High Def Forum
Thank you for visiting. This is our website archive. Please visit our main website by clicking the logo above.

Recent article discussing who is at fault in the Blu-ray/HD DVD war Internetnews.com

Chris Gerhard
04-19-2007, 06:03 AM
I couldn't find this posted here so thought I would provide a link.

http://www.internetnews.com/storage/article.php/11205_3671091_1

Chris

bruceames
04-19-2007, 08:08 AM
Yeah, really unbiased article.

While there are structural differences between the two, there's only one aspect that matters to the consumer: storage

I would say price and PQ are more important to the consumer than storage.

Noted Bill Hunt being quoted in the article. Few beat around the bush when trying to say something more than him and he appears to blame MS.

I don't think neither side is more to blame as both formats have been in development for a long time and I understand why neither format wanted to cave in because the whole thing is about money.

Besides, the competition has been good and the format war has been very interesting on the forums and both formats appear to be on their way to success. So, no point in being bitter and speculating on who's at fault well after the fact. Really no single "bad guy" as far as I'm concerned.

pmzangag
04-19-2007, 08:10 AM
Interesting quote: "Microsoft could want to hasten the demise of storage media so we can move to digital downloads via XBox Live."

I doubt that is the case, but any opinions on how long before downloading full length HD movies becomes mainstream?

bruceames
04-19-2007, 08:25 AM
Maybe 10 years, but I don't think it will ever be mainstream as many (such as myself) or even a majority want to have the physical media and the packaging. But it will definitely become an increasingly popular alternative but I don't think you'll ever see the B&Ms quit stocking movies.

I think Microsoft's biggest motive in the war has to do with the Xbox360 vs. PS3 rivalry rather than any supposed sabotage attempt in order to pave the way to future downloading sooner.

Chris Gerhard
04-19-2007, 08:27 AM
Yeah, really unbiased article.



I would say price and PQ are more important to the consumer than storage.

Noted Bill Hunt being quoted in the article. Few beat around the bush when trying to say something more than him and he appears to blame MS.

I don't think neither side is more to blame as both formats have been in development for a long time and I understand why neither format wanted to cave in because the whole thing is about money.

Besides, the competition has been good and the format war has been very interesting on the forums and both formats appear to be on their way to success. So, no point in being bitter and speculating on who's at fault well after the fact. Really no single "bad guy" as far as I'm concerned.

For the market segment that price is most important to, they stay with DVD. For the HDTV enthusiast, selection and quality are most important.

Chris

rmslives
04-19-2007, 08:34 AM
So either way, storage is NOT the only thing that matters.

If this were a discussion of which format is better for PC storage, sure. But right now, there are a ton of BD movies being released with little to no extras - what the hell good is the extra storage space when you are just providing the video and audio?

bruceames
04-19-2007, 08:35 AM
For the market segment that price is most important to, they stay with DVD. For the HDTV enthusiast, selection and quality are most important.

Chris

So where does that leave the HD DVD owners?

I just don't think the confusion caused by the format war is having such as damaging effect as many might believe. The formats are still in their infancy. Probably less than 20% own HDTVs and I would think at least 40-50% ownership is necessary for the HD formats to become mainstream. Heck, it will be Xmas 2008 before we approach that and it may be closer to 33% by then rather than 40%. I believe that by Xmas 2008 dual format players will start to take off (getting under $400 at least) rendering the whole format war moot.

BobY
04-19-2007, 10:06 AM
Consumers don't care in the slightest about storage capacity--the phrase is meaningless to them in the context of watching movies. If lower density storage was resulting in awful-looking movies or having to change discs, that would be an issue with consumers, but that's not happening with Hi-Def discs and it won't be.

To *enthusiasts*, selection and quality may be most important, but that's not what's most important to consumers and therefore is absolutely not what's most important to the manufacturers and studios. They didn't spend tens/hundreds of millions of dollars just to sell products to enthusiasts.

The CE world is littered with high-quality formats that are of no relevance to the consumer, as once consumers are satisfied with a particular quality at a particular price, they aren't very interested in paying much more for higher quality. The manufacturers are trying to create a groundswell movement toward HD in general to help them move away from low-margin commodity products like CRT's and DVD players. No one could seriously think the move toward HD is driven by consumer demand.

SLedford
04-19-2007, 10:32 AM
When DVD burners came out I was all excited - a lot more storage that CDs. Now years later, all I ever used the DVD burner for was to move my home movies to DVD. I have plenty of blank DVDs (and CDs) but don't really use them.

Storage means a lot to people downloading a lot of information from the internet, be it music, movies or porn. For the rest of the population, CDs probably work fine.

For me, price was what kept me out for around a year. If I hadn't needed a DVD player for my extra HD television (which now has the Denon hooked up), I would still be waiting for an affordable combo player.

IMPORTANT = Price, movie availability
NOT IMPORTANT = Storage

rbinck
04-19-2007, 10:51 AM
The article also forgot about the dual format players. That is where the war can be resolved.

Producers of the discs are not going to care about the format except to be able to sell them at a profit. Dual format players will remove the partial market issue. Look for them to be the answer as far as consumers are concerned.

As far as storage for PCs, they still sell tape backups - at a profit. In this day of super cheap hot swappable hard drives, who would think? If tape, CD, DVD, Blu-ray and hard drives can all be sold, why not HD DVDs and Blu-rays?

Chris Gerhard
04-19-2007, 11:06 AM
Consumers don't care in the slightest about storage capacity--the phrase is meaningless to them in the context of watching movies. If lower density storage was resulting in awful-looking movies or having to change discs, that would be an issue with consumers, but that's not happening with Hi-Def discs and it won't be.

To *enthusiasts*, selection and quality may be most important, but that's not what's most important to consumers and therefore is absolutely not what's most important to the manufacturers and studios. They didn't spend tens/hundreds of millions of dollars just to sell products to enthusiasts.

The CE world is littered with high-quality formats that are of no relevance to the consumer, as once consumers are satisfied with a particular quality at a particular price, they aren't very interested in paying much more for higher quality. The manufacturers are trying to create a groundswell movement toward HD in general to help them move away from low-margin commodity products like CRT's and DVD players. No one could seriously think the move toward HD is driven by consumer demand.

I disagree, the HD entusiast is definitely the relevant market for this product at this time. Unfortunately the enthusiasts I know are sitting this one out until a clear winner is apparent. Too many have been burned too many times to mess with these two. Go to Quadraphonicquad.com, Steve Hoffman's forum, Home Theater.com, etc etc and see the polls and posts about why a big group of early adopters are avoiding these two and surviving just fine with DVD.

Releases selling less than 10,000 time after time isn't going to translate to a great selection of software and profits for the companies involved. Has any HD DVD release sold over 20,000?

Chris

paulc
04-19-2007, 11:18 AM
Somehow I always thought Redmond was playing some kind of role here, certainly after early in the game Apple was clear they "favored" BD.

Not so sure about the "consumers don't care about storage" many are voicing. While not the ONLY factor, storage sure as hell played a big role in VHS "beating" beta.

As a computer person, obviously I'm more interested in BD as I do a lot of archiving (all my DVDs and CDs are "backed up" on DVD media). Capacity sure is an issue to me. My guess would be that it will also be a factor for "HD enthusiasts." And it's those guys that will be on the forefront for adopting new technology. "Uninformed" consumers generally tend to follow their acquaintances who are knowledgeable.

Still, as I have been clear about before, I've got only one wallet to vote with and it's NOT going to be opened for optical media until there is one and only one standard. I very reasonably fill my HD need from my cable TV service, and in the next year my guess is my choices there will dramatically increase. So, "those guys" need me more than I need them. So my message is "one and ONLY one format."

BobY
04-19-2007, 11:25 AM
Chris-

OK, we disagree.

I would think that we both agree the long term goal for both these formats is the mass consumer.

I think it's also clear the Toshiba is trying to appeal to more than just the early adopters and enthusiasts at this point, as more than just early adopters and enthusiasts are buying HDTV's currently.

I still don't think *anybody* (except a computer-oriented user) has storage capacity as their most important issue--at least not until someone demonstrates that Blu-Ray's (current) higher storage capacity translates into tangible improvements in picture quality.

I suspect most BD studios are not going to encode their films so they can't be easily ported to HD DVD in the event they decide to support HD DVD in the future. I don't think even if they did, there would be a significant enough improvement in picture quality to warrant spending more money, not even to enthusiasts. The extra capacity will likely be used only for additional special features, which is not a buying decision for most people. The only people it's going to matter to are those who buy products based on numbers printed in the marketing copy.

Paulc-

Totally different set of circumstances. When VCR's first came out, you couldn't fit a whole movie on a single tape for either format, so movie renting/owning was not relevant. That issue was quickly solved for both formats and a whole new industry of mass consumer Home Video was born.

