High Definition DVD Failures
High Definition DVD is one of the most anticipated and over-hyped technology advancements in a long time. In one camp, you've got Sony with the promise of Blu-Ray DVD, offering a better image quality for movies and the never shipping PS3 as the gateway to putting Blu-Ray in every home on the planet. Camp number two is Toshiba and Microsoft proffering HD-DVD, again with improved image quality, already in the market with a limited supply of over-priced hardware and the announcement of an external drive for Xbox 360 owners. To Sony's credit, new Viao computers now support Blu-Ray, but how many people are buying new machines on the eve of Windows Vista (unless they're buying a Mac)? I could go on here to list 20 or more reasons why I think HD content rocks and how we're getting sold out by yet another format war, but Clint DeBoer over at Audioholics gave 10 solid reasons that sum it up in a neat little package.
1) Nobody Likes False Starts
2) Format Wars Don't Sell Players
3) HD DVD and Blu-ray are NOT Quantum Leaps in Technology
4) Studios are Conservative, Greedy and Unmotivated
5) Playstation3 Cannot Save the World
6) Those Who Ignore History�
7) People Want Technology that�s 15 Minutes Ahead of Its Time
8) Enthusiasts Are Getting Tired (and Smarter)
9) A Skeptical News Media Doesn�t Help
10) Broadband and IPTV to Compete?
The detailed versions where Clint backs up these statements is more meaningful than the hitlist itself. Be sure to read 10 Reasons Why High Definition DVD Formats Have Already Failed
A few of these are a leap of faith, because I don't think many of today's enthusiasts remember 8-track tapes and the battle cry of Betamax vs. VHS is one that's taken up simply to argue for the right to make copies, not as a point about the consumer getting ripped off in a stupid corporate battle over formats. Format wars, if they reach an agreeable solution before they go to market, can result in a better product for everyone, but in cases like Betamax, Sony's arrogance and over-pricing left us with an inferior product because the market opted for a cheaper good-enough solution like it always does.
So the question is, are you on the Blu-Ray band wagon? Are you buying HD-DVD? Would you rather skip it all together and get all your high definition content from a cable provider or from the Internet? Or is this one battle you plan to wait out to see who wins? Weigh in with your thoughts at Digital Media Thoughts.