The response to our Holiday HD DVD Buying Guide
was so positive, we've decided to do an updated guide to the next generation of home entertainment - HD DVD.
DVD Talk is committed to 100% coverage of HD DVD Releases a platform which provides exceptional resolution picture, improved sound and an entire new generation of interactive bonus features. We hope you find this guide helpful to getting started with HD DVD.
Getting a Player
When it comes to bang-for-your-buck it's extremely hard to beat HD DVD. With 2nd generation players already on the market there are some serious bargains to be had. If you own an Xbox 360, you can add an HD DVD Drive
for under $200. Over the holidays several members of the DVD Talk Review Staff
did just that and have been extremely pleased with the results. With Xbox live, Microsoft has been great about sending down the wire updates for the player so it's always updated and ready to go (a big plus).
If you are looking for a stand alone HD DVD player you have a number of options. First off if you're looking for a steal of a deal try to find one of the first generation: Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player [Review | Price Search] or the HD-XA1. Both can be found online for around $400, have had firmware upgrades and have been road tested by the DVD Talk reviewing staff.
For not much more money you can get yourself into a second generation HD DVD player from Toshiba. The HD-A2 is the replacement/upgrade to the A1 features a slimmer more modern looking design, an improved remote control and improved performance (it cuts the load time on discs down by as much as half. There is also the higher end HD-XA2 which outputs in 1080p.
When it comes to the next generation of high-def home entertainment you won't find a better value than HD DVD.
Hot New Releases
Visit DVD Talk's HD DVD Coming Soon List
Major new releases are now hitting store shelves day and date in HD with their DVD counter parts. These include Academy Award Nominated DVDs fresh from the theaters including:
which we update as new titles are announced.
HD DVD Combo Format
Unique to the HD DVD format is the HD DVD Combo Format Disc. These discs had the HD DVD edition of a movie on one side and the standard DVD edition on the other. Perfect for when you want to take the movie on the road with your standard definition DVD player. It's like getting two discs in one. Notable Combo Format HD DVD's include:
TV on DVD
One of the huge genre's which has fueled the success of DVD has been TV on DVD. Now HD DVD boasts the most TV releases in HD including:
Recommended HD DVDs
Once you've geared up (and if you haven't... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?!) there are already almost 100 HD DVD titles already on the market. Many of the titles selling at major retailers for as low as $20! We've gone through all the HD DVDs out on the market to bring you a list of the ones you should be picking up to start your HD DVD collection
No movie could ever hope to live up to the endless amount of praise and astronomical expectations surrounding Brokeback Mountain. Despite the unrelenting hyperbole swirling around it, Brokeback Mountain is by any conceivable standard an exceptionally well-made film and the sort of cultural touchstone that demands to be seen. This HD DVD looks wonderful. Those who've already purchased one of the existing releases may be understandably reluctant to upgrade, but otherwise, Brokeback Mountain is Highly Recommended. [Review]
Casino is a unique entry in Scorsese's catalog: a gangster movie that is actually a facade for a fascinating character study. De Niro gives a fantastic performance, as does Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone gives the best of her career. The whole thing is wrapped up in a package too good not to try. With a stunning high definition image, this HD DVD comes Highly Recommended. [Review]
We didn't think it would've happened ten years ago, but Clerks II has come to pass; even more surprising, though, is that it's an entertaining sequel in its own right. With plenty of winks and nods to past Smith productions. The HD DVD presentation by The Weinstein Company pairs the main feature with a solid technical presentation and a fun assortment of laid-back bonus material. All things considered, all-around solid HD DVD. Highly Recommended.
Dune is a great movie no matter what the naysayers argue. The splendid HD DVD has a terrific High-Def transfer that's the best the film has ever looked on home video. The bonus features aren't significant in volume, but what we do get is packed with worthwhile content. Dune HD DVD is an essential part of any collection, and gets the highest DVDTalk Collector Series rating. [Review]
Fearless is the kind of movie that most actors never even get a chance to make. Emotionally resonant, thoughtful, and meditative, the film combines powerful fight scenes with real human touches to create a truly wonderful farewell to a martial arts star. Praises for the sound and picture on the HD DVD should be sung from the heavens; it's got the best HD transfer we've ever seen. While the special features are few in number, they make up for it with the weight of their substance. If you could only own one HD DVD, just for sound and picture alone, this may very well be the one to get. Highly Recommended[Review]
Miami Vice the movie is a sharp contrast to Miami Vice the TV show. However, the end result turns out to be one of Mann's most intriguing works. The HD DVD has some scenes that are among the best in the format, and carries a host of special features, some of which aren't available on the standard DVD, including two complete cuts of the film. With this release, Universal proves once again why HD DVD is a format worth owning. [Review]
||Mission: Impossible - Ultimate Missions Collection|
Mission: Impossible movies make for fine summer blockbuster entertainment and great home video. On Mission Impossible III The High-Def video quality is fantastic and demonstration-worthy. Paramount has also taken a big step in providing most of the bonus features in HD resolution. The HD DVD has a slightly sharper picture than the competing Blu-ray and includes the exclusive Enhanced Commentary feature. [Review]
A film doesn't have to be a sprawling, epic triumph of the human spirit to be great, and the unrelentingly witty The Sting still oozes charm even more than three decades after taking home an armful of statuettes at the Academy Awards. The Sting is an all-time favorite, and especially for those who missed out on the 2005 Legacy Edition release, this HD DVD is essential viewing. [Review]
||World Trade Center|
World Trade Center is a surprisingly good movie that could have gone very wrong if handled any differently. The HD DVD has excellent picture and sound, as well as a terrific assortment of worthwhile bonus features mostly offered in High Definition. How could this not come highly recommended? [Review]
Notable HD DVD Coming Soon
With over 150 HD DVD titles already in the market HD DVD is just getting going. There are a ton of notable HD DVDs which have been announced which you should put on your wish list:
DVD Talk will continue its 100% coverage of HD DVD and update you on all the titles you should be adding to your collection. Join the discussion about HD DVD in our HD Talk Forum and share your thoughts on the next generation of home entertainment.
Note: HD DVD is a registered trademark of the HD DVD Group. All Rights Reserved.