Bill Hunt Picks The Winner

Jamey K

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From Digital Bits

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa133.html#commonsense


<<You know, the funny thing about all this is that I really like both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc just as video formats. They both deliver fantastic quality and features. But technically and quality-wise, this format war is basically a wash. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that if this battle is going to be decided by anything, it will be other factors. Like which studios support each format, which manufacturers support each format, what the software and hardware sales trends are, etc. And in each of those areas, Blu-ray has developed a clear edge.

Let's look at these simple facts: Of the 12 major and mini-major Hollywood studios (Fox, Disney, MGM, Sony, Lionsgate, Paramount, New Line, HBO, Warner Bros, Universal, DreamWorks and The Weinstein Company) 9 support Blu-ray, 5 of them exclusively. Only 6 support HD-DVD, just 2 of them exclusively (one studio, DreamWorks, remains uncommitted). Not counting computer hardware or budget brands, Blu-ray Disc has 9 major set-top hardware manufacturers behind it (Sony, Pioneer, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, LG, Mitsubishi, Thomson, Sharp), while HD-DVD boasts just two (Toshiba and now LG). HD-DVD is an add-on to Microsoft's Xbox 360, while Blu-ray is built into EVERY Sony PlayStation 3. Nielsen VideoScan is reporting that in software sales, Blu-ray has virtually erased the sales lead enjoyed by HD-DVD since the formats were launched, and is now outselling HD-DVD by a 2 to 1 (and growing) margin.

I can understand that some people just love HD-DVD and have had great experiences with it. We have too. I understand that some people hate Sony for perceived corporate arrogance. I'm not a big fan of their tactics either, particularly how they went around the DVD Forum to develop their format. But let's face it - the biggest corporate cheerleader for HD-DVD seems to be Microsoft, which isn't exactly comforting either. All of those issues aside, however, how do you argue with the facts that are clearly becoming obvious - namely, ALL those things I just mentioned above? Frankly, the best sales pitch the HD-DVD camp seems to be able to make right now is: "Hey, we've got DVD right in the name! Plus cheap off-brand players are on the way! And porn!" I guess I have to be the guy who states the obvious, but doesn't that seem a little odd to anyone?>>>


Odd he would say he likes HD-DVD. He hasn;t said a positive thing about it since he complained about not receiving a free player because....he's Bill Hunt.
 
CochiseGuy

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Odd he would say he likes HD-DVD. He hasn;t said a positive thing about it since he complained about not receiving a free player because....he's Bill Hunt.

He's also sounding like a broken record. More studios, more content, more manufacturers, more capacity! How can Blu-ray NOT win? It's been that way years before either format launched. Only problem is that when each format launched, HD DVD was the much better product. :eureka

Seven months later, thanks to the competition from HD DVD, Blu-ray has sometimes caught up in quality, and thanks to the PS3 and coorindated release schedule from Fox et. al., Blu-ray is catching up in sales. And having finally caught up in quality & sales, Mr. Hunt is calling for Universal to go neutral and "end this format war" and Sony marketing is ready to tell consumers "it safe to buy now, the format war is over".

No thanks. You can fool some of the people some of the time . . .
 
Last edited:
JoeSp

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Sometimes??:confused: -- Lets face it the Weinstien releases aren't exactly setting PQ records. And some of the latest Universal releases aren't setting any PQ records either. And that porn on HD-DVD -- ughhh!!

This is happening while the new Sony and Buena Vista releases using Mpeg4AVC are getting excellent reviews. BluRay has easily caught up to HD-DVD in PQ and has always surpassed HD-DVD in sound quality. Most PCM releases on BD get 4.5 to 5 stars unless the SQ from the original movie is not true 5.1 channel or above.

HD-DVD no longer has the edge in PQ. Both formats have their excellent titles and not so good titles. There is no percieved edge in PQ in either format from any reviewer either on the internet or in any home theather magazine you can purchase. Your statement is seriously flawed.

The differance right now is those Disney and Sony blockbusters that are going to start hitting in March. With the excellant reviews Sony and Disney have been getting of late where is HD-DVD going to turn to?

As for caught up-- are you reading any sales information over the last 4 weeks? BD has not only caught up but has blown by HD-DVD. And those of you who said folks who purchased a PS3 would not be buying BD movies must surely be looking at the taillights of BD and wondered what went wrong. Nothing went wrong-- it is just that BD did not really launch until November and since then it has been all BD.

