Complaints About Anticompetitive Behavior Mask Next-Gen DVDs' Real Problems

from the see-no-evil dept

The next generation of DVD technology — both the Blu-ray and HD DVD flavors — haven’t received a particularly warm reception from consumers, who look to have little interest in expensive new DVD players that don’t offer a lot of easily perceivable benefits. The manufacturers themselves have done plenty to make the technologies unattractive, but now the EU’s looking into anticompetitive behavior from the Blu-ray camp, with HD DVD’s backers complaining about several studios signing exclusive deals with Blu-ray. This all seems slightly ridiculous. While Blu-ray has taken a larger share of the next-gen DVD market, that market remains tiny. Furthermore, the behavior that’s holding back the overall market isn’t some studios choosing only to make Blu-ray discs; it’s the fundamental problems of a fragmented market with two groups selling a product nobody wants. If the EU is able to craft some sort of penalty or corrective behavior here, it’s not going to help the market move forward, and it’s not going to magically boost HD DVD sales. Like with the groups’ obsession with pointless copy protection, the focus here is somewhere other than it needs to be. HD DVD’s problems don’t stem from the Blu-ray camp’s behavior. They stem from a flawed product and business model, and the focus should be on fixing those.


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Comments on “Complaints About Anticompetitive Behavior Mask Next-Gen DVDs' Real Problems”

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48 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

if this goes through, i’m going to make a product to compete with the DVD and then tell the EU that all the other companies have to release their movies on my media too.

I have a blu-ray player (re: ps3). If you have a 1080i or 1080p tv, the difference *IS* noticeable. It’s not as drastic as the difference between dvd and vhs, but it is a significant difference. if you *don’t* have a tv of that quality however, there is virtually no difference.

I want blu-ray to win out, but that won’t happen if the EU has its way. This is about competition. There are movies available on HD-DVDs that are NOT available on blu-ray, so HD-DVD would be hypocritical if they support the EU in this.

It’s true that maybe the market isn’t ready for hi-def discs (mainly because the average consumer doesn’t have the equipment for it), but for those that do, i prefer blu-ray over dvd. i haven’t had issues with the copyright stuff, so it hasn’t really affected me. so until one of the discs doesn’t work for me, then i have nothing to complain about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I want blu-ray to win out, but that won’t happen if the EU has its way.

Your bias is obvious. The EU wants what you only superficially claim to want, that is for the market to decide and not back room dealers. And no, I don’t consider the back room dealers to be “the market”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No. If that was the case, they’d force those who back only HD-DVD to make Blu-Ray as well, which I’m not seeing any mention of.

Companies are allowed to choose which technology they go with. It’s their right. They shouldn’t be forced to have to pay to make two different things just because one of the other companies is crying foul.

I don’t superficially claim to want the market to decide. I claimed there was competition. Let them make their deals. There are video games exclusive to various consoles. Thats the video consoles in competition. So one cries foul there. They may not like it but nobody is saying they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

It’s hypocritical to force them away from exclusive rights. Its all over the place in various markets. The iPhone is only availabe on AT&T.

Exclusivity is a part of competition. Its what makes one product better then another.

There’s nothing superficial about what I claim to want.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No. If that was the case, they’d force those who back only HD-DVD to make Blu-Ray as well, which I’m not seeing any mention of.

Neither format should receive exclusivity from content providers. Back room market rigging deals on behalf of HD-DVD should be investigated as well.

Companies are allowed to choose which technology they go with. It’s their right.

What is this “right” you speak of? Is it the same as the “right” a company has to choose who it does business with? Is it a “right” to engage in collusion and monopolistic practices? Have you no shame?

They shouldn’t be forced to have to pay to make two different things just because one of the other companies is crying foul.

The studios don’t make DVDs, they license others to do so. The complaint is that they are discriminatory and refuse to sell licenses to some based on who else they do business with. While some claim that all’s fair in business, other claim that there should be limits. It’s an old argument.

I don’t superficially claim to want the market to decide. I claimed there was competition. Let them make their deals.

In that case then, where is there ever NOT some form of competition? Even in the case of assault and robbery there is “competition” between the mugger and the victim. The question is whether that competition is fair.

