Netflix falls in behind Blu-ray
Will discontinue HD DVD
Online video rental outfit Netflix has raised its colours in the Blu-ray camp by announcing it will stop buying new HD DVD discs and phase out existing stock by "about the end of the year".
According to Reuters, Netflix has stocked both hi-def formats since they joined battle back in 2006, but says that recent announcements by major studios that they would only publish on Sony's Blu-ray represents "a clear signal from the industry".
Blu-ray now boasts support from Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM, Sony and Warner, while solely Universal and Paramount continue to release exclusively to HD DVD - "for now", as Sony's Blu-ray site puts it.
As well as limited studio support, HD DVD has suffered some serious body blows recently, including Woolworths' announcement earlier this month it would also stock exclusively Blu-ray.
Once again, the point was missed
It's not about installed user base! It's not about how many disks per head are bought. For goodness sake.
It is about how many disks are bought in total!! Whether they be by one person or one million. Tim, you really are misrepresenting the figures as much as you possibly can entirely to try to prove a point.
And to be honest, sounding very much like someone from the HD-DVD consortium press office a few months back before the wheels fell of the waggon!
You lost - get over it. You bet early and came away a loser after choosing the wrong side. Coming up with lame arguments and throwing a tantrum is not going to change the fact that HD-DVD IS DEAD!
Sorry you threw your money away on a player that will only be suitable for upscaling DVDs in the near future, but if you buy early you take your chances. There is nothing baseless about Sony's claims, the consumer HAS chosen. Just because you individually did not choose it doesn't mean that everyone else would have chosen HD-DVD given the choice or if they had spoken to you first as you would have pointed them in the right direction. Everybody did have a choice, Toshiba have been falling over themselves to lose money on each player to get them into peoples homes, and hardly anybody wants them.
Netflix has other problems
This is partly a case of the whole 'BluRay winning' argument, but also the anecdotal data I hear from all my Netflix-subscribing US friends is that HD-DVD just isn't that durable in a rental situation, and the number of scratched discs they get is significantly higher than either SD DVD or BluRay.
Constantly having to replace discs for that would be pissing Netflix off no end.
Blu-Ray has nastier DRM
"DRM in both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is damn near identical, and damn near pointless from the point of view of video enthusiasts since it's been broken on both, so the point is rather moot."
Now that's just plain wrong. Blu-Ray has BD+, a VM that allows content providers to include custom decryption code with the ability to read and modify the player's memory. The intention is that it can poke around in the player's internal data structures - which are on file with the BD+ licensing group - in order to check that it's a genuine, unmodified player of the model it claims to be before it decrypts the data. (Can anyone say "hardware compatibility issues"?). A secondary intention is to give them a way of running arbitrary native code, which means that if there is a Blu-Ray version of the Sony rootkit, holding down Shift won't stop it running - in fact, you won't be able to.
As far as I'm aware, Blu-Ray hasn't been broken yet, and in fact it'll probably be damn near impossible to break it outright (as opposed to one title at a time) short of a 100% faithful (and entirely illegal) emulation of a hardware player.
Re: WMV urgh (and other things)
You realise VC-1 is a mandatory part of Blu-Ray and that's based on WMV? ;)
Anyway, as for the technical points.
Capacity - none issue.
a. HD DVD has 51gb now. Doesn't need it anyway...
b. Blu-Ray 50Gb releases appears as 2x30gb on HD DVD.
c. Blu-Ray wastes a third of disc space on uncompress PCM tracks when it could use Dolby TrueHD (also lossless) or DTS-HD MA (again lossless).
d. Same releases on Blu-Ray and HD DVD are identical encodes, although HD DVD also manages to squeeze on interactive features.
Bitrate - none issue
Encodes on both are the same and the extra bitrate Blu-Ray affords is not required.
DRM - identical?
Yes and no.
Both have the same DRM, but Blu-Ray adds extra options to allow studios to turn off things like Mandatory Managed Copy. This destroys any hope of using Windows Media Centre or other third party Media Centre systems, or even Linux, to network your home media with HD movies.
"It is about the amount of media sold. Not players, not technical superiority, but disks. There could be one million cheap shit HD-DVD players in the world and 10 £1000 BR players, but if those 10 BR owners buy 1 million disks a month and the million HD-DVD owners only 100,000 disks, BR wins."
In that case, Blu-Ray should actually lose, because statistics are showing that PS3 owners are individually buying far less Blu-Ray discs than HD DVD owners.
The situation is in fact entirely the opposite to your example. There are millions of PS3 players to the hundreds of thousands of HD DVD players, but the latter sells more discs per player. Just that there are so many PS3s players it's skewed the figures 60/40 in favour of Blu-Ray, hence the baseless claims by Sony that "the consumer has chosen!"