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Blockbuster Chooses Blu-ray

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the nailing-the-coffin-shut dept.

Movies 351

s31523 writes "The format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray has posted another battle, this time the victor seems to be the Blu-ray side. Blockbuster has announced it has chosen Blu-ray as the HD format to rent out in the majority of its stores. This decision comes after rental data was looked at for the 250 stores that carry both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray with the majority of rentals being Blu-Ray. Blockbuster now plans to stock Blu-ray only in 1450 of it's stores, but says the 250 stores with the HD-DVD movies will be kept on the shelf."

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351 comments

blu-ray? moar liek jew-ray (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550637)

mirite?

Re:blu-ray? moar liek jew-ray (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550787)

Damn, damn, damn. Jew-owned media (Hollywood) from a Jap-owned corporation (Sony). Ralph JewHater Nader was right about the slant-eyed kike [slashdot.org] .

Oh? (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550639)

"This decision comes after rental data was looked at for the 250 stores that carry both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray with the majority of rentals being Blu-Ray."

8 rentals versus 6?

Re:Oh? (5, Funny)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550703)

Actually the figure stated 70% of all rentals were blu-ray, which would make it around 7 vs 3.

Freedom to choose (4, Insightful)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550641)

Yet another win for Netflix, which allows you to pick your favorite HD format!

Re:Freedom to choose (5, Insightful)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550695)

Yet another win for BitTorrent, which allows you to pick your favorite HD format!

:-P

monk.e.boy

Re:Freedom to choose (5, Funny)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550755)

Someone's got to rip those HD movies for BitTorrent, thanks Netflix!

Re:BB online still has HDDVD (3, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550821)

BB online will match netflix in that they will still have HDDVD, so how is this a win for netflix?

Is netflix starting a chain of B&M rental outlets to compete with BB?

Re:BB online still has HDDVD (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551185)

Is netflix starting a chain of B&M rental outlets to compete with BB?
Only if their management are a bunch of shortsighted numpties. What they'll be doing instead is buying up datacenter space worldwide and installing terabytes of fast disk and boatloads of bandwidth.

I predict that BlueRay and HD-DVD won't even make a splash as they sink without trace. ok they may sell some in the US where they have 3rd world levels of bandwidth, but the rest of the world is going to be downloading it's HD movies to HD PVRs... legally or not...

 

Re:Freedom to choose (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550997)

Blockbuster Online has had both formats for a while and I assume will continue to offer both. I am surprisingly familiar with this considering I don't own either type of players, I blame my wife, who will often add a new movie in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD format instead of DVD. Sometimes, she'll even add the same movie twice to the queue, once for DVD and another for Blu-Ray. Look hon, I don't want to watch R.V. once, let alone in high definition.

Re:Freedom to choose (2, Interesting)

SpaceCommander (817390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551421)

This is a good point. The really interesting thing about this decision will be that it will establish the current viability of Blockbuster's current business model. Is Blockbuster the force that moves this particular industry, or are they just a reactionary business at this point, trying to catch up. Also I don't see why Blockbuster would really have an opinion in this matter. They rent movies, who cares what the technology is, from their point of view, just as long as it moves out the door. To that point, it does seem that HD-DVD is being rented.

Personally, I like Hollywood Video, don't ask me why. The *very* small shelf that current contains the HD formats there is overwhelmingly dominated by Blu-Ray. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of HD-DVD titles versus Blu-Ray titles being offered for rent are the in the same ratio that is cited by Blockbuster. The stats seem flawed on this one.

For the record, I declared Blu-Ray the winner when I saw the Disney Blu-Ray promo on the "Cars" DVD. Not that it matters, the players are too damned expensive. I'm thinking another technology is going to force the adoption of HD players, but not for another 5 years or so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_Versatile _Disc [wikipedia.org]

someone's getting paid off (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550643)

Someone's getting paid off. With no clear winner in the format war, it doesn't make sense that they would want to stock both.

Let me be the first to say (2, Funny)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550651)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO [ytmnd.com] . The war is over, Blue Ray won. Sad.

