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Battle of high-definition DVDs predicted for holidays

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
This is a pretty good article showing both what BD and HD-DVD might be plotting this holiday season and quotes from some of the players in the industry including Warner brothers and Universals president

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...EWS09/70809084
post #2 of 117
Interesting comment

"Chinese-made HD DVD players selling for $199 are expected to hit store shelves by December, while Sony is widely expected to cut the cost of its Blu-ray machine to as low as $299 by year's end."

Wouldn't Surprise me
post #3 of 117
Quote:


People are still frustrated there is a format war to begin with, he said. The studios are making people choose. What consumers want is something that will play everything so they don't have to choose.

Yup
post #4 of 117
Pretty good article.

“The frustration for consumers is not knowing what format is going to win,” said Chris Roden, an analyst at Parks Associates.

They just need a link to the Nielsen Videoscan thread. The numbers are only going to get better for Blu-ray through the holidays since Universal doesn't have very many cards to play and Warner is inevitably going to drop the other shoe with long awaited Blu-ray releases of Batman Begins, The Matrix, etc for which HDDVD will have no answer (and we know the initial release of these has only helped them maintain half the disc sales).

Blu-ray will be a steady 70:30 by the end of the year. HDDVD's death rattle by CES 2008, if not by the aftermath of Black Friday 2007.

Blu-Ray is getting an even bigger boost as Blockbuster Inc. announced it would stock only Blu-ray titles when it expands its high-def DVD offerings this year. Target Inc., the nation’s second-largest retailer, said it will only sell Blu-ray DVD players in its stores in the fourth quarter.

Heh, still no clarification from Target yet, is there? Other than the whole removing the Tosh players from their website thing, right?

“This is not about a high-def movie on a disc,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “”

Someone tell Kornblau this is about a high-def movie on a disc FIRST. Noone cares about the other stuff, if they can't have the movie (or they could try to sell that stuff separately, for all the good it will do them).
post #5 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by UxiSXRD View Post

This is not about a high-def movie on a disc, said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Someone tell Kornblau this is about a high-def movie on a disc FIRST. Noone cares about the other stuff, if they can't have the movie (or they could try to sell that stuff separately, for all the good it will do them).

Have you used any IME/U-Control features? Bourne Identity, 300, etc?
post #6 of 117
Its refreshing to read an honest bi-partisan article for a change. Good read.
post #7 of 117
A good, unbiased article for a change. Pretty accurate, although I gotta laugh when they use places like Blockbuster & Target for examples of BR marketing savvy or whatever.

1) Blockbuster is a company that is and has been in serious financial trouble for years. 2Q '07 figures showed a $35mm LOSS.

2) Target is a B&M discounter & is NOT the kind of place that will make any serious inroads in determining who wins this.

3) Before anybody jumps me, I am format neutral, owning a PS3 & HD A2.
post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelHDDVD View Post

Interesting comment

"Chinese-made HD DVD players selling for $199 are expected to hit store shelves by December, while Sony is widely expected to cut the cost of its Blu-ray machine to as low as $299 by year's end."

Wouldn't Surprise me

Michael, the comment about Sony is something that would surprise me and something I don't expect. However, the comment about HD-DVD players selling for $199 would NOT surprise me.

Anyone thinking about purchasing an HD-DVD player should definitely hold off and wait for the price reduction.
post #9 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

Michael, the comment about Sony is something that would surprise me and something I don't expect. However, the comment about HD-DVD players selling for $199 would NOT surprise me.

Anyone thinking about purchasing an HD-DVD player should definitely hold off and wait for the price reduction.

No need to hold off. That price is available from time to time now.
post #10 of 117
Quote:


In the United States, standalone HD DVD players have 61% market share, while Blu-ray players have 36% share and the few dual-format players have a 3% share, according to market research company The NPD Group Inc.

So is this the new ratio we are going to use to determinte the number of SAL's sold:

61/36?
post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

Michael, the comment about Sony is something that would surprise me and something I don't expect. However, the comment about HD-DVD players selling for $199 would NOT surprise me.

Anyone thinking about purchasing an HD-DVD player should definitely hold off and wait for the price reduction.

