No, I’m not joining those who have predicted that Sony’s Blu-ray has won over HD-DVD. What I’m suggesting is the optical disc format has reached it’s peak and will go the way of the cassette tape.
The battle between Blu-Ray and HD–DVD format hasn’t helped. Even with Warner Brothers exclusively backing the Blu-Ray Association, sales of movies on disc has been on the decline. This week at CES a lot of folks are calling Blu-Ray a winner even though the adult industry and Microsoft has backed HD-DVD.
Some have also said Microsoft wants both to fail because “They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads.” I say, “It worked!”. In fact today, Microsoft acknowledged it is backing off plans to promote HD-DVD exclusively in its xBox game console.
Advocates for both claim superior video and audio but they’re missing what consumers want. There’s a point where the average human can’t detect the differences in sound and appearance. If anything, the increases in clarity can show more flaws in productions. Why would I pay $20+ for disc when I can just download the movie to my PC or TiVo for $12 or less.
The future media is Solid State Memory or what’s commonly called Flash memory. I wrote about this a year ago, and I’ll stick by last years prediction.
Granted a Blu-ray DVD can hold 25 GB’s per layer it’s only a matter of time before we see an explosion in Flash(NAND) memory size. HD-DVD only holds 15 GB per layer. Yesterday at CES SanDisk introduced a new 12 GB microSDHD
card. SanDisk calculates with 12 GB you can store a 24.5 hours of video along with 2,600 photos and 1,500 songs.
While the size and cost of flash memory isn’t there yet it’s coming. It’s not likely I can fit a Blu-ray disc into my Phone, GPS or video camera. No moving parts or lasers means my battery will last a lot longer watching a movie from flash memory. It’s also much easier and cheaper to build a flash memory slot into a new TV or other home appliance than it is a disc player.
My new OLPC XO laptop
isn’t the first laptop to choose a flash drive in place of a mechanical hard drive and DVD and it won’t be the last. No moving parts, minimal power consumption, well over 100,000 write cycles, all means my next laptop will include a solid state drive
instead of a legacy hard drive. I won’t miss trying to figure out if my DVD player supports +R – R, +RW or -RW.
Labels: Blu-ray, DVD, flash, HD-DVD, prediction