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Meridian steps back from HD disc format war

March 10th, 2006 · No Comments


chairman Bob Stuart is concerned that the user benefits of and might not be strong enough for people to gamble on backing either side in the upcoming high definition disc war.
“What brought people into shops for DVD was menus and features that just weren’t available on anything else. CD had similar unique user benefits. But ultimately, HD DVD and Blu-ray are only another kind of DVD,” he says.
The sheer complexity of the new formats is also daunting: “The specification book for HD DVD is enormous. Just putting together a player that will work perfectly is intimidating. With HD DVD you can stream in alternate soundtracks from the internet, amongst other things. This might sound like a good idea, but in practice who is going to handle all the tech support calls when it goes wrong?”
The resource drain involved in supporting the formats is enormous, he says.”Toshiba has had 200 people working on its first two HD DVD players. When it comes to software authoring, one or two people could do the navigation for DVD Video, but with HD DVD it will take an entire team.”
Adds John Bamford, Meridian’s product manager: “Our brand has a technology foot in both HD DVD and Blu-ray camps, so no matter which system succeeds it will have a little bit of Meridian in it, in the shape of our MLP lossless packing technology. But outside of Japan and Korea, there isn’t a single manufacturer that can afford to make a mistake by backing the wrong format. So you won’t see specialist brands backing either. All we can do is wait and see what happens.”

Tags: HD DVD and Blu-ray · Hi-fi · Home cinema · Trade

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