HD Mainstream? Shocking observation today.

admin_exported

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OK so I don't frequent the major electrical chain stores too often but the absolute life threatening necessity (according to the girlfriend) of a water filter for our fridge/freezer, I donned a wig and false moustache and entered Comet today in our local major town of Farnborough. (This is a new flagship store next to a Currys in a major town) Getting pretty excited over the range of curling tongs and ear hair clippers, I cooled down by browsing the AV section to see the major displays of HD equipment available for Mr Man-in-the-Street. WELL! Plenty of HD Ready TV's BUT, just 1 Blu-ray player (an ex-demo Sony on managers special, or a player already not able to accept updated firmware and been returned?), 1 only new Blu-ray player and just a single HD-DVD player amongst the VCR's!!! NOT 1 HD TV DISPLAYING A DISC BASED IMAGE, (Just SKY HD), OR HAVING A DISC BASED PLAYER CONNECTED. I believe that if the huge chain stores do not have the confidence to show, stock and sell the stuff due to likely comebacks then BOTH formats could well fail. Maybe HD will never go mainstream and the general public really do want 200 channels of rubbish. Gerry.
 

Andrew Everard

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Or indeed does the general public even want HD DVD/Blu-ray? I have my doubts

I have to say I don't hear a mass outcry about how bad DVD is, and new formats just offering better quality don't seem to grab the public attention.

For example, SACD/DVD-A never flew because no-one was/is that dissatisfied with CD, whereas DVD took off because the discs took up less space than VHS cassettes, and you could rent a DVD from Blockbuster with some degree of certainty that it would be playable, and wouldn't look like Ice Station Zebra after a couple previous plays in some other punters' trashed VHS machine.
 
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I'd like a HD format to go mainstream but I don't see any real argument for it in the near future.

Ignoring enthusiasts (you know who you are; you had an LD player long before DVD), I can't honestly persuade most of my friends it's worthwhile.

Think about what VHS>DVD gave you (scale of quality increase visible on small screens, digital sound, reliability that it wasn't going to wear away over time, practical storage size of media) and compare it to DVD>HD-DVD/BD...

The average person doesn't have a 37"+ TV, doesn't have or want a full surround speaker system (beyond the "TV bundles"), or a new AV amp, or to replace their perfectly good DVD collection with High Def. For the quality of the average man's TV/AV kit, HD discs just don't make sense.

The best you can hope for in the near future is a few people dipping their toes in, replacing the DVD players with good upscalers that play HD/BD, and buying the odd new film in High Def. The real money is contained within a technology that gets people to replace their back catalogue (as happened with VHS>DVD) and HD/BD isn't good enough for that to happen.

EDIT: Andrew beat me to it :)
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="rbrierle"]EDIT: Andrew beat me to it :)[/quote]

Oh good, thought it was just me who was a grumpy, cynical get!

BTW, would never ever be shocked by the quality of demonstration in the shop to which the original poster refers - it's the same branch that, some years ago, tried to sell me an extended warranty on a £20 electric kettle I was buying.
 

laserman16

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[quote user="Andrew Everard"]
Or indeed does the general public even want HD DVD/Blu-ray? I have my doubts

I have to say I don't hear a mass outcry about how bad DVD is, and new formats just offering better quality don't seem to grab the public attention.

For example, SACD/DVD-A never flew because no-one was/is that dissatisfied with CD, whereas DVD took off because the discs took up less space than VHS cassettes, and you could rent a DVD from Blockbuster with some degree of certainty that it would be playable, and wouldn't look like Ice Station Zebra after a couple previous plays in some other punters' trashed VHS machine.
[/quote]
Or perhaps it is the format war that is putting off the general public (sorry to go back over old ground) . If joe public is presented with two formats with only certain films on each( and both formats with a limited library at the moment) they are going to walk away from them. Then there is a price issue with top end blu-ray players costing up to £1000 rrp which will hardly endear to the public for what to them is just another disc player upon which to play very expensive discs.
 

laserman16

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[quote user="rbrierle"]
I'd like a HD format to go mainstream but I don't see any real argument for it in the near future.

Ignoring enthusiasts (you know who you are; you had an LD player long before DVD), I can't honestly persuade most of my friends it's worthwhile.

Think about what VHS>DVD gave you (scale of quality increase visible on small screens, digital sound, reliability that it wasn't going to wear away over time, practical storage size of media) and compare it to DVD>HD-DVD/BD...

