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"Why the World Doesn't Need Hi-Def DVD's"- NY Times article by David Pogue:


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted May 11 2006 - 04:43 AM

http://www.nytimes.c....rssnyt&emc=rss

the following is only a snippet from the article itself (not entire thing):

Quote:
"Reason 1: The average person can see the difference in picture quality, but only on a big, high-def screen, preferably side by side with a standard DVD signal. The leap forward is nowhere as great as it was from, say, VHS to DVD.

Reason 2: For a brand-new technology, the A1 is a reasonably priced razor — but it's got a serious blade shortage. Only 20 will be available by the end of this month, priced at $20 to $40, and only a couple of hundred are expected by year's end. (Tens of thousands are available in the traditional DVD format.)

Reason 3 (and this is the big one): You could be placing a very big bet on the wrong horse.

In fact, this might even be a race that neither horse wins; the public may well decide that regular DVD's are just fine as they are. (Remember SACD and DVD-Audio, two rival "high-definition audio" formats that also required new players and new discs? Didn't think so. Both are well on their way to the great eBay in the sky.)

You, and everyone else, have everything to gain by waiting until prices fall, the movie catalog grows and a single standard emerges. After all, how will you feel if you buy a player and a bunch of movies — and the one you picked turns out to be the Betamax of the new millennium?"

very interesting "summary" of many of our thoughts we've all shared here.

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted May 11 2006 - 05:20 AM

And now, counterpoint. David, you ignorant--

1. Sure, regular DVDs look good NOW. Just wait until FCC-mandated HDTV is the norm (probably not til decade's end, but eventually) and suddenly all our nice 480p DVDs don't look as good as broadcast TV? That won't do! Picture the mythical "Joe Sixpack" and his new 1080i tv he got at Wal-Mart. He pops in his DVD of (insert standard DVD film here) and compares it to the same film on HBO HD, he's gonna be quite tweaked. THAT's when a hi-def disc format will kick in. Give it time...

2. I can still recall going to Tower Records in Boston in the Summer and even Fall of 1997 and having to find the tiny DVD island in the huge LaserDisc section. Content growth takes time. Heck, it's been nearly 10 years, and there are still classic films hitting DVD for the first time! Again, give it time.

3. Unlike the tape format wars, in which the competing formats were of different shape and size, we're talking today about the exact same shape and size media, as it has been since the first compact disc 20+ years ago. This opens up the possibility (likelihood?) of a universal player in the not-too-distant future. Not to sound like a broken record, but... give it time.

His last paragraph goes along with my overall call to patience. Maybe his headline (rarely thought up by the article author) should read "Why the World Doesn't Need Hi-Def DVD's...YET." We'll all have to see how this pans out.

Back on my meds,

CS

#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Adam_R

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Posted May 11 2006 - 05:40 AM

^ I don't think the FCC has any plans to mandate HD tv ever. Are you thinking of the switch over to all digital tv? That is very different from HD, as I am sure you know.
Guess what...

#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted May 11 2006 - 05:48 AM

Quote:
Only 20 will be available by the end of this month, priced at $20 to $40, and only a couple of hundred are expected by year's end.

Ha!, a couple hundred titles will require what? 15 titles to be released every tuesday for the rest of the year? I think 75 by Christmas is a more likely bet.
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#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Sami Kallio

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Posted May 11 2006 - 06:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sherman
Maybe his headline (rarely thought up by the article author) should read "Why the World Doesn't Need Hi-Def DVD's...YET."
YET would have made it a more agreeable but then again, it has to start from somewhere. They are not going to wait until several hundred HD-DVD's are available and player market is saturated with hundreds of different models and brands. That would be crazy.

Neflix has 28 titles listed as of now, some are released and some are on their way.

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted May 11 2006 - 08:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sherman

3. Unlike the tape format wars, in which the competing formats were of different shape and size, we're talking today about the exact same shape and size media, as it has been since the first compact disc 20+ years ago. This opens up the possibility (likelihood?) of a universal player in the not-too-distant future. Not to sound like a broken record, but... give it time.




I thought Bd discs were actually a bit bigger than DVD/HD DVDs?
not by much, but still not exactly the same size.

