Format Wars: Boycotts Aren’t the Answer

July 21, 2006

Format WarI nearly titled this post ‘Boycott PC Magazine’ but figured that might have been a little over reactionary. However when a publication that claims to be “The Independent Guide to Technology” calls for the boycott of both Blu-ray and HD DVD I have to wonder, exactly who do they expect to develop new technologies? I don’t remember any other formats waiting in the wings with viable HD replacements to DVD.

Like it or not Sony (BRDA) and Toshiba are offering competing formats but boycotting them both won’t solve a thing. How about picking a side PC Mag? Investigate where both formats stand today and examine what their capable of, but more importantly handicap what their likely to deliver and then make a (gasp) recommendation.

Boycotting both will only prove to the studios that consumers aren’t ready for a HD disc format and that DVD is good enough. Well let me tell you, as someone who has been exposed to jaw dropping 80” HD images from one of the two formats, I can easily say DVD is most definitely not good enough.

Now I’m sure Jan Ozer is an astute, competent and talented tech writer; as a matter of fact I seem to remember thoroughly enjoying some of her previous articles. However calling for a boycott of the very discs that home theater enthusiasts have patiently waited for (years in some cases) rings of tech-phobia, which given the source strikes me as bizarre.

Lets face it DVD is in need of an upgrade, HD movies, lossless audio and advanced interactivity just aren’t in the cards with DVD. Consumer desire for HD capable displays shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Instead of boycotts let’s accelerate the format wars end ahead of schedule and choose sides.

Some might argue that by picking sides we may cheat ourselves out of unforeseen advancements from the other camp. Hogwash I say, what we’re really allowing to happen by not putting a fork in this nonsense is the continued manufacturing of soon to be drink coasters. Every insert-format-name-here disc manufactured just prolongs the inevitable.

I don’t view universal players as viable alternative either, just because a dual-format player is possible doesn’t mean one will be manufactured anytime soon. I also don’t see both formats peacefully co-existing with one another, both Blu-ray and HD DVD were designed to replace DVD and I assume that’s the measuring stick both formats will use for victory.

Today’s video market has one clear, decisive format, DVD. I just don’t see consumers at large settling for a broken, fractured hodgepodge of formats. DVD’s replacement is coming folks; the manufacturers will ensure that, they’ll keep plodding along until we accept one or the other. Boycotting both formats won’t accomplish anything but deny your eyes fantastic high definition movies at home, is that really what PC Mag wants?

We need look no farther than DVD-A and SACD to prove that consumer indifference doesn’t end format wars, it kills the formats. For those of you who have never had a chance to experience high resolution audio, you may never knew what you missed but that in of itself doesn’t mean their demise wasn’t a blow to music lovers. I just hope that hi-def DVD’s don’t meet the same cruel fate that DVD-A and SACD met, that would truly be a shame for those who never had a chance to experience it.

Now while I’m firmly entrenched in my opinion that boycotts aren’t the answer, I’m by no means suggesting that everyone should rush out and plop down $500-1000 for one of these players. But discouraging someone that was otherwise prepared to do so, just because you think the whole thing is silly, is well…silly.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Blu-ray, HD-DVD


Comments

  • Tony

    There’s no need to boycot them – they’ll die anyhow. I have a Denon 2910 DVD player which can play both DVD-A and SACD. I’ve never played either, but I do have several DTS-Audio CDs that I regularly play. And a dedicated CD player (also Denon) that plays just regular CDs (a large number Mobile Fidelities). I care about the music, but not about the war.

    Video will suffer the same thing. I suspect NetFlix will be a dominant driver of sales, as will mass retailers like Target and WallMart, who probably together own half the U.S. dvd market. Will they really carry fringe items like Blue-Ray versions of “March of the Penguins”?

    Sony caused this war. Like BetaMax, like MiniDisc, like PlayStation, they’re on their way to losing this war. Let them.

  • Tony

    There’s no need to boycot them – they’ll die anyhow. I have a Denon 2910 DVD player which can play both DVD-A and SACD. I’ve never played either, but I do have several DTS-Audio CDs that I regularly play. And a dedicated CD player (also Denon) that plays just regular CDs (a large number Mobile Fidelities). I care about the music, but not about the war.

    Video will suffer the same thing. I suspect NetFlix will be a dominant driver of sales, as will mass retailers like Target and WallMart, who probably together own half the U.S. dvd market. Will they really carry fringe items like Blue-Ray versions of “March of the Penguins”?

