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No HD-DVD Movies Until April 243

Posted by Zonk
from the very-expensive-paperweight dept.
Jed from Pan and Scan writes "It's official: when the first HD-DVD players are released on March 28, there will be no movie titles available in the new high-def format for at least another three weeks, and far fewer than initially announced. Warner, the only studio that was planning on having HD-DVD movies to accompany the format's much ballyhooed debut, will now release just three initial HD-DVD titles -- and not until April 18."
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No HD-DVD Movies Until April

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  • Movie Selection (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DorkusMasterus (931246) <dorkmaster1&gmail,com> on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:02PM (#14942623) Homepage
    The Last Samurai, Million Dollar Baby and Phantom of the Opera? Did they just have a monkey throw a dart at the board for those picks?

    I can understand Million Dollar Baby and I'm glad The Last Samurai was picked, as that was a very underrated film. I'm still surprised they chose that instead of say, a blockbuster, or a major academy award winner. But Phantom of the Freakin' Opera?! WTF?
    • by Basehart (633304) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:12PM (#14942730)
      "Did they just have a monkey throw a dart at the board for those picks?"

      It would have been someone in the marketing department who made these choices, so that's a yes.
      • Is it the same marketing dept that works for the SciFi channel where they reveal the entire episode in the previews?

        They even ruined the cliffhanger from season 1 of Atlantis. Suicide mission.....nope I guess not....6 weeks before it airs it shows him onboard a ship saying '10 fingers, 10 toes, I'll check the rest later' then shows the enemy ship blowing up. Hmm...I wonder what's going to happen?!
    • Re:Movie Selection (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flyingsquid (813711) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:15PM (#14942752)
      Since the selling point of HD-DVD is the picture quality, you should go with special effects pictures and summer blockbusters where you can really show off the picture quality on a big TV. "The Matrix" is a perfect example- its the kind of movie where even if you'd seen it before, you'd want to watch it again just to soak up the visuals, and it would show off the capability of high definition. Launching your platform with dramas makes little sense.
      • The Matrix was the first DVD I bought when I built a PC with a Creative DVD drive with decoder card and watched it on my monitor. Then when I bought my HD set and DENON DVD-3910 DVD player with HDMI interface it was the first video I watched on it. So yea having the Matrix on HD might convince me to buy a player, but I will probably just keep waitng for the PS3.
        • Actually I used to design and install home theatre systems. We had a young salesman who kept playing 'The Matrix', we had to tell him to stop and take it home because it made the HDTVs and projectors look broken.

          If you want to see how good your system can look there are thousands of titles that are better. 'Starship Troopers' looks fantastic and is recommended by the ISF. The previously mentioned 'Lawrence of Arabia' in all of its technicolor glory is another excellent choice.

          'Seven Samurai' is a good choic
    • But Phantom of the Freakin' Opera?! WTF?

      That choice actually makes some sense.
      Some people, as weird as it sounds, do actually like opera!
      The market for HD is small enough as it is, and if for whatever stupid reason you are only going to release 3 movies, make them from different marketable genres.
      • Some people, as weird as it sounds, do actually like opera!

        Which PotO is not. It's an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which in any event argues in favor of impressive sound much more than impressive picture quality. And DVDs can already do that.

        • Although I haven't seen this new version of PotO, opera houses have /lots/ of little details like chandeliers with many tiny tiny bulbs/crystals, meticulous decorations etc. Makes for good HD picture demos.
      • Some people, as weird as it sounds, do actually like opera!

        These same people tend to harbor a seething hatred toward Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    • Re:Movie Selection (Score:2, Insightful)

      by coffeechica (948145)
      Actually, including Phantom of the Opera makes sense. I'm more puzzled about Million Dollar Baby.

