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post #1 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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DVD Times UK

DVD Times is present at the press conference of the European HD DVD Promotion Group, here at Hall 7.3 at the IFA Consumer Electronics Show...

DVD Times apologises for the lack of live blogging from the HD DVD event. This was due to lack of a working wireless network connection at the event.

Illustrations will be added to the article later tonight.

15:10:
I arrive late, the conference hall was impossible to find, so I have to sit on the floor. Mr Fuji is discussing of Toshiba's "Digital Life innovation". A promo loop (in HD) is being projected. It features a floating ship and weird, tentacle-like creatures.

15:14: He begins talking about the wonderful fantasy world and fantastic image quality. He says it cost a lot of money to make and he went without a bonus to get it made. Ooh, he's committed!

"In the digital realm, everything's possible".

He mentions that movies like this couldn't have existed before digital technology became so prevalent.

15:16: Business talk about Toshiba's brand concept. Promises that talk of HD DVD vs BD is coming in 30-40 minutes.

15:19: A pot shot at Blu-ray. "BD is more suitable at encoding high def movies... they're offering 50gb max". He says that many BD discs are in fact 25gb and that hard drive capacity (1tb-2tb) dwarfs any optical disc anyway, so it's more suitable for recording.

He says that optical disc is very suitable for pre-recorded media or archival purposes thanks to the cheap cost of the media. He says he's sure that optical discs will continue for pre-recorded content for the next 30, 40, or even 100
years!

15:22: Toshiba's strategy is to continue to develop new products. This is very different to many of the BD companies. Says that connectivity is a key aspect to digital innovation.

15:24: Toshiba provides many products featuring digital convergence. Come on, we want the HD DVD stuff!

15:25-15:40: Talk about Toshiba's TV business.

15:35: "PCs are becoming the next-generation nerve centres for home theatres". This is why Toshiba is pushing HD DVD in PCs so much. "HD DVD leads the PC market in next gen optical disc drives".

15:37: Almost 2 years ago, the first HD DVD PC was launched, in a high-end model. "That's going to change". From Q4 onwards, HD DVD will be a mainstream feature in Toshiba notebooks!

HD DVD already has a 70% share of the European IT market.

Starting Q4, the majority of Toshiba notebooks will be equipped with HD DVD technology. DVD is now mandatory in notebooks - now HD DVD is the next step.

15:42: HD DVD Press Conference begins.

Ken Graffeo, executive VP at Universal, and chairman of the EU HD DVD PRG, takes the stage.

He mentions an "ever growing list of worldwide supporters". Mentions "Paramount, and most recently, Dreamworks Animation".

75% of independent EU studios releasing titles on HD DVD.

Additional 90 titles promised by the end of 2007.

HD DVD is affordable. Players half the cost of BD players.

HD DVD also has a much higher attach rate: 4 discs per player, 7 times that of BD.

New slide: "Europe's HD format".

15:46: HD DVD titles mentioned. No surprises. "Many of the most popular TV series in the world - Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek the original series - exclusive to HD DVD".

He asks, what's important to studios? Standalone players, not game machines. The jury is still out on whether gamers will still buy movies in favor of games. Universal don't think so. According to GFK, for every 2 PS3s, 1 movie is sold, compared to HD DVD, where 4 movies are bought for every player.

"While HD DVD gives the same outstanding picture and sound quality as Blu-ray, we're taking the interactivity to a new level"

A video plays. It's the same one that was posted to the HD DVD web site - "Take the red pill" - only it's in 1080p. It looks fantastic projected. I want to buy a 1080p projector now.

15:50. Ken starts talking but is interrupted with applause from the video.

A new slide - what makes HD DVD the better format?" Ken talks about mandatory features and the additional features they can provide, and mentions how everyone will be able to use them. "Sadly, that's not the case with Blu-ray. Many Blu-ray owners will only get advanced features if they buy the next-generation players".

15:52: Heroes coming to the UK later this year.

"HD DVD is about so much more than HD pictures and audio. It's about immersive ... interactive experiences." Claims that studios/directors are keeping HD DVD interactive features in mind when they shoot movies.

Mentions the reduced cost of duplication - HD DVD offers a far better business case, and claims it is better for independents.

Says affordability is important. HD DVD has 70% of current standalone player sales.

Claims that price is a bigger factor than the format battle in keeping people away.

VENTURA player will be "300 euros or less". It makes HD DVD the true mass-market format. Apparently this happpened in record time. It took more than 4 years for comparable price drops to occur in Europe. HD DVD players at every price point.

15:56: Talking about Paramount and Dreamworks Animation. Chris Saito from Paramount takes the stand. He says that Paramount's decision based on 1 year's worth of evaluation, best value for consumers, best value for Paramount in terms of replication. Key catalog titles coming as well as Shrek and Transformers. He says they'll have more to announce in the near future.

