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HD Disc War Continues
by John R. Quain
HD DVD and Blu-ray battle continues with new announcements

What high-definition disc will replace DVDs? The jury is still out, but there's a lot of new evidence to consider.
High Def War

Microsoft recently announced that it would drop the price of its HD DVD player that connects to the Xbox 360 to just $179. And for the month of August, it will throw in 5 free HD DVD movies to boot. Meanwhile, standalone HD DVD players became available for just $300--hundreds less than Blu-ray models.

Then Target--admittedly not the first place we think of for electronics--announced that for this holiday shopping season it would only stock Blu-ray players. So starting in October, the chain store will only offer models such as Sony's $500 BDP-S300 player. This follows on the heels of Blockbuster's announcement earlier this summer that it would only stock Blu-ray discs in most of its stores (some will continue to offer HD DVD rentals). But...just to keep you confused...Target will continue to sell HD DVD movies in its stores.

Of course, the obvious solution is to get a disc player that plays both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. And following LG's universal player another one from Samsung joined the fray. This fall, it will introduce the BD-UP5000, which will play both high-definition formats at full resolution. The list price for such convenience is $1,049--comparable to LG's offering--but expect retail prices to be much lower.




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