Monday, February 24, 2003

I'm All For One

You love DVD. You know you do. It has been one of the most successful consumer electronics devices ever. And do you know why? Because the manufacturers got together and ironed out the details of the format before it was released. Sure there wre a few amendments (DTS was added later...actual DTS titles came much later) but what was wisely averted was a VHS vs. Beta-esque format war.

Sure there were minor efforts that could have derailed DVD's momentum (remember the evil Divx?) but those efforts were widely criticized by early adopters and were never embraced by the public. For the most part, DVD was a well implemented technology that could be easily understood and enjoyed by the consumer.

But the manufacturers are up to their old tricks. Recordable DVD is already crushed by a number of confusing formats that can't play nice together. High resolution audio formats like DVD-A and SACD are keeping people on the sidelines.

Efforts are being made to ensure that DVD does not fall by the wayside when HD video finally takes hold. An HD-DVD format is being developed but the effort does not seem to be as focused as the original DVD implementation was. Formats abound.

A campaign is being developed to educate consumers and help convince manufacturers that a single format is desperately needed to ensure the success of a new DVD format. Otherwise another confusing and unfortunate format war may be touched off and consumers may get the short end of the stick. Again.

Come on guys. Keep it simple.


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