Originally Posted by amirm
BD discs are also "more expensive to build [replicate]. And this is indispuatable too. Yet BD proponents say if it does not impact retail prices of the discs, who cares. Are you now using that same argument yourself?
Not a relevant comparison. It will always be more expensive to build a combo DVD+VCR than to build the cheapest DVD or VCR. That doesn't mean it will always be cheaper to build a DVD disc than a VCR tape (or vice versa). Analysts have predicted that the new methods invented to replicate Blu-ray discs (PTM, if I recall correctly, but this isn't an area of expertise for me) have promise in eventually reducing costs below
that of red laser DVD. Even if they don't go that far, it's certainly plausible that Blu-ray media costs will closely enough approach those of HD DVD that retail costs will be unaffected.
If they price the player at say, $1,200, are you saying they would have to sudbsidize it to get there? If so, why?
At $1200 I don't think it's a given that they'd be subsidizing the bill of materials, though they'd clearly be subsidizing the amortized R&D costs (as are all Blu-ray and HD-DVD vendors at this point). Nonetheless, I don't think a $1200 player is going to have much impact in the market, especially from a vendor who has little-if-any presence in the market segment which a $1200 player implies. I think the player's got to be $799 MSRP or less to be a factor (given that none of the high-def players, HD-DVD or Blu-ray, retailing for more than $599 have sold enough units to be a long-term factor, either).
You are forgetting a little detail called the blu-laser drive. The BD OPU (optical pick up) is more expensive if it can read DVDs and CDs. Now, it does not explain the >$1,000 pricing for BD players but this is an important factor.
Perhaps, but we lack concrete evidence as to whether a)the higher PS3 volumes have created economies of scale around the OPU, or b)the high PS3 volumes actually make this worse due to scarcity of demand, or c)the added cost of a BD OPU relative to an HD-DVD OPU is no greater than the added cost of a dedicated HD-DVD CPU versus a Blu-ray SoC solution. The only datapoints I've seen which you could possibly use to compare bare drive cost would be the iSuppli $125 PS3 BD drive estimate versus the HP $249 HD-DVD PC drive add-on retail cost, which we could estimate to be 2x the bill of materials, also suggesting a $125 drive cost. The PS3 drive is a slot loader, which probably costs more than a tray. Nonetheless, there is very flimsy data generally available at this point. Unless you're willing to share the data you undoubtedly have with regards to the cost of a bare HD-DVD ROM drive, this is all I have to go on.
As to Ron's comment, I know for sure that his assumptions regarding HDi graphics architecture is completely wrong, if that is the point you are talking about. He is taking the sample reference model in HD DVD interactivity spec, as blue-print on how to design real HD DVD interactivity hardware. Real products use much more optimized solutions with a completely different architecture.
Perhaps in time, but today's HD-DVD players are designed with way more CPU cycles than are the equivalent Blu-ray players, and since Blu-ray has higher mandated bitrates HDi would be the apparent reason for higher CPU requirements. I appreciate you may expect further optimization to eliminate this delta, but the fact remains that today's HD-DVD players are being built with more silicon than are today's Blu-ray players (PS3 excepted for obvious reasons).
Originally Posted by joshd2012
Picture in picture is no big deal - The Descent does this already with BD-Java.
It does? How does it do it "with Java"? Did Talk say that they encode two versions of the movie, one with PiP and one without? If so, do you really want to have any extra space for BD-50 be used this way, to cover up the fact that the player can't decode two video streams that even a $400 Toshiba player can?
Given that Blu-ray can use the exact same primary encode which has to fit in 30GB for HD-DVD, why not make use of the extra 20GB which Blu-ray offers? Sure, you can use a secondary audio/video stream to do it with far fewer bits, but as I've posted elsewhere encoding a second copy gives you far more flexibility in terms of number of PiP windows, shape and size of that window, supporting commentary as part of the primary audio track, etc. The bottom line is Blu-ray's capacity advantage offers the studio more flexibility in building their final product, and allows developers to think "outside the box" in terms of how to use the basic format's capabilities.