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Muddying the high-def DVD waters

The battle for high-definition movies continues to get more and more confusing.

Both Blu-Ray and HD DVD have their supporters, and discs and players are available in both formats. But, as in the days of beta versus VHS, consumers can get stuck if the movie they want is only available in the other format.

Muddying the high-def DVD waters

LG Electronics is getting ready to release a dual-format player at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, but the device will likely be significantly more expensive then single-format players.

And now comes word that Warner Bros. is getting ready to release a third format, called Total HD, that can handle movies and television programs recorded in either of the other two formats.

It's almost enough to make a user want to stick to VHS.

Blog community response:

"We know this is indeed a great stopgap for all those crossover movies released in multiple formats, but we really think it's the hybrid players, not discs, that are going to save the day during this format war."

"Given that companies like LG are starting to announce players that can play both rival high def formats, one might question the necessity of introducing yet another disc format, even if it's supposed to be a uniter and not a divider. Right now, the Total HD disc won't have standard def content on it, but Time Warner has filed patents indicating that it could do so at a later date. Let's see, another high def format disc to confuse consumers with. Sounds like a good idea."

"Fantastic! Soon we might be able to pay more for dual-format players, insert our more expensive dual-format Total HD disc, and then decide whether we want to watch the Blu-ray or HD DVD versions which, by the way, have been encoded with exactly the same video and sound codecs."
--Guardian Technology Blog