74 Percent Of Nothing Is Still Nothing

from the hot-air dept

The group behind the HD DVD format in Europe claims that it has 74 percent market share of the next-gen DVD market in a handful of western European countries. Of course, they're not including Sony PS3s, which have a Blu-ray drive, in their count, but the bigger point is that they're claiming 74 percent of a miniscule market. This contrived stat, like Toshiba's claim of 60 percent share of the US market, glosses over the problems that are holding it back: DRM that breaks legitimate customers' players, low perceived benefits and high prices. Apparently, though, the HD DVD folks would rather claim to have a big share of a tiny market than to have any share in a market that's actually meaningful. Update: Just in case anybody cares, the Blu-ray people say they're actually the market leaders.


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  1.  
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    dorpus, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:13am

    Nothing Raised to the Zero Power is Something.

    0 raised to the 0th power is 1.

     

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  2.  
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    Mike4, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    Why don't they count PS3s?

    I don't understand these claims when they don't include PS3s in their results. At $600, it's the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market (that I'm aware of). Even if you never use the thing to play a single game, it still seems like a better option than one of the $800 or $900 standalone players. In one test that I read, the Blu-ray player inside actually stands up quite well to the standalone Blu-ray players, so it's not a cheaper product by any means (the same study said the XBOX360 HDDVD addon did not stand up as well to the standalone HDDVD players - which disappoints me as a 360 owner).

    I understand they are trying to skew the numbers in their favor, but I don't see any reason why PS3s would not be included in the tally of Blu-ray players sold - especially considering that they could represent the majority of sales.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:28am

    actually, its not.

     

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  4.  
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    William, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:31am

    Market

    The market for this is going to be huge and the winning HD format is going to make billions.

     

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  5.  
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    Overcast, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:45am

    No HD DVD for me, at least with it's current design.

    The market 'may' be huge, if they don't lock it down with so much copy protection and other schemes that it fails to work for consumers.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 7:08am

    i don't think copyright protection is holding it back. honestly, the general public knows little about this sort of stuff. its the cost and lack of equipment thats really holding it back. not a lot of people have TVs that can display the difference next-gen DVDs have over standard DVDs. Beyond that, its only "worth" it if the movie is something that could benefit from a better picture (ie: has explosions)

    I bought a PS3 as a gaming console (and so far, somewhat disappointed with the game selection, though i'm not disappoint with the console itself) and because of it, I do own a small collection of blu-ray movies (around 10 of 'em) because they do look absolutely fantastic in 1080i (the tv i have doesn't have 1080p). I'd spend the extra couple bucks for extra quality on movies that utilize it (movies with special effects), but I won't spend it on movies that don't have big explosions and stuff.

     

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  7.  
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    Casper, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    i don't think copyright protection is holding it back. honestly, the general public knows little about this sort of stuff. its the cost and lack of equipment thats really holding it back. not a lot of people have TVs that can display the difference next-gen DVDs have over standard DVDs. Beyond that, its only "worth" it if the movie is something that could benefit from a better picture (ie: has explosions)

    I bought a PS3 as a gaming console (and so far, somewhat disappointed with the game selection, though i'm not disappoint with the console itself) and because of it, I do own a small collection of blu-ray movies (around 10 of 'em) because they do look absolutely fantastic in 1080i (the tv i have doesn't have 1080p). I'd spend the extra couple bucks for extra quality on movies that utilize it (movies with special effects), but I won't spend it on movies that don't have big explosions and stuff.


    That's not quite true. The public does not "understand" the problems the DRM's are inflicting, but they know they are happening. With such a low number of movies released in HD DVD format and such a high failure rate of play on most players, the public is getting a bad taste in their collective mouth. Why would anyone want to pay more money to buy a DVD that does not work, only to take it back to the store and have them tell you it was intended not to work...

    It's not going to be a matter of a bad investment plan when HD DVD's fail, it will be a matter of self sabotage. Right now the HD market has huge potential, but they have trying to enter the market with both hands tied behind their back.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 7:29am

    I wouldn't even consider buying a next-gen DVD player until I'm certain the hackers have beat the industry so severely that they've given up on the hopeless dream of controlling content in the wild by crippling the user's hardware. DVD will suffice for now. By the time they stop selling hobbled players, the price should be sufficiently low enough that it doesn't cause a moment's hesitation.

    Makes you wonder what kind of market penetration there'd be if they never went down the DRM path and instead passed all the savings from not wasting millions (billions?) on a technology that will inevitably be foiled on to the consumer?

     

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  9.  
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    Ken-san, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 7:53am

    Explosions?