There are video games exclusive to various consoles. Thats the video consoles in competition. So one cries foul there. They may not like it but nobody is saying they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

No, that’s technical incompatibility which is a different thing. Movies are compatible with both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

It’s hypocritical to force them away from exclusive rights. Its all over the place in various markets. The iPhone is only availabe on AT&T.

Likewise, torture goes on all over the world. Some then claim that makes it all right, others disagree.

Exclusivity is a part of competition. Its what makes one product better then another.

Exclusivity is a part of anti-competitiveness. It is what an inferior product uses to gain market dominance.

There’s nothing superficial about what I claim to want.

Superficial is perhaps too mild a term when the actions you support are in opposition to what you claim to want.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There wasn’t always technical incompatibility. Ported games up until this point weren’t that difficult.

Movie licenses are only given to certain game companies to produce a game for. Not any game company is allowed a crack at it.

There are plenty of examples where the content owners are allowed to choose who gets their licenses to produce their content. I know in some areas of the market content providers have to strict control over their content but this is a case where they should be allowed to dictate how you can buy it. When DVDs came out, movies weren’t immediately available on DVD. Some movies don’t even have to be available on DVD. Some movies just aren’t available. Even if I had a DVD creation company, I can’t force the studio to sell me the license so I can put a movie on DVD that hasn’t been on DVD before.

A studio can choose what media their content is on. Is every movie available on the PSP? Is every movie available on iTunes? For that matter is every song available on iTunes?

It’s up to the studios who is allowed to make their content. It’s a business. It’s not the costumer’s right to be able to get it on whatever media they want. If there’s a game available on multiple CDs, its not the game company’s job to also make it available on just 1 dvd cause thats what the customer wants. Just as if its only available on DVD, its not required of them to also release it on multiple CDs.

SACD and DVD-A are other music disc formats. I don’t see every artist & album available on both of those as well as standard CD.

Companies aren’t required to allow their content to be accessible in whatever format the customer wants.

I can write a webpage that requires IE7 or else its denied. Maybe the content doesn’t show up the way I wanted it to on the other browsers. In that case, I don’t have to be forced to have an inferior looking webpage display on another browser.

Companies are in this to make money… NOT to serve the customer. They shouldn’t have to license their content to companies they don’t want to.

Just as AVG Anti-virus Home edition CANNOT be licensed to a company. Thats not illegal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What is this “right” you speak of? Is it the same as the “right” a company has to choose who it does business with? Is it a “right” to engage in collusion and monopolistic practices? Have you no shame?

The “right” I refer to is the right for a company to choose what it’s business is. If I create content, I don’t have to allow it to be available on any media that people want.

The studios don’t make DVDs, they license others to do so. The complaint is that they are discriminatory and refuse to sell licenses to some based on who else they do business with. While some claim that all’s fair in business, other claim that there should be limits. It’s an old argument.

So, its just your opinion that they shouldn’t be allowed to choose who they license their content to. Not actual fact.

In that case then, where is there ever NOT some form of competition? Even in the case of assault and robbery there is “competition” between the mugger and the victim. The question is whether that competition is fair.

I don’t even know how to respond to that argument. Your analogy in no way mirrors ANY point in ANYONE’S argument at this time NOR does it mirror anything in our market place. Companies are allowed to bid on licensing rights for toys based off of some intellectual property. Not anyone is allowed to make Transformers toys. They can make knock-offs, but they can’t make Optimus Prime. Should a movie have to sell their license to EVERY toy company that wants it?

No, that’s technical incompatibility which is a different thing. Movies are compatible with both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
No, Microsoft signs contracts with the company so they’re not ALLOWED to make the game on another console. They get more money in return for making the game. They ACTUALLY SIGN CONTRACTS for exclusivity. Game companies that have produced on multiple platforms sometimes sign contracts that say they will only make games on specific platforms. So until you give some reason why this is allowed (or finally say it shouldn’t be) its still a valid argument.

If the AT&T is willing to pay iPhone a lot of money for exclusive rights, iPhone can accept it. It was allowed to deny it, but it can accept it. If they don’t want to be made available on some other network, they don’t have to be. They could disagree with some aspect of how they do business and therefore don’t have to be associated with it.

Exclusivity is a part of anti-competitiveness. It is what an inferior product uses to gain market dominance.

