Originally Posted by mfuhlendorf
I have been format neutral since I heard about HD discs, I have a HDA1 and will buy a PS3 as soon as prices are reasonable for Blu-ray. But then, I thought the format war was going to be settled with dual format discs and player, not with one format overcoming another completely.
We are certainly headed toward both formats living next to each other.
Now Universal's silence greatly disturbed me. I've invested quite a lot on HDDVD hardware and software (counting in Brazil's taxes, my player cost around US$1000 and each disc goes for around US$40), and I'm afraid Blu-ray will overwhelm HDDVD completely in a few months' time.
Sorry, I really don't understand this angst about Universal. Universal could not shout any louder in support of HD DVD at CES. They are the chairman of the US HD DVD group and gave the keynote address at CES. They have committed strongly to releasing their titles for this year, including day and date for new movies yet to even come to theaters. More importantly, you did not hear a peep from them going to BD route, despite the confidence of BD group that they are doing well. Another CES came and went without them going near BDA.
Universal is also committed to a lot of innovations in the area of interactivity with HDi as we demonstrated at CES. Given the really bad shape of same technology in BDA products, their preference for HD DVD could not be more clear and obvious.
Net, net, you should see Universal more committed to HD DVD, than any BD studio is to BDA. They have shown this in the past, and will continue to do so in the future with stellar products, using all the advanced features of HD DVD.
It is true that we don't pound our chest about the future as much as the BDA does. We prefer to show progress with real action mostly. So what you are seeing is the more conservative approach. But please don't mistake that with lack of commitment to HD DVD. We are all very, very committed to success of HD DVD and will do everything in our power to advance the format.
Plus, I was greatly disappointed not to see any new studios declaring format neutrality this January. After the rumors, I was half certain Disney would support HDDVD. I'll buy thir blurays anyway, mind you, but I still don't have a blu-ray player, so I have to wait longer...
Everything takes time. One has to have patience. Remember last CES where BDA declared HD DVD dead and everyone believed them? Look at where we are now, with a raft of new CE company announcements which they said was impossible for us to get. We have 40 content studios worldwide distributing HD DVD. We have way more titles than BDA once you include these international titles. And that trend is going to continue with doubling the number of titles to some 600 by the end of this year.
And then we had LG breaking the ice by going from BD exclusive to not only supporting HD DVD, but saying great things about how well HD DVD works at CES. This is going to have strong impact on the attitude of BD-exclusive companies. Trust me on this. A lot of people changed their mind at CES over this on the other side of the fence given the large splash LG made. It will become very hard for BD CE companies to market BD-only products retailing for high prices. Very hard.
Do you know anything, any news that can't be made public yet, a studio switchover, a batch of great title release annoucements, a new super-cheap player, anything at all, that would reverse/stall the news of impending doom for HDDVD?
Impending doom? Where do people get this? Let's look at the situation at CES. BDA companies showed no new companies adopting BD format. None. All they had for news, is what they were always supposed to have, which is their studios not dragging their feet to support their format. That was it. No new lower cost players. No follow on products. No BD-Live products. No demonstration of advancements in their format. Nothing.
In contrast, HD DVD showed incredible progress. We have new CE partners from likes of Chinese/Taiwanese (who will make the low cost products you ask about) and Onkyo, to companies with stellar reputation like Meridian. More importantly, at CES one gets to meet with a ton of CE companies. And I can tell you that all of this news moved HD DVD significantly forward in their support behind the scenes. Obviously, in front of our competitors here I am not going to mention specifics. But you can count us announcing new CE partners this year.
The above is important as it starts to break down the last two arguments that BDA says was in their favor: CE companies and content. The former is now proven to be false and indeed, BDA no longer trumpet that at CES. The content side will also come. It is inevitable that content companies will follow where the sockets and positive momentum are. They did so when DVD came and they were on Divx bandwagon. They will do so again.
Remember, that alliances can change overnight. An executive could choose to support the other format with one decision and have titles in the market next month. But you can not solve the manufacturing and other difficulties of BD overnight. HD DVD is real, can produce the experience that people want and will gain the support of companies as it continues its forward progress.
Anything to cheer up people who spent thousands of dollars to be early supporters of the format? Even if you can't tell us what it is, it would relieve me greatly to know there is SOMETHING around the corner that might counteract BluRay's great slate of announced titles.
Here is what I can tell you. There are 16,000 DVD titles from what I recall. Compared to that, neither BD nor HD DVD holds a candle. So all we are talking about for this year is having a solid library so that you can enjoy your chose format.
Fact is that HD DVD will supply you with considerable choices in content with great attention to quality, state-of-the-art in interactivity and menu design, and usage of advanced scenarios such as digital downloads. HD DVD will present you with the broadest set of content from alternative to independent and locally produced content such as Bandai animations. Its ease of replication is the power behind this as it allows anyone anywhere in the world to get production capacity including without having to call Sony and such.
HD DVD is also the only global HD format with no region coding. So you can continue to enjoy CE and content from anywhere in the world, with no worries about borders. And with the advent of internet, you can purchase them with relative ease. This is also driving content adoption. When I was in UK, many had imported their players and content from US.
Per note before, HD DVD is also bringing the widest range of products on the playback to the market. This includes super low cost far-east players which retailers can private brand, to reference quality products from likes of Meridian to extract that last bit of quality out of HD DVD and other formats the device plays such as CDs, while supporting the widest set of features. And of course, everything in between from Toshiba including 1080p/24fps support. With our significant partnership with Broadcom to provide a nice platform for building HD DVD players quickly and efficiently, you can expect to see companies able to enter HD DVD without a huge outlay of R&D dollars which few can afford, given how complex these formats are.
And of course, we have the key advantage of bringing value to our customers. HD DVD option for Xbox 360 brings an unmatched level of value at just $199. And with over 10M and counting 360 machines out there and strong, strong demand for the HD DVD add-on, we are going to continue to bring a ton of people into HD DVD fold which the other guys simply can not match. And Toshiba is thundering away with fast product cycles with great pricing and frequent firmware updates to keep them fresh. Nothing in BDA comes close to matching any of this offering.
Last but not least, as you hopefully know, you are dealing with a company behind HD DVD who at its heart, is made up of people like you. With likes of Stacey Spears, Kevin Collins, Ben, etc., you know that we love this technology and care to deliver the utmost A/V experience. (We are not a competitor to CE companies which makes it so much easier for them to partner with us.) There is a reason we have Meridian on board and the other guys do not have. Yes, this is also a business for us as it is for BD companies. But it goes way past that. Our passion shows in our execution and the support that we are gaining from many companies who like to deal with people who appreciate their art and products.
Thank you very much for your informative posts here, they've been invaluable for techno-geeks like me.
Thank you so much. We really appreciate the people here who have purchased and supported us in this journey. HD DVD would be nowhere without it. But together, we are strong and headed on a very positive trajectory to establish HD DVD as both a premier HD optical format, but also one that provides great value for everyday person.
Sorry about the rant btw
. There was a lot of pent up passion here wanting to get out.