blu-ray & hd dvd
This will not be a surprise for anyone, but at least it’s official now. On July 22nd the first batch of blu-ray movies from Universal will appear in the stores (at least in the US). During 2008 Universal will launch at least 50 titles including the high definition box sets of Heroes (both Seasons One and Two). Full press release after the jump.
This is no surprise for anyone but it is still interesting to see that ‘HD DVD only titles‘ like Batman Begins and Transformers (well, we have to wait a couple of more weeks Transformers) have got a new launch date, a blu-ray launch date. The movie will be out on blu-ray in the US on July 8 (just in time to for the theatrical release of the sequel, The Dark Knight) and it will come in both a a single-disc $28.99 version and a limited-edition gift set at $49.99.
Warner Planning Batman Home Video Promotion… [homemediamagazine.com]
Today I went by my local hardware store and picked up a cheap blu-ray reader (Pioneer BDC-202BK) since my HD DVD reader ain’t that hot anymore. It was amazingly easy to get going and I played my first blu-ray movie within 30 minutes from coming home with the blu-ray unit.
It looks like HD DVD players don’t fly off the shelves anymore and some stores have renamed HD DVD players into DVD HDMI upscalers with HD DVD capabilities – so you can basically buy a HD DVD player without knowing it (well, not you maybe but your mom or neighbour.). Nice trick, wonder if that will happen here in Sweden too?
January 4, 2008 was a day that Toshiba will remember for a long time. It was the day when Warner Bros announced that they will go exclusive with blu-ray – and it was totally unexpected.
Since then things has moved in a rapid pace and HD DVD received punch after punch right in the gut. First there was an announcement from Best Buy, and then came Netflix along with Wal Mart. Today the public broadcaster NHK in Japan reported that Toshiba will scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and that they also will take other steps to exit the business of HD DVD. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going! Rest in peace HD DVD.
Update! Official press release after the jump.
I am waiting for an official white flag from the HD DVD team any day now (hey, stop spending your money guys – you have lost, just deal with it, ok?). Yesterdays announcement from Netflix that they only will carry blu-ray discs in the future was a killer and the press release from Best Buy today is another deadly move:
“Best Buy will recommend Blu-ray as the preferred format,” said Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president and chief operating officer.
I am happy that the war is over and that it was a fairly short one! Press release after the jump.
If you are looking for good HDMI cables it looks like you can buy almost any cable as long as its built to HDMI standards. Here is a complete list of the Wholesale price and the Retail price of all the current Monster Cables. It might be worth checking out pricier cables if you need longer cables though (say like 10 metres / 33 feet): The Truth About Monster Cable (Gizmodo).
Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff: 80% Markups [consumerist.com]
A trustworthy source, Bill Hunt, Editor of The Digital Bits, writes that Paramount and Universal both are going through the legal bits and pieces of their contracts to minimize the effects when they jump on to the blu-ray train later on. It looks like the war might reach an end within a couple of weeks:
…sources continue to tell us that Paramount and Universal are going Blu, but sorting out all the legal details and organizing the logistics takes time. The Warner move was apparently well planned, but Paramount and Universal have only just started that process. They may or may not continue releasing HD-DVDs for a time – we’ll have to wait and see. But retailers are now seriously pressuring these studios to go Blu, and we’d be surprised if many mainstream stores still have HD-DVD hardware and software on their shelves come next Christmas.
The Digital Bits: Paramount and Universal are going Blu [formatwarcentral.com]
The Warner Bros announcement a couple of days ago was a tough call for the HD DVD team, and there has been a lot of speculation of whether it was the death blow for HD DVD – and it probably was. FT.com reports that Paramount can choose to go with blu-ray too, even though they have an exclusive contract signed as of today (there’s a loophole in the contract).
Gizmodo scored an interesting interview with Samsungs main man on blu-ray and HD DVD, DongSoo Jun, and he thinks that HD DVD still have a chance to grow big in the PC market (remember DVD+R…) but that blu-ray is the winner in the living room battle.
Another press release from Panasonic today unveils their new blu-ray player DMP-BD50. The player is capable of playing all the existing audio formats and it’s also one of the first players that can play Blu-ray 2.0, BD-Live, which will let you access bonus content online via the built-in ethernet connection. Full press release inside: