Sony Blames Blu-ray for "Bag of Hurt" - Page 47 - AVS Forum
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post #1381 of 1394 Old 09-23-2014, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post
Sony Blames Blu-ray for "Bag of Hurt"? Maybe they should be blameing themselves for how their product has gone down hill over the last few years. The X900A and W900A were their only good tv's of 2013 and they took a big step back with their tv's in 2014 with design and innovation going out the door with the so called cost saving measures they implemented. They are getting their tails kicked by Samsung, LG and Vizio and its not hard to see why.
they were losing money on their TV business even when they had Tv's that many considered reference

their TV business has been pulling them down for many years

they almost would have been smarter to stop making TV's 5-6 years ago

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I have to agree I don't think 4K will be a huge difference maker. I still wonder if we will see another BOOM to the industry like HDTV was ever again.
doubtful

the market is so saturated and they are doing anything they can to get you out in the market every 12 months to buy a new unit

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post #1382 of 1394 Old 09-23-2014, 06:06 PM
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The only 2014 sets that are arguably worse than the 2013 models are the W950B and the 79" version of the X900B, which uses an IPS panel, sacrificing on-axis black level and contrast for "improved" off-axis performance. All other models give equal or better performance than the equivalent 2013 model. The X950B is the absolute best LED/LCD TV you can buy right now.

Innovation isn't their problem either, unless you expect them to be miles ahead of every other TV manufacturer (like they used to be in the 90's and early 2000's) instead of just slightly ahead of them. Other than not having a consumer level OLED display for sale, what innovative feature do other TV manufacturers have that Sony does not? Curve? Samsung's One Connect box? LG's WebOS? Sharp's Quattron (which isn't even used in their 4K sets)?

Outsourcing of components has certainly made it that much harder to hold a performance advantage over their competition but, in today's market, there isn't really an alternative. Japanese plants can't manufacture goods as cheaply as South Korean and Chinese plants can. So, unless they outsource, they can't compete when it comes to the cost of producing TV's. And, if they can't compete on cost, then they certainly can't compete on price in a market where profit margins are already razor thin. For years, Sony banked on the idea that people would be willing to pay a premium for quality. And, for years, that worked. But then display tech hit a bit of a plateau. Both plasma and LCD have been mature tech for quite some time with only very modest improvements made in the last 5 years. New display techs (OLED, Quantom Dot, laser, etc.) are still very expensive to make. This narrowed the playing field when it came to overall performance between various manufacturers. Combine that with the fact that most consumers think a $300-$500 LCD TV is "good enough" and it becomes obvious that any TV manufacturer that can't make "decent" TV's for dirt cheap prices is in trouble. If Sony can really be blamed for its struggling TV business, that blame should fall on their marketing department (who, outside of the World Cup, have done very little to advertise their products) and the corporate planning and sales projections, which were far too optimistic for too long. They probably should have gotten out of the low-mid tier TV manufacturing business years ago and focused that capital on either new display technology for premium displays or something else entirely.

Getting back to the original topic, I think you are taking the title of this thread too literally. First off, Sony never used the phrase "bag of hurt". Supposedly, that was something Steve Jobs said in regards to putting blu-ray drives in Mac computers. Secondly, Sony wasn't directly blaming blu-ray for its losses. It was blaming a decline of total physical media sales (to include both DVD and Blu-Ray) for its inability to meet projected profit margins. There are several ways to look at this. One, you could blame rapid decline of DVD sales. Two, you could blame slow growth of Blu-Ray sales. Three, you could blame the folks who failed to realize the potential of digital delivery of content and what that would mean to the sales of physical media. Had they done so, they might have been able to find ways to reduce production costs (since their production capabilities exceed demand by a large margin), thereby maintaining the desired profit margin in the face of declining market share.

