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Samsung to Launch Dual Blu-ray HD DVD Player

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the best-of-both-worlds dept.

Movies 156

narramissic writes "File this one under 'if you can't beat em, join em.' Samsung, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray Disc format, Friday said it plans to release an optical disc player this year that will play both Blu-ray Disc and the rival HD DVD format. With the announcement, Samsung becomes the second company to shift from a single-format stance (LG launched a dual player in North America earlier this year.) 'Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology,' said Samsung spokesman Kwak Bumjoon."

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MMMhm... (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723599)

And so it begins. I wonder if M$ will start grabbing these up now since someone took the plunge and they use Samsung already.

Re:MMMhm... (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723675)

I think you're right.

'Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology,' said Samsung
And M$ can't let anyone do that!

Re:MMMhm... (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723689)

How long before the device manufacturer's figure this pattern out
1) Create two competing technonologies that are equally sufficient but incompatible.
2) Stifle standardization
3) market more expensive devices that handle both, as both a marketing advantage, a manufacturing skill advantage,
4) and to inflate costs, assuming profit margin is proportional to gross, and the number of units sold is the same.
5) profit!

there is no ?????

A very interesting side effect is that MS can no longer dictate platform specs. This is remarkably new phenomena and worth watching.

Finally Could the slash dot filter PLEASE stop people from writing M$ instead of MS. (;_;)

Re:MMMhm... (4, Insightful)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723781)

Sorry about the "M$" trouble, I didn't realize it offended anyone.. though I'm not anti-microsoft. I think Microsoft is beginning to learn that being a little to assertive with certain technologies, and pushing them on others.. is becoming pretty hard to do, now that the market is becoming more and more competitive. They're to the point where they're beginning to actually let things unravel and ride the wave in. Good or bad, I don't know.. but it's still interesting as you said.

Re:MMMhm... (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723925)

Wow! A humble apology on slashdot--land of thick skins.

Re:MMMhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724883)

My thick skin doesn't prevent the sting from your barb, you insensitive clod!

Re:MMMhm... (3, Insightful)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725015)

Huh... I never knew there was anyone offended by this, either. I suppose I can stop writing it, as well. Of course, part of me still wants to write something like that... *contemplates ranting about people paying $600 to be beta testers....*

Anyway, I can see the benefit to the hybrid player. Why sell two products when you can just have one? Less costs = more profits :) But I'm still not convinced there's a point to either format. DVD is fine. It's the same problem with XP Vs Vista, or as it was with N64 Vs Gamecube, etc. There's not much incentive to switch, since it's not a big enough improvement to justify the cost.. Better resolution? Sure. Enough for most to care? Not really. More space? Yup. Do most DVDs actually use the entire 4.7 Gb? No. Better copy-protection? Sure. Does ANY consumer care? No.

Re:MMMhm... (2)

dugjohnson (920519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725325)

I would mod this up, but there is no category for "Gracious"

Re:MMMhm... (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723801)

Are we still talking about the HD/Blu-ray thing or are we on to the PC/Mac thing again?


warning: The above content may test positive for sarcasm and/or could be a failed attempt at humor and as such should be taken with a pound of salt.

Re:MMMhm... (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724011)

I think I was centered more around the PS3/360 thing.

Re:MMMhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724075)

I think I was centered more around the PS3/360 thing.
That analogy only holds if there were a machine that ran both 360 and PS# games. There is not. It's not the competing standards that sells more, it's their merger onto a single platform that makes the profit from the schism.

Re:MMMhm... (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725571)

Well, I wasn't really thinking about games as much as the idea of Blue-ray taking off a bit more than HD-DVD... eventually Microsoft would join the bandwagon, considering it's an external drive already.

Re:MMMhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724013)

When you need to point out that whatever you said was a joke or sarcasm, it obviously isn't funny. And even if it was funny, you pointing it out instantly made it un-funny.

DVD+ vs. DVD- (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724143)

Are we still talking about the HD/Blu-ray thing or are we on to the PC/Mac thing again?
That or plus vs. dash in recordable DVD media.

the pro-and con of overloading drives (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723881)

While combining functions on drives is nice since it saves space and, once the prices settle, even final costs of having just one drive in the computer. So far fragility created by mergeing devices that can fail in different has not proven to be a big problem that I have seen. e.g. the CD writer on the cd/dvd combo burns out prematurely and I have to replace the whole shebang. The motors or tray gears seem to go first.

But what does happen is that it takes longer and longer for the gorram computer to mount the cd/dvd. This is especially noticable when one inserts a damaged CD into a drive. the computer grunts and groans freaking for ever trying to decide it it is looking at a CD, and CD-R, D DVD-r, and DVD+R, a DVD. And each of these seems to have some different time consuming error protocol that involves trying to spin the thing at different speeds. Now they are going to be adding not one but two more protocols. And I imagine it won't be long before we have HDDVD-R and HDDVD+R and so on thrown on top of this.

it's going to take minutes when you shove in that Bad CD before your computer lets you eject it.

