Great article on all the post format war doomsaying...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nick Graham, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    What, like Never Twice Same Colour? [​IMG]

    Unified standards are nice, but the only way to make them work in the current economic climate is to let the market sort them out.
     
  2. bigluigi

    bigluigi Second Unit

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    The article seems to suggest that at the same time in Blu-ray's history (almost 2 yrs old) SD DVD had 2,200 titles available....soon to be 4,500 by the end of the year.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    But with the general public, DVD only had to compete with VHS (which had been around for two decades so it was lot easier to convince people to upgrade). Blu Ray had to compete with HD DVD and still has to compete with DVD which is barley a decade old (and the average consumer has probably had a DVD player for a little over 5 years so it's a helluva harder to convince them to upgrade again already). With those two massive obstacles, how could Blu Ray have done as well as DVD did?
     
  4. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I don't see it as a matter of time so much as it is similarity of form and feature. DVD offered a much different experience over tape based formats...of which its better a/v quality was but one element...and probably not the most significant or outstanding difference to the vast majority of people graduating to the format after a decade + of tapes. I would bet things like the more compact form factor along with random access and the 'does't need rewinding' aspect were more significant attributes to significantly more people than merely higher quality a/v. In that light, Bd is merely a better looking DVD, offering pretty much the same ergonomic experience while costing significantly more- in terms of higher sw and an initially much higher hw buy-in cost.And even when saying that HDMs offer a higher quality A/V experience, what is really the truth is (as I see it everytime I watch one) these are merely just really, really, great looking dvds. Any statement of these exhibiting significant, easily percieved higher quality then has to be followed by an asterix and a litany of clauses why this may not be everyones result : i.e. screen sizes + viewing distance, display resolution, condition of individual fim elements or masters, dirctorial intent per visuals etc etc etc.
    I'm happy and grateful to own and be able to watch some of my favorite films in such high quality. I am not however optimistic that I will ever be able to amass a collection of favorites anywhere near the scope of the one I enjoy on DVD.
     
  5. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    The Doom and Gloom spin is merely an extension of the format war, usually coming from bitter HD DVD (or anti-Sony) zealots who have nothing to fight for anymore and just can't stop with the rhetoric. Misery loves company and all that.

    I just ignore them. Does what they say really matter?
     
  6. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    True. But it´ll pass. I actually bet, that there was similar talk from (certain) the LD-fans when the SD DVD arrived. It´s of course a hard blow to lose the whole format.

    But no-one likes a sore loser. After all, the end of format war was actually a good thing for many.. Like it was good when DVD arrived.
     
  7. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    When we have one HD-format now, I feel that we have a "standard", 1080p.

    Sure, some people have 720p ("lower" HD-resolution), 768 and 1080i TV-sets etc, but all the future TV-sets (and also projectors and such) will be in "full" 1080p.

    With SD DVD, we had PAL, NTSC, Anamorphic, Non-anamorphic..

    So people with that brand new 1080p-set at home, they can now go to the store and pick that Blu-ray-player. It´s the new "standard".
     
  8. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    Wow, Patrick, you summed up my thoughts perfectly.

    I am a big HD fan, and I buy Blu-ray when it's available. However, I know I am in the minority (when compared to the general public), and I don't see that changing for a long while. I'm not even sure, as Crawdaddy says (and, who I greatly respect), that mass acceptance will even come. I'm not saying it won't, it's just that I am worried it won't.

    Format-war aside, the entire thing smacks of LD: The price will remain high (though not as rediculously high as LD), the availability will be less than stellar (though better than LD), and only the hardcore enthusiasts will truly adopt it (and the rich people [​IMG] ).

    At the end of the day, you just can't "treat" customers the way they have been treated. By that I mean you can't convince virtually the entire movie-watching public (and I mean the entire) to switch from pan and scan VHS and over-the-air cropped movies to DVD. Then Convince them to upgrade their old TV to something that could actually be considered a home theatre. Then convince them to upgrade to HD (and for some consumers, this meants multiple upgrades, from 720 to 1080). AND THEN ask them to upgrade all their movies to blu-ray.

    It's just too much to throw at the public. Add in the now-defunct format war and its confusion/ambivalence factor, and it's going to be a truly uphill battle.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Blu-ray will die a slow and painful death. And I absolutely love the format and the media. But, I'm wary of the future, and of the purchasing power wielded by the general public. If they simply say "no," to high-def media, then there's not much that can be done.

    cheers!

    Josh
     
  9. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    You all seem to forget that Blu-Ray is the new status symbol for the Jones.

    When I lived in rural TN, most people in the trailer park were buying large flatscreens. It was sort of a pride thing. "Hey Cleetus, I hear you got yourself one of those new fangeled flat tv's?"

    I don't know how they got the money to do it, but they did.

    Now, I can easily see the same happening to Blu-Ray. After all, having your friends over to see the new Blu-Ray player is the new status symbol.

    I see a great future with Blu-Ray. People who buy new flatscreen tvs are going to want a BR player. And I don't hear a lot of doom and gloom over the future of 1080p Tvs.

    If you have spent $1000 on a great stereo system, are you going to want to listen to 8 track tapes on it? The same holds true for the new TVs. If you spend $1000+ on a new tv, are you going to want to watch SD movies, or HD movies on it?

    People understand that BD movies might be $5 more than Sd. The principle of paying a little more for something that is better is pretty universal.

