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Old 01-16-2008, 02:09 AM   #21
doctorD doctorD is offline
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Hi Bill,

I really enjoy reading your "My Two Cents" postings especially today's entry. One thing that surprises me is why so many Journalists will print stuff from some of the HD DVD supports without checking out the credibility. It really seems to happen a lot. I know that trashy news of late gets more attention but some of the stuff that some news/blogs/etc. post is unreal.

In the case of the format war, can you share your thoughts on why a lot of mis-information has been getting posted like it has? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:11 AM   #22
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperdine View Post
So for my question...

A few weeks back, you posted that you had witnessed something special. You said it was one of those rare moments (or something like that). However, you couldn't divulge what it was. It sounded like something pretty extraordinary, like you had seen an early screening of the original theatrical version of Star Wars on Blu-Ray or something of that magnitude Are you any closer to being able to drop any hints as to what it was that you saw?
How I wish I could say! It was a very cool experience, and you guys will ALL get to experience it for yourselves eventually, rest assured. It wasn't Star Wars, but I can't say anything more than that. As soon as the proper folks tell me that it can be discussed, I'll discuss it. Mum's the word til then.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:13 AM   #23
Blu-Raider Blu-Raider is offline
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Thanks for the opportunity, Bill.

VHS lasted what seemed an eternity and DVD had a fairly good run. As technology advances at an ever increasing rate, what do you see the lifespan of the Blu-ray format to be?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:14 AM   #24
hyperdine hyperdine is offline
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Awesome! Thanks, Bill!!!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:16 AM   #25
turboedguy turboedguy is offline
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Oh, Snap!

This Forum just keeps getting better!

Right on Bill, Welcome!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:18 AM   #26
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elder View Post
I just wanted to say that I've been a big fan of the Bits for ages now, and have always enjoyed your Two Cents.

I completely understand where Toshiba is coming from, from a business perspective, but what annoys me is that Universal and Paramount would actually continue to partake in the HD DVD bandwagon at this stage in the game. The truth of the matter is that there will be people buying these cheap HD DVD players unaware of the fact that HD DVD is going down the drain. It's disheartening to know that there could be so many people getting the shaft. If Paramount and/or Universal were to make a stand within the next couple of weeks, to a month, they could speed up the process and prevent customers from making a grave mistake.

I know retailers are going to want to remove excess HD DVD players, but at the customer's expense and that's unfortunate. What is your take on this situation? Would a studio put consumers first, realistically? Do they see how many people could potentially get ripped off or is the payout to stay onboard far greater than any 'caring?' I know business is business, but by the same token they have to realize that over a hundred thousand people in North America could be throwing away their money instead of investing in a player that would eventually need movies, movies these studios make. I also understand the market is incredibly small right now, but I'm just curious to hear your thoughts on this given your position.

Thanks in advance.

Boy, that's a complicated question. Ideally, studios and CE companies WOULD put their consumers first, but the format war has changed things a little, at least temporarily. Regardless, I suspect all this will sort itself out by the end of the year. Some consumers are going to have made the wrong choice, but that is what can happen when you buy any new technology - particularly when there's a format war. However, I strongly suspect that the retailers are going to be cautioning their customers very carefully about purchasing an HD-DVD player going forward, even with the promotions and slashed prices. Retailers don't want to risk misleading or upsetting their customers by steering them wrong. So regardless of what the remaining studios and CE companies in the HD-DVD camp decide to do, I think retailers hold the final hand. And that should give you a pretty good idea of how this is likely to play out over the next few months or so.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:23 AM   #27
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Thanks Bill. I've felt the same way about the situation, but was curious to see what your take was. I can only hope at least one studio decides to do something in the near future so the average joe doesn't just look at the price tag before jumping into a format they know nothing about.

Cheers.

-Elder
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:23 AM   #28
TauHeel05 TauHeel05 is offline
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I'm glad to see Bill Hunt on the boards. Looking forward to hearing some great news!

Thanks Bill.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:25 AM   #29
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboLAZER View Post
hi bill,

