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Analysts doubt outcome to hi-def format war this year

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 14 Aug 2007 9:48 User comments (29)

Analysts doubt outcome to hi-def format war this year HD DVD and Blu-ray producers will be giving consumers more reason to be upset this Christmas, as "Spider-Man 3" comes out exclusively on Blu-ray and "The Bourne Ultimatim" is available only on HD DVD.
While releasing a movie in only one of the two major hi-def formats is considered a good move for promoting your studio's choice, it brings up the question of what impression it leaves on consumers.

So far consumers, by an large, haven't been forced to make a decision because players were priced outside their means. Many don't even have the HDTV displays required to take advantage of either format's improved picture quality. However, with significantly cheaper hardware expected in time for Christmas, consumers will be under pressure to decide between them this Christmas, and it's possible the lack of key titles from both formats will help them decide to keep their money in their pockets.

Sadly, although there are units available that can playback both formats, it's currently more expensive than buying both an HD DVD and Blu-ray player.

HD DVD, developed by Toshiba and backed by powerful companies like Microsoft, has the lead in standalone players sold because they are cheaper and hit the market first. In the United States, standalone HD DVD players have 61 percent market share, while Blu-ray players have 36 percent share and the few dual-format players have a 3 percent share, according to market research company The NPD Group.

However, Blu-ray, backed by Sony and a majority of Hollywood studios, got a big boost when Sony introduced its PlayStation 3 Latest News about PlayStation 3 game console, which comes standard with a Blu-ray drive. Counting those machines, there are more Blu-ray players out there. Although Microsoft's Xbox 360 Latest News about Xbox 360 can play HD DVD movies, the drive has to be bought separately. Only 160,000 drives have been sold so far, compared with 1.5 million PS3 consoles.

In terms of discs sold, Blu-ray has always had the lead. Time Warner's Warner Bros. and Viacom's Paramount Pictures release movies in both formats, and in such cases Blu-ray has outsold HD DVD by nearly 2-to-1. Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co., and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are releasing only in Blu-ray. Universal is the only major studio to back HD DVD exclusively.

Proponents of both formats are hoping to be able to finish off the other in the upcoming holiday season, but it seems that if either truly wins, it will be at the expense of consumers.

Source: TechNewsWorld

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29 user comments

114.8.2007 10:09

Quote:
These exclusive arrangements, plus aggressive price cuts for high-def DVD players, are designed to persuade consumers to finally embrace one format or the other. However, analysts wonder if the moves will anger consumers.
I know I was angered and will sit this one out. When the 360 HD-DVD drive launched, I was high on buying it, until I realized how many movies were on Blu-Ray. Vice versa, I would be missing out on quite a few movies by going with Blu-Ray, not to mention I would be spending more on a Blu-Ray player (or at the time, a PS3 - don't argue with me about the 360 + HD-DVD costing more, I was looking at the $200 vs. $600, since I already had the Xbox.)

Instead of buying one of the players, I decided on neither. Besides, upconvert DVD players do a fantastic job. I honestly think if Sony got off their high horse, and dropped the prices on their products, people wouldn't be so reluctant to buy their brands, including Blu-Ray, which considering the studio support (and ignoring the tech, which most non-savvy consumers will) should have an outstanding lead. Instead, I think both "camps" are leaving the door open for the other one, or for something entirely different to take them both out.

214.8.2007 11:11

if MS really wanted to push the HD-DVD, they should start including it in the 360 instead of an add-on.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Aug 2007 @ 11:13

314.8.2007 11:46
nobrainer
Inactive

Neither of these formats will win, the mass public are happy with their dvd players and untill their widescreen sdtv breaks they wont bother with the added expence of a flat panel & by the time the mass public start purchasing high def there will be another format on the scene without blu-rays bd+ drm.

BD+ drm uses expiring discs, usage data collection including the unique serial number of your device and location.

The ability for individual studios to run their own drm on top of aacs and bd+ and have the ability to disable players permanently if it is found to either:

1. have had its hexadecimal code hacked and a line of players can be disabled

2. or an individual player that is found to be hacked such as a multi region code removal can be disabled and the authorities can be notified!

414.8.2007 12:31

It took this long for expert analysis to come to the conclusion that everyone found out long ago? Not surprising.

