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Great article on all the post format war doomsaying...


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#1 of 335 Nick Graham

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Posted March 12 2008 - 02:00 AM

Dan Ramer from DVD File has just posted a really good article on all the scorched earth attitude that has risen up from various sites and pundits now that the format war is over, called "The Hype Of Doom And Gloom"

DVDFILE.com

#2 of 335 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted March 12 2008 - 02:45 AM

Excellent article. I especially like how he tore down the now-familiar tactic of comparing MSRP to retail prices, which I've seen from several so-called enthusiast sites. And then there's the selective memory vis-a-vis Sony. For example, the Sony statement that they don't expect to see $200 players or Chinese manufacturers. Never mind that Sony made similar statements in 2007 regarding the PS3 and hardware that were later proven wrong. Never mind that the chip solution manufacturers have confirmed interest from the BDA and China. Nope, these "enthusiasts" believe only Sony's words (actually, just the ones that make them look bad), but their actions mean nothing.

In addition, the whole "downloads are coming now!" argument from these sites seems to focus on questionable conclusions from fuzzy sources (Rob Enderle? C'mon, folks...), while ignoring the multiple statements from experts and industry folks that downloads are--at best--in their infancy, and the relatively spectacular failure of some of those services. On top of that, those that complained about excessive DRM and region codes practically fall all over themselves to talk up services like X-Box Live and AppleTV that are not only region-locked, but usually hardware-locked, while having DRM that makes DIVX look open-source by comparison.

I also think it's quite shameful how many of these same sites that pursued the perfection offered by HDM (high bit-rates, lossless sound) magically stopped taking this stance between January 4 and February 19. The only saving grace, they say, is the interactive features. Here's a question:

I'd like to know why they choose the least popular draw for DVD and HDM as somehow the only way to increase sales, yet at the same time believe that download services that offer no extras will kill off Blu-ray. The two are mutually exclusive, people. Pick one stance and stick with it.
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#3 of 335 Jari K

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Posted March 12 2008 - 04:32 AM

Several good points.

"I’m amazed that Blu-ray Disc can’t be left alone to enjoy its victory and we can’t be left alone finally to bring the motion picture experience into our homes with the absolute best high definition deliver vector conceived to date."

Amen.

#4 of 335 Alfonso_M

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Posted March 12 2008 - 06:42 AM

Sounds like a cry baby worry that his new favorite toy of choice may not be as popular as He thinks and might not survive the next Christmas season.

"Blu-ray Disc won the war. It deserved to win."

"All utter rubbish…"

#5 of 335 PaulDA

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:02 AM

While that aspect of the article may be open to debate, it does raise several good points about other "competing" delivery systems. The download system will resemble his description a LOT more than it will the overly optimistic ones I often encounter elsewhere.
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#6 of 335 Nick Graham

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonso_M
Sounds like a cry baby worry that his new favorite toy of choice may not be as popular as He thinks and might not survive the next Christmas season.

"Blu-ray Disc won the war. It deserved to win."

"All utter rubbish…"

I realize you have boycotted HDM now that HD DVD is gone, which is totally your right. However, what can you contribute to any discussion about current HDM when you are admittedly no longer a consumer of it? You no longer have a dog in the fight, so why engage in debates about it? The sour grapes are understandable and human nature, but there comes a time to let go.

Paul, agreed on the downloads. While the major cities and suburbs out there are starting to have things like FIOS and incredibly high download speeds available to them, the majority of the country has between 2 and 3 Mbps available to them on a standard residential internet connection (if that) and isn't going to see much of an increase until the telecom companies who serve them invest in major $$$ infrastructure improvements.

#7 of 335 IanDP

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
Blu-ray Disc won the war. It deserved to win. It unquestionably provides the best high definition home presentation that today’s technology can deliver.
That reeks of fanboyism. He had me until those last two sentences.

#8 of 335 Walter Kittel

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:20 AM

IMHO, the article perpetuates the negativity that it criticizes.

My take on all of this is to enjoy your collections and the forthcoming titles to the very best of your ability and not worry about other's opinions. It is a media format, not a way of life and is taken far too seriously by far too many individuals.

- Walter.
Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#9 of 335 Patrick Sun

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:27 AM

The uphill battle is when the mom in suburbia is perfectly fine with the quality of the streamed "HD" movies (via VOD) from their cable company, and utilizes the service as an alternative to rental, and also entertainment value (in terms of how many times will she or her family watch that particular movie). If only 10% of viewers (media buyers) think the extra costs associated with HDM is worth it, that 90% is going to be a tough crowd to overcome at the those price levels. Or if you're a parent and know that you can buy a cheap SD version that will pacify the kids (and be played repeatedly on various installed DVD players within their own family infrastructure), all the benefits of HDM go out the window. That's the uphill battle HDM has to deal with in fighting for marketshare.

