Seems like only yesterday we were here at the Las Vegas Convention Centre talking about how HD DVD was "coming soon". Now we're here again just a few short months later for the NAB trade show (National Association of Broadcasters), but this time the players are real, the titles are real, and people are loving it.
Folks are amazed when they come up to the Microsoft booth, see the cool demos, and ask us "When will HD DVD be available in stores?" because the reply is "HD DVD shipped last week!"
So next they ask "How much will the players cost?" and we reply "Toshiba's player starts at $499!"
And then "How much do the discs cost?" -- "$20-$25!"
And finally "How many titles are there?" -- "6 right now; around 200 by Christmas!"
HD DVD has more announced content, more guaranteed features, more proven disc capacity, and more affordable pricing than Blu-ray. And if you have an HD TV and you want to get your hands on some unbelievably good-looking content right now, HD DVD is the only format you can actually buy! (Assuming they haven't already sold out at your local store... these things are selling fast!).
If you're at NAB, drop by the Microsoft booth and say "Hi!" We're also showcasing a bunch of other cool things, like the VC-1 standard codec (used in all current HD DVD titles), our broadcasting, IPTV, and mobile solutions, and of course Windows Vista and PlaysForSure devices.
(Interestingly, one of the questions I get asked a lot is "Why are there still black lines [letterboxes] on these movies?" The answer is that the movies are shot in wide screen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, whereas a 16:9 TV is only 1.77:1. The cool part though is that there is no more anamorphic "squeezing" on HD DVD like there was on DVD -- the movie is encoded in its full native resolution of 1920 x 1080.)