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NPD Group Says "Wait! HD-DVD Isn't Dead Yet"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-on-the-cart dept.

Media 279

The NPD group, owners of the not-quite-as-popular-as-they-had-hoped HD-DVD format, attempted to battle back against the tide of "naysayers" who claim that the format war is over and have declared Blu-Ray Disc the winner. "While select articles have implied that HD-DVD as a format is doomed and the sky is falling for the format's supporters, the NPD Group this afternoon reinforced that sales results from a single week do not necessarily indicate a trend, and that the week in question had several intriguing variables that have gone unreported."

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279 comments

A Modest Proposal (2, Insightful)

divide overflow (599608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191810)

If the NPD Group really wants to shake things up they ought to offer free HD-DVD licenses.

Re:A Modest Proposal (5, Interesting)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191912)

They need to get burners to market in mass quantity as well as offer those licenses for free or very very small royalties.

Like pennies per unit. Plus they need to get the consumer on their side. The more hd-dvd players out there the more the industry has to listen. Unfortunately with the economy tanking this is hard. Right now I personally would put money making on the back burner and just look to break even. Make hd-dvd discs cheaper to buy then a normal dvd and make the players cheaper. At that point this whole thing can turn around , with consumer demand the studios have to listen. If smaller studios stick to the format then there really can be a price market , smaller studios usually make lower cost films and don't need to recoup so much back.

The reason I say they need burners in high volume asap, is that whether they like it or not piracy is often times a real boost to sales. It's been proven that it helps.( http://www.stargeek.com/item/41324.html [stargeek.com] ) ( http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=243454 [com.com] )

The american and canadian dbs providers , even cable can thank piracy for large subscriber growth. They really should get those burners out in high volumes fast.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192102)

The reason I say they need burners in high volume asap, is that whether they like it or not piracy is often times a real boost to sales.

And don't forget about "nature films" and the purpose of using the media/format for computer data backup, even if it is insufficient for larger volumes today.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192110)

The reason I say they need burners in high volume asap, is that whether they like it or not piracy is often times a real boost to sales
Forget volume, they need to make a decent burner, period. [engadget.com]

Re:A Modest Proposal (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192298)

It isn't just piracy. As a pc tech I would LOVE a cheap HD-DVD burner to use to back up mine and my customers data files. Plus it would be great for discs full of drivers, older software, etc. Even if it was only the 25Gb discs that were cheap, I think a lot of folks would buy them for backups. I really think they could turn this around ( and have said so in previous posts on the subject) if they can get cheap burners and media into the hands of the public.


Blu-Ray at this point is simply too expensive to be any good for backups,at least for me. And I care more about burning my own media than I do about formats, which is why I and a LOT of people I know are sticking with DVD.And let us not forget that the cheapness of digicams and other forms of user content creation. And people are a lot more used to being able to burn a disc and share it with friends than passing around hard drives. I just hope they are forward thinking enough to see this instead of helping Blu-Ray kill the competition by keeping licenses high.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192598)

Make hd-dvd discs cheaper to buy then a normal dvd and make the players cheaper. At that point this whole thing can turn around , with consumer demand the studios have to listen.

I would settle for HD-DVD disc being the same price as DVD. I think that would help give the industry the shot in the arm it needs. But right now I have to pay $25 for Top Gun on HD-DVD. That's too much for my Maverick fix.

Re:A Modest Proposal (0)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191964)

This would be breach of fiduciary. What benefits one doesn't necessarily benefit another, and there's a wide consortium of interests here.

The whole "scorched earth" idea of let's just ruin the potential of anybody making any profit if that keeps Sony from making any profit is pretty freaking pathetic.

We have a great hi cap format, it's called blu-ray. Toshiba stands to make money from it, just not as much as HD-DVD could have netted. These companies have no reason to just make licenses free. Doing so would take billions of dollars out of the market.

Also, I don't see how it helps you to have a slightly cheaper optical disc solution with no movies released on it. Unless piracy is your thing, what do you do with that? It's a terrible backup solution compared with spare HDDs or networked backups. Maybe I'm missing something.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192676)

Cheaper. Finalized spec. No region encoding. No extensible DRM. High definition audio codecs mandatory (good thing for BD they have extra space to waste on uncompressed audio). Combo discs for backwards compatability with DVD players. I'll stick with HD DVD or DVD until BD is far more compelling.

(I agree regarding back-ups though. Flash memory is cheap and convienent for casual file transfer. External and network drives are cheap and convienent backups. Just don't see the optical formats as particular compelling for anything but video, and considering the typical length of home videos most people would be just as well served master their content in HDRED or AVCREC on regular DVDs.)

Re:A Modest Proposal (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192138)

I'm trying to work out why the submitter thinks the NPD group has anything to do with HD DVD at all, let alone that they're the supporters. You appear to think the same thing. NPD is a market research firm. They, amongst other things, collect tallies of sales figures and pass this on to analysts and industry. They're complaining that various outlets misinterpreted their latest figures showing an immediate drop in HD DVD player sales just after the Warner announcement. One of those outlets was Slashdot, yesterday. They're not "supporters" of HD DVD, any more than they're "supporters" of Blu-ray.

too bad, so sad (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191812)

"the NPD Group this afternoon reinforced that sales results from a single week do not necessarily indicate a trend"

true, but the format is on its way out. People have been waiting for a sign of which way to go, and now they have it. The rumor is out.

