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HD-DVD and the Early Adopter Premium

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-waste-of-money-to-me dept.

Television 230

Hodejo1 writes "The early adopter premium is the difference between the cost of buying the latest greatest techno-toy today and the cost of buying an equal or better unit a couple of years later for much less. That Blu-ray unit you buy today for $300 will cost $80 two years from now. The premium is the $220 you pay to get the starter Blu-ray unit now as opposed to waiting. The same applied for HD-DVD until the axe finally fell and this is where it gets interesting. MP3 Newswire has been tracking post-mortem HD-DVD sales on eBay and surprisingly found that there are many takers. And why are people flocking to buy this decade's Betamax? Simple, they did the math. The demise of HD-DVD format creates "an option where the consumer can get his high-def player NOW without paying the $220 early adopter premium. That savings pays for the player and more. New sealed boxes of the Toshiba HD-A3, which shipped last fall for $300, are now drawing on average about $75 on eBay, where plummeting HD-DVD movie prices are averaging between $6 and $10. "Take a consumer with a 42" plasma set who needs to replace a broken standard definition DVD player. He can a) replace it with another standard definition DVD for about $60. b) He can buy a Blu-Ray player for between $300-$1000. c) He can buy an HD-DVD unit for under $80 and then buy ten $10 or sixteen $6 HD-DVD videos for a total of $180". What really drives this is Blu-ray's skimpy catalog, which will take a couple of years to pump up. Rather than blow the $220 on the early adopter premium just to have access to a limited number of movies the post mortem HD-DVD buyers can enjoy cheap Hi-Def players, cheap Hi-Def videos, and pay less. These users can shift to Blu-ray when players are less expensive and the catalog is robust. Actually, the early adopter premium is more like $320. With the win, Blu-ray manufacturers have raised prices."

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230 comments

you missed the most important factor. (4, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687456)

aacs has been cracked, while BD+ hasn't so everything on 'hd-dvd' can be backed up to a computer, then sold on e-bay or whatever. you can even burn the backed up hd-dvd to a bd-r, if you're willing to pay $600 for a bd-writer...

Re:you missed the most important factor. (2, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687480)

Of course, you can't play the resulting burned BD-R on a standalone BluRay player - as I understand it, they only play AACS-protected pressed BD discs.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (4, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687772)

I'm pretty sure that can't be right. I could perhaps understand the control freaks at Sony trying to pull a stunt like that, but requiring AACS is going to have a big impact on another emerging market Sony has a huge stake in; HD camcorders. Currently, the only way of efficiently distributing sizeable hi-res content from such a camcorder to friends and family (assuming they have HDTV capability in the first place) is via a physical HD disc, which essentially now means Blu-Ray. Hitachi even has a HD camcorder [hitachi.com] available that records straight to an 8cm Blu-Ray disc, which is then supposed to be immediately playable in any Blu-Ray player. Unless both the Hitachi camcorder and end-user AV software is also doing AACS encoding before writing content to disc, then that's going to leave a lot of HD camcorder owners just a little peeved when they try and show of their latest home videos in glorious HD.

Then again, it could actually be a good thing if they don't play on standalone players. It was bad enough having to sit through $random_family_member's holiday snaps, things took a turn for the worse with the first analogue camcorders, but the thought of seeing all that in HD? Won't somebody please think of the children!

Re:you missed the most important factor. (2, Interesting)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688124)

As i understand it, encrypted DVDs will only play with HDMI but unencrypted ones will play in hi-def. Since most pr0n is not encrypted, those Blue-Ray players would take a beating.

I am looking for an HD-DVD myself simply as an upscaling standard DVD player. They are cheaper than the regular upscaling DVD players on average.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22688434)

There are 2 kinds of Blu-ray discs, recordable and pressed. AACS is mandatory for pressed discs, but not for recordable discs. Recordable discs are half capacity of pressed discs, so (say) an independent filmmaker who doesn't want to shell out $20,000 for an AACS key is SOL. I'm not sure if the recordable discs are lesser quality than pressed discs in other ways too.

The (potential) problems:

1. NetFlix won't ship recordable DVD media, only pressed DVD media. They do so because pressed DVDs are much less brittle than recordable DVDs. I don't know whether recordable Blu-rays are more brittle than pressed Blu-rays, or if NetFlix will decide to carry recordable Blu-rays. I'd guess not based on their DVD decisions, so indy filmmakers, SOL.

2. I don't know if the recordable Blu-Rays use the same file system/feature set as pressed Blu-Rays. Can recordable Blu-Rays support picture-in-picture, for instance? I don't know the answer to this, but it's not hard to imagine Sony limiting its competitor's features.

When Blu-Ray won the format war, the big studios have essentially locked out smaller players from the hi-def home entertainment market. Oh well.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687918)

Are you saying that there is no such thing as a "cleartext" BluRay disk, that I won't be able to burn my home movies?

Re:you missed the most important factor. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687954)

From what I've seen on the subject, that seems to be the case. Yet another reason why the studios went with Blu-ray - it locks the independent producers out and helps them keep their stranglehold.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687962)

Well, you are wrong. The simple fact is that BD players *must* enforce AACS rules if AACS is present on the disk. If you burn on a regular "non-aacs" BD-R/RW its perfectly playable. Players from Sony and Panasonic even play AVCHD datafiles, if you have one of those HD-Video Cameras to generate content.

The confusion comes from players that do not handle AACS on BD-R at all. Those player have two options (1) issue a firmware update to correcly enforce AACS on aacs-recordable media or (2) disable BD-R playback completely.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (1, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687512)

Doesn't that require a lot of disk space? *looks at the 3 750GB Freeagent Pros that I bought yesterday for 53.99 each* :)

Re:you missed the most important factor. (2, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687546)

well yes, but you only have to store it on hd for 2 years. since then, burners for BD media will be cheap... i can't remember if hd-dvd does dual layer, so it's like 15-30 gb per movie. as for not playing it on standalone players, you can still play it back on a 'cheap' pc player with a bd-rom bd rom drives are still spendy too, they will be cheaper in 2 years though.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (1)

mrdjames (770597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687804)

Why does the PS3 always get left out of this discussion? It's basically a blue ray player packed in a media center. Who cares if you can't play games with it, you can a lot more than just play movies with it.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22688006)

No, you missed the most important factor -- the majority of people who buy consumer electronics are not nerds.

