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HD-DVD DAY ONE BRINGS SERENITY NOW!! Herc's Super-Unimpressive Extra-Puny HDTV Cellar!!

I am – Hercules!!

Questions, we get HDTV questions.

I see little difference between a TV picture and an HDTV picture! Why would I replace my beautiful DVD collection with this bogus new HD-DVD format?
Why, indeed? If you really can’t see a significant difference between TV and HDTV, save your money, friend. In fact, the really good news for you and those like you is that HD-DVD is already driving the cost of old-school DVD way downward. Best movies ever, super-cheap on DVD. Want a new DVD copy of “2001: A Space Odyssey”? $8.99. “The Godfather”? $13.99. “Jaws” (Widescreen 25th Anniversary Edition)? $10.58. “The Wrath of Khan” (Director’s Edition)? $8.36. Pretty sweet for everyone, this HD-DVD era, if you were to ask me!

But do you, Mighty Hercules, see a significant difference between TV and HDTV?
Some will tell you HD is the most important development to hit TV since color. I’m with them. Going from the standard definition format (used for VHS, Laserdisc and DVD) to high definition is like getting your first prescription eyeglasses, or wiping a thick layer of dust from your window. VCRs and DVD players are modern miracles, no question. But once you spend a little time with an HD signal, you really get a sense of how much visual information is lost in the transition from 35mm to standard definition. HD lets you read EVERYTHING on Professor Charles Xavier’s classroom chalkboard, not just the stuff written in really big letters.

Can I play my old DVDs on the HD-DVD player?
I’m told yes, but keep in mind that Homeland Security does not force you to turn in your old DVD player when you buy an HD-DVD (or Blu-ray) player. My HDTV set has multiple inputs that allow me to pipe in DVD and HD signals simultaneously. Chances are, yours does too.

Won’t the HD-disc format, like the laserdisc format before it, almost certainly fail to catch on with the mainstream?
I give HD-DVD much better odds than laserdisc, which truthfully didn’t represent anywhere near as dramatic an upgrade in picture quality. Also? The calendar below demonstrates that new HD-DVDs are priced about the same as regular DVDs, offering a lot more visual bang for the buck. Good-size HDTV sets are down to $700. And the HD-DVD players rolling out into the marketplace this week and next cost only $500, which is about what the early DVD players cost. (I’m less certain about the prospects of the rival Blu-ray format rolling out this autumn. Blu-ray players are expected to sell for $1,000 per unit, and the Blu-ray discs, one hears, are expected to sell for more than their HD-DVD counterparts.)

But aren’t Blu-ray discs better for video games?
I don’t know from video games. But unless the Blu-ray videogame players play movies in HD, this strikes me as an unrelated issue.

Alright already! I must go now to buy a skinny HDTV to hook up my HD-DVD player so I can play these HD-DVDs I so covet. Do I go with plasma or LCD?
I’ve spent many an hour at Circuit City, squinting at monitors and pondering this very question. Here’s a helpful recent article that compares and contrasts the formats.

Should “Serenity” be my first HD-DVD purchase ever?
I’ve heard worse ideas! It’s got that script by Joss Whedon (he wrote the exciting cartoon about the talking toys you know!) and space battles by the Zoic special effects people. If, like me, you’ve seen the new “Battlestar Galactica” on the Universal HD Channel, you know how spectacular those Zoic space battles look in HD. Much better than the space battles in “Phantom of the Opera”!!

Speaking of which, here’s what else you have to choose from at this, the dawn of the HD-DVD era:

Herc’s Puny HD-DVD Calendar

April 18
Chronos $16.99

The Last Samurai $19.98

Million Dollar Baby $19.98

The Phantom of the Opera $19.98

Serenity $24.49 <--- NEW!!

April 25

Apollo 13 $24.49 <--- NEW!!

Doom $24.49 <--- NEW!!

May 9

Assault on Precinct 13 $23.99 <--- NEW!!

Cinderella Man $23.99 <--- NEW!!

Jarhead $23.99 <--- NEW!!

May 23

The Bourne Supremacy $23.99 <--- NEW!!

The Chronicles of Riddick $23.99 <--- NEW!!

Van Helsing $23.99 <--- NEW!!

U-571 $23.99 <--- NEW!!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 18, 2006, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Blu Ray and PS3

    by OhDaesu

    Might put Sony out of business, could it be the next Dreamcast? I think so, I think in the end Hd-DVD will win out.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:47 a.m. CST


    by dogsbottom

    I hope you are right, Sony keeps trying to force it&#39;s media formats upon us. Blu-Ray = Betamax.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Got mine...

    by CMBat

    Got my HD-A1 today from Best Buy. A few spec comments. I have a 73" Mitsubishi DLP that plays at 1080p levels. I have an XBox 360. I may yet get a Sony Playstation 3 as well just to see what all the fuss is about. Truthfully, I expect one of two things to happen. I expect HD-DVD to win this thing due to name familiarity, HD-DVD pricing (versus the more expensive BluRay movies), and the fact that Sony always ends up on the wrong side of a format war (God love em...they do make good equipment though). The second option is that someone like Pioneer will, in a year or so, have a terrific player that plays both BluRay AND HD-DVD and this will become less of an issue. Having said that, I realize that not everyone can just afford to run out and buy every $500 new machine that comes out. But consider this. For $499, I have a machine that plays HD-DVD AND upconverts regular DVDs, which, as the story noted, have been dropping in price. So I expect to continue to buy DVDs of things that I want but don&#39;t care about as much (TV sets, for example), but I will certainly be buying Blockbuster movies and my favorites in HD-DVD, all the while enjoying an improved picture on everything else. Final note. For those that say there is no difference between DVD and HD-DVD, I just don&#39;t quite know what to say. Certainly, there is no difference if you watch it on a non-HD set. Go run into Best Buy and find out which TV (usually a Samsung DLP) they have the 1080p hard drive print of Ice Age playing on and them come back and tell me that there is no difference. It&#39;s not just a difference, it is a TREMENDOUS difference. HD is here to stay, and one of these formats will be the new standard over DVD in two years. Period.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:55 a.m. CST

