The Consumer Wins with HD or Blue Ray

By: Michael Hehn

Next generation home video format wars always end up confusing the consumer to start off, and it can take several years before one format gains dominance over the other. This was the case with the VHS versus Betamax format war, and thankfully the various companies quickly came together to develop the DVD, or digital video/versatile disc, so that became dominant with no competition. Unfortunately, various companies have banded together into two different camps, and now a new format war has been created where consumers are asked if they want HD or Blue ray, and many choose neither for now.

Making a Wise Investment

Through 2006 and 2007, people would have to choose to go with either HD or Blue ray on a relative whim as both offered about the same amount of movies from major movie studios. Near the start of 2008 though, Warner Bros. decided to go Blue ray exclusive, resulting in a majority of movies being released on Blue ray over HD-DVD, helping consumers to choose HD or Blue ray. While many people could argue the pros and cons of both formats, having two competing formats only ended up hurting everyone as companies released movies that nobody bought and consumers risked making a high definition movie player purchase only to find out that months later, no more movies would be released for it. By making most of the movies be released on a single format, movie studios help to ensure that consumers can choose HD or Blue ray without wasting their money.

HD-DVD players might be a little bit cheaper, but Blue ray discs offer superior data capacity, resulting in greater longevity as studios put more content onto discs for consumers to enjoy. However, by making consumers choose HD or Blue ray, studios allowed another format to gain traction. Downloadable videos have gained popularity as they work on all computers with a high speed Internet connection, which is becoming the dominant form of connection in all countries around the world. Many people prefer to actually be able to hold their purchase in their hands (as is the case with DVD's or Blue ray discs), but by buying a next gen video format, they might have ended up wasting their hard earned money, so they preferred to download movies to their hard drive instead of risking wasting a thousand dollars or more.

Blue ray is expected to gain even more traction in 2008, helping consumers to easily choose HD or Blue ray. As prices come down and the selection of movies grows, then more people will upgrade to Blue ray over their old DVD player. With more special features and high definition video and audio, this format is the clear choice for the next generation home theater experience.

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