‘HD DVD, the beloved (Video)format of Toshiba and three Hollywood studios, died Friday after a brief illness. The cause of death was determined to be the decision by Wal-Mart to stock only high-definition DVDs and players using the Blu-ray format.There are no funeral plans, but retailers and industry analysts are already writing the obituary for HD DVD.’
The New York Times announces the death of the HD-DVD high definition video format after a string of backers including Time Warner, Best Buy and video rental firm Netflix publicly side with Sony’s Blu-Ray format exclusively. Reuters are already reporting that Toshiba will cease production of HD-DVD players.
Format wars are rarely about the best technology winning out. We’re all familiar with the now classic video format war of the late 70′s and 80′s, namely VHS vs Betamax . Back then JVC , the inventor of VHS shrewdly openly licensed VHS hardware and bought into the film distributors thus starving Sony’s Betamax of the needed pre pre-recorded software.Toshiba was then one of the few licensed Betamax recorder makers.
Sony only officially pronounced Betamax dead in 2002 but had modified the format for Broadcast use way back in the early 80′s (Betacam) but losing that consumer war and many subsequent attempts to launch proprietary formats on the electronics world (mini disc, memory stick, Digital 8, Micro DV) have dented Sony’s image over the years so to win this current war so quickly and so decisively may show that Sony may have finally learned some expensive lessons from past mistakes.
…Only in French of course. I was amused by a story on the Beeb about a regular number of polite Japanese tourists suffering from Paris syndrome each year in which they suffer severe psychological breakdown after the supposed rudeness of some Parisians and after which they have to be repatriated. A real culture shock sets in when their idea of Paris and it’s culture fails to meet their romanticised expectations.
It makes me wonder if the same thing ever happens here as London tourists meet a racist Cabbie. There have been incidents where American tourists are being met with anti-American outbursts on the capitals tube system leading to many Yanks just pretending to be Canadian when opening their mouths to ask for directions etc.That’s a shame as people are just getting worked up with anti-Bush feelings and tend to lump all Americans in the same basket.
I remember seeing a large coach load of Japanese tourists disembarking near the Sydney Harbour bridge down under and nearly all had a camera or camcorder. The strange thing was that I swear that the size of each camera and camcorder was getting bigger as each one stepped off the coach until the very final man to leave was carrying a full sized broadcast Betacam camcorder!! Those pesky tourists, eh!
The French do have a sense of humour and les Shadoks is a well known cartoon made in France that parodied French society and the rivalry between France and it’s love/hate relationship with Great Britain. In these cartoons dating from 1968 (& the student revolutions of the time) the adversary of the Shadoks are The Gibis (GB’s, geddit) who wear bowler hats (I love a cultural stereotype, me).
I’m having another go at archiving some older analogue recording that I still keep.Being a Cancerian means that i’m one of life’s hoarders but having said that it’s been good to unearth some things and share them with the world whether on old VHS or cassette tape.Today it’s so much easier with PVR’s ,DVD recorders and online radio with listen again and podcasting but back in the day it was a tough job recording radio if you couldn’t listen to it at the time.I remember having to use fragile C120 tapes to catch radio shows and a Heath Robinson kitchen timer arrangement to get my trusty cassette tape to start recording at pre-set time while I was working, only to return home and find little more than mangled or broken tape spewed around the cassette mechanism. When HiFi video recorders came in it was easier as we could use those to record audio only from an external source easily for as much as 8 hours at a time (hurray for LP HiFi).
Indeed I rarely overplayed my old vinyl records, just transferred to HiFi Video to save wear and tear so I’m used to archiving. Many of those HiFi videos still play so I’ve archived them again to my Mac (quick external how-to and here too) and will no doubt be doing the same when the current audio bette noir is replaced.
I’m hopeful of tracking down a working Betamax video player to re-archive a clutch of beta tapes that still lay in draws at my parents. I’ve managed to put the old gems from old VHS tapes up on YouTube but it’ll be a pain if the plug gets pulled on that outlet one day. So it’s back to archiving those treasured old cassette recordings. Amazingly most play like they were recorded yesterday so I say thanks and farewell to my old analogue cassette friends. You’ve lasted longer than most things in a throwaway world.