First Blue-Ray Player/Disc Reviews Are In posted an early review of Blue-ray players and discs. And it doesn’t look good.

I know it’s a pipe dream, but a part of me is hoping that Sony decides - “This ain’t working the way we hoped; Let’s put out THREE flavors of the PS3. A Blue-Ray version that will come out later when the bugs are all worked out. And two ‘regular’ versions that use existing high density discs. Early adopters who wanted Blue-Ray can do trade-ins.”

So yeah… I’d still love to have a PS3 without a blue-ray drive. I know the games are going to be on blue-ray discs. But more than anything, early reviews like this make me weary about Sony’s plan to join this very early tech with their gaming machine.

For the developers in the crowd, would switching formats (from Blue-Ray discs to High Density discs) change any work already in production?


It really sounds like his complaints are more with the encoding of the disc’s themselves and the lack of extras.

They are first generation discs on a first gen player, I don’t see anything that would throw me into a panic. That being said, i could give two shits about either HD format.

Well, ideally, I would like to have a console that plays HD movies. And I hope that regardless of which format wins, once the winner is clear, that option becomes available. I’m hoping that MAYBE the format war will be over by next year… And then console revisions can issued.

But until then, I’d rather have a cheaper console and the opportunity to wait for the warriors to fight themselves out.

LG is coming out with a combo player, and Samsung just announced they might still make the combo player they previously cancelled. the price would be sky high tho, so who knows if it will even make sense to buy.

I think I agree with the article’s central thrust though - it’s not time for the new format.

I mean what % of households actually have a High Def set? It’s single digits still isn’t it? And aren’t HD sales still only like 15% of new TVs? Or am I stuck in 2000 or something?

The article isn’t saying its not time for a new format. it’s saying its way too early to buy into either format, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who was around for the first DVD players.

If the read speads are comparable, then extra work would be negligible.

I’ve looked for this information before and couldn’t find it, in large part because I just made a half-hearted effort. If someone else can dig this up and share it, that would be great.

the last study I saw said the number was about 15% last year, and expected to hit 25% by the end of this year. HDTVs account for a lot more than 15% of new tv sales but I can’t find the number offhand. Shoot, even at your local wal-mart you can walk in and find crt HDTVs for just a few hundred bucks.

A quick google for “HDTV Market penetration” yields a forum post from 2003 in which someone claims to have attended an industry conference where market penetration was pegged at 8%. So yeah I guess if you presume aggressive growth over the past 3 years 15% of the market is a good number.

I don’t see how it can hit 25% this year though; that would end up being a 66% increase in one year which seems way high to me. 20% seems a lot more likely.

Wow, the Blue Ray codec sucks enough that HD-DVDs look better than Blue Ray discs with more space and fewer extra features? WTF?

On the latter comment, you are still stuck in 2000. HDTV unit sales are expected to eclipse analog TV sales this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, and they made up about a third of all new TVs sold last year.

Even by these estimate though that means that 85% to 75% of the people out there, don’t have an HDTV and thus can’t make use of the Blue-Ray movie features of Sony’s console.

I hope Sony’s first game titles use the Blue-Ray discs in a way that makes gamers appreciate them, regardless of their proprietary movie format. Throw in some extra features - director’s commentary, behind the scenes look, pop up videos during gameplay, something.

Good GOD you’re stubborn.

BTW I’ve been following the early release of Blu-Ray for the past couple of weeks and noticed the biggest issue is the single layer BR discs running MPEG2 codecs. Both are inferior to HD-DVDs double layer disc/VC1 codec. This will be overcome however when dual-layer BR discs comes about with more advanced codecs. The good thing about BR is that it’s more future proof.

Except if only 10% of TV owners replace their TV in a given year, having the majority of sales doesn’t necessarily mean your overall penetration is growing by leaps and bounds. I guess the real figure is what percentage of TV owning households, on averge, replace their set in a given year.

HDTV penetration was at ~22% by the end of 2005, and projected to be 55% by 2008. sept 2005 article, and US numbers.

I have both a Blu-Ray player and a HD-DVD player. I have directly compared the quality of Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD.

Right now, HD-DVD blows away Blu-Ray. The 5th Element on Blu-Ray looks horrible compared to even the worst HD-DVD transfer. They also had to cut out a ton of extras on the Blu-Ray discs to get them to this piss-poor quality of video. I have viewed 5 Blu-Ray movies now: Hitch, T5E, Terminator, Underworld: Evolution and XXX. Of those, only Terminator and Underworld look somewhat comparable to HD-DVD. XXX looks OK, about as good as HBO HD on cable. Hitch and T5E look BAD.

This is an absolutely horrible launch for Blu-Ray. They need to get their act together quick. They need those 50GB discs out NOW or stop using MPEG2 for their encoding. VC-1 is so much better with limited space, as seen on the HD-DVD transfers.

Yes, but jeffd made two points: that HDTV penetration is still low (which is true), and that of people who are buying new TVs, the vast majority still buy SD sets (which is not true). I was just speaking to the second point.

HDTV adoption rates are hard to forecast, though, and knowing the percentage of people that replace their TVs each year doesn’t help much, because we haven’t had a major new technology on that market since the advent of color tubes. That means that, at least in the past several decades, most people only replaced their TV sets when they broke. Using that historical turnaround figure is like trying to forecast DVD adoption rates (back when most of the market still had VCRs) by looking at how often people replaced their VCRs. What we saw there, and will likely see again with HDTVs, is that when the new technology reaches a certain price threshold, large numbers of people will start buying into it even if they wouldn’t have been in the market for a new VCR otherwise (or TV, in the case of HDTVs).

You obviously haven’t taken a look at prices for HDTVs lately. not everyone is buying a 70-inch plasma. it’s all about price, and they are dropping sharply.

My self-imposed budget for an HDTV is $1,000 CDN, and I’m not going to have a problem finding a 1080i/720p capable HDTV.