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Universal: HD DVD is here to stay

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Old 01-25-2008, 07:04 AM   #1  
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Default Universal: HD DVD is here to stay

In an interview with BetaNews, Universal Studios executive vice president and co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group Ken Graffeo has said that despite rampant rumors the struggling format is here to stay. He did however leave the door open for putting an end to the format war if Blu-ray is willing to make an agreement.

When asked by the interviewer how Universal felt about Warner's move to Blu-ray exclusivity, Graffeo had this to say: "Well, we heard about the whole move when everyone else did -- when a lot of us were on planes flying to CES in Las Vegas. To be very honest with you, we have not addressed that yet -- Warner is still releasing HD DVD titles up until May. Warner has always been in two formats, and prior to Paramount's switch, they had been in two formats, so now that Warner is exclusive... we just haven't addressed it yet.

Continuing with the trend of CES and Warner, Graffeo was asked to use hindsight and report if canceling HD DVD's press conference at CES was the right move. "It's very easy to look back and say "I could have" because you always know the result. But at the time... imagine the orchestration of a press event with the presenters, the scripts, the entire presentation, videos that were produced -- everything. The crew was already setting up and we were on a plane on Friday, so not being able to get back to everyone to say "how do we make a change for Sunday" was very difficult. And what are the answers? We had no idea because we were reading and hearing about Warner's move the same time everyone else was," he responded.

The interview then naturally moved towards whether Universal and Paramount would be leaving HD DVD for Blu-ray which Graffeo strongly denied. "This is business as usual for us and there are no plans to make any changes. We just made an announcement of our new HD DVD titles yesterday, with American Gangster. We also have a lot of other things planned. It's business as usual," he repeated.

There were a few more interesting notes from the interview as well.

When asked about attach rates for set top players as compared to Sony's PlayStation 3, Graffeo's answer was quick. "If you look at the attach rate of how many movies are bought for dedicated HD DVD players versus how many movies were sold for the PS3 and the Blu-ray set-top players combined, it's a 4 to 1 gap. Which says that people who own game machines are not buying at the same rate as someone who owns a set-top...If you go to a store and buy an HDTV and then you want to get your movies to look better, you go to the DVD section -- you don't go to the game section."

Finally when asked whether there was a possibility that HD DVD and Blu-ray could unify the standards at some point to end the war, Graffeo left the door open but noted that talks had broken down in the past. "Well, I'm never going to say it never can be done. I think everyone would like to see things work out, and I don't think anyone has any ill intention in this. It was a year and a half ago when we tried to put things together and it was unfortunate when it fell apart before. I think anything is possible, and again it comes back to the consumer who has the final voice."

HD DVD is here to stay and the consumer will have to choose eventually where there loyalties stand.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:51 AM   #2  
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C'mon guys . . . this is like Viper and Corvette argueing over the future of the automobile industry.
Who cares?? It's a niche market attracting primarily "philes" and won't be mainstream for many, many, many years.
In my opinion, it will never be mainstream as presently implimented.
I, for one, don't need the aggravation.

If I can't record on it with low cost media, forget it.

Consider - since the days of vinyl, has there ever been a successful audio or video product that did not include record capability?

Last edited by Scottnot; 01-25-2008 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #3  
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Consider - since the days of vinyl, has there ever been a successful audio or video product that did not include record capability?
I'll second your thought... A lot of numbers keep getting batted around, I have yet to see an overall penetration figure of units sold in the U.S. or worldwide market.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #4  
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C'mon guys . . . this is like Viper and Corvette argueing over the future of the automobile industry.
Who cares?? It's a niche market attracting primarily "philes" and won't be mainstream for many, many, many years.
In my opinion, it will never be mainstream as presently implimented.
I, for one, don't need the aggravation.

If I can't record on it with low cost media, forget it.

Consider - since the days of vinyl, has there ever been a successful audio or video product that did not include record capability?
Aren't you being a bit premature? The first recordable CD's and recordable DVD's lagged the ROM versions by several years.

