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Reports of Warner picking Blu-ray Disc premature, for now

Right now, the high-definition optical storage war is waged on the grounds of studio exclusivity. If you want to watch Transformers in high-definition, you’ll need an HD DVD player. If you want to watch Spider-Man 3, you’ll need a Blu-ray Disc player.

Due to no fault of either format, but rather the companies backing them, consumers require both machines in order to view the latest home releases in full 1080p glory – unless of course if a given release is available on both formats.

After Paramount and DreamWorks jumped over to exclusively support HD DVD, the last major studio with its feet on both sides of the field is Warner. Releasing major hits such as 300 on HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Warner benefits from both early adopter markets. Reports from last month’s Blu-ray Disc media event pegged the possible end to Warner neutrality, citing comments from Dan Silverberg, VP of high-definition media for Warner Home Video.

“One thing that may be changing is our strategy,” Silverberg said. “When both formats launched and hardware prices were high, we made a decision to support both formats and let the consumer decide. But now that hardware pricing is affordable for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, it appears consumers no longer want to decide — so the notion of staying in two formats for the duration is something we are re-evaluating now that we are in the fourth quarter.”

Given that Silverberg’s comments took place a Blu-ray Disc event, those within an earshot of the VP would likely have been ecstatic when he said, “We can definitely talk Blu-ray... We are committed to the format.”
Internet forums dedicated to the debate over the two high-definition formats went into a frenzy following Silverberg’s hint that Warner may be leaning towards exclusive Blu-ray Disc support. After days of silence, however, Warner Home Video told High-Def Digest that the comments recorded by Home Media Magazine are “misquoted and misconstrued.”

“I can tell you that Warner's position has not changed, and I know that Dan did not intend to suggest that wasn't the case,” said Jim Noonan, SVP of Strategic Promotion and Communication for Warner Home Entertainment Group. “We support both formats and we have made no decision to alter that policy, nor are there any such announcements coming, or being planned.”

From a business standpoint, Warner right now is enjoying the upside of being able to sell its high-definition movies to both crowds, leaving little incentive to go exclusive.

Noonan continued, “Like any major company, we are always reviewing our strategies in every aspect of our business, it is what smart companies do. I can't say what may happen five, ten years down the line. But right now, Warner Bros. has made no decision to change course. We are still onboard with both formats, and will continue [with a strong line-up of new releases and catalog titles], just as we have in the past in supporting HD DVD and Blu-ray.”

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Sometimes I wonder...
By therealnickdanger on 11/6/2007 2:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
Do these corporate execs just allude to certain things when they speak in order to mess with people? If I were in such a position of power, I would be tempted to make a statement about exclusivity just to get the e-masses fired up, all the while laughing from my corner office. Then after a couple days, I would come out and say, "Oh no, that's a mistake, we are supporting both!". Must be fun!

Warner has a good thing going right now in supporting both formats, I'm glad that they clarified. The Blu-boys were getting a little obnoxious.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Master Kenobi on 11/6/2007 2:21:42 PM , Rating: 3
Well from a business standpoint, releasing format exclusive is a bad decision. By Warner supporting both they can milk both markets for sales rather than milk half the market.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By therealnickdanger on 11/6/2007 2:27:13 PM , Rating: 3
Tell that to Disney and Paramount. Obviously, there's money to be made no matter what stance they take. At present, the HDM market is still too small to really influence much of anything.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Master Kenobi on 11/6/2007 2:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The market is so small limiting yourself only makes the consumer pool smaller. Warner is the one kicking ass right now because they can sell to the entire HDM market and have the potential to make maximum sales.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 11/6/2007 3:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it seems like the smart thing would be to sell as many discs as they can. But, if Paramount got as much money to be exclusive as the rumors were, it more than made up for the loss of Blu Ray sales.

I own a PS3 with no plan to buy a HD-DVD player within the next 6 months, so it pisses me off when I can't watch a movie like Transformers. But, they aren't going to force me into buying a player to watch their exclusive movies.

