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Research firm says HD DVD sales will rise

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:14 PM   #46  
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Them I'm compelled to ask the age-old unanswered question (unanswered by you, although I've asked it several times):

If Millions of people own PS3's and the majority of them have them hooked to an HDTV (as per your other post) and people are interested in Hi-Def discs, then why aren't BD sales dramatically better than they are? 7 Million BD players, 380 BD titles, 4 Million BD discs sold, average sales of 10,000 discs per title--truly...well...is their an adjective that means "much worse than abysmal"?

Hint: It has nothing to do with the format war, these are people who already own a Blu-Ray player (PS3) and already hooked it up to an HDTV. If they aren't buying BD discs it's because they are not interested in buying BD discs, not because they are scared off by the format war.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:26 PM   #47  
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Them I'm compelled to ask the age-old unanswered question (unanswered by you, although I've asked it several times):

If Millions of people own PS3's and the majority of them have them hooked to an HDTV (as per your other post) and people are interested in Hi-Def discs, then why aren't BD sales dramatically better than they are? 7 Million BD players, 380 BD titles, 4 Million BD discs sold, average sales of 10,000 discs per title--truly...well...is their an adjective that means "much worse than abysmal"?

Hint: It has nothing to do with the format war, these are people who already own a Blu-Ray player (PS3) and already hooked it up to an HDTV. If they aren't buying BD discs it's because they are not interested in buying BD discs, not because they are scared off by the format war.

I have answered that question a number of times, don't say I haven't. It is my belief that owners of the PS3 won't buy many Blu-ray discs until the format war ends. There is a reluctance to buy software for a format that might not survive. The PS3 continues to peform as a game console and media server if the Blu-ray video disc dies. Nobody wants to be stuck with a format that once the player dies, the software is unplayable. I got stuck with Q-8 Track, Quad Open Reel, Quad LP, Beta, and then purchased a fleet of SACD/DVD-A players to be safe and I am sure not planning on getting stuck with Blu-ray. Format war ends, Blu-ray wins, I will buy software and so will many other PS3 owners, hardware to play the software will be forthcoming, no further concerns.

The Blu-ray discs I own are the 15 free from PS3 purchase and most of the balance buy one get one free which caused me to overcome my lack of willingness to buy software. I have been through this too many times and if Blu-ray prevails, as I believe they will, things change for me and many others like me.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but your hint is nothing more than you opinion, certainly not true for me and many others I know and communicate with, and that is a lot of people on the various forums.

Chris
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #48  
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Sorry, you should have taken the hint. That answer makes no sense at all.

Even if BD were to disappear, their PS3 would continue to play every BD movie they ever bought until their PS3 goes to the great game console graveyard in the sky.

If current PS3 owner's are concerned about the future after that would happen, then they also wouldn't buy any PS3 games either, because the situation is identical, especially considering SONY has dropped PS2 compatibility at this point, so when (if) the "PS4" comes out, it's not likely to be compatible with their existing PS3 game library.

It simply makes no sense that PS3 owners wouldn't buy Blu-Ray discs because they are concerned about the future of Blu-Ray. Based on that logic, they would never buy a PS3 in the first place, because it's in a "format war" with the XBOX 360 and the Wii. And if they did get a PS3, they would never buy any PS3 games, because they would be concerned about the future of PS3 games is the PS3 fails or gets replaced by something that won't play PS3 games.

Is it that hard for you to admit that the reason so few PS3 owners are buying Blu-Ray discs is because they simply aren't interested in buying Hi-Def movies?
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:11 AM   #49  
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We are not really getting anywhere with this thread. Chris honestly believes that if HD-DVD went away, BD would surge ahead because the uncertainty caused by the format war would end. My take and that of several others here is that it would make almost no difference in BD sales overall.

I actually think the focus on the war HURTS both sides. Let me give you an imperfect analogy. Lets suppose that there are three car companies in the USA: Lotus (BD) with an average price of $250,000, Ferrari (HD-DVD) with an average price of $150,000 and Chevy (SD-DVD) with an average price of $20,000. Cars sold last year: Lotus 300, Ferrari 500, Chevy 10,000,000.

