Industry Insiders Master Q&A thread IV: ONLY Questions to Insiders - Page 143 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4261 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

Processes are underway to improve compatibility of titles prior to release. Nonetheless, a few titles have required firmware updates, and some vendors release firmware updates more promptly than others. Several HD DVD titles have required the same, but with only two platform vendors (Toshiba and Microsoft) it's easier to get the firmware updates out.
A lot of things are happening "under the covers" during the loading time. Some of those won't be required on future titles due to platform improvements (which can be delivered through firmware updates). Increased player performance will also help, as will authoring optimization. So I'd consider the "2-3 minutes" a worst case scenario, with delays greatly improving over time.

Will all Blu-ray players mfg be required to provide the update? Sorry but I just don't see Samsung doing this unless BDA mandates they do. They still haven't provided the FW required to play Pirates of the Caribbean: At Words End for the 1200 player and the BDA hasn't done anything about it. I understand it is not a Blu-ray issue but a Samsung problem but this could harm Blu-ray cause of mass adoption, don't you think?
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post #4262 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by littlesaint View Post

This brings up another question in that while Sony is OK with subsidizing the PS3 to gain HDM market share, other CEs (including Sony) are holding margins on standalones to make money. Why?

Sony isn't subsidizing the PS3 to gain HDM market share, they're subsidizing it to gain game console market share. The fact that it also facilitates Blu-ray adoption makes it a more compelling move, but isn't the driving factor.
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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?

Blu-ray already has had a 2:1 or higher content sales advantage, yet that hadn't been sufficient to have the remaining HD DVD studios switch. Flooding the market with cheap players doesn't necessarily have a linear impact on content sales and makes it very difficult to ever regain those margins in the future. How else would you explain that Blu-ray standalone player sales are said to have been higher than HD DVD standalone sales in spite of the price discrepancy?
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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?

Prices continue to drop; you can see the competition between Samsung and Sony where the BDP-1400 got as low as $269, at which point the BDP-S300 dropped to $299. Philips' announcement of a $349MSRP player (w/BonusView support) furthers this trend, assuming common discounting levels.

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post #4263 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

This isn't true - the CH-DVD players don't have codec support for MPEG-2, VC-1, and AVC (they support the Chinese AVS codec instead), so they wouldn't be able to play HD DVD content. Conversely, HD DVD players don't have support for AVS, so they wouldn't be able to play CH DVD content.

I have read in several articles that the only real difference is the modulation of the laser and software, both of which can be changed by FW updates. I guess this might match what you saying, if the decoding is done by SW or firmware.

Please, I am not saying any of this is right, because I am not sure how credible those stories were.

Can CH DVD players be converted to HD DVD with just FW? Also, can HD DVD players be made on the same assembly line as CH DVD players?
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post #4264 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BenDover View Post

has the bda made overtures to hd dvd to somehow expedite the end of this war or are they happy just letting it languish and die a slow death?

There are really no overtures to be made by the BDA itself. I don't think Toshiba would have much difficult getting a Board seat at the BDA if they could demonstrate a legitimate interest in the success of the format. Similarly, every BD vendor I know of would be thrilled to work with Toshiba to help them bring a BD player to market (and probably even a combo player).

If you're talking about some sort of compromise format between BD and HD DVD, I think it's too late, as you'd likely invalidate all current players of both formats and create a lot of angry consumers.

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post #4265 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

I don't think so - I think the requirement is that any replicated BD25/BD50 must have AACS. Otherwise pirates could presumably reauthor BDMV as BDAV and stamp out discs without a certification trail leading back to the replicator.
I haven't looked at BD-9 in detail, so this might well be the case.

What about user burned BDAV/BDMV (not replicated) ?
It looks like BD-R/BD-RE should be authored and read as BDAV or BDMV without AACS, but the ability to read them is not in all players and even on the PS3 it comes and goes depending on the firmware version, how come ?
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post #4266 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by simonNYC View Post

Are the BD CE companies planning to do anything to respond to Toshiba's lower pricing of their hd-dvd players?

The BDA can tout their studio advantage but if nobody is buying the players, sales will continue to lag behind dvd.

