Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

High-Def Format Wars - Battle of the Freebies 212

Posted by Zonk
from the gotta-move-that-format dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's come to this: eager to introduce the masses to the virtues of the next-gen DVD formats, the studios and manufacturers backing HD DVD and Blu-ray have begun giving discs away. It all started last month when Microsoft pacted with Universal to give away copies of 'King Kong' on HD DVD to consumers buying the XBox 360 HD DVD add on. Sony followed that up by offering a free 'Talladega Nights' Blu-ray with the first 500,000 PlayStation 3 units sold in the U.S.. Now today, HD DVD backer Toshiba has announced that it will give away *three* free HD DVD discs with every player sold for four months beginning on November 1st. With all these freebies, more people will likely have received free HD DVD/Blu-ray discs by the end of 2006 than will have actually paid for them."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

High-Def Format Wars - Battle of the Freebies

Comments Filter:
  • for the high power blue laser diode.
  • Free Movies (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ucklak (755284) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:33PM (#16597736)
    I remember when I paid $199 for my Toshiba DVD player way back when, there was a free movie signup as well.
    Lost in Space, Stargate, and Six Days Seven Nights were included.
    • I got the same bundle, plus I think one more DVD with Julia Roberts. Forget which one though.

      I think two of the four are still in their shrinkwrap 4+ years later.
    • by antdude (79039)
      Same for notebooks if I remember correctly. My father got one an Toshiba Satellite Pro 2655XDVD back then and it had an offer for three DVD movies. Movies weren't big block busters though.
    • by batkiwi (137781)
      Same dvd player, same price (christmas 1998 timeframe?), and I got the typical rebate experience:
      -Yes sir, we're processing it, 3-6 weeks ... no dvds come ...
      -We already sent one lot of dvds to your apartment complex, and got 6 more requests, so we didn't ship the rest! One per address!
      --But it's an apartment complex, there are different unit numbers on the address
      -too bad!
    • by evilviper (135110)
      Lost in Space, Stargate, and Six Days Seven Nights were included.

      They decided to give them away instead of throwing them in a landfill?
  • Jee-zus! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rk (6314) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:33PM (#16597738) Journal

    First the rootkit, then the PS3, and now giving away "Talladega Nights"... why does Sony hate us so?

    • What will they be giving away next? A remastered copy of Ishtar?

      *shudder*
    • by Alsee (515537)
      They were going to give away Gigli, but the executive in charge didn't show up in time with the master disk. They found him two weeks later still at home, in a fetal position behind his couch in his TV room. Doctors say even if he recovers from the neurological damage, there's no way he'll ever be able speak again... during the two weeks hiding behind the couch he had chewed off his own lips and tongue.

      -
  • Shovelware (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:35PM (#16597774) Homepage Journal
    Reminds me of the time I bought a Pentium computer in the mid 1990s that came with a foot-high stack of CD-ROMs. It was a nice attempt at an intro to the possibilities of the new format, but there were only so many different versions of "Virtual Rock Gardening," "Compton's Interactive Encephalopathy," "Mavis Beacon Teachs Self-Neutering," and "The Adventures of Poorly-Rendered Cutscene Man" I could really get any use out of.
    • by Itninja (937614)
      Don't forget the compulsory copies of "Critical Path", "Wing Commander" or "Where in the [whatever] is Carmen San Diego?" that seemed to be in every piece of hardware I bought in the early 90's.
    • by Alsee (515537)
      Virtual Rock Gardening," "Compton's Interactive Encephalopathy," "Mavis Beacon Teachs Self-Neutering," and "The Adventures of Poorly-Rendered Cutscene Man"

      Ok I see the obvious connection between Self-Neutering and Cutscene Man, and I see how you'd then have an opportunity to arrange a... ahhh... "rock" garden... but I'm not quite sure of the purpose of putting "Compton's Interactive Encephalopathy" in for that pack. What's up with that?

      -
  • by steve-o-yeah (984498) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:36PM (#16597812)
    With all these free discs floating around, I'm reminded of the AOL days. AOL supplied a generation of bored youngsters with hours of microwaving, shattering and throwing AOL media. Someday kids will remember the "good old days" when Billy knocked out Timmy's tooth with a Blu-ray and when mom made them scrub out the microwave to get all the HD goo off the sides.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Amouth (879122)
      i wonder if we can get enough of them to make a new throne..

      http://www.stupidco.com/aol_throne_finished.html [stupidco.com]
    • My friends and I used to hang out in subway stations and whip AOL CDs at passing express trains. While in retrospect that was dangerous and irresponsible behavior, I can't help but think it would have been just that much more gratifying if our missiles had Will Ferrell's face printed on them.
  • by Control Group (105494) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:38PM (#16597840) Homepage
    Sony followed that up by offering a free 'Talladega Nights' Blu-ray with the first 500,000 PlayStation 3 units sold in the U.S..