I think the first week or two of Oct. after the 5 free offer ends and the 3 gen HD DVD comes out you will see the A2 MSRP dropped to $199 to clear them out and once those are gone I'd expect the A3s to be priced likewise.
post #12 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

So is this the new ratio we are going to use to determinte the number of SAL's sold:

61/36?

I saw that and thought thank goodness we have a real number for that ratio. How do you count the 3% that are dual format?
post #13 of 117
Article: "Nonetheless, Warner Bros. believes both formats can coexist and has been urging Blu-ray backers to begin supporting HD DVD as well. The studio has developed a dual-format disc and has said it would license the technology to other studios
willing to back both."

It's all about licensing! Warner Bros. wants other studios to go dual-format so they can collect dual-format-disc license fees. The whole reason Sony started the war by introducing Blu-Ray was because they saw the potential license fees that Toshiba was going to collect on HD DVD, and wanted those fees for themselves. If Sony was in it to sell hardware, they wouldn't be selling their most popular player, the PS3, at a loss of several hundred dollars per unit. None of this has to do with what's the better format, or what's best for consumers, it's just about licensing.
post #14 of 117
The first format, whichever it is, that dominates Wal-Mart shelves will be the winner.
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post

I saw that and thought thank goodness we have a real number for that ratio. How do you count the 3% that are dual format?

Only really three choices:
1) ignore them. This works for now as the numbers are fairly low, but becomes troublesome as units sold increases.
2) count them on both sides. This inflates player numbers, but is probably the most accurate since they DO have an HD DVD player AND a Blu-Ray player.
3) count them as a half on both sides. This keeps player numbers consistent in total, but doesn't accurately reflect non-combo marketshare (in either hardware or software).
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan_H View Post

It's all about licensing! Warner Bros. wants other studios to go dual-format so they can collect dual-format-disc license fees.

Warner already announced that their license fee for the TotalHD format is a whopping zero. Users would still have to pay the applicable fees to the BDA and DVD Forum, but nothing to Warner.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon View Post

I saw that and thought thank goodness we have a real number for that ratio. How do you count the 3% that are dual format?

The LG combo - split the number if half. Really too small to mean anything
post #18 of 117
Everyone thinks Universal is the key to a prolonged fight, but I think Warner has a vested interest in keeping HD DVD alive and will do what it can (which is a lot) to keep HD DVD in the game.

I expect $149.00 HD DVD players by December. If BD playeras hit $300 by that time then purchasing both formats will be cheaper than what the original HD DVD player cost. At some point the pricing will allow just about everyone who really wants HD to own both formats and this war will be moot. HD DVD just has to survive for another year I would say. Sony could have killed HD DVD right from the get go, but for some reason (over confidence?) didn't, now it has to slash prices and buy the market at a huge cost in the hopes of putting this thing to bed in three or four months with no guarantees. The wild card in all of this is MS. If it really wants HD DVD to stay alive then HD DVD will stick around whether people on this forum like it or not!

Cheers,

Grant
post #19 of 117
Well here is some interesting news. Amazon is selling SPM 3 for $44.95 - only 10% off as oposed to the normal 30% off:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...nandscathed-20
post #20 of 117
The article has a mistake. The author thought (very wrong) that PotC3 will be available on both formats. He did get Bourne3 and Spidey3 right.
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Well here is some interesting news. Amazon is selling SPM 3 for $44.95 - only 10% off as oposed to the normal 30% off:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...nandscathed-20

I don't think they want to sell any, I think they (Sony as well as retailers) want everyone to buy the Trilogy. Maybe pricing the single movie in such a way makes the Trilogy seem like more of a value?

What's funny is that I can't imagine anyone wanting 3 and not wanting 1 and 2, but I can totally see someone wanting 1 and 2 and being ok with getting 3 'for free' as part of the trilogy.
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush View Post

I don't think they want to sell any, I think they (Sony as well as retailers) want everyone to buy the Trilogy. Maybe pricing the single movie in such a way makes the Trilogy seem like more of a value?

