With Blu the apparent victor, it's time to demand some changes....

Dave Moritz

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I wouldn't mind if HDM was the same price as DVD's. But IMHO one of the reasons the studios are backing HDM is to regain some of there profit level that they are loosing with DVD. I would hope that when HD-DVD actually goes away that $35 will be the max on HDM for single titles.

As far as HDM being a protected format and us trading up to Blu-ray goes. To my knowledge both HD-DVD and Blu-ray have been hacked so they are not really a protected format. My main concern at this point in time is not the retail price of HDM. My main concern is how long will we have to wait for Universal to go neutral and how long will it take for Toshiba to throw in the towel? One thing is for sure is the 08' belongs to Blu-ray and Universal is really going to feel the pressure to go neutral or Blu-ray only. Once that happens Paramount will fold quickly unless there agreement with Toshiba doesn't allow it. But at that point you would hope that Toshiba would be objective and would not sulk and prolong the war just to be vindictive. I see Universal at least going neutral and at that point Toshiba will have to take a serious step back and make a decision based on business not personal feelings regarding Sony and the loss of the HD-DVD platform. Toshiba should accept defete at that point in time and jump on board so they can not only move foward but so they can make money off of Blu-ray. Only then can there be one unified format and HDM can move forward and the consumer may feel more confedent about buying into HDM.

Like many of us have stated in this forum its not over yet and only time will tell. The next move is up to Toshiba and I am very interested to see what there next move will be, especially since I am supporting HD-DVD as well as Blu-ray. I do not exspect to hear anything from Toshiba until CES is over. And then I would exspect to hear from Toshiba within 1 - 3 weeks after CES has concluded and Toshiba has had a chance to think about there situation carefully.
 

Stephen_J_H

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I'm just remembering how ridiculous some of the prices were here in Canada at the beginning of DVD, especially from Paramount. A friend of mine paid $40 for The Virgin Suicides when it was a new release. Two years later, I found it in the $6.88 bin @ Wal*Mart and promptly snapped it up, which leads me to believe that prices may remain high for awhile, but if mass adoption of BD happens sooner rather than later, economies of scale will kick in and prices will start to drop, @ least on catalogue titles.
 

stevenHa

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Could someone review the pros and cons of the the 2 formats so we know what we will be gaining and losing ? It seems there is some limitations with sound in Blu-Ray ?
 

Duncan Harvey

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British advocates of HD-DVD have been spinning this line for the last 18 months but I cant say I've really noticed it. In fact I've seen the opposite. Blu-ray versions of Face Off and Brokeback Mountain to name just two.

Studio Canal were supposed to be the saviours of HD-DVD but aside from T2 and Total Recall I cant say they've been especially active.
 

Scott-S

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Steven, I think it boiled down to Blu-Ray had much better capacity and bitrates, and HD-DVD had better interactivity/online connectivity. Although BR will get better at this as well eventually.

Back to the topic..

Even with only 1 format, there is still competition. There are many different Mfgs of players that will compete against each other. So there will still be a force to keep the pricing competitive.
 

Ensign Eddie

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I agree with most of the items that have been brought up (for the record, put me in the camp that would like the disc to stop before starting the movie). I bought into HD-DVD because of the price ($98 Wal-Mart A2) and Star Trek. I was planning to get into Blu-Ray eventually and that plan hasn't changed for me. However, in addition to the other wonderful ideas in this thread, there are a few other things (from mostly a hardware slant) I would like before jumping in:

1) Full Profile 2.0 compatibility. I don't think any manufacturer should be allowed to announce a new machine from this point forward that isn't 2.0.

2) Both IR and RF remote controllability. RF remote control is the main thing that keeps me from pulling the trigger on a PS3.

3) Resume Play. I know it has been mentioned, but this is really important to me and it's absence is one of the two things that most irritate me about my A2.

4) One-button quick back-skip (a button press that rewinds the program by 8-seconds or so). The other thing about my A2 that irritates me. I don't know if this is standard on BD machines, but my Sony SD DVD player can do it. My DIRECTV HD DVR can do it also. Comes in handy when today's stars mumble their words.


Keep up the good suggestions, everyone!
 

DaViD Boulet

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To add to what Scott said, regarding "sound" one thing that some criticized with BD was that the spec for players didn't require "full" decoding of advanced lossless audio... it only required "core" decoding (ie, Dolby Digital at 640 and DTS at 1500). But most BD hardware these days decodes TrueHD anyway, and DTS MA decoding had to wait until recently anyway (for HD DVD too) because of chips and software.

