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Toshiba To Halt HD-DVD Production

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-format-to-rule-them-all dept.

The Almighty Buck 494

Multiple users have written to tell us that Toshiba is planning to halt production of devices related to HD-DVD. According to Japanese broadcasting network NHK, Toshiba will lose "hundreds of millions of dollars" as the format war finally draws to a close. Regardless, investors are pleased that Toshiba has made the decision to cut its losses. This comes after a last-ditch price cut was unable to prevent Wal-mart from throwing their lot in with Blu-ray, although some sources suggest that Wal-mart was already aware of Toshiba's plans to withdraw from fight.

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whew, fewer syllables (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461024)

Blu-Ray is so much easier on the tongue than a mouthful of acronym(s).

Re:whew, fewer syllables (4, Funny)

ledow (319597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461044)

Yeah, they would have been much more accepted if they had pronounced it "Heidi DVD". :-)

I always think the funniest acronym is PXE UNDI - it sounds like fairy knicker to me.

Re:whew, fewer syllables (3, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461180)

But HD DVD doesn't sound stupid. It says exactly what it is, and doesn't embarrass itself. Blu-ray, besides being spelled incorrectly, says nothing about what it is. Whatever happened to the glory days of Video Home System, Compact Disc, and Digital Versatile Disc?

Digital Versatile Disc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461222)

Never heard of it.

Re:whew, fewer syllables (5, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461350)

Nobody gives a fuck. Ok ?

90%+ of average consumers don't have any clue whatsoever what "VHS" stands for, and couldn't care less.

For that matter, most consumers couldn't tell you what "HD" stands for either.

Re:whew, fewer syllables (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461434)

Hot Damn!

Re:whew, fewer syllables (4, Insightful)

Escogido (884359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461516)

But HD DVD doesn't sound stupid. It says exactly what it is, and doesn't embarrass itself. Blu-ray, besides being spelled incorrectly, says nothing about what it is. Whatever happened to the glory days of Video Home System, Compact Disc, and Digital Versatile Disc?
Are these all *that* much better than BR really? I agree that unlike BR they give people a vague idea what they are about, but you honestly don't expect people to instantly understand what either of them implies anyway. Think of it, if you never knew what a Digital Versatile Disc is, what'd you imagine it to be? A disc with digits on it that can be used as a lot of other things? :)

It's more like a product trademark to me: you don't complain that the word Panasonic is 'better' than say Toshiba, just because Panasonic literally means pro-sound and Toshiba is a compound noun where To- means Tokyo, and what -shiba is I forgot. But that doesn't still make Panasonic any 'better'.

Re:whew, fewer syllables (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461538)

"DVD" use to mean "Digital Video Disc" initially. But really, if you don't know what "Blu-Ray" is by now, you must live in a cave somewhere....

Re:whew, fewer syllables (5, Insightful)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461546)

It's a feature.

Digital Versatile Disc is a backronym - DVD originally meant Digital Video Disc, until they realized how stupid the name actually was ("Yeah, this game is distributed on a video disc. But it's not really a video..."), at which point they just redefined the abbreviation. When I think about it, I realize that HD-DVD's name is just as stupid: you can have just as High Definition audio/video or interactive media on HD discs as you can on "SD discs", just not as much.

By not having a meaning, blu-ray avoids that problem - a blu-ray disc is a disc that uses blue rays.

I do think that CD is a good name - it tells me what it is (a disc that's quite small, compared to LP's), not what they developed it to contain. But CDSDWEMRFDTDVD (Compact Disc-sized Disc With Even More Room For Data Than Digital Versatile Discs) doesn't have such a nice ring to it... Of course, today it's more of a Big Disc, compared to Minidisc or mini-DVD, which again shows that neutral names are better.

To finish off, let me just counter your "glory days" argument by saying "BetaMax" and "Video2000".

Better luck next time (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461030)

Toshiba will think twice next time when it comes to forcing competing formats on consumers. Maybe other manufs. will also learn something and fight this stuff out in the labs rather than hope for luck by trying to confuse consumers again and again.

