With the news that Warner and their subsidiaries are exclusively supporting Blu-ray, shock waves have been rushing through, no not quite the consumer, no not quite the retailers either, but instead the Internet media it would seem.
Certain articles appearing are panicking that Blu-ray isn’t quite the wonderful format that it was 5 minutes ago, just before the Warner announcement and that we should now prepare for a blue letter day.
The media is always full of bad news, however if they were really that concerned, why didn’t they say something earlier when it could have possibly made a difference?
The Blu-ray camp has recently rolled out new features for players, which include picture in picture options. But the majority of Blu-ray players sold to date do not have the necessary hardware to offer the features. Some discs already come with a note telling users that they may need to upgrade software in their machine.
Now from earlier posts, you will no doubt have realised that I am a HD DVD supporter. This is not because I think Blu-ray movies are terrible or should be burned at the stake. In fact the quality of the actual movies is excellent (just like HD DVD). My problem has always been with the lack of a standard. I think about the Xbox 360 and the lack of a hard drive in each Xbox 360 Sku and how this may have caused quite a few problems with the DVD ROM drive having to spin faster (therefore more noise). Standards are so incredibly important. It can give developers a happy glow within to know that every console or in this case player, will be able to utilise any additional features they add.
Beyond lower cost, the HD DVD players also boast superior programmable features, enabled by Microsoft’s Hdi technology, proponents say,” the report states, suggesting that Blu-ray inferior platform is bad news for consumers.
Source: PC Retail Mag
There are other reports of similar sentiments, possibly emanating from the same type of article or analyst fear mongering, however take from it all what you will. Although I loath to admit it, Blu-ray has every chance of winning this war and quite soon as well. There is very little point belly aching over what we will lose as a consequence and instead we need to make a decision. To go Blu, to go neutral or just to ignore the whole thing and wait for digital downloads (although I expect that to be a long way off in comparable quality).
Maybe the best option is just to wait that little bit longer to see if HD DVD really can turn the tides…