Holy Moly Blu-Ray Disc Players below $300


I was in a major electronics chain store last weekend and they had the entry-level Samsung player at about $300. But what really got my attention is that the membership warehouse stores have the Sony 301 (that's a 300 plus HDMI cable included) for under $280.

Makes me wonder if I should have just sprung for that Oppo DV-980H. I *did* get it partly for its SACD/DVD-A capabilities, though.
johnnyb53
I'm not really into video, but it sounds like the half-wits in the mass market electronics / entertainment software industrial complex have finally realized that hardly anyone is going to pay $850 for a fancier DVD player when the one they already own gives them virtually perfect pictures and sound as it is. It's the lesson learned from the way that mass market consumers ignored SACD and DVD-Audio.

It's like Gillette selling the Fusion razor cheap, because once you own one, you have to fill it with a pricey Fusion cartridge every week or two. If you "give away" the players, then you have a market that wants to buy Blue Ray and HD-DVD discs. If no one buys the players, then no one will buy the discs. Sony has the advantage of being in both the hardware and software markets.
Holy Moly Blu-ray continues to win on Amazon.

Although I expected more gains by HD-DVD from the Blu-Ray loss when Paramount went HD-DVD exclusive in August.

HD-DVD must be very disappointed with the results...
Just remember that when the 1st progressive scan players came out, they were very expensive also. Now you can get them for under $100. Hd and Blu Ray players will be dropping steadily and will probably end up down to what std players sell for now. Shortly most std players will be collecting dust in the corner, just like our VHS players are today.
The Sony BDP-S300/S301 is an absolute piece of garbage. It's not worth even the reduced price.

If you're looking for a relatively low-cost stand-alone Blu-ray player, the Sharp BD-HP20U is a much better machine for about the same price.

FYI I own both players.
12-20-07: Jdodmead
Just remember that when the 1st progressive scan players came out, they were very expensive also. Now you can get them for under $100. Hd and Blu Ray players will be dropping steadily and will probably end up down to what std players sell for now. Shortly most std players will be collecting dust in the corner, just like our VHS players are today.
In mid-2000 when DVD was already 2-3 years on the market, I bought a $1000 1999 Pioneer Elite on end-of-year closeout for $500 to make way for the new progressive scan models. It could *read* DD 5.1 and DTS off the disc, but couldn't process it internally. In another couple of years progressive scan DVD players with internal DD and DTS processors were $99 at warehouse stores. Now they're $39; $59 if you want one that upsamples via HDMI as well.

Around 1986, VHS Hi-Fi machines came out at around $1000 and were still $350-500 four years later. They were still around $250 in 1998. Now you can't even FIND one unless is also has a DVD drive.

But HD DVD came out in April 2006 at $800; Blu-ray in June/July at $800-1000, and today, 1-1/2 years later, you can get HD DVD players for $199 and 1080p Blu-ray players with 5.1 analog audio outputs for $280.

The hi-def player prices are dropping at a faster rate than anything ever before, but there is also plenty of room for features that should be added. For one thing, you can't get the hi-rez audio off most of the players unless you have a digital processor that handles the audio portion of HDMI, at least HDMI 1.1 as multi-channel uncompressed PCM. Otherwise, you're listening to some kind of downmix. It's my understanding that the Sony BDP 300 doesn't internally process TrueHD, so the 5.1 analog output is actually a downconversion.

So unless we go out and buy AV receivers and Pre/Pros that do HDMI audio, most of us won't hear TrueHD or lossless DTS until these players have hi-rez internal processors to put out hi-rez uncompressed analog audio via the 5.1 or 7.1 outputs.
I'd rather they improve the quality than lower the price, but that's just me I guess. Increase the computer chips memory or whatever it takes. These machines are worse than cheap computers, functionally.

