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Universal Combos: Should I "Future-Proof"?


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#1 of 15 Michael Flynn

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Posted March 12 2007 - 12:12 PM

I'm thinking over jumping ship to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray by the end of the year, and there's two studios, Warner Bros. and Universal, who make combo discs for new releases (and some catalog titles at Universal). I've decided I'll buy the Blu-Ray Warner titles for the combos, but since Universal isn't likely to do both formats, I wanted to ask about their method of combo discs (which I know are unpopular) for someone who watches the majority of his DVD's on a 19-inch RCA beast.

I really want to buy CHILDREN OF MEN, ALPHA DOG, and SMOKIN' ACES when they come out, and I know all of these are being released as combos. Do you think if I plan to jump ship that buying these combos would be ideal to "future-proofing" when I do go HD? This also applies to already-released movies such as SLITHER (which I own in SD)

In addition, some catalog titles I would like to get (SLITHER, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, ARMY OF DARKNESS) are combos. Is this a good idea for those, or will they reissue them as HD only?

#2 of 15 Jason Seaver

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Posted March 12 2007 - 12:33 PM

Warner only does combos for HD DVD; I don't know if doing one is even possible for BD.

Anyway, the combos are reasonably future-proof, depending how much of a future you think HD DVD has. There's no downside except may paying an extra $5-10 per if you never wind up getting an HD DVD player. The only issue I can think of is that if the SD DVD is a two-disc set, you'll probably only have the first DVD's worth of supplements until you upgrade to HD DVD.
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#3 of 15 Edwin-S

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Posted March 12 2007 - 12:43 PM

It depends on your definition of "futureproof".If by "futureproof" you mean a one time release on HD DVD then I would say no, since it stands to reason that the releasing studio will go back to the well again and again on good selling titles.

If your definition of "futureproof" is in the sense of not needing to to rebuy a title due to an obsolete HD format then I would say that it is too early to tell. It is still too early to determine who the winner of the HD DVD/ Blu-ray format war is going to be. Right now, some indicators are showing that Blu-ray is starting to gain the upper hand; however, it is still too early to declare a victory for one side or the other. Buying an HD DVD/DVD combo only ensures that you will not have a completely useless piece of plastic if HD DVD fails, since the DVD side will continue to work in any SD DVD player.
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#4 of 15 John Berggren

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Posted March 12 2007 - 01:02 PM

I think it's safer to buy a combo HD-DVD than a straight out HD-DVD.
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#5 of 15 Michael Flynn

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Posted March 12 2007 - 02:23 PM

All that the combo would do is give me the DVD side for a release so I can use that, and then when I get an HD-DVD player I use the HD side.

My motive is simply to buy the HD/SD combo so that I can use the SD for the meantime, and I have the HD ready for when I get a player. Plus I know Universal isn't looking to cross-over with BD.

#6 of 15 John Berggren

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Posted March 13 2007 - 03:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Flynn
Plus I know Universal isn't looking to cross-over with BD.

Never Say Never. I wouldn't be shocked to see this happen in 2007.
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#7 of 15 loganhunter2002

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Posted March 13 2007 - 09:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Berggren
Never Say Never. I wouldn't be shocked to see this happen in 2007.

Same thing can be said for studios in the BD camp as well. Lionsgate and Disney might cross over to HD DVD.
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#8 of 15 John Berggren

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Posted March 13 2007 - 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by loganhunter2002
Same thing can be said for studios in the BD camp as well. Lionsgate and Disney might cross over to HD DVD.


That's a completely fabricated rumor, at CES LG and Disney reaffirmed they have no plans. Also market conditions are such that they have no reason to, with BR outselling HD 2-1 and the install base being closer to 5/6-1
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#9 of 15 Tim Glover

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Posted March 13 2007 - 01:22 PM

Combos are great to me in that we can play the sd side in the car or bedroom etc...Are somewhat prone to fingerprints but that is easily fixed. Posted Image

I like the combo format , especially for new releases.

#10 of 15 ppltd

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Posted March 13 2007 - 02:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Berggren
That's a completely fabricated rumor, at CES LG and Disney reaffirmed they have no plans. Also market conditions are such that they have no reason to, with BR outselling HD 2-1 and the install base being closer to 5/6-1
And just what do you call your comment? Universal has voiced their opinion on moving to BD. If the sales of HD and BD hardware sales grow at the rate the HD manufacturers are expecting (no matter how unlikely that is), there will be enough hardware in both formats to make the studios on both sides question their exclusive support. Time will tell, but until then, both are unfounded, and for the time being, unlikely rumors.
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#11 of 15 ppltd

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Posted March 13 2007 - 02:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
I like the combo format , especially for new releases.
I agree with you. Combo's for new releases is fine with me. I would rather not see them on catalouge offerings, as I probably already own the SD version.Posted Image

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#12 of 15 Ryan-G

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Posted March 13 2007 - 04:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppltd
And just what do you call your comment? Universal has voiced their opinion on moving to BD. If the sales of HD and BD hardware sales grow at the rate the HD manufacturers are expecting (no matter how unlikely that is), there will be enough hardware in both formats to make the studios on both sides question their exclusive support. Time will tell, but until then, both are unfounded, and for the time being, unlikely rumors.

While that may be true, it's important to remember copy protection is a primary issue for some studios on the BR side, and HD-DVD's is (Theoretically) weaker than BR. So it's safe to say Disney/Fox would holdout to the very bitter end. As to the other studios, no comment, but that's mainly because I've made my opinion on HD-DVD's future pretty plain and I see no need to rehash that debate again.

#13 of 15 Austan

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Posted March 14 2007 - 04:15 AM

There's no such thing as Future Proof... my suggestion is to buy what you have now. I dont know exact prices, so these are just estimated. If the combo disc cost $30 and the SD cost $15 then save yourself the extra $15. What if the prices of HD DVD media drops to $15-$20 by the time you get a HD DVD player? You could get both disc for $30-$35 instead of 1 combo at $30.

The advantage of having both SD & HD discs, is that you can still play your SD disc on portable players or lend them out. Since the HD disc are more "valuable" you might want to keep those more tightly guarded.

#14 of 15 John Berggren

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Posted March 14 2007 - 07:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austan
There's no such thing as Future Proof... my suggestion is to buy what you have now. I dont know exact prices, so these are just estimated. If the combo disc cost $30 and the SD cost $15 then save yourself the extra $15. What if the prices of HD DVD media drops to $15-$20 by the time you get a HD DVD player? You could get both disc for $30-$35 instead of 1 combo at $30.

The advantage of having both SD & HD discs, is that you can still play your SD disc on portable players or lend them out. Since the HD disc are more "valuable" you might want to keep those more tightly guarded.

This is an excellent point.
Considering the way that prices tend to drop, if you buy SD only now, and High Def later, you can also sell your SD to a used CD/DVD store and dilute the price of upgrading to High Def anyway, at which time, perhaps it will be -THE- High Def optical format, rather than -AN- High Def optical format.
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#15 of 15 Rob Young

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Posted March 16 2007 - 02:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Berggren
That's a completely fabricated rumor, at CES LG and Disney reaffirmed they have no plans. Also market conditions are such that they have no reason to, with BR outselling HD 2-1 and the install base being closer to 5/6-1

Universal says they have no plans to support bluray so if you go by what disney/LG says then you have to go by what universal says.


As for the OT...I don't think combos future proof you. If you buy a hd dvd only disc you will still be able to play it if hd dvd fails. It isn't like your player will self destruct mission impossible style if that happened.


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