'Consumer Reports' Cautions on Next-Gen DVD

July 6, 2006
The August edition of "Consumer Reports", the highly regarded products and services evaluator that does not accept paid advertising, is sounding a very cautious note about purchasing either HD DVD or Blu-ray players at this stage.

Among other things, says the official publication of the Consumers Union, neither new format is inexpensive, HD quality varies depending on equipment used, movie title availability is tight, there is a war of incompatible formats underway, and "expect some glitches" too.

Consumer Reports suggests that consumers can get "a more versatile high-def DVD player" if they wait until November when PlayStation 3 is expected to roll out with a Blu-ray drive for price points far lower--at about $500--than standalone Blu-ray players. (HD DVD players also sell for about $500.)

Any perceived shortfalls in the availability of next-gen players and titles, however, might be a blessing, Consumer Reports said, "Since even movie aficionados should, for now, resist the call of the new technology." It cites other likely sources of HD content such as cable HD and HD VOD, DBS, FTTH, and broadband Internet. "Having waited so long for high-def DVD, we may eventually discover we don't really need it," Consumer Reports said.

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