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Columbia to go completely Blu-ray by 2005 (from DavisDVD)

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#1 of 122 OFFLINE   Johnny G

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Posted March 30 2004 - 06:26 PM

original story HERE
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The road to high definition just got its first day-tripper: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has pledged to release all of its home video product in the Blu-ray format by the end of 2005. Speaking at a "Digital Hollywood" reception Monday night, CTHE president Ben Feingold praised the merits of the next-generation high-definition format. "Consumers are demanding high definition," he said. "We see Blu-ray as a revenue engine for Hollywood." In emphasizing his commitment to Blu-ray, Feingold said Columbia would release all home video product in the Blu-ray format by the end of 2005.

Blu-ray DVD - supported by a consortium of manufacturers including Sony, Matsushita (Panasonic), LG, Philips, Samsung, JVC, Pioneer, Sharp, Hitachi and Thompson Multimedia - uses a blue laser to read next-generation optical discs. Whereas current DVD technology uses red lasers, blue lasers have a shorter wavelength (405 nanometer) than red lasers (650 nanometer). This allows for a thinner light beam which can read and write smaller bits of information on a disc. Current DVD discs hold 4.7 gigabytes on single-layer discs and 8.5 gigabytes on dual-layer discs; Blu-ray discs can hold 25 gigabytes of data or high definition video on a single-layer disc and 50 gigabytes on a dual-layer disc. Current Blu-ray specs call for discs to come housed in a cartridge, but manufacturers are looking into hard-coating the discs to protect them from dust and fingerprints without requiring a cartridge.

The rival format developed by Toshiba and NEC, with backing from the DVD Forum, is HD-DVD which uses both red and blue rays to read current and next-generation discs. A dual-layer HD-DVD disc can hold 30GB of data, but can use compression to squeeze more video hours of onto a disc. You can learn more about the Blu-ray format at its official site.
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Whether you fancy Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, I think for a studio of this profile to commit to releasing all of its home video product on a high definition disc by the end of next year is great news!

#2 of 122 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted March 30 2004 - 06:48 PM

Great news, but Columbia is owned by Sony. It'd be more reassuring to get this kind of expression of intent from other studios as well.

Still, it looks like we will indeed have optical HD media in under two years after all Posted Image

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#3 of 122 OFFLINE   James L White

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:09 PM

perhaps by then they'll stop sucking tooPosted Image
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#4 of 122 OFFLINE   MatthewA


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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:18 PM

Great. Cut TV show episodes and P&S movies in sparkling HD! Posted Image

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.

#5 of 122 OFFLINE   Neil_Duffy


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Posted March 30 2004 - 10:31 PM

Hmmm... while I'm looking forward to Blu-ray... I'm kinda suprised about this... I thought that the release was maybe 3-4 years away. My grumble is that I think we'll still get stitched - we'll still only get 4 eps of a series on one disc. Anyway, we'll see.

#6 of 122 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted March 31 2004 - 12:50 AM

I find that somewhat disturbing. That's alot released in a small amount of time. This has me questioning the quality that will be put into these releases. Will they try to give it the best picture quality possible? The same audio quality? Will they all be barebones discs? I get the feeling it may be the same way some studio's launched DVD - with very little care for quality, and with only concern for getting the titles out there on the new format.

#7 of 122 OFFLINE   SteveK


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Posted March 31 2004 - 12:59 AM

Marc - I think what the statement means is that Columia will release EACH home video product in Blu-ray, not that it will release ALL home video product in Blu-ray. 100% of the titles they release will be in Blu-ray, but that doesn't mean they'll release 100% of their available titles. It's likely to be years, if ever, when 100% of their catalog titles are available in Blu-ray, just as many titles are not currently available on DVD. My only concern is that this may force people to upgrade to new DVD equipment, since presumably Blu-ray DVD's will not be readable by existing DVD players. I don't mind upgrading DVD players, but I have no short-range plans to upgrade to DTV until prices drop significantly. Steve K.

