Thursday, February 14, 2008

blu ray wins this round...

Two big announcements in the "Format Wars" last week, might have marked the death knell for HD-dvd. And if not the final blows, they definitely are serious wounds. Because let's also keep in mind that this is a mere month and change since Warner's announced that they were dropping the HD format. The two heavy blows came when first Netflix announced that they were dropping HD-dvd completely, followed a day later by the largest US consumer electronics retailer Best Buy's decision to only publically endorse blu ray. Of course as a retailer they can't drop HD-dvd altogether, but they intend to only display, and 'recommend' blu ray.

These moves are maybe not unexpected to people who live and breathe by the format wars (obviously not me if you know just about anything). But what does it mean for the rest of us? Well, I think we're getting some pretty clear signs that the war is winding down to a close. Oh I know, every time in the past when I've said that, it seems like we get some new victory on the side that was losing so badly before, but we're coming down to the wire and the decisions being made now are the ones that will matter the most. I've heard the arguments that we're just going to evolve right out of hard copy media, but frankly I don't buy it. Not now, not yet. I sure don't think old school dvd is going anywhere anytime soon. In fact I bet old school dvd (playing) technology exists well through the entire life cycle of high definition hard copy media, and only actually dies when blu ray or whatever phases out into a purely digital age. But that's beside the point I suppose. I think this portends the end of the speculation. Does it mean I will go out and buy a PS3 next week? No, I wish it did. This is a sure step towards something more permanent though, and I am all for that kind of determination.

For now we'll have to wait and see what Paramount and Disney do when their reported temp contract ends with the HD camp in the spring and they need to make a decision. That, and as my friend Devon likes to remind me Apple's as yet undeclared decision, may make all the difference in the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

um... netflix is dropping blu-ray?