The Pain Of An HD DVD Early Adopter

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Regurgitate, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    If it fails, it's because mainstream America either doesn't notice or care about any of that. DVDs aren't perfect, but they're good enough to a great many people. Blu-ray will have their lower their costs to the same price as reg-def DVD before it becomes the dominant format.
     
  2. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying special features you'll watch probably once in your lifetime are more valuable and mean more to you than the quality of the film itself? I used to think like that too until I actually saw the quality of the film on the disc. When I found out Carrie wasn't going to have any special features carried over, I was pissed. Then it hit me. I love that film. It means much much more to me than any special feature and come to think of it, I've only watched the special features on that disc once (aside from the trailer, which was carried over to the blu-ray anyway.) And really, isn't that what high definition is all about? To have the best possible quality of a certain film? I thought that was the main appeal of blu-ray.

    Sure, there really is no reason why special features should not be carried over, considering the high capacity of blu-ray discs but it's not like every studio is doing it. The ONLY major studio not to carry over ANY special features is MGM. That's it. And they haven't put out many blu-rays anyway. Warner carries everything over, as does Lionsgate, Sony/Columbia, Paramount, Universal, Fox carries MOST if not all of the special features over. They dropped a couple features off their blu-ray of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but they weren't very important anyway. Not much of a loss.

    Not only that, studios are beginning to adopt the "BD Live" feature on many of their new blu-rays. There are also more blu-ray discs that have exclusive blu-ray features over their DVD counterparts. The Warner edition of The Road Warrior has an introduction by Leonard Maltin and a commentary that is exclusive to blu-ray. The documentary "The Magic of Movie Editing" on the blu-ray of Bullitt is in high-def (and looks amazing), The BD of Close Encounters has blu-ray exclusive features, Fox's upcoming blu-ray of The Omen has special features exclusive to the blu-ray (ontop of carrying EVERYTHING over from the DVD), the Texas Chainsaw Massacre blu-ray has everything the DVD has, plus a new interview with Teri McMinn, who has never really spoken out about the film. That's a rarity.

    What I'm saying is the good far outweighs the bad, and you should never put special features before the film itself. Hypothetical situation: There are 2 DVDs out on the market for a particular film, one barebones and the other a special edition. The barebones edition has stellar image quality, and the special edition has an inferior transfer but loads of special features. Would you get the special edition over the barebones edition with better image quality?

    A lot of people say how much a film means to them, but it seems that many people often put special features ahead of the film itself. As if special features mean more to them than the actual film. But the truth is, what will you keep watching again and again? Halloween, or the featurette where they re-visit the original locations 30 years later? Personally, I'm willing to bet Halloween. :)

    Well personally I don't know how people can't notice the difference. Pretty big jump in quality if you ask me.
    What I really don't get is people complaining about blu-ray prices. Blu-ray is not expensive at all. The only studio (again) putting out ridiculously overpriced blu-rays is MGM/Fox. Even the blu-ray from Sony of Close Encounters is only $4 more than the standard def, plus you get a few extra features exclusive to high-def.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&plgroup=1&docId=1000275911&plpage=2

    How cheap do they need to get?

    Halloween - $13.49
    Dawn of the Dead - $13.49
    Day of the Dead - $13.49
    Evil Dead II - $13.49
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre - $17.95 (a dollar more than the DVD)
    Black Christmas - $18.95 (cheaper than the DVD!)
    Masters of Horror Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4 - $13.49 each
    Clockwork Orange - $13.95
    The Shining - $14.95
    2001: A Space Odyssey - $17.95
    The Road Warrior - $13.95 ($4 more than the barebones DVD)
    The Warriors - $19.95
    The Thing - $19.95
    American Psycho - $16.95
    The Descent - $19.95
    Bullitt - $13.95
    The Fugitive - $13.95
    The Aviator - $13.95
    GoodFellas - $17.95 (again, cheaper than the DVD!)
    Blade Runner (5 DISCS!) $24.95 (I got it for $15.95 brand new off amazon a few months ago.)

    Not ONE of those (with the exception of Blade Runner) was over $20. Blu-ray isn't expensive. The price is no argument.

    ~Matt
     
  3. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    It isn't that people don't notice the difference, it's that people just don't care about the difference. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Price is always an argument. So long as people have to shell out for a brand new player and pay even a few dollars extra per disc (nevermind needing a large screen HD set with HDMI hookups to experience the difference), if they are satified with the way standard def looks, then they're not going to budge. The way Wall Street is looking, most people are starting to believe that now is not the time for unnecessary purchases, anyways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  4. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Well with widescreen TVs becoming the standard, blu-ray just becomes an add-on. It's taking full advantage of the fact that an individual owns an HD set. More and more people are owning HD sets, considering the price of them has dropped drastically within the past few years. I'll side with you on the fact that blu-ray players are still way overpriced, but once they come down (and they eventually will, they cetainly are starting to) people will be more willing to make the switch. I don't think the huge issue is the cost of the discs as much as it is the cost of the player itself, which makes sense.

