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HD Formats: How Long Will It Take?

12 Jun, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

The delays and disappointments in the high-definition format war have come fast and furious since we overly optimistically reported that the fourth quarter (of last year!) would begin the HD showdown.

Since then, one format has bowed, HD DVD, but it takes that machine so long to load a disc that they are offering an upgrade to cut down on the wait. HD DVD might be better termed HB DVD (as in half-baked).

Blu-ray Disc, the format that DVD father Warren Lieberfarb so famously termed vaporware, has yet to disprove that assertion. Discs and players are supposedly coming soon, but recent delays of players from Pioneer and Sony have put any launch in question.

Certainly, DVD had its hiccups. I've still got an early Toshiba player that occasionally has a problem playing certain discs. And the pay-per-play variant Divx (now long forgotten) threw a monkey wrench in the works.

Unfortunately, as many speakers at our recent Home Entertainment Summit noted, consumers are buying HDTVs as a fast clip and are clamoring for HD content. The question is: If the HD disc formats don't provide it soon, will they go elsewhere?

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