Re:you missed the most important factor. (2, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688236)

"can be backed up to a computer"

That only interests a small segment of the audiophile population, which is itself a small segment of the consumer population in general. If that truly was a major deciding factor in the purchase, then the MPAA's piracy numbers are accurate. You can't have it both ways.

Of course, I'd wager you also foresaw the failure of Apple's iTunes because of its DRM format and still wonder how the Virtual Console can possibly make money with ZSNES available for free.

Plus they are useful DVD players (5, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687460)

Another difference from Betamax is that an HD-DVD player can play today's most popular format without trouble - the DVD. It can also act as an upscaling DVD player, so in fact you'll get better quality than a standard DVD player.

There was a Digg link where everyone laughed at play.com [play.com] rebranding an HD-DVD player as an Upscaling DVD Player with HD Capabilities. I disagree with the laugh track - I think that's a clever step to take, and it's also completely true.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Plus they are useful DVD players (1)

olddoc (152678) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687952)

Are they really useful? I thought I read that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray take over a minute to boot up and play.
That would get annoying.

boy is this getting old... (4, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687464)

Article says BluRay manufacturers have raised prices. This is not true. The link tracks average sale price, no manufacturer's recommended price.

Yes, average sale price has gone up after Christmas sales ended.

Also, if BluRay's catalog is skimpy, what does that make the HD-DVD catalog, which is smaller?

It'd be great if the HD-DVD fans took a clue from Toshiba and stopped trying to push a dead format. They're not doing anyone any favors.

Re:boy is this getting old... (5, Interesting)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687558)

This article is dead on and people are smart for doing this. Don't hate because someone knows a good thing when they see it. I just bought 10 HD DVD's for $50. And at a later point I will rip them onto my computer then burn them to a Blu-Ray disc.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687916)

Are you going to watch them, or was the idea to save $100 that you wouldn't have otherwise spent?

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688360)

Oh no, I am watching them. I have the Xbox HD DVD player. I figure Microsoft will come out with a Blu-Ray drive at some point in the future.

Re:boy is this getting old... (2, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688152)

This article is dead on and people are smart for doing this. Don't hate because someone knows a good thing when they see it. I just bought 10 HD DVD's for $50. And at a later point I will rip them onto my computer then burn them to a Blu-Ray disc.

And play them on what? They won't play on any BD player currently in existence, or likely in existence in the future (by design).

Then there's the media. How cheap are you expecting dual-layer Blu-Ray discs to be? Go look up the price of a dual-layer recordable DVD. And those have been out for five years or so. Right now, single layer Blu-Ray recordable discs are about $10 each. They'll come down eventually, but it will take a while, as it did with DVD.

In the end, you'll probably have spent about $15 total per burned Blu-Ray disc - which by that time will be more than you could have bought the real thing for used. (On a lot of Blu-Ray titles, it's *already* more than you'd pay for them, in some cases new.) I guarantee you 100%, without any doubt in my mind, that you're going to end up re-buying all these movies rather than burning them and watching them on a Blu-Ray player.

HD-DVD proponents really need to just let this whole thing go. What makes sense at this point is to either stick with DVD, which is fine, or buy a Blu-Ray player. It does not make sense to buy an HD-DVD player at any price. It is a dead format with a tiny library that's not going to get any bigger. Sure, the players can upscale DVD's, but so can pretty much every regular $40 DVD player these days. HD-DVD isn't even worth that $35 premium to play the few good HD-DVD titles that exist, especially when you factor in having to re-buy them for Blu-Ray (unless you see a need to keep two players hooked up, one of which will be for no other reason than to play the few HD-DVD's you actually own).

Save that $35 for buying your first couple Blu-Ray movies or paying for a couple months of Netflix.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688372)

Not really worrying about it. It will be at least a year before I buy a Blu-Ray player SO I will enjoy the movies I bought on HD DVD and I will most likely keep my HD DVD player in my system. I'll switch to Blu-Ray when I'm damn good and ready.

Re:boy is this getting old... (5, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687560)

It'd be great if the HD-DVD fans took a clue from Toshiba and stopped trying to push a dead format. They're not doing anyone any favors.

To be fair, I suspect Blu-Ray won't outlive plain old DVD. Unless Sony starts dumping $20 Blu-ray players with $9.99 movies, the rest of the world who can't afford Hi-Def TVs and Sound systems will probaly be satisfied with plain old DVDs for quite sometime.

Once the initial analog hurtle was jumped from VHS to DVD, there was no real need to go beyond that except those who had Hi-Def. Much like SCDs and mini-discs never took off, I personally believe Blu-Ray will be "good enough" until downloads, holographic discs, or solid state media takes off in 5 years. I still bet DVD will still outlast them for quite some time.

Just think of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as the Laser Discs of the 21st century rather than VHS or Betamax. They're nice, but most people don't need them or will buy them except hardcore hi-def enthusiasts.

Re:boy is this getting old... (2, Insightful)

slazzy (864185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687590)

I totally agree with you on every point... For me, DVD quality is more than good enough, and I couldn't imagine the point of upgrading to Blu-ray or HD-DVD. maybe my eye sight isn't that good anymore, but I just can't even see the difference. I would pay to upgrade when the media gets significantly smaller so that it can be used in portable devices - I would see the point of that.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688380)

I own a 42 inch Samsung DLP and I notice a pretty big difference between DVD and Hi-Def movies.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688456)

Smaller? Smaller devices need LESS resolution, not more. If you really can't tell the difference between a 27in 420i SDTV and a 42in 1080p HDTV then yeah, you need new glasses. Think of it like looking through a standard glass window vs. looking through a frosted glass window. During the Oscars my brother was commenting on how you could see people's veins, I guessed that this was because the stage lights were so bright the usable light penetrated into the skin more. I think makeup people haven't adapted to the intricacies that HDTV can show. (You can see even a single stray hair that's fallen across someone's face, or each individual bubble and leaf in a scene with a babbling brook)

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687826)

Just think of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as the Laser Discs of the 21st century rather than VHS or Betamax. They're nice, but most people don't need them or will buy them except hardcore hi-def enthusiasts.
Exactly!

This is the part that most people seem to be missing about all this. High Def video is currently a pretty high end luxury item to most people when one considers the cost of the TV itself, sound, players, and then media. Unless high def becomes standard amongst the wider audience, this does not mean a whole heck of a lot to those that arent videophiles/audiophiles in a big way AND have the funds (or perhaps stupid with lots of funds or obsessive with lots of funds, either way needs a good chunk of income to expend on non-essentials).

