Will Criterion produce blu-ray DVD? & $?

John*C

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I own 3 Criterions and $35 new is about 4 dicounted DVD in red analog, if so 'what' do you think they will charge for their titles? I would be interested in a second "A Night To Remember" (Walter Lords~Titanic) spine number 7 if produced in HD-DVD.
 

GlennH

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I think you're getting just a little ahead of yourself. Nobody yet knows when studios will begin releasing movies in a Hi-Def optical format, whether it will be HD-DVD or Blu-ray or both, or what it will cost.
 

Marc Colella

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As Glenn stated, it's too early to tell.

I suspect that once a standard is set, Criterion won't be producing hi-def DVDs right away. Criterion is a very small company, and I don't think they'll be able to handle the initially high cost of this niche format.

This is entirely my guess though - perhaps Criterion has a strategy in place already.
 

John*C

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Sorry Glen I forgot about their troubles of how to prevent copying, now that CSS is all over the web.
 

Nils Luehrmann

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That's partially correct.

Ben Feingold, President of Columbia, announced last March at the Digital Hollywood Reception that Columbia would make all new releases available on Blu-Ray discs (BD-DVD) by early 2006 and possibly as soon as the end of 2005.

No word yet on what other studios are planning to do. There is a lot of speculation that Warner will want to be the first to release titles on some form of High-Def DVD (HD-DVD or BD-DVD... or both???) just as they did with DVD.

Only time will tell for sure, but I think it is fairly safe to say that by 2006 several of the studios/distributors will have a few titles available on High-Def DVD.

BD-DVD players and recorders are already available in Japan and Sony has announced that the upcoming PS3 will include a BD-DVD player.
 

ShaunS

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but were not Criterion a bit slow on the ball to switching to DVD from LD? As Marc said above, they are a small company and can't afford to switch right away to new technology. I'm of the mindset that it will take a looooong time before average joe will move on from DVD, so I wouldn't not buy a Criterion disc for fear of it being obsolete any time soon.

My question would be: Do you think these old films that Criterion releases will look that much better in HD? I'm thinking, for example, of their Samuari Trilogy coming out later this month. The video quality ain't that great on them anyway, so what? Will the dirt be that much clearer? Will the scratches just leap off the screen?


Since most of my purchases tend to be films 1970s and earlier, I'm not convinced HD will make that much of a diference to me. Feel free to convince me otherwise, though.

Shaun
 

John*C

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Criterions film "Fiend without a Face" starring Marshal Thomson was a farce to begin with and to charge what they want is atrocious. I have "A Night To Remember", "Hopscotch", and "SALO". The ones I have from Criterion are watched frequently, except SALO(Sad Lo..29 chapter)never watched more than 15 minutes. SALO was purchased as disc to hold onto for bigger money in the future.

I just can't see buying $100 discs in HD-DVD(2006 price) for a lot of their other titles can you? Like one reponder said HD-DVD will multiply the dirt, or the scratches will come out at you. Please answer Shauns question before mine as he asked first.
 

Marc Colella

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I think it depends on the title and how good the source is.

Even films from the 50s and 60s have a higher resolution than HD-DVD or Blu-Ray - so the potential is there.
Not sure about films like the Samuari Trilogy - but I would expect 8 1/2 (as one example) would look amazing in HD-DVD , since it's looks incredible on DVD.
 

Nils Luehrmann

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As stated before, the cost of High-Def DVD production is going to be almost identical to standard DVD. Even the production costs of High-Def DVD players will be no more than standard DVDs. The R&D costs of High-Def DVD have been exceptionally low, and have not even come close to what was reportedly spent on the R&D of standard DVD.

Although Columbia has not quoted any pricing yet, I would assume that High-Def players and DVDs will be priced significantly higher than standard DVD for two reasons; one will be because they won’t sell as well as standard DVD and low production equals a lower profit which equals higher pricing. The second reason is that I am sure the manufacturers and studios will be marketing High-Def DVDs as a premium product and as such will demand premium pricing.

However I seriously doubt these discs will be priced any where near $100. If I were to guess I'd say maybe and SRP $50 and street for less, anything more than that will risk the future success of this technology. Also, if by the time High-Def DVDs roll out and both HD-DVD and BD-DVD are still in the game then pricing will likely be even less as the two competing formats will be doing what ever they can to grab the most market share.
 

John*C

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Niles I was talking price of Criterion HD-DVD not the average studio price, which most certainly will be lower than Criterion.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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There is no way, other than by working at Criterion, that anyone can tell you what the price of a Criterion HD disc will be, if and when Criterion enters the market. The HD format is too far from market to get a real picture of what anyone will be doing from a price perspective.

While the cost to replicate may be similar to DVD, I suspect the authoring side will be very expensive, at least in the short term. If Criterion already have hi-def masters (which I assume they will on some titles) and if they still have a license, and if it includes a release in hi-def, then I can see them coming to market sooner than later, but there are a lot of ifs involved, both in terms of their agreements, and in how they choose to leverage their assets.

Regarding their early releases on DVD and nonanamorphic support, I suspect the reuse of existing masters was more of a cost savings than any real technical issue, as was aluded too in the beginning. Criterion, and all companies for that matter, have to manage their bottom line, and investing in first generation authoring equipment, for a format that is far from stable, is a pretty major risk, and one they will weigh carefully. I certainly don't see them pricing discs lower than DVD, but if the average cost of HD-DVD is too high, the format will be still born, and it makes little sense to be investing in hi-def inventory for a market that doesn't exist. It would make more sense to let the majors establish the format before getting too deeply involved.
 

DaViD Boulet

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At the onset of DVD, some folks at Criterion had a definite "attitude problem" regarding DVD and 16x9-enhancement. Thankfully it didn't take too long before Criterion was able to resurrect itself and join the rest of the DVD community...and now many of their discs (just screened the new 16x9 Charade) are absolutely REFERENCE.

I think that their migration to HD media will be much smoother and less obstacle driven than their conversion from LD to DVD.
 

Jon Robertson

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Criterion made a commitment a few years ago (I believe in mid 2001) to do all transfers in high-definition, so they could be ready for future formats. They clearly didn't want to be caught out the same way they were when DVD first came along and all they had for the most part were fairly unspectacular laserdisc masters.
 

Dan Hitchman

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They really shouldn't charge more than a couple bucks extra since the cost to manufacturer HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs are not that much greater than a regular DVD (in fact, HD-DVD should really see almost no change in costs since those pressing plants have little to do to upgrade their stampers).

However some studios, I'm sure, will use these formats to get even greedier.

Dan
 

RobD

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If copy protection hplds then I think studios will set a very similar RRP but the street price for HD will be higher. Studios will probably want a quick transition to HD if they feel its a "Safe format".
 

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