Industry Insiders Master Q&A thread IV: ONLY Questions to Insiders - Page 140 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4171 of 4687 Old 01-14-2008, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jonabbey View Post

Smokey, would it be possible for the Stage6 team to modify their site so that there is a direct download link for video clips? Right now, PS3 users using the PS3 web browser have to manually craft URLs to access the .divx files, since the PS3 web browser doesn't have DIVX plugin emulation.

That is an excellent question. I'll see what I can find out.
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post #4172 of 4687 Old 01-14-2008, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DTV TiVo Dealer View Post

Look we can all agree Warner's decision is a blow to HD DVD, but the format is still an excellent solution for every HDTV owner throughout the world. And BD equipment now costs significantly more and the replication still is more difficult to produce, particularly for any dual layer product.

So we'll see how this all turns out over the next months and likely through the balance of the year.

Robert, as a retailer that carries both formats, are you saying you're still recommending HD DVD players to your client base or have you shifted to recommending BD as the primary option? How do you even position HDDVD as "an excellent solution" to customers after informing them that it's likely 70% of upcoming HDM Hollywood releases won't be playable in that format?

You mentioned equipment costs, but looking at the ********************* website, it's obvious your clientele isn't exactly the price-conscious Walmart crowd, otherwise you'd be selling Vizio, Emerson & Polaroid LCDs too.

Finally, are you really telling potential customers that a drawback of the Blu Ray format is DL replication difficulty? Can you name a few titles that studios had to postpone release dates specifically because of BD50 replication issues? I've read more here on AVS about HD DVD combos not working properly than I have about delayed BD50 titles, so I'm curious about your comment and how it impacts the end customer.
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post #4173 of 4687 Old 01-14-2008, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bkilian View Post

The XBox 360, as of the last update, added support for "Mpeg 4, part 2" video, which just happens to be what DivX implements.

That is essentially correct. At the present time, the XBox 360 supports basic playback of some DivX (and other MPEG4 ASP, or Pt. 2) files. Full DivX Certification involves quite a bit more.
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post #4174 of 4687 Old 01-14-2008, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by smokey View Post

That is essentially correct. At the present time, the XBox 360 supports basic playback of some DivX (and other MPEG4 ASP, or Pt. 2) files. Full DivX Certification involves quite a bit more.

Thanks to you both for the information.

bkilian, meet Smokey. Smokey this is bkilian. The goal is full certification of DivX before the Spring Update.

You guys work it out. I will supply the as-needed beer.
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post #4175 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 01:18 AM
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To me, I feel Warners have made the wrong decision, because HD DVD was capable of working with DVD rather than against it. Neither HD format is ever going to become as popular as DVD is/was at its peak. And as such Blu-ray which is a HD only format is in competition directly with DVD, while HD DVD could at least present a format compatible with other players around the home.

While there were some issues with Combo discs - but I would suggest pricing more than reliability (did you see the msrp for the combo "Smokin' Aces" in the UK - totally insane!). I won't deny that there were reliability issues (I have several combos, but only Children of Men caused problems for me, which was quickly sorted out thanks to Amazon). But if MaxPower can say various Blu-ray issues can/will be sorted out in time, surely the same argument can be applied to HD DVD/DVD combos. Any production faults would quickly be ironed out, and hopefully at the same time, so would the prices. The Twin-format disc offered lots of possibilities too. I'm surprised Disney - which a market with a sizeable "babysitting" demographic, didn't see the advantage of HD DVD and working with DVD rather than against it.

Note: Although I have a love of the combo format, I am not suggesting at all that all DVD releases are released as a combo - that's just silly. But I do think every HD DVD should be released as one (assuming there is no price difference between a combo and non-combo HD DVD).

Being as the HD format[s] are competing with DVD, it seems a bit much to expect everyone to (perhaps ultimately) replace all their current DVD players.

So my question is, what is Blu-ray doing about the "other player" issue? Do they expect people to choose to buy a blu-ray disc which isn't playable in people's bedrooms or cars or portable players. Or are they seeking a solution which will at least make buying a HD copy more paltable for people who may wish to view the film in players other than their main home theatre?

Managed copy isn't really the answer, because although its highly desirable, you will (presumably) need a PC equipped with a BD Rom/DVD writer to make use of it.
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post #4176 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Reader View Post

To me, I feel Warners have made the wrong decision, because HD DVD was capable of working with DVD rather than against it. Neither HD format is ever going to become as popular as DVD is/was at its peak. And as such Blu-ray which is a HD only format is in competition directly with DVD, while HD DVD could at least present a format compatible with other players around the home.

