Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

It’s official: HD-DVD is dead…Blu-ray is the victor


bd-hddvd-logo.jpgToshiba officially put the last nail in the HD-DVD coffin – today, Toshiba announced they will cease HD-DVD player production and replication. They will phase out HD-DVD by the end of March 2008. Warner Bros. decision to go Blu-ray exclusive this past January was one nail in the coffin. The second nail was delivered by the retailers (Best Buy, Netflix, and Walmart). After these two it was only a matter of time before Toshiba raised the white flag.

As most of you know, I was an early supporter of HD-DVD but when WB went BD exclusive, I was ready for this format war to end so we can all unite under one HD format. Do I regret my decision in buying an HD-DVD player? Heck no. I bought the Toshiba HD-A1 for it’s excellent ability to upscale SD DVDs to 1080i and looked at HD-DVD as a ‘bonus.’ The HD-A1 was also appr. $300 cheaper than the Denon DVD-2910 that I was contemplating on buying.

Anyways, we’ve already gotten an announcement from Universal Studios (one of the two HD-DVD exclusive studios) stating that future titles and catalog titles will be released on Blu-ray disc. Although Paramount hasn’t officially announced anything it’s obvious they will support Blu-ray (again).

Now, let’s hope the BD association starts lowering the prices of players and movies. The next battle for BD will be against HD movie downloads/rentals.

[via Format War Central]

Filed under: Blu-ray, HD DVD, Home Theater, Movies

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.”

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

HD-DVD & Blu-ray: Buy 1 Get 1 Free at Best Buy


hd-dvd_logo_resized.jpgBest Buy is offering a buy 1 get 1 free deal on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. And, yes, there are some good movies that qualify for this offer.

blu-ray-resized.jpg
FYI, I was in a Best Buy store yesterday (Watertown, MA) and there were no advertisements for this offer so this offer may be online only. If you need the discs before Christmas, just buy online with in-store pickup – that’s what I just did.

HD-DVD

  • 300 ($34.99)
  • Arctic Tale ($34.99)
  • Blades Of Glory ($29.99)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Departed HD-DVD ($34.99)
  • Disturbia ($29.99)
  • Evan Almighty ($19.99)
  • Harry Potter & Order Of The Phoenix ($32.99)
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry ($29.99)
  • Knocked Up: Unrated ($19.99)
  • Mr. Bean’s Holiday ($29.99)
  • Ocean’s Thirteen ($34.99)
  • Shooter ($34.99)
  • Shrek The Third ($29.99)
  • Transformers ($29.99)

Blu-ray

  • 28 Weeks Later ($29.99)
  • 300 ($29.99)
  • Are We Done Yet? ($29.99)
  • The Condemned ($29.99)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Bargain: Toshiba HD-DVD Player for $100


Looks like Wal-Mart will be selling the Toshiba HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $100 this Friday, November 2 and Best Buy is already selling it for $100 (sold out on their website, though).

Not good enough?  Well, rumor is Sears will be selling the newer HD-A3 Toshiba HD-DVD player for $169 on Black Friday (compare that to Best Buy’s current price of $249).

If you’re thinking about buying an HD-DVD player now is the time!

[via Engadget]

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Toshiba HD-DVD player for $200


toshiba-hd-a2.jpgHave you been waiting for a cheap but good quality HD-DVD player? Well, your wait is now over. You can now buy Toshiba’s 2nd generation HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $200 at Circuit City and, starting next week, at Wal-Mart and most likely Best Buy.

I was an early adopter and own the 1st gen Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and love it. The picture and sound quality is amazing…assuming you have a calibrated HDTV and a good surround sound system.

FYI, the latest HD-DVD player is the HD-A3 and HD-A35 (3rd gen). You can check out the specs of the HD-A2 and the rest of the HD-DVD players on Toshiba’s site.

[via ArsTechnica]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Surround Sound, Video

Deal: Xbox HD-DVD player for $131


Xbox HD-DVD add-onSam’s Club is selling the Xbox HD-DVD add-on player for $131 (a full $59 lower than MSRP). Note: some Sam’s Club locations are selling it for $150, which is still a good deal.

Btw, this deal is in-store only.

[via TechBargains]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, Xbox 360

Free South Park episode (in HD) on Xbox Live Marketplace


Comedy Central and Xbox Live are giving away South Park’s first ever HD episode for free. That’s right – free. It will be free for the next two weeks (starting today). The episode they’re giving away is from 2004: ‘Good Times with Weapons’ (i.e., the ‘South Park Ninjas’ episode).

If you don’t have an Xbox 360 and are planning on getting one, get it at Best Buy between March 20 – April 3 because they will give you this episode on HD-DVD for free. Already have an Xbox 360 but want to buy the HD-DVD add-on drive? Don’t worry, Best Buy’s got you covered: you’ll get this HD-DVD for free with the purchase of the add-on drive, too.

FYI, this HD episode is 1GB so be patient…unless if you’re one of those lucky people with Verizon Fios.

Filed under: Bargains, HD DVD, Microsoft, Video, Xbox 360