Bill has it right. The only main studio not to produce is Universal and they are holding up the parade. You let BD sell another 1 million PS3 in North America and Universal will fall all over itself to start supporting BD. That will probably happen by the end of April after Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword, Ninja Sigma come out and lets not forget -- Spiderman 1 & 2, Casino, Pirates of the Carabean 1 & 2 only on BD and then Cars in May? Whoooooo!!!!!@party
 
navychop

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I'll give you this, Cochise- you sure are a determined optimist for your chosen product.
 
riffjim4069

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The format war is over...at least in our home, we purchased an outstanding BD player for our new Mits 1080p for $599 - that also plays games too! We don't own a single PS3 game and probably won't for several more weeks. I hope HD DVD does well, but we're not a BD home.
 
CochiseGuy

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Just some small points, so as not to bore. I find "arguing" in Internet forums much like pissing into the wind - it generally accomplishes nothing, and often comes back to bite you. :rolleyes:

Sometimes??:confused: -- Lets face it the Weinstien releases aren't exactly setting PQ records. And some of the latest Universal releases aren't setting any PQ records either. And that porn on HD-DVD -- ughhh!!

I agree :)eek: ) the "porn thing" is way overblown (no pun intended :p ). They didn't have any other means of viewing porn at home back in the VHS/Betamax format war. Now with the Internet, porn is everywhere. I'm hardly a prude, but I decided along time ago that when I buy an Academy Award winning movie for less than $20 and they still want $50+ for "Slutty Cheerleaders Gone Wild", they can keep their %$#@! porn.

As to the Weinstein releases, they're actually quite good in PQ. If your check our thread here for The Tier System for HD DVD PQ you'll find most of their titles in Tier 1, and the lowest in Tier 2. You're probably confusing something you read about playback issues with some of the Weinstein titles. That was mostly on the 360 add-on, and I beleive all issues were resolved with software updates. I've never had any issues with their titles on my XA1 with the current 2.0 firmware.

HD-DVD no longer has the edge in PQ. Both formats have their excellent titles and not so good titles. There is no percieved edge in PQ in either format from any reviewer either on the internet or in any home theather magazine you can purchase. Your statement is seriously flawed.

:confused: I said HD DVD was better at the initial release. And, while injecting "sometimes", I said that BD had caught up in quality. I was referring to both players & software titles. After almost 6 months of having only that buggy Samsung player available, their are some very nice BD players out there. And the BD / HD DVD titles releases from the dual format studios Paramount & WB have no perceived edge in quality in either format. Wouldn't it be terriffic if we could have the opportunity to make that determination in BD / HD DVD releases from Disney, Fox and Universal?

Bill has it right. The only main studio not to produce is Universal and they are holding up the parade.

Please refer to the above. Bill is a pompous a$s. Why should Universal go duel format to end this format war, and not Disney & Fox. They should all go neutral and let the consumer vote with their wallet.

I'll give you this, Cochise- you sure are a determined optimist for your chosen product.

Again, a small point, but I am a determined supporter of my chosen product. The odds have always been stacked against HD DVD; I knew that back in May '06 when I purchased an HD DVD player. An optimist? If somone here were to ask me: "Assuming 5 years from now there is only one format for high def movies on optical disks, which one would you be willing to bet on?", I think I'd decline to answer. ;)
I'm never one to be stubborn, but if that format is not HD DVD, I will looking into alternative forms of high def content, while still enjoying my HD DVD collection.
 
navychop

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Well, some folks are still enjoying their laserdisc collections.....
 
H

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I have been an avid HD-DVD supporter but I agree that BR now has a strong edge. You can see this in a number of different areas. Their is a huge difference in upcoming title releases for 2007. BR is also highly featured in prominent A/V magazines and in the big retailers -- there is simply more marketing clout behind BR. And, as Riff has done, you can get a very good BR player in the form of a PS3 for around $500.

At this point, I just can't see how HD-DVD can turn the tide.
 
JoeSp

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CochiseGuy, I can understand your frustration and your loyalty. HD-DVD can deliver a very nice product. It is just not the choice of all the majority of studios and manufacturers. Reguardless of how it happened BD has more support from studios, manufactuers and now big box retailers. That is how a format war is won. The one with the most product for the consumer to chose from is the winner.

On why Universal should change their policy is simple, HD-DVD is going to lose this one. Buena Vista and Fox are original backers of BD they did not come in late in the game but were one of the first studios to sign up. It is in their best interest if there is only one format. They have chosen BD and so has everybody else but Universal. The way this format war stops is for Universal to start supporting BD because Fox, Buena Vista (Disney) Sony and the bulk of MGM is only going to support BD. In this game it is when Universal wants to start selling more titles and end this format skirmish early rather then drag it out and suck money from the consumers who will purchase HD-DVD.

