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Upconversion players vs HD DVD, Blur-ray

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Old 12-03-2007, 09:54 PM   #61  
What's all this, then?...
 
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Wow, you're kidding, right?

The PS3 is indeed an impressive device, but it's still expensive by any consumer's standards and it does a ton of things the "average American consumer" has no interest in.

The number of DVD players in the US is vastly greater than the total number of video game consoles in the US and about two orders of magnitude greater than the number of PS3's.

In 2006, around 82% of American households had at least one DVD player, while in 2007 around 41% of American households had video game consoles.

You also seem to forget that HD DVD players are routinely being sold at under $200.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:59 AM   #62  
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Wow, you're kidding, right?

The PS3 is indeed an impressive device, but it's still expensive by any consumer's standards and it does a ton of things the "average American consumer" has no interest in.

The number of DVD players in the US is vastly greater than the total number of video game consoles in the US and about two orders of magnitude greater than the number of PS3's.

In 2006, around 82% of American households had at least one DVD player, while in 2007 around 41% of American households had video game consoles.

You also seem to forget that HD DVD players are routinely being sold at under $200.

Wow, you must be kidding, I am certainly not kidding. Let's try to get this straight, the PS3 outsells all HD DVD players by 6 times or so all by itself and you claim it does "a ton of things the average Average consumer doesn't want". The product launched about 6 months or so after HD DVD. HD DVD players don't sell well despite extraordinarily low prices and you claim that consumers want HD DVD players and purchase them routinely? How in the world does that make any sense whatsoever? I would think even you have to admit, the PS3 despite doing things that the average consumer doesn't want, does do things a significant group of consumers do want and are willing to pay market price for.

An HD DVD player doesn't do much, but for what it does do, consumers don't find it provides very good value is the only conclusion I could come to. I know there is this remarkable plan getting ready to force consumers to buy the product despite the fact it isn't wanted and I am waiting to see that one play out.

I have admitted not everybody wants all of the things a PS3 does and that is fine but for the group that does, this thing is a great value. For the group that only wants a couple of things it does, it is a very good value.

Chris

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Old 12-04-2007, 09:09 AM   #63  
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Sorry Chris, I was responding to Colorado54's post not yours, and yes, I'm asking if he's kidding.

Given the choice between a game console and a standalone DVD player, the average American consumer chooses a standalone DVD player by over a 2:1 margin (which equates to over 100 million units) and chooses a standalone DVD player over a PS3 by two orders of magnitude (or over 250 Million units), so no, the average American consumer does not consider the PS3 a bargain, nor inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination. It's certainly an impressive machine and a good value if you want something that does what the PS3 does, which most American consumers do not.

Will the average American consumer find an under $150 HD DVD player which also upscales their existing DVD library to be a bargain? To soon to tell, but they surely won't find a BD player or the PS3 to be a bargain and the low sales of standalone BD players along with the continual missing of sales projections and subsequent price cuts for the PS3 make that pretty obvious.