On Macs you can't just eject the CD by pushing a button like you can on Linux. Windows is heading that way, though I'm not really sure what VISTA does.

posting here since my other post is the parent.

Re:the pro-and con of overloading drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18725457)

I agree but for one detail, my debian linux desktop prevents me to unmount CDs when in use like macos did. A good tip:

lsof /(mountpoint-of-cd-with-no-trailing-slash)

returns the processes that are messing with the cd.

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724199)

Finally Could the slash dot filter PLEASE stop people from writing M$ instead of MS. (;_;)

Then how can we paste classic BASIC code?

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft"
20 PRINT M$;" put too much DRM in Windows Vista."
30 END

Use of the "M$" moniker on Slashdot often appears to refer to Microsoft's legacy as a developer of BASIC interpreters.

Re:10 LET M$ = "Microsoft" (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724723)

I'd like to tweak it a bit, run it, and sit Ballmer in front of it until he foams at the mouth....more so than usual, anyway:

10 LET M$ = "Microsoft"
20 PRINT M$;" put too much DRM in Windows Vista. ";
30 GOTO 20
40 END

Level II basic indeed.

As for BR vs. HD? The sooner the suits embrace Kwak's philosophy, the sooner their sales will pick up. With RIAA's power on the wane, we'll find that the savvier companies will drop their tired ol' line faster than a red-hot vibrator.

Re:MMMhm... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724819)

3) market more expensive devices that handle both, as both a marketing advantage, a manufacturing skill advantage,


That would be a bad strategy. Supporting both formats is only be feasable if it can be done with minimal impact on the final cost of the product compared to devices that can only play one format or the other. Well, i'm sure some peole would buy them, but I don't think it would be a market dominating strategy.

If *I* were in the market for an HD player, I'd first be looking at which one format has the most/best titles and just pick a player than played those before consider a significantly more expensive device that plays both. As it is, I'm going to be with DVD for some time to come. The title I tend to rent (I don't buy) are barely even on DVD sometimes, much less Blu-ray or HD-DVD :-P

-matthew

Re:MMMhm... (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725637)

In the long run, after set up costs are ammortized, combined units are cheaper than multiple units. This is especially true from the point of view of a systems integrator like Dell. So in the long run combined units win. That is as long as there any perceived value for the alternate format. if no one uses Blue ray 5 years from now then you are completely correct.

Who cares anyway? technology for technolgy's sake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723843)

I mean, lets face it, normal DVD quality is as good as anyone really needs.
Blu-ray and HD-DVD is a classic case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
I'll be sticking with my DVD player thank you very much.

Re:Who cares anyway? technology for technolgy's sa (2, Insightful)

Xymor (943922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725095)

That always reminds me of that 640k quote.M

It's as good as anyone really needs until prices comes down, then everyone will use HD, and pretty soon, everyone will find ridiculous watching anything in SD.

Attn. Linux Users: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723633)

Q: Why does 'Open Source' software suck so bad?
A: Because the programmers can't see the screen [ukdirtypanties.com]

lol

Typical Linux User. [ukdirtypanties.com]

I can see where this is going. Seen it before. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723643)

Blu-ray is going the way of the dodo. Dead as a doornail in 5 years. Yet another Sony proprietary format to go down in flames, and it's probably a good thing given Sony's DRM and anti-consumer rights stance. So, as predicted, Blu-ray will be the next betamax.

Congrats, Sony. It's not that easy to repeat history. Every. Single. Time.

Re:I can see where this is going. Seen it before. (0, Troll)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723871)

HD-DVD is going the way of the dodo.

Fixed.

Rob

Re:I can see where this is going. Seen it before. (4, Funny)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724109)

HD-DVD and Blu-ray are going the way of the dodo.
Now it's fixed.

Re:I can see where this is going. Seen it before. (2, Interesting)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725087)

Sony does have a knack for picking the wrong side, but BluRay seems to be pulling ahead. Yes, one of the BluRay manufacturers is making a dual format player, but I seem to recall that one of the original HD-DVD players is, as well.

Personally, I'm rooting for BluRay. It's the more ambitious format, and two years from now, if HD-DVD wins, we're going to be wishing for those bigger disks, especially for computer drives. I'm not buying anything yet, though, even with my new HDTV.

The dual format players are nice, but unless we reach a point we're they're nearly all like that (see: DVD-R and DVD+R), I'd still be afraid to get any movies for it out of fear that I won't be able to play half of them once that unit wears out.

Cost... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723659)

I would love to invest in a blu-ray or HD-DVD player. In fact, in looking at a recent one-call mag or some such, I see that there are "entry-level" HD-DVD players available for $399.

hmmm.

I still don't think that $399 is affordable enough, at least not for me. I didn't have a DVD player until they were around the $100 mark. The other thing I've noticed is that the Blu-Ray players are still expensive - or at least more expensive than the HD-DVD.

