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No Ceasefire in DVD Format Battle

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the fight-to-the-last-player dept.

Sony 359

haja writes "The BBC reports that the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared. There is no sign of the two camps working on a unified format. Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer confusion. From the article: 'Backers of Blu-ray are bullish and are predicting victory. Blu-ray has more backing from film studios and more makers of the players, but HD-DVD has sold equally well in the first year of release. But the Blu-ray camp believes a library of exclusive titles and the power of PlayStation 3 - which has an in-built Blu-ray player - will see the format pull ahead in the next 12 months. Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"

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They Can Keep Battling it Out (3, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521816)

Consumers really don't care at this point.

Seagate announces Hard Drives will be at 300TB in a few years, what do we even need these formats for? DRM? yaaaaay!

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521886)

I think it'll be a while until you buy your movies in the store on a dedicated hard drive. Until then, cheap plastic discs are viable.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (5, Insightful)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522212)

Who says they have to be stored on our harddrives? Look at the xbox360 and what they are doing with TV shows. You can buy the show and store it on your 360 HDD if you want. If you delete it, then you can always download it later. I like the idea that my library is stored online. If my apartment burns down I don't lose it, if I move I don't have to move them, and I don't have to worry about the format war. And you don't have to wait that long to watch them because you can start playing the video after 2 minutes of downloading, so you're watching it as it downloads. Lets just hope they change their movie rental policy to movie purchase.

Plus you also have other people doing the same, like Sonic Solutions and Apple. Downloadable content will end the HD format war or at least give them a hard slap to the face so that they will move to ending it.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521950)

As soon as segate announces that those hard drives will actually last 5+ years then that statement will be relevant.

As of now hard drives life sucks horribly. At least my DVD's don't crash and take all the data with them like my last 3 Fujitsu, last 2 Western Digital, and last 4 Seagate drives.

Every drive I have owned above 120gig capacity has not lasted more than 18 moths. this is with cooling fans to keep the insane temperatures down and REALLY GOOD power going to them.

Hard drive longivity simply sucks right now to the point that I dont trust them to hold data safely for more than 3 months.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (2, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522198)

Do you run your PC 24/7? If so, I'd suggest you stop; while some people have strange ideas about hard drives dying faster if they have to spin down/up regularly, for consumer grade hard drives leaving them on is a lot worse for them. This came out back in the days of the IBM Deathstar drives, when IBM was going "But... you're not meant to keep your drives turned on all the time!".

Oh, if you _do_ need them on all the time, look for something like the Western Digital Caviar special edition drives, which have a 3 year warranty, or SCSI drives, whose warranties go up to 5 years. Standard consumer drives come with a mere 1 year warranty, and there's a good reason why...

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (1)

JudicatorX (455442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522202)

As of now hard drives life sucks horribly. At least my DVD's don't crash and take all the data with them like my last 3 Fujitsu, last 2 Western Digital, and last 4 Seagate drives.

You mean like how the DVDs scratch? Or the foil surface on the back starts peeling off?

If you're eating that many hard disks, you might want to invest in a better power supply and a few fans in strategic places.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522290)

You mean like how the DVDs scratch? Or the foil surface on the back starts peeling off?
Yeah, but then that's just one movie isn't it? A hard drive if used for the purpose of storing movies would be storing a bunch... and you could potentially lose all of them if the drive crashes.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522448)

I suppose backing up is out of the question for you?

I double up all my hard drives specifically for backup/mirroring.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (1)

JudicatorX (455442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522494)

It must be.

Rsync: it's the poor man's RAID.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522334)

It's CDs that have the foil layer on the back of the disc; DVDs have it on the centre layer, so it's not going to "peel off", at least not due to external damage.

And scratches can be repaired...

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522432)

If you're eating that many hard disks, you might want to invest in a better power supply and a few fans in strategic places.

you mean like I already mentioned in my original post? I have really REALLY good power and cooling on them. and they STILL fail simply because hard drives with capacities above 120Gig are unstable.

Been there done that, consumer quality drives are really low grade.

Also as others have mentioned... if I scratch a single DVD, I have a chance at recovering it and then I only lose 1 movie. If my Western digital does the typical "ka-thunk, ka-thunk" on startup EVERYTHING IS LOST because of an engineering flaw with their drives that has been there for almost 10 years now.

Yes I can get SCSI U320 drives that will last, but nothing in the IDE arena is designed for any longevity. The manufacturers themselves tell us this with the incredibly short warranties.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (2, Informative)

Bazar (778572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521986)

For HD Movies we need another storage medium. Thats where blu-ray and HD-DVD come into play.
Your not going to get any HD movies on your 300TB drives without them. And if i'm not mistaken, blu-rays didn't even allow you to copy the movies to your HD. That was the biggest reason why microsoft dropped support of blu-ray and shifted to HD-DVD. Because MS wanted people to be able to copy the movies to their HD, as its essential for their media center product lines.

