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Old 01-30-2008, 04:34 AM   #91
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Sorry Chris. Hatt beat you to it with a lot less words.

I will say this though. It is funny that you use the (ever creeping) studio support argument to base the market on as a whole and what segment U/P/D are left out of. Fuzzy math must feel reall funny.
Yes, but he didn't state everything I stated, just the meaningful stuff. I didn't use the studio support for my 80%. It was just a round figure I used for an estimate of hardware in consumer's hands in the US which I believe is now about 6-1. Selling to the 1 is missing out on about 85% of the player base. I understand much of the 80% isn't buying Blu-ray discs, but recently the software sales is close to 80% Blu-ray also. I guess you could state hardware, software sales, studio support, marketshare, retail shelf space and just about any other comparative figures in the US are now at about 80% Blu-ray currently and would be close enough for discussion of these issues.

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Old 01-30-2008, 04:42 AM   #92
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Earlier you were saying that Toshiba producing a dual format player is a good idea, then several posts later you are suggesting the idea is a poor one?

HD DVD may not be popular with major studios but may survive due to smaller production companies using the format. Who knows. Either way a dual format player is a good idea which is the main thing. Sometimes you seem to argue just for the sake of it!
It is a pitiful idea if fighting the format war is the goal. If the goal is to provide hardware for the tiny group that has HD DVD software and provide a way for that group to join the Blu-ray mainstream, it might be a product that would sell enough to be profitable and be a good business idea. That product would be priced at above Blu-ray player prices and be profitable or would be a stupid idea as well.

I don't know if there is a sufficient market to justify another Blu-ray/HD DVD player, Toshiba gets to figure that one out. I am just saying there might be particularly if the Samsung and LG players don't provide what that market segment wants.

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Old 01-30-2008, 05:04 AM   #93
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Earlier you were saying that Toshiba producing a dual format player is a good idea, then several posts later you are suggesting the idea is a poor one?

HD DVD may not be popular with major studios but may survive due to smaller production companies using the format. Who knows. Either way a dual format player is a good idea which is the main thing. Sometimes you seem to argue just for the sake of it!
Let the smaller production companies have HD DVD. How long do you think they will survive? What replicators will they have in their back pockets? HD DVD is good on paper as a transition from DVD to HD. Maybe, just maybe, the general public is getting ready to go HD - and forgo DVD. This is Toshibas worst nighmare. DVD sales are dwindling and HD sales are increasing. The best thing Toshiba can do at this point is to swallow the loss and start producing BD players.
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:42 AM   #94
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Replicators are not really a problem. Its a $30,000 mod to enable DVD pressing plants to produce HD DVD versus a 1.5 million dollar investment to produce blu ray presses which can NEVER be used for DVD, the biggest format of them all.

The problem for HD DVD is one of demand for software. If enough players are out there and the demand is there then software will be manufactured. I don't know a soul who ever owned Laser and yet it did well enough to survive for over a decade so even though the demand was small it was there and there was enough of it to keep the format going.

I thinks its all going to depend upon how well HD DVD players sell over the next few months. It isn't over yet though!
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:53 AM   #95
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Oh man... I thought I was doing so well communicating the validity of my idea, and people were starting to get it, and then they forgot some key things and slid off the rails.

The idea behind Toshiba producing a dual format player (and selling them at HD-DVD player prices) is to make an item that is more compelling to consumers than anything else on the market so far. It is more compelling than Blu-ray-only players, and more compelling than HD-DVD-only players, because it plays everything, and it is inexpensive. People can go ahead and buy that Panasonic Blu-ray-only player for three times the price... but they would have to be pretty anti-HD-DVD to pass up the Toshiba model that can do everything, at a price that allows them to buy three. The idea is for Toshiba to eat everyone else's lunch. The idea is to make it retail suicide for anyone else to offer players that only play one format. The idea is to force every other CE to respond in kind and also offer dual format players to one-up Toshiba, or get out of the HDM business. The idea is to cement HD-DVD into the market permanently.