So what gives on the pricing? Average joes will not like to pick one up if they can't get into the 100$ market....

Re:Cost... (2, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723805)

So what gives on the pricing?


I believe you answered your own questions earlier in your post when you said:

I didn't have a DVD player until they were around the $100 mark.

By saying that you obviously acknowledged that over time the technology price dropped and it became more common-place, there was more competition, etc.

Re:Cost... (1)

rilister (316428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723907)

I can't help but agree with you. If they priced HD-DVD/BluRay disk players at $100, I think they'd sell at lot more than at $400. I can't think why they didn't think of that!

What's more, I heard they make all the internal components out of solid gold! That's crazy: I don't need gold transistor chips. Why don't they make them out of silicon like usual?

Re:Cost... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725127)

What's more, I heard they make all the internal components out of solid gold! That's crazy: I don't need gold transistor chips. Why don't they make them out of silicon like usual?
If it's driven by manufacturing costs, why do they price the media so high? I just checked amazon: Casino Royale on Blu-Ray is $27, on DVD it's $16. No, I don't believe a Blu-Ray costs $11 more to manufacture than a DVD.

Re:Cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723961)

The player needs lots of horse power to play back HD contents. Probably at some point when some company out there put in enough acceleration of the algorithms in $10 chips and make them 20W and package up a SDK/reference design, and only then you might be able to pick one up for under $100. Also remember that the device would also be paying licensing fees to Blu ray and/or HD-DVD and possibly DVD.

Re:Cost... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724163)

The other thing I've noticed is that the Blu-Ray players are still expensive - or at least more expensive than the HD-DVD.
One word: Sony. You see, Sony is basically telling their partners to not sell BD players below the price of the PS3, because they still have this twisted hope/dream that it will help them sell PS3s, but when HD-DVD players are selling for less than the PS3, this logic is twisted in backwards. Sony is literally stunting their own progress here.

Do I have proof this is entirely Sony's fault? No, but you cannot show me any real reason for the big price difference in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. They both use essentially the same technologies: both use 405 nm wavelength lasers, both support essentially the same audio/video codecs, and both use the same basic DRM. BD requires that "hard coating" for their discs, but that shouldn't affect player prices. Most the other "benefits" of BD are based on the way they are reading/writing data to the discs and should have little relative impact. It really is a case of Sony thinking they have this thing one.

Re:Cost... (3, Interesting)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724347)

You see, Sony is basically telling their partners to not sell BD players below the price of the PS3, because they still have this twisted hope/dream that it will help them sell PS3s

More like actual fact [reghardware.co.uk] .

"The BDA cites a survey in conducted by talking to 10,000 US PS3 owners. It claims more than 80 per cent plan to buy movies on BD. A slightly smaller percentage, just over 75 per cent, said they plan to use their console as their prime device for watching movies."

Though that proves the converse of what you said (that the PS3 is helping them sell BluRay movies), it's hard to believe that none of those PS3 owners bought one at least in part because it could play BluRay movies.

Rob

Re:Cost... (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725073)

Essentially the same technology? Not really. Bluray layers are 25 GB, HD-DVD layers are 15 GB. Bluray also uses a lens with a numerical aperture of .85; HDDVD uses .65 lens, closer to that of DVD.

Re:Cost... (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724315)

It's going to be a longer, slower march. The number of people with no video disc players when DVD came out was pretty big; the number of people with displays that make HD worth it is considerably smaller and the people with the displays are the ones who don't care so much about the cost.

Re:Cost... (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724385)

The first DVD players were $1000. The prices eventually came down or went up [caryaudio.com] . It's in the nature of most consumer products.

Do realize, however, there are other advantages besides better video associated with HD-DVD and BluRay. Unfortunately, to amplify the superior audio, you'll have to either use analogue jacks or HDMI. Lower priced players will probably cut out the analogue outputs. The new formats also have better menuing systems than DVD-- but this too can be eliminated. The LG combo player, for instance, skimped on one format's interactivity features.

Re:Cost... (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724957)

The first DVD players were $1000.

I paid something around $1600 for my first VHS VCR (but hey, it could record audio separately. Used that about once.)

I paid around $600 for my first CD player (but hey, it had subcode ouput! Which I never used and I think only one disc ever took advantage of).

I paid about $200 for my first DVD player (which could read and output NTSC or PAL, and I've actually used that a couple of times).

I'm getting cheaper in my old age, I may not bother with an HD/BD player until I can get one in a Crackerjack box. (Hey, my eyes are going too, who needs hi-def? IfI don't upgrade the prescription on my glasses I'll never know the difference.)

Re:Cost... (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725555)

I can't say this for sure but I know that the latest HD/Blu Ray players are approximately $800-$1000 and the older ones are about $400-500 as you state however the reason they are that cheap is because they are the first generation while the $800 players are the 2nd (maybe 3rd?) generation. I know the first generation players are still circulating and I've been told they are the cheaper ones so the one you read about that are "entry-level" is probably a first generation player.

