HD-DVD/Blu-ray format war similar to quad-stereo in the 70s

There is a precedent
where a major technology push died and no format won: quadraphonic stereo. This
was introduced in the 70’s I think. Basically, it was four-channel stereo, but
there were at least three different formats. You had to buy incompatible discs
for each, plus special amps, tuner and of course extra speakers–sound familiar? Well, it never took
off and died because, IMHO:

  1. Consumers didn’t see a real
    need for it. Stereo was good enough.
  2. Multiple formats made it
    difficult to pick a winner to invest in.
  3. You had to buy all new
    equipment to listen to it.

parallels today’s hi-def movie wars. It’s not just picking a format and buying
new media, it’s having to buy all new equipment. Sure, hi-def looks incredible,
but is it really that much better than watching a standard DVD? Probably not.
The adoption hurdles are huge and the true benefits are debatable. The US is going to
have a hard enough time migrating to HD. I don’t think either hi-def movie
format will win.

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