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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 08-16-07, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
Warner is delaying them to benefit HD DVD, there is no other reason
Oh, come on -- of course there is. Catalog titles like Grand Prix and Forbidden Planet have sold incredibly poorly on HD DVD, and the classics proportionally been doing even worse on Blu-ray. If a title can only move a few hundred copies on HD DVD, why would Warner be in a rush to catch up with it on Blu-ray?

You're also deflecting lizard's statement. He never said this was the case for all of the format gap with Warner, but I don't think it's a coincidence that at least off the top of my head, the HD DVD titles that aren't on Blu-ray fall into one of two groups: they either have IME or are many decades old.

If Warner were showing the sort of extreme favoritism you suggest, why doesn't this happen more often and with a greater variety of titles?
Old 08-16-07, 11:15 AM
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ALso, if Warner were interested in furthering HD DVD and holding back BD, how do you explain the higher MSRP for the HD DVD 300 over the BD version?
Old 08-16-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Jim
ALso, if Warner were interested in furthering HD DVD and holding back BD, how do you explain the higher MSRP for the HD DVD 300 over the BD version?
Under the current reasoning, the studio considers the Combo format a premium feature that (to their thinking) justifies a higher price.
Old 08-16-07, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Under the current reasoning, the studio considers the Combo format a premium feature that (to their thinking) justifies a higher price.
I understand that. If Warner were trying to torpedo BD as QuePaso intimates, wouldn't they price the HD DVD versions lower with added features?
Old 08-16-07, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Qui Gon Jim
I understand that. If Warner were trying to torpedo BD as QuePaso intimates, wouldn't they price the HD DVD versions lower with added features?
Because "Combos" are a premium product. I would also wager they cost more to make then the blu-ray version.
Old 08-16-07, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
Because "Combos" are a premium product. I would also wager they cost more to make then the blu-ray version.

The question, though, was that if Warner is trying to sabotage BD, wouldn't they set lower prices on their combos?

The other question was why should Warner release titles to BD which haven't sold well on HD DVD?
Old 08-16-07, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by applesandrice
The question, though, was that if Warner is trying to sabotage BD, wouldn't they set lower prices on their combos?

The other question was why should Warner release titles to BD which haven't sold well on HD DVD?
You know, it is hearsay, but a lot of people with contacts inside warner say that the company is split in half in the boardroom in regards to hd dvd and blu-ray. Most see that blu-ray is ahead by a good margin and half want to go full on and release everything same time and catch up, the other half still think hd dvd has a chance and want to delay the titles as much as possible to help hd dvd out. Of course, this is 100% rumor and should be taken with a grain of salt, but i can see it happening.

And as to why they arent releasing the low selling titles, why the heck not? All they do is change the file containers from hd dvds EVO to blu-rays M2TS and then make a blu-ray master out of it, takes no time what so ever. If warner wants, ill go to the post house and do it myself for them! Might as well do that and get more discs out then let them sit there and not give them a fighting chance. I would LOVE to buy Grand Prix, Batman Begins and more. Terminator 3 would give blu-ray the entire trilogy!

As an aside, ive heard from someone with a contact in Warner, that Batman Begins is out for sure Q4 for blu-ray with a PCM track. With Polar Express announced today as the next catch up title, i am hoping for the best even tho i am sure i will be very disappointed.
Old 08-16-07, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
And as to why they arent releasing the low selling titles, why the heck not?
Because producing discs that don't sell costs a lot of money.

All they do is change the file containers from hd dvds EVO to blu-rays M2TS and then make a blu-ray master out of it, takes no time what so ever.
While converting the video and audio files may not take much work, they would still need to author the rest of the disc content (menus and such) specifically for Blu-ray. And of course there's the expense of physically pressing the discs, distributing them to retailers, and promoting them.

If warner wants, ill go to the post house and do it myself for them! Might as well do that and get more discs out then let them sit there and not give them a fighting chance. I would LOVE to buy Grand Prix, Batman Begins and more. Terminator 3 would give blu-ray the entire trilogy!
Batman Begins and T3 were delayed due to BD's lack of PiP interactivity. Apparently Warner is willing to press forth with Batman regardless.

