New article says HD optical formats are doomed

November 28, 2006

As consumers consider their HDTV options, motion picture studios are busy stamping movie favorites on HD-DVD and Blu-ray optical discs to serve the anticipated demand for the next generation of the home movie viewing experience.

If the author of a new article on Slate.com is correct, however, the studios might consider taking a timeout before proceeding.

In a provocative article, “The Death of the Disc,” author Sean Cooper makes the case that both optical formats are doomed.

Cooper builds his case on four points:

  • The Internet will become a viable delivery vehicle for movies, particularly with the arrival of Xbox Live movie rentals;
  • Cable on-demand will give viewers instant access to premium HD content, and cable companies are putting in place the content protection to allay the fears of rights holders;
  • Hardware expense: New HD-DVD and Blu-ray players are expensive, something consumers who’ve just purchased an expensive HDTV won’t find appealing;
  • Hard drive storage preference: Storing content on hard drives will eliminate the media cost with movies as it has with music downloads.

To read the article in its entirety, visit: www.slate.com/id/2153877.

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