Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Feb 2008 13:24 UTC, submitted by wakeupneo
Multimedia, AV Toshiba said Tuesday it will no longer manufacture HD-DVDs, effectively ending the long-running battle with the rival Blu-ray for a dominant high-definition format. Toshiba said it made the decision to cease developing, manufacturing, and marketing HD-DVDs after 'recent major changes in the market'. It promised to continue offering support and service for all 1.3+ million Toshiba HD-DVDs sold so far.
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Standards
by Adurbe on Tue 19th Feb 2008 14:10 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

From now on it wont be a gamble buying into the next generation

This is excelent news!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Standards
by 1c3d0g on Tue 19th Feb 2008 14:56 UTC in reply to "Standards"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

Fully agreed! This whole mess could've been avoided if:

1. they kept working with Sony and 180+ other companies (source: http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/ section 1.3) back in 2005 to realize a unified format;
2. they didn't cowardly steal Paramount/Dreamworks from Blu-ray and made them sign an exclusive HD-DVD contract.

Now I can't wait for Transformers to be released on Blu-ray...it'll probably be the ultimate high-tech demonstration of what that platform is capable of! :-D

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Standards
by vimh on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Standards"
vimh Member since:
2006-02-04

Regarding Transformers. I'm not sure if it would be any different than the HD-DVD release (which I own and looks nice). Not sure if any of the stuff would truly be different as it's all dependent on the source material.

I have a couple of HD-DVDs and with some of them, the quality isn't all that exciting because the source footage wasn't all that great to begin with and no about of clean up was going to fix it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Standards
by jabbotts on Tue 19th Feb 2008 17:52 UTC in reply to "Standards"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

There will always be the "next generation" thing but hopefully the next format war end a little sooner.

For this generation of disk stored data, it's now smooth saily and all those who baught PS3's too get affordable disk readers seem to have guessed right.

Now too wait while the disk writers slowly drop in price to remotely reasonable.

Reply Score: 2

only if they could be upgraded
by dindin on Tue 19th Feb 2008 15:44 UTC
dindin
Member since:
2006-03-29

The problem/issue with Bleray is that the profiles are still being worked on and "to my knowledge" other than the PS3, no other blueray player out there is upgradable to support the newer profiles.

Now that the format war is over, only if the damn Bluray Disc prices come down.

-D

Reply Score: 3

RE: only if they could be upgraded
by elsewhere on Tue 19th Feb 2008 16:13 UTC in reply to "only if they could be upgraded"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

The problem/issue with Bleray is that the profiles are still being worked on and "to my knowledge" other than the PS3, no other blueray player out there is upgradable to support the newer profiles.


Sure, but the revisions remain downward compatible, at least from my understanding. So someone with a 1st gen player may not get some of the additional features, but it will still play movies. That's a trade-off I think to setting the format in stone and expecting it to remain futureproof for the next decade or so.

Where people will get shafted is with changes to the DRM encryption BS layer that can change from time to time. At least HD-DVD required ethernet connectivity as part of the standard for dealing with updates, but that's simply slapping lipstick on a pig of a bad idea to begin with.

Now that the format war is over, only if the damn Bluray Disc prices come down.


Heh heh. I admire the optimism, but keep in mind they didn't lower prices even when HD-DVD was a viable competitor and Toshiba was slashing prices to try and buy marketshare.

Sure, prices will eventually come down as they did with DVD, but right now I suspect the potential market are still among the early adopters, and there's always a premium charged simply because they're generally willing to pay it.

The struggle HiDef video will have in general is simply convincing the mass market that the benefits, perceived or tangible, are worth adopting, and frankly I'd question whether they are at this point. So it is with any new consumer technology. The format war was a distraction, but the real battle for the consumer mindshare remains.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm quite content with HD movies delivered on demand at $6 a pop from my cable provider. Sure, one could argue about the technical deficiencies of compressed HD delivered over a cable network, but it still looks pretty damned good on our flat panel, and for me and many others, that's the type of inertia Sony and the manufacturers will have to overcome. Frankly, I don't even remember that last time I rented a standard DVD, let alone watched any of the 300 or so I've acquired over the last near-decade. I simply find it easier to point and shoot with the remote, it's much more conducive to impulse purchasing (maybe not a good thing, but certainly convenient).

To Sony's credit, though, the PS3 is probably among the best options for a BlueRay player right now, with the ability to play video games simply a value-add feature... ;) I was in Best Buy the other day, and couldn't find a standalone BR player that was cheaper than a low-end PS3.

