Proponents of the rival HD disc camps confronted each other at a recent CEA Industry forum, to trade predictable verbal blows. On one side of the divide stood Mark Knox, spokesman for the HD DVD Promotion Division, on the other Pioneer’s senior VP of product development and the chairman of the Blu-ray Association USPromotion Committee Andy Parsons.
Somewhere in between perched Chris Crotty, an analyst from CE research outfit iSuppli and NVIDIA’s Patrick Beaulieu. Everyone appeared to stick to their scripts.
Crotty set the tone by declaring this “the most pointless format war ever,” adding that for consumer, migrating from DVD to HD disc “is not as big a stretch as going from VHS to DVD.”
Beaulieu predicted that the format war would be won in the PC domain.
Parson teased that if consumers buy HD DVD they would live in “fear of not having content” while Knox countered that HD DVD was “cool and well-priced.”
Interestingly, both Knox and Parsons did not rule out a universal player compatible with both formats, saying that there is nothing in the licensing agreements for either format which would preclude such a product. This contradicts the line from Arcam’s John Dawson, who says that just such a stipulation exists. But Knox warned “it would be one pretty expensive machine.”
Knox concluded that “there’s a perception that this battle is like Godzilla vs Mothra; that one of us is just going to disappear. But that’s not the way things are going to happen.”