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HD DVD a year later (a report card). How has your outlook changed?

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HD DVD a year later (a report card). How has your outlook changed?

Old 05-08-07, 05:17 PM
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HD DVD a year later (a report card). How has your outlook changed?

It's been a bit over a year since HD DVD has come out. How has your outlook on it changed since then? (Regardless of whether you own or not).

I have to say it's done better AND worse than I expected. Better in the sense that a lot of very cool, very interesting material has come out. Who would've thought Forbidden Planet would've come out the way it did, for example.

But, it's also done worse. Worse in the sense that while adoption rates might be low (as expected), retail support for it is abysmal. I don't expect to see HD DVD in my supermarket, but it's been difficult to find fairly priced discs outside of the internet. AFAIK there hasn't even been a sale (on a retail level) of any of the discs.

I've slowed down my buying because I'm no longer buying just to have a movie in HD, which I did a few times early on in the format. Until I can get most movies for $20 or less, I won't be blind-buying a lot of titles.

Finally, I'm a bit disappointed that there hasn't been any switches from studios. While Buena Vista would be a great coup, it was a bit farfetched. I'm surprised LGF hasn't added both formats, and I'm sad that smaller distributors like Janus/Criterion haven't jumped on.

Overall, I don't regret my purchase and the discs I didn't care for I promptly traded away.
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Old 05-08-07, 05:30 PM
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Have been sitting on the fence for months now but have decided to get the Toshiba A20 HD DVD player soon. I was previously supporting Blu-Ray but I just couldn't justify the cost. I neither own a PS3 nor an Xbox.

At least with the HD DVD player, it's more affordable and I heard it does incredible upconversion. Considering I have a huge collection of SDs, I'm glad to know I can still enjoy them.
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Old 05-08-07, 06:14 PM
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A year ago I thought HD DVD was doomed and was inferior to Blu-ray and wouldn't even consider getting HD DVD. Now, I buy the HD DVD version over Blu-ray titles when both are available because of better audio or extras on many titles.
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Old 05-08-07, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Obi-Jon Kenobi
A year ago I thought HD DVD was doomed and was inferior to Blu-ray and wouldn't even consider getting HD DVD. Now, I buy the HD DVD version over Blu-ray titles when both are available because of better audio or extras on many titles.
The lack or releases at the beginning of this year really made me doubt HD DVD. However, I am a believer once more in this format: I don't think either format will go away any time soon.
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Old 05-08-07, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by exm
The lack or releases at the beginning of this year really made me doubt HD DVD. However, I am a believer once more in this format: I don't think either format will go away any time soon.
Agreed. I still support HD-DVD, but am very selective as to which titles I acquire. Since there have been a few stinkers of late, which is very disappointing (i.e. The Game and The Jerk), I read multiple reviews before committing funds.

The HD-A1 is built like a tank, and even though it has it's quirks, I'm pretty content with it.
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Old 05-08-07, 06:59 PM
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I'm back and forth. I finally decide it's time to jump into HD DVD, then I'll decide that this would be a stupid time to jump in, then I switch back again.

Now that prices are coming down a little, I'm back to the "gotta get one" category. Especially since it will replace a $60 JVC that's a couple years old and would go very nicely with my 5 month old 56" 1080p Samsung. And now that Planet Earth is out, I might get away with the purchase without my wife thinking I've lost my mind. Because she loooves her nature shows.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:01 PM
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I thought Blu-ray had the advantage in the long term and that is definitely playing out this year. However, I really underestimated just how unpopular both of these formats would be. At this point it looks bad for both.

I'm now supporting both, but when I have the choice I still buy HD DVD over Blu-ray.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:25 PM
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Obviously my outlook has improved since a year ago since it took me a year to finally buy one (HD-A2).

