Generally, it's agreed that only one of the two high def DVD formats can survive this format war, but there are two other outcomes that aren't discussed as often. The first outcome, one that's fairly likely actually, is that both formats will survive the war and will both exist side by side for the lifetime of the technology. The other outcome, which is also conceivable, is that both of these formats will be defeated by some other technology.
First, the scenario where both formats exist side by side. This would come about because of third party technology that could make the distinction between the two formats irrelevant. There are already technologies like this in existence. One is the dual format disc on which a movie title, in both formats, is encoded onto a single disc. As the standard way to release discs, people would be able to buy high def discs without any thought as to which type of player they own. Another solution comes in the form of a dual format player. These devices are also already in existence, but are presently so expensive that it makes more sense to buy a player for each of the two formats- it would be cheaper.
There are lots of new technologies on the horizon that could also bring about the demise of both formats. One of the more likely ones is high capacity hard drive technology. With hard drives larger than a terabyte already available, and improved video compression technology, it may soon be possible to buy portable hard drives preloaded with an abundance of movies. These movies could be unlocked for viewing one by one in exchange for paying a small fee, which would reduce the upfront cost while allowing consumers to avoid the inconvenience of downloading the movies off of the Internet. Of course, these hard drives could have space reserved for the storage of recently released movies that could be downloaded off of the Internet as well.
Another interesting possibility is that HDTV could soon be obsolete, and therefore HDTV DVD's would become obsolete as well. One of the technologies that could replace HDTV is 3D TV. Of course, any kind of 3D TV of the future probably will have HDTV resolutions, but the extra amount of data required to render a three dimensional image would exceed the storage capabilities of even high def DVD's. Perhaps HDTV DVD technology could still be used for short format 3D HDTV, but it would hardly be sufficient for full length titles in the new format.
With these and other new technologies on the horizon, putting a lot of resources into high def DVD technology is a risky proposition indeed.
N.Evans writes articles for consumers who want to find the best Satellite TV offers currently available. She has written for many major publications about the latest Directtv Offers and Direct TV Specials.
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