Topic: A quick word on dvd formats

I was going to make this an article, but it doesn't really fit the other articles I have posted, so I am going to just post it here.

Blu-Ray and HD dvd's - the two new formats that bring High Def dvds to your High Definition TV. They are shiny, they are new, and they are expensive. Blu-ray moreso than HD. However, which is better?

I happen to work with two video and audio philes are who, to say the least, obsessed with every thing that has to do with high definition. I took some of their advice and started to do a little research on these two warring factions.

This new technology will allow more data to be stored on the same size discs, using a different colored laser with a shorter wavelength.  The shorter wavelength reduces diffraction and maintains a smaller spot size of the laser. This allows data to be read from a higher density on the disc surface, which comes in 15 GB per layer storage (The largest is 3 layers, announced by Toshiba, at 45 GB) for an HD DVD.

A blu-ray DVD uses the same blue laser (thus the 'blue' in blu-ray), but a different type of disc, and can hold more data (25GB per layer). This makes blue-ray an assload more expensive to purchase - which is why poor blu-ray doesn't really have the support in the market it needs (Like the that retarded cousin LeRoy everyone has hiding on the redneck side of the family). Blu-ray also uses specific codecs (data decryption algorythms) to read it's data that are propietary to Sony (and the few others in the blu-ray consortium). With this codec, they have implanted several digital Rights management features. For those of you not familiar with DRM, it's software that keeps you from stealing their shit and putting copies on the web. This new format makes making backups of your DVD's a real pain in the ass - since you have to CALL a key provider to get a key to unlock the disc to make a copy. While there are a few big name studio's backing this format, most of them back HD dvd (namely because of the price. More on this later).

Toshiba is the pioneer of the original HD dvd disc. It has no DRM, no specialized closed source codecs, and no Bullshit to haggle with if you want to make a backup of your disc. This makes it more usable right off the bat, as I don't like discs (they always end up scratched) but make use of a Home Theater PC. They have used instead, a system called "Audio Watermark Protection". This places an inaudible watermark in the audio of the disc. If the player doesnt detect this watermark, it's ok. This keeps idiots from going to a theater with a home camcorder and recording a fuzzy coughed-over copy of a film not yet released to DVD. However, it does not keep me from making a digital copy from the disc to my Home Theater PC.

These two companies are squaring up for a big fight. Sony is placing the new blu-ray into its PS3 (which makes the goddamn thing 600 bucks!) and hd DVD is being backed by the giant comglomerations of movie studios and fortune 500 american companies. But what will decide who wins this battle? One word:

Porn.

Pornography is the single largest grossing theatrical industry in the world. It produces over 57 BILLION dollars in PROFIT a year in AMERICA ALONE. The format they decide to use to print their smut will be the one that wins the battle. And while the ps3 might be popular among gamers and geeks everywhere, porn still has it beat. Guess we like our smut more than our violence. Who knew?

My basis for this, not only after seeing the porn market size, is that porn has decided before. Does anyone remember the great VHS versus Betamax wars of the early eighties? And how many stores still carry Betamax? Yeah - that's right. Betamax was produced by Sony, with another proprietary format, and another closed codec that cost more money. VHS was made by JVC, was cheaper to produce, and wide open. Pornographers went with VHS because of it's cost and open codec, allowing them to put more naked debauchery on one tape than a Betamax.

So what do you think is going to happen this time? How many blu-ray discs are on our website right now? And how many HD dvds?  Sorry Sony, you #$%'d it up again.