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Blu-ray goes after the hearts and minds of journalists with special festival event by Disney

A survey of North American men and women revealed that the most coveted item for this holiday season is a high-definition television. With flat-panel displays becoming more affordable than ever, many consumers will be making the leap to high-definition.

With the majority of television programming still broadcasted in standard definition, perhaps the best source of HD content today is from a Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD player. The two warring high-definition formats know that this holiday season will be critical in their fight, and are now launching their offensives.

Backers of Blu-ray Disc this week held what it called the “Blu-ray Festival” in hopes to win over the minds of print and online journalists, according to HomeMedia Magazine. The media event occurred alongside the new Blu-ray Disc marketing campaign, which now carries the tagline, “I Do Blu.” With today’s release of Spider-Man 3, and the upcoming releases of Cars, Ratatouille, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Die Hard movies, Blu-ray Disc hopes to have a record season.

Although the release of Transformers on HD DVD sold quickly enough to set records, the Blu-ray Disc camp was quick to rain on that parade. Given to attendees of the event was a fact sheet showing that Blu-ray Disc sales during the week of October 16 managed to out sell the rival format. The sheet also lists sales of Blu-ray Disc accounting for 61 percent of all high-definition disc sales.

Blu-ray Disc-exclusive studio 20th Century Fox’s president Mike Dunn spoke out against rival studio Paramount for “taking the bait” in its decision to release high-definition movies exclusively on HD DVD. Dunn also suggested that a certain large, HD DVD-backing corporation is purposely confusing the high-definition battle in hopes that consumers will go the way of digital downloads.

The report believes that Dunn was referring to Microsoft when he blasted “the orchestrated campaigns of confusion and anti-consumerism fueled by an 800-pound gorilla that would prefer to force us all into the practice of paying tolls for the right to exchange information and enjoy entertainment.”

Meanwhile, the HD DVD camp has been rather quiet but still making moves with sub-$200 HD DVD players for sale at Wal-Mart, CircuitCity and Amazon.

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How to win Blu ray
By daftrok on 10/30/2007 11:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
First off, Sony needs to stop making stand alone Blu ray player that cost more than the PS3. Seriously no one is going to buy it. Second, they need to come out with a stand alone 1080p WITH Ethernet and TrueHD and HDMI 1.3 spec for $200. Seriously the video card and processor are not as advanced as the PS3 and they don't have a HDD nor built in wireless nor bluetooth. Other companies such as Samsung, Panasonic, etc should follow suit. Second (and most significant) is to have the Blu ray format region free. Seriously, they have the space to include Japanese, English, French, German, and Spanish because it is only the center channel in surround sound and two channels for stereo. Another major way to push Blu ray is to start pushing new DVDs to $14.99. Don't have multiple editions for one DVD, simply include it all. Then have new Blu ray movies for $24.99 with more special features. Continue the five free Blu ray movies with purchase of player/PS3 but broaden the selection. Let people choose WHATEVER Blu ray movie they want and DONT limit them to five categories with six movies in each. Seriously Blu ray has a good footing in the market, this holiday season is HD season.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By daftrok on 10/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: How to win Blu ray
By piroroadkill on 11/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/30/2007 11:41:10 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly I do not understand the big attraction of region free disc's, maybe it's something I'm totaly not getting.

However I have never been inclined to need to play a disc from outside my region, and if I realy wanted to, I'd probably just kill the region coding (not to mention all copy protection and anoying locked menus) with clonedvd.

If theres some massive public outcry against region locking, I don't understand it.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By jtemplin on 10/30/2007 11:59:38 PM , Rating: 4
Some people like watching raw foreign films, anime etc. Raw in the sense of not dubbed, translated, or perhaps marketed to Americans (some sort of Tchotchke value, if you will...I know I used to be something of an Otaku).

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/2007 12:03:11 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds like a very niche crowd to me.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By mihai on 10/31/2007 1:21:15 AM , Rating: 1
Nah... Seriously?

RE: How to win Blu ray
By AnnihilatorX on 10/31/2007 12:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
If you are at least a bit into anime you'll find foreign dubbing seriously undermine the quality of an anime.

Voice acting in Japan is a multi-billion (yen) industry that is unrivaled

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Murst on 10/31/2007 12:26:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you're into anime, don't you download the torrents as soon as they're subbed?

Like, I love watching Naruto and Bleach, and usually dattebayo has both subbed several hours after they air in Japan.

If I wanted to watch the versions on disc, I'd probably be waiting much longer than just downloading the version that aired on the same day.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Hydrofirex on 10/31/2007 8:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely - Dattebayo is a great example. Why wait for months and months when you can watch a series along with the Japanese audience?

