Blu-ray - Did the wrong format win? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 1st, 2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Blu-ray - Did the wrong format win?

Is anyone surprised at how slowly the number of Blu-ray owners has grown? Consider this:

- The majority of people I know that own a Blu-ray player own a PS3.
- Prices on players have not dropped very much
- The format war was good for sales. Since the format war ended, we hardly ever hear about Blu-ray in the news.
- The Blur-ray section in my local Blockbuster store is still very small and NetFlix doesn't even carry most new releases in Blu-ray.

Did the studios back the wrong horse? HD-DVD was less expensive and had equal quality. The only significant advantage of BD was capacity.

I'm also suprised that when I watch a Blu-ray movie on my 72-inch 1080p Hitachi Projection DLP, it doesn't appear much better than a SD DVD.

Is Blu-ray ever going to take off?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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It has been said a lot of time already.
BD movies do not look better on a screen except if you put your nose on the glass of a 1080p screen (usually you only do that in shops)
at 6 feet, a good DVD player with HDMI output looks as good as a BD disc.
when will all get a 100inches screens it will probably be a different story.
BD is great for big audience projection, but in that case, you can often arrange another way to ply the movie (from disk, laptop, camera....).
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
less expensive and had equal quality.
I'm personally very happy that Blu-ray won. Even if it is difficult to determine the quality differences and current prices are still high, at least I will be able to burn 50gb worth of data onto a disc. Many more possibilities with a disc that has 25gb per layer vs 15gb.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 12:07 AM   #4
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This could end up being a "Mac vs. PC" discussion. Truth is that BD is now and HD is "pining for the fjords".

Since I shoot in HD, BD's adoption ramp is kinda key for me so I keep an eye on it. I find I get pretty good info on it here.

Whilst the PS3 offers the most bang for the buck, Sony and Samsung amongst others have been and will be introducing new players for lower cost and with more functionality. 'Tis the nature of technology.

Amazon are selling Sylvania and Samsung players for around US$200, and there's a promotion on that bundles 4 BD titles with a player for as little as $170.

The holiday season and a cramped economy will drive the prices down. And if you remember way back to the early days of DVD, the tipping point for adoption came when the prices dropped below $300. I expect you'll hear a lot more about BD in 2009.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:42 AM   #5
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Yes the wrong format won, as evidenced by the fact that we STILL cannot produce a decent menu in Blu-Ray. HD DVD was so easy.

The lack of support makes me feel all lonely inside, like a lost cricket in the night, just chirp, chirp, chirping for someone to notice him. Sadness.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:30 AM   #6
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Oh for goodness sakes.

BluRay and HD-DVD fought a hard battle for 2 years. BluRay won just in time to be welcomed by the deepest recession since the 1920s. BluRay players are now available for under $200 and are on target to be in the $120-$150 range by Christmas '09. Every major studio has jumped on the BluRay wagon. Single Sided (25GB BluRay discs are under $14.

Does anyone remember back to when DVDs first came about? This same futile discussion was had about DVDs not looking that much better than VHS tapes. And how the discs would scratch so easily, etc., etc.

Frankly, BluRay as a consumer medium would be nice, but for me, as a storage medium it's been nothing short of marvelous. The ability to take my 2-4 hour projects and drop then on a single disk for $35 is AMAZING at this point in time. I can even write out uncompressed DV masters if I like and fit things on one disc.

BluRay will come along in time. Maybe not this winter, or next summer, but fall '09 should bring a shift, and I suspect by summer '10 we'll see BluRay feature releases before DVD. It took VHS a LONG time to die in the feature and rental market. But die it did.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 01:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
Yes the wrong format won, as evidenced by the fact that we STILL cannot produce a decent menu in Blu-Ray. HD DVD was so easy.
Are you seriously saying that the format war was won by the wrong format because your software can't make a menu?

A bit of coding by some software developer could make your issue disappear, but you'd sink a potentially multi-billion dollar business because of consumer grade software menus?
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 06:39 AM   #8
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quote "The ability to take my 2-4 hour projects and drop then on a single disk for $35 is ..."
at the speed prices are going down for memory card you will get 32gig sD card for cheaper than BD disk soon.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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I'm saying that from my perspective, if you ask me, Blu-Ray has been the wrong choice. I'm hounded by customers who want Blu-Ray, and I can't even give them a decent menu. At least HD DVD thought about the little guy. I'm a (little) bit of a conspiracy theorist here. I think it's more politics than technology.

