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Here Comes Blu-Ray (Ron Epstein's report)


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#1 of 40 Jeff(R)

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Posted October 04 2006 - 11:47 AM

http://www.hometheat...uray/index.html

Here Comes Blu-Ray

Quote:
"What I saw this evening was VERY impressive! We watched scenes from Ice Age II, The Day After Tomorrow, and Ridley Scott's 3-hour director's cut of Kingdom Of Heaven, the first 50GB release from the studio.

I'll be damned if I saw any imperfections in the quality of the displayed picture in the parts we got to see. As far as I'm concerned, the image quality was just as stunning as stuff I have seen on HD-DVD. Furthermore, the Java based interactive content and menu controls that we viewed on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen looked just as impressive as some of the new content being put on new HD-DVD Universal titles such as Fast & Furious 2: Tokyo Drift...."
Quote:
"...Speaking of MGM, that company's video division is now being headed by Eric Doctorow (formerly of Paramount), who paid a visit to last week's retail summit. Doctorow has put together a dedicated team of individuals to run the MGM unit that has been set up through Twentieth Century Fox. Doctorow announced that MGM has 1000 titles already transferred to high definition and ready to go on Blu-Ray. This library includes titles from the likes of Orion, United Artists and AIP. Fox is proudly touting that with MGM at its side, there are now 6,000 titles at their disposal."
More here (click)

Good news Ron. Thanks for the report!

#2 of 40 Nick Graham

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Posted October 04 2006 - 11:56 AM

Ron, has Fox given any kind of rationale/reasoning behind their initial Blu-Ray pricing? I keep leaning back and forth on the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray fence, and while Fox is already offering what is a killer app title for me (Kingdom of Heaven), and from what you say will be offering a lot more, that $39.95 price tag keeps telling me "Wait to jump". For the Kingdom Of Heaven DC paying $30 seems reasonable, but somehow I see that being the exception rather than the rule.

#3 of 40 Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 04 2006 - 04:02 PM

Quote:
Furthermore, the Java based interactive content and menu controls that we viewed on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen looked just as impressive as some of the new content being put on new HD-DVD Universal titles such as Fast & Furious 2: Tokyo Drift...."

As a software engineer, it shames me to know that all this technology is being wasted on such awful movies.

- Steve

#4 of 40 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 04 2006 - 10:05 PM

Quote:
Ron, has Fox given any kind of rationale/reasoning behind their initial Blu-Ray pricing?

Yes, they have, though I have to be careful with my response here
since I am under agreement with the studio not to freely discuss
everything that was announced at the retail summit.

Let me say these two words: early adopters

That should give you a general idea as to why the prices are
at a premium right now, and really, no different from what some
other studio(s) did with their entry pricing into the formats.

My personal opinion is this pricing is going to somewhat
hurt Fox and Blu-Ray. I know people who have already
said they will not buy product at that price. Others I am
sure will. Quite frankly, in a format war, you want to attract
people to your side with releases that excite the early
adopter (not the general public) and prices that are on
par with other studios.

I'll also agree that the first wave of releases from Fox and
Disney are pretty lackluster. It's almost if they are trying
to cater to the general public rather than the early adopter
who wants more hardcore, action-orientated, sci-fi fare.

On the plus side, from what I have been told through confidential
sources, Fox is going to be putting out some grade-A stuff
to the format in the near future.

It's my hope that the studios realize who their buyers are
right now and continue to release prime titles catered to
those demographics. I also hope that pricing will quickly
fall in line with HD-DVD releases.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#5 of 40 Duncan Harvey

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Posted October 05 2006 - 12:17 AM

"According to the studio, the Blu-Ray titles played much better on the P3 than standard DVDs have in regular DVD players"

sorry if I'm being a bit slow, but what exactly is that supposed to mean?

The playback of standard DVD in regular DVD players is surely totally irrelevant to the way the PS3 handles BD playback.

What we are all presumably waiting for is a hands on review of the PS3 as a BD player, so we know whether or not to buy one as opposed to a separate player.

If the PS3 is a capable BD player, and you can live without 5.1 analogue outputs, then having "done the math" (as you might say in the USA) why buy a dedicated BD player?

I've no interest in games, but I do want a BD player. As we are cursed with regional coding this means buying a US player (I have no confidence in the European market). And hence its import a BD player or a PS3 - I just wish I knew which one to get.

#6 of 40 Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 05 2006 - 12:39 AM

Duncan,

Let me give you my impression of that statement....

I think that there are compatability problems when playing
DVD titles across a wide assortment of players.

What I am gathering from that statement is that they have
tested Blu-Ray on a number of P3 consoles and have found
no compatability issues.

Ronald J Epstein
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#7 of 40 Duncan Harvey

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Posted October 05 2006 - 12:44 AM

thanks Ron, that helps clarify matters.

I think I'm right in saying though that we are all really waiting for the definitive PS3 as a BD player review!

#8 of 40 Shawn.F

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Posted October 05 2006 - 12:54 AM

Thanks, as always, for the reports Ron.

I think Fox's prices will eventually drop. They were pretty high when DVD first hit the market, if I remember correctly, and they eventually came down a bit to more acceptable levels.

Of course, there are two things to keep in mind: one is that the $40 is suggested retail. Chances are pretty good that none of us will pay that (unless we shop at a Suncoast or FYE-type of store). The other thing is that once Fox starts putting out a 50-gig, extras-loaded title like "Alien" or "Master and Commander" or something that has widespread appeal, I doubt many of us will even blink at paying a bit more for some of these titles (okay, we will initially grimace but get over it pretty fast).