While there were some issues with Combo discs - but I would suggest pricing more than reliability (did you see the msrp for the combo "Smokin' Aces" in the UK - totally insane!). I won't deny that there were reliability issues (I have several combos, but only Children of Men caused problems for me, which was quickly sorted out thanks to Amazon). But if MaxPower can say various Blu-ray issues can/will be sorted out in time, surely the same argument can be applied to HD DVD/DVD combos. Any production faults would quickly be ironed out, and hopefully at the same time, so would the prices. The Twin-format disc offered lots of possibilities too. I'm surprised Disney - which a market with a sizeable "babysitting" demographic, didn't see the advantage of HD DVD and working with DVD rather than against it.

Note: Although I have a love of the combo format, I am not suggesting at all that all DVD releases are released as a combo - that's just silly. But I do think every HD DVD should be released as one (assuming there is no price difference between a combo and non-combo HD DVD).

Being as the HD format[s] are competing with DVD, it seems a bit much to expect everyone to (perhaps ultimately) replace all their current DVD players.

So my question is, what is Blu-ray doing about the "other player" issue? Do they expect people to choose to buy a blu-ray disc which isn't playable in people's bedrooms or cars or portable players. Or are they seeking a solution which will at least make buying a HD copy more paltable for people who may wish to view the film in players other than their main home theatre?

Managed copy isn't really the answer, because although its highly desirable, you will (presumably) need a PC equipped with a BD Rom/DVD writer to make use of it.

How's this for a strategy? Stick a standard DVD of a movie in the case with the Blu-ray version. DVD's are so cheap to produce, it wouldn't be very expensive to do. In fact, it just may be cheaper than Frankensteining an HD DVD and regular DVD together. Could this be a possibility in the future?

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post #4177 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ToddUGA View Post

How's this for a strategy? Stick a standard DVD of a movie in the case with the Blu-ray version. DVD's are so cheap to produce, it wouldn't be very expensive to do. In fact, it just may be cheaper than Frankensteining an HD DVD and regular DVD together.

This is something that BD Insiders never seem to answer other than the argument that the 2nd DVD disc may enter the market separately. What about including 2nd copy but a) limiting to SD movie only (no features etc) and b) marking artwork 'Not for Resale'. Even offering BD only for one price and BD+SD for $5 more option is more palatable than buying both formats.

BD Insiders - surely the BD folks realize this is a big issue for some......what are their plans?

=====================================
My HT Thread index on 1st post
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post #4178 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

What is the reason for there not being $300 Samsung 1400 players in the UK? Why do we have to pay double the price?

Is there a fix/going to be a fix for standard definition playback on these (eg. to prevent it from stopping multiple times on SD discs, and also an option to make 1.78:1 widescreen (but not anamorphic) SD discs fill the 1.78:1 HDTVs? Also will there be an option to stop it going into stop mode after you've paused it?

Also, for 24 fps films, with a non-24 fps capable TV is it best to set the player's output in interlaced or progressive (if you have a TV that has a 'film mode' when interlaced is detected). Which will give the most accurate picture?

1. EU import duty on all tech made or designed outside of the 27 EU nations.

2. VAT levied by all EU nations is included in the SRP, that $300 doesn't include the local or state tax.

3. The price in the UK has always been higher for all technologies, did we get £50 HD DVD players when the USA got $99 players, I think not.

As for the tech side, it really isn't my speciality, so I will leave this to Talk or paidgeek if he comes back.
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post #4179 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bdoc View Post

I'm not implying anything by this, but is it true that in the UK companies can use other companies proprietary data (even if obtained through dubious measures) without fear of legal reprecussions? That's a big no-no here and I'd heard rumors about it being A-OK over there. I'm in defense contracting so we get to hear all about it and get to laugh at Boeing when they get in trouble for it.

It's not that black and white.

I would prefer not to answer the question though, I will definitely get into trouble for doing so.

Most of our stuff comes fom internal research, but there are, of course, other means...
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post #4180 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BrynRhys View Post

Can you give us any indication if Sony will be able to stop writing down inventory over the next 3 months?

They had previously indicated that they had written down the finished goods and the raw materials for PS3 through the three months ended 31DEC2007.

I don't work for Sony so I don't know what their intentions are.
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post #4181 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post

Of course, that makes the assumption that the delay in adoption is associated more with format uncertainty than need for the format. No doubt it's true that greater headway will be made with the early adopters if there is only one format (if only because they cease to be divided.) However, isn't price versus benefit a bigger question for the average consumer? In the absence of a clear benefit and/or attractive price, does it really make a difference how many formats there are? (In other words, just because Warner has publicly announced a bet, does that mean it's the winning bet?)

