28 February 2006

On new DVD formats

The tech media has long been awash with who will win the HD-DVD / Blu-ray battle, and that horse race has now reached the mainstream

Yawn. My money is on old-style DVD. I really can't imagine myself buying players for either of the new formats.

The new media formats that have caught on in the last 30 years, CD and DVD, have both offered enormous improvements on what came before, both in reproduction quality and convenience. In both cases, I think the convenience improvements were more important than the quality improvement in attracting customers. HD video recording offers much less noticeable quality improvements, and (due to DRM) a step backwards in convenience. I see no reason why they should not go the same way as LaserDisc and SA-CD.

(You could count audio cassette as a new format too, I suppose. That makes the case stronger - Cassette was a step backward in quality, but forward in convenience).

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