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HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray - Is It All in the Name?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the marketing-sells dept.

208

Z asks: "As most of you are aware, the dawn of the nex-gen format wars is fully upon us. We have all talked about it until we are Blu in the face, but there is one simple, yet important topic I have yet to see discussed. What is in a name? Now, bear with me for a second here while I explain. As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are. Now, we all know people hate change. Users already know what DVD is, and most would like to think they understand HD. But Blu-Ray? Your average Joe only wants one thing when it comes to new technology, a feeling of comfort and understanding; something I think Blu-Ray is going to have a hard time giving them. I can't help but wonder, is HD-DVD going to win out simply because people are going to be more familiar with the name? "

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I really doubt it. (2, Interesting)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201853)

Look at how quickly people embraced DVD, or how quickly people started using the MP3 format.

Re:I really doubt it. (2, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201886)

MP3 (as an audio format) took off very fast in the computer world - at that time, there was simply nothing else comparable. Once consumer electronics started supporting the format, it was only a matter of time until prices dropped and MP3 earned the adoption it has today.

Re:I really doubt it. (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202054)

MP3 took forever to become a consumer reality. I started encoding and playing MP3 on my computer in late 1995. I first got my hands on the crappy, crappy MPTrip discman in 2000. It took another 3 years before a half-decent MP3 deck was sold for car audio. And no, the insanely expensive EMPEG did not pass as half-decent to me, poor poor sound quality. I had designed a better player myself, using a cheap PC and a luxury sound card. It took a really long time for the masses to clue in to MP3.

VHS vs DVD was different, because it took the entertainment industry ages to put out DVDs. For the most part, new releases had simultaneous VHS and DVD available, but all the classics, the movies we really wanted, took years before being released. The price was also not quite right, since the same movie in VHS was usually a good $5 to $8 cheaper than the DVD. Consumers might not know the intricate technical details, but they certainly aren't stupid. A movie is a movie is a movie, doesn't matter if it's VHS, DVD or High-Def, you're not getting "more". Nor does it have a significant cost difference to the producer, they're all cut from the same masters, and up until a couple years ago, most people's TV sets could hardly show a difference between good VHS and DVD.

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202432)

Hell, I bought a DVD player almost solely for the fact that I didn't have to rewind!

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202640)

...and up until a couple years ago, most people's TV sets could hardly show a difference between good VHS and DVD.

Not to mention that DVDs are a lot easier to mangle. About a 1/4 of the more popular DVDs I rent are scratched so badly that they skip scenes. A lot of it probably has to do with my cheap, ancient player, but I bet a lot of early-generation players were like this and more people faced these issues...

Re:I really doubt it. (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201897)

There's one major difference between this and the two situations you cite.

The format that DVD replaced was ancient. The gap between VHS and DVD was huge, and DVD offered many features that VHS did not. And I'm not sure MP3 replaced an old technology so much as it filled a void.

There's not that much of a gap between DVD and Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

Re:I really doubt it. (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202132)

I remember the pre-MP3 world. No one used sound on computers like they do now. There were little sound clips and such, but they were low quality.

MP3s at 128 kpbs are a meg a minute. CD quality WAV files are 10 megs a minute. Considering how fast your hard drive would get full, people didn't rip their music. Even if you cut the quality to 22 Khz instead of 44 Khz, your file is still 5x larger than an MP3 and wouldn't sound as well. Cut it in half again (8-bit instead of 16-bit) and you're down to 2.5 megs a minute. Cut it down AGAIN (11 Khz) and you're at 1.25 megs a minute.

25% larger files for clearly inferior sound quality. It wasn't worth it.

Yes, you could compress things, but the compression wasn't nearly as good. 2-3x maybe.

It was the vastly superior file size of MP3 that helped made it famous and ubiquitous. Like DVD, there was a very clear difference between the old and new format at the time.

Pffft (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202259)

The gap between VHS and DVD was huge, and DVD offered many features that VHS did not
All the DVD's I have bought sit never to be watched again just like the videos do. The only marginal advantage DVD's have is that they take up less space!

Re:I really doubt it. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202458)

Not much of a gap??? I'm seeing prices that are almost DOUBLE their "plain" DVD counterparts.

It amazed me that the studios got away with charging MORE for DVDs than for VHS tapes in the first place... But then, the buying public didn't know how much less expensive DVDs are to produce than VHS, and the quality was increased, so perhaps that's why that value proposition worked.

It seems to me that HD-DVDs are priced for videophiles right now and no one else. I can't see any of my neighbors replacing their (relatively new) DVD collections at twice the price, no matter what the increment of quality gain that may accompany the new discs.

TV Series Sales (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202476)

I think that the killer app for HD-DVD and/or Blue-Ray has little to do with their specs, nor does it have to do with the HD content that might be sold on them.

I think it has to do with the fact that TV series in current resolutions are a poor fit for DVD technology. Almost every movie fits fine in a double-sided dual-layer disc, but TV series need 5-8 DVDs per season. Vendors could save significantly on materials and packaging costs if this could be cut to one disc per season.

I think whichever format backers buy the rights to re-release a lot of TV shows will win. If neither capture this, then yeah perhaps both will fail.

Re:I really doubt it. (2, Interesting)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201908)

How quickly people started using the MP3 format? MP3 was invented in 1991. It wasn't "widely used" (depending on your definition of wide usage) until after the release of Napster in 1999.

I'd say MP3 took a long time to catch on.

Not that I'm blaming that lag on it's name... I'd say the format had to wait for commodoty computer hardware, and consumer knowledge to catch up with it. But still, this doesn't apply to the point you're trying to make.

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202187)

Sure, the format existed more than a decade ago, but most people didn't even know about it until Napster. It wasn't really "on the market" until mp3 players came out, which was in the very late 1990s.

Here we are just a few years later, and how many people have stopped buying CD music in favor of mp3/aac/wma/something incompatible with their old CD players?

