Friday, September 01, 2006

Hidef DVD morgue watch, cont.

The looming failure of both HD-DVD and Blu-ray continues. via Boingboing:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood is hoping high-definition DVDs will reignite a slowing market for movies at home, but they have drawn mixed reviews from retailers and analysts due to technical issues and a bitter format war....

"High expectations were set. At every meeting with Sony, every demonstration was spectacular," Dybdahl said.

"Then along comes the first Blu-ray player from Samsung and that's when my expectations were hurt. When we put the disc in, all the sales people looked around and said it doesn't look much better than a standard DVD," he said.
This is going to be the big problem for both these standards. Your average consumer is simply not going to invest in the equipment until he's sure there's a big enough difference to warrant the expense.

We've never done a digital-to-digital transition in the media industry before, with the exception of the ongoing transition away from CDs to MP3s, and I don't think that will ever be complete. It does show, however, what the next video format needs to be if it's going to have serious commercial appeal: MP3s have a huge market now because of the immense convenience they add when you listen to music. It becomes a snap to organize your collection, play what you want, etc.

Consumers have adopted MP3s, and this is crucial, even though MP3s are lower-fidelity. This is the same reason TV piracy isn't going to go away - people will download episodes (whole seasons, even) of TV, even though the fidelity is crap sometimes, because it's easier and more convenient.

The next next video standard is going to have to take reality in to account.

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