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Old January 16th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #16
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Not that simple

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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
there still is a market for HD-DVD, by simply replacing the DVD.
Same price for disk and players (apparently we are already close to this) and mass producing burners. they killed the product by not producing burners.
everybody of us would be recording SD or HD video on HD-DVD if only we could burn a disk.
Plants producing DVD players and DVD and DVD-R would be too happy to be saved by simple reconversion to HD-DVD. just change the laser head and the decoder chip and you can continue to produce high value product instead having the perspective to fight blu-ray by decreasing prices and benefits margins on obsolete DVD products.
The guys at Toshiba really need some marketing refreshement training..

Giroud,

It's not that simple. And it won't work even if they did it. Let me address first your workaround.

Even if they did what you suggested, we as videographers, will burn our disc based on the players our clients own. Not on the burner we have. There are many wedding videographers as well that those in the porn industry who simply won't use HD-DVD even if the burner is dual purpose if the client is BD.

And why would the clients likely will own a BD only player? Because first and foremost, they will be buying movies in this format. So, if they get married or have an event, they would want their discs be burned in BD, not HD-DVD. And BD burners can be backward compatible with DVD or today's standard, so HD-DVD has no monopoly on backward compatibility.

In short, leveraging HD-DVD burner strategy would not have worked.

And the reason for the switch and likely death of HD-DVD is not the wedding videographer, or the porn industry, or the technological advantage of BD, or because the PS3 had BD alone. These are steps that contributed to it. But it was the deciding variable or the critical success factor. It was the content in terms of movies that is playable that pushed the death button against HD-DVD. And Warner was the big one that tipped the scales.

This youtube video is funny but they were arguing based on past history w/c was not the critical success factor that will tilt it this time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePcCPtryCfU

They forgot that the Internet now neutralized the advantage of porn in discs through streaming. They also ignored the fact two other things. That due to the revenues they generate, the porn industry can switch as easily to the other camp because the camera stays the same. Only the burner and the disc changed. And the cost is a pittance. It isn't as if they were changing from a beta camera to a VHS camera w/c would cost more. If they bought an FX1 3 years ago, this camera would still turn out HD video and it can still be burned to BD or HD-DVD. But why would you burn for the latter if the entire market is already BD.

Also, they forgot that in the early days, video rental was in its infancy. It was an unknown and unproven revenue stream. In that respect, porn has shown the way you can make money in this new market. But today, after 30 years, porn isn't just the big revenue maker. The regular movies in DVD has shown it is a force to reckon with. And this is why when Warner shifted, it basically killed all hopes for HD-DVD. Even if porn decided to go HD-DVD solely, they won't change the landscape because the non-porn industry is also a force to reckon, and probably is bigger than them. And porn being smart, and a risk taker, this time will have no trouble shifting to BD. The burner and the software are very small cost to shift. But the content they hold is more valuable to both BD and HD-DVD.

Now, I wonder how those two blokes in the video who were laughing about hd-dvd to be the sure winner with surety and finality would feel 6 months from now (heck even now). It would be nice to see their faces when hd-dvd folds and the porn industry shifts.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #17
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Apple TV may have helped HD DVD

Ok, so it looks like blu-ray has the majority of studio support, and it is likely to get worse as Paramount is rumored to be thinking of switching to blu-ray only too.

But then Apple TV comes out, with deals with ALL the major studios to allow downloading of content directly to one's TV.

So doesn't this take away a good deal of blu-ray's "victory"? What kind of consumer is going to shell out for a blu-ray player when he/she can get an Apple TV for the same price and just download the movies they want? Answer: videophiles. Niche market. Rentals are probably going to be mostly downloads in the future.

So how does HD DVD turn this in their favor? By going after a different market -- content producers (like us).

As Girouard pointed out, HD DVD flubbed by not making burners, among other things. (Though Macs have been capable of burning HD DVD content onto regular DVD-Rs for a while now).

What HD DVD needs to do now is make themselves THE format for smaller content producers like wedding videographers, etc. Come out with inexpensive burners, software, etc. Then continue to sell their inexpensive players to the masses and hope to be the perfect complement to the Apple TV (and similar download devices).

