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Old 08-24-2007   #7
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Unhappy Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

My belief is that the mainstream consumers know about the Beta vs VHS format war of the past and are not going to buy either until the winner of this battle is clear. They won't buy both players.

If the war continues to a stalemate, kiss the format goodbye. Something better will beat both of them eventually if they don't get their acts together.

As a content providor (we make a series of photography related DVDs) we can't afford to do both formats, especially when so few players of either type are out there.

I disagree that the average person, content with MP3 quality audio, is going to think that the quality of HD video from a DVD player is significantly better than the HD they get from their cable box or satelite dish. I use a front projection system with a 108" screeen which I watch from less than 10 feet away and the Comcast cable HD programming is very good.
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Old 08-24-2007   #8
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

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Originally Posted by dherbig View Post
I disagree that the average person, content with MP3 quality audio, is going to think that the quality of HD video from a DVD player is significantly better than the HD they get from their cable box or satelite dish.
This is my point. Advent of the DVD was a profound change into the digital world. But now you are asking consumers to choose 1 or both formats without showing any major difference on their system. For those that care about audio/video quality, yes, HD DVD and Blu-ray are far superior to DVD and HD broadcasts. But it is no where near the difference of going from antenna to cable/satellite or going from VHS to DVD. Consumers will not respond to such a major change in technology without being able to reap some major benefits.
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Old 08-24-2007   #9
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

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Originally Posted by tigeraudio2007 View Post
CRT TVs lasted a long time for consumers. They finally make the leap to an HDTV and now you are telling them that "oh, sorry but that 6 month old HDTV won't display the true compabilities of these next-generation formats." Thank you very much, I think I'll stick with DVD. At least that format works with my equipment.
Don't forget that CRT TVs became mandatory fixtures in US households long before the introduction of the DVD... because of the continual expansion of "broadcasted" content.

And HDTV is doing just fine, considering all the HD sports and movie channels that are sprouting up all over the place.

I have the basic Time Warner cable package, and already can choose between several sports broadcasts and 4 or 5 different HD movie channels (approx. 10-12 HD movies per night, for NO extra charge!)

I think the movie studios are also ****ed off about this hardware war, and are looking for ways to sell off their "loyalty" to whichever disc format will cut the biggest advance-payment check... primarily because they're more focused on the enormous contracts that will soon be written to tie up the long-term HD satellite broadcast rights for their movies.

DD
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Old 08-30-2007   #10
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

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Moose,

My definition of a present is something you want but wouldn't buy yourself as either it is too expensive and/or you don't really need it.

If this fits many others idea, then the sales of the new players will really take off for the holidays in this and subsequent years. I am a little concerned about the studios change in policy. Making there movies available in only one format means we will need two high def players to really reap the benefits and enjoy all the content. I have both formats, so for me it's no big deal, but for most people getting into the HD disc world, this makes the leap much harder to take....

When two movies that would make you buy a player are each only in opposing formats, which one do you choose??

My guess is for most people, it will be neither.

I wish one format would bow out and the war would end, but alas I am smart enough to realize this won't happen any time soon....
What are you going to do when one of your formats goes under and there isn't any re-sale vaule and you are stuck with it?

All that money goes to waste then you have to buy all your titles all over again in the other format.

That is what really throws caution to wind and makes you think twice about this HD and Blue-Ray format war.

I have rented both formats from Rent-A-Center and both HD-DVD and Blue-Ray play alike and sound alike there is no major difference between the two!

It just doesn't make any sense to me to throw my money away on something that could easly be yesterdays news.
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Old 08-30-2007   #11
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

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Originally Posted by 1shotstudios View Post
What are you going to do when one of your formats goes under and there isn't any re-sale vaule and you are stuck with it?

All that money goes to waste then you have to buy all your titles all over again in the other format.

That is what really throws caution to wind and makes you think twice about this HD and Blue-Ray format war.

I have rented both formats from Rent-A-Center and both HD-DVD and Blue-Ray play alike and sound alike there is no major difference between the two!

