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Darren Waters

Is HD-DVD in trouble?

  • Darren Waters
  • 5 Jan 08, 15:59 GMT

The unsurprising news that film studio Warner has ditched high definition format HD DVD to now sit exclusively with Blu-ray is already causing shockwaves.

The rumours had been circling for weeks and yesterday Warner confirmed it was changing its platform neutral stance to exclusive support for Blu-ray.

It's the latest blow for HD DVD in the battle for pre-eminence in the hi-def DVD war. With two incompatible formats, it was always going to be a bloody battle.

The North American HD DVD promotion group - effectively Toshiba and Microsoft - has now cancelled its scheduled press conference at CES.

In a statement it said: "We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps.

"We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD's commitment to quality and affordability – a bar that is critical for the mainstream success of any format."

Is this a critical blow for HD DVD? Not yet. But HD DVD is now looking more and more friendless.

Despite the format's cheaper cost and cheaper licensing terms, it has struggled against Blu-ray, which can boast most of the major film studios - and now, Warner - as well as the support of the PlayStation 3, something HD DVD has always downplayed.

Ultimately for customers, it could mean that hundreds of thousands of HD DVD owners could find themselves in possession of the Betamax player of the 21st century.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 07:08 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Simran Barn wrote:

I dont see why either format should cease to exist any time soon. Dual format players are now getting pretty cheap, studios can release their movies on which ever disk they want. Over time one format might prevail, HD-DVD because it is cheaper or Blu Ray because it is better as a data disk. At the moment HD-DVD ought to be winning as it is cheaper but offers exactly the same video quality.

  • 2.
  • At 08:06 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • DianaD wrote:

It really is the return of Betamax. Everyone said the same thing then as well - there would be dual format players....we can get along with the two types...etc. It never happened that way, big business won out in the end. If there is going to be a fight between Microsft and Warners I know who I want to win out in the end, the loser will always be the consumer though. Anyone remember laser discs?

I can honestly see Blur Ray winning this war. The problem is what's next,in 5 years time we'll be hearing of systems that will make Blue Ray seem 2nd best !!

  • 4.
  • At 05:05 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Mico Solar wrote:

I don't understand why the studios can't just release their titles on all three formats (DVD, HD DVD, Blue Ray) and let us consumers decide which format prevail. Instead, the way I see it it's being bought out by Blue Ray for exclusive titles.

If both Blue Ray and HD DVD had the same love from all the studios, I bet HD DVD would be outselling Blue Ray by a clear margin due to price and quality.

Now that Big Blue bought off Warner/New Line and probably persuading the rest of the studios for exclusivity and owns MGM, Columbia and Tri-Star pictures themselves; that leaves very little for HD DVD.

  • 5.
  • At 05:13 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

This is dissapointing. I have a Blue Ray player (PS3 with remote) and an HD DVD player (Toshiba HD-A30). Video is the same on both, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the HD-DVD player for its interactive menues and extras. Its a shame that I will now have no choice but to buy Warner movies on Blue Ray. =/ 300 on HD DVD was awesome.

Ultimately a players is nothing without content though, so I dont see how HD DVD can hold on much longer. Such a shame. It reallly is a better format... Well, better planned out format. (Dual tuners standard on ALL players, etc)

  • 6.
  • At 06:08 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Marcin wrote:

I own PS3 and Toshiba A30. Both represent same picture quality but HD DVD offer lots of extras, better menus etc.It's all up to the encoding VC-1 vs MPEG. The whole "war" is stupid and I can't stand the fan boys trying to convince others that one format is better than the other.The only one loosing in the end will be the consumers. Without the competition they will bump up the prices and people will buy the movies anyway

  • 7.
  • At 06:14 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Kyle wrote:

Revering to Craig... Interactive menues during the movie is now in blue-ray. The first movie that feautered this was Dragon Wars (by sony) If you have a sony ps3 and firmware 2.1 or higher you have it...
Formally this is called BD 1.1 or enhanced viewing. All sony titles from now on will be this way.

  • 8.
  • At 09:14 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • chris wrote:

A quick search of consumer end PC HD DVD burners and Blu-Ray DVD burners reveals a LOT more BR burners at reasonable prices than HD DVD writers.