Now if we can convince England to use the euro and drive on the right side of the road we can at least pretend to be a modern civilization :)

Re:Better luck next time (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461046)

Exactly. When will huge multinational corporations stop forcing competition down people's throats and realize that what consumers want is monopolies, lack of choice and the resulting high prices!

Re:Better luck next time (0)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461124)

'formats' and 'competition' mean the same thing to a simple mind. Just the type of mind manufs. love to fuck with when they run out of original ideas and let 'new and improved' marketing babble take over.

Re:Better luck next time (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461208)

For those that think we're better off without standards, imagine if there were multiple competing HTTP protocols.

Re:Better luck next time (5, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461366)

They mean the same thing to a complex mind when the formats in question are both proprietary and do about the same thing.

In this case there was competition between the formats not only in which format was "better" in terms of storage quality (not to mention archival, access speed and other properties) but also even if one format was clearly superior which was better in terms of price and availability.

I don't think having both formats around was hurting anything as both are still in early adoption phases, most users don't have Blu-Ray or HD DVD yet and a large portion perhaps even a majority don't have the capabilities to use such formats (at least in the new abilities they provide) yet over the older standard.

I still see this as a bad thing and perhaps the "wars" are not over at all as Hard Drives, Flash drives and other storage options are coming down in price and are able to offer similar amounts of storage. The real contender in these "wars" as I see it could be download bandwidth rather than delivery of a physical piece of media.

In the end these media wars are good for the consumer. Take CDs for example, a format that won with relatively little competition. The way things are sold to consumers is that the new format is more expensive at first but as it takes hold and becomes dominant is prices drop to match the old cost with a margin determined by the cost of production. Music CDs are still fairly expensive and have not come down (as I believe) to a price comparable to that of Cassettes even though the older format has been more-or-less out of the market for several years now.

For Formats it is difficult to raise prices on consumers as there is an expectation that the prices will fall over time and consumers will need a reason to pay more with the information on the format primarily being a luxury good. However that expectation works both ways as consumers expect that two items of the same format will cost about the same on average.

Re:Better luck next time (4, Insightful)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461268)

Why is it that people conflate competition and competing formats? There was more competition in the Blu-Ray camp than there was in the HD DVD camp. Toshiba was dumping players, but there was still no real competition, Toshiba was the only (real) manufacturer. You can have competition when there is a single standard, no problem. There is, for example, competition in the DVD business, always has been. Are there more than one DVD format? Did the DivX fiasco add value for the consumer?

The format war would have made sure we had continued high prices for a long time to come since the war it self slowed down adoption. With slow adoption both consumers and producers will tend to do a lot of fence sitting, and that is not good for anybody since it takes longer to get to the benefits of economics of scale. Everybody but pirates benefits from this war being over.

Re:Better luck next time (4, Interesting)

robosmurf (33876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461364)

Except that the Blu-ray specification is such a mess that there is exactly one Blu-ray player on the market that is worth buying as it will be properly compatible - the Playstation 3.

The Playstation 3 has outsold all other high-definition disc players on the market put together by a huge margin. This is the only machine that disc manufactures will make sure is fully compatible.

If this situation continues, and the other manufacturers don't drastically improve their performance, then Blu-ray is set to become almost as proprietary to Sony as the UMD.

Re:Better luck next time (0, Flamebait)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461400)

Massive exaggeration. The standard is evolving, and some of the earlier players were badly designed - who on earth builds non-upgradeable players today - but calling it a mess is a huge exaggeration.

Re:Better luck next time (1, Flamebait)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461690)

Isn't that the definition of a "mess"? Is there another player (other than PS/3) that is profile 2.0?

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461296)

Don't compete on the format. Compete on the devices/software for that format.

Sign: ODT advocate

Re:Better luck next time (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461064)

On topic: Sony obviously haven't learned that, since they had BetaMax, Mini Disks and something else proprietary that escapes me at the moment and yet they still went in to the HD fight with BluRay.

Off-topic: We do drive on the right (correct) side of the road, it is just those strange foreigners who insist on driving on the wrong ('right-hand') side of the road ;) As for Euros, all I can say is "funny money" - it looks like you've pilfered your Monopoly game for extra cash!