If BD expects to pin all their hopes on the PS3, then BD is guaranteed to fail with the average consumer--only a percentage of PS3 owners have HDTV's and only a percentage of those are buying Blu-Ray movies, hence the poor sales rate of BD discs with respect to the number of BD players in the field.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #64  
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I have read this whole post and chuckled over many things but here is my $.02 worth. Break it down however you want but the core audience of the Gaming consoles is just that GAMING- trust me I have owned just about every system since I picked berries 8 hours a day for a whole summer to by an ATARI 2600 back in the day and have owned just about every gaming console since and last time I checked the video game industry is way way bigger in terms of revenue than the movie industry - remember almost (not all) all those great titles you buy were once in the theater. Oh and by the way remember the xbox-360 I have one and the hd-dvd add-on and guess what I can play my games in high def (which is why I bought it) and also added on an additional drive (hd-dvd) for way less than what I would have paid for a PS3. The PS3 is the first gaming console I won't buy and it is based on 2 things 1) Price and 2 Sony has left me format abandoned before.
Another thing is this my parents own a 65" HDTV (which has never been calibrated and is receiving standard def programming and using the tv's speakers (thank God i took it off 'TORCH mode' before they ruined their display )- I have a 47" Rproj TV which has been properly calibrated and tuned and what I paid for it and my audio system (also properly set-up) is way less than what they paid for their tv alone and everybody who sees my set-up falls in love immediately and when they see the parents tv they often ask- 'why didn't you get a hi-def set like your kid'
Long and short is although they make way more money than me they refuse to pay what they call outrageous prices and go through 'a lot of hassle' to set-up and understand everything that is brought up in this forum. Thay are 'average joes' and what things reasonably priced and EASY TO USE AND UNDERSTAND. If they could just go to a store and buy everything ready-to-go in a box and come home and plug it in with nothing further to do they would jump on that in a heartbeat which is what I fear a lot of consumers want. They see tuning set-up and calibration time as exceesive and unreasonable and many consumers don't have the $$ to pay for professional level set-ups ( my folks do but refuse to pay 'exorbitant prices' for something that should just work. I quote them here -" If we had to go through all this evrytime we went to buy a stove or a fridge- we would still be hunter gatherers" If somebody ever figures how to bundle everything that somebody will need in one copmplete package and make it bootom dollar price for JOE they will be the winner imho.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #65  
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I'm sure it would be the "honorable" thing for the [HD-DVD] format that is best positioned for the consumer, with the best price/performance ratio and the most features and most complete products to bow out.
Why not?

Betamax offered the "best" of everything, and it ultimately bowed out.
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:02 PM   #66  
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No, it didn't offer the best price/performance ratio, which is always what drives mass consumer success.

Betamax players were mostly a bit more expensive than VHS *and* consumers desired longer recording times than Beta originally provided but VHS did provide.

"Best" is in the eye of the beholder. At the time most people felt Beta had better picture quality, but lower price and longer recording time was more important to consumers, as long as picture quality was acceptable.

When RCA was looking to get into VCR's, Sony's engineers flat-out refused to lower the tape speed of Beta to get a longer recording time because *they* felt the picture quality was unacceptable.

When RCA then went to JVC with the same request for VHS, JVC refused on the same grounds, but JVC's parent company, Matsushita (Panasonic), overruled them. The rest is history.

There is no way to know yet if any Hi-Def disc format will be a mass consumer success, but based on history, the format that provides satisfactory performance at a lower price always wins over a format that provides better performance at a higher price.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:45 AM   #67  
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No, it didn't offer the best price/performance ratio, which is always what drives mass consumer success. Betamax players were mostly a bit more expensive than VHS *and* consumers desired longer recording times than Beta originally provided but VHS did provide.
Well then I would argue the same about HD DVD. It has a lot of nice features, but it falls short in a number of key areas (like lower picture quality at only 30 Mbit/s).
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:32 AM   #68  
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No, it didn't offer the best price/performance ratio, which is always what drives mass consumer success.

Betamax players were mostly a bit more expensive than VHS *and* consumers desired longer recording times than Beta originally provided but VHS did provide.

"Best" is in the eye of the beholder. At the time most people felt Beta had better picture quality, but lower price and longer recording time was more important to consumers, as long as picture quality was acceptable.

When RCA was looking to get into VCR's, Sony's engineers flat-out refused to lower the tape speed of Beta to get a longer recording time because *they* felt the picture quality was unacceptable.

When RCA then went to JVC with the same request for VHS, JVC refused on the same grounds, but JVC's parent company, Matsushita (Panasonic), overruled them. The rest is history.

There is no way to know yet if any Hi-Def disc format will be a mass consumer success, but based on history, the format that provides satisfactory performance at a lower price always wins over a format that provides better performance at a higher price.
The history of VHS v Beta also includes an interesting side story that I believe is true and in fact I believe has been admitted in legal proceedings. I haven't actually read the court filings to know first hand it is true however. Before Sony developed the Beta VCR for a consumer market or at about the same time, Sony designed and built a prototype of an M-Load VCR but Sony preferred the U-Load design used with Beta. A Sony engineer showed this M-Load design to a JVC engineer who took it and JVC further developed it and called it VHS. For a while Sony advertised that before we invented Beta, we invented VHS. JVC filed a suit to stop this despite the fact it was technically correct, Sony didn't hold the patent to VHS and agreed to stop the advertisements in the settlement. I do recall seeing the ads and wish I had saved one.

