SlySoft AnyDVD HD Capable of Backing Up Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Discs

The copy protection that is used on Blu-Ray discs, BD+, has officially been cracked. The guys at SlySoft have just released a beta of their AnyDVD HD software that will backup HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

Back in February SlySoft released the first version of AnyDVD HD that was capable of backing up HD-DVD discs. It’s only been 9 months and now the software is capable of backing up Blu-Ray discs.

This just goes to show that there isn’t a single DRM scheme that can’t be cracked sooner or later.

$98.87 HD-DVD Player In Wal-Mart Today

Today Wal-Mart is having some pretty awesome in store specials, including a Sanyo 50″ Plasma HDTV for $998, an Acer Laptop for $348, and a Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player for $98.87.So not only could you pick up a nice brand new 50″ HDTV for $998 but for an extra $98.87 you get yourself HD-DVD as well. That is darn cheap!

I have always been a Blu-ray supporter because of the movies available for it but I have been very hesitant to purchase a player because of the price, at $99 why the heck not.

By the way, you can also pick up select HD-DVD titles at Wal-Mart for $14.96.

All of these items are available in store today starting at 8am.

Wal-Mart Holiday “Secret In-Store Specials”

Another Feather in the Cap for HD-DVD

The next generation format war is still raging on with no end in site. My opinion on the matter, when asked by others what I thought, was always to just buy one or the other, in other words, PICK YOUR SIDE. The problem with everyone waiting is that no one is buying either, which means it will just take longer for it to end. If you pick your side and help promote that side by telling your friends and family to do the same it is more likely for it to end (not much but enough to say so).

But now we find out some statistics about HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray from Netflix. According to the stats Netflix users browse Blu-Ray movies 1.8 times more than HD-DVD, but those browsing HD-DVD are 4.4 times more likely to make that their default. Now, keep in mind that only 0.3 percent of Netflix users check out HD titles but it is still another feather in the cap for HD-DVD.

I have always been a little partial towards Blu-Ray because of the studios backing the format, but I have to say that now that you can buy an HD-DVD player for a measly $299 I think that HD-DVD is the format to go with.

CrunchGear

Toshiba Cuts Price of HD-DVD Player to $299

Well DigiTimes was wrong and I was wrong to rebroadcast their information. Toshiba has announced that their HD-A2 HD-DVD player will be priced at $299.

This is a big step in the format wars. The prices have been going down since the initial debut of these players but I believe that the $300 mark is where it is at. I believe that once the players hit that price point you will really start to see some adoption of the formats.

I have always been a Blu-ray fan but disliked its high price tag. The real reason I like Blu-ray is because of it’s scratch resistant coating on discs and which studios have signed on. HD-DVD however I have began to grow fond of because of it being the cheapest way to get truly good looking video into your living room for an extremely low price.

Toshiba HD-A2

[via TG Daily]

Blockbuster Favors Blu-Ray

According to Pittsburghlive.com, Blockbuster will lay its trust in the hands of Blu-ray over the hi-def war. 1,450 stores will begin stocking Blu-ray discs, not HD-DVD discs.

“This could be the end for HD-DVD” is what many in the blogosphere are saying. Let’s look at it this way, Blockbuster is a huge company but I’m not sure if they have the weight that many people think that they do. Most stores selling movies are selling both, Netflix has both, and most people just want to buy the cheaper player. I am usually on the side of Blu-ray in most of these discussions because I love to play the devils advocate. But, HD-DVD isn’t exactly going to see too many hits from this, there have been many companies who have publicly sided with either HD-DVD or Blu-ray and later on decided to either change their mind or become neutral signing deals with both formats.

People love to have headlines like “Blockbuster sides with Blu-ray, the end for HD-DVD?” but the problem is it is just way too soon to tell which format will end up winning, the thing is, both formats could still “win.” There are plenty of consumers out there to go around and it seems like just as many movies. A dual-format player for $500 or the ability for the consumers to buy and HD-DVD player for $250 and a Blu-ray player for $250 could make this format war mean nothing anymore.

Let’s just all take a deep breath look at what movies you want and the price of the players/discs and just buy something already. I’m tired of everyone getting upset over this. Just buy a player and some movies, without customers neither one will win, do your part by purchasing something and making your “vote” count in this format war.

HP to Offer Dual HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Drive in Desktops

HP will soon be offering a single drive option for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray needs in upcoming desktops. Giving customers the ability to burn and read CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-Ray discs. Strangely the drive will only read HD-DVDs and not write to them.