I think Blu-Ray is over rated. Sure the picture looks nice....when it feels like working. I've had a couple Blu-Ray players, Samsung and Sony, both played regular DVD's with no problems. Both had problems playing Blu-Ray dvd's. Pixilating, freezing, shutting off, and just not playing the movie at all. I was told by Netflix that some of the copyguard is so sophisticated some machines just can't read them.

The picture isn't that much better that it's worth the hassle. Now my family asks me if the movie we are going to watch is on Blu-Ray or regular dvd. If I answer Blu-Ray, they usually leave the room. I guess you can only watch the first hour of a movie so many times before you learn your lesson.

Happy Holidays,
John

12-20-07: Jmcgrogan2
I'd rather they improve the quality than lower the price, but that's just me I guess. ...

I think Blu-Ray is overrated. Sure the picture looks nice....when it feels like working. ...
That's why I wanted HD DVD to win the format wars. Blu-ray is trying to do too much too soon.

By comparison HD DVD is easier to produce; it's more robust in the playing, and a higher percentage of HD DVD releases have delivered from the beginning, with great digital transfers, downloadable ROM upgrades, internet interactive features, implementation of Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD soundtracks, etc.
Wait! Wait!! Don't buy yet!!!
I agree with those that say HD players are clunky. However, the image quality is anything but clunky. On a full 1080p resolution screen it is stunning.

"Planet Earth" is absolutely stunning - incredible - amazing - you are there! The WOW factor exists in High Def 1080P but you need the entire kit and caboodle....a Blu-ray connected to a screen with LESS than the requisite 1920 by 1080 pixels is NOT high def and will lessen the WOW between regular DVD and the new format! (This is not hyperbole, as I agree fully with those that say that the Wow factor is totally absent for SACD or DVD-A versus CD)
If you're looking at BluRay, the way to go is the PS3, even if, like me, you have no interest in games. The brain of the PS3 is much more powerful than any standalone machine, be it HD DVD or Blu Ray, and the architecture permits Sony to upgrade the machine's features, which Sony does on its website about once a month or so. The PS3 also plays CDs and SACDs. In a recent upgrade, it permits double and quadruple oversampling of CD playback. It will soon be upgraded, I've read, to internally decode the lossless Dolby and STS soundtracks found on many Blu Ray discs. In my 18-month ownership, I've watched dozens of Blu Ray movies rented from NetFlix and have encountered not a single freeze-up, which I attribute to the extremely fast cell processor. The picture quality, as you might imagine, is superb. If you're not a gamer, you can buy the 40GB version, since you don't really need the extra capacity found in the units with 60 or 80 GB hard drives. Frankly, I can't imagine why someone interested in HD disc playback would be looking at anything else. It is by far the most bang for the buck of any CE product I've ever purchased, and I don't even use it for its main function.
Interesting point there Pzuckerman..........is the PS3 also an upsampling player with respect to std DVD? If this is the case then this may be the route that I look at for my new DVD player just in that it is sort of inexpensive and potentially one of the best low cost options to get you some really high def video while the other players evolve to where they should be. It is also interesting to me that since this is in fact more of a computer that it is so easily reprogrammed/upgraded.

ej
Interesting point there Pzuckerman..........is the PS3 also an upsampling player with respect to std DVD?

If by "upsampling" you mean can the PS3 upscale a standard DVD image to 720p or 1080i or 1080p, the answer is yes. When originally introduced, it could not; but this capability was part of an update sometime ago. I should also point out that the PS3 from its introduction was an HDMI 1.3 device, meaning if and when HDMI 1.3 deep color HDTVs are ever introduced, this player will be able to deliver the goods from such blu ray discs. You have it exactly right: the ps3 is a computer with the fastest commercially available processor available to consumer, even faster than processors in "real" computers. It has built in wireless and an ethernet ports, turning your TV into a web browser. One caveat: it has no multi-channel analogue outputs, only a Toslink digital and HDMI output in the digital domain. For SACD, you have to use the HDMI output, since Toslink does not transmit the SACD bitstream. Otherwise, I haven't begun to list all the features. Go to Sony.com, click on PS3, then Support, then Manuals. Read the Manual on line. You'll learn what this machine can do. I guarantee you you'll want one.
I have both PS3 and XBox HD players. I rent mostly. I cringe everytime I encounter a dual format HD DVD disc since I have encountered a number of defective ones. I have no use for dual format other than the fact that the DVD side works when the HD DVD side does not. I certainly am not willing to pay $35 and upwards for a movie even if quality control was not a concern. These dual format discs are overpriced and I think the studios project a desire for dual format that may exist for studio execs but does not exist at the consumer level. It makes little difference if HD DVD players are cheaper if you get gouged for the movies.

