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  1.    #1  
    Sometime around October there was a big article (in the Washington Post I think) about BluRay Disk (BD) outselling HD DVD (HD) by 2 to 1 so far in 2007, yet 3 studios were still holding out with HD instead of BD giving steam to continuing the format war.

    I noticed at Best Buy this year, that the HD players were under $200 compared with the lowest BD at around $300. I was talking with the manager there and asked how him (about 2 days before Christmas) how the sales between the two players were going. He said that even though the BluRay players were more expensive, they were selling at least twice as much of them....and that was not even counting any of the Playstation 3 systems they were selling that includes a BluRay player.

    Now Warner Bros (one of the 3 mentioned above) is going full force exclusive with BluRay and dropping all HD DVD:

    Warner backs Blu-ray exclusively
    Citing consumer confusion, studio will stop marketing HD DVD in May


    With Warner now in the BD camp, only Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment/DreamWorks will produce and market titles in the HD DVD format.

    Warner will be joining other BD-exclusive suppliers Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Lionsgate. Time Warner divisions New Line Home Entertainment and HBO Video are also included in the move to Blu-ray.

    -------------

    But Warner management decided switching to Blu-ray exclusivity was necessary to match increasing consumer demand toward the format over HD DVD. BD does enjoy a far larger hardware installation base, due mostly to the millions of BD-equipped PlayStation 3 consoles sold. At last count, following the hot Black Friday shopping weekend, 750,000 HD DVD set-tops and Xbox 360 HD DVD drives had sold in the U.S. since the format’s launch last year. Including PS3s and set-tops, 2.7 million BD players have sold since launch through that same frame.

    "One of the things you see in the NPD data for this fourth quarter was that even with a $100 premium, BD set-tops outsold HD set-tops in December," said Sanders. "Even with Toshiba having the lower-cost player in the market, software sales remained 2-to-1 in favor of Blu-ray. Our titles were running roughly 60/40 Blu-ray and that didn't change in the fourth quarter even with the price advantage HD had on the hardware side."

    -----------

    “It’s not going to end the format war because Paramount is still HD DVD exclusive and Universal is still exclusive,” said Newbury Comics buyer Ian Leshin. “But this is a huge blow to HD DVD. Warner releases so many titles. There is going to be a limited choice for HD DVD titles, and its going to make it that much more difficult to sell [HD DVD hardware]”

    FULL ARTICLE
    You add however that the New York Times reported, citing two Viacom executives, that a payoff had occurred for a sum of $150 million for a period of 18 months exclusivity for Paramount & Dreamworks from Microsoft and Toshiba. Paramount has neither denied or confirmed this, however Paramount's CTO Alan Bell said it was an indefinite commitment. Both Microsoft and Toshiba have denied that such a payoff occurred. If these reports are true for exclusivity for a limited time and that they are considering dumping HD or at least offering dual format with BR after their agreed time of exclusivity is over and this only adds another nail in HD coffin as far as I see it. Soure and Souce

    In July 2007 Blockbuster also said it will be exclusive with only offering BluRay movies.

    So here is the score board with who supports BluRay and HD DVD:

    HD DVD Exclusive:
    • Universal
    • Paramount


    BluRay Exclusive:
    • Walt Disney Studios (including Touchstone & Hollywood Pictures)
    • Warner Bros
    • Sony Pictures
    • MGM
    • 20th Century Fox
    • LionsGate
    • Time Warner


    Support Both Formats...which is a small studio:
    • New Line Cinema



    I will tell you what.....I am looking to buy a BluRay player right now, but I think I will wait until the Super Bowl when some of the best home entertainment deals are made.
  2. #2  
    Personally I think the PS3 is a great buy because you get the BD player and a gaming console that will see a lot of application (game) development over the next couple of years.
  3. #3  
    I prefer my player to be heavily subsidized: PS3 !!

