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High-def media's niche status: Will it end? Does it matter?

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High-def media's niche status: Will it end? Does it matter?

Old 02-01-08, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
i hope few on here would suggest that the difference from sd to hd is as miniscule!
Few on here would, but I'd bet the majority of people out there would either not be able to tell the difference, or they'd consider it so negligible that they wouldn't find it worth the upgrade.
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Old 02-01-08, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
if half of hdtv owners are already using their sets for hd programing that represents a pretty large market right off the bat. and that's before the years of marketing that will inevitable be cranked up from here forward have done their trick of persuading even more consumers to switch to hd. 13%, 20%, 25% - at what point does it stop being a niche market...?
That was my question as well - no answer. I guess if a person is mad about the HD-DVD decisions one way to go is to say it's only a niche market anyway, who cares. When the digital broadcast switch is a reality, and noboby can even buy a non-widesreen HDTV, the HDM market will pick up very quickly IMO.
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Old 02-01-08, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
I guess if a person is mad about the HD-DVD decisions one way to go is to say it's only a niche market anyway, who cares.
That's not really fair to say. Some of us have been saying that HDM is going to be a niche market for years, well before any of these studios switched allegiences one way or the other.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
a more apt analogy is that between vhs to dvd. certainly the added convenience of not having to rewind provided an added incentive in that instance, but even leaving that aside there was still a decision for consumers to make regarding upgrading to a more expensive system/media vs staying with the tried and tested. some have said that the improvement this time is less noticable (though here in the uk i'd argue the opposite - pal/ntsc differences) but that simply means a lower percentage will switch at any given time, not that very few will ever switch. i suspect that by 2010 the highdef marketshare will be around 10%-15% of the sd market, and may well explode after that.
You are completely discounting the "futuristic" aspect of DVDs. This wasn't just a new kind of tape, a format that had been around for years. This was a shiny disc (just like a CD!) that held your movies! And you didn't even have to rewind them! It's (was) the future!!!

Though I flip back and forth between SD and HD channels to show my parents the difference, they just don't really see it. And when it comes to HD/Blu, it's just another shiny disc to them. I'm sure there are many other people who don't really see it either, or if they do they just don't care. Who knows if those kinds of people will ever switch?
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Old 02-01-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
That's not really fair to say. Some of us have been saying that HDM is going to be a niche market for years, well before any of these studios switched allegiences one way or the other.
Not buying it, especially since nobody is stepping up and saying how much percentage will have to be gained before it's no longer niche. And IMO, given the money and effort, people back then would have been wrong to ever think the parties involved were only looking to create a niche like market. I cetainly never thought that, but I did hold out until the situation cleared up.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
Not buying it, especially since nobody is stepping up and say how much percentage will have to be gained before it's no longer niche. And IMO, given the money and effort, people back then would have been wrong to ever think the parties involved were only looking to create a niche like market.
I think coming up with a definition for "niche" based on a fixed percentage is kind of silly, personally. It just seems like the sort of thing where you can look at it and know if it is or not. Still, if I had to pick a number, I'd probably point to somewhere around a third of the market.

While it goes without saying that Blu-ray and HD DVD weren't engineered to be niche formats, it doesn't mean that that won't be the case. What's niche and what's not is ultimately determined by consumers, not by studios and manufacturers.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
Not buying it, especially since nobody is stepping up and saying how much percentage will have to be gained before it's no longer niche. And IMO, given the money and effort, people back then would have been wrong to ever think the parties involved were only looking to create a niche like market. I cetainly never thought that, but I did hold out until the situation cleared up.
Just because Sony was successful this round doesn't negate the fact they've dumped money into a bunch of other formats that never went beyond niche status.

Money and effort does not automatically equal success.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:22 AM
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Ok, I will say it won't be niche anymore when HDM sales are a quarter of DVD sales.

So lets play a little game..according to Lionsgate, 3:10 to Yuma sold 3 million units (DVD + Blu Ray combined)
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/tic...971&Symbol=LGF

Anybody know how many Blu-Ray units 3:10 sold? I'm guessing 150,000 max (and I think thats being generous but its just a guess).

Thats 5% of total sales, with a generous guess of 150,000 units sold...and I think the true number is about half of that..so maybe about 2% of all units sold. But to appease some I will say 3.5%

Last edited by chanster; 02-01-08 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
I think coming up with a definition for "niche" based on a fixed percentage is kind of silly, personally. It just seems like the sort of thing where you can look at it and know if it is or not. Still, if I had to pick a number, I'd probably point to somewhere around a third of the market.
IMO that's BS. Somebody doesn't throw around a term like niche unless it has meaning or a person is using it to discount somthing. In fact I don't ever buy that anything has a defintion of "I'll know it when I see it". It's just a way for people not take a stand on something they might have to rethink later.

I'm not saying there are not niche markets out there, but IMO those are things that have percentages in the single digits. There are markets out there where people would kill to be 1 out of every 10 sold. That's hardly niche IMO.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Draven
Just because Sony was successful this round doesn't negate the fact they've dumped money into a bunch of other formats that never went beyond niche status.

