CES, Blu-Ray and the format war

Blu-Ray Bundles I got back from CES and had the weekend to think about what I saw. I also spent the weekend watching the NFL playoffs in HD on my new 52 inch Sharp LCD. Something occurded to me that I think is being overlooked about this technology. It's the BIG FLAT SCREEN TVs stupid! I've been going to CES shows since the late 80s. Back then I was a kid working in color TV product planning for Philips / Magnavox. My first big assignment was supporting their worldwide projection TV strategic plan. So I've always had a warm spot for those big bad TVs. In the past, when you walked around CES you heard as much as you saw. The noise was always there. Car stereos thumping, karaokee, audio demonstrations. The TVs always looked great - as long as you were not to close or to far, and had the right angle. This year it occurred to me - HD TV screens were everywhere. Plasma, LCD or DLP. But no matter where you stood, they looked great. If you were looking at a screen across the hall, down the isle or 3 feet in front of you. The picture was always spectacular. But unlike all that audio, it wasn't just visual noise. I found myself being sucked into the demos and the content - even when it was going on in the booth next door. Even more important was just how close you can be to the screen and have it look so damn good. What does Blu-Ray have that HD DVD does not? Sure PS3 is the trojan horse to get Blu-Ray into the living rooms of the world. But what Blu-Ray has - that HD DVD, Toshiba and Bill Gates can't compete with - is the glass. Beautiful spectacular HD glass.
  • Pioneer - #1 leader in HD Plasma technology
  • Sharp - #1 leader in HD LCD technology
  • Sony - #1 brand name for TV
  • Samsung - #1 selling brand of HD DLP sets.
  • Panasonic, Philips, Hitachi, LG, Mitsubishi - Leading brands in large screen TV
The Blu-Ray camp is beginning to leverage the HD viewing exerience and how it is superior when you combine it with their glass. http://www.blu-raydisc.com/ Once consumers get to experience a really well done title like Superman Returns or Ice Age 2 they will get hooked. You can't experience this on a 20 or even 30 inch computer monitor. To truly appreciate the technology you need to be sitting or standing in front of a big bad HD screen. The Blu-Ray guys are the big bad glass guys. And from talking to them at the CES show, they get it. They need to get more HD content into peoples living rooms so that they will buy more big screen TVs. With Blu-Ray they can show folks that they don't need a huge room to do this. With Blu-Ray content you can sit much closer to the screen. The HD DVD camp simply does not have this leverage. They can claim anything they want, they can say they are superior or cheaper, but in the end, the Blu-Ray guys can just start giving it away in order to sell Flat Screen TVs. It's the combination of Blu-Ray content and a Big Beautiful Screen that appeals so strongly to consumers. As content producers you can now deliver Blu-Ray discs to your customers with HD content on them. TODAY. It's not perfect yet, but it's here and it is becoming affordable. You can get an HDV camcorder for under $2,000. We offer a wide variety of video editing solutions that will give you fantastic HD results. Burners are available for under $750. Sonic has released authoring software for under $500. In fact, we have Blu-Ray Burner w/ Authoring Bundles for under $1,000! These prices will only go down and the technology will only get better. But it is no longer vapor - it exists. So do the players. Blu-Ray is here and you can create your own Blu-Ray discs. Oh yeah, did I mention the millions of PS3s that will be in our homes by this summer. Gary

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