January 30, 2008 by Scott Wasser
Although it’s quite possible the decision by Warner Brothers Entertainment to abandon HD DVD will wind up being one of the final shots in the high-definition disc war, there remain some very sound reasons to ally with the HD DVD camp.
Granted, when Warner in June joins forces with Sony, Disney, and Fox as exclusive Blu-ray Disc distributors, the BD arsenal will be pretty impressive. But HD DVD still has a couple of powerful weapons in Universal and Paramount/Dreamworks, and both companies recently restated their support of the format. That means anyone planning to add the high-def version of “American Gangster” to their home video library better not be too quick to give up on HD DVD.
According to a poll of some 1300 Electronichouse.com readers, (see the following articles: Top 10 Reasons to Buy HD DVD, Top 10 Reasons to Buy Blu-ray), 41-percent currently own or plan to buy an HD DVD player, compared to 36-percent who own or plan to buy a Blu-ray player. Twelve percent said they were waiting for the dust to settle before making a decision, and 11-percent own or plan to buy both formats.
This is (albeit unscientific) proof there are some HD DVD supporters out there. Here are three compelling arguments to join their side.
If it’s true that money talks, HDTV owners wanting to join the high-def disc world should walk into the HD DVD camp. HD DVD players have had a price edge – sometimes significant – over BD players from Day 1, and Toshiba’s recent price cuts suggest that isn’t about to change any time soon. List prices for Toshiba’s players are now $149.99 for the 1080i HD-A3, $199.99 for the HD-A30 with 1080p output, and $299.99 for its top-of-the-line HD-A35. Amazon is offering the HD-A3 for $129, which is less than the collective regular cost of the seven free titles that are part of the deal. And the format’s mandatory specifications ensure that all HD DVD players support the latest Dolby audio codecs and full internet-based interactivity. Not bad for less than half the price of the least expensive BD player.
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