I believe what BobY indicates is true though and how I recall it. At that time, RCA was an important brand in the US and although the dumb idea of slowly running tape with such poor picture quality made no sense to me, it was a huge marketing success. I don't think many people actually used the ELP speed often and certainly no major pre-recorded releases I ever saw used it either.

I loved Beta, but when SVHS became affordable in about 1991, I purchased my first VCR with a VHS logo on it. I had purchased SuperBeta in about 1985 and EDBeta about 1988 and it was excellent for analog NTSC recording, but way too expensive. I loved SVHS because of the value and almost indistinguishable recording quality compared to EDBeta, better than SuperBeta. I ultimately sold my EDBeta VCR around 1996 or 1997 at a nice profit, very fortunate and very rare for me. I usually lose a lot, buying products early and selling them. I used SVHS and SuperBeta until I got my first D-VHS VCR in 2000. I really haven't used an analog VCR for SD recording since. The best analog VCR format by a long shot I have ever seen is W-VHS, and that is the tiniest niche format ever.

Chris
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:38 AM   #69  
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No, it didn't offer the best price/performance ratio, which is always what drives mass consumer success.

Betamax players were mostly a bit more expensive than VHS *and* consumers desired longer recording times than Beta originally provided but VHS did provide.

"Best" is in the eye of the beholder. At the time most people felt Beta had better picture quality, but lower price and longer recording time was more important to consumers, as long as picture quality was acceptable.

When RCA was looking to get into VCR's, Sony's engineers flat-out refused to lower the tape speed of Beta to get a longer recording time because *they* felt the picture quality was unacceptable.

When RCA then went to JVC with the same request for VHS, JVC refused on the same grounds, but JVC's parent company, Matsushita (Panasonic), overruled them. The rest is history.

There is no way to know yet if any Hi-Def disc format will be a mass consumer success, but based on history, the format that provides satisfactory performance at a lower price always wins over a format that provides better performance at a higher price.
The history of VHS v Beta also includes an interesting side story that I believe is true and in fact I believe has been admitted in legal proceedings. I haven't actually read the court filings to know first hand it is true however. Before Sony developed the Beta VCR for a consumer market or at about the same time, Sony designed and built a prototype of an M-Load VCR but Sony preferred the U-Load design used with Beta. A Sony engineer showed this M-Load design to a JVC engineer who took it and JVC further developed it and called it VHS. For a while Sony advertised that before we invented Beta, we invented VHS. JVC filed a suit to stop this despite the fact it was technically correct, Sony didn't hold the patent to VHS and agreed to stop the advertisements in the settlement. I do recall seeing the ads and wish I had saved one.

I believe what BobY indicates is true though and how I recall it. At that time, RCA was an important brand in the US and although the dumb idea of slowly running tape with such poor picture quality made no sense to me, it was a huge marketing success. I don't think many people actually used the ELP speed often and certainly no major pre-recorded releases I ever saw used it either.

I loved Beta, but when SVHS became affordable in about 1991, I purchased my first VCR with a VHS logo on it. I had purchased SuperBeta in about 1985 and EDBeta about 1988 and it was excellent for analog NTSC recording, but way too expensive. I loved SVHS because of the value and almost indistinguishable recording quality compared to EDBeta, better than SuperBeta. I ultimately sold my EDBeta VCR around 1996 or 1997 at a nice profit, very fortunate and very rare for me. I usually lose a lot, buying products early and selling them. I used SVHS and SuperBeta until I got my first D-VHS VCR in 2000. I really haven't used an analog VCR for SD recording since. The best analog VCR format by a long shot I have ever seen is W-VHS, and that is the tiniest niche format ever.