I'm personally hoping that HD-DVD pulls ahead however. Its slightly less restrictive with DRM then sony's blu-ray (hence the reason ms are supporting it)

And lets not forget, the entire reason we have this stupid dvd format war, is because Sony pulled out of the HD-DVD consortium to make their own propriety disk format.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522166)

Bluray != Sony, dumbass.. That's like saying HD = MS, also equally dumb. They're some of the players, not the ONLY ones, in both camps.

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522352)

Why do I find it difficult to believe that Microsoft would adopt one format because it's 'less restrictive'? They'd probably be more likely to support HD DVD in an attempt to damage PS3 sales?

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522068)

Seagate announces Hard Drives will be at 300TB in a few years, what do we even need these formats for? DRM? yaaaaay!

Doesn't matter how big the hard drive is. How is that movie going to get from the publisher, to you, at full resolution, without a removable disk? As has been happening for decades, hard disk capacity is growing faster than communications bandwidth. So great, you can fit a bunch of movies on your hard drive. It'll still take you a day to download the movie. If only there were a way to get the information to you faster? Perhaps something small, and made of plastic...

Re:They Can Keep Battling it Out (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522394)

Do you think connection speeds are going to remain at their current levels?

Right now I've got a cable connection that can download at over 1MB/sec .. sure an HD movie might be big, but I could probably download it (buffered) in about an hour.. which is only slightly longer than if i went to the video store and rented it..

byte != bit (1)

$pearhead (1021201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522266)

Seagate announces Hard Drives will be at 300TB in a few years
Actually, it was 300 terrabit. [wired.com]

Release them in numbers, (2, Insightful)

imdx80 (842737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521824)

All i want is them to release them in numbers so it'll be possible to buy any HD player, in the UK at least.

BLu-ray (1, Funny)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521828)

Blu-Ray is my format of choice, It holds ALOT more, and it works with the PS3, thats all i need

Re:BLu-ray (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522060)

no it doesn't.

They still have not solved the dual layer problem. So all Blu-Ray discs right now are single layer and LESS capacity than HD-DVD.

Until the solve the Dual layer manufacturing problems (hope to by the end of Q1) it's an inferior format to HD-DVD.

Re:BLu-ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522264)

Shit, it's July 2006 again.

They've been selling 50GB BluRay movies for a couple of months now. The problem is well and truly solved. No need for this out of date FUD on Slashdot.

Re:BLu-ray (2, Informative)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522340)

They have fixed this almost 6 months ago, 50gb discs are here
"On November 14, 2006, Fox released their first 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray Disc title, Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut. Other titles, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Fantastic Four and the recent remake of The Omen will be released on the same day and will be using AVC encoding and DTS HD Lossless Master Audio. The first shipments of the PlayStation 3 in the United States included a Blu-ray Disc version of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.[2]"

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu_ray#Released_titl es [wikipedia.org]

It's quite easy, really. (1, Funny)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521836)

No matter what geeks think, the PS3 cannot lose. Therefore BlueRay cannot lose. Can you say "network externalities"?

Re:It's quite easy, really. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17521866)

So how do you feel about the fact that the PS3 is, in fact, losing right now? They haven't even shipped that many units, yet they're just sitting on the shelves in many stores. Wiis continue to sell out as soon as they arrive.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521992)

More on that in 12 months... do you really think everything has been said and done by now?

Re:It's quite easy, really. (2, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521976)

Yes, as the AC said, the PS3 could easily lose.

More importantly, the PS3 could even win, and blu-ray could still lose. Since when has Sony ever been able to push a format? Heck, even with as popular as the PSP is, they still can't sell UMD media. Why would people pay twice as much for a medium when the existing one meets and exceeds most people's quality standards? (disclaimer: I like HD, but most people are not like me)

You need to seriously recalibrate your expectations when it comes to new, expensive media (especially media from Sony, which has categorically been able to screw up every format they've ever touched).

Re:It's quite easy, really. (0)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522048)

Interesting points but you are not considering a simple fact, and that is that sheeple will simply upgrade from Xbox to the 360 and from the PS2 to the PS3 (the Wii will be a blast and make Nintendo rich(er) but will remain a minor player; besides, it's not even in the same market). The PS2 is *the* console by definition so people will buy the PS3.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522232)

You wildly underestimate consumers. In the mid nineties, people didn't largely upgrade from the Super Nintendo (arguably the most popular console of all time by developer commitment) to the N64. They instead went to the PS1 which was, at the time, poised for much better development. And they definitely made the right choice; beyond the N64s superior processing merits, the games were expensive, the cartridge was not large enough to hold FMVs to speak of, and development was difficult.

besides, it's not even in the same market

Well, at least you're right about that. The Wii is in the "making money" market, whereas the PS3 is... well, not. You probably meant that they are in different markets because the Wii has inferior graphics; this is just stupid. Games are about fun, not graphics, and the Wii is just more fun.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (2, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522456)

Interesting points but you are not considering a simple fact, and that is that sheeple will simply upgrade from Xbox to the 360 and from the PS2 to the PS3 (the Wii will be a blast and make Nintendo rich(er) but will remain a minor player; besides, it's not even in the same market). The PS2 is *the* console by definition so people will buy the PS3.


