The Format War Is Over, HD-DVD Surrenders!

A Toshiba insider claims that the company will abandon its HD-DVD format, yielding the next-generation DVD format war to Sony’s competing Blu-ray technology. So now that the war is over you should run out and buy a new Blu-ray player, right? Not so fast.

The first generation Blu-ray players currently on shelves, profile 1.0, don’t offer many nice perks like picture-in-picture, local storage, or internet connectivity. Those features will arrive with second generation players, called BD Live or profile 2.0, which should hit stores by the end of the year. Once prices fall, those are the players to buy.

As for HD-DVD…

Japanese public broadcaster NHK had earlier reported that Toshiba would suffer losses in the tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) as it scrapped production of HD DVD players and recorders and took other steps to exit the business.

An official eulogy is expected early next week.

Toshiba to give up on HD DVD, end format war: source [Reuters]

Comments

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  1. brent_w says:

    Ew … I hate bluray.

    Oh well, its not like I had any interest in HDDVD or Bluray.

    My DvDs suit me just fine and by the time they don’t make them anymore I’ll be buying my movies on the internet.

    As for storage, who the hell wants to mess with optical media when solid state is 10 times easier, faster, and more reliable.

  2. humphrmi says:

    Who do I send my BetaMax to? :)

  3. AndyDuncan says:

    Actually, PIP and ≥ 256mb local storage are mandatory in profile 1.1, which has been out for a couple months. 2.0 has internet connectivity and ≥ 1gig local.

    So. buy a PS3.

  4. SchecterShredder says:

    I liked HD-DVD better but whatever. I didn’t buy a player yet. I will get a BluRay 2.0 player when they are released though. Glad I waited.

  5. PeteyNice says:

    This is just a minor setback. HD-DVD will rise from the dead and take down Blu-Ray!

  6. sleepydumbdude says:

    Damn, I spent a little over a 100 on a player and got Heroes season 1 for free. Its the only HD DVD I own and probably won’t buy anymore unless I find them on clearance or something.

  7. Bay State Darren says:

    I’m gonna go on the record as saying standard DVD is perfectly good enough and I have no intention of switching.
    [I sound like an old, old man.]

  8. Sherryness says:

    I’m so far out of the loop on this that I never even had a chance to pick a side. I haven’t had much time for movies lately.

  9. B says:

    I sure am glad I told my parents to invest in the Betamax of DVD players. They were cheaper at the time. And really, when was the last time Sony won a format war?

  10. AndyDuncan says:

    @B: I guess they were due.

  11. dapuddle says:

    Who needs a dvd player anyways? Isn’t everyone just downloading movies anyways?

  12. ClayS says:

    @humphrmi:
    I think Sony should accept your Betamax in exchange for a Blu-ray player. Would make for a good promotion, you think?

  13. SaraAB87 says:

    @BayStateDarren:
    Your not an old man, I still watch VHS tapes, they are cheap and can be found at yard sales for 25 cents or 50 cents! I only have a handful of DVD’s but a load of VHS.

  14. Bay State Darren says:

    @SaraAB87: Thanks for the reassurance. I swear I’m not laughing at you at all right now! [covers mouth, tries to hold back]

  15. penarestel says:

    Gah, this story is so annoying.
    Who gives a crap what a “Toshiba insider” claims?

    Wasn’t it not too long ago that a “Warner insider” claimed they were going HD DVD exclusive?
    We all see how that one turned out.

    Even if this is true then it just means cheap HD DVDs and players for me.
    Oh and good job consumers, you just let Sony, a company known for its anti-consumer policies, win a format war.
    You might as well bend over now and accept your fate for the next few years. At least I’ll be happy with cheap HD DVD player that’s upconverting my standard DVDs.

  16. AcidReign says:

        I’m right with all of you old folk! I’ve still got the old 13-inch, black and white G.E. television I was given for Christmas back in 1970. Father time couldn’t kill it, but now the damned government is trying to make it stop working next year!