The one upside....BD-Rs will have some pretty big data capacity.....but just like you're saying so do USB keychains and slim external drives NOW, let alone solid state 5 years from now. Improvements to broadband penetration, wireless, and NEW storage techs will more likely be a coffin nail wayy more than 5 years in the future imo however (and now that I've said that, i hope the universe shows me to be incredibly wrong....realism is getting really depressing in this day and age).

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688020)

I just took a look at Best Buy's website. As a sample, I looked at their 30-39" TVs. Of the 24 they had for sale, 23 had at least 720p resolution. Over time TVs get replaced, so more and more TVs in people's homes will be HD capable.

Sports are being broadcast more often in HD, over the air and via cable. Sports have the benefit of looking much better and more detailed in HD. It's a difference almost anyone will see. This will drive the sale of HD TVs and general HD awareness. Once people do have HD TVs, they're going to want the higher quality movies, just to show off their TVs if nothing else.

Within 2-3 years, the price of BR players is going to plummet. Prices are high currently because of the cost of manufacturing, and because the manufacturers want to take in the big bucks from enthusiasts before they allow prices to drop.

The Laser Disc comparison is interesting. Blu Ray has the advantage of not being giant and cumbersome, and not needing to be flipped over every 30-60 minutes. If Blu Ray has a similar flaw, it is in its copy protection. If there is a high incidence of discs that won't play and players that become worthless, it might kill the format, but that seems unlikely.

Blu Ray is easily rentable, from Netflix and Blockbuster. This will ease adoption, and is the main reason I'm personally planning to get a Blu Ray player.

Digital movie downloads are the future, but that's at least 10 years from becoming mainstream. In the meantime there will be a few billion Blu Ray discs sold.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688204)

Too bad it won't fix the awful camera angle used to broadcast football. There's so much more to football than the guy with the ball or the line of scrimmage.

In addition to sports, computer animation should look better in a higher resolution. Beyond those two, though, I don't think there's much purpose in HD.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688056)

the rest of the world who can't afford Hi-Def TVs and Sound systems will probaly be satisfied with plain old DVDs for quite sometime.

By that metric, VCDs should outlive both DVDs as well as Blu-ray...

Unfortunately, the reality of economies of scale isn't so nice and simple. If you've bought a pack of CD-Rs lately, you might notice that prices are going up significantly, even while DVD+-Rs are falling. They're not equivalently priced yet, but for the storage, a DVD is much, much cheaper.

VCDs used to be FAR cheaper than DVDs for the same reason... Now, both the players and the movies/discs are only about half the price of a much higher quality DVD. Pretty much everywhere in the world that VCDs were popular, DVD sales is rising as well, faster than VCD sales. At some point, the cost of making DVD players and discs will get as cheap as CDs/VCDs, and then the rest of the world that currently "can't afford" "plain old DVDs" won't be able to afford NOT to switch...

Exactly the same thing will eventually be true of Blu-ray. Smaller CRT HDTVs in the US are down to $300, less than 2X the price of similar sized standard definition TVs. It won't be long before they're just as cheap, and those who "can't afford" them now, will be able to get a practically free upgrade to high-def. And it probably won't be too long thereafter that Blu-ray discs get nearly as cheap as DVDs, and anyone around the world can pick them up for less than a DVD, and get higher quality for free.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688242)

most people don't need them or will buy them except hardcore hi-def enthusiasts.

The fundamental difference between then and now is that the HD buyer begins with a substantial investment in HD video and multichannel digital audio.

He has practical large screen - wide screen - home projection. He has his choice of display technologies.

He can spend as much or as little as he chooses on theater sound.

If he choses the upscale HT receiver, HD radio, satelite radio, Internet radio, PC and iPod integration are likely to be part of the standard package.

The complete digital environment for home entertainment.

He has his choice of three video game consoles, none of which pump out less than 480p video. It's likely his HDTV can accept PC inputs directly and do its own upscaling of DVD video.

There is no intelligible reason to think why he shouldn't be upgrading to the mass market Profile 2 Blu-Ray player when it becomes available.

He won't be paying a premium for the Blu-Ray rental of 10,000 BC from Netflix. He won't need the Blu Ray drive or PS3 to access online content.

Re:boy is this getting old... (1)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688384)

Vertinox said "Just think of Blu-Ray and HD-DVD as the Laser Discs of the 21st century rather than VHS or Betamax. They're nice, but most people don't need them or will buy them except hardcore hi-def enthusiasts."

I think the difference today is home cinema/theater is much more practical. Back when I got into this I had found I was buying various movies in widescreen on VHS (1990 or so) because it was great to see the whole picture. However, VHS just couldn't hold enough detail to allow for widescreen presentation, especially when I got a 16:9 TV in 1992. (OK, so I'm a classic early adopter.) Anyway, at about this time multistandard LaserDisc players were becoming available so the pathetic PAL LD library could be supplemented by the 10,000+ titles available on LD from the US. Picture quality of LD was vastly better than VHS. The basic luma resolution was 400+ lines compared with barely 240 lines for VHS but it was the chroma where LD really shined. Compared to a VHS tape where colour was muddy, a LD looked rich and crisp. This meant that LD was a viable format for widescreen and projection. Also, many films were available in widescreen with extras etc on LD so for movie enthusiasts the LD was it. LD pretty much launched home cinema as a mainstream possibility. Sure, there were collectors with 16 and 35mm projection systems at home and boy did I envy them but it wasn't practical, LD was.

I lived with a standard CRT widescreen set until the mid 90's and built up a decent collection of movies and kept looking at projection. The big Barco CRT projectors were horrendously expensive and needed expensive video processors to improve the quality of standard definition material enough that you wouldn't see the scanlines. Fortunately at this time, DLP appeared and I was able to buy a projector that lacked scanlines although it didn't have the same black level capability but it was a worthwhile tradeoff. Around that time DVD was released. Resolution was slightly better than LD but the real killer was that the discs were much smaller and cheaper so it was natural to buy a player. Side by side there wasn't enough of a difference to warrant replacing all my LDs with DVDs and I have continued to use the LD player.

