Predicting the future

posted under by Philip Howlett
I've been asked to make a prediction on the future of a technology. I took a look at the 'movable projected display', but if I'm being honest, I have absolutely no clue how that hardware works, and so I have no idea of it's possible applications. One thing I can predict the future of, primarily because I actually understand it, is media distribution.

The latest battle for our expendable income comes from two rival companies, with very similar products. It's blu ray vs HD DVD. This isn't the first time consumers have been confused by rival products. Back in the day there was beta max vs VHS, and just about everyone knows how that turned out. Beta max was a Sony product, a tape very similar to VHS which failed for numerous reasons. Now they're back with blu ray (after some other failed attempts e.g. UMD and A Track) and this time they mean business.

Now, HD DVD and Blu ray have their pro's and con's. HD DVD is a cheaper and more efficient format to produce, whereas Blu ray is still having trouble reducing it's production costs. This leads to higher prices for the consumer both for films and the hardware. HD DVD however has less storage space currently per disc, meaning that they can't store as much content. When it boils down to it however, both have identical HD picture quality, as there's more than enough space on both formats. Where this war is won and lost is with the films, and as it turns out Blu ray is winning.

Blu ray recently acquired Warner Brothers pictures, which carries with it many other studios (including Fox). This was seen as a massive blow to the HD DVD camp, who are now short of many exclusive films. When you couple this with the fact that every PS3 sold is also a blu ray player, then you can't see HD DVD competing. This war is still in it's infancy however, so a lot can change. I personally believe that in 5 years time, many of us will be watching our films on a Blu Ray player.


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