HD-DVD all the way


Even though the HD-DVD format is seemingly dropping out of favour with Hollywood studios I personally have found it to be better of the two HD formats for a number of reasons. Initially, when I purchased my Blu-Ray Sony laptop, I thought that Blu-Ray was the superior format and would eventually win the format war. I still believe that Blu-Ray has the potential to be the better format but, up to now, it has not been used effectively by the studios. HD-DVD, on the other hand, has been used well by the studios but has not taken advantage of the numerous opportunities it has been given to endear itself to the general public or the powers that be. Despite all of this and knowing that it may become a failed and forgotten technology I have purchased a stand-alone HD-DVD player.

Why have I taken such a risk? Quite simple, I own more HD-DVD titles than Blu-Ray titles and I am fed up with having to play discs through my laptop. Also, it has not been a financial risk. The player will end up costing me only ??60 overall which is an absolute steal. One drawback, however, is that it is an American model which will not be under one year warranty. The only electrical item I have bought from outside of the UK was the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive and experienced no problems with this at all. Unlike the Xbox drive it will have to be plugged into a US-UK voltage transformer but for home cinema aficionados this appears to be a common uncomplicated practice. Another bonus is that this model, the HD-A20, is a second generation player that should more ‘advanced’ than the first generation of players. But unfortunately the player is not multi-region and will not be able play DVDs outside of region one. It will also not play PAL discs. This is not a problem as eventually I will purchase a UK Blu-Ray to play these discs.

The excellent team over at MovieTyme, where I have purchased the player from, have also included eight HD-DVD titles with the player. These titles are chosen by the buyer and can be anything from their entire HD-DVD catalogue providing that they are priced no higher than ??14.99. I chose the following titles to be included with the player:

  • Apollo 13
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Black Rain
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Meet the Parents
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Unforgiven
  • Wolf Creek
An eclectic mix but nevertheless worthy additions to my growing collection.

So this, along with my new television, should arrive on Wednesday. I have been saving my HD-DVD of The Graduate and also The Warriors to play on this new machine. I will post my thoughts once it arrives.

If anyone is interested in the player it can be found at the MovieTyme website for ??269.99 including eight free HD-DVDs. This is a genuine bargain for those who want to see what HD-DVD has to offer.

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