Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD Discs Sell Only 200 Copies

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-think-that's-called-weak-sauce dept.

Media 214

An anonymous reader writes "Much has been made of the strong sales for some recent high-def disc releases (such as 'Casino Royale' on Blu-ray), but a new Sony research report reveals some startlingly low sales numbers for other titles released on the next-gen formats. When disc sales of under 1000 can land you on a weekly best-sellers list, you know your format is in its infancy."

cancel ×

214 comments

Similar to Vista. (5, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660897)

People aren't buying into it in droves, because the previous thing they used works well enough for them and the new features offered by it aren't enough of an incentive to 'upgrade'; on the other hand, it is laden with DRM that the previous thing wasn't.

Am I talking about Vista or HD-DVD/Blu-ray?

Re:Similar to Vista. (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660969)

it is laden with DRM that the previous thing wasn't

It's also laden with high prices. The most expensive conventional DVD's (with few exceptions) are priced in the $18-$22 range. The average price of DVD's I pick up are under $12 each.

The HD DVD's listed are in the $20-$40 range. When DVD's are good enough, doubling or tripling the price is going to slow adoption. The old Laserdisk format came with the promise to drop in price to below VHS. (When VHS was $20 each for blank tape)

Due to the requirement for the format to be DRM free and the higher quality, the studios simply refused to release content except at very high royalty rates. The promise of lower prices never materialized. (much like LP's and CD's) DVD's finaly started to drop enough in price to gain market acceptance over VHS.

It is here all over again. New format, high prices, good enough format in the channel. Unless someone does something to kickstart the format like a good price war, things are going to have a slow start. DRM is going to slow it even further as the restrictions on ripping to the kids Zen or iPod video and to Media Center PC's cripple the functionality.

You have a new format at higher prices that does less than your old format. A higher quality picture is nice, but the price (dollars and function loss) is kinda steep.

Re: Similar to Vista (4, Insightful)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661479)

The one thing HD discs do better is carry more bits. Already we are seeing movies released in 3 and 4-DVD packages -- that is a lot of disc shuffling that can be reduced. TV series are commonly on 7-disc sets (e.g. Lost, The Wild Wild West) -- one Blu-Ray could hold this.

I think (and hope) future movie discs will have even more commentary tracks, and extras. Already DVDs are a great value, once one has filtered out the 98% of movies that suck. I look forward to Lawrence of Arabia with twice the quality of the current two-DVD package, and one or more commentary tracks. HD "Stuck On You", not so much.

I hope also, perhaps unrealistically, that the commentary tracks are also available in an unencumbered form (even if at super low quality) so I can listen to them while I commute, and work. I can dream, can't I?

Re: Similar to Vista (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661533)

Already we are seeing movies released in 3 and 4-DVD packages -- that is a lot of disc shuffling that can be reduced. TV series are commonly on 7-disc sets (e.g. Lost, The Wild Wild West) -- one Blu-Ray could hold this.

Somehow I expect to see this at about the same time as I see the entire Beatles catalog released on an MP3 CD at 192 Kbs ready to load into your iPod, Zen, iRiver, or Zune. (not counting the release in the flea market from someone's trunk)

The ability to put more data content on a single disk does not mean they will. HD will be reserved for HD content, not collections of SD shows. CD's will be reserved for CD format audio (with a few exceptions of extra DRM digital tracks and DRM player for your Windows PC. To fit on the redundant tracks, the digital content is at low bitrates and the CD holds less music to make space.)

Re: Similar to Vista (3, Interesting)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661729)

Ah, come on, some good stuff will slip past the guards ;-)

A DVD like "The Corporation" is quite amazing for how much is jammed on it -- 6 hours of interviews plus a 2 hour movie, all on a "2 hour" DVD. And recently companies are putting out 2 movies on one DVD -- "48HRS / Another 48HRS" comes to mind. In an HD world this could be "Batman 1 2 3 4 5" on one HD disc. Sure it wouldn't be the special editions, but it would still be handy for a Batman marathon (even though I only really like the first and last ones. I'm more likely to have a Lethal Weapon, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson or David Fincher marathon.)

I see the movie studios responding to the market better than the record companies. Yes DVDs started off ridiculously expensive, but now they are ridiculously cheap (unless you like the BBC). Also, the special editions have become the standard editions in many cases. Called double dipping when done too soon after the first release, this is a huge value add and I love it. Run a search on Amazon (I did 500 such searches recently when I was updating my favorite movies page [just-think-it.com] ) and you will be amazed at the value.

Like buying a new machine in 2006 to forestall having Vista rammed down their throat, now is a great time to stock up on DVDs. And I think the same will be true with HD discs in a few years. No they probably won't be unencumbered, but they will bring value and I will probably get an HD player. Beethoven's 9 symphonies alone were enough to get me to buy a CD player.

I still like the idea that some portion of HD content is unencumbered. I think it is natural that the more time-consuming stuff to listen to (face it, you never need to watch the extras) like "Making ofs" and director commentaries be available in MP3 form. Make it 24kbps or something, I would be more than happy with that. While you are at it, ban the group commentaries -- those truly suck. If someone has something to say, use all that space to put it on a separate track, or at least manage it like the excellent Bond Double Oh 7 editions do.

Re: Similar to Vista (2, Insightful)

wolff000 (447340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662259)

I couldn't disagree with you more. The new format is meant to replace the old not supplement it. I am 99% sure that if/when hd and blu-ray take off that non high def content will be put on them. It is simply a matter of being efficient. Why waste money buy producing thousands of regular dvds when you can make a single disc and still charge the same price? Right now it is better to keep them on regular dvds but once production cost comes down on the other formats be ready to buy all your tv shows over again.

Re: Similar to Vista (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661665)

While you are right, they could just keep the same number of discs, and remove all the copy protection, so that we could just buy the disc, put in on a hard drive, and never have to swap discs again. Until bandwidth increases to the point where downloading isn't a complete pain in the ass, using the standard disc distribution method could work really well.

Re: Similar to Vista (4, Insightful)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662407)

I think (and hope) future movie discs will have even more commentary tracks, and extras.

I may well be in the minority here - but when I buy a DVD, 99 times out of 100, I have no interest in the extras and commentary. I buy it to watch the movie. That 1 time out of 100, I'll buy the collectors edition.

Re:Similar to Vista. (2, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660973)

People aren't buying into it in droves, because the previous thing they used works well enough for them and the new features offered by it aren't enough of an incentive to 'upgrade'; on the other hand, it is laden with DRM that the previous thing wasn't.

DRM is only a concern to maybe 0.01% of the market (roughly the # of slashdot posters to bitch about it). The key limtiation in install base not DRM. DVD had stronger DRM then VHS. almost no one cared. Ditto with blu-ray/HD DVD vs DVD. People do not tend to try to copy their DVDs, those who do will eventually go with the method to do so with Bluray-HDDVD. Everyone else will shrug.

