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Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-is-still-going dept.

Movies 685

MojoKid writes "A new study by Harris Interactive notes that currently, one in ten Americans (10%) own an HD DVD player, while just 7% own a Blu-ray player. Crazy, right? More Americans own HD DVD right now than the 'winning' format, Blu-ray. If you think about it, that statistic isn't that shocking. When HD DVD was around, it was far and away the 'budget' format for high-def. The players were cheaper, the films were cheaper. In other words, it was a format more ready to thrive in a down economy. Blu-ray was always viewed as a niche format for those absorbed in A/V, not the common man's format. The survey also found that on average, consumers purchased approximately six standard format DVDs in the last six months, compared with one in HD DVD format."

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I always maintained blue ray was moot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421147)

People can just download stuff in any format. The industry is confused about this issue. My computer can play just about anything, so screw them.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (4, Insightful)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421249)

Not to mention, movies can be made at any resolution almost, esp. cgi movies. Even using povray I can generate 6400x4800 res movies, and you know what? I don't need a dvd to same them. There is this universal storage device called a "hard drive". Also, crazily enough, as you point out, the movies can be in any of these mysterious "formats", such as .mov, .mp4, .avi, etc. If they want to provide me with a way to back up a 50 gig directory fine, but it's so old fashioned to think that this is going to be the new "movie" format.

Also, I've even downgraded from dvd quality. I am very happy streaming things from Netflix.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421681)

The first HD movie I watched was "300" on my mates' PS3 linked to a 46" Hi-Def TV (full 1080p). I'll never watch another Hi-Def movie again.

The definition was so good that I could see the seperations around the actors and knew exactly when they were in front of a green screen and no on set. Totally ruined the visuals (which is, in all honesty, the only reason to watch that movie).

Total waste of money. I'm happy with my 24" monitor and DVD drive in my PC (which actually runs up to 1920x1200, higher than Hi-Def).

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (0, Offtopic)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421859)

Why was this moderated as a "Troll"? This is a genuine comment from someone explaining their perception of a movie in a format relevant to the discussion. If the moderator does not agree with the sentiment, too bad. Read something else.

Don't waste mod-points this way! Somebody please meta-moderate this appropriately.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (4, Funny)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421381)

Yes, the winner of the HD DVD BluRay format war is has and always will be "None of the above"

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (5, Funny)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421471)

It's amazing. Sony are so bad at format wars that, even when they win, they lose.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421873)

It's amazing. Sony are so bad at format wars that, even when they win, they lose.

A curious game where the only winning move is not to buy Sony.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (2, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421819)

Not really moot. Most people are either 1) Not sure how to download movies 2) not sure how to get them to play 3) would rather watch them on their 40 inch tv while in their couch instead of 22 inch monitor while in their desk chair.

You may have a 40 inch monitor or have your computer wired to your plasma/lcd but most people do not. You may know how to use torrents but most people do not.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421845)

You haven't factored in that many people like to own physical copies of the media they buy (although the next generation looks like it won't have the same need to own what they've paid for), and that it's hard to match a 40mbps BluRay movie with a 8mbps HD download - and that's if you live in an area that gets decent enough broadband service for that to be viable. I imagine that there will be enough people, even in 5 years time, who won't want to download HD movies, to keep physical media attractive. And for that, I say hurrah.

Re:I always maintained blue ray was moot (5, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421855)

Maybe downloadable content will be the winner much further down the track, but for the moment I think the problem is that Blu-ray hasn't done enough to dethrone DVDs as the standard format.

Think about what DVDs had to offer over VHS - much smaller form factor (you can get about three TV seasons worth of content in a case the size of a VHS tape), significantly increased quality (both picture and sound), the ability to choose subtitles in dozens of languages with a click of a button, no rewinding, multiple soundtracks on the one disc, selectable camera angles, chapter selection, usable menus, special features, audio commentaries, no degradation of the signal from repeated use, etc...

Blu-ray offers... a slightly better picture. If you fork out ridiculous amounts of cash for the new discs, players and a HD Television to go with it.

Sure, I can tell the difference, and so can most people, but DVDs are actually reasonably good quality to begin with, and good enough for most people out there, myself included.

stiff post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421149)

my first one ever

It's all about the names (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421157)

If you had no format knowledge, and someone told you you could have HD DVD or Blu-Ray, which would you pick? Probably the one you thought you knew, High Definition DVD. You might even think it was more compatible with your existing DVD stuff. Blu Ray? What's that?

Re:It's all about the names (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421391)

I don't think this applies to the demographic though. These were still early adopter products up to the death of HD-DVD, and this group are quite knowledgable about tech.

Re:It's all about the names (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421841)

It wouldn't surprise me if a substantial number of those saying they have an "HD DVD player" actually own Blu-Ray devices.

really? (5, Interesting)

notgm (1069012) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421167)

more people own hd-dvd players than own ps3s? really?

Re:really? (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421643)

No. The statistics are clearly faulty.

First, 1 in 10 Americans does not own either of these formats. Come on, really? 30 million Americans own HD-DVD players? If Toshiba and their partners had sales like that, the format war would have been over long before it was - in HD-DVD's favor.

Second, this clearly isn't taking into account the 22 million PS3's out there, of which about 12 million are in the United States. This is still the player of choice for most people - at least until that $99 player announced over the weekend comes along. But this is one case where a game console is actually clearly better than most standalone players and most people know it.