I clicked on the Amazon sales rank link mentioned above. When you subtract out PS3, Blu Ray is in trouble as far as hardware sales. Because PS3 is often purchased for gaming and not Blu Ray playback.

The actual DVD sales numbers are interesting. If you look at Planet Earth, released on BOTH formats; HD-DVD sells more of the same title than Blu Ray. Interesting.

I actually think the Panasonic Blu Ray player may be the pick of that bunch. As far as video scalers, I'd take a player with the Reon/realta video processor any day. They are in most but not all HD-DVD models.
Pzuckerman is right the PS3 was even ranked as one of the best blu-ray players. It's new software makes it 1.1 compatible and it can play some Divx movies. You have to purchase the 80Gig for the SACD the 40Gig won't do it. I also read somewhere that is is a good cd player as well using it's stereo outputs. It is also a music server. The hard drive can be enlarged. It has a wireless network adapter and plays hi-def games and browses the internet. If you are thinking of getting into blu-ray, the PS3 should be on your short list very close to the top, even if you are not a gamer.
HD - DVD players are down to 99 dollars.
12-23-07: Rysa4
HD - DVD players are down to 99 dollars.
Where? What kind?
Hd-DVD A2. And the HD-DVD A3 when used to fill HD-DVD A2 ads. Also, Ventura, a new low cost HD-DVD entrant, is also at 99 dollars.

The rumor is that Toshiba will flesh out and stay in the middle ground, and leave low cost players to companies like Ventura and high cost players to Onkyo etc, which is probably why we havent seen an HD-DVD XA3.

I'll know more at CES in a couple of weeks.
Just an Update-

1. The A-2s were selling for 99 dollars but I cant find them anymore at that price ( might check Amazon for the A-2 and see if any available.)

2. The A-3s are 199 and the Venturers are 189 at this time.

3. The A-3 comes with some free HD-DVDs but those deals vary from 2 in the box to 2 in the box plus 5 free.
Pzuckerman,

Interesting direction of this thread. I am assisting some friends and relatives in purchasing HD video and audio equipment and have been doing some shopping. Within the last twelve hours I read an article in What HiFi about the PS3, talked to a sales person today who is using one as his Blue-ray player and game console, and just now read your posts here. So if somebody feels that they must purchase an HD DVD or Blu-ray player now that is capable of true high definition and upscaled DVD playback, I would advise them to consider the PS3.

Video playback from the PS3 looks like it is as good as or better than the top of the line Blue-ray or HD-DVD players, the PS3's software is easily and automatically upgraded via WiFi in your home, and the on board processor is super powerful. And it plays games. The only caveat is that better sound can be had in top end Hi Def players from Sony and other makers (at over three times the price). If you have access to a decent DAC in your receiver/processor, then digital sound signals can be processed there for high quality playback.

When the PS3 first came out priced at $600, I thought that was a stupid marketing move on Sony's part. Can you say "Macintosh"? But if Sony can sell them to enough households and get folks to use the player as the heart of their home entertainment system, then that is the kind of viral product everybody in sales is looking for. Watch out Microsoft...

