In the last episode of “DVD format wars,” we talked about how Blu-ray was gaining popularity with some of the major movie studios. No one could have predicted how things would snowball from there. Since January, HD DVD has been abruptly dropped from major retail outlets such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart as well as online rental giant Netflix. After fighting for its life in the last eight weeks, the sudden death of HD DVD is now being trumpeted across the industry, if you listen very closely you can hear tiny voices in a chorus of “ding dong the witch is dead.” You can expect HD DVD products to disappear from store shelves by the end of the summer. So what does this mean for you, my dear reader?
If you've already invested in HD DVD discs and equipment, don't panic just yet. While Toshiba has announced they will stop producing hardware, they will continue to support their existing products into the foreseeable future. With over 350 titles already available on HD DVD, there's no shortage of content to enjoy. Plus you will have a collector’s item that will be sure to fetch a premium on eBay in 2025. Although it is not likely that the major Hollywood studios backing HD DVD, including Universal, Paramount, and DreamWorks will be releasing more titles for now, there is little to do but wait and see what happens with future releases.
If you have been waiting to see which format would emerge as the winner, congratulations. You can stop holding your breath and pick up a Blu-ray player on your way home. You may already know that Sony's popular Playstation 3 game console was designed as a Blu-ray platform, which also includes movie playback. Over 450 Blu-ray titles are currently available, with more titles planned for release by the remaining movie studios.
On the recordable side of things, Blu-ray drives continue to drop in price. They are now several hundred dollars cheaper than they were a year ago. Besides getting one for your computer, Blu-ray drives are now available in stand-alone duplication towers including the Accutower Blu. Sporting a massive 500GB removable hard drive, Accutower Blu is the latest and greatest solution for making volume copies of your high-definition media. Other manufacturers such as Primera have followed suit with a new line of disc publishers such as the Bravo SE Blu and Bravo 4102 Blu. This equipment is perfect for automated disc duplication and printing, so
now you can get going on that conversion of all your hi-def home
movies to Blu-ray.
At last there's no longer any question about which direction the industry is headed. HD DVD has gone the way of Beta, Laserdisc, and MiniDisc. Sony finally won a format battle and the future is looking very Blu indeed.