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HD-DVD or Blue ray:When do I jump in?


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54 replies to this topic

#1 of 55 OFFLINE   Lenore

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Posted February 10 2007 - 04:55 AM

I have just ordered a 40 in. Sony XBR2 LCD.
I am currently using a 6 year old Sony CD/DVD changer 670D. I also have a small DVD movie collection of about 125 DVD's.

What can I buy that I would not have to "discard" my DVD's, and also continue to upgrade a component system that I will be replacing piece by piece until it is done?

Or should I wait?
and
What am I waiting for?

I would be looking to spend about $500 more or less.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Lenore

#2 of 55 OFFLINE   Shawn Perron

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Posted February 10 2007 - 09:44 AM

Unless you don't mind getting involved in the format war and possibly ending up with the format that loses, I'd probably hold off. For around $500 you can buy either Blu-Ray (PS3) or HD-DVD (Toshiba A2). Blu-Ray has all the major studios except Universal. HD-DVD only has Universal, Warner and Paramount. Basically the only reason to get involved with HD-DVD right now is if you HAVE to have Universal movies. Otherwise just buy Blu-Ray and you'll get everything put out in HD but the titles that Universal will be putting out.

#3 of 55 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 10 2007 - 09:46 AM

At this point, I won't recommend anybody buying into this format war unless money/cost is no object to them.




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#4 of 55 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted February 10 2007 - 11:21 AM

If you're waiting for anything, it's for either one of the two HD disc formats to disappear, one to enjoy support from all studios, or for the difference to be relatively moot (when affordable, full-featured multi-standard players are available). Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening any time this year, so the question is, are you willing to risk spending another few hundred dollars in a year or two?

Blu-ray is probably the safer way to go, although it's generally more expensive ($500 is the absolute minimum, assuming you can find a 20GB PS3, while HD-DVD players can be found for $400) - it's got more studio support and higher capacity. I wouldn't argue against HD-DVD, though - it's tough to argue against the inexpensive hardware, and they have thus far done a better job with the interactive capabilities. The combo discs are nice to have, if you're going to be wanting to playing the movies you buy on other players as well. HD-DVD also has no region coding and less potentially onerous copy protection (although I have my doubts that the latter will ever become a huge factor).

You don't have to "discard" your DVDs with either system; they're both backward compatible and my HD-DVD player (I haven't bought into Blu-ray) does a pretty decent job up-converting them to HD.

Basically, it amounts to what being able to watch HD movies now, as opposed to when everything has shaken out in a year or so, to you. If you spend $400 on an HD-DVD player now, you may wind up spending another $500 on Blu-ray later (or vice-versa), but you'll have gotten a year of use out of it, and it's not like your old player will stop working when that happens.
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#5 of 55 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted February 10 2007 - 02:26 PM

I thought BD players would not play DVD?
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#6 of 55 OFFLINE   Bob Black

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Posted February 10 2007 - 02:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Perron
Basically the only reason to get involved with HD-DVD right now is if you HAVE to have Universal movies. Otherwise just buy Blu-Ray and you'll get everything put out in HD but the titles that Universal will be putting out.


I don't concur with this suggestion. BD may currently have more studio support, but HD-DVD has a comparable amount of titles, and better movies as well! For example, Universal has already released 60 titles on HD-DVD while Fox has released 19! Fox has another 15 announced through the summer, bringing the total to 34. By that time, pencil Uni in for another 10 - 15 (or more). Plus, Blu-Ray has a ton of garbage titles padding their release figures, and they happen to be ridiculously priced at $40 each!

To the OP -- check out the titles yourself & research the hardware. Make your decision on price & performance. I own HD-DVD and I have never made a more sound purchase in HT

#7 of 55 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted February 10 2007 - 03:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Travale
I thought BD players would not play DVD?

Where'd you hear that? Some don't play CDs but they all play DVDs.

