back to article Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD

More people thinking of buying an HD TV in the next six months are also thinking of buying an HD DVD player than those who are thinking of buying a Blu-ray Disc machine. The claim comes from market watcher The Diffusion Group (TDG) by way of the HD DVD Promotional Group. It's based on research conducted with US consumers, 1500 …


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  1. Robbin Nichol
    Thumb Down

    HD is high Definition

    Unfortunately the TV output in the US is most definitely not High Quality. You must need your head examined to lash out a couple of thousand dollars to watch 18 minutes of commercials every hour. HD DVD of Blu Ray, well tbh I see little point in either, I am one of those philistines who gets interested in the plot of a movie and consequently I couldn't really care less about the quality of the video. As to broadcast TV in the US, I guess I'm one of those oldies who uses the light of the TV to read my book by! Only light at the end of the tunnel and its definitely a dim one is BBC America.

  2. Mark

    Why should customers care about HDTV?

    You need to buy all new kit and why? All the benefits are on the side of the content distributors. Which is only a benefit to their customers via their strange idea that if they can restrict everything you do without paying for it, they'll make more "content" available, which would be to your benefit (as long as you ignore that if they DON'T sell their stuff, they get a whole Zero Pounds profit for their "content", which I would assume is THEIR benefit from the deal).

    High Def could easily be fitted on a DVD with the new codecs (look at the quality of LotR, or the Superbit collection, merely using the old and busted compression). It's not like they're using lower compression ratios and putting ten hours plus on a 50GB media to fill it up, is it?

    Me? I've bought my last DVD. All the movies I get now will be presents. I fail to see how my not pirating (I have enough DVDs and games to keep me housebound for YEARS) will help them, but I suspect they'll attribute their losses to piracy anyway and get tax breaks or something.

  3. Giles Jones Gold badge

    What the HD DVD and Bluray adverts don't tell us

    HD DVD and Bluray films run at 24 frames per second which is exactly the frame rate the original source material runs at.

    Unfortunately the refresh rate on many TVs is 50-60Hz, this isn't a multiple of 24 and therefore you don't get very smooth motion.

    Do your research when buying a HD TV to ensure it has a 24Hz refresh mode or the stuttering motion will ruin your enjoyment.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Says it all really

    'by way of the HD DVD Promotional Group'

    So perfectly unbiased then and not trying to bolster a failing format

    Cue flame war from HD-DVD fans

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Don't care?

    Why is there always someone who posts on any thread about HD who says that they don't care about it... then why did you click on a link titled "Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD". Seems rather a waste of your time to read an article about something that you don't care about.. in fact you care so little that you feel the need to post saying so!!!

  6. Rob Crawford

    I am so tired of the HD bandwagon

    I have to agree with Robbin Nichol to a very large extent.

    Do I want to pay out lots of money to watch either commercials or repeats, that I don't want to watch at normal resolutions anyway.

    On a Saturday night on the BBC (& ITV) channels has turned into fecking pink night (I am not however macho enough to watch SKY 1, 2 or 3).

    For the most part becasue I have a real life and a family, I find it hard to even get watching 1 DVD a month, and even then I'm more interested in the bloody story, than worrying about artifacts on screen during particularly large (and unrealistic) explosions.

    I'd rather the blu-ray, HD-DVD and HD TV marketing budgets and tech was spent on making something I could watch without shuddering.

    Hmmm thats why I stick to BBC Radio 4 6 & 7

  7. Nick Palmer


    I'm looking at buying a 1080p television in the next month or so, and I will buy a a suitable device to go with it - an upscaling DVD player. The problem with the format war is that customers don't really get to choose, as such, since it's the studios who determine what content gets released in which format. I'm neither an HD-DVD OR Blu-ray fanboy, so the "winner" as far as I'm concerned (I've said this before, I'm sure) is the first company to bring out a dual format player for £200. Until then, maybe upscaled DVD isn't *as good* as HD, but it's *good enough*.

