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Blu-ray exclusives by Best Buy, Netflix deal HD DVD serious blow

post #1 of 26
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Compounding troubles for the ailing HD DVD format, Best Buy and movie rental service Netflix both said on Monday that they would focus their attention on Blu-ray discs.

Netflix was first to take the initiative and said that it would no longer add HD DVDs to its movie library, instead stocking only Blu-ray movies in the foreseeable future. HD DVD titles will remain an option for subscribers to the monthly service for now, but will gradually phase out as older movies leave regular rotation.

Best Buy is adopting a similar policy, according to reports. The big-box outlet now says it will prefer Blu-ray in its stores as of early March and will give both playback devices as well as movie catalogs more prominent placement in its stores than their HD DVD equivalents. Floor staff will also recommend Blu-ray over its rival.

Reasons given for the change vary widely. Best Buy simply cites consumer demand; as significantly more shoppers are buying Blu-ray products. the retail chain has an obligation to give customers what they want, according to company chief executive Brian Dunn.

For its part, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos argues that the decision will bring "clarity" to the Netflix lineup and should free the company to promote high-definition video as a whole, instead of asking customers to choose between similar but competing standards.

The turnovers at either company only add to existing difficulties for HD DVD, which first saw its fortunes turn at the very start of 2008 when Hollywood studio Warner Bros.announced Blu-ray exclusivity beginning in June. Warner's announcement left more than 70 percent of all high-definition movies as Blu-ray titles and pushed the HD DVD Promotional Group to abruptly cancel its keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show later in January. Toshiba followed suit by cutting HD DVD player prices in what analysts at Gartner dubbed "useless resistance" to a sea change in favor of Blu-ray.

The effect on Apple of HD DVD's accelerated decline is unclear. Even after the release of an updated Mac Pro last month and the company's Macworld San Francisco keynote speech, the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker has not offered optical drives supporting either Blu-ray or HD DVD. However, the firm continues to be a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association.
post #2 of 26
Who is going to say HD-DVD is an obsolete format now? Waiting....
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post #3 of 26
I think it only will be a matter of time before Apple gets consumers Macs with Blu-ray drives. These announcements are great news for the high-def industry in that the real competitor to Blu-ray is DVD, and a unified format in Blu-ray is high-def's (optical medium) best chance of catching on with the end consumer to encourage mass consumption.

I feel a Blu-ray MacPro is on the horizon.
post #4 of 26
Real soon now. There wasn't much sense for Apple to drag their customers through a format war. Now that it's over for all intents and purposes, expect to see Blu-Ray drives on Macs in the near future. Probably in conjunction with HDCP compliant Cinema Displays.
post #5 of 26
Now blu-ray have your prices push hd dvd discount levels and let's get some mass adoption going on.
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post #6 of 26
Actually, blockbuster was first to spurn HD DVD in favor of blue-ray- and that was back in June!


http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/17/b...-the-war-over/

http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2007...-ray-format-h/
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShavenYak View Post

Real soon now. There wasn't much sense for Apple to drag their customers through a format war. Now that it's over for all intents and purposes, expect to see Blu-Ray drives on Macs in the near future. Probably in conjunction with HDCP compliant Cinema Displays.

Seems like Apple took a conservative approach on this one, which is good. And even though my assumption is they've built a strategy on how to move forward once format choice became clear, I don't imagine this is a train that they can just move on a dime. IF they have used 2008's events to lock-down their choice to include Blu Ray optical, I wonder how long it will take to see them announced/for sale?

Can't say I care too much on this one (may care more if no option whenever I next upgrade), but I bet Jobs would have preferred to be the leader on this, not a follower. But moves like 2006 (was that the year?) being "the year of HD" and then having it not really turn out that way cost them money. Can't afford to miss over and over while trying to lead the masses, so they are wise to pick battles carefully.
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post

Seems like Apple took a conservative approach on this one, which is good. And even though my assumption is they've built a strategy on how to move forward once format choice became clear, I don't imagine this is a train that they can just move on a dime. IF they have used 2008's events to lock-down their choice to include Blu Ray optical, I wonder how long it will take to see them announced/for sale?

I agree with Apple's approach though. How many of us got stuck with DVD-RAM cartridges? Eh?

It's clear now that Blu-Ray is the winner though. =)
post #9 of 26
It is clear that the war is over. And it is clear that Blu-ray is much better than HD DVD. The amazing thing is that the war has taken so long. OK, we need Macs with built-in Blu-ray SuperDrives for $100 ASAP as well as 200 GB Blu-ray RW disks for backups for $10 ASAP as well. Then Blu-ray will take off!!!
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

I agree with Apple's approach though. How many of us got stuck with DVD-RAM cartridges? Eh?