By that logic the N64 should have trounced the PS, and thus the NGC should have crounced the PS2, Xbox, and DC.

This time the price and the avaliablity are making people sit back, wait, and evaluate. The reason the PS2 is horribly popular is a few things, however the driving force once all the systems were up and running was the presence of exlusive titles.

I don't think that any of the 3 systems will tank, however I don't think it is a forgone conclussion this time around.

1) PS3 Price and avaliablity is cutting into early adopters. The lack of major titles, and a number of companies saying they will nolonger be making PS exclusives. All of this might (can't say 100%) to a lack of games, or a lack of exclusive games.

2) The 360 already has a decent toehold in the USA (it is still tanking in Japan, however I honestly can't specuilate on the japanese market and how it will effect the systems as I am not familiar enough with it, from here on in, I am reffering to the USA). A number of PS2 owners have already picked up 360s because they want the next gen, but are not willing to wait for the PS3, or pay the price for it. This also gives the 360 a nice room for picking up exclusives (hey, look, our player base is 10X that of the PS3).

3) Wii. Who farken knows? I think that it will be decently common to see people havign a Wii as well as one of the other 2, plus those poeple that are straped for $$ will be either going for a Wii or a PS2.

I tihnk that in the USA the 360 will likely trounce the PS3, and the Wii either being a close second, or leading. In Japan, the PS3 will out do the 360, however I think that the Wii will easily outdo the PS3.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (1)

Mark Maughan (763986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522072)

Since when has Sony ever been able to push a format?

Both the CD and the DVD had Sony pushing them out of the starting gate.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522354)

3 1/2" floppy.

Apple was behind it then, and Apple's behind BluRay.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (2, Informative)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522376)

More importantly, the PS3 could even win, and blu-ray could still lose. Since when has Sony ever been able to push a format?

Yes, when have they done that? You must be thinking of all those standards they were a part of that flopped, like 3.5" floppy disks and compact discs.

Or perhaps you mean minidisc? Not very popular here, but they were definitely around, and in the UK quite pervasive for awhile. They did "win" vs a little thing called DAT, if you recall.

MemorySticks? All over the place. Particularly in high end cameras and phones.

Oh yes, speaking of high-end. Betacam SP for broadcast, maybe? DigiBeta? All total failures, right?

UMDs flopped for movies, but it doesn't matter, that was just a bonus anyways. Its the PSP game format, now just as proprietary as any Gameboy/DS cart.

As for Blu-Ray, well, in this case we aren't even talking about Sony. There's a few other companies on the Blu-Ray board that have a vested interest in it succeeding - but they are pipsqueaks like Disney, Apple and Sun.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (3, Interesting)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522156)

Serious question: how well does the PS3 play Blu-Ray movies?

I'm still waiting a while to get a good HDTV, much less a HD player (waiting to see how things play out a little more).

Re:It's quite easy, really. (2, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522158)

I think that it may actually be in Sony's best interest for BluRay to lose this format war. For the last decade Sony's content divisions have been essentially destroying their hardware division from the inside. People once regarded Sony as the default brand to buy when purchasing consumer electronics. Now, anyone who is remotely informed avoids their products like the plague. Sony's insistence on making their hardware and content divisions cooperate has insured that nearly every product they release is crippled right out of the gate with DRM and proprietary formats doomed to obscurity.

If BluRay succeeds, it will be seen by Sony as a success of this miserable business plan. At that point we can all expect Sony to tread even further down this dead end road. Should BluRay fail however, then maybe, just maybe, Sony will finally realize that their biggest enemy is themselves. Obviously, the failure of BluRay wouldn't necessarily mean that things will get better. If if should succeed though, we can almost be assured that they will get worse.

Re:It's quite easy, really. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522286)

Can you say . . .

Not without having to shoot myself afterwards, for my own good.

KFG

Until a winner is declared (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521842)

the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared

Couldn't get more Irish than that could you? Here's another pearl of wisdom:

Ah, to be sure it'll rain tomorrow unless it doesn't.

Re:Until a winner is declared (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522102)

Alternatively "the beatings will continue until morale improves".

There needn't be a winner in a format war. Remember MiniDisc v Digital Cassette? The winner then was MP3. Remember SACD v DVD-Audio? The winner in that war was, well, nobody really as neither format sells in large quantities.

Re:Until a winner is declared (2, Insightful)

david.given (6740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522244)

There needn't be a winner in a format war. Remember MiniDisc v Digital Cassette? The winner then was MP3. Remember SACD v DVD-Audio? The winner in that war was, well, nobody really as neither format sells in large quantities.

Personally, I expect the winner is going to be likely to be EVD or FVD, the alternative Asian standards. If HDDVD and Blu-Ray keep faffing around like this, they're going to swamped by a tide of next-generation Asian electronics that will be cheap, flexible and Just Work. Which neither HDDVD or Blu-Ray do, reliably.

Re:Until a winner is declared (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522152)

Ah, to be sure it'll rain tomorrow unless it doesn't.

And that rain will make water more wet.

Ahh well... (2, Funny)

JJC (96049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521844)

If only he'd said it was in the "final throes": then we'd have known he was worth taking seriously...