      They have The Last Samurai for the widescreen epic battle scenes to show off the quality of the format in this kind of movie. Phantom (or any kind of musical, Chicago or Moulin Rouge would have served just as well - Phantom is simply newer) is there to demonstrate the sound qualities. It's as close to opera as you can get while still being accessible for a "normal" audience. Plus, it's geared at the female h
  • by hkgroove (791170) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:03PM (#14942633) Homepage
    ...the format's much ballyhooed debut...

    If it was during the full moon on April 13th, it wouldn't be ballyhoo but skullduggery.
  • by spacebird (859789) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:03PM (#14942638)
    Hard to do, I know.

    But... no releases for three weeks? That's three weeks of wasted advertising, shelf space, and cost to retailers, and while the first three movies are all great movies, how many people will pay over a hundred bucks for a new player and another thirty to watch a movie they probably own already in marginally better quality?

    • I always thought stuff like this would push the format-war in Sony's favor (well, the PS3 more so than this, but still). Not only do they make players, but they have tons of content. Other studios may be hesitant to put movies out until they see which format will be more popular, but this is Sony's tech, so they'll have no problem choosing and flooding stores with movies. In addition, they'll likely have a higher capacity to make the discs, as they probably have a bunch of machines destined to stamp out PS3
  • Blue Laser Burner (Score:3, Interesting)

    by uncoveror (570620) <webmaster AT uncoveror DOT com> on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:05PM (#14942646) Homepage
    What I want is a blue laser DVD burner so I can get the HD I record off of my hard drive without having to use a whole spindle of DVD-R or RW. I don't think that will be affordable if even availabe this year. I'm not concerned with the upcoming rehash of DVD vs Beta at the video store.
    • I was reading an article earlier today (found via google news) that stated that Sony will price blank 25GB BluRay discs at about 20-25 bucks, with 50GB ones running about 50-60 bucks. The 50GB ones won't be available until the end of the year. Assuming HD-DVD+-R/RW prices are in the same ballpark, I would just stock up on hard drives. Or get a tape system if you really have that much critical data that truly needs to be backed up.
      • Blank media is always expensive when it first comes out. I remember when CDrs were $5 a pop. Now they're 1/100 of that. It's what you pay for being an early adopter.
    • You're probably better off using your existing burner to burn HD-DVD-9 or BD-9 discs.
  • by saboola (655522) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:08PM (#14942672)
    You can get HD content right now, with no added cost to yourself. I am sure there are a torrent of options that could be found with a bit of searching.
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:08PM (#14942674)
    Since I do not own my DVDs and have already paid a license fee for the content and intellectual property, what fee structure is available for those of us that just want to upgrade to the additional content? Obviously that is not worth re-licensing what we already have, right?
  • Because people who got burned in VHS vs. Beta are going to sit this one out until a format "wins."
    • Just like we sat out for dvd-r and dvd+r...

      Just like we sat out for 56 k-flex and x2

      Nah, it's going to be another fubarred setup until someone agrees on something a little more solid.

    • People who got burned in VHS vs Beta? Depends on the demographic they're targetting. How many non-geeks under forty have the first idea of what you're talking about?

      ian

    • by ultramk (470198) <ultramk&pacbell,net> on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:23PM (#14943924)
      Most of those people are too busy yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off the damn lawn. Damn whippersnappers.

      Besides, when you're wearing trifocals, the resolution difference is less perceptible.

      m-
  • unnecessary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPDALIAM.yahoo.com minus painter> on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:12PM (#14942721) Journal
    am i the only one who sees the transition to HDDVD as being unnecessary? VHS was a standard for much longer and when the transition to DVD did come, there was a clear difference between the two both in quality and level of technology. HDDVD and BluRay seem to me like things which are being forced on us by cotent and hardware companies. I guess like CDs they will eventually be popular, but i dont see it happening any time soon.
    • Re:unnecessary (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pixelate (916876)
      Is it early to expect the market to begin the rollover to a completely new format (like VHS -> DVD)? Yes. But HDTV adoption is increasing steadily, and even non-tech-savvy consumers will start to notice that their DVD's look considerably worse on their new displays than the movies on TNTHD. Is the next-gen (whether its Bluray or HD-DVD) going to fail? No-- every HDTV that gets sold will also come with a natural sales pitch: You're not getting everything out of this purchase unless you're buying the
    • am i the only one who sees the transition to HDDVD as being unnecessary?