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461174)

I very much doubt Sony will learn anything, especially as they won this time (BluRay).

The other proprietary things you're thinking of are probably memory stick (unfortunately still not dead) and UMD video disks on the PSP.

Ironically, Toshiba were with Sony on Betamax.

Better post next time (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461218)

"On topic: Sony obviously haven't learned that, since they had BetaMax"

Which enjoyed better success in professional [wikipedia.org] settings.

Mini-disc became Mini-HD [wikipedia.org]

Memory stick is still being used. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Better luck next time (4, Funny)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461320)

Left, right it doesn't really matter. I took me all of two weeks to stop feeling weird driving on the left and a month to stop making random right lane errors.

The only thing that I find unfamthomable is the use of some of the colors on the road.

For example they only use white paint for the lines. In the States they use white and yellow. You can tell the difference real quick which lanes are for your direction of traffic (white) and which is the divider line (yellow). I've had more than a few moments of panic where I could not tell for the life of me which lanes were which.

I take that back there are two things about driving in the UK, the second is do you people believe in F'ing street/road signs? Considering that the names of the streets change every 3 blocks and they don't run in a straight line more than 25 yards at a go, it would be simply amazing to have both the street and the cross street names on a sign, you are lucky just to even have a cross street that you can see from the road you are travelling on.

I foresee a GPS in my immediate future.

Re:Better luck next time (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461384)

At least the signs are big enough to see. In Belgium they're often tiny, only visible from one direction, and covered in dirt so you can't read them anyway.

I thought in the UK a centreline is more line than gap whereas lane markers are 'lghter':

---- ---- ----


- - - -

But it's been a while.

Re:Better luck next time (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461566)

No, that's the difference between a "it is safe to overtake" divider on a single carriage way road or lane dividers on multi-lane stretches and a "only overtake if you're absolutely sure or it is a tractor doing 5mph" divider on a single carriage way road.

The general idea with telling the difference is that it is two-way unless it says otherwise, so your side is for you and the other side is for other people. If there are two lanes then it is normally either a dual-carriage way or you get the short gaps or solid lines on the divider. We use yellow for "do not park here" (which makes sense as everything else tends to be obvious with white lines).

Motorways and dual-carriage ways use colour, but only at night. Different colour cats eyes mean different things (central reservation, lane line, hard shoulder and slip road entry). The rest of the time we assume that you can drive and pay attention at the same time.

Re:Better luck next time (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461656)

Have a look at the highway code - the type of line designates which lanes you can go into and when, various dashes, solid lines etc or failing that assume it's a single carriageway unless you see the sign that specifically says "Dual Carriageway" that they put before all dual carriage ways. On motorways there are 3 lanes and a metal barrier between each direction.

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461120)

That explains the roadworks in the Cumberland Gap, they're not upgrading to motorway, they must be building a crossover.

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461188)

Whenever anyone mentions England driving on the right, it reminds me of an April fool joke on the news pages of Teletext(remember that) years ago.

They said to ease the transition, all even number plates would change one year and all odd ones on another.

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461312)

Wasn't HD-DVD decided as the successor by the DVD forum and then Sony came out with a competing format?

Re:Better luck next time (2, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461454)

>Toshiba will think twice next time when it comes to forcing competing formats on consumers
Quite how ths got marked inightful is a mystery. HD-DVD is (or now, was) the official standard for HD and was sanctioned by the DVD standards body, the DVD Forum. BluRay was the non-standard bully boy. After all the previous wars, the whole point was there is a DVD standards body who decide upon updates and new features in conjunction with the various manufacturers - SOny decided to go off on a tangent (again) but this time won (probably as a result of bundling it in the PS3)

Re:Better luck next time (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461464)

Um, u know they think we drive on the wrong side of the road. We could come with a compromise of driving down the middle of the road but that might hurt more people that it will help.

Re:Better luck next time (0, Flamebait)

dikkyboy (961028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461532)

Hurrah, we have a winner. Now watch the rolling tumbleweed as literally no one rushes out to invest in Blue-ray.

