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BDP-S500 Blu-ray Disc player  (Source: Sony Electronics)

The top of the line BDP-S2000ES  (Source: Sony Electronics)
Sony adds two pricey Blu-ray Disc players to its lineup

Sony announced that it will be adding two new Blu-ray Disc players to its roster of high-definition movie players. Joining the $499 entry-level BDP-S300 sometime this fall will be two higher-end machines.

The BDP-S500, set to retail for about $700, features full 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema output, 7.1 channel linear PCM and Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, as well as DTS-HD High Resolution Audio bitstream output via HDMI version 1.3.

The new players also support AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology, an international standard for wide color space. The standard expands the current data range of video by about 1.8 times, allowing the players to output more natural and vivid colors.

At the very top end of Sony’s offerings is the BDP-S2000ES – the first Blu-ray Disc player in the company’s "Elevated Standard" (ES) line. Interestingly enough, this $1,300 player shares the exact same feature set as the cheaper BDP-S500, but does boast several differences in construction that could lead some of the most dedicated home theater buffs to spend the extra cash.

Setting itself apart from the BDP-S300 and BDP-S500, the BDP-S2000ES model features “dual shield construction,” to prevent dust from collecting on the disc drive, along with a rigid drive bracket to minimize vibration. The player also sports a rigid beam chassis that reduces internal vibration, possibly providing more stable playback.

Similar to other Sony ES products, the unit's aluminum insulator feet help isolate the player from external vibrations, while separate audio and video boards deliver better sound and picture quality, according to comments from Sony. The unit also includes the IR-in feature for custom installation market.

"Consumer support of Sony's Blu-ray Disc products has been outstanding and the new models are targeted to satisfy the demand of those who crave an even greater level of entertainment and performance," said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics' Home Product Division. "From the enthusiast level of our ES line down to the entry-level models, our commitment to the finest quality video and sound delivered by the BD format has never been stronger."

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Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 6:55:05 AM , Rating: 5
When i first saw the headline - I assumed Sony was bringing in some quality BD players at affordble & comptetive prices with the HD market. I guess I was wrong.

At $1300, i guess you dont need to sell as many to profit as you would with a $200-300 HD player. But isnt the goal right now to gain marketshare by releasing affordable players for the everyday consumer in hopes to put a BD or HD player in their household, then start selling movies for it?

By selling at such outrageous prices, albeit good products, it does not appear to me that they are trying to convince people to purchase BD as oppsed to HD.

Right now should be about dropping prices to gain marketshare, consumer confidence, and sway consumers to purchase one format over the other. However, I see this as telling consumers "go ahead, buy your $200 HD player".

Just doesnt make any sense to me.

RE: Drop prices
By George Powell on 9/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:19:11 AM , Rating: 4
I disagree. The strategy you've outlined would be perfect if there was no competition. Since HD-DVD is also competing with BD for the next-gen disc format, it is critical for Sony to bring out low-cost players to drive mass market acceptance of their format now - not later.

If HD-DVD has $200 players and BD mostly has $1000+ players, then the format war will clearly be decided in favor of HD-DVD. Remember, the the format war is one by market share, and there's little reward to owning a small niche of the market, i.e., enthusiasts with lots of money. This market thrives on volume because that drives the bootstrapping or chicken-and-egg situation where you need content and players sales volumes to rise in order to reinforce each other.

The idea of early adopters driving the market was true 20 years ago, but it makes no sense now. The market is much faster and is now primarily cost- and volume-driven. Just look at HDTV's - the reason they are finally getting some acceptance after all these years is due to the existance of low-cost brands being sold at big retailers like Wal-Mart. The same will be true of HD-DVD/BD - cheap players will drive high sales volumes, which will drive more content, which will drive higher player sales volumes, etc.

RE: Drop prices
By timmiser on 9/6/2007 2:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
The only problem is that the early adopters that might buy this model, already own a Sony Blu-Ray player because: They are early adopters!

RE: Drop prices
By therealnickdanger on 9/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: Drop prices
By FITCamaro on 9/6/2007 7:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yes....inferior.....despite the fact that both support exactly the same features and offer the same picture and audio quality. The only difference is disc space and the extra space just is not needed for a movie unless you want to cram many hours of extras all on one disc. But I think people have shown they don't mind the extras being on a separate disc.