    "Beyond that, its only "worth" it if the movie is something that could benefit from a better picture (ie: has explosions)." ... "I'd spend the extra couple bucks for extra quality on movies that utilize it (movies with special effects), but I won't spend it on movies that don't have big explosions and stuff."

    Good points. But, I am a little concerned about all the talk about explosions. Sorry, I could not resist.

     

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  10.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jul 16th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    The Failure of DRM is

    "The public does not "understand" the problems the DRM's are inflicting, but they know they are happening.

    This is a point that I have been making for a long time. I get tired of reading articles touting all the positive bells and whistles while hiding DRM related issues behind a "technical" wall. Specifically, I think the introduction of HD content was delayed for approximately 8 years because of the companies bickering over how they planned to implement DRM. Of course the popular media reported that these companies were working hard to resolve these so-called technical problems. To bad the news media failed to do real investigative work to report that these companies were really obstructing the introduction of HD content.

     

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  11.  
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    Vincent Clement, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 9:38am

    Re: Market

    How do you figure?

     

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  12.  
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    anonymous coward, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 9:45am

    i needed a new DVD player. i went to target and bought one for $35.

     

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  13.  
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    math, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 11:52am

    Re: Nothing Raised to the Zero Power is Something.

    But this is 0*.74 which is 0, not 0^0.

     

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  14.  
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    Paul, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 12:18pm

    "The public does not "understand" the problems the DRM's are inflicting, but they know they are happening. "


    Completely and utterly false.

    People that read tech related blogs know this, the other 90% of the world does not.

    Go in and ask any Walmart shopper if they even know what DRM is. You will find yourself in an hour long conversation trying to explain to them something they don't have the capacity to understand.

     

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  15.  
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    Casper, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    Completely and utterly false.

    People that read tech related blogs know this, the other 90% of the world does not.

    Go in and ask any Walmart shopper if they even know what DRM is. You will find yourself in an hour long conversation trying to explain to them something they don't have the capacity to understand.


    The point is that they do not need to understand how DRM works, they just know the product doesn't work. You fail at reading comprehension, html formatting, and use of threads. Good bye.

     

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  16.  
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    Aaron, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    I don't get the DRM concerns.

    Granted, I don't own any HD players, so there may be something obvious I'm missing, but it seems to me that DRM only comes into play when trying to copy a movie. That's really a very, very small portion of the market, and those who do want to do that will find a way around it anyway. DRM didn't stop DVD.

    There are a few reasons why HD content hasn't been a big hit, but DRM is barely even on the radar.
    1) Relatively few consumers have HD-capable sets.
    2) Little perceived benefit over DVD, but at a higher cost (especially the players).
    3) Nobody wants to invest in the losing format.

    It's a bug expense, but a small *value* to the average consumer. And nobody wants to buy into that and then have it compounded by being the next Betamax.

     

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  17.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jul 16th, 2007 @ 6:47pm

    Re: I don't get the DRM concerns.

    What you say is "true" but in a limited sense.

    1. While it is true that relatively few people have HD capable sets, the reason is that the content industry delayed the introduction of this technology so that they could develop DRM technologies. Had this technology been released eight year ago in an open format, a lot more people would have it now.
    For example my computer and monitor can play HD content but this ability is being disabled by the "new" technology so that my computer won't play the HD content. Designing "new" technologies that purposely obsolesce existing equipment to promote sales is ridiculous.

    2. While true, the higher cost, in part, is a reflection of all the wasted effort in making a "simple" device unnecessarily complex to "protect" content rather than deliver value to the consumer.

    3. True, it is a losing format because it has been designed to lock the consumer into a proprietary format. Consumers do not acquire value from technology that is flawed.

     

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  18.  
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    Buzz, Jul 16th, 2007 @ 10:23pm

    DRM is DRM

    Even if people don't know the term 'DRM' or even how it works, they know they hate it. Consumers should be able to put a disc into a player and have it work. That is what they paid for. I was appalled when I heard about Blu-ray players having firmware updates over the Internet. Sony parades this feature as a wonderful step into the Internet age, but it really does nothing more then keep your player up to date with the latest DRM models. Why on earth should my movie player EVER have Internet access? The Internet should only ever come into play when we final enter the era of purely digital content (no physical media).

     

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  19.  
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    Moggie, Jul 17th, 2007 @ 5:31am

    0 raised to the 0 power

    I think Dorpus got it wrong. I think 0 raised to the 0 power is undefined since it equals 0 divided by 0. Dividing by 0 is a no-no.

     

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