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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to expound on an idea originally presented in the latest issue of Widescreen Review (issue 61).


During Gary Reber's latest D-VHS interview article (read near advertisement), a Runco dealer or rep (I'm sorry but his names escapes me) makes a comment to the effect of whether or not anyone involved in the discussion had presented an idea to studios regarding making the D-VHS releases of new movies made available (albeit at a high premium) "like 10 days" after they are released theatrically.


Mr. Reber went on to say that he did mention something similar to that to the studios currently supporting D-Theater D-VHS and to JVC. However, he had not received any concrete responses on the topic.


This got me to thinking. Reber's articles on D-VHS already proclaim how unbelievably incredible the PQ is on pre-recorded D-VHS content. He maintains it should certainly help spur a few sales of DTV sets now that retailers have a better way to show HD content (i.e.- films that people are familiar with) other than on those Sencore hard drives or local HD broadcasts.


IDEA:

Well, if someone could convince the D-Theater D-VHS supporting studios (and any others that catch on to the D-VHS shaggin' wagon) to go along with the idea of making the D-VHS version of a new release available very shortly after it's theatrical release, can you imagine how great the interest in D-VHS, or more specifically, HDTVs would be?


For instance, how fast do you think people would be going to the stores to purchase an HDTV and D-Theater D-VHS player (provided they have the credit or cash in the first place- remember folks, we're dealing with strict luxuries here with all the toys we have or want) if they knew that they could go out right now and purchase high definition copies of Spiderman or Star Wars: Episode Dos?


I mean, as soon as the first person on the block in Anytown, USA started demoing this to his neighbors and showing them that they can have near first run movies right in their house, people would immediately have the "keeping up with the neighbors" bug.


Ok, now let's assume this idea took off. I'm sure some studios would fear losing money b/c many people might skip going to the theaters and just wait for the D-VHS release a few days after the theatrical release. Well, if studios charged a high enough premium as previously mentioned, they really wouldn't be losing money anyway. Sure, theater owners would be a little PO'd about the deal, but hopefully some home theater competition would propel them to start having new gimmicks to draw viewers in (I mean, the last time they thought TV was invading on their space, we got our first taste of widescreen presentations). Maybe this idea would cause DLP projectors to proliferate in theater chains.


Of course, this type of business model couldn't last forever b/c theaters probably would end up being the biggest losers out of the whole deal, but perhaps it could just stick around long enough for HDTV to fully catch on with mainstream America. By then, even if people could no longer get first run films for their home, hopefully they would enjoy HD broadcasts enough to be happy with their purchase.


As a side note, granted that the JVC D-VHS players do channel their resolution output depending on what the highest resolution mode of the display device that they're connected to, I think people would be more compelled to try and see the image on the best display device that they can afford.


In the end, and not to cut my main point short, I'm a firm believer that D-VHS will not survive. However, I think it will galvanize manufacturers into introducing a better technology (perhaps HD-DVD, whenever it advances beyond its currently proposed state). And if D-VHS can get our country to the point it needs to be by 2006, it'll have served its purpose.


Chairman Powell, studios, JVC, listen up and think about it!
 

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I don't think D-VHS is going to work out, because I bet a lot of people who just bought DVD players are going to say, "so, we're going back to tapes?"

Then you'd say, "well, the picture quality is superior!"

Them, "That's what I got my DVD for! Make up your mind!"


What I think HDTV needs is an inexpensive, convenient way to get access to much more content than is currently available. Considering the public's current love affair, this will probably be the HD-DVD (if such a beast exists).


I also think that movie theaters generate too much money for the studios to risk a move like you said. There's also the very serious threat of piracy if you have a D-VHS release at the same time as the theater opening.


Now you have some people bringing video cameras into the theater. With that you get a very poor copy. Imagine if those same people had a HDTV D-VHS to play with. A lot of people might just wait for a high quality copy to be made and they can watch that at home instead of going to the theater.


Keep in mind I don't know much about D-VHS. For all I know it might have some sneaky copy protection scheme I don't know about.
 

