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Old July 3rd, 2006, 10:20 AM   #16
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Great report, thanks!

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Old July 3rd, 2006, 11:43 AM   #17
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Maybe they'll make it up by selling a 400.00 extended warranty
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 12:17 PM   #18
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Maybe they'll make it up by selling a 400.00 extended warranty
That cracked me up.

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Old July 10th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #19
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Since I don't want to be responsible or putting Toshiba out of business, I won't buy one at all. I just don't want the guilt.:)
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Old July 10th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #20
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Ha ha ha ha!

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Old July 10th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #21
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This format war is going to be very interesting to watch. Unlike VHS vs. Beta, this time around the studios have taken sides. With the first war, the studios released films on both formats. People just ended up getting screwed if they owned the wrong one in the end. Whereas now, the studios are taking sides. Does that mean you won't see Disney movies unlesss you own the right player or Universal films if you don't own the one they support? Are we going to see Sony Pictures release films on HD-DVD or only Blu-Ray?

Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)

This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...
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Old July 10th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #22
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Daniel,

I imagine the one equalizer in this whole showdown will be the internet, i.e. Itunes and the like where you can already purchase movies online. I do imagine that most likely we will all watch things more and more from a none harddisk format. That's my two cents. Ofcourse, I'm not Bill Gates or Steven Speilburg.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)

This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...
I don't think's that's true as Samsung and I think Pioneer is releasing a dual player capable of playing both formats. Last I heard...
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #24
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Someone is, I don't know if it's Sanyo or LG (is that the right name?) or whom...

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Old July 10th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
This format war is going to be very interesting to watch. Unlike VHS vs. Beta, this time around the studios have taken sides. With the first war, the studios released films on both formats. People just ended up getting screwed if they owned the wrong one in the end. Whereas now, the studios are taking sides. Does that mean you won't see Disney movies unlesss you own the right player or Universal films if you don't own the one they support? Are we going to see Sony Pictures release films on HD-DVD or only Blu-Ray?
Actually, many studios are now starting to show support for both formats. The supported codecs and data rates are essentially identical between the two formats, with BluRay only having an edge in capacity and potentially for future longevity due to more layers on a disc. But the primary concern of the studios is to sell their product and make money. As many of them are politically aligned to one side of the format war on some level, the business of making money still comes first and they'll release on multiple formats to get their HD content out there and into the hands of consumers in exchange for their cash. If the "war" drags on for too long, we'll see studios supporting both formats with the only real hold-out being Sony's own studios releasing on only BluRay. And there's a pretty good bet we'll see universal players that will play both disc formats within a year anyway.

Quote:
Keep in mind that it is illegal for a company to make a dual-player that plays both. There's a provision in the Blu-Ray clause that says if you manufacture a Blu-Ray device, that device must not also play HD-DVD's. (Which is kind of ironic, since both formats use the same video codecs. Just the disc is different.)
Actually, Sony has removed the restriction for support of HD-DVD and DVD-Audio formats on BluRay licensed devices. This was mostly due to several hardware manufacturers such as Marantz, Denon, LG, Pioneer, etc.. threatening legal action as Sony didn't implement that license restriction until Marantz and LG announced dual format players. Not to mention it violates antitrust laws in the USA and most of Europe. The only thing that Sony can enforce is that their proprietary BluRay mechanism with its blue laser implementation can only be used for formats that Sony licenses. So Currently any dual format players will have to use two separate laser mechanisms. Not a big deal for a true universal player. The blue laser implementation for BluRay actually has a shortcoming in that it is actually incapable of reading low density media like standard CDs, hence why the Sony BDP-S1 and Samsung BP1000 players can't play CDs. Upcoming players from Panasonic and Pioneer will allow for CD playback, but will also carry a higher price tag because they need an additional laser mechanism - essentially two drives in one that share the same disc tray.

Quote:
This makes me wonder where this war is going to take us...
All we can do is speculate... My only concern is that studios will wait too long to support both formats and/or component makers will wait too long to ship dual-format players and both formats will fail to lure consumers, and will therefore die a premature death. This would leave consumers out in the cold and waiting for yet another HD format to arrive. IMO, that won't really happen... Sony has enough muscle to push BluRay forever and they will as they're determined to transition everything from movies to music to computer software over to the BD disc format within the next decade. But so both formats are off to a terrible start. The HD-DVD players are buggy as hell and the first crop don't support 1080p even though all HD-DVD releases are encoded at 1080p. The BluRay players keep getting delayed and the initial release titles are sucky at best (except T2). Samsung got their player out on time, but it's a complete turd with horrible picture quality and terrible performance. It makes a beautiful 1080p transfer of Terminator 2 that looked awesome on a demo BDP-S1 Sony player look like a bad SD DVD upconversion. I bought the Samsung player and had to return it. I mean, it sucks bad... It barely runs better than the sucky Toshiba HD-A1 player (which I also own), but unlike the Samsung, the Toshiba player was half the price and has excellent picture quality. I've seen prototype Sony S1 players on three occasions now (actually playing BD media, not the demo crap at the Sony stores), I know what the format can do and it's awesome. The Samsung player is giving people a false impression of the format thus far.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Daniel,

