Let's Confuse Customers Further With Another High-Def DVD Format
from the format-wars dept
Because the next-generation high-definition DVD format battle wasn't annoying enough, Warner Brothers has been working on a disc that contains films in both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, and will unveil the final product at CES next week. Dubbed a "Total HD" disc, the push is an effort to ease consumer fears that picking a side will mean they're stuck with a dead technology, a la Betamax. "The next best thing is to recognize that there will be two formats and to make that not a negative for the consumer," insists a Warner Brothers executive. First, it's unlikely that Sony Pictures Entertainment would be willing to put their Blu-ray formatted films on the same disc with a competing format, since that would be an admission that sharing the market is acceptable. That would mean retailers would still need to carry and display four formats (including standard definition DVDs) in order to offer all titles. That's a painfully inefficient way to settle the format war, particularly when dual-format players are already trying to bridge the divide -- and it comes at the cost of confusing customers further by offering yet another format. The more confused the customer, the more likely they are to turn to piracy as a simpler, cheaper and more efficient alternative, no matter what distribution flavor you're pushing.