If you’re thinking about Blu-Ray (BD) vs. HD-DVD this holiday season, something to consider- Blu-Ray isn’t just suffering from PS3 backlash, the average BD player on Amazon.com is 41% more expensive than HD DVD. This weekend, I took a look at baseline costs on Amazon and determined you can buy the average BD player and zero movies, or get an HD DVD player and over four and a half years of NetFlix HD rentals at the same price. Even comparing cheapest models, you can rent nearly two years of HD DVD movie rentals from NetFlix before reaching the purchase price of the cheapest Blu-Ray player.
Note this is at the lowest tier of NetFlix so there’s an assumption you’re only renting about 2 movies per month, but still, NetFlix is a great way to sidestep the whole HD format lock-in issue- I never buy an HD disc unless I expect to watch it semi-monthly for the next five years. With NetFlix even at its lowest tier, you get the flexibility of watching movies in BD or HD DVD formats, effectively dropping the price of adoption to the cost of the player (because you’re going to rent movies, aren’t you?) <g>.
Update: Note I’ve intentionally left out the PS3 and Xbox 360 from this list. There’s an impedance mis-match in terms of adoption and cost associated with the two- do you count the overall price, or just the price of the drive (in which Xbox 360 would win hands-down at under $300).
The last point to make is about availability of content and there, your mileage may vary, though studios are doing more dual-releases now.
- Blu-Ray Historical List of Movies released: http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/releasedates_historical.html
- HD-DVD Historical List of Movies released: http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/releasedates_historical.html