    Given their production rates, I expect that promotion to last through 2007... ...and here I thought corporations only focused on the short-term.
  • What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by filtur (724994)
    So sony is shipping 400,000 ps3's but the first 500,000 get a movie when the next 100,000 show up next year? I'm getting a wii and I can use the left over money to purchase a dvd if I please :)
  • Aside from a couple titles on the Toshiba list, there isn't one film being given away that I would waste my time watching.
  • by kinglink (195330) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:43PM (#16597944)
    Is a bad choice? It's not really an HD movie.. King Kong at least hard large screen appeal especially with the CG. But Talledaga night? Not to meantion Will Farrell.... I think they just chose a movie that no one would buy in HD normally, just to get an easy freebie.

    Sony really needs to pick up the slack. The PS3 would have ended the format war easily, but Sony has completely screwed that pooch. Perhaps it's Sony's fate. they did get CD and DVD, but this is sounding more like Betamax. It's true it'll be better in the long run to adopt Blu-ray, but god if it's not starting out like a lame duck.

    On the other hand HD-DVD isn't exactly shining either. Both format really needs to show why "you need this now". My parents have a 50 inch CRT, and still watch VHS on it, it gives a great picture (Better then broadcast tv), DVDs also look great, they have no need to go to a new format, to rebuy all the dvds and tapes on it. That simple fact makes me wonder if it's worth it. Hell they even got the extended editions of Lord of the rings on single DVDs. Perhaps it's just not necessary yet, and won't be until we go beyond 1080p. Of course if your so anal you must have the perfect resolution go ahead, but I'll stick with my DVDs for a while (Still don't like tapes, but that's me, my parents can't get their movies on DVDs still, and for some don't feel the need.)
    • In this Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] article [washingtonpost.com] on Sony Corps. 94% profit plunge they mention that Talledega Nights was only marginally profitable, but was also one of their few successes.

      Given that the article states that Sony Corps. profit has fallen so dramatically I'm surprised that they can give away anything.

    • by BobSutan (467781)
      You've just described why many are referring to the HD-DVD and BR as the "new laserdisk". IMO they're totally right. The quality increase over DVD is barely there for most that have seen it in action. And if you've got a 720 HD set with an upscaling DVD player, you are REALLY going to be hard-pressed to see an improvement over the 1080p+BR/HD. The only tried and tested benefit to Blueray is that its the better format of the two for data storage (as on the PC).

      Aside from data storage, I suggest consumers byp
    • My parents have a 50 inch CRT, and still watch VHS on it, it gives a great picture (Better then broadcast tv),

      Digital TV will certainly change that. Broadcast signals will go further in most situations, and the picture will be absolutely bit- PERFECT right up until the edge of the signal coverage area.

      they have no need to go to a new format, to rebuy all the dvds and tapes on it.

      HD-DVD and Blu-ray are both backwards compatible. Anyone saying "I don't want to rebuy everything" is a complete idiot. You kee

  • ...then when a dual media player comes out, I'll happily take all the freebies they want to give away... I refuse to buy hardware that's limited to one or the other though.
    • Psst...buddy! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mjeppsen (621795)
      "eager to introduce the masses to the virtues of the next-gen DVD formats, the studios and manufacturers backing HD DVD and Blu-ray have begun giving discs away."

      Isn't this basically the same strategy employed by drug dealers?

      -MJ
  • That's great ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hobart (32767) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:49PM (#16598032) Homepage Journal
    ...but I'm more likely to be swayed by the first company to offer me a break on a display that can even view this high-def content ...

    As far as I can tell in a cursory glance over the net, the cheapest "TV-sized" display that will do 1080P with HDMI is the Westinghouse for $1100 shipped [pricegrabber.com], and the cheapest panel is $800 for some 24" display [newegg.com] ...

    That means I'm spending around $1500 for this "experience" they're peddling, all told. Sell me the display for $400 and we can talk. :-)

    --
    Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up [sourceforge.net]!
    • Wow, you think YOUR slashcode bug is annoying.. How would you feel if your user page URL didn't parse?
    • I seem to remember that the sound system made more of a difference in experience than the picture size (and, presumably the resolution) of the picture. So spend a few hundred on a decend amp with surround speakers (nothing fancy really required), and keep your DVD player.