514.8.2007 13:14

i rather watch The Bourne Ultimatum than spider man anyday.

614.8.2007 13:25

Im sure that the majority of people out there are like me. HDTV isn't at full capacity yet so no need for an HDTV TV yet. Blu Ray vs HD DVD will go on for some time now so no need for HD movies when HD channels aren't at full capacity yet. Ill stick with my DVD movies for now until all of this gets settled.

Does any one know if you can rip a HD movie to a DVD-9? Or will you lose the resolution?

714.8.2007 13:50
BIGnewb
Inactive

as a BR supporter i think spiderman is nothing compared to bourne ultimatum.but i wont buy any hi-def movies yet.not unless i get a ps3 and an xbox 360 which is better than buying one stand alone player

814.8.2007 14:12

I want a cheap HD player without sacrificing quality or features so I think HD-DVD is persuading me more than Blu-Ray.
I also don't like the unfinished Blu-Ray spec and the way that DRM is crippling the format.DRM is pushing buyers away as it is with music.I don't want some damn corporation disabling,updating or tracking my player or monitoring my movie habits.Reminds me of the sick Sony rootkit fiasco....ok I've made my mind up...HD-DVD it is!

914.8.2007 14:14

Have the studios forgotten that the consumers have a third option? Standard DVD isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I'm sure that I will not have the slightest problem obtaining Spidey and Bourne on regular old DVD. I also will not have to remember which disc goes into which player.

For me, I'll stroll into Circuit City, buy both movies, go home, and watch them.

When the studios start to release content on only HD and Blu Ray, then I will have a problem. If this is the case, I hope that I will not be alone in my protests.

1014.8.2007 14:29

They're really p***ing me off with this BS. Don't they realize that people will simply get the regular DVD, for half the price, and watch the upconverted 1080i picture with equal enjoyment. They may not have the uber detail of BD or HD-DVD but they won't have to pay the extra cash for either format.

Pretty soon, both formats will kill each other off and we idiots who bought stand alones or BD burners will be wondering how in the world did we get suckered into this nonsense.

It's really dissapointing how stupid corporations can be. Release the damn movie in BOTH formats, and everybody makes more money..

Freakin idiots!!!

1114.8.2007 14:53
AXT
Inactive

One Word: Gay!!! Spider man 3 Only on Blu-Ray and Bourne Ultimatum ONLY on HD-DVD.

Good Job cutting 98% of your market. And not to mention Most people don't even own an HDTV. WTF are they thinking?

I like the war since it keep prices low, but this has gone too far.

1214.8.2007 15:51

...well it looks like they wont get my money for a high def player for another year then.

1314.8.2007 17:41

I hate to bring it down to this level...but you can't get x-rated movies in blu-ray ever. I guess we'll see in the end. As for me I don't want to be the guy with the "huge Beta collection"...if you know what I mean.So I'll wait to see who wins.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Aug 2007 @ 17:43

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this... and attaining enlightenment is the least of your problems.”
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1414.8.2007 18:20

I own a stand alone hd dvd player and love the movies. For all the people that think that an upconverter is just as good are completely wrong. When the br player hits $300 during the holiday season I am going to pick one up and enjoy all the titles across the board. I love the new format and would be happy if they both survived and hybrid players were just developed.

1515.8.2007 4:10

Originally posted by c1c:
Does any one know if you can rip a HD movie to a DVD-9? Or will you lose the resolution?

The answer is yes. Of course you wont get the full quality that a blu-ray or HD-DVD can hold but with the right encoding techniques, you can maintain a good quality full HD movie.

If you were to convert a 2 hour movie... For video I would go with mpeg4 AVC between 8,000 - 10,000kbs, and the audio maybe stick with 5.1 AAC or 5.1 dolby digital (ac3) both at 448kbs. This would fit onto a DVD9 and still be of very high HD quality.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2007 @ 4:19

1615.8.2007 4:42

Quote:
Originally posted by c1c:
Does any one know if you can rip a HD movie to a DVD-9? Or will you lose the resolution?

The answer is yes. Of course you wont get the full quality that a blu-ray or HD-DVD can hold but with the right encoding techniques, you can maintain a good quality full HD movie.

