Last week I got a review unit of Sony’s XL301 Media Center PC complete with Blu-ray drive. I recorded a video review and in the review (out soon) in the video I said it was a shame that I had no Blu-ray film to try with it. So on Saturday I visited my local Blockbuster store to rent a Blu-ray film.

The first thing I noticed is that in terms of HD content Blockbuster only offer Blu-ray films and have no HD-DVD films. I have been thinking about getting a HD drive for a while and for me the best option would be a HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360 but this now looks like it would be a waist of money as far as rental is concerned there is only Blu-ray, so to me this looks like the Blu-ray format has won (well in the UK)

HD-DVD can be better and cheaper but if the average consumer looks at their local Blockbuster and can only see Blu-ray then the that will be the format they go for. I can remember by parents having a Betamax video player and going to the video shops and watching the number of rental films drop from a parallel number with VHS down to non. So unless rental stores offer HD-DVD the war would be lost

As for my first thoughts on Blu-ray, I have to say I am impressed. The picture is fantastic, I had it connected up to my 50" Sony Bravia via HDMI and the audio via optical to my AV receiver for 5.1 sound

The film I rented was Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead Mans Chest which is a great fun film. It was a great picture with vivid colours, I found the colours via the PC and HDMI were richer than the Xbox via VGA. You can tell it’s a better picture than normal DVD but its not like going from VHS to DVD. I guess here is the problem, its great but only a little better than DVD and I guess that is why the uptake is going to be slow, it is not like the vast difference from VHS to DVD so consumers are in no rush to upgrade and when they do it will to a format that has good features and plenty of content which just going off my one visit to my local Blockbuster (Chorley UK) was Blu-ray

Look out for my video review of the Sony unit and Blu-ray soon

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3 thoughts on “Bluray v HD-DVD my take”
  1. Do you have Netflix in the UK? Stateside they have both BR and HD-DVD. I don’t know that Blockbuster’s backing BR in it’s B&M stores is that big a deal; I haven’t been in one in years and I expect most early adopters probably use Netflix or Blockbuster’s mail service (which still does HD-DVD).

  2. Mail order is good and I think LoveFims offer a mail service, still the casusal consumer looking to rent from a store is going to find BR only.
    After writing the post I visted my local ASDA (WALMART) and they had a good selection of both formats

  3. I don’t think the casual consumer is in the market for a high def player. The cost of entry is too high for casual buyer, and the potential for getting burned when one of the formats goes away, everyone but the early adopters is keeping out of the market. If it weren’t for the low cost of the 360 drive I would have stayed out too.

    It would be a good poll to see how many people with high-def players use the local video store v. a mail based service.

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