Reply Score: 5

Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

Yeah, you think it's a coincidence that the PS3 is the cheapest Blu-Ray player? Sony is forcing the other manufacturers to stay within a certain price-range so that they can sell PS3's. This is what Sony always does, and most of the time they fail, thank God, but unfortunately they were able to buy all of the content, removing consumer choice from the equation.

If you want to do HD on a disc now, you're going to do Blu-Ray, and you're damn well going to do it how Sony sees fit. They'll let you pay $199 for a player when they're good and ready to drop the PS3 to that price...and not a day sooner.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by hackmeister
by hackmeister on Tue 19th Feb 2008 16:05 UTC
hackmeister
Member since:
2006-10-26

So Toshiba has officially surrendered in the HD format war. I’ve started an online Petition asking Toshiba to release the specifications for their entire line of HD-DVD players:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/HD-DVDSpecRelease/

Wouldn’t it be cool to use your player as an HD capable MythTV frontend? Toshiba HD-DVD players are powered by a MIPS processor and already run Linux with BusyBox. They are network capable (with an ethernet port) and have a full set of video connections. Whether Toshiba responds is any body’s guess. The more signatures the better. Thanks in advance.

Reply Score: 7

sad thing
by Ikshaar on Tue 19th Feb 2008 16:16 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

the sad thing is that the winner is the least consumer friendly one. It's more expensive - and they won't have any incentive to reduce price now - and it's the most DRM-bugged one.

Reply Score: 6

RE: sad thing
by cyclops on Tue 19th Feb 2008 17:13 UTC in reply to "sad thing"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"least consumer friendly one" why was HD DVD more consumer friendly. I guess that means Linux is more consumer friendly. Admittedly Blu-Ray has an "optional" layer of protection...but its *still* a layer of protection.

The strange thing is only toshiba produced HD-DVD. (I can't think of another...but the BDA has several manufacures. Thats ignoring the PS3 which not only has to compete with other blu-ray companies but other consoles.

The bottom line for me is I can say happily that I will not be able to play either format on my Linux system, but look forward to the more "consumer friendly" capacity.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: sad thing
by Kelly Rush on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE: sad thing"
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

Notice how the PS3 is the same price as a standalone Blu-Ray player?

Think that's a coincidence...?

Reply Score: 2

RE: sad thing - potential size too?
by jabbotts on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:00 UTC in reply to "sad thing"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I may be wrong but I thought I read a while back that the HD format retained the potential to expand to a larger total available disk space than BlueRay also? I remember it only becuase it broke my heart a little to respect MS that little bit for backing the potentially larger storage medium. Sony is no better a steward of the end users best interests though so now there's just one less lipsticked pig to choose from.

Reply Score: 1

Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

I may be wrong but I thought I read a while back that the HD format retained the potential to expand to a larger total available disk space than BlueRay also?


Mythical N-layer discs have been reported on both sides, but they don't make any sense. Both formats were de facto frozen when the first players were released, and those first players only read single-layer or dual-layer discs. Releasing N-layer discs would be a huge mistake since any disc which is not playable on 1.3 million HD-DVD players is not an HD-DVD, regardless of what retroactive changes to the spec they want to make.

Reply Score: 2

RE: sad thing
by tomcat on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:55 UTC in reply to "sad thing"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

the sad thing is that the winner is the least consumer friendly one. It's more expensive - and they won't have any incentive to reduce price now - and it's the most DRM-bugged one.


Quite frankly, the Blu-Ray DRM is a joke. It's already been cracked (http://www.slysoft.com).

Reply Score: 1

RE: sad thing
by melkor on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:33 UTC in reply to "sad thing"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Sad isn't it? These people are stupid enough to what Blue ray to win, when Sony has proven that it is DRM made, and does NOT care for its customers - installing silent rootkits etc.

I'll personally avoid hd-dvd and blue ray for as long as I can in protest, DVDs are perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned.

When these major studios start offering cheaper prices for these new 'technologies' for those that have already bought the movies on another format, then I might be interested. As far as I understand, when I buy a DVD movie, the price includes the manufacturing costs, the small % to the artist, and the licencing fee. Why should I have to pay the licencing fee again on another format, when I've already paid for it? Shouldn't I just have to pay for the manufacturing costs, and nothing more?

I'm amazed at no governments will investigate this and do these bastards for the monopolistic, anti competitive, rip off merchants that they are. These mongrels don't deserve our money (and no, I'm not endorsing piracy).

Dave

Reply Score: 1

Who is getting sc$%#d?
by jefro on Tue 19th Feb 2008 16:20 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Notice how the more expensive choice won out. Consumers should rejoice in the fact Sony can make more money from them.

Edited 2008-02-19 16:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by cyclops on Tue 19th Feb 2008 17:15 UTC in reply to "Who is getting sc$%#d?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I suspect the more expensive choice is the one that is going to be gathering dusk in the attic.

Although interesting the Media has been cheaper. especially due to certain dubious combo-disks

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by tomcat on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:45 UTC in reply to "Who is getting sc$%#d?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Notice how the more expensive choice won out. Consumers should rejoice in the fact Sony can make more money from them.


Yeah, isn't it ironic how some people are celebrating this news, as if ponying up more dough to the Sony cartel were something to look forward to. Because let's face it: Sony likes proprietary solutions (ie. MemoryStick anyone? I don't see people complaining how Sony refused to get on board with the CompactFlash/SD team), and Sony (like any other monopolist) will do its best to keep its prices high and cut corners, when there's no viable competition. I can't say that I'm all that pleased with this announcement. It means that price cuts on Blu-Ray players/recorders will take longer -- or may not materialize at all. My one hope is that online HD players will give Blu-Ray serious competition.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by tyrione on Tue 19th Feb 2008 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Who is getting sc$%#d?"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

"Notice how the more expensive choice won out. Consumers should rejoice in the fact Sony can make more money from them.


Yeah, isn't it ironic how some people are celebrating this news, as if ponying up more dough to the Sony cartel were something to look forward to. Because let's face it: Sony likes proprietary solutions (ie. MemoryStick anyone? I don't see people complaining how Sony refused to get on board with the CompactFlash/SD team), and Sony (like any other monopolist) will do its best to keep its prices high and cut corners, when there's no viable competition. I can't say that I'm all that pleased with this announcement. It means that price cuts on Blu-Ray players/recorders will take longer -- or may not materialize at all. My one hope is that online HD players will give Blu-Ray serious competition.
"

Toshiba was bleeding red to drive their market sales. If you think Toshiba would continue to bleed out and become a Charity for you and your needs you are sorely mistaken.

They tried the Microsoft XBox subsidation program [cost Microsoft around $10 Billion] to beat SONY who lowered their prices, but schrewdly combined it with the PS3 to achieve a two-fold position.

They both win the disk standard and this year are outselling XBox 360 systems by a wide margin.

2008 is the year of the PS 3 and Blu-Ray in the same box.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by tomcat on Wed 20th Feb 2008 04:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who is getting sc$%#d?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Toshiba was bleeding red to drive their market sales. If you think Toshiba would continue to bleed out and become a Charity for you and your needs you are sorely mistaken.


Standards battles are usually battles of attrition. It had been my hope that BOTH competitors would stay in the market long enough to continue to improve quality and drive down prices.

They tried the Microsoft XBox subsidation program [cost Microsoft around $10 Billion] to beat SONY who lowered their prices, but schrewdly combined it with the PS3 to achieve a two-fold position.


I wouldn't exactly call Sony's move to combine the PS3 and Blu-Ray player "shrewd". From an objective standpoint, there was no particularly compelling reason to combine the two. It didn't tip the market, either way, and it incurred unnecessary costs/risks to Sony that just weren't justified, IMO. I don't believe that people are buying PS3s simply to have a Blu-Ray player, nor has Blu-Ray been a deciding factor in uptake of PS3s. Microsoft was much shrewder in making its HD drive an external add-on because (a) it didn't the cost up for the core unit, and (b) Xbox 360 was positioned to accomodate whichever standard emerged victorious; if HD-DVD had emerged the victor, PS3 would have been screwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwed.

They both win the disk standard and this year are outselling XBox 360 systems by a wide margin. 2008 is the year of the PS 3 and Blu-Ray in the same box.


"Outselling XBox 360 systems by a wide margin"? It depends on which market you're talking about. It's certainly not happening in North America. Perhaps Europe or Japan.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by Kelly Rush on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who is getting sc$%#d?"
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

And if you don't think Sony was bleeding just as much, both in subsidies, but more importantly, paying every single studio to come to their side, then you're either being disingenuous, or just fooling yourself.

Toshiba lost money by trying to make a better deal for the consumer. Sony lost money by squeezing out the content from HD-DVD, but keeping player costs high, essentially removing the choice from the consumer.

