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Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part I

Posted February 20, 2008 5:00 AM by Kaplin

As expected, Toshiba has officially withdrawn from the HD DVD business this week. This comes a little over a month after Warner's big announcement to support only the Blu-ray disc format. There are many reasons that a Blu-ray win means a consumers loss, I'll try to go into some of them in this article.

HD DVD was a finished product from the start where as we're still waiting for a Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player. Blu-ray has 3 "profile standards"; the original was Profile 1.0 (also known as "Grace Period Profile"), which has a very basic set of features that don't provide for Picture-in-Picture capability or an Ethernet connection for online features. Now we are starting to see Profile 1.1 players, known as "Final Standard Profile." By that name you would figure that is the "final" profile as the name states. WRONG. Profile 1.1 includes a secondary video decoder, which allows for Picture-in-Picture bonus features but still lacks an Ethernet connection. Finally, Profile 2.0 also known as "BD-Live" includes the Ethernet connection for movie updates, new movie trailers, online discussions, and other features requiring an internet connection.

Currently only the Playstation 3 (PS3) is updatable to Profile 2.0, due to the computer processor and built-in internet connection. This leaves other Consumer Electronics (CE) vendors scrambling to create a player as full featured as the PS3 and at a competitive price. It is widely known that for the first few years on the market, game console makers take a loss on the hardware hoping to make it up with game sales.

HD DVD hardware and software are cheaper and easier to produce. Hardware prices for 3rd generation HD DVD players started at $150, where as current generation Blu-ray players cost $400 and up. You can find older Blu-ray players for less than that, but those players have major issues. Players like the Samsung BDP-1200 are currently the center of a class action lawsuit for not working properly on all Blu-ray discs. This is a direct result of it being a Profile 1.0 player and not being able to play newer discs that include Profile 1.1 features.

HD DVD discs are cheaper to produce due to a number of factors, the first one being that regular DVD replication lines can be converted into HD DVD replication lines fairly easily and cheaply. For Blu-ray discs, a complete new line is needed, which leads to much higher startup costs. There were also many reports saying the yield for Blu-ray discs was around 40%, with more than half of the discs coming off the manufacturing line being thrown in the garbage. Sony has gotten the yield rate up, but the larger 50GB discs still have some yield problems.

HD DVD/DVD provides combo discs. Another bonus for HD DVD is they can produce discs with HD DVD on one side and DVD on the other side. This brings the cost of the HD DVD up a little bit, but the combo disc prices are equal to most Blu-ray discs. This does eliminate the benefit of cheaper media, but gives people the versatility to watch the movie in the car or any other their other regular DVD players.

HD DVD has no region coding, which means you can purchase movies from anywhere in the world and be confident you can watch the movies on your player. This is especially important for people living in Europe and smaller countries, which don't have huge Hollywood blockbusters and must wait a long time for movies to be released in their country.

Cheaper licensing fees. Sony/Phillips charges a $30 licensing fee for each Blu-ray drive, whereas Toshiba only charged $18 for each HD DVD drive. Considering regular DVD players can be had for as little as $50 now, it seems that with a $30 royalty fee Blu-ray players will have a hard time ever making it to that price level. Electronics companies creating regular DVD players are being charged a $5 fee.

HDi vs. BDj. HDi and BDj do the same thing but are very different. HDi was developed by Microsoft as the interactivity layer of HD DVD. This is the programming environment that is used to create all the special features and menus on HD DVD discs. HDi is based on XML, HTML, and CSS, as they are widely known web standards that are easy to learn. BDj is the programming language used for Blu-ray discs, which uses Java programming. Java is a more complex language and incurs a greater cost to companies that need to hire a more experienced programmer.

Even though Blu-ray has "won" the high definition format war, many companies aren't too high on the expected outlook for the format. Consumers on the whole seem fine with DVD and see no reason to upgrade. One of my friends even came over a few months ago saying they got a HD DVD player for Christmas. When I inquired about which one, I found out it wasn't an HD DVD player at all, but an upconverting DVD player that doesn't play the new discs. I have seen many other stories posted online that convey similar situations. This just shows that consumers are still clueless about the differences between SD and HD. Many consumers don't yet have an HDTV and many of the ones that do don't realize that a regular DVD will not play in HD just because you have an HDTV.

