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HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray - Is It All in the Name? 208

Z asks: "As most of you are aware, the dawn of the nex-gen format wars is fully upon us. We have all talked about it until we are Blu in the face, but there is one simple, yet important topic I have yet to see discussed. What is in a name? Now, bear with me for a second here while I explain. As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are. Now, we all know people hate change. Users already know what DVD is, and most would like to think they understand HD. But Blu-Ray? Your average Joe only wants one thing when it comes to new technology, a feeling of comfort and understanding; something I think Blu-Ray is going to have a hard time giving them. I can't help but wonder, is HD-DVD going to win out simply because people are going to be more familiar with the name? "
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HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray - Is It All in the Name?

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  • I really doubt it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mattkinabrewmindspri ( 538862 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:48PM (#15201853)
    Look at how quickly people embraced DVD, or how quickly people started using the MP3 format.
    • by Lisandro ( 799651 )
      MP3 (as an audio format) took off very fast in the computer world - at that time, there was simply nothing else comparable. Once consumer electronics started supporting the format, it was only a matter of time until prices dropped and MP3 earned the adoption it has today.
      • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:37PM (#15202054) Homepage
        MP3 took forever to become a consumer reality. I started encoding and playing MP3 on my computer in late 1995. I first got my hands on the crappy, crappy MPTrip discman in 2000. It took another 3 years before a half-decent MP3 deck was sold for car audio. And no, the insanely expensive EMPEG did not pass as half-decent to me, poor poor sound quality. I had designed a better player myself, using a cheap PC and a luxury sound card. It took a really long time for the masses to clue in to MP3.

        VHS vs DVD was different, because it took the entertainment industry ages to put out DVDs. For the most part, new releases had simultaneous VHS and DVD available, but all the classics, the movies we really wanted, took years before being released. The price was also not quite right, since the same movie in VHS was usually a good $5 to $8 cheaper than the DVD. Consumers might not know the intricate technical details, but they certainly aren't stupid. A movie is a movie is a movie, doesn't matter if it's VHS, DVD or High-Def, you're not getting "more". Nor does it have a significant cost difference to the producer, they're all cut from the same masters, and up until a couple years ago, most people's TV sets could hardly show a difference between good VHS and DVD.
        • Hell, I bought a DVD player almost solely for the fact that I didn't have to rewind!
        • ...and up until a couple years ago, most people's TV sets could hardly show a difference between good VHS and DVD.

          Not to mention that DVDs are a lot easier to mangle. About a 1/4 of the more popular DVDs I rent are scratched so badly that they skip scenes. A lot of it probably has to do with my cheap, ancient player, but I bet a lot of early-generation players were like this and more people faced these issues...
      • The problem with MP3 is that most consumers still don't know what an MP3 is.
        All they know is that the iPod thingies can play lots and lots of music.
        A couple years ago I was working at Radio Shack (just as a part-time second job) and people would routinely come in for iPods. When we were out of them I'd say we have other MP3 players in stock. The response I'd always get is, "What's an MP3 player?"

        Consumers aren't really as savvy as we hope they are. DVD has been out FOREVER and there are STILL people

    • by Pantero Blanco ( 792776 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:57PM (#15201897)
      There's one major difference between this and the two situations you cite.

      The format that DVD replaced was ancient. The gap between VHS and DVD was huge, and DVD offered many features that VHS did not. And I'm not sure MP3 replaced an old technology so much as it filled a void.

      There's not that much of a gap between DVD and Blu-ray/HD-DVD.
      • by MBCook ( 132727 )
        I remember the pre-MP3 world. No one used sound on computers like they do now. There were little sound clips and such, but they were low quality.

        MP3s at 128 kpbs are a meg a minute. CD quality WAV files are 10 megs a minute. Considering how fast your hard drive would get full, people didn't rip their music. Even if you cut the quality to 22 Khz instead of 44 Khz, your file is still 5x larger than an MP3 and wouldn't sound as well. Cut it in half again (8-bit instead of 16-bit) and you're down to 2.5 megs a

        • It's not just the filesize that mattered. Even if MP3 files existed 10 years ago, it would still take only a few songs to fill up an entire top-of-the-line 100MB harddisk.
      • The gap between VHS and DVD was huge, and DVD offered many features that VHS did not
        All the DVD's I have bought sit never to be watched again just like the videos do. The only marginal advantage DVD's have is that they take up less space!
        • Exaclty. What gap is he talking about? They both play movies. Sure I can skip around easier, but how often do you want to do that. I don't know about this guy, but when I sit down to watch a movie, I let it run. Then I wont watch it again for about 6 months if it was really good.

