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Author Topic: Could Blu-ray fail?
Paul Adsett
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 - posted May 02, 2008 06:46 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The latest news is that, despite the demise of HD-DVD, sales of Blu ray players have not increased at all (in fact have dropped), and Blue ray DVD sales have only increased by 2%. This raises the question, is Blu Ray a product that the general public (as opposed to A/V hobbyists and film collectors) has decided it just does not need? That in fact standard DVD is just fine, thank you very much Sony. Is it conceivable that Blue ray DVD will at best stay a niche product, or at worse could follow the same demise as HD-DVD?

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Mark Todd
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 - posted May 02, 2008 08:09 PM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I must admit Paul, that had I the cash the £200 B,R samsung would be now sat here in my house, just possibly as Blue Ray quality is amazing. BUT!!!!

Saying that I would also need to buy a HD ready device to show them either projector or TV and it would have to be 1080P.
Go in to any electronics shop and its very unlikely staff will even mention it or even know the difference between 1080i and P etc etc. Say HD or BR and they will happily try to sell you a 720 or so with no mention of this or that etc.

I think myself the general public are very very happy with what DVD can do and as we have said allows some cracking public Domain and other great stuff that would never have been easily accessible etc to get on to our TV`s etc.

Standard DVD is for price, availability, ease, and cost of equipment and picture quality per $1 or £1 etc is simply Superb value and entertainment wise spot on.

I was recently in Asda( the UK WALMART) and bought a small stylish black Durabrand asda job dvd player 8"x10"x2"-ish for £16.99 and the picture and sound quaility out of that is awesome on my sub £100- ( second hand ) LCD philips XGA V.P. Its just beautiful just through the s-video.

Having a family and all the rest of it I think maybe Blue Ray is still an aweful long way off for me and I`m film crackers, most people enjoy films to a point but thats it really.
Also TV stuff on std DVD is fabulous.

Added in to the B,Ray Equation is the ecconomic situation afoot in the US and getting going here too and elsewhere and although we are suffering ouselves in many parts of the world food, fuel and most essentials are inceasingly going crazy and way beyond ordinary people so where does a new HD format fit in there.

Also I wonder if the demise of HD-DVD might have a negative effect too in a strange ironic way on BR as I believe before HD went both formats were growing a little, maybe people now are wondering if BR will also fail or stay very much not mainstream.
Would be very funny if by finishing of HD-DVD Sony may have very well reduced the apeal of thier product.

I read a while ago that std DVD players and DVD sales are still rapidly growing as so affordable. I wonder if its still true at the moment but I`d guess whatever the cash woes etc. A Dvd player from around £10 up that does a super picture on any TV etc with wonderful film availabiity and cheap dvds too is going to look a whole lot better to hard up folks looking for some escape or cheap entertainment than BR anyday.
For Me std DVD staying strong can only be good long term news for film watching and accessability and long may it continue.
Best Mark.

PS also it might be just me but our 6 1/2 year old ordinary tube type 32" Widescreen TV seems to blow the diddlie`s off the majority of LCD TV`s quality wise.

PPS I think HD-DVD would actually have done far far better for us all than BR anyway in some ways and been more succesful even had things been different.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 02, 2008 08:15 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

I know that I've mentioned it before, but my fear is that with the studio's wanting to go to straight downloads from the studio itself, would blu-ray even be around for all that long, as it will probably go down the tubes at the same time as standard DVD.

The quality of your standard DVD is great; with the DVD upconverter players, (which are also quite affordable), you get close to the same quality with the standard DVD.

Perhaps the Blu-ray could go the way of the laserdisc?

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Mark Todd
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 - posted May 02, 2008 08:52 PM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Collecting, Christmas, Birthdays etc you name it, if anything round disc wise and film filled stays it will be std DVD I`d guess. We all need a bit of something tangiable.
Best Mark.

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Graham Sinden
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 - posted May 03, 2008 03:56 AM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

I think Blu-Ray will take off but it will take time.

The big problem for Blu-Ray is what came before it because standard DVD is excellent. Whereas when DVD came out it was 10 times better than VHS what most people had. And VHS was finally killed off when recordable DVD became affordable.

