Online video rental outfit Netflix has raised its colours in the Blu-ray camp by announcing it will stop buying new HD DVD discs and phase out existing stock by "about the end of the year". According to Reuters, Netflix has stocked both hi-def formats since they joined battle back in 2006, but says that recent announcements by …
the war is over
All those PS3 owners who dont qualify as blu-ray owners have spoken. I own two PS3's...i may not qualify on the comparison chart...but my purchases and netflix preference sure does
Correct me if I'm wrong...
But isn't the blu-ray site listing titles from Paramount and Universal?
I know its kinda cruel to dance on somethings grave, but I do believe its time for a boogie! ;)
HD-DVD has had almost no positive turns for it in around 1/2yr now, with 9 out of 10 announcements being about the success of Blu-Ray (in sales and support from companies) and the loss of support (and sales) of HD-dVD.
For once the superior format Blu-Ray will win, unlike in the BetaMax days. I suppose atleast HD-DVD owners are still better off than if they only had DVD, as even though Netflix, Blockbuster, Woolies and more no longer stock HD-DVD they atleast can watch DVDs upscaled! :-)
When you're not even being stocked ...
... by people who don't have to worry about shelf space you know you've lost.
The sonner I can get Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek on Blu-Ray the better ;-)
And now follows...
Lots of HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray banter, eventually leading into fanboys of the PS3 and XBOX-360.
ps - go blu-ray
I reckon that
companies such as Netflix want the war to be over as much as the consumer does and by making announcements such as this, they can help tip the balance a bit more. They might actually prefer it if HD-DVD won, but BD winning is probably far more preferable to there still being a war going on in 12 months time.
It's over? It's been over for some time.
Warner's announcement was the tipping point. In the home video rental market this now means that the two big players, Block-buster and Netflix are lined up behind Blu-Ray. All but two of the major studios have lined up with Blu-Ray exclusively. And yet Toshiba and Microsoft continue to try to push HD-DVD like it's the best thing since sliced bread.
As for Paramount and Universal and their exclusiveness to HD-DVD, from what I understand Paramount seems to have unearthed a mass of Blu-Ray product thought to have been destroyed when they switched to HD-DVD. Apparently reports of their destruction were in error. Perhaps paramount wants to get some revenue from HD sales, and selling these older Blu-Rays is the best way. Seems like its certainly an end to their supposed exclusive support for HD-DVD, after all these Paramount Blu-Rays were unavailable for a long while...and now are available again. Curious, eh?
Netflix knows that the writing is on the wall and is moving to protect it's business. It's time that Toshiba and Microsoft recognized what everyone else already knows, and dropped their stance on HD-DVD. The party is over guys, time to go across the hall to that other party that's still growing.
Headline typo ?
Surely "... falls IN behind ..." rather than "... falls behind ...", which sounds as if they are not keeping up!
to be followed by...
Blu-Ray which will be dead a year later, as the world realises no one really cares about HD media.
Time to mention again that far more money has been paid out by Sony/BDA to buy out studios than has actually been made in profit on titles sold. Sustainable business model? (especially with still the PS3 the only viable player).
@Anonymous Coward, RE: Dancing...
Said it before, and say it again. Please tell us why Blu-Ray is superior? Go on. Seriously, they're bang on equal technically (even capacity now).
Or do you mean the region coding, extra layers of DRM, lack of interactivity until eventually profile 1.1* comes about, lack of Internet play until eventually profile 2.0 comes about? Does that lot make it superior? ;-)
* and yes I know the firmware has been rolled out to the PS3, but what about discs? What about standalones?
Seriously though, even with all this in place, Blu-Ray is still worse off as a more expensive product to manufacture and market. Superior? Lol!
Oh, and here's something else. That PS3 consumes so much power it likely will cost you twice the price of the console over a few years. Some standalones consume just one tenth what the PS3 does!
If Blu-Ray is winning...
How come the HD-DVD players (made by only one company, no less) are cheaper? Seriously - if blu-ray is really the winner, and multiple companies are making the players, then why are they so much more expensive? Kinda backwards - the single source item is cheaper (yes, Toshiba is probably losing their shirts on each player...) than the one we have a choice on?
Could this be one of those situations where the consumer loses?
And when will "One night in Paris" end up on either format? Well???
Dropping HD-DVD doesn't seem to make financial sense
I have both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players, so I'm neutral on the "which is best" wars. But, Netflix currently allows users to specify either format in addition to standard DVD, and lets one chose among available formats when ordering.
