**Official HTF HD Formats Ind./Retailer/Studio Support Thread-*SEE POST 3176, p. 106*

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Reuben, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    Well,

    It looks like DarkHorizions weighed in today on the topic. Their vote? Go Neutral if you want in, neither's really got a major end-product advantage, and HD will be today's Laserdisc.

    http://www.darkhorizons.com/news07/070809a.php

    I personally disagree with him, I seriously disagree with his estimation of the Digital Delivery market because I think storage and bandwidth(At his target level) are alot further out then he's considering.

    But, at the end of the day, Garth knows a heck'uva lot more than I do about the topic, so I'm going to give his words some thought.
     
  2. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    I agree, very nice article.

    **
    "Universal president Craig Kornblau told me this week that the studio actually wants the format war to continue."
    **

    This makes sense of course, but what is the ultimate reason for this? I guess they could just release films in both formats (like WB and Paramount) and let the customer base decide the outcome.

    In any case, interesting article.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Your response has made me quite angry.

    For you to come on this forum and accuse us of wrongly
    misrepresenting a video presentation and letting a staff member
    go under false pretenses is an insult of the highest order.

    I am the guy that videotaped that entire event. As noted on
    the presentation page itself this represents the first 63 minutes
    (more or less) of the debate. I estimate the debate went on
    approx. 15 minutes longer, but shooting in HD, I did not have
    enough storage to capture it all.

    Yes, there is an edit in the tape. I had to put the camcorder down
    and switch to a body tripod because my back was giving out from
    holding it in my hand. It took me approximately 2-3 minutes to
    change to a body tripod, and by the time I resumed the video I
    was in the middle of Ken discussing (I believe) a particular release.
    It certainly was not during any of the crucial statements that have
    been questioned.

    Nothing was intentionally removed from that video at anyone's
    request. To even think that we would blatantly misrepresent an
    event such as this one in order to preserve the integrity of a
    particular studio or format is ludicrous.

    Furthermore...

    I wasn't going to talk openly about this because there is no need
    for us to badmouth anyone that we let go as a reviewer. However,
    in light of accusations being made at us, let me reveal some facts.

    Ben Williams absolutely, positively and without a doubt went on
    a message board and misrepresented the facts concerning this debate.
    Since you weren't actually at the debate Mr. Hanser, I'm surprised
    that you could make a judgement so quickly and with much confidence.

    Did you know that Mr. Williams claimed in his post that Ken Graffeo
    was so frustrated with all the abuse he was getting that he just walked
    out of the room? I think the videotape will show that it was announced
    that Ken had a plane to catch. You even see Ken walking out of the
    room with attendees applauding as he shakes hands.

    Mr. Williams also claims that Bill Hunt was out of control, lashing
    out repeatedly at Ken Graffeo. Watch the video and I think you'll
    see that Mr. Hunt was rather polite and that this wasn't a Bill Hunt vs.
    Ken Graffeo event.

    Furthermore, Mr. Williams made slanderous remarks about Robert
    Zohn from Value Electronics saying that he was calling Sony "jerks."
    While there was no camcorder rolling when he stood up and made
    remarks about Sony, anyone in attendance can tell you that he certainly
    did not call anyone "jerks."

    To me, it looks like we had an individual in the audience who could
    not wait to get on his computer, go to the Blu-Ray forum and post
    absolute lies about what happened at this event in order to bolster
    support for his format of choice.

    I personally called Ben Williams immediately after his remarks
    were posted and confronted him about the lies. Ben admitted to
    me that he did not know that Ken Graffeo had a plane to catch
    and perhaps misunderstood Robert Zohn's remarks about Sony.
    Yet, despite this, there is absolutely no apology being offered to
    either one of them.

    As a then representative of this forum, Mr. Williams put us in a
    very bad position with his remarks. Do you know how difficult it
    was to get Mr. Graffeo to our event? He came to the panel knowing
    damn well that he would be attacked. In fact, what you probably
    don't know is that the HD-DVD group invited the Blu-Ray group to
    openly debate them at this event, but unfortunately, Andy Parsons
    and his team were overseas. Ken Graffeo and his group opened
    themselves up to be taken to task, so don't think for a second that
    anyone went running away.