          I think there is a small minority of DVD aficionados who really see a difference, but most people don't.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Not much of a gap??? I'm seeing prices that are almost DOUBLE their "plain" DVD counterparts.

        It amazed me that the studios got away with charging MORE for DVDs than for VHS tapes in the first place... But then, the buying public didn't know how much less expensive DVDs are to produce than VHS, and the quality was increased, so perhaps that's why that value proposition worked.

        It seems to me that HD-DVDs are priced for videophiles right now and no one else. I can't see any of my neighbors replacing their (
      • TV Series Sales (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SydShamino ( 547793 )
        I think that the killer app for HD-DVD and/or Blue-Ray has little to do with their specs, nor does it have to do with the HD content that might be sold on them.

        I think it has to do with the fact that TV series in current resolutions are a poor fit for DVD technology. Almost every movie fits fine in a double-sided dual-layer disc, but TV series need 5-8 DVDs per season. Vendors could save significantly on materials and packaging costs if this could be cut to one disc per season.

        I think whichever format bac
      • The "gap" is pretty much the same from DVD->Blu-ray (5->25) as CD->DVD (0.8->5), and HD-DVD/Blu-ray enables a vastly improved video format (seeing is believing here) compared to DVD. Maybe not as improved, but there's still plenty of purchase incentive for many interested in audio/video.

        If following your theory, the question one then need to ask is: does a bit smaller gap imply that consumers have a harder time understanding a new technology? What about 3G compared to WAP? Both let you browse th
      • I wouldn't describe VHS as "ancient." VHS was introduced in 1976 (and Beta in 1975). DVD was released in 1996/1997. Twenty years later. Blu-Ray will be introduced in 2006/2007 - ten years after DVD, and thirty after VHS. I don't think that "twice as long before" is quite the same as "ancient". However, in my experience, the VHS adoption rate was *much* slower than DVD adoption rate, especially for commercial movies: VHS really didn't become that popular until the mid-80s, and a lot of people didn't get VCRs

      •   There's not that much of a gap between DVD and Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

        Are you kidding? Ever see a movie in HD vs. the same movie in SD (on a TV that can show the difference)? To me it's almost as significant as the difference between (non-HD) DVD and VHS.

    • by Flimzy ( 657419 )
      How quickly people started using the MP3 format? MP3 was invented in 1991. It wasn't "widely used" (depending on your definition of wide usage) until after the release of Napster in 1999.

      I'd say MP3 took a long time to catch on.

      Not that I'm blaming that lag on it's name... I'd say the format had to wait for commodoty computer hardware, and consumer knowledge to catch up with it. But still, this doesn't apply to the point you're trying to make.

      • Sure, the format existed more than a decade ago, but most people didn't even know about it until Napster. It wasn't really "on the market" until mp3 players came out, which was in the very late 1990s.

        Here we are just a few years later, and how many people have stopped buying CD music in favor of mp3/aac/wma/something incompatible with their old CD players?
      • someone wasn't clued in about PR Audio on AOL during the early 90s...

        but yes, the clueless masses did not know about mp3s until circa 97 and wasn't common until 99-2000. however, saying it wasn't widely used is a bit of an understatement. it served its napster-like purposes very well, computers just weren't at the point where apps (read: games) could take much advantage of it. every try playing an mp3 on a 486 or low end pentium? 30-40% of your cpu time was spent decoding
    • It's not about how quick new formats are adopted, but rather about what they bring to the table for the consumer.

      MP3's seperated music from the media it was stored on, and was adopted widely as a result. There was significant movement towards the new format because it solved several real annoyances with the then dominant format (CD's), and hasn't been replaced by technically superior formats because none of them do anything other than incrementally upgrade the improvements brought to the table by MP3's. Som
      • I doubt either will supplant DVD

        A story in yesterday's New York Times put HDTV in 19% of American households. Early Salvos in the High-Definition DVD Format War [nytimes.com]

        HD in one in five homes in under five years. That's an astonishing rate of adoption. Not just for HD, but for very large wide-screen projection and multichannel digital sound. $1000-$2000 at entry level.

