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Universal sticks with HD DVD

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 31 May 2007 19:00 User comments (8)

Universal sticks with HD DVD Universal Studios will stand by the HD DVD disc format according to Ken Graffeo, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE). Graffeo said Universal is committed to supporting the HD DVD format exclusively, being the only studio to do so. He said that he believes the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc is ultimately good for consumers in the long run.
"A little over a year ago, the least expensive HD-DVD player was $799. Now, with Toshiba's current rebate promotion, you can get an HD-DVD player for as little as $299....On the Blu-Ray side, the players started at $1,000 to $1,800 at the end of (2006) and this summer will be down to $599 with new models from Sony and Panasonic. It's the format war that's driving pricing down at such a dramatic, accelerated rate," Graffeo told the Philadelphia Daily News.

Many Industry officials and retailers would not agree with his views. They believe that the format war is confusing for consumers and is keeping the sales of players and HD films lower than they should be. Graffeo said that Universal supports HD DVD because it offers the, "better set of mandatory specifications", and every HD DVD player comes with an Ethernet port and has the software to support interactive features.

"In Blu-Ray, the interactive specs are still just an option. The only Blu-Ray player now sold with an Ethernet port is the PlayStation 3," he said. He also added that lower production costs associated with HD DVD means that players can continue to stay lower priced than Blu-ray.

"When you can get below $300 for hardware, you open up the mass market. Now people are willing to jump in and buy a player," Graffeo said. "I can't imagine Blu-Ray getting even close to a $300 player this year. I expect their lead dog, PlayStation 3 (now $599) to drop $100, but that's it." When asked why Blu-ray has outsold HD DVD this year, Graffeo said the group didn't release many films at all in the first quarter compared to Blu-ray, which had some big releases, like Casino Royale. "The fourth quarter will be telling. Our releases will be stronger," he said.

Source:
TVPredictions.com

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8 user comments

11.6.2007 1:37

After comparing both I can safely say that HD-DVD FTW.
I have a HD-DVD player for Xbox 360 and a PS3 the image quality is that much better on the HD-DVD.

Both tested on a Samsung LE37M87BDX 37".

HD-DVD has a much sharper clearer image quality compared to Blu-ray, Blu-ray tends to have a darker picture (and no it was not just the film I was watching) The HD-DVD version of Batman begins 2005 movie was only dark in the areas of the film that it was supposed to be dark in.
The problem with VHS all that time ago was that this was often to dark and Blu-ray has the same issue not as bad but its there, Blu-ray despite this has a nice picture quality but HD-DVD all the way for me.

Itís also worth pointing out that yes Blu-ray is confusing especially for people who have no idea what HDDVD is at least HD-DVDís are what they say they are.

I can imagine consumers buying Blu-ray DVDís and trying to put them into a HD-DVD player.

21.6.2007 2:17

Originally posted by Cloudkill:
After comparing both I can safely say that HD-DVD FTW.
I have a HD-DVD player for Xbox 360 and a PS3 the image quality is that much better on the HD-DVD.

Both tested on a Samsung LE37M87BDX 37".

HD-DVD has a much sharper clearer image quality compared to Blu-ray, Blu-ray tends to have a darker picture (and no it was not just the film I was watching) The HD-DVD version of Batman begins 2005 movie was only dark in the areas of the film that it was supposed to be dark in.
The problem with VHS all that time ago was that this was often to dark and Blu-ray has the same issue not as bad but its there, Blu-ray despite this has a nice picture quality but HD-DVD all the way for me.

Itís also worth pointing out that yes Blu-ray is confusing especially for people who have no idea what HDDVD is at least HD-DVDís are what they say they are.

I can imagine consumers buying Blu-ray DVDís and trying to put them into a HD-DVD player.

PQ is pretty much the same this has been tested already.The only different is the name & exclusives to either player.

31.6.2007 2:29
hughjars
Inactive

This should not come as a surprise to anyone serious about this stuff.
In fact the rumours that Universal might go 'format neutral' was no different to that other idiotic rumour (that Microsoft are probably going to release an XBox 360 Blu-ray add-on).
It's purely wishful 'thinking' from the BD propagandists trying to create some 'momentum' for something they would (rather hypocritically) love to have happen.

