Continuing our recent theme of polls about home theater hardware, this week we’d like to know if you ever bought into Toshiba’s short-lived HD DVD format.
The great High-Definition Format War is still a touchy subject for some folks. Passions ran very high during those two contentious years. Some people still hold bitter grudges about it and refuse to let go. Frankly, the whole conflict always seemed kind of ridiculous to me. What’s the big deal about having two competing video formats? We have three separate major videogame consoles right now, each with its own exclusive titles, yet no one seems overly bothered by that.
My interest has always been in high-definition video and high-res audio, not in formats or brand names. When HD DVD and Blu-ray debuted in 2006, I enthusiastically bought both. I was just glad for the opportunity to own movies in quality far beyond DVD.
The fact of the matter is that, during the first year, HD DVD had a much stronger launch with a better selection of movie titles, most presented in excellent video quality (for the time – our standards have risen a bit since then), and most that carried over bonus features from DVD. Toshiba’s HD DVD players also came out of the gate with the ability to play advanced picture-in-picture features and connect to the internet.
The Blu-ray launch, in comparison, was hugely bungled. Players cost twice as much as HD DVD, and the first available model (Samsung’s BDP-1000) was a piece of junk that degraded Blu-ray and DVD playback with non-defeatable Digital Noise Reduction. Because the format was rushed to market early to compete with HD DVD, the first generation of players couldn’t do P-i-P or connect to the internet. Worst of all, the initial wave of disc titles almost entirely suffered from crummy video quality and had little to no bonus features. Blu-ray looked like a disaster.
About a year into the Format War, the tide started to turn. Blu-ray got its act together. Both disc and player quality improved, and Sony’s PlayStation 3 put Blu-ray capability into numerous households. Meanwhile, Toshiba failed to draw any other hardware manufacturers to its side beyond Microsoft’s Xbox 360 add-on unit. This was a big problem, because Toshiba’s HD DVD players and the Microsoft add-on proved to be glitchy and unreliable. On the software side, studios gambled on Combo discs (which had HD DVD on one side and regular DVD on the other), but consumers showed no interest in that, and the Combo discs themselves had a high failure rate with frequent playback problems.
By early 2008, Warner Bros. pulled its HD DVD support and the Format War ended. Ultimately, I think this was for the best. Blu-ray has continued to evolve into quality high-end product, and I’m very happy with its current state.
With that said, I don’t regret buying into HD DVD at the time. I still have a Toshiba HD-XA2 player in my equipment rack and a decent selection of discs on my shelf. However, I have to be honest that it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched an HD DVD. For convenience sake, I’ve replaced many with comparable Blu-ray editions.
What did you do during the Format War? Did you pick a side, were you neutral, or did you sit the whole thing out until Blu-ray finally won?
I almost bought one, because the reviews were saying HD-DVD was better than Blu-Ray.
But, I also saw articles that HD-DVD did not provide for the growth that Blu-Ray would and would retard digital expansion a few years because of its limitations.
In the end, I waited, and waited, until I finally saw that Blu-Ray probably would win and picked up a PS3. I didn’t buy my first Blu-Ray until almost a year later. Bought the PS3 more for PS2 games before the next release came out and took away that feature.
I had one and had a fair collection, but after the war was over, I ditched the discs and the player got donated to the church to use as a replacement for an SD dvd player. 🙂
Although I really wanted one at first, I had the feeling that the lower storage space was going to be an issue so I held out for blu-ray. I kind of liked the name hd dvd better than bluray at first, it seemed to make more sense. I finally got a bluray player around my birthday in 2007 at BJs for about 275 dollars with a rebate if I recall correctly. At that point I was hoping I made the right choice as I was buying a lot of blu-rays and they weren’t cheap back then. If I remember correctly, the day my daughter was born was the day that Toshiba threw in the towel to Blu-ray. I thought that was pretty awesome. I’m glad i held out for blu.
HDDVD had higher storage at 30GB single layer actually. But because BluRay beat them to the dual layer discs many assumed as you did that HDDVD was smaller. If HDDVD had reached Dual layers first then who knows what would have happened.