Well that is the assumption made by WB and a lot of very experienced people in the industry. Until there is a unified format adoption will be slow becasue of uncertainty.

So until the war is settled I wouldn't expect massive organic reductions made in player pricing on the Blu-ray side.
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post #4182 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

I don't work for Sony so I don't know what their intentions are.

Thanks for the response. I guess we'll find out at the end of the month. Should be exciting news if they have turned the corner. Unless they plan additional price cuts, of course.
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post #4183 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DTV TiVo Dealer View Post

Richard, the only reason other CE companies did not make HD DVD players is strictly because Toshiba is the only CE equipment manufacturer supporting the format. And if you look at Toshiba's offerings you'll see a well planned good-better-best product line up that matches well with all HDTVs.

In addition, we all know RCA Thompson and Onkyo/Integra have made HD DVD players. So other CE manufacturers are interested in the format.

Bought and rebadged. Even the Venturer is a rebadge of a Toshiba design.

Quote:


Look we can all agree Warner's decision is a blow to HD DVD, but the format is still an excellent solution for every HDTV owner throughout the world. And BD equipment now costs significantly more and the replication still is more difficult to produce, particularly for any dual layer product.

So we'll see how this all turns out over the next months and likely through the balance of the year.

-Robert

Really, that's news to me... on both counts, expensive on the replication front, yes, but not difficult.
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Originally Posted by Nick Graham View Post

Robert,

Do any of the retailers, large and small, fear a significant backlash from customers if they continue to push HD-DVD hard and it ends up being done with by the end of the year, or is the emphasis going to lean harder on the upscaling than the HD content? How will you guys walk the tightrope of trying to sell them on the product without giving the false hope of new HD content for the duration of the player?

I can only speak for ********************* and we clearly explain all of the differences, especially studio support and the fact that no one knows who will win the format battle. So my customers all understand what they are getting into and make an informed decision.

One thing I insist all my new HDTV customer do is pair a BD or HD DVD player with their new TV so they can see the full potential of the new HDTV.

-Robert
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post #4185 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Bought and rebadged. Even the Venturer is a rebadge of a Toshiba design.

Many CE products are re-branded, as are some BD players. The fact remains other CE manufacturers support HD DVD, regardless of the additional fact that Toshiba is the only serious CE manufacturer in the HD DVD group.

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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Really, that's news to me... on both counts, expensive on the replication front, yes, but not difficult.

Then tell me how many replicators are producing DL BD and what their yields are.

-Robert
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post #4186 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DTV TiVo Dealer View Post

Many CE products are re-branded, as are some BD players. The fact remains other CE manufacturers support HD DVD, regardless of the additional fact that Toshiba is the only serious CE manufacturer in the HD DVD group.

Err, all of the latest designs from CES are in-house. The BDA have many manufacturing agreements in place, but the design side is all done in-house now. Toshib are the sole designer and manufacturer of HD DVD at this time.

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Then tell me how many replicators are producing DL BD and what their yields are.

-Robert

Enough to cope with demand and have extra capacity left over, that should tell you all you need to know about yields as well.

I would prefer not to be asked about this again as answering with specifics would involve me violating an NDA and potentially losing my job.
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post #4187 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Enough to cope with demand and have extra capacity left over, that should tell you all you need to know about yields as well.

I would prefer not to be asked about this again as answering with specifics would involve me violating an NDA and potentially losing my job.

Well we don't want that to happen

But I am sure that telling us who is producing BD 50's is not going to get you into hot water.

We know that Sony DACD is and we have just learned that these people will also:

http://www.marubenidisc.com/Azul_fil...e%20051507.pdf

So who else is pressing BD 50's?
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post #4188 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Err, all of the latest designs from CES are in-house. The BDA have many manufacturing agreements in place, but the design side is all done in-house now. Toshib are the sole designer and manufacturer of HD DVD at this time.



Enough to cope with demand and have extra capacity left over, that should tell you all you need to know about yields as well.

I would prefer not to be asked about this again as answering with specifics would involve me violating an NDA and potentially losing my job.

Max why do you think the HD-DVD insiders and supporters are obsessed with BD50 replication and yields?
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post #4189 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Well we don't want that to happen

But I am sure that telling us who is producing BD 50's is not going to get you into hot water.

We know that Sony DACD is and we have just learned that these people will also:

http://www.marubenidisc.com/Azul_fil...e%20051507.pdf

So who else is pressing BD 50's?

You'd be surprised... seriously.