Paramount and DWA will work within the HD DVD Promotion Group. "We will take things to new heights. Thank you very much".

15:58: HD DVD isn't just about movies - it's about music. Here's Wolfgang Hanebrink, CEO of EMI Music Germany. He states that Toshiba and the HD DVD Group were reliable and suportive in helping them launch a music HD DVD.

"When we talked to an artist and said there's a chance to do a very high quality product of your concert, he was very keen from the beginning." Says that added value for both artists and consumers is very important to EMI.

The artist is Herebt Gronemeyer and his is "the first German live music HD DVD". He's a really big artist in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: 97% of all Germans know who he is. It's being released in December, and has DTS HD 7.1 audio.

A 1080p video plays. The video quality is not the usual "live concert" quality - it's in 24p and looks a lot more like film, very, very detailed. Herbert appears on screen and talks to us. He says he's not the greatest technician, but is amazed by HD DVD.

16:08: Olivier Van Wynendaele - EU HD DVD Promotion Group. He's going to talk about standalone players.

Toshiba Europe won't be making 1080i players anymore after October: 1080p only.

HD-EP30 comes in October. 1080p/24, HDMI v1.2a output. 349-399 euro.

HD-EP35 is the high-end model, also in October. Same chassis as the EP30. But it has REGZA Link and HDMI v1.3 with Deep Color functionality, and bitstream output for HD audio formats. 449-499 euros.

16:12: Talks about firmware release schedule. 24p being added to the older models. From December, all HD players will be able to replay 50p. (This means that European-originated HD shows will not need to go through a lossy standards conversion process to be released on HD DVD).

Onkyo DV-HD805: calls it "the best of the best" which is surprising to hear from a Toshiba employee. 999 euros. Standout feature is the HQV Reon VX video processing chip.

The free movies bundle promotion is coming to Europe! 5 free movies free with each player. The titles are still being chosen - but MIGHT include Miami Vice, Batman Begins, King Kong, Chronicles of Riddick, and Troy.

16:14: Talking about software releases. "I can assure you you we will have excellent content in high quantity as well". He's going to talk about European content providers - not Hollywood movies.

Talks about replication: a lot of places in Europe can press HD DVDs. Says this competition is good for consumers, drives down the cost.

25 European content providers already. By the end of the year, that number will have doubled! New logos shown - Medusa Home Entertainment releasing on HD DVD, as are Universal Music Group (who I believe were BD exclusive before?)

Optimum is bringing Pan's Labyrinth out in the UK. Other companies will release in other territories. The German version (from SENATOR) will have interactive features. Not sure why the other's don't.

16:18: Talking about France: Studio Canal releasing new titles soon. (The BDA yesterday claimed they were exclusive - they are not). MK2 are now releasing on HD DVD, as are SND.

"Se7en" is coming out on HD DVD in Italy. In Italy, the 3 leading independent content providers are exclusive to HD DVD.

Poland: Some titles are already available. There are no players in Poland yet, but people are already buying them. "Thank you to our Polish friends".

Germany: one of the most important markets in Europe. Kinowelt are bringing all three "SAW" movies to HD DVD.

Universum Film are releasing CSI on HD DVD in Germany.

Terminator 2 is being totally redone for Germany: new master, new interactive features.

ALL titles from the companies shown on the slide will have interactive features and be online enabled.

A T2 video plays. The transfer looks MUCH better than the old one and the disc is LOADED with interactive features (I'll add more detail later).

"DYNAMIC HD" Introduced as part of the video, with a snazzy logo. This is their name for the online functionality.

16:28: Dr Jordi Ribas, General Manager, HD DVD, from Microsoft in the USA, is here.

16:29: Microsoft Investment in HD DVD. "Why is MS so eager to support in HD DVD?" Mentions HDi, says that Terminator 2 is an example of it but it's just "scratching the surface".

Mentions Microsoft VC-1, and mentions how important it is: "with excellent compression like VC-1 and AVC, you can put 3-4 hours of very high definition content and tons of bonus features, and there's plenty of space left on an HD DVD disc".

Finally: Delivering HDi and HD DVD software to industry leaders in CE, IT and Content.

Why do they believe in HD DVD so much? We have to look at 3 areas:

One is VALUE. Says HD players are half the price of BD players. "Not only are they cheaper, but they're better" because they all guarantee interactivity and ethernet connectivity.

They'll be offering 5 free discs with HD DVD drive in Europe. Says the promotion in the US had "outstanding" results and caused the player to jump in sales by 7 times!

"As reality sinks in, more and more studios are coming on board".

He claims that sales of standalone players are 70/30% in Europe, in favour of HD DVD.

