Blu-Ray has won the Hi-Def war!

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Post by Ben » December 5th, 2005, 9:50 am

Same here George.

I'll certainly take a look at the new 10 Commandments, but the current disc is pretty cool and I may well stick with that.

I think WB are doing a great job with their catalog stuff. Not animation for examples, but Wizard Of Oz's 3-disc and the recent Ben-Hur are fantastic, and even smaller titles like Narrow Margin and Point Blank are getting retored prints and commentaries. And then of course there is Kong!

For the amount they churn out, WB is my favorite catalog provider and has been for a while. Every title is carefully selected, you always get trailers and presented in the correct ratio, and extras if they're available (the Tarzan sets and Marx Bros collection for instance) and they often go out and create new material.

The Golden Looney Tune sets I think are terrific as well, and I was surprised to see the recent "Movie Collection" of The Bugs Bubby/Road Runner Movie and 1001 Rabbit Tales looking and sounding great in that two-pack.

Can't knock 'em in my book - every WB release I've picked up has been put together well and with exceptional presentations of the movies (after all, the very reason we buy these things)!

I agree about live-action though - my collection is roughly half and half made up of 1990 BC (Before Computers) and 1990 AD (After Digital), which is my cut off point in how I store things (leaving me enough room to add more to each "side").

I actually have a list of old features that I want to either see or add to my collection and I strike them off as and when they are released or pop up on TV to catch. I went through the IMBD and made up a year by year account of the titles I'm interested in, which is a pretty good way to kind of ascertain the amount of stuff one might end up with.

There are still loads of classic boxes out there I want (Thin Man, Astaire/Rogers, Val Lewton, Lugosi, etc) and tons of animation discs (the Image Entertainment ones are always great but slightly overpriced with no discount deals on them, so I often wait and then lose out. I only recently picked up Snafu from eBay, and am on the search for Uncensored Bosko 2 if anyone is feeling generous!) ;)

Anyway, back to topic, and Paramount have really started to treat their stuff properly. The War Of The Worlds s was fantastic (great sound and pic), though one can't but help wonder if it is of course to make a last rush for standard DVD before they go Hi-Def.

Personally, I don't think HD is going to take off with the mass market at all. There is too much content flooding the market right now and so many collectors that it is essentially going to end up the LD of DVD collectors. I don't know if I'll early adopt, but I will go HD eventually, but certainly my black and white films will be the last to get upgraded if any.

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Post by GeorgeC » December 5th, 2005, 1:03 pm

Some people will think this is me bashing HD YET AGAIN,

But really the problem with the format once the next-generation DVD is decided is the cost.

I'm not even talking about the cost of the players or media format (which will PROBABLY be Blu-Ray) once things are decided.

What will kill the deal for a lot of people is the cost of the HDTVs.

There's also not as much HD-ready cable content as there ought to be. HD-cable/satellite in the States is NOT cheap. Many people just subscribe to regular cable because once you get past those initial 60 channels it's a wasteland of crap. Anything really good on digital you have to subscribe to per channel and the numbers for subscription just don't add up well.

It's not worth it for most people (including me).

Honestly, that's what will cause a slow trickle into next-gen DVD.

*****************************************************

Even Microsoft and Nintendo are very hesitant to get into HD. Nintendo isn't putting an HD drive into their next-generation game system and Microsoft only supports HD through a Windows codec in the new X-Box 360. X-Box 360 has a standard DVD drive. The only gaming company brave enough to put an HD drive in their game system is Sony and it's because they're trying to force the issue to decide the HD winner in favor of Blu-Ray.

That said, all systems are backwardly compatible with current (non-HD) standard TV sets.

******************************************************

Then again, LCD screens ARE getting cheaper...

I'm happy with a monitor 32" or less.

It's still gotta be bigger than my old 27" standard format TV, though!

Hmm... There might be something reasonably priced there! :lol:

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Next Generation DVD hardware prices...

Post by GeorgeC » February 13th, 2006, 4:59 pm

<Sigh>

The battle's far from decided, folks.

Right, HD-DVD looks to have the price advantage since sub-$1000 players HAVE been announced.

