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Sony Media

No Love For The Blu-Ray 303

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the yet-to-catch-on dept.
macnificent7 writes "Market analysis firm Cymfony has combed through blogs and discussion boards, and finds online consumers aren't thrilled about Sony's Blu-ray DVD technology. Many users are still bitter about the limited availability of the PS3 because of the Blu-Ray. Also many are skeptical of the Blu-Ray because of Sony's past formats that did not succeed."
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No Love For The Blu-Ray

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  • by Duds (100634) * <dudley@entersp a c e.org> on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:14AM (#17173534) Homepage Journal
    Remind people Microsoft support HD-DVD!
    • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:17AM (#17173546) Journal
      Or that you shouldn't fall in love with any new movie format until it is to DVD what DVD was to VHS.

      Seriously, I'm going to upgrade my collection every time you add a zero onto the storage capacity?
      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Threni (635302) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:40AM (#17173676)
        > Seriously, I'm going to upgrade my collection every time you add a zero onto the storage capacity?

        Exactly. I don't give a shit about high def - I can afford but can't justify the cost of the tv/player/disks. DVDs are good enough for me, and I imagine it'll take longer for the price of this new stuff to come down in price because it'll be like the video equivalent of SACD disks - it solves a problem that simply doesn't exist for most people.
        • Re:Simple Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Ucklak (755284) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:45AM (#17174162)
          I think right now there is no need for any of the Hi-Def formats.

          Personally, I think both formats will fail for mainstream acceptance and the HVD format will most likely be the winner by the time it matures in about 6 years. By the time it's ready, the market will probably have a need for terabyte storage media when it happens.
          Hi Def DVD will need to come up to the 1080p60 standard and HVD can definitely handle the storage needs.

          Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will be like the Laserdisc; niche market.
        • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

          by plover (150551) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:53AM (#17174224) Homepage Journal
          I think the problem companies like Sony and Microsoft have is that they recognize their profits come from churn. Come out with X-Box 360 and the loyal X-Box owners will buy it. Come out with PS2 and loyal PS1 owners will buy it.

          But that only works for a limited set of people with enough money, and that's not even half of America any more. It is a great theory for products like games and laptops, because they're already owned by the rich half who can afford to play the churn game. But it doesn't work as well on mass market items such as TVs and DVD players. Look at how long it's taken to replace VCRs with DVD players. Most people consider a TV a "big-ticket" item, and expect them to last 20 years or more. And nobody with a non-HD TV has any reason to consider an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player.

          Churn is great for cell phones, where they can continually "upgrade" them by adding more and more crappy features, and give them away (with expensive contracts.) But churn is not going to sell HDTV sets to everyone across the nation, and HDTV is a prerequisite to selling HD players.

          • by interiot (50685)
            Console generations aren't just churn, not at all. How often have you heard that the next generation's graphics are just as good as the previous one? (except for Wii) Or that peripheral things like networking support, controllers, or game ROM size haven't improved? (except for the PS3 controller) A three-year-old computer is obsolete as a gaming machine in terms of CPU and graphics power... consoles are the same way.
            • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

              by plover (150551) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @02:25PM (#17175732) Homepage Journal
              Console generations are the epitome of churn. They add a few new features, boost the screen rez a touch, and start putting out non-backward-compatible titles. They have done this every five years for the last three decades, meaning churn, churn, churn.

              Think about the word "obsolete" for a minute. Does it mean your old console is worn out, eroded by time and usage? Did it break? Did your N64 games stop working when the Game Cube came out? Did your Game Cube stop working on the release date of the Wii? Did Super Mario Kart expire, or did Bowser refuse to come out and play? No, it's obsolete because you were the victim of successful marketing to your own greed. "Own the shiniest video game! Your old console sucks because we have a new one! Don't be the chump with last year's console!"

              Nothing went wrong with your existing system, yet you replaced it on the whim of a corporation. Churn.

              Mind you, my retirement fund is based in large part on people like you continuing to churn video games and the like. Feel free to continue your participation in capitalism.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by KylePflug (898555)
                Did your N64 games stop working when the Game Cube came out?
                Hell no, they lasted nowhere near that long.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by toriver (11308)
                Console generations are the epitome of churn.

                No, PC video cards are. A console generation lasts 5-10 years, which is far longer than a PC hardware generation does. A PS2 game bought today will work on a PS2 bought at launch. A "PC" game bought today may not work on your computer even if it relatively recent, just because it e.g. has a GeForce 4 card (sufficient for most tasks) and the game uses some cryptic technology that card doesn't support.