IN other words, forget about the studios, because they are going downloads anyway. Try to become the format of choice for other producers.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 07:39 AM   #18
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quote : "It's not that simple"
In fact , i think they proved it is that simple. They just focus on these big studios that are not making choice. they just follow the winner, even if that means to change its mind every 6 month, signing agreement with both camp etc...
As VHS and MP3 proved, the choice is with the consumer.
Both HD-DVD et Blu-ray ignored the consumer until now. That was just a talk between movie majors and them and that it is why both are a failure until now.
DVD industry started to fly the day where burners started to be available to everybody. MP3 started to live when players (that are actually recorder at first) were available.
Zillion of MP3 players and DVD burners have been sold without asking to anybody from the disc or movie industry, and yes , there was some issue from illegal copy, but until now sale of music and movie still makes lots of money.
Even if Blu-ray wins over HD-DVD, war is not over. They will then need to win over consumer and DVD and Apple TV and internet etc...

Even if Blu-ray wins, at the price it is currently, i will not burn video on their burners and disks, it is too expensive.
i will use what everybody already has or can get, a DVD.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #19
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Just a friendly reminder from the management.... discussions of the adult film industry usually end up getting edited or closed.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lammey View Post
What kind of consumer is going to shell out for a blu-ray player when he/she can get an Apple TV for the same price and just download the movies they want?
What kind of consumer is going to shell out for Apple TV when they can get a slick game machine with internet download capability and a built-in Blu-ray player for a few bucks more? Reports are that Apple TV sales have been far short of the 1 million units predicted by the end of 2007, while the number of people with Blu-ray capable devices in the US is closing in on 2 million. I can't think of anyone I know who would pay $229-329 to watch downloaded movies on their TV when they can just watch them on their computer, but I do know people who are buying and watching Blu-ray movies.

It may be that HD movie discs won't readily replace SD DVDs in the foreseeable future, but to the extent they do Blu-ray is currently the best option - because it's the only solution which is fully developed. HD-DVD is doomed for our purposes without readily available burners, which should have shipped a long time ago. Blu-ray burners are widely available at faster speeds with higher capacity discs, and it's becoming apparent Blu-ray is the preferred format for both movie studios and consumers.

HD-DVD might still be able to pull off an upset if they get their act together this year in a big way, but that's looking less and less likely with each passing day. Truckloads of cheap players mean nothing if we can't deliver content for them and the format appears in danger of imminent demise, which makes it difficult to recommend to customers. I don't mention HD-DVD and haven't had anyone ask me about it, but interest in Blu-ray is definitely spreading.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
quote : "It's not that simple"
In fact , i think they proved it is that simple. They just focus on these big studios that are not making choice. they just follow the winner, even if that means to change its mind every 6 month, signing agreement with both camp etc...

As VHS and MP3 proved, the choice is with the consumer.
Both HD-DVD et Blu-ray ignored the consumer until now. That was just a talk between movie majors and them and that it is why both are a failure until now.
No. It's not simple. There is such a thing as market driven and technology driven strategy. In this case, there is still no market because it's supposed to be the technology that should drive it. It was obvious the market wasn't willing to budge. Nobody will buy burners too, except maybe the porn industry w/c was willing to experiment. But then again, there are not much buyers of players to cause a irreversible momentum like it did 30 years ago. The porn market was just as happy d/ling it or streaming it, and for a lower cost. So, the market could not lead. Because the consumers were waiting for the standard to be set. Everybody was too smart now to be gamble on a standard that might get obsolete in a year.

Remember, powerful as the porn industry is, so is the mainstream video today. It wasn't like that 30 years ago, where the rental and video market wasn't formed yet. Now, the regular mainstream market has its own voice and numbers. The porn industry, no longer can lead on its own. And even if they chose HD-DVD, the mainstream did not move this time. No, the porn industry didn't budge the entire industry to change to HD-DVD.

So we have a state where everybody is waiting. It was only when Warner, who holds a huge chunk of movie titles that everything changed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
DVD industry started to fly the day where burners started to be available to everybody. MP3 started to live when players (that are actually recorder at first) were available.
I beg to disagree. The DVD movies that you buy weren't burned. They were stamped. Even pirated once were stamped.

The case of the mp3 is different. It was the medium for transfer in the late 90s (where the Net was just expanding) and early 2000s.

But by this time, a cd-rdisc for mp3 is too big in physical size, but too small in capacity. A flashcard is smaller, lighter, easier to . Also, if I remember, DVD discs weren't the medium for mp3s in the early years (I know because I wrote a paper on that in my graduate course in 1999). It was CD-R. And we have had cd-r burner for years. There wasn't dvd-r burners then as the -R and +R was still an issue too at that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
Zillion of MP3 players and DVD burners have been sold without asking to anybody from the disc or movie industry, and yes , there was some issue from illegal copy, but until now sale of music and movie still makes lots of money.
You got it! But most mp3s were burned in CD-R discs, not DVD in the early years. DVD burners were expensive and there was the battle of the +R and -R w/c took a bit to be resolved.

