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The U.S. HD DVD launch

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Apr 2006 23:22 User comments (42)

The U.S. HD DVD launch This week, the first HD DVD players from Toshiba Corp. appeared in stores across the United States. While the format did beat the rival Blu-Ray Disc format to release, the selection of HD DVD movies was incredibly poor, resulting in the launch coming and then disappearing quickly. However, it is worth mentioning that all the players are reportedly sold out, but that wouldn't be too hard with just around 10,000 - 15,000 players being available at launch.
The line-up of high definition movies that very early adopters had to choose from consisted of just three titles; The Last Samurai, Phantom of the Opera and Serenity. The titles are selling rather well on Amazon, and the HD discs are also part of Netflix' selection. Now it's on the HD DVD camp to get as many HD DVD movies out as possible before the Blu-ray launch, the ensure holding a lead for at least a while.

The first Blu-ray players will be priced at $1,000+ compared to Toshiba's $499 and $799 players that have sold out. The Blu-ray camp has many advantages over the HD DVD camp however, including more support from Hollywood studios and the upcoming PlayStation 3 launch. The PS3 includes a Blu-ray drive, so a good launch for the PS3 is even better for the Blu-ray format.

The battle between both formats will go on for quite a while before a winner is obvious, resembling the mess caused by the VHS vs. Betamax war. It will be an expensive battle but at stake is the multi-billion dollar home video market.

Source:
Xinhuanet

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42 user comments

122.4.2006 0:50

If anyone has bought this please write yourcomments on the quality and the speed of the device please.

222.4.2006 3:57

To expensive for me.

322.4.2006 5:44

I'm not stupid enough to get into a format war. I'll wait on a clear winner or a universal player first. IF there had been only one format, I would have jumped all over this. To bad Hollywood can't get the act togther and demand one format.

422.4.2006 6:09
MrToast
Inactive

My Best Buy had it set up and it looked frakin unreal, the colors were so clear and crisp. As soon as I have an HD tv I would snap this up ASAP and at 500.00 it's cheap compared to what I paid for my first VCR or DVD player!! We watched Serenity (Which is great) and it looked so cool, I cant wait for Star Wars!

522.4.2006 6:32

THEY SOLD OUT can you get news about America from a American site instead of a Chinese one thats sounds bias http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1950635,00.asp

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Apr 2006 @ 6:37

622.4.2006 7:27

Much though I like Toshiba, I'll intially be pro-bluray because I'll be getting a PS3 at some point. That device can't fail to keep the format alive.

722.4.2006 8:53
ripfuel
Inactive

The quality & price of the standard old DVD's that are out now are just fine for my viewing pleasure. Don't think I will ever buy this crap.

822.4.2006 8:56

Too expensive but I know it'll be like the DVD player. Look how much they cost back in 1997 compared to now. Also, now almost everything has it's own DVD player on top of it. This will be hot for a while but then it will suddenly have a decrease in price. I don't need to get this though, I have a hi def graphics card and monitor so I can download the hi def stuff I want to my PC and watch it off of there. And bottom line, I don't see why it's that big of a deal anyways. Sure it looks good, but DVD aint bad at all...




*Wrestling history since 2001*

922.4.2006 9:31

I would buy one along with a HD TV if i had the money.

1022.4.2006 9:40

A friend and I dismantled Toshiba's new HD-A1 player in order to find out what made it tick, and were intrigued to learn that under the hood the HD-DVD drive itself is a standard IDE unit designed for a desktop PC. Also inside is a USB flash drive on a daughter card: http://geekswithblogs.net/lorint/archive/2006/04/21/75795.aspx

1122.4.2006 9:44

this is how i see it. HD-DVD will win in the long run. The only studio not making hd-dvds is sony, so content will be around for the hd crowd. also, the fact that ps3 has the Blu-ray included doesn't matter as much for the fact that the ps3 is going to be expensive as hell. sony has never been able to get a format (by itself) to take off .i.e. umd, betamax. Hopefully history will repeat it's self and HD-DVD will win the format war. Or better let, the studio say F* it and provide downloads str8 to a pc or dvr or something.