In fact the multi compatible burners are way way faster on BD burning (8/16x) than HD (3x)

I know which one ill be buying to back up my extensive media projects in 2008 Last Quarter.

I dont really care about the studios and their messing around, i want a burner that will back up my projects for 8 pounds per disc.

Game over HD.

  • 9.
  • At 09:50 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

I can't understand why the mainstream media keeps going on about this so called "format war". It is nothing like the betamax/vhs war of the 80s as the technologies are already nearly obsolete.

HTPC's and internet delivery are available and affordable right now(bittorrent and media portal the best examples(BT is illegal but it proves that the technology is there now)).

The big companies are keeping it quiet at the moment so that people rebuy their stuff on this new format and then in 3 years or so once we are all buying HTPCs on the high street we will have to pay again for the same films for the 3rd or 4th time.

The media should be educating people about this instead of playing along with this phony "war" that is just being stirred up to generate publicity.

The only winners are the studios and the only losers are, as usual when it comes to entertainment media, the consumers.

And Blu Ray did not "buy out" Warner. See the link.

  • 11.
  • At 12:13 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

Comment to HD-DVD lovers: Yes, I know HD-DVD has cool interactive content, but listen here! Blu-ray has won, and now that they have, manufacturers of Blu-Ray equipment, and Blu-Ray movie producers will now be able to focus on perfecting the technology. If you will be PATIENT, you will see Blu-ray catch up to everything REALLY fast. You won't have to wait too long. Panasonic is/has released a new Blu-Ray player, and many other companies will follow. Yes, as each player is released with new features, it might make the last one obsolete, but wouldn't this be the case, even if HD-DVD had won? A few more weeks will go by before it sinks into everyone's heads that blu-ray has one, but once it has, we can finally relax and not have to worry about which format is winning/losing. By the way, I didn't care who won the format war, I just wanted ONE OF THEM to win!!!

  • 12.
  • At 12:38 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Mike Richards wrote:

The biggest loser of this victory for Blu-ray is the customer. Blu-ray was nothing more than a landgrab by Sony against the already agreed standard for high definition DVDs, effectively locking users and content providers into a Sony ecosystem.

And the way they've got the studios onboard is by making Blu-ray one of the most locked-down, DRMed products in history. Blu-ray offers nothing to the customer that wasn't present in HD-DVD (and often a lot less), but it does allow studios to region code disks, preventing imports between countries and maximizing profits.

Like a Japanese movie or an American series? Well with Blu-ray running the show you'd better hope the big boys at the studios think you're worthy of being granted the privilege of seeing them on a reassuringly expensive and no doubt inferior European region disk.

A win for Blu-ray means we'll all pay more for media and we can look to a balkanised future of proprietary media formats and walled gardens that dictate what we can do, when and with whom. The people at RIAA and MPAA must be laughing themselves stupid at this turn of events.

  • 13.
  • At 12:41 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Phil Topping wrote:

As usual the BBC can't help themselves but use the false analogy of VHS vs Betamax. There is no comparison between the two. Betamax didn't win the consumer war but in every other respect it emerged the victor. The introduction of the commerical version of Betamax, Betacam and it's replacement DigiBeta revolutionised TV news gathering. There is of course the rather famous court case Sony fought against Disney meaning that in the states at least people were legally able to record things from TV. I wonder why Disney didn't bother to involve JVC or Matsushita? Perhaps more interestingly is that much of what Betamax introduced (Picture search, stereo sound, camcorders, front loading VCRs, Long play and the rest) ended up on VHS and it is worth nothing that pretty much all of the subsequent domestic camcorder tape formats (8 mm, DV, Mini DV) followed the approach Sony pioneered with Betamax i.e. to use omega wrap tape formats rather than VHS's M wrap approach. But perhaps the most striking thing about Betamax's "failure" was that Sony only stopped producing Beta machines in 2002. I suspect that in 20 years time HD DVD will be consigned to the same place DCC, DVHS, CDV, CED, V2000 and the rest of the failed formats went.

  • 14.
  • At 12:52 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Mike Richards wrote:

The biggest loser of this victory for Blu-ray is the customer. Blu-ray was nothing more than a landgrab by Sony against the already agreed standard for high definition DVDs, effectively locking users and content providers into a Sony ecosystem.

