'Stalemate' predicted for high-def DVD war

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
The BBC have an article regarding some research out from Screen Digest that suggests the upcoming format war to be a stalemate. The report suggests that uptake will be small given that many of the features are the same as DVD's (apart from the better resolution and sound quality).

There is also a poll on the Technology site asking 'Will you buy high-def DVDs?'. Not surprisingly currently 58.13% are saying 'No'.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
The report suggests that uptake will be small given that many of the features are the same as DVD's
I entirely agree with that. I honestly am surprised when people/companies are predicting a massive take up. DVD was massively popular due to the fact it offered CD style access, with special features, replaced clunky old VHS and offered an improvement in PQ that you could see on just about any decent screen. By contrast High Def discs (of both flavours) offer better picture to those with suitable screens. And by a suitable screen you can rule out 32" or under. And, although I have never tried, I can't image there is a massive difference on screens under 42" either. But even among home cinema fans it seems screens smaller than this are the norm (checkout the poll here). So who's going to buy the new formats: home cinema fans with big screens and projectors. And that's about it.

I know BluRay fans are hoping the PS3 will drive sales of BD discs to the 'average joe'. I can't see it myself. 9/10 of users will have TVs that won't benefit from high def so they may buy one disc, see no benefit, and never buy another. To the 'average joe' lending their discs to their friends and 'ripping'/making backups is probably more important than a format that only plays on their PS3. The same can be said for HD DVD on the 360. Ergo the only users who will really use their console for high def playback are...home cinema fans with big screens and projectors.

Now there is definietly enough home cinema fans with big screens and projectors to make the industry worthwhile. However I should imagine both HD DVD and BluRay will co-exist as niche products much as DVD-Audio and SACD have done. I should imagine they will be more successful than those two failed formats: I should imagine releases will be more forthcoming and back catalogues will be released. However I don't believe either format will 'replace' DVD.
 

rover2002

Novice Member
gingerone said:
I think it's probably going to be a fair prediction in all honesty.
If both sets (versios)of moives (HD/BR)had been done in VC-1 codec i would agree.BUT they have not, and as soon as people see some of the diffrences they will have one question, why on earth is BR so much more expensive than HD? The war will be decided on studio support and word of mouth, oh yea and that other small thing called 'quality'.
Will.
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
Rasczak said:
However I don't believe either format will 'replace' DVD.
I agree, I think DVD still has a long shelf-life ahead of it. There may be a point say in 5 years time, where a unified format exists (or combi players are ubiquituos), where high-def DVD's really kick-off with the consumer but I can't see Joe Public buying into the formats while there is still so much confusion around.
 

W1zz

Active Member
Article on BBC website - Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4782953.stm

The battle between two rival and incompatible high-definition DVD formats will end in stalemate, a research firm has predicted.
Blu-ray and HD-DVD are the two new formats being rolled out globally over the course of the next 12 months.

But Screen Digest predicts neither format will gain the upper hand and that the rivalry will do damage to the market for high-def DVDs overall.

Sony is the principal supporter of Blu-ray while Toshiba backs HD-DVD.

Ben Keen, Screen Digest chief analyst said: "We believe that the most likely outcome is... that the two formats will coexist until they give way to affordable dual-format solutions.

'Dampen appetite'

"Overall though, the net result of the format war and the publicity it has generated will be to dampen consumer appetite for the whole high definition disc category."

Screen Digest forecast that only $11bn (£6.4bn) of the total $39bn expected to be spent on video discs by 2010 in the US, Europe and Japan will be generated by the competing high-definition formats.

The DVD format exploded into a multi-billion-dollar industry in the 1990s in large part because the universal format delivered a more convenient way to own movies than its predecessor, the VHS videotape.

Consumers had also tired of the low quality of much of VHS and there was a desire for a better format.

"This time both formats support similar features," said Graham Sharpless, who wrote the report.

The new formats are being introduced just as DVD sales level off but some observers question whether the appetite for a next-generation format is yet present.

All of the Hollywood studios, except Universal, have said they will release movies on Blu-ray, with the first players and titles having launched earlier this year.

Major studios

Only three of the major studios have said they will release movies in HD-DVD formats.

