Michael Bay Still Loves Blu-ray More Than HD DVD

Illustration for article titled Michael Bay Still Loves Blu-ray More Than HD DVD

Even though Transformers director Michael Bay backed down after bitching about Paramount's choice of HD DVD over Blu-ray for all forthcoming home videos including Transformers, he couldn't hold his tongue for long. He told USA Today that he's pissed about the format war in general, adding specifically:

"As a director, my critical eye is that Blu-ray is where my money is."

He also says the best-selling DVD release of Transformers was "not as good as it could have been." Apparently somebody must've got up on the wrong side of the bed. [USA Today] UPDATE: Whether Bay likes it or not, his Transformers HD DVD just set an HD movie-disc record, selling 190,000 in one week.


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@aurf: Studios like BD because:

1. It has more space. I don't know where you got that bit about video - but Blu-ray uses the exact same codecs as HD DVD and actually allows for a significantly *higher* video bitrate.

2. Speaking of bitrate - Blu-ray provides a higher total bitrate, as well as higher video and audio bitrates. That allows for higher quality over all.

3. DRM. Like it or not, the studios do like DRM - and Blu-ray offers BD+ and ROM Mark, in addition to AACS which it shares with HD DVD.

4. Advanced features. Blu-ray uses BD-J for interactivity, which provides for a lot more advanced features than HDi as used on HD DVD. Admittedly it is also more complex to develop for, which is why there has been a slow start. But the dev tools are getting better and we're starting to see more BD titles using BD-J for advanced bonus content.

5. While HD DVD has more standalone players, it has been on the market longer. Blu-ray is gaining on HD DVD in standalone player sales as prices drop. And the PS3 is a major factor, as a lot of people (including myself) purchased PS3s *primarily* as BD players. Some of us have purchased a number of BD movies - I have, or have on order, over 30 so far, and plan to buy more before the end of the year.

6. Blu-ray is controlled by a consortium and there are more major players so control isn't in one vendor's hands. HD DVD is effectively controlled by Toshiba, the DVD Forum rubber stamps their specs. The studios have more of a role in the BDA.

7. The future. BD shows a lot of potential for evolution. It is a new technology with a long future. HD DVD is the last gasp of DVD, being pushed to the limits. Just trying to get their 45/51GB disc finalized has been a chore. BD is already looking at 100GB, 200GB, and beyond. Which may not matter as much for Hollywood today - but it may in time. There is a move toward 3D films again, and 3D home viewing systems. All of those systems will have more data to generated the 3D image.

8. Data. The PC industry has also embraced BD due to the higher data capacity and availability of drives. It is much easier to get a BD drive than an HD DVD drive in a PC. This additional format support will help drive down costs and increase production.

HD DVD players being 'more standardized' is really a red herring. So far Toshiba is the only significant player in HD DVD, so all of their players are based on the same implementation. The Xbox add-on was developed with them too. Blu-ray has a very clear stair-step standards system. 1.0 to 1.1 and 2.0/Live. Each later step in the standard is backwards compatible. So a 1.1 disc will work just fine on a 1.0 player, it just won't be able to access some bonus content. And 2.0 adds online content. But DVD had changes like this do - the addition of DTS for example - and it didn't cause major problems.