Tuesday, April 18, 2006

HD-DVD Launches

The first of the next-generation formats officially launched today.  As of now, you can walk into a store like Best Buy and pick up an HD-DVD player and some discs.  I know at least one person who already has one.  I'm hoping to see what it looks like shortly.

There are 2 DVD players available, the HD-A1 for about $500 and the HD-XA1 for about $800.  That is pretty cheap for a first generation format.  If I recall correctly, that's about where DVD players came out.  It might even be a bit cheaper.  Early adopters always pay a lot. 

There are a whopping 4 discs available right now:  Serenity, The Last Samurai, Phantom of the Opera, and Million Dollar Baby.  Considering a month ago there was talk of launching the player with no discs available, that's not too bad.  It looks like more discs will trickle out each week for a while.  Apparently the first discs and the first players won't have much of the advanced iHD menuing/interactivity yet.  That may have to wait for the next generation of players.

HD-DVD is shipping and BluRay is delayed.  The Samsung player will come out at the end of June now instead of the end of May.  Sony will apparently be launching movies on May 23, but no players will be available to watch them for a month.

I'm not sure quite what this means.  The videophiles are very excited.  I don't get the feeling that the next-gen-DVD war is slowing down their enthusiasm.  What do you think?  Does being out first help HD-DVD?  Will BluRay's larger cache of movies and studios turn the tide?  Does it matter?

I have a hunch that the winner of the next-gen-DVD war will be downloadable content.  More on that later.



  1. I honestly think blueray is doomed. Here is why. HD-dvd is backward compatable in many ways or at least supposed to be I have not heard though anyone reviewing if they actually came out this way or not. With allowing people to just go buy the HD dvd disk and still have the older version of the movies on it for the old dvd players or at least that was what was promised back in many of the original wars. My old dvd player died last year. So I was left buying a new one, or waiting. Well I enjoy DVD's So now I just bought a brand new one. Of course buying a new one and beeing a geek I went out and bought a 400 disk dvd changer that played MP3 dvd's and cd's music cd's and would display slide shows and everything all this hooks up to my surround sound system. Ok I am not about to go buy a new HD DVD player. Yet I will buy hd dvd movies as long as I can play them in my existing dvd player. From what I have read blue ray is not even going to support this kind of backwards compatability, which really sucks since the dvd player I bought was a sony dvd player. Ok so as long as this promise is delivered as the discs themselves being backward compatable then HD-DVD will win.

    However Sony has become the evil empire anymore. After the root kit fiasco I am not buying anything sony. Anyway there are other reasons like most DVD plants do not have to completely retool to made hd dvd and things along those lines. Blueray claims to have more space on it, but do we really need it, also Blueray is also more expensive.

    Anyway just my 2 cents.

  2. He who provides the most content wins this battle.  Compatability is also a keen factor but content, as they say, is King.

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