If Blu-Ray Launched And No One Noticed, Would It Matter?

from the just-saying dept

We've noted recently that we honestly couldn't care much less about the supposed "battle" over next generation DVD formats -- as the industry is doing pretty much everything in its power to make sure that no one cares. Including extra, cumbersome copy protection combined with a standards battle that will confuse and alienate customers and suppliers. On top of that, recognize that other forms of media delivery using hard drives and networks are becoming more reasonable every day, and the advantages to disc-based content continues to decrease. Still, that didn't stop someone from submitting a story excitedly talking about how Blu-Ray players and a few movies will hit the stores soon. Of course, they'll be coming to the stores at a price of "around $1,000" which should convince perhaps the four or five people who are excited about Blu-Ray to buy into it, but few others. Honestly, if they really want people to adopt this new format when there are so many other choices, why put up such a huge barrier? Most people are going to have no clue why they should buy this new system, and at a price many times more than existing DVD players not many are going to be convinced. Of course, the industry response is just that this is how they always price new offerings (they did the same thing with DVD players after all) and prices will drop after (a) all the suckers with too much money have bought in and (b) economies of scale kick in. The problem, though, was that when DVD players were introduced they didn't have quite the same level of competition as exists today. So, either the industry needs to go on quite the "education" (some might say "brainwashing") campaign about why these new DVDs are worthwhile, or it will end up in the (large) pile of over-hyped new technologies that it turns out customers never actually wanted.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Gary, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    No Subject Given

    New tech is usually introduced at extremely high prices for a short period of time because there are people who are anal/early adopters who will pay anything to get a new piece of tech no matter what the cost. You'll see the cost drop alot in no time.

     

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  2.  
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    John, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:01am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Which is exactly what was said in the post...

     

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  3.  
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    Jerey, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:20am

    why bother?

    There is no real good reason to get them for a long time, if any reason at all. Look at how much data a usb drive can muster, 6 gigs, or maybe more now. They are gonna go the way of the laser disc.

     

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  4.  
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    Trey, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:24am

    Re: why bother?

    And my USB drive doesn't skip as much :-)

     

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  5.  
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    KenL, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:41am

    Re: why bother?

    Does anyone else remember the magnificent hype about the DVD and how we'll soon be able to enjoy all sorts of other wonderful content and features, such as alternative endings and switching between camera angles (I have yet to actually use this one EVER, even though my remote has a button for it) and so forth and so on. What happened?

    And NOW they want me to ditch all that and go out and buy another format....for what, HD quality perhaps, but what else? I've never been much of an early adopter, but this definitely turns me away from all the breathless hype that is coming from the purveyers of Blu-Ray....

     

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  6.  
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    Matt, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:47am

    Re: why bother?

    Betamax was so great everybody went out and bought those too right?

     

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  7.  
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    Patrick, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:56am

    Re: why bother?

    What this really boils down to is software. WHat got DVD over the hump was when the big rental houses made the move to DVD. I have heard nothing about blockbuster or Hollywood video jumping on the Blue ray or HD DVD bandwagon. I think with the spec war and the lack of software this is going to be a slow moving train.

     

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  8.  
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    dorpus, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 10:58am

    Fragility?

    If the blue-rays read pits in the plastic 4 times smaller than existing DVD's, won't that make them 4 times more sensitive to scratches that make the DVD unreadable?

     

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  9.  
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    Chris, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:08am

    Re: why bother?

    Don't forget the Digital Audio Tape...

     

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  10.  
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    joey, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:10am

    DVD format?

    So, the main reason to get these new "UberDVDS" is because of the higher quality?

    Hm. So, not only do i have to buy a separate version of a movie for my PSP/Video iPod (because i dont want to break the law and break the encryption on my LARGE DVD library) i have to buy a new version for my HD-DVD.

    I am hoping the Video iPod does for Movies what the normal iPod did for music; Nobody CARES how good it looks, as long as i am seeing it.

    What is the equivalent of 128kbps AAC file? 320 by 240? 640 by 480? I don't know, but all I know is DVD-Audio is "High quality"; How is THAT going?

    Am i going to buy new copies of all my movies in HD and plop down a grand for a player?

    Will you?

     

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  11.  
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    Hexanite, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:14am

    Re: Fragility?