    Sony caused this war. Like BetaMax, like MiniDisc, like PlayStation, they’re on their way to losing this war. Let them.

  • B.Greenway

    Davis, good dialogue here (I like where this is going)

    Tried to email you but it keeps getting bounced back. Shoot me an email.

    Bryan.

  • B.Greenway

    Davis, good dialogue here (I like where this is going)

    Tried to email you but it keeps getting bounced back. Shoot me an email.

    Bryan.

  • Davis Freeberg

    Hey B., Thanks for the response, I wanted to respond to your comment, but have been without internet for a few days. My comments about supporting a boycott are actually from a home theater enthusiast perspective and less so from an average joe. As part of the digital elite, you have influcence when it comes to the development of the home theater. I love TV, I love HDTV even more, but I think that a lot of consumers are being ripped off by too many people being greedy. I have no fear that the studios will look at calls for boycotts as a sign that the HDTV DVD is going to fail because they need HDTV DVDs even more then we do. It’s a way for them to continue to charge consumers $20 to watch/own a movie. Once VOD hits mainstream, people just won’t be willing to spend that much on something that they plan on watching once and deleting.

    If the studios hear the digital elite saying we are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore, maybe they will recognize the negative impact that this is having on the industry as a whole. Broad support for one standard or both will only make HDTV DVDs even better, but an insistance on a single licensing solution will only cost us more money, frustration and waiting. Everybody has to approach this issue differently and undoubtably there will be those who want HDTV content so badly that they are willing to take the risk of buying an obsolete format, but when I see things like Fox saying that they can exploit the lack of HDTV content by over charging for HD discs or when I see a completely unnecessary format war it makes me upset. If Sony and the HD-DVD camp really want exclusivity this bad, then they can do it without my support, but if they really want consumers to jump on the band wagon, then they need to give us the full potential that HDTV DVDs can be. Maybe it’s naive to believe that our opinion will ever have an impact on this, but I think it’s far more likely that the studios will try to find a solution to a boycott before they give up on the potential $8 – $10 billion market for HDTV DVDs. After all, they need us more then we need them, no matter how much we love HDTV.

  • Davis Freeberg

    Hey B., Thanks for the response, I wanted to respond to your comment, but have been without internet for a few days. My comments about supporting a boycott are actually from a home theater enthusiast perspective and less so from an average joe. As part of the digital elite, you have influcence when it comes to the development of the home theater. I love TV, I love HDTV even more, but I think that a lot of consumers are being ripped off by too many people being greedy. I have no fear that the studios will look at calls for boycotts as a sign that the HDTV DVD is going to fail because they need HDTV DVDs even more then we do. It’s a way for them to continue to charge consumers $20 to watch/own a movie. Once VOD hits mainstream, people just won’t be willing to spend that much on something that they plan on watching once and deleting.

    If the studios hear the digital elite saying we are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore, maybe they will recognize the negative impact that this is having on the industry as a whole. Broad support for one standard or both will only make HDTV DVDs even better, but an insistance on a single licensing solution will only cost us more money, frustration and waiting. Everybody has to approach this issue differently and undoubtably there will be those who want HDTV content so badly that they are willing to take the risk of buying an obsolete format, but when I see things like Fox saying that they can exploit the lack of HDTV content by over charging for HD discs or when I see a completely unnecessary format war it makes me upset. If Sony and the HD-DVD camp really want exclusivity this bad, then they can do it without my support, but if they really want consumers to jump on the band wagon, then they need to give us the full potential that HDTV DVDs can be. Maybe it’s naive to believe that our opinion will ever have an impact on this, but I think it’s far more likely that the studios will try to find a solution to a boycott before they give up on the potential $8 – $10 billion market for HDTV DVDs. After all, they need us more then we need them, no matter how much we love HDTV.

  • Jeff Kalman

    I agree, a boycott won’t solve the problem and will only leave us with DVD and manufacturers unwilling to support a future HD format. I want HD content… The only problem is, by picking a side, you have a 50/50 chance of picking the loser and may end up with one of those expensive drink coasters.

    At this point I’m just waiting for a multi-format player or the PS3 before buying either of these formats. I personally think Blu-Ray should win since the storage cpaacity is better, which means that more content can be placed on the discs, i.e. more goodies and possibly more space for lossless soundtracks.

    I fear that HD-DVD will win because of the price point. Though, Sony with the PS3, if they release enough of them quick enough, could accelerate Blu-Ray’s market proliferation.

