Published Date
12 - Apr - 2007
| Last Updated
12 - Apr - 2007

The blue-laser format war-between HD-DVD and Blu-ray-is showing no signs of letting up. No-one's happy, definitely not the HD consumer: very few titles are still available on either of the high-definition optical media, and consumers are putting off purchase of players of either flavour. The media, like the players, remain expensive. In fact, some are even waiting for HVD-Holographic Versatile Disc-entirely avoiding the upgrade to blue-laser. And some are contemplating that Flash, with its ever-plunging prices, could kill of blue-laser media! In short, the entire HD-DVD and Blu-ray thing seems to have gone awry, and we are far from the rosy picture we once had.
If the alliances can't seem to reach a consensus, it remains for someone else to make an effort at delivering content.
Warner Bros unveiled, at the 2007 CES, an optical disc format that can be played in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc players. The disc has been dubbed "Total HD," and it can't get simpler in concept: a dual-layer disc, with an HD-DVD layer on top of a Blu-ray layer.
In what is indicative of the fact that the format war is still very much on, Warner Bros chief Barry Meyer told The New York Times that there's no clear winner in the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD; he went on to confidently speculate that a winner isn't likely to emerge for some time. Which is just what it seems like to us.
Total HD will appeal to content retailers, he added, who will need to stock one disc instead of two. However, with no pricing details having been given out, one cannot say that Total HD is the answer.
Many of the other big labels-with Paramount as a notable exception, supporting both formats-are siding with one format or the other, still hoping for a clear winner to emerge from the format war.
If that was for the media, here's another solution-from LG-in terms of the hardware: announced at the 2007 CES was the world's first dual-format Blu-ray/HD-DVD player. It will be launched sometime in "early 2007." "Dual-format" simply means the player will be able to play both types of discs.
LG, like Warner, is hopeful their innovation will solve, to some measure, the confusion-for content producers as well as consumers.
Both developments are indicative of how ludicrous the format war has gotten: the technology is there, but few can use it! If the onus of getting content out to the consumer is falling upon someone other than the disc alliances, you can figure how stubborn each camp is. We must ask: will good sense prevail in the end?

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