Re:too bad, so sad (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191968)

Yeah. One weeks sales trends can be misleading, but they are ignoring all the big corporations jumping ship. Sony will win this one...

Re:too bad, so sad (2, Insightful)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191972)

Next to go: Blu-Ray. Who's still going to be buying plastic discs in 5-10 years time, when a significant amount of people actually have the hardware necessary for viewing HD content?

Re:too bad, so sad (2, Interesting)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192062)

I agree , I would like to see content distributed on read only memory cards. I seen 32 gig cards were do out soon. Why can't we see a new format using these instead of optical discs ? Supposedly they are cheap to produce and the newer flash memories can provide enough read speed to watch movies off them. Why not a little more investment in it to make it even faster then optical discs, and completely be done with optical discs.

But that would fail because they probably couldn't pack as much DRM on them to protect the "content".

Re:too bad, so sad (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192124)

But that would fail because they probably couldn't pack as much DRM on them to protect the "content".
Actually - it will be the opposite - they may go that way to be able to protect their content even harder! Add a chip that decrypts when the correct key is given, insert time-limiting factors etc. No limit on how hard you can limit the content access then.

OK - you want subtitles - pay!, You want Spanish language - pay!, You want original language - pay! (or you will be stuck with the Indian guy talking bad English for all the actors in the film).

They may even be able to store the same film in different cuttings on the same media and just provide different indexes. Can mean that you can control the content rating of a film from open to 18+ just by selecting the scenes to display. Or if the religious zealots gets their way deflate all women's chests and cut out any possible bulges but still show ways of how to blow your brain out!

So don't think that just because it's solid state it's less safe.

Re:too bad, so sad (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192146)

True but the the beauty is that then it turns into a micro code hacking contest in which we have the hardware , much like smart cards have become the thing to hack. There will always be this cat and mouse game as long as people make a product and some one knows how it works. Unless they make it so cheap there is no point in stealing it, or they make it so hard to steal that it's not economically feasible to steal it.

Is HD-DVD only mostly dead? (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192552)

This sounds very familiar...

Miracle Max: It just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.
Thanks a big tip o' the hat to The Princess Bride [imdb.com] .

There is another thing to consider. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22191824)

Not everyone bothers to read sites like Slashdot and Digg. Many may have no clue about what's been going on in the HD DVD war. So they see lower prices and they switch to that format. Warner hasn't yet released all their movies on Blu Ray, and their current HD DVD stock is probably still out there.

Re:There is another thing to consider. (2, Informative)

mporcheron (897755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192072)

In the UK, I recall seeing this on the Beeb (six o'clock news) and I'm pretty sure Sky news. Mainstream media may be slow but something like this is quite major.

Why the hate? (2, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191832)

So does everyone here hate HD DVD because of some orrational hatred of Microsoft? I personally like HD DVD for it's cheaper price and the lack of heavy handed tactics used to try and force us all to convert. One of us. One of us. One of us.

Might as well ask the same in reverse (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191882)

So do you hate BluRay because of some irrational hatred of Sony? I personally like BluRay because it comes free with a PS3 and the lack of have handed tactics by MS (such as buying support) used to try and force us all to convert. One of us. One of us. One of us.

Frankly if you want to look at the sides involved you could at most choose the lesser of two evils, lets see who is the convicted monopolist again? Who is the rootkit company again? Who insist on ignoring standards and enforcing their own inferior solutions on the public?

Sorry, this format war was about the difference between Jack Johnson and John Jackson. If the parties involved had been smart they would simply have merged their products and saved everyone a lot of trouble.

Oh and I don't hate MS, I just don't trust them, they got a very long history of lying to serve their own goals. Sony does the same, but I have never ever been forced to use a Sony product that was riddled with bugs. Can you say the same for MS?

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0, Troll)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191954)

I dislike Sony because it's Japanese, we don't have many of our goods sold there but they sell a ton here.

I don't like being forced into buying a new player every time they want to update their specs. hd-dvd had those features at launch, why didn't blu-ray ? At this point I think hd-dvd is the lesser of 2 evils at the moment.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191988)

I dislike Sony because it's Japanese,
I see. Toshiba is an American company now?

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1, Interesting)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192016)

No , but read further down , right now hd-dvd is the lesser of 2 evils.

If i have to buy imported stuff at least let it be the lesser of the 2 evils.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192136)

Not to put words into your mouth, but are you're saying you prefer it because it's the lesser of 2 evils?

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

Silas is back (765580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192216)

If i have to buy imported stuff at least let it be the lesser of the 2 evils.
Wow, what a stupid statement. You are a poor guy, you have to make this decision every time you buy electronic gear I suppose. What is the lesser of 2 evils, "Made in China" or "Made in Vietnam"?