#8 of 55 OFFLINE   PeterTHX

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Posted February 10 2007 - 03:32 PM

Quote:
I don't concur with this suggestion. BD may currently have more studio support, but HD-DVD has a comparable amount of titles, and better movies as well! For example, Universal has already released 60 titles on HD-DVD while Fox has released 19! Fox has another 15 announced through the summer, bringing the total to 34. By that time, pencil Uni in for another 10 - 15 (or more). Plus, Blu-Ray has a ton of garbage titles padding their release figures, and they happen to be ridiculously priced at $40 each!

Yeah, titles like "Fast and The Furious" or "Half Baked" is quality Oscar acclaimed stuff Posted Image (padding & garbage titles are in the eye of the beholder, I'd much rather watch "X-Men" than "Serenity")

You fail to mention the majority of combo discs are more expensive (the format Universal prefers).

Or the fact that Fox's releases have only been since mid November, rather than last May for Universal.

How about he takes a look at the title selection and decides for himself?

PS: Happy Birthday Posted Image

#9 of 55 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted February 11 2007 - 02:22 AM

Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will play your SD DVD's.

Like Jason said, for $500 you can go with either a standalone HD-DVD or a PS3 which is a fantastic Blu-Ray player. For me it wasn't much considering I spent about the same for my first DVD player almost 10 years ago.

My advise: Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
    [*]The net (Here and AVS) is a great place for Blue-Ray & HD-DVD info but try to see through the rhetoric of both camps.[*]Look into the independent sales figures for software of Blu vs. HD.[*]Talk in the real world with others you know who're into HT.[*]Check out some B&M stores to see which is moving faster off the shelves.[*]Know what studios support what format and what movies are currently available for each.[*]Check out the upcoming releases of both formats.
I did all of the above until I was sure which format I wanted to go with: Blu-Ray.

But again with a format war you really should do a bit of research and come to you own conclusion.
Death before Streaming!


#10 of 55 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted February 11 2007 - 03:12 AM

Quote:
Yeah, titles like "Fast and The Furious" or "Half Baked" is quality Oscar acclaimed stuff

You forgot to mention CASABLANCA, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, FORBIDDEN PLANET and SPARTACUS. Posted Image

#11 of 55 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted February 11 2007 - 03:56 AM

Quote:
You forgot to mention CASABLANCA, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, FORBIDDEN PLANET

Great flicks. Can't wait to pick 'em up on Blu-Ray later this year as part of Warners BD catch-up releases. Posted Image
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#12 of 55 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 11 2007 - 04:04 AM

Actually, I agree with Crawdaddy.

I would not buy into either format at this point.

 

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#13 of 55 OFFLINE   Alistair_M

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Posted February 11 2007 - 05:30 AM

For those that replied that they would not buy into either format at this stage, can I ask why you think so? And what would need to happen for you to think that the time would be right, taking the situtation as it is right now. Thanks.

#14 of 55 OFFLINE   Kyle_D

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Posted February 11 2007 - 06:12 AM

I just bought into Blu-ray with a PS3 and I have not been disappointed. It really came down to titles for me - Blu-ray is really going to overwhelm HD-DVD in that regard. Also, sales have started going the way of Blu-ray. The HD-DVD defense has been that there just hasn't had as many new titles released lately on their format. This neglects to mention that that's only going to get worse in the coming months. It's not a temporary problem, it will be a perpetual problem for that format. The sales gap is just going to widen.

My suggestion: if you really want to start building an HD collection NOW, go Blu. Otherwise, wait it out. My feeling (pure speculation) is that Universal will start supporting both formats by Q1 '08, effectively ending the war.

#15 of 55 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 11 2007 - 07:44 AM

To answer that question would back me in a corner and most
certainly promote a handful of arguments within this thread.

There are too many people who are passionate over the format
they bought into, and that's the format they believe will prevail.

It is my opinion the tide is turning for one format in
particular. While there is still no way anyone can accurately
predict which format will overtake the other, I tend to think now
that sales have mostly evened out, manufacturer and studio
support is going to play a big factor in the next phase.

I would hate to recommend that someone spend money on
hardware for a format that may be cheaper, but at the same
time, may not be secure in the next few years.

....and while I have no hard evidence to back up my opinion,
I feel that change is in the air and that this may not be the best
time to invest in a particular format.

