Well at long last this pathetic formats war is over. Toshiba today finally threw in the towel after weeks of endless posturing and innuendo not unlike that found in the epic battle above from The Quest for the Holy Grail.
It is really a shame because now I can't make fun of Sony for never having successfully pushed a decent mainstream format. How Blu-ray won this whole war is crazy considering the fact that HD-DVD as a software specification was far superior for development as well as consumer rights. This is a big win for big entertainment and distributors and a huge loss for the little guy.
The issue that resonated the strongest with me was around the concept of the "Mandatory Managed Copy," which forced studios to allow for content portability which was technically illegal with DVDs. Although Blu-ray has the ability to do managed copies, it isn't "mandatory," and efforts to add language to the spec to that end was rebuffed by the studios. I won't get into the Java issue, as I'm negatively biased against it.
Oh well, I don't really care either way 'cause I'm not buying a player until China-based company, Cyberhome, releases a cheap $29.99 version at Best Buy :) The days of spending more than $50 bucks a dummy reader device are over, people need to get a clue.
You won't be buying a player for a long time if you hang on for that price point.
A Cyberhome player would hardly do justice to the format in any case.
Get a PS3 when they are at a price point that you are happy with, amazing player and lots more besides.
justice? How do you figure? The post processing won't be as good and there maybe slightly lower color fidelity, but this will be a result of lower quality DAC components. The majority of the quality is actually in the encoded data which will decode just fine.
You really have to consider this opinion that quality is a function of the the player decoding, compression, a monitor quality. Most people have no clue on how to buy a color accurate TV with decent contrast performance. DVD didn't take off until it approached the $100 price point. Until I have my $8000 home theater system, I have no need for a outrageously priced player connected to my old 2nd gen 720P set.
Plus My Xbox 360 HD download content looks spectacular!
All this said, I was technically very impressed with the 120hz TV + Bluray setup, it looked almost too real, thought I'm not sure that is a good thing for movies.
I agree that the margin in picture/sound quality thesedays is becoming less and less regardless of the quality of the player.
Espcially now that both audio and video can be transmitted digitally.
But the budget end of the DVD market produces a noticabley worse image than a mid range player and the software built into the players is often a bit crappy.
The 360 produces amazing hi-def images. I would guess the components in an xbox are of a much higher standard than you would find in a budget DVD player, although perhaps less reliable :|
I would not disagree with your analysis :)