    But, look at DVD. When it first came out, prices for DVD players were insanely high. DVDs themselves were very expensive. I remember paying $30 for Friday the 13th around the time it came out. But prices went down and DVD eventually became the standard. The first DVDs/DVD players were issued in what, 1997? (I know my Prom Night DVD has a copyright date of 1997.) The price for them really didn't go down a whole lot either until about 2003/2004. That took about 6 years to take off.

    The only reason a blu-ray player is still very expensive is because it's brand new. No, it's not that people don't care or that they don't notice the difference, nor is it the price of the discs themselves. (What most people don't really care about is spending an extra $2 or $3 difference, considering the average person's DVD collection isn't very big anayway). It's the fact that it's a new format and people are just NOW beginning to discover how much better HD looks than standard definition. With 6 times the resolution of DVD, you can't help but notice.

    ~Matt
     
  5. KR~!

    KR~! The Apocalyptic Kid

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    I found this very old F.A.Q about DVD on-line, here are some highlights, worth a read:

    VHS is good enough, why should I care about DVD?

    The primary advantages of DVD are video quality, surround sound, and extra features (see 1.2). In addition, DVD will not degrade with age or after many playings like videotape will (which is an advantage for parents with kids who watch Disney videos twice a week!). This is the same thing that makes CDs more collectable than cassette tapes. Did I mention video quality? The better your TV, the bigger the difference in picture quality between VHS and DVD.

    If none of this matters to you, then VHS probably is good enough.

    What's a progressive DVD player?

    Toshiba developed the first progressive-scan player (SD5109, $800) in mid 1998, but didn't release it until fall of 1999 because of copy protection concerns. Panasonic also released a progressive-scan player (DVD-H1000, $3000) in fall of 1999.

    What's the difference between first, second, and third generation DVD?

    According to some people, second-generation DVD players came out in the fall of 1997 and third-generation players are those that came out in the beginning of 1998. According to others, the second generation of DVD will be HD players.

    What's firmware and why would I need to upgrade it?

    DVD players are simple computers. Each one has a software program that controls how it plays discs. Since the software is stored on a chip, it's called firmware. Some players have flaws in their programming that cause problems playing certain DVDs. In order to correct the flaws, or in some cases to work around authoring errors on popular discs, the player must be upgraded with a replacement firmware chip.

    Will DVD replace VCRs?

    Eventually. DVD player sales exceeded VCR sales in 2001. DVD recorders will hasten the death of VCRs once the price difference is small enough. DVDs have many advantages over tapes, such as no rewinding, quick access to any part of a recording, and fundamentally lower technology cost for hardware and disc production. Some projections show DVD recorder sales passing VCR sales in 2005. By 2010 VHS may be as dead as vinyl records were in 2000.

    Will DVD replace laserdisc?

    When this question was first entered in the FAQ in 1996, before DVD was available, many people wondered if DVD would replace laserdisc, the 12-inch optical disc format that had been around since 1978. Some argued that DVD would fail and its adherents would come groveling back to laserdisc. After DVD was released, it soon became clear that it had doomed laserdisc to quick obscurity. Pioneer Entertainment, the long-time champion of laserdisc, abandoned laserdisc production in the U.S. in June of 1999. This was sooner than even Pioneer thought possible (in September 1998, Pioneer's president Kaneo Ito said the company expected laserdisc products to be in the market for another one-and-a-half to two years), although Pioneer did continue to release small runs in Japan until 2001.

    Laserdisc still fills niches in education, training, and video installations, but it's fading even there. Existing laserdisc players and discs will be around for a while, though essentially no new discs are being produced. There were about 18,000 laserdisc titles in the US and a total of over 35,000 titles worldwide that could be played on over 7 million laserdisc players. (See Julien Wilk's Laserdisc Database for the most extensive list of titles.) It took DVD several years to reach this level, and there are still rare titles available on laserdisc but not on DVD. One bright point is that laserdiscs can now be had at bargain prices.

    Will high-definition DVD or 720p DVD make current players and discs obsolete?