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Your own basic premise undermines the entire proposal. If you price the movies "at a high premium", what makes you think that this would cause HDTVs to "fly off the shelves"? The high premium would immediately discourage the common man from investing in the technology. The only ones that probably would are people like us. Even if all the early adopters in the world purchased HDTV equipment, that would hardly constitute a "flying off the shelves" phenomenon.


It's an illusion that a few Hollywood HD movies will encourage the general public to invest in HDTV. Movies are not what will drive the public to HDTV. When everyone can turn on their TV and see their favorite show and their favorite sports team in HDTV (regardless of what show or team that is), that's when the general public will make HDTVs fly off the shelves.


Hollywood movies are not THAT important.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz
Hollywood movies are not THAT important.
Some people would probably disagree with that..but I'm not one of them. I'd give up HBO HD, Showtime HD, HD PPV, and any other HD movie channel/format way before I'd give up sports, nature shows, and dramas etc on channels like HDNet, CBS, ABC and PBS.


The millions and millions that go to and enjoy the movie theater every weekend arent about to decide to stop doing that just because they could get even a first fun movie in HD to watch on their 50" HDTV.


Thats like saying that once the NFL games are done on a regular basis in HD that folks will stop going to the stadium. Not gonna happen. People that love going to movie theaters or stadiums do it for many other reasons aside from simply seeing the "content". Watching it on television.. any type of television, is simply that. Watching television.


Sure, theres some guys around here that would disagree.. No, no, no..I invested 15, 20, 50, 100k in my home theater and I promise you it's better than going to the megaplex. Ok, I'll take your word for it cause I havent ever been to your house or to a megaplex in a long long time. But the masses arent ever going to be doing that in their homes. The only reason the masses are starting to even care about DVD's is cause they're slicker to use and have more features than VHS and they only cost 100 bucks at Wally World.. not to mention that they're plug and play with the tv's that the folks already have.


Course those are the same folks that continue to flock to the megaplex every weekend too... and always will.
 

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Quote:

"Proposed: Quickest way to cause HDTVs to fly off the shelves (using D-VHS) "


It's not a bad idea, but there are much cheaper ways to make HDTV fly off the shelves. But the stores are too stupid to do it. All they need to do is show the 24-hour running HD demo loop from PBS, with a cheap antenna, and it's free. The second cheapest way is to run HDnet continuously in the show rooms. And if they can show HDnet, it means for a lousy $20 a month more they can show HBOhd movies. If the stores can't even do the above, you really think the idiots at BBuy, CCity, GGuys are capable of connecting a D-VHS to the TV's ??
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by drvais


IDEA:

Well, if someone could convince the D-Theater D-VHS supporting studios (and any others that catch on to the D-VHS shaggin' wagon) to go along with the idea of making the D-VHS version of a new release available very shortly after it's theatrical release, can you imagine how great the interest in D-VHS, or more specifically, HDTVs would be?
Using the past track record of the studios as a guide, the most likely

outcome is for D-VHS releases to occur AFTER premium channel, VHS and

DVD. Thats just the way hollywood works, the new guy gets in line last.
 

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The quickest way to make HDTVs, and the way that HDTVs will become

popular, and the method that is already in progress is ..... [drumroll....]


Give them away. Free.


Yep. You see, TVs nowdays are a collection of chips, and a rapidly

shrinking number of those at that. Most of the cost of those chips is not

in the net square silicon area of those chips, its in getting the chip made,

and into volume production. Ie., it costs just as much nowdays to make

a black and white TV chipset as to make a color one, even though color

is more complex.


The bottom line is the economics of silicon are such that if you have two

similar products, one higher priced than the other (and you want to keep

it that way), it makes sense to combine them into one chip or chip set

and *disable* the high price features on the low price set. For example,

Intel shipped a "486 lite" chip once that was nothing more than a

standard 486 with the floating point disabled.


Now, especially with the mandate to include DTV tuners in every set

(which is actually a far cheaper prospect than the maufacturers initially

let on), the push will be to unify, and I would argue that this day has

already arrived. There is a reason that some of the set makers have

announced that they will only make DTV/HDTV sets in the larger RPTV

sizes.


Right now, there is a premium charged for anything HDTV. By percentage,

the premium for HDTV on RPTVs is getting pretty low, and by next year,

standard RPTVs will be getting scarce. The "cost difference" between

HDTV and regular will be absorbed into the cost increase of the set

in general.


The next wave will be in standard, direct view TVs. There is no reason

to add DTV capability to any set without also adding HDTV capability.

The net result is that sets whose CRTs don't justify HDTV resolution

will have HDTV "capability" (cut down resolution for display).


The result is that consumers will be buying sets with HDTV capability

who only vaguely care about that, or know what it is, followed by

inclusion of "HDTV capability" to sets that don't need it nor implement

it properly (like 19" sets). HDTV is going to be just another name on

the faceplate, like "color track" or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I appreciate everyone's comments, and I'll try to tackle the ones that necessitate a response in a bulleted format:



- Davez, JVC's flavor of D-VHS, labeled D-Theater, is itself a "sneaky copy protection scheme" designed to thwart would-be pirates. Thus far, Fox, Artisan, Dreamworks, and Universal are fairly sold on the idea, enough to each release a few D-Theater D-VHS movies. Of course, as we currently see with the Sony felt tip pen fiasco, no copy protection is fool proof.


- Regarding "movie theaters generate too much money for the studios to risk a move like you said," in an ABCNews.com article from the other day ( http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/Da...ers020520.html ), Robert Sklar of New York University was quoted as saying,


"One of the reasons the movies are booming … is they're making more money off of video and DVDs then they are off of actual [theatrical] releases. If we're in a golden age today in terms of profitability for the industry, it's because of the ancillary markets, and the possibility of people buying and owning movies."


- Why I realize millions of people will continue to go to the movies each weekend (myself included), I do believe that there is a growing contingent in the population that is fed up with the disrespectful folks who frequent the theaters as well, and would cherish the opportunity to watch the latest feature at home.

What I'm referring to, of course, are the morons who talk on their cell phones during a film, or just talk out loud with or without a phone, the folks who bring their screaming babies to a midnight "R" rated feature, and/or the folks who keep bumping your chair with their feet- just to name a few of the typical movie offenders.


- Victor, I have to disagree with you too about movies not being that important for the HD movement. The first time I really got my roommate to see the "WOW" factor of HDTV was when Gladiator was on HBO-HD, and he was able to compare that presentation with the DVD and VHS versions. Before, he enjoyed the images on HDNet and knew that HDTV was generally a good thing, but I don't think he really understood it all until he was able to see a feature he was familiar with.


- HDTV888, you have a good point about idiot mass-market retailers hiring the learning impaired. I guess I shouldn't be giving them as much credit.


- S. A. Moore, I have to admit that I love your signature block. While I realize there are other ways to sell HDTVs, I think this could be a very viable approach if studios had the balls to look into it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by S. A. Moore



Yep. You see, TVs nowdays are a collection of chips, and a rapidly

shrinking number of those at that. Most of the cost of those chips is not

in the net square silicon area of those chips, its in getting the chip made,

and into volume production. Ie., it costs just as much nowdays to make

a black and white TV chipset as to make a color one, even though color

is more complex.

Of course a color set has a color picture tube, whereas a B&W has a B&W picture tube, with other things being nearly equal, i.e., manufacturing cost of the case, chipset, power supply, etc. Then that would account for the price differential, that is, the cost of the big magic glass bottle.


What I dont understand is that it really shouldnt cost thousands of dollars more to make a 16:9 aspect ratio CRT than a regular 4:3 tube, just change the shape of the cookie cutters at the bakery? So why is it that HDTV (16:9) tubes only come in gigantic, expensive sizes, like 35" while you can easily buy the 4:3 junk in anything from 5" on up?


Likewise, have you seen the price of computer monitors lately? Seems like its pretty easy to buy a tolerable 17" monitor that will easily do 1600*1024 or better, all for about $200, on sale somewhere .. just check the pull-out in your local newspaper. I'd really think that there would be a market for reasonably priced small and medium sized, multi-sync cabable 16:9 monitors - HD tuner included or not. There is afterall plenty of software out there for them in the form of DVD's.


