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Looking forward -- VOD versus optical media

Old 01-28-08, 07:48 PM
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MOD NOTE: Split off from General Blu-ray News and Discussion - Part 5

Originally Posted by Gerry P.
Why is it sad that HD sales are growing faster than SD?

That's a strange thing to post.
Yes, but we pretty much know that the new thing will be VOD, which could be here pretty damn fast to the masses. HDM sales need to be higher for it to be a successor to DVD, not just a niche product which it currently is. When some catalog titles are only selling 200-400 copies its a pretty big blow to the studio, regardless of which format its on. As Ive said many times before, American Pie 5, a straight to DVD movie, in 1 week probably sold more copies then all of Blu-ray/HD DVD software combined since inception in the USA. Thats not great. A brand new release should be doing at least 100k its first week. Some movies have hit that or close to (300, HP5, POT3, Bourne, Transformers), while some do not (The Condemned selling 2k copies etc.). Personally I'm shocked some new release movies even come out on Blu-ray or HD DVD as there is no way they could make up the money invested in the movie.

Edit: I think for the time being, Blu-ray/HD DVD need to get down to DVD like pricing on new releases just to encourage hardware sales. $5 premium would be what it should be until they get 10-15% of the market. Its gotta be pretty tough for some people to pay $29.99 for RE:Apocolypse when the DVD is $14.99 on release week.

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Old 01-28-08, 07:55 PM
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vod has been around for some time now and has made little impact on retail. the trend is likely to continue, with vod competing primarily with rental. i recognise a certain scorched earth policy amoung some disillusioned hd dvd fans, but fear their new found support for vod will be equally frustrating.
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Old 01-28-08, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
vod has been around for some time now and has made little impact on retail. the trend is likely to continue, with vod competing primarily with rental. i recognise a certain scorched earth policy amoung some disillusioned hd dvd fans, but fear their new found support for vod will be equally frustrating.
VOD has been around for years in some form. However now you have iTunes joining in, Xbox, Sony (soon with the PS3) and other VOD solutions. VOD may get here sooner then you think, and the public may not want to spend $500 on a player and $30 on a disc when they could pay $5 and rent it in HD or less in SD.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
VOD has been around for years in some form. However now you have iTunes joining in, Xbox, Sony (soon with the PS3) and other VOD solutions. VOD may get here sooner then you think, and the public may not want to spend $500 on a player and $30 on a disc when they could pay $5 and rent it in HD or less in SD.
Good luck in trying to convince dvd collectors to go for something that they can't own or is not tangible.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
VOD has been around for years in some form. However now you have iTunes joining in, Xbox, Sony (soon with the PS3) and other VOD solutions. VOD may get here sooner then you think, and the public may not want to spend $500 on a player and $30 on a disc when they could pay $5 and rent it in HD or less in SD.
I don't know about you, but $5 for an HD rental (what Apple is charging) is way too much. I'll stick with renting Blu-rays from Netflix.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tonymontana313
Good luck in trying to convince dvd collectors to go for something that they can't own or is not tangible.
DVD collectors are already not interested in HDM in general proof is in the software/player sales. DVD is good enough for most people especially with an up-converting DVD player. People already in the DVD Talk forum get mad when others say "I'll wait for the Blu-ray/HD DVD release" DVD will be around for a LONG time.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerry P.
I don't know about you, but $5 for an HD rental (what Apple is charging) is way too much. I'll stick with renting Blu-rays from Netflix.
But renting Blu-rays/HD DVD from Netflix requires a player which could be anywhere from $150-$400 depending what player you have. Today you would have to spend $550 MSPR minimum to watch both formats movies while nearly all those movies plus more (not available on either format in HD) can be rented from iTunes, Xbox or VOD. VOD is great for impulse watching...some people don't want to wait 2-3 days for the Netflix copy to show up.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:57 PM
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I can wait the 1-2 days for a disc to ship from Netflix vs. watching an HD-lite or heavily compressed and macroblocking version of a film.

