Now Is A Good Time To Stay Out Of The HD DVD/Blu-ray War

Those of you with PS3s notwithstanding, there has never been a better time to stay out of the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray.

According to the New York Times, Paramount and Dreamworks were paid “about $150 million in financial incentives for their commitment to HD DVD, according to two Viacom executives with knowledge of the deal but who asked not to be identified.” By “commitment to HD DVD,” the Times really means that Paramount and Dreamworks were paid to drop Blu-ray. Bad news for Blockbuster as, they’ve recently dropped HD DVD in their continued quest for total irrelevancy.

According to Ars Technica, Blu-ray has been outselling HD DVD 2-to-1 in the first half of 2007.

In any case, Format Wars are bad for consumers. Yuck.

Two Studios to Support HD DVD Over Rival [NYT]
Paramount adopts HD DVD, kicks Blu-ray to the curb [Ars Technica]
State of High Definition: Who’s Winning the Studio Support War? [Gizmodo]


Edit Your Comment

  1. enm4r says:

    I still don’t like how the cases have changed size. What a worthless decision, and it looks horrible when lined up with DVDs and videogames. No thanks.

  2. 82300sd says:

    “In any case, Format Wars are bad for consumers. Yuck.”

    Not really. Look at it this way, if there was 1 format that won, the players would still be $1000. The format war just enabling competition. Competition is good!!!

  3. jaredgood1 says:

    As a Blu-Ray adopter (a nice PS3 byproduct) this is annoying, but could be worse (the deal doesn’t include Spielberg films).

    The longer this goes on, the only “winner” is looking like digital download services (which might be fine for some, but I want a physical product for my money).

  4. InThrees says:

    The real ‘format war’ is the DRM atrocity being inflicted on consumers, no matter the media type they choose.

    A lot of people have bought ‘HD ready’ peripherals only to find that the $1200 or $3500 they spent on their shiny new whatever didn’t actually buy them a display device that is ALLOWED to display HD video. It’s ridiculous.

  5. Pelagius says:

    “Total irrelevancy”? As a Netflix subscriber, I wish this was true, but Blockbuster’s online service has been gaining steadily and is considered to be a better deal than Netflix in some circles.

  6. hustler says:

    hooray for $600 dvd players. This is dumb, but its funny to see minidisk 2.0 all over again. Maybe the 3rd time willbe the charm for sony.

  7. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Schadenfreude is the word that comes to my mind.

    Caveat Emptor indeed.

  8. dbeahn says:

    It’s really hard to look at the “sales figures” because Sony LOVES to count the “get 10 free bluray discs when you buy a PS3 or bluray player!” discs as “sales”.

    The long story short is this: Whoever gets the players down to $99.99 first will win. Right now, HD-DVD is a lot closer to that than Bluray. Not to mention, Sony’s little issue with parts that explode into flame due to crappy quality control…

  9. As an HD-DVD owner (xbox360 add on), I hope that HD comes out on top. Everything I read on the ebays says Blu-ray is beating HD, but according to a classmate from Portugal, HD is by far the most popular format over there.

    So maybe this format war isn’t going anywhere…

  10. papa_panda says:

    I recently went to blockbuster to look for a job. There was nobody there. I never see any cars in the parking lot. They’re all next door at Starbucks.

    In any case, I don’t watch much movies, I’ll watch it when it comes on cable, or I’ll have seen it when it was in theaters.

  11. MeOhMy says:

    @dbeahn: The long story short is this: Whoever gets the players down to $99.99 first will win.

    Maybe…as someone who witnessed firsthand being on the receiving end of the Beta/VHS fiasco, I can say that you could GIVE me one of these players but I still won’t sink a penny into it until I know it’s not going to vanish out from under me.

  12. Techguy1138 says:

    “Not really. Look at it this way, if there was 1 format that won, the players would still be $1000. The format war just enabling competition. Competition is good!!!”

    Not really. DVD’s got cheep very quickly and they had no competition. Laserdisks and VHS were already old hat by the time DVD came out.

    Competition at this point is keeping film prices. No one can commit full bore to production.

  13. DashTheHand says:

    @Pelagius: What circles are you talking about? Insane asylums? Alzheimer’s groups? Blockbuster for President association?

