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Warner Backs Blu-Ray. End Times For HD-DVD?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the sure-why-not dept.

Television 705

An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times reports: In addition to Apple, Warner Brothers is now going to throw its weight behind the Blu-ray format for high-definition disks. Warner has been the only major studio to publish its movies in both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. Today, the studio announced that from now on, it would only issue movies in Blu-ray. Richard Greenfield, the media analyst with Pali Research, wrote that this marks the end of the format wars: "We expect HD DVD to 'die' a quick death.""

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Welcome to slashdong! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922368)

Suck it long and suck it hard.

What's that sound? (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922374)

You could hear a high-def pindrop in here. I don't think anyone expected things to be over so quick. Does this mean there will be some good sales on HD-DVD players?

Re:What's that sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922454)

There already are good sales on HD-DVD players. On boxing day (in canada) I got a toshiba HD-DVD player with 2 free movies for $99 (it can only do 720p/1080i, but my TV is only 720p so I didn't care). I have no objection to getting a bluray player too when they are get to that price point.

I'm not sure if this is the end of the format wars though. A few months ago I remember Paramount dropping Bluray and going all HD-DVD. With all the studios now having chosen a side, I think the war is only going to heat up.

Well guess what ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922682)

YOU wasted 99 bucks. Sucker. But you can enjoy your free copies of HDDVD "Gigli" and "Flashdance" for at least 4 or 5 years until the thing takes a crap.

Re:Well guess what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922844)

YOU wasted 99 bucks. Sucker.
Haha, I'm sure $100 seems like a lot of money when you are living on frozen pizzas in your mom's basement, but it really is a pittance to someone with a decent job. I usually spend that about once a week at a nice restaurant.

I couldnt care less who wins the hi-def war. I didn't buy a HD-DVD player cause I thought they were going to win; I bought one because (to me) it was dirt cheap. That's what normal people do when it comes to buying luxury items - they buy when they are confortable with eating the cost. What normal people do not do when buying luxury items is make it into a religious experience that requires "taking sides".

Hell Freezing Over? Sony Actually WON!? (4, Funny)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923054)

A Sony format WON!? Did Nostradamus talk about this? Maybe Sony Blu-Ray DRM is the "Seventh Seal?"

Re:What's that sound? (2, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922464)

Now that would be a fun situation.

Warner throws behind Blu-Ray, Retailers put HD-DVD stock on sale in response, manufacturers continue supplying to demand, suddenly HD-DVD has the significant market base, studios make play of "providing for the needs of all their customers", more expensive blu-ray dies over a long agonizing period.

Conjecture without caffeine is wacky.

Re: Warner "Pretends"... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922896)

This is the age of Announcements, invented by MS.

Warner "pretends" to go with BluRay.

Enter installed base, etc.

Then "Management reviews the current marketplace spread and re-evaluates the sales potential of the formats". Any company can do whatever it likes at any time.

Re:What's that sound? (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922768)

It's not really over. There are still a number of studios, most notably Paramount, committed exclusively to HD-DVD. The situation is that more studios are currently in the Blu-ray corner.

What happens long term is still open, though the bias is towards Blu-ray at this point. HD-DVD's hardware is currently less expensive, so I suspect that the war will intensify over the next few months as the DVD forum, who are the promoters of HD-DVD, make a last big push to make it more available.

As an aside, I find the fact the studios are trying to decide on the format war somewhat depressing. It's hard to see how supporting both formats and allowing consumers to make the final choice is going to cause any serious level of expense. It's all the more depressing because, of the two, Blu-ray, with its compulsory DRM and continued use of region codes, is the more closed and that's what the majority of major studios have gone for. The net effect is that smaller studios are likely to be locked out of HD until a viable downloads system becomes available.

Re:What's that sound? (4, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922928)

As an aside, I find the fact the studios are trying to decide on the format war somewhat depressing. It's hard to see how supporting both formats and allowing consumers to make the final choice is going to cause any serious level of expense.

By my reckoning it'll cause them to double their expenses. Not only in film editing (different audio and video standards/capabilities, different media capacity), physical production, but in storage, shipping, handling and marketing costs for two formats while at the same time maintaining 'legacy' support in the form of DVDs.

The other problem with the above is the "customers" and "decision" part. The common trend amongst the proletariat these days is "Just make up your damn minds and I'll buy whatever wins!" hence the necessity for the producers to have the final say.

Personally I don't care which format wins, but I won't make any purchase, no matter how small or meaningless, until I know which format I'll be able to rely on for the next decade.

Next up... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922378)

Now it just has to take on the DVD. Good luck. I look forward to dragging my feet.

Re:Next up... (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923050)

I don't know how it'll fair in the entertainment arena, but there's always a place for high-capacity discs elsewhere. I sure wouldn't mind replacing my stack of backup DVDs with a few BR-RWs in the near future. I'll cheer on the day I can cheaply image one of my larger hard drives to a single disc, slap a dated label on it and file it away.

Dear Hollywood (3, Insightful)

Landak (798221) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922390)

Do you perhaps think that the "Slow HD uptake" referred to in the article might be as a consequence of the overwhelming cost of, and over-restrictive DRM associated with HD video? Have you thought perhaps that for the vast majority of spice-girl-loving, Shrek-3 adoring consumers, DVD is more than "Good enough"?

Re:Dear Hollywood (4, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922438)

I think it has very little (closer to nothing) to do with the DRM and more to do with DVD being "good enough"

DVD is good enough for me. I've yet to impressed enough with HD to replace my tv or media and I have no intention of sitting at my PC and watching movies.