    I hope Blu-Ray wins

    by Rupee88

    Blu-Ray is a better format for computers...just much more storage space. As far as conventional DVD watching, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray will be identical. I think it&#39;d be a dumb move to buy either one before one format clearly gains the upper hand.

  • April 18, 2006, 2 a.m. CST

    Nope, sorry, as long as Metal Gear and...

    by Shermdawg

    hopefully the next Grand Theft Auto are PS3 exclusives, the system will be a success, no matter what the cost.

  • April 18, 2006, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Those prices are still fairly steep, but shit,

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    I&#39;m not getting a player for god-knows how long. As far as the PS3 goes, that&#39;s the only way Blu-Ray will have any success, even though it all really depends on the PS3&#39;s price. If that thing really is going to be $700, or the games are more than $60, I can see the PS3 going the way of the dinosaur.

  • April 18, 2006, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Plasma or LCD?...Neither!

    by Ktak

    Hey Herc. If you&#39;re fortunate enough to have a living space that you can darken completely, my personal advice to you would be to consider a front projection system instead. This is especially true if you enjoy seeing movies with friends and want to recreate a theatrical experience as closely as possible (minus the overpriced refreshments, cellphones, crying babies, talking assholes, sticky floors and people kicking your chair). I started out with a Mitsubishi 46" rear projection HDTV seven years ago and made the switch to front projection in 2003. Now there&#39;s no turning back. I can say without reservation that nothing makes a good HDTV signal (broadcast or recorded) more "worth it" than seeing it on a screen that dominates your field of view. The difference between standard def and hi def at that size is so obvious, it&#39;s not even worth debating. Here in Japan, plasma and LCD TVs have become pretty much the standard, with CRT TVs relegated to the discount corner of most electronics shops. Almost everyone I know either has or is planning to buy a flat panel HDTV in sizes ranging from 32 to 60". But when it comes time to decide where we&#39;re going to get together to watch a movie, guess whose house always gets picked? It&#39;s not just a matter of size either because we could get the same relative field of view from a friend&#39;s 50" flat panel display by sitting closer. As my friend Sachiko (who is totally NOT into this kind of A/V stuff otherwise)says whenever she comes over, "It feels like I&#39;m watching a movie instead of TV." What&#39;s even more amazing is that my HD projector and screen set-up cost me less than my friend&#39;s 50" plasma. There&#39;s also the convenience aspect. I can move my system to any room I want on a whim. It takes at least 2 or 3 people to safely move my buddy&#39;s plasma within the same room. Front projection isn&#39;t for everyone, but I&#39;ve never regretted making the jump. BTW, consumers in the U.S. have a good deal on those HD-DVD players. For some reason, they&#39;re more expensive in Japan for the time being, going for $800 on sale.

  • April 18, 2006, 3:33 a.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    In case you forgot, games have been priced way above $60 in the past, for the N64, and SNES. Of course that was mostly due to the format, but, the fact is, they sold. I remember having to save up for Street Fighter II: Turbo&#39;s $75 price tag when it came out, and it was well worth it. Gamers will pay, they may not like it, but they will pay.

  • April 18, 2006, 3:37 a.m. CST

    These 1st gen HD-DVD players only output 1080i

    by half vader

    Not progressive.

  • April 18, 2006, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Sherm, you from Canada?

    by Pdid

    Anyone else remember when games were over $60? Me neither. I bought Mario 64 for 50 bucks when I bought my N64. And if I recall correctly, SNES games never topped 40 bucks (i was pretty young and don&#39;t have a clear recollection). As far as videogames go, I love Nintendo but really wish Sega hadnt gotten out of the console business. Dreamcast blew away the Playstation on every level in my opinion.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Pdid, I remember N64 games costing over $60

    by vikingkitty

    When the first Star Wars game for the N64 was released, I was a junior or senior in college, and I paid $65 or $69 at a game shop (think it was EB, but don&#39;t remember exactly). Unless I&#39;m mistaken, Mortal Kombat:Triolgy was also over $60 when it was first released.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:06 a.m. CST

    I won&#39;t be getting HD-DVD any time soon...

    by vroom socko

    For the simple reason that I don&#39;t have an HDTV, cannot afford an HDTV, and so don&#39;t see any point. Seriously, how much disposable income do you have if you can afford $1000 for a goddamn tv set? Most people I know don&#39;t need and don&#39;t want a set that costs that much, not to mention has a screen 42 inches or more across. Tell me where I can get one that&#39;s 32" and under $200 and I&#39;ll think about it. And that&#39;s before I even consider picking up an HD-DVD player. I waited on DVD players to drop below $100, and I&#39;ll do the same here. Not to mention that, out of idle curiosity, I checked out most of the video stores in my area, and every single one said they&#39;re only going to sell HD-DVD&#39;s as special orders, and not keep any regular stock on hand. Remind me again how this is different from laserdisc?

