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DVD – Change at the Speed of Slow
By Andy Marken
Tellywood and manufacturers have picked the
team they want to be on and have started the game to determine who will be the
league winners in the next generation DVD series. Problem is, there is no one in
the stands. Consumers seem happy to watch the game they know. After all, current
DVD recorders, players, media is very economic. Millions of viewing options are
available. No one has done a good job of showing them why the new game is better
-- unless you call the news releases and press conferences proof. Boy, looks
like it is going to be a long season.
"You've got to be very careful if you
don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
– Yogi Berra, Baseball Hall of Fame Player/Coach
Every year we have a sports season –
baseball, football, basketball, soccer, etc – a definite beginning and end. A
winner. A loser.
In the PC/CE industry we have…Moore’s Law.
We have the mercurial wants, needs, desires of consumers.
We love watching the industry push and shove to be in front of the competition
with claims, counterclaims…threats, counterthreats…brags, counterbrags.
Nothing is more typical of this today than the desire to entertain us – you
know, the consumer.
The folks who pay for the tickets to the game.
Specifically the HD DVD team…the BD team…the everything over the Internet team.
They’re all running the bases and have more points on the scoreboard…just ask
Like Yogi said… “We're lost but we're making good time.”
The optical entertainment game started about 30 years ago and we’ve been
improving the game ever since.
– Like everything in the industry, optical storage has changed a lot in 30 years
adding capacity, speed, quality, reliability and lower and lower cost. With each
generation, a greater legacy to drag along, use, copy, protect. – Source --
While baseball may be the U.S. pastime and soccer the ROWs pastime, technology
“advances” are our pastime.
To understand the optical game, you need to understand its past.
So here are some highlights:
- 1977 Philips began work to replace vinyl records with the MiniRack, MiniDisc,
Compact Rack or what they ultimately called the Compact Cassette
- 1979 they…held a press conference
- Japan’s MITI (Ministry of Industry & Tech) wanted a single next generation
audio disc so Philips/Sony did something unprecedented in the PC/CE
- In ’82 the 1st CD player was shown and shortly Abba knocked out the first CD.
Player cost about $1000
- CD replaced vinyl, replaced cassettes, replaced 8, 5.25, 3.5-in floppies. CD
kick started the digital age!
- By 2000 more than 480 million CD players, burners were in use around the
globe, more being shipped every day. CD replication had reached 11.04 billion
discs (3.89 billion pirate copies) and CDR sales had peaked at 2.455 billion
- 1996 industry – entertainment, IT, CE – decide it is time to replace the
floppy, VHS, yes CD with high capacity single best solution for:
› Movie quality
› 5:1 sound
› 2-hrs video
› 3-5 languages, multi aspect ratios
› Copy protection (aahh yeah!!)
› AV/PC format
› Backward CD read compatibility
› File system for all content, random access
› Capacity growth
› Cheap drive/media
- ’97, 98, 99 DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW,
DVD+RW burners introduced, demoed, press conferenced, introduced, demoed, press
- 2000 Sony decided they needed to sell something, anything so they threw all of
the “ideal solutions” into a single box, cheap boxes emerged
- 2003 industry decided to raise the stakes (for the consumer) said HD DVD (highdef
DVD) was the next winning standard
- CES 2006 Toshiba introduced BD player and over 200 fantastic titles would be
available to EOY. Philips introduced their BD counteroffer BD (blu-ray disc)
solution. Both about $1000
- 2nd, 3rd, 4th gen products have been announced and an LG combo for about
- Aug 2007 prices for the two flavors had dropped to $299, $499 respectively,
Amazon was offering eight free titles with any purchase
As Yogi said…
“Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.”
The Other Option
The Webbies claim the game is already over and they won!
Like our kid they’re downloading everything from the Net and throwing it on
– The notebook computer, once a symbol of the road warrior has become the
everything tool for today’s generation. Photos, video, music, work, stuff is
stored there. It’s more than one smartphone, one palmtop, one human can handle.
But there is still a need for, a place for archival discs. Source – NY Times
Why buy an old-fashioned disc when you can
- 2 hr HD movie download with DSL, low bit rate
less than a day, high bit rate 2 days
- Cable download low bit rate 9 hrs, high bit rate less than a day
- Satellite download low bit rate 16 hrs, high bit rate 1.5 days
Yogi’s comment… “There
are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.”