In a perfect world, all movies would be released on both formats and the consumers would decide which format wins. I really hate to see the studios bribed into making decisions that hurt consumers. The studios shouldn't be the ones deciding which format people prefer.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By jacarte8 on 11/6/2007 3:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
Especially at the sweet profit margins these new disk formats are commanding... seems like a pretty sweet deal for all parties.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By 16nm on 11/6/2007 11:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
I own a PS3 with no plan to buy a HD-DVD player within the next 6 months, so it pisses me off when I can't watch a movie like Transformers.

I saw it. You're not missing much...

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By wallijonn on 11/7/2007 10:57:36 AM , Rating: 2
I own a PS3 with no plan to buy a HD-DVD player within the next 6 months, so it pisses me off when I can't watch a movie like Transformers.

When the PS3 goes for $200 I'll buy one. Until then I will miss out on BD movies. Why get pissed off at HD-DVD when you can get one for 1/3 to 1/4 the price of a PS3? There are some people out there that bought a Toshi A2 for $100. Surely you could afford that. Even paying $200 for the A2 isn't out of reach for a PS3 owner.

What parent in his right mind will allow his kids to handle a $30 Disney movie? We all know what regular DVDs look like after the kids get their candy coated paws on them, how they end up under the sofa, etc. What was Disney smoking?

Sony should bring back "Super Bit" for the rest of us, because the last Fantastic Four movie was right on the edge - compressing 90 minutes unto a single side and throwing in two commentaries along with trailers and a half dozen languages. I will no longer buy dual movies on a single disc (ws & full frame). One thing they did right was being able to see Spiderman 3 without looking at the damn trailers. Speaking of trailers, have you ever counted the number & length in the typical Disney film? 20 minutes of trailers is too much for me to bear.

You have no reason to be pissed. If you could afford a $700 PS3 then surely you can afford a $300 HD DVD player. It doesn't necessarily work out the other way around. In my case why bother buying a $400 PS3 when the new $500 Panasonic may go for $350 on the street?

Sell me a BD player for $230 and I am all over it.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Oregonian2 on 11/6/2007 3:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Reasons that some favor one format over the other include things like DRM or perhaps some other issue other than gigabyte capacity or whether it says Sony on it. Why somebody goes exclusive can be something not guessed at (and maybe even not just being paid-off to do so). Only clear motivation is Sony's studio. :-)

Maybe Toshiba needs to buy a studio to make things interesting.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe WB? ;)

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By erikejw on 11/7/2007 8:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe Toshiba needs to buy a studio to make things interesting.

I thought they bought Paramount the same way as you buy a politician but in the corporate world they don't call it bribes but incentives.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Blight AC on 11/6/2007 3:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's also great for the consumer, and I applaud Warner for doing both formats. I'd also like to see the sales figures for the studios releasing to both HD formats for a particular movie (and all movies). That is, the % of sales of HD-DVD and of Blu-Ray of a particular movie released in both formats. It'd be interesting to see, which format the consumer prefers overall when everything else is the same, that is, if everything else is the same (including features and price).

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By mezman on 11/6/2007 3:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I can't figure out why Disney only releases on Blu-Ray. I know there are more PS3's out there then there are HD-DVD players and XBOX-360s with the HD-DVD addon. But it seems that they are just alienating an entire sector. Same with Paramount.

I've heard lots of caterwauling about the HD-DVD payola to Paramount, but did Blu-Ray do the same thing to Disney and other Blu-Ray only studios?

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By BansheeX on 11/6/2007 7:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
That's also thinking short term. There's another line of thinking that goes something like "single format adoption will be more profitable long term due to consumer confidence, and our ability to bring that about weakens every day that we continue to release titles on the losing format. The longer we wait, the larger the library of both formats grows, and the more likely both are to survive with single format adoption becoming impossible."

