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Combo Format and Total HD discs (HD DVD on one side; Blu-ray on the other)

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Combo Format and Total HD discs (HD DVD on one side; Blu-ray on the other)

Old 01-10-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Centurion
It costs the studios to press these things onto a disc.
How realistic is it to believe that these will cost only a few dollars more than the current high def selections?

My thoughts are that if Total HD discs hit the market, expect to pay a premium even more so than current HDDVD/DVD Combo discs. My guess is >$45-50. Not good.
Well, to be honest, your guess is pretty absurd. No one in their right mind would design a unified format that costs the consumer the same amount for the unified disc as it would to buy each of the individual discs separately. Will there be a premium? Most likely. Will it be more than $5-7 above the price of the individual-format discs? Not if they want to have even a remote chance of succeeding.

Originally Posted by Centurion
Second, it's ridiculous to charge the consumer more for a Total HD disc when they can support only one of the formats.

Third, so you've been blessed with a cash flow to support both formats. When you buy a Total HD movie, which format will you watch it in, both? Will it be more exciting to watch it in BD vs. HDDVD or vice versa?
Here is becomes clear that you have completely missed the point of Total HD. It is not intended to provide a way for someone to watch both formats today. It is supposed to provide reassurance to consumers that, even if their format of choice fails, their investment in discs will be secure. Of course, as some have mentioned, even this fear on the part of consumers is somewhat illogical, since a player in a failed format won't self destruct the day the format fails.

Originally Posted by Centurion
Total HD is not practical. Admittedly, my 'assumptions' are based on cost which none of us know at present.
More importantly, your assumptions are based on logic that makes no sense whatsoever. If it were possible to go into a store and purchase a Total HD disc, or to purchase both the Blu-ray and HD DVD discs for the same price, there isn't any real advantage to even consider the single-disc option. Either Warner believes they can produce the discs at a much more reasonable price than you assume they can, or else they are collectively certifiably insane.
Old 01-10-07, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
A Total HD disc of Superman Returns was demonstrated on an HD DVD player at CES.
Cinram have secretly mastered the BD50 process? That seems unlikely, but I'm willing to believe it if I can read a reputable story. So far there are only two BD50 plants I know of: at MEI and Sony.
Old 01-10-07, 11:34 AM
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They demonstrated the disc on more than I remembered reading. From Engadget:
At the conference, Warner used a copy of Superman to show off how it worked in an HD DVD player, Blu-ray player, and the recently announced LG Super Multi player that plays either.
Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
Cinram have secretly mastered the BD50 process?
Cinram did the prototype, and I believe I've read that it was from a test line.

Word is that Cinram had a BD50 line installed in November.
Old 01-10-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboDad
Well, to be honest, your guess is pretty absurd. No one in their right mind would design a unified format that costs the consumer the same amount for the unified disc as it would to buy each of the individual discs separately. Will there be a premium? Most likely. Will it be more than $5-7 above the price of the individual-format discs? Not if they want to have even a remote chance of succeeding.
Based on your statements a $5 increase over the single format version merits a decrease in chance for success. What makes you believe the increase (and it's already been suggested by Warner that there indeed will be an increase) will be less than $5?

Here is becomes clear that you have completely missed the point of Total HD. It is not intended to provide a way for someone to watch both formats today. It is supposed to provide reassurance to consumers that, even if their format of choice fails, their investment in discs will be secure. Of course, as some have mentioned, even this fear on the part of consumers is somewhat illogical, since a player in a failed format won't self destruct the day the format fails.
This is assuming that the studio releases a feature ONLY in THD and NOT make it separately available in either of the other two formats. Example: I buy the HDDVD version. HDDVD as a format is no longer supported and BD wins the 'war'. I still can enjoy the movie. Afterall, my HDDVD player and disc have not "self destruct". And yes, it makes a difference, because I pay less for a single format disc.