#7 of 33 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted May 11 2006 - 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Scott
I thought Bd discs were actually a bit bigger than DVD/HD DVDs?
not by much, but still not exactly the same size.
I think they would have been if they had used the caddies/cartridge system the early units needed. As far as I know, BD disks are the same diameter as CD/DVD/HD DVD but a little thinner.
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#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted May 11 2006 - 09:47 AM

The New York Times writer may be expressing the thoughts of the non-enthusiast, but all I can say is that Robert Harris's reports on the titles he has screened has whetted my appetite tremendously. I am certain that the advantages of HD DVD would be perfectly obvious on a Sony KD-34XBR960 (which is what I'm watching).

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted May 11 2006 - 10:18 AM

Quote:
but all I can say is that Robert Harris's reports on the titles he has screened has whetted my appetite tremendously.

It is pretty frickin' incredible Jack. Watched Training Day last night and it looked terrific. On larger displays there is simply no comparison to SD DVD. If Warner Bros. would ever get around to releasing that little film from 1968 that you and I both admire, I'll probably wet myself watching it on HD-DVD.

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#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted May 11 2006 - 10:52 AM

You know, the world doesn't *need* the NY Times either. But some people are interested in buying it. Jeebus, get off the high horse.

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted May 11 2006 - 12:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_R
^ I don't think the FCC has any plans to mandate HD tv ever. Are you thinking of the switch over to all digital tv? That is very different from HD, as I am sure you know.
The FCC doesn't mandate HDTV. But some years down the road, stations will begin turning off their analog transmitters, leaving only the DTV streams. At the same time, however, most networks are converting from mostly upconverted stuff to mostly HD content.

But hey. I live in the Washington DC market. A market that is so gung-ho about HDTV that one of the local newscasts is done in 1080i.

Already, though, I'm seeing the limitations of limited bandwidth mpeg2. The picture may be quite stunning when static, but throw in a few explosions and artifacts start to show up. HD-DVD doesn't have these artifacts. Neither, I suspect, will bluray.

Both formats, however, really require a well calibrated display. Most consumer electronics demos seem to be miscalibrated, which either relegates details to the shadows, or highlights the fact that the display is made of pixels on a grid.

If you prefer watching a film on (HD) network television to watching it on DVD, perhaps you're a good candidate for HD-DVD or Bluray. If the difference in resolution isn't that objectionable, perhaps you're a good candidate for waiting and seeing.

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted May 11 2006 - 12:45 PM

Crappie article....the writer is full of himself. I need HD formats. I've had atleast one HDTV since 2000 and now have three.
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted May 11 2006 - 12:52 PM

Quote:
f Warner Bros. would ever get around to releasing that little film from 1968 that you and I both admire, I'll probably wet myself watching it on HD-DVD.

The HD DVD release list has it coming in September. Now might be a good time to stock up on Depends Posted Image
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#14 of 33 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted May 11 2006 - 01:45 PM

to be fair, when he does get around to describing his experience actually sititing down to watch something he is very complimentary- albeit with the now familar whinning about slow load times and crappy remotes. But he is articulating a set of beliefs that are going to be shared by most people for a little while longer.

I don't care. I'll be happy with these as niche formats for several years, especially at a $500 buy in cost-adjusted for inflation, this about exactly what i payed for my entry level Pioneer LD player.
Big difference here is the software is going to be much cheaper (adjusted for inflation). Just as long as Warner keeps putting out a diversified catalog, I'll have enough treats to keep me happy without busting my bank account- I don't expect the same level of diversity from the Parmount or Universal, but it would be wonderful if that happens. (I'm just commenting on HD DVD because that's all I'm likely to own for this year).

In regards to the benefit of larger screen sizes- I think display resolution impacts just as much as raw size-if not more.
The level of detail in the Batman Begins clip that i saw on the Westinghouse 42" at BB was astonishing to me. I have an XGA pj at home and while the screen size is 3 or 4 times that, the actual image itself isn't that far from looking like just an insanely great dvd. I have no doubt going up to a 720p or 1080p pj would reveal the full potential tucked away on these discs.

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Stan Rozenfeld

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Posted May 11 2006 - 07:14 PM

Anyone who cares about experiencing movies at their best and appreciating the full artistic vision of the film maker needs high def dvd.

I know... dvd is good enough, and before that, vhs was good enough... I've heard it all before.

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:11 AM

Unfortunately, The New York Times is no longer known for the quality of their research and writing. This is just one more journalistic opinion written as "news."

