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After almost a year, still glad to be sitting out format war

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JohnPhi, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I sure remember MANY people, including some of the so-called experts claiming that there was no way DVD could top LD, and their criticisms were certainly warranted with some of the early DVD releases which were horribly compressed (anyone remember the first IMAX Tropical Rainforest DVD?). It took several years before DVD became even remotely popular or the "must buy" Christmas item - how long did it take for all the studios to get on board? The differences with HD are that it is not as significant an upgrade over DVD as DVD was over VHS, and DVD was not seriously competing with another format - the failed DIVX format was an offshoot doomed from the start.

    Having two competing formats with no major pitfalls to either is not helping the adoption rate, and even among early adopters there is reluctance to jump in when you could easily be buying a dead format. There has yet to be the crucial piece of software that entices people to choose one over the other.

    One other side effect of the HD war is that I am sure there are others like myself who have significantly scaled back their DVD purchases. I used to buy 5-10 titles a week, now I may purchase that many in a year. I see little point in investing in the DVD format when HD versions are bound to be coming online, but I'm not willing to join in the HD experiment until I know that the format I choose is going to be around for the long haul, and that the media is going to have a better longevity than I'm seeing now with DVD.
     
  2. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Here in the UK a situation is developing that will make the high definition format war crucial to the success of HD television in general. Takeup of HD televisions is currently brisk (2million sets sold in 2006, which is getting on for 10% of the total number of households in the country). Consumer organisations, retailers and programme providers are becoming nervous that consumers will find their HD experience soured when they find a) that SD material can look disappointing on some HD displays and b) that to receive genuine HD programming they have to be customers of Sky (satellite) or Virgin Media (Cable). There is no capability for HD on the Freeview (DTT) platform.

    If truth be known, the HD service on Virgin Media is less than stellar, so unless you spend between £400-£1000 on the still extremely rare HD-DVD or Blu-ray players your only hope of viewing HD is by taking out a Sky subscription with premium movie channels.

    And UK public perception has been that HD programming will be available free, or for little premium.
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I think this is the #1 thing said in this thread. We've become so use to DVD that we forget what it was like when it was released. It seemed within a year of the launch everyone wanted one. Everyone could see the advantage of having one. That just hasn't happened with HD. Remember when DVD first came out EVERY news station was covering it like they cover Anna Nicole Smith today? Where do we ever hear any media covering HD is such high detail? Even the likes of Siskel and Ebert were hyping DVD. Ebert has kept quiet on HD. Film folks like Spielberg and Scorsese were out pimping DVD. Nothing on HD.

    We keep forgetting that DVD took this country (and perhaps the world) by storm unlike anything that came before it. I think it would be rather naive to think another format could pull that power in such a short time.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And most-made-point #2 would probably be the format war.

    I was a Beta guy back in the 80s. I don't have the spare cash to take a risk on a format that may be obsolete before its time.

    I wonder if JohnPhi is keeping track? [​IMG]
     
  5. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    You are correct here, Jeff. I bought my DVD player right out of the gate in March 1997 (by the way - Happy 10th Birthday, DVD! [​IMG] ) and I believed in the success of that format with all my heart and common sense. But there was no way it happened over night, or even in the first year or so. All the companies didn't come aboard, and believe it or not, many people I spoke to hadn't even heard of DVD. I didn't have a computer at the time, but I knew someone who did and I used to go online from his PC and ask people "wanna discuss DVD?" -- and many would ask "what's DVD?".

    And don't get me started on the LD holdouts! I knew LD owners who felt threatened by DVD and tried to convince themselves the new format would never last. And there were times I'd be watching displays with other collectors in groups in stores, looking at premiere DVD samplings on monitors, such as the intro to GOLDENEYE, and they were all skeptical, and even pointed out "imperfections" of DVD.

    Come to think of it, this is exactly how I've become toward HD.
     
  6. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    I remember DVD in the beginning - even though I didn't buy into it until three years later. Some "new guys" started to show up at "my" laserdisc store and would seemingly buy anything as long as it was a DVD. Weird. I didn't bother until there was a certain amount of material available that I was actually interested in.
     
  7. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Hmm........ How ironic. This seems oddly familiar.

    I....wonder.....why? [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff F.

    Jeff F. Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to be an avid LD owner and had many titles but saw immediately that DVD was the better (and cheaper!) format and gladly moved on. I can't say the same for HD-DVD or BD. I am sitting this one out until the format war ends, quality of the hardware/software goes up and price goes way down. I am in no hurry.
     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "I sure remember MANY people, including some of the so-called experts claiming that there was no way DVD could top LD, and their criticisms were certainly warranted with some of the early DVD releases which were horribly compressed"

    "I used to be an avid LD owner and had many titles but saw immediately that DVD was the better (and cheaper!) format and gladly moved on."

    Yea I loved my LDs. My collection was a labor of love. I would often drive ridiculous distances to get a disc I wanted and I cant tell you how many times I ate macaroni and cheese for a week because I had to have a certain disc.

    I resisted DVD at first and shrugged saying I had no intention of repacing my LD collection,but a friend brought his player over (he got release day) and I hooked it up and immediately saw the difference and was really impressed. I knew LD was over right there and then.


    "But is the average Joe going to actually SEE it on their small or medium TV? I don't think so. Many can't even tell the difference between interlaced and progressive DVD, which I think is a significant difference."


