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Manufacturer's Reps Reporting Little Interest in Blu-ray, HD DVD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Paul Arnette, May 18, 2007.

  1. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Below is a link to a CEPro article that paints a pretty bleak and depressing picture as far as wide-spread acceptance of HD optical media is concerned.

    http://www.cepro.com/news/editorial/18982.html

    I was particularly vexed by the comments about Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD looking little better than upconverted DVD. However, I understand that there is wide disparity in the quality of HDTVs, and, unfortunately, many do not properly deinterlace, etc.

    Given how long it took for DVD to gain mass-market acceptance with one format, I cannot help but think that next gen media has come too early for the masses. That said, I don't necessarily mind BD and HD DVD being niche formats. It does however make all the hand-wringing by the studio and the format cheerleaders all the more amusing.

    Note: If this isn't the correct forum for this thread, please feel free to move it. Both HD hardware and software are discussed in this article, so it kind of made it hard for me to decide which forum to post it in.
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    I've been to that high end audio store they talk about and video isn't really high on their minds. Compared to the upgrade in video versus the price of that high end audio ... I don't think they should be talking about what is too expensive ...

    As well, it just sounds like they haven't even taken the time to look at either of the HD products. The comment was just plain uninformed and ignorant.

    Regards
     
  3. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    Alot of red flags in there IMO.


    Has little effect, average consumers aren't looking for those brands. It's kinda like saying that no one's interested in Hybrids because Lambroghini isn't marketing one.

    Not going to quote the rest of the thing, but...

    Promoting upconverting DVD Players over HD Players because of library size? Sounds like someone's trying to sell through stock and/or looking for the double dip on the Player. Of course the libraries aren't comparable, HD hasn't been out a year.

    Comparing upconverting demand, but no mention of HDTV installed base or price concerns? Can't sell an HD Player to someone who doesn't own an HDTV.

    Comparing HD Players to DVD-Audio? DVD-Audio never had any tangible increase in quality over CD for non-audiophiles.

    The most entertaining: No music or concert discs? C'mon. This is not a major seller on any format, There aren't that many people listening to music on a TV. Especially with Itunes popularity.

    To it's credit though, it at least mentions the price barrier and the format war.
     
  4. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Cinematographer

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    I don't think there's much to worry about in terms of content being available. Prices are another matter though. If neither format really takes off, you can expect companies like Image Entertainment and Criterion to pick up the slack, just like with laserdisc.
     
  5. EnricoE

    EnricoE Supporting Actor

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    maybe hd dvd and blu-ray are the next laserdisc.
     
  6. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    You can bet on it.

    It won't be as niche as Laserdisc, but a niche it will definitely be.
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I still think without a single doubt that the format war is hurting overall sales - despite the competition between the formats and the lower prices it has brought. There's just too much uncertainty and dislike of two formats for many, many people and "would be" shoppers out there.
     
  8. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    I can agree on that.

    But when the mess is over, and it will end, I think it'll work out for the best. It's lowering prices much faster than normal, which means adoption will occur much more readily.

    Pick your scenario X beats Y, Y beats X, Uni makes it moot, any will work.

    As far as being niche goes, I don't think it will be. The grandfathering scenario pretty much guarantees adoption at some point, no reason for people not to go with the HD once price parity occurs.

    The only threat is digital downloads, and IMO, it's grossly overexagerated. To reiterate from another thread, just to store DVD quality media we're talking Petabytes of storage. Going up to 1080p and we're talking currently unimaginable amounts of storage. There's no way any company can come up with sufficient cash to manage Petabytes of SCSI storage in the near future. We're just now getting 1 terrabyte SATA drives, and SCSI commands an easy 10x price increase over SATA. SATA isn't workable for something like this, it doesn't handle multiple random requests well.

    FIOS handles the bandwidth problem though.

    Then we've got the piracy problem. Handing out pristine digital copies is a major issue, and there's nothing to prevent them from being cracked, unlike physical media. Physical media at least can conceivably setup flags that it won't run/read unless X protections are in place. Digital copies have no such protection, they'll already exist on the drive. Once the algorithem becomes known, they'll be run through the software to de-DRM them, and released enmasse. At least Physical media could conceivably find a way to use a physical mark on the disk to prevent playing pirated material(Yes, I know, it'd impact fair use, but in honesty, the DRM does too and it's not been challenged).

    Streaming the files is bad buisness as well. Either the user owns it or the company does. If the company owns it, I doubt they'll want to pay bandwidth costs repeatedly to allow unlimited viewings. Any given child who watches "Finding Nemo" for 8 hours a day would cost them a fortune. If the user owns it, streaming isn't an option, they need to be given a copy. So I doubt streaming "On-demand" would do much else than replace the Rental Market which wouldn't have an effect on the formats. Something would still be adopted for "Owning" a movie.