Compares BD-Java and HDi, mentions that BD-J is much more programming centric, whereas HDi uses web standards like XML and ECMAScript. He shows some quotes from HomeTheaterForum and other sites, from delighted users of HDi discs.

16:31: he mentions that he stepped by the BDA booth here at IFA, and picked up a brochure. "I had fun with it, it says 'we're the best, etc'". He mentions that the brochure mentioned that BD had great interactivity, but he mentions that it also had a footnote that said "Product-dependant feature". He talks about how HD DVD has Interactivity as standard in every player.

"Microsoft may not understand many things - but we understand software!" He says that people are becoming less skeptical about the value of interactivity.

16:37: things wrap up with a trailer of BOURNE ULTIMATUM, which looks excellent. "Coming soon to HD DVD. Bourne comes home."

And that, everyone, is the end. A Q&A session was held next door, which made it difficult to record the questions and answers. Once again, I apologise for the lateness of this post (better than never, right?), and pictures will be added later.

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:03 PM
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I hope the Italians aren't the only ones getting Seven on HD DVD this year. I'd love to own that movie in high def.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

DVD Times UK

And that, everyone, is the end. A Q&A session was held next door, which made it difficult to record the questions and answers. Once again, I apologise for the lateness of this post (better than never, right?), and pictures will be added later.

Let me correct the last paragraph as reported/written that you altered.
Quote:


And that, everyone, is the end. A Q&A session was held next door, which made it difficult to record the questions and answers. Once again, I apologise for the lateness of this post (better than never, right?) Now, I'm off to the Sony Pictures party...


2014
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

One is VALUE. Says HD players are half the price of BD players. "Not only are they cheaper, but they're better" because they all guarantee interactivity and ethernet connectivity.

I think this is one feature that really gets overlooked by both sides. If HD-DVD does manage to hold on for a while, we will first see the porn industry show how this is a viable money maker.

I think that will be followed by convergence. By putting your DVD player on your home network, you would be essentially allowing other networked devices to communicate with it. I see the possibilities are endless for this. Imagine your computer could talk to the DVD player and compile a list of your movies as you watch them... favorite scenes... screenshots... tie ins with online video rental outfits like Netflix where as your watching a movie and a trailer is playing.. you can hit a key and it adds it to your Netflix wishlist.

This doesn't even take into consideration the music industry who is dying at the hands of pirates and mp3 players. They need something new and fresh. What's better than selling high-def videos with trueHD sound instead of CD's -- but are also CD's - and that also allow you to download MP3 versions and remixes as they are released simply using your disc. Then you just plug your lil IPOD player into one of the USB ports on your HD-DVD player (since it's a standard) and whammo - latest tracks.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

15:10: I arrive late, the conference hall was impossible to find, so I have to sit on the floor. Mr Fuji is discussing of Toshiba's "Digital Life innovation". A promo loop (in HD) is being projected. It features a floating ship and weird, tentacle-like creatures.

Just curious but does anyone know if this promo video can be found online?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

15:37: Almost 2 years ago, the first HD DVD PC was launched, in a high-end model. "That's going to change". From Q4 onwards, HD DVD will be a mainstream feature in Toshiba notebooks!
...
HD DVD also has a much higher attach rate: 4 discs per player, 7 times that of BD.

If Toshiba really thought the attach rate was important I doubt that they would be planning to make HD DVD drives standard in their notebook computers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

According to GFK, for every 2 PS3s, 1 movie is sold, compared to HD DVD, where 4 movies are bought for every player.

Who is GFK and is their report publicly available? Obviously they included the PS3 but I am curious to see how they get those numbers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

Toshiba Europe won't be making 1080i players anymore after October: 1080p only.

Good decision since many HDTVs can't properly handle a 1080i60 signal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

16:18: Talking about France: Studio Canal releasing new titles soon. (The BDA yesterday claimed they were exclusive - they are not).

Can anyone post a link to the BDA press release that claimed that Studio Canal was exclusive? Last I checked the BDA simply said that Studio Canal was going to start supporting Blu-ray.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:30 PM
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15:56: Talking about Paramount and Dreamworks Animation. Chris Saito from Paramount takes the stand. He says that Paramount's decision based on 1 year's worth of evaluation, best value for consumers, best value for Paramount in terms of replication.

Previously Paramount cited "manufacurability" as a reason they left. Here they are being more specific, citing replication.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Can anyone post a link to the BDA press release that claimed that Studio Canal was exclusive? Last I checked the BDA simply said that Studio Canal was going to start supporting Blu-ray.

Does anyone have a link to the press release that Studio Canal was going to start supporting Blu-Ray?
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheraviator View Post

Does anyone have a link to the press release that Studio Canal was going to start supporting Blu-Ray?

