Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Betamax All Over Again

2 studios bet HD DVD will be a hit - Los Angeles Times "Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it." But you would think Sony wouldn't be ignorant, since they went through this last time - in almost exactly the same fashion.
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said Monday that they would offer movies exclusively in the HD DVD format
The big difference is that with Betamax, Sony wasn't a movie studio. Why ANY of Sony's competition would offer movies on Sony's format is really beyond me. With the price of HD-DVD players expected to fall to about 200 bucks, I would say that the "experts" who declared the race to be over, don't know what they are saying.

So of course, since there is no clear winner, I won't be buying a player or any DVDs.
The DVD format battle is reminiscent of the videocassette fracas in the 1980s, won by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.'s VHS technology over Sony Corp.'s Betamax. Many consumers are holding back on hi-def DVD purchases for fear of ending up like Betamax purchasers who bet on the losing format.

Although lower prices will help spur sales of high-definition movie players, consumers will still hold off because they don't want to be stuck with an obsolete machine that won't be able to play new movies from the winning format a year from now, said Chris Roden, an analyst at Parks Associates in Dallas.
Betamax was CLEARLY a better format than VHS. That didn't help it win in the long run. Betamax - if memory serves - was also ahead of VHS in the market, when cheap VHS recorders were introduced and blew Betamax right out of the water.

"It's deja vu, all over again."

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