      They are prolly pushing this out in attempt to get back copy protection after the de-css debacle. Unnecessary for consumers. Necessary for the money-hungry studios and distributors.

      I'm sure the copy protection will be cracked soon enough. What a waste of time.
    • Re:unnecessary (Score:3, Insightful)

      I tend to agree. 90% of consumers are probably still watching non-hi-def TV's, and won't see any huge improvement in the clarity of next-gen DVD's. All they'll get out of this transition is more frustrating previews and ads they can't fast forward, etc.

      I'm guessing when they get their shit together and decide on a format, the studios will start releasing the "deluxe" DVDs (with special features, commentary, etc.) ONLY on the new hi-def format. After a couple years, they'll start offering some entire movies
      • Re:unnecessary (Score:4, Insightful)

        by debest (471937) on Friday March 17, 2006 @04:52PM (#14944675)
        After a couple years, they'll start offering some entire movies only on high-def DVD. In other words, they'll force the transition on us.

        That'll take a lot more than a couple of years for them to pull off. DVD adoption was extremely fast, because of the clear advantages that DVDs have over tape. And it still took about 8 years before you saw any movies that were not released in VHS as well as DVD.

        Now you're looking at a situation where the market will say "heck, HD-DVD/Blu-ray is expensive, and I have to buy an expensive TV as well? Screw that!" Adoption of these new players will be significantly slower than DVD, simply because the advantages are not nearly as obvious as DVD's were over VHS. To top it off, a common standard hasn't even been created, putting people off even more!

        A studio that tries in the next 10 years to release a movie exclusively to either HD format would be guaranteeing that movie's failure in rental and retail stores alike. There simply won't be enough people who will have the equipment to play it, and no single movie is enough of a "must see" to warrant the purchase of a new TV and disc player. If a distributor tried this before HD players are universal, they'd be sued by the production company for sabotaging post-theatrical sales.
    • I gave... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fatboysmith (673609)
      my father-in-law a DVD, the other day, of a George Jones concert to play in the dvd player, I gave him a few Christmas's ago. He called me the next day complaining that the disk would not play in his player. I stopped by his house later to see what was up. He walked me to his pickup truck and began fiddling with the CD player. The reality of this latest technology is that 80% of people don't know or care what HD or BluRay is. The other 20% knows what it is, but most likely won't be able to af
    • Your mistake was upgrading too early. I am rather glad I skipped the DVD stage entirely; I only bought two DVDs and one was a gift. You should have skipped the DVD generation, or switched to renting when they announced high definition several years ago.

      Or be like my father, who bought a BetaMax recorder twenty years ago... and never upgraded :]

    • Re:unnecessary (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SteveX (5640)
      If you have a good HDTV, it's necessary.. if you don't, it's not.
    • Try watching 2001: A Space Odyssey on a DVD. The word 2001 is huge (if you have a huge display) but "A Space Odyssey" is barely legible-- even on the 80-inch picture from my projector. I, for one, am waiting for (1) an HD replacement for DVDs to take hold, and (2) prices to come down on HD projectors. I've been waiting for five years so far, and I expect to wait another five years. But this is a step in the right direction.
    • Nope. But thankfully our opinions don't mean jack to the industry, so it's a non-issue. I've looked at HD clips next to standard def clips. While there's definately a noticible difference, it doesn't even compare to the DVD/VHS difference. Plus the fact that HDTVs are far from ubiquitous, the rediculous content protection rules that'll make it that much more beneficial to pirate the media, and the only advantage over DVD is the resolution. Not like going from tapes to DVDs, which don't require a specia
    • As someone else noted, it's necessary if you have an HDTV.