Microsoft has thrown its weight behind HD-DVD while Sony is incorporating Blu-ray players into its PlayStation 3 console.

At the moment Blu-ray players cost twice as much as HD-DVD players - at about $1,000 (£600) versus $500 (£300).

There have been reports of Blu-ray discs played on Sony and Samsung machines being noticeably lower in video quality than HD-DVD rivals.

Samsung reportedly blamed a faulty chip for problems with early models, which have since been rectified.

Screen Digest predicts that few households will opt to replace their existing DVD libraries.

The research firm predicts that market value will come from the premium prices charged for the new formats.

This could mean that by 2010 total revenues from DVD sales will be 15 to 20% higher than would have been the case without high definition.
 

gingerone

Well-known Member
From speaking to friends in work, most people just don't care.
Dvd still looks very good and will be around for a very long time yet.
I can't wait to get my hands on hidef(which ever format) but I am far from the norm.
 

rover2002

Novice Member
gingerone said:
From speaking to friends in work, most people just don't care.
Dvd still looks very good and will be around for a very long time yet.
I can't wait to get my hands on hidef(which ever format) but I am far from the norm.
There no doubt about it, dvd looks so much better than it did when first released, but it still leaves you feeling like, well you know. . . could this be better?
Show your friends a movie on your A1(if you get one)and then ask if DVD is still 'good enough'.:) I have to admit i sound more and more like a fanboy everyday but really once you see the images its hard not to!
WIll.
 

ykhan16

Novice Member
I agree that both HDDVD and Blu-Ray will probably coexist for many years. DVD -> HD is not the huge leap we had with VHS -> DVD. Add to that the fact that not alot of people are terribly knowledgable about HD even though they're buying HD ready equipment! :confused:

So its all pointing to a slow take up on the hi-def dvd formats- so neither of the formats will die suddenly and horribly like we would hope! Bad news for those waiting to see which will win before investing in a player! :thumbsdow
 
R

Roughneck1

Guest
Personally i think HD DVD on which ever format will not really go past "die hard" / "Laserdisc owner" type of customer base.
i cannot see general public wishing to upgrade from standard DVD anytime soon.
 

Pinko

Banned
The uptake of Sky HD has been very good from 'average joe', so they ain't as slacked jawed as we may think. Within 5 years normal DVD's will start to disappear imho.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
The uptake of Sky HD has been very good from 'average joe', so
they ain't as slacked jawed as we may think.
But who are first to adopt? Home cinema fans with big screens and projectors! These are the people who have invested in SkyHD so far. The same people who have so far made adoption of HD DVD faster growing than DVD at the sametime in it's lifespan. But that doesn't mean growth will continue into the same, rapid mass market appeal that we have seen from DVD.
 

inzaman

Moderator
Maybe they need to sell it differently to the mass market by say putting far more interactive features on the disk etc (assuming thats what the mass market wants), i.e. look at all this space on the disks not only do you get better pq but it is also far more interactive so you can go straight to a making of or how do they do that scene for any scene in the movie etc, links to the filming locations and even booking a holiday at these locations etc, making use of the net capability.
 

figoagogo

Distinguished Member
Pinko said:
The uptake of Sky HD has been very good from 'average joe', so they ain't as slacked jawed as we may think. Within 5 years normal DVD's will start to disappear imho.
I think the uptake on SkyHD has been high as it shows a big improvement of SD TV, however I dont think that kind of improvement can be seen from DVD to HD, unless on a large screen.

DVD has more than 5 years left in it, but will then be surpassed by HDvideo on demand/dowloaded HD movies etc. I think DVD will be one of the last (successful) physical formats - it may also stay around in a collectable form (like Vinyl) due to all the art work, extras etc as people will want things to own rather than just a movie file. Maybe? :confused:
 

Tejstar

Distinguished Member
I'm sure digital distribution is where everything is headed eventually although I don't see that happening for some time yet. If one film takes up 50GB say, imagine what kind of hard disk you would need to match your current DVD collection! :eek:
 

ykhan16

Novice Member
Tejstar said:
I’m sure digital distribution is where everything is headed eventually although I don’t see that happening for some time yet. If one film takes up 50GB say, imagine what kind of hard disk you would need to match your current DVD collection! :eek:
Oh i'm sure in 5 years time we'll all have access to de-centralized hard-drives with more space than we could possibly fill! :D
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
I still regard high defintion as being of little interest to the masses, The percieved advantage of high defintion on sub 40" screens at normal viewing distances is subtle to say the least.

high defintion is going to be niche until its uptake becomes inconsequential to the consumer ...in exactly the same way that nicam was.