Once people start seeing those big Sony and Disney titles only releasing on BD it will be over. As I have always said, folks buy the player for the titles they want to watch and those titles are significantly out and coming out only on BD.
 
navychop

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At this point, I just can't see how HD-DVD can turn the tide.

I can't either. But I also don't underestimate Sony's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If they think they've got it sewn up, and can get away with anything, maybe they'll do something stupid. Remember, this is one arrogant company- think "root kit." Come ze revolution, I'll put them in jail for that one!

But it does look like Blu-ray is where to place your bet. However, I won't be placing a bet for a few more months. Toshiba may have a rabbit or two hidden away, or Sony may pull a -"Sony" - and lose it all. Anyway, prices are still high for a product that lacks what I consider to be minimum features, like an ethernet port and the ability to read almost every DVD & CD format in popular use.

The tide has turned, but it ain't over yet.


As I have always said, folks buy the player for the titles they want to watch and those titles are significantly out and coming out only on BD.

Actually, sometimes folks will buy because it's there in front of them. They may be unaware that there are even two different high def formats. Impulse buying.

But not at these prices. Most folks will do at least a little research before spending around $500 or more. You're right, when the time comes, and Momma and the kiddies are swarming the Disney titles, you KNOW which format will be bought.
 
CochiseGuy

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CochiseGuy, I can understand your frustration and your loyalty. HD-DVD can deliver a very nice product. It is just not the choice of all the majority of studios and manufacturers. Reguardless of how it happened BD has more support from studios, manufactuers and now big box retailers. That is how a format war is won. The one with the most product for the consumer to chose from is the winner.

On why Universal should change their policy is simple, HD-DVD is going to lose this one. Buena Vista and Fox are original backers of BD they did not come in late in the game but were one of the first studios to sign up. It is in their best interest if there is only one format. They have chosen BD and so has everybody else but Universal. The way this format war stops is for Universal to start supporting BD because Fox, Buena Vista (Disney) Sony and the bulk of MGM is only going to support BD. In this game it is when Universal wants to start selling more titles and end this format skirmish early rather then drag it out and suck money from the consumers who will purchase HD-DVD.

Once people start seeing those big Sony and Disney titles only releasing on BD it will be over. As I have always said, folks buy the player for the titles they want to watch and those titles are significantly out and coming out only on BD.

I appreciate your kinds thoughts, Joe. Although I would not describe myself as "frustrated", it must have been frustrating for backers of Blu-ray for the fist six months of their product release see their chosen format to be continually outsold and outshone in quality of releases of players & titles. Well, this is their moment in the sun, what it's all been about - getting BR players into the home in the form of PS3, and a heavy release schedule to support it. Time will tell. Considering the PS3 is in last place for sales of gaming machines, I'm not convinced. And I find it hard to beleive that Toshiba & Microsoft could not see PS3 & BD only release schedule happening, and have a few cards up their sleeves yet.

As for mom & pop six pack seeing those "big Sony and Disney releases" and snatching up those titles - with the only choices still being a $500 & up game machine or $800 & up player for BR, I think we're still along way away.

In the meantime, it sure is nice to enjoy civil discussions here in this forum. I've all but given up on AVS - the venom is so strong over there between fanbois, it's about as much fun to watch as liberals & conservatives going after each other on Fox News channel.
 
JoeSp

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CochiseGuy, lets look at those PS3 numbers differantly, the PS3 is currently the highest selling BluRay product on the market. I really do like to play games and the games at lauch were weak, except for R:FOM and my personal grab - Blazing Angels (I really like flying using the PS3 tilt controllers -- alot harder and I like it).

However, we all know that starting in March the are going to be some big releases on the PS3 (Motorstorm anyone) and that gaming will start to rock on the PS3. Heck, get into one of those 40 man R:FOM and that is a blast just trying to stay alive! So as a game machine the PS3 will start to come into its own by Spring.

On the BD movie side though, all those PS3 sales are definately driving BD movie sales -- no doubt about it. And it is just going to continue because there are more releases of bigger hits coming on down the line. This is what Sony was banking on, this is what they told the studios would happen and the PS3 has delivered.

Now, there is the XBOX360 with HDMI on the horizon but I am getting the feeling that it is not going to include the HD-DVD drive. I do not see Chinese players as HD-DVD's saving grace. As I have said earlier, if the PS3 contiues to sell only 240,000 units per month that is 1.5 times as many HD-DVD sales all of 2006 every month -- how is HD-DVD going to overcome that -- they won't. And not having Fox and Buena Vista in their corner it was going to be a uphill fight but now I am not even sure they can get to the hill.