And I ask myself, is it easy to fuel your car with locally produced gas?

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (2, Insightful)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192078)

OK, at least you're honest.

You do realize that HD-DVD players are also Japanese, right? No? You mean bigoted morons are ignorant? Shock. Frankly, Sony competes side by side against South Korean and American electronics. It just does its best, and has no monopolies. Microsoft does not compete fairly and has serious monopolies that it exploits. We're a global economy, and Sony is a lot better for us than MS is. You are free, moron, to buy stock in Sony.

And how are you beinf forced to buy a new blu-ray player? All blu-ray players play all blu-ray movies. Sure, you can't surf the internet or save clips on old ones. So what? This is a typical dishonest attack.

HD-DVD is definitely the lesser of two evil. Less fun, less successful, less content, less future, less value, less alive. It's over.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192374)

Again , if I gotta buy something imported , I choose the lesser of the 2 evils. At least it looks like I may have , in the future , a way to back up my hd dvd's if i choose to buy them. Blu-ray has the bd mark which will not let players play encrypted content with out it.

So let's say I create a video and want to sell it but not let folks copy it. I can't encrypt the disc and have it played in another player unless I pay to have the discs pressed. With hd-dvd I can change the encryption key to my own and make it at least semi difficult for some one to rip a copy of. A non technical person can't just rip a copy of it yet , like they can with a normal dvd.

I do have to say the drm sucks on the blu-ray system. It's made strictly for the big boys who have much to lose and not even remotely possible for the little guy to use.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192554)

So let's say I create a video and want to sell it but not let folks copy it. I can't encrypt the disc and have it played in another player unless I pay to have the discs pressed. With hd-dvd I can change the encryption key to my own and make it at least semi difficult for some one to rip a copy of. A non technical person can't just rip a copy of it yet , like they can with a normal dvd.
If your preference for HD-DVD is based in the virtues of it's DRM support then you're definitely in the wrong forum.

Seriously, if you produce a video with a big enough market that people even want to copy it, then you are likely sending it to a replicator and not burning them one at a time on your home PC. So the argument is moot.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192370)

Heh. Everything's made overseas now dude. The only thing still being made in America is money, and we'll see how long that lasts.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (2, Interesting)

doctor_no (214917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192658)

You gotta be kidding. Sony is certainly more American then Toshiba, Sony's biggest share-holder is American (Dodge & Cox), not to mention its run by an Welsh-American CEO. By comparison, Toshiba has to be the most un-American company in existence. During the Cold War, Toshiba was found guilty of illegally selling the Soviet Union and helping build propellers for Russian nuclear submarines that could sneak past NATO's defenses, which is against the COCOM agreement that the US and Japan are both part of. Congress almost past a bill that would ban all Toshiba products being sold in the US.

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19871201faessay7874/george-r-packard/the-coming-u-s-japan-crisis.html [foreignaffairs.org]

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

brianmotzen (1227320) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191990)

Since Microsoft is much less involved in HD-DVD than Sony is in Blu-Ray, it is not only irrationnal, but a bit uninformed, to use Microsoft practices are a main argument to judge the HD-DVD format. It is not like the ODF vs OOXML debate. Ironically, if the was a company to blame for trying to push its own format it would be Sony in this case by bundling Blu-Ray with its PS3. It is a bit funny that you mention this point as an argument FOR Blu-Ray :) Anyways, there are many other arguments for perferring one format, another or neither, which are more accurate than Sony's or Microsoft's practices. Personnally if I had to choose between both I'd choose HD-DVD for the lack of region coding and the fact they have less DRM.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0, Flamebait)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192120)

How does it help you that HD-DVD has less DRM? What do you get out of that? Something tells me that you are precisely the reason blu-ray is winning. There really is very little reason to backup these discs until hard drive capacity is much larger. The discs are very durable and they are very large, so backup is far less likely to be your reason. Preventing piracy is a very good thing. Blu-ray has features letting you share content with other devices, etc. Pretty realistic and consumer friendly, while fucking pirates in the ass (like Sony did to lik-sang).

Now MS is not involved in HD-DVD, but has been paying tens of millions to harm blu-ray. Why? because they want both standards to fail, and realize HD-DVD lost ages ago. It's exploiting it's monopoly to interfere in an unrelated market. It's not uninformed to resist that. It would be idiotic to buy an HD-DVD player at this point.

Also, you criticize Sony for selling blu-ray players in PS3s. For selling their own product. What the hell is wrong with you? This is utterly benign conduct.

Anyway, Sony is a pretty fair competitor. They've ruled video games, pretty much still do in terms of revenue, and Nintendo and MS are thriving anyway. They have been perfectly friendly working with Toshiba and Samsung, their major competitors. They aren't zealous, they respond to poor sales by creating better products. Microsoft dominated Browsers and destoryed netscape, dominated office aps and destroyed many competitiors, same for operating systems. They force sales on customers in a way Sony just doesn't. Obviously there is no comparison.

