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Hi Def War: Who really noticed?

Old 02-25-08, 10:33 AM
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Hi Def War: Who really noticed?

The movie trades are all a twitter about the decision by Toshiba to abandon their HD DVD Format. While this is clearly a positive development for those of us who distribute finished goods dvds, I do wonder if this whole "war" story between Blu-Ray and HD DVD hasn't been grossly overplayed by the industry press.

The vast majority of consumers are decidedly happy with the dvd playback options they now enjoy.

Every business can get caught up with wanking about itself and I think this situation is exhibit A for that phenomenon. Most people just didn't care. The really bad news here is for Toshiba employees who might lose their jobs. The really good news is that the marketplace will now have one standard format for HD moving forward. What I am not sure of is how much this new format will matter to the average consumer. Hi Def tv's are neccessary for maximum benefits from a Blu-Ray disc. The discs cost a lot more to make and with sell thru sales already flat or declining, are consumers going to return to the days of $20 plus per purchase? This is what the big players in the dvd industry are hoping for. I for one am skeptical that this will happen in any qualitative way. The benefits of the new discs are real, but are they enough to encourage consumers to shell out $1,500.00 to watch them? Maybe when our economy turns around again, but not anytime soon.

There is also good reason to consider new technology that could be coming down the pipe. I keep remembering hearing Jeffrey Katzenberg's observation that the real change is going to come from 3-D DVD in Hi Def. I don't know the status of that approach, but itsounds like the type of transformational technology that will change consumers preferences. I've been wrong before so let's see how this shakes out over the next six months.
Source: http://indiefilmchat.com/main/index....y-noticed.html
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Old 02-25-08, 10:48 AM
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This should probably be continued in the NY Times: Studios Try to Save the DVD thread in DVD Talk since it makes many of the same arguments/points.
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