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WalMart to sell $199 HD-DVD player in Q4 2007?

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Firstly, someone explain to me why it's so exciting for one "camp" to win the format wars? HDDVD is actually technically inferior to Blu-Ray, why is this a victory for the consumer (fanboyism aside)?

Secondly, as with most cheap electronics, corners will be cut. The first thing to go will be the digital processing, which will no doubt be as cheap as humanly possible while still technically adhering to the HDDVD standard. The end result is image quality that may well be quite crap (aliasing, jitter, false contouring).

This is the same story as the el-cheapo DVD players which came out and which are honestly worse than paperweights. If you want to view HDDVD you probably have an HDTV, which means you're not dirt poor. Save your pennies and buy a proper HDDVD or Blu-Ray player rather than this garbage.

+1

And even this spills out to be true, who's to say some Chinese produced Blu-ray player won't be released at $199 also? I would never buy this considering the quality spec at which it would probably be built to. I'll hang onto my $600 "paperweight" for now. This "war" is not over, nor will the release of this cheap product end it.

youre both FANBOYS. its using the broadcom chipset. the same one in the sony and samsung blu-ray players and toshiba HD-DVD players. you do realize that B-R and HD DVD players can use the same chipset because they use the same codecs right? they dont make 2 separate ones they make a universal one; its much more cost efficient. and they DONT NEED AA they're 1080p pixel perfect. what the hell would be the point? it would make it look worse. only way it would ever need it is if its upscaling.

the only diff is the rest of the player (drive, laser, assembly) is being contracted out to people who agreed to do it cheaper because of the volume of the deal w/ WAL-MART and the potential for a future relationship.

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they DONT NEED AA they're 1080p pixel perfect. what the hell would be the point? it would make it look worse. only way it would ever need it is if its upscaling.

And you do realise that most people won't be running this player on a native 1080p set (given how expensive they are)? That's like putting budget tires on a Ferrari. The market for this player will be precisely the people trying to go HD on the cheap, likely on a 480P or 720P set. This means the onboard scaling unit will be doing the rescaling (given most TV's scalers are crap), and that's likely to result in aliasing among other things.

PS - How am I a fanboy? The OP of this thread is the clear HDDVD fanboy, cheering on an HDDVD "victory". I personally couldn't care less which format "wins", but this walmart player is not good news for consumers. Clearly you are the fanboy given you have walmart as part of your username!

Going HD on the cheap is a joke - only people with 720P or higher displays are going to get any benefit, since regular DVD is 480P and on a standard 480P set there is no visible difference between HD and SD. Even at 720P the difference is barely noticeable. So really, the whole exercise of going HD on the cheap is utterly pointless; those who have good enough TVs can afford to spend decent money either on a proper dual format player, or a single format player with good all-round quality and processing.

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I love how the blueray people still think there tech is "better"

It has a larger disc capacity right now thats it.

And remember blueray fan boys your BD-J is due in October, so just remember your spec isn't even done yet.

This is huge for HD-DVD, they will gain a huge lead in STAND-ALONE player sales.

Remember the PS3 IS NOT A STANDALONE PLAYER, its a game machine with a blueray drive in it, that COULD be used for movies.

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youre both FANBOYS. its using the broadcom chipset. the same one in the sony and samsung blu-ray players and toshiba HD-DVD players. you do realize that B-R and HD DVD players can use the same chipset because they use the same codecs right? they dont make 2 separate ones they make a universal one; its much more cost efficient. and they DONT NEED AA they're 1080p pixel perfect. what the hell would be the point? it would make it look worse. only way it would ever need it is if its upscaling.

the only diff is the rest of the player (drive, laser, assembly) is being contracted out to people who agreed to do it cheaper because of the volume of the deal w/ WAL-MART and the potential for a future relationship.

You're such a Wal-Mart fanboy. I prefer Target. Ha! :rolleyes:

Go slap on a blue vest and hand me my damn smiley face sticker. :laugh:

Sales figures still don't lie right?

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And you do realise that most people won't be running this player on a native 1080p set (given how expensive they are)? That's like putting budget tires on a Ferrari. The market for this player will be precisely the people trying to go HD on the cheap, likely on a 480P or 720P set. This means the onboard scaling unit will be doing the rescaling (given most TV's scalers are crap), and that's likely to result in aliasing among other things.

PS - How am I a fanboy? The OP of this thread is the clear HDDVD fanboy, cheering on an HDDVD "victory". I personally couldn't care less which format "wins", but this walmart player is not good news for consumers. Clearly you are the fanboy given you have walmart as part of your username!