BUT.. Why didnt Laserdisc take off big time ? was it the size or the films available? does anybody know ?

Graham S

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Steven J Kirk
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 - posted May 03, 2008 05:51 AM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with all of the above. I DO think people might be put off Blu-ray having seen how something like HD-DVD can drop dead in a fortnight. They might wonder if BD can do the same. I certainly do. I think the threat is downloads of HD, also, a memory card format for HD films, with no slow loading times or glitches that some report of Blu-ray.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 03, 2008 10:18 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Graham,

I think the main reason for laserdiscs downfall, is that it was a a higher priced market, always was, from the beginning, and most folks are into affordability.

A standard one laserdisc release in CLV format was usually 29.95 brand new, and though you had the great fun of a widescreen release, most people took forever to get into that, (there are many who still don't want that ... neanderthals!)
while a brand new VHS of the same title would be 15.00 or less dollars. It really was cost.

To this day, I still have at least 200 laserdiscs, as most of these are titles are still rare on DVD.

When DVD came out, you could suddenly put up to five hours on one DVD, and all on one side, while a laserdisc could only get one hour (tops) on each side. Less efficient.

Though, I still like Laserdisc a lot. For a lot of films, it was the first time I could see them in thier cinemascope!

The fascinating thing is how long laserdisc was REALLY out there! I remember a "Nature Science Annual" from 1975, and Laserdiscs were already being used used, just not in the public domain, (that wouldn't happen until the early to mid 80's, and after a battle once again between formats, laserdisc, and the unfortunate videodiscs.)

So, it laserdiscs were already "industrial" as of 1975, how long were they actually in existence?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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David Park
Master Film Handler

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 - posted May 03, 2008 11:45 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When HD TV gets going and is shown to give a better TV picture and also better than normal DVD we might then see an increase in demand for an HD DVD in the form of Blueray.

It is rumoured that the BBC/ITV HD service might start next Tuesday 6th. May, in the UK., it is to be called FreeSat.

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David

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Graham Sinden
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 - posted May 03, 2008 12:10 PM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, I dont think you can say that price is a main reason for Laserdisc's downfall. Most products start off costly but manufactures keep faith with it and it eventually becomes cheaper. Even in the early 80's VHS recorders cost over £800. A small fortune then. However I do not know the price of a Laserdisc player in say the late 80's near its demise.

However I do agree with you on the large size issue. Only having 1 hour per side is a big dissadvantage. And each Laserdisc is the size of a record, and people were moving their music collections to cassette tape because they were easier to use and store. When DVD came out, it was just perfect for everybody in terms of quality, size and nice boxes.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 03, 2008 01:53 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, I forgot, second big reason Laserdisc never caught on ...

You couldn't record with it. Big drawback. VHS? record all over the place!

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Brad Miller
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 - posted May 03, 2008 01:56 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The quality of your standard DVD is great; with the DVD upconverter players, (which are also quite affordable), you get close to the same quality with the standard DVD.
Not quite. You have to have a proper display with 1920 x 1080 native pixels resolution to be able to properly see the difference, otherwise you are simply scaling BOTH formats leading you to believe Blu-Ray isn't much better when in fact it is worlds better than a regular DVD.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 03, 2008 02:04 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure that Brad has it right, (I'm certainly no expert in this computer age)

But to the untrained eye, there's probably not much difference.

We've come to the same place audio was at a good ten years ago, to such a sonic perfection, that the ear can't tell the difference anymore, and now, the eye.

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Graham Sinden
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 - posted May 03, 2008 03:16 PM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi you are right about audio.

A few years ago I saw DVD Audio discs being sold in record stores. What happened to them? The main reason for their death is probably because people couldnt tell the difference between them and a standard audio CD. Plus to get the full benefits, you needed a dolby 5.1 surround sound system so this limits them to the living room! Not really practical and who can tell the difference anyway.

Graham S

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Steven J Kirk
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 - posted May 03, 2008 04:06 PM      Profile for Steven J Kirk   Email Steven J Kirk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't forget SACD. Super Audio Compact Disc. What was that? you say. Exactly. Or DAT. Add your own to the list. Format wars are the bane of AV. But the only way the quality really leaps forward.

