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Pressure mounts on U to turn Blu


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#1 of 84 Jeff(R)

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Posted July 16 2007 - 04:01 AM

Posted Image
Pressure mounts on U to turn Blu
Blu-ray selling twice as many titles as HD DVD
By DANIEL FRANKEL

While it certainly didn't help the HD DVD camp, Blockbuster's announcement last month that it will exclusively support rival Blu-ray in 1,700 of its stores probably won't do much to end the high-definition disc format battle.

No major retailer seems intent on abandoning HD DVD right now, even though its titles are being outsold by Blu-ray at a ratio of about 2-to-1, according to numerous estimates.

"I don't see any resolution (to the format battle) coming until at least the end of the year," Envisioneering Group tech guru Richard Doherty says.

However, that projection could change quickly, he adds, if Universal -- the only major not supporting Blu-ray -- were to suddenly adopt the same dual-format approach as Warner and Paramount.
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#2 of 84 BrettB

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Posted July 16 2007 - 04:12 AM

Headlines like this mean nothing. Attach rates are what matters.

#3 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 04:20 AM

Quote:
Headlines like this mean nothing. Attach rates are what matters.

Uh, oh. Posted Image
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.

#4 of 84 BrettB

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Posted July 16 2007 - 04:29 AM

Posted Image

#5 of 84 Jordan_E

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:00 AM

Even if 'U' went Blu, that wouldn't make Spielberg adopt any faster. Expect another 3-4 year wait on him, like DVD.
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#6 of 84 Marc Colella

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:10 AM

The article makes it seem like Universal is losing millions of sales by not adopting Blu-Ray. I think the word "pressure" is too strong a word to use in this HD war.

#7 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:23 AM

I think the most significant thing about this article is that there is an article in the trades about there being pressure on Universal to adopt Blu-ray Disc. And, really, that is it. I don't think there is a lot of substance to this article. The comments about there being preceived pressure on Universal to support Blu-ray are coming from BD supporters. Shocking. Posted Image

That being said, there may not need to be any substance to this article. Again, the most significant thing here is that this article is in the trades, and it could start the thought process amongst the industry that, "Hey. It is Universal that is the 'fly in the oitment' in this format war". I think this amounts to another PR shot across Universal's and HD DVDs bow (the first being www.hollywoodinhighdef.com) as we ramp up for EMA. I suspect it won't be the last on either side in what should be an interesting week for HDM.
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.

#8 of 84 ReggieW

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Posted July 16 2007 - 05:54 AM

As a stern HD-DVD supporter, you all know I've had VERY critical words for HD-DVD these past few months, but this article is completely without merit and substance. I believe the term that many people use (or overuse) around here is "FUD." As far as the thought processes of those in the industry, the executives/studios behind both of these formats know the score, and that score says that neither format appears to be doing all that well at this juncture. Yes BD is doing better with its 2 to 1 lead, but it will have to do MUCH better than this if it expects Universal and retailers to give up on HD-DVD. We're not talking about 3 million vs. 1.5 million here, but something like 70,000 vs. 35,000.

This article itself is one PERCEIVED bluff.

Sorry
More Harlow on DVD Now! - Red Dust, Bombshell, Hold Your Man, Saratoga, The Iron Man, Goldie, The Secret Six, Beast of the City, Three Wise Girls, Reckless, Personal Property, Riff-raff, Suzy & Girl from Missouri

#9 of 84 Cees Alons

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:01 AM

It's the standard Hydra story.
Expect more of the same.


Cees

#10 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:07 AM

Quote:
Yes BD is doing better with its 2 to 1 lead, but it will have to do MUCH better than this if it expects Universal and retailers to give up on HD-DVD.

I'm really not trying to be arguementitive, but I just don't understand this reasoning. If there are two poorly performing formats that essentially do the same thing, wouldn't I, as a retailer, rather have to stock and sell one? Wouldn't I, as a retailer, think that there would at least be a better chance of them selling more overall if there was only one?

Of all the things coming out of EMA, I suspect that a call to end the format war will be big on the minds of retailers. And with DVD sales stagnating and even falling off, and HDTV set sales soaring, I can't imagine the home entertainment industry isn't going to feel some pressure to end it. And if you, as the BDA, can get a message out that the easiest way to achieve this is for Universal to support your product, then it just makes good business sense to try.

Again, I'm not seeing an more substance in the article itself than you are, but I find it fascinating from a purely PR prespective.
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 84 TravisR

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
If there are two poorly performing formats that essentially do the same thing, wouldn't I, as a retailer, rather have to stock and sell one? Wouldn't I, as a retailer, think that there would at least be a better chance of them selling more overall if there was only one?
That would be my perception of it too.

