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Author Topic: Has next-gen DVD already failed?  (Read 3878 times)
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unbreakable
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« on: June 26, 2006, 11:58:14 PM »

10 Reasons Why High Definition DVD Formats Have Already Failed

I wouldn't quote the entire article, but they have a good point: HiDef DVD may end up just a niche product (chough... MiniDisc... cough...).
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2006, 12:48:21 AM »

Great article and it presents a lot of valid issues. I don't have any opinions one way or another, but this article has made me think how much the general public doesn't care about HD-Dvds
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2006, 01:12:29 AM »

I'm usually a pretty early adopter of new technology but I have to say that I'm going to wait a while on this one. I still have bad memories of VHS versus Beta.  I'm going to have to see a clear winner before I upgrade.  I would love to see how it looks on my HDTV though.
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 02:06:01 AM »

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HD DVD and Blu-ray are NOT Quantum Leaps in Technology
Consumers came over in droves when CDs were released back in 1982. The new format offered not only a new digital media, but also a way to instantly access tracks across an entire “album”. Convenience, not technology, drove this format to almost instant consumer adoption. Fast forward a bit to 1997 when the first DVD player was released. Again, convenience, not technology, drove people to the market en masse. Unlike VHS tapes, the new DVD format was smaller, easily navigated and would not wear down over time like existing tape-based formats. Heck, the concept of a shiny plastic disc was new – and quite frankly, it was the coolest thing to hit the technological shelf since solid state technology. In comparison, the high definition DVD formats, save the color of the business side of the disc, look exactly the same… and consumer confusion will surely follow.

What do the new high definition DVD formats offer consumers over DVD? Technology and more storage. Is this enough? Not on your life. Consumers, most of whom rarely know how to properly configure their players or home theater systems, are perfectly content with their current DVD players (and indeed some have just jumped on board to DVD in the last several years). While the potential for more extras and alternate endings exists due to increased storage on the new media, there is no compelling reason for consumers to migrate over to the new high definition DVD formats in large numbers.


that alone says it all for me - the unvarnished bottom-line, which untold millions of dollars of hype will be struggling to combat/obscure...
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2006, 02:24:17 AM »

And will ultimately fail miserably at. slywink
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2006, 02:33:10 AM »

I think that HDTV and HD viewing in general is a quantum leap over 'regular' television.  Want to wow somebody?  Pop on Discovery HD or iNHD and help them pick their jaw up off the floor.  Unfortunately, this article is right on everything else.  I watch CSI and it is crystal clear.  I watch The Simpsons and is is crystal clear.  I head off to watch ESPN, again, crystal clear.  I turn on my local news and it looks like shifting tile theater.  Hell, if I turn on the majority of channels I have to lower my expectations just to watch.  As a result, here is my prediction - feel free to pick it apart:

Blu-Ray will fail.  Here is why:  It offers literally nothing over HD-DVD other than space.  Most consumers are pretty happy with their 3 DVD collector sets and have no problem changing the disc to see the extras.  I don't see a $1000 investement as worth it so I don't have to put in that second disc, and I don't think I'm alone.  Additionally, there has to be a damned good reason for me to re-purchase my movies, and from what I've seen, Blu-Ray doesn't offer a visual difference to do that - not even counting the near $30 price point.  Yes, Blu-Ray can handle 1080p natively, but name me a non-gaming consumer that has a good grip on what that really means.  The list would be short.  On top of all that, Blu-Ray is region coded. HD-DVD is not (currently).  If that wasn't enough, there is still no confirmation that Blu-Ray won't require the use of an HDMI cable to use their content.  I know a LOT of people who recently purchased the lower to mid range HDTVs that did not get an HDMI cable.  Every one of the has component though.

This component war will have a casualty, and don't think that it'll be anyone but you the consumer.  I plan on letting the fires burn out, a victor is declared, their prices drop to roughly $200 for a player, and we start seeing Best Buy stocking XYZ format movies on Tuesdays for $14.99.

My two cents.
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2006, 02:51:22 AM »

And I thought I was the only one who felt this way.  I never understood all the hype for just blu-ray and hd-dvd.  I'd read things about it, educate myself, and in the end I'm still baffled about why anyone cares.  It's not in any way revolutionary like CDs, DVDs, and the Nintendo Wii are (a little fanboyism for you smile).
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2006, 02:54:47 AM »

Why is this in Console Gaming?  Away with ye to Off-Topic!
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2006, 02:56:54 AM »

Right now when I watch anything on HD Cable I am happy, watching a DVD makes me sad. I'm hopeful that one of the hgih def DVD solutions will make me happy when I watch DVDs again.
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2006, 03:18:42 AM »

I put it in Console because I thought it would involve more PS3 discussion (am I the first one to even mention the PS3?).

Anyway, I see the whole replacement thing as one big HUGE reason to not upgrade.  I know people with literally hundreds of DVDs.  Heck, I still have about 90-some audio tapes I still haven't bothered to get the CDs for!
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2006, 04:42:23 AM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
Anyway, I see the whole replacement thing as one big HUGE reason to not upgrade.  I know people with literally hundreds of DVDs.  Heck, I still have about 90-some audio tapes I still haven't bothered to get the CDs for!


