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Hi Def format war...read this and weep...

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10th August 2007 13:40  #1

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
Hi Def format war...read this and weep...
Today's lead article on www.thedigitalbits.com had a troubling piece on the current state of affairs...and has this interesting link... http://www.hollywoodinhighdef.com/blog_detail.p...
Craig Kornblau ( President of Universal )...you suck...  Sad

10th August 2007 14:51  #2

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
Hi Def format war...read this and weep...
Cervantes wrote: Today's lead article on www.thedigitalbits.com had a troubling piece on the current state of affairs...and has this interesting link... http://www.hollywoodinhighdef.com/blog_detail.p...
Craig Kornblau ( President of Universal )...you suck...  Sad

You have to consider the source of the article though--hollywoodinhidef.com is a Blu-ray site, bought and paid for as a promotional tool by Sony and the rest of the Blu-ray consortium. That said, I don't doubt the article and its why outside of picking up Hot Fuzz I haven't purchased an HD DVD for several months and have stuck to Blu-ray when given a choice. For instance, I picked up 300 on Blu-ray not because I thought I'd be getting better quality but because I felt better about viability of the medium itself.

The nail in the coffin for HD DVD will come this fall when all of the people who have purchased HD DVD players realize that they can't purchase 3/4 of the summer's biggest films on HD DVD and those that have yet to jump on the hi-def wagon see the titles just aren't there for the format no matter how much cheaper the hardware is.

I just don't get the marketing strategy behind HD DVD. A large part of the reason for introducing these new hi-def formats was because the profit margins and market growth for DVD are slowing and in decline, yet HD DVD is slashing prices on hardware when the market is still in the early adopter stage and negating a large reason why these formats exist in the first place. Doing this gives no company an incentive to produce and market an HD DVD player when the costs of technology are still relatively high and the consumer prices are prematurely low. This is why Toshiba--the major backer behind HD DVD--is currently the only company producing HD DVD players (I'm excluding the LG hybrid player from this because in essence it's actually a modified Blu-ray player). What they're going for is a market penetration strategy because of the dueling formats, but no one else is going along for the ride. In the end no one wins...the format goes belly up and the consumers who thought they were getting a great deal on the cheaper format are left with what amounts to a doorstop.

I could go on and on about this though...the whole hi-def format war could be taught as a full marketing course all by itself.

10th August 2007 18:08  #3

Jonathan Bennett Member Join Date: March 2005 Location: United States Posts: 600 Send a message via AIM to Jonathan Bennett Send a message via MSN to Jonathan Bennett Send a message via Yahoo to Jonathan Bennett Send a message via Google to Jonathan Bennett
I'm still going with HD-DVD. I've seen showcases of both, and Blu-ray is definitely the weakest.

10th August 2007 18:25  #4

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
A showcase of what? The video quality? The extras? The audio? Other than the added extras currently available only on HD DVD such as the In-Movie Experience and web-enabled features there is virtually no difference between these formats at the moment.

The only real difference is that Sony has marketed their technology--to both consumers and the industry--better than Toshiba.

10th August 2007 20:01  #5

£ukasz D Member Join Date: August 2005 Location: Poland Posts: 859 Send a message via Skype to £ukasz D
thi sucks..i hope tht HD DVD will eventualy win.

10th August 2007 20:25  #6

Nic Mall Member Join Date: November 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,202 Send a message via MSN to Nic Mall
Personally, I'm in the blu-ray field. But only cos I have a PS3 and don't really want to shell out for another player.

10th August 2007 20:30  #7

- - Senior Member Join Date: March 2005 Location: Canada Posts: 594
I know that most PC and Apple computer are gearing toward Blu- ray Disc Drive (BD/DVD/CD burner w/double layer BD write

10th August 2007 21:02  #8

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,405 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
I don't like the idea of Sony owning the rights to the format. What if they don't like a movie, does that mean will never see a release? Someone explain this to me, please tell me that Sony won't have total control.

11th August 2007 15:47  #9

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,150
Hi Gabe. Not wanting to be flamed and just playing devil's advocate for a second, why is it that people comment on Sony's absolute ownership of Blu Ray when HD-DVD is Toshiba's property? Both companies are electronics manufacturers but for some reason people don't mind Toshiba owning HD-DVD but they do mind Sony having 'ownership' of Blu Ray? I'm certainly no expert on the politics of the two companies or how they are set up but my question is why this intolerance of one company and not the other? It seems like a double standard to me or people are in denial about Toshiba wanting to be just as in control of their format as Sony is of theirs.

