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A Conversation with Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Adam Gregorich, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Adam Gregorich

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  2. Mark Davenport

    Mark Davenport Well-Known Member

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    Where are the Hitchcock titles that were mentioned to be included at the end of the report?
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Mark-
    Excellent question. I was supposed to get a list with a lot of titles (including some Hitchcock) late today. In the meantime Universal sent out a fairly generic list today with the titles above. I am working on trying to squeeze more out of them and will hopefully have more details in the next few days. I think Universal was caught off guard with the pressure this week from not only HTF members, the guys over at the Digital Bits and probably even the HD DVD camp to get out a list of releases. What they sent out is the first batch. I mean only 20% of what they have committed to has been listed, there has to be more they can tell us in the next few days/weeks.

    I can tell you that there IS Hitchcock being prepped for release this year. I can't tell you when or which titles.

    I can tell you that I don't think there will be any Spielberg this year, but what we have seen today is the tip of the Iceberg.

    There are some day and date TV titles coming (not on the list above) that I am VERY excited about.

    To summarize: I am glad we got something out of Universal this week, but I am disappointed that it is not all they know and I will be working hard to get the additional information as soon as I can.
     
  4. TheBat

    TheBat Well-Known Member

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    thank you for asking my question.

    Jacob
     
  5. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Well-Known Member

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    This is strange. With Universal going 90% combo disc and Warner and paramount about to go 100% "Total HD" there will be no more straight up HD-DVD discs. One of the big advantages touted by the HD-DVD group was how it was much cheaper to produce a HD-DVD then a Blu-Ray disc, but every studio supporting HD-DVD has abandoned that advantage for some sort of hybrid disc. Considering the already $5 premium for combo disc releases, they seem to be handing the Blu-Ray exclusive studios a $5 price advantage at the retailers on a per title basis. I'm not sure what thier strategy is, but atleast at first glance it appears to be baffling.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Right, the HD DVD group will be losing some of my business as I will buy the cheaper BR versions if available. Furthermore, I will decrease my purchase of Universal releases because I have little interest in buying overpriced software from them on a function I really don't want in the first place.

    Sounds like HD DVD is now making their own mis-steps.
     
  7. Porter H

    Porter H Member

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    I agree with that completely. This totally takes the price advantage out of the equation. I think its clear that DVD isn't going to be displaced for many years so the right thing to do is offer HD as an upgrade. Don't force people who just want DVD to pay extra for their discs, and don't force people who just want HD to pay extra for their discs.
     
  8. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. On the one hand, HD DVD does have a price advantage in hardware, although this is narrowing. Since Universal is the biggest (and arguably the only "major") exclusive HD DVD studio, they're going to be raising the average price of discs that you can't get elsewhere in HD (see also: Fox).

    It does seem to be a little light on the classics that Warner and MGM are ramping up with, and we should hope that some of the titles that have suffered on DVD (Lebowski and LS&2SB come to mind) have better transfers. That being said, this is an impressive slate of titles, easily equal to Fox/MGM or Disney's lists. They've been talking up interactivity, so let's hope they're putting it to better use than painting cars.

    ETA: Also, no release dates? I find that odd. They're going to have to step up against some monster BDs in the next couple of months, and I'm not sure the movies listed can compete very well with critical and financial blockbusters like PotC 1&2 and Casino Royale. And there are catalog titles being hinted at now (Hellboy, for instance) that the BDA is waiting to release just to steal HD DVD's thunder.
     
  9. Adam Gregorich

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    Has anyone seen (I should say heard about) any pricing differences between a "plain" Blu-Ray or HD DVD release and a Total HD release?

    Robert-
    If Warner and Paramount go 100% Total HD and Universal going pretty much combo, their prices will still be cheaper than a Fox Blu-Ray. I wonder if Fox's pricing strategy is making the other studios feel that they if can put out hybrid discs and still be cheaper so why not? The only non-hybrid discs may be the Blu-Ray discs from Fox/Sony/MGM.

    I for one like the idea of the hybrid discs. I have 7 DVD players at my house (not counting PCs) and only one HD player. I would hate to double dip on titles. Maybe they could move to a rebate type system. Buy the HD disc, get upto $10 off when you buy the standard one on the same receipt...

    It will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next year. I am hoping that all player prices drop like a rock, or a "real" combo player shows up at CEDIA for under 1K.

    Having the studios release in both formats just makes way too much sense so that will never happen.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If Fox and Disney adjust down their BR software pricing in the second quarter of this year then the format war is basically over in my household. I think HD DVD is really screwing the pooch.
     
  11. Adam Gregorich

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    With the amount of missteps on BOTH sides up to this point is amazing that the formats are both as far along as they are. Both sides have had opportunites to really make a big push and have dropped the ball more than once.
     
  12. Adam Gregorich

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    Robert-
    When it comes to studios supporting both formats (Warner & Paramount), what factors do you consider when you are purching a title available in both formats, and of these titles which format do you end up purchasing the majority of the time?
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Adam,
    However, if I had to buy a combo-disc because I have no choice then I would rather buy such a disc with nothing, but HD material on it.

    Either way, the studios are making this a bigger mess and confusing the public even more with increased pricing on their software.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Right now, I'm really pissed about these newer developments regarding software releases, not just from Universal, but Warner and Paramount too.

    I don't want combo-discs, especially if it's going to cost me more money! Why is it so hard for these studios to get that point because I'm sure that the majority of consumers feel the same way about expensive software pricing.

    If Warner and Paramount mirrors their BRD with what's on the HD DVD and the BRD is cheaper then I'm buying that format. My collection used to be 4-1 ratio towards HD DVD. Now, it's more like 60% HD DVD and it will continue to decrease until Total HD comes out then another shift in my buying pattern might occur.
     
  15. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Well-Known Member

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    If anything, this might convince Fox and Disney that they don't actually need to adjust thier pricing since the competition is coming up in price to meet them. Let's hope the BD studios jump on this opportunity lower thier MSRP across the board and try to end this format war mess quickly. It's getting pretty ridiculous to drag this format war out any further just for the one studio that refuses to produce Blu-Ray movies.
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Well-Known Member

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    A combo IMHO makes it less messier and on top of that could transition quite a few people into HD.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not going to paint Universal as the bad guy in this format mess! Also, I'm far from being either a BRD or HD DVD proponent and have little use for such cheerleading. I just want high definition software that is reasonably priced and right now, both formats are about to make that more difficult for me which is really pissing me off.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    However, it's making it more costly to me or anybody else that are using these formats.
     
  19. Porter H

    Porter H Member

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    I understand the utility in that completely, especially since I have a DVD player in the SUV that my daughter watches on road trips. My solution would be to purchase a HD DVD for a best quality disc, and then under my Fair Use rights, rip and burn to a Dual Layer DVD for about $1. Then, I'd have a full quality DVD that I could play on smaller screens and a full quality HD DVD to play on the big screen. I realize that you'd have to invest in a HD DVD-rom drive, but they're not that expensive(compared to buying combo after combo after combo), and getting cheaper every month.
     
  20. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Well-Known Member

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    I don't really care who wins as long as it ends soon. I want to actually be able to go out and buy movies. I have puchased over 1000 dvds and 0 HD or BD movies. I know the movies I want will come out in high def, so haven't bought many movies for over a year. You think it's a mess because you don't want to pay too much for a title, but imagine how frustrated all the people are that just don't want to get involved until there is a definite winner. All we can do is look at Universal and think "If it wasn't for that one studio, I could rest easy and just buy the damn movies I want without worrying". Oh well, I have to say the real winner from this format war is Netflix since that is where many people are being driven until this settles out.
     

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