Then along came HD. Finally, the combination of digital projection, surround sound and high definition discs resulted in the ability to perfectly replicate the cinema experience at a budget. Sure, most people think the discs and players are the expensive part but when you think that fifteen years ago a good home cinema set up was going to cost you well north of $100,000 and today you can far outstrip that with an HD DVD or BD player and a DLP projector you can see that things have really improved. Heck, you can get better quality that most cinemas for under $2000 these days. HD DLP projectors are under $1000, HD DVD player, nice amp and speakers, easily under a grand and awesome quality. Get a BD player later and you're set to avoid the sticky carpets and overpriced drinks of the local cinema.

I don't consider LD a failure, it was part of the evolution. Certainly I can't equate LD with HD DVD or BD since LD as a format survived for over 20 years and had a vast catalogue.

Re:boy is this getting old... (2, Interesting)

armada (553343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687936)

The story is true and has a good point about early adoption and the value of the now defunct HDDVD. That said, it is not taking into consideration the fact that in 2 to 4 years phisical media delivery will likely be passee alltogether. BlueRay (Disclosure, I liked BlueRay more than HDDVD) will have a short lived victory now that Apple has broken into the download rental market. Once Apple takes the risks and gets a good working modle up (a la itunes store) then others will follow with more competitive pricing and featurs. Before I get flammed I know Apple was far from the first but they will push the envelope and stimulate adoption as they did with USB, i-pod, i-tunes distro model and now the i-phone. Love or hate that company you have to admit that once they adopt or invent a technology they seem to have a way of making it flourish.

Great Player (4, Insightful)

n9uxu8 (729360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687472)

The Toshibas are excellent upconverting players...I need another dvd for the basement HDTV, so I plan on picking up another rather than shelling out for a standard upconverting player.

Dave

Re:Great Player (1)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687496)

Is there any work being done on hacking these things? As they run Linux and have decent video decode capability it would be a bit of a steal.

Re:Great Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687586)

How much use do you actually get out of your high-def TV, high-def media players, etc.? I know a few chaps from work who each spent a good £6000 putting together home theatres for themselves, decked out with massive teles, HD-DVD and Blu-ray players, and the media to feed those players. One of them was telling me the other day how he only uses his expensive home theatre for 2 hours per week, since he's too busy working to pay off the massive credit card debt he acquired when buying the equipment.

Re:Great Player (1)

n9uxu8 (729360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687912)

Yikes...well, I bought my TVs on sale and the same with the player, so I didn't spend too much. I don't have a star trek-themed amphitheater, I have a living room and a basement decked out with my home-gym, electronics workbench, bike workshop and hdtv/player/recliners. I don't buy what I won't use (well...with the exception of a few RTS games I bought before finally deciding, I hate RTS games). So, I get quite a bit of use from them. Uverse has enough HD channels that when I do watch TV, I'm almost always on an HD channel, and even though UVerse HD doesn't look as good as others, it is noticeably better than SD.

Dave

Re:Great Player (5, Informative)

MagicNegro (1242634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687622)

I'm not feeling too bad about my purchase of a Toshiba HD DVD. I mean, it came almost free with the HDTV that we bought before Christmas, and aside from renting a few HD DVDS, we haven't really invested a whole lot of money.

It came with 2 movies "Bourne Identity" (love it, great action and good features) and "300" (artist self gratification and generally crap movie), and a coupon for 5 more free. Haven't seen them yet. Doubt I will. It won't matter.

We will be buying a Blu-Ray once the price point on a medium featured unit goes sub-$200. Typical consumer price.

New titles (3, Interesting)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687514)

While I think the HD players are an excellent cheap up-scaling DVD player, I question there value as a HD player. The catalog is tiny, and more importantly, there will be no new titles. So if I want the latest new release on a HD format, its blu-ray or nothin. I know, lots of people think up-scaled DVD's look just as good as HD, I just don't happen to be one of them. So, for me, I'll be picking up the high priced blu-ray media. I do think the war ended too soon. I was getting a lot of mileage out of the BOGO sales, which have vaporized as you could predict. Oh, and for those that will mention HD downloads, I'm already rolling on the floor with laughter.

Re:New titles (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687654)

The catalog isn't that tiny, there's some real gems such as most of the major Kubrick films and the Blade Runner collection (which I ordered right after Christmas for $25. Wow. Most awesome DVD set I've ever had, until then it was the Criterion "Brazil" set but the Blade Runner DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray thing blows that away), and, on the other end of the scale, the only high-definition release thus far of the Matrix series. It's worth checking both Amazon.com and Amazon.de as the European releases covered a slightly different collection of movies to those in the US, due to differing distribution rights; and HD DVD is region free so this really is worth doing.

Yes, there are plenty of movies not available on HD DVD. But the catalog isn't "tiny", people were buying DVD players back when the available DVDs were nothing like as plentiful as HD DVD is today.

Alien Quadrilogy FTW (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687956)

The Criterion Brazil is great (wish they would re-release it in anamorphic or HD, though). But, for my money, the absolute gold standard of all DVD sets is still the Alien Quadrilogy boxset. It's like God himself came down and designed a DVD set. Nothing else even comes close.

Re:New titles (0, Redundant)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687984)

One thing, I had some dealings recently with a guy who worked at a place that manufactures DVDs. A big factory place.
They have HD DVD manufacturing capability, which are made essentially on their old equipment. The same equipment that makes regular DVDs.

Blu Ray? A whole, new, multi million dollar system that could only make Blu Ray, and that's it.

Hardly a good technology if true. Wasteful.

Start laughing in 5 years (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687664)

"Oh, and for those that will mention HD downloads, I'm already rolling on the floor with laughter." - parent

iTunes has already made a lot of progress for music, movies will most assuredly follow. All it will take is something like a Tivo that can purchase movies online and allow you back them up for playback on your home PC (presumably after loggin in online) or the "tivo" you purchased it from. And if netflix ever starts actually putting good, and new movies, online for download, which is certainly in their benefit since they dont pay any shipping and handling fees....well you can see where this will go. The prices of server hardware is dropping as always, and very soon we will start seeing better options for downloading video than iTunes et al.

Re:Start laughing in 5 years (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687894)

iTunes has already made a lot of progress for music, movies will most assuredly follow.

I don't think there is anything assured about it. iTunes has been a winner for pop singles, but hasn't made a dent in the album market or in other genres. HD movies are an entirely different ballgame from pop singles. 30 GB vs. 5MB is huge factor.

iTunes works for 'music as background noise' that you don't pay any real attention to, much like car radio and elevator music.

HD Movies are a very different usage scenario.

