Friday, February 22, 2008

Sony Lost The Battle With Betamax But They Kicked Ass With Blu-Ray And They Don't Have To Thank The Porn Industry For It!

Out of the way, Betamax. You're history, Laserdisc. Hey Iomega, Zip it! And now folks, HD DVD has joined the sad-sack society of failed video formats. The high-definition DVD war ended this week and saw Blu-ray emerge victorious from the field of battle. Toshiba was the sole manufacturer of the incompatible HD DVD machines and, this week, the company gave up and surrendered. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I'm still tackling questions from people who might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, just as Beta and VHS went head-to-head in the '80s, HD DVD and Blu-ray spent the last two years battling to see which would be the eventual successor to DVD, bringing crystal clear, high-definition picture and sound to our living rooms the bottom line in today battle for superior technology is this - in the end, there can be only one.

There was never a doubt that one format would triumph, the only questions were which one and how soon. The big backers for each side (Toshiba and Microsoft for HD DVD; Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and others for Blu-ray) gambled they'd be victorious, but Blu-ray chopped off HD DVD's head. HD DVD was a longshot from the get-go due to the limitations of the format. Even though Blu-ray had majority support among the major studios from day one, when Warner Bros. defected from the already shaky HD DVD camp last month and sided with Blu-ray, it set off a chain reaction that culminated this week with Toshiba throwing in the towel. Paramount and Universal, the last two movie studios releasing flicks solely on HD DVD, have announced they're switching to Blu-ray. But if you're still watching Murder She Wrote on a 1979 RCA, that's not going to cut it. You need a -- wait for it! -- Blu-ray disc player. At the moment the cheapest options go for about $400 at the big-box electronics stores, or you could get the $400 model of the PlayStation 3, which plays Blu-ray movies and gives you a sweet gaming machine in the bargain.

High definition is here to stay. It’s like when black-and-white went to colour and when VHS went to DVD. It is inevitable. We’ve been saying for the past seven years, if you want the DVD solution, Blu-ray completes high definition. Industry insiders expect that Blu-ray will go mainstream by Christmas and Blu-ray had been outselling HD DVD by a two-to-one margin throughout 2007. Both DVD formats use blue-violet lasers. But the formats are incompatible. Blu-ray backers argue their format is superior because it holds more information and provides sharper images and better sound and has he ability to go forward. HD DVD backers argued that their format was cheaper to manufacture and more stable although their was no room for expansion.

Now just because Sony's Blu-ray high definition format has prevailed over HD-DVD doesn't mean it's going to win the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of home video viewers. The next battle that will be waged is between discs and digital downloads for movies. While Blu-ray and HD-DVD went toe-to-toe for more than a year, the likes of iTunes, Netflix and Microsoft have been working on getting movies to TVs by download services. The battle for superiority is still on. And in an interesting fact about this format war over the Betamax-VHS battle is wasn't influenced by the porn industry! And besides, why would you want your new hot little lady to find your disk of "Abonement" when you can just download "Edward Penishands" and hide it somewhere on the computer!