I imagine the one equalizer in this whole showdown will be the internet, i.e. Itunes and the like where you can already purchase movies online. I do imagine that most likely we will all watch things more and more from a none harddisk format. That's my two cents. Ofcourse, I'm not Bill Gates or Steven Speilburg.
While I am normally very geeky and would love to agree with you, I really don't think this is what is going to happen. A lot of smart people are predicting that digital distribution will beat them both, but the problem is that the average person doesn't even know what digital distribution is. The most people do right now is download extremely low-resolution television shows onto their iPods, and even then, we're talking about a very small percentage of the market. iTunes still has nothing on DVD sales.

So for digital distribution to really hit, we would need to do the following things:

1. Convince way, way more people to start downloading content.
2. Start offering much higher resolution videos.
3. Hope pepople have the bandwidth to support these resolutions.
4. Somehow integrate the TV with the computer. (This really has not happened yet, except maybe a handful of Mac Mini and Media Center users.)

Seems like a task that, to me, is going to take much longer than sorting out this little format war of ours. Granted, digital distribution is something to watch, but I don't think it's going to be fully complete by a year or so from now. Whereas I think within a year or so from now, we'll probably have a feel for how the DVD market is doing.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Daniel Hollister
Granted, digital distribution is something to watch, but I don't think it's going to be fully complete by a year or so from now. Whereas I think within a year or so from now, we'll probably have a feel for how the DVD market is doing.
One could say that digital distribution is already winning, in the form of on-demand services provided by cable & satellite TV companies. I recently upgraded my cable service and was surprised to find out that I can get many movies in HD format that way now, without having to pay anything up front for a fancy player. (Just rent an HD box from the cable company for $5/month.) Of course I'm limited to the movies being made available at any given moment, but for now that's a wider selection than can be found on either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

So until one of the two HD disc formats becomes ubiquitous and affordable, I'd say as a consumer that what I can get from my cable company is more appealing and convenient than either of the disc-based options. Having seen this, I'm now skeptical that either disc-based format will catch on widely in the near future.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #28
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HD Video On Demand isn't that hot IMO.

I can buy a HD DVD player or Blu-Ray and choose to rent my discs from Netflix or Blockbuster. Comcast charges $3.99-5.99 for movies in my area. Not a good deal compared to $17.99 all I can eat 3 out at a time Netflix HD.

Both optical formats will look better than the HD crap streaming over cable lines and limited to 19.4Mbps.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #29
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19.4 Mbps is for terrestrial broadcast DTV. The bitrate over Digital Cable and Satellite is often much lower - and has often gone through another generation of decode/encode.

And the terrestrial stuff is often lower due to bit stripped off for data, extra sub-channels and other overhead.

For instance, the CBS station in my area sends out a stream of HD and an SD simulcast. Why do they waste the bits? All of the receivers I'm aware of can downsample from HD to SD.

And then there's the quality of the real-time encoders. Some are quite good. Others, like the ones NBC used for the 2004 Olympics, are terrible. Watching the closeups of the backstrokers, you could see that they were swimming in square water, rather than the round drops that we get in the rest of the world. (!)

No doubt, the quality of a good encode onto a Blu-ray disc played from a top player will far exceed the quality that you'll ever get from Cable.

It's hard to get live sports from Netflix though...
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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison Murchison
I can buy a HD DVD player or Blu-Ray and choose to rent my discs from Netflix or Blockbuster. Comcast charges $3.99-5.99 for movies in my area. Not a good deal compared to $17.99 all I can eat 3 out at a time Netflix HD.
Yes, but for the average consumer paying a few extra bucks per month for movies on demand may seem like a better deal than paying hundreds of dollars for an HD player which could become obsolete when the 'format war' is over. Certainly for now there are many more people who can get HD movies on demand than have the HD players, so in that sense digital distribution is winning (temporarily).
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