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Gio6518 on 11/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By SirLucius on 11/6/2007 3:25:47 PM , Rating: 4
While I agree that DailyTech is strongly pro HD-DVD, did you even read the linked article? High Def Digest states pretty clearly that Warner, specifically their SVP of Strategic Promotion and Communication, debunked Silverberg's comments. If this isn't true, which I highly doubt, DT isn't at fault since they're just going on what High Def Digest has reported.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Gio6518 on 11/6/2007 3:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
got me wrong i did see that i want to be provided a link some kind of proof, this article still sounds like one mans speculations.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Lightning III on 11/6/2007 3:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the netflix numbers are inaccurate also saying its two or three to one HD-DVD over blu-max

as far as rentals go

don't you know early adopters get the shaft!, price will win out over quality eveytime if it didin't there wouldn't be walmarts in every town

and we would all be talking about our recently retired betamaxes

its only the myth of better drm that's got disney and others fooled

i guess two years of getting hacked right out of the gate is really working for them huh

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Gio6518 on 11/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By masher2 on 11/6/2007 4:35:22 PM , Rating: 3
> "blu-ray isn't sony they're just a supporter"

Sony isn't "just a supporter" of Blu-Ray; they're the principle backer, the founding member of the BRDA and controller of the compliance committee, and the owner of much of the IP which makes up Blu Ray. Certainly BD has other backers, but Sony is unquestionably the driving force.

Sony has invested in BD far more heavily than any other company for the simple reason they have more to gain from its success.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By robertgu2k on 11/6/2007 5:12:47 PM , Rating: 3
lightning iii youve just proven your an idiot, how does this relate, but ok

and one more thing Lightning III its better to be thought an idiot then open your mouth and remove all doubt

I think you could be referring to yourself in those quotes. For one, calling someone who presented a reasonable opinion an idiot hardly adds credibility to you.

You should do some research on the two formats and their founders and backers before you spew what can be noted as baseless fanboyism, anti-Microsoft rhetoric.

For one, Sony is the founder of Blu-ray, they are the originators and owners to most of the patents Blu-ray is based on. One of the main reason Blu-ray is praised by studios is because they allegedly have a superior, more restrictive, and less hackable DRM system than the competition. However as LightingIII stated that DRM is not hacker proof and it has already been hacked repeatingly (I know not a real word) and copies of Blu-ray sourced video are already circulating.

As for the Microsoft link to HD-DVD, they are not the founder or owner of most of the format's patents, Toshiba is. Microsoft's contribution to the format was the HDi interactive interface system. Microsoft is also a contributor of the VC-1 compression codec which is based on the Windows Media Video 9 codec. Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD supports VC-1 so it’s not like Microsoft’s meager contributions can allow it to even be considered the owner of HD-DVD. If anything, Microsoft is largely a marketing supporter to HD-DVD much like Columbia Pictures (Sony’s movie house) and Disney are marketing supporters to Blu-ray in addition to releasing movies for the format.

As for LightingIII’s and your comment about cost; I would take more credence from LightingIII’s standpoint, because history has dictated that consumers generally will gravitate to the products that give them the greatest performance to costs or derived satisfaction to costs. Being that standalone Blu-ray players are hundreds of dollars more expensive than the below $200 (or in limited availability $99) HD-DVD players, and that HD-DVD quality and features for movies are generally indistinguishable from Blu-ray, I would say that I would buy a HD-DVD over a Blu-ray based solely on that economic analysis.


RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Oregonian2 on 11/6/2007 3:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
Kmart's selling of Toshiba HD-format video players and selling PS3 game stations isn't what I call supporting both formats. Proponents may see it that way, but I think that's a gross distortion. IMO those two don't directly compete with one another as a TV disc player to the general consumer market even if it does so to nerdy folk (which includes me, btw -- but I've bought neither yet).

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By maverick85wd on 11/6/2007 4:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because the PS3 is not a stand-alone player I see where you are coming from, but I disagree. I am very seriously considering the purchase of a PS3 and one of it's major charms is the ability to play BD's... one more PS3 sold is still, technically, one more BD player sold. Even if K-Mart doesn't sell BD movies (I have no idea either way) they are still selling BD players and that is my point.

