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More HD-DVD news and madness

BluRayvsHDDVD.jpgSo there are only a few people left still backing HD-DVD with films, and that number is dwindling fast now that Universal has now moved from HD-DVD to Blu-ray, and we're all awaiting word from Paramount and DreamWorks.

Strangely, or perhaps cleverly, some hardware manufacturers have decided to keep their hand in with HD-DVD, particularly LG and their dual format players.

Finally there's a little bit of further comment from Toshiba regarding the HD-DVD DVD war that flies in the face of their previous comments.

First up, the General Manager of HD-DVD, Olivier Van Wynendaele, said that they "wouldn't change anything" about the way they ran the business and fought in the battle against Blu-ray, and through Engadget HD he goes onto say:

"…circumstances saw to it that [Toshiba] had to make the decision not to continue, but that doesn't mean [the company] did anything wrong."

Wouldn't change anything and they did nothing wrong? It was circumstance? What? If I was his boss he'd be sacked right now, that's not a person I want leading a business, someone that doesn't learn from mistakes and thinks it is right to force consumers into a format war - and I realise there are two sides to the war, it's just that this comment comes from HD-DVD who clearly lost down to poor business decisions and marketing.

Was it circumstance that Microsoft just had an add-on for their player and the standard XBox had no HD output to take advantage of it? Was it circumstance that the Blu-ray was built in to the PS3 as standard? That to me is something that would need to bi rectified if they played the game again.

That comment also goes against what the President of Toshiba said the other day:

"We concluded that a swift decision would be best…If we had continued, that would have created problems for consumers, and we simply had no chance to win."

Problems for consumers? Well as I said the whole format war was a problem to consumers and a huge blocker against DVD owners signing up to a new format.

What HD-DVD and Toshiba seem to be saying is that they were not going to win, but they would do it all again and force consumers down a route that would mean they bought hardware and discs that would become obsolete very quickly.

Now I may take personal sides in this format war by buying one format (because it was built into my games console) but I truly feel for the people forced to chose and who chose HD-DVD only to find it lose. Not just that but for the companies in control to say they would do it to them again and not even try to win the war?

Frankly this whole deal has been about control and money, the consumer has never been near the top ten in the list of reasons for the new formats, not after reading these comments anyway.

Toshiba have stated that they are stockpiling HD-DVD recording media which they will sell online for the HD-DVD recorders out there. Now this statement through Engadget HD can be taken two ways, one is that they are trying to ensure that HD-DVD recorder owners have media to keep going, the other is that they are indicating that no new media will be created, otherwise why would they stockpile? If you're not getting new discs for your recorder, what use is it holding on? Great ongoing support there.

LG though, again through Engadget HD, are looking after those who have been buying HD-DVD films because they are going to continue to provide dual format players, that is players that cope with both HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Daniel Aziz, the Marketing Manager of LG said it is…

"…necessary to provide a player which supports both formats and therefore creates simplicity and convenience for the existing HD DVD consumer…does not rule out HD DVD immediately, as there are still a number of consumers who have chosen HD DVD and begun to build a HD DVD collection."

So LG are looking out for the existing consumers at least.

Lastly while DreamWorks and Paramount continue to remain silent on where they are with selecting a format for their releases, Universal has dropped HD-DVD too according to Reuters through James comments in the Toshiba posting. Craig Kornblau, the President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms, said:

"The path for widespread adoption of the next-generation platform has finally become clear…The emergence of a single, high-definition format is cause for consumers, as well as the entire entertainment industry, to celebrate.

While Universal values the close partnership we have shared with Toshiba, it is time to turn our focus to releasing new and catalog titles on Blu-ray."

That says it all.

Finally, just to give the HD-DVD audience something to smile about, the prices of discs have started to fall, just have a look at Amazon's 50% off sale.



So when's Bateman Begins out on the Blu side?
That'll probably be the one that makes me take the leap ..

it doesn't matter that much anyway, does it? i mean, sales of blu ray players and hddvd are much lower than ever expected.

most people thought they were getting some super-immersive, giant leap in entertainment. guess what? you can only see the difference on a large television, and even then only if you have very sharp vision.

me myself, I'm not about to go buy any player beyond dvd, because dvd is good enough.

when all is said and done, when I have a moderately sized old school television ( circa 1995 ) and a standard dvd player and can see the tiny tiny little people fighting in the far background of the LOTR trillogy and can still make out what's going on, I can't see what all the commotion is about.

i've only seen one instance of a high definition image that i'd even care to own, and it was a gigantic freaking screen and a blu ray player. the cost of this moderate improvement when all is said and done? oh, a mere 5,000 bucks. and that's being fairly optimistic.

I predict dvd will live on for a VERY long time.

"you can only see the difference on a large television, and even then only if you have very sharp vision."

Wow, I'd totally disagree with that Mogulus. I have friends who have Blu-ray on a normal TV and they can see a small improvement, but throw it on an LCD and make sure you have a good disc and you can see a world of difference. The second (colour) opening of Casino Royale looks fantastic, and I don't have sharp vision!

That said we are talking about 32-36 inch pretty good CRT's here, so if you're talking smaller and mid-range then perhaps you won't, and that's why I found the advantage of the PS3 - I bought the games console and got a Blu-ray player.

I think you haven't seen a good system and combination of disc, player and screen as yet. My TV was £1,700 and now you can get a better model for £800 (which my friend has just bought). The player comes in the PS3 games console and home media center box at £270, and an HDMI cable for £20. Even upscaling of standard DVD is a big improvement, and I'm not one of these perfectionist home cinema people...apart from when it comes to black levels on my LCD!


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