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Wal-Mart Chooses HD-DVD

April 24, 2007

Gotta love Digg.   

There is one retailer that has the power to call the winner of the protracted Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD fight and that vendor is Wal-Mart.

read more | digg story

I have to admit that initially I thought that the Blu-ray format was going to win this one, solely based on the fact the the PS3 is also a Blu-ray player.  Sony has had a bit of a shaky launch of its new gaming console, however, and the regular stand-alone players are still more expensive than their HD-DVD counterparts.

Honestly, I haven’t been terribly impressed with either format.  Most of the players available have plenty of glitches (1st gen. machines tend to have that), and the quality of the content is currently only a benefit to those who a) have an HDTV, and b) are unsatisfied enough with regular DVD to make the plunge into a newer, more expensive format.  That isn’t a big market right now.

Also, the jump from regular DVD to HD/Blu-ray isn’t as significant as the previous jump from VHS to DVD.  Think about it.  When DVD was introduced roughly 10 years ago, the benefits over VHS included much better picture and sound quality, as well as convenience features like no rewinding, chapter selection, multiple audio tracks and subtitles, repeat functions, etc.. When you go from standard DVD to these HD formats, you’re really only gaining some picture quality (the sound is also higher resolution, but most people would be challenged to notice).  Simply stated, these formats aren’t nearly as groundbreaking as the last one, and I think it’s quite possible that they could both flop.  That, or they may wind up being used more for computer and professional applications than movies, since an optical disc that can hold up to 50 gigs could have a lot of uses besides the ability to see T2 in a little higher picture quality.  Add to the equation the rise in on-demand and downloadable content, and you might just see your average consumer paying $5.99 to watch a new release one time off their HD cable box instead of using one of these new players.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to watch this play out. 

Another related Chamber post: Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HD

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One comment

  1. I have an HD player, so I am happy about this one.

    The difference isn’t nearly what VHS-DVD, as DVD-HD is, but some movies just look so much more crisp to me.

    The thing is, the type of difference you notice is not what the casual movie watcher cares about…. only the hardcore’s like me.



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