I heard a couple of days ago the Blue Ray (Sony) players will not play standard DVD's but, the HD DVD players will. Other than that I haven't heard much but, on the other hand I am not really listening.
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Samsung announced plans to launch a hi-def player that can handle both Blu-ray and HD DVD. Samsung says that the company will debut prototype dual-format players at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. If Samsung's machine proves feasible a format war may not be the headache feared. It's unlikely consumers will buy two machines just so they can watch high definition content. Some studios are going to release films in both Blu-ray and HD. It seems Toshiba's goal of a 1000$ machine by Christmas has been delayed. Toshiba is a major proponant of HD DVD, while Sony is the big Blu-ray backer. Both are saying product may debut for consumers in early 2006.
A major difference this go around, verses DVD when it came out, is that all Blu and HD machines will record as well as play.
I was in Best Buy last week and the salesperson said they had HD DVD players in the store (I didn't walk over and see). Also, a co-worker (who knows about my interest in this stuff) said he saw HD players at the local Ultimate Audio here in 'Vegas.
Guess I'll have to make an effort to find out for sure...
Part of the proplem with releasing High-Def DVD is the cost. The chips that the players need are still on the expensive side, so the industry is looking at a high-end videophile product for now. The companies developing it want mass production to Joe and Jane Public.
Also, who is going to produce the DVD's to a small market of videophiles?
I also doubt the public is ready. People are only starting to buy High-Def televisions on mass. They need to be commonplace before you try to market a better DVD.
A few observations FWTW:
1. Unsound: "Video monitors/projectors that can accept these signals are still rare." I don't know exactly what 'rare' is, but about every TV sold in the last several years will indeed accept hi-def signals.
2. Based on my readings in several magazines, it'll be 2nd quarter of '06 before players or discs in either of the HD formats will be available in the US.
3. GOOD NEWS--Samsung (I believe it was) has already announced a player that will play BOTH HD-DVD formats. I have a vague recollection that its US RR was projected at around $1K. It'd be the best of all worlds if it'll play DVD-As and SACDs, too.
One thing's for sure in my alleged mind--I'm buying NO HD-DVD player that won't play both. Too bad Sony, which has the most to lose in royalty income if BluRay isn't succesful, wouldn't compromise to create a single format. Personally, I perceive Sony as the Micro$oft of the consumer-electronics business, and I hope they fail at this market.
Sony's version will not fail as it has the most support in the industry and is the best version. HD DVD has only one or two manufacturers with them. While all of the others including Pioneer, Denon, Marantz, Mitsubishi, Phillips and virtually everyone else is with Sony. Toshiba and NEC support HD DVD. Oh! and Microsoft.