But then again, the DVD discs were not burned. They were stamped. And they did make lots of money for movies. Again, take a look at your copy of a legit movie. It is not burned. It is stamped.

And the burners flourished because cost went down, and there was a need to replace the 1.44mb floppy disc. The cd-r was the one that was used often, not dvd-Rs due to the cost of DVD blanks vs cd-r blanks (w/c were just U$0.15 each). But now, it's more convenient to use flash disc. A 4gb FD costs about U$40 now. 2gb is about U$20.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
Even if Blu-ray wins over HD-DVD, war is not over. They will then need to win over consumer and DVD and Apple TV and internet etc...
That is true. But at least, we are dealing with BD vs Apple's internet downloadable movies. Not BD vs HD-DVD w/c are both disc standards w/c is causing the bigger problem overall.


The BD vs Apple concept is another story. That is a sociological thing. A gamble that Apple's NET based movie viewing (a la ipod) vs those who think discs still have a place.

But again, this is a technology push, not a market push. Each one is banking on a future that is hard to foresee and is not yet formed. Many analyst still believe that though online streaming or d/l is becoming the norm, there is still no substitute of having a physical disc or some smallish storage for watching a movie.

Is this a correct call? We don't know. Time will tell. But for sure, the era of DVD is over. It is HD now. Personally, I still think there is room for a disc storage of movies or owns personal videos. There is something to be said about having to pull it off the shelf if you want to watch a movie or see your wedding video, compared to turning on your PC or Airbook and logging in to watch it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
Even if Blu-ray wins, at the price it is currently, i will not burn video on their burners and disks, it is too expensive.
i will use what everybody already has or can get, a DVD.
OK, now your are getting it. It was never burned before except for those in the home. But that is few and far in-between because of the cost of the disc. In our part of the world, you can get a pirated dvd copy of a movie stamped, not burned for U$0.75. It comes with a nice case and it has nice labels on the disc and the case. The cost of the DVD-R disc is U$0.50 and I don't have the material in the first place, no label, no box. It's easier to just buy the stamped DVD disc.

What I am saying here, is that BD or DVD, or HD-DVD, the burner is not the tipping point, especially for the movie production industry. It will be stamped because it is faster and more durable to stamp it. Cheaper too if run in big numbers.

And burning for own use will not move either standard. Even if you decide to pirate BD or HD-DVD disc, the cost of the disc, the time it takes to burn it is too long and too high. If you can copy a movie in 10 min with a burner, you can only do 6 in 1 hour. 60 pcs in 10 hours. Not a good way of mass production for piracy or even for a legal entity to duplicate movies. Even if you daisy chain drives (w/c are still expensive), you still can't produce thousands of copies in a day unless you have 50 or so burners. Stamping it is faster and cheaper.

As a wedding shooter, I want the industry to pick a standard. Why? Because it simplifies my output. Even if the burner is capable of both standards, the difference in size of discs might affect how much I can put in features or menus. I don't have to master 2 kinds of menus or output. It also affects my ability to get supplies of discs. In the early days, it was very hard to get +R discs DVD blanks. I don't want to deal with that.

What is certain now is this -- with BD basically winning, we can now deal with the issues of lowering costs of drives, players, etc. How Apple is to play its own game vs disc media is another topic. At least from the disc camp, the complexity and confusion is about over.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:26 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel Enriquez View Post

And burning for own use will not move either standard. Even if you decide to pirate BD or HD-DVD disc, the cost of the disc, the time it takes to burn it is too long and too high. If you can copy a movie in 10 min with a burner, you can only do 6 in 1 hour. 60 pcs in 10 hours. Not a good way of mass production for piracy or even for a legal entity to duplicate movies. Even if you daisy chain drives (w/c are still expensive), you still can't produce thousands of copies in a day unless you have 50 or so burners. Stamping it is faster and cheaper.

a multi-target burner is cheap. buy a couple 10 target dvd burners, you can multiply your output by 20x. 120 disc output an hour is profitable. I have a small home based business, I have a 3 target robotic dvd burner, I stick in a 100 discs, and it does all the work. the people pirating discs have better equipment than me.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
What kind of consumer is going to shell out for Apple TV when they can get a slick game machine with internet download capability and a built-in Blu-ray player for a few bucks more? Reports are that Apple TV sales have been far short of the 1 million units predicted by the end of 2007, while the number of people with Blu-ray capable devices in the US is closing in on 2 million. I can't think of anyone I know who would pay $229-329 to watch downloaded movies on their TV when they can just watch them on their computer, but I do know people who are buying and watching Blu-ray movies.