1222.4.2006 10:39

"A friend and I dismantled Toshiba's new HD-A1 player in order to find out what made it tick, and were intrigued to learn that under the hood the HD-DVD drive itself is a standard IDE unit designed for a desktop PC. Also inside is a USB flash drive on a daughter card: http://geekswithblogs.net/lorint/archive/2006/04/21/75795.aspx" just curious can you plug in a reg dvd rom drive into the ide slot on the player to see what happens

1322.4.2006 11:10

Quote:
just curious can you plug in a reg dvd rom drive into the ide slot on the player to see what happens
Why?
Quote:
the fact that ps3 has the Blu-ray included doesn't matter as much for the fact that the ps3 is going to be expensive as hell.
Very little more than this HD-DVD player is at launch, and the PS3 isn't that far away now. Considering the technology it contains, I see it as a very viable DVD player, and I expect great things from it. Ultimately I think HD-DVD may win, purely because it's backed by Intel and Microsoft, who probably have the power to buy any opposition they face. Okay, a little ott, but you get the idea. They control what happens these days.

1422.4.2006 12:49

I have over 400 dvds in my collection,with two five disc change Progressive scan players. The quality of my dvds is just fine for me. People are acting like dvds look like crap or arent clear. Dvds are still very good looking. Im not going to fall for a bunch of hype over the same dam movie i already own because it looks better than an already realy good looking movie. It doesnt make any sense to spend over a thousand for a new tv, then another on the player just to view the same movies with more clearity. I will wait until the prices drop on tvs and players, then buy. Ill have no problem waiting because a have a perectly good format to watch movies on. Thats not to mention if you have already bought a tv it wont even be compatible. I feel dvds will be around for a long time to come simply because of what i stated.

1522.4.2006 12:58

Maybe that won't have too have a format war for long just make it so one player plays both they did it too dvd -r and +r why can't they do it with Blu-ray and HD DVD I mean if they really wanted too they will when people are going for one then this will come along where you can play both.

1622.4.2006 13:25

Unlike + and - they are two proprietary technologies and legally can not coexist in the same device, it's in breach of the terms of both the formats. You'll just have to get one of each if you really must. or buy a PS3 and an HD-DVD player once they're cheap (because let's face it there arent many HD titles now, so what's the point?) By the time High Def DVDs are mainstream, neither the PS3 or HD DVD player will be hugely expensive and those who really do like their high def content will be able to afford it.

1722.4.2006 13:34

Why not put 2 lasers in the same player one for each why wouldn't that work anyway I will wait till the next gen comes arund HVD Holographic video disk.

1822.4.2006 15:06

It would work, but it's not legal by the definition of the companies producing the technology. They don't want to lose their cut of the technology by having some low cost hybrid unit, and they don't want a sale of their technology to lead to a sale of a rival technology, or they'll never get ahead.

1922.4.2006 16:30
whytelyou
Inactive

I guess everyone forgot about minidisc also... lol

2022.4.2006 16:54

Quote:
THEY SOLD OUT can you get news about America from a American site instead of a Chinese one thats sounds bias
I read more than one article about HD DVD launch over the past few days, I just didn't think it was worth actually writing about the launch until it was more clear how it went. One of the articles I read was Xinhuanet, so I used it as a source - not particularly because it was my main source at all, it was one of the latest updated. In future, comment on the news item, if you have something to say directly to me, I have a PM inbox.

2122.4.2006 20:05

It would be easy to build a Universal player. There are already chips on the market today that can decode both formats; you would also only need the one laser, blue, to do so. The chip is by Broadband and it’s called BCM7411D. (Google it for more info) Problem is that nether one of the DVD camps will allow it. They want to be the clear winner, and on their terms. Sony isn't trying to push Blu-ray by it self, they have several Hollywood Studios, and ALMOST all the major PC makers: DELL, APPLE, GATEWAY & HP. Do I think the ps3 will matter? Maybe. Most people will buy it just to play games on, not watch movies. I have both X-box's, and I've never watched 1 DVD on either of them, and at $800+ for a PS3, their not going to get anyone to buy it except the die hard fans; same as the ones the ran out and bought the HD-DVD player this week. I would have been one of those folks that bought one (HD-DVD) this week if there had been one format. Serenity is my favorite movie, so I would have been happy. As is, I'll have to wait. I saw the HD-DVD demo at BEST BUY today. They had a split screen comparison of movie and different pictures. On the left was HD-DVD. On the Right was Normal DVD SIMULATED. There's the key word. S-i-m-u-l-a-t-e-d. The "normal" side looked fuzzy and blurry; the HD-DVD looked GREAT. Now I don't know about you guys, but my DVD's sure don't look fuzzy!!! If my DVD's looked that bad, I'd get a headache, and never watch them. Something’s is wrong with that demo!!

