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Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 08:12 PM
The format wars are finally over. Toshiba on February 16th announced they are halting production of all HD-DVD equipment.

We can all go out and buy with confidence.

Here's the AP story (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gJLtQXIpLKjQ1isNuyFH1SbFNkOgD8USKVEG0).

And I blogged about it here. (http://edpahule.blogspot.com/2008/02/format-wars-and-other-news.html)

maestrowork
02-18-2008, 09:23 PM
That's a shame. I like HD-DVD. And I really dislike how SONY wants to shove their proprietary crap down our throats, even though Blu-Ray may seem superior and is now embraced by most studios... still, there's a principle thing...

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 10:02 PM
When this started, I thought HD-DVD was the better of the two. But then I think many people thought Betamax was the better of those two formats.

The best doesn't always win.

This time I guess Sony wanted to ensure their format won.

Microsoft never really seemed to be fully supportive of the whole thing. They certainly could have swayed things their way if they'd put more money into the battle, ya know?

What proprietary crap are you talking about, Ray?

benbradley
02-18-2008, 10:08 PM
Can I toss out my BetaMax recorder now?

Zelenka
02-18-2008, 10:17 PM
I'm getting a blu-ray player (or probably a PS3, not sure though whether to go for that or just the straight player) but I have an HD-DVD player as well. I kind of suspected it would be obsolete fairly soon, but thing is, the blu-ray thing was 300+, whereas the HD was 100. Couldn't afford the blu-ray but I wanted to use my HD TV and actually see it work, so I just got the cheap HD player and a couple of DVDs.

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 10:36 PM
Ah. I haven't bought my HDTV yet. I'm still a little peeved that the government is forcing us in that direction.

maestrowork
02-18-2008, 10:38 PM
Ah. I haven't bought my HDTV yet. I'm still a little peeved that the government is forcing us in that direction.

I'm not. I love HD-TV. And the prices are coming down quickly as well. I can get a 42" now for 1/3 the price I paid 3 years ago. It's amazing.

Zelenka
02-18-2008, 10:59 PM
Ah. I haven't bought my HDTV yet. I'm still a little peeved that the government is forcing us in that direction.

My old Sony TV died after many years' good service, which was why I lashed out and bought an HD one. They are much cheaper than I expected. I got a 26" in the end for a very reasonable price. I do love it though and ended up getting the dvd and a subscription to Sky's HD satellite channels.

The thing I kind of object to is that over here we'll eventually be forced to go digital, as the analogue signals won't be broadcast. But then since I have digital TV now, it's kind of academic, I suppose. Still, just something about the government dictating which sort of TV I should get and making us get more expensive equipment whilst rendering the stuff we have obsolete just irks me.

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 11:06 PM
Well, that's what I mean. Every station will not be broadcasting in analog here and we'll all either have to get an HDTV, a converter, or some sort of subscription service that has a converter included.

We just bought a couple new non-HD TVs a few years ago when the power company had a hiccough and blew out all our TVs, so I'm a little angry on that end, too. TVs should last nearly a lifetime and now I'm having to go out and get some new ones if I want to enjoy the new broadcasts.

Thank goodness for Bush's rebate check. :)


I'm not. I love HD-TV. And the prices are coming down quickly as well. I can get a 42" now for 1/3 the price I paid 3 years ago. It's amazing.

That's why we didn't go HD then, the prices were too high. Now they're almost reasonable, but still, I'll wait until a 42" is under $500.

chartreuse
02-18-2008, 11:09 PM
Quite happy here with my 19-inch regular television and the cheap little VHS-DVD combo player. Only got the latter when the video store stopped carrying movies in VHS format.

Won't upgrade to anything else till we're forced to again. In the meantime I'll just enjoy my wallet full of cash and being debt-free.

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 11:17 PM
Quite happy here with my 19-inch regular television and the cheap little VHS-DVD combo player. Only got the latter when the video store stopped carrying movies in VHS format.

Won't upgrade to anything else till we're forced to again. In the meantime I'll just enjoy my wallet full of cash and being debt-free.
I don't believe anyone is suggesting that you should go into debt to keep up with the latest in frivoulous technology.