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VistaVision
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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 03, 2008 04:39 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I remember DAT. When I was in the sudio doing all dem albums, we mostly mastered to DAT, though I wish I had kept most of those ADAT tapes, as I'd love to remaster and remix and redo some of those crappy vocals back then!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Bill Brandenstein
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 - posted May 03, 2008 11:46 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If I may add a little detail to a strong, excellent discussion: please don't forget that when the FCC-mandated date arrives next February, all over-the-air SD broadcasts will cease in the US. That alone will thrust HD details into the public eye like never before; I predict a gentle upsurge of Blu-Ray in '09 based on that alone.

By the way, I'm not surprised about Mark's 7-year-old tube; tubes are still the best-looking pictures around! LCD is trying desperately to match it, and is improving annually, but a really good tube is impossible to beat. Just ask a TV engineer how much they'd like all their broadcast monitors to be LCD! Too bad tubes are all but gone for consumers.

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Jan Bister
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 - posted May 04, 2008 01:55 AM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only thing I predict is a surge in sales of converter boxes so ppl can watch the digital broadcasts on their existing TVs... There may very well be a "gentle" upsurge in Blu-Ray sales but it's going to be hard to convince consumers to outright buy a new TV (one that's capable of rendering Blu-Ray's high resolution) instead of a cheap converter box, particularly if they don't see anything wrong with their current TV's picture quality. [Eek!]

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David Park
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 - posted May 04, 2008 02:59 AM      Profile for David Park   Email David Park   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jan I'm in UK and find your post strange as that is very different to here in the UK.
For the past 2 years here people have been getting rid of very good crt Tv sets to get larger Plasma/lcd W/S TVs which are HD ready. Many have allready bought digital boxes to recieve terrestrial or satelite digital TV, the attraction being the vast amount of extra programmes available over the normal 4 or 5 in some places.
The satellite broadcaster has a few HD stations, Terrestrial none but will do 4 HD ones after analogue switch off. It is rumoured that next Tuesday a new satellite broadcaster will annouce a start and have some HD TV as well as some normal.
Most new Plasma/LCD TV sets now in shops have a terrestrial digital tuner built in. Many, many people have digital boxes attached to thier TV sets even though for some analogue switch off is not untill 2012, this switch off is region by region and as allready started.
It is thought that one of the main present analogue stations, ITV, might hand its analogue licence back before the switch off and go digital only, I believe the legal sides are being looked into.
I can't think of anyone I know who is limited now to only analogue TV and this region is the last to go in 2012.
So I would think that sale of normal digital terrestrial boxes might now in UK start to fall, they can be bought for £20, $40 approx. Some times £15, $30.
A Sky satellite, box, dish and installed £75, $150.

A new box is needed for HD TV.
Most DVD players on sale now have the HD TV socket HDMi to upscale normal DVD pictures towards HD. These give good pictures and might stop BlueRay being popular for a long time.

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Regards,
David

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted May 04, 2008 07:07 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well.. [Roll Eyes] ... I am looking forward to getting a Blu-ray player soon its the only way to go, I have made my mind up on this one [Big Grin] as for the price I think to buy one its good value. I cant comment on other countries but I remember when a VHS player was over $1000 + when they came out, and a basic DVD player again was over the $1000+ mark, at present a Blu-ray player is about $600 not bad when you compare the price of things back then, with large Plasma/LCD, TVs, and Video projector prices dropping you want the best picture and sound possible and I am sure a Blu-ray player can do all of this plus you can still run your old DVDs through it as well so why bother with anything else.

Graham. [Smile]

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Jonathan Sanders
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 - posted May 04, 2008 08:03 AM      Profile for Jonathan Sanders   Email Jonathan Sanders   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the reasons Blu-ray might fail - and certainly one of the reasons I won't buy into it - is that it is not entirely backwards-compatible.

It's commonly believed you can play any SD DVD on a Blu-ray player but (the last time I checked) there is no such thing as a Blu-ray player that will play SD DVDs from all regions. This means that collectors like myself - with half my DVDs R1 and half R2 (or other regions) - would be unable to play half their collections on the Blu-ray machine. (Most of the films I collect are pre-1960 and unlikely ever to be released in the new format, especially the hundreds of silents I own.)

