February 5, 2008 12:29 PM PST

FAQ: What's next in HD video fracas?

It turns out the Super Bowl, which was supposed to be a blowout, was a lot more competitive than the fight over the next DVD format, which was supposed to come down to the wire.

This time last year the so-called high-definition format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc had become so entrenched that the buzz at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show was around combo players and discs, like LG's Super Multi Blue and Warner Bros.' Total HD format. People hoped for a manageable truce that would stop scaring consumers from choosing a side.

Neither combo players nor the dual-format discs really went anywhere, however. And 12 months later the predictions are not of which side will emerge the victor, but exactly how hard Blu-ray backers are laughing all the way to the bank. Convincing Warner Bros. in January to give up its stance as neutral partner to both in favor of throwing all of its Hollywood heft behind Blu-ray was a major coup for the Sony-backed format.

But HD DVD backers have shown they're not giving up so easily, as evidenced by Toshiba's decision to lower prices on its HD DVD players a week after the Warner announcement. So what's next for the beleaguered format and the world of HD video? Here are some answers to the most common questions.

Q: Is the format fight over already?
Not yet, but it's close. HD DVD made big gains at the end of 2007, due mostly to holiday promotions as low as $99 in some cases, to bring the number of units sold to a dead-even tie: both Blu-ray and HD DVD had 49 percent of unit sales for the year, according the The NPD Group, which tracks retail sales data.

The problem is that the majority of us are satisfied with DVDs and therefore not in a rush to buy a more expensive video player that plays more expensive discs.

The Warner announcement on January 4 represented a seismic shift, though: The week of January 12 showed player sales distributed 90 percent Blu-ray, 7 percent HD DVD, and 3 percent for combo players. The week after, January 19, showed less polarized results, with Blu-ray getting 63 percent of sales, HD DVD 33 percent, and combo players 4 percent. NPD does not normally give out weekly data, and does not offer a more recent update of sales figures.

Momentum isn't the only thing that's shifted. Prices have come way down in the last year. HD DVD players now range in price between $150 and $500, and Blu-ray players between $250 and $1,000.

Of all the major Hollywood Studios only two, Paramount and Universal, have agreements to release their titles exclusively on HD DVD. The rest--Sony, Disney, MGM, and now Warner Bros.--are pledged to Blu-ray. And there's talk that even Paramount and Universal could be persuaded to switch to Blu-ray also when those contracts end.

Q: Is it time to abandon HD DVD?
Not quite. Much was made of Blu-ray's overwhelming sales dominance the week following the Warner announcement in January. But it's hard to base the viability of an entire format on a single week's worth of data since there are other factors at play here.

Toshiba, the main backer of HD DVD, lowered prices on its players significantly the following week, and it's probably not fair to call the game for Blu-ray before all Sunday circulars are updated to show the new pricing ($149 now versus $299 on the HD-A3 model) and customers have a chance to be lured into stores. It's also important to note that there are several "bundling" promotions being offered by a variety of manufacturers, including a high-def video player with the purchase of an HDTV or other electronics item. It's a practice that tends to juice the numbers for both sides.

"Are people organically running out and buying $400 Blu-ray players? Probably not," said Paul Erickson, director of DVD and HD market research for The NPD Group. "Are people going out in droves to buy $149 HD DVD players? Possibly, but obviously not as much as the HD DVD side would want."

And Blu-ray isn't necessarily the perfect solution even if it becomes the default high-def format. As CNET Reviews points out, there are several reasons to proceed with caution still, including the software upgrade process for Blu-ray players, and the availability of your favorite movies and TV shows.

See more CNET content tagged:
HD-DVD, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., backer, Blu-ray, NPD Group Inc.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
And let the flamewar begin!
It's only a matter of time before the fanboys are bashing each other
in the comments section.
Posted by gsmiller88 (624 comments )
Reply Link Flag
De ja vu
Several hours later... the only post is yours. Didn't you also post a "let the flame wars begin" in several other articles?
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
captive market.
With a format decided, there is no incentive to lower prices of media, either.

Oops, I spoke too soon.

Digital downloads will replace hard media at some point (On Demand is beginning to show movies still in theaters), and with the ability to stream all sorts of digital media to your tv and stereo, consumers might skip bluray alltogether.