No mister, that’s not correct. HD DVD has a 15GB layer. Most HD DVD were dual-layer at 30GB.
Then I was wrong, it has been a while. Early blurays didn’t use that extra space to their advantage with the use of lossy audio and Mpeg2 encodes however. Pretty amazing that single layer HDDVD’s hold up to some bluray’s even today.
Most Warner discs were direct ports of each other. The material was usually under 25 gig, so the same encode could fit on either a single-layer Blu or a double-layered HD-DVD.
Universal, Paramount and Dreamworks were exclusive to HD-DVD (well, Paramount released a few movies on Blu before declairing loyalty to HD-DVD. Universal releases were (and sometimes still are) turds taken from 10-15 year old transfers.
The Dreamwork HD-DVDs were amazing.
Also some of the very early discs, the HD-DVD had lossless audio where the Blu-Ray didn’t. One that comes to mind is Phantom of the Opera. I am also thinking that Dreamgirls was one, but too lazy to confirm. On the Harry Potter movies (the original releases, not the rereleases) the HD-DVD featured lossless audio whereas the Blu-Ray versions featured PCM audio
However, if I remember right, most of the HD-DVD player models did not support 1080p – I think there was an elite model (the x2 or something) that supported it. I only knew a couple of people (other than myself) who had one, and they were all 1080i models
The Dreamgirls HD DVD had high bit-rate Dolby Digital Plus. I believe all of the first 5 Harry Potter movies had TrueHD on HD DVD and PCM on Blu-ray. (This was standard practice for Warner at the time, because many Blu-ray players couldn’t support TrueHD.)
You are correct that most HD DVD players could only output 1080i. The HD-XA2 and HD-A35 did 1080p. There may have been other models I’m not remembering.
Thanks, that is what it was, it was like a 1.5Mbps Dolby Digital Plus. I remember the audio quality being better, I just couldn’t remember why, and I was too lazy yesterday to look it up.
BTW, just found an annoyance with my new system – for some odd reason, 5.1 PCM is only going to the receiver as 2.0 channel. 🙁 At least it did on Pirates of the Caribean. I think I had the same issue with my PS3 on Toslink, but this is all HDMI 1.4 in the new system. Going to have to play with that, most discs I have now with a PCM track are encoded 2.0, and am thinking Pirates is currently the only disc I have with 5.1, so I am not r
You know, now that I think of it, I don’t think I ever have been able to get PCM to work in 5.1 ever. That may be why I ended up getting the HD-DVD Harry Potter movies from someone on this board. In any case, not that big of a deal anymore, most discs that had PCM instead of Lossless audio have been rereleased, and I have mostly rereleases now.
If you’re still using the PS3, you may have to go into the setup menus and enable audio output for more than 2 channels when using PCM.
Nah, I got an Orei BDP-M2 now.
Interesting, there is a review on the Canadian Amazon site about this, but he is saying he is having the issue on all audio formats, I am just having the issue on PCM
As a big fan and collector of flopped audio/video devices, I have a soft spot for HD DVD. It’s one of my favourite formats, only second to LaserDisc. I bought a player in 2007 – when the war was raging; the same week DreamWorks/Paramount went HD DVD-only – for a mere $399, which seemed like a good deal back then. I used my student job savings for said player.
In 2008, just after Warner threw in the towel, I bought the Xbox drive for a ridiculous low $20 (stores were clearing inventory already) in Sweden (I was there as part of the Erasmus program). I didn’t even own an Xbox at the time, but the drive was compatible with my laptop. The laptop had a built-in Blu-ray drive, so now I was format neutral – on the move!
I also bought another Toshiba player, when a local hardware store was selling them off. Always keep extra players of everything handy in case of emergency breakdowns (that’s why I currently own 6 portable MiniDiscs)
I still buy HD DVDs whenever I have the chance. My last two purchases were The Bourne Trilogy and The Matrix Trilogy, both for $9.99
I turned to the internet to decide whether or not to get blu Ray or hddvd and in that search I found this web site. Ever since then I have come here to read news and reviews every day. Thanks fir all the great info guys!