i read your first post on this forum about the Master and Commander delay aswell as your response to the question as to why you have suddenly started to post on this forum. aside from the possible debates you might get into, i get the feeling there might be others reasons you decided to post here. so the question is, why now?
Not really, except that I believe the real debate about this format war is now over. Now that Warner has made their choice, it's hard to see any logic in this thing continuing much longer. So I'm less likely to get embroiled in endless debates now than before. Not that I really have a problem with it, but it's just too time consuming. If I got into a discussion with everyone that probably wanted to debate me on this format war, I'd be doing nothing else for the rest of my days! Plus, there are a select few in the HD-DVD camp that would love nothing more than to garner attention by drawing me into an endless debate, and I'm not going to give them the satisfaction.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:26 AM   #30
mtmw1863 mtmw1863 is offline
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Hi Bill, I want to also welcome you and thank you for your time. Warner Brothers decision to go Blu-ray exclusive is, in all liklihood, part of the endgame for the format war. I have only one concern. The continued resistence of Toshiba/Paramount/Universal has caused confusion in the marketplace in the past. This has probably prevented the adoption of High-Def on a much larger scale. If the resistence continues, what do tyou think the window of opportunity is before the public at large decides to pass on both formats?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:29 AM   #31
gand41f gand41f is offline
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Wow, Bill Hunt is here? (pinches cheek to make sure I'm not dreaming) I can't believe it! I'm a big fan of yours, I'm so glad you are here to share your insight.

Now, to make sure I have a question in here (not that I don't have hundreds, but let me start with one ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hunt View Post
You have to remember that these companies all have to continue doing business with one another. Nobody really wants to burn bridges.
I've been wondering about this. Doesn't this go both ways -- I mean, hasn't Toshiba caused enough trouble to the retailers? Instead of gracefully bowing out and letting the HDM market flourish, they are now trying to:
  • Delay the inevitable for few more months (more delay = slower HDM adoption = less revenue for retailers)
  • Trying to push more stock through these retailers, resulting in potentially more angry customers when the bottom eventually falls out
  • Emphasizing the "upconversion is good enough" mantra, damaging both HDM and HDTV/high-def audio sales
I'm sure there are more, but you get my drift.

I'm interesting in your take on this.

thanks
gandalf
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:30 AM   #32
Marcusarilius Marcusarilius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hunt View Post
Because it flies in the face of their own preferences. It's hard for some people - particularly the most avid enthusiasts - to believe that anyone can possibly make a different choice than they have, without having been paid to do so. Payoffs are the easiest explaination and so that's what they chose to accept. When people simply chose to believe in something, logic isn't likely to convince them otherwise. I don't know how many times HD-DVD fans have accused us of taking pay-offs for backing Blu-ray, despite the fact that we've been arguing that Blu-ray seemed to have the logical advantage in the format war since well before either of these formats even launched.

Besides, pay-offs DO happen. Just look at what Paramount and DreamWorks did last year. Anyone who doesn't think that such things happen all the time is a little naive. This is business, and it's about making money. Backroom deals get made all the time. You can call such things pay-offs, or marketing incentives, or project investment capital or what have you. Such is life.
Nice to hear you use the word "us" Bill. Such an honor to have you here. Is Toshiba and/or Microsoft trying to keep Universal and Paramount under their thumb to string this out until Toshiba is ready to dump them... under the bus as it were for their own business and remaining profits in HD DVD until there is nothing left?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:31 AM   #33
Banjo Banjo is offline
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I know you wouldn't be able to wield any power over the studios. Though you do have an influence within the home video industry. There's no denying that as I have read your website for years. So here goes...

I recently wrote a post to a Blu-ray insider, you can check it here...
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.p...13&postcount=3

Since there are no well-known deaf journalists, writers, etc among the industry for DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD, it is a rarity to come across an article concerning the lack of subtitles on special features and PIP experiences for the deaf. I cannot recall reading any articles that discuss such a topic at all. Not in the past 10 years of DVD's existence. On the DVD, the majority of studios don't subtitle the special features. Fox, Sony and Warner Bros. are the worst offenders. Don't even get me started on Lionsgate, they don't even use SDH, instead they use English subtitles. Yes, there is a difference. However I must point out that Warner Bros. recently started subtitling SOME of their DVD and Blu-ray releases, but not on all releases as far I can see.

If you read the post from the link I provided, then you may get the idea of what I'm getting at. It is an issue that is still being dragged on for the past 10 years. Now, we did start to see some improvements in the recent years including releases from Disney, Universal and such. So far, Paramount, DreamWorks and New Line Cinema have good record tracks on subtitling the special features.

Myself, I want to see the audio commentaries, visual commentaries, PIP experiences and all special features subtitled for the deaf and hard of hearing. So, what I would like to see is more awareness of the issue being spread across the internet rather than just a forum. I am a blogger, but I don't get as many hits as the popular websites. So it's somewhere difficult for me to spread the message on the importance of making both DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing.

So, all I want to see is more people acknowledging these issues rather than not talking about it at all since they aren't affected by it. Maybe for once, Hollywood will listen. That's all I have to say for now.

