HD DVD Truck, Format Get Plugged on 'Today'

It's not purely coincidental there's a "Universal" in "NBC Universal." It happens to be the same name (and company) as the movie studio that's backing the HD DVD format over Blu-ray Disc, and on Tuesday, Oct. 10, it got some free advertising when the HD DVD Promotional Group's Mobile Experience Tour truck happened to stop within range of NBC's "Today" show cameras at 30 Rock in Manhattan.

The mobile demo truck was en route to the Jacob Javits Convention Center for Digital Life Expo this weekend, and made a strategic pit stop to say hello to the morning's top-rated "Today" audience of 6.2 million viewers.

Omar Wasow, identified as a paid consultant for HD DVD, spent several minutes answering "Today" show weatherman Al Roker's basic questions about the next-gen DVD format, which Roker mistakingly said was being unveiled "starting today."

The consultant got away with a few mild zingers in the interview that Sony couldn't be too pleased about, at one point describing a key difference between the formats as Blu-ray being mostly for "gamers" because of its inclusion in upcoming PS3 consoles, while HD DVD was better suited as a "mass consumer device." He also said that HD DVD players will run about half the price of Blu-ray Disc players (at least in North America).

Since Disney Studios favors Blu-ray Disc, it may only be a matter of time before the Blu-ray demo truck shows up on the Manhattan doorstep of "Good Morning America" over on ABC/Disney.