I'd be interested in HD VOD as a substitute for theatrical exhibition. I'd definitely pay the price of a theater ticket to rent an HD download of a film the day it releases to theaters, but I'd still want a true copy on HDM for my library.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
DVD collectors are already not interested in HDM in general proof is in the software/player sales. DVD is good enough for most people especially with an up-converting DVD player. People already in the DVD Talk forum get mad when others say "I'll wait for the Blu-ray/HD DVD release" DVD will be around for a LONG time.
You just confirmed the fact that there ARE people more interested in HD-Dvd/Blu-Ray than standard dvd. VOD is ridiculous and would get very little if any of my money. I really don't see it becomind a viable method to deliver HD media to millions of homes.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
But renting Blu-rays/HD DVD from Netflix requires a player which could be anywhere from $150-$400 depending what player you have.
DVD players go bad. When people purchase their next player, they will undoubtedly be looking for one with Blu-ray capability... and we all know that prices are heading downward.
VOD is great for impulse watching...some people don't want to wait 2-3 days for the Netflix copy to show up.
Despite DVD sales plateauing, the studios are still making piles of money on physical media. As long as this is true, VOD will remain a 2nd tier platform that premieres new releases several weeks after the DVD/Blu-ray is in stores. If I had the "impulse" to watch 'Daddy Day Camp' or 'The Invasion' (God help me) this week, then I would need to seek it out on disc.
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Old 01-28-08, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
But renting Blu-rays/HD DVD from Netflix requires a player which could be anywhere from $150-$400 depending what player you have. Today you would have to spend $550 MSPR minimum to watch both formats movies while nearly all those movies plus more (not available on either format in HD) can be rented from iTunes, Xbox or VOD. VOD is great for impulse watching...some people don't want to wait 2-3 days for the Netflix copy to show up.
Very true, the hardware costs are much, much higher.

But, how many people have Apple TV, or have their pc/mac hooked up to their display to watch movies via iTunes. Do that many people go to Xbox Live to download the latest blockbuster film? Do they have the selection you find at the local video store?

VOD is great for some...but it's still getting crushed by Netflix and Blockbuster. For some reason, people like physical media...rent or own.

My folks still don't even use their HD DVR or VOD service but they do have 3 HDTV's and a PS3 (my dad is the biggest gamer in the family). They are baby boomers...the largest generation in our country...and they have no desire to mess with downloads. But, they do love their HDTV and they are comfortable with what they know. Get a disc, pop it in the player and enjoy.

I just don't see downloads or VOD becoming the norm anytime soon. People have yet to embrace it, and the bandwidth just doesn't seem to be there for MOST people.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:19 PM
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Don't forget the cost to be connected. The cost to get VOD movies is pretty high if you factor in having to have digital cable and/or high speed internet. And that's before you factor in the TV that makes it worth the price.

Not too much for my blood, but it will be for J6P IMO.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
vod has been around for some time now and has made little impact on retail. the trend is likely to continue, with vod competing primarily with rental.
we should probably have a new thread to delve into this VOD discussion, but i will just say that i agree with Burnt Thru's statement here.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
DVD collectors are already not interested in HDM in general proof is in the software/player sales.
No such general proof is in existence. Quite the opposite trend is in fact occurring as noted in the article provided by Mr. Cinema. And even though you conveniently lumped software sales to your claim to leave the door open for negative insinuations no one can deny that during the last two months HD/BR has been making major strides towards becoming the next mass media format.

Furthermore, whether or not BR units were "sold" in exchange for cash at this point is also a non-issue. The BDA came up with a more flexible model, bundling units with TV sets sold, and their strategy as confirmed by analysts is working: BD hardware is overwhelmingly the available blade in households where razorblades need to be sold. The opposite could not be said about Toshiba and their strategy...it isn't working and retailers are cutting them off here and overseas.

Pro-B
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Old 01-29-08, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nmr1723
Very true, the hardware costs are much, much higher.

But, how many people have Apple TV, or have their pc/mac hooked up to their display to watch movies via iTunes. Do that many people go to Xbox Live to download the latest blockbuster film? Do they have the selection you find at the local video store?

VOD is great for some...but it's still getting crushed by Netflix and Blockbuster. For some reason, people like physical media...rent or own.

My folks still don't even use their HD DVR or VOD service but they do have 3 HDTV's and a PS3 (my dad is the biggest gamer in the family). They are baby boomers...the largest generation in our country...and they have no desire to mess with downloads. But, they do love their HDTV and they are comfortable with what they know. Get a disc, pop it in the player and enjoy.

I just don't see downloads or VOD becoming the norm anytime soon. People have yet to embrace it, and the bandwidth just doesn't seem to be there for MOST people.
Xbox Live has a huge amount of movies, many that are in HD not present on Blu-ray or HD DVD, and Disney, Lionsgate etc. films. Nearly all of the exclusive Blu-ray/HD DVD studios have movies available new, old, SD, HD for rent.

Originally Posted by cardaway
Don't forget the cost to be connected. The cost to get VOD movies is pretty high if you factor in having to have digital cable and/or high speed internet. And that's before you factor in the TV that makes it worth the price.

Not too much for my blood, but it will be for J6P IMO.
DVR boxes are pretty cheap if not free with any digital cable subscription. Those DVR boxes give you the ability to get VOD right away. It can be used on any TV, HDTV or not.