      Movies shown on HDNet or HBO HD look significantly better than DVD's when viewed on an HD set. 1280 x 720 progressive is way better than 840 x 480 interlaced.
      • Movies shown on HDNet or HBO HD look significantly better than DVD's when viewed on an HD set. 1280 x 720 progressive is way better than 840 x 480 interlaced.

        Is that the resolution of PAL? I'm at 1920x1080i for HBO HD and INHD and it looks pretty damn good. DVDs on my TV show that they need improvement when you can see all of the blemises and blur on the high quality screen.
  • by ShyGuy91284 (701108) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:13PM (#14942732)
    I always loved the fact that older consoles came with a game (Made playing the original Gameboy with someone rather easy since everyone had Tetris). Even in the newest Generations, I still think they should at least include a demo disc, since when Johnny with his part-time job gets his PS3, he might not be able to afford a game. I think it's not that different in this situation, maybe including a HD-DVD (Or even DVD depending on how many trailers it could hold and if it could support high-def stuff) of teasier trailers and such just so people can say "See? This is what I got... Looks great, eh? You want one, don't you?"
  • I am sick and tired of these format wars. Consumers suffer the brunt of the cycle of corporate fighting. Beta vs. VHS anyone?

    Like Richard Pryor [imdb.com], I choose "None of the above!"
  • by netsavior (627338) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:15PM (#14942751)
    I did it with DVD and LaserDisc

    Don't buy in to the new standard until it gets as common as the old one. (therefore I bought zero laserdiscs)

    I am not a whore for quality, but I do own like 400 movies in VHS and DVD. Honestly I could care less about HD-DVD (even though my projector is capable of better than DVD quality).

    It suprises me that marketing would have me think that the average consumer cares about practically inperceptable differences in picture and sound quality. I noticed the jump from VHS to DVD, but honestly I cannot even tell the difference between the picture quality (not size) at the movie theater and at my home theater with DVDs on an 8 foot projection, and lets face it, an 8 foot projection is pretty much the limit for a home theater.

    I just don't think there will be much difference to the average consumer besides branding and price.
    • by angle_slam (623817) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:10PM (#14943278)
      If you can't tell the difference between SDTV and HDTV, you are blind. The difference is far from "practically imperceptible". E.g., a friend of mine was testing his new 62" TV. He was watching the NCAA basketball tourney. The first thing I noticed was that the picture looked like crap. He said that not all the games are in HD and switched to an HD broadcast to show me the difference. The difference is not small. SD looks blurry compared to HD (there is a reason Best Buy and the like always show HD content on the demo TVs--no one would buy a 60" TV if they were showing SDTV.
      • I did not say SDTV, I said DVD... DVDs come in 480i or Progressive scan or EDTV or whatever B.S. you want to call it... I watch HD movies on HBO and Progressive Scan DVDs and they are both loads better than standard resolution, but they are not very different from each other to me... and Progressive Scan vs HDTV, has no effect on the quality of my movie watching experience at all.

        I am just saying that to me, there is no value other than "the next cool toy" for increasing quality above DVD, and that is no
    • Try renting "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and watch it on you projector. When they show the scene where they are driving in the country, the passing scenery will look terrible because the colors are subtle -- more bits thrown at this will make issues like this go away (hopefully) -- there will probably be other cases of big blocks of similar colors that look blocky (explosions / sky / etc) that you will notice in other movies
  • Sorry, there is no such thing as HD-DVD - APRIL FOOLS!
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:22PM (#14942830) Homepage Journal
    I'm as big a movie fan and geek as anyone. I've got my HD-ready 55" widescreen TV that is aching to take advantage of 720p or 1080i in native resolution, not scaled-up DVD resolution. But frankly I am in no rush for either format to come out for several reasons, not the least of which is the DRM that they're trying to push.