That absolutely does not create a situation where Universal and Paramount have to support Blu-ray. How would it? Where did that even come from? It is exactly the opposite.

If things continue as they are, and Toshiba doesn't offer a dual format player, then Universal and Paramount will be forced to go neutral eventually. When retail stores begin dropping HD-DVD, what that really means is that Universal and Paramount can't get their HD movies on retail shelves. When that apocalypse happens, guess who's going Blu.

Toshiba cementing HD-DVD in place with an effective product, by supporting Blu-ray, by playing both sides, or however you want to put it, ensures that Universal and Paramount never have to go neutral. If Uni and Para want to stick to HD-DVD and never support Blu-ray, they want Toshiba to support Blu-ray. They want all hardware manufacturers to put the two formats together so neither goes away. Such a thing paves the way for other studios to release titles on HD-DVD at their discretion. Remember how I said that the CE industry switching to dual format ends the war. Please grasp what ending the war means. It means there's no more East and West Germany, so to speak. It's all the same thing. It means that Universal and Paramount could stay in the HDM game and would have zero (as in, zero) reason whatsoever to ever release anything on Blu-ray, ever, if they didn't want to. And even if they did, nobody would ever know the difference. Likewise if Disney, Fox, or even Sony, ever released titles on HD-DVD. It wouldn't matter. Studios being neutral would mean that they would release some titles on HD-DVD, and some titles on Blu-ray, but never the same titles on both. Every title would be 'exclusive' to one format or the other, as it were. If every player in people's homes played both formats, no title would ever be released on both. Isn't that fairly obvious?

Yes, it would mean that single format players would be obsolete, much to the chagrin of PS3 owners who use it for movies. No wonder this idea freaks them out so much.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #96
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Really, I like your idea Dare. But it would depend mainly on if Paramount and Universal like it, too. One thing is certain though, those two studios have to stay exclusive to HD DVD for cheap dual format players to be a hot item.

I have often thought that studios can gain by a dual format world like you stated, by choosing their format and thus fostering a competitive royalty system. They'll pay less royalties because there's no monopoly. Formats will always be competing for their content. Also, in the end, studios can replicate in either format, depending on the content within the studio. Both formats offer unique advantages and thus the studios (and hence, consumer) would reap the best of both format's advantages.

It's still very early in both of the format's life cycle, but if dual format is to become the norm, speed is at an essence and prices and availability of DF players needs to happens before the market gets too saturated with single format players (of course those owners would just have to use to players or get a DF player eventually).
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:11 AM   #97
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Really, I like your idea Dare. But it would depend mainly on if Paramount and Universal like it, too. One thing is certain though, those two studios have to stay exclusive to HD DVD for cheap dual format players to be a hot item.

I have often thought that studios can gain by a dual format world like you stated, by choosing their format and thus fostering a competitive royalty system. They'll pay less royalties because there's no monopoly. Formats will always be competing for their content. Also, in the end, studios can replicate in either format, depending on the content within the studio. Both formats offer unique advantages and thus the studios (and hence, consumer) would reap the best of both format's advantages.

It's still very early in both of the format's life cycle, but if dual format is to become the norm, speed is at an essence and prices and availability of DF players needs to happens before the market gets too saturated with single format players (of course those owners would just have to use to players or get a DF player eventually).
Totally agree. Toshiba, Universal and Paramount would have to communicate with each other and understand each other completely before Toshiba does something like this, if they would. All three would benefit in their own ways.

But it does have to be done quickly, or they might as well not bother. I don't think they'll piss off a lot of consumers who already bought players, because I bet there's a lot of overlap in format ownership (in other words, lots of users are already format neutral), and making the players cheap cushions the blow significantly for those who aren't.