                (Conclusion: PCs are not good for casual gamers. Consoles are.)
            • by Omestes (471991)
              A three-year-old computer is obsolete as a gaming machine in terms of CPU and graphics power

              Not really true, I had homemade windows box that could play every game for a five year span, up until Doom3, and Oblivion. Half the time it could handle near max settings too, like in UT2k3, Morrowind, and Unreal2, and the rub was tha it really wasn't that special a box, I think it was a AMD 2600 or somesuch random number (1.8Ghz?), with 720 megs of RAM, and a forgettable ATI card. If the dorm I was in didn't enjoyi
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by spwolfx (1029734)
            Actually it didnt take long at all to completly replace VHS. In 4 years, DVD became more popular than VHS, and in 8 years, VHS tapes stopped production.

            Similar things are happening with HDTV adoption, which is going up in great rates and only last year HDTV growth was 150%, and market value exceeds $25 billion already. Analysts predict 25% home in US to have HDTV by Feb 2007.

            These are awesome rates, and lowering prices on HDTV's help. Today you can buy cheap LCD's TVs for the price of 32" CRT's only 5-6 yea
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Omestes (471991)
              Even if 25% of homes have HD, there is a missing fact, 90% (or so) of homes have more than one TV. The house I'm in right now has 4. So even if there was an HD TV here (actually I think there is one, a small one hidden in a back bedroom, but ironically the main TV is just a good ol' television), there still would be the need for low-def media. Unless we're now expected to upgrade EVERY television that could ever have a media player attached to it to HD, which would be ridiculously expensive.

              Personally I
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Znork (31774)
                "So even if there was an HD TV here"

                Well, many monitors qualify, so...

                "Personally I think this whole thing is a gimmick."

                No shit. At a viewing distance of ten feet, on a 32" TV, with a moving picture, I can barely tell the difference between a DVD and a good rip which is encoded to half that resolution. To see any non-imaginary difference between HD and SD I'd need a cybernetic eye upgrade.

                On a 64" TV at the same distance it would be different. But that isnt on the purchasing plan for the foreseeable future
      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Xolom (989077) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:09AM (#17173884)
        Yes - remember the original reason why DVD was pushed so hard - unlike VHS, it was supposedly "uncopyable." But we all know how that's turned out. Now they're pushing another propietary, "uncopyable" format. Is it actually about better quality? I think not.
      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:34AM (#17174066) Journal
        DVD had a big advantage over VHS that looked like a disadvantage at the time; DVD players can't play VHS tapes. Now, however, BluRay and HD-DVD players can play DVDs.

        When DVDs came out, you had the choice of buying DVDs and knowing that they would keep working, or buying VHS and knowing that it would become increasingly difficult to find hardware that would play them. Now, you have the choice of buying DVDs, which will keep working with your next player, or buying an HD disk that will also work, and will probably look better, but costs more. Until HD disks are close to the price of DVDs, there isn't much point in buying them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by westlake (615356)
          Until HD disks are close to the price of DVDs, there isn't much point in buying them.

          From the HD-DVD Best Seller List at Amazon:

          $42

          Forbidden Planet - Ultimate Collector's Edition

          $28

          Suoerman Returns - Std and HD Combo Disk

          $20

          V for Vendetta
          Serenity
          Superman - The Movie
          Casablanca
          Forbidden Planet
          Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
          The Searchers
          The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

          You want a taste of what HD projection has to offer, Robin Hood or The Searchers would be a good place to begin.

    • by cp.tar (871488)

      To me it seems like they've rushed both of these new "standards"...

      I do wonder, though, how many more times will Sony have to lose because of their stubbornness before they realize it might be more beneficial playing nice with others... ah, well...

      Completely offtopic: why can't I reply directly to the article anymore? What happened to the RSS feeds from Google? I'm away for a few days and all hell breaks loose...

      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Informative)

        by The PS3 Will Fail (998952) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:11AM (#17173904) Journal
        "I do wonder, though, how many more times will Sony have to lose because of their stubbornness before they realize it might be more beneficial playing nice with others... ah, well..."
        I dislike Sony as a company but they are certainly not the only ones pushing Blu-Ray; the Blu-Ray Disc Association board also includes Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Pioneer, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp and Apple. I think it's rather deceitful to act as though Sony is the only company that has a hand in Blu-Ray (or you're simply not aware of this fact, in which case I hope I have enlightened you).
    • Yay, Microsoft supports HD-DVD. How does this help me at home with everything running GNU/Linux?