Did I read that right? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723661)

A company involved in DRM that gives half a damn about giving the consumer a choice?

No. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723709)

It's a company that doesn't want to get left out in the cold if their choice of format doesn't succeed. They don't give a shit about you, but they will pretend they do in order to convince you to give them money. HTH...

Re:No. (1)

evilRhino (638506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724285)

How is this different from most companies? They exist to make money. Helping out consumers is usually means to an end.

Translation (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723737)

The quote is actually missing some words, let me fill it in for you:

"Our main concern is with guaranteeing that the consumer's money ends up in our pockets, and in ensuring that our revenue stream does not depend on a particular technology"

There, that makes more sense.

Re:Translation (1)

H8X55 (650339) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724149)

Well duh, they're not in business to champion a certain platform or technology.
They are in business to make money.

Re:Translation (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724565)

WTF! You capitalist pig!! ;-)

Re:Translation (1)

voisine (153062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724449)

Isn't capitalism great? The way to make sure consumers' money lines your pockets is to produce something they all really want. Three cheers for the profit motive!

Is this legal? (contract law) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723701)

I thought that to get access to the Blu-ray specs, you had to sign that you won't develop such a dual player. Is Samsung ignoring that clause? Did they get special permission? Or did they obtain the Blu-ray specs through a 3rd party leak? through reverse engineering?

Is this enforceable? (natural law) (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724227)

I thought that to get access to the Blu-ray specs, you had to sign that you won't develop such a dual player.
Duct tape a PS3 to an Xbox 360 with HD DVD add-on and voila, dual player. So how can such a contract clause be enforceable?

Re:Is this enforceable? (natural law) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724717)

What's with people's fascination with duct-taping consoles together?
First it was two gamecubes, and now this? Sheesh.

Does it even matter any more? (0, Troll)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723707)

I could see the point of a dual player if both formats had a future. But its looking increasingly likely that HD-DVD would be lucky to see the new year the way things are going. Given that, why would someone bother to buy a dual player, especially since the cost is likely to be substantially higher than a player that just played one format.

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724029)

The fact is that if you actually look at the total sales of both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies you will find that Blu-Ray is not leading by that much. link [highdefdigest.com]

But while abstract ratios and percentages like these have been bandied about for several months now, the Sony report goes one step further, providing the first public release of hard sales figures for HD DVD and Blu-ray discs from Nielsen VideoScan, the home entertainment industry's leading source for competitive sales data.

Among the numbers revealed: as of March 18, VideoScan put the cumulative number of Blu-ray titles sold since the format's inception at 844,000 units, versus HD DVD at 708,600.


What this means is that HD-DVD is unlikely to completely disapear for (at least) the next 2 or 3 years; the result of this is that most players sold in 2008 or 2009 will likely be dual format players. Samsung is just taking the opportunity to develop the dual format technology and then start selling it to other companies over the next several years.

Re:Does it even matter any more? (2, Informative)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724277)

The fact is that if you actually look at the total sales of both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies you will find that Blu-Ray is not leading by that much.

The problem with using absolute numbers is that they ignore the fact that HD-DVD movies have been out in stores for two months longer than BluRay movies, the fact that BR players are much more expensive than HD-DVD players, and the fact that the PS3 (the major component to BluRay's recent success) had been out for only four months before the cut-off date of that report. Taking those facts into account, BluRay's lead on HD-DVD becomes more impressive.

Certainly Samsung is releasing a dual-format player to take advantage of the fact that the general public has no clue which format is going to win out; few people even have next-gen movie players. I just don't think it will be necessary for too much longer.

Rob

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724899)

Except (of course) that at the begining of february [foxnews.com] it was reported that HD-DVD had 52% market share as compared to Blu-Ray's 48% ...

The newer numbers demonstrate that Blu-Ray has taken the lead but HD-DVD is keeping up at a decent pace considering that it is not included in (approximately) 200,000 PS3 system that are sold in a month.

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725047)

Except (of course) that at the begining of february it was reported that HD-DVD had 52% market share as compared to Blu-Ray's 48% ...

That seems to me to be supporting my conclusion, not yours.

Rob

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725383)

I think I should restate ...

Blu-Ray jumped from (essentially) 0% marketshare to nearly 50% market share after 2 months because of the release of the PS3, since then it has only gained a couple of percentage points of market share. What this means is that Blu-Ray and HD-DVD have sold at very similar rates to eachother in the past couple of months.

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725149)

the result of this is that most players sold in 2008 or 2009 will likely be dual format players.
Quite possibly. If that happens, though, I think the established market winner will be dual formats, and neither will die off. That's the best possible course of events, isn't it?