It's not simply a matter of looking great that will win over the prospective HDM customer, not when the infrastructure costs are factored in. Some folks just want to be entertained for a few hours, they don't need to have films leave a profound mark upon their soul after watching the films. That's a much bigger pool of people who treat movies as disposable entertainment than the film enthusiast who wants the best possible A/V presentation all the time. Sometimes it's just not pragmatic to set up a home situation to enjoy the benefits of HDM. That's just how it is. This is why there is so much resistance to getting into HDM when DVD is sufficient for many many people's needs. Not trying to rain on HDM's parade, just need to look at a bigger picture of why HDM is not gaining mass acceptance.
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#10 of 335 Cees Alons

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:29 AM

And I fully agree with Walter!


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#11 of 335 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Kittel
IMHO, the article perpetuates the negativity that it criticizes.

My take on all of this is to enjoy your collections and the forthcoming titles to the very best of your ability and not worry about other's opinions. It is a media format, not a way of life and is taken far too seriously by far too many individuals.

- Walter.
There you go......

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#12 of 335 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 12 2008 - 07:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Sun
It's not simply a matter of looking great that will win over the prospective HDM customer, not when the infrastructure costs are factored in. Some folks just want to be entertained for a few hours, they don't need to have films leave a profound mark upon their soul after watching the films. That's a much bigger pool of people who treat movies as disposable entertainment than the film enthusiast who wants the best possible A/V presentation all the time. Sometimes it's just not pragmatic to set up a home situation to enjoy the benefits of HDM. That's just how it is. This is why there is so much resistance to getting into HDM when DVD is sufficient for many many people's needs. Not trying to rain on HDM's parade, just need to look at a bigger picture of why HDM is not gaining mass acceptance.
I agree with your comments up to a point and I feel the mass acceptance of HDM will come eventually, but it won't approach the level of SD DVD.

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#13 of 335 Nick Graham

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Posted March 12 2008 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Sun
The uphill battle is when the mom in suburbia is perfectly fine with the quality of the streamed "HD" movies (via VOD) from their cable company, and utilizes the service as an alternative to rental, and also entertainment value (in terms of how many times will she or her family watch that particular movie). If only 10% of viewers (media buyers) think the extra costs associated with HDM is worth it, that 90% is going to be a tough crowd to overcome at the those price levels. Or if you're a parent and know that you can buy a cheap SD version that will pacify the kids (and be played repeatedly on various installed DVD players within their own family infrastructure), all the benefits of HDM go out the window. That's the uphill battle HDM has to deal with in fighting for marketshare.

It's not simply a matter of looking great that will win over the prospective HDM customer, not when the infrastructure costs are factored in. Some folks just want to be entertained for a few hours, they don't need to have films leave a profound mark upon their soul after watching the films. That's a much bigger pool of people who treat movies as disposable entertainment than the film enthusiast who wants the best possible A/V presentation all the time. Sometimes it's just not pragmatic to set up a home situation to enjoy the benefits of HDM. That's just how it is. This is why there is so much resistance to getting into HDM when DVD is sufficient for many many people's needs. Not trying to rain on HDM's parade, just need to look at a bigger picture of why HDM is not gaining mass acceptance.

I don't think the acceptance or lack thereof of HDM can be properly gaged until this year, and in particular this holiday season. I think a good chunk of the enthusiast committee did what many of us weren't wise enough to do (I'm as guilty as anyone) and sat things out until the war was over, and the average joe who was interested in HD sat out in far greater numbers than that. If Blu-Ray shows significant sales momentum after the holidays, then things are going to be fine for HDM (though I'm not sure I see HDM overtaking SD).

Ian, I think that last comment would reek of fanboyism had it been printed while the war was still going, but in regards to mediums in which titles are still being actively produced, it's a valid statement.

I still think the article has a very valid point - many forums and sites claiming to be all about the enthusiast all of a sudden became "consumer advocates" for Joe 6 Pack the minute WB made their announcement and Toshiba threw in the towel. Strangely many of these sentiments are shared by people who happily spent insane amounts of money on Laserdisc players and discs and are now complaining about the price of Blu-Ray, people who in most cases also made their preference of HD over BD fairly clear during the war (and not just in obnoxious or fanboyish ways, but in respectful ways as well). The player price differential is obviously there, but on both HD DVD and Blu-Ray,
with the exception of Fox, day and date titles generally had an MSRP of $39.99 and catalog titles had an MSRP of $29.99 across the board on both formats, so arguing that one had cheaper software than the other is really disingenuous.

#14 of 335 Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 12 2008 - 09:23 AM

I wouldn't be so sanguine about Blu-ray's future....it's got a long ways to go. My sister asked me last night "So why would I buy Blu-ray? I would have to buy a Blu-ray TV." I suspect she's not alone.

