The major windfall for Blu-ray from the studios was Warner Brothers’ decision to go blu-ray exclusive.. just the thing that the industry needed to help sway the tide. Before Warner’s decision, it was almost evenly split, and besides the technical factors, the big differences were content and pricing. I think that blu-ray has always had better content, but hd-dvd was still hanging in there because they were able to sell their players cheaper. Now, despite the still less expensive hd-dvd players, blu-ray has over 90% of the movie studios support, which will ensure a win on the format. And regarding pricing? Blu-ray hardware will continue to become less expensive, especially as they introduce new, cheaper player components.
Next up, the porn industry…
In addition to the major movie studio support, the other deciding factor is porn. Yep, the porn industry, like it or not, has a major role in selecting consumer AV formats. I believe it’s hw the VHS-Beta war was won, and was a key deciding factor for the blu-ray/hd-dvd war. The way I understand this whole situation is.. before just recently, Sony (blu-ray’s major backing body) didn’t endorse the porn industries use of blu-ray. No, they didn’t ban it or do anything to stop it, per se, they just didn’t do anything to help it along with the format. The hd-dvd camp did, however, and thus took over a decent market share. Now that Sony has begun to help out, and really make accommodations for porn to be released on blu-ray, the deal is sealed, and blu-ray will rise to the top.
I’m so glad that this format war is over, and the obviously better format has won out. And no, hd-dvd price cuts will not work to bring the dead format back. Blu-ray is by far superior. The video is better, there’s better provisions for interactivity, and it supports full-on uncompressed audio. Uncompressed audio is something that a lot of people won’t really appreciate, but once you get it onto a nice sound system, it will be great. The biggest advantage of blu-ray, however, is overall disk storage capacity. Blu-ray currently goes up to 50gb disks.. much more than hd-dvd. This larger capacity allows studios to put so much more data on the disk, leading to a higher video stream rate (54mbps), and more expandability for the future. As the technology advances for HD, it’s great to have that added disk space to play around with ultra high def, etc. Also from a computer, data side, having an optical format that holds more is more efficient for archiving files, backing up, etc. And finally for video recording, higher capacity disks means the ability to record for longer and at higher quality on each disk.
There’s my two cents on the format war. I actually still don’t own a Blu-ray player yet, but am eagerly buying my next Macbook Pro with a recordable Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive built in. Having the wi-max, 1tb SSD drive and HD iSight will be nice too. Also, my TV is still waiting some good true-HD content. The HD broadcasts that come off our cable box, even in 1080p from Discovery HD theater are absolute garbage. Yes, they say it is 1080p, but the signal is so compressed to hell it barely passes as hd. The only true HD content that’s been up on that screen has been connecting my Macbook Pro via a DVI to HDMI cable, and either checking out quicktime HD movie trailers, or the good ‘ole COD4.