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back to article Blockbuster: DVD to Blu-ray shift slower than VHS to DVD

Film rental firm Blockbuster has said that consumers will be slow at swapping their DVD libraries over to Blu-ray. According to a report by Home Media magazine, Thomas Casey, CFO of Blockbuster said at a recent investor conference in New York that he doesn’t think Blu-ray’s replacement of DVD is “going to be nearly like DVD …

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J
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Funny...

"£3-4 to rent a dvd from blockbuster"

Holly crap! Is that how much you guys pay to rent a movie in Great Britain?

I rented "Das Boot" (director's cut DVD, long as hell, very good) for $1 last weekend. I don't know why this one was extra cheap, most movies are for $2. New releases are $3 or $4 max, I think. And you guys pay twice as much? Suckers...

The difference between DVD and BD prices here can be almost nothing to double or more, too. Who knows why. For example, I just looked at the site of a major retailer here, movies in the first page that displayed.

300: on BD $20, on DVD $15, on HD-DVD $45

Spider-man 3: on BD $30, on DVD $15, no HD-DVD

Pirates of the Caribbean 3: on BD $35, on DVD $15, no HD-DVD

I've seen a BD player advertised for $250 the other day. Still much more than a DVD player, but getting better. If the industry were smarter, they would get these prices to lower faster...

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Stop

I know i'll probably be alone on this

But when I go into an Electronics shop and compare the quality of Cathode vs LCD vs Plasma vs LED vs OLED (the HD versions where applicable) I still think that Normal SD Cathode Ray gives the best picture quality.

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Paris Hilton

That's because of piracy shurely

Easy "new" revenue stream in the making: "See, we have that wonderful new HD BluShiny product, from which we should be getting approx. 492 billion dollars a year, except we are not. Clearly, that's because of filesharers, not because we offer something so useless, crippled and expensive that noone wants it. Therefore, each and every filesharer individually stole $492 bn from us. Let's sue them for damage!"

It also works with "newly re-mixed super-smooth audio soup" in place of "new HDBluShiny", but it's already been used so much that my eyes bleed each time I read it again.

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Anonymous Coward

Decent Upscalers Looks Just as Good

I'm in the boat with Simon et al here. A DVD played back @1080p on the PS3 to a 40" Sony LCD looks almost as good as a BluRay movie. I say almost, the one movie I have in both formats - long story - there are some details you can pick out in the 1080 version that are not there in the SD version.

From talking to my neighbours who have similar setups (PS3/BluRay players, Upscaling DVD players and 40-60" HDTVs), the biggest advantage seems to be with the upscaling vs. switching media formats. Other things such as 7.1 surround etc. dont really make a big difference at home.

So yeah - a $5 DVD bargin is going to look nearly as good as a $30 bluray, and if you're not on a 110" HD projector or something I doubt that most people will really notice.

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Paris Hilton

Again, no surprise

Whilst the fanboys deludingly thought everyone will have 40 to 50" LCDs by now hooked up to PS3s, it was blindingly obvious that the vast majority are still happily watching DVDs on a 20 to 28" CRT. There are still a large number that haven't even gone widescreen!

Having a 40" LCD myself I can tell the difference between SD and HD, but even I admit it's not as gobsmacking as I'd expect.

At the £25 kind of tag for Blu-Ray, I would only buy extra special films I would be prepared to splash out on. And frankly I wouldn't really want to lay down £300+ on a player to watch just a handful of films (noting that I have no interest in the PS3 for gaming). Worse is the price of TV shows. £150 for a single season in HD? Nah, shove it.

Frankly, I've got my immediate HD fix from the HD DVD fire-sale. One of the best things Sony et al did really and has provided me with enough HD material at rock bottom prices to keep me entertained for a couple of years !! ;-). Okay I don't have new films but then Hollywood is spewing up such utter shite these days I really couldn't give a flying. If it was anything decent I may as well watch it at the cinema. £7 for a seat is a lot, but it's a lot cheaper than £25. Failing that... Sky Movies HD and/or Box Office HD.

Then we'll see where the market is going. And before you knock it, don't knock downloads (in some form). I think there's more chance of alternative forms of HD delivery than for HD on shiny discs to survive.

Paris - likes a good blockbuster.

