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Darren Waters

HD DVD camp implodes

  • Darren Waters
  • 7 Jan 08, 15:49 GMT

The emerging story of CES so far is the seeming implosion of HD DVD.

After the defection of Warners to rival Blu-ray camp, the format – backed by Microsoft and Toshiba – is left with just Universal and Paramount as the only major studios to support the hi def disc.

The HD DVD camp turned a crisis into a disaster when it cancelled its scheduled press conference at the show and then – perhaps unsurprisingly – cancelled all media interviews at the show.

It's left observers with the impression that the HD DVD group is in disarray and on the verge of collapse.

Blu-ray, on the other hand, is only to eager to parade spokespeople talking up its own format.

Whatever happens next its clear that consumers are the ones who are suffering. Have the hundreds of thousands of people who invested in HD DVD been left high and dry? Many independent film firms are also concerned because many supported HD DVD as it was cheaper than Blu ray to get licensing.

It's doubly embarrassing for Toshiba because they are one of the main CES sponsors - their banners hang rather forlornly around the show site.

I'm speaking to Blu-ray supporters shortly and am trying hard to get anyone from HD DVD to speak.

The fat lady isn't singing quite yet - but she's warming up in her dressing room.


Comments

  • 1.
  • At 04:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Catch up BBC, this Warner Blu - ray deal was announced Friday. And no mention of the 500 meeeliooon dollars

  • 2.
  • At 04:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

BBC seems a little late with this story. Warner made this announcement before CES on friday. Now there are rumours of a 500 Mil cheque changing hands to get Warner as an exclusive.

  • 3.
  • At 04:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • S. Ahmed wrote:

One question, after the success of DVD.

Why?

It seems these tech companies learn nothing after the betamax debacle.

Having said that I believe the simplest solution is let the 2 formats continue:

For consumers:

There should be MULTI-FORMAT players available hence ending the headache.

  • 4.
  • At 04:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • TheTurk wrote:

Comments posted by various pundits around the web and blogsphere all point towards the PS3 being the culprit that tilted the Hi-def DVD format towards Blu-Ray. That plus Michael Bay (he of the Transformers movie)carping on about how Blu-Ray is better quality and format of choice for movie producers & directors.
Perhaps it would have been a different story if Microsoft supplied its Xbox360 with a HD-DVD player. But that was a gamble Gates was not willing to take and so Sony and the Blu-Ray camp win, fortunately for all of us.

  • 5.
  • At 04:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Nigel (London) wrote:

"...is only to eager to parade..."

"Whatever happens next its clear..."

What a pity that technology can't always rescue us for poor spelling and grammar.

  • 6.
  • At 04:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mad Jack McMad wrote:

Like many people, I suspect, I have held off buying a hi-def player even though I have a hi-def TV. Perhaps finally I can now invest in one format without worrying I'll be left with the 21st centuary equivalent of a Betamax player.

  • 7.
  • At 04:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Stephen Clark wrote:

What i don't understand is why the BBC takes flak for allowing its iPlayer on only one format, but its ok for Warner and others to offer their content on only one format.

Consumer choice please.

  • 8.
  • At 04:36 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • brian@brianbowman.net wrote:

Now that studio's decide the format I will be watching I can say that I am very disappointed. my Christmas present of an HD-DVD format player hangs in the balance of greed and Sony should pay for this. We all know Sony is inferior on so many levels and way overpriced so as consumers we as always are the ones who lose.

Thanks Sony and take your PS3 and -----------------


  • 9.
  • At 05:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brian wrote:

Sorry but I don't see how consumers are going to suffer at all. I don't know where you got your "hundreds of thousands of people" figure from but with PS3 sales in the US already over 1M for Christmas alone, the outcome was obvious. The PS3 gave blu-ray the foot in the door to peoples homes.

If MS & Toshiba wanted to succeed so badly they should have included a HD drive in the latest Xbox Elite. From my own experience the selection of movies on HD DVD which were available to me for was miserable, less than 20 I would say.

You seem slightly biased in your report. Are you one of the "hundreds of thousands" that you speak of by any chance?

  • 10.
  • At 05:19 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ronald D. Moudy wrote:

Hasn't this happened so many times before, that some had to be the FIRST in the block to own Beta, and etc. to be left high and dry with another system that was stronger to ride out the marketing storm? When will you learn that a new concept needs to survive the market test? That the consumer has the bucks and will ultimately win out!

  • 11.
  • At 05:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Charles wrote:

Format wars are interesting, and quite honestly, I wouldn't be giving Sony a hard time, seeing as they have lost far more than they have won, and in many cases with better technology. Betamax and Minidisc were excellent products, but unfortunately they did not reach mass audiences at the right price point.

1. BetaMax vs. VHS
2. Minidisc vs. MP3

For once, Sony has won a format war with a more interesting proposition.

Don't shoot Sony for getting over their previous mistakes and making a cost-effective product (PS3) and for getting their competitors and partners to buy into Blu-Ray.

HD-DVD group haven't exactly made the most of the time advantage they had, nor have they persuaded others to join them successfully.

In any case, like DVD, prices will tumble and Blu-Ray will be under £100 in 18 months, and £30 in Supermarkets by 2012. I really don't see the mass take-up that happened with DVD with either HD or Blu-Ray. Too much investment in DVD by us poor consumers to withstand another format.

  • 12.
  • At 05:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

This will go a long way towards helping those of us who have sat on the fence throughout the "HD wars" to go and buy the 'right' player.

There was no way I was going to waste time and money on one system or the other until there was a clear winner, and it seems that day is edging ever closer.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, so I expect the makers of Blu-Ray players will be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of all the impending sales of their units.

  • 13.
  • At 05:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Carl k wrote:

There's was only ever going to be one winner - the format which was included with the PS3, which of course is the Sony Blu-Ray.

This gives Sony a huge advantage as millions of households have bought or will buy the PS3 for primarily gaming purposes, however, with the added benefit of a Blu-Ray player. Many consumers who wouldn't have necessarily bought a standalone HD player, me included, will naturally now happily use the Blu-Ray.

  • 14.
  • At 05:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jeff Dyer wrote:

Brian - get a life. How is Sony inferior - My Sony HD1080 is fantastic, my tiny ATRAC walkman superb. I can plug my TV and walkman into the PS3 and have a state of the art system that I know will last for years. I suppose you even believe that VHS was somehow "superior" to Betamax!

  • 15.
  • At 05:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Scythe wrote:

Brian - Could you possibly explain how Sony is inferior? Or how blu-ray is inferior? Last I checked blu-ray disks held more data (25GB per layer vs 17GB), considering the device is being used to hold data surely more space is better? In fact HD-DVD's have already had limitations put on sound due to space constraints - refer Transformers, arguably HD-DVD's biggest release (with Bourne), not having Dolby TrueHD lossless audio due to lack of space.
Blu-ray also has players made by Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and Sony whereas HD-DVD has ... Toshiba.

So it would seem only YOU know how blu-ray/Sony is inferior (Sony is not blu-ray by the way, they just support it, it was designed and manufactured by the BDA of which Sony are a part).

And why should Sony pay because YOU chose the wrong format? Should VHS have paid up for all the people who bought into betamax? I wonder what you would be saying if Warner Bros had gone HD-DVD exclusive, would you call for everyone who bought blu-ray to be compensated by Toshiba? Did you complain when the HD-DVD group paid off Paramount to go exclusive? Didn't think so.

  • 16.
  • At 05:32 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew H wrote:

Did anyone really expect a different outcome? After the humiliation of betamax, a technically superior format which never got the commercial backing to give success, there was no way Sony would lose this. It would cost them far too much in R&D.

  • 17.
  • At 05:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chriswsm wrote:

I have had a PS3 and a couple of Blu-ray movies since March 2007. Even though the image quality is better than standard DVD it is not vastly better. Certainly not worth the increased price for the blu-ray or HD-DVD disks.

I have chosen to continue with DVD for the time being and I recommend that other users do the same.

Both HD DVD and blu-ray are still in the early adopter phase. Therefore, anyone who bought into either format should have understood that there was an inherent risk in doing so.

As long as there are two competing formats, HD media will never become mainstream. The general public, unlike early adopters, will not want to take the risk. Warner has done the right thing by choosing blu-ray to put an end to this inane 'war'.

Blu-ray titles have outsold HD DVD throughout 2007. Every major CE company (Toshiba being the obvious exception) offers blu-ray players...blu-ray is NOT just about Sony. Even more importantly, on the content side, blu-ray had more studio support in 2007 than HD DVD. With Warner's decision this is now overwhelming support.

Let's all just move on folks.

Personally I believe the writing was on the wall for HD-DVD after falling so far behind in getting Rewritable HD-DVD drives out of the door whereas the range of Blu-ray disc drives for computers and stand alone players is going from strength to strength.

Similarly from a piracy aspect HD-DVD does seem to have suffered a great deal more although I understand that both formats use the same encryption technologies, this probably has a great deal to do with the analogue loophole opened by HD-DVD support via the Xbox 360.

At the end of the day though it's consumers that are yet again being most led down by HD-DVD's downfall although realistically one or the other format had to go as the 'format war' was really holding up the HD market.

  • 20.
  • At 06:04 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Just buy the Samsung or LG combination players. They will play both HD DVD and Bluray Discs. That way whoever 'wins' it means we the consumers don't lose out!

  • 21.
  • At 06:17 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

So it has finally happened and Blu-Ray has come out the winner in a digital war that nobody wanted!! I assume now that the prices for Blu-Ray players and discs will come tumbling down and will we now possibly see a recordable version soon??? I hope so as I have been patiently waiting for this childishness to end so that we, the consumer, don't get taken for another ride (VHS/Betamax)

  • 22.
  • At 06:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

I researched and made a choice a few months ago. I purchased a PS3 largely because of its Blu Ray capabilities. I am very pleased so far. The movies are so sharp and clear, the games are fun, and I can use the PS3 to play my OWN HD Videos, photos and music straight to my 73'' HDTV and surround system. Now, to hear that Blu Ray may be the winning format, I am very, very pleased with my choice.

Until the prices of the actual dvd movies themselves come down in price, I won't be buying either format.

  • 24.
  • At 06:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Acheron wrote:

Well having a Betamax video player (now unused) I can only testify to Sony's superior quality (for years cameramen used a hybrid of Beta for there recording, such was the qauality. Like others I have a Sony MP3 player and wouldn't swap it for the world with an ipod.

I'm just glad that the decision has been forced. HD have seriously shot themselves in the foot by disappearing from reporters eyes and this will probably cause as much of a downturn in their sales as the Warner decision.

Give it 6 months, and HD DVD will be a thing of the past. Sorry Brian, but look on the bright side. In 25 years time, if you've kept your HD DVD player (like I still have my Betamax), you'll probably be able to claim that you have a museum piece!

  • 25.
  • At 06:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • ckn wrote:

Ummm... The $500 million payoff seems a bit outlandish. Sure, there could have been incentives but if there were we're going to hear about it. The reason we know about the $150 million payout to Paramount is because these things show up in the company's financial papers, so it was disclosed. At the moment, the supposed $500 million is nothing more than a rumor with absolutely no basis from any real news source. Furthermore, the majority of the work I do comes from Warner Home Video in particular, and they've been saying they would reevaluate their stance after the new year for months now. All year long (despite further HD-DVD player sales), HD-DVD titles have lagged well behind their Blu Ray counterparts in sales. Warner's best bet was to take sides with the clear frontrunner at the moment, and thus force the issue.

  • 26.
  • At 06:32 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Gary Phelps wrote:

With 1/2 a BILLION dollars changing hands on Friday in order for the Sony dominated Blu - Ray player to "scoop" a turncoat it is hardly surprising to hear about Warners' "About-turn".
It seems that Sony are prepared to pay anything to get the major movie studios to back their format.
Bear in mind that ex-Sony development studios belittle the format, labelling it "slow", "cumbersome" and "Detrimental to the PS3" (stating that the slow access time forces development studios to stream data from the HDD in order to lower loading times to somewhat close to the Xbox 360) Sony do indeed need to push this format BEFORE dual players are widely available (players that can read both Blu Ray and HDDVD formats)or else see another hardware launch fall to pieces, like PS3 (and lately the "walkman" brand that was completely eclipsed by i-Tunes)that, 2 years after launch, still trails third in the major hardware stakes.

  • 27.
  • At 06:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ross wrote:

Does anyone realy care? Its not as if I'm EVER likly to spend the REDICULOUS amounts of money required to notice the difference in quality between Blue ray/HD and DVD let alone each other.
I'm certain neither will ever take off as by the time DVD is ready to die the internet will be ready to take its place.
MP3 beat mini disk for a reason, who needs disks??

  • 28.
  • At 06:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Don't be too UK-centric when writing off the Betamax format as I believe production only stopped in 2002. It was a dominant format in many countries outside the UK for a very long time by today's standards.

However, the betamax vs VHS 'war' is fundamentally irrelevant anyway because a dual-format player was never a practical proposition so the consumer was forced to choose. But with optical disc technology, multi-format players are highly practical, so the format is less relevant.

I don't recall a big fuss over recordable DVD formats or agonising over whether I should "buy into" DVD+ or DVD- technology. It's the usual industry hype and market manipulation and it's the early-adopters who pay through the nose.

Just be smart and wait a couple of years for things to settle down. There can be life without HD you know!

  • 29.
  • At 06:37 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

This is the best electronics news for a long time. I didn't really care which one of them won, since they both support the exact same video codecs, but one needed to win.

Outside of the actual video codecs these disks use, BluRay appears to have the edge when it comes to data storage, so really this is a good outcome for consumers and professionals.

