Anyone else afraid studios will abandon regular DVD in favor of HD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Carlos Garcia, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Thats Why I mentioned the converter but I'm having a hard time seeing that many people would invest in a converter for an old TV that they may need to replace soon when they could just buy an affordable HDTV. Unless it was for a big screen TV.
    A 36" TV is now about $300.00 5 years ago it was $800-$900 and not that many people considered that to be expensive. You can now buy a 24-30" HDTV for $800-$900. In 2-3 years it will be at least half that so I don't see why its is hard to believe that most will own a set when one could be purchased for $400-$500.00 possibly even less.

    As far as VHS goes Beginning in 2001 VHS had been reduced to a small section in most retail and rental stores. Catalog titles had gone out of print. New releases began to be limited to only Big A titles. E-BAy began to be the #1 place of purchase for VHS all these are tell tale signs of a dead format. Maybe in the midwest it was different but not on the east and west coast. I only say this because I sold a number of VHS on E-Bay in the past few years and the majority were to the midwest. Your stating that new releases have to be special ordered by Amazon is a sign of a Dead Format. If it wasn't you could walk into any store and buy a new release.
     
  2. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Toshiba has Rumored a 45 GB disc but it is not in production yet.. Blu-Ray has a 50 GB disc now.

    But I agree TV on HD will be multi-disc. It would only be single disc if they did it in Stadard Def which would defeat the purpose.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    but up until about last year (even the beginning of this year), you could buy new releases on VHS and this is 5 years later than your claim that it died in 2001.

    I can agree that at this point, it's practically dead, but 5 years ago?
     
  4. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I agree poorer people and those that recently bought their sets may not want to buy a new set but 1.) We don't know what the cost of the converter will be yet, if its $100-$200.00 many may feel its not worth it and just get a new set. 2.) These 2 groups will equal much less than 50% of the market making them no longer in the average consumer group, that we are talking about.

    Concerning VHS by dead I meant no longer a major seller. The fact that you can still buy Record albums does not change the fact that it is a dead format as well.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I read somewhere that the converters are going to be free, or somewhere close to it - say $5 or $10. - but the only people that would need one would be those getting OTA signals only, as CATV would take care of their own, of course.

    It doesn't really matter how many consumers will 'jump' into the new format when it comes out, because word of mouth on how much better the picture looks will be the major selling point, and by the next holiday season, when you won't be able to find any SD TV sets in stores, the prices will be low enough for smaller models, so that just about anyone could afford one.

    Glenn
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    The studios will continue to milk the DVD market until it is dead, while also entering the HD market in some form to get people to double dip. Reselling the same thing over and over is what this industry is about, there is no point cutting off a market until it no longer makes financial sense to keep releasing to it.
     
  7. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I don't really care who wins the format wars. By the time that happens, they'll be on to yet another format that's better than both of them combined. I look at both Blu-Ray and HD as intermediary formats--a step between dvd and something vastly superior. I'll probably skip both of them and just sit around and wait.
     
  8. Joe*A

    Joe*A Stunt Coordinator

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    I still stick to my guns in saying that HD, though attractive, is not that much better than S-DVD for me to jump on the band wagon. In the end, does the quality of the picture make that much of a difference or is it the content of the show that really counts. I remember watching TZ on my 12" B&W television with rabbit ears (with fuzzy picture) and loved the show. I see people watching television shows on the train using their 3" iPods, I sometimes watch movies on my Polaroid portable DVD player - they may not look stunning but when a show or movie is good, its great no matter the medium we use. HD is pretty but its not good enough for me to move in that direction unless I'm forced to. And I'm not planning to re-invest monies into titles I already purchased on S-DVD for HD. I did this with VHS to S-DVD. "They" will not get me again. So, technology, please slow down for the next generation of people to come around.
     
  9. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Well, that certainly remains to be seen. I'd say a lot of it depends on whether the government lays down the law or whether there are more delays.