P.S. I decided on Blu Ray after my research.
I still have my LG Super Blu player, thou I haven’t updated it in a while
I bought HD DVD, and I’m still holding a grudge after the end of the format wars. Not so much about the formats themselves. I’m happy with Blu-ray, even though I hoped the regionfreeneess and less draconian DRMness of HD DVD would prevail. However, the way certain blu-ray fanboys behaved in forums is hard to forget. Pure bullying and continous verbal abuse, without any attempt to actually debate the formats is not something I’m willing to forgive easily. The Digital Bits in particular lost a long time reader at the end of the “war”. I’d been reading them obsessively every day ever since I first got a DVD-player in early 1998. But, Bill Hunt’s rant when Paramount dropped blu-ray, and his follow-up when WB dropped HD DVD, made it perfectly clear that he considered people like me (i.e. customers who chose HD DVD) to be scum of the earth. So, from this date, I haven’t accessed The Digital Bits once.
What annoys me most about having a “huge” HD DVD collection now, is that I actually bought most of the discs after the end of the war. Of course, they were all very cheap, so it seemed like a bargain, but I probably spent three times as much on HD DVDs after I knew the format would die, than I did before. If I had just cut my losses right away, instead of hoarding “cheap” discs, it would’ve been a lot easier to get rid of the player and discs.
Your comments about the ‘Digital Bit’s editorial stance mirror my own. It’s one thing to declare a preference for a format. It’s another to go off the rails in defense of said format. I was format neutral at the time, and the snark rolling off that site ultimately led me here, where cooler heads were reporting on each format.
I am also a former Bits reader who has now turned away in disgust. It has been years since I was there, and was probably not long after the format war that I got tired of their contempt for their readers. All too often they sounded like they were preaching as opposed to just providing information.
Ditto. It used to be a favourite site of mine (I even have their book!), but I haven’t paid a visit since the format war.
Ditto for me. It’s why I also started reading HDD, because they didn’t take a side.
I have been (and still am) a long time Bits reader and can’t understand your comments about Bill and the format war. Upon reading your comments, I tried to recall any of the disparaging comments you mentioned and kept coming up blank. I even went so far as to go to the web archive and re-read his comments from that time. All I could find is an occasional comment about some HD DVD supports were acting like rabid fanboys but he also made mention that Blu-Ray had some of those same supporters.
I really couldn’t find anything where he was negative toward HD DVD supporters though. Yes, he did come out in support of Blu-Ray but he based it on his industry insider knowledge and the market trends that were happening. Maybe you feel he should have stayed neutral but he stated exactly why he felt that would have been a bad decision. He was also extremely critical of Toshiba and Microsoft’s continuing need to drag out the war past the point where it was clear the format was not going to survive.
I’m thinking maybe you were a bit too entrenched in the whole war and just felt somewhat betrayed when Bill came out in support of Blu-Ray. Because the negativity and snark just isn’t there in his comments. If you would like to find something that would change my opinion, please do. But I went back to his comments at that time and found nothing.
I don’t think any of us are going to bother looking for examples, but the fact that so many of us have abandoned the site should indicate that it is not a baseless accusation.
Don’t take it as a slight of their current readers… this was just the impression I personally got from their page at the time.
Yeah, I also stopped reading bits around that time. Bill Hunt’s rants on blu ray over hd-dvd were awful.
Dude, the way fanboys of both formats acted was the same. There were reasonable people on both sides of the fence and a bunch of insulting jerks. I remember when Paramount announced they were exclusive, there were all kinds of HD-DVD guys being dicks about the “Blu-Ray people” not getting to watch Transformers in HD and that kind of stuff.
Really, the entire “format war” in internet discussion forums was the same thing as what is going on now with dorky fanboys who argue about competing video game consoles. These kind of things are always full of hostility and venom for whatever reason.
