Blu-ray versus HD-DVD

Cliff Edwards

Another day, another delay in the battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Samsung Electronics had been expected to be first out of the gate with players in the new Blu-ray high-definition disc format. But it just pushed back the launch of its new player to June 25th, from its previous May 23 date.

The reason given? To complete "compatibility testing" with the content that will become available in late April. The fine print also pointed to another likely reason for the delay: Samsung says it now will add native 1080p output to its player and upconvert regular DVDs to 1080p, all while keeping the price at $999. That's likely a reaction to Sony's recently announced $1,500 player, which when it was announced two weeks ago trumped Samsung's and Pioneer's players in terms of feature set.

The question is, will anyone care? Toshiba's HD-DVD player launch in the U.S. was delayed from late March to April 18, after already being delayed from a pre-Christmas launch. Now, the Blu-ray camp also appears to be unable to meeting their launch dates.

The mass confusion about these competing formats, and even the differing features and prices in the Blu-ray camp increasingly are making this one battle worth sitting out in its early days for all but the most diehard of high-def fans.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.