    Could it be that perhaps Warner is worried about falling into the same trap that Microsoft fell into by rushing the Xbox 360 to market? Any failings during the official release HD-DVD will be fodder for Sony. If Warner releases their movies and HD-DVD bombs, that's obviously their lost money. They're feeling the water of HD-DVD because, let's face it, Blu-Ray appears to have the most popularity from both a technical and exposure perspective. Sony's recent statement that they will no longer force analog down-converting also helps to bolster their high-def DVD position.

    What I'm surprised at is that Warner is releasing movies that really should not be on the forefront of high-def showcasing. If you want a format to succeed, you support it with movies that not only show off what the format can do but also are what have a large fan base! Warner is not doing HD-DVD any service with the titles they're releasing. Million Dollar Baby? The Last Samurai? Phantom of the Opera? Oh my f**king God!!! What the HELL is Warner thinking?!

    The people who would buy HD-DVD are those who are movie aficionados, technical geeks, or both. The Matrix should be first and foremost one of the top three HD-DVD releases if Warner really wants to help to push the HD-DVD format into people's homes! Come on! Warner owns New Line Cinema! Why for the love of Pete is the Lord of the Rings trilogy not one of the first releases!

    Warner might be delaying to feel the HD-DVD water before taking a dive, but with movies like those three, that's water's going to be REALLY cold, and they're obviously not helping to warm it up! With the movies they're releasing, they're not going to convince anyone to spend the money for HD-DVD.
    • The Matrix should be first and foremost one of the top three HD-DVD releases if Warner really wants to help to push the HD-DVD format into people's homes!

      Guy, step back from geek culture for just a second and look around; for the most part The Matrix series started strong and got limp fast. Even the more hardcore fans from the first one seem to have lost their interest in the film looking back. I've seen stacks of the Matrix box sets sitting around Best Buys and the like for months.

      But I do agree that th
    • Congratulations! You are the first poster of what will no doubt be many to mention "DRM." You see, in any article about movies, you are required by law to mention DRM. Even though people are just repeating themselves, you will get modded up anyway by fellow pirates who hate DRM and want the freedom to make sure people don't get paid for their work.

      Instead of discussing HD-DVD's compression quality, or the films they chose, or Microsoft's backing, or its smaller size compared to Blu-ray, the discussion wi
      • I honestly don't know why I'm even bothering to reply to an extremist like you, particularly since it won't mean a thing. But I really am fed up with extemists in the DRM argument -- on both sides. Both paint with huge brushes; both act like what the other side it doing is on par with genocide; both are incredibly narrow-minded in their views.

        All of the audio CDs in my car are duplicates of CDs that I purchased so that I don't have to expose my originals to unnecessary risk, whether it's from temperatu
  • by ADRA (37398) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:26PM (#14942868)
    .. realizes that these new formats are going to flop.
    They won't save you if you're down.
    They won't make bad movies good; they won't even make ok movies good.
    They'll make money off enthusiasts that'll buy a movie they already own in 2-3 formats who just -have- to buy it again.
    They won't get people to respect you for a devistatingly lackluster year of movie.
    They won't wash the bad taste out of my mouth for putting unskipable anti-priating ads on the DVDs I PAID FOR.
    • The VHS to DVD transition was something everyone could benefit from, and I mean EVERY household in the USA who owned a TV and rented/bought movies. That is a pretty dam big market. Going DVD got rid of rewinding, provided a massive boost in video and audio quality even on old 19" TV sets, and was something that very affordable and easy to do.

      Going DVD to HDDVD/Blueray only benefits a very small group of mostly wealthy people. It doesn't solve a problem for anyone but that same very small group of people, an
  • ...(a lost battle around here, I suppose), but what about pr0n? That industry always seems to be out on the cutting edge.

    I ask purely for information, of course. No, seriously.
  • by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:34PM (#14942946)
    Based on how few people I'm aware of who have spent the cash on a new HDTV set, I predict that HD-DVD will be a failure in the USA, at least for the next few years.

    Similarly, when the HDTV broadcast deadline rears its ugly head, I think you'll see the cable companies offering digital to analog converters to allow their subscriberts (those who haven't upgraded their TV's) to continue getting their television, which means that their current DVD players will continue to meet their needs.

