As an HD (High Definition) consumer here’s what I want from my HD player:
1. I want it to play ALL available movies. Exclusivity is the opposite of what I want. I want one player for all movies. I don’t want to have to take sides. I don’t want to buy multiple players (an HD-DVD and a Blu-Ray player). I just one one player for all my movies.
2. I want it to be affordable. HD-DVD is now very affordable, at about $250 for a basic player (I’m willing to pay some premium to be an earlier adopter but not Blu-Ray’s current premium). Blu-Ray isn’t affordable, about $1200 for the latest version. I’m ignoring the PS3 option because I don’t really want the PS3 gaming system, I just want an HD player.
3. I want to be able to rent movies from the local video rental store. I don’t want to have to buy all my movies. Where I live there are really only two major chains. Blockbuster and Rogers. Of course Blockbuster has signed an exclusive agreement with Blu-Ray. Rogers on the other hand has a 66% Blu-Ray and 33% HD-DVD selection. that means that if I want to rent a movie the odds are that I have to rent a Blu-Ray movie (and hence buy the very expensive player). And I can only rent movies from certain stores depending on which player and movie I want. The opposite of what I want again!
4. I would really like to be able to play my new HD movies on a regular DVD player For example it would be great if I can play my HD movies on my portable DVD player in the car. Only HD-DVD offers this with their combo releases.
Am I asking for too much? I don’t think so. So what’s happening? The reality is that the two formats are fighting each other instead of working together. This means that people like myself who desperately want to view movies in HD aren’t willing to spend money on an HD player because we don’t want to make the mistake of spending our hard earned cash on something that might be gone tomorrow. We don’t want to buy today’s Beta.
There are dual players coming out soon, and hopefully that will alleviate the issue. But at the end of the day I just want an affordable a movie player to play any HD movie I rent at my local video rental store.
It’s too bad these companies aren’t listening to their customers (a big mistake!), otherwise I’m absolutely convinced that they’d both have already made significantly more revenue. The adoption of HD players would be much much higher. I know I’d be buying an HD player today!