So far I am pleased with my purchase (mostly because of the upconversion and I was replacing a dead player any way) but I only own a few movies in HD. There really aren't many (2 or 3) coming out in the next few months that I will buy either. So that side of it is a little lame... but for the upconversion it's great and I do looooove Planet Earth and the few other titles I have now in HD.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
It's been a bit over a year since HD DVD has come out. How has your outlook on it changed since then? (Regardless of whether you own or not).
I'll give it a solid B. Honestly, I didn't think HD DVD would still be my primary format this time last year.

I'm happy with the release slate, especially with the somewhat steady supply of classic catalog titles. I wish there were more, of course, and there are certain genres I think are underrepresented (not much in the way of horror, f'r instance), but there are enough HD DVDs I'm interested in seeing that I've all but stopped buying DVDs. I just wish sales were stronger; if Warner can't move a thousand copies of Mutiny on the Bounty, what's their incentive to keep pushing catalog titles?

It is a bit of a drag to have to buy almost everything online -- I like that instant gratification of walking out of Best Buy on Tuesday afternoon -- but it's tolerable. The prices don't seem unreasonable after the usual online discounts.

I have to admit that the shortcomings a lot of people point to -- poor marketing and limited hardware support, particularly -- don't bother me since I already have a player. The more limited studio support will eventually become an issue, but there's not too much out there right now that really has me chomping at the bit to go multiformat. I'm sure I'll have a Blu-ray player before the year's out, though.

Originally Posted by The Bus
AFAIK there hasn't even been a sale (on a retail level) of any of the discs.
Some. The Departed was next to nothing at Best Buy. Circuit City had Good Night, and Good Luck for $20 when it was first released. Target had Serenity a few months after launch for $15. Those are definitely the exception, though.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:15 PM
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I'm impressed by the aggressiveness of Universal, the format's only major exclusive. They are doing their part. I'm disappointed that it's been over a year and we have 0 titles from New Line. Paramount has been announcing several titles lately and Warners has provided us a nice mix of new and old titles. And, if HD DVD never existed, we probably wouldn't be seeing Blu-ray until about now and with lower quality.
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Old 05-08-07, 10:46 PM
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Aside from the lack of titles in the first quarter of 2007, I've been pretty happy with the format thus far. What's good is that when Universal finally got around to announcing its slate for the spring and summer, they lived up to their word and are set to release around 70 titles in the next few months. Whereas Fox/MGM pulled a fast one on us by announcing tons of Blu-ray titles at CES only to cancel just about every one of them a few months later.

Even Paramount and WB still favor HD-DVD over Blu-ray. Paramount uses VC-1 and higher bitrate audio on HD-DVD, while WB leaves lossless audio off of several key Blu-ray releases. Plus the IME feature means titles like The Matrix Trilogy are excusive to HD-DVD for at least a short while.

I'm a dual format supporter, but I still favor HD-DVD when a title is available for both. Part of it stems from a hatred of Sony, I'll admit. But it's also because I feel the HD-DVD format has a more diverse library of titles(i.e. not just crappy blockbusters and CGI-infested eye candy).
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Old 05-08-07, 11:10 PM
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I feel HD DVD has failed to capitalize on a nice lead, but I think overall both formats are doing a tad better than I had expected. It looks like they could develop into a strong niche market over the next couple years and lead into a gradual replacement of DVD. I give HD DVD a B+ overall. It they had pulled some more studio support and capatilized on their lead I would have given them an A. They have a pretty stable format with consistent high quality product in general and affordable good hardware if only from one main supplier.
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Old 05-09-07, 05:26 AM
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Happy Birthday HD-DVD!

I waited one year before diving into the whole HD DVD / Blue Ray thing. Like most consumers, I wanted value for my hard earned money. As it turns out, a year later, are we are just now approaching the edge of the "Bleeding Edge," on this technology!

