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Toshiba to Launch 3rd Gen HD DVD Players October 1st HD-A3, HD-A30, HD-A35

Posted by Tyler Pruitt on August 2, 2007 
Filed Under: HD DVD



HDDVDlogo.jpegToshiba is set to launch its 3rd generation HD DVD players on October 1st. The three new models include the HD-A3 ($299), HD-A30($399), and the flagship HD-A35($499). We expect full details at the CEDIA Expo next month in Denver. We have included the Amazon preorder links here:

Toshiba HD-A3 720p/1080i HD DVD Player

Toshiba HD-A30 1080p HD DVD Player

Toshiba HD-A35 1080p HD DVD Player

Update: Looks like Amazon got a nasty call from Toshiba, hence the now nonworking preorder links.

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Comments

37 Responses to “Toshiba to Launch 3rd Gen HD DVD Players October 1st HD-A3, HD-A30, HD-A35”

  1. Segarsj on August 2nd, 2007 7:32 am

    While it doesn’t affect me personally due to the fact that I don’t have a 1080p HDTV (limited to 1080i) I feel like Toshiba is still giving ammunition to Blu-ray by not making 1080p a standard feature across the board.

    What do you guys think?

  2. Tyler Pruitt on August 2nd, 2007 11:10 am

    I think they have to differentiate the low end model from the more expensive ones.

  3. MrSatyre on August 2nd, 2007 11:49 am

    Links removed. In any case, it simply doesn’t matter what the HD DVD camp does. Ever. They will never be able to compete for sheer volume of titles from all those BD-supporting studios, and they will never be able to convince enough hardware manufacturers to come aboard when the manufacturing costs have barely dropped while at the same time the MAP prices have plummeted. Where’s the incentive for any brand (or reseller for that matter) to sell players they can never hope to make a profit on? It’s a sad state of affairs Toshiba and Universal have gotten themselves into, because while the format itself (aside from low storage capacity) has no issues, the entire HD DVD marketing plan is pitiable. What’s next? Giving away the players and software for free? As a former reseller and a current manufacturer, that simply doesn’t make any sense no matter how you spin it.

  4. Chaz on August 2nd, 2007 12:17 pm

    Price at inception is what will win the war. Simple as that… i didn’t by a DVD player until it got down to 299.
    Come holiday season, who in the world’s gonna want to buy a 400+ dollar blu ray player over a 200 dollar HD-DVD player?
    FOX has ceased to release anything in blu-ray, while studios like New Line (supposedly supporting both formats) haven’t even put their foot in the water yet…
    As 2007 moves along, the dedicated HD-DVD player installation base is going to further their lead over dedicated blu-ray players. I predict, they’ll have twice the number of dedicated players than blu ray.. by the end of the year. And the owners of dedicated players, are the people who *BUY* movies on a regular basis.

  5. Joe on August 2nd, 2007 4:28 pm

    The only thing left that will save HD DVD is the $199 Walmart’s “Chinese Maker of Week” HD DVD player hitting the stores in time for Christmas.

  6. MrSatyre on August 2nd, 2007 5:46 pm

    Re: Chaz… When DVD players hit $299, there were already over a million of them in consumers homes. Two points of fact that you might want to consider regarding that figure: for the first year of DVD players existing in the market, it was the $1K+ priced models which sold most, not the sub $1K models, and the DVD consumer base exploded as more and more titles became available in that format. Seeing as how only Universal exclusively supports HD DVD, they can’t possibly reach the same saturation numbers as the other studios which support Blu-ray. Even when you factor in the studios which support both, if you can only get certain titles (like Spiderman, X-Men, James Bond, Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) on Blu-ray, and you can get nearly everything else on Blu-ray that’s on HD DVD, then the choice is an obvious one. Currently (according to Amazon.com), there are 220 titles available right now which are exclusive to Blu-ray, versus only 158 on HD DVD. There are a total of 331 Blu-ray titles Amazon lists as available for purchase right now, versus only 264 on HD DVD. The user base for Blu-ray is significantly higher than HD DVD, thanks in part to so many PS3 consoles sold (I know the HD DVD camp would like you to believe that PS3 owners don’t use them to play movies, but apparently they must be, as there are far more Blu-ray titles selling than there are HD DVD titles, including the titles which are available in both formats—if, as the HD DVD camp would have us believe, there are more HD DVD players in consumers homes than there are Blu-ray players, how would that be possible? You can’t have it both ways). On what do you base your comment that dedicated player owners are the ones who buy movies, not console owners? If that were the case, Microsoft wouldn’t have an HD DVD add-on drive for their console. Blu-ray is clearly outselling HD DVD for the simple reason than Blu-ray offers more studio support and people know that they will have more choices in what they watch. Three more smaller studios announced exclusive support for Blu-ray just in the last week. HD DVD isn’t going away any time soon, but they simply can’t compete. To claim otherwise is to deny the facts.

  7. Aurelio (The Guru) Heredia on August 2nd, 2007 8:44 pm

    Opinions are like arm pits, you know the rest. These are the facts: Beta Max – failed, Mini Disc- failed, Superaudio – failed, PSP UMDs – failed, PS3 – failing (will fail). What do all these technologies have in commom: Sony. The fact is, Blu-ray is still not ready for prime time. Even the overly stated and hyped compacity, is not so. They have been re-issuing movies because of dissappointing results i.e. 5th Element and only recently have they been adding the better audio, Not to mention 1.1! What’s that about? All current players are obsolete already? Can’t do the picture in picture as well as other promised options (SEE new release “300″ on both formats). Must buy new $2000 Denon Blu-ray to get what you get with a 399 HD DVD Player. The Blu-ray propaganda train has blinded not only the public but the studios who currently are supporting the format. Some who have gone on record and admitted that if they knew then what they know now, they would not of backed the format. Yes it’s true HD DVD can’t compete…compete with the spreading of false promises and sales figures. Not to mention the die-hard only half informed clones that leave their two cents on websites and spread out to friends and anyone who will listen and not look at the whole picture. That’s the real danger to HD DVD, more than anything else. HDDVDDigest says on new release “300″ – Bluray “recommeded” / HDDVD “HIGHLY Recommended”

  8. Chaz on August 2nd, 2007 10:27 pm

    Re: MrSatyre … simply read Aurelio’s comment.

