There was a time when Sony was the first name in consumer electronics. The company's Trinitron TVs dominated the TV market for decades. In 1975, Sony's Betamax was the first widely adapted consumer video recorder format. The Walkman hit the market in 1979 and changed the way people listened to music, creating the personal audio market category. In 1982 the CD, which the company developed jointly with Philips, changed the way we listened to music even more. Sony extended its reach when it purchased CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures in 1989, and scored a triumph in … Read more
Toshiba officially conceded the format war in February 2008, but plenty of people thought it wasn't really over until Toshiba put out a Blu-ray player. A year and a half later, that day has finally come. This morning, Toshiba announced the BDX2000, an entry-level Blu-ray player ($250 list price) to be released in November.
While we're always glad to see more competition in the Blu-ray space, the BDX2000 doesn't bring anything special to the table. It supports all the basic features, like Profile 2.0 compatibility and onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, but … Read more
Blu-ray players are becoming a hot item in the living room, but they have yet to attract much attention in the office, according to a new report from iSuppli.
The market research firm found that 3.6 percent of PCs shipped in 2009 will feature Blu-ray players. By 2013, the company expects 16.3 percent of PCs to sport a high-def drive. During that period, DVDs will still reign supreme.
"BDs won't be replacing DVDs as the primary optical drive in PC systems through at least the year 2013," Michael Yang, senior analyst for storage and mobile memory at iSuppli said in a statement. "They eventually will find success, but during the next five years, that success will be limited in the PC segment."
iSuppli believes that Blu-ray's lack of adoption in the PC market is centered on two main factors: a relatively small number of available movies and the cost of adding a Blu-ray drive to PCs. iSuppli said its findings suggest consumers will be more likely to add Blu-ray drives to their PCs once the cost of those drives decreases.
Although the results weren't ideal for the Blu-ray Disc Association, iSuppli said that they're not uncommon. According to the company, new media formats in PCs have enjoyed success only when the cost has decreased to a suitable level. That success also depends on whether or not consumers feel the technology's value proposition is high enough.
iSuppli cited the 3.5-inch floppy's 15-year lifespan as proof that consumers will use media as long as they perceive value. Currently, those same consumers believe there is more value derived from DVD drives.… Read more
Now that Blu-ray has won the format war with HD DVD we can all relax and buy Blu-ray players and not have to worry about what physical format our disks are, right?
Maybe not. Besides outside pressure from the combination of high-speed broadband and HD streaming media, a new challenger has risen to seriously challenge Blu-ray's superiority. And it's based heavily on its oldest rival: HD DVD.
Meet China Blue Hi-definition Disk (CBHD), a new HD video disk format based heavily on Toshiba's HD DVD format. Toshiba has licensed its technology to the CBHD group for use in China. The format now has the official backing of the Chinese government and some analysts think it could be the global per-unit HD leader in as little as twelve months. It's already outselling Blu-ray in China.… Read more
A report has surfaced in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that Toshiba, one of the top backers of the HD DVD format, will be releasing a Blu-ray player before the end of 2009.
It's a fascinating concept. the company that spent years trying to tell the world that Blu-ray is inferior is now looking to tell those same people that it really is worthwhile. Wow.
I understand that Blu-ray is becoming more popular. I know that it's slowly, but surely, gaining market share in the disc market. But it's not the only way to bring entertainment to the masses.
The vexed consumer Tech companies have nothing unless the consumer base trusts them. Whether it's faulty products that break that trust or poor business practices, once it's broken, it could lead to financial ruin. That's precisely why I don't see why Toshiba would want to release a Blu-ray player.
During the war between HD DVD and Blu-ray, Toshiba did all it could to highlight issues with the competing format. It explained why its format was better. And it did everything it could to make Blu-ray look less desirable.
Even after the war was over, Toshiba didn't stop with the Blu-ray bashing. In an interview with TechRadar last year, Toshiba's deputy general manager of HD DVD, Olivier Van Wynendaele, said his company "wouldn't change anything that it did" with its HD DVD strategy.… Read more
Once the major force behind the failed HD DVD format, Toshiba may finally be launching its own Blu-ray player, according to a report in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.
Toshiba, which lost the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray battle in early 2008, is reportedly readying a player that will read both Blu-ray discs and DVDs and will appear in stores by year's end.
Quoting unnamed sources, Yomiuri Shimbun reported over the weekend that Toshiba had been thinking of developing yet another technology to combat Blu-ray but gave up the ghost because of the huge growing market for Blu-ray players and discs.… Read more
A good friend of mine is still fuming over picking HD-DVD over Blu-ray. He's held the grudge so long he just recently dumped the player and even some of the discs and bought a Blu-ray player.
I know another guy who's steamed that his $2,000 6-year-old receiver doesn't have HDMI switching, so to get Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio he plays his Blu-ray over the receiver's 5.1 channel analog inputs. Fine, but the receiver doesn't do any sort of bass management over its analog inputs. The sound isn't so hot.
Do you know anybody who bought a plasma TV in 1999 for around $10,000 who still uses it as their primary display? I don't, but I'd bet most of those buyers are on their second or third display by now.… Read more
Without Rafe and Brian Cooley on the show, we felt it was safe to have French tech podcaster Patrick Beja on the show to talk tech. Don't worry, he speaks in English for this show. We talk about the iPhone phenomena, the poor penetration of broadband in the US, and how HD-DVD is still beating Blu-ray.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1,002
T-Mobile announces second Google phone http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10269459-94.html
If you aligned yourself with the red team during the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format war, we wouldn't blame you if you felt a little turned off to the whole idea of high-def discs. Warner's new Red2Blu program is trying to relieve some of the sting for the losers of the format war, giving owners of Warner HD DVD movies the option to trade in their movies for Blu-ray versions of the same movie. The program isn't free--you send in the cover art from your HD DVDs along with $4.95 per movie, plus a $6.95 … Read more
Betamax was one of Sony's biggest blunders.
The videocassette format was introduced in 1975, and initially sold well. But when JVC's VHS tape cartridge was introduced in 1978, Betamax quickly lost its lead. The media loved Beta for its superior picture quality, but Standard Betamax tapes were only 60 minutes, and VHS 3-hour tapes could record more TV shows.
VHS was more popular, but Betamax refused to die. Production in the U.S. ended in 1993, and the last Betamax machine in the world was produced in Japan in 2002.
Ah, but the Compact Disc was a hit from the get-go. On August 31, 1982, an announcement was made in Tokyo that four companies, Sony, CBS/Sony, Philips, and Polygram had jointly developed the world's first CD system. Talk of the CD's demise are premature, sales are still in the hundreds of millions of discs a year.
The MiniDisc was introduced January 12, 1992. The recordable music format was originally based exclusively on ATRAC audio data compression, but the format never caught on in the U.S. MiniDiscs were popular in Japan and Asia as a digital upgrade from cassette tapes.
Which reminds me, Sony's ill-fated Elcaset came out in 1976. Like Betamax, Sony was trying to make a higher quality tape format, in this case better than the Philips Compact Cassette. Elcaset was better, but it was too large and cumbersome. Elcaset was a flop. … Read more