It may be that HD movie discs won't readily replace SD DVDs in the foreseeable future, but to the extent they do Blu-ray is currently the best option - because it's the only solution which is fully developed. HD-DVD is doomed for our purposes without readily available burners, which should have shipped a long time ago. Blu-ray burners are widely available at faster speeds with higher capacity discs, and it's becoming apparent Blu-ray is the preferred format for both movie studios and consumers.

HD-DVD might still be able to pull off an upset if they get their act together this year in a big way, but that's looking less and less likely with each passing day. Truckloads of cheap players mean nothing if we can't deliver content for them and the format appears in danger of imminent demise, which makes it difficult to recommend to customers. I don't mention HD-DVD and haven't had anyone ask me about it, but interest in Blu-ray is definitely spreading.
Assuming if the HD-DVD camps somehow makes a last pitch effort, take a big, big loss by introducing low cost HD-DVD burners say for U$200, can that sway the overall market?

From the standpoint of a wedding videographer, why would I buy a U$200 or even a U$100 HD-DVD burner if my clients have BD players?

From the standpoint of porn, why insist on HD-DVD if the majority of the players are BD.

This is one time where it is no longer a technology push, but a market pull. The market now will determine the standard w/c is acceptable.

Ok, another scenario, the players are dual capable. But wouldn't that bloat the cost of the player? And if you want to watch movies now, if there' s more BD movies to be had, then I'd go for a lower cost BD player than a dual one. If I get married or buy porn, I expect the discs to be in BD format.

This is why the Warner decision was the tipping point. Nobody would move for over a year. Everybody was just posturing. There were many problems in the pushing of each technology. But it was never about technology. It was content. And the critical content was mainstream movie. Not porn. Not our own wedding videos, or personal videos, but regular mainstream movies.

Even Apple knows this. It's about the mainstream movies. Yes, they have their own agenda about a discless device (PC) like the Air notebook they just launched, but even they know that the tipping point is the movie content. Their only difference is how it should be delivered or presented to the user.

So, make all the HD-DVD or BD burners that one can. But that is not the tipping point or the Critical Sucess Factor (CSF). HD-DVD can make a play for that. But I doubt if it will succeed. As you said, the probability of success is slipping by as each day passes.

If there is any new battle to be waged now, it will be BD vs downloadable video. It's no longer BD vs HD-DVD.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 03:23 AM   #24
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Nice analysis, Mel.

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Originally Posted by Mel Enriquez View Post
If there is any new battle to be waged now, it will be BD vs downloadable video. It's no longer BD vs HD-DVD.
Downloads will take more and more share as time goes on, but it will never kill packaged media.

1) Packaged media makes the better gift. It's tangible, and even grandma can play it.

2) Disc players have near 100% saturation. Broadband is much lower, even after 13 years of the Internet saturating news stories. And the FCC rates everything above 256k as broadband. I can't even view YouTube videos in real time on my "broadband" connection.

3) TCO. Total Cost of Ownership. With a disc, I throw it on my shelf. There are no additional costs. With a download, it eats disc space. To move it or back it up takes time and effort. As my hardware evolves, I have to manage and maintain it. One more worry in a busy life.

4) DRM. If the media is tied to certain machines, I lose my purchases if those machines die.

5) Fear of loss. I'm lazy. I didn't back it up. My drive failed. Good bye media. As long as my house doesn't catch fire, my discs are safe - and my homeowner's policy covers my discs if they're stolen or lost in a fire.

6) Portability. Until I can store everything on my PMP with HDMI output, my downloads are locked in my hard drive at home. With discs I can loan them, borrow them and bring them to friend's houses to watch. I can even toss it in my laptop or portable disc player. As long as the screen is bigger than the disc, the disc player is already an efficient size.

7) Availability. I can get discs from the local rental store, Netflix, Best Buy, Wal-Mart or even 7-eleven. My library lends discs for free. (Cool ones too, like Elephant Man and Eraserhead.)

