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Old 2008-02-20, 04:10   Link #1
Aya Reiko
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HD-DVD Surrenders

Quote:
Toshiba Quits HD DVD Business
By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO - Toshiba's decision to no longer develop, make or market high-definition HD DVD players and recorders will mean consumers can start feeling more confident about buying the victorious rival technology _ a Blu-ray disc player.

Analysts say competition is expected to heat up among the manufacturers of Blu-ray players and recorders, which include Japanese makers Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Sharp Corp. as well as Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.

In making the announcement, Toshiba Corp. President Atsutoshi Nishida said he wanted to avoid confusion among consumers.

The decision was relatively quick, coming just several years after the competing technologies arrived.

In the last video format battle, between VHS, backed by Matsushita, and Sony's Betamax in the 1980s, it took a decade before Sony stopped making new Betamax products.

"We concluded that a swift decision would be best," Nishida said, appearing proud and unapologetic.

[...]

Toshiba's Nishida said he realized Toshiba had been beaten when it failed to win Hollywood backing. Last month's decision by Warner Bros. Entertainment to release movie discs only in the Blu-ray format was the definitive blow, he said. It was joining Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Co. and News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox.
Sauce: http://finance.comcast.net/www/news..../19/891170.xml
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Old 2008-02-20, 04:17   Link #2
tripperazn
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I predict a sudden, tideturning spike in PS3 sales, the cheapest Blu-Ray player on the market which also happens to be a current-gen console. Hell...I'm thinking abut getting one right now for the first time.
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Old 2008-02-20, 04:29   Link #3
NoSanninWa
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Indeed. This might have been the only thing that could enable the PS3 to catch up with the other two current gen systems. On the flip side, I feel really bad for anyone with an XboX who shelled out a hundred bucks for the HD-DVD upgrade. Meanwhile the Wii is just sitting pretty, glad to be out of the fray.

That's not what is really important to me though. Now that the format war is settled I am looking forward to Blu-Ray releases of some movies that have been delayed all this time, like Lord of the Rings. Finally.
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Old 2008-02-20, 05:51   Link #4
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As expected. Ever since Warner bailed this contest was decided.
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Old 2008-02-20, 06:04   Link #5
boggart
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Ahhh... the sweet smell of victory for the BD camp. I've been following this since the announcement of the development of both formats back in the early parts of this decade (damn... it's been that long already). Good to see it has finally ended and we can move on with HD entertainment without the hassle of deciding which format to go with.

I must admit, I was one of the consumers who were waiting to see the outcome to secure my future needs.
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Old 2008-02-20, 06:04   Link #6
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Meh. Both offered great picture/sound but then again so do regular dvds. With an HD tv and a player with up convert, I question why the mainstream consumer would want to replace their collections so quickly after the last format "war". VHS to DVD was a clear upgrade, I can't say the same for DVD to Blu-Ray.

And I'm not shelling out 400 bucks for a PS3. I buy consoles to play games, not to be my home entertainment catch all.
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Old 2008-02-20, 06:08   Link #7
Ichihara Asako
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I'm really glad the format war is over, as I look forward to seeing anime in proper high-def. I'll probably buy the first thing I find in true 1080 regardless of whether it's a movie or series I like or not.

Anybody have any handy links for anime blu-ray releases? >.> Not that old stuff being re-released is worth it. More modern stuff actually being made in proper HD.
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Old 2008-02-20, 06:20   Link #8
boggart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I can't say the same for DVD to Blu-Ray.
I would like to see a true 1080p video with Dolby TrueHD sound before I make that judgment myself.
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Old 2008-02-20, 06:26   Link #9
NoSanninWa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Meh. Both offered great picture/sound but then again so do regular dvds. With an HD tv and a player with up convert, I question why the mainstream consumer would want to replace their collections so quickly after the last format "war". VHS to DVD was a clear upgrade, I can't say the same for DVD to Blu-Ray.
I suspect that you have not actually watched Blu-Ray movies on your HDTV. The difference in picture quality is immense. I'll admit that I haven't seen how good up converting a DVD can be, but I seriously doubt it fills in all that missing detail.

