For quite some time now, we've mostly ignored the whole "next generation" DVD battle, because the longer it stretches out, the more pointless it seems. If the two warring sides had come to an agreement early on, and actually focused on providing value rather than looking for fancy new copy protection schemes, it might have had a chance. Instead, by not coming up with a single standard, not focusing on getting products to market and not actually adding much that consumers will value, they've allowed the market to move on. Slate is the latest publication (in an increasingly long line) to notice that both formats are effectively dead on arrival. The nice thing about the Slate article is it lists out four big reasons why: (1) the internet (2) cable-on-demand (3) pricey hardware upgrades needed and (4) the rise of the hard drive. Any one of these by itself might not be enough, but combine them all with the limitations and compatibility issues and you have a recipe for disaster. What's surprising is that it seems like plenty of companies haven't come to terms with this yet, and still believe these next generation DVDs are going to be a big business.
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