        DVDs are as fragile as all get-out. I’d expect a Sony product to be even worse. Any movies you expect to keep forever need to be ripped and backed up on the family server, on at least RAID-5!

  17. vr4z06gt says:

    thats what a multi-terabyte media server is for….i can rip dvds/blueray/and hd-dvd and stream them via gigabit ether net to my htpc, and then to my tv. not waisting money on any unneeded hardware….

    however sony finally got something right how many failed propriatary formats have they had, betamax, umd….

  18. capstinence says:

    @AcidReign: 13-inch, black and white television from 1970 but you have a RAID-5? ;)

  19. Oshawapilot says:

    Despite preferring the HDDVD format verus BluRay, I’m glad I never bought one.

    My laserdisc player that’s shoved away in the basement is going to have to sit all by itself for a few more years until I (assuredly) get stung on something else that quickly goes obsolete.

  20. penarestel says:

    @vr4z06gt: There’s a reason they failed. They were anti-consumer.

  21. cashmerewhore says:

    Woot, cheap HD-DVDs! Now to buy more!

  22. vr4z06gt says:

    @penarestel: the ideas were nice, execution poor…

  23. Aeroracere says:

    What’re you all using to rip your DVDs to your media servers? I’d like to watch mine in Quicktime, but for some reason I can’t find a program that’ll spit out the movies in a reasonable quality compared to the original DVD! Any help would be appreciated :)

  24. 3drage says:

    People are posting about movie downloads because that’s what the press want them to say.

  25. vr4z06gt says:

    @Aeroracere: for dvds rip the vobs and ifo files, most reasonable players will play them back as if they were a dvd, by simply selecting the ifo files, full menus, extras, and if you want other languages….

  26. lukobe says:

    @BayStateDarren: Ditto. Who cares?

  27. Hawk07 says:

    @penarestel:

    That statement is laughable at best considering regardless of what HD-DVDs infractions were, Sony is the king with a long history of being anti-consumer.

  28. cronick says:

    @Aeroracere: Handbrake

    @penarestel: WB never, ever tended toward HD-DVD. The studio was always format neutral. Regardless of the long-standing and substantial financial interest in HD-DVD arising from days when WB was instrumental in the development of SD-DVD, there was always a perception that BD would win.

    @BayStateDarren: Yes. You are an old man…. LOL

  29. astrochimp says:

    I still think the name “Blu-ray” is too hokey, with its lack of proper vowels and all, and deserves defeat for that reason alone.

  30. Buran says:

    @brent_w: I sure hope downloads don’t become a reality – unless a way is found to add subtitles for the hearing impaired/deaf to all movies. VHS and DVD had closed captions. DVD and HD/BluRay have subtitles. Downloadable has … nothing. itunes’ “closed captions” feature does nothing except for a list smaller than three dozen movies.

    And what happens when your hard drive dies? I’d rather stick to optical media. If my PS3 dies I can get it fixed or buy a new one. If one individual disk won’t play I can get another. And I can go to the store and back in a few minutes or get a mail order in a few days. 50 gigs would take forever to download.

    Downloads? Take forever, missing a vital feature, and too vulnerable to a single point of failure. No thanks.

  31. Buran says:

    @Hawk07: Microsoft, king of being customer-friendly? HA. If you expected a customer-friendly company to win this, you were out of luck from the start.

  32. Buran says:

    @BayStateDarren: On smaller/CRT sets, yes. On larger sets that can actually show the difference, it’s night and day.

  33. AcidReign says:

        @capstinence: Why, yes! I turned the remnants of an old Zeos 486, early 90s era PC into a FreeNAS machine with a RAID-5 card and a pair of 500 gig Seagate Barracudas. It’s got an AMD K-6 300 mhz processor and budget PII motherboard. Recycle, and re-use.

        DVD Shrink works OK, for ripping. You’ll notice a little quality loss, but it’s nothing compared to aged VHS tapes.

