I bet on the wrong HD format, sorry…

I bought an HD-DVD player back when I worked at Microsoft and I evangelized for the format. As Christopher Coulter loves making fun of, the format I bet on today turned out to be the wrong format.

Am I going to run out and buy a BluRay player? Maybe, I’ll definitely be looking at those next week at CES. One thought, though, is that I can’t watch all the HD movies I’m getting from NetFlix, my Xbox, and my DirecTV dish so there’s not a pressing need on me to go out and get a box immediately.

89 thoughts on “I bet on the wrong HD format, sorry…

  1. Scoble you better stay away from HVD….it sounds too cool to lose…espescially with 3 TB’s of storage…not that that will be impressive in the “next generation” any-who…or is it anywho?….hmm…..

  2. Scoble you better stay away from HVD….it sounds too cool to lose…espescially with 3 TB’s of storage…not that that will be impressive in the “next generation” any-who…or is it anywho?….hmm…..

  3. Blu-Ray may win at the home media/theatre. However – Microsoft and Intel still back HD DVD fully so don’t be surprised if the next generation of data-storage/home storage ends up going on to HD DVD. Its certainly a possibility. HD DVD is cheaper for fickle consumers who for data-storage purposes may just go for the cheaper option.

    I can’t see Microsoft switching from HD DVD to Blu-Ray for some time (if it ever did, might not even do that).

    I’d discount HD DVD as the winning home theatre media (despite owning an HD DVD player myself) – but don’t discount it completely. Given the choice right now, for data storage purposes, I’d chose HD DVD over Blu-Ray anyday.

    Dual-format for everyone? I’d like to think so. Best of both worlds!

  4. Blu-Ray may win at the home media/theatre. However – Microsoft and Intel still back HD DVD fully so don’t be surprised if the next generation of data-storage/home storage ends up going on to HD DVD. Its certainly a possibility. HD DVD is cheaper for fickle consumers who for data-storage purposes may just go for the cheaper option.

    I can’t see Microsoft switching from HD DVD to Blu-Ray for some time (if it ever did, might not even do that).

    I’d discount HD DVD as the winning home theatre media (despite owning an HD DVD player myself) – but don’t discount it completely. Given the choice right now, for data storage purposes, I’d chose HD DVD over Blu-Ray anyday.

    Dual-format for everyone? I’d like to think so. Best of both worlds!

  5. To be clear: Including the PS3, HD-DVD players outsold Blu-Ray players in 2007.

    Blu-Ray discs outsold HD-DVD discs by a margin of 3:2. So that would be 60% of all HD content discs were Blu-Ray — not 70%. That’s far less of a margin than Sony would like you to believe.

    Anyone who says Blu-Ray is a better TECHNOLOGY doesn’t have their facts straight. While a Blu-Ray disc has more STORAGE space, HD-DVD players had AT LAUNCH a level of interactivity that current Blu-Ray players do NOT support. Consumers will have to purchase NEW Blu-Ray players to employ this future interactive technology when it is finally released.

    To sum up: HD-DVD players are BETTER, CHEAPER, and probably just lost the format war.

    The real loser here: consumers.

  6. To be clear: Including the PS3, HD-DVD players outsold Blu-Ray players in 2007.

    Blu-Ray discs outsold HD-DVD discs by a margin of 3:2. So that would be 60% of all HD content discs were Blu-Ray — not 70%. That’s far less of a margin than Sony would like you to believe.

    Anyone who says Blu-Ray is a better TECHNOLOGY doesn’t have their facts straight. While a Blu-Ray disc has more STORAGE space, HD-DVD players had AT LAUNCH a level of interactivity that current Blu-Ray players do NOT support. Consumers will have to purchase NEW Blu-Ray players to employ this future interactive technology when it is finally released.

    To sum up: HD-DVD players are BETTER, CHEAPER, and probably just lost the format war.

    The real loser here: consumers.

  7. Reminds me of the Betamax/VHS battle where Betamax was declared the early winner – and then VHS became the defacto format – cheaper to produce, plus VHS like HD-DVD has the porn content that Joe Sixpack wants.

  8. Reminds me of the Betamax/VHS battle where Betamax was declared the early winner – and then VHS became the defacto format – cheaper to produce, plus VHS like HD-DVD has the porn content that Joe Sixpack wants.

  9. Once HD-DVD is gone, how long until the cheapest Blu-Ray player is $500 again? You didn’t actually think loss of competition yields lower prices, did you?

  10. Once HD-DVD is gone, how long until the cheapest Blu-Ray player is $500 again? You didn’t actually think loss of competition yields lower prices, did you?

  11. Well, “obvious” is a word that doesn’t enter into the Scobleizer Lexicon, nor it seems in the Redmond Haze. ;) Plus you have to look beyond JUST the American market, where HD-DVD has almost zero play, Blu-ray domination long been established, HD-DVD only really got a foothold in the American market.