You can feel free to spend $1300 on the player. You obviously don't mind throwing money around. And Blu-ray is only better because Sony claims it is.

RE: Drop prices
By Oscarine on 9/6/2007 8:01:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic :P

RE: Drop prices
By therealnickdanger on 9/6/2007 9:24:00 AM , Rating: 4
*ding ding ding*

TomZ and mdoggs, I was hoping my post would be so outlandishly sarcastic that there would be no way anyone would interpret it as my actual thoughts. Obviously there must be people out there who are so stupid as to actually make comments like that and mean it. Believe me, I have not drunk the Blue-rasberry Kool-Aid. I'm am well-versed in the tech.

RE: Drop prices
By retrospooty on 9/6/2007 9:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
LOL - I actually thought you were serious until I read the reasoning - "Blu-Ray is better because it's "Tru Blu"

"the BDP-S2000ES model features “dual shield construction,” to prevent dust from collecting on the disc drive, along with a rigid drive bracket to minimize vibration. The player also sports a rigid beam chassis that reduces internal vibration, "

Seriously, for the $500 and $700 we don't get enhanced vibration protection? Gimme a break.

RE: Drop prices
By EclipsedAurora on 9/7/2007 8:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
Becox Daily tech miss up plenty of spec

The ES grade product feature better DACs and reclocking feature. The audio part the whole signal path feature double thickness design. Also audio and video signal are completely seperated into 2 PCB to process, with their own power supply unit as well. Therefore the interence is minimized. This is no difference from a all-in-one motherboard against those with seperated sound card and video cards. That's the quality that those >$500 BR/HD-DVD player never can offer!

RE: Drop prices
By therealnickdanger on 9/6/2007 9:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
I mean FITC and mdoggs...

RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
What was strange about your mistake is that I was just about to reply to your post, when I saw your new one mentioning my name. I thought for a moment you had discovered some way to see into the future, or else you were here looking over my shoulder. Eerie...

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 9:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why in a new disk format for movies and PCs why the format with lower capacity is "the same". I can't speak for everyone but I'd prefer the disk with the highest capacity for data and quite frankly movies too. Having one disk in place of two is a good thing right? So swapping disks in this so called high def age coming upon us? Um, no thanks.

As usual the same 360 cheerleaders chime in and try to tell us "oh everything's the same" except for one "minor" difference: capacity. Uh huh. Nice spin effort though.

RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 9:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
What is the difference if one has 30gb and another 50gb, if the contents on them are the same? You have to realize that alot of people out there dont even know how much space is on a regular DVD or a CD. They just know it holds a movie or their music and it works.

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 9:26:09 AM , Rating: 1
Less is better. Brilliant.

RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 9:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
where is it proven that "more is always better".

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 9:34:08 AM , Rating: 2
Um when the entire and purpose of the new format is to increase the capacity of the compact disk standard for high def movies, gaming "headroom", and PC disk storage?

RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 9:37:02 AM , Rating: 4
The purpose of the disk to was to fit HD content, which both formats do.

With SSD, 160gb 1.8" disk drives, and 1TB+ 3.5" disk drives out....recordable media is not as major of a means for storage as it once was.

And in case you didnt notice, it was not developed for gaming. If that was the case, PS3 would have outsold 360. The PS3 would then have better graphics because it fits so much more on the disk!

Silly rabbit. I think those little kids are pulling tricks on you.

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 9:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
I don't play video games, I have a social life....

But in any event, I really want to send out my condolences to you. It's not my fault you used poor judgement and overpaid while buying too soon.


RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 10:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
Try and not worry too much. I'll take the superior format any day. Don't believe me, scroll down further for a very detailed and reasoned explanation with veriable links why Blue Ray is justifably superior and the format to invest in the future.

RE: Drop prices
By dl429 on 9/6/2007 2:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Look as MI3 2 disc release. It could have easily been released on one BD 50 instead of 2 BD 25's but HD-DVD's 30gb limit meant that it needed two discs to fit all of the extra content. Paramount probably didn't want to highlight the weaknesses of HD-DVD so the released the Blu-ray version on 2 discs as well, ridiculous.

RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 3:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure dual-layer BD was available when they released MI3. I seem to recall that Sony was having manufacturing problems at that point in time.

RE: Drop prices
By dl429 on 9/6/2007 5:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
That is possible, but it stills shows the weaknesses of a 30gb limit. If it happened with MI3 it could happen again. Or perhaps studios will just cut content in the forms of audio options and special features or even lower bit rates to allow movies to fit within the 30gb limit. When it comes to space, there's no such thing as too much.

RE: Drop prices
By BWAnaheim on 9/6/2007 9:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
I found myself thinking that more data storage is better, but you do have a point. If the same content fits on both forms of media, does it really matter?

As for data storage, the extra 20GB would be nice in a computer for backup purposes, but take a look at writable media prices for both HD formats. Until they become much lower, I will take DVD+/-R at $0.20-$0.30/disc. I can have 10 discs for about $3.00 versus 5-10x that for the price of one HD Disc. That would be one expensive coaster. Until the price of the media drop, at least for me, the capacity argument is not critical. In the end, I think that the HD format with blank media that is an order of magnitude cheaper than the other will win. Right now, that is DVD+/-R. If both reach prices comparable to blank DVD media ($/GB) and both HD writable formats are priced equally, then the one that has the highest capacity will win more market share.

Note, I do like how some HD-DVD discs are dual format HD-DVD and DVD (I understand that Blu-Ray can do this, but I have not heard of it being done). This means that I could use the same disc in the home and in the car without having to buy the movie twice. The HD movies already cost enough without having to buy another version (standard DVD) for the kids.

RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're getting to the point. For computer storage, more is always better! That is pretty clear.

But as a medium to carry a movie, the question is whether both formats have enough storage to carry the movie without any loss of quality. I think you can make the case that in most cases, the difference in storage capacity will be meaningless for movies. There will just be more unused space on the BD version of a particular movie, but what's the value of having that free space? Practically nothing.

RE: Drop prices
By retrospooty on 9/6/2007 9:45:30 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, although BR has a higher capacity, its compression scheme is far more bloated leaving less room anyhow. If it were just a data storage device with no movie it is larger. If you add it al up and throw in BR's higer prices, HD-DVD is a better fit. Also, its good because Sony is not involved.

RE: Drop prices
By Blackraven on 9/6/2007 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 1
Err.....they also have a US$499 player.

And at 499 american dollars, it is actually quite a good deal (for a stand-alone). You get HDMI 1.3, 24fps support, xvYCC color space support, DTS-HD and TrueHD support (which the PS3 will get by year-end) and of course......LPCM audio.

This is why, contrary to what majority of fanboys from AVS forums think, Blu-ray has audio quality that is way superior to what HD-DVD can ever offer.

Most HD-DVD discs only offer DD 5.1 surround and at most, only a few ever feature DTS MA-HD or Dolby TrueHD. But with Blu-ray, you get the best 5.1 LPCM uncompressed audio that you can ever hear (some titles have 7.1 LPCM such as GITS2: Innocence Japanese version). Same goes with the X360 HD-DVD addon: Cheap in price but cheap in features.

Even after the updates, the unit doesn't even support PCM audio (just a dismaying DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX 2.0). Really lame. And declining AQ quality on HD-DVD gets worse when Transformers (which is atm an HD-DVD exclusive) does not even have Dolby TrueHD (just 5.1 DD+). Damn that's lousy (I guess they've ran out of space lol)

And regarding picture quality, this myth has now been debunked. Modern MPEG-2/BD 25 titles (most. esp Tears of the Sun and Crank) received very high reviews. Heck, it is even way higher for discs that use BD-50/MPEG-4 such as Casino Royale 007 (most beautiful Blu-ray movie atm) and Open Season. More surprisingly, this same phenomenon is now seen on titles using VC-1 codec (supposedly the 'de facto' codec of HD-DVD discs). Despite HD-DVD using it, it can't even reach the bitrates of Blu-ray discs that use VC-1. If you still don't believe me, then read the review of Dejavu on HiDefDigest and you'll see why HD-DVD VIRTUALLY LOST their PQ advantage before year 2007 even began.
Heck, even when both versions just use a similar VC-1 encode, the Blu-ray version trumps it out (see Blood Diamond and the Blu-ray version has bitrate that exceeds 37.2 mbps and as for HD-DUD barely even struggles to reach 30)

So yep, the tech advantage of HD-DVD is rapldly diminishing and once Blu-ray JAVA is utilized (in Profiles 1.1 and 2.0), that tech advantage will turn to the favor of Blu-ray.

