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LG has apparently bailed out on Blu-ray, but...


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#1 of 41 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted March 02 2006 - 10:43 PM

LG has dropped its Blu-ray player from its spring line up however they also claim that they are now looking into a dual format HD DVD/Bd player for Fall.

a little bit more info here

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   Juan C

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Posted March 02 2006 - 11:43 PM

I must clarify...

During CES 2006, LG showed both a BD player and an HD DVD player. So they were obviously going with both formats to begin with. If they can develop a combo player, it'd make no sense for them to release separate players.

They were hedging then, and they're hedging now.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 04 2006 - 12:42 PM

I say; Good for them & good for us! Hope 'everyone' else "hedges their bets" as well.
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#4 of 41 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted March 14 2006 - 06:24 AM

I do not want dual format players because i do not want dual formats. I want a clear winner. I want Blu-Ray to win and every studio have to publish in Blu-Ray, not some in Blu-Ray and some still in HD-DVD. "There can be only one."

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 14 2006 - 08:52 AM

Can we switch the title of this thread? LG didn't "bail" on Blu-ray no more than they "bailed" on HD DVD...they merely combined separate players into a universal design. That's not "bailing" and the thread is misleading.
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#6 of 41 OFFLINE   chad k

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Posted March 14 2006 - 10:37 AM

But i didnt see any HD players being dropped, sisnt they announce both players?

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted March 15 2006 - 03:17 AM



DaViD i first typed out "LG loses confidence in the Blu-ray format/ scrap plans for dedicated Bd players" but was afriad that would be too unwieldy Posted Image

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   David Stanley

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Posted March 15 2006 - 06:05 AM

They scrapped the dedicated BD player. They are still developing a dedicated HD-DVD player along with the universal player.
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#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Greg T

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Posted March 15 2006 - 06:12 AM

Didn't Samsung already try this. I will believe a universal when its officially announced...but for now this is just an idea....right?

#10 of 41 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 15 2006 - 06:30 AM

Ah, if they are doing a dedicated HD DVD but not BD player, then the "bail" makes sense.
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#11 of 41 OFFLINE   Rob_Walton

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Posted March 15 2006 - 08:43 AM

I've seen no mention of the HD-DVD player since CES. And even then it was a prototype without price or timeframe. Anyone know something new?

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   MarioMon

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Posted March 15 2006 - 09:22 AM

There's nothing worse than a format war. Just the fact we have two competing formats implies we will have a format war. Some titles will only be available on one format while other titles will only be released on the competing format. Not every hardware manufacturer will be making dual format players and most likely no studio will release titles in both formats. Voila, history repeats itself. This is going to be uglier than the beta-vhs war. I've been waiting for HD for the longest time and now somebody's going to pooh on the party. I'm getting turned off on HD every day I hear more childish behaviour from Sony and the rest the gang.

#13 of 41 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 15 2006 - 09:43 AM

IMO, Toshiba is the camp that deserves most of the blame. Sony went to them months ago to try to work out a unification deal. They offered to adopt most of Toshiba's software stuff but wanted to keep the physical structure of the BD disc since that's what makes it a better format anyway (50, 100, 400 gigs potential). Toshiba wouldn't budge since they are locked into a short-term mindset with using existing DVD replication hardware as much as possible (can be more easily adapted for HD DVD than BD production). Of course, within a year or two Blu-ray production prices will drop sharply making the original "advantage" of HD DVD moot but sticking the consumer with its disadvantages (limited storage/bandwidth) for the life of the format.
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#14 of 41 OFFLINE   MarioMon

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Posted March 16 2006 - 05:58 AM

David, IMO format wars are not implicit if one format comes out swinging hard and fast well before the other. With Sony delaying the PS3 blu-ray may have taken a hard hit to the side of the head. Time will tell if this was enough to do some serious damage. We've had DVD-R and +R from the beginning but we didn't really get a war that I could see. Of course, when it comes to content distribution it's another game altogether. Until I actually see a studio release a movie in both formats I won't believe it. I recall along time ago where some movies were released on both VHS and BETA but it didn't last all that long. Beta titles were harder and harder to come by as time went on. Seeing how studios are so focused on making a profit I really wonder how many titles will be simultaneously issued in both formats. My point wasn't really that nobody would but the viability and profitability of such a move would be highly in doubt after a few attempts and possibly from the start as well.

#15 of 41 OFFLINE   Greg T

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Posted March 16 2006 - 06:22 AM

All I have seen is statements saying LG was "considering" a universal.....but "considering" is hardly....making a universal.

This article seems to say there waiting until Q3 to resume making Blu Ray players from what I can tell.

http://www.dailytech...spx?newsid=1259

#16 of 41 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 16 2006 - 06:43 AM

regardless of how well either camp "swings" out of the gate...the real mark of success will be how well early-adoptors *buy* over the course of the first 18-24 months. Given the fore-knowledge of a format war and the fact that most early-adoptor-tech savvy types who care about HD are reasonably well informed on the basic facts...it's likely that many folks who might have ordinarily jumped at the chance to buy an HD player might instead wait until both formats are available in the market place to decide. While some early-adoptor types might be quickly swayed by low-cost/budget players from Toshiba, and yet others might gladly buy low cost options from both camps (like getting both a budget Toshiba *and* the PS3), many folks who care about HD want to see Blu-ray succeed because the format itself is a better solution that offers greater potential for authoring choices. Those individuals (like me) will wait and purchase Blu-ray products exclusively as a show of support. I know that most of my HT buddies view HD DVD as a "distraction" that Microsoft wants to keep alive to stale-mate the whole physical-media game in order to move the consumer to their next-level of on-line distribution without a viable hard-disc media to compete.
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#17 of 41 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted March 16 2006 - 06:45 AM