Re:Let me be the first to say (5, Interesting)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550915)

Yet others of us are happy. I bought my PS3 as a bluray player first and potentially a console second. Now with the most recent firmware update it is also my upscaling DVD player and a wireless media extender for my mac.

how appropriate (5, Funny)

ulysses38 (309331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550659)

since i just finished reading the 'psychology of fanboys' story below. now we can see some in their native habitat.

Re:how appropriate (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550905)

"now we can see some [fanboys] in their native habitat"

Here? really? we have Sony (among others) for "blu-ray" and M$ (among others) for HD-DVD. Whatever the opposite of fanboy is, that's me. I hope that they both lose.

You can prefer one on a rational basis (3, Informative)

Paradox (13555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551371)

I'm not saying which one you should prefer, but lots of people either hate HD-DVD or Blu-ray on irrational basis. For example, "HD-DVD players break too much! (even though I don't own them and the current generation is just fine)" or "I hate Sony/BMG, therefore I will boycott all of Sony (even though the connections between various divisions of such a large company are extremely slim)." Some people are even so foolish as to have decided-retroactively, of course-that the format they purchased is the superior one because, well... they spent a lot of money!

There is no reason to hope both lose. I'd really hate to be suck with DVDs for several years while the next-next-gen media gets its act together, and probably does the exact same thing all over again.

Me, I prefer Blu-ray because Sony takes their recordable-data business seriously and they're getting that stuff to market much faster. You might prefer something else, like HD-DVD because the hardware is a bit cheaper. Either way, there are plenty of rational non-fanboy reasons to prefer formats. The most irrational view I can think of is your position. How would the completely failure of the new media types benefit the market or consumers?

Betting on a loser. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550681)

Are stores like Blockbuster still relevant in this day and age of digital downloads and Netflix?

Re:Betting on a loser. (3, Informative)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550767)

Let's see, Blockbuster does basically the same thing as Netflics (ordering over the net with postal delivery) but you can drop the movies off at the store, if you want, so, yeah, I guess they are still relevant.

Re:Betting on a loser. (1)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551011)

I could until Blockbuster closed the only store within 5 miles of me. I used to be able to stop in on my way back from work; now I can't. And since I get movies from Netflix next-day, and BB takes two or three, they've lost their competitive advantage as far as I'm concerned. Plus, with Netflix I can watch stuff on-line, too, for no additional cost.

Re:Betting on a loser. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551143)

Yeah that "benefit" of dropping off at the store is only for the lowbrow crowd. Most rich people love netflix as they dont have to deal with the scummy clientèle that Move rental stores have.

A little meaning, perhaps (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550683)

More interesting will be to see what the retail giants do.

If Wal-Mart decides not to stock HD-DVD (or, for that matter, Blu-Ray) titles, then that's more interesting.

Myself, I think the idea of two formats which (unlike VHS/Betamax) are, at first glance, practically identical and come in very similar cases yet require different players is absurd. Unless and until either one wins or dual-format players become commonplace, there's going to be some very pissed off people when they get their shiny new film home only to find that it won't play.

Re:A little meaning, perhaps (1)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551405)

The best part is the holiday season, how can you know which format to buy for your favorite uncle you only get to see once a year. You can't very well call asking, "Heya Uncle Bob, say, what kind of HD DVD format do you use? What? No! I'm not thinking about getting you a new high-def format movie or show this year, that's preposterous!"

More importantly, even if you tell your aunt Becky 4 times (twice in writing no less,) you'll still get the wrong damned format come the great unwrapping time. Never mind the fact it's not even the film you asked for.

All in all, I say they've gone and set them selves up for a big return this year, at least here in the states.

Re:A little meaning, perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551461)

The problem of "a shiny new disc that won't play" can happen because you're trying to play a soundtrack audio-CD expecting a movie, or trying to play a HD-DVD/bluray in a DVD player. Why are you saying that it is a problem between HD-DVD and bluray but not between every other shiny disc format out there?

