HDTV or high definition televisions are finally entering the arena where it can be considered mainstream. Literally every single day we see that the prices on high definition television sets are falling or even dropping. Luckily the available supporting technology like the digital video recorders has no problem handling HDTV programs.
Today, in at totally different industry, we see that the video game systems are using the advantage that high definition technology provides. And as a bonus we are seeing that more and more channels become available in the HDTV format now than ever before in the history of the technology.
While all of this is considered good news in the of the high definition television market a few of the giant technology companies are fighting a format war in the market for the HD digital video disc. As in the old days with the Beta-max vs. VHS format war there are now two opposing formats that both utilize the blue laser technology in order to encode enough data for a full length movie in high definition. And on top of that there are the bonus features and materials that are added onto a disc that’s the same size as a normal DVD. The challenge is that most of the available players of today are only supporting one format and therefore won’t play discs in the other format. You can say that the formats are incompatible.
Consumers avoiding the Beta-max failure
Due to this conflict there is currently a lot of trouble in regards to the widespread adoption of just one of the formats. Consumers can easily remember the last time there was a format war and where many people got stuck with a bunch of useless Beta-max cassette players and tapes. Therefore we are now seeing consumers being more cautious and are therefore holding out to see which of the two formats that comes out on top before investing into new technology.
The technical specifications of the two formats are pretty close to being equal, but the Blu-ray disc format from Sony is the winner in terms of the amount of data that it can store. On a disc from Sony you can store up to fifty gigabytes or as much as twenty five gigabytes on each side of the disc. On the other side you have rival of Toshiba with their HD-DVD format. It can only store fifteen gigabytes per side for a total of thirty, but it has the advantage in terms of players being sold about half the price of Blu-ray disc players.
Due to the fact that the Blu-ray format can store the most data, it would seem obvious that it would be the winner on purely technical grounds. However time has shown us that the market for these things isn’t quite that simple. In order to win the battle both Sony and Toshiba are trying to win by making their technology more attractive than the other’s which in the end will only benefit the consumers.
To make the picture complete one must know that there are some really big names in the electronics, software, and movies industry have gotten behind each of the two formats. On one side the huge company of Microsoft favors HD-DVD and offers an HD-DVD drive that attaches to its popular Xbox 360 gaming system
On the other side there are the major movie studios like 20th Century Fox that are currently releasing a lot of movies on Blu-ray disc while yet other movie companies are releasing movies on HD-DVD. Some of the major film producers are going the safe route and are releasing movies in both formats just to hedge their bets.
So when it looks like high definition television is ready to become mainstream the DVD format war is becoming more and more ugly every day and at this point it doesn’t seem like there will be found any solution in the near future.