Going HD on the cheap is a joke - only people with 720P or higher displays are going to get any benefit, since regular DVD is 480P and on a standard 480P set there is no visible difference between HD and SD. Even at 720P the difference is barely noticeable. So really, the whole exercise of going HD on the cheap is utterly pointless; those who have good enough TVs can afford to spend decent money either on a proper dual format player, or a single format player with good all-round quality and processing.

most people will probably be running it on a 720p TV (which are around $500 @ WAL-MART for a 32"). making the TV + the player $100 more than a PS3 or sony's new "cheap" $600 br player coming out in the summer.

also, it STILL doesnt need AA. its not upscaling the discs from 1080p to 720p. thats going down, and again ITS THE SAME CHIPSET as in all the other B-R HD-DVD players.

why youre a fanboy? hmm. did you even read your own post? youre trying to say it will be crap because its sold at walmart. and other players so much better because its less expensive. thats the most retarded logic ive ever heard. all your doing is being an ass and assuming (quite falsely).

i also have Worf as part of my username. do you suppose im a klingon who flies around on a spaceship bravely going where no man has gone before? check out the avatar genius; its a joke.

and lastly, besides the fact that lcds are w/in range of average consumers now and are expected to 1/2 in price by the end of the year; what makes you think that even people w/ $2,000 HDTVs wouldnt buy it? usually people who have that amount of money to blow also know how to save money. a lot of the tech in DVD players is obsolete when dealing w/ LCDs since they dont use an electron gun to scan the lines individually; the pixels are displayed concurrently. youre just speaking out of your ass trying to be an elitist; and you fail.

You're such a Wal-Mart fanboy. I prefer Target. Ha! :rolleyes:

Go slap on a blue vest and hand me my damn smiley face sticker. :laugh:

Sales figures still don't lie right?

dont make worf turn his phaser from stun to kill!

and what sales figures? are you talking about the ps3? typical fanboy, never learns. market penetration of even all the PS3s is about 1.5% of what DVD players were at the $200 price point. thats the magic # when ppl buy.

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Remember the real competition of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is with DVDs. People are happy with DVDs and many need a more compelling reason (price) to re-build their movie collection again. This is why it is so important for price to drop on HD players; otherwise, HD movies will be just like laser disc, a limited market.

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most people will probably be running it on a 720p TV (which are around $500 @ WAL-MART for a 32"). making the TV + the player $100 more than a PS3 or sony's new "cheap" $600 br player coming out in the summer.

also, it STILL doesnt need AA. its not upscaling the discs from 1080p to 720p. thats going down, and again ITS THE SAME CHIPSET as in all the other B-R HD-DVD players.

youre trying to say it will be crap because its sold at walmart. and other players so much better because its less expensive. thats the most retarded logic ive ever heard. all your doing is being an ass and assuming (quite falsely).

and lastly, besides the fact that lcds are w/in range of average consumers now and are expected to 1/2 in price by the end of the year; what makes you think that even people w/ $2,000 HDTVs wouldnt buy it? usually people who have that amount of money to blow also know how to save money. a lot of the tech in DVD players is obsolete when dealing w/ LCDs since they dont use an electron gun to scan the lines individually; the pixels are displayed concurrently. youre just speaking out of your ass trying to be an elitist; and you fail.

Judging that is from Walmart which is more concerned with bulk sales vs quality already preclucedes it from being a worthy player. No electronic product from Wal-mart to date would ever be deemed worthy of being found in a relatively serious home theater application, an no, HTiB are not HT. It is not being elitist at all, however calling out Wal-mart on obviously known business practices that it has pursued for over a decade now: build really cheap with close to slave labor and sell marginally higher.

Additionally there is proof of "same chipset". Even if it were, it does not address abilities of the actual player. For example, the 200 dollar addon for the 360 is incapable of meeting the full specs of the HD-DVD consortium as the 360 does not have HDMI 1.3 specs which allow for the transfer of the HD audio tracks or surround sound PCM tracks either, only in stereo. At most, basic current standard surround sound options will exist, ie. DD, Pro Logic IIx and DTS. The rights to the name and the tech for the HD audio tracks will probably be to expensive to incorporate into a 200 dollar base model. After all, within the last year and a half, most receiver have now received DTS decoding abilities, which was reserved for the higher end gear, which to this day decode at higher bit rates and fidelity than any cheaper model.

