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August 21, 2007

Comments

Bricktop

Paramount based their decision on $150 million, not on technology or sales.
Let's look at recent sales:
300 from Warner:
1st week - Blu-ray outsells HD DVD 1.91:1
2ns week - Blu-ray outsells HD DVD 2.47:1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on Blu-ray outsells the HD DVD 2.14:1 in its first week.
Paramount sales:
Disturbia Blu-ray outsells its HD DVD counterpart 2.04:1 in first week of release.
Shooter blu-ray outsells its HD DVD counterpart 1.71:1 in its first week.

Fox have just announced 29 Blu-ray exclusive titles for the last quarter of 2007 including Independence Day, I, Robot, Die hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard 3, Die Hard 4, Fantastic Four Silver Surfer, Battle of Britain, Master and Commander, Cast Away, The Day after Tomorrow, etc.
Sony have Spider-man trilogy coming exclusively to Blu-ray and have Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a Spielberg movie which also has Spielberg's blessing.
Disney have Lost Season 3, Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End (the biggest movie of the year), Ratatouille and a few Pixar releases coming exclusively to Blu-ray this 4th quarter.

Only Blu-ray Disc has had a title hit 100,000 copies sold at retail through to customers in the first week - "300" 167,000 copies.

You list King Kong and Miami Vice as being buggy blu-ray titles and then mention Google. If you bothered to use Google, or actually owned those titles, you'd realise that they are not available on Blu-ray so they are HD DVD titles. Yes, HD DVD has the most buggy titles. I've never heard of a blu-ray owner having to boil their HD DVD titles in order for them to work.

PS - the Samsung firmware update process is only buggy if you're a complete idiot and put the disc in upside down.

Glenn

Bricktop:

Thanks for the comment and correction. Those are indeed HD DVD titles. I did not have a problem playing either of them ... "Miami Vice" is a terrific showoff disc.

The Samsung firmware process failed me on the following counts. Sounds like you got the disc straight from the manufacturer(?) Rather than wait a week or so, I went the download route.

1. Firmware downloads don't/wouldn't work (via ethernet) on Mac.

2. On a PC, the download and burn were smooth enough (despite the broken-English directions) but my player rejected several discs I burned before finding a brand it liked.

3. The firmware update took and worked, but the next day it had reverted back, with the same suite of problems playing discs. Then again. Samsung tech confirmed the player was doing this (you can tell in one of the first screens) and had no explanation. "I'll get back to you."

4. Samsung tech support did not get back to me on unplayable discs or the firmware issue.

I do like the Blu-ray machine, it kicks out some astonishing images and the upconvert of SD titles is worth the price alone.

But as I wrote, I've had nothing but success with HD DVDs. With Blu-ray, so far it's been problematic. Part of the Paramount-DreamWorks argument in making that deal was HD DVD was the format that was "market ready."

I plan to soldier on with both formats, the payoff is so worth it.

Again, thanks for the comment.

Steven Menapache

That blew my mind that Katzenberg of all people would go to that length. For 150M you too can have exclusive rights to a Studio Whore. I'm surprised Steinbrenner didn't make them an offer first to have their titles advertise the YES network. Even worse is their excuses. Why not just say "We're cheap whores and would do anything for a buck.. anything! Watch the Superbowl at Halftime on the 50-yard line to see Katzenberg bend over for Tom Brady! We'll do it!"

My only guess is he still has a beef with Disney, even though Isner is probably in Tibet hearding Goats right about now. Get over yourselves! Grudges are so yesterday already.

Speculation, but where does this leave Universal?? Did they or did they not get payed off as well in the biggining and is their contract up soon? If not, I'm sure seeing how much Paramount got as a payoff will make them want the same. Sucks when your media is so lame you actually have to PAY studios to use it.

Keep in mind 21st Century Fox is a part of Sony and will NEVER "sell out" of it's own media, which means it's only a matter of time before the "Star Wars" boxset ends it once and for all.

Stick a fork in them. Blu-ray all the way.

Andy

This is all very familar to those of us old enough to remenmber the Beta vs. VHS format battle.
Given the outrageous cost of HD DVD/Blu-ray players and discs compared with the very modest cost of DVD players and discs, I'll stick with the latter until I absolutely have to change...and the prices have dropped.
See, here's the bottom line: no matter how great the resolution, sound quality, blah blah blah, technology is not going to make a crap movie like Norbit, Dreamgirls or Smokin' Aces any better.
To those thinking of dipping deep into their pockets for HD DVD or Blu-ray (or both if you want to see all your favs in high-def) I say resist the compulsion to buy until either one system wins or the studios put out all the releases in both formats.
Y'er welcome.

Glenn

Andy: I'd say if you're not an early adopter, staying out of this (exciting) mess is a good idea. If you're into A/V at all, you gotta get in. Hobbies have their costs.

Funny thing is, writers keep bringing up VHS/Beta as if all Beta buyers were permanently pissed off about getting into that format. I bought Beta back when the machines were the size of Volkswagens and stayed with the format until retailers were 100% out.

It was no more frustrating than, say, owning a Mac. I'd see my friends' VHS images and just laugh -- VHS = video horse shit.

The real downside of Beta was the shortness of tapes when using the high-quality mode, the great images being the point of owning Beta.

Still have the Beta machine in the garage, and the tapes. Will drag it out one day and report back.

Steven: Interesting question about Universal.

Universal will go in the direction that makes business sense. Right now, that direction looks to be staying the course with HD DVD. Why would they defect now, of all times? The defection speculation seems to be with Warner.

Sony owns a piece of MGM. If Sony owned MGM, those titles would go out via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. News Corp. owns Fox.

Katzenberg and Tom Brady. You started that rumor?

Thanks for commenting gents.

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