Do you want Microsoft to dominate your living room, for the xbox to be the only viable platform for games, for MS's movie downloads to succeed? We all know this would be very bad for consumers, resulting in lower quality and higher prices and horrible DRM (bad DRM = less usable, not less pirate-able). MS is a real threat, and blu-ray and the PS3 is the only real competitor.

That's why MS is pouring so much money into this format war. You see the fact that MS isn't really invested in HD-DVD, and think that is a plus for them? It's a huge minus.

oh, and one last point: blu-ray is better. It sounds better, it holds more data, has more movies, and it moves away from the dvd forum monopoly and such shifts are generally healthy. Lack of region coding really is the only legitimate gripe I know of, and it's not a big deal for me or 99.99999999999999999999999999% of the world.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

brianmotzen (1227320) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192434)

Less DRM is always better for the consumer point of view as it implies more freedom of use. As for piracy (which is meant to prevent), AACS alone is not trivial to bypass for the average user and neither scheme will prevent anyone from downloading once released ("crack once, seed everywhere"). By the way, AACS is mandatory in BR, even if you want to produce your own stuff and release in in a copyleft licence.

> Also, you criticize Sony for selling blu-ray players in PS3s. For selling their own product. What the hell is wrong with you? This is utterly benign conduct.

I don't criticize them for that. What I criticize is when Microsoft does similar things with Windows (bundling IE, WMP, ...), it is seen as "bad" but when it is Sony, is is seen as "good". Even is Sony does not have a near-monopoly in the console market, their market share is big enough to have a similar influence. Too bad the PS3 did not sell as good as expected.

I am sorry to tell that Microsoft is not the ultimate evil as you seem to mean. In regards for interoperability, open-standards and "free cometition", ALL companies (which includes also Sony, Apple, ...) are potential threats since vendor-lockin and monopolies are always more profitable. The fact that Microsoft's past and current business practices are to blame and their dominance in the Operating System/Office/Browser market are not excuses to support blindly another company whose practices are not better than them.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192612)

I agree with your points 99.999%, but just to clarify, Lik-Sang are pirates exactly how? They were just harmless traders, didn't smuggle merchandise, or anything. 'Grey exporters' would be appropriate, at most.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192450)

Why does Blu-Ray have region codes? we had to put up with that crap from DVDs for so long why don't people learn?

in the 21st century there shouldn't be computability issues they should be a thing of the past we have gotten rid of alot of them over the years then sony want to introduce new ones.

Why would anyone want to ever trust sony? I have never had Microsoft deliberately to something malicious to my PC but with sony its the norm.

Oh look Blu-Ray has better DRM looks like Sony are up to their old tricks.

~Dan

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192494)

DVD Forum were looking at implementing region coding. They'd have had to have done it for some of the (asshat) studios to come over, had this "war" gone the other way.

Which is a damned shame.

I must say I don't get why some people are so rabid about this issue though. Who really cares, other than the tiny minority of early adopters?

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192458)

I hate Blu-ray because of the region coding. This might not be a problem in USA or Japan, but it sucks to be an European consumer once again.

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192534)

I do hate Microsoft, and rejoice when ever that slimy company fails at anything. I I said in my previous post to the earlier article that was modded down to ( -1 Flaimbait ) by the M$ faithful zombies, "Good (it's dead), Fuck Microsoft".

Ahhh, I feel better now.

 

Re:Might as well ask the same in reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192672)

It comes FREE with a PS3?
[insert the obligatory flame]

Re:Why the hate? (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192002)

I don't have an orrational hatred of Microsoft, I do have an irrational hatred of them. Thats the not-so-sneaky kind...

Re:Why the hate? (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192004)

first, it seems like there were extremely heavy handed tactics used by MS to, once again, damage a market and exploit it.

I don't think there is anything irrational in resisting Microsoft doing for the umpteenth time what they have done over and over before. They don't want HD-DVD to succeed, they want the consumers to be confused and screwed until their internet distro takes off.

And cheaper for early adopters is a piss poor reason to pick a standard. It's pretty obvious that both blu-ray and hd-dvd are plummeting in price, and in a few years there will probably be 50$ players for blu-ray.

If anything, I see a hell of a lot more irrational anti-Sony ferver in the HD-DVD camp than I see anti-MS fervor from the blu-ray folks. Blu-ray is a much better format. Uncompressed audio, larger discs, better DRM (which doesn't affect me at all but is better for studios).

What heavy handed tactics are you talking about, and are they really unique to one side? Or perhaps one side won because they were better.

At this point, if you prefer HD-DVD, it's because you're crazy. It's cheaper because it's being disposed of, at great losses. And Microsoft certainly has earned the negative reaction it gets. They can now get in line and start paying for blu-ray licenses.

Re:Why the hate? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192280)

I think it will be quite a while before internet distribution of HD movies will take off. The infrastructure won't be able to support everybody downloading Shrek IV on release day. Having a physical product has some advantages. You can stockpile them, and then when they are ready for release, they can be distributed extremely quickly. With bandwidth, you can't stock pile it for later. If 1,000,000 people go to download Shrek IV on release day, the server will be fried. Just look at how well Wii Shop channel worked on Dec. 25 2007.