        Amazon.com is shipping Phantom of the Opera on HD-DVD for $20, Serenity for $25. Apollo 13 for $25. You do not pay a premium for HD content if


        • What fraction of that 19% will be able to watch movies in HD, with all the confusion surrounding HDMI or whatever it is called? Also, I'm not sure about that 19%. No one in my family has an HDTV. Perhaps we're just too cheap to spend more than $400 on a TV.
    • The only competition for DVD was DivX and all DivX players would play standard DVD's. In this case you have two incompatible formats. Really it's a matter of how the PS3 fits into this. If the PS3 gets people into Blu-ray, blu-ray wins. Otherwise HD-DVD, at a lower price point and with better name recognition, wins.
    • No, it is all based in the name. Blu-ray has a much chance as winning the format wars, as say someone called Cliff has a change of getting a girlfriend (or posting an interesting story for us to read).

      Goodbye Blu-ray, and Cliff. RIP
    • Without serious industry support, action, and promotion HD-DVD and Blu-ray will be to DVD as Laserdisc was to VHS. Technically superior, but too expensive and introduced to soon for most people to care.

      Remember that DVDs replaced VHS after the VHS format had been around for over twenty years. That's enough time for a new generation of movie collectors to come along.
  • by Flimzy ( 657419 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:50PM (#15201861)
    I think it will have a lot more to do with publicity than with the name itself. And the name "HD-DVD" is a good start, but it's not enough. If Blu-Ray makes a bigger splash on TV, in the newspapers, online, etc, then it could win.

    It's also possible that having a name tied into an existing standard (namely DVD in this case) could have a negative effect, especially if Blu-Ray (or its supports) spin things that way. ("Why would you want to stick with something as old as DVDs when Blu-Ray is all-new, all-improved?")

    • I imagine that one of the points to be talked up will involve the blue laser used in Blu-Ray.

      You know how some salespeople will essentially make stuff up to push a sale through? Blue Lasers will be their main explanation.

      I doubt HD-DVD is going to get their advertising campain kicked off by associating their technology with the color blue. The HD-DVD people will obviously talk up the HD aspect.

      Meanwhile in the Blu-Ray camp
      Why is it called Blu-Ray: blue laser
      High resolution: blue laser
      More disc space: blue l
    • Why would you want to stick with something as old as DVDs when Blu-Ray is all-new, all-improved?

      The all-new, all-improved line of argumentation typically only convinces one type of person to separate from their hard-earned dollars: Early adopters.

      Then again early adopters are known to buy anything as long as it's new and almost nobody else has one.

      I expect that Joe Common will need some stronger arguments that "it's new" or "it's an improvement on DVD", just look at how DVD-Audio (both "new" and "an improve
  • by GeekGirlSarah ( 915748 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:51PM (#15201866)
    I think that it's entirely possible that the name issue could actually be a significant market differentiator for the two products. The "HD-DVD" products may come off as seeming like being just a minor upgrade to the old DVD standard, whereas Blu-Ray could seem to be a much fancier, different product. Since it seems like many people are hesitant to upgrade, but not necessarily hesitant to embrace entirely new technology, I think I can see that working in Blu-Ray's favor.
    • "I think that it's entirely possible that the name issue could actually be a significant market differentiator for the two products. The "HD-DVD" products may come off as seeming like being just a minor upgrade to the old DVD standard, whereas Blu-Ray could seem to be a much fancier, different product."

      I find that unlikely. Imagine a dude who upgraded to HD. He watches HD. He loves HD. Then he puts a standard DVD in his player and .. well. it's not HD. So what does he do? He goes to the store and brow
  • Consider also... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gyga ( 873992 )
    ...that the average joe hates acroynms, my friends which know nothing about this are more likely to pick blu-ray merely because it doesn't have acronyms. I think people prefer things they can say, blue-ray vs h-d-d-v-d.
    • pfft its going to be dvd regardless. think about it. in 10 years will your mom call you and say "this blue ray disc isn't working" or "this dvd wont play". case-and-point, it took my mom until the xbox to stop saying "nintendo games" in reference to any console video game.
      • My mom is actually pretty tech savvy, but I suspect moms that would call and make that confusion would likely call Blu-ray, HD-DVD and even DVD as just "CD".
    • Time to get rid of my MP3's, CD's, DVD's and go back to tape because tape is a word, not an acronym.
    • " I think people prefer things they can say, blue-ray vs h-d-d-v-d."

