I had a few spare minutes and read this entire thread, and some of the views are startling when you consider the forum we are communicating on...
I DON'T give a crap which format wins for the most part. I have a slight edge for HD DVD since I bought the A2, but all this bickering is just insanity. I just know that the A2 was very inexpensive, and a great VALUE (Value= the features/advantages/benefits vs. the cost) for what you pay. My A2 is worth the money and then some just for the unbelievably good job it does with upconvert, let alone the actual HD DVD discs look to me like crack does to Pookie on New Jack City. The high-def video experience, when properly demonstrated on a nice set that has been calibrated with care is light-years ahead of regular DVD...
The reason the experience in both formats hasn't reached anything close to critical mass is of course cost, PLUS the value has NOT been built to Joe Schmoe. I have showed off my player to several people that don't give 2 hoots about "artifacts" and "grain" and MPEG2 this vs. MPEG4 that, and when they watch a movie on my t.v., they simply poop their pants. This is a product that has to be demonstrated to be valued, so I think the prices need to come down plus the commercials need to be clear-cut and dramatic.
Let me see if I can think of a 30-second spot that would get the idea across that doesn't rely on slick visuals that wouldn't be appreciated anyway (remember the old "DVD!" commercials on the VHS tapes?)...
FADE IN: A DOCTOR'S EYE CHART
P.O.V.: through the eye-exam "goggle viewers"...
But this particular eye chart has rows of Shrek heads, Transformer Heads, Superman Heads, E.T. heads, and Joe Pesci heads. Sure, why not... Joe Pesci Heads.
Which looks better? THIS one....
THE DOCTOR flips the Joe Pesci Head from a blurry image, to a sharp one.
Or this one?
The "in-focus" Pesci Head comes alive.
JOE PESCI HEAD
What? Am I blurry? Do I look F##**
blurry to you? I'm in HD DVD, does that
f***** amuse YOU?
The PATIENT pulls his head away from the equipment.
Doctor, I'll buy the HD DVD player, as
long as that man never bothers me
CLOSE UP: We now see the "DOCTOR" is a Best Buy employee (or whatever), and they aren't in an office, but in a corner of the store set up for these demonstrations. Other shoppers pause and stare at the commotion.
Sir, I can gurantee that. Just don't buy Goodfellas
in High Defintion, and everything will be alright...
SMASH CUT: HD DVD: As Real As Real Can Get.
FADE OUT: The Joe Pesci head...
JOE PESCI HEAD (This time from Lethal Weapon)
O.K., O.K., so I cost a FEW bucks more, okay?
I'm bein' upfront about that. But they f*$% you
on the regular DVD players, O.K.? You myswell go
watch a drive in movie thorugh your windshield
in a thunderstorm....Wait, wait, wait, I didn't tell ya
the best part, K? You can watch all your old DVDs
on this thing and they'll look way better, too!
Joe Pesci fades with the HD DVD logo..
o.k., so I came up with that in 3 seconds, but you guys get the picture. It's all about marketing and lowering costs, and when these things happen I'll be pumped cause everything will be cheaper and as always get better and better. In the meantime, I'm going to support the cause by continuing to buy movies in High-Def. Because I love movies, and this is currently the very best way to see them.