    Nobody wants to pay 400 for a 1080p player when they can pay 200 (im sure there will be HD-DVD deals like this come holiday season as they’re already down to 200-300 dollar players).
    If Blu-Ray was so mighty… why haven’t their “exclusive supporters” simply released ALL of their new-release movies on Blu-Ray disc?
    Simply compare the numbers, any movie that’s released on both formats has sold more on the HD-DVD format, and gotten better reviews as far as video/audio quality goes.. sorry buddy but u really have to look at the facts…
    Universal and Weinstein have released all their big titles on HD-DVD, showing full confidence in their format of choice. While Disney, MGM, and FOX release only some of their big titles…
    Also, Paramount and Warner Brothers have chosen to support HD-DVD just a bit more than they support Blu-Ray as reflected in their releases, packing on tons of unecessary extras and releasing more titles onto HD-DVD.
    Price at inception = key to winning the war…

  9. Devils Advocate on August 2nd, 2007 11:39 pm

    Chaz and Aurelio neither of you have a clue what you are talking about. Aurelio, comparing bluray to Mini-disc and UMD is all you HD-DVD fanboys can do. Sony failed here, Sony failed there.
    Why did those formats fail? Because they catered to an exclusive audience (UMD would only play on PSP). Bluray is being targeted to everyone and believe it or not companies do learn from their mistakes. Betamax lost because Sony didnt share their tech, while you can find bluray players released by pioneer, samsung, sony and panasonic.
    How many big name companies make HD-DVD players? Only Toshiba. How ironic.

    You say that Universal has released all their big titles on HD-DVD. BULLSHIT. Where is the Jurassic Parks or Back to the Futures? Oh…Steven Spielberg just spit in the face of HD-DVD by going releasing Close Encounters of the Third Kind instead of going with Universal the company he has been loyal to before he founded Dreamworks. Universal was forced to retract their statement about releasing Spielberg films on HD-DVD. Whether you accept or not, Spielberg choosing to release his first high def film as a bluray exclusive is big news. Is it death to HD-DVD news? No, but it doesnt help and yall need all the help you can get.

    You say that studies that are supporting both have sold more on HD-DVD. Ummm no, I have yet to read a SINGLE article that says the HD-DVD version of a movie has sold more. Show me one. Seriously JUST one. While your searching for an article that shows how all HD titles are being outsold in HD-DVD than in bluray. I will refer you to an article about The Departed:
    http://www.homemediaretailing.com/news/html/breaking_article.cfm?sec_id=2&&article_ID=10696

    Price can win you a battle or two, but content wins the war. How is it that the PS2 won the last generation console battle? Price? Oh wait Gamecube was cheaper. I cant wait to hear your argument when you try and tell me the gamecube was the last gen winner. Content is KING.

    The most important fact I can make comes from this website:

    http://blog.pixelperfectproductions.com/?p=54

    In short it shows data that strongly supports that the bluray companies have the upper hand in terms of content by comparing box office grosses.

    Another thing about price:
    How can HD-DVD claim to be cheaper when 300 cost for $30 for bluray when it cost $35 for HD-DVD? Oh I see, Toshiba thinks HD-DVD customers should pay $5 extra for the dvd version of the film.

  10. Liar HD DVD believer on August 3rd, 2007 3:16 am

    A short-circuited person who assumes “Blu-ray=SONY” is a foolish game addict.
    SONY is only one enterprise of Blu-ray, and a lot of enterprises are participating.

    HIGH-DEF MARKET SHARE – BRD VS HD-DVD SOFTWARE SALES (7/22/07 -Nielsen/VideoScan)
    Week Ending 7/22
    Blu-ray Disc: 74 HD-DVD: 26
    Year to Date
    Blu-ray Disc: 67 HD-DVD: 33
    Since Inception
    Blu-ray Disc: 60 HD-DVD: 40

  11. Maher on August 3rd, 2007 4:51 am

    Look people. There is no way to predict when the tipping point will come in this war and who will “win”. That’s why Warner and Paramount are being smart by releasing titles in both formats.

    Personally I’m waiting a little longer before I make my choice.

  12. Segarsj on August 3rd, 2007 8:05 am

    @ Devils Advocate

    \”Steven Spielberg just spit in the face of HD-DVD\”

    You need to get your facts straight before you just start tossing sh*t like that around. The film \”Close Encounters of the Third Kind\” was distributed by Columbia Pictures when it was released in the US, and due to the fact that Columbia Pictures is owned by Sony, it would only make sense that it would be a Blu-ray exclusive.

    No spitting in the face, no format of preference, just the first of (hopefully) many HD titles to be released by Spielberg.

    As a matter of fact, as long as we\’re splitting hairs here, of Spielberg\’s huge catalog of blockbuster titles, as a Blu-ray fan boy will only be able to claim two of his films as \”Blu-ray Exclusives\” (Close Encounters, Hook). Not only that, but if Spielberg\’s films maintain their respective DVD distribution companies you will not see any of these titles as they are distributed on DVD exclusively by Universal in the US: Jaws, Jurassic Park, E.T., Schindler\’s List, and Munich.

    So, yeah…

  13. Devils Advocate on August 3rd, 2007 9:58 am

    You made my point for me. Spielberg could have chosen to release Universal HD movies first, but chose to go with a bluray exclusive studio. That is a telling statement of where he feels the direction of the format war is heading. Universal had initialy claimed that they had planned to release Spielberg films exclusively on HD-DVD, but they were forced to retract those claims.

    Ill admit saying spit in the face of HD-DVD was harsh, but I get so damn sick of people referring to how Sony has failed in the past and they cant believe that Sony is learning from their mistakes.