  8. ssu

    @ Robbin Nichol

    Sounds like you need something like Sky+ or Tivo so you can record everything you want and then forward the adverts.

    The BBC is getting to be just as bad at the start of programs with its own channel idents and adverts for radio or TV programs. At least there is some variety with commerical adverts.

    Is the BBC still seen as producing high quality programming? The evening schedules don't seem to reflect that opinion.

  9. Frank Bough

    Giles Jones plain wrong. 24fps material has been enjoyed in a) PAL and b) NTSC for DECADES through the simple expedients of a) speeding up and b) 3:2 pulldown. True 24P operation makes a small difference to overall quality; it's desirable, but hardly essential - the massive increase in definition is the much more important quality of HD-DVD and BD.

    As for HD disc formats in general, they DO have a point and it's a simple one. BETTER PICTURE (and sound) QUALITY. Just that, nothing more. But let's not delude ourselves here - we're talking about pictures and sound so good that they make the cinema redundant for anything but casual groping and popcorn hoovering.

    We have both HD-DVD (Tosh E1) and BD (Sony PS3) players here and I can tell you for nothing that they both produce brilliant pictures both from DVD and their respective HD discs. If the Tosh was such and incredibly agricultural machine, it would actually be worth the £300 it cost. The PS3, by contrast, is a rather beautifully designed machine that deals with discs with a speed and polish that I wouldn't have dared to hope for after our experiences with the Tosh. PS3 is the hands down winner of the HD 'war' so far, and you can't play Ratchet and Clank or surf The Register on an HD-DVD player...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How relevant is this to the UK?

    Possibly not very - at the moment the argument for purchasing anything HD over here is less than compelling, with the few HD channels available being a) quite pricey and b) fairly content-light. Really, it's hardcore gamers, movie buffs and sports fans driving it here, and that doesn't spell 'mainstream' yet.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Dead Vulture


    Another hour, another puff-piece from one or other of the camps. I'll just save everyone the trouble:

    Blah blah, blu-ray, blah blah, PS3, blah blah, better sales, blah, Sony are Gods incarnate on earth, blah blah blah, Jesus would buy a BD player.


    Blah blah, told you so, blah blah, standards, blah blah, better films, blah blah, Xbox, blah blah, cheaper players, blah blah blah, who asked Jesus' opinion anyway?

    There, all sorted.

  12. Jason Scrutton

    It's a bit more complicated than that...


    only material that was originally either shot on film or recorded digitally at 24 frames per second (fps) can be transcribed onto Blu-ray or HD DVD at 24fps. Everything else is usually transmitted at almost the same frequency as your local mains electricity.

    Anything 'shot' originally at 24fps is transferred onto HD with the audio speeded up by about 4% and the frames rejigged to keep it in sync on a 50/60hz set..

    Also not all blu-ray/hd dvd discs have the highest res material on them, in the UK btw not all HD sources (Sky HD/Virgin) transmit in 1080i all of the the time, so unless you are going to get a blu-ray or hd dvd player, a 1080i/p set could be a waste of dosh.

    A SD DVD can look surprisingly good when upscaled.

    Oh, be very careful if you are thinking of buying a LG (or any other) TV that has a '1080p' input label on the front, all this means is that it can display 1080p stuff at 768, which is quite cheeky eh?

    And if you are thinking of buying a current blu-ray or hd dvd player, make sure it can have its' firmware upgraded (yes the standards are still evolving), otherwise you may have a very expensive book-end in a few years time!

    And for the cynics, no-one is saying you need to buy anything, so why the vitriol?

    My ha'pennies...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    The sun'll come out tomorrow...

    See, HD DVD studios, you'll get your gold *tomorrow* see! I know it looks bad, your movies are not selling, BluRay players outnumbering HD DVD players 4:1 in the USA and more elsewhere... deep price cuts in the players mean your movies will end up in the Bargain bin at Walmart, "3 for $10! Buy 10 and we'll throw in a free Toshiba HD DVD player a $99 value, ...$89....$79...."