4 Down:

http://formatwarcentral.com/
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3161833


NPD: 30% of Xbox 360 Owners Aware of HD Graphics
And only 40% of PS3 users aware of its Blu-ray player.
By Patrick Klepek, 08/08/2007

Microsoft and Sony have both been pushing high-definition visuals this generation, but do people care? So far, the hardcore have been the early adopters of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, while the mass market waits for the right games (i.e. Grand Theft Auto IV) and price drops to make this generation financially viable. Naturally, then, you might assume gamers with machines now are aware of their HD capabilities, right?
Right?

As it turns out, not so much. The NPD Group released results from their "Next Gen Functionality & Usage" report and some of the numbers are surprising.

According to the results, only 40% of PlayStation 3 owners polled were aware the machine had a Blu-ray player and about 50% of that number had popped in a Blu-ray movie during the last 10 times they turned on the machine -- the other half didn't use the feature. The study didn't poll about Xbox 360's HD-DVD add-on, as it's not a standard feature with the Xbox 360 SKU. For reference, about half polled knew about the DVD-playback potential of Xbox 360.

The lack of awareness (or interest) isn't limited to movie watching, either -- and here's where you should start paying attention for an idea on how the mass market will respond in the next few years. Only 30% of Xbox 360 owners were aware of the HD graphics capabilities of the machine, whereas that number rises to 50% with PS3. Considering the inclusion of a cheap Blu-ray player in the PS3, that's not so surprising, but, either way, a startling number of "HD gamers" don't know about -- or don't care about -- HD.

"The industry is still in its infancy with regard to this "next-gen" and all the expanded capabilities of the systems," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier to 1UP. "Gameplay is still king, and it may take awhile for the awareness and usage of the additional features to really take hold with consumers."

If so few are even aware of the HD functions, how many who are in-the-know are even taking advantage of it? Speaking anecdotally, my Dad picked up an HDTV a few years ago from Costco and every time I'm home, he's watching everything in SD because he doesn't know better. To him, he's watching TV on the "HDTV" and actually switching to a HD-capable channel doesn't cross his mind -- it's the illusion of having the HDTV feature that makes him think he's actually watching a better picture. In fact, he's making standard definition look worse!

Unfortunately, the NPD didn't have usage numbers for HD gaming -- maybe next time.


NPD Methodology
The report is based on online survey responses from 6,260 members of NPD's online consumer panel. These respondents, compromised of males and females ages 6 to 44, are qualified owners of at least one next generation system (PS3, PSP, Wii, NDS, Xbox 360). In addition, non-owners were captured in order to further probe on next generation system purchase intent and other areas. Fieldwork was conducted from April 4-10, 2007.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-31-2007, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Plasmaman View Post

Let me correct the last paragraph as reported/written that you altered.

Hey Plasmaman - he didn't alter it, I did, when I updated the page with pictures. I removed the reference to "pictures coming soon".

David Mackenzie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Who is GFK and is their report publicly available? Obviously they included the PS3 but I am curious to see how they get those numbers.

Gesellschaft Fuer Konsumforschung.

They are big (if not the biggest) market research firm in Germany, they release general reports every few months on consumer behaviour etc.

http://www.gfk.de/
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-01-2007, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

4 Down:

http://formatwarcentral.com/

Aren't they just jumping to the conclusion Studio Canal has ANNOUNCED they are SUPPORTING BluRay? I don't believe there was EVER an announcement made by Studio Canal. This is a plain example of the BD Camp making up their own news to help sell their format.

Someone found a title on the website that was BD and decided to make up some big news story about switching to neutral blah blah.

There has never been any official press release from Studio Canal to say anything.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheraviator View Post

Aren't they just jumping to the conclusion Studio Canal has ANNOUNCED they are SUPPORTING BluRay? I don't believe there was EVER an announcement made by Studio Canal. This is a plain example of the BD Camp making up their own news to help sell their format.

Someone found a title on the website that was BD and decided to make up some big news story about switching to neutral blah blah.

There has never been any official press release from Studio Canal to say anything.

Not only that but if you just invest an ounce of energy and read about you would realize that that particular title is connected to Lionsgate or Warner (one of the two) so as they BD/neutral it went on BD. Studio Canal in this case only had to be the distrubutor for Europe.
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Universal Music Group and EMI Entertainment are releasing on HD DVD? Good news.
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-01-2007, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Can anyone post a link to the BDA press release that claimed that Studio Canal was exclusive? Last I checked the BDA simply said that Studio Canal was going to start supporting Blu-ray.

Hey Richard

You're right, I didn't manage to get that down in the article. The guy on the stage certainly said this. I remember it especially because they showed a full-screen image of a box set of a famous French release (can't remember the name), and I remember thinking, "That's exclusive? I saw a picture of the HD DVD box set a few days ago on the web".

David Mackenzie
DVD/BD Compressionist/Author
Reviewer & Tech Consultant, HDTVtest.co.uk
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