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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the opportunity to talk to several top executives from Sony Pictures Entertainment at CES last week. I spoke with President David Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advanced Technologies Don Eklund, Vice President of New Business Development Rich Marty, Senior Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Lexine Wong and others.


The topics were related to their Blu-Ray releases and their perception on AVS. We had a very frank discussion and I found it an encouraging meeting and cause for a lot of optimism for BD users.


One thing I tried to encourage was more participation from experts in the forums. Amir's participation from HD-DVD is well received and I suggested they provide the same for BD users. It looks like that may be happening now with more recent participation from Paidgeek which is certainly good news for AVS readers. They repeated many times how important they view AVS readers and how they recognize its impact on purchase decisions.


But the primary message they wanted me to take was they want their content to have the best quality and have taken many measures to try to get there. I am convinced of this commitment and I expect we will see the results of it very soon.


First off, they quite humbly admitted several mistakes in past releases. They were caught up in a rush to market and didn't fully appreciate the consequences of some actions they took during the transfers. They are well aware of the reputation problems that and some early hardware problems caused on the forum and they really want to turn it around. They said in retrospect they wished they could go back and do a few things over again.


I suggested the best way to improve their reputation was to get the best quality product out there and the perception will follow. They said they are trying to do that and mentioned several actions they already have taken and will be taking for software improvements. Here are some:


1. They have brought in consumer displays to use during the transfer in addition to their professional quality displays. I'm not sure why but they said they found that some content that looks OK on professional monitors looks poor on consumer displays. They mentioned the reluctance of some doing the transfers to use of these displays, but said the result has already shown some improvement.


2. They are simply working harder on the transfers. They said they now more fully appreciate the need to take more care during the transfers and are doing so. We didn't discuss any specifics.


3. They said they brought in producers/directors and sat them down and showed them the results of transferring their content to BD. They said they actually are trying to get their films produced in a way that will look better when transferred to BD. This surprised me the most and went the farthest to convince me they are committed to this.


They suggested Black Hawk Down is a recent release that shows the improvement that some of these steps have taken and suggested that we can expect continued improvements in future releases. I am going to watch and see.


All in all it was a very interesting discussion and it says a lot about the influence AVS has on this budding industry.




Edit: I should clarify that I talked to several people at various times over about an hour. I didn't keep track of who specifically said what, so when I speak of what "they" said I mean one or possibly more of the execs I spoke with said that.
 

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You would think they would have done ALL of these things with the very first release, especially since they KNEW there was going to be a format war.


The only reason they have taken these actions is because Toshiba and Microsoft have spanked them hard, and they are behind the ball with a perception of overpriced, overhyped, poor quality releases, and arguably losing the format war.


It is unbeleivable they have allowed these collossal mistakes to happen in the first place considering the amount of money at stake and that fact that SD DVD sales growth pretty much has vanished.


The smell of corporate ARROGANCE is pungent.


Just my 2 cents.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd /forum/post/0


You would think they would have done ALL of these things with the very first release, especially since they KNEW there was going to be a format war.


The only reason they have taken these actions is because Toshiba and Microsoft have spanked them hard, and they are behind the ball with a perception of overpriced, overhyped, poor quality releases, and arguably losing the format war.


It is unbeleivable they have allowed these collossal mistakes to happen in the first place considering the amount of money at stake and that fact that SD DVD sales growth pretty much has vanished.


The smell of corporate ARROGANCE is pungent.


Just my 2 cents.

if you read what the original poster wrote, they said they were caught up in the rush to launch (meet HD-DVD head on) and quality slipped. thats what happen when people launch things that are not ready. either way, the newest releases are excellent and i too believe they will get even better.


its time to move on from the sour launch, its in the past. the future looks bright for blu-ray.
 

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It sounds like they are aware of the problem and trying to fix it. That's always a good thing and frankly most of the Sony releases I've seen lately look pretty good. Resident Evil still has artifacting, but I think that since it was one of the titles announced first for the format that it may have been created before the QC updates.


I think Lionsgate was a much bigger problem. The descent and Crank give me hope that most of those problems are in the past even if Employee of the Month looks worse than the HD suppliments on the disc!
 

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Sony is back and on the right track so it seems, the ball is actually in Sony's court. When they are reluctant to strike hard and win over the consumers quickly the war will continue to linger on. If Sony get their things right, Blu-Ray will have no problem swapping HD DVD away.
 

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Informative post.


I don't know how aware Sony were of a format war. For all I know they assumed their format would win all along (?) and just went ahead with their "Plan A" without a specific "Plan B." Did you get a sense they understood people wouldn't just buy their stuff right away?


Are you at liberty to discuss any intentions on their part to correct the pricing on the BD hardware?


Thanks.
 

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Thank you Rich Peterson for the information. Such post should be encouraging for supporters of the Blu-ray Disc format.


Please folks, show a little respect. Rich has been a great source of information to AV enthusiast for many years. His FAQ was/is very popular and a great source for the DVB-S (Dish Network & DirecTV) followers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD_GR /forum/post/0


Are you at liberty to discuss any intentions on their part to correct the pricing on the BD hardware?

I'm not sure Sony Pictures Entertainment has much say on the hardware side of things, but I could be wrong.
 

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Rich Peterson said:
They said in retrospect they wished they could go back and do a few things over again.



Any sense they will go back to older releases and correct them, like a good copy of Fifth Element?
 

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deckerm said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Peterson /forum/post/0


They said in retrospect they wished they could go back and do a few things over again.



Any sense they will go back to older releases and correct them, like a good copy of Fifth Element?

Yes. It's coming on a BD50 accoding to paidgeek.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Peterson /forum/post/0


3. They said they brought in producers/directors and sat them down and showed them the results of transferring their content to BD. They said they actually are trying to get their films produced in a way that will look better when transferred to BD. This surprised me the most and went the farthest to convince me they are committed to this.

Yes! That is what I love to read.


I am a true believer in bringing the director, producer AND director of photography into the process to catch mistakes, and allow them a chance to adjust anything they weren't pleased with (e.g. colour, contrast, etc.)


Thanks for the report!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Are you at liberty to discuss any intentions on their part to correct the pricing on the BD hardware?

They made a point more than once that their responsibility was with the BD software. One of the execs (can't remember who) said they wish the hardware side of the company success but they really only are responsible for software.

Quote:
I'm not sure Sony Pictures Entertainment has much say on the hardware side of things, but I could be wrong.

It seems that you are correct.

Quote:
Any sense they will go back to older releases and correct them, like a good copy of Fifth Element?

I didn't think to ask that, but I see you got a response from eightninesuited. I am glad Paidgeek is adressing the question.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartwel /forum/post/0


if you read what the original poster wrote, they said they were caught up in the rush to launch (meet HD-DVD head on) and quality slipped. thats what happen when people launch things that are not ready. either way, the newest releases are excellent and i too believe they will get even better.


its time to move on from the sour launch, its in the past. the future looks bright for blu-ray.

Not like MS has never done that *COUGH* every windows release* *COUGH*XBOX 360* *COUGH*. Dont slam one company for doing something every company does.


Nice article, thanks for the info.
 

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Some humility goes a long way.


It's good that they recognized the HofD and T5E snafus. Those titles made me do a double take and made me stop BD purchases until I can figure out what the heck went wrong with those disks.


Hardest to take was T5E - one of my favorite movies.


Articles like this is why I came to avsforum in the first place.
 
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