As a few analysts and Sony markettign pointed out, Bluray is catching on faster then DVD did.( Although only by about as much as the pop has grown). So it seems Bluray is going to be the next major format. Don't kid yourself, your concerns are not shared by even the general slashdot populace.

Re:Similar to Vista. (2, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660999)

People are concerned about the effects of DRM however.

My Mum doesnt care about DRM at all but she refused to buy any DVD player which wasnt Region 0.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661629)

I'd guess that less than 1% of parents even know what Region 0 is so I don't think it's affecting sales too much.

Re:Similar to Vista. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661975)

They don't know what it's called, but people particularly in Europe absolutely know what it is; they want "a DVD player that will play imported discs."

They're not quite as big a deal here in the U.S., because frankly very few people watch imported content of any sort, but the few people that do can go out and get them without any problems. (Also, I've heard that most of the cheap Chinese DVD players are Region 0 anyway, right out of the box. Never tested it, because I don't have any non-Region-1 discs, but it's probably easier for the manufacturers to only make one model which they can sell worldwide, and not three or four different ones.)

Re:Similar to Vista. (3, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662089)

But region encoding _is_ DRM.

Re:Similar to Vista. (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661153)

DRM is only a concern to maybe 0.01% of the market

What about the music market? Would you say the same thing? I'm guessing that number is going to jump.

If only such a small percent of the market is concerned about DRM, then why has adopting it been such a problem for the entertainment market?

DRM isn't a concern to me only because it's so easy to crack.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661183)

If only such a small percent of the market is concerned about DRM, then why has adopting it been such a problem for the entertainment market?

Apple seems to be doing fine with DRM. Although music is a different thing to video. Right now even DRM free video is a bit clunky to move around. When data transfer speeds reach sub 10s transfer times for decent video you might have an arguement but people are not yet wanting portable video en mass. Some geeks liek me and you have our video Ipods and motorola smart phones etc... but the general populace is just recently caught on to mp3's. DRM is not a huge liability to apple yet. I personally hate drm. I choose DRM free media if it's convinient. But the general populac eis clueless.

What about your target audience? (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661163)

On the other hand, consider the market, right now, for Blueray/HD: Rich technogeeks and videophiles. Both of which are much more likely to be within the .01% of the market that cares about DRM. Heck, many of the videophiles may have been burned with DAT. Most people with the money do be dumping $3k into an entertainment system will be older, old enough to remember VHS vs Betamax.

From what I understand, even many of the early HDTVs don't have the correct plugs for these players for full resolution.

Format War: Not good
Having to buy movies again(at 2X the price): NG
DRM: NG
~$2k to see the difference at home: NG (yes, I'm including the price for a HDTV; market penetration for those are still bad, after all).

Result: Slow adoption. Could even be termed 'niche market', at least for now. The analysts may have said that blue ray is catching on as fast as DVD, but not faster if you look at it as a percentage. Most of that came from Casino Royale sales. I think that an important point would be that the HD standards require a new TV, DVD didn't. So I think that you have will see a brief surge of (rich or spendthrift) buyers to help justify the HDTVs they already purchased. After that, it'll be much more difficult.

I'd like to have HDTV, ps3, etc... But I baulk at the price tag every time. I could go cheaper if I was willing to have HDTV in monitor sizes (27"), but I want one at least as big as my current 32" TV. Add in that I don't have cable or satellite and you'll see that my available content is limited and expensive. Not time to adopt yet.

Heck, with the whole casino royale best seller thing I wonder how many people bought the HD discs by mistake, thinking they were getting some kind of deluxe version, but still playable on their DVD player?

Re:What about your target audience? (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661213)

Result: Slow adoption. Could even be termed 'niche market', at least for now. The analysts may have said that blue ray is catching on as fast as DVD, but not faster if you look at it as a percentage. Most of that came from Casino Royale sales. I think that an important point would be that the HD standards require a new TV, DVD didn't. So I think that you have will see a brief surge of (rich or spendthrift) buyers to help justify the HDTVs they already purchased. After that, it'll be much more difficult.

I'd like to have HDTV, ps3, etc... But I baulk at the price tag every time. I could go cheaper if I was willing to have HDTV in monitor sizes (27"), but I want one at least as big as my current 32" TV. Add in that I don't have cable or satellite and you'll see that my available content is limited and expensive. Not time to adopt yet.

Heck, with the whole casino royale best seller thing I wonder how many people bought the HD discs by mistake, thinking they were getting some kind of deluxe version, but still playable on their DVD player?


What do you mean by percentage? percentage of media sold? number of media sold? percent of my profit? back end royalties? The numbers in absolute term resemble DVD except adjusted for pop growth.

Video mis-sold are often returned. I'd hazzard it was a fairly small percentage since the stuff is in it's own isle most of the time. The HDTV adoption rate is increasing. HDTV's are now a large percentage of new TV purchases. They have then in various price ranges. It's pretty hard to deny at this point that the next format is goign to be bluray and it's catchign on about as fast as DVD. Time will tell but You seem against HDTV coming? Don't buy if you don't want it/afford it.

ps. Most sets came with at least composite plugs. That buys you 1080i. DVI/HDMI gets you to 1080p. There were some corner cases of really old sets doing 790(i/p) only. But they are uncommon. Most are at least 1080i.

Re:What about your target audience? (4, Informative)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661295)

"Really old sets" doing "790(i/p)" only? First off, 1080i and 720p are the standard HD resolutions. Interlacing is a trick only avaliable on CRT sets, so most current tvs are not "at least" 1080i, but rather they ARE 720p. The native resolution of the LCD/DLP/whatever panel is usually either 1280x720 or 1366x768, except for on the not-quite-yet widespread 1080p sets.

And, composite video is for low quality 480i. Component video allows 1080i/720p, but of course only on a high definition set. There are plenty of TVs out there with component video that only handle 480i.

Re:What about your target audience? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661697)

The HDTV adoption rate is increasing. HDTV's are now a large percentage of new TV purchases.

The keyword there is new TV purchases. If my 12-year-old 32" Panasonic dies today, then yes, I'll go out and buy a HDTV; but not a minute sooner than I have to (the longer I wait, the cheaper they get). Given that most TV's last at least 10 years, even if every new TV sold was HDTV, you're looking at 10 years to get 100% market penetration.

Re:What about your target audience? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662057)

thats assuming a steady rate. dont forget the FCC broadcast changeover is coming up pretty soon.

while it doesnt necessitate people being required to buy new TVs, alot of consumers will buy new TVs because they "think" they need to. that and the fact that salesmen will try to capitalize on those consumers that walk into a store and dont know any better.