      BTW - I picked up an open box 51" Hitachi HD set (1080i/720p) for $800 a year and a half ago. DVDs (and, for that matter 320p DiVXs) look good. HD is crystal clear - really fantastic, actually. I'd give up the HD for a full set of M&K s
    • and the cheapest panel is $800 for some 24" display I followed the link to newegg for this panel and it has a response time of 16ms. Anything above 8ms is generally considered inferior for watching TV or movies - the screen won't update fast enough. The Westinghouse does have an 8ms response time.
    • by westlake (615356)
      That means I'm spending around $1500 for this "experience" they're peddling, all told.

      The experience for most buyers will be:

      Their first wide screen set.
      Their first with multichannel digital sound.
      Their first experience with very large screen direct view or projection TV
      ---the big screen sells HD and HD sells the big screen
      Their first replacement of a CRT as their primary television. Once you make this choice, you don't look back.

      When color TV was introduced in the U.S. in 1954, the price tag was $1

    • by evilviper (135110)
      That means I'm spending around $1500 for this "experience" they're peddling, all told.

      You're complaining you can't afford a luxury car, while ignoring the cheaper, nearly-as-good cars out there RIGHT NOW.

      Sell me the display for $400 and we can talk. :-)

      You can already get a 27" 1080i CRT HDTV for $400 (no OTA tuner--that usually adds $100).

  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:58PM (#16598214) Homepage
    I still watch TV on 27" JVC TV I purchased in 1995. I think it looks great. The picture was awesome the day I bought it, and the picture is still great today.

    I watch TV on Bell ExpressVu (Canadian Dish Network), rent the odd DVD, and watch the occasional torrent movie or TV show I missed.

    You know what? I think it looks great. Of course, I sit six or eight feet back from the TV.

    I am really missing anything? The new TVs in the stores look fine, but every time I visit a friend who has an enormous screen, I can't help but think "Man, those guys look all blocky and stretched" when Hockey Night in Canada is on.

    I mean, WTF?
    • by Control Group (105494) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:08PM (#16598414) Homepage
      I can't help but think "Man, those guys look all blocky and stretched" when Hockey Night in Canada is on.

      That's the magic of HD. SD sports on a big screen (like my 50") are blocky and stretched. Sports in HD on a 50" screen, though, make me wonder how I ever watched sports in SD. The aspect ratio alone, which allows you to see more of the field at once, is worth the price of admission.

      For me, at least, the leap from SD to HD when watching sports is literally equivalent to the leap from VHS in EP to progressive scan DVD. It's just plain better.
      • by garcia (6573)
        That's the magic of HD. SD sports on a big screen (like my 50") are blocky and stretched. Sports in HD on a 50" screen, though, make me wonder how I ever watched sports in SD. The aspect ratio alone, which allows you to see more of the field at once, is worth the price of admission.

        Yet I go to a store, a bar, or someone's home that has an HD screen and I watch something *other* than HD it looks like complete and utter shit compared to my 19 year old 27" Sony.

        Blocky, smeared, etc. It's an unpleasant experie
      • However, you point out exactly why HD is not as important as color (Seriously, I remember hearing how it was as big of a deal as B&W -> Color 5 years ago). HD is only helpful on a large display. I have one 56" display in my home, and 5 other under 20". I can see an improvement from VHS to DVD on all of them, and even if I couldn't, the format alone had advantages (no rewinding).

        However, with HD-DVD/Blueray, I would be buying discs only for one TV. In addition, when I watch films on HD HBO or th

    • I had a look at some large "HD ready" plasma and LCD screens the other day. The picture quality is shite . I mean really really bad. You can see pixelation, step changes in what should be smooth colour and jagged pictures during high speed sports events. I wouldn't touch any of them with a barge pole and anyone who has bought one is a muppet.

       
      • by dogbowl (75870) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @03:18PM (#16598608) Homepage
        If you play an 8-track on the nicest stereo system in the world, its still going to sound like "shite"
        • by Colin Smith (2679)
          So basically what you're saying is that if all you have is 8-tracks you'd be a fool to buy the nicest stereo system in the world.

          BTW, I include in the list of crap plasmas and LCDs; Sky's HDTV system when coupled to an HD ready plasma. High definition? Yes, and completely unimpressive, there were still artefacts visible in the picture.

           
      • Take this for what's worth... The perceived picture quality depends somewhat on where the displays were setup. I've noticed that many retail stores that have HDTVs on display, take no time whatsoever to configure them properly.