Consumer "confusion"? (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521860)

Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer rejection.

There, corrected that for you.

Re:Consumer "confusion"? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522050)

Some believe the industry at large is being damaged by the war due to consumer indifference.
There, corrected that for you.

There, corrected that correction for you.

Re:Consumer "confusion"? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522222)

Indifference? I'd be more than willing to upgrade if I knew which format to bet on, or had dual format burners for a reasonable price out by now. I'm not really indifferent to this technology. I'd perhaps rather call the whole thing "frustrating".

Re:Consumer "confusion"? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522090)

I'd call it more patience in waiting to see which format has more early adoption suckers latching on, and then the group with the more suckers is declared the winner. Actually maybe that's maybe why it isn't always the technically superior format that wins..

Lets not forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17521908)

Bill Gates yesterday on live CNN at CES voiced his backing of HD-DVD. I am pretty sure that Microsoft makes sony look like a joke right now.

Re:Lets not forget... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522168)

"I am pretty sure that Microsoft makes sony look like a joke right now."

How, exactly? They're not really direct competitors anywhere but on the console market, and the 360 had a pretty lukewarm reception from what I recall. The 360 was out first, but it's probably going to be inferior in all ways (depending on whether you call the price being higher as it being inferior). Anyway, just wait until Vista is widely adopted, then you can start laughing at Microsoft again, don't worry.

One Word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17521926)

BETAMAX

In other words... (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521942)

I'm still not planning on buying either one of those formats. And I'm normally an early adopter. Even if I bought a PS3 (which I'm not planning on) I still can't see myself buying any Blu-Ray discs until this whole format debacle gets settled.

Re:In other words... (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522254)

Agree. Not enough content, too expensive, too high risk, not enough benefit. Frankly at this point I couldn't care if both formats flop and we're stuck with regular DVDs for another 5 years until someone tries HD again. Ideally with less arguing this time.

Was Wondering How Zonk Was Gonna Spin This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17521946)

http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/08/l...ss-conferen ce/ [engadget.com]

Blu-ray has 96% of the HD player market in Japan. In terms of Japan the game is already over there.

Only 4 of the top 20 DVD last year are from HD DVD camp. Almost all the top 20 movies are only available on Blu-ray.

Understanding and solutions believe Blu-ray will sell more discs.

Quote:
BDA has seen a 700% increase in software sales since mind-Nov. with the launch of PS3 and additional Blu-ray devices.
Top 5 Selling titles to Date in order: Underworld Evolution, Talladega Nights, Fifth Element, Click , Ultraviolet.

Quote:
Survey from 10k respondents plan to purchase Blu-ray moves to view on their PS3.
75% of the respondents plan to use their PS3 as a primary device for watching movies.
80% of 1 million = an installed base of 800,000.
Same source estimates that PS3 will far outsell the X-Box Drive.

Largest variety of movies.
Largest variety of hardware.
Only gaming console with built-in HD movie playback.

Quote:
Half of the Sony titles will be BD50GB, despite what HD DVD said.

They will release 18 titles by the end of Feb.
The Decent was 50GB and is the first with PIP, and has BDJ.
They announce more titles than we can type, look forward for the press releases, when they are available
Bob Chapek President of Disney.

Quote:
Over 20 Blu-ray titles in the first half of 2007, many world wide.
Mic makes loud noise, everyone jumps! Bob says "I didn't realize the other side wanted to win that bad" Everyone laughs.
He goes on to cover the previously announced Blu-ray titles.
From the fox film exec himself:

Quote:
On Dec 20th BD outpaced HD DVD.

Fox will continue to be aggressive with BDJ.
7-10 titles per month, most will be 50GB.
Will continue with day and date releases.
.

Quote:
Sony will target 90-100 titles for 2007.
Once again there were many movies including Casino Royal which will be AVC encoded. All the big releases from the middle of the year will be AVC.
Half of the Sony titles will be BD50, despite what HD DVD said.

Quote:
When will the format war end?
If we had a crystal ball we wouldn't need to do press conferences like this. It is a matter of time before the fact that BDA is the winner is evident to everyone.

I love the fact that a bunch of diehard Microsoft/Xbox fanatics went out and wasted 200 dollars on a giant ugly peripheral for a dead format.

No matter how much you can't stand that BluRay has won the format war, everyone here on Slashdot has to enjoy the fact that the bitter little fuck Zonk is crying his eyes out over the death of HD-DVD.

Re:Was Wondering How Zonk Was Gonna Spin This (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522120)

1) Your link is broken,

2) Your layout stinks and it was only 30 seconds of trying to decipher how to read your shit before I gave up, and

3) Don't project your bitter disappointment that Zonk rejected your advances onto a DVD format war. It's not healthy.

Re:Was Wondering How Zonk Was Gonna Spin This (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522492)

Damn it! And Spiderman 3 is going to be a big push for the Blu-ray camp come Christmas season as well.

How can they be that confident? (2, Interesting)

wbren (682133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521956)

Blu-Ray, from what I see, has a few problems (or HD-DVD several advantages).

