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How Did It Come to This?

10 Apr, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

The Los Angeles Times editorial section last week compared the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray battle to the abortive DVD-Audio vs. SACD battle in the audio business.

How did it come to this?

Certainly, everyone wanted to have one format and eschewed a format war for high-definition disc. And yet here we are. HD DVD launches this month with a handful of titles (and I'm being generous) and grossly high-priced hardware. Sony has announced plans to launch Blu-ray titles whether or not hardware is ready in May.

Format wars aside, the industry is losing the marketing war. Consumers need to have software (en masse) and hardware available at the same time. A concerted marketing effort needs to precede it. Most mainstream consumers are oblivious to the HD DVD launch happening in just a few weeks.

Without a coordinated effort, both HD DVD and Blu-ray could go the way of laserdisc, becoming niche products that have only a sliver of the market.

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