    The DVD format worked for all who bought it.

    Early adopters of HDTV (like me with my component inputs), will see 25% resolution in return for good consumer behaviour.

    That's 25% of SOMETHING I ALREADY PAID FOR. And the disks are more expensive.

    It will be a cold day in hell when I will ante up for another Hollywood kidney punch.

    Damn them all.

     

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  12.  
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    Andrew Schmitt, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:40am

    DRM - Neccesary Evil

    Agree the DRM sucks but one trip to a streetcorner in China and you'll understand the desperation.

     

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  13.  
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    wolff000, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:50am

    Re: DRM - Neccesary Evil

    "Agree the DRM sucks but one trip to a streetcorner in China and you'll understand the desperation."

    China? Hell been to new york lately? You see bootlegs everywhere. I have even seen a convience store in the bronx with very questionable looking dvds. of course the clerk claimed they were legit but the photocopied cover did not convince me. anyways why bother with bluray or hd-dvd when holographic discs should be out at the beginning of next year and beat the hell out of both formats in storage space.

     

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  14.  
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    Chris, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:50am

    Re: why bother?

    I've only ever heard of switching angles being used for the kind of movie you don't exactly sit down to watch with the family.

     

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  15.  
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    Xanik, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 11:53am

    Maybe WiMax First?

    What someone else is right: The reason the original DVD's worked so well, we because my local Blockbuster store started to cary them, in large quantities, and it picture was a lot better. (Not to mention they *worked* with existing equipment.) At that time, I also remember seeing Divx players. (Remember them?!)

    I don't own a HDTV, and I don't plan on getting one until the majority of TV channels start broadcasting in HDTV signal and the extra price goes down. So, no stand-alone player for me. And I'm not getting a drive for my computer either. Surely, some of you have read that the *EXTRA* equipment and connections you'll need isn't even really out yet? Why even bother spending all that extra money?

    This is one consumer who won't even consider purchasing any new players/drives until one format wins over another, the confusion over the equipment needed is ended, and, obviously, the price comes down. At this rate, I expect we'll see WiMax before we see that happen! ;)

     

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  16.  
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    Daryl, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    Blu-Ray & Games

    Tech Dirt has reported in the past that an advantage of HD DVD and BluRay is the ability to fit ever larger games on a single disk. An avid PC/XBox/PS2/Sega/Atari, well you get the point, gamer, I have been frustrated by the need to change disks in the middle of gameplay on more than one occasion and so I applaud the development of this technology. However, until it is available on a gaming system and game titles I want are available I guarantee I will not be shelling out the dough.

     

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  17.  
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    Chris, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Re: DRM - Neccesary Evil

    So, how many actor's (and MPAA Exec's) children are starving because movies are being pirated in China (or anywhere)? Is it really that bad that they won't get a Cadillac Escalade with gold trim and 36" wheels for their 16th birthday?

     

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  18.  
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    Michael TheZorch Haney, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:05pm

    The PS3

    Sony is in a lot of hot water over DRM, so I don't see them delving into it anytime soon. Given that the PS3 will be first major product from Sony with Blu-Ray support I'm certain people will notice.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:12pm

    No Subject Given

    I'm always an early adopter and I'll be avoiding the new DVD technology like the bird flu.

    What the article fails to note is that early adopters have already bypassed DVD as the primary delivery vehicle for movies. Many of my friends have over a terabyte of media storage on RAID arrays. They want downloadable movies released concurrently with movie release or, at least, with DVD release. Until then, they rent a DVD, rip it, and then send it back to Blockbuster or Netflix.

    Buying the new DVD players is like buying the latest model of buggy whip.

     

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  20.  
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    Blisshead, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:12pm

    whatever

    My pet eagle and dog will appreciate the difference in quality.

     

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  21.  
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    masterfang, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    Well, that's great and all, gaming's cool, but there are already systems taking this into effect. If I remember correctly, the PS2 will be using blue-ray.
    Correct me if I'm wrong. And what games would you have to switch on? the only game I've ever had to switch on is a really old DX5 game (i can't remember the game). It had about 24 levels, on 4 disks. Even though, newer games on cds have more levels and better graphics... OH there was one other thing i had to switch discs on, the extended edition of the LOTR.