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202190)

someone wasn't clued in about PR Audio on AOL during the early 90s...

but yes, the clueless masses did not know about mp3s until circa 97 and wasn't common until 99-2000. however, saying it wasn't widely used is a bit of an understatement. it served its napster-like purposes very well, computers just weren't at the point where apps (read: games) could take much advantage of it. every try playing an mp3 on a 486 or low end pentium? 30-40% of your cpu time was spent decoding

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202213)

For a 128kbps MP3, my Pentium 75, or am486-133 were at 80-90% CPU. Most 486's (and at-the-time-current MP3 software/OSes) couldn't play a 128kbps MP3 at full quality without jittering.

Re:I really doubt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202376)

Oh, come on, my P133 could play mp3s just fine, even while running a browser, email client, back in what 95? 96?.

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

Daniel Wood (531906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202555)

I had a 486 DX2 66 that played 128kbit MP3s fine, as long as you set the sound output to 8bit and did NOTHING else.

Re:I really doubt it. (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202485)

You would honestly accuse /.rs of not being on AOL during the 90's? Would you also think that it would be possible that we would not be on AOL ever? I mean, really, you must be new here...

X is to DVD as MP3 is to CD (2, Insightful)

lurker4hire (449306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202037)

It's not about how quick new formats are adopted, but rather about what they bring to the table for the consumer.

MP3's seperated music from the media it was stored on, and was adopted widely as a result. There was significant movement towards the new format because it solved several real annoyances with the then dominant format (CD's), and hasn't been replaced by technically superior formats because none of them do anything other than incrementally upgrade the improvements brought to the table by MP3's. Some (DRM) have even tried to regress and reinstate the problems (from a consumers view) that caused them to move away from CD in the first place.

DVD's offered a whole mess of significant improvements over VHS, much beyond simple improvements in picture quality (although of course it did offer that). Chapter selection, extras, menus, media portability (both physical and between the PC and TV), all of these are significant to the experience of using the damned thing, even if all anyone ever mentions is the better picture. Neither Blu-Ray or HD-DVD offers anything other than an incremental technical improvement over a huge installed base for DVD, so both will have significant difficulties establishing anything like a true consumer standard (IE: your mother owns one).

In fact, I doubt either will supplant DVD. Hell, if you ask consumers if DVD is already HD 99% will say hell yeah, because that's what they've been marketed as for the last 5 years. Maybe the words Hi-def weren't used, but the marketing for DVD's has emphasized improved picture quality. Combine that with the sheer inertia of the amount of DVD playing options available, and the way people expect to move a disc from their player at home to the one for the kids in the car to the laptop on a business trip, I doubt either hi-def media formats will win.

The true next video format will be to DVD what MP3 was to CD, maybe H.264 or some evolution of it. I think there'll be a place for a high capacity media format, perhaps HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, but nobody'll be buying movies on it.

l4h

Re:X is to DVD as MP3 is to CD (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202392)

I doubt either will supplant DVD

A story in yesterday's New York Times put HDTV in 19% of American households. Early Salvos in the High-Definition DVD Format War [nytimes.com]

HD in one in five homes in under five years. That's an astonishing rate of adoption. Not just for HD, but for very large wide-screen projection and multichannel digital sound. $1000-$2000 at entry level.

Amazon.com is shipping Phantom of the Opera on HD-DVD for $20, Serenity for $25. Apollo 13 for $25. You do not pay a premium for HD content if you buy from Amazon or rent from Netflix.

The potential domestic market for HD on disk is the same market which paid $290 million for tickets to see Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire in its initial theatrical release.

Re:X is to DVD as MP3 is to CD (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202521)


What fraction of that 19% will be able to watch movies in HD, with all the confusion surrounding HDMI or whatever it is called? Also, I'm not sure about that 19%. No one in my family has an HDTV. Perhaps we're just too cheap to spend more than $400 on a TV.

Re:X is to DVD as MP3 is to CD (1)

sog_abq (960133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202590)

I seriously doubt the numbers in the times article. I'd say less than 5% of the people I know have HD TV's (half of whom are tech types). In fact, I seem to recall reading an article not too long ago (on slashdot maybe) which bemoaned the incredibly slow adoption rate of HD TV's. In general I'm probably an early adopter (I had an mp3 player back in 99 with, get this 32Mb of internal memory and a 32Mb expansion flash card), but there is no way I'm throwing away good money after either format. I just can't justify the expenses for such marginal improvement. I'll throw my hat with the poster who claimed that the new format would go the way of laserdisk, and I'd be happy to see sony go down with it; wishful thinking, I know.

Yes but... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202062)

The only competition for DVD was DivX and all DivX players would play standard DVD's. In this case you have two incompatible formats. Really it's a matter of how the PS3 fits into this. If the PS3 gets people into Blu-ray, blu-ray wins. Otherwise HD-DVD, at a lower price point and with better name recognition, wins.

Re:Yes but... (1)

Beeswarm (693535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202714)

The whole idea of DIVX sucked. Introducing the Pay-Per-View DVD!!! You had to connect to their service with a phone line, set up an account, and be prepared to pay through the nose if your five year old just loves watching Cinderella over and over and over again. There was also the fear that studios would start making some movies DIVX-exclusive, forcing consumers to buy a new DIVX/DVD player or miss out on their favorite movies.

But the shortcomings were many. They were mostly pan-and-scan, light on special features, and a huge hassle. Only a few stores actually carried the discs, and the pricing scheme didn't make sense to those who watch their movies more than once or twice, or even if you thought you might watch the movies again. In the end, DVD was king, DIVX was scrapped, and customers were given a $100 refund for each player purchased.

A name is important, but... (5, Insightful)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201861)

I think it will have a lot more to do with publicity than with the name itself. And the name "HD-DVD" is a good start, but it's not enough. If Blu-Ray makes a bigger splash on TV, in the newspapers, online, etc, then it could win.

It's also possible that having a name tied into an existing standard (namely DVD in this case) could have a negative effect, especially if Blu-Ray (or its supports) spin things that way. ("Why would you want to stick with something as old as DVDs when Blu-Ray is all-new, all-improved?")

