Print 23 comment(s) - last by HighWing.. on Feb 19 at 1:29 PM

HD DVD enters the point of no return as hardware manufacturers announce plans to support Blu-ray

With more studios abandoning ship in the HD DVD camp, Samsung became one of the first hardware vendors to publicly scuttle its HD DVD interests. 

The Korea Times, a publication regarded for close ties to Samsung, received word from company officials late yesterday.  "Samsung is expected to show more interests in Blu-ray products than rival HD DVDs," claimed a company representative.

The high-definition format war raged from 2006 until the first week of 2008 when Warner Brothers announced its intention to cease plans for dual-format media, followed by proclamation of Blu-ray exclusivity.

Samsung's commitment to HD DVD could be described as little more than lip service. The company announced plans to unveil dual-format HD DVD and Blu-ray players 18 months ago, only to promulgate delays for the next year.  When the company finally introduced its BD-UP5000 player, Korean rival LG practically owned the dual-format player market.

Samsung never released a standalone HD DVD player.

Toshiba, the largest manufacturer of HD DVD hardware, denies its intention to pull out of the HD DVD market.  However, Japanese public news broadcaster NHK claims Toshiba's decision to exit the market will come later this week.

The HD DVD Promotion Group still commands the support of Paramount and DreamWorks; two major Hollywood studios committed to exclusive HD DVD releases. 

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Consumer ignorance
By Micronite on 2/18/2008 4:58:57 PM , Rating: 5
You know, I was a little surprised when my wife asked me if Blu-Ray players played regular DVD's. I guess I hadn't considered that anyone wouldn't know that. But what even took me even more was when I was listening to a morning radio show and all three of the announcers were upset that Blu-Ray was going to be the new standard because "What do I do with all my DVD's? Use them as drink coasters?" I guess the general public doesn't know that they can keep their old DVD's. Sony should really try to educate the public.

RE: Consumer ignorance
By KristopherKubicki on 2/18/2008 5:03:28 PM , Rating: 3
I've tried to explain to my parents that there are actually two competing high definition formats for months. And they read DailyTech too.

I think they generally understand that Blu-ray is new, but both think HD DVD is actually just DVD (and since they have an HD TV, they automatically have HD DVD or something ...)

The average consumer doesn't know, and doesn't care to know.

RE: Consumer ignorance
By HighWing on 2/18/2008 11:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
The average consumer doesn't know, and doesn't care to know.

*laughs* I think that statement can be said for most advances in tech.
From what I've seen the avg. consumer only cares when they have a need for it, and even then they will ask their closest tech savvy friend which one is good, not caring about anything else s/he says until they mention a brand name and model.

RE: Consumer ignorance
By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 2:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
You forget the most important item MONEY !

Whats is the PRICE ?

Thats what they care about first- PRICE - then the rest brand,model name etc.

The deciding factor being the "PRICE".

RE: Consumer ignorance
By HighWing on 2/19/2008 1:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
oh god yes how could I have forgotten that. When I used to work at Best Buy it was so frustrating to see a couple come in to buy a computer, and their son is holding a game whose minimum specs don't meet the specs of the computer they are looking at, and the couple still won't believe that your not trying to sell them a more expensive model just to get a better commission... Best Buy has never been on commission...and they STILL don't believe you!!!

hell I tell people with electronics, in most cases but not all, you get what you pay for.

RE: Consumer ignorance
By AlphaVirus on 2/18/2008 5:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
I hear the same things from the general public in malls, on the radio, school, and work. The only reason my wife knows anything about Blu-Ray is because she bought me the PS3 and I keep her up-to-date with whats going on in the format war.
Since Sony is doing such a good job advertising the PS3, maybe they should do seperate ads specifically for the Blu-Ray side of the PS3.

Maybe have an 'average' joe watching his blu-ray player then have his child come up with an old DVD "Daddy, daddy, can we watch this movie"..."Sure son, just pop it in and we can watch it."

Simple commercials like this is what moves the public. If you try to sit down and teach them, they will not listen because they really dont care much, unless they can easily relate.

By SavagePotato on 2/18/2008 4:49:51 PM , Rating: 5
Samsung announcing they won't be making hd-dvd players has about as much value to it as me announcing I won't make hd-dvd players.

I wish they would stop making blu ray players too, they make some damn crappy players.

RE: Blah
By PAPutzback on 2/18/2008 4:56:31 PM , Rating: 1
What would DT have to talk about. Sure something new in technology is being talked about somewhere.

I can't stand my Samsung dvd player. Freaking bright as hell blue ring, slow load times and I lost the remote so there is noway to navigate well with the stupid dial thingy. They should stick with LCD panels.

RE: Blah
By sweetsauce on 2/18/2008 5:32:16 PM , Rating: 3
Damn i was holding out for that new samsung hd-dvd player that was announced... uh never?

RE: Blah
By Samus on 2/19/2008 4:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung makes crappy optical drives in general. How does anyone expect them to make a decent HD-DVD/Bluray player.

My last DVD player was a Samsung (free with my TV ironically) and man was it a piece of crap. The boot time was around 30 seconds (my Toshiba HD-A2 is faster than that) and the disc load time was another 20. It had the worst remote control in the world. Tiny buttons, and millions of them, not grouped well at all. Lastly, it made a noticable disc spinning noise while playing. It wasn't just my player either, a bunch of people on some home theater forum had the same complaint.

Samsung, stick to monitors and memory.

This just in...
By sweetsauce on 2/18/2008 5:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
Panasonic, Sharp, Phillips, and LG have decided to stop producing HD-DVD players and go exclusive with blu-ray. What an amazing turn of events, more at 11.