PS - I saw a 720p/1080i Toshiba HD DVD player today for $179. I have not seen any full or limited resolution HD players for $99, yet... But that is why I originally said "Wait!" in response to this thread. It is only a matter of time before true Hi Def players and TVs are a dime a dozen.
The PS3 lags the Toshiba XA2 in video quality by quite a bit. This is due to the Reon Chipset in the Toshiba offering.
I have purchased the Toshiba HD XA2 for my theater system and can honestly say that the picture in high def is better than that of my Sony BDP-300.
The 300 also has some hiccups, image freezes issues.
I have not had any problem with the dual combo discs. SD DVD also look better on the Toshiba.
Built quality is also much better than the Sony.
I will be trying the second generation Pioneers next. Had the first generation and sent it back because of picture freeze, no sound, and sometimes fast forward picture during playback.
Good luck,
Future Shop has the Toshiba HD-D3 HD dvd player on sale for boxing day regular price $399.99 on sale for $99.99.
Wait. had been in or around this biz, in on form or another, for over a decade. And,Unless they're dumping a product from production in favor of superior units, are selling of referb units with blems and no warranty, there's NO WAY these prices can be right! - could they!?!
Weird. I'd like to know more on this story. I mean, prices have then fallen by like 80% in a year and a half time!
Is this all true?
Yes its true. Its a market share fight for the future. HD-DVDs production/distribution costs are lower and they are pressing Blu Ray hard by forcing big losses on them just like Blu Ray came out swinging with their marketing and stuck it to HD-DVD big time, initially grabbing 70% of disc sales ( its since evened up quite a bit if you look at the past months Amazon sales rank data for top 100 Blu Ray vs HD-DVD)
From the future shop site...

Toshiba HD DVD Player (HD-D3)

Released 15 Dec/07. With the HD-D3, Toshiba delivers the excellent picture, sound, and... More Info

Price: $99.99
You save: $300.00 after instant savings.....






I have no dog in this fight, yet. Blue-ray currently has greater storage capacity than HD DVD, although that may be changing (see wikipedia posts below). Looks like audio formats for movies on disk are being held back by studio decisions rather than technology at this point. Perhaps when standard DVDs are in decline, studios will be motivated to increase audio specs for all movies on disk. From a video perspective - looks like full 1080p performance is more dependent on the choice of video processor and implementation of circuitry by the manufacturer than the format used (HD DVD vs Blue-ray).

Wikipedia discussion of HD DVD and Blue-ray:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD#Origins_and_competition_from_Blu-ray_Disc

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray

For what its worth, the $99 Toshiba described in this thread is not a full 1080p player. Newer HD DVD and Blue-ray players are 1080p native, including PS3.

From Amazon.com:

Toshiba HD-D3 HD DVD Player
Technical Details

* HD Output: 720p/1080i - SD Upconversion with HDMI: 480p/720p/1080i
* Playback Media: HD DVD Video, DVD Video, DVD VR, DVD-R (Video), DVD-R DL (Video), DVD-RW (Video/VR CPRM), CD, CD-R/-RW (CD-DA)
* OSD Language: English/French/Spanish/Others - Advanced Navigation
I'd be careful what you listen to in this thread. I own the PS3 and use it for Blu-Ray and it looks and works phenomenally. None of the stuttering or "strange" playback issues mentioned. I also have the XBox 360 HD-DVD add-on and have had no overwhelming issues with that either. Sure the HD-DVD add-on isn't as great overall compared to the PS3, but that is only because of the slight differences between 1080i and 1080p, i.e. there is a slight loss of overall smoothness.

I wouldn't listen to anyone saying that "all" players from one camp or the others aren't good, or are garbage, or "insert blatantly prejudiced statement here." Those people are just looking to get people to buy the format they chose to buy.

Underneath all the bologna there is one major technological difference in the long term between these two formats. One has more storage potential than the other one when all things are equal (since they both can add multiple layers...). That format is Blu-Ray.
I dunno J- I'd be carefully taking too much from your posts frankly.

