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Content Insider: Gone With The Wind

HD DVD/Blu-ray war talk spoils all the fun at CES By Miles Weston

-       Fiddle-dee-dee.  War, war, war; this war talks spoiling all the fun at every party this spring
-       You go into the arena alone.  The lions are hungry for you
-       No, I dont think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly
-       As God is my witness, Ill never be hungry again

Guess poor Scarlett wasnt at CES because the drums (and bugles) of high definition video storage were playing loud and clear in all of the eight football fields of expensive show-and-tell real estate.  Ironically, they were also dressed in blue and gray.

Both camps were shooting press release after press release.  Scouts went out to tell the folks they were making the preemptive strike.  For that matter they had already won the war.

Of course the press releases and volleys were refreshed and re-sharpened from CES 2004 and 2005.  But they were fired and duly covered.  The officers strode around their campfires and proudly showed off their armies.  But if you looked closely you saw many of the same soldiers (software suppliers, content owners and media producers) sitting in both of the camps. 

Only ones you didnt see with both uniforms were the generals.

The marketplace and press were hungry for news as to which the winner was going to be so they attended the battle briefings (press events) of both camps.  They were much like the individual company events: ?We are the world leader, we are number one and we have the strategy/products to win.

Some day someone will stand up and say, ?We make pretty good products that work most of the time, so give us a break.

Despite the long, generally boring Toshiba, Panasonic, Pioneer, Canon, LG and other press events; everyone waited with baited breath for the HD DVD and BD press conferences.

The HD DVD army led the attack with bad jokes and a fumbled video playback attempt?but they tried.  They touted their studio partners, specific release dates and HP their most recent convert. 

BD was more cautious with more talk than play. 

Everyone jumped on the fact that Microsoft used an ?off the production line player that didnt quite work.  No big deal?the gun misfired.  What we couldnt figure out was who in his/her right mind wanted all of the extra stuff on the great next-generation disc.  If were watching a movie, why do we want to also have the director telling us what he/she wanted to achieve with a scene, why we were interested in the actors bio and other movies, why we wanted to switch languages, go online for something or other great things the new hi-def discs from Tellywood would deliver. 

We came for the movie! 

A really smart industry analyst made it crystal clear.  All the new content approach wasnt for our generation.  Its for the kids who are used to multitasking.   

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Related Keywords:Miles Weston, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray, CES 2006, HD DVD vs. Blu-ray,

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