Re:Dear Hollywood (2, Funny)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922482)

DVD is good enough for me. I've yet to impressed enough with HD to replace my tv or media

Indeed. I was in Curry's yesterday and walked around all their HD TV's, playing HD sources. Talk about unimpressed! What is the point? I have a 22-year-old CRT TV and the picture quality on it is not even apparently lower than most of the LCD/Plasma screens I saw yesterday and those that were better had such a small advantage that I'd have to win one for it to be worth upgrading.


Re:Dear Hollywood (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922560)

Keep in mind that a lot of stores still aren't actually feeding their HD displays HD sources. Take a look at the back of the TVs and you'll find that quite a few Best Buys are still feeding a good portion of their HD displays via RF feeds. Sure, the nice showcase displays are being fed from HD sources, and many of the larger screens, too. But not all of them are getting HD sources--a lot are getting bottom of the barrel SD feeds.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923018)

DVD is good enough for me. I've yet to impressed enough with HD to replace my tv or media

Indeed. I was in Curry's yesterday and walked around all their HD TV's, playing HD sources. Talk about unimpressed! What is the point? I have a 22-year-old CRT TV and the picture quality on it is not even apparently lower than most of the LCD/Plasma screens I saw yesterday and those that were better had such a small advantage that I'd have to win one for it to be worth upgrading.

The problem is that you went to Curry's (A countrywide cheap consumer electronics chain). They do not do anybody any favors with the way they display such TV sets. I had a look before I bought mine online, and if my only reference had been the store displays, I wouldn't have bothered either. My Samsung 32inch looked pretty bad in store, but at home with a good source and an upscaling DVD player and TV tuner it looks great. I bought mine early last year and I'm very happy. I did some research first, so I knew more than the spotty little git on the shop floor.

LCD TVs are only good if you have the right inputs, and set them up right. The store sets are taken out of the box, plonked on the display shelf and fed from one RF signal and are uniformly awful. It would be like buying a pair of speakers if all they had to use as a source was a dodgy old walkman and a copy of Queen's greatest hits from 1980.

About the only way you could have made it a worse demonstration is if you squirted shampoo in your eyes before you went in. Find somewhere that can demonstrate a HD set with proper feeds and you have a better chance of seeing the difference.


Re:Dear Hollywood (5, Insightful)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922628)

Yes and VHS was "good enough" for most people as well. Remember that a 25" TV was HUGE back then...

Most people that have a good HDTV can tell a large difference in good HD content. Please note that I am not saying many of the movies that have come out on either format, but "some" of the movies there is a HUGE difference in quality.

The fact is that Microsoft isn't a content provider and because of that they can't leverage any monopoly this time to win this format dispute. The real issue is all about Java on these players. I bet you can guess which player has Java and which one doesn't :-)

The HD-DVD camp just pulled their talk tonight at CES and that comes as no surprise, also it now has come out that Universal has an "escape clause", so this could be over sooner than most thought. The only real question is "if" Microsoft wants to dump a LOT more money at Universal to try and continue this dispute. I would imagine that now it would take a lot more than 150 million.

Again, don't get confused about any company caring about the consumer, Sony used the PS3 to cement Blu-Ray and Microsoft HATES Java and will do a lot to make sure it doesn't gain a significant foothold in the living room. At the end of the day I would much rather deal with Sony, because I can easily use someone else's player but if Microsoft controls the software in the living room then history shows we will be in for decades of crap.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922784)

Back to reality. The catch with high definition DVD and plain old DVD is that most of the content included TV series is barely above SVHS quality let alone full DVD quality (high bit rate) so we can completely ignore any pseudo benefit from high definition DVD.

For a lot of content that can be shown at high definition should not be because when it was created they did not take it into account and a lot of defects turn up, including actors with dead botox overdose faces, botched up plastic surgery and special effects not suited to higher resolution displays.

Not saying that I don't enjoy high definition displays (I have one) it's just that the best content I have seen to date is scenery demos, so bring on a scenery channel and forget the rest, it's generally a lot more viewable at lower resolutions.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922900)

You missed my first sentence. "VHS was good enough..."

When the first DVDs came out the content quality wasn't near what it was today.

If you watch something like Planet Earth on a 1080P set then I believe you will notice a large difference. Then again, you may not notice a difference, but I am willing to be that a majority of people will concede that "if" they could afford it they would prefer to have that picture. So then it all comes down to getting the price "affordable" and making sure the consumer doesn't buy a format that will not be around. It appears that Blu-Ray will be the winner here and the price of a player is currently around $400.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922952)

"Yes and VHS was "good enough" for most people as well. Remember that a 25" TV was HUGE back then..."

Initial quality maybe, but VHS was a pain in the arse. I remember very vividly how annoying it was to have to rewind a movie you just rented because the last renter didn't bother or forgot.

I also remember clearly how bad the picture got as the tape got older, often making it impossible to watch. DVD removed a lot of these issues and made the film viewing a much more pleasurable experience. Thus the DVD brought not only better quality, but major practical improvements.

Bluray/HD-DVD is a simple quality improvement over something which is already pretty good. This doesn't mean I am uninterested in high definition. I would not say no to even higher quality picture, but I'm waiting until it is cheaper, has more content and one format has definitely won. I think this stance is pretty common.

I am a bit curious, and I'll probably end up buying a Bluray/HD-DVD player when they get cheaper and there is more content, but I am certainly not in a hurry.

Re:Dear Hollywood (5, Informative)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922978)

"Most people that have a good HDTV can tell a large difference in good HD content."

You mean, some people _think_ they can tell the difference (notably TV salesmen and people who've bought a HDTV).

I read a recent blindtest where three experts and a bunch of non-experts were tested for the difference between HD and non HD material on several LCD's and plasma displays.

On the first test, 42 inch screen, 3.5 meters away (10 ft), they all guessed 720p. It was 480p. After much flipping back and forth, some managed to get it right. More tests and eventually getting down to 50" 2 meters (6 ft) away, and there were still some who couldnt even tell 480p from 1080p. Nobody could tell 720p from 1080p better than random chance.

