10 MORE Reasons Why HD-DVD Formats Have Already Failed

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
OK, the the title is a tad-bit deceiving. It's been almost a year now since I wrote my popular yet controversial diatribe on the demise of the competing high definition DVD formats. I wrote the article to illustrate the reasons I believed the formats would fail - even before they fully left the starting gate. The article was accused of many things - the least of which was jumping the gun and not giving the new formats a chance.


Discuss "10 MORE Reasons Why HD-DVD Formats Have Already Failed" here. Read the article.
 
avaserfi

avaserfi

Audioholic Ninja
Very well written article, surprise there huh. Definitely rings true. When I watched my first Blu-Ray disc with my girlfriend (Kingdom of Heaven) I asked if she thought the picture quality was any better and she shrugged and said sure to keep me from asking more questions. On the side by side comparison she noticed but I think the whole HD world is almost seen as snake oil to the non-enthusiast.

From my time with friends, none of which know much about A/V, I have found three types of people in regards to HD.

1. Just doesn't care standard def was and is good enough. (Self explanatory)
2. The person who wants the newest of everything without understanding it. I have a friend who has a 720p max resolution CRT tv and is always playing his near release launch 360 on it via component (No HD DVD drive). When the elite came out he was going to sell his to get the HDMI version because his tv has hdmi and he was going to get a quality increase. After spending an hour explaining to him how it was a waste of about 200 bucks I taught him otherwise. He just assumed that because it has a newer form of connectivity its better.
3. The worst kind. The person who denies it all. I don't entirely get these people but their 50 dollar 5.1 systems (running in stereo because they aren't hooked up properly) sound just as good as mine. There 32 inch 7 year old SD tv looks as good as my tv and there is no such thing to HD to them.

This stupid bickering between camps and a complete lack of knowledge on the consumers side are the nails that will drive in the coffin.

Great read.
 
davidtwotrees

davidtwotrees

Audioholic General
Great post, avaserfi! The three kinds of people you describe perfectly fit the people I have been talking to about the hirez audio formats! Perhaps my pigeonhole would read as such:
1. Don't Know.
2. Don't Care.
3. Yes, more please!

Number three would be us. Of course there are all kinds of shades of grey. I love all aspects of my rig, but if I was forced at gunpoint to choose between audio and video, you could take my TV in a heartbeat! I want the sound of hi fidelity music. I can watch movies on my twenty year old sharp tv in my bedroom rig. But to listen to music on my cassette deck boom box? Yuck.
So all the HDMI, hidef format wars are a nonissue to me. Now sacd and dvda going away.......now that's a travesty...........:)
 
D

davo

Full Audioholic
Personally I would say that the general push of high definition is getting a lot more momentum these days.

For example can any person honestly say they DON'T know of anyone with a high def TV? Extremely unlikely. And guess where most sports/movies are watched? Thats right, at the high def tv's house. When thats over all the guys go home to their SD units and sulk, flicking through the latest catalogue of CHEAP high def tv's.

All this leads to greater awareness and desire to own a high def unit themselves.
Don't think this started yesterday. It's been happening for the past 12-14 months. (much longer for a lot of us here!) And it brings Joe Public much closer to what we have come to appreciate as "Full Definition" (High Definition just doesn't differentiate between 720 and 1080). Soon Blu-ray and HD DVD will be getting much more attention.

Here are a few projections...
At the end of 2005 there were already 2m 'HD ready' TV households in Europe and by 2010 there will be more than 50m 'HD ready' TV sets, creating large opportunities for European pay TV operators. Screen Digest predicts that by 2010 there will be approximately 100 HD channels available in Europe and more than 11m households will be actually watching television in HD quality (receiving HD broadcasts on HD ready sets and set-top boxes).

Across the globe HD has already made its mark and in early 2006, HD broadcasts were available in 12 countries: USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, China, Germany and Austria, and the Nordic markets (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway). By the end of 2005 there were 19m households with HDTV sets in the US (17% of total TV households) with 11m of these watching HD broadcasts. At the same time 14% (6.7m) of TV households in Japan were HD ready.

On a global basis, by the end of 2010 the number of HD ready households will reach 174m or 22% of TV households. The figure will be 59% in the US, 66% in Japan and 30% in Western Europe.