Grand Prix, in addition to being a low seller on HD DVD, is a title far outside the PS3 demographic, which of course dominates Blu-ray ownership. I wouldn't be surprised if it would sell as few as a couple hundred copies on Blu-ray. More importantly, I think that Warner has such an expectation, which is why they haven't been too eager to release it.
Old 08-16-07, 09:04 PM
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Their loss. I am sure at this point, those titles would outsell their HD DVD Counterparts easily just due to the large amount of buyers possible. I am not a studio exec tho, so it is not my call, however my opinion is they should release them all.
Old 08-16-07, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
Their loss. I am sure at this point, those titles would outsell their HD DVD Counterparts easily just due to the large amount of buyers possible. I am not a studio exec tho, so it is not my call, however my opinion is they should release them all.

There are so many dual format supporters who already own the HD DVD versions, that the sales of BD versions will not be as strong. Especially considering the amount of time the HD DVD versions have already been available.
Old 08-16-07, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
I am sure at this point, those titles would outsell their HD DVD Counterparts easily just due to the large amount of buyers possible.
One, whether or not they'd outsell the HD DVD releases is not the point that's being argued. Even if they did outsell the HD DVDs, "more than a little" isn't necessarily "enough". Pulling numbers out of the air, if it costs me $40,000 to put out a title and I lose $8,000 on the HD DVD release, the prospect of only losing $6,000 on Blu-ray isn't much of an incentive. You can sell more and still not make any money. That is why I don't think we're seeing these deeper catalog titles on Blu-ray right now. Besides, retailers don't want to stock catalog titles right now. They're essentially for online consumption only. I don't know why Warner is releasing so many catalog titles right now (I appreciate it but don't understand it), but by catching up, they're basically releasing even more titles that retailers won't carry. It'd be kind of a wasted effort.

Two, they wouldn't necessarily sell more on Blu-ray anyway. Looking through the PDF Sony posted in March, Bullitt and The Getaway sold slightly more copies on HD DVD despite Blu-ray's larger install base. Not that Christmas Vacation is a classic, exactly (just looking at catalog titles released on the same day on both consoles), but it sold more than twice as many copies on HD DVD. Reds also held an advantage on HD DVD, and there are a couple others I spotted with a quick skim.

Don't mistake this as a "my format is better than yours" argument. I don't want to hear a response saying "but what about [insert name of movie here]?" or that what was true in March isn't necessarily true in August. That's not the point.

The point is that just because a market's larger doesn't inherently mean they'll want more of the same thing, and even if they did, it still may not be enough to be financially viable.
Old 08-16-07, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
Their loss. I am sure at this point, those titles would outsell their HD DVD Counterparts easily just due to the large amount of buyers possible. I am not a studio exec tho, so it is not my call, however my opinion is they should release them all.
Those large number of gamers with PS3s are not going to rush out and buy Casablanca. There is no reason for Warner to release classics on Blu-ray until they sell more stand alones. Selling over a million PS3s is great, but that is not a group that is going to buy much outside of the Casino Royale and 300 blockbuster type films. The sales numbers released seem to back that up.

The number of HD DVD owners may be smaller, but that much, much smaller group is buying a lot more movies per player and dipping into genres the vast majority of the Blu-ray group seems to skip.

Last edited by darkside; 08-16-07 at 10:13 PM.
Old 08-17-07, 03:58 AM
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does this mean newer titles, like 300, will come out on single side hd too ?
Old 08-17-07, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by im_ryandick
does this mean newer titles, like 300, will come out on single side hd too ?
I hope so. The '300' Combo disc crapped out in my player.

If one were really desperate, there's a non-Combo HD DVD release of the movie available in Australia.
Old 08-17-07, 11:04 AM
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i held out on superman and the departed, and my wish finally came true with those.
i'll give it six months of being entirely optimistic about it, and see what happens.
i'm sure it'll come around eventually. tmnt as well.
Old 08-18-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
Warner Bros. is issuing non-combo versions of select titles on 10/2. Priced at $34.99 SRP: The Ant Bully, The Departed, The Fountain, Happy Feet, Lady in the Water, The Lake House, Letters from Iwo Jima, Rumor Has It and Superman Returns. Titles priced at $28.99 SRP are: Good Night, and Good Luck and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. http://dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=65599
That's good news. I haven't purchased a single combo and was hoping that I would see some re-releases on single-sided discs. But I wasn't expecting them so soon.

I gather from another forum that WB still plans to release new titles as combos followed later by single-sided HD DVDs. I wonder why WB is doing it? Price competition? Perhaps they noticed that combos don't sell as well as equivalent non-combo titles. If so, they might keep a lid on Total HD prices if they insist on going through with them.