Check back next week to find out about the decline of HD DVD, and what we can expect in the future…

Editor's Note: Click here to read Part 2 of this story.

Resources:
High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray Profiles Explained
Blu-ray vs HD DVD replication costs analyzed
Why HD DVD is more technically advanced than Blu-ray

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#1

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 3:55 PM

The porn industry started moving towards Blu-ray about six months ago. After that, the death knell of HD DVD was a foregone conclusion. Since porn videos outsell those from Hollywood, Toshiba knew it was licked. The same thing happened in the early 1980s when the porn industry chose VHS over Beta.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:02 PM

There are currently 63 adult HD DVDs available in the US compared with 18 adult Blu-rays. The reason adult video producers got a late start on Blu-ray is Disney refuses to use any replication plant that also replicates adult movies.

Being that Blu-ray replication lines were limited this left an even smaller number of manufacturers willing to produce porn for Blu-ray. This situation has now changed but I don't belive the adult industry had much of an impact this time around.

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Anonymous Poster
#23
In reply to #2

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:50 PM

HD DvD rocks!!! whooo

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:06 PM

Come on.... Last thing the internet needs is another blogger without his facts straight. Blu ray starts @ $400?! Shame on this site for letting a hack contribute.

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:14 PM

I said older players could be had for about $200. You might find the Sony BDP-300 on sale for $300 but it's a Profile 1.0 and they have a newer model. It's $400 on Best Buy and Circuit City right now.

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Anonymous Poster
#8
In reply to #6

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:17 PM

Brand New Sharp Blu-ray player available on Amazon right now for $313. Current model.

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:17 PM

On Best Buy's website the lowest priced Blu-ray player is $399.00...

Also, on Blu-ray.com the 40G player is $399. While on their site you will notice the
Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray Player for $295.40, but that is the player that Blu-ray is getting sued over.


Before you declare someone a hack, look at the facts for yourself.

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#14
In reply to #3

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:38 PM

I'd rather hear from a "hack" who has his facts straight than from yet another anonymous coward who hurls insults and can't be bothered to register.

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#4

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:09 PM

Eventually most of us economist that appreciate the better things in life will convert our entertainment system over to a high quality video format. Without following predictions that the porn industry will dictate the next wave of mass media production should I wait to buy a combo player that plays blue ray 2.0 as well as HD DVD's? Aren't monopoly's a thing of the past?

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Anonymous Poster
#15
In reply to #4

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:39 PM

Yes, monopolies are a thing of the past now that Toshiba has ended HD DVD.

They were the only ones to make an HD DVD player. The components and the R&D in all the other players, the LG dual, the Samsung dual, the Onkyo, the Venturer and the RCA were all Toshiba designs.

All the current Blu-ray players are independant R&D models.

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:10 PM

I couldn't disagree more with your statements.

With the vastly superior technical aspects of bluray such as capacity and bitrate as well as the copywrite protection and region coding it offered to studios from a technological viewpoint bluray was superior. The only advantage for HDDVD was that it came out with PiP and internet connectivity earlier then bluray. Neither of these feature effect the primary purpose of watching these movies and are nothing more then gimicky features.

Now, add in the fact the bluray was found on the PS3...which was selling millions more then any standalone, no matter how cheap, and that practically all hardware manufactures and a majority of studios were on board made HDDVD winning out an inevitibility. The sole reason HDDVD managed to hang around as long as it did was because it bought out paramount/dreamworks support for an alledge 150 million dollars late in the game, and dropped the price of their players to rediculous low levels in an attempt to compete. Yet even that failed.

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:15 PM

Many have claimed HDi is better than BD-java, but to a software developer it's like comparing chalk and cheese. As you say, XML, HTML, and CSS are widely known web standards. They are not a programming environment though, they are for suited for largely static page layout or in the case HD-DVD, menu layout. You need a real programming language to do any dynamic content and this is where HDi uses Javascript. This is also a popular widely known web standard.

Don't let the name confuse you, Javascript is nothing to do with Java but it is used for the same purpose in HD-DVD that Java is used for in Blu-ray. The difference is that Javasciprt is a light and simple language designed for web use where as Java is a fully capable high-level langauge designed for implementing real world applications and games. Yes, Java is more complicated, but it is also far more capable and powerful. Java is definitely not as easy for a "web developer", but most software developers will have experienced Java at some point during their training and for such developers it's not especially difficult. Saying HDi is better than Java is kind of like saying a land line is as better than a cell phone. They are entirely different things aimed at different markets and Java will provide significantly more functionality going forward.

