Saturday, December 23, 2006

An open letter...

Dear Hollywood, the DVD Forum, and Sony,

You guys are a bunch of idiots.

For those that don't know, there's a battle going on between two competing formats for the market of high definition video disks. On one side you have the HD-DVD and on the other side you have the Blu-ray Disk. I won't go into specific details of each format because I just don't care (you can spend hours reading through the results of searching on "blu-ray vs HD-DVD" and you still won't have enough information to figure out what the successor to DVD will be.

My problem with all of this is that here I am in what should be the early majority phase of high definition home video disk technology and, being that I'm typically the early adopter for gadgets, I should already be well underway in my replacement of my favorite DVDs with some high definition format.

I should already have spent gobs of $$ buying these high definition versions, but alas that isn't the case. I can't buy them because there are two competing formats and until I have some inkling of the direction that this stupid battle will go, I sit on the sideline awaiting an obvious victor. (Hollywood: Read this as you are losing money.)

I wait because I don't want to invest that amount of money in a technology that may just go away, leaving me without any means to continue to use the technology moving forward. This is similar to the oft quoted demise of Sony's Betamax and the more recent abandonment of the Divx DVD format by Circuit City.

I have one HD-DVD player (the add-on for the XBox 360) because it was an inexpensive upgrade and two HD-DVD movies (one came with the upgrade and one was a present). I don't plan on buying many more until this mess gets wrinkled out.

The way things stand, I feel like the kid whose got some money burning a hole in his pocket. I want to buy some high definition video. I want to see high def movies at home at my pleasure. I can't because of this lack of a standard. Perhaps I'll find something else to spend my money on.

I suggest that others do the same. Perhaps the lack of sales can drive the two parties towards convergence. If you do buy, just remember that you have a 50/50 shot at buying something that will be worthless very shortly because at some point, the parties just have to come to their senses (one can only hope).

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