I usually will only buy HD-DVD movies that I do not already have in my DVD collection. Having a pretty decent investment in DVDs, it is nice to know that no matter what happens with this format debacle, I will be able to enjoy my DVD library, at the highest possible resolutions with no discernable distortion. Now I have to wait a bit longer for the player to start up (see edge comment above), so that I can enjoy my movies, but I accept this for second generation products. However, the Combo DVD and HD DVD mess (good intent - Bad execution) , has definitely cramped my style, especially for $40 to get only a mere usable DVD! So has the whole lack of Movie Resume feature on the Discs! Shame on you movie studios…..you know who you are! (BTW - Where exactly is the replacement Disc or the $ for the non-working combo discs? I guess quality control and reputation mean nothing during a format war…buyer beware!)

I suspect that most of the early adopters , choose HD DVDs that complement their existing DVD collections. A few of us will re-purchase the HD DVD versions of our current movies, if so compelled by the features or price.

Ultimately, both movie selection and DVD players, at the right price (Consumer Sweet Spot), will be the largest deciding factors in this debacle! IMHO

Incidentally, I recently played a standard DVD in my XA2 on my 1080i capable display and my visiting guests thought that it was an HD-DVD movie playing. Which ironically, sparked an almost heated debate about benefits and drawbacks of Blue Ray and HD-DVD? This debate was purely amongst AV neophytes, no less! I just sat and listened to this eschewing of some fact and mostly fiction and then realized just how confused the masses have become. When I informed this, apparently Circuit City educated, group of people that they were watching a regular DVD that was simply being up converted, they all were astonished! Even though I did show an HD-DVD for reference, I do not think that any of them are now ready to make any move to either new format. Did Toshiba go too far with the whole backward compatibility with up conversion thing? Perhaps……

Lest I forget, Toshiba is in the Box selling business, not the movie selling business! So if they can get us to pay $799 for an up converting DVD player, in today’s market…….My hat is off to them! My other up converting DVD player is an Onkyo for $299!

I look forward to the third generation of HD DVD players, over the next year.

I digress, I just hope that next year for HD-DVD will not be looked on, in history, as the age of the “Terrible Two’s!”
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Old 05-09-07, 07:57 AM
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My biggest disappointment was the period between Thanksgiving and March of this year when HD DVD totally failed to capitalize on the lead it had over Blu-ray and allowed Blu-ray to catch up and pass them (arguably in quality, but certainly in both the number and popularity of titles being offered).

That being said, I don't think Blu-ray would be where it's at today (title wise) if it wasn't for the competition from HD DVD. So the "war" has been good for both formats.

I'm in the camp where I think both will be around for a number of years, but both will remain "niche" formats as far as home video goes. In the long run, Blu-ray does now have the clear advantage...but the question of whether the public is going to embrace it is still up in the air.
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Old 05-09-07, 08:06 AM
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I was totally against either format over the past year but will most likley purchase a Toshiba player next time Bestbuy runs a "4 title free" program. There are a number of reasons it makes sense for me now: 1) I need an upconverting DVD player 2) 9 free HD-dvds 3) Planet Earth.
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Old 05-09-07, 08:06 AM
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I am giving HD DVD a grade of "B" for the year. Not releasing many titles in the first quarter because of the excuse that "it is a slow time of year for consumers" was a mistake.

I have had my HD-A2 for five months and I am very pleased with the player and the format. The improvement from standard DVD to HD DVD is enough that I am willing to rebuy every DVD I currently own in HD DVD, unless the reviews are unanimously bad. I am looking forward to many of the announced/probable 2007 releases like the Matrix, 300, Scarface, Ocean's 11, The Shining, and The Wizard of Oz.

I wish that HD DVD had more studio support, they would eliminate all combos, and all catalog re-releases would get same day HD DVD releases (Fletch, Major League, etc.)
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Old 05-09-07, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by The_Omega_Man
(BTW - Where exactly is the replacement Disc or the $ for the non-working combo discs? I guess quality control and reputation mean nothing during a format war…buyer beware!)
"Universal is currently investigating reports that Children of Men, The Good Shepherd, and select other discs not playing properly in some HD DVD players. While we believe this is limited to a small number of HD DVD discs, Universal is offering a replacement service for any customers who are experiencing this problem. We are still investigating the cause and will provide further updates as we get them. Any customer problems should be directed to [email protected]."
       
