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December 27 2007

'Serenity' HD DVD is #19 on Amazon.com.

Pretty impressive, I think.

There's a lot of titles up there I didn't expect to see, but seeing Serenity so high on the list make me feel warm and fuzzy inside :)
This is imp ressive!

Now to demonstrate my ignorance - if I buy the HD version will it be more impressive than a vanilla DVD on my computer monitor at a resolution of 1280x1024? Somewhere I've got this notion that computer monitors are already high definition, is that accurate? If it's not a simple answer, just pass me by, no need to delve into the arcane on my behalf. Thanks in advance if an answer is given :)

The Verse sure has legs, doesn't it! Gosh, maybe it can walk to a theater again in an other incarnation...
Hmmm... That's suprising. And happy.
You need an hd-dvd player to play it.

Amazon's having a buy one get one free sale on hd-dvds, which is why there are so many on the bestsellers list. Still cool though. :)
I am very against HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray. This year was probably my biggest "DVD buying" year, and it would be beyond horrible for my DVDs to be all... obselete. I love my DVDs. :[
Amazon's having a buy one get one free sale on hd-dvds, which is why there are so many on the bestsellers list. Still cool though. :)


Amazon also has a 50% sale on a ton of Blu-ray Discs, so I'm a bit surprised there aren't more BDs up there.

Now to demonstrate my ignorance - if I buy the HD version will it be more impressive than a vanilla DVD on my computer monitor at a resolution of 1280x1024? Somewhere I've got this notion that computer monitors are already high definition, is that accurate? If it's not a simple answer, just pass me by, no need to delve into the arcane on my behalf. Thanks in advance if an answer is given :)


An HD DVD is encoded at a much higher resolution that a normal DVD, so it'll look much better on a monitor capable of displaying all the lines (up to 1920x1080).
patxshand, a HD-DVD player will play all your normal DVDs too.

If anybody is interested, I managed to unearth that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment booked a few million revenue on FIREFLY DVD sales since the SERENITY COLLECTORS EDITION DVD from Universal came out.
It's now at number 16.
gossi, I feel like that should be illegal or something. 20th Century Fox makes money off of something they didn't create or endorse.
20th Century Fox own Firefly, so all power to 'em.
Aren't these sales enough to warrent at least a DTV sequel??
Wishing this wasn't the only HD-DVD exclusive studio... then I could buy it on Blu-ray and have 7 copies of Serenity ;) Sad sidenote -- studios that release on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray only do one transfer/encode and they do it at a lower rate to accomodate HD-DVD's smaller native disc capacity. Anyway, discs/players that output at 1080p look AMAZING. You can read the ingredients on a bag of chips that a character is holding. The format war, however does no one any good and Microsoft/Toshiba keep prolonging it. Its in Microsoft's interest to do so as they don't want either side to win. They would rather have digital downloads and if that fails, well most discs are encoded using a codec that people have to license from Microsoft for a fee. Win-win. For them...

Aren't these sales enough to warrent (sic) at least a DTV sequel??


No, see comment about me owning 7 copies :)
Paramount, Dreamworks and others are HD-DVD only now, zeitgeist.
Oh, thats right, brainslip. Well, they were bought into exclusivity and this is not the first time they've wandered back and forth about which, if any, HD format to support. Dreamworks Animation has yet to actually release anything on HD-DVD. And those are the only three - Paramount, Dreamworks, Universal.
I've sided with HD-DVD. I have an A35 Player. I love it. Every time I've seen a Blu-Ray movie, it looks...off. Like there's something unnatural about the picture. Really weird. Spiderman 3 looked horrible.

But the other nice thing is that HD-DVD players do a really nice job of upconverting standard DVDs.

Oh, and they released Shrek 3, zeigeist, Dreamworks did.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2007-12-27 15:48 ]

[ edited by pat32082 on 2007-12-27 15:55 ]
All modern DVD players and all HD and Blu do upconverting (some of them amazingly well - Oppo, for example). If Blu didn't look indistinguishable from HD-DVD there was something wrong with the setup. The only time you would ever see a difference would be if someone did a separate transfer for Blu, in which case it should be at a higher bitrate.

ETA - yeah, I forgot about Shrek3, which they've been pretty quiet about because Blu still outsold HD-DVD 2 or 3 to 1 that week in spite of all of the yelling from the rooftops about how Blu was doomed because of Shrek3.
Dreamworks have only fairly recently jumped on the joey train (I'm determined to start that phrase in popular culture, people) so hence of the lack of releases.

Personally, as a consumer, I don't care other than two details - which is cheapest, which works. I've got a HD-DVD player as it was uber cheap. Also, it works.

One random aside - well, on topic aside - Serenity on HD-DVD. Universal filmed some stuff for a special edition HD-DVD of Serenity, but never bothered to release it. Hey Universal - release it already.
The other detail to be considered is - can I get the movies I want in format X? This is where the format war loses Joe/Jane Consumer. Your uber-cheap HD-DVD player was subsidized by Microsoft to keep the format war alive.
I'm going to hold out until one format emerges victorious. It is strange that DVD never seemed to have a rival format, unless I just wasn't aware of one, considering before that there was the VHS vs Betamax for videotapes. I think it's always wise to hold off when a new technology comes out. Just look at something like minidisc which was supposed to be the future, until mp3 players took off instead.