Sorry for rambling on. I tend to do that sometimes. :-)
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:32 AM   #34
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAlden View Post
Penton-Man did mention today that Bestbuy could be going blu-ray only, care to comment on that! This move could totally destory toshiba and allowing Paramount and Universal to make there move. And there could be A Remix of The Downfall of HD-DVD on youtube, but with bestbuy in the subtitles.
Yeah, I think this is likely to happen. I strongly suspect these sales and promotions of HD-DVD hardware are about helping Toshiba save face, and helping the big name retailers (like Best Buy) clear out their inventory. Nearly every retail rep I've spoken with so far tells me, at least off the record, that they feel this thing is probably done and thank goodness for it. Retailers want this format war to be over even more than most of us do. My own anecdotal experiences with employees at local Best Buy stores only reinforce this impression. I don't imagine a lot of these players and discs are going to get restocked. Maybe a little at first, but I'm guessing you're going to see the HD-DVD sections at your local retailers get smaller and smaller as the year goes on. Come 3rd quarter and beyond, they're going to be all promoting Blu with a very clear sales message going into the holidays.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:35 AM   #35
kapitalisten kapitalisten is offline
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Hi Bill,

(Sorry mods, not a question, just a little token of appreciation for all the hard work - if necessary, just delete this post)

like the others have said, I also very much enjoy reading your "My Two Cents...". They just seems so much more consistent and balanced than much else of the reporting out there. You seem to very much know your "metier". Keep up the very good work, it is refreshing to read such a well-written column.

Last edited by kapitalisten; 01-16-2008 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Wrong title
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:39 AM   #36
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorD View Post
Hi Bill,

I really enjoy reading your "My Two Cents" postings especially today's entry. One thing that surprises me is why so many Journalists will print stuff from some of the HD DVD supports without checking out the credibility. It really seems to happen a lot. I know that trashy news of late gets more attention but some of the stuff that some news/blogs/etc. post is unreal.

In the case of the format war, can you share your thoughts on why a lot of mis-information has been getting posted like it has? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!
I can't speak for other sites or journalists. I tend to trust those I've known for a long time, with a history of getting it right. We've been covering the home video industry for more than ten years now. The guys who I've known that have been around (with us) since the beginning of DVD are getting it right - not just online but the print and industry trade press as well. Some of the newcomers online, not so much. The way the Internet works these days, anyone can post a blog and have an opinion. That's fine, but it's hard for the average reader to sort the good from the bad. Plus, seemingly everyone on a forum now likes to talk about having "sources." And the fact is, there are paid representatives on both sides in this format war that have been taking advantage of the discussion groups to stir up FUD and get enthusiasts to fight their battles for them. It's sad, but true. But in the end, if a site or journalist has a history of getting it right over the long haul, those are the ones to trust in my opinion. Even if you disagree with some of what they say - there's nothing wrong with that. But experience is what usually counts.

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 02:50 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:41 AM   #37
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu-Raider View Post
Thanks for the opportunity, Bill.

VHS lasted what seemed an eternity and DVD had a fairly good run. As technology advances at an ever increasing rate, what do you see the lifespan of the Blu-ray format to be?
I could see it viable for 10 or 15 years. Maybe longer. It depends on how quickly it takes off, and how quickly people embrace downloading. I think the latter is going to take some time to really make a dent in consumer video habits, so there's a window there where packaged media can still really have an impact. But most people still have music CDs in their collections, what 30 years later? So you never know.

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 03:12 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:43 AM   #38
Blu-Raider Blu-Raider is offline
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Not to clutter the thread, but thanks for your response.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:43 AM   #39
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtmw1863 View Post
Hi Bill, I want to also welcome you and thank you for your time. Warner Brothers decision to go Blu-ray exclusive is, in all liklihood, part of the endgame for the format war. I have only one concern. The continued resistence of Toshiba/Paramount/Universal has caused confusion in the marketplace in the past. This has probably prevented the adoption of High-Def on a much larger scale. If the resistence continues, what do tyou think the window of opportunity is before the public at large decides to pass on both formats?
I think one way or another, the window of consumer patience with this format war probably closes at the end of the year. But see my other posts here - retailers know this and I suspect they're going to do their best to ensure that the confusion doesn't continue much past mid year, now that Warner has weighed in.

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 03:13 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:45 AM   #40
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gand41f View Post
I've been wondering about this. Doesn't this go both ways -- I mean, hasn't Toshiba caused enough trouble to the retailers? Instead of gracefully bowing out and letting the HDM market flourish, they are now trying to:
  • Delay the inevitable for few more months (more delay = slower HDM adoption = less revenue for retailers)
  • Trying to push more stock through these retailers, resulting in potentially more angry customers when the bottom eventually falls out
  • Emphasizing the "upconversion is good enough" mantra, damaging both HDM and HDTV/high-def audio sales
I'm sure there are more, but you get my drift.

I'm interesting in your take on this.
I suspect things will become clearer as the year goes on.
 
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