Re:Does it even matter any more? (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725337)

No, that's the worst possible course of events. Dual-format players cost more than single-format ones. They're probably also more technically complex, and therefore more likely to malfunction. You should definitely be rooting for someone to win this one, or at least to come to an agreement like what happened in the 56k modem war.

You could mention the DVD±R war here, I suppose, but I would argue that the differences between those two formats aren't as great as those between BR and HD-DVD. Besides, DVD technology was pretty cheap by the time that war happened, so the costs weren't nearly as important.

Rob

Whaaaaaa? (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723715)

"Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology"

I expect the MPAA Enforcement Squad to soon pay them a visit to correct this dangerous and subversive kind of slander.

Poor Liddle Zonk, Still Fighting For A Dead Format (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18723729)

So pathetic.

The only people clinging to the dead HD-DVD format are foaming at the mouth Microsoft/Xbox fanboys who 'hate teh Sony'. Which is sad because Microsoft themselves have given up on the format.

Re:Poor Liddle Zonk, Still Fighting For A Dead For (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724097)

And someone else posted that Sony lost with blueray.

Neither one has won or lost. They are in the market and someone is buying them. Consumers have said they do not want to pick a format and now we see this. I personally would rather use blueray. I don't care about the video end of things, but I think more about backup media and other practical PC uses down the road.

I've never seen an argument about which one is better for open source use in the future.

PC vendors have not pushed either format like they did DVD. I remember early on that you could go into a store and see compaq's and other systems preconfigured to play movies. Getting DVD playback on a computer was one of the reasons many people could ignore the lack of recording and other problems with DVDs back then.

I'm waiting for the players to come down in price like most people. I bought a sony DVD player for $300 in 1999. I'm not afraid of picking up formats earlier, but sense I must first buy an overpriced tv to enjoy the new formats, the actual players must be dirt cheap. (or tvs must come down) We went from 20 inch tvs for $100 to 15 in tvs for $400... something has to give. I think these companies forget that consumers have less money to spend now than they did 5 years ago. We have higher gas prices which effect everything else, we must work for less money*, and we must rebuy our living room entertainment again.

* The combination of less raises, lower starting saleries, and competing in a global market.

Common Sense (1)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723749)

Seems to me like a common sense approach, similar to how nearly all the previously PS3 exclusive non first party developers have used the same common sense and decided to go cross platform and not artificially limit themselves to a platform that is nowhere near having a majority. Widening your audience can only have positive effects for sales.

What I'd really like to see Blueray/HD used for.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723757)

.. is having multiple cuts of the same film on the same DVD, without branching and the annoying layer change pauses that entails. Take Dawn of the Dead. The ultimate edition is spread over four DVDs. Yet a single HD/BlueRay DVD could hold the movie and all the extras. That'd be my main incentive to buy a HD/BR player.

Kinda OT but... (5, Funny)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723791)

Anyone else find the spokesman's name hilarious?

Kwak Bumjoon!

Re:Kinda OT but... (3, Funny)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724249)

File that one under non-English names have unfortunate or funny connotations to English speakers. Another one of my favorites is a Native American tribe that runs a casino in Wisconsin:

Ho Chunk [ho-chunknation.com]

Re:Kinda OT but... (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724377)

Yep. I was looking for your comment, before I said the same thing.

Re:Kinda OT but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724689)

What a Kwak of krap...I hope they don't Kwak up the release of the new player!

(I couldn't decide on a long or short a...)

AppleTV, XBox Video Marketplace, Tivo Un-Box (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18723929)

moviebeam, vongo, etc..

How long do you think the market for movies on physical discs will be around?

The DVD (HD, Blu, or Pink with spots) is bound to share the same fate as the CD eventually.

It doesn't help that a $70 upconverting DVD player makes enough improvement, that most casual viewers consider it "HD".

The real question is, when am I going to be able to use (either) technology in my PC?

I mean, reading/writing 25+ gig discs, *cheaply*?

IMO that's the real format war. The marketplace has shown a remarkable lack of interest in these things as $1000 uber-premium movie-watchers.

Re:AppleTV, XBox Video Marketplace, Tivo Un-Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724719)

Physical disks will be around until a 50GB movie can be downloaded in 5 minutes, or we have the ability to stream 30Mbps reliably to the house.

A $70 upconverting DVD player makes little difference on an HDTV. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, in most cases, are noticeably better than any upconverting DVD player. By a long shot.

Re:AppleTV, XBox Video Marketplace, Tivo Un-Box (1)

hexix (9514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724871)

The DVD (HD, Blu, or Pink with spots) is bound to share the same fate as the CD eventually.

Did the CD just die and I missed the memo? Seems to me that buying music on CDs is still the best way due to the quality and compatibility.

Compatibility is a huge problem. If I go buy or rent a DVD I can use it on any TV I have a dvd player on. I can also bring it over to a friend's house and play it on their TV. If I buy a movie off of iTunes or off of the Xbox Marketplace then I'm going to have a real bitch of a time bringing it over to a friend's place.

