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Wal-Mart Begins Massive Push For HD DVD

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the 200-bucks-by-Christmas dept.

Media 338

Several readers sent us word of Wal-Mart's ordering 2 million HD DVD players from China. Hans V wrote, "My kids work at Wal-Mart and the manager there has been talking about this. HD-DVD's are selling like mad there so I hear." Another reader sent us a few links in Chinese and summarized them this way: "The first batches of these blue-laser HD DVD players are to land sometime in 2007, with complete fulfillment of the order [from Fuh Yuan] in 2008. The deal could be worth up to $300 million US, which translates to $150 per player. If so, by the time Christmas 2007 rolls around, Wal-Mart could be selling these for less than $200 retail, although some speculate that the initial manufacturer suggested retail pricing might be in the ballpark of $299. Currently the cheapest high-definition player is a Toshiba HD DVD with an MSRP of $399." By comparison Blu-Ray players, manufactured in Japan, are not expected to drop below $1000 until next year. The International Herald Tribune writes about the risk Toshiba is taking by bringing in Chinese manufacturers to trump Sony in the format war.

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338 comments

We have a winner! (5, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | about 7 years ago | (#18828285)

Will the person who picked HD-DVD in April 2007 for the next gen DVD format pool, please step forward to collect their winnings. I don't think that there is any chance that Sony and friends could over come this.

Re:We have a winner! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | about 7 years ago | (#18828353)

I didn't bet, but you're probably right.
I saw an ad in Entertainment Weekly pushing the idea of discs that had DVDs on one side and HD-DVDs on the other. Anyone want to bet that studios supporting HD-DVD will soon issue all their new (non-BluRay) films in this format? Those discs will play in ordinary DVD players, and they will be already adapted to one HD format if the customer decides to upgrade to HD. Backward compatibility and possible lock-in: what a beautiful combo for a marketing department!

Re:We have a winner! (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18828819)

It's like 30 cents of plastic, so I hope they go ahead and just stick two discs in the box, so that they can still have nifty pictures on one side.

(people that are confused by two discs will also be confused by one disc with two sides, so let's don't go there)

Re:We have a winner! (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | about 7 years ago | (#18828875)

They'll do that only if they can charge the same as regular DVD's - why would I pay more for a disc that has a format I can't even use yet?

Re:We have a winner! (1)

RorthronTheWise (811938) | about 7 years ago | (#18828359)

Right! And the 3+ million PS3 sold so far (in just 4 months!) will count for nothing. Even with the current lower expectations, Sony will have sold about 10 million PS3 by year's end. The battle is not over for either side, but the favourite is still Blu-Ray

Re:We have a winner! (4, Insightful)

Gunslinger47 (654093) | about 7 years ago | (#18828413)

  1. How many of those 3+ million PS3s are connected to HDTVs?
  2. 11+ million PSPs have been sold but people still don't care about UMD.

PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#18828641)

How many of those 3+ million PS3s are connected to HDTVs?
In February 2009, the FCC of the United States cuts off analog television broadcast, and Americans will make a run on the big box stores to buy spanking new televisions to watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament [wikipedia.org] on. How many of those 3+ million PS3s will connected to HDTVs by the end of March 2009?

11+ million PSPs have been sold but people still don't care about UMD.
UMD Video didn't offer much of a quality or convenience improvement over the DS and a portable DVD player that the same $250 could buy you at the time (before PSP price cuts), and UMDs were more expensive than DVDs. Compared to DVD-Video, Blu-ray Disc at least has higher picture resolution on HDTV and less noticeable artifacts even when scaled down to 960x480 for component EDTV.

Re:PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (0)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | about 7 years ago | (#18828673)

"Compared to DVD-Video, Blu-ray Disc at least has higher picture resolution on HDTV and less noticeable artifacts even when scaled down to 960x480 for component EDTV."
Why does that mean that Blu-Ray beats HD-DVD?

"In February 2009, the FCC of the United States cuts off analog television broadcast, and Americans will make a run on the big box stores to buy spanking new televisions to watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament on. How many of those 3+ million PS3s will connected to HDTVs by the end of March 2009?"
The market making a run to the "big box stores" [as if where these high-def sets are purchased is a fucking cause for thought in this discussion] for new hi-def sets is probably not the same as current PS3 owners. Your market research can prove me wrong if you've got an actual sample to cite but otherwise - I would guess that the average American who would be affected by the analog blackout is not going to be the same American who buys a fucking PS3 in 2007. Your argument is shit.