If you're really into anime fan subs can actually be a better route than official subs or (especially) dubs. You tend to get less watered down translations that are more literal to what is being said. Often, fan subs include notes or explanations of lingual or cultural aspects to the episode your watching. In Inu Yasha for instance there is a lot of background into Japanese folk lore. I usually despise dubbed anime, and official subs rarely seem as good as fan subbing.

With HTPC's and internet distribution becoming more and more common I don't really see the fuss about region free either.


RE: How to win Blu ray
By Oregonian2 on 10/31/2007 5:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
Don't think so. I get a LOT of foreign films from Netflix and they've a huge number of them, I can't be the only one wanting to see something in addition to Hollywood cookie cutter formula "hit movies".

There's also foreign TV stuff like Britcoms (as in the British version of "Coupling" which is absolutely the greatest ever -- the opposite of the horrible attempted American version).

P.S. - Or in the opposite direction, try see "All ladies Do It" with the fabulous Claudia Koll (or some of Tinto Brass' other films). :-) :-)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Oregonian2 on 10/31/2007 5:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
P.P.S. - Release "All Ladies Do It" on Blu-ray and I'll buy a copy even if I don't have a player yet! :-)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Oregonian2 on 10/31/2007 8:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
P.P.P.S. - Ones I do see usually have subtitles, so that might count as "translated" in which I agree in the niche premise other than for foreign films where the language is what I speak anyway (British films for instance). Dubbed ones usually are worse (although sometimes not bad). The Claudia Koll film I mention would still be great even not understanding a word. :-)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Samus on 10/31/2007 4:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
I second that....

I like it raw.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By daftrok on 10/31/2007 12:04:08 AM , Rating: 2
Some things that I would love but don't want to keep waiting for is Final Fantasy: Advent Children, and I wanna watch it in Japanese with subs because the English subtitles suck ass (as they do in everything). Also the Dragonball Z series, Bleach, Cowboy Bebop series and the Cowboy Bebop movie would be awesome as well. Clonedvd is aweseome but it would be a lot less trouble on everyone's part if they just make Blu ray region free. HD DVD is on this bandwagon, but with Japan and the UK predominately supporting Blu ray, HD DVD being region free doesn't really help us anime fans.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By daftrok on 10/31/2007 12:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
I mean the English dubbing sucks*

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 12:25:00 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a big harry potter fan, so are most of my friends and the girl that my heart goes pitter patter for... Harry Potter is only avaiable in HD in England... So how do I watch it here in the USA with my friends and girls that make said heart pitter patter? Buy a copy from england on ebay :)

g'luck doing that with blueray!

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Kanti on 10/31/2007 3:37:48 AM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? That's easily done, it's called region 0.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By mcturkey on 10/31/2007 11:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
Or you wait another month for the US release...

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 1:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Bought it not long after I got my HD-DVD drive in early september, I didn't quite feel like waiting and the price was right :)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By probedb on 10/31/2007 4:41:37 AM , Rating: 3
You live in the US and nothing exists outside R1 for a lot of you guys/gals.

Over here in the UK it's cheaper to import R1 much of the time and the discs are released before they are over here. Plus having a region free player is great because you get to pick the best release of a disc. For example, the R4 Aussie release of Batman Begins is better than either the R1 or R2 ones.

Multiregion is big business over here :) All TVs are multiformat so can do NTSC/PAL as well as 50p/i and 60p/i in the new hi-def formats if they're hi-def panels.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/07, Rating: -1
RE: How to win Blu ray
By wallijonn on 10/31/07, Rating: -1
RE: How to win Blu ray
By lumbergeek on 10/31/2007 1:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
It was the same stupid Americans who preferred VHS over Beta because it gave 30 extra minutes per tape.

Except this time it's Sony who has the extra length. Yes, i was a Betamax man who got burned (IMO) by the vast unwashed masses. Still, I have yet to see any real "Quality" differences in the actual movie content between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. For this reason, I have today ordered an Oppo DV-980H Upconverting DVD player. HD and Blu will not get my money until there's an actual winner, or a draw is called.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt you'll see TV's supporting higher that 1080P any time in the near future. There's still so much that can be done to optimise 1080P sets it's not worth trying to throw extra pixels on screen... Not to mention I doubt you'll get studio's jumping up and down about the idea...

There's an intersting artical on right now regarding the HD-DVD v. BD specs...

