Universal HD-DVD/Blu-Ray players: Absolutely the WORST thing that could happen?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by John H Ross, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    There's an interesting article in Home Cinema Choice magazine (Issue 129) which includes comments from Meridian's chairman Bob Stuart. In it he says that "DVD Audio and SACD is a classic example of what happens when there's a format war. People stay away. The absolute worst thing that happened with SACD and DVD-A is that somebody made a universal player. The arrival of the universal player allowed the war to drag on, which allowed the music industry to say "we're agnostic, we'll make software for anyone that wants it". As a result the conflict was never resolved".

    I agree with these comments. I believe that this format war will never be resolved and, as such, HD will never truly be embraced until the NEXT format comes along. I believe the next format will be unified.

    Comments?

    John
     
  2. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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    I agree. And personally I think the "greed" of Blu-Ray stalwarts could make both formats lose.

    By greed, I mean that HD-DVD offers everything we need in a replacement for DVD and also has the most consumer-friendly package that would make it a contender for replacing DVD. Waiting for some hyped up promise by Sony does nothing but damage the survivability of hidef dvd.

    HD-DVD has the name, the backwards compatibility/hybrid discs, less DRM, and the technology ready now to replace DVD. Blu-Ray *might* in the future be able to deliver more space, but HD-DVD has shown they have their shit together now and that HD-30 (and even HD-15 in some cases) is more than enough to deliver detailed artifact-free hidef content with VC-1.

    I don't understand the fascination of holding on for 50gb Blu-Ray when the extra space it provides is completely unnecessary - not to mention that there is a 45gb HD-DVD disc in development and that manufacturing costs of 50gb Blu-Ray discs appear to be extremely expensive right now. Heck, if you support Blu-Ray you might be stuck with 25gb mpeg2 releases!

    By holding out for Blu-Ray's promises which have fallen very short so far, you are extending a format war that doesn't even need to happen as HD-DVD is here now and ready to go - while at the same time making a replacement of DVD less likely to happen. When Divx was out most HT buffs didn't say "I need to buy movies in both formats so I'll buy Divx." They simply bought DVD until all studios released DVD. Same needs to happen with HD-DVD. Blu-Ray has shown its not ready for prime time and even when it is whenever that may be, its very doubtful it will exceed HD-DVD in quality because the current quality of HD-DVD is top notch.

    My advice? Hop on that $450 RCA HD-DVD player and don't prolong this longer than necessary [​IMG]
     
  3. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Don't hold back Pete, tell us what you really think!
     
  4. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    In fact HD-DVD appears to be the opposite of greedy by giving you 100's of dollars of player for free. Surely there is no self interest being served by subsidizing the players. Such a noble benefactor of public interest surely couldn't have money making in mind.
     
  5. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Three different gaming systems have not meant the end of the video gaming industry. Apparently there is enough money for Sony, MS, and Nintendo to make money. The reason DVD Audio and SACD failed is because consumers saw no need to upgrade. If consumers decide that there is no compelling reason to upgrade from SD to HD then at best it will be as niche market and at worst both will fail. Universal HD players don't have that much to do with it.
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I think Universal Players represent the future for all extant optical disc media.

    IMO, a "Universal" CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray deck will become the *only* deck you'll be able to purchase by November 2008 and will drop into the $199 - $350 range as early as March 2009.

    At that point, the studios could do the following:

    1. Start scaling back on SD-DVD releases. By November 2009 SD-DVD will become the province of P&S MARed transfers for new releases. It will also be used for older 4:3 aspect ratio TV series and Concerts.

    2. Release all new Widescreen movies and catalog titles to HD-DVD first. (Even Columbia and MGM!) The HD-DVD release will be like today's single disc SD-DVD non-SE releases.

    3. Sixty-to-Ninety days following the HD-DVD release of the new movie and/or catalog title, re-release the movie to "Deluxe Blu-ray". (This is assuming that Blu-ray achieves its objectives of 50 GB dual layer discs with modern effecient codecs.) The Blu-ray edition of the movie would be like today's "Two-disc" SE's and would include scads of extra features and interactive content.

    This is one possible resolution to the format war (and I think David Boulet on this forum has already mentioned this in a prior thread). This resolution should be attractive to the studios, hardware manufacturers, and consumers. But getting to that point is going to make for a very rough next 18 months or so ... In the interim a "Universal player", in conjunction with Netflix, will at least reduce some of the risk for the consumer in trying to chose one format over another; so the sooner it comes to market the better!
     
  7. Shawn Perron

    Shawn Perron Supporting Actor

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    I only think universal players would work if the studios abandoned the red and blue packaging. Also the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray logos would have to go somewhere small on the back. If the 2 formats did't blend into 1 product, consumer confusion would kill the formats. Really, there is only room for 1 format in the stores, even if it's really 2. If we get more then 1 million of each into homes, there will be no way to end this war.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Hmm. Meridian... Meridian... Where have I seen that before?