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Old 05-09-07, 08:23 AM
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I've had my HD-XA1 for a year and, with the firmware 2.2 update, I finally feel like I have the player I paid for.

Very happy with the slate of movies already available and those listed as coming soon. With the Matrix set coming in a couple of weeks, it looks like a great way to start the summer season for HD DVD. Hopefully, we have a lot to look forward to at the end of the year when the holidays arrive (especially the long-rumored Kubrick releases).
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Old 05-09-07, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by neiname
I was totally against either format over the past year but will most likley purchase a Toshiba player next time Bestbuy runs a "4 title free" program.
I have not compared prices in the past week, but even when there was a "4 free" program, I was able to buy an HD-A2 at Amazon and pay for 4 titles for less than Best Buy or CC was selling for. Just something to look into...

Of course you still get the 5 free mail-in offer as well, but who knows how long those will take to arrive.
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Old 05-09-07, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
I have not compared prices in the past week, but even when there was a "4 free" program, I was able to buy an HD-A2 at Amazon and pay for 4 titles for less than Best Buy or CC was selling for. Just something to look into...

Of course you still get the 5 free mail-in offer as well, but who knows how long those will take to arrive.
Thanks, will probably order today... Could someone give me a quick rundown of the difference between the A2 and the A20? Display is currently a Samsung 46" DLP (HLP4663) and I will most likely also purchase a panny 50" plasma. Looking back at the specs my Samsung will support only support 1080i, should this lead me to the A2 or is the upconversion on the A20 that much better?

Last edited by neiname; 05-09-07 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 05-09-07, 09:23 AM
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Intresting, Costco has the HD-A20 for $429.99 which also includes their unbeatable return policy.
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Old 05-09-07, 10:47 AM
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I thought people would only be one sided. For me it was HD-DVD. But it is becoming more and more the case that people are supporting both sides now. For me I am picking up a PS3 this week since I am tired of not being able to watch some great titles coming out for BluRay. Given the choice I still like HD-DVD but the reality is I think both formats are here to stay. I don't think we will ever see only one format. IMO.
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Old 05-09-07, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fryinpan1
I am giving HD DVD a grade of "B" for the year. Not releasing many titles in the first quarter because of the excuse that "it is a slow time of year for consumers" was a mistake.
Looking at it in hindsight, yes it was a mistake, but only because the HD DVD camp didn't predict that the Blu-ray camp would release an onslaught of titles during what has always been a slow retail time of year. If that hadn't happened, the HD DVD slowdown would have been perfectly in line with DVD sales models and no one would have thought twice about it.
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Old 05-10-07, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
       
Adam,

That is exactly what I was referring to. I sent my e-mails weeks ago and I am still waiting for a reply from Universal! With those two movies, I now have the most expensive SD-DVDs in my entire 550+ DVD collection!

[COLOR=DarkGreen]Universal I want my (paid for) HD DVDs![/COLOR]
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Old 05-10-07, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by neiname
Thanks, will probably order today... Could someone give me a quick rundown of the difference between the A2 and the A20? Display is currently a Samsung 46" DLP (HLP4663) and I will most likely also purchase a panny 50" plasma. Looking back at the specs my Samsung will support only support 1080i, should this lead me to the A2 or is the upconversion on the A20 that much better?

The only difference is that the A20 supports 1080P output and the A2 can do 1080i max. The upconversion should look the same if you do not have a 1080p capable display. Once the HD DVD Player price points level out, I suspect that Toshibla will drop the A2 from the line up altogether, as I believe that it only further confuses the consumer. IMO.
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