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TCFHE Press Release: The Robe (DVD/Blu-ray)


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#1 of 111 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 22 2008 - 05:04 AM

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX’S FIRST CINEMASCOPE
FEATURE FILM DEBUTS IN HIGH-DEFINTION

THE ROBE

SPECIAL EDITION

Hollywood Icon Richard Burton Stars In The Oscar Winning Faith-Based Epic
Debuting On DVD And Blu-ray Disc March 17th

Loaded With All-New Special Features Including Special Introduction By Martin Scorsese, Composer And Historian Commentaries, Behind-The Scenes Featurettes & Isolated Score Track --Plus Over Two Hours Of BD Exclusive Content Including Picture-in-Picture Vignettes, Vintage Celebrity Interviews, CinemaScope Featurette and More--

CENTURY CITY, Calif. – A cinematic masterpiece centering on one man’s ultimate test of faith and overall quest for redemption, THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION arrives on newly restored DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) March 17th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. An extensive restoration process that took over a year and half to complete, the newly restored edition of THE ROBE was a collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox, the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to film preservation founded by filmmaker Martin Scorsese (who provided a film print from his personal collection that was used to aid the restoration process). The first film ever released in CinemaScope, THE ROBE was nominated for five Academy Awardsâ including Best Picture, Best Actor (Burton) and Best Cinematography, taking home two Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Academy Award-winner Richard Burton (Equus, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?) stars as Marcellus Gallio, a Roman centurion whose life is forever changed when he win’s Christ’s robe in a gambling game at the foot of the cross. Directed by Henry Koster (Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation, Stars and Stripes Forever), the film boasts outstanding supporting performances from Jean Simmons (Hamlet, The Happy Ending), Victor Mature (My Darling Clementine), Jay Robinson (My Man Godfrey) and Richard Boone (The Big Sleep, Samson and Delilah).

Arriving in celebration of the Easter holiday, THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION DVD and BD is loaded with all-new bonus materials including a special introduction from Martin Scorsese, commentary by film composer David Newman and film historians and a behind-the-scenes featurette; plus the Blu-ray Disc is highlighted by over two hours of BD Exclusive content including picture-in-picture vignettes, in-depth featurettes such as The CinemaScope Story, vintage celebrity intros and much more. THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION will be available on DVD for a suggested retail price of $19.98 U.S. / $21.98 Canada and on Blu-ray Disc for $34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada.

Synopsis:
One of the best Biblical epics of all time, based on a best-selling novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, THE ROBE tells the story of a Roman centurion named Marcellus Gallio (Burton) who is sent to Jerusalem, charged with overseeing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Marcellus, a cynical and hardened man, wins the robe Jesus wore to the crucifixion while gambling with other Roman soldiers. He later becomes convinced that his hallucinations and violent outbursts are the result of a curse received from the robe, which is now in the possession of his escaped slave, Demetrius (Mature), somewhere in the Middle East. He sets out to find Demetrius in order to destroy the robe and the curse and finds faith instead, converting to Christianity.

DVD Specs:
THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION DVD is presented in the “Fox CinemaScope Version” widescreen format (2.55:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English 4.0 Dolby Surround and French Mono plus English and Spanish subtitles. DVD bonus features content includes:
∆ Introduction by Martin Scorsese
∆ Commentary with Film Composer David Newman and Film Historians Jon Burlingame, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
∆ The Making of The Robe featurette
∆ The Music of The Robe: Alfred Newman’s Score isolated music track
∆ Still Galleries
∆ Interactive Pressbook

Blu-ray Disc Specs:
THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION Blu-ray Disc is authored in BD-J with AVEC (MPEG 4) compression on a dual-layer 50GB disc presented in the “Fox CinemaScope Version” widescreen format (2.55:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, English 4.0 Dolby Digital and French/Portuguese Mono plus English, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean subtitles. The BD includes all of the above standard-def DVD special features, plus the following BD-exclusive elements:
∆ Introduction by Martin Scorsese (in HD)
∆ Vintage Celebrity Introductions by Richard Widmark, Susan Hayworth, Robert Wagner, Clifton Webb and Dan Dailey
∆ The CinemaScope Story featurette
∆ From Scripture to Script: The Bible and Hollywood featurette
∆ BONUSVIEW picture-in-picture mode:
o The Robe Times Two: A Comparison of Widescreen and Standard Versions
o A Seamless Faith: The Real-Life Search for The Robe featurettes
§ Inspiration
§ The Clothes of Christ
§ Clothes in Biblical Times
§ Clothes of a King
§ A Seamless Garment
§ The Robe on Page & Screen
§ The Robe and Politics
§ The Robe in Our World
§ The Robe in France & Russia
§ History vs. Drama
∆ Audio Interview with Screenwriter Philip Dunne (1969)
∆ Movietone News
o CinemaScope Hailed by Public and Press
o Broadway Hails The Robe in CinemaScope
o The Robe (Christian Herald Award)
o Millionth Patron Sees The Robe
o CinemaScope and The Robe Win Oscars
∆ Trailers / TV Spots
∆ Poster Gallery / Lobby Cards


