HD DVD: A Chance to Speak “Clearly”

Posted by James Segars on January 10, 2008 
Filed Under: Format War, HD DVD, Retailers, Studios

HDDVDlogo.jpgWhile many are quick to call off the format war, HD DVD is not dead by any means.   With over 1 Million  players in the US, I think the underdog format still stands a chance, regardless of whatever current rumor is currently making its rounds.

As everyone sits and waits for an official response/retaliation from the HD DVD crowd, in addition to an official release slate for 2008, conjecture and speculation continue to run rampant.

Some will say that it is all for not.  Others will say that there is still hope.  If you feel as though you fall into the latter category, then here is your chance to prove it and demonstrate to the powers that be that YOUR voice has not been heard and that you have NOT "clearly chosen Blu-ray" as your format of choice. 

No one likes being spoken for, so why should you?

Sign the petition, here.

 [via EngadgetHD

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30 Responses to “HD DVD: A Chance to Speak “Clearly””

  1. Mi on January 10th, 2008 11:59 am

    Is this a joke? Are you really saying that a format that conned a few hundred thousand people into buying fire sale players is not a dead format? Are yous saying that a format with 25% of the movie content available to them is not a dead format? Are you saying that a format that has under sold Blu-Ray EVERY WEEK is not a dead format?!?! Delusional. Absolutely delusional.

    Don;t suppose you want to give ‘equal time’ to the ‘Let this cow die like it tried to six months ago’ petition:

  2. James Segars on January 10th, 2008 12:10 pm

    3123 people, as of the time of this response, couldn’t disagree with you more, compared to the 482 on your death petition.

  3. Ellis on January 10th, 2008 12:12 pm

    It’s crazy to sign that petition. All your doing is prolonging a confusing, market-dividing format war that may permanently cripple the idea of high definition DVDs.

    Forget it! Let’s move on. Even if HD DVD is the better format, it’s in no position to win this war, given meager studio support and the fact that it could never sell as much content as its competitor. Blu-Ray *can* win, the only question is will it take a while, and continue to confuse and discourage new adopters for another counterproductive year, or will it happen quickly and let the whole industry move on behind one format, with all the benefits that come from that.

    The latter is much preferable to the former. Let HD-DVD die, quickly and painlessly. It’s the humane thing to do.

  4. Mi on January 10th, 2008 12:31 pm

    OK, out of a supposed million owners only a couple thousand over the last few days have decided it’s worth saving? The Die petition was a joke response originally, but in less than twenty four hours it’s got almost a thousand people who are saying ‘enough already’. Most others are likely thinking ‘why bother signing, HD DVD is dead either way’, but I’ll keep watching it, and the comments as well.
    In any event, the thought that Universal and Paramount are willing to kill off a 4 billion dollar industry to appease a few thousand people who should have know better than buy into a dying format is pretty slim, wouldn’t you say?

  5. James Segars on January 10th, 2008 12:36 pm

    Well, in all fairness, up until a week ago it could have just as easily gone in favor of HD DVD. Whether or not you choose to recognize that fact is up to you, but if the studio support had gone the way HD DVD was expecting it to, our roles would have been reversed. The only difference? I wouldn’t be as cocky as you are right now.

  6. C on January 10th, 2008 12:39 pm

    “OK, out of a supposed million owners only a couple thousand over the last few days have decided itís worth saving?”

    I hate to break this to you, but 99.9% of the people who have bought into HDM don’t obsess over it and constantly read about it on the net like we do. Chances are, most of them don’t even know/care about Warner yet.

  7. wysiwyg on January 10th, 2008 1:32 pm

    Oh God. A “death” pole? How much more immature can it get.