But be prepared, now that Blu-Ray has won out, the video stores, like Blockbuster, will be starting to stock more and more Blu-Ray titles and less and less regular DVDs, just as you can hardly find VHS now.

The stores will all be moving toward Blu-Ray for new releases. Why? Because the film companies make more money off of Blu-Ray then they will on regular dvd.

maestrowork
02-18-2008, 11:41 PM
We just bought a couple new non-HD TVs a few years ago when the power company had a hiccough and blew out all our TVs, so I'm a little angry on that end, too. TVs should last nearly a lifetime and now I'm having to go out and get some new ones if I want to enjoy the new broadcasts.


You're showing your age.. when TV lasted forever (or from 1952 to 1976). :) I mean, we don't expect our cars to run forever... The new HD TV has a life expectancy of 20 years. I really don't expect any TV lasting that long... I certainly have never owned a TV set for more than 20 years.


But be prepared, now that Blu-Ray has won out, the video stores, like Blockbuster, will be starting to stock more and more Blu-Ray titles and less and less regular DVDs, just as you can hardly find VHS now.

I don't think HD will replace regular DVDs soon. Eventually, yes, but not soon. Most people are still just adapting to DVDs (from VHS) just a few years ago. They're not going to switch to HD just yet, although the new HD players can play both. The $100 XBox player, for example, really is a bargain. As HD becoming more and more affordable (the price point is very close to regular DVD), you will see DVD in the range of around $10 and HD in the previous DVD price range (around $20). The quality is so good, though, that people will eventually switch over. There were a lot of naysayers about DVDs just five years ago, and now virtually no one sells or buys VHS anymore.

And I mean, why buy VHS when you can get DVD for $9 and the players cost only $49? I mean, lord, do people still like to rewind tapes?

chartreuse
02-18-2008, 11:43 PM
I don't believe anyone is suggesting that you should go into debt to keep up with the latest in frivoulous technology.

But be prepared, now that Blu-Ray has won out, the video stores, like Blockbuster, will be starting to stock more and more Blu-Ray titles and less and less regular DVDs, just as you can hardly find VHS now.

The stores will all be moving toward Blu-Ray for new releases. Why? Because the film companies make more money off of Blu-Ray then they will on regular dvd.

Oh, believe me, I know. Capitalism demands that they find a way to "motivate" us to constantly buy new "stuff."

If they can't motivate us through manipulating us to think that something is a necessity - like cell phones (which I don't own, BTW), then they simply eliminate the old product and force us to upgrade, even though the old product still works fine.

Meanwhile, landfills are full of the now-obsolete must-haves of the past few years, bleeding tons of toxic chemicals that end up in our air, water and food. Guess that's capitalism's version of recycling.

Shadow_Ferret
02-18-2008, 11:45 PM
You're showing your age.. when TV lasted forever (or from 1952 to 1976). I mean, we don't expect our cars to run forever... The new HD TV has a life expectancy of 20 years. I really don't expect any TV lasting that long... I certainly have never owned a TV set for more than 20 years.

Our 19" was almost 20 when the power company fried it.

When I was a child (showing my age), my parents brought home a new 19" Zenith black and white. That lasted a good 25 years until I came home from the Navy and realized they still were watching TV in black and white and I bought my mom a new color TV. Which she just replaced after another 20 years with a new one.

maestrowork
02-18-2008, 11:48 PM
Our 19" was almost 20 when the power company fried it.

When I was a child (showing my age), my parents brought home a new 19" Zenith black and white. That lasted a good 25 years until I came home from the Navy and realized they still were watching TV in black and white and I bought my mom a new color TV. Which she just replaced after another 20 years with a new one.

That's how I felt with my parents -- I went visit and they were still watching their 19" color TV. So I got them a cheap 32" LCD HD-TV. They never wanted to go back!

:)

childeroland
02-19-2008, 12:39 AM
Why did Blu-Ray win out? Just because of Sony's muscle, companies fearing Microsoft, is Blu-Ray actually superior? If so, in what way?