Re:Why the hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192666)

This is completely true.
I love it when people always bring up Digital Distribution, because they pretty much pay no attention to what they will be distributing that content on, the internets!
Already, ISPs are bitching about bandwidth issues (net netruality and all that nonsense of breaking the protocols into groups of priority and price)
"oh, Youtube is killing the tubes, alert the president!"
DD will not happen for a very long time, particularly in America.

Thats pretty much the reason why i want Blu-ray to finally kill of HD-DVD, its just a better disc and has had its life planned out well before it was officially released.
Now this happens, and Toshiba will end up selling at a loss, MS will probably come in to help with that loss, other studios will notice some sales, they'll think "PROFIT!", and probably switch, prolonging yet another pointless war and we all suffer.
Damn you Toshiba. Damn you all the way to Hades. Just call it quits already, lessen the damage.

Re:Why the hate? (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192018)

So does everyone here hate HD DVD because of some orrational hatred of Microsoft? I
I "hate" it because it's dead. If it would have been successful I would have been behind it. I almost thought it was last August when Paramount went exclusive... but it's over now and any foot-dragging on Toshiba/Microsoft's part just delays the production of quality content being distributed to the masses.

Re:Why the hate? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192044)

So does everyone here hate HD DVD because of some orrational hatred of Microsoft? I personally like HD DVD for it's cheaper price and the lack of heavy handed tactics used to try and force us all to convert.

One of us.
One of us.
One of us.
OS X, the de facto standard on Movie production doesn't have any kind of HD-DVD support. Nothing. XCode is there, driverkit, quicktime SDK, extensive documentation, top class developer accounts, the fact of being number 1 mac software vendor.

Where is HDVD support for OS X?

Why a rich consumer (not pro) can write BluRay discs via Toast+BluRay firewire recorder but professionals can't? Because there is Microsoft involved. Basic. If you start a new system, format, go with a real professional company who actually cares about the formats reach.

Re:Why the hate? (1)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192338)

I think we can all agree that it isn't practical to have two different format of HD Media. It brings annoyances for everyone in the chain: publishers, manufacturer, retailers and consumers.

Our difference is in our idea of what makes a format better than an other.

For me HD is all about approaching the quality of the original content. So it's the potential fidelity of the content which matters the most.

The maximum video bitrate for HD DVD is 28 mbits/s, for Blu-Ray it's 40 mbits/s, about 40% more. So Blu-ray > HD DVD.

Low video rate (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192588)

I pretty much like it less because it's a lossy HD format that has a lower video bitrate. If we're going lossy here, I want the highest bitrate possible. This is HD, we're not supposed to see artifacts anymore. I want to see the least amount possible. I really don't care that it doesn't have a DVD side, I don't care about any interactive features, I just want a really good looking movie.

I like Blu Ray (1)

EW87 (951411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191838)

Because I have a PS3 is really the only reason. I don't want an Add-on on my 360, just like the stupid DVD add-on for the original XBOX.

This calls for ... (3, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191852)

A customer enters a multimedia shop.

Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

(The owner does not respond.)

C: 'Ello, Miss?

Owner: What do you mean "miss"?

C: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

O: We're closin' for lunch.

C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this hd-dvd what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

O: Oh yes, the, uh, the format...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

C: Look, matey, I know a dead hd-dvd when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable format, the hd-dvd, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!

(shouting at the hardware)

'Ello, HD-DVD! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle movie for you if you show...(owner hits the hardware)

O: There, he moved!

C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the hardware!

O: I never!!

C: Yes, you did!

O: I never, never did anything...

C: (yelling and hitting the hardware repeatedly) 'ELLO HD!!!!!

Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!

(Takes hd-dvd out of the hardware and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

C: Now that's what I call a dead hd-dvd.

O: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!

C: STUNNED?!?

O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Formats stun easily, major.

C: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That hd-dvd is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

O: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?

O: The hd-dvd format prefers kippin' on it's back! Remarkable format, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!

C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that hd-dvd when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting in its hardware in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.

(pause)

O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

C: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this hd-dvd wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!

O: No no! 'E's pining!

C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This hd-dvd is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!

'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

THIS IS AN HD-DVD!!

Bad Summary, NPD Doesn't Own HD-DVD (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191854)

The summary is partially incorrect. The NPD Group [wikipedia.org] is a research firm, they do not own the HD-DVD format or anything close to it. The closest thing to HD-DVD's owners would be the DVD Forum [wikipedia.org] , which is a consortium of companies.

The reason NPD is involved in this is because they are one of the big research firms for tracking sales data. NPD is the firm that released the earlier reporting talking about HD-DVD hardware sales slowing [slashdot.org] and this is a clarification of that. They are pointing out that one week's results can not be extrapolated to argue that HD-DVD is dying/dead like many people did, it's too short of a time period in a week with several unusual variables.

