Not sure if this is related to the news of Warner Bros. going Blu-ray exclusive, but Amazon has this Toshiba HD DVD player with seven movies for only $129 (the same one I thought I got a deal on a month ago for $174).
Blu-ray players, of course, are still well above $300. Amazon also has a bunch of HD DVD movies for $15. Interestingly, the site has a Blu-ray movie sale going on at the same time. But the difference between the two sales is a telling story:
The Blu-ray sale has a total of 51 movies on sale with only 8 as low as $15 (and most of them suck). The HD DVD sale, on the other hand, has 84 movies on sale with 63 (nearly 8 times as many) at the $15 price point. And there appear to be some decent movies in this mix. Check out the Blu-ray sale here and the HD DVD sale here and judge for yourself. For me, though, it seems like this could be phase 1 of HD DVD liquidation.
So the million dollar question is: how much is a high definition DVD player worth to you if it is the format that has lost the war?
To add to the irony of the less expensive, more consumer-friendly player dying, check out this news: Buyers Beware: Current Blu-ray Players Won’t Correctly Play Future Discs and Blu-ray: Early adopters knew what they were getting into. The titles alone are enough to get any Blu-ray owner frustrated.
The Playstation 3 (which has Blu-ray built-in) appears to be the exception, otherwise Blu-ray players on the market are designed without “future-compatibility capabilities.” This means that bonus features on titles released starting in October will not be playable on current Blu-ray players. Wow.
What makes it even more ironic is that Blu-ray is blaming HD DVD for its problems:
“When asked why current [Blu-ray] players were released to the market in such a primitive state, [Blu-ray] manufacturers blamed the release of HD DVD and said it forced them to come to market too soon. ‘We should have waited another year to introduce Blu-ray to the public, but the format war changed the situation.'”
*Update* The price for the HD DVD player mentioned above was originally $147 when I first started writing this but is now $129. Amazon tends to play games with pricing; be sure to take advantage of the company’s 30-day price guarantee.
*Update 2* Commenters pointing out some interesting facts: this $129 HD DVD player is 1080i. All Blu-ray players are 1080p (a slightly higher picture quality), though Amazon now has this 1080p HD DVD player on sale for $171, which is still about half the price of any comparable Blu-ray player. Also, Amazon has another Blu-ray movie sale with a much larger selection (229 movies) while putting all HD DVD movies (currently 523) on sale now.
*Update 3* Check out the latest Netflix news of unlimited online movies, which supports the theory that we may be moving toward digital content before a new format (like Blu-ray) can gain traction.