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Sony Announces Date for Blu-Ray Roll Out 255

Posted by Zonk
from the moving-on-up dept.
yermoungder writes "Reuters is reporting that 'Sony Pictures on Tuesday said it aims to deliver its new Blu-ray DVD format to U.S. stores on May 23 to coincide with the entry of compatible disc players, a new step in an industry war for control of home movie viewing.'"
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Sony Announces Date for Blu-Ray Roll Out

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  • Offtopic (Score:2, Funny)

    by stupidfoo (836212)
    sorry, but this is important:

    Our FedEx rep just brought us delicious cup cakes from Starbucks.

    UPS: I expect an iPod or a PSP.

    That is all.
    • delicious cup cakes from Starbucks.

      This isn't news! Now, if it had been Krispy Kreme, THAT would be news...

    • We got half a dozen 5' subs from subway from our FedEx rep. Only thing I saw DHL bring us is a bunch of grief and extra work. Nothing like a free lunch to make sure your clients' managers will fight tooth and nail to keep you on board.
  • fr (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sheetrock (152993)
    a new step in an industry war for control of home movie viewing

    In more ways than one, it would seem.

  • by Cowclops (630818) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:35PM (#14820311)
    But I'm not buying either format if they can't put out a player for $300 or less. If PS3 is that "$300 Bluray player" then so be it, I'll get a PS3.
    • Hope you take good care of your disks, you won't be copying then due to Sony/Blu-ray's DRM...

      Personally, I'll opt for whatever format hoses me over the least, and supporting Sony's DRM tendencies is probably one of the last things I'd want to do...
      • part of the delay behind the bluray rollout was waiting on the final specs for the managed copy system. so in the end, you will be able to make copies to some extent. exactly what they consider to be a copy? i dunno...

        youll get your copy, but to what level you will be able to work with it and just how degraded it will be? who is to say yet?
    • Exactly. Sony have planned this all along, they wanted Blu-Ray and the PS3 to come out simultaneously so that both systems would support each other. PS3 owners instantly create an base of people who can watch and play Blu-Ray movies, and movie buffs buy PS3s so they can watch their shiny new Blu-Ray disks. While I cannot vouch for the eventual success of the PS3 or Blu-Ray, I do think Sony made a solid business move by knitting these two pieces of technology together.
      • OK, but what if one or the other is late for engineering reasons?

        Apple tried a similar strategy in the 90s. They expected cheap PowerPC based clones based on either the PREP standard or the CHRP standard to become available that would run many different OSes and they expected to have Pink and later Copland available at the same time.

        What actually happened was that Apple couldn't deliver the OS, so they killed the PREP/CHRP standard concept and licensed System 7 to some very Mac friendly clone makers.

        The str
      • Unless Sony gets run over by Microsoft or Nintendo in the next gen battle.

        Moreover, Sony doesn't have the best track record for launching new media. Look at Betamax, Mini Disk, UMD. Sony has a history of developing great mediums which are frequently trumped by cheeper and more accessible alternative mediums.

        If Sony needs to rely their own hardware solutions to deliver affordable BD players, and affordable hardware can't be delivered by 3rd parties, then this is practically Betamax all over again. Beta was
    • But I'm not buying either format if they can't put out a player for $300 or less. If PS3 is that "$300 Bluray player" then so be it, I'll get a PS3.

      Man, I'd be so happy if a PS3 was $300. I'm going to have to belive it'll be closer to $500, though, at least until I see it.

  • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:37PM (#14820344)
    Reuters is reporting that 'slashdot poster Vertinox on Tuesday said he aims to deliver its new Blu-ray DVD format to his home on day that coincides with Sony prying his old DVD player from his dead cold hands.
    • They can have my cold, dead DVD player and the Sony box it came in.

      *grumble* Just out of warranty and it dies. Figures. */grumble*

      Oh, well. It's as good an excuse as any to finish that HTPC I've been working on.
  • by Neil Watson (60859) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:39PM (#14820361) Homepage
    Given Sony's history with its proprietary formats (e.g. Beta and AIT) I would not invest in Blue-Ray until it is well established.
  • If the players are only going to be outputing at full resolution through HDMI and not component as well as I've read in some previous articles, then I'll be waiting for players that will. Even most new TVs only come with one HDMI port (if they have one at all), and I'm already using that for another device.
  • by poopie (35416) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:44PM (#14820426) Journal
    So, what exactly is the reason for customer to upgrade to either HD-DVD or BluRay?

