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HD DVD Reviews


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 03 2006 - 12:46 AM

Herb, As I went searching for the cover art to post within this review, I thought to myself, "What a great idea of releasing a hybrid dual-format disc." If other studios would simply follow what Warner Brothers has done here, I think that they would sell a hell of a lot more of these discs to those of us who aren't planning to jump on the HD bandwagon this year. Let's face it -- there are still too many of us who don't plan to invest in the HD formats anytime soon. Nobody wants to get burned on these klunky, overpriced first-generation players. Next year the prices on these players will drop drastically to the point where you can easily buy hardware for BOTH formats. We also know from experience that these second generation players will be more streamlined and far less buggy than these initial offerings.... ...But that doesn't mean we can't buy HD movies right now. Why can't all studios follow this beautifully implemented plan that Warner has put forth? Sell us BOTH a standard DVD and Hi-Def DVD so that we can enjoy one now and not have to double-dip in a year or two. Tell you what.... Though I won't be jumping into the HD formats anytime soon, I certainly will purchase discs from Warner Brothers and any studio that continues to offer these hybrid dual releases.


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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   BrandonJF


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Posted June 03 2006 - 01:47 AM

But, you wouldn't be getting this HD version for free. If you want to get a hybrid disc, you'll be paying $10-$22 more for the HD version (depending on where it's purchased). I'm sure Firewall will be on sale at some stores for $14.99-$17.99 on Tuesday. This hybrid will be between $27.99 (Amazon) and $37.99 (Best Buy, based on the current price for Rumor Has It..). If Firewall is $16.99 as listed today, that is a $21 difference for you to pick up the hybrid release at Best Buy. Personally, I don't quite get why anyone who is waiting would want to start buying discs now since their patience affords them the ability to see how the format war shakes out - last thing you want is to have these hybrid discs and find out that the other format is looking to be the victor. For early adopters, hybrids simply force us to pay a premium for something I think most of us don't want - the DVD side (one argument I hear is that we can take the disc around and play it in other non-HD locations - I'm having enough trouble watching DVDs after seeing what HD-DVD looks like to willingly watch something I own in HD on DVD. I'll transport the player first) . Plus, WB is being kinda lazy by forcing us to actually flip the disc if we want to check out the supplements (which I thought Firewall continued that tradition... maybe Herb can confirm). Forcing the disc to be flipped to check out the sparse extras on a format where one of the big advantages is the increased disc space is silly. For people on the fence, comparing the price of the DVD to the HD-DVD may be enough to say "not now". If WB thinks hybrids are the way to go, great - I just wish they'd either give us the option of buying a version without the DVD side or not charge a premium to get that DVD side.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Sean Bryan

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Posted June 03 2006 - 04:15 AM

I agree with Brandon.

The current implementation of hybrids is not friendly to people who are only interested in HD. I am not interested in hybrids. I'm buying Hi Def discs to get movies in Hi Def.

I wouldn't have much of an issue with them, however, if they cost exactly the same as an HD DVD only title. Or if they released a DVD, HD DVD, and a hybrid separately (then there is no issue at all).

As it is, the current use of hybrids for "new releases" is forcing people who bought HD players and are only interested in purchasing the HD version into paying a few dollars more for a standard definition version they don't want. I have a problem with that. I would like to think that HTF would see the problem with that as well.

As a concept, I'm sure that hybrids will appeal to some people and there may be some place for it in the grand scheme in years to come. But the current practice of not giving a choice to those who are only interested in the Hi Def content and don't want to spend an extra $5 for each "new movie" purchase stinks.

I'm glad that this is not going to be done with BD.

I was looking forward to buying V for Vendetta on HD DVD next month. But if it is going to be a hybrid, then I think I'll wait for the BD release.
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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted June 03 2006 - 04:32 AM

Nice review Herb. Posted Image

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Rob_Walton


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Posted June 03 2006 - 04:53 AM

Herb, is this a 15Gb/9Gb flipper, or a 30Gb/9Gb version? In other words: is the HD on a single layer?

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted June 03 2006 - 09:56 AM

For those interested in learning more about HD Hybrid discs and/or discussing your opinions about them, you may want to check out this thread:

What's the point of HD-DVD / DVD dual-discs?

Rob, I believe like the Hybrid release of "Rumor has it.", the HD DVD side is a single-layer 15GB disc - at least that's what I read on another site.

If so, this may be a good reason to wait for a 30GB rerelease.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   LarryH


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Posted June 03 2006 - 12:46 PM

Firewall is one of the few movies I saw in the theater (I had a free ticket). I found it disappointingly unimaginative and predictable (and I haven't seen Swordfish). Since I just don't see the point of the hybrid, I am glad I am not tempted to purchase this.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted June 03 2006 - 05:56 PM

Yeah way ..way..way overpriced even if this was a 4 star film. It's just making the HD-DVD buys spend more money. For right now the format is a nich and users are paying for it. I just picked up Blazing Saddles 30th Anniversary Edition for $5.50 at Walmart. The HD -DVD Version is $30 !
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#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted June 04 2006 - 03:10 AM

That's surprising, as it was a very nice looking disc. That's a good sign if 15GB can look this nice.

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