Download market share has nowhere to go but up! But physical packaged media is here to stay. BD (or whatever the dominant physical media) will not be fully defeated by downloads in my lifetime.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #25
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Most of the download schemes I've read about usually try to follow some variation of the pay-per-view format. They've incorporated so much DRM that you can barely play the file unless everything in your hardware and software is just right and the moon isn't full. If your primary movie watching consists of rentals from Blockbuster, NetFlix, etc., then that's fine. But there are movies and TV shows that I love to watch over and over again. Some, because I just really enjoy the story. Others, because I find something unusual in the shooting, editing, sound recording, etc., that I want to watch over and over to study and try to incorporate into my own work someday. For me, I don't just want my own film library, I think I NEED one! Physical media is the only way to go for me. Downloading won't be practical until the DRM mess is straightened out such that we can burn the files to physical media and view the content as much as we want, and until the bandwidth to download in a reasonable time frame becomes widely available. I currently have 5 meg download speed from Time-Warner, and even with that, it would take forever to download one movie in 1080P with HBR audio. That bandwidth is coming, but it'll be years before it reaches wide-scale market penetration.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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Old January 17th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #26
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What kind of consumer is going to shell out for Apple TV when they can get a slick game machine with internet download capability and a built-in Blu-ray player for a few bucks more?.
Perhaps consumers who have no interest in gaming?

And yes, until now Apple TV hasn't had great success, but that's because they required a computer middleman. Now that middleman is gone.

But even so, I don't think Apple TV will be huge -- the idea and model it presents is going to be huge. It is the first of similar downloading devices/business models that will take over the rental market, I believe. I'm now expecting that the big cable companies, Comcast, etc., will turn their cable boxes into movie download machines -- which they already are, to some extent -- and then ask for a downloading deal with the six majors. Apple is just providing the model.

I agree it looks bleak for HD DVD, but if they want to get back in the game, their only hope is to: (1) include an HD DVD player with every XBox; (2) bring out a low cost burner; (3) keep underselling blu-ray players, and (4) ideally, develop a low cost dual player so it doesn't matter whether you have HD DVD or blu-ray.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dave Lammey View Post
I agree it looks bleak for HD DVD, but if they want to get back in the game, their only hope is to: (1) include an HD DVD player with every XBox; (2) bring out a low cost burner; (3) keep underselling blu-ray players, and (4) ideally, develop a low cost dual player so it doesn't matter whether you have HD DVD or blu-ray.
These are good points, but more and more this scenario is looking like watching a losing football team in the fourth quarter of a game and saying "all they need is two touchdowns and a field goal to win".

If they did not take these steps up until now, I don't think they have the capability or time to execute going foward.

The lack of computer burners has always made me suspicious of HD-DVD winning this war. I agree the focus is on big movies, but there are a lot of folks out there that think the burner is an important part of a media format.

It amazes me that they have yet to put a burner on the market and want us to commit to the format.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #28
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HD-DVD player really is a no-brainer for many of us in media production.
The players don't document it, but producing hybrid discs of HD on DVD-R is very easy and effective (for short programs).
High quality linit is about 20 minutes, but you can squeeze double that on at higher compressed rates that still look worlds better than SD video.
For lots of professional work, throwing in the $130 player is actually an incentive for our clients. (these discs also play back at hi-res via apple dvd-player on all modern macs)
For corporate/industrial/presentation work it's a very useful and cheap tool to be able to deploy.
You can actually put (standard formats) HDV clips on to a DVD-r and play them back on a toshiba! No re-compression involved, but they do have to be put in the right envelope format and muxed. In my limited testing though, I've found for edited material it's worth going to H264 codec if you can afford to leave the machine rendering the compression for awhile.
I use apple DVD studio pro, but there are people doing this on win as well.

Not really a solution for the wedding videographers, but this is killer for lots of corporate work (Include playback hardware to their plasma in your bid, and take some profit).

Meanwhile. I'm enjoying my Universal and Paramount movies. These guys do some alright stuff. Forget the media hype and instead of following the sheep, buy a system that delivers at a reasonable price. If consumers made the practical choice, the studios will simply follow. Blu may have crested the wave after the beating that the media gave them (much more significant than Warner's decision in itself). Unfortunately much of the media reporting was poorly informed and unduly influenced by a deluge of biased press releases.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #29
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Tim, the recordable drives have been around for a year, the (somewhat impractical and expensive) set-top player available in Japan for 6 months (before Blu-ray and on display for release here at CES).
The recordable PC drives are only sold OEM. I suspect this is because of the touchy state of copy protection and DRM. Since movies have not activated AACS limitations due to legacy HD-TV systems, I think you'd be able to dupe commercial movies easily with this unit. That's my take anyway...
Blu-ray does seem to be ahead with recorders now, with drives out for under $500 and a few set-top recorders (although I've heard some real issues exist with compatibility - an ongoing blu-ray problem).
I'm going to look for people here doing blu-ray production to catch up with where that stands for we producers now.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #30
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Apple isn't providing the model for downloadable movies... as usual, they are copying a pre-established idea and 'updating it'. DIVX had a downloadable distribution model NINE years ago, and a better deal before DRM was in place. But it didn't fly.
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