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"Wait and see is best policy in format war"

Discussion in 'TVs' started by quig, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. quig

    quig
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    Gordon Laing's article in Personal Computer World's August edition discusses his reluctance to purchase either Blu-ray or HD-DVD until there is only one format. I wonder how many consumers will feel the same?
     

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  2. Starburst

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    I suspect those who frequent this forum will not want to wait a few years for a clear winner to emerge and it could take that long if both camps go for it:)
    However that doesn't mean I will be spending serious money on first generation hardware especially as HD broadcasts are on the horizon and scaling technology is doing a good job with standard def DVD's.

    Who knows in the short term a PS3 and HD-DVD rom for the PC may be a cost effective solution until the market is stable and a standalone player/recorder emerges that is good enough to grace the lounge.
     
  3. paulfoley

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    Starburst

    Up until a few days ago thats exactly what I was planning to do, get a PS3 for BR & plug it into my LCD via HDMI & then change the DVD-Rom drive in my HTPC for HD-DVD. However I read a post on the AVS Forums that said Hollywood would not allow PC Software to play back films, they want data to playable via hardware only & thus uncopyable!

    Might have to buy a PS3 & an HD-DVD Drive now !

    :mad:
     
  4. Starburst

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    No doubt the PC community will come out with graphic cards and accelerators which have HDMI and are secure enough to comfort the paranoid control freaks that dictate where and how we can watch our retail purchases:)
     
  5. Tejstar

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    I don't envisage spending serious cash until a clear winner comes through. The most I'll do is prbably buy a PS3, I don't expect that to cost more than £400 so that should keep me going until we have a winner.

    However, the only annoying thing is that the PS3 in unlikely to launch before xmas 2006. :(
     
  6. Nick_UK

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    What's the problem ? We already have about six "standards" for recordable DVD's and the industry have brought out machines that can use several. No doubt this will also happen with HD-DVD's --- eventually. And that's the key word.
     
  7. Starburst

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    While you are correct about the versions of recordable DVD there was and still is only one format for pre-recorded DVD and so for the average consumer there was no format war, you bought a DVD player and it would play every retail disk out there.
    Well with a few exceptions since a few studios tweaked the format to suit themselves and certain players refused to work:)

    With Blu-ray and HD-DVD there will be two pre-recorded formats with content only appearing on one or the other at least for the short term which is an issue for consumers. Depending upon sales this window could stretch out into years since if there is a chance to gain dominance Sony and Toshiba will slug it out and won't be licensing the technology to anyone for a combined unit.

    Recordable blue laser disks are much less of an issue since as long as there are recorders and media any format is viable especially in a PC enviroment where I don't consider the market is quite as narrow as for home/domestic appliances.

    Eventually there is likely to be a winner but how many of us who use these forums are going to wait until there is a cut and dried flag waving winning manufacturer?
    If you are anything like me there will come a time when more of your favorite movies are on one format and if you can't afford both you will pick your side and pray for the best. Of course you could just watch the HD broadcasts via satellite and/or aquire movies from less legit sources and let people with more money than sense make the mistakes:)
     
  8. Nick_UK

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    I'd essentially agree with all but your last sentence. Unfortunately some of the mistakes are not being made by people with more money than sense, but those with a bigger credit card limit than sense ;)
     
  9. Mark1Ace1

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    Sounds like Sony has another battle on its hands, similar to the one it had in the 70's with JVC and the advent of video players..Oh well, I am patient. :)
     
  10. probedb

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    I think the fact about recordable DVD is that pretty much all of the formats now play on all DVD players after they're recorded and many recorders are now multi-format. With blu-ray and HD-DVD they're completely incompatible as far as I'm aware :(

    I'll wait and see. I'm not doing my thing of buying a laserdisc player again ;)
     
  11. David Mackenzie

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    Hopefully, I'll buy the one with the best image quality and the films I want to watch - probably Blu-Ray - after the US launch. Then in years to come, if my format of choice "dies", I'll grudgingly go on over to the other. By that time, I would probably have bought a new player anyway.
     
  12. David Mackenzie

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    No no no no no no! We need all the space we can get! Just look at what's happened to DVD's "infinite" capacity - overcompressed, blocky movies. I don't want my HD pictures that way. All the space we can get, none of this "640k will be enough for anyone" stuff.

    What does he mean by that? Surely he's not referring to Divx (the pay per view movie rental system, not the video codec with the same name)?
     
  13. Facct

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    It seems that what looks like it will bethe successor to blue laser, namely HVD or Holographic Video Disc (200GB up to potentially 4 TB+), is developing rapidly, so a protracted format war would be in neither Sony's or Toshiba's interests. Let's hope they see it that way! Afaik they have recently entered discussion about a single format, perhaps due to the fast progression of HVD.

    Here's a link: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=225222
     
  14. Stephen Neal

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    Though didn't these discussions come to nothing. AIUI the fundamental differences between the two formats and the fact that neither side was willing to budge on key issues meant that merging the two formats wasn't going to happen?

    AIUI HD-DVD has the benefit of being easier to press in current DVD plants - BluRay requires new technology to press their pre-recorded software. However BluRay also has the capacity edge - something HD-DVD is trying to address with triple-layer discs (which deliver 45Gb compared to the 50Gb of a dual-layer BluRay disc) However BluRay can also do more than two layers.

