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"He's not dead yet, Jim" S-DVD sales seem to be holding their own


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#21 of 30 OFFLINE   Ted Kontos

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Posted September 07 2008 - 02:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
It all depends on the quality of the source material. Old film elements that are one or two generations removed from the negative generally don't benefit that much from Blu-Ray. On the other hand, a recent Hollywood blockbuster filmed on HD-video can look significantly better on Blu-Ray. All this makes it likely that DVD will remain the home video medium for older movies, while Blu-Ray will be limited to new releases and a few best-selling classics.

I find that my favorite HD discs are of older movies (Grand Prix, Searchers, Casablanca, Black Narcissus, etc.). Granted these films have been treated with loving care, but I'm generally underwhelmed with the recent releases on BD. I generally don't see a significant upgrade in the BD versions of these films versus their S-DVD counterparts upconverted on my Oppo 983. I do agree with your last sentence though, since the "Wow"-factor proponents generally go with the latest CGI blockbusters. I'm hoping that the sales of The Godfather Trilogy will be strong enough to encourage more older films to be released on BD.
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#22 of 30 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted September 07 2008 - 02:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
In the end, NO ONE knows whether BD will be a niche product (like laserdisc) or if it will displace SD DVD or (what I think more likely, but it's only my guess) if it will co-exist with SD DVD as cassettes did with LPs and then CDs for quite some time.

just my 2 cents

Good post Paul. I agree with everything you said. I also think that if Blu-ray becomes a niche, its already a bigger one than LD. In 20 plus years only a million and a half LD players were in US homes. BD passed that the first 6 months.
And if you count the world BD market, i would call it a MUCH larger niche. Even at this point, and it will get bigger.

#23 of 30 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted September 07 2008 - 03:55 AM

Posted by PaulDA: First of all, the "laserdisc-like prices" nonsense needs to stop. I remember laserdiscs being 45$ and UP, not 40$ and LOWER (like BDs are now). Moreover, this is 2008 (almost 2009). A 45$ laserdisc from 1989 is the equivalent of about 75$ in 2008--and I've yet to see ANY single title (non-uber collector set) BD for anything close to that.

I was a laserdisc collector from 1984 to 1997-ish. Sure, some special edition LDs were in the price range you quote, but most were not. A standard 1-disc laserdisc from a major studio was usually $29.95 to $34.95. 2-disc titles were usually $39.95. Your figure of $45 and up is not indicative of most titles. Criterions were insanely overpriced (prices like $89.99 were not unusual). The Fox special editions like Patton and Cleopatra were pretty high, and included lots of special features.

Also, most laserdisc titles did not have the special content of today's DVDs. Only those expensive titles did. You'd sometimes get a trailer, but most laserdiscs were movie only. I bought them for the video/audio upgrade over VHS. That and the ability to jump to any point on the disc via chapter search (though some discs were very light on chapters).

DVDs really have a lot more to offer than LDs, hence the satisfaction most have with the format. I upgraded to HD DVD when the bottom fell out of that market, and have amassed a pretty good collection at bargain prices. Some titles look great, some look like my SD DVDs upconverted. I'll likely get a Blu player sometime, but right now, I am more put off by the disc prices than those of the players.

Also, some of today's TVs apparently do enough upconverting that people may not feel the need for an upgrade their player if they cannot see the difference. I was in Fry's one day, and they were showing the SD DVD Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and it looked like a Blu-ray to me. Another time, they were showing the Blu-ray of Transfomers, and it looked so scrubbed-clean that it looked like it was shot on video rather than film. At first, I thought it was a "special feature" shot on video, but it was the actual movie. My Mitsubishi 1080i is a few years old, and does not make content look like that. If the TV has that much control over the picture, the player format seems incidental.

#24 of 30 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted September 07 2008 - 04:51 AM

The thing is, if BR takes a long time to even begin to displace SD, then overall it may stay as a niche, because something totally new may come along. This is basically what happened to LD. It hung around and got some acceptance but before the masses ever bought into, along came DVD. With lower priced players and media, as well as more features, DVD grew very quickly and killed off VHS.

Heck, before BR really takes off to the same extent that SD-DVD did, they may have data crystals you just plug into a port and play the movie or special features, (or some other equally totally new technology).

#25 of 30 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted September 07 2008 - 05:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B_K
A standard 1-disc laserdisc from a major studio was usually $29.95 to $34.95. 2-disc titles were usually $39.95.
Some LDs were in that range and some weren't but even if all LDs were $30, they're still more expensive than Blu-ray discs when you figure that $30 in 1990's isn't the same as $30 today. Not to mention that you get a much better product with Blu-ray or that no one pays the retail price anymore- I think I've paid $25 once for a movie on Blu-ray.

