The HD format war comes to Europe

I posted last week about a recent Sony press release suggesting the dominance of Blu-Ray in the UK. Recently I stumbled across this piece of information which was reported in this blog. In Europe, HD-DVD currently has an 85% market share compared to Blu-Ray’s 15%. This is excellent news for HD-DVD as it has got off to a strong start, much like it did in America, no doubt because of cheaper players and the Xbox 360 add-on HD-DVD drive. It will be interesting to see how much this will change once the PS3 is released in Europe.

Last night I watched the German HD-DVD of the excellent action/thriller Running Scared. Another quality HD release with excellent audio, possibly one of the best tracks I have heard on a HD-DVD so far. This is a must have for fans of Wayne Kramer’s nasty little film. Pity the HD-DVD did not offer a different ending to the film though, it seems so out of place to the rest of the film. I know I always say it but expect a review soon.

The Blu-Ray disc of The Descent also arrived and, at first, would not play. Thankfully I received an updated version of PowerDVD Ultra this morning which offers both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback and solves some of the problems contained in the previous version. However, it is still not without its problems as Studio Canal HD-DVD titles will still not play. Thankfully we have Slysoft’s excellent AnyDVDHD to solve this problem. As for The Descent, I gave it a very brief look this morning and the quality is not as impressive as I led to believe but it still looks good. I will reserve judgement until I get round to watching it in full.

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