  8. Dave Cowl on January 10th, 2008 1:44 pm

    James, if Warner went with HD DVD it would have been roughly a 50:50 stalemate. Going with BD is a move to ‘end the madness’ – going with HD DVD would have caused the madness to continue. I applaud their desire to put an end to the split formats and hope that it works so we can get back to the important stuff – complaining about the deficiencies of a solitary format! :D

  9. James Segars on January 10th, 2008 1:54 pm

    Well, what if Fox had made the transition, as it was anticipated to do so? With them distributing MGM titles as well, that would have easily tipped the scales in HD DVD’s favor. I know that there isn’t much point in debating what could have been, but my point is that up until a week ago, it really could have gone either way.

  10. Charles on January 10th, 2008 2:05 pm

    This is over… Blu-ray won and no matter how it got there that’s capitalisim and a free market economy. Warner ain’t going back and Universal and paramount will bow to pressure from retailers.

    And downloads aren’t gonna kill Blu either. Multiple terabyte hard drives would be required and since Fios has only a small market penetration the bandwidth ain’t there anyway. Blu-ray as a single format is going to generate great revenue for hollywood to replace declining DVD sales. It’s the ultimate double dip for the studios.

    BTW it was never going to go either way as Toshiba (even with M$ help) couldn’t have bought off FOX and Warner.

  11. Unbiased on January 10th, 2008 2:08 pm

    Am I the only one that realizes the stupidity in starting this petition? The companies don’t care about online voting/petitions!!! Vote with your $$$$. That is the only thing that matters in this. That is the sole reason studios choose one side over the other. That means Warner going blu-ray because of 2:1 sales of media as well as Paramount going HDDVD because of $150 million pay off. Money talks people. Companies exist to make money, not please people who start online petitions.

  12. Mi on January 10th, 2008 2:57 pm

    Who was anticipating Fox to go that way? It’s been reported that they were offered a lot of cash by Toshiba, but chose not to take it.

    As Dave mentions, if Warner had chosen to go HD DVD, it would have caused a complete quagmire and would have killed off the entire market. As it is, Warner has made the only sensible decision.

    I’m honestly not being cocky, I feel awful for the folks who got conned into buying an HD DVD player over the last several months. I’m just flabbergasted that anyone, especially someone at an industry ‘news’ site would try to rally people to continue in this futility.

  13. Ryan Akins on January 10th, 2008 3:24 pm

    Nice move Warner & Sony, way to end the war and give customers HD movies in one unified format – too bad it came too late for a lot of us, and ended up benefiting mostly the people at the top. As an HD DVD & Blu Ray Disc owner, who chose only purchase HD DVD discs, I’m vowing to have a huge BD collection now that things are likely going that way … Too bad I’m through buying discs. I stopped using my DVD-R a while ago, and enjoy owning originals much like I stopped downloading music – now though, the only hard-earned money you’ll see out of me is going to be for a BD-R, and some blank discs. Thanks a lot.

  14. Ryan Akins on January 10th, 2008 3:26 pm

    Also to be completely clear, I’m still buying HD discs. Just bought two yesterday & not going to return them – and will continue to support Paramount & Universal as long as they support consumers, and HD DVD.

  15. Merrick97 on January 10th, 2008 3:33 pm

    Im of the belief and I talked to several insiders from both camps that Fox was merely playing HD-DVD to see what they were willing to offer. Based on how Fox feels about DRM, I dont believe even a little that they EVER intended to jump ship. In all fairness, only Fox truly knows what there true intentions were.

    For Tyler and James (playing Devils Advocate here):
    If the HD-DVD scenario had indeed taken place and Warner and Fox both did end up jumping ship, I would have come out 100% in support of HD-DVD. No question.

  16. James Segars on January 10th, 2008 3:34 pm

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, and if you prefer it, I’ll go ahead and say that you’re being antagonistic, as opposed to cocky, but the fact remains that the majority of the consumers have yet to choose. So yes, there still is a chance. Now, if the remaining studios supporting HD DVD back out, then yes, it is over. But you know what? Those players and those films will never stop working, so I don’t think anyone was conned, and if they were that can be chalked up to Warner Bros. who insisted that the rumors of them going Blu-ray exclusive were false simply to cash in on their HD DVD users through the holidays. Also, in reference to your last quip, would you prefer that everyone and every site be homogeneous? That we merely regurgitate what we here and see as opposed to speaking our own mind? In case you missed the point of the article, that’s precisely what I aimed to encourage. WB said that the consumer had chosen, which is completely false. The consumer has yet to choose. Perhaps the early adopter has, and they’ve chosen Blu, but there are still millions of consumers that have yet to be converted, so no, Mi, this is far from futile.