No replacement necessary.  Both HD-DVD and Bluray will play your existing DVD collection and will upscale them to 1080i to boot.  I don't think anyone is planning on replacing their entire collections but I'm sure there will be some replacement for titles that really benefit.  The big thing will be to buy new product in the new format.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2006, 06:05:08 AM »

I think digital distribution will overshadow high def dvd (blu or HD) when it starts rolling out in force.  Want to talk quantum leap in convenience?
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2006, 11:10:40 AM »

I'm still struggling to get to where an HDTV purchase maskes sense, much less an HD-DVD player and its accompanying library.
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2006, 12:39:16 PM »

Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
I'm still struggling to get to where an HDTV purchase maskes sense, much less an HD-DVD player and its accompanying library.

For the total geeks who absolutely must have the best in visual quality right now.

I personally am waiting until I see who 'wins' before I purchase any player, period. And that includes the PS3 (although I ain't getting that due to it's insane price anyway).
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2006, 02:58:50 PM »

Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
I'm still struggling to get to where an HDTV purchase maskes sense, much less an HD-DVD player and its accompanying library.

Me too.  I don't have to have the shiny new thing right away so I think I'm going to do well to wait awhile.
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2006, 03:16:23 PM »

Same here. I still have my 8 yr old 32" TV. I must have an anti "keep up with the Joneses gene".
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2006, 05:38:01 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
I'm still struggling to get to where an HDTV purchase maskes sense, much less an HD-DVD player and its accompanying library.

For the total geeks who absolutely must have the best in visual quality right now.


That's the very definition of a niche market!

Quote
I personally am waiting until I see who 'wins' before I purchase any player, period. And that includes the PS3 (although I ain't getting that due to it's insane price anyway).


I hear ya on that one.  I never owned my own PS2, so I was considering getting a PS3 to catch up on PS2 games, then stick around in their current gen as well (BTW, is the PS3 going to be PS compatible?).

I pretty much set my upper limit at about $400, which I thought was pretty high as it was.  Well... $600... um, no.  So now I'll probably get a PS2 sometime this summer; I need to talk to the local GameStop and see if I can swing a deal on a used PS2 with Guitar Hero.

BTW#2- does the 'step up' conversion for DVD to Hi Def DVD look good?  My friend has an HDTV, and regular channels really look like ass.
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2006, 07:18:06 PM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
BTW#2- does the 'step up' conversion for DVD to Hi Def DVD look good?  My friend has an HDTV, and regular channels really look like ass.


Depending on the processor used for conversions the results can be excellent.  Supposedly the Toshiba HD-DVD unit has an upconvert quality on par with the best.  

As for regular channels- they usually will look like ass on HDTV, particularly LCD displays.  Normal DVDs should look very good on HDTVs, however, since they can output at 480p in progressive scan mode which is a significant step up from the 480i that regular TV provides and also features far less compression than most digital cable and satellite systems use.  So the leap between 480p DVD and 1080i upconverted DVD will be less than 480i TV to 480p DVD.  

If your friend's DVDs look like ass on the HDTV then he needs to ensure that he is using component video cables, a progressive scan DVD player, and has properly calibrated the TV.
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2006, 07:55:06 PM »

Considering we still predominantly release pc games on 4-6 cdroms in North America, I can't imagine the GP (general public) embracing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray tech anytime soon.  Heck, my little circle of friends and family are still struggling with the decision to jump to HDTVs.  I was happy when most of my family finally made the transition to dvd.  There's no way in hell they're going to go out and buy HD-DVDs or Blu_Ray players right now.  In fact, I'm confident they have no clue wtf HD-DVD and Blu_Ray are.  Good luck marketing those technologies when probably most consumers are perfectly happy with their current gen dvd players.  This smells like Laserdisc all over again.
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2006, 09:47:36 PM »

Quote from: "Roguetad"
Considering we still predominantly release pc games on 4-6 cdroms in North America, I can't imagine the GP (general public) embracing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray tech anytime soon.  Heck, my little circle of friends and family are still struggling with the decision to jump to HDTVs.  I was happy when most of my family finally made the transition to dvd.  There's no way in hell they're going to go out and buy HD-DVDs or Blu_Ray players right now.  In fact, I'm confident they have no clue wtf HD-DVD and Blu_Ray are.  Good luck marketing those technologies when probably most consumers are perfectly happy with their current gen dvd players.  This smells like Laserdisc all over again.


Exactly!  Most people I know have less than 50 movies in their collection and are loathe to buy DVDs, much less a new technology, the 100+ dollar HDMI cable to hook it up, a new TV to plug it into, and then pay 10 bucks on top of a 'normal' price for DVDs for something they can't visually see a drastic difference.  I couldn't convince my in-laws to do this, not by any stretch.   Non-tech folks are completely unaware of the format war that is going, and frankly...why should they care?
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2006, 10:20:38 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Non-tech folks are completely unaware of the format war that is going, and frankly...why should they care?