  34. Sparkstalker says:

    @cashmerewhore: Yeah, that’s the good side to it. Now I can get some of the movies I already have on DVD on HD DVD cheap. It stings less that way.

    As for Blu Ray, well, I’ll wait to see if MS releases an add-on for the 360. That way I can share it between PC and 360…

  35. Shadowfire says:

    @PeteyNice: I, for one, welcome our undead HD-DVD overlords…

  36. Bay State Darren says:

    Whoever was asking about DVD ripping, I highly recomend a program named HandBrake [sorry, no link here.]

    @Buran: So if I spend $3,000 for a big TV, which takes up as much of my field of vision as other screens, then the need for spending $400 or whatever a bluray player costs would be justified? Not to mention buying all the titles in the new format?

  37. bilge says:

    Huge HD-DVD sale at Amazon!!

  38. jfischer says:

    Hmmm… 33-1/3 rpm LPs, reel-to-reel tape, 8-track tape, cassette tape, CDs, BetaMax, VHS, DVDs, HD-DVDs, Blu-Ray 1.0 DVDs, Blu-Ray 2.0 DVDs… howcome I need to keep upgrading my audio and video hardware when my eyes and ears can only be degrading over time?

    (I remember when I was the only one I knew who owned a McIntosh, and it was a stereo amplifier!)

  39. Buran says:

    @BayStateDarren: I’m saying that it’s not true, under many cases, that standard DVD is just as good picturewise as hi-def. My HDTV is only 32″, not that big as HDTVs go, and I can definitely tell the difference between upscaling and real HD. The “there’s no difference” thing is a myth.

    If it’s good enough for you, by all means stick with standard DVD. I did for a long time and am only slowly planning to pick up movies I already have since I’m not sure either if it’s worth spending the money to duplicate stuff either. But HD definitely looks better much of the time.

  40. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Buran: Ya I can tell the difference on my 52 inch HDTV as well. DVD’s look like crap compared to HDTV, even broadcast HDTV which is a lower bit rate than what you get on Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

  41. @B: Sony won the format war on CDs. I’m not sure who won DVD, but they also kicked the crap out of Nintendo on game format.

    I have not bought a next gen DVD player. I will resist purchase until they are down low and I feel the need to own movies rather than rent them. Think on this: How often do you actually go back and look at a movie that you own on DVD (bluray/HDDVD/LaserDisc/whatever)? How often do you actually access the extras beyond deleted scenes. I do this math now. If I can rent it three times for the same cost or less of ownership, then there is no need to own it. There are very few movies that I have seen that I want to see more than thrice. Short list: The good james bond movies, Lawrence of Arabia, Blade Runner, the Fifth Element, Spinal Tap, Tampopo, Brazil, a few other comedies, and that’s about it. And I already own most of that.

  42. pfeng says:

    Ah, but can it play my wax cylinders?

  43. cronick says:

    @CharlieSeattle: @Buran: In the early days there were several studies: 42″ is the point at which the difference can be seen by most viewers. Anything smaller that 42″, 99% could not tell the difference. The larger the screen beyond 42″ (i.e., 52″, 65″, etc.), the more apparent the difference becomes.

    That said, the current players have much better up-conversion and I find it difficult to tell the difference between SD and BD on a 46″ screen using a PS3 with the latest OS. I am told the PS3 beta OS has even better up-conversion.

  44. Bay State Darren says:

    Talking pictures are just a fad anyway…

  45. cronick says:

    @Carey and everyone else who is interested: There is a consensus that if you must make the jump to BD before BD Live (profile 2.0) is on the market, the PS3 is the best choice because it is upgradeable. It’s already networked and the profile 2.0 software upgrade for PS3 is already in development. The PS3 is also a pretty good deal (starting at $375). And, you can play games on it. BTW: The legacy models are backward compatible to PS2 games but the current models coming out right now in Japan are not.

    One warning: Some BD mastering software does not produce consumer recordable BD-Rs that play properly on PS3s. But, that is a problem with the mastering software – not the PS3.

