Everyone (and their grandma) is predicting a demise for Blu-ray and hence Sony and even the Playstation 3. It’s been just over two months since Blu-ray’s premiere and these “format” wars are not decided in a day. If wars were decided in a day (or a month), Hitler would’ve taken both Russia and the UK (extrapolating his early successes).
HD DVD experienced a surge around Christmas when studios supporting it released more titles than the Blu-ray camp. The situation has changed a bit. While Universal is silent about upcoming HD DVD titles, the Blu-ray camp churns new titles.
Looking at the release lists, Blu-ray studios are going to release MORE movies in February than HD DVD released in 2006. I’m not eager to announce them winners just yet. These guys should’ve settled their difference a long time ago anyway. Sometimes it’s the consumer who’s the best judge of a format but the HD media doesn’t come particularly cheap as to allow open experimentation.
Or is it? The North American HD DVD Promotional Group took advantage of CES to get out the following:
As of January 5th, the group estimates there were more than 175,000 HD DVD players sold in America, with an annualized attach rate of 28 movies per player. The group projects sales will reach 2.5 million players by the end of this year and more than $600 million worth of movie revenues. HD DVD buyers can look forward to more HDi enhanced titles, now featuring internet features that were demoed at the event, as well as more players hitting the market from manufacturers like Lite-On, Alco, Alpine, Meridian and Onkyo. Look for the trend of combo releases to continue, as the format’s backers see it as a viable way of introducing current DVD owners to the format and building a library prior to upgrading.
Numbers usually don’t lie. And the numbers here (at least in terms of players) are very much skewed in favor of the Blu-ray camp. The reason? One million Playstation 3 have been purchased and I bet this is just the beginning.
Blu-Ray is piggy-backing on Playstation 3 recent launch.
So far HD DVD leads the way with 130 titles released. Blu-ray is closely behind with 116. The titles to be released any moment are:
The Architect (Magnolia)
Bulletproof Monk (Fox)
A Christmas Story (Warner)
Flight of the Phoenix (Fox)
From Hell (Fox)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Warner)
Rising Sun (Fox)
I’m a big SONY fan so I hope Blu-ray doesn’t turn out to be the new Beta Max.
It usually takes a while for some industries to warm up to new distribution methods. It comes as no surprise that Hollywood has finally realized that “if you can’t beat them, join them” holds true.
Warner Brothers sat on the negotiating table – opposite of Bram Cohen, who created BitTorrent. It’s certainly ironic that that bittorent was credited as being the single most important vehicle for pirated movies to go around the globe in hours, if not minutes. BW says:
Under the deal, announced May 9, Warner Brothers will distribute and sell over 200 Warner Brothers movies and TV programs through the file-sharing program BitTorrent. Titles range from new movie releases Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to hoary TV chestnuts like Dukes of Hazzard and Babylon 5. While final pricing and timing is yet to be decided, the programs are expected to go on sale this summer, and TV shows could cost as little as $1 per download. BitTorrent “has such a huge audience that we frankly need to convert over to legitimate buyers of our products. We felt we have to do things like this…so that consumers [have] the ability to buy and use our products the way they want to,” says Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
The genie is out of the bottle, if you ask me. With so many alternative torrent clients and a myriad of trackers, I doubt a lot of people will choose the paid version of a program. It will all come down to ease of use, quality, and naturally, price (DRM could be a big part of the equation too).
You’ve all heard of Bittorrent which is by far the most popular tool for downloading (il)legal content online. The programmer behind it, Bram “Stoker” Cohen, just struck a deal with the MPAA, effectively refusing all links to illegal content.
OH MY GOD! Can he do this? Of cours, he can. He’s the programmer that wrote Bittorent (and gave us everything we’ve came to associate with it, like Miss Canada).
Would that have any impact on torrent users downloading illegal content? No way. There are many torrent clients now. I recently reviewed µTorrent – a lightweight torrent client. There are thousands of torrent trackers too…
Another blogger likened this to Bram Cohen going to the MPAA and selling them the Brooklyn bridge. Hope they paid him a pretty penny because I never donated to Bittorent and I feel guilty as hell.
If you’ve into HD video production and have been hanging at DVX forums, you’re probably sick of all the speculation about Panasonic new HD cam, the HVX200. Btw, I finally got the specs – check out this review of Panasonic HVX200.
Back to the forum wars… Panasonic got sick too (I guess) as there are even formal protest issued from posters about the lack of information about the new camera. So they launched a new blog site: defperception.com.
A bit of background: the camera sports a new standard, DVCPRO HD, which is NOT compatible with HDV. So you’ll need not only a camera but also a deck and most probably an add-on for your favorite editing program (Avid, right!). Unlike HDV, DVCPRO HD is frame independent (i.e. no interframe compression) and it also supports a 4:2:2 color space. HDV is 25Mbps while DVCPRO HD’s stream is 100Mbps.
The camera records its signal to tiny P2 cards which only hold about 4-10 minutes of video (4GB and 8GB versions will be available). The plan is to add support for Firewire drives but Panasonic insists P2 cards are superior. If one shoots 10-second takes and money is no object, I guess they are right.
The small capacity of the P2 cards undermines one of the advantages of utilizing a video production’s flow: almost limitless running time. If you have to change something every 10 minutes, you’re straight back to a conventional film production. Someone always ends up carrying the reels around.
There’s probably a lot more info coming along so you might want to subscribe to the feed. I did.