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Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Talks End 389

Last minute talks to unify the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats have failed. Matsushita, owner of the Panasonic brand, has stated 'the market will decide the winner.' From the article: "The two sides held talks last year in the hopes of avoiding a prolonged format battle similar to the one between Betamax and VHS videotapes in the 1980s, knowing that it could discourage consumers from shifting to the advanced discs and stifle the industry's growth. But the talks soon fizzled out, with each side reluctant to establish a format based on the other's disc structure. At stake is the $24 billion home video market and a slice of the personal computer market as PCs will be equipped with Blu-ray or HD DVD optical drives."
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Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Talks End

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  • Re:the 'market' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmeranda ( 120061 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:33PM (#15206974) Homepage
    "the market will decide the winner"

    Just another way of saying, "We're okay if 49.9% of the consumers
    get screwed. We'll screw the surviving 50.1% later."
  • by Dis*abstraction ( 967890 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:34PM (#15206978)
    All life is staving off the inevitable. It's what you do in the meantime that makes it interesting.
  • Re:Games?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mikeisme77 ( 938209 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:37PM (#15207004) Homepage Journal
    It's an even lesser known fact that when the PS2 first launched in Japan that despite it selling out, few people were buying any games... The PS2 was the least expensive DVD player available in Japan at the time (much like the PS3 will be the least expensive high def disc player worldwide) and the games at the launch of the PS2 were lackluster (many suffering from anti-aliasing and other problems). People bought the systems just as a DVD player during the first few months--although I'm sure that most (if not all) of them bought at least one game after the first 3 months of the Japanese launch (when better games started coming out/programming issues were fixed).
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:48PM (#15207098)
    These days everyone knows what HD means. These days most people have DVD players.

    Blu-Ray? What's that?

    Yes, so people will "know" they have an HD TV, and "know" they have a DVD player - and so will not purchase HD-DVD players, just the discs - which they will then return in droves (or alternatley they will be buying dual format discs, which will lead them to wonder what the big deal is since those discs look just like DVDs - again leading many to not purchase HD-DVD players).

    Meanwhile amidst the consumer confusion of HD-DVD the shiny new blue discs obviously need a different player, and hey look! I was going to buy a PS3 anyway. And it even works with my old HD TV without HDMI connections (Sony announced all movies they release on Blu-Ray will allow full resolution even on older analog connections).

    After a few million PS3's are sold there will literally be an order of magnitude more Blu-Ray players around than HD-DVD units, and it's game over at that point as Blu-Ray wins through sheer economy of scale.
  • Re:Games?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mikeisme77 ( 938209 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @03:50PM (#15207108) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I don't think either format will win. My personal belief is that they're creating a solution to a "problem" that doesn't exist yet. They are building a product that would be useful to less than 10% of the worldwide market (those who actually have HDTVs). I see these new formats as a way of pushing more restrictive DRM and with the "format war" I see it very likely that they'll just bleed each other to death.
  • by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:03PM (#15207217)
    "but within a few years a system will exist which will allow the streaming of any movie ever made via broadband instantly."

    Remember the Qwest commercial set in a motel from around 2000? "We have every movie ever made, in every language, any time, night or day."

    When do I expect to see streaming 1080p 48Mbps video over a "content-neutral" Internet? Not during the lifetime of Blu-Ray/HD-DVD.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:09PM (#15207274) Journal
    This post was moderated insightful, and I can't help wonder if the moderators intended that as a commentary on state of both technologies. Slashdot is supposed to be one of the centres of the greatest concentration to technical knowledge on the web, and even here we have such uninformed opinions.

    If a Slashdot reader can think that BluRay is the size of HD-DVD, and HD-DVD is the size of regular DVD, then what hope has the average consumer?

  • Consumers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:22PM (#15207361)
    The two sides held talks last year in the hopes of avoiding a prolonged format battle similar to the one between Betamax and VHS videotapes in the 1980s, knowing that it could discourage consumers from shifting to the advanced discs and stifle the industry's growth.
    I sure wish we could get rid of the overuse of the word "consumer." Here's an example:

