Sunday, February 17, 2008

HD-DVD is Deader Than Dead!

For a while there, it was looking an awful lot like the early 80s again, and the home-video format war between JVC's VHS and Sony's Betamax. Of course, at the conclusion of THAT war, the term "Betamax" became synonymous with "dead technology" as people were stuck with machines that were rendered obsolete.

The new format war was over high-def storage. Toshiba's HD-DVD and Sony's BluRay. Theoretical successors to standard DVDs.

In May 2007, Harry Knowles threw his morbidly obese support behind HD-DVD in the high-def format wars.

Which, in and of itself, shouldn't be a big deal. Even in May 2007 there were some clear indications that HD-DVD was a doomed format, YES... but people are free to back ill-advised causes.

Except, like Harlan Ellison, Harry Knowles's name reaches more people than most. The internet king of the geeks was endorsing a doomed video format with inferior storage capabilities:

Storage capacity for a dual-layer standard DVD: 8.5 GB.
Storage capacity for a dual-layer HD-DVD disc: 30 GB.
Storage capacity for a dual-layer Blu Ray disc: 50 GB.

(Storage capacity for a quad-layer Blu Ray disc: 100 GB!)

Thankfully, Harry's influence has always been hampered by the skeptical, paranoid, fractious nature of his internet geek constituency. People accused him of being a sellout who was being paid or bribed by the HD-DVD camp. Fueled by the fact that he admits upfront that ads began appearing on AICN for a Toshiba HD-DVD player...

Personally, I thought his infamous HD-DVD article was just the pinnacle of his idiot egotism—riddled with his signature ignorance and inaccuracies—yet clearly intending to herd his flock toward the promised land. Read for yourself:

"Headgeek has chosen HD-DVD... Here's Why..."

My favorite quote: "I also have a habit of picking the winning formats. I could be wrong this time, but most of my filmmaker friends, in fact all of them that I have had a conversation regarding this with... have told me... HD DVD is the format to go with."

He weathered a lot of flak for that product endorsement. Now, less than a year later:

Harry Knowles admits that HD-DVD is dead.

($5 says their kids are going to look like orange-haired manatees.)


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