    Some will and some wont. My TV is a 32 inch (big enough for the space its in).A friend who visited from Florida recently said out of no where "This is the best looking TV picture Ive ever seen" when I had a HD channel on. Another friend I grew up visited and loved the HD picture he saw at my house. He was still using S-Video. He went home bought all new equiptment and had me walk him through his hookup over the phone. I didnt "show off" the TV to either. It was on and they just noticed.

    I think in the past decade "average joe" has gotten used to having a HT and wants a nice setup.I know quite a few people who would like a better setup but just cant afford it. I think in general HD does appeal to alot of guys. The idea of watching sports and movies in HD. I remember the first time my dad (whos slowly got the HT bug)watched a Yankee game in HD on my G/Fs 52 inch Sony, he was grinning from ear to ear and said "this is great".


    "HD is a greater improvement over SD, than DVD over VHS ever was."

    Depends on the titles. In some cases the improvement has been drastic while in others its smaller - but always noticeable.
     
  10. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    David, my friend, I sympathize and agree with your position, but I really must protest your analogy: MacAllen is a single malt scotch; Cutty Sark is a blend. A more accurate comparison would be between standard DVD and public domain quality VHS. I'm not made of money either, but life is too short to drink blended whiskey.
     
  11. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Good point. My whiskey of choice currently is Talisker, just because Lagavulin is $30 more a bottle and less available. It's not as good but it will do.
     
  12. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Yep, that shows the degree of compromise I am sometimes willing to make. Not only do I not buy MacCallen, I'm not even buying a single malt at all, but settling for a decent blend.

    Actually, I have forsaken scotch of late and have been enjoying Bushmill's.
     
  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Price will determine the future. When HD = SD in price, people will decide on quality. Video will always win over sound when it comes to quality.

    And you know, the thing that really (pisses me off frankly) will affect the mentality of the adoption rate is people CONTINUALLY spouting the fallacy that HD is not that much of an improvement as DVD was. You might as well discount the format war.
     
  14. JohnPhi

    JohnPhi Stunt Coordinator

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    Yumbo, I can sympathize with you even though I am in no rush to go HD. As stated many times before by me and others, I know the increased quality is nice, but I feel like I am paying for stuff I already have, a movie on a disk, audio commentary, bonus features, surround sound, etc. Again it goes back to evolution vs revolution.
     
  15. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    JohnPhi, exactly. And for my money, there is just not that much of an improvement in HD over SD to warrant a move to that format.
     
  16. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    It does all come down to what your watching it on, a 96" projected image will look so much better with a hi def source, smaller TV's less so. I see a difference on my 32" LCD, but it's not miles over my upconverted SD image. Unfortunately we're still stuck between generations in Hardware. My Projector is the optoma H30 a 800x600 PJ, it still looks great with SD sourches and it's only a couple of years old with only 300 Hrs on the Bulb so I'm not upgrading anytime soon, my 65" Mits is an older model without HDMI, and my LCD upstairs where my 360 add on is, is small, so I'm not in a huge hurry to buy everything on HD, plus my Projector is run off of a HTPC which would be too expensive to upgrade at present to HD-DVD or Bluray.

    Add to that the Cost of the disks. $30 or so vs the Prices we get for SD disks, look at Casino Royale this Week $13.99 for the 2 disk set at CC. I recently bought the Departed for $13.99 over the Expensive HD Combo Disks. I think HD-DVD is wonderful, but I did'nt instantly lose my respect for a good SD transfer, not yet at least.
     
  17. JimKr

    JimKr Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh?

    How so?
     
  18. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
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    I thought I'd be sitting on the fence for the rest of 2007, at the very least. Then, along came the reviews of the Toshiba HD-XA2. Virtually ever review praised the XA2 as being the best of the best when it came to standard def DVD upconversion. I quickly found myself wanting one. But, still I waited. Fortunately [​IMG] , the $400 price drop over two months just became too much of a temptation. When the XA2 went sub-$600, I pulled the trigger.

    My standard def DVDs have never looked better! Not even on my Oppo 971. As far as I'm concerned, the HD-DVD ability is just a nice bonus! [​IMG]

    (But, man, what a fantastic bonus!! The HD-DVD picture quality on top discs like King Kong and Happy Feet is simply stunning!)

    Mark
     
  19. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Here in the UK you see very few stores selling HD/BD discs and what they do have is a pitifully poor selection. I've certainly not seen any stores doing demonstrations which you would think would be the obvious thing to do if they want to sell hardware and discs. Stores here and in other parts of Europe have plenty of HD TV broadcast demonstrations but the best of these demos are not taken from HD broadcast TV but use (I understand) Blue Ray discs via a computer link which certainly provide stunning pictures - far better than my own HD broadcast; but which is dishonest as a representation of HD broadcast TV picture. One of the biggest drawbacks for Europe though is Blue-Ray's use of regional coding. I have no intention of giving up my ability to obtain and play discs from the US because many classic films are simply not issued over here - or at least don't have the same extras. I shall be sitting this out for a long time I think.
     
  20. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    It's a sad day when I find myself agreeing with anything Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says, but I couldn't help but nod when reading his statements in a recent VOB article where he states he thinks next-generation formats are no more than niche businesses:
     

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