Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Disc Format Wars continue: HD-DVD players drop below $100

Or, more specifically, the Toshiba H2-A2 HD-DVD player, which will be on sale at Wal-Mart for $100 starting Friday, November 2 (better known as today). Considering that the unit normally retails for $200, it's a pretty good deal, the kind of deal Wal-Mart seems to love to offer its customers.

For those of you who don't really know what this HD-DVD buzz is all about, it is a new format of DVDs that allows for a higher density. To do this, it uses a blue laser, which reads the disc at a shorter wavelength and allows for more data to be read. Or, in other words, you can fit more content onto these new discs, including movies with better resolutions. It is in direct competition with another format known as Blu-Ray, and the two sides have been locked in a "format war" for the last few years. The winner of this war - if there is one - will basically have control over the next major format for things like video games and movies.

The current cheapest Blu-Ray player is Sony's Playstation 3, and that'll set you back $399 for the cheapest version. Considering how bitter the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray has been, it will be interesting to see how much of an effect this has. Or if the average consumer will actually even care.

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