#12 of 84 Douglas Monce

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
If there are two poorly performing formats that essentially do the same thing, wouldn't I, as a retailer, rather have to stock and sell one? Wouldn't I, as a retailer, think that there would at least be a better chance of them selling more overall if there was only one?


But poorly performing by who's standards? We are talking about two new consumer electronic products that are just a little over a year old. The majority of the country can't even take advantage of them yet because they don't have an HDTV. Most new consumer electronic products don't even make a profit in the first 5 years. I would say that given the circumstances and the track record of other new products, both formats are doing rather well. How many new HDTVs sold in the first year they were available?

Doug
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Bob Hope in The Ghostbreakers

#13 of 84 Chris S

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Alons
It's the standard Hydra story.
Expect more of the same.

This is the third or fourth time I've seen someone mention "Hydra". What exactly is that a reference too (besides the mythology creature)?
DVD & Blu-ray - It's all about the movies!

#14 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 06:48 AM

Quote:
This is the third or fourth time I've seen someone mention "Hydra". What exactly is that a reference too (besides the mythology creature)?

http://www.campaignh...hase_Hydra.html

But, according to Cees, they've graduated from Web forums and bloggers to the trades now. Posted Image
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.

#15 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 07:01 AM

Quote:
But poorly performing by who's standards?

Everytime someone mentions BD's lead over HD DVD, an HD DVD supporter mentions how small the market is, so, apparently, by their standards at least. Posted Image Are these the same standards that the retailers hold, probably not. However, retailers were calling for the end of the format war before it started, I can't believe they won't continue to do so. In the end, I think we both have very different ideas about how patient the retail sector will be with three formats for home video.
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.

#16 of 84 ReggieW

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Posted July 16 2007 - 08:36 AM

We'll have to see Paul.

Again, sales are so small that ANYTHING can tip the balance in favor of one or the other. With these formats averaging around 50,000 for A titles at best, all it would take is one of the HD-DVD supporting studios to release one of their day/date titles on a combo ONLY disc and BD's sales lead would vanish overnight. I am using this just to illustrate an example, I am NOT saying that this'll happen, though nothing can be ruled out. I also think the other big reason is that people are buying Universal titles and HD-DVD's in general. BD may be selling more, but people are obviously buying enough Universal titles that retailers feel confident enough to justify carrying them. The A2's are selling better and better with their recent price reductions, so this will attract more buyers. I believe they also understand that these are two NEW formats barely over a year old and they will need time to mature and achieve larger market penetration. So no, I don't think retailers will make a decision while sales are this low and things are only in the first inning of the game. Retailers may not like the format war, but I think they're being prudent by keeping their options open at this early stage.

This makes sense to me.
More Harlow on DVD Now! - Red Dust, Bombshell, Hold Your Man, Saratoga, The Iron Man, Goldie, The Secret Six, Beast of the City, Three Wise Girls, Reckless, Personal Property, Riff-raff, Suzy & Girl from Missouri

#17 of 84 Paul_Scott

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Posted July 16 2007 - 09:29 AM

I wish someone would put pressure on Fox and MGM to release product on the format it is allegedly supporting.
I didn't drop $500 on a Blu-ray player expecting to play Universals HD movies on it anytime soon- why should they feel pressured when the formats own biggest supporting studios don't seem to feel any?

#18 of 84 Paul Arnette

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Posted July 16 2007 - 09:38 AM

Quote:
...why should they feel pressured when the formats own biggest supporting studios don't seem to feel any?

Paul, I hear you. Incidently, I think we're all aware that Universal doesn't really feel any pressure right now. It is definitely a PR move by the BDA to try apply some. I don't think this story should be given any more weight than that. However, as I said before, I think the PR move is fascinating. But you're absolutely right, it is definitely a case of "Do as I say, not as I do".
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.

#19 of 84 Tim Glover

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Posted July 16 2007 - 09:59 AM

Why are the BD only backers afraid of both formats co-existing? Seems like HD DVD backers in general don't have a problem with both succeeding...

I've never understood this reasoning. It also creates alot of unnecessary pot shots at the other guy and threads that are only there for a knee jerk response.

I've seen some BD stuff lately that looked fantastic. Breathtaking....same for HD DVD. Both are fantastic.

#20 of 84 Paul_Scott

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Posted July 16 2007 - 10:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
Why are the BD only backers afraid of both formats co-existing? Seems like HD DVD backers in general don't have a problem with both succeeding...


Yeah.
I'm not sure if this is what you (speaking to Paul A here) were referring to when you said "I think the PR move is fascinating", but I do think it's interesting that the format that everyone seems to feel is in the more unassailable position with far more industry support, 2x the software sales, and the 2000 lb gorilla (PS3) in its corner, is the one whose PR consistently smacks the most of desperation.
There's this constant "what, me worry?" bravado accompanied by a nervous uncontrollable eye twitch that I find sad, humourous, and fascinating all at the same time Posted Image


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