Using the current attitudes in this thread, Lotus would focus it's energies on beating Ferrari and rejoice when it finally won, only to find sales jumped from 300 to 800. Why? Because their frickin cars cost too much for the average consumer. They didn't solve the problem (price) which is what was holding them back in the first place.

If BD beats HD-DVD, their players are still too expensive for Joe Public, the movies are too expensive and it will remain the niche product it is till prices come down. Shoot, if BD beat SD-DVD and movies were ONLY AVAILABLE IN BD, most movies would sit on the shelf unsold because Joe Public is not going to pay $299 (latest sale price) for a BD player and he is not going to pay $24.99 (cheapest BB price) for a movie.

In one of our elections, the catch phrase was "it's the economy, stupid!". The catch phrase here should be "it's the price, stupid!". If BD players were $100 and movies priced the same as SD-DVDs, there wouldn't be a war even if HD-DVD and SD-DVD were still around. And if the prices don't come down, BD will remain a nich product.

Same, BTW, applies to HD-DVD.
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:28 AM   #50  
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HD DVD is in a position to hit the necessary price points, both for players and for discs, long before BD.

BD made several crucial errors in their technological road map which would condemn them forever to niche status.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:07 AM   #51  
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Default HD-DVD closer to acceptable price

BobY,

I own two HD-DVD players - both A2's, so I agree that HD-DVD is close to what Joe Public will pay for the player price. My second was purchased at Walmart for $90 when they had their early Black Friday sale.

The movies are another matter. Right now I am ordering from Amazon, which saves some from BB (which is more expensive and I pay sales tax). But new movies come out at BB for $16 or so during release week compared to mid $20's or higher for HD-DVD movies. Too much for Joe Public right now.

You made the comment "BD made several crucial errors in their technological road map which would condemn them forever to niche status." I am would love to hear a little more about this - the reason I joined this forum was to learn.

BTW, I am very happy with my HD-DVD player. My latest purchase (the Bourne trilogy) is outstanding in high def. Stardust is on the way from Amazon and should be in late next week.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:03 AM   #52  
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Sorry, you should have taken the hint. That answer makes no sense at all.

Even if BD were to disappear, their PS3 would continue to play every BD movie they ever bought until their PS3 goes to the great game console graveyard in the sky.

If current PS3 owner's are concerned about the future after that would happen, then they also wouldn't buy any PS3 games either, because the situation is identical, especially considering SONY has dropped PS2 compatibility at this point, so when (if) the "PS4" comes out, it's not likely to be compatible with their existing PS3 game library.

It simply makes no sense that PS3 owners wouldn't buy Blu-Ray discs because they are concerned about the future of Blu-Ray. Based on that logic, they would never buy a PS3 in the first place, because it's in a "format war" with the XBOX 360 and the Wii. And if they did get a PS3, they would never buy any PS3 games, because they would be concerned about the future of PS3 games is the PS3 fails or gets replaced by something that won't play PS3 games.

Is it that hard for you to admit that the reason so few PS3 owners are buying Blu-Ray discs is because they simply aren't interested in buying Hi-Def movies?
Of course what I said was when the player owned dies, if the format is already dead, there is no hardware being made to play the software in the future, thus most people I know won't buy much software until the format's future is secure. I don't plan on buying much software until it is either guaranteed I can get affordable hardware for the remainder of my life or hardware is so inexpensive and so reliable that I can just buy it immediately. You state that the HD DVD plan is going great with low player prices. I own all four of these high quality digital formats, DVD-A, SACD, Blu-ray and HD DVD. All of them except HD DVD had many hardware manufacturers, the most pathetic of the four in terms of sales is HD DVD, hardware and software. None of the four has sold much, so it isn't like HD DVD is pathetic in a group of really big competitors. This slow growing plan for HD DVD that you think is on track, in fact has already failed and even you will be forced to admit it soon. Low priced players have been seen for DVD-A and SACD already, it didn't matter and the hardware for DVD-A and SACD has sold 20 times better than the HD DVD hardware and it didn't matter.

