Blu-Ray Versus HD-DVD – Battle of Titans

If you're old enough to remember back in the days video tape movie rentals, you may be aware that there was a battle between the Betamax format and the VHS format. Betamax was Sony's entry into the video tape standard war, while many other vendors adopted the VHS standard. As is inevitable in all battles like this for standards only one will come out on top. Consumer simply do not want to deal with two different standards to watch the same.

In the case of the videotape wars, VHS came out on top in becoming the standard viewing format for many years. That is until be DVD format became the standard. The latest battle in the standard tour was between high-definition standards for DVD discs. In this war there were two main combatants, the HD DVD standard introduced a Toshiba in the Blu-Ray standard introduced by Sony. It had been many years Sony lost the Betamax war with a host of other vendors but that obviously did not keep them from entering a similar battle when it came to establish a standard for HD DVD.

In this case Sony's Blu-Ray standard, after about two years of competitive standards with the HD DVD format, officially came out top Toshiba said they were giving up production of their HD DVD players. It's an interesting thing watching these standards war play out. They often have as much to do with technology as they do with marketing. The fact of the matter is your average consumer watching a Toshiba HD DVD in a Sony Blu-Ray DVD side by side will not notice much difference.

So percussion learning something from their loss in the videotape war with their Betamax format, Sony put their marketing machine in high gear and pulled out all the stops to establish their Blu-Ray standard as the industry-standard for high def DVDs. The stakes in these types of battles are intense. Imagine having an entire market of DVD players and no competitors. In some sense it's a monopoly, but it's a monopoly hard won through fair and square business battle. And once you've been a battle like that it's difficult to impossible for a competitor coming up with new technology and take over, unless of course that technology leapfrogs your technology. It would have to be something like when DVDs took over from VHS videotapes to start a new battle for standards.

This will unduly happen at some point and we will get to watch from the guidelines as these giant corporations battle for ownership of the new industry-standard. It's serious business with billions and billions of dollars at stake. And it's also fascinating to watch.


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