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The WAR between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD

by jonnybones / May 24, 2007 11:55 AM PDT

I wish people would stop being so ignorant and childish. There is no war going on. Nothing is being destroyed. Nobody is getting killed. It is just Sony being stubborn and trying to be exclusive. Everyone gets all giddy because they think there is some sort of conflict; like children gathering after school to watch a fight. They should really be asking Sony why they insist on being stubborn, and more importantly, when they are going to stop so prices can drop for us consumers.

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war? what war?
by jostenmeat / May 24, 2007 12:03 PM PDT

Heheh, there was a great quote from a Polk CS rep I got recently:

There was a brief battle between SACD and DVD-A, and the winner was I-pod.

A winner? I'd hope so. Chances are two losers, but lets give it another 5 years..

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In 5 years
by HTHMAN / May 24, 2007 12:18 PM PDT
In reply to: war? what war?

DVDs could be a thing of the past. We will either be watching our videos on ROM chips or directly on line.

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by jonnybones / May 25, 2007 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: In 5 years

It's going to be like The Simpsons where they beam the tv into your head via some sort of ray gun.

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It's not quite the same
by hazydave / May 28, 2007 3:13 PM PDT
In reply to: war? what war?

I rather expected HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray to be another DVD-Audio vs. SACD, but it's already more successful. May still fade away, but consider the problems with the next-gen digital audio formats. First of all, by the time these hit the market the ability to rip was already a big consideration among users (and specifically, the same early adopters who might consider one of the new DA disc formats), and both of these pretty much killed that (ok, sure, you could rip the usual AC-3 tracks from DVD-Audio, and many but not all SACDs contained a CD layer)... and that gets to the second reason: most consumers don't have a stereo system that delivers any substantial difference to them. In fact, CD is better quality than the average home stereo, or home CD player implementation.

So enter second generation video disc, with yet another format war. But at least this time, more consumers have displays capable of showing off the discs. Furthermore, many of these consumers don't have much if any actual HD content. So there's some attraction to the next generation video format that wasn't there with the audio format, for the average consumer. As well, there's no real iPod-equivalent for video, and that would pretty much have to be HD video now, since HD's been around for awhile (I'm on my second HDTV... my first basically wore out). And DVD ripping, while possible, was never the thing it had become with audio. Video downloads, also possible, are not the rule and in HD, won't be for some time yet... they're just too large, particularly if you're not willing to greatly compromise quality.

With that said, I'm in the early adopter target demographic for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and because of the format war, I don't have a player yet (in fact, I do have a red laser player that does play WMV/HD or DivX-HD, which I use for my own HD videos). I certainly would by now had there been just the one standard, and I'm sure that's a big reason the rate of adoption hasn't been much faster.

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I enjoyed
by jostenmeat / May 28, 2007 3:39 PM PDT

the illuminating pov and experience. As I only recently entered the world of electronics/AV (in a big way), I have gleaned from those in the audio, video, and computer world that early adoption = bad idea. So, I bought some nice speakers Happy After all, the only considerable collection of any media at all that I own are cd's. It did take me a lot of mental hassling to really let go of trying out hi-res multi-ch music. The "idea" of it being soooo cool. I might go to LA for a demo of this AIX recording company, hosted by a fellow who happened to be the first electronic music graduate from UCLA, and also worked with Elliot Carter. My friend is interested in joining me, but Im not sure that we will go, because I do not want to spend more money quite yet Happy ... especially on any format that is probably on its way out. Oh well. The consumer reviews are pretty stellar...

You are quite correct that an average music cd is better than most persons' systems.

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This is why we wait
by HTHMAN / May 24, 2007 12:07 PM PDT

There will be one standard. The prices will drop. Somebody will get stuck with a player that will not play the standard DVDs. I will stick with my old DVD player until there is a standard. At this point, you are buying on speculation that you bought the right format. No, thanks.

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Actually no.....
by misterguy / May 24, 2007 8:59 PM PDT
In reply to: This is why we wait

Buying an hd-dvd player right now means that you are spending the extra money to appreciate high quality movies in the current time. Not gambling on the right format. If something new or better comes along then we will have the choice to buy a new format. That?s called life. Technology constantly evolves and there is nothing wrong with people who spend the extra money to enjoy what is currently the newest and greatest. Just like there is nothing wrong with people who do not want to spend the money on a format that might be short lived. Everybody has that choice. A lot of people do not understand this concept. Personally, the way home theater technology is heading, who is to say that there is even going to be one format. Every year something new pops up that leaves current technology in the dust. Waiting for the format war to end might be the longest wait of your life. But back to my point. Some people buy hd-dvd players not caring what happens in the distant future. They just want to enjoy great movies today. The icing on the cake is, there are some hd-dvd players with high quality upscaling abilities so that you can enjoy your standard dvds as well.