Re:really? (2, Interesting)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421735)

Also, may people are starting to use HTPCs, media centers, or laptops that have Blu Ray players in them that wouldn't show up in a survey.

Don't buy into that lie (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421839)

That was how Sony convinced the producers that they had won, by counting PS3's instead of stand alone players. This is no different than some of the Apple people claiming 10% market share but failing to state that it included phones!

Personal account, only one of the circle of friends who has a PS3 have more than two blu ray movies. Most don't even use it to play regular DVDs, it is the "KIDS MACHINE".

HD-DVD loaded faster, have less expensive players, and less expensive movies. It also had some great shows/movies out early that Blu Ray did not. I have both players now, I would have loved HD-DVD to have won. Why? Because of the G-D ads that too many Blu-Ray movies force you to sit through. See, that AD thing is probably another reason movie producers would favor Sony over HD. They could force you to watch their ads for other products because HD stated that that feature was not allowed - not so in Blu-Ray

Well with [] I could get the blu-ray versions fairly cheap, but my HD-DVD player is again, faster and less prone to abuse by the dvd creator.

Sony screwed the consumer over by lies and buying off the movie producers. They are getting exactly what they deserve, flat to falling sales. The players are overpriced and worse the movies border on extortionist in pricing. I do not buy new Blu-Ray movies, I rent them on occasion, but if they are higher than standard DVD I will just wait till the price goes down. This has two effects, by the time the price comes down the movie may no longer be interesting to me meaning I didn't need it anyway, the second being that perhaps one day they will get the hint.

Flawed interpretation of the study (4, Informative)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421187)

So they're counting the PS3 and the Blu-Ray players as separate items in their study. If you add the two together, Blu-Ray adoption is higher. Of course, the question is if they count Xbox HD-DVD drives, but those numbers are probably low.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (3, Funny)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421365)

I don't think that both Xbox HD-DVD drives will change the numbers too much.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421477)

Almost certainly not. I just wanted to sound fair.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

guyniraxn (1579409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421677)

Why is this a troll? I know a lot of people who have xboxes and not a single one has opted to pay extra for the HD-DVD drive.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (0, Troll)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421377)

The PS3 is, first and foremost, a Blu-Ray player. That's how it was designed, that's how it was marketed, and that's what it still is to many people. It should be counted among Blu-Ray players for that reason. Likewise with XBox 360 HD-DVD drives, though I agree with you that the numbers on those are probably low.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421487)

The table's in the article. HD-DVD + XBOX with external drive = 14% (assuming no overlap). PS3 + Blu-ray player = 16% likewise assuming no overlap). Of course, some of those PS3 owners bought a PS3 solely for games, and AFAIK, the add-on for the XBox is only usable for videos. So, blu-ray has sold slightly more but still surprisingly not the roaring success that everyone expected Blu-Ray to be after HD-DVD officially died.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421701)

Here's another one for you: If Blu-ray actually sold well - would the price come down? (I'm talking MSRP, of course manufacturing costs would go down.) Once HDDVD kicked the bucket, prices hit the floor. And by floor I mean "Hey, that's a deal" I'll snatch up 10 hddvds at $2.99 for the price of a single ($30!) bluray. I'm not saying blu should be $5, But I'm much more willing to put out for a $10-$15 disc every once in awhile than a $30 one (which is, never). BT costs time/effort, but not $30 of it.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421663)

Before I even got to this post about the research not combining blu-ray and ps3 sales the first thought that came to mind:

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

Even the CEO of Toshiba conceded the loss of the HD-DVD / Blu Ray "wars". So for all of you who own an HD DVD player... enjoy the fact very few movies are coming out for you.

Re:Flawed interpretation of the study (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421889)

Its OK, they were pirating their movies anyway.

I work in he rental industry (5, Informative)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421193)

As a way to make some extra dough I work at a video rental chain (the largest here in the US) and just from what I have seen no one really wants to rent Blu-Ray. We got 90% of the new releases on Blu-Ray and yet they prefer dvd even at the same price point. Who wants to buy a blu-ray player at over $200 right now when I can keep buying dvds at a cheaper price. Blu-Ray is beautiful yes but for most pictures I don't need or want to pay an extra 10-20 dollars for it.

Re:I work in he rental industry (5, Insightful)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421433)

You're only looking at one market segment though - people who still rent from a physical store.

Early adopters and people who have invested in home setups which would make Blu-Ray worthwhile are more likely to rent from other places (Netflix, iTunes) or just buy the movies outright. No point in owning a Blu-Ray player if your only TV is a 10 year old 27" Panasonic tube.

Re:I work in he rental industry (2, Interesting)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421545)

Curious why you would assume they are more likely to goto Netflix or iTunes?

Re:I work in he rental industry (1)

EvilGnome13 (899070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421753)

I agree with barzok. I have an HDTV and a PS3. I used to rent my blu-ray movies thru netflix (until those bastards raised their prices). Now, I just buy the movie if it's something worth buying. You can get great deals on Amazon. $15 a movie. It's to much of a hassle to drive to a store to rent when you can download one or get it in the mail. Granted I live in the country and have crappy internet and driving for 30+ minutes to get a movie is a pain. Netflix is the way to go for me.

Re:I work in he rental industry (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421875)

Because the technophiles are more likely to use Netflix than sully themselves by physically entering a National Video Rental Chain.

Re:I work in he rental industry (3, Interesting)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421501)

At normal viewing distance I honestly can't tell the difference.

