"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." – Yogi Berra, Baseball Hall of Fame Player/Coach

Content Insider #89 - Next Generation DVD – Change at the Speed of Slow

THE Insider

Content Insider #89
          Next Generation DVD - Change at the Speed of Slow

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." - Yogi Berra, Baseball Hall of Fame Player/Coach

Every year we have a sports season - baseball, football, basketball, soccer, etc - a definite beginning and end.  A winner.  A loser.
In the PC/CE industry we haveMoore's Law. 
We have an ever changing landscape of technology change. 
We have the mercurial wants, needs, desires of consumers.

We love watching the industry push and shove to be in front of the competition with claims, counterclaimsthreats, counterthreatsbrags, counterbrags. 
Nothing is more typical of this today than the desire to entertain us - you know the consumer. 
The folks who pay for the tickets to the game. 
Specifically the HD DVD teamthe BD teamthe everything over the Internet team.
They're all running the bases and have more points on the scoreboardjust ask them!
Like Yogi said. "We're lost but we're making good time."

"Why buy good luggage?  You only use it when you travel"  Why buy highdef burners, players, discs when you can't copy, save, share, use the content when you want, where you want, how you want?  Maybe consumers aren't ready to play!
The optical entertainment game started about 30 years ago and we've been improving the game ever since.

Figure 1 -   Like everything in the industry, optical storage has changed a lot in 30 years adding capacity, speed, quality, reliability and lower and lower cost.  With each generation, a greater legacy to drag along, use, copy, protect.  - Source - UNAXIS

Snapshot History

While baseball may be the U.S. pastime and soccer the ROWs pastime, technology "advances" are our pastime.
To understand the optical game, you need to understand its past. 
So here are some highlights:
-         1977 Philips began work to replace vinyl records with the MiniRack, MiniDisc, Compact Rack or what they ultimately called the Compact Cassette
-         1979 theyheld a press conference
-         Japan's MITI (Ministry of Industry & Tech) wanted a single next generation audio disc so Philips/Sony did something unprecedented in the PC/CE industrythey agreed
-         In '82 the 1st CD player was shown and shortly Abba knocked out the first CD.  Player cost about $1000
-         CD replaced vinyl, replaced cassettes, replaced 8, 5.25, 3.5-in floppies.  CD kick started the digital age!
-         By 2000 more than 480 million CD players, burners were in use around the globe, more being shipped every day.  CD replication had reached 11.04 billion discs (3.89 billion pirate copies) and CDR sales had peaked at 2.455 billion discs
-         1996 industry - entertainment, IT, CE - decide it is time to replace the floppy, VHS, yes CD with high capacity single best solution for:

         Movie quality
         5:1 sound
         2-hrs video
         3-5 languages, multi aspect ratios
         Copy protection (aahh  yeah!!)
         AV/PC format
         Backward CD read compatibility
         File system for all content, random access
         Capacity growth
         Cheap drive/media

-         '97, 98, 99 DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD+RW burners introduced, demoed, press conferenced, introduced, demoed, press conferenced
-         2000 Sony decided they needed to sell something, anything so they threw all of the "ideal solutions" into a single box, cheap boxes emerged
-         2003 industry decided to raise the stakes (for the consumer) said HD DVD (highdef DVD) was the next winning standard
-         CES 2006 Toshiba introduced  BD player and over 200 fantastic titles would be available to EOY.  Philips introduced their BD counteroffer BD (blu-ray disc) solution.  Both about $1000
-         2nd, 3rd, 4th gen products have been announced and an LG combo for about $1200. 
-         Aug 2007 prices for the two flavors had dropped to $299, $499 respectively, Amazon was offering eight free titles with any purchase
As Yogi said "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
The Other Option
The Webbies claim the game is already over and they won!
Like our kid they're downloading everything from the Net and throwing it on their system.

Figure 2 -   The notebook computer, once a symbol of the road warrior has become the everything tool for today's generation.  Photos, video, music, work, stuff is stored there.  It's more than one smartphone, one palmtop, one human can handle.  But there is still a need for, a place for archival discs.  Source - NY Times

Why buy an old-fashioned disc when you can download it?
-         2 hr HD movie download with DSL, low bit rate less than a day, high bit rate 2 days
-         Cable download low bit rate 9 hrs, high bit rate less than a day
-         Satellite download low bit rate 16 hrs, high bit rate 1.5 days
Yogi's comment "There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em."
Mental, Physical Game
We can move geeks and early adopters pretty fast. 
They'll buy the next great thing even before it's a thing.
Regular consumers - you know where the volumes are created - it takes them awhilea long while!
DVD was the fastest technology ever introduced to the consumer (we love repeating that!) and it took eight years to receive 50% household penetration!

