Today Toshiba announced the death of HD DVD saying that it will no longer produce HD DVD players. While a standards war between Toshiba's HD DVD and SONY's Blu-Ray was in full swing, Blu-Ray emerged today as the winner. The death of HD DVD was very quick, here is how it happened:
I think the tipping point was Netflix going exclusive. With Warner Brothers out and Paramount rumored, the writing was on the wall. It took 8 days from the Netflix announcement to the actual tossing in of the towel by Toshiba. Score one for the power of the people. Once Netflix spoke on behalf of its members, HD DVD died.
Blu-ray will have to compete hard against high-def Internet downloads. With a lot of the public not willing to pay over $30 for a new Blu-ray disk movie (compared to a $10 DVD) and new players being expensive; hard drive space being super cheap and broadband also ubiquitous and cheap, Blu-ray will have a major fight on its hands. Expect a repeat of the MP3 Napster debate from 10 years ago.
Business models will have to change. Will the movie/DVD industry learn anything from the music/CD industry? I doubt it.
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