On a side note, one thing I haven't seen many people talk about is what has the higher potential to become popular on the computer front... BD have a higher capacity-per-layer which I would have to assume will mean it will be more popular as you can fit more on cheaper single-layer media

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Axbattler on 11/7/2007 4:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
I've not gone HD so far simply because of the costs. So all my comments regarding the BD vs HD 'war' has been from the perspective of the better successor of DVD-R(W). And while both formats are too expensive for most right now, I am leaning towards the BD camp because not only has BD got the higher capacity, but in terms of cost per GB, it does work cheaper in most places I've checked.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By theapparition on 11/6/2007 4:05:48 PM , Rating: 1
The site you linked to also reported the same info that Dailytech did.

For instance, at the bottom of the K-mart HD-DVD article, it has a link to a previous story on K-marts exclusivity.

Same with the Transformers "lie":

Perhaps your own favorite site is biased as well?

Maybe news sites report (and get this??)...umm, news . I find it incredulous that Daily Tech is HD-DVD biased when the editor-in-chief owns a Blu-Ray player.

No, it just seems they are biased when good news comes out against something you are not a fan of, and bad news comes out on something you are a proponent of. If you step back, you'll see that there is usually pretty unbiased coverage of most things here.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By Gio6518 on 11/6/2007 4:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
i apoligize to you on this i didnt see that link there, but i still stand behind other statements

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By SavagePotato on 11/6/2007 3:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Certainly the more fervent HD-DVD fans didn't get at all obnoxious when Paramount took the pay off did they?

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By theapparition on 11/6/2007 4:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
And did BR fans cry about Disney's exclusivity. So let's not get all high and mighty.

I have both formats, so don't care about a winner. Both will survive, and combo players next year will be under $200.

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By steven975 on 11/6/2007 4:10:30 PM , Rating: 2

a regurgitated NYT link isn't proof. If it happened, it would be in one place, in the open, for all to see.

These are public companies; the "payoff" would be specifically broken out in quarterly financial statements!

I can't see it. Can you??

RE: Sometimes I wonder...
By SavagePotato on 11/6/2007 6:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for illustrating my point fellas.

By cheetah2k on 11/7/2007 12:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
I am still boggled to see that Anandtech hasn't had a review on PC BR/HD-DVD combo players for the PC yet.

I actually just bought the LG Electronics GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue BD Drive/HD DVD Reader and its great. I picked up mine for a measly US$312 (HK$2500). Acer has also released a combo player, and Pioneer have a stock BR PC player available as well.

Even though I've bought mine already, come on Anandtech, we need reviews!

By timmiser on 11/7/2007 1:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
How did you get that player for $300? It retails for over $1000.

Regardless, it could play blu-ray, HD-DVD, DVD, fry the eggs in the morning and fetch the paper but it still wouldn't be worth $1000 so why review it?

By glitchc on 11/7/2007 3:22:58 AM , Rating: 2
By that logic, why review any new piece of hardware in the top performance bracket? Why bother with an 8800 GTX Ultra, QX9700, latest AMD chip (whenever it comes out), and so on and so forth. None of the top performance stuff is worth the money being charged for it.

Why bother even having a website with such stuff? A $99 whatchamacallit player from Walmart is enough for everyone, who needs a $299 one? Everyone will obviously be happy with a $99 receiver and home theatre system as well, just like everyone is happy driving a Taurus....

</end rant>

P.S. I second the OP. Reviews on HD drives = good idea.

By AlphaVirus on 11/7/2007 12:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
just like everyone is happy driving a Taurus....

I actually am happy driving a Taurus. Currently have the 2005 but I am about to get the 2008 which is similar to an Avalon if you havent reviewed it yet.

By timmiser on 11/7/2007 12:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
Because the LG player is not in the "Top performance bracket". It just plays both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs and that is the point.

By glitchc on 11/9/2007 8:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
It is if it's the only player in the market that can do that. I don't know the market too well, so I could be wrong, but that's the impression I got from the article.

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 10:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps the OP was thinking about the LG Dual format standalone player which retails for over $1,000 rather than a combo drive for using in an HTPC?

By timmiser on 11/7/2007 12:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the OP specifically mentioned the LG Electronics GGW-H10NI.