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Unhappy

GIVE ME BACK MY VHS

I can't stand DVD's I have never watched an hour of a film on VHS on for it to freeze. Can you say the same for DVD? No? I thought not. DVD sucks and BluRay will be no better, give me back my VHS movie, The quality of the picture only matters when it doesn't freeze before the film is over.

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Coat

If you've got a DVD recorder

a Blu Ray player is a step backwards.

And take Torchwood. Made in HD, but the Blu Ray version was released 1 year later than the DVD one. What sense does that make?

Mine's the trench coat.

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Heart

Why would I?

I only have a handful of DVDs to play on my thirty quid DooVDe player. It hardly ever gets used. Why would I buy a BluRay player?

I (heart) my TiVo.

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Paris Hilton

Who did the survey?

Was it N.S Sherlock, on behalf of Blockbusters?

I'm mean, who'd of thunk that a more expensive solution not guaranteed to be the best choice that requires not only a player, but a new TV to get the marginal benefits ISNT selling that quickly. Well .... me with a stick.

Is there even any blueray pr0n yet?

PH, because it would be interesting to see her moving in HD!

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Coat

re: Blame the HD TV or my eyes

You are correct.

A good upscaler (read - PC based one, not el-cheapo media processors shipped with DVD players and TVs) from DVD produces picture whose quality is not distinguishable from HD on anything less than 40 inch screen at under 2m distance. If you watch from further than that you can respectively increase the number.

So unless you have stuck you head into the TV (or have put a 40in+ d**k extender in a UK living room) you are not going to see any difference.

As far as Blue is concerned - until I can rip it and store it on my media server system it will not enter my house.

At the moment all my DVDs are on a 2TB DIY Linux NAS in the loft and several silenced P3s or thin clients serve as network players (thank you Microsoft for making Media Center remotes so cheap). As a result I can watch anything from my collection without spending half an hour to find it first and the devices to watch it require less space than most DVD players. I am not surrendering this convenience for a marginal improvement in display quality. Sorry blue, until I can rip it - no way in hell.

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I'm waiting for UHDV

Blu-Ray only gives you 1080p, I'm waiting for UHDV-TV at 7,680 × 4,320

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Remember when VCRs were $500?

Same thing going on today. Players are still overpriced. So Blu-ray allegedly has less than 5% market penetration, yet the movie studios decided a year ago that blu-ray was superior to HD-DVD?! How so? And don't go quoting theoretical disc capacities that will probably never get tapped. I bought a Toshiba HD-DVD player for $100 last year and had a handfull of awesome home theater experiences before the "end" of the so called "format war", which was less than spectacular. So much for the consumer voting w/ their dollar, in which case I am sure HD-DVD would have blown away blu-ray (what consumers want just doesn't mean anything in an artificial economy). Until I can buy a blu-ray player for $100, I'll stick to DVDs...especially since they are about $5 now. Thanks Walmart.

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BluRay - DeathRay more like...

Aside from the price - who wants another set of discs in their living room?

All my film rentals are now via legal downloads, and I've just finished ripping my entire DVD collection to ISOs to avoid the existing plastic discs - I want more DRM disc BS like a hole in the head.

Die BlueRay Die

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Not until players are region free

I have a reasonably high-end HD kit and quite enjoy the improved picture quality from high def. I have a HDMI to RGBHV converter that circumvents HDCP protection so my antique CRT projection kit can playback HD content in full resolution. I bought a HDDVD player when those came out and have a few dozen titles in that format, purchased mainly on business trips to the US where prices and content selection was better. Importantly, the HDDVD format was region-free. Every single DVD player I have ever owned has been region-free hacked so I was free to import interesting titles from overseas.

I'm not buying Blu-Ray kit og media until I'm satisfied that I'll be able to comfortably acquire players capable of rendering all domestic and imported media and so far there is little joy in that regard. Everything I've read about HDCP and AACS and HDCP has led me to the conclusion that blu-ray in its current form is probably the poorest and most hostile offering Hollywood has yet come up with in terms of balancing corporate interests and user rights. The lousy content selection is just adding to the insult.

I might just sit this one out and wait for IP streamed HD content, assuming I can find some way to hoard it after purchasing it so I play it at my leisure any time I choose and any where on the planet I might choose to relocate afterwards.

