What’s Good About the DVD Format War

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


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.