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Thread: I've joined the Dark Side (HD DVD)

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    Frozen Fury JACKPOT!! dgrycan's Avatar




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    Default I've joined the Dark Side (HD DVD)

    Yes . . . my love for movies in HD has gotten the best of me, and my Toshiba A30 arrived today and is currently upgradings its firmware. (20 minutes and counting.) I am officially purple.

    Everyone who I mention it to who's familiar with the whole format war says "Ahhh . . Transformers did it, eh?" Well, no actually. I do have the movie now (Circuit City made an error last week in which you could buy ANY HD DVD and get a second one free), but my wife's favorite movie is Apollo 13, and she has been dying to have it in HD, and this was the only way it could be done.

    I feel some shame in that I'm helping prolong this ridiculous battle, but I still think Blu-ray will win in the end when the dust finally settles. Both orders I placed for HD DVDs were matched by Blu-ray discs of the same amount.

    I think it's done updating now . . . I'll post a mini-review later.

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    All Star go's Avatar




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    If the rumors are true that Microsoft is making an HD-DVD based 360 then I think you made the right decision. The stalemate will last longer than you think. In other words the dust is still in the air.

    Just enjoy the movies...

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    I have had the HD add on for my 360 since it came out last year. So far I've found better action movies on HD-DVD, which IMO, is a big reason for watching anything in HD. The player was only 200 bucks, so it wasn't a large investment considering the prices of stand alone players. Worse case scenario if blu-ray wins out is that I have an excuse to buy a PS3, which will probably cost much less than it does at the moment.

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    Winning is habitual. Len-Det64's Avatar




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    It's easier to wait until the Blu-Ray/HD Combo Players make their way to the market. Why purchase one or the other when you can get both in one machine.


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    Frozen Fury JACKPOT!! dgrycan's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Len-Det64 View Post
    It's easier to wait until the Blu-Ray/HD Combo Players make their way to the market. Why purchase one or the other when you can get both in one machine.
    Well, right now, you can get into both for less cost than a dual format player. You can also get a boatload of free movies with them, too. Seven with each by last count. At $25 a piece average, that's a pretty hefty savings.

    So my first impressions review . . .

    I don't have a network cable running to my home theater, so I opted to update the firmware via an ISO image burn downloaded online. My first time doing this, and for some reason ROXIO said the ISO image was invalid. I tried a freeware program specializing in ISO burns, and it works flawlessly. I inserted the disc in, it asked if I wanted to update, and away it went. About 30 minutes total. There was no real confirmation that it was completed, so I had to go into the menu to verify that it was, indeed, flashed.

    I'm currently limited by my setup to have the HD DVD player hooked up via component only, as my TV has only a single HDMI input, and I don't have an HDMI compatible receiver as of yet. Soon - very soon. I was an idiot and forgot to order another optical cable, so I had to disconnect the digital out of my TV (rarely used) that I'll replace over the weekend.

    Just to test that I had everything hooked up correctly, I inserted an SD-DVD. I was worried that something was wrong, but it is just a long boot-up. About a minute to get to the main menu, and some crazy garbling screen moments in between. Everything worked fine, although since I've been spoiled by my PS3 upconverts on SD-DVD, it was noticeably poorer because upconverting isn't possible over component.

    So I reached for the Transformers disc and fired it up. Another minute for anything to happen, followed by another 30 seconds of Loading time. Started the movie up - and it COOKED. Very nice picture, very nice sound. I watched about a half-dozen scenes, and although very impressive, it wasn't as FIVE STAR as some have described - I found some scenes softer than others, especially those with a lot of CGI going on. I don't think this is a technical thing, but rather the source. On par with Blu-ray for sure.

    I had already set up my Harmony Remote with the recently released A30, not knowing if the frequencies would all work. Good news - everything was fine. I'm guessing that at the very least they are probably the same as Toshiba's previous versions.

    The remote that comes with the player is VERY weak. Flimsy, no lighting, and just not a good feel to it. After I finish customizing my Harmony, I will put it aside and probably (hopefully) never have to see it again.