    As for HD-DVD/BluRay taking dominance: I've long felt this:

    HD/BluRay is to DVD as Laserdisc is to VHS

    I know I'm not going to change anyone's mind out there, but the two hi-def formats look to be repeating the history of Laser, not DVD. The format war doesn't make it any better.

    Laser never really did come down in price enough for most people to adopt. I consider myself a video enthusiast: I sat on the fence in the early '90s and came very close to plunking down the change, before eventually deciding it wasn't worth it. Just imagine the average trucker cap-wearin' Wal-Mart shopper.

    As someone else said, yes, I think I heard the government were supposed to be supplying the converters free (to the poorer among us, anyway). Having free/affordable access to the poor was one of the major stumbling blocks to getting through legislation that would shut off the SD spectrum.

    People like Randy who can afford to replace their equipment every five years may find this hard to belive, but the majority of Americans don't have those quantities of disposable income and even if they did, many would still expect to get more than 3-5 years out of a TV. Forget the better picture quality. If they have an almost-new SD television and they can't replace it with a bigger one for a lot less money, it just isn't going to happen in large numbers. I'd say you can take that to the bank.

    Another problem is TV programming. The vast majority of satellite/cable channels are still in SD, and those of us who get our programming via those little pizza-pan dishes are not going to see any improvement on a new HD set. Yes, Dish and others have HD packages, but you have to buy a special receiver, only get a handful of channels, and all that is on top of your standard programming. Satellite providers will have to offer a nearly full slate of HD programming before a lot of people are going to climb aboard for that one.

    Of course, many consumers aren't well-educated in these matters and may foolishly buy one of these TVs thinking their Dish picture will magically be hi-def when they plug that bad boy in. Of course, these are the same people who will stretch all their 4:3 TV channels to fit 16:9, but that's straying a bit!

    Don't get the wrong idea, I want HD formats (and HD televisions, particularly) to get big-n-cheap fast. I'd just love to upgrade my 32" SD television. I just don't see it happening in 2-3 years (and certainly not by next Christmas).
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Speaking of these HD->SD converters...I highly doubt they'll be free. Hell, Comcast moved their TV Guide channel to a digital channel and since my parents can't afford Digital Cable, my mom called to find out how to get back her TV Guide channel. They said she would need to rent a box to get it - not a digital cable box, but a box just for the TV guide channel. I forget the cost of rental, but it was several dollars a month! JUST for the stupid TV guide channel!! [​IMG]

    So call me skeptical, but free converters for non-HD sets? I don't think that'll happen.


    And speaking of price - Since it costs me almost $100 already for HD cable, I wonder what's going to happen if the stations all go HD? Will it still be $100 for HD cable? I wonder how many people will be happy with that?
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Andy, I go along with your take on this. Good post. I'm not in a hurry to upgrade anything for another year at a minimum. I also have the "pizza" dish and that's good enough for me for a while. I also have, as most here, a large Std DVD collection. Plus, my 36" Sony Wega TV's only a few years old so I don't see myself buying an HD replacement set soon. I have the income to do so but I don't see the point in it for the forseeable future. I'd need to see, at the least, the HD vs BLU-RAY war settled before I buy anything HD.
     
  12. Richard_Gregory

    Richard_Gregory Second Unit

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    No I'm not. The releases are safe whilst the number of standard DVD player owners outnumber the HD/Blu-Ray owners by thousands to one.

    The number of potential buyers is the key - particularly when it comes to things like TV releases rather than blockbusters. With a blockbuster movie, you at least potentially get most player owners buying. That's not true with many TV releases (except maybe stuff like Star Trek) - but the huge number of DVD owners means that you get a profit even if only a few percent end up buying. Many obscure titles only made it to DVD because of this (films as well as TV).

    So, IMHO, before DVD releases cease, you will need to have a much bigger HD/Blu-Ray market plus a much smaller DVD market.

    With a format war underway, plus the expense involved in moving to HD (as you need a new TV as well), I don't see this happening for some time. The VHS-DVD transition took some time, and DVD offered numerous additional advantages over VHS that HD/Blue-Ray don't over DVD (compactness of media, never wears out, extra features and so on).