  • April 18, 2006, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Anyone who buys one this week

    by ChorleyFM

    is either stupid, or has way too much money to spend. Wait a couple of years the prices will come down exponentially, there will be HD-RW and there might actually be one format. Also there is no chance in hell that the PS3 will flop, it will have as big a launch as the PS2 and will firmly establish itself as the market leader for games consoles, both in America but especially internationally.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:21 a.m. CST

    "buy a skinny HDTV"

    by newc0253

    and hook it up to a big-ass fug-ugly HD player. seriously, i ain&#39;t gonna wait for them to drop in price so much as drop in fucking size. my current DVD player is a slimline design classic. why should i go back to having a ginormous ugly box beneath my cool tv? p.s. the region 1 serenity DVD cover is stupid, stupid, stupid. the region 2 DVD cover is waay cooler.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:24 a.m. CST

    "if you can afford $1000 for a goddamn tv set"

    by newc0253

    you know you can rent them as well, right? i&#39;ve rented my tv for the past 7 years, going from latest model to latest model. cheaper than buying and you ain&#39;t saddled with last year&#39;s model. tell them newc sent ya and they&#39;ll give you a 5% discount.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Renting is only cheaper if

    by ChorleyFM

    you would ordinarily buy a new TV every couple of years. Most people don&#39;t, they keep theirs for years and it ends up much less expensive.

  • April 18, 2006, 6:43 a.m. CST

    You Aren&#39;t Wrong, vikingkitty

    by Incomplete Gamer

    The Nintendo 64 games were expensive, with third party titles going for $70 a piece. And that&#39;s $70 in 1996, which (thanks to inflation) is $85 now. That&#39;s too much for Mortal Kombat Trilogy ... especially since it lacked many of the features and characters the cheaper PlayStation version had. []

  • April 18, 2006, 6:47 a.m. CST

    I just tracked down my receipts. yes, I still got &#39;em.

    by Shermdawg

    I actually payed $65 for SFII:Turbo. The $75 game was Killer Instint Gold. Also, there were a bunch of other that were priced at $65-70, all third party. First party titles were never that high.

  • April 18, 2006, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Buying is only cheaper if

    by newc0253

    you like splashing out $1000 on something that will look painfully clunky in 2 years. For many years, advances in TV were relatively stable: a TV set you bought in the mid-80s would happily see you through to the mid-90s. Not any more. Now, a TV you bought 7 years ago would age badly, like a PC does. I certainly ain&#39;t gonna blow good money on the latest model TV when - for all i know - paper-thin wall-sized monitors are just around the corner.

  • April 18, 2006, 7:05 a.m. CST

    GTA would be PS3 exclusive for 6 months/to a year

    by RealDoubleJ

    Why would they suddenly decide to latch themselves to one console in the next-generation when they&#39;ve had so much success on the original xbox & are making the first original sports videogame in the last 10 years for the 360?? I had the ps2 GTA3 & Vice City, I bragged about the exclusivity to my xbox mates until i looked dumb. Don&#39;t make the same mistake!

  • April 18, 2006, 7:07 a.m. CST

    most expensive videogame? Street Fighter 3

    by RealDoubleJ

    When it came out in england they charged

  • April 18, 2006, 7:15 a.m. CST

    "TV" picture does NOT include EDTV

    by rogerconnery

    You use the term "TV" picture to include both standard tv (SDTV) signals broadcast in 480i and enhanced signals (DVD players) that display in 480p. To even imply that these two are similar in any way shape and form is ridiculous.

  • April 18, 2006, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Hey, don&#39;t knock early adopters!

    by Ktak

    Speaking as one myself, it always cracks me up when I read comments about how guys who buy into new consumer electronic technologies are misguided or stupid. Most often, these comments are made by people who pat themselves on the back because they waited until said technology was dirt cheap. Now thriftiness is an admirable quality, but the product didn&#39;t get dirt cheap BECAUSE you waited. It got cheaper because those who bought into the technology before you raised the economy of scale enough to justify it. Ask yourself this, "Without early adopters, would formats like CD and DVD have survived long enough for it to become commonplace and cheap?" I&#39;ve been a gadget freak long enough to have experienced the introduction of formats like beta, VHS, LD, CED disc, elcasette, digital cassette, DAT, CD, MD, DVD among others. What separates the winners from the losers in this group is the amount of support that each had from early adopters at inception. Consumer electronics companies (and retailers) can&#39;t afford to back a losing format for long. They rely on early adopters to not only gauge potential for public acceptance, but also for feedback on making products more acceptable to the "mass market." Early adopters want the same things from our gear that everyone else does, we just have the willingness (and yes, the disposable income) to try it first.

  • April 18, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST

    RealDoubleJ, do you mean Super Street Fighter II?

    by Shermdawg

    Street Fighter 3 wasn&#39;t released on the SNES. As a matter of fact, I don&#39;t think it appeared on consoles untill the Dreamcast version.

  • April 18, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Street Fighter 3

    by Shermdawg

    Yeah, I just checked, it didn&#39;t come out &#39;til like 1997, well after the death of the SNES.

  • April 18, 2006, 7:53 a.m. CST

    * "it didn&#39;t come out &#39;til like 1997" (in arcades)

    by Shermdawg

  • April 18, 2006, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Please buy lots of these

    by VibroCount

    Here&#39;s my attitude: I hope the BluRay/HD-DVD wars are settled fairly soon because everyone but me buys one but not the other. Then they release actual movies that I am willing to own (not one listed yet), and the prices start dropping. Second and third generation players and disks will be hundreds of time better and cheaper than first generation stuff. (Does anyone remember how bad the first generation of CDs and CD players sounded? Once the analog filters became better, the playback sounded infinitly better.) Then I can enjoy my 1300+ DVDs along with Citizen Kane, The Conversation, O Lucky Man!, and other films (which I enjoy watching) on my 55" HDTV. Thank you all for buying real soon! Please demand great films be released, too.

