What does 2008 hold for the high definition format war? If you were to look around the Internet lately, most would tell you that nothing good is going to come of it.
With 2007 closing out, eyes are turning towards 2008 and how the HD DVD vs Blu-ray fight will shake out. If The New York Times are right, it’s not going to be pretty for the film studios and the companies that back the rival formats.
It’s difficult to argue with the logic The New York Times uses: Consumers just don’t care. After an 18-month war, the totals for stand-alone players is at 578,000 for HD DVD and 370,000 for Blu-Ray. If you factor in Playstation 3′s built-in Blu-ray capabilities, and the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on, those add 3.4 million and 300,000 respectively.
Part of the problem comes from not enough market penetration yet for high definition televisions. Adding to the problem, of the HDTV sets that have found their ways into homes thus far, only 11% of those owners have a strong interest in the new DVD formats according to a study by the NPD Group.
DVD represented a large leap over the video tape format that ruled the landscape for so many years, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough of a difference to spark consumer interest this time. When you also add in more and more ways for people to download videos from the Internet, both legally and illegally, and then watch them on their TV, you have to wonder just how much life is left in any physical media format.
If the format war doesn’t shake out soon, and it may very well do that depending on which side Warner Brothers settles with, both formats may die as they try to kill each other off, and some other format finds a way to sneak in.