The fact is, such tests show that under normal viewing conditions most people simply dont have eyes and visual centers good enough to reliably notice the difference between SD and HD, nevermind deciding what looks best. You have to get up to 60-100 inch screens at a normal viewing distance to be able to reliably tell the difference; most people would be much better off getting a TV with better color and contrast ratio and simply slap a HD sticker on it so they think it's buzzword compliant.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922982)

VHS was adequate. HD is nice, but to my eye, HD-DVD vs. DVD isn't anything like as extreme a difference as DVD vs. VHS. And DVD also offered 5.1 sound, fast seek times, extra content and handy gimmicks like multiple audio tracks. The improvements in those areas for HD are quite small.

Re:Dear Hollywood (2)

notext (461158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923060)

The fact that microsoft most likely got behind hd dvd just to be a thorn in sony's side is probably more correct. They can make a blu-ray drive add on for the 360 easily. I don't think they really care at this point.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922440)

Right? Interesting point. Most of the market where these HD playback devices would be popular are the same market that is partially alienated by the encumbrance of DRM. Too bad these things aren't like VCR's were in the day, then they would really have something to complain about, I.E 1080P HDMI in/out right on the back of the unit. I guess they took our rights to use technology away slowly so nobody noticed how much more restrictive the end-user's choices are.

Re:Dear Hollywood (4, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922636)

Partly alienated? I own 400+ DVDs. I've never pirated a movie in my life. I have an HD capable TV, but I won't buy a single HD product until I'm 100% sure I can continue to easily copy it to my media server. I'll happily admit I haven't kept up to date with whether or not BluRay DRM is definitively broken in a way the mafiaa can't stop again or not. DVD is good enough for me to not invest a lot of time in figuring it out.

If they stop releasing stuff on DVD before I'm sure, then I'll resort to torrents rather than jump onto a format thats too encumbered.

Re:Dear Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922704)

What format do you use to archive your DVDs? Can you provide a link?

I ask because all I know how to do is to duplicate them so they retain their 4.7 gig size. I, too, am archiving my DVDs onto a media server - I want to be able to click on them and done, no disks, just like I do with music now.

Besides DRM, one of the reasons I would stay away from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is that the files are too large, which would force me to use even more storage in my media server. One way in which DVDs are "good enough" is that the DVD size (e.g. 4.7 gigs) to server hard drive size (e.g. 1 TB) is a good ratio right now.

So again, are you able to shrink your disks before you archive them on your server? Thanks for any pointers. (And sorry for posting AC)

Re:Dear Hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922472)

My parents have had their DVD player for a few years now. They couldn't tell you what DRM stands for, much less how it affects HD video. I think the cost could plummet to about $10 for the hardware and they still wouldn't see a reason to ditch DVD's. Frankly, I don't either. I'll switch when they force me to adopt because it's all they make anymore.

The Cost is Way Overboard (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922480)

Ok, So here in Switzerland I can get the average DVD for around 14.99 CHF to about 24.99 CHF (MediaMarkt). I saw a blue ray movie and it was 44.99 CHF and could not believe it. Why in the heck would somebody pay nearly double the price so that you can see the butt pimple of an actor? Maybe one or two movies you want to see the butt pimple, but in general no way...

Re:The Cost is Way Overboard (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922688)

Ok, So here in Switzerland I can get the average DVD for around 14.99 CHF to about 24.99 CHF (MediaMarkt). I saw a blue ray movie and it was 44.99 CHF and could not believe it. Why in the heck would somebody pay nearly double the price so that you can see the butt pimple of an actor? Maybe one or two movies you want to see the butt pimple, but in general no way...
First, you need to answer this one: if you don't care for HD movies and butt pimples, why do you care about their higher prices?

Second, what I think you might have been seeing is classic DVD movies being released in HD formats? These are normally far more expensive in HD format, mostly not because they're in HD, but because they're new releases. I see the same pricing here. However, if I look at e.g. Pirates of the Caribbean III, it's 299 SEK as Blu-ray, 179 SEK as DVD. An older movie like Blood Diamond is however 239 SEK as Blu-ray and HD-DVD, and 119 SEK as DVD. I think this is pretty common to see, and the differences will probably lessen in time. DVD's were also ridiculously priced compared to VHS tapes once upon a time.

Re:The Cost is Way Overboard (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923006)

The movie I was looking at was Spiderman 3...

So tell me... You are prepared to pay almost double for Pirates of the Caribbean 3? This is a scam that the big movie theater companies are running to get you to pony up more money for the same darn content...

Think of it as follows. You are buying a digital camera. Regular DVD is your phone camera, and BlueRay is your 10 Megapixel camera. The cost of generating the picture is higher with the 10 Megapixel. The cost of displaying the higher content is also higher, but that is not a function of the movie theater since they are not carrying the costs. So you could argue that highdef DVD would cost more, but to the tune of what you have illustrated?

Yet here is the kicker, all of this would make sense if the movie theaters actually needed to invest in new equipment. They don't they already generate high def and thus whether they move the DIGITAL content to DVD or BlueRay is a question of using the proper encoder. In other words content should cost only a small fraction more.

Yet your examples illustrate a minimum price hike of 80% for more content? Sorry but you are getting duped here on a major scale.

This is a scam that the movie theaters are doing so that you will pay more for movies so that actors can get paid more...

