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Chart of one week top ten and since-inception top ten HD DVD and Blu-ray

Information on the top 25 Blu-ray and HD DVD sold in 2007

Movie studios compared across the formats as of the week ending March 18

A comparison of HD DVD and Blu-ray over both formats' lifetime - All figures provided by SPHE
Latest sales figures show Blu-ray Disc outselling HD DVD seven to three

Sony, a clear backer of the Blu-ray Disc, has released a special report on the next-generation format’s current lead over HD DVD. Although the source of the report leads to immediately brings up the issue of obvious bias, the numbers cited come from reputable retail point-of-sake statistics source Nielsen VideoScan.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was likely spurred to release the report based on the success of Casino Royale on Blu-ray Disc. The latest Bond flick debuted at the top of the next-gen format sales charts with 28,233 units, making it the fastest selling high-def disc to date. The release of Casino Royale also boosted Blu-ray sales 74.4 percent for the week ending March 18 as compared to the previous week. In comparison, HD DVD sales fell 14.1 percent compared to the week before that.

Blu-ray’s strong sales since the beginning of 2007 have given it a 7 to 3 sales ratio versus HD DVD. Year to date sales of Blu-ray are 549,730 units and for HD DVD 249,451 units.

Blu-ray’s lead isn’t as strong, however, when looking at cumulative sales since each format’s inception. Total sales for Blu-ray Disc are around 844,000 and for HD DVD an approximate total of 708,600 units. Blu-ray surpassed HD DVD in total units sold during mid-February.

In terms of movies, seven out of the top 10 best selling high-def movies of all time are Blu-ray titles. For the week ending March 18, nine out of 10 were Blu-ray titles. The only HD DVD to crack that week’s is The Departed in fifth place, while the Blu-ray version held second place.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also broke down the high-def format unit market share. For Blu-ray, Sony leads with 32.2 percent, followed by Warner at 19 percent and Fox at 13.7 percent. For HD DVD, Warner accounts for 47.3 percent, followed by Universal with 38.3 percent and Paramount at 12.1 percent.

Although Nielsen VideoScan statistics are generally indicative of market trends, they do not include Wal-Mart and some online merchants. Sony’s choice to publish its findings after analyzing the latest numbers is a clear indication of the confidence that Blu-ray Disc has in winning the format war. Still, Blu-ray only took the lead from HD DVD in 2007, which HD DVD supporters blame on their format’s relatively sluggish recent months. With high-definition movie sales figures being insignificant when compared to the numbers that DVD sells, both HD DVD and Blu-ray have a ways to go before either one can truly be declared a winner.

For Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's full report, download the PDF document here courtesy of Digital Bits.



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RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 10:09:10 AM , Rating: 0
> "isn’t it time to drop the disk and the player?"

What do you suggest as an alternative? I have over 1000 DVDs alone. And while my HD movie collection is much smaller, each one takes up nearly 30GB by itself. In native format I'd need nearly 8TB to hold it all...and another 8TB somewhere to back it up...lest I lose it all on the first glitch. Besides the costs of 16 1-TB drives themselves, you have to factor in the power and other support costs. And while DVDs can be transcoded to less space, that's really not an option with HD films...so that's no long-term solution at all.

In 7-8 years, hard drive space will be much cheaper. But by then, I'd imagine a new HD format with 10X the pixel count of 1080p will be on the horizon, so I don't see discs vanishing then either.


RE: D. None of the above
By DingieM on 4/10/2007 10:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
Seems you have a big problem heh.


RE: D. None of the above
By wrekd on 4/10/2007 10:41:18 AM , Rating: 3
Well you are a different breed of consumer if you have 1000 DVDs so try not to lump yourself in with the rest of us paupers ;)

I think if you take the average consumer and look at the number of titles purchased yearly (for personal use, not gifts to others), then a fault tolerant RAID system of acceptable capacity would be within reach.