No, you forget that in the market we are not the only “customer.” The Blu-ray guy is a salesman and pitched his idea to the movie studios. The movie studios bought it and went with it. Movie studios CAN lose money or MAKE more money if they go with only one or the other. They can make blu-ray more cheaply if they go only with Blu-ray. They’re deals that are allowed to be made. Just as a wireless carrier will say, “hey, we’ll sell you this phone for x dollars less if you stay with us for 2 years.” They subsidize costs so they get continued business.

Superficial is perhaps too mild a term when the actions you support are in opposition to what you claim to want.

You offered nothing other than opinion that its superficial. Everything I claim can be backed by my opinion. Way to go.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The “right” I refer to is the right for a company to choose what it’s business is. If I create content, I don’t have to allow it to be available on any media that people want.

Restaurant Owner: As a business owner I have a right to choose what my business is. If I serve food, I don’t have to allow it to be available except for to the race of people I want.

Supreme Court: Yes, you do. You cannot freely choose who you want to do business with.

So, its just your opinion that they shouldn’t be allowed to choose who they license their content to. Not actual fact.

Yes, my opinion. Your’s is not fact either. Opinion is indicated by the use of terms like “should” and “shouldn’t”. The EU is investigating as to whether or not laws were factually broken. That’s nor for you to decide either.

Should a movie have to sell their license to EVERY toy company that wants it?

As long as those companies are willing to meet the same terms, I would say so. Not that I am saying that is the way law is in most places however.

I don’t even know how to respond to that argument.

That was my initial thought about your’s as well, but then I realized that an equally absurd argument would highlight the absurdity of the original argument.

Your analogy in no way mirrors ANY point in ANYONE’S argument at this time NOR does it mirror anything in our market place.

It mirrors the absurdity of your argument that secret back room deals somehow represent marketplace competition.

Should a movie have to sell their license to EVERY toy company that wants it?

If they are willing to meet the same terms, I think so. I realize of course that that is not what the law says.

No,…

No? Games written for specific platforms are not technically incompatible with any other platforms? Now I don’t know what to say except “Well, there he goes again.”

…Microsoft signs contracts with the company so they’re not ALLOWED to make the game on another console.

Microsoft is a good example because as convicted monopolists they well known for their anti-competitive practices.

Game companies that have produced on multiple platforms sometimes sign contracts that say they will only make games on specific platforms.

If you’ll provide an example perhaps I could argue it one way or the other.

So until you give some reason why this is allowed (or finally say it shouldn’t be) its still a valid argument.

What do you mean finally? Haven’t you read what I’ve written? Let me spell it out for you. Companies SHOULD NOT be allowed to prevent their customers from doing business with other companies. That’s anti-competitive and bad for the market. Now please try to remember my position when you respond to my comments.

If the AT&T is willing to pay iPhone a lot of money for exclusive rights, iPhone can accept it. It was allowed to deny it, but it can accept it. If they don’t want to be made available on some other network, they don’t have to be. They could disagree with some aspect of how they do business and therefore don’t have to be associated with it.

More market rigging. I am not as big a fan of the way phone companies do business as you are and would have preferred to see the iPhone sold unlocked. In fact, I would even like to see the phone companies loose their govt. protection. But unfortunately, our politicians, like you, are also big fans of back room deals so that is unlikely to happen.

Everything I claim can be backed by my opinion.

A rather meaningless claim but one I can make as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Ok, Rare is a good example of a company that went from one gaming platform to another. Square has made jumps back and forth as well.

Ported games are extremely easy to make. One of the main reasons given for not porting games to the wii was just that it had different button setups. A developer will tell you ports are not all that difficult between last gen consoles.

Your first argument about race is also extremely flawed. You can’t do business with someone based on race, but you can choose to do business based on how their dressed. They have to meet your standards, but you can’t discriminate on a few things according to law. Others you can. Just as if I own a store, I can kick someone out if they’re misbehaving or not follow rules I established.

The reason I pointed it out as opinion is that its only an opinion I’m being superficial. My statement is only superficial if I have your opinion. Which I don’t. Hence why I pointed it out.