What led to victory for VHS was longer *recording* time--people were using tapes to time-shift TV programs and wanted to be able to record with as little hassle as possible--longer recording time was a big benefit (no worries about running out of tape or having multiple cassettes to keep track of). The convenienece of VHS in that context outweighed the slightly better picture quality and slightly smaller cassette size of Beta. Once consumer's started tilting toward VHS, the studios, stores and rental shops, who didn't want to have to deal with two formats, began phasing out Beta, which led to a further tilt toward VHS for consumers.

Chris Gerhard
04-19-2007, 02:01 PM
Somehow I always thought Redmond was playing some kind of role here, certainly after early in the game Apple was clear they "favored" BD.

Not so sure about the "consumers don't care about storage" many are voicing. While not the ONLY factor, storage sure as hell played a big role in VHS "beating" beta.

As a computer person, obviously I'm more interested in BD as I do a lot of archiving (all my DVDs and CDs are "backed up" on DVD media). Capacity sure is an issue to me. My guess would be that it will also be a factor for "HD enthusiasts." And it's those guys that will be on the forefront for adopting new technology. "Uninformed" consumers generally tend to follow their acquaintances who are knowledgeable.

Still, as I have been clear about before, I've got only one wallet to vote with and it's NOT going to be opened for optical media until there is one and only one standard. I very reasonably fill my HD need from my cable TV service, and in the next year my guess is my choices there will dramatically increase. So, "those guys" need me more than I need them. So my message is "one and ONLY one format."

Greater storage capacity may not the most important issue, but for some it is important. I think you have summed up the way the majority feels now. Having two formats is stupid beyond belief, I believe you and hundreds of thousands get involved right away if only format existed.

Chris

BobY
04-19-2007, 03:01 PM
Absolutely.

And since HD DVD came to market first...

With the format approved by the DVD Forum (the optical disc steering committee)...

With a finalized spec...

At a lower price...

With better picture quality for the vast majority of early releases...

With superior audio capability...

Then clearly HD DVD deserved to be that one format and Sony should have given in and not try to use the totally artificial method of manipulating studio content and the gaming market to stay in the game in an effort to insure their profits at the expense of the consumer.

:D

Lee Stewart
04-19-2007, 03:26 PM
Well Sony is definitely not giving up. They are waiting for the go ahead to revamp/build a new BD plant in Terre Haute ID:

http://www.tribstar.com/news/local_story_
108235600.html

As downloading was mentioned a few posts ago, here is an article on MS's faster download software that was just announced:

http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6434603.html

bruceames
04-19-2007, 04:16 PM
Absolutely.

And since HD DVD came to market first...

With the format approved by the DVD Forum (the optical disc steering committee)...

With a finalized spec...

At a lower price...

With better picture quality for the vast majority of early releases...

With superior audio capability...

Then clearly HD DVD deserved to be that one format and Sony should have given in and not try to use the totally artificial method of manipulating studio content and the gaming market to stay in the game in an effort to insure their profits at the expense of the consumer.

:D

EXACTLY. :thumbsup:

firsTraveler
04-19-2007, 05:39 PM
That there are two formats is VERY sad.

Chris Gerhard
04-20-2007, 05:23 AM
Absolutely.

And since HD DVD came to market first...

With the format approved by the DVD Forum (the optical disc steering committee)...

With a finalized spec...

At a lower price...

With better picture quality for the vast majority of early releases...

With superior audio capability...

Then clearly HD DVD deserved to be that one format and Sony should have given in and not try to use the totally artificial method of manipulating studio content and the gaming market to stay in the game in an effort to insure their profits at the expense of the consumer.

:D

You mean to say Toshiba was right and Sony, Pioneer, Matsushita, Samsung, LG and all of the movie studios supporting Blu-ray should have given in? Blu-ray is much more than just Sony. Your attitude is consistent with a small minority that favors HD DVD and as a result it will likely continue in second place for some time and I guess you guys are all happy with that. It wasn't the huge majority that favored only Blu-ray that should have given in, in my opinion, but the minority that consists primarily of Toshiba and Universal that should have given in. Attitudes of minority groups supporting one format to the detrement of this hobby has always been hard for me to understand, but this isn't the first time and won't likely be the last.

Funny group that insists lower priced hardware is the reason for HD DVD and then supports higher priced dual format players as a good idea. Obviously anything that can be mentioned that drags this out is what the HD DVD enthusiasts here will support.

Clearly HD DVD didn't even deserve to see the light of day, but a small stubborn group insisted that it should and it did.

Chris

Lee Stewart
04-20-2007, 06:07 AM
Chris:

As I have stated before, when the HD disc was being formed, the companies involved knew what the stakes were as far as the profit that could be derived from having their format be choosen for the standard.

These are multi billion dollars companies who have stockholders to answer to. The consumer comes in any place except first when the dollars are this big.

R & D money had already been spent and it needed to be recovered.

For either side to either walk away or agree to a merger would mean that both the R & D money and the future profits would be diluted by the number of companies who shared in the prize.

That was probably what became unacceptable to either side.

SLedford
04-20-2007, 06:48 AM
There was a website formed a few years ago when the concept of high def DVDs was being talked about that pushed for "one format only". The web media talked about the problems with competing formats before either were released. Some of the predictions were wrong, but the prediction that acceptance would be hurt by two competing formats was right on.

Both sides had ample time to work out a compromise, but chose to move on with two non-compatible formats. R&D costs and licensing were probably the main issues, as stated in a previous post.

Once the choice was made to keep their own format, the war was on. Sony was perfectly correct in trying to end the war before it started by getting all studios in their camp. Toshiba would have been just as correct if they had used the same tactic (and they probably tried). They are both fighting for billions in potential future revenues from licensing, etc., and this is their focus right now, not the welfare of the consumer.

So that brings us to the current situation. We have a battle between two competing formats that has no end in sight. At this point, the best long term bet is that both formats will survive. It really doesn't matter who was at fault or which format "deserves" to be on top.

So how will this play out? My best guess is that the cutting edge people will eventually end up with both an HD-DVD player and a BD player (I just bought an A2). Further down the line the general public will get involved when an affordable dual format player hits the market. Till that happens, they will be perfectly happy with SD-DVDs.

There will eventually be a successor to high def DVDs, most likely involving some of the same players. Hopefully they will have learned from this mess and work out any differences before they release their product.

Lee Stewart
04-20-2007, 06:56 AM
SLedford:

Excellent post.

The Macro Level viewpoint.

tcarcio
04-20-2007, 07:10 AM
I found it comical that the spokesman for BB,Justin Barber, said that they do their best to be upfront with the customer on the differences between the two formats. If you call setting up only Blu ray displays and putting the HD DVD's on the back shelf being up front with the customer I would hate to see what they would do if they took sides.....................LOL...........

bruceames
04-20-2007, 07:31 AM
Wow, great post, Sledford.

BobY
04-20-2007, 08:51 AM
Well, that's one way of looking at it.

Another is, the DVD Forum, the industry-wide group formed to guide the development of optical disc storage technology and responsible for overseeing the orderly deployment of new consumer optical disc technology, came to a decision that Sony didn't like because it meant Sony wouldn't make as much money as they wanted to. So Sony undermined the efforts of the DVD Forum by forming the BDA and caused the format war. One of the tactics Sony used to get studios onboard was the supposedly superior copy-protection of Blu-Ray, which has proven to be a false promise.

A compromise should have been worked out, but it's pretty clear based on Sony's past history of trying to jam (unsuccessful) proprietary formats down consumers throats in order to maximize their profits, that Sony wanted the lions' share of royalties and wasn't going to share them with anyone by compromising.

In addition to politics, there was a whole host of technical reasons why the DVD Forum standardized on HD DVD--all of which contributed to an earlier product introduction with a more mature, standardized product at a lower price.

As for dual-format players, I think they are not a great idea that will only prolong the existence of two formats and hurt market penetration, but they are a tacit admission by some Blu-Ray supporters that HD DVD isn't going to go away, that's it's popular and is going to continue to be supported by studios. No amount of spin and artificial inflation of the numbers with the PS3 is going to change that, as it's easy to determine how many standalone BD players are being sold and how many Blu-Ray discs are being sold, demonstarting that Blu-Ray has to stand on it's own feet and can't ride the coattails of PS3 to a success.

Chris Gerhard
04-20-2007, 10:30 AM
Well, that's one way of looking at it.

Another is, the DVD Forum, the industry-wide group formed to guide the development of optical disc storage technology and responsible for overseeing the orderly deployment of new consumer optical disc technology, came to a decision that Sony didn't like because it meant Sony wouldn't make as much money as they wanted to. So Sony undermined the efforts of the DVD Forum by forming the BDA and caused the format war. One of the tactics Sony used to get studios onboard was the supposedly superior copy-protection of Blu-Ray, which has proven to be a false promise.