I have a 720p capable LCD hooked up to a 360 (via HDMI) with the HD-DVD add-on. Really can't tell the difference between a DVD upscaled on the 360 and an HD-DVD. Not a stellar setup, though, so ...

The other day I was in Blockbuster and watching their BluRay demo disc (Hancock) on a proper Sony 1080p capable telly. It does a sliding effect where it shows the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD (presumably with DVD suitably fuzzed to exagerate the effect, although maybe they're just honest and don't need to do that). Up close the difference was obviously quite noticable, but at normal viewing distance it was really hard to tell.

Re:I work in he rental industry (4, Informative)

guyniraxn (1579409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421809)

Perhaps it's your TV? I have a PS3 and it's got a really nice upscaler for DVDs but it can't add in texture and details that aren't in the image. While the DVDs look great, there is still a clear difference with Blu-Ray. It's sharper and has more detail. You could also have some poorly transferred HD-DVD titles, there are a lot out there on Blu-Ray too; I always read reviews at before buying one so I don't get burned with a movie that'll look just as good on DVD.

Re:I work in he rental industry (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421607)

Every movie I rent from Netflix is Blu-Ray (when available). Why? Because B&M movie rental stores wanted to charge me $4-5 per release. I get way more than two movies per month by paying $10 for Netflix. I'm on the two out at a time plan with Blu-Ray and with my common rental rate it comes out to like $2.30 a rental.

The first step is a beaut (1)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421757)

I have an up-converting DVD player connected via HDMI to a 720p flat panel, and I also have a
Windows Media Center box driving the same flat-panel via HDMI. Both render a *really* nice picture.
Could I get an even better picture from bluray source material? Sure. But I also need to upgrade my
flat panel to fully benefit from bluray. So now it's $200 for the player and another $600+ for a new
"reasonably" (32" or more) sized 1080p flat panel. That's a steep barrier to entry when 95% of my
TV watching is either downloaded torrents or streamed from Netflix. I'm sure Netflix would send me bluray
movies instead of regular def DVD with no incremental costs. But still, it's not worth it. Not yet.

If I do buy anything *right now* I'll go buy a $200 bluray player with netflix streaming. Incrementally another $100
for a bluray player instead of $100 for a roku? I can justify that.

Re:I work in he rental industry (3, Informative)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421765)

Quick Google search for "blu ray player" on google shopping turns up a Blu-ray Disc® Player BDP-S300 for 150. This is refurb.

What you guys can do to help increase your rentals of Blu ray? Put up two tv's that are the exact same tvs. Put up a blu ray player. Put up a regular dvd palyer. Play the same movie (different formats appropriately) and have them play at the same exact time. Now that you convinced your customers which is better (and it is fairly dramatic) enjoy your rentals.

Also - don't be afraid to put up old movies. Top Gun looks great in blu ray.

For added fun sell blu ray players on the cheap or help customers find great deals online "Want to rent blu ray? Not sure what to look for? Let us help you."

Bring this suggestion to your boss and if your boss is smart your boss will use this idea. Considering video rental stores are lagging in sales this is a cheap way to increase them. This will also make the boss happy with you. Do it a couple of months before your annual review and get a better raise?

I wonder (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421195)

how many people with a regular up-scaling DVD player think they have an HD-DVD player?

But... (0)

PlantPerson (781437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421201)

...does this statistic take into account PlayStations, laptops, and other electronics which include Blu-ray players?

Re:But... (2, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421255)

If you read the article, you'd see that no. The PS3 is counted seperatly, which makes absolutely no sense if you want to compare blu-ray adoption.

Re:But... (3, Funny)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421267)

...does this statistic take into account PlayStations, laptops, and other electronics which include Blu-ray players?

Did you even RTFA? []

No Surprise (5, Insightful)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421203)

I think what is more telling is the fact that so many people are still buying standard def., original flavor DVD's over Blu-Ray. In some ways, I really think this should come as no surprise.

DVD player in the minivan/SUV: Standard def.
Portable DVD player: Standard def.
The majority of televisions still in the USA: Standard def (digital or otherwise).
Cost of a perfectly capable, plays-all, region free DVD player in the supermarket: $20.

Whichever big-business sector you hate this week (the hardware makers, the movie studios, the publishers, the MPAA, whatever) are pretty much trying to cram a high cost technology down the thoats of people who by majority don't want it, can't use it, or can't afford it.

Re:No Surprise (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421321)

It's not telling if you compare it to the adoption rate of DVD vs VHS, or CD vs tape. Basically, people are reading way too much into it. Blu-ray, like all its predecessors won't be an instant hit. That's just not how it works.

Re:No Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421597)

"are pretty much trying to cram a high cost technology down the thoats of people who by majority don't want it, can't use it, or can't afford it."

You forgot: and that is DRM-encumbered and more difficult to circumvent, whereas DVD works like it should because it is cracked wide open. It is easy to transfer your purchased DVD movies to your portable media device. Stupidly, the movie studios are trying to slow that down by putting additional copy protection on DVDs, but that's not much of an obstacle either, so far.

Hmmm... although I guess that might fall under your "can't use it" category. That's certainly how I view blu-ray.

Blu-Ray needs piracy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421209)

People are just waiting for the BD-R disc's to come down in price, $15 for 1 disc is too much, blu-ray needs piracy to succeed.

Re:Blu-Ray needs piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421789)

$15 per disc?