Re:A name is important, but... (1)

c_fel (927677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202093)

And we must not forget the publicity made by people in our neighboorhood (the most important form of publicity, in fact) :
Roger (who likes to call himself a "tech guy") : Look, friend, my brand new home theatre. It uses the new Blu-ray technology
Friend : But what is that blu-ray ?
Roger : It's the tiny but powerful laser that reads the disk. It's blue cause that way it's way more powerful
Friend : ooooh, gosh it must sound good, a laser that's blue !
Roger : You bet.

Friend then buys his own home theater.

Re:A name is important, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202123)

I think it will have a lot more to do with publicity than with the name itself.

Not even that. It's licensing.

Throw out every other factor. There is one thing and one thing alone that will matter to the average person on the street - which format the films they want to buy are in. You can name it 45u8g9t5u8 if you like - if it's what they need to fawn over film stars, they'll happily go out and spend lots of money on a 45u8g9t5u8 player.

So really, it boils down to which format Hollywood picks. And Hollywood will pick whichever format is cheapest for them to license.

The obvious thing about Blu-Ray (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202340)

I imagine that one of the points to be talked up will involve the blue laser used in Blu-Ray.

You know how some salespeople will essentially make stuff up to push a sale through? Blue Lasers will be their main explanation.

I doubt HD-DVD is going to get their advertising campain kicked off by associating their technology with the color blue. The HD-DVD people will obviously talk up the HD aspect.

Meanwhile in the Blu-Ray camp
Why is it called Blu-Ray: blue laser
High resolution: blue laser
More disc space: blue laser
Cool features: blue laser

IMHO, it's going to be much easier for Blu-Ray to distinguish themselves: "Why buy DVDs when you can buy HD-DVDs" vs "Why buy DVDs when you can buy Blu-Ray"

Re:A name is important, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202694)

The other thing to look at is how easy it is to say the name. If it takes you 10 syllables to pronounce the name, you're less likely to talk about it, just because it'd be too much work ;)

Blu-ray: blue ray
HD-DVD: aich dee dee vee dee

Maybe novelty can help differentiate? (4, Interesting)

GeekGirlSarah (915748) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201866)

I think that it's entirely possible that the name issue could actually be a significant market differentiator for the two products. The "HD-DVD" products may come off as seeming like being just a minor upgrade to the old DVD standard, whereas Blu-Ray could seem to be a much fancier, different product. Since it seems like many people are hesitant to upgrade, but not necessarily hesitant to embrace entirely new technology, I think I can see that working in Blu-Ray's favor.

Re:Maybe novelty can help differentiate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15201965)

(Just to argue)

People may adopt both technologies but for different purposes simply based on the name. HD-DVD may end up piggy backing on both HDTV and DVD so people will (automatically) assume that it is the ideal format for their HDTV setup; Blu-Ray on the other hand has a much cooler name (and people may assume that it is better than DVD because it is not directly associated with it) so people may adopt it for their data-storage needs.

Re:Maybe novelty can help differentiate? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202598)

"I think that it's entirely possible that the name issue could actually be a significant market differentiator for the two products. The "HD-DVD" products may come off as seeming like being just a minor upgrade to the old DVD standard, whereas Blu-Ray could seem to be a much fancier, different product."

I find that unlikely. Imagine a dude who upgraded to HD. He watches HD. He loves HD. Then he puts a standard DVD in his player and .. well. it's not HD. So what does he do? He goes to the store and browses around. Suddenly, he happens across the word HD-DVD. That's exactly what he was looking for.

I can sort of see your point, though, but in a different context. If the dude goes to buy the player and the sales person says "Well, HD-DVD is okay, but this Blu-Ray thing is better...", then yeah, I could see the "minor upgrade" aspect of your post coming true.

My rebuttal is focused on a small context of your post, not the big picture. In my mind, there's not enough info to say one will really outdo the other.

Re:Maybe novelty can help differentiate? (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202650)

I find that unlikely. Imagine a dude who upgraded to HD. He watches HD. He loves HD. Then he puts a standard DVD in his player and .. well. it's not HD. So what does he do?

Sorry. You lost me there. Am I supposed to imagine he would even notice that the DVD signal was not HD?

Re:Maybe novelty can help differentiate? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202662)

"Am I supposed to imagine he would even notice that the DVD signal was not HD?"

Can you honestly tell me that somebody who's watching 1080p on his 40+" screen isn't going to notice that his DVDs are significantly softer?

I've heard this complaint a few times. That's why HD-DVR + HBO == goodness for HD owners.

Consider also... (2, Insightful)

Gyga (873992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201876)

...that the average joe hates acroynms, my friends which know nothing about this are more likely to pick blu-ray merely because it doesn't have acronyms. I think people prefer things they can say, blue-ray vs h-d-d-v-d.

Re:Consider also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15201971)

And this is why VHS won over Betamax?

SLP mode (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202080)

VHS beat Beta largely because VHS was the first with 6-hour tapes.

Re:SLP mode (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202465)

VHS beat Beta because it was cheaper, even though it was the better product.

A Mac is better, but people still by clones because they're cheaper.

People vote with their wallets. WalMart understands this,

Re:Consider also... (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202211)

pfft its going to be dvd regardless. think about it. in 10 years will your mom call you and say "this blue ray disc isn't working" or "this dvd wont play". case-and-point, it took my mom until the xbox to stop saying "nintendo games" in reference to any console video game.

Re:Consider also... (1)

Tyger (126248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202447)

My mom is actually pretty tech savvy, but I suspect moms that would call and make that confusion would likely call Blu-ray, HD-DVD and even DVD as just "CD".

Re:Consider also... (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202266)

Time to get rid of my MP3's, CD's, DVD's and go back to tape because tape is a word, not an acronym.

Re:Consider also... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202388)

" I think people prefer things they can say, blue-ray vs h-d-d-v-d."