Huge penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550685)

In your butt. [goatse.cz]

Does this even matter? (4, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550687)

Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

Re:Does this even matter? (2, Insightful)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550743)

I keep hearing this, but i know absolutely no one who is using the digital distribution for their home entertainment. While this would be popular for people watching movies on their computer, the majority of people watch movies on their TVs from the comfort of their couch. Its going to be a while off before appliances are in every home to take advantage of digital distribution. So the disc wars will continue for the foreseeable future.

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550807)

Anyone who has digital cable and orders a movie (to their TV) is using digital distribution. You're aware of this, right?

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550865)

Yes, but HD availability is lacking with the "On Demand services". Its still a long ways off. And people still like to have physical discs for some reason. "On Demand" has been around a few years now and it doesnt seem to be denting the rental business yet. I do believe however, once more HD content is available On Demand, it may pick up.

Re:Does this even matter? (5, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550939)

Everyone I know with an HDTV has some form of "On Demand" for getting HD movies... I don't know a single person who owns either an HD-DVD or BRD player.

The cost of ownership is significantly lower too... pay your cable/satellite company $5 for the movie you want to see using the equipment you already have or buy a $500+ player and go to the store (or wait for delivery of) a rental + however much that costs.

I see the HD-DVD vs BRD debate along the same lines as the DVD-Audio vs SACD debate... which format one that war? NEITHER the equipment was over priced, crippled by DRM and only a fraction of the market owned the supporting equipment to fully utilize it nevermind become actually interested in it.... who won that war? technically it still rages on but the real victor was the MP3 and other digitally distributed forms of music... far and wide technically inferior to the DVD-A and SACDs but it's pretty apparent that consumers go for convenience over quality... at least in terms of their media.

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550797)

What's the file size of a HD movie, and how long will it take to download at 1.5 mbs?

Re:Does this even matter? (5, Interesting)

Lumpmoose (697966) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551027)

What's the file size of a HD movie, and how long will it take to download at 1.5 mbs?

The only service I've used that distributes a large number of HD movies online is the Xbox Live Marketplace on the 360. A 720p movie on there usually ranges from 6-7 GB which has takes 8-12 hours over my DSL line. Someone can correct me, but that size seems a bit small to be a true HD film. Most Blu-Ray/HD-DVD movies are 1080p, AFAIK. Besides the 360 & PS3, BR/HDDVD are the only ways to get a true 1080p image (no one broadcasts above 1080i). As the owner of a 1080p HDTV, that makes this format war all the more annoying.

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551351)

Around 15 GB x 8 bits / 1.5mbit/sec / 3600 sec/hr = 22 hours. So I guess I don't want to try this with 56K dialup.

Re:Does this even matter? (3, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550829)

Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

For whom? Geeks with fancy computers hooked up to their TVs? The only digital distribution for movies I use is empornium.us for my fix because the local video store with a "back room" has a shit selection of what I want to watch and I don't like being taxed $8/video because there are no other porn peddling stores in town.

For the rest, I go to the Hollywood Video kiosk at the grocery store instead of the Hollywood Video brick and mortar store across the street or even to Blockbuster across the other street. It takes me exactly 15 seconds to pick something I want and pay for it. It takes me another 4 minutes to drive to and from the store. I'm out of my house and back in less than 10 minutes every time. Wake me up when the digital distribution is that fast (hint: it won't be until someone kicks McLeod in the fucking ass and they drag that last 75 feet of fiber that runs next to my house through my kitchen and into my NAT box upstairs).

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

mrycar (578010) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550969)

EveryNickIsTaken Digital distribution is the way of the future, not Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs.

I wish this statement was true, but until bandwidth is available to every home with a TV, Digital Distribution will remain a niche player.

Re:Does this even matter? (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551003)

Isn't netflix already selling movie downloads?

Yes, and it sucks. It's basically YouTube on 'roids; you have to watch it on a computer, and it's streamed (not really downloaded), and it's Windows-only. I've played around with it and found it interesting from a technical standpoint but otherwise totally uncompelling. And this is from someone who *does* have computers driving most of the TV monitors in their house.

Re:Does this even matter? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551205)

Yes if you like low res crappy versions.