Re:PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828743)

Your argument is shit.
And your argument is non existent... who wins?

Re:PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828855)

His argument was in his user name.

Re:PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (5, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | about 7 years ago | (#18828887)

In February 2009, the FCC of the United States cuts off analog television broadcast, and Americans will make a run on the big box stores to buy spanking new televisions to watch the NCAA men's basketball tournament on. How many of those 3+ million PS3s will connected to HDTVs by the end of March 2009?

What do you think the odds are that the type of person who isn't willing to spend the money on cable or satellite TV is going to spend $500+ on an HDTV when they could instead spend $50 on a converter box? Don't forget the government subsidy [com.com] on a converter box, making the cost as low as $10.

Also, how much of an intersection do you really see between the set of people with old TVs that don't spend any money on television service and the set of people who are early adopters for the PS3 ?

not going to happen... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 7 years ago | (#18828893)

plain and simple, they wont force the cutoff and break the tv sets of hundreds of millions of people who will go to the ballot box the next year and clean their clocks... especially because if they were to do it even joe sixpack would recognize it as a corrupt government forcing them to pay a huge kickback to electronics manufacturers.

they set it to 2009 because they expected hd to penetrate more quickly, but it's not for obvious reasons (alienating early adopters with drm, continually changing their standards over and over, the lack of a critical mass of compelling hd programming, the utter expense of new hd disk media).

therefore, they can't reasonably do that without huge crowds with torches and pitchforks burning them at the stake

Re:PS3, HDTV, and FCC's analog switchoff (1)

Detritus (11846) | about 7 years ago | (#18828965)

You can buy a SD digital TV for much less than any HDTV. I've seen one model being sold at a local big box store for $125. A converter box will probably be even cheaper. I'm a cheap bastard, and I'm not going to buy an HDTV until they get a lot cheaper.

Re:We have a winner! (3, Insightful)

kosanovich (678657) | about 7 years ago | (#18828689)

"How many of those 3+ million PS3s are connected to HDTVs?"

Right let's assume that PS3 owners don't have HDTVs but suddenly everyone shopping at walmart does?

Re:We have a winner! (1)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | about 7 years ago | (#18828609)

Yes, they will count for nothing since the PS3 is going to come in a distant third in this generation of consoles. Hopefully, we'll see the PS4 at some point but that will be just as much of an abortion as the PS3 and it will bankrupt Sony.

Let's not forget that Sony installed rootkits on the computers of their own fucking customers. They also sued lik-sang.com out of business for employing the right of resale. By Sony's fucking "logic", I'm not allowed to have a fucking garage sale because they don't want me reselling their fucking products. Fine with me - I will never buy another Sony product. I hope they all fucking roast in hell.

Re:We have a winner! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828691)

So, how far did Ballmer throw the stack of cash at your direction? 40 feet?

Re:We have a winner! (1)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | about 7 years ago | (#18828737)

Seems like Sony is the one with the history of fake viral campaigns at moving product - not MS. [See their PSP garbage from this past Christmas, coward.] I own a Wii and a 360. Why should I buy a PS3 when it costs more and offers no new gaming experience that I cannot get on a Wii or 360 at a higher price? If one of you Sony shills would answer that, I'll gladly consider a PS3. Without that question answered, I've got to fall back on the fact that Sony sued lik-sang.com in 12 different jurisdictions with predatory and bullshit lawsuits and they installed rootkits on the computers of their own customers. Yeah, I don't trust those scumbags.

Re:We have a winner! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828775)

I can't wait to see you anti-Sony fanboys eat your words when the PS3 ends up coming out on top. It'll be absolutely hilarious.

Re:We have a winner! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828653)

There's no way in hell Sony will sell 10 million PS3s by years end. They're selling under 150k of them per month right now. They released a Gundam game for the PS3 in Japan (normally a huge seller) and the PS3's numbers hardly even budged. There isn't really anything coming soon that will change the PS3's sales. Even if they sell 4 million over the 2007 holiday season (which isn't going to happen) they'll probably only make it to the 8 million range.

In all likelihood, the PS3 will finish the year in the 6 million range.

Re:We have a winner! (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | about 7 years ago | (#18828803)

I think 6 million is optimistic. At the current rate, it's looking more like 5... The thing that matters in the "console wars" is the games. The number of titles that are cross-platform in this generation, but PS-exclusive in the previous generation, is much larger than the converse. If 75% of the games end up being the same between the PS3 & the Xbox360, you have $200 on one side, and a built in Blu-ray on the other. And if wally world can sell a HD-DVD player for 200 dollars or less... And if the HD-DVD on one side & DVD on the other starts becoming standard...