Re:Better luck next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461594)

As someone living in the UK I would love to be able to reap the benefits of the Euro, but the Bankers won't let me.
There is too much profit to be made converting between currencies.
  Driving on the right, probably would result in many deaths, and to who's benefit? foreign car makers perhaps and then how can the british be made to pay higher prices for cars than the rest of europe.

Re:Better luck next time (1)

Onetus (23797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461680)

Firstly you'll need to learn to spell correctly.
Colour has a u. ...ism has a s and not a z.

Oh .. and the rest of the world is using metric.
Try and catch up. :-)

Refund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461034)

I wonder if Toshiba will be offering any relief to the suckers who bought their laptops with expensive hd-dvd players in them in the last few months...

Re:Refund? (2, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461476)

Well, they now can't spend loads of money rebuying all their favourite movies on HD-DVD... Sounds like a relief to me.

Its peace in our time! (5, Interesting)

plierhead (570797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461036)

This is of course great news (that the war is over - nothing to do with who won), but having forked out for a Blu-Ray disc lately (running around $50 over here) I can honestly say that I wish I had not fallen for the blandishments of that sales guy who told me I should buy a smaller, but much higher definition, TV.

If I had my buying decision over I would say after the initial technogasm brought on by seeing every hair on the actor's heads, you very quickly forget about the quality and just wish your screen was bigger. (Apparently this is a common effect.)

Re:Its peace in our time! (2, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461234)

Depends what your needs are. I wouldn't have use for a TV above 32 inches or so on the high end, it wouldn't be practical for the space I have. If you have a much larger room with a big space in between then you'll want a 42 inch or even larger because you're simply sitting farther away. So with a small space to get a better picture you want a higher resolution, with a big room you want a big picture (and high res too but that's probably secondary in terms of viewing experience).

I'm happy I decided to wait before jumping into HD, because I was tempted to buy an HD-DVD player for my 360. Good thing I waited.

Freedom in our lifetime! (-1, Offtopic)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461472)

"Libertarianism : noun, an economic model for the justification of selfishness and abject greed."

You obviously have no clue about Libertarianism. Nor do you have a clue about how wasteful your government is (assuming the US), that it spends way more than it collects in revenue (taxes), that it conducts torture and kills innocents in needless wars (hint: it didn't start with the Bush Administration, and it won't end their either.)

But since we are into slinging mud at political ideologies, let me add my 2 cents:

  • Liberalism: noun, a word that has become a misnomer over the decades, as it now means "Socialism". Ecomonic model which encouarges dependence on "mommy government" instead of fostering self reliance. Also, a ecomonic model where those who work hard to make money is forced at gunpoint to pay for failed institutions with no hope of improvement.

  • Democracy: noun, political model where the majority to beat up on the minority.

  • Republic: noun, political model where the majority to pick a handful to beat up on everyone!

  • Conservative: noun, politcal model where hatred and intolerance is encouarged through the guise of religious piety.

Now that I have that off my chest, a word about the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD formats.

Firstly, "Blu-Ray" rolls off the tongue much better than "HD-DVD". Ugh!

Secondly, Blu-Ray storage capacity is quite a bit higher than HD-DVD's

Thirdly, it's about frelling time Toshiba finally woke up to smell reality!

Now that HD-DVD is effectively dead, the market can simply focus on one format, which should result in a quicker price-drop and faster deployment of content, devices, and the like for Blu-Ray. Also, I am so glad I waited until this fallout happened. I predicted that Blu-Ray would finally win, especially since Sony woke up and smelt the reality of PORN! Finally, someone learns from past mistakes and refuses to make them again! A frelling miracle, if you ask me.

Quite frankly, all I care about is having something to back up my terabyte drives to. DVDs have become the floppy disks of the past -- who really wants to shuffle 40 or 50 of them just to backup one frelling drive?

Its being able to see in our time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461288)

I do see one advantage of HDTV sets over the old standard. They're more sutiable for upcoming digital services including the convergence with the internet. The same with all the other new gear.

now if they'll only (1, Insightful)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461078)

halt construction on devices related to blu-ray, I can finally stop hearing about this irrelevant crap. The slashdot poll said it best: no one gives a shit.

