Warner Home Video held their latest “press appreciation event” at the Royal Ontario Museum last night, launching BBC Video’s “Planet Earth” and introducing us to its second-quarter lineup.
There’s some good stuff in there — I’m shamefully excited about that first-season set of “The Powerpuff Girls” — but “Planet Earth”, which was screening in HD-DVD on a pair of Toshiba Regza sets throughout the event — was definitely the highlight of the evening.
“Planet Earth” will be the first BBC Video title to be released in high-definition, and it’ll be available simultaneously in HD-DVD and Blu-ray editions; label reps were mum on subsequent releases, except to say that there will be more high-def content down the line.
“Doctor Who” and “Life on Mars” seem like obvious choices, given their respective geek factors; it struck me as odd that BBC Video has no plans to release “Life on Mars” on DVD in North America, since the show just wrapped up in the UK, but if they’re waiting to tie the release to high-def formats, that might explain it.
And still, we come back to the endless loop of the format question: Which player to buy? I spent some time over the weekend mulling high-def players — tempted by the $399 sticker price of Toshiba’s HD-A2 on Broadway, gawking at Samsung’s brand-new BD-P1200 at Best Buy, fondling LG’s BH100 combo player at Circuit City — but couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger.
Basically, I’m waiting for a second-generation combo player — one that has more comprehensive video and audio output options, and maybe a nicer cabinet. (It bugs me that you can’t turn off the glowing LG logo on the front of the thing.)
And then there’s this, which is still entirely hypothetical at this point, but sounds awfully nice. I mean, I do think Blu-ray will eventually win this war — it’s got the studio support, and it’s starting to show the sales numbers — but as long as “Shaun of the Dead” is an HD-DVD exclusive, I’ll need something that can play it.