Archive for November 16th, 2006

PS3 camping violence

How more stupid people can get? Camping and getting violent over a gaming console. Why? What’s the point? Why not wait until shop owners have more units to sell? In fact, waiting for next year is likely to get you a console with fewer hardware bugs and problems.

This also reminds me of some kids that were murdered in the ’90s for their “Air Jordan” shoes. People’s stupidity at its max, right there.

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The Death of the Disc

Slate.com says that both the Blu-ray and HD-DVD are dead on arrival just because other technologies will replace the “disc-oriented” market. The author mentions the internet, cable HD DVRs, on-demand HD TV etc.

Well, here’s the thing. I have access to all that. And yet, I still feel compelled to buy the occasional DVD disc, because of the extras, the convenience and the physical aspect of the disc that mean security for my “possession”.

However, the author IS right to say that the Blu-ray and HD-DVD are dead on arrival. But for a different reason.

The reason is, the DVD is still good enough. It has great sound ability, and when it’s encoded the right way (e.g. the “Daredevil” has the best quality I have ever seen encoded on a DVD disc), its progressive NTSC 720×480 resolution (720×576 in PAL) is more than enough. Most people don’t have HDTVs yet, but even when they do get one, the DVD scales just fine on these TVs and it still looks superb.

Let me put it another way: the visual difference between VCR and DVD was way-way bigger than between DVD and HD. And this visual difference was profound and easily seen on the viewer’s existing TV sets, they did not have to buy a new TV to watch DVDs. Also, there were other technologies before that challenged the VCR, namely the laser-disk, VCD (352 x 288 in PAL) and SVCDs (480×576 in PAL). None of these formats killed the VCR, because while they had better quality, they were not *that* much better than it and they couldn’t easily fit a full movie in a single disc. When the DVD came out, it still took 2 years to take off, but the visual difference was big enough to warrant success. Plus, DVD-ROM devices for PCs were almost instantly available and helped its success, something that’s not true for the HD-ROMs. Even if HD software tools become available, encoding a home movie in HD it can take days, while DVD encoding can be done in a few hours.

In other words, I don’t forsee the two competing HD disc standards to become hits overnight. They eventually might yield good sales and profits, but that won’t be soon enough, and they won’t dethrone DVDs just yet, while the internet/cable/dvr market will also battle them from all fronts. And competing with each other only makes things worse for the companies involved.

They screwed up.