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**Official HTF HD Formats Ind./Retailer/Studio Support Thread-*SEE POST 3176, p. 106*


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#1 of 3878 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 07 2007 - 07:39 PM

This is the Official HTF HD Formats Industry/Retailer/Studio Support Thread.

Just heard that Walmart is going neutral? Or that New Concorde will exclusively release on Blu-ray? Want to know why one studio really stopped releasing on HD altogether? Post it here and discuss the consequences.

But please note that all forum rules apply here...


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#2 of 3878 BrettB

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Posted August 08 2007 - 02:38 AM

I took someone's advice and called Target re: no Toshiba decks online. I interacted with a computer for a few minutes and it was ultimately pointless. Then I tried the email and got back this response;

Quote:
Dear Brett B,

We appreciate your interest in purchasing the "Toshiba HD DVD
players ".

Unfortunately, as our web site indicates, we're currently out of
stock of this item and we are not able to guarantee if this item
will be available for purchase on our web site in the future. For
this reason, the item is currently not listed on our web site.

Please note that our supply of some items is limited and these
products sell out quickly. I am very sorry that you were not able to
place your order before our supply ran out.

I know how disappointing it can be when you aren’t able to get the
item you’ve got your eyes on, so I’m sorry if we’ve let you down.

As we rely on our suppliers for the inventories, we can't offer a
definite date when it will be on hand again, and because of this,
we're not able to make it available for ordering at this time.

However, we kindly request you to check back soon. Our inventory is
constantly changing so we may get the item back in stock.

I can understand this may cause inconvenience but you may check with
your local store to see if they have this item in stock (we are
unable to check store inventory here). If you want to find the store
nearest you, click the "Store Locator" link at the bottom of our
home page.

If your local Target store does not have the item in stock, they
will be able to search availability for the item from a Target store
in the surrounding area.

Unfortunately, we don't have access to check store inventory here.

We're sorry for this inconvenience.

I hope we can be of more help to you in the future.

Seems pretty canned.

#3 of 3878 Chris S

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Posted August 08 2007 - 02:50 AM

I'm pretty sure this is only so they can move in the new models in October. I imagine the HD players are pretty low volume items that just aren't selling at a rate which they could clear out a new set of inventory before ordering/stocking the newer models. Now, if come October they still aren't online...
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#4 of 3878 Paul Arnette

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Posted August 08 2007 - 03:10 AM

Exactly, Chris. This will resolve itself in due time. For now it is merely another way to poke at the opposition Posted Image, which is frankly getting tiresome, even for me. 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.

#5 of 3878 Douglas Monce

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Posted August 08 2007 - 04:06 AM

Yeah it seems pretty clear that its just a matter of being a discontinued item.

Doug
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#6 of 3878 ppltd

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Posted August 08 2007 - 04:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettB
I took someone's advice and called Target re: no Toshiba decks online. I interacted with a computer for a few minutes and it was ultimately pointless. Then I tried the email and got back this response;
Seems pretty canned.
Looks more like a form letter.
Quote:
I can understand this may cause inconvenience but you may check with
your local store to see if they have this item in stock (we are
unable to check store inventory here). If you want to find the store
nearest you, click the "Store Locator" link at the bottom of our
home page.

If your local Target store does not have the item in stock, they
will be able to search availability for the item from a Target store
in the surrounding area.
It makes reference to checking back at the local stores when the product has been discontinued at the B&M locations.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#7 of 3878 Paul Arnette

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Posted August 08 2007 - 04:43 AM

Quote:
It makes reference to checking back at the local stores when the product has been discontinued at the B&M locations.

Actually, it makes reference to checking back at the local stores when the product has never been at the B&M locations to begin with, which is even worse.

Anyway, like Brett said, "...ultimately pointless".
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 3878 BrettB

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Posted August 09 2007 - 02:37 AM

Universal's Kornblau Wants Format War to Continue

Quote:
I had been hearing over the last few days that various Blu-ray Disc manufacturers have been offering Universal plenty of incentives to join the parade but that Universal was walking away from the table every time without any reasonable objection.
Now we know why.

Universal president Craig Kornblau told me this week that the studio actually wants the format war to continue.


