Friday, June 22, 2007
This incompatibility, combined with the generally held belief that one of the two formats will go the way of the Betamax tape or Dodo to mix metaphors, has made a lot of consumers who would otherwise be very interested in buying a high definition DVD player to hold off until the format war is over. This is an understandable reaction to the situation and a very wise one considering that making a purchase now presents the very realistic possibility of being stuck with an unusable piece of equipment.
There is one new device that promises to be a peacemaker of sorts in this conflict. This device is a dual format disc player that's made by LG Electronics. Dual format High Definition DVD players have been discussed as a possible development for a while, but so far LG is the only company that's had the combination of guts and technological prowess to actually bring such a device to market. Like its name implies, this device can play both Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs, which essentially makes it a format war proof purchase for anyone who wants to start watching high definition DVD's without waiting for the conflict to settle itself.
Of course, like everything else, there are problems with LG's dual format High Def DVD player. Fortunately, these problems are more economic than technical. The most obvious problem is the fact that the device is extremely expensive. In fact it's more expensive than either Blu-ray player or HD-DVD players. The bright side of the situation is that it's still cheaper to buy LG's device than it is to buy a separate HD-DVD player and Blu-ray disc player at the same time. That alone makes it a realistic alternative. The other problem is the fact that if consumers don't care which type of disc they buy, because they have a player that will play them both, the format war could be prolonged indefinitely. This probably isn't a problem for consumers though.
The bright side of the situation is that LG's solution to the format war is slated to be sold in more stores in the coming months, and more units sold will pump more money into research and development for more efficient production processes which will ultimately lower the price of the player. Plus, if LG's player is successful, its example will lure more manufacturers into the market with their own dual format high def disc players- a development that will further lower prices.
While LG's new dual format high def DVD player probably won't end the format war, there's a good chance that it will make the format war irrelevant as far as consumers are concerned.