Meantime, the de facto standard online for HD disc content, legit or not, is x264.
After DivX/XviD/MPEG-4 replaced MPEG-2 as a generally practical format for video content from DVDs, it took some time before gadget makers released decent players that could load up a DivX stream off of any CD-R or DVD-R and play it (reliably).
My money says we'll have a much shorter wait this time. In fact, in the end-of-year spirit of goofy tech prognostication, I'll wager that by Christmas of next year
- The "official" format war between BluRay and HD-DVD will still not be meaningfully resolved
- But 200 bucks will get you a DVD player that can load up an x264 stream and play it back, upsampled and/or at HD resolution
- That same player (or maybe the $300 version) will either have a USB port so you can plug in your 1TB external enclosure and play HD movies that you've, um, obtained, without using a disk at all, or else it'll have a network port.
- Game over.