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Anonymous Poster
#10

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:18 PM

Porn isn't as important anymore.

Porn may still sell discs like crazy, but with the abundance of pornography media sources on the internet, sales impacts are considerably lower than with VHS and Beta AND lower than DVD.

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Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:22 PM

It's the same whining heard from every other early adopter stuck with a Betamax now. A lot of FUD too boot. HD DVD lost. Get over it.

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#12

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:33 PM

I agree that HD-DVD was a fully-baked format from the beginning, while Blu-ray still remains very much half-baked. It is definitely unfortunate, from a purely technology stand point, that we now have to wait for Profile 2.0 to essentially get "back" the features HD-DVD already provided, there is no doubt about that.

At the end of the day, the software is so important to the success of the technology in the video game and movie industries, though, and as a comsumer you have to follow the software so it looks like that's what we'll have to do with Blu-ray now.

As for the supposed capacity and bitrate advantages of Blu over Red, Red was still the only ones with 3 and 4 layer discs out and ready to use, so techically HD-DVD had them in capacity, too. Not a big deal, though, in the long run.

As for the comments people are leaving, I don't think the OP is saying anything along the lines of being bitter of the loss or even why Blu-ray shouldn't have succeeded, just that from a purely technology (and even end-user) standpoint, it would have made more sense for the studios to get red, not blue.

In the end, maybe Toshiba didn't have the right marketing in place, and maybe Microsoft was too "silent" a partner for the red camp's efforts. Maybe the Disney deal was a killer out of the gate. Maybe blu's numbers from PS3 sales along was enough to convince studios it was a winner (when truth is most PS3 owners don't even know what a Blu-ray movie is, I'm sure).

Whatever it was, though, it's definetly true that HD-DVD was poised from a technology standpoint to be the winner, and the studios decided otherwise.

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:43 PM

Plus it looks like Microsoft will continue to collect money for the VC-1 codec in Blu-ray anyway so really Toshiba is the biggest loser in all this, and the door is still open for MS to put Blu-ray on the Xbox360 after all.

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Anonymous Poster
#13

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:36 PM

Sorry your format lost, but the best format won. Let's look into your arguments which are the usual talking points of HD DVD supporters that hold little weight in reality and show the constant reader where all the holes lie.

You don't even have the profiles correct. You make it sound like units without profile 2.0 don't have an ethernet port, yet the 1.0 "grace period" player that I have, the BD-P1400 from Samsung, has an ethernet port which is hooked up to my router and I use it to download firmware updates. I also have a PlayStation 3 and will be picking up a DMP-BD50 later this year, the Pansonic profile 2.0 player. I will check out the internet features because I have it hooked up properly, but many will not bother. The need for firmware upgrades will have disappeared by the time the general consumer picks up a BD player in 2 years from now and so too will any need to know what profiles mean what. In addition any 2.0 content from a disc can be downloaded onto an SD Card and plugged into the SD port on the profile 1.1 player and it will utilize it, whether it's new trailers, deleted scenes, additional commentary, etc. Yes it will miss out on online discussions, but who wants to chat with other users during a movie? It's one of the reasons I don't go to the cinema anymore so I don't have to tell anyone to shut up!

The PS3 is not updatable to 2.0 because of the processor and WiFi! Firstly, not all PS3's have WiFi!! It's upgradable to 2.0 because of the Hard Drive and because it has an ethernet connection. The requirements for 2.0 are the same as 1.1 as well as 1GB of storage and an ethernet connection. The processor has nothing to do with it.

Cinram states currently that their yields on BD25's are up to 95% and BD50's are up to 90%. They have modified the protective coating which has resulted in this increase in yields. You can confirm this with any number of previous naysayers on AVS, including David Vaughn.

The much higher start-up costs for the replication lines are not passed through to either the studio or the consumer, they are only applicable to the replication plant. Cinram for example has just added several BD50 lines to their lines already in existence and by this summer BD50 capacity will be up over 500% from the previous summer.