    Who knows, I might even buy a few PS3 games (I have the Wii for now).
    --
    Aloke
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  4.    #4  
    After a year and 2 months I still love my Wii!!!!!! (just gone done playing some Super Mario Galaxy and Star Wars Lego with my son right before jumping online).

    But I thought about the PS3, but for the price difference of a decent BluRay player on sale, I might be able to use a good chunk of the money towards a new surround sound system. Mine is probably getting on 5 years now (maybe a little more if I really stopped and looked at my electronics receipt file). Does anyone know if the PS3 has HD output like HDMI?
  5. #5  
    PS3 has the latest HDMI ver 1.3

    I thought the cheapest PS3 was cheaper than the BRay players. That may have changed recently, as the prices of the players have been dropping while PS3 prices have remained steady...
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  6.    #6  
    During Christmas I saw some as low as $300. During the Super Bowl Sales, I am hoping that they drop down to around $200. Either way, they are only going to get cheaper from here on out.
  7. #7  
    I think HD DVD is toast. Frankly, I thought both formats would hang in there sort of the way SACD and DVD-Audio did via multi-format players (that play both BD and HD-DVD). But the Warner news is a huge set back for HD-DVD.

    A more subtle but possibly significant development that nobody else is talking about is the fact that Microsoft shuffled around many of the VC1 CODEC folks and reorganized several departments to be focused more on content streaming/distribution than on HD-DVD. If Microsoft really starts "phoning it in" as far as support for HD-DVD then the format will die even faster.

    I have a Toshiba A2 and a PS3 but rent BD movies from Blockbuster and haven't touched the HD-DVD player other than to watch two movies when I first bought it. I'm not a gamer but the PS3 is a very good BD player with HDMI 1.3a output (full 1080P output).

    But I'll soon find out more dirt on both formats at CES in Vegas next week!

    Now back to my AT&T Tilt....
  8. #8  
    Engadget has an announcement from the HD-DVD coalition (i.e Toshiba) squealing regarding the Warner news:

    "Based on the timing of the Warner Home Video announcement today, we have decided to postpone our CES 2008 press conference scheduled for Sunday, January 6th at 8:30 p.m. in the Wynn Hotel. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD's commitment to quality and affordability – a bar that is critical for the mainstream success of any format.

    We'll continue to keep you updated on new developments around HD DVD."


    Late last week I read in some tech blog (it might have connected to PC World) that basically laid out essentionally everything that's happened.

    The piece argued that Sony ought pay Warner mucho moola to switch from being neutral to Blue Ray. That doin it now would let Sony shove their boot onto Toshiba's throat. That the expense of bribing Warner would eventually be repaid in format war victory.

    The article began like it was just the normal observational newsy story -- but then it went into full on specific strategic advocacy. I read this thing and thought it kinda odd. Wish I could find it -- my search wasn't successful.

    Everyone except for Toshiba and the folks who've already bought HD DVD players would gain if the war ends.

    Sony's own studio, its connections to Apple/ Disney, and its otherwise white elephant PS3 were all factors if this is really the end ...
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/05/2008 at 01:20 AM.
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  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    A more subtle but possibly significant development that nobody else is talking about is the fact that Microsoft shuffled around many of the VC1 CODEC folks and reorganized several departments to be focused more on content streaming/distribution than on HD-DVD. If Microsoft really starts "phoning it in" as far as support for HD-DVD then the format will die even faster.
    I actually heard some news that the major factor that Microsoft was willing to through into the pot to pay Paramount / Dreamworks the $150 million was to purposely delay the doubt of the outcome of the Format War as long as possible. The logic is that if people are in doubt of the winner, they will not buy into any format and then hopefully turn to streaming options while they wait and see which way they can go, hence increase their profits during the 18 month HD commitment and then the time afterwards for the dust to settle for another 6 to 18 months.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    I actually heard some news that the major factor that Microsoft was willing to through into the pot to pay Paramount / Dreamworks the $150 million was to purposely delay the doubt of the outcome of the Format War as long as possible. The logic is that if people are in doubt of the winner, they will not buy into any format and then hopefully turn to streaming options while they wait and see which way they can go, hence increase their profits during the 18 month HD commitment and then the time afterwards for the dust to settle for another 6 to 18 months.
    latest rumour (engadget HD) is that sony paid Warner $500 mil.