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And we are shocked why?

To see the difference in Bluray you must be using an 1080P TV. For most people this means buying a new TV as well as a player. In Canada this means shelling out ($1700 for the TV and about $350 for the player). The move to DVD from VHS was an easy and in comparison cheaper transition. DVD could play on my existing TV set and I could see the difference immediately. No need to redo my entire entertainment system. It is for this reason the PS3 was so slow to be adopted. The need to redo entire entertainment setups was just not an option financially for most.

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Stop

@J re. £3-4 to rent.

Whilst I agree that this appears to be expensive and yes we could buy the film for £5 outright. There is however, another issue that the studios and corps havent figured on.

Some of us just have anymore room for this crap!

Some of us (read most if honest) dont actually watch a DVD more than once so why bother paying £5 to keep something we dont really need to keep?

I'd pay £3 quite happily to just 'watch' a movie the once and be done with it.

The alternative unless you go into download land is the near £25 cinema extravaganza for two. Petrol/Parking/Tickets/drinks & snacks.*

Now you see why a lot of us are wanting a nice, simple reasonably priced download service. I dont really want the physical media anymore.

*I admit we smuggle our drinks and snacks in. It feels so dirty.

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Boffin

It's in the digits

In addition to all the convenience features mentioned by other posters (2-D vs. linear access, extra features, smaller form factor, etc.), DVD replaced VHS so rapidly because it was digital instead of analog.

Just like the transition from vinyl to CD, with digital, the difference in playback quality between a $50 player and a $500 player is practically nil. Even a $5000 player is only slightly better. So you can get essentially the same quality (or better) that a $500 S-VHS VCR offered in a $50 DVD player. Can BD offer similar value? No, because you're just swapping one digital format for another. You can only make the analog-digital leap once.

Digital TV could have seen the same phenomenon if the sets weren't also almost an order of magnitude more expensive. CDs and DVDs could be attached to existing playback equipment.

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Boffin

No solid, tangible reason to upgrade

I've been an early adopter on several technologies. Failing that, I try to situate myself at just behind them. I recently moved, and I'm in a position to get an entirely new entertainment center. I bought a middle-def 36" TV, (720 instead of 1080) because I got it for a good price and, as of yet, the only device I have that can output even that high of resolution is the laptop I brought with me.

I'm currently looking at two offerings for the rest of the home entertainment center in one bundle- 5.1 surround sound and the DVD player. I can either spend around $420 on a 5 disk DVD changer, with a 1200 Watt system and two full height speakers, or I can spend around $700 on a 1 disk Blue-ray player, with a 1000 watt system with no full height speakers, all of them are the small half a foot high variety.

Blue ray might've been a viable option for me at this stage, but the price doesn't justify it. $300 more for a combo that plays less disks and comes with a worse sound system is not my idea of a good buy. If it was the same price, and the sound system was the same, then I might swap the 5 DVD changer for blue ray, just so I don't have to upgrade, but...that's still a "might".

I've also seen Blue-ray on a friend's entirely HD setup, and, yes, I can tell the difference. The thing is, I just don't care enough about the difference between the two for most things, certainly not enough to shell out the extra $300 for an inferior overall system. I'll care more about the sound quality than about the color clarity of the DVD image.

Odds are, I'm probably going to move to a streaming setup- have a server machine sitting in another room, offering up gobs of space, and have a small media center (be it an XBox 360 or a custom built computer) sitting in the living room, hooked up to the TV. Why? Because if I can sit still and let the computer just load up the movie, I'm going to prefer that over getting up, finding the disk, finding the case for the disk I invariably left in the drive, putting it back, hoping everything's organized...it's easier by far to have a computer storing everything.

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Boffin

Advice to El Reg:

...start taking advertising for opticians... there's obviously a lot of blind people around here!

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Coat

Not that cost-effective

I liked the idea of HD-DVD because it could be made backwards compatible with existing DVDs either as a two layer disk or a two sided disk. BluRay is not only more expensive but it also means I can't play the disks in any other machine. The only way around this would be to issue SD disks with all BluRay disks but I daresay the copyright police would hate this because there's no way you could physically tie the disks together (you might be watching both copies at the same time -- SHOCK / HORROR).