Maybe. But we're talking about a next-generation DVD that works with HD. HD-DVD. What Average Joe that has recently purchased an HDTV would instantly thing Blu-Ray has anything to do with his home theater?

That's why everyone starts web addresses (1)

EZLeeAmused (869996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202502)

with World Wide Web (3 syllables) and not "double-u double-u double-u" (9 syllables) ;)

Panel testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15201882)

You can almost certainly bet that the companies involved have held market research panels asking people what they think of different names. So I'm not too worried.

yes and no (2, Interesting)

Beuno (740018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201891)

I don't completely disagree, but I do thing "Blu-Ray" can catch on as a new "hip" and "bleeding edge" name.

I'd argue the opposite (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201894)

Joe Sixpack, you know, the guy who buys the Hemi, or puts the "Type R" sticker on his Honda Civic, will by the Blu-Ray DVD, because..well, it's "Blue". Blue is better, neater, more high tech, with less distortion, jitter, wow, and flutter. I mean, think of it, red has a long wavelength, blue shorter. So it must be higher definition.

Seriously. This is what you'll hear from the droid at Best Buy.

"HD-DVD" sounds old and busted, a hack to make DVD "HD".
"Blu-Ray" is an entirely new technology, and as everyone knows, unless you have the latest trinket, you're a dinosaur, obsolete, gay, etc.

I may sound flip, but you get the idea. People buy spin, and marketing crap. They don't buy technology, or purchase on any rational basis.

Re:I'd argue the opposite (4, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202038)

People buy spin, and marketing crap. They don't buy technology, or purchase on any rational basis.

Oh, most definitely. That's why I think Laserdisc made such huge waves, all but replacing VHS for precorded movies. I mean, damn, discs were high-tech and lasers have always been awesome.

Listen, if you want to know what the general public will buy, I'll tell you: They'll buy the HD format that a) has the most movies, b) gets the best demos over the next year while they're wandering around Circuit City/Best Buy/etc., c) is supported by their friends and family (my parents, for example, would go for whatever format I recommended to them), and most importantly d) is the cheapest.

Of course, it's all moot if combo players reach decent prices. At that point, nobody but the A/V geeks will care about the differences...

No. (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202133)

Joe Sixpack, you know, the guy who buys the Hemi, or puts the "Type R" sticker on his Honda Civic, will by the Blu-Ray DVD, because..well, it's "Blue". Blue is better, neater, more high tech, with less distortion, jitter, wow, and flutter. I mean, think of it, red has a long wavelength, blue shorter.

Uhm, no offense, but I don't think you know Joe Sixpack. Joe Sixpack isn't exactly familiar with the EM spectrum and has no idea as to which color has a higher frequency or what difference that would make.

If anything, Joe Sixpack would look at the name "Blu-Ray" and say "WTF is that?", and look at the name "HD-DVD" and say "Oh, DVDs for my HDTV."

Yeah, right. (1, Insightful)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201895)

Names have everything to do with how popular a format becomes. "Betamax" or "VHS"?

Nevermind that absolutely obscure music format, MP3.

DIGITAL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15201899)

Man, DEC is dead. What's with the icon?

At the risk of being modded offtopic... (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201906)

Why is the DEC corporate logo the graphic for this article?

Did HP decide to use their corporate corpse to produce Blu-ray or HD-DVD players?

Re:At the risk of being modded offtopic... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201944)

My only guess is becuase it appears as simply the word "Digital", even when moused over, and this article is about digital video disc formats. But I know the editors aren't clueless enough to have forgotten Digital was a company name as well.

Re:At the risk of being modded offtopic... (2, Informative)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201957)

The editor wasn't. The submitter was. The editors are merely clueless enough not to proofread. Have you seen their own articles or addenda? They don't make errors of their own - but they always preserve the submitter's.

Re:At the risk of being modded offtopic... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202194)

Slashdot really should retire the "Digital" category. I have fond memories of Digital Equipment Corporation... hell, DEC has been with me through most of my academic and professional career*, to say nothing of their impact on the tech industry. But they don't exist in any meaningful sense today, and this category only serves to confuse the slashkiddiez who are too young to know "Digital" as a name, not an adjective.

*I learned BASIC logging into a PDP-11 using a DECwriter line printing terminal in high school. I learned Fortran, Pascal, COBOL, etc. on a VAX 11-750 in college. I was backup admin for several VAXen in one of my first real jobs (at some college CmdrTaco went to). I was one also of the throngs at DECUS Atlanta in the early 90s who received a free swag "fanny pack", the first of a long line of waist-mounted man-purses that I still use for carrying my PDA (yes, I had one then), wallet, keys, etc. to this day. And I still use a dozen or so unkillable Digital-brand Pentium II boxes as lab word-processor/web-browser machines and as Linux-running DNS boxes in my current job.

The Opposite (0)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201932)

The opposite if anything.

HD-DVD is letter soup. It's "just another kind of DVD". Nothing special. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, HD-DVD. Same thing.

Blu-Ray... that's cool. It's blue. No, not blue, 'Blu'. You see blue LEDs everywhere right now, they're "in". The name is like "hi-fi" or "hi-def". And it uses a ray. Ray guns are awesome. It's totally new.

Based on the name, I'd give it to Blu-Ray. A name can make a difference. Radio Flyer was named that way because both parts, radio and flying, were very new and high-tech things back when they first started producing their product. This made it "hip" and "sexy" (although I doubt those were the words used at the time).

I still think Blu-Ray will win for other reasons. Higher capacity, PS3 integration, and Java based menus are all good reasons. Not using MS's menu system is a good enough reason for me (yeah, yeah, "Sony will r00tkit my BR Playerz!").

HD good. Blu-Ray better.

Re:The Opposite (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202103)

I agree, I think. Adding some letters to a term that people are already familiar with would generally make them think it is just sort of an "enhanced" version of the existing technology, whereas a completely new term would be more likely to make people think it is something completely "new". I can't help thinking that HD-DVD might be perceived as something more along the lines of Super VHS or something.

