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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by robber View Post
    ...what the mass market is ready to accept. "Mass market" being key. Geeks in a geek based forum like this (us) does not constitute mass market. Laserdisk was vastly superior to even SVHS, but still it remained in a niche because the market was not ready.

    The mass market does not seem concerned with higher quality anything. SACD fails, iPod has rediculous growth.

    I could be wrong- but I dont see blockbuster pulling back on renting standard DVDs anytime within the next 5-10 years. To me that means that these hires formats do not become a defacto standard for the average household.

    Maybe they will- I just wouldent bet on it. (Well I guess I woulden't bet more than $700 on it

    there is no single factor that makes for mass market adoption.

    Technically Beta was better than VHS (and often cheaper).

    There were three main things that determined that battle: one was the simple fact that VHS could (in SP/LP) record for between 2 and 6 hours on a tape that cost initially around $5-20.

    Another very important factor was Sony's idiotic refusal to license porn for Beta tape. VHS had no such purient hypocrisy -- and since most people watch porn, it only being available on VHS aroused if you were, some breathless desire for those VHS machines.

    And third, it became harder after a while to rent and then even buy, in Beta. Dual formats had the effect of burdening movie rental stores with having to pay the costs for 2 separate duplicate inventories, effectively doubling one of their prime costs. With pure physical storage of tapes also being a large issue in and of itself for them, they had an overpowering incentive to conform to a single format.

    Simple practical real world cost / benefit won that war -- not technical elements of superiority that maybe meant something to an afficiano, but not to a lay person.

    Though I personally dislike Apple and its constricted gated designs, they clearly undestood that success for them required engineering an entire ecosystem for iTunes.

    Not only designing and building great hardware, but also creating a simple, conceptually transparent music buying system standardized at $.99, as well as providing iTunes software for Windows (its onstensible rival).
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/06/2008 at 05:26 PM. Reason: major typo rewrite/fix
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  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by robber View Post
    I actually have a couple of HDTVs, one supports 1080p and is extremely high end (Loewe). I also have a blue-ray machine. I have tens of thousands of dollars invested in electronics. I am also a 2ch afficianado. I have a seperate tube based vinyl system that has probably 5k worth of cabling alone. High end audio is my vice... I enjoy video too!


    The argument is not which is better, or whos does what. It is about what the mass market is ready to accept. "Mass market" being key. Geeks in a geek based forum like this (us) does not constitute mass market. Laserdisk was vastly superior to even SVHS, but still it remained in a niche because the market was not ready.

    The mass market does not seem concerned with higher quality anything. SACD fails, iPod has rediculous growth.

    I could be wrong- but I dont see blockbuster pulling back on renting standard DVDs anytime within the next 5-10 years. To me that means that these hires formats do not become a defacto standard for the average household.

    Maybe they will- I just wouldent bet on it. (Well I guess I woulden't bet more than $700 on it
    I am biased in this because I spent a fortune on laserdisks and skipped buying DVD's !!! That was because I held off all significant investment once I found out that NSTC was going to get replaced by HD. So I am eager to buy my fav movies on HD.
    [Anyone wants to buy collectors edition of Laserdiscs? ]

    I don't know what people will significant collection of DVD will do.

    Still, given the rapid fall in prices of hardware, I bet most people will end up getting a HD player sooner rather than later. They might hold off replacing all their DVD's, though.

    How do the (DVD+upscaling DVD player) compare visually to a real HD disc playback on 1080p monitors? That may be a factor that will delay the adoption of HD discs.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    How do the (DVD+upscaling DVD player) compare visually to a real HD disc playback on 1080p monitors? That may be a factor that will delay the adoption of HD discs.
    If you are going to be critical- they dont compare. If you are not critical, than they are pretty good.
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  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    there is no single factor that makes for mass market adoption.

    Technically Beta was better than VHS (and often cheaper).

