I was reading this article on Reuters over the weekend and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the DCC vs. MiniDisc show down in the early 90’s. Ten years after the first CD was produced, Sony and Phillips decided that it was time for a new format. Phillips introduced DCC, or Digital Compact Cassette, which was backward compatable with standard anolog cassettes. Ironically, it was not compatable with DAT. Around the same time, Sony announced the MiniDisc format, also referred to as MD.
Both MD and DCC were the first comsumer-oriented formats to allow consumers to record digitally, which was something Compact Disc lacked (DAT was priced out of reach of the average consumer). Both formats got some lables to put out some titles, but niether format caught on with the gernal public. In fact, the Compact Disc format grew in popularity due to the fact the CD-R writers and media became afforable. In recent years, we’ve seen software formats starting to over take Compact Disc.
Fast forward another 15 years or so and it seems history is repeating itself. Personally, I don’t feel the need to replace what few DVDs I have with a 50GB, Hi-Def version. Nor can I justify the higher price of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs. I already don’t have the time to watch the extra 10 hours of “bonus” material for a 2 hour movie (God knows how much more crap they’ll be able to cram into Blu-Ray or HD-DVD). I usually buy a DVD because I wanted to see a freakin’ movie, not see how they made the movie too. Cable services like Comcast OnDemand and pending network services, like the rumored iTunes Movie store, will have far more potential than any new media format. For now, I’m saving my money.