      On a related note, I don't care about HD-DVD, SACD, or even Blu-Ray. They can all take their overly priced DRM-infected machines, and just sit on 'em. Why do I need Blu-Ray? I can't think of a single reason. In fact, after my experiences with the Playstation2 (We bought it as a DVD player -- it does not play most DVDs), I am very unlikely to buy any Sony product ever again. Hay, and where the hell are all the s
  • by spale (1009629) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:27AM (#17173606)
    Yep, just made a search on Omgili about Blu ray DVD technology - and the first result was "Screw Blu-Ray"
    Many other interesting discussions as well:
    http://www.omgili.com/omgili.search?q=Blu+ray+DVD+ technology [omgili.com]
  • BROD ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rastignac (1014569) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:30AM (#17173624)
    BluRay is dead. We hate it. So Sony's marketing division must do something.
    My idea: Sony must change the technology's name to something funny like "BROD: Blu-Ray Of Death" ;)
  • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:31AM (#17173636)
    HDVD is also a competing format and that family of companies is just as intransigent as the Blueray in refusing to compromise in the creation of a single format. So intransigence is on both sides here. Secondly I don't understand why people oppose this format because of prior format problems. Judge this one on its merits. Thirdly I try to look at what are the technological advantages of one format over another. Of course cost and availability of DVDs matter a lot too. But I never heard that mentioned as a negative yet for blue ray. Its not like there are such a plethora of movies on one format and not in the other yet. As far as betamax goes, it was the better technology. We would have been better off had it won. Bottom line: This one is way to early to call.
    • by Afecks (899057) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:57AM (#17173776)
      Judge this one on its merits.

      Sounds wise, doesn't it? Until you realize it will cost you a small fortune to get a chance to judge Blu-ray. So maybe it might also be wise to remember past performance too. Minidisc, rootkits and will Blu-ray be the third strike?

      Want to know why I want Blu-ray to win? It's easier to say...
      • Minidisc has been around for 15 years, what exactly is the failure there?

        Maybe you don't like ATRAC, but it is a decent codec, and requires far, far less computing power than MP3 does (or did anyways). Don't forget, the first portable MP3 player, the Saehan MPMan, was released seven years after Minidisc entered the market. And you still have to look around to find mp3 players that record. You'd have to look harder for an MP3 unit that records, and has optical input.

        Maybe it's not the format for everyone, bu
    • by The-Bus (138060)
      Blu-Ray has two, and only two advantages over HD DVD:
      • Broader studio support. Blu-Ray has three major and one minor supporter HD-DVD lacks: Buena Vista (Disney), Fox (and MGM), Columbia Pictures (Sony), and Lions Gate. It has been heavily rumored that LG and BV might add HD DVD in the next year, but the bottom line is this: companies go where the money is. Right now, HD DVD far outsells Blu-Ray. The studios are not going to leave money on the table for long.
      • More storage. While 50GB > 30GB in the data w
    • by 2ms (232331)
      Wasn't Betamax incapable of containing an entire two-hour movie on one cassette or something? I recall it having often very inconvenient capacity limitations. Furthermore, wasn't it and its players more expensive? What's your definition of better technology? Mine includes things like cost and convenience. Right now Blu-Ray disks cost much more to make, the players cost twice as much as HD-DVD players do, they require completely new production processes whereas HD-DVD was designed to minimize such requi
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:31AM (#17173638) Homepage Journal

    How many ways are there to say it? Sony is stupid.

    You would think it would learn from its mistakes. It tried to push out its proprietary format with Betamax, and it failed miserably. (I know, I know, "superior format" and all that, but it doesn't change the fact that VHS won the battle of the formats in consumers' living rooms.) It tried to push out its proprietary format with the MiniDisc, and it failed miserably. It tried to push out its proprietary format with UMD, and it failed miserably. Now, it is trying to push out its proprietary format with Blu-ray.

    How many miserable failures is it going to take for Sony to realize something that, at least to me, is pretty freakin' obvious and stupidly simple: people do not want to get locked into proprietary formats controlled by one company. The thing that's so maddening is that when Sony does embrace non-proprietary formats, they have wild success. Their Walkman products sold like there was no tomorrow. Their CD and DVD consumer electronics have always been well-respected.

    It's more than a little ironic, I think, that while Sony is trying desperately to convince people that they should be buying a PS3 for the Blu-ray drive, in fact, people are avoiding the PS3 specifically because of the Blu-ray drive! I mean, I don't know many people who actively don't want a Blu-ray drive, but it is definitely, at least indirectly, responsible for their woes:

    • The Blu-ray drive is heinously expensive. People don't want to pay over $500 for a gaming console, even if they can also watch a few movies on it. If they had sold it without the Blu-ray drive, it would be much more competitive with the Xbox 360 and the Wii.
    • The Blu-ray drive is hard to manufacture, which is causing Sony's dismal supply. If they had sold it without the Blu-ray drive, they could have made a lot more of them, and average little Timmys all over the world could have one under their Christmas tree instead of only the little Johnnys who happen to have parents that are very, very rich.
    • There wouldn't be a so-called "format war" which has turned into, basically, Sony vs. the rest of the world. Getting people to switch from standard DVDs to high-definition DVDs is already going to be a daunting task, since there's not that much addition of quality and people are generally happy with DVDs. Still, I think it could have been pulled off if all manufacturers, publishers, and marketing companies were on board with a common format. As it is, though, people aren't going to invest in a new library of movies as long as there's any question over whether they'll have to throw it away. No one wants to end up being the only person on their block with a Betamax player. And their squabbling in this delicate time when they should be pushing a new common format will allow alternate media delivery mechanism creep up and make both formats obsolete. (Online delivery of HD content [xbox.com], anyone?)