    There were three main things that determined that battle: one was the simple fact that VHS could (in SP/LP) record for between 2 and 6 hours on a tape that cost initially around $5-20.

    Another very important factor was Sony's idiotic refusal to license porn on Beta tape. VHS had no such purient hypocrisy -- and since most people watch porn, it only being available on VHS aroused if you were, some breathless desire for those machines,

    After a while it became harder to buy and then even rent in Beta. With pure physical storage of tapes being a large issue in and of itself for movie renters, they had an overpowering incentive to conform to a single format. They additionally would have had the added burden of having to pay the costs for 2 separate dual inventories, effectively doubling one of their prime costs.

    Simple practical real world cost / benefit won that war -- not technical elements of superiority that maybe meant something to a afficiano, but not to a lay person.

    Though I personally dislike Apple and its constricted gated designs, they clearly undestood that success for them required engineering an entire ecosystem for iTunes.

    Not only designing and building great hardware, but also creating a simple, conceptually transparent music buying system standardized at $.99, as well as providing iTunes software for Windows (its onstensible rival).





    Similarly there are few recognizable difference between HD DVD and Blue Ray == the battle will

    Beta/vhs falls right into my argument for less=more. What won the war was the fact you could fit more on the tape. More of less quality. I have no clue about porn but the rental market was without a doubt the nail in the coffine.

    iTunes may be the greatest innovation of this generation.
    -Rob
    Neopoint 1000, I300, Treo 300, i330, Toshiba 2032, Treo 600, T608/UX50, I500,Treo 600, G1000, Treo 650, PPC-6600, PPC-6700, Treo 650, Blackberry 7250, Treo 700wx, Motorola Q, PPC-6800, 700wx, Motorola Q9c, Sprint Touch, Sprint ACE, 700wx, 800w, Touch Pro, 800w, Touch Diamond, 800w, Treo Pro, Palm Pre, HTC Hero, Palm Pre, EVO 4G warm2.2
  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    I am biased in this because I spent a fortune on laserdisks and skipped buying DVD's !!! That was because I held off all significant investment once I found out that NSTC was going to get replaced by HD. So I am eager to buy my fav movies on HD.
    [Anyone wants to buy collectors edition of Laserdiscs? ]

    I don't know what people will significant collection of DVD will do.

    Still, given the rapid fall in prices of hardware, I bet most people will end up getting a HD player sooner rather than later. They might hold off replacing all their DVD's, though.

    How do the (DVD+upscaling DVD player) compare visually to a real HD disc playback on 1080p monitors? That may be a factor that will delay the adoption of HD discs.
    aprasad, I beat you.

    I have boxes of betamax movies that have been stored unplayed in years. I have old Betamax and Hi8 video machines in storage for years that I don't know if they still work.

    I actually had a dream last night (this is true) that I needed to watch some old 8mm video, and wasn't able to because the tape and the machine were too damaged ...

    Regarding the upconversion issue, I suspect that few people will rebuy their old DVDs in the new format. The upconverters (especially when they're integrated into Blu Ray players) will be the natural evolution.

    Studios are deluding themselves when they anticipate people refreshing their libraries like many did when they went from tape to DVD.

    I
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  6. #26  
    Personally, I have already thrown my hat in the ring with Blue Ray (BR).

    I too have 30-40 Hi8 home movie tapes. 5 yrs ago, I switched to miniDV for home movies. To convert these to DVD, I bought the Sony DVDirect VRD-MC5. It works great, by the way, for my Hi8 and miniDV tapes.

    When I buy a hard disc based Sony HD camcorder (with AVCHD), I will be able to off-load the HD movies on to cheap DVD+R media and play them in BR player, in HD. That will be the cheapest way to archive the home movies.

