As growth slows, Hollywood faces a DVD standoff.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    As growth slows, Hollywood faces a DVD standoff
    By Ken Belson The New York Times

    MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005
    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.


    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.


    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.


    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing


    As growth slows, Hollywood faces a DVD standoff
    By Ken Belson The New York Times

    MONDAY, JULY 11, 2005
    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.


    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.


    CENTURY CITY, California The Hollywood studio executives who gathered
    here at an annual home entertainment summit meeting last month were
    all chuckles and backslaps. In front of several hundred industry
    managers, analysts and reporters, they talked breezily about hit
    movies, DVD sales and prospects for the holiday season.

    Then, with a few minutes left, the moderator asked the question
    everyone had been waiting for: Can the studios break the deadlock
    between the rival camps developing the next generation of digital
    videodiscs, players and recorders?

    The question was not academic. Hollywood has been unable to decide
    between two new formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. Tens of billions of
    dollars in potential sales hang in the balance.

    Before anyone could answer, Thomas Lesinski, president of home
    entertainment at Paramount Pictures, jumped in and said it would be
    "counterproductive" to discuss the issue while negotiations were going
    on behind the scenes. Stunned by the response, the audience responded
    with nervous laughter, and the other executives fell silent.

    Lesinski's testy reaction was a sign of how touchy the debate over the
    competing formats has become. To just about everyone's regret, the
    studios are split over which group to support. Sony's studio and
    Disney, with 39 percent of the DVD market, back the Blu-ray group,
    which includes Sony, Panasonic, Hewlett-Packard and others. Warner,
    Universal and Paramount, with 43 percent of the market, support the HD
    DVD standard developed by Toshiba and NEC.

    Fox, MGM, Lion's Gate and others that together have the remaining 18
    percent of the market have yet to declare their allegiance.

    Since the rival discs are largely incompatible, the studios have been
    unable to persuade the manufacturers to reach a compromise. Players
    for both are expected to be compatible with the current generation of
    DVDs, however.

    Studios, retailers and electronics, computer and video game makers are
    still gearing up for a format war over the new technology, which
    promises high-definition video, enhanced audio and numerous
    interactive features.

    In the fourth quarter, consumers will start seeing high-definition DVD
    players and movies in stores. But because there is no foreseeable end
    to the format fight, retailers and studio chiefs say they expect
    shoppers to shy away. After all, the equipment could quickly become
    obsolete, just as the Sony Betamax home machines faded in the 1980s
    after losing out to the VHS format.

    With no great pleasure, Lesinski said in an interview that if the
    rivals released competing discs and players, each would probably
    generate half as much revenue as only one new format would.

    "Both sides have so much vested in their technology that no one wants
    to blink, given the potential upside," Lesinski said. Paramount, along
    with Warner and Universal, will release 89 movies this year in the HD
    DVD format.

    The three studios have backed the HD format because the technology is
    essentially an upgrade of existing DVD technology, so it requires less
    investment and time to produce. Toshiba says it can make the discs now
    for just a few pennies more than today's discs.

    Yet, as Blu-ray advocates love to point out, their discs are capable
    of offering better-quality video because they hold more data, about 50
    gigabytes versus 30 gigabytes for a double-layer disc. (Current DVDs
    hold less than five gigabytes.) Blu-ray also gives the studios and
    game makers more room for interactive features. These goodies, they
    say, will make it more attractive to consumers, who will have to pay
    about $1,000 for the first machines.

    "Some of these things chew up a lot of capacity," said Bob Chapek, an
    executive with Buena Vista, a unit of Disney.

    But to get all that, the Blu-ray companies are creating production
    techniques that are taking a lot more money and time. Though Sony,
    Panasonic and others now sell Blu-ray recorders and rewriteable discs
    in Japan, they are still testing the read-only discs that the
    Hollywood studios need.

    The issues of cost and time to market would not matter much if sales
    of the current generation of discs, players and recorders were
    booming. But there are plenty of signs that they are not.

    The studios know that the percentage of U.S. homes with a DVD player
    is nearing the saturation point, 80 percent, and that the latest
    converts typically buy fewer discs. While sales of discs are expected
    to rise 13 percent this year in the United States, the days of 30
    percent to 40 percent annual growth are just a memory. High-definition
    DVDs give them something new to sell.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/07/10/business/dvd11.php






    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game
    because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from
    -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    - Neil Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
     
    Allan, Jul 11, 2005
    #1
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