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Have any of you considered that each format will fail?

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:34 AM   #1  
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Default Have any of you considered that each format will fail?

Maybe the world isn't ready for HD-DVD's or Blu-ray.

From what I have deducted, most people aren't going to get the full benefits of either format unless they have a large monitor and a superb sound system. In other words, the audiophiles and videophiles. The guys and gals who are pickier than probably 90% of the rest of the population. The guys and galls who invest a lot of money, by any reasonable standard, on A/V equipment, peripherals, and software. Arent' we a pretty small portion of the movie watching population?

I mean, isn't the average guy watching an upconverted superbit title on a nice 42" inch HD screen seeing a pretty darn good image? One that most people will be impressed with and satisfied with? Again, I don't think we are most people.

For either format to survive, I think the jump in advancement needed to be a huge one. One that "everyman" can see. To me, for most people, that is not the case. Sure more and more people are going to HDTV's and larger screens, but not many go to the extent "truly necessary" to get the fullest of what both formats have to offer. It simply costs too much.

I am format neutral, really, but one thing the HD-DVD people always use is cost. It seems a moot point to me. What do you care about cost so much for, when you most likely have a a monitor that cost at least $1,500 and a sound system that in the same range? That's not cheap. For me, I know I spent a lot more than that. The masses don't do this, and I don't think that will change any time soon. Saying my format only costs $500 to even get a foot in the door while yours costs $700 is sort of silly to me. It's still expensive. Also, saying my player has this, this, and this built in, while yours doesn't, is silly too. What's the difference, you still need to have a pretty good sound system to enjoy that anyway, which the masses still don't have.

If all DVD's were "superbit type" transfers, and most new realeases are these days, that will be good enough for the masses. DVD was such a success because it was such a huge leap in audio and visual quality from VHS, to anyone that had a TV. That's all you needed. All you had to do was unhook the VCR, hook-up the DVD player, and bam... You instantly knew right then and there, you were not going back to VHS. On top of that, no more rewinding, fast forwarding, and tape rewinders, etc. No more tapes getting eaten by the machine, no degrading of the PQ and SQ over time. I'm not sure the masses are going to have that same reaction with the HD platforms. It's too much of a small step to me, FOR THE MASSES.

For either platform to survive, don't the masses need to see a huge difference??? I am really starting to think, that with the format war going on, etc, that neither format will ever challenge DVD in any serious way. At most, it will just be a medium that audio and videophiles will be into.

If that is the case, and HD formats never make that kind of impact, won't it eventually fall by the wayside? I am starting to feel like whichever side of the fence you sit-on in HD-DVD/Blu-ray loyalty, you best be prepared for the 3rd option: No one wins.

Funny thing to, because I heard a saying once that "In war, there are no winners."

I am just going to enjoy it while it lasts but I am really starting to feel like SD DVD will one day be the sole format of choice. Again.

Last edited by El Despairado; 01-29-2007 at 04:45 AM..
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:49 AM   #2  
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I can see your point. HD-movie fans are definitely in the minority IMHO. We go back and forth with HD-DVD/BD on this site because, for the most part, everyone that posts or reads threads on this site is into audio and video (either low or high end). However, all my friends and family that have HDTV's could care about watching movies in HD. The average person may buy an HDTV to watch TV, but they are not going to shell out the kind of money you need to buy a HD-movie player.

I myself got the HD-DVD add-on about a week and a half ago and I am thinking of returning it or selling it to a friend who is getting the 360 this week. Not because it sucks, but there is not enough out there for me. I have about 300 movies in my queue at Netflix and only 15 of them were available in HD-DVD. Now, Netflix has plenty of other HD-DVD movies, but I've either seen them or I'm not interested in the movie. I don't have time to re-watch a movie just because it's on HD-DVD. Batman Begins is supposed to be awesome on HD-DVD, but I saw it when it came out on SD-DVD. I don't need to re-watch it because it's now in HD-DVD. Also, I rarely buy movies anymore and it's not worth the price to replace movies I already have on SD-DVD.

Lastly, this past weekend, I did what I call the "King Kong Challenge". I received the HD-DVD version of King Kong with my 360 add-on and rented the SD-DVD version from Netflix. I watched the scene where Jack Black and the main actor first see the dinosaurs as they are walking through the canyon. I played the SD version through my old prog-scan player and the HD version through the add on. To be honest, I didn't notice a huge differene. Yes, the HD-DVD version was much clearer, but was the difference worth $200 (up to $1200 + depending on the player), I don't think so. The only reason I am considering keeping it is because it cost me $6 after gift certs. However, if I return it, I will upgrade my reciever.

Now, take my above opinion with a grain of salt. I am not one of those people that notice the jaggy lines around edges and freak out about it. I consider myself an average viewer. I am also not saying that both formats will fail. I think either one or both will survive, though I wouldn't be shocked if neither survived because I don't think the "mainstream" user really cares...at least not until stand-alones drop to the $200 range.

That's just my opinion feel free to flame away.....

**EDIT....also forgot to mention, Netflix just sent FF:Tokyo Drift. A movie I normally wouldn't rent, but I am checking out the HD version since it seems to get great reviews. I will use this as part of my decision making too.

