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What's the point of HD-DVD / DVD dual-discs?


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#1 of 33 Frank@N

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Posted May 09 2006 - 08:22 AM

I don't have an A1 player, but I'm following the HD-DVD rollout with interest.

I'm puzzled by the dual-disc strategy (Rumor Has It) and think it may be a mis-step by the HD-DVD community.

Mixing formats is usually a bad idea (apparently the CD/DVD dual-discs were too thick to fit into some CD players).

Can't imagine why anyone would pay a premium for HD-DVD product and then watch the DVD side (maybe for portable DVD players...).

I haven't checked prices yet, so HD-DVD dual-discs may be selling at the same price as regular HD-DVDs.

Still, I think this may end up confusing alot of people at a point where that could stunt the format.

The loss of disc art and squinting at hub text isn't what I hoped next-generation video was going to be about.

#2 of 33 Joe Karlosi

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Posted May 09 2006 - 08:31 AM

I'm still wondering what's the point of HD-DVD discs ...

(runs....)

#3 of 33 Sean Bryan

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Posted May 09 2006 - 09:07 AM

Yeah, I think it has the potential to be a pain in the ass.

My understanding is that this isn't likely to be used for any catalogue titles, but will be more likely to be used for new "day and date" releases.

If there was no price difference, that is one thing. But with a price difference, that makes it an issue.

I believe the list price of these "hybrids" is $5 more than normal HD DVDs.

I don't have a big problem with it being available as an option for people who are interested in this and willing to pay more for it. But the "HD DVD only" disc at "HD DVD only prices" should be available as well. Those who don't want it shouldn't be forced to pay for it. That's the real issue that is unacceptable.

If you want to buy a Hi-Def movie but are forced to pay more to also get a standard def version you have no interest in, then that just stinks.
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#4 of 33 Jesse Skeen

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Posted May 09 2006 - 09:36 AM

The POINT of them is so if you haven't upgraded to HD yet, you can buy the disc and watch it on what you have right now, then watch it in HD when you finally do upgrade.

I was going to buy Rumor Has It just since it was the first title to do this, but the price is just too high. At the very least, they should be priced the same as other HD-DVDs since those who already have HD won't care too much about the regular version, and in my case I'm a little hesitant to pay a premium for something I can't use yet. If they priced these closer to regular DVDs, then they'd sell more copies and that in turn would motivate more people to buy an HD player.

My main concern about these is that I've heard the HD side can't have the same number of layers that an HD-only disc would have- I don't know if that's true, does anyone know? If that's the case then I definitely wouldn't have any interest in these.

If there isn't any such compromise and they work properly, this would be a great way to get HD discs into people's homes before they get a player. I thought hybrid SACDs were a good idea too for the same reason, but those didn't really take off.
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#5 of 33 Frank@N

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Posted May 09 2006 - 10:05 AM

I can't see anyone paying $35 for something that they may never fully use.

There's huge uncertainty regarding the format wars and many people are on the fence about what format they will eventually support.

No matter how bullish I feel about HD-DVD, there's no way I'd shell out that kind of money on a hunch.

And if I did decide to go with HD-DVD later, dual-discs would be virtually useless at that point anyway (in addition to driving up prices).

#6 of 33 Chad R

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Posted May 09 2006 - 11:28 AM

I'm the only one in my family with a HDTV. We frequently go over to other's houses to watch movies (they have kids, we don't, so it's better to watch things over there so the kids have their rooms and toys to entertain themselves). If i were to have HD-DVD, I would want to get all my movies that way, but that would preclude us from taking the same disc over there to do that. The hybrid discs would better enable this.

#7 of 33 Ed St. Clair

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Posted May 09 2006 - 02:41 PM

http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=233674
http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=229256
Links to two threads on the subject from this forum.
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HD should be for EVERYONE!

#8 of 33 Rachael B

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Posted May 09 2006 - 03:36 PM

I bought a copy only because there's so few titles out and I actually want to see it. I hope it plays...it's scatched and smudged on arrival, on the side facing up in the case, the HD side. I think this is a bad idea. I hate double sided discs and I don't want DVD anymore!
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#9 of 33 Rob_HD

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Posted May 10 2006 - 05:13 AM

I think it's a very good idea - It could be a big factor in the rapid adoption/conversion of SD DVD owners to Hi Def formats.