Shadow_Ferret
02-19-2008, 12:43 AM
Why did Blu-Ray win out? Just because of Sony's muscle, companies fearing Microsoft, is Blu-Ray actually superior? If so, in what way?
Microsoft was behind HD-DVD, not Blu-Ray. They even included it (somewhat) with their X-BOx 360.

And it won in a long complicated struggle. Blu-Ray just was able to get more and more important studios to sign on. Then when Best Buy and Wal-Mart signed on...

Toshiba was losing out on movie rights and distributors.

Here's the two compared: Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-13817_7-6462511-2.html?tag=nav)

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 12:46 AM
They're both high-dev so the quality is very comparable. You can fit more info into a Blu-Ray disc. I believe Blu-Ray can hold up to 50GB per disc vs. 35GB for HD-DVD.


Blu-Ray basically has more support from BIG players such as Panasonic, Apple, Mitsubishi, DreamWorks, etc. I think the turning point was when Disney decided to only support Blu-Ray and not HD-DVD... I think that's a proverbial coffin for HD.

Here's some more technical info:



General Specifications - Blu-ray:

Storage Capacity - Pre-recorded Playback Material (BD-ROM): Single-layer (25GB) - Dual-layer (50GB)

Storage Capacity: Home Recording (BD-R/BD-RE): Single-layer (25GB) - Dual-layer (50GB)

Data Transfer Rate: 36 to 48 MBPS (Megabits per Second) average - capable of up to 54 MPS - This exceeds the 19.3 Mbps transfer rate approved for HDTV broadcasts.

Disc Properties: New format requiring retooling and/or construction of new disc manufacturing and replication plants.

Video Specifications: Compatible with full MPEG2 Encoding, as well as MPEG4 and VC1.

Audio Specifications: Only Dolby Digital, DTS, and Uncompressed PCM are required on all players. However, the following formats are optional - Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD.

Network Capability: Although the Blu-ray format supports networking and internet capabilities, built-in networking and ethernet ports on individual Blu-ray Disc Players is optional.

General Specifications - HD-DVD

Storage Capacity - Pre-recorded playback material (HD-DVD-ROM): Single-layer (15GB) - Dual-layer (30GB) - Triple Layer (51GB - pending)

Storage Capacity - Home Recording (HD-DVD-R/HD-DVD-Rewritable): Single-layer (20GB) - Dual-Sided Disc (40GB) - Dual Layer (35GB - proposed).

Data Transfer Rate: 36 MBPS (Megabits per Second) - This exceeds the 19.3 Mbps transfer rate approved for HDTV broadcasts.

Disc Properties: Format similar to existing DVD disc structure, requiring minimal upgrading and retooling of existing DVD disc manufacturing and replication plants.

Video Specifications: Compatible with MPEG2, MPEG4, and VC1 Encoding.

Audio Specifications: All HD-DVD players are required to incorporate the following - Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, and Uncompressed PCM, as well as standard Dolby Digital and DTS.

Network Capability: All HD-DVD players are required to be network enabled and be equipped with a built-in Ethernet port for downloading firmware updates and other interactive features.

childeroland
02-19-2008, 01:07 AM
Thanks for this info.

Makes me wonder what this means for Playstation 3, since the console wasn't supposed to mean much in the format war, and if Microsoft will give up pushing HD-DVD now (seems odd, but some articles I've read don't seem sure). They never seemed as enthusiastic about it as Sony is about Blu-Ray, did they? I hear they're even offering a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360 around May!

clockwork
02-19-2008, 01:09 AM
They're both high-dev so the quality is very comparable. You can fit more info into a Blu-Ray disc. I believe Blu-Ray can hold up to 50GB per disc vs. 35GB for HD-DVD.


Blu-Ray basically has more support from BIG players such as Panasonic, Apple, Mitsubishi, DreamWorks, etc. I think the turning point was when Disney decided to only support Blu-Ray and not HD-DVD... I think that's a proverbial coffin for HD.

Here's some more technical info:

I think it also may have something to do with Wal-Mart announcing (http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=980) they will only stock Blu-Ray players and DVDs after June of this year. Talk about influence. I'd have called the format war over with that development alone.