  17. James Segars on January 10th, 2008 3:50 pm

    Merrick: It’s really hard to say what Fox’s intentions truly were, but clearly WB felt strongly that wherever Fox was, that was where they were going to call home. Many have speculated that it was the region coding/BD+ that ultimately wooed WB/Newline, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t play a factor in their decisions, if not a major role. Like you said, only they know their true intentions anyway. It’s also nice to hear that you’re not an unreasonable guy when it comes to supporting one format or another. I’d like to think I’m the same way. My distaste for Blu-ray stems from the fact that I don’t believe that it will be able to satisfy and meet the needs of the mass consumer. As a format itself, once they got over the MPEG-2 mess, its great, there is no discernible difference in my opinion, and this is on a 100″ screen. I do think that the profile business is a bit dicey, and I wish that they had just been on the ball from day one, but all of the companies involved seem to be catching up to speed with HD DVD as far as the hardware feature goes, and in some cases surpassing them. I still think that HD DVD is the best solution, but big business doesn’t seem to care and many have decided to cast their vote with Blu, but as I’ve said before, I don’t think that it’s really going to be over, until it’s over. We’re all waiting on an official word from the HD DVD group/Toshiba/Universal/Paramount etc… so until the format is declared legally dead, I’ll stand by it.

  18. Dave Cowl on January 10th, 2008 6:06 pm

    Fox would not be big enough to make HD DVD a winner. Along with my statement that Blu-ray needed to secure Warner in order to be the clear winner, I have always said that the one studio that HD DVD neeed would be Disney. No format can be a clear winner without Disney content. Period. Note that Fox/MGM and Disney hold roughly the same percentage of the titles, but in the same sense that Warner sells more than their percentage of titles, I also bet that Disney sells more per title than Fox/MGM does (if only due to the horrendous catalog pricing for Fox, though key Pixar titles etc sell through very well). Personally I think Warner should next release an Opera Blu-ray title, so we can all see the fat lady sing… :D

  19. Daryle on January 10th, 2008 6:57 pm

    Dave Cowl,

    It’s great that you applaud Warner for going with the BDA to try and end this war.

    But my biggest applause goes to the BDA for CREATING this war. Toshiba and partners released HD DVD when it was ready… Sony launched Blu-Ray early (when they weren’t ready). So, in essence, what if Sony had waited till when their format was ready?

    According to Sony, they launched a full year early. Toshiba launched when they were ready. Kudos to you Sony… and your Playstation brand. I APPLAUD you for your strokes of genius, spin and your PS3, the TRUE next-generation gaming machine.

    As you can tell, I have nothing but love for Sony.

  20. Mi on January 10th, 2008 7:09 pm

    So I guess that’s a ‘No’ To my request for ‘equal time’ for the petition you don’t like?

  21. Dave Cowl on January 10th, 2008 8:53 pm

    Daryle – it takes two to have a war. It is not like there weren’t opportunities during development for Toshiba and NEC (what ever happened to NEC?) to drop their inferior spec product, but greed and a healthy dose of Microsoft prevented that path from being taken. You can thank Sony all you want but really you should thank Toshiba for basically going it alone against all of the other Japanese/Korean CE companies who managed to agree on a format. Also note that I never mentioned Sony, just Warner. If you hate Sony, more power to you – get a Sharp or a Panasonic or a Philips or a Samsung or … anything but a Toshiba and you can still have BD but not a Sony…

  22. Merrick97 on January 10th, 2008 8:55 pm


    The BDA was created well before HD-DVD was conceived.