I also don’t see how my argument that competition existed BETWEEN COMPANIES was absurd enough for you to compare it to a mugger and a victim. Remember, competition doesn’t only have to exist for the consumers. It can exist when a studio is trying to figure out what to put its media on.

And about your toymaker thing about meeting the same terms?
Maybe HD-DVD isn’t meeting the same terms as Blu-ray was willing to do. That alone destroys YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT. Since we don’t even have an inkling as to what the terms were, we have no reason to believe one way or the other. Maybe the studio only wants to be associated with what they think is a superior product and don’t want to be associated with another. they do have some say with where their name and content gets printed in the private sector.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Ok, Rare is a good example of a company that went from one gaming platform to another. Square has made jumps back and forth as well.

That does not appear to be an example of a game company agreeing to only makes games for one platform. I conclude that you are unable to provide such an example.

Ported games are extremely easy to make. One of the main reasons given for not porting games to the wii was just that it had different button setups. A developer will tell you ports are not all that difficult between last gen consoles.

What developer? You? Developers have in fact told me just the opposite.

Your first argument about race is also extremely flawed.

It is an example that flies in the face of your position that businesses should be allowed to discriminate.

You can’t do business with someone based on race, but you can choose to do business based on how their dressed. They have to meet your standards, but you can’t discriminate on a few things according to law. Others you can. Just as if I own a store, I can kick someone out if they’re misbehaving or not follow rules I established.

Exactly. That is not discrimination. If you are now saying that a business should deal with anyone willing to meet the same standards then I think you are beginning to come over to my position.

I also don’t see how my argument that competition existed BETWEEN COMPANIES was absurd enough for you to compare it to a mugger and a victim.

I don’t know how to make it any clearer. When some entities join together to lock out others and not do business with them even if they are willing to abide by the same terms it is discriminatory. The same principle as in the restaurant example. Your claim that such actions represent “competition” is just as strained as it is in the mugger example. Strained beyond the point of credulity that is.

Maybe HD-DVD isn’t meeting the same terms as Blu-ray was willing to do.

That’s the whole point of such complaints. That they were indeed willing to meet the same terms but were still refused. Otherwise there would be no complaint.

That alone destroys YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT.

No,actually it destroys yours. And once again you need to go back and read what I wrote, not what think I wrote. You have now gone from claiming that they have some kind of “right” to behave in a discriminatory practice to postulating that perhaps they weren’t discriminating at all. I think I hear the old backpedal boogie starting up.

Maybe the studio only wants to be associated with what they think is a superior product and don’t want to be associated with another

Maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe the restaurant owner only wanted to be associated with he considered to be a superior race also. While that used to be legal it was never right.

Haywood says:

Beta vs VHS

Once the porn industry decides on a format, a winner will be announced. History repeating itself. Frankly I don’t care how it plays out, I intend to invest in neither. I will get a hdtv tuner for my media center computer just to get the additional channels. Like audiophiles of the past, hdtv purists will want the best, I just want watchable. I have years of training, watching antenna TV in fringe areas.

James says:

Re: Beta vs VHS

Interestingly the pr0n industry might skip the whole “next gen” dvd technology completely. One website I’ve visited “occasionally” is actually allowing downloads of not only their dvds, but individual SCENES from the dvd. Don’t like all of the (uhmmm) “actors”? Download just what you want, and burn it to DVD.

I haven’t used the service (buy pr0n are you kidding?), so it could be crippled w/some form of DRM but its an interesting move none the less, esp. if I can burn my own DVD.

OKVol says:

Re: Beta vs VHS

DVDs are becoming irrelevant for the porn industry. Porn production houses in San Fernando are installing OC3’s (155 MBit) internet connections at record rates. Online video is the preferred over HD. And, who wants to see the imperfections of sex in HD anyway? There is probably more of a market for the iPhone video than a 42″ tv in 1080p…

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Beta vs VHS

People keep bringing the “Porn chooses the victor” argument, but I don’t see that as being as valid as it was back in the days of VHS vs. Betamax for one simple reason…

And you may have heard of it…

The Internet.

Back in the day, if you wanted to watch a hard-core skin flick, it meant pulling out your best “Aqualung” outfit and trudging down to the local “dirty movie” joint. Then, the Porn industry went with the VHS format, which meant that now people were able to watch porn in the privacy of their own homes.