Somehow, you guys that really haven't followed these things, think that the HD DVD plan is just awesome. I have never seen anything so pathetic as a plan with such limited hardware manufacturer support and not enough software support. Even Beta, with Sony, NEC, Toshiba, Sanyo, Aiwa and a couple of others making VCR's was a far better effort than the the HD DVD plan.

Consumers buy software in large quantities when the status for a format is like LP, CD, and DVD, secure. Absolutely no concern for the format's survival is the comfort level required. There are a small group of consumers that will buy software with the hope that the format will survive, and I have been included in that group previously, but no longer. LP exists today as a somewhat healthy niche format with hardware still being made and a loyal but small market, very, very rare for this hobby.

Your opinion is just that, you don't speak for PS3 owners, apparently you aren't one and I have seen nothing from you ever that even faintly resembles something coming from somebody that understands anything about this market. If you think HD DVD with less than a million players sold worldwide, no presense at all in any country but the US and way behind in the US is a good result, you are one incredibly confused person to be offering so many opinions on this format war. I have participated in every audio/video format war for the past several decades and I easily see that HD DVD either dies with the Warner decision for Blu-ray or if Warner chooses a pro HD DVD course, limps along for a few years as a tiny niche format, there is no other possible outcome already, I have seen it all too many times.

I think even you would have to admit no format has ever had results like the first two years for HD DVD and then ever turned it around and done anything. Maybe not, maybe you don't have a clue about what has happened previously. Of course I know you will once again respond with all that is holding HD DVD back is HDTV penetration, absolute nonsense as I have pointed out everytime you make the point, HDTV is already in about 40% of homes in the US, multiply the HD DVD results by 2.5 and the result is still pathetic. HDTV is a huge success and growing rapidly, the market for HD discs needs one format only for success, two kills those chances for the reasons I have stated many times.

I have been surprisd that hardware for SACD and DVD-A is still plentiful with a number of new models released in 2007 from a number of manufacturers, but I expect that to be the last year and hardware in the future will be few and far between. The fact that there are over 4,000 SACD releases and around 1,500 or so DVD-A releases and continued healthy sales for SACD classical and jazz, at least as healthy as those niche markets can be, is apparently the reason. If I am surprised and those two formats maintain their niche status for the long haul and hardware continues to be made, great, 2007 is the last year of widespread hardware manufacturer support in any event. I have SACD/DVD-A hardware from Samsung, Oppo, Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer and several other familiar companies made hardware for those formats. I really only expect D&M and maybe one other manufacturer to continue beyond 2008 and expect Denon to drop their budget line of players. I am hopeful that Blu-ray will survive and we will see a Blu-ray/SACD/DVD-A/DVD-V/CD player from a couple of manufacturers but that might not ever happen.

The one chance I see for the long term for high resolution audio and HD video on 5" shiny discs is for Blu-ray to succeed and do it all, SACD, DVD-A and HD DVD all disappear. I am set for my life with my SACD/DVD-A hardware and anything new I want would be purchased on Blu-ray. The HDMI standards committe was kind enough to include SACD and DVD-A support and analog 5.1 inputs are still common on AV receivers so I am ready to rock and roll as long as I am physically able if it happens. I have nothing against HD DVD, it works well, it is just second best and has no chance for success.

I will agree that the Toshiba plan with giveaway player prices is the best possible plan it could offer. The silly dual format software, Blu-ray/HD DVD dual format hardware, stealth approach with single inventory dual format releases and whatever else the group here rallies behind is all meaningless, only low priced players does anything for the format.

Chris

Last edited by Chris Gerhard; 12-22-2007 at 04:10 AM..
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:39 AM   #53  
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Wow Chris, your Blu Filter is so intense I'm not sure anything can penetrate it intact.

You attribute so many opinions to me in your last post that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I've ever said that I'm at a loss to address them all. You really don't listen to people's points, you instantly misinterpret them into what you want to think they are saying and then respond with something that has nothing to do with what was said.

I really can't be bothered to correct your multiple incorrect representations of my comments. Anyone who has read my previous posts knows what I think on these various topics.