BTW, the irony is that even without the required spec for full decoding of TrueHD/DTS MA audio in hardware, the BD studios (Disney, Fox, Sony, MGM) released EVERY title with lossless sound! Contrast that with HD DVD releases which only have about a 27% rate of providing lossless and it's obvious that it's actually HD DVD that has the "limitation" with audio, not BD. In fact, it's this issue of not being able to fit lossless sound, even with the new codecs, on every HD DVD release that was one of the main reasons I prefer Blu-ray.
 

Malcolm R

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Either you're not looking for it, or you haven't seen many discs lately. There's still a fair number of new discs that feature both DTS and DD.
 

Cees Alons

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The BD+ specification that a player reads and executes a script from the individual BD before starting should be removed from the current functionality.

It's extremely dangerous. Exactly like if you could not possibly open or read an e-mail message without executing an attached exec-file first, individually added by the sender (or anywhere where possible since).


Cees
 

Colin Dunn

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Things I'd like to see change with Blu-Ray...

- No more of this "profile" stuff. Settle the specs and require all manufacturers to meet them, as HD-DVD did. Even now there are only a couple BD Profile 1.1 players on the market, and no Profile 2.0 players at all.
- Every player should have upgradeable firmware so it can achieve a useful life of 3-5 years. Having just paid about $500 for a BD player, I want to get some use out of it before planned software obsolescence relegates it to the landfill...
- Get discs into the $14.95-$19.95 range. I think they're worth more than standard DVDs, but I won't pay $30+ for a movie. Those prices induce me to wait for a later price drop, sale, or a used copy showing up somewhere...
- Lossless audio and a non-MPEG-2 codec for every release.
- Burners, disc-creation software, etc. for data storage, home movies, etc. Everything you can do to make your own DVD today, should also be possible to do with BD.
 

Carlo Medina

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Nice list, Colin. I'm not a BDA member
but I think the profile thingie will end soon enough. I don't get the sense there's anything beyond 1.1 and 2.0 and in fact, had HD-DVD not beat them to the marketplace I understand they wouldn't have released until the 1.1 spec was finalized.

Firmware I don't think is a problem, because just about all current BD players have it, and while it wasn't advertised, a lot of DVD players had it as well (sometimes it had to be done by "factory authorized" people).

There are already BD burners out, though quite expensive (Macsales.com has an add-on for Macs so I assume there are Windows counterparts on the way). No more expensive than DVD-Rs were at inception, so it's following that pricing trend nicely. Within 2 years expect BD-R/RWs to be in the $200 range, 4 years at the $100 range.

As far as disc price, all we can do is vote with our wallets. I hands-down refuse to pay over $25 for any non-special disc (i.e. Blade Runner suitcase pack exempted). I only buy Fox BDs when there's a BOGO, or if I can get them through some other discounted means for under $25. They aren't dumb, they'll note these trends and drop prices. DVDs were wildly priced as well (though I can't remember if Fox was the big offender back then as well, I seem to remember Disney's were priced higher in the beginning and were non-anamorphic to boot) but the marketplace spoke and pricing became fairly consistent.
 

DaViD Boulet

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Colin,

I'm all over your list. In fact, I could have written it myself.


I'm 100% with you that the BDA should just put an end to letting the manufacturers dictate their own compliance and just REQUIRE that every player sold be 2.0 and be done with it. There *is* a 2.0 player by Panasonic coming out... so the spec is ready. So what's the hold up?

And your idea about firmware updatability via web makes sense too. It's why I bought the PS3 (among other reasons).
 

Chuck Anstey

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As with all discretionary spending, there is a limit to how much a person is willing to pay for perceived value before they stop spending the money on one "hobby" and spend it on another. There is also the issue of "too cheap" where consumers don't have to spend up to their comfort limit to get all the enjoyment they can. Each person has a different limit and that creates a curve. The studios need to find the price point of maximum profitabilty on that curve. DVD seems to have crossed into the "too cheap" realm and is now limited by the fact people don't spend 12 hours a day watching movies. I think they are still searching for the HDM price point.

It seems like studios see HDM and DVD the same way the music industry saw CD and cassettes: the consumer pays a premium for the higher quality regardless of the actual cost of manufacturing. I don't expect HDM to be anywhere close to DVD prices for a very long time because HDM is not going to be the majority format for at least 6-8 more years, probably longer. By the time it could be the majority format it better be already replaced by Super HD.

What studios need to do is be a bit more reasonable on that premium price. Right now it is anywhere from $10-$25. It needs to be a flat $10 (or less would be great) over the DVD prices for new DVD releases. That would put a cap of about $30 for any title. Catalog titles need to be in line with regular HDM prices.