    Im no SOny fanboy, but I also get sick of how people hate bluray JUST because it is backed by Sony.

    Those haters seem to not mind the fact that Microsoft is backing HD-DVD exclusively.

    Both sides are being run by evil empires that want to make money. BOTH sides.

  14. Aurelio (The Guru) Heredia on August 3rd, 2007 10:12 am

    Just to clarify: PS2 Did beat the Cheaper Gamecube, granted. PS3 is being destroyed by the Cheaper Nintendo now. We still get people waiting in line when they hear Nintendos are coming in. I work in Magnolia HiFi, and we can’t give PS3′s away(they collect dust) even when I explain that it’s the cheapest way to go Blu-ray, people still don’t buy it. I am hoping for a resolution without comprimise, the fact is HDDVD is just a more established technology. It’s the better of the two in REALITY, what it’s capable of now, not in theory. I would gladly buy a Blu-ray player if and when they are done evolving. Keep in mind, I have been selling and dealing with these players since day one, not reading what Blu-ray says, but on the front lines with real customer issues and returns. We sell more stand alone HD DVD players than Blu-ray, but we have more Blu-ray player returns because of issues with play back. Walk the stores and your see more Sony, Samsung, Pioneer open box Blu-rays and out to service players and almost no HD DVD open Box. The Panasonics seem to fair better, but still suffer from not being 1.1 ready. I want a solution more than anyone, and yes I know that there are some titles on Blu-ray I would love to own, but I won’t compromise on picture, sound, upconverting, firmware update support and all the extras that are supposed to come with the new formats like PIP, and on-line interactives. You can only get that now with HDDVD.

  15. Segarsj on August 3rd, 2007 11:52 am

    @Devils Advocate

    “Universal had initially claimed that they had planned to release Spielberg films exclusively on HD-DVD, but they were forced to retract those claims.”

    Judging from this comment, I’m not sure you truly understand how the film industry works, and that’s fine. I have a more intimate knowledge of the business due to my involvement, so I’ll do my best to help inform you, but bear in mind this is an oversimplified explanation of the Hollywood system for film production.

    Once a film is written it requires funding, this comes in the form of a production company, and they will essentially handle all of the production aspects. Once production has wrapped it’s time to distribute the film, and as with most big budget films they are distributed worldwide theatrically and then to home video. The worldwide distribution rights are negotiated and from there any number of distribution companies pick up the film. The point I’m trying to make is that Columbia Pictures(Sony) originally produced the film and it also distributed the film in theaters and home video, so when it came time to push a Spielberg title onto Blu-ray, Spielberg had no choice in the matter. It wasn’t as if he had the option to bring “Close Encounters” to HD DVD or release on both. It’s truly a brilliant marketing maneuver by the BDA in order to strike fear into the hearts of Spielberg fans that are holding out hope for the ultimate release of the Universal Spielberg classics.

    You’re right when you say that Universal had to retract their statement regarding the upcoming releases of Spielberg classics on HD DVD, but this is not exclusive to HD DVD. In fact there have been quite a few Blu-ray titles that have been announced, retracted, and subsequently officially announced. Regardless of why these things happen, it hardly means that the exclusive titles are going neutral, switching sides, or not coming out at all, and while the status of Spielberg’s Universal films remain up in the air, they are first and foremost Universal films so don’t expect to see them on Blu-ray any time soon unless the format war ends in Blu-ray’s favor or the distribution rights for the films change hands.

    My goal is not to offend but to inform so
    I hope this clears things up a bit.

  16. Devils Advocate on August 3rd, 2007 2:33 pm

    Aurelio,

    I do agree that HD-DVD has had their act together far longer than bluray in terms of interactive features.

    But I can only speak for myself here, but I would argue that the special features that are temporarily exclusive to HD-DVD are not going to even come close to having any impact on the direction of the war. This is just my opinion, but I would argue that people care more about picture quality and sound than extra features. Honestly, the only extra features I like are deleted scenes and a making-of documentary. Bluray delivers superb video and audio quality equal if not better in some cases than HD-DVD (50Gb as opposed to 30GB compression will yield better quality) and that is what people care about. Does that mean I donít think the PIP isnít cool? No, it IS cool. But does it make me want to get an HD-DVD player so I can enjoy that feature of 300 that I cant enjoy on bluray? Hell NO.

    HD-DVD PLAYERS are cheaper, but that doesnít change the fact that you will never get Bond films, Spiderman films, X-men films, or Star Wars on bluray. If people were given the choice of having something like Bourne Identity on HD-DVD with all the wizz bang features or would they rather have Spiderman on bluray that looks and sounds great without PIP? The box office totals (and dvd sales) for both films suggest that Spiderman should wipe the floor here. I say Bourne Identity, because I cant think of ANY recent Universal exclusive film that dominated the box office. Yes, there have been format neutral hits, but Im making argument for the sake of format exclusives.

    I will throw in another argument that I feel gives bluray another huge advantage: DISNEY. A lot of parents who shop at walmart buy an HD-DVD player will be extremely disappointed to find that movies that their kids like wonít be on HD-DVD.

    I can continue to throw in argument after argument, but CONTENT is KING. Looking at the market trends do you really think that Fox, MGM, Disney, Lionsgate and Sony would go format neutral before Universal?

    Not to mention the HD-DVD camp has had nothing but bad news as of late. None of that bad news I would say is fatal, but when the format is trying to take market share. All of these things hurt far worse. So lets see:

    Blockbuster is renting only blurays now.
    Target will not sell HD-DVD players in store. All of the sudden $300 doesnít matter.
    BJs Wholesale will not sale HD-DVD players either.
    Steven Spielberg is releasing his first HD film as a bluray exclusive. If he was format neutral he would have chosen a film that could get released on both formats.

    Most important, bluray is not outselling HD-DVD by AT LEAST 2 to 1 and in some weeks 3 to 1. This is the MOST important fact. HD-DVD camp can use the PS3 is not a bluray player and HD-DVD players have a higher attach rate argument all they want, but those donít matter the fact that bluray is outselling HD-DVD.

