Friday, May 11, 2007
This means that the new high def DVD formats aren't just competing against each other, but they're also competing against the older DVD format. Of course, it goes without saying that the older standard definition DVD format does serve as competition against HD-DVD and Blu-ray. After all, there are people who simply don't care about the difference between the quality of a high definition DVD and a standard definition DVD. There are also people who use DVD players with built in upconverters who are just fine with the resulting compromise between standard definition and HDTV. But in this case that competition is unnecessary. In this case, people who go to the store to buy a Blu-ray disc or an HD-DVD are walking out with the standard definition version, not because that's what they want, but because that's what's available.
This is obviously also hurting retailers who want to do a high volume of the high def DVD's. Of course they do lose profits from people who show up to buy a new movie title on a high def disc, but walk away without anything rather than even settling with the standard def version, and then never bother coming back even when the high def version comes into the store. Retailers are also losing money in the hidden way of attempting to make up for the delays in production by paying extra to have the high def DVD's rush delivered. This obviously cuts into profit and often times isn't good enough to get the products to the stores in a timely manner.
Another interesting thing that's hurting the sales and rentals of high definition DVD's is the unseasonably warm weather of the past few months. It seems that people are spending time outside instead of watching movies in high def at home. The increasing amounts of high definition channels available may also be decreasing the demand for high def DVD's in both formats. All of this demonstrates how even the best technology can be undermined by factors that are independent of the technology itself.