    That seems to be the only way that someone could come up with that assumption.

  14. Techguy1138 says:

    Right now neither format is using the image constraint token meaning that every device can display full hd content.

  15. Techguy1138 says:

    You do know that Sony implemented the 3.5″ floppy, the CD and the DVD?

    They are responsible for some of the most and least adopted formats.

  16. Asvetic says:

    If you consider Sony’s history of format wars;
    Betamax versus VHSs
    Minidisc versus CDs
    Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD

    Sony doesn’t have a strong track record for winning format wars (despite the fact that their formats are superior to the ones that win out.)

    I’m not choosing anything until I see either a final format, or better multi-format support in the hardware.

  17. Techguy1138 says:

    Neither side HD-DVD or Bluray has been counting free disks as sales.

    Had that been going on Sony would be millions ahead due to the give away of Blu-rays with the PS3.

    The get 5 free HD-DVD’s also haven’t counted.

  18. Techguy1138 says:


    The block buster deal is actually pretty awesome. The biggest problem with net flicks is that you need to wait a week to see what you want.

    The ability to pick a movie that hits your fancy for a particular Saturday night is really a great thing.

  19. xamarshahx says:

    I wouldn’t have paid only 150 for a 1080p hd dvd player if it wasn’t for a format war. in the end it won’t matter with the dual players, so go ahead and buy whatever you want. If I get 2 years of use out of my hd dvd player i’ll be happy before I move onto the dual players. both have interesting features and the hd picture is absolutely amazing. if blu ray was out all alone sony would ahve been raping us with 1500 dollar players that would not have gone down in price for years and movies that stayed at msrp.

  20. AbstractConcept says:

    blu-ray is over the top. It’s too expensive for right now, plus it’s pointless, who needs that much space for a movie?? for a pc maybe

  21. Buran says:

    @enm4r: They did? Anyone have a pic of the new cases next to an old one? I didn’t know this.

  22. Buran says:

    I want to see Cars in hi-def (especially the big races) but until they can stop fighting and agree on a format, I’ll wait.

    Can’t they see that if they’d agree on a common solution, they’d ALL earn money? But no, they’re no better than people arguing on the Internet… flinging childish insults and seem unable to compromise like grownups.

  23. randomizer9 says:

    I’m not interested in either format because I don’t want to spend an extra $5-$10 per movie.

    From my experience working at an electronics retailer, most people either can’t discern or don’t care about the jump in image quality from ‘regular TV’ (or DVD) to HD.

    DVD overtook VHS because there were a few other benefits besides improved picture quality; instant scene access, no more rewinding, extra content, multiple languages, surround sound and so forth.

    The reasons to jump from DVD to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray aren’t as compelling, and most people don’t see the value in doing so.

  24. iKnow says:

    Paid to drop blu-ray… doesn’t that qualify as bribery?

  25. B says:

    One good thing about the format wars, is thanks to them, Michael Bay won’t be directing Transformers 2.

  26. gibsonic says:

    maybe by “paid” they just mean…they will “save” $150 million.

    that was their excuse for dropping blu-ray was the cost savings.

  27. Asvetic says:

    @randomizer9: From my experience working at an electronics retailer, most people either can’t discern or don’t care about the jump in image quality from ‘regular TV’ (or DVD) to HD.

    I think you mean they’re too confused, and don’t realize how much better HD programming is. You don’t notice the difference, until you have it in your home and see it for yourself.

  28. Asvetic says:

    @B: Michael Bay won’t but someone else probably will.

  29. beyond says:

    I agree with Randomizer. Aside from some videophiles wanting the latest tech, most customers are going to wonder why they spent an extra $10 on HDVD. Standard def looks just fine. I watch them on a 70″ screen and love it. On most TV sets people won’t notice any difference. At least not as much of a difference to justify buying a new player and replacing their DVD collections.

    Thanks to DRM, they have made it impossible to convert your DVDs to a new disc format. So if one of these new formats goes mainstream and cuts regular DVDs out of the market, you’ll have a pretty useless collection.

    Until they come out with something revolutionary, I don’t see any point in following this bandwagon.

  30. ry81984 says:

    There should be no argument with HD-DVD and BluRay.

