Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD...

Apparently there's been a quiet war waged lately between the next generation of high resolution DVD...Blu-Ray and HD DVD.

The rivalry between Blu-ray and HD DVD harks back to that 30 years ago between the VHS and Betamax formats for home video recording. Which high-definition technology is better has been the subject of intense debate in Hollywood for years. HD DVD players are about $200 cheaper than Blu-ray machines, but Blu-ray discs have more storage space and more advanced protections against piracy. Both versions deliver sharp resolution.

And a big shot went across the bow this week when two studios, Paramount and Dreamworks Animation, announced they would no longer be releasing their films in...wait for it...Blu-Ray!

More in this NY Times article.

Interesting. And it probably explains why Sony is announcing that their PlayStation 3's can now be configured (with an add-on) into a PVR.

The company will release a TV tuner called PlayTV early next year, which will plug into the back of the PS3 and allow consumers to watch, record and pause live digital terrestrial programming. PlayTV will initially go on sale in the UK, France, Germany and Spain and will also mean programmes from the PS3 can be streamed wirelessly to the PSP or transferred permanently via a USB cable.

More on that HERE from C21. You see, PS3's haven't been selling that well since their release..and one of their initial big selling points? Yes, they can play Blu-Ray discs.

Not that Blu-Ray was suffering...Disney and Twentieth Century Fox were already alligned behind Blu-Ray and only Blu-Ray. But as much as some people might be kicking themselves, this announcement by the other studios is probably a good thing. It'll start pushing us toward a winner. Right now, consumers are being asked to choose between two rather expensive and near-identical items. Pick one guys.

I've always resisted jumping onto the next hot new thang bandwagon, like when cd's began to challenge vinyl...or LaserDisc's took on VHS tape. Bragging rights never meant much to me. And there was always some annoyance with having to restart one's movie collection all over again. And for what? A few more features? A bit more clarity? Nicer sound? You're watching a movie in your basement for crying out loud!

Nevertheless, this Blu-Ray announcement did have a small impact on my consumer life. You see, one of the big selling points of the new Dell XPS laptop is that it's equipped with a Blu-Ray player. After the above announcement, I found myself rethinking the Dell purchase...or at least of that particular model.

Why pay for Betamax when VHS may be all that's out there in a year or so, ya know?

Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD. Anyone out there tried either format? Is there a clear frontrunner?


Bill Cunningham said...

Go to: and scroll down for more info and rumor about Paramount's switch to HD-DVD. It seems there's $$$ involved from Microsoft.

Guffin GacGuffin said...

I heard that porn has gone HD, and as goes porn so go all media.