    PS3 was the factor, but it came at a year-long-plus delay in the videogame market, thankfully for Sony, Microsoft can’t make hardware that works, Microsoft had to shell out billions in warranty repairs. Had Toshiba and Microsoft managed to get HD-DVD in 360s on time, at a reasonable price, the gameplan might have been different. Sony took their lumps and lost a key battle, to win the greater war. Now the best way to develop that market is to lower media prices. But Sony, characteristically, seems to be letting it slide, their focus shifted to OLED’s. The upcoming sub-$200 player is a good start however.

    Media is passive, no matter HOW good or easy internet downloads get, people don’t want to fuddle with things even for a few seconds, they want to pick things up at Wally World and go, pressing play, no hassle, no fuss, impulse emotional purchasing and all that. You will always have the underground xvid/divx markets, and the semi-prosumer media center markets, but the mass market is, and forever will be, physical media.

  12. Well, “obvious” is a word that doesn’t enter into the Scobleizer Lexicon, nor it seems in the Redmond Haze. ;) Plus you have to look beyond JUST the American market, where HD-DVD has almost zero play, Blu-ray domination long been established, HD-DVD only really got a foothold in the American market.

    PS3 was the factor, but it came at a year-long-plus delay in the videogame market, thankfully for Sony, Microsoft can’t make hardware that works, Microsoft had to shell out billions in warranty repairs. Had Toshiba and Microsoft managed to get HD-DVD in 360s on time, at a reasonable price, the gameplan might have been different. Sony took their lumps and lost a key battle, to win the greater war. Now the best way to develop that market is to lower media prices. But Sony, characteristically, seems to be letting it slide, their focus shifted to OLED’s. The upcoming sub-$200 player is a good start however.

    Media is passive, no matter HOW good or easy internet downloads get, people don’t want to fuddle with things even for a few seconds, they want to pick things up at Wally World and go, pressing play, no hassle, no fuss, impulse emotional purchasing and all that. You will always have the underground xvid/divx markets, and the semi-prosumer media center markets, but the mass market is, and forever will be, physical media.

  13. I’m actually glad that this format war is over, or nearly over. Hopefully it won’t be long before Blu-ray discs and burners get cheaper. I can’t wait to be able to back up all of my info on Blu-ray discs.

  14. I’m actually glad that this format war is over, or nearly over. Hopefully it won’t be long before Blu-ray discs and burners get cheaper. I can’t wait to be able to back up all of my info on Blu-ray discs.

  15. Most consumers have waited to buy either because they weren’t sure which format was going to “win”. Joe Every Day isn’t going to be shelling out top dollar for new technology, so they wait for us geeks to do it.

    We went Blu-ray. It added to our thinly applied “logic” veneer when trying to justify our purchase of a PS3. That, and with HD players so cheap, it seemed almost obvious that the “winning” format would be Blu-ray.

  16. Most consumers have waited to buy either because they weren’t sure which format was going to “win”. Joe Every Day isn’t going to be shelling out top dollar for new technology, so they wait for us geeks to do it.

    We went Blu-ray. It added to our thinly applied “logic” veneer when trying to justify our purchase of a PS3. That, and with HD players so cheap, it seemed almost obvious that the “winning” format would be Blu-ray.

  17. #32: “My Mom, or Joe SixPack ain’t gettin’ their movies “on the web” anytime soon. Until Joe Sixpack can sit in front of his TV with a cable plugged into the internet and can choose to watch a movie “from the web” as simply as changing he channel, the primary means of movie dist will still be DVD’s/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, and premium cable services.”

    Your mom and Joe Sixpack have lots of options to watch content on their TV’s without buying a Blu-Ray drive, eg. Digital Cable Box, Apple TV, XBox, Tivo, etc. Granted, video quality varies, but your mom probably doesn’t care about how many lines of resolution she gets.

    ZDNet: “Album sales plunge while digital growth slows” – http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6224597.html

    Looks like your Mom and Joe SixPack are becoming much more comfortable buying music online rather than purchasing CD’s already. I don’t know anybody that bought audio DVD’s when that format came out even though the sound quality was superior.

    The recording industry, who lives in the real world as well, will be the first to concur that sales of physical media are dwindling. It’s only a matter of time before you can apply the same logic to the video formats.

    So my point is if Toshiba/Microsoft throw in the towel in 2009 or 2010 and begin to support Blu-Ray it won’t matter because ZDNet will likely publish another article similar to the one above showing dwindling sales of content on physical media.

    Of course, in the mean time, the studios are cleaning up by collecting fat cheques from Sony and Toshiba for switching from one format to the next.

  18. #32: “My Mom, or Joe SixPack ain’t gettin’ their movies “on the web” anytime soon. Until Joe Sixpack can sit in front of his TV with a cable plugged into the internet and can choose to watch a movie “from the web” as simply as changing he channel, the primary means of movie dist will still be DVD’s/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, and premium cable services.”