#9 of 3878 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:10 AM

WOW.


Brett,

that's the most informative article yet on Universal's position. Wow. thanks for sharing!!!

Quote:
So that’s the story. Universal did not want the format war and Kornblau believes the studio did not initiate the war, but he and the studio are now intentionally and strategically keeping the format war alive for what they believe is for the good of the consumer, retailers and studios while awaiting a clear consumer preference for Blu-ray or HD DVD once prices drop to $200. Universal chose HD DVD because costs were lower and it had about a year’s head-start on some interactive features and web connectivity.

Okay, Kornblau has always been straight with me so I have no reason to believe he doesn’t truly believe most, if not all of that.

But if consumers are already showing a 2-1 Blu-ray preference for every movie released in both formats months before Blu-ray introduces its more sophisticated web-connected and interactive features and even while HD DVD is riding a low-price advantage of about $150 - $200, it’s difficult to envision consumers becoming less interested in Blu-ray when all those features debut amid a flurry of the year’s biggest movies exclusively on Blu-ray.

I can understand Universal wanting full support for interactive web-features in BD hardware. But I also agree with the writer that given the consumer support for BD over HD DVD even on the same titles where web-features are offered on the HD DVD (300), it's unlikely that when profile 1.1 BD players hit the streets this fall, that consumer support for BD will diminish.

Posted Image

Does anyone know if web-connectivity is a required part of the profile 1.1 spec or just optional?
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#10 of 3878 Paul.S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:17 AM

Quote:
Does anyone know if web-connectivity is a required part of the profile 1.1 spec or just optional?
Again, per linkage in 'that other thread,' 1.1 largely codifies what is necessary for BD-J: it mandates 256k persistent memory and a second video decoder. It doesn't address Web-enablement at all to my knowledge. That is 2.0, which mandates 1G of memory and the Ethernet port.

#11 of 3878 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:33 AM

Thanks Paul. Irk... I was hoping that Universal might "get what they're looking for" by fall. If they have to wait for 2.0 for web connectivity, that would suck.

though it is ironic (as the writer of the article pointed out) that the studios makes such a sticking point on this issue when it comes to supporting HD DVD, yet their provision of web-interative features on their HD DVD releases is virtually nill!
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#12 of 3878 Paul.S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:35 AM

Re the Hettrick piece, which is not quite a news story and not quite an editorial (but leans in the direction of the latter): this is ground most of us have covered before but I would be much more comfortable if the piece was presented as a straight q & a interview of Kornblau. Hettrick presents the occasional direct Kornblau quote in the midst of a lot of his own prose, seemingly presenting and then expounding upon largely/only that which corroborates his perspectives as the editor of a openly pro-BD Website. If he spoke to Craig for so long, why so few direct quotes?

And I found his penultimate sentence a rude affront to the filmmakers involved in those movies. "I Now Pronounce" looked offensive enough to me in concept that it was clearly not enough for a non-Sandler fan such as myself to open my wallet. But I think it inappropriate for an industry trade editor to display that kind of cheek in the press. Scott Hettrick is not Peter Bart.

#13 of 3878 CRyan

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:39 AM

Personally, I believe Universal is just playing the double-dipping game. And it just happens to be accross formats. They are selling movies in a format (HDDVD) that I believe is going to go under. While HD penetration is low, sell to that format exclusively and make money from the "poor saps" holding to that format... Boom, then when HD DVD goes away, they get to make more money on the same content AGAIN... Just my opinion of course. I dont think that was their plan all along, but now that this is the situation, they have NOTHING to lose. They understand that the money "lost" in BR now will be made at a later date while taking profits from a dying format now.

#14 of 3878 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:45 AM

CRyan,

Universal certainly is the king of double dipping (or quintouple-dipping. Just how many versions of the Haunting and Mummy are there on dvd???).

I do think their grip with the over-relaxed spec requirements of BD hardware are legit however, and as a BD supporter I wish that profile 2.0 had been finalized and required in ALL HARDWARE day one.

