Originally Posted by James R. Geib
Some didn't read for comprehension! My point was, for TWENTY THREE YEARS, studios released films on Laserdisc, despite other POPULAR formats being available, a la VHS and ultimately DVD.
I see no reason to think HD-DVD won't be around for a long time, and if it proves viable for two major studios, and stand alone players continue to sell, it would only be prudent for other studios to release HD-DVD once standard DVD sales begin to fall. As we all know, conversion of standard DVD manufacturing to HD-DVD is a simple thing to do.
HD-DVD will be a thorn in BetaRay's side for quite some time. You naysayers can bet on it.
P.S. There are more than two movie studios supporting HD-DVD.
The market dynamics have changes since the launch of Laserdisc & VHS. When LD were introduced into the market, collecting movies to own was in it's infancy. During the 80's renting VHS was the standard, while buying LD's was establish as a niche market. Both VHS & Laserdiscs were a ancillary market that added to the studio bottom line, which was primarily derived from theatrical revenues.
Shift to the early '90's... VHS started to become a sell through format, while LD's chugged along as the ancillary market. Most importantly, the studios began to rely on the home video market for most of their profits, since their production budgets began to spiral out of control, negating most of their revenue from theatrical releases. (Please note that all the while until around 1993, Paramount kept announcing a limited amount of Beta releases... I remember Tommy Boy actually being promoted... But what company actually stocked this title on Beta.)
When DVD was starting to be pushed around 1995, yes two years before the actual launch, VHS revenues were starting to flatten as the format became more of a commodity, and it was time for something new. At the time there were two competing discs formats, one pushed by Sony, the other Toshiba. Eventually cooler heads would prevail and an un-easy compromise for disc structure was made. If I remember correctly, Sony's dual-layer design was incorporated into the specs that Toshiba originally designed, which was only single layer.
1997 comes, and for the first year or so, it's spotty then... Blam! DVD takes off an becomes the standard, destroying both the laserdisc and VHS markets.
Around 2000, and the rumbling about a HD successor to DVD are starting up, Sony (and the nine member BDA) is leading the way with their Blu-ray design, utilizing blue lasers. Then in 2002, at WB's urging, the HD DVD Forum, headed by Toshiba approves a HD successor called AOD. It was based upon using the existing red laser technology, storing HD content at 720P with higher compression... After re-evaluating, the HD DVD forum, without the approval of the BDA members, decides to adopt blue laser technology and Toshiba continues on their separate course, working with the old DVD disc structure.
Things change over the next few years and, in 2005, both sides attempt to come together in the fall of 2005, realizing two formats are not going to fly with the consumer, citing the disaster that was SACD & DVD-Audio. Things blow up at the last minute, wether you want to believe Microsoft was responsible is your choice, and we end up with the mess that were are just now sorting out.
No one wanted this mess, and now that the end can be seen, I'm fairly certain all parties (CE, Retailers and Studios) are going to resolve this silliness by July at the latest. HD DVD will be a non-factor by September when the 4th quarter buying season beings.