Re:We have a winner! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828499)

Well, they say that Blu-ray has better studio backing so HD-DVD has a bit of a handicap. In order to win, HD-DVD has to sell to sell enough units to get all of the studios to back it while Blu-ray only has to sell enough to not lose support from the studios. I think they're both still in the race.

Re:We have a winner! (1, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#18828829)

Will the person who picked HD-DVD in April 2007 for the next gen DVD format pool, please step forward to collect their winnings. I don't think that there is any chance that Sony and friends could over come this.

Sony has already overcome this in the form of the PlayStation 3, and the format war is all but over [tvpredictions.com] in favor of Blu-Ray. This doesn't really change anything.

I don't know why some people think that everything Wal-Mart touches turns to gold. They've been having all sorts of problems lately, and one of those problems has been their entry into the high-end electronics market, which has gone over like a lead balloon. Wal-Mart's customers just don't go there to buy things like HDTV's and HD-DVD players - they go there to buy cheap food, baby wipes and $4 prescription drugs. HD-DVD players may be "flying off the shelf" compared to other players at Wal-Mart, but that's not saying anything. Wake me up when all of Wal-Mart's HD-DVD players outsell one model of Blu-Ray player at any single Best Buy.

Also, Sony had had a $500 Blu-Ray player since November 2006 (at least refuting that nonsense about them not having a player under $1,000 until "later this year") called the PlayStation 3, and they've got a $600 MSRP standalone player coming in the next month or two that'll probably actually sell for $500 or less also. Realistically, though, I don't think the price of the players matters much. What matters is the movies available. Blu-Ray has a lot more content industry support, and that's not changing.

I mean anyone can make a device and sell it for $20 if they want to, but nobody's going to buy it if there's no content available for it. That's the situation to an extent with both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray right now, but Blu-Ray has more releases now and more releases in the pipeline, along with more studios on board.

So, despite this obvious bit of PR from the HD-DVD camp, it's still basically game over for them.

What about the PS3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828303)

Isn't that a Blu-Ray player made in Japan selling for under $1000?

HD DVD Wins (2, Informative)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | about 7 years ago | (#18828307)

Blu-Ray is going to have to overcome a lot to make up for this. Never underestimate the market power of the world's largest retailer.

Re:HD DVD Wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828541)

History repeats itself. Blu-Ray will be the new Beta and HD-DVD will be the new VHS.

Surely some of you remember, right?

Re:HD DVD Wins (3, Insightful)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | about 7 years ago | (#18828857)

I'm not sure if HD-DVD will proliferate to the same extent as VHS, or even DVD's.

VHS had no previous iteration - it was a completely new method of distributing media, so it was an easy sell.

DVD proliferated because of significant technical advantages over VHS - mainly startlingly better picture quality, and ability to output 16:9 widescreen formatted video.

However, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray only offers one advantage over DVD's: superior picture quality. This is only evident, however, on relatively new HD TV sets, which have not been widely adopted by the viewing public.

The fact is that DVD quality is "good enough" for many people, even if they own HD sets. So until HD-DVD and Blu-Ray hit the same price points as DVD's today, and HD TV's penetrate a majority of households, expect to keep seeing movies released on both DVD and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. I expect the process will take at least a decade, if not more - about the same time it took VHS to become defunct after DVD's premiered.

"Writes"? (4, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | about 7 years ago | (#18828315)

The International Herald Tribune "writes"? How about "wrote, a year and a half ago"?

Re:"Writes"? (3, Funny)

garbletext (669861) | about 7 years ago | (#18828339)

seriously. My favorite anachronism is Sony also plans to put the technology in the PlayStation 3 when the game console is released in the spring

Re:"Writes"? (1, Insightful)

saforrest (184929) | about 7 years ago | (#18828883)

seriously. My favorite anachronism is Sony also plans to put the technology in the PlayStation 3 when the game console is released in the spring

Well, that's not an anachronism. That statement was entirely accurate when the IHT article was written — in October 2005.

Re:"Writes"? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 years ago | (#18828355)

No kidding: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005... until now, I was not one to complain about Slashdot reporting on old news :)

Re:"Writes"? (5, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 7 years ago | (#18828707)

This is a horrible, horrible Slashdot post. Links to an extremely outdated article, says completely inaccurate information (There's already a $599 Blu-Ray player - the PS3), and on top of that the news about Walmart could have also been mistranslated. From Engadget:

Update: Pull back the reigns HD DVD fanboys, Akihabara now says that they've made a "huge mistake" with their translation: the original source called it "(chinese characters) HD DVD and (same chinese characters) means Blu-RAY." In other words, Blu-ray HD DVD. Huh? Word to the wise: since both formats use blue lasers, it's best to wait for an English press release before either camp celebrates.
Way to go Slashdot!

