That same month, the BDA said Spring 2006 would see the launch of the first Blu-ray players in the West, but in fact it was Toshiba that launched first, unveiling its first HD DVD player, the HD-XA1, in April that year. Samsung, which had already bullishly said it would have the first BD player on the market, first put the release of its BD-P1000 back a month to May, then again to June.
Toshiba's HD-A2 HD DVD player
The BDA went on to add Microsoft's VC-9 - aka VC-1 - video codec to the standard, joining MPEG 2 and MPEG4, already included in the BD-ROM 1.0 spec. The go-to-market spec was published in January 2006.
Late in April 2006, Microsoft's European console business chief, Chris Lewis, dismissed Blu-ray as another Betamax, though MS' own Xbox 360, launched in November 2005, was only fitted with a regular DVD drive.
Throughout the remainder of 2006, companies other than Samsung announced Blu-ray players, but they all came out far more expensive - often more than twice the price - than Toshiba's HD DVD players. Problems getting sufficient blue-laser diodes out of the door hit all the manufacturers hard except Toshiba and Sony - the latter because it was making its own, almost all of them going into the drives that would be incorporated into the PS3, which eventually launched in the US and Japan in November 2006.
The following month, Dell announced its XPS M1710 laptop with an optional Blu-ray drive, and Microsoft rolled out its HD DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360 - reviewed here.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Janaury 2007, LG unveiled a player capable of handling both HD DVD and Blu-ray movies, though only BD's interactivity features were supported. LG and Toshiba had agreed to share their optical disc patents, including HD DVD tech, in February 2006.
MS' Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on
Warner separately proposed binding Blu-ray and HD DVD discs together, back to back, to create Total HD discs that could be played by any machine. But with Paramount the only other studio at that time supporting both formats, Warner failed to win support for Total HD.
Fare thee well
HD DVD, we hardly knew ye
About time too...
I'm one of the, many?, people who had decided to wait until the war was over before buying a new player...
So, now to find a decent Blu-Ray player...
The point to all of this?
Can I ask whats the point in half of these spats?
Does it really matter if someone else doesnt agree that blueray/bd/hd-dvd/cd/tape/porn is as awesome as you think it is?
Do you really think that by constructing your point of view in various ways that all of a sudden people are going to stop and go "ahh he is right what a smart little geek this one is"
pointless flame fuelled by an emptiness elsewhere in life Id imagine.
In 5 years time we will have another media format and another 5 years after that, its called evolution.
@Anne van der Bom
How old are you ??? ... I thought I was pathetic coz I'm bolding and working Saturday nites (should have quoted the work part ... getting bored and reading el Reg rather) but I can go reassured seeing that some speak of a wonderful shopping experience, where do you go Harrods (still)? or like most of us HMV & Virgin ... or online, even eBay maybe. And you always go to concerts because listening to music at home is not that a thrilling experience.
I thought the unpacking of a DVD was as the latex wrapping of the bishop e.g. an interesting but lame moment compared with what is supposed to follow.
And yes iTunes Store does not sell because the tune does not come all blistery and stickerish. Oh you bet that iTunes will fail on the movie renting front for the same reason.
Here is an other silly idea: Virgin is launching a new "HDD wrapping" scheme so it can be nervously unwrapped when home, for the really nostalgic ones they may even offer a "burn as you buy",(I've always been amazed by people looking at the recorded face of a CD/DVD as if they'd be able to see/listen to what's on it) and btw I'm proud to announce el Reg is now shipping its daily blistered print copy (for a fee) will you buy it?
But don't worry the HDD wotsit comes with the ability to burn the film 7 times ... so plenty of plastic to waste.
Re: @Michael Compton
I'm not sure what you mean that layers are easier to add to HD-DVD than BD. I still have to see any HD-DVD DL in the market.
BD-RE are pretty cheap nowadays, the price has dropped a lot, single layer discs are going for just over 10 Dollars each here in the States and double layers (50GB) are still expensive but price will drop and quickly (just a year ago one BD-RE SL was 24 dollars).
Also, in the works is a 4L disc with 200GB capacity.
I'm a professional photographer and disc capacity is the thing I'm most interested in and that's why I backed BD since the start. HD-DVD simply was never an option to me.
BD DL = 50GB, HD-DVD DL=30GB, that's 20GB difference: HUGE!