There is still a pretty clear reason for most people to stick with buying/renting physical copies of their music and movies.

It doesn't help that a $70 upconverting DVD player makes enough improvement, that most casual viewers consider it "HD".
I do agree with this though. I bought a PS3 (yup, I'm the one) and although Blu-Ray movies look good, it's detail that doesn't really matter. Being able to make out the stitching in someone's suit when I get close to TV is cool, but doesn't really make watching the movie that much more enjoyable. Most HDTVs can scale a nice clean DVD signal so well that it's not that big of a difference. There's more detail, but it's not like going from a standard analog TV broadcast to a high-def digital one.

Re:AppleTV, XBox Video Marketplace, Tivo Un-Box (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725167)

Did the CD just die and I missed the memo?

As a matter of fact, it did.

Do you have any CD stores left in your town/mall?

Or is it like everywhere else, and you can only get them at Best Buy or Wal-Mart?

The only distribution channel left is the 100% mass-market mainstream one. If you're looking for something obscure on CD, I guess you're stuck with internet or maybe at the bands live show.

Re:AppleTV, XBox Video Marketplace, Tivo Un-Box (1)

Zephyr14z (907494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725391)

How long do you think the market for movies on physical discs will be around?

At the very least until bandwidth somehow catches up. If I could stream full HD movies with an initial buffer time roughly equal to the time it would take me to physically insert a disc, I would probably do it, assuming I could keep the movie when I was done watching it the first time. Until this happens(and it will be a while), physical media won't go away.

Customers are the main concern (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724071)

"Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology," said Kwak.
If this were a real philosphy instead of marketing speak, then this particular player wouldn't support HDCP [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Customers are the main concern (1)

jjacobs2 (969071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724325)

If it didn't support HDCP then it wouldn't play 99+% of the discs on the market right now. There wouldn't be any point to even making it then. To get rid of HDCP the format will have to completely fail as CD's are on their way to do. Maybe if people are really happy with DVD's and the market share for HD discs is still less than 5% in five or ten years then DRM will truly be dead in the video market.

Re:Customers are the main concern (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724521)

"To get rid of HDCP the format will have to completely fail as CD's are on their way to do. "

I don't forsee the demise of the CD as soon as some people seem to.

Frankly, I won't be buying any music online till they can sell it to me in lossless formats without any DRM. Until then, the only way I can get music in a lossless format, is to buy the CD.

Even with that, I'd like to back up my online purchase to a disc....not to mention, there are tons of car players out there that play CD's..not that many doing DVD's or HD DVD or Blu-Ray yet.

Sure..I guess CD's will go some day, but, I don't see it dying anytime THAT soon.

Re:Customers are the main concern (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724879)

Actually, this is not true. HDCP is NOT an encryption on the media. HDCP is part of the communications prototcol between the playback hardware and the display. A company could EASILY build a device that played back Blu Ray or HD-DVD discs WITHOUT HDCP on the HDMI output. However, this would violate the terms of their license to manufacture the player and they would quickly find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

HDCP? (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725133)

If it didn't support HDCP then it wouldn't play 99+% of the discs on the market right now.

How is that? Are you talking about the Image Constraint Token [wikipedia.org] ?

The way I understand it, the movie studios have "promised" not to use that against us for a few more years yet. Not that I believe that promise, but if any discs were already out that make use of it, there would have already been a huge outcry here on slashdot about it.

The XBox 360 can play HD-DVD movies through the add-on drive, and it doesn't even have HDMI, much less support for HDCP. It plays HD-DVD movies just fine(*) through the component connections.

So what discs wouldn't it play again?

(*) Of course, people have reported problems with a few discs, but the same can be said for Blu-Ray and even early DVD releases.

How to read PR statements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724093)

'Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology,' said Samsung spokesman Kwak Bumjoon." - Translated: Yeah, might as well make a player that does both so we can sell more crap.

Too late (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724133)

I won't be getting a BluRay or HD-DVD player until they, or only one of them, becomes dominant over DVDs. Why waste the money now? This little feud will be over sometime and we'll move away from DVDs but until then I'll stick with my $20 DVD player that plays every movie currently on the market. I'll be the last to give up with my DVD player shouting Charleton Heston's famous words, "out of my cold dead hands."

Consumer the main concern? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724137)

"'Our main concern is with the consumer and not a particular technology,"

Wow, so it's not going to have any DRM bullshit either? Oh, wait, they said consumer, not customer, so they're still treating us as automatons.

Re:Consumer the main concern? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724757)

Hardware companies could give a shit about DRM, except that they don't think that the content sellers are going to release content without it. Since they see a market for including it, they do. If you don't like DRM, don't buy the freaken content.

Re:Consumer the main concern? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725123)

Yeah, you're right. Especially with things like DRM and Macrovision, it's a required extra cost that doesn't make their product any better. Even worse, the extra cost is mostly the licensing fees they have to pay the companies, not even the extra hardware itself, whose price steadily drops.