Both recordable Blu-Ray and recordable HD DVD media are readily available (I can get either at my local Staples), BD-burners for PC's are available in the US, as are Toshiba laptops with HD DVD burners, standalone BD and HD DVD AV recorders are currently available in Japan and will presumably make it over here someday when there is sufficient demand.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #5  
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Aren't you being a bit premature? The first recordable CD's and recordable DVD's lagged the ROM versions by several years.
Yes, premature, harsh, and opinionated. I admit that.

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Both recordable Blu-Ray and recordable HD DVD media are readily available (I can get either at my local Staples), BD-burners for PC's are available in the US, as are Toshiba laptops with HD DVD burners, standalone BD and HD DVD AV recorders are currently available in Japan and will presumably make it over here someday when there is sufficient demand.
Agreed. But . . .

Today, I can purchase an upscaling DVDR for $150; it plays, records, and on good days scratches my back when I itch.
I can purchase recordable media for $ .25-.50 a pop. I am quite happy with the available picture quality.

I guess if/when I can purchase a high definition DVDR for less than $250, and the recordable media can be had for less than $1 each, I will consider taking the leap . . . until then . . . . DVD is fine.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:58 AM   #6  
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Default Using burners

I burned my home movies onto DVD+R disks and have not used the DVD burners since. Generally when I burn something it is on regular CDs.

Where BD or HD-DVD drives in computers will help is if they can view movies. Many of my friends who had no interest in buying a stand alone DVD player suddenly got interested when they bought a PC with a DVD drive. Initially they would rent a movie and watch the movie on the monitor. It was when they got tired of the tiny picture (or needed the PC while the kids were watching a movie on it) that they moved to a stand alone player.

That could happen with BD / HD-DVD, but one difference is that there is limited benefit with a stand alone player unless there is an HD television to hook it to.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:13 PM   #7  
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I guess if/when I can purchase a high definition DVDR for less than $250, and the recordable media can be had for less than $1 each, I will consider taking the leap . . . until then . . . . DVD is fine.
I agree, price is critical.

I was just responding to your statement which appeared to indicate that there wasn't recordable HD media, or that CD and DVD couldn't have succeeded without recordable media, when, in fact, recordable versions didn't come to market until after those formats were successfully introduced.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by Scottnot View Post
C'mon guys . . . this is like Viper and Corvette argueing over the future of the automobile industry.
Who cares?? It's a niche market attracting primarily "philes" and won't be mainstream for many, many, many years.
In my opinion, it will never be mainstream as presently implimented.
I, for one, don't need the aggravation.

If I can't record on it with low cost media, forget it.

Consider - since the days of vinyl, has there ever been a successful audio or video product that did not include record capability?
Both CD and DVD became hugely successful long before recording to the media became common. There is already high cost recording to Blu-ray and HD DVD, much like there was with both of the mass market 5" shiny disc formats. One format is what is needed, whatever market is interested in the recording aspect which is still unlcear, will follow in due time.

Does anybody understand what he is talking about when he says he is willing to end the format war if the Blu-ray side is willing to reach an agreement? What bargaining power does HD DVD have, other than just agreeing to go away and quit confusing the market?

Chris
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:26 PM   #9  
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Does anybody understand what he is talking about when he says he is willing to end the format war if the Blu-ray side is willing to reach an agreement?
Gosh, I would guess they are recalling the agreement that was reached between Philips/Sony and Toshiba to resolve the looming conflict between the MultiMedia Compact Disc and the Super Density disc.

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What bargaining power does HD DVD have, other than just agreeing to go away and quit confusing the market?
As a casual observer, I don't see that either side has any significant bargaining power as either format or even a third format would be just fine with me so long as the cost and functionality reach the benefit point at which I will be ready to buy. I don't mind waiting.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #10  
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Consider - since the days of vinyl, has there ever been a successful audio or video product that did not include record capability?
This is a HUGE point. Not only are a lot of people going to avoid paying $30 for a BD movie when they can get it in SDVD for $4.95, but the whole "VCR" concept is just being wiped out.