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 01:10 AM
It depends on the price point. PS3 is crap, and the Blu-Ray add-on cost $300, meanwhile the HD-DVD for XBox was $100. Very attractive. I love mine. And if XBox is coming out with a Blu-Ray player for about the same price, PS3 will die.

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 01:12 AM
I think it also may have something to do with Wal-Mart announcing (http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=980) they will only stock Blu-Ray players and DVDs after June of this year. Talk about influence. I'd have called the format war over with that development alone.

Personally I think Wal-Mart's influence is not as big as you think. Their customer base isn't really that high-end to begin with. However, Wal-Mart's decision is a direct reflection of the studio's lack of support for HD-DVD, and Disney was a major influence there -- Disney has a HUGE stakes in the HD market.

johnnysannie
02-19-2008, 02:16 AM
Our 19" was almost 20 when the power company fried it.

When I was a child (showing my age), my parents brought home a new 19" Zenith black and white. That lasted a good 25 years until I came home from the Navy and realized they still were watching TV in black and white and I bought my mom a new color TV. Which she just replaced after another 20 years with a new one.

I'll be showing my age too but my parents still have a 13 black and white set that my grandmother bought new from Monkey Wards in 1971. I took it with me to college in '79; my brother took it to college with him in '84. Although it doesn't get much use now, it still plays and the picture is still clear. My kids sometimes watch it for the novelty of black and white when they go to the grandparents. It is a RCA back when that meant more than it does now.

But that was then, this is now and in fourteen years of marriage, my husband and I are on our third big (32 inch) set that we've owned together!

MattW
02-19-2008, 07:34 AM
Blu-ray will be obsolete when they begin beaming media directly onto the back of your eyelids while you sleep.

I called it first.

childeroland
02-19-2008, 08:27 AM
Actually, some folks are holding back on discs altogether for fear they'll be left behind by high-speed download technology. George Lucas and Rick McCallum have been talking about beaming films to theaters via satellite technology for years.


Blu-ray will be obsolete when they begin beaming media directly onto the back of your eyelids while you sleep.

I called it first.

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 09:32 AM
Discs will be obsolete in a few years once they perfected downloading HD movies through digital cable or fiber optics. I downloaded the HD version of a movie from iTune the other day -- while it's nowhere near the HD-DVD version, it's better than regular DVD. It's so convenient -- instant gratification.

childeroland
02-19-2008, 09:51 AM
How long did the download take?

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 09:55 AM
Not too long, and it started playing while it was still being downloading -- there's some kind of hybrid of streaming and buffering technology.

blacbird
02-19-2008, 12:00 PM
That's a shame. I like HD-DVD. And I really dislike how SONY wants to shove their proprietary crap down our throats, even though Blu-Ray may seem superior and is now embraced by most studios... still, there's a principle thing...

Can you say . . . BetaMax?

Eight-track?

New Coke?

Studebaker?

Slide rule?

Ground sloth?

caw

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 06:39 PM
Funny you should mention BetaMax... it was a SONY product. So SONY wins out this time, eh?

ChunkyC
02-19-2008, 08:17 PM
Well, this is exciting! I've been waiting for the format war to end, there's no way I was going to buy anything HD until that was settled.

I'm not. I love HD-TV. And the prices are coming down quickly as well. I can get a 42" now for 1/3 the price I paid 3 years ago. It's amazing.
Yeah, the prices are starting to look good to me too. Now that it appears Blu-Ray is it, I'll wait a little longer for the prices to drop some more then probably get a whole new system with a 37" set (plenty big for my small living room) and move my existing setup into the bedroom.

Speaking of older TVs, my Sharp 27" is over 10 years old, and still looks great. My satellite TV service looks nice and clean on it, and DVDs are very crisp. I have a friend with a Hitachi 52" rear projection set and the picture is so blurry compared to mine you'd swear there's an inch of vaseline smeared on his screen.

And for really old TVs lasting ... the 19" TV that's currently in my bedroom is at least 20 years old, we bought it 18 years ago used from a friend. Still works just fine, though the picture has become a little fuzzy over the years.

