Friday, February 22, 2008

Blu-Ray Wins

Toshiba quits HD-DVD business

Like many, I have yet to invest a single penny into anything regarding high definition television. The biggest reason of course is due to financial limitations. Another reason, though, was that no distributable media format had established itself. That obstacle appears to have been hurdled.

I posted an article, The DVD Situation over two years ago mentioning the format battle primarily between Toshiba and Sony with their respective HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD formats. HD-DVD had the initial support but over the past year, it seems that Blu-Ray was taken over. That now appears confirmed. Too bad for those who invested in HD-DVD players and disks. You should have known you were taking a risk (just like those who invested in BetaMax 25 years ago.) Of course, your equipment still works and I'm sure HD-DVD disks will still be produced for a while. It does appear that Blu-Ray has the brighter and longer future, though. This will dismay some as there are those of you out there who don't like certain business practices of Sony. One of these business practices was incorporating rootkits - a form of spyware into its media.

With all this said, we have to also realize that things will never be as stable as they once were. Our standard-definition TV's are based on a standard developed in the 1940's. Yet, high definition television standards that were set less than 10 years ago are already being set up to be replaced. In the past, people often held on to their TV's for many years, decades even. Not any more. The industry apparently wants everybody to buy a new TV every 8 years or so. Think about it. To stay reasonably up to date, we need to purchase new computers every 3 years so this is nothing new.

What's more is that people (myself included) still have piles of VHS tapes that we never bothered to convert to or replace with DVD. Now the original (1996) DVD standard is dying, our tapes are going to be two generations of formats behind.

Just like in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones laments that a new music format will force him to buy the White Album again, I wonder how many times I am going to feel the need to re-buy 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Blade Runner, etc.

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