More importantly, your assumptions are based on logic that makes no sense whatsoever. If it were possible to go into a store and purchase a Total HD disc, or to purchase both the Blu-ray and HD DVD discs for the same price, there isn't any real advantage to even consider the single-disc option.Either Warner believes they can produce the discs at a much more reasonable price than you assume they can, or else they are collectively certifiably insane.
When you have HDDVD features selling at roughly $20 and then Combo HDDVD/DVD discs selling at approximately $28 on-line (the difference is even more from a B&M such as Best Buy; ~$25 and $35 respectively), do you still think Warner will increase prices by only $1 - $4 for THDs?

Last edited by Centurion; 01-10-07 at 12:20 PM.
Old 01-10-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
They demonstrated the disc on more than I remembered reading. From Engadget:

Cinram did the prototype, and I believe I've read that it was from a test line.

Word is that Cinram had a BD50 line installed in November.
That's certainly interesting, thanks for the link.

BTW, this is only of interest to studios releasing in both formats (obvious point, but I thought I'd make it anyway!) so Paramount are the one's to watch. Will they release their content on this disc? The BD only studios have already come out against it.
Old 01-10-07, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
BTW, this is only of interest to studios releasing in both formats
...although it could conceivably sway currently exclusive studios on either side into supporting both formats. As far as how likely that is, I have no idea. I guess we'll have to see how they sell.

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
Will they release their content on this disc?
Will Paramount? They've been shown the disc, and Warner is apparently making the rounds to other studios. No one has announced anything.
Old 01-10-07, 03:36 PM
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Lions Gate and Buena Vista have stated they don't intend to release on the disc format, apparently. Sony... well, I think we can guess. Which leaves Fox and Universal, I guess.
Old 01-10-07, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Centurion
Based on your statements a $5 increase over the single format version merits a decrease in chance for success. What makes you believe the increase (and it's already been suggested by Warner that there indeed will be an increase) will be less than $5?
Did I ever say it would be less than $5? Nope. Bad read on your part. What I said was that an increase of more than $7 would seriously affect Total HD's chances of success. They might be able to pull off a $10 increase, but I doubt it.

Originally Posted by Centurion
This is assuming that the studio releases a feature ONLY in THD and NOT make it separately available in either of the other two formats. Example: I buy the HDDVD version. HDDVD as a format is no longer supported and BD wins the 'war'. I still can enjoy the movie. Afterall, my HDDVD player and disc have not "self destruct". And yes, it makes a difference, because I pay less for a single format disc.
Possibly, but not necessarily. Many consumers believe (irrationally so) that their players will self-destruct if their chosen format fails. That is what is keeping so many people on the sidelines. However, if someone can go into a store, and they can see an HD DVD priced at $25, and a Blu-ray priced at $25, and a Total HD priced at $32, they might, just might, perceive that by spending an extra $7, they are getting some protection against their feared obsolescence.

Originally Posted by Centurion
When you have HDDVD features selling at roughly $20 and then Combo HDDVD/DVD discs selling at approximately $28 on-line (the difference is even more from a B&M such as Best Buy; ~$25 and $35 respectively), do you still think Warner will increase prices by only $1 - $4 for THDs?
Again, I never made such a claim, you simply completely misinterpreted my comments. But, as for making a comparison between HD DVD/DVD combos and Total HD discs, I'm not so sure the comparison is valid. With combo discs, there is an implied expectation on the studio's part that the consumer will benefit from both sides, even immediately. Combos are targeted at both potential HD DVD player owners and current HD DVD player owners. Since it is reasonable to assume that every purchaser of an HD DVD player thus far will also have at least one other standard DVD player, both of those target groups can take full advantage of the DVD side of a combo disc. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that most HD DVD player owners will also own a Blu-ray player (or vice-versa). Therefore, those consumers won't be able to make use of both sides of a Total HD disc today. And therefore, I don't think a Total HD premium that is more than the premium of a combo disc would fly with consumers. I think Warner is smart enough to realize that. You, apparently, do not.
Old 01-10-07, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
Lions Gate and Buena Vista have stated they don't intend to release on the disc format, apparently. Sony... well, I think we can guess. Which leaves Fox and Universal, I guess.
Fox won't because of copy protection. Universal won't because they don't want to support BD. So that really leaves Warner and Paramount, who were already releasing on both formats, anyway.
Old 01-10-07, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Fox won't because of copy protection. Universal won't because they don't want to support BD. So that really leaves Warner and Paramount, who were already releasing on both formats, anyway.
Which means that Total HD is already dead. Without support from at least one of the major BD studios, the concept is worthless.
Old 01-10-07, 03:54 PM
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WB (and probably NL) releasing exclusively on this format later this yr really is ticking me off. I doubt I will get any, thus having to wait for them to be released on a seperate BD... the higher price, change in packaging and double sided discs are my main complaints... At this rate I might have to hold out till NEXT yr to jump into HD, they'll probably introduce a few more fomats by then...
Old 01-10-07, 04:36 PM
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Me wonders if this is going to be the case in europe as well. No one else gets the dual-discs but us, for some reason.
Old 01-10-07, 05:24 PM
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So how do we know when either format wins the war?