BTW, dollar-for-dollar, I've found hard drives are cheaper for storing projects, and I don't have to spend valuable time burning disks. This will change in the years ahead along with my view of BD, but for now I grumble.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
It has been said a lot of time already.
BD movies do not look better on a screen except if you put your nose on the glass of a 1080p screen
I really can't agree with that Giroud. I don't know whether the increase in quality justifies the added cost, but personally I am really enjoying my new BD player (watching on a 46" Sony 1080p LCD screen). I posted some examples here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...nt-know-3.html

Regarding price, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week saying that the "big box" stores are going to heavily discount Blu-ray for the holidays since business is slow in the current economy. Looks like this is already happening. On Best Buy's website I see a 1080p Insignia player for $250 and another for $200. I also see that the Sony BDP-S350 which I bought in September for $400 has been reduced to $300 :-(

Over on WalMart's site they are selling it for $298, and the Sony BDP-S300 is $198. There are several other models there between $200-$300. If holiday sales are as bad as some analysts expect, I wouldn't be surprised to see even lower prices ahead.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 10:31 AM   #11
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Home Theater: You don't need 1080p

but there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy your BDs, especially if you invest a lot of money in you setup.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 12:36 PM   #12
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Blu-Ray is still relatively new so it's not much of a surprise that it's sold at a premium compared to SD DVDs.

The biggest advantage of Blu-Ray over HD-DVD is much greater capacity.

Try to recall what prices DVDs sold at when it was first introduced, and how long it took for prices to come down as far as they did. Even the blank media took a while to get to curent prices. When they first came out Apple sold their blanks for $5 each. After a few months it dropped to $3. Now premium disks are 50 cents.

As for HD-DVDs looking better than Blu-Ray, that's an encoding issue and has little to do with the format itself. The disks are just data carriers. What makes one look better than another is how the film is compressed, then decompressed for playback.

The H-264 codec is available for the Blu-Ray format and that codec provides excellent results. I've seen bad examples of H-264 with fixed, low bitrates. And outstanding results with higher, variable-bitrates with the encoding being calculated after two passes.

And it's been mentioned before that the ability to create a menu has to do with the software and the user's familiarity with it. For example, a first-time user trying to create a DVD with Apple's DVD Studio Pro will struggle to get anything out the door, whereas that same user would get the task done easily with iDVD. The difference is the software. On the other hand, an experienced user can do a lot more with DVD Studio Pro and will find iDVD limited.

Give the market time to catch up. Eventually the media prices will drop. And the software will accommodate HD formats.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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I am really surprised about a couple of remarks:
1. That the quality difference between BD compared to a DVD is not that great!

To me and all those who I know around here BD produces "Wows" when people watch it.
If you are not seeing the difference then something in your playback system is not up-to-scratch. (I am not thinking of playback from your computer on your computer monitor)

2. Impossibility to produce a good menu!

I am not sure what a good menu looks like (and also this may be platform related) but by using the medium range DVDitPro HD I can produce menues that are nested/have motion thumbnails/jump to chapters/play all/select audio language substreams/select subtitle tracks and a whole lot more.

Harping back to the so-called "format war" - that took place mainly in the USA.
There was no war in Japan. The result showed that it was Japan that lead the trend.
Assuming that Japan is still in the forefront of the BD revolution - I can see that players here are way down in price compared to 1 year ago (in some cases -50%) What manufacturers are doing to keep the price up a little is to increase the size of the Harddrives in the boxes (1 TB is popping up more and more)
Burners are about 50 - 60% down on a year ago and the number of well known brands has increased.
These are things I can see with my own eyes ...... not just reported in the media.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 03:33 PM   #14
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i think BD produces "Wows" most of times because people change purchased their new 52" big screen at the same time than the player, so most of the "Wows" comes from the new screen, not from the BD. Probably too because they switch from composite link from DVD to hdmi from BD player.
Do the same, but instead BD, use a good DVD player with hdmi connection , and you will get the same "Wow".
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 03:53 PM   #15
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There is a night and day different between blu-ray and sd DVD, those that can't see should really have your eyes check, most people eyes sight are getting worse and they don't even know it myself included, I have had HDTV since the beginning, at first it was always wow whenever I watched a HD program, a few years goes by that wow factor is gone until I got my eyes checked and found out that I need glasses and the wow is back.
As for making BD-R with menu, don't know why you people are complaining, there are plenty of cheap solution, my BD-R come out great, I'm using ProCoder to encode, Encore to author, about 1 out of 5 weddings I do I sell BD with it, and none has come back because of incompatable, I scan the note that came with Blu-ray movies explaining about besure to have your player at the latest firmware and included that note with every BD-R disc I sent out, but it also seems like there are some die hard HD DVD people that wants Blu-ray to die also and always complaining about this and that, get over it already.
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