Disney - No Pirates or Cars on Blu-Ray in 2006

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Pete T C, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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    http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6361305.html


    This is a lot different talk than the "we're putting all of our marketing behind Blu-Ray" Disney was talking about pre-BluRay launch. Looks like films like "Dinosaur" will be the norm for Disney Blu-Ray this year.
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Note that he did not say Blu-Ray...

    - Steve
     
  3. AaronSCH

    AaronSCH Second Unit

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    That is actually a major blow for Blu-Ray. It really sounds like Disney may be the first studio to soften its staunch support of the format. There must be some back room discussions regarding the wisdom of this war and the financial risk the studios are taking backing Blu-Ray (especially when you consider Sony's past track record and the phenomenal DUD called UMD which they should have realized was DUM and DOA).

    Standard DVD sales numbers are finally slipping and this war could hurt the development of the studios' next cash cow. I am sure they read these websites to get a feel for what the early adopters are saying. The excitement is obviously with the HD DVD camp right now and those of us that took the dive early are more than pleased… that fact has not gone without notice. I would also be willing to bet that HD DVD software sales are exceeding expectations for a soft format launch.

    The plot thickens.
     
  4. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    I think it's also important to note that this follows rumors of production problems with PS3 and wavering support from developers and potential consumers.

    I'm sure alot of studios were "BR Only!" when it looked like PS3 would sell massive units and generate a tremedous installed base in a very short amount of time. Now that PS3's starting to look like the underdog, Studios may be starting to reconsider their stance on the HD market.

    Additionally, if there's some intention to go forward with the long-rumored Triple Layer HD-DVD's, BR's lost pretty much all of it's advantages. The 5gig difference is insignificant, and the $500-1000 price difference could be fatal to the format.

    At 45 gigs, the next difference to consider is pricing, and BR can't touch the pricing.

    Finally, while HD-DVD could get away with rewriting the spec for triple layer discs, BR cannot do the same. With millions of PS3's shipping, and Sony intending for them to sell out, rewriting the spec would invalidate all of the PS3's. Tosh would only burn a few thousand people, people used to doing the early adopter thing. Sony would burn millions, who expect to have what the box tells them, and sue if it doesn't work as advertised.
     
  5. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    I don't know what the future is.
    I don't know if HD DVD will win.
    Just, I'm thinking...
    What the friggin else can Blu-ray do wrong?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    I mean, a Blu Basher couldn't even make up all the stuff that Blu-it has been though lately. :-0

    I was all for Uni's cause that would keep me out of the losing format. Butt, now it's like who cares about BD or Uni's?

    I guess their are still BD Believers, like WoW, hope something good comes their way soon. If this was a fight or a softball game, the ref would have to stop it or the mercy rule would have gone into effect.
    Sad.

    I'm not for the format war at all. Just if there is a format war, it would be great if both sides showed up. :-(

    OK, Blu Believers time to post about the PS3, again.
    What a DRAG!!!
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    IMO, this is a sledgehammer blow to the stomach to the Blu-ray format.

    All I've heard all Summer is how Blu-ray was gearing up for an October-November-December hardware and software blitz that would culminate in a complete knockout of HD-DVD; putting that format down for the count by Spring of 2007.

    At this moment in time two of the top anticipated exclusive Blu-ray software titles of the year have just been removed from the table. How will "Joe Average" know that Blu-ray has exclusive support from Disney when the two biggest blockbusters of the Summer are being withheld? If Fox now withholds "X-Men 3" then Blu-ray can just forget all about trying to justify a $500 surcharge to the general public based on the increased exclusive studio support. Mr. and Mrs. "Joe Average" will not be impressed that "Dinosaurs" will not be available for purchase on HD-DVD!

    Combine that with the very low yields that we've been hearing about of the chips required for the PS3-which will apparently limit that machine's availability at launch-with the inability of Sony to so far make good on any of the Blu-ray format's supposed superior technology; and you have a genuine disaster of a launch for BD.

    Meanwhile, with HD-DVD apparently getting "Superman Returns" as well as the "Superman Mega-Box" in November (this was announced back in July)-along with the previously announced Harry Potter and "Batman Begins" titles- it's now fairly apparent that this fight is going to go the distance!

