Originally Posted by Eternal_Sunshine
Isn't the time it takes to download the program (and thus the convenience of this process) in direct correlation to the bandwith? In other words, doesn't the company delivering the content still have the incentive to use files as small as possible to make downloading fast and convenient for as many potential customers as possible?
Again, for background downloads, the person is not sitting there waiting for the prompt. Whether a download takes 20 or 30 minutes is not material. If there is demand for quality, it will be offered.
Quite the opposite, I fear the studios won't continue to publish high quality content on optical media if enough consumers settle for the "good enough" quality and higher convenience of downloads. Which may or may not be Microsoft's goal in all of this...
There is no correlation between what studios offer for download and HD optical. Today, iTunes distributes sub-DVD quality yet same studio (Disney) publishes in BD. Now, again, if consumers won't pay for something, there won't be an offer. So your fear should be about the consumer purchasing behavior, not the technology itself
And why do you think we matter in this equation? I mean there is Apple out there. Don't you think they are out to make downloads work? And between us, at least we invested in HD optical. Apple is a BD board member and has not done so. If you have a beef then, it should be with that BD company which has shunned the whole market.
Well, the starting point of this discussion was that Microsoft supposedly does not want HD on optical media (HDOM) to succeed, wasn't it?
No, it never was. We never said such a thing. And I explained at length the huge investment we have in HD optical.
Don't you agree that this "trouble selling" HDOM is very much a result of this format war - which Microsoft prolonged by supporting the underdog HD-DVD?
No, I don't agree that it is the major factor. We have players which until recently cost 10X of a DVD player. We have titles which cost 2X their DVD counterparts or close to it. You have consumers who happily bought ED plasma displays thinking they are "HD." And both formats have at most 1% of the number of titles that DVD has so there is not much for general consumer to select. These are the troubling things. Format war is annoying to be sure and I am not trying to make an excuse for it. But let's step out of the world of AVS where such things are affordable and the main worry is who is going to win. In the real world, people care about value and they don't quite see it - in either format just yet. The latest price drop from Toshiba clearly shows us that increasing the value there results in more sales, even though the format war continues.
You don't agree? What if I had HD DVD players which would retail for $50, same as a DVD player and titles retailing for $15 with bargain bins at $5. And let's make the discs combos so that they play in every DVD player. You want to say that the market will stay small still due to format war? I bet it would not. The day the formats don't cost consumers anything extra, is the day the consumer has nothing to lose. Ask them to pay 10X more, and they rightfully ask questions. Don't ask them anything and they would come along.
Wouldn't it be very helpful for a potential provider of HD downloads to the masses, i.e. Microsoft, to paint the picture that the "value proposition [of HDOM] didn't work" like you just did?
No, it is a simple matter of not drinking one's Kool-Aid too much
. Yes, we have invest heavily in HD DVD. No doubt about it. We built hardware, we built software. We help others ship players. We help studios encode content (for both formats I might add). And we help people innovate with interactivity. We are probably in the top three companies investing in HD optical formats! But at the same time, we have our eye open on other things. And we are honest about not knowing which distribution format is going to "win" if one is indeed going to win over the other. So we are doing both, as are many people in the same industry from content owners to computer and CE companies. The fact that we come out and say it, should not be spun into gossip which is not backed by our actions.
Or asked in a more simple manner: Would Microsoft like HD downloads to be the dominant form of HD distribution? If the answer is yes - wouldn't HDOM failing make this scenario much more likely and would thus be in Microsoft's best interest?
Why would HD optical failing help downloads? The competition for downloads is DVDs. We have not matched that format in convenience and consumer preference with digital delivery. HD optical plays no role in whether digital downloads succeed or not. Because the SD version of the same has to succeed in the presence of DVD. And surely no one is claiming that we are trying make DVD fail too.
And besides, these worlds are converging anyway. We see a future where HD DVD content gets augmented with additional content you get when you need it. Want that 10th language or the 20th subtitle? Just download the darn thing. Use managed copy and put the disc on your hard disk and you mix the twp worlds even more. We are strongly supporting these scenarios. As are the HD DVD studios. So you may not see the boundaries that you think you see with HD DVD at least.
Yes, an optical word where all you do is spin a disc, is well, so yesterday to us
. We want to modernize this field and bring the power of software, networks, and just in time delivery to it. If we are successful, maybe you get what you want. That is, consumers get best of both worlds and neither has to win or lose. So you see, if you don't have all of your chips in one basket, you don't mind the center moving left or right.
We'll see. I happen to love the current "version of this thing" (HDOM) and think you shouldn't underestimate neither the collector's satisfaction of owning a physical object nor the studios' desire to sell us the same movies over and over again...
Why am I underestimating the value of HD optical when I am here, at 2:14 am typing this to you? OK, so I am jetlagged and wide awake.
But let's put this aside and give me credit that as the guy running this thing, I care deeply about HD optical as does my team. I have invested 5 years of my life here. I don't want the history to write that it was a failure. So let's stop this partisan thing and continue to tell us how things work inside Microsoft. Look at our actions. We love this stuff. We believe in it as a valid form of distribution. We think it is good business for us and our customers. So don't worry about us having ulterior motives. After all, as a wise man once said, worry is an abuse of imagination!
Good night folks.