    Like I said, the path from home video cameras to HD discs is important to me.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.17-CNG
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  7. #27  
    If anyone runs a HTPC, there are computer drives that support both formats for under $300.

    ie http://www.ncixus.com/products/index.php?sku=26553
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  8. #28  
    This whole format war is silly....if it just comes down to payola, I wish they would have just done that from the get-go.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    ...When I buy a hard disc based Sony HD camcorder (with AVCHD)...
    in general I would maybe steer away from all existing implementations of AVCHD.

    AVCHD has until now not been as good as HDV -- and its harder to edit.

    The best current consumer HD camera without doubt is Canon's HV20

    Though it shoots tape (HDV), its a wonderful little camera. Almost every serious shooter I know has one as a second personal camera.

    But possibly there's stuff coming out at CES that changes that.

    In any case that site provides good in depth looks at camcorders (a place where they compare performance -- not just publish claimed specs)
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/06/2008 at 03:37 PM.
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  10. #30  
    I have ways to go before jumping into the HD market. Maybe 8-12 months. I don't even have a HD TV yet.

    I used to pay attention to the editability when I got my miniDV system. After doing that to 3-4 tapes, burning them eventually to DVD, it became too much of a hassle. I went to the other extreme with VRD-MC5 .. plug and press a button .. no PC involved. I'd rather shoot as many tapes as possible and take the easy way out in converting them to optical storage.

    I need to do a lot of research. Thanks for the web site.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.17-CNG
    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  11. #31  
    I think it won't matter. . . everyone is going to buy the combo (HD-DVD & Blu-Ray) units once the price comes down.

    BTW -- I bought a Blu-Ray last April.
  12. #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Holden View Post
    I think it won't matter. . . everyone is going to buy the combo (HD-DVD & Blu-Ray) units once the price comes down...
    a combo unit will always be an increment more expensive than a Blue Ray only machine.

    The only ones who'd want to buy a combo unit are those who already own HD DVD disks. (presumably those people are not all going to buy a combo unit tomorrow -- but instead continue using their functional player for as long as it works, for as long as they can get new movies for it.) The potential market for those combo players would therefore be relatively small. That would raise the cost of producing them, and limit the number of retailers ultimately willing to inventory them. Combo players will be little more than a niche market.

    The dynamics of the whole system wanting a single format are irresistable once momentum begins to move toward a unitary standard.
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  13. #33  
    Can't argue with that logic.
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Holden View Post
    Can't argue with that logic.
    thanks -- permit me to expand and clarify on what I earlier wrote:

    As long as there are major studios with important movies exclusively releasing on HD DVD (Paramount, Dreamworks) the format war does not completely die.

    But the net effect of that doesn't change the trend toward Blue-Ray, but rather it allows the market confusion that has delayed people from committing to buying any HD player, to continue.

    The final important inflection point will come when those studios announce that they will end exclusivity, and begin releasing for both formats.

    As it is, in explaining their switching to Blue Ray: "...Warner's Blu-ray discs outsold their HD DVD rivals by three to two in the holiday season..."

    HD DVD appears to have a significant edge currently in HD DVD PC recorders. Toshiba may be able to exploit and expand from that niche unless blue-ray moves aggressively with price, speed, and product offerings in that space.

    (btw -- I own neither a Blue-Ray or HD DVD player -- though I was nearly tempted when the HD DVD accessory player for the XBox360 was being offered for about $125 a few weeks ago...)
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/08/2008 at 10:36 AM.
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  15. #35  
    addendum's addendum:

    -- this is still more rumor than fact since they have denied it, but its been reported that Paramount has now abandoned plans to stay HD DVD exclusive.

    If true, that would leave Dreamworks, Universal, and M$ as the lone holdouts.

    The industry is moving it seems to consolidate on a single format as soon as possible, since the window open still for DVDs in any form may soon begin to close with the intro of supper fast HD downloads...
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  16.    #36  
    Dreamworks is part of Paramount, so I would imagine they would follow their parent studio's lead......which would leave only Universal all alone and anyone else MS can pay off to extend the confusion for the customer as long as possible.