Will there be an overall lack of quality in the Wal-Mart model? Yes, and to deny it is just plain silly. It's a Wal-mart product, not a Pioneer Elite or Meridian (which if you had the money for the latter player you would probably never step foot into a Wal-mart anyways :p )

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Honestly, for the audience this is trying to reach, capabilities don't matter. We're here on a tech forum... So obviously most of us will know not to buy this, but for the average Joe out there who wants to try out this new technology, a $200 player is perfect. Besides, if the customer is willing to pay $200 on an usually twice as expensive player, then they probably won't be too choosy about having every single HD-DVD spec capability in this player.

This is to help HD-DVD penetrate the market more, and I think it's definitely going to work.

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Walmart branded electronics? No thanks.

rofl what i bought my 42 inch hdtv there and its great ! if the 199 hd-dvd player of correct ill be getting one

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Judging that is from Walmart which is more concerned with bulk sales vs quality already preclucedes it from being a worthy player. No electronic product from Wal-mart to date would ever be deemed worthy of being found in a relatively serious home theater application, an no, HTiB are not HT. It is not being elitist at all, however calling out Wal-mart on obviously known business practices that it has pursued for over a decade now: build really cheap with close to slave labor and sell marginally higher.

Additionally there is proof of "same chipset". Even if it were, it does not address abilities of the actual player. For example, the 200 dollar addon for the 360 is incapable of meeting the full specs of the HD-DVD consortium as the 360 does not have HDMI 1.3 specs which allow for the transfer of the HD audio tracks or surround sound PCM tracks either, only in stereo. At most, basic current standard surround sound options will exist, ie. DD, Pro Logic IIx and DTS. The rights to the name and the tech for the HD audio tracks will probably be to expensive to incorporate into a 200 dollar base model. After all, within the last year and a half, most receiver have now received DTS decoding abilities, which was reserved for the higher end gear, which to this day decode at higher bit rates and fidelity than any cheaper model.

Will there be an overall lack of quality in the Wal-Mart model? Yes, and to deny it is just plain silly. It's a Wal-mart product, not a Pioneer Elite or Meridian (which if you had the money for the latter player you would probably never step foot into a Wal-mart anyways :p )

I don't really see how this player will be worse then HD-DVD addon for 360. I really don't. The 360 add-on is wonderful in playing HD-DVDs and is certainly not in the high-end of the spectrum. I know I have it. So this new stand-alone HD-DVD player really just needs a tweak in software to run independently unlike XBox's HD-DVD addon. And it will do it at around $199-$299 bucks a pop. I don't think all Walmart products suck too. Some of them are solid, not the top quality as Pioneer Elite but you are making a completely stupid comparison. Pioneer Elite DVD costs from $600 and up little less a Blu-Ray player.

The reason why this product will most likely NOT suck is because the Chinese manufacturer built a new factory, it's creating new technology that actually allows consumer to have better quality no matter how bad the implementation. It's natural progression.

Blu-Ray simply cannot do this as the manufacturing costs rely on revamping whole freakin' factories. Not so with HD-DVD and how is this bad? Well it's not, it's good for consumer because they don't have to pay Blu-Ray's cost of implementation.

This is why HD-DVD is so much more consumer oriented. Blu-Ray has the approach in a way "Oh if you really want somehting good you have to pay us higher price to get pretty much the same crap".

I have PS3 too and 8 BD movies so there's your fanboy theory going out the window. I prefer HD-DVD simply because it's better for everyone. I have enough money to have both and go each way they go, but a lot of people on this board even and in general don't have money to use your type of reasoning and that's "too watch hi-def you need at least $600 and up player". It's just insane to be honest.

As for technical capabilites and Blu-Ray being better is just untrue. It might look better on paper but those are just flashing your eyes with something irrelevant. It's like saying you have a glass that's filled with water all the way to the top and Blu-Ray is saying well we can pour even more water on that. But dude, you can't fill that glass anymore. What's the point of having more water and charging a lot more money for it when you can't use it. Sure, you might get a bigger resolution TVs and something new in audio (read new glass in our metaphor) but the industry is not like it was at DVD inception. It's much more progressive. In a few years, HD-DVD will be again replaced with newer technology.

If you picked Blu-Ray, what you would get is struggle by giants to keep that format alive and stop the progress as the initial costs of implementation were very high. At it will happen, even Blu-Ray technicially superior bandwith capabilities are going to be overshadowed by new standard. But then you would see how hard Sony and the crew would fight to keep the BD going instead of something new. It's the way Sony works man.

