If you’ve been watching the horse race between the Sony-backed Blu-Ray standard and HD DVD (supported by Microsoft, Toshiba, and several other vendors), you know that recent statistics show that Blue-Ray has roughly a 2-to-1 lead over its rival. Personally, I prefer the HD DVD standard for a variety of reasons.
Ars Technica reports on Reasons financial and technical lurk behind Paramount’s HD DVD coup. It includes many of the things that I think are very important for the new standard. Some of the capabilities included with the HD DVD standard are:
- Standardized player requirements, including a network connection
- A better overall interactivity system (HDi)
- The ability to allow the creation of a backup copy (sure, software already available to do this on both platforms, but this is legal)
- The ability to add content and features after the original media is released
If you remember the early days of DVD technology, menus often had bugs or ran inconsistently on various players. Audio tracks were not properly formatted, and sometimes remote buttons didn’t do what was expected. Making the addition of features foolproof is a high priority (there are a lot of fools out there, and they keep getting better at their jobs).
Judging based on history (e.g., CDs and DVDs), the new standard will be in place for decades. Many of these features are vital to ensuring that hardware will keep pace with new technology features. I’d hate to see multiple versions of players and force consumers to compare their hardware specifications with the requirements of a DVD. Personally, I don’t trust Sony to deliver on a quality set of development tools and capabilities. I have cast my vote (at least mentally). Which do you prefer, and why?