Re:Bad Summary, NPD Doesn't Own HD-DVD (0, Troll)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192020)

NPD realizes they are irrelevant now, and no one is going to want to pay attention to them now that the format war has obviously ended.

They, like MS, have ulterior motives to having this wasteful format war continue. They are now a disgrace.

Re:Bad Summary, NPD Doesn't Own HD-DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192512)

That wouldn't make any sense. NPD doesn't just cover movie players (or even consumer electronics for that matter), they track everything from hail gel to game consoles to staplers.

Re:Bad Summary, NPD Doesn't Own HD-DVD (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192646)

Oh my, I didn't know there was Hitler branded gel around for sale. What has the world come to?

Re:Bad Summary, NPD Doesn't Own HD-DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192562)

Moonpie, by making such inane statements as this, you are just proving that you are an irrational fanboy and nothing more.

Misleading summary (1)

mincognito (839071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191874)

The NPD group are not the owners of the HD-DVD format, they are a market research company. Toshiba is a major client so statements from NPD in regard to HD-DVD should be taken with a grain of salt.

As Richard Pryor said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22191900)

I Ain't Dead Yet #%$#@!!

Not so fast... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22191932)

As an insider I can attest to the fact that the online world has been nailed by one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns ever waged in a digital format war. An unnamed company (or three) got together before the recent announcement by Warner Bros in the weeks before CES to orchestrate this domino effect. The game plan was, in a nutshell, that Warner Bros would announce their support for Blu-Ray (even though they will continue to make HD-DVD for some time) and their subsidiaries would follow closely with announcements. Then it was revealed that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment would reaffirm their commitment to the format. This information was fed into the biggest gadget blogs with the underlying message that the war is over. This was parroted near verbatim by submissions to all of the major technology and social bookmarking sites. Major audio video forums had been primed with posters working for the viral marketing firms employed to pull this off. Overnight every major site on the internet along with mainstream media was singing the Blu-Ray song. To make sure the statistics following CES would confirm the "Blu-Ray has won" story manufacturers were heavily discounting Blu-Ray players. This week, much to no ones surprise, this came true.

So why am I sharing this? I am firmly in the Blu-Ray camp but the techniques employed in this war have been rather unethical. Which blog or news agency will be the first to hunt down the facts in this story to confirm my story?

Don't buy it? Then read this article on TechChrunch [techcrunch.com] which describes the same techniques used to market viral videos.

Re:Not so fast... (3, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192000)

As an insider I can attest to the fact that the online world has been nailed by one of the most successful viral marketing campaigns ever waged in a digital format war. An unnamed company (or three) got together before the recent announcement by Warner Bros in the weeks before CES to orchestrate this domino effect.
I heard they also flew a missile into the Pentagon. Did you know that a real airliner couldn't have made that hole and that they stole all the tapes of the event?

^^ MOD troll down ^^ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192014)

how does that have any relevance to the OP?

Re:^^ MOD troll down ^^ (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192326)

It's relevant because the OP just as verifiable as the post you call a troll. The parent to your post was making a point that just because some AC on slashdot said it is so, that doesn't make it so. The OP is trolling and pretending to be an 'industry insider' and you are lapping it up like a kitten with a bowl of milk.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192046)

How in the world is this unethical?

Are you insane? Warner moving over was a big deal, so why not maximize the news?

HD-DVD players are absurdly discounted, and the sales figures are cited with as much attention as the DVD forum can muster. But when blu-ray players do the same this is somehow wrong? Why?

Blu-ray won. Better business plan. They got the right partners, had their discounts at the right time, and the customer clearly prefers it. They masterfully communicated the truth: that the war is over.

Sure, NPD Microsoft, and others are pretending the war isn't over, but they don't want the war to even end. They want both standards to fail. THAT's UNETHICAL.

Blu-ray is playing fair, as far as I can tell. Certainly telling several media sources of some news that is totally accurate is not unethical.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

oenone.ablaze (1133385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192090)

Docs or it didn't happen... if we're to believe your conspiracy theories, who's to say that you're not working for a viral marketing firm for the NPD group? That's certainly more plausible than your claim that you're a blu-ray whistleblower...

Re:Not so fast... (4, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192108)

Whether all the press has been orchestrated or not is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that Blu-ray has the majority of the studio support and has the higher market share. An undecided buyer would have to be pretty brave to bet on HD-DVD at this point.

Re:Not so fast... (2, Informative)

olman (127310) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192270)

Except that by buying HD-DVD player you get cheap upscaling DVD player that can play HD discs as a bonus.

Not much bravery required. It's not like the player stops working if some studio stops supporting it.

Re: Not so fast... (1)

sakurakira (1227342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192134)

Assuming your post is accurate... given that Sony lost the first format war (Betamax vs VHS), I'm not surprised that they are using every scheme that they have. I'm not really for either format at the moment, I just want to continue to be able to watch the DVDs I have in my large collection, on whatever new player I'm eventually forced to buy. Unethical or not, I'll have to resign myself to using the technology of the winning format if I want to continue to watch new DVDs released by major movie studios.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192158)

As the statement goes "All's fair in love and war.".

