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September 09, 2007


Alan Hutchinson

I agree that going from vhs to dvd was a huge jump and dvd to hd dvd is a smaller jump however in my personal opinion there are more people out there than you think that want higher quality video ie going from 480p to 1080p is a big jump and that consumers put more emphasis on video quality and they really don't care about audio quality. Audio is about convenience and video is about quality.
Home theater hobbyists want high quality video and they have the displays in their homes, it's the format war that's slowing it down. If it were one format and it cost 199 they would sell like crazy. I believe hd dvd is a bigger leap than you think with consumers.

Avi Greengart


Oh, how I wish I could agree with you, but... you're wrong. I've discussed in the past surveys that showed 50% of HDTV owners don't have an HDTV source, and that 25% of HDTV owners think that they're watching HDTV when they actually just have standard definition. In other words, 25% of people who bought an HDTV and are watching DVDs or standard cable feeds think that's so good that it's already HD (http://hometheaterview.typepad.com/hometheaterview/2007/02/50_of_hdtv_owne.html). Also, I can't tell you how many HD sets I've seen where the aspect ratio is completely wrong and the homeowner *never noticed*.

I do belive that the addressable videophile market is larger today than the laserdisc market was back in the early 1990's - home theater as a hobby has grown, it's far more accessible from a products/packaging/budget standpoint, and some women have been drawn into the fold, too (not nearly enough, but that's the subject of a different column). But I can't agree with your statement that, "audio is about convenience, and video is about quality." For most consumers, audio is about convenience and video is about... some other version of convenience (a big picture, a flat panel that doesn't overpower my living room). The promise of a better picture definitely plays into it as well, but even without a format war, a high def disc format would have a tough time displacing DVD.


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