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HD DVD imports competing with Blu-ray only releases

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 18 Oct 2007 10:51 User comments (20)

HD DVD imports competing with Blu-ray only releases While studios like Sony would like you to believe that their movies will only be available on Blu-ray, it turns out that many Blu-ray only titles in the U. S. are already available on HD DVD in other countries.
Don't take this as a sign that Sony, or any other studio, has given up on the Blu-ray format. In fact the the dual format releases are due to distribution agreements for movies financed by multiple studios. For example, the movie Basic Instinct was produced jointly by Sony owned Tri-Star and France's Canal Plus. Since Canal Plus, an HD DVD backer, has distribution rights in France, that's the format used in that country. If you're in the U. S. you simply need to find someone willing to sell you a copy. With the proliferation of online shopping, and American companies already importing foreign movies for sale in the U. S., finding a supplier for these releases isn't a problem.

Although there are also movies from HD DVD studios appearing on Blu-ray, owners of those players aren't quite as excited about the prospect. That's because unlike HD DVD, Blu-ray uses region coding. Region coding was already one of DVD's most contreversial features, as it's designed to control access to content by designating a particular area of the world where a disc can be played. Even though a North American Blu-ray player and HDTV are perfectly capable of reading and displaying the content, all players respect the region coding, effectively making coasters of foreign Blu-ray releases.

The idea of DRM as a trade constraint is becoming a major issue for many people. As the global economy expands to the point where it's trivial to ignore international borders when shopping online, many consumers are frustrated when this freedom is curtailed to prop up an outdated business model. It's even become the focus of lawsuits, such as those Apple is facing over the DRM in songs purchased from iTunes.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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20 user comments

118.10.2007 11:08

Competition and choice are great for the consumer, I like the region free feature of HD-DVD. I've been waiting to see who is going to win the format war but it seems like there isn't going to be a winner, I may just give in and buy a HD-DVD player or the newly reduced price of the ps3.

218.10.2007 11:44
hughjars
Inactive

Nice to see it picked up but I've been saying this for ages.

There are now over 70 of those supposedly 'Blu-ray exclusive' titles available on HD DVD.

See here for more info & how to get them -

http://areahd.dvdtiefpreise.com/?p=109

and here - http://forums.highdefdig...d.php?p=45960#post45960

and here - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=855923

If you check out the latest numbers at first glance they look like this -

Total Blu-ray movies available - 351

Total HD DVD movies available - 327

Total exclusive Blu-ray movies available - 215

Total exclusive HD DVD movies available - 191

but these stats are for the USA only and do not take account of Viacom/Paramount/Dreamworks dumping Blu-ray.

So we have to remove from the Blu-ray total the number of supposedly 'exclusive Blu-ray titles' which are nothing of the sort and which can be sourced on HD DVD internationally cos HD DVD is region-free every-time

See here - http://areahd.dvdtiefpreise.com/?p=109

and here - http://forums.highdefdig...d.php?p=45960#post45960

and here - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=855923

(It's now over 70 titles, but call it 70 for ease of calculation)

This leaves us with the true position -

Blu-ray genuinely exclusive titles = 145

HD DVD genuinely exclusive titles = 191.

HD DVD has more exclusive movie content, by far......over 1/3 more in fact.
Read it and weep Sony/PS3/Blu-ray fanboys.

Then add those same 70 titles to the total number of titles available to HD DVD and
remove the 30 Paramount movies Blu-ray no longer has and the 3 Dreamworks titles
and we are left with -

Blu-ray available content = 318

HD DVD available content = 397.

HD DVD also has more available content, by far

318.10.2007 12:45

My only beef with imports is that you really have to be a fan of the movie because importing to the US can be expensive.

I've bought a few French and UK HD DVD releases from hdmoviesource.com and on average I've had to pay $36 to $40 per title including shipping.

The French release of Total Recall and the UK version of The Pianist were both $36. The UK version of The Prestige cost me $41 - $38 for the movie plus $3 shipping.

Man, this hobby can be expensive.

418.10.2007 12:59

eatsushi: I agree with you. I got my HD DVD copy of The Prestige from amazon.uk and it cost me $38 (which includes VAT and shipping). Good thing my wife is a Hugh Jackman fan. LOL.

I think it's the weak position of the dollar compared to the Euro and GBP.

518.10.2007 13:02

so what hughjars? eatsushi just poked a hole in your fancy numbers... With the overheads one needs to spend on getting the oversea HD movies, it's conceivable that getting two players or dual players is the cheaper way to own the HD movies (at least for now). Unless of course, you're a fanboy/girl of one format...

Prestige is only $12.xx on BD currently on sale from Amazon if you buy two BDs.

618.10.2007 14:03

Since I don't have a BluRay player I was going to get the Silver Surfer HD DVD from amazon Germany for my A2.

http://www.amazon.de/Fantastic-Four-Rise...91389764&sr=1-2

That was until I converted the price from Euros to US dollars:

28.95 EUR = 41.36 USD

xploitedcinema.com's prices for other titles aren't any better - $30 - $40 before shipping.

Maybe Gnawnivek has a point. Owning both formats could be more cost effective in the long run.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2007 @ 14:29

718.10.2007 15:40
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by Gnawnivek:
so what hughjars? eatsushi just poked a hole in your fancy numbers
- Actually the only thing being shown here is the rather surprising & depressed state of the US $.

Funnily enough I import from the USA and usually pay only around 12 inc p&p & taxes ($23), nothing like the $38/$41 mentioned.

It's just currency fluctuations, right now they're in our (Europe's) favour which makes a nice change from it usually being the USA which always gets the cheap pricing.

