Does anyone else think that HD-DVD is blowing it? - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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post #301 of 314 Old 08-28-2007, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Hi Larry,

I decided to see what was happening in this forum since my last "doom and gloom" postings. I think that it's fantastic that Paramount and Dreamworks have gone HD DVD exclusive! If a few of the other studios go format neutral or HD DVD, then I think we'll be in for a LONG format war. This will certainly not benefit the consumer, unless dual format players become ubiquitous.

I'd love to see Sony dead and buried, so come on Disney, Fox and MGM, go neutral or go HD DVD!! If it takes a bribe, I'll happily throw in a few bucks!

:-)

Roberta

Hi Roberta,

Ah, we're finally begininng to see eye-to-eye!!

The only statement I take issue with is that this development does not benefit the consumer.

I happen to believe that HD DVD is superior to Blu-ray on a number of technical issues, but most importantly from a pricing perspective, and knowing what you are buying, it is unquestionably more consumer friendly. Therefore, any development that assists in making HD DVD more viable over the long haul will benefit the consumer over the long haul.

Surely with your insights to Sony business practices you don't believe that should they "win" that that outcome would be better for consumers?

Regards,

Larry
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post #302 of 314 Old 08-28-2007, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryChanin View Post

Hi Roberta,

I think you're making my point for me. When prices for hardware comes down to the point where it attracts the mass market, then the mass market will determine which format "wins" or if both survive. You seem to think that content is king. I think content superiority doesn't matter if the mass market isn't willing to pay the price of admission and remains comfortable with DVDs.

I concede in the unlikely event Blu-ray were able to maintain content superiority AND bring their prices down to where the mass market would buy them, then there might be a problem for HD DVD. However, as was stated earlier, this is an extremely improbable scenario. From what I'm reading about Chinese manufacturers, it is much more likely that HD DVD players will continue to drop in price faster that Blu-ray players and hit the "magic" $200 mark first.

Hi Roberta,

By the way, in addition to Blu-ray's content superiority fading, it looks like the Chinese are coming by way of Canada.

Venturer HD DVD Player to Ship in Time for 2007 Holiday Sales 8/28/2007

New HD DVD Player Coming From Venturer

Things are starting to gain momentum for HD DVD.

Cheers,

Larry
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Originally Posted by John Meno View Post

Does anyone else think that HD-DVD is blowing it?

Oh yeah, they are really blowing it up!!!
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post #304 of 314 Old 08-29-2007, 08:31 AM
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Hi,

Here's an interesting article by a technical reporter who claims to be one of the analysts that convinced Time Warner to go format neutral. Since in 20-20 hindsight this guy admits that he gave Time Warner the wrong advice, I don't know how credible his insights are. Nevertheless its still interesting reading an article from an analyst that has seen the light. (By the way, you might notice that he's enlarged the Paramount bribe rumor to $250 million.)

Blu-ray Loses, ...

Quote:


I was one of the folks who thought that Blu-ray was going to eliminate HD-DVD and by this time HD-DVD would be toast. In fact, I was one of the analysts who helped convince Time Warner to hedge its bets and go with both formats. However, this was all before I knew the cost of the Blu-ray technology, and it was based on the assumption that Sony would never be stupid enough to price itself out of the game console market.

I think that, for all of us, the battle for the next generation of DVD technology has gotten really old. This is especially true for the studios, which are well off their revenue targets.

This week, we'll look at why DreamWorks and Paramount backed HD-DVD, effectively assuring that Blu-ray will lose whether HD-DVD wins or not -- and it may still not win either.

Blu-ray: RIP
I was one of the folks who thought that Blu-ray was going to eliminate HD-DVD and by this time HD-DVD would be toast. In fact, I was one of the analysts who helped convince Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) to hedge its bets and go with both formats.

However, this was all before I knew the cost of the Blu-ray technology, and it was based on the assumption that Sony (NYSE: SNE) would never be stupid enough to price itself out of the game console market, effectively giving it to Nintendo and Microsoft.

Given my history with Sony, you'd think I'd know better and would have assumed it would be that stupid. That likely would have resulted in a lot less pain all around.

PlayStation3 Impact
Not only was Blu-ray too expensive, the technology wasn't as far along as Sony led us to believe. The delays not only make the PS3 too expensive; they made it late. That was effectively a one-two punch, knocking Sony out of the lead so far in the game console business. Now, Sony is dead last by a significant margin.