    I could go on listing items, but you get my point. Everyone that said and signed on with, "I have an idea, let's use the PS3 as a launching platform for Blu-ray!" should be fired, because they just don't get it. People will buy a game console that happens to also play movies, but they're not going to be force-fed a whole new movie format just to own it. And I may end up eating crow for saying it if history proves me wrong, but I think that when all is said and done, people are really going to resent Sony imposing such a high premium on their gaming for something that has nothing to do with gaming. I really think that five or ten years from now, people are going to look at Sony's die-hard pushing of Blu-ray at the expense of its consoles as the thing that killed its dominance in the gaming console market.

    It's too bad, too. Nintendo, while clever, just isn't set up to own the hardcore gamer market. And while I'm not big fan of Sony, I'm certainly not a big fan of Microsoft, either. Still, it looks like Sony is bound and determined to hand Microsoft the console victory crown on a silver platter with this foolishness.

    • people do not want to get locked into proprietary formats controlled by one company
      I only have one Word to say to that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KingSkippus (799657) *

        I only have one Word to say to that.

        The Word proprietary format is a lot different.

        For one thing, people didn't have a choice between the Word proprietary format and another format that was agreed upon by the rest of the word processing industry. People only had a choice between the proprietary Word format and the proprietary WordPerfect format. Picking one over the other didn't really make much difference.

        Second of all, early versions of Word were rather handily compatible with opening WordPerfect

        • by timjdot (638909) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:39AM (#17174114) Homepage
          Open Document format is supported by OpenOffice.org's Writer very well. They moved to it from their native format as the default a while back. KOffice and others support it too. Softie stil refuses to do so! Even a plugin for it made by someone else was made to not work from what I remember. Microsoft and Sony have a dream to lock out competition through proprietary formats. To me, learning the Open Source way follows steps like:
          0) Belief in Communism (as practiced), MNC's, and Wealthy Over-lords. Here is Sony. Clearly Sony's rootkit showed they believe they operate above the law. Similar for monopolistic practices elsewhere.
          1) Blind belief Sony and Microsoft are the leading creators of technology (the norm). For examples simply look at the recent discussion on Microsoft research team where many praised them despite Google's clear leadership and Microsoft's clear copy-ovation and buyout-ovation rather than innovation.
          2) Thinking softie and sphoney are needed to keep the world running. This is evident in wanting to dual boot, running a doze Lose32 API layer SW, or emulate.
          3) Realise the overlords are not the innovators. Once you realize this then you turn off your Windows box for good. No good can come of worshiping at the feet of the ultra-wealthy. Their interests are not those of yourself or any other commoner.

          Sony is no different than the Plantation Owners of the Old South. Many slaves escaped to freedom. Softie and Sony slaves have a underground railroad to freedom as well. The greed of the English Kings allowed many indentured servants from the old world to become bona fide citizens by owning land because the King of England said serfs could become tree farmers after years of indntured servantdom as he wanted more longleaf yellow pine as needed to build his Navy. Once the serfs became citizens (voting and legal protection) then they never were to return to serfdom and, thus, won the freedom we all apprecate in the Revolutionary War. Likewise, Open Source pushed technology from the grips of the ovelords. Proprietary formats are one simple way the overlords hope to stop innovation. I personally believe they will fail. We can only hope our country will lead the innovation rather than see it happen elsewhere. The ability to look up land ownership in a ruling class stifled Europe for millenia and the ability to lock up innovation has stifled technology for a decade.

          The strong legal system in the USA is a relic. The lack of international respect for copyright and patent law leave the USA at an unsurmoutable disadvantage on the world market. Either the Chinese come clean and pay up or the USA will have to eliminate such practices. Sony and others cannot both hope to run their business on illegal grounds (china et al) yet use legal grounds as foundations for their business in law abiding areas (usa etc).