    It can be argued just as easily that HD-DVD created this war.

  23. SunToucher on January 10th, 2008 10:00 pm

    I see no reason why a petition cannot be started, will the world end if one is started? The only way someone is going to have their opinion heard is if they speak up. I would rather say I spoke up and attempted to do something and lost than lost and did nothing to attempt to prevent it. I support HD DVD now and will continue to watch the discs that I have purchased thus far, as well as the discs I intend to purchase, for me thats what it’s all about.

    Most importantly though at least we have the freedom to come here and post our thoughts regardless of what format one supports without being denigrated for it…right?

    …and now for something completely different…I ate a whole pizza by myself tonight and it was good… and now let the heartburn commence. :D

    Have a good evening all.

  24. Dave Cowl on January 10th, 2008 11:07 pm

    I ate too much sushi and Belgian Chocolate Chocolate ice cream. For the formats, I am sure that many of us have so many discs that the format will not end even if it stops selling…

  25. wadej on January 11th, 2008 10:14 pm

    Am I the only one that realizes the stupidity in starting this petition? The companies donít care about online voting/petitions!!! Vote with your $$$$. That is the only thing that matters in this. That is the sole reason studios choose one side over the other. That means Warner going blu-ray because of 2:1 sales of media as well as Paramount going HDDVD because of $150 million pay off. Money talks people. Companies exist to make money, not please people who start online petitions.

    Mi on January 10th, 2008 2:57 pm

    not bad for HD DVD when blu has twice the studio support

  26. Segarsj on January 12th, 2008 1:23 am

    There’s no harm in trying, Wade.

  27. Belard on January 12th, 2008 4:30 am

    When you think about it…

    Creating the Petition is actually MORE PROOF that HD-DVD is sinking.

    There is NO “Save Blu-Ray” petition.

    I did look at some of the sigs on the petition, some of those votes are actually PRO-BLU.

    If Paramount wasn’t bought off by HD-DVD, those sales numbers for HD-DVD would be even lower. Think about it, when paramount went to HD-DVD, the market and consumers said “STALEMATE”… ugh! Had they chosen Blu-Ray instead (no $$$), it would have been another nail in the coffin for HD-DVD. I’ve notice on other sites, that HD-DVD owners are not happy, but agree their format is dying.

    While some people HATE SONY, I say it makes no difference… both are huge Japanese companies. Blu-Ray is OLDER than HD-DVD, they were first to market with a Blu-Ray Burner. Some people talk about the feature-list of HD-DVD interactive menus… my personal thought on that, I DON’T CARE! I want easy access to PLAY the movie and get access to extra features! I think that SONY didn’t see it as a problem… a selling point. All NEW BR Players pretty much meet HD-DVD specs.

    Think of this: Almost half BR discs are double layers, while 85% of HDD discs ARE double layered – proof that they are running out of space… it costs MORE $$ to make a double layer disc folks. Blu-Ray players of today WILL play 3 & 4 layer discs of tommorow. Which cannot be said of HD-DVD…

    And what of the Start-up of HD-DVD. I’ve read posts that HD-DVD doesn’t start where it left-off from a cold start. Unlike DVD & BR. Such a function is quite nice to have.

    Warner put the last nail in the coffin.

    Now all that is left is: Paramount to put it into the hurse. Universal to dig the hole. And finally have Toshiba bury it.

  28. Ryan Akins on January 14th, 2008 12:08 pm

    How do you figure Blu Ray players will play 3 or 4 layer discs someday? I hope you don’t think current BD players will …

  29. Mi on January 21st, 2008 8:42 pm

    Ah, now I see why you wouldn’t give ‘equal time’ and link to the ‘let it die’ petition. Someone finally did link to and it got 1800 signatures in about 9 hours.

  30. Mi on January 22nd, 2008 9:16 am

    Check that: 4,000 in one day. Not bad for a petition started as a joke. No wonder you wouldn’t post it.

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