    -HD-DVDs are cheaper
    -HD-DVD players are cheaper
    -There was a DVD forum in 2003 which selected HD-DVD as the next gen format. The point of the forum was to prevent a format war. (Sony ignored the forum and never submitted BluRay)
    -HD-DVDs can be manufactured with cheap modifications to existing DVD equipment.

    Anyone who would rather waste their money on BluRay is crazy.

  31. enm4r says:

    @Buran: My work filters most of the websites that I’m searching for with pictures to do “videogame/electronics” but I think this should work:


  32. morganlh85 says:

    I think Blu-ray is getting the edge because of the catchy name. I mean, how many formats are out there with the long abbreviations that regular consumers don’t really understand? Blu-ray has a better sound to it, and I bet that’s why it’s more successful.

  33. C2D says:

    Apple needs to get in on this. They need to make a Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, and DVD player that is half the size of any player out there and 3 times the cost. They could then also incorporate Frontrow software into it so you could stream iTunes media too.

    They’ll make billions!

  34. Buran says:

    @enm4r: Huh, weird, but nothing my particular DVD racks can’t handle.

  35. MeOhMy says:


    You don’t notice the difference, until you have it in your home and see it for yourself.

    Not much of a sales pitch when you’re talking about a couple thousand dollars’ worth of equipment.

  36. Buran says:

    @ry81984: If all you care about is what’s cheaper, you are an example about why so many things are crap these days. If you want quality, pay for it — and don’t look at “it costs less” as the sole reason to go with something.

    I don’t know which is technically superior. I don’t own a hi-def DVD player even though I have a hi-def TV (the HDMI port is connected to a TiVo Series 3 instead). But I know that I’m not going to say “buy this because it’s cheaper”.

    That gets us things like toy jeeps covered in lead paint.

  37. Buran says:

    @C2D: Some people are willing to pay for quality.

    Some people are willing to point and laugh at those people.

    And some people wonder why we get lead-covered toys.

  38. Buran says:

    @beyond: I think the new players are backward compatible.

    And just look how hard it is to replace the CD — it’s too well-entrenched.

  39. Techguy1138 says:

    I haven’t paid more than 24.99 + tax for a bluray disk.

    Sony also did it’s due diligence in getting a wide assortment of hardware makers and content providers on board with BluRay. It isn’t a Sony only format.
    Thats why only 1 company makes HD-dvd players while many make Bluray players.

    And no people who would ‘waste money’ on bluray players aren’t crazy. This whole damn thing is crazy.

    I’ll keep buying the movies I want in bluray and wait out the format war for the ones I can’t.
    I have free bluray player in my PS3 so it’s a non-risk item. I’m not so sure I’d spend my cash on a standalone player that only plays movie disks, even if it was only $100.

    If you don’t already have a player there is no point in getting HD movie player.

  40. full.tang.halo says:

    Anyone who says they can’t see the difference in a blu-ray disk to a regular dvd even when played on a player that upscales to 1080p is freaking blind. I have half a dozen disks I’ve bought on blu-ray and put them in after the standard dvd on the upscale player and the difference in clarity is amazing. Watch Fifth Element on dvd then pop in the blu-ray.

  41. boandmichele says:

    i only need TWO disks total for my media. one 500 GB hard drive, and a second 500 GB hard drive.

    by the time those 2 are full, i can just get a 2 TB one.

    i constantly feel sorry for those consumers who get screwed by greedy sony.

  42. Chicago7 says:

    They sell combo players that play both formats.

  43. Chicago7 says:


    Hahahaha! In lots of colors! So that Gizmodo can go on and on about them. “Oooooh! Apple introduced a PINK bluHDVD player today.”

    /They’d have to come up with a snappy name for it. Maybe tVision or something like that.

  44. gibsonic says:

    for anyone reading this comment section. please take everything you are reading from the blu-ray and hd-dvd camps with a grain of salt.

    there is so much mis-information and conjecture here I don’t know where to begin.

  45. Chicago7 says:


    Also, Sony took years to get with the MP3s.

  46. rekoil says:

    @Chicago7: You’re right; combo players are on the market, for more than the cost of a standalone HD-DVD player *plus* a Playstation 3…

  47. Asvetic says:

    @Troy F.: True, but that’s how it feels now. The pressure to purchase an HDTV hasn’t set in yet. Your work will be cut out for you in 2009 when digital programming goes standard.