    I only see one fundamental benefit between $NEW_DVD_FORMAT and DVD:

    1) larger capacity - whether this mean more content or higher resolution.

    I see many drawbacks between $NEW_DVD_FORMAT and DVD:

    1) more expensive media and released product -- why is a consumer going to pay more for a BluRay movie than a DVD? I bet the movie studios will say "because that will be their only choice"... As to resolution, how many people are willing to pay more *PER MOVIE* for better than current DVD resolution. There has been such a long and successful marketing campaign for DVDs that convinced people that DVD resolution is *GREAT!*. Now someone's going to have to convince people that DVDs suck. Yeah, right...

    2) DRM - nobody wants to *PAY EXTRA* for less control. If you want BluRay to succeed, give the players away for $25 - (meaning cheaper than a standalone DVD-ROM drive current cost).

    3) format war uncertainties. Nobody wants to make the wrong choice and be stuck with worthless electronics junk.

    4) lack of a problem - from a consumer standpoint, what exactly is wrong with DVDs? Seems like everyone loves them. What problem does BluRay solve? Oh, my freedom problem... yeah right

    5) the next dvd jon - it's just a matter of time until any protection in these new formats is broken. Consumers will not stand for constant changes in fundamental technology formats as a primary strategy to enforce DRM.

    • 2) DRM - nobody wants to *PAY EXTRA* for less control. If you want BluRay to succeed, give the players away for $25 - (meaning cheaper than a standalone DVD-ROM drive current cost).

      A common misconception on Slashdot is that Joe Consumer understands the issues with DRM and even more importantly, cares.

      While I am unlikely to buy the new format for this reason, nobody else in my family would care one whit about DRM.

      • by shotfeel (235240) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:20PM (#14820874)
        A common misconception on Slashdot is that Joe Consumer understands the issues with DRM and even more importantly, cares.

        And a very simple way to make the point and make Joe Consumer care is simply to say to him, "Don't you hate having to sit through all that junk at the beginning of the DVD before you can watch the movie?" That usually gets them thinking. Then drop a hint about how things like the broadcast flag can prevent them from fast-forwarding through commercials, if they're allowed to even record a show to begin with. And Congress keeps passing more laws that give "the suits" more control over what we're allowed to do in our own living room.

        That gets their attention. DRM isn't about previnting piracy, its about exerting control after the sale. You won't be able to do it even if it is legal.
      • My parents just bought a spiffy $3000 62" Samsung 1080i HDTV with 2 HDMI ports (one for sat TV, one for DVD 'n friends) about a month ago. From what I understand and have researched, they will not benefit of HD DVD/Blu-Ray because the TV doesn't support HDCP (no full 1080i for them) since the spec wasn't even finished when they bought it. When I got them to understand that their TV is already obsolete and the dude at Best Buy didn't clue them in on any of this....they got pissed.

        So if this HDCP/DRM goes a
    • the next dvd jon

      Why the "next" dvd jon? I'd be willing to bet that the original dvd jon takes aim at blu-ray DRM sooner or later. (hopefully sooner) But whether or not he is the one that cracks it, like you said, it's only a matter of time.
    • 2) DRM - nobody wants to *PAY EXTRA* for less control. If you want BluRay to succeed, give the players away for $25 - (meaning cheaper than a standalone DVD-ROM drive current cost).

      Uhh, 98% of people don't give a shit about DRM. It doesn't affect them at all. They don't know that you can burn your own DVDs and remove the advertisements, button ignore "features", etc. They just pop in their $3.99 rental from Blockbuster and watch the movie and return it 30 days later because there are no more "late fees".
    • I though the only reason that CSS was cracked was because Xing accidently left a key unencrypted in their software. I know John did something, but the cat wasn't out of the bag until that happened. If not for the that mistake how much longer would it have taken to crack CSS?
      • If not for the that mistake how much longer would it have taken to crack CSS?