Re:Start laughing in 5 years (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688264)

As soon as you could buy just the music you wanted, the "album market" was dead. There won't be any more "dents" in that dead horse. Movies make sense, but not at even 4.1GB. We need a return to xvid and/or divx compression and cool VCDs, which would be download-able.

Re:Start laughing in 5 years (2, Interesting)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688248)

I'd rather download a 700MB xvid or divx than a DVD iso. Time is significant. The quality is acceptable. Maybe its time to bring back XVCD?

Conversion prospects? (3, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687528)

Given the fact that HD-DVD titles are dirt cheap now, what about the prospect of buying up a lot of titles you want now and converting them to Blu-ray later? This is sort of like people converting VHS titles to DVD a few years ago, but without the problems of degraded quality.

Re:Conversion prospects? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687634)

I remember hearing that BluRay would only play encrypted/copy protected content. I'm not sure if I'm misinformed, or just not quite correct on the details, but it was my understanding that there wouldn't be any way of having user created content playable on BluRay.

Re:Conversion prospects? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687712)

OR, unless your HD-DVD player breaks (which is possible, but I have 3 "true" DVD players around the house, one of which is about 10 years old, and none have ever broken), why even bother converting? Just keep playing the HD-DVD's.

Multi-format players (4, Interesting)

Ifni (545998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687568)

Another consideration is that by the time BD players come down in price in a year or two, they are likely to be multiformat players, integrating HD-DVD playback. The technology is already available (http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/09/05/lgs-bh200-hd-dvd-blu-ray-combo-player-set-for--october/), and since there will be a significant market comprised of people that don't want to repurchase their HD-DVD collection, it only makes sense that either this multi-format system will become standard, or be a very low cost option. So all these people taking advantage of cheap HD-DVD players/movies now can also take advantage of low priced Blu-Ray a couple years down the line with almost no down side.

Despite Samsung canceling its next gen combo player (http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/006597.html), I think that this is a near term decision - when the market picks up for current model combo players, there will be financial incentive to meet that demand with new products.

Re:Multi-format players (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687678)

Stop twisting the dead turd, HD-DVD is gone.

Re:Multi-format players (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687910)

Nobody is going to be building combo players. It just doesn't make sense to add to the cost of a player for a format where there will be no new software.

Re:Multi-format players (1)

Ifni (545998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688498)

Right, because I couldn't find 5.25" disk drives nearly a decade after it stopped being used as a distribution medium, and just try buying a 3.5" floppy drive today, because that format is dead and replaced by USB memory sticks. Oh, and no-one's ever heard of a 5.25"/3.5" combo drive - what market could have ever supported the premium on the price to support dead formats. I've never worked with Dell systems where such things were standard. And no-one makes Betamax players anymore, or VCRs, or DAT players - why just the other day I was remarking at how the home media section of Walmart was only DVD and Blu-Ray players - not a VHS player to be found. And most DVD players don't support VCD, or a myriad of other formats that have either passed their hay-day or never found considerable market traction. And, of course, Blu-Ray players will never offer backwards compatibility with DVD, since it is soon to be a dead format.

What was I thinking, ignoring all these previous market trends to the contrary?

$60? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687578)

Who pays $60 for a DVD player when you can get one for $30 [walmart.com] ?

Re:$60? (1)

Nylathotep (72183) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687588)

ones who understand what native upscalers do for hdtvs.

Re:$60? (1)

myz24 (256948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687606)

Except that all HDTVs have upscalers in them already...of varying quality.

Re:$60? (2, Insightful)

gwait (179005) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688008)

Exactly!

It may well be that the Toshiba HD players have the best upscalers in them, but all that implies is that the upscalers in the HD displays are crap (which would not be surprising, given that the display manufacturers want you to buy HD everything, so why make an effort at having your old DVDs look good on the display?).

So, if a DVD HD player makes a good DVD upscaler, and you can buy it dirt cheap, why the heck not!

The blueray player price rise someone mentioned here could really shoot Sony in the foot. Hi def downloads over bittorrent are already possible now.

I'll adopt... (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687580)

...a linux box, xine and bittorrent.
I mean, HD-DVDs ? Physical disks ? Dust ? Uuuh.

Besides, frankly speaking, this early adopter rush probably has nothing to do with a taste for high quality and everything to do with a pissing contest with your neighbors.

Re:I'll adopt... (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687730)

i'll second that, my 24" 1920x1200 monitor, torrents and mplayer do just fine for me.

torrents can be substituted with ftp if you know someone in the circle ;)

embellishment (4, Insightful)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687582)

What really drives this is Blu-ray's skimpy catalog, which will take a couple of years to pump up.

The articles itself was interesting and looks spot on, however this embellished comment on the article is inaccurate. Amazon lists over 500 HD-DVD titles [amazon.com] and over 700 Blu-Ray titles [amazon.com] . It seems someone is grasping at anything to save face on a lost cause.

With a large volume of HD content available for the dead format and the player/movie prices heavily cut to move inventory it should be no surprise they are selling. Thats the point of the massive price cuts, to clear out the inventory of the dead format.

Is this bad news for Blu-Ray? Hardly, once the inventory for this dead format is depleted it will be a Blu-Ray market until a viable alternative is developed. I doubt we'll get any meaningful agreement between hardware manufacturers, software developers, content producers, and telecom providers that will enable a meaningful replacement for Blu-Ray any time soon.

Re:embellishment (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687670)

I don't think digital distribution will be a replacement for physical disks anytime soon. If you want to know why, take for example, the WiiShop channel on Christmas day, You couldn't even get on, let alone get to the point where you could download a game. And that's just for downloading tiny ROMS. Using physical disks allows studios to release a very large number of disks to the public, and have almost everybody who wants a copy, gets a copy. Digital distribution of 50 GB HD movies won't be feasible for quite a while. If everybody with a cable connection started to download 50 GB a month, the ISPs would quickly raise rates to account for the massive increase in bandwidth.

Re:embellishment (1)

Timinithis (14891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688206)

Raising their costs would still not raise their bandwidth. They will still take the profits and not improve the infrastructure, leaving the bandwidth allocation to the same method they use now -- throttling.

Leaving the customer to wait and wait, and hopefully "realize" that it is available now on iPPV/In Demand for $4.99 and pay for that rather than use up all the bandwidth downloading a 100% legitimate movie from the copyright holder....

Re:embellishment (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688298)

If you want to know why, take for example, the WiiShop channel on Christmas day, You couldn't even get on, let alone get to the point where you could download a game.