Re:now if they'll only (2, Interesting)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461160)

I think you may well be right. I know of more than a few people, like my mother and many of her friends, who have bought HDTVs because they're slim and look nice but have no idea what high definition means or what, apart from the the size and integrated Freeview tuner, makes the new TV different from their old CRT set. These people will not be buying an HD disc player.

I, on the other hand, am something of a movie buff, I got into DVD in a fairly big way and own 500+ movies (excluding porn and TV shows). There's no way I'm going to pay to replace these with Blu-Ray or any other HD format. A found a a £150 DVD player with HDMI and on-board scaler to be a much better investment. Maybe it's not quite as good looking as an HD disc would be (but who can really tell? I don't think more than a dozen of my movies are actually available in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD yet), but it certainly revitalised my disc collection.

Re:now if they'll only (1)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461258)

now if they'll only halt construction on devices related to blu-ray, I can finally stop hearing about this irrelevant crap. The slashdot poll said it best: no one gives a shit.

Actually, at the time of writing, 45% in the Slashdot poll claims not to care about Blu-ray. Hardly everyone, even if Slashdot was representative of humanity as a whole.

Re:now if they'll only (1)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461442)

Fair enough, sir.

Still, at the time of writing, 45% of voters don't think HD is worth it, and another 23% are holding out for downloads. This makes for a fairly large majority who don't care at all about HD-DVD or blu-ray. And remember, we're talking about a segment of the population which is probably four or five times more likely than average to even know what blu-ray is. I think if you held a referendum in America right now between blu-ray and HD-DVD, they'd choose Betamax.

Rest In Peace, HD-DVD (3, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461118)

May there be a niche market of stupid rich guys waiting for you up in heaven.

Re:Rest In Peace, HD-DVD (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461158)

Well, I was definitely rooting for HD-DVD. I mean seriously, wtf kind of name is Blu-Ray? Still, that's not really to say that I wanted either format to win. I'm really hoping they both don't sell all that well, and we get a newer better technology in a few years with a decent name and a standard everyone can agree with.

Lest We Forget... (1)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461144)

"Don't cry for me, HD-early-adopters! The truth is I will never leave you!"

I wonder how long it will be until revisionist historians start telling this over, not as a format war in which one was better than the other, but as a story of martyrdom. I can see it now: "the Toshiba executives, in the interest of promoting better television quality, chose to nobly sacrifice themselves for the good of all mankind."

For that matter, I wonder if there will be some holdouts, such as those in the deep south who still believe that the south shall rise again. Maybe a historical re-enactment society [sca.org] will latch on to the idea, and they can have mock battles in staged boardrooms. Lest we forget.


Sony won a format war... (5, Funny)

beset (745752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461156)

And in other news, satan is ice skating to work today.

Re:Sony won a format war... (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461322)

If Bluray is a Sony format, so is DVD and CD. Sony backed it strongly and presumably did a lot ofthe original development but it's not a Sony format in the same way that minidisc and Betamax were. Sony got other companies on board as part of the standards consortium.

This might explain why it didn't fail. Companies prefer it when the standards body isn't the same organisation as their rival. There's always a risk that the standard might change specifically to favour one manufacturer.

Who says they have won anything yet? (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461534)

They might have beaten HD DVD but they haven't beaten the biggest contender.. DVD.

OK, so they lost this round (2, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461182)

I'll still turn to Toshiba for relevant hardware needs. The company laptops are Toshiba, and they're solid, reliable machines.

And since Sony stuck that effing rootkit on their CD's, I decided I will never, ever voluntarily have anything to do with that company again for any reason. The last Sony hardware I saw was a kind of "all in one" stereo system some department store sold to my great aunt. All design, all plastic, no performance. For what she paid, it sucks. Too bad...they used to be the gold standard for affordable, reliable electronics.

Re:OK, so they lost this round (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461244)


Suck it your miserable fucking loser.