This means that developers, instead of favoring Sony with their best stuff, are now concentrating on the Xbox first, and increasingly the Wii . That's because both have more homes, and thus represent a greater revenue opportunity, than Sony does.

So instead of the PS3 ensuring Blu-ray's success, right now it appears that Blu-ray may have effectively killed the PS3, at least in terms of market leadership. We'll have to wait until the PS4 before Sony has a chance to come back.

Not a Viable Data Storage Option
Blu-ray's biggest advantage is storage capacity; however, storage has grown so fast that you can get a 750 GB Seagate external drive for less than US$250.

To back that up on a 25 GB Blu-ray recorder would take 30 Blu-ray disks and more time than I think anyone in their right mind would accept. Neither HD-DVD nor Blu-ray are likely to become backup platforms, and most of the data we move still fits easily on a standard dual-layer DVD.

With increasingly high-speed networks, people are using things like Bit Torrent to use big files or portable high-capacity hard drives. So as transport, they aren't particularly practical either.

The high-volume home for HD Optical disks remains as a replacement for the DVD. The studios, which are not doing anywhere near as well as they'd like, desperately need something to drive revenues higher.

Both Could Fail
That won't happen until both one standard is clear and the related players drop below $200. They need both to happen or the market won't move. Currently, Blu-ray is running at more than twice the target price on players and HD-DVD is about 15 percent over target. In the case of the Xbox 360 accessory, it's actually about 15 percent under target.

This means that if the studios have any chance this year of getting a large ramp -- and I would include Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) , Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and anyone else that sells HD movies -- it has to be HD-DVD. Blu-ray simply can't get there.

I think all realize, or should, time isn't unlimited either. We are already talking about what comes after HD-DVD and Blu-ray, and scalers are getting so good that increasingly many are arguing that you don't need either now.

In other words, while Blu-ray can't win, in my view, there is still an excellent chance the market will simply bypass both if one doesn't ramp to high volume this year. In that instance, everyone loses.

Cause for Change
I think Paramount and DreamWorks saw this outcome and are trying to avoid it. While they did get an estimated $250 million incentive to move, that doesn't change the result. The studio execs likely realize if revenues don't improve, many of them may not be around by this time next year. Unemployment is a rather impressive motivator for change.

So, as of right now, I think it is reasonably obvious Blu-ray lost. The only question is whether HD-DVD will be allowed to win; and the decision may be up to Time Warner or Disney (NYSE: DIS) and not Sony or Toshiba .

If both lose, the long-term strategic fallout for Sony and Disney will be both impressive and memorable in terms of either company's influence going forward -- in fact, for Sony, I'm not sure things actually could get much worse.

Larry
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post #305 of 314 Old 08-29-2007, 12:46 PM
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Is it just me or do any of you find it weird that they would release an HD DVD boxed set of the Matrix, but not the single movies by themselves? Wouldn't it have been better for the format to release a huge blockbuster like this in singles as well as a boxed set? I would think many people (myself for one) do not look forward to spending $90-$100 CDN on 3 movies and extras they already have for the most part on DVD; especially since the first movie is vastly superior to the last two and I'm not sure that I'd really get my money's worth out of the second two.

It is still early on in the battle and many people are waiting on the fence because no one knows who is going to come out on top. Putting out one of your top movies at such a high price because of the boxed set only strategy is kinda odd to me, and I will be waiting until I can just buy The Matrix itself.
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post #306 of 314 Old 08-29-2007, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by otverge View Post

Is it just me or do any of you find it weird that they would release an HD DVD boxed set of the Matrix, but not the single movies by themselves? Wouldn't it have been better for the format to release a huge blockbuster like this in singles as well as a boxed set?

It's marketing my friend, get as many people to buy the box set as possible before giving the option to purchase singles. It wears people down that only wanted one copy and forces them to buy the others.
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post #307 of 314 Old 08-29-2007, 03:20 PM
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Here's several, very cool, money-making features for the HD DVD studios.

Universal Launches New HD DVD Website

Prior to the Universal announcement, I asked Microsoft Insider Amir if he would discuss how see saw the studio's interest in Internet connectivity and interactivity, particularly as it related to selling produces from HD DVD players. You'll notice that Universal is about to launch U-Shop.

Here's Amir's comments.

Larry
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post #308 of 314 Old 08-30-2007, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Poolrad View Post

It's marketing my friend, get as many people to buy the box set as possible before giving the option to purchase singles. It wears people down that only wanted one copy and forces them to buy the others.

