Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Looks like Blu-ray is going to beat HD-DVD


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgI’m a bit sad to write this but it looks like Blu-ray is going to win the HD DVD format war now that Warner Bros. has gone Blu-ray exclusive. Now, Blu-ray has a large majority of the studios supporting it – the only exclusive studios supporting HD-DVD are Universal Studios and Paramount. However, there have been rumors that they will also go neutral or Blu-ray exclusive but I don’t think we’ll see them go Blu in the near future since Universal publicly stated that their ‘current plan is to continue to support HD-DVD’ (notice how they used the words “current plan” which tells me they’re starting to think in Blu).

Let’s make this easier, here’s a list of what’s happened since Warner Bros. went Blu-ray exclusive:

Yeah, these are very dark times for the HD-DVD consortium and mostly for Toshiba since they are the primary backer of HD-DVD…and these are great times for the Blu-ray Disc (BD) consortium – especially Sony since they’re the primary backer of Blu-ray. However, I don’t think it’s gonna be a cake walk for BD to win the format war due to various reasons – the primary being that Universal and Paramount are still HD-DVD exclusive and the high BD player prices.

Personally, since the Warner Bros. announcement (Jan. 4) I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player (Playstation 3). I bought it about a week after the WB announcement. Needless to say, I think the writing’s on the wall for HD-DVD and it will die a slow death, which is very unfortunate because I’ve been a HD-DVD supporter from the beginning and I am NOT a Sony fan by any stretch of the imagination. I supported HD-DVD for various reasons that I won’t list because this post on Gizmodo sums it up almost perfectly.

Needless to say, I’m tired of this format war and am ready for it to end. Blu-ray has around 75% of Hollywood studios supporting it…and it hurts to say this but “go Blu.”

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Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Playstation 3

2 Responses

  1. The_Omega_Man says:

    Wow! That is a very defeatist attitude! The game is not over yet! Do you normally walk out of a game before it ends, because it looks like one team is going to win? HD DVD has and continues to offer a better Value than Blu-Ray today. There is no reason, in my mind for people not to get their feet wet with HD media for very little money $149 MSRP (Free when you count the 7 (2+5) free movies)! These HD DVD players also play regular DVDs and can up-convert them to near HD quality as well! I do not believe that Toshiba should or will give up this fight. Sony better keep spending money to buy up all of the Hollywood studios and consumer distribution outlets… But they also better watch their backs in doing so!

  2. koolio says:

    Hey, all I’m saying is that I’m starting to see a victor emerge. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Blu-ray is out of the woods yet but they’re starting to see the way out.

    During the last half of ’07, Blu-ray was leading in sales but I stuck with HD-DVD b/c, like you said, it is a better value than BD. In fact, not only is it a better value it offers more functionality & consistency (i.e., minimum requirements/specs for hardware & software) at a cheaper price than BD. However, all that aside, BD is winning studio support and has better marketing. Thus, they’ve won the mind share of the consumers.

    The biggest con for Blu-ray is the fact that it’s so f’ing confusing when trying to buy a player. For example, does xx BD player support BD profile 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0? Does xx BD player support internal decoding of both HD audio formats (Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA)? Does xx BD player support bitstreaming TrueHD and DTS-HD MA? Guess what – up until this year’s CES not one BD player supported everything (profile 2.0, internal decoding of both lossless audio formats, and ability to bitstream both audio formats). The ONLY player that an do all of this is the Panasonic BD50 player, which was announced at CES and doesn’t have a release date, yet.

    All of the early adopters are stuck with their profile 1.0/1.1 players b/c most of them can’t be upgraded. The BD association’s response? ‘Early adopters knew what they were getting into.’

    Anyways, my point is that BD looks like they’ve won but they’re not out of the woods just yet. They still need to work hard at winning over J6P (Joe 6 Pack – i.e., your average joe) and deal with competitors offering HD movie rentals/downloads a la Xbox Live Marketplace and iTunes/AppleTV. Yes, the quality of ‘instant’ HD movie rentals/downloads aren’t as good as a high definition disc but I don’t think J6P will really notice…and that’s where the challenge lies.

    FYI, BD players also upconvert SD DVDs to near HD quality so HD-DVD players don’t have a leg up on BD players in that regard.

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