Let's call a gouging a gouging. It allows dual format studios to charge a premium for a process that cost them a small premium in manufacturing. With no end in sight.
Old 01-10-07, 09:36 PM
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Hopefully they don't go back to the old cases.

Old 01-10-07, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboDad
However, if someone can go into a store, and they can see an HD DVD priced at $25, and a Blu-ray priced at $25, and a Total HD priced at $32, they might, just might, perceive that by spending an extra $7, they are getting some protection against their feared obsolescence.
You're not clear enough in this hypothetical scenario. If you're speaking about the same movie across all three mediums I will gladly keep $7 in my pocket and walk away with the movie on the format of my choice. I guarantee I'm not alone in this. If, by some fat chance, you're speaking about pricing in general, then what's the point? If Warner makes a movie available only in THD and it happens to be $7 more than what you expected, you either buy it or you don't.

Again, I never made such a claim, you simply completely misinterpreted my comments. But, as for making a comparison between HD DVD/DVD combos and Total HD discs, I'm not so sure the comparison is valid. With combo discs, there is an implied expectation on the studio's part that the consumer will benefit from both sides, even immediately. Combos are targeted at both potential HD DVD player owners and current HD DVD player owners. Since it is reasonable to assume that every purchaser of an HD DVD player thus far will also have at least one other standard DVD player, both of those target groups can take full advantage of the DVD side of a combo disc. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that most HD DVD player owners will also own a Blu-ray player (or vice-versa). Therefore, those consumers won't be able to make use of both sides of a Total HD disc today.
LOL! You keep talking about why these discs are made...I'm specificly talking about the costs/price increase. Who's misinterpreting who?

And therefore, I don't think a Total HD premium that is more than the premium of a combo disc would fly with consumers. I think Warner is smart enough to realize that. You, apparently, do not.
Again, very ironic because I think it is you that is misunderstanding me. I'm on the side that's saying it's ridiculous to offer a premium for THD and threw Combo discs out on the table as a current example. I think this is terrible for those consumers who know they will only use one format but buy these Combo discs because it is the only option. Why is it terrible? Simple. Because studios are charging more for it.

And coming back to this statement...
Here is becomes clear that you have completely missed the point of Total HD. It is not intended to provide a way for someone to watch both formats today. It is supposed to provide reassurance to consumers that, even if their format of choice fails, their investment in discs will be secure. Of course, as some have mentioned, even this fear on the part of consumers is somewhat illogical, since a player in a failed format won't self destruct the day the format fails.
I was being sarcastic when I said someone could watch both. But you clearly "missed the point".
Old 01-11-07, 08:40 AM
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After seeing the dual format player from LG and now this Total HD disc from Warners, I'm beginning to really, really sour on this whole format war. The more I think about that THD disc, the more I'm starting to back away from this whole mess. That disc helps Warners and retailers, but not really us. I know there are sole supporters who don't want the other format glued to their disc. And personally, I hate double sided discs. I do like artwork on the disc.

I'm just now getting this bad feeling that this is going to drag on and on, and frankly, I don't want to go along for the ride. Currently, I am without a BD player. So rather than wait and buy another one, I have now gotten rid of BD altogether. Still in my posession is my A1, which I am keeping regardless, mainly for it's superb upconversion.