Charlie, off to start a spreadsheet listing what movies to replace with BlueRay, and who to give the old ones to....

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 08:44 PM
Charlie, some suggestions:

Children of Men
Casino Royale
Ratatouille
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Stardust
Fifth Element


They're pretty amazing

Shadow_Ferret
02-19-2008, 09:06 PM
Discs will be obsolete in a few years once they perfected downloading HD movies through digital cable or fiber optics. I downloaded the HD version of a movie from iTune the other day -- while it's nowhere near the HD-DVD version, it's better than regular DVD. It's so convenient -- instant gratification.
Cripes, I hope not. I like having the disc cover with the picture and information to look at, but then I like having books to hold and look at and keep in a shelf.

How do you look intellectual and with it if everything is in electronic form? No one knows you have a copy of "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 09:19 PM
Just imagine the kind of porn you can have....

MidnightMuse
02-19-2008, 09:29 PM
Regular DVD's are still being produced, and probably will for some time. I've never gone with the HD format anyway, I think only men can see the difference :D

As for the digital switchover, my little 27" will work just fine, since DirectTV has been 100% digital since I switched to that over cable 3 years ago, so no buying a new TV for me.

Of course, I live in a house with no dishwasher or microwave oven. And as of Sunday morning, no running hot water(!!) (something I intend to pay a repair man many wads of cash to fix tomorrow)

childeroland
02-19-2008, 09:31 PM
Of course, ISPs are starting to talk about bandwidth caps and surcharges that may make downloading prohibitively expensive. I hear Time-Warner's proposed tariffs would effectively add $10 to the cost of an AppleTV DL. I have the sneaking fear net neutrality is not going to win out.

Shadow_Ferret
02-19-2008, 09:46 PM
Just imagine the kind of porn you can have....
That I already do. :tongue

maestrowork
02-19-2008, 09:52 PM
Of course, ISPs are starting to talk about bandwidth caps and surcharges that may make downloading prohibitively expensive. I hear Time-Warner's proposed tariffs would effectively add $10 to the cost of an AppleTV DL. I have the sneaking fear net neutrality is not going to win out.

GAG! Time to cancel my TMC and get something else. Oh, how I wish we have FIOS!



That I already do. :tongue

In all-HD glory?

ChaosTitan
02-19-2008, 10:27 PM
And I mean, why buy VHS when you can get DVD for $9 and the players cost only $49? I mean, lord, do people still like to rewind tapes?

I don't particularly like to rewind tapes, but I also can't afford to replace my 200+ VHS film library with all DVD's (especially when some of those films aren't out in DVD format yet). I can go to the flea market and buy older films I haven't seen on VHS for a buck or two, instead of renting the DVD for 4.50. I have half a dozen TV shows on VHS that I recorded years ago, that still aren't out on DVD.

Five hundred bucks for a Plasma seems like a pittance to some, but for others, it's a quarter of our monthly earnings. I don't replace things until they die; heck, I just bought a new alarm clock last month after my clock of fifteen years finally kicked the bucket. Rent, heat, and food come first.

:Shrug:

ChunkyC
02-19-2008, 10:42 PM
That's what 26% interest department store credit cards are for. ;) Seriously, you're right. This sort of stuff should always be something you do only if you can afford it.

How do you look intellectual and with it if everything is in electronic form? No one knows you have a copy of "The Gods Must Be Crazy."
Two things: goatee and smoking jacket

blacbird
02-19-2008, 11:19 PM
Just imagine the kind of porn you can have....

If you can imagine it, why would you need it?

caw

Shadow_Ferret
02-19-2008, 11:34 PM
If you can imagine it, why would you need it?

caw
Sometimes my imagination needs a break.

ChunkyC
02-20-2008, 01:44 AM
Charlie, some suggestions:

Children of Men
Casino Royale
Ratatouille
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Stardust
Fifth Element


They're pretty amazing
What? No Casablanca? :D

Actually, Ray's post made me think of my friend with the big Hitachi rear projection set again....