They shouldn't.  Just like they really didn't care about DVDs back in 1997.  HD-DVD and Bluray are targeted at niche early adopters right now just like every new tech always is.  But in 2010, when more people will own HDTVs than not and hopefully the format war is long over, you'll probably see players for well under $200 and disc prices comparable to current DVD prices , and maybe at that point some of the "common folk" might start caring. No one, not even the player manufactuers, expects either of these formats to appeal to the general public right now so I'm onot sure why that keeps being brought up.
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2006, 10:24:21 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Quote from: "Roguetad"
Considering we still predominantly release pc games on 4-6 cdroms in North America, I can't imagine the GP (general public) embracing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray tech anytime soon.  Heck, my little circle of friends and family are still struggling with the decision to jump to HDTVs.  I was happy when most of my family finally made the transition to dvd.  There's no way in hell they're going to go out and buy HD-DVDs or Blu_Ray players right now.  In fact, I'm confident they have no clue wtf HD-DVD and Blu_Ray are.  Good luck marketing those technologies when probably most consumers are perfectly happy with their current gen dvd players.  This smells like Laserdisc all over again.


Exactly!  Most people I know have less than 50 movies in their collection and are loathe to buy DVDs, much less a new technology, the 100+ dollar HDMI cable to hook it up, a new TV to plug it into, and then pay 10 bucks on top of a 'normal' price for DVDs for something they can't visually see a drastic difference.  I couldn't convince my in-laws to do this, not by any stretch.   Non-tech folks are completely unaware of the format war that is going, and frankly...why should they care?


I have a lot of DVD's, around 400 at last count, maybe more.  I enjoy movies, that said, I do not own an HDTV yet and probably won't for many years to come.  My TV is 32" Sony, and is about 3 years old now.  It won't be dying I hope for at least 12 years, which means unless I am forced to, I won't be getting an HDTV for another 12 years, therefor there is no reason at all for me to care about HD-DVD or Blu Ray.
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2006, 10:39:55 PM »

Quote
An analysis of the TOSHIBA
SD
Super Density
Digital Video Disc Format
And its success and impact on the consumer market.

By
Patrick T. Chamberlain

As the RCA brochure for the DVD system states, DVD will be "Revolutionary, entertainment excitement!" This is what the industry believes, and it is what the industry wants the consumer to believe. Belief and reality are two different things however. While many hope and pray that the DVD system will be an unqualified success, others see DVD as being a colossal failure and a system that will wreck companies and the consumer video market and take its place in history as the biggest failure of a product in the history of consumer electronics. It may even take several electronic companies down with it.

Why this belief? To answer that, we must take a brief look back at the history of consumer electronics and the people who buy them-- the average American.

RCA spent over $700 million dollars on its SelectaVision CED VideoDisc system, and it ultimately failed. CED had been predicted to be a $9 billion dollar business by 1990, but the system was discontinued in 1984, only 3 years after its introduction. From the beginning of its development in 1968, RCA spent millions on consumer polls to research how the consumer would react to a home videodisc system. Over 1 million people participated in the polls, some even getting to use the prototype VideoDisc products in their homes for limited trial periods. When all the data had been analyzed, it pointed to an unprecedented success on RCA's part and indicated that consumers would rush quickly to the VideoDisc. Even in a last minute market study, 2 months before the launch of CED in March of 1981, the research was encouraging. RCA was going to have a huge success on its hands. But it didn't turn out that way. Customers stayed away in droves. RCA had to quickly slash prices and introduce new models to entice people into stores. Of those that actually bought players and discs, 2/3 of them returned them within 30 days to exchange for a VCR. RCA sold less than 50,000 players the first year on the market and it worked out that RCA spent $2,000.00 in advertising per player sold. The reasons for the failure of the system, while claimed to be complex by some, are actually very simple. The VideoDisc system didn't record, you were forced to purchase your programming instead of renting and program selection was too small. Additionally, although this is claimed to be an insignificant factor, CED had an inferior picture to any then currently available home video system and the discs skipped.

These, I think, are some of the very same reasons that DVD is going to fail in the market.

Since the first Sony Betamax became available in 1976, consumers have cherished the ability to record programs and shows off of television. This even became a war between VHS and Beta over recording times, with consumers expressing preference for VHS because of its longer recording times. An interesting fact about all of this, is that 70% of VCR owners NEVER do any recording whatsoever. They may buy a blank tape or two when they first purchase their new VCR, but thats it. After that, their main use of the VCR is to playback prerecorded programming that they have rented for the evening. Many, many VCR's have never even had a blank tape in them or had their recording function activated. But although most people don't do any recording, they DEMAND that capability in ANY medium they use for playback of home videos. I think it is a feeling of "what good is it if it doesn't record". They know that with their VHS they always have that option to record open to them should they choose to do so. The fact that they don't has no bearing on anything.