Does that mean that HD-DVD is not a good product-- it is one heck of a product but then so was BetaMax. In this case HD-DVD is the one on the outside looking in. Sony backed a winner this time and since Toshiba was initally one of the developers of BD before going the HD-DVD way I am not sure that Toshiba is going to be in bad shape if BD wins. Everyone says that Sony is pushing BD down everyones throat but I see it a differant way. Sony made a great low cost BD player in the PS3 and it plays great games too. The fat lady's not singing but she is warming up her vocal cords. If HD-DVD doesn't do something drastic over the next 3 months summer might be it for HD-DVD being the mainstream HD disc format.
 
navychop

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"...As for mom & pop six pack seeing those "big Sony and Disney releases" and snatching up those titles - with the only choices still being a $500 & up game machine or $800 & up player for BR, I think we're still along way away..."

For the mainstream, yes. But early adopters have families too, and it's always easier to get buy-in if there's something there for She Who Must Be Obeyed and the kiddies. This format war will be settled long before the $200 player arrives.


"...In the meantime, it sure is nice to enjoy civil discussions here in this forum. I've all but given up on AVS - the venom is so strong over there..."

Absolutely. I rarely venture there- or certain other sites on various topics due to the emotions and downright abuse of others often posted.
 
mitsufan

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I’m not aware Toshiba had any early development w/ Blu-ray. Toshiba and Sony quite frankly hate each other and below is the background to why that is. I’ve not got much faith in either format at this point and even though I need a new DVD player I’m not going to purchase either unit. If neither Toshiba or Sony is going to back down or simply become the mainstream winner, I only see a dual format player the answer, just as DD and DTS are encoded on each disc.

Philips's development of the Laserdisc in 1969 yielded many of the technologies Sony carried over and adopted when they partnered with Philips to create a little something called the CD way back in '79. Both companies were hard at work together once again in the early 1990s on a new high-density disc called the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD—original name, guys), but their format was eventually more or less abandoned in favor of Toshiba's competing Super Density Disc (SD), which had the vast majority of backers at the time, such as Hitachi, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Thomson, and Time Warner.
The two factions cut a deal, brokered by IBM president Lou Gerstner, on a new format: DVD. Toshiba wound up on top after the dust settled in 1995/1996, and Sony and Philips, who weren't cut in on the standard (and royalties) nearly as much as they'd have liked, immediately started work on a next gen system. The Professional Disc for DATA (aka PDD or ProDATA), which was based on an optical disc system Sony had already been developing in the side, would eventually become the Blu-ray disc. Toshiba, not to be outdone by the pair, also started work on a next gen system, the Advanced Optical Disc, which eventually evolved into the HD DVD. After thirty-five years of optical audio/video disc development we're back where we were years ago: two money-grubbing factions fighting each other and threatening to wreak havoc on the consumer electronics industry. Apparently history really does repeat itself.
 
whitewolf8214

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IMO It's to early to predict a winner.I wish we would get one though.I'm holding off buying one until it comes clear who comes out ahead.
 
navychop

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I'd like to point out that the original "HD-DVD" used a red laser. This idea failed miserably and they moved on to the current ideas.

Oh, you can always PREDICT a winner. We're just not at the point where we can DECLARE a winner. Trends do reverse, surprises occur, and dark horses appear. But I'll add- it ain't over when someone capitulates. It's over long before then. VHS vs Beta was over long before Sony licensed VHS, thereby "giving up."

Why buy a player that may not be fully featured? I don't see any Blu-ray player even planned, for example, that has an ethernet port for updates, etc; plays CDs; AND plays every popular version of DVD out there, including DVD-audio. Some features, yes- but not all.

Prices will fall and features will be added.
 
CochiseGuy

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After thirty-five years of optical audio/video disc development we're back where we were years ago: two money-grubbing factions fighting each other and threatening to wreak havoc on the consumer electronics industry. Apparently history really does repeat itself.

Very interesting insight into the background of how we got to where we are today. Thanks! :)
 
BobMurdoch

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Well, some folks are still enjoying their laserdisc collections.....

I've still got about 100 of them...... A bunch of old collectors editions (Terminator 2, etc.) were loaded with extras that still bear watching every now and then....

I remember when we used to have to shell out $100 for one of these collector's editions.... Luckily, the only DVDs selling for those prices are entire TV seasons....
 
navychop

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BTW, how are those laserdisc players holding up? Are they sturdy enough to last another 10 years or so? Wouldn't it be "disappointing" if the media outlasted the players? I'm sure someone is repairing them, but eventually the parts will be obsolete.
 
BobMurdoch

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Mine still works, and I thingk Pioneer still has one model you can special order if you're old one breaks.....
 

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