And the way they've got the studios onboard is by making Blu-ray one of the most locked-down, DRMed products in history. Blu-ray offers nothing to the customer that wasn't present in HD-DVD (and often a lot less), but it does allow studios to region code disks, preventing imports between countries and maximizing profits.

Like a Japanese movie or an American series? Well with Blu-ray running the show you'd better hope the big boys at the studios think you're worthy of being granted the privilege of seeing them on a reassuringly expensive and no doubt inferior European region disk.

A win for Blu-ray means we'll all pay more for media and we can look to a balkanised future of proprietary media formats and walled gardens that dictate what we can do, when and with whom. The people at RIAA and MPAA must be laughing themselves stupid at this turn of events.

Finally is almost victory for Sony, everyone knows HD DVD will fail. Microsoft better admit they supported the wrong format or face defeat.

  • 16.
  • At 01:01 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Amanda King wrote:

The zeitgeist is blue. Look around and you'll see what i mean, blue seems to be in. However, like most things consumable 'blue' will come and go. What HDDVD (whatever they are) need to do is find a colour and hope it catches on. For example, yellow tooth, yellow ray and even yellow belly. Just a thought.

  • 17.
  • At 01:09 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Amanda King wrote:

The zeitgeist is blue. Look around and you'll see what i mean, blue seems to be in. However, like most things consumable 'blue' will come and go. What HDDVD (whatever they are) need to do is find a colour and hope it catches on. For example, yellow tooth, yellow ray and even yellow belly. Just a thought.

Finally is almost victory for Sony, everyone knows HD DVD will fail. Microsoft better admit they supported the wrong format or face defeat.

  • 19.
  • At 01:19 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • minzaw wrote:

It's still premature to say who won the format
The public will decide not the producers

I am a supporter of HD DVD and I still beleive HD DVD is the winning format for general public and mass consumer market for it's verstailty and pricing appeal with more content and flavour

  • 20.
  • At 01:35 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • norf wrote:

This format war will be over by this Xmas. HD-DVD will most likely slip away to obscurity. Blu-ray will take the hardcore "laserdisc" and high-end optical media storage market. Meanwhile, the mass market (and even tech-savvy people with any sense) will ignore both formats making do with their DVD collections until internet distribution takes off properly over the next 12-24 months.

Don't people realise that everything about HD discs is replicable on the internet? All you're doing is being stupid enough to pay a fortune for cardboard and plastic. Waste your money if you really want to, it seems like some of you have more of it than sense.

  • 21.
  • At 01:53 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Mike Richards wrote:

The biggest loser of this victory for Blu-ray is the customer. Blu-ray was nothing more than a landgrab by Sony against the already agreed standard for high definition DVDs, effectively locking users and content providers into a Sony ecosystem.

And the way they've got the studios onboard is by making Blu-ray one of the most locked-down, DRMed products in history. Blu-ray offers nothing to the customer that wasn't present in HD-DVD (and often a lot less), but it does allow studios to region code disks, preventing imports between countries and maximizing profits.

Like a Japanese movie or an American series? Well with Blu-ray running the show you'd better hope the big boys at the studios think you're worthy of being granted the privilege of seeing them on a reassuringly expensive and no doubt inferior European region disk.

A win for Blu-ray means we'll all pay more for media and we can look to a balkanised future of proprietary media formats and walled gardens that dictate what we can do, when and with whom. The people at RIAA and MPAA must be laughing themselves stupid at this turn of events.

  • 22.
  • At 01:59 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Toby wrote:

I think this is really bad news for HD-DVD. I've yet to go for either system, as I don't have an HD display, but was planning on getting one in a couple of months time when I've moved house, and then picking up a Tosh HD-XE1 and a PS3, to cover both sides of the coin. Now I'm not so sure about the Tosh.

I would consider myself fairly format neutral, so if this does bring about a rapid end to the format war, then all well and good. Unless Toshiba can get some more hardware manufacturers on board fast, and persuade another studio to go dual-format or HD-DVD exclusive, I can see HD-DVD dying fairly quickly. What I do see as an annoyance for adopters of standalone Blu-Ray players (as opposed to the PS3) is the arrival of profile 1.1 (and later 2.0) players and discs. Anyone who bought a profile 1.0 player will not be able to access all the features of a 1.1 (or 2.0) movie, and no option to update the player except by purchasing a new one; admittedly PS3 users count for the largest group of blu-ray player owners, and the PS3 is now profile 1.1 enabled.

