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Home Theater Hardware If terms like: THX, DTS, HDMI, & PCM are familiar, you just might like the discussion here.

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#1
Unread 24th October 2007, 09:01 AM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Why Blu-Ray Disc was born to lose the war.

For anyone who reads this, think of it as an editorial. Obviously I don't want to create a full article out of a partial rant, but there is more then enough information to support my arguement.

For almost two years now, which was when both the Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD formats were first introduced, there has been a repeat of the famous BetaMAX / VHS format war. Blu-Ray Disc, much like BetaMAX, was a Sony creation; and although BetaMAX was technically superior, it lost that particular format war. Now decades later, it appears as though Sony thought that consumers would have somehow changed; or possibly evolved.

Not so.

Blu-Ray Disc is a technically superior format, offering a higher capacity and more modern menu interface. HD-DVD has the name we can all be familiar with, and offers exactly what we need and no more. Perhaps Sony was doomed for failure by design, especially since I cannot recall the last Sony-born format to actually win popularity.

There was iLink, or Firewire for the rest of us. I can also recall the Memory Stick, which was killed off by SD memory. Sony even had mini-disc variants and a slew of other content media concepts which died as soon as they reached the consumer market. Part of Sony's best effort died after producing the Walkman; and the PS3 may have just as well put the final nail in the coffin.

So where does that put Blu-Ray Disc? Despite early adoption, there are several large industry names now swinging the opposite direction. Most of the technical world put it all down to PS3 vs X-BOX 360, but the 360 doesn't even come with an HD-DVD player (yet). And still, HD-DVD has started taking new ground.

As I write this, most experts see things as a 50/50 split at the moment. I'm not as optimistic; or perhaps I am but have finally folded. You see, I really wanted Blu-Ray as the winning format because of the obvious technical superiority, but leave it to Sony to find ways to ruin a good thing. Perhaps the company's heads' have all grown skilled at fooling themselves, or perhaps the world just dislikes Sony. I don't know.

What I do know is this: I believe Blu-Ray is the better format, but Sony has a proven track record of losing format wars..
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#2
Unread 26th November 2007, 08:44 AM
slugbug slugbug is offline
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I think it all comes down to the price of the players. HD DVD standalone players are still much cheaper than BLU RAY players, and in the long run that is probably the deciding factor for most consumers.
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#3
Unread 26th November 2007, 08:55 AM
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I learned this weekend that some HD-DVD movies have the standard DVD movie on the reverse side of the disc, allowing you to enjoy DVD quality now, and HD quality when you upgrade without having to buy another copy of your movie. Too bad BD didn't do the same thing.
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#4
Unread 22nd February 2008, 08:19 AM
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A year ago I would have never imagined that Blu Ray would win the format war and emerge victorious.
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#5
Unread 22nd February 2008, 09:39 AM
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No kidding. Seriously though, I think this win amounted to dumb luck.
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#6
Unread 4th March 2008, 08:29 AM
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I think it was more like which camp had the deeper pockets.
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#7
Unread 3rd January 2010, 09:46 AM
LiquidNitrogenOverclocking LiquidNitrogenOverclocking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olin Coles View Post
For almost two years now, which was when both the Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD formats were first introduced, there has been a repeat of the famous BetaMAX / VHS format war. Blu-Ray Disc, much like BetaMAX, was a Sony creation; and although BetaMAX was technically superior, it lost that particular format war.
Regarding the BetaMAX/VHS war, there was a very unlikely, silent player that could have hastened the demise from the shadows. You see, the BetaMAX people refused to create pornographic titles, whereas the VHS people did not shy away. Back then, nobody could have predicted that porn would become an industry whose billions of dollars in revenue outstripped (sorry for the pun) the sum of all of the sales from boxoffice/DVD sales of Hollywood.

The lesson learned should have been: never discount the impact of a special interest group, no matter how "unpopular" it may be at the time.

SONY made, and continues to make, some very good products. But look at Apple vs. PC, and you can see another example of a better product (in the 1980's) than the thing that absorbed most of the marketshare. There are many factors that play in the adoption of a standard, and superiority of the product clearly is not the key factor, we have too many counterexamples.

Sometimes "laziness" plays a huge part. Just look at the width of train tracks today as the prime example. Why are they separated as far as they are today? Mostly because when the Transcontinental Railroad was being built, they decided to use some of those long, relatively straight ruts already cut across the plains by the wagon trains as a guide. So, the width of the wagon wheels played a role in deciding that "standard".

And what was that width based on? Wagons being made the same width going back to Colonial America, whose standard came from Great Britain. And the Great Britain wagon wheel width? That can be traced back to the ruts carved in Roman roads by chariots, whose widths were determined by the aperture of two horses' behinds!

So, you can see, the width of the rear end of a horse, times 2, ended up being the standard for modern railway transportation! You never know for how long, or how unusual, some metric will become the foundation for something.

Last edited by LiquidNitrogenOverclocking : 3rd January 2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: changed "horse's" to "horses'" since it is, after all, a plural possessive
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#8
Unread 3rd January 2010, 11:37 AM
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Wow. This makes me feel even worse for you losing your previous posts.

Great introspective LiquidNitrogen!
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#9
Unread 3rd January 2010, 06:36 PM
LiquidNitrogenOverclocking LiquidNitrogenOverclocking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olin Coles View Post
Wow. This makes me feel even worse for you losing your previous posts.

Great introspective LiquidNitrogen!
Don't sweat it, it was just mostly David Ramsey and I reminiscing off-topic about the "good-ole days" when the Macintosh was still new and exciting. I recognized his name, but was grasping for the connection.

He posted an interesting link that hosted Macintosh anecdotes from the actual Macintosh Design Team, which I found very worthwhile to peruse. I posted a question about the "Zebra Lady" Easter Egg from MacPaint 2.0, which Dave was a big part of (hard to miss this girl, nude on a Zebra and in the About Box if you knew the key combination to access her).
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