Blu-Ray has won the Hi-Def war!

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Post by Ben » April 16th, 2005, 2:02 pm

I'm not sure about the 2 years bit, but I certainly agree on waiting at leat a year and combining formats somehow.

2 years is too long, but a wait of a year would at least mean that the new format would in some way help stimulate sales of HD TVs too.

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Post by GeorgeC » April 19th, 2005, 6:39 pm

<Sigh>

Latest update at the Digital Bits on the High-Definition DVD war...

No compromise in sight!

Seriously, you have to read the April 19th link at theDigitalBits.com to get the latest on this mess.

Warner Bros. and Microsoft think they can go it alone on HD-DVD as a viable movie format. While it seems most of the PC industry and half the studios are behind Blu-Ray, no question consumers WILL be confused by two competing formats later this year.

(2/3 of the people who buy High-Definition TV sets ASSUME they're getting high-definition signals through the set... They don't realize you have to upgrade your cable service to high-definition service to get high-definition channel broadcasts! In many areas, the choices for high-definition reception are still limited to a dozen or fewer channels through your cable company. Can you imagine the confusion with TWO competing high-definition players now?)

Seriously, folks, if you HAVE TO have have a high-definition TV set, go ahead and find the best deal you can for a FINE set and buy a progressive scan DVD player for it. Hold off on the high-definition DVD players and Blu-Ray and HD-DVD for at least a year AFTER the American launch until this mess settles out.

I swear, we'd all be much better off if they cancelled BOTH the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD launches later this year and delayed the darn thing until 2007/2008. High-definition DVD as it stands is dead-in-the-water for later this year. This mess apparently won't be cleaned up until after a huge blood-letting.

Consumers are going to be pissed and I bet the surviving format will have a tough time of it and a much longer period than standard DVD did becoming mass-market...

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Post by Ben » April 20th, 2005, 12:17 pm

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if both died, or at least limped along, and that standard DVD continued for at least five years yet.

HD, like videodisc launches before it, will fail first time and only make a comeback once the technology is in place and people really want it/understand it.

Damn... :(

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Post by GeorgeC » April 21st, 2005, 1:50 pm

YET ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT IN THE HIGH-DEF DVD WAR...

Courtesy of the Digital Bits comes this link to Japan Today: http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&id=334897



Sony and Toshiba ARE FINALLY IN TALKS TO DEVELOP A UNIFIED HIGH-DEFINITION DVD STANDARD!

They're pooling their engineering sources to develop a standard that will use the strengths of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

Probably means a delay of at least 6 months to a year more before high-definition DVD makes its roll-out.

Good news since it will avoid consumer confusion, but I still predict slow acceptance for the format since the mass consumer audience doesn't see a big need to upgrade now.

The costs of high-definition TV hardware and the lack of available affordable high-definition cable are also other significant factors.

At least the VHS/Beta debacle is avoided by a common HD DVD format, but ironically it'll be "old DVD" that impedes the successful transition to higher-def standard DVD.

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Post by Ben » April 21st, 2005, 8:03 pm

THAT...

IS FANTASTIC NEWS!! :)


Fingers crossed...

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Post by GeorgeC » April 25th, 2005, 9:57 pm

More updates on what's going on with high-definition DVD.

The April 25th edition of the Digital Bits had a link to a Reuters article about the Sony/Toshiba reconciliation. Panasonic and a few other hardware manufacturers have joined the discussions.

The hardware manufacturers are now trying to get the Hollywood studios to come in and sit down and hash out the details of the compromised format.

Apparently, it's going to be a lot more complicated to work the details of the format out...

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtm ... ID=8265870


I think it's safe to say that any sane person would delay the launch of high-definition DVD into AT LEAST late 2006... There's no way this is going to be hashed out before summer the way things sound now. I don't think all technical bugs are going to be worked out let alone the political issues.

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Post by Ben » April 26th, 2005, 7:52 am

Late 2006, AT THE EARLIEST!

But this is good not only for consumers, but the future of electronics developments.

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Post by GeorgeC » May 16th, 2005, 11:25 pm

UPDATE -- RED ALERT! NEWS FLASH!

This ought to be on the front page of this website---!

