After the next holiday season, I hope we will have a better picture about the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD format war. Those who read me know that I'm pro Blu-Ray because of the content but I wrote this for those who may jump soon and don't want to choose any side. So, depending of the result after the holiday season and if no clear winner is possible in the near term, I'm sure some of you will look for an hybrid HD player to play safe. That, I can understand. The good news is that Samsung(BD-UP5000) and LG(BH200) will both have those models that will be completely compatible with both formats. The only drawback: price: both are $1000USD or more. But if you live in Canada, you can buy the old LG unit for $800CAD/USD. Of course, this is the suggested retail price. If you can pay less in your area, then good for you. I know, the price will be lower in 2008, 2009....that's a given. But I'm looking for now till the first quarter of 2008 and maybe beyond. Here a few options for you: The hybrid HD player The Pro's
  • 1 Player means 1 set of connections
  • Support 1080P
  • Future proof your investment
The Con's
  • Much higher price for now
  • If it breaks, you loose both format for a while. I hope you have a good warranty(extra) ;)
2 non-hybrid players The Pro's
  • Lower combine price of the players(but see the con's). If your movies are more Blu-Ray, you could buy a PS3 or standalone Blu-Ray with a cheap HD-DVD player like the Venturer
  • Future proof your investment
  • If it one breaks, you still have the other player
The Con's
  • 2 Players means 2 set of connections. You have 2 remotes or can use an universal remote that support both player completely(extra cost?)
  • Can both support 1080P. Cheaper players may not.
  • Do you have 2 DVI or HMI on the HDTV? Will you need a switch?(extra cost?)
1 non-hybrid player The Pro's
  • Lower price
  • 1 set of connection
The Con's
  • A limited selection of movies
  • More risky if your choose the wrong side
A few strategies:
  • If you have some doubts, just rent the movies instead and buy a few movies only. That way, you limit the risk and it's the player that will be your greater lost.
  • Without incurring the cost of the other format, check if you can rent it for the weekend. You can make a weekend out of it by renting a lot of the movies.
Conclusion I showed you a few simple choices but I would rather not in the first place(I hate the format war). Just think of it as a  plan for the next 6 months. This exercise was good for me too because I could see the cost it may bring depending on the solution taken. As you can see, the war of both camps is costing us a lot in waisted time(many on the sideline) and money(extra). We, consumers, just want to enjoy HD movies in peace but they make it much harder. If only HD-DVD studios would support both format instead, this way most people on the sideline would only need to buy a Blu-Ray player. I say this because Sony(Blu-Ray, Spider Man, Resident Evil...) won't support HD-DVD any time soon. P.S. I still don't have a player(Blu-Ray) because I'm too busy having a $500 contest for you. ;)
Keywords: High definition, Movie