Why be exclusive?
By timmiser on 11/6/2007 2:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
So is there a financial incentive paid to neutral studios to be exclusive to one format? It seems it is a no brainer to release in both formats if you weren't already tied into a specific format such as Sony.

RE: Why be exclusive?
By Master Kenobi on 11/6/2007 2:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh there's probably some profit sharing or subsidies on both sides to encourage use of their format exclusively.

RE: Why be exclusive?
By Oregonian2 on 11/6/2007 3:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
There's differences in DRM and interactivity issues (and how those things are developed) too, as I recall.

RE: Why be exclusive?
By Master Kenobi on 11/6/2007 4:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, but the DRM is pointless. BD+ will be broken in short order.

RE: Why be exclusive?
By Gio6518 on 11/6/2007 5:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
your right about that

everyone has DRM so dont fool yourselves

the only people that really get hurt by this are the legit consumers, not only do we have to pay for the media we have to pay for the copy protection on those discs, pirates will crack it and keep duplicating the media, whether movies, music, or games

By djkrypplephite on 11/6/2007 4:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think I'd really prefer HD DVD to win, just so Sony fails. I mean I'm not goint to buy either one for a long time, not only because of the format wars, but also because I don't support the DRM crap they dish out, but I mean who wouldn't like to see Sony suffer?

By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:16:23 PM , Rating: 3
That's really a stupid reason to support HD-DVD... If you're going to bother supporting one format over the other why not do some research and decide which one actually meets your needs better?

By timmiser on 11/7/2007 1:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
He made it clear that he wasn't going to buy either format for a long time so he may be "rooting" for HD-DVD, but he certainly isn't "supporting" it.

Just a Guess ...
By deeznuts on 11/6/2007 4:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Just a guess but ... damage control?

Why take almost a week to address such statements from its VP? These aren't wild rumors floating the net, but actual statements from their VP.

Sounds to me someone pressed a lot of disks for both formats for the holiday season/near future and don't want to jeapardize those sales.

Or the VP was really talking out of his arse, but then again, why take a week to address it?

Oh well, continues renting movies from netflix so I don't care who wins.

RE: Just a Guess ...
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
Could well be the VP was talking out of his arse, samething happend at Microsoft with discussion about a X-Box BD drive upgrade coming down the pipe... Peter Moore talked up the quite a bit in Japan in early '06, then all of the sudden Moore ends up an EA and at the end of '07 there's no x-box BD drive in sight (kind of sucks, would be nice to have cheap BD hardware available to me)...

By Locutus465 on 11/7/2007 9:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
As to exactly how important price is...

Video Business is reporting record-breaking sales numbers for Toshiba's HD-A2 player following last Friday's price drops at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.......Quoting sources close to the retailers, VB estimates that 90,000 units were sold at top outlets, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Circuit City. According to the trade paper, that's nearly as many sales as the best-selling stand-alone Blu-ray Disc player (Sony's the $499 BDP-S300) has sold since its launch.

PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By daftrok on 11/6/07, Rating: -1
RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By therealnickdanger on 11/6/2007 2:38:46 PM , Rating: 4
The HD-A2 that was sold in Wal-Mart for $99 actually cost around 400-500 dollars to MAKE. The reason is because HD DVD's have a higher compression than Blu-ray and therefore need more processing power.

Both of those sentences are completely without merit. I challenge you to come up with the source of your first claim. I have seen that same "fact" posted on a number of forums in the past couple days - not one has been thoroughly substantiated.

Second, in most cases, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have the SAME EXACT compression because studios don't bother to create unique 1080p masters for each format. In fact, out of the two formats, the Blu-Ray spec actually calls for more demanding bitrates (video and audio combined) than HD-DVD.

HD-DVD has ALWAYS been cheaper for the consumer, even back when it was "winning". That's not typical for a product that costs more.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By daftrok on 11/6/2007 4:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
With the exception of the 720p/1080i HD DVD players that Toshiba came out with, HD DVD has always been near the same price, be it in movies and even blank media storage. The first claim I received from here:

And in the beginning when HD DVD players came out (like the HD A2), HD DVDs had a much higher compression and therefore needed more processing power, which is why the HD-A2 cost so much to make.