If you were to convert a 2 hour movie... For video I would go with mpeg4 AVC between 8,000 - 10,000kbs, and the audio maybe stick with 5.1 AAC or 5.1 dolby digital (ac3) both at 448kbs. This would fit onto a DVD9 and still be of very high HD quality.
It's still not "technically" HD, since the movie would still be output in 480p, which is the best that DVD can do. You would have to rip the movie to a format like .mkv. Actually, there are HD rips out there in .wmv that stream nicely to an Xbox 360 (which has the HD scaler) so it keeps it in 720p, etc. Of course, if you have a PC hooked up to your HDTV, you could do the same thing.

I suggest you try, and compare it an upconvert of a standard DVD. I'm not saying the upconvert is AS GOOD as the HD disc, but for most people, you're not going to see a big enough difference that translates into $500 players and $30+ discs!

1715.8.2007 5:19

@ SProdigy
It is possible to watch 720P or even 1080P VC-1 encoded video from
a DVD with WMAPRO 5.1 sound as I've done test encodes myself.I've played them from an Xbox360 and they are comparable to the original HD source.
I believe it is also possible with the PS3 using DVD's too.
If studios cut out all the extras,commentry and other crap, double layer DVD's would be more than enough for a HD movie.
Makes you think about the whole dumb business of trying to sell a new format that nobody really needs to be honest.

1815.8.2007 10:58

QUOTE:
By Burnasty
I own a stand alone hd dvd player and love the movies. For all the people that think that an upconverter is just as good are completely wrong. When the br player hits $300 during the holiday season I am going to pick one up and enjoy all the titles across the board. I love the new format and would be happy if they both survived and hybrid players were just developed.

Very well said I don’t know where these ignorant people come from but they obviously haven’t played with HD before.


DVD-DL isn’t enough space for full HD 2 hour plus movies that include surround sound, besides as others have stated you’re stuck with 720P.

It's amazing the marketeers are so full of their own BS they can't see the big picture, cost.

1915.8.2007 17:46

Originally posted by o0cynix0o:
I hate to bring it down to this level...but you can't get x-rated movies in blu-ray ever.
Wrong on that one. Do your research.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2007 @ 17:47

2015.8.2007 17:59

HD destroys upscaling. I guess if you have bad eyes it might be comparable.


I don't care if there ever is just one format but it is total BS that studios are supporting only certain formats. There is enough people to support both formats. If there are about 50/50 or 60/40 between the formats you could double your sales by supporting both. Dumb bastards.

2116.8.2007 1:47

SProdigy....

Does it sound like I don't know what I am talking about? You know I may sound harsh but it seems too many forum posts are centered around people trying to prove each other wrong. I prefer to try and help people. So in this instance I need to defend my attempt at trying to help somebody.

Originally posted by SProdigy:
It's still not "technically" HD, since the movie would still be output in 480p, which is the best that DVD can do.
A DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) is simply a storage medium. So the content that is put onto the DVD is not constrained to any profile limit, whether it be SD, HD etc. Hell, I can even put millions of photo's on there if I like. When you recode a movie file you have the freedom to choose the resolution and frame rate. So if I was to recode a HD movie (16:9) format to 1920 x 1080 @ 25fps (progressive) with mpeg4 AVC... why wouldn't that be HD?

I did say very clearly that some quality will be lost. Which of course happens when you compress anything with lossy compression. However, with the price of blank blu-ray discs, I am sure that some may prefer to lose some quality in exchange for saving many $$. The quality will still be better than standard SD DVD's.

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
DVD-DL isn’t enough space for full HD 2 hour plus movies that include surround sound, besides as others have stated you’re stuck with 720P.
Yes, it is enough space... As I explained above. Also, What do you mean by surround sound?? Do you mean uncompressed 5.1 PCM? Well then, of course a DVD9 wont have enough space for a HD movie with 5.1 PCM. But there are many other lossy 5.1 codecs that certainly fit onto a DVD with HD video.

