Originally Posted by osage
Question: If you were an average DVD only consumer with no format bias about to transition to Hi-Def in the near future, and if you had the means to purchase whatever player you wanted, what reason(s) would you have to purchase a Blu-ray Sony BDP-S500 ($700) or a BDP-S2000ES ($1300) over a HD DVD Toshiba HD-XA2 ($600)? Are there legimate reasons why a non-technical consumer would choose to do so?
For a non-technical answer it's pretty much content. HD DVD will not have Sony, Fox, MGM, or Disney for the foreseeable future, if ever. OTOH BD won't have Universal, Dreamworks, or Paramount; probaly for a while (if ever; I think they will; but it'll be a while). As another poster says, the best way to go to get all content is a universal player, of which there are now 2: LG and Samsung; both 999. Each has there own advantages.
Sony, Denon, Pio Elite, Marantz, etc are going more for the high end guy who wants high build quality; and is either willing to wait out the missing content or has or gets a second player for HD DVD. This was an easier decision when Uni was the only missing studio, but the studio support still favors BD.
The other item is playability issues. BD have scratch-resistant coating; and other than some players taking a while to load certain discs for the most part they act like the DVD players people are used to. HD DVD uses a lot of combo discs (two sided), have a fairly high reported incidence of freezes, skips, lockups, etc; don't remember where they were if you stop and start (or so I've read), and have fairly long load times (more so than most BD players except for the Java discs).
HD DVD's only higher end players thus far (beyond XA2) are the just announced Onkyo and Integra units; which are based on the Tosh design with a few extra touches/features added.