I'll simply leave you with this:

No PS3 owner (except maybe you) is afraid to buy BD discs because of the format war. They are not concerned if their PS3 dies and there are no more Blu-Ray players on the market, that they will be stuck with unplayable movies any more than they are concerned if their PS3 dies and there are no more game consoles on the market that plays PS3 games, that they will be stuck with unplayable games.

If they were worried about that, they wouldn't have bought a PS3 in the first place, knowing full well the PS3 may fail (as it is failing against the XBox 360 and Wii) and that any future replacement for the PS3 will not likely play PS3 games any more than the current PS3's play PS2 games.

Maybe I don't speak for PS3 owner's, but it's certain you don't (you said you haven't even tried gaming with it yet!) and every metric one could possibly use to measure the PS3 proves that.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:35 PM   #54  
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Wow Chris, your Blu Filter is so intense I'm not sure anything can penetrate it intact.

You attribute so many opinions to me in your last post that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I've ever said that I'm at a loss to address them all. You really don't listen to people's points, you instantly misinterpret them into what you want to think they are saying and then respond with something that has nothing to do with what was said.

I really can't be bothered to correct your multiple incorrect representations of my comments. Anyone who has read my previous posts knows what I think on these various topics.

I'll simply leave you with this:

No PS3 owner (except maybe you) is afraid to buy BD discs because of the format war. They are not concerned if their PS3 dies and there are no more Blu-Ray players on the market, that they will be stuck with unplayable movies any more than they are concerned if their PS3 dies and there are no more game consoles on the market that plays PS3 games, that they will be stuck with unplayable games.

If they were worried about that, they wouldn't have bought a PS3 in the first place, knowing full well the PS3 may fail (as it is failing against the XBox 360 and Wii) and that any future replacement for the PS3 will not likely play PS3 games any more than the current PS3's play PS2 games.

Maybe I don't speak for PS3 owner's, but it's certain you don't (you said you haven't even tried gaming with it yet!) and every metric one could possibly use to measure the PS3 proves that.
I discuss the previous formats because I believe the previous formats are relevant to this format war and the results so far parallel almost exactly the results of the previous format war, SACD/DVD-A. Universal was neutral and Warner exclusive DVD-A and other specifics are certainly different but the results that one was doing better but neither could gain a market sufficient for profits looks exactly the same. If Blu-ray can gain any traction, I expect Sony to completely abandon further SACD releases and focus on Blu-ray for audio, video and games. You don't own a PS3 and I going to bet I am the only PS3 owner that has suggested to you that I won't buy much software until the format war is over and Blu-ray prevails and if Blu-ray doesn't prevail, I am never going to buy much Blu-ray software except at giveaway prices. I am also going to suggest that you don't know even one PS3 owner that has said he will buy all the software he can because he isn't scared of the format war causing the format to fail. There may be some PS3 owners that feel that way, but I don't even know one like that. You keep on trying to suggest that PS3 owners aren't going to buy Blu-ray software regardless and I disagree, I think for a number of reasons, once the format war is over and Blu-ray starts to grow, many PS3 owners are going to pick up the pace. More releases, no confusion or reluctance to own software will be a big impetus.

You have said that Blu-ray isn't gaining any ground. I don't know specific figures but early in the 2007, a good week for Blu-ray was about 50,000 software units sold in a week and for HD DVD was about half that or 25,000 software units sold in a week in the US. I believe right now, a good week, the last couple specifically, have been about 200,000 for Blu-ray and about 100,000 for HD DVD. Although the ratios are still the same, the gap has grown from 25,000 to 100,000. I would consider that means Blu-ray is in fact gaining much ground. Personally, I don't believe even the far better recent results are anywhere near the level necessary for profits. The sales for one of these formats may need to be 1,000,000 a week, maybe more, I don't know to actually generate any profits. Of course sales price is also important and the lower the software prices, the greater the sales volume and the lower the profits are per unit. Manufactured quantity and manufacturing costs are important as well. We have a lot of missing pieces to really pin down at what volumes these products can become profitable, so I don't know that precisely, I just don't believe we are anywhere near that volume yet. I would have to look at an average sales week for DVD in the US, I have forgotten and don't want to find it now. Let's just say it is 15,000,000 per week, I don't care if it is 10,000,000 or 30,000,000 really, it is huge compared to anything we have seen from these new formats, we all know that.