Wonder how long Toshiba will try and drag this out before we see the inevitable tech news headline:

"HD DVD laid to rest"

quote Blu-ray, on the other hand, is only to eager to parade spokespeople talking up its own format. unquote

Darren this is the BBC!!

  • 31.
  • At 06:40 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • JK wrote:

I was very suprised to hear about the WB U-turn. I own a HD-DVD player and seen a Blu-Ray in action and for the common person the difference in quality is very small.

I bought a HD-DVD player based on the track record with all other format wars which have passed before.

Sony have come up with some cracking technologies over the past 30 years only to be not chosen over cost. Fundamentally, most consumer technologies are chosen for the manufacturer profits, which are made on mass production.

This should means that HD-DVD should win the war as the costs for the electronics & discs are cheaper.

What really does annoy me is the thowing of money to movie studios to sway them into their respective camps. I dont recall this happening in the previous format wars. I feel that this has become a battle of bribery.

Anyway, I dont think the war is over just yet, I have just read that Disney has signed up to supply HD content via the Microsoft Xbox Live Subscription Service. Which means a further blurring of the lines as Disney is in the Blu-Ray camp and Microsoft is on the HD-DVD camp!

  • 32.
  • At 06:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • fred wrote:

Now that studio's decide the format I will be watching I can say that I am very disappointed. my Christmas present of an HD-DVD format player hangs in the balance of greed and Sony should pay for this. We all know Sony is inferior on so many levels and way overpriced so as consumers we as always are the ones who lose.

Thanks Sony and take your PS3 and -----------------


How do 'we all know Sony is inferior'? If you bothered to do any research you would find that blu-ray disks have a higher capacity, and can also make use of Java.

to Chriswsm:

I disagree with your comment re: image quality. I too have a PS3 and I find the difference between blu-ray and dvd stunning. I'm not talking about subtle differences either. Upscaled dvd generally looks pretty reasonable but once you've spent some time watching real HD content there's really no comparison.

As far a disc prices go, yes they are fairly expensive at the moment unless you get them on sale. Expect prices to drop with wider adoption. They will because they have to.

  • 34.
  • At 06:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Bob Wood wrote:

As in all such situations there is a lot of cr*p being put forward as fact. One FACT is that Warner's decision to back Blu-ray does not automatically mean that their titles will only appear in that format. In territories other than the US studios employ other companies to distribute their product on optical disk and in many cases these distribution deals are not covered by the same constraints (this is why the Harry Potter movies are available on HD-DVD over here in the UK but are exclusively on Blu-Ray in the US).

I have a multi-media PC with both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray drives and a collection of over High-Def titles and I can say without any fear of contradiction that there is ZERO difference in quality between the two.

What does worry me, however, is that Blu-Ray continues to control us, the consumers, by retaining region coding and that Sony will have a stranglehold on the whole delivery chain from creation to display. Knowing Sony’s track record for locking in users and hiking the prices I don’t think the future looks as rosy as some have written here.

Finally, if there was indeed a 500,000,000 sweetener to Warner Bros then it is us the consumers that will end up paying that in higher prices for players and obscenely inflated prices for the movies themselves. Don’t forget people that High Definition, regardless of format, only fixes shortcomings of the DVD format and doesn’t deliver anything new!

  • 35.
  • At 06:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

Forget Betamax Vs VHS, I'm still concerned about the 'high definition' audio sound battle between SACD (Sony again) and DVD-A. I suspect both formats lost that war due to the cloth-eared public's lack of interest in superior hi-fi sound; seems that people prefer tinny MP3 sound. Oh well, in this case we can only blame ourselves not the corporations.

  • 36.
  • At 06:57 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Stephen Morley wrote:

I still find it hard to believe how many people are quick to pat Sony on the back for selling a system that still has not yet been standardized (ver 1.0 1.1 etc)!!

Granted with the PS3 upgrading is relatively straight forwards but I feel for the early Blue-Ray adopters that purchased stand alone players who are now unable to play content on the newer version discs.

At least Toshiba and the HD-DVD consortium had got all that sorted before they sold it on to the consumer (and also took away region coding which is such an outdated concept!).

The extra capacity of the disc gave little advantage over HD-DVD. When all said and done it has come down to who had the most money to "buy" their success.

By the way I have a PS3 and not a HD-DVD player but am able to see further than the end of my nose.

  • 37.
  • At 06:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • carl wrote:

I really, really, *really* do not give a stuff about this whole HD business I'm so apathetic I've surprised myself by posting this here....! We're perfectly happy with the quality of DVDs and our present surround sound home theatre.
This is Yet another DRM infested, regional coding format that the greedy movie studios will push on people to get them to buy their DVDs all over again.

Ha ha.....no thanks!

  • 38.
  • At 07:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • KJBR wrote:

If only I knew what the heck you were talking about...

  • 39.
  • At 07:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • sittinpretty wrote:

The most obvious advantage HD-DVD has over Blu-Ray in the UK is that HD-DVD is automatically region-free; therefore UK consumers can buy any of the huge number of HD-DVD titles released in the USA without the extra expense of buying a modded multi-region player. On the other hand, UK Blu-Ray players are restricted to the small number of Blu-Ray discs released in the UK and this will be it's Achilles heal for years to come.

With HD-DVD I thought we had at last done away with region coding, but it seems that the idiot consumer wants this restrictive and anti-consumer feature built into their hardware! Blu-Rayers, when you can't get your favourite movie because it won't released in the UK for 2 or 3 years at least you can spend your free-time blogging about 17gb v 25gb data layers ad-naseum. Although your machine will be empty, you will still no doubt be waxing lyrical about its technical superiority!

  • 40.
  • At 07:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • PJ wrote:

I seriously considered buying Blu-Ray in the sales (probably in PS3 guise) but eventually decided not to risk the investment (in media rather than hardware) until the market settled on one or other. Even now though I think I will wait for prices to fall as I don't think the improvement over the HDMI DVD upscaller I bought 6 mths ago justifies the cost.

  • 41.
  • At 07:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Is it just me who can't really see the point of HD/bluray dvds? Surely only a very small propotion of the market can actually afford the whole extra package needed to actually take advantage of the greater pic/sound ie. full hd tvs and paying £30 for a dvd that you can get for about £10 on normal dvd. Whoever the person was in sony who decided to stick the blu-ray in the ps3 is a genius, they wouldn't have sold half as many without it

  • 42.
  • At 07:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jim Jones wrote:

I agree with Bob Wood @ Post 33, I just don't trust Sony enough to play fair once HD-DVD is gone.

  • 43.
  • At 07:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • ian wrote:

I have bought a PS3 largely because of the Blu ray player, it seemed all the major high streets were stocking far more volumes of Blu ray as well. Also my local Block buster video store only stocked Blu ray and not HD DVD. seems like i made the right csll :D

  • 44.
  • At 07:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Kevin wrote:

Like most people I was waiting to see which format would come out on top before deciding, then the PS3 was released and, like many others, I came to realise that it was only a matter of time. With the shortage of Nintendo WII's, and the redent PS3 price cuts I also think it's only a matter of time before sales of the PS3 overtake the WII leading to even more reason for BluRay to dominate. BluRay is the superior of the two formats from a technical standpoint, but to be honest I was hoping that HD-DVD would actually be the winner. Why?, well HD-DVD has no region coding whereas BluRay does. I buy a lot of region 1 DVDs and don't buy a DVD player that can't be region hacked. So now I'm on the lookout for a BluRay player that can be made region free. It is only a matter of time before prices come down as well, they are already half of what they were a year or so ago anyway.

  • 45.
  • At 07:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mike Liddle wrote:

People always seem to remember VHS and Betamax, but there was a third consumer video system - Video 2000. That's the one my father chose for us back in about 1982... and it was far faster to disappear than Betamax.

Unfortunately it was a superior system, with double sided tapes!

  • 46.
  • At 07:28 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • andrew lavis wrote:

How can you be a journalist? There are at least two basic spelling and grammatical errors in this short article.

  • 47.
  • At 07:28 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • The Docter wrote:

it really dosent matter who YOU think is best just which one offers the most! ie amount of movies, and so on.

Dont you just love fanboys!

Ah SONY developed dvd with phillips!

  • 48.
  • At 07:29 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Green wrote:

Actually, I think people do care really - If people didn't, why would HD-DVD and Bluray units be shifting so well from the shops.

With regard to who needs discs? Nearly everyone, because unless you can afford a T3 Leased Line, you won't be streaming full HD video that well.

Even if you are lucky enough to live close enough to an exchange to get 8MB or 10MB via Cable, you are still stuck with a 50:1 contention ration, or at best a 20:1 ratio if you pay for it, so the minute someone else up your street starts downloading, you will be sat watching the buffering screen!

Discs are here to stay for quite some time, and looking at the way things are going, I am very glad I bought a PS3: Not specifically for the Bluray as I am a PS fan, but it always helps.

Matt,
We weren't slow at all - you can read my original blog here:
http://tinyurl.com/26wjdr

The interesting thing has been HD DVD's reaction to Warner's "defection".

Cancelled press conferences and interviews give the impression of panic.

I've just spoken with the Blu-ray camp and understandably they are delighted that Warner have joined them exclusively - and privately they are looking at HD DVD's seeming "meltdown" with near glee.

  • 50.
  • At 07:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • The Docter wrote:

it really dosent matter who YOU think is best just which one offers the most! ie amount of movies, and so on.

Dont you just love fanboys!

Ah SONY developed dvd with phillips!

  • 51.
  • At 07:35 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Green wrote:

Actually, I think people do care really - If people didn't, why would HD-DVD and Bluray units be shifting so well from the shops.

With regard to who needs discs? Nearly everyone, because unless you can afford a T3 Leased Line, you won't be streaming full HD video that well.

Even if you are lucky enough to live close enough to an exchange to get 8MB or 10MB via Cable, you are still stuck with a 50:1 contention ration, or at best a 20:1 ratio if you pay for it, so the minute someone else up your street starts downloading, you will be sat watching the buffering screen!

Discs are here to stay for quite some time, and looking at the way things are going, I am very glad I bought a PS3: Not specifically for the Bluray as I am a PS fan, but it always helps.

Matt,
We weren't slow at all - you can read my original blog here:
http://tinyurl.com/26wjdr

The interesting thing has been HD DVD's reaction to Warner's "defection".

Cancelled press conferences and interviews give the impression of panic.

I've just spoken with the Blu-ray camp and understandably they are delighted that Warner have joined them exclusively - and privately they are looking at HD DVD's seeming "meltdown" with near glee.

  • 53.
  • At 07:47 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Obvious wrote:

who cares? can't believe people are still arguing about physical formats in 2008. it's so irrelevant.

  • 54.
  • At 07:48 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Don't forget that Blockbuster has also gone behind Blu ray so the price there will probably drop more than HD DVDs. To the person who said that there wasn't all the fuss over DVD+ and - is because all discs that you bought were veiwable and it was just about recording.

  • 55.
  • At 07:48 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

I'm personally pleased at this development as it does look like a shift towards a single HD format. Whichever format won, there would be losers among the early adopters.

Sony seems to be cast as the villain of the piece when it is only part of a consortium supporting Blu-Ray.

What I do find interesting is Microsoft's apparent lack of confidence in HD-DVD. The consistent failure to match Sony's move with the PS3 and place a HD-DVD drive in the X-Box 360 amazes me.

Hoepfully this stupid war will end soon and the consumers can have a clear option if they wish to move to HD players.

  • 56.
  • At 07:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • A wrote:

"What a pity that technology can't always rescue us for poor spelling and grammar."

'From', not 'for'. I agree.

  • 57.
  • At 07:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

I'm personally pleased at this development as it does look like a shift towards a single HD format. Whichever format won, there would be losers among the early adopters.

Sony seems to be cast as the villain of the piece when it is only part of a consortium supporting Blu-Ray.

What I do find interesting is Microsoft's apparent lack of confidence in HD-DVD. The consistent failure to match Sony's move with the PS3 and place a HD-DVD drive in the X-Box 360 amazes me.

Hopefully this stupid war will end soon and the consumers can have a clear option if they wish to move to HD players.

  • 58.
  • At 07:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • H Chohan wrote:

it will be interesting how this goes

if hd-dvd does lose out then what message has been sent out...?

1./ consoles can drive the CE industry
2./ its ok for the CE industry to release unfinished products and fix it as they go, years later....and leave early investors out of date.
3./ its ok to price fix hardware and sofware (via region coding and inflated EU pricing - is it any surprise both US and Japan are region A beta-ray)
4./ consumer choice and value is not important

woe the future....

  • 59.
  • At 07:53 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

I thought hd dvd would win, only really because it had dvd in its name - though blu ray, did sound like a name that people would go for, as far as names go. Either way i thought the companies on both sides were big names and in my mind it was a 50/50 guess. I did think and still do, like with the betamax, there's only going to be one winner. Even if there is a dvd player / recorder made for both formats combined, still i'll agree with anyone who thinks one format will survive and the other will fade away quick like with betamax. I can't believe video-recorders are still around, some people still sell blank/film vhs tapes. I'm sticking to my old DVD's for a good while yet.

  • 60.
  • At 07:54 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • mattymat wrote:

It was just 8 years ago that I purchased my first DVD player , a Toshiba, I am on my third Toshiba player (upgrading not replacing defective equipment) as I have found them excellent for picture quality. I was disappointed to see that they are backing HD-DVD as I believe that Blu-Ray is the superior format for quality and capacity and hope that it will prevail . Then will I get a PS3, not that it will play my PS2 games :(

  • 61.
  • At 07:54 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Paul Martin wrote:

Those claiming that there is no need for HD media as DVD is sufficient are not taking into consideration the vastly expanding storage needs of consumers.

Not only do Blu-ray and HD-DVD playback high definition films but their huge storage capacities are already overdue for backing up consumer high definition video footage, and high definition TV programming. DVD is woefully inadequate for these tasks.