When he first got it back around 1992 or so and asked us over to experience it, naturally we eagerly accepted the invite. At the appointed time, we walked into his not-so-big apartment and there it was, standing at the end of his relatively narrow living room like the monolith from 2001: A Space Oddysey. So, we all sat down, ready to enjoy this marvelous experience as my pal fired up his equally new hi-fi VCR, and within moments there he was on the bedsheet-sized screen, in all his enormous rear-projected glory:

Humphrey Bogart in Treasure of the Sierra Madres.

:Wha:

The next day we went out and bought him The Terminator and Terminator 2 so he'd actually have something to play on it that would do the big obelisk justice.



PS -- it was actually fun seeing that great movie on such a big screen.

Shadow_Ferret
02-20-2008, 02:06 AM
As much as I love old black and white movies, I certainly won't be buying any in Blu-Ray any time soon.

Maybe the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan." I love that in surround with an earthshaking subwoofer.

BarbaraKE
02-20-2008, 07:31 AM
I told my son two years ago that Blu-ray would win out. It was obvious - it has a much cooler name.

Blu-ray. HD. No contest.

maestrowork
02-20-2008, 09:02 AM
Anything with "Ray" in it is great.

benbradley
02-20-2008, 09:38 AM
They're both high-dev so the quality is very comparable. You can fit more info into a Blu-Ray disc. I believe Blu-Ray can hold up to 50GB per disc vs. 35GB for HD-DVD.
Oh, good, some NUMBERS. By comparison, old-fashioned DVD's ( I remember these numbers from many years ago, when I kept up with these tings) hold about 4 gig, and the virtually-obsolete CD holds about half a gig. I recall when DVD's were supposed to have high-quality audio-only formats, with higher sampling rates than CD and 24-bit word lengths (as opposed to 16-bit, 44.1ksps for CD's), but it appears psychoacoustic compression (as in mp3's) took over, making the quality worse, not better. CD's were apparently "more than enough hifi" for most people, who want quantity of music over quality. But I rant and digress...

I heard a blurb about the death of HD on NPR, that the Blu-Ray victory may be short-lived since the long-term future is with the "DL format," having something to do with the Internet. Does anyone know what a "DL" is? ;)

Well, that's what I mean. Every station will not be broadcasting in analog here and we'll all either have to get an HDTV, a converter, or some sort of subscription service that has a converter included.

We just bought a couple new non-HD TVs a few years ago when the power company had a hiccough and blew out all our TVs, so I'm a little angry on that end, too. TVs should last nearly a lifetime and now I'm having to go out and get some new ones if I want to enjoy the new broadcasts.

Thank goodness for Bush's rebate check. :)
Does no one here know about the converter box coupons? Your Government really is thinking about The Little People. Any household can get two coupons, each good for $40 towards a converter box:
https://www.dtv2009.gov/
Best Buy has a converter box for $59, so that gets your TV into the "modern digital world" and lets it receive the digital-only broadcasts a year from now for only $20.

childeroland
02-20-2008, 04:16 PM
Something interesting from foxnews about what contributed to HD's demise:

Blu-Ray discs have beaten HD DVD, which means Sony and Panasonic have triumped over Toshiba. I guess Sony wasn’t going to allow Blu Ray to go the way of Betamax and DAT players. When Toshiba conceded the war this week they noted that Warner Bros. films going with Blu-Ray exclusively was the last straw. Coincidentally, right before Warner made their announcement, their chief techonology officer, Chris Cookson, who’d been at the job since 1 999, bolted for Sony as head of Sony Pictures Technologies. That was on January 3rd. The very next day, Warner announced it was moving to Sony’s Blu Ray exclusively. This did not all happen overnight. Business Week reported a rumor in October 2005 that Warner was thinking of making the commitment. Just a lot of coincidences, I’m sure…

maestrowork
02-20-2008, 04:56 PM
I'd say well played on SONY's part -- what do you do to win the war? Offer the studio exec a cushy job!

Shadow_Ferret
02-20-2008, 07:20 PM
Well, the war was basically Studios against manufacturers. Manufacturers didn't stand a chance.