Blu-ray vs HD-DVD: FIGHT!

Blu-ray vs HD-DVD: FIGHT!

Waiting to see which high definition format has the legs to remain standing has become like watching two tired boxers dance around the ring in the later rounds. Spectator interest is still there, but the heavy weight action is not, and every time one finally swings a punch, we sit on the edge of our seat happy just to see some action. Let's have a look at the latest jabs from each and see which one's hitting harder:

 

Blu-ray

Much to the delight of Sony, the company trying to force feed a $600 Blu-ray equipped console into your living room diet, rental giant Blockbuster recently announced they'll only be serving Blu-ray dishes in almost all of their nearly 1,500 locations. At a glance, that would seem to signal the impending end to the high definition format war, but is the end really near? For those of us that have joined the online rental revolution, Blockbuster stocks, and plans to continue stocking, HD-DVD titles (here's a hint; navigate to Collections, then scroll down). So does Netflix, for that matter, but unlike Blockbuster, they're not backing either camp, half-heartedly or otherwise. I say half-heartedly not just because of HD-DVD's online presence, but from what I've seen this past weekend in my local Blockbuster store. Instead of being overwhelmed with an extensive Blu-ray only section, there was but a single shelving unit stocked with a modest amount of titles. I have no doubts that will expand over time, but for now, I'm not seeing any nails in HD-DVD's coffin.

HD-DVD

While Blu-ray has the blessing of Blockbuster and a capacity advantage (up to 50GB, compared to HD-DVD's 30GB on dual layer media), HD-DVD continues to chip away on the pricing front. Microsoft recently announced that, starting August 1st, they're cutting the price on their Xbox 360 HD-DVD player from $199 to $179, and throwing in 5 free movies as added incentive (albeit from a list of 15 mostly crappy titles). And if you don't own an Xbox 360, remember you can hook the drive up to a PC, giving HTPC owners a low cost upgrade to high definition content. But it's not just the Xbox 360 drive that hits easier on wallet, stand alone HD-DVD players typically run a couple hundred dollars less than Blu-ray, which could be a factor this holiday shopping season and help build up enough market penetration to keep the format wars raging on.

Scorecard

If you're keeping score, just stop. Yet again, it's much too early to declare a victor, and as player pricing continues to drop on both sides, I could find myself blogging on this same subject this time next year. Or the year after. And who knows, when the dust settles, it's not inconceivable that both formats could be left standing, that is, unless Nintendo's next generation Wii chooses a side...

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avatar

onebxr

http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback184.html

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Mr E

Unfortunately, this list is rather outdated already. Within the past week we've had:

-Target announce they will only carry a Blu-Ray player this holiday season.
-Close Encounters of the Third Kind is coming to Blu-Ray exclusively in November.
-Denon is joining Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, and Mitsubishi in manufacturing or announcing Blu-Ray players
-BJ's Wholesale and Woolworth will stock and sell Blu-Ray only

Add this to the basic facts: Blu-Ray has more space per layer and a scratch-guard coating. 6/7 major studios support Blu-Ray versus 3/7 for HD DVD. Toshiba is virtually standing alone as the hardware manufacturer for HD DVD.

I'm not a fanboi (I don't even own a player yet), but I can read the writing on the wall. Regardless of the fire sale going on from Toshiba, I would definitely NOT recommend anyone buy into HD DVD at this point, at any price. Of course, if you have a lot of money to burn and don't mind that your format will become orphaned sooner rather than later, then more power to you.

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Mayhemm

I agree that Blu-ray seems to have an overwhelming advantage over HD-DVD in both technology and support. However, they are completely squandering it thus far:

Despite the 20GB storage advantage, can you honestly say that the best Blu-ray transfer looks better (or is more durable) than the best HD-DVD release? That extra space is clearly not going into special features, since many BDs are bare-bones (I know many HD-DVDs are as well, but I’m just saying).

BD-Java has just recently gained hardware support and has next to no software support, while all HD-DVD players support HDi and have since the inception of the format.

With a few exceptions, no BD-player has Ethernet/wireless support. Some won’t even play CDs!

The number of exclusive, high profile BD releases is dismal considering the number of studios that support it.

I’m no fanboy either, but you have to admit HD-DVD is holding its own against and making much better use of its resources than its opponent which is, at least on paper, much stronger. To me, that is something to admire.

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Paul_Lilly

Get the likes of Best Buy, Circuit City, or even Wal-Mart on board, and I'd see the writing too. But if the format war is won because of Target (who will also continue to sell the XBox HD-DVD add-on and HD-DVD movies in store, as well as HD-DVD players online), BJ's Wholesale (also selling HD-DVD hardware online), or Woolworth, I'll munch on a pair of dirty socks and post a pic in a future blog for all to see...

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Sonickid101

It came bundled in the Toshiba Satellite X205-S9359's optical drive I just bought which has HDMI output to my TV and I plan on buying a PS3 so I guess I'm covered on both fronts. BTW Toshiba Satellite X205-S9359 pwns Maximum PC please do a product review.

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JC's Demon Slayer

Personally, I don't care about the whole fight. As far as I can tell, all the movies I like are on both formats, and honestly, I'd rather buy DVD/HD-DVD hybrid discs any day of the week, than just one type only.

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Gamer100gs

There are a couple of problems listed on what is listed above. First, Sony too is giving 5 free movies away. Second, Blu-ray players are coming down in price as well. Finally, big movie company's aren't supporting HD-DvD since they can so easily be hack.

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Paul_Lilly

To say that big movie companies aren't supporting HD-DVD is, in a word, wrong. Most studios have not chosen one side over the other, and if either format does die out, you can expect the exclusivity (such as Universal backing only HD-DVD, and 20th Century Fox cozying to Blu-ray) to cease.

On the pricing front, while Blu-ray has dropped, HD-DVD still holds the advantage here, and likely will through the holiday shopping season.

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