Alot of people trying to convince themselves that luxury disc formats will in any way take off in the next five years. Pity really. DVD was a utalitarian progression from VHS, it made watching movies better, easier and more convenient. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray only give you a better picture, that's all. An improvement of a factor that is by and largeconsidered a luxury is hardly a driving force to push a new format to success especially when HD-TVs still only have less than 10% of the market.
Let's take a look at some of our major media formats shall we...
CDs made listening to music more convenient because you could switch through songs, didn't need to rewind or fast forward and didn't have to worry about the degredation of the media over the course of time. This was a great improvement over the casset and benefited the ease by which the consumer could enjoy audio media immensely.
- Mini-Discs basically just did the same thing CDs did only with a twist, they really didn't bring anything new to the fray outside of recordability and ultimately were too much of a niche and luxury item to really take off as their own format in the long run.
- DVD-A Like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are to DVD, DVD-A is the quintisential upgrade of quality in the CD format using a DVD disc instead of a CD disc for music. However, this new format requires a new player severely limiting the appeal of a media where digital media reigns supreme and audio quality has never been a real issue for the consumer..
- SACD (Super Audio CD) Like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are to DVD, SACD is the quintisential upgrade of quality in the CD format. However, SACD has one promising aspect for its future. It can be played on regular CD players only requiring SACD compatible players to unlock its true potential. It's only downfall is the lack of interest in a new HD Audio format at this time given the heavy dependence on digital media and stricter disc protection this new format would bring.
DVDs made watching movies more convenient because you could switch through chapters, didn't need to rewind or fast forward, could have multiple languages and interactive options and didn't have to worry about the degredation of the media over the course of time.
- UMD basically just did what DVD did, just with less space, a higher cost and less appicability. Its novelty as a portable DVD format was largely compromised by much cheaper portable DVD players already on the market and the lack of interest to drive what was essentially a luxury item.
- Blu-Ray basically just allows for High Definition DVD movies, it has far more space but utilizing this space without compromising read times raises a series of new problems whose solutions ultimately make the utility of such a format questionable as a step forward in regard to consumer convenience. Incidentally its one major advantage being limited to HD-TVs makes it even more of a luxury item and a questionable step forward after only a few years since DVD had become the market standard.
- HD-DVD basically is in the same boat as Blu-Ray with minor variances towards their specs and abilities, in the end both are limited in that their only advantage, an HD-quality image, which can only be exploited on HD-TVs making them luxury items with no real utalitarian benefit to the consumer.
- Red-Ray Like Blu-Ray, buch cheap, affordable and economical. This format's only dissadvantage is its late emergence into the fray and limited appeal of HD formats at this time given their dependence on HD-TVs. However if any format has a chance of succeeding DVD this one seems to have everything necessary to win over the consumer who is looking for the next economical and sensable leap.