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This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: February 05, 2008

Elizabeth The Golden Age HD DVDAs the 80th Annual Academy Awards inch ever closer, some of us are still scrambling to see the contenders in question before the big night. Those anxious to see their favorites before the inevitable acceptance speech or scowl-behind-forced-smile have the chance to watch a few in high-def this week.

On HD DVD is Elizabeth: The Golden Age, nominated for Cate Blanchett‘s performance and the opulent costumes. On Blu-ray are Across the Universe, nominated for its costumes, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, nominated for Casey Affleck‘s supporting performance.

Look for other nominees, brought to you in crystal clear high definition, throughout the month.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: February 05, 2008


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This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 29, 2008

Life of Brian Blu-rayHappy Tuesday, all!

The big news this week is the release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian on Blu-ray. The classic film, walking the hyper-sensitive line between important social issues and side-splitting comedy, is easily one of the best from the Python team, and should have a place on every movie lover’s shelf. Why not own it in gorgeous 1080p resolution and Dolby 5.1 surround sound? The harmless religious satire is that much better.

On a side note, am I crazy, or has Warner started consistently releasing films on HD DVD weeks later than those released on Blu-ray? For instance, this week’s Blu-ray release, The Invasion, won’t come out on HD DVD until February 19. And it’s not this one time either—the list of upcoming titles from High-Def Digest shows a serious lag in Warner HD DVD releases. I realize that Warner is phasing the format out, but have they officially put HD DVD on the back burner?

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 29, 2008


Thousands Sign Petition to Save HD DVD

HD DVD Blu-ray clashImpassioned high-definitionites are still fighting to save their precious HD DVD with an online petition. Beginning January 5, the outcry had hoped to urge Warner Home Entertainment to reconsider its recent decision to go Blu-ray, after long-time indecisiveness regarding the format war.

Petitioners also hope the two remaining studios, Paramount and Universal, will see that HD DVD has many supporters and shouldn’t be relegated to history along with Betamax.

Many people have left comments vilifying Warner for allegedly choosing money over consumer choice. Some even swore to never buy another Warner-related film. To be sure, the decision dealt a mighty blow to HD DVD owners; it is clear they feel passionately.

As of this writing, the petition had topped nearly 14,000—not bad considering its short existence—though one wonders what it would take to convince a monolithic conglomerate like Warner.

If you want to do your part to keep HD DVD alive, or if you simply like the competition, sign the petition. Or if you’re ready for the format war to end— eschewing consumer choice and embracing monopoly—you can always sign the Let HD DVD Die Petition.


This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 15, 2008

The Ten HD DVDAlright, yes—this article should have been written yesterday. But despite my lack of punctuality, I’ve decided to go ahead and post it anyway as part of a New Year’s resolution to write more. And this is a slow time for film in general, so I think I deserve a reprieve.

To be perfectly honest, little jumps out at me this week. We have the hilarious, slightly esoteric The Ten, helmed by some The State alumni and starring, well, just about everyone. Is there anything else worth mentioning? Could Girls Gone Wild: Baby Bash—Live and Uncensored be the best Blu-ray title this week? That seems a bit sad, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, HD DVD patrons—if you were looking for some girl-on-girl action, hold out until February 12th when it releases in your format.

I can’t wait for these sluggish few weeks to pass.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 15, 2008


This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008

Zodiac HD DVDThis week marks the release of the first batch of high-definition DVDs since on-the-fence Warner landed decidedly on the Blu side; I must admit, as an HD DVD man, the day feels a bit colder than normal. But no matter—the format war is far from over.

On a lighter note, both formats have some exciting titles to speak of, including the Blu-ray release of one of my favorite movies from 2007, Sunshine; Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning film, The Pianist, on HD DVD; and the long-awaited special edition of David Fincher’s Zodiac, also on HD DVD. The DVD release from July contained nary a special feature, so this two-disc director’s cut ought to please those Fincher fans waiting for a decent version.

Check out the full list of high-def releases after the jump.