Sorry not with my money!

cheap if you order them from the US... (2, Interesting)

alexander m (567750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922700)

I buy all my HD-DVDs from amazon.com instead of amazon.co.jp (where i live) or amazon.co.uk (where i'm from) because... they are INSANELY CHEAP AND REGION-FREE. seriously, this is about the only time i've seen globalisation work for the consumer. it feels like amazon has had nearly non-stop promotions on HD-DVDs for the last 6 months; i've ended up with about 45 of the damn things. ordering them a few at a time from the US (admittedly especially good as i'm paid in GBP and the dollar has gone doooooown) means they are practically half the price of the UK, and even less than half the price of japan. so really it's just like i'm still buying regular UK DVDs, except they look vastly better... (and what is it with these people who say they can hardly see the difference between regular DVDs and HD? is the world full of people who don't realise that they are legally blind?? someone needs to round these people up and administer some eye-tests, on road-safety grounds alone...)

the real question, i suppose, is: do i feel bad HD-DVD might now disappear? no -- because that nice new samsung dual-format player is being released as we speak. i was planning to buy that anyway, as a handful of movies i like are on blu-ray, at which point i can forget about the whole sorry mess and move on...

Re:The Cost is Way Overboard (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922720)

Why in the heck would somebody pay nearly double the price so that you can see the butt pimple of an actor?
Eh, I'm sure that there are enough geeks out there who'd pay the money if they thought it would give them a better chance of seeing something like a couple of supposed stray pubes peeking out the edge of Natalie Portman's swimming costume in some beach scene or other.

Re:Dear Hollywood (2, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922582)

Have you thought perhaps that for the vast majority of spice-girl-loving, Shrek-3 adoring consumers
Spice Girls were at their commercial peak 10 years ago- all the little girls who were into their music back then are now grown up and halfway through university.

I've also noticed that "Backstreet Boys" and the like seem to crop up as examples of bad manufactured modern music, despite being phenomena of the late-1990s/early-2000s. Perhaps a sign that the Slashdot demographic is getting older (including myself, admittedly) and more out-of-touch? Not that I'm saying that a lot of current manufactured music is worth being "in touch" with- let alone listening to ;-), but that's beside the point.

Anyway, Slashdot's archetypal "bad manufactured modern pop" princess, Britney Spears, originally dates from the same period (despite having an ongoing career). And she (or her producers) have released at least two bona fide pop classics (Baby One More Time and Toxic)- manufactured or not- as well as some other decent pop stuff. Granted, she's also released an awful lot of worthless pap, but enough with the "everything Britney Spears does is crap" schtick.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922670)

Perhaps a sign that the Slashdot demographic is getting older (including myself, admittedly) and more out-of-touch?

Possibly. Although everyone here seems to listen to Japanese imports, creative commons music or death metal, so don't be too surprised if we have no idea who is in the top ten.

I doubt it... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922718)

Though I haven't experienced it first hand, is the DRM on the HD formats really any more effective than DRM on DVD? In case you have forgotten, DVD features CSS. While useless as it was defeated, it's still there. From what I hear, the HD formats haven't had more success in protected their keys in general, and though they now revoke them, I wonder what happens when keys from a moderately popular network-disconnected HD format set top box are compromised. So far the keys I hear compromised are desktop software, and they've required users to 'upgrade' to the new key to play back future content. Would they damn a whole set of legitimate customers and kill their reputation for the sake of a losing battle?

As much as DRM *should* bother people, on physical media in particular it doesn't seem to register with moth people.

No, I'd say it's predominantly the pricing, which was exacerbated by the ambiguous market situation. Buying *one* player was probably already too much money for the benefit, but to be safe they would have had to buy two players. Now with one factor, it's less bad, but HD playback devices I don't think have come down enough for the mass market to decide it worth it to replace their DVD players.

Re:Dear Hollywood (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923034)

Do you perhaps think that the "Slow HD uptake" referred to in the article might be as a consequence of the overwhelming cost of, and over-restrictive DRM associated with HD video?

Unequivocally no. Hint: The general public couldn't care less.

Have you thought perhaps that for the vast majority of spice-girl-loving, Shrek-3 adoring consumers, DVD is more than "Good enough"?

Again, no. High Definition, fully digital content is the wave of the future. 1080p is king!

So now that the successfully marketed plebes have been addressed, those of us who've taken enough time to read into the formats and screens and capabilities and what-not do realize that high def does look significantly better on a large screen (40+ inches) and you get better audio support on the high def discs.

Not only that, but your sentiment is the same one we heard ages ago when people said that VHS was simply "good enough". Back then too most of the DVD content was essentially the VHS movie transferred to a shiny round disc and sold at a higher price. When DVDs became ubiquitous the quality got better, cables and televisions improved to handle the higher quality output and VHS has been dying a slow death ever since.

Hope it works... (2, Interesting)

elwinc (663074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922392)

I hope the war ends quickly, and I hope blu-ray wins because blu-ray has a higher data rate (something like peak 48Mb/sec vs 32Mb/sec). Not to mention that blu-ray dual layer holds a whopping 50 gigs. But I'm not going to buy any kind of player until the war is clearly over.

A win for DRM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922470)

Doesn't it also have region coding where HD-DVD does not, not to mention AACS BD+?

Re:A win for DRM. (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922574)

HD-DVD supports AACS, Blu-ray supports AACS, region coding, BD+.

That may in part be why Blu-ray seems to be winning this "war".

But in either case, AnyDVD can decrypt all of that, yes, including BD+.

Re:Hope it works... (4, Interesting)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922542)

If storage size was all I cared about I'd agree with you. The DRM in blu-ray is less consumer friendly then HD-DVD. Not to mention I'd rather just about anyone control a standard for us then Sony. If HD-DVD was enough to give me HD movies, and it appears it was, I was hoping it would win out. But sadly the shifting DRM was probably why blu-ray's more appealing for the movie studios.

If there's a silver lining here it's that I think winning this race is meaningless. I don't think blu-ray is the next DVD. Laserdisc maybe.