    Here’s to hoping that one of them does win the format war, even if it is HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray…

  • Jeff Kalman

    I agree, a boycott won’t solve the problem and will only leave us with DVD and manufacturers unwilling to support a future HD format. I want HD content… The only problem is, by picking a side, you have a 50/50 chance of picking the loser and may end up with one of those expensive drink coasters.

    At this point I’m just waiting for a multi-format player or the PS3 before buying either of these formats. I personally think Blu-Ray should win since the storage cpaacity is better, which means that more content can be placed on the discs, i.e. more goodies and possibly more space for lossless soundtracks.

    I fear that HD-DVD will win because of the price point. Though, Sony with the PS3, if they release enough of them quick enough, could accelerate Blu-Ray’s market proliferation.

    Here’s to hoping that one of them does win the format war, even if it is HD-DVD and not Blu-Ray…

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Michael,

    It’s not that I think they ‘cant’ as much as I think they wont. VHS and laserdisc were examples of two video formats that peacefully co-existed with each other, but then again it was never really a ‘format war’. It was always assumed (by most) that laserdisc would fulfill a niche market whereas VHS’s ability to record would cement its place as everyman’s format.

    Blu-ray and HD DVD are vying to replace DVD and well DVD doesn’t share the home video marketplace with another format, nor has it really since Blockbuster cleared their shelf-space for DVD. And no, I don’t think Blockbuster will be doing that for Blu-ray or HD DVD anytime soon.

    Game consoles are a different animal; multiple platforms have been the norm in the industry for quite some time. This just isn’t the case with video formats. The average couple looking to rent or buy a movie to watch on a Friday night, isn’t interested in the hassle of making sure that it will play in their player, the average gamer on the other hand fully understands this and isn’t put off by those decisions.

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Michael,

    It’s not that I think they ‘cant’ as much as I think they wont. VHS and laserdisc were examples of two video formats that peacefully co-existed with each other, but then again it was never really a ‘format war’. It was always assumed (by most) that laserdisc would fulfill a niche market whereas VHS’s ability to record would cement its place as everyman’s format.

    Blu-ray and HD DVD are vying to replace DVD and well DVD doesn’t share the home video marketplace with another format, nor has it really since Blockbuster cleared their shelf-space for DVD. And no, I don’t think Blockbuster will be doing that for Blu-ray or HD DVD anytime soon.

    Game consoles are a different animal; multiple platforms have been the norm in the industry for quite some time. This just isn’t the case with video formats. The average couple looking to rent or buy a movie to watch on a Friday night, isn’t interested in the hassle of making sure that it will play in their player, the average gamer on the other hand fully understands this and isn’t put off by those decisions.

  • Michael

    Why cant blu ray and hddvd coexist at the same thime?
    They do it in video games with ps2,xbox,gamecube,psp,xbox360,ps3,wii,and pc thats 8 coexisting formats!
    While i would not like the idea of not being able to purchase all the movies that i like do u think that is in the cards?

  • Michael

    Why cant blu ray and hddvd coexist at the same thime?
    They do it in video games with ps2,xbox,gamecube,psp,xbox360,ps3,wii,and pc thats 8 coexisting formats!
    While i would not like the idea of not being able to purchase all the movies that i like do u think that is in the cards?

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Matt,

    Great points and never be hesitate to disagree, the discussion is the most important part. So you better understand where I’m coming from, let me address your points. (from my perspective)

    1) HD DVD’s price is well within line for what their delivering, especially compared to the alternative. I look at it like this; I was going to purchase one of the two formats anyway… The fact that the lesser expensive of the two delivers the best image quality is just icing on the cake. Again this is just my opinion, your mileage obviously varies.

    2) Cant argue this one with ya, I guess all I can say is I’m sure enough that my discs wont ‘fall’ to the other side, that I’m secure enough to purchase them. Of course if you’re not at that point yet, all of this is irrelevant.

    3) Actually if I thought universal players were the goal, I would be even less confident with my disc purchases. Universal players only add to the length of the format war. i.e if the player ‘doesn’t matter’ disc sales are the only barometer and we all know that the studios have an annoying habit of re-releasing discs over and over, this would further exacerbate the problem.

    4) No lukewarm hardware reviews here, after FW 1.4 my HD-A1 is performing like a champ. Load times improved and I haven’t had a single HDMI error since 1.4.

    5) HD DVD offers mind blowing image quality as far as I’m concerned but yeah I know the reviews you’re speaking of. Not much I can say on those reviews that wouldn’t spiral into insults.