Re:What about your target audience? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662081)

by that point, i can imagine HDTV adoption rates doubling or tripling; just like the release of HD-optimized gaming systems and movie players have increased HDTV adoption thusfar.

Re:Similar to Vista. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661207)

The DVD rate of adoption was phenomenal, and it was vastly superior to VHS. You're right that no one cares about DRM, but they do care about dropping cash for a new player and new movies for a minor improvement over DVDs. Bluray is SACD redux. And the results will be the same.

Re:Similar to Vista. (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661411)

"DVD had stronger DRM then VHS. almost no one cared."

When DVD finally took off here I dont think you could find a player that actually wasnt region free. And as half the DVD's available were other regions, you'd certainly find every salesperson and every consumer review saying that you should make sure you get a region free player.

"People do not tend to try to copy their DVDs"

Until they get a media center of some kind. In which case physical media becomes a pita that you dont want to deal with.

HD media simply doesnt have any major compelling qualities over the current format. Heck, I dont even bother keeping DVD's in full quality on the mythserver; much as I'd want to I cant say I notice the difference between full quality DVD and a good 1200 kbit xvid encode with a moving picture on a 32" TV from six feet away, so why bother with a format that gives me little but a bunch of extra pixels I dont have the visual acuity to see anyway (unless I pause the picture and put my face to the screen, which isnt exactly how I usually watch TV).

Maybe it'll become interesting when they release those high definition cybernetic eye implants. Until then, the offerings on the table get a big and heartfelt meh.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661623)

"DRM is only a concern to maybe 0.01% of the market (roughly the # of slashdot posters to bitch about it). The key limtiation in install base not DRM. DVD had stronger DRM then VHS. almost no one cared. Ditto with blu-ray/HD DVD vs DVD. People do not tend to try to copy their DVDs, those who do will eventually go with the method to do so with Bluray-HDDVD. Everyone else will shrug."

HDCP? Image Constraint Token?

The fact is that the DRM on high def discs has gone so far in terms of fear of copying that it has begun significantly affecting Joe Average consumer.

For example, all early adopters of HDTVs are screwed - Their sets don't do HDCP, and while so far no one has enabled the ICT, it's a monster looming on the horizon that everyone using an analog connection is worried about.

Even owners of new HDTVs are often screwed - there are numerous stories of failed HDCP handshakes resulting in people's brand new HDCP-capable HDTVs giving them a blank screen when they attempted to plug in .

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660993)

Its a funny comparison, but oh so true... Vista is neat, cool and interesting, but XP SP2 does everything I need it to. HDDVD is not even on my radar because that would imply buying an HDTV, imply buying HDTV tuner, etc, etc. And at the end of the day all I want to do is watch a program. I do not care if I can see Mel Gibsons butt pimples.... Actually that is too much information for me.

Not Similar to Vista. (3, Interesting)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660997)

I don't think that this can be compared to Vista. There are lots of reasons that the new HD formats aren't enjoying instant success.
  • They are expensive and even more expensive if you include a high definition TV in the package
  • People aren't sure which format will become successful - so many are waiting to see which one is more popular before committing
  • As you say - what people have already is doing the job very well. It took a while for DVDs to take off and they added lots of features over VHS, but as VHS became less available and the price of DVDs came down, people took it up. The conversion from DVD to High Def formats has less advantages to me than from VHS to DVD
  • You also mention DRM, and I think this does stop some people (e.g. slashdot readers) from buying the new formats - but the majority of people (e.g. my mother) doesn't know what DRM is and so won't even care (which is why she bought an ipod).

Re:Not Similar to Vista. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661443)

One thing about the DRM thing... one example I've seen a few times is that some people want to make copies of VHS tapes or DVDs so that their kids don't destroy the main copy.

It's easier to do this on VHS or DVD - just buy a cheap Macrovision killer, and you can dub to VHS.

Re:Not Similar to Vista. (1)

gameforge (965493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661681)

I think everything in your list could be said about Vista as well - upgrading existing hardware, having too many options, having a suitable solution already (I personally thought XP Pro was a more important upgrade than Vista is, given that it's still supported), and while DRM might not be important for everyone, whoever it is important too will probably have issues with both new high-def video formats as well as Vista. In both cases, DRM can make the regular user experience more inconvenient as well as expensive, so that might catch the attention of other poorly-informed adopters.

Re:Similar to Vista. (0, Offtopic)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661051)

DVD has two faults in my eyes:

1: Its on a disc, so it takes up a lot of phyisical space and isn't instantly accessable like my music.
2: Its low quality. I have a nice 21" iMac and a new MacBook and would like to watch movies without the jaggies. (I know about VLC)

I don't want bluray or hddvd. I just want H.264, DivX or even MPEG2 in 720p or 1080p delivered via an online store, for a reasonable amount of money (bandwidth, servers and software do not cost as much as drivers, plastic, trucks, fuel and retail outlets - it just doesn't), that I can watch on any OS that I choose to use that day.

The DVD drive, for me at least, is going the way of the floppy. If I can't send it over the network, I use a $15 2GB flash stick. I need a DVD drive to occasionaly watch a DVD or incase it all goes fubar and I need to reimage (and that's only because I'm too lazy to have a bootable image lying around on firewire). My next laptop will hopefully be devoid of this most unreliable, power hungry, space eating item of history and replaced either with a bigger battery, ram or another processor - and whilst we're at it can I have my HDD replaced with flash as well? And I want a pony.

I almost wish this argument was redundant, but I fear its going to be at least anoth 5 years before the idiots from the Copyright 1.0 world realise that their business model needs an overhaul in the Web 2.0 world - and my dream of living without coasters is truely realised.

Re:Similar to Vista. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661151)

Bwhahahahahahahah, seriously, you've got to be joking.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

Calyth (168525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661223)

You're viewing this in the techie perspective. Most poeple won't mind the space that a DVD takes up, 2-3 dvd single cases would take up the space of VHS, and I'm sure there are those who aren't technically savvy like us who had space for VHS.

Also, they would be mostly playing it on TV (not HD DVD), and the difference between a H.264/DivX vs DVD would be non-existent. Sure, on a 21" widescreen it's very noticible, but DVD has more than enough resolution for TV anyways.

DVD has an advantage over all the different encoding for online delivery of movies - backwards compatibilty. Average Joe could pop by to WalMart, get some $50CDN dvd player, hook it up pretty much like a VCR to his TV, and watch DVDs. He could rent them, he could borrow them and he could drag DVD players around. But he (unless a geek) won't join the encoding zoo out there. He would need a geek to tell him which player to play what format. He might not want to go to various sites (possibly spyware infested) to get his movies (face it, there isn't an online delivery of movies at your required resolution legally). H.264 eats quite a bit of power, and machines a few years old mightn ot be up to the stuff.