In spite of Toshiba's new pricing, the Panasonic DMP-BD30 is the #3 bestselling DVD Player at Amazon, the Samsung BD-P1400 #5, and Sony BDP-S500 #8 (based on Any Category > Electronics > DVD Players & Recorders > DVD Players), so it would appear Blu-ray players are in fact selling quite well (and I suspect Amazon accounts for a far smaller percentage of Blu-ray player sales than it does HD DVD player sales).
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Everytime an hd-dvd player is sold, the blu-side loses a potential customer until that customer is again in the market for a new player (which prob won't be for another 2+ yrs).

True, which explains the industry's frustration regarding Toshiba's unwillingness to concede the market for the good of the high-def optical marketplace.

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post #4267 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post

So are you saying that the additional bandwidth provided by the Blu-ray disc specification compared to the HD-DVD specification would not offer any advantages for VC-1?

Whether or not it offers tangible advantages for the video encoding, it unquestionably is advantageous for seamless branching, support of additional audio tracks and languages, etc.

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post #4268 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Talk

Ive tested to author disc for both formats. And its very hard to find a good solution.

What would be the best rout to go if you have a master that is

1080/25P - 5.1 16/48

Sorry, I'm not really qualified to give you a credible answer. Hopefully one of the studio or authoring folk can answer (or can PM me and I'll post).

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post #4269 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rveras View Post

This sounds intersting. Can you provide an example of what can be done (specially with the cable industry)?

Just about any feature you see on a Blu-ray Disc could be offered through cable video on demand. For instance, Disney's CarFinder feature on Cars could easily be reworked to be supported through video on demand on a tru2way set-top box or TV. Conversely, any future interactivity which shows up targeting tru2way on cable (i.e. background information or pop-up trivia on Lost, etc.) could easily be included when the season episodes show up on a Blu-ray Lost boxed set.

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post #4270 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Paul View Post

Just curious but if Blu-ray audio discs are ever released would they play on current Blu-ray players?

I can't say with 100% confidence, but I strongly suspect they would, perhaps with minimal menus or graphics. I surmise that the Profile 3.0 specification probably spells out player requirements (i.e. front panel display to facilitate basic navigation, which audio codecs must be included, etc.)

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post #4271 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jdg345 View Post

So we're talking about raising the prices of discs instead of lowering them?

Note that I said "putting an iPod version of the movie or a PC or PS3 game on the disc would result in higher sales (or perhaps a higher list price)". Raising the price is only one scenario which could lead to increased revenue.
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Are there that many people that would be willing to pay more for a disc because it has an iPod Version or PSP version of the movie? Is there any survey data on this?

Dunno, but it certainly seems to be a fertile area for market research by the studios. Perhaps the added content would only be provided on a "special edition" which is priced a few $$$ higher than the standard edition. Perhaps the content can be included on the disc but only unlocked through online purchase for a few dollars. There are many options, but my point is that the added capacity certainly provides options to generate revenue to offset higher replication costs.

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post #4272 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

I'd never expect to see a player which didn't support DVD. VideoCD was a niche format with infinitesimal adoption in most of the world, yet most DVD players still support it.

Do you think it could be the same with HD DVD after the very end of format war + 1 or 2 years if BD wins it clearly ?
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post #4273 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

If so, why don't they put the bonus features on a second disc (it shouldn't cost them hardly anything extra)?

Clearly they could. Do enough consumers watch the added content and care about SD vs HD to justify the expense? Perhaps; the studios do extensive market research to address this sort of issue.

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post #4274 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulGo
So are you saying that the additional bandwidth provided by the Blu-ray disc specification compared to the HD-DVD specification would not offer any advantages for VC-1?

Whether or not it offers tangible advantages for the video encoding, it unquestionably is advantageous for seamless branching, support of additional audio tracks and languages, etc.
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Talkstr8t,

as usual, thankful for your candid and "un-spun" feedback. Refreshing.

Regarding your notion that that the available headroom on BD can be used to provide other content such as lossless 24-bit audio, additional languages, or interactive content once video transparency is acheived, I'm wondering if you've heard any rumblings among the BDA or content providers about using the secondary video stream to support an alternate "angle" in 1080p24 resolution for full-fidelity 3-D encoded HDM. The discs could play normally in 2-D via the primary video stream, and special 3-D enabled BD players could decode the secondary video stream in full 1080p24 and then provide this to the user via any means the viewer desires:

* matrixed into a single "L/R/L/R" alternating 1080p48,60,72 or 120 Hz signal for LCD shutter glasses.
* output via two dedicted HDMI outputs for dual-projection using polarized light

* other

3-D encoding and display has always been compromised in home-video, and Blu-ray actually has the potential to deliver it in full fideltiy without compromise, and have those same discs enjoyed by conventional 2-D viewers with full backwards compatibility on stardard BD gear. I'd love to know if any progress is being made.

