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Does anyone blame the studios for the format wars?


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#1 of 52 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted August 21 2006 - 06:35 AM

I just wondering if anyone thinks that the format wars could have been avoided if the studios had gotten together and "decided" what format to go with? I mean it really makes no sense for them.

Just curious.
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#2 of 52 OFFLINE   Daniel-M

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Posted August 21 2006 - 08:01 AM

of course not, that makes too much sense for them to do something like that. Studios can never do anything that benefit themselfs or consumers

#3 of 52 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted August 21 2006 - 08:40 AM

So, how does this hypothetical meeting not stop at the Sony-owned studios saying "our parent company is telling us that we're doing Blu-Ray" and expecting everyone else to fall in line?
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#4 of 52 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted August 21 2006 - 11:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Seaver
So, how does this hypothetical meeting not stop at the Sony-owned studios saying "our parent company is telling us that we're doing Blu-Ray" and expecting everyone else to fall in line?


Possible. But, if every other studio went with the better format (whether it would be Blu-Ray or HD-DVD) it wouldn't of mattered for too long. One of the formats wouldn't survive with only 1 studio backing it.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#5 of 52 OFFLINE   Bob Black

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Posted August 21 2006 - 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd s
Possible. But, if every other studio went with the better format (whether it would be Blu-Ray or HD-DVD) it wouldn't of mattered for too long. One of the formats wouldn't survive with only 1 studio backing it.


Well if there were only one format, what's to say we would actually get the better format? After all, BD had the superior specs all along and look what they've released so far. Would we be happier with only $1000 players and botched transfers rather than a less expensive alternative with superior PQ?

I don't know about others, but the only reason I bought the Toshiba at launch was because it was under $500. I NEVER buy 1st generation hardware for the simple reason that it is always too expensive -- I would rather wait 8-12 months for a price drop. But at $500, there was no way I was letting HD-DVD pass by. I have since been returning/trading all my SD DVD's towards HD titles. I am actually spending considerably less money on weekly releases due to this practice, as I refuse to buy SD titles anymore. My HD-DVD collection now stands at 36, and they can't announce new releases fast enough. Posted Image

I, for one, think the format war was a good thing. It has created competition which affected price (especially for the Toshiba), probably got the players released sooner, and has shown quality deficiencies in BD. I would hate to have a scenario in which there were no competition for Sony and Blu-Ray, especially considering the lackluster performance it displays thus far even with a competing format around.

#6 of 52 OFFLINE   Pete T C

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Posted August 21 2006 - 02:43 PM

Oh I do in a big way. Disney and Fox screwed up the original DVD by supporting Divx, now they are doing the same with HD DVD by supporting Blu-Ray. All because they want the strictest DRM/copy protection.
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#7 of 52 OFFLINE   BrettGallman

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Posted August 21 2006 - 08:01 PM

Absolutely, but not in the sense that they don't agree on one format. I blame the studios for not equally supporting both formats and letting consumers decide which is superior which is the route WHV and Paramount are taking. To me, the titles are what is driving the format war. I think if all studios would do this, there wouldn't be a war at all because Blu-Ray would pretty much be dead in the water. In my opinion, all it has going for it right now (emphasis on right now) is the potential for some excellent exclusive titles. That's the only thing that's making me consider getting a BD player. While HD-DVD will have some exclusives, it also has the advantage of being much cheaper, but if you remove the existence of exclusive titles for either player, HD-DVD would be the only way to go. And it's really hard for me to say that, because I was an ardent Blu-Ray supporter pre-launch (and still very well could be depending on the quality of the PS3 BD player).

I don't like the fact that I have to get both players to get every title I want. I'd rather studios release the exact same titles and let me decide which format I want to watch them on. I'm happy with being an HD-DVD owner now because I love the title selection; however, I'm already miffed that I'm missing out on Terminator and T2, and I'm sure there's going to be more titles that will further push me towards getting a BD player sometime. However, all this could be avoided if every studio would just release each title on both formats, which, of course is never going to happen (especially with Sony's situation).
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#8 of 52 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted August 21 2006 - 10:38 PM

No.

I blame Toshiba Posted Image

#9 of 52 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted August 21 2006 - 11:13 PM

If all studios agreed to release software on both formats, the issue of a format war wouldn't exist. Everyone could choose the format they feel is superior or better suited to their particular needs, and acquire whatever software they wanted to own for that particular format.