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2216.8.2007 8:17

No there is not enough space HD takes at least 6x the space, in MPEG2, and lets say a 1.5 hour movie takes 2GB's which is actually low you would need a 12GB disc. Now with MPEG4 you get better compression so you might make it on a 8.5GB disc but you’re pushing. So sorry I disagree and there is not a standard for DVD's to output 1080i/p besides why waste your time making such a beast when you are so limited it doesn't make sense. And by the way surround sound typically is considered AC3 not that you couldn't do surround sound in PCM, Pulse Code Modulation. If a DVD has Stereo, DTS, and AC3 tracks on it that takes a fare amount of space now in most cases you have just one or two audio tracks to pick from but both DTS and AC3 are much bigger then just a mono/stereo track. The bottom line is with the new HD-BD formats you have a lot more capacity potential, especially with BD, and they can introduce interactive feature as well as other stuff. Change is a b@tch but sometimes it’s for the better, not always.

2316.8.2007 16:24

Mr Movies, Do you even know what you are talking about?

The new blu-ray/HD-DVD titles have many new forms of surround sound... Some being Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, 5.1 PCM... etc. That is why I asked what you mean by surround sound. Dolby Digital (ac3) is only the standard on SD DVD movies but it is not the only surround sound option available.

I am not going to keep going on about this but his question was, is it possible to fit a HD movie onto a DVD9 without losing resolution? The answer is and always will be... YES! it is possible.

I very clearly used mpeg4 as my example and you even said it is possible, so why are you even still trying to prove me wrong?

Oh and by the way, I am all for the new formats. I don't even know how you could think I am not.

A 120min movie encoded with mpeg4 @ 9,000kbs + 5.1 AAC or AC3 @ 448kbs, at 1920 x 1080 resolution fits onto a DVD9 and is full HD... PERIOD!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Aug 2007 @ 16:29

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2416.8.2007 17:49

Ryu77: There's no argument that you can fit a 2 hour AVC encode in a DVD9.

However, there's also a reason why studios do not encode at bitrates as low as you suggest. It's called transparency to the master. If studios started encoding at 8 to 10 Mbps then you would see A/V enthusiasts rise up in arms over poor video quality. Right now the HDM market is an enthusiasts' market. These are the guys who have equipment that will readily expose the weaknesses of a poorly encoded, low-bitrate disc.

The studios know this. That's why they encode the way they do and that's why they need the extra space. Most AVC encodes are usually at the >20 Mbps range with 2 hour movies occupying about >30 gigabytes of space.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=760714


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2517.8.2007 3:21

Originally posted by Ryu77:
The answer is yes. Of course you wont get the full quality that a blu-ray or HD-DVD can hold but with the right encoding techniques, you can maintain a good quality full HD movie.
Peace!

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2617.8.2007 3:50

Originally posted by Ryu77:
Originally posted by Ryu77:
The answer is yes. Of course you wont get the full quality that a blu-ray or HD-DVD can hold but with the right encoding techniques, you can maintain a good quality full HD movie.
Peace!
Unfortunately "good quality" at 10 Mbps is very difficult to attain especially with AVC/h.264. The "good quality" downloadable content I've seen that have been user encoded are at least 15 - 18 Mbps using AVC/h.264 with a minimum size of about 20 Gigabytes for a 2 hour movie. Anything less is not worth downloading IMO. There's too much video noise and loss of detail when you go too low particularly with high-speed action sequences. It's just not good enough especially if you've been exposed to commercial HDM releases.

2717.8.2007 8:53
nobrainer
Inactive

if you strip out all the unnecessary languages, flashy menus, crap and tacky extras and just keep the film with your preferred audio there will be little or no drop in quality when ripped to a dvd9.

Q. who purchases a dvd/blu-ray/hd-dvd fro the extras and commentaries ect?

2817.8.2007 22:06

I really couldn't be bothered anymore. Sometimes these threads can be so f'n political and argumentative. I was simply trying to help someone and ever since I have been defending my post. Did I answer his question?? The answer is YES!!! He wanted to know if a full HD (1080p) movie can be encoded to a DVD9... The answer is YES!! At no point did I say it will be as good as the original blu-ray or HD-DVD. However, it will still look better than SD DVD.

You know, I don't think I should have to defend my attempt at helping someone. You guys should spend more time looking for the positive in what people say, rather then the negative.

I am out of here... It's just not worth it.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Aug 2007 @ 22:11

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

2918.8.2007 4:55

This whole article takes me back to my original argument of this format war. Why don't these companies just make one player that plays both bloody formats :P

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