They also could decide to say "screw it, we are purposely going niche" and start charging LD type premiums at $40 to $50 per disc. The trouble with that is DVD is so incredibly cheap to produce that there are a huge glut of movies for $5-$10. The competition for DVD is the thousands of DVDs consumers have to choose from and most are bargain basement prices and the used market really hurts too. HDM consumers are going to have to be absolutely sure they want a movie in HD when the premium is 5 to 10 times the cost of DVD and over 10 times the cost of a rental.
 

Dave Moritz

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Personally all I want when I upgrade my current Sony BDP-S300 player is a 1.1 Bluray player. I really do not care about the BD+ so I really do not care if my player is a 2.0 machine. My priority is to have 1080p video and a player that can bitstream pcm, dolby true hd and dts-hd master audio. That is all I want and all I need, as I am not big into the extras even on SD-DVD. My goal for this year is to buy a new Denon AVR-3808ci receiver and a Denon DVD-2500 BTci Blu-ray player. Its nice that 2.0 players will be coming out and I am sure that many will buy one and that they will be really nice. But like I said all I want and need is the 1.1 player I will be buying later on this year, now if Denon upgrades it to a 2.0 player thats great.

As far as I am concerned the war is technically over even though I will be still buying some HD-DVD's. But one thing is for certain is that Toshiba's HD-DVD format is on borrowed time and the end is coming.
 

Chris

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Hahahah. It's amazing how the market has changed. I remember paying $109 for a copy of "Kids in The Hall: Brain Candy" on Laserdisc when it was first released, and that was freaking wholesale cost.

The price will be set at whatever the market will bare.
 

Viper

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Here's an idea I don't think has been mentioned yet. Anytime a title with more than one cut is released, they should RELEASE ALL VERSIONS! I'm tired of seeing theatricals only when there's a director'r/extended cut already out on SD-DVD years earlier. I'm also tired of the rare titles there have a better theatrical than director's cut (Payback!) only being released one way. What about Terminator 2? Are they actually crazy enough to release just one cut or the other? The Ultimate Edition SD-DVD with BOTH cuts has been out for 8 goddamn years! I've been watching the extended cut that long too, and there's no way in hell I'd buy a theatrical only BD just because it's 1080p or has lossless audio.
 

Aaron Garman

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It's sometimes funny to look at Blu Ray and see how if they only looked at grandpa LaserDisc, they could make us so happy. For instance:

-You put a disc in, it starts, with sound trailers often too.

-Resume play.

-Uncompressed audio on just about everything except ancient titles.

-No annoying menus that make it hard just to change the audio (see Live Free or Die Hard) or have SWOOSHING sounds.

-Special features that, for the most part, added real value to your purchase.

-Pricing that made sense. Yes, I know I could get in trouble for saying $100 was fair for a boxed set, but c'mon: they were pretty cool. A BD should never be higher that $30 unless it's a multidisc set or box. It takes away that impulse buy factor.

Many have talked of Blu Ray becoming niche. What is so wrong with that? As long as the studios support it well, as they did LaserDisc, by releasing great titles at unparalleled quality, why do we want it mass market? Why do you think we have tons of ads, unskippable previews, and lower quality a/v on our discs in the first place? Again, as long as we get the same movies as the mass market DVD, except in super duper ultra high definition, who cares if everyone and their grandma owns one?

Anyone who complains about DTS-MA should try dealing with AC-3 RF demodulators. Talk about getting screwed when the LaserDisc player you just bought doesn't output that! Well, it wasn't all bad I guess. The PCM tracks were still, well, amazing.

Lastly, the biggest and best thing BD could do to change:

Have Pioneer make a SUPER Combi player that does BD, DVD, CD, DVD-A, SACD, and LaserDisc, with everything upscaled to 1080p. And I suppose ya might as well throw in HD-DVD to boot. I'd pay good money for that.

A guy can dream I suppose...

AJG
 

Paul.S

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Amen. I have that dream, too. And in my dream they even started r & d six months ago so they can bring the 2.0-compliant player to market this summer for under $500.


Seriously, I do wish at least Sony would support SACD playback in all of their BD decks. Panasonic dropped DVD-A support on the BD30 (and I think BD50) after including it on the BD10 and I think that's regrettable.
 

Manus

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Until the final specs are nailed down so that EVERYONE can buy a player safe in the knowledge that it wont be obsolete 10 minutes later there will not IMO be an instant upsurge in take up of BD .

If only they would do away with Region Coding so that they could advertise a truly universal product , ' The Look and Sound of Perfect the Whole World over ' kind of thing
No checking to see if your disc is 'free' or not because ALL players are created equal . This was the single best thing about Hd-Dvd , whether you lived in L.A. , New York , London , Tokyo , Sydney or Seoul you could buy players AND discs without any worries . See the similarity with CD ?

~M~
 

Mark Zimmer

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With Blu the victor they can go back to doing things the easy way. Look for more like The Fifth Element v. 1.0.
 

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