Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dual format, too little, too late

So Toshiba has produced a dual format HD-DVU/Blu-Ray player in an attempt to bypass the format wars.

Its too little too late. At this point the whole idea of next-generation DVD is obsolete. Consumers are unlikely to buy either until there is a supply of content and the studios are unlikely to supply more than a token quantity of content until there is a sufficient market base and they will charge super-premium prices for doing so.

Consumers want HD quality at the DVD price. The costs of doing the remastering right are significant. At this point a studio would probably loose money ebven bringing out content like the Star-Wars collection in HD where fans would buy it before they owned a player or an HD TV set.

Before critical mass is achieved the network effect is the chicken and egg problem.

The whole concept of physical distribution media is becomming obsolete. Online distribution has already made the CD Single obsolete. It will not be long before Internet video on demand becomes routine. At that point the convenience factor of the Internet channel plus the lower overheads dominate.

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