    From a purely personal point of view, I have little interest in HD, regarding it as mainly being a solution looking for a problem designed by studios who understandably want consumers to keep on buying their products. It's easier and cheaper for them if we keep on buying Spider-Man2 every few years in pursuit of that ultimate edition. Sadly, I do think that the HD distraction will pull money away from studios DVD budgets into the HD one, so DVD releases probably will suffer. Sony will spend it's "home video" money on rechurning the same tired old stuff out onto HD, rather than putting out nicely restored films that haven't had a release on any format at all.
     
  13. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    My bedroom TV is a 15 yr old Sony 27" and the picture still looks good to me. Heck if I've waited that long to replace it, I suppose my next one will be one of those 42" plasmas, as soon as it hits stores in the $500 range, in another 7-10 yrs. I can wait. [​IMG]
     
  14. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Second Unit

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    This has been a great discussion, and I have to commend everyone for keeping it civil. It is clear that everyone here has strong convictions and they are not easily going to be swayed one way or the other. I am in the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray camp and hope that both formats can find a way to survive. I have ordered a Toshiba HD-DVD player and will probably buy a BD player when the price comes down to a reasonable level.

    These players may never achieve more than niche status, but that is OK with me. I am not going to go crazy buying movies for these machines; I will try to keep it down to maybe one movie per month. The biggest reason that I am trying to support these formats at least to a degree is that I am starved for HD content. I have been hearing about and anticipating this technology for at least ten years and quite frankly I am sick of waiting. There has been nothing, but delay after delay. I live in a rural area and will likely never be able to receive over the air HD broadcasts. The cable system sucks; our horrendous Adelphia service was replaced by an equally horrendous Comcast Service. For about $100/month, we receive only a handful of overly compressed HD signals that look little better and in some cases not as good as a badly mastered standard DVD. On that same note, our local Costco now has signs posted every eight feet below there HD TV displays saying effectively don't take these TVs home and expect to have a great picture like the ones displayed. They must have gotten sick of people returning their sets after getting them home to discover what terrible pictures these sets have and what getting a good HD signal entails. It is virtually impossible in this area for these sets to achieve their full potential. I have four HD TVs and have yet to really see the potential of this format realized. That is why I will support both formats and will continue to do so.
     
  15. Richard_Gregory

    Richard_Gregory Second Unit

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    Doug, my first thought is about all that hardware you have - which to be honest doesn't seem to be getting you much for all the money.

    I don't think I'd like to shell out for an expensive HD TV with the broadcast services that lousy and costly. Nor for HD players of both types which would be getting me maybe one film a month.

    I'd be using that money to buy some of the hundreds of DVD's on my wants list. I think I'd get a whole lot more hours enjoyment out of those than I would out of my one HD movie a month...

    But I quite understand that different people have different priorities...just do whatever makes you happy.

    Purely IMHO, if hi-def DVD is to stand even a chance of replacing standard, then one of the two competing formats absolutely must die.

    You see, the average Joe Public just wants a cheap player, that plugs into their TV, and plays any movie they want to buy from the store.

    There is nothing more sure to put Joe Public off than having to work out they need a special sort of TV to go with their player - except finding out that half of the films on the shelf won't play in the one they've bought. Joe just doesn't want to think about that.

    And Joe, I'm afraid, cares a lot less about picture quality than the studios like to think he does.

    To achieve a mass market, you need two things: simplicity and cheapness. DVD brought us both. At present, HD-DVD and BD bring us neither.
     
  16. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Randy, what's really short sighted, I think, is not realizing that the major success of S-DVD was mainly due to its convenience for the average consumer - no more rewinding, movies placed on a small disc just like their favorite music Cds, bonus extras included at the flip of a remote. They were never as impressed by "astounding visual quality" as their driving force, though once they bought into the system they could see it looked great. That's why I don't see the general consumers flocking to "upgrade" with HD-DVD. It's basically the same thing to them, and they're not as concerned with however many pixels or lines of resolution -- they just loved the convenience of S-DVD, which is where the majority of satisfied customers came from.

    There is only one way HD-DVD can ever replace S-DVD, and it goes back to the original question of the post. That is, if the studios stop making S-DVD and abandon it all together, giving general consumers no choice whatsoever BUT to buy into HD, literally forcing them into a new product. This at first enraged lots of people I knew around 1989 - 1990 when vinyl records were not carried in stores anymore and they were basically "forced" into adopting the Compact Disc. But of course, in that case again, the improved conveniences really appealed to the avergae Joe Six packs (no skipping records, no pops and crackles, no flipping records over, etc.). I hope this tactic doesn't happen with S-DVD vs. HD-DVD.
     
  17. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Wise words all around.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    To add to this, I am not (by far) the "Typical Consumer", so when I heard about SD-DVD coming out, I was EXTATIC! Understanding what an improvement DVD was over VHS, I couldn't WAIT to get into it, and I hadn't even really done any testing to see exactly what those improvements were - I just KNEW it was going to be SO much better than VHS (not only in A/V quality, but in convenience, smaller storage, and less hassle, etc.). As someone who owned less than a dozen VHS, since the jump to DVD, I now have close to 1,000....

    Now with HD-DVD, I know what HD looks like - I have HD cable and I work with HD video at my workplace...I know exactly what the improvements are, but as was mentioned, it doesn't seem as thrilling (i.e. the move from SD-DVD to HD-DVD) as the move from VHS to SD-DVD.

    Hell, I record "My Name is Earl" on my ReplayTV (that I have hooked up with the standard analog cable) where I have to zoom the letterboxed image to fill my screen. Knowing that they show this in HD, doesn't appeal enough for me to want to pay the extra $10/month for an HD cable recorder (from Comcast).

    That just isn't worth it to me. As was mentioned, HD may be SO much greater in quality, but SD-DVD isn't detracting from the fun and enjoyment I am experiencing at the moment.

    I know in the future, I'll make the move to HD, but that will only happen when it is MUCH more attractive to move than it is now.

    And if this statement is coming from someone who isn't your "Average Consumer", then what does that say ABOUT the "Average Consumers" view into the HD realm?
     
  19. John Carr

    John Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    I waited years to get into S-DVD due to my large (1,000+) videotape collection. So, I'm very hesitant about getting into HD or Blu-Ray.

    I've been burned in the past by 45s, 8-tracks, LPs, cassettes in the endless format change-overs. It took me 3 years before I bought my first VHS machine, as I wanted to be sure who won the Beta/VHS contest. I'm sick-to-death of endlessly paying large sums of money to replace items I already own. Yes, they are better, but...

    My original plan was to never get a S-DVD player, instead wait until High Definition came out, and then re-buy all my favorite movies. But the endless HD delays, and my son, who gave me an older DVD player, convinced me to upgrade from VHS. I'm glad I did, especially because of the DVD on TV revolution, but it's going to hurt buying those same movies again, some for the 3rd time!

    However, one thing has made me reconsider High Def. According to a pyschology of perception article I read, the 'quality' of HD images is so close to reality (the limits of what the eye recognizes as real) that it creates a different mind set in the watcher. That is, when you're watching S-DVDs, your mind 'realizes' it's a flickering image/not reality. However, with HD, that perception is blurred and some of the events are more real -- moving us much deeper on a subconscious (and I expect conscious) level...

    It will be interesting to see how this change of perception plays out as more and more people move into HD...

    John
     
  20. David Deeb

    David Deeb Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely. Except for the news channels which are not yet available in HD in my area, ALL my TV viewing is HD.

    I could care less if a series got abandonded mid-way through its SD release as long as its remaining seasons came in HD.

    I don't see that happening for a little while, but I'm interested in the best picture quality. Lost, 24, 30 Rock, Alias, etc on HD discs? Absolutely.
     

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