THE MORNING BUZZ: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Co-Opt 'Em22 Apr, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange
About a month ago in our March 24-20 issue of Video Store Magazine and here on the Hive, senior editor Holly Wagner wrote about DVD players in such diverse places as cars and blood donation chairs (incidentally, after the article came out, Samsung debuted a networked refrigerator that can play DVDs. Holly calls it the DigiFridge). Indeed, many trades appear to be latching onto one of the hottest entertainment products to hit the market in years.
In what is perhaps the most bizarre twist I've seen yet, an Internet streaming technology company, Media and Entertainment.com Inc., yesterday unveiled its new product, NetDVD, billing it as "the world's fastest and clearest real-time video and audio compression methodology." Now, several streaming movie companies have put their films on DVD, but this is the first I've heard of the competing technology actually appropriating the packaged media "DVD" moniker to sell a streaming media concept. DVD stands for digital video (or versatile) disc, after all. Its very name implies packaged media.
DVD has a lot of cache, even among the video-on-demand crew. It has become a standard for good picture and audio quality (something VHS never was; heck, it was often a standard for bad quality) and for good digital delivery of entertainment. "Most streaming companies deliver blurry, mediocre and less than desirable video quality," says Media and Entertainment.com's chief technology officer in a press release, adding "no other company can match the speed and clarity of our NetDVD system."
In the whipsaw turn of events after the bursting of the Internet bubble, DVD and packaged media seem to have come out on top. It's nice to be on the cutting edge, for a change, with our VOD brethren implicitly acknowledging the power of the packaged media product.