Format Wars: Strange Bedfellows

October 5, 2006

Blu-ray HD DVDTo the uninitiated Blu-ray and HD DVD may seem like oil and water and while that may be true from a compatibility standpoint, don’t think for one second manufacturer allegiances to one format over the other preclude companies from working with the competing format.

Exhibit One: the ‘Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation’ a joint venture between (you guessed it) Toshiba and Samsung. One of the first pieces of hardware to come from TSST is the HD DVD drive used in the Xbox360 HD DVD player, which incidentally is said to load much quicker than the NEC drive used in the Toshiba HD-A1 and HD-XA1 HD DVD players. The TSST drive may also be used in the recently announced HD-A2 and HD-XA2 HD DVD players.

Exhibit Two: Samsung’s M55 HD DVD equipped laptop. (Note to my male readers: I assure you there’s a laptop in the image linked to at Engadget) Interesting that Samsung, the only manufacturer to release a Blu-ray player thus far is also dabbling in HD DVD. Again the drive used is likely a result of the TSST partnership.

Exhibit Three: NEC’s Blu-ray equipped, watercooled PC. NEC unveiled their “Valuestar X VX780/GD” PC yesterday at CEATEC in Japan. As mentioned above NEC supplied the drives used in the Toshiba HD-A1 and HD-XA1 HD DVD players

Exhibit Four: This one goes back a ways and to be quite honest, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about this partnership. Back in February of this year NEC and Sony announced Optiarc Inc. described as a “joint venture company in their optical disc drive business” Optiarc “will take a neutral stance to both formats” according to a NEC spokesperson.

So here we have four of the biggest companies in consumer electronics working with other companies on next generation optical disc projects, companies that again to the uninitiated may have given the impression they were unyielding in their support of the other format.

While these partnerships may indeed appear to make for strange bedfellows they’re really not all that surprising. All of these companies share [at least] two things in common, the pursuit of financial gain and a reliance on stockholder satisfaction.

It’s hard to say what exactly these cross-allegiances will bring to the consumers table in the coming months/years, but one thing’s for certain; in the world of consumer electronics the bottom line trumps pride.



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


Comments

  • WiFiSpy

    I think the hugh size of these multinational corporations is the reason we’re seeing this trend. Also remeber that iHD (HDi) was co-developed by Disney and Microsoft, while Disney says they are commited to Blu-ray.

  • WiFiSpy

    I think the hugh size of these multinational corporations is the reason we’re seeing this trend. Also remeber that iHD (HDi) was co-developed by Disney and Microsoft, while Disney says they are commited to Blu-ray.