    @Chicago7: That’s because they had their own propriety format:
    ATRAC. [] Which in some regards was superior to MP3s.

  48. MeOhMy says:


    The pressure to purchase an HDTV hasn’t set in yet. Your work will be cut out for you in 2009 when digital programming goes standard.

    It better be dirt cheap by then because I can say that the entertainment industry needs me more than I need them.

  49. jeffeb3 says:

    meh. I just need an HD-DVD reader and a Blue Ray burner, then even these paramount movies can easily be made to play on my PS3. As soon as an HD-DVD player for my desktop PC gets below $200, I’ll snatch that up…

  50. FromThisSoil says:

    I’m not buying anything until all this comes to an end and one format wins. I shouldn’t have to buy one player to see one studio’s movies and second player to see another studio’s.

    When this all first came to light, even though Sony has failed with Beta and MD/UMD – I thought they have a good chance at winning with Bluray, based solely on the fact that it came as a bonus on the PS3.

    That’s good marketing.

  51. RTFMate says:


    You can use the HD DVD unit for the 360 on your PC. It currently costs $180.

  52. Anitra says:

    Format wars hurt everybody, except the companies making combo players.

    As far as quality: Yes, HD provides a higher quality picture. Yes, most people can tell the difference. But current TV/DVD capability is good enough for most consumers. There’s very little incentive to go for a crisper picture, especially when it costs significantly more money.

    It’s not the same thing as the Chinese poison train: if your products make people sick or light them on fire, they’re not “good enough”.

  53. bilge says:

    @Chicago7: I think the only one out right now is the LG BH1000. The goofy thing about it is that it sells for around $1000, so it’s actually cheaper to get a separate HD-DVD and Blu-Ray player.

  54. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s funny how cheapies are saying HDDVD will win because it costs less (and end of story – I MEAN it!). Forgetting the VCRs are cheaper than DVD players, so we should…

    There’s a lot of reasons to go one or the other (I’m sorta leaning on Sony if I chose one although I think the fixed platter model is getting creaky). But based on SRP right now is funny. I’ll bet they drive American cars and have big hulking beige boxes on their desktop, too. And avidly buy Chinese goods at Wal-Mart. Cuz it’s CHEAP!! (except when factoring in time, gas, pets’ lives, their children’s mental acuity, a strangled sense of aesthetics…)

  55. meneye says:

    @enm4r: How stupid to choose a format based on the case. I’m sure your DVD cases didn’t ‘look right’ with your VHS either. geez…

  56. firefruze says:

    I personally think after Blu-ray and HD DVD land flat on their faces that the DVD will be only used as a storage medium. I don’t know about all of you, but I personally watch the majority of my movies from my laptop, either through something saved on my hard drive or a streaming website, and with the success of Apple TV and other companies building networked TV’s and set top boxes I think the internet will be the next movie distribution system.

  57. Segars says:

    This is a good time to stay out of the format wars? Why is that exactly?

    Regardless of the reasons why Paramount and Dreamworks went HD DVD exclusive, they are exclusive to HD DVD now, and while that doesn’t cover Spielberg’s Dreamworks films, that does cover a wealth of titles from both studios that won’t be available on Blu-ray for at least 18 months (Feb. of 2009 in case you were wondering, this is also considering these anonymous sources are correct).

    So, is this article suggesting that consumers hold off for a year and a half, to try and wait out a potential neutrality shift from these studios?! When does “the Consumerist” propose we invest in the war?

  58. Techguy1138 says:

    There is a good chance that BD-disks can take over for the DVD as computer storage. I never thought that CD’s would be replaced either but it happened.

    I think that usb flash drives are big enough to cover most uses that DVD’s were used for.

    With hard drives getting so big people will need more space to store things data. Bluray computer writers are currently being made by several manufacturers.

    Then again hard drives are getting so cheap people may just buy bigger drives when they need more space.

  59. chrispiss says:

    It’s funny how articles keep quoting that Blu Ray players have been outselling HD DVD players 2 to 1, but they’re factoring in the PS3. Meanwhile, only 30% of PS3 owners even know it has Blu Ray capability. Plus, it’s main function isn’t blu ray playback, it’s a next gen video game console.