    6) Not a lot of argument from me on that one, Serenity and Blazing Saddles were stand out titles for me but of course everyone has their favorites and this will remain a sticky area for some time to come.

    7) Just completely disagree on this one; these guys can afford to do this for years….. Sony’s multi-billion yen loan and TACP’s 150 million dollar marketing campaign alone will ensure this.

    8) I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought reverting to DVD was likely, what I meant was that a non-winner would send mixed signals to the studios that might give them the impression we don’t care, and in return offer us even worse titles. My desire for pre-recorded HD content beats out whatever desire I had for a ‘clear winner’, my choices are to buy in or ignore it, I chose to buy in.

    I also think we’re well beyond any chance of unification, baring some bizarre unforeseen blunder from one camp. Although if it does happen I’m confident that it would go my way.

    9) Unfortunately I don’t.

    10) I agree and here’s how I look at it. Right now I’m enjoying the best HD possible from any commercially available source. BD fans may disagree but I defy anyone to prove me wrong. I’ve seen both and deem the other product inferior.

    If the format war lasts for a year or so and for whatever reason my side loses, I still feel that in the scope of a few years entertainment, HD DVD was/is a bargain compared to other purchases.

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Matt,

    Great points and never be hesitate to disagree, the discussion is the most important part. So you better understand where I’m coming from, let me address your points. (from my perspective)

    1) HD DVD’s price is well within line for what their delivering, especially compared to the alternative. I look at it like this; I was going to purchase one of the two formats anyway… The fact that the lesser expensive of the two delivers the best image quality is just icing on the cake. Again this is just my opinion, your mileage obviously varies.

    2) Cant argue this one with ya, I guess all I can say is I’m sure enough that my discs wont ‘fall’ to the other side, that I’m secure enough to purchase them. Of course if you’re not at that point yet, all of this is irrelevant.

    3) Actually if I thought universal players were the goal, I would be even less confident with my disc purchases. Universal players only add to the length of the format war. i.e if the player ‘doesn’t matter’ disc sales are the only barometer and we all know that the studios have an annoying habit of re-releasing discs over and over, this would further exacerbate the problem.

    4) No lukewarm hardware reviews here, after FW 1.4 my HD-A1 is performing like a champ. Load times improved and I haven’t had a single HDMI error since 1.4.

    5) HD DVD offers mind blowing image quality as far as I’m concerned but yeah I know the reviews you’re speaking of. Not much I can say on those reviews that wouldn’t spiral into insults.

    6) Not a lot of argument from me on that one, Serenity and Blazing Saddles were stand out titles for me but of course everyone has their favorites and this will remain a sticky area for some time to come.

    7) Just completely disagree on this one; these guys can afford to do this for years….. Sony’s multi-billion yen loan and TACP’s 150 million dollar marketing campaign alone will ensure this.

    8) I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought reverting to DVD was likely, what I meant was that a non-winner would send mixed signals to the studios that might give them the impression we don’t care, and in return offer us even worse titles. My desire for pre-recorded HD content beats out whatever desire I had for a ‘clear winner’, my choices are to buy in or ignore it, I chose to buy in.

    I also think we’re well beyond any chance of unification, baring some bizarre unforeseen blunder from one camp. Although if it does happen I’m confident that it would go my way.

    9) Unfortunately I don’t.

    10) I agree and here’s how I look at it. Right now I’m enjoying the best HD possible from any commercially available source. BD fans may disagree but I defy anyone to prove me wrong. I’ve seen both and deem the other product inferior.

    If the format war lasts for a year or so and for whatever reason my side loses, I still feel that in the scope of a few years entertainment, HD DVD was/is a bargain compared to other purchases.

  • Matt

    I am all for a boycott!

    1) Price of competing hardware is too expensive.
    2) Half my new discs will fall to the losing side.
    3) No universal player yet (I’m patient though).
    4) Luke warm hardware reviews with gliches.
    5) Luke warm results in HD quality.
    6) Pathetic launch titles from both camps and a continuation of uninspiring titles for the near future.
    7) Spending money on both (or even picking a side) will PROLONG this two media market. Not giving them money will end it much quicker. If they bring in money, they will stay around as long as they can.
    8) Putting pressure on the market via a boycott will NOT make them look backwards to dvd. This actually might force unification talks. DVD is a dead media for high end video and the companies know this.
    9) I get plenty of over the air HD broadcasting already. Worldcup soccer had me drooling.
    10) The idea of a 2 media system is plain stooooopid, there can be only one unless everyone makes universal players that are reasonably priced. If this happens, then I might run out and buy one now.