Only Xbox Fans For Supporters (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461206)

Two years ago people were warned that HD-DVD was a dead format.

Toshiba would have given up with most of the electronics and media companies putting their weight behind BluRay but for Microsoft seeing a way to try to sabotage the next gen movie format and came to Toshiba's side.

Thus the world had to listen to endless FUD filling the Net from the Microsoft faithful as they lined up behind the unwanted and inferior HD-DVD completely oblivious to the fact that Microsoft didn't give a damn about the format.

It is the fanatical and foaming at the mouth Xbox fanbase that made the past year so miserable for everyone for nothing more than another despicable but completely inept bit of corporate sabotage on Microsoft's part.

License costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461214)

They should have not given up so early. There were other things they could do.

They could remove the license costs, this way it would be cheaper for manufacturers to make HD-DVD compatible devices and equipment, which would make HD-DVD more widespread and popular.

They should have avoided the proprietary route, and embrace openness and freedom.
Should have tried to make it an open standard without licensing costs.

If only they gave it to MS for free (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461506)

I did suggest 18 months ago it only has one chance to survive, if Toshiba gave it away or payed MS to put it inside EACH xbox360 for zero cost, ie $30 overhead.

So instead of loosing $250m 1 year ago, they are loosing it now. Tip for toshiba, if your marketing sucks copy the competitor, asap quickly.

So... (2, Funny)

VirexEye (572399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461224)

Did Sony *finally* win a format war...?!

Re:So... (1)

robosmurf (33876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461396)

It looks like it. Though it remains to be seen whether Blu-ray will make significant headway against DVD, or will flop like SACD.

In fact, if Blu-ray is successful, then this could be a major victory for Sony. With the complexity and compatibility problems of the Blu-ray specification, the Playstation 3 is pretty much the only Blu-ray player worth getting. I predict other manufacturers are going to struggle to produce Blu-ray players that can compete.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461632)

Fuck... when will people get it. Blu-Ray != Sony.

Sony merely chose to back the format, they put the largest foot forward by committing their entire company to the format early on. Nothing more, nothing less.

The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (5, Interesting)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461236)

The real competition is DVD. HD media isn't doing terrible by any means, numbers wise it is doing better than DVD was at this time in its life cycle. However DVD sales are dominating both HD formats. And thanks to this competition prices should continue to be reasonable as HD adoption hasn't taken over yet. Thus this lone single format should be good for HD business, and for consumers.

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

Jarik_Tentsu (1065748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461380)

The real competition is DVD.
I don't agree.

True, both companies have to convince everyone to switch from the Standard Definition formats to the High Definition ones...but that will occur over time. Unlike XP vs Vista, HD does have considerable advantages over its predecessor, so you just have to wait for it to become more popular. Like how VHS was phased out in favour of DVD - took a couple of years, but it happened.

These days HD Plasma/LCD screens and Blu-Ray DVD players and becoming standard, so now we just gotta wait for shops to start having Blu-Ray-Dominated stock and such.

But the competition between the two formats was so that WHEN the phase ended, one of them dominated. And that war was not about DVD vs HD.


Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461596)

While HDTVs may be slowly becoming a standard, Blu-Ray and HD DVD players are no where close. I think we are a bit tech biased here, but when I tend get out of my tech world, and my job, it seems a lot of people out there really have no clue what the hell either format is yet. And VHS vs DVD isn't a valid comparison in this case. DVD is a massive improvement over the analog content that was VHS. From size and being compact, to digital material, to ease of navigation and menus, higher quality sound, bonus features, etc. The two main improvements in HD vs DVD is more pixels, and sound quality. At this point not everyone is seeing a need to upgrade, even people in my experience with HDTVs don't see the need for HD content other than their TV broadcasts. Of my friends and family that have HDTVs, say 9 of them, I am the sole person that has a HD player, and that is because I bought a PS3 mainly for this years crop of incoming games.

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461382)

Sure. The real competition is DVD and downloading. I think there's a real chance that DVD will be the last physical format to achieve market-dominance. There's no real reason we need to mess with physical formats at all, sure files need to be stored -somewhere- but exactly where can safely be left to the consumers.