    Who would have "thunk it" back in January of this year? Remember then? The PS3 was supposed to launch in "Spring 2006" along with initial Blu-ray decks from Sony, Pioneer, and Panasonic. Dual layer 50GB Blu-ray discs were supposed to swamp HD-DVD 30GB discs in picture and sound quality. Exclusive blockbuster titles from every studio except Universal would be available by the fourth quarter which would cement the format's acceptance. I have to admit that at the beginning of this year I bought into all this hype. I drank the Blu-ray kool-aid, thinking that it would be superior to HD-DVD in every way, shape, and form. I couldn't even believe that Toshiba was launching a rival format in the face of all this. And then we got to experience the "pop" of the HD-DVD VC-1 transfers vs. Blu-ray's decade-old MPEG2. We found that $500 1080i HD-DVD decks could outperform $1000 1080p Blu-ray decks. That 15GB HD-DVD could provide a better HD experience than 25GB Blu-ray. That 30GB dual-layer HD-DVD was available now while 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray was still just a promise. That the PS3 would slip all the way to November and would be available in limited quantities even then. That only Samsung could deliver a Blu-ray deck to the market prior to September; and that it was shipped with a chip setting that could limit its performance.

    If this fight were to be stopped now HD-DVD would win on a decision ...
     
  7. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    IMO,

    Sony got itself backed into a corner. BR should never have shipped with Mpeg2 compression, PS3 should've had another year in development, and DL media should've been online at release.

    But Toshiba forced BR to release before authoring tools and production lines were ready, MS forced the PS3 to release early or face an enourmous uphill battle. Sony shouldn't have been greedy and tried to force Mpeg2 releases so they could replace them with superior releases down the line for double-dipping-profit-fun.

    Sony also shouldn't have gone with an untested, unproven, difficult to manufacter processor, again out of sheer greed. (Code for Cell won't translate well to other processors, it's sort of an attempt to force exclusivity or short-term exclusivity on titles).

    Sony needed time to fully prep BR's launch, they didn't have it. At this point, if Tosh could release triple layer discs, they'd likely corner the market.

    And I have prefered BR as the solution. Too many things have gone wrong, and the silver bullet(PS3) looks iffy at this point. IMO Disney's statement is quite telling, as I'm reading uncertainty there. Wny would Disney hold off on releasing it's biggest new title on BR?

    Only thing I can think of is they want VC1 and 50 gigs, and for some reason they may not be expecting it.

    Either that, or the rumors of studios attempting to renegotiate contracts are true. Considering the state of affairs, it's entirely possible that they're trying to push a new deal now that Sony doesn't have a sure thing. A defection at this point in the game could be fatal.

    Honestly, how many people here would head for the cheaper and currently visually superior HD-DVD player if Disney defected and dropped it's A+ titles on HD-DVD instead? I suspect quite a few would consider it the signal of the war's ending and switch.

    Plus, IMO, the adoption will go slowly for the next year or so, then explode in 2008. Pricing should be way down by that point, and HD-TV installed base should be huge. As long as the players are backwards compatible, they'll quickly end up dominating the market in sales, as there's no reason not to buy one if it's backwards compatible and cost effective. It's not like the conversion from VHS or Cassete to DVD and CD, it doesn't invalidate previous purchases, so it's not a major choice if cost is down.

    I think people are guaging this war by outdated standards, adoption rates are very different today. Look at music, in just a few short years MP3 has completely altered the music industry, and is near universally accepted in some age groups. Conversion for a significant portion of the market only took 4-5 years. Heck, even my cell phone doubles as an MP3 player, and can be wired into my car's CD Player through RCA jacks.

    People are better informed today than they were decades ago. The Internet has changed how we get information, electronic's department stores like Best Buy and Circuit City show us HDTV's while we pick up movies, music, and games. 20 years ago you saw a commercial giving you some slight idea of what a new product was, and electronics stores didn't have products like movies and games in the supply they do now, and the rental scheme was in full force.

    It's a different market, with better informed consumers, and stores that stock casual purchases as well as long-term ones.

    If it wasn't a better informed market, we wouldn't have the widescreen dominance in sales!
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This year's holiday season is only round one. We have a long way to go in this war and I'm not ready to buy into the theory that BR is now in trouble because of Disney's announcement.




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    That is all what is said about HD in the article, the rest is about strong business in SD-DVD sales the past year.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I tell yuh....

    Nobody is helping anybody launch a format here.

