Blu-ray expects to reveal launch details in Jan - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Blu-ray expects to reveal launch details in Jan
Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:51 AM ET

By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Blu-ray DVD group said on Tuesday it still planned to roll out a high-definition disc format in spring 2006, though members of the consortium led by Sony Corp. <6758.T> said they would unveil specific launch plans at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
"We're sticking with the spring time frame," said Andy Parsons, a spokesman for Blu-ray, at a demonstration of the new high-capacity DVD format.
Blu-Ray is vying with a competing format known as HD DVD, championed by a group led by Toshiba Corp. <6502.T>.
"At CES, you're likely to hear some announcements from a number of companies as to when you'll see our products on the market," Parsons told a group of analysts, industry members and reporters gathered at the product demonstration at News Corp.'s <NWS.N> 20th Century Fox lot. The show is in Las Vegas.
Sony's Blu-ray disc technology appears to be the front-runner in the multibillion dollar race to develop the next-generation DVDs, which movie studios and consumer electronics manufacturers hope will ignite sales for the home video sector, which has shown signs of a slowdown recently.
Both formats provide high-definition versions of movies as well as interactive features.
Members of the Blu-ray camp, including executives from Disney Corp. <DIS.N>, Fox, Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic, attended the press briefing on Tuesday to show off Blu-ray's interactive features, which enable consumers to play games, connect to the Internet and select from various functions, such as subtitles and text, while still watching a movie.
Blu-ray has more major movie studios on its side, although some industry watchers have said the format will be more expensive to make. While HD DVD discs can be made with only minor tweaks to the standard DVD manufacturing process, Blu-ray discs require completely different equipment.
Members of the Blu-ray Disc Association consortium have said in the past that costs will come down quickly and be almost immediately competitive with those of HD DVD.
The consortium consists of various Hollywood studios, computer makers and consumer electronics manufacturers in the United States and abroad.
Executives said on Tuesday the format's flexibility gave them added revenue potential by eventually enabling consumers to order films or merchandise using the discs.
"We do intend to be able to have that as an element in the next Blu-ray specification in terms of its being able to be used as a portal to make transactions," said Bob Chapek, president of Disney's Buena Vista Entertainment.
Richard Doherty, analyst with Envisioneering, cited a potential scenario in which a studio may one day pre-package a feature film disc with an additional movie or trailer that has not yet been released to the home viewing market and could be restricted or "locked" until the studio enables consumers to see it.
"There are lots of opportunities to merchandise between TV shows and movies. They could release movies on command ascribing to pay-per-view limits. The same disc enables many consumer experiences and profit possibilities," he said.
Members from HD DVD and Blu-ray tried earlier this year to find a unified front but failed, paving the way for a protracted format war and reminding many industry members of the battle between VHS and Sony's Betamax in the mid-1970s, which led to confusion among consumers and losses for the studios.
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post #2 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 10:00 AM
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"Can I have your attention? Can I have your attention, please? I have a very important announcement to make. I'm here to announce that there will be another announcement in January. Thank you for your attention."

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post #3 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 11:15 AM
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Best summary of the announcement I've seen yet.

David
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post #4 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Well you know something big is coming when an announcement gets an announcement. I am hoping this announcement will have a list of Blu-Ray titles with dates they will be made availible. I also hope the Playstation 3 will be priced and also given a release date.
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post #5 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 11:38 AM
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it is an anouncement of a show, I am sure it is there to try and drum up trafic for the show so that they can show you all the cool toys.
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post #6 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AnthonyP
it is an anouncement of a show, I am sure it is there to try and drum up trafic for the show so that they can show you all the cool toys.
Well we will find out in January now won't we.
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post #7 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 12:23 PM
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Me too. Titles, MSRP, and availability are what I'm hoping for. We know Sony will go all out with their own "house" titles...I'm more anxious to see what/if Paramount, WB, Fox, and Disney do. I got my fingers crossed for Braveheart. Please?!?!?!!?

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post #8 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 02:56 PM
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I think that first, a bunch of not so important tittles will come out, along with few great blockbusters ones.
So, this was only an announcement's announcement...
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post #9 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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With Sony sticking with MPEG-2 I am much more looking forward to Warner and Foxes releases also I am looking forward to finding out what codecs the other studios will use.
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post #10 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 03:41 PM
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I think that first, a bunch of not so important tittles will come out, along with few great blockbusters ones.
So, this was only an announcement's announcement...
Not so sure about that. Even in the original HD-DVD announcement, there were a boatload of big name titles in there. That will also be an interesting aspect of the Blu-Ray announcements. That is, we will know how "solid" the Paramount and Warner support is for Blu-Ray given what titles they announce (at CES or not). Everyone is saying Blu-Ray has won because of more studio support, but if Paramount and Warner is only "token" support, then I think declaration of Blu-Ray as the winner could be pre-mature.

