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How Much are Blu-ray Disc Players and are HD-DVD Players Still Available?

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Question: How Much are Blu-ray Disc Players and are HD-DVD Players Still Available?
NOTICE: HD-DVD is now officially discontinued. However, information on HD-DVD, and its comparison to Blu-ray, is still contained in this article for historical purposes, as well as the fact that there are still many HD-DVD player owners, and HD-DVD players and discs will continue to be sold and traded on the secondary market for some time.
Answer: The Cost of Getting Into Blu-ray and HD-DVD

You may be able to find HD-DVD players (mostly all used at this point) priced as low $99 or less and a little more for any high-end units that may be available at some clearance outlets, or on eBay. However, as of February 19, 2008, Toshiba has discontinued the production and market of HD-DVD players, so no new models are forthcoming. On the other hand, Blu-ray Disc Players officially start at about $99 (check dealers for lower prices) and can go up to $,000 or more for the highest-end models. However, most Blu-ray Disc players are priced in the $129 - $399 range.

Despite all the benefits of Blu-ray and the capabilities of Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD, the decision as to whether to jump in is up to you, as Blu-ray is now the format that has won the Blu-ray/HD-DVD War.

Blu-ray Viability

Questions, such as software availability and format viability over the long term, are not as much of a concern at this point as the studios are releasing both recent and catalog titles at a faster rate each month. However, keep in mind that Blu-ray Disc movie titles are usually priced at $5 to $10 more than their DVD counterparts.

One marketing strategy that is taking hold is that some studios are releasing an increasing number of their Blu-ray Disc titles in a bundle package that includes both a Blu-ray Disc version and a DVD version and/or a digital copy of the movie that can be transfered to a PC, Laptop, or mobile video playback device. This approach is actually very practical as you can play the Blu-ray version on your Blu-ray Disc player and play the DVD copy on any other DVD players you might have in the house. Also, the digital copy version allows you to take your movie with you when you are traveling.

Also, both Blu-ray and HD-DVD players are totally compatible with the standard DVD format, and most are compatible with CDs. However, those consumers that invested heavily into the HD-DVD format are somewhat out of luck now as HD-DVDs cannot be played on a Blu-ray Disc player...Unless you own one of the three Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo players (LG BH100, LG BH200, and Samsung BD-UP5000) that were released before the discontinuation of HD-DVD.

The Choice is Yours

New tech toys are hard to resist, and if you are willing to take the plunge into high definition DVD, Blu-ray is now the only choice for future consideration.

On the other hand, if you are on a limited budget or do not wish to take the Blu-ray plunge at this time, for less than $69 there are a variety good DVD players with 720p/1080i/1080p upscaling capability that can narrow the gap between standard DVD and Blu-ray or HD-DVD, and you don't have worry about your current DVD library becoming obsolete - standard DVDs, and players to play them, will be around for some time.

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