HD DVD's holiday bash in doubt as majors pull back.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest


    Aug. 11, 2005

    HD DVD's holiday bash in doubt as majors pull back

    By Thomas K. Arnold
    The planned fourth-quarter rollout of HD DVD may not be the big
    blowout it was supposed to be.

    Of the three major studios that promised a slate of high-profile
    titles on the next-generation format in time for the holidays, one has
    reportedly dropped out and the other two are said to be rethinking
    their previously grandiose launch schedules.

    Sources familiar with the situation say the big bang may wind up a
    minor pop on the hardware and software fronts, as key decision makers
    at consumer electronics firms and studios contend with both fears of a
    format war and hopes of a last-minute compromise between Toshiba's HD
    DVD and its Sony-backed rival, Blu-ray Disc.

    Both camps have developed high-definition optical-disc formats that
    use a blue laser and have significantly more capacity than current
    DVDs. The HD DVD camp had hoped to get a jump on its rival in what
    many see as an inevitable format war by coming to market first --
    Blu-ray has said it won't launch until 2006 -- but that goal now
    appears in serious jeopardy, sources familiar with the situation say.

    Warner Home Video, which at CES had promised more than 50 HD DVD
    titles in the fourth quarter, now says it may wait until the first
    quarter of 2006 to release product.

    "We are considering rolling back our launch in the hopes of a
    last-minute compromise, which would avoid two formats straining the
    marketplace," said Jim Cardwell, president of Warner Home Video.

    The presidents of the two other major studios backing HD DVD,
    Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment,
    either could not be reached for comment or would not comment for
    attribution. But a story in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal reported
    that Paramount, which at ng January's Consumer Electronics Show had
    committed to releasing more than 20 HD DVD titles in the fourth
    quarter, now won't release any -- and Universal Studios Home
    Entertainment, with a planned release slate of 16 titles, is scaling
    back to about a dozen.

    Warren Lieberfarb, the ex-Warner Home Video president, known as the
    "father of DVD," who has been a consultant to Toshiba in the race to
    develop a next-generation, high-definition optical disc format,
    pooh-poohs the studio backdowns.

    "Toshiba is going forward," he insists.

    Still, without much product in the market, experts see little chance
    of the format taking hold with consumers.

    "I think the whole high-def market is premature," said Ralph Tribbey,
    editor of The DVD Release Report.

    What's looking more and more like a delayed launch is the latest in a
    series of setbacks the HD DVD camp has suffered in recent weeks. In
    July, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment threw its support behind
    Blu-ray Disc, evenly dividing the six major studios between the two
    rival formats.

    Earlier this week, the Blu-ray Disc Assn. announced new security
    features to address studio concerns about piracy. The group said it
    would embed an identification mark on its software that can be read
    only by equipment that carries its technology, and that disallows mass
    production of pre-recorded Blu-ray media, including movies, music and
    video games.

    "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, Aug 12, 2005
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  2. Allan

    Black Locust Guest

    Finally an "industry insider" being realistic! Thank you Ralph.

    Things are just looking worse and worse for these HD formats as the
    weeks go by.. Oh well, I certainly won't be crying a river if they both
    end up being failures.
    Black Locust, Aug 12, 2005
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  3. Allan

    Alpha Guest

    Neither will I. I think it will take years and years to sort this out. No
    one, and I mean no one, in their right mind will buy a Hi Def player that
    needs connection to the internet to work. That is what they are planning.

    They are shooting themselves in the foot.
    Alpha, Aug 12, 2005
  4. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Allan, Aug 12, 2005
  5. Allan

    Goro Guest

    After buying my 720p DLP, i was very interested in BR/HD-DVD. I've
    even got a step-up plan to go to 1080p in the next 2yrs. Now, my
    interest is severely waning. Not in toto, but just for this initial
    salvo. I'll hold off until it gets figured out, ESP. if the BluRay
    players (and possibly HDDVD) require an internet connection.

    The killer app for me will likely be which burner gets out to market
    most affordably. Then who devises nice burning software first. I mean
    if i can buy (say) 25/50 GB BR+R media and burn my DVDShrink'd Futurama
    collection onto it, i Might do it. it would be strangely ironic if the
    primary use of BR (for me) would be to view SD video, though!