But even if their original plan to support HD DVD was based on legit gripes with BD interactive spec-requirements, it's quite possible that now even as consumers are consistently demonstrating their preference for BD, that Universal's "hold out" position is to maximize profits... which they'll do if they hold onto HD DVD a little longer.
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#15 of 3878 Douglas Monce

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:47 AM

I had heard that there was a rift between Universal and Sony before the formats were release. Universal was originally a blu-ray exclusive studio. (again before they were released)

Doug
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#16 of 3878 Paul.S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 03:51 AM

Also re Hettrick:
Quote:
Meanwhile Blu-ray promises even more dynamic connectivity features with its new "BD Live" component in Blu-ray players and titles coming as early as this fall, as well as further enhancements to its "BD-J" interactive technology.
We've been down this road before too: this is complete speculation at this point. If Hettrick has official statements from manufs that Profile 2.0 players are coming this fall (unlikely, as we would be seeing press releases directly from them), then he should spill. Otherwise, callate already. Denon has announced a $2k 1.1 player. 1.1 is mandatory as of October 31. It seems very unlikely to me that, in November and December, we'll see a flood of 2.0-compliant BD players.

Quote:
While HD penetration is low, sell to that format exclusively and make money from the "poor saps" holding to that format... Boom, then when HD DVD goes away, they get to make more money on the same titles AGAIN...
And, to the extent I've bought instead of Netflixed, I'll maybe sell those titles. But I can also keep them to enjoy on the HD DVD player that I will likely retain for its insane upscampling abilities on SD (unless the Panny DMP-BD10 I hope to receive in a couple of weeks equals or surpasses it).

Meanwhile, I'll continue enjoying Casino, Apollo 13 and, upon release this fall, the outstanding Inside Man.

#17 of 3878 Paul.S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
though it is ironic (as the writer of the article pointed out) that the studios makes such a sticking point on this issue when it comes to supporting HD DVD, yet their provision of web-interative features on their HD DVD releases is virtually nill!
FWIW, Kevin Collins spoke to this issue at HME. Although I think there's spin therein, he mentioned the amount of time it has taken developers to learn the code and author such content. One could suppose there's an element of truth there since iHD is a new platform compared to the global ubiquity of Java.

Wouldn't it be fab if the BDA/BD-exclusive studios--with programmers already well-versed in Java all over the world--use all this time between last summer and whenever the hell Profile 2.0 hardware drops to coordinate with said hardware the near simultaneous release of a wide slate of non-gimmicky BD-J titles?

#18 of 3878 Tim Glover

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Posted August 09 2007 - 06:23 PM

In regards to double dipping, Universal is certainly NOT alone...let's be fair. How many times have we gotten Underworld and how many MiB editions are there. The 13 going on 30 and Flirty Edition? Posted Image Alot of these studios release their films again and again.

#19 of 3878 Paul.S

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Posted August 09 2007 - 07:09 PM

Thanks, Tim. The only reason I didn't chime in on that is because I think your point is so obvious that it goes without saying.

And at least U didn't make like Sony and re-release pan & scan-only versions of classics like Guess Who's Coming To Dinner with the same SKU as its widescreen predecessor, a I think unprecedented slap making collectors' lives more difficult.

-p

P.S. - If you're referring to the 1999 Jan de Bont-directed Haunting, that's a DreamWorks movie . . . released only twice on DVD . . . the second time to include a killer DTS track.

#20 of 3878 Hartwig Hanser

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Posted August 09 2007 - 07:42 PM

In todays 2cent of the digital bits, Bill Hunt has something to say about the missing time frame between the video segments. This is where the highly debated Graffeo comment about being under pressure from GE got lost. I must say, it looks like Ben Williams was right after all and it is a shame that he was lost for HTF as reviewer as a result as he told me.
Bottom line is, Universal IS under pressure from above, which makes a switch more likely in my opinion. Kornblau then seems just to uphold the official policy until the switch occurs.

this is the transcript from digital bits:


Audience member: My question is, from the studio perspective, are you feeling the pressure of being the only HD-DVD sole studio?

Graffeo: Don't forget about Weinstein.

Another audience member: Major studio.

Audience member: Major studio. Can you talk to that?

[unintelligible comment from a panelist or audience member]

Graffeo: I feel it every day. [audience laughter] And I will also say that we're owned by GE, so we do hear about it a lot. [more audience laughter]

link: www.thedigitalbits.com


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