THE ROBE: SPECIAL EDITION
Street Date: March 17, 2009
Order Date: February 18, 2009
Pricing: $19.98 U.S. / $21.98 Canada (DVD)
$34.99 U.S. / $37.99 Canada (Blu-ray Disc)
Catalog Numbers: 2258426 (DVD)
2257008 (BD)
Total Running Time: 134 minutes
MPAA Rating: NR
Closed Captioned: Yes

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 111 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 22 2008 - 05:50 AM

Let me add something here....

I saw pieces of this restored version while out at Fox last
October.

The original film elements were in atrocious shape. What
Sven Davison and his restoration team have accomplished is
nothing short of amazing. The difference between the original
elements we watched first, and the restored version were like
night and day.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#3 of 111 Patrick McCart

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Posted December 22 2008 - 09:27 AM

Is this going to include the complete alternate 1.37:1 version in whole or only as clips in the picture in picture mode? Seems silly that they went through the trouble to restore both cuts only to feature excerpts.

#4 of 111 Simon Howson

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Posted December 22 2008 - 12:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McCart
Is this going to include the complete alternate 1.37:1 version in whole or only as clips in the picture in picture mode? Seems silly that they went through the trouble to restore both cuts only to feature excerpts.
I'm still hopeful, the Foxclassics page clearly says both versions:
Fox Studio Classics - Coming Soon

I wouldn't even expect a restored academy version, just a transfer of whatever the best element they have would be fine.

#5 of 111 Mark B

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Posted December 22 2008 - 01:40 PM

Are Blu-Ray sales so poor that all the studios are resorting to this con game with exclusive features?

#6 of 111 Simon Howson

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Posted December 22 2008 - 02:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark B
Are Blu-Ray sales so poor that all the studios are resorting to this con game with exclusive features?
Yeah, IMO it is an admission that HD isn't a big enough carrot to entice people to buy into the format.

If they had more confidence, they'd offer the same extras on the DVD and Blu-ray, and price them the SAME.

But the other side of the argument is that the studios / corporations are probably trying to pay for all the new infrastructure they had to buy in order to make the new discs, so they need to keep margins high at first.

#7 of 111 Richard M S

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Posted December 22 2008 - 05:09 PM

I will buy the dvd of The Robe, but I still am not buying a Blu-Ray player.

#8 of 111 Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 22 2008 - 10:39 PM

GREAT move by making many extra features exclusive only to Blu-ray. It's long overdue and at this stage of the game it's high time the studios did something to make Blu-ray more attractive to fence sitting consumers. Well done.

I realize that this one release in itself is not going to be sweeping incentive to go High Definition for many, but it's a start. And no, it does not mean that "The studios have no confidence in Blu-ray". That is to say, everyone knows that Blu-ray is a better quality product; but the situation is that so many people have already been established and rooted firmly in SD for so long, so now they have to have something more of an incentive to budge. It's not that BD isn't better, or that if consumers had been given a choice between both formats in 1997 that they wouldn't have preferred Blu right from the start.

Quote:
I will buy the dvd of The Robe, but I still am not buying a Blu-Ray player.

You may have to, in the future. Hopefully at some point all future players will not be stand-alone DVD players, but would be Blu-ray machines which would also accomodate old standard DVDs. If you bought one you could still play all your existing DVDs on it anyway, and what's more is they'd even look better. So all you'd have to do is buy new releases in Blu-ray (like this release of THE ROBE, for example). The best of both worlds .

#9 of 111 Simon Howson

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Posted December 23 2008 - 12:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
GREAT move by making many extra features exclusive only to Blu-ray. It's long overdue and at this stage of the game it's high time the studios did something to make Blu-ray more attractive to fence sitting consumers. Well done.
LOL! Attractive, by charging almost double the price!?

