Something to get excited about! Nothing to get excited about! To put these numbers in perspective; Barbie's latest direct to video SD DVD release sold a similar number of units, IN ONE WEEK!!! So, HD disc is going along fine as a niche, however, till it can beat Barbie...
I have been doing a little soul searching, and I am beginning to wonder if HD and BD are going to become this decades LD.
If I am an average consumer, with a couple of DVD plavers at home, maybe a portable, maybe a game console that plays dvd's, probably a laptop or desktop computer with a DVD drive, and for some reason, have purchased a HD (pick your format choice here) player, what releases am I going to buy?
SD, that can be used on all of my systems? Or HD, that is limited to only one of my players. I think the answer is obvious. SD wins out. HD formats become the 2000's LD.
I am in the same boat, Brain. But as I bring my friends over to my home to view the HD releases, and while many can see the improvement in the picture, only one in 10 even has the monitor to view HD. Most could care less at the improvement.
I think one reason is simple. While I can certainly see the improvement in the quality of the picture between SD and DVD, the SD image is still quite good. Not quite the same difference as between VHS and DVD, where the image difference was almost a knock your socks off.
Additionally, the don't want to deal with the issue of load time, and bug=s in the current hardware, not to mention the largest problem, cost; Both hardware and Software.
When LD's came out, I was sure that they would take the world by storm, but alas, they only rose to the stature of a niche product.
As far as the sound goes, most still watch their DVD's utilizing either their TV or their all-in-one DVD/Receiver which have no connections to attach another device to.
Don't mean to be doomsayer on this issue, but I am beginning to think it will be years before either format is accepted into the mainstream. I think this holiday season will be very telling for the industry.
Seems like the LD market to me too. Look at the HD lost season price of $200.00 US !
I've curtailed SD DVD purchases as well and I do not even have an HD optical player! Now I'm only getting what is really unlikely to go HD , like the Adam's Family season one, etc. Our Pioneer Elite up samples quite fine as well, so we look at SD DVD TV shows on our 60" Sony . We get a 49" diagonal picture that is more than nice if the source material has been treated well. We will still get SD DVDs for our rental store, but few for personal use.
One thing I think a lot of us fail to remember is not everyone has HD TV's. As more and more HD sets come into the American household, the "average consumer" will see the vast difference in HD and standard tv. They will only become more interested in HD DVD's. I remember people saying the same thing about VCR - DVD but they became the norm and IMO as HD TV's become the norm so will HD DVDs.
Man, this really is the MTV generation. HD DVD has been available for what, 8 months or so? And it hasn't yet surpassed standard DVD sales? Where were you guys when nobody thought DVD was gonna replace VHS? Patience. Every friend and relative that has seen it can see the difference. They are not running out to buy a player tomorrow but it will certainly be top of their mind when they are ready to replace their DVD player or upgrade to an HDTV.
Hey MTV debuted in 1981 ! Lets not insult us in our 30s-40s that grew up with MTV when it played actual Music Videos. I do agree with your point though, the masses don't jump on board with new technology right way.
Do not forget, we are not the NORM on this board when it comes to these sort of things, we are the niche consumer.
My thinking is that until the average consumer is getting a better picture (ie. HD) from their cable/satellite provider than they do from their DVDs, there will be little incentive for them to upgrade. I think this will take another three or four years at least.
To think that HD will only be a niche market is very silly...HDTV's have been outselling SD TV's for some time now, and they will be the standard by 2009. It's only a matter of time before HD content is the norm, and by then HD-DVD players will be available for under $100 and many studios will probably only be offering HD or Combo releases. It's inevitable that the technology will advance - it always does.
DVD has important benefits over LD - size, price, and availability being the most critical. Laserdisc players were always expensive (my last one by Yamaha cost me $900) as were the discs ($40 was about average, with many costing $50 - $70 each). Also, the 12-inch size was difficult to store and took up too much shelf space. They were mainly relegated to speciality shops or mail-order catalogs. Remember, there was no internet back then, so online sales were impossible. I remember travelling to Sight 'n Sound in Waltham, MA or Laser Craze in Boston to find my prized LD's. Ken Crane's & Big Emma's were options over the phone.