    Given the extreme rate at which piracy is being adapted(The new AACS was cracked before even a single disc with the algorithem released, meaning The Matrix), I doubt studios will support digital downloads to any meaningfull extent. It's just too open to piracy, and once you adapt the market to downloading movies you've incidently adapted them to downloading pirated movies as you remove some of the inhibitions created by the "Technology intimidation" factor. One friend with a weblink to a P2P and you lose your customer.

    Overall, I think Physical Media is here to stay unless major anti-piracy efforts are rolled out. I think grandfathering will insure eventual adoption. I think succeeding technologies like Holographics are likely to niche because of the "I don't see/hear a difference" problem in upgrading resolutions and their lack of backwards compatibility.
     
  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Clearly the person writing this article is pretty clueless regarding some of the basic facts. I suppose he/she doesn't consider Sony, Pioneer, and Panasonic as big-name-brands?

    Onkyo = high-end?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Well put!
     
  11. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I honestly don't think there are many people waiting on the sidelines for the format war to be over. It may be common place on these types of forums, but that represents an extremely small amount of people. The only thing the format war is doing is delaying the eventual winner of a niche market and slowing down the small amount of sales that would've been generated otherwise.

    There are 3+ million PS3s out in homes, so (by default) these people have already made the biggest decsision on the formats - purchasing a player. However, Blu-Ray movie sales are still so miniscule in the grand scheme of things.

    The real format war is HD-DVD/Blu-Ray vs. DVD. People are committed to the DVD format and continue to purchase players and movies. HD-DVD/Blu-Ray isn't even a blip on their radar.
     
  12. Brian Little

    Brian Little Stunt Coordinator

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    HD and Blu are certainly not even a blip on the radar either at this point for major retailers. Go to your local Best Buys, Targets, Walmarts, Circuit Citys, etc etc etc. How often are they getting the new releases in on their street dates if at all? How many titles do they even carry? Do their staff even give a damn? Especially when many stores like Circuit City run those infamous $3.99 sales week in week out on SD-DVDs so why should Joe Six Pack want to buy the same film on either HD format for $30 when they can get it on SD for $3.99?
     
  13. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    It's funny because of all the times I've been to Best Buy, HMV, Futureshop, etc since the release of HD-DVD/Blu-Ray - only once I've seen anyone even touch an HD disc. A lady asked the sales clerk where they kept the HD-DVD titles, he stopped to think about it and then realized where it was and walked her to the very small shelf containing HD-DVD/Blu-Ray titles. She saw the HD-DVD title she was looking for, picked it up, scoffed at the price, put it back down, said "thank you" and walked out.

    Since before or after that time, I've never seen anyone peruse the HD section, let alone pick up a title and purchase it.
     
  14. Brian Little

    Brian Little Stunt Coordinator

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    Which goes back to my point of consumers today are trained in on sales like $3.99 for older catalog, $13.99ish for new releases, yada yada yada. Now for those of us coming back from the Laserdisc days $34.99 for a title was a GOOD deal. Joe Six Pack today considers that "highway robbery" and will instead go for the $13.99 version regardless if its 1080p or not.
     
  15. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    And I bought a lot of those $34.99 and up laserdiscs back in the day. I bought probably 20 dvds before I even had a player in '97. Now with 2 formats in HD competing I'm not so eager to jump off the fence. Spoiled by the low prices for the SDDVDs I guess!
     
  16. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Your experience is a little different than mine. I haven't seen a lot of people perusing the HD racks at my local FS, but I have seen evidence that people are picking up titles. The turnover is fairly low though. I agree that software pricing is slowing down adoption. Most people are going to be unwilling to spring for the extra 10 bucks for an HD copy when a cheaper alternative exists. Only the hardcore enthusiast will contemplate spending the extra money; although, other considerations come into play when the prices are set so high. Impulse buying is definitely reduced. Marginal titles that might have been purchased if they were cheaper just end up occupying valuable shelf space.
     
  17. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    It's not surprising or depressing to someone who's thought HD Discs could be as successful as DVD-A/SA-CD, as far back as '05 (yet has been told all that time, they were wrong and that wasn't going to happen).
    I think HD Discs is doing OK, although, sure I wish it was doing better. And more HD Displays (1080p) will make it better!
     
  18. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I'm spoiled by those low DVD prices too which explains why I only have about 20 HD-DVDs compared to approximately 250 DVDs.
     
  19. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    Well, to consider those numbers we need the number of PS3's attatched to HDTV's. Can't sell a boat to a man living in a desert.

    Plus you have to consider the titles released and the people who buy PS3's. I mean it's been pretty catalog heavy without major "Must have's" so far. PS3 purchasers aren't by default movie collectors, need some big names and some day & date blockbuster's to gauge if those 3 million PS3's matter.

    IMO, the number of PS3's used as BR Players *really* should correlate to the number of 360 add-on's sold. Identical market, usage should be identical unless one side is viewed as a favored winner.
     

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