Then what about price per disc? With numerous HD-DUD titles still resorting to the combo disc methodology, their price advantage is gone as well.

In sales of devices, Blu-ray has literally BEATEN HD-DVD to the pulp (with only Toshiba being the lone primary manufacturer.........while Blu-ray has at least 10 or more companies producing devices). The numbers indeed show that even Blu-ray device sales BEAT those of HD-DVD (and that does not include the PS3 units).

And the price advantage on devices is narrowing fast as well. For example, the difference between a Samsung BDP-1400 and a Toshiba HD-XA2 is only around 130 american dollars. If you choose to go for the refurbished Samsung BDP-1400, then it drops further to only US$100 advantage.

So yeah, with all those said, HD-DVD has lost majority of the advantages and it is no doubt that Blu-ray has already dominated over HD-DVD.

So what what does HD-DVD have again that Blu-ray has not? Oh yes : "The Look and Sound of Perfect". But based on what we've seen, that tagline does not apply anymore and is just pure FUD.

But then again, people who drink on the HD-DVD Kool Aid can't seem to distinguish reality at all. XD

So there, that pretty much sums it up.

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 10:37:10 AM , Rating: 2
Well said. Thank you.

RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
That's all well and good. But the format war is going to be decided, not by tech geeks like you and I who understand all that detail, but by the non-tech mass market. These people will walk into a Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, etc., look at the high-def players, and pick the one that costs less. Therefore, if HD-DVD players are a $200, and BD players are at $500, then the mass market will go with HD-DVD. Therefore, IMO it is essential that Sony gets high-volume, cheap BD players into the channel ASAP.

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/07, Rating: 0
RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 11:04:23 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to break it to you, but probably 95% of consumers don't know what Dolby Digital Sound is. Your assumption is that well-informed consumers will make choices that cause the most technically superior products to be most popular. That hasn't happened in other areas of consumer electronics, so why do you assume it will magically happen for HDTV and Hi-Def discs?

RE: Drop prices
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 11:20:39 AM , Rating: 1
So where does that put you?

And sorry to break it to you but this is not about that 95%. Yet. So thanks for making my point that low balling prices is not the rubberstamp to success.

What High definition is about is informed consumers buying the superior product. And the rest, well we know what happens after that as more and more people jump on the bandwagon years down the road. But a $200.00 player won't make that 95% dive into HD any faster. As I doubt they will be watching High Def on their kitchen counter with their HTIB or 360.

RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 11:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
And sorry to break it to you but this is not about that 95%. Yet.

Yes it is. Its about gaining marketshare, not just supplying a niche market and worrying about gaining marketshare later. Why do you think they have all these promotions for giving away movies, offering rebates, etc? Its to get normal people to buy the hardware - while getting hundreds in free gear - making them feel like they paid the same amount as a regular DVD player to upgrade.

Also, if you go into a local electronics retailer, how many non-HD ready tv's do you see? not many at all - with exception to a few 30" and under tube tv's. The prices of HD televisions are getting lower and lower allowing the mainstream consumer to buy them. Right now is the time for high definition dvd market share.

What High definition is about is informed consumers buying the superior product.

No its not. Thats call "Product Based Perspective" in reference to Total Quality Management. That has no more to do with HD than it does cars, candy bars, fast food, golf clubs, etc.

High Definition is a new technology offering people a better quality picture and sound. Average consumers did not have the most expensive TV's in their homes, and they wont have the most expensive high defintion players in their homes either.

Especially in todays dwindling economy because of mortgage crisis, people are more cost concious than ever before. You really need to study economics and consumerism. My guess is you are a high school student who's parents bought him a PS3 for your birthday and no concept of real world consumers & budgets.