Netflix is well-known for the variety of films, including many that never seem to hit the shelves of big-box retailers. I wonder why the company has concluded that it's a drawing card to carry these seldom-rented DVDs but not HD-DVDs.
The software's already in place to allow their selection and I'm sure that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are simply filed as another SKU in their warehouses.
So why do you think Netflix is dropping HD-DVD from the lineup? As I mentioned, since the software and storage systems are already in place it seems a trivial matter to continue stocking and shipping them. And, I suspect, they have a far greater selection rate than many of the DVD titles carried in their catalog.
Where are all the HD-DVD fanboys?
I expected these comments to be full of
blah blah blah not dead yet
blah blah superior format
blah blah better for consumers
blah blah blah evil Sony
blah blah blah blah who cares about the better bitrate and higher capacity
Or have they finally realised they backed the wrong horse and finally torn the betting slip up?
You forgot Blu ray has better storage capacity. More room to grow with tech.
Blu Ray superior format??
Hi Anonymous Coward, can you please tell me why Blu Ray is the superior format? As Tim said, I have never seen anything to support this at all. I can't understand why the majority of people, who should know better, sided with Blu Ray. We all hated region encoding (by we I mean movie fans) on SD, so it would have seemed logical to support the product that did not implement region coding, i.e. HDDVD. HD was also cheaper from the launch and a ratified format. My daughter has a PS3 so I could play Blu Ray discs but every one I wanted, that was not available on HD, was only available in the USA and Region A only. (e.g. Lost Season 3). So I will continue to enjoy my USA bought Matrix ultimate set, the remastered Star Trek and the Blade Runner set on my Toshiba players.
But I really would honestly like an answer to what a lot of people proffered Blu Ray.
'the world realises no one really cares about HD media'
No one cared about DVD at first, but the uptake for HD media has been faster than the uptake to DVD was
'far more money has been paid out by Sony/BDA to buy out studios than has actually been made in profit on titles sold'
Your evidence for this is where? There has not even been a substantial rumor that Sony have paid anything, but it is well known that MS have sunk at least $150million into getting studios to support HD-DVD
Please tell us why Blu-Ray is superior? Go on. Seriously, they're bang on equal technically (even capacity now)
Greater number of companies supporting it, higher bitrate, larger catalogue, larger capacity, extra hard coating to protect from scratches, faster loading times, blu-ray RW already available, PCM (uncompressed) 5.1 audio - do we really have to through this again?
As for the capacity, the only way to make HD-DVD equal blu-rays capacity is to use HD51. If this was taken up as has been stated time and again -Toshiba makes no guarantees that HD51 disks would be playable on the 1st generation HD-DVD players, since their triple-layer nature could require the use of spherical aberration compensation techniques which would render them completely unusable on current players. So that wipes out the sarcastic remarks you go on to make about profile 1.1/2.0. At least blu-ray owners will be able to play the movies, even if they can't access the extra features.
'Blu-Ray is still worse off as a more expensive product to manufacture and market'
Only for now, as with any mass produced item, the more you make the cheaper it gets and the price is already falling faster than the experts predicted
'That PS3 consumes so much power it likely will cost you twice the price of the console over a few years. Some standalones consume just one tenth what the PS3 does!'
The power requirements for the next gen PS3s could be much lower
Plus it wouldn't matter if the energy companies stopped screwing us over and invested more of the billions they make in profits into developing more efficient, eco friendly and cheap to run ways of generating power instead of holding development back until forced to do something by governments and then suddenly hiking prices to pay for the development they then have to do in a hurry.
You been sniffing glue!?!
Lets start with Storage
HD-DVD claim they have a 51GB triple layer desk...no one has ever seen.
Blu-Ray 50GB Double Layer already in production also has been proven of a 200GB disk.
Do you seriously think that HD-DVD didn't have region coding, its always been there just never activated!
If you also had of checked the sales figures after the Warner announcment you will see Blu-Ray Standalones outsold HD-DVD one (even with the firesale Tosh put in place) was what about 85% in favour of Blu-Ray
Oh and btw if it makes you feel any better HD-DVD was still paying royalties to Sony courtesy of Sony NEC Optiarc (yes the same NEC that did most of the running for HD DVD )
@If Blu-Ray is winning...
"How come the HD-DVD players (made by only one company, no less) are cheaper?"
Because Toshiba are selling the things at a savage loss in the increasingly desperate hope that people will buy them on impulse, and maybe, just maybe, enough HD-DVD movies will sell to help turn the tide.
No doubt they count the freebie titles in the HD-DVD movie sales figures, too, not that it's helped them very much.