You can add Cinram to the list, PDMC have got capability. By the end of the year this will be a complete non-issue, tbh it is already a non-issue.
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post #4190 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefboy1 View Post

Robert, as a retailer that carries both formats...are you really telling potential customers that a drawback of the Blu Ray format is DL replication difficulty? Can you name a few titles that studios had to postpone release dates specifically because of BD50 replication issues? I've read more here on AVS about HD DVD combos not working properly than I have about delayed BD50 titles, so I'm curious about your comment and how it impacts the end customer.

Robert, can you answer this question? There's been an awful lot of talk from the HD DVD side about yield issues but so far, to the best of my knowledge, it hasn't affected any titles. If it has, could you please tell us which ones?

David Forbes

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post #4191 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

You'd be surprised... seriously.

You can add Cinram to the list, PDMC have got capability. By the end of the year this will be a complete non-issue, tbh it is already a non-issue.


I think the question is what happens when ps3 titles start selling. Currently there are no NA million sellers for the ps3 . What happens to movies when sony wants to put out a few millon resistance 2 discs along with games . Will it be a non issue then
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post #4192 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gljvd View Post

I think the question is what happens when ps3 titles start selling. Currently there are no NA million sellers for the ps3 . What happens to movies when sony wants to put out a few millon resistance 2 discs along with games . Will it be a non issue then

Yup.

Seriously I don't know why there is such a furore over this, there isn't any need. Blu-ray has got the capability to provide discs for consumers as and when they are needed, whether it is for PS3 games or for movies.

As for the million sellers comment, that is a very insular view, PS3 games outsell their X360 counterparts in Japan and the EU, and this is from our monthly GfK report on the console industry. The PS3 has got a number of million sellers around the world and replication has never been an issue.
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post #4193 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Merrick97 View Post

+1 I agree with this Robert. I respectfully ask how can you honestly recommend HD-DVD to your customers knowing that it will soon only play 30% of the movie studios content.

Are you saying they will mysteriously stop playing SD DVDs?
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post #4194 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Err, all of the latest designs from CES are in-house. The BDA have many manufacturing agreements in place, but the design side is all done in-house now. Toshib are the sole designer and manufacturer of HD DVD at this time.

I understand and agree that Toshiba is the sole major CE manufacturer member of the HD DVD group and I have said the same all along.

-Robert


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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Enough to cope with demand and have extra capacity left over, that should tell you all you need to know about yields as well.

Sorry I do not agree. In no way do I or any person reading this would believe "that's all we need to know".

BD DL discs are difficult to replicate successfully, has high costs associated and can only be replicated by a couple of facilities. HD DVD is an easy to replicate process that is already available to all established DVD replicator facilities worldwide.

-Robert


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

I would prefer not to be asked about this again as answering with specifics would involve me violating an NDA and potentially losing my job.

I understand and will limit the scope of my questions to you.

-Robert
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post #4195 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:29 AM
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Is there any information on how long Warner's Exclusivity Contract lasts? Did it begin as of January 2008?
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post #4196 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:33 AM
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Is there any public announcements or can any insiders say, how many of the HD-A3 players Toshiba has availble for sale?

What i'm generally asking is if this is the magic price point in which the player gains mass acceptance, can Toshiba keep up with the supply demand for it? Would they be able to produce say 1-2 million players within the next 4-6 months?
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post #4197 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:34 AM
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Is there any information on how long Warner's Exclusivity Contract lasts? Did it begin as of January 2008?

Err, indefintely...
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post #4198 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Merrick97 View Post

With all due respect, it is well known and universally agreed that replication is cheaper for HD-DVD but that made no difference in Warner choosing bluray over HD-DVD. To me that is all the proof that we needed in regards to blurays replication.

Dave and Max can you agree with me on this?

In a nutshell.
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post #4199 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Maxpower1987 View Post

Err, indefintely...

So there are no dates on the contract? That seems ... strange?

Paramount's support of HD DVD and their contract was also 'indefinite' if I remember correctly. Does that mean Paramount cannot ever stop producing HD DVD?

I'm just wondering if there are any details available as to how long Warner is 'stuck' before they have an option to make a change -- not that they would, but that the option would simply be available to them? At what point do any replication subsidies end, for example?

If you cannot say when the expiry is, that's fine, but please just say that.

What happens if volumes are still low a year from now? Are the prospects for HDM succeeding shrinking every day?
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post #4200 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 08:33 AM
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If the BDA is strong, and has its foot on the throat of HD-DVD PRG, why not subsidize now, saturate the hardware market and force the remaining studios to switch? Why keep margins high at the risk of dragging out the HDM uncertainty by keeping player cost high? If there truly is competition, and everyone is confident in Blu-ray, why is no one dropping below the $400 barrier to get the upper hand both in terms of sales and marketshare?

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