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by stewart norrie / May 25, 2007 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Actually no.....

All my life 69 years I have lusted for a sweet home theater system , But that was impossible until digital hi-def came along. Iam so happy and the most awsome part is to be see movie quality picture over the air with a cheap antenna. truly amazing. Yes I was stupid buying the Sony Blue Ray player I now own 5 blue ray movies and get goose bumps every time I watch them IN CLOSING If any of you own a Pioneer Elite Plasma Blue Ray is a must buy item It would beyond clear ha ha have a nice day all uncle steweeeeeeeeeeeeee

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by woodygg / May 25, 2007 12:44 AM PDT
In reply to: This is why we wait

unless you have enough money where you don't care either way... i'm sticking with standard dvd.

besides, my tv isn't 1080P, so it's really a mute point. five years from now when it makes sense $$ wise to me, i'm sure i'll get the latest lcd 1080P tv for half the cost they are now with some sort of hd dvd player at 10% of the cost they are now with the format war being decided...

until then, i'll stick with what i have that looks 95% as good as throwing out a ton of cash for the extra 5%.

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by stewart norrie / May 25, 2007 8:39 AM PDT
In reply to: exactly...

Picture quality is unbelievable. Also for the first 2 months I owned mine it was a door stopper the only source was netflex no my local Blockbuster has the for rent at the same fee as standard d.v.d.s have a nice holiday all stewe

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by woodygg / May 25, 2007 3:00 PM PDT

my picture's close enough for now - in fact, better than a projection tv - so it probably even at the moment. it will be here soon enough without paying a ridiculous price. i am patient. it won't be long.

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by bevillan / May 25, 2007 6:13 AM PDT

The Format "War" is just a layman's term to describe the struggle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD to gain an upper-hand on the market strong enough to force the other one to stop producing.

Take it as it is instead of getting pissy over it.

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by jonnybones / May 27, 2007 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: war

Do you work in retail? Do customers ask you EVERY day about the WAR. If you answered no to both questions, or either really, then you have no idea what you are asking me to do. And yes i know its not a war, thats the point.

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I guess it depends on YOUR definition of WAR!!!
by jcrobso / May 29, 2007 3:58 AM PDT
In reply to: war

If you definition of war is bombs dropping, gun fire, body parts flying, people dieing, then no.

But it is a conflict, a battle, a struggle, etc. Two major electronics groups facing off to fight each other to the death for the next home DVD standard! Back in the 1980s we had the VHS/Beta conflict, VHS won Beta lost, Beta died!!! John

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Blu-Ray v HD-DVD
by Jim Griggs / May 26, 2007 12:45 AM PDT

Does anyone remember the war between DVD + v DVD -? What happened? Almost all DVD burners now have both formats plus others. Now they just call them DVD burners. There is already one Blu-Ray / HD-DVD combo burner on the market if you want to pay the price. Sony and others will get on board as soon as the combo units start eating into their profits. Right now the early adopters are funding their ROI. History will repeat itself.

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War or no war, that is the question..
by hazydave / May 28, 2007 3:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Blu-Ray v HD-DVD

DVD+ vs. DVD- wasn't any sort of real war, because, once you burned a disc, you had a DVD, pretty much. It would play in any well designed DVD player (I had a Pioneer that played everything I threw at it, even though it was released long before DVD-R/RW General or DVD+R/RW). The fear was certainly that, some day, you couldn't get blanks, but at worst, that mean you were out a few hundred for a new player (today, $25 or so).

HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray IS a format war, because there's no guarantee both formats will survive, and because, today, you can't get all film releases on either format. You may pay $1000 or $500 for a player today, but that player's not going to last forever... particularly not given the relatively new blue laser technology... that light's likely out in 5 years or so.

Within those 5 years, if you're at all serious, you'll have spent many times the player cost of software. And there's absolutely no guarantee that players for that software still exist in 5 years. That's why this is a war.

Assuming universal players actually do catch on, that's certainly one way to resolve the war. But even at that, due to the patent licenses, dual-format players are more expensive. If one format starts to fail, there's no guarantee the functionality will remain to play that format. It's certainly more likely as you go forward... at some point, the fees will be low and in the under $100 dual-format player, it might well be pointless to remove the functionality of the "loser" format. We'll see.

