High Definition Future

I’ve recently ventured into the high definition video arena when i picked up the HD-DVD add-on for my XBOX 360. I love the extra quality i get with my games so moving to a better film experience appealed to me. I’ve got gripes with HD formats but i’ll get onto that in minute

First up i was pleased to see an annoucement on the UK version of XBOX.comsaying we can now download HD movies. It’s not quite the full-blown marketplace the US get (don’t get me started on that!) but it’s a start

Virgin have plans to reduce the entry price into HD viewing to try and grab some share from Sky. However the amount of content available in the UK for subscription prices they want isn’t really grabbing my attention at the moment.

The BBC are getting in on the act so hopefully this will be a step in the right direction

So onto HD formats. Every week someone from the Blu-ray camp or the HD-DVD camp will announce how they are winning the format wars

This to all the people who start up the whole format war thing


All a consumer wants to do is buy the disc, stick it in the player and watch the film. They don’t want to worry about which disc is technically superior in terms of high capacity, differences in audio quality or resolution.

It’s hard enough explaining to the average consumer the difference between HD and SD so if you throw two types of discs in that’s going to make it worse!

If you showed a film on each format side by side to most consumers they wont be able to tell the difference

What also stinks is making certain films exclusive to specific formats

No consumer is going to tell their 12 year old they can’t have Pirates of the Caribbean 3  or Transformersfor Christmas because they don’t have the right type of player so they’ll just go for the good old DVD versions instead.

How is that supposed to encourage consumers to buy into the whole thing?

If your waiting for the consumer to decide who the winner is it’s not going to happen any time soon.People just want to watch the films and i doubt they’ll invest in two players just so they do that. Having the two formats makes people very nervous about investing in equipment and films if they are useless in a years time (you’ve heard all this before with betamax of course!)

It’s why i have high hopes for Samsung’s dual format player if they can get the price down soon. You can pick up a cheap DVD player here for less than £30 so sticking another £400 on top isn’t going to get you massive sales anytime soon. If they do take off the studios can worry about which format is best to show their films and the normal people can just watch them!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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