Click to continue reading This Week on HD DVD and Blu-ray: January 08, 2008


CES 2008: Warner Drops HD-DVD, Lone Tear Streams Down Toshiba’s Face

Posted by Chris Cardinal Categories: CES, CES 2008, Home Entertainment,

Warner Bros. announced they were becoming an exclusively studio this weekend, apparently completely pulling the rug on the HD-DVD camp. Said a Toshiba press release:

TOKYO, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/—Toshiba is quite surprised by Warner Bros.’ decision to abandon in favor of Blu-ray, despite the fact that there are various contracts in place between our companies concerning the support of HD DVD. As central members of the DVD Forum, we have long maintained a close partnership with Warner Bros. We worked closely together to help standardize the first-generation DVD format as well as to define and shape HD DVD as its next-generation successor.

We were particularly disappointed that this decision was made in spite of the significant momentum HD DVD has gained in the US market as well as other regions in 2007. HD DVD players and PCs have outsold Blu-ray in the US market in 2007.

‘s one of the HD-DVD founders and following this announcement, they pulled their CES conference entirely. A bit of a death knell ringing for the HD-DVD side, with rumors swirling that Microsoft may be pulling their HD-DVD support as well.

It makes the free HD-DVD press backpack/roller bags a bit of a sad affair.


Target Picks Blu-ray for Holiday 2007

TargetIt seems that Target is semi-following in Blockbuster’s footsteps as far as the next-generation high definition DVD format war goes, as they have made a move that solidly puts them behind this holiday season. Target announced today that it would start selling standalone Blu-ray players in their brick-and-mortar locations beginning this fall. This obviously leads into the holiday rush. Consumers will be able to purchase the Sony BDP-S300 at $499 USD, as well as have the option to select from an expanded selection of Blu-ray movie titles. This is the first standalone high-definition player that Target has made available in stores, but they do also sell the Blu-ray and add-on.

Back in June, Blockbuster announced Blu-ray exclusivity in it’s retail stores as well, citing that in test markets the format was rented far more than HD DVD was. They do, however, continue to rent HD DVD through Blockbuster Online and Blockbuster Total Access. Target will also continue selling both HD DVD titles and Blu-ray titles in stores, but we expect that Blu-ray section to grow a bit larger.

Target spokesperson Brie Heath told the Associated Press that this isn’t a political move. “We are not proclaiming one format vs. the other as the preferred consumer technology, and software will continue to be available to our guests in both the Blu-ray and HD DVD format,” said Brie. We’ll see how this all plays out in the fourth quarter.


Samsung Announces BD-UP5000 Hybrid Blu-ray HD DVD Player, Plus 3rd Gen. Blu-Ray Players

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Home Entertainment, Movies,

Samsung BD-UP5000

has finally announced its hybrid player today. This is going to be the home theatre device to watch this holiday season, as it launches in the fourth quarter of 2007. Those consumers who worry about the format war finally have a player that should fully support the features of both formats, unlike the LG Super Multi Blue BH-100 player, which doesn’t fully support HD DVD features.

The BD-UP5000 features playback, HDMI 1.3, VC-1, H.264, and HD JPEG decoding. It also features built-in storage and Ethernet to fully support the HD DVD spec. A device like this doesn’t come cheap, so expect the BD-UP5000 to launch at $1,049 USD.

You can check the full release after the jump, which also features news on Samsung’s upcoming third generated Blu-ray players, the and .

Click to continue reading Samsung Announces BD-UP5000 Hybrid Blu-ray HD DVD Player, Plus 3rd Gen. Blu-Ray Players


Bleeding Edge TV 127: LG Super Multi Blue BH-100 Player

We know the HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray war is going hot and heavy, and LG looks to capitalize on that with their BH-100 hybrid Blu-ray HD DVD player. If you don’t get it yet, this bad boy can play just about any optical media you can throw at it, supporting DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and HD DVD content as well. Price is a bit steep at $1199 USD, but true videophiles may not even notice when they realize that, for them, the format war no longer exists. The LG Super Multi Blue BH-100 Player officially hits retail stores today, despite being available in small quantities for a little over a week now.


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