There have been a lot of reviews of the new Blu-ray discs recently... and none of them are positive. Again and again and again and again, reviewers are dinging Blu-ray on the high-priced player, low-quality picture, and missing special features versus the Toshiba HD DVD player and the ~30 amazing titles released so far.
The other day I was at Best Buy where I got to see xXx (Sony; Blu-ray) running a couple if isles away from Batman Begins (Warner; HD DVD). The difference in picture quality was like night and day, with xXx looking very muddy whilst Batman Begins looked almost too good to be true. Anyone who sees these two formats side-by-side would pick HD DVD as the clear winner in picture quality, and it's half the price to boot! :-)
There's a lot of talk about 1080i vs 1080p, but the reality is that you probably only have a 1080i display (in which case, 'p' doesn't buy you anything) or you have a 1080p display that reconstructs the 'i' back into 'p' in real-time. Remember that film is only 24 frames a second, so whether you are sending 30 full frames (30p) or 60 half-frames (30i) you've still got more than enough information to reconstruct the full progressive image. All the source pixels are on the disc, and all the source pixels are sent to the display; the only practical difference is that 'p' has better marketing behind it than 'i'. In fact, the way that film frames are converted to TV frames means that the hardware ends up throwing away 6 frames (12 fields) per second anyway! There's more than enough information coming down the pipe.
When one of the best things a reviewer can say about the first Blu-ray player is that it has Pretty blue lights on the front (versus HD DVD's "Great high definition picture"), you've got to wonder if when they took the 'e' out of "Blue-ray" they should have replaced it with an 'r'.
I guess that means HD DVD is "Beyond 'Beyond High Definition'"... to Highest Definition? :-)