View Poll Results: Knowing what you know now, what would you buy?

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  • Blu-ray

    28 70.00%
  • HD-DVD

    12 30.00%
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  1. #1
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    Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Business Week Link

    Enjoy

    I'll just post the whole article:

    Next-Gen DVDs: Advantage, Sony

    Sony-led backers of Blu-ray seem to have pulled ahead of rivals in the race for a single high-def DVD standard

    by Ronald Grover and Cliff Edwards
    BW Magazine


    Illustration by Andrew Bannecker


    It's a fight with more plot twists and intrigue than a Hollywood thriller. For two years now, rival camps have been battling over which new DVD format will prevail: Blu-ray, which is backed by Sony (SNE) and a consortium of 170 other companies, or HD DVD, which is being championed by Toshiba (TOSBF), Microsoft (MSFT), and others. Both technologies promise crisper video that looks better on the new generation of flat-panel, high-definition TVs. And the winner stands to control a lucrative new market worth billions. Each side has been competing to win the backing of the major movie studios. Only Warner Bros. (TWX), which currently uses both formats, is still playing hard to get.


    Now, with the Jan. 7 International Consumer Electronics Show fast approaching, Sony and Toshiba are keen to announce they have won over Hollywood's last holdout. In the meantime, they are falling over themselves to woo Warner. While either side could prevail, the Sony group has suddenly emerged as the front-runner.


    Why? Because despite a setback this summer when the HD DVD companies signed up Paramount Pictures (VIA) and DreamWorks Animation (DWA), the Blu-ray forces have still lined up more studios than the HD DVD side. Plus this year, the Sony team has sold more than twice as many discs. "The rumor is that Warner is coming aboard soon," says Michael Burns, vice-chairman of studio Lionsgate (LGF), which makes its movies available on the Sony-backed format. "That will make it awfully tough for HD DVD to stay in this game." (Sony declined to comment, and Toshiba only would say it is "in regular contact with the studios.")


    From the beginning, the two camps' overarching strategy has been the same: getting access to as many movies as possible. It isn't hard to see why. Consumers will buy the new technology only if they believe most of the films they want will be available.


    Right now the Blu-ray team has enough studios on board—among them Disney (DIS), Fox (NWS), and, of course, Sony—to account for about 49% of current DVD market share. Warner is a prolific film factory, releasing as many as 30 pictures a year, including those produced by sister studio New Line Cinema. Persuading it to sign an exclusive deal would give the Sony crowd about 70% of DVD market share. That could prompt the other studios to abandon HD DVD.


    On the other hand, if Toshiba were to win Warner's hand, the two forces would divide the market between them. That could create mass consumer confusion and potentially strangle a new technology that the studios hope will give a lift to flagging DVD sales. That's exactly why Warner has long pushed for a single format.
    WOOING WARNER

    The battle has heated up since HD DVD got Paramount and DreamWorks Animation. Both sides have been beating a path to Warner's Burbank (Calif.) doorstep. Yoshihide Fujii, the head of Toshiba's HD DVD business in Japan, has made three trips to the U.S. since the summer, say those with knowledge of the situation. And while Andrew House, Sony's chief marketing officer, has been pressing the Blu-ray case, the stakes are sufficiently high that Sony CEO Howard Stringer has been making personal appeals to Richard Parsons and Jeffrey Bewkes, the two top executives at Warner parent Time Warner (TWX).


    Toshiba is pressing the case that because its technology is cheaper, it will more quickly become a mass-market product. According to the DVD Release Report, an industry newsletter, the suggested retail price of an HD DVD is $31.74, nearly $2 less than Blu-ray's suggested price. (Retailers traditionally cut the price to less than $29.) Toshiba also has been cutting the price of its players, slashing its entry-level machine to $299 earlier this year.

    It was price that prompted DreamWorks Animation and Paramount to throw in their lot with HD DVD earlier this summer. (Like Warner, Paramount had previously backed both formats.) "The game-changer for us was the hardware costs dramatically coming down to where it could succeed broadly for the consumer," says DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. "In addition, the software manufacturing costs in the future would be significantly lower than Blu-ray." Of course, it didn't hurt that Toshiba agreed to pay Paramount and DreamWorks Animation a combined $150 million in incentives, including money to license DreamWorks' Shrek character for marketing purposes.

    The Blu-ray faction insists there is no burning reason for it to match HD DVD's prices. "We think Warner will respond to the fact that our greater number of titles gives us a greater likelihood of being the single standard," says Andy Parsons, who leads the Blu-ray lobbying effort. But another executive backing Blu-ray, who didn't want to be identified, expects the imminent arrival of a sub-$300 Blu-ray machine.


    What's more, Hollywood insiders say the $150 million that the Toshiba group showered on Paramount and DreamWorks Animation radically changed the game. These people suggest the Blu-ray team is so determined to win that it will throw hundreds of millions of dollars of marketing support behind Blu-ray equipment if Warner gets on board.
    Warner isn't talking, but people close to the situation say the studio is waiting to see which group sells more of the new-fangled DVD players this holiday season. "Warner wants one of the two sides to make a commitment to getting this format into as many hands as possible," says a studio executive with knowledge of its thinking.


    So far Toshiba has eked out a lead. According to industry tracker Adams Media Research, by the end of this year as many as 578,000 U.S. households will own HD DVD players, compared with 370,000 that have Blu-ray players. Adams also estimates there are 300,000 more HD DVD players in circulation as an external add-on to Microsoft Xbox game consoles. But that still pales in comparison to the estimated 2.3 million Blu-ray-equipped Sony PlayStation 3 consoles sold through November in the U.S.