A couple of terabyte drives from now, bluray could become obsolete itself.
Posted by gerrrg (2547 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If they really want to win the DVD wars...
As a tinkerer of sorts, with computers for almost 30 years, and the proud owner of an HD-DVD player, I believe Toshiba could deliver a killer blow by simply making affordable hd-dvd burners available to people like me, who could truly appreciate the prodigious amounts of storage afforded by the hd-dvd disks for backing up data. I am sitting on over 3 terrabytes of data, and this would be a great way to back up irreplaceable files. Yes, I would love to be able to author high-definition DVDs, as well, and the dearth of available drives, alone, could push me over into the blue-ray camp. Come on, Toshiba, and when you do provide these drives, don't limit them to computer manufacturers/integrators. There are a lot of people like me, who have the experience, capability, and desire to put your drives to immediate use. This translates to increased sales to you, and will help to keep end-users, like me in the HD-DVD camp.
Posted by popsnie (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't understand your comment!
Do you have allegiance to Toshiba or something? Bluray burners have been available for a long time and since they can hold 50GB instead of 30GB for HD-DVD, that alone should be reason enough to get Bluray burners. I don't understand your argument. Also, many many manufacturers make Bluray hardware compared to HD-DVD.
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
Link Flag
In Japan, where Blu-ray and HD-DVD burners are quite common
in households, Blu-ray is beating HD-DVD handily.

Blu-ray burners here are already down to $599. Too much, yes,
but how much are HD-DVD burners right now. Burners you can
pop into your computer and start burning. I know on my Mac, I
can get two different burners and my burning software (Toast)
already supports them.

How's it going on HD-DVD in the software sector? (I'm really
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Link Flag
Content is King
I'd say HD-DVD is not dead.. yet.. but with ONLY 2 studios, its viability is not moot. Lets remember what happened to another format war (DVD vs Divx). Anyone see any similarities?

Also, something this article does not account for is the ps3 'effect' Everyone that I know that owns a ps3 owns or rents blueray discs.

(I personally own a ps3 and over 100 blueray discs)
Posted by Miked350z (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The PS3 Effect
I know plenty of folks who own Wii's and 360s. I don't know anyone who owns a PS3. And I don't know anyone who has bought or rented videos in either high def video format. Honest.

What does the preceding prove? Just that my experience is somewhat limited, as your own experience would seem to be.

--mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
True, but...
Don't forget that NOT ALL STUDIOS ARE THE SAME SIZE. And they certainly don't have the same size back catalogs. I don't know the exact numbers, but I believe that Paramount and Universal have HUGE back catalogs.

So the number of STUDIOS may be tilted in Blu Ray's favor, but the number of TITLES isn't necessarily - it could even become tilted in the other direction.
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
I hope Toshiba continues to promote their version forever! I hope Sony and Toshiba bleed each other WHITE!

So long that they'll both be hawking their independent, ill conceived standards while feature rich, affordable HD downloads reach the mainstream.

I want them to PAY for every time they stuck it to the consumer with their greedy format wars.

Was that too strong? ;<)

Posted by Tim.b (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bluray customers left to hang, HD DVD will live on
It's funny that everyone is declaring Bluray the winner simply
because of the Warner announcement. Well, yeah, they're the
winner alright, of a hell of a lot of used players from all the
bluray customers that are beginning to find out that their
players are in essence useless but a few months of spending
1000 dollars on the format.

HD DVD had it right from day one. They're accessible and stable
and in the end a million times better for the consumer. If in the
end, for some weird reason, enough people end up deciding
that the more expensive and useless format called bluray is
better, then you didn't spend much money at all and still have a
great upscaling DVD player to ignore the bluray ripoff until the
next format comes along.

Bluray seemed better, but in the end, it was HD DVD that had it
right all along.
Posted by bfranco (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My PS3 is rock solid
Say what you want, but 99.9% of the people like to watch movies and not use some fancy PIP commentary etc and online access. In fact most people don't have online access near their HT room (wired ethernet). Less than 1% of people use online access on HD-DVD players. So, calling Bluray Profile 1.0 as limited is just false. It plays all movies fine. Profile 1.1 and 2.0 are needed only for Bonus view and BD Live. These are not needed to watch movies. I have watched 100 Bluray movies and own 35 of them. I have never had problems with any of them in my PS3. So, calling Bluray limited is false.

I guarantee Paramount and Universal will be format neutral before 2009.
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
Link Flag
The next format is here.
The next format is here, it is called Blue-ray.

