When Warner Bros. announced it was becoming a Blu-ray exclusive studio, most observers of the format war agreed that it was a mortal wound for HD DVD. The only remaining question was, how long is HD DVD going to last? Well, according to the latest NPD data (as compiled by Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits), not very long. During the week of January 5 to 12--the first week the market had to respond to the Warner announcement--Blu-ray absolutely trounced HD DVD in hardware sales, grabbing 92.53 percent of the high-def disc-player market. That's pretty ugly for the HD DVD camp, but it only gets worse. The most damning aspect of these numbers is that they do not include the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive--only standalone players. We previously thought HD DVD's only road to victory was by selling tons of cheap standalone HD DVD players, so the fact that relatively expensive Blu-ray players are starting to sell makes it seem like this format war has been officially declared over--by the consumers.
Blu-ray may be coasting to a format war victory over archrival HD DVD, but it's still got some mopping up to do in the meantime--namely, improving player compatibility with some of the more popular movies already available. Samsung has begun rolling out firmware upgrades for all of its players to address issues that have plagued some users when watching Blu-ray versions of such favorites as Ratatouille, Spider-Man 3, Live Free or Die Hard, Blade Runner, and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. According to Samsung, the updates will be available as follows: … Read more
HD DVD is almost certainly dead in the water. The surprise move of Warner to move to exclusive Blu-ray support has sunk any hope the HD DVD group ever had for winning the format war. What's more, there are rumors that the last two HD DVD studios--Paramount and Universal--are both planning a similar defection. So, can anything save the format now?
It seems pretty unlikely. If Universal and Paramount stay exclusive to HD DVD, however, it's possible the format could survive in the short term. Of course, the moment one or other of those companies leave, … Read more
The recording DVD player. These have been popular in Europe and Asia but have fallen flat in the U.S. Most companies don't even bother to put much effort into marketing them in this country.
The same phenomenon will likely hold true for recording Blu-ray and HD DVD players.
Makato Ebata, CEO of the consumer business group at Hitachi, gave us an explanation in a recent interview. Cable TV penetration is far higher in the States than Asia or Europe. With cable, the same show can appear on a channel several times. In Europe and Japan, you need to … Read more
Toshiba may have taken a huge hit recently, but the HD DVD supporter is striking back.
Barely a week after Warner Bros. announced it would no longer put out movies on the HD DVD format, of which Toshiba is a primary supporter, the company announced it is lowering the prices on all three models of next-generation DVD players.
The entry-level model, the HD-A3, now goes for $149.99, the HD-A30 for $199.99, and the HD-A35 for $299.99. That's about $150 to $200 worth of discounts on all models.
The new pricing from Toshiba is well-timed, according to … Read more
Welcome to the HD DVD Deathwatch, Day One. TigerDirect has the Toshiba HD-A3 player with 2 movies in the box (300 and The Bourne Identity) and 5 more by mail, all for just $129.99. That's practically a Black Friday price, which begs the question: Could this be the beginning of the end for HD DVD?
As you've no doubt heard by now, Warner Bros. Entertainment has decided to put its high-def eggs in Blu-ray's basket. It remains to be seen whether HD DVD can survive this move--the format's not much good if there are no … Read more
What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
Buffalo's new drive doesn't make you pick a winner in the high-def disc format war, and it doesn't make you open up your PC's case to install it. The Buffalo MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD (BRHC-6316U2) drive is an external USB combo drive that reads and writes Blu-ray discs and reads HD DVD discs. Unfortunately, Buffalo made no mention of eSATA or FireWire, so you're stuck with USB 2.0. It'll cost $649 when it starts shipping later this quarter.