Most of the Blu ray disks are 25 GB, not the 50 GB disks with greater storage. The yield rates from the two ( and there are only two) 50 GB disk plants are very low, making it very expensive to produce 50GB Blu ray disks effectively, with signifcant transport/distribution costs leading to Blu ray subsidiary studios in Europe to produce Blu Ray only titles on HD-DVD in Europe.

In addition, there is a current Blu ray thread over at avs, contributed to only by Blu Ray owners, on Blu Ray disk rot, with pictures. It shows some blu ray disks getting all of these spots on them and talks about certain disks not playing after this disk rot.

In the end, the difference between Blu Ray and Hd-DVD is the shell that holds the video and audio code, and not much else. The HD-DVD shell is simply more stable, and a lot less fragile. The data on HD-DVD disks is embedded at a deeper depth and is more protected from playback problems.

Also, the HD-DVD player specs for audio and video are in place, so you know you can play an HD-DVD disk and listen to present audio formats no matter what player you buy on the HD-DVD side of the fence. You have no idea what you are going to get on the Blu ray side.

Its my understanding that Blu Ray is introducing BD-J coding language on their disks next year, to better enable the presence of interactive features ( thusfar absent on Blu Ray disks but present on many HD-DVD offerings). Are you sure your PS3 will be able to utilize this language and actually play the disks? I am not sure at all.

I agree that both Blu Ray and HD-DVD disks can look great. But I do prefer the more mature lower cost format to win or at least have some decent dual format options and since HD-DVD only has to survive to win and not really win, I don't see this working out for Blu ray at all personally.

Thats an opinion of course. But a lot of what I am laying out in this post is fact.

I dont think the optimal Hi Def Player exists yet, and 10 lumen technology on the plasma side ( my display tech of choice) isn't out yet either. When these two things occur, then its really time to jump on the Hi Def bandwagon. In the end, its still a bit early by about 18 months, assuming someone alreddy has a decent set up for standard DVDs in place already.
I've been in several big box stores over the last few weeks. Looking at 1080p panels for a friend. I have talked with several salesmen, all of whom approached me and were selling me on the "new" High-Def DVD.

There was not a single comment about HD-DVD. I couldnt even drag out a comment. All I heard was Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, did I mention Blu-Ray.

I would agree with Jkalman's first line: "I'd be careful what you listen to in this thread.". That includes his post, Rysa4's post and what I have to say.

That being said, it has been mentioned by many that the PS 3 is the best Blu-Ray player. I have not seen it because I am very hesitant to put a gaming system on my main TV. I learned this lesson many years ago thanks to my children. They all have gaming systems in their rooms now, but not on the 'family' TV. As they are older now, maybe I will investigate this possibility. Though yes, I have had problems mechanically with first generation Samsung and Sony Blu-Ray players. Hopefully these companies are ironing the bugs out of this new technology.

Jkalman has a valid point that the Blu-Ray is the superior format as far as technology goes. Rysa4 also has a valid point about HD-DVD being cheaper. As VHS demonstarted years ago in it's victory over Beta (also Sony), cheaper generally trumps superior technology. Though this format war could easily turn into a SACD/ DVD-A war too, where both superior sides lose to an even lower technology (MP-3's).

So what's it all mean? Nothing really. There will always be new electronic gadgets and toys for folks to argue over.
IMHO the reason the prices on the hardware is dropping so low is because, not unlike computers, the folks in this industry realize the real $$$ is made in the software.

Cheers,
John
Thats an opinion of course. But a lot of what I am laying out in this post is fact.

Nope. Most of what you are presenting is hearsay.

Whether or not there are "not a lot of manufacturing plants yet" is really meaningless. You can always convert plants or build new ones as needed. The point is, Blu-Ray discs have more capacity per layer per side than HD-DVD. End of story.