2222.4.2006 21:25

I saw a HD-DVD player for sale at Best Buy today for $499.00 There were bunches of 'em still in stock.

2322.4.2006 23:16

The thing is projected price for ps3 is 500-600 dollars where do you get 800 from.

2423.4.2006 0:25

for sure I'll wait till prices drop down SONY still beats the world, Regards (Libya)

2523.4.2006 1:28

Quote:
Something’s is wrong with that demo!!
That wouldn't surprise me, but it bugs me when people have all these HDTVs in a showroom connected up to a single standard aerial with no amplifier, so the picture is really fuzzy and crackly. Do these people have no brains?
Quote:
Sony isn't trying to push Blu-ray by it self, they have several Hollywood Studios, and ALMOST all the major PC makers: DELL, APPLE, GATEWAY & HP.
So intel are backing HD-DVD and Dell are backing Blu-ray?? That's FANTASTIC!!!

2623.4.2006 5:42

u get a little peek what hd video on the xbox 360 video and i have to say is WOW ..but there is no way i am going to buy it because dvd are fine for me .

2723.4.2006 8:22

First mistake by HD-DVD not having enough players at launch, or are they just creating momentum.

2823.4.2006 8:50

I'm not sure they need many. How many people replying to this article have said they would buy one?

2924.4.2006 3:21
Earlacey
Inactive

Well given tht each side of the camp will dig it's heals in and want you buy one over the other...why not break down and do a media center PC? I know MS is pushing HD, but BLue Ray has to also work. One would hope, I mean these things are just dumbed downed PCs s it is. But Either way, I will also not being choosing none of these new technolgies until the price comes down.

3024.4.2006 8:48

A Media center PC? Could do, but that's even more money, and you can guarantee pretty much that games for the PS3 in 5 years time will work on the same PS3. Not a chance with a PC.

3124.4.2006 9:14

One minute+ to boot up? Just to get from 720p to 1080p(max...) resolution? And as a bonus, more DRM than a 100lb bag of horse manure. No thanks. http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=31151

3224.4.2006 9:45

Amen to that! Plus, in any case you can get 1080p from a PS3 can you not?

3324.4.2006 12:30
psyantist
Inactive

"Many companies, though, will support both. Hewlett-Packard, the largest PC maker behind HD DVD, will also support Blu-ray. Studios will also issue movies under both formats." Tanviper, make sure you get your facts nailed down before you spew crap. I do believe HP has gotten alot of crap from Sony for jumping ship and supporting HD-DVD because it is a friendlier format. To appease Sony they back-peddled a bit and said they would support both. There are some exclusive studios and companies in both camps but remember the end result is very bad for the consumer because we lose either way!

3424.4.2006 13:02

Hmmm, "the customer is always right" - if the MAFIAA have their way, the customer will never be right! I rather hope a unification comes out of all this - a two-format war really isn't good news for consumers.

3525.4.2006 8:50

You know, here's something to wrap your head around. I know that it has been projected that ps3 will launch with the capability to play bluray discs with a sticker price of $500, but the first bluray player by Samsung is supposed to retail at $1000; playing nothing more than bluray discs. Anyone else here see why ps3 releasing at $500 is highly unlikely. Oh wait, i know- maybe they'll just release it at $500 and then charge an extra $300 for a playback kit or some bullshit. The last generation of gameing systems they were the only douchebags that actually made you buy a multitap. Besides its Sony; they don't believe in reasonable prices.

3625.4.2006 12:39

They have to, or they wouldn't sell anything. Sony, believe it or not, are still in business, so they must be selling something. The PS3 will indeed be a player for Blu-ray media, and despite the early high price tag of Bluray-DVD players the console may spark a drop in their prices anyway. I very much doubt that sony will charge that much for Bluray DVD functionality in their console, it's throwing away the advantage they have over the xbox - theyy're already using bluray technology for games (what does the 360 use?) so why not films too? Besides, how often do you use 3 or 4 controllers at once on your xbox?

