Tuesday, September 21, 2004

More reasons to rent, NOT buy

There is a battle afoot among the video industry regarding which format of high definition will prevail. They are trying to make you upgrade your equipment to HD, including your DVDs. Going from VHS to DVD was a big enough step, but going from ordinary DVD to HD-DVD, is it worth it?

Sony has its own version of HD, called Blu-Ray. The New York Post reports that the reason Sony acquired the MGM movie library, was so that they could flood the market with their Blu-Ray formatted titles, essentially forcing everyone else to adopt their HD standard. They want you to replace your entire library of DVDs with Sony-formatted versions of the same thing, only "high definition".
"Most people are not eager to upgrade all over again", says Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits newsletter.
Duh. Rent, don't buy. Don't let them milk you.


  1. There is always this little thing i like to call "backing up" rentals. Yeah, that works too.

  2. Nah, consumers aren't as stupid as Sony thinks. DVD quality is enough for all but super audio- and videophiles. The same thing goes for these new CD formats that companies are trying to get off the ground. The young may be swayed, but most people over 30 will not take kindly to being muscled toward yet another format. Buy happy, for Blu-Ray will crash and burn soon enough.


  3. Let's hope you're right.

  4. blah... video frustrates me. the video industry suffers from too many obscure choices.

    blank dvd's either come as dvd-r or dvd+r, and video computer files either come as ASX, MPEG, MOV, AVI, RA (real media), ASF, NSV (Nullsoft video) , etc... (i read that Netflix may choose to provide movie downloads as real media... or will they choose Mpegs? or will they choose x....?)

    and now we have dvd's, hd-dvd's, and blue ray hd-dvd's. :(

    companies like sony are really missing the point. as soon as i made the switch from tape to digital , i was finished upgrading. the one most important thing for me is random access. let me skip between tracks/chapters and i'm happy. i don't need HD-DVD , Blu-Ray HD-DVD's, Super Audio CD's, DVD Audio or anything else they're trying to sell us , to do that...

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Just stumbled across this blog, which is great. I disagree on the HD point. If you love movies and love to rent them, a movie in HD is much closer to a theatre-like experience than standard television. The price on this stufff will go down quickly and, I promise, you will love it.

  7. This is laziness on the part of the people manufacturing DVDs. They want easy money. If they can convince people to upgrade to another format, they make money simply by transferring old product to the new format. It's much more profitable, and lazier, than creating new product. Sometimes you can force a new market like that into existence, but most of the time the best way to be successful is to give the existing market what it wants, as well and as cheaply as you can. Proprietary formats are a bad idea, too. Ask Sega.
    Personally, current DVDs are great as they are. I would have to invest in a much better home entertainment system just to get the full effect of current DVDs, and I don't plan on spending that money any time soon. HD-DVD isn't even on the horizon. Besides, isn't HD-TV supposed to be broadcast or cable TV of DVD-quality? So HD-DVD is beyond that? I really don't need to see every pore on an actor's face or every pixel in a special effect.

    Paul in GSO, NC