Blu-ray Wes Novack on 07 Jan 2008

HD DVD Booth CES 2008

HD DVD Booth CES 2008

Today, I visited the HD DVD Promotions Group booth. I took a quick tour around the displays and found the obvious items being showcased; HD DVD movies, HD DVD players, the Microsoft Xbox 360, HD DVD laptops, etc.

HD DVD players

Taking a look at the HD DVD player area, I could not find much of anything new. There was the usual Toshiba line of players, the HD-A3, HD-A30 and HD-A35. Then there was the Venturer SHD7000 and the Onkyo DV-HD805. Nothing new! Both the Venturer and the Onkyo use Toshiba internals, with their own customized casing.

HD DVD Booth CES 2008

HD DVD Demo

A stage was located on the inside of the booth area and HD DVD demonstrations were occurring every so often. The presenter was demonstrating HD DVD interactive features with the Bourne Supremacy. All the usual stuff was shown, U-control navigation, scene bookmarks, Picture in Picture video and a few other features.

HD DVD burners

NU HD DVD burners

Toshiba had their HD DVD burners on display as usual. The pictures above show their slim laptop HD DVD-R drive and their desktop PC HD DVD-R drive.

The only really ‘new’ HD DVD hardware I could find was an HD DVD burner from NU. The model shown was the DH-4HM1P, which is a half-height desktop HD DVD-R internal drive. According to the spec card, the drive supports 2.4x HD DVD-R writing, 2x HD DVD-RW writing and all DVDR formats, including DVD-RAM. The drive is powered by a Mediatek chipset. I could not find any NU representatives hanging around the HD DVD booth to find out anything further.

Overall impressions

Overall, I was pretty disappointed by the HD DVD booth and displays. There really was nothing new. Nothing exciting. It’s the same ol’, same ol’ for the HD DVD group. The live demonstration didn’t feature anything new either.

On the bright side, I did walk away with a free copy of Freedom Volume 2, which is an anime HD DVD twin format disc.

I also missed the Toshiba press conference that occurred yesterday. Talking to other press folks who attended the event, I was told that Toshiba still “remains optimistic” about the HD DVD format. They are going to have to do much more than just remain optimistic if they want HD DVD to survive. With Warner dropping HD DVD, the talk of the town here is that HD DVD will soon die. I don’t expect that we’ll hear any major announcements from the HD DVD group or Toshiba, especially with the press event being canceled. Bye bye HD DVD, it was nice knowing you…

5 Responses to “HD DVD Booth CES 2008”

  1. on 08 Jan 2008 at 2:22 AM 1.Captain Obvious said …

    way to go Toshiba… show off the same HD DVD-R burner 3 CES’s in a row. I’m *SURE* it’s going to launch ANY DAY now… LOL

  2. on 08 Jan 2008 at 1:35 PM 2.Ian said …

    The model of that NU drive sounds a lot like a Lite-On. In fact, Lite-On has an HD DVD-ROM drive with the model DH-4M1P.

  3. on 09 Jan 2008 at 3:49 PM 3.Wesley Novack said …

    Thanks for that tip Ian. It probably is a rebadged LiteOn drive. Unfortunately, Lite-On was not displaying at CES, so I have no new information on their products.

    This NU HD DVD burner will probably never see the light of day on retail shelves anyway….

  4. on 22 Jan 2008 at 1:10 PM 4.Binston said …

    wow, so basically the complaint here is that the hd-dvd format is stable and was forward looking enough that they don’t need revamped hardware. I just read the “visit” to the blu-ray booth article. There was much gushing over the 2.0 spec. Here is a basic summary of the two articles:

    HD-DVD: No new hardware needed, new movies out.
    Blu-Ray: Finally getting their shit together and in a “highly beta phase” they had the PS3 running Profile 2.0 of the Blu-ray spec.

    Golly, its only taken 3 YEARS for Sony to get the spec up to par with HD-DVD. I am no fan-boy and have $0 invested in either spec. I have not taken part in this format war because of these reasons:

    1: HD-DVD, the plainly more mature format, is floundering due to lack of industry support. It’s players arent obsolete after 1 year?!?!

    2: Blu-Ray is literally HOSING consumers. Sony’s stance is “buy a PS3 and there will be nothing to worry about cause it can handle all future spec revisions.” There are blah blah millions of Blu-Ray players out there. When they say “players” they really mean PS3’s plus a half mil to 700K stand alone players. And of those, how may people will be bent over the rail into buying a NEW player every year until the Blu-Ray Association define a final spec??

    It seems to me, Blu-Ray is far too immature as a technology for me to consider as a consumer. I don’t appreciate being forced to buy a $400 BD player over a $300 just so I know it will “work the day after tomorrow”. This “war” is only delaying the adoption of HD by the masses. I don’t care who wins, but my stance is this, if HD-DVD wins I would buy a player tomorrow. If BD wins, I would wait until the final spec is set or the price of the PS3 drops to >$300.

    A format war like this just proves how unintelligent and uninformed consumers here in the US are.

    George Carlin said it best: “Whoever coined the phrase, LET THE BUYER BEWARE, was probably bleeding from the asshole.”

  5. on 22 Jan 2008 at 1:16 PM 5.Wesley Novack said …

    My complaint was that the HD DVD booth had nothing new to show. CES is all about showcasing new and upcoming products and technologies.

    They could have displayed some new interactive HDi or HD DVD internet connected features that are in development. Instead they showed off “U-Control” from the Bourne Supremacy.

    They could have displayed some concept designs for the generation 4 Toshiba HD DVD players.

    SOMETHING new would have been nice. They had nothing new.

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