None of the people who followed Apple. Apple went for DVD-R, the first major manufacturer to do so. That's still going strong.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by marzetta7 View Post

I think it only will be a matter of time before Apple gets consumers Macs with Blu-ray drives. These announcements are great news for the high-def industry in that the real competitor to Blu-ray is DVD, and a unified format in Blu-ray is high-def's (optical medium) best chance of catching on with the end consumer to encourage mass consumption.

I feel a Blu-ray MacPro is on the horizon.

I like the HD-DVD is not region coded. Region coding is fairly idiotic and I was glad that one of the future standards abandoned it. With DVD you could easily cancel the region block by entering a code into your dvd player so it stopped checking if region is as expected (paractically every dvd player maker had this option installed), but with blu-ray the "region freeing" is not going to be possible as I read somewhere. That is sad.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skviki View Post

I like the HD-DVD is not region coded. Region coding is fairly idiotic and I was glad that one of the future standards abandoned it. With DVD you could easily cancel the region block by entering a code into your dvd player so it stopped checking if region is as expected (paractically every dvd player maker had this option installed), but with blu-ray the "region freeing" is not going to be possible as I read somewhere. That is sad.

On the bright side, there are only 3 Blu Ray regions to DVDs 6.
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post #13 of 26
...or at least allow the downgrade in a new Mac configuration to DVD read/write or Combo drive. I'd hate to be forced into paying for a Blu-Ray disc reader or writer as a stock item in a Mac. I personally have no need for it, although I'm sure many others find it desirable.

Although it's just a matter of time before Adobe Creative Studio and Microsoft Office requires 29Gb on a disc just to fit the programs.

I'm also glad to see prices and support tumbling for HD DVD as a format. I'll be able to pick up a player or two for a veritable song, and use the widely publicized settings to burn 30 minutes of 1920x1080 HDV video to a standard DVD blank, and play it in my (otherwise useless) HD-DVD player.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

... and play it in my (otherwise useless) HD-DVD player.

That's not entirely fair. I've heard they are very nice upscaling DVD players.
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post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

None of the people who followed Apple. Apple went for DVD-R, the first major manufacturer to do so. That's still going strong.

I am surprised Apple has not taken a stand. Its not like Apple, i would think, being conservative. Is there a CD/DVD/BluRay combo drive ?
post #16 of 26
So we can now stick a fork in HD-DVD... it's done?

Or are there still diehard Toshiba and Microsoft resistance fighters out there, who think they can still turn it around, or that 'combo' Blu-ray/HD-DVD players will save them? Undying HD-DVD fanbois?

I myself don't care, its been obvious for awhile that between the ubiquitous 'good enough' DVD format and video downloading (now in hi-def), high-definition-on-discs needed to unify behind one format to make any real headway.

Guess Blu-ray wins. But now its got to face much tougher competition than a newbie physical format.

...
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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

So can we now stick a fork in HD-DVD... it's done?

There's still a couple studios who need to formally announce their intentions going forward. It's easy to predict what they'll say, but it would be nice if they'd just come out and say it.
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post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

So we can now stick a fork in HD-DVD... it's done?

Or are there still diehard Toshiba and Microsoft resistance fighters out there, who think they can still turn it around, or that 'combo' Blu-ray/HD-DVD players will save them? Undying HD-DVD fanbois?

I myself don't care, its been obvious for awhile that between the ubiquitous 'good enough' DVD format and video downloading (now in hi-def), high-definition-on-discs needed to unify behind one format to make any real headway.

Guess Blu-ray wins. But now its got to face much tougher competition than a newbie physical format.

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

There's still a couple studios who need to formally announce their intentions going forward. It's easy to predict what they'll say, but it would be nice if they'd just come out and say it.

Some diehard HD-DVD fans are still hoping for a miracle. The HD-DVD/BD thread in the Future board often makes for amusing reading.

There's some speculation that Universal and Paramount are holding off making a BD announcement until they actually have some titles ready to release but there are so many rumors out there that I don't think anyone knows for sure.
post #19 of 26
Damn, I don't get anyone, HD-DVD is CLEARLY the better format in this war.