    I want to be clear that I am not stating that the above events are a death blow to bluray, but HD-DVD camp is in dire need of some good news and all of the above are making it much harder to gain market share. I donít feel PIP is it. Nor do I feel $300 is going to do anything but stretch out the battle a little bit longer.

    HD-DVD claims to be cheaper, yet 300 costs $35 on HD-DVD but $30 on bluray.

    HD-DVDs strategy right now seems to be to get as many HD-DVD players in houses and hope that sells pick up in a way to convince the other studios to go format neutral.

    Another concern that the HD-DVD camp has TOTALLY ignored and in my opinion is the reason HD-DVD should be afraid.

    MICROSOFT. Im am NOT saying this with the intention to bash MS, but MS has admitted that their ultimate goal is to get people to download movies off of xbox live and has no intention of having a physical media for people to play HD content.

    http://homemediaretailing.com/news/html/breaking_article.cfm?sec_id=2&&article_ID=10757

    So in my opinion, Aurelio if you are recommending HD-DVD to customers you are doing them a disservice. At least tell them facts, PLEASE. Im asking nicely.

    After all that please explain to me how anyone can honestly think that HD-DVD can win this war. I would like someone to do it without the ďI hate SonyĒ crap.

  17. Devils Advocate on August 3rd, 2007 2:36 pm

    The statement above:
    I want to be clear that I am not stating that the above events are a death blow to “bluray”

    Should read:
    I want to be clear that I am not stating that the above events are a death blow to “HD-DVD”

  18. Segarsj on August 3rd, 2007 3:26 pm

    @ Devils Advocate

    I agree with you that content will play a large role in this war, but you simply can’t ignore the effect price has on the mass market consumers, and that is what will determine a definite winner in this war.

    It’s so easy for all of us tech geeks to get worked up about this stuff but the average consumer doesn’t care, or won’t care until there are players that they can pick up between $100 and $200. Whoever gets there first will quickly gain an upper hand, or at the very least further the adoption of standalone players which will guarantee the mass market absorption.

    If you don’t think that price matters you’re out of your mind. Simply look to the PS3 which has sold substantially more units since the $100 price drop. More importantly, as much as Sony wants the PS3 to be their champion blu-ray player, the mass market will not choose it as their designated Blu-ray player. That would be like saying the PS2 is the number one designated DVD player, and you know better than to say that’s true. If all they want is to watch movies, which is where the real software sales are derived from, they will buy a standalone player.

    Oh and no, Blu-ray players are not outselling HD DVD players. Standalone sales are stacked against Blu-ray. True, when taking into account the PS3 Blu-ray has more players in the wild but they are not standalone units and as I’ve already mentioned previously, the two are totally different beasts. Standalones drive the software sales, not consoles.

    And yes the current Blu-ray sales figures are stacked against HD DVD but they damn well better be considering there are more than 10 times as many capable Blu-ray units (including the PS3 obviously).

    Personally I think it’s an incredible feat that HD DVD is holding 40% of the market with close to 10% of the HD players on the market.

    How can you argue against that?

  19. charles Nader on August 3rd, 2007 5:09 pm

    I think alot of people are missing the point here!!! Its not the players that will sell the format it will be the titles and how cheap they will be. If HD DVD dropped their discs to $14.99 or even $10, Wow…that would sure change the playing field. Sure, I see the players will get the masses buying…but its the product that will win the war!!!

    My two cents.

    cheers.

    charles

  20. Segarsj on August 3rd, 2007 6:51 pm

    Charles,

    The lower costs for the software will surely come once the formats manage to saturate more of the market. Unfortunately I think the studios are getting a kick out of selling their products at a premium price, at least until HD disc media is accepted by the general public.

  21. vipper1oo7 on August 3rd, 2007 8:22 pm

    1st of the reason speilburg choice to release encounters of the 3rd kind first is caz it was his first major film he did. he didnt choice it caz it was bluray, they have a release date for jurassic park and jaws out their. and the reason that hd dvds usually cost 35 bucks and not 30 like bluray is that they are combo discs they have one side hd and one standard. which makes more sense then just one format.

  22. Devils Advocate on August 4th, 2007 10:07 am

    vipper1oo7

    Yeah, theyre making the HD-DVD crowd pay for a feature they dont need. Universal has NOT announced a SINGLE spielberg HD-DVD. Spielberg always has a choice. If he were format neutral he would have chosen to release a film that can be on both formats ala Saving Private Ryan. It is ironic that he chooses to release his first film from a bluray exclusive studio, when he could easily have chosen a film for both formats. Instead he goes for the bluray exclusive. Its a pretty big deal when he chooses to release the ONLY film in his library that could be bluray exclusive, when quite a few could be format neutral or HD-DVD exclusive.
    It is a big deal, whether you accept it or not.

  23. Devils Advocate on August 4th, 2007 1:25 pm

    Segarsj

    Content matters most. I wont matter if they GIVE AWAY the HD-DVD players if they dont support most movies. Like I said earlier, gamecube was the cheapest of the last gen consoles and PS2 was the most expensive. But yet PS2 won by having CONTENT. Im not saying Universal doesnt have great movies, it certainly does, but it doesnt begin to compare to what is bluray exclusive.

    Price also doesnt matter if they start taking it out of retail. Losing Target is huge. (but not fatal)

    HD-DVD has nothing going for it.

    BUT, if you want to keep buying HD-DVDs and players. Its your money. Im tempted to buy an HD-DVD player if only so I can have a piece of history.

    While your enjoying Bourne Identity and Hot Fuzz, Ill be enjoying Spiderman, Casino Royale, Pirates of the Caribbean and all my favorite Pixar movies.

  24. Segarsj on August 4th, 2007 6:07 pm

    Devils Advocate,

    You’re a real piece of work. You keep saying that there are more movies on Blu-ray, but yet HD DVD and Blu-ray are virtually neck and neck with releases to date, and when you factor in the international releases for HD DVD then HD DVD has more films out there than Blu-ray, and more than a few of those international releases are Blu-ray “exclusives” here in the US.