  46. Sherryness says:

    You know, with everything going digital and non-physical – from money to music to movies – a ‘Fight Club’ climax scene would now be pulled off with a massive virus, rather than explosives at the base of all financial buildings. “Re-set the debt record to zero.” Ouch. “Your head will collapse if there’s nothing in it, and you’ll ask yourself, ‘Where is my mind?’ ”


    + Watch video

  47. deadlizard says:

    Congrats to Blu-Ray for winning the format war, but I think I’m going to download my HD movies.

  48. Shadowfire says:

    @PotKettleBlack: Interesting that Sony and Phillips together won the format war on CDs (what format war? What was in competition as a new, emerging technology?). Not too long ago, Phillips sued Sony BMI, and other music publishers to remove the Compact Disc logo from their releases, because of embedded DRM…

  49. Buran says:

    @cronick: Seems to me like those studies are no longer holding true. I’ve seen HD/SD on sets other than mine and I don’t know what equipment those studies used but perhaps they used 720p sets (ED) or connections other than DVI/HDMI or some otherwise fundamentally-different-from-today equipment.

    Plus I forgot to mention that there’s no way around the NTSC color gamut being much smaller than that available to ATSC (CSI Miami is a good example of how vibrant and vivid color can look along with the sharpness of 1080 lines of resolution).

  50. Kia says:

    @AcidReign:

    With a mentality like that I’m surprised you’re even “with it” enough to use the computer. >_>;

    That being said, I was hoping HD-DVD would win, because I hate Sony. All the same, standard DVDs are fine by me for now, and I expect they will be for a long time. Especially at Blu-Ray’s -ridiculous- prices.

  51. moorem2 says:

    @PotKettleBlack:

    There might be more PS2 and PS3s out there than N64 (wow, that’s going wayyy back) Gamecube and Wii’s, but Sony continually loses money in the “console war”.

    Nintendo has found a niche market (younger kids) and is the format of choice for many parents. That’s not even talking about their domination in the hand-held gaming devices.

    So what if they don’t have the best titles… Since many nintendo titles are licenced by nintendo, they reap the benefits…

    When was the last time sony video games produced a profit?

  52. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Man, I haven’t even replaced my VHS collection yet.

    I acknowledge the technical superiority of high-definition TVs and next-gen DVDs, but here’s the thing: the movies I watch wouldn’t really gain anything. Either they’re dramas, which don’t need super-advanced graphics, or they’re older action/scifi/horror movies with old special effects that would probably show all the wires and seams in HD, and who wants to see that?

  53. mikelotus says:

    @jfischer: why do you think vinyl albums need upgrading? surely not because of inferior sound.

    @Kia: blu-ray prices will drop radically since everyone will now be cranking them out and blu-ray is superior for computer data storage to HD. There is no upside to HD for data storage but the sky’s the limit with blu-ray.

    @CumaeanSibyl: unless they are filmed in HD or at minimum, digitally remastered, that is correct. however newer movies have a much better chance of meeting that criteria, especially animation.

  54. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’m glad Blu-ray won. It was pretty obvious (to me) from the start. They* really put a lot of effort into getting Blu-ray out to market. The PS3 was a BD player in addition to being a gaming maching. The Xbox 360 only offered a DVD drive, and the HD-DVD add on came a little later. At launch, there were at least 3 different stand-alone BD players (Sony, Samsung, LG) to choose from. HD-DVD only had 1 from Toshiba. Within the first year, Sony offered a BD burner and blank BD media for your computer. HD-DVD none. And Blu-ray has better marketing. The “Blu-ray” name itself is more memorable and easier to say than “HD-DVD”. Joe Sixpack doesn’t want to be bombarded with acronyms that confuse him. “Blu-ray” stands out, it has a cool blue logo, it’s spelled different, and it’s only 2 syllables. “HD-DVD” sounds more or less the same as “DVD”, and it’s got 5 syllables! Yes, folks.. marketing works. We’ve seen it with Apple and now we’ve seen it with Blu-ray.

