Consumer electronics writers have begun to weigh in on the new HD DVD players distributed by Toshiba this week, and most are unimpressed. Several cite an intolerably long boot-up period, a confusing menu system, and incompatible sound. But nearly all express disappointment in the picture. On smaller sets, the writers agree, the difference between HD DVD and a conventional DVD is virtually undetectable. "Bottom line is that HD DVD is great, but will you notice?" asks Ben Drawbaugh on HDBeat.com. Writing in the Los Angeles Times David Colker remarked that on larger screens he could detect a subtle difference. He added: "I tested my perceptions by switching between the two formats. I asked a colleague to close his eyes while I chose a version, then had him open them and guess: DVD or HD DVD? He got it right only about 75% of the time. So, yes, it's better. But don't expect the dramatic leap in quality that came with the transition from VHS to DVDs in the 1990s.
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