Monday, January 08, 2007
More DVD Confusion
The traditional media seems to be swallowing the press releases of DVD manufacturers whole this week. First, they decided that even though people had rejected Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, that for some reason they would love to pay even more for a DVD that contained both. Now, the same thing is happening with DVD players. Consumers hate confusion (I know I do) and they've wisely stayed away from both formats, even with players costing $600 to $1000 (not a ton for a new generation of player). But if they don't like those, why would they pay $1200 for a DVD player that plays BOTH HD-DVD and Blu-Ray? They don't want both formats. They want neither, frankly. They're perfectly happy with DVDs right now and unless you pay $1500 for a flat panel TV that's 1080p compatible and THEN buy a player for say $800 and THEN buy a new DVD format for $30 to $40 (double what standard DVDs cost) you won't see any difference. You can't just do one of these things, the way you could buy DVDs and see a massive improvement even on your old TV. Nope, you've got to do them all. Meanwhile, DVDs are a massively profitable category, with $24 billion spent on sales and rentals of DVDs and the ever-shrinking VHS every year for the past three years. That's more than two and a half times the money spent at the box office and it doesn't include overseas, cable, vidoe on deman, satellite and so on. Overall, movies are generating almost $50 billion a year.