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Research firm says HD DVD sales will rise

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Old 12-13-2007, 07:44 AM   #16  
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob Jones View Post
Although I agree with your general analysis on the Blu-ray/HD-DVD debate, I doubt most consumers give a rat's a*s about bit rates and disc capacity unless the differences are readily apparent in the viewing experience. Although you indicate that you "believe Blu-ray is better", other than pointing to those aforementioned objective facts, I note you did not suggest that you recognized its superiority in the viewing experience. I still maintain that Blu-ray will win this battle because it came out of the gate with tremendous support from the major movie production companies (all but Universal and Paramount which have myopically committed only to HD-DVD) and with major manufacturing giants like Sony and Panasonic. I firmly believe HD-DVD can only win with major and consistent reductions in hardware and software costs. If Blu-ray ever produces a player under the $200 mark, HD-DVD will be in serious trouble. However, I have been wrong in the past-from time to time.
We are in agreement. I think the quality of both is excellent and my belief that Blu-ray is better is from reading subjective reviews and an objective analysis. My displays are not up to the task of any comprehensive comparison proving Blu-ray is better subjectively and I have admitted not observing any difference several times in the past. If Blu-ray could match HD DVD in price, Blu-ray hardware would sell much better. Blu-ray hardware sells better at any price point both products are available. Unfortunately, I don't think we will see Blu-ray hardware priced at $200 this year, with the exception of a rare closeout or special offer. Of course at some future date that price is possible, probably even likely for a low end player. At the present, Blu-ray can't compete at the low end, but is very competitive with HD DVD at the high end.

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Old 12-13-2007, 08:12 AM   #17  
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Whether or not the difference between Blu-ray and HD DVD are significant depends on what you consider significant. What I stated was I observed the PS3 estimated total bitrate for video/audio exceeded 40Mbps and that HD DVD can't top 30Mbps. The Blu-ray maximum for video/audio is 48Mbps. The difference between 40Mbps available for video and 48Mbps can be used for audio and Blu-ray often uses uncompressed lossless PCM which is a bandwidth hog. I think you agreed with what I stated unless I am missing something.

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Yes, i basicly agree there is a technical difference, that has a (imo very small) potential of being an advantage for BD. I wanted to describe how i feel about it, and how i think it is being valued among the different groups of customers, in my own words.

It is my opinion, that having higher bandwidth in the digital video world certainly is not a disadvantage and offers potential for an advantage, depending on how it is being used.

My personal rating of this is very low btw, region coding and less DRM being much more important to me, than the imo unfullfilled promise of maybe 5 - 10% better pq.

And let me add to this:

As the development of the advanced codes continues, both formats have room for improvements.

Better compression will lead to the same pq as today at slightly lower bitrates. So if there are high-end limitations regarding the codecs and HD DVD's lower video bitrate today for crucial scenes that require high bitrates (often fast moving scenes with high details), increasing the efficiency of the codecs will allow HD DVD to close the gap.

Also there is an (undetermined?) threshold, when we start to get diminishing returns in pq while increasing the bitrate. If the producer of "Natures Journey" is to be believed, i think he stated that he found this threshold to be rather near HD DVD's video bitrate ceiling iirc. I would expect this threshold to sink as well, as the codecs keep improving. If the threshold sinks well below HD DVD's video bitrate ceiling, it makes the higher videobitrate of Blu-ray even less a potential advantage than it is today.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:48 AM   #18  
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Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
Whether or not the difference between Blu-ray and HD DVD are significant depends on what you consider significant. What I stated was I observed the PS3 estimated total bitrate for video/audio exceeded 40Mbps and that HD DVD can't top 30Mbps. The Blu-ray maximum for video/audio is 48Mbps. The difference between 40Mbps available for video and 48Mbps can be used for audio and Blu-ray often uses uncompressed lossless PCM which is a bandwidth hog. I think you agreed with what I stated unless I am missing something.

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DVD quality compared to VHS quality is significant, HD DVD quality compared to BLU ray quality is not significant and J6p will never see the difference.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:57 AM   #19  
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Blu-ray hardware sells better at any price point both products are available.
Chris,

Are you capable of admitting that if the PS3 was ONLY a gaming console and Sony had a separate player that replaced it all along at the same price point of the PS3 that Blu-ray would never have sold what its sold?