Why do OPs so sledom verify before posting? (3, Interesting)

FredThompson (183335) | about 7 years ago | (#18828329)

What is the translated Chinese? "blue laser HD-DVD" is only ONE way to translate the Chinese press release. HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? It's not clear because EITHER could be a proper translation.

Re:Why do OPs so sledom verify before posting? (1)

TopSpin (753) | about 7 years ago | (#18828501)

It's a redundant way of saying 'HD-DVD'. In fact HD-DVD and Blue-ray use similar 405 nm 'blue' lasers.

Videophile hysteria preemption: yes, I know they aren't the same. Go take your meds.

blacklisting (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 7 years ago | (#18828377)

What will Wal-Mart do if one of there cheap and big seller players get blacklisted?
Ii would suck to be working there on that day.

Re:blacklisting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828615)

Because normally, working at Walmart or in a Chinese sweat shop fucking rocks.

Re:blacklisting (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 7 years ago | (#18828639)

The odds of a hardware player being blacklisted are slim. Software players are much easier to hack, and until they're tightened considerably, or Trusted Computing becomes the norm, they'll be the ones people focus on. If a hardware player is hacked, it'll probably be the Xbox360 HD-DVD drive or the PS3 Blu-Ray drive, because there are already active mod-scenes in the console world, and so a lot is known about them. There really aren't hackers who mess with stand-alone players. I mean, maybe there's 1-2 guys chatting in a forum, but there are lots of software crackers, and there are lots of console modders, many of whom have a lot of experience and knowledge.

Additionally, the AACS group probably doesn't have the stones to brick a standalone player.

Re:blacklisting (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#18828759)

Do you know how easy it is to socket the nvram on something like this? People do it with things like Tivos all the time. How much do you want to bet t turns out the keys aren't even encrypted on the chip?

Once a player is available for under $100, the key will be hacked out of it, and the chinese knock-offs of unlicensed, dual-format players will arrive in mass quantities.

suggestion to Toshiba (1, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 7 years ago | (#18828395)

if you really in this game to win then build a couple of manufacturing plants in the u.s. to build these hd-dvd drives.. I can't imagine that this country doesn't have the ability to build cd drives efficiently.. you could win over a lot of people this way, build positive press, etc..

Re:suggestion to Toshiba (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 years ago | (#18828447)

Sorry, but no. For many reasons - some real, some artificial - China is a very cheap place to have things built. A US-built player would likely be just as expensive as a Japanese model.

Re:suggestion to Toshiba (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#18828511)

Yes, but the GP is correct about the goodwill elements and from a Japanese perspective the U.S. would be a lot less threatening as a "business partner". From Toshiba's perspective, ringing in the Chinese is like making a pact with the Devil. Short term gains in exchange for long-term ... what? When the dust settles, I think it's a good bet that Toshiba won't be the dominant force in the HD-DVD arena. Of course, maybe they're okay with that.

Re:suggestion to Toshiba (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 years ago | (#18828631)

I think all this talk about the "pact with the Devil" Toshiba struck by bringing in Chinese manufacturers is wayyy overstated. Grab a couple things from around your house -- anything -- and look for the label that says where it was made. My money says China.

Re:suggestion to Toshiba (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#18828897)

True ... but last I heard roughly a third of the value in many consumer electronic products was still going to Japan, because Japan still controls a number of key technologies. The risk Toshiba is taking is in giving the Chinese enough technical information to manufacture the entire product on their own, and you can bet the Chinese will be pushing for everything they can get.

Re:suggestion to Toshiba (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828999)

There is no reason it would cost any more than manufacturing an ordinary DVD player in the United States. Most of the cost is licensing, engineering, and marketing.

No, Sony will have a $600 player shortly (4, Informative)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 7 years ago | (#18828403)

I mean, if I can find it doing a 30 second search over at Sony, why can't the author, rather than implying that Blu-Ray players will be $1000 until 2008. The Sony BDP-S300 is due to be released in Summer 2007.

Here:
    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity /eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-S tart?ProductSKU=BDPS300 [sonystyle.com]

Re:No, Sony will have a $600 player shortly (3, Insightful)

LIGC (974596) | about 7 years ago | (#18828473)

They already have another Blu-ray player out under $1000: the PS3.

