Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blu-Ray vs HD DVD. Grumble.

I'm literally the only person I know with a 20 year old TV. I take that back, Monica's grandma has probably a 30 year old TV. But I'm the only person I know under seventy with a 20 year old TV.

I'm this close to taking the plunge. The plan goes like this. Get a cheap/small HDTV (it will not last more than a couple years anyway). Get the HD TiVo (I like TiVo a lot). Get a new surround sound/DVD combo. Ditch the VCR.

With the HD TiVo and CableCards + the surround sound/DVD combo, I can consolidate a bunch of component real estate in the living room. I plan on the HD TiVo and the DVD/surround sound system to last a while.

But there-in lies the problem. The matter of Blu-ray vs HD DVD is still up in the air. And since even a bargain basement SD DVD/Surround sound system is several hundred dollars, I'd rather not guess wrong about the whole hi-def thing.

This free market had better hurry up and decide on the format. I don't want to be the only guy on the block with "Betamax."


Blogger Stuart said...

I chose VHS. Well, kind of. I was like you a little over a year ago. And then I upgraded me entertainment system adding a plasma tv, a surround sound system, hd cable box, and just yesterday a HD DVD player.
I waited until I found the things I wanted on slickdeals.net, and then bought. To use that strategy you have to bear in mind that what you want has to be a less cutting edge, but it can all work out.
On the HD DVD / bluray deal, heres my logic:
HD DVD players are sub $200 now. As ever its your disc collection that is worth the most money, and if bluray wins, then I expect them to build some HD DVD compatibility in as Samsung already have. If HD DVD wins, then we are VHS man after all. Taking other things into consideration, like the price difference, and the knowledge gap in the general populous (think that the only hd is HD DVD) means that this christmas and the few months after will be telling whether I am right. If not, then I have a HD DVD player for sale...

10:00 AM  
Anonymous max said...

I agree on the HD DVD thing. We can declare a winner of the format war when you can go into Wal-Mart and pick up an high-def player and not feel like it will severely impact your family's budget. The studios will eventually get off the paid-for-by-Sony high horse and go to where the players and the customers are. Yes, Betamax was better quality but VHS was cheaper and average Joe couldn't tell the difference between the two.
For now though, I'd go for an up-converting DVD player. You can get a very good picture out of it and don't have to worry about the format. DVD will be here for a while. Also, your DH TiVo will have Amazon Unbox service, so you could download HD movies directly to your box. Comcast has HD movies on demand too so you won't be without content, I guarantee that.

2:04 PM  
Blogger brent said...

OK, now I am curious, let me check the back of my TV. Manufacture date: March 1988. You win :)

This is what I use for HDTV: Elgato EyeTV Hybrid

6:46 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

I have to disagree with my esteemed colleagues with regards to HD DVD. I think consumers are smart enough to realize that both Blu-Ray and HD DVD are both high-definition media. I also don't think price at this point is much of a deciding factor (the delta is $100, and the much less for 1080p players) given the market segment (affluent, early adopter).

In this scenario, I see a consortium of companies (lead by Sony) behind Blu-Ray. There are a handful of manufacturers (Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, Pioneer) that make Blu-Ray players. Apple is rumored to be getting on board. Compare that that to the (effectively) 1 manufacturer behind HD-DVD: Toshiba.

Also consider the players - Microsoft is staunchly behind HD-DVD (and consider their track record on new media). Sony, on the other hand, seems to have more hits than misses.

Ultimately though, I feel that the thing to bridge the format war might well be what happened in the 56k modem war: a third standard (and I hear it's the charm).

12:02 PM  

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