The annoying this is that this war really has held this market back... may people, such as myself, have all kinds of HD stuff, but have stayed away from the blue laser players, waiting for the dust to settle. For me, it's a committment not just to the player but to the disc writer, authoring software, etc. once I decide to back one format or the other... unless, of course, those have also gone dualie.

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by roymer / May 26, 2007 1:29 AM PDT

Ignorance is not knowing that Sony has more partners in its Blu-Ray venture than Toshiba has in its.

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Scorched Earth!
by richardlawler / May 26, 2007 3:02 AM PDT

One thing that nice about this war is that we can all sit back and watch it waged without participating.

My prediction is that both formats will lose.

Customer alienation: There are too many people being alienated by the competing incompatible standards. Too many people are sitting on the fence waiting for a single format to emerge. For either of the formats to succeed they have to be attracting people now in this critical growth phase not turning them away. Winner: none, both format's lose.

It doesn't matter if Blu-Ray has more technology partners or more studios. The available catalogs in each format are similarly compelling or uncompelling. There are a similar number of exclusive offerings in each format. Winner: it's a tie.

The discs cost significantly more than DVDs. So it has to be worth it to pay the extra $10 to $20 for hi-def. DVDs are getting cheaper. There are very few titles that are compelling enough to justify spending $30 for a hi-def movie that's available for $15 or less on DVD. Winner: DVD.

Anyone who buys a non-dual-format player loses. No matter which format you chose an disc that you want to own will come out exclusively on the other format. Eventually there may be affordable dual-format players that are fully compatible with both standards (apparently not the case with the current generation of dual-format players). But until then why should you have to pay a premium of hundreds of dollars to support this folly? Winner: neither.

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Wake me when it's over
by Thomas F. Armistead / May 26, 2007 4:59 AM PDT

If this is a war, somebody send up a flare when there's a surrender. I don't need DVD badly enough to place a bet on either technology. Neither one of them will get my money till they make peace.

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I've been following this "war" for the past year, and...
by JeffAHayes / May 27, 2007 3:46 PM PDT
In reply to: Wake me when it's over

the winner is... THE MOVIE STUDIOS.

The SMARTEST movie studios (and I don't keep a current list in my head of who supports which format) put out titles on BOTH formats, thus hedging their bets, for sure (not to mention that some of the really techno-crazy folks with big wallets will actually BUY A TITLE in BOTH FORMATS if they have BOTH PLAYERS).

The FUNNIEST thing yet is the LG dual-format player, which costs EXACTLY as much as the reduced-price Samsung Blu-Ray player PLUS the cost of a Toshiba HD-DVD player. Now why would ANYONE in his right mind (or even anyone half-baked) risk a tricky, expensive, dual-format machine, which when (not if, but WHEN) it breaks they'll have NOTHING to play their double-priced movies on, when for the same price they could have TWO COMPLETE, SEPARATE players of the different formats, so that at least if one breaks they still have the other?!?

I also noticed that although most HD-DVD MOVIES were released at 1080P, it was only very recently that Toshiba released its first 1080P HD-DVD PLAYER (they just LOVE to confuse folks in the ADS, however, by referencing them as 1080i, which ANY 720P TV is also capable of producing!) On the other hand, as far as I can tell ALL the Blu-Ray players have been 1080P from the beginning... But AHHHH there's the rub...

Although there are now MANY 1080P TVs for sale, and some very nice ones at finally reasonable prices, to boot, I don't see ANYONE broadcasting at 1080P yet. I don't see any serious DISCUSSION of it, either. In fact, many cable channels, such as Sci-Fi, USA, FX, etc., are JUST getting geared up for standard 720P HD broadcasting late this year. Why, you might ask, is 1080P broadcasting a "non-starter" at this point? Well, it's very simple... it will take 4 times as much bandwidth, and cable and satellite bandwidth is already being really SQUEEZED between broadband internet usage, hundreds of SDTV channels, existing 720P HD and the new ones coming on board. There simply isn't the bandwidth available, at present, to provide 1080P over cable or satellite feeds... At least that's MY understanding of the situation; anyone who's an electrical engineer or industry insider and has better information feel free to correct me or elaborate.

So this leaves folks who buy 1080P TVs stuck with enjoying that extra resolution ONLY with HD movies played on Blu-Ray or the newer generations of HD-DVD players (of course far be it from the folks at Best Buy, Circuit City or any other retailer to point these facts out when they have google-eyed customers foaming at the mouth over the latest 61" 1080P set -- would you???).

