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If no clear HD winner, Sony would let Blu-Ray co-exist with HD-DVD?


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#1 of 94 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:13 AM

Sorry the title of the post wasn't clear and I can't change it.

Rather than fighting on for years and years:

Here's an interestng article:

http://www.pcmag.com...,1960283,00.asp

"Glasgow said he believed the battle over formats could be resolved within 12 to 24 months, but entertained the possibility of creating a player that combined both technologies."

Since there has been so much invested in Blu-Ray, I'm assuming this means Sony would rather make a combo drive then let Blu-Ray die should they not clearly win the war of the two formats.

But I wouldn't misinterpret this comment: this isn't saying Sony is going to make a combo player or has any plans for one - so don't "wait it out" for one. Right now there is a format war and the Blu-Ray camp will be preparing to win it in hopes that combo drives will never exist permanently - as he's said, it's expensive to have two HD technologies.

He's saying that should HD-DVD survive the market along with Blu-Ray, then there could be a possibility that combo players will exist from Sony. After all, he only "entertained" the idea, meaning the reporter of the article probably prompted questions to him like would Sony would ever consider having a combo player should there be no clear winner. His answer could have been "maybe". Who knows...lol.

Like many of us, I would rather there be ONE winner. ONE format.

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#2 of 94 ONLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:52 AM

I'm just enjoying my movies in high definition. And I've pretty much stopped buying standard definition.

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#3 of 94 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted May 12 2006 - 03:47 AM

You know, Steve, I had expected to continue buying SD DVDs, but as it turns out I haven't bought a single one since April 18 (HD DVD Launch day).

#4 of 94 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

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Posted May 12 2006 - 03:53 AM

I actually stopped buying ....last summmer...unless I really really really couldn't live without it.

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#5 of 94 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted May 12 2006 - 06:11 AM

My DVD buying went from run to crawl after I watched my first D-Theater tape over 3 years ago. I never used to rent many DVD's but now I do. I mainly buy DVD's of old timey films. New films on DVD are out of the question! I wear HD or I wear nothing at all!
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#6 of 94 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:16 PM

I joined Netflix the first week I had my HD-A1, have rented quite a few SD dvds from them but have only purchased HD-DVD titles. Of course if some must-have title comes out that's only in SD (like Branagh's Hamlet or a Bladerunner SE) I'll of course purchase it, but not lesser films.
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#7 of 94 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted May 12 2006 - 02:37 PM

I'm still buying DVD's of older titles that probably won't make it to any High Def format for awhile, and newer stuff that is really reasonably priced. But I've been very spoiled by HD DVD, and SD DVD's have lost some of their lustre for me.

#8 of 94 OFFLINE   Stan Rozenfeld

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Posted May 13 2006 - 06:52 PM

Regarding buying older titles on dvd: I have no doubt that it will take a while to release older titles on high def dvd, but I was pleasantly surprised when Robert Harris reported that we should be seeing Adventures of Robin Hood and The Searchers (among other films) on hd dvd this summer. I don't remember that classic films were so quickly released on regular dvd during its launch period. I think it's another indication that studios are serious about pushing these blue laser formats.

Regarding the original post, I would not be surprised if universal players become ubiquitous down the line, making the two formats into a one de-facto standard, so to speak.

#9 of 94 OFFLINE   Ryan-G

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Posted May 13 2006 - 09:15 PM

I *really* don't see this as an issue. The only way one of the two isn't going to outright win is because unified players came to market, because of studio support if nothing else.

If unified players come to market, once both formats have equivalent prices, BR will win. Simply because of capacity, which makes it cheaper for studios. Especially for TV on DVD.

Put simply, even if unified players are created, Toshiba still loses, because it's technically inferior. The only way HD-DVD can exist is if it wins, all other scenarios lead to HD-DVD's death, because it's technologically inferior.

#10 of 94 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted May 14 2006 - 03:18 AM

It looks to me that only Fox and Disney can tip the scales in either direction for a win. Also, the technologically superior format won't necessarily win. HD-DVD could be more profitable and that could be the biggest factor in the end, or not...?
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#11 of 94 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted May 14 2006 - 05:15 AM

Quote:
The only way HD-DVD can exist is if it wins, all other scenarios lead to HD-DVD's death, because it's technologically inferior.

It should forever be remembered that Betamax was initially considered to be technologically superior to VHS. Beta was first to market (by over a year); the L-500 and L-750 tapes were much more compact than VHS tape's T-120's; and the copyrighted "deep recording" ability of its head drums meant better color saturation and video definition at its top speed. Beta was even first to introduce "HI-FI" audio technology for the consumer market.

In the end none of this mattered, because VHS could record for four hours on a T-120 and that's what the average consumer in the US wanted. Beta's better picture and sound wasn't as important as the ability to "time-shift" in four hour chunks. This was a feature advantage that Sony never considered.

So, there is no way you can categorically state at this time that HD-DVD will lose simply due to the fact that it's "technologically inferior".
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#12 of 94 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted May 14 2006 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Bolus
So, there is no way you can categorically state at this time that HD-DVD will lose simply due to the fact that it's "technologically inferior".