3725.4.2006 16:39

Not sure how more space means better games, but if thats what you want to believe go ahead. Besides, last i heard not even a third of game developers actually know how to program for multicore processors; and before you go talking about 360 games, none of those games actually use more than one of the three cores within its cpu. For this reason I'm not sure why anyone is making any speculations of how ps3 games will be better than 360. Bottomline, bluray is just another soon-to-be failed venture by Sony. People aren't that brgiht, and the name hd dvd alone will sell more than bluray. Bluray will simply try to explain how it will have more benefits in the future that will conveniently never manifest, and people will see no reason to choose one over the other and will pick the one with the name they like. It sounds stupid, but even Microsoft realized that naming a system xbox 2 with an iminant playstaion 3 on the horizon might leave consumers to believe that playstaion 3 is superior to xbox 2, even with nearly identical hardware specs, simply because the number is higher.

3826.4.2006 8:29

Quote:
Not sure how more space means better games, but if thats what you want to believe go ahead.
Not every game that's big is good, but then when the technology advances, I can see a lot more scope for the PS3's games when they have five times as much space to play with. Bigger isn't always better, and if the discs were only twice the size I wouldn't rely on it as a positive for the PS3, but five times is a lot, and there are a fair few astonishing games that fit in 5GB that just wouldn't be the same with only 1GB to store them, for example. Blu-ray's 45GB Dual layer discs versus DVD's 9GB dual layer discs. I know where my money's going.
Quote:
not even a third of game developers actually know how to program for multicore processors
Quake IV managed it, as I think did Elder scrolls. If no one knows how to program for multi-core then both the 360 and the PS3 are a bit stuck.
Quote:
none of those games actually use more than one of the three cores within its cpu.
You're quite right, they won't to start with, but soon they will, and eventually there will be games that use and need all of the cores, and 7 cores would probably weigh up better with the more technonologcally advanced games, and the dedicated Physx processor will help things along nicely. The performance of the 360 really is looking limited by comparison. Things will start off similarly, but eventually the 360 will peak, and the PS3 will just keep on climbing.
Quote:
bluray is just another soon-to-be failed venture by Sony. People aren't that brgiht, and the name hd dvd alone will sell more than bluray
Er...What? I think people may be more inclined to get Blu-ray when they're told "the playstation uses it" rather than "it's a new format" for HDDVD. If people are dumb enough to go by name alone, they won't have heard of either format yet, so nothing lost, nothing gained.
Quote:
even Microsoft realized that naming a system xbox 2 with an iminant playstaion 3 on the horizon might leave consumers to believe that playstaion 3 is superior to xbox 2, even with nearly identical hardware specs, simply because the number is higher.
Yes, that's the sad state of the world we live in. But HD-DVD doesn't have a higher number, and I believe Blu-ray is bigger, so with that standpoint, Blu-ray should theoretically win.

3928.4.2006 12:37

Well when they offer an HD standard media that isn't so loaded with DRM, is priced in the range of a good modern DVD player, and will play any movie I buy for it then I will buy one. Not a moment sooner. I have a multi-thousand dollar front projection system with all the bells and whistles and when I do a REAL side by side comparison of an HD trailer and the same scene on a DVD upscaled to 720p I can barely tell the difference. The main problem with HD pictures on normal DVD's are people either didn't set it up right, or they have a 480p DVD player connected to an HDTV. HD tuner for HDTV, YES most definately better than regular TV. But replace my DVD collection for HD-DVD or Blu-ray? I cannot see a compelling reason at all.

4028.4.2006 12:39

Yeah, and it helps when people set up the gear properly... Ahem Dixons/Currys Digital.

4113.7.2006 17:28

sammorris Rioch is already makeing a BR and HD DVD Drive after they get the tech prefected all tat remains is how assy the coperations that hold the BR and HD DVD proprietary technologies will fight it,it seems to me unless they want to lose they will split the profits *L* Sony has gotten themselfs in deep tho,onyl the launch and the aftermath of it will show if the PS3 can sink or swim,I wonder if the home theater tech natzi's will pick up enough slack in PS3 sales to help the PS3 float....mmmm.

4214.7.2006 12:44

theres little point to buy it - a dvd player is good enough for me now and im gonna get a ps3 when it releases

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