Amazon Talks Blu-ray's Ups and Downs - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:00 PM
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Default Amazon Talks Blu-ray's Ups and Downs

Amazon Talks Blu-ray's Ups and Downs:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...and_Downs/5764
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:22 PM
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I really don't understand why so many people still feel that Blu-ray is so problematic. The pros/pluses far outweigh the cons/minues, and have for quite some time. The upgrade in both picture and sound quality, as well as true cinematic 24p film cadence have given us so much. I just wish more people would take the plunge and find out exactly what they are missing. There are way too many people that own quite nice HDTV's and yet they are too scared to "go all in" on Blu-ray and maximize the capabilities of their television.

To me, the only downside that I can see with Blu-ray is the slower load times and the fact that most discs cannot be resumed where you left off, regardless of which Blu-ray player you are using. I have a Sony BDP-S570 for my primary 3D needs on my 65" VT25, and an Oppo BDP-83 -- soon to be upgraded to the BDP-93 -- in use with my 50" VT25. Both of these players are incredibly fast and offer disc resume on more and more blu-ray's. However, the load times are still incredibly slow when compared to almost every DVD player that I ever owned. Furthermore, most discs still cannot be resumed.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love Blu-ray, as well as 3D Blu-ray -- what limited content there is -- now . I feel that a lot of the problems that many consumers experience are the result of them not being well informed, and/or hesitant/intimidated to the point that they simply never put the effort in to get the results that they are looking for. As the article pointed out, many consumers have purchased a blu-ray player and either had it die due to an interrupted firmware update, had the player respond too slowly when loading a disc, or displayed information about connecting to the internet that they didn't understand. Instead of making an attempt to educate themselves, and put more effort into it, the consumer simply gives up and loses out on all of the brilliance of blu-ray. This is in no way the fault of blu-ray itself. It is the fault of the consumer, as well as the fault of the store/telephone employee not being educated enough to make the consumer feel confident about their newly purchased system.

The bottom line is, Blu-ray is the best thing that has ever happened to the home theater market. It is the very first advance that has actually made it possible to get better picture and sound than what we can get in most theaters. Granted, it is not as simple as DVD was. However, that is becoming an excuse that carries less and less weight, especially when you consider the complexities of many smart phones and other portable devices out there.

It is a trajedy that consumers are willing to put so much time and effort into educating themselves and learning about their smartphones and other similar devices, but won't put the time and effort into doing the same for Blu-ray. Moreover, consumers are putting a lot more money into smart phones, I-Pad's and similar devices than they would ever have to put into blu-ray, but you still hear nothing but complaints about the expense of blu-ray (both the hardware itself and the films). How many people do most of us know that have spend $200 - $600 on smart phones multiple times in the last year alone? On top of the expense of purchasing a new phone every time a newer/better one comes out, how much money are they spending on apps and increased monthly expenses? Blu-ray is just as simple, if not more so, than the devices I am referring to; but for some reason, many consumers that spend hundreds of hours learning about all of the capabilities of their new smart phone/I-Pad, and spend hundreds of dollars per year on these items, are the same ones that won't put any time, effort, or money into doing the same for Blu-ray.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:13 PM
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In response to the above poster, some good points and some... not so good. The one that really stuck out is your phone vs. Blu-Ray comparison. I think most view a phone as a necessity in this day and age, while Blu-Ray is very much a luxury item.

Your comparison also assumes people already own a HDTV. While I agree Blu-Ray players and the media are finally priced to sell, HDTV's are already suffering at the hands of 3DTV's and their increased pricing and increased customer confusion. I think starting Blu-Ray (and all TV's circa-2005/2006) as a 3D medium would have been better than doing 2D Blu-Ray and 2D HDTV's for 5-years than trying to transition to 3D HDTV's and 3D Blu-Rays (of which, there are very few and those that there are tend to be brand-exclusives). I speak first hand as my current HDTV is less than 4-years old and whatever happened to a TV being a product that would last close to a decade - same can be said about DVD players as referenced in the article?

The big difference is this shift by others like yourself that a TV, Blu-Ray player (excluding PS3), etc. is no longer a appliance (like a Fridge, Dishwasher, etc. to last 10-years plus. Rather, you argue that a TV should be or is like a smartphone or iPod/iPad to be upgraded/replaced every couple years or less. Maybe this would work... but not in the current recession/economy!

The only way your analogy somewhat works is if you consider to cost breakdown to be:
Computer --> TV
Cell Phone Plan (ATT/Verizon/etc) --> Cable/Dish
Smartphone --> Blu-Ray Player
Applications/Music/Video/etc. --> Blu-Rays

And if that's the case, if someone can upgrade either one of those every year or two - it's the former that wins out, not the latter. If someone can afford to upgrade both every couple of years, then they would likely agree with your post and be in the exact same position you're currently arguing.

