Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Battle of the Day: Consumer 0 - Industry 1

Today is a sad day. Regardless how loud we shout, how we persevere, today is just one of those days where you are not heard.

Dreamworks and Paramount just announced their exclusive support to the HD-DVD. Their decision is based reduced manufacturing cost, simpler technology manufacturing processes that will ultimately result in lower prices for consumers. This would probably remind you the old Betamax-VHS case.

Do not get me wrong. I am not judging their allegiance to either the BRD or HD-DVD camp.

As a consumer and a marketer, I still believe BRD outperforms HD-DVD, at least in terms of quality and features. I am truly sad not to be able to watch Bumble Bee on my high-end BRD High Definition system. But that is besides the point.

What makes me sad is the use of a single word in their Press release - 'Exclusive'. Yet again the consumer held hostage…right in the middle of a crossfire. The CD format gained enormous success due to its universality. Many others such as DAT, MD, SACD, Dolby Digital Audio failed because it was tied to a proprietary format.

Now entire industry is looking at High Definition as the next cash cow. It is a battle to be won over the next few years. However, it may end up being a long drawn fight. Consumers are already finding it complex to grasps between 720, 1080i, 1080p, HDMI 3.0, DVI, True Dolby Digital. Introducing a Media selection is only going to make it more complex.

Mister Manufacturers, please do us a favor, to make both our lives easier. Find an agreement to ensure we can all enjoy High Definition. Consumers will be the winner and industry will grow and profit at the same time. This may be tedious but definitely a win - win situation.

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