It’s a deal I can’t pass up. $30 plus tax for the complete set of Planet Earth in hi-def! “But Andy”, you are saying, “Isn’t HD-DVD that dead format?” Yes, it’s dead. Gone the way of the dodo. Gone the way of Betamax, but wait. It’s not betamax. It’s a digital format. I’m stating the obvious, or maybe I’m not, but it’s an important point to be made now that HD-DVD is dead, dead, dead. I recently picked up something that can help. It’s an LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray burner. It also reads Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs. OK, so no, I will not be transferring my HD-DVD discs to Blu-ray discs. It’s possible, but my time is much more valuable than that. I can, however, place the movies on my hard drive. Just like there are programs that can get the video files off of standard DVDs, they also exist for HD-DVD (and Blu-ray). Now, legally, you can only extract (rip) the video files from un-encrypted discs (copyright is a separate issue). That would eliminate all of the commercially produced DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray discs. Exceptions have been made, but the fact remains that just breaking the encryption of these discs is illegal.
Now that HD-DVD is dead, the DMCA/encryption issue is less of a worry to me. Nuff said. My plan is to play the discs from the existing player that I have, a Toshiba HD-A1. However, I also have the LG drive in a computer that is hooked into my home theater system, so I essentially have a combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD player. In a previous post, I predicted that once the war was over (it is), combo players might be the way to go. It’s looking more like HD-DVD will just vaporize. So back to the digital nature of the HD-DVD format, these movies can be played from your hard drive using the combination of decryption software and player software such as Nero Showtime or Power DVD, and it’s certainly a convenient way to watch movies. So my Planet Earth disc will play, in the near future, on my HD-DVD player(s). In the distant future, the digital file of Planet Earth will play from whatever storage device is current. Terabyte hard drives will be cheap and new storage technology is just around the corner that will be capable of storing hundreds on HD quality movies as digital files. Check out the TeraDisc and the Holographic Versatile Disc for some of the possible successors to DVD and HD-DVD data storage.
Boy, that was a long justification for buying obsolescence.