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Ch ... ch ... ch ... Changes

20 Jun, 2005 By: Stephanie Prange

The video business has been through many changes in the past decade — moving from a rental model to a revenue-sharing model (“go home happy”) to a growing sellthrough model with quirky rental upstarts, such as Netflix.

Change may be in the air again, but this time the move seems to be toward a more fragmented format business. While Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD backers continue in a game of chicken toward launching competing high-def formats, PlayStation Portable's Universal Media Disc (UMD) offers another format for movies. There also are numerous other cartridges, etc., that hold video for other handheld devices.

While everyone seems to agree that one format is the answer — and for the past several years DVD has fit the bill nicely — format fragmentation looks like the wave of the future. It's certainly profitable for the studios that want to sell their movies over and over again, but will the consumer buy it?

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