And I know that technically the new formats are probably much better visual quality than DVD, but I'm honesty not that concerned about it. I think I'd have to have two identicial TVs alongside one another, one playing a film on DVD and the other playing the same film on Blu-Ray or HD. But to be honest, although I'm sure the new formats are an improvement, it's usually the story and characters I'm more interested in, not whether the special effects look slightly sharper or there is slightly more detail visible.

So I probably will have to move onto one of the new formats whenever one wins out and DVDs stop being produced, but I won't be rebuying all my DVDs in the new format because I'm satisfied with them the way they are.
I bought an HD player about a month ago when the price came down to $99 (with five free HD DVD's), I'm going to pick up a Blu Ray player this week (price is down to $279 with five free DVD's - so Fox, a Blu Ray Firefly set please...). I don't have Serenity HD - only cause I was leaving it as a stocking option for Christmas... I didn't get it, so I'm going to go now and buy it from Amazon... Our little Firefly that could - still can...

if you have an HD TV, do yourself a favor and pick up an HD DVD player... it makes a TON of difference
So I just ordered Serenity HD from amazon - and it qualifies for a B1G1Free deal - and Super Saver Free Shipping... so I got the Big Damn HD Movie and a Second DVD for $19.95...
Recordable DVDs had a "format war" Razor (between DVD+R & -R, most burners/recorders support both now) and DIVX (pause to spit ;) competed with DVDs themselves in a way (though outside the US that was only really an issue to the more rights aware techies).

Digital TV was the main thing that made watching video cassettes much less bearable for me, just got used to the much higher quality. I suspect the same will hold for HD-DVD. Once most/all TV is HD so that we see it every day, the (seemingly small now) step down to DVD will turn into a massive drop I reckon and DVD just won't be good enough for most people.

Might be time to look for an HD player though i'm also not in a hurry to replace my existing DVDs (with a couple of exceptions - and it's more complement than replace anyway ;).
when the price came down to $99


Not to harp on it, but this was a sale subsidized by MS/Toshiba on last years model.
zeitgeist, I think most consumers won't care who is subsidizing it. I certainly don't. It's plugged into my Xbox 360, which Microsoft subsidized to try to force Sony out the domination of the console market (and kinda did).

The reason I don't take sides on the issue is simple; I don't think it really matters what we think. Betamax was the better format by far back in the day, but it lost out because of business things. (For one thing, they didn't allow porn, and where porn goes people follow).

Obviously, as a consumer I do care about not being left with a Betamax, but that's the risk I've taken. There was originally a bit of a 'next gen' war back when DVD was first appeared, but all the sides decided to join forces and promote just DVD instead. It worked - price came right down as everybody was on the same page, and so consumers jumped at it. Fact is, the only way the current dispute is going to be settled is way dodgy methods I'd imagine, to kill off one format and watch the other take off.

By the way, with regards to the comment I made about FIREFLY on DVD earlier - I'm not saying Fox are sat around saying 'Let's make another series!'.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-12-27 19:06 ]
Thank you for the great information. I just checked newegg for HD or BluRay disc players for my computer (where I watch all tv/movies) and, holy man, the price is steep. I think I'll stay comfortable without this or find a method to download the HD...for, if I understand correctly, a downloaded HD would look amazing on a computer monitor because the thing holding me back isn't the monitor, it's something to play the HD discs.

At any rate, thanks for the informative posts by all.
studios that release on both HD-DVD and Blu-ray only do one transfer/encode and they do it at a lower rate to accomodate HD-DVD's smaller native disc capacity.


Oh, how I hate this argument. It's true that Warner Bros., the only neutral studio, encodes at HD DVD capacity, but it's hardly hindering quality. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, mastered for a 30GB disc and including TrueHD audio, looks and sounds every bit as good as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, fitted for a 50GB disc.

reamworks Animation has yet to actually release anything on HD-DVD.


Shrek the Third.

ETA - yeah, I forgot about Shrek3, which they've been pretty quiet about because Blu still outsold HD-DVD 2 or 3 to 1 that week in spite of all of the yelling from the rooftops about how Blu was doomed because of Shrek3.


Shrek was never expected to put a dent in Blu-ray's lead for the week, so I don't know where you got that impression. Are you confusing it with Transformers?

For the record, despite the fact Blu-ray has 5x the amount of players in homes, both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Harry Potter Years 1-5 box set sold better on HD DVD than Blu-ray.

And those are the only three - Paramount, Dreamworks, Universal.