A compromise should have been worked out, but it's pretty clear based on Sony's past history of trying to jam (unsuccessful) proprietary formats down consumers throats in order to maximize their profits, that Sony wanted the lions' share of royalties and wasn't going to share them with anyone by compromising.

In addition to politics, there was a whole host of technical reasons why the DVD Forum standardized on HD DVD--all of which contributed to an earlier product introduction with a more mature, standardized product at a lower price.

As for dual-format players, I think they are not a great idea that will only prolong the existence of two formats and hurt market penetration, but they are a tacit admission by some Blu-Ray supporters that HD DVD isn't going to go away, that's it's popular and is going to continue to be supported by studios. No amount of spin and artificial inflation of the numbers with the PS3 is going to change that, as it's easy to determine how many standalone BD players are being sold and how many Blu-Ray discs are being sold, demonstarting that Blu-Ray has to stand on it's own feet and can't ride the coattails of PS3 to a success.

I don't believe it has been shown that Blu-ray doesn't have better security available, there are additional levels that can be used when studios require it and content can be region coded when that is required. All of your interpretation of the history of how it happened is how you see it, I think it was a simple as the studios wanted something better and the Blu-ray group developed it. When the lopsided nature of the disagreement was clear, Toshiba, Microsoft and Universal should have chosen the prudent choice rather than the get it ready first and try for a preemptive strike victory approach. One year after HD DVD launched, sales are pathetic for Blu-ray and worse for HD DVD, a pretty sad state of affairs for the investment.

Blu-ray is so good, I can't understand why the simple solution of only Blu-ray isn't preferred by everybody. I don't disagree that the format war continues if Samsung follows through with their dual format player and Universal stays HD DVD exclusive, it will drag on, we can sure agree on that.

Chris

paulc
04-20-2007, 11:19 AM
I say they BOTH are to blame. Two formats means nobody at the consumer level wins on anything. And sure as hell, one side (consumers only!) will lose big time when "their" format goes away.

The overall market for HD optical will NEVER get to a decent revenue stage because (partly) by guys like me who adopt the "vote with your wallet" scenario. Plus "market confusion" based on 2 competing formats will also keep that market far less than what it could be.

If there was a single format, 100% I'd believe it would (very) gradually replace regular DVD. This could NEVER happen with 2 formats competing.

bruceames
04-20-2007, 01:31 PM
I say they BOTH are to blame. Two formats means nobody at the consumer level wins on anything. .

Yes, both are to "blame", but rather pointless trying to access blame at this point. I guess one could choose sides based on who they feel is/was the bad guy, but whatever.

If there were one format, players would probably be 1K still and I'd be watching SD DVD.

SLedford
04-20-2007, 02:14 PM
After watching my 4 "free" movies from BB that came with my A2, I am forced to admit that my previous comments about not really seeing much difference from SD-DVD is now outdated. The picture is superior and the sound much improved (my biggest surprise).

My concern now is the prices on the HD-DVD movies. BB has the older releases (except for Combos) at $24.99, Walmart has a limited selection at $19.99, which seems to be the price at Amazon.com. A new SD-DVD release at BB is generally $13-$15 compared to the new releases for HD-DVD of $30 or so.

So I unless some of you have suggestions, I may have to change my future purchasing habits for new releases that are available in HD-DVD format. Perhaps wait until the movie is "old" and drops to around $20.

Back to the thread as it has evolved, bruceames is correct - fixing blame doesn't change reality at this point. I will add that not only are the player prices a big factor in general public acceptance but movie prices as well, thus my comments above.

paulc, I will agree with you as far as BD / HD-DVD not replacing SD-DVDs only if the market doesn't produce a reasonably priced universal player. If it does happen ,I think both formats can and will survive and that SD-DVD will be gradually replaced. I don't think this will happen with cheap players for both formats, since any confusion keeps Joe Average away, plus his video stack only has space for one player. The biggest key is probably higher market penetration for high def televisions.

BobY
04-20-2007, 05:51 PM
Oh, I agree there is no point in assessing blame, but that was the title of this post.

But I would disagree with a statment like "Sony was perfectly correct in trying to end the war before it started by getting all studios in their camp"--clever maybe, but hardly "correct".

A ridiculous statement like "Clearly HD DVD didn't even deserve to see the light of day, but a small stubborn group insisted that it should and it did" must be addressed with some historical perspective:

HD DVD is not Toshiba and NEC, HD DVD is the *approved* format adopted by the DVD Forum for Hi-Def video discs.

The DVD Forum was formed in 1995. It has over 220 members.

The BDA was formed in 2002, it has notably less than 200 members, the vast majority of which are also members of the DVD Forum. The founders have obviously placed profits ahead of their commitment to industry steering organizations, even if it means harm to the industry and consumers (like, say, a format war, which industry organizations like the DVD Forum are intended to avoid).

The DVD Forum selected the HD DVD format as the approved format for Hi-Def video discs in 2003.

The first Blu-Ray *data storage* product was shipped in 2003--not as a format for Hi-Def video.

Someone please explain why the DVD Forum should have abandoned their mission, given up their industry responsibiity, business plans and potential profits just because Sony was even greedier than they were, especially when HD DVD could get to market quicker, with a less expensive, more mature, complete product?

bruceames
04-20-2007, 07:42 PM
I think any new format approved by the DVD forum should definitely be given the chance to see the "light of day". DVD has been incredibly successful and I would prefer the new format to have their blessing. Besides, I like the integration potential of two cooperative formats.

oblioman
04-20-2007, 08:58 PM
Me blames no one, on the contrair, me thanks them both for putting up the dollars to bring us HD into our homes. Whomever takes over the market is the one that will have me money. Leaning towards BD for obvious capacity reasons (it will be used) but if me has to settle for HD DVD, you can bet it will be enjoyed in me home.

Chris Gerhard
04-21-2007, 07:00 AM
Oh, I agree there is no point in assessing blame, but that was the title of this post.

But I would disagree with a statment like "Sony was perfectly correct in trying to end the war before it started by getting all studios in their camp"--clever maybe, but hardly "correct".

A ridiculous statement like "Clearly HD DVD didn't even deserve to see the light of day, but a small stubborn group insisted that it should and it did" must be addressed with some historical perspective:

HD DVD is not Toshiba and NEC, HD DVD is the *approved* format adopted by the DVD Forum for Hi-Def video discs.

The DVD Forum was formed in 1995. It has over 220 members.

The BDA was formed in 2002, it has notably less than 200 members, the vast majority of which are also members of the DVD Forum. The founders have obviously placed profits ahead of their commitment to industry steering organizations, even if it means harm to the industry and consumers (like, say, a format war, which industry organizations like the DVD Forum are intended to avoid).

The DVD Forum selected the HD DVD format as the approved format for Hi-Def video discs in 2003.

The first Blu-Ray *data storage* product was shipped in 2003--not as a format for Hi-Def video.

Someone please explain why the DVD Forum should have abandoned their mission, given up their industry responsibiity, business plans and potential profits just because Sony was even greedier than they were, especially when HD DVD could get to market quicker, with a less expensive, more mature, complete product?

Why would the DVD forum have any more say about an HDTV format than the VHS committee had to say about DVD? Once it was clear the huge majority favored Blu-ray, that should have been the end of HD DVD, period.

Chris

BobY
04-21-2007, 11:53 AM
Uhm, because they are the industry steering committee which was formed and mutually agreed to work together for the benefit of the optical disc industry by coordinating technological development and marketing. By becoming members, the companies tacitly agree to abide by the groups' decisions.

Last time I looked, VHS *tape* was not an optical disc...

Blu-Ray is not some new form of storage, it is (in the words of the DVD forum used to describe HD DVD) a DVD on steroids. It doesn't matter how much the BDA wants to pretend it's something new, it's an optical storage disc and it will be perceived as a Hi-Def DVD by consumers.

Chris Gerhard
04-21-2007, 01:53 PM
Uhm, because they are the industry steering committee which was formed and mutually agreed to work together for the benefit of the optical disc industry by coordinating technological development and marketing. By becoming members, the companies tacitly agree to abide by the groups' decisions.

Last time I looked, VHS *tape* was not an optical disc...

Blu-Ray is not some new form of storage, it is (in the words of the DVD forum used to describe HD DVD) a DVD on steroids. It doesn't matter how much the BDA wants to pretend it's something new, it's an optical storage disc and it will be perceived as a Hi-Def DVD by consumers.

Sort of a non-answer there. I am trying to understand why what the DVD Forum wanted would matter with the next generation format once the group came up with a format preferred by the minority. Obviously there was no binding agreement giving the DVD Forum any authority over the next format and all that should matter is what technology is best able to provide HDTV and computer storage and since the DVD Forum didn't come up with the best answer, a big majority found Blu-ray a better choice. Had the VHS leader, JVC suggested a format inferior to DVD, I am sure the majority would have ignored that advice as well.

