Should I worry that I may be collecting a dead format?

Chris Dugger

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Well,

I must admit that I sit here wondering if the HD-DVD was the way to go....

I am most concerned now that I really look at it that this format has major obstacles and Toshiba doesn't seem to be tackling them....

The lack of studio support is becoming more concerning as new titles get announced. I am seeing more titles I want in the blu-ray camp and the few studios supporting HD-DVD are releasing also in blu-ray. Certainly this shows that HD-DVD is getting very little in the exclusive field like blu-ray.

The other issue is that of hardware.... If no one other than RCA and Toshiba are willing to manufacture new equipment, where does that put us....

Just opening it up for debate.... I would hate to go and spring for a 1 grand dvd player..

Dugger
 

Robert Crawford

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Dugger,
I bought both formats, but I'm being very careful on how much software I'm going to buy in the immediate future. If we don't see any further HD DVD support announced before next spring then I think it's a bad sign for them. Furthermore, if Blu-ray doesn't get their act together by then, they could be in trouble too which might lead to a protracted war in which neither format wins out and we the consumers are stuck in the middle of not knowing which direction to turn.
 

dpippel

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I look at it this way - the HD-A1 can be purchased online right now brand new for $400 shipped. This gives me a player that does HD-DVD, fantastic upconversion on SD DVD, DD/DTS/DD+/TrueHD decoding over 5.1 analog outs or HDMI, and is a pretty darned good Redbook CD player as well. That's a pretty small hardware investment for what you get AND for a new HD disc format IMO.

As for software, I don't plan on being cautious at all about HD-DVD purchasing. *EVEN IF* HD-DVD dies tomorrow, it won't change the fact that I can still watch the HD-DVDs I've already purchased. It makes no sense to me to buy into one of these new formats and then NOT purchase the software. Watching films at home in HD is the whole point, after all.

The bottom line is this - right now you're rolling the dice if you become an early adopter of either Blu-ray or HD-DVD. You're taking a risk, and that's just how it works. It's not a sure thing, and if that's what you're looking for then it's best to sit things out and see what happens as the "format war" matures.
 

Jordan_E

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Hey, I still play my DVD-A and SACDs, both basically dead formats, and am enjoying them. With the number of decent titles out and coming out...you'll always have them to play and enjoy over the years no matter the outcome of this format war.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Chris,

Agreed with most of the comments here. It's a huge
roll of the dice getting into this format as early as we did.

There are two ways I am looking at this situation...

For the average consumer right now, HD-DVD looks like
the better format based on price. With players going for
$400 and the fact that most ordinary consumers don't give
a crap about 1080p, I think that there are going to be a
hell of a lot more HD-DVD players sold this Christmas.

Additionally, there are a lot of pretty decent titles coming
out on HD-DVD over the next few months. Sure, Fox and
Disney may be exclusive to Blu-Ray but they haven't
announced anything that's groundbreaking for the format.

Honestly, based on Blu-Ray software selection, there is
no reason for me to jump into the format right now.

However, that being said.....

Coming back from CEDIA I can tell you that Blu-Ray is about
to be launched in a big way. Walking the CEDIA floor it was
all about Blu-Ray. That's all you saw on the displays.

Those of us, the early adopters, who want true 1080p are
now looking at machines from BOTH camps priced at $1,000.
The Blu-Ray demos that I saw being played off of the Pioneer
and Sony machines looked rather good in most all cases.

The industry also seems to want Blu-Ray to be the winner.

I can't even predict a winner right now. I can tell you that
I'm not sorry I invested in HD-DVD for a mere $500, and I
look forward to seeing what Blu-Ray has to offer.
 

Robert Crawford

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As long as you have a player that works. What happens if Toshiba remains the only manufacturer of HD DVD players and they lose the war?
 

Stevepro1

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The HD-A1 has got to be the best DVD player I have ever owned. Period. It is a BARGIN considering its build quality and what the blue guys are marketing at twice the price. Even if the format fails [which I don't think it will], this machine will always be looked upon as a classic and will be sought after by serious videophiles for a long time. It 's short money, runs well, and is SELLING well. It has more features then the upcoming A2 which I think is aimed more at the regular consumer rather then the early adoptor. If you don't have one, I would sugget that you get one quickly, before they disappear.

Steve
 

JonZ

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When I got my player, the cashier asked if I wanted a extended warranty and I said no.

The way I see it, using this thing for a year, itll cost me a dollar and change a day.

As for software. I bought some titles but this is mainly for newer relases until I see some reviews comparing the standard and HD versions. With the upscaling the difference might be small.