HD DVD has a hard time with 1080p. Blue-ray has the space (And more importantly the bandwidth) to support 1440p and might be able to push 2160p. This is with software update to the current PS3. with a hardware update 2160p would be easy. HD DVD was obsolete from the day it hit the shelf.

1440p TVs have already hit some markets and 2160p is coming faster than you want to think.

Long live the Blue!
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Long Live the Format Wars!
While Blu-Ray is the most egregious they both are crippled formats that treat their customers as thieves and use DRM schemes that make no sense in a world of many nanny screens per person. And then there is the price point. I regularly pay $50 for a video game but for that I get dozens of hours (or more) of entertainment. A movie at $10-$20 is much more expensive per hour. And the $40 for Blu-ray is just a non-starter. Even if I watch it three times with my family of four we are only talking about 18 hour of entertainment. (yeah short movies are another problem I have with the studios.)

Forget the format war and the price war I want features and the feature I want is to be able to put the content on any screen. And DRM makes the disk about as helpful as a coaster.
Posted by timothywmurray (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
When do we get to burn 25-50 GB BR/or HD-DVD discs?
I need storage content 25-50GB at least.

I have too many hard drives lying around.

I'd pay $10 for a blank disc.. just no COASTERS PLEASE.
Posted by basraw (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yep - 1st format to release a decent cheap burner will win
Yep - 1st format to release a decent cheap burner will win

As soon as we can burn those HD movies from thepiratebay.org for a cheap price, the burner sales will go up ten times....
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
You can now
You can now, but it'll cost you.

For example, a blank Blu-ray that is 50 GB
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.crutchfield.com/S-jyvBK8lVhwd/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?i=158BNR50AH" target="_newWindow">http://www.crutchfield.com/S-jyvBK8lVhwd/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?i=158BNR50AH</a>
is $47.99 (I didnt shop around, quick google search).

This is with the tech still relatively in its infancy and not yet proliferated. DVDs started out similarly. I wouldnt be surprised if this dropped substantially as more people bought into it.
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
Educate us: what's the difference between the formats?
How about an article educating users on which format serves us better? That's going to be a lot more useful than this one.

The 'customer visible' differences between the two formats (that are the basis on which we will end up making decisions) to my knowledge are:
- HD-DVD has a provision for making backup copies of a DVD for personal use and BluRay does not AFAIK
- HD-DVD doesn't have a 'profile' update or software update mechanism -- so nobody's HD-DVD player can become obsolete. BluRay however does have updateable 'profiles' and many people already own BluRay players that are obsolete because they lack the capability required for the new profiles even if their firmware is flashed.
- Anything else?

I might be wrong about those points. But my real point is -- these are the factors that matter to consumers. As a tech journo, you should focus on that instead. Help us decide. Please!!
Posted by dhavleak (1030 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not quite....here is a summary
You mean HD DVD does have a method for AUTOMATED updates over the internet - Blutamax doesnt...

Here is a list of advantages of HD DVD:

Blutamax has extra DRM included.

Blutamax is not region free unlike HD DVD.

HD DVD players have a network connection and can download interactive disks content and firmware grades automatically. Blutamax players dont and cant.

Every single standalone Blutamax player on sale now is already obsolete due to 'profile' updates needed (i.e. they couldnt get the hardware right first time round).

Blutamax has less capacity than HD DVDs 51GB disks

Lots of Blutamax films are encoded in the legacy MPEG 2 codec which measn the picture quality really suffers.

All Blutamax disks have to waste massive amounts of space on uncompressed sound tracks because Dolby HD support is not standard on Blutamax players.

You can buy an Xbox 360 AND a standalone HD DVD player for less than the price of a PS3. Dont put up with the PS3's inferior graphics and lousy games.

You can have a standard DVD on the flip side of an HD DVD disk. Dlutamax cant cope with that.

Oh and Blutamax players cost twice price too.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
Costco has HD-DVD players for $129
today i saw them in the store for $129.

the thing is, even if i were in the market for an upscaling dvd player at $79, would I even want to pay just $50 extra for a format that's dying?

people might consider that a waste of $50 rather than an added bonus.

i really wanted hd-dvd to win.
Posted by www.hdgreetings.com (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Employees dont even want to sell them
I've been told by friends who work at BB, Costco, and CC that they don't even want to sell them because they all end up getting returned anyway as people realize it's a loser format.

