"LOS ANGELES - Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will offer next-generation DVDs in the HD DVD format and drop support for Blu-ray, further complicating the race between the competing technologies."
"Is that promotion still going for those units (I thought it ended on 7/31, but maybe they extended it)? "
From the little sheet of paper I got at Best Buy:
"purchased between 3-1-07 and 9-30-07"
The Costco Player is on the list (HD-D2, I think they also had the A1 as well, not sure of the difference - I think it might be a store model number thing and not an actual difference with the unit itself - the specs/unit were identical & both qualify for the 5 free flicks)
As for the HD DVD/Bluray battle - I agree that all things being even price is going to be how the battle is won. If HD DVD players are at the sub $200 price point this Christmas I imagine a bunch of people are going to say, "what the hell, for $200 bucks I can give this a shot." - pretty much like people did with DVD.
"Interesting to note that the website below states that the HD-DVD camp has paid $150 million in "promotional considerations" to Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks"
An OFFICIAL statement from Microsoft:
That looks more like a statement from a guy who works at MS rather than an official statement. There are thousands of people who work at MS, yet they don't officially speak for MS. Furthermore, I don't know who this guy is, so I have no idea if he would know exactly what the deal is. After all, not even the video team at Paramount knew anything until the announcement. I'm not saying he's wrong or that he's lying, just that I have no information by which to judge whether or not to consider this valid.
"An OFFICIAL statement from Microsoft:" this is no official statement but an opinion being offered. If this was an official statement, it would be posted at the MS official site and at most major Internet news site. Plus Kevin failed to point out that iHD is a MS product and supporting HD DVD by supporting iHD is a smoke and mirror statement. The fact is because BR used Java, this created the stress between the MS and Sony & partners.
Paramount has decline comment on the contract, but they did not state that there were no money changing hands, because in the US, if Paramount received sizable monies for signing and publicly stated it did not, every shareholder could sue the management for fraud, plus the SEC rules clearly states public announcements are legally accountable to them as well as all shareholders. This applies to MS news releases as well.
Most these corps will be filing U.S. sec documents for the 3qtr in a couple of months, contractual payments or cash will be reported. Secret agreements can exist, but the cash must be reported, tho it can be relabeled many different ways,(not to difficult to figure out). ------- I suspect that MS is guaranteeing volume sales based on retail HD DVD players on the shelve vs. a large lump of cash, or a combination of both over a two year period.
But even if MS paid the studios up to 3Billion and MS shareholders were OK with it, It would still be just business ----- interesting tho that MS is buying "partners" ,(regardless of Kevin claims), instead of the "partners" wanting to use their technology because it is a MS product.
As for BR, Java and MS, I don't have a link (but I'm not the one who mentioned it), but it sure seems likely to me. MS hates Java and hasn't included it or supported it for a long time now. It sounds completely reasonable that they'd balk at supporting BR if Sony insisted on using Java and not Active X.
'How much are the HD-DVD burners & Media?"
The burners are no out yet... the media is and it's a few bucks cheaper than blu ray. But the point I'm trying to make here is that authoring with HD DVD is fast, easy, and cheap. 3x dvd (hi def data on normal dvd media) is an official part of the HD DVD spec, which means that it will always be an option even after the burners come out. You can get up to 40 minutes of hi def on a DL dvd and you can do it without the need for expensive authoring tools. This is not so with BD... even WITH the burners being out. You can burn a BDAV at a reasonable cost only, But you can't burn a BDMV (a fully authored disk) at a reasonable price... the software is a little expensive. I know people that are already making money on HD DVD, and because of 3xdvd it's NOT costing them an arm/leg.
But it is also the hi def media that makes more sense for guys like us. A HD DVD is 15 gig and its cheaper. A BD is 25 gig and it's more expensive. I for one very rarely ever do more than an hour on any one disk. An hour easily fits on a HD DVD, and I get it at a cheaper price.
All things considered, HD DVD is just simply a better, more efficient means for people in our field, and that's the only reason I support it. BD is not.... but if it was... you can be pretty sure that I would be supporting BD instead. As I have said many times before, I couldn't care less about the Hollywood movie viewing aspects of these 2 formats... they're both just as good. It's the burning/authoring that I care about... and HD DVD is the LOGICAL (not emotional) choice for that.
In the very very very short term HD-DVD *might* be better for production folks. But I don't believe that in the long run it will be. At the moment there might be some things it can do that are a little easier or cheaper, but if you think it's Sony's intention to keep it that way you're crazy. And once it IS cheap and easy to do BR, then BR will be much better, because of the larger storage size. An hour might be fine for you, but it's not fine for feature work.
Plus, with BR players still outselling HD players (including the game systems for both), going HD-DVD limits your user base more than BR would.
"but if you think it's Sony's intention to keep it that way you're crazy."
Sony has had PLENTY of time to show us what they have had in store for our uses.... and it hasn't happened yet. Sony SHOULD have been on the ball and taken advantage of the fact that HD DVD burners are not out yet.... they haven't. As it stands now, it's just plain easier, better, and cheaper to go HD DVD. Of course I'm going to be pretty pissed off at HD DVD if they don't get their burners out SOON, (I was told sometime this Fall) but it still doesn't take from the fact that blu ray burning is STILL so expensive from BOTH a hardware AND software point of view that it's not worth it. What's more is that I don't see it getting cheaper from a software point of view (I'm sure you already know of my opinion towards the concept and possibility of Sony pulling off a double licensing scheme for BDMV and BDAV burning)
So no... I don't see Sony getting any better any time soon.
