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The Battle Of Formats

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Matthew R Smith

Shelley Donnelly

ENGL 1010

2 May 2006

The Battle of Formats

There are two new formats of DVD's coming out one is Blue-ray and one is HD-DVD,

will this become the battle of VHS vs. BetaMax and which will be in your home.

First, let me give you some history on both of these new forms of DVD's. Blue-ray which was invented by a group of companies called Blue-ray Disc Association. It consists of companies like Sony, Apple, Dell, HP, and many more. Blue-ray will hold 25 gigabytes and will be the same size and shape of a DVD. The only difference is that it uses a different laser which is the color blue. Now you know why they called it this. The big factor that will push Blue-ray to be in your home is that Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros will be big supporters of Blue-ray. Another big feature is that it will feature DRM which is digital rights management. Blue-ray has another form of encryption called BD+ that will allow the companies to change the encryption. This will make it very hard to make copies of their products like movies and software.

HD-DVD was introduced on the DVD forum and on November 19, 2003 they decided that the HD-DVD format be the new DVD to output HD movies. HD DVD was originally called Advanced Optical Disc. Like Blue-ray it is the same size as Cd's and DVD's. HD-DVD's will only hold 15 gigabytes, 10 less than Blue-ray. HD-DVD uses a red laser to burn information and read information. This product is supported by Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, Microsoft, HP, and Intel. Now the type of copy right protection that HD-DVD is some what like Blue-ray. They will have a Watermark Protection. All HD DVD readers will check for this watermark and if does not see the watermark it will refuse to play the disc. Manufacturers have also discussed some plans to make their players not work if there is any attempt to crack a machine or play a cracked disc.

These DVD's use companies ideas and patents. Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer invented Blue-ray and HD-DVD was created by Toshiba and LG. So these companies will get a piece of every Blue-ray and HD-DVD used. So if Universal uses these disc they will both get profits from these disc. The big problem is that certain companies have decided they will not use both formats. It will cause conflict in which product you will buy. One, you will not want to buy both a HD-DVD and Blue- ray player because right now the starting price is 500 dollars and up. Now all of these companies will also receive royalties if their logo is shown on any DVD player that you buy. So no matter what you will be supporting the HD-DVD companies or Blue Ray companies.

The main deciding factor that will have people choosing one product over the other is gaming. Sony one of the creators of Blue ray which makes the Playstation, will be releasing the Playstation 3 with a Blue ray reader. Now Microsoft, which is a huge supporter of HD- DVD has already released their gaming console that does not contain a HD- DVD reader. They will be releasing a add on device later this year. The odd thing is that neither company has said that they might even make games on these disc's. Gamers think that Sony will be releasing games on Blue- ray since such game companies as EA and Vivendi Universal Games are saying that they will support Blue- ray format. This will probably force Microsoft to put games on to the HD DVD format.

All of this will cause a huge problem for not just the American public but also the world. Toshiba and Sony both are based out of Japan, so the battle will not just be here. Companies have announced they want to create a device that does both and when doing so Sony throws their arms up in a fit. Sony created beta and VHS won as you can see. The problem with companies wanting to use two different formats so that each company can make money from their patent, causes the world to choose between the two. The biggest thing that will push America to choose between the two is when they are released and how many companies that people like and use will support certain formats. The HD- DVD format was has already released players and movies. The Blue- ray format will not release their's until June or maybe even later since it has been pushed back twice already.

Sony has always been a big pusher of propriety formats. Sony says it is to give more choices to the world. They also think that all of the products are better than the rest. That is why beta max will either make Sony the biggest player in DVD's on DVD players or it will make them sink. The formats are both very expensive right now just like all new technology. I don't see either format shooting off like a rocket this year. Maybe as the price goes down people will start buying the products. These formats will enable people to watch HD movies, which is a good thing since all TV's will have to be digital by 2009. It will also cause the consumer to want to buy these products more.

The other thing that will cause consumers to buy the products is how much



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