The DVD forum doesn't sound like a good group to look to to do anything other than make decisions regarding DVD unless I am missing something and you obviously didn't provide any suggestion why it should be the decision making body for a format to compete with and hopefully succeed DVD, at least for a segment of the market.

Chris

BobY
04-21-2007, 02:51 PM
Sort of a non-answer, too.

But lots of spin :D

The DVD forum *did* come up with the best answer, the next generation optical disc for Hi-Def video that could easily be manufactured on existing disc production lines with minimal cost and effort--HD DVD. They voted on it. The *majority* approved it.

Yes, it's a voluntary acceptance (the DVD Forum has the authority to refuse to license their technology and logos and prosecute those who violate their license or intellectual property rights).

Blu-Ray was never submitted to the DVD Forum as the next-generation optical disc for Hi-Def video. The BDA's position is Blu-Ray isn't a DVD so it doesn't need approval by the DVD Forum. As members of the DVD Forum, who obviously recognize the benefits of standardization and group promotion (or else they wouldn't have joined), they are playing a game of semantics. Based on that logic, multi-layer DVD's are not DVD's either. DVD stands for "Digital Versatile Disc" and to the consumer it is THE video disc format.

Do you think that if the DVD Forum had approved Blu-Ray as the new standard, that Blu-Ray manufacturers wouldn't be touting that?

Pretending that consumers won't be confused by, and as a result the industry as a whole won't be harmed by, promoting Blu-Ray as something other than a "better" DVD is absurd. Consumers don't give a whit about ultraviolet lasers and how many nanometers below the surface data is stored. They also don't care about how much storage capacity their video disc has. Tieing HDTV to computer storage is arbitrary--Blu-Ray could have existed as a computer storage format without ever having been pressed into service as a video disc for consumers--the two are unrelated to the average consumer.

The following will be the average consumer's reaction to Blu-Ray:

It looks like a DVD (at least when it needed a caddy it looked a little different, but the BDA knew consumers would never accept a caddy after decades of not needing one on a disc).

It does what a DVD does.

It plays in a device that looks like a DVD player (and which plays conventional DVD's).

If it looks like a duck...

As far as I'm concerned, the flaw in your logic is viewing the next generation video disc as "competition" for DVD. The best thing for the industry and consumers would be a methodical, orderly transition from the existing DVD technology to the improved DVD technology, building on the *huge* market acceptance and name recognition of "DVD", not a pretense that this is something radically new and different.

Assuming it wasn't just politics, greed or corporate egos, I suspect the reason Blu-Ray got the support it did was because Sony was near to introducing storage devices so it was assumed Blu-Ray video would get to market quicker and there was a concern that codecs would not be efficient enough in the required time frame, necessitating more storage for HD video. Both of the assumptions would have been wrong.

bruceames
04-21-2007, 05:42 PM
As far as I'm concerned, the flaw in your logic is viewing the next generation video disc as "competition" for DVD. The best thing for the industry and consumers would be a methodical, orderly transition from the existing DVD technology to the improved DVD technology, building on the *huge* market acceptance and name recognition of "DVD", not a pretense that this is something radically new and different.

The very thing that Chris opposes, is what Blu-ray would bring in the long run: two competing formats. Blu-ray alone would compete heavily against the established DVD while HD DVD would complement it and essentially be an extension of it (via the combo disc). I want the new and existing formats to work together and not be enemies. HD DVD fits the bill and Blu-ray is an outsider hell-bent on destroying both. I think a high-level Blu-ray exec said that they will wipe out DVD within three years. I don't like the sound of that at all.

http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/blu-ray-aims-to-wipe-out-dvd-era-in-three-years/

SLedford
04-21-2007, 10:52 PM
When discussions started about the two formats, listing the plusses and minuses, I favored HD-DVD because it was an evolutionary upgrade from DVD that would be cheaper to produce and had the best chance of getting established quickly.

It became apparent that there was going to be a war, and Sony made a move to end the war before it started by getting all the studios on board with BD. I was pulling for this to happen for the same reason mentioned above - I wanted (want) high def movies on disk to succeed and do it quickly. I wanted no war or a short war.

Sony is an arrogant company that is very hard to like. They come up with products that only they can produce and benefit from, thus their own format of CDs, their own format of memory cards for cameras, etc. I am not worried that they will harm DVDs for two reasons:

- DVDs are and will continue to be for some time the cash cow for the movie studios, and they are not all controlled by Sony.

- The general public cannot be pushed by Sony in this matter. Lets assume that the movie studios do eliminate DVDs. This would be the equivalent to cutting their own throats financially. Does Sony really think that the public is so desparate to buy high def movies that Joe Public will rush down to Best Buy, pay $3k for a high def television and $1k for a BD player? Not just no, but Hell No!

Sony has a perception problem. I know a guy that is like that. Thinks he is God's gift to females, gets turned down over and over but it doesn't seem to affect his high opinion of himself (which is one reason he gets turned down over and over). Sony has repeated failures with product after product and it doesn't seem to affect their confidence that they are the hottest and best thing on the planet.

Having said all these negative things about Sony, they did have and do have the right to introduce their own competing product to what the DVD Forum came up with. The fact that the majority of the studios sided with Sony and against the DVD Forum is probably a knock against the forum. If they had done their job right, the studios would have stayed with the forum and BD would have only had the Sony studios in their camp.

It doesn't matter who was at fault. It doesn't matter that the DVD Forum supports HD-DVD and not BD. What does matter is that we have two competing formats that will probably both survive and the fact that their are two competing formats has hurt both.

Look at how fractured we are in this thread. Some buy only one format, some are boycotting both formats, some favor a dual format player as a solution, others feel that is wrong because it will help keep both formats alive longer and prolong the war.

What needs to happen is for the industry to sit down and figure out how to get out of this mess. There are a number of solutions, but let me offer a plan:
- The key is increased high def television ownership by the general public. So I would push to get the TV manufacturers to work with the big box stores to boost sales.
- Bundle a player with each television. Sell the thing at cost if needed - the money will be made from the movies anyway. Take off $200 if the player is bought at the time the television is purchased.

We have competing soccer leagues in the Little Rock area. We fuss, steal eachother's players and fight like siblings UNTIL there is a hearing at the city regarding soccer fields, etc. Then we put our differences behind and work together for the common good. That is where we are in this matter - time to come up with solutions that benefit everyone.

bruceames
04-21-2007, 11:13 PM
The fact that the majority of the studios sided with Sony and against the DVD Forum is probably a knock against the forum.

Many good points in your (excellent) post, Sledford, especially the above. Didn't Blu-ray win a lot of paper support through Sony's promise of a Blu-ray PS3? Once that won some supporters, I would think that many others joined Blu-ray because that's where most others were going and they wanted to bet with the majority. Even WB and Paramount hedged their bets by going neutral, once they saw all that support going to Blu-ray.

Chris Gerhard
04-22-2007, 03:28 AM
When discussions started about the two formats, listing the plusses and minuses, I favored HD-DVD because it was an evolutionary upgrade from DVD that would be cheaper to produce and had the best chance of getting established quickly.

It became apparent that there was going to be a war, and Sony made a move to end the war before it started by getting all the studios on board with BD. I was pulling for this to happen for the same reason mentioned above - I wanted (want) high def movies on disk to succeed and do it quickly. I wanted no war or a short war.

Sony is an arrogant company that is very hard to like. They come up with products that only they can produce and benefit from, thus their own format of CDs, their own format of memory cards for cameras, etc. I am not worried that they will harm DVDs for two reasons:

- DVDs are and will continue to be for some time the cash cow for the movie studios, and they are not all controlled by Sony.

- The general public cannot be pushed by Sony in this matter. Lets assume that the movie studios do eliminate DVDs. This would be the equivalent to cutting their own throats financially. Does Sony really think that the public is so desparate to buy high def movies that Joe Public will rush down to Best Buy, pay $3k for a high def television and $1k for a BD player? Not just no, but Hell No!

Sony has a perception problem. I know a guy that is like that. Thinks he is God's gift to females, gets turned down over and over but it doesn't seem to affect his high opinion of himself (which is one reason he gets turned down over and over). Sony has repeated failures with product after product and it doesn't seem to affect their confidence that they are the hottest and best thing on the planet.

Having said all these negative things about Sony, they did have and do have the right to introduce their own competing product to what the DVD Forum came up with. The fact that the majority of the studios sided with Sony and against the DVD Forum is probably a knock against the forum. If they had done their job right, the studios would have stayed with the forum and BD would have only had the Sony studios in their camp.

It doesn't matter who was at fault. It doesn't matter that the DVD Forum supports HD-DVD and not BD. What does matter is that we have two competing formats that will probably both survive and the fact that their are two competing formats has hurt both.

Look at how fractured we are in this thread. Some buy only one format, some are boycotting both formats, some favor a dual format player as a solution, others feel that is wrong because it will help keep both formats alive longer and prolong the war.