I currently have a reasonably cheap high-def camcorder with no way of easily playing back and distributing my home videos!

  • 62.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James wrote:

I have both blue ray and hddvd players, and I have to say that HDDVD picture quality matches the blu-ray on a 50 inch at 1080p,and despite the fact that the blu-ray player cost twice as much as the HDDVD player, the HDDVD player has better upscaling and doesn't take 3 weeks to eject a disc. In my opinion, if sony win with their 'technically superior' but actually expensive proprietry garbage format then we all lose. Competition is good.

  • 63.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Carl, I'm with you on this. Nothing wrong with DVDs at all - 300 and still counting on my shelf.

IMO, Sony going with Blu-Ray was a brilliant [game] anti-piracy strategy... And let's face it, they need to shift some units :-)

  • 64.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Robert Stewart wrote:

In response to Nigel (Comment #5 above)...

"...rescue us for poor spelling and grammar".

Shouldn't that be "...from..."?

Doh!

  • 65.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • H Chohan wrote:

it will be interesting how this goes

if hd-dvd does lose out then what message has been sent out...?

1./ consoles can drive the CE industry
2./ its ok for the CE industry to release unfinished products and fix it as they go, years later....and leave early investors out of date.
3./ its ok to price fix hardware and sofware (via region coding and inflated EU pricing - is it any surprise both US and Japan are region A beta-ray)
4./ consumer choice and value is not important

woe the future....

  • 66.
  • At 07:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Dave Ramsey wrote:

HD DVD and Blu Ray will both lose out to digital download eventually. Go ahead, replace your existing DVD collection which recently replaced your VHS collection. Just don't expect this format to last any longer than DVD has done.

Personally, I'm saving my money this time.

  • 67.
  • At 07:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

No one has mentioned the onerous copy protection that both formats have and the fact is the studios prefered blue-ray because it is even more restrictive. Buy an upscaling DVD player and get a fantastic picture on most big TV's. And you will get the same sound quality from those cheap speakers most people have. In the end both formats will die because they offer nothing extra for a normal home user.

  • 68.
  • At 07:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Wayne McDonough wrote:

The XBox360 made a huge mistake in not including a HD DVD player, or indeed launching their games in HD DVD format. All PS3 games are on Blu-ray so have the potential for massive game content, not so with the XBox360. Many would have paid more for a HD DVD Xbox360, but not for an add-on that the games don't utilise, never seen the point of that.

  • 69.
  • At 08:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Robert Stewart wrote:

In response to Nigel (Comment #5 above)...

"...rescue us for poor spelling and grammar".

Shouldn't that be "...from..."?

Doh!

  • 70.
  • At 08:03 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • H Chohan wrote:

it will be interesting how this goes

if hd-dvd does lose out then what message has been sent out...?

1./ consoles can drive the CE industry
2./ its ok for the CE industry to release unfinished products and fix it as they go, years later....and leave early investors out of date.
3./ its ok to price fix hardware and sofware (via region coding and inflated EU pricing - is it any surprise both US and Japan are region A beta-ray)
4./ consumer choice and value is not important

woe the future....

  • 71.
  • At 08:04 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

After reading the above posts can i make one thing clear, Sony don't own blu-ray, they didn't invent it, they are one of the companies on the BDA Blu-Ray Disc Ascociation, Also on that board, investing £/$'s into it are Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Hitachi, Apple, Dell, Pioneer, Sharp, 20th Century Fox and Disney to name a few. So stop saying silly comments about Sony not playing fair, all of the above comapnies have just as much say as Sony!

  • 72.
  • At 08:04 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James wrote:

I have both blue ray and hddvd players, and I have to say that HDDVD picture quality matches the blu-ray on a 50 inch at 1080p,and despite the fact that the blu-ray player cost twice as much as the HDDVD player, the HDDVD player has better upscaling and doesn't take 3 weeks to eject a disc. In my opinion, if sony win with their 'technically superior' but actually expensive proprietry garbage format then we all lose. Competition is good.

  • 73.
  • At 08:05 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • P.G. wrote:

This of course excellent news.

What I do not understand is how you can say that the customers will suffer? If this finally ends the format war every customer (except those who bought inferior HD-DVD players) both by the format mess ending as well by the fact that the better system actually wins this time.

  • 74.
  • At 08:05 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark Kerr wrote:

Bob wrote: 'What does worry me, however, is that Blu-Ray continues to control us, the consumers, by retaining region coding and that Sony will have a stranglehold on the whole delivery chain from creation to display.'

Bob, the Blu-ray drive in my PS3 is 'region free', I regularly buy my Blu-ray movies from the USA (because they are cheaper over there - even after postage), so I don't see the strangehold.

Actually in many ways this is not a parallel of the VHS Beta case, because it appears to have come to a conclusion much earlier. Millions upon millions of Beta video recorders were sold (the number one selling machine in 1983 was Beta). So that format battle affected a great many people, not just the early adopters.

This time round, only a few HD-DVD machines have been sold. What does make it more painful for the owners of these however, is another difference: A Beta video recorder can still be used today to record TV programmes if you wish (you can buy the blank tapes with some difficulty), but a HD-DVD player with no films is only a glorified DVD player and so a much greater loss.

  • 76.
  • At 08:08 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Please, please, please, this is nothing like the Betamax vs VHS wars.

Anybody buying in to the technology now will not be leaving themselves open to a life of abject misery where they have to bin all their expensive media just because Blu-Ray or HD-DVD won a 'format war'. There was no possibility of ever getting a dual format Betamax and VHS machine in those days. Happily Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, and CD are all based on the same size disc and basic concept of using a laser to scan pits, so it is relatively easy to build a machine that can cope with the various wave lengths and focusing requirements and allow us to use one machine for many purposes.

There are already a number of players (and there will soon be more) on the market that play both formats.

This is like saying that DVD won the DVD vs VHS war - How irritating that I've had to throw out my old VHS tapes and move to DVD, curses to those DVD people.

I paid £100 for my HD-DVD add on for my Xbox and I've been incredibly impressed with the stuff I've bought (Yes BBC, Planet Earth on HD-DVD is jaw droppingly beautiful), but frankly if Blu-Ray does end up winning I'll be delighted. I won't be throwing out my HD-DVD content and replacing it with Blu-Ray, but I will have a number of options open to me. If HD-DVD really does fold, then I am sure that Microsoft will produce a Blu-Ray drive in much the same vein as their HD-DVD; I could buy a dual format machine; or I could buy a stand alone Blu-Ray machine and run the two in conjunction.

Again, this is not new - for many years I ran my VHS and my DVD together. I'm delighted to say that I coped quite happily.

Can people get over the fact this doesn't actually have anything to do with Sony, it's to do with the Blu-Ray group which Sony are members of.

The full list of supporting companies are here:

http://www.blu-raydisc.com/general_information/Section-14009/Index.html

As for Brian, sour grapes from an XBox fanfoy?

  • 78.
  • At 08:12 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Please, please, please, this is nothing like the Betamax vs VHS wars.

Anybody buying in to the technology now will not be leaving themselves open to a life of abject misery where they have to bin all their expensive media just because Blu-Ray or HD-DVD won a 'format war'. There was no possibility of ever getting a dual format Betamax and VHS machine in those days. Happily Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and CD are all based on the same size disc and basic concept of using a laser to scan pits, so it is relatively easy to build a machine that can cope with the various wave lengths and focusing requirements and allow us to use one machine for many purposes.

There are already a number of players (and there will soon be more) on the market that play both formats.

This is like saying that DVD won the DVD vs VHS war - How irritating that I've had to throw out my old VHS tapes and move to DVD, curses to those DVD people.

I paid £100 for my HD-DVD add on for my Xbox and I've been incredibly impressed with the stuff I've bought (Yes BBC, Planet Earth on HD-DVD is jaw droppingly beautiful), but frankly if Blu-Ray does end up winning I'll be delighted. I won't be throwing out my HD-DVD content and replacing it with Blu-Ray, but I will have a number of options open to me. If HD-DVD really does fold, then I am sure that Microsoft will produce a Blu-Ray drive in much the same vein as their HD-DVD; I could buy a dual format machine; or I could buy a stand alone Blu-Ray machine and run the two in conjunction.

Again, this is not new - for many years I ran my VHS and my DVD together. I'm delighted to say that I coped quite happily.

  • 79.
  • At 08:14 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Guy wrote:

Mr. Wood is incorrect when he says Hayy Potter movies are only available on Blu-ray here in the US. Perhaps he meant after May 31, 2008. In the meantime, they are available, and have been, and remain one of "red's" most popular offerings. He is quiet correct, however, that because of various licensing arrangements, movies which are only available in one country in one format or another are often available in the "other" format in another country.

Regarding region encoding on Blu-ray, it seems a bot unreasonable to blame Sony for that as the feature is reportedly one reason why some of the movie studios prefer Blu-ray to HD-DVD.

Further, I diagree that Blu-ray prevailing is bad for consumers because it will enable Sony to "lock in" consumers and "hike" prices. One mistake from which Sony has apparently learned from the videotape format war is its previous reluctance to license its technologies to other hardware manufacturers. Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, Philips, Pioneer, Denon, etc. all make Blu-ray players. Having a single format should accelerate, not slow down, the fall in hardware prices seen in the 4thqtr of 2007. Even today at CES new manufacturers of Blu-ray players were announced.

Warner's move may not be good news for one of the competing camps of early adapters but will be good news for the much larger group of mainstream consumers.

  • 80.
  • At 08:16 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Green wrote:

Actually, I think people do care really - If people didn't, why would HD-DVD and Bluray units be shifting so well from the shops.

With regard to who needs discs? Nearly everyone, because unless you can afford a T3 Leased Line, you won't be streaming full HD video that well.

Even if you are lucky enough to live close enough to an exchange to get 8MB or 10MB via Cable, you are still stuck with a 50:1 contention ration, or at best a 20:1 ratio if you pay for it, so the minute someone else up your street starts downloading, you will be sat watching the buffering screen!

Discs are here to stay for quite some time, and looking at the way things are going, I am very glad I bought a PS3: Not specifically for the Bluray as I am a PS fan, but it always helps.

  • 81.
  • At 08:17 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

After reading the above posts can i make one thing clear, Sony don't own blu-ray, they didn't invent it, they are one of the companies on the BDA Blu-Ray Disc Ascociation, Also on that board, investing £/$'s and taking credit for it are Panasonic, LG, Samsung, Hitachi, Apple, Dell, Pioneer, Sharp, 20th Century Fox and Disney to name a few. There's too much Sony this and Sony that! I am a follower of Blu-ray, and a fan of Sony Equipment, hence the defending of it!

  • 82.
  • At 08:18 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • George McPhilkis wrote:

To be honest the result was inevitable. A superior format backed by the biggest electronics manufacturer, film studio and console company in the world. HD DVD never stood a chance as soon as the PS3 was announced as Blu-ray.
But I dont feel at all sorry for those HD-DVD buyers, if you had the money for a player and discs you can afford to make the mistake. Very few people who purchased a player and HD DVD are in the income bracket where it was a painful financial mistake.
To those complaining about the lack of quality vs increase in price. Shop around you can find discs for around £15, which is similar to the cost of DVD's a few years ago. As Blu-Ray becomes more popular - like DVD's - the discs will drop in price. Long live Blu-ray!

  • 83.
  • At 08:20 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James wrote:

I have both players and a 50 inch 1080p screen and I can tell everyone the following.

1. You get the same quality of image with HDDVD as you do Blu-Ray. FACT!
2. HDDVD players cost 1/2 the price of blue ray.
3. HDDVD is region free, meaning you can buy the movies cheaper from other countries. Us brits are always getting ripped off with this region protection rubbish, this would even things out. Sony use region protection.
4. Sony seem to have a better selection of movies at the moment.

If blu-ray is so superior then what does it actually give you that HDDVD doesn't? I'll tell you what it gives you, a big fat hole in the wallet.

  • 84.
  • At 08:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Juan Durandt wrote:

The *real* reason why Blu-Ray will win the format war in the end is because it has such a cool name. Everybody knows this and agrees in secret and as such would not admit to it publicly.

Just try it; let it roll over your lips and listen: "Blu-Ray" Sounds ultra cool, doesn't it?

Now do the same with HD-DVD. That sucks and it sounds awful to the ears. In fact, it makes my eyes bleed when I can hear myself uttering the horrible sound that word forms.

The coolness factor is always the biggest contributor to any item that gets purchased by consumers.

  • 85.
  • At 08:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Gordon Hunter wrote:

I guess a lot of people who are hedging bets against one format or the other are probably too young to remember the same format war 25+ years ago between Sony's Betamax and VHS. In those days Sony had by far, the best technology in its Betamax format, which had far better picture quality and considerably smaller tapes and players, but the VHS format won the battle due to who backed it, just like today.

My advice to all you early adopters is to wait and have patience rather than rush out and buy all the new technology with gay abandon. And that includes opting for new versions of Windows! Let others find the bugs, wait for the dust to settle between rival camps and a cklear winner to emerge and then spend your money wisely once the price has come down otherwise you could be spending your hard earnt cash on something fit only for the science museum!

  • 86.
  • At 08:22 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • jeff sturgess wrote:

What are these things and does it mean DVD is on its way out?

  • 87.
  • At 08:24 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy May wrote:

Personally I'm just happy that there seems to be a winner emerging. For me the pre-recorded media aren't terribly important - I shall just be glad to have a high *capacity* recordable medium to backup/dump data onto.