Consumers will look at DVD and see that it doesn't record. That will instantly arouse suspicions in their mind that if the movies they want to watch are not available on the DVD discs, then the machine will be useless to them and a waste of money. Just because DVD will have a (supposedly) better picture quality than VHS will play no part in their decision. it doesn't record, therefore, it is crippled and worth less than VHS, which DOES record anytime they want. (VHS playback-only units failed in the market too, and rightly so, just proving my points)

Programming is another area as mentioned above. All the companies involved with DVD are promising a catalog of 250 titles at the launch with maybe 50 to 100 actually available in the stores in the beginning. The coding that DVD uses (MPEG-2) requires 10 minutes of processing to encode 1 minute of program. This means that unless the powers that be have been secretly encoding discs for the last 3 years in preparation for the launch, there is no way they have the time to ready 250 titles by June. (The earliest stated launch date for DVD) Their only choice is to compromise the quality of the encoding by using quicker algorithms that save time while sacrificing picture quality. And even if they do manage to finish 250 movies in time for the launch, what will those movies be? TOP GUN? ROCKY? They will be the same tired movies that everyone already owns and will be loathe to buy again. Also, DVD movies are supposed to have features such as multiple aspect ratios, and different languages and ratings and subtitles. There is really no true hope that any of these features will come to pass on general releases. (which is precisely the titles they will be needed most on if the format is to succeed) At the quoted prices for a 2 hour movie (15 to 20 dollars) no company is going to spend the many thousands of dollars needed to properly prepare all the differing versions of a film that are to be included on a particular DVD disc. It just wouldn't make economic sense for a company to do that. Because the titles available will be ones that people already own, they will naturally sell less than a new release that is still hot from the theaters. This will result in even a bigger cost for companies because the less they sell, the more each feature costs to implement on each title. Also, there is the question of time. Just how much time is it going to take to encode all these additional features onto each disc? if the companies are already pressed for time to get the disc released, then they will most certainly not do any special features.

Another question is, how many consumers actually WANT and USE all the special features that DVD *might* offer? CD players offer all kinds of special programming and playback options, yet most people never touch these features. A cheap VCR is seen as too intimidating to most Americans. They just want to watch the movie, not select different versions, languages and such. The LD market has proven that these extra features are desired, but only by a small segment of the population. The special edition LDs don't even sell to most LD owner/collectors. They are a small segment of an already small market. Are the studios going to spend money on DVD to make discs that only a select few will buy and care to view? NO! The reason they bother with the LD market is that they can charge more for the special disc releases and collectors will pay. But the DVD camp has sold the format as ultimately cheap and there is NO WAY people are going to buy discs for a new format that cost $100.00 per pop. And the companies KNOW they aren't going to sell, so they WONT produce them!

And just where are these differing versions (read:ratings) of films going to come from? A director shoots a film, and in the vast majority of cases, the movie is finished at the rating the director aimed for. Additional scenes are not shot and edited to make differing rating versions of a film. Are the studios going to call back entire casts and crews to revise a film so they can produce a DVD version with differing ratings? If they don't, will the studio elect to do it themselves and edit without the directors approval? I don't think so... This argument alone is enough to shoot the whole "features" aspect of DVD right out the window. The entire goal of Hollywood is and always has been to produce at the lowest cost possible and sell at the highest. Offer as little as possible turn a buck.

Availablitly of titles for rental is another area of concern. How many stores are going to stock DVD and take up selling space that could be better stocked with something else? Why should they even get into it in the first place? They will have a few titles, that, because of low ownership of players, will sit on the shelves doing no rentals. I seriously doubt that most stores will offer DVD for rent for longer than 2 months after the launch.

And now we get into THE most controversial aspect of the entire DVD debate. PICTURE QUALITY, or the lack there of. When DVD was first announced, it was claimed to offer D1 Master Tape quality. A short while later, the companies said it was much better than VHS but worse than LD. Now they have swung the other way again and are claiming D1 quality again. Quite simply, this will be impossible on commercially prepared, feature length films.

The specs for DVD state that it has an average transfer rate of 4.69MBPS,

DVD is just barely capable of LD quality resolution. It has a maximum transfer rate of 10 MBPS, but this can only be sustained for a few moments here and there for very difficult to encode scenes or pictures. The claimed maximum running time at the average data rate is 133 minutes. What about a film that is so complex visually and with so much motion that it requires a very high sustained data rate? How will the companies choose, to reduce the playing time of the disc or cut the data rate and sacrifice picture quality?? Its not a hard question to answer if you have been paying attention thus far.