    But with all of this mind, the format war isn’t over. Plain old DVD is still king. BD players and movies are still on the expensive side, and a very small percentage of TV owners have upgraded to an HDTV set anyways. Sure economies of scale will kick in and hardware/movie prices will drop. But it might take some time. I think the sweet spot for most consumers would be under $150 for a BD player, and under $15 for the movies. It’s all a matter of time.

    * I think people tend to forget or don’t know that Blu-ray is NOT a Sony proprietary format. It’s a format that is jointly developed and promoted by several hardware manufactures and content providers. Sony is in the spotlight because they are both a hardware manufacture and a content provider. They have the resources to heavily promote Blu-ray. To say that you hate Blu-ray because you hate Sony, would also mean you hate all the companies on the list.

  55. XianZomby says:

    @vr4z06gt: Thanks for the tip, vr4z06gt. Millions of Americans that want to watch Disney movies with their kids were all concerned about the underutilization of their own multi-terabyte media servers, gigabit ether net and htpcs.

    And I personally was also impressed with the amount of money (such a provider you are!) you have to spend on nerd toys.

  56. ClankBoomSteam says:

    There’s no way I’m buying a Blu-Ray player. I bought a $150 HDD media player, and I am thrilled with it. I have access to all my PC’s media files (2+ terabytes), and while the files aren’t HD quality, they ARE in DVD quality. And if I was inclined I could have video in HD, I just don’t want to dedicate that much space to any given file. Hard media will be dead in 6 or 8 years anyway — downloads are the future — so I see no point in playing violins on the Titanic.

  57. EBounding says:

    I really find it hard to believe we’re on the brink of recession when people are willing to pay at least twice as much for a blu-ray rather than a regular DVD.

    How is this Hi-Def format catching on? Is there really that big of a difference? I always felt the biggest appeal of DVDs from VHS was that they were more compact and didn’t degrade in quality. Blu-Ray hasn’t improved in this area, so what’s the big deal?

  58. ClayS says:

    @EBounding:
    Random access is also a big advantage of discs over tapes.

  59. Sidecutter says:

    @penarestel: Maybe we care because we don’t need an insider to tell us this. Toshiba made the announcement officially in Japan last week.

    @AcidReign: There’s a different between stop working and stop receiving signals. If it was receiving no signals, it could still be working just peachy.

  60. pastabatman says:

    @CumaeanSibyl:

    the old stuff would look good too. You wouldn’t ‘see’ more as you can’t pull more definition out of the film that has already been shot. meaning – if you didn’t see it in the theater (not tv) it probably ain’t there.

    correct me if i’m wrong, but film (depending on format ie 16mm, 35mm, etc) is ‘higher def’, than hi def.

  61. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @mikelotus: Blu-Ray prices had better drop dramatically or that format will stall as well.
    Unlike the move from tape to DVD, there is no clear advantage to switch for 90% of the consumers out there. So until players are sub $200 and discs are comparable in price to DVD, I can’t see this format making any kind of dent in DVD sales.

  62. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @pastabatman: Film vs. HD is an ongoing discussion all over the web.
    In raw data, HD (1080 lines) beats 16mm and most typical 35mm prints that would be shown in theaters (the original and ‘answer’ prints have been determined by some to have up to 1400 lines of resolution.
    Perception wise is another problem. Film artifacts such as grain (the film grains are not regularly dispersed as are the pixels in a digital medium) will show a different image than will digital, and people’s perceptions will differ.

    However, 4K capture [www.silicongraphics.net] would seem to bury the entire argument once it becomes more widely used.
    And 4k archiving is currently being used to remaster and preserve film (as digital storage is considered more ‘permanent’). The remasters of the James Bond library were scanned at 4K.

  63. pastabatman says:

    @doctor_cos:
    I agree with the price drops. This format move has got to be the worst one yet.

    The irony is that when they/we switched to DVD they purposely created a single standard first thus leading to one of if not the fastest technology adoption of all time. I think this was in response to the vhs/beta-max wars.