As for burning sizes... I'm reasonably sure that if you took a poll amongst video editors on this site, you would find 15gig to be reasonable enough.
As I have said before... anything is possible. The future is a vast unopened book so there is no point trying to second guess. All you can do is deal with the present... and at present HD DVD works well and it's cheap. BD on the other hand is still up in the air.
Both the high capacity disks are still to expensive for me, but I prefer the BDMV format or the AVCHD format structures created on the disks, either burnt on dvd's or BD disks. Both formats put the video & audio into a mpeg2 transport stream container using the extension .m2ts. The videos are back in their native format and in it's transport stream container. This makes them playback & archiving compatible. To retrieve the videos simply copy the files from the STREAMS folder back to your harddisk. If you already had your files in the BDMV format to create a AVCHD disk is simple, just use the xxxx.m2ts video as your source and re-encode to the avchd container xxxx.m2ts
Note: Some players such as Powerdvd7 may require to rename to .m2t for individual file playback.
Here are the statictics of creating a avchd disk on single-layer dvd: Quality level varies, for distribution I find the 1280x720 mode @ 8000kbs very acceptable. AVCHD Disk
1440x1080 @ 14MBS = 40 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 @ 12MBS = 46 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 @ 10MBS = 56 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 / 1280x720 @ 9MBS = 62 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 / 1280x720 @ 8MBS = 70 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 / 1280x720 @ 7MBS = 80 Minutes Playback Time
1440x1080 / 1280x720 @ 6MBS = 93 Minutes Playback Time
Double the playback minutes for Dual-Layer DVD's
I have to agree that dvd's will be around for quite awhile, whether we choose to burn hd-dvd or avchd's. Making an avchd mini-disk is nice for short presentations.
"Both formats put the video & audio into a mpeg2 transport stream container using the extension .m2ts."
Yeah... and that's great .................. for PERSONAL use, but you can't make money like that. Clients want to see a professional-type disks with menus...etc. Now you CAN do that (BDMV) with BD but it is insanely expensive both with software and the hardware. DVDit pro is the only piece of software that I know of that will write a BDMV and you're talking $500 to purchase.... and you had better like the program because it's the only one around.... and you don't have the option of 3xDVD. I do 3xDVD with DL verbatim injet printables and they come out not only looking professionalbut playing quite professionally as well. If HD DVD dies then we lose this option and we will have no choice but to spend big bucks every time we want to create a professional looking and acting disk.
As far as AVCHD goes it's kind of a different issue. I think AVCHD is here to stay regardless of what happens in the format war. I don't think it's QUITE as good as mpeg2 yet in terms of quality and flexibility yet.... but a little more maturing time will no doubt correct that.
"Here is another article referring to the kickback that the studios got for supporting hd-dvd. "
I'm not at all sure why people are so hooked on this notion. Even if it DID happen... there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. If you think Sony doesn't do this you are sadly mistaken.... it happens ALL the time. Like I said in a post above... we just settled our union contract and on my next paycheck I will receive a "signing bonus"..... or in other words..... a payoff.
"If you think Sony doesn't do this you are sadly mistaken.... it happens ALL the time. " Please post any news links of Sony paying partners or clients to use BluRay. If you don't have any actual articles, links to rumors on HD DVD forums would be interesting reading.
"but you can't make money like that. Clients want to see a professional-type disks with menus...etc" It be interesting to see how you label your 3X DVD disks . Your comments on 3X DVD, you stated the 3X DVD length not a issue which made me think that this format would work well in product showroom displays or at conventions or other quick demanding markets-local cable for school bcs, etc..
' It be interesting to see how you label your 3X DVD disks . Your comments on 3X DVD, you stated the 3X DVD length not a issue which made me think that this format would work well in product showroom displays or at conventions or other quick demanding markets-local cable for school bcs, etc.."
Here's a simple one that I happen to have on file.
thanks for posting your images, looks like everyone was having a good time! ;-) But what I was mainly interested in was the product layout that the paying client was excited about, if you can not post any client examples because of business contract restrictions or you business policy, that's OK. Again thanks for posting the first images and thank you in advance in for the others. Note- Sony is a fairly straight corp from my - "limited" - experience with the "IC" manufacturing division.
"Note- Sony is a fairly straight corp from my - "limited" - experience with the "IC" manufacturing division."
But that's the point right there.... doesn't matter if your straight does it.... because it still comes. Microsoft could be telling the absolute truth when they say they made no payment.... but does it make a difference? People are going to believe what THEY want to believe.
Personally speaking, I think Microsoft are fairly straight shooters as well.... certainly no more crooked than any other big corporation anyway. Bill Gates, one of the co-founders is so filthy rich, he could easily buy Hawaii, turn it into a party Island, and live out the rest of his days there. Of course he hasn't done that... he and his wife instead have combined all their money with that of Warren Buffets' and they're off helping the poor people of the world with The Bill And Linda Gates Foundation.