And 30GB is with all the extra "stuff". Most only need the movie and if store on personal resources most would only choose the main feature. The Extras could be purchased separately as they are now just tools to inflate the price.

Your physical collection takes up as much space today as it did yesterday and will tomorrow. A data only collection will continuously be easier to store over time.


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 10:55:13 AM , Rating: 1
Did you actually say "average consumer" and "fault-tolerant RAID" in the same sentence? The average consumer doesn't even have broadband yet. Without a disc, how are you going to get a movie to him, much less permanently store it?

Still, the storage is the real problem. HD films are just too big for any reasonable collection to be stored on disc. (despite your belief, many of them do approach 30GB with little to no extras). In a few years that won't be true...but then higher def formats will be on the horizon.


RE: D. None of the above
By SunAngel on 4/10/07, Rating: -1
RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 1:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
I believe I understood. He wants the average consumer to buy a Raid-based media server, manage both it and backups for it, and download and hold their entire media library to it without the use of any sort of optical disk or (in the case of the 'average' consumer) without even the use of a broadband connection.

If I've misunderstood, please advise.


RE: D. None of the above
By wrekd on 4/10/2007 3:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
You missed it. I don't care about RAID-based media servers. That was just a means to an end. I don't know what the future will bring; I only know what technology we have today. Hell in a few years we could all be using wireless Fibre channel to access our 30TB Gmail accounts.

I care about the content not the container. I'm tired of scratching discs and it has nothing to do with how I personally handle the media and everything to do with the media itself. The Industry loves it when consumers scratch discs.


RE: D. None of the above
By Oregonian2 on 4/10/2007 6:27:27 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You missed it. I don't care about RAID-based media servers. That was just a means to an end. I don't know what the future will bring; I only know what technology we have today. Hell in a few years we could all be using wireless Fibre channel to access our 30TB Gmail accounts.


In a few years? Massive people will still be using 56K modems.

Okay I want to go to the coast next weekend and bring some of our favorite movies with us to watch while we have the ocean sounds in the background. How do we bring them? Assume this fiber (that's much faster than FIOS) is hooked up everywhere an they've massive storage there? Oh, by the way. These files will have DRM on them too obviously, how will it allow us to play it there? will it have to be deleted from our local server to move the copy to the hotel?

Yes, it'll probably happen, but nowhere near "in a few years". Maybe in twenty at best. At very least the fiber to the home that they're putting in now will have to be replaced with something faster, and the ground will have to be dug up for that and the entire country's infrastructure that'll cost money in insane quantity will have to be paid out a couple times over (and be profitable for it to be done -- remember).

So the fundamental question is: "how will this be cheaper than distribution by discs" and/or "why will people pay the added costs for things to go that way"?

Also how will it be backed up? Each movie on a disc? :-)


RE: D. None of the above
By spartan014 on 4/11/2007 12:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
Priceless!!!

Wireless fibre channels??

LOL!!


RE: D. None of the above
By wrekd on 4/12/2007 8:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't know, don't post

1. Look up iSCSI
2. Pay attention to the part that says TCP/IP and Ethernet
3. Research wireless technologies
4. Shut you piehole with your "Priceless LOLs"


RE: D. None of the above
By spartan014 on 4/19/2007 12:33:17 AM , Rating: 2
If it is wireless, what is the need to say fibre or copper? What you probably meant was wireless channels with the bandwidth of a fibre channel. But the term you used was an oxymoron. If you can't accept that, its your problem..


RE: D. None of the above
By BMFPitt on 4/10/2007 3:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
As painful as the thought of defending a SunAngel comment is, I have to say that you are making out the difficulty of implementing this to be way more than it is.

This could be done in a set top box with a simplistic interface with no technical expertise. Backups wouldn't be required because you would have the right to redownload using your account on whatever service provides the content.

Yes, this means your 'average' consumer would need a broadband connection. If by 'average' you mean the purchaser of a beyond-next-generation media device.

