What’s Good About the DVD Format War

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD has benefited consumers by getting prices down quickly.

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Most folks seem ready to celebrate that the format war is over for the next generation of DVD players, the high-definition battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. I'm not so sure it is, nor that it would be a good thing, at least not yet.

The competition has gotten prices down. Player prices would be much higher if Toshiba hadn't made it a price war, as well as a format war. That's Toshiba's best shot at keeping HD DVD alive. It's losing ground on content, a point soundly reinforced when Warner Bros. recently dumped HD DVD for Sony's Blu-ray format.

If Blu-ray prevails, sales volume would eventually get the price of those players out of the clouds. But I'd bet that competition works faster. I hope Toshiba sticks around for another year or so.