    Your mom and Joe Sixpack have lots of options to watch content on their TV’s without buying a Blu-Ray drive, eg. Digital Cable Box, Apple TV, XBox, Tivo, etc. Granted, video quality varies, but your mom probably doesn’t care about how many lines of resolution she gets.

    ZDNet: “Album sales plunge while digital growth slows” – http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6224597.html

    Looks like your Mom and Joe SixPack are becoming much more comfortable buying music online rather than purchasing CD’s already. I don’t know anybody that bought audio DVD’s when that format came out even though the sound quality was superior.

    The recording industry, who lives in the real world as well, will be the first to concur that sales of physical media are dwindling. It’s only a matter of time before you can apply the same logic to the video formats.

    So my point is if Toshiba/Microsoft throw in the towel in 2009 or 2010 and begin to support Blu-Ray it won’t matter because ZDNet will likely publish another article similar to the one above showing dwindling sales of content on physical media.

    Of course, in the mean time, the studios are cleaning up by collecting fat cheques from Sony and Toshiba for switching from one format to the next.

  19. #27 “Who seriously cares about the format wars? By the time the studios sort out which format they prefer, the world will already be getting all of their content on the web.”

    Getting all their content on the web? This statement shows that someone doesn’t know what goes on “in the real world”. My Mom, or Joe SixPack ain’t gettin’ their movies “on the web” anytime soon. Until Joe Sixpack can sit in front of his TV with a cable plugged into the internet and can choose to watch a movie “from the web” as simply as changing he channel, the primary means of movie dist will still be DVD’s/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, and premium cable services.

  20. #27 “Who seriously cares about the format wars? By the time the studios sort out which format they prefer, the world will already be getting all of their content on the web.”

    Getting all their content on the web? This statement shows that someone doesn’t know what goes on “in the real world”. My Mom, or Joe SixPack ain’t gettin’ their movies “on the web” anytime soon. Until Joe Sixpack can sit in front of his TV with a cable plugged into the internet and can choose to watch a movie “from the web” as simply as changing he channel, the primary means of movie dist will still be DVD’s/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, and premium cable services.

  21. Should be a Scobleizer blog template, every month, a “I bet on the wrong ________” WordPress pop-up fill-in box. Would save time, adjustable to weekly or daily if needed.

  22. Should be a Scobleizer blog template, every month, a “I bet on the wrong ________” WordPress pop-up fill-in box. Would save time, adjustable to weekly or daily if needed.

  23. Follow up comment to my comment 28 above, just trying to figure out why my profile photo isn’t working, lets see if it’s fixed now…

  24. Follow up comment to my comment 28 above, just trying to figure out why my profile photo isn’t working, lets see if it’s fixed now…

  25. Clueless monopoly which clearly had some bribes help it steer other companies one way or another.
    Oh, wait, they call it Major Business Deals or something?

    Either format players technically come cheap, in PS3 or XBox360 add-on, but their inability to sort this out PRIOR to introducing formats into the market, Hurt Their Own Disc and Player sales!!!

    I am going with HD over the web and IPTV myself, and so far I only rented HDs via Netflix and I refuse to buy any Disc until they shake hands and agree. Seriously, Big Media, Grow Up or Die Out already!

  26. Clueless monopoly which clearly had some bribes help it steer other companies one way or another.
    Oh, wait, they call it Major Business Deals or something?

    Either format players technically come cheap, in PS3 or XBox360 add-on, but their inability to sort this out PRIOR to introducing formats into the market, Hurt Their Own Disc and Player sales!!!

    I am going with HD over the web and IPTV myself, and so far I only rented HDs via Netflix and I refuse to buy any Disc until they shake hands and agree. Seriously, Big Media, Grow Up or Die Out already!

  27. Who seriously cares about the format wars? By the time the studios sort out which format they prefer, the world will already be getting all of their content on the web.

    The format wars are another example of how absolutely clueless Big Media is to what’s happening in the real world. My local video store charges double for the same movie on Blu-Ray. They should be selling it to me for the same price as DVD and thanking me for purchasing it rather than downloading it, or renting it, or watching it on cable, or whatever.

    John Q can’t tell the difference between DVD and HDDVD/Blu-Ray anyway.

  28. Who seriously cares about the format wars? By the time the studios sort out which format they prefer, the world will already be getting all of their content on the web.

    The format wars are another example of how absolutely clueless Big Media is to what’s happening in the real world. My local video store charges double for the same movie on Blu-Ray. They should be selling it to me for the same price as DVD and thanking me for purchasing it rather than downloading it, or renting it, or watching it on cable, or whatever.

    John Q can’t tell the difference between DVD and HDDVD/Blu-Ray anyway.

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