  • April 18, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST

    All you people buying Plasma or LCD...

    by Razorback

    CRT is the best quality. Plasma and LCD have horrid artifacts all over the screen that make me wonder why anyone would spend all that money for that crap. Sure, XBox 360 games look good on them, and so do HD signals, but on CRT they look near-perfect, and CRT HDTVs cost about a thousand dollars less (though, they are about 100lbs heavier).

  • April 18, 2006, 9:09 a.m. CST

    HD DVD really tightens up a movie&#39;s script too

    by HypeEndsHere

  • April 18, 2006, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Damn, Herc is a smarmy prick

    by I Dunno

    "you and people like you"? WTF? No, I don&#39;t think it&#39;s worth the cost of an SUV to replace all my hardware and my DVD collection for some supposed image quality and a technology that may or may not be around next year. And Sony is out of their mind if they think people are going to pay $600 for a game system.

  • April 18, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    I can&#39;t wait for the PS3 to come out

    by jim

    so I can then pick up a new PS2 for under $100. Of course I wouldn&#39;t have to buy a PS2 if Xbox would come out with their version of Guitar Hero.

  • April 18, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST

    VAN HELSING in HD! LOL, what&#39;s next?

    by Orbots Commander

    DUDE, WHERE&#39;S MY CAR in HD-DVD? I can hear the sales pitch already: "Experience suckiness like never before with LAST SAMURAI, VAN HELSING, and CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, in HD!!" Oh, and the HD-DVD player looks like something from 1981. And posters above are correct: who has the money to shell out for a good HDTV anyway? Forget the junk that sells for $700. The sets with good images and which won&#39;t stop working after a year are in the $1500-$3000 range. Who has that kind of scratch? In order to count the wrinkles on movie star&#39;s faces? Excuse me if I&#39;m not frothing at the mouth for this stuff.

  • April 18, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Street fighter III = Street fighter Alpha

    by Krigan

    The expensive Street fighter game on snes was Alpha. I bet that is what you are thinking of, it came out after the playstation and saturn was released. I remember seeing it at target for $60 or $70. I think they added some special chips to the cartridge to upgrade the power of the SNES so it could look respectable. they also did this with the two FX games starfox and a 3d racing title. Very expensive to add hardware to every piece of software you produce & the profits were low on these kinds of games even with the higher price tag, that is why they only made a couple. Sega did the same thing on genesis for virtua racing & that game was $70+

  • April 18, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by stlfilmwire

    Why is AICN taking sides?

  • April 18, 2006, 11:16 a.m. CST

    My opinion

    by moviemaniac-7

    People like me built a respectable VHS collection. What happens? DVD enters and, I must say, it&#39;s worth it. Almost replaced my entire VHS collection with DVD. Aspect ration, visuals, sound, extras... All better. Now that my DVD collection is even more respectable than my VHS collection ever was, they throw in another format. As long as I can play my DVDs on those new players I am not going to replace one disc with the new format. Hell, I am not even going to buy a new player. As soon as people bought enough players and discs, the big tech companies come up with another format, slightly better and more expensive, to get your (our) money. Movie studios can&#39;t get enough of it and release movies on the new format and can stop making new movies altogether. I say Fuck You. Only when there is a new revolutionary system that brings the movie-watching experience to a whole different level, I might adjust. I might. But till that day someone still has to convince me that this High Def stuff (some technical specs that aren&#39;t going to matter too much for the average man) will make my DVD collection obsolete.

  • April 18, 2006, 11:17 a.m. CST


    by McLuvin

    he&#39;s right...these first generation toshiba hd dvd players only put out an INTERLACED hd picture which is only 1080i. Everyone please understand that you can get the same picture quality with a cheap upconvert dvd player and HDMI cable.

  • April 18, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Anyone buying Van Helsing in HD needs fucking shot.

    by Grando

  • April 18, 2006, noon CST

    Blu-Ray movies actually cost THE SAME.

    by MrFloppy

    Just check some stores.

  • April 18, 2006, 12:05 p.m. CST

    I remember paying 90 bucks for Donkey Kong Country 2

    by Chicken2nite

    canadian dollars that is, paid for with paper delivery dough. Super Mario Bros 3 cost me 70 bucks if I recall correctly, and was well worth it. That was a lot of papers...

  • April 18, 2006, 12:06 p.m. CST

    shit in HD, great.

    by quadrupletree

    You can polish these turds all you want, it&#39;s still Serenity, Van Helsing, and Doom in HD. Coming next week in HD Howard the Duck, Ishtar and Hudson Hawk.