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I don't really see how this player will be worse then HD-DVD addon for 360. I really don't. The 360 add-on is wonderful in playing HD-DVDs and is certainly not in the high-end of the spectrum. I know I have it. So this new stand-alone HD-DVD player really just needs a tweak in software to run independently unlike XBox's HD-DVD addon. And it will do it at around $199-$299 bucks a pop. I don't think all Walmart products suck too. Some of them are solid, not the top quality as Pioneer Elite but you are making a completely stupid comparison. Pioneer Elite DVD costs from $600 and up little less a Blu-Ray player.

The standalone player will be greatly underpowered. If MS comes out and states that all 3 cores are running to provide the playback of the video and audio, one has to wonder how "bad" this $200 player is going to be; cheap. After all the 360 with the add-on is around 600 dollars and that?s without the HDMI 1.2 spec. And the comparison of the Pioneer Elite and Meridian is with the next gen version of discs, they will be better just as they were with the previous gen; still a valid comparison.

The reason why this product will most likely NOT suck is because the Chinese manufacturer built a new factory, it's creating new technology that actually allows consumer to have better quality no matter how bad the implementation. It's natural progression.

Blu-Ray simply cannot do this as the manufacturing costs rely on revamping whole freakin' factories. Not so with HD-DVD and how is this bad? Well it's not, it's good for consumer because they don't have to pay Blu-Ray's cost of implementation.

So then, is it cheaper to build a brand new facility with equipment than overhaul some equipment in a current one? I don't want to get off topic but your reasoning here is quite muddled and unsound.

This is why HD-DVD is so much more consumer oriented. Blu-Ray has the approach in a way "Oh if you really want somehting good you have to pay us higher price to get pretty much the same crap".

I have PS3 too and 8 BD movies so there's your fanboy theory going out the window. I prefer HD-DVD simply because it's better for everyone. I have enough money to have both and go each way they go, but a lot of people on this board even and in general don't have money to use your type of reasoning and that's "too watch hi-def you need at least $600 and up player". It's just insane to be honest.

Not sure if this is addressed to my argument, but here goes. If you re read my previous post, the example provided was about the 360's HD-DVD addon. You are NOT receiving a fully functional HD-DVD player, but a crippled one that does not meet the core requirements as set by the HD-DVD consortium even at the cheapest bundle of $500! Do you expect better from a 200 dollar model? Not 1 gig of ram, a Pentium 4 and a bunch of other DSP?s which ran the initial Toshiba players.

With the PS3?s built in Blu-Ray you are receiving all core specs and capabilities to boot unlike the 360?s. The player being released by Wal-mat will merely allow the average consumer to say they have ?HD-DVD? functionality, and that?s where the ball stops.

The PS2 was a decent and cheap DVD player, which in reality wasn?t great at all. It served its purpose, when it worked. This will more than likely be the same thing with Wal-marts offerings.

If anything, this is a gorilla tactic to flood the market with cheap alternatives and potentially undermine the whole reason for having a high def standard. At 200 dollars, what?s the point? For consumers that this equipment is geared for, they will be better off purchasing DVD?s and not the new formats.

In other related news: Meet the Venture SHD7000 HD DVD player. Hardly a :whistle:VD player :whistle:

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You're such a Wal-Mart fanboy. I prefer Target. Ha! :rolleyes:

Go slap on a blue vest and hand me my damn smiley face sticker. :laugh:

Sales figures still don't lie right?

Actually Wal-mart is doing away with the vests.

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In other related news: Meet the Venture SHD7000 HD DVD player. Hardly a real HD-DVD player :whistle:

It almost seems like you don't want HD-DVD to ever get cheap.

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It almost seems like you don't want HD-DVD to ever get cheap.

Whats the point? 200-300 dollars to receive what exactly? HD audio and video is about higher than regular DVD quality, none of which will be available this cheap this soon. Maybe 3 years after market penetration has been effectively reached and high end components become cheaper and standardized, but not now. HD products do not have any hard market share just yet. DVD is still just coming into its own with many average consumers.

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For $199, I'll pick one up for sure. Wasn't all that interested in HD media yet. But for $199, why not?

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No thanks, Walmart. However, this will be a good alternative for the people that are cheap and want the satisfaction of having an HD-DVD drive though its quality and what it offers is questionable at this point.

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For $199, I'll pick one up for sure. Wasn't all that interested in HD media yet. But for $199, why not?

Exactly. And that's why this is going to do so well for HD-DVD.

