Saturday, July 15, 2006
Industry analysts conducting a review of sales of Blu-ray players in the Los Angeles area noted that none of the retailers they surveyed had sold all of their units of Blu-ray players as soon as they were delivered to the stores. In contrast, some individual retailers indicated that they did sell all of their HD-DVD players, the competing format controlled by Toshiba. This fact may not be all that surprising since the Toshiba High Def DVD players sell for about half of the nearly one thousand dollar price tag of the Sony and Samsung Blu-ray disc high-def players. So far, it seems in the race for selling raw numbers of players (and one would presume, numbers of HD movie titles) the Toshiba consortium is out to a fair-sized lead. While Blu-Ray is pushing the fact that their technology can playback in the current gold standard for High-Def: 1080p and can handle 7.1 surround sound audio, many customers are happy to pay around half price for the capability of mere 5.1 audio and 1080i video. Depending on the source of the video, and the HDTV (High Definition Television) used, the quality is close enough that many consumers could not discern the difference between the competing formats. The catch phrase used by Blu-ray indicates their strategy in this battle. They talk about going beyond High Definition with their products; they seem to be emphasizing the 1080p angle. Still, the theater quality sound from the HD-DVD is going to impress all but the most jaded audiophiles and the HDMI cables that come with all of the HD-DVD units, means that a good HD-DVD movie is going to look incredibly good on almost any HD Television. The best signal coming from the satellite television broadcasters (as well as other pay TV outlets) is 1080i, so it‚Äôs hard to imagine that there will be many complaints about the video and sound quality from HD-DVD.