    Always the cable Nazi, I can say that it comes with nothing - nada. Even though it comes with composite video jacks (why?), they didn't even include a composite cable that would have cost them what . . . less than a dollar? The CE companies need to get off their ass and stop the confusion and include cables in their players. Especially when it comes to things like HDMI and educating people on the benefits of its conviences and quality.

    If the rumors are true that Microsoft is making an HD-DVD based 360 then I think you made the right decision. The stalemate will last longer than you think. In other words the dust is still in the air.
    I'm not sure it will have much of a blip. Unlike Sony, Microsoft isn't supporting two consoles, so they don't have a whole group of holdouts waiting to upgrade. I don't think a lot of gamers will be overly interested in upgrading their 360 to have something built in that they can get externally today for basically free. (Seven free movies and Heroes S1 on HD DVD at Best Buy.)

    I don't know if you follow the software sales, but HD DVD has been getting routed 2-1, with last weeks numbers getting closer to 3-1 in Blu-Ray's favor. You'll see HD DVD make a run this week with Transformers (200,000 units, supposedly, in week 1), but that still couldn't match the numbers that 300 did on Blu-ray months ago on a dual format release. Blu-ray has a much more dominent release slate from the end of the month on with Spiderman 3, Ratatoille, Cars, At World's End, Live Free, Die Hard, The Simpsons, Superbad and numberous catalog titles compared to really only two more heavy hitters from HD DVD (Bourne and Shrek 3). The Warner titles will be the most interesting, with the Oceans series and Harry Potter series being the best litmus test.

    Combine that with Blu-ray standalone players (despite higher prices) outselling HD DVD players for several months now, and things aren't looking great for HD DVD. The Paramount move was a necessity for them at this point, and even that has backfired somewhat. (Poor releases, or like the Jack Ryan Collection, recalled releases.)

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    I am just saying Microsoft and Toshiba are not going to give up so easily. The stalemate will last until dual players are cheap. In reality there is not much technical difference between HD-DVD and BluRay.

    And it is not like the PS3 is selling like hotcakes.

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    Frozen Fury JACKPOT!! dgrycan's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by go View Post
    I am just saying Microsoft and Toshiba are not going to give up so easily. The stalemate will last until dual players are cheap. In reality there is not much technical difference between HD-DVD and BluRay.
    Not to rain on your parade, but there most certainly is in two very important areas - storage space and bandwidth. Paramount already admitted that they could not include lossless audio on Transformers due to space considerations. Some discs (Clockwork Orange) are having to have extras dumped on a second disc. If the LOTR Extended Cuts ever come out, a lot of techno geeks don't believe they can be held on a single HD DVD disc.

    I think we'll see a major shift in January. Unfortunately, thanks to precident, things could go either way. If Blu-ray continues to conquer HD DVD in sales, I would not rule out another giant bag of cash thrown in the direction of Warner, who could tilt the war. Microsoft really doesn't give a rats ass about HD DVD winning - they only benefit from a stalemate, and that's what they're aiming for.

    Right now . . . even with the blockbuster sales reported so far, factoring in the incentives to go HD DVD, Each Transformer's disc profitted $750 bucks . . . not counting the actual profits on the disc! They made a very smart short-term business decision.

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    Oh, dgrycan. 'Tis a sad day.

    On the subject of the 5 free HD DVD titles: with exception of Full Metal Jacket, they all suck. I don't have any of them on SD DVD, and I wouldn't want any of them in HD. (Again, except FMJ. But the version that's free isn't the newly released version. I'll get that on BR.)

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    Let's hug it out, bitch! NastiMarvasti's Avatar




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    Say it 'ain't so, dgrycan. Actually I'm kind of in a similar boat right now. I already have a PS3 and about 20 Blu-ray movies, but at work, we are having a ping pong tournament next week and the winner gets an HD DVD player. I want to win but I also don't want to. I really don't want to support HD DVD. Oh the dilemma.

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    Oink Oink Oink! Diablito93's Avatar




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    I like my Hd DVD player. I think my decision was made originally due to the fact that most of my friends have the 360 and the Hd DVD. Made it easier to share movies with each other. I cant see a difference between HD DVD and Blue Ray although I know that there are some differences.

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