          Open Source is one innovation which removes the problem. Open Source is a return to before the Legalism Era when innovation was made for the sake of innovation rather than the sake of making competition impossible. The patent system of the USA is designed to disallow innovation in the USA; thus the antithesis of what it is supposed to be. Sony is so far from what is happening in the ground swell of Open Source that one can easily foresee Sony being cut down to size within a decade. Microsoft as well. The monkey business with Novell should be a nail in the coffin for the belief they had any redeeming contribution to make to innovation and technology. Seriously, does it take Billions in profits to write a Word Processor or come up with a 50G burnable disk? No. Look at OpenOffice, KOffice, GO (GnomeOffice), PlataSoft, and more. I suspect any of 1000 or so engineers and physicists in this country could come up with a 100G burnable disk within a year for under $500k. Sony's activity in the market is simply a reflection that the men who run Sony believe they are a class above those who buy their products. They are paid to innovate, not stifle innovation. Like the VHS, the cheapest and most u
    • Betamax vs. VHS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DingerX (847589) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:45AM (#17173698) Journal
      Betamax may have been the "superior format", but not in all ways. You could record six hours on a VHS tape long before you could do anything similar with beta. A 2 hour tape meant you could get most (but not all) movies, and very few sporting events. 6-hour tape meant you could leave that sucker in there. You could also tape a daily show for a whole week and watch it on the weekend.

      Those little technical differences gave VHS an edge in the home market. Plus, Sony's excluding Porn from Betamax really screwed them.

      Yeah, no love for Sony on this one. Everyone wants to bring up the M$ is teh evil argument, but come on: Sony's trying use their dominant market position as leverage into another sector. That's one of the reasons why people hate M$. Hate the game, not the players.
    • by Vreejack (68778) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:10AM (#17173890)
      Sony insisted on using a proprietary format for flash memory modules: the "Memory Stick." My Vaio has a port for them. Those memory sticks are the reason I bought a Canon SLR camera instead of anything made by Sony.

      Having experienced the agony of a failed flash memory module while far from home, I would gladly pay more for a module with a better track record, but the lack of interoperability is fatal, especially for flash modules. My USB memory card reader will accept half a dozen formats, but not Sony's. I do not understand why they insist on proprietary formats when they clearly affect primary hardware sales.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by plover (150551) *
        Because they have no way of seeing the loss of primary hardware sales. There is no measure of how many Sonys were unsold due to a lack of CF or SD support. They don't know how many Betamax VCRs they didn't sell because they didn't support VHS. All they know is if they put out a line of proprietary crap some people will buy them. And the more they put memory stick support in their Vaios, Sony-Ericsson phones, and other random bits of hardware, the more they delude themselves into believing they've develo
      • Not that i could if i tried. I work in a photo center and the only time i sell a Sony camera is when someone comes in and asks for it specifically, and thats only if i cant talk them out of it. Most people will ask general questions about the brands and simply on technical merits i cant reccomend Sonys. Between their CCD issues and LCD issues in the past and then the fact that their cameras arent even competitively priced with what i consider the lower spectrum of cameras. Regarding the price range they ar
    • How many miserable failures is it going to take for Sony to realize something that, at least to me, is pretty freakin' obvious and stupidly simple: people do not want to get locked into proprietary formats controlled by one company. The thing that's so maddening is that when Sony does embrace non-proprietary formats, they have wild success. Their Walkman products sold like there was no tomorrow. Their CD and DVD consumer electronics have always been well-respected.

      Tell that to Apple Computer which is d
    • The Blu-ray drive is heinously expensive

      As was the DVD player in its day. So what? Prices for players will fall through the floor in the next few years. Doubtless the PS3 will sink in price too over time.

      The Blu-ray drive is hard to manufacture

      As I'm sure the DVD player was hard to manufacture in its day. Doesn't mean that it is hard now. The component that was (and probably no longer) makes the Blu-Ray hard to manufacture is the blue laser diode. This is a component shared with HD-DVD. So Blu-Ray's t

    • Except it's not a proprietary format being pushed by only one manufacturer. JVC, Samsung, Panasonic. Hitachi, Philips, you name 'em, they're all signed up to Blu-Ray. Meanwhile, who's backing HD-DVD? Er, Toshiba and Microsoft, and that's about it.
  • by redblue (943665) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:35AM (#17173652)
    wii hatessss it!
  • If Sony doesn't get their act together and bring HD-DVD down to a reasonable price (in all respects), then they're going to run massive risk to standards like China's EVD [itwire.com.au]. Now only will they lose the licensing in the Chinese market but EVD has no copyright protection scheme--which means it's buy and burn. I think that in China, a different strategy on HD-DVD is in order although with the way Sony runs its business, I wonder if China is even a viable market at all to Sony.
    • EVD has no copyright protection scheme

      I don't know anything about EVD, but if this is true, it means that movie studios most certainly won't be releasing EVD discs with their movies on it. In places like China where piracy is rampant, people won't care too much, but in other places like the U.S., I just don't see people going out and buying a special player (which, if EVD actually becomes popular, will probably be made illegal) just to watch illegal copies of movies and television shows.