  • 88.
  • At 08:25 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jeff Carter wrote:

Hmm - well HD however you get it is certainly impressive but the bottom line is that no matter how good your TV/sound system is, you are still viewing it in the cramped lounge of your 3-bed semi etc. Unless you are lucky enough to have a big enough house to dedicate a whole room to your viewing then it will always be a compromise.
At the end of the day, you really only get the full experience of a film the first time you see it - after that it's just entertainment. So me personally, I would rather spend 20 quid on going to the cinema and experiencing it in the way it was meant to be viewed - on a giant screen with 16 channel sound! Try replicating that in your flat...

  • 89.
  • At 08:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • simon wrote:

FORMAT WARS ??

who cares ?

Both HD-DVD and BluRay sides are in for a rude awakening when they realise that the mass-market consumer doesn't care less which format wins, or if any format wins.
Existing DVD has given the consumer a portable, secure, high quality format covering 100 years of movies and TV shows.
Why would any of us want to spend money of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray ?
Will I go out and buy a Blu-Ray version of Seven Samurai ? or Cuckoo's Nest ? Sorry, no.
Is the High-Definition version of Transformers such a must-have that 2 billion consumers are going to go out and buy a Blu-Ray player ? Sorry.

  • 90.
  • At 08:28 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • JRC wrote:

"I am worth 1000 BBC journalists" - Jonathan Ross

Well Jonathon, you probably are if this is the standard of their journalism!


  • 91.
  • At 08:38 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve K wrote:

The difference between current DVDs and the two HD formats is not significant enough for me to bother upgrading. I'm sure a better format - e.g., a cheap, flash-based medium - will be the next big thing within the next five years. The HD format wars will be like quadraphonic sound; one giant yawn from most consumers.

  • 92.
  • At 08:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Steve K wrote:

The difference between current DVDs and the two HD formats is not significant enough for me to bother upgrading. I'm sure a better format - e.g., a cheap, flash-based medium - will be the next big thing within the next five years. The HD format wars will be like quadraphonic sound; one giant yawn from most consumers.

  • 93.
  • At 08:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Lolz wrote:

There is no need for the grammar police now is there. Does it really matter if some mistakes are made, no. Come on now.

  • 94.
  • At 08:43 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

I think all the talk about the HD war is so over the top.

Even though as a 360 user I am disappointed at what looks like the end for HD-DVD, the real war will be the use of DOWNLOADABLE content. The recent announcement at CES regarding...

1) MGM/Buena Vista and ABC having films and TV shows available in HD via Xbox Live.
2) Microsoft and BT sign a deal to have the BT Vision service supplied through the Xbox 360

These two announcement show in my opinion that Microsoft knows where the real battle lies so whilst they will be frustrated at Warners purely financial move, they will be secretly smiling as they know they have some great plans up their sleeve.

I think this whole saga still has a few twists to come!

  • 95.
  • At 08:44 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Lazza wrote:

I can't say that I am really that suprised about the Warner Bros pullout. I've owned the 360 HDDVD add-on since last October as it was the only format that I could get Superman, Transformers and the Bourne series on. Other than that the selection of films has been running dry and with 20th Century Fox not on board I have been forced to buy Simpsons, Die Hard and Fantastic Four on normal DVD which I would have brought on HDDVD. Being honest if Disney and FOX had released on both formats I think we'd be looking at a different story.
I'm not that bothered as I only paid £105 for the HDDVD drive but what with the fact that it is region free I really did stand beside HDDVD and hoped it would win.
What I need now is a multiformat player :) Oh and way to get it past the misses. ;)

Blu-Ray was the clear winner back in the summer. Our wedding video company has been producing high definition Blu-Ray wedding video discs for our customers since last August. The difference in quality compared to a standard DVD is incredible.
HD-DVD was never in the running. The failure of the format`s big sponsors to bring out a HD-DVD burner that was compatible with any major video-editing software was a key reason for the formats failure.
Blu-Ray is the future - and we`re proud to have been the first to turn out bespoke Blu-Ray content for our customers.
David

  • 97.
  • At 08:49 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • ljbanner wrote:

if it was really all about what format was best for the consumer why were warner and sony so underhanded by anouncing at a time when hd dvd would not be able to respond.
underhandedness means only one thing in my eyes and that is there not to be trusted,
is this the kind of company you want to give your money too.

  • 98.
  • At 08:51 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • ljbanner wrote:

if it was really all about what format was best for the consumer why were warner and sony so underhanded by anouncing at a time when hd dvd would not be able to respond.
underhandedness means only one thing in my eyes and that is there not to be trusted,
is this the kind of company you want to give yopur money too.

Blu-Ray was the clear winner back in the summer. Our wedding video company has been producing high definition Blu-Ray wedding video discs for our customers since last August. The difference in quality compared to a standard DVD is incredible.
HD-DVD was never in the running. The failure of the format`s big sponsors to bring out a HD-DVD burner that was compatible with any major video-editing software was a key reason for the formats failure.
Blu-Ray is the future - and we`re proud to have been the first to turn out bespoke Blu-Ray content for our customers.
David

OK - why does everyone think that MS have made a mistake? They are genius on this one its simple - include a HD DVD drive and you can buy movies from anywhere - sell them through live and you have your own HD service the same as iTunes. Plus its a 'rental service' so you can buy it a few times from MS's service.

Blinder Billy Gates!

Blu-Ray was the clear winner back in the summer. Our wedding video company has been producing high definition Blu-Ray wedding video discs for our customers since last August. The difference in quality compared to a standard DVD is incredible.
HD-DVD was never in the running. The failure of the format`s big sponsors to bring out a HD-DVD burner that was compatible with any major video-editing software was a key reason for the formats failure.
Blu-Ray is the future - and we`re proud to have been the first to turn out bespoke Blu-Ray content for our customers.
David

  • 102.
  • At 09:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • captain uncertain wrote:

Hey - can I put a word in for the Video 2000 format?

  • 103.
  • At 09:09 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

From a consumer point of view, either formats is equally adequate at the moment. So what Blue-ray holds more data, but does it actually get filled with the actual film content?! I personally never watch the "extra" stuff from the DVDs because most of the features are garbage.

It doesn't encourage competition by having only one format. The consumer will be the losing party in the long run, as Sony and the film studios will be able to charge whatever the hell they like for a blu-ray player or disk as they gain the monopoly.

  • 104.
  • At 09:10 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • famouse fred wrote:

HDDVD is dead.
Was the picture better than BR, They were both the same.
Does BR have more features, Yes.
Who really wins, You the consumer, one format one choice.
Sorry to all those who bought HDDVD, But know one moaned or gave compensation to all the Betamax buyers.
As the lawyers would say.........
Buyer Beware.
Happy viewing.

  • 105.
  • At 09:13 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Shaun wrote:

It should be remembered that the fight turned 'dirty' only when the HD-DVD consortium got desperate at the way things were going and paid off Paramount, breaking the informal agreement the two camps had not to actually pay studios cash.

The day that became public was the day it was all over, because the bigger better funded consortium (which was already winning, hence the desperation) was always going to win a bidding war.

I dont own either, but am broadly glad that the apparently superior long term format seems to have won.

  • 106.
  • At 09:17 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Michael Meeks wrote:

only *too* eager not only *to* eager

  • 107.
  • At 09:19 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Reza wrote:

My concern is that the better technology may be loosing out. Several reviews of HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray indicated that HD-DVD was better (both in audio and video). As far as consumers who already purchased an HD-DVD player goes... So what! Stop your whining. You know someone had to win this war. If you had to be the first on your block to buy one of these expensive players then you've gotten the attention that you so badly craved. Also, no one cares about your silly movie library that's going to be obsolete, or the prices of the Blu-ray disks. It's called renting movies! They all cost the same when you rent. Why waste money on buying a movie?

  • 108.
  • At 09:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Patrick.burton@bt.com wrote:

Considering so many of us have media players in our pockets with huge hard drives containing music and video downloaded over the internet (games will surely be next) - why should we even care about some disc format anyway?

  • 109.
  • At 09:23 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • famouse fred wrote:

HDDVD is dead.
Was the picture better than BR, They were both the same.
Does BR have more features, Yes.
Who really wins, You the consumer, one format one choice.
Sorry to all those who bought HDDVD, But know one moaned or gave compensation to all the Betamax buyers.
As the lawyers would say.........
Buyer Beware.
Happy viewing.

  • 110.
  • At 09:23 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

May be a short lived victory – you may have notice that TV’s, PVR’s, etc. are getting SD slots and with SD cards getting bigger (32~128Gb on the horizon) the cost of SD cards falling how long before movies are just imaged to read only SD cards. Great for the rental stores, to be able to put movies onto a reusable medium in-store with no more scratched DVD’s and regionalised/personalised advertising!!

  • 111.
  • At 09:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Boxerboy wrote:

How fun would it be for Microsoft to offer is HD-DVD player for $29.99. Imagine what would happen if half of the 18mm XBOX 360 owners bought it...?

Game ON!

  • 112.
  • At 09:38 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Colin Edley wrote:

Any new technological media seems designed to create some form of warring camps.
Every time it happens everyone who wants it sits back and waits for the eventual winner and sales stagnate while everybody else shores up the existing technology.
I'll still be watching streaming media on my aging single core 64 bit pc running windows xp.
Which is no better than the dvd's i watched on my 166mhz 32 bit pc running windows 98.
Or I could watch a blank screen after windows vista decides my library files are dodgy, won't let me run vista anyway unless I've got an internet connection and am prepared to give up my personal details or it shuts the whole shebang down.
Betamax was amazing, all you had to do was but the little black box with the name of the film you wanted to see into the big black box under your tv and it came straight on, no menus, no drm acquiring and you didn't have to buy a new operating system every time you put a tape head cleaner in it because it had been 'substantially modified' (copyright windows)

  • 113.
  • At 09:43 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Colin Edley wrote:

Any new technological media seems designed to create some form of warring camps.
Every time it happens everyone who wants it sits back and waits for the eventual winner and sales stagnate while everybody else shores up the existing technology.
I'll still be watching streaming media on my aging single core 64 bit pc running windows xp.
Which is no better than the dvd's i watched on my 166mhz 32 bit pc running windows 98.
Or I could watch a blank screen after windows vista decides my library files are dodgy, won't let me run vista anyway unless I've got an internet connection and am prepared to give up my personal details or it shuts the whole shebang down.
Betamax was amazing, all you had to do was but the little black box with the name of the film you wanted to see into the big black box under your tv and it came straight on, no menus, no drm acquiring and you didn't have to buy a new operating system every time you put a tape head cleaner in it because it had been 'substantially modified' (copyright windows)

  • 114.
  • At 09:48 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris Squires wrote:

What some people are forgetting when they bring up the Betamax / V2000 / VHS saga is that the worst format won and the best lost and hence so did we the consumer. I hope this isn't going to happen again, I am glad it might be down to one format, but I hope it is the best one.

  • 115.
  • At 09:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • FresnoBob wrote:

"... survive the market test? That the consumer has the bucks and will ultimately win out!"

Minor quibble here. I dont think buyers have or will have much impact on the survival of these media. It seems to me the choices are being made in corporate board rooms. We get to buy what a few managers decide to sell.

  • 116.
  • At 09:55 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Just want to clear up one thing regarding HD-DVD and Blu-ray. All companies mentioned above are part of the DVD Consortium, which was set-up by Toshiba when they leased the rights to DVD to said consortium (Toshiba developed DVD). During the development of HD-DVD, Sony and Philips decided to break away and develop the Blu-ray version of HD-DVD. This second version was already ignored by the DVD Consortium because:-

a) at the time the storage capacity was not reliable - theoretically high, but not fully achievable
b) cost to introduce to consumers was high as new plants were needed to manufacture and the laser costs were higher than HD-DVD
c) HD-DVD uses traditional DVD disc fabrication facilities - Blu-ray needs new production lines
d) Blu-ray requires two pick-up lasers to provide backward compatibility with DVD's - ever wondered why it takes so long to identify a DVD disc, and why it is so noisy as the heads move.

Sony and Philips preferred Blu-ray because:-

a) the DVD consortium decided to make away from region coding, and as Sony is also a media studio who like to control what is released where Blu-ray gave them the opportunity to keep region coding.
b) as Sony and Philips jointly developed Blu-ray toward maturity(?) before licensing to other vendors (for virtually free at the moment) they are able to keep more of the patents and royalties for themselves.

At the end of the day this has all been an exercise in marketing and Warner also now own about 70% of the Hollywood studios. So, basically the marketeers have won, we the consumer have lost. Or have we? DVD upscaling gives near HD quality on an HD TV, so I am really trying to find a valid reason to move to "full" HD.

A couple of final things:-

1) HD-DVD and Blu-ray produce the same quality of pictures, it all comes down to bit-rate, and although Blu-ray can offer a higher storage capacity there does come a point where the quality gains offered by an even higher bit-rate offer diminishing returns.
2) Sony 'pioneeered' the Super-bit DVD. This was special DVD releases of blockbuster movies (Spiderman for example) at a higher quality bit-rate than the original release. Super-but offered anything between 7 to 10mb/s, with the original Sony disc coming out at 5mb/s. The truth is all other DVD publishing houses were releasing their DVD titles at around 8mb/s. So effectively Sony were manipulating their customers to try and create a market where none existed - especially when the Superbit DVD was only available months after the original. Keep your eye on Sony - no one is clean, but their track record......

Cheers

  • 117.
  • At 09:56 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • paul holmes wrote:

Having owned the Xbox HD Dvd player (glad I sold it 6 months ago now), I think the main problem is that the average joe can see a bit of an improvement with a HD/ Blu Ray disc, but not a vast improvement.
There is not the wow factor there was with DVD over VHS. As a result, people will not spend money on standalone players, and people would rather buy the DVD versions (played on an upscaled player or the PS3 itself, the difference in quality is even less obvious) rather than pay outrageous prices (particularly here in the UK) for the HD DVD/ Blu-ray equivalent.
Moreso in that DVD disc prices seem to be plummeting for nearly newly released discs. I got 300 for £3.99 the other day. Cheapest on HD DVD is £17.99.
As a result, and with downloads taking off, Blu Ray will never gain the mass market appeal so quickly (or at all) that DVD did.

