HD Format War goings on

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I thought that it was time for a quick update on the HD war of formats and to provide a brief summary on some of the recent developments.

Wal-Mart in the US were offering the Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD for a ridiculous $99 on Friday. Then the competing chain Best Buy also announced that they would sell the same model for this price. Since Wal-Mart and Best Buy are two of the most popular, and possibly evil, ahem, chains it will be interesting to see how what impact this might have on HD-DVD sales figures over the holiday period.

Warner have stated they will not be changing their dual-format support stance in the new year despite initial online reports suggesting that they might possibly follow in the footsteps of Paramount.

Transformers (2007) is the fast selling HD-DVD titles selling over 100,000 units in the first day. It is a pity that I have no inclination to see this over-the-top Hollywood mess as I am sure that it is a quality release.

Third-generation HD-DVD players have been released in the UK and Europe and they are quite reasonable too. The HDEP35 can be purchased for around ??269.99 and comes with seven free HD-DVDs. Alternatively, you can purchase Samsung’s BDP-1400 from Richer Sounds for only ??299.99. The prices are starting to fall.

Despite some minor title announcements there has been very little else going on in the world of HD. The most exciting title announcement for me is William Friedkin’s Bug (2006) which will be released on both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on December 6th in Germany. I was hoping that there would be a flurry of title announcements from both sides in time for the holiday season but it looks as if the usual Hollywood gunk will be littering the shelves.

Finally, and saving the best to last, BD+, the latest in the line of Blu-Ray copy protection has already been cracked. So after all the build-up for the ultimate in Blu-Ray copy protection it is so nice to know that the fuss was for nothing. Keep up the good work hackers.

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