Now That The HD Disk War Is Over….

It certainly appears that HD-DVD lost. But it also appears that Blu-Ray did not win. Yes, this was a classic lose-lose situation. For all it’s back room dealing Sony may blow this in the end.

Blu-Ray sales peaked for a few weeks in January but have since slumped. Consumers just may not see value in the price of the players or the media. Ars Technica has the details.

Wait, the price of Blu-Ray players has actually been on the rise since Toshiba conceded the battle! Even I, who still has a first generation Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player, won’t be buying a Blu-Ray player any time soon. They’re just too expensive.

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HD-DVD: Life After Death

OK, so Toshiba officially put HD-DVD to sleep a couple of months back. It’s a pity but it’s a fact. Yet today The Register has a piece on how HD-DVD disk sales remain solid since that time.

It’s also a fact that Toshiba folded their hand in the light of studio momentum. It’s not so much that the Blur-Ray camp won the war…the HD-DVD camp walked away from the battle when abandoned by their arms suppliers.

The price of Blu-Ray players remains high, and has even gone up in recent weeks. Further, the current crop of players don’t support many of the more advanced capabilities of the last batch of HD-DVD players. No internet interactivity, etc.

I guess it’ll be a while before we invest in Blu-Ray around here.

Turning The Collapse Of HD-DVD Into An Opportunity

HD-XA1I spent much of this past week in Austin, TX. One evening while on the way back to my hotel I happened past a Circuit City store, so I decided to have a look around. I found something that surprised me a little. They had considerable stock of HD-DVD players.

Now it’s true that Toshiba and everyone involved in the HD-DVD format have thrown in the towel. The great optical disc war of 2005-2008 has past. I see in newspapers HD-DVD players being offered at great price, generally under $100. That’s a good price!!!

Look elsewhere in the store and I see “upconverting DVD players” from other manufacturers selling for > $130 each. There’s an opportunity here folks! HD-DVD players are by definition fine upconverting DVD players, equal or better than the lesser DVD players with upconvertors. It makes perfect sense to pickup an HD-DVD player at a great price even if you never play an HD-DVD.

HD Downloads From iTunes

It’s Sunday afternoon here in jolly (but exhausted) old England. I just caught a post by George Ou at ZDNET called “Don’t believe the low bit-rate ‘HD’ lie.” It’s right on the money about the reality of downloading HD content as proposed by Apples new iTunes service.

There’s more to HD than spatial resolution. Just as a cheap digital camera might take pictures with a lot of pixels and nonetheless turn out lousy images. Bit rate matters, even given consideration for various compression schemes.

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First Look: Amazon Unbox on TivoHD

As I’ve mentioned before we have a TivoHD PVR unit and we LOVE it. It’s one of the few things that we give an unqualified recommendation. It’s great. Best in class. You won’t regret the purchase.

However, one thing that TivoHD can’t accommodate is pay-per-view movies. It’s not so much that Tivo can’t handle it as much as the cable companies don’t currently have the infrastructure to do pay-per-view for any cable card device. It requires two way interactive cable cards that aren’t yet rolled out. This is a bit of a drag since my wife used to use pay-per-view enough to make me wince every time I saw the cable bill.

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We Like Our HDTV. But Is HD-DVD Finally On The Ropes?

About a year ago we finally moved into HD with the purchase of a 42″ Sharp Aquos LCD-TV and a Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player. The HD-DVD player was actually acquired using Continental Airlines frequent flier miles in a program that they offer to very frequent fliers late each year. Of course, we got the HD PVR from Time-Warner as well. Given the fact that my employer manufactures HD graphics equipment it was truly a matter of putting my-money-where-my-mouth-has-been.

Sharp Aquos 42 Inch LCDTV

Sharp Aquos 42″ HD LCD. The first real 1080 set in its size class.

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