Re:Hope it works... (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922644)

The DRM in blu-ray is less consumer friendly then HD-DVD

the drm in BOTH is totally unacceptable to me.

runnable code?? in a VIDEO disc?

oh please!

come back (vendors) when you have learned your lesson. we don't want no stinkin' "revoke lists" and all that java crap going on.

a/v players should JUST relay a/v bits to the display/speakers. and that's ALL.

in that respect, they both got it horribly wrong. so I boycott and will never buy bd/hd discs. buying only tells them that you approve and I will never approve of this. vote with your dollars.

Re:Hope it works... (3, Informative)

Mordaximus (566304) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922680)

Not to mention I'd rather just about anyone control a standard for us then Sony.

Good thing there is also Hitachi, LG, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung and Sharp then I guess. You do realize that Blu-Ray isn't a 'Sony' format?

I knew it... (5, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922398)

I knew that $199 HD-DVD player with 10 free HD-DVDs from Amazon.com was too good a deal to be true. But I got suckered into it anyway and bought myself one for the holidays. Betamax all over again.

I figured with HD-DVD players so cheap, they couldn't help but beat Bluray, with their absurdly overpriced players. Apparently I was duped by a dumping strategy - clearly they knew their market position was about to slip off a cliff and they decided to flood the market with cheap players.

I am boycotting further purchases of any high def DVD products for the next few years. This experience has left me utterly disgusted. Move piracy, here I come.

Re:I knew it... (-1, Flamebait)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922778)

Betamax all over again is right... The Sony product will take the fall, just as it always has.

Betamax, miniDisc, MemoryStick, UMD.... All Sony creations, all worthless, all failures, all reduced to half of a 4-foot shelving unit at Wal Mart until their demise some short months later. Even the PS3 is washed up at this point (as the PS2 was still outselling the PS3 less than a year ago, which was the last time I cared to look).

Who was complaining about the data rate of the two formats a few posts back? What difference does that make? My very first CD-Rom was 300k/s. The one I use now is 7800k/s. Give it some time.

Re:I knew it... (2, Insightful)

Justus (18814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922914)

That's a wonderful point, except that the article and the grandparent poster are complaining about HD-DVD. You know, the non-Sony format.

Personally, I don't really care who or what wins this stupid high-def format war, so long as it goes away. I suppose I'm technically in the Blu-Ray camp (I unexpectedly received a PS3 over the holidays), but mostly I just want to purchase high-definition movies without worrying about which studios are supporting which type of disc.

Re:I knew it... (2, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922794)

Betamax all over again.

Not really. Betamax players started cost over $1000 in 1977. Even by 1983, when Betamax was clearly losing the war, Betamax players started at $380. Adjusted for inflation this would be about $750-800. Buying both High Def DVD players really isn't a huge financial undertaking for most movie fans. $199 wasn't even a terrible price for the free DVDs you got, aside from lack of choice.

Any HD DVD you purchase in the next few years will continue to be playable until your player dies. By that time they'll all be available in the bargain bin.

Re:I knew it... (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922964)

Glad also that I never picked up the Xbox 360 drive for 160.00. Now if they started using it for games, it might have made a difference...

Sony formats (0)

barista (587936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922406)

After Betamax and the MiniDisc, maybe Sony is finally getting some luck.

Re:Sony formats (3, Funny)

sgant (178166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922492)

Yeah, Sony needs luck...poor poor company. On it's last legs...barely alive....struggling...

Oh wait...Sony?

Re:Sony formats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922730)

Yeah, cause the CD, DVD, 3.5 floppy were all utter failures...

BluRay vs HD-DVD as a multimedia format? (1)

ganesaraja12 (963631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922418)

I'm wondering how many times the death knell for one or the other sounds. First it's no-boobs Betamax BluRay (revised I know but yea) Then it's Warner and the warning to HD-DVD What next?

They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922442)

This thing of thinking one agreement will stop conflict has been done before.

There is one player left who will likely fight on, that being microsoft. They absolutely don't want blu ray to succeed, because that means they lose another round to Sony.

Should be fun seeing how they react.

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (1)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922490)

I'm hoping that if bad feelings between movie studios and Microsoft are the result, that perhaps Vista SP2 will loosen up on all the DRM crap. I'm sure that at least some of the deals they made with the MPAA to include system-slowing device polls in Vista might be lifted if they don't have as many people to keep happy.

Money from both camps. (4, Insightful)

vodevil (856500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922498)

Microsoft shouldn't care too much if blu-ray succeeds. The VC-1 codec that most blu-ray movies uses needs to be licensed from Microsoft. Money in their pocket either way.

Re:Money from both camps. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922588)

Yes, but if there was a Sony product that plays Bluray and directly competes against a Microsoft product that plays HD DVD, I think Microsoft might not be so happy.

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922562)

There is one player left who will likely fight on, that being microsoft. They absolutely don't want blu ray to succeed, because that means they lose another round to Sony.

Microsoft only has itself to blame if HD DVD fails. They could have bundled the HD DVD drive into the 360 (e.g. the top end "Elite" model), or promoted the external add-on more but they didn't. I suspect they know the format was doomed and didn't want any of their IP to get dragged down with it. Microsoft also have ambitions with downloadable content and may have perceived that ANY dominant physical HD format is a threat. This may explain why they've been propping up HD DVD, to prolong the war and sow confusion, but not wishing either side to actually win.

There were even rumours circulating this week that they might licence XBox 360 technology to other manufacturers. This was probably so that Toshiba could produce some HD DVD / 360 hybrid under their own brand and keep Microsoft out of the picture if it tanked. I wonder what will happen if there was substance to that rumour. I can't help but think an HD DVD / 360 device would be stillborn so it may be the first casualty of this announcement.

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (1)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922716)

>I wonder what will happen if there was substance to that rumour.