1080p and lossless audio. EVERY BD should have them both.
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post #4275 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:35 PM
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Do the HD DVD forum and BDA have regular face to face in one room meetings (not with each other)with representatives from each member? If so how often and when is the next for each? Does each member have an equal vote, ownership, and say (other than steering committees and such)?
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post #4276 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:37 PM
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I have a question I would have liked to ask from a long time and didn't. But profile 3.0 audio reminded it to me. (so more than one in the end)

Why didn't sony succeed to include support for its great audio codec DSD in the BD specs ? (I'm a SACD lover) Wouldn't it be great to have movie sounds in DSD ?

Why even the sony BD players don't play SACD also ? Even if it's niched, it may have converted some audio lovers faster. (Even with my preference for HD DVD, I would certainly have bought a BD player if it had been compatible with SACD and DVD-A)

And I saw the SACD logo on the first gen PS3, but the latest 40GB doesn't display it anymore, does it mean it doesn't play SACDs anymore too ?

Thanks for your answers
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post #4277 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rveras View Post

Will all Blu-ray players mfg be required to provide the update? Sorry but I just don't see Samsung doing this unless BDA mandates they do. They still haven't provided the FW required to play Pirates of the Caribbean: At Words End for the 1200 player and the BDA hasn't done anything about it. I understand it is not a Blu-ray issue but a Samsung problem but this could harm Blu-ray cause of mass adoption, don't you think?

There are detailed requirements regarding player compliance. If a given title doesn't work because a player hasn't passed all the test discs there is a process for ensuring the player is made compliant within specific time limits. If the vendor fails to do so they may face penalties and increased obligations on future player models. New test discs are released on a regular basis and the obligation to pass them generally extends to older models (depending on when the model was released).

A given disc may fail due either to a non-compliant player or due to a disc authored in a way which goes beyond what the spec guarantees. I don't know the details of the disc you mention, but in general the studios work diligently with the vendors to ensure their content will play on all players, so I would expect to see it addressed in a forthcoming firmware update.

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post #4278 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Everdog View Post

Can CH DVD players be converted to HD DVD with just FW? Also, can HD DVD players be made on the same assembly line as CH DVD players?

A CH DVD player could be implemented with the same chipset as you'd use for an HD DVD player, in which case a firmware update should be sufficient for adding HD DVD capability (assuming the player was designed with this in mind), and could be build on the same assembly line.

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post #4279 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderGallagher View Post

What about user burned BDAV/BDMV (not replicated) ? It looks like BD-R/BD-RE should be authored and read as BDAV or BDMV without AACS, but the ability to read them is not in all players and even on the PS3 it comes and goes depending on the firmware version, how come ?

There is no AACS requirement for BD-R/-RE content. There was a period where some players wouldn't support BD-R/-RE, but with current firmware they all do now (with the possible exception of the original LG combo).

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post #4280 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderGallagher View Post

Do you think it could be the same with HD DVD after the very end of format war + 1 or 2 years if BD wins it clearly ?

No, because few of the drives used in Blu-ray players can support reading HD DVD media. Video CD can be supported in a DVD player without adding any hardware (assuming it already supports audio CD).

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post #4281 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FenderGallagher View Post

Why didn't sony succeed to include support for its great audio codec DSD in the BD specs ? (I'm a SACD lover) Wouldn't it be great to have movie sounds in DSD ?

I'm sorry, I wasn't involved with the BDA at the point audio codecs were in discussion, so I don't know whether it was considered and if so why it wasn't accepted.
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And I saw the SACD logo on the first gen PS3, but the latest 40GB doesn't display it anymore, does it mean it doesn't play SACDs anymore too?

Yes, I believe that's one of the features dropped in the 40GB version (along with PS2 compatibility).

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post #4282 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:47 PM
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OK, I'm caught up! Did I set any sort of record for most consecutive posts?

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post #4283 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

OK, I'm caught up! Did I set any sort of record for most consecutive posts?

