Evil Genius 101: Oi! HD-DVD, listen up or Die!

3 min read
7

Doobiwan has kindly given me permission to reproduce his ramblings wonderful thoughts on the Blu-Ray – HD-DVD war.

So the writing is on the wall for the beleaguered Toshiba and it’s HD-DVD allies. The Warner move was a bitter pill and it is most likely going to be the end of them unless they pull a seriously ‘leet Ninja Rabbit out of a hat. While I abhorr dragging out this “format war”, and will be happy just to see it over, I really would prefer the format that puts control in the consumers hands win over the corporate rights abuse machine that is Blu-Ray.

We’ve already established my evil genius credentials, so these companies need to listen exclusively to me for all their DIY take-over-the-world needs, preferably showering me with moola in appreciation. Failing that, just replying to my emails would be nice. So needless to say this is my open email to the HD-DVD consortium, because your customer Service department sure doesn’t want to hear how to save their jobs.

The idea’s actually a really simple one, which is why I’m dragging this out with copious amounts of filler, and as I said, something I tried to recommend way back before you found yourself in a life threatening position. It’s also a pretty obvious one and stems from a pretty simple need that’s particularly apparent to me as a young parent far from family.

You want to set the world alight? Even without all the biggest and best releases? Without having to drop your prices to fire sale levels? Easy. A Ninja rabbit, in 3 words:

Zero day releases

In other words, release HD-DVDs on the same day as the theatrical release comes out on circuit. Charge a fortune for it – $40? $50? It’ll still sell bucketloads, and I promise it won’t impact theatre revenues.
Let me explain by use of stereotypes:

1. Me
Before we had kids, my wife and I would watch movies almost every week, sometimes twice a week, but we have no access to babysitters where we are which means now we only get to see movies 3-4 months after release on DVD. This way we get to see the movies while the hype is high and before every dimwit on the internet spoils everything for us. (Alternatively reads: before we figure out how rubbish the movies really are …)

2. My Single Yuppie Friends
Spending all their future kids educational funds on toys and gadgets like 50″ LCD TV’s and 7.1 Surround sound systems, why should these folks have to go hang with the plebs in a dirty old cinema, have to listen to some 12 year old gabbing away on a mobile, when their home kit makes Cinema Prive look like hobospot. They obviously have the money and I’m sure would prefer to watch the movie in their own private luxury… that’s why it’s called home theatre …
The fact is neither are core movie going demographic either, so actual attendance won’t diminish either.

It’s a bold move and one the likes of your which your opposition would be highly unlikely to try because they’re comfortable where they are.
One of the big wins, possibly the most important actually, is that this isn’t just about pixels. It’s gives people who are otherwise totally happy with plain old DVD, and their clunky old SDTVs a much more compelling reason to move to HD-DVD than just “better resolution”.

There you have it, now Go! Fight! Win!

Reproduced with permission from GamerZA

Last Updated: January 31, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Banana hammock

    Good effort, but won’t work. You see the studios will never allow this to happen, as it WILL impact cinema sales.

    And those sales are the studio’s gains alone, HD-DVD sales are split between the HD-DVD consortium and the studios as well as the retailers etc.

    Then there is also the piracy issue, now i know this happens anyway, but if you release the HD-DVD on day zero it means that PERFECT pirate copies will be available on day zero as well. Currently it takes a few weeks after the first premiere to get BAD copies out there.

    I also have a family and like you cannot go to movies, and i also have a nice home theatre system, yet i don’t go out and buy new releases. I can wait it doesn’t bother me. Your target market is not as big as you think.

  • J4NR1K

    I’m with you Doobi.

    Release the disks on day 1, at a premium, with biuld in self destruct if needed.

    I did not spend 30k on a HD home cinema, so I can go to a public cinema with bad picture and sound.

    I really wish they would do this.

    I know they won’t, but it would be nice.

    Banana, it is allready impacting cimena seat sales, since I simply will not go to a cinema.

  • Messiah

    I think if they had to release the DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD on theatre release it would work perfectly, and also combat alot of the pirating. Although saying that, if some people go and buy the dodgy copies they will always buy the dodgy copies, but I for one would probably go to the movie, watch it on the big screen and if I enjoyed it walk out the cinema and buy the movie straight away.

  • Banana hammock

    @J4NR1K,

    You are not going to movies now, so the 1st day release will not change that at all, and you will still buy the HDDVD anyway.

    @Messiah,

    Pirating would be MUCH worse because the pirates would be able to offer perfect quality HD-DVD copies with proper covers on day 1. No more of those rubbish ‘camera in the theatre’ copies which deter many buyers.

  • Messiah

    @Banana ,

    True true.

    Since all my DVD/ Blu-Ray are original legit versions I would like the option to get the stuff quickly but with what you said, it really does not make sense for them to sell it so early. 🙁

  • doobiwan

    Piracy is a fair concern, but as J4NR1K said, that’s where you can leverage the fact that all HD-DVD drives ship internet enabled. You can use Live like account management to lock the disk to a user.

    And yes that seems draconian, remember the idea here is not to replace existing distribution methodology, but to provide a new service to raise the formats profile and open new channels.

  • HoodedGrub

    I think if the studios were to agree to release an HD format Zero Day, they would choose Blu-Ray over HD-DVD anyway since it employs a better copy protection to aid in preventing the piracy that will ensue….

    Plus its up to the Studios to agree on releasing the movies Zero Day and with Blu-Ray having more support, more Blu-Ray movies will be released Zero-Day than HD-DVD, so I really dont see how it will help HD-DVD

Check Also

Stephen Chbosky to write and direct Disney’s Prince Charming movie

We've seen Disney look to tell their stories from a villains perspective. Now we will be g…