        Probably not too much longer after that. A few months later, it was discovered that one of the critical algorithms had a weakness that made DVD encryption crackable in what was esentially a 2^17 brute-force search space.

    • So, what exactly is the reason for customer to upgrade to either HD-DVD or BluRay?

      The same reason for customers to upgrade to either DVD-A or SACD. Because it's shinier!

    • 5) the next dvd jon - it's just a matter of time until any protection in these new formats is broken.

      Every time HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, or a new DRM format is mentioned, someone brings this up. Yeah, you're right, it is just a matter of time - but there's a couple of things to remember:

      1. The DVD format was first released in November 1996. DeCSS first appeared in October 1999 - nearly three years later!
      2. CSS was only cracked because Xing left the decryption key unencrypted in their software, contrary to DVD consort
      • Wanna bet the HD-DVD & Blu-Ray consortium have learnt something from this?

        Nope. [springerlink.com] (I'm on campus, so I hope people off campus can still download the PDF)

        Long story short, algorithm can be implemented in chip with less then 10,000 gates. The 'master' secret key that generates all key pairs can be obtained by breaking 40 key pairs. This means, after breaking 40 key pairs, you can start generating your own signitures (or decrypt all other existing signitures).
    • So, what exactly is the reason for customer to upgrade to either HD-DVD or BluRay?

      In another discussion about DVDs vs $next_gen_dvds one poster nailed this on the head I think. Right now you're right, consumers have really bought into DVDs and are happy enough with them that there is no compelling reason to upgrade, which means the studios must fabricate a reason.

      That reason? Well one possibility is those stupid non-skippable, non-fast-forward previews/trailers/commercials/FBI scoldings at the start of

    • Because people own HDTV's and see movies in 720p on HBO, and they can tell it looks a hell of a lot better than their current DVD's.... and they want the movies they buy for $20 each to look as good as the ones they see on HBO for $10/month.
    • I only see one fundamental benefit between $NEW_DVD_FORMAT and DVD:

      1) larger capacity - whether this mean more content or higher resolution.

      Right... Next-gen DVDs don't have an infinitely more advanced menu system, or a scratch-resistant coating. They aren't going to have longer life-spans thanks to being based off of Sony's extremely advanced MO technology.

      Now someone's going to have to convince people that DVDs suck. Yeah, right...

      Yeah, that'll be difficult. They'll have to have a DVD playing on a TV,

  • by stupidfoo (836212) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:48PM (#14820470)
    Isn't there already talk about releasing a player that supports both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray? Doesn't that end the whole format war, much like the DVD+-RW drives ended the writeable DVD format war?
    • Isn't there already talk about releasing a player that supports both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray?

      No, but there have been rumors about how such a universal player would be difficult (due to incompatible lenses/lasers), expensive (due to having to license both formats), and maybe just plain illegal (licensing again). This format war will be with us for a while.
      • but there have been rumors about how such a universal player would be difficult (due to incompatible lenses/lasers)

        Right, and then they tried to merge the formats, and they became very similiar, and then the deal died.

        They both use the same laser. They both support a standard DVD layer along with their HD layer. They both use the same optics.

        The big difference is the media construction. BluRay has a thinner bottom layer with a proprietary coating, allowing higher densities. HD-DVD uses the same plastic as D
        • Samsung was planning a dual-format player, but sadly they had to backtrack due to licensing difficulties. It appears that one or both of the camps are unwilling to permit dual format players, and are somehow writing this into their license agreements.
    • Isn't there already talk about releasing a player that supports both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray?

      I suspect what's going to happen is that eventually you'll be able to get far-Eastern off-brand devices that will play HD-DVD, Blu-Ray and CDVD (name may be incorrect; the Chinese next-gen DVD standard). And everyone will be using CDVD, because it'll be the only standard that actually lets you get things done.

      • CDVD (name may be incorrect; the Chinese next-gen DVD standard). And everyone will be using CDVD, because it'll be the only standard that actually lets you get things done.

        The name is EVD, and it's dead at this point... There's been talk about it since shortly after DVDs came out, and nothing materialized, except a lawsuit by On2 for breach of contract (or something similar).