In my opinion this would be a preferable solution in the current situation rather than trying to reach an agreement on a single hardware format that could exist in the marketplace.

#10 of 52 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted August 22 2006 - 04:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
No.

I blame Toshiba Posted Image

Just curious...Why?
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#11 of 52 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted August 22 2006 - 05:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
No.

I blame Toshiba Posted Image


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#12 of 52 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted August 22 2006 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
I blame Toshiba Posted Image

I would love to know as well PeterTHX. Why would this be Toshiba's fault? Because they did not bow to Sony and go with the Blu-ray format? IMHO the studios are just as much to blame. Especially with the current Blu-ray situation. They could have told Sony NO, we will not release inferior MPEG2 titles. But they put these titles out and now they are being slamed for it. It is obvious that VC-1 is better but the Studio did nothing but release an inferior product. And even though I am going to be owning a HD-A1 HD-DVD player very soon. I still believe in the Blu-ray format! But if Sony does not correct there horible mistakes and soon. Then I can not see any other alternative than to back HD-DVD instead of Blu-ray!

I would just like to know why its Toshiba's fault?
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#13 of 52 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted August 22 2006 - 07:23 AM

I'm a HUGE WB fan (bias announcement! ;-) ).
I was SO proud of them when they said they would not be part of a format war.
Then when they did choose HD DVD, I was happy because of all the HD DVD bashing that was going on here (it gave HD DVD 'life' when a lot of people at HTF's were saying HD DVD was "dead" or they wanted it "dead").
When WB then released on both waring formats, I was a little disappointed in that they were building studio support for BD. However, that was just me being a little selfish, as in the BIGGER picture it was a good move for HD discs in general. Which I am a fan of!
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However, some couldn't acknowledge decisions WB made to stop DiVx, which I believe, they ALONE (as a company, I know "we" did as consumers, however WB gave us that choice, far beyond any other company) defeated.

No, it's not the studios fault.
It's the CE company/ies that broke away from the HD DVD steering group, because of greed, that we're in the mess we're in today!

Bring on the Ultra-Multi's and END this mess!!!
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#14 of 52 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted August 22 2006 - 07:58 AM

Toshiba is the only major electronics company that didn't join the Blu-ray group.
Toshiba voted (using their chair as the DVD Forum) to make HD DVD part of the DVD Forum with the others in absentia.
Toshiba refused numerous deals put forth by Matsushita, Sony, and the others.
Toshiba is the only manufacturer of HD DVD players.

Now imagine if Toshiba had put their energies into making Blu-ray a better product at launch. No format war. No uncertanties.

#15 of 52 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted August 22 2006 - 08:01 AM

I have never been a fan of one group trying to control what comes to market. So I have no problem with Sony splitting from the HD-DVD steering group. They obviously did not agree that HD-DVD was the way to go. And they must have felt that it did not offer the best performance compared to what there format did. I am not saying that there was no greed involved. Lets face it the industry is basically driven by greed, they want to sell as much product to as many people as they can. It does not matter if its Sony, Denon, Apex, Toshiba, Panasonic or even McIntosh. Granted McIntosh is greared towards a higher end customer, they still want to make lots of money.

I agree that WB has not been given its due. WB IMHO puts out a quality product and I enjoy there movies very much. But I do not think studios are blameless, they do have there share of blame in this format war. While its not there fault completely, they are to blame for facilitating the format war and prolonging it. And when a company comes out with a competing product that the controlling group does not support. That does not mean that it should not be brought to market. I do not feel that groups like the HD DVD steering group are good for innovation or the advancement of technology. If Blu-ray fails its not because it was an inferior product or because the HD DVD group didn't want it to come out. Its will be because Sony is incompetent and failed marketing and emplementing there own format!

So why should HD-DVD have more say than Blu-ray? Is it just becuase the last or current format has the letters DVD in it? Who decided that the new group should be HD-DVD and was Sony the only company that said no? Since there are more companies that are standing with Sony I honestly do not think that is the case. I am just wondering what gives the HD DVD steering group more credability and more rights to controling what format goes to market?