  • April 18, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    dude, 1080i is still 1080

    by Chicken2nite

    saying that a 480p dvd upconverted to hd would look the same is nuts. that&#39;s like playing a video game on a high res screen in low res and saying that&#39;s the same as playing it on a higher res. having recently adjusted the settings for world of warcraft, I can tell you that is so not true

  • April 18, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST

    just wait for apple to come out with a set top box...

    by Chicken2nite

    only problem with that, other than the fact they already have one with the mac mini, is that they&#39;re a blu-ray supporter, and since the ps3 will run linux (making it a nice media center device, minus the dvr functionality) it would trump anything that apple could do with a comparable budget, at least until they can fit a 400-500 gb hard drive in there and maybe another speed bump in the wifi to allow for hd downloadable content, as opposed to the 320x240 mov files they&#39;re sharing now (which don&#39;t look too bad on a mac, but shitty on a 2 year old peecee). Once that happens, they might be able to carve themselves out a niche, especially if they merged their efforts with Nintendo and offered downloadable games ala the revolution, but that won&#39;t happen for another 4-5 years and definitely won&#39;t affect people buying hd-dvds. I&#39;ve said my peace. flame on

  • April 18, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST

    blue-ray migth take over

    by joevfx

    first hd-dvd is not th ehighest possible picture quality you can get. its 1080i while blu-ray is 1080p. with that said there are only like 3 hdtvs that play back true 1080p. (you sony or samsung dlp Tv is up converting to 1080p but doesnt take a 1080p signal, there is an HP rear project TV that does though) Second blu-ray has alot more backing from major hardware companies then hd-dvd does. Third it has like 3 times more capacity then and hd-dvd does. all 108 episodes of sienfield on one disc anyone? hd-dvd is sweet but the onyl thign that is has goin for it over blu-ray is that it came out first. and dont tell me that its harder to make casue all burning companies will have to make blue-ray burning machines. They are goin to soon anyoen if they want a peice of the PS3 market, since all there games will be on blu-ray discs. If you dotn want to lose, buy an hd-dvd player ($500 or $799) and get a ps3 for blu-ray (prolly $599)

  • April 18, 2006, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Dvd Only Took Off When It Became Affordable To Poor

    by flamingrunt

    people. When the players were 50 quid and the dvd discs

  • April 18, 2006, 1:24 p.m. CST

    The PS3

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    will be cool and have amazing graphics and all that, but the true innovation to the gaming experience will be the Nintendo Revolution. Despite its lack of HD support there is nothing the Revolution&#39;s controller won&#39;t be able to do. Think about it people. Rack your brains for any outlandish way of controlling a game that you can think of and the Rev will be able to do it. Real gamers know that the shaprest image on the screen does not the greatest game make, so despite the its lack of HD support it will still be the most "Revolutionary" and fun system to play. As far as HD-DVD v. Blu-Ray: I say HD-DVD will win. Is Blu-Ray better? Yeah, but only because of its higher storage capacity, which your average DVD consumer won&#39;t even know or care about. If Sony had stayed on schedule with its PS3 release this Spring Blu-Ray would have had a clear advantage but as it stands HD-DVD has the edge.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Don&#39;t buy ANY of this CRAP!

    by Strabo

    Head over to Wikipedia and make sure you know what HDCP is first. The HD "revolution" is really more like prostitution because you&#39;ll be opening your wallet to the content industry in perpetuity if you join it. Do you already have an HDTV? Chances are that it&#39;s not HDCP compliant. For now, that&#39;s not going to hurt you because all the major studios (with the exception of Warner) have decided not to implement the Image Constraint Token (ICT) for the time being. What&#39;s the ICT you ask? Well, the ICT is a nice little piece of the HDCP specification. If any device in the chain from your HD/BD Player all the way to your TV ISN&#39;T HDCP compliant, the content owner has the ability to downgrade the signal coming out of the HD/BD Player to 480P! They&#39;re not using it for now while the market is still nascent, but believe me, once people have switched over to a high-def setup, they&#39;re definitely going to start using it. Like to watch movies on your PC? They&#39;re likely NEVER going to license HDCP to PCs because there&#39;s too much of a chance that you might copy the data stream somehow. Do you, like me, have a nice widescreen LCD (I have Dell&#39;s 2405FPW)? Guess what, that screen is the perfect resolution for displaying 1080P content, but you&#39;ll never be able to because the device isn&#39;t HDCP compliant. Gah. If you buy HD/BD, you&#39;re basically giving the movie studios the ability to obsolesce your equipment AT WILL.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I go where the Metal Gear goes..

    by Neo Zeed

    Yup. Kojima rules.

  • April 18, 2006, 1:59 p.m. CST

    i forgot

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    to mention that the Rev&#39;s price tag will be around $200 compared to the X360&#39;s $300-$400 and the PS3&#39;s $600-$700

  • April 18, 2006, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Holy crap!

    by quadrupletree

    After reading Wikipedia&#39;s article on the Revolution I have to agree. For $200 bucks? I&#39;m getting one! Can you picture a lightsaber game from Lucas Arts on that thing? Bad ass!!

  • April 18, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    1080i vs 1080p is irrelevant for film..

    by ulcer

    Films are made at 24 frame per second. For 1080i, images are split into fields and the result is the same as it would apear on a 1080p set, because the frame rate is 50 or 60 fps, which is much higher than the 24 fps frame rate of the source material. Now, the result is not &#39;exactly&#39; the same because there are moments when you could be seeing a blend of two full frames, but those images last 1/50 of a second! Neither your hardware or your eyes will see the difference

  • April 18, 2006, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Just say HELL NO.

    by Harry Weinstein

    I&#39;m not shelling out dime one on HD-anything until one format is dead... and the other one has had all its restrictions defeated by hackers. The player and the discs I own are just that - things I OWN. The studio doesn&#39;t get to tell me that I need to get a new TV even though my current one has HD inputs. If there is any way for the studio to cripple my player so that I can&#39;t watch a HD disc in HD if I choose to use a component video connection - NO FUCKING SALE. Yeah, the first discs aren&#39;t using that "feature" - but WB already plans to use it, openly and without shame. If you think that any major studios will abstain from using it, especially the ones who also sell TVs, you&#39;re nuts. Just like region codes on DVDs, I&#39;ll never buy a player that enforces it, end of discussion. The TV is mine, the player is mine, the disc is mine. How does fucking with me stop piracy? I bought the damn movie! If I pirated it in HD from the internet, at least I wouldn&#39;t be getting my resolution cockblocked. Or my regions coded. The last thing the MPAA companies need to do is give people more reasons to download - but regardless, that seems to be the gameplan.