If they wait too long, and Uni and Para go neutral, dual format players are out the window. Nobody will need them. If they want to keep HD-DVD, they need to stick with it exclusively while Toshiba creates an environment that allows them to keep it indefinitely.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:17 AM   #98
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Oh man... I thought I was doing so well communicating the validity of my idea, and people were starting to get it, and then they forgot some key things and slid off the rails.

The idea behind Toshiba producing a dual format player (and selling them at HD-DVD player prices) is to make an item that is more compelling to consumers than anything else on the market so far. It is more compelling than Blu-ray-only players, and more compelling than HD-DVD-only players, because it plays everything, and it is inexpensive. People can go ahead and buy that Panasonic Blu-ray-only player for three times the price... but they would have to be pretty anti-HD-DVD to pass up the Toshiba model that can do everything, at a price that allows them to buy three. The idea is for Toshiba to eat everyone else's lunch. The idea is to make it retail suicide for anyone else to offer players that only play one format. The idea is to force every other CE to respond in kind and also offer dual format players to one-up Toshiba, or get out of the HDM business. The idea is to cement HD-DVD into the market permanently.

That absolutely does not create a situation where Universal and Paramount have to support Blu-ray. How would it? Where did that even come from? It is exactly the opposite.

If things continue as they are, and Toshiba doesn't offer a dual format player, then Universal and Paramount will be forced to go neutral eventually. When retail stores begin dropping HD-DVD, what that really means is that Universal and Paramount can't get their HD movies on retail shelves. When that apocalypse happens, guess who's going Blu.

Toshiba cementing HD-DVD in place with an effective product, by supporting Blu-ray, by playing both sides, or however you want to put it, ensures that Universal and Paramount never have to go neutral. If Uni and Para want to stick to HD-DVD and never support Blu-ray, they want Toshiba to support Blu-ray. They want all hardware manufacturers to put the two formats together so neither goes away. Such a thing paves the way for other studios to release titles on HD-DVD at their discretion. Remember how I said that the CE industry switching to dual format ends the war. Please grasp what ending the war means. It means there's no more East and West Germany, so to speak. It's all the same thing. It means that Universal and Paramount could stay in the HDM game and would have zero (as in, zero) reason whatsoever to ever release anything on Blu-ray, ever, if they didn't want to. And even if they did, nobody would ever know the difference. Likewise if Disney, Fox, or even Sony, ever released titles on HD-DVD. It wouldn't matter. Studios being neutral would mean that they would release some titles on HD-DVD, and some titles on Blu-ray, but never the same titles on both. Every title would be 'exclusive' to one format or the other, as it were. If every player in people's homes played both formats, no title would ever be released on both. Isn't that fairly obvious?

Yes, it would mean that single format players would be obsolete, much to the chagrin of PS3 owners who use it for movies. No wonder this idea freaks them out so much.
I have read it, can't I just disagree? I frankly hope Toshiba does try it, but I know Toshiba won't use a dual format player to try to continue the format war. There will be no dual format player from Toshiba until Toshiba admits defeat and offers the player for a transition for their tiny base of loyal HD DVD customers. Once again here is the problem as I see it with your plan and I will start with the relevant quote as everything else you believe won't matter.

Quote:
The idea behind Toshiba producing a dual format player (and selling them at HD-DVD player prices) is to make an item that is more compelling to consumers than anything else on the market so far.

Suggesting that Toshiba throw in a free Blu-ray player with each HD DVD player sold would certainly sell players, don't get me wrong. What it won't do is cause survival of HD DVD. With each Blu-ray player sold, the market becomes more lopsided in favor of Blu-ray and with each Blu-ray/HD DVD player sold, nothing has been gained by HD DVD. Right now we have approximately 10 million Blu-ray capable players and 1 million HD DVD capable players worldwide. If Toshiba sells dual format players at HD DVD player prices, nobody is going to buy a straight HD DVD player. This time next year, what we will have is 20,000,000 Blu-ray capable players and 2,000,000 HD DVD players and half of the 2,000,000 HD DVD players will also play Blu-ray. What company is going to market to the 1,000,000 players that can only play HD DVD? I can tell you, no company will, all will release Blu-ray software only period.