And the Weinstein Company, technically. Those four against Blu-ray exclusives Sony, Fox, MGM, and Disney.
The rumor I recently heard is that WB just got a HUGE check/payoff and they will be announcing the end to their neutrality very soon. That should decide who wins this silly format war.
WB is always rumored to end their neutrality soon. In October, they were going HD DVD exclusive because they didn't renew their membership to the Blu-ray Association. Then in November they were going Blu-ray exclusive because of a big payday.

Back and forth, back and forth.
Ah. Maybe they are starting the rumors and hoping they come true?
I bought the xbox 360 hd-dvd player last Christmas and also bought the Toshiba H30 player last month. Got it from Amazon for a great deal too at about $280 and with 10 free hd-dvd movies to go with it and on sale. If you add up what all the movies I got with the deal cost I probably ended up paying about$50 for the player. We have a 1080P 47" widescreen TV and the hd-dvds look fantastic on it. Serenity was one of the first movies I bought and in the year since I bought it I'm always checking out the best sellers on Amazon to see what's available and on sale and Serenity has always been in that top group.

The Toshiba players also claim to upscale non Hd-dvds to high def - whether that is accurate or not they look tremendously better than on my old dvd player. I am so enjoying rewatching all my dvd sets. I was totally blown away by how fantastic BSG season 1 and 2 looked compared to my last viewing of them. I was thinking about repurchasing season 1 in Hd-dvd but after seeing the regular dvd set looking so great I'm not going to bother.
Oh, how I hate this argument. It's true that Warner Bros., the only neutral studio, encodes at HD DVD capacity, but it's hardly hindering quality. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, mastered for a 30GB disc and including TrueHD audio, looks and sounds every bit as good as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, fitted for a 50GB disc.


You can hate it all you want and then hate it some more on Sunday, but a higher bitrate is a higher bitrate is better quality.

Shrek was never expected to put a dent in Blu-ray's lead for the week, so I don't know where you got that impression. Are you confusing it with Transformers?


Well, someone should tell the HD DVD group, because they hyped both releases to high heaven. And they were both expected to put a huge dent in the sales difference between the two platforms at the time no matter what anyone is saying now.

For the record, despite the fact Blu-ray has 5x the amount of players in homes, both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Harry Potter Years 1-5 box set sold better on HD DVD than Blu-ray.


5x the players? Its actually about 3x these days (after all of those $99 closeouts). And the ratio was approximately 55% to 45% for the sales of Phoenix for one example. Interestingly, the attach rate for those PS3s is about .6 while the attach rate for HDDVD standalones is 4 (attach rate being number of software titles sold per player), but Bluray software overall is still sold at between 2 and 3 to 1 which makes some sense given the players sold percentages. Wish I had a better breakdown on attach rates overall.

I'm all for competition where it benefits the consumer (lower prices, more choice, less monopoly power wielding, and in this case 5-10 free movies per player - blu and hd have both offered that), I just prefer Blu on its technical merits. Not that that got Betamax anywhere :)
speaking of DVD sales figures:

Waitress DVD sale figures $11 mil, Rentals $20 mil, Box office $21 mil.

http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/weekly/2007/20071216.php

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=homevideo&id=waitress.htm
I have Serenity on HD DVD and a HD DVD player... but I'm a Blu-ray guy.

Blu-ray is the superior tech, IMO.

However there is not much between them. I own both formats and have around 20 HD DVDs and 40 Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray has:

+ More capacity ( 50gb vs 30gb, more room leads to better picture or sound quality )
+ Better movies (well besides Serenity, hehe)
+ More studio support (Fox, Disney, Sony, etc)
+ More hardware support (Panasonic, Pioneer, etc)
+ No combo discs! Silly flipper style disc that alot of HD DVD movies use with HD on one side and SD on the other. Yuck!

and the most important point of all...

+ The boxes are prettier!

I doubt the High-def wars will end for a while yet but Blu-ray is my preference.

[Cue dodgy slogan]: The Future is Blu.

[ edited by TwisTz on 2007-12-28 13:29 ]
One random aside - well, on topic aside - Serenity on HD-DVD. Universal filmed some stuff for a special edition HD-DVD of Serenity, but never bothered to release it. Hey Universal - release it already.


Hey Gossi, was this just the filming of the commentary which was supposed to appear in a box on the screen in the HD version. Or was there other stuff as well?
I can't really add to the format discussion, but the Amazon rankings, although nice to look at, don't mean a thing. It means that several people bought it that day. As other things are purchased later on, it could drop drastically. If no one buys it tomorrow, it'll be lower, and if 5 people buy it tomorrow, it will jump back up. It's not an overall top-selling statistic. I've learned this from the publishing industry. A person can buy one book and it's ranking goes from a 6 digit figure to a five (think about that: it jumps over several thousands of other titles due to one sale), but only until something else is bought afterwards.

I'm, of course, not trying to discourage anything, but there's no way it's going to sway an executive because it might only mean 10 DVDs sold of that title within a span of a day. I HOPE that it's staying up there because it's gaining a lot of sales, but given the limited selection of HD DVDs at the moment, it still may not mean much.
Warner and New Line have gone Blu Ray exclusive. Check out The Digital Bits for coverage.

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