    So you see, you’re in the wrong my friend, and it’s incredibly ignorant for you to simply write off the foreign studios like Studio Canal that are far more powerful than you give them credit. Sure you can say Universal is the only major American studio, but HD DVD has far more allies in Europe, and this will play a large role in the success of HD DVD due to the fact that it is a region free format. If you’re not sure what the means exactly I suggest you read up on it. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be wishing death upon the first mass market region free video format.

    Oh and I’m glad you saved me the trouble of bringing up Hot Fuzz. It’s rated to be the BEST overall HD title across BOTH formats and I’m guessing this should come as a surprise to you since you believe so deeply in the capacity of your Blu-ray discs. Check out the review here: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/880/hotfuzz.html

    HD DVD has nothing going for it, eh? I think not. So much for your “better video” “better audio” argument in one of your previous posts. It sounds like something you regurgitated from a Blu-ray fan site and something that isn’t backed by anything more than heresy. Clearly you’re not aware that Blu-ray is devoid of standards that are implemented on HD DVD that require mandatory support for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital True HD, as opposed to Blu-ray which allows for standard run-of-the-mill Dolby Digital audio tracks (@640kbps) on their discs and values these higher resolution audio formats as “optional”. And as for the video, it doesn’t piss you off that you’re seeing titles released with the aged MPEG2 compression utilized? That’s totally unacceptable on a next-gen format. Period.

    Oh and that was some zing you had there about buying a piece of history. I think I’ll take your advice and pick up one of the many returned Blu-ray players sitting idly on the shelf of my local Best Buy, but even then it’s twice as expensive as A-20, so I’d rather not waste my money.

    One of these days you’ll wake up to the fact that you’ve been backing a faulty format, and I’m sure you’ll say the same for me, but at least for the time being I’ve got the facts and you’ve got your opinions.

    Best of luck to you.

  25. Devils Advocate on August 4th, 2007 6:54 pm

    You got facts and I got opinions???

    The only fact that matters is Bluray is outselling HD-DVD by a significant margin. This trend is unlikely to change. Especially when you factor the titles coming out on bluray that are exclusive. I doubt that will change as when you look at the holiday line up.

    Hot Fuzz can be rated the best all it wants (and I have NO DOUBT that it is a fantastic looking HD-DVD) but it doesnt mean much if 60-70% of the HD crowd cant buy it. Regardless of what you say or think, Hot Fuzz is unlikely to be a movie that brings people over to HD-DVD the same way that movies like PotC, Spiderman, X-men, Star Wars, James Bond could bring people over the bluray crowd. Although the Matrix has done good for HD-DVD, but it will soon be on Bluray as well.

    You claim that your Best Buy is having people return a lot bluray players. Im not calling you a liar, but I went into my very own Best Buy store and they said they have had only a couple of bluray players returned and they were the first gen samsung. To be fair, they also said the same thing about HD-DVD. You say that bluray players are known for causing problems, but yet I havent read on any of the sites I visit a large amount of complaints about it or the HD-DVD players (unless you include xbox 360). I read all the good HD sites on the net. http://www.blu-ray.com, http://www.highdefdigest.com, http://www.thedigitalbits.com, http://www.cnet.com and I have yet to see a major article concerning bluray failure issues. Yes, these sites favor bluray, but they will share with their readers if the players themselves are having a problem. I could have missed them, but I dont recall a single article.

    As for MPEG2. Yes, bluray studios screwed up here in the beginning, but the most important titles are all using VC1 and/or AVC and will be for the forseeable future. I own 14 bluray movies and only one of them uses MPEG2. I wont lie to you I hate the fact that Terminator 2 is only utilizing BD25 and MPEG2, but it will get rereleased with the better codec eventually and Im holding out until then. Right now the MPEG2 issues is now a moot point. Some titles still uses it, but they are becoming the exception and not the norm.

    I will absolutely not get into an argument over which format has better video or audio quality for the simple fact that there is no way to prove it in ANY WAY and the format neutral titles (ala 300, superman returns) are mastered the same way, except for the older gen titles, which use MPEG2 vs. VC1. My statement was this:

    “Bluray delivers superb video and audio quality equal if not better in some cases than HD-DVD (50Gb as opposed to 30GB compression will yield better quality) and that is what people care about.”

    Notice, “equal if not better in some cases” That is my way of achknowledging that HD-DVD does have amazing quality, but a film that is compressed to 50GB vs. 30GB using the same codec will look better EVERY time on the 50GB due to less compression and therefore higher bitrates. As good as Hot Fuzz looks on HD-DVD, Im willing to bet it would look even better if it took advantage of Blurays extra space. But thats a moot point for the time being.

    I give HD-DVD all the credit in the world, but they I dont believe they have the studio support to win and dont get me wrong if all the HD-DVD exclusive films were all the sudden released on bluray, Id go apeshit at the store and buy a TON of titles, but I, like you, have to wait it out for a winner.

    Now lets make things interesting. Here are some ways that HD-DVD could gain some serious momentum:

    1. Walmart decides to sell HD-DVD players exclusively. DOnt tell me about the chinese HD-DVD players. Walmart has repeatedly said this is NOT the case. It could happen, but there is no guarantee.

    2. Disney decides to go format neutral.

    Now, HD-DVD screwed up BIG time by not having the xbox 360 have an HD-DVD player built in. Things would be WAY different right now if that had happened.

    p.s. Dont forget what I said about Microsoft earlier. I have yet to hear a single response to that. You know its true. Tell me how that can be good for HD-DVD.

    Im enjoying this debate. Keep the arguments coming.

