The End is Still Near

Posted by Dave Cowl on December 18, 2007 
Filed Under: Blu-ray, Format War, HD DVD, PS3, Studios

Variety is reporting that UK media research firm Screen Digest is predicting the end of the format war in 2008. In an interesting ‘bet hedging’ strategy, they don’t say which side will win, just that it will end. 

The premise is that it would only take one major player to shift allegiances in order to tip the balance.

The article also indicates that 3D is getting bigger and PS3 will get a boost from exclusive content in 2008. 

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10 Responses to “The End is Still Near”

  1. James Segars on December 18th, 2007 12:56 pm

    HD 3D is something that I’m really looking forward to.  I know that Disney is championing the Real D cause, and that’s one reason why I’m missing their support HD DVD, aside from the Pixar films.  It’s not all one sided though.  Beowulf is an HD DVD exclusive, and it was incredible in 3D.  It’d be really interesting to see whether or not they roll out a Real D, HD DVD version with the standard/hd dvd release.  Of course, I’m not going to presume to know whether or not any of the current players would be able to playback 3D material, or whether or not there are any HD sets that would accept the 3D video streams.  Does anyone have any theories? 

  2. Dave Cowl on December 18th, 2007 1:46 pm

    BD should have the bitrate and can have a full res. secondary stream, so the disc side should be trivial with Final Standard Profile. HD DVD might be severely taxed for bitrate as it stands – though conceptually TL51 with a higher spin rate would manage it (and it would be perhaps ok that this would not be backwards compatible…), assuming that a full res. secondary stream can also be worked in there…

  3. James Segars on December 18th, 2007 2:26 pm

    Yeah, currently I think it’s safe to say that neither Blu-ray or HD DVD are primed for 3D content just yet, but with a couple revisions to either the hardware or software, they should be able to accommodate it.  More importantly, will existing TV’s be able to display the polarized images?  If consumers have to pony up and buy a new 3D HD compatible set, I don’t think 3D will take off for awhile.  Then again, 3D could be a huge selling point for either HD format as SD DVD is totally incapable of performing this functionality.  I suppose it’s really dependent upon the success of Real D/3D features in theaters.  If the money isn’t there, it will be a tough sell for home theaters.  I’m willing to bet that it will be Cameron’s upcoming film, Avatar, that will finally bring 3D filmmaking to the forefront because it is slated to be released exclusively in 3D.  

  4. Dave Cowl on December 18th, 2007 3:44 pm

    Displays certainly are not ready. Mitsi is supposed to have something in the works (including perhaps a BD player that works with the display??). I also was told that 4k res BD is on the way for late 2009… that could be a very hard sell :D

  5. James Segars on December 19th, 2007 9:17 am

    I forgot about the Mitsu TV.  Come to think of it, there is a "3D Sync Out" port on the backs of the Samsung DLP sets, perhaps others.  I don’t know what the purpose of that port is, but I suppose we’ll learn more as the year drags on.  4k would definitely be a hard sell, especially because the software, hardware, and display would all need to be replaced/rebought, however, if they make some breakthroughs and start releasing some decently priced 4k hardware/displays, then perhaps I’ll consider buying into it.  At the same time though, 4k technology seems like its a good 5-6 years off.  The entire distribution infrastructure is not ready to accommodate 4k resolutions, but a lot can happen in a couple years, so I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. Chris on December 19th, 2007 2:41 pm

    I doubt we’ll see 4k… that’s a bigger jump from 1080p than it was to go from DVD quality to 1080p! Imagine how much compression you will need for a movie at that resolution… ~16 times the resolution of Blu-ray!At the moment I’m looking forward to seeing 1440p with full 16-bit color. Hopefully we’ll get that within 5 years (and try downloading one of THOSE! lol). 

  7. Dave Cowl on December 19th, 2007 4:41 pm

    4k is 4096×2160 (or 2400) so it is roughly only a 4x increase. I believe that the 4k BD format will be designed to compliment new 4k projectors that will target the high end consumer market. Since the price is reducing continuously on these types of displays, they have to do something to keep the revenues flowing. I would expect 4k projectors in 2009, maybe 2010.

  8. Devils Advocate on December 20th, 2007 1:08 am

    Btw, I should point out that the ratio for this week, which includes the first BOGO for HD-DVD and a HUGE exclusive in Bourne was 61:39 in favor of blu.

  9. C on December 20th, 2007 12:20 pm

    In case anyone is interested, it doesn’t look like WB will be making any major news at CES (at least not the kind everyone expected)…they will be speaking at the HD DVD presentation.

  10. James Segars on December 21st, 2007 2:57 pm

    I’m starting to think that nothing will change at CES.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t think there are going to be any huge announcement upsets.

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