Re:No, Sony will have a $600 player shortly (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#18828807)

Samsung also sells standalone Blu-Ray players for under $600.

I'd bet that by Christmas you'll find Blu-Ray players for under $300. The price ramp thus far has fairly closely matched DVD players when they came out, with the exception of the slight stall at the end of 2006 with the blue laser shortage.

Re:No, Sony will have a $600 player shortly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828675)

Escept that they sony player will only play some of the disks some of the time. Bad deal!

Its not that hard to believe... (3, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | about 7 years ago | (#18828429)

I mean: Radio -> HDRadio Tv -> HDTV DVD - >HDDVD Its just simpler for the consumer. Even the industry standard names for the damn aspect ratio is HDxxx depending on the resolutions. The poster also forgets, PS3 is a blue ray player and well under $1000 but that is beside the point. Truthfully, I hope Sony stops with the format obsession. The sad fact is that Sony would have been a lot better off just going with HDDVD. We would all be making money right now and not waiting for years while the consumer waits to see who is going to win. I'm not an industry specialist or anything, obvisouly, but I just don't see the next gen HD format being called "blu ray", when all others are HD-.

Re:Its not that hard to believe... (2, Interesting)

jmpeax (936370) | about 7 years ago | (#18828557)

PS3 is a blue ray player and well under $1000
Not in Europe. The PS3 retails for £420 (~$840) in the UK. Aren't we the lucky ones? HD-DVD all the way! All hail Microsoft!

HD Radio (4, Informative)

supersat (639745) | about 7 years ago | (#18828591)

Of course, the "HD" in HD Radio doesn't stand for "high defintion" -- it stands for "hybrid digital," meaning that it co-exists with standard analog transmissions in the same channel. iBiquity is taking advtange of the fact that many consumers assume the HD prefix means "high definition," when there's no requirement for the digital transmissions to sound any better (especially if they use the bandwidth for additional subchannels).

Re:Its not that hard to believe... (2, Interesting)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | about 7 years ago | (#18828767)

This is exactly where Blu-Ray loses. We have 'HDTV' in our vernacular, and 'DVD' is second nature. 'HD-DVD' is just so natural for people to want. 'Blu-Ray', on the other hand, sounds like some half-baked prototype, still bouncing around in R&D. Specs are meaningless. Videophiles are not going to be the ones deciding the market viability of either of these formats. People who like the sound of particular product names are.

Next on the list... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828451)

Since we now have 1920x1080 source material with at least 24 bit color, if not 30 bit color, when will companies stop selling 18 bit 1366x768 monitors???? Or 1280x800, 1440 x 960, 1680 x 1050 and the countless other odd resolutions? With 18 bit color depth and piss-poor TN LCDs???

Funny resolutions (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#18828815)

when will companies stop selling 18 bit 1366x768 monitors????
1366x768 is derived from one of the HDTV resolutions popular in Japan. It can display 1280x720 with a tiny border (3% on each side).

Or 1280x800
That was designed to display 1280x720 plus playback controls.

1440 x 960, 1680 x 1050
Some of these are laptop screen sizes.

With 18 bit color depth and piss-poor TN LCDs???
DLP projectors have 1-bit color depth, but each pixel is temporally dithered, that is, turned on and off fast enough that you don't notice. The 18-bit panels don't turn pixels on and off as fast as a DLP projector does, only about 60 to 75 Hz. But a panel running at 72 Hz still displays three fields in a a 24 Hz progressive image and can use spatiotemporal dithering on the low-order bits over the three fields to increase perceived SNR.

Re:Funny resolutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828945)

"1366x768 is derived from one of the HDTV resolutions popular in Japan"


Do I give a shit about Japan? Then why aren't HD-DVDs in 1366x768? Why am I paying for pixels that I can't display on a display I'm paying for? How is it a good thing for the signal to go through another stage of processing?


"That was designed to display 1280x720 plus playback controls."


Please kindly direct me to the 1280x720 source? Oh there isn't any? So why do I give a shit?


"Some of these are laptop screen sizes."


So freaking what? When I nail a laptop to my wall as a HD display I'll call you for help.


"LP projectors have 1-bit color depth"


Utter rubbish. The RSDS spec clearly specifies 18, 24 and 30 bit formats, for LCDs. 18 bits is reserved for "utility" monitors, like for reading this site. As for the DLP thing, you can't compare that to an LCD, anymore than you can compare the 1 bit noise shaping DACs in CD players to a "regular" DAC. It just doesn't mean the same.