      If someone does

      • by 0123456 (636235)
        "I don't know anything about EVD, but if this is true, it means that movie studios most certainly won't be releasing EVD discs with their movies on it."

        You really think movie studios want to cut themselves out of the Chinese market?

        Well, I guess you may be right, they've done stupider things in the past (like opposing VHS when it became a vast money-earner for them).
        • Yeah, you pretty much answered your own question.

          I don't think they'll cut themselves out of the Chinese market, I think they'll continue to release movies in non-EVD formats under the rationale that they should all just buy DVD or HD-DVD players.

          I see a likely scenario being that movies will be copied and distributed primarily either online or via pirate EVD in places like China, and using the same old DRM-laden formats here. The industry will continue to pay vast sums of money to try to have countrie

  • by geoff lane (93738) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:43AM (#17173688)
    Most people are wondering how long their VHS tape player will last and if they can transfer all their tapes to DVD or hard disk.

    Asking them to buy a DVD replacement when they've only just bought a boxed set of Friends DVDs is asking a bit too much of the marketplace.

    • That's both the reason why HD-DVD/BluRay came out in the first place and why both will fail.

      I'm smack dab in the middle of the target market for this, a movie freak with a good job and a penchant for the latest gadgets.

      But I have no desire to replace my hundreds of DVD's just to get 1080p. My 60" (insert Darth Vader's Theme here) Sony (gasp!) tv and upconverting DVD player do a bang-up job of recreating the movie theatre experience in my home. Anything more isn't missed, I'll be hanged if Sony and the res

      • by Bert64 (520050)
        I have several monitors that will handle HDTV resolutions, but no actual HDTV...
        Is there any way to convert HDTV signals to work with a VGA, 13W3 or DVI monitor? I don't want to buy a whole new TV just to play a few videogames and watch a small percentage of movies...
        • by yabos (719499)
          Any HDTV receiver will either have HDMI or Component out or both. HDMI to DVI adaptors exist for a low price. HDMI carries sound and video whereas DVI is only video. HDMI is higher bandwidth than DVI. So there's no real converting to be done you can just get an adaptor and there's gotta be some component to DVI adaptor/interface box as well.
        • I can only speak for the Comcast cable service I have in my area.

          The HDMI/DVI out of the cable box is HDCP enabled, so unless your monitor supports HDCP, then no for regular viewing.

          However the cable box also has firewire out with HDCP disabled for regular viewing. You get no menu with this and you can't view PPV or onDemand media.

          HDCP is a big ass raping. Instead of being able to use a $200 KVM switch to switch between various DVI sources, you have to get a $500+ piece of specialized junk to do it. HDCP do
        • by interiot (50685)
          Yeah, look up scalers. TV's usually provide a lot of extra video-processing hardware that computer monitors don't (more scaling options (eg. add or remove black bars, and change aspect ratios as needed), ability to deinterlace and do inverse telecine, and ability to convert between RGB and YPbPr colorspace as needed). Scalers are external boxes that do all this. There are quite a few scalers that are over $1000, but there are some decent ones at $500, and maybe a few below that. Examples: one [lektropacks.com], two [dvdo.com]
    • by mgblst (80109)
      I find it quite disconcerting that we have to rely on people who buy box sets of friends, to choose the next format.
  • by Espen Skoglund (204722) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:44AM (#17173692)
    Right. So (most) bloggers have a strong dislike for Sony and everything they do. How is this news? This is akin to having an analysis of Slashdot postings concluding that most Slashdotters dislike Microsoft. As it turns out, neither bloggers nor Slashdotters give an accurate picture of the demographics of regular consumers. And given that people with a grudge against some idea or company -- in this case Sony -- are always the ones who cry out the loudest, I'm actually surprised that the "analysis" didn't come out even more slanted in HD-DVDs favour.

    And what's the deal about 21 percent of the online consumers disliking Blu-ray because Sony included it in the PlayStation 3? I can see several reasons why poeple might resent Blu-ray, but this is definitely not one of them. The only conceivable explanation I can see behind such reasoning is peoples aversion against anything that is Sony.
    • by in2mind (988476)
      Exactly.

      Most of the articles/blog posts about Vista in the internet show dislike/strong criticism.But that doesn't mean Vista will fail!