RE: Drop prices
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 1:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
mdogs444 posted an excellent reply already, and I agree 100% with what he/she wrote, but I should reply to the following.
So where does that put you?

I don't know, and don't care about Dolby Digital Sound. I'm an active, busy person, and I don't spend much time in front of the TV. So count me in the 95% who will just buy whichever format is cheaper whenever I get around to upgrading to HDTV. And the latter probably won't happen until my existing low-def set kicks the bucket. For the 1-2 movies I watch per year currently, I don't think a $1-2K TV upgrade is worthwhile.

RE: Drop prices
By retrospooty on 9/6/2007 11:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
"That's all well and good. But the format war is going to be decided, not by tech geeks like you and I who understand all that detail, but by the non-tech mass market."

Agreed. I do understand the tech end of it, but honestly, I cant actually hear the difference. I know some "audiophiles" that can, but I cannot. standard Dolby 5.1 is more than plenty for me. If the price were the same, then I would go with BR, but for low end $200 HD or $499 BR, I go with HD. If not for the Playstation 3, BR would have Zero chance in hell of winning the format war on its own merits.

RE: Drop prices
By DingieM on 9/6/2007 11:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
You just don't get it, do you?

Its all about mass-market penetration.

Almost nobody cares if you achieve just a tiny little sharper image that only 0.0000000001% of the would-be consumers would ever see and willing to buy. And those consumers have plenty of money to throw away.
O and do you understand that, in order to hear the TrueHD sound, you need to dive deep into your wallet for a receiver that is capable of decoding/stream TrueHD and/or LPCM or whatever.
O wait! You need another even deeper dive into your wallet for a TV large enough and good enough to display the tiny little sharper Blu-Ray image.
Above means even less and less people have that kind of money and eyes and ears to notice the difference.

So with your big post...nobody cares!
Wake up dude.

O there is more...with the speedy advance of internet, flash and very large hard drives the HD optical media storage will become much less important.

Christ, how stubborn are geeks, get a life!

RE: Drop prices
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 8:21:24 AM , Rating: 2
Thats about the dumbest post I've ever read. If you actually did research into all the "technical jargon", you would knwo that they both do the same exact thing - neither HD nor BD has a better picture quality.

Its quite apparent that I am not the one who is "obviously too ignorant".

RE: Drop prices
By Gul Westfale on 9/6/2007 9:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
no matter which one is better; i won't be buying into either tech until i can get a combo burner for my PC for 200 bucks. until then, i think i can manage to survive with DVDs.

RE: Drop prices
By eyebeeemmpawn on 9/6/2007 9:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
keep your shirt on, I think someone is pushing your buttons :)

RE: Drop prices
By therealnickdanger on 9/6/2007 9:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, see above.

By carage on 9/6/2007 8:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like the PS3 is a pretty good buy.
A Bluray player and a console for less price.

By eyebeeemmpawn on 9/6/2007 9:19:54 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! That is the whole point of the pricing scheme, IMO. Sony is trying to increase the perceived value of the PS3, and catch a few Emperors in search of new clothes at the same time.

By Nfarce on 9/6/2007 9:30:49 AM , Rating: 1
Three factors (well four) drove me to purchasing a 60GB last month: The $100 price drop, freebies of one free BR movie and a free BR remote, the 5 free BR movies from Sony, and the fact the 60GB version will play all PS2 games (that's ~$175 worth of freebies btw). Top that off with a Linux box and a web surfer for my plasma, and it was a hell of an entertainment value for $605 to the door (no sales tax via Amazon, look for those days to disappear after Hillary & Obama win next November). Oh yeah, and Motorstorm & Warhawk rule!

By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 9:45:22 AM , Rating: 1
after Hillary & Obama win next November

Oh god, please help us. Thats all we need is another Clinton and a that dingle from Illinois. Maybe she also likes cigars....

By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:28:03 AM , Rating: 2
Clinton and Obama running is just another Democratic strategy to ensure that the Republicans win the White House in 2008. So far, their plan is working brilliantly.

I wish the Democrats would get their act together and develop a real, coherent vision. The only vision they seem to have now it to take advantage of Republican political mistakes, e.g., Iraq war to win Congress. You can't always get ahead by counting on mistakes being made by your competitors (unless you're Microsoft).

