Death of a Video Format

By Ed Primeau and Brandon Keilman

5455622177_71917bf3a7I was standing in line at the Secretary of State last week to renew a license plate and saw a video playing on a flat screen in the lobby. The quality was brilliant; very high quality, rich and robust in every area of sight and sound. The source was produced using high definition video tape and digitally edited and formatted onto Blu-Ray DVD.

For a few years now, I have been preaching about the importance of Internet marketing with digital video distribution (which is still very important) while discounting DVD as a worth while marketing tool. The Internet aspect to video still holds true, except we now have to re-look at DVD from a fresh perspective.

There is an ongoing debate over DVD format that is worth understanding so you can apply this medium to your business.

In a knock-out, fall-out battle, Blu-Ray DVD is the official champion and High Definition DVD has gone by the wayside, in a similar fashion to consumer grade laser disk and beta. In this article, we hope to clear some of the confusion and explain the impact to you personally as well as on your business.

Let us clarify an important point before we move on. High Definition digital video is a format video cameras record and High Definition DVD is a format of delivery or medium to deliver the video on. High Definition video recording is still the best way to video record. It is High Definition DVD that no longer exists and what this article is about.

Here is how the war was lost:

The Toshiba Company was the main developer and backer (with the support of Microsoft) of what could have been the next ”big thing” in video delivery, High Definition DVD. While Microsoft favored the ”High Definition DVD” format, Sony favored the Blu-Ray DVD format.

Blu-Ray was and is supported by many different companies including Sony as the next ”big thing” in video formatting. High Definition was the choice of Microsoft and Toshiba until recently.

So, now that the war is over, I guess the demise of the HD DVD video format should not come as a surprise when the two formats are compared and closely examined. First, the quality of both in terms of picture and sound are a huge step up from a regular DVD in resolution. However, when further investigating Blu-Ray, the storage capacity is four times greater than that of High Definition DVD. In our opinion, this is perhaps the largest deal breaker for High Definition DVD.

The Blu-ray storage advantage means less need for multiple DVD disk box sets. Companies such as Fox who are always looking for a way to minimize cost and increase profit love the storage advantage Blu-Ray offers.

To the consumer it means we can go out and buy a Season of our favorite show in a much smaller package, instead of a big clunky box full of DVDs. As for the sound and picture quality, there is a noticeable difference between Blu-Ray and High Definition DVD. Even on the best of televisions the HD DVD still remains a bit grainy where as the Blu-ray has very crisp rich looking images.

Another influence in the decision to kill HD DVD was the backing of the Sony Corporation. Sony is the leading edge developer and implementer of Blu-Ray players into devices their consumers use on a daily basis. Their PlayStation 3 models are considered one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market. Price-wise, not only do you get a Blu-Ray player; you get a video game console and audiovisual storage unit all rolled into one.

Microsoft put their money behind the HD DVD format by offering an external player for their Xbox line of products. However, upon hearing the news that Toshiba was canceling its HD DVD line, Microsoft discontinued their HD DVD external player; they’ve yet to release an external Blu-Ray player. Maybe this will be a perk of the highly anticipated Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the adult film industry also had a great influence over these decisions. Whether we chose to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, the adult film industry still has a large influence over the Blu-Ray decision. Even with its apparent loss of revenue to online video, the industry still has some sway in regards to the format its line of adult videos will be on.

Since 2007, and early 2008, the adult film industry put its backing behind the Blu-Ray DVD format. This, combined with the other reasons mentioned above, seems to be the straw that broke the camels back for HD DVD.

What does this mean for you and your business of DVD products? We are entering a time that future video products should be recorded on High Definition video tape and released on Blu-Ray DVD.

So, now that you know Blu-ray DVD is the future of DVD video delivery, what type of product can you develop on Blu-ray DVD? Consider that Blu-Ray will deliver graphics and still images that look more brilliant and video images of much higher quality because they are recorded on High Definition video. In addition, the length of programming time is greater on Blu-Ray than standard DVD.

We highly recommend Duplicating your Blu-Ray inventory in low quantities as just-in-time delivery:because it will not be long before the next ”greatest advancement” in digital video comes out to further confuse us and, once again, change everybody’s thinking, including ours.

photo credit: Day 48: Recursive Technology via photopin (license)

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