Hopefully it means what it did for Phillips with the CD-i: Soon, we'll have an absolutely fucking terrible, animated, side-scrolling Halo installment.

Choice Master Chief quote: "I'm so hungry I could eat a Brute!"

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922818)

I suspect they know the format was doomed and didn't want any of their IP to get dragged down with it.

Microsoft has significant IP in HD-DVD, and there was no way they "knew" the format was doomed (indeed, trends for the last twelve months, with HD-DVD showing much more momentum than Blu-ray, showed quite the opposite).

Indeed, the market hasn't spoken at all, and the likely explanation for Warner's decision was some back office hand greasing.

Microsoft left HD-DVD out of the Xbox 360 purely for cost/profit reasons: Unlike Sony, they couldn't take a loss on a speculative next generation player simply to build a base for their home electronics division (which is exactly how Blu-ray won this war. Without the PS3, Blu-ray would have been stillborn).

Warner's decision, and the inevitable outcome of it, is effectively a multi-billion dollar tax on the entire home electronics industry. [yafla.com]

But Warner got their greasing, and every consumer is going to pay for it.

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922906)

Should be fun seeing how they react.

It will be, there are rumours that they're about to announce a new Xbox with an HD-DVD player built in.

Re:They hold in their hand a peice of paper.... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922922)

[Microsoft] absolutely don't want blu ray to succeed, because that means they lose another round to Sony.

So we have the choice between Sony and Microsoft. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

For the sake of the root kits! (1)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922484)

A homogenous standard is long overdue which has been the main handicap in the development of new and better root kits.

Yay! Now root kits can evolve to their full potential! ;)

I was going to add a remark about welcoming our new Sony root kit based overlords, but I'll leave that for someone with limited imagination :)

Could be the end (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922486)

It's possible yet HD DVD might make some studios play musical chairs. But failing that I think the writing is on the wall for the format. HD DVD owners should probably take heart that there are going to be some excellent firesales and at least Toshiba and probably others are bound to produce hybrid players that play both titles for some time to come.

About time... (3, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922510)

I was wondering when this was going to make it to the front page. I've had an HD DVD player for the past few months, along with about 20 movies for it (half are HD DVD exclusives). I've been perfectly pleased with it, and I'm not particularly bitter about being on the "losing" side of things. Eventually I'll pick up a BD player, once the prices come down a bit more, and hopefully once they sort out their profile issues (c'mon, the ability to do PIP was only recently added, 1-1/2 years after the format came out). And I'm still hopeful that dual-format players will be available for a while to come, especially since there aren't too many hardware differences between the two formats. I think the most sensible thing for the HD DVD consortium to do would be to drop their licensing fees before too long, specifically to allow hardware manufacturers to add HD DVD capabilities to their players for little extra cost. Of course, there are still two studios that are HD DVD exclusive at the moment, and I'm sure Toshiba/MS/et al are going to try to fight it out till the bitter end. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Could MS release a Blu-Ray addon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922514)

I dont know how much SOny would charge them to license it, but I think it would be hilarious if MS could find a way to release a Blu-Ray drive for the 360.

if the 360 had blu-ray there would be no reason to own a PS3.

Re:Could MS release a Blu-Ray addon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922650)

I dont know how much SOny would charge them to license it ... if the 360 had blu-ray there would be no reason to own a PS3.

I wouldn't hold your breath on that idea.

Heh, there's a first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922518)

Sony actually won a format standard!

*goes ice skating in hell with the singing fat lady*

Re:Heh, there's a first! (1, Informative)

grapes911 (646574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923058)

Yes, a first. I makes me sick to think of all the Sony format players that I bought and then became utterly useless because of no media -- DVDs, CDs, foppies . . .

Screw Blu-Ray... (2, Funny)

yeremein (678037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922534)

Screw HD-DVD too.

I'm holding out for Gamma-Ray.

The format wars have only just begun (3, Insightful)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922612)

I am ignoring both of this broken format.

I won't buy any except perhaps some Chinese DRM free HD extended EVD. Or even just huge hard-drives. In five years time we will have 10 terabyte hard-drives as standard. Blueray disks are 25 Gb single layer and 50GB dual layer. A ten terabyte hard-drive can hold 200 to 400 of these films.

not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922554)

HD DVD isnt dead yet. It's still cheaper than blu ray so it has a chance.

Anyway, I can't wait for the next format battle .. will it be flourescent multilayer discs .. or a tech where the laser shines through multiple layers and the bytes of data is determined by the brightness after some error correction algorithms and realtime calibration of course.

Re:not dead yet (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922580)

HD DVD players have been cheaper because it's been subsidized thus far. Blu Ray hasn't had that luxury since a consortium of manufacturers are making devices. Even so, BD players are already under $300 and the chances are that they'll be fall below $200 too this year.

creators back human 'race' end times for megasloth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922564)

there's more than enough of everything for everyone, unless a handful of greed/fear/ego based LIEf forms continue to extract MUCH more than their fair share. if the notion of caring for/sharing with others does not suit you, just continue following the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn. whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile;

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]


Guess this means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922570)

...Apple will be releasing a BlueRay drive equipped MacPro for the video industry soon.

Yippie!!! I just hate backing up my HUGE music/video library to paltry DVD's.

Re:RTFA CmdrTaco (0, Redundant)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922710)

From now on? "Now" as in "May"?

You missed Taco's story about the perfection of the time machine? Oh wait, that's still posted in "the mysterious future".

Not likely (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922634)

Studios forget their history rather quickly. Back when DVDs where first coming out Circuit City came up with a competing format called DIVX (no, not the video codec, they just stole the name). The idea was that DIVX players could play DVDs, but also DIVX discs which were "enhanced" DVDs which you'd buy for cheap but then have to rent to play. Studios just loved the idea and a number like Fox, Paramount, and Dreamworks decided to release only on DIVX. Well as it turned out, that didn't matter. Consumers didn't like it, so they didn't buy it. DIVX died and it cost Circuit City a couple hundred million for their trouble.