Try watching real high def movies on someone's HDTV. Then if you still feel that way, feel free to ignore Blu-Ray to your heart's content.
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Old 2008-02-20, 07:27   Link #10
Ichihara Asako
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DVD quality is great compared to VHS, but HD is vastly superior again. From VHS to DVD was over double the resolution. DVD to HD (true 1080, at least) is almost triple (from 720 to 1920 width, 480 to 1080 height) the resolution. You can't really say it's not a significant or worthwhile step, considering it's a bigger step than from VHS to DVD.

The main benefit of the upgrade from magnetic tape to optical discs was DVDs are smaller, don't need rewinding, don't get eaten by players etc, though are prone to scratches in the hands of idiot brothers (mumblegrumble) ... but overall more durable than a VHS tape. Those benefits aren't gained in the DVD to BR merger since they're using an almost identical physical medium. But the raw video upgrade is very much worth it. You can't honestly say otherwise if you've seen both in action side by side.
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Old 2008-02-20, 07:44   Link #11
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggart View Post
I would like to see a true 1080p video with Dolby TrueHD sound before I make that judgment myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
I suspect that you have not actually watched Blu-Ray movies on your HDTV. The difference in picture quality is immense. I'll admit that I haven't seen how good up converting a DVD can be, but I seriously doubt it fills in all that missing detail.

Try watching real high def movies on someone's HDTV. Then if you still feel that way, feel free to ignore Blu-Ray to your heart's content.
Yeah, I knew I'd get these responses.

Yes, the picture difference is noticeable. But the difference is not *that* noticeable, unless you go with high end equipment. I'm talking 1080 res, larger than 42 inch, and easily 1500-5k in price. There's a lot of people who consider any kind of HD an upgrade though, even if it's on the cheap. Sub 1k televisions are popular, but not many of them are very good compared to the 1k plus brands (but still better than no HD at all). And that's not even touching the sound...people are still wrapping their brains around 5.1 and 6.1.

For many people, I suspect that DVD will linger on simply because of the larger catalog, reluctance to replace their collection with newer tech, and because upconvert/upscaling players help people cling to the older format longer.

I have seen blu-ray on a good television, and yes the quality is great. Like always the quality depends on the source, and the encoding. Simply having a higher rez doesn't mean jack...I think we've learned that lesson from so called "high def" anime that's basically upconverted and looks awful. I've seen some movies that looked great, others looked terrible.

Is the difference worth upgrading for? That's the question I ask myself, and one I think many ponder especially when money is tight. I personally think the answer is no, but maybe in the future when the format is better established and has a bigger catalog to choose from I might say yes. Obviously there are others who want one now, and there's nothing wrong with that.

DVD gained the market based on a clear upgrade in picture, sound, use, features, and price. I just can't see people moving to blu-ray nearly as quickly, even with all the hype.

I still don't have to like the PS3 though.
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Old 2008-02-20, 07:56   Link #12
tripperazn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I still don't have to like the PS3 though.
Well, no one said you had to like it. It's just that looking at the prices for BR players and the price that I got hit with to upgrade my VAIO laptop for BR compatibility (both higher than the price of a PS3), the PS3 is looking to me like a best buy at the moment.

A lot of people (me included) still use their old PS2s as DVD players and never bought a separate machine. I quit the gaming scene a while ago and don't plan on going back, but the notion of having the option to play the next gen format for video AND gaming in one place seemed pretty sweet to me price vs. flexibility wise.
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Old 2008-02-20, 07:58   Link #13
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I suspect I'd need an upgrade of the eyes before seeing much difference between DVD and BD. (Not to mention the upgrades in TV and disc player...)
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:03   Link #14
TinyRedLeaf
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I posted my comments earlier today on the PS3 thread in the Games subforum.

I agree with Solace, in that I don't think we'll see widespread adoption of Blu-ray among mainstream consumers yet, at least not until we see significant drops in the prices of Blu-ray players and HDTVs. However, now that disc-makers can focus on producing Blu-ray, analysts think we may see affordable prices as early as Christmas this year.

Meanwhile, the PS3 will definitely benefit from this announcement. The only question is how much. One reporter from BBC made a pretty good observation: "a growing number of consumers are already turning their backs on DVD players to download their movies via the internet instead, or from their satellite or cable television provider."

So, it may turn out that winning the format war wouldn't do Sony any good in the long-run. They still need to learn how best to distribute content online. Xbox Live remains far better than anything Sony has come up with for PS3, for example.

