Hello, my name is Paul, 28, and I recently purchased an HD-A2 from the Amazon deal that I saw linked from engadget I believe it was. I have the following observations I'd like to make, if you all will indulge me for a few minutes...
Upon considering the whole HD format war, I watched rather passively until about a month ago. I began to see the prices dropping to what I consider buyable levels, and started looking around at the different websites. Upon coming to blu-ray.com, I was rather shocked to see the type of language I saw there. And I don't mean foul language, though there was certainly a lot of that. But mostly, a type of hysteria almost. Everyone was all "I'm tru-blu 4 life!!!" and "F#%$ HD DVD". And then, the Paramount decision came. Everyone was blaming Microsoft for this!!! I mean, I know they sell an add-on and did some programming work for them, but that's hardly enough to shell out $150m for (which I was never able to find a confirmation of btw, the farthest back I was able to trace the source of that was a NY times article that did not state any clear sources). In fact, I went on that site rather soon after the big announcement, and would you believe that people were actually asking if their website had been hacked, so firmly implanted in their beliefs that blu-ray had "won". They did not believe the press release was real. It was at this point that I turned away from blu-ray.
Then I started looking at some of the HD DVD forums more closely, and what do I find? People talking amongst themselves about firmware updates, various technical problems, conjecture on the war, press releases, a clear list of reasons on why they thought HD DVD was superior, and no foul language. Holy cow! Rather normal hardware discussion! So I began to lurk for a few days, and the Amazon deal hit, and that is when I made my purchase of the HD-A2
So that is my story. Now, onto some observations if you dont mind...
I rarely see anyone with a blu-ray player other than a ps3. I mean, who is really buying these other than ps3 owners? I rarely see people with a stand-alone unit, even on these forums by either blu-ray backers or dual format supporters. Still, with "only" an estimated 3-1 HD DVD stand-alone advantage, I guess some people are. Honestly, with the cost of these units, I'm surprised it isn't higher than that. Surely the movie industry can't throw their support behind a poorly performing game machine, so why have they? Was any real reason given why disney and fox support blu-ray and did so so early on? It seems to me disney is a better fit for HD DVD, and the most I could find on fox was the higher security of the blu-ray.
How long can Sony keep things like this up before it seriously impacts their business? I seriously can't understand why ANY head of any company would ever side with Sony with any format medium of all things. Who are these decision-makers? At what point do you guys think that Sony will become, maybe not a second-class company, but not looked to as an industry dominator and market leader. How many more failures? Would blu-ray failing do it? I know MANY people who had to flip their PS1s upside down to play properly, their PS2s would not play blue cd based games, and they can't even make a battery that doesn't explode for goodness sake! (ok, maybe a little dig there, forgive me)
How long do you think it will take HD DVD to overtake blu-ray in sales? You can expect perhaps another million ps3 consoles sold in the us by the end of the year, of which, maybe 25% will buy blu-ray movies. So figure another 250,000 units just from that. Still, from the low price HD DVD units coming out, it still might happen this year. What do you guys think? Would this be a final nail, or just another one?
What do you think is a bigger blow to blu-ray and/or sony:
1. continued poor ps3 sales
2. warner, disney, or fox moving over
3. low price HD DVD units
4. HD DVD selling more software
5. combo discs being singular movie release, perhaps by universal first
6. changing hardware standards within blu-ray
7. poor dvd yields and increased manufacturing/licensing costs
Which brings me to another point. I was thinking about this. What do you think the chances are that 1.0 will just become the blu-ray standard and just say, "work with that the best you can we still have next gen pq and sound", thereby eliminating legacy issues?
I guess that about does it. So, let's here some opinions!
I just want to end on something and say that though the price is superior, and the paramount announcement is great, that would not have been enough to sell me on HD DVD at this point. But the etiquette and lemming mentality of the ps3 dominated blu-ray forums is what drove me to HD DVD. That sort of fanaticism is unhealthy and wrong, whether you are talking about politics, religion, or (of all things) a storage format. How utterly ridiculous.