Money and effort does not automatically equal success.
There are many people who don't think Sony was even successful this time around.

But I agree, they certianly have some failures out there, but none where they put in this much effort.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
Somebody doesn't throw around a term like niche unless it has meaning or a person is using it to discount somthing.
It does have a meaning. I just don't look at it as a fixed mathematical term.

Why would I want to discount high-def media? I've spent the past couple of years moderating this forum, buying virtually nothing but high def discs, and devoting hours and hours and hours each week to reviewing them. It's not an insignificant part of my life these days. I also have no reason to sneer at Blu-ray since for quite a long time now, I greatly prefer it over HD DVD. The fact that I consider high-def media to be a niche market -- something I don't think it'll ever really escape -- has nothing to do with any recent bits of news. I personally don't see a niche market as even being a bad thing. Whether or not the guy three houses down has a player doesn't make the discs in my living room look any better. I bought into HD DVD and Blu-ray for how they benefit me, not to hop on a bandwagon.

Originally Posted by cardaway
I'm not saying there are not niche markets out there, but IMO those are things that have percentages in the single digits.
High def media is still in the low single digits.

I mean, when 3:10 to Yuma is the 10th best selling Blu-ray title of all time, and just a spot or two behind it on that week's sales charts is Blood Diamond, which had been out for months and months and only ranked just because it was part of a sale on one website, that shows just how poorly these formats are doing. That's not to discount any of Blu-ray's many strengths, but its sales prowess isn't one of them.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
It does have a meaning. I just don't look at it as a fixed mathematical term.
Again, IMO it either has a defintion or is does not. I willing to bet there are things people could coudl call niche and you would disagree. If is wasn't mathmatical (which is the only way to determine market share is in not?) then just what would you be using to disagree something is niche?

Why would I want to discount high-def media?
I chosen my words carefully hopefully making it clear I was not just pointing at you.

High def media is still in the low single digits.
I also thought it was clear we were talking about what it could become, but I am on record in agreeing it is currently a niche market. And if it remains below 10%, then remains a niche market IMO, no argument from me.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:49 AM
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Josh Z probably knows the highest numbers for laserdisc media, I would be interested to hear from him what were the numbers of sales for laserdisc media at its zenith. I think its fair to say that laserdisc was, and is considered a niche market.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cardaway
When the digital broadcast switch is a reality, and noboby can even buy a non-widesreen HDTV, the HDM market will pick up very quickly IMO.
That's the common misperception. Digital does not mean HD. As is, it's already getting difficult to find analog TVs in stores. The majority of TVs in the stores are digital, including 4:3 tube TVs that don't do HD. Go to a Best Buy and check it out. Every single TV at my local BB is digital, including the $100 13" TV.

Mac is a niche product. I'd be very surprised to see HDM even get to that level.
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Old 02-01-08, 12:07 PM
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People won't have to buy new TVs, FUD spread by salespeople. Those with cable boxes and satellite will be all set. Those without will need to get A-D converters, and there is talk of subsidies for consumers.

HDTVs sell because you cannot purchase an analog SDTV much larget than a foot in a major retailer now. I think more people look for a BIG TV rather than an HD TV. HD is inconsequential to them.

My brother and his wife have had HD for nearly a year now. She didn't even realize it until she was arguing with me about being able to watch the Superbowl in HD on Sunday.

I have many friends that DO have HD and loved Planet Earth so much, they went out and bought the DVD.. They think the picture is just as good. How can you argue? It is subjective.

I think the vast majority of people don't care about HD.
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Old 02-01-08, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
if half of hdtv owners are already using their sets for hd programing that represents a pretty large market right off the bat.
Nope. "Half of HDTV owners" is not a large market. Even "HDTV owners" is barely a large market. Last I checked 1/3 of US households had HDTV.

EDIT: So, that "1/3" figure came from CEA who reported in June 2007 that 32% of US households had HDTV and that it would rise to 36% by the end of 2007. Nielsen reported in October 2007 that 21% of US households had HDTV, and only 53.8% of those actually have HD content being fed to them. Interesting read here where Nielsen's numbers disagree with CEA numbers. I think I'm more inclined to trust Nielsen numbers as opposed to CEA numbers, aren't you?


and that's before the years of marketing that will inevitable be cranked up from here forward have done their trick of persuading even more consumers to switch to hd. 13%, 20%, 25% - at what point does it stop being a niche market...?
If you must have a number, then 25% sounds good. But 25% of all TV owners, not just 25% of HDTV owners.

