Now the high def DVD war is over, let's survey some of the casualties. Not corporate bods at Toshiba lining up for ritual slaughter, but the poor consumers who became collateral damage. One on TradeMe is trying to off-load his Toshiba HD-A30 HD-DVD Player , with a reserve price of $900 (including 27 movies - enough to last an HD-DVD lifetime?). Bids so far: zero. Another has a Toshiba HD-DVD XA2 player listed with a starting price of $500. Bids: zip.
A third punter has succeeded in offloading his Xbox 360 HD-DVD, albeit with a less ambitious reserve price of $1 (the top bid as I type: $1).
He's definitely not going to do as well as this lucky TradeMe member, who listed his Xbox 360 HD-DVD player just before the news broke about Toshiba abandoning its fight with Sony's rival Blu-ray format. He's collected at least $255 for his door stop (which now doubly deserves that title, as rumours swirl that HD-DVD's fair-weather friend, Microsoft is now readying a Blu-ray player for its game console).
So: it's easy to have some sport over HD-DVD's demise.
But neither should Sony be smug. It doesn't immediately follow that Blu-ray players will quickly spread through Kiwi living rooms. That won't happen until Blu-ray drives:
1. Drop at least 75% in price.
2. All come in a recordable option, coupled with a hard drive. Just forget about DRM. People simply don't have the hardware capacity to copy huge, huge HD video files, let alone up or download them. People who'll settle for low-rez alternatives are already happily trading them on the Torrents.
3. Are backed by many more HD movies, at the same price as standard DVDs.
If you're interested in high def DVD, check out NZ PC World April, on newsstands March 25, which will survey what Blu-ray product is being released here in the wake of HD-DVD's demise. The only way is up.