     

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  22.  
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    Masterfang, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    I meant PS3

     

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  23.  
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    musterion, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:33pm

    This has been discussed over at slashdot

    I'm one of the screwed. I have an HD TV with analog component (redundant?) inputs. I'm sure Panasonic or Philips will produce players that read both, but its the copy protection stuff that will get me. Why bother to get an HD movie when it wont be HD into my monitor ?

     

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  24.  
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    NeoRaZor, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    Then they need to start putting more games on DVD first!

     

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  25.  
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    patrick, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    Well I am an early adopter. I just bought a 1080p hdtv but when it comes to video delivery i learned my lesson a long time ago. AKA the Laserdisc. Great picture, great sounds - NO SOFTWARE - The problem here is that nobody in there right mind is going to shell out 1000 for a player when there is a format battle going on. Sure I want to see movies in Hi Def but what happnes when I by the HD-DVD player and 12 months later blockbuster and Hollywood video decide they want to only carry Blue ray. I find it laughable that an entire industry can not work out a single format. Instead its laid on the consumer to push the issue. Damn if one picks wrong they will be stuck with a $1000 paperweight. I think this whole thing brings up a bigger issue, How is it that the Media industry is so vindictive to its customer base, they litigate us, overcharge us, over copy write protect us, and now makes us play a high stakes format guessing game. Screw Sony and all the rest. I will stick with 480p till someone can make a damn decision.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 28th, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Re: DRM - Neccesary Evil

    Agree the DRM sucks but one trip to a streetcorner in China and you'll understand the desperation.

    Desperation, I can understand, but DRM is hardly a "necessary evil." That's a bogus excuse by those in the industry.

    I could go through many of the reasons why, but reading through this talk covers most of the bases.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 1:41pm

    Re: DRM - Neccesary Evil

    I really hope blue-ray turns into the next "LaserDisc" fad.

     

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  28.  
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    DJ-Panic, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 4:21pm

    format wars

    as far as format wars go, they really won't go anywhere until there is actually something to freakin' BUY!

    I picked up a Samsung HD841 DVD Player, and it plays Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio discs as well as Divx(avi) files, mpg, VCD the whole bit.

    I love my DVD-Audio discs, but I could only find like 4 I actually wanted to purchase, and it's certainly not for lack of trying. The quality is amazing, and hearing your favorite bands in full on 96khz 5.1 surround is killer, but if the industry ever wants us to step up to their newer "high quality" formats, they have to actually provide us with content for the bloody thing!

    and that won't happen till the standards war is over, thus sticking us in a perpetual catch 22. Screw the industry, my dvd's make me happy :)

     

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  29.  
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    Daryl Meissner, Feb 28th, 2006 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    I would have to look it up but I read here recently that some high end games for PS2 are due to be released on dual disk set. Regardless. You made my point for me. The only reason I can think of to need Blu-Ray is for games and the PS3 is due out using Blu Ray. The bitch is that XBOX 360 is sporting the HD DVD technology which means game software companies still have to put games out in multiple formats.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 8:52am

    Re: Blu-Ray & Games

    except that microsoft xbox360 games are on dvd and HD-DVD is only for watching movies.

     

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  31.  
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    Marty7, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 2:32pm

    I say screw them...

    Who cares? Let them rot and die...most new movies suck anyway.

    I am a huge movie fan, I have seen probably 2 movies or more a week for the past 25 years. That is a LOT of cash I threw towards hollywood. If they want to screw themselves out of my money by wasting their own business on DRM, let them do it.

    They will die, the indies will swoop in and clean house.

     

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  32.  
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    Gary, Mar 1st, 2006 @ 5:24pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Yeah, I should read it to the end first. Sorry, the ADD kicked in.

     

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  33.  
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    JR, Jul 9th, 2007 @ 2:03am

    who wants it?

    When you think of all the poorly encoded movies thar are not-so-legally downloaded all the time, you wonder how much do people *really* care about all that extra HD quality that they offer--and is almost the only thing they have to offer. I mean, it is nice to see a good quality movie, but life was happy with VHS, it is with DVD, and it is with Google Video, You Tube and DivX videos. How much value do have a few extra definition pixels? Not a thousand bucks, at least not for me.

     

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