Well it's not going to (in the case of Universal not for a very long time......but personally I expect them all to be format neutral in the coming 2 or 3yrs).

......and as for the picture quality and audio quality differences between HD DVD & BD?
Well some might claim there ought to be no difference (and with some titles that is true) but it is also very true that when looked at overall it is the HD DVD range of titles that has the better PQ, SQ and a set of features in iHD that is far superior to anything that clunky java based cr@p can manage in BD.

It's also worth noting that besides the latest Samsung BDP1200 (not available in the UK) & the PS3 (with a couple of question marks hanging over it) is there a single other BD player that can handle the latest BD 'profile 1.1' due out in Oct (nevermind the other 'profiles' to follow after it)?

But that is what you get when the BD side rushed out their unfinished product.

......but who's kidding who here; what other BD players - other than PS3 - are there really anyways?

Many owners of both formats prefer the HD DVD release when offered the choice (Warner & Paramount support both formats).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Jun 2007 @ 2:32

41.6.2007 8:12

About the PS3 darkness:

I've found with several Japanese-manufactured consoles (PS3, PS2, and GC) that I've had to turn the brightness up on the TV about eight notches to be able to see the image better. I wonder if this has to do with differences in black level between Japan and US NTSC. Why not try that with your comparison?

51.6.2007 8:24

PQ was a very big issue when the First gen Blu-ray titles was released but now that a none issue PQ is pretty much on the same level even when Blu-ray boost to 1080p.Because most of the studio's that are format neutral use that same codec, so how can either PQ be better than the other when the both have just about the same spec's.Here are some Ex...

Norbit (HD DVD) Overall Grade 2.5 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 1 out of 5
HD Video Quality 3 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 3.5 out of 5
Supplements 2 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0 out of 5
Bottom Line One to Avoid

http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/norbit.html

Norbit (Blu-ray)Overall Grade 2 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 1 out of 5
HD Video Quality 3 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 3 out of 5
Supplements 2 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0 out of 5
Bottom Line One to Avoid

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/norbit.html

Dreamgirls (HD DVD)Overall Grade 4 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 3.5 out of 5
HD Video Quality 5 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 4 out of 5
Supplements 4 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0 out of 5
Bottom Line Recommended

http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/dreamgirls.html

Dreamgirls (Blu-ray)Overall Grade 4 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 3.5 out of 5
HD Video Quality 5 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 4 out of 5
Supplements 4 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0 out of 5
Bottom Line Recommended

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/dreamgirls.html

The Departed (HD DVD)Overall Grade 4 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 4 out of 5
HD Video Quality 4.5 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 4 out of 5
Supplements 2.5 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0.5 out of 5
Bottom Line Recommended

http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/departed.html

The Departed (Blu-ray)Overall Grade 4 out of 5
(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
The Movie Itself 4 out of 5
HD Video Quality 4.5 out of 5
HD Audio Quality 4 out of 5
Supplements 2.5 out of 5
High-Def Extras 0 out of 5
Bottom Line Recommended

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/departed.html

As you see there is no clear format that stand out no matter how some people on this board think it does.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Jun 2007 @ 8:26

61.6.2007 14:01
hughjars
Inactive

When you look at all the releases to date it is the BD side of the 'ledger' that has the long list of out and out stinkers & (very often) lacks the highest quality sound.

No matter how you try & spin it that is the fact of the matter.

........and the attempt to avoid the actual topic here is noted.

Universal are not in fact going format neutral - no matter how many rumours the BD shills try and spread.

71.6.2007 19:03

Well after reading this article about the raging format war that is still raging i feel that its a good thing and if the competition between both formats are causing the prices to drop im just going to sit back and watch the prices drop like flies.

Ill wait till they go down to at the most $A199. :)

Keep fighting the good fight i say :)

828.6.2007 7:31

AT this rate, we should have the $30 (thirty) Blu Ray and HD players by the end of the year.

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