I was also a bit surprised to see artifacts on a BluRay demo. I was led to believe by the fanboyz that what I was getting was a pure data stream but there I was in our upscale toystore seeing the things. What gives? Compressed video? But surely you don't need that with all the extra capacity of a BluRay?

So I'm stuck with my 52" 1080p and upconversion. It actually works really well (your results may vary -- not all DVD players are equal and TV upconversion quality will also vary).

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Paris Hilton

Never gonna happen

I still have a dvd/vhs combo player and I'm not planning on replacing dozens upon dozens of VHS tapes with DVDs of the same thing unless the house burns to the ground. period...ain't gonna happen. And I won't be replacing DVDs with blujays until there's no DRM, no requirement for new code to play new discs or any of that crap. At least with VHS I can bypass the stupid warnings and ads on the front of the tape....no commie warnings and no commercials with little red-lined circles. I dont' care if the next bluray player gives a Bj with every new disc inserted....aint' gonna happen.

Paris, 'cuz she knows about the last part.

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A counterpoint

One thing to remember is that DVD came out over 20 years after VHS; Blu-Ray emerged as a consumer format only 8 years after DVD. By the time DVD was released to consumers, consumer demands and the quality of their TV sets was markedly above what was supported by VHS, which was and felt like a very tired old format long overdue for a replacement (similary cassettes and CD, where both the convenience of random access being a no-brainer and the improvement in fidelity of home sound systems making the lower fidelity of tape increasingly obvious, amongst other factors).

By contrast, HD-TVs are not yet widespread and the production costs of Blu-Ray have not hit the low level of DVDs. Give it another 5 years (or even potentially as soon as 3) and "everyone" will have an HDTV set, and Blu-Ray players will be the same price as DVD players (and many will have them in their $99 PS3s), and Blu-Rays will be the same price as DVDs. At this point, Blu-Ray will be an absolute no-brainer and the mainstream format.

DVD was a revolutionary format, Blu-Ray is evolutionary. We should not expect evolutionary formats to be as quickly taken up as revolutionary ones; this does not stop them having the same overall long-term financial and cultural impact.

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Boffin

Blu-ray is a storage medium

I think a lot of people here are falsely buying into the popular marketing scam.

Blu-ray discs are primarily a storage medium and an IO technology. With the technology you can store/read more MB per disc at a faster IO rate.

This added storage capacity and bandwidth allows you to do funky things like store loss-less uncompressed versions of video and sound which means less potential degredation from common compression techniques. If used in that way it also frees the player up from having to perform the decoding (though that is not a very significant advantage since most modern day media players do this extremely well).

From the software industry's standpoint it also allows you to store a crap-load of files per disc which makes it ideal for backups/libraries and also overall cheaper for distributors when releasing media compilations and large software products (especially games).

The BD+ media standard/protocol (not to be confused with the actual Blu-ray disc and reader technology) adds a whole set of additional layers for players to implement on a firmware/software layer that define the user interface, APIs, supported video & sound formats, encryption/decryption, digital rights and overall user experience of common media formats (as well as many other things).

The Blu-ray technology when taken as a whole offer some very significant advantages over DVD, but the way it currently is being implemented by the media industry for home movies means that the average consumer will see little to no benefit when comparing movies on DVD vs Blu-ray unless they have a VERY large 1080P HD-TV (at least 50") and the studio actually bothered to take advantage of the additional storage capacity and available BD+ features (instead of just porting over a version of the DVD bitstream and serving it up as "fantastic Blu-ray high-def version!!").

This is one are where expecting to take advantage of the usual "buzz" terms and overall consumer ignorance won't work for them. They will actually have to put some money and effort into making the media more attractive on Blu-ray.

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Stop

Can't See It

Having needed glasses since I was 12 to see a standard resolution image. There will be no benefit at all for me - and plenty of annoyances.

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Unhappy

would help if the choice of disks improved

I got a PS3 (tho I hate Sony) as a Blu-Ray player. Trouble is the choice of Blu-Ray disks.

In the average store here, they flog "current blockbuster Blu-Ray" at a significant premium over their DVD equivalent (say $33 CAD instead of $23). Films like 'Jumpers', 'Doomsday', 'Shooter' that are visually stunning in Blu-Ray. But they are also thoroughly crappy movies with zero re-watch value.