  60. lestat730 says:

    This war is getting old, bring on the slaughter and lets just get this over with. For now, I’m perfectly happy watching DVDs

  61. Lazlo Nibble says:

    @Asvetic: You can add these to Sony’s format war “March of Shame”:

    ATRAC vs. MP3 (as mentioned previously)
    SACD vs. DVD-A (result: both crashed and burned)
    SDDS vs. Dolby Digital/DTS
    Memory Stick vs. Everything Else
    8mm vs. VHS-C
    DAT vs. DCC (hey, they won one!)
    Elcaset vs. Compact Cassette

  62. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Techguy1138: Sony ‘implemented’ what?
    The 3.5 inch floppy we’ll give to Sony.
    Philips might have something to say about the CD.
    And DVD…”The official specification was developed by a consortium of ten companies: Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sony, Thomson, Time Warner, and Toshiba.”

    Sorry, I used to think Sony was all that, but they ain’t. Blu-Ray is only around because of Sony’s arrogance and the sooner it goes away as an entertainment medium, the better.

  63. Jasoco says:

    I own an HD-DVD player. It was $200. It connects to my Xbox 360. I have 6 movies so far.

    If and when a Blu-Ray player jumps off the shelf at Circuit City and waves its $200 price tag at me, I will buy it and jump into the HD war like I was Switzerland.

    I refuse to wait around for it to end. I’ll buy both and enjoy both. I’m pretty sure if one dies off, there will be movies that will take a while to be brought over to the other side. Why should I wait? I already spent huge money on the TV and the HD TiVo and the Xbox 360. What’s another few hundred?

  64. enm4r says:

    @meneye: How stupid to choose a format based on the case. I’m sure your DVD cases didn’t ‘look right’ with your VHS either. geez…

    Well, if you care to know, I was insulting both formats, because they’re both moving away from a standard case. It’s annoying, and there’s no reason for it. Not to mention, why spend more on the production of new cases? The color change is fine, but entirely new presses, molds, all to make minute changes? Not to mention you’re comparing tape/optical mediums, and I’m comparing three mediums that to the untrained eye look identical.

    I haven’t purchased a new format because, like so many others, right now I’m content with DVDs, downloading HD content, and watching HD cable. There’s an obvious difference in quality, but until I can regularly buy HD movies at $15, I won’t be buying HD-DVD, BluRay, or DVDs.

  65. SpaceCat85 says:

    DVD cases were deliberately designed to be the same height as VHS cases for shelving reasons.

    While they may be thinner across the spine and wider on the side, they can still coexist with VHS cassettes on a media shelf.

    HD-DVD and BlueRay cases fall in an unhappy medium between DVD/VHS-height cases and CDs, so they won’t fit on a CD shelf and would just waste space on a regular DVD shelf.

    If the companies involved had been smarter, they’d have made the cases CD-height and also been able to tout to the public how “green” they were for using less plastic in their packaging.

  66. Secularsage says:

    The real problem is that not enough households NEED these players, and most won’t for some time.

    Unless you’ve got a 40 in plasma screen capable of running 1080p, you’re not going to see a big enough difference to sink hundreds of dollars into a player and then hundreds more into a new library of discs.

    Both companies jumped the gun, and they’re paying the price. Sony WILL get the edge because of the Playstation 3, though, because once it actually catches on (read: when it has some better games and it’s cheaper), people aren’t going to want two different devices to do one thing.

    Plus, BluRay, technically speaking, IS better. The discs can hold more data on a single layer that a dual-layered HD-DVD and they’re a lot more durable — you catch scratch BluRay discs with steel wool and they’ll (reportedly) still play.

    But where Sony keeps screwing things up is in insisting that people should use the format BECAUSE they are Sony. They need to work harder to get consumers on their side. Sony’s marketing department is AWFUL — they have forgotten how to have a good relationship with their customers because they were briefly a market leader. They also need to hire a better advertising firm, because their ads don’t communicate the features of their products well.

    Case in point- the PSP. I love the PSP. It is beautiful and it is awesome. So why is the Nintendo DS (which I also love) outselling it? Because Sony sucks at marketing, plain and simple. That’s why UMD movies flopped on the PSP, and that’s why the system is still struggling to sell a large number of units.