    Not for a while. The high definition Blu-ray Disc format is still new, and it will take years before Blu-ray surpasses DVD as the dominant format. Even then, Blu-ray players can play old DVD discs and often make them look even better (with progressive-scan video and HD upconversion). New Blu-ray discs don't play in standard DVD players, but your collection of standard DVDs will be playable for years if not decades to come, and they will only become "obsolete" in the sense that you might want to replace them with new high-definition versions. In other words, you'll need to buy a new player if you want to be able to play the new discs, but you don't necessarily have to replace any of the discs you already own. Consider that U.S. HDTV was anticipated to be available in 1989, yet it was not finalized until 1996 and did not appear until 1998. Has it made standard-definition programming obsolete yet?
     
  6. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Not more valuable, but honestly - this current trend is, I believe, a huge mistake by BR vendors. Not only do they want more for their discs, but quantitatively, they want to give us less.

    It's not a matter of quality. People are openly downloading compressed copies of movies from the Internet - so do you really think quality is the highest of their concerns?

    It simply makes no sense to most people to pay more and get less for it. The "more" they're getting is indeed, quality. But DVD isn't that bad - so the quality hit you're taking - especially on modern films - isn't too great. And with DVD, often, you're getting a ton of extras.

    Yes BR has more resolution, and that's important, but it's not the whole story.

    In fact, it's completely backwards now. BR prices - both disc and players - need to fall. And any exclusive content needs to be taken off DVD, and put on BR. Not the other way around. Simple as. Otherwise BR is in danger of forever being a niche.
     
  7. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    This debate has become as old as the hills, but what the hell: You can't compare the rise of DVD to the rise of Blu-ray. There was a MAJOR leap in quality from VHS to DVD. (Chapter stops ultimately wound up being a bigger, if not equal, selling point than the increase in resolution, anyways.) It's a MUCH tinier step from DVD to Blu-ray. Mainstream audiences will eventually adopt an HD format eventually, sure, but the companies producing Blu-ray may not have that long before they have to give up due to lack of sales. After two years it's still a niche market, but it can't remain a niche market. There's too much money invested into it.
     
  8. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I have to take issue with this. Anybody with children knows that VHS is FAR more durable than DVD. Give a child a DVD and within seconds it could be scratched to shit and completely unplayable. Give a kid a video tape and they can beat it to hell and unless they figure out how to open the lid up and pull on the tape it will still work. Even then it's fairly simple to respool the tape back in. Kids don't care about video quality anyways. Plus, beyond all that, there's no reason to have a kid's film last forever. Sure, they'll watch a movie repeatedly, but eventually they'll grow out of it and move on to something else. It happened with our daughter and BENJI, for example.
     
  9. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I still buy DVD. What kills it for me - living outside the US at the moment - is price (discs are over a third MORE here, for no good reason) and the big one: Region coding. Adopting region coding kills sales from abroad. I'm a consumer, and I want a choice. region coding stops me from shopping around. Screw that.
     
  10. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. For me the selling point in regards to blu-ray is that it supposedly has the same frame rate regardless of Region. However, the region coding effectively negates that advantage. Until someone figures out how to crack one I won't even consider the upgrade.
     
  11. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    You guys bring up many points, but really it is only Fox/MGM (MGM primarily) that aren't carrying over special features. I do see what you mean but I still think that eventually blu-ray will become the standard. It just needs a bit of time, and BR player prices need to fall. Widescreen TVs have become the standard (why are DVDs now 16x9 enhanced?). It took a while, but it happened. I was asked what my thoughts were and I'm just expressing my opinion on the issue. I just don't wanna get into a heated argument over nothing lol. Although I'll admit it was fun, I certainly don't want a repeat of the Friday the 13th boxset argument. (Yeah, remember that one? :))

    But dwatts, you're from where, the UK? LOL call me an idiot, but I had no idea. Are you from there or just living there? But yeah, region coding was one of the dumbest things that went along with DVD. I've never understood the concept. I mean, you get those little blurbs on the back of DVD cases: "Not authorized for sale outside the US and Canada." So...what, they're trying to say that we're gonna get in shit for importing a title? Legitimately BUYING a film from another company? :eek2: Bullshit. You're not allowed to copy films, which makes sense but when importing, SOME studio is getting profit. Like Paramount and Friday the 13th, they region coded it so you only had the option of buying the R1 'cut' version with no extras. Warner released the 'uncut' version on R2 WITH extras. Warner made me happy, Paramount didn't. So, I went with Warner. SOMEONE got profit for it, anyway. Screw THAT. :fuck:

    ~Matt
     
  12. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    There is one key difference, I think. Physical media as a delivery system has a finite life. We're moving into an era when content will be delivered over phone lines. It's already happening with music, and it'll happen with film over time. So hi-def content distributed on BR has a relatively limited shelf life. They need to be careful of that. I don't think they have three years to convince the public - it's got to happen sooner.