In the UK, discount discs are £9, standard anywhere from £15 to £25. ($24 to $41)

Re:Blu-Ray needs piracy (1)

guyniraxn (1579409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421903)

$15 is too much? To me, that's a pretty decent price if it's a good movie, a good transfer, solid audio, and has some decent extras. I think people may be spoiled by the $10 DVDs at Best Buy. I'm willing to pay a little more for a quality release.

Clarification? (4, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421217)

Maybe my coffee is off this morning, but I'm seeing PS3 owners + Blu-ray Players = 16%, where 360 addon + HDDVD players = 14%. Since they even say:

When Blu-ray player or PS3 owners are asked...

I take it they're counting the two separately, which would show Blu-ray ahead. Am I missing something?

Re:Clarification? (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421351)

I own 3 computers with DVD players and a Wii (which uses DVDs). So now I own 4 DVD players? Awesome, as I don't have a single DVD in my home.

I also have a hammer, which is the ultimate tool for everything, so I actually own everything!

Re:Clarification? (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421439)

Yeah, well I own a DVD burner and a stack of blank DVDs, so I own every movie ever made!

Re:Clarification? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421593)

Now we know who's responsible for this! []

Wii does not play DVD-Video (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421683)

I own 3 computers with DVD players and a Wii (which uses DVDs).

Wii doesn't come with DVD-Video player software. Its game discs aren't even DVD-ROM; like GameCube discs [] , Wii discs have a different file system (not UDF), a physical sector format with slightly different anti-direct-current scrambling, and six pinholes punched in their lead-in. There is homebrew software to play DVD-Video on a Wii, but it probably infringes the MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital patents and the major movie studios' anti-circumvention rights (under the U.S. DMCA and foreign counterparts). More importantly, the Wii disc drive is designed for random access, not streaming a two-hour cut scene.

Re:Clarification? (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421619)

Everyone who buys a Blu Ray player does so because they want to play Blu Ray discs.
Not everyone who buys a PS3 does so because they want to play Blu Ray discs (In fact, one would assume that a minority do).

Thus it would be disingenuous to claim that all PS3 purchases equate to a Blu Ray player purchase when measuring the "popularity" of the format.

On the other hand, a 360 HDDVD drive purchase *does* equate to an HD-DVD player purchase as that is its sole purpose.

Let's get this straight: (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421243)

Most average consumers either don't see the difference between HD and SD, or just don't care. They want the movie, and if VHS was good enough so is DVD.

HD isn't a bad thing, but the difference between VHS and DVD is much more dramatical than DVD and another HD-capable disk format.

Why publishers don't use the extra capacity to sell more episodes of $favorite_sitcom on fewer disks is beyond me. I could use the shelf space.

(Yes, most people are able to perceive the difference between SD and HD, but I mean seeing the difference in a psychologically meaningful sense.)

Re:Let's get this straight: (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421421)

I blame comcast. There are certain channels which are in the "HD" block and have the letters "HD" somewhere in the name, the little bug in the corner has incorporated an "HD" into it, the shows are relatively new and shot in hd, with hd cameras, but one time i was flipping back and forth between the HD and SD version of the same channel, and due to the 1 second time delay of comcast's "HD" channels, i could watch the exact same picture for comparison via my last button.

Conclusion, most average comcast consumers don't get to experience HD on a regular basis.

Granted not all channels and shows are like this and there is a marked improvement in some shows/channels, but comcast compresses its secondary HD channels so much in order to make room for "More HD" that compared to some HD channels, a DVD is high def...

Re:Let's get this straight: (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421539)

For the moment, people don't see/hear a difference because there is a vanishingly small number of people that have a 1080p TV (though these are becoming quite affordable now) and even fewer that have a surround processor/receiver that can deal with the new audio formats (which can only be excreted digitally by HDMI). So if you play a bluray movie on a 720p (or less) display and use an older processor that can only do Dolby Digital it isn't surprising that people "don't see much of a difference."


Re:Let's get this straight: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421675)

Yeah, I can *see* the difference; its just not worth $20-30 per movie to me, never mind the cost of a player.

Re:Let's get this straight: (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421747)

Exactly. The main reasons people got DVDs is that they were more reliable, didn't have to rewind, you didn't have players that would "eat" the DVD as with tapes, they were smaller so you could store more and you could store more on it so a movie that took 2 tapes would take only 1 DVD.

Weird... (1)

c (8461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421265)

It's like I'm suddenly in some strange parallel universe where Beta won.

Of course, one does have to consider that these statistics also mean that somewhere between 80-90% of the population simply don't give a shit about Blu-ray versus HD-DVD.


Re:Weird... (3, Insightful)

LatencyKills (1213908) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421349)

I'm one of those. Part of it is that I just don't see it - HD is nice, but not new-player-and-new-media-purchase nice. The other part of it is something of media purchasing fatigue - I bought it on VHS and rebought it on DVD, and now I have to buy it again on some HD format? No thanks.

Re:Weird... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421511)

Blu-Ray looks like another videodisc-style flop. DVDs are probably the last shiny spinning disks most people will ever buy; after this it's going to be Flash.

My parents had both VHS and Beta. Except for the tapes being shorter (oops), Beta was a better format; we were surprised by how crappy VHS looked. The porn industry wanted the longer play time though, so my dad had to get the other player.

Re:Weird... (2, Funny)

c (8461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421731)

> The porn industry wanted the longer play time though,
> so my dad had to get the other player.

I'm sure your father will be thrilled to know that for Father's Day, his porn viewing habits have been broadcasted to the world.


