Well, there is quite a Kerfluffle in the DVD world this evening- especially at home at Toshiba, the backers of the HD DVD format. Earlier this weekend, Warner Bros, one of the leading DVD distributors ( I have read some figures as high as 20% of all DVDs) announced that they were switching camps and would be supporting only the Blu-Ray format. This is a huge turn-around, especially since when both Walmart and the Porn industry announced they were backing HD DVD, many had declared Blu-Ray dead. Is it over now? Will there finally be a “winner” in the next gen format wars? Some say the end is nigh, and some people say it is not over yet, but this video of Toshiba’s Jodi Sally shows Toshiba is at least a bit stressed over the whole thing.
The honest truth is that I am not convinced it really matters any more. I am a true blue Gadget Geek. I love new toys. But I have refused to invest in HD technology, because I would NOT be a victim in the next format war. And so I have waited… and waited… and waited. And honestly,I have even gotten bored of the debate. It has been going on a long long time, with the dead draw broken by declared wins by both sides at alternate times. ( you will notice that one of those links actually goes to an article in 2005). A Google search for “DVD format war” returns nearly a million results. ( it may even be over a million by the time you read this). The industry has been talking and arguing about this endlessly. And a whole lot of us have been standing on the sidelines, watching and waiting for a decision to be made. And what have we been doing in the meantime? Although we have gotten very comfortable with delivered to your door DVD services ( Netflix, Blockbuster, etc..) we have also gotten more and more comfortable watching video over the web. There are several services now experimenting with HD video over the web, and they are getting good results. While I am glad that there might be an end to the war soon ( merely to stop the news articles about it), I am still probably not going to run out and buy a player for the winning format. I have watched more TV and video over the internet in the last month that I have via traditional media. I am even considering scaling back my Netflix subscription, because we watch fewer and fewer hard DVDs.
There are a lot of rumors out there tonight that Sony paid Warner Big big money to come to the Blu side, but it may be that Warner decided some decision had to be made before the hope of ANY DVD sales were lost forever.