    In the audio world, mp3s have taken over and SACD and DVD-A are niche
    items. I hope eventually the same doesn't happen in video, which is to
    say DivX/AVI/MPEG taking over and a true HD format becoming a niche

    Goro, Aug 12, 2005
  6. Allan

    Mark Jones Guest

    I have 2 HDTVs capable of putting the new high definition disks
    to use, but I will not buy anything that requires internet connectivity
    to function.

    They can keep it if this is their plan.
    Mark Jones, Aug 12, 2005
  7. Allan

    Alpha Guest

    Alpha, Aug 12, 2005
  8. Allan

    Black Locust Guest

    I'm not sure, honestly. Unlike a lot of these so called "experts"
    writing articles on the upcoming discs, I'm NOT pretending to be someone
    who can gaze into the future. I would never have the nerve to site HD
    discs as a "replacement" for current DVDs when the damn discs haven't
    even hit store shelves yet! It's possible that an HD disc format of some
    sort will become all the rage in the future, but it might not even be
    HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. All I know for certain right now is that it's too
    soon for HD DVD. Neither format stands a chance of having any real
    success at this point. With HDTV player penetration very low, a looming
    format war and the simple fact that John Q. Public is still very
    satisfied with standard DVDs with no desire to spend a bunch of cash on
    new discs and hardware, I don't see either one of these formats being
    declared the "winner" of the format war for many years, not to mention
    either one of them seeing anywhere near the success of standard DVD.

    The formart war alone could last 10 or more years...
    Black Locust, Aug 13, 2005
  9. Allan

    Goro Guest

    i think that what will pull people into HD discs (of whatever sort)
    will be something odd that we haven't thought of yet. Akin to how TV
    DVDs were initially thought of as a stupid idea and are now (possibly)
    the best selling DVD genre.

    As of now, I'm paying attention mainly to find reasons to NOT buy into
    it. These initial statements that say that BR Players will have
    permanent internet connections scare me. If the final BR specs also
    have these then I'll bail on it...

    Goro, Aug 13, 2005
  10. self-limiting. How about familes with 2 or 3 TV sets and DVD
    players for each. And the families that still use dial-up. So BR
    would be limited to higher-income families. That's not very good
    marketing sense IMO.

    Bill Vermillion, Aug 14, 2005
  11. Allan

    CJ Guest

    Especially since you probably, like me, have a good collection of DVD's that
    you don't want to become obsolete.
    CJ, Aug 30, 2005
  12. Allan

    Tarkus Guest

    Why would your collection become obsolete?
    Tarkus, Aug 31, 2005
  13. Allan

    CJ Guest

    Well it wouldn't...but if you had an HD DVD player, you wouldn't want to
    watch your old DVD's as much I'd think.
    CJ, Aug 31, 2005
  14. Allan

    Tarkus Guest

    So you don't want something better to come along, because you might like
    it? How odd.
    Tarkus, Aug 31, 2005
  15. Allan

    CJ Guest

    I didn't say that. I just didn't want to buy the best new thing if I
    couldn't play my old DVD's on it.
    But at the same time wondering how many movies in my collection I'd want to
    replace with the best new format.
    CJ, Sep 5, 2005
  16. Allan

    Tarkus Guest

    You didn't say you were worried about the inability to play your
    collection. You said, "you wouldn't want to watch your old DVD's as much
    I'd think." Make up your mind.

    And players from both camps will be backwards compatible, so "if I
    couldn't play my old DVD's on it" is not an issue.
    Tarkus, Sep 5, 2005
  17. Especially since you probably, like me, have a good collection of DVD's that
    It'll take years before all DVD titles will be available in HD-DVD
    format. It won't happen overnight. Were you also one of those people
    who don't want DVD to progress because you want to hang on to your VHS
    Movie monster, Sep 6, 2005
  18. Allan

    CJ Guest

    Oh for the love of Pete....are you really wanting to argue this??
    I make a post just for an inquiry and I get nitpicking.
    CJ, Sep 7, 2005
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