To make regular CE customers migrate from SD to HD, the first HD format that brings HD players to marked that can compete with SD players in price will be the preferred HD format.
The announcement in this thread seems to be the starting shot for this.
When people goes shopping for a SD DVD player upgrade to go with their new “widescreen” TV and leave the shop with a player that can play HD DVD as a bonus, without having paid much more than they intended when they entered the shop, the needed migration from SD to HD has started.
The same way the migration from VHS to DVD started in earnest with cheap Chinese players placed between groceries in the supermarkets.
Without this, HD disc media will continue to be a “remark” on the DVD sales statistics.
HD DVD has the best possibility to achieve this because of the less expensive production price of the player platform. Also the cheaper price on investment in HD DVD disc reproduction tempt smaller producers to invest in the format, as seen by the recent statements from spokespersons for the replication industry, that advise their members to invest in HD DVD rather than BD.
We can now understand the reason for Toshiba being the only producer of HD DVD players, which has been much criticized. By developing and Beta testing the HD DVD platform Inhouse, they have been able to more practically testing the format without coordinating the development with many producers. That has also saved CE producers from initial investments of an unproven format. Now they can produce from a “Ready made” and tested platform. This is of course a great incentive.
Industrial politics also comes into play. All producers of DVD related products that want to partake in the future has related to the DVD Forum for a long time and has their relations there. For them to start to relate to the competing and more closed BDA, which means in all practical purpose Sony, might be a deterrent.
The format “war” looks more and more like the Betamax vs. VHS “war”.
Many think that outcome was decided by the involvement of porn.
Porn might have had a part in it. The real reason was that Sony had such strict licensing politics on production of Betamax players that other CE producer saw the possibility to investment and involvement not very tempting. Sony basically wanted to produce all players themselves.
JVC on the other hand, with their inferior VHS format, was willing to license the technology to other CE producers for a fair price, and by that enabled the CE industry to partake and support VHS. Much the same happens now with HD DVD vs. BD, except that HD DVD is not an inferior format when we measure it by performance, which are picture and sound quality and not a numbers game.
Sony as the driving force behind BD seems to repeate itself and has not fully learnt their lesson of history by wanting dominance, and supporting involvement by the big players and making the small player uncertain if they could have a future in HD disc media.
Two different strategies. Looks like the DVD Forum strategy, involving the smaller companies will be the winner.
Don’t scoff too much of the Chinese HD DVD players. 70% of the DVD players in peoples homes are wholly or partly Chinese built. If we include DVD players in Chinese homes the number is 90%.
Average A/V enthusiast will of course buy mid and high end players from known brands like A20&XA from Toshiba, and from Meridan, Onkyo, Denon etc. as they always have done.