Guest blogger Bart Weiss is the head of the Dallas Video Association.
So the war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD is over and the good guys won. Blu-Ray looks great and will make that HDTV set you just got look great. It will definitely impress you friends and neighbors. And did I say it will look great? But I think this thing is a dead end. Just as the battle between Obama and Clinton is doing its damage, the time wasted on this techno battle has sent early adapters to the sideline.
Usually when a new box comes out we need the folks who are willing to pay $800-1000 to get it going before the price gets down to $200 , when it will start to hit a mass market. In the past, the 2 ends of the early adapter spectrum have been pornographers and religious broadcasters. It seems that the higher definition may be too much definition for the blue media crowd. And at the national religious broadcasters convention I was at a few weeks ago, they seemed much more interested in video for mobile phones then Blu-Ray. (You can get paid directly from the mobile company; great for that impulse buy.)
But as good as the video is on the iPhone (I have to wait until November to get out of that Verizon contract), it is not an immersive medium. You don’t loose yourself in the small format, but you do reduce boredom. So what will it be?
Downloads. I have never liked a pay per view model, it makes me think of wrestling matches, but I think many folks will skip the Bue-ray dvd and get the online media. Apple has set the groundwork. iTunes changed the need for the CD and apple TV will lead the exit from DVD. Disc-based media, like tape, are going to be going away. (Somehow I know that someday somebody will find this statement and make fun of me for saying it.) There is much to be worked out – Bandwidth, good interfaces, and the depth of titles available – but the next gen tv is coming, and it’s coming online. I would not spend the money on the Blu-Ray player right now. I have enought dead fomats in this house. But I could be wrong.