Mr. Pogue is known as the author of a superior series of Missing Manuals for computer software.

One area where he and I agree, albeit with a bit of confusion for most readers, is in the minimum size of a monitor necessary to properly show off the attributes of High Definition DVD.

The confusion comes into play with the potential of line multipling, which is now common place in the home theater environment, and which has the capability of making a standard definition DVD signal looks appreciably better than it really is. Many home theatre enthusiasts may be running a signal with double or triple the number of lines, and not be aware of it.

With a standard def multiplied signal vs. high def, you probably need to go to over forty inches to really appreciate the difference.

RAH

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#17 of 33 ONLINE   John Stell

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:14 AM

The analogy to the beta vs VHS war isn't exactly on target. Both Hi-Def formats' hardware are backwards compatible and provide up-scaling. So even if one picks the losing format, their player can still be utilized to play SD DVDs (which are still going to be around for many years to come) and whatever Hi-Def software they have. Plus, by the time the war ends, players are likely to be cheaper. That's why it's worth it to some people (like myself) to pay $500 for an HD player now and enjoy up-coverting and hi-def films now.
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#18 of 33 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted May 12 2006 - 03:08 AM

But Pogue isn't a reporter. He's a critic.

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted May 12 2006 - 03:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sherman
And now, counterpoint. David, you ignorant--

1. Sure, regular DVDs look good NOW. Just wait until FCC-mandated HDTV is the norm (probably not til decade's end, but eventually) and suddenly all our nice 480p DVDs don't look as good as broadcast TV? That won't do! Picture the mythical "Joe Sixpack" and his new 1080i tv he got at Wal-Mart. He pops in his DVD of (insert standard DVD film here) and compares it to the same film on HBO HD, he's gonna be quite tweaked. THAT's when a hi-def disc format will kick in. Give it time...

2. I can still recall going to Tower Records in Boston in the Summer and even Fall of 1997 and having to find the tiny DVD island in the huge LaserDisc section. Content growth takes time. Heck, it's been nearly 10 years, and there are still classic films hitting DVD for the first time! Again, give it time.

3. Unlike the tape format wars, in which the competing formats were of different shape and size, we're talking today about the exact same shape and size media, as it has been since the first compact disc 20+ years ago. This opens up the possibility (likelihood?) of a universal player in the not-too-distant future. Not to sound like a broken record, but... give it time.

His last paragraph goes along with my overall call to patience. Maybe his headline (rarely thought up by the article author) should read "Why the World Doesn't Need Hi-Def DVD's...YET." We'll all have to see how this pans out.

Back on my meds,

CS

Yep Its 1997 all over again. Many stories were written about how DVD would not suceed because there were not enough titles, the players were too expensive and the quality was not that much different from VHS or Laserdisc unless you had a big screen. Sounds pretty familiar. As someone else already mentioned just give it time and HD will take over just as DVD did.
The one that baffles me the most is that anyone could say the jump from DVD to HD is not as drastic as the jump from VHS to DVD. They must have only seen 480P HBO-HD if that is really their belief. I know many older people in my family and in friends families that cannot tell much difference in Home Theater stuff. They can't really see that much difference between VHS, DVD, and Laserdisc or between Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital and DTS. This also explains why many people continued to stick with VHS until around 2001-2002 because that is when DVD players really came down in price before that they thought VHS was good enough. But I have not seen any of these older Friends and Family members yet that cannot immediately see a big difference in HD over any SD format. Its kind of a relief that finally they can notice a quality difference.
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#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Robert Holloway

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Posted May 12 2006 - 05:11 AM

Can I play contrarian for a moment.

I collected movies in VHS, LD and most recently 800 DVD's. I have just decided to sell my DVD collection.

The reality is that as a Netflix subscriber and now with HD from cable and satellite I watch old DVD's rarely.

I strongly believe that the high def DVD window is short and the execution is being bungled by bone headed execs keen to fight a format war.

I think the future will be huge libraries of downloadable movies in HD and SD. I don't think this is that far away as you can now already do this with Comcast today.

So why would I invest in a 4th collection of movies to sit on my 4 Ikea Billy shelves gathering dust.

At a rough estimate my DVD collection cost me $12,000-15000.

That's an awful lot of downloads at $4-5 each

My point is that this format war is just a huge red herring.

Rob
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