I won't be buying any THD discs. I'm going to be much more selective when it comes to HD DVD buying. It's apparent these greedy studios aren't backing down and I don't want to be caught in the crossfire anymore.

The risk has always been, what if your format dies? Yeah, you can still play the discs, but what if the player craps out? Manufacturers aren't going to be making format A players when format A is dead. I've said all along, HD DVD is my preference, mainly for Universal's catalog. It's getting too expensive for me to support both formats, so I've dropped one, even though I do think BD was making great progress. This THD stuff is going to create more confusion, I believe.

I guess deep down, I'd rather 1 fail than both survive. I believe 2007 could be the most important year for both. There will be dual format players on the market and there will be cheaper players. Not to mention even more product. So I'm sortof going to take a back seat and see how it shakes out and hopefully 1 side will go away. I still support HD DVD since I still own it, but I'm going to be cautious.
Old 01-11-07, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
The risk has always been, what if your format dies? Yeah, you can still play the discs, but what if the player craps out? Manufacturers aren't going to be making format A players when format A is dead.
You can say this about any format, from Beta, VHS, LD, maybe even CD one day. It's simply the nature of technology.

I just don't understand the folks who are giving up on the HD formats after less than a year. It took DVD EIGHT YEARS to overcome VHS ownership. It might take 3-4 years before the HD formats become widely accepted.

So fine, drop out, but it's lackluster support like this that makes studios hesitant to drop fully into the HD formats in the first place.
Old 01-11-07, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
After seeing the dual format player from LG and now this Total HD disc from Warners, I'm beginning to really, really sour on this whole format war. The more I think about that THD disc, the more I'm starting to back away from this whole mess. That disc helps Warners and retailers, but not really us. I know there are sole supporters who don't want the other format glued to their disc. And personally, I hate double sided discs. I do like artwork on the disc.

I'm just now getting this bad feeling that this is going to drag on and on, and frankly, I don't want to go along for the ride. Currently, I am without a BD player. So rather than wait and buy another one, I have now gotten rid of BD altogether. Still in my posession is my A1, which I am keeping regardless, mainly for it's superb upconversion.

I won't be buying any THD discs. I'm going to be much more selective when it comes to HD DVD buying. It's apparent these greedy studios aren't backing down and I don't want to be caught in the crossfire anymore.

The risk has always been, what if your format dies? Yeah, you can still play the discs, but what if the player craps out? Manufacturers aren't going to be making format A players when format A is dead. I've said all along, HD DVD is my preference, mainly for Universal's catalog. It's getting too expensive for me to support both formats, so I've dropped one, even though I do think BD was making great progress. This THD stuff is going to create more confusion, I believe.

I guess deep down, I'd rather 1 fail than both survive. I believe 2007 could be the most important year for both. There will be dual format players on the market and there will be cheaper players. Not to mention even more product. So I'm sortof going to take a back seat and see how it shakes out and hopefully 1 side will go away. I still support HD DVD since I still own it, but I'm going to be cautious.
Dude...i'm with you. Almost completely.

I'm really starting to be fed up. I don't want both to survive at this point. I want one dead...and I really don't care which it is at this point.

Mark my words: as long as there are two formats, the general public will NEVER buy into this.
Old 01-11-07, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
You can say this about any format, from Beta, VHS, LD, maybe even CD one day. It's simply the nature of technology.

I just don't understand the folks who are giving up on the HD formats after less than a year. It took DVD EIGHT YEARS to overcome VHS ownership. It might take 3-4 years before the HD formats become widely accepted.

So fine, drop out, but it's lackluster support like this that makes studios hesitant to drop fully into the HD formats in the first place.
Lackluster? I've done my share of supporting. But I, nor anyone else, owe the greedy as fuck studios a damn thing. It's their fault there are 2 formats, not mine. I have supported HD DVD since day 1 and am just going to stick with them for now, but on a limited basis. Both sides can duke it out all they want, but I'm getting out of the way. The dual players, dual discs thing is just going to make things worse. The masses will want just 1 format. And if both continue to hang around, it's not going to catch on that quickly.
Old 01-11-07, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
Lackluster? I've done my share of supporting. But I, nor anyone else, owe the greedy as fuck studios a damn thing. It's their fault there are 2 formats, not mine. I have supported HD DVD since day 1 and am just going to stick with them for now, but on a limited basis. Both sides can duke it out all they want, but I'm getting out of the way. The dual players, dual discs thing is just going to make things worse. The masses will want just 1 format. And if both continue to hang around, it's not going to catch on that quickly.


