Oops, I think I killed HD DVD

Oops, I think I killed HD DVD

Summary: Okay, I should have known better. Despite a couple of years of promising myself that I wouldn't buy a hi-def DVD player until the ridiculous format war was over, I broke down in December.

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

Okay, I should have known better. Despite a couple of years of promising myself that I wouldn't buy a hi-def DVD player until the ridiculous format war was over, I broke down in December. In part, I really wanted to buy Planet Earth in an HD format for my wife as a holiday gift, and in part, I was ready for a new gadget. Planet Earth is actually available in both HD DVD and Blu-ray versions, but clearly I had to pick one. And a Toshiba player for $199, with 12 free HD DVDs (through a no-longer running promotion with Amazon) helped push me squarely into the HD DVD camp.

Sadly, today, Warner Bros announced that it was taking its rather large library over to the Blu-ray camp. And while it may be too soon to say HD DVD is dead, this is clearly a huge hit for the format. It also appears to have caught the HD DVD consortium totally flatfooted, as is evidenced by an e-mail I just received from a PR rep for the HD Promotion Group:

"Notice of CES Press Conference Cancellation by North American HD DVD Promotion Group

Based on the timing of the Warner Home Video announcement today, we have decided to postpone our CES 2008 press conference scheduled for Sunday, January 6th at 8:30 p.m. in the Wynn Hotel. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We are currently discussing the potential impact of this announcement with the other HD DVD partner companies and evaluating next steps. We believe the consumer continues to benefit from HD DVD's commitment to quality and affordability – a bar that is critical for the mainstream success of any format.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on new developments around HD DVD."

Now, HD-DVD owners just have to hope there actually are some new developments around HD DVD... And now excuse me while I check out Amazon's return policy (and if that fails, American Express' superb return protection plan).

Topics: Hardware, Mobility


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Oh no.

    Oh no thats an absolute disaster for HD-DVD :-) Warner Bros are responsible for some truly poor movies and similarly poor TV stuff. I just had a look at there site to refresh myself and its like a who's who of really rubbish dvd's that you'd find at any car boot sale. Sure they have a handfull of dvd's that you'd maybe buy from the bargain basket but with Warner Bros its all quantity and very little quality.
    • Don't exaggerate

      The have a lot of good movies. Are you calling Blade Runner a bad movie? I think 90% of the world would disagree.

      Don't get me wrong, you're mostly right and they have a crapload of really bad movies and only a select few good ones. I just think we as consumers need to apply a little pressure to warner and any other studio that is planning to go exclusive with a format like Blu-ray. Blu-ray will basically end any fair-use rights that we had and it doesn't even comply to the DVD Forum standard.

      Personally, if I HAVE to I will buy a blu-ray/hd-dvd combo drive just so I can convert everything to HD-DVD format and burn it as a backup. Since the geniuses that came up with all of this kind of media couldn't come up with a way to make these disks scratch proof (ever heard of a cartridge?) but no that would cut into their profits...but I digress. Just don't support blu-ray and start writing letters to these studios like Warner.
  • RE: Oops, I think I killed HD DVD

    Just get a HDMI converter and wait on one of the formats to conquer over all. Then the masses can upgrade, then in three more years we can all convert to the knew NH-5 format that will make HD-DVD and BlueRay look like SD-DVD. I think that I will keep my VCR....!!!
  • Keep the faith...

    Microsoft is still in the HD-DVD camp. My rep called me this morning and relayed the message "a steady hand on a turbulent sea". I used my decoder wheel and realized he was telling me Blu-ray was dead.
    Mike Cox
    • Didn't you get the message?

      This year, MS is using a secret decoder ring, not the wheel. Too many people got a hold of the wheel last year . . .

      7.0, Mike. Nice, but I couldn't dance to it . . . ;)
    • Expect JC to "Keep the faith"

      Mike might have been first, but JC will write another glowing endorsement of his
      employer's technology any day now:-)
      Richard Flude
    • Right on!

      I sure hope so... Blu-ray is so anti-consumer I would love to see ANYONE in the mainstream media inform consumers the slight of hand that is going on with this.
  • Fortunately . . .

    Star Trek is exclusively HD-DVD, so everything's ok. (that [b]IS[/b] the important thing, isn't it?) . . .
  • One word: PORN

    If HD-DVD can be encouraged as the standard for the Adult Film industry, you can bet that people who own Blu-Ray will also buy an HD-DVD player just for their sexytime movies.
    • Porn? Pffft. People download that.

      It was said months ago that porn would decide the HD industry. Since when was porn ever associated with quality?

      Porn buyers download it today, they don't buy it on disc.

      Many say that downloading will make all HD obsolete. I dispute that. Downloaded HD sucks because the bitrate is so low, it barely beats plain or DVD. Until bit rates and internet speeds start going up in the USA, HD will live only as an optical media for "real" HD enthusiasts.

      HD will never likely really be mainstream, but a niche. DVD is mainstream. HD is the equivalent of laserdisk, expensive, but nice.