    I am sorry to disagree, but I love your blog and read it several times every week. Thanks for keeping going!

  • Matt

    I am all for a boycott!

    1) Price of competing hardware is too expensive.
    2) Half my new discs will fall to the losing side.
    3) No universal player yet (I’m patient though).
    4) Luke warm hardware reviews with gliches.
    5) Luke warm results in HD quality.
    6) Pathetic launch titles from both camps and a continuation of uninspiring titles for the near future.
    7) Spending money on both (or even picking a side) will PROLONG this two media market. Not giving them money will end it much quicker. If they bring in money, they will stay around as long as they can.
    8) Putting pressure on the market via a boycott will NOT make them look backwards to dvd. This actually might force unification talks. DVD is a dead media for high end video and the companies know this.
    9) I get plenty of over the air HD broadcasting already. Worldcup soccer had me drooling.
    10) The idea of a 2 media system is plain stooooopid, there can be only one unless everyone makes universal players that are reasonably priced. If this happens, then I might run out and buy one now.

    I am sorry to disagree, but I love your blog and read it several times every week. Thanks for keeping going!

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Davis,

    As long as Sony wants to keep Sony Pictures, Columbia Tri-Star and their other studios away from HD DVD we can pretty much rule out the dual licensing of films, at least with those studios.

    The problem is that in my opinion a boycott just takes us back to square one as if none of these formats even existed. I mean I’d love to say yeah, power to people lets show these guys rah rah, and all that stuff but that’s just wishful thinking. We’re to some degree pawns in this game, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely powerless.

    And by “We’re” I mean people that have a desire for pre-recorded high def content, not the public at large. Sitting back and just waiting it out could literally take years, the format that we’ve all used for going on ten years now (DVD) was governed by the DVD forum, it seems pretty ballsy of Sony to think they can just ignore that governing body and do an end around on the buying public.

    Listen you know where I stand and where I put my money, but I’m just one voice, my fear is that a few fractured, disorganized voices combined with a boycott will send a non-message to the studios, I’m afraid they’ll just look at all of this and say “see they don’t even know what they want, why should we switch sides”. I say vote with the only currency they seem to recognize, cold hard cash.

    Again my comments here aren’t meant for or directed at those who aren’t home theater fanatics, I understand that joe-everybody could probably care less, but those folks aren’t the ones feening for this stuff either, nor will they likely be the ones that decide all of this.

    So calling for a boycott in my opinion is not only pointless it’s counterproductive to what I “think” is the real goal, ending all of this nonsense as swiftly as possible before even more money is wasted and in the process risking making it even worse. But obviously I can’t say your opinion is wrong in anyway shape or form, far be it for me to dictate to anyone how to spend their money.

  • B.Greenway

    Hi Davis,

    As long as Sony wants to keep Sony Pictures, Columbia Tri-Star and their other studios away from HD DVD we can pretty much rule out the dual licensing of films, at least with those studios.

    The problem is that in my opinion a boycott just takes us back to square one as if none of these formats even existed. I mean I’d love to say yeah, power to people lets show these guys rah rah, and all that stuff but that’s just wishful thinking. We’re to some degree pawns in this game, but that doesn’t mean we’re completely powerless.

    And by “We’re” I mean people that have a desire for pre-recorded high def content, not the public at large. Sitting back and just waiting it out could literally take years, the format that we’ve all used for going on ten years now (DVD) was governed by the DVD forum, it seems pretty ballsy of Sony to think they can just ignore that governing body and do an end around on the buying public.

    Listen you know where I stand and where I put my money, but I’m just one voice, my fear is that a few fractured, disorganized voices combined with a boycott will send a non-message to the studios, I’m afraid they’ll just look at all of this and say “see they don’t even know what they want, why should we switch sides”. I say vote with the only currency they seem to recognize, cold hard cash.

    Again my comments here aren’t meant for or directed at those who aren’t home theater fanatics, I understand that joe-everybody could probably care less, but those folks aren’t the ones feening for this stuff either, nor will they likely be the ones that decide all of this.

    So calling for a boycott in my opinion is not only pointless it’s counterproductive to what I “think” is the real goal, ending all of this nonsense as swiftly as possible before even more money is wasted and in the process risking making it even worse. But obviously I can’t say your opinion is wrong in anyway shape or form, far be it for me to dictate to anyone how to spend their money.