-Dan
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post #11 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 04:44 PM
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I expect that studios like Warners supplying disks for both formats will make all releases in both formats, at least initially. Their point is that they don't know which format will win and so they are hedging their bets by releasing both.

This was initially true of Beta and VHS by the way.

This could rapidly change if the market declares a winner.

I have been surprised that Sony hasn't been more aggressive with a title list. If I were in their shoes, I would release everything of importance in the Columbia and MGM catalogs just as fast as mastering and pressing allowed. Sony is in the unique position of controlling the content.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with at CES.
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post #12 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:09 PM
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Can't wait, dismiss mpeg2(just like D-Theater) if you want, you will be missing out on some great HDTV content(again just like with D-Theater)

-Gary
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post #13 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell
Can't wait, dismiss mpeg2(just like D-Theater) if you want, you will be missing out on some great HDTV content(again just like with D-Theater)
Nobody (smart) is dismissing MPEG-2 because they don't think it will look good, but because it is a waste of space compared to VC-1 and AVC, and it disintegrates Blu-ray's advantage over HD DVD. It is disappointing that Sony is using outdated technology, and I hope they learn from other Blu-ray studios and switch to a more advanced codec.

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post #14 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:33 PM
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Sony is terrible. I will admit that Blu-Ray is a superior technology, but Sony sucks when it comes to business sense.

The PS2 is the best thing Sony has done for HiFi in twenty years. BUT, the Xbox 360 has taken the crown away from the PS3 and Sony is in a catch-up battle. Not to mention the pettiness of Sony when it comes to copyright protection. While I hope Blu-Ray does become the standard format for Hi-Def DVD's, I am not going to cross my fingers because I simply do not trust Sony and the way they conduct their business.
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post #15 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lindberg
Nobody (smart) is dismissing MPEG-2 because they don't think it will look good, but because it is a waste of space compared to VC-1 and AVC, and it disintegrates Blu-ray's advantage over HD DVD. It is disappointing that Sony is using outdated technology, and I hope they learn from other Blu-ray studios and switch to a more advanced codec.
Keep in mind SPHE has the added responsibility of being the volume title generator. The head of SPHE already has said 50-100 titles plus MGM titles (I think he said over the first eight months).

How long does it take to encode an AVC title for release? VC-1?
How many people can do it?

If estimates are available, that will tell you a title production rate. And if that worked out to 20-30 titles using new codecs, would that be acceptable?

Did Warner get its 50 or so HD-DVD launch titles done? How long did it take?

Gary


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post #16 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:45 PM
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Both formats will fail if they don't allow high def through component video. Too many early adopters of high def have component inputs only.
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post #17 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialog_gvf
Keep in mind SPHE has the added responsibility of being the volume title generator. The head of SPHE already has said 50-100 titles plus MGM titles (I think he said over the first eight months).
Oh, definitely. I use the word disappointed because I understand the reasons why they are doing it. I'd rather wait than have to sift through MPEG-2 releases.

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post #18 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 07:18 PM
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Mpeg2 is not outdated technology, who cares if Blu/Sony are wasting space, they have it to waste, it's not a picture quality issue either(see D-Theater) so I fail to see the problem here

the problem is HD-DVD pushers and their limited space

a 2 hour movie at 23 Mbps(just to match D-Theater video bitrate) should easily fit on a 25gb Single layer, when they get dual layers going things are pie in the sky

like Sony's mpeg2 decision, Dish Network recently evaluated Mpeg4 and decided the now was not the time to go with it as the costs/etc don't = the benefits, mpeg4/etc is way new technolgy, mpeg2 has been stable in all things HDTV for many many years

Mpeg2 decoders are also rampant, I have one in my Mitsubishi HDTV that is accessed via a firewire connection

-Gary
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post #19 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell
Mpeg2 is not outdated technology, who cares if Blu/Sony are wasting space, they have it to waste, it's not a picture quality issue either(see D-Theater) so I fail to see the problem here

the problem is HD-DVD pushers and their limited space

a 2 hour movie at 23 Mbps(just to match D-Theater video bitrate) should easily fit on a 25gb Single layer, when they get dual layers going things are pie in the sky

like Sony's mpeg2 decision, Dish Network recently evaluated Mpeg4 and decided the now was not the time to go with it as the costs/etc don't = the benefits, mpeg4/etc is way new technolgy, mpeg2 has been stable in all things HDTV for many many years