Some stores that keep track of sales stats per employee...they REALLY don't want to sell them only to have their performance take a hit a few days later.

If you want an HD DVD player, raid the dumpsters behind Best Buy in 3 months.
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
even better
amazon has them for 118.00
Posted by kasjun (38 comments )
Link Flag
Blueray - HD DVD
hmmm so let me see, a bunch of comments from people who bought HD-DVD players? and arent happy with how things are going. just be happy you have an upconverting dvd player I guess?
Posted by ketjr81 (134 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HD DVD Owner
I recently purchased an HD DVD player. Why? Because it was less expensive. I know the possibility exists that HD DVDs will be outlived by Blu-ray (you spelled it incorrectly) but decided it was worth the gamble. Worst case scenario I end up having to buy a PS3 to get Blu-ray.

I believe things are the way they are because Sony has deep pockets and that is it. For this reason I think it would be great if HD DVD won out. Is it probable? No, but one can hope.

Sony has a very bad history of being over priced and limiting much like Apple. Do they make good stuff? Yes they do but not any better than anyone else who can sell it at half the price.
Posted by jimwarrick (4 comments )
Link Flag
Blu-Ray is awful!
In the terms of the consumer, it's sad that Blu-Ray is winning. Blu-Ray, or "beta-ray" as most in the industry call it, is a very unstable platform. It's discs are physically inferior to HD DVD and DVD, and the players are slow and cumbersome. Not to mention that all rights to the content on Blu-Ray are completely removed from the consumer. HD DVD at least had "Managed Copy" ability. And HD DVD was a solid specification that has not changed from day 1. Yet with the "cool name", and a lot of lies in advertising Sony has won the consumer. HD DVD players would have hit $100 or less this year no matter what, Blu-Ray doesn't have a player worth owning under $400. And won't until after 2009, like this article said. It's a sad time for HD movies. Very sad indeed.
Posted by scottwilkins (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ummm... bias and wrong..
as someone who owns both a blu ray and hd-dvd player, i need to point out that you are dead wrong on your points.

lets start with:
"Blu-Ray doesn't have a player worth owning under $400"
well how about the PS3. not only is it a blu ray player, and an upscaling dvd player, it is also a game console.

next untruth: "It's discs are physically inferior to HD DVD and DVD"
wrong again. blu ray disks hold much more data than hd-dvd disks. how much you ask. how about almost 20 gigaBYTES more. that allows for better quality uncompressed audio such as HD-DTS, and more special features.

next untruth:
"the players are slow and cumbersome"
nope. my PS3 boots up0 and starts playing a movie before my toshiba A35 (the best hd-dvd player money can buy) even says hello... which is slow and cumbersome you say?

next untruth:
"all rights to the content on Blu-Ray are completely removed from the consumer"
you have all the same rights that you have with DVD disks. given they did make it more difficult to copy and pirate the movies.
HD-DVD is region free and pirates love it for that reason.... could that be your real reason for all the blu ray hate? i bet it is.
Posted by zackinma (34 comments )
Link Flag
Managed copy is a joke.
Pick any HD DVD player on the market, pick any movie you want to back up. Now try to make a managed copy. You cant? Even if you could? Blank HD DVD-R disks cost as much as the movie you are wanting to copy, and they only have half the space needed to hold a movie.

If and when HD DVD burning players with hard drives hit the market (and if double sided HD DVD-r disks ever sell for less than $20), you can talk about managed copy (Hint, with the companies making blank media starting to abandon HD DVD this will never happen).
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
Yes it is very sad that people are so easily led to buy the trash that Sony is backing.I have'nt bought a player for either format and have no plans of doing it anytime soon.For now i'll stick with my DVDs.
Posted by bwtanker (36 comments )
Link Flag
Don't Believe the Angry HD DVD Owners
They're just bitter that the format they've invested in is on its last legs.

It's a shame there had to be two formats to begin with and people are in this predicament.

However, I'm guessing many HD DVD owners bought on price alone. You get what you pay for.
Posted by technologyRules (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
they're bitter
Notice there's only actually like 2 or 3 of them who post like 90 times.