Figure 3 - Technology changes faster and faster.  Unfortunately widespread acceptance, sales, use takes longer.   Often much longer than analysts project and manufacturers want/hope.  When it isn't an "overnight success" obviously it is a failure.  Too bad consumers are two generations behind the engineers.  Source -- CEA

It was clearly better than tapeyou could see the differenceBAM!!!
Visited Best Buy or Wal-Mart to look at the next great solutions side-by-side? 
Asked a technical sales person to tell/show you the difference?
They look at you and give you a Yogiism "I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question."
Consumer's Answer
Forget our kid, geeks, early adopters who let their notebooks run all night downloading a movie or get their news on YouTube. 
The volume sales go to folks who want to watch a movie, want to play it in multiple locations, want to just watch the game.

Figure 4 - Ask our kids, they'll say discs are so yesterday.  Ask our parents, they'll say what's a disc?  Us?  We just want to watch the moviewhen we wantwhere we wanthow we want.  Source -- CEA

For them, "Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."
The industry was lucky with DVD. 
The mental, physical game made it easy to determine a winner:
-         better picture
-         better business archiving storage
-         more storage capacity (up to 8.5GB)
-         burners, media got cheapreal fast
Moving to the new playing field is toughernot impossible, just tougher.
And it's going to take longer.

Figure 5 - It's not a format disagreement issue when it comes to transitioning from DVD to HighDef discs, it's an education issue.  DVD viewing was dramatically better looking than VHS.  HighDef?  Slightly better if shown side by side and explained.  Then too, it's about archival storage of business content - email, legal/financial documents - stuff we use to protect our behinds, lawyers love to dig into.  Change will happen but it will taketime.  Source -- IDC

As Yogi said, "I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."
The "industry" is busy telling the folks in the bleachers what they want:
-         superb video
-         director's cuts, outtakes, control of the movie, actor's voice overs, interactive game sites, even better protection (DRM), new hardware/software/content, did we mention DRM?
Start the freakin game !
Good Enough
So if you can't show us then we're pretty happy with the game that is being played right now. 
You know the one with 10s of thousands of titles.  The one with millions of players, recorders, burners in use around the globe.  The one with really cheap media available.
Simply want to sit down after a hellacious day at the office with friends, family and watch a movie! 

For Tellywood, highdef blue disc technology is all about more, richer content, more added features, better DRM.  For consumers discs are all about slouching on the couch or slipping into the chair and watching a worthwhile movie.
Sure we're creating, capturing, replicating content faster than ever (IDC notes there will be a 6x increase in the next four years). 
But the kid's YouTube entries are about 20MB.  Our ppts are 10MB.  Our 500 digital photos are under 600MB.  Our home movies (taking out all the bad shots and segments the wife says don't make her look beautiful) are about 800MB.  Our HD TV timeshift shows are (less ads) are about 2.4GB. 
Is it any wonder that industry players who want to make their shareholder numbers today are knocking out more and more DVD burners (they also do CDsya know!)?
Is it any wonder that folks who go to the stores are buying single, 10-packs and spindles of CDs/DVDs?

Figure 6 -   A global legacy of CD/DVD burners, super cheap hardware, inexpensive media and realistic storage capacity for the types of stuff folks save, copy, share every day will keep factories going for years to come.  Don't let them kid youprice, capacity, use matters.  Source -- JRIA

The sweeping change from CD to DVD to Blue isn't being slowed by team differences. 
That's part of the game.
The teams are playing against each other as hard as they can using every hook, crook, sneaky play they can think of  and it isn't working becauseit isn't about them!
They aren't in a slump they just ain't hitting.
As Yogi said,  "You can observe a lot just by watching."
Somebody - everybody -- has to get out of the dugout, get off the field, go into the stands and listen to the crowdall of the crowd.
You'll see folks like our kid downloading moviesposting to MySpacetending to his crops on Second Liferesearching a paper that is due next weekdownloading more MP3 songsIMing a friend in Boston
We're going to watch some of Yogi's old game highlights.

As Yogi said, it ain't over till its over and the technology that gets left behind can only say one thing"we made too many wrong mistakes."
Oh, and the llllloooonnnngggg term highdef winner once the game really starts for the crowd?
It's the contentthe gamesthe titlesthe capacity !

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