None of the studios supporting Blu-ray have asked for Combo discs and in fact it's fair to say that the only studio that kept supporting combo discs was Universal. Most HD DVD supporters stated in several online public polls that they would be happier paying for just the HD DVD disc for $5 less. JVC had a hybrid (not a flipper) BD25/DVD9 disc on display at IFA Berlin 2005, but to date none of the studios have asked for this to be a feasible format. However it certainly could be done as SonyDADC have done a triple-layer hybrid disc before with Hybrid SACD discs, contaning a CD layer, stereo SACD layer and multi-channel SACD layer.

There are plenty of Blu-ray discs without region coding and there are only two region codes anyway on Blu-ray, with the "bootleg countries" taking up a third region code. The problem is nowhere near on the same scale as it was with DVD and let's not forget that nearly all studios release their catalogue titles with no region coding. The argument is barely worth mentioning unless you leave out all the pertinent information, which you have done.

BD Java does not incur a greater cost, it's actually more flexible and once in use can be re-copied into other menu applications, which HDi cannot. Once programmers master BD-Java its a much quicker solution. Ensequence and Sony have joined together to create Ensequence on-Q Create software, which allows for content developers and resellers to use the more flexible and creative BD-Java software in a much more easier programming interface.

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Anonymous Poster
#17
In reply to #13

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 4:59 PM

The Samsung with an ethernet port is NOT for Profile 2.0 features. It only works for firmware updates. Plus I don't see firmware updates going away, maybe just a little less frequent.

Blu-ray discs don't have combos because they would need authorization from the DVD forum and I belive with extra coating on the Blu-ray discs makes it near impossible.

And that "protective coating" on blu-ray discs is only because the data is so close to the disc surface they don't have a choice but to put an extra coating on it. For DVD and HD DVD it is not necessary.

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Anonymous Poster
#22
In reply to #17

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:28 PM

That's exactly what I said, the ethernet port is for firmware features.

It was to show that Mike Kaplin doesn't have all his facts straight about profiles, or about what is needed in order to have 2.0. He suggests the processesor and WiFi are the reasons why the PS3 will get 2.0, which is incorrect. The 1GB of storage and ethernet connection are why.

He says that 2.0 brings about an ethernet port, which is not the case. It's required to have in 2.0, but it doesn't mean that pre-2.0 players do not have ethernet ports. The fact that they cannot be used for BD-Live features is irrelevant in the point I was making.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 6:01 PM

Read it again, that person wasn't agreeing with you. 2.0 requires an ethernet port, I never said none of the earlier players had one. And just cause that older player had an ethernet port, it still can't be used for any 2.0 features, my comment in the OP about it was directly related to the 2.0 features.

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Anonymous Poster
#36
In reply to #24

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 11:58 AM

Then you should have worded it that way.

You still cocked up all the parts about why the PS3 is 2.0 profile compatible. It has nothing to do with WiFi or the processor.

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#18

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:05 PM

Hi guys! This is picture of my TV, how does the Blu-Rays vs. HDDVDs affect me?

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:08 PM

Based on recent events it is a pretty good match for an HD-DVD player at the bottom of the dumpster. And with those rabbit ears peeking out the back, it's a nice candidate for the 2009 OTA analog shut-off, too.

Citizen, too. I hope it at least keeps good time.

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Anonymous Poster
#20

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:20 PM

Combo discs may sound great, but no one wants to pay more for a hi def disc so they can watch the standard def side in the car. like you said, people prefer cheaper priced products. so would you prefer to get the stand alone hi def movie or a higher priced combo disc? people didn't choose to buy the combo discs, it was because the title was released first as combo disc only with no option to get just the movie in Hi def. only much later was the combo-less disc released. If released side by side, would you choose to get the combo disc?

No region coding is one reason why hd dvd didn't gain more studio support. region coding was put in place on dvd by the studios so they could space out their releases for different markets to maximize their investment. Importing movies hurts local markets in ticket and domestic release sales when you can import from america before the movie comes out locally(europe in this example) on dvd or even in the theater in some cases. That's exactly why studios had region coding implemented.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 5:28 PM

I admit combo discs didn't go over very well due to the increased cost, but those discs still costs the same as most Blu-ray new releases ($24.95 or 27.95 on Amazon).

If the TL51 discs ever got off the ground they would have both formats on the same side.