    It's all well and good talking about resolution, and I'm totally sold on it. But consumers are always focused on value, and pixels don't offer great value to Joe Blow. It's not the same as a commentary track, a featurette etc. In fact, look at the number of times on this board people have bemoaned a release because it's bare bones.

    Value for hi-def content must extend beyond the number of pixels - and it's got to have a value beyond DVD other than that. So yeah, extras matter, and they've got to de-emphasize DVD by making some things exclusively BR (which I believe they did, for example, with some of the Saw releases).

    As to me - I live where ever the work is good. Right now that's the UK. But - to the chagrin of many - I can vote in the US. ;)
     
  13. KR~!

    KR~! The Apocalyptic Kid

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    phone lines? Also your blu-ray collection will be playable long after you are dead.
     
  14. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Agree.

    Agree.

    And Agree.

    I honestly think Blu Ray enthusiasts and their lack of care about anythign otehr then picture and sound is what could be the death of Blu Ray. As long as they buying these lazy releases, companies will continue to release them. And when the avergae joe is looking to upgrade and looks on teh back of a Blu Ray, and looks on the back of a DVD, he isn't going to want to put all that money into investing in something that overall isn't better.

    Look at the leap from VHS to DVD. In what way was VHS better? DVD surpassed it in every way possible! Look at the leap from DVD to Blu Ray, it is very minimal, if even at all. Maybe not to you, but extras DO MATTER to people. That is why the 2 disc special editions always outsell the bare bones editions, and why people will double dip years later, to get all the neat content they added.

    I hold hope that Blu ray will smarten up though, as they have been getting a little better with including all the extra features, and even once in a while including exclusive features. But they aren't there yet, that's for sure. I think like DVD, it will be a few years until they nail it, and almost everything being released now will be double dipped upon. But I just don't know if that's a smart decision, as I think they have to make them selves noticed, and they have to do it now, or else it will fail. DVDs are just offering too much for their price, and Blu Ray just isn't cutting it as an overall package.
     
  15. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Yes - the Internet comes through phone lines. Glad I could teach you something. :D

    And yes, in theory the discs will be playable long after I'm dead - but it's simply not the way the industry is going. They'd rather your discs didn't last forever, and that you buy them again. But, Internet archives will be around long after your discs are playable. ;)
     
  16. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Agree. :lol:

    Seriously, I think you're 100% correct here. We all know the quality jump. So, if it were are simple as selling the quality jump, we'd all be BR by now. But we're not. And unless we acknowledge that something else is going on, and that there are other factors, then BR won't move forward.

    Last figures I saw were for post BR v HD-DVD - and 92% of home sales were on DVD. Still. That ought to cause some concern. Region coding is a nightmare, that has to be gotten around to kick-start a lot of things. Prices must fall. Prices would be good now since I'm spending UK pounds in US Dollars..... but region coding puts a stop to that (I know not all discs are region coded, but if in doubt, I just buy DVD).

    I do think the quality argument is pretty much done. It's a fact BR is better, and I think the majority of the people recognize that. I also don't buy the "DVD is good enough quality" argument either - what kind of person would pay the same for lesser quality, no matter what? But there it is - pricing, region coding, availability.... It's not all aout A/V.
     
  17. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    I disagree. Universal is horrible with extras. Most of the time they skip out on a few features here and there, either that or include them cut up as a PIP feature. I hate that and would rather watch a documentary as a cohesive story, not all cut up in a small corner of the screen. One of the reasons why I am going to pick up the Doomsday DVD over the Blu Ray. A lot of companies seem to hate including picture galleries as well. Don't know why, other then laziness, as they would take up next to no space. I like seeing the original posters and adds, the make up and sculpture stills, or like in Top Gun's case, deleted scenes that only exist as stills. I hate that now I have to keep my Top Gun DVD, when I should have been able to sell it off and put the money towards another Blu Ray. Now I have to take up two spaces for the film on my shelf, when they could have obviously included the gallery. How much space could it take up, honestly?
     
  18. KR~!

    KR~! The Apocalyptic Kid

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    :lol: you have dial up! Good luck downloading your 50 GB blu-ray.

    Seriously, we are still many years away from that. Even when everyone has legit high speed connections, ISP will put caps on how much you can download per month. Hell, that will happen long before real high speed connections become reality.
     
  19. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    IT'S ONE FUCKING STUDIO THAT IS DROPPING THE EXTRAS, NOT ALL OF THEM!!!!!

    ....:D

    ~Matt
     
  20. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    So you care more about a measly documentary than the picture and sound quality of the film? Sorry, for me the film always comes first. The extras are just that; extras. I'd gladly take a 1080p HD transfer over a DVD loaded with extras. It just amazes me that these days people are more worried about the supplements then the film they are supplementing.
     

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