Re:Weird... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421813)

I never actually said he watched porn. Everyone else did.

Really? Not here (1)

mazevedo (117804) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421269)

Really? Not here in Portugal. Sure you see a lot of computers (mainly HP) with HD-DVD drives (I have one myself), but although HD format has had a slow adoption, Blu-ray is definitely here - you can see them in any store and video rentals. Only trouble tough are the HIGH prices and crappy movies.

HDDVD in laptops? (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421281)

My girlfriend has an HP laptop and bought it at around 800$ a year and a half ago. It has an HD-DVD. She never used it (except for reading standard DVD). Does she still count toward this idiot statistic? Likewise, how many have HD-DVD discs around? Just for myself, I have way more blu-ray than all my friends have HD-DVD (even if you remove my PS3 games). Crazy, uh?

It was budget because it was failing! (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421297)

HD-DVD wasn't "budget" from the outset or because of any particular economy in the price of players or disks. HD-DVD cost as much as Blu-ray to start off with and then it went cheap fast when it became clear it was losing the battle. Had HD-DVD emerged the victor I'm sure we would've seen plenty of bargain-priced Blu-Ray deals and a correspondingly disproportionate install base.

Re:It was budget because it was failing! (5, Informative)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421785)

This isn't true, from here [] :
"The primary advantage of this format is a low manufacturing cost. Since HD-DVD media is so technically similar to standard DVD media (it uses the same layer thicknesses as DVD, made of similar materials), the discs can be produced with only a slight modification to existing manufacturing lines. "
"This technology comes with a significant price. Manufacturing Blu-Ray discs requires significant costs in updating DVD fabrication equipment, and would be a sharp manufacturer cost increase over HD-DVD."

Toshiba also got the jump on sony and released it's first players months earlier allowing it to get production ramped up. It's true that when HD-DVD started to lose they chopped at the price, but it was already significantly lower than Bluray.

How much do they use it? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421307)

I know a lot of people who bought HD players and half a dozen movies at bargain price when everyone knew that the format was dying. They already had a home cinema setup and were thrilled to find content that challenged it for a few couple hundred of bucks. But right now it probably lays down in a box, or remain as a living room decoration.

early adopters VSs the luddites (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421309)

i will stick with the luddites and keep my old 4.7 gig DVDs and wait another year for market forces to decide who is the real winner before i upgrade to the new format, six on one hand have a dozen on the other is the way i see it = sure HD-DVD is cheaper now but that wont make a difference if BlueRay pulls ahead in a few years, i take great pride in being a luddite living on the older tech = dont laugh - i dont have the money sunk in to crap i dont really need so i can keep it buried in canning jars in my back yard - BEWARE OF DOG!

Re:early adopters VSs the luddites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421485)

bluray "won" - hddvd isnt made anymore really.

The only problem is t hat nobody gives a damn about some HD formats when you can stream stuff online or use DVD's which look fine. I dont need to see every wrinkle on (insert woman)'s face. It looks good enough as it is already (note: slashdot brought this up a few years ago when discussing pr0n in HD)

Re:early adopters VSs the luddites (4, Insightful)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421669)

HD-DVD is dead. There's no need to wait to see who will win, as that question was answered a year and a half ago when Toshiba (the banner carrier for HD-DVD) announced that they would discontinue all HD-DVD production. According to the wiki article, the entire HD-DVD promotion group was dissolved March of last year. To my knowledge, no one builds a new HD-DVD player; there are a small number of PC drives that include HD-DVD compatibility, but I assume that's because of the low cost of inclusion once the blue laser diodes for Blu-ray are already in the drive. You can not walk into a retail store and find an HD-DVD player unless they found some hidden stock in the back and are clearance selling it for $20. You can't find HD-DVD discs unless the same thing happens. Any movie that's come out since then will never come out on HD-DVD. HD-DVD is dead and voluntarily buried by its own support and manufacturing group.

In summary, there is no more waiting. The race was over last year. You can debate whether the quality improvement is worth the money, and there's some definite complaints to be made about the cost of the discs. If your only concern, however, is which of the formats will win, then there's no reason to continue waiting. Blu-Ray won last year.

Of course there's a high number of HD DVD players (2, Insightful)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421379)

Even though blu-ray won, there were still tons of HD DVD players. They went somewhere, and it wasn't landfills. Stores had fire sales on HD DVD players, many selling them as upconverting DVD players.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421415)

I have a DVD player with HDMI output that up-scales my DVDs to 1080p. The only exposure to Blu-Ray that I've had is in the stores, so it may not be the most fair comparison, but it looked marginally better than my up-converted DVDs. It certainly did not look superior enough to warrant spending $200+ on a new player. Of course, the player alone won't get you anywhere; assuming I bought one that plays DVDs, I'd be in no better shape than I am now. The real expense that I don't want to take is re-buying whatever titles happen to be on Blu-Ray without knowing whether I can make an archival copy to protect my investment. DVD has the same legal uncertainty, but for Blu-Ray it's a matter of technological ability even if I shell out money for a BD-R drive and blank discs. DVD does not have that problem so long as the geniuses at Sony et al don't keep screwing with the copy protection and further abuse the DMCA to stamp out fair use rights by making a civil matter criminal.

Obviously, posted AC because asserting one's fair use rights is becoming more and more illegal.

Open Letter to Movie Studios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421429)

Even before there was a recession I wasn't buying any movies priced over about $8. I don't care if they're DVD or Blu-Ray. These days I wonder why I'm paying even that much.