However, it's dependent on two things - Price, and Title.

Last I checked Amazon, this was selling for about $28, which is $7 ot $8 more than the HD DVD-only version of the disc. This is going to be annoying for the HD DVD owners, and will also place the disc out of consideration for the SD DVD owners you are trying to attract to the format.

So the price needs to be (near as dammit) the same as the HD DVD release would be.

Title- picking such a mediocre film, and a chick-flick (no offense Rachel!) at that, to pitch as your first try in a tech-led, male-dominated (as in techy early adopters) market, was probably not the best move.

I hope they try again with this advice in mind, as Ithink it is a very important aspect.

Yes, they should also ensure that releases are dual layer so that the movies are the same quality.

#10 of 33 Sean Bryan

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Posted May 10 2006 - 07:24 AM

Quote:
My main concern about these is that I've heard the HD side can't have the same number of layers that an HD-only disc would have- I don't know if that's true, does anyone know?

There are two options for hybrids, as far as I understand:

A single sided version that has one HD layer at 15gb and one DVD layer at 4.5gb

A two sided version that has dual layer HD at 30gb on one side and dual layer DVD 9gb on the other.

I'm not sure if there are options for other variations, but I believe these are the two main "flavors" of hybrids. I think the intention is to use the two sided dual layer on each side option for releases of theatrical films.

As I said, I can see why some people may be interested in this. But I still see much more people who would not be interested in this and actually be turned off by it if it costs even a few dollars more. When buying something one wants, being forced to pay extra for something that is not needed/wanted is very off-putting to most.

What if all regular DVDs put the widescreen on one side and the pan-and-scan version on the other and charged you $5 more than widescreen only titles? I think lots of people would be really pissed at this. If it didn't cost any more, then there certainly would be people who didn't like it because of the general dislike of two-sided discs, but it wouldn't be that big of a deal. The option that most seem to prefer (and what is most often used now in reality) is separate widescreen and pan-and-scan releases. Of course, the issue with HD DVD hybrids isn't exactly the same thing, but it feels kind close.

HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc are NEW FORMATS. PERIOD. Sure it is great that the players are backwards compatable with DVD. That is definitely a good thing. But I just don't see a good reason to try to tether the new format to the old on the disc (especially when you are being charged extra money for the "pleasure").

I could see people who are really into the getting the best possible A/V quality and who are excited to start growing their HD collections feeling like they are being ripped off by being forced to pay several dollars more for a standard def side they don't want.

I could see people who are interested in Hi-Def but nervous about the two competing formats holding back and staying with DVD and not wanting to commit to spending more money for a "DVD with HD DVD" since they may not feel certain that HD DVD is what they'll eventually be getting.

It seems that this idea would be geared towards these people. However, if they know enough to understand that there are two competing formats and that one may win and the other may lose (as opposed to the possibility of long term co-existence of both), then why pay more money for this hybrid when the HD version may not be what they'll want when they do decide to go Hi-Def? They can pay less for the DVD, or rent the DVD and do what we aren't supposed to discuss on this forum.

It would seem odd that this idea is geared towards people who want HD but aren't buying it now only because of cost. Because if cost is the major issue keeping them from getting in now then why assume a more expensive disc than either DVD or HD DVD to be appealing?

I think the amount of people who are CERTAIN that HD DVD will be the format for them in the future, but don't plan on getting it any time soon, and who are happy to pay more now for their hybrid DVD (as opposed to renting the DVD and hoping for a less expensive HD DVD to be available when they actually do want to buy it) is not likely to be large.

I also can see people being interested in this for the reason of "portability to other rooms in the house or friends' houses where there are only standard DVD players". But come on, really. Is that good enough reason to make EVERYONE who wants to buy the movie pay more for it? As I said above, it IS a new format. It's not mearly a special feature of DVD. And really, the best reason to be getting it now is for the superior A/V quality that you are really, really obsessive about. Not to be able watch a standard def version at a friend's house. That's what cheap DVD rentals are for.
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#11 of 33 Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 10 2006 - 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
I'm still wondering what's the point of HD-DVD discs ...

