Early Adopters Give High-Def DVD High Marks Despite Limited Software Selection

Posted Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 10:55 AM PDT by
Wall of HD-DVD Discs Reuters handed out report cards to early adopters this week to grade the launch of HD-DVD, with most returning high marks for the format's quality and value, despite complaints of poor initial software selection.

"I'm thrilled with that result," James Stevenson, a 22-year-old freelance journalist, told Reuters. Though "dismayed" by the dearth of studio support with new disc titles for the launch, Stevensen says he bought the cheaper of the first two Toshiba next-gen decks for $499 because the Lincoln, Nebraska native "wanted to get a head start on the next-generation DVDs and give my HD-starved TV more content."

Lars Peterson, 29, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, also found HD-DVD's quality "breathtaking," despite so few titles on store shelves. He also praised the "upconversion" capabilities of the first next-gen players on standard DVD. "This is a huge plus, considering the lack of HD movies to currently choose from," he said. "[And] I have owned at least ten DVD players over the last eight years, and I can honestly say the Toshiba player is the best."

Price also appeared to be one of the determining factors in the choice of many of the early adopters interviewed to take a chance on HD-DVD so early in the high-def DVD format wars -- which could prove a serious stumbling block for Blu-Ray, whose first-gen decks are expected to retail starting at a premium $1000.

"Honestly, I am turned off by the higher price tags [of Blu-Ray]," said Bryan Ferriera, 33, of Peabody, Massachusetts."Now that HD-DVD is out, why would anyone want to pay at least double the price of the [cheaper Toshiba] HD-A1 to get the same quality?"
Tags: Industry Forecasts (all tags)