(With the exception of a big enough RAID array, XBox360 and PS3 pretty much fit his description.)


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 3:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
> "Yes, this means your 'average' consumer would need a broadband connection"

There are some 45 million broadband subscribers in the US. That means most don't have it...and even that 45 million figure counts connection like basic 256K DSL, which is pretty much useless for downloading HD content.

Even once you cross that hurdle, you have issues with access rights, customer perception of ownership for intangible data, and a hundred other problems. They'll all be solved one day...but it won't be anytime in the next 5 years, possibly 10.

I stand by the remark. Such a system is not practical for the mass market yet.


RE: D. None of the above
By BMFPitt on 4/10/2007 3:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
That was great the way you took out the second part of that statement. I'm sure nobody noticed.


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 4:22:57 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry if you felt I took your statement out of context. But while HD-DVD and BD are 'next-generation' today, they won't be for long...not if their backers have anything to say about it. They're aiming for the mass market, not the bleeding edge.


RE: D. None of the above
By Andypro on 4/10/2007 4:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still, the storage is the real problem. HD films are just too big for any reasonable collection to be stored on disc.


I've posted on this topic in a past article. The reason that HD films on HDDVD and Blu-ray take up that much space is because all the movie studios are still using their old equipment to transcode their feature films using MPEG2. This is simply due to costs and in no way does it indicate how much space is "required" for a film. H.264 encoding can easily slice the size by 2/3rds.

Once the studios switch their setup over (or once we get established online access to films in HD), they will move to H.264 and you will have no problem storing 100 films in a terabyte.


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 6:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "The reason that HD films on HDDVD and Blu-ray take up that much space is because all the movie studios are still using their old equipment to transcode their feature films using MPEG2..."

I'm sorry, but this isn't true. None of the HD-DVDs are done in MPEG2 (Warner is strictly VC-1), and the films take anywhere from 15GB to 27GB each. Some of the early Blu Ray releases were done in MPEG2 on BD25, but they suffered from image quality issues as a result.


RE: D. None of the above
By wallijonn on 4/11/2007 4:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The reason that HD films on HDDVD and Blu-ray take up that much space is because all the movie studios are still using their old equipment to transcode their feature films using MPEG2. This is simply due to costs and in no way does it indicate how much space is "required" for a film.


If it is a matter of costs, then why would any game developer in his right mind want to buy new equipment just to press Blu-Ray games? Wouldn't it be much simpler to use the old equipment which presses DVD and DVD-9 discs?

And, perhaps, that's one reason why many game developers are swinging towards the XBox .


RE: D. None of the above
By James Holden on 4/10/2007 4:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you actually say "average consumer" and "fault-tolerant RAID" in the same sentence?

I just printed that out and put it on my cubicle.


RE: D. None of the above
By Noya on 4/11/2007 12:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
Do you honestly think formats with resolution greater than 1080p are on the near horizon?

It's taken how many years to jump from NTSC to HD? 50 years or the likes? Not to mention human eyes can't distinguish between 720p and 1080p unless the screen is huge (90"+) and/or the seating distance is close (I recall something like 1.25 screen width).

Granted there's already 4k displays available, but price is prohibitive to the average consumer and content is close to none.


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/11/2007 1:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
> "Do you honestly think formats with resolution greater than 1080p are on the near horizon?"

They will be soon. Within less than 10 years is a safe bet.

> "It's taken how many years to jump from NTSC to HD?"

You're talking government-mandated broadcast standards...which DVDs and their descendants don't use. A much better comparison is looking at how long it took to go from 240i (VHS) to 480i (DVD) to 480p (p-DVD) to 720p (HD) to 1080p (Full-HD). Each of those steps took anywhere from 4 to 20 years. And the longest of them (VHS) was well before media convergence began taking place. We already have monitors capable of resolutions well above 1080p. Players too, if you count a computer as one. Certainly within 10 years, there will be content and probably a new format standard as well.