ETA: Also curious to know how many consumers would (or could) budget a 65" VT25 and 50" VT25, Oppo-83 and 93, and any additional hardware? I know I couldn't, but maybe I'm in the minority here at HDD but I'm certain I'm in the majority of the U.S. (and definitely the world) as a whole...

Also, most people I know only spend $200-300 on their phone once every 2-years when renewing their contract. I don't k now anyone who buys for a phone's full price ($500-600)... Keep in mind that's every 2-years, not multiple times each year. Also, they buy a new computer maybe every 3-5 years, and spend less on apps/music/rentals than on buying 2-3 Blu-Rays a month (assuming a $20/ea. price). Of course, between Blu-Rays and Video Games (or video game consoles and Blu-Ray players) the Video Games also tend to win out. I have friends who only have a HDTV for HD-cable/dish, HD-video games, and/or HD-streaming and rentals off OnDemand or Netflix etc.

I'm one of the exceptions who still purchase their media oppose using a Netflix subscription, redbox, onDemand, or any of the other dozens of options out there! Honestly, I'm impressed Blu-Ray is as popular as it is and am totally content with it currently.

Last edited by winklepr; 11-08-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:17 PM
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I really feel that VALUE is the biggest issue.

I bought The Matrix box Blu Ray set back when it first came out for around $80. I then found a special DVD set with all of the films at Target for $7.50 that same week!! As great as the extras and Video/Audio quality were, the price disparity was HUGE! Try convincing the moms of the world why they need to spend the extra $72.50 to buy that set at that time. If it had been more appropriately priced around $30 to $50, I'm sure it would have sold much better.

I love Blu Ray! I'm really saddened that there aren't more titles available, especially compared to DVD when it was 5 years old. But I refuse to pay the premium that more companies want to charge. I really feel DVD's should debut at less than $15 with Blu Ray no more than $20 for new releases. I hold off on so many purchases because I know they'll go on sale eventually.

And 3D is a HUGE mistake, I feel. It is dividing the market AGAIN, just after the end of the Blu/HDDVD war! After all the ground that Blu Ray has gained, they are diluting themselves again and further confusing the average consumer. They really should have held off until they had better Blu Ray market penetration. Not to mention that there's only just so many titles that CAN be released in 3D.

Finally, the brick & mortar retailers hold a lot of blame themselves. So many of them charge full MSRP for most of their stock. I almost refuse to even browse Target or Best Buy's Blu aisles because of this. A few "sale" items doesn't excuse gouging on the rest of the titles. The average consumer sees that the average price of Blu's are $30-$35, while DVD's are frequently $10 or less! Of course the regular HiDefDigest forum member knows where to find the deals, but we're already sold on the format! Finally, they need to have better demos in their stores. I was always offended by Best Buy's blatantly fake split screen video they would play. One half of the screen was blu-ray, while the other half was supposd to show dvd quality. The problem with the DVD quality side was that it was intentionally smeared so badly through whatever electronic process they used to create the video. I recall the shot of the ships at sea, where the call letters on the sides of the boats were smeared beyond readability! Sorry, but DVD might not be as clear, but this was intentional misdirection. The best thing to do would be to play on two different tv's, one from Blu, the other DVD, to really show the difference.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelNurseRN View Post
And 3D is a HUGE mistake, I feel. It is dividing the market AGAIN, just after the end of the Blu/HDDVD war! After all the ground that Blu Ray has gained, they are diluting themselves again and further confusing the average consumer. They really should have held off until they had better Blu Ray market penetration. Not to mention that there's only just so many titles that CAN be released in 3D.
I could not have said it any better myself! This is exactly how I feel. I agree with your other points also, but this one especially I had to quote. As for the number of titles, I think that's fine (as much as many of people's favorites have yet to come out and I understand that) as I can only afford so many and have so much time to watch them. Currently, I think every holiday season they hit a great balance (more titles than I can usually buy/watch to boot) but are unable to sustain it the other 9-months out of the year... I've heard very few complain about the number of releases this October (other than the fact they may have skinny wallets afterward or unable to afford them/go broke), but all you typically hear is of a sparse release schedule from January-September. Personally, I still have Sound of Music and Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang to watch and haven't even purchased the BttF or Aliens set yet!! Plus, throw in day-and-date new releases and I think this Holiday season, like last year's, is what every season should (and maybe will eventually) be.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:19 AM
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I also think the 3D blu-rays are a big mistake. I love blu-ray and am sold on the technology, but I have ZERO interest in buying another HDTV to watch 3D content and who was the frikkin' genius that thought people would want to wear these big glasses when they watch a movie?? Especially if they have a large family and I can easily see kids breaking these things. Once the tech gets to a point where it can provide an excellent 3D experience WITHOUT glasses, I'm sold. Until then, it's just a stupid gimmick (complete waste of money) to me that will eventually be on its way out when the tech no longer needs glasses.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:19 AM
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I think one of the biggest issues is that, regardless if the firmware is up to date or not, the movie itself should PLAY. I can understand special features not working, but MPEG2 / AVC / VC-1 encoded video with the PCM / DD / DTS and their countless high res and lossless audio formats have been around pretty much since the begining. If I have a 2 or three year old player, I should be able to get to the menu, select my settings, and play the movie. There is no technical reason why a new disc shouldn't at least play the movie on an older machine (Fox, I am looking at you). I am willing to bet that only a handful of customers out there understand firmware, and that they have to update it, and even less than that know HOW to do it.

