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Disney: "we will probably publish in both [HD Disc] formats."


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#1 of 13 Pete T C

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Posted March 12 2006 - 07:50 AM

Didn't see this posted.

Bob Iger @ Disney shareholder meeting
Quote:
We’re very excited about next-generation DVD formats, because we think it will offer people who watch home video the oppportunity to enjoy the experience at a much higher level. And we will be aggressive in putting out titles on next-generation DVD, which will primarily be high definition. For the most part we have been supporting the Blu-ray format because we think it offers more features and higher quality than the competing format, although we will probably publish in both formats. But our support and marketing will be for Blu-ray and we’re optimistic that is the format that is going to prevail and there will be a number of titles made available in bluray later in calendar year 06.

http://www.corporate....tem_id=1225645
(warning, 2 hour long audio clip)

It's pretty well known these days that Blu-Ray launch titles likely will look the same as HD-DVD launch titles despite the storage difference due to Blu-Ray using the older MPEG2 codec and HD-DVD using the newer and better MPEG4/VC-1 codecs, so the "higher quality/features" commment here doesn't make such sense - unless you frame it in the context that Disney is probably a fan of BD+'s stricter DRM capabilities.

Anyway, it looks like Disney will actually end up publishing in both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. I'm definitely leaning towards HD-DVD since it seems it will offer the same quality as Blu-Ray for half the price and also it appears hybrid SD-DVD/HD-DVD discs are more viable on HD-DVD. Throw in more studio support and I'm going to move into the camp that offers same product for the better value.
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#2 of 13 Mark Lucas

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Posted March 12 2006 - 11:22 AM

Probably means later. Maybe.

Supporting HD-DVD because it's cheaper and it'll have compromised quality hybrids is pretty scary.

#3 of 13 Shawn Perron

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Posted March 12 2006 - 12:04 PM

Quote:
I'm definitely leaning towards HD-DVD since it seems it will offer the same quality as Blu-Ray for half the price

Unless the HD-DVD software costs half as much as Blu-ray's, then this is a very misleading statement. Not everyone bases thier media player choice on price alone. You will certainly find no lack of people here that are willing to pay top dollar for mid to high end equipment.

If you want to buy a HD-DVD player, you have a choice of Toshiba and... uh... Toshiba. You have to keep in mind that not everyone necessarily wishes to purchase thier player from Toshiba. A lot of people have brand loyalties or just plain dislike certain companies. While I don't dislike Toshiba, I have no particular attraction to purchasing anything from them either.

Quote:
and also it appears hybrid SD-DVD/HD-DVD discs are more viable on HD-DVD.

If there was a guarantee that the SD and HD each had thier own dual layer sides of the disc, maybe you'd have a point. If either or both formats have only a single layer then this is an unacceptable compromise. I certainly wouldn't go back to a SD DVD that was single layer again, nor would I buy a single layer HD-DVD.

Quote:
Throw in more studio support and I'm going to move into the camp that offers same product for the better value.

Then that would currently be Blu-Ray if you don't have a TV with a HDCP digital input. Blu-Ray has more studio support and atleast the inital titles will not down res over component. Value is relative. Spending $500 to watch HD doesn't save you a dime if you have to upgrade your HDTV.

-------

There are plenty of other threads argueing the relative merits of the 2 formats. There is no reason to start another one to spread disinformation.

#4 of 13 Ed St. Clair

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Posted March 12 2006 - 01:31 PM

Quote:
Probably means later. Maybe.

Yes, "probably" does not mean this year. And it only means 2008, if HD-DVD is doing well.
Let's see the rip roaring start they'll get off to next month (I know, the 28th of this month, however I'm going to wait at least three days before I declare this launch a complete failure! ;-) )!
Then, we get to check out BD, the next month.
Whoopee!!!
Yawn...
How is it possible that I am "excited & bored" by this process? ;-)
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#5 of 13 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 14 2006 - 04:09 PM

Quote:
Anyway, it looks like Disney will actually end up publishing in both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. I'm definitely leaning towards HD-DVD since it seems it will offer the same quality as Blu-Ray for half the price and also it appears hybrid SD-DVD/HD-DVD discs are more viable on HD-DVD. Throw in more studio support and I'm going to move into the camp that offers same product for the better value.

Pete,

with all respect, you seem to pull facts together to some awkward conclusions.

