After Hours

Blu-ray to win the HD format war?

It looks like the battle between HD formats could come to an end much sooner than anyone had expected.  Widespread speculation suggests Toshiba could pull the HD DVD format in the coming weeks due to a number of high profile blows.  Back in January Warner Home Video announced it was pulling support for the format in favour of Blu-ray.  A week after that the market research company ‘NPD Group' showed Blu-ray accounting for 93% of hi-def hardware sales.  Warner is not the first studio to drop its support for HD DVD-Paramount announced its decision to drop dual format support in favour of Blu-ray last autumn.Toshibas reaction? A price slash of up to 50% on HD DVD players!  Despite this Blu-ray has continued to outperform HD DVD in all areas.  Toshiba are rumoured to have spent £2.7 million on a 30 second superbowl commercial in a last ditch attempt to raise support but that seems to have had little effect.

Officially Toshiba are having none of it-their VP of marketing Jodi Sally has reiterated that the company firmly believes HD DVD "is the best format for consumers".  Home Media Magazine cite a source ‘close to the HD DVD camp' as saying "An announcement is coming soon... it would be a matter of weeks."  I'm always suspicious of un-named informants and have to wonder whether this person is genuinely an insider or possibly an 'inside man' working to further undermine consumer confidence and damage the chances of HD DVD?

Have you invested in any particular HD format yet?  I've held off so far.  I do own a lovely HDTV and an Xbox 360 but have no desire to buy either HD DVD or Blu-ray players at this point (have you seen the price of movies!).  As it is I can already watch HD movies via the Xbox Live marketplace and HD satellite so don't feel like investing in either of the HD disc formats just now; who knows, they could both be replaced in a few years time. 

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