So just because some studios are initially backing Blu Ray doesn't mean anything in the long run. They'll release their movies for whatever format consumers decide to buy, or they'll go out of business.

Also please remember we are a long, long way from any sort of critical point in the HD format move. It is going to be much slower than DVD, which wasn't all that fast. See with DVD, there was a reason for everyone to upgrade. Even if you had a small, crappy, TV, DVD was still better. The picture was generally better even on poor sets, but picture quality aside the other features were more important. No degradation, no rewinding, instant seeking, special features, smaller size, all these things added up to something that was worthwhile for everyone to purchase, regardless of what they watched on.

Not so for HD formats. The only benefit is image quality (and possibly sound quality for the few titles mastered with the new formats). Well, this means that the only people who are going to notice a difference are those who own HD TVs, which aren't all that many people at this point. Even if you do own an HD TV, the gain is marginal. No new features or anything, just a better picture. That's nice, but not a big deal especially since upconverting DVD players give an amazingly nice picture and since not all discs come from a high enough quality transfer to really look nice.

So it is a good while yet before there starts to be a critical mass of HD formats and there's any sort of victory in the HD war.

Finally, it is entirely possible neither format will win. It may be that dual format players become the norm and both formats continue to survive. This is rather feasible since both formats are on the same size disc, both use AACS encryption, both use the same video and audio codecs and so on. Indeed, there's a couple of companies working on dual format players right now. So it very well could work out that both formats continue to be released by different studios.

But to say that this is the end of the format wars is just wishful thinking.

Re:Not likely (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922750)

It is going to be much slower than DVD, which wasn't all that fast.

Wasn't DVD the fastest that any consumer electronics device/format has ever been adopted? I seem to recall seeing that a few places.

That's the whole point.... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923048)

> They'll release their movies for whatever format consumers decide
> to buy, or they'll go out of business.

The gist of the article is that customer can no longer decide to buy HD-DVD - 'cos there won't be any.

> Finally, it is entirely possible neither format will win.

I kinda doubt that, the ball is definitely rolling now. The biggest factor is the price of the players but that's dropping fast. This year they'll be below $100.

The only thing which could really move it one way or another would be recordable disks, ie. piracy. if one format becomes easy to copy then it could get a big boost.

But then again, you simply don't need 50Gb to pirate HD video. A standard 4.5Gb DVD with H264 compression can store a pretty damn good quality version of a movie. I don't know if there's hardware players which can do this yet but if there aren't, there will be soon.

Another chess move... so what? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922640)

Another chess move in a long, complicated game that is either being played by such idiots that it will last a long time, because none of them knows how to play... or is being played by such subtle, clever, brilliant chessplayers that it will last a long time, because none will be able to get a commanding advantage over the others.

Either way, I can't predict the winner, so why should I care?

What use is there (0)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922658)

for either format?

Both formats are outdated when it comes to counting capacity compared to current sizes of hard disks. When the CD appeared it was 650MB and the largest hard disk (if you could afford one) at the time were 100MB, which caused the CD to have a 6:1 advantage, but today a hard disk is of 1TB while the Blu-ray (if you are lucky) have 50GB of storage which means that there is a 1:20 disadvantage. And flash disks are now catching up on the optical disks - so the era of optical disk players may soon be begone and the era of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD may be an appendix in history.

The upcoming victim are probably the classic hard disk where the flash disks (or similar) may also take over eventually. The reason behind such transition is that solid state disks can have a much better reliability and speed - especially in harsh environments like laptops, but also servers may benefit here.

Re:What use is there (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922838)

It's not about the capacity, it's about the bandwidth. Both BluRay and HD-DVD are only able to send data from the disk to the player at around 30Mb/s (BluRay can do more, but the spec limits it for video data). I can currently buy a 20Mb/s consumer Internet connection cheaply and the speed has been doubling roughly every year to 18 months. In a year, I'll be able to stream data from the Internet as fast as I can from the surface of a disk. A set-top-box that allows me to rent HD videos on demand then becomes easy to build.

Re:What use is there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922980)

These formats allow cheap mass replication and easy monetized distribution of movies.

Where I loan DVD video... (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922660)

... There was a few month ago the first HD DVD and blue ray. For roughly a surface of 15*20 meters, the shop had a 1 single wall of 0,5 meter * 0,3 meter with both hd DVD and blue ray (5 or 6 can't remember, but i do remember thinking they not have taken the msot sucky film at that time). Today when i went to give back a DVD, there were 11 HD DVD on the same palce. For roughly a whole wall of 1 meter* 1 meter full of blu ray. I guess they did not present so MANY blu ray just to be nice and shiny. There are most probably more blu ray laoned than HD DVD. Mind you it is still clear their main loaning disk is the DVD : 7 or 8 walls for the whole length of the shop, + the extern wall of the shop itself are full of DVD.

I don't care for the HD DVD war out of many reason which were already cited (DRM, standard etc...). But in my mind, the war is decided, and if one of my friend absolutely want to buy one of the format, then I will recommend blu ray, jsut by the nubmer of blu ray one can loan.

Self-fulfilling Destiny (1)

SethraLavode (910814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922706)

Given how little effort Warner Brothers put into mastering their HD DVD titles and how universally they are panned for their terrible encoding, is it any surprise that customers avoided getting the HD DVD versions? While I'm disappointed in the news, I don't know that WB will be that large a coup for BluRay. The BR group already scored THE major blow by signing Disney on as an exclusive.