I own over 50 Blu-Ray discs, and have rented even more than that. So far I have not seen any issues with Blu-Ray discs not working or not playing due to spots, scratches or whatever else. Besides which, ALL formats suffer from occasional bad batches. I've occasionally had to return regular DVDs over the years due to manufacturing issues. So far I haven't had to return any Blu-Ray discs, but I guarantee that all formats (DVD, HD-DVD, and yes, Blu-Ray) will occasionally have bad batches where something buggy happened while making the discs. The companies producing Blu-Ray discs use special coatings to make the discs scratch resistant as well, making the whole scratched-surface argument pointless IMO. Are you going to take care of your discs or use them as frisbees?

The Blu-Ray specs are in place as well. Blu-Ray is currently using LPCM, but can also use any of the DTS and Dolby standards. Your comment that "you have no idea what you are going to get on the Blu Ray side" is garbage. There are only so many audio standards out there for video discs and Blu-Ray is designed to be backwards compatible by making important older codecs mandatory. Blu-Ray players are designed to support at least the mandatory codecs, so you do not have to worry about being able to play audio or video. Audio is not and will not be an issue.

As far as PS3s working with BD-J (Java). They will work, all that is required is software/firmware updates to the PS3. Java is a programming language, so all it would require is an operating system (or operating environment, or user interface environment - i.e. an embedded software or firmware OS like every preprocessor and digital source unit already has) that can execute Java runtime code. You can run Linux on a PS3, and Linux runs and executes (as well as compiles) Java source code. I should know, I used to do a lot of programming in it.

Stop trying to scare people...

For anyone with any doubts check out the links, but please don't put stock in the bologna people perpetuate about either format:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hd-dvd
Hi JK- Sorry but here is a recent post from a content producer. I have nothing to do with this person or the content of this post.

JBach Dec 20, 2007 2:24 AM GMT As a content producer I find there are three issues that wipe out Blu-Ray: 1.) Almost all Blu-Ray players cannot reliably render the content of an authored Blu-Ray disc. Authored discs play most reliably only on the PS3. The profile describing the requirements to build a Blu-Ray player is STILL INCOMPLETE, which is part of this problem. Reliable playback of a Blu-Ray disc being restricted to a PS3 player is a major issue in the business world. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD. 2.)Blu-Ray advanced authoring requires a Java-based programming environment. HD-DVD authoring is much like creating a web page. Blu-Ray becomes a programmer project, HD-DVD remains more of a web designer prosumer project. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD. 3.)The effort to retrofit a replication plant to do Blu-Ray is VERY significant. HD-DVD replication can be accomplished on a much smaller scale. While this is a one-time factor, the ease and relatively low cost of HD-DVD retrofitting makes more economic sense. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD.

I am sorry if you don't agree with these facts, but these type of concerns are well known and factual and appropriate for inclusion in discussion.

You are clearly an intelligent educated person with some capital behind you as well, but try and keep an open mind for discussion and realize some of us may know something too.

Thanks and have a great New Year!
Here is some information about storage capacities from JKalman's Wikipedia Link. This is exactly what I was referring to as far as most Blu Ray disks being 25 GB to Hd-DVDs 30 GB as an FYI.

As of November 2007, 44% of Blu-ray titles use the 50 GB disc and 56% use the 25 GB disc[90] while almost all HD DVD movies are in the 30 GB dual layer format.[91]

Not a huge deal at this point but does clarify and support what I was trying to say.
You can say whatever you want after this post, because it is clear to me that you are not interested in fact, but perpetuating hearsay and insignificant details as being important for the sake of scaring potential Blu-Ray customers.

JBach Dec 20, 2007 2:24 AM GMT As a content producer I find there are three issues that wipe out Blu-Ray: 1.) Almost all Blu-Ray players cannot reliably render the content of an authored Blu-Ray disc. Authored discs play most reliably only on the PS3. The profile describing the requirements to build a Blu-Ray player is STILL INCOMPLETE, which is part of this problem. Reliable playback of a Blu-Ray disc being restricted to a PS3 player is a major issue in the business world. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD.