Maybe the FCC should step in and put a 300% tax on 4:3 sets, or simply ban their manufacture altogether, say for 5 years. :). That would certainly help a lot more people get with the plan. Many wont ever need to by an HDTV capable decoder anyway - they will just rent a box from their (yeech!) cable company.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by glgorman



Of course a color set has a color picture tube, whereas a B&W has a B&W picture tube, with other things being nearly equal, i.e., manufacturing cost of the case, chipset, power supply, etc. Then that would account for the price differential, that is, the cost of the big magic glass bottle.



Which is zero for a CRT based RPTV. The reason is that RPTVs have

separate projector elements for each color, red, green and blue. They

are essentially black and white tubes with color filters in front of them.

Because they have no shadow mask, there is essentially no difference

between a high resolution tube and a low resolution tube besides

polemics. It might require a better quality phosphor or tighter alignment

on the gun, but knowing the way consumer electronics companies work,

the difference is quite probally zero.


Understanding the basics of how a CRT RPTV works is essential to

understanding what is happening in the large screen HDTV market.

There is essentially no difference between CRT RPTVs that are standard

and high definition, and that is why their prices are rapidly converging,

and why some makers have announced they will drop all production of

non-HDTV sets.


Quote:
What I dont understand is that it really shouldnt cost thousands of dollars more to make a 16:9 aspect ratio CRT than a regular 4:3 tube, just change the shape of the cookie cutters at the bakery? So why is it that HDTV (16:9) tubes only come in gigantic, expensive sizes, like 35" while you can easily buy the 4:3 junk in anything from 5" on up?
Because 4:3 tubes are made in volume. Because HDTV tubes are

supposed to have a smaller dot pitch, the better accuracy of the tube

SHOULD be a factor. However, its not. Finer dot pitches have been

making it into 4:3 SDTV sets. It makes the picture of even a SDTV

look better. However, its probally limited for both SDTV and HDTV because

a finer dot pitch tube is also a less bright tube, because more net area

is wasted on the shadow mask. This is why direct view HDTVs don't

actually get full HDTV resolution.


Quote:
Likewise, have you seen the price of computer monitors lately? Seems like its pretty easy to buy a tolerable 17" monitor that will easily do 1600*1024 or better, all for about $200, on sale somewhere .. just check the pull-out in your local newspaper. I'd really think that there would be a market for reasonably priced small and medium sized, multi-sync cabable 16:9 monitors - HD tuner included or not. There is afterall plenty of software out there for them in the form of DVD's.
Because of the brightness issue. Computer monitors would not be

bright enough for cross room viewing in large formats. That makes a large

dot pitch, large size HDTV tube special, and low volume.


Quote:
Maybe the FCC should step in and put a 300% tax on 4:3 sets, or simply ban their manufacture altogether, say for 5 years. :). That would certainly help a lot more people get with the plan. Many wont ever need to by an HDTV capable decoder anyway - they will just rent a box from their (yeech!) cable company.
Volume issues tend to self correct. If a product is mildly popular, every

unit of increased sales feeds back into the selling price of the unit, and

the price drops, and the cycle repeats.


However, volume issues don't affect RPTVs, for which there is essentially

no difference between an HDTV "ready" set and a regular. So that product

catagory disappears, and HDTV is essentially "given away". It is similar

to stereo sound capability. It is probally no longer possible to get TV

chips that don't implement stereo, so small sets are likely to use stereo

capable chips with the stereo feature disabled.


RPTVs are converging in price now, and that will be complete by years

end. The next horizon is ATSC tuners in all HDTV sets.


As for the "FCC mandate", there is indeed such an animal as a 4:3 ATSC

HDTV set. Widescreen is a rage now, and it will increase. There is zero

reason for the FCC to be involved in that. If, 20 years from now, someone

wants to buy a 4:3 set in an all digital world, that should be a consumer

choice. In 20 years I well expect 2.35 sets to be selling.
 