Some of you love watching your movies on a 15" laptop screen. Most everyone else wants it on their 42" plasma or in their home theater with a 102" or larger screen.

Those are the people buying blu ray and HDDVD not the poor college kid that sits in his bunk in the dorm room with the covers over his/her head watching a movie on his laptop.

They should stock both but... (2, Informative)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550699)

There's likely a lot more Blu-Ray players out there right now because of the PS3. While maybe some of you might think the PS3 isn't selling or hasn't sold enough units, they've sold several million of them - and that's nothing to sneeze at when you consider the the fact that HD players are still pretty new to market.

Evenrually, it'll be like a DVD-R/DVD+R situation - players will support both and that will be the end of it.

Re:They should stock both but... (1)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550809)

And with the new system update (1.8, I think) the PS3 has become a pretty darn good DVD player. I have replaced the set-top DVDplayer with the PS3 now.

Re:They should stock both but... (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550937)

Does using the PS3 as a video player reduce the life expectancy of the hardware?

Re:They should stock both but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551029)

Why should it? It's a glorified computer with esoteric hardware.

Besides, it's not a complete replacement. It won't play DVDs from different broadcast standards. E.g. US models won't play PAL DVDs even if they're region free. Yet cheapo DVD players have been doing this for many years.

Re:They should stock both but... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551047)

I would imagine that using it at all would lower the live expectancy, over leaving it turned off in the box.

I don't see how playing videos would cause any detrimental effects on the machine. Probably less then a game, since the machine doesn't have to work very hard to play a movie.

Silly question.

Re:They should stock both but... (2, Informative)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551103)

The PS2 (don't remember if it was the slim or not) had an issue where the lens would eventually fall out of alignment due to watching DVDs. Weird problem, and being sceptical with the PS3 is only logical.

Re:They should stock both but... (2, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551155)

Naa, it's not really logical at all. The PS2 was released in 2000. The PS3 was released six years later, and it shares almost none of the same components (the only shared components are the chips in the PS3 to allow PS1/2 games to play.) It's an entirely new machine.

To be skeptical of the PS3 because of this issue, you'd also have to be skeptical of any other CD or DVD player on the market since and until the PS3 was released.

Re:They should stock both but... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551291)

Well, I know a lot of people who had problems with XBoxes and PS2s when they used them as DVD players. Having the drive spin the disc for 2 hours straight while you watch a movie is a lot harder on the drive mechanism than having it spin the disc for 30 seconds while you load game content, and then give it a 5 minute break. It's not really a problem with the processor burning out, or the machine not having enough power, but with the drive mechanism not being built to withstand spinning for long periods of time.

Re:They should stock both but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551407)

Yes... in the same way playing movies on your DVD player lowers it's life expetency..

*sigh...*

Re:They should stock both but... (3, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551109)

Yea, me too. I have a pretty nice DVD player; it cost me a bunch of money when I got it. It still looks very good but it doesn't look nearly as nice as a standard DVD in the PS3. The PS3's upscaling is top notch; it doesn't just stretch out the picture to fit the high resolution, it really enhances sharp lines, contours, and colors. It's great!

I watched a few DVD movies on it when 1.8 came out and I really couldn't believe they were the same DVD's I'd watched before.

Of course, the benefit of the upscaling on the PS3 would be mitigated if you already had a top notch scaler as a separate component, or have a TV with an excellent scaler. Unfortunately, external scalers are very expensive and most TV's have sub-par scalers.

I really hope Sony keeps up adding these killer features with each update as they've been doing. It's awesome.

FP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19550717)

Baby

"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (3, Interesting)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550721)

All the Blockbuster video stores in my area went bankrupt a couple of years ago and closed. Since they already drove all the mom and pop video stores out of business, that leaves nowhere to rent vidoes anymore.

One "advantage" of living in a depressed post-industrial area of the country - we are ahead of the curve in terms of business that will eventually no longer exist closing before everyone else. We lost our last CD stores years ago, and the one downtown bookstore closed just this year. Yippee.