    Don't get me wrong... I think HDTV's great, but there hasn't been a compelling reason to upgrade to it, and based on HDTV sales, at least here in Michigan, I think most people are in the same boat.

    The economy's in the tank, jobs are scarce (particularly in my neck of the woods thanks for the ineptitude of GM, and their multiple plant closings), and people are understandably hesitent to spend a grand or more to replace e television that's still serving them well.

    Add in the higher media costs, the lack of uses, the lack of pre-recorded content, and the lack of players for the media, and it all spells doom for the format. If it's still around in a few years when more people have upgraded to HDTV (assuming old TV's continue to die, and the economy begins a turnaround some day), maybe it'll have a chance at becoming a standard then. For now, it's a waste of money for most people.
    • by dunc78 (583090) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:16PM (#14943341)
      The deadline is for broadcasts to be digital, not HD. HD is just a subset of digital broadcasts, there are also Standard Definition digital broadcasts.
    • I think HDTV's great, but there hasn't been a compelling reason to upgrade to it, and based on HDTV sales, at least here in Michigan, I think most people are in the same boat.

      Boy, Michigan must be a technological backwater. I'd say 75% of my friends own some sort of HDTV. However I am not banking on big immediate HD-DVD or Blu-Ray acceptance. The dual formats hurts, and it is going to take a while before there is enough software to get people interested.

      The US economy is actually in pretty good shape if yo
  • No Movies? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Braino420 (896819) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:51PM (#14943089)
    The studio will now release just three initial HD-DVD titles on April 18: .... and the big-budget screen update of 'The Phantom of the Opera.'

    So, this is equivalent to being stuck with WaveRace when the N64 first came out?
  • by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:58PM (#14943152)
    As the old saying goes, "People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in ten years." I think that applies very nicely here. It took much longer for HDTV to take off than was originally believed. When I bought my first rear projection TV back in 1993 the salesman said "you should hold off and buy an HDTV-ready TV - everyone will be replacing their TVs by 1995 when HDTV broadcasting begins". I ignored his advice and, last year as I was replacing that old klunker I bought a 57" HDTV-ready widescreen. Personally, I believe HD-DVD will probably catch on, but it will take some time.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:20PM (#14943373) Homepage
    the company had asked Wal-Mart and other retailers to cancel online pre-orders for HD-DVD titles late last week,

    A supplier cannot do that to Wal-Mart without serious suffering. Missing a delivery date is considered very serious by Wal-Mart. Warner execs will be summoned to Bentonville for a serious chewing out and will probably be forced to give discounts.

    Wal-Mart does not suck up to the content industries. They not only sell online music at $0.88/song, undercutting Apple, they actually sign a few bands themselves and put their music on line and on CDs. Just to remind the music industry that it can be replaced.

  • by Tired and Emotional (750842) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:33PM (#14943530)
    HD = Highly Delayed

    DVD = Da*n, Very Delayed

    Why wasn't one of the first titles available that Penguins movie? Seems like that would have actually moved units. That and something cinematically georgous along the lines of "House of Flying Daggers" or "Hero".
  • The movies studios finally found a way to protect thier copyright, by not releasing any media for a new format at all. In a brilliant move no one will ever see movies at a higher quality than DVD, because no movies will ever be released again. Idiots. DRM has been really slowing down and screwing up the adoption of these new technologies, and they have no one to blame but themselves.
  • Pirates (Score:2, Funny)

    by Hwaguy (253509)
    http://www.piratesxxx.com/ [piratesxxx.com]
    I just ordered this movie (off cduniverse) and it ships with a DVD, a special features disc, and the movie in HD-DVD. If this movie doesn't hold you over for the three weeks after the player is released, nothing will.
  • by matt_maggard (320567) on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:34PM (#14944006)
    I have been following the many stories on slashdot regarding HD-DVD/Blu-Ray with great interest. I am a huge film fan and am excited for the formats to shake out. The thing that totally surprises me is the posts from so many people. I'm not sure if you were all around or watching the launch of DVD but this current launch is looking exactly the same. Here are the posts I see repetedly:

