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HD DVD Officially Dead: Long Live Blu-ray

This article was written by in Consumer. 8 comments.

When VHS finally emerged as the market leader over Sony’s Beta format, we gave our immediately-obsolete player to my grandmother.

I’ve been following the high definition format wars with moderate interest, since I was a “late early adopter.” Last fall, I picked up an HD DVD player and during the holidays I received a Blu-ray player. In my opinion, HD DVD was the better deal — more interesting technology, players that were ready to enter the market, and better price points on the hardware. Blu-ray had the benefit of larger capacity and the bandwidth to allow higher quality encoding. Blu-ray also uses region encoding, like standard DVDs. Blu-ray discs purchased in one country will therefore not work in all countries. HD DVDs were “region-free.”

I thought that HD DVD would be the format that caught on, but I underestimated Sony’s ability to get the studios on their side. In the last few months, movie studios and distributors, one after another, announced they would be publishing future releases exclusively on Blu-ray, most likely due to the region restriction (and probably some financial incentive).

Toshiba, the major company behind HD DVD, has finally surrendered. The company announced they are discontinuing their entire HD DVD business. Thankfully, I haven’t invested too much in this technology, but with few movies being released on HD DVD in the future, I won’t need a device used for less than 10 movies (5 of which were free) taking up space in my entertainment center.

Toshiba announces discontinuation of HD DVD business [hddvd.org]

Published or updated February 19, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar The CardMaster

Woohoo – now I can finally rationalize that PS3 I bought :)

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avatar Austin

The HD-DVD player can still be used as a nice up-converter for your current standard DVDs. Or there’s always the doorstop option.

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avatar Marlene

I’ve read that the Playstation 3 can play Blue Ray movies, but can it also play regular DVD’s. Do you need any other special equipment for the Playstation 3 to do this?

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avatar Flaime

Of course the studios wanted Blu-Ray. They want to force everyone to buy movies on their schedule. This is a Toshiba failure…they should have pushed the idea to consumers that HD-DVD was region free. That would have won the war. They didn’t, so they lost.

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avatar The CardMaster

Hi Marlene – yes, it can play DVD’s as well.


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avatar henry

This is a hollow victory for Blu_Ray and the studios. Video downloads straight from the web will kill it off.

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avatar Marlene

So its better to get a Playstation 3 because not only can you watch movies but also play games. Also I can play regular dvd’s and Blue-Ray.

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avatar Adfecto

I am really glad this has been resolved, but my wallet probably isn’t. I now have a huge excuse to buy a PS3. I. Must. Resist. Temptation. :-)

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