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Old 01-05-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default Practical Lessons in Home Economics

Hey guys,

First off, I ventured into smackdown for the first time in a long time, and actually found a thread there suggesting something that had crossed my mind -- an exchange program from WB to trade out their HD DVD discs with the Blu equivalents. It's an idea that would be "the right thing to do" for WB, IMO, but will probably never happen. I know some of you are calling the PR office with your concerns, if you think that this is a good idea, suggest it to them (politely, of course). I'd personally mention the failed promise of TotalHD discs, and the Noonan statement from December 13th that the studio was neutral.

That out of the way, I'm seeing a lot of people dumping their HD DVD discs at a loss of price, knee-jerking and saying "OMG, OMG, I need to change everything over to Blu ASAP!" As someone who is spends way too much money on home movies on various types of media (just check the sig, and yes, I bought that copy of Salo on eBay, and yes, it was four hundred bucks -- got it? get it? good), let me say that this is silly.

Your HD DVD player still works. And if you bought it recently, it will probably continue to work for the next two years or so, before the drive craps out. You probably spent anywhere between two hundred and five hundred bucks for it, some earlier adopters dropping a bit more. And, you may have spent $1000 to $2000 on media.

So don't dump it now, keep it on the shelf, and if you want to watch that movie this time next year, do so on HD DVD. And if your HD DVD player dies two years from now, pick up that same movie on Blu-ray for probably a third of the cost of what the disc is now. Seriously, you know that $5.50 dump bin at Wal-Mart for DVDs? You don't think you're going to see that filled with Ghost Rider and The Wicker Man and other awful Nic Cage Blu-ray opuses in a few years time?

For your wallet, the consumer's wallet, it makes zero sense to dump your HD hardware and discs in a fire sale now, and move to Blu exclusively.

What I'm planning on doing personally is to start buying WB titles on Blu starting with TAoJJbtCRF, picking up a backup HD DVD player to throw in the closet for the day the A1 dies when they hit the hundred dollar clearance price point (peanuts compared to the 75 titles I've bought on HD DVD) and then start replacing those then. This is how I see myself getting out of this format scuffle with the least additional damage to my bank account.

Now, if you just bought an A3 or whatever and have five titles or so, your economical position may be different. But for heavy investors, do some math, figure out your best position and stick with it. Knee-jerk fire sales are going to hurt your wallets in the future.

Paid for by the guy who spends all his money on Criterion Collection DVDs.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:45 AM
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To me, it makes more sense to hold out for a dual player that should be down in price by late next year. Why dip again to buy bluray versions if you can buy a player that can play both? I just don't see the idea of a dual player going away any time soon and prices will eventually drop
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:54 AM
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^ If a dual player was a reasonable price this time next year ($300 or less), I would agree with you. I'm just thinking there's a better shot of seeing a cheap HD only player as a backup before that.

Also, the purchase of a cheap backup HD DVD player makes more sense if you already have a Blu-ray player. If you only have HD DVD now, the buying the Samsung or some other combo player as your next makes more sense, depending on costs, of course.

Again, the point of my post is that it's silly to sell thousands of dollars of media for ten cents on the dollar, only to have to replace a lot of that with a Blu-ray version that is equal to the current retail cost of the HD DVD version right at this moment, when you can hold on to it until your player dies... at that point, replacing it with Blu versions would be a lot cheaper, assuming Blu-ray price trends match DVD price trends. Seriously, dumping titles at current market prices and rebuying Blu at the same would be like trading Allen Iverson for Andre Miller and Joe Smith.... oh wait, that happened.

I am a little dubious on the viability of dual format players in the marketplace at this point. That depends on what Universal and Paramount decide to do over the next year.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:56 AM
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I agree but I still can see the viability in a dual player. It's not like sales of hd dvds were terrible from the start. I think if the price is reasonable, there would be a market for one. If it was selling for half the price that is now, I would buy one even though I have the 360 add on and a PS3
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