What's funny is that I can't imagine anyone wanting 3 and not wanting 1 and 2, but I can totally see someone wanting 1 and 2 and being ok with getting 3 'for free' as part of the trilogy.


I am in for the Trilogy, and yes, I could give a crapola about Spidey 3. It's definately a push for the Trilogy, which I imagine will sell incredibly well.
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRYKOS View Post

2) Target is a B&M discounter & is NOT the kind of place that will make any serious inroads in determining who wins this.

I'm curious, then as to who you feel will make serious inroads in determining who wins this. Wal-Mart, who most around here could be a scale-tipper if they choose to so do, is also a B&M discounter.
post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush View Post

I don't think they want to sell any, I think they (Sony as well as retailers) want everyone to buy the Trilogy. Maybe pricing the single movie in such a way makes the Trilogy seem like more of a value?

What's funny is that I can't imagine anyone wanting 3 and not wanting 1 and 2, but I can totally see someone wanting 1 and 2 and being ok with getting 3 'for free' as part of the trilogy.

What about the much vaulted "BD perception" to the public? Selling a single movie for $44.95 (which will probably be the price everywhere including Target). Does that give the impression that BD is an affordable format?

So you say they will sell the Trilogy - at $20 higher. Think people are made of money? So how many DVD's did SPM 1 & 2 sell? They are catalog titles you know. And this is good for the consumer?. . . . . How?
post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

What about the much vaulted "BD perception" to the public? Selling a single movie for $44.95 (which will probably be the price everywhere including Target). Does that give the impression that BD is an affordable format?

So you say they will sell the Trilogy - at $20 higher. Think people are made of money? So how many DVD's did SPM 1 & 2 sell? They are catalog titles you know. And this is good for the consumer?. . . . . How?

I am not saying it is good for the consumer, or saying that it makes BD software seem affordable.

I am saying it makes the $60+ Trilogy seem like a bargain in comparison to the $40+ single movie.

I do like that there is an option, it just isn't a good option.
post #26 of 117
That freep link isn't working - can someone post the whole article?

Edit: working again
post #27 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneL View Post

That freep link isn't working - can someone post the whole article?

Battle of high-definition DVDs predicted for holidays
August 9, 2007

BY GARY GENTILE

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES People who own an HD DVD player can forget about watching Spider-Man 3 in high definition when it goes on sale during the holiday season.

The movie from Sony Pictures will only be available in the Blu-ray DVD format.

Likewise, people with Blu-ray players won't be able to enjoy the action-thriller The Bourne Ultimatum, which Universal Pictures will release only in HD DVD.

These exclusive arrangements, plus aggressive price cuts for high-def DVD players, are designed to persuade consumers to finally embrace one format or the other.

But analysts wonder if the moves will anger consumers, just as the studios and consumer-electronics companies are hoping to boost high-def DVD sales as growth in standard DVDs stalls.

The frustration for consumers is not knowing what format is going to win, said Chris Roden, an analyst at Parks Associates.

Consumers, many of whom are still smarting from the VCR format battle between VHS and Betamax, need to know their expensive equipment won't become obsolete if the competing format wins, said Steven J. Caldero, chief operating officer of Ken Crane's, specialty electronics chain in Southern California.

People are still frustrated there is a format war to begin with, he said. The studios are making people choose. What consumers want is something that will play everything so they don't have to choose.

Until recently, many consumers were able to defer the choice because players have been so expensive. But prices have been slashed by about half Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray player now sells for $499 and Toshiba Corp.'s cheapest HD DVD player sells for $299, with both likely to include as many as five free movies as an incentive. (Players that read both formats remain expensive.)

Both sides are also releasing blockbuster titles such as the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie aimed squarely at the demographic most likely to upgrade to high-def.

The stakes couldn't be higher for Hollywood, which has seen sales of traditional DVDs, once a reliable profit engine, slow to a trickle. Direct digital delivery online, while promising, is still years away from profitability because current Internet capacity simply can't handle the enormous high-definition files.

Yet consumers remain profoundly confused by the two formats, both of which deliver crisp, clear pictures and sound but are completely incompatible with each other and do not play on older DVD players. Many haven't even heard of either format.