  • 118.
  • At 09:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • bangman wrote:

Having read all these coments, who really cares wether Blu-Ray or HD-DVD wins.
As far as I can see, its just going to cost me more money for something that I will not really benefit from. Watching a NORMAL SIZED TV, you would not be able to see the difference, only if you have a 42" or larger screen/projector and who has one of those in a basic 3 x 4 mtr room?
Also Sony are well known for their regional control of CODEC's.
There are people out there who have no interest what-so-ever in all these technology advances, even people who do not own a computer/video recorder etc.
So again I who really cares?

  • 119.
  • At 10:00 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Luke Rogers wrote:

I hope one of these formats invents some HD glasses or contact lenses soon, because on all the demonstrations I have seen so far, I can't see a difference with normal DVD. At least not for that sort of money...

I'd like to make a couple of comments surrounding the HD format war. I'm currently in the process of upgrading/building from scratch a new computer, to replace my current aging system. There are a number of graphics cards, principally by ATI Radeon and NVidia that are capable of decoding and playing both HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs (of course, you woould need a Blu-ray/HD DVD compatible CD drive). Modern graphics cards can support two visual devices. For instance, you can hook up a high definition TV and a separate computer monitor to the same graphics card. Moreover, some (most/all?) of these graphics cards support HD sound reproduction as well, which you can also hook up to the TV. In one fell swoop you have a computer capable of playing the latest games (which compete easily with PS3 titles in my humble opinion) and a multimedia center for all your DVD/Blu-Ray/HD DVD needs.

Furthermore, HD DVD/Blu-Ray disk drives can write DVDs and the more expensive ones can write Blu-Ray discs. What more could one ask for?

I'd like to make a couple of comments surrounding the HD format war. I'm currently in the process of upgrading/building from scratch a new computer, to replace my current aging system. There are a number of graphics cards, principally by ATI Radeon and NVidia that are capable of decoding and playing both HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs (of course, you woould need a Blu-ray/HD DVD compatible CD drive). Modern graphics cards can support two visual devices. For instance, you can hook up a high definition TV and a separate computer monitor to the same graphics card. Moreover, some (most/all?) of these graphics cards support HD sound reproduction as well, which you can also hook up to the TV. In one fell swoop you have a computer capable of playing the latest games (which compete easily with PS3 titles in my humble opinion) and a multimedia center for all your DVD/Blu-Ray/HD DVD needs.

Furthermore, HD DVD/Blu-Ray disk drives can write DVDs and the more expensive ones can write Blu-Ray discs. What more could one ask for?

  • 122.
  • At 10:12 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Snowmad wrote:

Yes, Sont kit is comparitively expensive - but normally because it's among the best.
Regardless, as someone pointed out, Blu-ray is not Sony and vice versa.
But what Sont have done is produce the better games platform, and as someone pointed out, that's the foot in the livingroom door.
HD-DVD and Blu-ray have both cost the industry an awful lot of money to develop, and the big players are realising it's most efficient to go with the format with the best longevity - which for space reasons means Blu-ray.

  • 123.
  • At 10:18 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew B. wrote:

I am fortunate enough to have a BluRay PS3 and a HD DVD player, so am unbiased. I have been watching closely the tactics used by both parties - none of it pretty. I was hoping that possibly both formats might survive - when you consider DVD-R +R recordable disc formats have co-existed for some time now. The developing hybrid Hi-Def players could save the day, but then ultimately realise this isn't good for many reasons (shop space/costs/public confusion/public arguing what is better etc.!)

This shouldnt have happened in the first place if the original DVD forum members (who created the DVD)stuck together and realised that both companies and the public would benefit from one format. Both are good. Both have their pro's and con's. (Regional coding/Costs of purchses etc.)

Ultimately the volume of Hi-Def films will decide the victor.
I do wonder whether Sony are still seeking revenge when we all remember Betamax, UMD and that odd 'mp3' codec.... Time will Tell but I dont think its over yet when you consider Viacom/Microsoft/Toshiba at the helm of HD DVD.

  • 124.
  • At 10:19 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • John Smythe wrote:

Brilliant, the format with DRM and region locking looks likely to win. Now we'll have to fork out for an American Blu-Ray player if we want to avoid paying Rip-off Britain prices for movies.

  • 125.
  • At 10:24 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Stewart Howie wrote:


"What a pity that technology can't always rescue us for poor spelling and grammar."

Quite.

  • 126.
  • At 10:25 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • lucky wrote:

iv hurt my toe, is anyone bothered ?

  • 127.
  • At 10:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Graham Butcher wrote:

I agree with the comments about the VHS / Betamax debacle and the answer is to make all players / recorders multiformat. This is nothing new as most computer drives these days are so why not entertainment drives as well? This way nobody is left out in the cold and everyone is a winner.

  • 128.
  • At 10:26 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • david wrote:

The initiators of the dvd -blue ray etc technology are playing the game the motor industry do they know the limit of technology they can go to but step back and do phased intro called development stages so the retail market will be duped into allways spending on shortterm updates
This is similar to microsoft approach phased intros which generally cause redundancy of existing peripheral equipments and creates a market for selling new. Its
time independent software houses worked on compatability programmes to permit continued use of existing equipment. good market here.

  • 129.
  • At 10:27 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

The next generation DVD war was sorted a while ago, the winner is called 'Upscaling'. This is the best choice & makes use of your existing DVDs.

I do think Blue-ray will win this battle, even though HD-DVD is the more cost effective format. The problem is HD-DVD & Blue-ray is not VHS Vs. Betamax, in the true sense. It's both of them versus DVD (think GSM Vs. 3G).

Mass market..in practise HD is a niche (yet growing) market and too small for 2 formats at the moment. It will only gain more mainstream acceptance when prices come more inline with current DVD technology.

So my winner is whatever China invents as it's HD format to circumvent royalties...

  • 130.
  • At 10:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

The next generation DVD war was sorted a while ago, the winner is called 'Upscaling'. This is the best choice & makes use of your existing DVDs.

I do think Blue-ray will win this battle, even though HD-DVD is the more cost effective format. The problem is HD-DVD & Blue-ray is not VHS Vs. Betamax, in the true sense. It's both of them versus DVD (think GSM Vs. 3G).

Mass market..in practise HD is a niche (yet growing) market and too small for 2 formats at the moment. It will only gain more mainstream acceptance when prices come more inline with current DVD technology.

So my winner is whatever China invents as it's HD format to circumvent royalties...

As a professional video producer, I have to confess some relief at the tipping of the balance in favour of Blu-Ray. Over the last year interest in HD formats, especially in the wedding video sector, has increased greatly. However uncertainty over formats and a lack of affordable technology for producing discs (especially HD DVD format) has stunted progress. Hopefully this news will support existing momentum within the industry for Blu-Ray and enable consumers to enjoy high quality productions.

  • 132.
  • At 10:33 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jason Ebersey wrote:

This Blu-Ray / HD-DVD nonsense is all about one thing and one thing only - MONEY! Another way to squeeze the last drop of blood out of the consumer! And it's done with some Mastery! Just think of all the people sitting in restaurants and lounges arguing amongst their friends over which format is "better."
So what if one format holds more data than another? With the way technology is going, some fantastic, new and advanced technology is already in development in the R&D labs of the BIG companies. I wouldn't worry about the extra 8Gig storage on Blah!-Ray(anyone remember when the 1 Gigabyte threshold was broken in hard disk drives? People thought "WOW! How will they ever top that! - Today we have Terrabyte drives)
Who cares that you cannot completely cram HD-DVD with every byte needed for ultra-high quality studio sound? Who but the rich or the fanatics even have hardware that can make use of that stuff? Probably only 5 or ten percent of users.
Most people don't even know what all the acronyms that companies throw around even mean.

As for region coding, I think it is extortion on a global scale, right in our faces. Here in South Africa we cannot buy DVD's or Games from ANY international Online-Purchsing site because the record / movie / game companies won't allow it!
Why?
Because if we could, they would not be able to extort money through their ridiculously overpriced local offerings. If I could purchase a game from the UK, even factoring in the currency exchange (15Rand=1Pound) I would pay far less!

As for the piracy issue:
Blah!-Ray and HD-DVD nor any other conceivable format will ever solve the rampant (and I do mean RAMPANT) piracy problem, because for every clever corporate developer, there are 100 hackers (in most cases more talented) who dedicate their lives to cracking the security. It is only a matter of time. They said iPhones could never be unlocked, and they were!
If companies really want to do something about piracy they should drop their ridiculously over-inflated prices. That would have more effect than all the anti-piracy "security" safeguards they could ever conceive of!!!
Until then, hang onto your DVDs and don't give these global conglomorates another chance to rob you in broad daylight!

  • 133.
  • At 10:36 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Quality qise there's no difference between Bluray and HD-DVD. They hold the same movies. Somehow film studios think people want to see lots and lots of extras and there can be more on a Bluray disc. And that's exactly what you pay for.

But, when a Bluray disc is used for datastorage, the extra 20GB on a single disc can be very useful! And that's what I will be waiting for.

My switch to HD will have to wait for another couple of years. Over here in Holland it is only recently that the national tv stations switched to wide-screen broadcasting. Well, to see HD-content broadcast that I actually do want to see, that will only happen in over 5 to 6 years...


  • 134.
  • At 10:40 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • nicomo wrote:

SanDisk V-Mate™ Video Memory Card Recorder - the better and far smaller format - SD is the format for HD Now.

  • 135.
  • At 10:41 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Quality qise there's no difference between Bluray and HD-DVD. They hold the same movies. Somehow film studios think people want to see lots and lots of extras and there can be more on a Bluray disc. And that's exactly what you pay for.

But, when a Bluray disc is used for datastorage, the extra 20GB on a single disc can be very useful! And that's what I will be waiting for.

My switch to HD will have to wait for another couple of years. Over here in Holland it is only recently that the national tv stations switched to wide-screen broadcasting. Well, to see HD-content broadcast that I actually do want to see, that will only happen in over 5 to 6 years...


  • 136.
  • At 10:43 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • james wrote:

Microsoft just swallow your pride - provide a Blue Ray Drive for Xbox 360 and all will be well.

  • 137.
  • At 10:45 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • AlexA wrote:

Sony? Inferior? I'd say anything with a Sony badge on it is vastly superior (unless it comes down to LCD tv's then its samsung), but the whole Blu-Ray vs HD DVD just confused the hell out of people.

Just wait till one "goes" before making a sensible purchase.

  • 138.
  • At 10:50 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • nicomo wrote:

SanDisk V-Mate™ Video Memory Card Recorder - the better and far smaller format - SD is the format for HD Now.

to be honest, both Bluray and HD DVD are intermediary formats just like plasma screens were in order to fill a gap while the true technology catches up.

For plasma's it was LCD, for any type of physical media it's flash memory that is sitting in the wings, waiting to reach the right capacity density at the right price not to mention a population cull of the different types of media cards.

After that, you'll be seeing players that can cope with a number of card reader slots and the new battle will be over the actual codec rather than the storage device.
The importance is the data, not the medium upon which the data is stored.

  • 140.
  • At 10:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Sampler wrote:

Got my HD DVD/Blu Ray combi drive being delivered tomorrow - a pince at £140 - aren't HTPC's wonderful.

Being enjoying a media centre pc for about five years now - when will the rest of the world catch up - so Blu-Ray, HD DVD or Direct Downloads I don't care who "wins" as I can play the lot - the box it's in only cost £500 has HDMI support and all the fancy sound formats so cheaper than buying a standalone player from either camp.

Enjoy whichever format you decided to "support" - I'm off to watch what I feel like :D

  • 141.
  • At 10:53 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris Thorpe wrote:

Remember when DVD first came out, last time I checked one majour reaosn why it won was because of the reletively cheap PS2.

The PS3 is the same, in fact I am considering buying a PS3 like many other people I know simply because it has clearly won the next-gen dvd battle.

Also one other advantage is that even if blue ray ultimatley looses, you still have a console which you spent no extra money on to play blue ray. Unlike the xbox 360.

Either way I wish to thank Toshiba and SOny for making a complete c**k up of the next gen dvd, it should have been one format from the beginning.

  • 142.
  • At 10:56 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Jamie wrote:

This is very disappointing for the consumer. Technically there is little difference between the two formats so the consumer would be better off with the cheaper product. This just happens to be Toshiba's HD DVDs, which are reasonably priced. Unfortunately Sony's corporate greed and aggression has lead them to bribe media partners to be exclusive to their brand Blu-Ray. This looks like it might be the end of toshiba's HD-DVD format and will mean consumer shelling out hods of cash for Blu-Ray disks which are no better than the HD DVD. The trouble is for the consumer is that so many people have been duped into spending £100-£1000s on their new HD LCD TV they will feel obliged to buy a new HD DVD player to make the most of their shiny new television. The technology that these guys are selling us for a fortunate has been available for donkeys years in the IT industry. But these corporate suits know that we'll pay over the odds for something that looks nice in our living room!!

Shame on you SONY!!

  • 143.
  • At 10:57 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I have to say I'm surprised to see people complaining that HD-DVD might be about to falter. Blu-Ray has been the more attractive option for consumers since day one with its higher capacity and enhanced interactive features.

I understand that those who have invested in HD-DVD would be unhappy, however investing in either format before a market wide choice was made has always been a gamble ,and indeed still is.