    The Blu-ray side has another advantage. Disney caters to families, who buy lots of older films for their kids. That could help the format build critical mass. "The Blu-ray customer is more likely to build a new library," says market researcher Richard Doherty. "Studios live for [that]."
    That leaves one question. If the Sony camp wins Warner, will the other studios ditch HD DVD? They're not saying. But Dreamworks Animation and Paramount only signed on with the Toshiba side for 18 months. So then they could take the money and run.

    Grover is Los Angeles bureau chief for BusinessWeek. Edwards is a correspondent in BusinessWeek's Silicon Valley bureau .


    Last edited by isugcs; 12-10-2007 at 08:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I added a poll to get the feel of the community.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I am still voting for HD-DVD for the fact that the players are cheaper. I think if blue ray try's to drop their price, HD-DVD will do the same.
    By the time Christmas shopping numbers are out I think HD-DVD will solidify their lead in the amount of set top boxes offered. Which in turn my woo Warner over to their side.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Im not buying either till somebody wins, I will probably wait a while till the price of either DVD goes down. $30 is expensive compared to the regualar format



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    I am still voting for HD-DVD for the fact that the players are cheaper. I think if blue ray try's to drop their price, HD-DVD will do the same.
    By the time Christmas shopping numbers are out I think HD-DVD will solidify their lead in the amount of set top boxes offered. Which in turn my woo Warner over to their side.
    I think so too. I just think alot of the major films are on HD-DVD right now. However Blu-ray has Disney which is an enormous money maker.

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels686 View Post
    Im not buying either till somebody wins, I will probably wait a while till the price of either DVD goes down. $30 is expensive compared to the regualar format
    Me too for the most part. I talk alot about getting these, but in reality Im yet to fully pull the trigger. I bought 300 on the dual format disc which is DVD/HDDVD just in case.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I can get an uspcaling/upconverting DVD player for $99 or less right now. IMO, no point in going HD DVD or Blu-ray when these DVD players are relatively inexpensive and this "war" has not yet been settled.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Another thing I just noticed is that article already has dated material in it, which wouldn't be to shocking to be honest. But it says that Toshiba slashed it's price to 299 for the players, when they are actually only 199 or lower now, compared to Blue Rays 299 price tag. But the main thing getting holiday shoppers is the HD DVD played plus 10 free movies. I really think the numbers will start to lean in the HD DVD's favor come January



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I think the one thing that REALLY hurts HD-DVD right now is the fact that Blockbuster has aligned itself with Blu-Ray. Consumers will rent more movies than they will ever buy. Unless Toshiba can get the same kind of commitment out of one or more of Blockbuster's rivals, such as Family Video or Hollywood (both of which are Blockbuster's competitors but nowhere near the national presence that Blockbuster has) or Netflix (what I'd consider the more likely competitor to Blockbuster nowadays considering they even felt the need to enter the online movie rental game), or if they can somehow get Blockbuster to turn on Blu-Ray, it's going to be a losing battle for HD-DVD. They have to be able to get themselves into the rental game.


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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I voted Blu-ray, probably because I have a PS3 :) The picture is amazing...



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Honestly, can I vote for neither? I have no need to get yet another technology. Until netflix moves to one or the other, I have no need for it. Upscaling regular DVD is good enough.


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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Blu-Ray will win out. If Warner chooses Blu-Ray it can end the war with over 70% of the films exclusive to BD. That has been Warners goal all along so that consumers can identify with a single product so that they may build an HD Movie library. To think that the lesser HD-DVD technology could win out is ludicris. They don't have a 1080p requirement, they use Microsoft's x264 codec to compress sound where as on BD it is required to be uncompressed so that it sounds much better. HD DVD also has less space on their discs, and even though HD DVD has yet to liscense hardware developers to create HD-DVD burners, consumers will probably prefer writable BD-W discs so they can back up more information. Blu Ray burners already exist and new authoring tools are already being released.

    Come on guys, its a no brainer. Everyone knows that the only reason Paramount / Dreamworks went HD DVD is because the evil empire that is Microsoft gave them $150 million reasons to do so. Also...keep in mind that Steven Spielberg and Lucas Arts both have caveats in that contract that if they release a film for Paramount Studios they can release on Blu-Ray as well. Spielberg mandated this in his contract because he doesn't believe in HD DVD.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    ps3 locks up Blu-ray for me. I'm going to buy a ps-3 and therefore, a blu-ray player.


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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloned4Life View Post
    I voted Blu-ray, probably because I have a PS3 :) The picture is amazing...
    Ditto! PS3/blu-ray and with more games coming out for PS3 it think it may make the difference.



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    I already bought blu-ray's! I own 20+ and rising!



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    Re: Interesting Article: HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray

    Quote Originally Posted by cytech View Post
    I am still voting for HD-DVD for the fact that the players are cheaper. I think if blue ray try's to drop their price, HD-DVD will do the same.
    By the time Christmas shopping numbers are out I think HD-DVD will solidify their lead in the amount of set top boxes offered. Which in turn my woo Warner over to their side.
    I agree.. the sales numbers from both walmarts $98 and $198 sales of players as well as best buy and others having them at 199 should be very very high.

    [quote]
    I can get an uspcaling/upconverting DVD player for $99 or less right now. IMO, no point in going HD DVD or Blu-ray when these DVD players are relatively inexpensive and this "war" has not yet been settled. [/qoute]

    or if you catch the right deal, you can pick up a hd dvd player for 99, and get free movies with it



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