These are the things that I have been thinking about and decided to bring up. I just hope that the consumers and home theater buffs don't buy into something that gets sidelined because studios decide later to stop backing one or both HD formats. I am buying an HD-A1 HD-DVD player soon and even if HD-DVD fails I will have some HD titles and a good upconvering player. I am thinking of still buying into Blu-ray as long as VC-1 titles come out soon and the player is not riddled with bugs. As long as one of these format survive this format war and studios keep offering quality HD titles I will be very happy. If not we will basically be stuck with something that resembles what happened with SACD and DVD-A. People that invested in HR audio and now own players that do not have a steady stream of new titles. As both audio formats are very much dead even though you can still buy titles at your local retailer.
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#16 of 52 ONLINE   RobertR

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Posted August 22 2006 - 08:20 AM

Quote:
Now imagine if Toshiba had put their energies into making Blu-ray a better product at launch. No format war. No uncertanties.
The same could be said of the opposite situation—BR companies making HDDVD better. Of course, Toshiba couldn’t have done anything to make the mediocre Sony movie discs better—Sony and Sony alone is responsible for that. That’s why I think the word “blame” is misapplied to the format war. The format war is the only thing that can keep everyone honest. Imagine Sony coming out with the lackluster quality they have, with no alternative HD disc standard to compare or turn to. I shudder to think about that.

#17 of 52 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted August 22 2006 - 09:19 AM

Quote:
The same could be said of the opposite situation—BR companies making HDDVD better. Of course, Toshiba couldn’t have done anything to make the mediocre Sony movie discs better—Sony and Sony alone is responsible for that. That’s why I think the word “blame” is misapplied to the format war. The format war is the only thing that can keep everyone honest. Imagine Sony coming out with the lackluster quality they have, with no alternative HD disc standard to compare or turn to. I shudder to think about that.

While there is plenty of blame to go around, both Toshiba and Sony have had there share of blunders. Nether format rolled out without there share of bugs and stupid mistakes. Toshiba however did release better looking titles using VC-1. Sony in there infinite stupidity chose to go with the inferior MPEG2. Both formats have a small number of good titles but nether one has come out with any huge blockbuster titles yet.

And while most of the studio are backing Blu-ray and the others are backing HD-DVD. The studios are responsible for the slow and lack luster releases that we have seen so far. And while there are big titles that are supposed to be coming out soon. The question we should be asking ourselves is when? When will these titles be released, or will they be postponed or put off permanently? While Sony might be able to force a studio into releasing a horrible MPEG2 disc. I would imagine that Sony is not controlling what titles the studios are releasing. The same goes for Toshiba, I don't think that Toshiba is controlling what titles the studios are releasing ether. So I say yes the studios defiantly can share in the blame, they are not blameless in any way.

If Sony had no competition I am willing to be that Blu-ray would have been released when it was really ready. And we would have had dual layer discs using the best quality codex upon release date. The same could be said with Toshiba as there roll out date would have been better as well. Both sides where rushed to market before they where really ready because of the competition. Competition can be very good and help provide a better product or it can push product to market with the kind of problems we have been seeing now.
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#18 of 52 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted August 22 2006 - 12:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Toshiba is the only major electronics company that didn't join the Blu-ray group.
What do you mean by major?
How many major companies are there?
Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Toshiba voted (using their chair as the DVD Forum) to make HD DVD part of the DVD Forum with the others in absentia.
That's funny cause I heard Sony held up HD DVD by not voting, hence giving BD valuable time to catch up.
Wonder what the truth is???
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Toshiba refused numerous deals put forth by Matsushita, Sony, and the others.
What deals?
I only thing I heard was Tosh offering to meet half way on the layer depth.
Be great to hear another side of the story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Toshiba is the only manufacturer of HD DVD players.
Yeah, for now. Samsung is the "only manufacturer of BD players. Does anyone in their right mind think that's going to stay the same?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Now imagine if Toshiba had put their energies into making Blu-ray a better product at launch. No format war. No uncertanties.
As previously stated, and rightly so, same could be said about "The Other Format". What a waste this wasn't done! :-(
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#19 of 52 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted August 22 2006 - 02:17 PM

Quote:
Toshiba is the only manufacturer of HD DVD players.

Quote:
Yeah, for now. Samsung is the "only manufacturer of BD players. Does anyone in their right mind think that's going to stay the same?