Mental, Physical Game
We can move geeks and early adopters pretty fast.
They’ll buy the next great thing even before it’s a thing.
Regular consumers – you know where the volumes are created – it takes them
awhile…a long while!
DVD was the fastest technology ever introduced to the consumer (we love
repeating that!) and it took eight years to receive 50% household penetration!
– Technology changes faster and faster. Unfortunately widespread acceptance,
sales, use takes longer. Often much longer than analysts project and
manufacturers want/hope. When it isn’t an “overnight success” obviously it is a
failure. Too bad consumers are two generations behind the engineers. Source
It was clearly better than tape…you could
see the difference…BAM!!!
Visited Best Buy or Wal-Mart to look at the next great solutions side-by-side?
Asked a technical sales person to tell/show you the difference?
They look at you and give you a Yogiism… “I wish I had an answer to that,
because I'm tired of answering that question.”
Forget our kid, geeks, early adopters who let their notebooks run all night
downloading a movie or get their news on YouTube.
The volume sales go to folks who want to watch a movie, want to play it in
multiple locations, want to just watch the game.
– Ask our kids, they’ll say discs are so yesterday. Ask our parents, they’ll say
what’s a disc? Us? We just want to watch the movie…when we want…where we
want…how we want. Source -- CEA
For them, "Baseball is 90% mental -- the
other half is physical."
The industry was lucky with DVD.
The mental, physical game made it easy to determine a winner:
- better picture
- better business archiving storage
- more storage capacity (up to 8.5GB)
- burners, media got cheap…real fast
Moving to the new playing
field is tougher…not impossible, just tougher.
And it’s going to take longer.
– It’s not a format disagreement issue when it comes to transitioning from DVD
to HighDef discs, it’s an education issue. DVD viewing was dramatically better
looking than VHS. HighDef? Slightly better if shown side by side and explained.
Then too, it’s about archival storage of business content – email,
legal/financial documents – stuff we use to protect our behinds, lawyers love to
dig into. Change will happen but it will take…time. Source -- IDC
As Yogi said, "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
The “industry” is busy telling the folks in the bleachers what they want:
- superb video
- director’s cuts, outtakes, control of the movie, actor’s voice overs,
interactive game sites, even better protection (DRM), new
hardware/software/content, did we mention DRM?
Start the freakin game !
So if you can’t show us then we’re pretty happy with the game that is being
played right now.
You know the one with 10s of thousands of titles. The one with millions of
players, recorders, burners in use around the globe. The one with really cheap
Simply want to sit down after a hellacious day at the office with friends,
family and …watch a movie!
Sure we’re creating, capturing, replicating content faster than ever (IDC notes
there will be a 6x increase in the next four years).
But the kid’s YouTube entries are about 20MB. Our ppts are 10MB. Our 500 digital
photos are under 600MB. Our home movies (taking out all the bad shots and
segments the wife says don’t make her look beautiful) are about 800MB. Our HD TV
timeshift shows are (less ads) are about 2.4GB.
Is it any wonder that industry players who want to make their shareholder
numbers today are knocking out more and more DVD burners (they also do CDs…ya
Is it any wonder that folks who go to the stores are buying single, 10-packs and
spindles of CDs/DVDs?
– A global legacy of CD/DVD burners, super cheap hardware, inexpensive media and
realistic storage capacity for the types of stuff folks save, copy, share every
day will keep factories going for years to come. Don’t let them kid you…price,
capacity, use matters. Source -- JRIA
The sweeping change from CD to DVD to Blue
isn’t being slowed by team differences.
That’s part of the game.
The teams are playing against each other as hard as they can using every hook,
crook, sneaky play they can think of and it isn’t working because…it isn’t about
They aren’t in a slump they just ain’t hitting.
As Yogi said, "You can observe a lot just by watching."
Somebody – everybody -- has to get out of the dugout, get off the field, go into
the stands and listen to the crowd…all of the crowd.
You’ll see folks like our kid downloading movies…posting to MySpace…tending to
his crops on Second Life…researching a paper that is due next week…downloading
more MP3 songs…IMing a friend in Boston…
We’re going to watch some of Yogi’s old game highlights.
Oh, and the llllloooonnnngggg term highdef winner once the game really starts
for the crowd?
It’s the content…the games…the titles…the capacity !!
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