1. Dirt cheap!
2. Combo discs for easy transition
3. Finalized spec that we have to wait for BD to implement
4. No region encoding

What does BD have, a little more space that does not matter for movies? Woop-dee-doo! I can't afford to spend $350 on a worse player when I can get an A-30 for only $150 w/ 7 free movies. It's a no brainer to buy HD-DVD.
The only reason I can figure is BB has suckered rich people into buying BD players with monster cables and the PS3 install base helps.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Damn, I don't get anyone, HD-DVD is CLEARLY the better format in this war.

1. Dirt cheap!
2. Combo discs for easy transition
3. Finalized spec that we have to wait for BD to implement
4. No region encoding

What does BD have, a little more space that does not matter for movies? Woop-dee-doo! I can't afford to spend $350 on a worse player when I can get an A-30 for only $150 w/ 7 free movies. It's a no brainer to buy HD-DVD.
The only reason I can figure is BB has suckered rich people into buying BD players with monster cables and the PS3 install base helps.

The problem was

1. Hardware vendors didn't want dirt cheap so early
2 Combo discs were nice but expensive. I would have loved to see Twin Format take off.
3- We never got managed copy and larger persistent storage but HDi proved its worth.
4. Hear Hear! Sigh Blu-ray likely isn't going to be the format for foreign film fans.

I for one will NOT sell my HD DVD movies or player. In fact I may pick up an XA2 for CHEAP if given the opportunity for the REON upscaling. I don't need everything in one format. I'll look to buy a Blu-ray player when my local warehouse has'em for $250. Computer backup applications are nice...if 25/50GB discs become affordable.

I'll likely use my HD DVD players for playing back my own HD Content provided Apple doesn't get stupid and remove the HD DVD authoring support that already exists.

Toshiba should open the platform. Where else are you going to find an HD player with network capabilities for $129?? It's a steal for anyone that does content creation.
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post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Damn, I don't get anyone, HD-DVD is CLEARLY the better format in this war.

1. Dirt cheap! Too little, too late
2. Combo discs for easy transition These cost extra and few if any saw any benefit
3. Finalized spec that we have to wait for BD to implement No, it wasn't (managed copy?). Well, in fairness the HD DVD spec really is finished now
4. No region encoding

What does BD have, a little more space that does not matter for movies That "little bit" of space is room to grow, and much more room than HD DVD can even come close to approaching ? Woop-dee-doo! I can't afford to spend $350 on a worse player when I can get an A-30 for only $150 w/ 7 free movies. It's a no brainer to buy HD-DVD. And no one's stopping you from going ahead and buying. In fact if you wait a bit longer you can pick up a ton of HD DVD content cheap from Netflix

The only reason I can figure is BB has suckered rich people into buying BD players with monster cables and the PS3 install base helps. But no one buys a game console to watch movies (oh, wait, I guess they do indeed)

BTW, where are your HD DVD burners? They released recordable media, but no burners. I'm not sure if that's funny or just sad.
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post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

The only reason I can figure is BB has suckered rich people into buying BD players with monster cables and the PS3 install base helps.


I have never owned a dvd player, had a PS2 for DVD's and now a PS3 for BRD, I refuse to spend money for a machine that has a limited use.
post #23 of 26
What I've not seen much of in this debate is the DRM implication for Apple and OSX relative to the DRM requirements for the playback of HD content (regardless of which specific format wins. Now that Blu-ray seems closing in on the nomination, how will Apple implement this technology?

edit: almost forgot to mention, aren't their rather heavy handed DRM methods used in Vista pertaining to HD playback?
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

None of the people who followed Apple. Apple went for DVD-R, the first major manufacturer to do so. That's still going strong.

Your information is not correct. With the Power Mac G4's, Apple dropped the ball and went with DVD-RAM drives instead of CD-RW drives. Many people were stuck with clumsy and slow DVD-RAM drives and disc cartridges. Later, Apple resolved the issue with CD-RW drives and later, DVD-R drives.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

That's not entirely fair. I've heard they are very nice upscaling DVD players.

I didn't know that... that's very good news to me. That alone would more than quadruple the value of my investment in one, since my wife is fairly obsessed with buying DVDs.

I have a relatively good quality Yamaha progressive DVD player (turntable 5 disc) but I absolutely HATE it's counter-intuitive remote and the fact that you can't turn the stupid power off without getting up, crossing the room and bending over to push a button.

Thanks for the observation, and my apologies; calling it "otherwise useless" was an oversimplification based on the constant discourse about how everyone is abandoning the format.
post #26 of 26
It's really the same on the BR side. In the end, if HD optical formats don't go mainstream the upshot is that the BR players are great upscaling DVD players as well. The devices will still be useful in the long run.
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