I know WHY they did it, I just found that they might have done it a little premature in the battle for supremacy. You would think at this early in the game they would try to get as many good titles out there for everyone to buy, and giving anyone a reason NOT to buy an HD DVD (like price) is not a good strategy in my opinion. Case in point, selling 300 for 5 bucks more than the Blu Ray version because it includes a DVD version on one side. Most people probably think who cares about the extra $5, but some people may see that and think it's an indication that HD DVD movies are more expensive than Blu Ray and therefore skip the format. Paying $35 for a movie is a bit pricey, but paying around $100 for 3 is nearly crazy to me.

They should be worried about getting market share at this point of the game, and nothing else.
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post #309 of 314 Old 08-30-2007, 07:39 AM
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Hi there, Larry,

The reason I believe that a prolonged war is not beneficial to consumers is simply because of the "confusion" factor. Many people not bought into either format simply because they don't want to be left with hardware and software that will join their Betamaxs, Elcasets and CEDs in their closets. I would think that a potential buyer would be put off by the knowledge that if they buy a HD DVD player, they won't be able to play Disney discs and if they buy a BluRay player, they won't have access to Universal films.

If either format "wins", then I think fence-sitters will adopt the winning side. Unfortunately I believe that there are too many fence-sitters now (including me).

I am not sure how I would feel if Sony "wins". Sony and Phillips won the CD format battle (even though it was more of a skirmish than a battle) and they worked out a compromise with Toshiba in the DVD format battle. Both of these formats have been great successes. I am not sure if Sony controls CD licensing, or if any company can create any sort of CD that they want. I know that CDs have to be RedBook compliant, but I am not sure what is required beyond that.

If the Blu-Ray side "wins", will Sony become the "God of Blu-Ray", or will other manufacturers have the right to go their own way? If the latter is true, then I'll buy in to that format. As I had said in earlier postings, I would buy a Blu-Ray player as long as it wasn't made by Sony. I have heard that there are more technical problems with Blu-Ray discs, so that would concern me as well.

In terms of pricing, I have always said that it is a non-issue. The Blu-Ray side won't be defeated simply because of prices. If they have to market players at $149.00 and lose money on each sale, they will do it simply to gain market share. Sony has always had "prestige pricing" to differentiate their products from their competitors. They may try to promote the belief that by buying Sony products, consumers are getting higher quality products. Therefore the price differential between HD DVD and Blu-Ray is justifiable.

As we all (should) know, that is a big joke. Sony products should be priced lower than their competitors' as they invariably fail prematurely. Couple that with their rootkit fiasco, the massive recall of Sony batteries last year and other massive blunders, I wouldn't buy anything made by that company.

So......since there are other fine manufacturers making Blu-Ray players including Denon, Pioneer, Samsung and Panasonic, I would buy one of those.

Roberta

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryChanin View Post

Hi Roberta,

The only statement I take issue with is that this development does not benefit the consumer.

I happen to believe that HD DVD is superior to Blu-ray on a number of technical issues, but most importantly from a pricing perspective, and knowing what you are buying, it is unquestionably more consumer friendly. Therefore, any development that assists in making HD DVD more viable over the long haul will benefit the consumer over the long haul.

Surely with your insights to Sony business practices you don't believe that should they "win" that that outcome would be better for consumers?

Regards,

Larry

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post #310 of 314 Old 08-30-2007, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

The reason I believe that a prolonged war is not beneficial to consumers is simply because of the "confusion" factor.

I would think an unfinished format with multiple hardware profiles (1.1, 2.0 and soon to be obsolete 1.0), including a separate one for music only (3.0), would be far more confusing and do much more to turn off consumers. With lower priced HD DVD players on the way, I seriously doubt this will last as long as VHS v. betamax did.

I think we'll see some real momentum in HDM adoption this holiday season, but what's needed right now, more than a clear winning format, is more HDTVs in people's homes.
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post #311 of 314 Old 08-30-2007, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Hi there, Larry,

The reason I believe that a prolonged war is not beneficial to consumers is simply because of the "confusion" factor. Many people not bought into either format simply because they don't want to be left with hardware and software that will join their Betamaxs, Elcasets and CEDs in their closets. I would think that a potential buyer would be put off by the knowledge that if they buy a HD DVD player, they won't be able to play Disney discs and if they buy a BluRay player, they won't have access to Universal films.