So congrats; this is the format you're now going to get, and the company that is controlling it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by Wes Felter on Tue 19th Feb 2008 21:16 UTC in reply to "Who is getting sc$%#d?"
Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

Given that Toshiba and Sony were both reportedly selling their players at a loss, it's hard to draw many conclusions from the pricing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who is getting sc$%#d?
by WorknMan on Tue 19th Feb 2008 23:23 UTC in reply to "Who is getting sc$%#d?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Notice how the more expensive choice won out. Consumers should rejoice in the fact Sony can make more money from them.


Well, if you don't like what they have to offer, you don't have to buy it. Nobody's going to force you at gunpoint to get a Blu-ray player. I'm sure standard DVDs aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so just do what a lot of us will be doing and stick with SD until Blu-ray prices come down. Who knows, Blu-ray may eventually go the way of the laserdisc anyway.

Reply Score: 1

Not upgrading for a long time
by Yamin on Tue 19th Feb 2008 17:15 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Call me old. Call me blind. Call me tone deaf.

But I just don't see/hear the benefit of HD. DVD quality is more than enough for me. Heck regular cable on my LCD is plentiful for me. Everything is clear. Faces are not blurry...

Reply Score: 7

RE: Not upgrading for a long time
by Luposian on Tue 19th Feb 2008 17:32 UTC in reply to "Not upgrading for a long time"
Luposian Member since:
2005-07-27

Call me old. Call me blind. Call me tone deaf.

But I just don't see/hear the benefit of HD. DVD quality is more than enough for me. Heck regular cable on my LCD is plentiful for me. Everything is clear. Faces are not blurry...


The only time video on an LCD will look blurry is when it's not displayed at the LCD's *native* resolution. The blurriness is antialiasing, to soften the jaggies from the LCD trying to make tiny pixels (native resolution) look like larger ones (lower than native resolution).

You wouldn't have this problem at all (blurriness) on a standard CRT TV set, because there are no set size pixels.

It's funny how many people just don't understand how LCD's work and why "HD" is really nothing more than higher resolution, not necessarily better picture clarity or data compression or whatever.

Reply Score: 0

Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

Except that pretty much _ALL_ hd material have alot more details than DVD resolution.....

resolution isnt a "just", it f--king matters alot, and believe me, 720x576 is pretty much shitty compared to 1920x1080

Reply Score: 2

Luposian Member since:
2005-07-27

Except that pretty much _ALL_ hd material have alot more details than DVD resolution.


You will see more, because there are more pixels. Everything looks crisper, because the pixels are smaller and there are more of them.

resolution isnt a "just", it f--king matters alot, and believe me, 720x576 is pretty much shitty compared to 1920x1080


Remember back when PC's has 320x200 x 16 color resolution? Remember when that went to 256 colors? And then 640x480? And then thousands and then millions of colors? And then 800x600 and 1024x768? And up and up and up!

Why do you thing gamers demand higher resolutions? Because everything looks finer and more detailed... BECAUSE the pixels are smaller and there are more of them!

But picture quality is a direct result of how good the end result is. If video was presented in a uncompressed format, you could not GET any better, because nothing is lost. You're seeing everything that the camera recorded. But even BluRay discs display compressed video. Guess what that means. It means you have to UNcompress it. It means you are dealing with missing video information, to save disc space. It means you have to wonder how good the DEcompressing algorithm is, to present the video.

If you look REALLY close (our Samsung LCD TV is 1080p... can't go any higher in resolution/quality, as far as I know), you will see color shifts and shimmering... you know what that is? It's artifacting and even BluRay discs have it. BluRay units are built to different qualities, just as 1080p LCD TV's are. Our Samsung TV was preferred, in many user reviews, over similar 1080p Sonys. And that was reading reviews AFTER we bought it. Lucky choice for us...

BluRay gives you 1080p. That is a resolution and a scan type ('p' = progressive scan, I believe). It's the best you can do with HD content. 720p will look better than 480i (not sure if there is a 'p' for 480). 1080i looks better than 720p. 1080p looks better than 1080i.

And so it goes. But when Sony is bragging about how DVD definition looks horrible, comnpared to BluRay, remember... DVD video is 480. BluRay is 1080p. And a TV that can display 1080p is gonna look pretty bad, displaying non-upconverted DVD video on it. I've seen it... it looks pretty bad. But put that same DVD on an Upconverting DVD player or a BluRay unit and suddenly, it looks REALLY nice!

