October 25, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Can you believe DVDs have been around for more than 10 years? Wow, how time flies! I still remember my first two DVD movies--"Blade Runner" and "Top Gun." Since then I have accumulated a few hundred DVD titles, but my DVD buying habits have died down to a trickle--keeping the thought in the back of my mind that I will very likely be buying an HD DVD or Blu-ray player (or a hybrid player that plays both) sometime in the very near future. However, the good thing is DVDs will still play on high-def DVD players, so I won't be giving up my regular DVDs just yet--unlike when I switched completely from vinyl and tapes to CDs. I have accepted for a long time that living with technology means rapid changes and the fact that all technology has shorter life cycles--which brings me to the recent Screening Room discussion: "Can Blu-ray and HD DVD beat regular DVD?" And my personal answer to that question is, of course it will, but in time.
In my opinion, the day that Blu-ray and HD DVD beat out good old regular DVD is when the industry settles on a single high-def format. As I read over and over again, the Betamax-VHS battle left too many consumers with a bad taste in their mouths and people are not falling for it twice, saying that they will wait for the war to be over with. The bad news here is that I personally don't see an end to this battle any time soon--there's just too much money invested on both sides of the camp, so no white towels here. The other thing that most likely will make Blu-ray and HD DVD appeal to the general public and gain popularity over regular DVD is ultimately the cost factor. That means lowering the cost of everything--from the HDTV that can actually take full advantage of the high-def DVD resolution, to the players, to the media itself. Once the cost has been lowered, then it just may gain mass appeal. But until either one of these things happen, I would probably say that the mass market will stick will regular DVDs.
OK, I've rambled on enough, now it's your turn to tell us if you think Blu-ray and HD DVD can beat regular DVD. Why or why not? The podium is open to you to speak, so speak freely. We are all tuned in to what you have to say!
This week's hot topic:
Can Blu-ray and HD DVD beat regular DVD?
Both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats have superior picture quality over standard definition DVD. But neither format is exactly taking off. We asked our members in the latest Screening Room discussion if Blu-ray and HD DVD can beat out regular DVDs in popularity. Here are what some of our members had to say:
"DVD started out expensive"
"I bought my first DVD player (also from Toshiba) the day it was introduced, and paid $750 for it. That price is halfway between the initial cost of a Panasonic Blu-Ray player and the first Toshiba HD-DVD player. Now, DVD players that can do everything that first player I had--and more--can be had for much less than $100..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member cvmoreau"DVD library is new again!"
"I purchased a Toshiba A20. HD DVD disc video playback is excellent, as is audio playback. DVD disc video playback is spectacular as is DTS audio playback. The difference in video quality between HD and SD is apparent but not "oh wow." HD DVD images are more stable and do exhibit..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member pmh1939"Multiple formats don't matter as much these days..."
"Back in the days of the VHS vs. Beta vs. LaserDisk, the format wars really mattered. If you chose the wrong one and built your library on that format you could end up with a lot of useless material and a useless player. These days the vast majority of people don't actually build a library of material because you..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member Mike HarriganSpeak up!
Now it's your turn to step to the mic. Do you think high-def DVDs have a chance in gaining popularity over regular DVDs? Why or why not? Or do you think regular DVDs are just good enough? In your opinion, when do you see the general consumer buying into high-def DVDs? Is it when cost goes down? Or is it when the format wars are over? Or are there other factors? Tell us what's on your mind!
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