Originally Posted by amirm
What can I say. It is in the same theme of your pre-show report. Namely, tilt toward BD, no matter what the news.
6 CE companies announced support for HD DVD. That was one of the key tenants of BD before, that everyone loved them. Now it is completely dispelled. One of their exclusives, LG, now supporting HD DVD. You mentioned most of this, but you drew no conclusion for expanded support for HD DVD. Why? Isn't it remarkable that one of their founding members, having known everything the rest of them know, still believes they must support HD DVD?
You also made no mention of our announcement with Broadcom to build reference design for HD DVD so that many more companies can enter the market. The reaction to this at CES was fantastic.
No mention was made of the innovative scenarios we showed around interactivity and network sharing either. Remember why Disney joined BDA and how they used to trumpet interactivity? Questioning what happened to all of that would have newsworthy.
And what do you mean Universal was quiet? They gave the keynote for HD DVD. They lead HD DVD marketing for US. Just because they don't pre-announce stuff, it doesn't mean they don't support HD DVD. They are way, way ahead of Fox/Disney and even Sony in supporting HD DVD so far with some of their top titles. What Fox/Disney showed is simply going where they should have already.
And what did BDA really announce beside new titles from studios who should have always been producing BD titles? Nothing. Just a Samsung player. Sony only hinted about players, with no availability, etc, yet you give them top billing, while not mentioning the first high-end company to lend support to HD DVD (Meridian).
As I noted before CES, you have great insight and opportunity to tell a fresh story. Instead, what you wrote is what BDA likes you to write. BDA declares the war won and folks just repeat that.
Thanks for your extensive comments.
I obviously could not mention everything and keep the article focused. My basic point is that I see the studios stepping in after the technology companies have made a mess of this.
1. I think I mentioned all of the technology companies (not all of the Chinese companies by name) supporting HD DVD.
-- I mentioned the new Toshiba player.
-- I mentioned Onkyo
-- I mentioned that RCA has dropped the HD DVD line.
-- No, I didn't mention Meridian, although I followed this issue very closely this last week. I even tried to contact them to get their reaction. At the end of the day, I didn't see anything in the Meridian relationship that would affect the format war near term, so I omitted it.
-- BTW I had predicted that Microsoft might announce an XBox 360 with a built-in drive. I still think this would be a good product since it would be cheaper, more tightly integrated, and could incorporate HDMI. Since you didn't introduce one, I didn't mention it in the wrap-up.
2. I mentioned that Microsoft was working with Chinese manufacturers. Yes, I could have added more detail, stating for example that Microsoft was working with Broadcom to use Windows CE etc. I specifically said that HD DVD will have cheap players soon and that Blu-ray needs to move forward quickly before these enter the market if they are to have a chance.
3. No, I did not mention the interactivity features of either format. Many people are confused by this and not sure how much of it they are going to really want. Personally, while I make my living in interactive computing, I just want to see movies in the highest quality picture and sound. [When I saw Ben-Hur in 70mm/6 track magnetic during its original release, there were no interactive features, and I don't need any now to appreciate the film, but would like it in hidef soon.
] But I will wait to see what really develops here before I judge this point.
4. I did read summaries of Universal's keynote, and am aware that a Universal person works on HD DVD promotion. I was therefore more than puzzled by the lack of substance to their title announcements. I know what they have in their catalog and what films are coming in distribution this year, and thought that it would have been easy enough to create a press release with some enthusiasm. Others (including highdefdigest.com and thedigitalbits.com) were also puzzled.
I am sorry if I gave the impression that Blu-ray has the war "won". I did state that Blu-ray now appears to have the initiative, but that the window is very limited. I stated very clearly that getting cheap Chinese players into the mix is now an excellent strategy for HD DVD. In no way do I think that it is over.
As long as you have been kind enough to respond to me in such detail, I should add that I am just a lowly customer with no allegiance to any of these companies. I deeply resent the fact that the CE companies have created this format war for no good reason from the consumer's perspective. Either format would be great for me. I also think I could have designed a better format out of the pieces of the two we have if someone had asked me.
The fact that Warners is able to create two copies of essentially the same VC-1 byte string, copy them into two different substrata structures, and then glue them together, should indicate to everyone how small the differences really are between these two formats. You have posted how difficult a process these disks will be to manufacture. But why cannot we have the alternative of just having ONE COPY OF THE VC-1? Why do we need TWO?
I have 12 friends with high-end home theatres (plus many others with less interest); they are eager to buy something but will not until the format war is ended. These are people who buy disks by the carload and would happily replace hundreds of titles in their collections (as would I). Had we only one format, sales would have exploded this last year!
I truly hope that the studios will now find a way forward out of this mess. I wish I could say that I thought that Toshiba, Microsoft, Sony, Pioneer, etc., had been so diligent to avoid a conflict when they had the chance.
Thanks for listening and good luck!