But now? The Internet pipes in gigabyte after gigabyte of… whatever you want. Transsexual midget beastiality? No problem. Twincest lesbians? Yeah, we’ve got that. All in the privacy of your own computer. You don’t even have to leave your desk chair anymore.

So yeah, while the adult movie industry’s endorsement of HD-DVD is an important battle, it’s not going to decide the war in the long run for either format.

It’s going to boil down more to who can do the most for the computer user, which camp will bring the first player for under $200 that’s not a stripped-down turd, and who has the best selection of “mainstream” movies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Winning?

blu-ray has more players if you count the ps3. though, its tough to count how many of them are using them as players.

so, its not hard fact that hd-dvd has more players.

it’s just they have a solid number of people buying equipment for the sole purpose of playing hd-dvd.

blu-ray has a smaller number of people buying equipment for the sole purpose of playing blu-ray, but that doesn’t mean every single person who bought a ps3 isn’t going to use it as a blu-ray player.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

upconversion isn’t the same as hd-quality though. converting low-quality to high-quality isn’t possible. you can’t show data that isn’t there. upconversion just smooths out stuff really, so it doesn’t look as crappy on bigger hd tvs. actual 1080p movies look a hell of a lot better than the upconverted stuff.

Anonymous Coward says:

HD-DVD’s benefits are really only noticeable to the disc-makers (they can use existing dvd-assembly lines) whereas blu-ray’s benefits are noticeable to the user (more data storage). Almost all the other stats are negligible. Speeds aren’t noticeable different (in fact, one can find sites that say one is faster than the other and then go to another site and see the opposite), video quality (again, you can find contradicting views) and sound quality (again, same thing) aren’t that different either. So, to the user, blu-ray is better (might be more expensive, however, but this isn’t a cost analysis). However, the benefits in cost may point to hd-dvd being more beneficial to the user.

i just want blu-ray to win because there’s already more studios behind them, blockbuster won’t be carrying hd-dvd… AND i have a ps3 and don’t want to have to buy an hd-dvd player. i’ll admit, that last point is really the strongest for me =)

ConceptJunkie (profile) says:

Re: this gen is the last gen

Yes, and we all know how prescient Bill Gates has been in the past 15 years. This is the guy who missed the bus on the whole Internet thing, tried to take it over and remake it in his own image with too little too late and has spend the subsequent years making failed prediction after failed prediction of what his company would achieve technologically.

Although in this case, he may actually (and possibly only coincidentally) be right.

ConceptJunkie (profile) says:

Re: this gen is the last gen

Yes, and we all know how prescient Bill Gates has been in the past 15 years. This is the guy who missed the bus on the whole Internet thing, tried to take it over and remake it in his own image with too little too late and has spend the subsequent years making failed prediction after failed prediction of what his company would achieve technologically.

Although in this case, he may actually (and possibly only coincidentally) be right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: this gen is the last gen

Physical formats are not on their way out. thats like when people said paper was on its way out. both will always serve a purpose. if i want to bring a movie to a friends house or print out something to bring with me to somewhere without a computer. physical media (whether it be disc or paper) will *always* be around.

matt says:

blu ray is awesome

“nex gen real problems”– what problems? I have a 57″ mitsu 1080p dlp, and trust me I have no problems w/ blu ray even on the worst quality player (ps3). They look great and sound great, and from what I hear they are technologically superior to HD-DVDs. Add onto that more studios behind blu-ray, blockbuster behind blu-ray, and xbox 360’s not having HDMI connex (unless you feel like selling your current 360 at a big loss and paying full price on an elite, which I don’t), and I think we already have a winner folks.

“Nex gen” isn’t selling huge numbers right now because the players and the discs are expensive, and you need a 1080p TV to truly enjoy the potential. Give it some time people.

Tashi says:

HD-DVD did have some early advantages in the dual-layer and the proper codecs, but blu-ray corrected those issues.

All Sony needs is a price drop and a decent library, both of which are coming this holiday season. I think the direct sells of the PS3 will effect the format war, and blu-ray wins. Even if it bombs as a movie media, there’s still game content and storage media.