Personally, I've gone the Blu Ray PS3 route to hedge my bets. If Blu Ray does tank then I've still got the PS3 for games. So far I've seen Casino Royale, Black Hawk Down and the two Pirates films (all in 1080p) and I'm completely happy with what I've seen from Blu Ray.

I couldn't comment on HD-DVD's performance and I certainly have no axe to grind against that format but having looked at the evidence of recent months, I too have come to the conclusion that for better or worse, Blu-Ray will become more dominant, take the lead and win this 'so-called' format war.

Initially my opinion about a year ago was that I could see myself buying into HD-DVD as the technology was established and seemed more stable than Blu-Ray (which was at the time going through significant teething troubles) but I now find that that opinion has changed as I was willing to be open to arguements from both sides. A lot of discussion and argument on these and other forums seems to be by people who have for some reason got some sort of 'strange' brand loyalty to one of these electronic giants and have blinkers on when it comes to reason and logic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my reasoning is better than yours or anyone else's here. I could have backed the wrong horse but as far as I can see, Blu Ray has more studio support, the technology works, the PS3, while expensive, does a whole lot more than just a stand alone Blu Ray player (and is cheaper) and is a great way into HD.

So to recap and make some sort of reference to this threads title, I say F**k Universal. They have a lot of great back catalogue titles to be sure but the economics of the situation will eventually compel them to release films on Blu Ray eventually once the bean counters work out the revenue they're losing by not doing so.

Again, this is just my opinion. I'm certainly not looking for a fight and respect anyone who has made the decision to buy HD-DVD. I just thought I'd add my thoughts on the subject.





STOP PRESS!

OFFICIAL: Format war over.

£ukasz D wrote: thi sucks..i hope tht HD DVD will eventualy win.

First Harry Knowles now £ukaszHappy

11th August 2007 19:38  #10

Mal Webmaster Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,290
Matt has a good point. A single format would cost people more because distributors wouldn't make the same mistakes again. It's all about control.

12th August 2007 4:31  #11

Jersey Jedi Member Join Date: August 2004 Location: United States Posts: 714
Intergalactic Ponce wrote:
STOP PRESS!

OFFICIAL: Format war over.

£ukasz D wrote: thi sucks..i hope tht HD DVD will eventualy win.

First Harry Knowles now £ukaszHappy


That "opinion piece" by Knowles was one of the biggest jokes I've ever seen (so I would say it fits the journalistic integrity and standards of that particular site just fine). The guy praises how HD-DVD supposedly looks better, has a larger catalogue, and up-converts all previous DVDs to near HD qualities, all of which Blu-Ray either shares with HD-DVD, or is just plain incorrect.

Then, The Digital Bits did a well thought out, moderately unbiased, retort and basically sided with Blu-Ray as the superior option. Now, which would you believe: AICN's editor, who stated the only reason he bought the HD-DVD player was because of a special price cut he received, or a dedicated Home Theater site with thousands of extensive reviews under its belt?

I'm with Blu-Ray too.

12th August 2007 5:39  #12

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,405 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
I guess I haven't been keeping up Ponce, I just want someone to tell me Sony wouldn't be in charge of all my entertainment 5 years down the line. Is the HD DVD format really owned by Toshiba? I suppose I just don't trust Sony as a company all around, but because I'm a busy guy, and just waiting this thing out because I don't have the money to waste on the wrong format (which ever I end up buying will surely be the loser).

12th August 2007 11:32  #13

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
I'm staying well away from both formats until 1080p sets are cheap and the players and software tumble in price. I waited until '99 to buy DVD hardware and software, by which time both had fallen to 'acceptable' levels, around the £200 mark for a player and £15 for software. The biggest issue with the HD formats for me is that I have to replace not only the playing hardware, but the display, which is the most expensive part of the whole thing. Until I can get a new HD set for £600 and a player for around £200 I'm going to sit this whole thing out.

13th August 2007 14:06  #14

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,150
I was of the same opinion really, to wait another 12 months or so, but my decision to go HD now has been software led. I bought into LaserDisc because of the T2 boxset and the Blade Runner boxset (in December) is my reason for buying into HD.

