Early Adopters

The first high-def disc players hit the market

After testing the first Blu-ray and HD DVD boxes to hit the market, I´m confident that the future of movie discs is clearly high-def: picture and sound quality from both players was terrific. But each had its own bugs and with studios split over the two formats and combo players at least a year away, smart consumers will hold off on that future a little longer.

Blu-Ray: Samsung BD-P1000

Price: $1,000

Number of announced movies: 132 (but wider studio support)

Not ready for prime time: no Ethernet port for connecting to the Internet, even though online interactivity is one of the selling points of the format.

HD DVD:
Toshiba´s HD-XA1

Price: $500

Number of movies: 148

Not ready for prime time: hard-to-use remote, responds sluggishly to commands, and takes 90 seconds to start playing a disc.