The average person doesn't have a 37"+ TV, doesn't have or want a full surround speaker system (beyond the "TV bundles"), or a new AV amp, or to replace their perfectly good DVD collection with High Def. For the quality of the average man's TV/AV kit, HD discs just don't make sense.

The best you can hope for in the near future is a few people dipping their toes in, replacing the DVD players with good upscalers that play HD/BD, and buying the odd new film in High Def. The real money is contained within a technology that gets people to replace their back catalogue (as happened with VHS>DVD) and HD/BD isn't good enough for that to happen.

EDIT: Andrew beat me to it :)
[/quote]
You have hit the nail on the head .
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="laserman16"][Or perhaps it is the format war that is putting off the general public.[/quote]

I don't think the general public is aware of the format war, because they're not even that aware of HD discs or players.

OK, maybe some of them have bought a PS3 and watched the free copy of Casino Royale they may have got with it, but for most people movies still come on DVD, and that's more than good enough.

Similarly, compare the sales of HD ready/Full HD TVs with the uptake on Sky HD - suggests to me most people are just happy with a big flat TV, and not that concerned about picture quality.

And given that on anything much smaller than a 42in, the benefits of HD are going to be hard for most people to spot...
 
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Made similar post on PS3 forum lastnight,guys going on about how good or being disappointed with HD with the majority watching on 19"-26" tv's!! Most people have'nt got a clue and just seem to be caught up in the whirlwind and are willing to buy any sort of HD TV just to have one.
 

Clare Newsome

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Mind you, it's almost impossible to buy a TV that isn't HD Ready right now!

And with 32in Full HD sets being widely shown at CES, it's only going to get worse - I shudder to think what the low bit-rate Freeview channels are going to look like if you sit close to one of those beauties.

But i'm going to be more positive than most of the posts here - OK, so it's hardly mainstream,but as a projector-fan, I absolutely love HD - whether TV or Blu-ray movies. The fact that you can rent the latter from Love Film for the same price as standard DVDs makes me happier still...

I've seen and heard details in movies i've never enjoyed before. Unless it's a must-watch, SD rarely gets a look in our household.
 

Cofnchtr

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Hi,

The uptake for large tv's is fuelled by the analogue switch over. People replacing tv's really only have flat screen panels to choose from and most wouldn't know the difference between a plasma or LCD. Maybe they don't really care either? Aesthetics or loyalty may play a part in brand choice and therefore panel type.

DVD's are not being fazed out, the current crop of players and titles are limited and very expensive therefore there's little demand from the vast majority of viewers for a new format. The 'war' would also hinder any uptake of the new technology.

SKYHD is also over-priced - the extra price of HD via cable or satellite is quite expensive for most for around 10 channels, despite the upscaling of the remainder, especially the price of the HD box.

Cheers,

Cofnchtr.
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="Cofnchtr"]The uptake for large tv's is fuelled by the analogue switch over.[/quote]

No, the uptake of large TVs is fuelled by the fact that a 'plasma' is what is seen in every footballer's home in Hello magazine, on every episode of Grand Designs and even - gawd help us - Homes Under the Hammer. It's the modern status symbol.

And it's always 'a plasma' even when it's an LCD.
 

JoelSim

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A good DVD player is very good quality. My missus said the other day that she didn't realise there was any difference between DVD players. That sums it up really.
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="JoelSim"]A good DVD player is very good quality. My missus said the other day that she didn't realise there was any difference between DVD players. That sums it up really.[/quote]

Dames, huh? What do they know?

(Serious irony)
 

Alec

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DAMES?!?!?! I feel like im in *** Tracy! Mr E, your Sat, Jan 19 2008 11:47 PM post is spot on but hey, we're only human. That is to say, i want an lcd or plasma as theyre beautiful! I must admit, that alone has lead to much agonising on my part, as they are made with HD in mind, which i couldnt care less about. So, when i do cave, itll be a case of having to find the one that can give the best standard def picture with Sky+, unless there are significant changes by then, and HD is more widespread, affordable, and covers a greater number of channels.On the other hand, i dont watch much in the way of sport or movies, so do i need to see Eastenders in HD? Would i get the benefit on a 32inch screen? As i may have said before around these parts, the "full hd" thing will confuse joe public even more. i had a conversation with me mam, gawd bless her, where it became apparent that she was under the impression that an hd ready set is all you need to get an hd picture. Surely, there must be many like her, and some will now think "ah, full hd! now THAT MUST be the stand alone solution i need"! I would contend, very carefully as im doing this in public, that the industry knows that there are people like that (and i think it is extremely remiss of them to play on it), and that the look of lcd/plasmas is enough to sell to most people ( Indeed, i believe many here probably are'nt quite as honest as they could be about the fact they want one coz they look great as furniture) - witness the end of CRTs. As to Bluray/HDDVD, im not really bothered - might get a player at some point if they get good enough at my price point and if it can still show standard DVDs (and we seem nearer to taht with HD rather than BD, but thats the silly industry bods for ya). A mate got a ps3 and on his 26inch lg rekons he cant tell the difference (ive not seen the result yet). He has it through some HDMI adaptor tho, as the telly didnt seem to have HDMI connections.
 

