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The HD DVD controversy

 
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Slyder
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:00 pm    Post subject: The HD DVD controversy Reply with quote

Techno-war scales tilt in favor of HD DVD format
Posted on : 2004-12-01 | Author : Hutch. A | Category : Entertainment

Film studios are keenly following the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD with a distinct sense of dťjŗ vu. 20 years ago, Beta and VHS were pitted against each other for more or less the same reasons.

Film studios are hotly speculating which of the two will prevail as the next generation DVD format. There are many who wave it away as a Ďno contestí as HD DVD has the advantage of working with todayís DVD players. A senior analyst of the Yankee Group, when pressed for comment, said that he expects the battle to be long drawn out this time round, as both Blu-ray and HD DVD are backed by content companies as well as hardware companies.

With both formats having their own group of users and neither showing any inclination of conceding defeat, the stalemate continues. While Blu-ray, backed by big-timers like Sony, Hitachi, Dell, Samsung and HP, promises to spring a surprise win, HD DVD format has great support from studios like New Line Cinema, Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers, NEC and Toshiba.

For now, the chips seem to be heavily stacked in favor of High Definition DVD as it also has a backward-compatibility advantage with today's DVD hardware. Experts argue that the future could throw up a completely different scenario from what is predicted. Although HD DVD is more popular currently because of this compatibility with todayís hardware, future formats are more likely to be PC-driven, which is where Blu-ray gets an advantage.

The top brass of a studio predicted that studios would eventually change direction and go with Blu-ray. He also added that itís a bit too early to tell ďwhich way the wind will blowĒ.

HD DVD supported by DVD Forum
Besides support from some of the biggest names in the entertainment business, HD DVD is also backed by the DVD Forum, which is an association of more than 200 consumer electronics, IT and entertainment companies. This backing alone gives HD DVD a very strong position in the market.

A senior executive at Paramountís Worldwide Home Entertainment, expressed confidence that retailers and consumers alike would support HD as it has clear advantages in terms of cost of manufacturing, which translates as affordability for the consumer. It also allows for easy replication.

The heavy weight support for Blu-ray is likely to get a further boost by the support from MGM which will soon be acquired by Sony.

Blu-ray has Interchange Advantage: HP chief
Regardless of the odds, there are some technical reasons why the Blu-ray specification might prevail. With ever-expanding uses for digital discs, Blu-ray Disc allows for seamless interchange between consumer electronics and the PC. Blu-rayís backing from both electronics and computer manufacturing majors is likely to turn the direction of the techno-tide.

Marketing experts feels that as Blu-ray is the more consumer-friendly technology for storing digital video and other media, it might prevail.

According to him, the price factor will also matter in determining the winner. Consumers are content with the quality of today's DVDs, and would be reluctant to accept a higher-priced product, regardless of format. Itís a level-playing field out there and both contenders are equal in strength. Which one will win, only time and the consumer can tell.
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What does everyone think about this?

I have my doubts about this, mainly about price and compatibility, but who knows. It may turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing. The issue is pretty much in the air, only time will tell.

I just hope that I can still play my old DVDs in their new equipment and viceversa and not make them more expensive.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll not be taking part in the consumer war, but I will say it looks more likely HD-DVD will win, only because it's a small upgrade in existing technology, not a reworking of it entirely, which would cause a purchase of a new system.

Unless Blu-Ray can show a significant improvement in capacity and picture quality the likes of which made DVD such a big step up over VHS, I can't imagine there really being a need for them in the marketplace.

In fact, if I'm Blu-Ray, I'd be concentrating on going after the DVD-RW market and making a big point of the expanded capacity for people who burn their own DVDs, not retail suppliers.

Let's face it - If you had three times the room on a Van Helsing DVD, what would you put on it that you couldn't just put on a second disc? But if you were recording the entire four season of Scrubs to DVD on your computer...
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Ryan_A
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
Let's face it - If you had three times the room on a Van Helsing DVD, what would you put on it that you couldn't just put on a second disc?


An entirely different, better movie to play in place of Van Helsing? Which would be virtually anything?
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Nick Sievers



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve spoken to a couple of people that have had a demo of Blu-Ray and they were saying to their eyes it was a significant a jump as VHS to DVD. I was also under the impression that it will be backward compatible with regular DVDís.

Blu-Ray also has the advantage of being the media for the Playstation 3. That would put Blu-Ray players in quite a few households at a cheap price.

Personally Iím thinking HD-DVD will win a format war based on name familiarity alone. Blu-Ray at this time sounds like a niche format to me.

Quote:
it looks more likely HD-DVD will win, only because it's a small upgrade in existing technology, not a reworking of it entirely


What do you mean? I thought both formats will be offering similar specs and both using the blue laser technology.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the proponents of HD-DVD claim that existing DVD manufacturing plants could be adapted to handle HD at little expense.

But you're right that having a Blu-Ray in every PS3 will make them competitve.
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