Second is the cost. Thank you Amazon for giving us discs for about half the price of B&M stores, but everyone else needs to catch on. When a catalogue title is selling at Wal-Mart for $7.50 on DVD and the Blu-Ray is $25, with sometimes not even all the bonus features as the DVD, the customer is going to be reluctant to buy.

This is actually what drove me to buy an HD-DVD player - I picked mine up two weeks before Toshiba threw in the towel, because I saw the writing on the wall, with Netflix dumping the format. I then picked up movies for about $5 a disc. Dead format or not, the concept that I paid $7 for Sleepy Hollow versus $25 on Blu-Ray, $8 for Top Gun versus $30 (at the time), $5 for Forbidden Planet when it wasn't even released on Blu-Ray until two years later for 5 times that price, those were things that spoke to me. I picked up my Matrix trilogy on HD-DVD for $17 new!

The Blu-Ray exclusives seems to help push the market, as well as the release of favorite movies on Blu-Ray. I convinced a friend just two weeks ago to upgrade, as she is a HUGE Julie Andrews buff and the Limited Edition Boxed Set of Sound of Music just called to her. She got her movie in Thursday, and is getting her player sometime this month.

Stores also need to stop price-gouging on Cables. I know a few people who have Blu-Ray players (the sub-$150 players) hooked up via RCA, component and S-Video cables because they recycled their old DVD cables as $40 for an HDMI cable is outragious. I normally lead them to Amazon, where I pick up cables for a couple of bucks each. $40 at Best Buy for a 6 foot or $25 at Wal-mart for a 3-foot is insane!

At least the technology has been out long enough that people understand what it is, and that it is staying around. I expect to see Blu-Ray player and software sales surge the next two months!

The combo discs packs are a MUST! I only have one HDTV and one Blu-Ray player at the moment. I may pick up another Blu-Ray player to hook up to the SD TV in the back room, but I am loving the movies that include a DVD - I can watch them currently in the back room. This is a great deal - I do not have to buy two copies. Most families that i know who buy Blu-Rays will only buy combo discs - give the kids the DVDs to watch in their bedrooms. I get shocked when I see discs that are being released that still do not include a DVD. The digital copy I could care less about. I really am not going to want to watch Star Trek on my phone ulness I know I am going to be sitting in an airport or something, and, the worst part is, they EXPIRE! WTF? The movie is on the disc, its not like you have to redownload it, Why the hell does the DRM on the movie expire? Luckily, Netflix streams to my phone now, so Digital Copies are useless to me now.

The Wi-Fi and bundled services would really drive sales of players! I love Streaming Netflix, and when I show it to my friends, they all want it too. I have sold 2 people on the Roku boxes, and quite a few people on the PS3 / Wii options. You bundle this and Wi-Fi with cheap players, and you will really start to see Blu-Ray sells take off!

That is my rant!
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:22 AM
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BTW, I think 3D is really going to help push the format. However, I think disc packaging needs to be a bit clearer that the movies are compatable with 2D as well. And stop price gouging 3D material! Release movies at the same price as DVD, include a 3D copy, the 2D copy, and the DVD, and customers will start seeing their purchaces as both something they can enjoy now and something for the future - the 3D will be there if they want it.

