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NAB2006: No News is Bad News on Next-Gen DVD Front

In one potentially big event that has NOT occurred so far at NAB, both sides in the incompatibility squabble between Sony and its Blu-ray format and Toshiba and its HD DVD format did NOT get resolved this week at NAB when execs of both camps did NOT appear at a dramatic, hastily called press conference to make some really big news here in Vegas. And this is the perfect place for such an announcement that apparently will NOT happen. Darn.

Meanwhile, perhaps in the same category as "why are all those people still buying NTSC TV sets" is perhaps this one: What difference would an agreement between Blu-ray and HD DVD even make when you consider some new sales figures from the CEA: Apparently sales/shipments of regular, old, standard, non-HD players to U.S. dealers for the first couple of months of 2006 increased by slightly more than 16 percent from the same period last year. (This comes after the holiday selling season, when bumps in sales are usually expected.)

So... although DVD players do not seem to have the longevity of TV sets (at least the traditional CRT kind), all those consumers running out to purchase dirt-cheap standard DVD players (who can blame them?) presumably will not be in the market anytime soon for a next-gen player of either format. Especially when it comes at far higher price points.

Also, what do the increased sales of DVD units say about the supposedly upward trending of digital VOD on cable? Don’t give up that Blockbuster card or Netflix subscription quite yet.