      Maybe. But we're talking about a next-generation DVD that works with HD. HD-DVD. What Average Joe that has recently purchased an HDTV would instantly thing Blu-Ray has anything to do with his home theater?
    • I agree with the parent. How many people called PCMCIA by its full acronym? And notice how to regular people, people ignore the acronym "VHS" in favour of "video"? Even commercials for movies say "own it on video and DVD!"
  • yes and no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beuno ( 740018 ) <argentina@NospAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:56PM (#15201891) Homepage
    I don't completely disagree, but I do thing "Blu-Ray" can catch on as a new "hip" and "bleeding edge" name.
  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:57PM (#15201894)
    Joe Sixpack, you know, the guy who buys the Hemi, or puts the "Type R" sticker on his Honda Civic, will by the Blu-Ray DVD, because..well, it's "Blue". Blue is better, neater, more high tech, with less distortion, jitter, wow, and flutter. I mean, think of it, red has a long wavelength, blue shorter. So it must be higher definition.

    Seriously. This is what you'll hear from the droid at Best Buy.

    "HD-DVD" sounds old and busted, a hack to make DVD "HD".
    "Blu-Ray" is an entirely new technology, and as everyone knows, unless you have the latest trinket, you're a dinosaur, obsolete, gay, etc.

    I may sound flip, but you get the idea. People buy spin, and marketing crap. They don't buy technology, or purchase on any rational basis.
    • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <aaronbabb@CHEETAHgmail.com minus cat> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:33PM (#15202038) Homepage
      People buy spin, and marketing crap. They don't buy technology, or purchase on any rational basis.

      Oh, most definitely. That's why I think Laserdisc made such huge waves, all but replacing VHS for precorded movies. I mean, damn, discs were high-tech and lasers have always been awesome.

      Listen, if you want to know what the general public will buy, I'll tell you: They'll buy the HD format that a) has the most movies, b) gets the best demos over the next year while they're wandering around Circuit City/Best Buy/etc., c) is supported by their friends and family (my parents, for example, would go for whatever format I recommended to them), and most importantly d) is the cheapest.

      Of course, it's all moot if combo players reach decent prices. At that point, nobody but the A/V geeks will care about the differences...
      • That's all I've really got to say...

        The general public will buy whatever has the best balance of being cheap, popular/hyped, and actually good tech. If I could figure out what I meant by "best balance", then the ONLY next-gen format would be SanityInAnarchy-HD. But those consumers are so darned unpredictable...
      • Don't forget e) has porn.
        That's why Betamax failed, they didn't want to open their platform for porn industry.
        • That's why Betamax failed, they didn't want to open their platform for porn industry.

          Yeah, that's the reason. The fact that Betamax couldn't record a whole movie on a single tape without reducing picture quality, or record anything longer than two hours, had nothing to do with it. Neither did the much lower price of VHS equipment, thanks to JVC's decision to allow other manufacturers to compete with them. And Sony's reluctance to add new features, like remote pause and recording timers was also comple

        • This what I love. For every story about the latest phone, you will get someone who posts "why can't I just get a phone that makes calls", despite the fact that there are a myriad of choices for such a person. And every story about DVD/HDVD/Bluray/DVD Jon someone comes up with this old line.

          I am pretty sure it is a different person each time, so I wan't to know where did you get this little tid-bit of information?? At least you aren't getting modded to 5, as has happened in the past.

          Perhaps the post comment
    • I mean, think of it, red has a long wavelength, blue shorter. So it must be higher definition.

      You Joe Sixpack is a geek and/or somebody with a higher education in sciences/technology.

      In my experience many people don't know that light has a wavelength, most people don't know that the wavelength of blue is shorter than the one of red and the vast majority of people has no idea whatsovever of how the wavelength of the reading laser affects the amount of data that can be stored in CD-like media.