nads

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I was in my local "big" electrical store and i asked them why they are showing SD images and why. the answer was very Swedish the customers want to see what their kit would look like on the TV's. So i asked why not at least have one TV with Full HD so the difference could be seen? the answer it is easier to have them all connected to the same source. well i got him to switch to a Hi def source so i could see what the TV's looked like. Me likey could well be time to upgrade.
 

Andrew Everard

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[quote user="al7478"]Oh good god. Asterisk Tracy then, tho that isnt his name! Whats the world coming to?[/quote]

It's coming to an overenthusiastic American-programmed obscenity filter! I'll sort it out...
 

Alec

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They have one of those on another site i post on a lot, but there, its hard to read a sentence without an F-word, or worse. Personally, i think context is all, and approopriate self-regulation ought to be encouraged. Meh.
 
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Anonymous

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i have to say ,well i dont have to say but i will ! im very impressed with hd both in blu ray and sky hd ( which is mostly what i watch ) and thanks to andrew im absolutly amazed by the sound im getting .
blu ray prices will fall and we will all end up with one type or another .
i seem to of run off the subject a little but i will say its all in the cables
 
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Anonymous

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ps im on a 12 hour shift in an oil refinery ona sunday so my heads not with it
 

Cofnchtr

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[quote user="Andrew Everard"]
No, the uptake of large TVs is fuelled by the fact that a 'plasma' is what is seen in every footballer's home in Hello magazine, on every episode of Grand Designs and even - gawd help us - Homes Under the Hammer. It's the modern status symbol.

And it's always 'a plasma' even when it's an LCD.
[/quote]
Hi,

I don't read 'Hello', don't watch 'Grand Designs' but have watched 'Homes Under the Hammer' (the last one doesn't show many finished homes which have been completely refurbished - those that are finished may have a scattering of furniture as they are usually let out) - perhaps you mean '60 Minute Makeover'?
However I would agree those larger than 37" - 40" could be seen as a modern status symbol. My point was that people who buy a new tv today have no choice but to buy a flatscreen tv. All advertising at the moment stresses the 'digital tick' which is prominent on all new tv's, a lot of older tv's will not have a digital tuner in them which some sales people may claim renders them useless (if you only have freeview with one tuner, they may be right as if you're recording one channel from the freeview and your tv does not have a digital tuner, it's not much use) and I can't remember the last time I saw a CRT larger than 25" for sale in Comet/Currys/etc. - my dad (74 years old) bought a Sony Bravia - not because of who had one but because he needed to buy a new tv.
Modern flatscreens are becoming cheaper, save you space and look nicer than CRT's but does anyone care if the Beckhams have one?

Cheers,

Cofnchtr.
 

Alec

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Cofnchtr - good point, but you are probably well versed in the technical ins and outs, but many are'nt. Becasue of the digital tick you mention, many will think they need a flat panel TV. Just another way in which the industry can get away with being a bit misleading...possibly.
 

Cofnchtr

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Hi al7478,

Thanks for your compliments. The cheque's in the post :)

While I may have gathered some knowledge I would make an educated guess that WHFS&V would influence buying patterns of the general public more than the likes of Hello et al. It doesn't take long to read up or research products you want to buy so at least you can go informed when you make a purchase. This goes for any item and not just an item of home entertainment of course.

I love standing around listening to sales 'patter' which changes depending on which brand/item gains the sales people/shop most commission. One salesperson even told a couple that the contrast ratio showed how bright the picture went...

Cheers,

Cofnchtr.
 

Alec

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No problem, i could do with a windfall. I think your overly optimistic about most folk to be honest, and i include myself in that. In fact, thats one reason why WHFS&V's review techinque works for me as they tend to get to the bottom line (is it good?) quickly. Obviously vertain things need to be investigated to meet any specific requirements you may have, but i wouldnt be much good at that. 1080p/i...? No idea. Not even sure its important for what id want a tv for. anyway, im not sure ive made that point very well, but hopefully you're with me.
 

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