A Tree Falling in the CE Woods
6/19/2007 4:00 PM
that the former king of home video rental, Blockbuster Inc., had sided
with Blu-ray Disc in the so-called blue-laser format war, reminded me
of that old philosophy question about a tree falling in the woods. If
Blockbuster picks Blu-ray Disc over HD DVD and no one is listening,
does it really matter?
Im of the opinion (shared by many) that optical media is a dying
format. The future, I believe, is some form of downloadable content.
That being said, there always will be plenty of people who still want
to own a physical copy of their favorite movie.
DVDs will continue to be the format of choice for many years to come. I
have a pretty discerning eye for video quality and generally Im quite
happy with my progressive scan, up-conversion DVD player. Being in the
business of high-end home electronics, it is inevitable that I will
also own a blue-laser player as well. As for the average consumer? Im
not so sure.
Most consumers dont want to be sold another new video format even
if it promises better quality picture and sound. Theyve already
invested in a stack of DVDs that they probably dont watch all that
often. And theyre quite happy downloading mediocre music files from
iTunes and laughing at barely visible home movies on YouTube. Why would
they want to buy a new disc player for HD video? Many of them probably
never even upgraded their cable package after they brought home their first
So the fact that Blockbuster, who can barely keep pace with Wal-Mart
and Netflix gave their blessing to Blu-ray Disc is only big news to
those of us entrenched in the consumer electronics business. The rest
of the world probably has other things to worry about like Paris
Hiltons jail sentence.