    In the broadcast TV/advertising business, the advertisers who pay $$ to place commercials on television are the customers, because they are the ones who are providing a source of income for the networks and they are the ones to whom the programming is catered; that is, a show makes it to television because it was successfully sold to enough advertisers who were convinced that it was a viable money-maker. The viewers at home who watch the shows and (as the marketers hope) the advertisements that go with them are the consumers. They provide eyeballs so that the networks can sell advertisements, but they themselves do not make payments towards the broadcast and thus are not customers but merely tools to be used as a selling point by the networks. As such, as long as they tune in, no one in control of the network gives a damn what they do or what they think of the product. This is why controversy sells and often, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    However, if I want to have a Blu-ray drive or a HD-DVD drive (or whatever new format may emerge), I am making a purchasing decision and am giving $$ to the company in exchange for a product. If I do not like the product, the company, their business practices, their marketing tactics, their use of DRM, or the pricing, I may choose not to make this purchase and as a result, the company does not receive my money. I am voting with my feet, I have some control over the transaction, and I do not simply accept whatever is handed to me which is what a consumer does. Customers must be satisfied; consumers must simply be enticed.

    I cannot help but think that when, overnight, everyone started calling those who vote with their feet "consumers" that this is nothing more than marketing Newspeak designed to de-emphasize the fact that our wants and desires matter.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:36PM (#15207498)
    Yes because, to throw an analogy into the works, NTFS, Ext3, Fat32, Resier and XFS are all the *same* format because they can all be stored on the same platter and read by the same disk heads.
  • Re:the 'market' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qortra ( 591818 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @04:56PM (#15207673)

    The same consumer base had no problem eating up Dolby Pro Logic in the early 90s. DPL required 5 speakers and a sub! Now, one could argue that people purchased DPL systems exclusively for the home theater, but I don't think this is the case. I'd say that the majority of people that adoptered DPL at the peak of its success were mostly enticed by it's ability to matrix stereo music into a surround format, thus gaining a 3d soundfield without need for a format change.

    I think the lesson to learn with quadraphonic 8-tracks/cassettes/vinyl, SACD, DVD-Audio, DCC, etc, is the following; People don't readily adopt expensive format quality upgrades that physically look the same and provide the same functionality as their predecessor.
  • Re:Your sure? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @05:37PM (#15208019)
    Many people buy big TVs not for the quality but simply because the screen's larger. Some people just like bigger == better. It makes a lot of people who's eye sight's failing see the picture easier. Some buy out of impulse, some just don't want the bulge in classical CRT's.

    All of these are possible reasons to buy a large format TV.

    "It is the difference between an actors face being a blur with darkspots for eyes and mouth and being able to see wether they had a good nights sleep the day before"

    The difference may be stark to you, but unless you've got a CRT or a -good- plasma/lcd, you won't notice the difference anyways. The black color washout is probably the most painful thing I've had to live with since moving to affordable (5k) large format TVs.

    I won't even bother debating your B&W issue.

    "Everytime a new format comes along you get the same old argument about it being to costly for a minor increase. Yet that never stopped anyone before. "

    Did you convert to mp3pro? Oh, me neither. Did you convert to the record sized laser discs? No? Me neither. Troll another issue, please.

    IMHO, The format/formats have a chance to survive only if they hitch a ride with the replacement and upgrade DVD player market. They've got a tough fight at this price point though. I can walk into a store and buy a $30 DVD player if I wanted to. Comparing $30 to $1000, I don't care who you are, if you have any financial discipline, you've got to have a better reason to own it besides 'I just want it'.
  • Re:Just fine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eccles ( 932 ) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @07:56PM (#15208825) Journal
    The issue here isn't read speed. I believe the blue laser can read smaller pits, so you can have more data on a disc.

    The multiple laser approach would be useful for reading game data, though. (I'm not sure it was multiple lasers, if I remember right they used prisms to split a single beam. You would need multiple readers though.)
  • Re:the 'market' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Webmoth ( 75878 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:58AM (#15212271) Homepage
    "Guess what? they are catching on via the computer."

    Among pr0n strz. The rest of us don't want to see Aunt Judy in curlers before she's had her Sunday morning cigarette.

    Really, there is little benefit to video conferencing other than the "coolness" factor. It's helpful when you have a large group of people having a meeting, because then it's easier to tell who's talking -- for one on one it doesn't provide much benefit. About the only 1-1 scenario where a video phone would help is if you are showing off your body (most "webcams" that are pointed at people seem to be pointed at teenagers and perverts). It also provides context in movies so the viewer doesn't get confused -- but that's not real life.

    Most people would rather have a real face-to-face meeting than a virtual one. They also like the freedom a voice-only phone gives them to move about the room or drive down the street -- multitasking. They don't like being chained to a desk where the camera is. I think that no matter how cheap it becomes (and it has become cheap), it will forever be relegated to the fringe element and the boardroom and never be a mainstream household appliance.

    But this is off topic, and probably will be moderated so.

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