Fox Studios is making big points in my book !!!

Dave Moritz

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Fox studios has just started to release titles on Blu-ray high definition today. And while I was aware that they would be offering the new DTS-HD Master Audio tracks on alot of there titles. What I did not exspect was to see the following information on the back of the blu-ray case. And there are some good titles considering this is there first round of releases, and X-Men 3 on Blu-ray you gotta give them credit for releasing that in the first batch.

  • Video Codex
  • Layer Information
  • Transfer Rate
To my knowledge no one else has made that information available on the product yet. Fox should be congradulated for doing something that many of us here said we would like to see. As long as the titles are done correctly I will be buying alot more Fox titles from now on!

Fox High Definition Blu-ray
 

dpippel

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The big problem with Fox titles is the price - $39.99 MSRP, around $28 street. Too high.
 

AaronSCH

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Fox will make up some big points for me when those titles are offered on HD DVD. I am gonna wait till Fox makes its inevitable HD DVD announcement next year. Further proof that it's just gonna have to happen is the revelation that the add-on HD DVD drive (which is selling like hot cakes by the way) will enable you to playback your discs on a standard Windows XP equipped PC and even a Mac OS X equipped Apple. Once again offering consumers versatility. Every time Blu-ray makes a step forward HD DVD just seems to step right over them. Article courtesy of DVD Town: XBOX HD-DVD drive will work on PC.

In addition, an article appearing here at HTF (Wii Future Capabilities) seems to indicate that Nintendo's Wii gaming console will offer a standard (non-high-definition) DVD drive in the second edition Wii (slated for late 2007 release). A Sonic spokesperson said the company’s DVD software could accommodate either HD DVD or Blu-ray playback option. I can see Toshiba all over that but doubt Sony would allow Blu-ray on a competing game system.
 

Dave Moritz

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For myself while I allready own a HD-A1 HD-DVD player I don't care if they release the Fox titles on HD-DVD. One of the problems with these titles going to HD-DVD is that there is a big chance that most of them will only get a Dolby Digital Plus treatment. While I realize that King Kong is a Universal title, it only got a DD+ treatment. A majority of the HD-DVD titles are DD+ with only a handfull of Dolby True HD tracks available currently. At this time I would rather buy the Fox titles on Blu-ray with DTS-HD tracks instead of HD-DVD DD+. The only reason I purchased the HD-DVD player was to mostly purchase the titles that where not available on Bluray or if there was Dolby True HD on HD-DVD.

I am interested to see where the format war is this same time next year? I wouldn't mind if the format war was over at the end of 07'. But again we shall see when Nov 07 rolls around.

I watch movies on my HT system and not my pc so for myself I am not sure I would buy a HD-DVD drive to use on my pc. Even if the price is really reasonable it boils down to watching a movie on a 50" HDTV with good digital surround sound. Or watching a movie on a 19" PC Monitor with PC speakers, mmmmm I choose my HT.
 

AaronSCH

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I agree but the point of the two stories is that Fox, Disney and Sony had been banking on deep penetration of the PS3 as their high-def strategy and that may take quite awhile. I too play my movies back via the HD-A1 and have no gaming interest. However, the penetration of the X-Box-360, the prospect of a Wii future add-on and the high entry price of Blu-ray hardware may make it very difficult for those studios to resist HD DVD much longer.
 

Ben_Williams

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Aaron, I think it is highly unlikely that you will ever see Fox, Disney or Sony producing titles for HD DVD. We could certainly argue for days as to why this is the case, but I think that argument has been made on numerous occasions. It would also be nice if we could have a positive Blu-Ray related topic on this forum without you galloping in to proclaim, yet again, how much you hate Blu-Ray and how great you think HD DVD is. It think we're all clear on your opinion now.

However, as Dave said in his original post, I, too, think it is great that Fox has gone to the trouble of putting codec, bitrate and disc size info on the packaging. Fox's commitment to DTS MA is also commendable. I've got the new Fox releases in my possession now and plan on having some fun tonight by popping in Kingdom of Heaven!
 

