Matrix coming to HD DVD (only)

At last: on May 22 we get the Matrix on HD DVD, according to

Remember when The Matrix was released on DVD? It was pretty advanced in its day, so I'm expecting a similar step forward for the HD DVD version. 

Of course no stand-alone Blu-Ray player can do secondary video playback, so the IME (In Movie Experience) that the Matrix uses cannot possibly work, which I assume is why there will be no BD release any time soon. Every HD DVD player can do secondary video playback, and HD DVD titles have been using it since Bourne Supremacy which was released almost a year ago.

The Toshiba HD A2 MSRP is $399 as of April 1st according to the OneCall catalog I got in the mail this week, so you can use the money you save buying an HD DVD player over a BD one to get the Matrix, plus of course you get five free movies with the players too.

HD DVD: cheaper players, and more advanced interactivity than BD. Why pay more for less?

Comments (8)
  1. Name says:

    I personally hope that HD DVD will win. However, nearly all reports indicate that Blu-Ray is leading and continuing to get stronger with each month.

    Look through the archives at , among other places, for details.

    Regardless, I will not purchase either  HD-DVD or Blu-Ray now. One will become the next standard; one will not. I see no reason in purchasing both. This is VHS vs. Beta again.

  2. The quoted article indicates the BD release is coming later in the year.

  3. Neo says:

    HD-DVD may get it first, but it is not an exclusive title. A Blu-ray version is scheduled to be released later in 2007.

    This format war is tiresome.

  4. Rosyna says:

    FWIW, blu-ray players introduced after July 2007 have mandatory second video stream support.

    But how is secondary video playback an interactivity feature?

  5. Andy-Pennell says:

    Rosyna, secondary video playback is required for a meaningful picture-in-picture experience. Do these mystical "July 2007" BD players also have ethernet ports and persistant storage? Obviously pre-July 2007 players cannot be retrofitted with these hardware features. Features that every HD DVD player has had since their release I might add. Maybe they’ll have advanced audio codec support too. Talk about playing catch-up, BD is so behind in these areas.

  6. Rosyna says:

    Yes, but how is PIP interactive?

    I’m skeptical of anything that has mandatory network connectivity. Especially when it involves DRMd files. And what about portable players (like for planes) are they expected to have network connectivity? And yes, pre-July 2007 players can be retrofitted via a firmware update. Well, at least the top selling one can (the PS3) since it has all the necessary ports, storage, and processing requirements.

    Ah, you bring up a good point about "advanced audio codec support". Dolby TrueHD is a mandatory part of the HD DVD player (optional on Blu-ray). The Xbox 360 with HD DVD attachment does not support Dolby TrueHD. Since it does not support a mandatory part of the spec, how can it be labeled an HD DVD player? I thought only players that implemented all of the mandatory features could get the HD DVD logo stamped on them?

  7. Andy-Pennell says:

    PIP is interactive so you can turn it off and on whenever you want. You can also reposition it (E.g. "Elephant’s Dream"), resize it, change its transparency etc.

    The ability to connect is mandatory, so that authors are encouraged to use it. Actual use of it is not of course. History has shown that if the bulk of players can’t do something, then few titles will try to use that feature (cf. PS2 hard drive).

    PS3 is the only BD player that can be updated to meet the 2.0 profile: all other ($1000+) players cannot. I’d be pissed if I’d bought one.

    Xbox DOES decode TrueHD, per the spec. However due to hardware limitations (it has no 5.1 analog out) it re-encodes as DD to get it out of the box.

  8. Andy-Pennell says:

    Oh, and the "July 2007" date for "BD players with similar features to HD DVD players" just got moved back to October 2007! See

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