So while Batman Begins, The Hulk and Superman Returns are must buys - The Thing, Dirty Harry which are movies I really love, Ill prob pass on unless theyre really a step up from the Standard version.
 

Marko Berg

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Limited hardware support aside, HD DVD has a major advantage over Blu-ray because the format is, for now at least, region-free.

Remember that distribution rights vary from territory to territory, and what might be a Sony/Columbia film in the US may be distributed in other parts of the world by a studio that supports HD DVD. Europe, for instance, will see many HD DVD titles at launch that are not available in North America, but because the hardware (current machines anyway) and software is region free, you can take advantage of a much larger selection of titles than you may have thought was possible.
 

Ron-P

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For $500 I got an excellent upscaling player and HD-DVD. I not concerned at all about collecting titles, if the format dies I still have an excellent upscaling player and HD movies to watch.
 

Chris Dugger

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Good comments....

As both Robert and Ron know, I have no issues being on the bleeding edge....

As I have been testing this new HD player on a 12 foot screen, there is no doubt that I am blown away with not only the HD Disc's I have, but the upconvert of the SD disc I have is just totally unbelievable.

That being said, I also own over 1600 dvd's and allot of them are from UK, Korea, and Japan. The downside is that this player will not play these disc's due to region encoding. So, that is the only disappointment.

The only real concerning factor is the total lack of studio support and hardware support from other companies....

I am not unhappy with the purchase, just as I was very happy during the laserdisc days.... But, for the first time, seeing the lack of movement of either studio or hardware manufacturers, I am wondering if I was a tad premature in purchasing now.

These factors certainly make it very difficult for ANYONE to fork over 500 to 1000 bucks to get into this now.... and certainly, joe six-pack....

Dugger
 

JonZ

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Same thing happened back in 97.

I remembered companies sitting back and waiting for player to hit the 3 million household mark.
 

Bob_L

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Even if Blu-ray is the ultimate winner, they are currently having significant problems defining and finalizing their platform and, at least with Sony-authored discs, providing software quality that adequately represents the technology. Although I may well buy into BD in the future, the present doesn't seem to be the right time.

HD DVD--which I did purchase--offers good value and advanced performance now. It lets me get into the HD disc action at an affordable price and, as mentioned earlier, provides superior SD DVD and CD playback, as well. The first-gen Toshiba players are far from perfect, but they don't soften the fundamental image quality, as does Samsung's BD player.

Since it seems unlikely that I'll want to venture into BD for a year or so--while they get their act together--the $700-800 I'll probably spend on HD DVD hardware and software in that time is entertainment money well spent, IMO.
 

Larry Sutliff

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If a time ever comes when HD DVD is declared the loser, I'm gonna buy an extra player, make sure it works, and then store it away until I need it. I know a couple of folks who did that with Laserdisc.
 

ppltd

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For those of us lucky enough to be early adopters, it is always a risk. We pay top dollar for something new, when if we waited for 6 months, we could have saved money. But what we gain is the added enjoyment of being able to receive the benefits of these purchases well before the average buyer will. To me, that makes the higher cost and risk a non-issue.

This is no different than buying a new 'limited' car. We pay retail (and sometimes more' for this privilege and don't let the fact that in 6 months we could have purchased for 3 or 4 thousand less.

But I must admit I kind of stumbled into this purchase (and am very happy I did). If HD or BR or both fail in the next couple of years, I will have gotten the value I paid back many times.

As a side note, for what it is worth. I have owned LD systems since 1978. Even with their very limited support, I have had over 20 years of enjoyment from that technology. All the way through 1997, when DVD made it's US Debut. I remember driving from Phoenix to Ken K(C)ranes in the LA area to but a player and movies. It was just this year that I finally put my LD player back in it's box for a well deserved rest.

Thomas Eisenmann
 

Jordan_E

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Well, my player works (for now), my SACD/DVD-A player still works, my LD player still works, and the first Toshiba DVD player I bought YEARS ago is still kicking at a friend's house. I also have NES, SNES, and Dreamcast machines working. Right now, I'm not too worried, and feel that I've spent my money well.
 

Cees Alons

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At this moment - and assuming that the BD launch will take off as announced - the best prediction seems to be that there will be two formats on the market for a considerable time.

If true, that would include (guarantee) customer-support, of course.


Cees
 

Ronald Epstein

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Chris,

If yuh want to upconvert those regional discs you have,
I suggest the Oppo 971 which does much better with PAL
discs than the 970 model.
 

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