      Actually i suspe
  • Yeah, right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mad_Rain ( 674268 )
    Names have everything to do with how popular a format becomes. "Betamax" or "VHS"?

    Nevermind that absolutely obscure music format, MP3.
  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @08:58PM (#15201906)
    Why is the DEC corporate logo the graphic for this article?

    Did HP decide to use their corporate corpse to produce Blu-ray or HD-DVD players?
    • My only guess is becuase it appears as simply the word "Digital", even when moused over, and this article is about digital video disc formats. But I know the editors aren't clueless enough to have forgotten Digital was a company name as well.
      • The editor wasn't. The submitter was. The editors are merely clueless enough not to proofread. Have you seen their own articles or addenda? They don't make errors of their own - but they always preserve the submitter's.
      • Slashdot really should retire the "Digital" category. I have fond memories of Digital Equipment Corporation... hell, DEC has been with me through most of my academic and professional career*, to say nothing of their impact on the tech industry. But they don't exist in any meaningful sense today, and this category only serves to confuse the slashkiddiez who are too young to know "Digital" as a name, not an adjective.

        *I learned BASIC logging into a PDP-11 using a DECwriter line printing terminal in high s

        • ahh DEC... where would we be without you... an Athlon away from the pentium killers of today.

          AMD licenced the same bus used by the ev7 alphas, and then suddenly the Athlon slingshotted into the stratosphere.

          ahh the Alpha... *pats his steel plated 6U quad proccessor DEC AlphaServer*

          good memories
  • The BluRay folks should adopt a second name: "DVD+HD" and use the advertising slogan "plus means better, plus means more, don't settle for DVD minus HD when you can have DVD *plus* HD".

    Then encourage the BluRay player builders to add a $5 DVD pickup laser and a $2 MPEG2 decoder chip so the BluRay players can also play back old fashioned DVD too.
    • Then encourage the BluRay player builders to add a $5 DVD pickup laser and a $2 MPEG2 decoder chip so the BluRay players can also play back old fashioned DVD too.

      This is already going to be automatic. Nobody is going to release a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player that doesn't play back DVDs. As for a "$2 MPEG2 decoder chip," you really don't need anything extra in that area since both formats support MPEG-2 encoded data by default (FYI, broadcast HD is already MPEG-2).

      As for the marketing, that's not bad but
  • When I first heard of Blu-Ray I thought: "Gee, they couldn't come up with a dumber name? It sounds as stupid as Betamax!"

    Then I found out Sony was making Blu-Ray and had a good laugh.

    Then I read "HD-DVD" and fell on the floor laughing.
  • I honestly think HD DVD will win over Blu-Ray. While name recognition will help, it won't be the deciding factor.
    Remember, many don't have much faith in Sony anymore. They've had numerous delays with their PS3, which is their main way to market Blu-Ray. The PS3 is expected to be $599 or possibly more. Not only that, but their last format, UMD, failed miserably and is being pulled off Wal-Mart's shelves. Combine that with their previous failures with formats like Mini-Disc and Sony doesn't have much of a tr
    • by Anonymous Coward
      As somebody who works retail, I know this first hand: CONSUMERS ARE IDIOTS!!! How many average Joes out there know what a rootkit is? How many of those people knew that Sony installed one on their computer? Do you have any idea how many idiots I have coming into my store asking for a Sony TV or a Sony car stereo or a Sony computer? TONS!!! They don't care that the Sony equipment we have is the worst stuff we carry. They care that it has that name recognition. So if every Bluray player had a Sony emblem on i
  • As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are.

    Apparently geekdom does not have ANY say in whether a format is accepted. This statement has given me a headache. OOOOhhh, my head!

  • look at early CD-R formats, look at early DVD-R formats.. someone built one drive that works with both and the war ended..
  • by hirschma ( 187820 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:50PM (#15202097)
    I've noticed a whole lot of confused folks in various forums that already think that they have "HD-DVD" - when what they have, in fact, are upsampling standard DVD players.

    Funny enough, most of the folks thinking that they had something that hadn't shipped yet owned Sony units. Perhaps this is not a coincidence. But people are going to be pitched DVD players with HD resolution - the confusion that this will breed will probably kill HD-DVD.

    jh
    • HD-DVD was a terrible idea for a format name. Why? Because as you noted, a lot of people think they already have HD-DVD - and thus will buy HD-DVD discs when they come out. After all, they have an HD TV set...