        Lacking DRM would be nice, but for it to be useful, you have to be able to buy/rent content in that format... Same goes for SVCDs, w

    • Isn't there already talk about releasing a player that supports both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray? Doesn't that end the whole format war, much like the DVD+-RW drives ended the writeable DVD format war?

      How about the combo players that supported LaserDisc/DVD? How about the combo players for SA-CD/DVD-Audio?

      It's not going to be the same kind of format war as VHS vs Betamax, but it'll still be a format war.
  • According to Slashdot [slashdot.org], one of the major hold-ups on the PS3 was the BlueRay drive. Does this mean that the PS3 won't be delayed after all?

    --- SER

  • Reuters is reporting that 'Sony Pictures on Tuesday said it aims to deliver its new Blu-ray DVD format to U.S. stores on May 23 to coincide with the entry of compatible disc players

    So does this mean that 8.5GB Dual Layer DVDs [google.com] will finally be coming down in price on May 23rd as well?
  • by swschrad (312009) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:55PM (#14820567) Homepage Journal
    if I have only one digital port, it's going to the Direct-TV HD box. and all the rest of these guys can just go whistle.

    it may be YOUR intellectual property, but it's MY credit card.
  • more expensive media and released product -- why is a consumer going to pay more for a BluRay movie than a DVD? I bet the movie studios will say "because that will be their only choice"..

    It will be a long time before DVD is dethroned as the dominate form of video media. It will probably take
    as long (if not longer) as it took for DVD to kill of VHS. Longer because DVD had the advantage of being
    backward compatible with VHS, DVD's would play on all TV's that VHS could. (In some cases a video modulator
    was r
    • You can still watch the DRM'd content, although it will be at a lower resolution. The short version is in order to get the full uber HD experience, you'll need a new TV.

      And this really is the point since studies have shown that most people can't tell the different between an HD and STD television broadcast to begin with.
  • So, thought these were basically the same, but I'm rooting for HD-DVD.

    It's got managed copy required, not optional for movie companies. You are guaranteed to be able to make a copy to play around your house, stream etc. With the RIAA now saying listening to your CD's on your iPod is a violation of copyright, this is an important thing. This will also mean a consistent experience for folks buying disks.

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/mi crosoft-hd-dvd.ars [arstechnica.com]

    Also important, while DRM in general t
    • You are guaranteed to be able to make a copy to play around your house,

      But said copy is not necessarily free of charge, restrictiions on use, or of the same quality as the original. From the article you linked'

      Jordi Ribas, director of technical strategy for the Windows Digital Media Division, told me that while the feature is mandatory, the studios will have the option of charging for it.

      IOW its mandatory that they allow you to buy another copy.
  • I follow this standards battle with the same eager enthusiasm that I think many people reserve for reality TV, soap operas and sporting events. It really involves two titans that I can't help to both love and hate (gaming systems = great!, monopoly / drm = not great!) and a ton of significant other players (Toshiba, HP, Apple, Dell, Intel). This is great stuff, people! We'll be talking about this for years.

    Specifically to this post, I'm just amazed over the last six months to what extent (in my own hea
  • by east coast (590680) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:04PM (#14820685)
    The only disc that will be made available for the new player is Gigli [imdb.com]
  • Putting my feet up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by failedlogic (627314) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:08PM (#14820731)
    Frankly, I'm going to just sit back and watch others get ripped off while the format wars start. I have not seen one compelling movie in the last 3 or 4 years so why would I want to see the same bad content only at a higher resolution for a significantly higher cost? Or maybe, its just that I like music more then movies. I'll buy a $2000 stereo system but not $2000 on a TV + disc player.

    Heck, at the prices they're offered now, I might buy a few DVD players in case they decide to discontinue them for something with extra copy protection crap I never asked for. At least I'll be able to play plain-old music CDs, MP3 CDs and DVDs and the DVD movies I bought.
    • I have not seen one compelling movie in the last 3 or 4 years so

      Yup. "Return of the King" [imdb.com] sure sucked. It'd really, really suck in HD on a 42" widescreen in my living room. uh-huh...

