January 21, 2008
| by Cindy Davis
I have been quietly watching the press, including those from my own group, talk about the seemingly final round of the Blu-ray and HD DVD format war. Having attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) along with the myriad press conferences and now seeing everyone (including electronichouse.com) jump on the bandwagon, I have to share my opinion as well.
Go ahead call me a Pollyanna, but I thought the idea behind the format war was to let the consumer choose—right? Yes, I do think it would have been better to have had both sides in the beginning deliver the one and best format. Yeah, right. So that didn’t happen and they left it to the consumer to choose the winner in the end. Yeah, right. This is politics and money at its best.
Because I am in the industry, I will own both HD DVD and Blu-ray players. I am too close to the subject to know if I would have put down the money for both if I didn’t need to do so. Given that I pay monthly for three HD-DVRs, I probably would have. For better or worse, I have also gotten close to the people behind the development of the products for both formats. They are all really good people.
I wince when I see writers (including those from my own group) doing a dance over HD DVD when the war hasn’t been decided yet. Yes, it makes for a good story. Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing for them. They have a job to do and I am respectful of their opinions.
The Toshiba press conference at CES was a tough one to get through. I respect Jodi Sally, Toshiba’s V.P. of marketing for the digital A/V group, for not spinning the news that Warner had dumped the HD DVD format in favor of Blu-ray. She appeared devastated. Jodi started by saying “As you can imagine, this is a tough day for me. I have had better.” Good for her for admitting that. She and her team have worked really hard on this and will continue to support the format with products.
During CES I got together with many other people I have come to know well on the Blu-ray side of the fence as well. Understandably, their joy was hard to contain.