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Old 01-16-2008, 12:08 AM   #1
iceman iceman is offline
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Default Ask questions to The Digital Bits team (Bill Hunt, Jeff Kleist et.al.)

This thread is dedicated to asking questions of industry insiders Bill Hunt and Jeff Kleist (The Digital Bits) who has graciously taken the time to participate here. The Digital Bits team and all our insiders do this out of their free time and to try to keep us informed to their best abilities, and therefore are to be treated with respect and courtesy.

Before asking a question, please skim at least the last weeks worth of posts in order to make sure that the question hasn't already been asked or answered. Using the search function is also always a good idea. Please conduct your inquiries in a professional manner and avoid asking "chicken little" questions or asking when unannounced titles will come out, or if the studios have any plans for those titles.

Bill Hunt - The Digital Bits - Track posts
Jeff Kleist - The Digital Bits - Track posts

Last edited by Iceman; 09-26-2008 at 06:43 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:25 AM   #2
PaulGo PaulGo is offline
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Welcome! I have been reading your column for a couple of months and I really enjoy it! I am sure Amir (now retired from Microsoft) is also an avid reader, (or lurker, as he is of this forum).

So the 64 thousand dollar question is why is Toshiba doing this? Do they just want to liquidate their inventory or are they being a sore loser and wanting to destroy HDM. How is this going to end?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:32 AM   #3
crackinhedz crackinhedz is offline
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Never heard of 'Digital Bits' until joining this forum.

THANK YOU.

For once I could read through an entire article from any website and not lose respect for the author before finishing the first sentence! I respect your work Bill, you bring common sense and logic to where it is greatly needed. Keep up the great work.

 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:38 AM   #4
GarettP GarettP is offline
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Why is it that the HD-DVD camp cannot accept the fact that there may have been no payoff in the Warner decision? Why cannot they not see that it was the obvious, smart business decision?

Oh yeah and welcome to the forums, its good to have you here at bluray.com!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:39 AM   #5
blckshp blckshp is offline
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Default Welcome Bill

I've followed your website since the early DVD days and appreciate the work and info that you have contributed to the Home Entertainment Industry. Welcome!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:39 AM   #6
Rob Zuber Rob Zuber is offline
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Been reading the Bits for many years and I've loved it.

My impression is that there is a hell of a lot of anti-Blu-ray bias in the mainstream press. Do you agree and why do you think this is?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:44 AM   #7
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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First, thanks to all of you. I will endeavor to check in here every couple of days to answer questions as I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post
Welcome! I have been reading your column for a couple of months and I really enjoy it! I am sure Amir (now retired from Microsoft) is also an avid reader, (or lurker, as he is of this forum).

So the 64 thousand dollar question is why is Toshiba doing this? Do they just want to liquidate their inventory or are they being a sore loser and wanting to destroy HDM. How is this going to end?
I think they want to save face by putting on a brave face, to create the best potential bargining position with the Blu-ray camp that they can (if the BDA should prove willing), and I think they also want to sell as many players as they can before its all over and done with. Toshiba has lost a lot of money, so I think they're trying to find the best way out of this mess that they can. But it's over. I don't know anyone in this industry that seriously thinks Toshiba can keep HD-DVD going for much longer in the face of 70% home video/studio domination for Blu-ray. The hardware and software sales numbers for these two formats over the next few months are going to make it abundantly clear to all this this format war is effectively over. Retailers are eager to get HD-DVD off their shelves by mid-year so they can focus on Blu-ray for the holiday season 2008, regardless of any statements they may be making in public right now to help Toshiba bow out gracefully. You have to remember that these companies all have to continue doing business with one another. Nobody really wants to burn bridges.

But let's put it this way - when the Economist is calling you the new Betamax, you're probably the new Betamax. See this link:

http://www.economist.com/business/di...ry_id=10498648

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 02:02 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:45 AM   #8
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackinhedz View Post
Never heard of 'Digital Bits' until joining this forum.

THANK YOU.

For once I could read through an entire article from any website and not lose respect for the author before finishing the first sentence! I respect your work Bill, you bring common sense and logic to where it is greatly needed. Keep up the great work.