  • April 18, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Plasma TV next year

    by Jack Burton

    I&#39;m planning on using my tax return for it, or at least for most of it. Then I&#39;ll get a Blu-Ray or HD player (which ever one shakes out) a couple years down the road. I have 200+ DVDs, I&#39;m really not abandoning the format anytime soon. After 10 years with a Sony 27" CRT an HD TV will make me happy all alone.

  • April 18, 2006, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Metal GEAR

    by RezE11even

    They could make the next game only playable on a screen made from recycled dog shit sold for 1,000 dollars, and I&#39;d still buy it. And lick the screen.

  • April 18, 2006, 6:32 p.m. CST

    The HDCP truly does sucketh...

    by Johnno

    Like honestly... they may be concerned about their interests, but that kinda screws up he people ligitamately buying the DVD... In any case, Blu-Ray wil lstill be a hit for gameing. The additional space and ability to stream content will really come in handy... and least we not forget that Metal Gear will single handedly win the console war for Sony... as will many of their exclusive titles that have proven their worth before... However Revolution is still looking cool and I will get one along with PS3. And if Kojima lets me control that little bot with a PSP I&#39;ll fucking pick that up too! Well, I was planning to get it sometime anyway... after a price drop... and I&#39;m wondering if I should pick up Advent Children on DVD next week or wait to check that out on Blu-Ray...

  • April 18, 2006, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Oh and I&#39;m betting PS3 will be $499.99 US

    by Johnno

    Even if it did cost more, it&#39;s still a pretty sweet deal...

  • April 18, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by moogu2

    That article had a nice smearing of bias. Blu-ray players are coming out a little sooner than autumn. In fact the Samsung BR player is coming out on June 25. The movies will cost exactely the same as their HD-DVD counterparts, and there will be a much larger selection thanks to more studios supporting bluray. The disks should have better picture quality thanks to 1080p support and larger capacity disks. Also even though it is true there won&#39;t be a sub 1000 dollar player for a few months after launch, the PS3 comes out in November. All you guys claiming $600-700 dollar price tags are pulling numbers out of your ass. There is no confirmed price, and there won&#39;t be until hopefully around E3. And herc, come on man, you know the PS3 plays bluray movies. This little diddy > "I don

  • April 18, 2006, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Embarassing Flashback

    by proper

    When the N64 came out first day I bought all the games etc,I paid

  • April 18, 2006, 8:12 p.m. CST

    The Toshibas won&#39;t play DVD+R

    by geekzapoppin

    Plus they take up to 40 seconds to begin playing a movie. Joe Six Pack won&#39;t be able to tell the difference between DVD and either of the HD disc formats. Let&#39;s face it, regular DVD looks damned good on an HDTV. I smell niche product.

  • April 18, 2006, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Blu-ray and DVDs ... PS3 will play movies

    by 2

    That comment about whether the Playstation 3 (which will have a Blu-ray drive) will play movies is dumb. Of course it will. Just like your PS2 will play standard DVD movies. Sony wants the PS3 to be both a game and movie media station, and it will be advertised as such. Microsoft has gone HD-DVD, as an ADD-ON (in order to release the 360 early and cheaper), but it will max out at 1080i, while Blu-ray will support 1080p movies, the likely highest-end in HDTV we will see for a good while. So if you want the top of the line, wait 3-6 months for Blu-ray. (And it&#39;s altogether possible this HD-DVD/Blu-ray split will go just like VHS/Beta, where the "inferior" one wins. Or it could go Laserdisc 2.0, i.e. nowhere at all.) I&#39;d say downloadable/Apple options are the best source for that happening, and heck, that might be just fine with me...

  • April 18, 2006, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Big Jim, you&#39;re my hero

    by chrth

    First a Popular reference last week, and now you&#39;ve summed up my exact feelings about the PS2: I WANT MY GUITAR HERO! ... but I only have XBox ><

  • April 18, 2006, 9:19 p.m. CST

    PS3 question

    by Hercules

    If the PS3 WILL play movies in HD, AND play video games, why would anyone spend $1,000 on that Blu-ray player pictured in the post? (Assuming the PS3 will cost less than $1,000.) Why wouldn&#39;t they just buy the PS3 and use that as their HD movie player? **** I stand corrected on the Blu-ray player date. Samsung&#39;s is coming out next month, according to this:

  • April 18, 2006, 10:02 p.m. CST

    "if you can afford $1000 for a goddamn tv set"

    by Voice O. Reason

    No interest financing for 24 months comes out to about $45 a month, assuming an 8% sales tax.

  • April 19, 2006, 12:06 a.m. CST


    by Johnno

    That&#39;s precisely the point... PS3 is the trojan horse that&#39;ll move Blu-Ray and make it the winner of the format war. Once people own PS3 just for gaming, there&#39;s no reason why those with HDTVs won&#39;t bother checking out Blu-Ray titles... Heck, it seems PS3 can output on two HDTVs at once! I&#39;d expect Blu-Ray players to drop in price sometime after the PS3 launch so people will go, hmmm... buy PS3, get a console and Blu-Ray movie player for cheap! Though I&#39;d bet the stand alone Blu-Ray players are probably better for movie playback in some areas... Anyway that&#39;s what I think...