All Management Reports
March 2006
High Definition Television: Global uptake and assessment to 2010
by Vincent Létang,Ben Keen

So give it 6 months to a year, and I'm sure your freinds/reletives will recognize you as the A/V purist you are and will start asking q's about what they should buy.

They will buy, it's only human.

And the prices won't even scare them!
 
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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
About the only saving grace I can think of for Hi Def formats is that no matter how readily available HD content becomes via cable/satellite providers, or streams off the net, people will still want authentic hard copies of their A/V software. There is something to be said about owning a disc with the artwork, logos, etc.

Niche market or not, I am loving the software I currently own, not so much for the improved picture quality, but for the improved audio!
 
avaserfi

avaserfi

Audioholic Ninja
Hah I get scoffed at for owning an Oppo DVD player by many people I know becasue I spent more than 50 bucks on a simple dvd player. If only they knew the amount of money spent on everything else.

I think it will be a couple of years before the general public really embrace HD and thats mainly because by then there won't be another choice.
 
D

davo

Full Audioholic
I think it will be a couple of years before the general public really embrace HD and thats mainly because by then there won't be another choice.
There is a lot of truth to that.
 
T

Tex-amp

Senior Audioholic
I agree with others' here that this may be a case of the HD displays eventually driving the HD component/software market. Although, cable and satellite use of SD and compression beyond the drop dead date from OTA SD to HD is going to turn people off of big screen HDTV displays.

Was there ever a winner between SACD and DVDA before they faded into an audiophile niche product?

Gene- Did you happen to show your family Batman with an average DVD player and a regular DVD, on the same display, to see if they could tell the difference then?
 
avaserfi

avaserfi

Audioholic Ninja
Gene- Did you happen to show your family Batman with an average DVD player and a regular DVD, on the same display, to see if they could tell the difference then?
I was actually wondering that as well. I have done the Blu-Ray vs Oppo Upconverted regular dvd and most people see a difference (some just don't care), but as I said earlier there are those few who believe anything they don't understand is snake oil, including HD.
 
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F

fresno1232001

Enthusiast
People aren't stupid!!!!!!!!

Actually, they are pretty stupid. 2.2 million consumers in the United States are in prison, and approx. that number file for bankruptcy every year. I loved your comment that "the only way to push HD-DVD onto consumers will be to push it onto them. DVD would have to be abolished". TRY IT! GO AHEAD! I'll go back to listening to AM radio for entertainment. I have a Panny S-97 SD player, which I bought after it won an Audioholics shootout, and I love to watch SD movies on it via my SD 21" Sony. I buy mostly movies from the 40's on www.deepdiscount.com for ~$10 each. Movie-making is now a lost art. The only advantage current movies have over those made in the 40's and 50's is the higher-quality surround audio. When big screen HD displays fall to under $1,000 by 2009, I'll buy one. The Panny will upconvert SD disks to 720P and that should look great on the HD display. What I have always thought WRT HD disks was "How much better can grainy old 1944's "Double Indemnity" (my fav. movie) look on an HD disk? There are only so many pixels on that 35 film. I have seen the movie countless times at the Stanford Movie Theater in Palo Alto, so I have seen the raw image from the seventh row. The SD image I see at home does not look degraded from that in the least, so I do not believe that paying $30 to own the movie on an HD disk makes any sense whatsoever. I buy LOTS of SD movies. I really believed that when HD disks came out that the movie industry would stong-arm them onto the market by halting the production of SD disks and grind and crush every SD disk in every record store in the world since each one represents a loss of $20 of revenue. To my delight, they have not felt that they can get away with that. They will do it if they ever feel they can, I am sure. I feel that the lousy-sounding CD was strong-armed onto the market by the cessation of LP production. So my reaction to HD DVDs is, "Nice try, you crooks! Rot in hell". I love movies, and the great SD disks I get cheap are all the resolution I'll ever need, especially since my player will put them up at 720P when I buy a (cheap and great) hi-def display a couple of years from now. BTW, you discuss the "failure of DVD-Audio". The reason it failed, besides not one dime ever having been spent to market it, is that they took a fantastic technology, the 96 kHz, 24 bit word-length DVD-Audio format, and just threw old tapes from the 60s and 70s on it, and that was a disaster! I bought ~12 DVD-As, which my Panny S-97 plays, and they all sounded horrible. Then Beatles "Love" came out, and I saw that DVD-A, when done right, sounds great. Then I discovered Aix Records DVD-As and they are just great!!! The highest fidelity audio I have ever heard. See www.aixrecords.com. Dr. Mark Waldrep records every production live using hard-drives. No old tapes, no EQ, no artificial reverb, no heavy processing! Try them and see! I just bought some Bowers and Wilkins CDM-9NT speakers for rear surrounds, so I am moving to 4 channel audio, mainly to listen to Aix Records DVD-As and to hear surround sound from movies. Multi-channel audio? Sure, that is great! I hope to hell the movie makers go to Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio for their sound tracks for the highest possible fidelity in their multi-channel audio. And if they want to make a ton on money, start producing music in audio-only disks using those hi-def audio codecs, or the DVD-A codec, but not via old tapes from the vaults. Record new music the way Dr. Waldrep does it. THAT just might give consumers a reason to buy new HD players. Give us both the highest-quality HD sound via the new audio codecs or DVD-A, both on movie sound tracks and on music-only, audio-only disks, AND HD pix- and give us only ONE hi-def video format. Now that I have the surround speakers, I'll be buying a new receiver with the Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio codecs, or Emotiva separates if they have those in Jan. 2008. So Gene, you are seeing that the American consumer is not so totally stupid as Sony, Toshiba et. al think they are. We will pay for quality home entertainment, we just won't hand over our money just because somebody wants it. There is a name for that, and we are good at resisting it. ONE HD video format, $10 per disk, audio in Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio, the player able to play the great SD disks, and loads of cheap audio-only disks in the new audio codecs or DVD-A codec recorded anew- no old tapes from the 70s. That is the formula for success.

