Well, this has been an interesting week for HD DVD. Besides Toshiba America introducing three new players, Onkyo USA has finally launched its first model. What's significant here is the Onkyo is the first audio-only brand. So, contrary to what the might tell you, HD DVD is not dead. I'm reminded of Mark Twain's famous quote, "the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
At the same time this week, Warner Home Video made their own announcement concerning next-generation optical disc; WHV announced that it had sold over 250, 000 copies of the movie "300," which is the movie about King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae. While it doesn't breakout HD DVD from Blu-ray, as the company releases films in each HD format, I think that it's significant. WHV along with Paramount are the only companies producing dual- format titles. And, the company goes on to mention that it was the first studio to break the 100K sold mark with "The Departed." Overall, WHV has had six of the top 10 selling high definition titles with "300," "The Departed," "Superman Returns," "Planet Earth - The Complete Collection," "Batman Begins," and "Happy Feet." Warner also has the highest grossing high definition title with the dual-format release of "Planet Earth."
So, with these two developments surrounding HD DVD, I'm reminded of a Blog that I write quite awhile ago called, The Little Engine That Could." And, HD DVD could be just like that engine as it keeps chugging up the hill. A few weeks ago, Samsung announced that it would be bringing out a dual-format player in the 4th quarter 2007, and LG indicated that it is continuing its own dual-format player. This upcoming CES 2008 in Las Vegas could well see additional dual-format models. It is known that Denon has been in discussions with Broadcom about using their dual-format chipsets in a High Def player. Denon recently introduced a stand-alone BD player, but did not rule out a dual-format model by CES.
So, forget about the propaganda that you read about one format claiming victory, and that another format is dead. It's all propaganda. The race is still early. And, while some companies like Sony, who is heavily invested in Blu-ray, and Toshiba who is heavily invested in HD DVD, may remain single format companies, many others could end up offering dual-format models thus negating a "Format War. And, what will separate one player from another will not be its format per se, but the feature set and chipset that it includes.