BobY's understanding of what has happened in prior format wars and his blind faith in HD DVD for this one is not correct but not worth disputing in detail here, I have disputed that in enough threads. Just to offer a simple example, VHS immediately sold more than Beta and was ahead in the US by a large margin quickly. HD DVD has done no such thing and trails by a large margin after a similar period that already had VHS running smoothly and rock solid. Any comparison of this format war to any format war that preceeded this format war makes HD DVD look like a lost cause or tiny niche market already. Which one of the two happens is all that is left to be determined.

Chris
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:56 AM   #70  
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There was no need to repeat yourself.
I heard you the first time.
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Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
I believe what BobY indicates is true though and how I recall it. At that time, RCA was an important brand in the US and although the dumb idea of slowly running tape with such poor picture quality made no sense to me, it was a huge marketing success. I don't think many people actually used the ELP speed often and certainly no major pre-recorded releases I ever saw used it either.
I think you're wrong in your assertion. Perhaps the people you hang-out with are all videophiles, but the people I know don't care about quality. Everybody I know uses SLP/EP speed:
- my brother
- my niece
- my other niece
- my roommate
- my old dormmate
- and of course, me

So yes I think the ability of the 1976 RCA vcr to record in Long Play mode (~4 hours) was a major factor in consumers' choice to eschew Beta's limited length (~1 hour). Of course Beta eventually stretched that to 5 hours, but it was too late, because VHS was already offering 10 hours per tape.

Time was the deciding factor. Not quality (consumers just don't care).
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:09 AM   #71  
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There was no need to repeat yourself.
I heard you the first time.
;-)



I think you're wrong in your assertion. Perhaps the people you hang-out with are all videophiles, but the people I know don't care about quality. Everybody I know uses SLP/EP speed:
- my brother
- my niece
- my other niece
- my roommate
- my old dormmate
- and of course, me

So yes I think the ability of the 1976 RCA vcr to record in Long Play mode (~4 hours) was a major factor in consumers' choice to eschew Beta's limited length (~1 hour). Of course Beta eventually stretched that to 5 hours, but it was too late, because VHS was already offering 10 hours per tape.

Time was the deciding factor. Not quality (consumers just don't care).
Funny, with time shifting, why would you not just watch the tape at the highest quality and reuse it? Of course for a given program that was over the maximum SP time, then a slower speed was necessary, but when the recording would fit on a tape, why not use SP. Surely everybody could tell the huge difference between SLP (EP) and SP. I sure refused to use it and don't know anybody personally that I believe used it often.

Chris
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:15 PM   #72  
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Well then I would argue the same about HD DVD. It has a lot of nice features, but it falls short in a number of key areas (like lower picture quality at only 30 Mbit/s).
Bah, Humbug. You know that isn't true in the real world and you can just reread the Casey interview for all the proof you need.
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:40 PM   #73  
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Chris-

Since you never tire of misrepresenting what I say, I never tire of correcting you. Perhaps when you realize that, you'll stop.

I don't have any blind faith in HD DVD--I do have years of experience in CE that tells me Blu-Ray is doomed to niche status, but I never said HD DVD will triumph, just that it's the only one of the two that could be successful for a whole host of reasons previously enumerated.

And I never likened the Blu-Ray/HD DVD format war to the Beta/VHS format war. VHS won because it provided the features consumers wanted (longer recording time with acceptable picture quality). There is little difference to consumers between Blu-Ray and HD DVD other than HD DVD is less expensive and has certain exclusive movies while Blu-Ray has different exclusive movies, so no, I don't see the Beta/VHS analogy.

Electrictroy-

It's not that consumers don't care about picture quality, rather they balance picture quality with other priorities. They put different values on different things.

The longer recording time issue was straightforward. RCA told SONY "If it can't record a whole football game on one tape, we're not interested". Simple. RCA knew lots of Americans would choose a video recorder that could time shift a whole football game over one that didn't.

The silly thing was, nobody was forcing anyone to use EP mode, it was simply an option they could choose when needed. SONY refused to offer that option to RCA because, in SONY's estimation, the picture quality would not be acceptable. This is yet another example of SONY's arrogance toward consumers, not offering a feature consumers desire because in SONY's estimation it's not good enough--basically imposing their values on consumers and ultimately paying the price for their arrogance.
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Old 12-24-2007, 06:32 AM   #74  
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Chris-

Since you never tire of misrepresenting what I say, I never tire of correcting you. Perhaps when you realize that, you'll stop.