So in the 720p/1080i category, yes the HD DVD players are in fact cheaper. But in the 1080p market, the PS3 is the cheapest (especially now since its $399).

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:56:46 PM , Rating: 2 lists the toshiba A-30 at 321.88... If you go buy list price (you know, as opposed to the actual price a consumer pays) then BD finally has a player at the same price point as HD-DVD...

However for some this will not be a desirable option, most people I know (including me) would rather have a stand alone DVD player than anything integrated into or some how attached to any game console (which is why my x-box hd-dvd is up for sale and I now own a toshiba a-2).

Yes I realize that for some the oppisite may be true, but my guess is that more often than not people want a stand alone player v. anything integrated with a game system.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, as suggested the above ignores the A-2/3 models which are fine for the vast majority of people and are significantly cheaper.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By aos007 on 11/6/2007 6:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
In Canada, there aren't any models below $350 (that's the A3 price). A2 is as mentioned many times an obsolete model which isn't for sale any more anywhere (I know you guys had doorcrasher sales in US last week, but none of those ocurred here). The cheapest BluRay player is PS3 at $399 so in Canada there is very little price difference between two format players (standalone BluRay players are still around $550 so for people who for some reason don't want a gaming console to use as a player (no IR remote without hacks, non-stackable shape, loud for a media player)).

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 11:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
A quick check of canadian best buy canada did seem to demonstrate this point... However in your post you do point out why in the end blu ray isn't in a much better position in CA than it is here (as far as consumer price parody).

Yes, the PS3 is an option.... However the question is, is it seen as being a particularly desirable option? Noise, lack of IR remote (though some might prefer RF) and most importantly looks/stackablility will tend to deminish the PS3 as a viable blu ray option for many, quite possibly most (yes, I realize not all).

So in the end you're basically left with HD stand alone prices v. blu ray stand alone prices where HD maintains a lead...

Of course having looked at the price it seems like HD-DVD in canada is no where near as tantalizingly close to becoming a mass market product as it is here in the US. South of you we've already been enjoying sub-$200 prices with breif sub-$100 pricing. If Toshiba keeps the pressure on in the US market BD may find its self in some serious trouble (at least in this market) since from what I understand BD is only just now starting to get ready to hit hte $400 price point here (non-ps3).

Perhaps losing the US market might not automatically and immediatly lose sony the format war, but it will put them in one hell of a bind if they do.

By therealnickdanger on 11/7/2007 8:35:08 AM , Rating: 3
And in the beginning when HD DVD players came out (like the HD A2), HD DVDs had a much higher compression and therefore needed more processing power, which is why the HD-A2 cost so much to make.

Wrong again. SINCE THE BEGINNING, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD have set maximum bitrates for content and special features - and they are nearly identical (the exception being Blu-Ray's higher audio bitrate). This has not changed since the inception of both formats. With the exception of some Blu-Ray players that aren't final-spec, every high-def player can play both old and new media with all features. The content hasn't changed.

The first generation HD-DVD players (A1, XA1) series players were expensive mostly due to the fact that they used general-purpose Intel P4 processors (alongside all the other similarily expensive components and cooling mechanisms). The second generation (A2, A-20, XA2*) uses much cheaper, lower-power, specialized silicon designed to meet the needs of playback. The third generation (A3, A-30, A-35) reduces costs and components even more. At no point since its inception has the content changed. The new players are every bit as powerful and are actually more efficient and perform faster - but they are much cheaper to produce.

There's no doubt that the A2 is selling at a loss when sold for $98, but not only is that to be expected with a closeout-style sale, but anything quoting iSuppli is suspect - especially when they use year-old numbers. At this stage in the game, it is very realistic to expect that Toshiba is losing some money on the A2 and A3 when sold at the $149 price point, but likely making some money on the A20, A30, XA2, and A35. Ultimately, selling hardware at a loss in order to make money on software is nothing new. That's the whole point of a loss leader. Keep in mind that just because Wal-Mart or Best Buy SELL an A2 for $98 doesn't mean that they BOUGHT it from Toshiba for $98. The loss of money may be entirely on the shoulders of the retailer. Again, that's what loss leaders are all about - to get you in the store.

