HD-DVD is Dead….

Does anyone care? Well, I do since I received one of these players for Christmas (Thanks Mom and Dad). This week Toshiba pulled out of HD-DVD because they were losing the battle. The sad thing in this whole Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD battle is much like the Betamax vs VHS battle of the early 80’s. Sony learning an important lesson from that battle with JVC that slick marketing and public perception will always beat the better technology. What surprises me is that the public has decided on the overpriced technology that lacks many important features that the Toshiba hardware had. Sony has the contacts in the movie industry and they flexed their muscle in paying for the studios to convert to their platform. Toshiba didn’t have the advantage of doing this. Oh Well. I doubt either of these formats are going to win in the long term.

Media based content seems antiquated and with the format issues derived from Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/etc that physical hardware (players, game consoles, etc) will eventually have to be replaced by networked solutions. The company that can offer this service with no/minimal hardware costs will win. For example, Google will continue to make a move to personal media storage (movies, images, music). Is it really that hard of an extension to believe that they could deliver additional content based on fees. Apple and Amazon sell TV shows already. VuDu and other IP TV options will continue to grow. In fact, my outside perspective of the writers strike seemed to be somewhat based on this issue. Online content is the long term solution. Is it that hard to imagine in 3-4 years a provider with incredible infrastructure using newly released WiFi frequencies (the 700MHz Super Spectrum for example) and acquired “dark” fiber offering a true broadband solution for 90% of the US while bundling Video/Movie/Music/and archival services to the consumer? At this point its a pipe dream but I think this will be the long term format. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray may become the laser disc on the early 2000’s.

Of course, that is just the opinion of a jaded HD-DVD owner.

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