Starting prices for HD-DVD players will be around $500 although it's likely some rebates will reduce that price closer to $400.

Premium ("nice features you'll NEVER use") HD-DVD players start at $1000 and up according to the latest HD-DVD company reports.


..................

Now here comes the nasty part.

Blu-Ray is going to be a heck of a lot more expensive.

Even though it's the FAVORED medium because of unproven higher storage capacity and supposedly better video image, the players are going to be killer expensive unless some manufacturing/technological breakthrough happens.

I've be hearing prices of well over $1000 for the Blu-Ray players.

The closest-to-Earth price so far seems to be the PS3 which looks to retail for around $500 when it launches in late October (US release date) this year...

Yep, unless those prices from video companies come down, it looks like the PS3 could make or break Blu-Ray's chances for success.

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Post by James » February 13th, 2006, 5:33 pm

<Sigh>

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Post by eddievalient » February 13th, 2006, 8:58 pm

In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, DON'T PANIC. It is my opinion that for the next 5-6 years at least, if not much longer, we will be in a VHS/Laserdisc situation all over again. I believe that for a long while yet, only the most extreme tech heads will invest in a new format and regular old plain jane DVD will remain the dominant medium among most normal people. I know I certainly won't be getting an HD player until the price comes down to an affordable range (my DVD player cost about $100-$120 in 2001). Until then, I'll sit on the sidelines and see what happens.

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Post by Ben » February 14th, 2006, 10:30 am

There are a few titles I'll be picking up in both formats (well, only one springs to mind right now: the mega 14-disc Superman box set at year's end).

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Post by eddievalient » February 14th, 2006, 12:02 pm

OT Alert!

"one springs to mind right now: the mega 14-disc Superman box set at year's end"

14 discs? I knew they were going to do 2 discs for each movie (a total of eight), so what are the remaining 6 going to include?

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Post by Ben » February 15th, 2006, 5:41 pm

One will be The "Donner" Cut of Supes II, which I suppose could have it's own disc.

And maybe this will include Singer's "Returns" double-disc as well?

We could get the Serials as part of a "history" disc, as well as the Fleischer's stuff, and Singer has been producing a feature-length documentary for future DVD release.

That said, we could get workprint versions of III and IV (my wish!), which would easily round up at least 12 or 14 discs.

Bring it on!!

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Post by GeorgeC » February 16th, 2006, 10:16 am

I don't know about the rest of you,

But there's no way in heck I'll pick up both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

That's the way it will be with most consumers.

I predict a massive consumer back-lash only partly offset by the sales of the PS3.

Most people don't see a compelling need to upgrade NOW and there isn't as big a push among the mainstream consumer to go to high-def now as the hype suggests.

Man, do I think the electonics magazines and CES shows are propping up a disastrous format(s) rollout(s) in the making!


P.S. -- Most people also will not pick up the Superman megaset. I feel no compelling need to own movies past Superman II. I DON'T like Superman III, IV, or Supergirl.

The Superman II re-edits and the expanded editions of the other films should be separate of the set.

Frankly, I also predict it the Fleischer cartoons and Superman serials will be sold separately from the set.

The boxset will not fly with most people. People are getting sick of boxset exclusives and repacks/re-edits' exclusives.

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Post by Ben » February 17th, 2006, 7:45 am

It's confirmed the Donner II will only be in the set.

Is SuperGirl part of this?

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Post by GeorgeC » February 18th, 2006, 7:25 am

Probably...

How are you going to get 14 discs in the set WITHOUT Supergirl?

Assuming the first 4 Superman films each get a 2-disc version plus a 2-disc re-edit of Superman II, that's 10 discs. With a 2-disc Supergirl, 12.

My guess is that the last 2 discs will either be more bonus discs or (more likely) the Superman Returns 2-disc set...

It still stinks for fans that they're forced to buy films they don't want.

Superman II isn't that good for me to suffer through 4 (possibly 5 if Superman Returns is bad) bad films.

I'm passing unless there's a really good price on this set.

My guess is that the Superman serials and the Fleischer cartoons will be available separate from the set.