Since there are no Blu-Ray movies at that price-point, I'm not obviously not buying those, thus I have no need for a Blu-Ray player. Some day I might buy a PS3, but don't hold your breath.

Bundling things like James Bond and Clint Eastwood movies after I've bought most of the movies individually just means I'm not going to buy the bundles -- ever. Why would I? I don't need two copies of High Plains Drifter or Dr. No.

And anyway, physical media is like, so 2006. I watch more on Hulu,, and Netflix than I do from a disc.

Oh, and BTW Netflix, I'd watch more Netflix on-line if you'd support PPC Macs. We haven't all rushed out to replace our otherwise perfectly good PPC Macs. Until then Hulu wins. In fact I might even close my Netflix account.

No HD for me, thanks! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421451)

Due to the egregious DRM that encumbers HD players (esp. Blu-Ray) and the necessity to have these devices connected to the internet in order to keep their DRM updated, I will never purchase one of these pieces of s*!t. I have a firm policy of refusal to support any vendor who utilizes DRM in their products. If they want to treat me as a criminal, I won't support them.

That said, I do purchase DVD's, but the first thing I do is to strip the CSS and region codes from them and back them up as ISO images on my NAS array. I also have a region-free DVD/VHS player. I don't give copies of my purchased DVD's to anybody, but I refuse to abrogate my right to make backup copies that I can use and/or re-burn as necessary, and can take with me on the road when I am traveling without endangering the original copy. I can drop a half-dozen movies on my laptop hard drive and play them when I am away on business travel.

Never FORGET The Real Reason They Gave In!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421489)

Most people don't remember that Sony paid off Toshiba with a big sum of money to exit the market. And, in return for letting Blu-ray win, Toshiba was granted the right exclusive right to embed a Blu-ray player in their laptops. That is the only reason that Sony won the format wars, their format was actually a lot less successful than Toshiba's HD-DVD.

I bought one, my parents bought one, my brothers all bought one (3 brothers), my newphew and uncles all bought one (4) and my best friend from college bought one. Essentially, everyone I knew was ticked off that they spent several hundred dollars on a player that was now obsolete almost instantly. On the bright side, all the HD discs went on sale fast.

I'm pretty offended that Toshiba gave in, and that Sony forced them to. Neither had the customer's interests in mind when they made that deal. They screwed us out of quite a bit of money. So, will my family or myself buy a bluray? No, because it still stings. They lost a lot of hearts and minds. And, our wallets still feel a bit empty.

PS3 Blu-ray vs Xbox 360 HD-DVD (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421531)

The difference between the PS3's Blu-ray capability and the Xbox 360's HD DVD drive is that the PS3 is a game machine that has a built-in Blu-ray capability, like the PS2 had built in DVD capability. The 360 only has DVD built in. If you wanted HD-DVD, you had to buy an HD-DVD drive. So, everyone who bought the 360's HD-DVD drive bought it to play movies. Not every who bought a PS3 bought it to play movies. My few friends that own a PS3 don't really use it for movies (honestly, they don't use the PS3 much, they all also have an Xbox 360 and a Wii and mainly use the 360 for games, streaming movies, connecting to their media on the PC, etc).

Both are obsolete. (5, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421543)

The real telling issue is that less than 20% of US Households have adopted either, and it's been out for years. Frankly, this should be no surprise, the "format war" dragged on for so long that by the time the victor had stepped forth, the market they were fighting for was already passing them by. The migration to HD video on demand, online streaming, and yes, downloading of material makes disk-based distribution an out of date concept who is slowly fading into the past.

No One Cares (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421551)

That's because no one cares about HD formats. I actually know what the formats mean, unlike most people, and I am interested in better picture and sound quality but I simply have no desire whatsoever or the budget to replace my huge collection of DVDs and buy a newer, more expensive player to go with my HDTV. DVDs are really cheap now so why bother? Given the fact that most people have no clue at all how to set up surround sound, and it takes a while for most of us techies to get right, then I fail to see how on Earth a better sounding audio format is going to help BluRay over DVDs, Dolby Digital and DTS (which virtually no one uses for the same reasons) either. Most surround sound is downmixed to two channels. As an interesting aside, I wonder how many have just thought that BluRay was compatible with their existing DVD player, put it in, discovered it wouldn't play and then returned it?

Even HD generally is DoA for me. BluRay was completely stillborne. The only thing I bought a HDTV for was to get a bigger screen. I wasn't interested in its resolution. Seriously, save your money on extra money for HD broadcasts and just spend the money you save on a Pioneer that has an excellent SD picture or a new tuner box that has the best deinterlacer money can buy. I got a far better picture than my TV alone simply by using a MythTV box and using the Yadif (2x) deinterlacer. There'll be lots of commercially available stuff you can buy that will do the job and save you money.

Yes, I know HD looks better and its been really impressive on the systems I've seen, but like most I suspect, when push comes to shove I just cannot be bothered to pay for the privilege or jump through all of the pointlessly annoying technical hoops. I did it once. I tried to get a BluRay player connected to a TV through a receiver and HDCP refused to play ball at all. Now I just use HDMI where I know HDCP won't be involved, and that means no BluRay. Hey, at least I get a picture on the screen.

Re:No One Cares (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421695)

I care so little that I still cannot spell BluRay as Blu-ray, even when it's in front of me. Maybe the 'Blu-ray' people need a three letter acronym for the format that is easily remembered and spelt ;-).