AaronSCH

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Why are you so sensitive? I want those Fox Disney and MGM titles just as I am sure there are Blu-ray supporters that want to see a number of Universal titles available for that format. I read my comments and nowhere is there a remark attacking Blu-ray. I was stating that I feel the strategic moves of the HD DVD camp may make it extremely difficult for studios to deny themselves revenue streams. I strongly believe there WILL BE defections next year and if you wanna make that a cash bet I am game. This is NOT a Blu-ray only thread and I am only pointing out information that I am sure a number of people would like to consider before making a decision.
 

Sean Bryan

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That's not what it boils down to at all. Many people (home theater enthusiasts, at least) do use a PC to drive their home theaters. In this type of usage, they are watching on large screens in their home theater, not on a PC monitor at desk. Thus the term HTPC.
 

Grant H

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I agree Fox is setting a good example with their product, and I think in time they'll go a long way in encouraging Blu-Ray adoption. Yes, their prices are higher right now, but I think they were the same way with their DVDs, and they weren't even good when they launched into the format, hardly the benchmark studio they've become. $30 retail was typical for their first DVDs if I recall. I think the other latecomer (among others, but these were the last two BIG holdouts), Paramount, had picey product as well. If Fox can put out a product more exceptional than others (and so far it's looking that way, 1st 6.1 DTS-MA track, seamless branching on the way with AVP), people will buy even if it's a few bucks more than other studio's offerings. The early adopters are savvy shoppers anyway. And prices will come down in time.

I have no interest in watching HD movies on a PC though, not that BD won't provide that option in time as well; I don't even watch DVDs on mine. And the only iTunes show I ever downloaded was a serious drain, and my laptop is fairly new and not a cheapie.

Maybe if I did a lot of traveling, but I'm too busy working to pay for the equipment I have
. I'm sure there will be plenty of BD drives in computers that can handle watching movies on them, without tediously hooking them to the computer. Or external drives that do the same thing as the X-Box add-on. The added versatility is nice, but I hardly see it as high priority at this point. No one's screaming "I want HD movies on my 17" computer monitor!" (as far as I'm aware of anyway)Sure, computer monitors can benefit from the added resolution, but typically they're small, and without a good sound setup, it's not even half the movie experience. I shrug at it. A DVD will do fine and won't cripple my computer's resources.

The kind of versatility provided by the X-Box $200 add-on is nice but for people like me it's moot. I hate all the commercials telling me to download my movies instead of renting them. Yeah, I want to setup my downloads so I can let them download overnight, or a couple hours for the SD stuff available now (provided there's no error), and then have to watch them on my laptop instead of my HT? Or go to the trouble of burning them onto disc so I can watch them on that, provided I have a piece of equipment capable of reading whatever Quicktime media it's on, which I don't (again, current SD material). No thanks. I spent far more time trying to download the Aquaman pilot and setting up the software to play it and dealing with all its fussiness than I did actually watching it. And I'd have much rather watched it on my home theater. For X-Box customers who bought the unit with the intention of hooking it to a computer monitor anyway (and yes, there is an audience there) it's nice, but it's not something that's going to suck in the mass HD movie audience. That point goes to the PS3 that will play Blu-Ray discs out of the box without getting lucky enough to get the hardware twice (once for the XBox, once for the add-on) and without having to hook something else up to it and fiinding space for yet another box.

Personally, I think Fox chose Blu-Ray for a reason and I don't anticipate them batting for both teams anytime soon. Maybe they actually want the format that can handle the most features and extras, and can fit them onto one disc should the studio choose to do so. (Is Fox sticking to single-disc releases so far?) We all knew the quality with well-authored software and properly functioning hardware would be identical, so in the end it's which media has the most capacity, versatility, and growth potential. Just my take.

Things are just gearing up, so it could be some time until one format can clearly demonstrate an advanatage. I'm curious when it comes time for a 4-hour movie like ROTK EE whether HD-DVD will actually start to show its storage limitations. Might not be a biggie if VC-1 is as efficient as everyone thinks it is, but I can't imagine as many sound options being offered on an HD-DVD disc as on the original EE DVDs (assuming they put the film on 1 disc), not without video quality suffering. Many things were dropped off the 1-disc releases of the EE DVDs, so they may have that model to use already in place.