HD DVD, developed by Toshiba and backed by powerful companies like Microsoft, has the lead in standalone players sold because they are cheaper and hit the market first.

In the United States, standalone HD DVD players have 61% market share, while Blu-ray players have 36% share and the few dual-format players have a 3% share, according to market research company The NPD Group Inc.

But Blu-ray, backed by Sony and a majority of Hollywood studios, got a big boost when Sony introduced its PlayStation 3 game console, which comes standard with a Blu-ray drive. Counting those machines, there are more Blu-ray players out there.

Although Microsoft's Xbox 360 can play HD DVD movies, the drive has to be bought separately. Only 160,000 drives have been sold so far, compared with 1.5 million PS3 consoles, according to NPD.

In terms of discs sold, Blu-ray has always had the lead. Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures release movies in both formats, and in such cases Blu-ray has outsold HD DVD by nearly 2-to-1.

Blu-Ray is getting an even bigger boost as Blockbuster Inc. announced it would stock only Blu-ray titles when it expands its high-def DVD offerings this year. Target Inc., the nation's second-largest retailer, said it will only sell Blu-ray DVD players in its stores in the fourth quarter.

Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co., and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are releasing only in Blu-ray. Universal, owned by General Electric Co., is the only major studio to back HD DVD exclusively.

Nonetheless, Warner Bros. believes both formats can coexist and has been urging Blu-ray backers to begin supporting HD DVD as well. The studio has developed a dual-format disc and has said it would license the technology to other studios
willing to back both.

The fourth quarter is critical for the formats to show growth and momentum, said Steve Nickerson, Warner Home Video's senior vice president of marketing. It's more than about winning or losing. If you can continue to show growth (in both formats), that's a positive in a situation where standard DVD sales aren't growing.

To counter Blu-ray's recent gains, the HD DVD camp is planning an advertising campaign touting the interactive elements of the format, which allow users to connect to the Internet to download special features.

This is not about a high-def movie on a disc, said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. It's about a fully immersive experience, connected interactivity. That's what is going to separate these high-def formats.

Kornblau said he isn't worried about Blu-ray's momentum and doesn't believe there's a need for one to knockout the other.

To call this market nascent is to a degree to pay it a complement, he said. The people who have bought so far aren't early adopters, they are early, early adopters.

Analysts said even lower prices for players could be the key to determining a format winner. Some believe that until prices hit the $200 range, consumers simply won't upgrade from their current machines, many of which cost less than $100.

Chinese-made HD DVD players selling for $199 are expected to hit store shelves by December, while Sony is widely expected to cut the cost of its Blu-ray machine to as low as $299 by year's end.

When that occurs, the studios and Sony are going to pull out the big guns, said Phillip Swann, president of the technology-oriented Web site TVpredictions.com. They are going to release more titles, big titles, and really go for the kill this holiday season.
post #28 of 117
Why can we not get these "journalists" to tell the public that they cannot yet buy a BD player with the features they will get in a HD DVD player, along with the lower price? Like internet connectivity? Like simple features such as PiP? Like the ability to play HD disks made by consumers?
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneL View Post

Why can we not get these "journalists" to tell the public that they cannot yet buy a BD player with the features they will get in a HD DVD player, along with the lower price? Like internet connectivity? Like simple features such as PiP? Like the ability to play HD disks made by consumers?

Most of them don't know it. Most of them know very little about trhe "bits and bytes" of the formats. They can't even get a simple fact like who is releasing which movie under what format correct.

PC World is very much aware of this 1.1 issue. They were the ones who brought to light that the new Sam. Gen3 players are not 1.1 compliant and pushed a Sam. exec to find out when . . 2008. So let's see what they do with it.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneL View Post

Why can we not get these "journalists" to tell the public that they cannot yet buy a BD player with the features they will get in a HD DVD player, along with the lower price? Like internet connectivity? Like simple features such as PiP? Like the ability to play HD disks made by consumers?

Because these days Journalism is a popularity contest, just look at the build-up to the real war between 911 and troop deployments. There was plenty of time to print descending opinion, just no balls.
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