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/2007 3:58:20 PM , Rating: 1
Samsung has already talked about it. So I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it happen.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 1:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
Quite proud of the fact to live in a country that really isn't all that different from the USA (outside of Quebec)?

RE: How to win Blu ray
By lumbergeek on 10/31/2007 1:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
I am a proud Canadian too. Fly the flag out front, have it on my backpack, wear it in my heart Canadian. Do I hate the USA because of it? Hell no, they're my neighbours. Do I wish they were better neighbours? You bet. I'm sure they wish we were better neighbours too. That, my friends, is the human condition. Accept it or be bitter. Your choice.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By murphyslabrat on 11/1/2007 1:16:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you Canadians are the cause of violent films and children swearing. And I know it's true because I saw it in a movie.

Blame Canada, bl....

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/2007 1:43:59 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't realy that different. Hm well let's see, we have a completely different political system, currency, universal health care. What else would you like?

Are you saying I shouldn't be proud to live in my country? because it sure sounds like you are. If that is the case I think you should recheck your attitude.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 1:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, it's not a whole different world... It's not like traveling to the caribbean where life is different, or Peru (where I was born), or anywhere else in the world where you'll run into culture shock... Though I've never been to england I'm pretty sure visiting canada (as I have many times) has the same impact as visiting anywhere in the british isles...

To be perfectly honest you can get a bigger culture shock visiting Miami from Raleigh NC than you would visiting Toranto... Really, us guys aren't so different at all.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 5:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
If affects whether or not you should be complaing about "stupid americans", pot calling kettle black?

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 11/1/2007 12:21:57 PM , Rating: 1
I think you need to back up a few steps there and read a little more closely.

I did not at any point say anything about stupid Americans. Another poster did. I stated that the biggest push in fact only push for hd-dvd is in America, another person chimed in and called Americans stupid.

Do not twist my words while simultaneously insulting my Country.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By murphyslabrat on 11/1/2007 1:22:37 PM , Rating: 1
OK, I won't insult our country, I will however call the people what I see them: idiots. While certainly not universally true of the American, the visible majority are idiots.

That is, judging from the people I deal with day to day, most of America consists of idiots. It may very well be that there are those people who are smarter than me, and cloister themselves away from the people I try to treat as human.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By mindless1 on 11/1/2007 1:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
It's hardly different, in the US we also have patriotic vegetables. We just don't give them free health care and I can't decide if that's good or bad.

Be nice to us or we'll sick Hillary on you once she achieves world domination. She might just be the next lil Hitler and you guys are a little too French and a little too close to our border to trust. ;-)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Guyver on 10/31/2007 10:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
I have read that Blu-Ray exclusive movies can be purchased on HD-DVD overseas.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
Know of any titles/stores where these can be found?

RE: How to win Blu ray
By lumbergeek on 10/31/2007 1:49:56 PM , Rating: 2

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 1:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Searching around ebay (found harry potter there), but not finding any real Gems :(

Of course what I'm interested in would be Pirates and Bond mostly, those are two that are least likely to be available in HD-DVD anywhere in the world :P

RE: How to win Blu ray
By AlexWade on 10/31/2007 12:45:51 PM , Rating: 4
I'll give you a prime example of a not-so-niche need for region-free discs. In the US, the movie The Prestige is only available on Blu-Ray. In Europe, it is only available on HD DVD. I want this movie and since I only the 360 HD DVD add-on (and I am saving up for true universal player), I can get and will get it.

However, in Europe, those with Blu-Ray are screwed. Which is part of the only reason Blu-Ray is inferior and should lose. Blu-Ray has more restrictions and more DRM, thus it is inferior. All DRM is bad, which makes every format second-rate (including HD DVD). But given a choice between bad and worse, I'm taking bad.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By zinfamous on 10/31/2007 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
to add to your post (and mine below)

The Island is only HDDVD in the US and Blu Ray in the UK (not sure if it's both in the UK though) that disc is region free, so not hindered by Blu Ray players' region encoding.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By SavagePotato on 10/31/07, Rating: -1
RE: How to win Blu ray
By AlexWade on 10/31/2007 4:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
I may be wrong about Prestige being HD DVD only in Europe.

But please don't confuse theoretical with actual. Theoretically, more storage space will provide better sound and audio. In reality, thanks to VC-1, 30 GB is sufficient for the best HD video quality, long movies, and lossless audio. Unless a studio is stupid enough to use MPEG-2 (like Sony did early on when they could only make 25GB Blu-Ray) or use MPEG-4. Paramount unwisely used MPEG-4 for Transformers and it showed both visual and audio. I thought the video for Transformers sucked compared to Serenity, the first HD movie ever sold. Plus, using MPEG-4 didn't allow for lossless audio. I have movies about as long as Transformers with lossless audio thanks to VC-1.