What needs to happen is for the industry to sit down and figure out how to get out of this mess. There are a number of solutions, but let me offer a plan:
- The key is increased high def television ownership by the general public. So I would push to get the TV manufacturers to work with the big box stores to boost sales.
- Bundle a player with each television. Sell the thing at cost if needed - the money will be made from the movies anyway. Take off $200 if the player is bought at the time the television is purchased.

We have competing soccer leagues in the Little Rock area. We fuss, steal eachother's players and fight like siblings UNTIL there is a hearing at the city regarding soccer fields, etc. Then we put our differences behind and work together for the common good. That is where we are in this matter - time to come up with solutions that benefit everyone.

None of this nonsense matters to me, the majority approved Blu-ray and a far greater group of participants had agreed Blu-ray was the best format for the future. A couple of rogue companies decided to fight it out against a much larger group and release HD DVD despite the guarantee this meant another stupid format war. HD DVD launched first hoping to win quickly or hoping for something, I am not really sure what. Blu-ray launched second and HD DVD quickly fell to second place where it will remain. Before HD DVD was anything more than the second best idea, it could have been ended and should have been.

Chris

paulc
04-22-2007, 11:04 AM
Very interesting thread, I am heartened that it hasn't degenerated into a lot of "you're an idiot for believing what you do" type posts.

Congratulations to all for keeping civil and on point!

BobY you alluded to BD as "DVD on steroids." Actually, as you correctly pointed out, it's probably more fair to say HD is DVD on steroids while BD could be thought of a something "more" than DVD. In certain aspects, one could say BD breaks the mold and introduces some "very different stuff" that seemed to be a technology that COULD ratchet up storage quicker and farther than the "DVD on steroids." I also find it very interesting that with tape, they went for quality over quantity and lost, but here they went for both (more storage means one COULD run at a higher bit rate in addition to providing more "extras").

Indeed, consumers who don't bother to inform themselves as we tend to do not care about storage... mostly because they don't have a clue what that actually means. BUT think for a sec. about being a studio head. You're given a choice to go with "steroid format" vs. something different that demonstrates it can provide more storage. Which means that the studio has a larger canvas to potentially use. I mean, look how much they have "needed" extra space by making additional discs for a movie release... they clearly feel that "more extras" mean more sales (also could mean the main feature doesn't NOT need to be restricted in bit rate to accommodate all the extras on a DL disc). More storage=more extras, DVDs+more extras=more discs in the package.

So I SUSPECT that the studios went with BD mostly because of this. At the time this all transpired a few years ago, it was pretty clear that Sony sure as hell had issues; they just weren't the golden company they had been (from my perspective it was mostly about less QC in products and lessening of quality in it's products). So at the time those decisions were made, them making the decisions knew that Sony was NOT thought of as the kind of company it had been perceived of in the preceding 10 years.

Soooo, I still think the ONLY way we may be lead out of the situation is to do the "vote with the wallet" thing. I but HD, I buy BD, I buy a combo player all serve to delay the inevitable (well, I'm also 100% convinced that in 5 years one or the other will go away).

SLedford
04-22-2007, 01:09 PM
Paul,

I noticed the same thing about the civility. Nice after some of the other threads. I also agree with you that on paper BD has more potential down the line due to it's greater storage capacity. As several HD-DVD fans have pointed out, that extra capacity is not being used right now with movies that are being released, but that doesn't mean it will not become a factor in the future.

Chris,

You feel the market place should make the choice (and I agree with you). If I am reading your remarks correctly, you feel that HD-DVD should have stepped aside when the majority of the studios picked BD. Other posters feel that the DVD Forum is the governing body and that BD is the upstart.

What I have not been able to get across in my posts is that we really are beyond this part of the discussion. Regardless of whether BD is the upstart going against the industry who picked HD-DVD through the DVD Forum, or HD-DVD is the upstart by staying around after the majority of the studios picked BD, both are here and both appear here to stay. Everyone has a right to re-hash this if they so chose, but it really doesn't help us move forward.

My question to the parties involved - Toshiba, Sony, player makers, movie studios - when do you finally draw the line and say "enough is enough" and come up with a compromise? The status quo is killing high def movie sales and probably damaging SD-DVD sales as well.

BobY
04-22-2007, 02:30 PM
PaulC-

You're an idiot for believing what you do! ;) Sorry, couldn't resist...:D

I agree that technically BD is more advanced, but it doesn't really matter other than the fact that it made BD a more costly re-tooling effort for existing disc production lines. It will probably always be able to achieve a higher density than HD DVD, but HD DVD will continue to increase in density as well and at some point it just isn't going to matter. Frankly, at *this* point it just doesn't matter.

As far as the "DVD on steroids", I was referring to how it will be perceived by the consumer. Anyone who believes that consumers will be convinced it's something other than a better DVD because they gave it a new name is kidding themselves. It's a duck!

I doubt anyone at the studios cares that much about the size of the canvas, they do care about the cost of the canvas, though. In many cases they include multiple discs so they can charge more for a multi-disc set, not because they needed the space. They could have decided to leave the extra features out. It wouldn't affect sales one iota. People buy movies to watch movies. Nobody is going to not buy a disc because they think the studio should have included more extras (well, except Jimmy Smith), especially when they have no idea what extras the studio could have included.

Sledford-

I certainly agree that any company has the right to do what they want (assuming it's not illegal) and the DVD Forum has no authority to stop others if they are not misusing intellectual property. That's not the point. The reason industry organizations such as the DVD Forum exist is the realization that cooperation and standardization and an orderly introduction of new technology leads to greater overall success, especially when trying to establish new formats. It's better for the industry and better for the consumer.

By choosing to promote Blu-Ray as something other than an evolution of the familiar, highly-successful and widely recognized DVD so they could end-run the DVD Forum, the BDA actually hurt their chances of a successful format. They threw away the huge market awareness and acceptance of the DVD format in favor of "re-inventing the wheel" in an attempt to maximize their own profits. This is almost always a big marketing mistake and typically only works when the product is readily perceived as something really new, which will never happen with Blu-Ray (or HD DVD either, it's just the DVD Forum was smart enough to realize that).

Recognize that few of the player manufacturers are going to make any licensing money on disc sales--basically Toshiba and Sony--so there is no motivation for anyone other than those two to sell players at cost or at a loss.

Chris-

You live in an interesting world. Mine's interesting, too, and includes nearly 30 years in CE development, design and marketing. The best approach for Blu-Ray, as far as the industry and the consumer are concerned, would have been for Sony to submit Blu-Ray to the DVD Forum for approval as the HD DVD format, to be able to take advantage of the enormous market acceptance and recognition of DVD. But too many of the members of the DVD Forum were concerned about the cost of Blu-Ray particularly in regard to upgrading existing disc production lines (Sony continues to subsidize BR disc production as the costs are still not where they promised the studios they would be).

I'm not sure what you mean by "the majority approved Blu-ray and a far greater group of participants had agreed Blu-ray was the best format for the future". It wasn't the majority of the DVD Forum, they picked HD DVD. Are you referring to the majority of the BDA? :D.

Unless you assume Sony and the BDA are destined from on high to provide the Hi-Def disc format, it's really silly to view HD DVD as upstart rogues (who just happened to reach the market first, with a better-defined, more mature product, better PQ, better AQ and at a lower price). Nonsense? yeah, right.

Chris Gerhard
04-23-2007, 04:10 AM
Chris-

You live in an interesting world. Mine's interesting, too, and includes nearly 30 years in CE development, design and marketing. The best approach for Blu-Ray, as far as the industry and the consumer are concerned, would have been for Sony to submit Blu-Ray to the DVD Forum for approval as the HD DVD format, to be able to take advantage of the enormous market acceptance and recognition of DVD. But too many of the members of the DVD Forum were concerned about the cost of Blu-Ray particularly in regard to upgrading existing disc production lines (Sony continues to subsidize BR disc production as the costs are still not where they promised the studios they would be).

I'm not sure what you mean by "the majority approved Blu-ray and a far greater group of participants had agreed Blu-ray was the best format for the future". It wasn't the majority of the DVD Forum, they picked HD DVD. Are you referring to the majority of the BDA? :D.

Unless you assume Sony and the BDA are destined from on high to provide the Hi-Def disc format, it's really silly to view HD DVD as upstart rogues (who just happened to reach the market first, with a better-defined, more mature product, better PQ, better AQ and at a lower price). Nonsense? yeah, right.


I am still waiting for any explanation why anybody would care what the DVD Forum wanted for the future HD disc market. I know I don't care and I can't imagine anybody ever cared. What I did care about was having one format and Blu-ray had far greater support from CE manufacturers and far greater support from the movie studios and better technical specifications. In my opinion, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see if you wanted one format, Blu-ray being launched and HD DVD being forgotten makes the most sense. If even one of the three big issues, any one of which are many times more important than what the DVD Forum agreed upon in my opinion, had favored HD DVD, then we would have had a discussion.