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The thing that will make HDTVs and D-VHS fly off the shelf is HD porn ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lennyr
The thing that will make HDTVs and D-VHS fly off the shelf is HD porn ;)
Oh man, not this ridiculous argument again! :mad:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz



Oh man, not this ridiculous argument again! :mad:
Bikini destinations 2400 views, Anna Kornakova on hdnet 1400 views on AVS . sex sells. There are topics that have more views but there seems to be a fairly large number that find the subject interesting. Of course these subjects mentioned are not pornography but Lenny's basic premise is sex sells.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTV888
Quote:

"Proposed: Quickest way to cause HDTVs to fly off the shelves (using D-VHS) "


It's not a bad idea, but there are much cheaper ways to make HDTV fly off the shelves. But the stores are too stupid to do it. All they need to do is show the 24-hour running HD demo loop from PBS, with a cheap antenna, and it's free. The second cheapest way is to run HDnet continuously in the show rooms. And if they can show HDnet, it means for a lousy $20 a month more they can show HBOhd movies. If the stores can't even do the above, you really think the idiots at BBuy, CCity, GGuys are capable of connecting a D-VHS to the TV's ??


:D :D
 

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I was in the SF Best Buy the other day, and they seemed to be playing a custom demo loop, showing scenes from action movies, snippets of sports, and the appropriate amount of cheesecake. It seemed to be a compilation from HBO, Showtime, and other stuff. It was pretty well done, and the TVs were well set up. Surprisingly, they didn't seem to be attracting much attention.


Back to my prior thesis (sorry, can't help myself), I'm surprised that companies like Vivid aren't doing stuff in HD. I'd imagine that there's maybe a smallish, but pretty wealthy and "dedicated" raincoater crowd who'd buy whatever they put out at nearly any price.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by drvais
IDEA:

Well, if someone could convince the D-Theater D-VHS supporting studios (and any others that catch on to the D-VHS shaggin' wagon) to go along with the idea of making the D-VHS version of a new release available very shortly after it's theatrical release, can you imagine how great the interest in D-VHS, or more specifically, HDTVs would be?
My read on the studios is that they want to use PPV as the second way a film is available (after theaters, and before it's available on media such as tape and DVD) ... once adequate copy protection is in place of course.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lennyr
I was in the SF Best Buy the other day, and they seemed to be playing a custom demo loop, showing scenes from action movies, snippets of sports, and the appropriate amount of cheesecake. It seemed to be a compilation from HBO, Showtime, and other stuff. It was pretty well done, and the TVs were well set up. Surprisingly, they didn't seem to be attracting much attention.


Back to my prior thesis (sorry, can't help myself), I'm surprised that companies like Vivid aren't doing stuff in HD. I'd imagine that there's maybe a smallish, but pretty wealthy and "dedicated" raincoater crowd who'd buy whatever they put out at nearly any price.
Just as the adult market dropped film cameras for video, an HD adult title

producer would find that people who watch that don't care a rats behind

about picture quality. The VHS market got a rise from adult because it

replaced a total vacuum. That would not happen in HD.
 

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The problem is, DVHS will *never* fly off the shelves, not when a DVHS player costs over $1000. That's why I never plan on getting one, not because of copy protection or anything like that, but because they're just too dang expensive. When you can get an HDTV for $800, a quality receiver for $400, and a great DVD player for $200, there's no excuse for a new-fangled VCR to cost $1500.
 

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S A Moore and lennyr,


A few thoughts on the adult aspect...


the industry dropped film for DV primarily because of cost. Shooting in true HD today is extraordinarily expensive. Shooting in film and converting to HD is also expensive (obviously more expensive than just shooting on film, which remains more expensive than shooting on video. So, until shooting on HD trickles down price wise, I wouldn't expect to see any native HD adult stuff any time soon. They'd have to charge an enormous price premium to make a payback. And I don't think the demand would be sufficient. Would demand be there at the same price as today's stuff? Of course, just not at a multiple...my $.02

TM
 

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Most of the actresses look butchered and plastic enough in SD, I think HD porn would be a downgrade rather than an upgrade..
 
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