Re: Blockbuster To Push Blu-ray Starting This July
I've stayed out of the game thus far because the cost is too high. Not that I couldn't pay current prices for a player, but because if I pick and I'm wrong I can't afford to lose; too much to pay for a 'maybe'. I already have DVD-A and SACD titles that I invested in that I have to play in CD format because the record companies couldn't get their heads out of their _____. Luckily I have less than a handful of titles total.
To be honest I have a favorite that I'm pulling for - Blu-Ray. It's mostly because capacity rules. Do you think we would even be having this discussion if there were enough capacity on DVD to do HD (I know there are other technical factors for switching formats, but work with me here)? Blu-Ray currently rules in terms of capacity. Your HDTV is only one place where the format will be used. The other is your computer. New uses of computers are always requiring more storage capacity. Diskettes and Zip drives are basically gone. They couldn't keep up. Even CDs in the computer world are having a hard time. DVDs seem to be doing OK, but I'm sure there are more than a few applications where multiple DVDs are required.
If the capacities were the same I wouldn't care which format one, as long long as the picture was the best that it can be and DRM wasn't a monkey wrench. Speaking of picture quality...I would hope that whatever format becomes the winner that it would eventually support the next resolution jump, or maybe the next 2 or 3 jumps. Right now that is 1080p is king, but I would think that in the next few years we would see 1440i/p. I'd hate to think we'd be talking about another format swich just to support it. Maybe this is not the right group of people to ask, as I don't think anyone that would bother to subscribe to this list would be the 'general public' when it comes to A/V, but where do you feel the limit in resolution will be, either in terms of physical limitation or when people start not to care and aren't interested in an 'upgrade' in terms of video resolution?
One last comment. Don't underestimate the strength of the porn industry when it comes to determining a winner in this war. Whether you are a porn watcher or not, there is a large segment of the population that is, whether admittedly or in the closet, that does watch. If the porn industry can get those people buying players because the material that they want to watch is on one particular HD format then they most certainly will be a player. I believe it was a player in VHS over BetaMax. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. That's 'billion' with a capital 'B'. I haven't checked in a couple of months, but the last time I looked there were 10-20 actual or promised HD DVD titles and only one promised BD title. I think that means that thus far they are leaning towards HD DVD. I think both camps would be wise to 'court' the porn industry. They don't have to like porn or morally agree with it, just be aware of the potential impact that a partner like porn can have on the outcome of this whole thing. Business makes strange bedfellows.
Michael K. Craghead