Re:The Opposite (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202453)

HD-DVD is letter soup. It's "just another kind of DVD". Nothing special. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, HD-DVD. Same thing.

Physically, they are all the same thing -- 12cm plastic disks. There is no reason to make them sound "hip and sexy" because there isn't anything hip or sexy about them. They're disks. The only really significant difference for most people is that they are in "high-def" resolutions, hence "HD". Even BluRay is "like a DVD, except HD".

It doesn't even matter what the letters stand for. Most people don't know what DVD stands for, and almost nobody knows what VHS stands for.

It's the vibe... (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201936)

End users hate ugly names.

PC, VHS are good examples of this as end users tend to use the words 'Computer' and 'Video' instead of their names. Though notice how people say DVD when they talk about DVDs? This is because it flows, it sounds remotely sexy, and it quick to get out in a sentence.
Now try and say Haych Dey-DVD in a sentence ten times fast...

Compare this to BlueRay where end users will see it and say it like that. They will then probably go with it based on its non-excluding non-geeky name and just that it looks a lot nicer than many other names out there. Of course no one will ever say BlueRay in conversation so they will say 'video' which for those of us around only six years ago will notice that 'hey that is what users are used too' and that is comfy for them. So purely on the type of name I'd say those behind BlueRay did their research and they expect it to be some thing that will help them: BlueRay becoming synonymous with Video.

Re:It's the vibe... (2, Insightful)

Caeda (669118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202092)

Haych-Dey??? Where the heck are you from? One hell of an accent... The rest of us will probably try saying aye-ch dee

Re:It's the vibe... (1)

kahanamoku (470295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202212)

I'd suggest, with the "It's the vibe" heading, a quote from the Australian Movie "The Castle" (It's MABO, It's the constitution, but most importantly, its the vibe) that the accent he is displaying is Australian.

or as us Aissies like toy say... you are the ones with accents! :-)

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15201941)

Though the name and familiarity may be a factor determining which is successful, what about the fact that HD DVD player will be able to play regular DVDs? There will be some overlap when people use both the new gen and regular DVD. I don't think that a Blu-Ray player will be able cater to that easily. hmm...

DVD+HD **plus is better than minus!** (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201961)

The BluRay folks should adopt a second name: "DVD+HD" and use the advertising slogan "plus means better, plus means more, don't settle for DVD minus HD when you can have DVD *plus* HD".

Then encourage the BluRay player builders to add a $5 DVD pickup laser and a $2 MPEG2 decoder chip so the BluRay players can also play back old fashioned DVD too.

Re:DVD+HD **plus is better than minus!** (2, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202321)

Then encourage the BluRay player builders to add a $5 DVD pickup laser and a $2 MPEG2 decoder chip so the BluRay players can also play back old fashioned DVD too.

This is already going to be automatic. Nobody is going to release a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player that doesn't play back DVDs. As for a "$2 MPEG2 decoder chip," you really don't need anything extra in that area since both formats support MPEG-2 encoded data by default (FYI, broadcast HD is already MPEG-2).

As for the marketing, that's not bad but they would be in for a serious fight with the HD-DVD folks if they tried it. :)

When I first heard of Blu-Ray... (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201991)

When I first heard of Blu-Ray I thought: "Gee, they couldn't come up with a dumber name? It sounds as stupid as Betamax!"

Then I found out Sony was making Blu-Ray and had a good laugh.

Then I read "HD-DVD" and fell on the floor laughing.

HD DVD Will Win for More Reasons Than That (2, Interesting)

Kasracer (865931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15201998)

I honestly think HD DVD will win over Blu-Ray. While name recognition will help, it won't be the deciding factor.
Remember, many don't have much faith in Sony anymore. They've had numerous delays with their PS3, which is their main way to market Blu-Ray. The PS3 is expected to be $599 or possibly more. Not only that, but their last format, UMD, failed miserably and is being pulled off Wal-Mart's shelves. Combine that with their previous failures with formats like Mini-Disc and Sony doesn't have much of a track record with having successful mediums. Also, don't forget, many consumers have a bad taste in their mouth because of Sony installing rootkits on their computers even if they disaggred to their EULA.
Other things that will help HD DVD is the fact that it has at least a 3 month lead on Blu-Ray. That and right now, you can buy an HD DVD player for $499 [toshiba.com] where as most Blu-Ray players are expected to cost around $1,000 when they're released.
Also, when customers find out that many Blu-Ray players will include a feature to disable themselves remotely [engadget.com] if anything "odd" has been detected in the player (I'm sure this will also be exploited by hackers). This permenantly damages the palyer requiring chips to be replaced.
Honestly, I think Blu-Ray is great for doing huge backups and working with large files on computers, but I can't see it succeeding in the movie market.

Re:HD DVD Will Win for More Reasons Than That (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202069)

As somebody who works retail, I know this first hand: CONSUMERS ARE IDIOTS!!! How many average Joes out there know what a rootkit is? How many of those people knew that Sony installed one on their computer? Do you have any idea how many idiots I have coming into my store asking for a Sony TV or a Sony car stereo or a Sony computer? TONS!!! They don't care that the Sony equipment we have is the worst stuff we carry. They care that it has that name recognition. So if every Bluray player had a Sony emblem on it, they'd buy it simply because it was Sony. Remember, just because you read Slashdot every day, that doesn't mean that everyone else has. I doubt many of the consumers out there will know that their Blu-ray player can be disabled remotely...they're just not smart enough to care.

Even cheaper (1)

snookumz (919796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202148)

I'm always amazed at how many people don't bother to check around for a lower prices on the first day. Right now you can get the toshiba player online for $409 + shipping. That's how I got my pioneer Dvd/tivo combo for about $150 less. Check froogle. Search around. Even at launch msrp is just the manufacturers suggested retail price. There are a lot of retailers willing to take a much lower margin.