      So what happens when they take the discs home and find they will not play? A very, very high return rate and a lot of pissed of customers. I don't want to be the poor returns desk clerk who has to explain for the eight billionth time "You need a HD-DVD player, not a DVD player". You know that's g
      • I didn't even think of that, but I think that you're spot on. That being said, I'd imagine that the eventual response will be for the studios to release hybrid discs - DVD on one side, HD-DVD on the other. Then we'll be laughing at the few folks that have both the right player, and the right TV, but still play the wrong side without realizing it. Unless they come up with a way to put a tiny DVD compatible track up front that says "Get a new player, dumbass".

        This is going to be even tougher for the rental fo
        • That being said, I'd imagine that the eventual response will be for the studios to release hybrid discs - DVD on one side, HD-DVD on the other.

          Interesting idea. It might be a good stopgap solution before we find out which format will win. But in the long-term why should we replace one standard with two? I'm sorry, but I want one to win and the other to lose. I don't care which one. But it benefits noone to have two competing but equivalent (to the consumer) standards that require two different players t

          • Read what the gp posted one more time. He was not suggesting that two equivelant formats be used on the same disc, but that and older and a newer format be used on the same disc. A consumer could buy an HD-DVD for their DVD player, thinking that they had an HD-DVD player, and the disc would still work. The DVD format on one side would be to keep people from getting pissed off because their (not really) HD-DVD player won't play the disc. He was not talking about combining Blu-Ray and HD-DVD onto one disc
  • The consumer likes acronyms. Look at the battles: VHS vs Beta. VHS won. CD vs... uh... MiniDisk. CD won. DVD vs LaserDisk. DVD won.

    Alright, some of them weren't really battles, but there aren't many "battles" where a named format beat out an acronymed format*.

    * and now dozens of people are going to come up with counter-examples. I urge moderators to mod them down as trolls. :-)
    • Re:HD-DVD will win (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DoubleRing ( 908390 )
      I don't think it's so much liking acronyms as for timing, usage, etc. Betamax failed because of Sony's unwillingness to let other manufacturers from using it. Minidisk and CD never had a format war, plus MiniDisk came years late. Once again Sony was too controlling of the format. LaserDisk came too early (imagine that) and was REALLY big. DVD "won" because the entire content industry agreed not to have a format war, so you could think of DVD as the successor of LaserDisk, not its competitor. If Sony's
    • The only real comparison that you have up there is VHS vs. Betamax. Those two operated and were supported by totally different groups and had a different price range. You can't attribute the name as the winning quality.

      The rest aren't even CLOSE to being a battle of any form.

      CD's versus Minidisk? Both were created by and championed by sony. The MD units were designed to be mroe high end and expensive (plus it was recordable before cd burners became popular). Add this to the fact that there is a huge ti
      • I'm thinking it was just a joke, buddy. Like that episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer declares that every war has been won by the side with the shortest haircuts. "American Indians vs. the Cavalry-- long hippie-hair versus short back and sides. Vietnam-- crew cuts, both sides, draw."
  • Want some advice? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @09:52PM (#15202109) Journal
    What is in a name? Now, bear with me for a second here while I explain. As much as we geeks would like to believe it, we are not going to be the ones who decide which format wins out in the end; consumers are. Now, we all know people hate change. Users already know what DVD is, and most would like to think they understand HD. But Blu-Ray? Your average Joe only wants one thing when it comes to new technology, a feeling of comfort and understanding

    If you want to know what I think -- rather than expending energy worrying which DVD format wins out, you'd do better learning to stop talking like that.

    For heaven's sake, you're not Claude freaking Shannon; you're some guy buying a device to play Spiderman 2. (You also may or not be the guy who thought "Digital" was the appropriate category for this topic but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one...) Could you possibly dial the condescension back a bit?

  • I think that the name Blu-Ray sounds cooler, so people are more likely to buy it.

    Just like people are more likely to purchase a "Roomba" than they are a "robotic vacuum cleaner." Well, that is it robotic doesn't have the cool buzz factor that it did when I was a kid.
  • That's the real question Joe Public will ask.

