Items tagged with DVD

Thought Microsoft actually made the following statements prior to Toshiba's official announcement, it is reasonable to assume that they knew what was coming.  It seems like they're not very concerned about the potential impact:“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace,” Microsoft said in a statement. “As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry.... Read more...
Although as early as Saturday NHK had reported the decision by Toshiba to drop HD-DVD had already been made by Toshiba, the company did not publicly announce it - until today. "We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a... Read more...
As the saying goes, it's all over but the shouting and we're sure there are more than a few heated words that are still yet to be exchanged.  Reports are continuing to flow in quickly since Friday, on the news that Walmart was stepping back from the sale of HD DVD players moving forward, offering only Blu-Ray format players by June 2008. With Walmart Senior VP, Gary Severson quoted as saying,  "we've listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases", the writing was on the wall.  With the world's largest retailer officially taking a stance in the other camp, it was easy to see the clock was... Read more...
Worse than anything else this week, perhaps worse than any news since Warner Bros. dropped HD-DVD just prior to CES ... the world's largest retailer has announced it is dropping HD-DVD.Enough about my family and on to the Wal-Mart plans… by June Wal-Mart will only be carrying BluRay movies and hardware machines, and of course standard def movies, DVD players, and up convert players.   Not sure of the short term pricing plans, but history tells us that as more people move to a new technology prices typically go down.  So… if you bought the HD player like me, I'd retire it to the bedroom, kid’s playroom, or give it to your parents to play their John Wayne standard def movies, and... Read more...
Since Warner Bros. dropped HD-DVD just prior to CES, bad news has continued to flow for the HD-DVD group.  Price drops were said by Gartner to simply "prolong the agony," Netflix dropped HD-DVD, and Best Buy said they would begin recommending Blu-ray over HD-DVD.  Now "reliable" sources say that in the coming weeks Toshiba - the developer of HD-DVD - will abandon the format. Toshiba is widely expected to pull the plug on its HD DVD format sometime in the coming weeks, reliable industry sources say, after a rash of retail defections that followed Warner Home Video's announcement in early January that it would support only the rival Blu-ray Disc format after May. Officially, no decision... Read more...
Start the funeral dirge, if you haven't already. Yet another nail in the coffin, as Netflix today announced it will only carry Blu-ray, phasing out HD-DVD titles by "roughly" the end of the year."The prolonged period of competition between two formats has prevented clear communication to the consumer regarding the richness of the high-def experience versus standard definition," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. "We're now at the point where the industry can pursue the migration to a single format, bring clarity to the consumer and accelerate the adoption of high-def. Going forward, we expect that all of the studios will publish in the Blu-ray format and that the price points... Read more...
Is this a case of throwing good money after bad?  The HD-DVD Group is spending loads of cash on an HD-DVD Super Bowl ad.The ad will feature Toshiba's three lowest-priced players, the HD-A3, A30, and A35, and is the biggest advertising move for any high-def disc medium to date, reports Home Media Magazine.According to industry reports, the 30-second TV spot is expected to run Toshiba nearly $3 million.  It is a crucial move that Toshiba hopes will bring consumers to HD DVD instead of Blu-ray, which has a significant early lead in the format war.If they want people to watch the ad, they'd better put it in the first half, as N.E. might be so far ahead in the second half everyone will tune... Read more...
When Warner announced that they were going to go Blu-ray exclusive starting in June, it seemed that the outlook for HD DVD seemed bleak at best.  But it appears that a new strategy is forming, and the immediate goal would appear to be putting more HD DVD capable devices into consumer hands.“One part of HD DVD’s new strategy is on lower prices and selling the hardware’s ability to upscale regular DVD movies. Graffeo explained the logic behind the new push, “Consumers right now are buying upconverting players – they are outselling the next-gen players combined by 10 to 1 every month. They are affordable because they are under $200 – the average price is $85 – and consumers want to see their... Read more...
