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HD DVD is dead. Should I buy a player anyway?

The Toshiba A3 HD DVD playerSo here’s a dilemma for you. The HD DVD format is officially dead. Toshiba pulled the plug on its lifeless corpse, and people are blowing out their stock. Right now I can buy an Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on for $49.99, and it comes with King Kong. What’s more, until February 28th there’s a mail in offer for 5 free HD DVD’s. Or for $99.99 I could get a Toshiba player with 2 free DVD’s and the 5 free mail in offer.

The format may be dead, but it’s still got some good content on it. Heroes Season 1 is available on HD DVD, the remastered Star Trek the original series is on HD DVD, and Planet Earth is available on HD DVD. I’m figuring I can probably pick these up for a song soon.

Not only that, but $100 for an upconverting DVD player is pretty good. The reviews all say that a good upconverting DVD player makes standard DVDs looks almost as good on a 37″ HD player as a high definition DVD. I’ve also read reports that folks have returned their players to Best Buy and you can get open box units for just $49.99.

Good deal, or a waste of money?

— UPDATED – February 27th @ 5:09pm —

Well, I just went out and bought one at lunch anyway. It came with 300 and the Bourne Identity. The 5 free mail in movies are a kind of sucky selection, but who can complain about free?

I’ll write about my experiences once I get her all hooked up.

{democracy:2}

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

5 replies on “HD DVD is dead. Should I buy a player anyway?”

$50… good deal, what the hell right?

You know down the road you will get BluRay like the rest of us when the price comes down. This would give you a pretty cool in the meantime solution.

I really do just want a good up-converting DVD player. I honestly believe that both formats are doomed to failure.

Ultimately Joe Q Public will think “My DVD player is good enough”, because the differences aren’t the quantum leap that there was between VHS and DVD (a non degrading medium, chapter skip, no more rewinding).

How much is BluRay?

If you break it down simply — you get 7 movies for $100. So $15.00 each. A pretty good deal. But do you really want another component in your setup? Do you have room for this?

A BluRay player is $399.99, comes with a movie, or you can get a PS3 with a game and a movie for $499.99.

It’s the upconverting part that appeals to me even more so than the HD movie factor, because I really don’t think that either format will last ultimately.

I’ve got the same player, and I’m delighted to have it (also have a Panasonic Blu Ray player). I’m matching them up with a Panasonic 58″ 1080p and BOY does stuff ever look good on it (especially taking through an Onkyo SR 805 receiver). I agree on the HD DVD. The Trek first season won’t ever be in Blu Ray (Toshiba footed part of the bill to have it converted) and other movies will be available for a lot less.

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