Re:HD DVD Will Win for More Reasons Than That (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202533)

everybody else but you seems to have remembered betamax when discussing sony's shortcomings . . .

just thought I would help . . . :]

Since when are geeks not consumers? (2, Insightful)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202053)

As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are.

Apparently geekdom does not have ANY say in whether a format is accepted. This statement has given me a headache. OOOOhhh, my head!

silly question (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202066)

look at early CD-R formats, look at early DVD-R formats.. someone built one drive that works with both and the war ended..

Consumers think they already have "HD-DVD" (4, Interesting)

hirschma (187820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202097)

I've noticed a whole lot of confused folks in various forums that already think that they have "HD-DVD" - when what they have, in fact, are upsampling standard DVD players.

Funny enough, most of the folks thinking that they had something that hadn't shipped yet owned Sony units. Perhaps this is not a coincidence. But people are going to be pitched DVD players with HD resolution - the confusion that this will breed will probably kill HD-DVD.

jh

Problem is even worse than that (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202658)

HD-DVD was a terrible idea for a format name. Why? Because as you noted, a lot of people think they already have HD-DVD - and thus will buy HD-DVD discs when they come out. After all, they have an HD TV set...

So what happens when they take the discs home and find they will not play? A very, very high return rate and a lot of pissed of customers. I don't want to be the poor returns desk clerk who has to explain for the eight billionth time "You need a HD-DVD player, not a DVD player". You know that's going to be hard for a lot of people to comprehend as they just hear the words "DVD" twice and know they get HD signals via cable.

At least with Blu-Ray you know you need a new player.

HD-DVD will win (1)

CanSpice (300894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202106)

The consumer likes acronyms. Look at the battles: VHS vs Beta. VHS won. CD vs... uh... MiniDisk. CD won. DVD vs LaserDisk. DVD won.

Alright, some of them weren't really battles, but there aren't many "battles" where a named format beat out an acronymed format*.

* and now dozens of people are going to come up with counter-examples. I urge moderators to mod them down as trolls. :-)

Re:HD-DVD will win (2, Insightful)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202245)

I don't think it's so much liking acronyms as for timing, usage, etc. Betamax failed because of Sony's unwillingness to let other manufacturers from using it. Minidisk and CD never had a format war, plus MiniDisk came years late. Once again Sony was too controlling of the format. LaserDisk came too early (imagine that) and was REALLY big. DVD "won" because the entire content industry agreed not to have a format war, so you could think of DVD as the successor of LaserDisk, not its competitor. If Sony's hardware department can manage not to get sniped by it's content arm, Blu-Ray has an excellent chance at victory, although due to the fact that the physical specs on both formats are the same, I'd say dual format players will be the winner.

Those Aren't even valid comparisons (1)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202262)

The only real comparison that you have up there is VHS vs. Betamax. Those two operated and were supported by totally different groups and had a different price range. You can't attribute the name as the winning quality.

The rest aren't even CLOSE to being a battle of any form.

CD's versus Minidisk? Both were created by and championed by sony. The MD units were designed to be mroe high end and expensive (plus it was recordable before cd burners became popular). Add this to the fact that there is a huge time gap. CD's were out quite a while before.

Laserdisc vs. DVD, once again the laserdisc is pretty old tech compared to dvd and there was no war between them. It was large, expensive, and not marketed to the masses. It was popular in it's niche and during it's life it's only competition was vhs. DVD's were more of a replacement tech for laserdisc.

Want some advice? (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202109)

What is in a name? Now, bear with me for a second here while I explain. As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are. Now, we all know people hate change. Users already know what DVD is, and most would like to think they understand HD. But Blu-Ray? Your average Joe only wants one thing when it comes to new technology, a feeling of comfort and understanding

If you want to know what I think -- rather than expending energy worrying which DVD format wins out, you'd do better learning to stop talking like that.

For heaven's sake, you're not Claude freaking Shannon; you're some guy buying a device to play Spiderman 2. (You also may or not be the guy who thought "Digital" was the appropriate category for this topic but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one...) Could you possibly dial the condescension back a bit?

I think the opposite (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202119)

I think that the name Blu-Ray sounds cooler, so people are more likely to buy it.

Just like people are more likely to purchase a "Roomba" than they are a "robotic vacuum cleaner." Well, that is it robotic doesn't have the cool buzz factor that it did when I was a kid.

Why won't this HD-DVD work in my DVD player? (1)

Blasphemy (78348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202145)

That's the real question Joe Public will ask.

Many HD DVD buyers will be upset and have a slightly negative opinion of HD-DVD. Then, when the consumer goes and gets edjukated, he'll go with blu-ray, because it holds more data (because 50 is bigger than 30, just like the 7800 is almost 6000 points better than the X1900).

JMO

What about PSX - PS3? (1)

Viper_Viper (881780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202167)

How many PlayStations are there in the world? I thought it was something like 3 million. Now alot of plastation owners will hear about PS3, correct? And anyone who looks into a PS3 will be able to miss that it will use a Blu-Ray drive. So, main question: Will PS3 have an impact? I believe yes.

Re:What about PSX - PS3? (1)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202334)

How many PlayStations are there in the world? I thought it was something like 3 million.

Grabbing information from my favorite non-authoritative source of information, [wikipedia.org] it appears that you're numbers are a little... Ummmm, conservative?

PS1 = 102.49 million as of March 2005
PS2 > 100 million as of November 2005.

Let me be the first to say yeesh.

Price will tell (1)

snookumz (919796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202206)

I think that price has more influence determining a format than anything else. Sony keeps making the same mistake over and over. They price consumer electronic devices like you would price a Lexus. Most people won't understand a single technical difference between the two formats. They will both have pretty much the same picture quality. Some rabid geeks will claim that they can see a difference with their superhuman vision. Everyone else already believes getting a widescreen tv is HD. When it comes time Ma and Pa kettle to go to Best Buy, (I don't mean this derogatorily. I live in Arkansas myself.) they'll ask the salesman what's the best dvd player for the money. Even the technophile Best Buy salesguy isn't going to try to get them to buy a $1000 bluray player. He lives on commission. He'll steer them towards a $350 HD-DVD player and save that #1000 bluray player for the gold plated audio jack chumps. That's around the price that they'll be when people really start chomping down on them. Sony will probably still be selling bluray for 1k. Don't forget that these are the people who tried to sell you umd at 2x the price of the dvd.