Remember the good old days when you'd pick up a 4-pack of blank tapes at the supermarket along with the bread and milk? Then you'd stick a blank tape in the VCR and just hit "record" and tape all kinds of stuff - movies, ball games, special events, whatever. I have tapes of several super bowls, the Columbia shuttle blowup coverage, a whole slew of weekend sports shows (hunting/fishing, etc.), a Daytona 500, the final episodes of "Twin Peaks" and "Dallas," just all KINDS of stuff, along with about a 100 major movies taped off of Cinemax. It's like every time something really good came on, I'd think, "hey, I wanna tape that.." and hit "record." I still have all those tapes, too.

Now all that's pretty much gone, and now we have this freakin' $30-a-disk Blue Ray razzmatazz with ultrasuperduper copy protection blahblahblah. Yeah, watching stuff in HD is way cool, I love it, but at the same time, a lot of what's happening really sucks, too.

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Old 01-25-2008, 08:05 PM   #11  
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Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
Both CD and DVD became hugely successful long before recording to the media became common. There is already high cost recording to Blu-ray and HD DVD, much like there was with both of the mass market 5" shiny disc formats. One format is what is needed, whatever market is interested in the recording aspect which is still unlcear, will follow in due time.

Does anybody understand what he is talking about when he says he is willing to end the format war if the Blu-ray side is willing to reach an agreement? What bargaining power does HD DVD have, other than just agreeing to go away and quit confusing the market?

Chris
Where the hell did you see that? lol
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:00 AM   #12  
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Where the hell did you see that? lol

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He did however leave the door open for putting an end to the format war if Blu-ray is willing to make an agreement.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:54 AM   #13  
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...It's a niche market attracting primarily "philes" and won't be mainstream for many, many, many years...
Too many "many". It won't take that long.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:10 AM   #14  
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Gosh, I would guess they are recalling the agreement that was reached between Philips/Sony and Toshiba to resolve the looming conflict between the MultiMedia Compact Disc and the Super Density disc.


As a casual observer, I don't see that either side has any significant bargaining power as either format or even a third format would be just fine with me so long as the cost and functionality reach the benefit point at which I will be ready to buy. I don't mind waiting.
Of course you and anybody else that wants to wait for whatever reason can do so. Obviously there is a market that would like to get involved now and worldwide only Blu-ray has any significant market and HD DVD is either so tiny to not even be noticed or like the US has just enough retail shelf space and market presence to confuse matters. Blu-ray desperately needs HD DVD out of the way to get rolling and benefit from the huge HDTV growth. There is nothing from a technical standpoint that Blu-ray needs from HD DVD. Of course just the threat to hang around is all that HD DVD can really do at this point to even cause any discussion with the Blu-ray group about a compromise.

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Old 01-26-2008, 10:26 AM   #15  
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Yes, premature, harsh, and opinionated. I admit that.


Agreed. But . . .

Today, I can purchase an upscaling DVDR for $150; it plays, records, and on good days scratches my back when I itch.
I can purchase recordable media for $ .25-.50 a pop. I am quite happy with the available picture quality.

I guess if/when I can purchase a high definition DVDR for less than $250, and the recordable media can be had for less than $1 each, I will consider taking the leap . . . until then . . . . DVD is fine.
The HD DVD standalone recorders can burn HD content onto a $.25 dvd-r. It will in fact burn 2 full hours of 720p in mpeg4 format. HD DVD and Blu-ray blanks are currently very expensive however (around $10 each) but only HD DVD recorders can burn onto dvd-r. Hopefully they will be released soon in the US, as one was announced at CES (but no release timeframe).

As HD DVRs become more popular, owners will increasingly want to archive HD material off their hard drive. Currently, there is no easy way to do it and either you need to burn it in SD or lose it.
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