DVD wars — it’s all over but the shouting

Posted: 02.17.08

The death blow came last month with the announcement that Warner Brothers would support Blu-Ray and only Blu-Ray. After that, HD-DVD was dead, it just wouldn’t fall down. Most recently Wal-Mart announced that it would sell Blu-Ray and only Blu-Ray DVDs and machines. You win some and you lose some and it looks like Toshiba was the one who lost in this long-running battle for the next generation video format. AP Report: Toshiba May End HD DVD Format

Depends of course who’s counting since the movie industry including studios, companies offering movie rentals and purchase, and companies selling machines have all lost sales as customers decided to wait it out and competing forces threw money out the window. Consumers, in fact, are showing interest in movie downloads and hard-drive based home entertainment libraries.

The positive side of all this is that now that everyone can move forward on one dominant format, the studios are going to work hard to make next-gen DVDs attractive to buy rather than to rent or download and that will be with the addition of splashy new content as bonus features.

For example, the Harry Potter release has gobs of extras: New Details Emerge for Blu-ray, HD DVD editions of ‘Harry Potter Years 1-5’ Gift Set

Now Blu-Ray will have to compete against itself. The format has gone through several formats as explained by Don Lindich of McClatchy-Tribune in a Q&A article published by the San Jose Mercury News. Consumers who rushed out to buy early machines may not be able to play newer DVDs with advanced Bonus Content. Profile 1.0, and 1.1 are out there and 1.1 gets the job done as far as playing the movie. The next version 1.1 plays the movie and Bonus View content. Coming soon is Blu-ray profile 2.0 or BD-Live players. They can play movies, bonus content, and they have an Internet connection for Web interactive content and firmware updates.

Change is not only painful, it’s downright confusing.