BD (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421777)

Maybe the 'Blu-ray' people need a three letter acronym for the format that is easily remembered and spelt ;-).

Just as Compact Disc is CD, Blu-ray Disc is BD.

Bad pricing == No sales (1)

punker (320575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421553)

For me, the pricing of Blu-ray has kept me away. Blu-ray discs and players are still priced for early adopters. Most decent movies are priced at $25+ for Blu-ray. I've gotten used to movies being half that price, and I'm just not willing to pay the extra for the HD video (especially for older movies). I also haven't bought any new DVDs in probably two years, because I don't want to buy something twice when Blu-ray actually gets priced reasonably.
              So, until the pricing comes in line with what DVDs are priced at, I'm not buying any more movies. I'll just keep using Netflix and VOD. There is just no compelling reason to buy Blu-ray until the prices comes down.

When HD DVD died, it was bradded (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421581)

I know of not a few people which bought HD DVD when it died because it was sold at "cost" and they bought all available HD DVD, for a cheap price. Sure now it is "died" as nothing new will be out, but they got it for cheaper than a nice brand new blue ray... I would not be surprised if the difference between 10% HD DVD and 7% Blu ray is not just due to that...

HD adoption in general isn't all that (1)

ActusReus (1162583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421601)

Neither Blu-Ray nor HD-DVD make any sense on a standard definition television set. I know this is shocking to younger demographics with disposable income, but the older crowd (by far the statistical majority) hasn't been too quick to adopt HD televisions. I'll buy one EVENTUALLY, but probably not until my current SD set dies. Sorry, it's just not a big deal to me... and while that makes me boring to many geeks and marketing types (increasingly the same group), it doesn't make me a minority.

As for the relative weight of Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, that's probably because of cost. The format war was heading in the same direction as VHS vs. Beta... where Sony's format was again technically superior, but not enough to justify the price difference. This time around though, Sony went kamikaze with the PS3 and movie studio deals to prevent history from repeating itself. I never got the impression that Sony legitimately "won" from the perspective of consumer preference.

Besides, I think this whole "format war" was a wasteful moot point anyway. By the time I get around to buying an HD television, I anticipate that we'll get most of my movies from on-demand streaming anyway.

How Do I Know HD-DVD Is Dead? (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421605)

Regardless of what these analysts think, I know that HD-DVD is dead. How do I know this? Because no PC is sold today with a HD-DVD drive. Because I can't find HD-DVD burners or media easily. It isn't so much that I think that this accessibility is key or that "grandma" needs to find it to be successful but the trend has always been what ever gets widely adopted on PC is accepted as a general format. Frankly this is where HD-DVD really lost the battle where even during the prime time of the format struggle, it was harder to find HD-DVD drives and media than it was to find Blu-ray.

"was always viewed as a niche format" ...Bullshit. (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421641)

That's some subjective BS right there. HD-DVD came out earlier anyway and I think with better marketing. The support of the film studios and electronics companies played roles also.

not gonna buy until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28421659)

pricing returns to its previous level.

Did anyone notice how the prices jumped by about $10 per movie when HD DVD "lost" the war?

Sorry, but that kind of blatant profiteering is a major turn off for me. I get that its an open market and all that. My choice is to hold off buying something that really is a luxury until pricing goes back to where it was. Call it my simple, quiet protest against that business practice if you want.

Physical media is dying (2, Insightful)

ZP-Blight (827688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421671)

I have a lot of experience in this field, and here are the reason why physical media is doomed, probably even sooner than many expect.

Here's why:
1. BluRay licensing makes it very difficult (expensive) to enable mass-adoption.
2. Bandwidth is getting cheaper while high-speed internet is becoming more accessible.
3. DRM is slowly dying.

This will lead to Downloadable HD content which you could stream/burn/transcode to any format you want within the next 2-5 years (on a mass-market scale as we're already seeing this in some fringe markets).

And if the establishment wont move in this direction, piracy will only grow as people want things to be easy and will take the path of least resistance (if DRM is more complicated/unreliable than Piracy, we'll see more content pirates).

Death to physical media! (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421679)

Owning movies really isn't worth it these days. First off, there's rarely a movie I'd want to see more than once. Second off, services like Netflix make it easy to get the movies I do want to see, first time or repeat, with very little delay. And as they're working out the legal kinks with the streaming service, it'd be just like owning the originals at home. Why clutter my life with all those discs? Let's not forget there's also the issue of format wars, buying all your movies again when the latest format drops. Who needs that? I'll stream the movie at HD resolution and when they come out with super-HD a few years from now, I'll stream it like that as well, no worries about buying new hardware.

Granted, there's still going to be the situations where you don't have broadband and want to bring your movies with you. If Netflix has good lawyers, they'll be able to let you operate in cache mode. Select the movies you want, plug in your thumb drive, you download them and are in cache mode and can watch them on the go wherever you want. If they don't have good lawyers and can't make that happen, I can still bittorrent what I want to watch offline.

I wanna watch Sin-duh-weh-wuh (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421867)

Owning movies really isn't worth it these days. First off, there's rarely a movie I'd want to see more than once.

It is unlikely that you have children under the age of ten. They like to watch the same animated film over and over.

I'll stream the movie at HD resolution

And pay how much to your ISP for the privilege? In the United States, satellite broadband and mobile broadband plans cost roughly $60 per month and allow transferring roughly the equivalent of a single-layer DVD per month.

and when they come out with super-HD a few years from now, I'll stream it like that as well, no worries about buying new hardware.

