A retailer's comment on HD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Engleman, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Bob Engleman

    Bob Engleman Stunt Coordinator

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    Next month marks the beginning of my 16th yr. in the business, and the 2nd for HD. Predicated upon the 3 format wars of which I'd knowledge, I chose to pass on the product. To this date, I've neither received any requests for, nor had any customers mention its existence. In addition, I also purchase for re-sale clean used titles from both customers and 19 stores in the area, but nary a single disc have I seen offered for sale. It may well be different in another section of the U.S., but in SW Ohio, it seems to be a resounding flop.
    Even that trumpeter of HD, Billy "Hi-Def" Hunt stated in a column that most folks should stand aside until the dust settles.

    Bob Engleman
     
  2. RandallV

    RandallV Second Unit

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    Even though I'm satisfied with SD DVD, I find this lack of interest on the part of the public quite sad. It would have been nice to have had the option of upgrading our digital movie collections to one high def disc format. However, as is usually the case in "big business", greed dictated the way things are.
     
  3. JohnPhi

    JohnPhi Stunt Coordinator

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    What is sad is the format war in general. I have stated this in other threads, but seriously it sucks. I will not throw a dime in as long as there are competing formats. That will kill the entire format for now until one unified format hits the public that is revolutionary and new. People see HD as nothing more than an overpriced DVD, with little added value, yes little added value, you did hear me correctly. Increased pq is important to me, but to the average consumer, not worth double and in some software cases, triple the cost. For example, I can get a movie like midnight run for under ten bucks, but Universal thinks most will pay 40 for it....ha. Besides better pictue and sound, there is not much new here. It is basically the same dvd stuff.
     
  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I agree that the format war sucks. While I posted on the "Sitting Out the War" thread about the virtues of SD DVD, and why I think it remains popular, I am enough of an enthusiast to buy into the HD format if there were only one to choose from. Right now, there are some titles I would want from each format that are not licensed to the other format. NO WAY can I afford both.

    Some compare this war to the DVD/DiVX war, but DiVX was so lame I don't think anybody but Circuit City was pulling for that one. You would think everybody could have agreed on something. Sure, the originator of the "winning format" would make more than everybody else because they would produce players and software under license to the winner. But by bringing out two competing niche formats, one format stands to lose big, but actually both may flop because of the format war. The consumer is stuck in the middle.
     
  5. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Well here in good ol' Fiji, where we've always been tech-savvy, demand is only limited by availability and price.

    60+ HD DVD titles and counting. Customer demand is growing slowly. And the 360 add-on price drops this month out of Australia. I assume this will coincide with firmware update.
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    The war is what's holding it back. If you are having a hard time getting the enthusiasts interested, then don't hold your breath about your average consumer.
     
  7. JerryKILL

    JerryKILL Stunt Coordinator

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    Just today a very savvy, technically adept coworker asked me the question, "what is Blu Ray?" At that point I realized just how far HD (either format) has to go to reach the general public.
     
  8. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I'd wager that 95% of the people I work with would have never heard of either if they hadn't heard me talking about it.

    And the other 5% had heard of Blu-Ray, but not HD-DVD.
     
  9. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    I just hope when they found out about HD discs they find out about all the issues concerning DRM. I don't think people would be to happy finding out about the possibility of their media being turned into expensive paperweights.
    Analog may not be as good as digital but at least the consumer is in charge.
     
  10. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Stunt Coordinator

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    What's holding HD-DVD back is not the format war by itself, it's the format war *combined* with the high cost of HD players. If BluRay and HD-DVD players were $70-$100, the format war wouldn't mean nearly as much, because people would just buy both types of players and discs.
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    no matter how cheap, I don't want to have to have two HD players in my system to watch HD content for all studios.

    The war is an obstacle... plain and simple. Consumers want a single format, as they always have when it comes to video.

    -dave
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As DaVID mentioned, even if the players were real cheap, you'd still need to hook them both up. I doubt that many of your average consumers (with HD sets) have more than one HDMI input to hook up both machines.

    Most newer TV's seem to have 2 HDMI inputs, but just a few years ago, 1 HDMI input seemed to be the norm on mid to low priced HD sets. That's definitely something most consumers are willing to do...most Enthusiasts don't want 2 players. I know I agree with David in the fact that I don't want to have to hook up two players. [​IMG]
     
  13. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    And I would wager to say those percentages are pretty close to the percentages of people that give a darn about either format. Even when I show people movies in BD and HD, Monday Night Football and Lost seem to be the only HD they are interested in. Both formats are resolute flops. This will not stop me from enjoying them while they last, though.

    All you have to do is follow the threads in this forum to see the excitement of 6 months ago has waned, and many of the fervent supporters have been relatively silent for the last few months.
     
  14. JohnPhi

    JohnPhi Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey is that a picture of one of your kids, if so, very cute, I have four lovelies myself
     
  15. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    One of my kid's kids. That is my grand daughter. Thanks your the compliment.[​IMG]
     
  16. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I'm going to go with this...

    Out here in CA, at least in the OC both formats are in just about every electronics store and there not small displays either.
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I wonder how many high def discs are returned every day? I can imagine people buying them and then returning them because they thought they were broken (by not working in their DVD players).

    I'm sure that'd be discouraging enough for the average Joe be turned off.
     
  18. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, but how will one format win out over the other? VHS became the standard because it was less expensive than Betamax. Neither BluRay nor HD-DVD have much of an advantage in that regard, and both are supported by major players. I don't see either one going away anytime soon, and so probably the best HD fans can hope for is either a reduction in player cost, or else players that are capable of handling both formats.
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Comments like that oversimiply the beta/vhs war greatly.

    VHS could put a 2.5 hour movie on a single tape. It did several other things "better" than BETA despite the inferior picture quality. Those other things, in conjuction with price, made the difference. Price is only one issue, and not having a great price difference between formats doesn't mean there aren't other significant issues that will motivate sales.

    I think that having Disney's Fox's, and MGM's library on one format, for instance, is an ENORMOUS advantage for BD in the eyes of the "average" consumer.
     
  20. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    It is a big selling point of BD. But as more minor studios come on board supporting both formats (Dreamworks as one, New Line), that advantage diminishes. Don't get me wrong, I have both formats because there are movies exclusive to both formats I want, but it is the title, not the studio that has more of an impact.

    But even if all sides were equal, and only one format were out, I seriously doubt it would make much impact on the general publics lack of interest in these products. IMHO, by the time that interest is increased to a level that the studios can turn a profit on their releases, other delivery sources will be more acceptable. To make maters worse, we will be seeing the introduction of a new HD format (I believe VMD) in the near future. Than this war will really get interesting.

    In the mean time, most of these new HDTV owners seem to be more than satisfied with their Sat or Cable HD content.
     

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