DVDs have had a huge impact on the movie-watching experience. The consistent picture and sound quality have allowed many enthusiasts to enjoy more movies at home in the comfort of their own home theater, oftentimes on screens quite a bit bigger than what video tapes allowed.
The next generation is here, with two formats, HD-DVD and Blu-ray, vying to be the standard for high definition DVDs. I had the opportunity to see HD-DVD in action at my local Best Buy. The picture was 720p, which looked good, but not any better than standard HD. I actually prefer the look of 480p on my projection system as the picture has more of a film quality than the 720p HD-DVDs. It’s almost as if the picture is too sharp. According to the folks at Best Buy, the first Toshiba HD-DVD players claim to be 1080p, but are only capable of 720p. This is troubling, especially considering that “1080p” is printed on the box.
HD-DVDs have hit the market first, but Blu-ray offers more capacity, so it’s tough to say which format will win out, though I think Blu-ray will have the edge. Considering that HD-DVDs aren’t that much better than traditional DVDs shown in progressive scan, consumers would be wise to sit on the sidelines for a while and let the early adopters and the manufacturers sort things out.
DVD Price Search
This is a very useful site for finding deals on DVDs. If you enter your zip code, it will calculate postage and tax to find the best total price. It also pulls in promotions and specials from the different stores.
Wondering when that DVD is going to hit the shelves? This site will tell you.
All things Blu-ray, all the time.
Which disc will win out?
This is an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that discusses the format battle that’s brewing.
HD-DVD must die
This is an article from Slate that describes why Blu-ray disks are better.
Blu-ray vs HD DVD: State of the Division
This is yet another article (this one from Engadget) that describes the format war.
For more information on HDTV, check out our HDTV Guide.