If you look for bargains in older movies, you can pick up most of Kubrick's work and Harry Potters for $20. But strangely enough, I have many of those in DVD already. Things that I don't have, like 'Alien', 'Stardust' are not available.

Still, I would say it makes some future-proofing sense to buy a Blu-Ray at a <25% premium, if you really like the movie, don't have the DVD yet and if it is a highly visual movie. Don't need to watch 'Royal Tenenbaums' in Blu-Ray, it's a dialog film. Come to think it, I don't want to watch Tenenbaums on any format.

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Paris Hilton

@Scott Butterworth

I don't think anyone has a problem with bluray as a storage medium...well, except that it's a singular company standard and not industry wide....so not really standard at all. It WOULD be nice to have a single dvd/cd size disc to store more information on...in fact, it would be great...except for the cost of the burners...the cost of the discs...the proprietary technology.....what did I miss here?

Paris, because we haven't seen her blu movie yet.

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@AC 18:35

Grab an envelope and a pencil and do the maths on two hours of entirely uncompressed video at 1920x1080.

Can't grok it? Here's a hint, it's more than 50GB. Like, a LOT more.

Of course it's bleeding compressed.

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@Not that cost-effective + others

There is one thing I am confused about, lot's of people keep suggesting you can't play DVD's in Blu-Ray players? But the PS3 has no problem playing both. Are you sure stand alone BD players don't play DVDs???

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Paris Hilton

Cost & Availability

I bought a PS3 recently, but then found that some games (GTA IV) were unplayable on our 20" CRT from 2m away. So my gf suggested we get a new TV.

As a result we bought a 40" 1080p LCD tv, which made a hell of a difference to the ps3 games.

Leading on from that I thought - wey hey let's try this blu-ray stuff then.

1) I was gobsmacked at the cost of hollywood releases.

2) Despite scouring the shopping centres in town I was depressed by the lack of decent content.

3) The cost of a blu-ray ranged from £15 (on sale) to £25 - £35 for a recent release.

3) Half of the meagre content is not really HD, but upscaled in a studio.

4) I CAN see the difference and the vibrant colours and sharp resolution look great to me (Planet Earth reccomended) however my gf can't see any difference, suggesting she would have to see them side by side to tell if HD was any better/

5) We got a Sony Bravia KDL-40w4000 and I spent weeks reading reviews and learning more than I wanted to about HD tvs before I bought it, and it actually manages SD content very, very well. However I have seen many other ppl's HD tvs which make a total mess of normal SD content - they are like watching a low resolution internet download.

To sum up: 90% of hollywood output is utter unwatchable crap, the hardware is very expensive and unless you really make an effort will make all your standard TV content look terrible, there is hardly any choice of blu-ray content and if you can find anything you might want to own it is usually £15 on sale or £25 - £35 for a recent release. After all of that unless you are very aware of the quality of what you are watching you may not even notice any real difference after all the expense and trouble.

If someone is considering buying an HD setup at the moment (for watching tv & movies) I'd say don't bother - wait until the prices come down. It's a total luxury item which doesn't provide very much luxury at the moment.

Maybe next year when (hopefully) BBC HD gets a slice of terrestrial digital bandwidth, or the blu-ray library has expanded (a lot) and the prices of BR come down to £10-£15 max for recent releases.

Paris because even she cries when she sees how much it costs to go Blu

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Upsampling DVD players kill BR

The quality of a good up-sampling DVD player is VERY good, and allows all of your old disks PLUS much-cheaper-than-BR new DVDs to look great. It uses your current telly. It doesn't make you buy disks that you can only play in one room in the house.

In short, an up-sampling DVD player, particularly a GOOD one like an Oppo/Denon/Arcam, almost makes Blu-Ray a non-starter for most people. Unless you have a VERY large screen, most people wouldn't even be bothered at noticing the quality difference.

I thought that I might want Blu-Ray to back up my harddrives on my PC - but then mechanical harddrives have become so cheap that more drives are actually cheaper than optical or tape.

So now I am left wondering - what exactly do I need Blu-Ray for?

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Counterpoint 2

Firstly I think Paul Chapman has made some very good points - his evolutionary vs revolutionary remark in particular.