Using the Betamax/VHS argument, Bluray should still win because its final storage capacity is considerably higher than HD/DVD. Also Bluray recordable devices have been on the market in Japan for sometime now. Translating a recording function to the newer Bluray machines should not be much of a stretch. HD-DVD, at present, has no recorders on the market. Even if they do put one out, they are at a disadvantage because the format is near its maximum capacity right now. Right now the only thing HD-DVD has going for it is an artificially created price differential. We will have to wait and see who wins once the competition really starts and the price differential is wiped out.

Edit to add:

IMO the Bluray consortium dropped the ball a bit. If they wanted to wipe HD-DVD immediately off the map they should have introduced a playback/recording device right from the start. The higher price would have been more justified. The problem is that CE corportations want to continuously soak their customer base by forcing them to continously upgrade (i.e. playback-->playback with all the bells and whistles-->recording and playback).
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#13 of 94 OFFLINE   Joseph Bolus

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Posted May 14 2006 - 06:30 AM

Quote:
Using the Betamax/VHS argument, Bluray should still win because its final storage capacity is considerably higher than HD/DVD. Also Bluray recordable devices have been on the market in Japan for sometime now.

My point was that the consumers decided that there was a feature available which VHS provided that Beta didn't even though most experts had stated that Beta was the superior technology. In the particular case of that format war, the more desirable feature was a longer initial recording ability.

We have no way of knowing at this moment in time what may ultimately drive the consumers toward one format or the other; but it is safe to say that being "technologically superior" does not always lead to a categorical win in a format war.
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#14 of 94 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted May 14 2006 - 06:54 AM

The VHS/Beta argument is like comparing beer in cans to beer in bottles. Beta (bottles) clearly tasted better than VHS (cans) but J6P only gets paid every two weeks and it's cheaper and more convienent to buy a 30-pack of cans than two 12-packs and a 6-pack of bottles.

Right now HD-DVD is a not-quite-cold-enough bottle and Sony has an opportunity to control the fridge. All they need to do is figure out how to put the bottle taste in their cans.

#15 of 94 OFFLINE   Ryan-G

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Posted May 14 2006 - 06:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Bolus
We have no way of knowing at this moment in time what may ultimately drive the consumers toward one format or the other; but it is safe to say that being "technologically superior" does not always lead to a categorical win in a format war.

In this case, it does under the circumstances this thread is meant to discuss.

3 things can happen in this format war.

1. HD-DVD wins outright.
2. Blue Ray wins outright.
3. Neither outright wins and a Universal Player is developed.

There is no possibility of "Both exist seperately indefinitely", as the cost to the studios is so high that ultimately they'll just align with one or the other. I'm certain they don't want to have to pay the overhead to support two formats that ultimately achieve the same thing.

So, case 1 and 2 are pretty self explanitory.

Case 3 occurs, Then HD-DVD dies. If the studios are looking at a Market where all consumers can play either format, the next deciding factor for which format survives is overall cost and marketability. Assuming that both types reach cost parity or nearly so.

Once the issue is relegated to cost and marketability, Blu-Ray exceeds HD-DVD on both fronts. BR's increased capacity insures that multi-disc products like TV on DVD yield greater profit margins than that offered by HD-DVD, BR can fit more per disc and charge the same amount people are willing to pay, or even a few bucks less, and still yield more profits. This holds true for extras as well, the Aliens Quadrology could be likely be contained on 4 BR's instead of 8 HD-DVD's, and sold at the same price. Similiarly, a 3 disc HD-DVD set could be a 2 disc BR set, sold at the same price.

BR also becomes more marketable, While HD-DVD will continue to eat terrific amounts of shelf space due to it's multi-multi-disc nature ala SD-DVD, BR can squeeze more product onto the same amount of shelf space. If retailers know that there is no difference in installed base between the two formats, their purchasing choice would next be based on shelf space, and BR can potentially fit more media on the same amount of shelves that HD-DVD can. Considering that TV on DVD eats so much space, they wouldn't hesitate to show preference to BR in this scenario.

BR would also exceed HD-DVD's sales, just by virtue of the fact that it'd eat less shelf space at home. Anyone seriously interested in TV on DVD knows what I mean, it's too bloody space consuming, and BR can seriously reduce that footprint.

As such, assuming cost parity, BR wins. It's technological superiority insures that even if both formats coexist on Universal Players, it'll ultimately win because of it's technological superiority.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying it's a lock. Sony's pricing of the PS3 has changed things drastically, and HD-DVD has a window now where I don't believe it did before. Mainly because I think Sony's just priced themselves into bankruptcy.

#16 of 94 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted May 14 2006 - 07:21 PM

Ryan, until Blu-way actually produces double-layer discs, it's a 25 gig format. It may never get past that? Their initial releases could be a lttle bit-starved or limited to medium to short films?

Then there's possibility number 4: both formats fizzle and some other delivery system emerges...?

Many peoples of earth are P'ed at Sony and this could come back to bite their posterior? They might lose over that alone? 2 or 3 years from now, maybe Sony will be reluctantly forced to issue HD-DVD's?

