Happy new high-def year

Big in 2006: Toshiba HD-DVD playerDue: March£TBAIf we’re to believe everything fed to us by the megacorps of tech land – Sony, Microsoft and Toshiba t

Big in 2006: Toshiba HD-DVD player

Due: March

£TBA

If we’re to believe everything fed to us by the megacorps of tech land – Sony, Microsoft and Toshiba to name a smattering – high-capacity, high def-packing DVDs are officially the Next Big Thing. Our in-house, pleated beard-wearing oracles, however, reckon it’s a load of (ahem) tosh.

We think both will go the road of DVD-Audio and SACD, über-geek enthusiast technologies that fall by the wayside because no one actually wanted them. And because there’s something better that’s here and now: internet video. Yep, like the BBC’s imminent Interactive Media Player, Homechoice’s on-demand movies and sports on Sky By Broadband.

For a few minutes, though, let’s pretend there is reason to get psyched about the two new formats, HD-DVD (led by Toshiba) and Blu-Ray (championed by Sony). Both camps are bragging their kit will be in US and Japanese shops by spring, so you’ll almost certainly be able to import a Toshiba HD-DVD player from the US by March.

Read between the hype projectiles being fired by the rivals – our one will be cheaper, yours has less capacity, ours comes with a free copy of every film ever produced – and there’s one clear benefit for us: more storage, up to 50GB on Blu-ray. That means high-def movies for all those HD-ready flat TVs and projectors we’ve been snapping up for the past year.

And now back to 2006 reality: watching high-def footie on Sky HD and wading through our expensive and extensive DVD movie collection. Ultra-early adopters should start saving now, get chummy with the local postie and set up a Google News Alert for ‘Toshiba HD-DVD player’.