Discuss "10 MORE Reasons Why HD-DVD Formats Have Already Failed" here. Read the article.[/QUOTE]
 
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DavidW

DavidW

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Improved audio...

Niche market or not, I am loving the software I currently own, not so much for the improved picture quality, but for the improved audio!
...Here, here!

I have been saying increased bit depth, higher sampling rates, and lossless audio were the only way to go since before Sony introduced their stupid MiniDisc with its massive amount of data compression/perceptual coding that paved the way to the crappy MP3.

Oh, by the way, if you don't recall the MiniDisc, it is another failed Sony attempt to foist formats on consumers; the prerecorded media disappeared before the millennium. It's about as stupid as the proprietary PSP UMD movies that can only be watched on a luxurious 4.3 inch Sony screen and nothing else.
 
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BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I still think we have a long way to go on this issue. A year, into the format war and things aren't settled, that's for sure, but the formats themselves are outpacing DVD adoption if what I have read is correct. This is fairly significant as it shows that the formats aren't 'failing'. In fact, using Nielsen numbers, it is easy to see that sales growth for software (movies) has grown consistently from month to month throughout the year. Granted, this may match up with releases of titles as well.

At the end of the day, DVD-A and SACD can't remotely be compared to HD Discs. It is just the wrong example. Audio, for the average consumer, is ALWAYS an afterthought. The mp3 is proof enough that people just want music that sounds decent, and they want it accessible. This is in direct contradiction to televisions which they want BIG and beautiful. HDTVs are selling more and more in the states, so HD disc formats will follow.

Quickly? Not at all. It will have to follow HDTV adoption which is going on ten years and still working for 'mass' adoption.

Is PS3 the saving grace? Nah! Not at all. But, it is a part of the solution to helping the format(s) succeed. People aren't going to buy a product they have never heard of, so building brand recognition is going to be one of the key elements that the PS3 delivers. Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray!!! Whether the praise is good (PS3 fans) or bad (X360 fans), it is still spreading the word. A few million consoles sold doesn't guarantee anything, but is part of the solution.

Just as HDMI is. You want a major reason why SACD/DVD-A suck? Because they are to damn complicated to hook up! HDMI, especially as things progress, is simple. One wire to a TV, receiver, projector, whatever! If it doesn't give the person a headache - and for most it does not, then HD DVD and Blu-ray have simplified the connectivity process in a way that neither audio format was willing to do.