Just by the name of the forum, DVD Forum, we have a possibility of conflict of interest since I have no way to tell all of them even wanted an HD disc format with the biggest best possible market. Some of the members might prefer only DVD existed. There is no sense in discussing the reasons the mess existed further, there could have been some that might have wanted to avoid doing business with Toshiba and Universal and sticking with the dozens of companies that wanted Blu-ray to win quickly, but both are going to be around and who knows what happens now, but it isn't going to be anything like I had hoped it would be.

Chris

BobY
04-23-2007, 07:43 AM
Well, I've explained it three times now, but you're not interested in the explanation. You view Hi-Def video discs as a competitive replacement for DVD, while the rest of the consumer world views Hi-Def video discs as a logical progression to the next DVD (and you can read just about any article on HD DVD or Blu-Ray in the popular press for proof). That's a market position that should be built upon, not thrown away. As long as you're stuck in that mode, you won't understand my explanation, so peace.

I'm just glad it isn't going to be anything like you had hoped it would be, because what you were hoping for is the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. I don't want another proprietary, overpriced, unsuccessful Sony format, especially with Sony in control of the discs, players and content.

Chris Gerhard
04-23-2007, 08:16 AM
Well, I've explained it three times now, but you're not interested in the explanation. You view Hi-Def video discs as a competitive replacement for DVD, while the rest of the consumer world views Hi-Def video discs as a logical progression to the next DVD (and you can read just about any article on HD DVD or Blu-Ray in the popular press for proof). That's a market position that should be built upon, not thrown away. As long as you're stuck in that mode, you won't understand my explanation, so peace.

I'm just glad it isn't going to be anything like you had hoped it would be, because what you were hoping for is the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. I don't want another proprietary, overpriced, unsuccessful Sony format, especially with Sony in control of the discs, players and content.

Lots of competition exists and Sony controls nothing, buy Panasonic, buy Samsung, buy Philips, buy Pioneer, buy LG, all have built players with the Blu-ray logo. You want HD DVD, only one stand alone player has been built to date with the HD DVD, logo, Toshiba. Apparently a second brand name will finally hit the market about 1.5 years after HD DVD was launched. Nothing would be overpriced if only Blu-ray existed and obviously neither format is doing well so far, sales of Blu-ray discs have been anemic and sales of HD DVD about 70% of Blu-ray despite the head start. You have not explained anything about why what the DVD Forum wanted should matter to anybody, much less me. We have another stupid format war and HD DVD will remain in second place and we will see what happens, I believe it would be far better if only the better of the two formats existed.

Chris

BobY
04-23-2007, 08:29 AM
Me too.:)

We just don't agree (apparently along with several hundred thousand other people) what the better of the two formats is and it's unlikely we will agree, because our criteria are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

I don't consider myself a fanboy and started out neutral, but every bit of experience in the CE world tells me if Blu-Ray hadn't been introduced, there would have been a nice, orderly, profitable and successful consumer transition from DVD to HD DVD.

IMHO, if only Blu-Ray had been introduced, it would be a niche market that (like almost all of Sony's proprietary formats) would never make into the consumer mainstream, before it got replaced by something more suitable.

Chris Gerhard
04-23-2007, 09:05 AM
Me too.:)

We just don't agree (apparently along with several hundred thousand other people) what the better of the two formats is and it's unlikely we will agree, because our criteria are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

I don't consider myself a fanboy and started out neutral, but every bit of experience in the CE world tells me if Blu-Ray hadn't been introduced, there would have been a nice, orderly, profitable and successful consumer transition from DVD to HD DVD.

IMHO, if only Blu-Ray had been introduced, it would be a niche market that (like almost all of Sony's proprietary formats) would never make into the consumer mainstream, before it got replaced by something more suitable.

I would have been right with you, on to HD DVD if Philips, Matsushita, Samsung, Pioneer, LG and Sony and all but one major movie studio all hadn't decided Blu-ray was the format to support. Sony has developed a lot of the formats that have existed and have been successful. VHS was invented by Sony, just not patented, but the JVC v Sony dispute when Sony quit advertising that fact did not contain any evidence the statement wasn't true, just that Sony did not have the VHS registered trademark. I have never seen any dispute that JVC engineers were given the idea from Sony engineers who had built the prototype. CD is heavily a result of Sony R&D and SACD has seen over 4,500 releases. Commercial and professional formats have benefitted greatly from Sony involvement. The last time I checked, 5 of the 6 biggest CE companies in the world supported Blu-ray, and all but one of the major movie studios supported Blu-ray so I accept their decisions and after seeing both for myself, know without any doubt what I believe would be best. I can live with both and can play both, Toshiba has done a good job with the early players. Unfortunately, the HD disc market shows little profit potential already and innovations and improvements and likely software releases will suffer as a result.

Of course like I often see here, you discuss Blu-ray as if it is only Sony, but nobody talks about HD DVD as if it was only Toshiba although that statement would be false also, it is a lot closer to true than the nonsense repeated here about Sony.

Chris

BobY
04-23-2007, 09:21 AM
Sony is the only one who has their finger in all of the Blu-Ray pies--disc production, player production and content production. That gives them unprecedented control over the Blu-Ray market (if you don't think so, just ask the other Blu-Ray manufacturers who got knifed in the back by the PS3 pricing and Sony's announcement of forthcoming low-cost BD players). I can't wait to see what they do to the other Blu-Ray studios if they need to--at least they weren't able to force them to use MPEG2.

I agree Sony has contributed some terrific developments and technology (my Vaio was a great computer--although my Mac is better). They have been particularly successful when developing standards in conjunction with others who bring different perspectives to the table (like Philips with CD). They have been notably unsuccessful with their proprietary consumer formats. I think this comes in part from their credo to "always lead", which quite often for them has meant doing something different just to be different, even when it didn't make as much sense for the consumer as other solutions.

As to whether I'm speaking "nonsense", I'll leave that to the other readers to decide.

paulc
04-23-2007, 10:17 AM
As to whether I'm speaking "nonsense", I'll leave that to the other readers to decide.

The only nonsense you spoke was saying I was an idiot <but I did see a big shit-eating grin on your face!>! You totally redeemed yourself by saying you liked your Mac!

Could be wrong, but my recollection was reading about BD LONG before I even knew of a competing format. If it WAS a reactionary move to HD, how would they get so many to sign up for it? So my impression was that HD WAS a reaction to BD.

Yes I do understand about extending current technology and I understand thew allure of "not much retooling." BUT, retooling can also lead to stagnation in that generally it's like a last gasp at taking advantage of the technology. Sometimes, painful thought it is, it's actually better long term to have a more extensive "change" in the infrastructure than retooling.

BobY
04-23-2007, 10:31 AM
I didn't mean to imply that BD was a reaction to HD DVD. I thought that would be clear from the dates--HD DVD was selected as the new Hi-Def optical DVD format by the DVD forum the same year that Sony introduced the first BD storage devices. But these BD drives were computer storage devices, not marketed as Hi-Def video players.

Both formats were under development at the same time--HD DVD was called AOD (Advanced Optical Disc) at the time. The DVD Forum did not pursue BD as they felt there were too many disadvantages to the format versus it's advantages, but the BDA never submitted BD to the DVD Forum for approval as the next generation video disc, so it doesn't really matter. As far as the BDA was concerned (or Sony, really, despite Chris' view, as they owned the intellectual property), Blu-Ray was not a DVD, and didn't need to be approved by the DVD Forum and there was no need to share any of the licensing money with them.

I generally agree with you about doggedly sticking to old concepts rather than introducing something new, but Blu-Ray is just another optical disc. It's not data stored in plasma gas resonance nodes or holographic crystals. The future of Optical Disc itself is limited--I suspect that even BD will be long obsolete before they max out the storage capacity for home video.

Chris Gerhard
04-23-2007, 11:33 AM
The future of Optical Disc itself is limited--I suspect that even BD will be long obsolete before they max out the storage capacity for home video.

I don't doubt both have relatively short lives and will be replaced sooner than most think. I just wanted a better run with a better software selection that always comes with a single format and the only quick winner possibility was Blu-ray, but I am reluctantly seeing nobody wins once again, just a first place and second place fighter and both throw the towel in at the same time in a few years.

Chris

SHOSHOSHO
04-23-2007, 07:24 PM
Lots of competition exists and Sony controls nothing, buy Panasonic, buy Samsung, buy Philips, buy Pioneer, buy LG, all have built players with the Blu-ray logo. You want HD DVD, only one stand alone player has been built to date with the HD DVD, logo, Toshiba. Apparently a second brand name will finally hit the market about 1.5 years after HD DVD was launched. Nothing would be overpriced if only Blu-ray existed and obviously neither format is doing well so far, sales of Blu-ray discs have been anemic and sales of HD DVD about 70% of Blu-ray despite the head start. You have not explained anything about why what the DVD Forum wanted should matter to anybody, much less me. We have another stupid format war and HD DVD will remain in second place and we will see what happens, I believe it would be far better if only the better of the two formats existed.