This is bologna and total hearsay. I don't care who the guy is, that doesn't exclude him from being biased. As a content provider it is likely he is programming/providing for one format only (HD-DVD) and as such already has a large stake to lose if he supports the opposite format.

You are talking about someone, by the way, who posted on a Business Week "readers' comments" page. How do you know he is really a content provider? You don't. Besides the fact that it is not true, it is also total hearsay. For all you know, he provides books to the local library. Even if he is a content provider of HD content, that doesn't exclude him from being biased and/or exclude him from committing hearsay himself...

This person is certainly not an authority on the topic worth quoting as "factual." Do you often take random posts by people you don't know to be the truth, or do you only do so when their posts support your agenda?

http://app.businessweek.com/UserComments/combo_review;jsessionid=862634CAE1C8D69DEA23B4C4BC7E1407?action=all&style=wide&productId=25088&productCode=spec

2.)Blu-Ray advanced authoring requires a Java-based programming environment. HD-DVD authoring is much like creating a web page. Blu-Ray becomes a programmer project, HD-DVD remains more of a web designer prosumer project. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD.

This is complete BS. I program in both HTML and Java. Any programming language task can be automated to make it as simple as cutting and pasting using a SDE. Also, you don't have to start from scratch if you know how to create a template. Then you can start from the template any time you start a new disc. The person who wrote that bologna knows nothing about programming.

Making reusable objects in java allows you to shift certain parameters in those objects to change the look and feel of an interface without having to reprogram the entire thing. You can also make an interface for those parameters so you can change those parameters on the fly. In case you didn't know, HTML is built on top of another programming language in just such a way. That means that the Blu-Ray Java is MORE robust... Any company can choose to create its own XML or HTML interface and reuse it every time they make a disc. This also allows them more options to control every aspect of the discs interface at the very core. This allows more design freedom and uniqueness on a per disc basis.

3.)The effort to retrofit a replication plant to do Blu-Ray is VERY significant. HD-DVD replication can be accomplished on a much smaller scale. While this is a one-time factor, the ease and relatively low cost of HD-DVD retrofitting makes more economic sense. ADVANTAGE HD-DVD.

This is true. It is more expensive initially to convert a DVD plant to Blu-Ray than it is to convert it to HD-DVD. I think it is worth the additional costs personally since the format gives you more storage space. I look at this from a practical standpoint of computer storage and backup. I'm interested in backing up large amounts of data from my computer, and Blu-Ray has more space.

None the less, I still use both formats, though I would prefer Blu-Ray to win because of the greater storage capacity...
Here is some information about storage capacities from JKalman's Wikipedia Link. This is exactly what I was referring to as far as most Blu Ray disks being 25 GB to Hd-DVDs 30 GB as an FYI.

As of November 2007, 44% of Blu-ray titles use the 50 GB disc and 56% use the 25 GB disc[90] while almost all HD DVD movies are in the 30 GB dual layer format.[91]

Not a huge deal at this point but does clarify and support what I was trying to say.

You don't get it... Those HD-DVD discs are using two layers to get a little bit more space than one layer on a Blu-Ray disc. That is A LOT less storage capacity. It doesn't make sense to use more than you need, so why would they use dual layers unless it is necessary? Why spend the extra money until you need to use two layers? HD-DVD, needs two layers in order to compete with one layer on the Blu-Ray discs... So they HAVE to use two layers on every disc in order to fit the information on it. That isn't a good thing for HD-DVD, that is a weakness.

A HD-DVD needs three layers to get one more gigabyte than a dual layer Blu-Ray disc. That is a huge discrepancy in storage space comparison wise.

