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Panasonic calls war in favour of Blu-Ray

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Panasonic calls war in favour of Blu-Ray

Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:55 pm

http://www.twice.com/index.asp?layout=a ... =CA6453379

Panasonic's Taylor Outlines Views On Blu-ray, Flat Panel
By Steve Smith -- TWICE, 6/20/2007 8:00:00 AM
UPDATE! Secaucus, N.J. — Joseph Taylor, executive VP/COO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, said Blu-ray has won the HD disc format battle and indicated while the company is still solidly behind plasma, LCD may get more attention.

Those were just two of the issues Taylor discussed in an exclusive one-on-one interview with TWICE, the first since the 25-year Panasonic Industrial Company veteran took on his new job earlier this year.

Concerning Blu-ray and HD DVD, Taylor commented, "I'm giving a very politically incorrect answer. I think the battle is over. I think Blu-ray has won."

He said there are two "determining factor[s] ... Who did the content providers select? At the moment, overwhelmingly, the content providers have selected Blu-ray. What are consumers buying? Since the beginning of the year content [sales have been] almost two to one for Blu-ray."

Taylor added, "There may be some noise for a little while, but in the end I think Blu-ray will be the technology that wins the battle."

With so much of Panasonic's emphasis on plasma in the last few years, when asked if the company is comfortable being the leading plasma TV market share leader, while surveys show a trend towards LCD in flat-panels, Taylor remarked, "We are never comfortable and hope we never become comfortable (with the status quo). Really the marketplace will decide which flat panel they prefer."

He noted, "We are in a unique position because we just don't just provide plasma but LCD. In this unique position we can do what our customers need us to do."

In discussing Panasonic's emphasis on plasma in recent years, Taylor said plasma is the centerpiece of the company’s strategy to drive sales of high definition devices but, "We are not just pushing plasma ... We are saying 'flat panel' because we are also a major manufacturer of LCD products as well."


It's a ballzy move, but with all the positive Blu-Ray news lately, it's not overly surprising that SOMEONE officially came out and said it. Although it could of course be argued that the war won't be over until Sony or Toshiba give in and start making players for the opposing side.
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Postby Ian on Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:06 pm

Not surprising considering they're one of the major patent holders.
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Postby Ian on Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:27 pm

DigiTimes also has an interview with Matsushita's general manager, Masayuki Kozuka.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20070620PD201.html

Q. Why does the BD Alliance (of which Matsushita is a member) claim the upper hand over HD DVD Group in terms of support from the top-eight movie studios in Hollywood?

A. According to statistics by DVD Empire, the ratio of BD and HD DVD movie discs sold globally during the first five months of 2007 was 67:33; of all movie publishing sources, 74.4% had released BD movies and 29.5% had published HD DVD movies.

Q. For users of many desktop and/or notebook PCs, LCD screens are too small to view high-definition (HD) video, how do you plan to attract them to use blue-laser products?

A. For DVD standards, the demand began with stand-alone DVD players and then extended to PC-use drives and burners. Today sales volume for the latter is estimated to be five times that for the former. The trend of development for blue-laser disc drives/players is expected to be the same or similar.

Q. Pioneer has offered a BD Combo burner drive (read only for BD) for sale at only US$299, will Matsushita follow suit?

A. There have been US$2,000 notebook PCs equipped with BD burners, and Matsushita has internally predicted that BD penetration will increase faster if prices of notebook PCs with built-in BD burners or drives falls to US$1,000. BD Combo products, therefore, have the advantage of price competitiveness and Matsushita is planning to launch products in the second half of 2007.

Q. What is Matsushita's business outlook for blue-laser ODDs or players?

A. This year, DVD standards will account for 95% of the global sales volume of all kinds of ODDs (including players and recorders), leaving 5% for BD and HD DVD. But the proportion for BD and HD DVD will rise to 20-30% in 2010. In addition, the shipment volume of desktop and notebook PCs equipped with BD and/or HD DVD burners/drives will reach an estimated 35 million units in 2010, accounting for 17.5% of the projected 200 million units for all PCs.
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Postby Wesociety on Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:02 pm

Wow, only 20 - 30% of all ODD's will be HD DVD/Blu-ray by 2010 ?
That seems pretty small for that far out...
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:08 pm

Wesociety wrote:Wow, only 20 - 30% of all ODD's will be HD DVD/Blu-ray by 2010 ?
That seems pretty small for that far out...