    Ah! Meridian Lossless Packing.

    I wonder if Bob Stuart has a vested interest in one of the formats. Hmm..
     
  9. Ryan-G

    Ryan-G Supporting Actor

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    You might be interested in this assesssment of the format war...

    http://msn.pcworld.com/news/article/...0.asp?GT1=8298

    It specifically notes how HD-DVD is pretty much at it's limit for capacity already, couldn't fit a single one of it's titles on a single layer disc, and this is while using VC-1. In other words, it's been out for only a couple months and it's already hit the wall.

    The article also mentions that while Toshbia claims 45gb HD-DVD's, it hasn't added it into the HD-DVD spec yet, leaving it's ability to do triple layer ambiguous.
     
  10. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Actually, the HD-DVD/DVD hybrid discs are *all* mastered at HD 15GB single-layer. This means "Rumor Has It" and "Firewall" both fit on a 15 GB single-layer and with good HD quality. Those transfers prove that HD-DVD hasn't "maxed" yet. I agree, though, that Blu-ray has the potential to provide better interactive supplements in the future. I even stated so in my post above. But right now, that's all that Blu-ray has: potential.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I find it interesting that this writer questions Toshiba's claims about future 45GB HD-DVDS, but doesn't say anything about the whispers of Sony having trouble producing their 50GB Blu-ray discs.

    As you read most articles, you need to take a grain of salt because little is known about the writer's or magazine's hidden agenda or possible allegiances to others. I was taught a long time ago to be careful believing everything you read because what you've read is still compose by humans whose true motivations or work habits (accuracy) might not be clear to you.




    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Combo discs use a 15GB single layer; so some titles, with shorter run times, do exist on single layers.
    Choosing to use all of a disc's capacity and being forced to use all of the capacity are two different things. Why waste time and resources shrinking a master that will fit?
    The early HD DVD encodings were created up to 6 months ago and VC1 efficiency has improved since then. ( as per amirm @ AVS )

    And BTW, 30GB is more capacity than any released Bd title to date. When Sony has commercially viable BD50s going then we can revisit the subject of capacity. Until then HD DVD offers more- today, right now.

    - Walter.
     
  13. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Don't the "maxed out" HD-DVD discs contain all of the supplements of their Standard DVD counterparts? So obviously, the movies themselves aren't eating up all the space- a single 30 gig HD-DVD is able to hold a high-quality HD version of the movie itself, plus all the supplements of what on DVD tend to be 2-disc sets.

    I can see a super-long movie like say TITANIC having to split the film and supplements onto 2 HD-DVD discs, although they could probably get away with single-layer HD-DVD for the supplement disc. I hardly see that as a drawback, though.

    Vincent
     
  14. Travis Hedger

    Travis Hedger Supporting Actor

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    How can a combo player keep people away? A single box, that plays all formats destroys the format war. No matter which way you lean, if you have a combo unit, it will play it. WTF am I missing here.

    BTW, Divx was a completely different animal and was avoided due to it's "rental scheme" Other than that difference, it offered NOTHING over DVD. Where as BR and HD DVD offer something better than standard DVD. I want either 2 things to happen.

    A Combo unit, or all studios supporting both formats with dual releases day and date.
     
  15. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Yes, and the picture still looks excellent.
     
  16. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Those supplements are all in standard def. Either way the market will tell. If enthusiasts are happy with a low capacity, low data rate format then High Def will win. If that happens it will be interesting to read the comments from "enthusiasts" when the limitations of the format start to become apparent in a few years. And don't kid yourself that the limitations won't be seen, because they surely will be. People right now are saying 30G is enough. I've heard that litany before when it came to computer storage and memory: only to see those limits be exceeded again and again. High Def disc will be no different. In a couple of years there will be a litany of complaints that 30G isn't enough. Only thing is is that is all you're going to get. 45G triple layer discs in the HD DVD format is nothing but snake oil: even moreso than 50G discs on Blu-ray. If SONY is having trouble making a dual layer disc work with a 0.1 mm disc structure, who could honestly believe that Toshiba is going to be able to make a triple layer disc work with a 0.6 mm structure?

    It will be interesting to hear the complaints when even short movies have to be spread over two discs because of all of the whiz-bang supplements that will surely be generated by the Hollywood studios. I am going to LMAO when that happens. And the strategy to put the supplements on a second disc isn't going to work because many of the supplements being planned are going to be interactively tied into the movie. Or didn't anyone get why the studios want the Ihd and BD-java interactive layers?
     
  17. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Surely it has the opposite effect. If players play just one format then it's up to Joe Public which format to buy (few will buy both I suspect). Whichever one gets the most sales is the winner. Everybody backs the winning horse. THEN the format war is over.

    Universal players will keep both formats running forever and ever and ever...

    John
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Why would that be so funny to you?




    Crawdaddy
     
  19. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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  20. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    They will if there's a universal player.
     

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