This is a clear indication that people are getting blu-ray without really wanting it. Whether they use it or not is a completely separate story. Sony basically tried to make blu-ray the de facto standard by including it in the PS3. People have it, therefore they'll use it. Doesn't mean they wanted it in the first place.

I think you just need to stop fooling yourself as to why blu-ray sales are where they are. They ARE there, it IS doing better, but let's not forget why.

If Microsoft decided to give away a Zune with every copy of Office and Vista, wouldn't the Zune become more popular than the ipod very quickly? Would that be because everyone was choosing the Zune over the ipod? Or would it simply be like the PS3 and everyone was using what they got when purchasing something else??
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:04 AM   #20  
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DVD quality compared to VHS quality is significant, HD DVD quality compared to BLU ray quality is not significant and J6p will never see the difference.

I am seeing more comments that make me believe that is true for the majority so I can't dispute it, but I believe there is a significant market that finds the difference between these next generation formats and DVD worthwhile, I just don't have a good feel for what that market really is, but it isn't anything until some time after the format war ends.

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Old 12-13-2007, 09:13 AM   #21  
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Chris,

Are you capable of admitting that if the PS3 was ONLY a gaming console and Sony had a separate player that replaced it all along at the same price point of the PS3 that Blu-ray would never have sold what its sold?

This is a clear indication that people are getting blu-ray without really wanting it. Whether they use it or not is a completely separate story. Sony basically tried to make blu-ray the de facto standard by including it in the PS3. People have it, therefore they'll use it. Doesn't mean they wanted it in the first place.

I think you just need to stop fooling yourself as to why blu-ray sales are where they are. They ARE there, it IS doing better, but let's not forget why.

If Microsoft decided to give away a Zune with every copy of Office and Vista, wouldn't the Zune become more popular than the ipod very quickly? Would that be because everyone was choosing the Zune over the ipod? Or would it simply be like the PS3 and everyone was using what they got when purchasing something else??
If Sony had developed a powerful standalone Blu-ray player/media server as good as the PS3 and sold it at at comparable cost less amount, in other words a big loss, I do think Blu-ray hardware would have dominated HD DVD hardware anyway. I don't even know what the right strategy is, I do know the HD DVD strategy with no manufacturer support other than Toshiba and inadequate software supplier support is a poor strategy. When it was decided that both would launch, it was a foregone conclusion that both formats would find unprofitable markets until a long time after the format war ended and the way this one is going, I don't know if there are ever any profits. So far, Blu-ray has not used the hardware fire sale approach although the Samsung BD-P1400 seems to be the first crack in that strategy.

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:15 AM   #22  
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Chris, you are arguing with me, when all I did was post a news article and stated that I agreed with it. Your beef is with the research group. Maybe you should start emailing them with your evidence and research to the contrary.

I also can't believe how you state things like higher bitrate, etc for BD, when all you have is 720p equipment (the 30 inch unit doesn't count)!? How would you know? Reading some specs spewed out by the BD media machine!

You wanted me to give you a history lesson about successful new formats, why don't we have a history lesson on Sony and failed new formats? I feel it's better to learn from others' mistakes, than make them myself.

Chris....
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:46 AM   #23  
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Chris, you are arguing with me, when all I did was post a news article and stated that I agreed with it. Your beef is with the research group. Maybe you should start emailing them with your evidence and research to the contrary.

I also can't believe how you state things like higher bitrate, etc for BD, when all you have is 720p equipment (the 30 inch unit doesn't count)!? How would you know? Reading some specs spewed out by the BD media machine!

You wanted me to give you a history lesson about successful new formats, why don't we have a history lesson on Sony and failed new formats? I feel it's better to learn from others' mistakes, than make them myself.

Chris....

You agreed with the article and stated this is the way it has always worked, I asked for one example and of course you had none except DVD which of course wasn't even remotely close to how HD DVD has been received by the market.

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Old 12-14-2007, 06:49 AM   #24  
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I'm happy to have both formats. Real appreciation goes with a quality display. Although I get a great picture with my CRT RPTV, I do have plans for a big Plasma.