What I did, since I don't believe in buying many movies, anyway, as my history is that when I've bought them on tape in the pre-DVD era was that I'd watch them a few times and then they'd just sit somewhere, is this past Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) I picked up an "upscaling" Zenith DVD player at Circuit City for $49 with NO REBATE, even! This player claims it will upscale regular DVDs to 720P or 1080i, although I haven't used it enough to really tell (I have a few DVDs I bought I still haven't watched, so maybe I'll know more later). But I know the picture looks as good as I could ask for on my 27" LCD 720P TV.

If things continue like they are, with no THIRD technology coming along that displaces both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, my prediction is that UNLESS 1080P becomes a broadcast standard, as well, HD-DVD is going to win this battle due primarily to price. Right now, for instance, Best Buy has one of the older, "1080i" Toshiba models on sale for $299... I had said when all this stuff started that $299 was a "tipping point" price for me, and if I really wanted a high-def player that much, I'd likely bite at that price, even though I don't like Toshiba... The simple fact is that regardless of whether Blu-Ray costs more to make, therefore somehow justifying charging more for the players, in the end, Toshiba and it's partners are charging just $500 or thereabouts for the full 1080P HD-DVD players, whereas Samsung and Sony are asking $700-$1,000 for theirs, with the disks costing about the same, but the Blu-Ray disks being more fragile, requiring greater care, so that's another downside for Blu-Ray.

As for the burners. I thought that might be nice to have, and have been looking at those, since putting one of the burners in your computer also gives you the capability to play the movies. The only problem is that the blank media for the burners is so expensive you'd come out WAY cheaper using DVDs as backups instead -- or even buying external hard drives, filling them up, and putting them in a filing cabinet somewhere (it's about $40 for a single 50 GB dual-layer Blu-Ray disk).

Lest we forget, Sony came out first with the VCR, as well. Sony was the BIGGEST KID ON THE BLOCK in electronics, too. It's technology ws superior to the latecomer Video Home System, as well. But what won -- Beta or VHS? I think we all know the answer to THAT question.

I agree it's fine if "early adopters" want to take their chances on one technology or the other -- particularly if they have the money to burn (I don't). I see it like this: whichever player they buy, they'll be able to play all the movies they buy for that player in perpetuity, and if that format bites the dust, they'll be able to pick up movies they didn't get early on at steep discounts.

As for me, I can barely keep up with all the movies and programs I have access to on cable TV... What do I need with a new player?

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There's some confusion here...
by hazydave / May 28, 2007 4:12 PM PDT

The main reason for 1080p support at the disc level isn't 1080/60p material, of which virtually none exists, but rather 1080/24p film conversions, which is the logical movie format, just as 480/24p is for NTSC DVD.

At the player level, it's more a matter of matching your TV's capabilities... some "1080p" sets can't actually accept a 1080p signal, but will happily detect and perform an inverse 3:2 pulldown when presented with a 1080/60i input from a 24p original. Others will, and in that case it's certainly no worse to schlep it over as 1080/60p, which also works no worse for 1080/60i or even 1080/60p material, if you ever have any.

As for "upcoming format to displace Blu-Ray and HD-DVD", I'd claim it's HDV (Google it)... some ways away yet. But if I were one of the HVD people, I'd be working to make that happen sooner rather than later, at this point you really could step in and kill off both of the blue laser formats with this substantially better (but somewhat crazy) technology.

And I don't think the studios win yet, either. Had their been no format war, they would be selling way more discs today. And their profits are hurt either by producing in only one format (thus, unavailable to users of the other) or having to pay to author two different ones. Sure, that's usually a drop in the bucket, and yet, given the installed base of blue laser owners, it's a pretty small bucket right now.

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movie studios
by bevillan / May 29, 2007 3:52 AM PDT

Warner Bros recently sold 100,000 units of The Departed for the first time of any HD movie because it was offered on both formats. Perhaps sales figures like that will start having other movie studios go with both formats or try to push the hardware companies more to release dual-format players.

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blur-ray v. hd dvd
by / May 29, 2007 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: movie studios

I think the beta v VHS comparison is irrelevant. People wanted VCR's since it was a whole new technology. An improved 1080i or 1080p dvd means little to the 98% of folks who don't have a 1080p hdtv. I really think the only hope is the combo player that plays both formats.

Message was edited by: admin

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I FEEL THIS IS SONY'S WIN.............
by Riverledge / May 30, 2007 10:27 AM PDT




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