I'll call Miss Cleo and see if I can get all the poop,,,,
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#17 of 94 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted May 14 2006 - 07:26 PM

Sorry...double post...
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#18 of 94 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted May 14 2006 - 07:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael B


Many peoples of earth are P'ed at Sony and this could come back to bite their posterior? They might lose over that alone? 2 or 3 years from now, maybe Sony will be reluctantly forced to issue HD-DVD's?

Bluray is more than just Sony. Sony may suffer. That doesn't mean other manufacturers of Bluray equipment will.
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#19 of 94 OFFLINE   Ryan-G

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Posted May 14 2006 - 08:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael B
Ryan, until Blu-way actually produces double-layer discs, it's a 25 gig format. It may never get past that? Their initial releases could be a lttle bit-starved or limited to medium to short films?

Then there's possibility number 4: both formats fizzle and some other delivery system emerges...?

Many peoples of earth are P'ed at Sony and this could come back to bite their posterior? They might lose over that alone? 2 or 3 years from now, maybe Sony will be reluctantly forced to issue HD-DVD's?

I'll call Miss Cleo and see if I can get all the poop,,,,

Rachael,

BR will get dual layer discs, it's an evolution of DVD, not anything extraordinary. They've already prototyped Dual, Triple, and Quad layer discs and are looking into going beyond that. Remember, 18 months ago BR needed a caddy to work, now it's caddyless. If there was some major technological difference I'd concede the possibility, but it's really not all that different and they've already demonstrated the ability to produce multi-layered discs. Plus, I haven't seen any citations of the origin of this report, and I'm begining to wonder if it isn't similiar to the DVD-File rumor that had everyone thinking BR would require an internet connection, nothing more than a rumor.

The initial releases will be fine, a DL HD-DVD barely has more space than a single layer BR.

It's highly unlikely that both products will fizzle, HDTV is taking off(significant increase in installed base expected in the next 12 months), and the difference is pretty obvious between SD and HD material. People will buy it, especially as long as red lasers are included and they can keep their old media while buying new media in HD.

The only other delivery system on the horizion is Video on Demand, but there's no evidence that the consumer preference to own vs pay per use has changed. Holographics are nice and all, but they require a paradign shift in delivery systems which will be expensive and time consuming, and they're extraordinarily slow. So slow that the only real world use expected right now is backups due to their extremely high capacity. I-Tunes like digital downloads have potential, but the installed base of computers isn't significant enough and consoles lack the HD to handle it. Digital Downloads will take over eventually, but there's still alot of time before that happens. At least 5-10 years before the infrastructure is present for digital downloads to replace purchasing physical media.

As far as people ticked at Sony, that's kinda where I was headed with the PS3 fiasco. People are already annoyed about the PSP fraud and the Rootkit disaster, and now they're pricing the PS3 extraordinarily high. It's enough that it might take out Sony.

Though the format would exist without Sony, losing the primary proponent of the format would be a potential disaster in PR. People don't think beyond "The company that made it went under, therefore it must suck." It could very easily tank the format if Sony bought the farm.

There's ways for HD-DVD to win now, but co-existance isn't one of them. If they co-exist and Sony doesn't die, BR will win simply because it exceeds HD-DVD by a wide margin.

But now, there's no guarantee Sony won't die, and that makes BR alot more questionable.

We'll know the answer in twelve months though. If PS3 doesn't sell well by next Summer, Odds are good Sony's going to bankrupt or come very close to it. They can't continue to bleed money at this rate for long, and if PS3 doesn't sell, their revenue streams are going to be in serious trouble.

Edit: Remember, Sony reported losing 500 million dollars for the 1st quarter of 2006. That's more than Spiderman made in the box office, and that's nearly as much as both 1 and 2 made together, before everyone got their cut. That's just a terrific amount of money to lose in 3 months, and manufacturing the PS3's are going to cost them more money. If it doesn't sell and they've lost that much money before it's launch, and more money after, it's just going to get ugly for them.

#20 of 94 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted May 14 2006 - 09:09 PM

I think that talk about Sony going bankrupt because of an imagined retail failure of the PS3 is a little premature. The PS3 isn't the only item manufactured by Sony. Sony has other manufacturing arms that are profitable. I also don't get the mentality that a game system perenially has to sell for 300 dollars or less. Sony seems to be packing a lot of capability into the PS3 for 600 dollars. There is no way that a PC with the capabilities of the PS3 could be purchased for 600 dollars. Furthermore, if the costs of adding an HD-DVD drive to the Xbox was factored in the entire cost probably wouldn't be much less than what Sony is asking for the PS3, and the XBOX would still be a less capable system. For example, I believe the add-on hard drive for the XBOX is only 20 gig....is it not? The premium XBOX system sells for 500 Canadian. Lets say an add on HD-DVD can be had for 130 Canadian. Total cost 630 Canadian which equals about 565 American. The premium PS3 is slated to cost around 660 Canadian. A hundred bucks more for a system with a lot more capability doesn't seem like much.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."


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