I don't see them as obsolete technologies, as Matthew does: yes, downloads are coming, but it will take a massive amount of telecoms infrastructure work (which BT seem unwilling to deliver) to get data transfer speeds at an acceptable level so that movies can be downloaded in a couple of hours (or even streamed) - currently it's quicker in some cases to order a hi-def movie from a mail order retailer and have it delivered to you that it is to download the same hi-def movie.

  • 23.
  • At 02:41 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Stevie R wrote:

HD DVD is a sham. The superior Blu-Ray technology was in the process of being developed when Bill Gates and the powers that be created "HD DVD"; a generic label to connect itself to the HD television craze. The HD DVD disk holds significantly less information than a Blu-Ray disk. The same problem happened in the 80s during the VHS vs. Beta wars. Even though Beta was a better format compared to VHS ( Beta is the norm at major studios and production houses), the VHS side prevailed and consumers were left with an inferior product. Praise Warner Bros. for not letting the VHS debacle repeats itself.

  • 24.
  • At 02:57 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • David Graham wrote:


I must agree with Mike Richards - post 12. Blu-Ray offers nothing that HD_DVD already has.

The HD-DVD format has been working since day one, but Blu-Ray's been dogged by technical problems.

Another thing to bear in mind some Blu-Ray discs are region coded, were as HD-DVD is region free, so you can buy HD-DVD from anywhere in the world and sometimes cheaper.

I think I'll stay with standard DVD for now rather than buy something that has been flawed from the start.

  • 25.
  • At 03:59 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • george wrote:

hey nutbags, my blu-ray has interactive menus, and is clearly the better choice for this consumer, if you bought a hd dvd it sucks but I don't feel bad for you, if you would have compared the specs for both you would have noticed blu-ray is far better then hd-dvd right now, and for the future!!! oh my god, what possibilitys, and as for you downloaders, if you like crappy picture and ultra slow downloads be my guest, but ill be watching blu-ray high def on my hdtv with a big smile on my face, peace out haters

  • 26.
  • At 06:44 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • WB sucks! wrote:

Old Bill Gates should just buy every movie studio, that would solve HD-DVD's problems.

  • 27.
  • At 09:13 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Bob Biryani wrote:

Neither will last for long. Hard disk and solid state drive based systems will win out. All my movies are ripped onto hard disk and played from there - i don't have a DVD player near my TV but my PC is. I would buy the cheapest HD DVD/BlueRay drive I can, rip the movies to hard disk and continue as normal while they battle it out - who wins doesn't concern me, with hard disks getting bigger and cheaper every day, I know who'll really win.

  • 28.
  • At 11:51 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • David Graham wrote:


I see Sony have just pushed their BDP S300 player from $299.99 to $399.99 in the US.

This is certainly disappointing.

It was the better format for the consumer, region free, finalised specification - so no chance of players becoming obsolete due to a new specification change like with Blu-ray, cheaper yet offered at least the same quality, and in the real world on average better quality as it generally uses VC1, rather than MPEG2 (the same as DVD) which about 1/3rd of Blu-ray Discs use.

The consumer in the end wasn't given the choice, if the film studios released on both formats HD DVD would of easily won. However the lure of more copy-protection, higher profits on players and region locking was too much for some studios and manufacturers to ignore.

To those bashing Microsoft, let's keep in mind that Microsoft technology is in both discs - they, with Intel would rather HD DVD win because it offered better support on PCs, with things like managed copy, it gave the consumer more choice about how they wanted to watch it, that's why they supported HD DVD - which they didn't commit to until after the copy protection specifications were finalised, with HD DVD being more flexible and consumer-friendly. This is one case where Microsoft was on your side.

The worst thing, if Blu-ray does manage a quick victory now, it'll have slower uptake than a quick HD DVD victory, largely due to the cost issues, and the scalability of existing production lines - HD DVD can be manufactured on existing DVD lines with just a minor re-tooling, Blu-ray requires new whole new lines (further adding to the cost).

