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A world without high definition DVDs...

Save not one in which I would want to live. But that's the sort of world David Pogue seems to be suggesting today in the New York Times. A careful read of the article reveals that deep down, he's one of us. Despite the cynicism about consumer electronics companies and their motives he came away impressed by the visual quality of HD DVD movies and the improvements provided by the interactive menus. Of course as Ben pointed out, he mentions the debut Toshiba HD-A1 player has some warts, long initial load times being one of them. Add on DRM concerns, a brewing format war with Blu-ray and you have plenty of reasons to sit on the fence. How long consumers stay there remains to be seen.

Does that mean both formats could go the way of the Dodo, Laserdisc and other dearly departed items as he suggests they might? Severely doubt it, everyone has too much invested for that to happen. Companies on both the hardware and software (content) side have too much to lose for the formats to just fade away. What appears to be most likely, is an extended format battle in which choosing a side means potentially giving up some feature or movie you want that is only available on the other. The life of an early adopter is fraught with peril but maybe, just maybe the 1080i/p rewards for your HDTV are worth it.

Note: Even I haven't decided which -- if either -- format to purchase yet

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