There are some hot deals out there right now for new HD DVD owners and existing Blu-ray Disc player owners. Starting with the HD DVD camp,anyone buying any of Toshiba's HD DVD players between March 1 and July 31st can send a mail-in form to receive five free HD DVDs. On the Blu-ray side, if you're looking to build out your collection Amazon is unloading almost four dozen titles at 50% off of retail.
Intrigue in the format war continued Wednesday with the Blu-ray Disc group announcing that while it would allow mandatory managed copy, it would not (for now) adopt iHD-based interactivity. Hewlett-Packard (HP) had officially requested that the Blu-ray group incorporate both technologies, which are supported by Toshiba's HD DVD format and are key reasons that Microsoft and Intel have thus far supported HD DVD and not Blu-ray Disc.
Computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) made good on its <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/news/111705hpbluray">threat</A>, announcing that it will support HD DVD as well as Blu-ray Disc as the next generation optical disc format. HP had previously supported Sony’s Blu-ray Disc format exclusively, but has apparently jumped ship over the Blu-ray Disc Association’s (BDA) refusal to adopt the iHD interactivity layer into Blu-ray’s standards.
<B>HD DVD Player Launch To Synchronize With Warner Software Launch Date</B>
As anticipated, Toshiba has officially announced it will delay the launch of its HD DVD players to synchronize with the availability of HD DVD software from Warner Bros. Toshiba has been touring the country with HD DVD demonstrations for several weeks in support of the hardware and software launch originally scheduled for March 28th. Warner Home Video, the only studio with titles officially scheduled to support the format's launch, recently announced that it would not be able to make that date with its HD DVD software. Warner is currently scheduled to release three titles on April 18th, and apparently Toshiba will have players ready on that date.
<B>Blu-ray Players, Java Interactivity, And1080p</B>
At the close of CES 2006 a few stories circulated around the Internet that some of the first Blu-ray players out of the gate would not support the full implementation of Java-based interactivity (dubbed BDJ, for Blu-ray Disc Java) touted as one of the format's chief selling points. These stories expounded that players would be classified as either basic or full profile, with the latter being the only players that would support full BD-J interactivity.
<B>TiVo Making Headlines: First, The Good News</B>
Already recognized as a household name, TiVo continues to make news on a practically daily basis, for good and for ill. Starting with the good news, TiVo announced a new spate of Internet powered features for subscribers with a Series 2 DVR connected to a home network, including the ability to share photos, check traffic and weather, listen to podcasts and Internet radio, and even buy movie tickets online right from your television.
<B>V, Inc. Plasmas On Sale In Time For NCAA Tourney</B>
V, Inc. broke into the industry with a bang a few years ago by not only offering an upconverting DVD player (the Bravo D1), but by making it scary good and very cheap. V, Inc.'s HD plasmas have been well received as bang-for-the-buck champs too, and V, Inc. is dropping the prices on its plasmas even lower, just in time for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The VIZIO P42HDTV and P50HDM will now sell for just $1499 and $2299, respectively.
<B>The Force Will Be With You- For Three Months</B>
The Lucasfilm Empire has announced that on September 12th of this year it will release the "original unaltered" <I>Star Wars</I> Trilogy- <I>Star Wars</I>, <I>The Empire Strikes </I>, and <I>Return of the Jedi</I>- on DVD. Each film will be available as a two-disc set with the 2004 digitally remastered DVD versions that have already appeared. Taking a page from Disney, these original trilogy releases will only be available until December 31st.
<B>Blu-ray Launch Pushed Into June</B>
The writing has been on the wall with this one for a while. Sony and the other studios participating in the Blu-ray launch have moved off the originally scheduled May 23rd release date, pushing out to late June. This news comes weeks after Samsung announced that its BD player would not be ready for release until June 25th. Shockingly, Samsung's player is currently scheduled to be the first Blu-ray player to market, beating Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer.