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HD-DVD replacing DVD discussion [merge of a couple of threads - yet again]

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HD-DVD replacing DVD discussion [merge of a couple of threads - yet again]

Old 06-11-06, 09:24 AM
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Old 06-11-06, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
... All of the major networks have gone to HD, and even the local TV affiliates in backwater Southern Illinois, where I used to live, had converted to HD simulcasting a couple of years ago. Believe me, if those low-rent outfits are HD, HD is just about everywhere...
I wonder. Where I live HD doesn't even appear to be in the works, much less already available.

I have mixed feelings about the eventual switchover to OTA digital broadcasts. I am far enough away from the repeaters that my analog reception is poor now and I only get two channels (PBS and CBS). With digital all-or-nothing reception I may well get nothing. Or I could get lucky and the reception of digital broadcasts could be better and I could get more than two channels.

Maybe this is the only place in the whole country that doesn't already have digital, but I rather doubt that. (Although I suppose it would be expensive to convert all those dozens of repeaters in mountainous terrain.)
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Old 06-11-06, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lizard
I wonder. Where I live HD doesn't even appear to be in the works, much less already available.
Are you sure they aren't simulcasting and you just aren't aware of it? What market are you in?
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Old 06-12-06, 04:56 AM
  #429  
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Is there a reason this couldn't have been consolidated into one of the other "I'm a Luddite with my head in the sand" threads?
So I take it you didn't buy the new Dazed & Confuzed Criterion DVD like a great many on this forum did?

Last edited by Clockwork; 06-12-06 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 06-12-06, 05:29 AM
  #430  
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Originally Posted by darkside
BTW, I'm not replacing all of my hundreds of DVDs either. Some movies I love and want in HD and some I'm just a casual fan of and will keep on DVD. Not to mention many like the TV box sets probably are as good as they can get already in DVD. You don't have to chuck all your DVDs, but you can't ignore how much better HD discs really are.

I'm not ignoring the new formats, I just feel the formats will have to be combined for HD to move forward. IMO, people don't want to but 2 machines at this time & for those prices.
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Old 06-12-06, 05:48 AM
  #431  
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Originally Posted by Clockwork
I'm not ignoring the new formats, I just feel the formats will have to be combined for HD to move forward. IMO, people don't want to but 2 machines at this time & for those prices.
I agree with this. Many of us are taking a bit of a chance grabbing HD DVD players and there is no doubt one of the formats (odds are its HD DVD) will end up failing. However, the costs of HD DVD players are fairly low for a brand new format (I paid $200 less for the Toshiba HD DVD than I did for my DVD player) and the disc prices are very affordable. I feel the risk is pretty low overall and I want to enjoy HD discs now. Hopefully someone like Denon can find a way to do a combo player at some point (if Blu-ray will give in and allow it) and HD disc format won't matter.

BTW, I did skip the Criterion of Dazed and Confused. I'm skipping a lot of films right now that I know I would rather have on HD DVD or Blu-ray a year or two down the road.
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Old 06-12-06, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
Are you sure they aren't simulcasting and you just aren't aware of it? What market are you in?
The nearest TV market to me is Grand Junction. In looking into the subject yesterday I found that two stations (ABC, NBC) are simulcasting in digital 480i but do not have HD. So I was wrong, it would appear that HD is in the works, although not yet available here.

As it happens, I can't get either of those two stations in analog. Might be interesting to see if I can get them in digital (if they are broadcasting in digital from their repeaters; I am much to far away to get the main channel broadcasts). But I hate to spend all that money (and installation hassle) on a tuner and digital antenna just to find out that I can't get them.

Life in the boondocks. This is why I value my DVD collection so much! (And would like to upgrade to one of the new HD formats once the format war shakes out.)
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Old 06-12-06, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Clockwork
So I take it you didn't buy the new Dazed & Confuzed Criterion DVD like a great many on this forum did?
What's your point? I sure didn't.
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Old 06-12-06, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Clockwork
So I take it you didn't buy the new Dazed & Confuzed Criterion DVD like a great many on this forum did?

I sure as hell didn't... because:


A. I already have a 16X9 version

B. Given the MSRP of the D&C Criterion, I figured my money would be better spent on the HD-DVD version of The Bourne Supremacy.
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Old 06-12-06, 01:18 PM
  #435  
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Originally Posted by darkside
...Many of us are taking a bit of a chance grabbing HD DVD players and there is no doubt one of the formats (odds are its HD DVD) will end up failing...
Not necessarily. The two formats may well co-exist, assuming Sony ever gets BD players and discs to work right.

Consider this: during the VHS-Betamax format war it was almost entirely a rental market. Rental stores stocked what moved and that eventually turned out to be VHS, making beta tapes increasingly hard to find. Here in the DVD era the market is mostly sell-through. If both formats eventually get a sizable established base of players, why wouldn't most studios just make discs to suit both formats? (Granted, Sony is unlikely to offer its titles on HD DVD until/unless BD is dead and buried. And that seems unlikely due to all PS3 games being on BD.)

While B&M stores have limited shelf space internet stores have essentially unlimited space to offer titles. So the limits on retailers offering both formats to customers are different from the rental store situation two decades ago.

If the purveyors of the two formats ever relented and allowed a dual format player to be made that might make the survival of both more likely.

I'm just hypothesizing here. If one format fails to catch on in a big way it is likely that it will eventually wither and die.
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Old 06-12-06, 02:07 PM
  #436  
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Look how long it's taken DVD versions to catch up--and still there are movies which are on Laserdisc but not on DVD. There is no way HD DVD is going to replace DVD outright. It would take way too long and the expense would be a lot more for the manufacturing.

For argument's sake, maybe 10 years from now HD DVD will be the norm, but certainly not soon or in the near future.
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Old 06-12-06, 04:09 PM
  #437  
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
For argument's sake, maybe 10 years from now HD DVD will be the norm, but certainly not soon or in the near future.
I agree. I see my HD DVDs as slowly replacing my DVDs and of course I will grab new titles in HD DVD instead when available. However, the bulk of my collection is DVDs and will continue to be DVDs for many years.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:59 AM
  #438  
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
For argument's sake, maybe 10 years from now HD DVD will be the norm, but certainly not soon or in the near future.
I really doubt that will be the case. I have no plans of updating to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD anytime soon, but I do own a big-screen HDTV, and have HD channels. The difference between the top-quality HD programming and any of my 600 or so DVDs is a really, really wide margin.

Once HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray players and discs start dropping in prices, there will be no reason to buy SD discs anymore. With all of our SD discs being backwards compatible, I wonder why so many people are so scared of the new technology? No one is going to be forced to shell out cash for double (or triple) dips!

If I had to guess a timeframe in which HD discs will be the norm, I'd say 3 years.
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Old 06-13-06, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
For argument's sake, maybe 10 years from now HD DVD will be the norm, but certainly not soon or in the near future.
Actually, when HD players are all you can buy, it will be "the norm." Once the format war settles, it should be shortly after that. Why bother buying an SD DVD player? They won't even make them any more.
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Old 06-13-06, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Actually, when HD players are all you can buy, it will be "the norm." Once the format war settles, it should be shortly after that. Why bother buying an SD DVD player? They won't even make them any more.
Yeah, someday, but keep in mind that VCR's are still bought and sold. At this point, we don't even know which of the two, if either, HD formats will become universally adopted and certainly neither will until the majority of households have HD TV's which is quite a bit in the future.

I think that by the time SD DVD's become obsolete and impossible to buy, the reason won't be HD-DVD, but direct delivery technologies over the internet.
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Old 06-14-06, 08:02 AM
  #441  
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Did anyone see this article in the NYTimes yesterday?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/te...=1&oref=slogin

As DVD Sales Slow, Hollywood Hunts for a New Cash Cow
By KEN BELSON

LOS ANGELES After more than half a decade as Hollywood's savior, the DVD is looking a little tired and the movie studios, for once, are having trouble coming up with a sequel.

DVD sales represent more than half of the revenue studios generate from most of their movies. But those sales are expected to grow just 2 percent this year, a far cry from the double-digit growth the industry enjoyed just two years ago. High-definition DVD's were supposed to pick up the slack, but technical delays and a thorny format war between camps led by Sony and Toshiba have dampened expectations.

Studios are starting to beam digital movie files to consumers over the airwaves and send them through the Internet, but sales so far are minuscule. Rentals and video-on-demand, though growing, generate far smaller profits for the studios than store-bought DVD's.

This explains why executives who gathered here earlier this month for an industry conference expect, for better or worse, that the plain old DVD will remain their bread and butter for several more years. Meanwhile, they are trying everything they can in their quest for a new cash cow.

"The technology seems to change every Monday," said Bob Chapek, the president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, a division of Disney, speaking on a panel of studio chiefs. "On the one hand, we're playing in the old-fashioned packaged goods business, and at the same time, we have to deal with new technologies."

For the studios, the clock is ticking: sales of standard discs are expected to fall by about 20 percent by 2010, according to Adams Media Research, an industry consultant based in Carmel, Calif.

With most movies and many television shows now on DVD, studios are running out of new material to throw at consumers, analysts say. Some studios have been repackaging older hits into anniversary box sets and other promotions, but consumers may be tiring of that tactic, as studio chiefs sheepishly acknowledge.

"We were shameless," said Steve Beeks, the president of Lions Gate Entertainment, which has issued several new versions of the Terminator movies. "We would release special editions as long as people would buy them."

Movie studios have also been issuing DVD's closer to movie release dates. This has led to larger spikes in sales right after DVD's come out, but steeper declines later and more turnover on store shelves. For movies that gross more than $100 million at the box office, 84 percent of DVD sales are in the first six weeks after their release, up from 81 percent in 2003, according to David Hoffman, an analyst for Nielsen VideoScan.

Some of the slowdown, though, is beyond the studios' control. A growing number of Americans with digital cable plans, for instance, are now watching movies on demand and buying or renting fewer DVD's.

Comcast, the country's largest cable company, lets its subscribers view 7,500 free movies and programs, and since 2004, they have watched them two billion times.