The DVD demos given to date have been carefully prepared, short demos. No demo has been given of a full length DVD disc. So far, they have all been under 15 minutes. At that timing, the DVD disc can easily encode at the maximum data rate and sustain it for the time required for maximum quality. And even in these *prepared* demos, artifacts in the picture have been easily seen by non-critical viewers! If artifacts are visible at the highest data rates, what will the picture look like at the very low rates needed for a feature length film? One can only guess at the ugliness of it all. Also, in every demo comparing DVD to LD, the LDs used have NOT been commericaly available LD's, but rather, ones made by the companies especially for the demo! Is this not highly suspect??? All witnesses who have seen these staged demos have said that NO LD on the market looks as bad as the LD's the DVD demos used. It is obvious that the companies don't want us to see a real, quality LD compared to a special, tweaked DVD. (which, by the way, is the VERY BEST they can do!) When DVD was compared to VHS, the VHS tape used was a worn rental copy from a local video store! Of course DVD will be expected to look better under these circumstances. Yet in every case, viewers preferred the VHS because it didn't have motion artifacts and strange pixelization artifacts that the DVD had.

Where as the artifacts in analog sources such as VHS and LaserDisc, are static in nature and can be quickly overlooked and "seen thru" when watching a program, DVD artifacts are dynamic and changeable from moment to moment and may even vary each time the disc is played. They are very noticeable and a viewer will not become accustomed to them or learn to "see thru" them. The artifacts will be a constant distraction in the DVD picture. There is another strange artifact in an MPEG-2 picture called "static motion" where a solid background seems to be alive with movement. It takes on a *swimmy* quality and is most unpleasant to view. It is caused the by the various pixels coming and going as the coder varies the bit rate on a moment by moment basis.

So far, the claims of DVD being cheap to produce have been based on the fact that DVD manufacture is pretty much the same as conventional CD replication. But, DVD's are NOT CD's. The data and pit structure of a DVD disc is almost 1/2 the size of that on a CD and 1/2 that of a LaserDisc. The pits on a LD and CD are already among the smallest of all manufactured formations, and it is correct to ask whether or not the companies can make discs to the exacting standards required by DVD in the large quantities and speeds required by the mass market. DVD has a very powerful and sophisticated error correction system built in, but because we are dealing with picture and sound and tracks that are only 1/2 conventional size, errors in disc manufacture will have to be an order of magnitude less than anything that has been achieved to date in CD and LD replication. Errors in the video picture will be very distracting and cause breakup and even more sever pixelation that that caused by the data reduction. Also, because of the fact that everything is half size and the data is already reduced by an incredible amount, errors that would be easily correctable on a CD will be even larger to a DVD and might not be correctable at all, thus requiring interploitation, which WILL be visible in the picture. Where as Digital Error Correction is perfect and invisible, interploitation IS NOT perfect, and very visible. It is just a best guess type of strategy and it used when the defect is so large that the player cant correct it. The one positive aspect of DVD replication is that since a DVD is actually 2 very thin discs bonded together, there will be less material used per layer and that will result in less stress on the plastic and less deformation of the substrate during curing. So, in that respect, DVD is much more robust than a conventional CD.

What will DVD do to the consumer electronics business and the home video business over all? Well, if you were to ask the companies involved, they would tell you, in glowing terms, how DVD will make millions of dollars, cause people to junk their entire systems and buy new, higher quality home theaters so that they can best take advantage of DVD's super duper high quality picture and sound. I think it is going to destroy the market. Why? Companies are looking to DVD as the Great Hope. They are putting all their resources into it, putting all their eggs into one basket, so to speak. When it ultimately fails, they will lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Many companies, such as Sony, who have a recent history of product failures and are already struggling in a tough market, may be taken down from it and go out of business entirely or be forced to downsize and restrict their company to only a few select areas. Smaller companies, such as local mom-and-pop type of video stores, who, believing the DVD hype, jump on the DVD bandwagon, may well face bankruptcy and foreclosure when the market they have invested everything in fails to materialize. Movie studios, who will be releasing their product on DVD, may well cut back on VHS releases or delay release of a film on VHS hoping that the DVD availability and VHS non-availability will push consumers into buying DVD discs and players will also lose when the DVD;s don't sell. Consumers will be angry for having a new and unwanted format forced upon them and will revolt by refusing to buy existing VHS tapes either. Because of the companies releasing DVD;s first, there wont be any new VHS titles to buy, so even for the customer who still wants VHS, it wont be there. The whole market could collapse because of this.

DVD is just a bad idea. It is being forced upon a uncaring and unwanted public and is an inferior product that simply isn't needed or desired. DVD exists only for one reason. Greed. Motion picture studios are always looking for a way to sell the same stuff over and over again and they think DVD is the answer. Electronics giants are always looking for the hot new gadget that will make consumers junk their existing products and they feel that DVD is the answer. Its not. Actually, it is an answer to a non existent question. A question that has never been and never will be asked.
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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2006, 10:41:40 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
I'm still struggling to get to where an HDTV purchase maskes sense, much less an HD-DVD player and its accompanying library.

For the total geeks who absolutely must have the best in visual quality right now.

My apologies.  I wasn't as clear as I could have been.