You still need to buy the new player even if you rent your videos. For example, Netflix and Redbox never carried VHS, and the rental stores near me have since dropped the format.

Disingenous, at best (3, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421717)

If you combine the 360 addon owners with the regular pool, 14% of those surveyed own an HD-DVD player.

So, if you combine the PS3 owners with the regular Blu-Ray owners, 16% of those surveyed owned a Blu-Ray player.

Here is the logical response you probably have now: "But, every HD-DVD owner (including addon) bought it to watch Blu-Rays, while many PS3 owners probably bought it just to play games."

That's taken care of by the survey too. Out of all, PS3 owners 25% buy all their movies in Blu-Ray and another. 32% buy "most" of their movies in Blu-Ray. So 57% are regular Blu-Ray buyers now, and many PS3 owners are waiting for prices to come down.

HD-DVD owners? Stores gave the players away. They were cheaper than other upscaling players at some point. The addon for the 360 was $20 at my local stores with 5 free movies. Many HD-DVD owners probably bought closeout gear at low prices.

So while the percentages may technically be right, with the fire sale that followed HD-DVDs failure, it's not terribly suprising. And the 7% is it at least 12% for Blu-Ray buyers, since over half of all PS3 owners buy movies.

Re:Disingenous, at best (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421815)

When was the last time you actually bought a (physical) movie though? Most of the times I usually rent, stream, or download a movie. On average I buy about 1 or 2 movies a year. Considering that most tech people tend to buy less physical movies (either preferring to stream, rent, download or pirate) and the fact that HD isn't in most people's houses, cars and in all TVs in the house, leaves a very low amount of Blu-Ray sales.

Too Expensive (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421719)

I'm one of those freaks that happily still pays for the music and movies that I love, but even I won't pay £25 for Dark Knight on Blu-Ray. The HMV stores that I go into have things like Kung Fu Panda, Iron Man, HellBoy 2 and a bunch of other films for £30 each. That's just fucking insane pricing.

I'd rather see newly released DVDs at £9.99 and Blu-Rays at £14.99 or lower, each. That way the stores could enjoy their little price wars and then I could pick up things like Watchmen and Star Trek for £12 or so each on Blu-Ray. I'd probably walk out the store with three films.

I appreciate that Blu-Ray is new(ish), but they really need to more readily adopt the pile-it-high and see-it-low approach now.

Either that or regularly offer 2 for £25 on Blu Rays, even for new releases.

Discs still too expensive (2, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421843)

Right now, you can get a cheap Blu-Ray player for not much more than what I paid for my first DVD player. However, I have not even felt a twinge in that general direction; I've been too spoiled by $4 to $6 movies, and until I can routinely get Blu-Ray discs for under $10, forget it. There are really very few movies I would re-buy in Blu-Ray, further reducing my desire to buy one of those things.

I do have a 1080p TV, and a usable 7.1 receiver waiting for the day when it does make sense though...


don't forget (1)

juenger1701 (877138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421857)

then HD surrendered the fight retailers slashed the price on players to $50 or less and movies to $5 or less to clear inventory

Several years ago... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421861)

when I was working as an IT consultant for videographers they were asking about the coming HD video format (back in 2002/2003) and I kept telling them not to worry about Blu-Ray or HD-DVD because by the time one format wins, digital content distribution would kill them both by 2010. It looks like my prediction back then was about right. In 2005 I bought a Mac-Mini and hooked up to my 32" HDTV's DVI port and have used it as my DVD player and play TV shows i've downloaded from iTunes.

Last fall I cancelled my cable and started downing the half dozen shows I watch from iTunes. I thought their SD versions were acceptable, but their new HD versions look great.

Is it 1080P? No, but my TV's only 720 anyway. But it is good enough for me. And I bought all my TV shows for what 2 months of cable was costing me.

Comment on HD movies (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421895)

I have an AppleTV which means I've had access to HD movies for a year now (well more like 6 months if you're looking at a good selection). I don't rent them... I rent the SD version.

Why? It's a buck cheaper.

Really why? Cause I only have a 27 inch flatscreen that plays 720p at best (and wouldn't benefit from 1080i anyways).

I'm probably the middle of the road in terms of having the capability to benefit from HD movies. My screen is too small, so HD just isn't that compelling. OTOH the screen is the perfect size for good quality SD w/ upscaling.

Even at 35 in. I suspect that HD is just barely going to be a game changer unless you have perfect vision, in which case you probably do see the compression in SD. With upscaling however it's likely less noticeable.

Now if I had a 40 in. screen or larger I would say that HD is a requirement. SD just can't scale up to fill that much space without starting to show compression squares or blurring, upscaling included.

So really the reason I stick with SD movies is that for my setup there is no noticeable benefit. If I get a raise before Christmas I might upgrade my TV to a 40 in. - at which point I will start paying an extra $1 to download HD movies... I still won't be buying a Blueray or HD DVD player.

Fixed that for you... (1)

JoeSixpack00 (1327135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28421923)

Blu-ray was always viewed as a niche format for those absorbed in Playstation 3 Game Systems, not the common man's format

Almost everyone I know that jumped on Blu Ray earlier did so because there was already on in their PS3. This, people, is exactly why one company shouldn't make across the board products. You can't make players, computers, game systems, and THEN create an industry standard. A proprietary standard maybe, but an industry standard hell no.

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