  67. Techguy1138 says:


    Well The 3.5″ was a Sony only property.

    The CD was a joint Sony Phillips directive. Sony pulled the lions share of work, hence the first CD player was a Sony and not a Phillips. Not that Phillips didn’t have a strong IP stake in development.

    The DVD was developed by a group of companies with Sony as a strong member, due most likely to sheer size as opposed to good will. When the format was final the big companies all released their players around the same time. The simultaneous release helps to show that it was a true alliance.

    With Bluray there was the same kind of involvement except Toshiba went it’s own way. After finalization only Toshiba made HD-DVD players. This is still the case. Bluray players are made by Samsung, Sony and Panasonic. Raw drives are made by lite-on.

    It doesn’t make them ‘right’ but Sony clearly lined up the cooperation of many companies. Toshiba may have had the paper mandate but Sony got almost everyone to agree. You can buy a Bluray player and movies without ever touching a Sony product.

    My guess is that HD-DVD players are being partially subsided by Toshiba. There is a lack of competition in HD-DVD players. There is enough interest that at least one other company should have entered the market at this point if a profit could be made. It leads to cheap players bit stifles the market.

    I can’t make heads or tales of the next gen disk format. I follow this stuff to see where to put my money. By splitting the market it leads to consumer indecision and a reduction in profits. This is also of course bad for the consumer who wants a HD video format.

    Sony truly does have the advantage. Toshiba can erode it but only by destroying the value of the market, while paying for it.

  68. Techguy1138 says:

    I’m pretty sure umd movies flopped because they were a bad idea. Pay $20 for a disk you can only see on a 3″ screen and can only buy a player from one maker?

    The new PSP fixes this but it’s far to late for the UMD as a movie format.

  69. Javert says:

    I was rooting for blu-ray as it represents an actual technological advance as opposed to a modification of the current technology.

    I really hope this war ends soon. I have stopped buying movies of an eye candy sort. I still pick up tv shows and the like but nothing that will be stunning in a new format.

    Get it over with. When Blockbuster (the evil empire) picked blu-ray I thought this mess was over. Guess we will have another year at least until one is the winner.

  70. Shadowfire says:

    “According to Ars Technica, Blu-ray has been outselling HD DVD 2-to-1 in the first half of 2007.”

    Neither format are selling a noteworthy amount… it’s far from one format or the other winning. In reality, both formats are losing.

  71. BrockBrockman says:

    I’m pro-Blu-Ray because it has a cooler name. What color is the HD-DVD laser, anyways? I bet it’s something lame and generic, like red or yellow.

    I think this whole war is kind of artificial. It’s not like you can’t make a player that can play Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, not to mention DVD. It’s not really the same distinction as cassettes vs. 8-tracks, or Harry Potter vs. Voldemort “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.

    Disney can release all of its movies in Blu-Ray, Dreamworks in HD-DVD, and as long as I can conveniently play them in the same machine, it won’t matter much to me.

    By the way, Apple has already chosen a format: downloadable HD-quality content, bypassing the whole format war altogether. Maybe we should all look into that one?

  72. Buran says:

    @Techguy1138: Except what happens when/if they do and my TV that can’t do captions over HDMI can no longer show captions because the player, if I get one (don’t have one now, won’t for even longer than expected now) was connected through component?

  73. Major-General says:

    @Asvetic: Really? I’m looking forward to never enjoying a movie again because I can tell what is cgi on everything.

    @Secularsage: An acquaintance of mine at a certain movie company once owned by AOL claimed that the death of UMB was because Sony got the movie companies to focus on the wrong type of films. Basically she felt that the format should have been released with hour long kid’s movies.

    @Techguy1138: Philips still gets the royalties on every cd, even the blank ones, sold.

  74. SingWhileYouMay says:

    I just jumped into the fray with the purchase of an Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive (Sam’s Club closeout – I came in at under 100 USD). That, however is not to say that I am taking sides just yet. I truly love my HD-DVD but plan eventually to pick up a PS3 for gaming – the BR-DVD is an extra special bonus. By the time I feel like buying a dedicated player the war should be over and I. hopefully, won’t be too screwed. I do think that the competition has the potential to be good but I also don’t think that us as consumers will reap any of those benefits for a long, long time. At least I will have machines that can play whatever movies I want. I do understand that most folks will not be in the same position as me but I also think that this war will not last anywhere near as long as we fear. Money is the motivating factor here, after all.