I have serious doubts about that. Considering that there is nowhere really left to go with DVD ODD's, manufacturers will push Blu-Ray drives more and more.
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Postby Ian on Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:12 pm

They can push all they want, but consumers aren't going to get on board until prices come down considerably. I don't know too many people with the need to burn 25GB or 50GB of data yet either.
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Postby vinnie97 on Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:55 am

If you've fooled yourself into thinking HD definition viewing will be anything but niche until any time earlier than 2009 (and more likely 2010), then you're failing to look at the bigger picture and the adoption rate of new formats in times past. The average Joe is happy with DVD and many are still finishing the transition from VHS.

All of these early victory announcements for what accounts for a percentage of the market in the single digits is laughable at best.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:37 pm

Ian wrote:They can push all they want, but consumers aren't going to get on board until prices come down considerably. I don't know too many people with the need to burn 25GB or 50GB of data yet either.


Based on that, the demand for 500GB-1TB HDDs would be very small... but it seems that the demand for huge HDDs is growing quite quickly. The neeed for larger recordable media will deffinately follow that trend I believe. But yes it does need to come down in price. But the LG 4x Blu-Ray drive is already selling for <$400 CAD at www.futureshop.ca. $400 was the price point I bought my first DVD burner at :wink:
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:40 pm

vinnie97 wrote:If you've fooled yourself into thinking HD definition viewing will be anything but niche until any time earlier than 2009 (and more likely 2010), then you're failing to look at the bigger picture and the adoption rate of new formats in times past. The average Joe is happy with DVD and many are still finishing the transition from VHS.

All of these early victory announcements for what accounts for a percentage of the market in the single digits is laughable at best.


The expectation of greater then low single digit market support while there is still a split in the High-def market (i.e. before the war ends) is pretty laughable also. But this could easily become a moot point by the end of this year :wink:
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Postby Wesociety on Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:11 pm

But what about the "magical" $199 price point that has been talked about over and over? If HD DVD players hit $199 by this holiday season (and I expect that they will), then we could see a large amount of consumers pick up HD DVD players...

These blue laser format adoptions are different than times past with the prices coming down at a much faster rate, which will lead to faster adoption rates.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:19 pm

Wesociety wrote:But what about the "magical" $199 price point that has been talked about over and over? If HD DVD players hit $199 by this holiday season (and I expect that they will), then we could see a large amount of consumers pick up HD DVD players...

These blue laser format adoptions are different than times past with the prices coming down at a much faster rate, which will lead to faster adoption rates.


I don't know, I've seen HD DVD players reported at $199 at retail during this Father's Day sale, and I've seen a lot of places pretty close to that price point already, along with 5 or more free HD DVD movies to offset any difference.

HD DVD has claimed that price would be the clinching point in this format war, but so far 60:40 disc sales ratio in favour of Blu-Ray points that maybe this is not the case.

At this point, I'm quite certain that HD DVD players will go for $149 or less by the holiday season. But I don't expect it will make a difference.
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Postby Wesociety on Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:37 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:I don't know, I've seen HD DVD players reported at $199 at retail during this Father's Day sale, and I've seen a lot of places pretty close to that price point already, along with 5 or more free HD DVD movies to offset any difference.

That $199 price was reported as a price mistake by the retailer, someone stated that they received an email saying that the store could not honor the price (I can't remember what retailer website it was).

There is a GARGANTUAN difference between sales volumes of this past month and the holiday season (November/December). Remember that many retailers and stores make 90% of their sales in the 4th Quarter of the year!
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:18 pm

Wesociety wrote:
dolphinius_rex wrote:I don't know, I've seen HD DVD players reported at $199 at retail during this Father's Day sale, and I've seen a lot of places pretty close to that price point already, along with 5 or more free HD DVD movies to offset any difference.

That $199 price was reported as a price mistake by the retailer, someone stated that they received an email saying that the store could not honor the price (I can't remember what retailer website it was).

There is a GARGANTUAN difference between sales volumes of this past month and the holiday season (November/December). Remember that many retailers and stores make 90% of their sales in the 4th Quarter of the year!


I'm pretty sure that some places got as low as $225 though. That plus 5 free HD DVD movies is pretty motivating... unless you don't think the format will survive, or ever be able to play your favourite movies :wink:
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