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Old 02-01-08, 01:04 PM
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21 million households is a HUGE market! it's not as large as the enormous total for all tv households, but to discount it as a niche is pretty strange. and this is during a time when hdtv adoption has been going through the roof in terms of year on year increases. acording to that nielsen report more than half of those who own hdtvs also use them to view hd content, which tends to fly in the face of the anecdotal (my folks..) evidence being reported in this thread. does anyone expect that figure of 21% to remain static? in 4 years where will it stand? and in that time what percentage will adopt the new media as well given the inevitable price reductions on decks over that time period?

i believe combined sales of hd dvd and bd decks have already exceeded dvd deck sales over the same time period after each format's launch. i doubt that will necessarily continue, but the negative attitude by some on this forum is pretty odd.

some possible reason? massive dvd collections that are no longer "the best thing out". having to rebuy all lots of discs if you want to own the most special of special editions. the chosen format of the particular poster not looking like winning. a false view of overall trends from their own personal (my folks..) experience. and i'm guessing there might be others.

nielsen's figures speak for themselves. a fifth of american households are now hd capable (though they may be including the dreaded edtv!) while more than half of those who own an hdtv use it to watch hd content. that flat out disproves the assertion that most people buy and hdtv simply because it's large and then just watch sd content on it.
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Old 02-01-08, 01:19 PM
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Honestly, I don't give a crap about my DVD collection. It sits in a CD folder (sans cases) behind the TV. I use it to watch movies. I don't watch any special features anymore (no time) which is exactly why I have warmed up to HD VOD in the last year.

Maybe its a generational thing for me, I never bought movies on VHS, so when DVD came out, I was gung ho about buying and building a collection. Then one day you wake up, look at the wall of titles, and realize it just takes up space. I can say only certain cheesy movies, classics and other random movies get watched more than once, so ownership is no longer a priority for me.

So a lot of movies were sold, a lot were put in a CD case. I briefly warmed to HDM (when the price of a HD DVD player dropped below the price of a standard upconverting player) but I'm back on the fence again.

I do enjoy watching movies, which is why I'm on this board. But to generalize and say people are negative because their collections are obsolete is just wrong IMHO.

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Old 02-01-08, 01:31 PM
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3:10 to Yuma deserves to sell 150,000 copies that's for sure. I bet it's less than a 1/3 of that for Blu though. Just my guess.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
it's not as large as the enormous total for all tv households, but to discount it as a niche is pretty strange.
I don't think anyone is saying that HDTV is a niche market. Just that HDM (LD, BD, HD DVD) is a niche market and that it will probably stay that way for years to come. (Again, think of Macs. That is a niche product. That's what I mean by niche.)


nielsen's figures speak for themselves. a fifth of american households are now hd capable (though they may be including the dreaded edtv!) while more than half of those who own an hdtv use it to watch hd content. that flat out disproves the assertion that most people buy and hdtv simply because it's large and then just watch sd content on it.
That's the same thing everyone's been saying here, that half of the people buy HDTV simply because it's large and then just watch SD content on it. Nielsen figures show that half of the HDTV buyers are watching HD content on it, that means that the other half isn't.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Burnt Thru
21 million households is a HUGE market! it's not as large as the enormous total for all tv households, but to discount it as a niche is pretty strange.
QFT
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Old 02-01-08, 02:57 PM
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21 million people is, at the moment, potential buyers. And you are only calling them potential buyers because they have watched some form of HD on their televisions. That doesn't mean they are willing to spend more than they already have for HDM. The market may be even smaller than that.

I don't understand why some people take such offense to the fact that HD media is a niche market at the moment. And just because someone has watched something in HD doesn't mean it has "changed their life" like it has for people who reside on a side forum within a forum devoted to watching movies.

I don't mean to be sexist, but this is like a guys' toys market. I have never run into a girl who cared if a show or movie was in HD or not. My girlfriend gets mad if I notice she's watching something that we have on another channel in HD, and I want to change it over. She does not care.

She has a friend whose dad just purchased a 65" Sony XBR tv. Do you know what they had hooked up to it? A DVD/VCR combo plugged in through composite, running a bootleg movie. Oh, and it was stretched. And do you know what they said when I told them I could make this look so much better? It looks fine, leave it alone. People, can say they care about HD all they want, but it seems like most of them don't even know what it is.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:08 PM
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The best way to sell HD is to have it properly rigged up at your own home and inviting people over, either for a movie or sporting event.

It sells, oh yes, it sells.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
She has a friend whose dad just purchased a 65" Sony XBR tv. Do you know what they had hooked up to it? A DVD/VCR combo plugged in through composite, running a bootleg movie. Oh, and it was stretched. And do you know what they said when I told them I could make this look so much better? It looks fine, leave it alone. People, can say they care about HD all they want, but it seems like most of them don't even know what it is.
This sounds like my in-laws...drives me absolutely crazy. It's even to the point where I don't want to watch movies at their house because everyone is going to look a bit too wide, or skinny, or distorted in some way. It's just awful...and this is on a 37" LCD...

On the other hand, my brother's wife recently said..."once you watch a movie in HD, it is really hard to go back"...so...there is hope!
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Old 02-01-08, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chanster
Josh Z probably knows the highest numbers for laserdisc media, I would be interested to hear from him what were the numbers of sales for laserdisc media at its zenith. I think its fair to say that laserdisc was, and is considered a niche market.
IIRC, at its zenith there were 3 million laserdisc player owners.
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