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:31 AM   #99
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Suggesting that Toshiba throw in a free Blu-ray player with each HD DVD player sold would certainly sell players, don't get me wrong. What it won't do is cause survival of HD DVD. With each Blu-ray player sold, the market becomes more lopsided in favor of Blu-ray and with each Blu-ray/HD DVD player sold, nothing has been gained by HD DVD. Right now we have approximately 10 million Blu-ray capable players and 1 million HD DVD capable players worldwide. If Toshiba sells dual format players at HD DVD player prices, nobody is going to buy a straight HD DVD player. This time next year, what we will have is 20,000,000 Blu-ray capable players and 2,000,000 HD DVD players and half of the 2,000,000 HD DVD players will also play Blu-ray. What company is going to market to the 1,000,000 players that can only play HD DVD? I can tell you, no company will, all will release Blu-ray software only period.

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I disagree. Here's the chain of events I see happening if Toshiba comes out with a $300 dual format player and Paramount and Universal actually want dual format to happen and hence stay exclusive.

1) A lot of people will buy these dual format players

2) fewer people will buy HD DVD only players

3) fewer people will buy Blu-ray players

4) events 2 and 3 will cause other manufacterers to make dual format players

5) single format players are phased out as they become obsolete

6) studios replicate on whichever format works best for them, based on many factors such as cost, performance, content requirements, royalty concerns and incentives, thus benefiting both the consumer and industry.

You can harp all you want about 20 million PS3 players out there, but they will be obsolete as HDM devices if they can't play all available HDM content. At the most, they'll be 1/2 of a dual format player.

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:33 AM   #100
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Really, I like your idea Dare. But it would depend mainly on if Paramount and Universal like it, too. One thing is certain though, those two studios have to stay exclusive to HD DVD for cheap dual format players to be a hot item.

I have often thought that studios can gain by a dual format world like you stated, by choosing their format and thus fostering a competitive royalty system. They'll pay less royalties because there's no monopoly. Formats will always be competing for their content. Also, in the end, studios can replicate in either format, depending on the content within the studio. Both formats offer unique advantages and thus the studios (and hence, consumer) would reap the best of both format's advantages.

It's still very early in both of the format's life cycle, but if dual format is to become the norm, speed is at an essence and prices and availability of DF players needs to happens before the market gets too saturated with single format players (of course those owners would just have to use to players or get a DF player eventually).
I am sorry, it is not early in each format's life cycle. When I was 2, I had a dog, also 2. That dog has been dead well over 40 years. HD DVD may only be a few months older than Blu-ray, but HD DVD is already 15 in dog years.

Before just assuming that Paramount and Universal would need to stay HD DVD exclusive with this new dual format Toshiba future, ask yourself why the companies would choose to do so. Would Toshiba pay $100,000,000 each year to each for exclusive support? If so, why? Selling dual format players at HD DVD player prices would be money losing proposition as well. As far as I know neither Universal or Paramount stand to gain anything from selling HD DVD software other than just the traditional profits from selling software. There can be none at this point.

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:37 AM   #101
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I disagree. Here's the chain of events I see happening if Toshiba comes out with a $300 dual format player and Paramount and Universal actually want dual format to happen and hence stay exclusive.

1) A lot of people will buy these dual format players

2) fewer people will buy HD DVD only players

3) fewer people will buy Blu-ray players

4) events 2 and 3 will cause other manufacterers to make dual format players

5) single format players are phased out as they become obsolete

6) studios replicate on whichever format works best for them, based on many factors such as cost, performance, content requirements, royalty concerns and incentives, thus benefiting both the consumer and industry.
One big flaw is that the PS3 will continue to dominate sales, it does so much and does everything it does well and does it at $400, a much better bargain for most than a dual format Blu-ray/HD DVD player at any possible price, even $300 or less.