    Reply | http://www.blu-ray.com, http://www.highdefdigest.com, http://www.thedigitalbits.com, http://www.cnet.com and I have yet to see a major article concerning bluray failure issues. Yes, these sites favor bluray, but they will share with their readers if the players themselves are having a problem. I could have missed them, but I dont recall a single article. \r\n\r\n\r\nAs for MPEG2. Yes, bluray studios screwed up here in the beginning, but the most important titles are all using VC1 and\/or AVC and will be for the forseeable future. I own 14 bluray movies and only one of them uses MPEG2. I wont lie to you I hate the fact that Terminator 2 is only utilizing BD25 and MPEG2, but it will get rereleased with the better codec eventually and Im holding out until then. Right now the MPEG2 issues is now a moot point. Some titles still uses it, but they are becoming the exception and not the norm.\r\n\r\nI will absolutely not get into an argument over which format has better video or audio quality for the simple fact that there is no way to prove it in ANY WAY and the format neutral titles (ala 300, superman returns) are mastered the same way, except for the older gen titles, which use MPEG2 vs. VC1. My statement was this: \r\n\r\n\"Bluray delivers superb video and audio quality equal if not better in some cases than HD-DVD (50Gb as opposed to 30GB compression will yield better quality) and that is what people care about.\" \r\n\r\nNotice, \"equal if not better in some cases\" That is my way of achknowledging that HD-DVD does have amazing quality, but a film that is compressed to 50GB vs. 30GB using the same codec will look better EVERY time on the 50GB due to less compression and therefore higher bitrates. As good as Hot Fuzz looks on HD-DVD, Im willing to bet it would look even better if it took advantage of Blurays extra space. But thats a moot point for the time being.\r\n\r\nI give HD-DVD all the credit in the world, but they I dont believe they have the studio support to win and dont get me wrong if all the HD-DVD exclusive films were all the sudden released on bluray, Id go apeshit at the store and buy a TON of titles, but I, like you, have to wait it out for a winner.\r\n\r\nNow lets make things interesting. Here are some ways that HD-DVD could gain some serious momentum:\r\n\r\n1. Walmart decides to sell HD-DVD players exclusively. DOnt tell me about the chinese HD-DVD players. Walmart has repeatedly said this is NOT the case. It could happen, but there is no guarantee. \r\n\r\n2. Disney decides to go format neutral. \r\n\r\nNow, HD-DVD screwed up BIG time by not having the xbox 360 have an HD-DVD player built in. Things would be WAY different right now if that had happened. \r\n\r\n\r\np.s. Dont forget what I said about Microsoft earlier. I have yet to hear a single response to that. You know its true. Tell me how that can be good for HD-DVD.\r\n\r\nIm enjoying this debate. Keep the arguments coming.’); return false;”>Quote
  26. Devils Advocate on August 4th, 2007 6:59 pm

    Also, I want to stress that using the the same codec argument. VC1 and AVC are superior to MPEG2 in everyway. I would argue that a 25GB VC1/AVC would have higher quality than a 50GB MPEG2.

    Again, you are 100% correct that MPEG2 pisses me off. Im not a total hater. I dare you to try and show some love.

  27. hitoshi on August 4th, 2007 7:29 pm

    I still cannot believe all the insane Sony fans out there. I work in sales at hi-fi store in New England. I also have a few friends who work in production at Paramount. All this talk about Spielberg choosing Blu-Ray is utter nonsense! Very few directors have any say in the release schedule of their films. Close Encounters was released way before Spielberg had the clout he now has. A good example is the dvd release of the Indiana Jones films. Spielberg in 1993 financially backed dts and Jurassic Park was the first major theatrical release (Dr. Giggles was actually the test film for the format). Most every film of his on dvd has a dts track (at least at initial release, later editions usually added too many special features to fit a dts track, considering that a dts soundtrack on dvd usually takes up almost sometimes more than a gig of space versus dolby digital’s under 1/2 gig) Every Dreamworks title had a dts track while Spielberg was a co-owner of the company before Viacom purchased Dreamworks. Viacom also owns Paramount, so anyone that wants to say that Dreamworks titles are on both formats SPIELBERG DOES NOT OWN DREAMWORKS ANYMORE! If Spielberg had as much control over home video, why did the Indiana Jones films not have a dts track?
    The major factor being that Paramount did not support dts in the dvd format and everyones favorite megalomaniac George Lucas’ THX division co-developed Dolby Digital-EX for Star Wars Episode I. Ever since then Lucas has only put Dolby tracks on his dvd releases. The theatrical prints of the prequels had both dts and Dolby Digital. Anyone waiting for Star Wars on Blu-Ray has a loooong wait. Lucasfilm has even gone on record that they have no current plans to release any the Star Wars films on the high-def formats. I have played Lucas’ game in the past with Laserdisc. I have 3 versions of the original trilogy on laserdisc. I even hear instead of a blu-ray or hd-dvd release of his films he may now release a “Ultimate Edition” of his films with more footage inserted for continuity in the original trilogy.
    That said, back to present day sales. In the past couple months we have sold about 25 HD-DVD players for every Blu-ray player sold. We do home theater installs upwards of $150,000 though the most common price point is about $4,000 with a tv for cash and carry. I own both formats, but currently own 6 blu-ray titles compared to 29 on HD-DVD. I have a high-end audio system and audio means more to me than “Sony will probably win” mentality. If I have to choose between the two formats when a title is released on both, I pick the one with the Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby True HD options, NOT the blu-ray which usually just has a plain OLD Dolby Digital track. Oh, sure some 20th Century Fox titles have dts hd master, but considering that even Sony’s BDP-S1 only plays back the dts core soundtrack you might as well be on deserted island with canned food but no can opener. Un-compressed multi-channel PCM has potential, but even Casino Royale was a 48khz/16-bit release (cd’s are 44.1khz/16-bit and those came out in the early 80′s). The Pirates of the Caribbean films are some of the few from Sony that actually have 48khz/24-bit PCM soundtracks. Dolby True HD can run at up to 192khz/24-bit in 6-channel, and 96khz/24-bit with up to 8 channels. The only thing Sony does right are TV’s and I proudly own a High-Def XBR. And all you PS3 is better than XBox360 people, why is it that I have 12 games on my 360 and only 1 PS3 game? Maybe because like the blu-ray format most the media is total garbage. If Sony wants me to buy more blu-ray they better start putting more quality titles out.