Ultimately what happens now depends on Universal, Paramount, DreamWorks and a few other studios, they might decide to concede, or they might stand and fight.

  • 30.
  • At 01:49 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Marc wrote:

Thank goodness the public has the sense to ignore this market-fixing shambles and stick to cheap upscaled DVD, HD TV set top boxes & (increasingly) downloading.

  • 31.
  • At 01:59 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Max wrote:

This is important news! It could mark the end of HD DVD. Why doesn't BBC news publish a full article about it?

  • 32.
  • At 07:56 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

I'm all for the two formats and the "war" to go on, the longer the better.

I've got players for both formats and with all these "Buy-one-get-one-free" offers on the disks .. its great for the consumer.

The same goes for game consoles the battle between Xbox360 & PS3 and helped force the costs down and features up (eg the recent addition of streaming DivX support to both consoles, Sony paying up for the licence to put rumble back into their controllers).

Competition is good and will only help consumers get better value, ... I really don't believe the "having a choice is confusing the consumer" line from the movie studios. I think it is more that they were over optimistic on peoples interest/uptake for HD.

  • 33.
  • At 08:12 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris C wrote:

Is it possible for someone to write an article about HD DVD / Blu-Ray without mentioning BetaMax or VHS?

  • 34.
  • At 10:54 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Stu C wrote:

Stevie R, your comments are inaccurate, Bill gates didnt invent HD-DVD. And Blue ray wasnt already been developed. HD-DVD was been developed by a group of companys, but when some of sony's ideas for the format wernt accepted they broke away to develop there own standard (Blueray). And disc space is not an issue, its down to the encoding system used. Also if space was an issue HD-DVD can resort to using triple layers on the disc.

  • 35.
  • At 11:10 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Leon James wrote:

HD DVD vs Blu-Ray... Blu-Ray vs HD DVD... Whilst these two formats have been so busy fighting against one and other, they have failed recognise that they're both losers! Why is it that Apple have yet to support a format, and why has Microsoft delayed embedding an HD DVD drive in its Xbox360? iTunes (read as Disney) is gearing up for movie rentals and probably a lot more as you will find out on the 15th January! The Xbox Live Marketplace already allows you to download movies in HD! Sony are already laying their foundations with the Playstation Store. Amazon have jumped on the bandwagon too! It happened to the music industry. It's only a matter of time and with broadband speeds increasing at the rapid rate that they are, it's likely to be 6 months to a year! DLC (downloadable content - should be DC, but DLC sounds better!) is the future! Watch this space...

  • 36.
  • At 12:25 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James Stubbings wrote:

I just had a thought, I wonder why Microsoft has always been so cautious to integrate a HD-DVD player into the xbox 360... it had an option with the XBOX 360 Elite but didnt, maybe it wanted to wait until the competition for HD DVD / Blue ray had cooled down so it could revisit its decision to integrate. Even though HD-DVD player is available for under £100 now as an extra for XBOX there isnt many game titles around. it would be easier now for them to release a blue ray player.

  • 37.
  • At 12:30 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Chris R wrote:

Blue Ray is the better format to go with. If you compare the two, they both do exactly the same thing (to the latest firmware updates) except Blu Ray has a 50GB storage opposed to 30GB HD-DVD (so better for more data, film & game content), its supported by the Playstation3 (HD-DVD isn't), the writers are cheaper/faster and now as it happens most major film studios are supporting it too...

What does HD-DVD do that Blu Ray doesn't?

To me it seems a little obvious that this would happen...

  • 38.
  • At 01:39 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

I'm happy to let them all squabble about which is the best format. It doesn't really matter anyway: wasn't Betamax generally reckoned to be technically superior to VHS? Sooner or later, it will become clear which format is the new Betamax, and then maybe I'll go out and buy myself a new DVD player.

But not until then.

  • 39.
  • At 04:32 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • The Turk wrote:

There is only one Primary Fact.
Blu-Ray is the overall better format in so many ways. - and so it has won the so called 'format war'.
Excelsior !!

  • 40.
  • At 08:23 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

Comment 35, Leon
FYI - Apple on BDA, Blu-ray Disc Association, basically Blu ray board of directors.