Frankly, I think the Fleischers belong with either the Superman serials as extras or as a pack-in on the last Superman: TAS volume.

I don't know how WB will sell the Fleischer Superman shorts on their own considering that the shorts have been public domain for ages and that there are tons of DVDs of these shorts out already.

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Post by Ben » February 19th, 2006, 6:14 pm

Which of the PD discs do you recommend?

I have one set that's quite cool - great pic, but keep meaning to pick up the Bosko/Image one which seems to be the closest "official" release.

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Post by GeorgeC » March 13th, 2006, 3:28 pm

Ben wrote:Which of the {Fleischer Superman shorts} PD discs do you recommend?

I have one set that's quite cool - great pic, but keep meaning to pick up the Bosko/Image one which seems to be the closest "official" release.

I'd go with the Bosko/Image disc.

That's the one I have and the one that most consistently turns up in conversation about GOOD quality Fleischer Superman discs.

Avoid anything for Fox/Winstar/Good Times. They have an infamous reputation for meddling with classic cartoon soundtracks and adding Foley effects and 5.1 sound to mono-soundtracks. Their versions of the Superman shorts look and sound AWFUL.

The Bosko/Image disc is still widely available and can be had for $10 US or less.

I still wouldn't be surprised if the Warner Bros' prints of the Fleischer/Famous Studios Superman shorts turn up as extras on one of the new live-action Superman DVDs. Frankly, I think they belong in one of the 1990s Superman animated series sets or with the Kirk Alyn Superman serials, but ya never know...

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Post by GeorgeC » March 13th, 2006, 3:36 pm

And now, relating back to the main point of the original topic post --

http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2006-03-13/#3

"Warner Home Video Delays High-Def Releases

Warner Home Video, which had said in January that it planned to be the first to release movies in the high-definition HD DVD format as it set a March 28 date, has now indicated it won't be able to meet that schedule. "To be honest, the outlook is tenuous _ we're still coming out with an initial slate, but we may be a week or two later; we just don't know," division president Ron Sanders told Home Media Retailing magazine. "

*********************************

Not even out yet and the release dates are screwed up for HD-DVD?

I also have yet to see ANY advertising for the new machines inside Best Buy or any major electronics store I've passed through recently.

This isn't even taking into account that the digital protection wasn't finalized in time for the first production-run HD-DVD players and that early adopters will be forced to download firmware updates from the Internet to be able to access the full features of the players!

This is nuts, folks.

The launches of BOTH HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are going to be screwed up.

There's talk of PS3 being delayed until next year because of problems with the hardware and lack of software titles being available at launch. Everybody knows that the PS3 will be instrumental in the success or failure of Blu-Ray at this point in time.

I'm just saying as a consumer that I'm willing to wait another 2-3 years for the dust and technical bugs to settle out on the new formats IN ADDITION to hardware costs to fall to more reasonable levels. It's too expensive for me and a ton of other people on both the player and HDTV ends of this new video generation. It's just nuts -- and a COLOSSAL WASTE of money -- to early-adopt new technology when you have competing formats, lack of "must-have" consumer interest, and so many bugs and problems already appearing before the launch dates.

No thank you, Ma'am.

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HD-DVD and BLU-RAY thread

Post by GeorgeC » May 3rd, 2006, 2:17 am

Man oh man.

The reports on the next-generation DVD rollout are just NOT good.

Besides there seeming to be bugs in half the players out there (I've only seen Toshiba's listed -- no other manufacturers so far), the software selection is fairly mediocre.

Now, to be fair, it's still early so there won't be a lot of HD-DVD software. But for goodness' sake, couldn't better films have been prepped for the rollout? Who really needs to see "Doom" in high-definition?



We'll see how things look after Week Two for Blu-Ray, but the lack of firm details on that format's launch and the slim launch line-up seem to hint at another botched launch there, too.

The public, generally speaking, is uninterested in the new formats and it seems like the hardware and software companies are pushing new toys for which there's no big demand.

It's a disaster in the making, folks, format war or no format war.

Let's see how the PR and Hollywood spinmeisters put those realities in their pipes and smoke 'em!

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