Blu-ray would be attractive if the discs were priced EXACTLY THE SAME as the DVDs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
everyone knows that Blu-ray is a better quality product
Better quality, maybe, but at these prices, better value? No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
; but the situation is that so many people have already been established and rooted firmly in SD for so long, so now they have to have something more of an incentive to budge.
Cheaper players and discs would be a good start.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
It's not that BD isn't better, or that if consumers had been given a choice between both formats in 1997 that they wouldn't have preferred Blu right from the start.
How many people owned HD displays in 1997?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
You may have to, in the future. Hopefully at some point all future players will not be stand-alone DVD players, but would be Blu-ray machines which would also accomodate old standard DVDs. If you bought one you could still play all your existing DVDs on it anyway, and what's more is they'd even look better. So all you'd have to do is buy new releases in Blu-ray (like this release of THE ROBE, for example). The best of both worlds .
A good DVD player (one that can upscale, play MPEG4s, play MP3s of USB drives) in Australia costs About $200 tops. A basic Blu-ray player in Australia still costs AUD$450.

Blu-ray will never become popular with players costing that much. DVD didn't go nuts until cheap players dropped below $250.

#10 of 111 Thomas T

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Posted December 23 2008 - 03:17 AM

Yes, "Great" move Joe ... strong arm people into buying Blu-Ray players, how consumer friendly. Fortunately, I'm not an "extras" kind of guy, only minimally interested so Blu-Ray can have all the "extras" it wants. Curious though ... it seems Blu-Ray isn't the easy sell the studios thought it would be and now they resort to this to make it more attractive. Standard DVD never seemed to have this problem. It seemed to sell itself.

Until the economy is fixed, Blu-Ray isn't going anywhere. Right now for most of the country (except apparently for some HTFers), mortgage and rent, groceries, insurance (medical, auto, home etc.) credit card payments, car payments, tuition take precedence before luxuries like blu-ray and plasma TVs.

#11 of 111 Robert Crawford

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Posted December 23 2008 - 03:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas T
Yes, "Great" move Joe ... strong arm people into buying Blu-Ray players, how consumer friendly. Fortunately, I'm not an "extras" kind of guy, only minimally interested so Blu-Ray can have all the "extras" it wants. Curious though ... it seems Blu-Ray isn't the easy sell the studios thought it would be and now they resort to this to make it more attractive. Standard DVD never seemed to have this problem. It seemed to sell itself.

Until the economy is fixed, Blu-Ray isn't going anywhere. Right now for most of the country (except apparently for some HTFers), mortgage and rent, groceries, insurance (medical, auto, home etc.) credit card payments, car payments, tuition take precedence before luxuries like blu-ray and plasma TVs.
You wouldn't know that by the number of high def. televisions I saw moving out of stores the last couple of weeks including some with BR players.

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#12 of 111 Michael Elliott

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Posted December 23 2008 - 04:32 AM

I finally made the jump to Blu but I'm still against studios adding more extras to the Blu releases. I wouldn't get too worked up about it because there are countless SD releases that have more extras than what's on the Blu. Not to mention that there are countless titles that won't hit Blu.

And yeah, studios would be better off by dropping prices instead of adding extras. Extras were so....last decade. Posted Image

#13 of 111 Joe Caps

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Posted December 23 2008 - 05:40 AM

Great, but Fox listed on their classic flix site - the Robe - special edition - scope and flat versioins-

but we now know it aint true - and nothing on the sd to make up for it. certainly not the piddling few extras - making of The Robe - not sure, but probably thehaolf hour doc already on AMC - I already have that.
isolated score track - would be great but already have the limited edition two cd set of the whole score.

remember thee trailers that were on the old SD? Keep it cuz the new sd doesn;t have any - only the new BD has it.

I have just now decided to save myself a lot of money.

Fox , are you releasing another box of Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, betty Grable etc thiws year - not to me .,
I am now boycotting Fox DVDs - you Fox can really go screw yourselves !!!!
I have had it.

#14 of 111 Jack Theakston

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Posted December 23 2008 - 06:25 AM

Quote:
I am now boycotting Fox DVDs - you Fox can really go screw yourselves !!!! I have had it.

Joe, coming from an industry guy, I would ask you, do you really want to burn that bridge publicly?

It's too bad everyone is overlooking that the film's the thing here. A fully restored HD transfer of THE ROBE is welcome in my home any day.
-J. Theakston

#15 of 111 Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 23 2008 - 08:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Howson
LOL! Attractive, by charging almost double the price!?

Blu-ray would be attractive if the discs were priced EXACTLY THE SAME as the DVDs.

Better quality, maybe, but at these prices, better value? No.

Cheaper players and discs would be a good start.

Blu-ray will never become popular with players costing that much. DVD didn't go nuts until cheap players dropped below $250.