"The only 2014 sets that are arguably worse than the 2013 models are the W950B and the 79" version of the X900B, which uses an IPS panel, sacrificing on-axis black level and contrast for "improved" off-axis performance. All other models give equal or better performance than the equivalent 2013 model. The X950B is the absolute best LED/LCD TV you can buy right now." Arguably worse then the 2013 models? They are worse! The W950B was and is a complete flop so much so that Sony just recently brought back the W900A which again in my opinion is one of Sonys best sets in years. And you say all other models give equal or better performance then the equivalent 2013 models? Please tell me you didnt mean better then the X900A 4K tv and the W900A?! Ok I'll give you one for the X950B being a little better then the X900A but for the rest of non 4K tv's from Sony? I have to respectfully disagree.
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post #1383 of 1394 Old 09-23-2014, 06:28 PM
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With a 6mbps internet connection there's just no way I'll ever have Blu-Ray quality streaming until someone comes out with something faster out here (Blu-Ray uses more bandwidth than that!).

But here's the thing; we're talking about business, not quality. Although the article erroneously said so; Sony isn't saying "Streaming is just as good so bye bye Blu Ray". Sony is saying "Streaming is out-selling Blu Ray". And that's what it REALLY comes down to. People are streaming more and buying physical discs less. So many folks care so little about quality. Heck my in-laws love to rent DVD's at Red Box and think I'm just silly for paying the extra $1 to rent a Blu-Ray from the Red Box machine when "DVD's are the same movie".

So as long as that's the market; it is what it is!

I'd like to see the studios move to a streaming model and then create a separate, niche business (rather than losing money trying to sell these products to the masses) for top quality video. Sell disc-based top-quality titles online or in select stores to keep costs down; for those of us who would prefer that. And focus on improving streaming quality. But as it is (and this article proves); to most folks, if it's 1080p (or even 720p), it's great. Nevermind the missing color information, missing audio fidelity, etc.!

I've said it before though. If I still have to watch sports in 720p (because there's not enough bandwidth to get 60fps out of 1080p on most TV providers networks; so they only broadcast '1080i', aka 30fps 1080p as it's actually displayed; which won't work for sports!), then I am just not holding my breath for the day coming very soon where I can get full fidelity audio, and full fidelity video when streaming.
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post #1384 of 1394 Old 09-23-2014, 07:11 PM
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Sony is catering to the ultra hi-end clientele. ...Methinks, and that's where the big "Bag of Hurt" comes from.

Who can benefit from true 4K Blu-ray material?
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post #1385 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Sony is catering to the ultra hi-end clientele. ...Methinks, and that's where the big "Bag of Hurt" comes from.

Who can benefit from true 4K Blu-ray material?

I agree NorthSky. I think Sony views anything under 4K as "not important" because for them that isnt where the money is being made. Thats not the way it used to be but now it is sadly. The Ultra Hi-End clientele is their main focus now and in the end I hope it dont bite them in the a**.
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post #1386 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by romans5.8 View Post
With a 6mbps internet connection there's just no way I'll ever have Blu-Ray quality streaming until someone comes out with something faster out here (Blu-Ray uses more bandwidth than that!).

But here's the thing; we're talking about business, not quality. Although the article erroneously said so; Sony isn't saying "Streaming is just as good so bye bye Blu Ray". Sony is saying "Streaming is out-selling Blu Ray". And that's what it REALLY comes down to. People are streaming more and buying physical discs less. So many folks care so little about quality. Heck my in-laws love to rent DVD's at Red Box and think I'm just silly for paying the extra $1 to rent a Blu-Ray from the Red Box machine when "DVD's are the same movie".

So as long as that's the market; it is what it is!

I'd like to see the studios move to a streaming model and then create a separate, niche business (rather than losing money trying to sell these products to the masses) for top quality video. Sell disc-based top-quality titles online or in select stores to keep costs down; for those of us who would prefer that. And focus on improving streaming quality. But as it is (and this article proves); to most folks, if it's 1080p (or even 720p), it's great. Nevermind the missing color information, missing audio fidelity, etc.!