    HD-DVD has been touting the ability to do a single DVD layer and a dual HD-DVD layer (so the same disc delivers HD-DVD and DVD material) - though the DVD layer is only a single DVD-5 not a dual-layer DVD-9 (and the HD-DVD dual layers only deliver 30Gb?

    BluRay now claims it can deliver a dual-layer DVD-9 AND a single layer (25Gb) BluRay layer.

    It certainly isn't getting any less complicated...
     
  15. Desk

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    Dual-layer blank DVD+R disks are much more expensive than the single layer versions.

    Personally, my choice for the next generation of disks is the one that offers the greatest capacity per individual layer - namely Blu-Ray.
     
  16. betamac

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    I am extremely confident that the talanted hackers will brign out software to get around HDCP so we can output Blu Ray, HD DVD movies over DVI on our Media Centre PCs

    As i am planning on buying a HD DVD Rom etc so i dont have to spend a fortune on a Player
     
  17. Rasczak

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    So even if you suffer a high degree of disc failures and have to pay twice as much per disc for the same product you'd prefer BluRay because the disc has the potential to offer higher capacity?

    As things stand in the here and now there are potentially a number of problems with BluRay:

    Durability
    BluRay should come in a caddy - but, like DVD-RAM, it won't because it looks unfashionable. Accordingly 'special coatings' such as the TDK scratchproof one used on DVD+/-R(W) discs have been employed. This is all well and good - the coatings are effective - but they do not stop all damage/dirt on DVDs - BluRays are hundreds of times more sensitive. This is the core disadvantage of 0.1mm technology versus 0.6mm.

    Cost
    We know pre-recorded HD DVD can be produced cheapily - and that goes for dual layer HD DVDs as well which can be produced at equiavlent cost to current DVD9s. BluRay (both pre-recorded and recordable media) requires significant updates to disc production plants. The best equivalent example of how this translates to the consumer can be seen with DVD+R DL and DVD-RAM - both require more complex production than normal DVDR and thus are only produced by specialist plants - the net effect of which is that you have discs that are 10 times the cost of the alternatives. The same MAY end up being true for BluRay. Obviously as the market grows unit cost will be drive down - but if the DVD-A/SACD model is followed then high def discs could remain niche for years - are you prepared to pay a premium for that long? Would the studios be prepared to release cost-inefficient discs for that long?

    Compatibility
    Obviously neither HD DVD or BluRay are compatible with existing DVD players. And both formats now seems to be able to produce cost effective tri-format (CD, DVD, blue laser) optical heads. However there are still some big question marks over BluRay compatibility between machines made by different companies: for example Sony have developed a 23GB BluRay disc, Panasonic use a 25GB BR disc whilst JVC use 27GB. Will they all be supported by each other? The BR forum says 'maybe' but we have to remember that some of these companies can't even ensure their DVD-RW recorders use varying speeds of DVD-RW media let alone discs with different structures!

    Software Availability
    HD DVD has an impressive movie lineup for launch. We are yet to anything announced for BluRay. Until the latter has something to offer in this regard it isn't that useful.

    Capacity
    BluRay has potential for significantly more capacity than HD DVD. 8 layer discs are proposed (as they were for DVD as well!). However, assuming studios opt for dual HD DVD/BluRay releases the odds are studios will only produce one High Def transfer which will be used on both...


    I'm not saying BluRay isn't going to be the best - I am saying it is silly to try and say which one is the best NOW. If you get sucked down the capacity argument (and you can get an impressive HD movie on a 15GB HD DVD disc) then your missing some issues that are likely to be alot more relevant to you as a consumer. Keep your options open...
     
  18. Desk

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    I made the mistake of not spelling out the obvious before, when making the same point in another forum, so I guess I'll have to do it again.

    All other things being equal, my choice for the next generation of disks is the one that offers the greatest capacity per individual layer - namely Blu-Ray.
     
  19. Rasczak

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    I'm surprised you think that it is "obvious" from your post - especially if you re-read your post if makes it sound as if you think a single layer BluRay will cost less than a Dual Layer HD DVD to produce (the reverse is true).

    The above points I have highlighted are the key factors that have been confirmed. For example we know 0.1mm is a lot more fragile than 0.6mm discs. And we know HD DVD is, at least initially, going to be cheaper to produce. The BluRay camp have decided they can push ahead despite them...
     
  20. Desk

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    It may well cost more to produce, but what will the difference in cost be to the consumer? Don't know? Neither do I, and until I do I can't figure that into my judgement.

    We don't yet know if the manufacturers of Blu-Ray disk will absorb the difference in cost of production in order to make it a success, or if these disks will be produced in much higher quantities than HD-DVD disks.

    As I said before, "All other things being equal, my choice for the next generation of disks is the one that offers the greatest capacity per individual layer - namely Blu-Ray."

    The factors you're mentioning, such as cost to the consumer and durability, are all still unknown. Until they are, Blu-Ray remains my choice.
     
  21. Rasczak

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    In order for BluRay to be produced in higher quantities than HD DVD would require a large number of disc producers to convert their facilities. Currently only a handful have done so. Whereas mass production of HD DVD is already a reality. BluRay requries significant expediture that will be paid for by the consumer - be under no illusion.

    And I honestly don't know why you think durability is an unknown. Unless they release discs in a caddy (which has pretty much been ruled out) then there is very little that can be done other than coat it in scratchproof coatings. These are already tried and tested (and have been for ages) but they are far from perfect.
     

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