You’ve got to admit it. Some couples you know mix like oil and water. Can’t live with each other…can’t live without each other.

Sort of makes you think of the next generation DVD roadmap doesn’t it?

If you ever saw Danny DeVito’s black comedy The War of the Roses you can almost see the parallel. Or as the studio said in its promo…”Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.”

Next generation DVD was going to be a beautiful marriage that produced some beautiful, brilliant kids. It has also turned out to be a dysfunctional relationship.

We won’t even discuss the outside influences that are ruining the relationship — like Tellywood’s DRM issues and high speed broadband that is “everywhere” — because there’s enough going on between the two and your options.

Certainly we all want our content anywhere, everywhere, all the time. But just like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner we all want a house, a place we can go that is ours! A place where we can go to store our stuff.

We have to understand the past and today as well as human nature to come to grips with the reality of tomorrow…not the vision and images we spin.

Remember, radio was going to kill records and then later it was CDs that were going to kill them and then music downloads were going to kill records and CDs. And then the RIAA was going to kill them all…but that’s another DRM issue isn’t it?

Of course TV was going to kill radio and movies. Instead we got American Idol and Howard Stern.

Remember when networking and the Internet were going to help us create the paperless office? Sure didn’t hurt the printer/printer cartridge industry!

All this virtual stuff video on demand, Internet TV, music downloads, web access doesn’t replace the real thing. Just ask your significant other !

Let’s forget the fact that business, industry and government are the biggest customers of storage…honest! Let’s focus on you and your home.

Sure you want your content anywhere, everywhere. But you also need to know where you put it. That’s the reason you have an entertainment center (Figure 1).

But what is missing from the entertainment center illustration? Right! Storage.

Hard drive folks will say everyone is going to throw all of their content on their bit buckets. Tape folks will say it is on their plastic reels. A new crop of web sites will say you’re going to relieve yourself of all of that fuss, muss and keep your content with them.

And we’re going to say? Darn right! Shiny discs. Discs that you’ll store on the book library shelves you converted to hold your CD and DVD collection. And if you’re lazy like we are you’ll have a 200-400 disc jukebox/library as part of your system so you can pick the music, video or photo disc with your remote without having to leave comfort of your favorite chair.

Of course in your War of the Roses there may be a battle over the remote but that’s another issue.

Tellywood has their shorts in a bind because they “know” that content you have on those discs is theirs!

The warring blue camps say your highdef content that you save needs the bigger blue bit buckets that each side can do a better job of providing than the other can.

Put the gun down and step away from the table…

What are you really storing that’s so important?


Most of it is digital photos, digital home movies, important personal/family files, digital music (Figure 2). Next you’re storing digital prerecorded TV programs. For folks who have more time than brains yes ripped Tellywood movies.

You’re going to put that content in your home storage pyramid (Figure 3).

Of course your mobile content is going to be on NAND and thumb-size HDs. The content at home is going to be stored on your HD even though you know at some point it is going to fail. Then in the closet you will say *#%#@ !!!!

We know and you know the really important content photos, family videos, family documents/files can’t be replaced. So you back it up don’t you? Of course not (Figure 4)!

That’s the reason you’re in the closet. It’s either that or face the wrath of your significant other when you try to convince him/her:

A. there really wasn’t any wedding video
B. you never took any holiday videos
C. the kids just appeared suddenly as 10 and 13 respectively

Just remember what Danny DeVito said to Oliver Rose … “a man can never outdo a woman when it comes to love and revenge.”

So…we’re going to store all of our content on shiny discs.

Are big blue bit buckets what you simply have to have? Well the first thing you need to know is that the component video (analog stuff) won’t be sent to your screen at 1080i or 1080p from the hardware. Right now the plans call for the hardware to send along component video at 480p which is…ah present DVD. Seems as though Tellywood thinks you’re out to steal their mediocre stuff.

So your present media may meet your needs for years…and years…and…

Let’s take a look:

CDs (Figure 5)

* media cost? Darn near zero!
* burner cost? CD burning is thrown into today’s $30-$50 DVD burners for ZERO
* capacity? 30 min of video, 7 hrs of music, 700 photos
* data life? 50-100 years
* playability? Anywhere !

DVDs (Figure 6)

* 4.7GB discs? 50 cents – $1
* 8.5GB DL discs? $2-$4
* burner cost? $30 – $50 for the fastest write-all units almost anywhere/everywhere
* single layer disc capacity? 14+ hrs of compressed music, 120 min of theater-quality video, 4,700 photos
* DL disc capacity? Just about double the above
* data life? 50-100 years
* playability? Dduuhhh! Figure 7

Ah but you’re saying with blue I’ll be able to put 15 – 50GB of my content on one disc…so there !!!!

Right, and:

1. the cost will be?
2. the diversity of where you can play it will be?
3. if the one disc is damaged how much of your content will be lost ??
4. you’ll get it when? Figure 7 !!!

We don’t know about your place but Tellywood doesn’t live in our house. They don’t have to duck when things are thrown. They don’t have to have the cat test our food before we eat it. They don’t have to sleep on the sofa.

They live down the street in the Roses’ house…thank goodness !!!!

They are so damn busy trying to kill each other we don’t even walk the dog on that section of the block.

Frankly we’re a little tired of the press release battles. Every time the cops come to the Roses’ house each side promises to deliver a real product…real soon.

Each takes the high ground:

* better studio support
* better content protection
* better quality content
* better availability better price…eventually
* more customer satisfaction at every level (every layer)

In the meantime our kids have their portable MP3 players (we’re not taking sides on this one). They have their new everything cellphones. They have their game consoles. They have their notebooks and Internet connections. They are grabbing content from everywhere (legally) and they want their stuff stored so they can enjoy it…share it.

That’s why we don’t use anything but high quality brand name media. Heck we took it one step further by starting to store the stuff on Verbatim’s VideoGard discs (Figure 8) because it provides added protection from scratching and scuffing.

And we like the idea of being able to not have all of our personal and family content on one disc. Something reassuring about having a year’s soccer and ballet highlights each on separate discs … and a backup that’s locked in the household fireproof safe. Seems a lot better than five years of the kid’s life wiped out because we left the disc on the dash of the car.

Hey…Stuff happens !!!

Want to give us more capacity inexpensively? Add an MPEG-4 codec to today’s DVD burners. BAM !!! Instantly we’ve got highdef capacity without having to wait for the prices to drop a year after blue burners/media are finally introduced.

Or…knock off The War of the Roses! DeVito was right…”There is no winning! Only degrees of losing!”

Sure there is going to be virtual content in our world. But physical media isn’t going to disappear anymore than paper disappeared when the paperless office forecasts swept the scene. Or radios disappeared when CDs were introduced. Or movies disappeared when TV came on the scene.

Drive down your street avoiding the Roses’ and see how many cars are parked in the driveway because the garage is filled with stuff.

People and yes birds/animals as well want their content, their property, their stuff. This is especially true of really personal, irreplaceable stuff…like photos and videos of family/friends.

We look at the numbers and CD/DVD media still has big place in our household. Especially when you see all of the content protection Tellywood is asking Congress and the Roses to put on the video technology whenever it is finally introduced.

Sure we’re probably going to use their technology when it comes. But we live in today’s world…and we want to keep our past!!!

The way they are going at each other, we’re not interested in inviting the Roses’ over anytime soon…