Practical Technology

for practical people.

I want my HD-DVD

Like a lot of you, I’m really looking forward to being able to get a next-generation, HD (High Definition) DVD player in my house. Also, like a lot of you, I don’t have one yet even though Toshiba’s first HD-DVD player hit the store shelves yesterday.Or, perhaps, I should say, they bounced off store shelves yesterday.As Bary Alyssa Johnson reported in PC Magazine reported, although “Actual sales figures were not available … an informal poll of sales representatives revealed that the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD players sold out soon after they went on sale.”

That’s what my own informal poll–“Is it in yet? Do you have any for sale?”–revealed.

This isn’t too surprising since Toshiba shipped a big 10,000, count ’em, 10,000 units to all the U.S. stores combined.

I wasn’t too annoyed though. Neither of the two films currently available on HD-DVD–Warner Home Video’s Phantom of the Opera and The Last Samurai–knock my socks off. Actually, at a list price of $24.99, the stores can keep them as far as I’m concerned. Now, if Million Dollar Baby had been out, it would have been a different story.

Besides, the truth of the matter is that while part of me wants an HD player now. “Now! I tell you! Cue maniacal laughter.” I really can wait. No, really.

After all, I’m none too sure who’s going to win in the battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD anyway. Yes, HD-DVD is here today, but with not even a handful of available discs, I don’t see that market lead amounting much.

The first Blu-Ray player in the U.S., which is like to be Samsung’s BD-P1000, is supposed to show up on June 25th. After that, Sony, Philips, Dell and Matsushita will all be rolling out players over the summer.

If you really think HD-DVD is going to be the one true format, which will not be as obsolete as your Betamax machine in the attic, you can always try to find a Toshiba HD-A1 on eBay.

As you might expect, there are already a few Toshiba HD-A1s on the auction site. And, yes, they’ve already been bid up above the player’s list price of $499.

I’m not going to do go down that road though. For now, I’m going to sit, watch my DirecTV HD channels, curse the local stations that won’t let me get their HD feeds over DirecTV, and wait.

I just hope I don’t have to wait for too long.

Hmmm… There’s a “Buy It Now” one on eBay for $699.00.

No! No! Get thee behind me Toshiba!

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