Of course, there's the option of having two machines but that's awkward - and what happens if all players become Blu-ray?

This is in addition to the region coding issues of Blu-ray discs themselves, which I understand are more problematic than with SD discs on SD players. Multi-region SD machines are very easy to purchase, at least in the UK.

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Paul Adsett
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 - posted May 04, 2008 11:24 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have decided to stay away from Blu-ray until they start releasing a significant number of the Hollywood classic films of the 30's,40's and 50's, and confirm whether these older releases offer a significant boost in picture quality in Blu ray , compared with the standard definition versions. The current Blu ray releases and rentals are mostly recently released films, and while (perhaps) worth watching once, I certainly would not go out and buy them for my collection as most of them are not very repeatable. I still believe that HD is just a big yawn to the general public who have little or no interest in it, and are perfectly satisfied with standard definition TV and DVD'S. I agree with a previous writer that Blu-ray faces an uphill battle to become mainstream, even though HD-DVD is no longer competing.
And I totally agree with Bill, that a CRT television still offers the best picture. My Sony Wega 36 ins TV (weighs 300 lbs!) still beats the pants off any LCD or Plasma TV that I have seen.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted May 04, 2008 01:14 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Paul on the hold off on DVD. I see perhaps one or two films I might actually want to add to my collection, and those are usually box sets of either classic TV shows, or classic movies restored.

Quite frankly, if there is no change to the master material for a 70's film, for instance, from the ST DVD (kind of neat abbreviation there, took me a minute to catch onto) to a blu-ray
DVD, then all your going to see is the additional imperfections in the image.

I remember, (more-so when DVD first came out), comparing classic movies in widescreen on laserdisc and hoping that the new DVD release would be better, and the image was literally identical, but then, there was nothing done to the source material.

Studio's will really need to stop sitiing on thier immense amount of dollars and REALLY investing in thier immense catalog of films to restore them, if they expect "film purists" to seriously invest in Blu-ray.

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Graham Ritchie
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 - posted May 04, 2008 03:49 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We bought our first colour TV during the 80s prior to that we had an old B/W Philips, the colour TV took me a few years to pay it off and lasted about 8 years until the tube gave out, [Eek!] these days TVs are more reliable, and for those wanting to watch there favourite movie at home on a large Plasma/LCD with digital sound its never been so good.

Graham. [Smile]

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Jonathan Sanders
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 - posted May 05, 2008 02:44 AM      Profile for Jonathan Sanders   Email Jonathan Sanders   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You were luckier than me, Graham, with your first colour TV. The tube on mine packed up a week after the two-year guarantee expired!

The endless pursuit of audio-visual perfection is all very well but, as I get older, I realise that image and sound are only as good as my sight and hearing. I prefer a video projector to a TV these days and, even with SD DVDs, the image is sharper than I can see it without my glasses.

I'm only slightly short-sighted, however, and often prefer to watch with naked eyes as the lenses in my glasses "flatten" the image very noticeably. I'd never realised before this how much of a three-dimensional quality there is to even a supposedly "flat" projected image.

I once asked a friend, about twenty years older than me, why he still collected LPs instead of CDs. He could have given many valid answers, from cost to technical reasons, but he simply said: "Because, when you get to my age, you can't hear the surface noises..."

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Andrew Wilson
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 - posted May 05, 2008 06:44 AM      Profile for Andrew Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is a very good topic guys,so i will put my 10cents in.Firstly Paul your right on a couple of points.
(1)The crt tvs blow both lcd and plasma out of the water.
(2)With ref. to the golden age of Holywood not coming to blu-ray theres no point in it,because those movies weren't filmed in high def,so theres no point in releasing those classic movies in this new format.Std DVD'S do a great job in that case.
The major film companies are on both blu ray and std dvd,so the modern movies will be put onto both formats,Hollywood's golden era,std dvd only.
I do believe that most of us will run ALL formats,sometime,but as for now its std dvd that rules the roost;for how long,only time will tell.Andy.

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