#26 of 30 OFFLINE   mdnitoil

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Posted September 07 2008 - 12:16 PM

From today's Best Buy flyer available Tuesday, Baby Mama BR $29.99 and right next to it, the SD edition will be $16.99.

Now, you can shop all over the web and certainly beat that price but for the average guy, this is the reason why sales will remain flat.

#27 of 30 OFFLINE   MielR

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Posted September 07 2008 - 02:12 PM

Just wait until Sony and all the others stop making dedicated-DVD players, and start making only blu-ray/DVD players. That will be a huge incentive for consumers to start buying more blu-ray discs.

Personally, I'm waiting for a blu-ray/DVD recorder. Posted Image
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#28 of 30 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted September 07 2008 - 03:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B_K
Posted by PaulDA: First of all, the "laserdisc-like prices" nonsense needs to stop. I remember laserdiscs being 45$ and UP, not 40$ and LOWER (like BDs are now). Moreover, this is 2008 (almost 2009). A 45$ laserdisc from 1989 is the equivalent of about 75$ in 2008--and I've yet to see ANY single title (non-uber collector set) BD for anything close to that.

I was a laserdisc collector from 1984 to 1997-ish. Sure, some special edition LDs were in the price range you quote, but most were not. A standard 1-disc laserdisc from a major studio was usually $29.95 to $34.95. 2-disc titles were usually $39.95. Your figure of $45 and up is not indicative of most titles. Criterions were insanely overpriced (prices like $89.99 were not unusual). The Fox special editions like Patton and Cleopatra were pretty high, and included lots of special features.

Also, most laserdisc titles did not have the special content of today's DVDs. Only those expensive titles did. You'd sometimes get a trailer, but most laserdiscs were movie only. I bought them for the video/audio upgrade over VHS. That and the ability to jump to any point on the disc via chapter search (though some discs were very light on chapters).

DVDs really have a lot more to offer than LDs, hence the satisfaction most have with the format. I upgraded to HD DVD when the bottom fell out of that market, and have amassed a pretty good collection at bargain prices. Some titles look great, some look like my SD DVDs upconverted. I'll likely get a Blu player sometime, but right now, I am more put off by the disc prices than those of the players.

Also, some of today's TVs apparently do enough upconverting that people may not feel the need for an upgrade their player if they cannot see the difference. I was in Fry's one day, and they were showing the SD DVD Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and it looked like a Blu-ray to me. Another time, they were showing the Blu-ray of Transfomers, and it looked so scrubbed-clean that it looked like it was shot on video rather than film. At first, I thought it was a "special feature" shot on video, but it was the actual movie. My Mitsubishi 1080i is a few years old, and does not make content look like that. If the TV has that much control over the picture, the player format seems incidental.
30$ in 1990 is 47$ in 2007. And in Canada, 45$ laserdiscs were bargains (I will grant that US prices were a fair bit lower). So my larger point remains--BD is, in real dollar terms, cheaper than laserdisc AND, as you yourself have noted, it offers more content than laserdisc (as the vast majority offer at least what SD DVD offers in terms of bonuses).

Again, I have no quarrel with the idea that the cost of going "blu" right now may not be warranted for some, based on a number of criteria. I just don't think we should be exaggerating the cost of BD media, in real dollars, to justify our decisions (in either direction).
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#29 of 30 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted September 08 2008 - 05:10 AM

Posted by PaulDA:
Quote:
So my larger point remains--BD is, in real dollar terms, cheaper than laserdisc AND, as you yourself have noted, it offers more content than laserdisc (as the vast majority offer at least what SD DVD offers in terms of bonuses).

That is quite true. But back in the laserdisc days, the competition was with VHS, which was crap. Even a good tape was prone to dropouts and breakage after many plays, and some tapes would not track well on different machines, etc. Eventually, laserdisc was the way to get a movie in OAR, while OAR VHS was rare.

Blu-ray competes with a much cooler and more advanced system than VHS; one which already has many of the same features as Blu-ray. I hope the prices of Blu-Ray machines and media do come down. I believe the "vast majority" of consumers do not care about the differences and cannot see the improvement. I do care, and am certain I would appreciate Blu-Ray. I'm waiting for prices to drop. I know some of my early DVD SE purchases were in the $20 and up range, so I hope Blu-Ray prices drop in a similar fashion to DVD.

I was an early adopter of laserdisc when there was nothing even close to it in terms of features and quality. However, SDVD is still pretty good for now (for me).

#30 of 30 OFFLINE   MichaelEl

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Posted September 09 2008 - 03:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MielR
Just wait until Sony and all the others stop making dedicated-DVD players, and start making only blu-ray/DVD players. That will be a huge incentive for consumers to start buying more blu-ray discs.

You're exactly right, Sony and the other manufacturers are going to use changes in hardware standards to try and force people to repurchase their DVD collections on Blu-Ray. They've already started this process in fact by discontinuing large screen tube TVs, which were the best displays for DVD.


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