Music is already like that. Some store their music as round plastic-discs. Others on a hard-disc. Others on flash-based music-players or any combination of these. It doesn't matter. It's the same file. It sounds the same. Okay okay, so that's not strictly true if you compare an original CD to a mp3, but it's close enough that 95% of the population don't care about the difference.

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461642)

Perhaps plain AACS cracking tumbled HD-DVD down. Blu-Ray, on the other hand, has 3 different protection systems with BD+ and BD-ROM being perhaps the most virulent of all. When all HD content becomes available only on Blu-Ray, downloading will be stalled for a good while.

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461502)

What exactly are the benefits over DVD that these 2 formats hold? Is it simply the higher quality image? And can anyone honestly say that they notice a difference? Or shall we say a worthwhile difference at least?

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461544)

It depends on how you rate the subjective "worthwhile differences". 6 times the pixels, considering 1080p vs 480p (assuming you have a progressive DVD player) is worth it to me. There is also the question of uncompressed audio which these formats also hold. There are obviously the two main benefits of these new mediums, but there are others like interactivity, online content, and other stuff that doesn't really concern me. But the primary differences are worthwhile to me. But I also own a 42" 1080p TV. And no this isn't bragging, but often I wonder how many people question the need for HD content when they themselves don't have the means to display it and see its value other than seeing HD football games at their buddies house. So it is worthwhile here, and I can definitely notice it. I can even tell the difference of my upconverted to 1080p DVDs vs. that of my Blu-Ray media.

Re:The real competition wasn't HD DVD... (1)

duncan3dc (1228744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461624)

Then it seems to me that the having to buy a new TV to see the difference is what is putting a lot of consumers off. But I also think that the perception of the new format is "better DVD's". When DVD came out it was a new concept to most people, they saw it as a film on a CD. It probably felt revolutionary to a lot of people. I don't think the same buzz can be created for Blu-Ray and this will cause slow adoption.

It's not like VHS vs DVD anymore (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461614)

The real target should have been DVD-R/DVD-RW. With computers are where you can be reasonably sure the monitors on them are HD quality. Being able to write ~50GB instead of 8GB would be the killer app.

VHS sucked. Rewinding/forwarding sucked on VHS (although DRM-crap on DVDs sure is trying to make it hard to sabotage a paying customer's experience with ads/fbi_warning/regioning). It was the same difference between cassette and CDs.

Notice that music didn't move to Music DVDs. It went straight to digital.

If HD-DVD were serious about winning the format wars, they should have tried getting a burner to the market as fast and cheaply as possible. Hi-end computers would have started shipping with them and people with money to burn would be buying HD-DVD that they could rip to their harddrive as well.

Even though I can get a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drive, there is absolutely no incentive for me. I'm sure DVDs are good enough for the vast majority of the audience as well for the time being.

If Blu-ray will win for any reason at all, it was because people would have bought PS3 anyway. Otherwise it would have stayed a niche product like Laserdisc.

And DVD would have kept it spot (is keeping its spot) and 5-10 years down the line some digital/internet solution would have been agreed upon by the major studios. Itunes is attempting it already.

10 More Years of Region Locked Movies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461254)

I was kind of hoping HD DVD would win this one, now we'll be stuck with region locked movies for another decade till the next thing comes along.

Re:10 More Years of Region Locked Movies (5, Interesting)

robosmurf (33876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461406)

It's even worse than that: at least with DVD region-free players were available easily almost from the beginning.

With Blu-ray, almost all Blu-ray players in existence are Playstation 3 consoles. As far as I'm aware, no one has managed a region-free version of this.

Re:10 More Years of Region Locked Movies (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461480)

The bright side is that it's only 20th Century Fox that are insisting on using regioning for every disc. Other studios (principally the ones who were originally dual-format, and so amenable to the HD-DVD situation of no regioning anyway) are completely region-free, with the remainder only using it for new releases that have worldwide staggered release dates that reflect the cinema dates.

It makes for an annoying amount of research when buying out-of-region, but it's overall better than DVD was. You'll still need to keep your original player around for your SD discs, however.

