In the battle of the dual formats there is no clear winner yet. This Guide is here to help you choose between which technology to purchase, and to help you decide when the right time to purchase it is.
Blu-Ray is the state of the art technology with the hefty price tag; HD-DVD is the more practical technology with a less expensive price tag.Blu-Ray is meant to be completely new technology, nothing like anything in the past, and it is. The Blu-Ray media have huge capacities and amazing quality, whilst also having many different studios backed behind them, except Microsoft. Blu-Ray will also be used in the PS3.
HD-DVD is the more practical solution to the new formats, although the HD-DVD does not play Blu-Ray discs, it does play standard DVDs, something the Blu-Ray player can not offer. In terms of studios backing the HD-DVD, the only company that is solely backing the HD-DVD is Microsoft, mainly because they are now at war with Sony for the best console.
The Blu-Ray players are much more expensive than the HD-DVD players, they usually cost around double the price of the HD-DVD players. In terms of movie costs, it is un-disclosed as to what titles Blu-Ray will offer, but the Blu-Ray disc price and HD-DVD disc price will be more or less the same, whilst the Blu-Ray disc contains 10 GB more capacity than the HD-DVD disc.
The HD-DVD players currently start at around 500 dollars, they can play DVDs as well as HD-DVDs, currently there are so few titles out for HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, it is hard to see exactly what price the movies will settle around.
In both the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray cases, I would definitely recommend waiting to buy the players until after Christmas, at this point the prices will have dropped and the technology will be stable.
So far, we have seen only 1 brand actually selling a Blu-Ray Disc Player, that brand is Samsung, it is the pioneer in the Blu-Ray player and probably one of the best, however, since it is the first, it makes sense to simply wait until the discs are released by the end of 2006, when the technology is official.
The HD-DVD also has a few brands making its player, however I would also wait for the end of the year, when the prices fall and the technology is stable.
In my opinion Blu-Ray is the way to go, and for the money, you can get a Play Station 3 that has a blue ray player in it and a State of the Art Game Console. If you do choose to go the route of the Play Station 3, make sure you buy the 600 dollar version as the lesser version does not come with an HDMI port(Correction- The 500 dollar PS3 does now come with an HDMI port), something that will be necessary to get a high definition picture from the PlayStation 3.
If you already own an XBOX 360, there is nothing to fret, Microsoft will be releasing an HD-DVD add-on before the end of the year, whether or not the HD-DVD player add on will play HD-DVD movies has not been disclosed.
The key thing to remember when considering buying one of these formats is that the manufacturers are looking to sell to early adopters; they know that tech people will pay the high price for the best technology, which is why they will initially set such a high price. As soon as the early adopters have had their fill, the companies will steadily drop the price of the players to a point when the average consumer will spend the money to buy it. This will not take long, the early adopters will have bought before the end of 2006 and early into 2007, the prices will drop.
In terms of one format winning out over the other, it is now unlikely. 3rd party companies will most likely make recorders and players capable of playing both formats either on the computer or for the television.
One thing to ask yourself is: Is my TV HD compatible?
If you do not have a High Definition TV, getting the 600 dollar Play station 3, or getting the 500 or 1000 dollar player is not worth it. the picture will not look any better on your TV than a normal DVD player would, and remember the DVD is still new technology it will be 5 or more years before the DVD even begins to get phased out.
One more thing to ask yourself: How big is my HD-TV?
If you have an HD-TV that is not bigger than 50 inches, there is a good chance a standard DVD player looks just fine on it. If that’s the case, why bother getting the HD player right away? In a year the players will be much cheaper and probably better.
Just remember, be calm, wait it out.
Hope this helps!