I don't have any blind faith in HD DVD--I do have years of experience in CE that tells me Blu-Ray is doomed to niche status, but I never said HD DVD will triumph, just that it's the only one of the two that could be successful for a whole host of reasons previously enumerated.

And I never likened the Blu-Ray/HD DVD format war to the Beta/VHS format war. VHS won because it provided the features consumers wanted (longer recording time with acceptable picture quality). There is little difference to consumers between Blu-Ray and HD DVD other than HD DVD is less expensive and has certain exclusive movies while Blu-Ray has different exclusive movies, so no, I don't see the Beta/VHS analogy.

Electrictroy-

It's not that consumers don't care about picture quality, rather they balance picture quality with other priorities. They put different values on different things.

The longer recording time issue was straightforward. RCA told SONY "If it can't record a whole football game on one tape, we're not interested". Simple. RCA knew lots of Americans would choose a video recorder that could time shift a whole football game over one that didn't.

The silly thing was, nobody was forcing anyone to use EP mode, it was simply an option they could choose when needed. SONY refused to offer that option to RCA because, in SONY's estimation, the picture quality would not be acceptable. This is yet another example of SONY's arrogance toward consumers, not offering a feature consumers desire because in SONY's estimation it's not good enough--basically imposing their values on consumers and ultimately paying the price for their arrogance.
I don't believe I have ever misrepresented anything you said intentionally. I didn't state you likened the VHS v Beta war to the Blu-ray/HD DVD war. You stated this after discussing the VHS v Beta format war:

Quote:
There is no way to know yet if any Hi-Def disc format will be a mass consumer success, but based on history, the format that provides satisfactory performance at a lower price always wins over a format that provides better performance at a higher price.
Which followed your statement that VHS had the price advantage and acceptable quality. I am assuming you are referring to HD DVD as the format with a lower price here. I just offered my opinion that after VHS was a couple of years into the format war, it had a solid lead, not way behind, so if anybody that read your comments thought it meant HD DVD is doing well and looked just like VHS, they should know better. HD DVD is way behind, everywhere in the world, there has never been a format come form behind after this length of time and do anything but continue on as a tiny niche format or disappear which are the only two possible outcomes for HD DVD in my opinion.

I sure can't find any misrepresentation by me of your comments on a second reading.

Chris
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:32 AM   #75  
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Funny, with time shifting, why would you not just watch the tape at the highest quality and reuse it?
Because I was young and stupid. It was not until later (mid-90s) when I acquired a better TV, and then I could see how poor SLP/EP recordings looked compared to SP.

As for other people I know (brother, niece, roommate), they just don't care about quality. They record everything in SLP/EP, even home movies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobY View Post
It's not that consumers don't care about picture quality, rather they balance picture quality with other priorities. They put different values on different things.

The longer recording time issue was straightforward. RCA told SONY "If it can't record a whole football game on one tape, we're not interested". Simple. RCA knew lots of Americans would choose a video recorder that could time shift a whole football game over one that didn't.

The silly thing was, nobody was forcing anyone to use EP mode, it was simply an option they could choose when needed. SONY refused to offer that option to RCA because, in SONY's estimation, the picture quality would not be acceptable. This is yet another example of SONY's arrogance toward consumers, not offering a feature consumers desire because in SONY's estimation it's not good enough--basically imposing their values on consumers and ultimately paying the price for their arrogance.
Well said.

Sony was acting like Chris Gerard. Chris says he (and his friends) think SLP/EP was a waste. But that's only THEIR opinion, and not the opinion of the majority who clearly prefered the 4 hour RCA/VHS tapes (even with a slight blurring) to the 1 hour Betamax tapes.

That's why even today my family members and roommates still insist upon using SLP/EP despire my efforts to get them to switch to higher quality. They want more tape. They want more value & more hours per dollar.

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