    Many HD DVD buyers will be upset and have a slightly negative opinion of HD-DVD. Then, when the consumer goes and gets edjukated, he'll go with blu-ray, because it holds more data (because 50 is bigger than 30, just like the 7800 is almost 6000 points better than the X1900).

    JMO
  • I think Blu-Ray may have the upper hand with a cooler sounding name. Like it or not but Joe Sixpack may be more lible to go with the cooler sounding tech. There's a reason those slimeballs in the marketing department get paid so well.
  • I think Blu-ray is a "cooler" name, but think about it from the perspective of the average person. They know what HD is, and they know what DVD's are... they see HD-DVD and I'd wager at least 90% of them would guess correctly that it referred to high definition DVD's. You hear the term Blu-ray, and while it sounds nice, it gives zero clue as to what the product is.

    Of course, with the PS3 having Blu-ray built in, that's a HUGE advantage... I'm really anxious to see how this plays out to tell the truth. :)
    • All through this thread everyone is saying "Blu-Ray" sounds cool? Cool? It sounds like slang for the latest venerial disease, or something a cartoon character would use to kill an enemy on Saturday morning.

      Easy prediction here - HD-DVD wins:

      1. cheaper
      2. familiar name
      3. perception that "Sony TV stuff is always overpriced"
      Blu-Ray. As a brand name for a new flavour of Jello or Kool-aid for kids, maybe. Electronics? They might as well have calle d it Blub-Ray.
  • by lw54 ( 73409 )
    Yes.
  • Yeah, like all the people that bought mp3 players instead of the ipod...I mean what's an ipod? The various new dvd players will all be together. The confused consumer will more than likely remember an unusual name than some standard "hd dvd". So which high definition dvd player should we get? Oh, this one has the patented blu ray technology. I remember hearing that was good. These other ones just say the standard hd dvd. Let's get the blu ray one! Heck blu ray may end up becoming synonymous with the next
  • The first idea in that direction was "Violet Ray" [pullman.com], a chain of laundromats in the 1950s. Every washing machine had a UV lamp. There's still a Violet Ray laundromat running in Baltimore.
  • I'm just hoping HD-DVD doesn't win out, but I'm in wait-and-see mode right now.

    Ultimately it depends on when people are ready and willing to ditch the hundreds of DVD players they bought in the last 3-4 years. Over the last 3-4 years, HD sets started getting cheap, DVD players got ultra cheap, people got over the fact that they can't record on their video media anymore (though, that's changing), and all-in-one surround systems became popular because the media is now all the same size.

    A 3 month release head
  • A 3rd option (Score:4, Insightful)

    by desmondmonster ( 863068 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @12:21AM (#15202651) Homepage
    What if both formats fail miserably?

    Recent digital formats have snowed the market because they offered obvious advantages over existing technologies that had been around for years. CDs and DVDs overtook magnetic tapes because they were more durable, had better resolution, (generally) offered more storage space, and gave you the option of skipping directly to a specific song or movie scene. Plus, magnetic tape media had been on the market for several years, so most consumers felt they had gotten their money's worth out of their old hardware. Many of the discussions surrounding HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray seem to assume that consumers will necessarily pick one. But why should they pick either? The only advantages these formats offer over current DVDs is slightly better video resolution (no novel access features or rugged construction) and more storage space for.....10 extra director's commentaries? I suppose certain video games would enjoy having a 50GB media, but honestly, who's going to make a game that takes up fifty gigabytes?

    Whether or not Blu-Ray's horizontal line count is superior to HD-DVD's is irrelevant. What's relevant is how superior it is to the current standard - 480i on DVD. I think that the difference is negligible, unless you have equipment costing thousands of dollars. Even on old televisions DVDs were an obvious improvement over VHS tapes, which were literally wearing out from time and use. HD-CDs sound wonderful, but only on the right hardware. And very few people are willing to spend an extra $5000 on speakers just to hear greater clarity of the 10khz frequency. The costs far outweigh the benefits.

    Plus, I just bought a DVD player three years ago! Suddenly it's obsolete? I don't think so - the T-1000 still looks pretty sweet on DVD, and my discs are in great shape. Asking me to pay an extra $300 for a player, plus $30 for a new movie, plus $2000 for a new tv, plus $100 for the cables needed to even hook up HD components, just doesn't justify a really nice solar flare.