818.10.2007 16:06
24Lover
Inactive

Originally posted by eatsushi:
My only beef with imports is that you really have to be a fan of the movie because importing to the US can be expensive.

I've bought a few French and UK HD DVD releases from hdmoviesource.com and on average I've had to pay $36 to $40 per title including shipping.

The French release of Total Recall and the UK version of The Pianist were both $36. The UK version of The Prestige cost me $41 - $38 for the movie plus $3 shipping.

Man, this hobby can be expensive.
Totally agree with You,I don't see any advantage to either side.There is no way a everyday customer going to pay that much to have a BluRay exclusive shipped in HD-DVD.Thats almost 2 BD titles for 1.No thxs i will get it on SD-DVD far more cheaper.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2007 @ 16:07

918.10.2007 16:38

There isnt even enough room on HD-DVD...theyve already ran out of room good choice. Laughable and embarassing if you were supporting HD-DVD. The support for HD-DVD in North America is pretty poor also...every single display blu-ray is always bigger and eye level while HD-DVD is stuffed on the bottom in aisles, blu-ray on end caps big difference.

You have more movies? You have to import them...have fun paying for that with the american dollar being so low even the canadian dollar is higher. Movies went from a pretty high $25+ to almost $40 a movie now for importing....thats even funnier.

1018.10.2007 17:33

Originally posted by Tecbot:
There isnt even enough room on HD-DVD...theyve already ran out of room
HD-DVD holds 51 gigs. More than enough for 1080p plus all the featurettes you can eat. Please put some effort into research before throwing cat spew/monkey feces onto the forum.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/28/51gb-...-gets-official/

1118.10.2007 17:35

Originally posted by Tecbot:
There isnt even enough room on HD-DVD...
I know! Weren't you just infuriated when you bought 300 on HD-DVD only to find out there was only a little more than half the video actually on it?

...

Not even enough room. Oh brother.

1218.10.2007 22:08

Does anyone know if you can play a region 4 dvd in an hd-dvd player that you buy in the usa or the region free just aply to hd-dvd discs?Imean i got over 400 movies and im not gonna replace them all in a couple of years.

1319.10.2007 6:39

Quote:
Originally posted by Tecbot:
There isnt even enough room on HD-DVD...theyve already ran out of room
HD-DVD holds 51 gigs. More than enough for 1080p plus all the featurettes you can eat. Please put some effort into research before throwing cat spew/monkey feces onto the forum.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/28/51gb-...ficial/


you forgot to add " although the 51GB disc hasn't even been submitted, tried or tested for regulatory approval yet "

as for region coding etc...i think that does suck but I have bought 9 blu ray films so far from the US and UK and none of them have been region coded ( although I don't doubt there are others out there which are )

1419.10.2007 7:40
hughjars
Inactive

Originally posted by domie:
you forgot to add " although the 51GB disc hasn't even been submitted, tried or tested for regulatory approval yet "
- Actually it has been submitted to the DVD Forum, it has been tested (in thousands and for years going all the way back to the original 45gb TL discs) and it has been approved (in several sections).

It's currently under final trials and is a few weeks away from launch.

Originally posted by domie:
as for region coding etc...i think that does suck but I have bought 9 blu ray films so far from the US and UK and none of them have been region coded ( although I don't doubt there are others out there which are )
- Well maybe you have just gotten lucky so far, be careful tho......at least from the UK end of things there is a list of over 200 (out of the 318 available BD movies) region coded Blu-ray discs.

See here -

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496872

and here -

http://bluray.lindsite.dk/

- Unlike Blu-ray HD DVD is not region coded at all......but (as with the Blu-ray players) the players are region coded when it comes to their SD DVD playback.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Oct 2007 @ 7:43

1519.10.2007 8:51
dblbogey7
Inactive

Originally posted by juankerr:
I think it's the weak position of the dollar compared to the Euro and GBP.
I've been importing to the US since Studio Canal and amazon.fr/amazon.uk started making titles available (La Haine, Brotherhood of the Wolf, etc). I've always payed at least $30 (shipping included) for each title.

After the dollar started sliding the pricing situation has just become worse.

eatsushi is right - this is an expensive hobby.

1620.10.2007 0:47

I rejoice every time Sony gets bitten in the ass. When are they going to learn that their proprietary formats sucks. It happened to the MiniDisc (ATRAC), PSP (UMD) and I hope HDDVD wins, not because it's a better format, just because it's not Sony.

1720.10.2007 6:39
24Lover
Inactive

Originally posted by hermes_vb:
I rejoice every time Sony gets bitten in the ass. When are they going to learn that their proprietary formats sucks. It happened to the MiniDisc (ATRAC), PSP (UMD) and I hope HDDVD wins, not because it's a better format, just because it's not Sony.
That was a real smart opinion.

1820.10.2007 12:37

I almost forgot...The Memory Stick. While the rest of the manufacturers use generic Flash Cards, Sony had to come up with their proprietary version of it which made it more expensive. I have a Sony digital camera, but my next one is not going to be a Sony, not because they are bad, but because of the stupid memory stick.

1923.10.2007 17:28

Is'nt the import a bit early in the battle between the two.

2030.10.2007 17:19
hughjars
Inactive

A nice little addition to the 70+ titles that are claimed in the USA as 'Blu-ray exclusive' that are nothing of the sort and are available on HD DVD internationally.

Just in time for X-Mas.

Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Out on Dec 14th @ 28,95/20.24/$41.50.

http://www.amazon.de/Fantastic-Four-Rise...r/dp/B000VWP2GE

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