It has been expensive but with how I chose to buy the TV and PS3, I've saved around £330 combined and I wanted to stop putting any more money into an expensive DVD boxset by bypassing it and going straight to the 'next' format.

I'm really pleased with the TV (HD 1080p) and how SD DVD looks on it (as I was expecting the TV to highlight DVD's limitations on a bigger screen) and it's not even upscaled yet as I don't have an upscaling DVD player. I know the PS3 upscales but to be honest the difference is negligable to my eyes. And because of how surprisingly good I find regular DVD's to look, I haven't really got the 'itch' to upgrade all that many SD titles so all told I'm quite happy with the whole upgrade.

13th August 2007 15:55  #15

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
All HD TVs upscale SD content, but the quality varies. Personally I'd have a DVD player that did the job properly (including deinterlacing) before passing it digitally to the set. What TV you go for? I was looking at a 42" Toshiba 1080p the other day, but apparently it doesn't do 'proper' 24fps and that would be a nice thing to have.

13th August 2007 16:46  #16

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,150
It was the 37"er in the Toshiba range. I'm not sure about the sets ability to do 24fps but it handles the BD movies fine and they have running times that are the same as the 35mm/theatrical times so I'm assuming it can handle 24fps or there would be some sort of flickering. Would I be right in thinking this? Taking all the things you need to take into consideration when buying a new set is a bloody minefield so as I said, given the outlay, I'm just glad it all works. It's weird hearing everyone's voices pitched slightly lower in Casino Royale and Pirates. The speedup issue never really bothers me but when you do a comparison of the DVD and the BD you do notice it.

It had to be a 1080p TV though. I couldn't see the point of blowing that much money on a so called HD Ready TV with only (what is it) 768 lines? If the discs are 1080p then I want an 'exact scan' of that image. I think a lot of people have and are being ripped of on this whole 'HD Ready' branding issue.

14th August 2007 11:46  #17

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
Er guys...excuse my ignorance on this...by what EXACTLY is this 24fps issue on tv's that you speak of?  As you are both based in U.K., are you inferring that there are now televisions on sale that somehow play "speeded up" Region 2 DVD at the slower, "proper" speed of 24 frames per second?... Help me out, I'm guessing here...I didn't know about this, but if I'm correct...that is a GREAT feature!

14th August 2007 13:16  #18

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
Cervantes wrote: Er guys...excuse my ignorance on this...by what EXACTLY is this 24fps issue on tv's that you speak of?  As you are both based in U.K., are you inferring that there are now televisions on sale that somehow play "speeded up" Region 2 DVD at the slower, "proper" speed of 24 frames per second?... Help me out, I'm guessing here...I didn't know about this, but if I'm correct...that is a GREAT feature!
He's writing about hi-def discs when mentioning the 24 fps, which is the speed of 35 mm film. Basically there are no PAL or NTSC issues with hi-def content because its native format is 1080p regardless of where in the world you are watching a movie at home.

14th August 2007 13:20  #19

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Unfortunately it seems that most players still output 1080p at 25/29.97 fps, which is why I'm waiting for 24 fps support to become standard.

14th August 2007 13:29  #20

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
Ahhh... Thanks for responding so quickly guys...so I take it there are some PLAYERS on the market Chris, that will do this trick to match the NTSC slower, 'proper' speed that Americans get???  

14th August 2007 14:16  #21

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
The info on the disc can be output at whatever framerate you like, and some players can do 24 fps. You need a screen that can handle it, and as I understand it a lot of the ones that claim to support it actually 'cheat'.

14th August 2007 15:47  #22

Nic Mall Member Join Date: November 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,202 Send a message via MSN to Nic Mall
You bunch of nerds.

14th August 2007 17:06  #23

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
have you seen your Myspace page???

14th August 2007 18:07  #24

Nic_Mall Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 91
Not in very long while. Anyways I'm a geek. Being a nerd is far far worse.

14th August 2007 21:19  #25

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Geeks bite the heads off of chickens. We all know what another name for a chicken is...

14th August 2007 21:30  #26

Nic_Mall Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 91
A Hen?

15th August 2007 10:05  #27

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Yes, a hen Wink Perhaps I should have said a chicken with a penis? That would have kinda ruined my thinly veiled innuendo though.

15th August 2007 12:57  #28

Cervantes Member Join Date: November 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 172
Thanks once again Chris, that is great news, and I will be investigating into this in future...
'Nerds' eh?...I like to think we're just 'technically minded'...  Wink

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