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Old 11-08-2007   #10
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 395
Default Re: Popular Home Theater Forumís HD DVD and Blu-ray Sections Shutdown as Debates Over

Sadly, the sort of backlash and blind distaste for something new, in this instance HD DVD or Blu-ray is nothing new to the consumer electronics industry. In a weird way (which I can not understand) I think it has somehow become a given. Ignoring HD for a moment, heated words have come up over audiophile vs. HT for years. Hell, even audiophiles can't see eye to eye or at least agree to disagree about tubes vs. solid state. I don't know what it is about the CE industry that makes everyone an instant expert on everything thus making their view correct and all others wrong.

I am thrilled when I get letters from readers saying they enjoyed a review or took me up on a recommendation for a product and don't regret it. It's really why I do what I do, because when I was starting out I didn't really have anyone around me that was into "gear" the way I was. Toss in the fact that all of the magazines at the time would only talk about gear I could never afford. That's why I strive to strike a balance between the products people want and actually use and those we all wish we had. That being said, while I consider writers to be in a class all their own one must not loose sight of the fact that a review is merely a single person's opinion. Nothing more. For all the letters I get praising what we do I get the same amount of hate mail too. Folks that buy something based on a review only to get it home and conclude that it isn't for them or worse that I or one of my writers is full of s#!t and lied to them. CE is all relative. This format war is no different.

I honestly hate the term war. Right off the bat I think it puts people in an aggravated state, almost provoking them to a fight before they even know what they're fighting over. Honestly, what's there to fight over? So you have two choices. Big deal. Variety is the spice of life. We don't all have to drive Fords. Why do we have to have one format? If you like HD DVD no one is saying you have to have Blu-ray and vice versa. That's what I don't understand. People are trying to pick a winner and or bring an end to this so called "war" when everywhere else in the CE world you have several competing technologies in the same areas all doing quite well and no one is complaining. Why is there no fight over Plasma vs. LCD? Why can we allow for two competing technologies there but not with our players? DVD is the standard we all adopted over time, but there were a number of products that challenged it. Remember DVHS? Over time I believe the same will hold true for HD DVD and Blu-ray, but come on, the formats are still very new when you think about it. And when you consider how affordable they've gotten in such a short period of time you have to ask yourself, isn't the consumer winning already? It took years for HDTVs and flat screens to become affordable, yet in roughly a year players that were once $1000 are now $99. War is over, we win.

If you're one who is holding out then more power to you. If you're an early adopter, welcome to the club. Just enjoy yourself. And for Pete's sake let's not forget what we're all "fighting" about...the big kid equivalent of a Tickle Me Elmo doll.

Take care everyone, and thanks for reading.
Andrew Robinson

Managing Editor
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