    But....Just remember, the sun'll come out, Tomorrow, Bet your bottom dollar, That tomorrow There'll be sun! Just thinkin' about Tomorrow, Clears away the cobwebs, And the sorrow 'Til there's none!

    There don't you feel better now?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    cost is the factor

    The problem as i see it is the cost of the discs.

    Why do i want to spend £30 on a HD / Blu ray disc when i can get the DVD for 5 or 10 max.

    I think i have a HD-DVD player in my xbox 360, and since its an elite with HDMI out, i think that means it gives proper HD to my 1080i tv.

    To be honest i dont see the improvement and since i've developed a healthy suspicion of the whole movie and music industry they need to make a more of a case for it to convince me its not just about getting me to buy my dvd collection on yet another format so that i can have a set of VHS, DVD, HD_DVD etc etc.

    Quality of content not delivery is the key!

  15. Lickass McClippers

    I didn't get any further than...

    ..."The claim comes from market watcher The Diffusion Group (TDG) by way of the HD DVD Promotional Group", I mean, the rest of it was ahrdly going to be impartial now was it..??

    Oh, and Giles Jones, you're having a giggle surely. My TV has a refresh rate of 50hz, and doesn't suffer from "stuttering motion"...

  16. mark carlisle

    sample size..

    .. seems ridiculously small. 1000 one month than 1200 the next.

    nearly made me laugh as loud as the advert on telly last night for a well known hair dye- claimed uks best seller - v small text in screen said figures for 2006...

    statistics- the politicans liar and the liar of the appropriate marketing department!

  17. Matt
    IT Angle

    I sometimes wonder

    when joe public is asked, 'are you interested in purchasing a HDTV in the future?' and they say 'yes'; 'Are you interested in HD DVD in the future?' cue joe public thinking 'hmm sounds like it matches my HDTV' so, 'yes'. 'Blu Ray? Whats that? Will I need a Blu Ray TV?'

    Not sure most of them know that Bluray and HD DVD are the same thing or that Blu Ray doesn't have the high def initials so they don't say yes. Believe me when I say even people 'with broadband', it doesn't make them tech savvy enough to know the difference to choose. Therefore makes the whole survey useless unless its all explained to them beforehand.

    I know I made up the most dumb ass sounding person to be quoted, but I expect alot of response wouldn't be far off.

    Plus, can't tell me there's no bias with it being funded by the HD DVD group.

  18. Andrew Cooper
    Thumb Down

    Freeview a killer?

    Personally, I won't be buying an HD TV until there's some concensus on how FreeView HD broadcasts will be.. er.. broadcasted. Seems to me that any kit sold today marked HD-ready cannot possibly do FreeView HD without at the very least a firmware upgrade, or more likely, additional boxes.

  19. Richard

    Wrong question

    I know the research was sponsored by the HD DVD forum, but surely an obvious question to ask would be whether you'd buy a dual format player if one were available (and maybe even ask about the price premium you'd be prepared to pay).

    Most consumers couldn't give a crap about which format wins, as long as they haven't bought the wrong one. The format war is enough to put me off buying a player of either flavour at the moment.

  20. jason

    Freeview HD???? Never!

    I cant ever see HD coming to Freeview in any big way. I was dismayed when I finally got Freeview enabled in my flat a few months ago. I could not believe how poor the picture quality was on most of the channels. It's like watching YouTube, totally pointless on your top of the range TV. If the broadcasters are going to be that stingey with bandwidth for SD then god knows how bad any attempts at HD will be, especially from the commercial providers.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Which movies to see this Christmas...

    Well according to the HD sales charts, these are the movies HD buyers think are worth seeing this Christmas....

    1. Live Free Or Die Hard

    2. Open Season

    3. Spiderman 3

    4. Ratatouille

    5. Shrek the Third

    6. Transformers

    7. Hairspray

    8. Ocean's Thirteen

    9. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

    10. 300

    So Shrek the 3rd isn't such a good movie when compared to Spiderman 3, or Ratatouille.