  • 41.
  • At 05:55 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Steve R wrote:

Stu C's rebuttal is misleading. Blu-Ray by far holds more information than an HD DVD. 50 gigs to 30 gigs, respectively. Bill Gates is a pusher of inferior technology. (e.g Windows vs. Mac O.S.) Studios edit their movies with Mac and are the main argument for why the Mac is a better computer. But Bill Gates doesn't care. From experience, he knows that numbers out weigh quality. Also, he tells people like Stu what to believe and they follow; enjoy your Zune and insignificant waste of technology called the HD DVD player. You should of waited, but Bill said you had to so you did. Congrats to the better format of Blu-Ray and as I finish this last sentence, the Blu-Ray is already inferior to the next big thing and so it goes.

  • 42.
  • At 01:37 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Lee Ablett wrote:

Even if Blu-ray wins the current format war it’s life will be short lived. The signs are already quite clear that in two years we will be downloading our content. Broadband connections will be sufficient to provide the content on demand. Consoles are already gearing up to stored downloaded content. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are positioning themselves to download content.

In the next two years we will see some amazing new gadgets. This will be possible as the communication will allow existing and new technology to be combined more affectively. Already Sony is testing ideas on the public with connecting the PS3 and PSP.

Who cares about HD or Blu-Ray, as it is the precursor to a change that will affect our lives in every shape and form.

  • 43.
  • At 01:39 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

You guys!

Let's clear up some of this mess.

1) HD-DVD has more interactive features as a standard product. Updates to HD-DVD follow through to all players, but many of the new interactive features on the latest Blu-Ray movies will not work on most Blu-Ray players.

2) Quality wise the formats are equal.

3) Size is not a major issue or even an issue at all. 30gig is more than enough for a feature film with extras. More stuff can go on an additional disc just like we do with DVD. Or do you have an isue with that as well.

4) This is pretty much the nail in the coffin. When the media starts proclaiming something as fact, eventually consumers just accept it as fact. The end is coming for HD-DVD.

5) Betamax - VHS arguments. Betamax won the quality war and won acceptance in the pro community as a format. VHS won the price war and became the consumer choice. Comparisons to the current war are relevant since this war is based on a more expensive format trying to triumph over a cheaper competitor.

6) With regards to the poster that mentioned how few games have been released on HD-DVD... There were NO games released MS has stated time and again that they have no intentions to produce games on HD-DVD. This is wise as it would split it's audience. Research just a little please.

7) Downloading may make these new HD formats fade into the past. Downloading is becoming widely accepted as a good method of delivery. Hard disks continue to grow in capacity and dl speeds continue to rise. MS already deliver HD content over Xbox Live in a paid service... perhaps they have already pioneered the downfall of HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

  • 44.
  • At 01:50 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Lee Ablett wrote:

Even if Blu-ray wins the current format war it’s life will be short lived. The signs are already quite clear that in two years we will be downloading our content. Broadband connections will be sufficient to provide the content on demand. Consoles are already gearing up to stored downloaded content. The PS3 and Xbox 360 are positioning themselves to download content.

In the next two years we will see some amazing new gadgets. This will be possible as the communication will allow existing and new technology to be combined more affectively. Already Sony is testing ideas on the public with connecting the PS3 and PSP.

Who cares about HD or Blu-Ray, as it is the precursor to a change that will affect our lives in every shape and form.

  • 45.
  • At 03:38 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Funny how so many people are saying the war is not yet over. The consumer will decide the eventual winner. For the entire last year the consumer has been deciding, hence why Blu-Ray disc sales have outsold HD-DVD across the world, in the states it has outsold 2:1, europe closer to 3:1 and some report that asia it has outsold as much as 8:1. Is that not the consumer deciding?
Blockbusters in the states stopped stocking HD-DVD, why? same happened in Ireland and australia, and probably many more countries, why? because there was a lack of demand for HD-DVD again, the consumer deciding.

Sorry to those who bought into HD-DVD, but maybe you should have done some research before doing so. The slightest bit of research would have shown what was happening. Maybe you just walked into currys and took their advice, they who knew hd-dvd would become difficult to shift and so wanted it off their shelves before they lost money on it!