My disappointment is HD disc sensitivity. A small scratch or some finger grease will get a disc to freeze. I returned a number of rental discs because scratches made it impossible to view a good part of the movie.

And Blu-Ray is now using 2 layer discs and access to the second layer is not easy. In the case of Die Hard, you need to skip the relevant chapter after restarting the movie (many have complained about this). Problem is not resolved by pausing and pressing Play.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:32 AM   #25  
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I stand by my DVD example. If the market penetration was considered fast, as you say, then it was because the prices dropped fast. I work in the high tech industry and I work with a lot of "early adopters" that have a lot of money. When DVD came out, I didn't know anyone at work or in my family that bought into it until the prices were $150 or less. I didn't get in until they were $79 for the low end players (even though the salesman talked me into a $119 player). I certainly didn't know of anyone that dropped their VHS player for a $500 DVD player.

You must be younger than I thought, there are tons of examples in all industries. What about Hyundai and Kia? If they cost $35 grand and up, do you think they would be all over the roads? Not a chance. Even though there are many VERY satisfied owners of those brands.

Computers are the same. When they cost $4k for a home pc, very few people I knew owned one. If it wasn't for the industry that I work in, I wouldn't have known anyone that had one then. Now you can get them all day for under $800 and everybody has one.

Price is very important. However, that doesn't mean that the Toshiba's are inferior at their price points. Having strict compatibility rules and a completed format has ensured that. Just take a quick look at the HD player forums on here everyday and see which forum has the most viewers at any given time. HD DVD may not be very popular yet on a grand scale, but in the HDM market, it is doing very well.

Also, don't discount the fact that Microsoft is backing HD DVD. Unlike Sony, Microsoft is usually very successful and doesn't like to lose money.

Chris.....
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:10 PM   #26  
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I stand by my DVD example. If the market penetration was considered fast, as you say, then it was because the prices dropped fast. I work in the high tech industry and I work with a lot of "early adopters" that have a lot of money. When DVD came out, I didn't know anyone at work or in my family that bought into it until the prices were $150 or less. I didn't get in until they were $79 for the low end players (even though the salesman talked me into a $119 player). I certainly didn't know of anyone that dropped their VHS player for a $500 DVD player.

You must be younger than I thought, there are tons of examples in all industries. What about Hyundai and Kia? If they cost $35 grand and up, do you think they would be all over the roads? Not a chance. Even though there are many VERY satisfied owners of those brands.

Computers are the same. When they cost $4k for a home pc, very few people I knew owned one. If it wasn't for the industry that I work in, I wouldn't have known anyone that had one then. Now you can get them all day for under $800 and everybody has one.

Price is very important. However, that doesn't mean that the Toshiba's are inferior at their price points. Having strict compatibility rules and a completed format has ensured that. Just take a quick look at the HD player forums on here everyday and see which forum has the most viewers at any given time. HD DVD may not be very popular yet on a grand scale, but in the HDM market, it is doing very well.

Also, don't discount the fact that Microsoft is backing HD DVD. Unlike Sony, Microsoft is usually very successful and doesn't like to lose money.

Chris.....
When I asked for an example, I asked for an example of a home audio video format that started off slowly like HD DVD has then gained mass adoption. There are no examples. DVD had many manufacturers of players by this time, surely well over a dozen, the product benefitted greatly from competition. DVD saw rapid growth quickly. We have no manufacturers of HD DVD players except Toshiba and a couple of Blu-ray player manufacturers that have added HD DVD capability. For a product that has seen a market response like this, the way it has always worked is the format disappeared quickly or survived as a tiny niche market. There are no exceptions so I see HD DVD doing one or the other, period.

