Why I was wrong about HD DVD

David Carnoy
Executive editor, CNET Reviews:

"I read an article recently in Variety with the headline "Pressure mounts on U to turn Blu," which reported how Universal, the only major studio to offer HD DVD-exclusive titles, was being encouraged to put its films out on both HD DVD and Blu-ray. While Universal wouldn't be abandoning HD DVD, such a move would have a profound impact on the format war, and would probably spell doom for the HD DVD camp.

Knowing the stakes, format-war watchers have been monitoring the Universal situation closely, with the more conspiracy minded speculating on who's getting paid what to keep Universal from flipping. I have no idea, but I did run into Ken Graffeo, Executive VP of HD strategic marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment, at a Toshiba HD DVD event last month. I jokingly suggested that we weren't sure he was going to show up, what with all the rumors flying. He assured me that with the weather being so hot in New York, he wouldn't have been there if he didn't want to be--and that Universal's support for HD DVD remained unflagging. Graffeo also happens to be copresident of the HD DVD Promotional Group, so you can see how people might think that if Universal pulled out, the whole tent might come crashing down."

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JasonPC360PS3Wii4163d ago

Here we go Blu vs HD, the same arguement from all the other HD vs Blu articles. F**kem both, GO DLC!!!

TriggerHappy4163d ago

Although most supporters are going blu-ray exclusive and such, Am wondering how exactly HD DVD is going to keep up with the competition

THE_JUDGE4163d ago

you could have the damn actors walk out of the screen and give you a Q&A session on the movie in your home but if you don't have the movies that people want to see then it doesn't matter. 3 exclusive backers of Blu-ray says alot more than seeing special features with picture in picture.

eLiNeS4163d ago

I know my wife would enjoy the features but after watching a movie with her I am ready to start gaming, not watch features. I guess if I was going to back one of the sides I would go with HD-DVD since it's cheaper, more features and Sony didn't force it on me.

Here is a read on "'Heroes' HD-DVD to Feature Web Enhanced Features" if anyone is interested.

HowarthsNJ4163d ago

Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD are high capacity discs, so why would you need to download extra content to flash memory?

I want all my content on the disc in the first place!

No need for picture in picture animated interactive BS either. We buy movies in HD for the films not the distractions.

ReconHope4163d ago

i hope this so called "format war" is over by 2010.

sticky doja4163d ago

And that commentary was funnier than the movie. For some movies I like that type of thing, movies I truly love and want to know how they did certain things or why. It might not be your cup o' tea but it is for alot of people.

Mr Murda4163d ago

The idea is that you can access and interact with web based functions/extras, which could be updated regularly. Therefore, you would need some sort of flash memory to interact with these web based features. Is it totally necessary? Probably not, but it is one thing that HD DVD has over BRD and they're going to milk it for all it's worth.

That being said, I own a PS3 and the HD DVD add on, and I'm looking forward to great HD movies and features on both formats for the foreseeable future.

Odion4163d ago

oh how this is gaming news is still beyond me

sticky doja4163d ago

but it is Microsoft V Sony news and alot of people want to read that on this site.

Nervsys4163d ago (Edited 4163d ago )

I've never understood why this is microsoft v sony.

I'm sure microsoft don't really care who wins. If BR wins then a BR drive will surely appear for the Xbox at some point.

Sony are the only company of the two that have a lot invested in the result of this battle, though I guess it may be in microsoft's interest to keep it going as long as possible but if HD losses it isn't going to cripple them.

BubblesDAVERAGE4163d ago (Edited 4163d ago )

As long as DLC dosent win at all. I dont want DLC to win or even enter the race im glad to see im not alone who dosent want DLC.

Why you guys disagree...Dont you want the item to be in your hand..same goes for games..not for music but im a collector or movies somewhat

JasonPC360PS3Wii4163d ago

I bet you $100 that Sony adopts DLC by the end of the year, it's to popular and the sad thing is you know it and it scarres you because you will then have to defend it. Like when Sony fanboys had to denfend Sony's third sku after talking sh!t because of the 360. DLC is a legitimate threat to Blu-Ray and HD DVD and with the recent great news about new compression on the horizon it's only going to get more popular when portables can store DLC on the fly. But hey there is an upside you can always use your disc to create some kind of new art or just use them as coasters.

Kyur4ThePain4163d ago

At what speed do you expect to be able to download content?
What format?
Thought about compatibility between different formats and players?
Where do you expect to store all this information?
What about a backup strategy? And storage for that?

Let me know how all that works out for ya.

Nemesis4163d ago

I would rather have a physical medium over digitally distributed content anyday. However, I think digital distribution is the way of the future, whether we like it or not.

Technically we're nearing the point where base level broadband connections are fast enough to stream full 1080p H.264 content. By my reckoning 10 - 20Mbps is sufficient for this purpose. Especially with the new upcoming H.265 standard set to cut bit-rates in half.

What really worries me though is DRM. Content distributors could limit playback of their content to a single player, or even limit the number of times your able to view the content before your license expires.

And of course, no physical medium also means the inability to lend content to friends and would cripple the second hand market. But I guess that's one of the motivating factors that's surely going to lead studio's down this path in the future.

Lets just hope that digital distribution insn't inevitable and that consumer interest groups can exert enough pressure on the studios to make sure this doesn't happen any time soon.

razer4163d ago

Let me answer these for you. I am using the 360 as my focus because they are one of the only people doing HD movie downloads.

At what speed do you expect to be able to download content?

Right now, you can download full HD movies just fine on a standard broadband connection. You do not have to wait for the whole movie to download.. Once a few minutes of content has been downloaded you can start watching the movie and it downloads in the background.

What format?
Right now it seems WMV-HD is MS's format of choice. It's basically an MPEG4.

Thought about compatibility between different formats and players?

As with MP3 people will adopt a format. Companies like HP and Linksys already offer network media appliances and this market is growing like crazy. Both of these media players support all the major video formats. A software codec is much easier to adopt than a physical media format.

Where do you expect to store all this information?

Have you seen the price of hard drive space?? It's cheap! Just like with HD TiVO you can have a stand-alone device with 300-500 gigs. For the 360 you can delete a few things and re-download them whenever you want.

What about a backup strategy? And storage for that?

I don't think this is really important to the consumer. How do you back-up your Blu-ray discs?? You don't.. DRM & cost stops you from doing it. For the 360 you actually have the files stored on MS's service and if you delete it you can re-download it at any time. So basically they take care of the back-up for you. Outside of MS's service you would handle it just like you handle any other data backup. Which most people don't do anyway..

leshrac554163d ago

Unless DLC is handled a LOT differently then it inevitably will be, I'm not looking forward to DLC in games OR movies. I wrote up a post on my site about this, but I'll add a bit here as well. Say goodbye to rental services that compete with each other, used movies/games, and being able to borrow a movie/game from a friend.

There will also be NO pricing competition among stores, as there will basically be only 1 place to get them. You can also forget about prices being cut after a game/movie has been out for awhile... No need, as there's no used market to compete with. And if they ever do drop prices on DLC, it'll be a lot later than a regular disc. If you think you'll get better prices because the middleman has been cut out, I think the current experience with DLC basically disproves this. Content providers are interested in increasing their margins and protecting their prices. If an HD Movie costs $25 now on HD-DVD or Blu-ray, it'll probably cost that much on DLC, be a lot less portable, and has basically 100% price depreciation the moment you hit "buy". I definitely do not look forward to that, as convenient as DLC can be for just watching/playing stuff.


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