They're upset and bitter. Everyone else is happily enjoying their Blu-rays.
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
i did'nt buy an HD-DVD player and am not planing on doing it very soon.i support HD-DVD because Sony is pushing Blue Ray and i hate Sony.they have been in court at least 2 times for putting content on the disk that puts spyware in your computer to call home and stop certain things you might want to do with the disk
Posted by bwtanker (36 comments )
Link Flag
i did'nt invest in HD-DVD.I still use DVDs and i think Sony and Blu-Ray suck
Posted by bwtanker (36 comments )
Link Flag
Angry HD-DVD
I'm not an angry HD-DVD owner.all i have are DVD players and burners,i just don't like anything that sony trys to push on unsuspecting consumers.they have been in court numerous times for putting **** on their disks mainly known as spyware.I want nothing to do with anything sony sells are supports
Posted by bwtanker (36 comments )
Link Flag
Don't believe stuffy Blu-Ray owners
Blu-Ray is not what Sony says it is. If you don't believe me, then try to find out how it's better technology wise. Space is not a technology, and movie studio support is not a technology. Sure, on those Blu-Ray is better (for now). In reality HD DVD blows Blu-Ray away, but studio execs didn't like region free and managed copy, so they sided with Sony in limiting the consumer's rights. Aren't you proud you lost your rights in buying Blu-Ray? I didn't think so.
Posted by scottwilkins (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sony conspiracy
Right, this is all a conspiracy on Sony's part to take over the world with superior products that are simply too cool to use. :)
Posted by technologyRules (302 comments )
Link Flag
Bluray has managed copy also!!
Stop spreading lies. Bluray has managed copy also and Kaleidascape is already getting ready to support it. Peak bitrate is higher on Bluray and disks have mandatory anti scratch coating. This makes Bluray movies more rugged than HD-DVD. Many people are having problems with combo disks on the HD-DVD side. Just visit avsforums and see what I mean.

While I agree HD-DVD specs were solidified before Bluray's, that is not the only reason to support a format. Also, look at the consumer electronics space - do you see a whole bunch of companies on one side leading to vibrant development and one lonely company carrying the format on the other side. You decide.
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
Link Flag
we arent stuffy...we're just happy we picked a winner
I'm pretty sure if you were in our shoes, you'd be happy too.

Sorry you're jealous/upset. You backed the wrong horse. Sell it while you still can.
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
organically running out?
Organically running out? What other kind of running out is there?

I must correct myself. In another talkback I mentioned that the HD-A30 only did 1080p at 24 fps. I got that from the CNET review.

Either the CNET review is outdated or it's wrong.

My workplace has started servicing Toshiba's HD DVD units. I'm very impressed with the quality.

From experience I can say that the HD-A30 does both 1080p 60 and 1080p 24.

To the point: $150 HD-A3 being close to the cost of an upconverting DVD player, I don't think so.

You can get a Toshiba upconverting dvd player for $60 if you look hard enough. You can get a DVD/VCR that upconverts, made by Toshiba, for under $100.

So, if you're talking 3 times the cost then sure, they're close.

Duel format players suck. Who in their right mind would pay close to a grand for a DVD player? HD or not.

A BIG problem Toshiba has is awareness.

A lot of my customers and friends ask me about HD. All of them know Blueray. The name is out there in a big way. Something I hear a lot after a mention of Blueray is "isn't there some other kind of HD too"?

People don't know HD DVD and they don't know Toshiba sells it.

Toshiba has three things going for it: 1 price, 2 better format and 3 they're not Sony. They have to do a better job promoting HD DVD to consumers.

Of course, it didn't help that Microsoft stabbed Toshiba in the back by not offering an XBox with a built in HD-DVD drive. But what else would one expect from Microsoft?
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree, but
To your last point, I kind of agree, but not fully. I think Microsoft made the right decision on not building HD DVD (or any next-generation format) into the 360. Remember: the 360 came out a full year before PS3 and had a big price advantage (and was profitable for Microsoft much earlier as well). Forcing HD DVD into the 360 could have a) delayed its launch and b) significantly increased its price. It would thus have had little advantage over the PS3 in the marketplace.

On the other hand, I do agree that MS haven't done enough to push HD DVD. They should have made it almost difficult to buy a 360 WITHOUT a bundled HD DVD add-on.
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
Actually, in this case you don't get what you pay for
Why would you pay more for inferior Blueray? The quality is just not there.

So, you're actually getting better product by paying less for an HD-DVD unit.

