In re: Is Sony going to lose another format war?

For a little while Sony’s Blu-ray disc looked poised to win the battle of HD format video discs.  Blockbuster had recently changed to only stocking Blu-ray both in stores and online.  To couple with this Blu-ray had more studios locked to exclusive content, but that all changed very suddenly when Paramount and Dreamworks Animation went from being unaligned to being in the HD-DVD camp.  At first this might not sound so big, as Blu-ray still has a good hold on its own studios, but when you dig below the numbers and look at the technologies and who owns these players (Sony’s players are more expensive and only has a lot of players out there in the hands of gamers who bought a PS3).

I recently entered the world of HD (finally) and while right now I am still only enjoying over the air HD and regular old DVDs on a 7 year old DVD player (one other possible competition many note to HD formats is the surge of upconvert DVD players that are doing such a good job now that many folks are willing to wait for the dust to settle).  As the DVDs I have don’t look all that good on HD screens I thought about an upconvert but seeing that for just over $200 you can get into the HD-DVD world, with 5 free HD-DVDs to boot (and upconvert capabilities) it would seem silly to not get one if spending a hundred alone for an upconvert.

These format wars can be annoying for customers as it doesn’t really lead to as big a price drop as you may think from competition (once mass sales begin increased production can really drive the prices down).  So while it may be too early to declare a winner, it looks to me (and to the Economist – who has a real good article on it here) that HD-DVD is now sitting up front in the battle, both for the new deal, the ease of programming discs (apparently Blu-ray discs are very tough to program and make, despite their potential for greater options and space).

Could Blu-ray be the next betamax, or will it be more like the minidisc that stuck around somehow, despite no-one using it.  Who knows, but when you think about it, Sony has quite the track record of doing things wrong in creating formats.

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2 Responses

  1. just got an upconvert dvd player – no need to spend the extra dough. My LG player was $80 – the HDMI cables were more expensive!
    Although, my hdtv is pretty small – maybe the highdef dvds make a bigger impact on a bigger tv

  2. HDMI cables, look on the internet for the cheapest ones you can find. (some for $5) No difference as the connection is digital (true really cheap ones might have worse housing etc, but generally there isn’t much of a difference)any claims by Monster Cables or anyother brands are just their attempts to make 80% plus profit.

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