I can’t remember how much I paid for mine but I was an early adopter, I already had a PS3 so had the option to buy blu ray’s but I remember the HD DVD player came with 5 free discs and you could send off for another 3 titles as well. I even ended up selling my blu ray copy of 300 as I got a free HD DVD copy, recently picked it up again for a couple of quid on blu ray! I still use the HD DVD have some great films that I keep it plugged in for like Zodiac and probably have about 50 discs for it as you can pick them up for a pound now, some which are still not on blu ray. Always liked the format and think it still looks great, shame they never had DTS sound though.
I bought the HD-DVD add on and really enjoyed the quality. Still own a number of HD-DVD’s, bought a lot very cheap after the demise of the format, but replaced most for BR-releases and haven’t watched an HD-DVD for ages.
During this format war i was working in a movie store and used to have many discussions with co-workers about this subject. I always was on the side of Blu-ray which i thought had the most support for the long run. And i thought the PS3 was vital even though the first releases, as mentioned above, were worse than their HD-DVD counterparts…
Michael S. Palmer
I made two key mistakes during the format war.
1) A stand-alone Sony Blu-ray player (versus a first gen fat PS3) that was $50 cheaper, but impossibly slow (especially with Java-heavy titles) and couldn’t do DTS-HD MA. 2) And then a month before HD-DVD called it quits, I caved and picked up an HD-DVD player and about ten titles (which I still own). Whoops!
If I had only gone with the PS3 out of the gate (I later ended up getting one of the last fat models, and it still works great) and held out another two months, I would have saved about $500-600. Le sigh.
Depending on where you bought your HD-DVD player at, a lot of places gave customers in-store credit who bought their players late in the game. I did that with Best Buy. They had marked the player down to $200 and gave you 8 free movies. Then about 2 weeks later, they marked it down to $100, so I took in my receipt and they refunded the difference. Then they gave everyone who had bought the player in the last X months a $50 giftcard or something.
When it came time to ditch my HD-DVD player (I had the Toshiba HD-A1, which I believe was the first one on the market – I also bought it the first week it was available in North America), I couldn’t find anyone interested in it (locally, I didn’t want to go through the trouble of selling it online and shipping it) – so I wound up just throwing it out with the trash, along with about 30 or so movies that Amazon wasn’t buying back at the time (or only offering 25 or 50 cents for).
The garbage men come and see all the movies, and throw them up in the front of the truck…but totally miss the player. I imagine they went home all excited and then realized they wouldn’t play in their DVD player, and they threw out the one machine that they could have viewed them on.
One of the few pieces of home video technology I felt I wasted money on…although I did enjoy it for a year or two.
Paul J Anderson
I was all for HD-DVD and bought a Toshiba HD-A1 soon after they came out. Couldn’t wait for that beautiful 1080p picture. My Denon AVR-3805 didn’t have HDMI inputs so I had to use the 5.1 analog outs to enjoy the lossless audio on some of the discs. I still remember going into the local Target and asking if Batman Begins was available, even though it wasn’t supposed to be released for another few days, and the clueless worker said “yup” and I was totally ecstatic because I couldn’t wait to shake the walls of my place with the Dolby True HD soundtrack. I ended up collecting about 100 or so discs, but the HD-A1 eventually crapped out on me and I plunked down major bucks for the Onkyo DV-HD805 before the war had come to an end. I still have and use it. What sucks, though, is that a lot of the Warner titles have rotted since being purchased and I never know until I start to watch the movie and it freezes up somewhere in the middle, so I am slowly replacing those with Blu-rays. Otherwise they still shake the walls!
Wow… didn’t realise rot had been an issue for HD-DVD. I was hoping that would be left behind with laserdisc!
I wonder if the discs are actually rotted, although it wouldn’t surprise me, HD-DVD (especially Warner) used really cheap discs. However, most of my issues was that the discs scratched REALLY easily, sometimes producing issues that were similar to laserrot.
