Movies, they have been around to entertain us for over 100 years. Over this time, technology has improved to allow us to watch movies at home via 8mm reel to reel, VHS and Betamax video tape, CD-ROM (VCD movies) and currently DVD format. The DVD format, emerged informally as “digital versatile disc” around 1995. Research by Sony/ Philips and Toshiba around this time came from looking for alternatives to CD-ROM and VHS/Beta tapes as a replacement.
DVD has become a popular format for not just movies but for several platforms of media today, used in formats like DVD players for movies and TV series, consoles like the PlayStation and XBOX, and for Personal Computers (which are also used for storage, the DVD-R +R, DVD-RW & DVD-RAM formats).
Since 2005, Sony and Toshiba have again gone head to head with Bluray (Sony) and HDDVD (toshiba) and with those of you old enough to remember the Betamax (Sony) and VHS (Toshiba) it is reminisce of the format wars of 25 odd years back.
For most, these two new formats are generation II of DVD, Bluray has a slightly larger capacity than HDDVD (around 30 Gb compared to DVD of around 4.7Gb) and uses a thinner blue laser on players (large red lasers are used on players that play cd and dvds) and HDDVD although slightly less capacity than Bluray (around 25Gb) uses a thinner red laser and is easier to manufacture in plants that make standard dvd discs. This presents new issues for the consumer. Which do I buy? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the cost?
Holographic DVD is also another emerging format that looks like getting commercial release in about 2009 and has storage looking to 200Gb and upwards. Thats about half a million MP3’s, or about 400 hours of Standard Definition video or 80 hours of High Definition video. Whew !
Standard definition video ? High definition video? What the heck is this you ask. It is how a picture or video playback is displayed on a screen and that screen needs to be capable of High Definition playback (TV, rear projection. LCD or Plasma), TV and Video/ DVD has played back in Standard Definition for about the last 50 years. It is approximate to 800 x 600 DPI on a computer screen, where High Definition is approximate to 1280 x 1024 DPI on a computer screen.
Digital download (the internet and wireless internet), another emerging technology not just for viewing video on computers, but for cell phones as well. Cable TV, TIVO, Digital or broadband TV (IPTV), yes yet more technologies on the TV front vying for your hard earned dollar. Most consumers in the USA already have these 3 technologies.
Confused ? Thats understandable. Its 2007 and we haven’t had more to choose from to get TV or movie entertainment than any other time before it. We don’t know what technology will be available in 5, 7 or 10 years, but one thing is sure. No matter how good the tech is, the best will be the one that consumers desire to use the most…