Mpeg2 decoders are also rampant, I have one in my Mitsubishi HDTV that is accessed via a firewire connection

-Gary

I'm not trying to argue here, but Gary with you being a heavy recording enthusiast surely you must like the idea of storing/archiving twice as many movies in a given amount of space with the advanced codecs, no?
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post #20 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell
Mpeg2 is not outdated technology, who cares if Blu/Sony are wasting space, they have it to waste, it's not a picture quality issue either(see D-Theater) so I fail to see the problem here

the problem is HD-DVD pushers and their limited space
Haha, what? It's not a problem because they have the space to waste? Why do you support Blu-ray again? If you have the extra space, use it with an efficient codec, or the extra space is pointless.

If you want to get all technical, Sony could fit around twice as much content using VC-1/AVC as compared to MPEG-2. Using MPEG-2 is disappointing and a bad PR move for Blu-ray, even if it is understandable and even expected. We had a format war for a reason, and it sucks to see single layer MPEG-2 discs being released from any studio.

Quote:
Mpeg2 decoders are also rampant, I have one in my Mitsubishi HDTV that is accessed via a firewire connection
That has nothing to do with MPEG-2 being used on a disc format. It would be decoded by the player, just like AVC or VC-1 and sent out to your display.

-Mike Lindberg-
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post #21 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 4K display
I'm not trying to argue here, but Gary with you being a heavy recording enthusiast surely you must like the idea of storing/archiving twice as many movies in a given amount of space with the advanced codecs, no?
Is recording in advanced codecs going to be available in any device? I could see a hard drive based player that stores the MPEG-2 and then would let you transcode to AVC/VC-1, but I wouldn't be sure on the costs of such a device, nor the feasibility. I had always figured that recording on Blu-ray meant MPEG-2 (which makes sense, because HD broadcasts are MPEG-2).

-Mike Lindberg-
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post #22 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 07:50 PM
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I'm all for MPEG2 encodes if it gets the titles out faster, without a reduction of quality compared to adv codecs. Remember this is a war, a side with more titles will persuade more lookie loooooos to buy the platform. I doubt SPHE have time initially to optimise the adv codecs.-
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post #23 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tkmedia2
I'm all for MPEG2 encodes if it gets the titles out faster, without a reduction of quality compared to adv codecs.
Well, that is the problem. You WILL have lower quality. HD DVD can go up to 30 Gigabytes and have advanced codecs to boot. With BD, we have 25 GB and inefficient MPEG-2.

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post #24 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
Well, that is the problem. You WILL have lower quality. HD DVD can go up to 30 Gigabytes and have advanced codecs to boot. With BD, we have 25 GB and inefficient MPEG-2.
Turn off the spin, you're making me dizzy. :)

And with SPHE releases on HD-DVD you would not have MPEG-2?

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post #25 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm
With BD, we have 25 GB and inefficient MPEG-2.

Amir
This statement is only accurate for SPE, not for BD.
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post #26 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4K display
This statement is only accurate for SPE, not for BD.
Actually, I have said that it is true of all the BD studios for launch. People don't believe me and that is fine. I just ask them to look back on my posts months ago when I said MPEG-2 would be codec of choice for Sony and then decide to bet against me :).

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post #27 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dialog_gvf
Turn off the spin, you're making me dizzy. :)

Gary
I take spinning over having my head in the proverbial sand :). In one case, I can see things but a bit dizzy. In the other, blind with all that sand. :D

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post #28 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 09:42 PM
 
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With BD, we have 25 GB and inefficient MPEG-2.
Yep, customers will just be pouring out of Best Buy screaming, "Oh my God! I can't believe they used inefficient codecs!"
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post #29 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Semblance
Yep, customers will just be pouring out of Best Buy screaming, "Oh my God! I can't believe they used inefficient codecs!"
You have a point... Someone has to buy those compact cars with 4-cylinder engines. For the rest of us, it is sports cars all the way baby. Long live HD DVD! The format for the rest of us who care about picture quality! :D.

Seriously, I have said BD is shooting for J6P HD and you seem to be agreeing with it. How far the BD camp has come from the flag carrying days of "best at any price" to being content with what J6P woudl like in BBY. Good thing we are done with that argument after a year and thousands of posts....

I guess next we are going to celebrate the fact that J6P buys ED plasma and thinks it is HD?

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post #30 of 160 Old 11-30-2005, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4K display
This statement is only accurate for SPE, not for BD.
That's the way he goes. At first, it was "hearsay". Now it becomes "true". It is easy to imagine that all claims came from him were made up based on the same logic :)
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