Sony CEO Damns Blu-Ray With Faint Praise

from the better-late-than-never? dept

For months, Sony and the other members of the Blu-Ray coalition have been declaring themselves the victors in the high-def format wars, with Toshiba and the HD-DVD camp struggling to convince people that they were still in the race. More recently, after bribing Paramount to side with them, the HD-DVD camp has enjoyed a resurgence. And that shift in momentum is apparently having an effect at Sony, as Sony's Howard Stringer is now declaring the comptition a "stalemate" and claiming that it was never that important anyway. Given the overheated rhetoric Sony was using earlier this year, it sure sounds like Sony is now worried they're going to lose, as HD-DVD companies slash prices in the run-up to the Holidays. Stringer laments that his predecessors didn't work harder to come up with a compromise before the two competing formats launched. At this point, it's not clear that there's anything Sony and Toshiba could do to patch things up. There are now hundreds of thousands of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players in peoples' living rooms, half of which will become useless junk when one format finally prevails. Or maybe they'll all lose, as consumers jump directly to more flexible digital formats that are sold over the Internet instead of on plastic discs.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Sony CEO Damns Blu-Ray With Faint Praise”

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Old Guy says:

Keepin up with the Jones'

About half the people who bought HD players will have bascially wasted money. BUT that is what happens when you have to have the latest and greatest of everything.
Anyone remember $200 calculators, $5000 HDTVs, $3000 Projection TVs, I know someone here had to be the first on his block to have a LCD computer monitor at what $500? I know a bunch of people who got stuck with beta-max machines.
I’ll wait. Eventually the dust will clear and there will be a winner, and due to the competition prices will drop. The I’ll buy a player and upgrade my TV.
And most likely be able to do it for A LOT less money than buying either now.

WarOtter (profile) says:

Re: Has the porn industry decided?

The porn industry hasn’t been too involved in the HD format war for a couple reasons:

The VHS/BetaMax Porn involvement was more about just making titles available in the easiest fashion than it was trying to be a pioneer. It was the transition from seedy back alley XXX theaters to the living room. Now all the titles are already available on VHS/DVD so they no longer have the business paradigm shift to encourage their involvement.

Also, the HD aspect can make porn a little less ‘cosmetic’ to watch. With all the higher detail, now you can see every skin flaw, shaving nick, ingrown hair etc. So basically they are running into the fact that sex ain’t always pretty.

Danny says:

Re: Re: Has the porn industry decided?

Also, the HD aspect can make porn a little less ‘cosmetic’ to watch. With all the higher detail, now you can see every skin flaw, shaving nick, ingrown hair etc. So basically they are running into the fact that sex ain’t always pretty.

But depending on what you’re into this may open up some opportunies to cater to the porn fans that want to see real people that have flaws and not some fake looking doll.

matt says:

blu ray better?

But isn’t blu ray a technologically superior format? Seems like they haven’t stressed that enough if the case.

Also, why are they so bloody expensive? The reason I don’t buy many blu rays is they cost a small fortune!

I have noticed high-end PC’s come with blu ray drives now.. haven’t seen any with hd-dvd drives though.

Buzz says:

Re: blu ray better?

I heard that Blu-ray uses a 10-year-old codec. I have no sources for that, but if it is true, that is rather embarrassing.

Either way, I will never participate in this HD disc war. We are in the Internet Age. I will wait until movies are available over the wire. I am tired of replenishing my movie library and wasting valuable shelf space. To me, HD discs are only good if you want to blow the movie image up with a projector for a public showing. Otherwise, I am happy with my SD DVDs.

Hulser says:

HD DVD? Meh.

I wonder how the executives of the companies who make the HD DVDs react to the “I don’t really need HD DVDs that much. I’ll just wait.” attitude. Not that it should be news to them at this point, but it had to have shaken them pretty hard to hear this. They probably expected all of the video enthusiasts to work themselves into a frenzy over their new toys. But instead, a big portion of the people they expected would be early adopters just basically said “no thank you”. That’s gotta hurt.

Freedom says:

Down with BluRay...

Sony is one of the most anti-consumer companies I know. Between their rootkit, lack of respect for fair use, and legal suits they’ve filed, there are definitely not my first choice for ANY products. The only other company I know that has this total disrespect for the consumer is Apple.

Top Reasons BluRay will fail:

1. BluRay Players Costs More
2. No fair use provisions
3. Quality is on par with HD DVD despite BluRay having size advantage.
4. There is a growing grass movement that hates Sony and will actively encourage others not to use it.
5. Cost more to produce on BluRay than HDDVD.
6. Lots of HD DVD Titles are dual format – include both HD DVD and DVD formats on the same disc. This is huge marketing advantage – buy your DVD today and playback in HD tomorrow.
7. The BluRay name missed its mark. They did a marketing survey and found that the average Joe said that they’d need an HDDVD Player for their HDTV – duh, it’s not like I have a BluRayTV now, eh?

The two items that could save BluRay would be if a dual format player was made available in the sub $200 range and if their was a disc that had both BluRay and HD DVD versions (one on each side). Neither of these seem practical and the later doesn’t have the same impact as being able to have a DVD version on the second side which is much more useful to everyone that has a DVD player but isn’t ready to move up to a HD Player.

Sony, “Now selling Beta Max 2 (cough, BluRay)…”

Aaron Martin-Colby (profile) says:

Stalemate, indeed.

I agree with Freedom. I’m not a big fan of Sony. Still, I suspect that the stalemate will translate to a dual-format world. I can’t imaging any company backing down.

I also do not think that Video-On-Demand services will leap-frog the DVD wars into obsolescence. People, myself included, want to have portable media and a 20GB movie file is just not viable. We don’t quite have the storage, yet, and we sure as hell don’t have the transfer rates.

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