      On the other hand ( um, yea, that was sarcasm up there ), I'll be waiting this out with you. I don't have enough money to waste on this crap. There is a PS3 in my future, but it's not this year, even if Sony does get it out before summer. Right now, this stuff is strictly for people looking for something to do with their ext

  • by FlopEJoe (784551) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:10PM (#14820745)
    The first movie titles include "50 First Dates," "The Fifth Element," "Hitch" and "House of Flying Daggers."

    Oh yeah... sign my up for that! Well... two out of four ain't bad but Sony needs the console version of the "killer game" like XBox's Halo. Something everyone's been waiting for in HD. And "50 First Dates" ain't even close.

    • What worries me is the number of BluRay launch titles that were DVD launch titles.
    • Do you think it's "Glengarry, Glen Ross"? Perhaps my favorite movie, but I watch it in mono on VHS and get everything out of it. It'd be great in black and white.

      Sony's right, it's the visual titles that are most likely to be the "killer app". I dunno about Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, but still.

      For DVD, the "killer title" was "The Matrix". I think BluRay will have to wait for a new must-have title to come out ot be the BluRay killer title, no rerelease will have enough punch (even LOTR).

      To other poster
  • a new step in an industry war for control of home movie viewing.

    To quote a tagline [imdb.com]:

    Whoever wins, we lose.

  • I presume it's launching before Blu-Ray is, so that's got to be before May, right? I can't recall having seen anything.

    Who gets there first is part of the battle. Not the entire battle, but it can be significant if played right.

    And how soon after HD-DVD launch will something like XBox feature HD-DVD players built-in and/or as add-on options? How about packaged PCs from Dell, Gateway2000, and/or Apple? What side is Apple on, anyway? (we KNOW what side Microsoft is on, but Vista is still a long ways away
  • to coincide with the entry of compatible disc players

    Is the player called "The PS3"? If so, then they should be able to sell a lot of them. Otherwise, it will be a mere trickle.
  • I think we all know the stories about how the porn industry helped make both VHS and DVD a pretty common household product. Given how Sony lost the Betamax/VHS wars I wonder if they might try a rather novel approach to winning the HD video wars. Any chance they might offer low-cost (free?) Blu-Ray production equipment to major porn producers/distributors in an attempt to create a massive HD porn foothold?
  • by XMilkProject (935232) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @06:01PM (#14821334) Homepage
    I see all these posts about, "I don't see the benefit of upgrading, other than some more capacity on the disk".

    I'm not following that line of thinking... This is /. so I assume everyone here is aware that DVD's only output 480p, which is only marginally better than a television broadcast.

    The obvious reason to upgrade is to get substantially more pixels, 1080i, 720p, and I would assume 1080p at some point in the future. It seems like this would be pretty clear, I'm not sure why people keep asking why the new formats would be better.

    Of course if you do not own a high-definition television of a reasonably good size then you probably don't need to upgrade, atleast not for a while until these type of discs become the norm. But if you are the owner of a standard-def television you should be aware of the resolution limitation and not have to ask why other people are interested in higher resolutions.

    Those of us using DLP/Plasma/LCD television that are capable of 1080i/720p/1080p and that are of reasonably large size fully understand the need for a higher quality format to become standard. For us, the DVD looks awful in comparison to what we see on our HD television channels and our Xbox360's, or the output from our PC's. And we are clearly interested in being able to purchase a movie with twice as much data in it, to more accurately represent what you would see from film at the theater.

    I will be curious to see how many of the hi-def dvds that are released are actually resampled from the film or original source as is required. Obviously sony is doing this for their initial releases, but I'm sure many movies will be converted to the new format in their 480p form.
    • Of course if you do not own a high-definition television of a reasonably good size then you probably don't need to upgrade, atleast not for a while until these type of discs become the norm. But if you are the owner of a standard-def television you should be aware of the resolution limitation and not have to ask why other people are interested in higher resolutions.

      Please add 'less compression' into the mix. One DVD just seems to have too little capacity to easily fit a movie without compression artefac

  • Why is it even necessary to have a larger-format disk? I would think that if movies were simply encoded using something more advanced than MPEG-2, such as MPEG-4 or H.323, and new players came out to support this, that you could fit an HD movie on the current 8+ GB dual-layer discs. Perhaps not?

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