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Anonymous Poster
#25

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 6:02 PM

Hi there - I m a guest from HIDEF DIGEST (HDD) (Blu-heaven) - and I like to say your Blog FAIL!!! and their you are posting FUD again...

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#32
In reply to #25

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 8:20 AM

And there you are being an anonymous coward again. You've done nothing to advance the discussion other to say "I'm right and you're wrong".

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Anonymous Poster
#26

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 7:06 PM

Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD are both miserable failures as far as the overall numbers in home video sales suggest. Poor marketing, bad consumer understanding of so called "next" generation formats will be the ultimate downfall of HD-DVD (now) and Blu-ray in the future. For the record I own both formats, so I'm non-biased in favor of either.

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Anonymous Poster
#27

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 7:10 PM

Toshiba took a few hundred dollar loss per machine after they started discounting prices in November. They had no choice since they were so far behind BR in players sold, even before you factor in the 10 million plus PS3's out there. The great prices you rave about were only available for a period of ~3 months and only for one of two reasons.

1. Toshiba panicking about their low installed hardware base.

2. Toshiba were minimizing their losses before closing up shop.

TL51, or triple layer 51GB HDDVD's are vaporware. No one has made one or a player at all, just a pipe dream that was being researched.

TDK has already developed and produced a 200GB BR disc. You can google it :D

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#28

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 8:17 PM

In this war, Sony won.

but why they name their format as Blu-Ray? no e in it. i.e. not blue-ray, why?

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Anonymous Poster
#29
In reply to #28

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 9:38 PM

But aren't the low prices a result of Toshiba trying to get people to buy HD DVD? If anything it goes to show how bad Toshiba was losing to cut prices and prob not making any profit from them.

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Anonymous Poster
#38
In reply to #28

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 11:59 AM

You cannot copyright an everyday term. "Blue" is an everyday term.

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Anonymous Poster
#30

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/20/2008 10:10 PM

HD DVD - The Look and Sound of "Finished".

Seriously, Mike, if you were truly familiar with technology, you'd realize that "finished" is another term for commoditized, and a sure way to destroy innovation and interest. The PC is the most successful gadget that proves this point. After almost 3 decades, we find that the x86 based PC ecosystem is STILL not finished.

Technology by definition is about change. If the platform has no room for change, there is no room to upsell, no room to innovate and in the end, it will die a quck death.

If we look around at AV receivers, DVD players, VHS, Video8, we find that all these devices enjoyed reasonable growth, R&D expenditures and continued innovation precisely because they were launched unfinished and there was room for new features. Why do you think Toshiba alone is the only CE manufacturer making HD DVD players. Why is Panasonic, Pioneer, Sharp, Hitachi, Sony all making BD players.

So next time a product is launched with "finished" specs, don't walk, RUN away, it is doomed.

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Anonymous Poster
#31
In reply to #30

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 12:20 AM

I see what you're getting at, but I wouldn't call HD-DVD a "finished" spec. It was just well ahead (and still is) in comparison to what Blu-ray was offering, feature wise.

It's failure has nothing to do with it's capaiblities, it was entirely 100% software based.

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Anonymous Poster
#55
In reply to #31

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/22/2008 10:35 PM

Actually, that's a good point, HD DVD was not really a finished spec, yet in it's rush to find some tangible advantage over BD, the term 'finished spec' was brought to bear. In reality, being unfinished is an advantage as that implies ability to grow the format.


Neither DVD nor VHS ever made claims to be 'finished specs'. VHS added 4-head ffwd, hifi-stereo among other innovations, DVD added AC3 decoding, DTS streaming. Those things are needed for a healthy growing product and any attempt to ignore this reality is misguided for a manufacturer.

The 51GB extension for example, is an attempt to grow, yet it was done too late since by then the idea of 'finished spec' sort of stuck and caused HD DVD untold damage in the form or reduced CE interest (who else makes hd dvd players?), along with premature commoditization (noone can make money building one, further driving away partners).

So this is what happens when wrong product marketing goes horribly wrong.

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Anonymous Poster
#33

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 10:03 AM

Alot of items omitted on someone's opinion more than an actual factual examination of the reason why HD DVD failed.

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Anonymous Poster
#34
In reply to #33

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 10:32 AM

Blu only won because they dug deep into there pockets to pay off retailers and studios . Toshiba wouldnt sink that low to save face. if Sony and blu lost they would have to committ Hari Kari! (remeber all there(Sonys) other blunders?)