While this has made it easier for Americans to avoid driving to the mall to buy DVD's, they are still renting them. Netflix, a mail-order service that stocks about 60,000 DVD's of movies, TV shows and other fare, has about five million customers.

Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, expects to have 20 million customers by 2012. He says his business is helped by the exclusive licensing deals that restrict the selection of movies available via Internet downloading and video-on-demand.

"DVD's will dominate for another decade," Mr. Hastings said.

Studios make money when Netflix and other companies rent out their movies. (Depending on the studio and movie, Netflix either buys the DVD's or licenses the use of them.) But the amount that studios make on rentals pales compared to how much they make when consumers buy discs. Studios earn $17.26 for each DVD they sell, but only $2.37 for movies on demand and $2.25 per DVD rented, according to Tom Adams, the president of Adams Media Research.

"It's a business model that can't be matched," he said.

That differential in profits means that the standard DVD will be around for a while, whatever the promise of those new technologies. Though sales are no longer growing at double-digit rates, consumers in the United States still buy about $16 billion worth of DVD's a year.

Part of the DVD's success is that the discs are easy to buy, easy to use and relatively inexpensive, thanks to the well-oiled system of getting them into consumers' hands. Take Technicolor's sprawling facilities in Camarillo, Calif., about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. Technicolor, a unit of Thomson that is one of the world's leading disc makers, ships about 150 million DVD's a year from its operations about 9 percent of its global production to stores throughout the western United States.

In one wing, robotic machines spit out new discs about every three seconds. The discs are wheeled into adjoining buildings, where they are fed into plastic cases that are wrapped for shipping. At another warehouse, the DVD's are packed into ready-made cardboard displays, plunked onto pallets and shipped on behalf of the studios to Best Buy, Costco and other retailers, arriving within days of being ordered.

Retailers love DVD's because they spur other sales, too. Customers who buy DVD's at Wal-Mart, which sells $4.7 billion worth of discs a year, spend twice as much on each store visit on average because they also buy popcorn, beer and other items to go with their movies, according to Mr. Hoffman of Nielsen VideoScan.

The money that DVD's spin off is a big reason the studios are pushing new high-definition DVD's, which are sold and used just like standard-definition discs.

Unfortunately, there's a hitch. The studios, electronics makers and technology companies that developed them came up with two formats: Blu-ray, backed by Sony, Dell, Disney and others; and HD-DVD, which is supported by Toshiba, Microsoft and Universal, among others.

The split could keep consumers on the sidelines, because they risk getting saddled with obsolete players and discs if one side ultimately backs down. Cost is another factor. Toshiba has introduced a $500 player that, at least for now, can only play movies from three major studios. Later this month, Samsung will release the first Blu-ray machine, which will be able to play more movies, but it is expected to cost about $1,000.

Technical hurdles were behind Pioneer's decision last week to delay the release of its Blu-ray player which will cost about $1,500 until September. Studios have released only a handful of movies thus far because so few players have been sold. Another complication is that consumers with older high-definition television sets may not get the best possible picture if studios activate certain copy protection software embedded on their DVD's.

"Both formats coming to market are early," said Craig Kornblau, the president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "This is all a 1.0 release," referring to an early version of a product.

Proponents in both camps hope that video game players will popularize their formats. The PlayStation 3, due out in November, will play Blu-ray DVD's, and Microsoft is creating an accessory for its Xbox 360 console that will play HD-DVD discs. The studios also expect the boom in sales of high-definition television sets to heighten interest in high-definition DVD's, including older movies re-released in the new format.

"As people invest in LCD and flat-panel TV's, they are naturally going to want to invest in high-definition movies," said Benjamin S. Feingold, the president of worldwide home entertainment, digital distribution and acquisitions at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Even so, the companies backing both high-definition formats are likely to see only modest sales initially. Consumers will buy just $175 million worth of HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs this year; by 2010, high-definition DVD sales will still be only half those of standard-definition disc sales, according to Adams Media Research.

"While the go-go days are gone, it's going to take a lot for another category to supplant" DVD sales, said Mr. Hoffman of Nielsen. "The end is not here yet."
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Old 06-14-06, 06:39 PM
  #442  
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Interesting article; certainly speaks to the subject of this thread.
With most movies and many television shows now on DVD, studios are running out of new material to throw at consumers, analysts say. Some studios have been repackaging older hits into anniversary box sets and other promotions, but consumers may be tiring of that tactic, as studio chiefs sheepishly acknowledge.
Yes, I certainly am.
"We were shameless," said Steve Beeks, the president of Lions Gate Entertainment, which has issued several new versions of the Terminator movies. "We would release special editions as long as people would buy them."
I am not surprised that special edition collector fatigue has set in.
Even so, the companies backing both high-definition formats are likely to see only modest sales initially. Consumers will buy just $175 million worth of HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs this year; by 2010, high-definition DVD sales will still be only half those of standard-definition disc sales, according to Adams Media Research.
They may well be right. 2010 is four years away and how many homes will have HD DVD/BD players by then? Fewer than half would by my guess.
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