If you want to complain you should be complaining about the people behind both Blu-ray and HD-DVD for not allowing manufacturers to create multi-format players (which has been possible since 2005). This entire affair has shown up where these companies loyalties lie when it comes to a choice between making customers happy and making the most money.

  • 144.
  • At 10:58 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Oli wrote:

Congratulations to Sony! I love my PS3 - it makes a superb DLNA home media client, awesome games, and neat Blu-Ray player. Finally Sony have got it very very right.

  • 145.
  • At 11:07 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Carl Wainwright wrote:

Well I have recently purchased a PS3 to compliment my HDTV and I have to say that having BluRay was a huge selling point to me in addition to the gaming power it has to offer. However, if the PS3 was not equipped with a BluRay player I would probably gone out and purchased a multi-format player to take advantage of both formats (Just in case). I have just recently watched Black Hawk Down on my PS3 and I have to say the quality was outstanding.

  • 146.
  • At 11:09 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Oh dear oh dear, why are you all taking it out on the PS3. If you buy a PS3 just because of the Blu-Ray drive you really do deserve all of the posted comments.

Now if you buy it for a great games console, good media accessibility, free to play online network then getting a HD player is just icing.

Come on people, stop making up excuses just because you've back the failing format - we all know Betamax was a far superior format but lost to commerical superiority.

Personally, I just want a reliable, supported player - which generally only comes with mass production - and I'll leave the techno gurus to rant over a pint or two about the micro differentiators.

Well had my rant, back to playing on my HD capable games console ...

  • 147.
  • At 11:09 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Daniel V wrote:

Yes, Warner were given a huge payoff to support Blu-ray, but it's also highly likely that the HD-DVD camp paid off Universal and Paramout too.

Also, it is strongly rumoured that a few months ago, Toshiba (creators of the HD-DVD platform) wanted to drop their support or their own format, but Microsoft wouldn't let them!

  • 148.
  • At 11:10 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • sillysod wrote:

I like format wars. It's Geeky territory and techie stuff was never meant to be easy and straightforward.

  • 149.
  • At 11:11 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Oh dear oh dear, why are you all taking it out on the PS3. If you buy a PS3 just because of the Blu-Ray drive you really do deserve all of the posted comments.

Now if you buy it for a great games console, good media accessibility, free to play online network then getting a HD player is just icing.

Come on people, stop making up excuses just because you've back the failing format - we all know Betamax was a far superior format but lost to commerical superiority.

Personally, I just want a reliable, supported player - which generally only comes with mass production - and I'll leave the techno gurus to rant over a pint or two about the micro differentiators.

Well had my rant, back to playing on my HD capable games console ...

  • 150.
  • At 11:11 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Oli wrote:

Congratulations to Sony! I love my PS3 - it makes a superb DLNA home media client, awesome games, and neat Blu-Ray player. Finally Sony have got it very very right.

  • 151.
  • At 11:11 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Ah well, until the next time....

the quality, the format, bla bla bla, Why do we have to pay so much in the UK for technology, software, downloads, music, movies, cars, etc, etc? why don't all customers in the UK stop buying for a few weeks any and all things that are cheaper in Europe or America? We're the customers at the end of the day and if we don't buy at those prices, they will put them down. don't you think?

  • 153.
  • At 11:21 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Early adopters always lose out in these situations. In this case they've paid huge sums of money for a product which is only marginally better (especially on standard-size TVs or computer monitors) and has a limited range of titles, knowing that it had a 50-50 chance of fading away within 2-3 years. Personally I'm happy with my £115 DVD-recorder, which I'll happily replace in 3-4 years with whichever format dominates. For now, the range and cheapness of DVDs is fine, especially for someone with limited money.

  • 154.
  • At 11:42 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • P wrote:

The most sensible (and profitable) thing for the companies to do is develop a standalone player that supports all formats - not just HDDVD and BluRay, but DVD too.

That way consumers don't lost their massive investments in DVDs or HDDVDs if BR is indeed the way things will go.

I don't understand why both can't coexist.. there's no reason a dual/three-in-one player can't be produced and it makes the most sense.

Unfortunately, there's too much posturing and wanting to "Win" and "Beat" the other from these companies, causing the consumers so much trouble.

  • 155.
  • At 11:48 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Graham Moore wrote:

It was always going to be Blu-Ray anyway, once sony put blu-ray in there PS3, then they sealed it, as it was introduced into more households it was more likely Blu-ray would win, and cndisering if you want the HD DVD Player on the Xbox 360 you had to pay extra £119!!!!!!! I would hope that sony will let microsoft put blu-ray on there 360, then HD DVD would be left high and dry.

  • 156.
  • At 11:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

The main problem with Sony 'winning' is everyone will be locked into their extremely restrictive DRM (See http://www.fsf.org%29. Does no-one remember the ATRAC debacle (bye-bye mini disc!) Sony are an unscrupulous lot and I can't see the price of Blu Ray dropping - besides, is another large optical storage format really necessary? I do wish that the PS3 fanboys atually thought about the implications of Sony ruling the format...

  • 157.
  • At 11:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Now that studio's decide the format I will be watching I can say that I am very disappointed. my Christmas present of an HD-DVD format player hangs in the balance of greed and Sony should pay for this. We all know Sony is inferior on so many levels and way overpriced so as consumers we as always are the ones who lose.

Thanks Sony and take your PS3 and -----------------


How do 'we all know Sony is inferior'? If you bothered to do any research you would find that blu-ray disks have a higher capacity, and can also make use of Java.

I'm sorry but if you had bothered to do some research you would find that, 1) No Blu-ray player is capable of the extra features that HD DVD could provide from it's release, 2) Hd dvd was the chosen format of the DVD forum born to stop the betamax disaster from happening again But happened anyway due to the BDA bypassing the DVD forum. 3) HD DVD discs reviewed on average have scored higher due to the formentioned interactive side of HD DVD, 4) Programmers are having hell coding Java on Blu-ray and multiple Blu-ray movies have had playback issues unlike HD DVD's with it's easier HDI coding, 5) A 51gb HD dvd has been approved by the DVD forum for future use.

If it was not for HD DVD, Blu ray would not be as good as it is now purely because of the competition! prices are now unlikely to drop as quick because of this recent news. I don't want our next HD format to come from the company that was taken to court for infecting PC's with viruses ie,SONY, There is also an EU investigation into the BDA's methods during this format war. Google it!

  • 158.
  • At 11:52 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

As an owner of both formats I have the benefit of not missing out. I do know that the import of BluRay Disc is straight forward and that most releases will work on UK players, including the PS3. All it takes is a simple online search and you will be presented with a list of titles that have been tested and work. The same goes for people in the US who might want titles that aren't available there yet either.

Sure it's a downer that one had to lose eventually but it's just business in the end. As for prices I usually pick up new HD releases online for less than what a new SD release goes for in High Street stores.

Those of us who have chosen to be early adopters have done so by our own free will. Some of us will have chosen sides and some will be neutral but that is the choice that we made. We can't be slammed for wanting the best form of entertainment available to us as soon as we can get our hands on it. If we want to pay £X for it then that is what we will do. However, if you want to stay with Upscaled or just plain ol' DVD then that is your choice too, even if you want downloads, please go ahead.

In the end this was all just a huge marketing ploy by Hollywood. If you consider that two seperate groups came up with the same packaging ideas, same features etc. you'll see that it was all planned this way from the start.

As for WB and New Line going Blu, that again was their choice to end this so called "Format War" as apparently MS offered more of this mystery money that Warner have no recollection of for them to go Red. This is for the good of the consumer and it is better that it is over now

  • 159.
  • At 11:59 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brian Stone wrote:

I am still the proud owner of a Sony C20 betamax machine that's in the loft !!

Still works and better quality than vhs any day !

Hopefully, the system now in the ascendancy will be the one offering the best technological advance.

  • 160.
  • At 12:05 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

$500 million deal to go blu-ray?

Reminds me of the old Intel exclusive days. They would offer discounts and subsidized advertising costs IF manufacturers agreed to be Intel-only or at least only advertise Intel. Even suggestions they gave stock priority to those who agreed and left anyone who wouldn't agree waiting.

There was a big fuss made about such deals with Dell especially.

  • 161.
  • At 12:08 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Dave Ramsey wrote:

HD DVD and Blu Ray will both lose out to digital download eventually. Go ahead, replace your existing DVD collection which recently replaced your VHS collection. Just don't expect this format to last any longer than DVD has done.

Personally, I'm saving my money this time.

  • 162.
  • At 12:25 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Russell wrote:

One thing I think should be mentioned is the fact that there is another industry (other than Hollywood) which has incredible power in this 'war'; the adult film industry. And they are concerned with how much content they can bundle on single disks; so it looks likly that blu-ray will hit the killer blow when the slightly less reputable film makers cast their vote...

As for me, I'm waiting. Not to see who wins out, but until I can afford an HD TV and a house big enough to justify a 50 inch telly!

  • 163.
  • At 12:39 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Kami wrote:

The simple fact is the HD-war may be hotting up but neither side yet poses any significant threat to old-school, plain old DVD, which continues to thrive and may prove the death-knell to this so-called "Next Gen".

I fear this is the same story across the board as well for this whole "Next Gen" lark. X-Box 360 vs PS3 might be an interesting battle, but the Wii has managed to outsell them, despite comparatively archaic technology. High-definition viewing? Well, discounting the fact that we PC users have been enjoying "HD" content for years (heart monitors! I'm a big PC geek!), many seem content with their big SD televisions for now which are only a year or two old (and if you spent hundreds on a big widescreen TV two years ago you should expect a few more years milage out of it!).

There is a lot of talking up the "next gen", but in truth it seems the majority of consumers and people couldn't give a flying baboon. And to be fair, when in a few years time things change again and newer formats are discovered, developed, marketed and thrust onto them as the next big thing... you buy an HD TV now, what happens if in a few years we get Super-HD? We're in the same position again!

Improvements are a good thing but I do worry that this whole next-gen thing is now getting a little bit too much to bear. And whilst I like my HD, and my Blu-ray, I am well aware that whilst nice, right now it isn't rocking my world...

  • 164.
  • At 12:43 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Jeff Fischer wrote:

Great timing! I had already bought a PS3 2 months ago and I really enjoy watching blu-ray dvds on the Sony games console. I was considering buying a Toshiba HD player this month...and now I have decided to not buy the player. Instead I will save my £200 despite the 7 free HD dvds Toshiba have on offer. This HD format war should be taught in all business schools...Sony led the way, all the way! They made the right calls and are earning thier just rewards!!!!

  • 165.
  • At 12:56 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Mat Smith wrote:

Hilarious.

You can't win, can you?

When two or more formats compete, critics are sent into frenzies; "oh no, consumers will end up with the betamax situation and we'll all lose out. Why can't they all just get together and sort themselves out".

When there is one, and only one format; "consumers have no choice, it's disgusting!"

It's consumers who drive this situation, after all it's their money that funds the companies who develop their own formats...

The debate is really quite dull.

  • 166.
  • At 01:07 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

I'm disgusted with Warners for making this announcment when they did. A lot of people bought hd dvd this Xmas & Warners knew they would switch. Making this switch known a few weeks earlier would have saved a lot of people from wasting money & maintained consumer goodwill.

And HD DVD's big advantage - No region encoding. With Ble Ray apparently winning the war then the consumer looses out.

  • 167.
  • At 01:20 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andy J wrote:

I'm sorry but whats with all the 'sony paid warner $$$ remarks'

Are you just bitter that you invested in the wrong format. Until proven otherwise they didn't give a cent to warner. Warner themselves have denighed it and based there desision on sales (which blu-ray outsells hd dvd 2-1 in US and 3/4-1 in europe)

I brought my Ps3 for games, however now i know that i can buy films without the risk of knowing that im possibally buying into a dead format.

While HD DVD may remain as a decent storage medium, its unlikely to suceed as a film format now. Since nearly 70% of all new films released from May won't be released on HD DVD, anyone with a brain and wanting to buy a HD format to view movies in HD will most likey go blu-ray.

I suspect we will see a downfall in sales of HD DVD players and Disc's for the near future at least

  • 168.
  • At 01:28 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John De Haura wrote:

Who really wants HD? Come on, people are switching off from the TV mentality and that is scaring the hell out of everyone (especially the rich elite) in media. People are changing. Convergence is more important than a big cinema screen in your own isolated room. The internet is a spin off of radio and the sending sending of data long distance via amateur radio enthusiasts.

People once loved and still strive enjoying a big screen with a crowd. Feeling the energy of talented film amongst a large group of people.

No one with half a sense could possibly want such clutter of a huge screen and the isolation of watching and wasting many precious hours by themselves in their tick-tacky houses. All those lost hours achieving nothing!

Come on. No one needs this rubbish.

Get out more and enjoy the Hi-Definition of life. Grow some food in your aesthetically concreted and 'decked' gardens.

That is true life: enjoyment and the soul of making and growing things as the true intelligent folk we are supposed to be.

Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are irrelevant.

Before the majority of film-viewers have HDTVs, digital distribution will be the norm.

And we've still got to overcome the ridiculous DRM hurdle that will make HD-DVD and Blu-Ray unusable for a lot of people in the long term, early adopters with analogue and non-HDMI enabled TVs, people wanting to play back on computers have no end of trouble, even if their graphics card and monitor is HDCP compliant. This is utter madness.

Of course, anybody willing to break the law can already download every HD-format movie released, and have none of the DRM-related headaches. Why is it that the studios continue to push these moronic systems which only harm legitimate users?

Same logic with the irritatingly unskippable 'Stealing movies is a crime' trailers on the start of every DVD these days. Pirates strip them out, so the very people they're targeted at never see them...