> "human eyes can't distinguish between 720p and 1080p unless the screen is huge or the seating distance is close..."

That's just my point. Current video distances force the screen to subtend only a small portion of your total field of view. As resolutions increase, people will sit closer (or the screens will grow larger), so the entire experience will become more immersive.

As for 'huge screens', I'm already watching DVDs on a 103" FP system. I could use the additional resolution right now. Systems beyond 1080p aren't as far away as you think.


RE: D. None of the above
By Visual on 4/10/2007 1:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Online storage would be the best for cases such as yours. And no, I'm not saying that you should rip and upload all of your content yourself.

Imagine if the content providers kept an electronic database of the movies you've payed license for, and you can download any one of them any time you want, anywhere you want to watch it. Yes I know waiting to download 30 or 50GB whenever you want to watch something isn't a great idea with current connection speeds, but they're getting faster and faster with time... some day soon?


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 2:35:32 PM , Rating: 3
> "Yes I know waiting to download 30 or 50GB whenever you want to watch something isn't a great idea with current connection speeds, but they're getting faster and faster with time... some day soon? "

True. But my point was, by the time thats feasible for the average consumer, we're going to have formats much larger than 30GB. So don't hold your breath for optical discs to disappear soon.


RE: D. None of the above
By jtesoro on 4/11/2007 5:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
There's going to be some limit where higher quality formats will hit significant diminishing returns in movies. Part of this will be attributed to practical size limits in TVs (e.g. for space reasons, most TVs won't be monster 100-inchers even if people could afford them). Another part will be the fact that most people can't notice the difference in HD resolutions even today (e.g. 720p vs 1080p in a 32 inch LCD).

So while there will be a place for the super high-res, high-bitrate content that is best fulfilled by optical discs, the market for lower quality, easy-to-access downloadable/streamed movies will come. Not soon, but maybe not too far off either.


RE: D. None of the above
By CorrND on 4/10/2007 2:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
I can't wait for the day when this will be true, but my guess is we're looking at at least five years until someone even thinks of doing this. At current peak broadband connections (10Mb/s = 1.25MB/s), downloading a 30GB HD movie would take:

30,000MB / 1.25MB/s = 24,000s = 400min = 6hrs 40min

And that's only if a content provider could consistently provide you data at that speed, your ISP could consistently provide you that much bandwidth, and your ISP doesn't have download caps!

Bandwidth to your house will probably need to be 2 to 3 times faster before downloading HD movies becomes reasonable and probably 6 to 8 times faster before streaming becomes possible.

I think we've got some waiting to do...


RE: D. None of the above
By Axbattler on 4/10/2007 1:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Then again, there will probably be a time where people are no longer interested in higher definitions because they find it too hard to differentiate. Technology has improved faster than our own evolution, and I'd say that improvements will get more subtle. For audio, many seems to feel happy even with a good lossy codecs. SACD and DVD-A hasn't really picked up, when compared to lossy format.

Obviously, movies will always take more space, given that it is audio and video data. But I must wonder if people would not eventually give up ever growing definitions in favour of being able to store their entire movie collections in their multi-TB HDs.

[Whether it is a good thing is another thing - I still rip/encode to lossless for my music collection - but I also recognise that most people are probably happy with MP3s]


RE: D. None of the above
By masher2 (blog) on 4/10/2007 2:41:49 PM , Rating: 3
> "For audio, many seems to feel happy even with a good lossy codecs..."

Because we're near the limits of human perception with audio. With video, we're nowhere near. 1080p isn't too far off...but only if you sit far enough away so the screen subtends only a small percentage of your total field of view.

At some point, movies are going to encompass close to a 180-degreee field of view, horizontal and vertical. And that's going to require 100X or more the pixel count of current HD films.


RE: D. None of the above
By akugami on 4/11/2007 1:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're looking for something like those Omnimax theaters. Simply an awesome experience even if it's pretty much edutainment playing on it.


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