If I follow your argument correctly, you're saying that digital distribution is doomed because demand has been higher than expected?

digital distribution (2, Insightful)

dabadab (126782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688328)

Of course, the smart thing would be that ISPs distribute the content themselves, so it does not really cost them in terms of external bandwith. That's exactly what the major ISPs here plan to do with IPTV.

700 titles isn't much of a catalog... (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688250)

This isn't anything to do with saving face on a lost cause, it's saving money on movies that you can buy right now. Don't forget, that HD player will still play regular DVDs, so for someone who doesn't have those "GOTTA GET SOME OF THAT" early adopter genes, a choice of 500 cheap titles for a $75 player is a better deal than 700 full price titles for a $320 player.

my roomate did that with betamax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687602)

My roommate in 1993 had done this with betamax some years before. She had a couple of betamax players and *thousands* of betamax movies which she had purchased for something like $1.99 or $0.99 each at retail stores, garage sales, etc. The only problem was she couldn't get newer releases.

Always surf the wave's trailing edge (4, Interesting)

rbrander (73222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687614)

Such a ridiculous premium is put on technology costs by the "first on my block" factor, and so much value is ignored by the "fear of obsolescence" that great economies can be had by doing the opposite - jumping on technologies as they start to age.

Everybody who buys computers knows there's a "sweet spot" in price/performance that's about in the middle of the pack. If 1TB drives are just available, and you can still get 80GB drives but no smaller (not new), the the lowest $/GB is going to be around the 500GB size.

Well, the sweet spot for consumer entertainment boxes has tended to be near the trailing edge for over a decade now, not the middle. Unlike computer parts, there's very little Moore's Law involved.

I got a DVD player when they hit $300, and watched about 20 movies on it by the time they'd dropped below $100. So those 20 movies cost me $5 each to rent, and $10 each to own the player that early; I bought too soon.

Better results came from buying a LaserDisc AFTER the DVD had been announced and LD's dropped like a stone. I got it for a couple of hundred, watched several dozen movies on it before they were being sold from the stores, bought 20 discs for $5 each, and am still watching them one-by-one (and it's barely less good than DVD). In addition, it's now a conversation piece, a historical curio.

People still buy technology with the wrong, wrong mindset that it is a capital asset, that it will last a long time like a house, or at least a good car. It's not. It won't last that long anymore; not just the gadget, the ENTIRE FORMAT. My tapes lasted 20 years, DVD came and went in about 10, Blu-Ray is widely expected to be obsoleted by (often downloaded) AVI files in less than 10.

So treat it as an operating-money decision instead. Figure out the number of movies you watch in a year - if you're out of the dating years, have a family, generally Have A Life, it's probably less than 30, may be under 20. Then figure a five-year lifespan for a format these days, and that's the number of discs you'll play: maybe 100-150. Paying $600 for a player is $4-$6 per disc. Add then rental, and are you sure you don't just want to go to the theatre?

Re:Always surf the wave's trailing edge (2, Insightful)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687738)

Add then rental, and are you sure you don't just want to go to the theatre?


There is nothing family orientated about a trip to the local picture show. Every single time I goto the theater I am annoyed or offended.

The ultimate combination for the casual TV viewer is a modern antenna [dennysantennaservice.com] mounted on your house [antennaweb.org] plus Netflix [netflix.com] for the remainder of your desired special programming

Re:Always surf the wave's trailing edge (1)

nasor (690345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687948)

Add then rental, and are you sure you don't just want to go to the theatre?
Since it costs $9/ticket for adults at the theaters in my town, it's a minimum of $18/movie for my wife and I to go to the theater - and see the movie once. At 20 movies/year for 5 years, that's $1800 total. So no, it's still an easy choice to rent movies and watch them at home. Especially since you have the convenience of starting when you want, being able to stop the movie if you want to, etc. For the price of a trip to the theater you can usually purchase the movie, especially if you're willing to wait a few months. If you don't mind buying used disks that the rental store, you can get virtually any movie for around $10 - almost half the price of a trip to the theater, and then you *own* the disk and can watch it forever if you wish.

Wow the media finally figured it out. (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687618)

Frankly I don't give a damn whether I can see some actors face in all it's blemished detail, what I do care about is the likes of Planet Earth, Galapagos and so forth in HD.

Fact is, picking up a firesale HD-DVD player + Planet Earth, Galapagos and so on in HD-DVD as well as a few films that do actually suit HD well such as 300 and Transformers I've been able to get the content I actually want to see in HD early. I'd never buy an HD player for the likes of the Bourne series, simply because I already think Matt Damon is an idiot and I don't particularly care about watching a high definition idiot in my room, I'm quite content with people like him remaining standard definition, and in not watching that sort of thing in HD I don't feel like I've lost out on anything whatsoever.

I guess to put it another way, some films you watch for the fantastic visuals, others you watch for the story. The story based films really don't make much difference whether they'd HD or standard def. but you'd never watch something like Planet Earth for the story, whilst it's interesting the main pull to it is the fantastic visuals that make you realise how amazing our planet actually is so I had a choice. Do I wait god knows how long for a Bluray player to come down to £50 - maybe 2years or more? or do I just buy an HD-DVD player addon for my 360 for £50 and enjoy the content I actually care about seeing in HD right now. To me it's really a no brainer, as has been mentioned previously on Slashdot, it's not as if the 360's HD-DVD drive can't be used on a computer to rip the content to disc and burn to a Bluray disc sometime down the road anyway when the prices for burning Bluray discs becomes reasonable.

Some people look at me funny when I say I bought an HD-DVD player and a few films, but I struggle to find myself as being the joke when I've paid £90 for the same player + content they're paying over £300 for. I'm still possibly going to buy Bluray down the line, I just aint going to pay anything over £100 for it. It's all too easy for some people to overlook common sense and logical action due to over the top brand loyalty. I understand there may be some people who do want to see their favourite actors in all their high definition glory rather than enjoy the storyline but I'm not one of those and plenty of others aren't - for those of us who only watch story based discs for the story then even 700mb XviD (i.e. not quite as good as DVD quality even) is plenty good enough.

Re:Wow the media finally figured it out. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687862)

LOL! What a loser.

Just take a look at the pathetic Xbox fanboy's comment history!

GET A FUCKING LIFE FANBOY! Sony made you their whiny little bitch. Deal with it.

Re:Wow the media finally figured it out. (2, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688150)

I struggle to find myself as being the joke when I've paid £90 for the same player + content they're paying over £300 for.