#9 of 40 Niko Nykanen

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Posted October 05 2006 - 12:59 AM

Quote:
What I am gathering from that statement is that they have
tested Blu-Ray on a number of P3 consoles and have found
no compatability issues.

That´s... dumb. That´s like saying they´ve tested a DVD in a lot of dvdplayers of the same model and brand.


Asides that, I really look forward to see the prices for Bluray to drop to levels similar of HD-DVD. That´s when I have to buy Bluray. Before that, I have to wait as i´m about to import a player from the states.
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#10 of 40 Paul Arnette

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Posted October 05 2006 - 06:51 AM

Quote:
Let me say these two words: early adopters

That should give you a general idea as to why the prices are
at a premium right now...

Quote:
I'll also agree that the first wave of releases from Fox and
Disney are pretty lackluster. It's almost if they are trying
to cater to the general public rather than the early adopter
who wants more hardcore, action-orientated, sci-fi fare.

So they want to charge early adopter prices while targeting the general public instead of... the early adopter. Brilliant.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#11 of 40 Gekkou

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Posted October 05 2006 - 07:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko Nykanen
That´s... dumb. That´s like saying they´ve tested a DVD in a lot of dvdplayers of the same model and brand.
Maybe they are saying that with the Samsung in mind, because if I remember correctly there has been difficulty in getting the Sammy to play different types of Blu-ray discs. It is possible that they are saying that the PS3 has none of these problems.

The original post was a great read though, thanks for sharing it.

#12 of 40 John Milton

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Posted October 05 2006 - 09:41 AM

The biggest negative Blu-ray still has going against it is the expensive hardware. If they could get even one dedicated BD player out at $499 it'd sell like hotcakes. The question is how much longer are they going to pretend that the Toshiba HD-A1 doesn't exist? Ignorance is a recipe for disaster. I want an inexpensive BD player out now! Posted Image

#13 of 40 Austan

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Posted October 05 2006 - 02:46 PM

The biggest negative HD DVD still has going against it is the lack of hardware. Im going to camp out for the PS3. Ebay it for $2000 and buy myself a real Blu Ray player and all the 50gb movies I can Posted Image

#14 of 40 Jeff(R)

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Posted October 05 2006 - 02:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austan
Im going to camp out for the PS3. Ebay it for $2000 and buy myself a real Blu Ray player and all the 50gb movies I can Posted Image

That's not a bad idea.. Posted Image

#15 of 40 DaViD Boulet

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Posted October 05 2006 - 07:54 PM

That's true.

Somone reminded me a few days ago that the PS3 can always be sold later that year for either a profit or a very small loss bcs of the gaming thing. I had never thought of that before... makes a pretty safe "stepping stone" first-BD player given the resale potential (unlike a stand alone first-gen BD player).
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#16 of 40 PerryD

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Posted October 06 2006 - 01:33 AM

You won't be able to find a PS3 in stock until early next year. Once the stock catches up with demand, say April 2007, there is a good chance of a $100 price drop in the summer, most definitely by fall if they wish to compete with the Xbox360. As much as I want a PS3, I may wait until the first price drop to get the best bang for the buck.

#17 of 40 Christopher a

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Posted October 06 2006 - 02:09 AM

Ron, so the question is: When are going to make the leap into BR? If the Sony or Pioneer gets good reviews will you be picking up a player? I very recently purchased an HD-DVD player and already I find myself pondering a BR purchase. Since a lot of Fox's initial discs will be titles I already own on DVHS, I won't be too tempted right away. But as I have said on the forum before, once a reliable player is released along with new day and date titles that are must have and exclusive to BR, I probably won't have a choice.

Chris

#18 of 40 Austan

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Posted October 06 2006 - 02:32 AM

I doubt that the PS3 will be easily attainable even in Summer 2007. IMHO, it will be Summer 2008, before you can pick one up at a whim. It takes a good year before really great games start appearing for a new game consoles. In Summer 2007 PS3 games will start headlining game websites and we know that November Black Friday starts the Christmas rush. I'm not saying that its next to impossible to get one, but it would be difficult.

The price cut won't happen anytime soon. If you can't find a PS3 to buy there won't be any price cuts... If there is a pile of them at Walmart, then it's possible.

#19 of 40 Niko Nykanen

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Posted October 06 2006 - 03:56 AM

Quote:
Maybe they are saying that with the Samsung in mind, because if I remember correctly there has been difficulty in getting the Sammy to play different types of Blu-ray discs. It is possible that they are saying that the PS3 has none of these problems.
Oh, ok. Didn´t know that. Posted Image

I just wish that Sony has learned from the mistake that you win by having a cheap product, not the better product. (VHS vs Betamax)

When a Bluray costs $500, that´s when I jump onboard the Bluray bandwagon. Before that, no.
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#20 of 40 BrettGallman

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Posted October 06 2006 - 05:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austan
I doubt that the PS3 will be easily attainable even in Summer 2007. IMHO, it will be Summer 2008, before you can pick one up at a whim. It takes a good year before really great games start appearing for a new game consoles. In Summer 2007 PS3 games will start headlining game websites and we know that November Black Friday starts the Christmas rush. I'm not saying that its next to impossible to get one, but it would be difficult.

The price cut won't happen anytime soon. If you can't find a PS3 to buy there won't be any price cuts... If there is a pile of them at Walmart, then it's possible.

Not a chance. These things follow the same pattern. You'll be able to walk in and get a PS3 before next summer. Remember, everyone said you wouldn't be able to get an X-Box 360 until summer this year. Wrong. About a month after Christmas, I started seeing them everywhere. It was the same thing with the PS2. It was impossible to find before Christmas. About 3 days after, I got one, and they were readily available not long after that. So I am willing to bet that you'll be able to get a PS3 on a whim around February next year.
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