This is just an opinion.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#16 of 55 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted February 11 2007 - 08:10 AM

There are, it seems to me, a number of advantages toward waiting a little.

1. There is a mythical chance that the format war will come to a quick and solid end. Me, personally, I have major issues with both formats, but that is neither here nor there.

2. Debugging of either format. HDMI errors, all sorts of other issues are affecting both formats and their display interfaces. Any new format has these issues. Both formats are, in essence, still in their first real year of service, even though there have been players out in prototype stages for quite some time now.

3. Cost. This may take a little longer, but with each hardware generation, the cost should drop, and the reliability should improve.

For me, a pipe-dream would indicate that for the Winter holidays 2008, the format war will be over, and a stable, good player will sell for $250.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?!

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#17 of 55 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted February 11 2007 - 08:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Kettell
Where'd you hear that? Some don't play CDs but they all play DVDs.

I thought I had read that somewhere. I was obviously mistaken though.
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#18 of 55 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted February 11 2007 - 08:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford
At this point, I won't recommend anybody buying into this format war unless money/cost is no object to them. Crawdaddy

I agree with this to the point that I DID buy into HD-DVD in November only because of the price drop of the A1 and the 3 free HD DVDs from Toshiba. At that time as well, HD DVD was still surging. Unfortunately, HD DVD has dropped the ball in a very major way on several fronts (Universal's debalce, lack of A title announcements, etc., etc.). BD still has it's own major issues, not the least of which is Fox pricing, for example, and so this mess is not going to resolve itself any time soon.

If the consumer had acted intelligently; BOTH formats would have been soundly rejected, forcing them to get it together. We didnt, and so they didnt have to.

I will likely buy a 2nd gen BD player simply because I want to buy HD and BD DVDs of new releases (i.e. Casino Royale) and not the SD versions only to replace those A titles at a later date. Given the convergence of both formats on a single player, both HD and BD disks themselves will remain current for many years. So, yes, the Crawster is right; I'm just looking at the fiscal side of things from a disk replacement view as opposed to a hardware issue, while spending as little on the respective hardware as possible to get into them!
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#19 of 55 OFFLINE   tundraSQ

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Posted February 11 2007 - 09:20 AM

How many people have cassette decks and vhs players still in there system? I would say 80% of the masses. I think its safe to buy either as long as you are aware of the risks and you are not morgaging the house to do so. Would I drop 8 hundred bucks on a player....no, but for me a couple hundred on an A1 seemed like it was a good way to take the plunge. And if 5 years from now i am buying a $4.99 copy of king kong at the local truck stop....oh wellPosted Image Posted Image

#20 of 55 OFFLINE   Steve Schaffer

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Posted February 11 2007 - 01:36 PM

I have both formats, BD via PS3 and HD-DVD via Toshiba HDA2. Both players function very well and both have excellent pq with good discs (meaning almost all HD-DVD discs and most recent BD releases). I still wait for reviews of pq before purchasing a BD disc, don't feel the need when contemplating an HD-DVD release.

In my opinion the only BD player worth owning is the PS3 for the simple reason that it's the only one that will reliably play all BD releases and can be easily upgraded via ethernet to handle anything that comes out in the future, unlike most existing standalone players.

All HD-DVD players have this same easy ethernet upgrade capability, and the advanced features for hd-DVD all work now, while those for BD must wait until they solve the Javascript problems later this year, and that solution may not be available to owners of all BD players.

The HD-DVD players are also excellent upconverting players, the Samsung BD player (which I also own) much less so and the PS3 won't upconvert SD dvd at all, though there are uncomfirmed rumors that this may be possible after a firmware update.

I work for a Sears store in the electronics dept. and our demo Sony standalone is damn near as buggy as the early HD-DVD players were reputed to be, more so than my humble Sammy was thought the latter will not satisfactorily play some BD discs.

The HDA2 player has performed flawlessly for the month or so that I've had it (replaced an HDA1 that I fried indadvertently).

If you don't particularly want upconversion and want the best currently available BD player get a PS3, if you want excellent HD playback as well as excellent SD upconversion get one of the HD-DVD players.
Steve S.
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