  • 170.
  • At 01:31 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Vern Moorhouse wrote:

HD-DVD suffered from reliability problems in the early days and to some extent still does, compared to Blu-Ray. The discs would stall, freeze and stutter during playback and it is only after several firmware updates (which need to be downloaded to the player via Ethernet cable via a Broadband router) that this has been addressed. The discs are also very fragile and delicate, compared to standard DVD's, or Blu-Rays which have a protective film on the playing surface. One little scratch or piece of dirt can render them unplayable - thus not really suitable for the rental market.

There have also been problems with combo discs (with the HD version on one side and standard DVD pressing on the other), notably the US release of "300" which I'm sure may have been instrumental in Warner's decision.

HD viewing is a great improvement over standard def, but the move to one format can only be welcomed IMHO.

  • 171.
  • At 02:00 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andy J wrote:

@ # Dave Ramsey

'Go ahead, replace your existing DVD collection which recently replaced your VHS collection. Just don't expect this format to last any longer than DVD has done.

Personally, I'm saving my money this time.'

Why? Blu-ray/ HD DVD both play DVD's and upscalte them to HD, it doesn't look as good blu-ray/HD DVD but it saves having to re buy your collection.

Me personally? I only buy new films on blu-ray, however some films such as Lord of the rings when its released on blu-ray i will buy again because i loved those film. While this is the case with a few films most i won't re buy as my new HD player plays them already.

Its a different situation from the VHS to DVD switch

  • 172.
  • At 02:04 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Tim wrote:


Frankly who cares.

Personally I wouldn't buy either. I bought DVD just after it came out due to it's massive advantages in usablility and quality over VHS, but does either of these offer the same over DVD - I don't think so! (esp when considering the picture boost to regular DVD that upscaling players give)

  • 173.
  • At 02:04 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

Where there's a winner, there always has to be a loser.

Frankly, the results of this format war aren't going to concern the majority of consumers for years to come, as far as I can tell - the cost of setting up with an HD TV and Blu-Ray player is going to have to drop before we see widespread adoption. From a consumer perspective, it always seemed to me that high street shops had a better selection of things I'd want to buy on Blu-Ray, so it's in a very strong market position, as formats go.

The real coup for Blu-Ray, as noted, is the PlayStation 3. Just as it was in 2000 years ago, Sony have created a games console which is also a decent (and affordable!) disc player into our homes; HD-DVD has failed to do this with the XBox 360, and is suffering for it. PS2 brought DVD into a lot of homes far sooner than a standalone player would have, PS3 seems likely to do the same for Blu-Ray.

  • 174.
  • At 02:50 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • morpheus wrote:

I have a 1080P Samsung LCD display and quite honestly regular DVD looks pretty Damn good on it. I've had an HD DVD player since January of last year and have only bothered picking up 5 titles for it because the 1080P upconverting on a regular DVD is good enough. DVD was such a big jump from VHS not just in terms of picture but also in convenience (no rewinding), there isn't a whole lot of extra benefit to either one and certainly not enough benefit to pay twice the price for the exact same title.

  • 175.
  • At 04:13 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Harry wrote:

Be aware that whatever format wins, 2 years from now there will be a new DVD format on the horizon. I hear there is a 200gig disc in the works. I also hear they're thinking of distribution digitally, usb drives and dowloads etc. And sharper picture quality dosn't mean it gonna be a better movie. If it's crap it's crap dosn't matter how good it sounds or looks.

  • 176.
  • At 09:18 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Munkeyfeet wrote:

I bought an HD DVD player but as i have 15 HD titles and over 100 DVDs if it dies i wont shed too many tears as I will just buy the 360 Blu Ray add on - my DVDs wont play on that but the HD player will upscale them very nicely!!

I dont think HD is anywhere near dead - if you look at player sales Yup sony win with the PS3 - great facts they can throw but if you look at titles bought per household it is HD that wins - this is as most PS3 owners want games so might buy 1 or 2 titles to see what the "fuss" is about but stop - an HD owner specifically bought the player or xbox 360 add on so buy more.

MS are now releasing the rights of the 360 to partners so new ones will have HD players built in!! MS and Toshiba have a lot of money - Toshiba were part of the VHS war and won so if cash needs to be thrown to win they will do it as to lose would be catostrophic!!

Should be interesting and i personally think both formats will survive for another 2/3 years until cost is pushed down. Bluray doesnt play old DVDs so if you have a big collection why go that way?!?

Go for a multi player and you cant lose!!

  • 177.
  • At 09:48 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I note that a lot of comments cite the betamax vs VHS example, and the development of what is effectively a technological arms race. I would like to propose that this is beneficial to consumers and to the industry as a whole.

Multi format, which has been cited as an option, is non-tenable, since there would be a prohibitive cost associated with this. It is my belief that instead, this race should be allowed to run to the finish, with the investors in the eventual winners being rewarded for technological and business guile, and of the losers a valuable lesson learnt.

There has to be competition to prompt innovation, without it there would be continuous evolutionary design, rather than true ingenuity. The unavoidable consequence of this is a lack of creativity and a poor deal for customers.

Unfortunately for investors in the HD-DVD format, it looks like the games up, but thats what investing in developing technologies is all about, win some, lose some

  • 178.
  • At 09:50 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I note that a lot of comments cite the betamax vs VHS example, and the development of what is effectively a technological arms race. I would like to propose that this is beneficial to consumers and to the industry as a whole.

Multi format, which has been cited as an option, is non-tenable, since there would be a prohibitive cost associated with this. It is my belief that instead, this race should be allowed to run to the finish, with the investors in the eventual winners being rewarded for technological and business guile, and of the losers a valuable lesson learnt.

There has to be competition to prompt innovation, without it there would be continuous evolutionary design, rather than true ingenuity. The unavoidable consequence of this is a lack of creativity and a poor deal for customers.

Unfortunately for investors in the HD-DVD format, it looks like the games up, but thats what investing in developing technologies is all about, win some, lose some

  • 179.
  • At 10:31 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • barry wrote:

Looking at some of the Companies who are involved in the Blue Ray camp, proves this is all about control.
Apple have controlled the price and distribution of its products from day one.
How often have you seen their computers sold by rival companies at much cheaper prices?
Sony have always charged the highest prices for their products.
The film companies love region encoding.
Toshiba on the other hand has a long history of selling good quality products at fair market prices.
It looks like a nice little "Gentlemens club" for the BR camp.

  • 180.
  • At 10:50 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

From FT.com


Paramount in HD DVD blow

By Matthew Garrahan and Mariko Sanchanta in Las Vegas
Published: January 8 2008 02:49 | Last updated: January 8 2008 02:49

Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD DVD after Warner Brothers’ recent backing of Sony’s Blu-ray technology, in a move that will sound the death knell of HD DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end.

Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, which makes the Shrek films, came out in support of HD DVD last summer, joining General Electric’s Universal Studios as the main backers of the Toshiba format.

http://tinyurl.com/2c3387

  • 181.
  • At 10:58 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Tapehead wrote:

Sony caused the split.

The HD-DVD format was done and then Sony withdrew to make their own format. Lying for 2 years that it was 'almost done' and in the end they not only copied the encryption, they even used the same master key which was proven when Blu-Ray was cracked.

Now Sony is has withdrawn from the cable card successor standard. I strongly suspect to pull the same stunt.

Why reward Sony's bad behavior?

  • 182.
  • At 11:23 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Johny wrote:

Just replying to Munkeyfeet's comment:

"I will just buy the 360 Blu Ray add on"

Blu Ray is a Sony produce, there is as much chance of a Blu Ray add on for the 360 as there is of an alien invasion!

Blu Ray is by far the more superior format in so many ways with multiple uses! As soon as people except this fact then we can all just enjoy the benefits of Blu Ray


  • 183.
  • At 11:53 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Johny wrote:

Just replying to Munkeyfeet's comment:

"I will just buy the 360 Blu Ray add on"

Blu Ray is a Sony produce, there is as much chance of a Blu Ray add on for the 360 as there is of an alien invasion!

Blu Ray is by far the more superior format in so many ways with multiple uses! As soon as people except this fact then we can all just enjoy the benefits of Blu Ray


  • 184.
  • At 12:01 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Phil Topping wrote:

Ref comment 176. Er Toshiba were one of the few manufacturers who licenced Betamax technology from Sony (my dad was the proud owner of a Toshiba V9600)- ironically though so did two other HD DVD backers Sanyo and NEC. Toshiba only switched to VHS when Betamax was effectively dead. It's doubly ironic of course that Sanyo switiching from producing Betamax (under their own brand rather than Fisher) was the tipping point for Beta. Backing one losing format seems unfortunate. Backing two looks like carelessness.

  • 185.
  • At 12:05 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Craig B wrote:

Surely it's good for the majority of consumers that a single format is likely to exist (unless you bought an HD-DVD player!)... and at last you should be able to look forward to all new releases in one format!

That said I agree with many of the posts on this page, many people with televisions less than around 42 inch (especially if not 1080p) would be better just buying an upscaling DVD player.

I'm fortunate to have a Panasonic 1080p projector firing a 3m wide picture and a 1080i 32" LCD in the lounge... you only really notice a significant picture difference with the Blu-ray when it's hooked up through the projector... although the audio on some HD movies is vastly superior if you have some good kit.

  • 186.
  • At 12:21 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Tristan Martin wrote:

It is interesting, but i suppsoe as with all format wars the inferior quality product wins, VHS over BETA. MP3(although MP3 is more versatile) over Mini disck, and now possibly Blue Ray over HD DVD.

Ok admittedly most people can;t tell the difference between HD DVD and Blue Ray, but neither could they over MiniDisk and MP3 or VHS over BETA.

I bought a HD DVD player on Friday night, and even though this news has come out I am not disappointed. I bought the player as I needed a new DVD player and it came with 7 free HD DVD's. the player was only £150.
But with HD DVD, you get 1080p upscaling where as Blue ray does do that for existing DVD's.
HD DVD can use the extra data on DVD's that Blue Ray can;t.
HD DVD has no region coding, so whereever HD DVD's are sold in the future they can still be bought. (just like Laser Disc)

The only way sony won this as pointed out was through PS3 sales, where they significantly underpriced their console and even later reduced the qualiy of the console (removing the larger HDD and the backwards compatiability) to get their foot in the door.
Yet the true quality players still remain over 3500. Thats fin if you want to spend half the cost of your TV on a video player.

I don;t mind the end result, because even if it is Blue ray, atleast I now have a 1080P upsacler for my regular DVD's which i will not want to have to replace to get any good quality on my HD TV.

  • 187.
  • At 12:25 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Davser wrote:

Excellent.

Blu Ray wins and I have a PS3. Feel somewhat sorry fo HD DVD owners especially those who purchased expensive players early own, you must be gutted.

For those whining about Sony paying for exclusivity - thats how it goes folks - Microsoft are doing this with some game devlopers so that games like Halo don't go to PS3. It's business.

AS for Blu ray being slow - most reviews I've seen have the PS3 as the best Hi Def player out there. Fast load ups and quiet operation. Check recent T3 for their opinion.

I read somewhere taht Paramount can move to Blu Ray if Warners have. A matte of time for that it seems.

  • 188.
  • At 12:44 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

There is too much discussion about which will win the HD format war, Blu-ray or HD-DVD. Everyone seems to decide on one or the other but the truth is it could still be that neither format wins.

Other than the early adopters that are keen to purchase HD movies, is the mass market really in need of a HD format? Is there really a vast improvement in the picture quality?

When DVD was introduced, and became affordable, there were obvious reasons to buy these over video - for example - perfect picture quality every time. The main improvment of HD is simply to offer better picture quality.

Even on a fairly large screen (40"+) DVD quality is still amazing to watch, and with low DVD prices, availability and the fact that most people would probably not notice the picture improvements on smaller screen sizes, DVD has a lot of life left in it yet.

So who would win the war if was a three way battle? Blu-ray, HD-DVD, or DVD? You many not get pixel perfect quality on DVD but it's pretty close and much, much better value for money.

  • 189.
  • At 01:02 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Kif wrote:

lets be honest, disc in itself really shouldnt last long enough now for this "war" to matter, as has been pointed out we are already using solid state sd/flash cards and the such for carrying around music/photos/tv shows etc, and regardless of disc format, both discs can still be scratched when thrown carelessly on top of the player by the kids or whatever,

i still feel the major companys are trying to flog us out of date technology for too much money, just to milk what they have instead of moving forward, i for 1 will skip the whole HD-DVD Vs Blue-ray and wait for movies coming out on memory card, its not as far away as you think....

  • 190.
  • At 01:05 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • eugene merrett wrote:

The format war resulted in a far slower take up of HD by the consumer. That resulted in few releases of HD media which only perpetuated the slow take up of HD by consumers. Now this should all change as consumer can bank on blu ray as the clear format leader.

But I feel that we were forced into having to buy the more expensive format - we did not have a true choice. The studios simply HD content from the cheaper HD - DVD. I think that in a level playing field HD-DVD would have won hands down because it was much cheaper and could easily show a 3 hour film in 1080p. What more do I want.

The fact Sony bribed the other studios to go with blu ray exclusively is tantamount to payola (the way record companies bribed radio stations to give additional airtime to their songs). It is completely uncompetitive and in my view illegal!

  • 191.
  • At 01:37 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Darran Clements wrote:

Stuff disks - I'm sticking with Sky Plus. I have no idea what all this fuss is about. iPlayer and Sky Anytime etc. and cheaper internet - why carry disks?

  • 192.
  • At 01:51 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • David Tarrant wrote:

There is a lot of confusion in here so here are some facts which I think everyone will be interested in. I even included references.

http://www.zepler.tv/blu-hd.php

It was too long to fit here.

  • 193.
  • At 01:58 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Eugene

Companies pay for exclusive content all the time. Just ask Microsoft - they are the past masters of this practice.