I understand why people would want to adopt the new tech.  After all, I had a Panasonic A110 DVD player and a dozen movies before anybody else I knew adopted the format.  When I said "still struggling to get where an HDTV purchase makes sense," I was speaking from the financial side of things.  Ever since seeing my first demo unit, I've been behind the HDTV movement.  Unfortunately, I've yet to find a way to sit in front of it.  :wink:
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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2006, 10:42:29 PM »

I have a semi-large collection too and I don't have any urge to upgrade to HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.  I have an HDTV and an upscaling Oppo DVD player which works great.  I'm sure the HD formats are a step above, but I'm content with regular DVD for now.  Maybe in a couple years once the dust settles, I'll take on a new format.

With early Blu-Ray reviews that state :

Quote
Early Blu-Ray titles are forced to be squeezed onto a single-layer disc as the dual-layer discs are proving difficult to manufacture. They are also compressed in MPEG-2 compression and are not quite pushing the envelope of what the technology can do. In the early days, Blu-Ray is disappointing and for nearly half the film, “House of Flying Daggers” echoes that disappointment.


Quote
Blu-Ray on the other hand has been omitting most or all of the value added content from the previous releases. “House of Flying Daggers” manages to keep a small number of the supplements from the DVD, but original discs commentary track, making of featurette, music video and costumes gallery are all lost to the next generation format.


I'm skeptical on going with any one format.   You would think next generation would include more than just upgraded picture and sound.
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« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2006, 11:18:39 PM »

I'm the kind that moves to new tech when it has become 'old' tech.

That is, I'll get an HDtv when HDtvs are all that are being sold.  Just like I'll get an LCD screen for my computer when I finally buy a new monitor because by that time the only monitors being sold(for the most part) are lcd monitors.

This means I'll buy a HD dvd player of some sort when HD dvd players are the only kind being sold.  Logic tells me that by the time that happens, one standard or the other will have won out.

Most of my family and friends are the same, and I'm the technophile of the bunch!

I think it's too early to say it's dead in the water, it could just be ahead of its time.  Realistically I don't think the industry expects widespread public acceptance yet, especially since there isn't widespread public acceptance of the tvs necessary to watch them.  I think it's just a case of pre-emptive positioning, companies wanting to be primed and ready for when the HD wave breaks loose once and for all.
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« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2006, 11:59:54 PM »

I think what really killed VideoDisc was that, while being higher quality, did not allow people to record TV like their competitor did.  And even that improved quality wasn't noticable to anyone but the biggest technophile.

Let's face it: they lost because it wasn't a recordable format.  And that is probably why the struggle for the next generation is going to be a net loser for DVD.  Digital formats are bringing back the ability to record, and that feature will always beat out a read-only format.  Especially since you can just transfer the digital format to and from the read only format.  All it takes is that next logical step of cutting out the middleman of the read-only format.

TiVo, or it's spiritual successor, will eventually defeat DVDs.  Apple has finally done an excellent job of placing themselves where the money will be, which they havent done since the early personal computer days.

[edit] And I guess we may as well add that already-existing digital formats already greatly surpass even the quality of the next-gen DVD formats.
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« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2006, 12:49:54 AM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
I think what really killed VideoDisc was that, while being higher quality, did not allow people to record TV like their competitor did.  And even that improved quality wasn't noticable to anyone but the biggest technophile.

Let's face it: they lost because it wasn't a recordable format.  And that is probably why the struggle for the next generation is going to be a net loser for DVD.  Digital formats are bringing back the ability to record, and that feature will always beat out a read-only format.  Especially since you can just transfer the digital format to and from the read only format.  All it takes is that next logical step of cutting out the middleman of the read-only format.


Quote from: "1996 Argument against DVDs"
Consumers will look at DVD and see that it doesn't record. That will instantly arouse suspicions in their mind that if the movies they want to watch are not available on the DVD discs, then the machine will be useless to them and a waste of money. Just because DVD will have a (supposedly) better picture quality than VHS will play no part in their decision. it doesn't record, therefore, it is crippled and worth less than VHS, which DOES record anytime they want. (VHS playback-only units failed in the market too, and rightly so, just proving my points)


Recordable Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players are on the horizon.


Quote from: "unbreakable"
TiVo, or it's spiritual successor, will eventually defeat DVDs.  Apple has finally done an excellent job of placing themselves where the money will be, which they havent done since the early personal computer days.

[edit] And I guess we may as well add that already-existing digital formats already greatly surpass even the quality of the next-gen DVD formats.


Movie studios aren't going to allow downloads of movies in anything approaching HD quality any time soon. Studios are fine with $1 downloads of TV episodes at 320x240. You're not going to be able to download Superman Returns at 1920 x 1080 until some sort of foolproof DRM is in place. And that DRM will likely be unpalatable to most consumers.

You might see on-demand distribution through cable set-top boxes, but that's just starting to roll out now and will not likely affect next-gen formats. The successor to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD maybe.
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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2006, 12:59:30 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Movie studios aren't going to allow downloads of movies in anything approaching HD quality any time soon. Studios are fine with $1 downloads of TV episodes at 320x240. You're not going to be able to download Superman Returns at 1920 x 1080 until some sort of foolproof DRM is in place. And that DRM will likely be unpalatable to most consumers.