Last edited by pjc; 01-29-2007 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:05 AM   #3  
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Great point El Despairado...There will have to be an easily discernable leap in tech to EVERYMAN for the next generation of A/V to take hold. IMO, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are just a stop gap before streaming media hits the masses. We see this trend growing in current news with sites such as YouTube being bought out and major online entites increasing their video offerings. This is a direct result of the number of worldwide households with high speed connections increasing quarter on quarter. The advantages are obvious and clear for streaming media. I believe no other company understands this better than MS. Thus, their attention to LIVE services across multiple mediums (PC, Zune, Xbox, etc).

I purchased an HDTV in 2006. But I have been hesitant to purchase a next gen HD format player. Why? I am still enjoying my SD DVD's and the need isn't apparent.

Again, great point!
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:20 AM   #4  
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I am in the same boat - I like the HD-DVD / BD picture I see at BB, but am happy with my standard DVD picture at home. No reason at this point to pay a premium for a high def disk player.

Both formats may eventually become mainstream when the price drops. Why buy a standard def DVD player when for just a little more (talking future here) you can get one that can handle high def movies.

This thread will eventually be discovered by partisans of one format or another, who will then say things like "I cannot believe you cannot see the difference in picture quality", etc., then push their favored format.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:11 AM   #5  
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I see your point, too El Despairado, however keep in mind that their is no rush to get these into the mainstream. HDTV penetration is the bottleneck that will keep the HD formats at bay, but fortunately HDTV prices are dropping extremely fast and sales are rising exponentially. What was the hot item last Xmas? HDTVs.

Also remember that HD DVD is really just DVD in HD. I think a lot of your perception may be due to simple impatience. The DVD will only start to die out when a majority own HDTVs. I think we will see this shift in about 3 years, but the studio will continue to produce DVDs for several years (maybe 3-4) after that. HD DVD players will be under $100 in less than 3 years so there will be many people who own an HD DVD player (or Universal) by default, even though they don't yet have an HDTV.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:16 AM   #6  
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Great topic and a very valid one. Most of the buying public believe what they are told at the stores. If you try explaining new technology to someone, you've got about 2 or 3 sentences before they "tune out". That's why its easy to talk up a 1080P tv versus 720P. "Its better because its 1080P." People get that and once you start talking about why they will never see any actual differences and blah blah blah, they get confused and feel overwhelmed, then they leave.

You're right, El Despairado. People with 42" and smaller screens aren't going to be able to see big differences, and if they do see a difference, they probably won't feel its worth it. Part of my feeling on that is odd because at BB and CC, the end cap displays are 40" - 46" displays, but then again, people stand about 3 feet away. At home, they'll be 10 feet and won't see a difference.

Part of the dilema is that sales are going to look rather insignificant compared to DVD. Sure we can compare HD vs. BD sales, but they really don't drive any decisions. Its more just based on content. That's why we haven't seen any BD studios defecting, and won't see it based on sales. There will have to be something political in order for Universal, Fox, Disney, Sony, or others to defect. Without a quick unification behind one format, it will stay niche with the videophiles and that may mean the death of everything. Actually, I'm somewhat excited about HD downloads. The compressed AVC demos availible on the Playstation Store look perfectly acceptable to me. I wouldn't mind using my internet connection to grab some downloadable content. I'll start buying external harddrives or archive everything on a network server for easy access. I see optical discs being phased out within about 20 years so we've got time to play with HD DVD and Blu-ray, but the younger generation loves it some downloads.

Think about it. How nice would it be to have your entire collection of movies on a network server where you just click on the movie you want, and BAM, it starts playing? I want that.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:51 AM   #7  
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The problem with downloads is they do NOT have PQ that equals optical disks yet. If they do that, get everyone a MUCH wider pipeline to the internet (10x present speeds), AND allow you to buy and convert to disc with no expiration then I can see them fitting what I want.

Outside of all 3 of those things occuring I hope they never replace discs.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:55 AM   #8  
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Yeah, I believe HD-DVD and/or BD will occupy the space Laserdisc occupied for years until DVD came along. Once HDTVs (true HDTVs, not the ones limited to native 720p or thereabouts) become ubiquitous it will be time for another format. Not that the new HD formats we have today need replacing, but Hollywood will probably come up with some newfangled copy protection scheme that "definitely won't be broken."

But even if I knew about DVD in the early days of LD, I'd be stupid to not buy a Laserdisc player.
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Old 01-29-2007, 12:19 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPorterhouse
You're right, El Despairado. People with 42" and smaller screens aren't going to be able to see big differences, and if they do see a difference, they probably won't feel its worth it. Part of my feeling on that is odd because at BB and CC, the end cap displays are 40" - 46" displays, but then again, people stand about 3 feet away. At home, they'll be 10 feet and won't see a difference. .
Keep in mind also that in a few years, 1080p will probably be the rule rather than the exception, and I would think that the PQ differences on smaller sets will look significant enough to impress. Besides, as these prices go down, $100 HD players (or whatever format) will be common so price won't be a factor really for mass adoption.