      And,as you said, there is not much content out there that shows support for HD-DVD either.
    • And what's the deal about 21 percent of the online consumers disliking Blu-ray because Sony included it in the PlayStation 3? I can see several reasons why poeple might resent Blu-ray, but this is definitely not one of them

      Really? Not because Blu-Ray adds a considerable amount to the price of the PS3? Not because the lack of blue laser diodes means that the PS3 is in very short supply? Not because Sony is using the PS3 to try to win the format war against HD-DVD by trying to make the consumers choice for
    • A year ago, I would have agreed completely with your assessment that Bloggers != Consumers.

      Nowadays, I'm not so sure.

      When you have a random 13-year-old kid blogging how much he loves the Wii on a site like 1UP.com [1up.com], you know that blogging isn't just something done by educated adults with Internet connections anymore. If we were to go to a random classroom of middle-school students, and asked how many of them read or posted in blogs/forums/etc. on the Internet, I have a feeling the percentage would be rather
  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @10:51AM (#17173734) Journal
    ... and for one simple reason: the name. As one hip youngster pointed out to me, the name "HD-DVD" definitely lacks a cool factor. And it's such an ungainly mouthful: "Aich Dee Dee Vee Dee", yech. Nopes, "Blu-ray" rolls off the tongue much nicer.

    Seriously, if there is no huge gap between the two systems in terms of available titles or choice of equipment, then Sony might just win on simething as silly as the name alone.
    • by zoftie (195518)
      Just talking to my girlfriend about blogging, she asks what is in that awful name too. Perhaps more elegant name shall be selected so masses can join in...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rayonic (462789)
      Except that I keep hearing people refer to Blu-Ray as HD-DVD. Blu-Ray may be a sleeker name, but HD-DVD is more straightforward. It has a much larger presence in the public consciousness.

      I mean, you play a DVD on a TV, so you'd play an HD-DVD on an HDTV. The prefix "HD" has become common.
    • Until you realize that you are saying "blurray" as in a Canadian version of blurry.
    • A turd by any other name is still a turd.

      I think people are actually getting sick of the blue led everything. It's almost like XTREME marketing.

      People don't understand it, and if they did, they certainly are not going be willing to bring a wheel barrel full of money to the electronics store that you'll need for the equipment to play it, the movies themselves, and the HD 1080p tv's that for the most part are not even available in most stores. Those things that have the $2500+ price tag on them are not

  • Digital age? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DynamicPhil (785187)
    Physical formats?
    HD-DVD? Blue Ray? EVD? (last option chinese format)

    Last time I checked, we were living in the digital age.

    This means that at least I won't be buying *anything* where the bits are locked to the media, and non movable - and I'll enlighten, family, relatives .. ok, in fact anyone who wants to know - that if they do, they will be buying their media collection all over again when new formats arrive.

    It will be the "Video is dead - buy movies you already own again on DVD, chuck your LP's and g

  • by AlzaF (963971) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:05AM (#17173848)
    Isn't the decreasing cost of increased broadband bandwidth and increased hard disk space will eventually make HD disc formats obsolete?
  • by FunkeyMonk (1034108) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:08AM (#17173880) Homepage
    My wife and I recently saw a TV commercial for a movie "now available on DVD and Blu-Ray." She said: "What's Blu-ray?" That's exactly the problem with both formats.

    Nobody in the non-geek world knows what they are, so nobody cares.

    • by joe 155 (937621)
      To some extent that might be true of "Blu-ray" but I think people really get what HD-DVD is. I'm not sure about where you are but in England we've recently been getting blitzed with adverts for HD TVs and what have you and there is a "HD ready" sticker on pretty much all new TVs now; I think people have got what it means and it has a genuine mind-share now.

      After all, if you've just bought a £1500 HDTV then you NEED a HD-DVD player, right?
  • EVD anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cadallin (863437) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @11:11AM (#17173900)
    There's always the possibility the Chinese will come in and eat everybody's lunch, and given their much greater tendency (compared to the US government and others) to tell the various IP oligopolies to go fuck themselves, I'm all for it. I'd be perfectly happy to have a Chinese EVD player/recorder for my HD material, to go along with a Chinese Dragon Dream MIPS box running linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yabos (719499)
      The Chinese format does seem better in those aspects but the only thing missing from it is content. What movie studio is ever going to release content on an EVD disk? I also bet it wouldn't be allowed to be sold in the U.S. because the movie studios are in bed with the government to influence copyright law.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Look, even if EVD gets huge in China, that will do as much good as PAL being huge in Europe. MPAA isn't going to license movies for yet another set of discs, yet another set of players to confuse consumers even more. Hell, they probably love the idea of an EVD format where they can sell cheap movies in China, while the rest of the world pays expensive HD-DVD/Blu-Ray movies, since I'm sure there'll show up region-free players. Personally I want downloadable movies, which is well within the limits of my broad
  • From what I can see, you can't actually buy a HD-DVD writer for the pc yet, whereas blu-ray writers have been available for sometime, along with related media. Personally, I don't care about the hi-def video aspect of this technology, just the larger capacity writable media.