I am not sure if 3DTVs are going to take off or not, but its practicaly the only way you can get 3D material, and should really help drive the format.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winklepr View Post
Your comparison also assumes people already own a HDTV. While I agree Blu-Ray players and the media are finally priced to sell, HDTV's are already suffering at the hands of 3DTV's and their increased pricing and increased customer confusion. I think starting Blu-Ray (and all TV's circa-2005/2006) as a 3D medium would have been better than doing 2D Blu-Ray and 2D HDTV's for 5-years than trying to transition to 3D HDTV's and 3D Blu-Rays (of which, there are very few and those that there are tend to be brand-exclusives). I speak first hand as my current HDTV is less than 4-years old and whatever happened to a TV being a product that would last close to a decade - same can be said about DVD players as referenced in the article?
You completely miss my point, and you are utterly incorrect. I could have quoted your entire post, but I thought that this paragraph was the best representation of you not getting it. The point is, people are spending a lot of time, effort, and money on other products that they simply will not spend on Blu-ray (or any other home theater gear for that matter). Most people do have HDTV's now. Let's get that point straight right away. Look up the numbers online. It is staggering. The problem is that most people that have an HDTV either think that they are automatically viewing HD content just by turning on the TV, and won't upgrade their cable/satellite service, or buy a Blu-ray player.

I'll state this part again - There are far too many people that bought a Blu-ray player and just gave up on it for one of the many reasons that I mentioned before. A lot of other posters have pointed out the reasons why they gave up on Blu-ray as well.

3D TV's are not the problem at all. 3D TV didn't make other nice HDTV's irrelevant or diminish them in any way. HD 3D TV is simply a new option for a niche market. Assuming you bought one that was at least mid end, if not high end, your four year old HDTV is still fine. A television is still something that lasts for a decade if someone wants it to. Look at the current market structure. If someone purchased a nice HDTV 5-6 years ago that was HDMI equipped -- even if it was only one HDMI input -- they can still do everything that someone can do that purchased their television last week (the exception being 3D of course). They were probably ready for a receiver upgrade already, and if they bought a receiver with multiple HDMI's they can run all of their HD equipment and still view a beautiful blu-ray picture.

I was never arguing that the majority of people budget for multiple new HDTV's or that they upgrade every year or two. I only point out my setup to make the point that even though I have the newest equipment, the loading certain discs can still be grueling. You talk about a phone as being a necessity. Well, yes a PHONE is a necessity. Does that mean that having the newest/latest/greatest/fanciest smartphone is a necessity? No it does not. I know at least 5 people that have purchased multiple new smart phones in the last year alone. I have discussed this with many colleagues, family members, and friends, and it seems like a lot of them have either done the same thing themselves, or know multiple people that have. This goes way beyond upgrading every two years when your service contract is up. There are many people that are spending over a thousand dollars a year on new smartphones alone. When you throw in the potential cost of apps, contract termination fees or other new monthly expenses, and possibly switching from one service to another and the fees that go along with that, you are talking about a lot of money.

A lot of this same people own HDTV's that they won't spend anything on. They bought one because it went along with the mindset of having the fanciest, latest and greatest. They may have purchased a Blu-ray player at some point, and a lot of them gave up on that player, rather than putting the time and effort into getting the most out of it. I was never saying that people could or should upgrade their television often. Upgrading your television has nothing to do with maximizing the capabilities of Blu-ray. The one thing that you need to take out of what I am saying is that it is a fact that there are far too many people that own an HDTV that do not also own a Blu-ray player. 3D TV has nothing to do with any of this, and is not the problem at all. Nobody needs to buy a 3D player for any reason. Non-3D TV's are here to stay. A lot of posters act like 3D TV trying to replace 2D TV, and try to say that there's some kind of format war between 3D and non-3D. This isn't the case at all. There will never be a time that non-3D TV won't absolutely dominate 3D TV in sales and overall ownership. It will never happen. Nobody is being forced, or even asked politely to upgrade to a 3D HD set. 3D sets didn't render their 2D counterparts any less useful or beneficial at all.

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it all, there is no downside to Blu-ray. If you're going to understand one aspect of my post, please let it be this. The problem with Blu-ray lies in the fact that HDTV owners are not doing what is necessary to get the most out of it. They are either simply not buying blu-ray, or not putting the time and effort into maximizing the capabilities of it once they do own it. The very same people are putting all of that time and effort into getting the most out of their newest smart phone of the month or their new I-Pad. They aren't afraid to play around with these products and find new ways to get more out of them, but if they put in a blu-ray disc and it doesn't load fast enough, they are done. It's the mindset of, "Oh this thing is not as fast as my I-Phone! What's the big deal about blu-ray? I'm not using that anymore."
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:53 PM
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Not worried about price. The extra resolution is worth a bit more than DVD. I agree completely on the serious lack of titles though! I've given up waiting on some older titles to go blu, so I've started up buying DVD's again. Like is just too fracking short!
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