Trying to get myself back on topic, if Fox wants HD to be a success, they'd be a fool to start supporting HD-DVD too. It just fuels the format war. And the longer it lasts, the less chance that either format will be successful. There's only one major exlusive HD-DVD supporter in Universal right now. Originally, I thought WB was going to be HD-DVD exclusive. When HD-DVD lost that chip, I saw the scales tip in favor of Blu-Ray. But I'm just like a network calling an election with 4% of the votes in.


If and when such dilemmas arise for HD-DVD, that is when BD could shine. A very long film encoded in VC-1 or AVC still leaves plenty of space for extras and sound options like multiple language multichannel tracks and isolated music scores and commentaries if you put it on a BD-50.

EDIT: As far as price advantage in hardware, again, that is disappearing. I see it having little effect in the endgame given the limited number of early adopters of 1st gen players. There are so few even on here! The 2nd gen flagship HD-DVD players cost the same as the upcoming Sony BD player. Buyers of the Toshiba 1st gen player got a deal, and, yes, it might be smart that Toshiba's 2nd gen line has a cheapie entry (something the BD camp will likely offer in the 2nd gen lines as well), but within a year I thin we'll be seeing prices fall from just about the same high level. PS3 will probably help push Blu-Ray hardware prices down as well, once they become more readily available. HD-DVD player prices may not fall especially fast if manufacturers have to start recouping any losses from 1st gen players (note my PC use of "if") or new manufacurers don't want to sell at a loss.
 

Dave_P.

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Fox has already acknowledged that their pricing is an "early-adopter" test and can change if necessary. It's probably the same for other studios. Universal is listing the King Kong HD-DVD at $40 and it has no extras and isn't a combo.
 

Grant H

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But in the broader picture, doesn't that number of people have to be infinitesimally small? Again, a nice convenience for some, but not the kind of thing to focus on when trying to win a format war, something that requires appealing to the masses.
 

Dan Hinson

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If I may ask, upon what is this assertion based?

I understand that it would be a cold day in Hell before Sony releases anything on HD-DVD, and admittedly Fox currently seems pretty faithful to Blu-Ray. But I thought that Disney had not fully committed itself to only one format, and rumors abound that they might produce titles in HD-DVD in the near future.

In the end, Studios will go where the money is, so why do you believe there isn’t some possibility that Disney (or maybe even Fox) will release titles in the HD-DVD format?
 

AaronSCH

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Well Grant, there are a number of people that have a nice size LCD screen on their desks. All this offers is yet another versatile feature of HD DVD. You can buy a stand alone unit for under $500 and you can buy the X-Box 360 HD DVD add on for under $200 if you are so inclined. Personally I don't watch movies on anything but my home theater set up. However, everybody doesn't have the same behavior.
 

Ben_Williams

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Disney has definitely fully committed itself to Blu-Ray. There was some speculation a few months ago that Disney might be thinking about HD DVD releases, but that was simply pure speculation. Disney is very much committed to Blu-Ray for the long haul. Lots of rumors fly around regarding studio support, but the vast majority of this is wishful thinking. With the level of capital that Fox, Sony, Disney and other companies have invested in Blu-Ray, I don't think that they will let it fail. Again, this argument has been thrown around for the last year, but from what I'm hearing, Blu-Ray isn't going away. I agree with you that the studios will go where the money is... I just don't think the money is going to be in the HD DVD camp.
 

JohnPhi

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The other thing is that right now, most of the poeple who are buying are the early adopter enthusiasts. When the general public starts to decide on a prodeuct the war will put many off Looking at sunday's ad's, blu ray everywhere, heck best buy had a full page devoted to it, but HD DVD, nada. Studio support, blu ray again. It is more like that universal will go to blu ray then fox and disney going to HD DVD. By Friday evening there will be 400,000 blu ray players out there in homes through ps3 and it is game on
 

Ronald Epstein

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I won't be buying into Blu-Ray anytime soon, but that doesn't
mean that I'm not happy for what Fox is doing.

My entire article ballyhooing the real launch of Blu-Ray
was based on what I had personally seen during Fox's recent
retail summit. All of us here know that Warner and Fox
are the two most reliable studios when it comes to quality
commitment to a particular format. How could you not think
that Fox was going to do things right.
 

AaronSCH

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Well, of course I disagree. It was actually a Disney executive that refused to rule out the possibility of supporting both formats. If you want to talk about investment and abandonment you need to be a student of history: Beta and DIVX. I keep hearing the PS3 and storage capacity argument over and over till you guys get "blu in the face." The market will rule here and it will mostly be determined by price, versatility and yes, software.
 