1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360, so the cost of the HD-DVD addon really doesn't seem so bad, compared to the $600 or $1000+ Blu-Ray players.
2. I can't think of many Blu-ray movies that I just can't live without. There are loads of HD-DVD movies I would love to own.
3. The Xbox 360 is a more capable media center device. Since the HD-DVD box is part of the 360, that creates a nice little package.
4. The name. "What the hell is a 'blue...ray'?" When you say HD-DVD they at the very least have a good idea that it's some type of movie disc.

I just can't see how Blu-ray hopes to make significant inroads into the HD movie market. Maybe this won't even matter. Maybe we'll all have fiber to the curb in 3 years and will stream HD content from Netflix or something.

Re:How can they be that confident? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522076)

you forgot pr0n - that industry has jumped on hd-dvd NOT blue-ray...

just like they jumped on vhs

Re:How can they be that confident? (3, Informative)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522114)

1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360
"Lots of people" ?? Gee, that sounds like hard, scientific, evidence. I'm not a Sony defender by any means (still playing my 4 year old PS2 just fine), but to insinuate that XB360/HD-DVD as king's of the hill is a little premature. PS3 has only been available in very limited fashion for about 2 months. XB360 has been out for how a while and still lags behind the old PS2 in sales. The high-end XB360 is $400. Tack on the cost of the HD-DVD and you are probably gonna spend over $600, same as you would for a PS3.

Neither HD-DVD or Blu-Ray really excite me much now, at least as a video medium. DVDs in progressive scan on a high-quality bigscreen TV look pretty damn good to my tired old eyes. HiDef discs might be nice, but not enough to justify the change, at least not for a couple of years.

Re:How can they be that confident? (1)

Jzor (982679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522210)

3. The Xbox 360 is a more capable media center device. Since the HD-DVD box is part of the 360, that creates a nice little package.


Have you even seen a PS3 or the 360 HD-DVD drive? Last I checked, the HD-DVD box was a clunky external component and the PS3 had its Blu-ray drive built in. What else then would make the 360 more capable as a media center?

Re:How can they be that confident? (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522484)

The software. Can a PS3 stream video from your PC?

Re:How can they be that confident? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522268)

4. The name. "What the hell is a 'blue...ray'?" When you say HD-DVD they at the very least have a good idea that it's some type of movie disc.

Maybe the Blu-ray alliance should think about calling it BD-ROM more often than e.g. "Blu-ray disc", and when that word is needed, instead refer to it as "BD", as in "BD player". At least that sounds like it could help for some.

Re:How can they be that confident? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522478)

That also helps them get the porn industry in their pocket. Perhaps they should start building players with Smartmedia slots so we can get BDSM releases?

Re:How can they be that confident? (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522490)

1. Lots of people already have an Xbox 360, so the cost of the HD-DVD addon really doesn't seem so bad, compared to the $600 or $1000+ Blu-Ray players.

Perhaps true, but the reality is a year from now a lot less people will own the HD-DVD add-on then a PS3. Sony will win in a pure numbers game. However, Microsoft may introduce a new premium XBOX360 with the HD-DVD built in, which could keep HD-DVD on top.

2. I can't think of many Blu-ray movies that I just can't live without. There are loads of HD-DVD movies I would love to own.

I really haven't paid attention to what's available in each format. Since Sony owns a studio, they can keep those titles exclusive to Blue-Ray. (I don't know if they're doing this or not). The other studios will eventually go where the numbers are, unless they are paid off to do otherwise.

I do think the combination of Sony forcing the units out there (through the PS3) and forcing exclusives will ultimately doom HD-DVD, unless they can do simliar (by making HD-DVD standard on the XBOX360 and paying off studios for exclusives). Unfortunately, if the formats try to compete by getting exclusives then neither will win for a while, and the consumer looses.

As a side note, even though I think Blue-ray is better positioned to win the format war, Sony may loose the video game war in the process. By forcing Blue-ray through the PS3, they've made the PS3 way too expensive. A few people might buy the PS3 as a cheap Blue-ray player, but they are probably going loosing more people who aren't goint to buy the PS3 because it's too expensive for video games. After the success of PS1 and PS2, this video game round was Sony's to loose. It's not clear if Microsoft will be able to capitilize on Sony's mistakes. Clearly Nintendo's Wii is doing well, but only time will tell if that takes over the market or competes in a different space.

The dickens, you say! (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521974)

The BBC reports that the high definition DVD format war will continue until a winner is declared.
Well, duh.

Re:The dickens, you say! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522486)

I say BluRay and HD-DVD fight it out like gentlemen: With two pistols and ten paces.

A war worth ignoring (4, Interesting)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17521996)

Neither format matters any more. Physical media is going to become less and less important as our content is now being delivered over the wire (or wireless). I can't remember the last time I purchased a DVD, or a CD for that matter. I haven't been to a video rental outlet in more than a year, and I don't intend to do so in the future.

An HD TV set, with a PVR, and digital cable is serving me just fine. On Demand movies in HD 5.1 gets it done for me.