"But a panel running at 72 Hz "


Strawman. 1st, you'll never find that spec easily in a store, and 2nd, I've rarely seen an LCD that can handle that. And anyways, why would I want to dither, when the freaking resolution exists in the RSDS spec? Stop building under-resolution, under-color, inferior displays!


Why in the frufrufru isn't it easy to find out what technology a given TV uses, and what resolution it is? You still can't beat a good CRT for color depth and viewing angle. All the LCDs and plasmas I've seen for under 4k$ are all rubbish, but people are all fapping themselves over the pixelated, poor-viewing angle, solarized garbage video you see on so-called HD displays.


Sigh. All. I. Want. Is a display whose resolution actually jives with the 1920x1080 HD resolution, and will let me hook up a PC to it without requiring written permission from the underlords of digital.

Great. 2 million players. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 7 years ago | (#18828455)

I still don't have a good reason to upgrade. Like the majority of people (at least at present), I don't have a big-screen HDTV.

Re:Great. 2 million players. (1)

stinerman (812158) | about 7 years ago | (#18828563)

You give the people too much credit. Keeping up with the Joneses will take care of adoption of HD-DVD. People who shop at Walmart are just the kind of people who care about looking rich at any cost.

Re:Great. 2 million players. (1)

RobinH (124750) | about 7 years ago | (#18828729)

You give the people too much credit. Keeping up with the Joneses will take care of adoption of HD-DVD. People who shop at Walmart are just the kind of people who care about looking rich at any cost.

s/Walmart/Costco/g

Re:Great. 2 million players. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18828905)

Actually, they care about not looking poor. They are plenty well aware that they aren't rich.

So they're actually shopping elsewhere? (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | about 7 years ago | (#18828959)

People who shop at Walmart are just the kind of people who care about looking rich at any cost.

Which means they've convinced themselves they're shopping at some other department store? That whole walmart=looking rich phrase melted part of my brain.

Blu-Ray could win but be called HD-DVD (3, Insightful)

freshmayka (1043432) | about 7 years ago | (#18828475)

I can very easily see a scenario five years from now where Blu-Ray is the dominant format but consumers call it HD-DVD because to them (as another poster pointed out) it's all HD.

Hold off (1)

nighty5 (615965) | about 7 years ago | (#18828491)

MPAA want you to buy these players because they introduce a new revenue stream, and to further restrict access to backup your own purchased media.

Forget the increased disk sizes and high definition, most of the classic programs don't need it.

I won't be re-buying any of my already bought DVDs (about 220). They are all classics, and I'm in the process of converting them all to Xvid files so I can watch them on-demand.

Re:Hold off (2, Interesting)

rob1980 (941751) | about 7 years ago | (#18828599)

I won't be re-buying any of my already bought DVDs (about 220). They are all classics, and I'm in the process of converting them all to Xvid files so I can watch them on-demand.

How does converting your purchased DVDs to XVID make them any more "on-demand" than just watching the DVDs themselves?

Re:Hold off (2, Funny)

saforrest (184929) | about 7 years ago | (#18828947)

How does converting your purchased DVDs to XVID make them any more "on-demand" than just watching the DVDs themselves?

Well, I suppose if you have a gigantic hard drive (or several of them), then you could have all your movies accessible without swapping discs in and out.

Though I'm happy to boast that my own laziness threshold, while low, is still well above swapping a DVD.

Way to go- increase US dependence (0)

postmortem (906676) | about 7 years ago | (#18828521)

.... on Chinese products.

So there's no big domestic player than can compete with the Chinese for hi-tech product that is not yet on the market?

Re:Way to go- increase US dependence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828669)

You know what? Fuck you. Fuck you and your hysterical xenophobia. I'm fucking sick and tired of reading this sort of shit on a site that once contained passably intelligent discussion. Please just get the fuck off my Slashdot, you disgusting, worthless Lou Dobbs-watching shitcake.

Re:Way to go- increase US dependence (1)

cunina (986893) | about 7 years ago | (#18828927)

You know what? Fuck you. Fuck you and your hysterical xenophobia. I'm fucking sick and tired of reading this sort of shit on a site that once contained passably intelligent discussion.
You aren't exactly elevating the discourse either, you know.

Re:Way to go- increase US dependence (1)

Secrity (742221) | about 7 years ago | (#18828717)

There are no domestic US manufacturers that build consumer optical drives.