Thank you! Very kind words and we appreciate them.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:46 AM   #9
phansson phansson is offline
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Thanks Bill for your participation.

Also subscribing.....
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:49 AM   #10
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarettP View Post
Why is it that the HD-DVD camp cannot accept the fact that there may have been no payoff in the Warner decision? Why cannot they not see that it was the obvious, smart business decision?
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.

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 01:57 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 01:59 AM   #11
sj001 sj001 is offline
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Bill, any word if Warner will be releasing anymore NEW titles to HD-DVD, or if they are just going to fulfill there commitments to just existing titles?

I already welcomed you to the forums in my other post that didn't get carried over, but, welcome again!

Last edited by sj001; 01-16-2008 at 02:02 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:01 AM   #12
JasonS JasonS is offline
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Bill, welcome to Blu-ray.com! Glad to have you aboard; I've been a long time read of The Digital Bits in regards to this format war and I think you're one of the few people who have been spot on with the analysis and "inside info."

My question: You stated that Toshiba looked to be bringing more suitcases of cash to Universal and Paramount to not go Blu-ray exclusive. Have they already accepted the new bribes, or are they still thinking of jumping ship soon (ie. within a month) or are they both content to just wait this one out with Toshiba until the ship sinks? It seems that if they truly wanted to "support" HD DVD they would have more releases announced right now instead of 4 combined for both studios through May.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:01 AM   #13
hyperdine hyperdine is offline
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Wow. No way. Bill Hunt will be stopping by? This is great! I'm a big fan.

I've been reading thedigitalbits for about 8 years or so. I'll never forget the in-depth coverage they did on upcoming DVD's like "The Abyss". Anyone else remember that?

Just a comment and then a question

Bill, you were right about Divx, you were right about Anamorphic Widescreen, you were right about Blu-Ray...if people would just listen to you more often, they could save themselves a lot of time, money, and heartache You've been a champion for the consumer and avid film-lovers the world over. Thank you for being a voice of reason all these years!

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?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:02 AM   #14
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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.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:03 AM   #15
turboLAZER turboLAZER is offline
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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?
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:04 AM   #16
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sj001 View Post
Bill, any word if Warner will be releasing anymore NEW titles to HD-DVD, or if they are just going to fulfill there commitments to just existing titles?

I already welcomed you to the forums in my other post that didn't get carried over, but, welcome again!
There will be some new ones. I suspect they'll only release the catalog titles they'd already planned to on HD-DVD, but new release titles will likely be available on both high-def formats until the end of May. At least that's what I'm hearing so far.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:06 AM   #17
thebluemax thebluemax is offline
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Bill Hunt: Welcome!

I have been reading the Digital Bits for years, and I'm a huge fan and love your columns. Any further posts will be in the manner of a question.

Thanks Much

RME MD
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:06 AM   #18
JohnAlden JohnAlden is offline
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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.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:08 AM   #19
JadedRaverLA JadedRaverLA is offline
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No question (sorry mods)...

Just wanted to say that it great to have you posting over here, Bill. I've been a fan of the Bits since the 90's, and your comments on the current format war have been spot on. Welcome to the board.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:08 AM   #20
Bill Hunt Bill Hunt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonS View Post
Bill, welcome to Blu-ray.com! Glad to have you aboard; I've been a long time read of The Digital Bits in regards to this format war and I think you're one of the few people who have been spot on with the analysis and "inside info."

My question: You stated that Toshiba looked to be bringing more suitcases of cash to Universal and Paramount to not go Blu-ray exclusive. Have they already accepted the new bribes, or are they still thinking of jumping ship soon (ie. within a month) or are they both content to just wait this one out with Toshiba until the ship sinks? It seems that if they truly wanted to "support" HD DVD they would have more releases announced right now instead of 4 combined for both studios through May.
I would simply say, you'll have to wait and see. Much is happening behind the scenes on both sides. I don't want to say much more than that on this subject at the moment.

Last edited by Bill Hunt; 01-16-2008 at 03:08 AM.
 
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