Creative Commons

2007-08-24 09:27:12

Hi-Def Winner? My Pick...

Well the "war" has been going on for quite some time now. Sony's BluRay and Toshiba's HD-DVD continue to battle it out. But is it all for nothing? Has there been a winner since the beginning?
Before I start theorizing, let's look at the specs of each format.
Resolution 720p, 1080i, 1080p 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Capacity (DL) 30GB 50GB
Audio Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS-ES Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS-ES
So there are the things that actually make a difference. You may be thinking, wow, BluRay can hold way more data. Yes, that's true. That's the only advantage of BluRay for consumers. It means that longer movies can be stored in their uncompressed form which translates to better HD quality. However, it would take a very long movie to run up to that limit, so long that it's not an issue.
So size isn't an issue, what about audio? Nope, they both support the same codecs. Resolution? Nope, same thing. DRM? Well here is where it gets interesting. You all have heard about the rootkits Sony put on their music CDs that infested millions of computers worldwide. Their security "experts" did it again with BD+. It is for that reason alone that I will never buy BluRay.
But let's get down to which format I think will win. I love HD-DVD. Production costs are much lower for producers, player costs are much lower for consumers, it's an all around win-win. However there is one catch. The DRM on HD-DVD's (AACS) was broken almost as soon as it was released. If you're a CEO, CFO, whatever for a movie company who doesn't understand technology but only dollar signs, which format would you pick. The one where the DRM has been broken, which allows for pirating, or the one where the DRM has not been broken. If you're a pointy haired CEO, you choose BluRay, no questions asked. Despite the recent switch to HD-DVD that Paramount made, my prediction still stands, BluRay will win, for two reasons.
  1. It's DRM is still intact
  2. Sony has more money than Toshiba
Recently music companies have been starting to understand that consumers hate DRM and have began offering DRM-free downloads. Will that philosophy carry over into the movie industry? Common sense would say yes. Common sense would tell you that offering your content in a format that people are happy to spend money on is a good thing. But as we all know, pointy haired CEOs don't have common sense.


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