Do you really care?
Which one is VHS and or Beta isn't really relevant as much as if you want to see what your HDTV can really do - you need a player for one of the formats.
And for the record - the Sony Blu-ray is $499 retail and one of the best HD DVD players is the A20 (with a DVDO processor) and it is under $400 now with some rebates.
I bet you could sell some extra cables and some odd compontnets from your system and raise enough money to buy a player. For me - I just sell blood at the blood bank or on ebay (whichever one will take me when I need my AV fix)
Jerry Del Colliano