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#35

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 10:55 AM

Well, at least I'll have something to add to my museum - somewhere between my Lear 4-track player, my Atari, and my Sony Beta-max machine...

What can I say; one day I'll put a Blu-ray player up there on the same shelf, because the only constant is change. The most bothersome thing is this - no matter which format wins out, all of the media (music, movies, vid-games, etc.) will have to be converted to the new format. Talk about expensive? The WHOLE library...

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 11:58 AM

You nailed it.

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#39
In reply to #35

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 12:03 PM

Why would you need to convert anything?
Your DVD's will play on your Blu-ray player.

If the next format utilizes a physical disc it will likely be able to play your CD's, DVD's, Blu-ray Discs and whatever the next format is.

Plus the next format could still be on a BLu-ray Disc. With the possibility of the next Blu-ray Disc being 10 layers and 33.5GB/layer with 288 Mbps bandwidth, it would easily handle 2160p24. The audio will not change much over the next 20 years in Hollywood - if anything it will go from 24/48 to 24/96, but that doubles all storage space which is why there is no real movement to increase at the major studios.

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#47
In reply to #39

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 4:02 PM

Nah - the next viable format is likely to be a terabyte storage device shaped like a sugar cube. Why do you feel so attached to the shining spinning discs? Disco fever?

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#49
In reply to #47

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 4:13 PM

I vote for nano-bots that will download directly to your optic nerve. No play-back device required and you can carry your entire library with you at all times!

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#40

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 12:35 PM

So my question is: has anyone watched a standard DVD playing on an up-convert player side-by-side with the same movie on Blu-Ray? (Both on an HDTV, of course.) Is the added expense for a true HD format worthwhile?

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 1:20 PM

On my 51" television, there is a noticeable difference for sure. Up-convert is, and always will be, a technology designed to make something out of nothing, and when you're talking 480i upconvert vs. native 1080p, yes it's very noticible on a large enough HDTV.

Besides, all fixed-resolution displays will upconvert anyway, so that $800 upconvert DVD player will look roughly the same as that $40 one, too.

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#42
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Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 2:44 PM

Alright, thanks!

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#43

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 2:59 PM

Get over it. It is just a shiny disc that plays movies. Dedicating hours to blog about it is sad.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 3:07 PM

But not as sad as your need to attempt to flame us.

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#45
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Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 3:09 PM

I agree, if the blog was so bothersome to you then why did you read it?

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#46
In reply to #43

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 3:19 PM

Ah, but you miss the point - it's not about what the technology does, it's about the engineering perspective on the format war and the reasons why one piece of technology is accepted over a competing technology. There are lessons here that can be applied to nearly any engineering discipline. Just as in the study of history, it is not the actual military actions of a war that are of interest, it's the reasons the war started in the first place that make the war interesting.

For your limited perspective and apparent unwillingness to attempt understanding of anything that appears beneath you, you have my pity.

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 4:11 PM

So the analogy would be something like:

Toshiba = France

Playstation = Italy

Sony/Phillips = Austro-Hugarian Empire

MicroSoft = Vatican

Etc. Not bad - I like it! Puts things into perspective. Now, who is the Hanseatic League?

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 4:16 PM

Now, who is the Hanseatic League?

That's easy: Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Borders, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel!

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/22/2008 12:17 PM

Ya caught my drift! Gave a GA rating for it, too!

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#51

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/21/2008 6:50 PM

Thanks for the read and I'd hate to do this to you but for every single point you make, there is a counter point to be made also.

For example; the HD-DVD group always cited cost as a differentiator. People didn't realise that HD-DVD players' cost were artificially low due to Toshiba taking massive losses to promote the format. As far as HD-DVD media is concerned, if it is actually cheaper to make they sure didn't show it to the public.

I have consistently seen HD-DVD and BD media being in the same ball park figure. And a title such as The Departed which was released in both formats was also seen cheaper on BD by up to $5. So where's the cost advantage?

Furthermore, Toshiba had only itself to compete with as far as hardware. In contrast, the list of CE companies that lined up with BluRay would fill this page. You can be sure that, had all things remained the same, BD players were bound to become far cheaper than HD-DVD players due to competition alone.