You'll be singing a different tune when they spent that money just once and can continue to enjoy new releases while you spent that money once AND have to spend the additional money again when you find that you can't buy anything new that will play on your player. And you'll have to either dispose of the thing or figure out how to make it all fit in your TV stand or whatever you use. You're out a fair bit more money in the end than those who couldn't wait and jumped the gun before the war was over.

Re:Wow the media finally figured it out. (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688468)

Maybe not when you work out the economics of it. He can quite possibly buy an HD DVD player, a bunch of movies, and in a couple years throw them all in the trash and buy a Blu-ray player and those same movies and still come out ahead in terms of total money spent. In which case I think the joke is really on the Blu-ray early adopters.

Just to make my point with numbers:
100 HD DVD Player
50 10 HD DVD movies @ 5 each
V 3 years pass
100 Blu-ray Player
150 10 Blu-ray Movies @ 15 each
=total 400 + time value of money due to most expenses being backloaded

Versus

300 Blu-ray Player
200 10 Blu-ray Movies @ 20 each
=total 500 today

Re:Wow the media finally figured it out. (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688278)

I guess to put it another way, some films you watch for the fantastic visuals, others you watch for the story.
Or, to take a less piecemeal approach, a movie experience is a combination of the visuals, the audio, and the inherent movie content which includes story, acting, etc. You might watch Planet Earth for its great visuals but if you're playing the audio on not-very-good stereo speakers then you're missing out on a great part of the experience. HD content with a good setup gives you the best of all aspects of the movie and, while you may be satisfied with only a few of them, others want to get the best possible experience.
 

Cost Justification of PS3 (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687638)

If it so happens you want the following and your situation lacks all of the following then the price is already around what TFA quotes.
$133 for Blu-Ray
$133+External HDD for HTPC (Yellow Dog 6.0)
$133 for gaming console

I'm a chronic early adopter (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687652)

I adopted DVD in 1997 (just months after it came out) with a $450 player (at that time, one of the cheapest on the market). I have no regrets. I got a well-built machine that has lasted almost 11 years now (my parents still use it). That premium got me several years headstart over those still wasting $ on VHS tapes and a machine that was very decent and built to last (unlike many of the cheapo DVD players today).

I also bought into HD-DVD (bought the $180 xbox 360 add-on drive when it first came out). That $180 got me the ability to watch movies in high-def, access to HD-DVD discs that were generally much cheaper than their blu-ray counterparts, and access to many great exclusives (like the Battlestar Galactica HD-DVD boxset) not available on blu-ray. And it's not like any of that stuff I've already bought is going to turn into a pumpkin now that HD-DVD is dead. It also gives me access to some great clearance deals on discs now. No regrets

I also bought a blu-ray player (PS3 after the first price drop for $500). Gives me access to blu-ray discs and exclusives, a good gaming system with potential, full hardware backwards compatibility for my PS2/PS1 games (it's the original 60GB American model). And it's easily upgradable. No regrets.

I'm sick of hearing about the "dangers" of early adoption. IMHO, it's almost always worth it (as long as you don't go crazy with the top-of-the line stuff). Early adoption can buy you years of fun ahead of everyone else and rarely becomes truly worthless even if your chosen format "loses."

Re:I'm a chronic early adopter (1)

vipz (1179205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687788)

I have an Xbox 360. Now that the HD-DVD add-on is only $50, I'm pondering about getting it. What exactly can I do with the drive? Besides hooking it up to the Xbox and play HD-DVDs, that is.

Re:I'm a chronic early adopter (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687874)

It is useful for playing regular DVD's too (and you can still keep a game in the main 360 drive without always having to swap them out). One of the coolest things for me was that (with a simple USB extension cable) I could put the drive beside me on the table beside the couch, while keeping the 360 and other components under the TV. It's small and unobtrusive and no more having to get up to change movies (yes, I'm that lazy).

Re:I'm a chronic early adopter (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688034)

I feel the need to point out that renting a movie on VHS and wasting money on VHS tapes aren't quite the same thing. Sure, the playback experience isn't nearly as nice, but the movie is still pretty much there at a cost of $2. Anybody that bought (new, un-discounted)tapes after DVD came out is a loon, but that's only a part of the group of people who waited to buy a DVD player.

Re:I'm a chronic early adopter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22688414)

Well it sure makes it a lot easier to have a lot of money too.

Prior art (2, Interesting)

johnw (3725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687658)

In its way, rather similar to what happened with the 3" floppy disc drive. For a while the two battled it out, then it became clear that 3.5" had won out, but then Alan Sugar made use of the fact that the price of 3" drives had dropped to practically nothing and put them in the Amstrad PCW256. Unfortunately, production of the media had pretty much stopped so for a while the drives were quite a lot cheaper than a box of 10 discs (which was more surprising then than it would be now).

The Amstrad box was so popular that production of 3" discs had to be restarted and 3" drives got a whole new lease of life. Still died in the end though.

Re:Prior art (2, Informative)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688108)

In its way, rather similar to what happened with the 3" floppy disc drive.

Just as an FYI and future reference, "disc" is reserved for optical media while "disk" is for magnetic (hard or soft media). So if you have seen CD expanded to "compact disk" it is wrong as far as the nomenclature is concerned. And yes I am aware your ID is a lot lower than mine but when something is factually incorrect it is factually incorrect.

Re:Prior art (2, Informative)

johnw (3725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688370)

Just as an FYI and future reference, "disc" is reserved for optical media while "disk" is for magnetic (hard or soft media).
Bollocks. The two spellings have been used interchangeably for years. Whilst it might be true to say that the trademark "Compact disc" requires the "C" spelling, extrapolating from this to your general rule is purely wishful thinking.

It is true that "disk" is more common in the USA, whilst "disc" is (or was) more common in English English, but all these things are becoming very blurred.

Re:Prior art (2, Informative)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688426)

I'm not sure how many I have to post before you are convinced but here goes:
Exhibit A (most reliable) from Apple [apple.com]

Exhibit B (least reliable but similar to what you said) is here [auckland.ac.nz]

Exhibit C (medium reliability) from Washington State University [wsu.edu]

In the end, I believe they all support what I said.

Yes but... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687666)

I can agree with the economics, but there are social issues to deal with, to wit: my wife isn't a-gonna go for me investing in yet another dead format. Not only do I have to explain why I bought into a format already defunct, but years from now when the player finally gives up, I have to explain why we have to buy those movies over again. Yeah, I only paid $6 back in 2008, but with the spousal unit, that's not the point.