    Actually I'm deliberately not showing some information, the formats:

    1. Live Free Or Die Hard (Blu-ray)

    2. Open Season (Blu-ray)

    3. Spiderman 3 (Blu-ray)

    4. Ratatouille (Blu-ray)

    5. Shrek the Third (HD-DVD)

    6. Transformers (HD-DVD)

    7. Hairspray (Blu-ray)

    8. Ocean's Thirteen (Blu-ray)

    9. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (Blu-ray)

    10. 300 (Blu-ray)

    See my point is that as HD DVD loses to Bluray, people will stop quoting the format the disc was shipped in. The war will be over. All the charts will show is that Paramount and Dreamworks movies weren't so popular and this will affect their sales across all formats. 18 months is a loooonnnnggg time. Perhaps you shouldn't have taken the money?

  22. Stephen Parker


    1. HD-DVD and Blu Ray are pricier than their DVD counterparts, but are more round the £15-£17 mark than the £30 you suggest.

    2. The 360 doesn't have an HD-DVD player built in, it's a separately purchased external drive.

    3. All 360s can output "proper HD" over component or VGA, HDMI isn't a necessity for that.

  23. Rob


    We are waiting for the analogue switch off by the way, which is why Freeview doesn't have very good signal quality. When analogue switches off then they turn up the digital dial.

    I still, in part, agree about HD content over the airwaves, I don't think they have done their bandwidth figures right, I can't see how they are going to be able to deliver decent HD content that isn't overly compressed, which will obviously start working against the HD standard.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The problem with HD...

    Is that normal non HD TV looks total junk on it worse than a Non HD tv picture.

    Personally I get tired of this new format change junk we are forced into by the manufacturers. people do not want to have to repurchase films or media they already own because the format changes.

    If its not broken don't fix it. The benefits of HD are just not there as majority of TV and programmes are not in that format. Existing DvDs will likely not look too hot either on HD or Blu Ray, so what is the point of having to repurchase all your media again?

    I won't be buying an HD TV as I get zero benefit.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Not bothered one way or the other

    I have a PS3 and a HD DVD add-on for the XBOX 360 plus a Panasonic PT-AE2000 1080p projector which supports 1080p/24 from the PS3 so I'm sorted. I'm quite happy using the two games consoles until good dual format players come out although I can't see me getting rid of the PS3 to be perfectly honest.

    If you're really into HD movies then you have to have both and even then the total outlay isn't really a problem unless you're really strapped for cash and then you wouldn't really be into HD movies, would you?

    HD is fantastic and I find it really adds to my enjoyment of a film. Not to the total exclusion of the plot, but an enhancement for sure. I watched Blade Runner on Blu-ray at the weekend and it was phenomenal. I remember going to watch the original film at the cinema 20 odd years ago as a student and being fairly underwhelmed. Watching it on my own screen at home in peace and quite was a much nicer experience I can tell you.

    @jeremy, if you don't have the HD DVD add-on for the XBOX 360 then you don't have HD movies unless you've downloaded them. Was that a wind-up? If so, why did you waste your time? If it wasn't, I hope you let your carer select your home electronics in the future.

  26. Connor Garvey

    HD = High Definition

    If someone were to ask me whether I want to buy an HD DVD player, I would say, "Yes". I don't connect HD DVD with the brand HD-DVD. I want a Blu-Ray player, a type of HD DVD player. I'd be interested to read how the questions were asked.

    "Do you want to buy an HD DVD player?"

    if no, then

    "Do you want to buy a Blu-Ray player?"

  27. Rick Cross

    Answer to Why Consumers Should Care About HDTV

    Why should consumers care about HDTV? Because here in the U.S. in 14 months your old analog TVs become virtual paperweights.

    A law passed in 1996 was designed to get everyone on the HD bandwagon. It requires that TV stations stop broadcasting in analog by February 17, 2009.