The only counter argument that nags in the back of my mind is that I borrowed the LOST first and second season DVDs from a friend, and truly enjoyed watching the series on DVD. No Commercials, and three episodes a night really move the plot along. I find it very difficult to stay interested in the show now that I am watching it on a weekly basis, when they happen to bless us with an episode. Too long between important events, and the hook is gone... So the DVDs of Complete seasons may be a better way to enjoy quality TV shows.

But, I suspect that it won't be long before the LOST series shows up on the On Demand service, just like the fine HBO content... and I can again enjoy three episodes in a sitting.

Re:A war worth ignoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522030)

Lost is already on iTunes, which is how I watched season 2.

Re:A war worth ignoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522416)

A war worth ignoring if you have fast and cheap broadband access. I don't. In fact, most people don't.

It still costs me less to buy 1 DVD per week than to pay for downloading the same movie (even without the DVD extras). The difference is even bigger with high definition movies.

Besides, the DVD gives me the opportunity to watch the movie again a year later, or to watch the bonus stuff from the "super extended extra special collector edition" whenever I have time, like a few days after watching the movie. Most (legal) movie download services or video-on-demand services charge extra for watching more of a movie later.

Power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522006)

the power of PlayStation 3

I keep hearing of this power, but the only powers I have seen so far include:
The power to make you broke during purchase.
The power to fill up store shelves due to lack of demand.

How are either of those going to help Blu-Ray win the war?

Even if the PS3 doesn't do so great... (0, Redundant)

Mark Maughan (763986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522026)

...that will still probably be enough to give Bluray the winning edge.

I don't think Microsoft's lack of digital video out and an add-on only solution is going to make much of a difference in the format war.

Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:Even if the PS3 doesn't do so great... (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522188)

With the 360 you can get HD DVD's for
How the hell is PS3 giving anything the winning edge?

what format war? (5, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522042)

For the vast majority standard DVD's are good enough. I dont know a single person who has gone out to buy either of the new formats. I have one friend with a ps3 and even he hasnt bothered to actually buy a blu-ray disk, he just doesnt care. I know one person who is planning to get one but he is the same idiot that talks about how all his muisc has to be obtained in shorten format and how all home media currently sucks. I think the believes he is impressing someone but most of us that know him just think he's an idiot.

One argument I hear is that more will adopt when the formats get cheaper, but even if players were $50 like cheap standard DVD's you still have to replace your library to take advantage of it. Maybe im in the minority but the difference isnt great enough to justify replacing a collection of around 700 movies.

With the consistently plumetting costs of storage I'm leaning towards the idea that both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray both flop as movie standards in favor of video on demand and other downloadable content.

Re:what format war? (1)

Jonny0stars (1046644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522350)

I think the cost will be a very important matter not just for the players but the actual medium its self. This is why my bets are on HD-DVD the consumer does even know what HD is fully so why would they ever want to buy a product which is essentially to them a expensive DVD player no doubt with DVD's twice the cost.

Re:what format war? (1)

Warbrain (1045600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522444)

I agree with you, especially when you consider that most consumers will go 'Blu-Ray?' No way.' because it doesn't have DVD in it's name. HD-DVD has the best odds just because of that.

Re:what format war? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522446)

Well duhh. How many early adopters do you expect?

Barely any normal consumer will have or care about this at the moment as to even consider it, one would have to purchase a high def player AND a high def TV. Your average consumer just won't do this. It'll be a good 10 years before the next 'standard' to be found in living rooms is definitive.

It's not even remotely surprising that you don't know any of the early adopters.

No one is going to go out and replace 700 movies. (BTW, no one HAS 700 movies in their collection, you are in the minority just in case there was any question about that in your mind)

HOWEVER, there ARE early adopters, as always. My dad got into DVD movies as an early adopter. Heck, about 5 years after he started buying dvd's, he started giving dvd's away to family members at christmas etc. It was still a few more years before anyone even had players to watch them on!

Do you know how many people said they'd never stop using VHS since they already had invested in that format? Yeah, how many of them still are today?

A format will come to the top. Eventually it will be the de-facto standard. Just because it hasn't happened over night doesn't mean it won't happen. History assures you it will.

Name recognition (3, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522070)

One thing Blu-Ray might not be counting on is name recognition.

Right now, if the average Joe walks into an electronics store looking for high definition movie players he/she will see a wall of "Blu-Ray" and "HD-DVD". Most people will see the "HD" and think "yeah, that is what I want, Blu-Ray, what is that? No.. No.. I want high-definition".

Based on name alone HD has an advantage. Blu-Ray needs some serious marketing because if they rely on the sales person in the electronic store for supplying information they will be hosed!

they forgot (1)

mikerubin (449692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522116)

it is a current format war, in a couple or three years we'll have to go thru all this again (well, not me, there is no media player on my motorcycle)

The war is almost over...?? (5, Insightful)

EMNDev (676100) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522128)

Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"

The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says. (June 20, 2005)

Some people clearly can't see the forest through the trees.

Dual-format players (2, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522148)

I wonder what effect dual format players like this LG player [engadgethd.com] will have? Seems to make the whole war less significant from the consumer's standpoint. I have a DVD +/- RW drive in my PC now, so it doesn't much matter to me which burnable media I buy.

