According to Sean Cooper over at Slate, the current footrace to see what format will become the industry standard for next generation Hi Definition entertainment is a moot point, before it really even begins. Hmm... I hope he realizes you can only watch Hudson Hawk on Betamax for so long before you get the urge to upgrade your hardware.
Now, home entertainment has a new idea: high-definition video. By increasing the number of pixels in an image, HD encoding can deliver a sharper picture. Because high-definition images pack more visual data, HD movies require more storage space than DVDs can provide. So, naturally, we've now got two new encoding formats: the Toshiba-backed HD-DVD and Sony's Blu-ray.
The movie studios and electronics manufacturers think - wrongly - these new high-def formats will extend the market for home-entertainment media indefinitely. Both formats will fail, not because consumers are wary of a format war in which they could back the losing team, a la Betamax. Universal players that support both flavors of HD should appear early next year. No, the new formats are doomed because shiny little discs will soon be history