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (1, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550959)

I think you should have seen the writing on the wall YEARS ago, if you live in Michigan.

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (2, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551125)

While I think it sucks when chain stores drive out local businesses, I'm not sure how this would have been different in the long run. If BB can't survive with its much lower overhead and cash reserve to get it through rough patches, what makes you think several mom and pop video stores would?

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551383)


If BB can't survive with its much lower overhead and cash reserve to get it through rough patches, what makes you think several mom and pop video stores would?

Maybe they're more willing to accept lower profits? Or perhaps a greater ability to adapt to the local market? Big chains aren't necessarily the best competitors.

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (3, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551433)

Actually, small businesses might stay open long after large concerns would close shop. A few reasons:

1. The owners may be inclined to stay in the area and tend the shop, so it doesn't matter that the capital could be better used elsewhere.

2. The owners can't just ship the DVDs to their 500 other stores with minimal loss. If they close shop they must liquidate probably for pennies on the dollar.

3. The owners may be able to use dodgy practices to reduce their costs, without the liabilities a major concern faces.

4. The small business probably has less overhead.

Now, in a hot market the small business will get killed by the corporation, but the small guy may stick around long after the corporation leaves - if for no other reason than they don't have much choice...

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551455)

A lot of small stores might be run by the owner who doesn't need a fancy salary or take days off. He might do something else that BB doesn't do that brings him a little money too. Maybe he rents more underground movies, animation, german movie and what not. Heck, I've seen corner store/coffee shop renting video. Small stores can still be creative and have to to get through.

Re:"We have no Blockbluster, you insensitive clod" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551199)

I live in a fairly nice part of DC, and the Blockbuster here closed shop at the beginning of this year. The nearest video store to me (and it's a tiny one) is about 3 miles away--way too far to travel for a video in the middle of a high-density city.

Wow, this is huge (2, Insightful)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550723)

Why on earth would they not just rent both? Its not like it costs them any money to rent another format. Dollars to donuts there is some behind the scenes payola or pressure going on here. I guess with all of their sales heading towards online rentals it probably doesn't matter, as they are still supporting it online.

Re:Wow, this is huge (5, Informative)

brewer13210 (821462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550803)

Easy...shelf space. Stocking both would essentially require them to stock two of everything, which isn't optimal if you're trying to provide a wide selection to your customers.

Re:Wow, this is huge (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550963)

This is pretty apparent when I look at retail shelves too. For every square inch of space that you devote to one product, it's one square inch of space that you can't devote to another product. I was in HMV the other day, and the signs on their thief/library book detectors were ads for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, yet they didn't have more than 10 movies from either format. It's clear that they are making more money from their 3 for $30, TV Episode DVDs, and even old DVDs that I didn't think anybody bought than they are from their sales of HD Media.

ergo inefficient packaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551227)

That is exactly the reason why the most-popular products generally have inefficient packaging.

You would still see more of this in grocery stores if it hadn't been for the development of "store brands".

Re:Wow, this is huge (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551083)

How many movies are currently available as both BluRay and HD-DVD?

Re:Wow, this is huge (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551311)

Parser error: you used "wide selection" and "Blockbuster" in the same thought.
Blockbuster only stocks "hits". And not for very long, at that.

Re:Wow, this is huge (2, Informative)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550899)

1)Maybe it simplifies their procurement by having to only buy one format. 2)Also, stores don't have unlimited shelf space. If you stock two formats for every movie, doesn't that double the space needed for storage? 3)Probably a much less important consideration, but it would also eliminate the possibility of someone grabbing a movie from the incorrect format and having to bring it back.

Re:Wow, this is huge (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551377)

Well, if they don't know the difference between the two formats, and would be grab the wrong format, what's to stop them from grabbing a disc of the wrong format when only one format is there. If you have both formats, and they choose a random one, they will be right 50% of the time. If you only have 1 format, and they choose randomly, then if they have blu-ray, they will be right 100% of the time, but if they have HDDVD they will be right 0% of the time. Which gives an average of %50. For people who do actually understand the difference, this is a stupid argument. If you know the difference, then the odds of picking up the wrong disc are pretty low.

Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (3, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550725)

As I remember it, it was the rental market that killed off Betamax. Whatever you might think of them (and few have a lower opinion than I do) the rental market, and Blockbusters in particular, has a massive influence. You can just see the average clueless consumer saying 'Why get HD DVD when Blockies only stocks Blu Ray'

Re:Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (1)

bk_veggie (807894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550923)

But back then, you didn't have multiple distribution points as you do now. Netflix, Vongo, etc. However, I will concede the point that grandma and grandpa will probably never adopt new distribution methods. On the flipside of that coin, I doubt that grandma and grandpa will adopt -ANY- HD technology within a period of time relevant to the outcome of this 'battle'.

Blockbuster, Hollywood, et al were the only option back then. Removing B&M stores from the equasion really does change the game.

Re:Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550985)

Why would that be clueless? Sounds pretty rational to me...

Re:Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551025)

I thought the betamax issue was about sony trying to be to anal with the format thus turning off other companies.
I wish they'd do that again..

Re:Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (1)

Rizz (33500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551267)

It was largely the porn industry that helped push the VHS format standard as the cameras cost less and that quickly led to lower media costs. Porn was all about large volumes with small margins, therefore they went to what cost less.

If anything, porn will again decide. They all hold our futures in their hands and I'd be surprised if the format makers aren't courting them rather strongly at this point.

Re:Strong echoes with VHS/Betamax (1)

Megajim (885529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551171)

I think this is a bit different. One of the things that really propelled the DVD as the new format was its purchase price. Once DVDs cost as much or even less than CDs, they became more than a form of entertainment, they became products. Everyone loves products. They demonstrate who we are. How many times have you seen a movie, loved it, and immediately thought "I can't wait for the DVD." You didn't think that because you wanted to rent it. You thought that because you wanted to own it, incorporate it into who you are, put it on the shelf, show it off, watch it over and over. I don't remember people thinking that way about video tape because it was primarily marketed as a rental medium. So . . . the Blockbuster thing does make a big impact, but not nearly a big enough impact to liken this to Betamax.

This just reminds me of Trainspotting... (-1, Offtopic)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550759)

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday night. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?

Re:This just reminds me of Trainspotting... (1)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550887)

huh, why does the blueray vs. hd-dvd battle remind you of that cool dialog?

Another Layer of DRM (5, Interesting)

neonman (544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550793)

The unfortunate thing about Blu-Ray is its BD+ DRM feature, which has not yet been turned on. While Blu-Ray and HD-DVD both use AACS, Blu-Ray's BD+ is an additional layer of DRM which has not yet been broken. The reason you aren't hearing about this is that people think Blu-Ray has been freed to the same extent that HD-DVD has, when this really isn't the case. All it will take is for Blu-Ray Disc publishers to start using BD+ on their titles (which we can expect to see in a few months) and at that point our hopes of ever seeing free HD disc player software will be dashed once again.

For now, as a user who wants to play HD content with free software, I'm going to advocate the use of HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray.

Re:Another Layer of DRM (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550895)

I suspect that the only reason it hasn't been broken yet is precisely because it hasn't been turned on yet. That removes both the incentive to break it, and the experimental media to use in the attempt.

It'll be broken.

Re:Another Layer of DRM (1)

neonman (544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550989)

Obviously, but still, why should we further inconvenience ourselves? BD+ isn't necessarily going to be easy to compromise anyway. I'm sure it will happen eventually, but I want to be able to play HD titles with free software *today*, not in 8 years.

Re:Another Layer of DRM (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550931)

Blu-Ray's BD+ is an additional layer of DRM which has not yet been broken.

The reason it hasn't been broken is because it hasn't been used. Once they start trying to stop copying it will be broken in a matter of days, even if it's merely playing it back on an HD screen and recording it with an HD camera.

Re:Another Layer of DRM (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550995)

The reason that nobody has broken BD+ DRM is because the studios haven't started using it. As soon as they start using it, people will find a crack. Can you please tell me what makes BD+ DRM so special that hackers won't be able to break it? Given enough demand, any DRM system can be broken.