  • 46.
  • At 03:51 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

It is a shame HD DVD is losing and I see Sony as usual is already taking the mickey by inflating prices within hours, but as for both formats being obsolete due to downloading and broadcast HD? Broadcast HD will never be 1080p and there just isn't the choice out there, hence the slow take up of skyHD. Downloading? great if you're cable or inner city. Most of us aren't and it would take nearly 8 hours to download a film and that's if our provider didn't port throttle us for downloading so much. I have never heard so much tosh. Er, not Toshiba, obviously, sorry...

  • 47.
  • At 04:28 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Colin M wrote:

I see everyone is trumpeting the death of HD and the end of the format war. Anyone remember how long "Exclusive" deals like this last in the media world? GTA IV was supposed to be a PS3 exclusive title along with many other games which eventually managed to wing it over to the 360. This isn't the end of a war, this is barely the end of minor backyard scuffle between the two formats. I don't think it'll be too long before Gates gets that massive cheque book out and a bidding war starts. It may yet get interesting...

  • 48.
  • At 04:47 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • macateb wrote:

HD-DVD is not a region free format.

Like most Blu-ray discs, the region coding was left off HD-DVD to maximise the sales potential in the first couple of years.
It will be used more in the future on BOTH formats!

  • 49.
  • At 12:26 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Bill Lynn wrote:

Wow, just wow. There really are some Sony fanboys posting passionately about this.
I bought a HD player to upgrade my DVDs on my new TV, a sony bravia, and got a handful of films in the bargain. Looking into it, HD DVDs are cheaper to produce as they can retool existing dvd burners, offer the same picture quality and don't have regional coding.

Bluray, while having more space left on the disc for extras requires the industry to fork out for new machinery (cost going to you), regional coding for the time being and a different coating that albeit tougher, was needed to allow the laser to focus at a shorter distance. It would seem a heavy scratch could be salvaged on the HD disc as on standard DVDs, on Bluray it will be unlikely repairable.

Either way, if you go HD with your TV you need a player to upscale your existing DVDs. For me the package i got was worth it, even if i bought the losing format.

Bear in mind the customer though. Many dvds come as 2 disc sets, this in itself has become a logo for a better deal, HD can offer this at a cheaper price. Despite technology compacting info into smaller items, some folk want something tangible. As a gift for example, even with the same features, a bigger package seems 'more'.

With DVDs averaging at about a fiver each after a month or two of relase customers will want similar prices and deals despite the offer of better quality. SD will continue to sell well as upgrading on a good machine is quite impressive. I have bought a few special films in HD, but will wait for the furore to die down and the prices to drop before investing in more. Replacing DVDs at this point isnt worth it as replacing vhs was imho.

Warner has few months to switch back should they want to. They seem to have tried to nudge the market. Time will tell,as above nxt Christmas will know, probably this summer. Also bear in mind that the porn industry supports HD as they did vhs. Interesting few months to come, but despite posts claiming one is better than the other, both offer the same quality image, and that is the important thing.

  • 50.
  • At 06:03 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Chris Clarke wrote:

HD DVD Myths

1. It is a region free format - It ISN'T they simply haven't enforced region encoding in an effort to boost the formats early sales, if the format was to win then region encoding would be enforced. Many BluRay disk also aren't region encoded

2. It has greater interactivity - It doesn't, if you upgrade the formware of the BluRay player/ps3 then you get interactive disks. Simple.

Content is king, content will win out in the end. When Universal/Paramount look at their HD DVD sales figures in comparison to BluRay they may well regret taking the £150m sweetner the the HD DVD group paid them.

  • 51.
  • At 12:53 PM on 17 Jan 2008,
  • Moon wrote:

Just a reminder to all those BR fans out there. Profiole 2.0 is dew out next year making most of the BR player around at the moment useless,
and with china adopting the hd dvd format as standard...

  • 52.
  • At 01:02 AM on 06 Feb 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Not sure why no-one on here seems to mention that the quality of the encoding on HD DVD is way better than Blu-ray. Has anyone ever taken the same movie on both discs and actually compared them ? Blu-ray has a lot more "grain" than HD DVD.

I hope HD carries on, I'm going to stick with it, but downloads are the way forward anyway.

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