Wednesday 5 December 2007

HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray HD - Voting by Wallet

For those of us old enough to remember some Sony related product format struggles and proprietary nonsense (wikipedia links):
In the last example, Sony did capitulate to Toshiba with the requirement that one technology aspect of the MMCD be brought into the SD spec ... and the DVD was born in 1997.

Are we seeing a pattern here yet?

Is there going to be a time where Sony will play in the sandbox nicely with others?

Given the company's history, there is very little doubt that Johnny is always going to try to keep that toy to himself.

It is unfortunate, because we lose. All of us.

Instead of having a plethora of manufacturers producing the stand-alone HD players and optical drives for PC/Laptop, we have one manufacturer producing one type of product and others producing another type of product.

Then there is the whole rigmarole behind which movie studio will back which HD disc format.


So, after our home DVD player tanked, we decided to weigh in on the battle with our pocketbook. And, we chose HD DVD.

There are many sides to this story, with who believes which product is better and why we should support it. For the last couple of weeks or so, I made sure to ask every representative at the various electronic stores I visited as well as doing some online research to see which would be the best choice.

In the process, there have been some very clear answers with good information, and a few passionate ones with less information. All in all, things came out fairly balanced.

Blu-ray does seem to have a bit of a technology edge, but the biggest factor: economics - that is the wallet - will win and that is where I believe HD DVD will come out ahead.

It seems pretty clear that when an HD DVD player at $250CA and a Blu-ray player at $500CA sit close together on a shelf, people will purchase the HD DVD player.

Most people, as many have mentioned to me in person as well as online, just want to watch a movie and do not really care of one disc can hold more data or has a bit more protection from scratches.

For many of us who have been burned in Sony based format wars before, the decision is fairly clear: Anything but Sony.

Some good information links: After bringing home the HD DVD player and plugging it into the Acer AT3505-DTV (true 1080p) LCD we have hanging on the wall, Monique and I were blown away. The difference between standard definition and the high definition was readily apparent.

While the Acer is not a 120hz (wikipedia on HD Blur) capable, the image clarity and detail was simply amazing.

In the market for an LCD television? Some things to watch out for:
  • 1920 x 1080 (not 1366 x 768) for true 1080P High Definition resolutions
  • 5-8ms grey to grey
  • 120hz capable for HD motion blur reduction
  • HDMI 1.2+ (wikipedia)
Now, if only The Incredibles was available in HD DVD format! ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

I recall the battle for the formats early on, beta seemed the way to go.
Then the porn industry chimed in, and vhs was the winner.
Cost per unit will win in these days of 0.00001$ calculations.
Disney has chosen, and thinks we will all buy the same stuff for the 4th time on Blu-ray, just to see the brush strokes in the artwork behind the main frame, but not me.
I do not need to see the etched face of Seal in a music video up close as they promise, and at twice the price of Hd-dvd, I can get over the loss.
Vote with your head and $ and look at the difference side by side in a store if they ley you, and save your money.
HD-DVD is a better deal, and I hope the porn industry sees this and does the same, or we all lose to Sony and Disney. Lord help us.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Looks like your comment was prescient! :(

It seems that HD-DVD is indeed to die.

It really is disappointing, because I am sure that we will be seeing even more extreme Sony "corner the market" proprietary moves in the future.

In today's porn market, the Internet is modus operandi ... DVD video is now quite secondary as far as a delivery medium. Me thinks that is why we never really saw any indication from the industry one way or another.

Thanks for the comment,