I also think the article is biased towards blu-ray , any tehnology journo worth their salt would be in with the talons on the demonstrably inferior ,yet twice as expensive format. Similar to the anti-xbox pro-playstation stance the BBC website has taken in the past.

And the combined output of the studios that have signed up for hd-dvd is significantly larger than the output of the ones that are solely supporting blu-ray. Its innacurate to suggest its badly supported and only someone with little knowledge of current film production would suggest as much.
 

AgentCool

Well-known Member
I think the best way of introducing either format is through hybrid discs. If a company such as Universal gradually made all their DVD releases hybrid with HD-DVD but only charged the usual amount then people would buy them. Then, when people who have bought these discs decide to buy a HDTV, they'll have the HD version of the films they've bought as well.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
And the combined output of the studios that have signed up for hd-dvd is significantly larger than the output of the ones that are solely supporting blu-ray. Its innacurate to suggest its badly supported and only someone with little knowledge of current film production would suggest as much.
An important point that many people miss :lesson:

If a company such as Universal gradually made all their DVD releases hybrid with HD-DVD but only charged the usual amount then people would buy them.
Have to admit I am warming to the idea of combo discs. I was originally dead against them as I thought picture and sound would be compromised. However the current combi disks, or at least the ones I've seen, have proven this not to be the case with both the DVD9 side and HD DVD15 getting the attention and giving the performance you would expect. And ultimately it is quite handy to still have a disc you can play on your other DVD players (laptop/upstairs/whilst travelling etc). They need to get a DVD9/HD DVD30 combi disc produced though if they are to make more of this feature (I understand they are on the way)!
 

Mr Jolly

Active Member
I must admit I'm partial to the idea of combo discs as long as they do them day and date on new releases - I can't see the point of the back catalogue releases though.

I think ultimately these formats will stay a niche market, you only have to look at how many people are happy buying pirate DVDs and don't even buy legitimate releases. What are the chances of these people buying HD releases when they think that a copy is as good as it gets?:rolleyes:
 

Henryslater

Novice Member
I think the most salient point on this posting so far is the 'last of the physical format's' qoute.

I agree that 'on-demand' services will kill physical formats - look at the services provided for mobile phones - that's the future.

Actually owning a physical piece of music/film (data) will be regarded as quaint....

On demand Super HD movies, SACD music, interactive shopping and telecommunications provided on your own 'centralised' storage area via 500Mhz wireless networks.

All your's from GoogleSoft.com for £20 per month.

It's for the kidz man!;)
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
I'm sure digital distribution is where everything is headed eventually although I don't see that happening for some time yet. If one film takes up 50GB say, imagine what kind of hard disk you would need to match your current DVD collection!
You wouldn't need files as big as 50GB - use state of the art VC1 and you can compress most films down to under 12-14GB with a single soundtrack. Furthermore purchase of video download could employ a system similar to Steam, i.e. once you've paid for something you can download, watch it, delete it and, if you want to watch it again, download it again free! This negates the need for the end user to have massive storage space. That said I should imagine a system whereby you pay to download, get a limited number of watches and/or time expires is more likely to be the business model employed.

I should imagine such download models would, due to constraints on storage, bandwidth, network speed etc employ similar quality cutting measures as we curently see on television transmission. In which case even though HD DVD/BluRay may be the last physical format we will ever see - they are likely to remain the home cinema fans choice.
 

AidenL

Well-known Member
This is the most sensible thread on here yet :)

I don't think HD DVD or Bluray will ever kill each other off, they probably will co-exist in parallel - they both have to worry about the old soldier, SD DVD ;)

Maybe the war is over before it started, and its ended with a whimper, not a bang :eek:
 

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