    with the ps3, movie studio, and record division losses, has Sony become like the Red Cross ??? A non-profit ??
    Last edited by BARYE; 01/05/2008 at 04:22 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  11.    #11  
    I don't doubt Sony would do that as they have such an invested interest with the development of BluRay and have banked on it's success. The timing of the announcement was a little too perfect to not have any play behind the scenes. From the statements from Warner in the past, if the payoff is true it seems it was more to speed up the decision rather than influence it in the long term. But the same as with Paramount, Warner was holding out to grab any cash they can with delaying the Format War that has been out sold 2-1 for a year now in BluRay's favor.

    It seems that Paramount and Universal are just hanging tight as long as possible to see what they can grab for the short term in any deals that as it looks now will have no long term value. And Microsoft is just throwing their wrench...err money...into the works to simply add confusion for their own benefit with little regard for the best interest of the industry or the customer.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 01/05/2008 at 04:51 AM.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    I don't doubt Sony would do that as they have such an invested interest with the development of BluRay and have banked on it's success. The timing of the announcement was a little to perfect to not have any play behind the scenes. From the statements from Warner in the past, if the payoff is true is seems it was more to speed up the decision rather than influence it in the long term. But the same as with Paramount, holding out to grab any cash they can with delaying the Format War.

    It seems that Paramount and Universal are just hanging tight as long as possible to see what they can grab for the short term in any deals that as it looks now will have no long term value. And Microsoft is just throwing their wrench...err money...in the works to simply add confusion for their own benefit with little regard for the best interest of the industry or the customer.
    what's that they say when you're in a gang of thieves and you get offered a plea deal for testifying ??

    The first guy gets a heck of a lot better deal than the last ...

    At some point Paramount/Dreamworks lose their leverage. They become the carpet seller running after the now disinterested buyer, offering him the carpet for less and less -- begging him to buy his carpet.

    No matter the ultimate outcome Toshiba, Sony, and the studios have all blown gobbs of money that can never be made up.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  13.    #13  
    I actually already have my first BluRay DVD, even though I don't have a player yet. A friend of mine thought I was going to buy one for sure for Christmas so he got one for me for Christmas. It is unopened but setting in among my DVDs waiting for it's day.
  14. #14  
    How is the format wars coming along in the world of recordable discs? Which writers and blanks are out there?

    HD camcorder -> discs playable on the HD player is an essential path, don't you think?
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.17-CNG
    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  15.    #15  
    Apple & HP I think are all behind BluRay. I would have to do a little research to see if there are any others on either side of the exclusive camp.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    Apple & HP I think are all behind BluRay. I would have to do a little research to see if there are any others on either side of the exclusive camp.
    M$ aint
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    #17  
    The obvious answer: buy a player that supports both.
  18. #18  
    I am not sure if either format will ultimately survive.

    Is the general public really asking for higher resolution video sources? I dont think so. People are more interested in compressing video to watch on a 2in screen. Certainly only a small group jumped on board with SACD and DVDA (both of which are incredibly superior to standard redbook) Both of these formats might as well be officially dead.

    Unfortunately the general public is more interested in smaller/cheaper/easier- not better.

    If these new high res formats were not backwards compatible with standard DVD they would be nothing more than this decades "laserdisk".

    IMO

    -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
  19. #19  
    Let me guess. You don't (yet) own a HDTV set.

    Once you have one of those babies in the living room, you gotta have a HD player for the movies.

    In a few years (2?), the HD player will be sub-$100 like the current DVD. The studios will be re-re-re-releasing all their catalog to get repeat revenue, and I will be buying
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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  20. #20  
    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
    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
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