It appears Toshiba will no longer continue development of HD-DVD players. What does this mean to you?
- If you have already bought a Blu-Ray player, you made the right choice. It also means more Blu-Ray DVD's will become available (for example, ones that were previously only
available on the HD-DVD format).
- If you have not bought a high definition player yet, your choice is now made for you. You may, however, want to wait a while as prices will no doubt drop as more units are sold.
- If you have already bought a HD-DVD player...... sorry about that - it probably won't be much use in the near future,
however it appears Toshiba have stated they will support the format for a
further 5 years.
So what IS the difference?
Blue-Ray is supported by many more movie studios - which means of course your
choice of movies is greater. Only recently, a couple more studios who were going
to support HD-DVD, changed to Blu-Ray.
There are also differences in the options
for sound delivery between the two technologies, however that is not likely
to affect the average user.
Another bonus is that Blu-Ray discs store more information - around 50 gig, as
opposed to about 30 gig on HD-DVD. So when it comes to recording large amounts
of data, for example that which will be required for upcoming game releases, as well
as high definition movies, what would you rather have - 30 gig or 50 gig space
to work with?
unless you have a good quality TV and surround sound system, the advantages of
either high definition players will be minimal. To make full use of the
brilliant picture and sound quality, you need a high definition TV panel, and a
late model home theatre amplifier or receiver. It is also noteworthy that most
decent HT amps will do what is called "upscaling", which means you may feed in a
lesser quality signal, and the unit "upscales" it. For example, a standard
DVD player connected to Hi-Def TV through a home theatre amp capable of upscaling will give a better picture quality. However, it still won't be as good
as top quality equipment all the way through.
Don't discount cabling either. Good quality cable offers less resistance, and
better picture and sound quality. Imagine a
Bugatti Veyron Supercar.
running on cheap $50.00 Taiwanese tyres? You simply wouldn't do it. Decent
cabling may be a little expensive, but well worth the investment. Speaking of
cabling, it is almost imperative you use a good quality power board for your
expensive home theatre equipment. One that not only gives you extra "spike"
protection, but one that uses a filter to get rid of the "dirty" power we
usually have pumped into our homes. Often a good power board will come with it's
own insurance as well. For example, I use the ETN "pod" power boards which have
high quality filters, not only for power, but telephone, modem, TV signal and
Anyway, back to the players, on the manufacturers side, HD-DVD players are cheaper to make, and are backed by
a large corporation - Toshiba.
There is another big advantage, or perhaps bonus, to Blu-Ray: For around $600, you can purchase
the very cool looking Sony Playstation 3 which comes not only with a gaming
console, but it also has a good quality Blu-Ray DVD player built in. You have to
look hard to find a Blu-Ray player by itself for that price - let alone getting
a top notch gaming console as well!
If you want a Blu-Ray player for your computer, you can buy a Pioneer for only
$230.00, and a combination Blu-Ray/HD-DVD for only $440.00, or if you want to
use the huge storage capacity afforded by Blu-Ray discs, you buy a burner for
between $550.00 and $760.00, and 50 gig discs cost around $70.00 each. However,
if it's storage alone you are interested in, a 300 gig hard disk drive and a USB
enclosure will only cost you less than $200.00.
You can read more technical mumbo jumbo about the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, but my
opinion is go for Blu-Ray, and think about the Playstation alternative.
Please note: prices are not exact, but they are indicative as of February 2008.