Tuesday, February 26, 2008
HD-DVD's betamax experience
It's now time to sound taps for Toshiba's HD-DVD format. After all of the hoopla surrounding which format would win out, HD-DVD or Sony's Blue-ray, Wal-mart has decided to jump ship with HD-DVD along with Universal and Microsoft.
Microsoft has announced that it will no longer be selling the HD-DVD as an optional add on for the XBox 360 but instead will focus on it's movie download service. This service offers the user the ability to download HD movies from the internet and watch them on the XBox 360. As for a Blue-ray DVD player, well Microsoft says there is nothing in the works to offer anykind of add on player for the 360.
Wal-mart stated that they are selling their remaining stock of HD-DVD players and will not be restocking. This means that many people out there that have jumped on the HD-DVD bandwagon before this all played out will be stuck with a pretty nice DVD player that will play what they have in their library now but if they would like to play new releases in HD, well they will have to invest in a Blue-ray player. I guess their's always eBay for dumping players (I wouldn't expect top dollar bids) if you're not looking to hang onto an outdated format player.
With all of the big movie studios either on-board with Blue-ray or headed there, it was only a matter of time until Toshiba had to pull the plug on it's HD project. That's why if you check out Toshiba's website they are telling consumers the shop doors are closed.
Those of you old enough to remember the VHS versus Betamax battle in the 80's probably remember Sony coming out on the losing end in that format war. This time Sony pulled an ace or two out of their sleeves by offering hefty sums to movie studios to get on board with Blue-ray. Thankfully for the consumer, the best format won out this time. That was not the case with VHS. Betamax was superior in quality to VHS. Consumers preferred VHS because of it's low cost. That sent VHS into the spotlight and Betamax to the discount bin. VHS then spent many years trying to play catchup with what it's out of business competitor offered in the beginning, hence S-VHS, which never caught on because of the introduction of the DVD.
Posted by Larry McGill at 9:36 AM