Just because early Blu-ray titles use only MPEG2 doesn't mean the VC1 won't become standard in Blu-ray production early on in the format's life. Warner already has said that this is their intension. When this happens, all the available bit space (and bandwidth) on Blu-ray will offer some serious advantages for any title a studio wishes to provide in special-edition form. Yes, we all know that HD DVD has enough bits "for a movie" but many film enthusiasts actually like the fact that Blu-ray can offer them added features without compromising the AV quality of the feature film. From what I hear from Disney and other studios, taking "blu ray to the max" is actually their goal with many A-title releases as soon as they are able to author 50gig BD.

Your notion that hybrid discs offer the quality-consious consumer (the only consumers with any interest in purchasing anything "HD" this early in either format's life) an advantage is equally baffling. Are you aware that the hybird disc compromises *both* the standard-def and HD layer by restricting them to fewer layers than they would have had in their native form? A hybrid disc means that both the HD and the SD copy of the movie will likely look inferior to separate SD/HD releases regardless of which version you care to watch. That doesn't seem like a solution that would be viewed as an advantage by a videophile interested in the best picture quality...presumably the reason why he/she has an interest in HD at all.
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#6 of 13 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 18 2006 - 02:39 AM

Disney still shows strong support for Blu-ray despite "possibility" of HD DVD titles:

http://www.videobusi.../CA6317037.html

Quote:
This, of course, pertains to packaged delivery options as well as electronic. That is why Buena Vista Home Entertainment on behalf of The Walt Disney Company is so bullish on the revolutionary technology of Blu-ray Disc. It is well positioned to be the future solution for packaged media, with its superior capacity and interactivity, copy-protection systems and market force superiority that is unrivaled. As we approach the launch of the high-definition era of our industry, I am very encouraged with how the Blu-ray Disc format will revolutionize the home entertainment world.

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#7 of 13 Pete T C

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Posted March 18 2006 - 04:37 AM

Quote:
Disney still shows strong support for Blu-ray despite "possibility" of HD DVD titles:

http://www.videobusi.../CA6317037.html

Not surprising.

Quote:
Our participation in Divx is part of our overall DVD strategy. Divx's
advantage is its effective encryption technology that will protect our
product against digital piracy as Disney enters the DVD market," said
Michael O. Johnson, president, Buena Vista Home Entertainment. "As well,
Divx uniquely offers the consumer more choice in their method of renting and
purchasing movies for in-home viewing. This was a key factor in our decision
to release our films on Divx, alongside DVD and VHS.

Note that at the time Disney made this statement, most of their might was in Divx's corner including more releases in general and exclusive animation releases. Blu-Ray's BD+ offers them the ability to enable more restrictive DRM in the future while HD-DVD does not provide this more restrictive DRM.

Disney's staunch past support of Divx with their featureless Pan & Scan releases shows that quality sits far behind DRM in their priority list; of course, more restrictive DRM is bad for consumers, so chatting up Blu-Ray's potentially more restrictive DRM with BD+ would be a bad idea to spark interest in the format - instead touting "quality" would be a better way to generate interest, even if that really isn't your primary interest in the format.
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#8 of 13 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 18 2006 - 05:06 AM

Pete,

the fact that Disney has stated that they will wait for 50gig BD to use for the feature-loaded HD release titles should address the notion as to whether or not Disney has concerns about quality: whether or not it's their number-one priority, it clearly is *a* priority.

As for their desire for a format that has robust copy protection:

Quote:
Divx's advantage is its effective encryption technology that will protect our product against digital piracy as Disney enters the DVD market

Who can blame them? I'm perfectly comfortable with Disney enjoying the protection that Blu-ray encryption offers them. If they are going to give me a 1080P version of Toy Story with losses audio just loaded with bonus material on a 50 gig BD, it doesn't compromise my experience one bit. In fact, the encryption works in my FAVOR as a consumer because it encourages Disney to spend the $$ to offer me those titles since they know that their investment is well protected.

In any case, their motives are irrelevant. If they deliver outstanding 1080P quality on 50gig BD with a wealth of special-feature material, what does it matter to me if their preference for BD over HD DVD was partially (or even primarily) driven by their confidence in its content-protection? They've given me as a consumer what I wanted (win) and they've protected their investment as a studio (win).

Win-Win.
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#9 of 13 Paul.S

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Posted March 18 2006 - 07:19 AM

Classic, Pete. Thanks for the context Johnson's corporate speak rationale for DiVX provides. I'm largely in agreement with the rest of your post as well.

And what Chapek says in an IMO obviously calculated trade editorial arguably matters less than what his boss says in a shareholders' meeting.

the fact that Disney has stated that they will wait for 50gig BD to use for the feature-loaded HD release titles should address the notion as to whether or not Disney has concerns about quality: whether or not it's their number-one priority, it clearly is *a* priority.