    For several reasons I personally think the customer's move to BR is going to be all but impossible to avoid from a customer's point of view. Right now in a lot of stores their initial shipments of a new release is probably around 20-30% of the inventory being BluRay when released, in other words 2-3 out of 10 will be BluRay vs DVD. I can see this steadily moving to 70-80% in BluRay's favor as soon as the next 24 months.

    BluRay players are already as low as $300 at sticker and not on sale. I predict at around Christmas this year they will be around $200 and the following Christmas they will be going for $100-150.

    The BR players are backwards compatible so no need to rebuy all the old titles if you don't want to. Just buy a player and then buy all movies from then on as BluRay. I do see a lot of people looking for sales....like Toys R Us this week had buy one BR and get one BR disk for free (I don't even have a BR yet and bought two movies so I will already have a total of 5 BluRay movies for when I do buy my player)....and previously viewed movies to replace their most favorite DVDs with BluRay.

    I think this is going to be a faster transition than VHS to DVD. Back then you had to replace all your movies once you made the move....very intimidating commitment for the average person. This time you just buy the player, keep all the movies you already have and just buy all new releases from then on as BluRay...very easy and painless transition.

    The last reason I think this move to BluRay is going to be faster than most would think, is the price of BluRays have come done a lot in the last 5 months. The studios are starting to offer agressive pricing on par with regular DVDs. In October BR probably averaged around $35 a movie....now they average $20-25 a movie at sticker, right in line with regular DVDs. Once people start seeing that they can pay the same for a BluRay movie as they are paying for a regular DVD while still keeping and using their existing library without any problem for going BluRay, I think it might be an incentive to make the jump as prices for players continue to fall.

    .........Man, I think I should write a brochure for BluRay!
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 01/10/2008 at 01:45 AM.
  17.    #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    addendum's addendum:

    -- this is still more rumor than fact since they have denied it, but its been reported that Paramount has now abandoned plans to stay HD DVD exclusive.

    If true, that would leave Dreamworks, Universal, and M$ as the lone holdouts.

    The industry is moving it seems to consolidate on a single format as soon as possible, since the window open still for DVDs in any form may soon begin to close with the intro of supper fast HD downloads...
    As for BluRay vs download....it is an empty comparison. Due to bandwidth issues, affordable HD capacity, etc....by the time these issues are Tim Taylor'ed enough to handle the demand of replacing hardcopy libraries and at an affordable price to support their whole library of movies a customer may have, I don't see it becoming much of a threat to BluRay.

    At this time it is more fair to compare the download market against the PPV & rental market as I do not view it as a threat to replacing a customer's permanent long term library collection. Now by the time the next Gen after BluRay starts coming around, then there might be a very interesting discussion about it....but until then...
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 01/10/2008 at 12:09 AM.
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    As for BluRay vs download....it is an empty comparison. Due to bandwidth issues, affordable HD capacity, etc....by the time these issues are Tim Taylor'ed enough to handle the demand of replacing hardcopy libraries and at an affordable price to support their whole library of movies a customer may have, I don't see it becoming much of a threat to BluRay.

    At this time it is more fair to compare the download market against the PPV & rental market as I do not view it as a threat to replacing a customer's permanent long term library collection. Now by the time the next Gen after BluRay starts coming around, then there might be a very interesting discussion about it....but until then...
    its true that they are now very different markets Hobbes -- but the studios et al see it merging in the near future with the hard copy rental market. It may as you say be a form of pay per view, but in a much more fluid form. Its what Netflix will evolve into (its already begun).

    Comcast a week or so ago demoed an ultra fast HD video downloading system that was able to transfer an entire HD movie in approx 4 min. Studios fear their goods becoming entirely electronicized like mp3s, but they know that its inevitable as well.

    Studios and electronics companies like Sony, Samsung etc. still have a vested interest in hardware and "hard" media like Blue Ray DVDs.

