High-Def finally here?

The start of the year always brings bold predictions from companies wanting to push their new products and/or technologies. It almost seems that press releases just have a template that have to include at least one line containing [insert year here] is the year of [insert product or technology here]. That said (with the risk of acquiring foot-in-mouth disease if the prediction doesn’t happen), 2006 does look to be the year of high definition. Or another way to put it would be the year the new format wars became full-blown.

If you haven’t heard of Blu-ray or HD DVD until now, chances are that’s all going to change very soon.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, both the Blu-Ray and HD DVD camps released the initial list of titles to be available in their respective formats. HD DVD may seem to have taken an early lead with a promised 85 titles before the end of the year, while Blu-ray titles from major studios have also been announced. HD DVD seems to have more titles announced, but Blu-ray does have the initial backing of more studios, so it’s tough to tell.

With titles about to be released, the obvious question would be where to play them. Toshiba, HD DVD’s creator and main proponent, has already announced the first commercial release of HD DVD players, starting at US$ 499. I’m sure Blu-ray players from Sony or other manufacturers aren’t far behind.

What does this all mean for Filipinos who can afford the new technology? Being able to utilize those expensive HDTVs for starters. There really hasn’t been any straightforward use for the higher resolutions the newer LCD, Plasma or DLP tv’s in the market offer, mainly because there is no local HDTV programming (and this won’t come anytime soon). With the availability of high-definition players and titles, local viewers can now finally see what high-def viewing really is all about.

For sure, it will start slow, just like when DVD was introduced in ’96/’97. But no question about it, the new formats are coming, and if there’s no major change in direction, it looks like Betamax and VHS all over again.

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  • Matagal pa raw bago magkaka-hidef sa Pinas sabi ng uncle ko?

  • kim

    hahahaha, blue ray is the pinnacle of sony’s DRM scheme… did you read about their plan to narrow down or even eliminate the “used game” market by using “per-console” only discs that can not be played on someone else’s console??? I’d say ditch the blue ray and go with the HD… kasi napaka anti consumer yung actions ng sony… once you put that bluray disc in your PS3… you can never resell it… tsk tsk tsk

  • when they first had a presscon for the release of 3g in the states, it took some several mili-lightyears before it hit the philippines (a.k.a. just now) eventhough we mark ourselves (as embarrasing as it may sound – opinion) “text capital of the world” (pfft), im seeing the same with the hd dvd chuvaness ek ek (as my bestfriend would probably say about it), take xbox for example, and so far, i know no one in my circle who have a hdtv on their home..

    yes, i would like to trade circles..

  • we have the one most recent than HD, the DLP

  • to banks:

    good for you.. i guess..

  • banana

    blu ray is obviously the superior technology here, but as mentioned by kim, sony is really making this quite difficult with the consumers because they want to control everything from duplication to usage. which is why microsoft and intel chose to side with HD-DVD.

  • Rey

    Tulad ng sabi mo ay vhs vs. beta all over again.Dito sa Toronto ay konti palang ang bumibili ng HD dvd dahil nga mahal at hindi pa rin alam kung anong format ang mananalo.Karamihan ng may mga HDtv sets dito ay bumibili muna ng up-converting dvd.Itinataas nito ang resolusyon from 720 to 1080i thru HDMI connection.Hindi pa rin kasing linaw ng true HD pero puwede na rin.Marami namang HD channels (at least 25) kaya ok lang.

  • And then I doubt if we’ll ever have HDTV in the Philippines. Digital TV, yes, but most like SDTV (standard).