Re:Price will tell (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202301)

After reading everyone else making the argument that acronyms are bad and "blu" sounds cool, I think you hit the nail on the head. Most people shop based on price. This is probably because they don't know the difference and they feel the cheaper one is cheating them less. What will probably happen is one will start off more expensive than current DVDs but less than the competetor. They'll convince people that the price difference between the DVDs will quickly shrink because new technologies cost lots of money. I believe these same companies did this with the transition from VHS to DVD. Anyway, people will initially go for the cheapest solution (player + media) and that one will win. Based on Sony's previous history of providing the more expensive alternative, I think Blu-Ray discs will initially and continue to be more expensive. Average Joe, as well as geeks on slashdot, are gonna go for the cheaper one because that's how most people make their decisions at places like Best Buy no matter how much they know about the differences in the products.

Topic... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202221)

To Cliff, whom I now suspect of being a mere child:

The "Digital" topic is for posts related to the late, great Digital Equpiment Company, the manufacturer of machines such as the PDP-11 which served as the original Unix hosts and as nodes for much of the early Internet. (Unix was developed on DEC's PDP-7, but it was running on a PDP-11 when it was first named Unix.) They were also responsible for the VAX, and its successor the 64-bit Alpha architecture. The icon for the topic is their old corporate logo. (DEC was bought out by Compaq, which was itself bought out by HP, which now supports legacy DEC products such as the VMS operating system.) Anyone in this line of work over the age of 35 or so ought to know who they are.

The category is obviously not for random business issues in the digital media field.

Re:Topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202412)

In the heat of composition I typed "Digital Equipment Company" above for "Digital Equipment Corporation" and failed to notice it when I previewed. Just so it's clear I know well what "DEC" stands for -- and it behooves a nitpicker to pick his own nits when appropriate.

Over 35? (1)

Homestar Breadmaker (962113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202463)

I dunno what you mean by "this line of work", as posting crap on a website isn't much of a career. But if you mean say, unix/network admin, then everyone should know, regardless of their age. Hell, my jr admins fresh out of high school know who DEC was.

Re:Over 35? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202639)

I see it's been fixed now, too.

By "this line of work" I meant anyone in IT. I had doubts such a high age was necessary, but then I don't actually know how old Cliff is.

Congratulations on your superior hiring practices, which obviously selects only the most attentive candidates.

Poor average Joe... (1)

AK__64 (740022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202240)

I don't think you give average Joe enough credit. I think the hi-def wars will be won by early adopters, and I don't think average Joe is an early adopter. The early adopters will do a little research. Unfortunately, there isn't much difference between the two formats, so I can't predict what they will do. But I don't think it will be about the name because Joe will come to a decision apart from name, maybe what studio is supporting the format or something like that. I think the outcome is a toss-up at this point...

But Blu-Ray ray sounds cooler... (1)

kinema (630983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202302)

I think Blu-Ray may have the upper hand with a cooler sounding name. Like it or not but Joe Sixpack may be more lible to go with the cooler sounding tech. There's a reason those slimeballs in the marketing department get paid so well.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202308)

Both the names suck.

Blu-Ray will lose because it's Sony and nobody is more proprietary than Sony. Hell, they have a million different formats out there that nobody embraced except Sony themselves. Sony will keep on using Sony stuff and the rest of the world will move along around them.

Technical qualities don't matter, it's a control thing. Sony always wants too much control as they try to rape people for every penny possible.

HD-DVD has advantage I think (1)

billybob (18401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202378)

I think Blu-ray is a "cooler" name, but think about it from the perspective of the average person. They know what HD is, and they know what DVD's are... they see HD-DVD and I'd wager at least 90% of them would guess correctly that it referred to high definition DVD's. You hear the term Blu-ray, and while it sounds nice, it gives zero clue as to what the product is.

Of course, with the PS3 having Blu-ray built in, that's a HUGE advantage... I'm really anxious to see how this plays out to tell the truth. :)

Re:HD-DVD has advantage I think (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202515)

All through this thread everyone is saying "Blu-Ray" sounds cool? Cool? It sounds like slang for the latest venerial disease, or something a cartoon character would use to kill an enemy on Saturday morning.

Easy prediction here - HD-DVD wins:

  1. cheaper
  2. familiar name
  3. perception that "Sony TV stuff is always overpriced"
Blu-Ray. As a brand name for a new flavour of Jello or Kool-aid for kids, maybe. Electronics? They might as well have calle d it Blub-Ray.

Yes (1)

lw54 (73409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202394)

Yes.

Neither name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202423)

Neither name will work for people like me. I don't understand why Slashdot has refused to cover the super-heavy DRM in both formats. This article [hishamrana.com] is pretty darned good reason to avoid both formats.

Or the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202429)

this might just be what ruins the HD-DVD
what happens when consumers do not understand why their new disks do not play in their old dvd player with full functionallity promised on the box.
When consumers go to purchase something to replace old or dead technology, the only thing that is in the balance is quality/functionality vs. price. Same with HDTV when it was first released and before politics started interfering with the consumer market.

Media PCs (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202444)

If media PCs finally take off in the next 5+ years, especially with the networks now offering more online content, I'd put my money with whoever micro$oft ends up offering better support for in Vista (I've seen rumors about Blu-Ray being added), since they have the ability to essentially kill off rival formats (unless the rival can get the kind of market penetration of the ipod).