Last Great Hope (1)

omghi2u (808195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922742)

The last great hope for HD DVD is that they "convince" (financially) one of the Blu-Ray partners (think: Fox) with a LOT of money to dump Blu-Ray for HD DVD. Given the Warner example, the gap between their Blu-Ray and HD DVD sales, though into the ten's of millions, was not on the order of $100M, so monetarily convincing Fox could be in the $200-$250M range.

I don't have any preference over either format as I've purchased both, but I did think HD DVD was going to "win" prior to the Warner announcement. At least with Blu-Ray you get the original Transformers the Movie on Blu-Ray disc in the U.K. that can be bought from amazon.co.uk.

The poison is in the bloodstream (5, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922772)

BlueRay, HD-DVD, whatever. The genie is out of the bag. Torrents pouring video all over the planet, used DVD sales, online video, youtube, etc. BluRay is not going to dominate anything. IT's just goign to be another niche in the panoply of video standards. The point is that with ubiquity, things get consumed in different ways by people at different times and places.

The BR/HD devices may well take over where obese supine consumers mindlessly suck the tit of the Culture Industry in their overstuffed barcaloungers in the family "Enertainment Center". There, picture quality in a darkened and directed room makes sense. But that is only one particular consumption ritual practice. There are many others. My typical practice is watching video in tiny stuttering windows online, because I can watch one thing, check my email, and work on a project at the same time, or in short sequences. A friend of mine is the same, yet he uses a video projector as his screen. Parties at his place are great - watch online video? Sure. DVD? Sure. Dance Dance Revolution? WTF? Oooh, OK - why not... Wii? OK - but only after we watch that online video of the guy's head exploding. And freak out your sister with the goatse guy.

Betamax and VHS were such a pitched battle because there were no other options. Now, I can't get a cup of coffee without some giant flat panel telling me how white my shirts should be, and then I go to work, and some knucklehead sends me a link to a youtube video of the longest fart EVER, or I visit my brother and his 5 jillion channels of TV pumped all over every screen in the house, etc. etc.

In the early 1980s, there were fewer options, so there was more at stake in a format. Now, it's just another fish in the sea. And with bandwidth increases and everybody and his ugly cousin getting in on the online video action thanks to Flash video, I think it may well be that BR or HD will be the LAST disk format...


Tesco Value Cherryade (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922834)

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HD-DVD died ages ago (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922864)

In my local HMV, they have 1/3 of a disc rack dedicated to HD-DVD and nearly two racks for Blu-Ray. The only thing which is really stopping it from taking off is that each disc costs between £20-£30 ($60 to most of you), but I think that's probably what DVDs cost when they first came out. Also note that each PS3 sold (granted, they're not selling *that* fast) is another potential Blu-Ray customer.

Studio Support (3, Informative)

Verxion (169051) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922960)

Seems to me no one has mentioned something which to me says a lot:

"For a long time, Hollywood was lopsided in favor of Blu-ray: 7 of the 8 major movie studios (Disney, Fox, Warner, Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate and MGM) supported Blu-ray, and 5 of them (Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and MGM) release their movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. Only Universal was exclusively HD-DVD. Now that is rapidly changing what with HD DVD exclusive converts Paramout and DreamWorks Animation, and Warner Bros now for Blu-ray." (this from http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/boost-for-blu-ray-warner-bros-will-release-high-def-titles-exclusively-in-that-format/ [deadlineho...ddaily.com])

So in summary, we have:

HD-DVD Exclusive:


Bluray Exclusive:

Warner Bros

Not mentioned in the article above, I believe Universal Studios is actually HD DVD exclusive, but rumours seem to indicate that they aren't that way by contract, so they COULD jump ship. Further, New Line Cinema is owned by Warner Bros, so it would stand to reason that they will end up Bluray exclusive.

At this point, it LOOKS like a pretty lopsided situation to me. Add in that while supposedly HD-DVD players (and PCs with HD-DVD in them) have outsold bluray players, (again supposedly) bluray titles themselves seem to have outsold HD-DVD, especially in non US markets.

I have been reading about this since the news broke yesterday on places like http://engadgethd.com/ [engadgethd.com] and http://avsforum.com/ [avsforum.com] and it really sounds like even the HD-DVD diehards (for the most part) are conceding victory to bluray.


HD-DVD Isn't Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922962)

I think everyone is missing the point and if you think that this spells the end for HD-DVD then you're seriously mistaken. Just because Warner has thrown in with the wolves doesn't mean anything. You might find that some of these studios could change the tide if Microsoft decides to offer even more incentives like they did with Paramount.

I'm sure that Microsoft is keeping a close eye on the situation.

Finally (1)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923046)

I've had an HDTV for a year now. Nothing huge, just a 32" Sharp LCD. I got it mainly for the better aspect ratio; I was tired of watching cropped movies and letterboxed network television. It's also wonderful for watching sports, being able to see more of the field and tons of detail.

Despite the arguments some Slashdotters have made about the human eye being unable to distinguish between HD and SD on a small screen, it's a clear improvement even for me with uncorrected 20/40 vision. Buying 1080p for $1200 rather than 720p for $800 may have been overkill, but I might use the set as a whopping big computer monitor someday.

I really don't care much about the DRM. I don't buy movies, I get them from Netflix or on cable. So the cost to me stays the same and the ability to copy is unimportant. It would be nice to just download movies and shuffle them easily between all of my computer and TV screens, but my Internet bandwidth just isn't ready for that yet.

I have HDTV now and I want to watch HD movies now. As soon as there's a non-sucky player for $100 I'm in.

i hope it's over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923062)

i really do hope this battle of the formats is over. ive already bought a blu-ray player (my ps3) and blu-ray movies. this schism is screwing the consumers because we have to own two players to get all the movies we like. i do think blu-ray will eventually prevail so i feel bad for the people investing in HD-DVD, like my co-worker. :/
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