Personally, I have yet to te able to see a significant difference between Upconverted DVD content and BluRay content. And I have Disney's "Dinosaur" on both DVD and BluRay to compare. I honestly coudn't say I could see much, if any, real difference between them. I wish I had a side-by-side comparison I could look at, but alas...

1080 is a resolution. Nothing more and nothing less. "High Definition" is, to my knowledge, a resolution term, starting at 720p on up. What goes along with that term is better video quality (better compression/decompression, higher playback bit rate, etc.) and lossless audio, too.

But don't be fooled when people make it sound like HD content is going to just magically look better, no matter what unit it's displayed on. It will only look "better"on a quality LCD TV with 720p or higher. And, for it to look the best, you HAVE to get 1080p.

But, for me, BluRay isn't the "bomb". I'm not going to rush out and buy all my movies in BluRay and sell my DVD's. Nope. Only a few "MUST OWN" movies for me (Dinosaur, The Lion King, Passion of The Christ, etc.) will be ones I buy on BluRay. The rest... I'll keep on DVD and just enjoy them being Upconverted to "near HD" on our Samsung BluRay unit.

Overall, though... I'm really happy we went with a 40" Samsung 1080p LCD TV. It makes watching movies even MORE enjoyable!

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

HD as a video medium is more meant for big screen TVs. I lucked into a big screen for home and once the initial romance ended, the first thing I noticed was that my humble old PS2 image displays poorly. The old PS2 is meant for a smaller screen and pixel depth so stretching the image up to a bagillion pixels causes image fuzzing.

(it was neat finding the exact distance from the screen to sit along with how fast image quality degrades by moving forward or backward in the room)

I don't realy see much of a difference either. HD on a super depth TV is about the same as DVD/Cable on what used to be a standard size/depth screen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not upgrading for a long time
by CowMan on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:21 UTC in reply to "Not upgrading for a long time"
CowMan Member since:
2006-09-26

This is going to be a lingering problem.

I venture that you would have a hard time watching SD or 480/480-upconverted content after watching a bit of HD on a proper setup, it is not comparable.

For HD though you need the whole shebang: 7.1 audio, HD sources (most cable & sat. is highly disappointing, many Blu-Ray titles are still 5.1), an HD set, and all the cabling (pretty much HDMI) to make it all work. This has to be put in a room big enough for 7.1 > 5.1, and sitting appropriately near the TV (or having it big enough) to see the higher quality.

Then it all has to be setup and configured correctly.

This takes a fair amount of effort to balance out, and a fair amount of cost to attain, and a bit of know-how to throw together. Disc format decided, this is HD's new hurdle.

When people make the claim they can't tell the difference, I like to invite them down to my "theater room" for a demo, the kind you can't get in a noisy showroom: flicking back between upconverted DVD (which looks great) and Blu-Ray (which looks amazing).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not upgrading for a long time
by kaiwai on Tue 19th Feb 2008 23:19 UTC in reply to "Not upgrading for a long time"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hear hear!

I've only recently bought a DVD video recorder in the last couple of months because finally they've come down to a respectable price (below NZ$200), I then decided to purchase it. I have a whole heap of DVD media, all old programmes like 'Yes Minister' where by HD will add nothing given what the original format was recorded in. Heck, I'm still using a old CRT TV I bought 4 years ago!

The whole idea of HD is nothing more than a delusion concocted up after DVD prices fell, and thus, companies now want a new format with higher margins to they can extract more cash through the unholy alliances of music, movies and OEM.

Whether there is a big improvement? its all psychological; its like when people spend huge sums on something, and they see things that aren't really there. Its like the $7000 speaker cables; after wasting huge sums on such a conjob, they're pre-conditioned to assuming that it *must* be better, and thus, when they use it, they expect, and thus, becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Reply Score: 0

BD+
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 19th Feb 2008 18:49 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Well I'm for one glad that the format war is over. Now consumers can buy into HD without uncertainty.

Since the chance of Linux ever getting a legal Blu-Ray player is slim, I hope someone figures out how to bypass BD+ DRM so that we can watch Blu-Ray video on *nix machines.

