Why Blu-Ray is losing

by Paul William Tenny

hddvd-bluray.jpgI must either be stupid, or a HD-DVD loving (and owning) fan boy. No other possible explanation will be accepted, I will be insulted, dismissed, and ultimately ignored for daring speak out against the golden cow idol that is Sony.

Sorry, I don't play that game.
To set the record straight, I own neither a Blu-ray nor a HD-DVD player of any kind. In fact, I don't even have an HDTV.

I look at this objectively and from where I'm sitting, this is as clear as it was unnecessary.

While it was hugely important that Warner Bros picked the wrong side in the format war, it was hardly the end of the line. Reality will not be found in which studios have retardedly picked one disc format over another, but seen in the sales numbers of the hardware that can play those discs.

Put simply, HD-DVD has more stand alone players in peoples homes that does Blu-Ray, and that gap is only growing larger by the day.

That's right, all signs point to HD-DVD stand-alone players outselling Blu-Ray for a while now, while Sony only has a lead in overall "playing devices" because they count every single Playstation 3 while HD-DVD only counts actual stand-alone DVD players.

Sure, PS3's can play Blu-Ray discs, but most people don't buy them and use them for that purpose. Hardly any do, I think that number was last checked at 30% or less -- and Sony supposedly dumped the PS3 on the market at a staggering $2+ billion dollar loss just to push Blu-Ray, not really caring about the gaming console aspect at all.

So what else can you say when all the movie studios are hurting their own interests by picking a side in a war that is being won on the hardware side by HD-DVD? We know that HD-DVD discs cost far less the manufacture which means higher profits for the studio. We also know the players cost half as much and have far fewer compatibility complaints (just search for BD+ and see what you get.)

I won't try to argue that HD-DVD is a superior format, because first of all it generally isn't all that different than Blu-Ray, but primarily on a level consumers find more important -- the extra crap just doesn't effect them.

Which one holds more data?
Blu-Ray. Does it matter? No, with dual-layer technology which all commercial DVDs have been using for years, the capacity of both formats is beyond what is generally required. Part of the decrease disc manufacturing expense (and hence cheaper consumer hardware) is probably directly related to disc capacity. You can complain about it all you want, but the fact of the matter is that HD-DVD is big enough to do the job and by not going to excess, it'll cost you half as much, and that's what matters most.

Maximum video resolution: Identical.

Region encoding: That annoying feature of standard DVDs that won't let you play DVDs bought from another country is still present in Blu-Ray, while HD-DVD abandoned it.

Other significant differences: There are none. Do you get it now? The only real difference between the two is region encoding and cost, and those both fall in favor of HD-DVD.

What matters even more is that this isn't even a war yet. I read I think back in October that the standard DVD sales of the animated feature film Happy Feet sold more copies in a single week, than did every movie released on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray combined since the formats were invented.

If anything, this unnecessary format war which Sony started has stunted the market for another 5-10 years, if not killed it outright.

Silly fact that everyone ignores: your DVD player is a dual-format player, did you know that? It plays both DVD-R and DVD+R discs which are different in much the same ways that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are. There was a format war with DVDs, too, and it delayed the mass adoption of it by years, just like this new format was is, and just like this new war, the old one never ended.

Sorry folks, you can lay the blame for this one entirely at the feet of Sony, and in general, an extreme corporate penis length measuring contest. That's all it amounts to in the end.
in Business, Digital Media


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