Last edited by Gizmo; 01-29-08 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
DVR boxes are pretty cheap if not free with any digital cable subscription. Those DVR boxes give you the ability to get VOD right away. It can be used on any TV, HDTV or not.
$15/month is standard price for HD-DVR cable box, plus $5-6 for an HD movie rental, which I'm not even sure how long you can watch it for. And its nowhere near the quality (video or audio) as HDM. Plus no extras.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:05 AM
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I don't consider many of the 720p movies on XBL to be HD - maybe HD-lite.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by redbill
$15/month is standard price for HD-DVR cable box, plus $5-6 for an HD movie rental, which I'm not even sure how long you can watch it for. And its nowhere near the quality (video or audio) as HDM. Plus no extras.
I used VOD on demand through the cable company once in two years. It's downright ridiculously expensive for a 24-hour viewing period. And like you said, it's not HD and there are no extras. You can have 2 Blu-rays at a time from Netflix for $13.99 a month. I will never use VOD again unless...

...the PS3 winds up having HD downloads that you can rent for a cheap price (comparable with what I could get month from Netflix). I won't pay for a download-to-own type of deal. I need tangible media when it comes to films.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
DVR boxes are pretty cheap if not free with any digital cable subscription. Those DVR boxes give you the ability to get VOD right away. It can be used on any TV, HDTV or not.
Which is why my point was about the cost of digital cable, not the added DVR box. Digital is far from cheap when talking about what J6P is willing to pay to get TV.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:41 AM
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VOD exists simply to reach those not interested in either renting or owning physical media. There are far too many people out there that fall in the renter/buyer category for the studios to even consider shifting away from selling physical media. Imagine the hit our economy would take if retailers no longer had cds, movies or even software to sell because it was all only available via download. Thanks but no thanks.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:09 AM
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There isn't a single North American movie I care to own. I am both BLU and HD compatible, mainly because I was given the machines for free. Hell, I'll watch a CAM boot before paying for an HD disc. I don't see the point of owning something like say, "Transformers" when I know 5 years from now it'll be a $5 disc. It's a poor investment, unless I really plan on watching that film multiple times, and I'm not that guy. SD DVD's outside of some special LE's or imports hold no value. I can buy an SD matrix for $5 used if I go to the nearest buy/sell store today. A few years ago that was $30. There are way too many movies on this earth for me to waste time watching something three times. If I really want to own some North American fodder, I can wait a year and buy it on Ebay for the price or less. I'll pay for an import (such as La Haine), simply because I can't rent or see them local. I'm all for VOD. I'll take it every time, even at 720p. I know everyone has different opinions/perspectives on this, but this is mine. Up here where I am in Canada it's $8 for a HD or Blu Rental. If I can get VOD for $5, then I get 3 movies for the price of 2 rentals, and I don't have to leave my house.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:16 AM
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Old 01-29-08, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
I can wait the 1-2 days for a disc to ship from Netflix vs. watching an HD-lite or heavily compressed and macroblocking version of a film.
This is by far the biggest issue for many with VOD. Until VOD can get pipes big enough to push through 1080p content without heavily compressing it, then I don't consider them a competitor to Blu-Ray - and that day is far off. I know some people don't care as long as it's in 'HD', but I guarantee if you showed them the difference side by side of a VOD and BR of the same film, BR would win every time.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
Which is why my point was about the cost of digital cable, not the added DVR box. Digital is far from cheap when talking about what J6P is willing to pay to get TV.
Err, most places will give you the digital subscription for an extra $10-$20 a month (if not free for the first 6-12 months, along with the DVR box).

I pay $95 or so right now for Time Warner Digital Cable with HD Tiers, DVR Box, and Cable internet. Yeah, thats a bit expensive, but ive been a member for a few years. When I cancel it next week and have my girlfriend sign up in her name for our new place it will be $50 a month for 6 months. Thats fairly cheap for all of that.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by nateman241
Well "they" probably won't be looking for a player with Blu-Ray capability when their old DVD player goes bad. They'll just pick up a cheap $30-$69 DVD player as a replacement. Yes, price are getting cheaper for Blu-ray players, you're right, but seeing a Blu-ray player for under a $100 won't happen anytime soon, most likely. "J6P" isn't going to spend $300-$400 on a new player.
I don't really see Blu-ray players hitting that $100 mark for at least another 18-24 months. HD DVD still has yet to hit that $99 everyday price. Its skimmed there a few times for deals and screw ups, but just a few days ago the A3 hit $149, 22 months after the $499 A1 launched.

Blu-ray players are still in the $399-$499 range, and those are for Profile 1.0/1.1. How long before a finalized 2.0 sub $200 comes along? Even if we go with the assumption that HD DVD gives up tomorrow, Universal/Paramount go Blu tomorrow, do you really think the CEs are going to DROP prices on Blu-ray players? No, they will maintain there value or go up in price since there is no competition in the optical world for HD media. Even we mass production of them selling 20-30k a week, there would be no reason to drop prices.

In HD DVD case, they could. Even if HD DVD fails, I don't see Toshiba stop producing HD DVD players. They are great upconverters and have something else that the other upconverters don't have (and replacement for those with HD DVD players that broke etc.)
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