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Studios take sides in fight for successor to the DVD - 11/30/04


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Studios take sides in fight for successor to the DVD - 11/30/04
Topic: Technology 9:59 am EST, Nov 30, 2004

] Paramount Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures and
] Warner Bros., which includes New Line Cinema and HBO,
] said Monday that they would start releasing films in the
] HD-DVD format in time for the holidays next year.

Yay! Both formats shall thrive!

] But the announcement also put pressure on electronics
] makers to produce devices that support both of the
] competing formats.

When in doubt -- compromise through complexity.

] Privately, entertainment industry executives say they
] cannot afford a format war and do not want a repeat of
] the confusion that slowed the early adoption of
] videocassette recorders when consumers were faced with
] choosing between Betamax and VHS.

But they head that way anyway. Great.

] While the Blu-Ray format can store more digital
] programming than HD-DVD, proponents of the latter say it
] will be cheaper for manufacturers because it is uses
] technology that more closely resembles that used in
] current DVDs.

This is what we like to call a "red herring". Are they talking about the cost of stamping the disc? Oh no, for the first year it will cost $0.10 instead of $0.05. That's disasterous, because of course coming out with the newer, better looking movies with more stuff on them won't encourage them to charge a premium over DVDs.

Oh wait, it will.

] "We think HD-DVD has a clear advantage in cost of
] manufacturing, ease of manufacturing and it will offer
] the consumer a great quality product," Rob Friedman,
] chief operating officer at Paramount Pictures, said in an
] interview Monday.

"Hi, um, these are the right talking points, right? Cost of manufacturing, right?"

] Blu-Ray also has wide support among consumer electronics
] makers and computer giant Hewlett-Packard, which said it
] will start selling PCs with Blu-Ray disc drives late next
] year, coinciding with movie releases.

Someone should inform HP about the increased cost of manufacturing and ease of manufacturing problems. I'm sure they just haven't looked into it.

] Blu-Ray supporters said they did not see Monday's
] announcement as a setback.

"It's ON"

] "The studios should be pushing for compromise between
] Blue-Ray and HD-DVD and forget about trying to trump each
] other," said Harold Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital
] Management in New York. "For sure the consumer is going
] to be very confused. It's a disaster for retailers if
] they have to carry two different formats."

A voice of reason? Perhaps. Talk of compromise really sounds like the flag of people who don't understand the technology and so figure there is a technical solution. I do not believe that to be the case. It is not a matter of "HD-DVD offers A, B, and C; Blu-Ray offers A, C, D; combine and offer A, B, C, D or at least A, C". The technology really is based on what laser and printing to use; HD-DVD wants to stick with the Existing Methods, Blu-Ray wants to implement New Stuff. It is a lose if you don't make a choice; dual-standard players makes more sense if that's the best we can do.

Studios take sides in fight for successor to the DVD - 11/30/04

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