DVDs and their next gen equivalent won't go to the way of the floppy. Those of us who demand more of our movies would go for the digital format, while people who don't like computers very much wouldn't mind pulling a DVD off their shelf and jam it in their DVD player, designed for the task, and would hardly break due to spyware or their OS. At least that would be the case until someone offers a set-top device that does what you want right now, and even then, it would still be iffy for the technologically inept to adopt it.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661191)

I don't think you can compare MS Vista to HD-DVD and Bluray since with MS Vista you don't really have much choice when you purchase a new computer. With the High Def disks and MS Vista upgrade packs you have a choice if you want to purchase them. In the case of High Def disks it would be rather pointless purchasing them if you don't have a High Def TV (720p or 1080p) and of course a High Def disk player.

Even if you do have a HDTV and a HD player you can still play your older DVD movies so if you see a High Def movie at say $25 and a DVD at $20 you have a choice of which one you want to purchase.

Personally I have found that if you get a HDTV below 100cm (40in) it will be a 720p (1280 × 720 pixels) with most DVD movies displaying well even though you are watching Standard Def TV. Also depending on screen size you may find it hard to tell the difference between HD Disk and DVD on a good quality HDTV and HD player. When the HDTV is larger than 100cm you have the option of 720p or 1080p (1920 × 1080 pixels) and it is here particularly when you get to larger screen sizes that you can see significant differences. Of course you are going to pay much more for a 1080p but if you have the money and many do then why not.

The largest spanner in the HD Disk war is the HD Disk player or even a good quality Amplifier with DVD upscaling. Even some HDTV's can do this but they are more expensive.

Many would say that HD TV's are expensive compared to a tube TV but in a few years you will be hard pressed to actually find a tube TV and even at today's prices a good quality reasonable sized (less than 100cm) LCD or plasma TV can be purchased well below $1000. Again freedom of choice is at work here.

As to why people are purchasing more DVD's to High Def Disk, well they are cheaper and many people have not made the leap to HDTV (small HDTV's don't really count) so many can't see the point yet and the Blueray, HD-DVD war does not help. Still you are free to make a choice.

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

crosstalk (78439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661227)

and considering some of the new players do upconverts whats the point as well(you can get a 100 up converting dvd player, that puts out 1080i from your regular dvd, and most people are going to say thats good enough for me, look all my regular dvd's just got better

Re:Similar to Vista. (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661379)

People aren't buying into it in droves, because the previous thing they used works well enough for them and the new features offered by it aren't enough of an incentive to 'upgrade'; on the other hand, it is laden with DRM that the previous thing wasn't.

The same could have been said of DVD at the time. Its obvious that HD discs are still in the early adopter phase and probably will be until Christmas at least when players get to be cheaper and the number of titles jumps. I expect there is also some lingering confusion because of the dual formats which might lead to a sales boost when HD-DVD finally gives up the ghost. The sooner it happens the better.

HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18660911)

And here we go. HD-DVD damage control has moved into its final phase. After the release of the PS3 and it's very strong sales in all three regions and the inevitable explosion in BluRay disc sales, the damage control meme was "HD-DVD is getting outsold only by X amount, it should be getting outsold by even more"

Now that BluRay disc sales are up in the 4-1 vs HD-DVD and growing range, the damage control meme has changed to "BluRay and HD-DVD are only selling a small amount vs DVDs". Some HD-DVD fans have moved on to the "I never really cared about BluRay or HD-DVD anyway since highdef digital downloads are the future(25-50gig downloads per movie - yeah right...)

BluRay discs are selling at a faster rate than DVDs did when they started to become the dominant movie distribution format.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18660933)

At the store where I work, BluRay has outsold HD-DVD 8-1 during the last few months.

We have sold 8 BluRay discs and only one HD-DVD disc.

On the other hand, we usually sell at least 50 DVDs on most days.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661759)

That's what I hate about most of the stats they put out. They never put out the raw numbers. They always say that Blu-Ray sold X times more than HDDVD. But they never say that Blu-Ray sold 100 discs, while hddvd sold 20 discs. Because the numbers would be just to laugh at. The other argument is that Blu-Ray is doing a lot better then DVD was doing at the same point in it's life cycle. Well, DVD was the first real format to bring home movies to the masses. I don't really know anybody who owned more than 10 movies on VHS. People didn't buy movies for home when VHS was popular, because of the high price, and the fact that they degraded. Plus you could rent a movie for < $2 back then, which made buying them even more reason not to buy them. DVD was slow to catch on, because people weren't used to buying DVDs. Now I know people who buy a DVD every week, because the DVD only costs $15, and the rental costs $6, so you might as well buy it if you know you like it. Blu-Ray and HDDVD are flops because they have a very small percentage of the entire home movie business.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661803)

People didn't buy movies for home when VHS was popular
Most people I know had VHS collections in the 30s to 50s.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661019)

And here we go. HD-DVD damage control has moved into its final phase.
Has Netcraft confirmed it, or is HD-DVD just pining for the fjords?

fonts (1)

cybpunks3 (612218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661021)

HD needs big epic movies. Wait for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings to come out for it.

+1 Interesting (-1, Offtopic)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661023)

Come on moderators, how is parent "Flamebait"? I thought that label applied to name-calling or ad-hominem attacs, not to any opinion different to the mainstream.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661185)

Actually, HD movies are closer to 10gb. Haven't you tried to pirate any yet?

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1)

NorQue (1000887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661691)

Higly doubt that 4-1 figure, never heard about it before. Substance please, gimme links. Preferably not ones from BluRay PR team.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (1)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661723)

Why would you download a HD movie at 50 GB, when matroska encoded HD movie (including AC3 5.1 audio track) is between 4 and 8 GB? Sounds like a waste to me.
Other audio tracks can be downloaded separately.

Re:HD-DVD Damage Control 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661763)

After the release of the PS3 and it's very strong sales in all three regions and the inevitable explosion in BluRay disc sales

Where are you getting this statement from? [slashdot.org] Your comment makes absolutely no sense. You state that "BluRay discs are selling at a faster rate than DVDs". TFA isn't talking about that. Your stating that this is basicly a HD-DVD ploy to excuse themselves. I'm sorry but maybe next time, at least read the summary which stated that Sony research report reveals some startlingly low sales numbers for other titles released on the next-gen formats.

Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy... (4, Interesting)

ilmdba (84076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660927)

FTA: "While we should note that the VideoScan numbers are not all-inclusive (for example, they don't include discs sold at Wal-Mart or some online merchants)"

Yeah cause it's not like Walmart or some online merchants contribute much to home video sales...

I hate to break it to anonymous submitter, but depending on when a disk was released, it may have -zero- reported sales when a summary report like this is generated. And said movies may very well suck anyway, and not be selling for that reason alone.