    If Mr. Williams has failed to issue an apology at this point for
    statements he knows damn well were wrong, then I don't expect
    him to be man enough to do it now. Personally, after I post this
    statement, I don't give a damn if any of you take his side or ours.
    If the original postings still exist on the Blu-Ray board, those that
    were actually in attendance can read it for themselves and make
    their own judgement. I have at least 65 other people that can back
    up my statements and can tell you that what was posted to the
    Blu-Ray forum immediately following our event was total BS.

    What sickens me the most is the way this format war has twisted
    people to the point where they feel the need to make childish
    attacks on the opposing format. For someone to be determined to
    undermine another format and studio by misrepresenting facts the
    way it was done at this event is rather disheartening.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Furthermore, what really bothers me is how the HT internet community has turned on each other. Even during the spirited DTS versus DD discussions it wasn't this bad with the mean-spirited and at times, misrepresented comments made against each other. IMO, the society of HT enthusiasts that resides on this forum and other forums like HTF have become so fragmented and disjointed that it looks like we're more interested in making war with each other than holding the HT industry accountable for giving us the best consumer HT products they have to offer us. We used to be brothers/sisters in arms with a common goal in this great hobby called home theater, but today, I'm not so sure what we have become at this time?






    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

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    Mr Epstein,

    I am very sorry when I offended anybody, it was not my intention.

    Just for clarification:

    1) I NEVER said the missing video part was INTENTIONALLY removed. And I did not accuse anybody of anything. Just read my post.

    2) When I read the Digital Bits today, I just remembered the discussion here about Graffeos comment and that the discrepancy between Ben Williams comments and those of others was never resolved AFAIK. I imagined that others might have similar thoughts, therefore I posted. It might be relevant to "HD Format Studio Support" after all.

    3) If my post is still deemed offending, please delete it. As you can surely see from my posting history, I am not somebody who wants to stir up trouble. Maybe my use of the English language was somehow lacking, since I am not a native English speaker. Again, sorry for this.
     
  6. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Hartwig,

    For most readers the discrepancy between the two descriptions appeared to be solved already in our original thread about the matter. Several members, there present, testified that "drsiebling"'s report wasn't truthful.

    However, I closed that thread because of a possible double identity matter (Ben Williams had even participated in that thread), a matter we understandably preferred to solve in private.


    Cees
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Hartwig,

    I'll gladly offer up an apology to you if your words were not
    meant to question the integrity of our video. I am rereading your
    post and the very first paragraph mentions the missing frames
    and then goes on to say that it looks like Ben Williams was right.

    It's very difficult not to come to the wrong conclusion on what
    you might be referring to, but I will give you the benefit of doubt.

    The problem is that you obviously have hit a nerve here. We have
    been trying to keep this under wraps for the past few weeks in
    hopes of not embarrassing Mr. Williams. However, it has become
    obvious to us that words are now beginning to circulate across the
    Internet about this matter and as expected, nobody comes to us to
    us FIRST to ask about the facts. I would hope that for all these years
    Parker, the staff and I have tried to run a site that builds itself on integrity
    and that we wouldn't go out of our way to misrepresent a person,
    studio or format.

    As Robert Crawford stated, it's really sad when you read the other
    message boards and see just how much people are twisting facts
    and attacking others all in the name of a format. This war has really
    torn enthusiasts apart to the point that they forget that there are
    real people involved here.
     
  8. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

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    I only meant that Ben seemed to be right concerning that Graffeo admits being under pressure, not only in a general sense, but from GE. I was referring only to this one statement. Perhaps I should have formulated this clearer. I did not know that I would hit such a nerve here.

    That the passage in question was missing from the video is no doubt an unfortunate coincidence; I know that is was due to your having to change video cassettes (as it was reported on the Digital Bits, too).

    I never meant to suggest foul play. I was ONLY referring to this one item (Graffeo being under pressure). Would I have know in advance the reaction, I would of course have abstained to do so. It is not that important, after all, just a small detail, that had me interested.