Don't know, but your posts kept me coming back to this thread. What brand of coffee did you have this morning? I think I might try it.
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post #4284 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

There is no AACS requirement for BD-R/-RE content. There was a period where some players wouldn't support BD-R/-RE, but with current firmware they all do now (with the possible exception of the original LG combo).

Great news Talk.
So that means we can author our home movies into BD-R/BD-RE and play it? no special bank media or anything is needed right?

By the way, do you know why they called it BD-RE and not BD-RW? I'm so used to using RW for rewritable that I keep typing BD-RW and have to fix it. Does it have anything to do with trademarks or anything?

Also Talk, Any news on DTS-MA in PS3?

A Home Theater Enthusiast!
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post #4285 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

OK, I'm caught up! Did I set any sort of record for most consecutive posts?

very impressive.

Two questions on the PS3 -

First how likely is it that we will see product (either from Sony or 3rd party) that can add analog multi-channel audio support to the PS3, currently we can only get mutli channel thru hdmi and many older receivers only take analog , I know some stand alones have analog outs built in, I was wondering if some solution would be viable to add this to the PS3.

2nd: It appears the PS3 can not upscale 720p native games to 1080. Upscaling has to be coded into the game. On hdtvs that do not accept 720p (like CRTs) if upscaling to 1080 is not supported by the game it will display at 480p on these hdtvs. The PS3 can upscale all dvd and ps2 and ps1 content as well as video files saved to the hard drive. Does the way the PS3 is built prevent it from being able to upscale 720p games to 1080 or is this something that will be addressed in the future? - note I acknowledge that this my not be in your field of knowledge, but could hurt to ask, also sorry if the 2nd question is off topic.

thanks
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post #4286 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

There are really no overtures to be made by the BDA itself. I don't think Toshiba would have much difficult getting a Board seat at the BDA if they could demonstrate a legitimate interest in the success of the format. Similarly, every BD vendor I know of would be thrilled to work with Toshiba to help them bring a BD player to market (and probably even a combo player).

If you're talking about some sort of compromise format between BD and HD DVD, I think it's too late, as you'd likely invalidate all current players of both formats and create a lot of angry consumers.

no, not a compromise format, i was asking about getting together to just end the war at this point...toshiba conceding in essence.
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post #4287 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:11 PM
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given today's announcment by Apple regarding HD downloads, is the real threat of downloads overtaking optical media from Apple and not MS?
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post #4288 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

There are really no overtures to be made by the BDA itself. I don't think Toshiba would have much difficult getting a Board seat at the BDA if they could demonstrate a legitimate interest in the success of the format. Similarly, every BD vendor I know of would be thrilled to work with Toshiba to help them bring a BD player to market (and probably even a combo player).

If you're talking about some sort of compromise format between BD and HD DVD, I think it's too late, as you'd likely invalidate all current players of both formats and create a lot of angry consumers.

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I don't think Toshiba would have much difficult getting a Board seat at the BDA if they could demonstrate a legitimate interest in the success of the format.

Could any insider hazard a guess which will come first, Toshiba demonstrating a legitimate interest in the success of Blu-ray or pigs flying? Asked only partially in jest. Will such interest EVER be shown or will Toshiba just fade away into a corner?
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post #4289 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talkstr8t View Post

In spite of Toshiba's new pricing, the Panasonic DMP-BD30 is the #3 bestselling DVD Player at Amazon, the Samsung BD-P1400 #5, and Sony BDP-S500 #8 (based on Any Category > Electronics > DVD Players & Recorders > DVD Players), so it would appear Blu-ray players are in fact selling quite well (and I suspect Amazon accounts for a far smaller percentage of Blu-ray player sales than it does HD DVD player sales).


If this is the case, then why is currently the Toshiba A3 at #1, and A35 at #2, both above the Panasonic player?

Wouldn't you say Toshiba's pricing is working to keep their player sales above BD standalones?

If we're going to be fair and honest about it.
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post #4290 of 4687 Old 01-15-2008, 03:35 PM
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Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

The Times has seen a patent application filed by the Microsoft for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers (husbands?) to monitor employees’ (wifes?) performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed (and divorced?) on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state."

MicroSoft insiders: so like where can I stand in Line to buy it? Is there a home version too?

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle3193480.ece
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