Re:Way to go- increase US dependence (1)

jlarocco (851450) | about 7 years ago | (#18828805)

Wake up. The majority of electronic things you buy are already made in China. It's a little late to complain about it.

Re:Way to go- increase US dependence (1)

Falladir (1026636) | about 7 years ago | (#18828837)

I can't think of anything much less critical to national security than high-end consumer electronics.

At least get the name right .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828551)

It's a Taiwanese company by the way .. not Chinese ..

Re:At least get the name right .. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 years ago | (#18828741)

You mean The Republic of China [wikipedia.org] .

At least fact check before you start being pedantic or try to act smart.

Taiwain is just an island. The country is called the Republic of China.

Once more, with feeling. (5, Funny)

Murmer (96505) | about 7 years ago | (#18828581)

So, you're saying that the company that created Betamax, ATRAC encoding, the S-Link protocol, Minidisc players, Super-AudioCDs, Memory Sticks and Universal Media Discs might actually lose a format war?

Preposterous!

Re:Once more, with feeling. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828643)

Hey, like my investment banker says, past performance is no indication of future performance!

Sony backs DMCA, RIAA, MPAA, puts rootkits on disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828589)

So why is what Sony does a matter of concern?

Cut off Sony's money and they won't be able to do DMCA/RIAA in the future.

Well... (0)

apathyruiner (222745) | about 7 years ago | (#18828651)

I'm an electronics dept. manager and last i've heard blu-ray is getting our backing more than hd-dvd. I've sold more PS3's (20 roughly) than 360 HD-DVDs (1 because one of my people left a $99 tag in front of it). Current hype from corporate is all about blu-ray being the frontrunner. However my store doesn't even deal in high def movies as of yet so I doubt I'll see the players.

Re:Well... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828771)

"I'm an electronics dept. manager"
You're a fucking loser. You're nothing but a retail monkey. In the future, you'll be replaced with a fucking robot and mouth-breathers like yourself, once identified, will be ground up in feed for livestock. Shut the fuck up and stay the fuck off the internet. You are nothing. I make more money than you and I actually use my brain in my job. Go fucking choke on it scumbag. Also, comparing sales of a fucking console to sales of an add-on for a console is about the most retarded comparison I have ever heard - and I've been reading Slashdot for many years so I've seen my fair share of mental retardation. Fuck your mother up her loose asshole with a golf club or set.

Scene from Starwars (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 7 years ago | (#18828655)

I imagine this scene from Star Wars where Obi-wan discoverse the massive clone manufacturing plant at a hidden planet on a hidden star, but does not realize what this forebears.

EngadgetHD already reported this... (1)

monkey_dongle (1002300) | about 7 years ago | (#18828687)

EngadgetHD reported this yesterday, but added an update stating that the translation was unclear on whether this was HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/04/20/the-wal-mart- 299-hd-dvd-player-on-the-way/ [engadgethd.com]

From what I have read here, this point is no more clear. So, if anyone has the REAL story, we're all ears...

Re:EngadgetHD already reported this... (3, Informative)

blargster (239820) | about 7 years ago | (#18828749)

On the AVS forum, no fewer that six native Chinese speakers confirmed that the news release was referring to HD DVD.

Almost a finished war... (1)

inflex (123318) | about 7 years ago | (#18828697)

Let's see, we've got the pr0n market going to HD-DVD (though why on earth you'd want HD-DVD for pr0n I don't know)... and now we have Walmart pushing it like this, seems like BluRay is going to be reduced to the "has beens" bin ... again. Technically it may have been a superior format (?) but once again Sony shows the way to destroy what could have been a promising format.

Re:Almost a finished war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828799)

Why the hell do you keep writing "pr0n"?

Re: Almost a finished war... (1)

PikachuMolester2007 (1058780) | about 7 years ago | (#18828987)

Yea, Sony really killed "this promising format". Think about how much better it would have been without those 3 million (and counting) players sold. Really dude, I know bashing SONY is fun and all, but be logical.

Its going to be an uphill battle (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 years ago | (#18828719)

Getting people to pay the premium for HD-DVD will be difficult at Wal-Mart unless the prices for HD-DVD players are almost the same as regular DVD players. For Joe Sixpack who has a standard def TV, he will balk at paying more for the same movie, and more likely will just buy the DVD because it works on all his players.

Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have promise as an alternative to tape drives on the low end, but not until the drives get under $200-$300, and the 50GB media gets to a price per gigabyte ratio comparable to existing DVDs. I hope they can do this... Ten BD disks for an offsite backup with a program like Retrospect would be a blessing for most SOHOs, compared to using 100 or so DVD+Rs.