By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 10:32:59 AM , Rating: 1
And just to clarify - the Dems & Reps both agreed to initiate the war in iraq. Now that the plan has changed and some tables turned, they are acting like they never backed it from day 1.

shame shame. sometimes, political parties need to both accept blame, as well as share gratitude.

By TomZ on 9/6/2007 10:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
But the seemingly-failed war strategy was executed by the Bush Adminstration, so that's why it mainly weighs on the Republican party. I'm not sure what plan has changed. The President asked Congress to engage in Iraq, but it was up to the Bush Adminstration to make sure it was successful. Congress can't direct the military.

By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 11:22:59 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone had a say in what was going to happen. It was solely directed by one person, or a group of replublican conspiracy theorists, etc. The majority the US nation backed the decision to go to war - not just the Bush Administration.

Its much easier for people to point fingers after the outcome has happened....but during the decision to go out there, not many were saying "no, stop, dont go".

By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 11:24:30 AM , Rating: 2

It was NOT solely directed by one person, or a group of

By Chaser on 9/6/2007 12:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I guess I do believe in miracles. Mogogs and I agree on on presidential politics.

What next? Maybe Modogs will buy a PS3?


By Chaser on 9/6/2007 12:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry for the typos. Mdoggs.

By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 12:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Haha. Better chance of spotting elvis than me buying a PS3 lol.

Not just becuase its sony, not just because its expensive, not because i think BD is an unwise investment. Just because I dont have time to play video games and dont own a single video game console.

But hey, at least we agree!

By TomZ on 9/6/2007 1:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
But you're failing to recognize there are two separate things - the decision to go to war, and the execution of the war.

It's true that most politicians and citizens were in support of the war, mostly because we heard from our leaders that there was a tie-in to 9/11 and that Hussain was manufacturing WMDs. Although that intelligence turned out to be wrong, it is true that both Congress and the American public were generally in support of going to war against Iraq. We all share in the blame in the decision to go to war, I agree.

But the execution of the war, Congress and the American people had no say in that - none at all. There were no votes ever in congress on the correct military and/or political strategies, and no dialog with the American people about that. The successful execution of a war strategy and transition to peaceful democracy was the responsibility of the Bush Adminstration. That is where the failure occured, period.

All of that, with one caveat: the American people should have earlier recognized the failure in the plan for Iraq and Bush should have been voted out of office in 2004. Our failure to act during that election was maybe where some of the blame rests on the American people.

Since this is pretty off-topic, I'm going to have to sign off and let this be my last post on this thread.

By abhaxus on 9/6/2007 2:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
In many states you have to pay sales tax on internet purchases. The main issue to date has been that the site does not have to charge the tax and you are required to self-report to the state at tax time. The federal government has let e-commerce get away with murder in this respect in order to jump-start the industry. You still have to pay it in most states(ask residents of NY state what happened when they bought their cigarettes online a few years ago).

affordable players!!!
By rsasp on 9/6/2007 8:05:16 AM , Rating: 3
we don't need a player with $500 price tag, we need a player with $199-299 price tag, like the HD-DVD player

RE: affordable players!!!
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 8:10:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yes. Like these.

HD-A2 720p/1080i $242.88

HD-A20 720p/1080p $315.64

Good times.

RE: affordable players!!!
By Chaser on 9/6/2007 11:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
And when the Blue Ray players hit that price point even better times. Indeed :)

RE: affordable players!!!
By wordsworm on 9/6/2007 9:02:44 AM , Rating: 2
we don't need a player with $500 price tag, we need a player with $199-299 price tag, like the HD-DVD player
I waited for DVD players to drop to $49, and I'll wait for Blu-Ray to drop to $49 too. $199 is too much!

RE: affordable players!!!
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 9:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
You sir are a tightwad. I doubt the players will drop below 100 bucks anyways. They are far more complex than a simple DVD player.

RE: affordable players!!!
By mdogs444 on 9/6/2007 10:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
They will in time. They are no harder to produce, just use newer technology that cost more right now due to fabrication & manufacturing.

Give it another 5-6 years. Cheap players will be $50 resembling the Apex's of today. But most will probably hover around the $80-$140 range like todays "better" dvd players do.