Hi Roberta,

Unfortunately this "confusion" factor you complain about is inherent in any scenario where there is competition, but that certainly doesn't mean that competition is not a benefit to the consumer.

Obviously there are PROS and CONS to the format war. True, the CON as you say is the "confusion" factor. But as evolver points out, the unsettled Blu-ray specs introduces even more confusion to the consumers. Talk about confusion, it will be very interesting to see the reaction of the Blu-ray early adopters, with their expensive standalone players, after the new players are released supporting the new features along with the new discs supporting these new features.

On the other hand, as I alluded to, the obvious PRO of this war is that without the competition the consumers wouldn't be seeing such rapid innovation, or rapidly decreasing pricing, even subsidized products where the manufacturer is actually not covering their costs. Surely the consumer would never have seen these benefits had there been only one format from day one.

Perhaps the "ideal" situation for the consumer would have been to have started with competing formats, but in which all of the studios were format neutral at the outset of this war. This would have preserved the benefits of competition and would have permited the consumer to choose the best format without "confusion" as you put it.

But alas, even if the war had started in this idealized fashion, it is likely that "confusion" would have raised its ugly head. Eventually a studio would have done precisely what Paramount has done, decided one format was more profitable to them than the other and switched to a format exclusive position. Thereby, introducing "confusion".

So it seems that inorder to accrue the benefits from competing formats, it is virtually unavoidable to incur some transitionary "confusion" as studio support eventually perceives an advantage.

With regard to your analogy about the obsolesence of Betmaxs, etc., there is an important difference in this situation. Currently DVDs make up 99% of the market to 1% for the combined HD formats. Someone buying an HD player gets an upconverting player which continues to work on their entire existing DVD and HD collections, and will continue to work with new DVD releases. In other words, even if the owner chose the wrong side of the format war the player is not completely obsolete as in the Betamax example. An important point to note is that even if the owner chose the "right" HD format the player is sure to be technologically obsolete anyway long before DVDs are replaced as the dominant consumer market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

In terms of pricing, I have always said that it is a non-issue. The Blu-Ray side won't be defeated simply because of prices. If they have to market players at $149.00 and lose money on each sale, they will do it simply to gain market share. Sony has always had "prestige pricing" to differentiate their products from their competitors. They may try to promote the belief that by buying Sony products, consumers are getting higher quality products. Therefore the price differential between HD DVD and Blu-Ray is justifiable.

As we all (should) know, that is a big joke. Sony products should be priced lower than their competitors' as they invariably fail prematurely. Couple that with their rootkit fiasco, the massive recall of Sony batteries last year and other massive blunders, I wouldn't buy anything made by that company.

Frankly, you seem to be making my case on pricing. You are not the only person to be aware of a continual series of high-profile Sony blunders.

Sony does not have infinite resources, nor does their board of directors have infinite patience. This gambit with the PS3 gaming console as a Blu-ray player has lost them their lead in gaming and still hasn't delivered the needed "knock-out punch".

Speaking about "knock-out punches" what do you think will happen when Universal and Paramount decide to phase out DVDs and exclusively release HD DVD combo discs using the same production facilities that they used to produce DVDs? I'd sure like to see the expression on the faces of those Blockbusters strategic wizards who decided to give HD DVD the boot!

Larry
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post #312 of 314 Old 08-30-2007, 08:38 PM
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Hi,

As a follow-up to my previous remarks, here's an other entertaining (if you're an HD DVD supporter ) article by Rob Enderle.

Paramount and Dreamworks go HD-DVD: Sony's curse continues

I've parsed the article into some revelant excerpts that relate to our previous discussions. (I provided the headings):

Sony's previous media blunders

Quote:



When you go back and look at the number of media formats Sony has tried to bring to market exclusively, the failures are daunting. They included BetaMax, Memory Stick, Universal Media Disc, Mini-Disk, Professional Disk for Data, HiFD, Music Clip and the Super Audio CD. They had one success with the 3.5" floppy drive and negotiated out of the Multi-Media Disk to create the DVD with Toshiba and Phillips. But were this a sport, they would have one early win, seven losses and a tie. If you were a fan of a team with this record you'd be well advised to switch teams.

It is interesting to note, that in all losses, two things were consistently evident, they were more expensive and more restrictive than the other formats.

Vanishing studio advantage

Quote:


Up until now, Blu-ray has enjoyed one clear advantage; they had more studios exclusively on their side. With this announcement, that one advantage is now significantly offset. One of the things that really makes this interesting it that 300 set HD disk sales records by being on both formats which would suggest Paramount and Dreamworks are foregoing short term gains to solve a strategic problem (that almost never happens).