Re:Dual-format players (1)

Bohnanza (523456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522384)

Yep - with dual-format players the war is over, as there is no longer a battleground to fight over.

In about six months (3, Insightful)

jimlintott (317783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522162)

In about six months I'm going to visit a local porn shop to see which format they have the most titles in.

There's your winner!

This battle hurts more than anyone knows... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522164)

At this point, I'm not going to buy HD-DVD or Blu-Ray until it's clear there's a winner. The player is the easy part; I just don't want to invest a lot of money in content that I'll end up selling for $50 on eBay in 2 years.

But it gets worse.

Now that I know there's a "new" format, I'm less willing to buy releases on DVD because of the expectation that a new format will be prominent in 18 months, and I'd rather have the high def version.

So my response at this point is to slow way down on DVD purchases.

As a consumer, that's the only sensible thing to do.

Re:This battle hurts more than anyone knows... (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522276)

> I'm not going to buy HD-DVD or Blu-Ray until it's clear there's a winner.

Heh. Reminds me of the AM radio stereo encoding method wars of last century.
Hopefully this'll turn out better.

Re:This battle hurts more than anyone knows... (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522434)

DVD will remain readable by Blue-Ray and HD-DVD reader so why should we slow down on our DVD purchases?

I still own an old television and I don't plan to buy a flat screen until it breaks.
So even if I have a High definition DVD reader, I won't notice any change.

I still buy DVD from time to time 'especially discount on some old and difficult to find movies', but the interesting thing is that I download more and more from the Internet. I simply open a torrent early in the morning over my ADSL and once I'm back in the evening the download is complete. I use my laptop TV output, full screen mode and that's it. I guess it's seriously look like the media centre they are all talking about. The big difference is that it is free, no huge investment and it works already.

I suspect that this hardware war is a relic from the previous century. It will soon be irrelevant.

Root kits from Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522174)

I'm too afraid of root kits to use anything from Sony

I really don't care... (5, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522192)

As I won't be getting any HD equipment of any kind any time soon.

Not because I'm a Luddite, but for two very critical reasons:

1) It's too damned expensive and I don't have the money to blow on HD toys. Maybe the rest of the world makes over 100K a year and lives in an inexpensive area, but I don't. I have bills to pay, damnit, why the hell would I waste my money on an HD setup?

2) I have kids. Autisitc kids with a penchant for running up to the T.V. and giving the screen an open-palm slap just because they like the sound. How long do you think a $3000.00 LCD or Plasma is going to last under that kind of punishment? And if I can't expect the T.V. to last, why the heck would I shell out for the player if I can't view all that "HD goodness" on my old 480P NTSC tube T.V.?

The problem is that the hardware and media guys, in all thier excitement to re-energize the home entertainment market by forcing upgrades, have forgotten that a large percentage of the population either a) just doesn't give a damn, or b) are like me, and can't get an HD setup even if they want to. So really, WHO GIVES A SHIT about HD other than the videophiles with more money than brains? Let THEM buy into all the HD hype, and the rest of us will just wait until the dust settles and we can guy a 27" HD T.V. for the same price that we can buy a 27" regular T.V. today.

Re:I really don't care... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522316)

The population gives a damn about their TV, that's for dure.

You(and me forthat matter) are not the demographic anymore. People with disposable incomes are there demographic. People with no kids living at home.

A lot of people are buying HDTV. Sales were up some 30% last year.

It may not matter in your world, but for most people it does matter. DOn't let it bug you.

Because it is relevant, I don't even have satalite or bales TV. My kids only watch DVDs.

This is funny, because we went to my brothers house were they doi have tv. My kids left the room to do something for a minutes and when they returned they wanted to 'Rewind'* it. heh.

*yeah yeah I know, you don't rewind a DVD. I'm old, sue me.

frist ps0t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17522206)

Kres4in

Perfect for a cage match (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522208)

Lock the promoters of each side in a single steel cage for a death match, ending only when LG develops their dual format player. Thats what the people really want to see.

Neither formats are very versatile (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522240)

I thought about one of these players. Ultimately for me I'm sticking with DVD, mostly because I can rip to watch on my computer when I travel (although they are making that more diffictult, sigh...). I can't watch those high def disks on my computer.

Now if blu-ray put a "portable" version on the disc I could take with me, like steve jobs suggested....

HD and BlueRay are like Laser Disc (1)

bostonkarl (795447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522248)

As long as the individual movie prices are high, people wont switch. Yes the picture is better, but not so much so as to justify buying a more expensive disk. VHS vs. Laser Disc. Which one lasted longer in the US (where the disc prices were artifically kept very high).

What about Divx? (2, Interesting)

tompatman (936656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522260)

I'm wondering if a movie can be compressed into Divx in full HD and fit on a standard DVD? If this could be done couldn't HD players be made much more cheaply? I just had to purchase a new dvd player. I almost bought a Phillips which supports Divx playback via USB hard drive. I do not know if an HD Divx file will be displayed in full HD though.