I've said it before though. If I still have to watch sports in 720p (because there's not enough bandwidth to get 60fps out of 1080p on most TV providers networks; so they only broadcast '1080i', aka 30fps 1080p as it's actually displayed; which won't work for sports!), then I am just not holding my breath for the day coming very soon where I can get full fidelity audio, and full fidelity video when streaming.
I'll take the sports from the 1080i channels over the 720P ones any day. There is more detail on the 1080i channels than the 720P ones.

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post #1387 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 06:48 AM
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I'll take the sports from the 1080i channels over the 720P ones any day. There is more detail on the 1080i channels than the 720P ones.
Right, but since 1080i has to be deinterlaced, it's rendered at 30fps. (1080i is kind of a misnomer anymore. That is the signal; but what you're viewing on your TV after your TV processes it is 1080p. But at 30fps, not 60). So most sports broadcasts prefer 720p which they can broadcast at 60fps.

But that's kind of my point. There's a lot of talk about 4k, streaming, etc. Yet we still don't have 'full' HD over the air or via cable or sattelite yet. AV fidelity is always a bit lower in broadcast TV; but even so, when we're talking about replacing physical media with streaming; we had better have some good streaming!
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post #1388 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 07:04 AM
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According to Hydrogenaudio: "MP3-encoded files are generally considered artifact-free at bitrates at/above 192kbps." Of course, if you disagree, you can always participate in a blind ABX listening test.
Well, it really depends on what you're listening to.

If all you play is the new, mechanized, auto-tuned, overly compressed pop fluff we now get, then the compression will be less noticeable. After all, when the music has a waveform that looks more like a smooth tube than an actual waveform, you could almost play it at 128kb/s and not notice a difference. The same goes for some of the vintage mono unremastered stuff from early 45's that almost completely lacks sound frequencies much outside the vocal range.

On the other hand, if your tastes run toward classical, jazz or some of the more epic-sized performance bands like Pink Floyd, you're going to need at least 256kb/s for true transparency.
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post #1389 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 07:24 AM
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Well, it really depends on what you're listening to.

If all you play is the new, mechanized, auto-tuned, overly compressed pop fluff we now get, then the compression will be less noticeable. After all, when the music has a waveform that looks more like a smooth tube than an actual waveform, you could almost play it at 128kb/s and not notice a difference. The same goes for some of the vintage mono unremastered stuff from early 45's that almost completely lacks sound frequencies much outside the vocal range.

On the other hand, if your tastes run toward classical, jazz or some of the more epic-sized performance bands like Pink Floyd, you're going to need at least 256kb/s for true transparency.
+1

Let's not forget some of these hip hop and auto-tune pop groups who have actually been tuning their recordings to iPhone earbuds (the white ones that come included). They figure it's all about catering to the most common listener rather than the best fidelity. (And here's the problem, genius. Those listeners don't care about audio fidelity!) And lest we forget Dr. Dre and his boomy headphones!

Source and output are so important on making a judgement. When I'm listening to the ballgame on AM radio the quality of using my home theater AVR, or the 1960's Magnavox console radio I picked up at a junk shop; or the earbuds that came with my phone (if I knew where they were); would probably all sound the same. When I ride my motorcycle I've got speakers in my helmet and I like to listen to music. Audio fidelity doesn't matter. It's tiny speakers competing with wind and noise and they just won't ever sound great. It's just a little background music.

But "critical listening" is a different story! I'm no audiophile; by any means. But even on my modest home theater setup I can absolutely tell the difference between a 192kbps iTunes song; and a flac recording of the same song. Especially when listening to orchestral music. It's like entire instruments get lost in compression.
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post #1390 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 07:59 AM
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To me, the streaming versus Bluray debate is really about cost, convenience and quality. And how you value them.

If you do not have a 4K TV, then the push for 4K content is not very strong. If you do have a 4K TV, then you want content now - - whether that be via Bluray or streaming. Until H.265/HEVC is implemented, I see no way that streaming of 4K content is viable for the masses. It will still require a high speed data connection.