Reply Score: 4

Big yawn
by bolomkxxviii on Tue 19th Feb 2008 20:06 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I am thinking about picking up a HD-DVD player when the price bottoms out to use as an upconverting 1080p DVD player. As for Sony's "win", they had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to convince the content owners to distribute only on BluRay. With cable/satellite/internet distribution of HD content getting better every day, it isn't a sure thing that Sony will earn all of it's money back. Also, with TVs getting so much bigger (a friend has a 102"), even 1080p can look fuzzy unless you sit on the other side of the room. We may see 4K before people think. THAT would be worth the upgrade!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Big yawn
by Adurbe on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:26 UTC in reply to "Big yawn"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, with TVs getting so much bigger (a friend has a 102"), even 1080p can look fuzzy unless you sit on the other side of the room.


your friend has a 102" screen?

why does your 'friend' not just buy a projector.. or a cinema?

Many people do not have WALLS that size. I'm not sure you can count that as typical of the market Sony is after...

Reply Score: 2

Not a Sony "format"
by elsewhere on Tue 19th Feb 2008 20:36 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

To clarify since this seems to be turning into an anti-Sony diatribe, keep in mind that Sony doesn't own the BlueRay format. They may have pioneered some of the tech and standards that went into it, but they don't own it or control it. There's a consortium of companies that do, in fact a larger base than supports HD-DVD.

Comparisons to proprietarization are off-base as well; it can't be compared to memory sticks for instance, which is a tech that Sony controls and hoped to license out, but which failed since there were already adequate and standardized alternatives available. BlueRay saw light of day as a standard before HD-DVD did, though the complexity of the technology ultimately saw it take a bit longer to get to market. If anything, it was the HD-DVD group that decided to go there own route rather than work to the BR standard. The two biggest backers of HD-DVD were Toshiba and MS, both of whom had a vested interest in the royalties that would be generated by their IP forming the basis of the new next-gen standard.

And yes, while Sony does evil things and it's natural to try and associate BlueRay exclusively with them, people could equally of pointed out that MS was controlling the HD-DVD standard. Imagine the flames then, if HD-DVD won... the mind reels... ;)

The only win for consumers in this whole mess is that at least there is a clear standard now, which gives the industry something to invest in and move towards. From a technology POV, I really doubt that Joe Average consumer, who the consortiums are ultimately targeting, would have really cared which standard won out as long as compatible products were readily, and affordably, available.

But both standards are riddled with IP and patent licensing and contain excessively restrictive DRM provisions that will pretty much ensure they remain out of reach of open platforms and systems, at least in a "legal" sense. Either standard still represents a loss, from that perspective.

Just my 2c... I really don't have a firm opinion either way, though I am a little glad to see MS humbled in the debacle, since their biggest opposition to BR seemed to be it's selection of Java as a core framework. Can't have that now, can we... ;)

Reply Score: 8

RE: Not a Sony "format"
by Kelly Rush on Fri 22nd Feb 2008 22:47 UTC in reply to "Not a Sony "format""
Kelly Rush Member since:
2005-06-30

lol, yeah, there's a lot of "backers" behind Blu-Ray. Like Apple, you know, how you can get Blu-Ray players in Macs nowadays, right?

Face it, Blu-Ray = Sony. Some other companies signed their names on a piece of paper, maybe threw some money behind it, but Sony is married to it, and had they not found a way to buy a win, they would have been utterly screwed. There was literally no way Blu-Ray would have lost, because Sony would have done anything to win (and near about had to, buying all the studios).

Microsoft got exactly what they wanted out of this; they stalled the adoption of Blu-Ray to the point that it is now questionable as to whether it will itself even become a standard (or if digital HD downloads will hurdle Blu-Ray to become the new standard). Either way, Microsoft was never in this to make HD-DVD the new standard, it was simply an investment in a distractive technology, which is the game they've been playing all along with the XBox. That's why they released it so early, to force Sony to release over a year ahead of schedule (at the cost of failing hardware that they're having to pay to replace, which they knew would happen).

Sony is stupid, they keep doing exactly what Microsoft wants them to; it's actually almost comical to watch.

Edited 2008-02-22 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

And it did not take long...
by Ikshaar on Tue 19th Feb 2008 20:49 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-player20feb20,0,6072978.story

The sorry excuse for increasing the price are going to make me laugh...

PS: I don't say HD-DVD backers were angels either... for me that was just two different level of hell that we were proposed.

Reply Score: 1

Celebrating the end
by camo r on Tue 19th Feb 2008 21:22 UTC
camo r
Member since:
2005-08-26

to the madness, that's all. Couldn't have cared less which company won this particular rat race. Both formats were proprietary, so enough of the sony jabs. (both formats had DRM (people just love spouting this crap))

Had enough of the blank stares when ever i tried to explain the pros/cons of both formats. Looking forward to movies that were limited to hd-dvd being released for general consumption.

