There’s a certain amount of irony in the fact that one reason why the entertainment industry is pushing these new DVD formats is because of the DRM that more effectively frustrates counterfeiters but when you think about it the best way for the entertainment industry to eliminate piracy would be invest heavily in broadband deployments and on-demand delivery of content. Not only would they have a pricing model decoupled from the physical economics of producing and distributing a disc, but they would also be able to price counterfeiters out of the market and grow consumption at the same time.
The movie studios and electronics manufacturers thinkâ€”wronglyâ€”these new high-def formats will extend the market for home-entertainment media indefinitely. Both formats will fail, not because consumers are wary of a format war in which they could back the losing team, a la Betamax. Universal players that support both flavors of HD should appear early next year. No, the new formats are doomed because shiny little discs will soon be history.