Seriously...is that what you think, David? I posted some time back that the format war has its advantages, namely, that it is a useful means for the consumer (remember them, the people whose wants these companies exist to satisfy, NOT the other way around?) to hold the feet of these untrustworthy bastards to the FIRE, so that they give us what we WANT. Without the format war, BD wouldn't have bothered to use ANYTHING but MPEG-2 (I assume it would bother you if this had been the case, since you're fond of saying that studios other than Sony will not confine themselves to MPEG-2). Without the format war, both formats wouldn't have been motivated to keep increasing their capacity. It's not so hard to forsee that competition will have a similar effect on other issues of concern (downresing, picture quality, durability, price, etc.). And you agreed with me. I think a "let's give 'em a less than really competitive format" IS worse than a format war. So which is it?

#18 of 41 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 16 2006 - 06:52 AM

Hey Robert,

I think we've all agreed that the early-stages of the format war helped both formats considerably...it forced Toshiba to abandon their original idea of using red-laser only (yes...that's what they really wanted to do way back when!), got us lossless audio compression and 1080P encoding on both formats, and got Blu-ray to adopt VC1 video compression...all the good stuff you bring up.

However, when we're talking about a format-war after a product has been launched...I think that the costs begin to far outweight any advantages. While the advantage of competition might help drive prices down more quickly, the disadvantage of market confusion and lack of adoption by HT enthusiats is far more damaging. Even with a single unified "HD" format (or just Blu-ray), the new format still is competing for your movie-purchase dollar with standard-def DVD so prices would still have an anchor helping to keep them in check, even if the rate of price-decline was slightly slower.

The real question is "when does the format war start to hurt more than it helps?" My guess is that we've taken about as much good stuff as we can get from the dual-camp competion and NOW, right before launch, would be the prefect time to have a single format. Studios will still be "competing" for your dollar so issues like downresing are not lost from the game...and the studios need the early adoptor with the analog HD set to buy his/her discs to make the format fly. So "Competition" between two camps merely gives way to "earning" your spending dollar...but the postive outcomes are very much the same.


Think what we saw with DVD:

DVD worked out great...and in fact it had its own "format war" with Toshiba and Sony during development...which was great because Sony wanted dual-layer and Toshiba wanted dual-side and they unified disc brought together the best of both worlds.

But because the format was unified *at launch* into DVD, the consumer didn't have the added deterant of a beta/VHS quandry.



Actually, Sony has been talking about 50, 100, and 400 gigs of storage since this all began. That's always been their goal, though Blu-ray's space potential *did* prompt Toshiba to come up with that 3-layer spec disc so they could make the pie-charts look better.



p.s. In my mind when Sony offered to adopt Toshiba's VC1 and asked to keep their physical disc structurue, that was the perfect "unified format" we could have had out of Blu-ray and HD DVD...the 'best of both worlds' if you will. At this time Blu-ray has those specs (authoring tools catching up to VC1) and so I consider Blu-ray to *be* the "Unified" format we all dreamed of...and I view HD DVD as a short-term advantage/distraction (cheaper to manufacture) with a long-term compromise that is in no way comparable to a future-oriented product geared to satisfy the cinephile's evolving needs.
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#19 of 41 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted March 16 2006 - 08:18 AM

Damaging to commercial interests, but competition almost always results in better products and lower prices for consumers, and format wars are the purest form of competition. Here you have companies all fighting to convince the market that their design is the best design. In order to do that, they have to work overtime in order to improve performance and lower prices. This doesn't simply stop once the products are released. Heck, even format wars, where one format clearly dominates the marketplace still creates high levels of competition. Just look at Apple VS Microsoft. Format wars are all around us, and they are the backbone of a healthy competitive economy and a breeding ground of innovation while keeping prices in check. Format wars can be very rough on the companies involved in a format war, especially those with the inferior design, but very rarely do consumers suffer. In some cases, they can be annoying, and in some cases consumers will be left with a product with little to no support in the future, but imagine how expensive and crappy these products would be without format wars. In addition, even without a format war, there is no guarantee a product will not fail anyway leaving everyone who bought it in he same boat as those who bought into a product that loses a format war. Competition is great for consumers, and format wars create the most competition.

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted March 16 2006 - 08:25 AM

I’m not so sure, David. There’s still the issue of player cost (you acknowledge as much when you keep telling people “don’t worry, BD will match HD-DVD’s player prices”), and I don’t think it’s a good argument to say that HD has to compete pricewise with DVD. Without the format war, why couldn’t they say “hey, if you want HD on disc, you WILL pay this price”? Again, one of the points you talk about is that if people are dissatisfied with HD on disc, we may have to be stuck with downloading or PPV to get our HD. The format war works against that, making both work HARD to please us, and CONTINUING to do so. During the VHS-Beta war, VHS developed the extra-long recording mode that consumers really liked (and Sony, in its arrogance, tried to tell people wasn’t important) well AFTER format launch (in other words, not all the “good stuff” was gleaned prior to launch), and how do we know for sure this won’t be the case now?

Edit: Agreeing with Nils Posted Image

ps: I really don’t mind if BD wins the format war, but my attitude (in contrast to falling all over myself to declare them the winner before a single player is sold) is that THEY NEED TO DAMN WELL EARN THE VICTORY!




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