Dan Hinson

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Fair enough. But isn’t it ultimately up to the consumer (not the studios) as to whether or not a particular format will fail or survive?

I agree that it’s foolish to think that Blu-ray is going away, but on the other side of the coin, I think it’s equally as foolish to think that HD-DVD is going away anytime soon either. I think we are going to see both formats in the marketplace for quite some time (a few years, at least).

To that end, I would think that “Blu-ray only" studios might at least consider producing titles in the HD-DVD format (just as Universal might consider Blu-Ray).
 

ppltd

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These number wars are getting tiring at best, at worst, most were stated much better, many times before. HD. in either HD-DVD or BD is so far from being generally accepted it is laughable. The hardware, including the PS3 and HD-Add are not 'General User' friendly enough to be main stays in the general consumer’s home to replace their current DVD player.

The Toshiba and Samsung (and the Panasonic for that matter) are jumping in the market place with not just one new technology, but many. No longer can you just hit a button on you remote and pop a DVD in you player to watch a movie. Now you have to tease the hardware into working, from long load times, to ill-behaved handshaking on the HDMI ports, to glitches in the sync an stability of the soundtracks, to excessive costs, etc. etc. etc.

Used to be that almost any guest could come into my home theater, press a button, and watch a movie. Now I find, even I am getting frustrated with this very "Not Ready for PrimeTime" hardware, and in many cases software. The general public will not accept it, nor should they. The PS3 will not remedy this. Nor the XBox 360 Add-on.

By the end of the year, there will be most likely a million PS3 installed worldwide, maybe a couple more. There will be maybe (fill in the blank) 360 Add-On's installed. Most of the PS3 will never see a BD movie other than the one supplied with the console, and unless the bugs are worked out, most of the HD-DVD add-ons will be gathering dust. (At least the 360 does not have to contend with HDMI handshaking issues.)

I am a little dismayed that over 6 months after the release of these new formats, we have learned nothing and are still fighting the same battles. For those of us on one side or the other, be thankful for the competing side. For that is the only thing that is going to push these competing companies to fix their product deficiencies.
 

Dave Moritz

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It is my hope that the other studios copy what Fox has done and offer lossless audio and the information on the back of there titles. So far Dolby True HD seems to be only offered on HD-DVD, but that may soon change. DTS-HD at this time only seems to be offered on Blu-ray but that may change as well. I would like to see more DTS-HD Master Audio titles and Dolby True HD titles as well. There are so few Dolby True HD titles that Blu-ray most likely passed up HD-DVD with the number of DTS-HD titles that where just released. I just purchased King Kong today and I was very disappointed that there was no Dolby True HD track for this movie. I wouldn't be suprised however that if it was to come out on Blu-ray it might get the DTS-HD treatment.

There are still some titles that if Fox continues to offer DTS-HD. There are some promising titles coming out in the next year or so in HD.

20th Century Fox Titles:
  • Die Hard Trilogy
  • The Abyss
  • X Men & X Men: United
  • Alien 1-4
  • Man On Fire
  • The Day After Tomorrow
  • I Robot
  • Last Of The Mohicans
  • Predator & Predator 2
  • Master And Commander
  • The King And I
  • Titanic
  • Independence Day
  • Planet Of The Apes (1967)
  • Minority Report
  • Big Mammas House
  • X-Files
  • Garfield
  • Jewel Of The Nile
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • The Siege
  • Revenge Of The Nerds
  • Elektra
  • Cocoon
  • Miracle On 34th Street
  • The Marine
  • Enemy Mine
  • The Pagemaster
  • Ghost In The Machine
  • The French Connection
The only title that is in the 20th Century Fox catalog that I do not see getting a DTS-HD track is, drumroll ...................

Star Wars

Don't look for Lucas to let Fox give Star Wars DTS-HD audio ever!

But there will be some good movies coming to 1080p HD and even if Star Wars isn't in DTS-HD it will still be nice to have it in HD.
You know it will at least have Dolby True HD unless Fox chooses not to support Dolby's lossless format. Then who knows we might end up seeing Star Wars on HD-DVD instead, stranger things have happened I guess.
 

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