Blu-Ray capacity:

Single layer = 25 GB
Dual layer = 50 GB

HD-DVD capacity:

Single layer = 15 GB
Dual layer = 30 GB
Triple layer = 51 GB

Blu-Ray has managed to achieve four layers on a disc, but so far does not have a need to implement the additional storage space, but for people interested in removable storage, that is a tremendous perk down the road.
I own both formats and don't care about the "technology" behind each. I just want to put a disc in my player(s) and watch movies. That having been said, from first hand experience I perceive HD-DVD to be the more complete product at this point. I have yet to have a HD-DVD fail to play in my XA2. My Blu-Ray experience has been more frustrating (Samsung 1200) because it seems that every time certain studios (Disney/Fox) release a new line of movies I have to wait about a month on a firmware update before they will play in my player. Therefore, it is clear to me that the technology behind Blu-ray is still evolving. For that reason, I would be very hesitant to recommend a Blu-ray player to friends/family at this point. On the other hand, I bought my parents an HD-DVD player for Christmas.
My Blu-Ray experience has been more frustrating (Samsung 1200) because it seems that every time certain studios (Disney/Fox) release a new line of movies I have to wait about a month on a firmware update before they will play in my player. Therefore, it is clear to me that the technology behind Blu-ray is still evolving.

That is quiet an irrational jump in logic. That since your specific Samsung equipment has a lot of problems, therefore it is the Blu-Ray format's fault. Quite the logical fallacy.

I've never had a problem with my player that wasn't resolved within 5 minutes via a download, and that was only once with the recent "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" disc release. I've never had a single problem before that, and I have over 50 Blu-Ray discs and have played a lot more Blu-Ray discs in my system when you add in all of my Blockbuster Video Blu-Ray rentals...

Perhaps you should focus your negative attention where it belongs, at Samsung.
Jkalman, wow, where did that come from? Look, I was simply relaying my personal experiences with the two formats and I'm not sure why you feel the need to attack me in your reply. As indicated, I own both formats and certainly have no agenda to advance. Please take the attitude over to AVS or AA where its accepted. Peace, brother, and have a Happy New Year.
Jkalman, wow, where did that come from? Look, I was simply relaying my personal experiences with the two formats and I'm not sure why you feel the need to attack me in your reply.

I didn't attack you. It was faulty logic on your part and you are using that faulty logic to blame an entire format for the problems you are having with one piece of Samsung equipment. In other words, you are generalizing all of Blu-Ray under one umbrella because of your experiences with one piece of playback equipment from a single manufacturer.

If you can't handle someone deconstructing what you post when what you post is faulty, then perhaps you should think more about what you post before clicking the "submit" button, or perhaps consider not posting at all. It certainly would be better than watching you play the victim when someone points out the nonsensical reasoning in your posts.
Cruz123 meet Jkalman. Beware, he doesn't play well with others. Don't argue with him, just walk away. There is no winning any discussion with Jkalman, for he is the Alpha Dog, his opinions are never wrong. Just smile and walk away........slowly.......goooood Jkalman......that's a good boy......
Cruz123 meet Jkalman. Beware, he doesn't play well with others. Don't argue with him, just walk away. There is no winning any discussion with Jkalman, for he is the Alpha Dog, his opinions are never wrong. Just smile and walk away........slowly.......goooood Jkalman......that's a good boy......

Honey, shouldn't you be watching our kids? What's for dinner tonight? Go out and buy yourself something pretty... ;)
HD-DVD is 17Gig a layer and Blu-ray is 25Gig a layer. There is talk of a 3 layer HD-DVD. I don't think storage is much of an issue.
MY hd-dvd works fine (HD-A1), my PS3 80Gig. works better. It boots fast, upsamples great and so far Planet Earth is amazing. If you want blu-ray, buy the PS3 40Gig. It's $400.00 and works great even if you never play a game on it. It works as a movie and music server as well as browses the internet wirelessly.
The HD-A1 is a no longer available first generation very slow player. WE are on generation three now with gen 4 comin out in 08.