Disney's interest in 50G BD is not dispositive regarding quality. Frankly, we just don't know yet what Mouse House is going to do with that additional capacity. I would opine that it will have more to do with DRM and interactive games for kids on animated titles than the highest audio and video quality which, David, I know you appreciate even more than I can given your rig. And please don't come roaring back with facts and stats about the BD format. This opinion is partly based upon my admittedly less charitable read of the studio's past behavior: I think it's safe to surmise that the studio that gave us "Disney DVD" yet many non-anamorphic often featureless movies ranging from He Got Game, Scream, Crimson Tide all the way up the box office chart to Armageddon is more interested in features that many videophiles will complain about the presence of (i.e., games) than 1080p and lossless 7.1. I have tentative higher hopes for Sony in this regard, who've of course already announced a 50G Black Hawk and an uncompressed Last Waltz.

It's also not clear what Iger means when he says ". . . we will be aggressive in putting out titles on next-generation DVD, which will primarily be high definition." (underline mine) I may be over-reading the text, but his use of the word "primarily" could be read to intimate that Di$ney will release BDs/HD DVDs that are not remastered in high def, but instead are ports of previous transfers that use the additional capacity for, again, games and other kid-/family-friendly fare.

Who can blame them? I'm perfectly comfortable with Disney enjoying the protection that Blu-ray encryption offers them.
The quote your above comments follow was about DiVX. I'm sure you didn't intend to, but seguing into your defense of DRM for the sake of greater aud/vid fidelity and more supplemental content gives short shrift to the fact that DiVX had issues more problematic for videophiles than we can speculate DRM'd BD may have, namely--as Pete mentioned--pan and scan releases.

Again, I'm sure it wasn't your intent, but the metamessage of your comments as written is that we should excuse Di$ney's giving us pan & scan DiVX in the name of a format that 'phoned home' as part of a scheme to protect the studio's assets. Hopefully, the situation will not be analogous with BD. I think Cees has been one of the most vocal about the perils of this prospect, for which I think we have every right to "blame" the studio.

#10 of 13 Lew Crippen

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Posted March 18 2006 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
the metamessage of your comments as written is that we should excuse Di$ney's giving us pan & scan DiVX in the name of a format that 'phoned home' as part of a scheme to protect the studio's assets.
I can’t speak for David, but I’m more than ready to ‘forgive’ Disney for DIVX.

That is (in technology terms) ancient history. Plus it failed. Pretty much all corporations have produced products or services with which I disagree or I find defective in some way. And most have actually produced something of worth.

Along with Cees, I find Sony (music) guilty of malfeasance (in the area under discussion) and I also do not believe that companies are out for my best interests.

Even so, is it not time to let DIVX go?
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#11 of 13 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 18 2006 - 08:05 AM

Paul,

my "who can blame them" comments were regarding DIVX's *encryption* only...I didn't include the "p/s" snippet in the quote that I used.

And regarding the *encryption* of DIVX and BD...I'll say again... "who can blame them"???

CLEARLY Disney's fears about the ease of piracy with DVD were founded...the market today has proven that.

If you would bother to quote me accurately, you'd have noted that I qualified my doesn't-hurt-the-consumer comment about encryption with Disney's provision of 1080P video. If they deliver the goods that I want as a consumer, they can use whatever encryption makes them happy.

If they decide to offer P/S on Blu-ray, do you really have to pretend that I won't be the first to condem the studio for it?

Posted Image

BTW, the litany of non-anamorphic titles you mention...well most of them are from early-on in the studio's committment to DVD. You might as well tell me that Warner Brothers and Fox don't give a darn about quality either since they had many more P/S and non-anamorphic titles released at the same time.

Posted Image

at least Disney figured out how to properly 16x9 encode a 1.66:1 aspect ratio several years ago. Warner Brothers just figured it out after all these years during the last chat at HTF...

Posted Image
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#12 of 13 Paul.S

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Posted March 18 2006 - 08:07 AM

It's not so much the DiVX technology itself, which of course is now thankfully a footnote in DVD history, but rather the ethos of the company that supported it which echoes into the present day.

We'll of course see what Disney does with the capacity and BD+, but I'm not optimistic.

#13 of 13 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 18 2006 - 08:12 AM

Hopefully my reviews of the first Blu-ray Disney titles will help bolster whatever wayning optimism you may have left...

Posted Image

If it turns out that criticsm is in order...the studio's marketing department better prepare for the wrath of DaViD Boulet!!!
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