Chris

SONY MAKES $$$$ SELLING BD. DOESN"T MATTER WHO'S NAME IS ON IT!!!!!!!!:eek:

Chris Gerhard
04-23-2007, 11:00 PM
SONY MAKES $$$$ SELLING BD. DOESN"T MATTER WHO'S NAME IS ON IT!!!!!!!!:eek:

That is so profound it needs to be all caps? Toshiba making money on all HD DVD players must not be as important since no mention of that in all caps or otherwise was made.

Chris

hd-Dude
05-03-2007, 11:05 AM
The future of Optical Disc itself is limited--I suspect that even BD will be long obsolete before they max out the storage capacity for home video.

...so, better go with the cheapest format that does the job for now, which would be HD-DVD I imagine. ;)

Chris Gerhard
05-03-2007, 12:07 PM
...so, better go with the cheapest format that does the job for now, which would be HD-DVD I imagine. ;)

It doesn't have the studio support or hardware manufacturer support to do the job as well as Blu-ray. Price is the only advantage and if HD DVD would disappear, greater sales volume of Blu-ray and competition would drive Blu-ray prices down. Having two formats is stupid beyond belief.

Chris

hd-Dude
05-03-2007, 12:20 PM
It doesn't have the studio support or hardware manufacturer support to do the job as well as Blu-ray. Price is the only advantage and if HD DVD would disappear, greater sales volume of Blu-ray and competition would drive Blu-ray prices down. Having two formats is stupid beyond belief.

Chris

Agreed about the stupidness of having both.
IMHO, studio support will go with whatever format results in higher ROI and installed base.
ATM, BD is attached to PS3 which is very expensive. As of now it didn't sold 1/10 of the Xbox360...which means that you might consider that around 10 million X360 owners *could* buy a HD-DVD cheap.
While I don't see 10 million people trashing $600+ on the PS3 already, or within a year.

Chris Gerhard
05-03-2007, 12:29 PM
Agreed about the stupidness of having both.
IMHO, studio support will go with whatever format results in higher ROI and installed base.
ATM, BD is attached to PS3 which is very expensive. As of now it didn't sold 1/10 of the Xbox360...which means that you might consider that around 10 million X360 owners *could* buy a HD-DVD cheap.
While I don't see 10 million people trashing $600+ on the PS3 already, or within a year.

Blu-ray is doing poorly and the PS3 owners aren't buying many Blu-ray discs yet so something positive needs to happen for the format to get rolling. The potential with Blu-ray is great but confusion and apathy toward these formats is killing the chances.

Chris

BobY
05-03-2007, 05:24 PM
Well, Chris, you know I have to say this :D:

If it wasn't for Blu-Ray muddying the waters by coming late to the party with a higher price and inferior PQ and AQ at the time, then we'd be even further along with mass acceptance of Hi-Def discs, i.e. HD DVD, than if Blu-Ray had been the only option.

Obviously you don't agree, but you should realize that there are many like me who see Sony's historical anti-consumer approach as something that would always hold back Blu-Ray from being accepted by the mass CE market, regardless of the other manufacturers involved (as Sony is unquestionably in the driver's seat--just ask their bloodied BD "partners"). Or slow it's adoption to the point that it would end up in Sony's "Museum of Unsuccessful Formats" alongside Beta, Minidisc, Memory Stick, Digital8, MicroMV and UMD.

Chris Gerhard
05-03-2007, 05:44 PM
Well, Chris, you know I have to say this :D:

If it wasn't for Blu-Ray muddying the waters by coming late to the party with a higher price and inferior PQ and AQ at the time, then we'd be even further along with mass acceptance of Hi-Def discs, i.e. HD DVD, than if Blu-Ray had been the only option.

Obviously you don't agree, but you should realize that there are many like me who see Sony's historical anti-consumer approach as something that would always hold back Blu-Ray from being accepted by the mass CE market, regardless of the other manufacturers involved (as Sony is unquestionably in the driver's seat--just ask their bloodied BD "partners"). Or slow it's adoption to the point that it would end up in Sony's "Museum of Unsuccessful Formats" alongside Beta, Minidisc, Memory Stick, Digital8, MicroMV and UMD.

Sony is definitey not anti-consumer. Everybody that has invested money in Blu-ray is bloodied. Most companies have wisely avoided the large investment in HD DVD, but chances of profits for that group look rather poor as well. I have both and Blu-ray is better, period and it makes absolutely no sense for the market to have two formats for the same thing. As long as there are these silly Toshiba and Microsoft is good and Sony is bad opinions, the stupidity will continue. Toshiba history is so much worse than Sony history that it is difficult for me to grasp these positions. I can't think of any corporation with a history as horrible as Toshiba's with several criminal and enormous civil cases to show for their actions. How so many here have rallied around Toshiba is just hard to understand.

Chris

Lee Stewart
05-03-2007, 06:57 PM
Sony is definitey not anti-consumer. Everybody that has invested money in Blu-ray is bloodied. Most companies have wisely avoided the large investment in HD DVD, but chances of profits for that group look rather poor as well. I have both and Blu-ray is better, period and it makes absolutely no sense for the market to have two formats for the same thing. As long as there are these silly Toshiba and Microsoft is good and Sony is bad opinions, the stupidity will continue. Toshiba history is so much worse than Sony history that it is difficult for me to grasp these positions. I can't think of any corporation with a history as horrible as Toshiba's with several criminal and enormous civil cases to show for their actions. How so many here have rallied around Toshiba is just hard to understand.

Chris

It's very simple - we don't like Sony and we don't like BD.

BobY
05-03-2007, 08:57 PM
Please, let's not argue about who's a better corporate citizen--all companies are in business for profit. Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft and everybody else has examples of unethical behavior in their history. The Sony Root Kit debacle is nothing to be proud of.

Some companies try to succeed by giving consumers what they want. Some companies try to succeed by using their market positon and influence to force consumers to accept what the company wants.

It's easy to grasp the position of HD DVD supporters if you know what "anti-consumer" means.

The following corporate characteristics are Anti-Consumer:

High-priced rather than high-value (an unquestionable Sony hallmark--please don't try to deny that Sony has always demanded premium prices for their products). Consumers look for value.

Proprietary, non-standard or incompatible with existing standards in an effort to control the market or to force consumers to buy into a company's product line, rather than for any benefit to the consumer. While Sony has a long, gory history of such efforts, in the case of BD, I would cite introducing a *competing* format, rather than a complementary format which builds on all of the name recognition and market penetration of "DVD", as an obvious example of a company-centered strategy and not a market-centered strategy.

Monopolistic control (like, say, controlling the format, players and content) which allows a company to force their will in the marketplace.

Please don't think I view MicroSoft as a *good* alternative! I have all Macs, after all. It just that in Sony's effort to "lead, not follow", they have often done things that make no sense for the consumer and have failed as a result. To me BD follows the same pattern and I think it's quite possible that even if HD DVD never existed, BD would end up like SACD or DAT--a format irrelevant to average consumers.

Chris Gerhard
05-04-2007, 02:45 AM
Please, let's not argue about who's a better corporate citizen--all companies are in business for profit. Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft and everybody else has examples of unethical behavior in their history. The Sony Root Kit debacle is nothing to be proud of..


That is my point exactly since one of the most frequent reasons given here for pulling for HD DVD is being against Sony. If the decision was based on selection, quality and long term potential, then I can't see how this is a difficult decision at all. Buy a Panasonic or a Pioneer or a Philips player and allow a small market to reach its potential. Both formats are big market flops so far in my opinion.

Chris

electrictroy
05-04-2007, 06:38 AM
I would say price and PQ are more important to the consumer than storage.

Everything in the marketplace says otherwise:

- Betamax vs. VHS (consumers picked vhs because it held 9 hours, even though the picture was fuzzy)

- MP3 vs. DVD-Audio (mp3 won, even though it's a lossy format, because it allows an entire library to be held in your pocket)

Consumers like to have maximum storage.

BobY
05-04-2007, 07:45 AM
That's an oversimplification.

VHS won because people wanted to *record* for a longer time (time shift whole football games or an entire evening of TV programs). As long as a tape held an entire movie (which, BTW, Beta1 did not), nobody cared how long the tape was for prerecorded videos.

While maximizing storage is a big plus for MP3, the reason it became popular was it allowed music downloads over the Internet, something that was totally impractical with uncompressed music files, particularly at a time where low-speed dial-up was the most common method for access to the Internet.

electrictroy
05-05-2007, 02:04 AM
Okay well, I already mentioned Videotape and MP3s. Here's another example:

- LPs beat-out 78s, because LP stored more music (even though the sound was technically inferior to what 78s could produce, since the LP record spun slower).