The cheapest HD-DVD player (MSRP) in the beginning was $499 - this was nearly a year before the PS3 came out (also at $499. Up to that point, the cheapest Blu-Ray players were about $899 MSRP. Street prices are something completely different, and in that regard, HD-DVD has always held a lower price, even for 1080p players. As of today, it's somewhat of a crap-shoot. Christmas deals, closeout sales, and other discounts will allow a savvy shopper to snag 1080p HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players for around $300 each.

But we're talking about "Average Joe Big Box Retail Shopper". Right now, he sees HD-DVD as less expensive, but he also hears a lot of FUD from marketing and mostly guys like you that make him think Blu-Ray is better and that its higher price point is worth it.

*XA2's REON controller adds significantly to its price, but deservedly so.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Razgriz20 on 11/6/2007 2:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
The PS3 is the majority of Sony's bread and butter

Its ain't actually their bread & butter. Even with their losses on the PS3, their other products sells pretty well (i.e. cybershot).

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By daftrok on 11/6/2007 4:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
Be it as it may, what has driven Sony for the past 10 to 15 years was its consoles.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By gus6464 on 11/6/2007 5:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
Be it as it may, what has driven Sony for the past 10 to 15 years was its consoles.

You're kidding right? The Playstation has never been the main cash cow of Sony. Their Consumer Electronics division (TVs, DVDs, Walkman, etc.) has been their main source of revenue. And no the Playstation is not part of that division anymore.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By daftrok on 11/6/2007 10:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
Over 130 million Playstation One's sold
Over 110 million Playstation 2's sold

In other words, what has driving Sony for the past 10-15 years was its consoles.

By therealnickdanger on 11/7/2007 8:40:47 AM , Rating: 2
The number of consoles has nothing to do with anything but the success of the gaming division - not Sony as a whole. Compare each of Sony's divisions in terms of gross revenue and net profit. You'll see that the Playstation brand is just a cog in a much larger money-making machine.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By steven975 on 11/6/2007 2:42:22 PM , Rating: 1
"Why are companies selling their Blu-ray players for such a high price? Why does Sony have stand alone Blu-ray players? When will they go down in price?"

Because they want to make money. Sony GIVES you $2-300 to buy a PS3 through subsidies. There's no business sense in anyone but Sony and Toshiba doing subsidies.

"The HD-A2 that was sold in Wal-Mart for $99 actually cost around 400-500 dollars to MAKE"

This isn't true anymore. You got a current link?

"The reason is because HD DVD's have a higher compression than Blu-ray and therefore need more processing power"

This isn't really true. Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD support the same codecs and levels of compression. Blu-Ray supports a higher max data rate, though.

"The other reason why companies won't bring down the price is because Blu-ray is in a comfortable spot right now and a drop in price for stand alone players is not necessary."

This is outright not true. Neither is sitting pretty. While Blu-Ray wins the weekly pissing contests on disc sales, a huge chunk of those are through discounts and BOGO promotions creating the illusion of leadership. I'm without these promotions they'd still be the sales leader, but not to nearly the degree they are now. The other side of that is that people with blu-ray machines DO NOT BUY DISCS! The average blu-ray player has sold less than one movie. That's basically proof the PS3 won't win the game. It'll give an early lead, but won't win.

I have both formats and both are great. I don't care which wins as I'm covered.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By weskurtz0081 on 11/6/2007 2:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
This is outright not true. Neither is sitting pretty. While Blu-Ray wins the weekly pissing contests on disc sales, a huge chunk of those are through discounts and BOGO promotions creating the illusion of leadership. I'm without these promotions they'd still be the sales leader, but not to nearly the degree they are now. The other side of that is that people with blu-ray machines DO NOT BUY DISCS! The average blu-ray player has sold less than one movie. That's basically proof the PS3 won't win the game. It'll give an early lead, but won't win.