NPD numbers don't show HD-DVD selling like mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18828801)

I don't see how they're selling like mad at Wal-Mart considering the NPD numbers show blu-ray beating hd-dvd pretty handily for YTD 2007.

Walmart killing the PS3 (3, Interesting)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | about 7 years ago | (#18828839)

The justification for the high price of the PS3 is that it is also a Blu-Ray player. If Blu-Ray loses the format war, where does that leave the PS3? Don't even try to say that the PS3 is a superior game console to the Xbox 360. F.E.A.R. was just released on the PS3 and it has inferior graphics to the Xbox360 or PC. The PS3 version was released 6 months after the Xbox 360 version. Nearly every game released on both platforms has inferior graphics and no online for the PS3 version.

Simply put, the PS3 doesn't hold a candle to the visuals found in the Xbox 360 version -- especially considering the handful of bugs that have dead soldiers getting stuck in walls and twitching on the floor. The detailed environments and clear draw distances aren't found on PS3. If you had never seen the other versions of F.E.A.R., you still wouldn't be impressed with the PS3's graphics, but compared to the PC and 360, this version is graphically dead in the water.

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/782/782476p2.html/ [ign.com]

We are looking at a $199 HD-DVD player in the near future. At $150 cost per unit, I think Walmart is going to charge $199 a piece. Walmart works in volume. If they do this, you're going to see $249 players from other retailers. I guess all of the people who are saying that they are waiting for a sub $200 HD player will be buying one soon. Is Sony preventing the release of cheaper Blu-Ray players or is it just taking too long to bring down manufacturing prices?

HDTVs are about to be widely adopted. On Walmart's website, they are selling a 37 inch 720p/1080i TV for $698. I'm not saying it's the greatest quality television, but it's not outside the price range of the middle class. So you can buy a HD TV and player for under a thousand dollars.

If Sony had joined the HD-DVD coalition, they would be in a much better position. There would have been no format war and the PS3 would have a HD-DVD drive which would be the certain high definition format. Sony would still collect some royalities, just less than a Blu-Ray victory. Sometimes the safe option is the best option.

Re:Walmart killing the PS3 (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 7 years ago | (#18828977)

Don't even try to say that the PS3 is a superior game console to the Xbox 360. F.E.A.R. was just released on the PS3 and it has inferior graphics to the Xbox360 or PC. The PS3 version was released 6 months after the Xbox 360 version. Nearly every game released on both platforms has inferior graphics and no online for the PS3 version.

Considering that the Xbox360 and (windows) PC ports both likely use DirectX, I imagine the port back and forth was cake. Not only that but the PS3 is a much more difficult system to get working so yeah, if they barge headlong into ports without actually working to make the graphics look good then sure, it'll suck. I imagine most of those 6 months was spent porting away from DirectX, y'know, Microsoft's lock-in for graphics/input/sound APIs. Microsoft makes it easy to write for the platform, but a bitch to port away from.

A lack of online for PS3 version smacks of laziness on behalf of the publishers, since they can just slop the online component off on microsoft for the xbox360 verison. They'd actually have to provide a service for their customers, but don't want to.

Games make a console. This screams shitty ports and half-ass releases rather than "omg the ps3 sucks." The PS3 isn't going anywhere, and I certainly hope no one wishes Microsoft total victory. Wouldn't be the first time they forced their way into a market, only to effectively destroy it (What's that? Six years between browser releases what? Still incompatible?)

Tell me again why I want to buy a console from a company that was convicted of abusing their position in one market to take over another?

Okay, I'll bite.. what is the big deal? (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | about 7 years ago | (#18828895)

I am not a gamer. I don't particularly yet care about HD TV. What is the big deal? *IF* I used Windows, I would not be upgrading from XP yet as there is no real incentive. What is the incentive to care which of these formats win? Either one will slide into the player, I'll open my beer and sit back and watch the movie.

When it comes to back up, I don't use DVD. I use disk to disk to disk, or disk to disk to tape. Sure, the distribution disk for FC8 might fit on one disk, but uh, so?

For anyone but those interested in the bleeding edge or new technology, what is the big deal?

Article from 2005, where are the players? (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 7 years ago | (#18828917)

That article is from 2005. Shouldn't they be here by now?

Re:Article from 2005, where are the players? (0, Troll)

Mongoose (8480) | about 7 years ago | (#18828967)

Weclome to diggdot.org... would you like fries with your lies?
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