Betamax vs. Bluray (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550835)

If Bluray vs. HD-DVD is going to turn into another Betamax vs. VHS battle, it's going to suck for the consumer. VHS ultimately ended up winning over Betamax (obviously) but it took Sony 37 years to concede defeat. Sure most people were using VHS during that time, but the war was still being waged officially until not long ago, starting in 1975.

I hear a lot of people, and I mean a lot say they are waiting for the standards war to declare a winner before they pick a side. But with the way it's shaping up, (Netflix picking HD-DVD, Blockbuster picking Bluray) there doesn't seem that a winner will be declared any time soon. With that in mind, I can kiss off waiting until those technologies become more affordable until at least 2027!

Re: Netflix HD? I must be missing something here (1)

drhamad (868567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551233)

When on earth did Netflix pick HD? I must be missing something here... or more likely you are. Namely that Netflix, like BBOnline, supports both.

Rampant grammar-Nazism (5, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550857)

Blockbuster now plans to stock Blu-ray only in 1450 of it's stores, but says the 250 stores with the HD-DVD movies will be kept on the shelf.

What sort of shelf can fit 250 retail stores, exactly?

Re:Rampant grammar-Nazism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551005)

You missed the blatant it's == it is thing. I guess it's good that the human race is working on big storage space, it's to hold all the extra apostrophes people put in possessives and plurals, I guess.

Re:Rampant grammar-Nazism (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551065)

You missed the blatant it's == it is thing.

Oh God, I suppose I must be accustomed to such glaring mistakes due to their overexposure in common use. Dammit.

Perhaps that's how language changes over time: eventually, we anal types just stop caring, and eventually stop noticing.

Re:Rampant grammar-Nazism (4, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551159)

The continental shelf.

Re:Rampant grammar-Nazism (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551201)

Touché. My apologies to the editors for not seeing the correctness of their sentence.

DOH! ... or ... (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550907)

"How to close the door after the horse has bolted." By the BlockBuster management

The future ain't DVD, of any format. The future be network distributed content, no matter what the US film industry wants you to think.

 

Keep up the format war til the DRM is dead (1)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550911)

No, no, you want to keep up the format war until all the DRM mechanisms on all of them are thoroughly and completely destroyed... so that the folly of DRM will be obvious to all, quickly, instead of having a long-drawn-out waste of time.

Then whatever format wins will be actually useful by real people, so they can see the movies on any computer or TV they own, using any display they choose, and using any operating system. So they can back up their media (which always gets scratched or otherwise destroyed). And so they can view only the portions THEY want to see, and under "fair use" can create new works based on those products.

Copyright was created as a balance between the needs of initial authors vs. the needs of later authors and users, and DRM is trying to circumvent the law to upset the balance. With a little time, the balance should be restored.

News That Doesn't Matter (4, Insightful)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19550981)

While this is somewhat interesting, the problem is that it doesn't matter at all. Neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray has managed to get any sort of decent penetration into the home market aside from enthusiasts. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, there's price. I'm not just talking the price of players here, though that is a factor right now. The big thing is that the vast majority of people do not own televisions that will benefit from a higher-quality format. The cost of having a television that will benefit from this has to be added on to the startup cost, and that price hasn't seemed like it's gone down at all. Sure, you can get high-def 22" sets - but with a set that small, the difference between DVD and HD-format is pretty nullified. Again, only enthusiasts will notice a difference.

Another big reason is customer fatigue. DVDs have only relatively recently obtained high penetration in the home market - in no part thanks to cheap players from Walmart and other discount stores. Now customers are being asked once again to spend money to upgrade their collections... and as I said above, the startup price is not trivial for marginal improvement in quality. No, there are no MPAA-Nazis... oh, there are. My point is, no one is forcing them to upgrade - but on the other hand, the mass amount of customers just don't care.

Another thing I might point out is that the major indicator of trends - the porn industry - hasn't chosen a format yet. In fact, they're pretty much eschewing physical media for the internet. So, were I to be a betting man, I'd say that an online format is going to be the next big thing - and we're already seeing that with sites like YouTube.

