2/19/08

The "Defeat" Of HD-DVD

There is no parallel to the Format War.

Today in Japan, Toshiba announced it would no longer create the hardware that plays HD-DVD... effectively ending the “format war” that has engulfed the video market.

(Official: HD DVD dead and buried, format war is over)

Along those lines, the HD-DVD publishers (which have now dwindled down to two major studios, both Universal and Paramount) have jumped ship to Blu-Ray Disc as well. See here. So who started this Perfect Storm to destroy HD-DVD?





Yep. Those four cartoon characters, and the company to which those characters belong to: Warner Brothers. Initially, they were for both camps, releasing titles like 300... and... The Last Samurai, with Tom Cruise on both HD-DVD and Blu Ray formats. Then, like any well-intentioned company does, they saw the money they were losing in the HD format, and saw the gold mine in Sony's format.

Before that though, Paramount, which with the release of Transformers on the HD-DVD format, jumped from being on both sides of the Blu Ray HD-DVD fence, released Transformers exclusively on Blu Ray.

Then came the news that Warner was jumping ship. This had Shia LeBouf more or less worried:


All that negativity.

Soon after Warner announced its intentions, everyone's favorite envelope maker (except for, well, the USPS), Netflix said it wasn't going to rent out anymore new HD-DVD titles.

The wheel kept on turning, and now, the HD-DVD format is dead.

So what if a consumer has a lot of HD-DVDs and its player?

Here's a top 10 list of what to do with those pesky discs and hardware:

10. Store them with your Betamax Players and movies (interestingly, Betamax, on the losing side of the format war of the 80's was a Sony endeavor, like Blu Ray)
9. Keep 'em. Serenity is on HD-DVD, and it may be a while before it's out on Blu Ray.
8. An HD-DVD bonfire.
7. The HD-DVD firesale is probably a few weeks away... keep those players, and buy all those movies originally priced at $35 cheap.
6. Ebay
5. When Netflix sends you the last of the last of their stock of HD-DVD movies, keep them, and report them as "lost." They'd be happy to forget about the last of their stock.
4. Invest in Blu Ray.
3.Get a Playstation 3. Get Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, the greatest game ever. And it's a decent Blu Ray Player.
2. Get an Apple TV. They do HD movie rentals now. Link
1. Read a book. Buck the trend.


So, the format war is over. Thank God. Mission Accomplished.

A war that lasted 3 years: a simple contest of Red versus Blue.

A format... war.

Luckily, Blu Ray got that much needed studio exclusivity surge. The insurgency of Paramount was not enough to save the optical format facists. Many blogs said at the beginning, this war could be short: in fact, the HD-DVD format had the support of the pornography studios: a big reason why VHS won in the first format war.

Soon after, those analysts were wrong: no, consumers were in a format quagmire. It could take a thousand years for it to finally have a clear winner. The global technology crowd was divided. Partisanship was destroying the world. And finally, Bugs Bunny stepped up to the plate and smashed home a winner: Blu Ray.

The conflict of the 21st century is over. Now, supporters of either format can finally begin to pay off their war debts, reach across the aisle, shake hands, and say "it's been fun." Too many dollars had been spent on the fallen format, the quagmire, and now the country can unite around one common candidate: Blu Ray.

A clean, and peaceful solution to a war. Toshiba held a press conference to raise the white flag. People can now rebuild their future, their collection of movies, and hope for price reductions on the hardware.

All those War Debts.

1 comment:

kvonhard said...

Heh heh heh...you forgot playing frisbee with your dog as a viable option. Excellent, interesting, and entertaining post.