Reply Score: 3

Insights
by embleau on Tue 19th Feb 2008 23:30 UTC
embleau
Member since:
2005-12-05

And Sony rules the world......

Blu-Ray WILL be and IS the new LaserDisc.... Only highend home theatre tech-heads will buy it and use it. It will NOT replace DVD in the common market for a long time if ever. That's why I dont' care about it or HD-DVD. The "Next" thing will be maybe be the DVD dethroner. then that comes I'll care.

What I do care about is the Sony is playing a market manipulation game and is TELLING you the consumer what you want and will buy. This is actually a sad day for the free market.

But you forget..... The consumer had a choice during the 80s and early 90s. VHS or Laserdisc. Laserdisc was FAR superior in quality and most TVs had SVideo ports. The public was NOT ready nor wanting it. Laserdiscs stayed with the "Enthusiasts". The public poured ALOT of money into VHS. Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) hit the market about 1996, The players were cheaper at launch than Blu-Ray was. the market was ready for the progression. Most people saw the advantage because of the physical format being like a CD. Those same people have now for 8+ years have been buying movies on DVD and replacing VHS movies on DVD. Most of those people still don't even use SVIDEO or Component video to connect to their TVs. Hell my mom just bought a HD LCD TV and connected her cable box via coax and bitched about the picture looking like shit, I had to school her in HDMI. My point is.... Most consumers dont' see the difference in Blu-ray other than it's more money. Blu-ray looks like a DVD that look likes a CD. Blu-ray has caught as much as it has for one reason... the Playstation fanboys. They all bought the OVERPRICED PS3 for the games.. and got a Blu-ray player too. I bet you also that more than 50% of them don't even have a HDTV or use the composite video and audio plugs still too. They buy a couple Blurays movies because they can. When the DVD came out, within a year all the movie retail stores had more DVDs on shelves than VHS, I remember this clearly because that's when I bought my first Toshiba DVD player, 1997. We are starting to push into the 2nd year of Blu-ray and in stores only less than 5% of retail movie space is Bluray/HDDVD. It is not catching on at the same rate as DVD did in no way and it would have been even less if Sony didn't force feed it to the PS3 users. Because it didn't offer the common consumer ANY physical or practical advantage over DVD.

Now let's jump to a theoretical future in 5 years... New breakthrughs in media come. Be it Flash based media or a holographic media.... Movies can now be stored on a medium a bit bigger than a stamp. Movies in full HD with multi-7 Channel audio streams. This will appeal to the average consumer more... it's physically practical. Where VHS tapes worn out the more you played them gave way to a Disc that is never touched while played, but can be manhandled and ruined. DVDs will give way to a smaller medium that is not easily ruined in the same way and takes up less storage space for both retail and home users.

-- off soapbox.

PS... I agree Blu-ray is an AWESOME technology... but the average consumer will not see it nor embrace it. Stop thinking like a tech geek and think like a realist, Trust me it's hard.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Insights
by melkor on Wed 20th Feb 2008 01:00 UTC in reply to "Insights"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I'm trying to figure out why you got modded down, obviously the modidiots are out in force, incorrectly modding posts down for all the wrong reasons. I'll give you a +1 to right their wrongs.

I'm not entirely sure that you're right, I think that in the end, DVDs will be phased out, like LPs were. If you can't buy DVDs, then they don't sell. If the only option is blue-ray, then people will eventually start buying it. That's what happened with LPs/CDs.

The recording studios do this because they make duplicate profits on the same bloody movies, and the idiots that we ware, we keep paying the full price.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE: Insights
by Moochman on Wed 20th Feb 2008 10:13 UTC in reply to "Insights"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

LaserDisc had a lot more problems to overcome in comparison to VHS. It was big and bulky, easier to damage, and much more expensive to produce. Oh yeah, and even though you could skip to different sections a la DVD, you needed to manually type in the sector number or use a barcode reader to do it! Then there's the fact that the disc had to be flipped midway through the film.... Also, LaserDiscs were marketed toward film enthusiasts... that's why they kept the prices so high, and that's why they got away with it. BluRay is targeting the mass market (at least that is the plan as far as I understand it), which should mean that prices will eventually come down to current DVD level.

DVD killed VHS because it brought all of the benefits of LaserDisc without all of the disadvantages. BluRay keeps all of the said advantages, but adds better resolution and (eventuality) the capability to have interactive content.