RE: This just in...
By Belard on 2/18/2008 7:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
Uh... other than LG, none of those other companies actually produced or sold a HD-DVD player. And LG only made a combo player for $1000... which always cost the same as 2 whole units.

Those who sold HD-DVD player, well - actually sold re-badged Toshibas:

- RCA - Only 1st gen. Discontinued a LONG time ago.
- Onkyo - Late in 2007, but maybe discountinued - is $900. 2nd gen top-end Toshiba.
- Venturer - Actually an A3. Sold for $200 (now $167 online) but its warranty is worse than Toshiba. Oh and nobody wants them.

LG has anot announced anything different for their players.

RE: This just in...
By sweetsauce on 2/18/2008 8:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
All i can say is, wow.

RE: This just in...
By Belard on 2/19/2008 4:54:20 AM , Rating: 2
Well with it being 100% offical that Toshiba is driven the last nail in.

All that is left is for the remaining studios to decide how they are going to switch to Blu. Will Uni/P simply cut off HD-DVD swiftly or finish out their last 10 or so titles. Will WB cancel their last 20 or so HD-DVD titles?

LG will for sure stop production of their combo Hybrid drives & players. Samsung 5500 Hybrid player will not see the light of day (many saw that a mile away 1-2 months ago).

On a personal not, I give thumbs up to Universal for sticking it out to the very end, but they could have released some better titles. Paramount gets thumbs down for taking the bribe rather than staying neutral... This format war might have ended 2 months earlier. Worse, them switching might have prompted tens of thousands of extra HD-DVD players sales.

When Paramount Switched to HD-DVD ONLY, it was a blow to blu, but it wasn't deadly... just life support for HD-DVD.

Okay... HD-DVD is $50 in the next 48hrs from all stores, I bet!

RE: This just in...
By theapparition on 2/19/2008 7:48:39 AM , Rating: 3
On a personal not, I give thumbs up to Universal for sticking it out to the very end, but they could have released some better titles. Paramount gets thumbs down for taking the bribe rather than staying neutral... This format war might have ended 2 months earlier.

If all studios remained neutral, which format do you think would have won? This war was never decided by the consumer, rather than by studios. So, thumbs down for all of them who took sides. Period.

And I see you didn't get sweetsauce's sarcasm, either.

Don't write HD-DVD off just yet
By Gastrian on 2/18/2008 8:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
I know its fashionable to say that its all over for HD-DVD, Blu-Ray won, etc but 2008/2009 will be an important period for HD-DVD.

The cinema releases from their exclusive partners for 2008 currently sits at
Shine a Light - The Martin Scorsee/ Rolling Stones documentry.
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk
Indiana Jones
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Those are all released before or during the summer period so it is likely the vast majority of them will be released pre-holiday season.

I'm not discounting Blu-Ray's releases, there's 10,000BC and the Dark Night could potentially be one of the biggest releases of the year but the bulk of the Blu-Ray exclusives fall into children/family or comedy categories which aren't really big HD pushers.

Basically if HD-DVD screw up this year then they deserve to lose but I see a potential comeback, while the ratios and market shares look bad for HD-DVD the actual sales figures, taken as a whole (including DVD sales) show a very small margin between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

A good couple of weeks for HD-DVD exclusives could turn things around and I'm hoping it does, I have no vested interest in HD-DVD but I do have a vested interest in the consumer's right to chose which mean's I'm against the likes of Wal-Mart, Netflix, Fox, Disney, Paramount, etc who took it upon themselves to decide what I wanted.

RE: Don't write HD-DVD off just yet
By Zoomer on 2/18/2008 10:19:42 PM , Rating: 1
HD DVD was doomed from the start; look at the number of hardware manufacturers for both sides!

By theapparition on 2/19/2008 7:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone who was a licenced member of the DVD forum could produce HD-DVD products. So, technically, there are more hardware manufacturers who had licences for HD-DVD, but chose not to manufacture equipment.

By sweetsauce on 2/18/2008 10:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Great insight. Only problem is that retailers are jumping ship. HD-DVD could fight it out if they had some sort of presence in stores, but now its looking grim. If a couple of big stores announced continued support for them, it could be a start to mounting a comback. Problem is theres more that haven't said anything but are already pulling them off the shelves. I went to sears the other day looking for a wii for my nephew, and asked if they had any HD-DVD's. They had 1 copy of bourne supremacy and a shelf of blu-ray. I asked where they kept their hd-dvds and the guy said they won't anymore since the format war is over. Its probably a trend that won't stop.

Commands the support
By Scott66 on 2/18/2008 4:54:28 PM , Rating: 3
<<The HD DVD Promotion Group still commands the support of Paramount and DreamWorks; two major Hollywood studios committed to exclusive HD DVD releases.>>

I think "commanding" has now become "pleading"

Wal-Mart picks Blu-Ray
By chedrz on 2/18/2008 6:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking at an article over on Tom's Hardware, and apparently Wal-Mart is going to stop selling anything HD DVD related and fully support Blu-Ray. I'm pretty sure that's gonna seal the deal. Sure, most people on here probably wouldn't buy a player from Wal-Mart, but the masses will. And, more importantly, it seems that everyone and their brother buys movies at Wal-Mart. When the largest retail chain in the world does something, I think we all know what happens.

Ship picture.
By Mitch101 on 2/18/2008 10:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Where did you get that ship picture? There an article behind it? Seems like a strange scrap salvage.

Microsoft responds
By crystal clear on 2/19/2008 2:51:44 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft responds to the current developments-

"We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace," the company said. "We will wait until we hear from Toshiba before announcing any specific plans around the Xbox 360 HD DVD player."

The Microsoft statement pledged that Xbox 360 customers would continue to be able to consume high-definition movies, television programs, and DVDs they already own.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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