Just go figure what this is about...

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192186)

??? does anyone really care ???

We just want the "war" to end so we can get our highdef player and load up on disks, knowing that we picked the side that will still be around.

Besides, I am sure the losing side (either one) is already working on the next next gen that is yet another 100% better the current battling options.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192190)

Regardless of the cause, isn't it a good thing that the format war ends? I blame both "sides" for it, so I don't care which folds.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192254)

Sounds like a load of crap to me.

The Warner switch was a big deal, and by all accounts both sides were heavily lobbying Warner (and some of those already in the BD camp) to commit or recommit to their side.

Now, there's been a lot of stupid stuff said since, such as yesterday's bizarre reporting of the NPD results by Slashdot, and this article's even more bizarre claim that NPD is another name for the DVD Forum, but honestly, I seriously doubt that Slashdot is controlled by the Blu-ray consortium. I think the editors are just, well, not always very good at analyzing what's going on. And, ignoring yesterday and today, it does look bad for HD DVD if most studios are refusing to put their content on it. Do you really need a "viral marketing campaign" to persuade people of that?

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192286)

As the CEO of one of the companies in question, I can attest to the fact that anyone can post as an AC on Slashdot and claim to be an 'insider' with secret knowledge.

They are usually just trolls, much like you.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

random0xff (1062770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192586)

I don't really care, though it's very interesting and, if true, actually pretty cool that they pulled that off. But the war needs a winner for it to stop, so let's have a winner and be done with it. Stop the killing...

This is getting absurd (0, Troll)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22191950)

People like to complain that Warner stabbed HDDVD folks in the back, but this is a true stab in the back.

These guys know it's over and are trying to squeeze the last few bucks out of this things before it's all over, so they put out crap like this to get a few suckers.

It's bad for the industry, for their partners (except Microsoft), for the consumer, to let this format war last any longer, and it's over, so let's move on.

These folks are starting to embarrass themselves.

Not dead yet! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22191966)

We havent lost all our money! HAH stupid bluray thinking they'd beaten us!

Karma-whoring suggestion (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192038)

HD-DVD can make a comeback. How, you ask? Make it a DRM-free format :)
 
While I'm dreaming, I'd like an F-15.

Re:Karma-whoring suggestion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192118)

HD-DVD: At least it's region free. I can't effing believe that Sony wanted to continue the region-coding madness.

Re:Karma-whoring suggestion (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192162)

You laugh, but HD DVD is at least a DRM optional format like DVD. Blu-ray mandates AACS - you can't press a Blu-ray disc without AACS for some reason.

Not that any studios are putting out AACS free HD DVD discs, but the possibility is there for any company that wants to act ethically - or that just doesn't see the onerous licensing requirements as worth the money supposedly saved by using DRM.

And yeah, I like the fact HD DVD is region free too.

Essentially (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192092)

Both formats are dead. Neither will come up to the level of success that DVD has had.

Several reasons:

  • Pricing is a lot higher - higher than what the provided quality actually provides. (OK, DVD:s suffered from the same in the beginning)
  • They have competition from the classic DVD:s and need a real smash hit on blue-ray/HD-DVD only to really get going.
  • The competition from the net is a factor to count on. Today you can download and play on your PC and monitors are available at 1920/1200 for a reasonable price - which means that as soon as cameras get higher resolution your home PC is able to play...
  • The advantage of optical disks has been lost and hard disks are way ahead of the optical and solid state disks are catching up fast and will overtake the capacity of optical disks. This means that the need/use for optical disks as a backup medium is now over and this will result in a lower demand for burnable Blue-ray and HD-dvd drives/media.
So - this is a case of shooting yourself in the foot while barking up the wrong tree.

Anyway - the formats aren't completely dead - they are just not good enough. There will always be buyers/users, but don't expect them to be as mainstream as the DVD.

Re:Essentially (1)

sakurakira (1227342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192180)

I don't quite agree that both formats are dead. I think that the transition from DVD to Blu-Ray/HD-DVD will be similar to the previous transition of VHS to DVD. Movie studios will continue to sell both for a while, and then slowly phase out the DVD. A few years ago, rental shops (Blockbuster etc) stopped carrying VHS altogether. I'm sure the cost of the players and movies themselves will be similar as time goes on. So, consumers will eventually have to make a choice: either fork over the money to buy a new player and new format discs, stay with a movie collection that gets increasingly older, or rely on internet downloads.

True, in 10-15 years there will be another format war, and us poor consumers will be suffering again over the same choices. But I think the winner of this war will be able to reap the benefits for a few years at least.