Re:Consumer the main concern? (1)

demon (1039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725577)

Unfortunately, a fair number of the makers are also content producers, so the content-producing arm leans on the "consumer electronics" arm to provide DRM encrusted hardware to go with their DRM encrusted media. The other guys just have to "keep up with the Joneses" (or Lees, or whatever the case) lest no one buy their gear.

Speaking of Microsoft... (1)

Fonce (635723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724417)

Call me crazy, but does it strike anyone as a very interesting idea to produce the next Xbox360 addon as a combo HD-DVD/Blu-ray player? Think about it...they win either way. If people buy the device itself, they're in good shape and they're stealing the only real reason for the huge cost of the PS3 away from Sony. It's an incredible strategic move. Make it available, make it affordable (within reason; I'm aware of the expense of said technology), and you've stolen Sony's thunder. Just a thought.

Better yet hold off on that uber-elite-custom-super-fun-happy-goodtime Xbox edition and give it a dual player. Then drop the price on what's now the premium console. The fanboys and wealthier will snatch the new machines up (particularly if they come in a custom color, because as we all know, that's what makes it truly '1337). Everybody else will continue buying the now-cheaper premium edition. Score all the way around.

Re:Speaking of Microsoft... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724527)

Call me crazy, but does it strike anyone as a very interesting idea to produce the next Xbox360 addon as a combo HD-DVD/Blu-ray player? Think about it...they win either way. If people buy the device itself, they're in good shape and they're stealing the only real reason for the huge cost of the PS3 away from Sony.

Never mind the fact that Microsoft releasing a hybrid player would be like Sony doing the same thing--a 360 with a dual-player addon would cost more than a PS3, and it still wouldn't be able to play games. It wouldn't steal any thunder at all.

Putting an HD-DVD drive in the Elite version would make more sense, but it's too late now for it to make a real impact, especially since it wouldn't be able to support HD-DVD games without alienating early adopters.

Rob

Re:Speaking of Microsoft... (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725201)

Call me crazy, but does it strike anyone as a very interesting idea to produce the next Xbox360 addon as a combo HD-DVD/Blu-ray player? Think about it...they win either way. If people buy the device itself, they're in good shape and they're stealing the only real reason for the huge cost of the PS3 away from Sony. It's an incredible strategic move.

Except that BluRay includes Java support. I really think Microsoft wants that dead.

It's the Porn, Stupid (1, Interesting)

tokki (604363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724511)

I was hopping Blu-Ray would win. 1080p native (instead of re-interlaced 1080i), more capacity, smaller wavelength. But Sony, being Sony, couldn't help but shoot itself in the foot.

Hostile to porn? Game over man, game over. The entirety of technology is to create a more efficient distribution network for porn. Printing press, telephones, moving pictures, home video, CD ROM, and the greatest porn distribution system ever created: the Internets (who's impact won't be outdone until direct-to-brain technology is developed).

HD-DVD will win. I just got my 46 inch 1080p LCD, and now I'm waiting for the HD-DVD price to get down below $250, or maybe $300. Netflix has HD-DVD, so that'll be my primary source.

Re:It's the Porn, Stupid (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724619)

1080p v. 1080 is not a Blu-Ray v. HD-DVD issue. All HD-DVD media is encoded at 1080p. The first PLAYERS only OUTPUT 1080i. Hardware limitation - the info is there, and the newer players are 1080p.

Re:It's the Porn, Stupid (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724921)

I think porn will be a strong factor, but I don't know if it will have quite the impact it did with VHS. Back then, it was the only way to get porn movies at home. Now, we have VHS and DVD and the internet. I would be curious to know how the internet has affected DVD porn sales.

Some have also argued that you really don't want to see porn in high-def. Playboy airbrushes for a reason.

Re:It's the Porn, Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18725119)

The floor has fallen out of the "buy porn for TV" market. Porn looks worse in HD than it looks on the internet. Porn is cheaper on the internet, porn is more easily tailored to tastes on the internet. Porn is free, at least in large part, on the internet.

Why is this a factor again? Just repeating something you heard about betamax, right? Well, one thing is repeating: Blueray is the best technology. Sony is going to have yet another major innovation that changes the marketplace. Microsoft and Samsung are great companies, but they aren't nearly as innovative as Sony has been in consumer electronics. From Li-ion batteries to most concepts for media storage, Sony has been a great company. And yeah, since they invent to many things, some of them fail. MiniDisc sucked, Betamax was mismanaged. But betting against Sony isn't sure bet by any means.

It's too bad that Sony's music departments have tainted such a fine company.

Re:It's the Porn, Stupid (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725405)

Porn looks worse in HD than it looks on the internet. Porn is cheaper on the internet, porn is more easily tailored to tastes on the internet. Porn is free, at least in large part, on the internet.

