by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 11th 2008 5:45am
Thought the format war over high definition DVD technologies was over and Blu-ray had won? Perhaps you should think again. The NY Times has a story about yet another attempt at a high definition DVD technology, this time called HD VMD. It's not hard to predict where this one is going: it's dead on arrival. While the company behind it insists it's not trying to start a standards battle, it's difficult to see how you can judge it any other way. After all, why would any studio want to go through the same mess from the past five years in arguing over which standard to release their movies on? The folks behind HD VMD seem to be banking their entire efforts on two very weak pegs: first, their system is cheaper than Blu-ray and second, their Chairman is a big shot Hollywood distributor. If that's the case, he hasn't been particularly effective as there are only 17 movies available in the format -- and you probably wouldn't recognize any of them. As for the cost issue, that's dead on arrival as well. HD DVD was cheaper than Blu-ray and that didn't help it survive. Besides, anyone who understands technology advancement curves knows that Blu-ray is going to start getting cheaper and cheaper pretty fast. The cost advantage will disappear before long. But, the single biggest factor is just that the studios know they've lost three or four good years of selling high def DVDs and don't want to bother with yet another format war.
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