I'm not saying BluRay will *for sure* take over where DVD left off (especially since online content is getting more appealing all the time), but it certainly isn't as comparable to the LaserDisc situation as you make it out to be.

If prices on BluRay come down as I expect they will, your prediction will not be fulfilled. Only if the prices stay high will we see another LaserDisc scenario.

Reply Score: 2

who's gonna think of the costumer!?
by JrezIN on Tue 19th Feb 2008 23:48 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm just sad that the more customer-friendly format is going out... region locking, DRM, menus and features that are more oriented to programmers than proper content designers... I hope that with HD-DVD going out of business, BluRay could actually start think about their costumers instead of focusing in getting all studios behind their arms in their mandatory-DRM format [1].
That prevents you, as a content owner, of releasing any content you want free of any kind of DRM and also forces you to deal with extras fees that the end costumer WILL pay for less rights...

...region-locking, mandatory DRM, gate-keepers to release you works... Madness! DupliPlusMadness!


[1] "Use of AACS is optional for HD DVD, but mandatory for Blu-ray, which can add thousands of dollars to production costs."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_high_definition_optical_...

Reply Score: 2

BlueRay
by blitze on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:40 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

It'll have problems gaining traction in the market place. DVD is good enough detail wise especially on "HD" Screens which are 720p instead of "Full HD" Screens which are true High Definition @ 1020p.

If DVD's do look like crap then try getting a decent upconverter. The new Pioneer Kuro's show how well SD content can be displayed on large screens, it's all in the underlying processing tech. The adage still stands, you get what you pay for.

Till BlueRay prices on media fall dramatically, then it will be relegated to the few and with online distribution systems falling into place, traction might even be harder.

Now if MS could support some decent open standards and charge for online content using a model similar to AllofMP3, they'd have the market.

Reply Score: 1

Couldn't Care Less
by Phloptical on Wed 20th Feb 2008 01:59 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Wow, Blu-Ray wins by default.....and the consumer world yawns an apathetic sigh of relief. I think the last time no one cared this much is when Vista was released. Sorry Blu-Ray guys, but it's hard to take you seriously when you see that huge 'SUCKER' tattooed on your foreheads.

As for me, I'll stick with my $75 upconverting DVD player to play the few movies I own. The rest of you can clamour and clash over buying Sony junk that will break in a year. Their optical drives suck, and always have. I'm out of this technology until it drops below $100 and I can buy the cheap crap at Walmart. Disposable tech, that's all Sony is good for in the US.

Reply Score: 2

Resolution and perception
by Gorgak on Wed 20th Feb 2008 14:57 UTC
Gorgak
Member since:
2007-05-30

It's interesting how vastly different people's perception of video and audio quality is.

A friend of mine has a nice large HD TV, and HD material makes a huge difference in quality - particularly with movies that has complex and detailed scenes. That's not my opinion, that's a fact. Or so I would like to think.... -

When we started watching the film 300 on his setup, I reacted to the quality immediately - he hadn't even told me that it was HD yet, because we'd been watching "normal" resolution material earlier - while another one of my friends looked at the screen and wondered what I was so worked up about; to him it looked like any DVD movie.

As another example, my mother was perfectly happy with the quality of the sound system in her car - a cassette recorder connected to a mono speaker positioned under the driver's seat. I could hardly make out which song she was listening to, but she was perfectly happy with it.

Again, it's interesting that people have such different demands on video and audio quality. If everyone was like my mother, not many HD sets would be sold.

Reply Score: 1

Everyone screaming DRM should
by camo r on Thu 21st Feb 2008 10:47 UTC
camo r
Member since:
2005-08-26

please give it a rest, please. We should all know by now that the consumer is the least issue on the minds of studio execs. It's all about piracy, and the medium with the best (theoretical) encryption would have won by default, be it hd or blu. Period.
As consumers we scream bloody hell when companies mess with our entertainment, why don't you try and be in the seat of a CEO in charge of a global company (with thousands of demanding shareholders) competing with different mediums for delivering content while trying to remain profitable. Because thats what companies are supposed to do, i guess.

Sony is not the evil entity here or any company that incorporates drm into their products, it's the industry that usually demands that their investments are protected by some form of encryption.

it sucks, but hey thats the world we live in today. Kudos to governments trying to break these anti-consumer trends, but for the forseeable future, if you want to seat at the table of the huge media giants, you will have to play the game by their rules or lose out to someone who does.

Down to the term market share!

Reply Score: 1