Idea: Merging Into One High Resolution Format

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lee Scoggins, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Here's an out of the box strategy move, how about a MERGER!?! [​IMG]

    ...and please read carefully - I swear I'm not trying to start a format war:

    What if Sony and the other labels created a financial fund to buy out Warner and the DVDA group including Meridian's patents. In exchange, Warner would agree to offer Super Audio going forward, stop DVDA and join forces in marketing. I see a dozen advantages at least:

    1. One single campaign for hirez.
    2. More forceful pitch to major retailers.
    3. Possible "day and date" releases in one format.
    4. More titles in common format.
    5. Shared royalties for all participants.
    6. Better copy protection (I know we don't like this, but suppose it has value for labels.)
    7. New thing to enliven consumer replacement cycle for new music at higher resolution.
    8. Less consumer confusion about formats.
    9. One standard surround software format and hardware.
    10. Take costs of bulding universal players and put into other areas including software development.
    11. One unified message for media.
    12. Larger resources for industry group to sell the new technology.

    Sort of like thinking about enlarging the pie but splitting the profits. Sony may have a smaller share of a larger piece. Warner gets to offer strong catalog and shares in hardware & software license fees.

    There would be some tough negotiation between Warner/Meridian and Sony/Philips on the side, but one thinks collectively there would be more to gain. This could be solved by sharing license fees from the primary developers and providing equity in new venture to all the labels. The financial structure could be to form a "newco" to capture all profits arising from license fees and hardware sales, with some portion (pennies on the revenue dollar) to be spent on marketing and promotion and supergroup incentives. Maybe you give the Beatles an equity "sliver" to get their catalog rights and really start the thing off with a bang!

    By the way, I chose Sony to buy out Warner due to financial issues at Warner and the extra catalog titles of Sony as a base. I did not choose this due to format sonic differences. While I prefer DSD, I have both formats and record in 88.2k PCM.

    What are your thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i consider myself to be your average j6p audio cosumer. for me, i wouldn't care which format is decided upon - just please select one!

    i know with multi-format hi-res players, this is really less of an issue, but i think it still "scares away" people.

    ps: as soon as this turns into a format war thread, i'm unsubscribing. [​IMG]
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    What would we call the joint format - SAC-A? As in sack-a-****? [​IMG]

    Reminds me of Apple several years ago. They had about 8% of the PC market for the Mac. Then they permitted clones to be sold, and their market percentage rose to about 10%. Jobs came back and killed off the clones, and their market percentage has fallen to about 3%. Sometimes you need to grow the pie instead of demanding owning the pie.
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Lee, im going to do somethign out of character here, I will agree with what you are saying, with one stipulation, make all or at least the vast majority of SACD's Multi-channel.

    For me that is the only real reason i like either format. I guess i just got to sink more money into my system to really be impressed by the increased resolution.
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee said:

     
  8. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Lee

    Good suggestion... simplification is key... mass consumers must have this kind of thing spoon-fed to them, or they just won't bite.

    It's how DVD came to be... lotsa titles, cheap players, easy hookup.

    And again, no 'war' intended -- BUT... in the interest of promoting hi-res, would you be equally enthusiastic for a scenario where DVD-A was the standard and SACD was abandoned?

    All hypothetical of course... between technology licensing and artist rosters, I can't imagine either side agreeing to concessions after considerable investment has yielded so little return... those negotiations would take forever.

    I still think developing affordable, idiot-proof universal players with simple digital connections is the easier way to go.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Good idea, but don't see it happening. I think Sony electronics will make universal players a couple of years down the road. I think with the proper incentives, Warner would consider doing some SACDs of those things that won't be multi-channel. I see universal players becoming the norm and at sub $200 list price levels in the next yr. for lower end models and whether the 2 formats remain niche markets or more mainstream will be dependent on available titles and prices for those titles. DVD-A is more user friendly on a PC for use by independents and musicians who could create audio/video content to market themselves. A great deal of studio equipment is still PCM based. Pricing and features will determine DSD gains or losses.

    So in summary, cheap universal players will render any arguments meaningless for the average consumer. Pricing and availability of software will also be key. $20 and $25 DVD-As and $22 lists single layer Sony discs (which hopefully will be gone in the near future) won't make it with the general public. I may buy them, but not the average consumer. They will want something in the range of current CD pricing and still likely feel prices might be a bit high.
     
  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Well we can all dream,but the growing number of universal players should eliminate consumer confusion,since you can play whatever format you buy.
    Warner and the DVD group will never "lie down" just like Sony/Philips choose a different path at the time of the formats birth. Even if they did,they would wan't some of their technology involved thus creating a new format,which would be more likely incompatible to existing players.
    Is this what we really wan't?
    Either one format dies,or just crank out more universal players and be done with it.
    BTW your proposal is more of a aqusition,then merger.
     
  11. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I think this is a better idea for whatever the next disc based format should be. As more and more universal players come to the market, chipsets will developed which handle both PCM and DSD from a hardware standpoint. When HD-DVD or Blu-Ray or whatever comes along next, I see no reason why there can't be one Hi-res format which handles either Hi-res PCM or DSD.

    As long as PCM is the standard for the recording industry, which it will be for quite some time to come, DSD in many cases will be a compromise of the original Hi-res PCM master (please no sampling rate debates here, save that for another thread [​IMG] ). I am not into approximations of approximations when it can be avoided (albeit very very good approximations). Give me DSD and PCM where applicable and I will be a happy man.

    J
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lee, your thoughts are utopian here. These people couldn't aggree before and it isn't going to happen now. One or both of these formats is going to crash and burn. There's no avoiding that. Who might buy Universal is muy, muy importante! Same with what might become of Warner. Uni players with DIGITAL outs is the only thing that's can save both of these formats ultimately, IMO. I barely tolerate 6 analog interconnects, "tourists" don't/won't, would say F-that, they don't reach, ect., ect... Ain't gonna happen. Furthermore, even tourists suspect or know that 6 analog cables is obsolete technology. DVD-A and SACD are interconnect-mania at it's zenith! Best wishes![​IMG]

    P.S. - Lee, you'd pick SACD over DVD-A each and every time unless you were at gunpoint or somethin' like that.[​IMG]
     
  15. John Wes

    John Wes Stunt Coordinator

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    I like the visuals in DVD-A....

    Nothing against SACD.....except that Sony is the devil..I own more SACD's than DVD-A's.
     
  16. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    Even if there were only one format, it will die unless:

    - All disks are hybrid.

    - All disks are "Single Inventory", ie the high-res hybrid disk replaces the CD of that title in the normal CD display at the store.

    - All new DVD and CD players can play the high-res format.

    The fact that only a small percentage of new Sony DVD players can play an SACD disk shows that number of high-resolution formats is not the problem.
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Here's a MIX Magazine article that is closely related to this message thread: "Surround Salvation"

    LJ
     
  18. RobBenton

    RobBenton Stunt Coordinator

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    I think only one can survive as they have different cases and people don't like the idea of not being able to put all their discs in one play like a cd holder etc which you cannot do if you have both formats around. Also it would be harder to mix them all in together at a store as the taller dvd-a would hide any sacd that might be behind it!
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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