Yup. Still have 3….the 360 HD DVD attachment, and 2 Toshiba players for the bedroom and living room setup. They will probably be shelved as I have been going digital by ripping all of my discs as I buy them.
I was very excited to begin collecting and viewing HD movies at home, but I waited for a winner. I picked up my first blu-ray player (a PlayStation 3) and my first blu-rays in summer 2008 shortly after it was clear which way the tides had turned.
I started with HD-DVD when the add-on for the Xbox 360 became available.
I was very impressed with both the quality and the features at the time, and although I bought into blu-ray via PS3 shortly after, I always considered HD-DVD the superior format… not just at the time, but even now, thinking how HD-DVD could have evolved if it wasn’t killed off by corporations.
It still makes me laugh how an incomplete format (blu-ray, again… at the time!) could have been victorious against HD-DVD, when HD-DVD could already do everything that BD promised but failed to deliver. It just goes to show how powerful the marketing machine is, and how narrow-minded consumers can be.
The pieces of the Blu-Ray spec that were missing initially was things that really weren’t a huge selling point. Things like picture-in-picture and web connectivity. They’re great bullet points in a list of features but when it comes to movie playback the biggest concern is the quality of the audio and video. And that is where HD DVD faltered. HD DVD’s biggest failing was storage space: 30GB vs Blu-Ray’s 50GB. When studios had to drop lossless audio to to fit the movie on a disc, that was a far bigger issue than whether the disc could access the web.
And HD DVD combo discs were are a horrible idea, just like two-sided DVDs.
Fully agree on the flipper discs… studios who release two sided BD’s, HD-DVD’s or even just DVD’s should all be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity!
I don’t agree on the quality being inferior to Blu-ray though, at least not in the early days. Firstly, it took me years to upgrade to a lossless codec compatible amplifier, the same goes for many of my friends. None of us HD audio when HD-DVD was still prevalent. Image-wise… on my setup at the time, the image quality of a HD-DVD was always preferable to Blu-ray (which was just running through my PS3 at the time). at the time, I was using a 1366×768 native projector, and I always blamed that setup for the poor BD images (as opposed to blaming the format or the PS3 itself) When updating to a FullHD TV, a couple of years into blu-ray, that is when I started to go blu more than purple.
That said, even now when I go and compare my HD-DVD of Perfume to my German BD or my Japanese BD, I still prefer the image quality of the HD-DVD version… alas, I now much prefer the uncompressed PCM 5.1 track on the Japanese BD.
Things that sound dirty but aren’t: “…that’s when I started to go more blu than purple.”..lol
The flipper discs were a savior when renting from Netflix. I would normally start off on the HD-DVD side, hit a scratch, flip the disc over, watch 5-10 minutes in SD, then flip the disc back over.
I didn’t have lossless receiver at the time either. HD-DVD’s inclusion of Dolby Digital Plus was a huge advantage there.
But I totally agree on the storage space thing – I remember when Transformers came out, people were shocked that it didn’t have lossless audio. The studio’s response was that it was dropped because there was not enough storage space on the disc.
Really liked the format, bought an A1 in ’06, still have an A2 in my HT and several titles. Did find that HD DVD was not a good format for rentals, lots of surface scratch issues with Netflix. Blu Ray is more robust. My own HD DVD titles have no damage issues and I continue to watch them. A2 is a good DVD up scaler as well.
I bought the 360 add on and a LG combo drive for my PC. I only had a dozen discs until the format war ended. Bought a HDE1 player and close to 60 titles during fire sales and online. Powered it up recently and found six of my Warner titles have disc rot (including my Oceans set).
Never owned a player since I sat out the format war like a lot of other people, however I do own a single HD DVD, a copy of the 5-disc Blade Runner set just for completist purposes as I collect any and all releases of that particular film.
