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Thread: Blu-ray Is Doomed to Lose DVD Format War

  1. #1
    Dragon
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    Blu-ray Is Doomed to Lose DVD Format War

    Friday , May 12, 2006

    Blu-ray is doomed.

    I came to this conclusion shortly after reading John Dvorak's thoughtful dissection of the HD DVD versus Blu-ray imbroglio.

    It was right on the money in all ways but one: Dvorak didn't anoint a winner; he thinks it'll take a couple of years to shake out.

    I think he's wrong.

    I didn't always feel this way about the high-def wars. HD DVD and Blu-ray are, in some ways, so similar that I assumed no self-respecting consumer would notice or care about the minute differences.

    Both store, on a dual-layer disc, between 45 and 50 GB of data. Both will offer enhanced end-user interaction. Both, but especially Blu-ray, will offer improved content protection (no copies, please).

    But as the fracture between the HD DVD-ites and Blu-ray-ees continued, I realized that consumers would be forced to make a choice.

    Most of my coworkers and fellow tech watchers handicap the race at dead even.

    Each technology has suffered its own series of setbacks and delays. The players are only just now arriving, and content is virtually nonexistent. They also see good chances for big HD content success because people have been buying HD TV sets for years, with little good content to play on them.

    This is only partially true. While HD sets have been around for years, early devices were inordinately expensive, and HD TV stations began showing up only in the past two years.

    I'd argue that 2005 was the breakthrough year for HD sets. So while demand for HD content may be pent up, there aren't that many consumers in the pen.

    Late last month, Toshiba finally shipped the very first HD DVD drive. From what I hear, the first run was in the thousands. Those players disappeared almost instantly.

    I guess those 10,000 consumers also bought all six of the HD DVD titles available from Warner and Universal. This does not sound like a resounding success.

    But let's look at Blu-ray.

    Sony's first players (from Samsung, Toshiba, and others) have yet to arrive. There still isn't even one publicly available Blu-ray content disc.

    In mid-May, Sony announced that we wouldn't see any until late June. This is, ostensibly, to synchronize the release with the availability of those first players.

    That's a pretty flimsy reason.

    Warner is smart enough to know that it can sneak HD DVD content into the hands of consumers by burning it onto the back of regular DVD discs. Dvorak noted in his column that Blu-ray technology can't achieve this same feat (not without jumping through some significant technical hurdles).

    Even so, the first HD DVD discs are not hybrids, so what's really holding back the Blu-ray content?

    Perhaps Sony is stuck on the "chicken and egg" concept. Which comes first ó the players or the content?

    In a horse race like this, you take both the chickens and eggs and throw them at consumers. Holding anything back is a huge mistake on Sony's (and its partners') part.

    Still, others expect Sony and Blu-ray to pull the rabbit out of the hat with one critical hardware release: The PlayStation 3.

    As most people know by now, the PS3 will feature a built-in Blu-ray drive. It was originally slated for a spring ship, but was pulled back when Sony ran into Blu-ray delivery problems. Now we expect to see the eagerly anticipated gaming console in the fall.

    Dvorak also made this point, but he's less certain of the PS3's success. I'm not.

    The PS3 will be a blockbuster. Early supplies will sell out. And these gamers will, by default, get a brand new Blu-ray drive.

    Gamers already expect a lot from their consoles, so the "extra interaction" Blu-ray offers may not mean much to them. But the PS3's success will not help Blu-ray win in the marketplace. This is because Sony's aiming at the wrong target audience.

    HD DVD and Blu-ray will achieve success only if they reach critical mass in the general consumer marketplace.

    The gaming market is not the general market. The vast majority of consumers who watch DVDs and even own HD sets are not 12- to 25-year-old die-hard gamers. Instead, they're 25- to 55-year-old adults with children who have better things to do than play games.

    To be fair, HD DVD and Blu-ray both face a similar uphill battle; consumers are not itching to replace or upgrade their current DVDs or DVD players.

    It will take a huge marketing and education effort to make consumers understand why they want either standard. Experiencing HD movies will help, but for the next two months, they'll be able to do this only with HD DVD.

    In our lightning-fast, high-tech world, two months is like the first two lengths of a four-length horse race.

    Can Blue-ray catch up? I don't think so.

    Discuss this article in the forums.

    Copyright © 2006 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Media Inc. is prohibited.

  2. #2
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    L O S T .'s Avatar . is offline
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    beta part II

  3. #3
    elq
    Cleophus aka pupah lashie elq's Avatar elq is offline
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    i say neck and neck

    blu-ray isn't doomed.

  4. #4
    where de crix Oneshot's Avatar Oneshot is offline
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    hmm... the pirating issue gives HD DVD the slight edge, if i cannot pirate a blu ray DVD.. what use is my PS3

  5. #5
    Dragon
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    Quote Originally Posted by elq
    i say neck and neck

    blu-ray isn't doomed.
    Most people are not rich . I got over 250 DVDís .. with blu- ray I cant watch it . With HD-DVD I could watch regular DVD and HD on the same system . Why would I buy blu-ray and make my collection obsolete
    It took me 7yrs to buy all the movies . I am sure that HD-Movies will be $24 each

  6. #6
    elq
    Cleophus aka pupah lashie elq's Avatar elq is offline
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    who says dat u can't watch your current dvd with bluray.....

    hint....if the ps3's are fully backward compatible with ps2 and ps1 games...den whoever tell u dat full of shite

  7. #7
    Dragon
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    Quote Originally Posted by elq
    who says dat u can't watch your current dvd with bluray.....

    hint....if the ps3's are fully backward compatible with ps2 and ps1 games...den whoever tell u dat full of shite
    I am looking for the article .. You are ole enough to remember the VHS Vs Betamax wars .. Who won ?

  8. #8
    Dragon
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    elQ

    Found the article I was wrong .. Hangs head in shame

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon
    Most people are not rich . I got over 250 DVDís .. with blu- ray I cant watch it . With HD-DVD I could watch regular DVD and HD on the same system . Why would I buy blu-ray and make my collection obsolete
    It took me 7yrs to buy all the movies . I am sure that HD-Movies will be $24 each
    theonly way bluray(and HD for that matter) will work is if the players are DVD compatible
    i dont see people going for it any other way.
    I know I would not.


    in addition to that
    ALOT has to do with what format the likes of Blockbuster and Netflix backs up

    rememba when you could go to a video store and see a beta section

    like how you can still see a vhs section today.....

  10. #10
    elq
    Cleophus aka pupah lashie elq's Avatar elq is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon
    Found the article I was wrong .. Hangs head in shame

    good! now go play your in-dash 8track car system as punishment....lol.

  11. #11
    Dragon
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    Quote Originally Posted by elq
    good! now go play your in-dash 8track car system as punishment....lol.
    Nah ah busy wid meh new fone

  12. #12
    OnE eYe MoNsTeR InC. Snapshot's Avatar Snapshot is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon
    Found the article I was wrong .. Hangs head in shame

    post the article

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