So much for the sensationalist submission title.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (5, Interesting)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660991)

It doesn't look like these titles are all so new that you'd be correct (and anyway, new releases nearly always have greater weekly sales than ones that have been around awhile). The real story here is in comparing the HD/BD sales to regular DVD sales--the low rate reported here would probably remain quite low.

Even if Wal-Mart isn't on the list, weekly sales of less than 1000 copies isn't good news for the next-generation titles (particularly because all the HD/BD discs I've seen tend to be the "money makers"--not box office flops). Lots of the movies do suck, but that never stopped people from buying them in massive quantities on DVD or VHS.

The more pressing problem is that no one really needs these discs. There are about 30 million HDTV sets, which is still a small fraction of all televisions in this country. Of those, most people think DVDs look good enough. Why buy an expensive player with wacky DRM schemes and maybe-HDCP and all kinds of other bogus crap, only to have to buy more expensive movies that are presently nowhere NEAR the quality difference that DVD had over VHS? I have an HDTV, and I've seen some amazing HD-DVD content, but I was an early adopter of DVD players and I'm just not doing it again for HD/BD players. It's someone else's turn to fund the birth of this industry.

Wake me when I can get the player for $100 and the disc gives me something better than "great high-definition video mastering" on one of my TVs. I can play my DVDs anywhere, and they mostly look pretty good with progressive scan. Maybe that whole "multiple camera angles" vaporware from DVD would be a good thing to include so I could have some fun with my movies.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (2, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661001)


It doesn't look like these titles are all so new that you'd be correct (and anyway, new releases nearly always have greater weekly sales than ones that have been around awhile). The real story here is in comparing the HD/BD sales to regular DVD sales--the low rate reported here would probably remain quite low.

Even if Wal-Mart isn't on the list, weekly sales of less than 1000 copies isn't good news for the next-generation titles (particularly because all the HD/BD discs I've seen tend to be the "money makers"--not box office flops). Lots of the movies do suck, but that never stopped people from buying them in massive quantities on DVD or VHS.


According to Sony, bluray is spread about as fast as DVD did. the early adopters grab it, show their friends, friends go out and but it when it hits their price range. Its what happens. A bit early and silly to call the format a dead end. Remember that for at least a year DVD greatly outsolf by VHS for most releases.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661465)

I didn't say the format was a dead-end, and I certainly don't expect it to take off immediately. The problem is that it's at best an intermediate step between DVD and something substantially better. DVD is good enough, and the "next most awesome thing" will have arrived before everyone gets on the HD/BD bandwagon. Even when the price comes down, what do you really get? Better image quality, if you've got the right setup and connection types, and if you're watching on a display big enough for it to make a clear difference over progressive-scan DVDs. DVD brought us special features and language tracks, and picture and audio (5.1 in your home!) that was light years ahead of VHS on any television set and didn't degrade with frequent play. You could also take it with you in battery powered devices and play them on your computers from the beginning.

HD/BD gives us a better picture and possible connection headaches if HDCP takes hold. That's it, and it takes away the portable devices and computer playing (mostly). Remember that DVD as a format has been around for a decade, and at some point customers aren't going to replace their video collections every decade. I'm thinking that time is now, especially since they're not really giving us much in return for adopting this.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

Fezmid (774255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661881)

"HD/BD gives us a better picture and possible connection headaches if HDCP takes hold. That's it, "

Not to pick nits, but it gives superior audio as well. Everyone focuses on the video quality, but the AQ is leaps and bounds better too.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661013)

You mention DRM to most buyers and they will think it's a "feature". I think price has more to do with it then DRM.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661405)

Absolutely DRM is irrelevant to customers, as long as it's seamless. Macrovision and FairPlay and the like work great. HDCP is a disaster, though, so DRM will matter to consumers to the extent that they won't have any idea whether their home theater setup will work, end-to-end. You need a compliant TV, receiver, and player with the proper connections all the way through with some of the DRM proposals involved here. That's definitely going to be a source of "what's wrong with my Bluray player?" for customers.

It's not the DRM, it's the fact that this is the most poorly executed mass-market DRM yet released.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661477)

I suspect that most people will think DRM is whatever their techie friends tell them it is.

And in this case, far more than in the case of DVD, early adopters/techie consumers will have been stung by things like buying a very expensive television with HD resolution and later finding they can't watch either of the new formats on that TV because it doesn't have an HDCP connection. The geeks are also wise now to the fact that disabling technologies are a PITA, since they've sat through numerous tedious copyright notices or even trailers that can't be skipped while waiting for DVDs they've paid for to start up. The idea that their system can be shut down on a whim by the same Big Media groups who imposed that sort of rubbish on us last time is not likely to sit well with them, and they are unlikely to speak well of it to friends.

Although, having said all of that, DRM is starting to become a "dirty word" to the general public, too. On the BBC News web site, in a poll on an article about DRM, an overwhelming majority of respondents (something like 90%) said there were too many restrictions on digital content. Now, sure, that isn't a proper statistical study, but then again, it's also a survey on one of the most popular web sites in the UK, with an audience drawn from the general public rather than geeks. Combine that with the music industry finally starting to realise its mistake, and the issue gets a much higher profile than it used to, even with non-geeks.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661847)

You mention DRM to most buyers and they will think it's a "feature".

Um, usually these kinds of tests are done outside of one's immediate family.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

bclark (858016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661037)

I've been tempted to upgrade, but the competition between the two formats is what has been holding me back. It's a catch-22; many, like myself, won't purchase a player until there's a clear winner in the format war, but there won't be a clear winner until people start buying the players and the movies. In the media companies' eyes, I'm probably in their target demographic. I watch tons of movies. I've had an HDTV for over a year now, because I needed a new TV and I wanted something future-proof. I have an Xbox 360, so for $200 I could buy an HD-DVD player. I've seen some demonstrations and the picture quality is significantly better. But, I've seen the Betamax and Laserdisc collections accumulating dust in neighbors' houses. I don't want to be stuck with that investment and a meager half a dozen movies when, perhaps in a year's time, the announcement is made the no more HD-DVDs will be produced and that Blu-Ray has won. I don't want to take the chance that the special HD editions of some old favorites are released for the other format. I wonder how many of those 30 million HDTV owners are in a similar situation, just biding their time.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661601)

I wonder how many of those 30 million HDTV owners are in a similar situation, just biding their time.

Well, they probably all have 720 sets, which means they'll be miffed in a few years when 1080 is mainstream, anyway.
I wouldn't touch a HD TV unless it's 2160 (twice 1080 and three times 720, so upscaling will work neatly for both). Most sets I see on the market now are 768, and since no-one is looking at those through letterboxes, it means they're upscaling from 720 to 768, which is pitiful. You're better off upscaling divx movies from bittorrent on your computer screen.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661055)

Actually, it is not that bad. In 1996, I started buying up DVDs because they were so cheap (at target, I paid $10; walmart did not even offer them; and the vast majority of the cd stores were not into video). Considering the rip off price of what they are selling (50-60), I agree with you. I will not touch these until the come WAY down.