    A Blu-ray writer [svp.co.uk] that can also write to all other optical disks (apart from HD-DVD of course) is coming in cheaper than the first gen cd *players* did. Give them a year or so and they will be affordable enough to be included in all OEM p

  • Microsoft is just warming up their blog-o-sphere marketing engine again. I guess that's where Vista's marketing budget went. = )

    And why wouldn't they? They've done it with other products previously. The threat is that as soon as Sony (finally) sorts out their production issues, Microsoft will have to eat hd-dvd's development costs. Sure they'll sell a few Xbox 360 HD-DVD attachments, but with no hdcp, I doubt the studios will cozy up to the format w/o a kickback. Sony will eventually, slowly, sell a lo
  • IMO, I don't like either format. While I expect the price of the players for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray to come down in the next few years, I don't want to pay a $10 to $15 premium (in CAD $) for the movie just becuase its in a higher definition content. A movie is still only as good as its actors, script, etc - the sum of its parts. Its still the same content I'm paying to watch, and I don't believe it ever will deserve premium money.

    A premium, I think, should only be earned if the content is truly spectacular and
  • I refuse to support any format where the playback device ever has to tell me "Operation not possible". Skipping an ad or just getting to the bloody movie, for example.

    I don't copy DVDs because I'm a cheap bastard. I copy them because I can strip out all the crap that way, and just have the movie on the disc. I don't even have to recompress them anymore with dual layer burners available now.

    • Re:Simple thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @12:17PM (#17174424)
      "I refuse to support any format where the playback device ever has to tell me "Operation not possible". Skipping an ad or just getting to the bloody movie, for example."

      Agreed: I'm so tired of sitting through several minutes of bloody trailers and anti-piracy ads _ON A DVD I'VE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR_ every time I put it in the damn player. At least on my PC I can skip over that crap.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kevinadi (191992)
        I always thought those anti piracy ads were moronic. You bought the disc, which surely means that you haven't pirated it. The pirates would definitely strip those shit out of the pirated version, which also means that the real pirates won't be seeing those ads. There must be a higher meaning to their logic, but I guess I'm just too limited in my reasoning to understand.

        However I do feel warm and fuzzy inside that people with mental disabilities can actually find a job in the entertainment industry.
  • The talking points in this story so exactly mirror those I've seen in the last couple of days elsewhere (especially the "angry about other formats" one and the overuse of "negative buzz" just like on digg yesterday) that coincidence seems an unlikely explanation. Somebody's trying very hard to "get the word out" on blogs and forums, and probably being paid to do it. It's not clear whether Cymfony merely failed to notice the astroturf or are complicit in it but, since they call themselves a "market influen
  • I think a lot of this is coming out of XBox 360 users. They too put their heads in the sand because all they have to do is turn on the requirement for HDMI and the XBox users won't be able to play their HD-DVDs. Many refuse to believe it because that requirement has not yet been enabled. If and when it is, they'll be left without a player.

    Also, Blu-ray is not a Sony only format. There are a number of 3rd parties who are supporting it, both with media and players. It's taking a little longer, but it is
  • First of all, I realize that Sony dropping Blu-ray and going in with the HD-DVD camp is pretty much out of the question, but let's play the "what if" game anyway ...

    I can't help but think that if Sony had gone with HD-DVD, so there was only one high-def DVD format, things might be a lot different. Yeah, the PS3 would probably still be quite overpriced compared to the other consoles, but there's no longer the stigma that you MAY be spending $100-200 extra dollars on a format that may go no where. It's a much
    • Blu-Ray and HD-DVD did try to come together on a compromise at one point - but the sticking point is that Microsoft demanded the standard include the Microsoft menuing language - every HD-DVD player has to may Microsoft a fee for it's use. Most of the companies on the Blu-Ray side did not want to have to do that.

      After all, consider that apaprt from the menuing system all the other software is identical - same copy protection (AACS), same codec support (including the Microsoft codec).
  • Blu-Ray and HD-DVD use the same laser diode. How come there's such a major shortage of lasers for Blu-Ray players, but not for HD-DVD players?

    Where the HD-DVD people simply smarter and figured out early to order ahead, and so they are getting most of the current production, or what?

  • The real problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @02:17PM (#17175606) Journal
    Many users are still bitter about the limited availability of the PS3 because of the Blu-Ray. Also many are skeptical of the Blu-Ray because of Sony's past formats that did not succeed.

    And many think that Sony is run by a bunch of arrogant asshats that treat their customers like idiots and theives. Let's not forget that one.

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