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Opinion
HD DVD: A Demise Greatly Exaggerated?
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January 21, 2008 | by Cindy Davis
HD DVD is dead. Or so says the media. How about waiting for consumers to make the final decision?
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Posted by Thaddeus Bonk  on  01/21  at  12:21 PM

What’s the point of this article?

Posted by Jeff Kalman  on  01/21  at  12:21 PM

Die HD-DVD! Die!!!

Just kidding…. ;)

Someone has to lose, it just isn’t fair to consumers to drag this thing on for years longer.  As an avid computer user, I’m glad it appears to be the format that has more storage potential.

Posted by steve  on  01/21  at  12:22 PM

The war is over and, in my opinion, the better side lost.  The bottom line is that in this world of small margins in CES and high commercial leases, shelf space at your big box and smaller stores comes at a premium.  It’s no seret that Circuit City and Best Buy have winced at having to maintain shelf space for both Blue Ray and HD DVD movies, when one format would have resolved this problem.  Also, the 97% of the country that hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon for either format and is holding off until a winner is declared represent sales that are NOT taking place.  So, many CES stores are jumping to declare one side the winner (in this case, blu ray).  If you think I am wrong, stop buy your local BB or CC and try to find the HD DVD players on the shelves.  You might find an A3 tucked away on the bottom shelf and maybe a display model—but that’s about it.  They are hardly flying off the shelves like hot cakes, even at the new $150 price.  Other stores, like P.C. Richard in the North East aren’t selling off their HD DVD’s in stock and aren’t reordering.  In addition, the number of returns on HD DVD hardware has skyrocketed, just as the prices have dropped.  The war is, indeed, over.

Posted by Chuck McKenney  on  01/21  at  12:36 PM

Thaddeus - the article is an editorial on the format war. Are you confused by Cindy’s stance? Its quite clear to me.

Posted by soundzilla  on  01/21  at  12:52 PM

I agree, let the consumer decide…and the consumers HAVE decided. Blu-ray media outsells HD-DVD 70%-30% in Europe and 2 to 1 in the U.S. and that was before the Warner announcement.

Posted by Steve  on  01/21  at  12:58 PM

Jodi Sally didn’t say she was devastated at all!!
What she said was that she found it hard to read all the punters saying that “HD DVD is dead” and concluded with saying that “we’ve been pronounced dead before”
She never said she was devastated by the Warner decision.
Get your facts straight.

Posted by slightlyjaded  on  01/21  at  01:22 PM

Honestly, I don’t get the point of this editorial either. You’re lamenting that consumers don’t get to decide democratically which format will win? This makes zero sense to me. I don’t have either type of player at this point (like most consumers, I was waiting for the market to settle on one format), but from everything I’ve read, the quality of the experience viewers have with these technologies is basically identical. So what criteria exactly are consumers supposed to use to settle this war? They’re going to pick the technology that a) has the content they want, and b) seems less likely to be obsolete a year from now. Those are really the only criteria—and neither of them are within consumers’ control.

This format war was never about significant technological differences that would noticeably affect consumers. It was always just a question of which format distributors would ultimately line up behind. Lamenting that consumers don’t get to make that call just seems beside the point. If neither technology is perceptibly superior, most consumers aren’t going to care. They just want distributors to decide already, one way or the other, so they don’t have to worry about investing in an obsolete technology.

Posted by Steveo  on  01/21  at  01:29 PM

So Sony lost with the better tech last time - Beta. (of course that ignores the other formats lost inbetween like when they abandoned their own SACD). And this time the better format loses again. The customer lost in both - just How do we do this???  But in the end - the bulk of the audience just doesn’t care. And won’t this time as they all move or are moved to downloadables.  Great for the environment and soon, we just won’t remember. Well, maybe I will, having purchased 5 HD DVD players and about 60 movies (extended family issue).
I hope for the short term HD DVD does hang in, but I would not suggest Toshiba commit any financial suicides here. This is JUST ONE STEP in the overall flow. Cylinders, 78s, 33s, 45s, wire, tape of a few sizes and speeds, 4 track, 8 track, cassette, CD, Minidisc, CD Recorders, LD-laserdisc, LD digital audio, LD AC3, DVD, HD DVD/BR, and now the down loads of various resolutions, MP3, Video. It’s been a wild run so far. And kept me busy for most of my life! Cool.

Posted by Steveo  on  01/21  at  01:32 PM

Oh, and LaserDisc DTS, LaserDisc 8”, and DVD Dolby and DVD DTS….(and I am sure there are more!!).

Posted by Coyote Teacher  on  01/21  at  04:21 PM

Storage options are about more than distributing movies—the consumer motive—it is also about storing data and having the technology available for *those* users.  We can now purchase Blu-ray writers, and that is more important in a more important sense (and not just to me) than watching Ratatouille in HD.

Posted by whitestar16  on  01/21  at  04:37 PM

Well I was there too.

Its easy for electronic house to be gosh oh golly nice now, after being an innapproriately unabashed non-objective Blu ray supporter from day one.

Posted by WebDev511  on  01/21  at  04:54 PM

I agree Cindy, canceling the press conference was the wrong thing to do as it sent the wrong message in too many ways to list.

I have both players. I prefer watching HD DVD. What I don’t care for is the “Blu-Ray won and everyone who didn’t pick blu were wrong.” mentality.

Guess what? I’m actually winning right now because I’m enjoying my HD DVD titles while those that took one side or the other are missing out on titles, content or both.

Posted by north  on  01/21  at  05:42 PM

Sorry but this is ridicules: “I am too close to the subject to know if I would have put down the money for both if I didn’t need to do so. Given that I pay monthly for three HD-DVRs, I probably would have.”

You say let the consumer choose and this is what you say?  That’s what you call choosing? This article lost its merit.

Posted by Cindy Davis  on  01/21  at  05:52 PM

All I am doing is admitting that I am NOT the average consumer. How could I be, I write about this stuff. But even before I got into this industry, I liked to buy technology as soon as I could afford it and probably before the majority of consumers. I wouldn’t put down a thousand dollars each for two different formats—but under $500— then I bet I would have caved. BECAUSE I am in the industry, I have to be familiar with both. This is not a bad thing. And just for the record—I pay for all of the gear I own.

Cindy

Posted by Ryan  on  01/21  at  06:06 PM

This site has always been pro hd dvd, let it go, its over, all HD DVD is doing now is preventing casual consumers from making the leap from dvd to high definition movies.

Posted by Gremmy  on  01/21  at  06:24 PM

Cindy, are you really an editor-in-chief?  It’s certainly hard to tell from this story.

Posted by oneils  on  01/21  at  06:33 PM

for a laugh look at whitestar15’s comment and then Ryan’s. Hilarious.

Posted by Don Renollet  on  01/21  at  06:33 PM

What is this?  A journalist willing to question the “status quo”?

Yes - bloggers, trolls & even other writers LOVE to pronounce the death of something…anything..so much so, that it has become habitual.

I still remember reading the article(s) that said you can’t broadcast HDTV, or you can’t get video from a PC, or you can’t display a true color image on a computer monitor.

Cindy, keep up the good work.

Don

Posted by Crude Dude  on  01/21  at  06:39 PM

I agree the HD DVD group has done a poor job marketing their product but I will continue to buy HD DVD’s and enjoy them for years to come.

Posted by Consumer  on  01/21  at  07:16 PM

Wrong, this format war has nothing to do with the consumer choosing anything. The average consumer only cares about content. That is the whole point, very soon there will not be a format choice for the consumer wishing to buy the latest WB release in HD.

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