As it is Blu Ray holds more content than HD. Everything else being equal it is the superior technology.

Also, studios want technology that is hard to crack for piracy reasons and Blu Ray is superior here also it seems.

It's a no brainer.

Microsoft blew it for HD by not including the HD player on the xbox. had they done so and were able to release a cost effective product 2 yrs ahead of sony we would see HD DVD as the winner. AS it was they rushed it out to try and win the console war which they look like losing again due to the superior multi media capabilities of the PS3.

  • 194.
  • At 02:01 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Kif wrote:

lets be honest, disc in itself really shouldnt last long enough now for this "war" to matter, as has been pointed out we are already using solid state sd/flash cards and the such for carrying around music/photos/tv shows etc, and regardless of disc format, both discs can still be scratched when thrown carelessly on top of the player by the kids or whatever,

i still feel the major companys are trying to flog us out of date technology for too much money, just to milk what they have instead of moving forward, i for 1 will skip the whole HD-DVD Vs Blue-ray and wait for movies coming out on memory card, its not as far away as you think....

  • 195.
  • At 02:20 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

No one is forcing you to buy movies, I personally rent out movies and given that Blu-Ray is a tougher more robust disc format this suits the rental market.

Sure enough we will buy Blu Ray players now that the short to medium term future looks clearer, and all these under utilized HD Ready TV's we have all bought may finally start showing us their full potential.

Of course Super Ultra HD will change all this in a few years time anyway.

  • 196.
  • At 03:34 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Ken wrote:

I might have a HD TV but I won't be rushing out to buy Blue Ray or any other discs so long as they're ripping us off for £25 per plastic disc.

  • 197.
  • At 04:12 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • J. Voorhees wrote:

People nagging about prices of Blu-ray DVDs. There already is a sale going on for blu-ray movies, just check out websites such as play.com, Amazon.co.uk or even zavvi.co.uk, they all are doing some of the Blu-rays at 3 for prices of 2 and no they aren't all £30 each, I found most of them are only up to £25. Maybe there was some deal to push one company to blu-ray, but I believe HD-DVD did the same thing to get Transformers available to HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray.

  • 198.
  • At 04:36 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Josh wrote:

I wonder what Microsoft will do with their HD DVD player if Blu-Ray wins...

  • 199.
  • At 05:13 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • David Goodwin wrote:

I'm pleased that it looks like we finally have a winner in the format war, however Blu Ray still has a long way to go to beat the success of DVD.
Many people dont realise that they can vastly improve their picture if they connect a standard DVD player with component cables (instead of scart)you can then enjoy a 576p (progressive scan) picture which looks great on an HD ready screen. The TV upscales this to fit the resolution of 768 lines.

Also there are now many DVD players and even the PS3 itself which "up scale" the picture on Standard DVD's to even higher resolutions.
Ok it may not be proper HD but for the average home with a 32 - 37 inch screen DVD will still continue to look good for a while yet.

  • 200.
  • At 06:07 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

There has never been a better excuse to get a ps3 than now. All of you can go off home - have a sit down chat with the wife and explain that hd-dvd is dead and that you really need a HD player but to keep in her good books you are going for the cheapest player on the market.........the ps3

  • 201.
  • At 06:47 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Gary wrote:

Warner may have switched to Blu-Ray, but doesn't the porn industry support HD-DVD? They made some big business announcement about a year ago choosing HD-DVD. One of the big reason VHS beat betamax was the support of porn. It's not over yet.

  • 202.
  • At 07:38 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • nico mo wrote:

SanDisk V-Mate Video Memory Card Recorder - I knew there had to be one and this thing works just like a VCR - no DRM nonsense to worry abou

  • 203.
  • At 08:48 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Dave MacDonald wrote:

Personally I couldn't give two hoots about whether Blu-Ray or HD DVD prevails as I won't be buying either.

As broadband speeds continue to increase we will be able to download and watch HD movies whenever and wherever we like.

We will copy the movies to portable devices and take our whole library out with us.

Media discs are dated technology. I will stick to plain old DVD format for now and watch as people waste their money on pointless HD disc players.

  • 204.
  • At 09:58 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Alberto Ortega wrote:

It seems like MS and Toshiba are panicking and Blu-Ray is flourishing. Having bought a hd dvd for my xbox i've only invested a small lump to watch my content but what does bother me is having that lump next to my console. MS and Toshiba are going to have to start getting their heads together, either by implementing hd-dvd into new xbox consoles or slashing the price of the add on's considerably. The only good thing out of having a hd-dvd is that i get 5 free dvd's and i get to see transformers in all its glory. Maybe it will all change but for now im not losing faith

  • 205.
  • At 09:59 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Will Parsons wrote:

It's a shame that HD-DVD wasn't adopted, but I'd rather there wasn't a format war to begin with. The trouble is now is that the only Blu Ray player worth buying is the PS3. It's the only one that will have the ability to update to whatever version of BD-Java or BD-Live that they come up with next. Every other player, including the ones being released in the near future, will be left behind.

Everyone feels sorry for the early adopters of HD-DVD, I feel sorry for everyone that paid either £425 for a PS3 when they first came out or the early BD adopters who now find their £500+ BD player non compatable with future titles after only a year. At least the HD guys and girls can play their discs.

Region encoding is a real pain for people who live in the far zones (Zone 4 here).
Many of the brilliant art-house movies never get to this zone, so we *have* to use multi-zone players.
Whichever format wins, if we can't get multi-zone players to allow us to support some of the great movies that dont get rezoned to our obscure locations, we will be worse off.

More power to the hackers and de-zoners that give us the ability to appreciate art from all over the world.

  • 207.
  • At 11:20 AM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • markmcrobie wrote:

What makes me laugh is aren't Sony & Toshiba in bed together with the Cell processor anyway?

So they're fighting against each other on 1 thing, and partnering together on another.

Also AFAIK Microsoft doesn't have any reason they can't release a blu-ray add on for the 360 if need be.

  • 208.
  • At 09:37 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Tony Morris wrote:

With regards to post 203. Hi Dave :) I've stated this in the other thread over HD DVD but it keeps coming up... Let me point you to an article on the BBC's own site - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7115850.stm and a particular quote - "Fibre costs such a fortune to roll out that it may take decades to get to ubiquitous coverage in rural areas." To get the kind of speeds to download the sheer amount of data BD or HDDVD hold you are going to need this. No one in their right mind will wait several HOURS whilst their film downloads. There is also the small matter of download limits and port throttling. Though I do agree that in the future flash memory will win out as the HD format of choice, it will not happen for several years. Oh the technology will handle it even now but it's getting the content on to it that is a problem. The real world problem of disparate broadband speeds will put paid to "on demand" and "download" HD content for the vast majority.

The big thing to highlight is not only the price difference but the fact standalone BD players are CURRENTLY being sold that may not be compatible with future revisions of the BD specification. So now I may have to pay twice as much for a player that may or may not have future compatability with all BD disks. This makes me feel I'm buying an incomplete and not very well designed product. I do hope HD DVD makes a comeback, if only to keep pressure on the BD camp to get the technology straight and the prices acceptable. We don't all play games and we don't all want consoles in our HC systems.

  • 209.
  • At 06:43 AM on 10 Jan 2008,
  • Lysander wrote:

It appears that very few people here really have a clue about the technologies involved and their respective capabilities.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are fairly similar now, with Blu-Ray having something of a capacity advantage. However, HD-DVD capacity maxes out at about 51Gb per disc, while Blu-Ray already has specs for a 100Gb production disc, and maxes out at 200Gb. Capacity isn't as much of an issue for movies as it is for computer storage; which is one of the major drivers in uptake in the format; so Blu-Ray wins that aspect hands down. On top of that, Blu-Ray discs up to 100Gb will be playable on current players with a firmware update; HD-DVD will most likely not be backwards compatible on most current players, so a new player will be required for the new format.

More important than total capacity, however, is bandwidth. A critical parameter for computer and gaming console uptake in particular. Blu-ray is capable of up to 54Mbps, whereas HD-DVD is capped at 36.5Mbps, giving Blu-ray a 67% speed advantage. A huge advantage for Blu-ray in the console and PC market; as well as future-proofing against next-generation HD 1440p, something that HD-DVD would not be able to manage. Since 1440p is about the limit of human eye resolution, the only step up from there is true 3D. So unlike other claims, HD-DVD is only an interim technology, whereas Blu-Ray is capable of being a terminal technology.

Despite what many here have claimed, both standards have the same DRM and region-locking built into the standard. HD-DVD hasn't currently implemented region-locking, but almost no Blu-ray players have either; in both cases to drive uptake. Should one of them have come out as the clear winner earlier, you can be sure the very first updates to players and discs would have activated region-locking. In either case, it's really irrelevant, since region locking and DRM for both have already been cracked.

And, of course, there's the issue of Blu-ray discs being considerably less fragile than HD-DVD, a feature that makes them much more suited to the rental market than their competitor.

Solid-state storage is still years away from successfully competing with optical storage, solely due to costs. A solid-state storage unit with a capacity equivalent to current Blu-ray disc capacity would cost 10-12 times as much. It'll be least 3-5 years before solid state is viable as a high-capacity storage medium.

Downloadable content is merely a pipe-dream for the vast majority of the world. Bandwidth on both the end-user and backbone ends of the Internet will need to increase by an order of magnitude, and availability by several orders of magnitude, before streaming or downloadable HD content is viable. Years away, if ever.

Another misconception: Blu-ray wasn't Sony's response to HD-DVD, the technology was already in R&D prior to the announcement of the next-gen HD-DVD standard. It was Toshiba that insisted on a different standard not owned by Sony, which was not necessarily a bad thing, that caused the split. Even so, the BD consortium was still larger than the HD-DVD consortium from the start.

  • 210.
  • At 12:00 PM on 14 Jan 2008,
  • Lukes.... wrote:

Blu-Ray is the winner.

Just wait though before purchasing a Blu Ray player, the big boys are going to join in & the good makes will come out in the next 6 months.....

  • 211.
  • At 12:59 PM on 14 Jan 2008,
  • Gareth Williams wrote:

I just don't understand why we even have a format war in the first place. This is completely different to the VHS vs Betamax war.

Dual format players are already out and getting more and more advanced as research into them goes on.

So why are these not becomming the popular choice and then you just buy whatever format your film happens to come on.

If there HAS to be 1 format then personally I would have preferred it to be HD-DVD. Region free and cheaper.

  • 212.
  • At 02:07 AM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • David Graham wrote:

I may be going a bit off topic here. I believe the standalone BLU-RAY player will be on its 3rd hardware update. This means first generation players are unable to access new features.

To be honest I consider this an utter sham!!!

  • 213.
  • At 01:53 PM on 17 Jan 2008,
  • james wrote:

Lysander,

You raise some excellent points.

"Downloadable content is merely a pipe-dream for the vast majority of the world."

I'm sorry but this is complete rubbish.

I find it amusing that we had DVD in the shops, and DIVX on the torrent sites. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray come out and we have DIVX-HD on the torrents. A divXHD or WMVHD file would be about 2Gb yes? Why then would anyone say that static media has a long way to go? How many movies would this be on HD-DVD's 25Gb DVD's. If downloadable content is just a pipe dream then why is piracy so rife with highly compressed and high quality movies on peer to peer? Yes, these are streamable formats.

"Capacity isn't as much of an issue for movies as it is for computer storage; which is one of the major drivers in uptake in the format; so Blu-Ray wins that aspect hands down"

sorry, but that was a complete noob comment Lysander, optical storage is so far behing HDD technology is just isn't funny. Look at the price of a 500GB HDD and then look at the cost of a blu-ray writer and the 15GB discs!! HDDs win hands down.

"It'll be least 3-5 years before solid state is viable as a high-capacity storage medium."

Viable as a storage medium for what? This is a completely meaningless comment! Do you mean for movies? If so then ask yourself why we don't have DVD's on memory stick?

"Since 1440p is about the limit of human eye resolution"

What?! So your telling me that no one would be able to tell the difference between 1440p and e.g 3000p on a giant IMAX style cinema screen? I pity your eyes, time to change the monacle I think!

"HD-DVD is only an interim technology"

Erm, there is no such thing as interim technology. That's like saying the playstation 2 was interim technology to the PS3! Every technology could be seen as interim until the next best thing comes out.
The only reason blu-ray isnt another "Laserdisc" is that there is competition.

"the BD consortium was still larger than the HD-DVD consortium from the start"

And? This isn't a arguement of my weener is bigger than your's is it?
What weight do the members of the consortium have, how big are the companies etc..such a weak and transparent arguement.

"HD-DVD will most likely not be backwards compatible on most current players, so a new player will be required for the new format."

And here is where you just reveal yourself to being paid off by sony or others to make the comments you make. So who's paying you to post here? Making a few assumptions aren't you about compatability?

  • 214.
  • At 07:36 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • Phil wrote:

I have the Xbox HD add-on which admitedly only cost £99 with 5 free HD movies so I dont feel out of pocket if HD-DVD fails.

Plus I can now pick up some real movie bargains as people offload their HD-DVD's and enjoy them regardless.

Plus as HD-DVD is region free there are still hundreds of titles available from the USA.

But still... it's a shame for it to go down this way. I hate the fact older Blu-Ray players are dust if they cannot be firmware updated, I hate the way Sony bought out Hollywood, and I hate the fact that Blu-Ray uses 10 year old MPEG2 encoding. Im not getting into the quality debate but can the average Joe REALLY tell the difference between the two formats?

There was always going to be one winner, I just think its a shame it was Sony.


P.S. I read a comment futher up stating Michael Bay said Blu was better quality. Ironic that Transformers was HD-DVD exclusive.

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