By the way, forum members Kosty and bferr1 have provided a compilation of the movie catalogs of the studios in the competing formats. With the defection of Paramount/Dreamworks the number of available titles to be remastered in HD is virtualy a dead heat.

HD DVD/Blu-ray Movie & TV Catalog by Studio after Paramount/Dreamworks Decision

Pricing players

Quote:


So why did Paramount and DreamWorks jump into the HD-DVD Camp? All of the studios agree that there needs to be one standard. They also know that the market for players is driven by price and that the two magic numbers are $200 and $100 for players - and if folks don't have players they don't buy disks.

This means the first player to get below $200 will be the most likely to sell enough to finally justify the switch from standard DVD to HD, HDTVs have been selling very well so the industry knows there is a pent of demand for HD content that is not being met until either Blu-ray or HD-DVD wins.

If you were to try to force Blu-ray, given its price/cost curve, you would likely see the ramp to HD content in the 2008/2009 time frame because that's when the cost of the players will probably reach that critical $200 price point. But HD-DVD is already close and Wal-Mart is expected to have a sub-$200 HD-DVD player in the critical fourth quarter (Amazon already has one under $240).

The advent of the Venturer players before the holiday season is widely thought will be in the magic sub-$200 range.

The PS3 gambit

Quote:


A lot of us thought the PS3 would make a difference, but sales have been lagging for that player and recent studies have indicated many buyers don't even know the players can play Blu-ray disks. That's an effective one-two punch that appears to have eliminated the PS3 advantage at least from Paramount's and Dreamworks's perspective.

Subsidizing players to gain market share

Quote:


...they [Sony] can respond with their own sup $200 player themselves. That would mean losing in excess of $100 on every sale and, already bleeding from the PS3, they don't appear to have the resources to make this work and sustain acceptable profitability, but it would prevent a HD-DVD route.

Other studio defections?

Quote:


...if Disney (who is in heavy competition with Dreamworks and Paramount) concludes as they did that HD-DVD is where the money is, they are likely to switch camps and many may not realize that Disney was actually one of the key architects for the HD-DVD platform and switched sides for political reasons. I'm not convinced the why behind that move is going to survive close scrutiny once Disney's board starts asking about the Paramount and Dreamworks move and I would love to be in the meeting when that is discussed.


So getting back to the title of this thread, No... I don't think HD DVD is blowing it, but it sure looks like Sony is.

Larry
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post #313 of 314 Old 08-31-2007, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryChanin View Post


Obviously there are PROS and CONS to the format war. True, the CON as you say is the "confusion" factor. But as evolver points out, the unsettled Blu-ray specs introduces even more confusion to the consumers. Talk about

Speaking about "knock-out punches" what do you think will happen when Universal and Paramount decide to phase out DVDs and exclusively release HD DVD combo discs using the same production facilities that they used to produce DVDs? I'd sure like to see the expression on the faces of those Blockbusters strategic wizards who decided to give HD DVD the boot!

Larry

Hi Larry,

Your comments about Blu-Ray's unsettled specs I think only applies to the techies. The average Josephine who walks into her local Best Buy to pick up a HD player will look at the pricing differential between the formats, the number of available titles from each side and then buy one or the other. She will not even know about any technical shortcomings - and the salesperson will certainly not volunteer that info! I don't think that's a major issue. HD DVD has its shortcomings too - certain players not HDMI 1.3a compliant, some players can't handle 1080p, etc....

I agree with your comment that the HD formats are not precisely like previous format failures because they are backwards compatible with SD DVD. However, a person buying an HD player will invariably already have SD players and is not looking at it as a long term replacement for existing SD ones.

Sony does not have infinite resources, but neither does Toshiba. It will be interesting to see whose board members blink first.

Universal & Paramount (nor any other company) will be phasing out DVDs until they become fringe formats and there's no money in it for them, much like HD is now. If and when it happens, Blockbuster (if they're still around) can simply do a Universal & Dreamworks and proclaim "that was then, this is now; we're stocking and selling HD DVD again". That would likely happen LONG before there was any hint of SD disappearing. I'd bet that if this war is still on in 12-18 months and if HD DVD has regained some of the HD marketshare, BB will stock HD DVD.