I used the Xbox HD DVD drive on my PC to play movies and eventually I bought a LG dual format drive which I still use. When Toshiba started to heavily discount the HD DVD players I bought one and more recently I also bought an Oppo Blu-Ray player. I mostly use my PC as my movies are stored on my 25TB NAS. My Oppo is used to play 3D movies as it has dual HDMI output as my receiver isn’t 3D compatible
Technically I owned a BluRay player in my PS3…but I didn’t buy any movies until the winner was clear
I was very much in the HDDVD Camp and slightly niggled when they threw in the towel, convinced as I was that it was the better format. But when I bought into Blu-ray, not really having any choice in the matter after HDDVD’s demise I was surprised by just how much more reliable Blu-ray was compared to the Former. I very rarely had any issues with the Sony format and it really has got better and better.
I still have some HDDVDs in my collection although the last time I played one it had developed a rather odd sticky surface across the disk and had to be cleaned away using mild soap and water before it could be played. It doesn’t bode well for the longer term storage of HDDVDs if this is an example of what happens.
Another big selling point for bluray for me was the special coating that made them more scratch resistant and easier to wipe smudges, ( not that any of my dvds or blus have them because im pretty anal about handling them properly) correct me if I’m wrong but I’m not sure hd DVD had the coating.
HD DVD did not have the same scratch-resistant coating. However, that coating is more important on Blu-ray, because a Blu-ray’s data layer is closer to the surface of the disc. DVDs and HD DVDs are more tolerant of minor scuffs and scratches (though a big scratch is of course bad for either).
I bought one in 2010 off of some guy on craigs list ONLY so I could watch special features on some HD-DVDs that aren’t on the blu-rays. Such as: Blood Diamond, Troy (Theatrical Cut), and Poseidon.
Paul J Anderson
Jarhead also has the special features from the Limited Edition DVD that aren’t present on the Blu-ray.
If I had the money I would have bought both right from the start. I ended up buying the HD A2 in Dec 07 at the Future Shop I worked at, got it for around $300 I think, it was pretty cheap. The only blu we carried at the time was the samsung which was around $1000. I hooked it up and got no sound from the digital out. I have a. Marantz receiver with separate DD decoder and a Millennium DTS decoder. Funny thing was the DTS decoder got a signal, but couldn’t process it, even though it was a DD disc. Had that issue with some of my DVD players too, so I always had to buy models with 6 channel outs. Anyways, returned it a few days later. Then a few months later Paramount said they would stop making blus and focus on HD, so I snatched up some blus like Italian Job and then mission Impossible Trilogy because I read they were going out of print.
I got my first blu in Oct 08, then got an HD A35 in Nov, mainly for Transformers and face off. Bought a lot that were HD exclusive for awhile, like the Matrix trilogy, V For Vendetta, and Batman Begins.
I still have that HD but I’ve upgraded my blu a few times. I already had a decent collection but when HD discs were showing up in Walmart bins for $5 I ended up buying another 30-40 titles. Even bought some recently off ebay, Blade Runner 5 disc set (have the blu already, but it’s a nice set) and For Love of the Game (in True HD!). Sold a few then found out about some of the DNR issues on Universal discs, so I’ve just included them in a two disc set with the blu, then i have my choice.
Eventually I’d like to get and HD X2 and if those 360 drives work on a PC I should pick one up too!
Got my years wrong. Should have been dec 06 and then OCt 07. Man where do the years go?
I don’t regret buying HD-DVD, as we still have it in the deck with the Blu-Ray player. It may not get as much use, but it’s still gets used from time to time and I’d say our HD collection is still around at least a quarter (Maybe even a third) HD-DVD. In fact, we just watched The Mummy tonight, on HD-DVD and The Last Starfighter last week.
I still think it was the (marginally) better format, but what originally swayed me was a) the titles at the time, b) it seemed the slightly better format and c) when I read up about both, especially here, the Blu Ray fanatics seemed much more vocal and annoying and petty so, daft as it sounds, that put me off Blu Ray.