    My last comment is that those who say that upconverted SD-DVDs look almost as good as Blu-Ray, must not have thier system set up right. It just is not even remotely possible that upconverting a 480 image to 1080 is going to look as good as a movie mastered and shown at 1080. To say otherwise is either really clueless or you have an agenda.
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I think you're overestimating the general public's appreciation for the "better picture". I've shown over a dozen people now the difference between HD DVD and SD DVD and THREE were very impressed, two were somewhat impressed and the rest either could not see much point (I had to point out specific things to notice). And my screen is 64 inches diagonal from 8 feet out. On the 37-42 inch TVs that are the vast majority of HDTV purchases, FOR MOST PEOPLE (not HT enthusiasts who obsess over test pattern resolution), the difference is not sufficiently there. The somewhat more popular version of laserdisc scenario seems more likely.
     
  11. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Most of my friends etc who have seen 1080p via my 1080p-screen ("only" 40") have been more "impressed" than "not impressed". Whether it´s a Blu-ray movie or PS3 game, they go "wow" more times than "naah". Some are on the "middle", of course. None of them have said that they "don´t see the point". 1080p source => 1080p TV = WOW! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So I believe that when people actually see that proper 1080p-picture AT THEIR HOMES (stores means nothing, since they´re so far way from the place where these people actually live), they begin to see the benefits.

    I´m not sure about the U.S., but in Europe all TV-sets are now LCD or Plasma. And all are in HD (768 resolution or "full HD" 1080p). So it´s just natural that people want some HD-material with their TV-sets.
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Hopefully over time the ill sentiments of many enthusiasts towards blu will fade as their love for 1080p quality continues to grow. I think in a year's time the landscape of HDM will be very different, and we'll look back at threads like this and they'll seem detached from the pace of the HDM market that's moving healthily along.
     
  13. bigluigi

    bigluigi Second Unit

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    Nice post---well thought out. Yes, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy our favorite films in high/very high quality isn't it.
     
  14. Gregory Vaughan

    Gregory Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    The form factor issue cuts both ways. When I had a Laserdisc player and then later when I first bought a DVD player, most people I know kept saying they wouldn't buy any such thing until it could record television shows. The concept of a separate player for just viewing movies was a totally different concept that took people a long time to warm up to (even then, I don't think DVD would have ever taken off if they didn't play CDs).

    I had a hard time deciding to buy a DVD player, because I'm not a big hollywood film type of guy. I waited until '99 when I finally felt there were enough movies out before getting one. I didn't get into HDM because there weren't nearly enough releases, and even less on each format. However, once the war was over and I happened to need a new player, I went ahead and bought a Blu-ray one last month. Even if the title selection is pathetic, there was no reason not to buy except price, since I needed a new DVD player anyway.

    Which brings me to the major point. Unlike Laserdisc and even DVD, if they can drive the prices low enough for the HD players, people will buy them even if they don't perceive a great difference, just because they are better. I mean, when I bought a scaling player a 3 years ago I figured that was a much geekier and harder to understand difference from a normal DVD player that would never ever become mainstream, and they seem to be reasonably popular.
     
  15. bigluigi

    bigluigi Second Unit

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    I have to agree with you especially on the laserdisc comparison. I see Warners is releasing a "collectors" edition of Dirty Harry as well as other titles in Blu-ray with a SRP of $35. Boy, this reminds of my Laserdisc days where studios would package movies as a "special edition" to justify charging an arm and a leg. They could have gone the other way and released this catalog title as a "bare-bones" edition with a much lower SRP...but nooooo. I mean....come on...those SD DVD already in circulation have plenty of behind the scenes feature to fit anyone's taste. I think the HDM industry has already come to terms with not being able to replace SD DVD in the hearts and minds of the general public and future HDM releases are going to be on a "casual" schedule.
     
  16. LarryH

    LarryH Supporting Actor

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    Another possible point of view is that considering the ferocity with which HD DVD was dumped by the consumer electronics industry, if it appears Blu ray is not making enough profit, why wouldn't they do the same with it? I think the whole industry has lost a bit of credibility with this whole stupid inability to begin with a unified format.

    Just a hypothetical question.
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    It's the opposite.

    The industry at large didn't want another format war like they had with VHS and Beta. And this time around rather than sitting back and watching both formats languish year after year, they took control and secured a single-format solution to gain the most long-term traction with HDM success.

    The single-format resolve demonstrates their tenacity for making HDM a reality. Not the other way around.
     
  18. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    What "industry" are you refering to? I'm not trying to be pedantic, I honestly don't know what you are refering to. Do you mean the movie industry?
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    By "industry" I mean the majority of the film studios, CE manufacturers, and reatilers who, with few exceptions, strongly wanted a single-format HDM solution.
     
  20. bigluigi

    bigluigi Second Unit

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    That much is certain. Even though the industry made gobs of money off BETA/VHS formats, they could have made more dough had the industry made ALL Betamax players. Sony retailed the Betamax for about $1400 and 1/2 hour tapes sold for $15. Competition with VHS quickly forced these prices down. But both formats sold well enough so that when Betamax went belly up, Sony manufactured VHS players.
    But, this time around, the industry stepped in and nipped the competition between HD-DVD and Blu-ray in the bud to preserve greater profits by deciding against consumer's interest and taking control, as you say. I still find it astounding that intelligent people who should be consumer oriented fell for this BS.
     

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