US HD hardware sales 3:1 in Blu-ray's favour by year end
But HD DVD wins on players
US households will together own 948,000 HD DVD playback devices and almost 3m Blu-ray Disc-capable machines come the end of 2007, market watcher DisplaySearch has estimated.
Breaking those numbers down, we get 2.5m PlayStation 3s, 678,000 HD DVD players, 461,000 Blu-ray Disc players and 270,000 Xbox 360 add-on drives, DisplaySearch said via Home Media Magazine.
Add those numbers up and for every living room-oriented HD DVD device out there, there are three Blu-ray machines.
That statistic may well give Warner's home entertainment division pause for thought if it is indeed waiting to see each format's end-of-year hardware sales before deciding whether to back a single format as some industry insiders have alleged it's considering.
For its part, Warner's only comment on the matter has been to state it has "made no decision to change our present policy which is to produce in both HD DVD and Blu-ray".
Newspaper columnist Don Lindich maintains this statement's lack of a denial or ambiguous language, not to mention the fact the Warner issued it quickly, is a sign that no move's on the cards.
However, Warner's statement doesn't contradict the aforementioned claims, which suggest it's waiting to see the numbers before casting its lot one way or another. Until then, of course Warner is going to maintain its support-both-formats policy.
Phew, it's getting HOT in here!
My goodness, some people ARE getting hot under the collar.
If I can just add my own two-penn'th - I'm not a gamer (but I do play F1) and I bought my PS3 precisely because it plays Blu-ray and I didn't want an additional box in my living room as well as Sky HD, to go with my Pioneer 508. (I have an LX60D DVD/HDD home cinema setup which upscales DVD to 1080p)
So, count me as one of the 3m who watches BD on PS3, because it can.
4m after Christmas?
Managed Mandatory Copy - great feature in principle, probably going to be killed by execution...
Mandatory Managed Copy is a really great feature, however my guess is that it will use some kind of DRM, why else the need for AACS on the disc itself?
And since it will use some kind of DRM - who is going to deliver that kind of DRM, and how strict will the license requirements be, and will the quality of the Managed Mandatory Copy be reduced, compared to the original disc version? If it is going to be using DRM, I think it will be a lot easier for people to just use AnyDVD HD and just reencode the movie themselves or just simply plain rip it.
I think the best way to see how it will end, is to look at how Microsoft Media Center handles DVDs - it is required, per the DVD-license, to enable playback only at 480p if HDCP is not available (as I have understood it - I do not have a Microsoft Media Center nor a HDTV so please tell me if I am wrong). And ripping DVDs is not available (as per the license), even though Microsoft have the DRM technology installed that would lock that copy of the DVD to that machine specifically.
And the few companies in the US that actually tries to make networkable DVD jukeboxes are having a lot of legal trouble with the MPAA and DVD-forum, with the latter strongly trying to withdraw the DVD-license, because the movie companies fears that it would then be used for piracy, even if the product actually replicates the DVD DRM, or uses an even stronger DRM, in the copy stored in jukebox.
I would like Managed Mandatory Copy to be as great a feature as possible, I just think the downfall of that feature lies in the principle - it is "managed" - meaning DRM. And since it is managed per copy, how many copies are a single player allowed to make, and in what quality? For me, Managed Mandatory Copy is a really great feature in principle, that is probably going to be killed by the way it is executed.
Think of it - if you could make a 1:1 copy using Managed Mandatory Copy, you would just rent the movie and transfer it to your Media Center and then return the movie. That was a lost sale for the movie company, unless of course that Managed Mandatory Copy had an expiration date, and if expiration dates are going to be used, what is the timeframe, to make sure we still own the disc? - what good is a media center with a huge library then, if you still have to insert the disc into the drive, to prove that you own the disk every 3 days, for example, for the copy in the library to remain active? Or are we going to register our purchases of media on some website, and using that system we will be issued licenses for each device? What if we sell the disc, and "forgets" to delete the registration - since the disc does not contain a unique serial, how are they going to keep track of who has a real copy, and who just forgot to delete his registration?