And like I said, any DRM is bad. But, giving a choice between bad and worse, I'm taking bad. Sure, I would love good, but paranoid studios don't want to offer us good, movies with DRM. So, I would rather have the bad, a format with some but less DRM. I just wish consumers would collectively send a message that DRM is wrong.

And if you want problems playing Blu movies, try ones with BD+. When they first came out, there were wholesale problems for days until firmware updates came out.


RE: How to win Blu ray
By AlexWade on 10/31/2007 4:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
Quick edit: I meant good is movies WITHOUT DRM.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By ArneBjarne on 10/31/2007 1:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
European The Prestige Blu-ray back cover:

RE: How to win Blu ray
By zinfamous on 10/31/2007 1:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
it's currently a draw b/c the exclusive studios are only exclusive in the US market. Many flicks that aren't released on Blu-Ray/HD DVD in the states are released on that format overseas. very helpful in the UK/Aussie market, where the transfer is the same--including the English soundtrack.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Arribajuan on 10/31/2007 1:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Some people live in the border of the dvd regions and have access to both.

Sometimes you want to watch the movie in the original language.

Sometimes you don't have access to certain movies in certain regions.

Without region free players the dvd business will be nonsense and we would have several players for the same tv.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By blwest on 11/1/2007 10:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
Does everyone have to form sentences like a valley girl and ask rhetorical questions? Like seriously, I totally don't get it, like ok?

RE: How to win Blu ray
By Locutus465 on 10/31/2007 12:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
So basically they need to do what Toshiba did with HD-DVD? ;)

RE: How to win Blu ray
By FITCamaro on 10/31/2007 9:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
First off, Sony needs to stop making stand alone Blu ray player that cost more than the PS3.

You realize Sony looses money on every PS3 sold right? And yes, the Blu-ray drive is a big part of the reason for it. Companies making standalone players aren't going to sell their products at a loss. Blu-ray and HD-DVD players require a good amount of hardware power to be able to decode the movies.

I mean look at the processor load on modern processors. It's usually at least 60% (on a dual core) without hardware acceleration from the GPU. That kind of processing power isn't cheap. Yes in an integrated environment you don't need as much, but its not like Blu-ray and HD-DVD players can get by with the same level of hardware as a DVD player.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By daftrok on 10/31/2007 4:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, however it would help Sony more if people bought PS3s instead of their stand alone Blu ray players. At around launch the cost for manufacturing a Blu ray drive was around 125 dollars. The price has gone down what with them selling around 4 to 5 million PS3s, so I'm assuming its around 60-70 dollars. The Cell processor at launch costs around 89 dollars so lets say its around 50 dollars now since its 65 nm. The Nvidia Reality Synthesizer (RSX) costs around 129 dollars at launch so lets say 60 dollars now because in fact the GPU is 65 nm as well. So the total cost is roughly 180-200 dollars. So lets say they come out with a $249-$299 Blu ray player. It's cheaper, it gets in the homes of more people, and helps bring down the production costs of the PS3. I hope that by next year they will scrap the 80GB PS3 and surprise us all with backwards compatibility and Dualshock 3 for the 40 GB PS3 for $399 and a stand alone Blu-ray player for $199. It would be a strong Blu ray lineup for Sony and push other blu ray player makers to cut down their costs as well.

RE: How to win Blu ray
By murphyslabrat on 11/1/2007 1:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
HD media has not caught on at this point due to the fact that the majority of consumers don't see the advantage. DVD, while it did have vastly superior longevity (talking media degredation, a DVD will last longer than a VHS tape), was largely bought by consumers wanting to be current. Out of the gate, a DVD does not have much better visible quality than does a VHS tape, but, as they both age, a DVD starts looking better and better in comparison.

Now, you have a media that is definitely performing to peoples expectations. You have five-year-old movies that will play just as well as a new copy. There is currently no need for another format.

The thing that will drive people to purchase HD players is the same reason people bought 60" TV's: because their neighbors did. And, the biggest asset to mass adoption is cheap cost. Regardless of Blu-Ray's superiority in almost every single area, HD-DVD is likely to gain the exclusive "Next-Gen" title, as it is cheaper.

Honestly, I think that Blu-Ray will stick around, regardless of whether HD-DVD wins or not. There will still be people wanting to fit 100GB into a 5"x5"(random guess, how big is a CD?) case. So, I see Blu-Ray replacing tape drives for corporate backups, at the very least.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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