If Bluray disappears, I will be an unhappy camper. I use Redbox a lot since I live in an urban area and it's easy to pick up and return the discs. $1.50 for a Bluray quality movie? That will work.

If you have a projector and if you care about quality at all - - streaming doesn't cut it. I've tried it and the picture looks terrible.

I am an Amazon Prime member - - but I rarely stream their movies. If I do - - I'll stream it to my 65" LED/LCD TV.

Lastly - - five or six bucks for a recently released movie via Directv or Vudu is expensive to me. I can watch three Redbox Bluray movies for the price of one streaming flick.

Streaming's "sweet spot" is for folks who don't mind the price, don't mind sacrificing quality on larger screens or value the convenience over other options out there.

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post #1391 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by steve1971 View Post
"The only 2014 sets that are arguably worse than the 2013 models are the W950B and the 79" version of the X900B, which uses an IPS panel, sacrificing on-axis black level and contrast for "improved" off-axis performance. All other models give equal or better performance than the equivalent 2013 model. The X950B is the absolute best LED/LCD TV you can buy right now." Arguably worse then the 2013 models? They are worse! The W950B was and is a complete flop so much so that Sony just recently brought back the W900A which again in my opinion is one of Sonys best sets in years. And you say all other models give equal or better performance then the equivalent 2013 models? Please tell me you didnt mean better then the X900A 4K tv and the W900A?! Ok I'll give you one for the X950B being a little better then the X900A but for the rest of non 4K tv's from Sony? I have to respectfully disagree.
As you can see from the post you quoted, we're in agreement that the W950B was a flub, which means that the W900A remains the best 1080p TV Sony has made. I also noted that the 79" X900B is inferior to last year's X900A in many ways, due to the choice to go with an IPS panel in that particular screen size. However, the 55 and 65 inch versions of the X900B are a modest improvement on the X900A and the X950B is noticeably better than all of the above.

Also, this year's X850B is slightly better than last year's X850A, though not as good as last year's X900A. I would even say that the choice between this year's X850B and last year's W900A could be a tough one, depending on your needs. While the X850B gets you 4K and passive 3D, the W900A gives better contrast, color, motion resolution, and input lag (important for gamers). Since they sell for about the same (street) price, I could see many choosing the W900A over the X850B. Since the X900A's aren't easily found any more, to get a TV that is definitively better than last year's W900A, you would have to jump up to at least the X900B, which will cost you ~$800 more.
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post #1392 of 1394 Old 09-24-2014, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post
As you can see from the post you quoted, we're in agreement that the W950B was a flub, which means that the W900A remains the best 1080p TV Sony has made. I also noted that the 79" X900B is inferior to last year's X900A in many ways, due to the choice to go with an IPS panel in that particular screen size. However, the 55 and 65 inch versions of the X900B are a modest improvement on the X900A and the X950B is noticeably better than all of the above.

Also, this year's X850B is slightly better than last year's X850A, though not as good as last year's X900A. I would even say that the choice between this year's X850B and last year's W900A could be a tough one, depending on your needs. While the X850B gets you 4K and passive 3D, the W900A gives better contrast, color, motion resolution, and input lag (important for gamers). Since they sell for about the same (street) price, I could see many choosing the W900A over the X850B. Since the X900A's aren't easily found any more, to get a TV that is definitively better than last year's W900A, you would have to jump up to at least the X900B, which will cost you ~$800 more.

Well HockeyoAJB you made it very hard for me to disagree with you on anything you said.
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post #1393 of 1394 Old 09-25-2014, 05:02 PM
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I agree NorthSky. I think Sony views anything under 4K as "not important" because for them that isnt where the money is being made. Thats not the way it used to be but now it is sadly. The Ultra Hi-End clientele is their main focus now and in the end I hope it dont bite them in the a**.
Smaller market share offset by higher margins....that's a slippery slope that will lead to bankruptcy as R&D funding runs dry, product innovation trickles to nothing....
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post #1394 of 1394 Old 09-25-2014, 05:23 PM
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