#8 of 122 OFFLINE   Tony-B



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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:04 AM

I hope that Columbia still plans on releasing DVDs at the end of next year, because they will basically be committing commercial suicide if they don't. Consumers are finally catching on to DVD, and they don't want to upgrade to HD yet.
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#9 of 122 OFFLINE   Eric F

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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:07 AM

Geez, it's VHS vs. Beta all over again. This is their first strike against the DVD Forum's backing of HD-DVD. Sony sure knows how to hold a grudge. Sony appears to be trying to confuse the market early.

#10 of 122 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:09 AM

This is a confusing statement. But surely they're not abandoning DVD by the end of next year?? I'm assuming they are saying that by the end of 2005 all Columbia standard DVD/video releases will have a Blu-ray counterpart released day-and-date. That's pretty aggressive, especially considering we're 20 months away and as of yet there are no Blu-ray players for sale in this country (Right??)
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#11 of 122 OFFLINE   Brajesh Upadhyay

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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:10 AM

I can already imagine Columbia planning double- & triple-dipping w/double-disc Blu-Ray sets & SuperBit Blu-Ray discs. Posted Image
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#12 of 122 OFFLINE   GlennH



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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:15 AM

It's poorly worded, but obviously means that they intend to start releasing Blu-ray versions of all their releases, not Blu-ray exclusively. There will still be DVDs too. So I wonder if this means you'll have your choice of a DVD with P&S and edge enhancement vs. the Blu-ray in widescreen with no filtering or aliasing?

#13 of 122 OFFLINE   Adam_WM



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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:18 AM

So, will blu-ray players be backward compatible?


#14 of 122 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted March 31 2004 - 01:19 AM

Oh, I didn't even read it that way. What you're saying sounds more plausable. However, I still worry about the quality at first release. Like any other format (audio or video) - they probably need to streamline the operation and work out the kinks. I guess that's not only CTS's problem - but all studio's will probably have these hurddles to begin with.

#15 of 122 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:22 AM

And don't forget, with excessive Edge Enhancement in HD too! Idiots.

#16 of 122 OFFLINE   jonathan_little


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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:23 AM

I can't wait until I can watch Annie on Blu-ray in high definition pan and scan with DTS sound.

#17 of 122 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:27 AM

This was not unexpected news as Sony is the main contributor to Blu-Ray technology and owns Columbia. The bad news is that Sony is once again creating a format war as in their Beta vs VHS campaign. The good news is that while format wars due cause confusion in the market place which can often result in limited releases, in the long run they also create higher quality products and at lower prices as each competing format tries to out do the other. While I suppose I'm not so excited about Columbia releasing titles on HiDef DVD, as they have generally done a very poor job with their standard DVD releases. I am pleased by the announcement as it will likely encourage other studios to perhaps move a little faster in adopting a format and releasing HiDef versions of their films.

#18 of 122 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:43 AM

Since Columbia has hidef versions of the majority of their catalogue already, moving them to Blue Ray isn't that big a challenge, aside from the authoring and replicating capacity. What I do find disturbing is the speed at which DVD is being out dated, which I don't think the consumer is going to appreciate. While the studios may be okay in having us replace our collections every six years, why should Joe average invest in any format knowing it will be obsolete in only a couple of years? People are just begining to accept DVD as the norm, and it is being killed off already.

#19 of 122 OFFLINE   Kevin Grey

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:52 AM

Jeff, I wouldn't worry too much. High Def DVD is only going to benefit those with HD televisions. Standard DVD was an improvement for everybody. Consequently the overall market for HD DVD is going to be limited to HDTV penetration which, while growing, is still relatively low. I imagine it would be a *minimum* of five years and likely closer to ten before HD-DVD made enough of an impact to threaten standard DVD no matter when the format is introduced. It will likely remain a niche product for a while.

#20 of 122 OFFLINE   Eric F

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Posted March 31 2004 - 02:55 AM

I must have misread that, because I didn't see where it said they would discontinue DVD production. This is not like the upgrade from VHS to DVD. This should be transparent to most people, as the HD-DVD players will be backwards compatible. Most HD displays are still used mainly for DVD watching, and don't even have an HD tuner. DVD sales are gangbusters! DVD and HD-DVD formats can (and will) co-exist peacefully for many years.

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