LG and Samsung have introduced dual-format players. Is this format war even relevant anymore?
I continue to be utterly frustrated by the studios and manufacturers insitence on our having to figure out FOR THEM which technology will capture the market. Even if one "wins," the only clear result will be consumers' mistrust of all the brands involved. When will they grow up?
I'm all for technology that produces a better picture. But don't punish me for it.
I'm not in love with this situation either, but as the technology declines in price the problem doesn't seem so serious. Why not own two players? Or a dual (actually tri-) format player (which as far as I can tell today costs as much as two players but should eventually be cheaper)? Sure, this solution will be more expensive than with a single format, but eventually that extra expense is rather small.
Now, this certainly slows adoption and works against the manufacturers and studios at some level (not at all levels or they wouldn't have created the situation in the first place). The key question is whether it slows things down enough to limit the available software. If it does in the long run, then there is a problem.
But maybe it isn't the end of the world, if you can cross the two player hurdle, in a Netflix/Amazon environment. When movies were priced at $79 and Blockbuster's physical stores were the source of all movie rentals, then formats mattered a lot. Your desired film might not be available in a high-res format (e.g. Beta) because volume was too low for Blockbuster to stock everything in the lower-volume high-res format. In fact, this was a problem in the early days of DVD, even with one format. With Netflix/Amazon the inventory problem is eliminated because inventory is national, not local. They have everything in all available formats (if only SACD and DVD-Audio had come out in the post-Amazon world).
So, how much of the format war is really a war, with an important to the consumer winner-take-all, and how much of it is an aspect of our perception? My PC handles all sorts of media (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, FDD, HDD, USB, Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick), why not my home theater?
CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC
Blu-ray but via PS3. I will wait for a stand alone player until dual format players are more reasonable in price.
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There is one upside to the format war: competition -- particularly if dual-format players become the norm. I.e., if people typically have dual-format players, then the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD formats will be competing for whose disc offers the best video and audio quality, the best interactive format, and the best price.