  28. Segarsj on August 4th, 2007 8:16 pm

    Haha, I am enjoying this argument a bit. It’s definitely more substantial than a lot of the people out there who simply don’t back up their claims.

    You’ve done a pretty good job with that.

    Naturally, like most people I think that this holiday season is going to play an enormous role in the format war. With HDTV prices at presumably all time lows, and the same with HD DVD/Blu-ray players, we’ll begin to see more clearly where the consumers will go.

    As for now, it seems that Blu-ray is announcing a lot of huge and eagerly anticipated titles/sets and I don’t have any doubt that the POTC and Spidey Sets will move like nothing we’ve seen to date, but I can’t help but think that Universal and other HD DVD supporters have yet to announce some surprises for this holiday season. Granted, I can’t imagine any other exclusive sets aside from a Bourne set or the Matrix (if it isn’t announced for Blu-ray this year), but sets aren’t necessarily everything as far as I’m concerned. I love trilogies and sets as much as you do I’m sure, but singular titles have a lot of power in their own right. With that being said, I think we’ll see a lot of great catalog titles coming out on both sides of the battlefield.

    Blu-ray has definitely committed to their holiday release schedule, and I’m sure HD DVD is going to do the same, but they are certainly keeping it more hush-hush than anyone would like.

    I’m glad that you actually acknowledge HD DVD as opposed to writing it off entirely, but I’m not sure studio support is going to remain stagnant. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more studios go neutral because the neutral studios are making the most money, and I’m sure we can both agree that’s what they care most about. They don’t care about red or blu, they want to be seeing green.

    Aside from that, I heard someone describe the capacity argument like this: HD DVD is to a shot glass, as Blu-ray is to a shot served in a pint-glass. The point being is that Hot Fuzz might not differ at all on Blu-ray, and that it wasn’t suffering at all under the space limitations. If the film is 27gb on HD DVD using VC1 compression, I can’t imagine them changing the compression to the point where it would use the full 50gb Blu-ray disc, or anywhere close to that much.

    My main point with all of that is that as long as we’re talking compression, it’s still compression. Even if it’s less compressed, assuming its still the same codec, the mbps won’t fluctuate substantially to warrant the added disc space. I’ll tell you right now, if Blu-ray offered an uncompressed 1080p disc I would probably jump the fence in a second, but I would venture to say that fully lossless picture and sound on a disc is not even within reach of Blu-ray’s highest capacity discs. Perhaps I’m wrong in this regard, but either way that doesn’t seem to be Blu-ray’s goal. If that were the case, I would surely say that HD DVD is crippled, but to me I can’t escape the feeling that with Blu-ray I’ll be drinking my shot out of a pint glass for twice the price.

    Oh, and sorry I haven’t responded to the MS comment as of yet. I’ll give it my best shot.

    I think that MS is definitely playing the war to their advantage, but I suspect it’s not as cloak and dagger as you suggest. With the video marketplace they are moving quite a lot of rentals and purchases, but I think as far as the HD titles go they’re only rentals, at least for now. In addition to that I don’t see HD movie purchases becoming viable option on either the 360 or the PS3 due to the lack of sufficient storage space for all of your necessary gaming/video files. With 120gb and 250gb (user installed HD) being the limitation on both 360 and PS3 respectively that doesn’t leave enough room for an entire collection of HD films, so I believe disc media will live on. I don’t want to get into that particular argument, as that is a whole other beast, but it’s important to remember that PS3 is hinting at the possibility of HD film downloads through their own online service. With that being said, couldn’t you draw a similar conclusion that Sony is hedging it’s bets as well? Perhaps not, but when and if they chose to do so, wouldn’t that be a double standard if you claimed MS wanted to kill HD DVD by offering HD content through their video marketplace?

    I think what it ultimately amounts to is the fact that MS wants to become the goto console for HD rentals, and personally I think that’s fine. I’m somewhat tired of having to wait for HD DVD titles in the mail from Netflix, so they’re doing a great service for those people with 360′s by putting HD content at their finger tips on demand (for a price of course). They will probably succeed in capturing the HD rental market, but as I’ve said before I don’t see them eliminating the need for physical media anytime soon. So no, I don’t condemn them for their actions.

    What do you think?

    ps. I might be wrong but I think this is the most active comment thread on FWC.

  29. Devils Advocate on August 5th, 2007 12:10 am

    Im drunk right now, so this response may seem a little silly. Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of the format war. Haha

    Anyway, if Hot Fuzz were released on bluray it is very unlikely that Universal would redo the compression (I wouldnt complain either if the video is as good as highdefdigest claims it to be). You do have a point there and I would agree 100% that your argument holds up. Lets say that all format neutral films all end up under 30GB. Then neither bluray or HD-DVD will get a significant advantage in terms of picture quality.
    It is likely that Warner makes one compression and just puts it on both discs in an effort to make sure neither format gets a PQ advantage.

    Howeve, if theyre smart (and its a prettyy big IF) format neutral studios will take advantage of the extra space. Be it extras or bitrate. Time will tell.

    As for MS, they are not HD-DVD’s friend, no matter how it seens.

    As for Sony, I would be very surprised if they offered HD downloads when you consider how much they have to gain in royalties over having a bluray disc medium. However, it bluray fails, it is a backup plan.

    I do hope you are right about MS, because I will take two formats ANY DAY over downloadable movies that are only 2 gigs in size and Im sure than any HD-DVD supporter would 100% agree.

    downloadable movies only = BAD

    Keep discs alive and well!!!

    Anyway, Im going to bed. Im sure Ill respond with a very painful hangover.