Unique names don't sell? Ipod? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202472)

Yeah, like all the people that bought mp3 players instead of the ipod...I mean what's an ipod? The various new dvd players will all be together. The confused consumer will more than likely remember an unusual name than some standard "hd dvd". So which high definition dvd player should we get? Oh, this one has the patented blu ray technology. I remember hearing that was good. These other ones just say the standard hd dvd. Let's get the blu ray one! Heck blu ray may end up becoming synonymous with the next gen dvd players like people nowadays talk about ipods not even realizing there are other brands that sell related products.

Blu-Ray Sanitary Wash - "Kills germs dead" (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202483)

The first idea in that direction was "Violet Ray" [pullman.com] , a chain of laundromats in the 1950s. Every washing machine had a UV lamp. There's still a Violet Ray laundromat running in Baltimore.

They got their timing right on this one... (2, Insightful)

drama (32059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202562)

I'm just hoping HD-DVD doesn't win out, but I'm in wait-and-see mode right now.

Ultimately it depends on when people are ready and willing to ditch the hundreds of DVD players they bought in the last 3-4 years. Over the last 3-4 years, HD sets started getting cheap, DVD players got ultra cheap, people got over the fact that they can't record on their video media anymore (though, that's changing), and all-in-one surround systems became popular because the media is now all the same size.

A 3 month release headstart for HD-DVD isn't gonna get people to automatically throw out their existing systems that their wives just let them spend their entertainment budget on. Those are the people with the rear-projection sets. Anyone willing to spend twice as much for a plasma or an LCD they can hang on the wall is going to look at the fact that first gen HD-DVD doesn't do 1080p out of the box and Blu Ray does. The early adopters are the ones that are gonna care about picture quality. Everyone else is more likely going to care about spending $450 on a HTIB versus $500 on a single player. The salesman will likely get better commission on that sale anyways cuz it's an easier sell and all he has to say is that it does HDMI just like the other single player set.

As for the studios, I'd think they'd be more willing to release on Blu Ray than on HD-DVD cuz it seems to have more anti-piracy annoyances^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hprotections. Additionally, larger movie size means content that is less easy to compress and get across the net on your lowly 768k DSL upload. Then there's the addition of Java (the tech that just won't die) and the potential for net access from Blu Ray devices and you've got content that can download fresh movie trailer ads.

I think the fact that EVERYONE has a DVD player that works NOW will allow enough of a break to let the price differential between HD-DVD and Blu Ray to shrink. The number of new buyers that will get an HD set and mates it to a first gen HD-DVD immediately will be marginal. Once time enough has passed to get people buying the new hardware, the price gap will have faded and then it's all about hardware availability which seems to be largely behind Blu Ray. From the way things look, the majority of the studios and the majority of manufacturers are behind Blu Ray.

Sony may have screwed up in the past, but not like everyone thinks they did. MiniDisc had it's place, it's niche. For the longest time, we had S/PDIF on our consumer appliances even when there was an "official" digital audio spec out there named AES/EBU. They have PLENTY of successes to offset their PR blunders. I know Sony has screwed up in the past, but I think they got the timing right on this one.

A 3rd option (4, Insightful)

desmondmonster (863068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202651)

What if both formats fail miserably?

Recent digital formats have snowed the market because they offered obvious advantages over existing technologies that had been around for years. CDs and DVDs overtook magnetic tapes because they were more durable, had better resolution, (generally) offered more storage space, and gave you the option of skipping directly to a specific song or movie scene. Plus, magnetic tape media had been on the market for several years, so most consumers felt they had gotten their money's worth out of their old hardware. Many of the discussions surrounding HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray seem to assume that consumers will necessarily pick one. But why should they pick either? The only advantages these formats offer over current DVDs is slightly better video resolution (no novel access features or rugged construction) and more storage space for.....10 extra director's commentaries? I suppose certain video games would enjoy having a 50GB media, but honestly, who's going to make a game that takes up fifty gigabytes?

Whether or not Blu-Ray's horizontal line count is superior to HD-DVD's is irrelevant. What's relevant is how superior it is to the current standard - 480i on DVD. I think that the difference is negligible, unless you have equipment costing thousands of dollars. Even on old televisions DVDs were an obvious improvement over VHS tapes, which were literally wearing out from time and use. HD-CDs sound wonderful, but only on the right hardware. And very few people are willing to spend an extra $5000 on speakers just to hear greater clarity of the 10khz frequency. The costs far outweigh the benefits.

Plus, I just bought a DVD player three years ago! Suddenly it's obsolete? I don't think so - the T-1000 still looks pretty sweet on DVD, and my discs are in great shape. Asking me to pay an extra $300 for a player, plus $30 for a new movie, plus $2000 for a new tv, plus $100 for the cables needed to even hook up HD components, just doesn't justify a really nice solar flare.

Does anyone else remember that one of the early, great selling points of DVDs was that you didn't have to rewind them? Wasn't that awesome? And now we take it for granted.

A Rose By Any Other Name... (1)

dohadeer (598581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15202675)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the popular (albeit contrived) marketing of Blu-Ray as "BD-ROM" media, which sounds an awful lot like "CD-ROM."

Just saying it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, like getting reacquainted with a familiar friend.

I don't think name will play into it too much, to be honest, nor do I honestly think that the 3-month HD-DVD headstart will help too much either. I'd wager decent odds that in the end, it will be up to Middle America to decide, since (I'm pretty sure) they are statistically the slowest adopters.

Any statisticians/marketing gurus care to chime in and correct me/confirm?

Not a troll, just looks like one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15202730)

Am I the only one that can't see ANY reason we'd need another DVD player on HDTVs? Do we really need to destroy a format that isn't that old and doesn't really need to be replaced?

What *possible* reasons do you need a new DVD format for? I can't think of any. Better resolution? From *TV viewing distance*, DVDs on normal TVs look damn near perfect to me; HDTV brings it up to perfection. Storage space? Sure we have a few DVDs that need extra disks but mostly for terribly long epics or for stupid DVD extras crap that you maybe watch once.

What's the purpose?

(Posting anonymously because this is likely to be modded as troll.)
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Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>