Re:Some Blu-Ray, HD DVD titles selling like crazy. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661041)

And of course, when it IS selling, it may also be that either BG or the CEO of Sony has decided that all their friends or employees deserve that movie. And yes, this goes on ALL THE TIME. I would not be surprised to find out in the future that the first 6 months worth of sales were 95% derived that way. It is damn CHEAP marketing.

Strong sales (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18660931)

"Casino Royale" is being sold in a bundle with the PS3 in my country. Could this be where many of the sales of that particular movie are coming from?

Re:Strong sales (4, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661017)

"Casino Royale" is being sold in a bundle with the PS3 in my country. Could this be where many of the sales of that particular movie are coming from?
You're right [portableplanet.co.uk] , I think this applies to the UK(?). At any rate, it's notable that companies love to manipulate sales figures to give the impression of market share. (My parents saved a lot of money on their last car because it was "pre-registered" by the makers so they could include it in "on the road" figures. Same unused car, but because it was somehow "second hand"- except it wasn't- they saved a bundle.) Casino Royale may be popular, but I have trouble believing it's really that far ahead without taking the promotion into account; and I've no doubt that Sony included those units in the "Sony's 'Casino Royale' smashed high-def records by shipping 100,00 units to retail "

Re:Strong sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661181)

"Casino Royale" is being sold in a bundle with the PS3 in my country. Could this be where many of the sales of that particular movie are coming from?

You're right, I think this applies to the UK(?).


Yes it does apply to the UK. It doesn't apply to the US though, which is where the sales are reportedly high.

But to avoid -1, didn't bash Sony: Hey, I heard they eat babies.

Re:Strong sales (3, Informative)

DaFork (608023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661205)

You're Right

Did you read the article you linked to? The first 500,000 users who register on the PlayStation Network will receive a copy. Every time they did this in the past, they shipped the disc directly to the registered user and not to retail.

Besides, they sold 200,000 PS3s the first two weeks in the UK and the Casino Royal numbers two weeks after the UK launch launch were only 100,000. I think that the majority of new PS3 users would register for their free disc; therefore the free offer numbers are obviously not represented in those sales numbers.

Re:Strong sales (2, Interesting)

skitzophile (707473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661711)

If this were the case, shouldn't the movie Talladega Nights that came bundled in the US have more sales? Something like 500,000 units were shipped of those.

Is the trend the same for DVD? (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660949)

Do these trends corrolate to DVD? I assume the numbers would be higher for DVD, but is the overall trend the same, with a sharp drop off in, say, the top 50 DVD sales. The same goes for CD music and movie ticket sales.

its cuz they cost soooo much! (1, Insightful)

Jah Shaka (562375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660963)

i am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that a regular dvd is under $20 bucks and the hd dvds are like 50-60 bucks.... so do the math for someone who usually buys 2-3 dvd's to bring home to the family... who the hell wants to dish out that cash when component dvd looks so good anyway?

Re:its cuz they cost soooo much! (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660995)

Over here in Canada, A DVD would be 10-30 bucks. The mode being about 19.95. A Blu ray dist is between 20.00 - 50.00 with a mode around 29.95. It's not that big of a price premium here and most DVD's under 19.95 are often clearance items or really old/bad movies. The 19.95 blu-rays are just older movies. HD DVD seem to be priced a bit higher. I haven't payed as much attention. As for DVD's. A progressive scan DVD player does not hold up well to a Bluray-HDDVD player on a 790(p/i) or 1080(p/i) screen. Even on a 480(i/p) there is a noticeable but much smaller difference. Those who can afford it are migrating. The rest will upgrade eventually. Like how the VHS clung on for years. The luddites/poor migrate slowly. In 6 years you'll be complaining how bluray is good enough and this new fangled online delivery is queer and will not succeed.

Re:its cuz they cost soooo much! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661211)

Actually it's because most people remember the VHS/BetaMax format war and don't want to end up with a house full of unusable media again. I'm certainly waiting for a winner to be declared before I spend the first penny on high definition DVDs.

The best for another 20 years.... (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661283)

You might actually already have seen the best format ever in BlueRay / HD-DVD-- for at least another 20 years.

Online delivery will be much like what MP3's did to those caring about audio quality, instead of going to a higher fidelity format it will go to low bandwidth, high compression (eg. much worse picture quality). But who cares when you can have any movie produced in the last 100 years directly accessible from the (pick a name) Apple iMovie website? That is the kind of choice my local videostore doesn't deliver (which basically has some big names, a good kiddie section, and a couple of slasher shelves). I do have a quickish & unlimited (read a 650Mb ISO takes 10 mins around these waters, and there are no caps) ADSL line, so here is me hoping.

Now the USA seems to have this mail order video store business -- but something like this is not available around where i live; and the video pirates only have the latest holywood trash. I read a lot of overseas newspapers -- and some of the movies reviewed sound positively interesting but without shelling out big $$$ at Amazon + international shipping there is no way of getting to see them.

Re:its cuz they cost soooo much! (2, Insightful)

Suspended_Reality (927563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661563)

"Like how the VHS clung on for years" I'm not sure why you're being modded insightful. The adoption of DVD over VHS was the fastest migration to a new format in the history of the world.

Re:its cuz they cost soooo much! (3, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661667)

It also gave us so much more. Computer DVD-ROMs existed from the beginning, and portable (battery-powered) players appeared almost instantly (at outrageous prices initially, but still). We got amazing picture, no degradation with multiple plays, multiple languages/subtitles, special features and extras, interactive menus, scene selection, no need to rewind at the end, a pause button that would actually let you see the frame, and a much smaller physical medium. It also brought us 5.1 surround sound for the first time and crystal-clear picture for any television.

HD/BD gives us better picture (on large enough displays to see it) if we have HDTVs and the right connections. Whoop-de-damn-doo. The picture is pretty amazing if done properly (bad mastering still has artifacts and fuzziness), but come on. We don't have portable playing options (almost no computer playback or handheld devices), and there is zero advantage on a standard-definition set. The movies should have been introduced at the exact same price as DVDs. The player hardware's outrageous prices could recoup the R&D costs. All in all, I'm unimpressed, very much like Laserdisc.

Sur4prise, surprise (0)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18660983)

Could this be connected with DVI cables costing > $100?

Who is going to spend this kind of money? Its not the amount. The conspicuous scam is morally unacceptable to the vasst masses of they buying public.

It is well documented that if your product is percieved as an over-priced scam, you will have a problem shifting anything. You might want to point the relevant companies to studies of "ethical economics".

