Well, it looks like Sony’s Blu-Ray technology has won the high definition DVD format battle. Toshiba is dropping support for the HD DVD format. This is great news for consumers who will no longer have the confusion of the competing high-def formats. Well, except for those consumers who invested in HD DVD systems. Sorry! 🙁
High definition DVDs provide dramatic video and audio quality when displayed on an HDTV with a high-quality home theater audio system. Up until now, consumers either had to make a hard choice between the formats when deciding which hi-def DVD player to purchase or pay a premium for a combo player that supports both formats. To make matters worse, sometimes your favorite movies were only available in the the opposing format. This will no longer be a problem.
When Time Warner, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Netflix all shifted support to Blu-Ray, the writing was on the wall for HD DVD. As with the old format battle between VHS and Betamax in the late 1970’s, it came down to dominating market share. And for consumers, it really came down to price (of the player and movies) and availability of titles. It certainly didn’t hurt that you could purchase a Playstation 3 and have both a great gaming console and a Blu-Ray DVD player in one device.
It will take several months for the dust to settle on this victory. Over that time, we should expect a renewed focus on the the next generation of Blu-Ray DVD players and a great expansion of movie titles in Blu-Ray format. And that is good news for all of us. Because, once you have watched one of these movies on your HDTV, you will want all of your movies to be high-def format.