    It's amazing that these studios are doing very little to
    make sure grade-A product makes it to the new high definition
    formats.

    Do you know how many people could have been sold on
    Blu-Ray based on premium titles like CARS and PIRATES being
    available this holiday season?
     
  11. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    It's obvious from this quote that many of the exclusive studio BD supporters were thinking that there would be no real war; that the fourth-quarter hardware/software Blu-ray blitz would sweep Blu-ray to dominance in a matter of months. It doesn't appear as though that's going to happen now!
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    If the studios associated with Blu-Ray won't do it then I pray that
    Warner, Universal and Paramount ramp up production on some much
    needed blockbuster releases for Q4.

    The way to win a format war is with "killer apps." Release titles
    that have big appeal to consumers and, along with a $500 pricepoint,
    HD-DVD could take a huge lead in the war.
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I find most of the quotes from studio executives involved in this format war dubious at best. The real allegiance they have is to increase profits by selling more software. If and when, one of those formats exhibit a sustained advantage over the other in that regard, you will have studios jumping off one wagon and hitching a ride on the other.





    Crawdaddy
     
  14. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    What about the rest of the world? Toshiba ain't the best distrubuted brand.
    Hopefully the 360 add-on isn't region protected.
     
  15. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I'm not surprised by this development at all, but I must say it is disappointing as a Blu-Ray owner to not see PIRATES released to any high def format this year. Earlier in the year PIRATES 2 was touted as a day and date release on BD with the SD DVD.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    It seems to me that either the studios don't "get it" or they
    are playing it way too safe with their releases out of fear that
    the format they choose will not survive.

    You can't sell a format with the type of releases that have been
    coming out of the HD-DVD and BLU-RAY camps.

    I understand there are those that will oppose what I am saying
    but very confident that there are more who will agree....

    The titles that are out right now, if you consider as part of a
    studios huge catalog, are pretty lame. For anyone considering
    either format, there isn't much here right now to get excited about...

    ...and now, a huge supporter of the Blu-Ray says they aren't
    releasing perhaps the two biggest Summer titles to that format?
    Holy Crap, if that isn't a blow to the format altogether.

    Fox is releasing Summer fare day-and-date, but even their line-up
    could have been a little better. The more I'm looking at the stuff
    being released to Blu-Ray in Q4 the more I'm thinking of waiting till
    2007 to invest in the format.

    HD-DVD is not totally off the hook either, though I suspect that
    Warner and Universal is going to have some great stuff announced
    shortly.
     
  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    The old saying for me comes to play here, "common sense isn't always common". Common sense says BD should change the Mpeg 2 compression chip to Mpeg4. Common sense also mandates that get a 50 gig dual layer disc available for movies so that you can have the extras we are so used to. Finally common sense demands that you release you best titles to counter the strong release of your adversary. So what the heck is on Sony's mind with these issues. It was better for Sony not to release anything and get it right in all aspects then compete for the consumers.
    This uncertainty on what will be released even by the 4th quarter and the long delay of players (that might not even meet the standard) keeps taking this format backwards. Most consumers may not have a clue about which studio is supporting which format but if this uncertainty continues, they will figure it out.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    These are not Sony titles, but Disney ones.
     
  19. AaronSCH

    AaronSCH Second Unit

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    Look folks, if you don't think those killer titles like Batman Begins, King Kong, Harry Potter and Superman Returns aren't gonna be blazing across HDTVs during the Christmas shopping season you are brain dead. Best Buy and Circuit City won't do it to sell HD DVD but they certainly will do it to sell those expensive LCD and plasma sets filling up the warehouses. So expect more HD DVD players to show up on racks next to these displays by default. If Warner sticks to releasing those titles to HD DVD only (and I suspect that is what will happen), I predict, hell I'd bet the farm, it will be nearly impossible for Blu Ray to survive. I just hope Toshiba is passing out caffeine tablets to their employees to get these players to market…fast.
     
  20. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Absolutely. I'm not a big believer at looking at all the technical specifications for these two formats. Mpeg-2 or VC-1 doesn't interest me that much. What I want is great looking movies, which it seems both formats are capable of delivering. I think it splitting hairs to decide which one looks or sounds better.

    So, to me, it's all about the movies. And, right now, if I were forced to make a snap decision between the two, it would be HD-DVD based solely on their potential movies this Christmas.
     

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