You can also sit at your desk and look totally innocent while viewing porn on the internet, and you don't have to worry about leaving a porn DVD in the player when guests come over.

I wish... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724555)

I wish the movie industry, video industry, computer industry, and audio industry would all get together and realize that they are hurting themselves with this.

I have been wanting to replace my TV for 2 years now. I haven't yet, because what I have will play my old dvds fine, and I'm not going to buy two different players, and maintain two different formats of nextgen dvds. Sure, the dual-format players resolve this to some degree, and it's about time this happened, but realistically...

I'll tell you what I've almost done though. I've not had a game console since...well, a very long time ago, but since the PS3 has hdmi and optical audio outputs, while being just as cheap as a full blue-ray player without a game system attached, I've thought about getting a PS3 and not worrying about upgrading my computer (which handles non-games just fine). Thought about doing this. If these folks would just stop bickering and agree to something (or agree to do dual-format for a while), then I and a horde of others would be out there replacing our dvd libraries with the newer stuff.

Re:I wish... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724647)

I wish the movie industry, video industry, computer industry, and audio industry would all get together and realize that they are hurting themselves with this.

It's basically the Prisoner's Dilemma. They'd all benefit if they worked together, but that raises the possibility of backstabbing, which would be worse than simply losing a format war. Therefore, they pre-emptively attack each other instead. Another thing to note is that not everyone is hurting themselves with this; whoever wins the format war will actually be better off than they would've been if they'd cooperated.

Rob

Re:I wish... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18724771)

any gain from that (winning the war) is offset, and potentially lost all together, by the lost revenues of the last couple years due to consumers not wanting to be in the middle of the format war.

Re:I wish... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725009)

I don't think consumers would currently be buying either format in force even if there was no war. Look at DVD, which was an example of a format based on consensus. It took several years for that to take off.

Rob

Samsung will sell anything, truly -- no politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724617)

It's an odd culture at Samsung, sort of out-doing the capitalist US ... the only thing that matters is bringing in money.

What's more, they'll do whatever it takes, depending on the market: they'll sell crap where they can get away with it, and they'll make absolutely top notch stuff where the market is too competitive to sell crap. For example, the refrigerator market is ludicrously over-populated at all ends of the spectrum, so they make damn high quality ones at prices that undercut the competition by 50%, or 75% in the case of american-style fridges. (I bought one, frickin impressive build and even nicer price.)

Also in high-tech electronics: the top 1080p HDTV in the UK market under 1 grand UKP is a Samsung, and it's got unbelievable specs compared to the competition, even full res on the VGA input which is often ignored by others. But wait, WTF? There's no el cheapo market in 1080p sets in Europe, so how come? Who knows, that's Samsung, they don't appear to have a single policy. Unlike Sony, which does have a single policy, which is to be crap, totally moronic, and led by politics.

I think Japan is on the way out as a tech super-power -- even that Japanese minister said so, largely because they've abandoned tech in favour of politics. And it's the Samsungs that are going to be the big names, because they'll do whatever it takes, politics be damned.

Re:Samsung will sell anything, truly -- no politic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724821)

Here in the Netherlands they dominate the DVB settop box market for both Cable and Terrestrial with a line of the most horrible crap ever made.
But it is inexpensive, and that is what counts now. Because the analog transmitters have been shut down and analog cable is on the way out, what the providers need is a low cost of entry into their competitive subscription deals. So they offer a Samsung receiver for (almost) free when signing a contract.

What the customer is left with, is a very unreliable box that zaps slower than ever seen before.

Twice the keys to invalidate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18724649)

Cool, now as they invalidate device keys and disable each player in order to protect their future DRM'd movies, at least they can switch between Blue Rays set of invalidated keys and HD DVDs set of invalidated keys.
Twice the chances of finding a disc that will play!

DRM is so cool!
Will it play? will it not? you don't know! I don't know! It all adds to the fun of watching a movie!

So... (1)

Demona (7994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725343)

Instead of taking one hour to boot up, this model will require two.

Also, you will be unable to close the door to your entertainment center, unless you want it and everything around to melt.

Typically slanted reporting in TFA (1)

LionMage (318500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18725527)

Not complaining about the Slashdot article/summary, but the ITworld article linked to. Not that this surprises me, but I noticed that the article:
  1. specifically fails to mention with movie studios back which formats (because that would make Blu-Ray look better, since the vast majority of studios are backing Blu-Ray, and only one studio is exclusively backing HD-DVD)
  2. specifically fails to provide a comprehensive list of companies supporting Blu-Ray, but provides a comprehensive list of companies backing HD-DVD, which strongly skews the picture
  3. cherry-picks which player hardware to mention at the end of the article, making the Blu-Ray and hybrid player options seem more expensive while completely omitting mention of both Sony's PS3 and the Xbox 360 add-on HD-DVD drive


One might draw the conclusion that this article was written by HD-DVD partisans.
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