Toshiba is the only one making HD-DVD players and I don't see anyone else announcing any players. Denon says they will not make any HD players until there has been a winner in the format war. Even companies like Meridian is going to stay away from making a HD player for the foreseeable future. Pioneer is a Blu-ray only company and I dont see any offerings from Harman Kardon, Kenwood, JVC, Yamaha or Adcom. While this may change sometime down the line, it may take an end to the format war before they do offer us a HD player. Samsung may be the only Blu-ray player right now but there will be more by the end of the year. Posted Image

The same can not be said for HD-DVD however. Posted Image
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#20 of 52 OFFLINE   Bob Black

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Posted August 22 2006 - 02:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTHX
Toshiba is the only major electronics company that didn't join the Blu-ray group.
Toshiba voted (using their chair as the DVD Forum) to make HD DVD part of the DVD Forum with the others in absentia.
Toshiba refused numerous deals put forth by Matsushita, Sony, and the others.
Toshiba is the only manufacturer of HD DVD players.

Now imagine if Toshiba had put their energies into making Blu-ray a better product at launch. No format war. No uncertanties.


Peter,

Until recently, you had many fanboy friends on this site like Nils and David Boulet who slammed HD-DVD at every corner. Of course, most have vanished or switched allegiances because of the deplorable BD launch. You seem to be one of the few remaining, blind devotees of Sony and this fiasco.

As to your comments regarding the format war, Toshiba and NEC were proposing HD-disc formats which could utilize current DVD authoring facilites in order to keep costs down. They finally settled on HD-DVD which would use 0.6 mm cover layer disc system similar to current DVD's but with 15, 30, and later 45GB capacity (1, 2 & 3 layers). The reason that Toshiba's model was disapproved in the first place by the DVD forum was that Sony, Matsushita, Philips, Hitachi, JVC and others involved in the competing BDF (Blu-Ray Disc Founders) would not approve the model. How this wasn't a conflict of interest is beyond me -- CE companies involved in negotiating a new standard for the DVD Forum while also developing a competing format on their own!

Costs were always a big factor and concern for the DVD forum in determining the successor to DVD. One disc manufacturing executive critical of Blu-ray said his company's production test lines showed that Blu-ray production was far less efficient than HD DVD. Component costs, for example, are higher because they use different materials than DVDs, including a high-tech film layer currently produced only by Sony. "The difference is significant," the executive said. "Those are real costs. I don't think the price will ever equalize." He also said that both sides' promises to make "hybrid" discs, with high-definition content on one side, and an ordinary DVD on the other, should be viewed with deep suspicion. Though it's feasible to combine the lowest-capacity HD DVD with DVD, Blu-ray and higher capacity HD DVD discs will be very expensive to meld with the standard format. A white paper published online by Richard Marquardt, an engineer who served in top executive roles at disc replicators for years, predicted that retooling manufacturing plants for Blu-ray could cost up to $1 billion worldwide, while existing DVD manufacturing capacity could be refitted for HD DVD for less than a tenth of that.

In April, 2005, word spread that negotiations of a merger between HD-DVD and BD was imminent. It was shortly after that the BD camp declared there would never be a unified format. First we had HD-DVD backers Toshiba commenting that a consolidation between the two formats is inevitable, before SCEI’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Industry) Ken Kutaragi stated that such a move would be unlikely. "We are not talking and we will not talk," Kazuhiro Tsuga, an executive officer at Matsushita, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, told Reuters in an interview. "The market will decide the winner." Before the launch of HD-DVD in April, 2006, Tsuga said it was doubtful how long Toshiba could continue selling its next-generation equipment at such low prices, estimating that Toshiba was probably doing so at a loss. "It's now a test of physical strength," Tsuga said.

These are the facts as they played out in this format war. It was Sony and their cronies in the BDF that caused this schism with the DVD Forum. They had the backing of most of the studios and electronics companies so they broke from the forum and developed their own format. Now we are seeing the results of this development, and it's clear that BD has many flaws (not the least being their own arrogance). It seems that those critical of BD's ability to bring a superior, cost-effective format to the table were correct.

No sign whatsoever of the "superior" BD 50GB disc for pre-recorded movies, making BD technically inferior to HD-DVD's dual-layered 30GB discs. The persistent use of outdated MPEG2 codecs with BD releases, causing video artifacts and noise on all their releases. Hell, they've already needed to announce a remastering of 5th Element because the title was so abysmal -- now there's talk of delaying more announced titles for quality concerns. No advanced audio codecs (Dolby TruHD 5.1) that HD-DVD mandates. No InHD advanced supplements like HD-DVD offers. A supposed faulty chip in the only BD player which happens to carry a steep $1000 price tag -- twice the price of the Toshiba player. No promised hybrid discs. No BD50GB discs. Let's see how many empty promises the PS3 won't deliver on next!


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