All in good time. I was an early adopter to DVD in 1997 and there were higher prices back then, too. I recall buying Universal movies which were licensed to IMAGE for $30 a pop - and ZERO extras.

I definitely agree that Blu-ray prices need to come down -- way down -- and I believe they will, just as the players and HDTVs have. The Blu discs have to be more competitively priced with SD.

Quote:
How many people owned HD displays in 1997?

Understood -- I was just trying to say that, IF there had been both HD and SD back in 1997, the HD would have been preferable; so it's not that Blu-ray as a format isn't able to make it now because it's somehow less impressive than DVD or anything, but more due to the fact that people have already invested in DVD for the past 10 years and don't want to change again.

#16 of 111 Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 23 2008 - 08:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas T
.. it seems Blu-Ray isn't the easy sell the studios thought it would be and now they resort to this to make it more attractive. Standard DVD never seemed to have this problem. It seemed to sell itself.

Well, the reason Blu-ray isn't an easy sell is because, as I wrote above, it's late and for the past 10 years everyone has embraced standard DVD already. It's not because Blu-ray isn't better than S-DVD. If we'd had both Blu-ray capability and SD capability together in 1997 and consumers could pick which of the two they preferred, of course they'd have gone with the Blu in '97. This is not a "lack of superior visual quality" issue for Blu-ray.

Quote:
Until the economy is fixed, Blu-Ray isn't going anywhere. Right now for most of the country (except apparently for some HTFers), mortgage and rent, groceries, insurance (medical, auto, home etc.) credit card payments, car payments, tuition take precedence before luxuries like blu-ray and plasma TVs.

And that would include people not buying anymore regular DVDs too, using your example. As for me, I am in worse financial shape than most ... I rent an apartment, my wife hurt her back and has been unable to work for over a year now... but I still make room for the hobby. I've got bills up the wazu too.

Quote:
Yes, "Great" move Joe ... strong arm people into buying Blu-Ray players, how consumer friendly.

But that's largely what happened with music compact discs in the beginning. Everyone I knew was bitching because they'd amassed a HUGE vinyl record collection and didn't like being "forced or strong armed" by the companies into accepting CD .. but eventually it became increasingly difficult for them to find their vinyl in stores. Once they grudgingly went over to CD they love dits convenience and clarity... but many still felt "strong armed" at first.

And don't even get me started on the original Laserdisc collectors! They bad-mouthed DVD and treated it like the plague when it first came out, hoping it would fail.

#17 of 111 Russell G

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Posted December 23 2008 - 09:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Howson
Yeah, IMO it is an admission that HD isn't a big enough carrot to entice people to buy into the format.

If they had more confidence, they'd offer the same extras on the DVD and Blu-ray, and price them the SAME.

Maybe it's additional packaging and dics manufacturing costs to include the extras on the SD, since the BD has more capacity? I'd like to think so anyways, cause it's such a burn otherwise. Posted Image
My wallet cries me to sleep!
 
This post kills threads!


#18 of 111 WadeM

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Posted December 23 2008 - 11:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas T
it seems Blu-Ray isn't the easy sell the studios thought it would be and now they resort to this to make it more attractive. Standard DVD never seemed to have this problem. It seemed to sell itself.

Standard DVD never had exclusive extras?!?!?! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

That's news to me.

Anyway, it'll be great to watch this one on Blu-ray.

#19 of 111 Simon Howson

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Posted December 23 2008 - 07:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
All in good time. I was an early adopter to DVD in 1997 and there were higher prices back then, too. I recall buying Universal movies which were licensed to IMAGE for $30 a pop - and ZERO extras.
Yeah, but DVD offered major advantages that VHS didn't 1) Durability, i.e. it made collecting films worthwhile 2) Generally Widescreen presentation.

Blu-ray just doesn't have those inherent advantages over DVD, which ultimately revolutionised the industry by turning it from a rental to sell through, and encouraged consumers to blind buy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
I definitely agree that Blu-ray prices need to come down -- way down -- and I believe they will, just as the players and HDTVs have. The Blu discs have to be more competitively priced with SD.
This is my major point, if the studios / corporations want Blu-ray to RAPIDLY become the standard consumer video format, they should price Blu-ray releases and DVD releases the same. But most likely they will keep inflated prices for a year or more so they can make bigger profit margins.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi

Understood -- I was just trying to say that, IF there had been both HD and SD back in 1997, the HD would have been preferable; so it's not that Blu-ray as a format isn't able to make it now because it's somehow less impressive than DVD or anything, but more due to the fact that people have already invested in DVD for the past 10 years and don't want to change again.
I see what you are trying to say, but it is too fuzzy hypothetical to talk about HD without talking about the costs involved. If the studios wanted to go from VHS to a HD format, hardly anyone would've been able to afford it. DVD made perfect sense at the time given the fact the discs and players could be cost effectively mass produced.

