and isn't enough to win consumers over. It never has been.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:10 AM   #5
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I think the only real reason Disney gave for going blu-ray was that "blu-ray was winning" and that the bitrate can be higher.

I won't argue with blu-ray winning. I will argue with the bitrate. I have yet to see this truly make a difference.

Its probably like arguing over how much better a 3.0 Ghz processor will be than a 2.8Ghz processor. Without performing special tests, you'll never see a visible difference.
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:22 AM   #6
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I thought you post enough of the HD DVD stuff. This is letting people know why Disney went Blu. And I don't agree with all your corrections especiaslly the without the PS3... without the PS3 BluRay would have had something else up there sleeve, but as is there is a ps3 and it's a beauty!!!!


P.S. I also did a post on Universal's Kornblau Wants Format War to Continue here....
Sam's Blu Ray blogathon!!!!

So I'm giving info on both sides!!!!!!


Sam:

Over 90% of BD players are PS3's. There was nothing "up their sleeve" that would have allowed BD to drop 2 million players into the market in a 30 day period.

The Gen1 BD players were $1000 and up while the HD DVD players were $500 and $800.

I know you are a BD fan. But it does help to put your feet on the ground once in a while. No PS3 - no BD format. Just a simple fact that is. Can't change the past and the future is not yet written. Just remember that famous line from Blade Runner . . .

"The light that burns twice as bright . . . burns half as long."
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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Sam:

Over 90% of BD players are PS3's. There was nothing "up their sleeve" that would have allowed BD to drop 2 million players into the market in a 30 day period.

The Gen1 BD players were $1000 and up while the HD DVD players were $500 and $800.

I know you are a BD fan. But it does help to put your feet on the ground once in a while. No PS3 - no BD format. Just a simple fact that is. Can't change the past and the future is not yet written. Just remember that famous line from Blade Runner . . .

"The light that burns twice as bright . . . burns half as long."
No I don't believe your reasoning. I think If there was no PS3, Sony would have done something else to make BluRay competitive. They just wouldn't lie down and go away...just as Tosh aren't!!!!
But that doesn't matter as there is PS3. And Blu stand alones are starting to sell.

I can't believe someone could say No PS3 no bluRay. (No Toshiba No HD DVD)!!!! Just a silly statement.

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Old 08-12-2007, 08:35 AM   #8
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The only thing Sony could have done if there was no PS3 that I can think of, is exactly what Toshiba have been doing to combat the PS3 effect. Drop prices
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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Let me add to fmw's comments on why DVD replaced VHS. I was reasonably satisfied with VHS until I sat down to watch my Star Wars VHS tapes and found that I had picture and sound problems. It was an expensive set to buy and I was not a happy camper.

DVDs were like CDs - they had the potential to outlive the viewer, plus there was no tape breaking or rewinding (mentioned by fmw). And the picture would look the same the first day viewed and 10 years later. One additional benefit - picture & sound were much better on my existing equipment.

I don't think the comparison works for SD-DVD vs either high def format. The picture IS somewhat better (and the sound a lot better) on the HD-DVD movies I watch, but not as eyepopping (IMO) as the VHS to DVD move.

I own HD-DVD because the player price was down to an "acceptable" level. I will eventually own a BD player as well, when the standards are finalized and the price reaches a more acceptable level.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:23 AM   #10
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Sam - nice article - really pro BD - just needed to correct a few things - stop the spin so others can see what's what. Hope you do the same with a pro HD DVD article
I thought you didn't do editorials, Stewart.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:30 AM   #11
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I thought you didn't do editorials, Stewart.
Writing an editorial versus editoralizing a post is two different things.

Vote yet GLOW?

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Old 08-12-2007, 11:35 AM   #12
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"People everywhere now want a high def TV."

My own experience is somewhat different to Mr Ho's. The majority of people I know who 'upgraded' to an HD-TV did so for aesthetic reasons. With their new wall mounted flat screens being infinitely more attractive than the old CRT's that used to sit in the corner of their rooms.

Of the dozen or so aforementioned people only 3 have a HD source, with two of those being games consoles. Several of the others have seen HD-movies at my house yet have managed to resist buying their own BD/HD-DVD player.
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:19 PM   #13
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This guy sounds like an idiot. He's probably not but when you tow the company line like the paid shill you are, credibility is a distant afterthrought.
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