(runs....)
Posted Image

It will be interesting to see how the market responds to hybrid discs, but I can certainly understand why videophiles are concerned.

#12 of 33 Jesse Skeen

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Posted May 10 2006 - 07:51 AM

"I could see people who are interested in Hi-Def but nervous about the two competing formats holding back and staying with DVD and not wanting to commit to spending more money for a "DVD with HD DVD" since they may not feel certain that HD DVD is what they'll eventually be getting."

Well, from a seller's perspective, that would give that format an advantage since they'll already have some of those discs in their collection that they can play right away. If they end up buying the competing format, they'll have to buy the movie again.
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#13 of 33 Rachael B

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Posted May 10 2006 - 08:27 AM

My copy of Rumor Has it...played fine. I was so sure I was gonna have to return it. I played it first last night. I'll be avoiding hybrids in the future, I hope...
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#14 of 33 Mark Zimmer

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Posted May 10 2006 - 11:42 AM

The upper side on mine was the SD side....are you sure it was the HD-playing side (i.e., opposite from the side with the print?)

#15 of 33 Rachael B

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Posted May 10 2006 - 12:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Zimmer
The upper side on mine was the SD side....are you sure it was the HD-playing side (i.e., opposite from the side with the print?)

Auhhh, you're right! I'll flip it over in the case, carefully. Thanks!
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#16 of 33 Darrell Bratz

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Posted May 11 2006 - 05:25 AM

A Hybrid disc is really the only conceivable way I might buy an HD disc in the next couple years. I'm a voracious DVD buyer but am perfectly happy with my 32 inch SD monitor - it's going to have to break or get legislated out of existence to get me to upgrade.

#17 of 33 Sean Bryan

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Posted May 11 2006 - 11:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrell Bratz
A Hybrid disc is really the only conceivable way I might buy an HD disc in the next couple years. I'm a voracious DVD buyer but am perfectly happy with my 32 inch SD monitor - it's going to have to break or get legislated out of existence to get me to upgrade.

See, if I were in your situation, I wouldn't even consider hybrids. I'd buy the less expensive DVDs now.

IF I ever decided to go Hi-Def five years or so from now, then the HD DVD of that time will probably be a bit cheaper than those of today (and certainly will be cheaper than today's hybrids).

Plus, I'm sure some of those HD DVDs would be on their second releases by then with probably improved transfers and even more likely better (produced just for HD) extras.

And of course, what if HD DVD doesn't make it? I believe there is a good possibility that both HD DVD and BD will co-exist, but there's no question that it is possible that HD DVD will simply lose and go away. I'm aware of that and feel that I'm comfortable taking the chance in getting HD DVD now. At least I'd get to enjoy it now and for as long as the player/format lasts.

But if you pay more for a hybrid now and HD DVD goes away before you ever get into it, or if it is still around but you decided to go with BD for various reasons, then you've spent more money and got nothing for it.
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#18 of 33 Nils Luehrmann

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Posted June 03 2006 - 09:59 AM

Have there been any Hybrid HD DVD/SD releases where the HD DVD side was using a dual-layer 30GB disc?

If so, it might be useful to have a list distinguishing between 15GB hybrids and 30GB hybrids.

#19 of 33 Daniel-M

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Posted June 03 2006 - 11:28 AM

I stopped buying dual-sided discs a long time ago, i will not start doing that again. If they want to bundle DVD and HD togeher why can't they just have two discs, it has to be cheaper than making hybrids

#20 of 33 Dan Hitchman

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Posted June 03 2006 - 04:55 PM

Hybrids suck. Too much to go wrong in the manufacturing of the disc (they're new formats to begin with and now they're making the process even more complicated!), not enough capacity on either side, and too easy to scratch.

HD-DVD/DVD and Blu-Ray/DVD hybrids would be stoooopid because it jacks up the price and if you have an HD player you don't want the SD layer anyway... and if you have a DVD player you'll probably want to pay less for just the DVD.

Dumb!

Dan


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