Anyway, one of these 2 formats will definitely become the next standard for movie playback. I'm just hoping it's HD-DVD!
GREAT discussion! Just hope my post wasn't seen as; "Doomsday for HD Disc". I'm happy with its 1.5 mil. It could have been LESS! I'm SUPER DUPER impressed HD Disc titles have broken into the Top 100 at Amazon. Did not think that could happen in '06. Just 'we' are what 'we' are; "a niche". Good news is that HD displays are HOT!!! That's only going to help. Would like to see a BIG push in recordable HD. Even though I'm a pre-recorded guy, I feel the general public would be greatly impressed by space & quality of recordable HD Disc. I know HD Disc will be 'light' this X-mas. As they say in baseball; Wait till NEXT year!!!
When the team goes into spring training w/more players, recorders, PCs, titles, etc...
Sweet, we've got our HD video games, our HD movies (enough backlog + steady new material on either format I could rent 3-at-a-time from netflix and likely never have to watch the same one twice), now all America needs is for cable Tv to switch to HD.
Oh, thats right....... I'm still going to get black bars & SD for another 10 years on most channels.... blech
The studios are committed to HD-DVD/BD replacing DVD because sales are down, margins are being squeezed by the 800 pound gorilla known as Walmart, and rampant piracy. The only thing coming down the line that I can see stunting it's growth is HD Video On Demand. But that's still a ways away. I think we'll be seeing a lot of HD-DVD/BD promotions in the near future.
Time to ramble........ I don't know about the promotions , but if they are lowering prices in promotions, then HD may take off with Joe Six pack. Joe wants and demands cheap "DVDs" because that is what Wal Mart has tought Joe.
Also Joe will be very confused that his new HD DVD will not play in his daughter's portable DVD player and in his mini van/SUV. In fact Joe thinks he is watching HD now because he bought a big RPTV or ED plasma TV and the picture is big!
Joe buys "Full Screen" DVDs and stretches them so he never sees the terrible black bars on his EDTV. Joe also likes all his speakers on at all times . If his woofer is not woofing, he is upset!
SO HD if takes off, it will cause a lot of confusion among average foks who really do not care to be here in these forums. A LOT of folks really do think 'ED" TVs are HD. Like CDs, for many, DVD is "Good enough". So perhaps HD optical discs will go the way of SACD/DVD-A? Dunno, I hope not. I still like those formats, but for most folks, the difference is nil.
At least LD had a unified format and one basic standard , well , ok two, but all the discs played in all the players. Try convincing Joe that all three optical formats are different. It is a hurdle, as is LD like pricing ( See $200.00 for Lost HD set ). A home installer I know feels both optical formats are doomed too unless the price is Wal Marted down and cheap players are the norm. Sounds familiar, eh?
It is weird at the same time TVs are getting larger and more definition, we have a half a dozen digital download services, all offering incompatible ,not-DVD-quality downloads. Many of these downloads are not for burning and some are for watching only on screens a few inches diagonal!. With the number of choices we have, no wonder there is confusion in the marketplace.
I'm hoping HD optical can take off for the masses. While Amazon has a HD in the top 100, Amazon is not Wal Mart. Amazon is for a more educated consumer that uses the computer and ( hopefully ) pays of their credit card!!
Wal Mart's price structure and demands really do rule the DVD world. 40% of sales as I read. I'm sure they would like to make more from their optical disc sales, but they also use the DVD Tuesday thing to get us in to their stores at least once a week and hopefully buy toiletries and such with our DVD purchase. Wally World uses DVD like photo finishing, as a constant pull to get us into their stores. With that thinking in mind, they may just reduce the price on HD discs too. Right now, they average around ten dollars or more for an HD disc over the standard "Tuesday" price. But do you think they will sell a lot of Lost HD box sets at $200.00?
So I don't know where it is going, but as much as I do not like Wal Mart on many levels, they could cut the belly of the beast and make HD discs practically valueless just like DVDs are. That would be OK by me.