Originally Posted by Maxpower1987
The fastest growth will not come from lowering prices atm, it will come from ending the war so that consumers who would not buy in due to the uncertain future faced by both formats is settled one way or the other.
Lower prices will come after the war has been declared. Having seen the reasons why WB went exclusive, it was all to do with consumer uncertainty, having Blu-ray win the war ends that and adoption will increase dramatically once it happens.
This point, and some of the other reasons that Warner has used for their choice, has always been a little confusing for me, and I'm hoping that you can shed some light on it so that I can understand a different perspective better.
From your statement above, it sounds as though the primary obstacle that HD media has right now is customer confusion between the two HD formats, is that correct?
Is it possible that there is also confusion about the actual difference between HDM and upconverted SD DVD's?
I base this question on the surveys that were done last year about people thinking they were watching movies on HD, but the movies they listed weren't available on either HD DVD or Blu-ray at the time.
One of Warner's stated reasons for their change
was uncertainty about the economy, using gas prices as a catalyst for concern about spending on luxury items.
Being on the financial side of examining the issues, I'm curious to understand how switching to producing discs exclusively for one format serves that concern?
I'm not trying to be inflammatory here, but Blu-ray players are hundreds of dollars more expensive than HD DVD players, which reduces the amount of money people with limited budgets would have to buy movies. By alienating HD DVD customers, they are now removing almost a million households from the pool of potential customers for their movies.
I'm willing to believe that the gas prices comment was a convenient reason or it was taken out of context or something, but if price sensitivity is really a factor, how does such a decision work in that scenario?
Would you be able to share with us some examination of the obstacles faced by HD media to become successful? I'd be interested in the big issues as seen by the studios and manufacturers.
Here's my list:
- Penetration of at least one HD display device in households
- HDM superiority over DVD (picture quality, sound quality, features)
- Hardware prices
- Hardware featuresets
- Unanimous studio support
- Availability of movie titles (A-list titles, day-and-date releases, etc.)
- Penetration of more than one HD display device in households (secondary use of SD DVDs in other rooms, vehicles, laptops and other portable devices)
- Software prices
- Studio concern over availability of movies by rental (Netflix, Blockbuster) reducing the market for movie purchases
- Confusion between HD DVD and Blu-ray (competing formats)
You will note that I put HD DVD / Blu-ray confusion way down at the bottom. In my mind, if both formats are supported equally by the studios, that element is just a marketing challenge. The red and blue boxes have differentiated the two formats very clearly, and I think people are smart enough to figure out that they need to buy the blue box or the red box. I can see a small contingent of people just not getting it, but those same people aren't going to be able to figure out the difference between SD DVD and a single HD format either.
If one assumes that HD DVD will go away (for the sake of discussion), how does that help any of the above concerns, except for that last one?
If the Warner decision really does push Universal, Paramount, and Dreamworks to produce Blu-ray discs, does that mean that more software will become available?
Unless they make some announcements between now and June, Warner's decision actually decreases their total library of HD titles by 21 discs (because of titles like Casablanca, Batman Begins, etc. not being available on Blu-ray)
With the fact that many households, especially families, use their DVDs in multiple devices, how does that factor into the situation? HD DVD/DVD combos had some issues, but the jury is still out as to whether the issues were really widespread or amplified on forums by unhappy customers.
Assuming that such issues were insignificant in the macro view, I see the value in having both formats available to consumers with one purchase. I know that there are concerns about putting a Blu-ray disc and a SD DVD in the same box and the DVD landing on eBay, but when some recent movies being sold at the big box retailers for well under $10, I would think that bundling them would allay the objection of the dual use and the higher cost (since the Blu-ray now comes with a free DVD) on the part of the consumer.
At least two of the recent CES announcements (the Panasonic DMP-BD30, informal assurance of BD-Live on the PS3) will take care of the hardware featuresets objection (which admittedly, most consumers aren't aware of, which is going to create an issue come October), so then the main issue becomes price. If some of those players can cross the $300 street price mark, that's a step in the right direction.
Do any of these concerns match up with what the manufacturers and studios see as obstacles to adoption of even one HD media format?