Chris
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:19 AM   #55  
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BobY,

I own two HD-DVD players - both A2's, so I agree that HD-DVD is close to what Joe Public will pay for the player price. My second was purchased at Walmart for $90 when they had their early Black Friday sale.

The movies are another matter. Right now I am ordering from Amazon, which saves some from BB (which is more expensive and I pay sales tax). But new movies come out at BB for $16 or so during release week compared to mid $20's or higher for HD-DVD movies. Too much for Joe Public right now.

You made the comment "BD made several crucial errors in their technological road map which would condemn them forever to niche status." I am would love to hear a little more about this - the reason I joined this forum was to learn.

BTW, I am very happy with my HD-DVD player. My latest purchase (the Bourne trilogy) is outstanding in high def. Stardust is on the way from Amazon and should be in late next week.
I didn't say that HD DVD was there yet, just that they are positioned to be there soon and much sooner than Blu-Ray. In the not too distant future, HD DVD's will not cost significantly more to produce than standard DVD's. This was part of the HD DVD technology road map--basing the manufacturing on a mature process that didn't require expensive capital improvements, along with TWIN discs to phase out SD DVD while still serving the large existing market for SD DVD's.

The crucial flaws in Blu-Ray's technology road map:

1) Blu-Ray was conceived as a recordable medium for data storage (it started out using a plastic disc caddy to protect the fragile disc surface from damage) and they had not perfected a low-cost, mass-produceable read-only format for pre-recorded movies.

They are still suffering from this, as the yields of 50GB dual-layer BD's are no where near the industry standards for either DVD or HD DVD. Sony is the only producer who gets decent yields (even then, they say they are 75%-80%, which is awful compared to DVD and HD DVD in excess of 90%). Low yields and limited manufacturing capacity means higher production costs and backlogs.

2) Blu-Ray's technical superiority to HD DVD is not relevant to the mass consumer market. Like most failed Sony formats, Blu-Ray is more expensive than a perfectly acceptable alternative.

3) Blu-Ray requires new disc production lines, as opposed to HD DVD, which requires a relatively simple and inexpensive upgrade to existing DVD lines and which can then handle both SD and HD DVD production.

This is an enormous capital equipment investment for Blu-Ray, all of which needs to be amortized in the sales of discs--something that is going to add cost for a very long time at the current rate of disc sales.

4) In an effort to get to market more quickly and prevent HD DVD from winning outright, Blu-Ray decided to make many features that were expected to be standard, optional instead (advanced audio codecs, interactive features/PIP, internet connectivity). By making them optional, there is no guarantee that a given player will be able to play these disc features. Some players will require frequent firmware updates to handle new disc releases and new disc features that are hardware dependent will never work on players that lack the necessary hardware.

This is the major reason the PS3 has become the BD player of choice both of users and the popular press, who note all the problems with standalone BD players and see the PS3 can be more easily and quickly updated than standalone players and that the PS3 has the necessary hardware to support the updated firmware.

4) While being the single reason Blu-Ray has been able to sell more discs than HD DVD, the PS3 also represents the biggest impediment to the success of Blu-Ray. By building a Blu-Ray player into a product that was expected to have huge demand independent of Blu-Ray, Sony was able to get a large number of Blu-Ray players in the field and Blu-Ray benefited to a small extent by increasing disc sales above HD DVD. The increased cost of the PS3 however, hurt demand for the product, so it didn't achieve it's sales goals.

The PS3 is making it nearly impossible to sell standalone BD players, but consumers overwhelmingly choose standalone disc players for movies (over 80% of US households have DVD players while only 40% have game consoles).

In addition, the poor attach rate of BD discs to PS3's (less than 1 disc per player) makes it almost impossible for studios to predict disc sales. There are 7 Million PS3's in the field, a hot BD disc sells a few hundred thousand copies and a typical BD discs sells less than 10,000 copies. With such a huge variance in possible sales and little relationship between player sales and disc sales, studios are reluctant to bank on a game console to move discs for them.

Last edited by BobY; 12-23-2007 at 12:24 AM..
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