That seems to be a pretty good statement. Another thing to keep in mind is how many BD's have been sold ONLY because of the PS3. They were bundling movies were they not? And also the 5 free movie offer after the purchase. That probably accounts for the large gap between the two. In the end, it will probably come down to price. I don't really care which wins, I just want one to die out.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By SirLucius on 11/6/2007 3:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
Are we now counting the PS3 in BD sales? I know there was a time when people weren't, then they were, then they weren't, etc, etc. I can't keep up.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By steven975 on 11/6/2007 3:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
as far as disc sales, yea the PS3 counts because you can't break out software sales.

Is a PS3 equivalent to a Blu-Ray standalone? Heck no.

Your average PS3 owner has bought one-half a movie. Then you have PS3 owners like me with 35 movies skewing that. The MEDIAN number of movies sold per PS3 is probably 1/4 to 1/3! That's why many think the PS3 should be adjusted for in player sales. It shouldn't be 100% counted and it shouldn't be eliminated, but the number should be "modified" somewhat although the specific amount is contested.

I'd assume a Blu-Ray standalone is probably comparable to a HD-DVD standalone in sales per player...which I think is like 4-6. Same for the 360 add-on as it is purpose-built for movies unlike the PS3. Fun fact: The 360AO has sold more than every Blu-Ray standalone...combined.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By grampaw on 11/6/2007 4:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
What do Blu-ray and HD-DVD sales have to do with anything? I had both format players (Sony PS3 - I don't game at all, and Toshiba A20) for almost 10 months now, and have yet to buy a disk of either format. I just rent Blu-ray and HD-DVD format disks at Netflix and Blockbuster.

I don't understand why people "buy" if they can easily rent DVDs in Hi Def or SD resolutions. I also don't get the "format war" line of reasoning - it seemed clear to me 10 months ago, when I bought both players, that both formats would co-exist for the next few years at least.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Locutus465 on 11/6/2007 5:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
I perfer buying so I can watch the movie again w/o having to run to the store or wait for a disc in the mail.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By aos007 on 11/6/2007 6:49:48 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately while your solution is optimal and cost-effective, it's not easy to get timely rentals on HD content. In Canada at least - - you'll be waiting for a long while to get a new release or popular HD disc delivered, while DVDs still arrive very fast. Is the situation in US better?

Buying new releases in HD is tough on wallet though, it reminds me of early DVD days when I was spending a lot of money on new releases since there were no places with good selection and online rentals were non existent as an industry. My shelves are full of DVDs that cost $25-35 and are now worth nothing (or worse, cost me money by taking precious space).

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By Spuke on 11/7/2007 12:37:16 AM , Rating: 2
Is the situation in US better?
Yes it is. The HD DVD and Bluray versions release at the same time as the regular DVD versions so there's no wait. And Netflix gets them right at release too so you can rent them right away.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By djc208 on 11/7/2007 7:29:01 AM , Rating: 2
While renting is fine for most stuff, in the end there are movies you like or love enough that you will watch over and over. Therefore you want to be able to watch them whenever you feel like. You only have to rent the movie two or three times to have paid for the cost of owning it, and that's if you paid full price most times.

Add on the inconvenience of going to get it or having it delivered and it's a no-brainer. Maybe when Netflix or someone has all their titles available online it won't be as big a deal but for now, owning favorite movies is cheaper in the long run.

RE: PS3: Blu-ray's savior?
By grampaw on 11/7/2007 1:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Blu-ray and HD-DVD format rental availability can be problematical. To get a rental new release title my fairly successful procedure is to: put the title first in my Netflix queue in either Blu-ray or HD-DVD format (Netflix makes you choose); put the title first in my Blockbuster queue in either or both formats, if both formats released (allowed with Blockbuster); and check at the brick/mortar Blockbuster store on Tuesday. Sometime you get a "hit", sometimes you don't - it's pure luck. One one case, I ended up with 3 rental copies (2 blu-ray, 1 HD-DVD) of the title "Disturbia." Other times I have to wait a week or so.

I also have this theory - there are too many good movies out there to watch and not enough time to watch them all (and also have a life), so watching a movie twice makes no sense.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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