Personally I haven't looked back since getting my PS3 and buying my first few Blu-Ray movies. I've mostly just bought new titles that I didn't already have, though there were some titles I already had on DVD that I really wanted to be able to watch in the best possible quality so I got those on BD and sold the DVDs on eBay for a couple of quid. Oh and I don't think I've bought a single Blu-ray from the high street as they are massively more expensive than online - and that's before considering imports from the US which can be cheaper still (remember only a small fraction of Blu-rays are actually region locked - most are region free).

I watch on a 1080p 42" plasma and can most definitely tell the difference between upscaled DVD and full 1080p Blu-ray. In addition there is the lossless HD audio which is head and shoulders above Dolby Digital and dts on DVD. Interestingly though, one of the things I miss most about Blu-ray when going back to watch a DVD is having to stop the film to access chapter selection (or any other) menus - I'm so used to Blu-ray popup menus for that!

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re: @Not that cost-effective + others

Of course the PS3 plays DVD's infact it makes a better job of upscaling them that 99.9% of the other players on the market.

In tests it's on par with the Silicon Optix upscalers. Theoretically it can be improved more still, as if Toshiba can make a super upscaller using a massively cut down version of PS3's Cell, then the full Cell can do a much better job given the same software code.

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@David Wiernicki and @AC @16:06

Yep, lots of either blind people or bored Microsoft shrills ...

As I've said before, plenty of people where I work now have HDTV' s and are in the process of upgrading the rest of their systems to HD. Same for my neighbours and I live in a distinctly middle-to-lower income area. For once the need to replace a broken TV meant that I'm actually in the middle of the wave instead of near the end as I was with DVD.

Yes, the discs are still expensive compared to sale price DVD's, but then as has been pointed out, so were DVD's compared to VHS at this point in their lifetime. In the meantime, I can enjoy HD gaming, and the good programs on the BBC HD service, and my current DVDs nicely upscaled. Yes, I might be only buying Blu-Ray's when they're on special offer, but then thats how I built up my VHS and DVD collections in the first place, as did most people I know ...

Those saying complaining you can't see / hear the difference really do need to get their eyes / ears tested. Or as AC said, stop buying no-name brands at the local aldi.

And I love the idea that the average consumer is as happy to set up a streaming network as a computer geek because they're too lazy to change disks. You know, I don't know anyone who has a DVD changer system - seems a lot of people on el reg love watching the same 5 films in a row - or is this just another shrill strawman to labour the point that the hardware at the start of technology step forward is expensive?

You mean thats why I can't get a nvidia GTX 280 for £50 yet? Or is it the old Microsoft message of wait for SD downloads now, as we all have 100MB broadband with real unlimited usage limits ... just don't mention the DRM in the XBOX and Vista ...

I thought the El Reg shrill brigade had been quiet for a while, guess this one brought them all out of the woodwork ...

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Happy

There seems to be three main camps in the HD scene -

Camp 1 - Those that just are not interested at all. What will be will be.

Camp 2 - Those that do see the difference but are not bothered at this time and will upgrade in the next two to three years in case it get cheaper or something else comes along (it will).

Camp 3 - Those that have splashed a lot of cash too early and are worried that they may have bought a lemon and are really annoyed and frustrated with the other two camps as they are not supporting them by buying into the whole HD thing dammit!

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Stop

Physical Media

Either Blockbuster should provide a set top box with a hard disk in it and stream/download the films over the Internet or provide their films on non-disc based media - like a SD card.

The days of physical media are slowly going, and they're going to get stukc behind all the Sky+ and BT Vision type systems that are available where people don't even need to leave their house.

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blu-ray will be a better format going forward

but people aren't going to replace their existing catalogue of dvd's. Maybe one or two (eg. I'll get Aliens) but not all.

The sad truth, is that 90% of the films released on dvd aren't even taking full advantage of the quality available on a dvd. This has improved massively recently as the technology has matured, but the original source material usually hasn't been good enough.

Even if the film source used is pristine, and very few are, there can be all sorts of problems introduced while transferring it, wobble, dirt, scratches, etc. Older films just aren't high enough quality anymore to transfer well without restoration work. Who's willing to bet that the restoration work done for dvd's in the past was only done at dvd resolution and would need to be re-done for blu-ray?