At any rate, I think the first Blu-ray device I'll buy will be a Blu-ray drive for my computer. They are now down to AUD$150. The funny thing is, the first DVD device I bought was a DVD drive for my computer in early 1998. Posted Image Oh sadly there is no easy way to send the signal to my non-HDMI HDTV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
If we'd had both Blu-ray capability and SD capability together in 1997 and consumers could pick which of the two they preferred, of course they'd have gone with the Blu in '97. This is not a "lack of superior visual quality" issue for Blu-ray.
Again, I don't think this makes sense. If Blu-ray (or some other optical HD format) was introduced in 1997, the discs would've cost $100 each, and players several thousand. All home video formats have always been a compromise between what is technically feasible, and what would be affordable to enough consumers to sustain the format. Over time this changes as new technologies become cheaper to mass produce (e.g. the lasers in Blu-ray players).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
But that's largely what happened with music compact discs in the beginning. Everyone I knew was bitching because they'd amassed a HUGE vinyl record collection and didn't like being "forced or strong armed" by the companies into accepting CD .. but eventually it became increasingly difficult for them to find their vinyl in stores. Once they grudgingly went over to CD they love dits convenience and clarity... but many still felt "strong armed" at first.
Well, I agree with your analogy, but I think it is DVD that did for home video what CD did for music. Higher resolution audio formats like SACD and DVD-Audio have largely failed, because MOST people think CDs are good enough.

I think Blu-ray will be more successful than those higher resolution audio formats, because I think that more people can discern IMAGE quality differences where the master format was film, rather than SOUND differences that may only be perceptible on very expensive hi fi equipment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
And don't even get me started on the original Laserdisc collectors! They bad-mouthed DVD and treated it like the plague when it first came out, hoping it would fail.
Perhaps I would've felt the same if I bought a lot of LaserDiscs for $80 each. Posted Image
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
Maybe it's additional packaging and dics manufacturing costs to include the extras on the SD, since the BD has more capacity? I'd like to think so anyways, cause it's such a burn otherwise. Posted Image
Possibly, But DVDs now cost about $1.50 each to press, which is much cheaper than Blu-Rays which cost a few dollars each (of course this will decline as the format takes off, and as companies figure out cheaper production methods). So there could be legitimate reasons for a small price difference, but not $15!

#20 of 111 Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 23 2008 - 10:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Howson
This is my major point, if the studios / corporations want Blu-ray to RAPIDLY become the standard consumer video format, they should price Blu-ray releases and DVD releases the same.

And I hope they do. But in the meantime, the idea of giving "more bang for the buck" by making tasty extras only available on the Blu-ray is at least somewhat of a motivator for some. In fact, if you've read other threads, there are actually people already saying they'll be buying a Blu-ray player now "just because they want to get the extras". Now, granted, most of us (myself included for sure) feel the MOVIE is the main thing, but as you can see from those other threads here and there, it's working a little. Once people own a Blu player, they're likely to start acquiring Blu-ray discs too, especially when they're more competitively priced.

Quote:
Well, I agree with your analogy, but I think it is DVD that did for home video what CD did for music.

Oh, so do I. In fact, when I was a very early adopter to DVD at launch, this is why I felt so sure that DVD would be a major success.
Most people would gravitate to it just as they did with 5" music discs.

Quote:
Higher resolution audio formats like SACD and DVD-Audio have largely failed, because MOST people think CDs are good enough.

True. And myself included, music-wise.
But with the movie/Blu-ray situation, the idea to me is that we're talking about HIGH DEFINITION as the main staple of the future. If we can say that all TV broadcasts are going to be HD, and if all TV sets are going to be HD, then it stands to reason that HD discs (Blu-ray) will be the rule somewhere down the line. It makes sense. Continuing to use old technology (DVD) when High Definition is here to stay doesn't make any sense. Even regular mainstream "Joe Six Packs" I know are getting spoiled by watching their HD television broadcasts and sporting events, and they can tell a difference. But the beauty of it all is, you can still keep and enjoy your huge library of SD movies, which will play on the Blu-ray machines and look good. I've been watching my regular DVDs on my Blu-ray player and they look wonderful. But once I have the machine, it pays to buy the Blu-rays and go that extra step for:
A.) Any new future movies I wish to purchase.
B.) Upgrades for certain "special" titles I feel are worth it.


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