Who do you expect people to listen to? The owners know what quality they have gotten. Should they listen to someone who is ignorant of the whole topic, like you?
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have had my PS3 since Feb 2007. I just bought a HD-A3 as an upconverting player for a smaller (37") TV. However, I tested the HD-A3 in my HT room along side the PS3 and I can easily say that Bluray movies (especially the ones from Disney) look better than Bourne Identity. More Bluray movies have lossless sound compared to HD-DVD. BD has more head room (50GB vs 30GB). Bluray has more bandwidth. So, quit spreading lies about quality. The HD-A3 is cheaply built compared to the PS3. The A30, 35 are not that much better either. Plus content is king!!!
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
Link Flag
I don't understand your point. I paid more for Bluray - I got a high quality Sony device that renders high-def movies well. It has higher storage capacity, which is especially nice for my PS3 games, and scratch resistance. HD DVD costs less and you get less, IMHO.
Posted by technologyRules (302 comments )
Link Flag
Movie studios laughing at you.
When ever I read one of these articles, I end up thinking that the movie studios are just laughing at us. Not for the discussion of which is better HD-DVD or Blu-ray, but because they see a chance to make you buy Star Wars for the 5th time (VHS, VHS director's cut, DVD, DVD box set, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, ect ect ad naseum). The only way to 'win' the game is not to play. Don't buy either of the players, don't buy the movies in the new formats. Or if you really have to have a HD movie, wait till you can buy it used.
Posted by feliusrex (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, I agree
You hit the nail on the head there.

When I do buy an HD DVD player (which may be soon because of the price cuts), I won't be buying any movie in HD that I already own in SD DVD.

SD DVD looks great on my 42" LCD TV, especially those that were mastered digitally. I see no reason to repurchase the over 300 movies I own just to see them slightly sharper.

And, there is just no way in heck I will ever pay upwards of $30 for a new movie release on HD DVD.

So, if I do buy an HD DVD player (HD-A30) for under $200, I will be looking for HD titles I don't already own (that will be tough) and I sure won't be buying any new HD releases unless I can get them at the same price as the SD version.

You can win and still buy, as long as you buy what you want and need, not what they tell you you want and need.
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
Link Flag
Format Wars
you're the only one on this site that makes perfest sense,don't buy either.If more people would stick together and do thsi there would be a lot of changes,but every one is mostly from the me first generation.
Posted by bwtanker (36 comments )
Link Flag
I know two people (including myself) who got a PS3 for it's high-def capability- not a lot, but it's something. The PS3 has been a good Trojan horse for Sony, though I can see digital downloads evening the playing field- something that, by the way, the HDD-equipped PS3 is fine for. I actually got mine partly for Hi-def Divx playback and Blu-ray when it's rentable, as I don't like the idea of buying every movie I want to see, when most of them are only worth one viewing.
Posted by Starfires (157 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Blu-ray is rentable
Netflix has them (doesnt charge extra) and Blockbuster is going to them exclusively.!
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
Its to lenghy getting up and running a 45Gb HD drive and the backers see that they would rather put their efforts [erhaps moving Blue ray towards 75 perhaps 100Gb varieties.
This leaves Other complaining over Encryption systems issues which backer are lightly to push for a solution to after they've got enough momentum behind the standard.
Having a 75GB version would allow for movies Like Lord of the Rings to be properly printed and does leave hollywood thinking about how it could make some more extended lengh movies and leaves us consumers gutted they didn't think of this problem sooner when the hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy film was made because with some extended time and a bit more work and effort it could have been Great.
Posted by wildchild_plasma_gyro (296 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HD DVD prices go down due to demand and value
HD DVD players are going to keep dropping in prices as the
companies try to move inventory in the face of low demand and
reduced value (since it's basically going to be just an expensive
DVD player in a couple years).

Reporting dropping HD DVD player prices as if it's some sort of
game-changer is just disingenuous. Blu-Ray won, but c|net
knows it can get a few more ad downloads if they declare the
format war not over yet.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
fire sale?
I'd agree with this comment. It makes sense for toshiba to
liquidate their stock. Although folks they dont do their homework
before purchasing will get burned. Thats what return policies are
for I guess. 2 studios will not and can not provide enough
content to keep hd-dvd alive :(
Posted by Miked350z (9 comments )
Link Flag
HD DVD is cheap because they need to clean house
If they wait any longer word will totally be out to even the less than tech savvy that the format is a total loss. They need to sell it while they still can. Ironically, following the holidays, despite the fire sale of gear, Blu ray still came out on top.