Re:Sur4prise, surprise (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661107)

Could this be connected with DVI cables costing > $100?
Well, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs are actually really a higher quality image than regular DVD though. A $100 Monster HDMI or DVI cable however isn't going to perform much differently than a $15 generic version bought from Cables-to-Go or from Startech.

Re:Sur4prise, surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661549)

DVI and HDMI cables were out long before HD-DVD and Blu-Ray and the prices they can be purchased at is rather low, if you aren't buying one of those branded ones sold at your electronics store.

It is well documented that if your product is percieved [sic] as an over-priced scam, you will have a problem shifting anything. You might want to point the relevant companies to studies of "ethical economics".
In a related item, if your English and/or typing is perceived as rather poor, you will have a hard time winning any arguments. You might want to point such individuals to an English book or dictionary.

Be thankful (2, Insightful)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661015)

...that even brick-and-mortar distribution allows for titles with modest sales numbers to find an audience. Consider this: you know those giant anime racks at Fry's and Best Buy? While there are many individual SKU's, few sell more than a handful. Teading NewType USA and AnimeOnDVD, I've seen a couple different writers note that many anime titles will sell only a few hundred copies region-wide in their entire lifetime. Production and distribution must be pretty efficient for that to be possible, right?

Having said that... don't cry for me, Argentina, I think the slow Blu-Ray sellers will survive. If you're bemoaning The Fifth Element only moving about 900 copies a week and making the top-10 for it, well, maybe your format needs more appealing films than 10-year-old sci-fi dreck that The Daily Show once called "the gay Star Wars."

Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick? (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661027)

Is it just me, or does the weekly strength of Casino Royale look odd? I mean a > 900% difference to its closest compeitior?

Adding fuel to the fire, Casino Royale is produced by Sony Pictures... Is it possible that Sony could be trying to tip the hand in the HDDVD and BlueRay war by purchasing its own Blueray discs making it look like increased demand?

Re:Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick (4, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661033)

Look elsewhere in the thread; Casino Royale is being bundled with many PS3s.

Re:Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick (5, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661047)

Nice... So if you are bundling the movie with PS3s, how does this constitute a "sale" of the movie? Meaning sony clearly knows what both numbers are.. :-)

Heck, by those sales metrics, people a couple of years ago were just clamoring for the AOL cd... In fact, I suspect it was the hottest cd of all times...

Re:Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick (5, Funny)

AmiAthena (798358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661157)

Heck, by those sales metrics, people a couple of years ago were just clamoring for the AOL cd... In fact, I suspect it was the hottest cd of all times...
Certainly, by that logic, AOL was the all-time favorite artist in my family. I've never owned 15+ copies of any other CD at once. Not that I was TRYING to own 15+ copies of the AOL CD; it just somehow happened. Between mass mailing, and copies included with every computer publication my mom brought home in the 90's, they just sort of accumulated. I can't say that I regret it, though: how else would I have found out what happens to CD's when you put them in the microwave- repeatedly?

Re:Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661145)

Yay, informative. Again. The reported high sales of Casino Royale are in the US. The PS3 bundles are not in the US. It is entirely probably that Sony, and Toshiba, are inflating their sales numbers but this repeated "it's because it's bundled ha ha", +informative, crap is getting really old. It's been pointed out over and over and over again that it isn't true. Anyone with an attention span longer than 1 minute knows that it isn't. Please please please come up with some new BS instead of regurgitating this over and over again. Thank you.

Re:Casino Royale Blueray sales a promotional trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661609)

It may also have something to do with the fact that Casino Royale is currently the only Blue-Ray movie that doesn't suck and has not been shown on free TV yet. Just look at the user ratings on imdb.org: If you only want to buy one movie to see on your new PS3, would you really consider getting one of the others?

Will Never Last... (4, Insightful)

djfake (977121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661141)

What do you do with an aging format? Try to convince consumers that they need something better, and try to get them to buy the same thing twice. This whole HDVD/BLURAY sounds like another round of DVD-Audio, SACD, HDCD, business. So who's surprised with some low sales figures? The current CD and DVD standards are good enough, and the LCD usually wins.

Re:Will Never Last... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661789)

Nah, DVD isn't good enough, at least not for the coming larger displays. There can be a huge difference. However, price is the limiting factor here.

I can see the difference easily. (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662075)

Unlike DVD-Audio, SACD where I can't actually hear any difference, I can easily see the better quality of high definition video.

As soon as I get a new display I will upgrade to Blu Ray. That doesn't mean I plan on buying movies over again. Though I might consider an update to some favorites like Blade Runner.

Though, I think uptake will be slow based entirely on people who have high resolution displays.

There is another Reason... (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661187)

Quote
When disc sales of under 1000 can land you on a weekly best-sellers list, you know your format is in its infancy."
End Quote

OR, the format is in its death throws.

A Luddite on Slashdot! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661251)

Call me a luddite, but I don't really care about the quality of the sound and image. I just like entertaining movies. And I can get movies that I like in the 5$ bin at Wal Mart. Who needs to spend the money on a new TV, new player, new library of discs, and assorted cables and gadgets, when my computer and a handfull of old movies suits me just fine.

Doomed to fail? (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661279)

I can't help but wonder if it is too late in the game to be introducing new physical distribution formats. Here's why: The benefits of HD can only be appreciated on an HD-capable TV-set. I don't see the masses rushing out to buy new sets until their old ones fail. Certainly, there are some who are willing to pay for the quality upgrade even if their old set works fine, and anyone buying a new TV now may well get an HD-capable one, if the price is right. But I do think that it will be up to 10 years before the transition to HD is truly widespread. Now, look 10 years into the future. Is it likely that physical media will still be a significant form of distribution for consumer entertainment? I find that very doubtful. To sum up, by the time there is real demand for HD content, there will not be much demand for content distributed on discs.

Nobody needs/wants it (1)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661607)

I still only know one person with an HD TV aside from my parents. And it's not the money, it's just a lack of desire. Sure it's an upgrade, but it's just not that big of a deal to the average user. And I know many are still trying to figure out what to do with their VHS tapes. I'm not willing to accept that DVD is dead.

As an early adopter, it's kinda "meh" (5, Insightful)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661619)

I don't want to come off as one of those old "get off my lawn" guys reminiscing
about walking barefoot in the snow to school every day... BUT

When Laser Disc came out, it was definitely a video-phile's format in that publishers
like criterion rushed to make the very best discs possible. They would remaster prints,
add interview audio tracks with directors, create great liner notes, etc, etc.
Discs were made for movie lovers by movie lovers.

DVDs saw the same sort of attention when it was first released, but in my opinion not
to the same degree.

And now we have HD-DVD and Blu-Ray and what's available on this awesome new format?
It's not Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, it's Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai. It's not
The Lord of The Rings, it's Eragon.