I am sorry for the overly long post, and yes, I have posted this anonymously because I know some will think this is a critique of HD-DVD. It is not a critique of HD-DVD, but a critique of the principle behind Managed Mandatory Copy, and I think people have too high hopes for Managed Mandatory Copy. Judging by past behavior of the MPAA and DVD-Forum, and considering the rhetoric that the MPAA and DVD-Forum seems to be using these days, with MPAA initiating lawsuits almost daily, I will not get my hopes up for a great Managed Mandatory Copy, sorry.
It's the *software*, stupid
If a studio releases a movie on BD and HD-DVD, and the BD version outsells the HD-DVD by 2:1 or more, why would they give a flying crap whether the end-user has a standalone player, a PS3, or something they made themselves out of mirrors, bits of old string and a couple of ZX81s?
All that matters is which format they're shifting more units of, and what the trends in each format's sales figures are. A unit sale is a unit sale whatever the movie is played on, or even if it's stuck on a shelf and never played.
(Posted anon because the fanbois on both sides are getting *really* scary ;-) )
"Do you lack reading skills? Who said anything about PS2s playing DVDs today? I was talking in 1999/2000 when the DVD format was still struggling to gain traction due to expensive players and content."
Indeed, and still the PS2 wasn't the major influencing factor. It was 'a' factor, but it was the format itself that drove it. Blu-Ray however is entirely being supported by the PS3 which is a totally different situation to 1999/2000 with the PS2.
The reason for mentioning the PS2 today is because the PS2 is irrelevant to DVD. The PS3 however will still be very important to Blu-Ray several years from now as the only relevant player.
"Not sure how you're arguing that PS3 is the only BluRay player."
Only *relevant* player.
All the standalones are a) too expensive and b) using outdated profiles.
Until Blu-Ray standalones are as cheap as HD DVD standalones, are all profile 2.0, are region free, Blu-Ray has no long term future. The PS3 is to the mind of most people just a games console (no matter how much you and I can argue it isn't just a games console, and I even agree there). For AV enthusiasts you need an AV component for the Hi-Fi stack, not the PS3. For the mass market you need a cheap player for £50 to £100 and the PS3 will not be that even 4 years from now (again I point to the PS2 as example there which has been going 7 years!, and the PS3 is a more expensive product than the PS2!).
"Regarding your pointless DRM comments, who really gives a damn about managed copy capability? What do you need it for? Gonna set up a bit torrent once you strip the copy protection off the movie? Wanna protect the disc? Oh, well let's see the hard-coat on BluRay will do that, pity about those scratch prone HD-DVD discs of yours though."
Talk about me lacking reading skills. Read my comment again. I'm not talking about pirating movies, I'm talking about portability and network streaming. Notice all those media center PCs in the shops these days that sell bucket loads? (and yes they do have multi terabyte capacity). All useless once BD+ is enforced. One of the major reasons why Microsoft backs HD DVD.
In fact HD disc formats could ultimately fail where MS succeed with movie streaming.
As for scratches (which I never even mentioned), you do know that Blu-Ray required the coating because it places the data layer closer to the surface? HD DVD doesn't require this because it's closer to how DVDs are manufactured. Even scratched it is possible to resurface an HD DVD like DVD. Blu-Ray couldn't, at least not until it required the "work around" of extra coating (which adds even more to production costs and complexity).
P.S. Coatings can fail, leading to rot between the coating and disc.
We had this one out with the Reg staff the other week; a working party is in place to investigate the possibility of adding region coding to the HD-DVD standard, but they've yet to report any definite findings back. So current discs don't have anything on them, and current players don't know to look for it.
Apart from Fox, who demonstrate their outright contempt for consumers in so many ways (they're by far the worst in the constant re-release and repackage game, and only very recently started putting any extras on BluRay titles whatsoever, after seeing consumers ignore the rubbish they were shovelling out the door, for instance) most studios have a more sensible attitude to region encoding - using it on new-release titles that require staggered worldwide release, but not on catalogue stuff that is already available elsewhere. Paramount (while they were still releasing on Blu) and Warner match regionless HD-DVDs with regionless Blus across the board.