  30. Informed Consumer on August 5th, 2007 11:43 pm

    I have to agree that content is more important than tech or boasting. Some of the best content research I’ve seen is here, where the author compiled equivalent Blu-ray and HDDVD market shares of the top box office winners for the past 3 years, as well as the top 100 movies of all time:

    http://blog.pixelperfectproductions.com/?p=54

    It’s an absolute landslide in favor of Bluray exclusive studios over HDDVD exclusive studios. It’s not even a competition any more, it’s only a matter of time before consumers realize they’ve been duped in the confusion. Meanwhile Toshiba will probably release 3 new models or more, to make as much money as they can before it’s dead. The ignorant masses will buy them because they’re cheap, and the hardware will collect dust or become disconnected in a year.

    Standalone Blu-ray hardware prices will drop when they have to, or organically as it makes sense to drive more volume. Samsung, Hitachi, Pioneer, LG, Sharp, Sony, and the laundry list of other Blu-ray developers and supporters will all compete to have an inexpensive Walmart player.

    http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#bluray_developers

    Devil’s Advocate, I thought what you were getting at with respect to MS was the $billion warranty cost of the 360, not doing HDDVD any favors:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2007/07/06/mr-softys-extended-embarrassment.aspx

    Regarding the larger storage space of Blu-ray, I think this will start to matter more with photo-realistic Hi Def games rather than movies, as absolutely every PS3 has a Blu-ray drive to load 10 times the Hi Def content from a single disc. Because it’s only an option on the 360s, developers won’t be writing for this.

  31. Devils Advocate on August 6th, 2007 2:10 pm

    No, Im saying that MS is supporting HD-DVD for the sole purpose of undermining blu-ray, because MS wants to control the downloadable movie market via Xbox Live. Its a shame that the HD-DVD crowd doesnt realize this, because theyre biggest supporter’s ultimate goal is to end all physical media. I would rather have two competeting formats than have all movies be downloadable. Im not calling MS bad or anything, Im just pointing out that they are not in the HD-DVD game to benefit HD-DVD

  32. Roberta on August 12th, 2007 8:51 am

    Has anyone read Universal’s recent comments on the reasons they are supporting HD DVD at this time? To force hardware prices down. Once they feel that hardware prices are cheap enough, they will become format-neutral which will be the last nail in the HD DVD format’s coffin.

    As much as I despise Sony, it looks like they’ve won.

  33. Segars on August 15th, 2007 3:20 pm

    @Roberta

    Considering that article is affiliated with the “Hollywood In High Def” website (an unofficial Blu-ray promo site) I would take anything that they write with a grain of salt.

    I know that Engadget went ahead and posted it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

  34. Roberta on August 17th, 2007 3:13 pm

    Segars,

    It has been quoted elsewhere. Check it out. The big honcho at Universal has admitted that there’s pressure on the company to go format neutral. Do you not think that’s going to happen in the next 12 months? As soon at it does, the fat lady will sing.

    By the way, the reason people rail into Sony is not exclusively because of their proprietary failed formats, but because their products suck – they fail prematurely. I can honestly say that EVERY Sony product I have ever bought, or gotten as a gift, has failed prematurely. They include: a reel to reel tape deck, a 2-line telephone (lasted one month), CD Walkman and 2 TVs (tuners crapped out in both of them). I have a 2nd portable CD player and a 400 CD changer that are on their last gasps.

    So, it’s not that Sony originated Blu-Ray that ticks people off. It’s that they probably feel that if Sony built it, it will break.

    I still say F*** Sony! If Blu-Ray wins the war (which I really believe they will), I will buy a machine but not one made by those Sony devils.

    Roberta

  35. Mark on September 7th, 2007 9:56 am

    Cost.

    What suprises me in all the discussions regarding cost. Is that no one seems to mention that the HD DVD disks cost more to the consumer than the current BLU Ray versions. HD DVD is promoting the fact that it is cheaper to manufacture an HD DVD disk than BLU Ray. So why aren’t these cost savings passed on to the consumer. If you compare a tiltle that has come out on both formats, for example then movie 300. The Canadian price at Futuresop is $35 for HDVD and $30. for the BLU Ray version. I realize that this is probably due to the combo disk. But that is the only choice you have in HV DVD.

    So I fail to understand why so many comparisons are being made about the cost of the unit when there is no mention on the DVD cost.

    I am a supporter of both formats but DVD purchase cost issue is of greater concen to me than the intial cost of the player.

  36. Rick on September 14th, 2007 6:47 pm

    You can get the $399.99 A-30 at Best Buy, now. They jumped the release date by almost a month and at least one of my local BBs has a shelf full of them.

  37. mike hddvd on November 2nd, 2007 12:22 pm

    look fact is this, people care only about price. and if any of you blu-ray fans every had gone to college you would know that it is all about market share.

    blu-ray is all hype right now, just like the ps3. any major movie that comes out on it also comes out on hd-dvd where as tons on exclusives come out just on hd-dvd (transformers, hero’s season 1). all of the movies that come out on both formats sell out on hd but not on blu-ray.

    all of blu-rays current “advantages” arent even being used right now, they use single layer only and the only movie that has the jpeg crap is pirates 2.

    lets not forget that blu-ray is a locked in format that maxes out and dual layer and 50gb where as hd-dvd is a rewritable format that could be, theoretically as big as they wanted.

    someone towards the top talked about the business straighty is crap…wrong. bottom line is that there are already a lot of hd-dvd movies that will play in regular dvd players too, this locks in people when they want to upgrade to the next gen player. also this christmas hd-dvd players will be $99, and not just for black friday. this is going to get so many hd players into house holds it wont even be funny. because again, people buy for price, it is a next gen player for $100! now i know your saying, “the $100 player is 1080i only.” but! only 15% of familys in america own hdtv’s and of those only 5% are 1080p so people wont care, for the price they can upgrade later.

    oh and the guy that said only toshiba makes hd players, and all the big names make blu-ray…um, i didnt know that lg, toshiba, and samsung were small companies, in fact they are the leading 3 home theater companies in the world.

    why is it always the people that dont know what they are talking about are blu-rays fans. funny all of the computer engineers and industry experts love hd-dvd.

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