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There will have to be something political in order for Universal, Fox, Disney, Sony, or others to defect. Without a quick unification behind one format, it will stay niche with the videophiles and that may mean the death of everything.
"Political" as in money? The studio's "defections" (going neutral) will be a direct function of lost revenue. Economics 101.

There will be no quick unification and most followers of this war tend to believe that there will be no winner and that both formats will coexist. Remember they are both 5" optical formats so if they are both around in a few years the Universal players will merge them as far as the consumer is concerned. Then each studio can decide with format to replicate on without the consumer being involved anymore.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:03 PM   #10  
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Per Home Theater Magazine, the Feb 07 issue:

"HD DVD and Blu-Ray wont hit 50-percent market penetration until 2012, according to Kagan Research. And, even by 2015, standard-definition DVD will still hold one-third of the market."

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Old 01-29-2007, 01:36 PM   #11  
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at the rate at which HDTV are selling, that prediction should cut in half, one big reason is, like in old days when DVD came out tv sets per house hole was for most houses was one, now it is at least three. there will be more DVD players for multiple sets. oncle people own HD sets they will appreciate HD or BD format. In 2009 when most broadcast is in HD definitely DVD willl look bad as compared to HD.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceames
Keep in mind also that in a few years, 1080p will probably be the rule rather than the exception, and I would think that the PQ differences on smaller sets will look significant enough to impress.
No, its not a quality issue. Its a law of physics. With screen size, there is a point where increased resolution is not detectable by your eyes. Either you have to decrease the distance to the screen or you have to increase the size of the screen at the same viewing distance to see a difference in resolution. With a 32" tv, even trained experts wouldn't tell a difference between 720P and 1080P at 10 feet. That's not going to change. I haven't done the math, and I don't have the equations handy, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Fact remains, most people don't have tv's larger than 50" and that will continue.

Like I said, the only quick way to help with mass adoption is for the formats to unite. But I fear that even if they do unite, DVD is going to remain the mass market format for years.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:05 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iserum
at the rate at which HDTV are selling, that prediction should cut in half, one big reason is, like in old days when DVD came out tv sets per house hole was for most houses was one, now it is at least three. there will be more DVD players for multiple sets. oncle people own HD sets they will appreciate HD or BD format. In 2009 when most broadcast is in HD definitely DVD willl look bad as compared to HD.

There may be more HDTV sets, but if the price of the players don't drop drastically by then, the casual viewer who has an HD set is most likely not going to fork over the $ for an HD movie player. Plus, in 2009, the broadcasts will all be digital, not all HD....there is a difference. In my experience, the digital channels are a slight step up from the SD channels.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:23 PM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anythingwt
Per Home Theater Magazine, the Feb 07 issue:

"HD DVD and Blu-Ray wont hit 50-percent market penetration until 2012, according to Kagan Research. And, even by 2015, standard-definition DVD will still hold one-third of the market."

Thanks anythingwt. I'll just have to disagree and say that it will be some time in 2010.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:29 PM   #15  
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Part of the point I was really trying to make though was that, beyond PQ, the other improvement in the formats is SQ. However, you are soon going to need a very good receiver and speakers to enjoy those soundtracks at the fullest. I mean, I think I have pretty decent stuff for my home theater, but my receiver doens't even have HDMI connections. Most of the people I know, if they have home theater, it's a home theater in a box type set up. Which they usually think is awesome.

To get the best out of this formats potential, your TV, your Receiver, and your player all are going to need HDMI 1.3 from what I understand. To be completely up to date, it is going to cost a good deal of money. Plus, I stand behind my point that unless you have large HDTV, PQ will not be such a huge benefit. The people who really see an overwhelming difference are people with sets 56" and above, and I've seen many people say it might be 60" and above. The prices for all those up to date components aren't going to fall for a long time.

Even if the prices on the players drop, what difference does that make if everyman can't see the difference? Unless they are at least a novice audio/videophile are they going to care? Is Toshiba or Sony doing a good enough job making them care? What should they be doing that they are not to make them care? Owning HD formats will probably be more of a status symbol for most people, if they don't have higher end equipment to support it. Plus, unless people don't start buying standalones en mass, then why do we think prices on the players and movies will drop so quickly and that the quality and features we are seeing now will continue?

If sales only penetrate a small part of the population do you think they are going to offer more and more titles and that the format will continue ad infinitum, or as long as it takes to catch on? I'm not so sure at all.

Like I said, either way, I am happy that I am enjoying the format. Also, even though I paid a hefty price for my HD-XA2, I know it is worth it as an upconverter of SD DVD. Certainly it's price is in line with upconverters of the same capability.

Honestly, I really think that's how Toshiba should start marketing these things. Market them as "the" best SD DVD upconverters to ever hit the market (if he has an HDMI connection, lol). Everyman is definitley going to see the difference between SD DVDs played through this unit as opposed to his old one, but will he really see the same exponential difference when he pops in an HD-DVD. Maybe, maybe not? But at least he'll be future proof.

Sony is basically selling Blu-ray through hype, spin, and better PR in general. How long will that last before people wise up though?

Last edited by El Despairado; 01-29-2007 at 02:44 PM..
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