We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.

Let me tell you all a dirty little secret that none of the Blu-ray fan boyz are speaking about, and perhaps only a few are even thinking about.  Yet another important reason why would everyone everyone would support HD DVD or at least be format neutral.

There's a big feature set that HD DVD pretty much pwnz the Blu-ray platform on right now and that is in the web interactivity front.  Some recent articles over on HighDefDigest.com point that out, and there was a recent article at HDTV Magazine's web site that pointed out, that in their opinion (one that I share), that HD DVD is the more consumer friendly of the two formats.  Combine both of these issues though and the gap in consumer friendliness between HD DVD and Blu-ray is even bigger than the article that HDTV Magazine touches upon.

HDTV Magazine's article about HD DVD being the more consumer friendly format didn't take into account, or barely takes into account what happens if Sony and their friends in the Blu-ray camp win the war but customers wind up demanding the web interactivity that has been prevalent in the HD DVD format so far.

Here's the thing: Sony and company supposedly, according to some fanboyz, have the better specifications.  Oh, really?  If you care about the available disc space perhaps.  If you are impressed with the fact that Blu-ray discs come with a coating that makes them harder and somewhat more scratch resistance, perhaps (not that anyone can show that HD DVD is more susceptible to scratching, or that normal handling of HD DVD discs would cause them not to play).  But when you look at the compression and encoding applied to the movies and audio tracks, there's really not much difference between the two.

So, you have to look a little further and perhaps go back to the HDTV magazine article about consumer friendliness to realize that the HD DVD players -- all of them -- that are on the market and installed in homes can be hooked to the web to support web-enabled features.  Additional content and extras that might not have fit on the original disc, but are cool to play with, check out, etc.  Downloads of maps, still pictures, themes, backgrounds, bios and more.  Things that the Blu-ray buyers haven't been getting much of so far.

Why not?  Because Sony and the Blu-ray disc (BD) camp have had a moving target for their specifications so far.  There are the original BD player specifications, i.e., the Profile 1.0 specifications.  Then there is the addition of support for Blu-ray Java that comes via Profile 1.1, and oh, yeah, eventually you can expand to Profile 2.0 which adds more features and really gets more competitive against HD DVD's initial specifications.

What isn't stated in those changing specifications is whether or not the players that people buy will be able to be updated to add features.  Certainly the players that were sold without internet access will never offer those features, which means that if customers want to get those web enabled features and check them out, they'll never be able to do so on the Profile 1.0 machines they may have.

Over time these web enabled features will likely become more popular.  Eventually Blu-ray owners will want them.  When they do, they may be required to go back and buy themselves yet another player, orphaning the older player and making them sorry that they were an early adopter for the format.  Hopefully the prices of the players will continue to drop, and hopefully the Playstation 3, the #1 Blu-ray disc player on the market at present, will see itself upgraded to support Profile 1.1, then later Profile 2.0, and future specifications.  It has most of, if not all of, the hardware that is needed to support most (if not all of) the later specifications if Sony opts to enable those features to satisfy their customers.

That leaves one big problem.  The problem that is the secret I'm gonna uncover here -- how do you get those extra features working on the discs that have already been released to the market?  Ooooops.  You most likely don't.  Unless Sony and company have been hiding features in their initial releases, the features aren't there to enable.  You can't work it like you are a Transformer from Michael Bay's movie, and change from a bland disc with little or no extras to the hottest hot rod on the street.  Which means that not only will Sony and company be looking at selling their customers newer hardware, but they'll be looking at double dipping on the software also.  Double dipping as in charging customers to buy whole new 'special edition' discs that add these extra features.

Eventually all of the people that have been buying Blu-ray discs will get smacked in the face with the possibility of having to go back and re-buy the same next generation disc that they already spent $20 - $35 on.  So Sony, Disney, and the rest of the Blu-ray camp will get twice the payoff for selling their warez while the HD DVD fans will sit back and enjoy the disc they got to begin with, with it's extra features already there and no need to spend money to buy themselves new copies of the movies they've been buying.

Yup, I'm glad I haven't been buying many Blu-ray discs so far.  If BD eventually wins and HD DVD goes away, I'll gladly keep using the HD DVD discs that I have, and take my sweet old time buying any BD discs as let the BD fanboyz who were early adopters eat it when it comes to paying twice for the same things.


Comments
on Dec 09, 2007
Exactly why I wait until the dust settles on such things before going out and investing in next generation technology.
on Dec 09, 2007

Exactly why I wait until the dust settles on such things before going out and investing in next generation technology.

Not a bad approach, but then the question becomes how many older copies of the lesser quality product sit on the shelves and get bought without the consumer knowing any better?

If it sits forever because the consumer doesn't buy it, then you may not see a special edition of the product because the producers feel that there's not enough customer demand.  If there's a hue and cry about not buying because there weren't enough special features and such there's a chance that a special edition gets created later which means waiting to buy something that might never come.

It's a bad spot to be in, and one that the studios that have hitched themselves up to Sony's wagon have bought into.

on Dec 10, 2007

but then the question becomes how many older copies of the lesser quality product sit on the shelves and get bought without the consumer knowing any better?

Most of them.

But I am with Mason.  And that is the reason I do not own an iPhone.

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