    Does anyone else remember that one of the early, great selling points of DVDs was that you didn't have to rewind them? Wasn't that awesome? And now we take it for granted.

    • "Asking me to pay an extra $300 for a player, plus $30 for a new movie, plus $2000 for a new tv, plus $100 for the cables needed to even hook up HD components, just doesn't justify a really nice solar flare."

      hehe, you forgot the $500 for my home entertainment center. The width for the TV is limited, if i get a new HD-widescreen it would have to be much shorter than my current TV to fit. I can't get any bigger diagonal TV in the hole :(

      Oops, if i do that i need a stereo rack as i havent seen a center that wo
  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @01:52AM (#15202845) Homepage Journal

    Yes, I wrote about this before, but I think you've got it backwards.

    Try this, say "H. D. D. V. D" three times fast, and you'll see a problem: it's long, it's cryptic, and it's hard to use in conversation. It becomes very "techy" sounding, and has no charm, it conjures no imagery what-so-ever. "Blue Ray", on the other hand, is two simple words that are already used in everyday conversation. When put together, they create wild space age imagery, not of the "techy" kind, but of the "wow" factor. It's two sylables compared to it's competitor's five. Blue is a color commonly associated with the calm and understated, and synergizes with the more aggressive imagry of its "Ray" counterpart. After all, "RedRay" immediately conjures up images of fire, blood, and bad 70s B sci-fi flicks.

    As a graphic designer, I'll votche for BluRay having much more possibilities for aesthetically pleasing logos. It's use of lower-case letters (which give it a more personable feeling), combined with it's cute spelling make it endeering. It has symmetry, and varried "skyline" (the shape the tops of the letters make).

    HD-DVD, on the other hand, is made of mostly sharp edged letters, all upper-case, very impersonal, intimidating, and institutional in nature. Accronyms are not comforting to people. FBI, CIA, IRS, WTF... all negative connotations. People tend to make accryonms of subjects that are undesirable or discomforting, since shortenning the name gets it over and done with being said more quickly. I assure you that if the FBI really stood for "the Friends of Birds and Igloos", people would much less rarely refer to it as "The F.B.I"... and when they did, they would call it "Feebee". A product with an accronym in its name has a harder time endeering itself

    Yes, all these perceptions are going to be subconscious, yet, most of the innitial judgements about the product are going to stem from the subconcious "feeling" you get when you first see or hear about it. Thus, a name and a logo can litterally shape and define a product for the consumer before they even see it. Steve Jobs and his staff were geniouses when they shortened the cryptic "Performa 7300/200" to "iMac", there's no coincidence that the relative success of the iMac was shaped by it's more personable and less intimidating portrayal... and that all starts with a name.

  • Joe Average will buy what he's told to. The usual sales talk in Best Buy will run along these lines:

    "Yeah, erh... Hi. I wanna buy this new DVD kind, ya know, the one with the better resolution and clearer picture and all that, you got that?"
    "Oh, you mean (insert the tech they got more margin for)."

    The consumer might have had a say in what's being bought some years ago. He has nothing to say anymore. He's buying what's available. Best Buy and its buddies don't even have to offer both. They dictate what's bei
  • And what if say... neither format wins?

    Does that mean both names suck?

    Afterall there is precedence for formats simply not gaining traction. LaserDisk never got very popular, and most people have no reason what so ever to buy an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player as they don't have an HDTV to go with it. So, why bother?
  • Personally I want HDDVD to win, just because I like anything with "DD"'s ;P
  • I'm certainly going to wait until I can get a player with both Blu-ray and HD-DVD support. Then I won't get obsolete discs I can't play in case one or the other dies.

    Oh, and the player must be able to play region 1 AND 2 discs, or be cheap enough so I can buy two players. I refuse to obsolete half my DVD library after all...
  • Neither format may make huge inroads. Why? Because resolution doesn't matter. Notice the popularity of the iPod - does it have higher fidelity than a portable CD player? Not hardly. MP3s and AACs are lower in sound quality than even FM radio, but people are willing to put up with the lower quality because of the convenience factor.

    My wife and I haven't rented a DVD since we bought our TiVo last year. We record at basic quality, so there are lots of artifacts in the video. Do we care? No - we hardly notice t

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