    The $500 - $1000 hardware is ridiculously over-priced. When DVD launched, I remember salivating over the $1000 DVD players in the crutchfield catalog. DVD launched in 1997 (as I remember) and the hardware was expensive at first. My first player that I bought in 1998 wa $400. It took a couple years for prices to drop into the mainstream $100 level. This is the same thing that happens with every ne technology.

    The choice of launch titles is stupid. My first DVDs (bought off a little spinning rack which contained the whole store's inventory) were Unforgiven and Ronin. These seem very similar to the launch titles of today - oscar winner (Unforgiven/Million Dollar Baby) and mid-level action (Ronin/Last Samurai). My guess is that these are good 'testing the waters' titles. They aren't so old that the sales volume would be low regardless and they aren't your heavy hitters (the Matrix, LOTR) that you want to promote heavily once player penetration is high enough that the money spent on marketing will help sell a lot of units.

    The discs are way too expensive! This will get lower over time as well. Back in 98 there were no bargin bin $9.99 titles. The movies I bought were all around $25. It looks like the HD titles will be in the same ballpark. If the adoption is slow, expect them to stay there (basicall there will be consumer and videophile price levels) and if adoption is fast, watch them drop (to reach the widest consumer base).

    The quality is not worth the upgrade. I would say seeing is believing on this one. Thats what it took for DVDs nearly 10 years ago. Granted DVD also had the side benefits of not being a tape mechanism and all the problems with that format. This was a real benefit that the new HD formats won't be able to use as a feature.

    My DVDs work just fine! Do they expect me to re-buy my collection? While I'm sure the studios would love it if you did, no one is going to force you to. My interest mainly lies in new movies (why buy Superman Returns when it comes out on DVD instead of HD?) and replacing my absolute favorite films (LOTR will look amazing). I even read somewhere that films made before the 1970's used film stock that does not have enough resolution to make use of HD. I don't know if this is true but it is certainly possible.

    Too much DRM! Thats valid. There is a lot of DRM with this round. But when DVD came out there was no DeCSS yet. Everyone lived with the copy protection. Most people just want to pop the disc into the player and watch anyway. I don't like the direction that all the DRM is going either but to say that this is any different from DVD is not accurate.

    What this all boils down to is the same kind of launch that everything gets. The XBOX 360 is expensive and had somewhat marginal launch titles. I'm sure the PS3 will be the same and whatever the big thing is after that.

    The big question is how successful will the HD format be (once someone wins the format war). I expect it to be something akin to Laser Disc for the next 5 years. It would be imediately popular with film lovers but everyone else will wait until it gets cheaper and they buy HDTVs. This may take 5 or more years. Eventually I think everyone will just buy an HD capable player becaue the prices will be equivalent, and it will play all your old DVDs. It won't be the massive shake-up that DVD was but it will eventually flow into the next generation pretty smoothly. Everyone will gradually switch over when their TVs support it and the player prices come down. Everyone wil start to have a mixed DVD/HD collection and nobody will really care.

    Unless h.264 and massive broadband increases kill physical media first... :)
    • I even read somewhere that films made before the 1970's used film stock that does not have enough resolution to make use of HD. I don't know if this is true but it is certainly possible.

      Not true. I'm pretty sure film dating back to at least the 1930s has definition comparable to HDTV, and certainly higher than DVD. Of course the condition of the film matters. . . An old faded, scratched-up, multi-generational film transferred to HD video will still look faded, scratched-up and blurry. The old films that

  • Hollywood shows me that their executives are just looking at the wrong direction.

    I'm completely satisfied with my tv resolution. What I want is intelligent movies with a consisten end ingriging plot . The last one that I bought was Fight Club a long time ago.

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