Roberta
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post #314 of 314 Old 08-31-2007, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Hi Larry,

Your comments about Blu-Ray's unsettled specs I think only applies to the techies. The average Josephine who walks into her local Best Buy to pick up a HD player will look at the pricing differential between the formats, the number of available titles from each side and then buy one or the other. She will not even know about any technical shortcomings - and the salesperson will certainly not volunteer that info! I don't think that's a major issue. HD DVD has its shortcomings too - certain players not HDMI 1.3a compliant, some players can't handle 1080p, etc....

Hi Roberta,

I agree with the first part of your remarks, that is, unfortunately most casual Bly-ray buyers will be clueless as to what they are getting, and the big box sales people certainly are equally clueless and won't be able to clear the confusion until its too late.

However, even the most uninitiated consumer will be able to realise, after the fact, that their player can't do all the great things the latest Blu-ray commericals are trumpeting. And even the dullest of salespeople will eventually figure out that all the players that are being returned because they don't work as advertised are really due to Blu-ray's phased implementation of specifications. And if the sales people still can't figure it out, the Blu-ray player manufacturers will tell them the unfortunate facts of life.

With regard to HD DVD player shortcomings you listed, I think you know as well as I that HDMI 1.3a will mean even less to the uninitiated than unfinished Blu-ray specs, and beside how many Blu-ray players have it? In fact for the vast majority of consumers with earlier versions of HDMI they will actually experience the same pristine audio and video quality as being advertised on TV. Likewise you know as well as I that the 1080i vs. 1080p is mostly marketing hype. And as such it will only take some side-by-side comparisons to demonstrate that fact to consumers, or maybe an article in Consumer Reports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

I agree with your comment that the HD formats are not precisely like previous format failures because they are backwards compatible with SD DVD. However, a person buying an HD player will invariably already have SD players and is not looking at it as a long term replacement for existing SD ones.

I agree that many people have standard definition players. But a lot less have upconverting players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Sony does not have infinite resources, but neither does Toshiba. It will be interesting to see whose board members blink first.

Unfortunately for Sony, with their more expensive technology, they require the total elimination of their rival to emerge profitable. Toshiba only requires coexistance to stay in the black. The resource requirements for these contrasting strategies are decidedly different. The defection of LG and Samsung from the Blu-ray camp to produce dual format players greatly enhances Toshiba's long-term viability as does the Paramount defection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Universal & Paramount (nor any other company) will be phasing out DVDs until they become fringe formats and there's no money in it for them, much like HD is now.

That is absolutely true for Blu-ray studios, but not HD DVD studios. Combo HD DVDs are a very powerful trump card that the HD DVD studios and Toshiba can play if they are motivated to decisively end the format war. Now that Paramount has defected the risk of such a bold move is greatly lessened. Perhaps they will wait until after the holiday sales figures are in to see how the trend in standalone players is doing. Maybe they'll wait for Disney's defection following Disney's analysis of the holiday season numbers. Within reason the timing of this move is entirely up to the HD DVD camp because there is absolute nothing Blu-ray can do in the short-term to immediately support mass market production volumes.

In stark contrast from a production capability perspective HD DVD is already in a position to supply mass production volumes. Existing DVD production facilities can produce HD DVDs and DVDs. The yields of HD discs are above 90% and twice as fast as Blu-ray production rates. Blu-ray rates are so low that it is somewhat of a "top secret". More importantly, Blu-ray has to spend many billions of dollars in new production facilities to support mass market volumes and that take a lot of time. Will the Sony board of directors approve rushing out to spend billions without the absolute assurance of being the winning format? If they miscalculate what do they do with their huge investment?

The HD DVD camp has it in their sole power to precipitate the move to mass market of HD DVDs, by simply switching to combo discs. What is their comparitive risk? Not much they haven't spent billions in new facilities and in the worst case they can always go back to producing DVDs. Would they be spending some subsidies to position the combo pricing at the right point for consumer adoption. Sure, but look at the payoff. Elimination of the competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

If and when it happens, Blockbuster (if they're still around) can simply do a Universal & Dreamworks and proclaim "that was then, this is now; we're stocking and selling HD DVD again". That would likely happen LONG before there was any hint of SD disappearing. I'd bet that if this war is still on in 12-18 months and if HD DVD has regained some of the HD marketshare, BB will stock HD DVD.

Roberta

Absolutely, they'll do an about face and so will Target as soon as their respective contractual arrangements with Sony expires. I wonder when Disney's, Fox's and Warner's deals with Sony run out?

Cheers,

Larry
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