According to VideoNews at http://videobusiness.com/article.asp?ar ... tType=NEWS, courtesy of theDigitalBits.com, the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray talks have broken down!

I'm not surprised... Despite conciliatory talks, a number of highly influential hardware and software manufacturers are going ahead with plans on their EXCLUSIVE formats!

It's inevitable that there WILL be a FORMAT WAR and that early adopters WILL LOSE if they're dumb enough to go with either HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, or whatever mess a manufacturer decides to put out.

Sony has announced Blu-Ray IS going into the PlayStation 3 which will probably ship LATE THIS YEAR to Japan to compete head-to-head with the X-Box 360 which doesn't support either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD but does support regular format DVD in progressive scan mode.

Toshiba has announced yet another DVD format that features triple layers with support of up to 45 GB on a single side!

Time-Warner and its partners are going ahead with HD-DVD.

It's a mess folks, and this is really stupid.

I predict high-definition will be delayed AT LEAST 3-5 years if things keep going on at this rate.

If you're even considering buying a high-definition TV set later this year, get a progressive scan player but SKIP the high-def DVD players until the format mess is settled.

If you must buy a new DVD-burner for your computer, stick to the standard DVD format and don't buy into high-def DVD burners just yet. The most executive burner I'd get would be a dual-layer burner as they're just starting to become a bit more affordable.

Again, this is NOT the year to get into high-definition DVD.

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Post by GeorgeC » May 17th, 2005, 10:26 pm

There's a good chance that sales of the PS3 videogame console could resolve the whole "which high-definition DVD will dominate" debacle.

Last time a PlayStation console went on sale, it sold 1.5 million consoles within its firs month. (Don't know if that's Japan or the US.) Currently, over 87 million PS2s have been sold worldwide.

There's probably more anticipation for the PS3 than the other two next-generation consoles at this moment.

(I've been watching some of the live E3 coverage on G4 and believe me that the newscasts for the X-Box 360 and Nintendo Revolution are downbeat. Both MS and Nintendo essentially blew their new systems rollouts at the convention and the ball is firmly in Sony's court.)

The system WILL launch next year around Springtime in both the US and Japan followed shortly in Europe.

There's almost no chance the console won't be a hit and it WILL support the Blu-Ray format as well as practically every CD- and DVD-based format (excepting HD-DVD) that you can think of.

Of course, even if you don't have a high-definition TV set yet, you will be able to play PS3 games on a standard TV. You just won't be using the system at its full resolution capability.

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Post by Ben » May 19th, 2005, 4:57 pm

Well, this is a real shame. Not sure it's something to post on the main page though, and the bad news is spreading enough.

I'm waiting for a dual player that will handle both (and has been suggested by several manufacturers).

BTW, the "new" format from Toshiba isn't actually a "third" format, but rather an upgrade to the existing one which adds more space capacity to the specification.

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Post by James » June 20th, 2005, 10:31 am

More confirmation of the nails in the coffin: http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/06/17 ... 27714.html

Another development recently confirmed - PS3 will support the SACD format! Maybe high resolution audio isn't quite dead yet!

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Post by GeorgeC » June 20th, 2005, 12:15 pm

Well, I'm not surprised by the turn of events with the high-definition showdown. Tech companies CAN be that stupid and the studios are along for the ride choosing sides already. It's just going to confuse consumers and delay the transition to high-def that much more.

Me? I've always felt that what will ultimately slow the transition is the cost of the new hardware more than software issues.

High-def TVs are just too expensive for the average person and there aren't enough high-def channels to make it worthwhile for the average person to upgrade UNLESS they're getting a TV to watch high-def movies and play next-gen videogame systems at their full capability.

There's already talk that there'll be practically no way for Sony to price the PS3 below $500-$600 a unit -- even in the US...! -- without losing a ton of money. I think the high-def hardware costs and uncertainty of mass acceptance of EITHER high-def DVD format is the reason why both Nintendo and Microsoft passed on support for high-def DVD hardware in their next-gen systems.

To sell a bunch of PS3s off the bat in the US, Sony WILL have to price the systems at $299 max. That's the proven launch price target for every new successful system the past 10 years. Every system that has launched above $299 in the States has failed. There are limits to what even most hardcore gamers will pay for videogame systems.