    Why they would not learn from their success and repeat the idea of an industry standard is beyond me.

    Additionally I agree that the bump to hi def is lost on a majority of users. the bump from VHS to DVD was a HUGE improvement that anyone with eyeballs could see WITHOUT having to truly upgrade anything else like a $1500 tv.

    Thanks for the HD vs Film explanation.

  64. Inhocmark says:

    Meh, I only have Blu Ray because I bought a PS3 but beyond that, I think this generation is going to go the way of the LaserDisk because it doesn’t really offer anything significant unless you have serious components and a high end audio receiver.

  65. gisgt says:

    If you need to upgrade now, buy a update-able PS3.
    VHS vs. DVD: way better picture, small, no rewinding DVD vs. Blu-Ray: I guess maybe it’s a little clearer but I feel like it’s an eyetest -
    Doctor: “Screen A or screen B?”
    Me: “…um…ah…B, I guess”
    Me (mentally): “Is this a placebo test?”
    My mom bought a 1.0 Blu-Ray player and hooked it up with A/V cables. D’oh! Sometimes it really is a placebo test.

  66. MYarms says:

    Sony can’t be trusted. Just because they have more money and more influence doesn’t mean that their platform is better.

  67. Javert says:

    Now I may buy my next gen player. I sat watching some Harry Potter flick at a box store yesterday…wow. So much prettier than DVD. I am so glad that I ceased buying DVDs of eye candy movie serveral years ago so there is nothing to replace.

    Until my internet connection is 95% reliable, I think I will still favor movies on disc. Plus, I am the geek who watches ever second of extras and then rewatches the movies with the commentaries by the actors third cousin once removed who actually things the actor is a bit of a twit…

    As to HD DVD v. Blu, the new and better technology seems to have won. Isn’t the name of the game volume? (speed too).

    LONG LIVE BLU!

  68. moviemoron says:

    I am glad this 3 year old war is finally over! I don’t see why they couldn’t sit down at a table and discuss how to make a new HD player standard. But at least it is over. Now, Blue Ray won’t be a viable option unitl next year. Still too expensive. DVD is the way to go for now.

  69. chstwnd says:

    Honestly, with the escalating reports of its demise, consumer confidence in its longevity is certain to kill HD-DVD in spite of a corporate resistance to admitting defeat. If they don’t do so soon, it’ll take down a large chunk of the company, rather than just the format.
    But I’m certain that HD-DVD will survive as the pirate’s choice for HD playback. The format supports 1080p, it’s more robust for media and burners (same depth for the data layer, just smaller track pitch and pit size….is the reactive dye layer of different chemical composition than a standard DVD+/-R?). Reports state that writable media are lower priced than BD-R. It could do so to such a degree that it re-emerges in a way much like the DivX name, but with hardware/firmware/software standards.

  70. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @pastabatman: Yeah, but if you haven’t seen a movie in the theatre, seeing it for the first time in DVD quality can be a bit of a surprise. Just as an example, I love the movie Jaws, but ol’ Bruce the shark looks a little more fake on DVD than he does on VHS. And, if 35mm is higher-def than, say, Blu-ray, then that extra detail does exist, and it’ll show up more clearly when they print the movie in the new format.

    So either Bruce ends up looking like he’s made of papier-mache, or Spielberg goes in with the cinematic Photoshop and overdoes it like they always do, and everybody goes home sad.

  71. Chols says:

    @BayStateDarren:

    I second that. DVD’s at Blockbuster or GameStop used are so cheap. I rarely buy DVD’s at full price. I wait until a 4 for $20 or buy 2 get 1 free sale pops up. BluRay is just to high priced for me right now, but like all things, they will soon have BluRays of old movies for $1 in the checkout line at Wal-Mart.

  72. coan_net says:

    I would love to see Versatile Multilayer Disks catch on. It boosts similar results of Blue Ray & HDDVD – but since it uses the old red laser, the disks should only cost $1-5 more then regular DVD’s instead of $10+

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  73. guspaz says:

    I, for one, will wait for the Microsoft XBox 360 BluRay player.