Instead I bought a Sony player which upconverts the signal first. It also conditions the signal so that virtually no pixelization can be seen on the TV. The picture on a 46" 720P set is astounding. Really, it looks close to an HD signal and I'm starting to think there isn't very much added value in the hi-def discs.

Re:What about Divx? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522370)

I'm wondering if a movie can be compressed into Divx in full HD and fit on a standard DVD?


Star.Wars.Episode.III.Revenge.Of.The.Sith.2005.108 0p.HDTV.x264-ESiR.mkv

Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 1920x816 25.00fps [Video] 135min
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz 6ch [Audio]
Size: 7.92gb

---

SPIDERMAN 2 -HD-DVD Rip (Xvid)
HDTV
1280x720 (16:9), 25fps, XviD MPEG-4 Codec, 4009 kbps
AC-3, 6 Channels, 448 kbps, 48KHz
Size: 4420 Mb


Hmm, sure looks like it, but I'll admit I haven't got any of these two for example to check.

Blu-ray's big advantage (1)

Burlador (1048862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522288)

The main advantage of Blu-ray is its cooler name. I honestly believe the name is an important factor.

Re:Blu-ray's big advantage (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522414)

I agree, but I can have oversight with that if HVD's enter the market, and cheaply. ;-)

The PS3 could be a factor (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522296)

If you have an even number of normal DVD players being sold for both formats, but the PS3 does end up selling pretty well, you will end up with the Blu-Ray camp having a much larger installed base than HD-DVD. Personally, I'd be inclined to go for the $200 HD-DVD player for the XBox 360, but I could see the PS3 being the tipping point. In fact, that will probably be the only thing that really pushes Blu-Ray ahead.

I hope the format war continues (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522298)

DRM is a major factor in my disinterest in buying HD-related products, from sets to players to disks. And it's not that I'm generally a scofflaw: I willing pay licensing fees for my music and movies. The reason I avoid DRM-infected products and content is that they don't let me fully exercise my fair-use freedoms (backup, time-shifting, etc.)

So I'm thrilled that the studios and hardware people are having a rough time of this. I doubt that they'll ever say, "DRM is preventing an resolution to the format wars", but at this point I pretty much just want DRM pushers to suffer.

they're losing money (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522328)

Multiple formats = fewer economies of scale = higher prices

Higher prices + confusion = potential buyers deferring purchase

Deferred purchase = slow market growth + deferred profit

They must believe that being on the winning side will mean future profits that offset the losses they're making now by not having a single format.

Yeah, this is profoundly dumb. (5, Insightful)

JayBlalock (635935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522336)

Here's the thing. NEITHER of the high-def formats gives consumers a compelling reason to upgrade their libraries again.

The reason DVD was huge was not because it was so inherently great as a format. (in fact, it has a number of glaring flaws) It's because it was a huge leap forward over VHS in practically every area. Better picture, better sound, more compact on the shelf, longer run times between disc\tape changes, easy chapter seek, and all those glorious extras for people to play with. There were so many benefits that it was worth it to people to upgrade their libraries.

But what does HD/BR offer? Better picture, to roughly 10% or 15% of the public. And better sound to an even smaller percentage than that. And that's about it.

Why in the hell would people pay to re-buy their libraries AGAIN? Especially as it was just in the last couple years that the DVD collection became "complete"? There's just no reason at all. And that's leaving out how, in the grand scheme, increasingly few movies really benefit from high-def. There was little real improvement in your average romantic comedy from VHS to DVD. The shift from DVD to HD produces even less of use. Do you really want to get distracted counting the pores on Meg Ryan's nose?

Both formats were doomed, from the very outset, to be a specialty niche product, pretty much like Laserdisc. It amazes me that both camps were (apparently) totally blind to this and sunk millions and millions into them anyway. The BEST outcome would have been if the PS3 or 360 became big and people picked up a handful of compatable discs to play in it. (big name titles, like King Kong or such) They're not going to re-buy the library. Ever. Not until a new format offers as much of an improvement over DVD as DVD offered over VHS.

About the only way the studios might be able to force a format shift would be if they decided to just drop support for basic DVD and swallow the profit losses that would incur. (since it would destroy home video sales for a couple years) But even that might not do the trick. At that point, piracy would start looking like the viable alternative to all but the most steadfast consumer.

The studios have really painted themselves into a corner, and I'm curious how they're going to get out of it.

Sigh. (2, Insightful)

Mr. Neutron (3115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522430)

Andy Parsons, chairman of the US Blu-ray Disc Association, said: "It comes down to content and selection of content. No-one is going to buy any player without good array of content."

It would be nice if it came down to which format was more technically excellent. Yeah, I know, it doesn't work like that. It's sad.

Reading between the lines (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17522458)

Mike Dunn, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox, said: "I really believe the format war is in its final phase."'"

The word 'really' is a subconscious codeword, meaning 'not really'. Likewise the word 'great'.

It's similar to what's going on when someone uses your first name in a sentence when speaking to you, such as "This amplifier will give you much better performance, Dave."

So yeah, thanks to Mike Dunn for telegraphing his conviction that the format war is indeed still raging.

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