Re:Essentially (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192222)

I agree both formats are probably dead, but not for the reasons you state:

  1. Pricing isn't much higher for the media, only the Blu-ray players. HD DVD players right now are the same price as "ordinary" up-converting DVD players, so there's absolutely no reason to buy the latter in place of the former, even if you think HD DVD will fail. As for media: typically HD discs (I'm using that term throughout this for both HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs) retail for about 50% more than the equivalent DVD, despite often having better additional content and higher quality sound and video. (Note I put sound first, video in so many cases isn't noticeably higher, with some prominent exceptions.
  2. Blu-ray and HD DVD players can play DVDs, so the bottom line is that you can buy either player and buy HD discs when they're worth buying and DVDs when they're not
  3. Competition from the 'net is a factor, but right now only Apple has a device that "just works" and it's still at the teething stage. It's also rental only. Some of us like to buy discs
  4. Your last point is just untrue. An 8Gb SD card costs a minimum of $50 at the moment, compared to a dual layer DVD-R which is generally much lower than a dollar. It's going to take a decade before we see 50Gb solid state drives for the lower than a dollar price (or 500Gb drives for less than $10, if you'd prefer), whereas three layer HD DVD-Rs and two layer BD-Rs will probably come in at that price within two or three years of the recorders becoming widely available. Hey, Toshiba, if you're still serious about HD DVD, start getting those recorders out.

Here's the more probable reason why both formats will likely fail:

The studios are largely backing Blu-ray. That means HD DVD will likely fail unless Toshiba can get a hell of a lot of players out in the next six months.

Blu-ray cannot succeed either. The players are expensive and unlikely to come down in price. Most of the players on shelves right now are obsolete. The only player worth getting is the PS3. The PS3 is sufficiently powerful enough that the upcoming changes to the Blu-ray spec are just a matter of updating the firmware. Many standalone Blu-ray players have no internet connectivity (required for recent Blu-ray spec changes), and nothing like enough storage capacity.

HD DVD, interestingly, doesn't have this issue. Much of the recent revisions to Blu-ray have to do with bringing it up to spec in capabilities to HD DVD. But the studios seem to be going Blu-ray. So it doesn't matter.

I don't think consumers are going to go for either. For Blu-ray to take off, it needs cheap players - sub-$200 before there's any chance of mass market starting to take off, with sub-$100 players to truly achieve DVD-like penetration. it certainly isn't going to work with $300-500 players that you already know you'll need to replace within the year. That'll piss people off, especially when they start playing DVDs and HD discs back to back and notice that the visual quality they paid $300 for isn't that dramatic after all. Oh, sure, 2001 and Blade Runner look awesome. But anything action based isn't, and who cares if a romantic comedy is high definition?

Naysayer: one who says "no" (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192202)

The NPD group [....] attempted to battle back against the tide of "naysayers" who claim that the format war is over and have declared Blu-Ray Disc the winner.

So the naysers are saying the war is over, and the yayseyers are saying NO, the war is not over? Sounds like NPD has their terms switched.

While select articles have implied that HD-DVD as a format is doomed and the sky is falling for the format's supporters

In a war, when the "sky falls" for one side, it's a victory for those who aren't part of the war, in this case, the potential next-gen DVD system buyer.

the NPD Group this afternoon reinforced that sales results from a single week do not necessarily indicate a trend

And just because I've got chocolate all over my lips doesn't mean I've just eaten chocolate. But I have, in fact.

Please!! (1)

lantastik (877247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192300)

Just let the format die so I can expand my library of titles by the dozens for pennies on the dollar. Fortunately even if the format goes belly up, my player will still work and I can still enjoy my existing library. ...and yes, I have a Blu-Ray player as well so whoever wins is fine with me.

Black Knight (4, Funny)

zepo1a (958353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192320)

Blu-Ray: You fight with the strength of many men, HD-DVD. [Slashes HD-DVD's arm off]
HD-DVD: 'Tis but a scratch.
Blu-Ray: A scratch? Your arm's off!
HD-DVD: No, it isn't.
BLU-RAY: Victory is mine! We thank Thee Lord, that in Thy mer--
HD-DVD: Hah! [kick] Come on, then. Have at you!

Re:Black Knight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22192708)

I think that brilliant scene captures this entire war in a nutshell.

Good show ol' chap.

It's not dead (1)

Bootarn (970788) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192322)

As late as yesterday I read in a popular swedish computer magazine that Asus is producing an internal HD-DVD player, so at least Asus is confident that it's not dead.
Let's wait and see...

The exact term is : Agonizing (1)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192438)

Since the introduction of Blu-Ray, it consistently won marketshare from HD-DVD, it went from zilch to two-thirds of the market during 2007.

According to Nielsen, for the week ending January 20th, Blu-Ray disc sales accounted for 83% of the high definition market. (http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=893)

Now that major companies like Warner recognize the situation and give up on HD DVD, that 5 about 6 HD Media sold are Blu-Ray, how could we reasonabily think that it could be reversed ?

Les jeux sont faits.

The war is over. (3, Funny)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22192720)

You can talk about sales rates or attach rates or how much shelf space is dedicated to blue boxes as opposed to red boxes, you can talk about technical merit or political merit, you can talk about studios committing to or being bought out by one side or another. You can talk about all number of things, but I know the war is over.

Blu-ray wins. I know this to be true.

I know this because sitting on the shelf underneath my teevee is a Toshiba HD-A3.

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