Blu-ray vs. HD DVD stalemate?

A recent Blu-ray/HD DVD post at The Blog for Sports Gamer reminded me that I had something waiting to be posted along the same lines. I ran out of time Sunday (and yesterday I was more or less out of it), but since I am at home, and not really in a position to do much besides lounge around, I decided to get this puppy posted. had an interesting story on the same topic, where the author contends that a stalemate is looming, and can only be prevented by a massive PS3 push (and associated price drop):

“I do not believe that any of the planned efforts by the Blu-ray or HD DVD camps will bring about the increase in adoption required to settle the format war. A massive reduction in the price of the PS3 is probably the best opportunity for a resolution, but this is a guess.”

I do not see a massive reduction for the PS3. I also remember that a lot of pundits thought that iTunes would never have mass market acceptance. It took me a while to jump on the electronic media bandwagon because there was just something tangible about holding a CD. From a movie standpoint, I do not see how electronic media will be popular until there are huge storage devices (a 60GB PS3 HDD will not store my current DVD library).

I am not sure where this leaves us, but if Blu-ray is currently winning the format war, it is only winning a minor skirmish. From what I have read, Blu-ray and HD DVD movie sales are an extremely small percentage of overall DVD sales. If the recent price drops (sub $200) of HD DVD players do not increase HD DVD adoption, then you have to consider HD DVD a failed format. Same goes for Blu-ray. If the PS3 does not pick up a lot of steam, and push Blu-ray in the same way the PS2 pushed DVD, then Blu-ray will suffer the same fate of other failed media formats.


2 thoughts on “Blu-ray vs. HD DVD stalemate?”

  1. Yeah HD disc may be a niche format, which is what some people suspect Microsoft wants.

    They only backed HD-DVD to slow down Blu-Ray but their real agenda is to sell their codecs and DRM software for downloads.

    Problem is, to make downloads tolerable in terms of storage and bandwidth requirements, they have to severely compress and pass off encodings with bitrates no better than DVD.

    Meanwhile, Blu-Ray discs often have bitrates over 20 Mbps, or at least triple what DVD bitrates are.

    HD-DVD can’t win. Blu-Ray might outlast HD-DVD but not DVD. Not unless they can get player and disc prices way down.

    I picked up some Blu-Ray discs at with a 20% off sale. The cheapest was Goodfellas for about $15. Well the DVD version of an old movie would be about half that.

    Same with more recent releases like The Departed, although I paid a bit over $20 for the Blu-Ray in this sale.

    The premium can’t be any more than $5, if that.

  2. I do not understand the price difference; I may be willing to pay $5 more per disk, but not much more. I certainly do not want to pay a premium and not get the same extras that the same DVD set includes.

    I hope HD DVD dies a quick death, if only to push everyone to release movies on DVD and Blu-ray. I can see DVD remaining the standard for at least another 5 years, but Blu-ray would slowly gain maket share as more people by HD TV sets. The trick is to get a set that is large enough to show off 1080p. Without a good TV, you will never see the difference, but with a good TV, I think most people will be amazed at the picture quality.

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