  75. Helvetian says:

    @enm4r: I agree, I hate the new packaging design. Probably a way to get some people to rebuy their entire DVD collections on the next format. I lean towards HD-DVD, and when Walmart and K-Mart release the $99 HD-DVD players this year (as suggested) the war could end quickly.

  76. Techguy1138 says:

    Buran: I didn’t know that HDMI was having an issue displaying TV captions. For some movies this will be an issue. A heavy use of audio effects requires a caption track to make sense of what is going on.

    I guess since you use CC that you already know that the captions of many movies simply match the subtitle track.

    I only have a PS3 as a bluray player at this point but the subtitles are rendered at the player level meaning that they will pass just fine through HDMI. I have very little doubt that HD-DVD will support subtitles in the same way.

    At that point you are at the mercy of the studios that master your media. Hopefully they will include the CC tracks on the disks to begin with and also transcribe them to the subtitle track.

    I wish I could tell you more but since I can hear most of what is going on subtitles are all I ever needed.

    Does anyone know how a tivo works with captions? I only watch live tv or dvds?

    I had an EyeTV for the mac that kept the caption tracks but it could only render video out through the mac’s video card.

  77. Techguy1138 says:


    “Philips still gets the royalties on every cd, even the blank ones, sold.”

    That still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a joint Phillips and Sony format venture.

    It’s not really that important but it is good to know what formats were and were not successful and how they got to be so. The CD was truly a joint effort of Phillips and Sony with both sides contributing significant pieces of technology that made a laser based music media possible.

    In reference to the format war it’s important to realize that CD’s were created in 1977,released in 1982 but didn’t achieve market dominance until 1990’s. Technology rolls out faster today than it used to but the format war is slowing everything down.

  78. reed311 says:


    No, it would be considered a business transaction. Just like McDonalds doesn’t carry Pepsi. These kinds of deals are made all the time.

  79. rockergal says:

    hmm am I the only one that loves minidisc?

  80. Buran says:

    @Techguy1138: Okay, I’ll try to answer here:

    – subtitles on DVDs don’t look as good as captions to me. Subtitles are usually white and are often hard to see. Captions are white text on a black background (by default) and therefore are always readable. Also, subtitles aren’t made with the hard of hearing in mind, so they do not caption sound effects or other subtle cues that hearing audiences notice.

    – TiVos do handle caption data. Standard (non-HD/S3 TiVos) record the captions to a database and inject them back into the video signal as it’s played back using this database. On some TiVos, apparently they are hackable so that this caption database can be read to, say, produce a printed program transcript. Hi-def units that tune digital video by law have to have a way to show captions. They do this by imitating the look of TV-produced captions (on my TV, they’re slightly larger and in a different font) and produce the captions on their own the way subtitles are part of the actual video signal input into the TV. Therefore, even though the TV cannot display caption data from an HDMI input (and I later found out that this is a problem with the standards involved in HDMI) I see captions — because the TiVo is doing the decoding, not the TV.

    – There is currently NO requirement for hi-def DVD players to handle caption display…

    High-Definition Multimedia Interface – Wikipedia, the free…

    ExtremeTech Discussions – Closed Caption, HDTV, HDMI, and …

    HDMI not allowing Closed Captioning? – AVS Forum

    So my hope is that this “we can downgrade your signal if you use analog inputs” crap is NOT ever used — because if it is before a solution is found to this problem, I am so, so, so screwed.

  81. d0x says:

    I h ave a HD-DVD player, and I’ve been behind HD-DVD ever since I learned it has less evil DRM that can and has been broken already.

    Blu-Ray on the other hand has the ability to reject a players token on the fly and make it so it will never play a movie again. No thanks.

  82. Matt says:

    I have yet to see a standard dvd side by side with a high def dvd. I have my doubts it’s worth all the hoopla.

  83. Techguy1138 says:


    Less evil drm?

    Both disk formats use the exact same drm and have the same revocation scheme. It’s called aacs.