  • April 19, 2006, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Plus we ought to consider teh future bringin 3D-TV

    by Johnno

    People seem to be raving about the glasses-less 3D TVs that are apparently going about... Apparently Phillips plans to roll these out come 2008. Sony is also involved with the technology I hear. Don&#39;t know for sure, but apparently HDTV is a downgrade of what was originally 3D-TV tech. And 3D-TV requires Hi-def 1080p to work I hear... maybe someone who know more about these can elaborate or correct me...

  • April 19, 2006, 1:32 a.m. CST

    HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray = Betamax vs. VHS

    by Col. Klink

    I bought Betamax. This time I&#39;m sitting it out until the fight is over

  • April 19, 2006, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Why a $1000 Blu-ray player?

    by Ktak

    Although the relative difference in picture quality between a PS3 and set-top Blu-ray player will probably be less obvious than a PS2/standard DVD player, there will likely be enough differences to justify buying one over the other. For ease of use, set-top units have always had an edge over DVD-capable game boxes. Set-up and customization options will probably also be more extensive on the dedicated units. This is a big deal for high-end customers (arguably the initial target audience for the $1K+ models) who have a lot invested in home automation and custom home theaters. But even if PS3 and set-top players were absolutely identical in video performance, there&#39;s one area where the first wave of standalone players will almost certainly have an edge over game units, and that&#39;s audio capability. Unlike the highly compressed Dolby Digital and DTS tracks on current DVDs, the new HD disc formats will be able to provide ultra-high quality audio via Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital TrueHD (lossless) and DTS-HD codecs. Although extensions of the existing Dolby Digital and DTS formats, they can&#39;t be decoded by most of the receivers or surround processors currently in people&#39;s homes (These new formats can support up to 8 discrete channels of audio). Some upper-line programmable processors may be upgradable via software updates, but they represent a negligible portion of the market. As a result, the only way to enjoy the full audio potential of the new HD discs is to run multi-channel analog outputs from the player to your receiver/processor/amp, many of which already have 5, 6, or 7.1 analog inputs. This is where the (hopefully) higher quality of the standalone players&#39; analog output stage comes in. It&#39;s not even a certainty yet whether the PS3 or Xbox 360 will be able to support analog output of the higher quality audio formats. But DON&#39;T PANIC! While this sounds like it will suck for the rest of us, it doesn&#39;t. Embedded in the new higher quality tracks will be 5.1/6.1 tracks that will be backward compatible with regular Dolby Digital & DTS equipped amps and receivers. Although they won&#39;t sound as good as the TrueHD and DTS-HD tracks, they&#39;ll likely sound better than standard DVD soundtracks due to higher bit-rates. This way, each of us can all upgrade to the higher standard when we&#39;re ready, or as our old audio gear wears out. For people who already have high-end audio systems (which were always capable of more performance than DVD could deliver), this advantage alone should be worth spending the extra bucks over a PS3.

  • April 19, 2006, 2:36 a.m. CST

    My Mum & Dad haven&#39;t got a DVD Player

    by Rex Manning

    ..maybe HD will be their thing.

  • April 19, 2006, 2:49 a.m. CST

    I&#39;ll get interested

    by Lezbo Milk

    when one of these formats comes out on top. Personally, I think the Blu-Ray would be the better format, but you know what? I think that HD-DVD will be victorious based on it&#39;s name alone. The sheep can identify with HD-DVD, Blu just confuses the shit out of them.

  • April 19, 2006, 3:06 a.m. CST

    My Mum & Dad haven&#39;t got a tv

    by newc0253

    they still listen to the wireless, and i ain&#39;t talking about bluetooth.

  • April 19, 2006, 6:46 a.m. CST

    So far it looks like only crap is available on HD-DVD

    by Trazadone

    God, what a bunch of weak movies for a debut.

  • April 19, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST


    by Koyaanisqatsi

    Trazadone means only crap plus a superawesome sci-fi action flick

  • April 19, 2006, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Blu ray will find support on the pc market to be sure

    by Chicken2nite

    although the cost to the end user may end up being similar, blu ray causes the companies to change over their infrastructure for producing the discs. Still, 50 gigs per disc is enticing for backing crap up and I could see that taking off. As for the ps3 price, just keep this quote from Ken Kutaragi in mind: "[PS3] is not a game machine. We&#39;ve never once called it a game machine. I&#39;m not going to reveal [the PS3&#39;s] price today. I&#39;m going to only say that it&#39;ll be expensive. I&#39;m aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can&#39;t be offered at a price that&#39;s targeted towards households." source: #6 out of 10 on the list. so just who is supposed to be paying that much for the same overall experience of the current gen systems? I do think that the 10 year life cycle planned for the ps3 may be on target, as price drops and the infiltration of hd sets help to slowly grow a customer base for the system. don&#39;t expect a clear winner though in the console wars, and keep in mind that the xbox 360 apparently will have an add-on to enable it as an HD-DVD player, so that could cut into sony as well.