#15 of 335 PaulDA

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Posted March 12 2008 - 09:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Sun
The uphill battle is when the mom in suburbia is perfectly fine with the quality of the streamed "HD" movies (via VOD) from their cable company, and utilizes the service as an alternative to rental, and also entertainment value (in terms of how many times will she or her family watch that particular movie). If only 10% of viewers (media buyers) think the extra costs associated with HDM is worth it, that 90% is going to be a tough crowd to overcome at the those price levels. Or if you're a parent and know that you can buy a cheap SD version that will pacify the kids (and be played repeatedly on various installed DVD players within their own family infrastructure), all the benefits of HDM go out the window. That's the uphill battle HDM has to deal with in fighting for marketshare.

It's not simply a matter of looking great that will win over the prospective HDM customer, not when the infrastructure costs are factored in. Some folks just want to be entertained for a few hours, they don't need to have films leave a profound mark upon their soul after watching the films. That's a much bigger pool of people who treat movies as disposable entertainment than the film enthusiast who wants the best possible A/V presentation all the time. Sometimes it's just not pragmatic to set up a home situation to enjoy the benefits of HDM. That's just how it is. This is why there is so much resistance to getting into HDM when DVD is sufficient for many many people's needs. Not trying to rain on HDM's parade, just need to look at a bigger picture of why HDM is not gaining mass acceptance.
Which is why it is critical that some component in your chain has excellent SD upconversion.

I also fear the triumph of "HD-lite" (witness lossy downloaded music vs hi-res audio). I'm just going to grab onto however many HDM versions of movies I want to own that I consider sufficiently important to have in HDM (that I can afford, of course) and hope for the best.
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#16 of 335 Brandon Conway

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Posted March 12 2008 - 09:25 AM

I think the first big test for BD post-HD-DVD death is gonna be the sales numbers for the first bona fide blockbuster to see release on BD in the aftermath: I Am Legend next Tuesday (3/18). If it can crack 350,000 copies sold in the first week I'll be pretty confident in BDs market growth. (For comparison, 300 sold 250,000 copies on both formats combined last July.)

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#17 of 335 bigluigi

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Posted March 12 2008 - 12:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
I think the first big test for BD post-HD-DVD death is gonna be the sales numbers for the first bona fide blockbuster to see release on BD in the aftermath: I Am Legend next Tuesday (3/18). If it can crack 350,000 copies sold in the first week I'll be pretty confident in BDs market growth. (For comparison, 300 sold 250,000 copies on both formats combined last July.)
I'll tell you what concerns me is the NUMBER of titles released since Blu-ray's inception almost 2 years ago. What....about 450 would you say. Compared to SD DVD titles which number close to 90,000....450 is rather pathetic. Now I don't know how many movie titles are contained in that 90,000 figure but if it's around 20,000 and if HDM averages 10 new movie titles per week (520PY), it would take almost 40 years to release 20,000 titles at that rate. Obviously HDM, as an industry, will need to speed things up considerably to become a viable candidate and wrest the throne away from SD DVD and, in my opinion, they need to start NOW...not next X-mas! If HDM doesn't start developing some strong legs before X-mas, what retailor is his right mind is going to stock HDM players and/or offer significant discounts.

#18 of 335 Don Solosan

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Posted March 12 2008 - 12:37 PM

Big Luigi, why would you compare the number of BD titles released in two years against SD titles released over, what, eleven years? That's pathetic! How many SD titles were released in the first two years of that format? And why can't the rate of titles released change? You make it sound like it's carved in stone somewhere!

#19 of 335 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 12 2008 - 12:52 PM

NVM... Posted Image

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#20 of 335 Scooter

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Posted March 12 2008 - 12:58 PM

Here is what hurts HD-Whatever...lack of a standard! The HD-DVD/BluRay thing ultimately will be a foot note.

Going back to the early 80's...no one wanted to set a the bar at a certain place. There was the MuSE system from Japan that was outstanding, but the US wanted something different. I recall see HiDef images that were SO precise...that you could make out the tip of a hair on the screen. Once even at The Iowa State Fair and the state PBS corp's booth in 1998. Analog HD on Betacam!

Ultimately, we settled for a lot less.

So now we have I....P...SD...ED....HD..

480...720...1080...4:3...16x9..

When the original proposed standard it was one aspect ratio and a MUCH higher resolution. But this was occuring during a period of much de-regulation in the U.S.

I have always been a fan of ONE standard...resolution...aspect ratio.etc.
Even with TV HD we have ATSC and Quam. And don't get me started on HDMI!

So..now that one format has been shaken out of the tree to the ground...perhaps the dust will settle on one HD format for all things video and then this can really take off. The thing that made Color TV, VHS, Laserdisc..and Standard DVD work was, well....a standard!


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