    By then, unless you are a cable or satellite TV subscriber, if you want to watch open air broadcast television, you'll have to own an HDTV set or purchase a convertor box for every TV at US$100 each.

  28. Highlander

    Jeremy and Stephen

    Xbox360s of all models have only a standard DVD player. you can buy an external drive to play HD-DVD movies. HD-DVD discs will not be capable of holding games, the HD-DVD drive only supports movies.

    Regarding HD output. Microsoft early on claimed that you didn't need HDMI for HD output. Curiously MS has now included HDMI on all new Xbox360s. Technically you can output 1080p resolution via VGA out and component video. However video playback over anything but HDMI is typically limited to standard definition. Not only that but playback over component is far inferior to playback over HDMI, and VGA doesn't carry sound, you have to run a second cable for that.

    What it comes down to is that HD TV uses HDMI. Get with the program.

  29. Highlander

    Connor - regarding the 'unbiased' survey...

    Yes, I thought that too. It's like the political question polls. When you hear that a poll commissioned by one party or the other says something, do you automatically believe it to be objective, or do you remember that you can get whatever answer you like by phrasing the question appropriately? Polls conducted in this manner are open to intentional and unintentional bias.

    Q: Do you plan to buy an HD TV?

    If Yes then ask

    Q: Do you intent to buy an high definition DVD player?

    So, do you mean a device that plays HD movies or an HD-DVD(TM) player? I mean, is that a BluRay playerin in your pocket or are you simply upscaling?

    I'd be more interested if they published the exact questions asked. Perhaps something like.

    Q: If you intend to buy an HD TV in the next 6 months, which type of high definition movie player do you intend to buy?

    Perhaps they could give multiple choice answers with a brief explanation of each choice? Upscaling DVD, HD-DVD, BluRay, none of the above.

  30. Walter McCann

    The problem with HD-DVD/Blu Ray

    Why do we need HD-TV's? Because standard definition pics look crap on LCD/Plasma displays. the picture from the old CRT is far far superior - from a contrast and a quality point of view. To get a decent picture you need a HD source (although some manufacturers are better at upscaling than others)

    As for HD-DVD/Blu-ray, I don't think either will "take off". Video on demand is here or just about here (Sky box office HD for example is the only source of HD movies in Ireland) and I don't see going into the future that people will want to buy loads of discs that they will only watch at most once (I did when I got a DVD first in 1999 - most are still in their shrink wrap...) The only ones that are used regularly are the kids movies but I have ripped them to my PC as the discs were being destroyed.

    So the rental stores won't carry HD disks, the only current source is via Sky etc and people are getting used to this so come 2 years, the rental stores will start boarding up (In Ireland most of the smaller stores have already gone...) Disc based movies are gone, just like the video tape and this is all due to the industry not providing a united front (and over charging for the disks).


  31. Danny Traynor


    Bluray discs ARE available at Blockbuster in (England at least) and I can rent both HD-DVD and Bluray titles from lovefilm. I have both players and can't really choose between them for quality. Also, I like to buy my films whether I'll watch them once or not. I'd much rather pay 13quid for a physical disk than a fiver for a 'HD' download which will expire in 24 hours whether I've finished watching it or not.

  32. Stephen Parker


    Are you actually suggesting that if you use a component lead or a VGA lead with the 360 then your picture is downgraded to SD? If not (and it isn't - unless outputting over VGA at 1920×1080 somehow isn't HD in your book), then I don't see the issue. Also, the 360 VGA cable comes with audio breakouts built into the lead anyway (comes with dual phono leads, or alternatively you can attach an optical lead to it), so that's hardly an issue either.

  33. Highlander


    No, I'm suggesting that 1080p via component is inferior to 1080p via HDMI. I used to be a proponent of component video being as good as HDMI, and really it's not, even at 720p it's not.

    I am also suggesting that playing HD media over anything other than HDMI is done at the sufferance of the content providers. As MS has shown in Vista, their systems, just like those from Sony and others, are more than capable of limiting output of HD audio/video to particular ports.

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