RE: affordable players!!!
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 11:35:20 AM , Rating: 2
The processor(s) on the HD sets are far more powerful than the old weak decoder chips on DVD sets. That adds cost that DVD never had.

RE: affordable players!!!
By theapparition on 9/6/2007 12:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
And today's $5 calculator has 1000x the processing power of the first mulit-million dollar computers. Electronics is one of the few areas where you get increased value for less money as time goes on.

RE: affordable players!!!
By TomZ on 9/6/2007 1:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
The processor(s) on the HD sets are far more powerful than the old weak decoder chips on DVD sets. That adds cost that DVD never had.

You're right, but processing-per-dollar has also increased a lot since the DVD standard came out. Therefore, I'd be willing to bet that the costs between DVD when it first came out compared to HD-DVD and BD are about the same. And high-volume production will lead to cost reductions.

RE: affordable players!!!
By wordsworm on 9/8/2007 8:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
Do you remember when Creative Labs came out with the first 8x CD *reader* (not burner) for $800? Why would I pay ludicrous bucks for something that's hard to get content for? Ok, I'm not a student struggling through university bursary and scholarship income anymore, but I really don't see getting involved in this war is a good idea. I even dimly recall VHS players being $199ish.

I remember seeing this guy who had a record player that played movies. It was much better than VHS. My instincts tell me that's where blue ray is going. This is just a reiteration of the VHS vs Beta wars of the early 80s. The inferior, yet cheaper product won that one, and I have the feeling that's what's going to happen here. It doesn't hurt that HDVD sounds more familiar than Blue Ray. People like what seems familiar to them. Blue ray sounds flaky to me, like a fad that will die out in 1-2 years.

I live in Korea at the moment, and I have yet to see a blue ray or HDVD disc anywhere at any of the video stores I frequent. Granted, they don't have video rental places like in Canada or the US (at least none that I've found).

I just don't see a point to either of them quite yet. So the debate at this point seems like something that only over eager consumers will get involved in. I suppose it's necessary to fund the massive technology evolution.

sounds like....
By Moishe on 9/6/2007 8:14:41 AM , Rating: 2
along with a rigid drive bracket to minimize vibration. The player also sports a rigid beam chassis that...

sounds like a new sedan...

Those are sharp looking players and loaded to the hilt. I wish the format war would hurry up and end so I can buy one.

RE: sounds like....
By SunAngel on 9/6/2007 9:47:37 AM , Rating: 1
Dude, this is the ES line. DT and goones want to make it out to be some sort of average everyday CE device. ES line has always been much more expensive and technologically advanced as their mainstream line products. Don't for once think that product differentiation doesn't have its place in the market.

Please stop spreading the DT and goones FUD about we want Sony but can't afford it. Many of us can't afford it, thats why there are second jobs in the world.

RE: sounds like....
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 9:56:21 AM , Rating: 3
Spoken like a Sony executive. Didn't they say people would work more or get second jobs to pay for the godly PS3? Yea that worked out real well.

RE: sounds like....
By Blackraven on 9/6/2007 10:04:46 AM , Rating: 1
sounds like........

HD-DVD hasn't much left to go. With experiences of my friend having a buggy HD-A2 player, he would never ever resort to using Toshiba crap ever again.

Which even goes to a bigger point in that if you look at sales rank from NPD, Blu-ray has the distinct advantage in hardware sales (and these don't factor PS3 units yet). If you add the PS3 units, then you already has millions of units of Blu-ray hardware........even if a conservative 10% attach rate is used (while Toshiba and company only have HW sales in the mere thousands).

Also, HD-DVD seems to be losing their price advantage as well in the HW front. I mean, comparing a Samsung BDP-1400 to a Toshiba XA2, the price difference is only US$130-200. What's more is that once new hardware for Blu-ray get released (the ones announced at IFA Berlin as well as upcoming units at CEDIA 2007), HD-DVD will have virtually little-to-no advantage in pricing.