        Half the time they are not even showing HD content - Just stretched SD content (which usually does look horrible)
      • by Steve525 (236741)
        Every time I've looked at a HD display in a store, I've thought the same thing. The compression they are using on HD transmissions suck. Lot's of blocky artifacts and obvious quantization errors. I still think the picture is better than SD, but it's not as good as one would hope. I really don't think they have enough bandwidth, or a sophisticated enough algorithm, for over-the-air HD. HD players should be someone better in this department. I've also never been a fan of LCD displays or any rear project
    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      every time I visit a friend who has an enormous screen, I can't help but think "Man, those guys look all blocky and stretched" when Hockey Night in Canada is on.

      CBC has a HD channel for HNIC (only for some games, apparently). I caught one last weekend on a 1080i 37" LCD and it was quite impressive.
    • by evilviper (135110)
      I still watch TV on 27" JVC TV I purchased in 1995. I think it looks great.

      I still watch TV on a 13" B&W tube TV I purchased in 1959. I think it looks great. The picture was awesome the day I bought it, and the picture is still great today.

      Am I really missing anything?
    • by mgblst (80109)
      You, and many people are completely missing the point of HD - the zoom factor. Haven't you ever watched a movie, and wished you could zoom up on ...ahem... certain parts. We all have, and now we have the technology. Yeah, baby. Next step in the technology is the ability to move objects out of the way.. can't wait for that one.
  • Talledaga Nights!?!?! I'm so there, d00d.
  • This is like dumping, but cheaper because the DVDs cost very little to produce, and no one's going to buy them unless they have the player anyways...
  • Just like every video format before it, the eventual winner here will take off when there is a decent selection of porn to be had.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Just like every video format before it, the eventual winner here will take off when there is a decent selection of porn to be had.

      Other than the sheer quantity of porn to be had on a single disk, I'm not sure most people want to see porn in HD.

      I mean, you'll be able to see the stretch marks and blemishes in astonishing detail, but will it be any better? Only cmopanies like Vivid might be inclined to do this.

      Heck, as it is, DVDs still end up with older video snippets on them that don't even come close to wh

    • I have yet to see any HD porn... I'm thinking that porn is one thing that won't improve with better definition and sound... I don't really want to see the lines on the "actress".

      The changeable angles feature is nice, but really, the director usually knows the best way to angle the camera, and switches between them well.

      I'm not really sure porn is going to improve with technology, unless you are talking sex devices...
      • by mgblst (80109)
        Well, another way to think about it is that they can fit more people on the screen at the same resolution. That can't be a bad thing.
  • The first one million units sold shall have DRM disabled.

  • Til they start giving away the players free. Then I'll get one... maybe.
  • Once either one of them offers Battlefield Earth in HD, then we'll talk.
  • With all these freebies, more people will likely have received free HD DVD/Blu-ray discs by the end of 2006 than will have actually paid for them

    That's because there will be very little content on most shelves for people to buy. Remember LaserDisc? The BlockBusters and BestBuys of the world don't care about low volume, competing formats. They only care to stock material that moves fast. None of these formats will take off until one starts getting a definite advantage on the market, and then the networ
  • Somebody "pacted"?? Gah! They've shited the language!
  • Wow, deja-vu.

    I remember these promotions when DVD was starting as a format, back in the late 90s...

    "Buy X DVD player and get 6 movies free!"

    Of course, it wasn't your choice of movies... But it's neat to see them doing this again...

    Too bad there's two freaking formats competing.. this is going to do nothing but hurt the adoption of HD disc players until multi-format players come out.

    -Z
  • When a company offers to replace my entire DVD collection with its HD counterparts, then we can talk.

    Of course, I'll still say no, because of the DRM. "Free" just isn't worth it.
  • Dvd is fine.

    The slower these are adopted, the longer product comes out on DVD and is super cheap.

    I've no interest in rebuying my 400 dvd's in hd-dvd or blue ray.

    PLUS hd-dvd and blu-ray have so much capacity that they should really be including a lot *more* content. I mean- you could probably put every mainstring song every recorded on a blu-ray disk at 192 bitrate.
  • History tells us that the best way to tell which format will win the format war will be to visit your local porn store and see which HD format is available.

    Porn has driven visual media technologies for quite some time now.
  • With all these freebies, more people will likely have received free HD DVD/Blu-ray discs by the end of 2006 than will have actually paid for them.
    Well, they'll have paid for the "free" disks by buying the overpriced new HD-DVD/Blu-ray players, so not much of a discount in my mind.
  • What would you rather watch? Talladega nights or King Kong? First betamax, then memory stick, and after making all those proprietary formats cost twice as much and have 1/10th the users, Sony has created the world's first proprietary audience.

  • If they offered one to one replacement for my large DVD collection, I'd think about upgrading but we all know that's not going to happen.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.

Working...