Friday, January 11, 2008

HD Fallout

I'm not one to be an early adopter. Sure, I'm usually the first of my friends to get the latest tech but I don't pre-order my bleeding edge video cards or the iphone. The only real early failures that my family has ever purchased was a Laserdisc player. But even then it lasted a good 4 years of use (since all orientals love to karaoke). That is why this current Warner Bros. announcement at CES this year really rocked my world. My name is Moe and I bought HD-DVDs. I fell for the superior specs and linux-like open source mentality and complete forgot that no major studio ever got to be a major studio by being open sourced. Hardware, yes. Software, no. Google maybe the only real exception to that but that's for another day. I didn't buy that many HD-DVDs, unlike some others around the Net. But I did have a fair share and certainly replaced some of my more loved classics on HD-DVD if I could. I was lucky to find a local buyer that was still interested in my player's up-converting capabilities and bought my set and movies for a decent price. However, this whole experience has taught me that nothing in tech is ever a sure thing, and in most cases, you are more likely to get struck by lightning than winning as an early adopter. Take a look at the Plasma VS. LCD battle. That's not even a format but everyone saw Plasma as a dying technology and segment for the personal home use but in 2007, there has been a resurgence AND Panasonic is now expecting to ship twice as many panels as they did in 2007 for this coming year. I'm going to stick to my guns and only purchase the cheaper DVD format (and used at that!) and spend $100 on an up-conversion player that won't take 30 seconds to boot up. For the exclusives such as Disney/Pixar films, that will be Blu-Ray. It was a great format on paper and in reality, but like the electric car, I think HD-DVD just didn't have a chance in the real world.

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