We may as well talk about walking outside and trying to catch money falling from the sky as talk about Toshiba selling Blu-ray/HD DVD players at HD DVD player prices. Either event is equally likely to happen.

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Old 01-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #102
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I am sorry, it is not early in each format's life cycle. When I was 2, I had a dog, also 2. That dog has been dead well over 40 years. HD DVD may only be a few months older than Blu-ray, but HD DVD is already 15 in dog years.

Before just assuming that Paramount and Universal would need to stay HD DVD exclusive with this new dual format Toshiba future, ask yourself why the companies would choose to do so. Would Toshiba pay $100,000,000 each year to each for exclusive support? If so, why? Selling dual format players at HD DVD player prices would be money losing proposition as well. As far as I know neither Universal or Paramount stand to gain anything from selling HD DVD software other than just the traditional profits from selling software. There can be none at this point.

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It's not so early time-wise in the format war, but it is penetration-wise. DVD still has 98% of the market if I'm not mistaken. So there is still a lot of water needed to fill the pool.

I don't think Toshiba would need to pay 100 million each to Para/Uni every year. At least, not any more than the BDA would have to pay their studios to remain exclusive. But if it comes down to that, then Sony will be the major contributor and once again we play the bleeding game and I like HD DVD's chances there.

This push for a dual format world would only be made if studios like Paramount and Universal actually wanted it. Or at least, they felt it would be preferable to a Blu-ray win. Only the studios know what they want, so whatever will be will be.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #103
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One big flaw is that the PS3 will continue to dominate sales, it does so much and does everything it does well and does it at $400, a much better bargain for most than a dual format Blu-ray/HD DVD player at any possible price, even $300 or less.

We may as well talk about walking outside and trying to catch money falling from the sky as talk about Toshiba selling Blu-ray/HD DVD players at HD DVD player prices. Either event is equally likely to happen.

Chris
I agree it's not likely to happen because both Toshiba and their two exclusive studios would have to agree and furthermore be commited to making it work. But if they did that, I have no doubt that it would work. What choice would everybody have? What choice does the consumer have about which HDM format Sony's movies are on?

It's all about perception. If consumers see that HD DVD is not going anywhere and that Universal and Paramount will stay exclusive indefinitely, then the perception becomes dual format. Therefore, dual format players are seen as the end product of this format war and it all snowballs from there. Cheap dual format players and an exclusivity commitment from Para/Uni will get the snowball rolling really fast.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #104
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I agree it's not likely to happen because both Toshiba and their two exclusive studios would have to agree and furthermore be commited to making it work. But if they did that, I have no doubt that it would work. What choice would everybody have? What choice does the consumer have about which HDM format Sony's movies are on?

It's all about perception. If consumers see that HD DVD is not going anywhere and that Universal and Paramount will stay exclusive indefinitely, then the perception becomes dual format. Therefore, dual format players are seen as the end product of this format war and it all snowballs from there. Cheap dual format players and an exclusivity commitment from Para/Uni will get the snowball rolling really fast.
No, you get to believe whatever you want but that scenario doesn't fly. The Blu-ray player base is so much bigger and for only two studios that isn't going to happen. Of course it is silly to assume Paramount and Universal will agree to that and even sillier to assume Toshiba will offer dual format players at HD DVD player prices. I can talk about who might win a fight to spend the night with me, Halle Berry or Kate Beckinsale, but that would be a really silly scenario to discuss. It is a million times more likely to happen than this scenario you propose.

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Old 01-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #105
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No, you get to believe whatever you want but that scenario doesn't fly. The PS3 player base is so much bigger and for only two studios that isn't going to happen. Of course it is silly to assume Paramount and Universal will agree to that and even sillier to assume Toshiba will offer dual format players at HD DVD player prices. I can talk about who might win a fight to spend the night with me, Halle Berry or Kate Beckinsale, but that would be a really silly scenario to discuss. It is a million times more likely to happen than this scenario you propose.

Chris
I had to change that to fit the facts.
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