Why HD DVD combo format discs suck
If you have been following the HD DVD format at all, then you have probably heard of the combo disc. A combo disc is a hybrid HD DVD format that contains an HD DVD on one side and a standard DVD on the other side (you must flip over the disc to access the other format).
Why do combo discs suck?
The combo disc may look like an innovative and interesting idea at first glance, but in reality, it simply adds more cost to an already higher priced HD DVD movie title. While browsing the HD DVD titles at a local Circuit City electronics store, I took note of the pricing of ‘standard’ HD DVD titles and compared them to the pricing of combo format (HD DVD + DVD) titles.
Most ‘standard’ HD DVD titles were priced at $24.99, with some titles priced at $29.99. On the other hand, most of the combo format HD DVD titles were priced at $34.99, with a minority priced at $29.99. This means that consumers will have to cough up an extra $5-$10 per title if they want a movie in the combo format. The worst part of this deal is that most combo format titles are not available as a ‘standard’ HD DVD, which means that you are forced to put out the extra $5-$10 for a title, even if you don’t want the crappy DVD that is glued to its’ rear.
Other combo format disadvantages are that the discs are more easily prone to scratching and fingerprinting due to the flipper style disc, missing disc art and in some cases, player compatibility problems.
Combo format discs are not needed
If I wanted a standard DVD, I would buy a DVD, not an HD DVD. If I wanted a standard DVD to go with my HD DVD, I would rip my HD DVD, convert it and burn it to DVD (once I get an HD DVD PC drive). Another option would be to buy a ‘standard’ DVD via ebay or another source “on the cheap”. Either way, this forced combo disc nonsense and extra cost is hurting the HD DVD format in my eyes. On the bright side, at least Universal Studios has changed their ways on catalog releases. What do you think about combo discs?