BluRay vs. HD-DVD: A Postmortem


Unless you’ve been out of touch with everything and everybody for the past few weeks, you’ve probably already heard that BluRay has hit HD-DVD over the head with the Hammer of Truth until it gave up the ghost.  If you really would like to read about the chain of events that lead to this, it’s been recounted ad nauseum just about everywhere else.

Personally, while there was obviously a format war, I don’t think that it was ever one that was ultimately decided by consumers.  Rather one that was decided by Sony’s fat wallet, which wasn’t really fair to the everyman who walks into Wal Mart or Best Buy and wants HD movies.  The choice between the formats at this level had largely been made by the way-early adopters and those who bought a PS3 before it suddenly became the hip thing to do as of late.  As far as the technical specifications went, the two formats were nearly identical.  Had the decision come down to the soccer mom who wanted to buy a next-gen DVD to shut the kids up, she more than likely would have gone simply by hearsay and marketing.  Which probably wouldn’t have made too much of a difference, but it would have been a lot more fair than Sony paying off parties like Toshiba and Netflix. (And come on, you know it happened.)

But now that most of us techies have been made well aware of what has happened and what is to come, it’s honestly and morally our duty to inform and educate the public who may not know yet.  To those who don’t pay much attention, the forthcoming price drops in HD-DVD players and discs may make it seem as if the format is winning by becoming more available.  Shifty marketers may be counting on this misconception in order to liquidate stock.  Even though it’s more or less officially over at this point in the boardrooms, to the public at large who doesn’t pay attention to this type of thing, the perceived selection and choice is going to remain for a few more months.  But at least it is fair to all who have been made known that there is a winner and it’s safe to invest at this point.  

Hopefully Sony will heed the advice of their own Spider-man movies and keep it fair by not taking advantage of the fact that they’ve got a virtual monopoly now.


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