Why I’m not taking sides in the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war

Bulletin in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only) just now:

Paramount is dropping support for the Blu-ray format opting to offer all its next-generation DVDs in HD DVD, further complicating the race between the competing technologies.

I was an early adopter of Betamax. Not making that mistake again.

Update: Details now available here.

6 thoughts on “Why I’m not taking sides in the HD-DVD/Blu-ray war

  1. I’m taking the side of not buying any next generation optical drive. I am hoping to skip this equipment stupidity and flip directly to total VOD. Having a fast 30Mbs internet connection makes this much easier to contemplate.

  2. But there’s very little reason not to be an early adopter this time around. You can buy Toshiba’s HD-A2, a very capable HD-DVD player, for $238 from Amazon. Combine that with a Netflix subscription, and you can watch all the HD-DVD movies you want, right now, and if HD-DVD does end up as Beta, you’re out $250 (or rather, you spent $250 on a decent up-converting DVD player, which you may or may not separately need).

    A 50/50 risk of being out $250 doesn’t strike me as such a big deal that I should hold off on watching HD movies for years and years, you know?

  3. With me, it’s about the fact that one of my favorite DVD producers, Criterion, isn’t making up their minds for a good long time either. Most of the movies I really want to own are not major hits, and there’s no point in me shelling out for the hardware when they haven’t even been ported to HD formats anyway.

  4. Hey, at least Betamax was technically superior. I think scene shares a lot of common arguments in favor of one document format, or at least the harmonization of the two. Until I can afford a HDTV, I won’t even begin to worry about this one.

  5. It’s unfortunate that the companies could not have agreed on commonality. Beta vs. VHS was or first taste, and DVD-R vc DVD+R our second. Fortunately, for us, we now have players/recorders that have do both DVD formats.

    It’s always the consumer (early adopter) who loses in these battles. Whether it be $250 or $1000 somewhere down the road someone is going to have a nice museum piece!

    The funny thing about Beta? In one of it’s incarnations is the dominant format in the American broadcast market.

    If the cobwebs aren’t clouding my memory, I believe the hardcore adult video producers went with VHS, which turned the tide on Beta during the “original” format war. Funny how that works!

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