Whatever the reason, I am glad that I can pick up non-combos of WB titles just by waiting a few months. Unlike many, I am rarely in a hurry to pick up "day and date" releases; I care more about getting a good price.
Old 11-15-07, 12:44 PM
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Warner Shelves "Total HD" Hybrid Disc Plans
Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 01:47 PM ET

Speaking exclusively with High-Def Digest, Warner Home Entertainment says its previously announced HD DVD/Blu-ray hybrid disc won't be hitting stores anytime soon.

As we've previously reported, the studio made a splash when it unveiled Total HD earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, proposing it to the industry and consumers alike as a solution to the ongoing format war. Containing a Blu-ray layer on one side of the disc and an HD DVD layer on the other, the studio said the hybrid disc would retail for little more than a single-format title, and that it planned to have its first releases in stores by the second half of the year.

Roughly six months later, Warner announced it was pushing back its launch plans for Total HD until early 2008, but said it remained committed to the concept, promising ten to twenty launch titles upon the format's eventual release.

Though the studio had since remained mum on the status of its plans for the hybrid format, a Warner exec has now confirmed to High-Def Digest that all current plans for Total HD have been shelved in response to a perceived shift in retailer needs following Paramount's move to HD DVD exclusivity.

"The short answer is, for the moment, it [Total HD] is on hold," explained Jim Noonan, SVP of Strategic Promotion and Communication for Warner Home Entertainment Group. "We're the only studio producing content in both formats. If we were to put out Total HD with just our titles, it wouldn't really provide the solution to our retail partners that it was intended to provide. If anything, at this point, it would further complicate their life, because there would be another product looking for shelf space. Our job is not to further complicate the lives of our retailers."

As for the possibility that Total HD might still see the light of day should other studios go format-neutral, Noonan certainly didn't rule it out.

"Total HD was something that we offered up to the industry as a solution that would address buyer hesitancy, and the concern a consumer might have about the possible obsolesce of the hardware they were buying. We have no proprietary interest in Total HD. There is no patent we're involved in, and there is no monetary reward for us if another studio decides to put out titles on Total HD. It was offered purely as an industry solution -- and it is still a good and viable solution that has no expiration date."

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...isc_Plans/1147
Old 11-15-07, 12:52 PM
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It sounds like they're just about to choose one format, and TotalHD would have no "simplifying" effect because there would be no titles released in both formats.
Old 11-15-07, 12:55 PM
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Great news. Less hybrid discs in the market is always a good thing.

Hell, I'd welcome WB going HD DVD exclusive if it meant the dropping of combos.
Old 11-15-07, 12:55 PM
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Good, one less thing we need to worry about at least.
Old 11-15-07, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Artman
Good, one less thing we need to worry about at least.
+1
Old 11-15-07, 07:42 PM
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...it would further complicate their life, because there would be another product looking for shelf space. Our job is not to further complicate the lives of our retailers...

Doesn't make sense. Either somebody didn't want their format getting cooties from another format, or WB is thinking ahead for going to a single format.
Old 11-15-07, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
...it would further complicate their life, because there would be another product looking for shelf space. Our job is not to further complicate the lives of our retailers...

Doesn't make sense. Either somebody didn't want their format getting cooties from another format, or WB is thinking ahead for going to a single format.
I believe this is a hint that they will be single-format only next year. It may not happen right away, but I think it does happen in 2008. I am still thinking they'll release only red cases.
Old 11-15-07, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
...it would further complicate their life, because there would be another product looking for shelf space. Our job is not to further complicate the lives of our retailers...

Doesn't make sense. Either somebody didn't want their format getting cooties from another format, or WB is thinking ahead for going to a single format.
I think what they meant was that it would necessitate a third section for retailers who have both an HD DVD and a BD section now.

I also think they were optimistic that other studios would follow suit and want to adopt this strategy, even those exclusive to one format or the other. When that didn't happen, they decided to drop it.
Old 11-15-07, 09:22 PM
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I dunno. How hard could it be. If anything, they would sell MORE of these discs. Have a fancy banner that says:

Blu-ray / HD DVD on ONE DISC! If you're a Blu-ray owner, get titles that were once exclusively on HD DVD. And for HD DVD owners, Blu-ray titles are now available!

Just start phasing out the dual-format titles--which take up twice as much space anyway--and replace them with the hyrbids, then also advertise some other titles which were not available to HD DVD fans and vice versa. It might have worked, but somebody didn't like the idea of being on "Side B", if you will. And maybe somebody just notified both parties that Total HD wasn't going to happen because one format is going to be chosen in '08.

From a manufacturing standpoint, I don't know the complications, but WB didn't mention them as a reason for dropping T-HD. All they said was, "Uhhh, duh retailers won't have enough space..." Yeah, ok.

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