It just doesn't make any sense to me to throw my money away on something that could easly be yesterdays news.
That was one of the main reasons I went with Blu-Ray, all the games made for the Playstation 3 are on Blu-Ray discs, so even if the format doesn't survive I should always have a Playstation that will play my Blu-Rays.
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Old 08-31-2007   #12
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Default Re: HD Disc Format War Heats Up For The Fall

My company has been watching this ridiculous hi-rez format war from a distance and here is our take on it at this time. Regardless of whether the players drop below the magic $199 price point, and we could certainly see that happen in the next 12 months, consumers are not going to buy either format in serious numbers precisely because there is a format war. It doesn't matter if a combo player becomes available for $199, either. Most older consumers still remember VHS vs. Beta, and the younger ones hear about it from the press because it's an inescapable fact that gets brought up in EVERY story. It doesn't matter whether people can or can't see a difference with high-def discs. We believe they can, or they wouldn't be buying HDTV sets in the first place.

So, the big question is: what will tip the scale to favor one format? Here, we need to look at how consumers behave and NOT base it on which technology is better. The biggest problem facing consumers is education at the retail level. It is a sad fact that a really high percentage of people who buy HDTVs have no clue whether they have HDTV service at home. DirecTV has told us that this is a constant problem: "Yes, sir, you may have just bought an HD plasma, but you are only paying for standard def service, so, NO, you aren't watching HD right now. If you pay more for the HD service you can . . . . . . "

Tivo ran into a similar problem during its first few years on the market. People who owned Tivo loved it (including us), but Best Buy had a hell of a time selling it because it wasn't an easy thing to explain to consumers. This is a very significant point to consider: the key to getting consumers to adopt a new technology is to make it easy to understand. When you look at the format war in this light, it becomes clear which version has the best chance to succeed.

Let's use some ridiculously simple logic: I own an HDTV. It can play back HD programs. I own a DVD player. But it's not HD. So, to get HD on my DVD, which format will get me there? Hmmm. Is it HD-DVD? That must be a High-Def DVD. What the hell is "Blu-Ray"???

This may seem almost painfully dumb for people who frequent A/V Revolution, but just remember that people like us don't determine who wins format wars. If we did, then the iPod and it's brutally-compressed fidelity would never have completely shifted the paradigm in the audio market. Winning a format war can come down to something as simple and stupid as which name is easier to understand and this is where HD-DVD has a massive advantage.

The other X factor is Microsoft. Any perceived advantage Sony has right now with Playstation/Blu-Ray drives will be instantly neutralized the minute Microsoft starts building HD-DVD drives into the X-Box. And you can bet they will start doing that if it appears the Blu-Ray side starts gaining too much of a market edge. The fact that Microsoft hasn't done that yet is proof that the number of high-def disc players being sold right now is still a joke compared to plain old run-of-the-mill DVD.

Of course, it is also possible that this format war could go on for several years, trailing DVD sales by a wide margin. If so, then BOTH formats could bite the dust. Why? It's called "Fiber to the Home." When Verizon starts destroying all of the lame cable companies because they can't scale their bandwidth over coax fast enough to match fiber optic cable, you're going to see an explosion in A/V services piped to your home. And the same goes for DirecTV, as much as I love that service, because satellites cost a fortune to build and deploy and you can't scale the bandwidth delivery with anywhere near the same cost efficiency as you can over ground-based fiber connections. The real future is fiber-based delivery of all media ever recorded, streamed directly to you whenever you want so you don't need a massive hard disk to store your movies and music. If Verizon can move fast enough into the major metro markets, disc-based high-def formats like HD-DVD and Blu-Ray won't matter anymore and they could wind up just as irrelevant as DVD-Audio and SACD.

In the meantime, my company wants to build the winning high-def disc drive into our Digital Wireless A/V Controller, but we won't move an inch unless it looks like someone will finally win this damn format war. So, until then, we'll just give you lots of HDMI inputs and let the user decide which disc format they want to use. And I'm betting it will be DVD (unfortunately) for several more years to come.
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