Thankfully HD DVD has lost as it was backed by Microsoft. I assume you have all used the awful Windows Media format.
So now the war is over...
When can we expect the regional encoding (one of the superior features that helped the film studios side with BluRay) start appearing on discs and the good old $1 to £1 excange rate imposed on future releases?
Still hopefully multi region players might be available by the time we're all forced to upgrade our players to something that runs the 2.0 spec (assuming the DRM in the system even allows multi region players).
The point is Tim...
That is doesn't matter which disk or player is technically superior. The fact is Joe Public can walk into Asda and buy Blu-ray releases and at a reducing cost.
They could HD-DVD for a while too, but not any more they can't, regardless of the fact that no formal statement has been issued. You might be able to find the odd disk in a cupboard if you ask, but I haven't seen them on shelves for about two months now.
It is about the amount of media sold. Not players, not technical superiority, but disks. There could be one million cheap shit HD-DVD players in the world and 10 £1000 BR players, but if those 10 BR owners buy 1 million disks a month and the million HD-DVD owners only 100,000 disks, BR wins.
It's not overly simplistic, or reliant on the much hated PS3 (Why?!) before it is claimed. It is simple maths. Think about it this way. The studios carried on making VHS tapes until the DVD disks reached a critical enough mass to make it profitable to go 100% DVD. When profits exceeded loses retailers were refunded and those VHS tapes returned and destroyed in massive quantities (and yes that IS fact). Netfix and Blockbusters have gone 100% BR so as they can concentrate funding in one area and maximise profit. No other reason.
(In reality though, go into a Blockbuster and marvel at the 'extensive' BR selection wedged up a corner. See Tim, a declaration of intent for pure long term profit).
Get it Tim?!
"How come the HD-DVD players (made by only one company, no less) are cheaper? Seriously - if blu-ray is really the winner, and multiple companies are making the players, then why are they so much more expensive? Kinda backwards - the single source item is cheaper (yes, Toshiba is probably losing their shirts on each player...) than the one we have a choice on?" -AC
The cheapo Toshiba player doesn't even have full 1080p support! By the time you buy the next model up that DOES have it, you're at the same price w/ a BluRay player that already does much more.
Buying a player that's basically an upcoverting DVD player w/ a HD sticker on it doesn't make it better :)
@ all the HD-DVD AC fanboys
HD-DVD has region coding in it's spec, it's optional. Optional means it's there whether it's used right now or not. However certain studios rather like region coding, it fits their desired business model of a staggered release scehdule. If you honestly believe that had HD-DVD triumphed that region coding would have remained 'off' then you're fooling yourself.
HD-DVD includes the Image Constraint Token in it's specification, there is nothing to prevent that from being activated at any time.
DRM in both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is damn near identical, and damn near pointless from the point of view of video enthusiasts since it's been broken on both, so the point is rather moot.
Technical specs for both formats are very clear. In the standard specification Blu-Ray has 20GB more capacity than HD-DVD and has considerably more data bandwidth available for video and audio data coming off the disc. Higher bit rate = less compression needed = better quality. It's absolutely false to contend that the two are somehow equal in technical terms, they are not. Hd-DVD has the possibility to go to 51GB with as yet unproen 51GB triple layer discs. however these discs have not been seen in the 'wild', nor have thy been shown on any standard HD-DVD player. Quad layer Blu-Ray on the other hand was demonstrated at CES more than a year ago on a standard Blu-Ray player. The quad layer Blu-Ray has a capacity of 100GB. Please don't throw out comments about specifications when they are a) so false, and b) so easily demonstrated to be false.
The cost of making Blu-Ray players and HD-DVD players is near identical. The basic drive mechanisms and optical components are almost identical, the blue lasers used are the same in both types of player. both use adio/video decoding hardware, both provide som local processing and storage. It's utterly false to say that HD-DVD players are inherently cheaper, they're not. not only that by only Toshiba makes them, no one else bothers. The reason they sell for so little now is that Toshiba is desperately hoping that holding a fire sale will distract people from the simple fact that the HD-DVD format is dead on it's feet. The only aspect of HD-DVD that is significantly different is the cost of making discs. HD-DVD discs can be manufactured on upgraded DVD manufacturing lines. However the facilities must be upgraded for HD-DVD production and the lower disc capacity means that a releast that comes on one Blu-Ray may require two HD-DVDs, suddenly that cost of production advantage disappears. Blu-Ray discs on the other hand use a hard coat to protect the disc. This hard coat has so far show itself to be very resilient, perhaps the additional cost of production of Blu-Ray is worth it after all? Either way, if HD-DVDs are cheaper to make, why is it that they don't cost any less? Just the players do. If the players are so cheap to make, I wonder why CE manufacturers aren't lining up to make them, there's obviously an opportunity for profit there...perhaps not. I hear Toshiba sells their players below cost. Considerably below cost. Tsk, tsk. You'd think that they were trying to buy the market, force their format on us. Those cunning bastards!