The other point you make about Combo disks is also interesting. I personally think the HD-DVD group royally screwed up with this one. Instead of making combo disks priced the same as BD, they priced it higher effectively taking away any price advantage with that.

Region coding isn't technically part of the format but rather something that the releasing studios will have ultimate say about. I say this because had HD-DVD won, my guess is that studios such as Disney and Fox would put region coding on their HD-DVDs. Toshiba could not stop them from doing it.

As far as finished product is concerned there are things I agree with you about there. In all fairness though, any future BD releases whether they take advantage of profile 1.2 or 2.0 or whatever...the movies themselves will still play on old(er) BD players. It's only some of the advanced features that are making their way into BD now that may not be supported. Having said that, the number one selling BD player, the PS3, is capable of any future BD profile with a simple firmware upgrade that the user can do. At least Sony has officially stated that they will release profile updates to the PS3.

I will not go on here as I'm taking too much time and space but I just want to say that even though, I assume you are too, I was an HD-DVD supporter I am glad that it's over. Two competing incompatible formats were bad for everyone, from retailers to studios to consumers, and now we have just the one so we can all move on. HD-DVD could have, maybe should have and even would have, won but there's little point in expanding on that now.

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#53

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/22/2008 5:56 PM

Why HD DVD Didn't Win The Format War: Part 1

because it didn't.

Why HD DVD Backers Need To STFU: Part 1

because nobody wants to hear them whine for the next 10 years.


get over it.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/22/2008 7:02 PM

Please refer to post #46...

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#56

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/25/2008 2:30 PM

Can someone here help me get all my old Betamax home movies converted to VHS?

Its deja vu all over again!

Bill Morrow

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part 1

02/25/2008 3:00 PM

Right - then we can help you convert the VHS format to DVD! Actually, I think it's deja moo* all over again...

*The feeling that you've heard this bull before...

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#58

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part I

02/28/2008 10:52 PM

I bought into HD DVD last fall and since I have sold most of my HD DVD's and started to move to Blu-ray Disc. I have not sold my Toshiba HD-A3 because it is not worth very much and is still an excellent DVD up-converting player. I bought a Panasonic BD30 which is a 1.1 profile BD player and seems capable of playing every disc thrown at it from reviews I have read. Comparing the two players, the Panasonic starts up faster and seems to load BD's in a quick manner. The Toshiba was a little slower, but then again it cost me a lot less money. I was not that heavily invested in HD DVD (less then 20 movies) so I decided after Blu-ray won the war it would be best to switch and not get any further involved in a dead format. Comparing the two formats I don't see much difference. Picture quality is almost the same. The Panasonic seems to have slightly better PQ, but I credit that to the fact it is a more expensive 1080p player then my Toshiba was. Sound quality is about the same, although BD's with uncompressed sound are pretty amazing. Otherwise Dolby and DTS are a wash. I have noticed that BD's are more expensive, however I suppose that I bought a few HD DVD's used from people that were trying to get out after the Warner shift. So with that all said which format do I like better? HD DVD. The menu's were awesome and it was a very intuitive experience. The menu system seemed to be fairly standardized. On the BD's I own the menu's are a hodgepodge of this and that. I think that the Combo disc was also a great idea because I was able to play my HD DVD's in standard players as well like my laptop. I can't do that with BD's. Those are the 2 main things that I liked better about HD DVD and I think cost would have came down a lot faster on discs because they could be made right on DVD assembly lines with little modification. Anyhow with that said I value a good HD picture more then anything and since there isn't really a choice I went with Blu-ray and I am very satisfied with my Panasonic standalone player. I am afraid media prices will stay high now since the war is over, but I can still rent on Netflix and the scratch protection should be better for rentals. HD DVD's could be touchy if they got scratched because there is so much data packed on them. I wonder in 5 years if we will look back and realize that we made a mistake? Oh well time will tell. My motto is if you can't beat them, join them so that is what I did.

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Anonymous Poster
#59

Re: Why HD DVD Should Have Won the Format War: Part I

02/29/2008 7:12 AM

This may sound silly but I think "Blue Ray" just sounds stupid. Who came up with that stupid name anyway? Very bad for marketing purposes. HD DVD has the "DVD" in the title so it's more easily recognizable. That's one reason I think HD DVD should have won. lol


But Blue Ray better watch out because in a few years, HVD will come and pwn them in the ***hole.

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