May 9th is the date (according to CNet) when they will begin selling this option. This will make them the first company to sell a single drive solution for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The Pavilion Media Center m8010y and the Pavilion d4890y will be the models with this option and are both Intel powered.

HP started out on the HD-DVD side and because of this seems to have changed their mind about that decision and now is going to be neutral in this war. Not very good for the HD-DVD side but great for the Blu-Ray side.

$299 HD-DVD Players Unlikely to Happen this Year

DigiTimes is claiming that because of Blue-laser diodes yields being so low. They said that any HD-DVD player being sold at that price would be being sold at less than production cost.

The thing is the makers of the diodes including Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic) have assigned their production capacities for own use first. If this is true then if Sony could just get things together they could be the first to have a low cost next-gen DVD player.

This also means that for some time the cheapest way to get High definition content into your home theater is the XBox360 HD-DVD drive or the Playstation 3.

DigiTimes

PS3 Production Costs Could be $100 Cheaper

According to DigiTimes The Blue-laser pick-up heads that are being used in the Playstation 3 are going to increase in supply and decrease in price. Possibly lower the cost of them about $100.

This could help Sony bring down the price of the Playstation 3 and may also explain how Pioneer is planning on making a $299 Blu-Ray player by June.

I think that for Sony to live in this console war they need to lower the price of the Playstation 3 and get some exclusive games. That is all they need to do and they will be a bigger part of the console war. I want to see them have success because if they don’t then there will be no direct competition for high-def gaming with the XBox 360 which means that Microsoft will be able to do anything they want, if they want to not fix bugs in software they can do that because the Xbox would be the only way to get high-def gaming into your home theater. We need competition and unless Nintendo decides to turn the Wii high-def or another company comes along, Playstation is the only competition.

$299 Blu-Ray Player in June

Pioneer will be the first to sell consumers a cheap next generation DVD drive, that is if no one beats them to the market. They are set to release there Blu-Ray player in the United States come June. The BDC-2202 can read BD-R discs at up to 5x and dual-layer discs at up to 2x. The greatest thing, is its price. It will be $299.

This will be the cheapest next generation DVD Drive but even if Toshiba or another company comes out with a HD-DVD drive that will be at the same price point. That means that the next gen dvd wars will be about what it has always needed to be about, not price, content.

Press Release [via CrunchGear]

FastMac Offers Blu-Ray Drives for Macs

FastMac is now selling Blu-ray drives for the following Mac computers:
iBook G4
PowerBook G3
PowerBook G4 Titanium
PowerBook G4 Aluminum
MacBook Pro 17″
iMac G5
iMac Intel
Mac Mini

The drive is backward compatible with every CD and DVD format but currently it isn’t possible to playback Blu-ray movies so this will only be a blu-ray reader and burner currently. It can burn up to 50GB on a Blu-Ray disc.

Product Page

Blu-Ray May Be Selling More Than HD-DVD

According to a story on InformationWeek, Blu-Ray seems to be selling more disks than HD-DVD is.

“Since the week ended Jan. 7, Blu-ray sales have ranged from a low of 63.3% to a high of 69.6%, VideoScan said Tuesday. On the week ended Feb. 18, the latest figures available, Blu-ray accounted for 65% of the market, compared with HD DVD’s 35%.”

This is big news for a lot of you out there who have been waiting to see which one will win. I think this is great but I do think of it a little bit differently than most other people. Most people tell others to wait it out and see which one wins, this is the way that I look at it. Figure out which one you like better and then try to convince everyone you know to think the same way, and have them do the same, so on and so on. Look, no format will win if no one buys either however if you convince everyone you know to buy one over the other than more people will be buying that format. If less people by the other than it may die leaving your favorite victorious, that is if you have a lot of friends otherwise your favorite could end up losing and you could have wasted money investing in a dead format. I guess this only works if you have a lot of friends.

Anyway you can check out the full article here.

DMCA Takedown Notice for BackupHDDVD

The software that is used to help decrypt and backup HD-DVD’s has been taken down from SourceForge after a DMCA take down notice was recieved. The reason that the software was had to be taken down is because the software did contain decryption keys, SourceForge said that they would be willing to host a version of the program that didn’t contain the keys.

SlySofts AnyDVD HD is still available from slysoft.com although it does cost money.

More on the Format Wars