In addition, can you think of the bandwith? I know my 'net connection is rather fast, but can you imagine how long it would take to pull a 25-50GB movie?

And for that matter, if I remember right, my ISP (Cox@home) will bitch if I pull ~50GB in a single month (give or take a dozen GB).
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« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2006, 01:30:01 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Recordable Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players are on the horizon.


That's actually pretty cool, I did not hear that.

Quote from: "unbreakable"
Movie studios aren't going to allow downloads of movies in anything approaching HD quality any time soon. Studios are fine with $1 downloads of TV episodes at 320x240. You're not going to be able to download Superman Returns at 1920 x 1080 until some sort of foolproof DRM is in place. And that DRM will likely be unpalatable to most consumers.

You might see on-demand distribution through cable set-top boxes, but that's just starting to roll out now and will not likely affect next-gen formats. The successor to Blu-Ray or HD-DVD maybe.


I have Windows Media Center; my quality already surpasses that.  So do many other DVR methods.

But even now, I can totally see video on demand completely supplanting even channel based programming.

What if, in the future, you are only watching what you feel like?  Your buddy tells you about some cool show he saw last week, so you queue it up and watch it when you get home.  Or you feel like watching Blazing Saddles again, or something.  When on-demand finally arrives, why is someone going to be content to just passively watch whatever the station is showing?  

I know people who are already addicted to sites like YouTube.  The future is in viral content.  Channel programming was always just along for the ride on word of mouth anyway, except they were able to push tag-along programming.  Future content providers will probably excercise some kind of control that way by suggesting "If you liked this, you may also like", or with ranked content lists, just like websites are doing right now.

The only downside... get ready for a whole lot more product placement inside shows.
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« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2006, 02:22:52 AM »

Quote
I have Windows Media Center; my quality already surpasses that.  So do many other DVR methods.


How are you using WMC? Are you using it with an ATSC tuner to capture OTA HD signals? Or are you downloading stuff from the net? Blu-Ray and HD surpasses OTA HD and will provide a noticable bump in picture quality. If you're downloading HD from the net it's probably encoded at such a low bit-rate that its not anywhere near what you'll see with the next-gen formats.

Which DVRs are you talking about? Satellite and cable companies offer a few HD-DVR functionality built into set top boxes, but all off the shelf DVRs are still SD.
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« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2006, 02:48:40 AM »

I'm using MCE with a TV tuner card.

I don't have a high-def tuner card, but they are out there now.  I get free cable with my apartment [it's legit, not pirated], but the signal is not high-def, and I would rather stick with the free stuff right now.

I'm not the best person to talk to when it comes to comparing this standard to that; I partially went with the mce/tuner card setup because all the research started making my brain ache  Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2006, 03:01:26 AM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
I'm using MCE with a TV tuner card.

I don't have a high-def tuner card, but they are out there now.  I'm not the best person to talk to when it comes to comparing this standard to that; I went with the mce/tuner card setup because all the research started making my brain ache  Tongue


If you're using a standard TV tuner card then you're viewing material at 640x480 and the source material is interlaced, which means that only half the number of horizontal lines are drawn in one pass. Even if MCE upscales and de-interlaces the picture to display on your computer's monitor, you're still limited by the source material. True HD material is encoded at either 1280x720 at 60 frames a second or 1920x1080 at 30 frames a second. It's a huge bump in picture quality.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2006, 04:38:44 AM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
In addition, can you think of the bandwith? I know my 'net connection is rather fast, but can you imagine how long it would take to pull a 25-50GB movie?

And for that matter, if I remember right, my ISP (Cox@home) will bitch if I pull ~50GB in a single month (give or take a dozen GB).


Exactly.  I'm tired of seeing the argument that HD-DVD/Bluray won't catch on because instead we'll just be downloading the content.  Our infrastructure just isn't designed to download the 25+ GB per movie that we'll be getting on next gen optical.  And, as Andrew mentioned, some much more full proof DRM needs to be in place first for studios to allow it..  Not to mention solving storage problems since a sizable movie collection would tear through even large HDDs.  

High Def movie downloads will happen, but I think it's pretty far off for now.
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« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2006, 04:48:32 AM »

Who said anything about Hi-Def movie downloads?  I'm saying that movie downloads, high-def or no, will outpace Hi-Def physical media in adoption rate- people will be more interested in the convenience of not having to even get out of their chair for a new movie.

Look at online music downloads- poorer quality of sound on mp3s and the other formats that are popular these days than a CD.  However, music downloading is growing at an exponential rate and CD sales are steadily declining. Do you think that  even if a new physical format that was vastly superior to CDs were introduced at the same time as iTunes and the iPod the outcome would be any different?
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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2006, 05:14:43 AM »

Quote from: "th'FOOL"
Who said anything about Hi-Def movie downloads?  I'm saying that movie downloads, high-def or no, will outpace Hi-Def physical media in adoption rate- people will be more interested in the convenience of not having to even get out of their chair for a new movie.