Finally, price.

Price matters a great deal and new technologies never hit that magic price point. You think SED or OLED are going to be cheap when they start coming in force? So why would they survive? Because they will figure out production! In a few years we are likely to see HD disc players for well under 200 bucks pretty easily. Perhaps dual format players even. But, in reality, the technology, while much more advanced than DVD, still doesn't really consumer more raw materials, or a lot more parts inside the box compared to DVD. So, once every aspect of production is in full swing, you likely will see sub $100 players which are crammed full of all the latest features and technologies. People won't get excited about DTS-MA audio or True HD... It will be standard - expected - on everything.

As for the studios... They are going to follow the money. So, their initial releases will be bare-bones items. Yet, as the technology grows and sales increase, studios will see greater profitability which will lead to more money invested in HD mastering of all aspects of the disc production.

HD downloads are a different story altogether and could be far more impactful in the long run to HD discs.

I don't disagree with the article, but it won't be a year or even two for these formats to do a darn thing. It will be more like 3-5 years before we will begin to have an idea.
 
M

maggie

Enthusiast
10 reasons

Couldn't agree more with the article; great job. I would second the "own a hard copy" comment because I have -0- faith and desire to keep my property, movies or music exclusively in a digital format. Too many computer and hardware glitches. I can't imagine the hassle I'd have with a vendor to get another copy of a movie I bought because my computer crashed.
CY
 
avaserfi

avaserfi

Audioholic Ninja
Couldn't agree more with the article; great job. I would second the "own a hard copy" comment because I have -0- faith and desire to keep my property, movies or music exclusively in a digital format. Too many computer and hardware glitches. I can't imagine the hassle I'd have with a vendor to get another copy of a movie I bought because my computer crashed.
CY
I agree, the primative its in my hand its mine through process definitely holds me down to wanting my movies in hand. Plus its cool to look at the wall of disc/cases and know its your library :D.
 
W

westcott

Audioholic General
The longer this drags out, the more I agree with Clint.

My real big beef is the lack of content that I want to watch. The geneal spiral downward of movie goers over the last four years is testament that people are not too excited about recent releases and would rather stay home and watch on DVD for a lot less money.

I am a little skeptical about owning a hard copy. I am perfectly happy renting a title as often as I want with my NetFlix account and only buy those movies that are true blockbusters\classics. My attitude is like owning a boat. A waste of money and better off renting when I need it.

I agree with fresno. The general lack of quality content is really inhibiting the growth of the HD video formats, as well. I still contend copy protection is a real concern for the studios and why true classics have not been released. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, and all the top 100 classics would go a long way in furthering the format. SACD and DVD Audio are perfect examples given by Clint in showing what happens to a technology without popular content available. It can look good and sound good, but if you don't want to watch it in the first place, what good is it?
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Gene- Did you happen to show your family Batman with an average DVD player and a regular DVD, on the same display, to see if they could tell the difference then?
Actually it was Clint that did that test, not me. I can tell you however that I have played several HD discs for family members and nobody has really noticed much of a difference.

Of course for true diehards like us... well, thats another story ;)
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
Did you happen to show your family Batman with an average DVD player and a regular DVD, on the same display, to see if they could tell the difference then?
That's kind of my point... they didn't notice any difference right off the bat. They had seen other movies (on standard DVD) in that room before and the differences weren't mindblowing to them enough to warrant a comment or even an acknowledgment that it was amazingly better.

I could have done A-B tests and they would most certainly have seen the difference - the only point is that they were not compelled to think that the HD DVD alone was amazing quality beyond a DVD. There was zero registration in their minds that anything profound had just occurred.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
I have a HTPC with the X-BOX HD-DVD Drive. Just received the Matrix HD-DVD Trilogy. I couldn't tell the difference. I don't know if it is ATI's AVIVO not up to snuff, or Power DVD-Ultra. OR if there simply isn't a great enough difference for me to tell on a 720P 37" LCD.

I do know that the AVIVO does a heckuva job on DVD up conversion though :)

The video card is a PCI-Express ATI X1950-GT
 
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Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
You should be able to tell a difference in picture quality. I'd triple check your settings all around...
 

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