I find it a little funny Bill Gates is complaining about someone being anti-consumer. He also said 64K is enough memory for anybody. That’s wishful thinking on Microsoft’s part. Physical media may change, but it’s not going away.

discojohnson says:

Re: Can we finally get the straight story about that d

“Q) I read in a newspaper that in 1981 you said, “640K of memory should be enough for anybody.” What did you mean when you said this?

A) I’ve said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time.

The need for memory increases as computers get more potent and software gets more powerful. In fact, every couple of years the amount of memory address space needed to run whatever software is mainstream at the time just about doubles. This is well-known.

When IBM introduced its PC in 1981, many people attacked Microsoft for its role. These critics said that 8-bit computers, which had 64K of address space, would last forever. They said we were wastefully throwing out great 8-bit programming by moving the world toward 16-bit computers.

We at Microsoft disagreed. We knew that even 16-bit computers, which had 640K of available address space, would be adequate for only four or five years. (The IBM PC had 1 megabyte of logical address space. But 384K of this was assigned to special purposes, leaving 640K of memory available. That’s where the now-infamous ‘640K barrier’ came from.)

A few years later, Microsoft was a big fan of Intel’s 386 microprocessor chip, which gave computers a 32-bit address space.

Modern operating systems can now take advantage of that seemingly vast potential memory. But even 32 bits of address space won’t prove adequate as time goes on.

Meanwhile, I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There’s never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again.”

– Bill Gates
addressing his most popular wrongly attributed quote in a children’s interview

“Q. Did you ever say, as has been widely circulated on the Internet, “640K [of RAM] ought to be enough for anybody?”

A. No! That makes me so mad I can’t believe it! Do you realize the pain the industry went through while the IBM PC was limited to 640K? The machine was going to be 512K at one point, and we kept pushing it up. I never said that statement – I said the opposite of that.”

– Bill Gates
addressing his most popular wrongly attributed quote in a U.S. News interview

Buzz says:

Bill Gates = memory abuser

Bill Gates is right about the need for memory constantly increasing, but the need is increasing faster than it should be thanks mostly to his companies horrible programming philosophies. Am I the only one who believes that the operating system should take the LEAST amount of resources of anything running on your computer? The least they could’ve done with Vista was give users the ability to disable excess crap so a weaker computer can run simple programs that require Vista.

As for the topic at hand, HD-DVD and Blu-ray are way overrated. When DVDs came out, I made the leap instantly: no need to rewind, better picture, quality never degrades, smaller storage space (big plus), etc. I think Blu-ray and HD-DVD both misunderstand that transition to imply that everyone made the jump strictly for the picture quality. Seriously, if you take picture quality out of the comparison, DVDs and its high definition equivalents are identical. Now, put picture quality back into the equation, and it is just not worth breaking my movie collection into different formats. The leap I make after DVD will be to the non-physical format. I no longer wish to pay for the cost of packaging, labor, physical media production, etc. I want to pay for broadband.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Bill Gates = memory abuser

The only difference isn’t just picture/sound quality. It’s trying to become the next physical format for anything CD-shaped.

It wants to replace DVDs EVERYWHERE, not just in your movie library but on your computer as well. The first step for that however is the movies. Once they have that, its only a matter of time to replace DVD media entirely.

Wicked Jack says:

Blu-Ray Is Great... HD-DVD, not so...

You need to have a really good tv to benefit from Blu-Ray and I agree the difference between HD-DVD and regular DVD is marginal, but then thats why the player is only two hundred bucks. You get what you pay for. Blu-Ray on the other hand is a real break through. I have a Panasonic projector model PT-AE 1000U, this gives me a 92 inch wide by 54 inch high movie theater experience from my Blu-Ray disc’s thats so good, I have only gone to the movies once since buying the projector and the Blu-Ray player. For surround sound, because I live in an apartment building, I use sennheiser wireless headphones. The experience is better than sex. I turned that down, (sex), last night to watch “The Devil Wears Prada”. I would agree with two things, it’s expensive to buy Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is not as good. Go to your local retailer and ask them for a side by side comparison most major retailers in NYC are already doing this. You can decide for yourself. As for price, it is expensive but if you are buying DVD disks already, and you have a 42 inch or better 1080p tv at home Blu-Ray will sell itself. Blu-Ray and flat-screen tv sets of 100 inches or more diag, are the future. You can get a cheap Blu-Ray player for a lot less than $800 plus dollars by getting a Sony play station with the player built in but you still need the 1080p tv to plug it into. I think around here the play station sells for around $300 dollars on sale. 1080p tv’s will set you back about $2k, and again quality and sometimes price, will matter. I like Blu-Ray and wish Sony well with this product. It is better than HD-DVD, no question about it. It’s also an expensive luxury, but then I save a bundle, not going to the movies. By the way, “what was the one movie I went to see? The latest Ninja Turtle movie. My nephews could care less how much my tv costs, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD or rabbit ears, no Ninja Turtles, no sale!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Blu-Ray Is Great... HD-DVD, not so...