Frankly, I think Sony deserves a lesson for being arrogant about the potential of PS3. But I don't want to see Microsoft winning the console war either.
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:09   Link #15
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripperazn View Post
Well, no one said you had to like it. It's just that looking at the prices for BR players and the price that I got hit with to upgrade my VAIO laptop for BR compatibility (both higher than the price of a PS3), the PS3 is looking to me like a best buy at the moment.

A lot of people (me included) still use their old PS2s as DVD players and never bought a separate machine. I quit the gaming scene a while ago and don't plan on going back, but the notion of having the option to play the next gen format for video AND gaming in one place seemed pretty sweet to me price vs. flexibility wise.
Nah, it's a good deal. I just don't like the marketing setup. The driving point behind the system should be the games, but all you hear about is how cheap it is as a blu-ray player. I bought my PS2 partly because of the dvd player, I won't lie. Of course, I had other options that were priced reasonably. I didn't *have* to get the PS2 if I wanted a cheap dvd player. The fact that it could play dvd's was just a bonus.

It's the reverse here. It's the cheapest blu-ray player on the market, despite being packed with tons of other high tech stuff. So it makes you wonder, are they really taking that big of a hit on each blu-ray stuffed in the PS3, or are they using the "low cost" of the drive to lure people into system sales?

There are no other options for cheap blu-ray players right now. That's the rub. What if I don't want all the extra stuff that comes with the PS3? Am I sol and forced to pay two-three times as much for a standalone player?

It's a win/win for Sony (double market penetration), but a loss for the consumer who has to decide how to spend the money.

Edit: Just read TinyRedLeaf's post. I mostly agree, but I think Nintendo is the only company laughing all the way to the bank this generation. Between the DS and the Wii, they pretty much print money.
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:23   Link #16
boggart
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I think one thing to remember about the PS3 is that it is one of the earlier generation BD players out there, so it will probably act like ass even if you load it up with the latest firmware etc. (I assume you can get that from Sony via some internet functionality).

However as the prices fall, and technology is focused solely on the development of the BD format, I can see a larger potential for the future of hard-copy HD distribution. True, I also think that downloadable media is the way of the future, but because I have seen this out from the beginning, I'd like to bask in my warm fuzzy feeling for a bit longer please...
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:36   Link #17
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Quote:
DVD quality is great compared to VHS, but HD is vastly superior again. From VHS to DVD was over double the resolution. DVD to HD (true 1080, at least) is almost triple (from 720 to 1920 width, 480 to 1080 height) the resolution. You can't really say it's not a significant or worthwhile step, considering it's a bigger step than from VHS to DVD.
The question is, can YOU notice the difference? Don't take me wrong, I'm sure most people WILL notice some sort of upgrade, especially due to marketing hype... but seriously, is that difference so important? As it was said already, VHS vs DVD was obviously inferior, in a lot of ways (especially considering it was the first analog vs digital format progression), and I'm sure the resolution upgrade is higher and nicer, but is it that noticeable? VHS was horrible due to analog artifacts all over the place, but the DVD took care of that, so while you can't notice Angela Jolie's pimple with a DVD, you can't say it looks bad, either.

I don't know, it's just that I've grown too bitter towards marketing hype.
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:40   Link #18
Ichihara Asako
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With a HD display, yes. It's very easy to notice the difference. I have a 32" 720p TV and a 24" (1920x1200) monitor, and watching SD stuff on either is very noticeably different to HD video.
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Old 2008-02-20, 08:59   Link #19
bayoab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
The question is, can YOU notice the difference? Don't take me wrong, I'm sure most people WILL notice some sort of upgrade, especially due to marketing hype... but seriously, is that difference so important?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichihara Asako View Post
With a HD display, yes. It's very easy to notice the difference.
There was a statistical survey a few months back of "Does HDTV look better than regular TV?" and simultaneously one of "Did you set up your HDTV properly to see HD?" Through the results, it was basically proven that a good percentage of people don't know the difference between HD and SD.
Quote:
D.P. adds: According to a study by the Leichtman Research Group, 50 percent of HDTV owners aren’t actually watching any high-def shows on them… but 25 percent of them *think* they are. Source
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Old 2008-02-20, 09:23   Link #20
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People who can't tell much difference need to see an optometrist that's what I think.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by article above
Q: Is a bigger screen always better?

A: Depends on whether you ask the husband or the wife.
D:
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