And in a way, I can agree with her. Yes, if I play my cards right and spend some time on it, I can squeeze some value out of the demise of HD-DVD, but is it really worth my time?

And so, I continue to baby my two year old chinese DVD player while prices come down on blu-ray.

To really compare to the Beta vs VHS war.. (1)

SirStiff (911718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687696)

..I think everyone is forgetting just how long that battle lasted. Beta VCRs came out circa 1975, and I don't believe any victory was conceded to VHS until about 1985 or later. Even though VHS always had the market edge, Beta users were still able to find units and most of the same titles at rental stores until the 90's. And just so I'm not completely talking out of my ass, I guess I'd better check Wikipedia... yup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betamax [wikipedia.org] .

That being said, is there still a chance for HD-DVD to come out on top again, especially considering the points in the above article?

Re:To really compare to the Beta vs VHS war.. (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688436)

That being said, is there still a chance for HD-DVD to come out on top again, especially considering the points in the above article?


Very little and it has nothing to do with the article. The reason HD-DVD is done is because Toshiba said its not going to pursue HD-DVD anymore. They learned and realized that Sony made a mistake by dragging a format war over a decade. Thats a huge investment to make for a technology where the market will only support one standard.

This isn't like the console wars or the OS wars where there is room in the market for a few options. Consumers, studios, manufacturers, don't want to have to deal with movies in multiple formats its a pain in the ass for everyone.

did the math (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687706)

I grabbed a cheap A3 last fall and then started grabbing some of the B1G1 deals that Amazon and other places were running. When the ax fell in January, I sat back, took stock and realized that with the money I'd spent on the player and about 20 movies, I'd barely have been able to buy the cheapest BD player. I'm not buying any more HD DVDs (mostly because I have most of the ones I wanted), but I did just order an Xbox 360 add-on for $50 so that I can rip the HD DVDs that I do have. I'll most likely pick up a BD player sometime this fall (Black Friday?), but for the moment, I'm enjoying a ton of great movies for what I don't consider to be a whole lot of money.

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22687716)

with so much sales and no premium, Why can't HD DVD win now???

The did the math? (4, Funny)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687740)

> And why are people flocking to buy this decade's Betamax? Simple, they did the math.

What? The summary does a good job of describing why HD-DVD is a good buy, although they have to make up facts to do it, such as pricing a DVD player at $60. However, I think it is more likely that most of the people buying HD-DVD players don't know that it is dead. Never attribute to average people doing math that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Re:The did the math? (1)

nfgaida (68606) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687790)

I did the math. I picked up the 360 HD attachment for $50. Comes with the xbox remote which costs $20 by itself. Picked up a few cheap HD titles to take advantage of the HDTV. I'm not buying bluray until it is around $100 for the player, and $20 for a disk. (or not at all, since I've had netflix I haven't bought a DVD in years)

I want a Betamax deck. (3, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22687798)

And why are people flocking to buy this decade's Betamax?
Don't know about the rest of the world, but I'd like a Betamax deck (to digitize some old Beta tapes I have).

Save your HD-DVD player! Some loser, twenty years from now, may want it!

Re:I want a Betamax deck. (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688350)

Don't know about the rest of the world, but I'd like a Betamax deck (to digitize some old Beta tapes I have).
Beta was slightly less pointless. For a home theater it offered superior sound and video even in long play mode until SVHS & Hi8 came out. Oddly enough, I found beta to be more practical than SVHS or Hi8 as I found there were more people with beta decks than SVHS and Hi8 ones.

I had a Sanyo super beta till it died some years back, and I wish that I recorded more with it, esp music videos on MTV's 120 minutes as VHS was in contrast crap even in LP mode.

I bought a HDDVD Drive and have no regrets (1)

TAZ6416 (584004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688080)

I bought the XBOX add on drive for £90 in January, while it's down to about £35 I got 5 Free HD DVD's thrown in - http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/hd-dvd/default.htm [xbox.com]

Since Toshiba pulled the plug I have bought another 7 HD DVD titles at an average price of about £6 each, plus I am a customer of http://www.lovefilm.com/ [lovefilm.com] so I can still rent HD DVD's from them. In the UK, the firesale seems not to have started yet, so I'm currently buying most of my stuff from Australia

I also own one of these - http://www.palsite.com/9300ovi.html [palsite.com] so I have a history of backing failed technology ;)

Jonathan

John Titor is on his way ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22688222)

John Titor is on his way back to the present to get a set of HD-DVD players ... Seems the only thing that can save the world from total destruction (in 2035 AD) is a program thats recorded on a HD-DVD ...

Personally a part of this phenomenon (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688348)

The value prospect of HD-DVD right now is compelling. Picked up a 360 add-on for $49 - which comes with King Kong and five free* (admittedly, quite limited selection) HD-DVDs.
* + $10 shipping

Then picked up a bunch selling at deepdiscount.com for $10.
Then picked up Planet Earth for $35 (damn Canadian shipping costs - would have been $25 if I lived in the US!).

In all, I've spent maybe $250. That's not enough to even buy a Blu-Ray player.. but it was enough to get me HD player, plus a whole bunch (20)+ of movies..

Worst case scenerio.. in a few years, I have to rip all of these movies to BD. But for now, I feel like I've made out pretty well..

HD-A2 vs. *Quality* Upscalers (2, Informative)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22688364)

What all the "Wal-mart DVD players are cheaper" posters are missing is that the upconversion on those players is mostly crap. If you've got an HDTV that has good internal scaling then all you need is progressive-scan; but some displays *need* a good quality upscaler, and the Wal-Mart brands are largely worthless for that (heck, even the models sold in CC/BB are only mediocre, usually).

Personally, I bought an HD-A2 when the price dropped below that of the OPPO players, which are widely considered the cream of the crop in upscaling DVD players. Many reviews on AV discussion boards indicated that the Tosh HD-DVD players were(/are) at least equal to the OPPOs, plus you got HD-DVD as a bonus. Meanwhile the only thing I sacrificed was support for formats like DVD-A/SACD on the OPPO, which I didn't plan to use anyway.

Of course that was before the format "died", so there was at least the *possibility* that the HD-DVD portion would be useful going forward. But if I were looking at it now, I'd much rather have a $60 "HD-A3 than a $30 Wal-mart brand just for the upconverting function...
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