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High Def DVD stalemate

Despite the rhetoric from both sides, neither HD-DVD nor Blu-Ray is a clear winner in the high definition video format wars, according to the New York Times. It's a stalemate.

We bought an HD DVD player when they were on sale earlier this year.  Even so, we've only seen two HD DVD titles since that time, opting for the most part for ordinary DVD.  Why?

  1. Cost.  Ordinary DVDs are available for anywhere from $6 to $20, depending on how old the release is.  HD DVD releases are generally $30 and up. 
  2. Selection.  There really isn't much of a selection.  One or two shelf units at Best Buy versus the thousands of titles available in regular DVD format.
  3. Rental.  Our local video store doesn't carry either Blu-Ray or HD DVD.

As a result, of the dozen or so DVD's we purchased at Christmas, only one was an HD DVD.  It looks great, but until there are more titles available at a more reasonable price, I don't expect to be getting a lot of use out of our fancy new HD DVD player.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Mitch Brisebois December 31, 2007, 6:03 pm

    GoogleTrends does support this point. http://www.google.com/trends?q=hddvd%2C+bluray&am

    Although, I'm betting that HD has the advantage (market-wise) and the disadvantage (naming wise… bluray 2 syllables easy to remember!)

    If history repeats… "Beta" was a much prettier name than "VHS"… Sony loses again.

  • Matthew Saunders January 1, 2008, 9:14 pm

    We bought an HD DVD player on sale several months ago. The upconversion on standard DVDs looks really good. We've also gone out of our way to rent HD DVDs through Netflix.

    In general, I'm pretty happy with it.

  • Brad Templeton January 1, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Everybody wants the war to settle down. Your case is an example of what you have to fear. You spend $200 to $300 on a player and you watch 2 movies on it while it depreciates very quickly — possibly to almost zip if the other format wins. That's a lot per movie. Of course buying a fancy hdtv and rarely watching HD content is also not great.

    You need to join a DVD by mail system. I know there is no netflix in Ottawa. Peerflix is a half-Canadian company but their system has a flaw that sticks you with DVDs whose popularity is declining. Still a fair be better than buying dvds in the store. I never have time to watch old movies again with so many new movies I could watch, so I have never understood the buyer who builds a DVD collection.

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