    They have realized (belatedly), that if the format stalemate lasted much longer then that the window for a HD hardware format cycle would close -- and their investment (Sony's in particular), would expire and stink like yesterday's unsold fish.

    btw -- I was visiting Japan in 86' or '87, and (because of friends) executives from Sony gave me a preview of their HD TV plans. (hey, what's 20 years in a 300 year old's life...)

    I was shown small theatre size (15' diagonal ??) HD video projection and prototype HD Trinitron TVs.

    They confidently told me that I was being shown (confidentially) the future.

    In BARYE's typically gracious way, I shouted that they were all wrong. That america's FCC would never make incumbent TV formats obsolete, they would never force millions of voters to turn their boobtubes into paperweights.

    In fairness to BARYE, their planned technical approach to broadcasting that HD signal was dumb -- and our FCC did properly reject it. The current (digital) HD broadcast system is vastly different from that originally proposed analog HD sytem shown to me back then...
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/10/2008 at 05:54 PM.
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  19. #39  
    Hobbes, I neglected to mention that Sony told me during my visit that I was just the second visitor to their new facility. I was apparently preceeded by Michael Jackson -- who had brought his monkey along with him.

    In retrospect I'm not sure if I missed something in the Japanese translation -- did they intend to mean that I was the second visitor -- or that I was just the second primate to visit ???


    Further dispaches from the format war front:

    ...Daily Variety has confirmed that Paramount has an escape clause on their contract with HD-DVD, and that Universal's contractual period for exclusivity has ended. This means both studios are free to decide to go neutral or Blu-ray only at any time...

    "...Warner Bros.' decision last week to start making movies exclusively for Blu-ray players, rather than HD DVD, triggered an "out" clause in Paramount Pictures' contract with the HD DVD camp. An industry source said there was a significant possibility that Paramount would exercise that clause. It plans to decide within a month...

    ... Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson adds that Warner's decision makes it "a lot easier to see the likelihood that we get to one format, and it makes it easier for us as retailers to help push it to that one format." None of these retailers are likely to immediately remove HD-DVD from their store shelves, for fear of angering those consumers who just purchased the format over the holidays. However, you can be certain that they'll be watching sales figures and will react accordingly...

    ...for an informal poll, and have learned that since Warner's decision on Friday, Blu-ray Disc hardware has begun outselling HD-DVD hardware dramatically, jumping from 3 to 1 early last week to a factor of roughly 20 to 1 (on average) over the weekend. Sales people are now more confidently recommending Blu-ray to their customers as the preferred of the two formats, and there have apparently been returns of HD-DVD decks. Said one Best Buy employee yesterday of HD-DVD: "We'll keep it around until it goes on clearance, but in a couple months, it probably won't be there anymore."

    The number of HD-DVD players available for sale on eBay appears to have spiked over the weekend as well...

    ...USA Today's Ed Baig spoke with Microsoft CEO Bill Gates this week, and asked him about the format war in light of Warner's decision to go Blu-ray only. Here's the relevant part of the exchange...

    "Q: Warner's announcement backing Blu-ray high-definition DVDs suggests the death of the HD DVD format, which Microsoft has supported. What's your reaction?

    A: There has been a lot of back and forth. The announcement before that was Paramount putting exclusive support behind HD DVD. HD DVD did well over the holidays. The other trend we're seeing is that direct download over broadband — I think the greatest example of that is XBox Live — (is) becoming an important choice. Over time, that will be the dominant way that people get their movies."

    I've got no particular comment on this, other than that I think it's interesting that Gates is already trying to shift the focus off HD-DVD and toward downloading via Xbox Live in light of Warner's decision....

    ...members of the Blue Ray alliance are now shifting their marketing focus away from fighting the format war against HD-DVD, to instead focus on promoting Blu-ray's advantages over standard DVD....

    Bill Hunt, Editor
    The Digital Bits
    billhunt@thedigitalbits.com
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/10/2008 at 07:44 PM.
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