Not to mention that as long as HD-DVD still resort to "COMBO DISCS", they would never be cheaper than Blu-ray movie discs (like how 300 Blu-ray is US$5-US$10 cheaper than HD-DVD version of it and thus sells more copies than its rival counterpart)

So yup, HD-DVD is suffering big time hemmorage atm and this phenomenon will hurt them till Q4. And come next year, they won't be much of a household name anymore

RE: sounds like....
By Topweasel on 9/6/2007 11:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
This combo theory is really starting to annoy me. If its combo's happens to be what is keeping prices high, then why is Spiderman 3 $10 more then any HD-DVD combo on Amazon, why does Fox charge the same amount as the combo's for catalog titles, why does Paramount new movies cost the same as other New HD-DVD's even though they aren't combo's.

Warner is the only company that charges more for combo's but if you look at everyones (including when Universal used combo's for catalog titles) its very apparent they set pricing schemes based on features and value of the title. What warner is doing is lowering the price of Blu-Ray new releases because they are incapable of being a combo and can't use a lot of the advanced features that HD-DVD can, so they lower the price, because why would someone pay the same amount for less.

RE: sounds like....
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 11:45:09 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I can't speak on your friend's behalf but I can say that personally I own the A-20 and it works flawlessly. Perhaps your friend just doesn't know what hes doing or got a lemon, shit happens. Toshiba is far from crap, their electronics are more reliable than Sony electronics in recent memory.

HD-DVD will have virtually little-to-no advantage in pricing.

Well we will believe that when we see it no? Right now the cheapest Blu-Ray player is $250 more than the cheapest HD player. Also you need to keep in mind that your numbers are bollocks. HD DVD and Blu-Ray are only a few thousand copies apart in total number of movies sold. Which is still less than 1% of the DVD market combined. I'm quite sure HD DVD will end up taking the lead in copies sold once we see Shrek and Transformers roll out this holiday season.

RE: sounds like....
By HotdogIT on 9/6/2007 12:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
He's right; the ES line has always been the higher end. Just like the "Pioneer Elite" model line from Pioneer; they were better units.

Just look at the other items in the ES line:

It's just another ES-line product. Whether or not their ES-line of Blu Ray players will be much better than the normal ones or not has yet to be seen. But this isn't just another random, overpriced Blu-ray player.

And for what it's worth, I've owned ES-line products in the past. They are quite nice. But for now, I'll stick with my PS3, unless there's a big quality difference from the new ES.

RE: sounds like....
By Moishe on 9/7/2007 8:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, what FUD do you see in my post? Read it again...

I like these new BD players, they are super nice with every conceivable feature... I want one!
I just wish the format war was over so that I could lay out the cash.

I would actually consider paying a lot to have one IF I knew that the format was here to stay.

has Sony lost their minds
By dl429 on 9/6/2007 2:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
$1300 players are NOT the answer. As a PS3 owner and collector of many BR movies I hoped BR would be able to close the price gap with HD-DVD concerning players. Obviously Sony has other ideas... With $150 HD-DVD players becoming available this Christmas I don't understand this strategy.

RE: has Sony lost their minds
By Master Kenobi on 9/6/2007 2:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
The strategy is to make the PS3 seem like it has more value.

RE: has Sony lost their minds
By dl429 on 9/6/2007 5:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it is... When Sony is willing to sell a PS3 with a cell processor, Nvidia 7900gtx (close enough), Wifi, and a 60 gig hard drive for $499 (I know they take a couple hundred dollar loss) it makes $1300 look ridiculous. At least from a hardware standpoint.

RE: has Sony lost their minds
By Moishe on 9/7/2007 8:25:26 AM , Rating: 2
That strategy works!
If I was going to buy a BD player right now it would be the PS3 because of the price/features.

On the other hand... if it weren't for the existence of HD-DVD Blu-Ray would have a chokehold on the HD player market and we would be stuck with one choice.

By psychotix11 on 9/6/2007 1:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
About the time Sony imploded and how the once might company went under with a series of half assed format wars and a console screw up. All from sheer hubris and utter stupidity.

Both formats offer an equal high def viewing experience, and it’s the same quality. However look at the negatives. One format costs more, has the usual Sony issues, and even more DRM. The other has less storage. Tech geeks can talk and debate all they want about what matters more, but to the majority of consumers if two things are the same and one costs less that’s the one you buy.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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