April 01, 2007
| by EH Staff
Industry pundits, the electronics blogosphere and video enthusiasts everywhere can celebrate: Blu-ray and HD DVD have not only decided to call a truce to the high-def DVD format war, but the backers of each are apparently joining forces in an endeavor tentatively called “Blu-DVD” disc.
Details of this landmark announcement will become clearer when the two sides hold a joint news conference that has been scheduled for tomorrow morning, but the brief press release referred to a “100-GB super disc format in the works with a scheduled release in time for the 2007 holiday season.”
“Consumers are becoming frustrated with choosing between one format whose name left them scratching their heads wondering what it means, and why it couldn’t correctly spell a basic color, and another format whose name is just obviously better associated with high-definition DVD,” said Blu-ray Disc Promotional Group chairperson Richmond Speighder in the press release. “We keep hearing ‘HD DVD’ and thinking, well, that abbreviation pretty much sums it up—why the heck didn’t we think of that first? People don’t know a blue laser from a blue M&M.”
The press release quoted a seemingly satisfied HD DVD Association director George Townhoia, who added, “We knew our name made a little more sense, but because somehow Blu-ray was able to fit, like, twice as much data onto their product than we could using essentially the same technology, we thought a compromise between the two sides would benefit both as well as the consumer. Plus, we were all just so dang fed up with hearing about this so-called ‘format war.’”
One drawback of the new technology at first glance would appear to be the standard $49.99 MSRP for the Blu-DVD discs, but the press release assures, “When the consumer purchases the complete third season of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and it all fits on one disc rather than four, he will appreciate the considerable shelf space being saved as well as seeing Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey in true 1080p.”
And do not fret about playback of your current collections, the press release continues, “The new universal Blu-DVD player will support all current audio and video formats and codecs, as well as a few whose time has long since passed, as we are looking to attract audiences both young and old to this all-encompassing format.” The universal player is scheduled to be backwards compatible with Blu-ray, HD DVD, DVD, CD, DVD-Audio, SACD, Minidisc, Laserdisc, DAT, VHS, S-VHS, Betamax, Cassette, Eight-track, Reel-to-reel, Vinyl and Gramophone. The powerful tuner included can also receive HD Radio, XM, Sirius, AM, FM, VHF, UHF and CB radio signals.
Of course, the biggest question on consumers’ minds will be regarding the content library. No worries there, assures the Blu-DVD format announcement, which offered a preliminary movie and television title listing headed by “The Ultimate Matrix Trilogy Collection Special Edition,” “The Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Segal, Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson Action Heroes Box Set,” “Teletubbies—the Complete First 10 Seasons,” and “Gunsmoke, the Complete 20 Seasons” to name a few.
Speighder and Townhoia admitted in the press release that it was odd to make such an industry-shaking announcement on a Sunday rather than a weekday, but noted that journalists and consumers would look past that fact today, since, “after all, it is April Fools’ Day!”