SACD/DVD-Audio are basically dead issues. They were DOA even before they arrived in stores, superiority to standard audio CD or not. There's just no public support and very little record company support behind either format. It's another case of mini-CD/DAT all over again. However, for people that gotta have their better-sounding CDs there are at least combi-players that WILL play either SACD or DVD-A.

That will almost assuredly NEVER happen with the new DVD formats. One format will HAVE to prevail for mass-market acceptance. Studios and the public-at-large will NOT support both formats. Right now, I'd hedge bets on Blu-Ray but that's not 100% certain. If PS3 is a big hit out the door, then yeah, I'd say the market will lean towards Blu-Ray... If not, we're in for a wait of at least 2-3 years before things settle out. Even then, with the current costs of HDTVs being ridiculously out of most people's entertainment budgets, I don't honestly think high-def will be a must for most people... Samsung or another company has to come up with affordable technology that gives the bigger mass population high-def reception and playback. It's just not happening with plasma, LCD, and DLP.

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Post by Ben » June 21st, 2005, 7:35 am

What a mess, becoming even messier.

Don't you have a twisted inner-feeling that secretly makes you want HD to fail? ;)

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Post by GeorgeC » June 21st, 2005, 11:48 pm

You guys may not believe this,

But I am NOT fundamentally anti-technology. I do believe there is a point to doing research for its own sake because usually things get discovered that become USEFUL down the road.

On the other hand, I am NOT FOR upgrading technology when upgrades are ridiculous expensive, basically not needed, and not demanded by the market. This just doesn't make sense in the short term of things. There's no point shoving technology out the door just for its own sake. That's economic suicide. Newer technology replacing the old makes sense when it's more economic, easier to maintain, and there is a general public need or want for it. It should be the consumers dictating the changes at the home video level, NOT the tech companies!

If you want my honest opinion, I think the tech companies and studios are rushing into high definition. I'd like to see the consumer survey that shows the general public worldwide is actually interested in high-definition and sees a compelling need to upgrade their home video equipment. I sure don't see this myself, but I'm neither arrogant nor dumb enough to believe I'm the only person that feels that way and that the world revolves around me. This is just the general gist of what I get talking to people about this in public and what I see being written in forums.

I honestly believe studios only want the new technology to get better encryption for DVDs. They don't really care about resolution or higher dsic capacity. They'll NEVER release entire TV series and movie trilogies on one disc any way! Computer companies want the new discs to relieve the need for greater storage capacity on optical disc. Consumers in general don't see the big need in either case. It's only tech-heads and early adopters that are really excited about high-def.

I can honestly see the general public being indifferent to high-def this year/early next year when it finally rolls out. With no clear mandate from the general home video viewers and competing formats, we're looking at a very loud crash for the high-def DVD rollouts.

They should have let standard DVD stand in the market for at least another 5 years before getting into this high-definition nonsense. It's too early to be talking about transition/successor formats when there's no clear public mandate for it. Even CD took a long time to catch on and there's no replacement for that in sight, either.

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Post by James » June 22nd, 2005, 1:43 am

GeorgeC wrote:...If you want my honest opinion, I think the tech companies and studios are rushing into high definition. I'd like to see the consumer survey that shows the general public worldwide is actually interested in high-definition and sees a compelling need to upgrade their home video equipment.
The compelling interest in the US is that the government wants to sell off some of the the analog spectrum, so all OTA TV will be going digital in the near future. The electronics industry is actually acting TOO SLOW in getting digital TVs out the door because they don't want to hurt the sales of the old NTSC sets. People buying these TVs today expecting them to last as long as their previous TVs are going to get a nasty shock once they start paying attention.
GeorgeC wrote:They should have let standard DVD stand in the market for at least another 5 years before getting into this high-definition nonsense. It's too early to be talking about transition/successor formats when there's no clear public mandate for it. Even CD took a long time to catch on and there's no replacement for that in sight, either.
There is a clear mandate among those who own HDTVs! And those numbers are increasing at a rapid pace.

And there actually are two viable replacements for CDs out there. Which is the problem - another format war has hampered the prospects of either being successful. But like HDTV, those of us who have it do NOT want to go back to CDs!

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