Look at online music downloads- poorer quality of sound on mp3s and the other formats that are popular these days than a CD.  However, music downloading is growing at an exponential rate and CD sales are steadily declining. Do you think that  even if a new physical format that was vastly superior to CDs were introduced at the same time as iTunes and the iPod the outcome would be any different?


There are some big problems with this. First, it's getting the content from the computer to the TV. People in here are complaining about how confusing Blu-Ray and HD are for the average consumer--imagine trying to tell them how to convert that xvid video into MPEG-2 and burn it to a DVD--if they even have a player that will play write-once or rewritable media.

The second opti0on would be to  uss some sort of media extender to hook the computer to the TV. Look at how much trouble people had getting Media Connect to interface with their 360. People don't have the understanding of how to connect the PC to the TV over a home network and they definitely aren't going to hook their computer directly to the TV.

Finally, most downloaded videos are going to look like ass on a normal TV, unless they are encoded at normal TV resolutions at a relatively high bit rate. You're talking 500 MB to 1 GB at the very least for the average movie. That would take most people several hours to download over their high speed connection. Most people can go to the video store and get dinner faster than it would take to download that.

EDIT: Of course, one of the biggest road blocks to downloadable movies and TV is that there won't be any legal way to do it. Studios just aren't going to release high-quality versions of movies and TV shows as pay downloads. Studios are experimenting with streaming TV, but the market for that will be limited. Like with video iPods, it's a niche. People just aren't going to want to watch this stuff on their computer on a regular basis.
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« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2006, 05:30:46 AM »

Honestly, once the distribution method is established (via Apple's upcoming movie download store or the rumored Netflix one, among others) we will see a large amount of hardware that eliminates much of these problems, tho.  Certainly, the Mac Mini is already almost there and can plug into a television right out of the box.  Once someone establishes distribution methods we will see other set-top boxes in droves, even cheaper in cost than the mini to be sure.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of the distribution methods uses Live marketplace as well.

The hardware is out there and already been simplified to a large degree by at least one company, it's the distribution method (and the deal-making with the studios) that we are waiting on.
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« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2006, 05:44:42 AM »

Quote from: "th'FOOL"
Who said anything about Hi-Def movie downloads?  I'm saying that movie downloads, high-def or no, will outpace Hi-Def physical media in adoption rate- people will be more interested in the convenience of not having to even get out of their chair for a new movie.

Look at online music downloads- poorer quality of sound on mp3s and the other formats that are popular these days than a CD.  However, music downloading is growing at an exponential rate and CD sales are steadily declining. Do you think that  even if a new physical format that was vastly superior to CDs were introduced at the same time as iTunes and the iPod the outcome would be any different?


No, because music by its very nature is portable friendly.  Most people listen to music in the car, while exercising, etc so it makes sense to gravitate toward the format most convenient for that which is downloadable and smaller is better since it means that you can fit more content onto the portable device in question.  

Video isn't portable.  Yeah, its neat to have on the iPod/PSP/what have you, but it certainly isn't practical while driving, running, etc not to mention that the much longer duration of videos (especially 2 hour movies) aren't friendly to portable viewing either.

Just look at where technology is going in both sectors- portable MP3 players (the iPod in particular) are all of the rage in music hardware and that's what's going to drive music content sales.  In the video domain. TV screen sizes are expanding with a corresponding bump in resolution.  With larger screen sizes the apparent difference between 480i SD content and 1080/720 HD content is far more obvious to most than the difference between a 128 kbps MP3 and CD audio.  And most people *will* be exposed to HD content even without HD-DVD/Bluray since most cable companies are offering HD channels to almost no charge these days.
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« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2006, 05:56:42 AM »

Quote from: "th'FOOL"
The hardware is out there and already been simplified to a large degree by at least one company, it's the distribution method (and the deal-making with the studios) that we are waiting on.


Meanwhile both HD-DVD and Bluray are on the market.  Yeah there is a format war and both launches have their stumbles but those will be worked out.

And speaking of  format wars-  Then welcome to the world of online video.  Everybody and their mother is using competing DRMs and different video services to deliver the content.  The networks have certainly embraced online distro for television but the problem is that they all have done it in different ways.  

Again, online distibution of video is clearly the future.  But I think it's a helluva lot farther from the mainstream than most people on sites like these (ie geeks) think.
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« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2006, 06:22:18 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
If you're using a standard TV tuner card then you're viewing material at 640x480 and the source material is interlaced, which means that only half the number of horizontal lines are drawn in one pass. Even if MCE upscales and de-interlaces the picture to display on your computer's monitor, you're still limited by the source material. True HD material is encoded at either 1280x720 at 60 frames a second or 1920x1080 at 30 frames a second. It's a huge bump in picture quality.


I don't think I said my setup was as good as it could possibly be; that I certainly know.  I'm not going to look back and see what I said, but what I meant to say was that computers are already capable, with existing formats, of being more detailed than HD content (given the proper equipment).  My current setup can display 1680x1050, and I'm not even using top of the line equipment.

I have no idea what resolution digital video recorders can get up to, but I'm willing to bet it has already blown past what HDTV can display.
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