HD-DVD - Does R2 Get Left Behind?

Mark Oates

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I'm wondering what will happen with R2 releases when (and if) HD becomes the standard for DVD releases in R1. As far as I can ascertain, the UK Government has no policy towards HDTV as they reckon it will be hard enough getting the public to switch over to digital standard definition broadcasts. The one hope is that Sky Broadcasting are working towards an HDTV service via their satellites, but unless HDTVs become readily available and affordable in the UK, then the whole issue will be a non-starter.
 

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Roger_R

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Here in Norway, the stores have started to sell more and more LCD and plasma TVs. Most of them can display up to 1080 which is the highest resolution for HDTV. The projectors being sold can also display the resolutions ofcourse. There's talk about building a land-based digital network, but I haven't heard if it's going to be HDTV or not. If I know the idiots right, it'll probably be in some PAL-HDTV format
 

Cees Alons

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The step (improvement) from PAL resolution to HD is less than from NTSC. Therefore the pressure is also less, I assume.

But I'm pretty sure that a massive release of HD-DVD (whatever format) in the US will almost immediately have its effects here.


Cees
 

Mark Oates

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I don't think developments in the US will have any knock-on effect in Europe. I suspect that HD-DVD will have stronger region-coding than DVD. I can't see the DVD Forum (or the Blu-ray gang) licensing budget HD-DVD machines that will have to downgrade HD material to show on SD sets, and I can't see manufacturers launching highly expensive HD displays in Europe when there are few if any broadcasters providing HD material. The takeup of widescreen sets in Europe has been better than in the US, but that means a lot of consumers who won't want to upgrade so soon to a new tv.

If HD does come to Europe, it will have to be completely driven by the HD-DVD market, and that will involve convincing consumers that they've got to start buying (and replacing) their movie collections in a new format. I think we've all had to double and triple dip on DVD editions too much to consider buying "The Matrix" in yet another version.
 

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"and I can't see manufacturers launching highly expensive HD displays in Europe when there are few if any broadcasters providing HD material." - As I previously mentioned, the majority of LCD, plasma and projectors are already capable of displaying HDTV resolutions. So anyone upgrading to those kind of screens will be able to watch HD-DVD.
 

Mark Oates

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Okay, there is equipment already available that's HD-capable, but it's the sort of equipment that most of us can't afford. Maybe I should have said I can't see demand for HD equipment generating a mass market when there are few if any broadcasters providing HD material.

Unless HD services become reasonably commonplace (and as yet HD is only at the argument stage in the UK), ordinary consumers (not HT types) won't see the benefit of upgrading to an expensive new display when SD equipment will continue to offer reducing prices and perceived better value.
 

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The Euro 1080 service is testing now and will start broadcasting in January. Its available in the UK with about an 80cm dish (I think). A major UK satellite distributor has already anounced two recievers (One FTA the other with Seca 2 decoder), neither has a digital output (1080I component only).

For more info see:
http://www.euro1080.tv

If an SD/HD combo reciever (Terrestrial and Sat) with DVI or HDMI become available, I'd buy it instantly.
 
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Rob,

Euro1080 have been on air since 01/01/04. The QS-1080IR receiver available from a couple of suppliers in the UK does indeed have a DVI output, in addition to RGBHV and component. Hope this helps.

Steve
 

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