In John C. Dvorak’s column in PC Magazine, The Disc Format Wars, John talks about the need (or lack thereof) to upgrade entertainment equipment for new High-Definition (HD) standards. I see no need to upgrade to either an HD-TV or a new type of DVD player. Here’s why.
To change to HD-TV, I have to replace my current TV to appreciate truly the improved picture and quality. I just replaced my TV in 1999, and a TV, unlike a computer, does not need upgrading every few years. When the picture tube or sound goes out, or when I can no longer receive a picture because they change the format, then I will obviously upgrade. But upgrade to what? Another TV? Probably not. Not with the wonderful new flat panel LCD monitors out there. Instead, I think I will look into whatever is the current equivalent of a Media Center PC or something that does more than just deliver television pictures. That’s so 20th century now. However, I still do not see any need to upgrade until that oh-so reliable 20th century equipment finally wears out. Given the friends still have TVs working built in the 70s, that might be a while.
As to the Blu-ray DVD and HD-DVD format wars… yawn. At some point, one of two things will happen: one will die off or both will be usable in every device (e.g., DVD+R/DVD-R). Until the stupid companies that are forcing this format war get together and figure out that people do not want to have to choose — they just want to be able to play whatever they pick up off the shelf — sales for the new formats are going to be very sluggish indeed. Standard DVD works well for now. Nobody wants to buy a Betamax mistake (again). Therefore, we will all just sit back and let the early adopters suffer from the pain of the format wars.
Please don’t think that I am a person who does not like bleeding edge stuff. I build and sell computers and electronics for both a living and a hobby. I read the blogs, read the magazines, and stay very informed about all the latest and greatest things out and on the horizon. I just cannot get excited about a format war, when it is completely pointless and motivated by greed and stubbornness — no matter how good the underlying technology is. Moreover, why pay to upgrade my TV when I am watching less and less TV each year.