Straight to Blu-ray?

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Just as you're putting the finishing touches on your DVD collection, another format war is heating up. This time, it's HD DVD versus Blu-ray, with the future of high-definition home video at stake.

What I found fascinating were the rental habits of the early adopters. Let's look at the Netflix Top 10 HD DVD and Blu-ray movies:

HD DVD

1. Million Dollar Baby; 2. Ray; 3. Ocean's Twelve; 4. Batman Begins; 5. The Bourne Supremacy; 6. The Manchurian Candidate; 7. Troy; 8. The Last Samurai; 9. The Italian Job; 10. Constantine

That sounds about right. Some Oscar winners, some epic battle scenes, some high-speed chases. But compare that to the Blu-rayers:

Blu-Ray

1. Crash; 2. Hitch; 3. 50 First Dates; 4. Good Night, and Good Luck; 5. Lord of War; 6. Rumor Has It; 7. Memento; 8. Stealth; 9. Saw; 10. S.W.A.T.

Nothing like Kevin James or Kevin Costner in HD.

Obviously, these lists are driven by what's available in each format. If you'd spent a grand on a Blue-ray player, you might feel compelled to watch anything. Even Basic Instinct 2 (#24 on the list).

But this campaign has a long way to go, and I'm no pundit. Blu-ray promises more exclusive deals with more studios. Besides, if we called elections after the New Hampshire primary, there'd be a Paul E. Tsongas Presidential Library.

One of these formats will be a hundred billion dollar winner. The other will be a punchline on I Love the 00s! on VH-1.

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August 18, 2006 - 12:00pm
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