    They’ve already publicly stated that if HD-DVD were to fail, they would introduce a BluRay add-on. They even spewed out some marketing crap about how their choice to make the HD-DVD drive external meant that they could do this without any major issues.

  74. guspaz says:

    @coan_net: VMD doesn’t interest me. They’ve essentially taken DVD and doubled the number of layers. This alone increases disc manufacturing costs. They also say that 10 or 20 layer discs will be possible in the future, which would probably be pretty expensive.

    By comparison, BluRay discs hold 50GB on two layers (versus 10 layers for VMD), and 100GB on four layers (versus 20 for VMD).

    One of the major reasons why BluRay costs more to manufacture is because the manufacturing process is different, requiring them to ramp up production. Eventually, the costs to do that will come down, negating any advantage VMD has (HD-DVD’s lower cost didn’t save it). And who knows, perhaps we’ll one day see a 10 or 20 layer BluRay disc, holding 250-500 gigs.

  75. kditty says:

    the war has just begun:

    50 Pack TDK Blu-ray (BD-R) Single Layer Write-once Discs White Inkjet Hub printable 25GB 1-2X In Cake Box (BD-R25PWX25CB) – $999.99

    i think ill stick to dvd and dvd-r. personally i think with this monopoly on hd format is to combat piracy, who would want to buy a 25-50 dollar disc to burn a movie. that leaves you with the option of actually BUYING a bluray disc instead of pirating or making backups.

  76. fuzzymuffins says:

    my 22″ widescreen computer monitor suits me fine. i don’t need to spend 3K on a home system when barely a monthly $10 trip to the movie theatre will suffice. my real anticipation lies with netflix (or another company just as good) making all their inventory available online. that will be the DVD killer, regardless of format.

    once there is an easy, “computer illiterate” way for the masses to download movies on their existing computer… and watch then it on their big fat TV …. the final war is won…. still a challenge, because we all know that computers and TVs still have very different karmas….

  77. MrEvil says:

    Well, with HD-DVD out of the way, Blu-Ray still has one competitor to overcome, standard DVD. I don’t think BD is going to overcome DVD, but both will co-exist.

  78. chstwnd says:

    How quickly we forget! I actually REMEMBER when cake boxes of DVD-Rs cost hundreds of dollars. And I remember when a single DVD-R was packaged much like the BD-Rs are now (in a security sleeve big enough to hold a copy of Vista). No one bought them except for people with more money than sense and businesses that needed large bulk archival space. But the cost of DVD…everything dropped by an order of magnitude in about 18-24 months so that burners were in the $80-range.
    The one hitch in this is….Sony. they have a penchant for price fixing and price elevation. They had a wonderful product in the minidisc player/recorder, but it never caught on because they clutched the licensing so tightly. I believe they did the same with the Betamax format. They also developed a dual-density CD before the DVD explosion (about 1.4GB capacity, but needed Sony’s own proprietary discs, rather than a modified standard CD-R like Sanyo’s HD Burn), and it never caught on because they kept everything so tightly clutched in their greedy little fingers.
    Because they’re part of a consortium in Blu-ray development, anything can happen. But I just worry about them screwing it up.

    if DVDs are any indication (and they are a historical precedent), multi-layer BD-Rs will never be as cost effective as multiple single-layered discs. So expect price trends to roughly mirror DVDs.

  79. OwenCatherwood says:

    @ClayS: “Random access is also a big advantage of discs over tapes.”

    ah, but don’t forget that the company that makes the discs controls what you see. Want to skip past 10 minutes of garbage promos on a standard DVD player the first time you watch a movie (or every. single. time. on one without playback memory)? Forget about it.

  80. mikelotus says:

    @doctor_cos: if you have an HD TV there is a clear advantage. You want to watch in HD or not? And more than 10% of the country has HD TVs now. People are not going to want to watch non-HD content on an HD TV.