So, in the long run, this isn't really news at all, this is just a blip on the radar.

Re:News That Doesn't Matter (2, Informative)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551249)

And remember that DVD had the fastest penetration of any consumer format in history, mainly because it did offer something much better than VHS.

I'm Puzzled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551039)

I am a bit puzzled by Disney being a BR only studio. I thought they were in bed with Apple and that HD-DVD was what Apple was backing? Isn't Steve a major Disney shareholder now? I saw where the CEO of Disney came out with a big push that they were fully committed to BR. Can anyone shed some light on that? This seems contrary to Apple's push to have their hand in all things multimedia.

Whine (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551079)

FTA:

"I think trying to make a format decision using such a short time period is really not measuring what the consumer is saying," said Ken Graffeo, co-president of the group[North American HD DVD Promotional Group].

If blockbuster had decided in favor of HD-DVD I bet he would have said "I think Blockbuster is making a decision based on what people want and it is a good move for them strategically." He is only bitching because they didn't pick the HD-DVD format, deal with it!

Unfortunately (1)

Tuor (9414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551111)

Most people won't care.

Good for Blockbuster and other companies for trying to end the format war. They understand that without a clear victor, people will shy away from it and wait to buy a player.

Forget Playstations and XBoxes, the real market, the mass market is when Joe Consumer wants to replace his DVD player or VCR. If he thinks it will become obsolete (Betamax), is too expensive, or just doesn't have any noticeable improvement, he won't do it.

The last point is the most interesting. Most new "HD-Capable" tvs aren't much better resolution then a progressive-scan DVD can produce. What Joe Consumer probably has it connected to his tv with is old composite video or (ghasp!) even cable. He may still have a TV without AV input.

Why waste money? He just wants the content. DVD is fine. It's cheap. He has one or several players already.

Obligatory Conspiracy (4, Interesting)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551191)

Blockbuster is owned by Viacom. Viacom owns Paramount Pictures. Paramount is one of the proponents of Blu-Ray.

Re:Obligatory Conspiracy (2, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551389)

Paramount also backs HDDVDs.

Blue ray MPEG2 ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551215)

Is it true that most Blue Ray titles are using MPEG2?

That means that the extra space of the disc is wasted. DVD9-MPEG4 could be the same quality and resolution of BD-MPEG2.

it's stores? (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551243)

Nah, it should be "its stores" or is it "it's stores" or is it "it's store's" or even "its store's"

BETA (1)

plowboylifestyle (862919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551287)

I know that the Blue-ray vs. HD-DVD war was often cast like VHS vs. BETA-max. Beta was of course a better technology which lost out to better marketing and costs. It seems that in the digital era the same economics are not in play. Blue-ray is (I'm pretty sure) the better technology and it seems to be winning. Good.

betamax? (1)

twoboxen (1111241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551297)

I am still holding out for beta to take hold of the market... its time has almost come!

Pick a neutral format (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551325)

Most of my movies come to me in NTFS format!?

MPEG2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551341)

Don Eklund, senior vice president of advanced technology for Sony Pictures, has gone on record as saying:

"Advanced formats don't necessarily improve picture quality. Our goal is to present the best picture quality for Blu-ray. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, that's with MPEG-2."

I guess if they used MPEG4, the same quality movie would fit on a DVD.

Can anyone confirm this? Is Blue ray still using low compression (meaning limited quality) MPEG2?

This is so sad ... (2, Interesting)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19551345)

Its like "Buggy Whips, Inc chooses Naugahide over Vinyl". I can't remember the last time I bought/rented a movie on a disk.

I guess the dying industries need to get into the news somehow.

So sad.

which to choose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19551357)

I choose neither HD or BR. Fuck them both in the butt with a big rubber hose. I'm not going to go out and drop an insane amount of money for content that is marginally better than what I'm getting already.

Wake me up when the next new format is out, and for the love of god make it just one format everyone can agree on next time. Blue-HD-Ray or some damn thing...
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