     
  9. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    I'll give Hartwig the benefit of the doubt here because if you look at the post made on The Digital Bits by Bill Hunt it clearly describes why Ken Graffeo's comments about feeling pressure as the only major HD DVD exclusive studio were missing from the recordings.


    Thus I don't feel it was Hartwig's intent to accuse the HTF of any wrongdoing.

    That said, Hartwig, I think you over-simplified the situation by so broadly referring to Ben Williams as "right". Perhaps you meant he was right in the context that those comments were made at all, and I realize that there was much debate about whether Ken Graffeo admitted this "pressure" because it was missing from the recordings. However, I think anyone who has seen the video realizes that Ben Williams took a lot of liberties with his portrayal of the situation.

    I also understand where Ron and company are coming from because I have seen a home theater forum site that is clearly the class act of the Internet accused of some absolutely ridiculous shit from sources I never would have expected. The worst of these, in my opinion, came from the founder of DVD Talk himself.

    The HDM format war has made life miserable online, and I too miss the "old days" of discussing the merit of films and their releases rather than formats. I commend the HTF's new zero tolerance policy on the format war. But I am thankful that there are a few threads available to discuss the subject because I think there are important developments that merit conversation. At least now it doesn't bleed into other threads. The community knows where it is appropriate to discuss it, and if they don't want to, they don't have to come into those threads.

    I continue to look forward to coming to the HTF as a port in the format war storm, and I thank Ron, Parker, Cees, Robert, and all the other mods for making this place the best place to come for home theater.


     
  10. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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  11. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    This is sadly true. Some sites are openly against certain people/writers, mainly because those writers have expressed their firm opinion and analysis on certain issues surrounding the format war. It seems, that if you say your opinion and even if you back your comments as good as possible, people simply don´t care if they´re supporting that "other format". In this war, people believe what they want to believe. Facts doesn´t matter anymore. From this dilemme those huge debates are rising. People refuse to believe anything that is against "their format". Shutting down the discussion is not solving the problem, nor the "wishy-washy" attitude is bringing anything valuable to that discussion.. Tricky situation. At least we could all look in the mirror and try to be more "open minded". Both formats have their merits - that´s a fact.
     
  12. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Ron & Crawdaddy,

    I for one appreciate the neutral stance which the HTF has maintained. Kudos to Dark Horizons & a few other sites for continuing in this tradition. Many of these other forums which were dedicated to HT hobbyists have now indeed become war zones. The studios are fighting their "war," and hobbyists now find it necessary to fight among themselves in their own war on their behalf. Worst of all, some of the editors/supervisors of these sites have deemed it necessary to feed into the war/bickering by choosing a "winner" or endorsing a format while a majority of the public remains ignorant or indifferent to both formats!

    It is sad to see other sites I once frequented for quality HT information degenerate into a cult dedicated to their format of choice because of...you feel in the blank. I will adamantly state that sites who do not maintain a policy of neutrality are simply FEEDING IN TO THIS WAR not resolving it, though many of them undoubtedly believe otherwise. Even if they feel that breaking out their format pom poms is in the best interest of things, they must realize that it only alienates viewers/members and promotes a hostile atmosphere. Making degrading patronizing presumptions regarding the rationality of someone choosing to support one format over the order has become all to common place and has made many sites persona non grata for me. The HTF is the ONLY HT forum I presently post in.

    It was the studios/manufacturer's who created this war by launching two nearly identical formats due primarily to greed. We should not give them the luxury of tearing the HT community apart and should hold them to account for this and NEVER FORGET THIS FACT. Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft, Disney and all of the players involved in this disgusting drama are ultimately to blame for this. Pointing fingers at fellow enthusiasts because they chose what they could afford is simply unfair & mean-spirited. It's almost as if we are supposed to dispose of our collections because of this weeks Nielsen ratings, what some executive said or didn't say, this retailer went this way, or because of a plethora of other reasons which does nothing for my enjoyment of this hobby. I certainly hope more sites follow your example and begin shutting down the war by not taking sides. As far as I'm concerned, we've already given studios FAR more than they deserve by buying into either format.