Toshiba, backer of the HD DVD standard for next-generation high-definition disc players, is reacting to the move of many Hollywood studios to exclusively offer their entertainment on rival Sony's Blu-ray format. By "reacting," I mean "slashing their prices to the bone."Toshiba's third generation 1080i-capable HD-A3 is selling for a mere $139.98 on Amazon.com. The 1080p-capable HD-A30 is not much more expensive at $179.98. For the price of an Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on, consumers can now purchase a fully-fledged set top box with 1080p support.Amazon isn't the only retailer with the discounted pricing, however. Tiger Direct is selling the HD-A3 for $129.99 and the HD-A30 for $179.99. There are also... Read more...
Well the winner of the "Who wants to be listed in Wikipedia next to the Betamax format" sweepstakes appears to be HD-DVD.  Paramount  has decided to follow Warner Brother's recent decision to support Blu-ray and is going to drop its support of the HD-DVD format. Warner's decision last week to throw its weight behind Blu-ray saw it join Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as backers of the Sony format.The Warner move gives Blu-ray about 70 per cent of Hollywood's output, although the format's grip on film content will increase further when Paramount comes aboard.It is unclear whether DreamWorks Animation has the same get-out clause in its contract with the HD-DVD camp.... Read more...
Yesterday Warner Bros. announced the decision to drop HD-DVD support, opting to go Blu-ray only after May.  The HD-DVD Group issued a short, tersely worded press release in response, but that was just when the fun started.We just got an email which stated that the HD DVD group is canceling its CES press conference; tail severely between legs over today's explosive news that Warner -- the last "undecided" studio -- was going to the other side and doing Blu-ray discs exclusively. We're not sure if that's because the HD DVD group was in 11th hour negotiations with Warner or what, but the mood at that camp has to be beyond somber right now, so it's pretty hard to thump the tub when you've just... Read more...
One or the other of the two high-definition formats has to get an edge eventually, doesn't it?  This might help Blu-ray. Panasonic has started shipping samples of the world's thinnest internal Blu-ray drive -- just 9.5 mm high.Now available to PC manufacturers, the new sample 9.5 mm high BD drives, were accomplished by combining Panasonic's own technologies such as the low-profile, 2-lens actuator and spherical aberration compensation mechanism and an optimized optical design for CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc laser.Even with its 9.5 mm high thin profile, the new Panasonic BD drive features double speed reading and writing for both write-once BD-R and rewritable BD-RE discs. The product is also... Read more...
The fight for supremacy between the two high-definition formats for entertainment has been fought to a stalemate, at least according to Sony's CEO Howard Stringer. Sony backs the Blu-ray standard, while Toshiba touts the HD DVD format. When the numbers are in for Christmas, we'll likely see that one or the other format has a wide lead over the other, but not nearly enough to make the loser drop out. Who loses? Well, producers of movies, for one. They have to choose a format knowing that a goodly portion of their target audience can't view it. While Warner Brothers has demonstrated success in supplying content to both sides, the format war seems to be a lose-lose situation for many of the studios.... Read more...
   While doing research for this review, we realized that we had to go back nearly three years - an eternity in the PC industry - to find the last HotHardware article on optical drives.  For a comparative look at technologies, back then we were using single core Pentium 4s in Intel 865/875 boards, GeForce 6800s and 1GB of blazing fast 533MHz RAM. One of the reasons for the lack of optical drives articles is that not much has rocked this area since that time.  There have been minor bumps in speed from 16x to 18x (and now 20x) and swapping of the interface from IDE to SATA, but nothing truly earth shattering has happened.  And until the... Read more...
Just in case you're the type who likes to jump right down to the news, we’re writing to let you all know that we’ve just posted a new article here at HotHardware in which we evaluate the features, performance and overall value of three DVD+/-RW drives, the Asus DRW-2014L1T, the  Lite-On LH-20A1H, and finally the Plextor PX-810SA.  Each drive has a somewhat different feature set and rated speeds, but they’re all equipped with a SATA interface.  Click the link below and check them out...DVD+/-RW Drive Round-Up: Plextor, Asus, Lite-On... Read more...