Consumers have a long, long history of choosing "more minutes" even if it means reduced-quality.

Chris Gerhard
05-05-2007, 04:16 AM
Okay well, I already mentioned Videotape and MP3s. Here's another example:

- LPs beat-out 78s, because LP stored more music (even though the sound was technically inferior to what 78s could produce, since the LP record spun slower).

Consumers have a long, long history of choosing "more minutes" even if it means reduced-quality.

I understand the bigger market is for MP3, but that doesn't mean it has to be the only market. High resolution audio has a small but loyal following and I believe the market could have been profitable, but never as big as CD or MP3 if no confusion and worry about format survival existed caused by two formats for the same thing. I still see the HD disc market in the same way, the market is big enough for only one format and won't ever be anywhere near as big as DVD. It might have been possible for the segment of the CD market that wants convenience and more minutes and portability to move to MP3 and the best audio quality segment to move to SACD. Consumer choice can work, it just can't work by having two incompatible home audio/video formats for the exact same thing, consumers will avoid both in large numbers waiting for a winner.

I only hope CD continues to do well, I just don't get the attraction for MP3 and iPod and AAC and downloading for that matter.

Chris

Chris Gerhard
05-05-2007, 04:31 AM
Here is an RIAA chart showing the breakdown of sales for a few years ending in 2005. I haven't seen the 2006 chart. It does indicate that CD is declining but the number is still big and it isn't declining rapidly. The SACD and DVD-A numbers are tiny, but I suspect much of both is really included with the CD totals since hybrid SACD is also a CD and it has apparently been shown that most people buying hybrid SACD bought it for the CD layer and often didn't even know what SACD is. The stupid Rolling Stones hybrid SACD's are not even labeled as SACD, so I know a big portion of those were sold as CD. DualDisc with DVD-A is probably included in the CD sales figures as well. Digital downloads are growing rapidly, those are just legal downloads. It is obvious both SACD and DVD-A combined didn't amount to much and not worth the effort for the record companies to mess with for the most part.

http://www.riaa.com/news/newsletter/pdf/2005yrEndStats.pdf

Maybe we can find a chart in a few years showing downloading, DVD, VHS, HD DVD and Blu-ray for a several year period. I expect HD DVD and Blu-ray will look a lot like SACD and DVD-A look on this one.

Chris

BobY
05-05-2007, 01:06 PM
Chris-

Not many new formats look very good in their first year. DVD sales in their introductory year were nothing impressive even though the advantages over video tape were fairly obvious and CD's had gotten consumers comfortable with optical discs. Tape was pretty entrenched and it took time for people to realize how much better DVD's were--not just PQ, but convenience, features, etc. And, of course, price had to come down.

It took me a long time to get into MP3, I just didn't find a need for it in my life. But as life became busier and I found fewer and fewer musicians whose music was worth buying a whole album of and iTunes on my Mac made it s-o-o-o easy, I now embrace it.

It is pretty amazing to be able to quickly locate and download almost any piece of music I'm looking for at any time of the day. I can easily compare multiple recordings and arrangments of the same piece and download novelty recordings or movie soundtrack themes that I would never buy a whole album of.

And I don't have to deal with traffic, shopping malls and particularly customers and retail store personnel who have more parts of their bodies pierced than unpierced.

Electrictroy-

You're right, but it's still an oversimplification. Consumers have a long history of choosing what suits them--it's always a balance.

In the case of 78RPM LP's, they didn't hold enough music for people and weren't viewed as a good value compared to 33RPM LP's, while 33RPM LP's sounded more than acceptable. Once the amount of music was considered sufficient by consumers, trying to introduce a format that did nothing but run longer would not likely have been successful because consumers were satisfied with what they had.

electrictroy
05-06-2007, 04:18 AM
True.

Look at cassettes!!! Jeez. They dwindled to almost nothing. Still selling better than SACD or DVD-audio though. High resolution audio has a small but loyal following and I believe the market could have been profitable, but never as big as CD or MP3 if no confusion and worry about format survival existed caused by two formats for the same thing. I still see the HD disc market in the same way, the market is big enough for only one format and won't ever be anywhere near as big as DVD. Well, people have HDTVs. What they don't have is a HD-quality disc..... therefore if they want to see HD-quality, they need to upgrade from DVD to something else.

Bluray and HD-DVD fill that bill.
I only hope CD continues to do well, I just don't get the attraction for MP3 and iPod and AAC and downloading for that matter. You can get your songs for only $1, instead of having to spend $12 to buy the whole CD. Since most singers only have 1-3 good songs, that helps save money.

Chris Gerhard
05-06-2007, 06:48 AM
True.

Look at cassettes!!! Jeez. They dwindled to almost nothing. Still selling better than SACD or DVD-audio though. Well, people have HDTVs. What they don't have is a HD-quality disc..... therefore if they want to see HD-quality, they need to upgrade from DVD to something else.

Bluray and HD-DVD fill that bill.
You can get your songs for only $1, instead of having to spend $12 to buy the whole CD. Since most singers only have 1-3 good songs, that helps save money.

Buy compilations from yourmusic.com for only $6.99 delivered. That blows downloading out of the water for the hundreds of artists that have been around long enough to have compilations. I buy a lot of compilations and a lot of regular albums and I have never ever paid $12 for even one single CD, and I have purchased over a thousand with the average being less than half of $12.

I have both new formats and watch more HDTV using a DVR than both combined. I would have to say there are other options and both of these formats haven't amounted to anything yet.

Chris

hddvdguy
05-12-2007, 05:45 PM
Hi Im new to hd but own both PS3 and a toshiba hd player. about 2 months now. I have 25 HDDVD movies and 6 BR. My family and I watch both and even my wife and kids prefer HDDVD. The selection of titles is not as broad as BR but I will wait. Earlier I boxed up myPS3 and returned it. Iwill sell the 6 movies to afriend who has a PS3 and take a small loss. HDDVD from here on in.

oblioman
05-12-2007, 08:14 PM
Sony refused to be envoloped into the "DVD" forum, simply because the BD is not a DVD. With upcoming burning capabilities, you will be able to store 2 of your HD DVD movies on one BD disc. HD DVD will not be able to do this unless you compress the movie, compress it backwards.:( The only way HD DVD can move forward is with advanced codecs (Hint -compression-) and we all know what compression does to content.

Since me been known as a BD "fanboy, fangirl, fanatic" whatever, me be looking at the gist of things realistically. Realistically, what HD DVD does in the future will be a moot point. What Sony & company does in the future will surpass what Toshiba has to offer. Personally, me can piss on both formats. With flash drive's (me current drive is 16 gig) tomorrows drive's will hold 200 gig in a magazine the size of a matchbook. Next week will be a terrabyte drive in the size of a thimble. If we all want HD DVD or BD to work, our main enemy is not us, but the AACS, RIAA, and the new Digital Consumer Enablement. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6440876.html

BobY
05-12-2007, 08:37 PM
I presume you realize that BD is as severely compressed as HD DVD and there's no evidence that is going to change, as recordable BD media has *nothing* to do with the pressed media used for mass film production (which is nowhere near capable of 100GB--they're having a hard enough time getting 50GB BD's for a reasonable price)...

The BDA can pretend whatever they want, but BD is a 12cm optical disc that plays movies and videos--it looks like a DVD, works like a DVD, does what a DVD does and works in a player that also plays DVD's. To everybody and their grandmother, it's a DVD.

The BDA is welcome to spend millions of dollars in marketing to try to convince consumers otherwise. Or they could have just called it an HD DVD and everbody and their grandmother would have known exactly what it was. Oh, sorry, I forgot only the DVD Forum can use the name "DVD" and the BDA chose not to submit Blu-Ray to them. Too bad, but I'm sure the BDA has the millions of dollars to lose trying to educate consumers. And the millions of dollars to lose subsidizing BD disc production. And the millions of dollars to lose on the PS3.

electrictroy
05-25-2007, 10:59 AM
Buy compilations from yourmusic.com for only $6.99 delivered. That blows downloading out of the water ..... You mean "Greatest Hits" albums?

No thanks.

Sure GH albums are a great solution if I want the "Best of Duran Duran" and other old artists, and I frequently buy those collections, but I'm not going to wait ten years until Sheryl Crow or Jewel decides to release a GH album.

I'll buy the song I want NOW for $1 each on Itunes.
Since me been known as a BD "fanboy, fangirl, fanatic" whatever, me be looking at the gist of things realistically..... Personally, me can piss on both formats. Is this a joke? Most people don't say, "Me did this," and "Me did that." They use the pronoun I.

pappylap
05-25-2007, 12:36 PM
Easy Troy, you really need to hang around here more often, this is Obliomans style. If you reseach his threads you will see it's his personality and we all like it....


honest mistake I'm sure...