  • April 19, 2006, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Titles likely to launch with Blu-Ray...

    by Johnno

    You obviously know that Sony will be pimping out the Spidey flics... also I believe I saw a Matrix Blu-Ray disc... I&#39;m hoping they re-release the Matrix boxset on BLu-Ray and that&#39;ll be the first thing I&#39;ll pick up... haven&#39;t got the box set yet and already own those DVDs.... WOnder if New Line will release the LOTR extended editions on Blu-Ray... there&#39;s certainly enough space... thoguh I already own those three extendeds and the DVDs play quite nicely already through DVD on my 32" Acer. Frankly, I&#39;m hoping Anime companies will take to Sony&#39;s Blu-Ray and start releasing more episodes per disc on series. And I&#39;m all for getting Akira or the dub of GITS Innocence or Advent Children or the Evangelion renewal on Blu-Ray... but I&#39;m not gonna redo my entire collection... however once I get PS3, I will be switching to blu-ray over DVD except where unavailable. And if the HDCP thing really does kick in and fuck things up then I&#39;ll see what to do next...

  • April 19, 2006, 11:02 a.m. CST

    But aren

    by MinasTirithII

    No, there is nothing at all that makes a BRD better for playing video games. It will not make the game or graphics or sound any better than what you could get off a CD, DVD, or HDDVD(no such thing for games, yet) Game. In fact, if the PS3 can&#39;t sping the BRD fast enough, then expect infuriating long load times on the PS3, really long.

  • April 19, 2006, 11:36 a.m. CST

    But aren

    by Johnno

    Not that I&#39;m a tech expert here, but at GDC they demoed a real time Getaway London scene and explained that Blu-Ray would not only benecessary space wise but also be necessary for doing stuff that requires utilizing real time information over the net to simulate real weather conditions etc. along witht he reality Synthesizer or what not... not sure. And I suspect Sony know it can&#39;t get away with long load times this gen. From what I know, a 2x (or 4x?) BD-Rom player can equal that of the fast DVD player of Xbox 360... and apparently even if the BD rom player is slow, the Cell can make that a non-issue by handling some of that info, thoguh it might initially require some time at start-up only. Either way I&#39;m sure Sony will handle that...

  • April 19, 2006, 1:53 p.m. CST

    You are right, Col. Klink

    by moviemaniac-7

    Same shit all over again...

  • April 19, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    This is why PHANTOM was one of the first HD-DVDS

    by Kraken

  • April 19, 2006, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Dammit, Kraken, you beat me to it

    by chrth

  • April 19, 2006, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Why you dissin&#39; laserdisc?

    by Mgmax

    Laserdisc didn&#39;t represent as big a quality jump? That&#39;s a profoundly ungrateful statement. First of all, from pan and scan to letterboxed is a giant quality jump in itself. So was the careful attention to color and so on-- it&#39;s not just a matter of resolution but the fact that somebody gave enough of a shit to make the movie look good like it did in a movie theater, not like muddy gray VHS. Laserdisc created the whole category of videophiles, even though it only reached a tiny portion of the US market. Your DVDs look so good because laser fanatics taught the studios there was a market for good looking video, surround sound, director&#39;s cuts, commentaries, and all that other good stuff. So hail to thee, fallen laserdisc! You shall not be forgotten!

  • April 19, 2006, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Dammit, Kraken, you beat me to it part II

    by Tall_Boy

    To be fair, I was going to title it, "How to justify your HD purchase to the woman"

  • April 20, 2006, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Bravo, Mgmax!

    by Ktak

    It&#39;s nice to see someone with first-hand experience and the historical perspective to properly appreciate the debt owed by all DVD fans to laserdisc and its supporters. Except for the obvious difference in physical size, virtually everything that made DVD a success existed on LDs first. In addition to the features listed by Mgmax, there were also secondary language tracks, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, subtitling, chapter search, chapter repeat, supplemental materials, original aspect ratio, cast commentaries, deleted scenes, even anamorphic presentation (on some Japanese LDs). All these features were being enjoyed by LD fans years before most people knew that DVD was even coming. But these extras didn&#39;t appear from the start or all at once. Improvements to LD happened incrementally because its supporters (who by their very nature as early adopters and video geeks) insisted on pushing the format to its limits as technology progressed and let studios know that there was a demand for it. Without laserdisc, DVDs may very well have ended up the same way LD began. Just basic movies (albeit with better picture quality) in pan and scan with no extras. The convenience of a small CD-sized, disc-based video format probably would have sold most consumers on the product, because they wouldn&#39;t have known what they were missing anyway. Studios had to include all the extras because they were relying on LD supporters (early adopters, remember?) to accept and support the format in its infancy. This meant DVD had to offer at least as much (if not more) in the way of features as LD. As far as picture quality is concerned, saying that LD didn&#39;t represent as big a quality jump over VHS is not only ungrateful, but inaccurate. When the rest of the world was enjoying crappy pan and scan versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS at 240 lines of resolution, I was watching my Special Edition SW box set at 425 lines on a data grade display. I can tell you as someone who still has a top-line LD player (Pioneer LD-S9), that properly mastered LDs hold up perfectly well on my 90" front projection rig. This is something that VHS could NEVER do, even at its best. In fact, if you talk to any group of LD fanatics you&#39;ll find that most of them, myself included, were initially dissapoited that DVD would only be a small (480 vs. 425 lines) improvement over LD. The main attraction for me was not resolution but the anamorphic transfers and component video outputs which provides more accurate color information. A lot of my fellow LD supporters like to joke that the transition to HD disc isn&#39;t coming too soon, but too late. We would have much preferred going directly from LD to one of the greatly superior HD disc formats than to the only "slightly better" DVD. Sorry if this makes me sound like a video snob, but as one of the battle-scarred veterans of this war of the formats I wanted to set a few things straight.

  • April 20, 2006, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Both formats may "win"

    by Rupee88

    It may not be as simple as the Beta Vs VHS battle.