Going forward, with things that were filmed recently, the amount of special effects work pretty much guarantees that there wil be a pristine, high res digital copy available.

People are not going to sell off all of their dvd's and buy blu-ray, there's just no point! But there are reasons to buy new films in the format, as soon as the studios actually release something worth buying that is!

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Anonymous Coward

Deary me

We are all het up about this being a Sony format, aren't we ??

Yet everyone seems happy with DVD - which was a Sony format, albeit in conjunction with Phillips. The failed media around is vast - LaserDisc, VLD, Video 2000, BetaMax, DVD-A, SACD, MiniDisc, UMD, VCD, S-VCD, Video 8, Super 8, S-VHS, D-VHS and not all of them made by Sony.

Also, the take-up of DVD wasn't nearly as quick as people seem to think. It was released initially in 1997, a time when us early adopters paid around £500 for a player. Most people didn't get involved till we hit the new millenium. At the same time, the same happened with VHS, the price dropped through the floor when the shops realised they could make a better margin on the new format.

The only true point that people are making, is that it does require a new TV and people aren't going to be interested until they upgrade. At which point, most people will want hi-def content for the new purchase. Players are coming down in price, Samsung's BD-P1500 can be had for ~£160 and Sony's 350S can be had for ~£200, in comparison to the price of players at this point in the DVD time-scale, that is a bargain.

Finally, anybody who thinks that downloads are the way forward is deluded and is presumably also one of the few with a fast net connection. The only downloads available to most are through X-Box Live!, where you can get a 720p image and stereo sound - why would I want an inferior picture and sound, when i've spent all that money on a decent home cinema set-up ??

Bottom line, it's a new format and it will take 3-5 years to bed in, much like every other new format and then people will wonder what all the fuss is about. I still remember being toldm when buying a CD player in 1986, that it would never catch on, something I was told much the same in 1997 when buying a DVD player.

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Happy

Not replacing existing DVDs with Blu-rays

DVD to Blu-ray shift slower than VHS to DVD due to people not replacing their DVDs with Blu-rays. As the difference between DVDs and Blu-ray aren't as significant as VHS to DVD. I for one will not buy a blu-ray of a film that I currently own on DVD as happy with upscale image. I'm only buying new blu-ray movies THEN there is also the price barrier, for Blu-ray I have to buy on-line or ASDA as most high-street stores appear to be charging a large premium for their blu-ray discs (over 20 pounds). Will never spend more than 15 pounds on blu-ray disc.

Thus shift is slower due to no need to replace DVDs and price of discs.

As an HD-DVD owner (Home theatre PC with dual drive) I'm still enjoying buying discs for 3 pound.

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Bronze badge
Alien

Blue Ray?

Blue Ray? Why? There are 6 DVD players in my house, including my X-Box, PS2, and two computers. Only one TV in the house out of 5 has HD anyway. I don't need Blue Ray. As long as there are regular DVD's, I see no need or reason to get anything Blue Ray until prices on players and movies in that format, drop.

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Silver badge
Happy

@sooty - Film Restoration

As to how a DVD is presented on either DVD or BD is down to the studio and how much effort and money they want to spend on it.

They have several options. Do a telecine transfer of an exisiting film print if its in reasonable condition. They can send it for cleaning maybe. Cheapest option if there isnt an old laserdisc print done already.

Dig out the negative if its available, clean it, run a new print from it, maybe color correct it and put that out.

Dig out the negative and all the other film elements, scan each frame at 4K resolution, digitally clean/repair the scanned frames (but not too much or it will look like video), color time and correct exposure using notes/info from the time etc. 4K resolution is very very detailed and will hold up as a archive medium for some time to come. Most major 'restorations' have been done using this process.

There are other methods and means of doing it but the rough gist is there.

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Anonymous Coward

PC World Display

I can sum up my feelings towards the extra cost of "HD" equipment by simply telling you about a recent visit to PC World:

They had a "HD" display to "show the benefits of HD", i was there with my dad for about 5 minutes trying to figure out which one had the HD video on it, then when we thought we'd figured it out I noticed a sign did say it on it, and we were wrong... (the "SD" picture did look better, because the colour was set up better - other than that we couldn't see a difference)

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