Meh.

Re:As an early adopter, it's kinda "meh" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661859)

It's not all bad. Kurasawa's Ran will be getting a release shortly in the UK (easy for USAians to import). The Lord of the Rings trilogy is on the cards. Casablanca was one of the first HD DVDs I bought. And there are numerous classics and modern classics on the cards for release (Can't wait to see The Maltese Falcon in Hi Def). 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner are my two most anticipated titles. In the meantime, I have a list of films as long as my arm that I want to buy that are out now.

Yes, there is way too much motr Holywood tripe on HD and BRD, but I'm optimistic that it won't stay that way forever.

Eshit?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18661647)

Let's see... the checklist! (0, Troll)

TommyBear (317561) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661845)

- Story is about Sony, Blu-Ray or PS3 CHECK!
        - Story is negative CHECK!
        - Story has a childish tag CHECK!
        - Story is submitted by Zonk CHECK!
        - Zonk is still an editor here CHECK!

Re:Let's see... the checklist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18662363)

It's a story about Sony from Sony. Wow! You're right, Zonk is very biased.

Oh come on... (1)

TommyBear (317561) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661917)

The article that is attached to this story is at least neutral, but the negative spin placed on the article by the editor in question is just plain childish.

Firstly, yes DVD discs are going to sell a shitload more because there are MORE DVD PLAYERS out there. I was an early adopter of DVD and I know how the slowly sales went for the first 2 years. They went up slowly. So saying something like "yeah we sell like 5 BDs to 1 HD-DVD, but we sold like 80 DVDs", should be met with a big "well duh! really?".

Secondly, regardless of which format dominates, the fact that they sell only 200 or 1000 a month (in which territory?), still means that the product is selling 200 or 1000 units a week, and this is not a failure (revisit first point), these items will be on sales for a very long time. So until everyone owns a HD disc player of some kind, you are not going to see massive sales.

The Reason: Choices Suck (2, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661925)

I have a PS3 and an HDTV, I generally buy 2-3 DVDs a week, and although I've had a PS3 for a few months now, I only have 3 BluRay movies- and one of them came with the system. The reason doesn't have anything to do with price (I don't mind paying a bit extra for HD, although I would buy fewer titles overall if I bought more stuff on BluRay- and I would probably be a bit more selective) or DRM (By the time hard drives are big enough that ripping disks is reasonable, the format will be cracked wide open- it's already cracked a little bit). Instead it's the fact that the choices suck. The reason some of these titles are only selling a couple hundred copies is that there are only a couple of hundred people who actually liked the movies they offer. Part of it is the cost, there are certainly movies that are worth it to me at $15, but not at $25- but more than that there seem to be some movies that are innately "I _want_ to see that in HD!" and other movies no so much. The problem is they aren't really selling many of those must see in HD titles. They aren't even selling many of the "If I'm going to buy it anyway, why not get it on BluRay" titles. Instead, they seem to be selling a bunch of "why in the name of $diety would I waste my time or money on that crap" movies, and hoping that people will buy it anyway because they don't have any choices. Of course, they do have a choice, since regular DVDs still work. A great movie is often even more amazing in HD, but a crappy movie in HD is still a crappy movie. If they really want to get the format moving, why in the world can I get Ultraviolet and Dinosaur on BluRay, but not the Lord of the Rings or Godfather trilogies?
Based on what I've seen on the shelf at best buy, HD-DVD offers better movies, but I'm reluctant to fork over the $200 for the 360 HD-DVD add-on for a format that seems to be sinking even worse than BluRay.

Re:The Reason: Choices Suck (1)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662027)

You're buying $1950 worth of DVD's a year. Try taking the kids to a themepark, going on an overseas holiday or trating the wife to a nice resuraunt.

Ill almost bet that at this rate you've exhausted any movie worth actually watching.

Re:The Reason: Choices Suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18662271)

Very true. There are a number of titles I would instantly buy on blu-ray if they became available, even though I have extended super duper directors yada yada versions on DVD.

Every time I look at the blu-ray titles available, there's little worth bothering with. A bunch of junk titles one wouldn't even bother downloading for free, or ancient movies that have been doing the rounds on HD TV channels for years.

I also haven't noticed any TV shows on the format. I'd like battlestar for starters. Thankfully the BBC's Planet Earth is just around the corner, and I have that pre-ordered, but there's little else available of note.

Why no Lord of the Rings, Kong, Sin City, $FAVORITE_BLOCKBUSTER_MOVIE?

HDTVs getting cheaper (1)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 7 years ago | (#18661957)

Just a month ago I agreed that there wouldn't be much demand for HD DVD/Blu-Ray since few people have HDTVs. But I've been noticing more and more television programming being broadcast in high-definition and got interested in two particular types of show: sports and nature documentaries. The series Planet Earth [discovery.com] looks particularly cool so I checked into HDTV prices.

I found a nice 32" LCD 720p set [amazon.com] for $904, having fallen from around $1200 a few months ago to below the magic $1000 mark. I've always thought that $1000 for a TV is really expensive but then realized that I just spent $2000 on a MacBook Pro in November. Maybe it's not so crazy to spend that much on a nice 32" display with at least the same resolution as my computer.

I was about to buy that set, but then saw a newer 32" LCD 1080p set [amazon.com] for $1100. So I'm selling my old Powerbook and 25" conventional TV to buy a cool new HDTV.

I'm missing the airing of Planet Earth in the meantime and I'd like to buy it on disc, but DVDs would miss tons of resolution. So I'll likely be in the market for a high-definition player within a year. HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs might not be selling much yet, but I bet sales will grow tremendously as more affordable sets become popular and one of the discs wins the format war.

AlpineR

When 300 comes out (3, Interesting)

jidar (83795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662045)

When The Matrix came out on DVD it was a big factor to getting people to finally switch formats. Lots of people who didn't previously buy DVDs picked that one up first.

A movie with the potential to do the same would probably be 300. I'll be very interested in seeing if it doesn't kick start this format war into the next level.

There is a fix (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662175)

This problem is robbing the studio execs of coke and Porsche money, how will they buy their kids a new yacht at this rate of sales? The problem is obviously piracy, so we need to ratchet up the screws on DRM and pass some new laws to make not buying enough discs a crime. 7 a day should be enough for the average person, and off to jail if they don't (1).

                  -Charlie

(1) At full retail, sales don't count.

Netflix (5, Interesting)

bjackson1 (953136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18662357)

I wonder how Netflix fits into all of this. For no extra charge, one can have bluray and HD-DVD versions of movies sent to their home. I've never bought a HD-DVD but I am a rather heavy consumer of them. I have rented 34 titles so far from them. All of my friends that have HD-DVD and BluRay players do the same thing. The cost of the movie is prohibitive, but Netflix charges no more for the privilege.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...