First, a question. passing up sex for “The Devil Wears Prada”? wtf?

While I agree blu-ray is better, the difference between blu-ray and hd-dvd isn’t as big as your making it sound. In any real side-by-side comparison, it fluctuates which is better and its always a marginal difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Blu-Ray Is Great... HD-DVD, not so...

…my Blu-Ray…

And this is the way format wars go. People invest in one format or another and then become evangelists for that format because they either don’t want to admit that they made a mistake or they don’t want to see their investment loose value in the market.

Go to your local retailer and ask them for a side by side comparison most major retailers in NYC are already doing this. You can decide for yourself.

I did. HD-DVD was better. Sorry.

I like Blu-Ray and wish Sony well with this product.

Especially now that you have a vested interest.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Restaurant Owner: As a business owner I have a right to choose what my business is. If I serve food, I don’t have to allow it to be available except for to the race of people I want.

Supreme Court: Yes, you do. You cannot freely choose who you want to do business with.”

Do you know how to write a legitimate analogy? The correct analogy would be the restaurant owner who wants to make only burgers, but you want him to make vegiburgers as well, not some inflammatory racial thing that has nothing to do with the thread.

There’s nothing similar between racial bigotry and Company X not wanting to release their stuff on UMD.

Are you trying to Godwin* this or what?

* As much as can be Godwined without nazis.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Do you know how to write a legitimate analogy?

Yes, but can you recognize it?

HD-DVD companies are complaining that studios are refusing to sell movies to them as they do Blu-ray companies which could be a form of illegal discrimination under EU laws. A poster (probably you, I think) then proceeded to try to make a case that businesses have some kind of “right” to engage in such discrimination (with no legal justification). An example of how businesses do not have a “right” to discriminate was then given as a counter argument. The example was racial discrimination but it could have just as easily been any one of a number of other types of discrimination cases is which courts have ruled that businesses indeed do not have a “right” to discriminate. Examples could have been sexual discrimination, religious discrimination, age discrimination, handicap discrimination and so on. Pick any of them if you’d rather avoid a “racial thing”, they are all strong examples. Of course a strong counter example is exactly what you’d rather not consider, isn’t it?

The point is that businesses do NOT have a “right” to discriminate as they please that somehow places them above the law, although some people continue to think that they do despite many examples to the contrary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The correct analogy would be the restaurant owner who wants to make only burgers, but you want him to make vegiburgers as well

That analogy might apply to a case where someone wanted force the studios to make certain kinds of movies. For example, say some studio only wanted to make comedies but some group wanted force them to make dramas as well. That is not the case here. This is about studios refusing to sell their movies to some companies based on the company’s product format.

But if you want to continue with the restaurant analogy it would be like a restaurant owner (studio) refusing to sell the same hamburgers (movies) it sells to others (Blu-ray) in an attempt to starve a particular race (format) out of the neighborhood (market).

newmanae says:

Rich People

10% of the American population can afford to worry about the negligible difference between HD-DVD/Blu-Ray and dvd the rest of us are concerned with rising prices and stagnant wages. $10,000 dollars for an entertainment system is beyond the reach of the vast majority of us, this will be a niche market whichever way it goes.

me (profile) says:

There is already a unit going to be available that will play both formats by september…So the users will have maximum choice… If the hardware manufacturers have sense they will all do this so royalties will be paid to to both parties for every unit sold.. Samsung has figured this out.

There is already i diode that reads BlueRay HD-DVD DVD and CD that just been announced aswell

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