The New York Times checks back in on the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD clash today. The article asks the question: "What if nobody wins the high-definition DVD format wars?"
Major update: Warner goes Blu-ray.
The two camps (Blu-ray and HD DVD) are victims of their own earlier success with DVD. The standard DVDs offered a quantum leap in quality from the picture and sound of VHS videotape, and for many that was more than adequate.
In addition, DVD players that can convert images to near high-definition quality can be found for under $100, hundreds less than a true high-definition DVD player, further reducing the urgency to upgrade to one of the new formats.
An NPD study of high-def formats (reported here a few months ago) is cited as proof that most consumers are sitting this one out. "This may emerge as a premium, luxury item, not a successor to DVD," said Ross Rubin, director for industry analysis at NPD.
The Times article won't be news to those who've been following this nonsensical format war, but it's a good read.
My advice for those ready to buy remains: Look at which studios are using which format. Go look at your DVDs and see if any studios stand out. Or think about which film franchises you might like to collect. For example, Disney is solidly Blu-ray. If you enjoy classic animation or have kids, go Blu. If your interests are in older TV shows, consider HD DVD, with Paramount and Universal cranking out the sitcoms.
Either format's players will do a great job of up-converting your DVDs -- or you can buy an Oppo player --ensuring you'll still have better images for movies not available in your HD format.
Don't worry. Be happy. As in happy new year.