Addonics Announces Optical Solution that Bridges Blu Ray and HD DVD Formats -- Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player Plays Both Formats and Burns DVD±R/RW and CDRW Media -- SAN JOSE, CA (December 13, 2007) – Addonics Technologies today announced its Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player an optical storage solution that allows your PC to play Blu-ray and HD DVD movies from the same tray. The Zebra Blu-ray / HD DVD Player also plays standard DVDs and CDs in various file formats and burns DVD+/-RRW and CDRW media, which makes it one of the most flexible optical drives available. Users can turn their laptop or desktop computer into a high definition movie player and enjoy high definition video quality of 1080p... Read more...
If you aren't wearing your tin-foil hat, you might want to go get it before reading any further.Now that you have your tin-foil hat, we'll issue a not-too subtle warning that this as a wild rumor/allegation and it could easily fall under the heading of 'crackpot' theories despite having a big Hollywood name attached to it.  Microsoft may have manipulated the next generation disc format wars in an attempt to make downloading more popular.The theory contends that HD DVD was losing the war against Blu-Ray, and that Microsoft threw their support behind the standard in an attempt to make any standard adoption less likely to happen.  Even Transformers directory Michael Bay seems to believe... Read more...
Remember when George Lucas digitally remastered the original Star Wars trilogy? He said it was to "finish the film the way it was meant to be." Most of the changes were cosmetic, enhancing the films with special effects that were not available when the films were first made. In a sense, we now have a similar version of Star Trek: The Original Series (ST: TOS).Star Trek finally made it to the 21st century. A new hybrid HD DVD/DVD box set, released Tuesday, delivers the original series' first-season shows, digitally remastered and looking better than ever before. The exterior space shots in Star Trek: The Original Series -- revamped using today's CGI techniques -- now show planets and starships... Read more...
The continuing battle between Blu-Ray and HD DVD might eventually boil down to who can get their player into more consumer hands.  A large part of that equation is price.  How does less than $200 sound?If you're worried that $200 will buy you a cut rate player, think again.  We're talking about a HD DVD player that was going for $499 just a year ago:“Toshiba's HD-A2 was originally released in December 2006 with a $499 price tag. Over the past year, the price for the player has steadily dropped to $399 in April and to $299 in July. Toshiba's long-running five free HD DVD movie offer [PDF] has also been available to give customers more bang for the buck.”The jury is still out as... Read more...
All is not well in Apple-Land. Several threads on the Apple discussion forums indicate a defective batch of DVDs, as well as BSODs ("blue screen of death") after installation. Now, much as we always say about Microsoft, you can't expect 100% flawless behavior; there's no such thing as bug-free software after all. But the defective DVDs, on the other hand, seem pretty widespread.According to this thread, the bad batch of DVDs has been confirmed by Apple, and support says you should not go back to the same store you originally purchased the DVD from, as the remainder of DVDs at that store would likely be bad as well.In one of the BSOD threads; it seems Apple Support wasn't able to help very much.... Read more...
On Monday Toshiba made good on a promise it made earlier this year to add HD-DVD drives to its more popular systems, by adding HD-DVD drives to a Satellite laptop.  Previously only the Qosmio AV notebook had an HD-DVD drive. The Satellite A205 equipped with HD DVD carries with it a retail price of $1,149.99 USD, approximately 30 percent higher than the Satellite model without the high-definition format, and the two share very similar specs.lt;script language="JavaScript" src="https://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/ttm.betanews/bn/home;tier=1;sz=336x280,300x250;tile=2;ord=636342080?" type="text/javascript"></script> <noscript><a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/ttm.betanews/bn/home;tier=1;sz=336x280;tile=2;ord=636342080?"... Read more...
A report from Forrester Research paints a bleak picture for sales of next generation DVD players. They estimate that at least another eighteen months will roll by before many consumers make up their minds to buy one; and until then the two formats will fight it out in low-level trench warfare until one or the other is embraced by consumers. Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder stood behind his company's view that Blu-ray would eventually win out over HD DVD, but he said the Blu-ray camp needs to cut prices. A stand alone Blu-ray player sells for about $500, while HD DVD players cost about $400, and prices are expected to drop further... Read more...
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