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Old 12-14-2007, 02:24 PM   #27  
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I think both formats took different approaches to the hardware. I'm sure Toshiba knew that closer layers yields more storage potential, but chose to do the same layer as regular DVD to make production easier and hopefully take off quicker. Sony on the other hand wanted to show they could squeeze more storage, but at a cost of having to be much further from DVD, thus one of the reasons they don't have combos. So to say that BR has the technological advantage is wrong, both platforms are using the same tech in different ways to suit their needs. BR needed that extra storage because they intended on only MPEG2 which requires more space, does this make them less techi-I don't think so, just a different way of handling things. BR knew prices would be higher, but went that route, where HD DVD wanted the cheapest way to win the consumers over, and hey lets face it, how many times have you heard people say "hd isn't worth the money, cause the jump in picture quality isn't that much better". choosing a cheaper way in may prove to be the best answer, since not many want to invest in something that doesn't make a huge difference in their eyes. Sure more bits and space is better, but if it comes at to high a price no one will buy it. I just read an article that tested peoples perception of hearing music, and it said not even musicians could always tell the difference between MP3's and standard CDs, so do we really need lossless on every movie?
to Chris Gerhard, you could be on to something with BR selling as well as HD with the same price point, as seen by the latest price drop of that BD1400, although it is still trailing behing the more expensive A35 and hasn't been able to knock out similar priced (although cheaper) Hd players out of first place on amazon. It will be interesting to see how well that BP sells, and how the BDA responds with their prices.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #28  
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Chris, nice response and clarification. But one thing you are right about, in the HD realm, there is no precedent. I also wish there were many more CE companies making these products, but the sales are still projected to be low and there isn't much incentive to build - yet. China is due to start releasing HD DVD players and hopefully some bigger names will also. I chose not to wait. However, as has been stated and restated, we are not the bulk of the average consumers.

It will be interesting to see it all unfold. I have a front row seat!

Chris....
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:50 PM   #29  
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I think that's a very good point.

One would have to name a new AV format that required the use of a new playback system to derive it's benefits.

Ever since the earliest days of "Hi-Fi", audio playback systems exceeded the quality needed to reproduce the medium and, as medium performance improved in quality, the playback systems continued to remain one step ahead until it really didn't matter anymore.

Video was similar--most TV's were up to the task of displaying an NTSC signal about as well as it could be reproduced. It wasn't until progressive scan DVD players came along that there was a need for a new type of display--a progressive scan TV with Component Video inputs--however every progressive scan DVD player was also capable of supplying a standard NTSC signal as well, so it didn't really matter as the format (DVD's) was the same in either case. It's not like there were interlaced DVD's and progressive scan DVD's that were different products.

AFAIK, there really is no precedent for an AV format that requires you to invest in a new playback system in order to appreciate it's benefits, therefore there is no way of gauging the growth of Hi-Def disc formats with respect to other AV formats.
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:07 AM   #30  
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I think that's a very good point.

One would have to name a new AV format that required the use of a new playback system to derive it's benefits.

Ever since the earliest days of "Hi-Fi", audio playback systems exceeded the quality needed to reproduce the medium and, as medium performance improved in quality, the playback systems continued to remain one step ahead until it really didn't matter anymore.

Video was similar--most TV's were up to the task of displaying an NTSC signal about as well as it could be reproduced. It wasn't until progressive scan DVD players came along that there was a need for a new type of display--a progressive scan TV with Component Video inputs--however every progressive scan DVD player was also capable of supplying a standard NTSC signal as well, so it didn't really matter as the format (DVD's) was the same in either case. It's not like there were interlaced DVD's and progressive scan DVD's that were different products.

AFAIK, there really is no precedent for an AV format that requires you to invest in a new playback system in order to appreciate it's benefits, therefore there is no way of gauging the growth of Hi-Def disc formats with respect to other AV formats.
Of course there are many examples of a format that was manufactured to take advantage of new audio/video technology. S-video inputs in displays was one. The products to use the inputs were SVHS, EDBeta, and Hi-8 among others. Receivers with 5.1 surround inputs or digital inputs with built in decoders to decode the surround sound source. For analog 5.1 inputs, the products were first DVD and CD with Dolby Digital or DTS audio then later SACD and DVD-A. Various digital inputs in audio processors are common now for various audio codecs. Component video inputs in displays was offered for progressive scan DVD players is another in a long line of developments.

I know one of the favorite responses here is that an HDTV is required for HD DVD and that is the reason it isn't selling in great quantities. I always say that is absurd. HDTV is now in about 40% of homes in the US, the number is growing rapidly so I need to look now to get a better estimate, I might be low. Assume 100% of homes in the US and multiply the HD DVD penetration by 2.5 and you still have a tiny number, the format is basically stillborn.

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