Does it make you feel better..
to know the soon to be obsolete 360, with it's lack of standard HDD, will make a perfect partner for the 360 HD DVD drive LOL...
Blu-Ray has nastier DRM
"DRM in both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is damn near identical, and damn near pointless from the point of view of video enthusiasts since it's been broken on both, so the point is rather moot."
Now that's just plain wrong. Blu-Ray has BD+, a VM that allows content providers to include custom decryption code with the ability to read and modify the player's memory. The intention is that it can poke around in the player's internal data structures - which are on file with the BD+ licensing group - in order to check that it's a genuine, unmodified player of the model it claims to be before it decrypts the data. (Can anyone say "hardware compatibility issues"?). A secondary intention is to give them a way of running arbitrary native code, which means that if there is a Blu-Ray version of the Sony rootkit, holding down Shift won't stop it running - in fact, you won't be able to.
As far as I'm aware, Blu-Ray hasn't been broken yet, and in fact it'll probably be damn near impossible to break it outright (as opposed to one title at a time) short of a 100% faithful (and entirely illegal) emulation of a hardware player.
Re: WMV urgh (and other things)
You realise VC-1 is a mandatory part of Blu-Ray and that's based on WMV? ;)
Anyway, as for the technical points.
Capacity - none issue.
a. HD DVD has 51gb now. Doesn't need it anyway...
b. Blu-Ray 50Gb releases appears as 2x30gb on HD DVD.
c. Blu-Ray wastes a third of disc space on uncompress PCM tracks when it could use Dolby TrueHD (also lossless) or DTS-HD MA (again lossless).
d. Same releases on Blu-Ray and HD DVD are identical encodes, although HD DVD also manages to squeeze on interactive features.
Bitrate - none issue
Encodes on both are the same and the extra bitrate Blu-Ray affords is not required.
DRM - identical?
Yes and no.
Both have the same DRM, but Blu-Ray adds extra options to allow studios to turn off things like Mandatory Managed Copy. This destroys any hope of using Windows Media Centre or other third party Media Centre systems, or even Linux, to network your home media with HD movies.
"It is about the amount of media sold. Not players, not technical superiority, but disks. There could be one million cheap shit HD-DVD players in the world and 10 £1000 BR players, but if those 10 BR owners buy 1 million disks a month and the million HD-DVD owners only 100,000 disks, BR wins."
In that case, Blu-Ray should actually lose, because statistics are showing that PS3 owners are individually buying far less Blu-Ray discs than HD DVD owners.
The situation is in fact entirely the opposite to your example. There are millions of PS3 players to the hundreds of thousands of HD DVD players, but the latter sells more discs per player. Just that there are so many PS3s players it's skewed the figures 60/40 in favour of Blu-Ray, hence the baseless claims by Sony that "the consumer has chosen!"
Once again, the point was missed
It's not about installed user base! It's not about how many disks per head are bought. For goodness sake.
It is about how many disks are bought in total!! Whether they be by one person or one million. Tim, you really are misrepresenting the figures as much as you possibly can entirely to try to prove a point.
And to be honest, sounding very much like someone from the HD-DVD consortium press office a few months back before the wheels fell of the waggon!
You lost - get over it. You bet early and came away a loser after choosing the wrong side. Coming up with lame arguments and throwing a tantrum is not going to change the fact that HD-DVD IS DEAD!
Sorry you threw your money away on a player that will only be suitable for upscaling DVDs in the near future, but if you buy early you take your chances. There is nothing baseless about Sony's claims, the consumer HAS chosen. Just because you individually did not choose it doesn't mean that everyone else would have chosen HD-DVD given the choice or if they had spoken to you first as you would have pointed them in the right direction. Everybody did have a choice, Toshiba have been falling over themselves to lose money on each player to get them into peoples homes, and hardly anybody wants them.
Netflix has other problems
This is partly a case of the whole 'BluRay winning' argument, but also the anecdotal data I hear from all my Netflix-subscribing US friends is that HD-DVD just isn't that durable in a rental situation, and the number of scratched discs they get is significantly higher than either SD DVD or BluRay.
Constantly having to replace discs for that would be pissing Netflix off no end.
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