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Old 02-11-2008   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 695
Default Best Buy To Recommend Blu-ray As Preferred HD Format

Best Buy announced today that Sony’s Blu-ray format will be the recommended HD disc format for their customers going forward at retail locations nationwide. The big-box retailer had been successfully selling both Blu-ray and HD DVD for more than a year and is an important reseller of HD disc software. The comments come on the same day movie rental company, Netflix, announced they would soon cease renting HD DVD titles to their clients.

While Best Buy didn’t make a hard cut-off with HD DVD, consumers are quickly seeing the trend toward Blu-ray. HD DVD enthusiasts have been waiting for Toshiba and Microsoft to make their next big move. While player prices were cut significantly and there was a Super Bowl ad, no studio deals have been inked that help divide the marketshare back in the HD DVD camp’s favor. The “Blu-Friday” decision of Warner Bros. to exclusively support Blu-ray has set the tone in 2008 for the outcome of the HD disc format war.

If the HD disc format battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray is in fact over (the fat lady is warming up back stage now) the real war is about to begin which is the Blu-ray versus DVD battle. Blu-ray players have a better picture with a 1080p resolution versus the 480i resolution (and even upconverted in some players) on a traditional DVD player. However, today’s Blu-ray players are plagued with slow load times, high prices and HDMI “handshake” problems that frustrate consumers in ways that make a $59 DVD player from Wal-mart look like a better investment.

The Blu-ray camp has all the momentum but has a long way to go to overthrow the incumbent format – the almighty DVD. The good news is that Blu-ray has better performance. However, performance alone doesn’t mean a successful AV format. For example, Apple has sold 120,000,000 iPods that are playing back music at 1/4 (or worse) the resolution of a Compact Disc. And speaking of Apple, they are back after a failed attempt at Apple TV with 720p downloads (HD but not as good as 1080p) that take about 30 minutes to download to your computer. Blu-ray’s path to ultimate supremacy, along with Apple’s downloads and even “HD on-demand” products from cable and satellite companies, is going to be a rocky one considering the role of DVD.

by Jerry Del Colliano
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