Re:10 More Years of Region Locked Movies (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461652)

The reasons HD DVD lost are many but one of the was lack of region encoding. As a consumer region locking sucks big time, but it's important for studios. Just consider a movie like Ratatouille or No Country for Old Men. Both of these appeared on Blu Ray in the US while they were still showing in cinemas in Europe. It suited Disney's model to encode the disks. Other titles might have different distributors in different regions so lack of region coding could cause all sorts of issues. I know as a consumer these concerns seem pretty lame, but clearly some studios think different. One marginal benefit for users is that you get the release as soon as possible in your region rather than it being delayed by its release elsewhere. And some disks are not region encoded at all and there are websites where you can find out which disks are and which aren't.

Re:10 More Years of Region Locked Movies (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461698)

I don't know... there are a lot of DVD players with no region encoding. And most of those which are shipped with it can easily be "fixed" with a cheatcode on remote. Google for it. I fully expect that BluRay's protection will be a similar scarecrow.

Also - many 2nd/3rd tier manufactures make players which can skip advertisements and FBI "warnings".

It ain't over till the fat lady sings (4, Informative)

reybrujo (177253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461274)

Gaming sites report that Toshiba hasn't given up [gamesindustry.biz] yet. I guess they want to deplete their HD-DVD hardware before killing the format.

do blu-ray suffer from the same mold problem (1)

m1ndrape (971736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461294)

After living down in costa rica and brazil, most of my burnt dvds started suffering from the mold problem. After that I simply gave up on shiny metal discs. Does blu-ray suffer from this as well?

PS3 Success? (1)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461418)

I think that the PS3 is largely responsible for this outcome. I've heard it cited in numerous reports as a major driver of blu ray sales, so even though it's been disastrous otherwise, the PS3 may have actually paid off for Sony in a way most people didn't expect.

Where Does This Leave the Xbox? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461474)

With rather an expensive, obsolete drive, lacking in film titles to play and games being produced on a media that now has no economy of scale. Mind you, it should make piracy a bit more difficult!

However, I think it's going to be a long road for BluRay to get to a point where it will move past DVD, and it will take far longer than DVD took to move past VHS. Arguably, DVD only really accelerated in popularity when people realised that they could be copied, the purchase of blank DVD media and DVD writers then accelerated and this accelerated the usage of DVD further. I just can't see that happening with BluRay for quite some time, not to mention that people are confused as to why they should spend more on a BluRay disc than a much cheaper DVD one if they can't really see the difference.

Re:Where Does This Leave the Xbox? (4, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461536)

The Xbox360 doesn't have a HD-DVD drive it has a normal old DVD drive. The HD-DVD is an extra thing that you have to buy and place next to your XBox360, Microsoft will simply release a BluRay extension drive. For games it doesn't matter, since neither is used in games.

Re:Where Does This Leave the Xbox? (1)

grking (965233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461616)

Where Does This Leave the Xbox? With rather an expensive, obsolete drive, lacking in film titles to play and games being produced on a media that now has no economy of scale
The XBox doesn't have a HD DVD drive built in, games are shipped on DVD. There's an optional external HD DVD drive available for the Xbox.

For Sale (4, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461486)

1 HD-DVD Player, never used. Best offer accepted.


Plz send to me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22461586)

I bid $0.01!

There's probably some fun stuff in there to play with after I tear it down!

Too bad I already moderated... Seriously, though, I wouldn't mind opening one up for a peek.

blu-ray is better on a technical level. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461556)

This is all that matters to me. the rest can sort itself out over time. twice the storage space is all you need to know.

Can the XBox360 get a BluRay drive now? (1)

rpsoucy (93944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22461676)


I like the 360, but I wasn't about to spend the cash on their HD-DVD drive. Release an external BluRay drive and I might go for it.

Of course I think the days of buying movies on disc are almost over; you can rent movies in HD (okay it is only 720) on XBoxLive and iTunes. So you sell your soul to the DRM lords... it's still nice to legally get content online.

Instant gratification must be one of the seven deadly sins...
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