  • cgw

    The reason why DVD-A and SACD can’t replace CD could be due to that there are not enough “subjective” difference in sound quality among them. This is not the case with DVD and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. The new format is comming, however slow it is. However, I think both format will co-exist. There are plenty of examples for different formats peacefully co-exist, such as the storage media for digital camera.

    For one format to win, the other format’s exclusive supporter has to give in, which is highly unlikely, especially in Sony’s case. I have a wild thinking: maybe a monoply law suite can force Sony to release HD-DVD format movies.

    Price will be the most important factor, if not the deciding factor, to many people’s adoption decisions. If a 40′ LCD TV only cost sub-$1000 by the end of year, will people think a Blu-ray player costs between $1000 to $1500 too much to swallow in two years window?

    If Toshiba can reduce its player’s price arround $300, that would be a big boost for sales. For the majority of people, HD-DVD and its 30GB disc is good enough for a long time.

  • cgw

    The reason why DVD-A and SACD can’t replace CD could be due to that there are not enough “subjective” difference in sound quality among them. This is not the case with DVD and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. The new format is comming, however slow it is. However, I think both format will co-exist. There are plenty of examples for different formats peacefully co-exist, such as the storage media for digital camera.

    For one format to win, the other format’s exclusive supporter has to give in, which is highly unlikely, especially in Sony’s case. I have a wild thinking: maybe a monoply law suite can force Sony to release HD-DVD format movies.

    Price will be the most important factor, if not the deciding factor, to many people’s adoption decisions. If a 40′ LCD TV only cost sub-$1000 by the end of year, will people think a Blu-ray player costs between $1000 to $1500 too much to swallow in two years window?

    If Toshiba can reduce its player’s price arround $300, that would be a big boost for sales. For the majority of people, HD-DVD and its 30GB disc is good enough for a long time.

  • davis freeberg

    You know I think I’ve got to disagree with you on this one. The way I see it the format war is completely unneccesary and is driven more by Sony’s greed then anything. Why can’t the studios just dual license their films on both formats and let the manufacturers and consumers decide what’s best? Instead we have to have this tit for tat war that benefit’s no one. In the end if things continue to go down this path, then a lot of consumers are going to get ripped off when someone capitulates. Given the poor reviews on the quality of Blu-ray I’m leaning towards HD-DVD myself, but the truth is that I’d never buy one until the studios work this out. If by boycotting this, it speeds up the negotiation process then I’m all for it.

    In the meantime, the studios know that the DVD and HDTV DVDs are an interim solution. It may take a decade (or maybe two) for broadband enabled HDTV, but the truth of the matter is that every day that goes by is money that they can’t replace. All of the studios have agreed to license their films to Blu-ray if Sony would agree to license their films, but Sony continues to try and insist on another betamax. While I might agree that we shouldn’t boycott HD-DVD because they’ve made a good faith effort to end the stalemate, I still won’t buy one because I’m afraid of Sony’s resolve. In the end consumers lose, the studios lose and the tech manufacturers lose by one company’s greed. Why shouldn’t we vote with our dollars and show them that we won’t stand for it?

  • davis freeberg

    You know I think I’ve got to disagree with you on this one. The way I see it the format war is completely unneccesary and is driven more by Sony’s greed then anything. Why can’t the studios just dual license their films on both formats and let the manufacturers and consumers decide what’s best? Instead we have to have this tit for tat war that benefit’s no one. In the end if things continue to go down this path, then a lot of consumers are going to get ripped off when someone capitulates. Given the poor reviews on the quality of Blu-ray I’m leaning towards HD-DVD myself, but the truth is that I’d never buy one until the studios work this out. If by boycotting this, it speeds up the negotiation process then I’m all for it.

    In the meantime, the studios know that the DVD and HDTV DVDs are an interim solution. It may take a decade (or maybe two) for broadband enabled HDTV, but the truth of the matter is that every day that goes by is money that they can’t replace. All of the studios have agreed to license their films to Blu-ray if Sony would agree to license their films, but Sony continues to try and insist on another betamax. While I might agree that we shouldn’t boycott HD-DVD because they’ve made a good faith effort to end the stalemate, I still won’t buy one because I’m afraid of Sony’s resolve. In the end consumers lose, the studios lose and the tech manufacturers lose by one company’s greed. Why shouldn’t we vote with our dollars and show them that we won’t stand for it?