If you and I are both feeling this way, I wonder if a backlash is beginning.
Old 01-11-07, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Dude...i'm with you. Almost completely.

I'm really starting to be fed up. I don't want both to survive at this point. I want one dead...and I really don't care which it is at this point.

Mark my words: as long as there are two formats, the general public will NEVER buy into this.
Yeah, my opinion on this has dramatically changed over the last week with all the dual player, disc stuff. That will just make the war go on longer. I, like you, would not care if 1 format died right now. If they did, I would go back on a high-def spending spree. But until them, I'm going to be selective. To gain massive acceptance, we need 1 format and players under $200.
Old 01-11-07, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
Yeah, my opinion on this has dramatically changed over the last week with all the dual player, disc stuff. That will just make the war go on longer. I, like you, would not care if 1 format died right now. If they did, I would go back on a high-def spending spree. But until them, I'm going to be selective. To gain massive acceptance, we need 1 format and players under $200.
Yup. Exactly. I'd say it's been, maybe, the last month.

During my little vacation from here, you gain an interesting perspective on the whole thing without actually being able to respond. And since i'm mostly a spectator at AVS anyway, this whole format war has completely sucked the life out of what once was a very entertaining and exciting hobby.

Movies are entertainment. Movies are supposed to be fun.

This format war has made them political and frustrating.
Old 01-11-07, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
You can say this about any format, from Beta, VHS, LD, maybe even CD one day. It's simply the nature of technology.

I just don't understand the folks who are giving up on the HD formats after less than a year. It took DVD EIGHT YEARS to overcome VHS ownership. It might take 3-4 years before the HD formats become widely accepted.

So fine, drop out, but it's lackluster support like this that makes studios hesitant to drop fully into the HD formats in the first place.
A High Definition format was already facing an uphill battle MUCH larger than DVD had with it's release. DVD's are relatively new still where people think it's too soon to upgrade for a minor improvement in PQ (no improvement for those without an HDTV). It was always heading to a niche market IMO, but I was fine with that.

Now you add the fact that there's a format war where studios and manufacturers are choosing sides, high player and disc prices, players with issues, standards that are still not 100%, no clear answers on release dates, and now with the introduction of a disc (THD) that's questionable and a hybrid player that may or may not be ready for release. I can fully understand why someone would want to sit on the sidelines and wait it out - I know I am.

Why should I spend my hard-earned cash to "gamble" on a format that might wind up biting me on the ass all because the major players are too greedy, stubborn and stupid to play nice with each-other?

I was eager to jump onboard before, but now this whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth. Until the big-boys get their shit together, I'll glady sit here watching them lose millions.
Old 01-11-07, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc


If you and I are both feeling this way, I wonder if a backlash is beginning.
I was just about to post this thought. I'm too beginning to wonder if others will put on the brakes. And I know we both were early adopters and have been talking high-def for a long time and have seen how things have turned out.
Old 01-11-07, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
I was just about to post this thought. I'm too beginning to wonder if others will put on the brakes. And I know we both were early adopters and have been talking high-def for a long time and have seen how things have turned out.
That's why I'm curious.

if you and i are putting on the brakes, what about others?

I have 2 close friends that have both formats. They both tell me to just get a PS3 like they did and be done with it. After hearing about your problems and everything that's happened in the last week, I just don't feel right about it. I don't want to buy a game system when I'm not going to EVER play games on it. I don't want to have another component in my already cramped shelving unit. Hell, i'm already trying to get rid of my laserdisc player. I don't want another one and I'm not paying for a combo player. I also don't see them helping much.

This whole thing is just one big disaster if it keeps up like this.

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