No one wants HD DVD
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
So sad, the better format will lose
HD DVD had less DRM which, by default, makes it better. But HD DVD had other things going for it too. No compatibility issues, ever. TL-51 HD DVD was never going to be made available unless ALL players past and present supported it. But it is amazing what $400 million can buy. That is how much the BDA paid Fox to stay with Blu. Without that, Fox was going HD DVD, and so was Warner, and Blu-Ray, the technology superior but real-world inferior format, would have lost. $400 million.

Before the Blu boys have a heart attack, I always wanted a Blu-Ray player. In fact, the only reason I even have a HD DVD player at all is $100. In other words, I want to be format neutral, I just couldn't afford it.
Posted by i_am_still_wade (250 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bluray has the same DRM as DVD - what's your point?
I don't understand the DRM argument. I guess if the ability to illegally copy movies is a requirement - you better not choose Bluray.
Posted by technologyRules (302 comments )
Link Flag
No real guarantee it's going to lose
Don't forget that Paramount and Universal have huge back catalogs, so the number of titles isn't going to be much different between the camps even after Warner defected.

Also, HD DVD has persistent manufacturing price advantages for both discs and players. Those advantages are not going away, so HD DVD will continue to be able to undercut Blu Ray in price.

And Microsoft could still weigh in with a massive push of the HD DVD add-on with the xbox 360, let alone a model with HD DVD built in (no guarantee they will, but if they did, they could largely nullify the advantage given to Blu Ray numbers by the PS3).
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
why DVD is "good enough"
It's the content, not the format. The depth of titles on DVD make it hard to compete with. Sure, I'd take a pristine transfer in HD, but if it came down to it, I'd rather a VCD copy of a movie I want over a 1080p HD copy of a title I couldn't care less about.
With all the HD camcorders coming into the market, does either HD disc format have a way to play home-burned HD content? I'm not necessarily talking about real bluelaser blanks either, even a DVD/R with HD-format content would be acceptable for now, and make the players more useful.
Posted by punterjoe (163 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, You can watch home HD video on a PS3
Just copy the files over to your PS3 hard drive (or stream them over using a media center).

PS. DVD is not good enough if you have a 72 inch or larger TV and a 7.1 channel audio system with speakers capable of reproducing uncompressed audio.

You have know idea what it is like when you come to the realization that your home theater sounds better than the best commercial theater in your town. (The popcorn is better at home too.)
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
this becomes more and more untrue as time goes on
Around 50 million Americans own HD sets at this point. More will in the coming years. The fact is, DVD just doesnt cut it with HD sets.

And thankfully, upscaling is there to help in the interim. Blu-ray players do an amazing job with upscaling, as do HD DVD players.
Posted by jrm125 (334 comments )
Link Flag
Irony Alert - Toshiba & Sony developed PS3
The anti-Sony/Blueray camp will love this - Toshiba partnered with Sony to develop the PS3 microprocessor. Toshiba actually earns money from each PS3 sale! Both companies are partners in other technologies.

My hunch is the death of HD DVD isn't as big a deal to Toshiba as one might think.
Posted by technologyRules (302 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You have a most delicate point, in fact, it is to my belief that the two do more than make money off sony's ps3, but in fact they might have cooked up this whole format war in the first place. Seriously, how hard would it be to have a partnership where the only losers are the consumers? How improbable would it be to believe that sony signed a deal with toshiba to gain a certain percentage and vice/versa? Whatever format ends up on top (looks like bluray at this point), the other format would have still made huge amounts of money, therefore being a considerable profit to each side. Bottom line? We lose, big bad corperations always win. It's a concept that's hardly new either.
Posted by TruSlice (1 comment )
Link Flag
HD will be the DATA winner
Thanks to the already cheap prices of HD players, there seems to be a good incentive for Toshiba to gradually add Pc Burners to the list, and win THAT war.
The disks are cheaper, hold more and the cost of a Blue-ray PLAYER, let alone a BURNER is ridiculously high so it can be an easy area for them to grab a year or maybe 2 price advantage unless the Blue Ray camp can go on a starvation diet and match their price
Posted by ssratt (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Blue-ray costs less.
Cost GB/GB Blue-ray is cheaper.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Link Flag
If you don't want to buy Blue-ray from Sony....
If you don't want to buy Blue-ray from Sony, just hold off until summer. You will be able to buy a Blue-ray player from Toshiba. Everyone wins.

Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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