Sunday, January 08, 2006

Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD

I am now in Fremont for management meetings after almost a week at the CES show in Las Vegas. I am tired but inspired by the show. There is a lot of growth opportunity for us. Mostly I spent time with existing vendors and customers. This is a good opportunity for me to get feedback on how we can be excellent.

One interesting technology struggle that is going on is Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. It is of double interest not only because of the DVD players but because the media is also different.

Eric Savitz from Barron’s sums up the battle well:

“Blu-ray seemed to have more momentum; it has the advantage of support from Sony, which controls a significant chunk of all the color motion pictures ever made in Hollywood. But Blu-ray DVD players are going to be expensive when they come out later this year. Pioneer announced a high-end consumer model priced at $1,800. A spokesman for Samsung said it would have a player in April, earlier than most other Blu-ray devices, that likely would retail around $1,000.

Less complicated to build, HD-DVD drives will start at lower prices. Toshiba announced plans to sell one model this summer at $499. The real danger is that a VHS-Betamax-style standards war will slow consumer adoption of a new DVD standard despite the strong growth high-def displays. Efforts to reconcile the two groups have failed, so the skirmish at CES easily could turn into all-out war. "Certainly, a format war is not a good thing," Sony's Stringer conceded in a Q&A session with reporters. "But I don't see what we can do about it."”

This battle reminds me a bit of VHS vs. Beta.


At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, VHS vrs. Beta, huh? And I came out on the short end in that one. Being in Japan from 1980 through the end of 1985, I thought I was being smart in 1984 when I bought the top model, state-of-the-art Beta player, then brought it back to San Jose, California. Well, at least I can still play the few Beta tapes I have, for historical/hysterical moments of joy.


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