How high will your definition be? Maybe not that much

The format war between high-definition DVDs known as HD DVDs and the competing Blu-Ray discs became more complicated when Toshiba announced that its HD DVD player will be in stores in March for $500-- half the cost of the cheapest Blu-Ray player and months before those players hit the shelves. Now comes news that neither format may deliver what it promises, thanks to another war: the one on piracy. Because the hi-def discs lose their copy-protection when plugged into an analog television, the signal will be degraded to keep pirates from making perfect copies. The argument is that it won't be noticable on the average analog TV; the problem is that many first-generation hi-def TVs have analog-only inputs. In other words, the poor suckers, er, early purchasers of HD sets will be getting about one-quarter the picture they paid for, no matter what the format.