    Please keep up the good work guys!
     
  13. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    In my view Jari, that writer is having problems for obvious reasons. It was simply written with him waving his format pom-poms. That article contained very few quotes from Kornblau and lots of rebuttle and rhetoric from the writer working for a site promoting it's format agenda. I have read the article and did not come away with the same impression you obviously had.

    Sorry.
     
  14. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    For all intents and purposes, we're all fighting the "same" battle no matter which format we prefer: the battle to watch the movies we want to watch in the best possible formats. The entire internet has seemingly taken sides as if someone's mother has been disrespected. Seriously, this is just about little discs with movies on them. It's not the end of the world. Imagine if this many people got this riled up over politics or things that really mattered. Instead, we spew bile at each other over freaking movies. Our priorities are in the wrong place.
     
  15. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I could not agree more, Robert. You know, some of my favorite posters on this forum really made me step back and reconsider my opinions of them, based on some of their posts during the 'heat of the moment' so to speak due to this 'war'.

    A few folks that I used to enjoy conversing with on shared topics got themselves banned because of this 'war'.

    I've found myself in positions where I had to restrain my baser instincts to keep from making mean-spirited posts that were meant to 'score points' instead of engaging in discussion.

    Really a shame.

    - Walter.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    From a couple of comments I made at the bluray forum regarding this panel at EMA:


    Note that my apology and the start of Mr. Graffeo's answer that are missing on video tape are included in that MP3 above. You can listen in for yourself and make your own decision about whether or not Ben's comments were truthful or not. From the perspective of one of the guys asking the questions I absolutely think Ben got it wrong and I was saddened to see both his devotion to one format blind his perspective and to lose him as a fellow reviewer. I met him at the EMA show and he and his wife seemed really down to earth and a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed his reviews. But his comments on those other forums were out of touch with the reality I was part of and really made HTF look bad.

    There is no doubt that the guys on the panel were on the hotseat but with the exception of the badly phrased response on DIVX and my unfortunate retort, they handled things gracefully, and as near as I can tell honestly with regard to their corporate positions. They truly do understand that this is a BAD sitation from a consumers perspective and they have pressures on the corporate level. They have committments to uphold and are trying to navigate these new grounds as much as consumers are, this isn't science, it's business.

    Sam
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I'm actually glad this topic came up and that Ron has so directly addressed the issue of the missing footage per having to switch cameras. Naturally the conicidence of the moment of that switch... right when the Universal/GE-pressure comments were made, has a certain irony, and I think a lot of people were wondering what happened at that moment during recording (I actually thought that I had skipped a video section and kept re-clicking the link until I realized there was just missing video at the beginning of that section).

    Naturally we all respect Universal for sharing as candidly as they did at the event and respect Graffeo's for his willingness, as Ron puts it, to step forward and put himself in a position where he knew he might get hit with some difficult questions. I think that the only point regarding Ben's comments being addressed by members here is specific to the Universal/GE-pressure comment. I know that's all I got from Hartwig's comments and it's all that has gone through my mind: that in fact Universal *had* made a comment similar to what Ben had said: that they might be feeling pressure from GE to go format neutral.

    Since HTF is officially a format-neutral site, I don't suppose that's a bad thing after all!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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  19. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Nah, just sounds like Kornblau is saying that Universal won't stick with HD DVD exclusivity out of stubbornness or misguided principle. My read is that of course Uni will start releasing BDs if they achieve a certain level of penetration and they're not bound by an exclusivity agreement... And anything else you get out of that is likely just projecting your own wishes/prejudices/fears onto someone else's statement.
     
  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    He did alude that the studio was getting compensated for their exclusive HD DVD support, which isn't shocking or morally wrong. However, such agreements usually have discrete contractual time-frames and it could very well be that Universal is intent on riding out whatever current agreement is in place and then will survey the landscape a-new when that time period is over. When will that be is more the question (ie, "when" rather than "if")

     

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