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I still don't see the point. "HD quality" means nothing unless your TV can actually resolve the additional information in the HD disk (whether Blu-Ray or HDDVD). "Trying out" this new technology therefore results in much the same image quality as DVD on anything but decent 720P - 1080P screens, and importantly it needs to be on larger screen sizes, since beyond a certain viewing distance, your eyes simply can't tell the difference from the improved resolution.

Before someone starts a debate on this, this is a fact - check this Viewing Distance Calculator. For a 32" screen for example you need to be sitting only a few feet from the screen to benefit from the extra resolution. Beyond that the difference is not noticeable.

So really, this player is going to see a lot of people wasting their money, getting home to breathlessly await the "HD Experience", only to find it looks and sounds much the same as regular DVD on their low to medium-end TVs.

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Looks and sounds ok, how about the quality, brand and the lifetime of the actual player? Is it worth it and what it says to be true?

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Looks and sounds ok, how about the quality, brand and the lifetime of the actual player? Is it worth it and what it says to be true?

We probably won't get to know any of those details until it gets reviewed.

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most people who shop at wal-mart can't even afford a TV that a HD DVD will look good on... so why do they need one?

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128058445542656250.jpg128215080918053750.jpg

NO MORE VESTS!?!?!? Crapola.

Worf.. are you really a Wal-Mart employee who thinks he can argue tech specs with a bunch of nerds? Keep your vest on.

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I still don't see the point. "HD quality" means nothing unless your TV can actually resolve the additional information in the HD disk (whether Blu-Ray or HDDVD). "Trying out" this new technology therefore results in much the same image quality as DVD on anything but decent 720P - 1080P screens, and importantly it needs to be on larger screen sizes, since beyond a certain viewing distance, your eyes simply can't tell the difference from the improved resolution.

Before someone starts a debate on this, this is a fact - check this Viewing Distance Calculator. For a 32" screen for example you need to be sitting only a few feet from the screen to benefit from the extra resolution. Beyond that the difference is not noticeable.

So really, this player is going to see a lot of people wasting their money, getting home to breathlessly await the "HD Experience", only to find it looks and sounds much the same as regular DVD on their low to medium-end TVs.

theyre not wasting they're money. look at this chart. a 32" screen @ 720p. they can sit 7 feet away and still see full detail of the resolution. thats about average if not more than average for some1 w/ a 32" tv as their primary set.

and dont say thats no different than 480. thats more than 2.5x the resolution.

128058445542656250.jpg128215080918053750.jpg

NO MORE VESTS!?!?!? Crapola.

Worf.. are you really a Wal-Mart employee who thinks he can argue tech specs with a bunch of nerds? Keep your vest on.

im a walmart employee as much as i am a klingon or a member of the uss enterprise flying around in space shooting photon torpedos. do you still not see the avatar?

im just a overall hater of fanboys. & ftr i was building pcs back before there were coprocessors. dont get all high & mighty mr supertech :devil:

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For $199, I'll pick one up for sure. Wasn't all that interested in HD media yet. But for $199, why not?

see, here we have the target market. aka currently 98% of the U.S.

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look at this chart. a 32" screen @ 720p. they can sit 7 feet away and still see full detail of the resolution. thats about average if not more than average for some1 w/ a 32" tv as their primary set.

More like 6 feet at the most, and I shudder to think who sits at only 6 feet from their TV screen except maybe college students living in dorm rooms.

And 720P is not 2.5x 480P, it is 1.5 times that, and the extra detail would only be noticeable if the source was extremely good (i.e. a recent movie, preferably recorded in digital). Anyway I'm not arguing that HD is a waste of money, I have a 42" HD Panasonic Plasma myself and I'll be buying an HD player of some kind, preferably a dual format one.

Simply put, the average Walmart customer with a standard definition TV or a high definition small-screen TV is not going to get any noticeable benefit from this player, putting aside issues of build quality and the inevitable scaling issues (upscaling or downscaling, makes no difference - it's still the cheap internal scaler working to do the job).

That's precisely why the "format wars" have been such a non-event for all but the excitable fanboys: there is no real benefit to the average consumer just yet.

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most people who shop at wal-mart can't even afford a TV that a HD DVD will look good on... so why do they need one?

my house is worth 7 figures; i drive a honda accord & buy lots of stuff at walmart still. you think im going to buy paper towels at bloomingdales? or spend $600 on a player for the $600 tv in the den where my kid watches it w/ his friends? not likely.

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