Shame it didn’t win the format war, but it’s still one of the best AV purchases I’ve made, because I enjoyed HD movies from the beginning at a price I could afford, and got loads cheap when it failed. There’s still a ton of movies I have and get to enjoy that would cost a fortune to replace on BD. 🙂
I have two HD-DVD players, the first of which is the original RCA HDV5000. Interestingly, after the last firmware update, the start up screen changed from RCA to Toshiba! I still use the RCA in my main system when I want to play one of my HD-DVDs. It’s surprising how good the audio quality is at the mid range of sampling frequencies used at that time.
The other one, which is not currently in use, is a Toshiba HD-A3. I opted not to sell it because I figured I will eventually need a backup player.
The RCA and Onkyo HD DVD players were just rebadged Toshiba models. Toshiba also made the Xbox add-on, but at least that was a unique device.
I supported Blu-ray from the start.
When I first heard about the two competing specs, I did the research, and quickly picked Blu-ray primarily based on 30GB HD DVD vs 50GB Blu-ray. I hate even the idea of compressed audio and video signals. It seemed obvious to me that – assuming the movie companies and hardware companies did their jobs right – a 50GB playback medium would provide clearly superior audio and video quality compared to a 30GB playback medium.
SO – after deciding to go Blu, I saved up Toys-R-Us gift cards (obtained via credit-card rewards), and used those gift cards to buy a first-gen 60GB fat PS3 around the Christmas when they first came out. I still have three of those original 60GB PS3’s – one for each TV in my house – and I still use them today (although I usually use them for Netflix or Vudu or HBO GO or … instead of for blu-ray playback….). I know. It’s ironic. After spending all the time and effort to go Blu for top quality, now I seem to spend a surprising amount of time streaming. And I still buy Blu-rays. And log them into Vudu. And put them on the shelf, watching them maybe once…
Months before I bought my first PS3, I was buying Blu-ray movies left and right. (That’s right – buying Blu-rays before I had a player to play them on…) I loved all of the BOGO sales they were running to try to get the format off the ground. That’s what I miss most about the format war – the great sales.
Years after the format war was over, I finally bought an HD DVD player off of eBay – a Toshiba HD-XA2. Why buy an HD DVD player years after the war? Because there were still a few movies that I wanted in High-Def that were only available at that time on HD DVD (“Streets of Fire”, “Meet Joe Black”, “Face/Off”). When I bought the player, I also bought probably 40 or 50 HD DVDs at fire-sale prices, all in batches from eBay. I bought movies that I really didn’t care that much about, but at $1 or $2 each I thought I might watch them sometime. And I still haven’t watched most of those movies. Maybe three of them?
Since I picked both Blu-ray and PS3 very early in the war, of course I was completely satisfied with the way the war turned out. And I’m fine with currently having an HD-XA2 connected to my home theater rack. The HD-XA2 doesn’t take up nearly as much space as the Pioneer LaserDisc player I still have connected. Yes, I knew LaserDiscs wouldn’t last as a format – if only because of the flipping discs/changing discs (breaks interrupting a movie). But my LaserDisc players stay connected and still run to playback certain content that is not available in any current digital format…
I bought a couple of HD DVD players. I had the A1 and then the A35. The A35 is still in my rack of equipment to this day. I use it once in a while for the occasional HD DVD disc. The majority of my discs have been replaced by Blu-Ray versions, but there are still some exclusives that never made it.
I had the cheapest Toshiba one. It had a horrible, slow menu system. But the discs ended up being super cheap once Sony won the format war, but I just hated the player so much I got rid of it and turned to Blu Ray and never looked back.
I went all in with HD-DVD, Have a couple of LG BH200 players and a HTPC that can playback both Blu Ray and HD DVD. I too, bought most of my discs after the war ended, most I got for less than $4. I still remember how bad some of the Blu ray supporters were. Still irks me. In all it was a fun time though. Gotta love that Transformers HD DVD.
I was all about HD-DVD too. After HD-DVD lost there was a Circuit City near me that was going out of business. So I put my Toshiba away and bought the LG combo player and still use it quite a bit. I put the HD-DVD player in storage. I don’t watch the HD-DVD’s as much as I did, but they are still a big part of my collection as I have not double dipped into blu-ray very much on titles I already had.